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          "Rumors that go around are rumors -
           until you experiance them for yourself"
                                   
                                              -Anonomous

Who knew revenge could be so… easy?

Harry and I had been “dating” for little over a week and had no problems whatsoever. It was better than I could have imagined! I thought for sure that we would encounter one or two problems along the way. People who were hesitant that our relationship was legit, Terry not coming under the full effect of our “relationship”, or just pure bad luck, which usually seemed to be attached to me like Ron to the newest flavor of Bertie Bott’s… but nope. The only word I could think of to describe my intricate plot was something I had never associated with anything having to do with me… perfect.

People came up to me daily, either to congratulate me on snagging the great Harry Potter or to give me a playful shove in the shoulder and say “It’s about bloody time!”. This, I have to admit, was rather odd. I mean, what do they mean by ‘about bloody time’? Were people pining over me and Harry to get together? Honestly, we are (well, were, as far as their knowledge went) just friends! People probably mistook the things me and Harry did as more-than-friendly because they didn’t have a male best friend. It was a simple mistake to make. Apparently a boy and a girl couldn’t be friends without some sort of romantic feelings involved. What complete and utter bollocks! Well… the fact that me and Harry were seemingly involved with each other didn’t really help my cause to the public… but to me it helped tremendously. When Harry and I weren’t in public with Ron or just the two of us, we acted like we always did, nothing couple-y.

Terry had been unusually cold towards me lately as well. And I loved it! He would just hang around Purple Eyes (I’m sorry… I mean Deanna) and completely ignore me save for the few glances I could feel him giving me. I just loved being right. He was completely jealous and it probably wouldn’t be long before, as Harry put it, we would live happily ever after. I couldn’t wait.

And to top it all off, today was Thursday, one of my favorite days of the week. It wasn’t quite Friday, but the promise of it lingering so near was enough to make anyone giddy. Well, at least me. Harry and Ron despised any day that wasn’t Friday. It was as though everyday was just another day to them, another day where they had to get up early, drag themselves to lessons, and do their extra load of homework the Professor’s had been giving us to prepare us for our N.E.W.Ts next year.

I stepped down the staircase with a bounce in my step to meet the boys downstairs for our walk to breakfast to see them half-asleep on the sofa and chair. I let out a breath from my nose as rolled my eyes in annoyance. These two certainly knew how to put a downer on such a perfect day. Now I had to drag them out of the common room. Great.

I made my way over to them and kneeled down so that I was eye-level with Harry; my first conquest. I knew he wasn’t completely asleep, so this wouldn’t be too hard. Harry always slept with his mouth slightly agape and his breathes were deep and relaxed. But right now, his mouth was clamped shut, his brow furrowed, and his breathes were coming out in odd intervals, as though he was concentrating hard on something.

I pushed slightly on the shoulder that was up in the air. He was on one side, leaning most of his weight on his left side, another sign he wasn’t asleep. He always slept on his back or stomach. He didn’t even flinch when I made contact with his shoulder; he just moaned and clenched his eyes shut more firmly. I groaned inwardly. Even in his half-asleep state, he was still incessantly stubborn. I pushed more earnestly on his shoulder and he still didn’t budge. What a wanker, he was enjoying this… I could tell!

“Harry” I murmured quietly, “Harry, please wake up.”

“No.” he mumbled in response, causing me to smile slightly. I’m always right.

“You’re going to make us late to breakfast.” I told him, thinking the promise of food would rouse him a bit, “they’re serving chocolate-chip pancakes… your favorite.”

He squirmed slightly in his place as he buried his face into the cushions of the sofa, “I don’t care.”

“Yes you do.” He didn’t even respond this time. He thought he was funny, did he? Well, I could play dirty, too. “Please… for me?

He knew that tone of voice. Ahh, success. He lifted his head groggily and looked at my downturned lower lip and groaned, his only weakness was the puppy-dog pout, and I was the only person who knew so, taking full advantage of it as much as I saw need to. I saw him flinch as he pushed himself to look me in the eyes with an annoyed look. “I hate you so much right now, you have no idea.”

“I have an inkling.” I said through a smirk, “Now help me get Ron up.”

“No problem” he said as he reached behind him and grabbed a pillow. With an upturned eyebrow, he chucked the pillow across the room, hitting Ron square-on in the face.

“Holy sh– that hurt!” He yelled from behind us. I craned my head and saw him with an annoyed look on his features, not unlike the one Harry had on his face only moments ago. It was true; idiots did have the same habits.

I looked back at Harry to see him look at Ron with a sense of accomplishment on his face. I felt a tug at my stomach as he pointed that look towards me with a grin. “Do I get extra Hermione-points for making him curse?” he asked me.

I shook off the feeling in my stomach with a quick rubbing of my hand on it and turned looked at Ron, then back at Harry. “He only almost swore, so no.”

I saw Harry give me a pout but ignored it. Unlike him, I could resist such attempts of persuasion. “Come on… give your old boyfriend a brake.”

“No.” It wasn’t the first time he’d played the ‘boyfriend’ card. He thought it could soften me up… ha! He knew full well that I could easily resist that as well as the pout, although, he kept at it, as though he thought he was getting closer and closer to breaking me. Not a chance in hell.

He gave me one last agitated look and got up from the couch. He smoothed out his wrinkled uniform before offering me a hand to get up. I took it and felt him intertwine out fingers, as was custom before we left the common room. Ron had already gotten used to the idea of us “dating” and was onto the “you-guys-make-such-a-cute-couple” phase. Harry had to stop me several times from hexing him. He only did it to annoy me, and it worked. Harry never seemed too bothered by it, though on quite a few occasions, I caught him blushing and shoving Ron in the shoulder. But before I could do a double-take, the blush was gone. Almost as if it had never existed… but to all of my knowledge, it could have.

The three of us made our way to the Great Hall and sat down at our regular seats. I’d also become accustomed to the stares that followed us into the hall. I used to find them annoying and unnecessary, but I just ignored them now. Our school lived off of gossip, and since there isn’t much going on at Hogwarts at the moment, we were the main attraction to the gossip mills. The rumor I thought was the most odd was that Harry and I had discovered our feelings for each other in the Astronomy Tower, after a compromising situation took place. I found it to be illogical and obviously not very well thought out. I mean, whose life was so boring that they had to make up a silly rumor like that in order to make the buzz about mine and Harry’s “relationship” bigger?

“Hey, have you guys heard the rumor going around school?” Neville said across from me. When the three of us shook our heads in response, he continued, “Well, is it true that you and Harry are only going out because Hermione’s pregnant with Draco Malfoy’s love child, and Harry is only sticking around because he wants to raise it to be a Hippogriph-breeder?”

I spit out my pumpkin juice. I stand corrected. That was the weirdest rumor I’d heard. I looked over at Harry and asked in a worried undertone, “Do I look pregnant?”

Harry shook his head, “No, love, you look beautiful.” I blushed as he turned back towards Neville. “Who told you that, Nev?” It was Neville’s turn to blush as he mumbled what I thought to be “G’nny”. This seemed to satisfy Harry as he continued to eat his pancakes as though nothing out-of-the-ordinary happened.

“Well, at least it’s not crazy.” Ron said sarcastically, lightening up the mood at the table and making a few people (me included) chuckle. I tucked a strand of hair behind my ear as the moment passed and reached across Harry to pick up a blueberry muffin from the tray. I heard Harry begin to cough uncontrollably as I let our intertwined hand brush over an–ahem–important part of the male anatomy.

My eyes widened as I blushed and looked at him in shock. “I am so sorry!” I whispered loud enough to make it clear that I was, indeed, sorry, and so no one would notice our little exchange.

“Don’t worry about it.” He said in a rather high voice. I bit the inside of my mouth as I looked away from him and back to my muffin. I thought that the moment had passed until I saw a new plate of scrambled eggs appear in place of the muffins. My mouth watered as I, once again, gave into the urge to eat something on the other side of Harry.

Our hands were fine on the way over there. I grabbed the eggs fine, scooping them onto my plate with ease, trying my hardest to keep my other hand steady. But then when I was putting the plate back, I felt it slip from my grip slightly and unconsciously moved my other hand to steady it. I managed to steady it fine with my left hand and let out a breath of relief as I focused my attention back to my plate and began to eat.

“Uhh… ‘Mione?” I heard Harry’s strained voice say from beside me.

“Hmm?” I asked through a mouthful of eggs, looking at him as I swallowed.

“Do you… uhh… mind if you… uhh… move your hand?” He said. It was then I noticed how white he was in the face and the few beads of sweat making their way down his forehead. Oh my god!
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry Harry!” I said as I removed my hand (again) from its place from atop… well, you get the idea. I saw his body relax and the color return to its normal shade as he looked at me with a… uhm… I don’t really know how to describe that look. Relived? Annoyed? Freaked-out-beyond-normal-human-capacity? Yeah, I like the sound of that last one.

“Uhh, Her–”

“Hermione!” Ron interrupted from across us. We both turned out gazes in his direction,. “I didn’t think you had enough guts!” Oh Merlin, he saw! I knew one day he was going to realize something was out of the ordinary, but did he have to choose today?!

“It was an accident! I didn’t mean to touch Harry there, honest!” I blurted, quite louder than I anticipated. I heard the Great Hall quiet down and a blush began to form on my cheeks. Honestly, didn’t anybody haveanything else better to do then watch the drama unfold at the Gryffindor table?

I focused back to Ron to see him looking at me with a peculiar look on his face. “What are you talking about, Herms?”

“Wait, what are you talking about?” I asked him frantically.

“Your earrings.” He answered with a smirk.

I mechanically brought my left hand to my ear and felt for anything peculiar. Nothing. There wasn’t anything wrong with my earrings. “What about my earrings?” I asked as I brought my hand back down to rest on the table.

“They’re green.” Ron said, snorting and trying to hold back laughter.

“Honestly, Ron. That is so old!” Harry scorned.

“Wait, what does the color of my earrings have to do with anything?” I asked in confusion. I felt so lost when I was around these two.

“It’s Thursday… you’re wearing green earrings…!” Ron continued to hold back laughter as Harry glared at him pointedly. This didn’t affect Ron’s demeanor at all, though. He just kept looking at me with this smug look on his face as though I had done something hilarious. And, as far as I knew, the only thing I did that was remotely funny in my eyes was… well, nothing. All I had done this morning was publically humiliate myself by blurting out that I touched Harry… somewhere. Oh, who was I kidding? Our school was smart enough to guess where.

“I don’t get it…” I said. As I looked at Harry for an answer to my quarry, “Care to explain, Harry?”

He sighed as he looked over at Ron, who was now biting his lip in order to contain the laugh I knew he wanted to emit. I could tell Harry repressed to urge to roll his eyes as he looked back over at me. I gave him an impatient look, egging him on to talk. “What Mister-Immaturity here is trying to say is that… when you wear the color green on a Thursdays you… uhh… give off the impression that you’re…” he cleared his throat as he spoke in a whisper, “horny.”

I heard Ron burst out laughing and start to chant “Harry makes you randy, Harry makes you randy!” loud enough that Harry turned around and flicked his wand in his general direction and he stopped. I looked over to where he was and saw that he was gripping his throat in desperation. Harry had gagged him.

“Horny, really?” I asked him.

Harry nodded and sighed, “It used to be funny when we were thirteen, but…”

“Wait, wait!” I said as something came to me suddenly, “Have I ever worn anything green on a Thursday before today?” Harry remained silent as he bit his lip, I knew, because he wanted to hold back a smile. “Harry… answer me.”

“Yep.”

“And did you make fun of me behind my back?” I asked. He, once again, bit his lip. “Harry James…”

He burst out laughing as he gasped out a distinct “yes” that I caught through his outburst. I rolled my eyes as he sobered up. “Sorry ‘Mione, we were immature and stupid back then.”

“And apparently still are” I said as I lifted the gag from Ron. I heard him gasp a “thanks” and I turned back to my meal. Boys and their immaturity… drove me insane some days. But, at least the focus was off of my embarrassing outburst.

“So about touching Harry inappropriately…” I heard Ron say. Never mind.

~*~

I had just taken my Ancient Runes exam and I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. There wasn’t a question I didn’t know off of that paper, not a date I didn’t memorize. I was in academic heaven, floating on Cloud Nine, if you will. I was practically skipping out of the classroom when the bell rang, something I rarely did nowadays. I was so unaware of my surroundings, however, that I didn’t even realize I was heading in the wrong direction of the flow of traffic until I bumped into someone and dropped my book bag. I saw a pair of hands help me gather my things as I hurried to stand up. When I did I began to frantically apologize and looked the victim of my clumsiness in the eyes.

“It’s alright… Hermione?” They ended in a questionable tone. I recognized that voice instantly.

“Terry.” I said as politely as I could. He looked amazing. Damn it. His blonde hair had gotten highlighted by the newly sunny weather, his skin tanner. He even looked more built then I was used to seeing him. He usually had his face in a book, much like me, too often to even make time for things like exercise. “You look great.” I heard myself say.

“Thanks, you do, too.” He said in that friendly voice of his.

“Well… sorry about bumping into you like that.” I apologized once more.

“No, no, it was my fault, really. Did you just get out of an exam?”

“Yeah,” I said, dazed. He still remembered the look I got when I was out of an exam. Success!

“And I presume you did well?” he said with a small smile to his face.

“Yeah!” I said enthusiastically and I saw his smile brighten, “It was so easy, I couldn’t believe it!”

“Just like Potter, eh?” he said jokingly. I paused for a second. Wait, that wasn’t supposed to happen, he was supposed to… well… I don’t know… but not that!

“What do you mean?”

“Well, he was an easy catch. I mean, the guy’s been in love with you for years. And right after me, I guess you weren’t really up for a challenge relationship-wise. I mean, why would you be, right?” He shrugged his shoulders in a nonchalant way as he looked at me with a look I thought to be deeply disturbing.

“And what is that supposed to mean?” I asked, my temper rising. The lies he was spitting out, it was ridiculous! Harry, an easy catch… in love with me for years? Puh-lease! Why would he say such things?

“Well, if you wouldn’t sleep with me, why not rebound with someone who is completely willing to do so, no questions asked?” He looked so sure of himself. Psh.

“Oh so that’s what this is about… sex. It’s always about sex for you, isn’t it Terry? Just because I’m not going to sleep with you doesn’t mean I’ll throw myself at someone who, as you say ‘is more than willing to’! Which is completely off the mark! Harry wouldn’t–”

“Wouldn’t what, sleep with you? I know. I mean who would?  Who would want sloppy seconds? But I bet he would. He’s been known to pick up where people have left off, isn’t he?”

What… what… is that what think!”

“It’s what everyone thinks. You really think people are happy for you? No, they just say that to be nice, what everyone is really thinking is how much of a slut you are. And frankly, so do I! How could you go from a relationship with me, to a relationship with ‘long-lost-puppy’ Potter? That’s low, even for you!” Each word stung me, made tears come to my eyes. Was that really what people thought of me? That I was a… whore; a slut? That Harry was just a pawn in my conquest?

Oh god. I was a slut. Harry really was a pawn. Just for other reasons that no one but me and him and Ron knew. But it still made sense. I felt the tears roll down my cheeks as I bravely looked Terry in the eyes; he had an air of accomplishment about him. I couldn’t open my mouth to speak, so Terry’s words beat my own. “How was it? Was it worth it?”

I couldn’t take it anymore; I ran. I pushed my way through the crowd that I didn’t notice was surrounding us, making my way down the hall and away from Terry. “Running away when you know someone is right isn’t very brave!” I heard him call behind me. “Slut!”

I found a door to what I knew to be an empty classroom and made my way to the wooden desk at the front. I plopped down on it and let the tears overwhelm me. They poured down so fast; I thought I would collapse from water loss. I bent my head down low, soaking in Terry’s sickenly-true accusations. I didn’t even flinch when the first bell rang… or the second… or the third. I just sat there, the clock ticking and students running to their classes drowning out my sobs.

I had never known pain until now. I felt as though my heart was shriveling up to the size of a small prune. My eyes ran out of tears long ago, I was now letting out shaky breathes, trying to control my dry sobs. No one noticed I was absent, so what was the point? I’d just stay in here until the need for food became more then I could bear, then I would sneak into the kitchens. I knew Dobby would serve me a feast. After all, I was Harry’s Mistress.

I didn’t even register the door opening. I was too absorbed in looking at my hands, which were now fiddling with my skirt. My legs crossed Indian-style. The steps approaching me didn’t even reach my eardrums until they were a foot from me. I took in the black trainers and light washed jeans and let out another sob.

They wrapped their arms around me and I cried. The tears had returned and I soaked his shirt with them. I knew he wouldn’t mind. His hands made small circles on my back and made a path towards my hair and back down again. We stayed like that for what seemed like hours. No questions asked, no confessions made, just me and him, soaking up the other. When I started to dry sob for the second time, he pulled up and looked into my tear-stained eyes. His own eyes shined with compassion as he held me out at arm’s length and waited for me to say the first words. I complied.

“Am I a whore?” I asked.

“Who said that?” he said softly. I knew I wasn’t obligated to say anything, but I felt he deserved to know.

“Everyone” I said as I looked down at the desk. “Everyone is calling me a whore and that I’m only going out with you because you were an easy catch after Terry because you’ve been in love with me for years.”

I felt him stiffen as he removed his arms and took a seat next to me on the desk, his legs hanging down. He let out a breath as he spoke, “Did you believe them?”

“Yes… and no.” I answered honestly. I took his silence as a sign to continue, “I mean, the whole you being in love with me for years is a bit ridiculous, though. I didn’t really believe that part.” I felt him let out another breathe and assumed he was taking the news as I had. Utterly speechless. “But when… they… said that I was using you…”

“Hermione.” He said firmly, “Don’t you dare believe that! I am as much a participant as you are. Don’t let Terry convince you otherwise!”

“How did you–”

“I was there, ‘Mione. The only reason I didn’t follow you is because I knew you needed time. But when you missed dinner… I knew you wouldn’t have run far from the scene of the crime.” He explained. “Just look at this accusation as one of those ridiculous rumors.”

That caused me to snort, “But this one isn’t as eccentric as the others.”

“Easy” he said, turning so that he was facing me Indian-style on the desk. I turned to face him as he continued, our kneecaps touching slightly, “Just pretend that he said that the whole school was calling you special-ed, and I had to tutor you because I am the smartest in the land, and felt sorry for your lack of educational knowledge.”

I chuckled, “Now that is hard to believe. But you forgot to add the whole ‘in love with me’ thing. Like, we would just forget the tutoring and shag because you fell in love with your student.”

He paused, “Yeah… that too.”

I furrowed my brow and tilted my head to the side slightly, studying him silently, “Are you alright, Harry?”

“Y-yeah, fine.” He stuttered, avoiding my gaze.

“Tell me, Harry.” I said, lifting his head with my hand. I felt heat rise to where I was touching and pulled my hand away, looking at him with a confused expression etched on my features. Why was he blushing?

He was silent, contemplating something, by the look of his face. “I can’t” He said, bending his head down towards the floor.

“Yeah you can, Harry.” I said, leaning forward, hoping to get him to look at me. I put my hands on his legs in a comforting gesture and stared at his downturned face. It seemed my actions didn’t do squat, because he covered my hands with his and tried to push them aside. I stubbornly kept them there as I felt him apply more pressure.

After so many attempts to remove my hands, he turned his head to where our hands were and concentrated hard on moving them. I knew for a fact he wasn’t trying nearly as hard as he could have. He could have easily moved them with the first attempt, but didn’t, probably to avoid from hurting me. He gave up after a few minutes of deep concentration and looked into my eyes. I let out a small gasp when I saw the pained look in his eyes. He looked like he was about to cry. “Harry?” I asked him quietly.

He didn’t respond for a minute. I waited for his response as he contemplated what to say. He finally spoke so quietly I almost missed it. “Why is it so hard to believe?”

“Believe what, that you could one day be smarter than me?” I said playfully.

He didn’t laugh. He didn’t even crack a small smile like I thought he would. He just continued to look at me with a serious, forlorn look. “No… why is it so hard to believe I love you?”

“Oh.” I said, being caught off guard. I smiled slightly as I answered, “That’s easy, because you’re my best friend.”

“But what if I wasn’t?” he asked.

I thought about it, but couldn’t find anything to fit what he was asking. “What are you trying to say, Harry?” I asked.

His jaw locked and his eyes flickered to the only window in the room. I followed his gaze but saw nothing but the setting sun outside. I furrowed my brow, preparing to ask my question again until I heard his small voice from beside me. “This”

I turned to face him and asked, “Harry, what–”

He interrupted me by putting his lips firmly on mine. I stiffened. Harry, my Harry, was kissing me. And it felt… really good. I closed my eyes, soaking up his lips on mine; still to shocked to do anything else. His head tilted as he got a better angle and pressed harder. He was trying to get a response from me. I couldn’t believe it. He wanted me to kiss him back. Why? Why would Harry want me to do that? My Harry?

He opened his mouth slightly, something wet beginning to press against my lips. Oh God, I thought. It became more persistent as I let the last coherent though I would have for a while break through. Screw it. I opened my mouth and moved my hands from where they were on his legs upward towards his hair. I buried my fingertips within his silky locks as I, too, adjusted for a more comfortable angle. I felt his legs shift so that he was on his knees. I had to tilt my head upwards in order to continue kissing him now. It became too straining on my neck, so I mimicked his move. It turned out that was exactly what he wanted me to do.

He placed his hands firmly on my waist and played with the hem of my jumper, causing my skin to erupt into goose bumps from where his fingertips made contact. He then began to push me down on the desk so that he was straddling me. I felt something poke my leg as I ran out of breath. I was the first one to pull away. My eyes opened and we stared at each other.

“Oh.” was all I could say. It was the only thing my mouth would let me say. But it would let me kiss him again. It wanted that very badly. Just when I was about to lean back in, my brain began to function again, and it was shouting “No! He is your best friend and you can’t be kissing him! Best friends don’t kiss each other!”

But it feels amazing–Yeah, so does getting a 112 on your Charms exam, but I don’t see you making out with it– Because that’s disgusting and wrong!– So is kissing your best friend. Your friendship will never be the same, and you don’t want to ruin that, do you? – Of course not…– Then end this now!I began to shake my head and I saw Harry’s face begin to fall. I closed my eyes; I didn’t want to see his face when I said this. “No” I felt his arms fall limp at my waist. The tears were forming under my eyelids, the regret pooling in my thoughts. I had to get this over with before I regretted it. It was just like pulling a band-aid off of your arm, quick and painful only for a moment. “Harry, we’re best friends… I can’t… I can’t do this…”

“Hermione, please don’t…”

The pain in his voice was enough to make me fall apart, but I didn’t. All I did was remove my hands from his hair, open my eyes and look over towards the doorway tearfully. “Please get off of me, Harry.”

I felt him hesitate as he detangled his arms, his legs, and his whole warm body from mine. I got up from the desk with a slight ‘click’ as my Mary-Jane’s made contact with the stone floor. I began to walk away, my shoulders shaking from the repressed sobs. I felt him grab my arm in one last attempt to pull me back to him. I stopped for a second, half of me wanting nothing more than to jump into his arms again and continue where we left off. But the other, logical, side of me brushed those thoughts aside with thoughts of consequences and pain. Our friendship comes before everything else.

“I’m sorry.” I heard myself say, more to myself then to him. But this caused him to let go of my hand. I walked out of the classroom, ignoring the pain in my heart that grew with every step I took away from the classroom… away from him.

~*~


A/N: Can't have a good fluffy story without some good 'ol fashioned angst, now can ya? I hope these brainstorms come more often... they really seem to have a great effect on me, don't you think? I wrote this while up north with no internet and barely any tv sooo I guess that could have had a small role as well... well anyways please leave a review and I hope to see you all soon!

-Shar

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