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Harry, over the last several months, had been engaging in his favourite past-time: girl watching. Oh, he wasn’t perverted, staring at anything female with a pulse that happened to amble by. No, it was all over one specific girl.
He’d taken to hiding in places where he’d be able to watch, and she wouldn’t be able to see him. He was aware that his behaviour bordered on ‘stalker’, but for a chance to see her smile, it was worth the label.
Harry wasn’t dumb, like most people thought. In fact, his IQ was only 6 points below Hermione’s, the smartest witch of her generation. He’d been conditioned by the Dursleys early in life to not show his true intelligence. If he out-scored ‘precious ickle Duddi-kins’, he’d get beaten, and thrown into his cupboard. So, he quickly learned to do the minimum required to pass.
It was a habit he’d been trying to break, however. It was difficult, especially since the Dursleys had beaten it into him for ten years.
It was her bloody fault. She was so eager to be the best, and it had rubbed off on him. He wanted to be better. Not because it was expected of him by his teachers. Or his family. Or even his friends. Because of her. She made him want to improve himself. She didn’t expect it. It wasn’t a requirement of her friendship or company.
Damn her, anyway.
It all came to a head in the common room on Thursday night. Harry had been sitting, sneaking glances in at her for a good hour while pretending to do his Charms homework. Of course, she was happily reading her Arithmancy book. Something long and complicated was all Harry could discern.
After a moment, she felt Harry’s scrutiny, and looked up. “Everything all right, Harry?” She asked softly.
Harry flushed, mumbled something vaguely coherent, and went back to his Charms work, managing to write almost four complete words before he glanced back up. Hermione had gone back to her book, a tiny smile making the edge of her lips curl up.
He felt an urge to tell her. Right then and there. “Hermione?” He whispered.
She looked up, her eyes bright and expressive. “Yes, Harry?” She whispered back huskily.
“I… I just wanted to ask you-”
“Harry!” A new voice screeched. A voice that Harry recognised instantly, and had started to hate with a fiery passion.
“Bollocks.” He muttered, before looking up to see Ginny stalking towards him, blotchy anger on his face. “Yes, Ginny?”
“What are you doing, Harry?” She demanded petulantly. “Sitting here with… Hermione.”
Harry looked at Hermione, his charms work, and then back at Ginny. “I think I’m sitting here, with Hermione, trying to do my homework.” He gave her a curious look. “What does it look like I’m doing?”
Ginny pouted in what she probably thought was a cute way. It made Harry’s stomach lurch painfully. “Why couldn’t you sit with me to do your homework?”
“Why should I sit with you, Ginny?” He asked, sounding genuinely curious. “Why shouldn’t I sit with Hermione?”
“I’m your girlfriend, Harry!” She snapped. “You should pay more attention to me than to her!”
Harry groaned. Loudly. Repeatedly. Not this again… for the love of Merlin’s hairy bollocks! “Ginny, do you not remember me breaking up with you, just after Professor Dumbledore’s funeral? The part where I said I didn’t want to be with you anymore?”
She nodded, irritated at him.
“So, wouldn’t that then preclude the possibility of you being my girlfriend?” Harry asked rhetorically.
“You were just saying that, Harry.” Ginny said dismissively. “I know you weren’t being serious.”
Harry just stared at her. Judging by the delusional state of Ginny’s mind, she probably thought that he was admiring her classical beauty. The fact that she was short, had blotchy cheeks and enough freckles to play ‘connect the dots’ on her face alone dismissed her having classical beauty.
“I mean, I know it was probably outside influence that made you break up with me, and you didn’t really mean it.” Ginny carried on.
“You mean my sanity?” Harry whispered to Hermione, who sniggered prettily into her hand.
“No, Ginny. It was not outside influence that made me break up with you. I just… didn’t want to date you anymore.”
Ginny stared at him for a moment, before her eyeballs swivelled to Hermione, where they hardened. “It was all your bloody fault, you know!” She snapped. “You… bitch! You interfered with my Harry!”
Hermione straightened, as her eyes narrowed to hardened chips.
Oh, shit! Harry’s mind thought, as he subtly moved backwards, looking around for somebody to use as a human shield. A first year… not big enough. Where’s Ron when you need him?
“I didn’t do anything, Ginny.” Hermione said, softly and slowly. “The only thing I’ve ever said with regards to Harry’s relationships is ‘Good Luck’. Nothing else.”
“Liar!” Ginny snapped. “You’ve always wanted him for yourself!”
Harry’s gaze shot back to Hermione’s face, which was starting to blush slightly. Is that true? He thought. He asked her.
She looked at him, the blush erupting into full fury, as she shyly glanced at him and nodded imperceptibly.
Yes! Harry’s brain screamed at him. He grinned at her, nodding back slightly.
“I knew it!” Ginny bellowed. “You made him break up with me so you could have him yourself!”
Harry surged to his feet, glad to have something to fight for. “No.” He said softly. “I broke up with you for two very simple reasons, Ginevra.”
Ginny cocked her head at him, her face still full of blotchy anger. “Is this about the sex?” She asked sweetly, the voice incongruous with her rage.
“Partly.” Harry replied.
The rest of the Gryffindor students promptly abandoned what they were doing. Nothing attracted a teenager’s attention like sex and scandal.
Hermione’s brow rose delicately. “Sex?” She asked softly.
Harry just nodded at her, before he turned to Ginny. “Would you like to tell them?” He asked, his voice now icy cold. He didn’t wait for her to answer. “No? How about I tell them, then? Tell them how you tried so hard to get me to fuck you, and how I refused every time. Or, how about the time when you woke me up, trying to give me a hand-job? How about the time when you petrified me, stripped me, and levitated me to a bed?” His voice had been getting louder through the diatribe.
Ginny’s face paled slightly, but she still steamed ahead. “It’s not my fault you can’t get it up.” She muttered.
“How about, Ginny,” Harry said sweetly, “I didn’t want to have sex with you? Did that thought ever cross your mind?”
Dean spoke up. “Why wouldn’t you want to have sex with her, Harry?”
Harry just smiled at him. “Because, Dean, I don’t want to go where every man’s gone before.” He turned back to Ginny. “See, I’ve heard all about you, Ginny. How you’ve shagged your way through a good number of the male students here at Hogwarts.”
Ginny’s fury came back with a vengeance. “That was for you!” She snapped. “I needed to know how to do it properly for you! I love you!”
Harry just sniggered, closely followed by Hermione.
“Yes… you love me so much; you decided to force-feed me Amortentia. Not just feed it to me, but actually give me a potentially fatal overdose.” Harry let the bombshell drop for a moment. “Now, I don’t love you, Ginny. I don’t particularly like you. I’m grateful you came to the Department of Mysteries with me, but that’s it.”
“You kissed me!” Ginny snapped.
Hermione looked at Harry. “How much Amortentia?” She asked.
“About a pint.” Harry replied, not taking his gaze from Ginny.
“A pint!” Hermione shrieked. She spun to face Ginny. “You fuckwit!”
Never thought I’d hear those words come from Hermione Granger, prefect extraordinaire, Head Girl, and general lover of the rules.
“The maximum safe dose is only fifty millilitres! Giving someone ten times that could have… should have killed him!” Hermione shouted back. “It’s unethical… It’s bloody illegal! How could you?”
“He loves me.” Ginny said petulantly. “I know he does.”
“No, I don’t!” Harry snapped, having had enough of the delusional fool. “Didn’t you take it as a hint that I didn’t want you when I refused to stay at the Burrow during the summer? When I avoided you like the plague? Didn’t that give you the slightest clue?”
“It’s just her!” Ginny snapped, pointing at Hermione. “She’s always been in my way! You don’t want her, Harry! She’s like your sister!”
Harry just smiled at Hermione. “Then bring on the incest, Ginny, ’cause the things I’ve been fantasising about with Hermione are most definitely wrong for a brother to think about his sister.”
Hermione’s head shot round to look at him, gob-smacked. “Really?” She mouthed.
Ginny just sneered. “Good luck with the ‘Boy-Who-Can’t-Get-It-Up’.”
Harry pulled on Hermione’s hand, pulling her to her feet, before moving to stand directly behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist, leaving his hands in plain view on her stomach. He whispered in her ear.
Hermione’s reactions were plain to everybody watching. First, her cheeks increased the blush. Her breathing became shallower, and her eyes fluttered closed. A moment later, she moaned softly, before it changed to a high-pitched squeak.
Harry pulled his head back slightly, so she could turn her head to look at him.
“Harry Potter! Is that your hand?” She demanded.
Harry just lifted his hands from her stomach to in front of her face. “No…” He breathed.
She grabbed his hand and started to pull him towards the stairs. Harry looked over his shoulder. “If you’ll excuse us, ladies and gentlemen, I’m just gonna go and show Hermione this nifty little trick Parselmouths can do.”