I exhale a short breath and try to focus on reading the book in front of me. I’m in the library with Harry. He’s working on an assignment for Snape last minute. Meanwhile, I’m supposed to be reading about the Aguamenti Spell. Professor Flitwick said that we’re going to be learning about the charm next. I want to be prepared for class but keep re-reading the same section without processing its content. Something that I can’t stop thinking about is on my mind.
“Hermione, are you okay?” Harry asks suddenly.
“Hmm?” I say, looking up from my reading. “Yeah, I’m fine,” I tell him, knowing that he won’t believe me.
He raises an eyebrow.
“Really? Then, why did your voice just go up an entire octave?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Harry smirks as my voice is still unnaturally high.
“Hermione, something is obviously bothering you. You’ve been on the same page for several minutes now,” he says, cocking his head towards my book. “What’s wrong?”
I let out a sigh, not saying anything for a moment.
“You can’t tell anybody, okay?” I say tentatively.
Harry nods. “Not even Ron,” I add.
“Not even Ron,” he repeats.
I lean forward across the table and whisper into his ear. His brows are furrowed when I withdraw, sitting back in my chair.
“Well, of course, you like Ginny,” he says, his expression bemused. “She’s one of your closest friends.”
I shake my head and groan in frustration.
“No, Harry, I like her,” I repeat quietly, “as in I have more than platonic feelings for her.”
“ Oh. ” Harry’s eyes widen slightly in surprise. “Luna was right.”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“Well, Luna was telling me earlier that she thought you felt that way about Ginny,” Harry says. “She’s very perceptive but I didn’t know if she was right… she said it’s the way you act around Ginny and the things you say about her.”
A grin starts to spread across his face then, and he suddenly turns away from me. I raise an eyebrow.
“What’s so funny?”
“Oh, just something that Luna said,” he replies, laughing a little. “Remember how you used to like Ron too? She suggested that you have a thing for gingers.”
I roll my eyes but don’t say anything.
“You’re not denying it,” Harry teases, laughing much more.
I kick him lightly under the table.
“I have a thing for a ginger not gingers,” I clarify, feeling a blush rise to my cheeks.
Harry smiles at that.
“You should tell Ginny,” he advises.
“I know, I’m just nervous is all,” I admit. “I mean, we’re good friends and I’m worried that if I tell her, things might be different between us.”
“Well, maybe that’s a risk worth taking. What if she feels the same way about you?” Harry reasons.
I consider the possibility for a moment, recalling how she confided in me about why she broke up with Dean Thomas recently. She revealed that her feelings for Dean have faded and that she likes someone else.
“I guess she might feel the same way,” I concede to Harry. “Although she seems mainly interested in boys, I won’t know for sure if I don’t say anything.”
Harry nods in agreement.
“You should go for it,” he encourages.
“Yeah?” I squeak.
Harry reaches for my hand across the table, giving it a squeeze. I give a small smile. I have done something like squeeze his hand several times before when he needs reassurance. This is the first time he has returned the gesture.
“Yeah,” I repeat more confidently. “Thanks, Harry.”
I wake up to a crash of thunder in the middle of the night. After tossing and turning for a while, I resign myself to the fact that I won’t be able to fall back asleep due to how loud the storm is. Quietly slipping out of bed, I decide to go down to the common room and read by the fire.
I’m surprised to find Hermione sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace. She looks over her shoulder at the sound of my approaching footsteps and smiles.
“Storm wake you up too?” I ask, returning the smile. I put my book down on a nearby armchair and sit down next to her.
“Yeah. I’ve just been thinking,” Hermione says, staring at the flames across from her.
I turn to face Ginny, looking into her brown eyes. I could get lost in those eyes. They are so pretty. This isn’t the first time I have felt content to simply admire them. I abruptly look away. It seems I do so a second or two late as Ginny stares at me quizzically.
“Hermione, is everything ok?”
“Ginny, there’s something I have to tell you.” I feel my heart start to beat faster from nerves and fear. I can’t find the words to say what I have been keeping from her. I’ll have to convey how I feel without speaking.
I look back at her and purposefully let my eyes drop to her lips. After a moment, I slowly return my gaze to hers, trying to gauge a reaction. To my surprise, her eyes slip down to my lips and then back up again. She moves closer and leans in. I tilt my head slightly and placing a hand on her cheek, I kiss her. Her mouth feels soft and warm against my own. I feel her place her hands on my shoulders and then she’s easing me into a lying down position. We continue kissing intently, our bodies pressed together. Ginny eventually pulls away and slides farther down against me to trail kisses down my neck. I moan and gasp with pleasure; she chuckles against my skin, kissing me faster. I arch my back as she kisses her way down to my collarbone and back up the length of my neck. She then presses her lips to mine again and climbs off of me.
“Glad you told me,” she teases with a grin.