DISCLAIMER: I do not own anything you recognize. The, however, is mine :)
A/N: This one-shot used to be posted on my previous account. I changed a bit on it, though. Enjoy! :)
Hermione sighed. It was raining outside and she desperately needed something to do, if she didn’t want to end up like one of her best friends Ron, just sitting there staring into space. Ginny, on her side, was fervently writing on a very long piece of parchment. When she leaned in, Hermione could clearly read “Muggle Studies: Analysis on free subject” and the line underneath said “Why do muggles like to read about magical subjects if they don’t even know it exists?”. Hermione leaned in a little more so that she could whisper in Ginny’s ear: “How on earth are you going to put this into practice, my dear?” Ginny jumped at the sudden voice in her ear and looked murderous when she saw Hermione with an evil smirk on her face. Hermione ignored her totally and added: “Well, the only comment I would use, is that Professor Burbage is completely nuts to give the assignment she gave our year, to you.” And with that, she left, busy thinking which subject she might choose.
While walking towards the library, Hermione met what were like five couples snogging in corridors, open classrooms and in the hallway. With a disgusted face, she walked around them, nearly giving them the whole space, as if being afraid to be intoxicated with a very nasty decease. Suddenly, while passing the sixth couple, Hermione got an ingenious idea for her assignment for Muggle Studies. If those people couldn’t stay away from eachother, she would like to know why.
As quickly as she could, she returned to the Gryffindor tower and ran towards the girls’ dormitories. There, she grabbed a pile of parchment, some ink and squills. Returned to the common room, she sat next to a astonished Ginny.
“What the hell was all this about?”
“Oh, I told you I had to write the same assignment for Muggle Studies, didn’t I? I just got a wonderful idea while I was walking towards the library and saw some couples kissing their lives out.” Ginny couldn’t get the clue to what a few kissing couples and an assignment for Muggle Studies could possibly have something in common.
“Oh,” Hermione said, “It is nearing Valentine’s Day and when I saw a muggle and a pure blood wizard snogging, I got the idea to investigate this.”
Ginny’s face was one out of a million: it had astonishment, surprise, confusion and laughter all combined in one. Still feeling not to understand what Hermione meant, she decided to stop asking questions, but just occasionally look on her friend’s piece of parchment.
After what seemed an hour, Ginny put her own assignment to the side and started to stare at Hermione’s. She could read in clear words: “Muggle Studies: Analysis on free subject: How can muggles possibly fall in love with wizards, and if more impossible, with purebloods?”
“How on earth are you going to investigate this?”
“I planned on asking our fellow students a few questions and afterwards put it all together in a scheme. Why?”
“You do realize that this still has to be investigated in practice?!” Placing an emphasis on the word ‘practice’, Ginny stood and waved a last time before disappearing to her own dorm.
The next day, Hermione felt miserable. Her assignment was due in one week and she still hadn’t finished it. Yes, her written part was done, but the only thing that remained being done, was a practice investigation of her subject and afterwards, in class, to report in orally.
She told Harry and Ron about her problem, but they weren’t that helpful: how on earth could an announcement help her out? But, as she didn’t get any better ideas, Hermione decided to give it a go. She would decide later on anyway that it didn’t help and that she had to look for some drastic measures to have her assignment done.
“Like sleeping with the Professor you mean?”, said Ron.
“First, the Professor is a she and secondly, I would never do such a thing!”, yelled Hermione.
Harry stopped Hermione just in time by taking her by her wrists, as she was about to slap Ron really hard.
“Stop it, Hermione! Why don’t we all just decide what to write on your announcement, shall we?”, Harry tried.
Hermione nodded and got to her dorm to fetch a piece of parchment, some ink and a squill.
“Okay, let’s get started. What do you think really has to be on it?”, Harry asked.
“Well, at least there must be my name and the subject.”, said Hermione.
“What! You aren’t actually doing that!”, shouted Ron, “You can’t put the real subject on it, because otherwise there will be nobody answering this.”
“Well, he got a point here, Mione, but if you don’t put the subject, you can’t include your name either. That would be stupid.”, said Harry.
“No, I feel like I need to be honest to the person who applies. I can’t be telling this is for a Muggle assignment about food and that I need a wizard to give his point of view. That would be even more ridiculous!”
“Mmm, ok. Tell the truth, but use a different name. People would be looking weird towards you if they knew it is you behind this … euhhh…strange subject.”
“You are right, Harry. This wouldn’t be a good thing to sign the announcement with ‘Hermione’. Has anyone gotten an idea?”, Hermione asked.
“What about this one:”, said Ron, “girl of fifth year needs help with assignment for Muggle Studies about love between a muggle and a wizard. State that it is practice! Please send an owl if you are interested to the Gryffindor fifth years’ girls’ dorm.”
“This is perfect! Lets write a couple of announcements like this!”, shouted Hermione.
Two days went by and Hermione still hadn’t gotten any answer on her announcement. She started to get afraid. What if someone had ripped the three parchments of the wall? What if nobody was interested, which seemed to be the case. What if her assignment couldn’t be done in time? Hermione couldn’t think anymore and was therefore grateful that within two days, it would be Saturday and a day off to Hogsmead.
An other day went by and it was the Thursday before Hogsmead. Hermione still hadn’t gotten any reply, but planned on changing her subject to a less difficult one if she didn’t get one today. Therefore, she hung an extra note underneath the other parchments, saying: “If you are still interested, please send an owl to the sixth years’ girls’ dorm before nine o’clock tonight.”
When she got back to her dorm, she found Ginny waiting for her.
“Ah, there you are! I have been waiting for you for like half an hour! Where were you?”
“It’s alright, Ginny. I just went to the common room to add an extra note to the announcement of my analysis. If there is no one replying before curfew, I am taking an other subject.”
“No need to do that, Hermione! Look!” And Ginny showed her an owl, sitting on Hermione’s bed with a piece of parchment at his feet.
“I have read the letter and it says that…” She didn’t get the chance to finish her sentence, because Hermione just ripped it from under the owl’s feet, so that the poor animal fell onto the floor and started reading it.
I would like to apply for your announcement.
For certain reasons, I would like to keep myself secret and will therefore not put my name underneath this letter. If you still agree on going on with your assignment, let’s make an appointment at Hogsmead at 11 o’clock near the Shrieking Shack.
The only compromise I wish to put, is that, when I need help on an assignment, you’ll return the favours.
With distinguishing greetings,
Mister Mystery Man
Hermione stared at Ginny.
“What do you think? He seems okay to me.”
“I should be very careful, Hermione. After all, the Shrieking Shack is haunted.”
“Oh my dear Ginny, do you still believe in that tale?”, Hermione laughed.
“Well, not really, but still, you don’t know who he is. It can be anyone!”
“Yeah, you are right, but at least we can say he is a Gryffindor and a gentleman, seeing his writing. And, he doesn’t know who I am either. ”
“Mmm, I don’t know. But if you don’t do it, you will have to start over your whole procedure again. Who knows you aren’t going to get any more letters.”
“Just let’s get over with this, okay? I need to prepare myself for the date urgently!” And Hermione went away. Ginny still shouted “And I thought you hated dates?!”, but it wasn’t sure if Hermione had heard this.
During dinner, everything went smoothly. When it was nearing the end, a furious Professor Snape stamped in. When he reached the Heads’ table, he turned around to face all the students and started shouting: “While entering my office, I noticed that there were some ingredients missing in a few shelves. Now, I would like that the one who did this, stands up and speaks. He will certainly be punished!” As nobody stood up or responded in any way, he continued. “Come on, I know who did it. Potter, if you aren’t getting here anytime soon, I am going to drag you to my office by your hair!” ‘Boo’s were now heard at the Slytterin table. Hermione looked at Harry with pity. She knew that he hadn’t done it, but how she knew, she was never going to admit.
That night, Harry already got a detention and was sent away from Snape’s office with the comment “Tomorrow, same hour. Same place, same work.”
Hogsmead was nearing fast and Saturday, it was finally there. Today, Hermione would accomplish her final touch of her assignment and she was glad for it. Although there was a little part of her brain, which told her that she didn’t want this to be over yet. To be precise, for the past two days, she had gotten pink roses with lovely notes attached to them. All were from Mister Mystery Man. Honestly, Hermione had to admit that this guy really made her blush.
During breakfast, she kept glancing at her watch and wouldn’t have eaten a thing, if it wasn’t for her friends who obliged her to eat.
Finally, it was a quarter before 11 o’clock and she started heading towards the Shrieking Shack. Honestly, she had taken nearly two hours to find her outfit, but the results could be seen. She was wearing a white shirt with a pink bunny on it and there was a pink vest covering the shirt. Her trousers were just simply of a soft black. Hermione had been thinking whether she would put on her high heels or just her pair of black simple shoes. She eventually shoes the last option, as she reasoned that this could get pretty hot and exciting.
When she came there, she saw already a person standing at the barbed wire. It seemed to be someone with dark hair, probably black and seemed a rather short person. Hermione walked towards him. They nodded at eachother and it remained quiet.
After what seemed a quarter of an hour, the boy opened his mouth and asked: “Are you the one with the assignment?”
“Yeah. My name is Sara McFinnon by the way.”, Hermione said.
“Oh, okay. My name is John Steward.”, the boy answered. Hermione noticed that he had soft green eyes. There was also a cloak hanging on his shoulders, which seemed very familiar to her.
“Thank you for the flowers and the lovely notes by the way, Mister Mystery Man!”, Hermione laughed. John started to laugh too. A very intoxicating laugh! Hermione thought.
“So, lets state the facts. You are Sara McFinnon, making an assignment for Muggle Studies, right?”
“Yeah, exactly. And to be more precise, I want to investigate how love can possibly occur between a muggle and a wizard, preferably a pureblood.”
“Right. So, I am a wizard, coming from one of the most ancient families and, of course, I am a pureblood. To come back to these roses, that’s one of the reasons why I sent them to you. That’s part of the love process, isn’t it?”
“Oh, really?” Hermione didn’t really know what to say, so she just stopped after these two words.
After a few minutes of silence, John took her arm and put his around her waist.
“Let’s go walk.”, he said.
They went on like that for half an hour, until they reached the main street of the little village. When they passed George Weasley, it seemed like he was alone and Hermione thought she saw him wink once towards John.
Nothing to worry about, she told herself.
They entered a few shops and had learned to know eachother better, so that, when it was around two o’clock, the two of them were tired and had dry throats after talking and laughing so much. They decided to go to a little coffee shop in a small street, where normally only couples went, but they didn’t seem to mind. On the contrary. Without talking, they both headed with a similar pace towards it and smiled at eachother when they sat down next to eachother at a cosy, little table in the left corner. For five minutes, they kept staring at eachother, and then John whispered: “You are beautiful, Sara. I knew immediately, without ever having seen you, that I would like you. You are so special. I have never known any girl before who likes to read, but at the same time isn’t afraid of adventure and sometimes letting the rules what they are. And then you have this combination of beauty and intelligence: with most women, this is lethal, but with you I have the impression that you only want to be honest towards the people you like and … Well, you just know how to use the different aspects of your brain well.”
Hermione was flattered and her cheeks were burning. She so much wanted to tell John that all this being honest thing wasn’t true, that she just had betrayed her best friend yesterday, that she was actually betraying him. Suddenly, she felt sick and leaned forward. Apparently, John must have misunderstood her intentions, because he also leaned in and kissed her softly on the lips. Hermione however, didn’t object and even opened her mouth, allowing John’s tongue to enter. What followed was a very passionate tongue battle that lasted for at least five minutes. After that, they went out of the little coffee shop and started heading back to Hogwarts.
When they arrived at the gates, it started to rain. Both youngsters didn’t seem to bother and walked, holding hands, towards Hagrid’s house. Instead of going into it, they walked further towards the Forbidden Forest and started to kiss again in the pouring rain.
“I have always wanted to do this. Especially since one of my friends said this is one of the most romantic things to do to get a girl or a boy.” John couldn’t help it to grin at that. Merlin didn’t know that he wasn’t who he appeared to be. That nice Sara was actually not worth to be betrayed. He so wanted to tell her everything, but couldn’t think of a proper way to get this said. Instead of speaking, he thus put his cloak around her wet shoulders.
“That’ll keep you warm.”, he whispered in Hermione’s ear, before gently biting on it.
Hermione shut her eyes. She so wanted this moment to last forever. Suddenly she remembered something. She had to report orally how her practice had gone and know she was thinking of what to say about this. She couldn’t possibly tell in front of everyone that she was about to make out with John? People would laugh at her and besides, there had to be people who knew John. No, this wouldn’t definitely be the right way of doing.
To stay tactful, Hermione decided to end this snogging session as soon as possible and to head back to the castle. Harry and Ron had to be worrying about her now. As gently as possible, she pushed John away and said that she needed to go back to the castle. “My friends need me and my assignment is due within a day.”
“Okay, but just don’t forget the compromise.”
“I won’t, don’t worry.”, Hermione said, before heading back. Suddenly, she felt a strong arm taking her wrist.
“Don’t go yet. I first need to know what you think of all this. Isn’t this worth a try?”
“What do you mean?”, Hermione asked, although she knew perfectly well what John wanted. She just needed some time to think about it and letting him repeat what he meant, was perfect. Hermione couldn’t deny the fact that she had liked the day. She had liked him, she had liked being with him. It all was just too perfect.
“Well, I thought maybe we, I mean, you and I could possibly you know?”
“Yeah, I would like to date you, I would like to be your girlfriend, I would like to shag with you, I would like you and only you!.”, Hermione shouted desperately. Hereby, John smiled and dragged her into the castle, up to the Gryffindor tower. Before the portrait, he put her down again and gave her a quick kiss before they entered the common room (Cupid’s Bow!). There, they separated and each headed to their respective dormitories.
When Hermione entered her dorm, she found Ginny waiting for her on her bed.
“And, how was your date?”, she asked excitedly.
“Wonderful, Ginny!” , and Hermione elaborately told her every detail of the day.
“So, you have got a boyfriend now! I wonder how Ron and Harry are going to take it. Well, especially Ron, seen as he seemed so pissed of he couldn’t be your practice. Ginny started staring at Hermione, until her gaze stopped on her shoulders.
“What’s the matter, Ginny?”
“Where did you get that cloak from?”
“What cloak? Do you mean the one John gave me?”
“Yeah, that one.”
“Well, I told you. He put it around my shoulders while we were snogging in the pouring rain.”
“Fred has exactly one like that.”
“So, John just happens to have to same.” And with that, Hermione got out. She decided to head towards Professor Snape’s office, seen as the Poly juice Potion she took, finally had reached his end.
When she arrived, she saw a familiar red haired boy standing outside Snape’s office too.
Typically, thought Hermione.
“Did you get detention again?”, she asked.
“No. I just came to put a few tings right.”
“Oh, me too.”
At that moment, the door opened and the Professor let the two youngsters in.
“Yes?”, he asked uninterested.
Hermione spoke first. “You see, Professor. Harry is really innocent with that Poly juice Potion thing.”
“Maybe, but he has done it before. Reason why I should believe you?”
“I did it. I took all the ingredients necessary for one potion.”
Professor Snape looked at her disbelievingly, and so did Fred.
“What, are you saying that you too used Poly juice Potion?”, Fred asked.
“Yes,” Hermione said somehow guiltily, “I know I shouldn’t have done that, but seen that I had a practice to do for my Muggle Studies assignment, I thought it would be safer to change my appearance.”
“So that was you! You were that girl that called herself Sara McFinnon! That’s why your character seemed so familiar to me.”
“What?! Are you saying, that you, Fred Weasley, were there, and in the person of John Steward?”
Suddenly, realization hit them both.
“Buth that means that we are a couple and that we kissed!”, the both cried out loud.
“Hmm” Fred and Hermione turned around and were shocked when they saw Professor Snape standing there.
“When you two are done, tell me. I didn’t intend on playing Cupid you know.”
“That isn’t necessary, Professor.”, Fred said, as he and Hermione walked out of his office, holding hands and occasionally sharing a little touch on the lips.
When they were back to the Gryffindor Tower, they saw George, Ginny, Ron and Harry standing in front of the portrait and with grinning faces.
“So, I assume the two of you are officially together now?”, George said cheerfully.
That night, Hermione got an owl from Fred. It said: “boy of seventh year needs help with assignment for Muggle Studies about love between a muggle and a wizard. State that it is practice! Please send an owl if you are interested to the Gryffindor seventh years’ boys’ dorm.”
Hermione smiled, put back on her robes and headed for her boyfriend’s bed.
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