Hermione felt a surge of pride as she looked around at all the eighth years seated in a circle around her. When she had announced earlier that day that they were having a party to help achieve inter-house unity, she had been met with blank stares and snorts of derision, but now, multiple hours — and admittedly, several bottles of firewhiskey — later, it seemed her plans were coming true. Most had even forgone their house groups by now, the circle around her a mixture of all four houses. Blaise Zabini sat between Susan Bones and Justin Finch-Fletchley, the latter of which was resting rather heavily against Blaise, his cheeks flushed red from the firewhiskey and his mess of blonde curls brushing Blaise's cheek. Even more shocking, Pansy Parkinson sat a few people down, head bent close with Parvati Patil, the two girls talking in low, gossiping voices. Every once in awhile, they would giggle and throw a look at someone around the circle before cackling harder.
Yes, everything seemed to be going perfectly, if she dared to say so.
Hermione glanced at Ron beside her and they exchanged a meaningful look. Now, with House unity achieved, it was time for one more unity to happen — Harry and Ginny. Ever since summer the two of had skirted around each other, the tension between them practically palpable. At first, she had been determined that the two of them needed to figure things out on their own, but it was now December and even she was reaching her limit watching the two of them dance around each other. A little shove in the right direction never hurt.
The plan had been Ron's — sort of. He had muttered he wished they could just make them kiss and make up already, and Hermione's brain quickly filled in the rest. The idea was simple: A game of spin the bottle, but instead of a bottle, a toy wand, and instead of a game of chance, Hermione had spelled the wand to land on whoever the spinner most desired to kiss. When it was Harry's or Ginny's turn, they'd spin the wand, kiss, and finally rekindle the relationship they had put off. It was flawless. Hermione had even made sure to test the wand out over a dozen times just to be absolutely sure she had cast the spell right.
“Alright, everyone,” Hermione called out, earning everyone's attention. “I'll explain the rules briefly. When it's your turn, you will take this wand,” She held up the wand for everyone to see, “and set it on the ground in front of you. It'll spin and whoever it lands on, you have to kiss — just like the muggle game, Spin the Bottle.”
Here, she held her breath, expecting protests from the Slytherins about playing a muggle game, but on the contrary, they, like everyone else, sat up straighter at the mention of kissing with undisguised interest.
“Ooh, that sounds like fun!” Susan Bones said excitedly, then promptly flushed in embarrassment, but nobody snickered or commented, all attention fixed solely on Hermione at that moment — or more specifically, the wand in her hand.
“That's the spirit,” Hermione said brightly. “I'll go first.”
She placed the wand on the ground in front of her. It began spinning the second she released it. As it spun, she traded a secretive, knowing look with Ron. When the wand came to a stop pointed at him, he did a brilliant job of feigning surprise that had Hermione glowing inside as she leaned over and gave him a brief, but loving kiss. She retrieved the wand and passed it to Lisa Turpin beside her before she settled comfortably against Ron.
Lisa placed the wand on the ground and it spun twice before it came to an abrupt stop on Harry. Ron snorted softly in Hermione's ear and murmured, “Poor bloke.”
Hermione almost felt guilty when she saw the poorly disguised dread on Harry's face. Lisa was a pretty girl — her only downfall was that she was one of Harry's many annoying fans who swooned at his every breath. Harry gave her a quick peck before hastily retreating. Lisa looked like she might faint from happiness and Ron snickered quietly in Hermione's ear. Megan Jones went next and again the wand landed on Harry. Despite being quite as infatuated with Harry as Lisa, Megan at least had the decency to look bashful as she traded a quick kiss with Harry before passing the wand to Parvati. When Parvati landed on Harry as well, Hermione's eyebrows shot up and Ron burst into laughter. He wasn't the only one either.
“What is this, the kiss Harry game?” Seamus choked out between laughs as Harry and Parvati kissed.
“I certainly hope not,” Pansy voiced as Parvati passed her the wand. She feigned a dramatic shudder, earning a laugh from everyone, including Harry.
“The feelings mutual,” Harry assured her teasingly, and she smiled.
Once again, Hermione was bemused by the wonder that was firewhiskey. Pansy Parkinson and Harry Potter teasing each other. Surely it didn't get more bizarre than that. Pansy spun and Hermione waited for it to land on Malfoy, the obvious choice. When it came to a stop on Padma Patil, she nearly stopped breathing and Ron made a choked sound in her ear. Padma blushed prettily. Her blush darkened as a couple of guys let out catcalls as she and Pansy shuffled forward.
“Who would have thought,” Ron murmured into Hermione's ear, sounding rather dazed. Hermione could only nod in agreement. Apparently, Pansy wasn't as boy crazy as she used to be.
After Pansy, Goyle spun and kissed Millicent Bulstrode, earning a strangled, retching sound from Ron, and then it was Dean's turn. When the wand landed on Seamus, Hermione oddly enough wasn't surprised, nor was she surprised when Seamus went next, only to land on Dean. Even Ron was curiously silent. It just... fit.
And then, finally, it was Harry's turn. Hermione held her breath and fought to school her expression as Harry took the wand and placed it on the ground. Once, twice it spun and then — the whole circle went deathly silent and Hermione froze.
The wand pointed directly at Draco Malfoy.
“What the hell?” Ron hissed in her ear. “You did it wrong!”
Numbly, she shook her head. She hadn't done the spell wrong, which meant — which meant Harry and — and Malfoy. Her head felt like it was spinning and suddenly all she could notice was the red that crept up the back of Harry's neck as Parvati crowed, “You have to do it! Kiss him!” and everyone giggled like crazy around the circle.
“Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” Parvati chanted. Pansy and half the circle joined in the chant, until finally Harry snapped, “Alright, alright! I'm doing it!”
Despite his words, he didn't move. Instead, he looked across the circle at Malfoy, and so did Hermione. The blonde was curiously silent, not saying a word as he just watched Harry. There was small patches of pink tinting his pale cheeks. At another helpful prodding from Parvati, Harry finally moved. He shuffled forward awkwardly, his whole face a dark scarlet now. It was different from his kisses with Lisa and Megan and even Parvati. It still looked horrified, but it was a different kind of a horrified, one prompted by fear, not dread. Draco met him halfway. The kiss was brief and awkward, and when Harry pulled away and scrambled back into his spot he looked so embarrassed he might be sick and yet, underneath all that, Hermione could see the boy was utterly glowing, as if kissing Draco Malfoy was the greatest thing in the world.
Hermione doubted anybody else noticed it — she doubted even she would've noticed it before this new glimmer of information — but she saw it now and it was all she could see. It left her questioning everything she had ever known. She looked over at Ginny to see how the jealous-natured girl was taking this kiss — or any of the others for that matter — but she wasn't even paying attention to Harry, too busy talking to Neville in low voices.
Ron was practically fuming beside her and she tightened her hold on him as she groped blindly for her drink and chugged it down, all thoughts of drinking responsibility gone. Maybe if she was drunk she wouldn't have to re-question every little detail she knew about Harry's and Malfoy's relationship like she was currently doing right now.
Daphne Greengrass went next, landing on Ernie Macmillian, and after her Susan Bones kissed Anthony Goldstein. Blaise went next and when the wand landed on Justin beside him, the smirk that appeared on his face was positively terrifying. He threw an arm around Justin's shoulders and gave him a kiss that was entirely inappropriate and obscene, and Hermione was sure would haunt her every time she closed her eyes. Correction, the next kiss between them, when Justin landed on Blaise, would be the one that haunted her. She could've sworn she had seen a glimmer of tongue and she shuddered as she downed Ron's glass of firewhiskey as well.
And then, it was Ginny's turn. Both Ron and Hermione leaned forward slightly as she placed the wand on the ground, and Hermione realized worriedly if the wand landed on Harry, Hermione doubted there was little she could do to stop Ron from lunging at either Harry or, in a misdirected fit of anger, Draco. But the wand didn't land on Harry. They both stared, blinking stupidly, as the wand came to a stop on Neville. Both Ginny and Neville turned red, and Hermione couldn't help, but notice the guilty look Neville shot Harry before he leaned in and kissed her very quickly — too quickly. His reaction and the rather annoyed look on Ginny's face suddenly made perfect sense when Neville spun next only to land on Ginny.
Ron looked completely gobsmacked. Hermione looked over at Harry, only to find the boy looked completely out of it, and she got the distinct impression he was still dazed about that bloody kiss with Malfoy. With a flick of her wand, a bottle of firewhiskey flew across the room and into her hand. She wasted no time cracking it open.
The wand moved on, passing around the circle and revealing more and more shocking revelations with every hand it passed. Hermione was regretting this whole idea profusely by the time the wand came into Draco's possession. There were some things that were just not meant to be known and the fact that Harry and Draco's feelings were apparently mutual was one of them she thought with a mild sense of horror as she watched them share their second kiss. Second kiss.
She groped for her firewhiskey.
“Bloody hell,” Ron groaned in her ear, voicing her very same thought aloud. “Harry and Malfoy — Harry and Malfoy. I think I'm going to be sick.”
She knew Ron had come a long way with his feelings for Malfoy. They all had really, although clearly some people more than others. Ron and Malfoy were actually almost civil to each other now, but Hermione knew, even with this new kind of truce between them, her boyfriend was far from ready for this turn of events. Nor was she, she added faintly as an afterthought, the bottle of firewhiskey already on her lips.
The wand finished it's first round and was passed around for a second. If anybody thought it was weird that nearly everybody was getting he same results as the first round, nobody commented, and two more bottles of firewhiskey later, Hermione found that so completely hilarious she burst into giddy laughter when Harry and Draco crawled forward to share their fourth kiss that night.
“What's so funny?” Parvati asked her, looking amused as she watched Hermione slump against Ron she was laughing so hard. “Surely seeing two attractive blokes kissing isn't that funny.” Parvati frowned suddenly and added as a disgruntled afterthought, “I should stop drinking.”
“How much have you drank?” Ron murmured worriedly into her temple. “Pull it together, love.”
But Hermione was far beyond 'pulling it together'.
“It's funny,” Hermione said between giggles. “I rigged the wand to land on whoever the spinner wanted to kiss and — and — ”
She collapsed into helpless laughter as all around the circle everyone froze, eyes going wide as the weight of her words hung in the air. For a second, nobody reacted, and then, there was a flurry of movement as those who could flee, fled, darting for the dormitory stairs with flaming faces, and leaving the poor, shocked sitting ducks behind. Blaise all, but jumped on Justin, pushing him to the floor and snogging him thoroughly right there, not caring who was around. Pansy seemed to share the same idea because she squared her shoulders before striding determinedly across the length of the circle to straddle a blushing, flustered, but more than willing Padma and then proceeded to snog her brains out.
“Well, I'm out,” Parvati announced abruptly, looking like she might be ill as she hurried to escape the sight of her newly found best friend and her sister snogging.
The common room was nearly empty now, and those few who remained were either snogging or still frozen in shock. Ron quickly decided now was a good time for him and Hermione to make their escape before the shock turned to anger, and he hurried to pull a still giddy Hermione up to the boy's dormitory. When he chanced a quick glance back, he saw neither Harry or Draco had moved, the two of them just staring at each other, still crouched awkwardly on their knees only a foot apart, their kiss having got interrupted by Hermione's outburst. Ron suppressed the desire to scream why up at god and shake his fist angrily, instead focusing on getting Hermione up the stairs without breaking their necks.
Harry had no idea what to do.
Before Hermione's revelation, he had been sending a thank you to whatever god would listen that for once in his life luck seemed to be on his side, and now, he was suddenly horribly reminded luck was never on his side. Especially not right now. Or maybe it was. He had yet to decide if he was mortified or overcome by wonder. If what Hermione had said was true, that meant Malfoy also wanted to kiss him.
Suddenly, courage surged through him from somewhere. It was like the time he had kissed Ginny, only so much more terrifying and nerve-wracking and utterly brilliant as he leaned forward and caught Draco Malfoy's lips with his. The blonde's reaction was immediate, hands coming up to bury in Harry's already untidy hair and mouth opening to give him entrance. As they fall back onto the floor, Harry thought faintly that he owed Hermione big time, and then Draco did something with his tongue and Harry stopped thinking all together.
Harry blinked his eyes open then promptly closed them with a groan as a ray of sunlight fell directly into his face. He tried to turn away, only to find half his body pinned under a heavy weight — a warm, distinctly human feeling weight. Harry's eyes flew back open and he stared wide-eyed down at Draco sleeping half on top of him, before he a broad grin broke across his face. It hadn't been a dream. Not even the aching in his back from sleeping on the common room floor or the fact that the whole eighth year knew about his feelings now were enough to diminish the happiness that surged through him.
He reveled in the feeling for a moment, taking in the steady rise and fall of Draco's chest against him and the soft brush of Draco's hair against his cheek, before the ache in his back became too unbearable to ignore. With difficulty, he freed himself out from under Draco, going slow so as not to wake the blonde. When he was free, he stood up, stretched, then took a look around the common room. To his amusement — and a bit of embarrassment — he saw him and Draco weren't the only pair who had passed out at some point while snogging and spent the night on the common room floor. Dean and Seamus were passed out against the couch, bodies half propped up against each other and Seamus snoring freely. Blaise and Justin were actually on the couch, the only two who looked comfortable in the common room. Neville and Ginny were passed out a few feet away, hands close as if they had fallen asleep holding hands, and Pansy and Padma were curled up in front of the now out fire.
A creak caught his attention and Harry looked up to see Hermione and Ron coming down the boy's stairs. They both froze when they saw him, Hermione's face going scarlet. Harry chose to pointedly ignore the fact that Hermione was only wearing one of Ron's shirts, which swam on her, and what looked suspiciously like the redheads boxers. There was a long awkward silence before he cleared his throat and said, “Breakfast?”
Just like that, the tension broke. Hermione hurried off to the girl's dorm to get dressed, leaving Ron and Harry to stand awkwardly in the common room waiting for her. Ron squinted at the clock on the wall and Harry toed at a loose thread in the carpet, before Ron finally broke the silence.
“So, Malfoy huh?”