Hermione woke up a bit later as the next thing she thought of was the kiss on the cheek she had given Harry at King’s Cross Station. She would never let that memory fade from her head, or the memory of her first kiss. She looked over at Harry. Harry was sleeping with headphones on his head, smiling. Hermione looked at him closer. He looked the same as he did three years ago, except with more untidy hair and stubble on his chin. She kissed him on the cheek and sat back to watch the movie that was playing.
“What was that for?”
Hermione froze. Harry was awake and felt her lips touch his cheek. She looked over to him. He was smiling a bit wider than before, she absently noted.
Hermione almost calmly answered. “For coming with me to help me find my parents. You deserve a kiss for that.”
Harry pondered this for a second. “Oh.” Then he kissed Hermione on the cheek, which hit Hermione by surprise.
“What was that for?” She asked, smiling and blushing prettily.
“Well, for helping me get away from the Wizarding World. I was planning on sneaking out sometime next week to the muggle world, but I don’t have to now.” After seeing the angry look on Hermione’s face, he knew that he had said something wrong. He basically said that he was planning on ditching them again. He quickly added, “I was going to ask you to come with me, though,” with a slightly pink face.
Hermione blinked rapidly. “You were going to ask me, Ron, and Ginny?”
“No. Just you.”
Hermione didn’t know what to say. She was thinking if it was because she has lived in the muggle world before, and Ron and Ginny would be horrible at living like muggles. Fortunately, Harry decided to change the subject. “How long do we have left on the plane?”
Hermione quickly checked her watch to turn away from him so he couldn’t see her face getting brighter and brighter. “We have about…fifteen hours left. I slept for six hours?”
“Yeah. I really should have bought a muggle crossword puzzle or a muggle chess set. I’m getting pretty tired of watching movies and…have you looked in front of you, yet?”
Hermione looked in front of her to see a tray of hot food. She saw mashed potatoes with gravy, some turkey slices (also covered in gravy) and some cauliflower. “I put a warming charm on your food.” He explained with a grin. “Didn’t think it would last this long, though. You got it about an hour ago. The plane isn’t crashing, so I’m guessing it didn’t interfere with electricity and I made sure it was a weak spell…”
Hermione paled. “You took out your wand on the plane?” She asked in her usual stern teaching voice. Surprisingly, Harry grinned even brighter.
“Who said I even used my wand, Hermione?”
Her jaw dropped. Her mouth started working furiously, but no sound came out. She was in silence, pondering the implications of what he just said while Harry just smiled and went back to watching the movie.
Hermione came back to speaking terms eventually. and she didn’t speak about how she’s only seen two wizards who could use wandless magic, Dumbledore and Voldemort. For about ten hours, they were watching movies and listening to music, (and going to the bathroom, of course) talking, and sleeping on and off. Hermione explained to Harry the places they were going to go first, while eating her fourth tray of food; Harry was on his fifth tray.
“So, how long do you think it could take us to find them?” Harry asked as he pulled some jerky out of Hermione’s ‘purse’.
“To tell you the truth, it could, er, take about a few months, but at the least, a few weeks. If we can’t find them in New Zealand, and they moved into the main part of Australia, we could be there much longer.” Hermione sat still, waiting for his reaction. She didn’t really tell him about that ‘minor’ detail. She told him during their day out yesterday that if the trip became too long, he could go home at any time. She asked that if he did, could he call her at least once a week for someone to talk to. Harry was ignoring her the whole time and at the end of her question, he asked her why would he want to abandon his best friend, who gave up a year to help him.
“I don’t know, Harry, I just have doubts. Isn’t that natural? It may take a while to find my parents if they’re not at the place I put them. I wouldn’t blame you if you left.”
“Hermione, Harry said in a calm voice, “I’m not going to leave you. You didn’t leave me, So I’m not going to leave you. I would’ve gone with you regardless. You’re my best friend, why would I not stay?”
“Well, I just—”
“No Hermione,” Harry said seriously, turning to her, and letting down his clothes bag. He put his hands on her shoulder, looked into her cinnamon eyes and said, “I will never leave you. The day I leave you is the day that I join my parents, and I don’t want t do that anytime soon, now that I have time to live. And when that does happen,” Harry formed a lopsided grin, “I’ll leave you a ring in my will.” He looked closely at her to see her reaction at the many possibilities in his statement. He saw Hermione’s eyes widen a small bit, as if trying to mask her expression, so it made him wonder if she came to the conclusion he was really talking about. “It may have a small crack, but it’s got the Gryffindor colors and it’s useful.” He saw realization dawn on Hermione and she none-too-gently hit Harry in the chest.
“I’m going to remember this, Potter,” she said with a smirk that didn’t quite reach her narrowed eyes. She was happy that he’d give her the ring, but she just wished that there was another to go with it. But it would never happen, she knew.
She was thoroughly shocked and pleased when he nodded thoughtfully.
After a few seconds, he asked, “Do you think that if I used the Elder wand in the middle of Australia and yelled ‘Accio Mr. and Mrs. Granger’, would it work?”
Hermione giggled. It was a wonderful sound to him. “Harry, if you didn’t know about magic, wouldn’t you have a heart attack when you’re all of a sudden flying through the air?”
“I guess that’s not a good idea, then. Well, I guess we’ll be looking for them the old-fashioned way. We’ll use brooms.” He grinned and yanked off some jerky with his teeth.
“Well, we can use a car. I’m fairly certain we can afford that. Harry, can you drive?”
“Nope. Vernon gave me Dudley’s old bike, though. He said that he may want me out as soon as possible, but he doesn’t want me to fly cars into buildings. I’m guessing he got that idea from Ron. Vernon said sooner or later, people might find out that they’re my guardians.” Harry casually said as he was eating jerky and mashed potatoes.
Hermione’s heart ached for Harry once again. How can he talk so calmly about this?
“I know what you’re thinking about, Hermione,” Harry said as he handed her a pumpkin pastry, “and the past doesn’t really bother me anymore. The only reason I went to the Dursleys is because of Voldemort. He’s dead, they’re gonna be sorry for what they did next time we meet them, so I get to erase those sixteen years from my life. Except the good memories of Hogwarts, of course.” Harry grinned. He absently thought, ‘And last Christmas, even though it turned out bad.’
Hermione wrapped her arm around Harry’s shoulders and put her head on his shoulder.
“Harry, how do you always know what I’m thinking?”
“How do you always know what I’m thinking?”
“Instinct, I guess. I don’t really know.”
“That’s the first time I heard those words from you.” Maybe because we’re made for each other? Nah…
She smacked him lightly on the arm with her free hand. “Prat,” She said playfully.
“I know I am.” Said Harry as he held her attacking hand to look at her watch. “Four hours and thirty minutes, huh? We’re almost there.” He said, putting his arm around Hermione and rested his head on hers. They both wished they could stay like that forever.
“Yeah.” Hermione said after a long minute and sighed. “I wonder how they’re living? I transferred their bank account numbers, so they’re well off for a while; I’m not sure if the money will last for a year, though. I just made them have the sudden idea for them to want to go to Australia.”
“Well, once again, you did have other things on your mind.”
Hermione decided to ask the question that has been bothering her for a while. “Harry…where are we going to stay?”
“What do you mean? Hotel suites, right?”
“What if we go to a place that doesn’t have Hotel Suites?” She countered. She wanted to get this out of the way in case this subject might embarrassment in the future.
Harry became nervous and found it very hard to breathe. Finally he said, “Let’s figure that out when we get there, shouldn’t we?”
Hermione blushed to a color that would make any Weasley proud. He didn’t give a definite answer. He would’ve calmly said that it was okay since they were friends. But Harry sounded nervous. She didn’t want to jump to any conclusions, so she decided to give Harry a small test. “So…are you saying that if…if there was a hotel that was the only one in that town, and they only had rooms with one bed, full-sized, available, what would you do?” She asked. She had him. It was then, or never. Did he want to stay ‘platonic’, or could there be something more?
Harry turned scarlet (though she couldn’t see his face), but answered as calmly as he could (which wasn’t much), “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, so I’ll sleep on the floor. What do you think about it?” Harry put Hermione on the spotlight, now. It was her decision. If she wanted to stay friends, he would sleep on the floor. But if she said otherwise…
Hermione didn’t expect Harry to escape that one. She couldn’t think of a way to escape his question other than, ‘I don’t know, what do you think about it?’ That would be a waste of time, as he could reply the same thing, and she would go on and on like a comedy routine that wasn’t very funny. She had to answer.
“You don’t have to, Harry.” She said after some thought of how she was going to reply. “If there was only one bed, I would let you sleep with me.” She waited with baited breath, to see how he was going to take this.
Harry let out a breath he did not know he was holding, and whispered, “Good.”
Hermione heard his whisper, and her face went brighter than even Ginny’s hair. “What did you mean by ‘good’? You’ve slept on the floor before.” She said full of curiosity of why he said that. It couldn’t be the reason of why she thought he said that. She still didn’t want to skip to any conclusions. “Or is there any other reason you said ‘good’?” She asked, hopefulness trying not to appear in her voice.
“You like it when I’m uncomfortable, don’t you?” Harry asked as he tugged on his collar. It suddenly became very warm.
“Why would you be uncomfortable, Harry?” She asked as she raised her head from Harry’s shoulder and pulled back. “Would I be making you uncomfortable?”
“More like the complete opposite.” Harry mumbled before he could stop. He put his hand over his mouth, half hoping that Hermione didn’t hear. Hermione did hear, as her heart soared so high, she thought that it might never come down.
“So, you would be completely comfortable sleeping with me, then? Good. I hope you realize that I sleep only in a tank top and knickers.” She added playfully.
Harry suddenly put his arms on his lap as he pictured the thought. Then, he came to a sudden realization. “Are you flirting with me?”
“Am I?” Hermione asked innocently. It’s not like she has flirted before. Harry formed one of his lopsided grins.
“Well, I’ve never flirted before, so I don’t know how to.” Hermione said as she turned away. That grin he had always melted her insides.
Harry smiled bigger than he ever smiled in his life. She didn’t say that she didn’t mean to. That must mean…she did like him! There was only one thing he could do to make sure, though. He had to summon all of his Gryffindor courage into one question.
“Hermione, can I ask you something?”
Hermione slowly turned back to Harry and noticed that he was looking down and fiddling with his headphones. He looked up at her and locked his stunning emerald eyes with he equally stunning cinnamon brown ones. “Do you like me?”
Hermione paled at this. She wasn’t expecting this. “Of course I like you. You’re my best friend.”
“You know what I mean.” Harry said quietly, looking her square in the eyes.
Hermione was confused, surprised and shocked at the same time: She was surprised and shocked at the question, but confused as how similar this conversation with Ron all those years ago.
“What?” She asked in a barely audible whisper.
“Y’know…” Harry asked, putting his head back down, silently wondering if Hermione was just shocked by the question or shocked by why he would ask such a thing. “I was just wondering…what do you think of me? I mean, I know we’re best friends…almost like brother and sister. I just…don’t feel comfortable as thinking of you as my sister-figure.”
Hermione answered a few seconds later. “Oh?” She couldn’t hide the hurt in her voice. She put her head back down as Harry’s head slowly looked up. She didn’t notice. She couldn’t believe what he just said. He was saying that he didn’t think of her as a very best friend. Sure, she really couldn’t think of him as his brother, also, but that couldn’t be the same reason for Harry to say that. She had not thought of Harry as a brother because…
She was interrupted by Harry, who placed his hand on hers. She looked back up at Harry, who looked extremely nervous for some reason, and heard the almost exact echo of her thoughts through his mouth in a shaky voice. “Because, I don’t really like the thought of having a crush on my sister.”
To say that Hermione was pleased would be an understatement. Her eyes widened at this confession. “D-do you mean that, Harry?” She asked in a slightly chocked voice, her eyes forming tears. Harry had mistaken the tears of joy for sorrow for some reason.
He looked away once again, not noticing the slow smile spreading across Hermione’s face. He thought he just might’ve ended the great relationship they had already. “I’m really sorry for bringing that up, it’s just that we’ve been spending a lot of time together the last few days and I just had this crazy thought that you liked me, and well, I’m sorry, and I completely understand if you’re mad at me, and I pray that we can still be friends and that you forget what I said if you’re uncomfortable with that, but I just had to ask, because you know how bad I am with girls’ feelings and feelings for girls…” Harry kept going on and on, still looking down. By now, the color of his face was complimenting Gryffindor at the moment.
She was snapped out of her daze and noticed with amusement that Harry was still talking. “…You can chuck me out one of the exits right now if you want—” But whatever he was about to say was lost to her forever as she decided to end his record-breaking rambling and tenderly grabbed his face and pulled it to her lips. He was caught by surprise, but he didn’t dare pull back. To Hermione, it was more wonderful a sensation than she had since she kissed him four years ago. She was glad she was sitting down, this time. Meanwhile, Harry was amazed that this was the best kiss he’s ever gotten, and would love to feel these lips for a long time, if not forever. He was also shocked that Hermione liked him, too. The kiss was a little weird, though; it reminded him eerily of a potion that he was given a few years back in the Hospital Wing.
They parted for air and they sat there, very dazed and shocked, but with a brilliant smile on their faces. Harry slowly looked back at Hermione and they both slowly said, “Wow.” They both looked at each other and chuckled a little, Hermione at Harry for his goofy grin and red face, and Harry at Hermione because for the first time, he’s heard her say a sentence with only one simple word (and her red face, also). They looked at each other and brought their lips together once more, careful not to cross the borderline of kissing on a plane.
It seemed like only a few minutes before the ‘seatbelt’ light started blinking. Harry and Hermione parted, incredibly red, blinking dazedly at each other first, and then started grinning madly.
“You know,” Harry said a few moments later as he buckled her seatbelt and then his. “Now meeting your parents just made me a bit more nervous.”
Hermione also snapped out of he daze and winked at Harry. “You kissed me, Potter, you take the consequences.” She said as she put a stick of gum in her mouth.
Harry smiled again and put the earplugs on and chewed some of his gum, still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that he just kissed the girl that he was in love with since fifth year, possibly longer.
The plane started lowering after the pilot told everyone that they had arrived at the New Zealand Airport. They waited until the passengers from first class left, then Harry transfigured the bag into a roach again. Harry let Hermione confund it this time.
“You will crawl outside,” She said, “as fast as you can. Wait outside, at the main entrance, on top of a trashcan for us.”
Harry was about to put a shield charm on the bug, when Hermione stopped him.
“Do it wandlessly!” She said enthusiastically. Whether she was still on a high after the best kiss of her life, or she was excited to see wandless magic being performed for the first time in her life, she didn’t know.
Harry smirked, put his and Hermione’s wand in the cloak again and stuck the cloak to the roach after a sticking charm was applied by Hermione. “I’m sure it won’t be as strong, but I’ll try it.” He raised his hand on the roach and caged it with his fingers, slipping the fabric of the cloak. “Protego!” There was a brief glow around the roach, and it started crawling out through the hallway once again.
Harry put his arm around Hermione’s slim waist and they started following their luggage together.
Hermione then thought about how pleasant she thought the flight was going to be a day ago. She noted that not once had she opened a book that she packed. They had literally talked for hours and neither of them had nothing to say. Her mind then wandered to more dangerous territory… The Weasleys.