A Day for Firsts
“Sorry I’m late, Hermione. Teddy didn’t want me to go. I had to promise to visit him again tomorrow morning. You look beautiful, by the way.” Harry said as he dropped into the seat across from Hermione in the muggle restaurant she had chosen.
She smiled at Harry. “That’s ok. It’s not like this is a real date, and I know Teddy has you wrapped around his finger.”
Harry ran his fingers through his perpetually messy hair sheepishly. “Yeah, he does. Sometimes I think I spoil him too much but then he gives me those pleading eyes and I say yes anyway.”
“Teddy’s lucky to have you as a father figure, you know. You’re doing an excellent job.”
“Thank you. He wants his Aunt Mione to visit too, you know.”
“Stop calling me that.” She said with no bite in her voice. “Shall we order?”
Harry grinned but let it go. He knew that only he and Teddy could get away with calling her that. “Whatever you say, Hermione.”
“Thank you again for doing this, Harry. That oaf Cormac thinks he should get a second chance. He wouldn’t leave me alone until I brought up your name.”
Harry frowned. “What are best friends for? Besides, are you sure you don’t want me to get him transferred to another department? I am the Man Who Won, after all.” He dodged the napkin she threw at him and laughed. “If I can’t use my fame to help you, what’s the point?”
Hermione huffed at him. “I can handle myself, Harry.”
He gently took her hand. “I know you can. My face still remembers that hex you threw at me.” She flushed at that. “Anyway, I should be thanking you. Ginny still seems to think we should get back together and I don’t want to hurt her feelings again, plus Romilda’s whole friend group has been staring at me lately.” He shuddered at that thought. “It’s getting really creepy.”
“I know. They’ve also been glaring at me when they think I’m not looking. It’s not like we’re actually dating or anything.”
“No, but I can see why. Even if I start dating someone, you’ll still be the most important girl in my life, and they probably feel threatened by that.”
Hermione raised an eyebrow. “When did you become so introspective?”
He smiled. “I didn’t. Luna pointed it out to me one day out of the blue, and I can’t say I disagree.”
“Hmm. Well, you’ll always be the most important guy in my life too.”
An elderly couple approached their table.
“Terribly sorry to interrupt, but we couldn't help but notice how cute you two are together. You make a wonderful couple. You act just like we do, and we didn’t find each other until our thirties. You two are very, very lucky to have found love so young,” the lady said, smiling at them.
Harry and Hermione both turned red.
“We’re not-” They sputtered out in unison.
The lady laughed and patted each of them on the cheek. “Sure you aren’t, dears. You might not realize it, but you’re practically a married couple already. It’s so beautiful to see, isn’t it Ian? Well, we must be going. Enjoy the rest of your date, dears, and Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Harry mumbled a goodbye, but for the life of him, he could not meet Hermione’s eyes for the rest of the meal.
They finished their meal in silence, occasionally looking up at each other but immediately turning their heads back down when they caught the other staring at them. Harry was about to pay for the meal when he realized he was still holding Hermione’s hand. She seemed to notice too, and both were blushing again.
“I’m just gonna… ummm… pay. Yeah.” He withdrew his hand to reach for his wallet. Oddly enough, despite having held her hand many times before today, he had never felt the absence of her touch so acutely.
There was a palpable air of awkwardness between them as they walked out of the restaurant, one that had never been there before. Hermione was fidgeting slightly and Harry couldn't decide between keeping his hands in his pockets, folding them in front of his chest, or swinging them by his sides.
Wanting to break the silence, Harry asked, “So uhh… where do you wanna go?”
Hermione stopped, biting her lip in concentration. Harry found himself thinking that she looked rather cute while she did that. What was going on? He’d seen her bite her lip nearly every day when they studied together but never before had thoughts like these crossed his mind. It seemed like today was a day for firsts.
He started, blushing furiously. Somehow he’d missed her response when he was distracted by her adorable lip biting, and the way the wind was blowing through her hair, and-
“HARRY! Are you ok?” Hermione was peering closely at him, her warm brown eyes filled with concern. This was a look he’d grown accustomed to with all of his trips to the Hospital Wing, but the resulting fluttering in his chest was definitely not a feeling he’d felt before.
He awkwardly scratched his head and put on what he hoped was a convincing smile. Knowing that Hermione knew him better than anyone else, the odds weren’t exactly in his favor. “Yeah, I’m fine. What were you saying?”
Hermione huffed. “AS I was saying, I’d like to head to the local library and see if they have any new books.”
“Sounds good.” He winced internally. She had to know something was up when he didn’t at least pretend to protest.
Hermione gave him a sharp look but made no comment, instead grabbing his hand and pulling him along to the library. Harry appreciated that at least the awkwardness was gone, and couldn’t help but notice that having her hand in his again felt… right. With a smile on his face, he stumbled after her.