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| Gryffindor Bravery
by -> Goldy
Reviews (42) | Updated : 09/04/05 | Published : 09/04/05 | Romance/None | Rating: PG13
This chapter was posted on: 09/04/05
Title: Gryffindor Bravery
A/N: Yes, I wrote fluff. It happens. Shut up and leave me alone.
Dedication: For Amethyst. Because it’s probably all her fault for spreading the fluffy, pumpkiny goodness.
Gryffindors were brave.
To the point, Ron reflected, that it bordered on stupidity. Well, whatever—it didn’t much matter. He’d made his choice. Courage, he had. Whether or not it was stupidity, he wasn’t sure.
Harry grunted, barely looking up from his Transfiguration’s essay.
Ron glanced around the common room. Satisfied that no one was paying them any mind, he sat in the armchair next to Harry.
“Is there something you want?” Harry said, continuing to write.
“Yeah,” Ron said. “I reckon we need to talk.”
Harry sighed. “Ron, can’t this wait? I have three feet of parchment to—”
“I want to talk about us,” Ron said abruptly.
Harry put down his quill and stared.
“Er…” Ron said. “You, me, and Hermione. You know, ‘us.’”
“Okay,” Harry said, sounding resigned that Ron wasn’t going away. “Go on, then.”
Gryffindors were brave.
Ron took a deep breath, glancing around the room for something to distract him from having to look at Harry. He caught sight of the Creevey brothers attempting (badly) to arm-wrestle in the corner.
Before he lost his nerve, Ron started to speak. “It’s just… I don’t understand why Hermione’s never thought of any of this stuff. Seems like it’d be something she’d love to make lists about—weigh the pros and cons of our friendship. She must’ve worried about it, the three of us becoming friends.”
“The three of us becoming friends?” Harry repeated, frowning. “What, you mean when we were eleven years old? What was there to think about?”
Ron heaved a deep sigh. “I just reckon it would have saved us loads of trouble.”
Harry sounded weary. “What’s your point, Ron?”
“Oh, you know…” Ron said, waving an arm to emphasize his point. “There’s this… problem the three of us have run into.”
Harry’s eyes narrowed into slits. “Problem?”
Ron cleared his throat.
Gryffindors and their bravery.
“The problem,” Ron said quietly. “That there’s two of us and only one of her.”
It was almost comical the way Harry’s eyes widened.
“What… what are you on about?”
Ron sighed. Harry wasn’t going to make this easy.
“Oh, c’mon, mate,” Ron said. “I’ve seen the way you look at her. I know the way I look at her. Face it, we’re in a bit of a quandary here. Hardly surprising, really. It was bound to get us in trouble one day—boy, boy, girl. Bit stupid to think we could continue skipping merrily along forever.”
Harry looked suspicious. “What are you implying?”
“Bloody hell,” Ron muttered. “Have you been listening at all? I’m telling you, we both fancy the same girl!”
Harry blushed. “Well…” he stuttered. “That’s hardly… I mean, I don’t… I don’t fancy Herm—”
“No, you’re in love with Hermione,” Ron snapped. “That sound better?”
Harry’s mouth opened and shut several times.
“Well, what’s not to like?” Ron said, enjoying making Harry squirm. “She’s brilliant, isn’t she? Irritating as all else, but brilliant. Rather pretty too, our Hermione. Plus, she’s saved your life loads of times. She’s one of the only people who doesn’t treat you like you have a white light shinning out of your arsehole. Not to mention, she’s right obsessed with your well-being. Honestly—you’d have to be blind, deaf, and stupid not to have feelings for her.” Ron sighed and picked at a lose thread on the armchair. “I s’pose that’s rather the problem, eh?”
Harry was staring at the floor, face still aflame. He hadn’t denied anything else. Ron felt a vague hope die. He was brave—he would go through with this. Harry loved her and Ron fancied her (for years and years) and they had to resolve it.
“Ron…” Harry’s voice was quiet. “It doesn’t matter how much I…. You know how important you two are to me—”
“Oh, shut your gob. Don’t you think I know that? Why else would I bring this up? You were never going to.” Ron hit the side of the chair in frustration. “We’ve been dancing around this thing for years. It’s high time we deal with it.”
Harry paled “Don’t you think that… maybe we should talk to Hermione…”
“No,” Ron said. “You know what she’s like, Harry. She’d think we’ve gone mad. You and I both know she’d never choose between us.”
“Then it doesn’t matter!” Harry burst out. “It doesn’t matter what we feel—”
“Come off it,” Ron interrupted. “Hermione’s feelings are right clear, okay?”
There was a mix of desperation and fear on Harry’s face. He drew in a sharp breath.
“Ron… what are you saying?”
“I’m saying that I give in,” Ron said. “You love her and she loves you and every-bloody-one knows it.”
Harry was staring. “I don’t… understand. If you… Ron, I don’t want—‘”
“I know,” Ron said tiredly. “I know you wouldn’t, which is why I’m saying this. Look, I reckon you deserve her. You’ll never find someone like her again.” Ron shrugged. “Me? I’ll be free to chase after as many girls as I want. I’m going to be a ruddy Keeper for the Canon’s one day and have my pick of the lot of them. So you just… go on then and shag Hermione.”
Harry made a few gurgling noises in the back of his throat, looking like someone had stupified him.
“Harry, listen,” Ron said, more determined than ever to make the right choice—to be the fucking sidekick and accept that. “I’m telling you to go for it. I’m telling you I won’t act like a prat. I’m telling you to find whatever happiness with Hermione you can find. I’m telling you…” Ron’s voice caught. “I’m telling you I’ve grown up.”
Harry met his eyes. “Are you sure?”
“She’s in her room,” Ron said simply.
Harry walked to the Head Girl’s room, mind in a jumble.
He couldn’t believe he was doing this.
He couldn’t believe it had been Ron who convinced him to do this.
He’d been feeling that pull towards Hermione for… at least a year now. Maybe longer. Certainly longer. Perhaps his whole life. All he knew was he’d never find anyone like her again—and any other girl would never measure up. Hermione was it—the one—irreplaceable—all that sappy, romantic rubbish that made him queasy.
But he couldn’t possibly act on it. Not with the war, not with the uncertainty of his future, and certainly—certainly not when Ron harbored those same feelings for her…
And here he was now, logic out the window, feet carrying him towards Hermione’s room. He was rushing headlong into danger—as usual. No thinking, just reacting. Reacting because this was something he wanted so badly and if Ron approved then it must mean something.
Outside her room, he stopped short, unprepared for what he heard. It was Hermione. And she was singing. It had to be a Muggle song, because he didn’t recognize the words and even if he had, Harry decided he wouldn’t like it much.
Harry winced. Hermione was an awful singer. Not that Harry had much hope for the song in question, anyway, but it was a well-known fact that Hermione could not hold a tune. She sounded like a shrieking banshee and he was only able to make out every other word. Of the words he did hear, there was a lot of nonsense about “hearts beating next to yours” and “love being like the air around them.”
To be fair, Harry supposed Hermione wasn’t expecting company. He smiled a little to himself. Unnoticed by Hermione, he opened the door to her room. She was dancing around in an old, dirty pair of sweat pants and a baggy sweater that used to belong to her father. She looked like she’d been in the middle of cleaning her room when she had been… distracted, for lack of a better term.
There was something so normal and carefree about the moment. In a world plagued by Voldemort, it was comforting to see Hermione let lose, completely at ease and carefree in her surroundings. It was hard work, Harry knew, to be on guard all day.
“Your hear—Oh, my… Harry!”
Hermione stopped mid-dance and nearly toppled over in her haste to stop. Her face turned a deep shade of red and she sat down on her bed, hands fisting together in her lap.
For a long moment, she didn’t say anything, just sat blushing and staring at the floor. Harry leaned back against the doorjamb, grinning.
“How much did you see?” she finally squeaked.
“Quite a bit,” Harry said.
“Oh, my,” Hermione whimpered.
“Yeah.” Harry paused. “Nice song.”
“Humph,” Hermione said. “I don’t have to look at you to know you’re smirking, you know.”
She finally looked at him, still pink in the face. “I was… you should have knocked!”
“And miss the sound of your sweet voice? Nah.”
She glared. “Was there something you wanted?”
For a moment, Harry was completely stunned. Now that the moment of… of… confession was upon him, he found himself incapable of speaking. “Er… what?”
Hermione chuckled and shot him a look of affection that caused Harry to have a pleasant tingle in his stomach.
“Everything alright, Harry? Or did you merely come to watch me make an idiot of myself?”
Harry’s mind stalled. He had no idea what to say to her. This situation was utterly foreign to him. He wasn’t prone to large gestures and he was awful romantic. He knew he loved the girl in front of him. He knew he admired her for her intellect and her compassion. He loved her, but what that meant, he wasn’t sure.
Did he confess? Throw himself at her feet? Kiss her?
Unable to do anything, he simply stared at her, feeling inadequate.
Hermione began to look worried. “Harry? What’s gotten into you?”
“You,” he croaked. He froze, horrified by his admission. Hurriedly, he rushed to continue. “It’s… it was something Ron said.”
“Ron?” Hermione’s eyebrows furrowed. “What—is he—”
“Fine, fine,” Harry said. “It’s, er… it’s nothing.”
Jamming his hands in his pockets, Harry paced the room, growing increasingly confused. There was still Voldemort to think about, of course. Voldemort and the war and that-damned-prophecy hanging over him.
The longer Harry went without saying something, the more self-conscious he became. Hermione was staring at him, confusion on her face.
Harry stopped, turning to study her. Her hair was pulled back in a messy ponytail and she was swimming in her sweatshirt. She’d always been petite and Harry had grown significantly bigger than her in the last few years. There was something open about her, in her sweatshirt and messy hair. And even though he knew she was capable of defending herself—better, even, than the majority of their contemporaries—his instincts told him to protect her at all costs. Keep her safe from Voldemort and this war.
“He fancies you, you know,” Harry said. “Ron does.”
Hermione fiddled with her hair, looking uncomfortable. “Did he send you to tell me that?”
“No,” Harry said. “I just thought… you should know.”
Hermione’s expression remained neutral. “I all ready know.”
“Oh,” Harry said, feeling stupid.
Hermione sighed. “It’s not that I don’t care about Ron—I do, very much. You know that. But… I can’t imagine we’d suit each other very well.”
“You don’t fancy him, you mean.”
Hermione released a breath and met Harry’s eyes. “I love Ron, I just don’t… love Ron.”
Her eyes were challenging. There, she seemed to say. I’ve said it. What are you going to do now?
Harry felt restless, so he started pacing again. To his relief, Hermione took matters into her own hands.
“Look,” she said briskly. “I think it’s clear how I feel about you. I’m telling you because you deserve to know. You’re a lot more guarded than Ron is with your feelings, you know. It’s hard to tell. I don’t suppose it matters much. We’re best friends, Harry. Always will be.”
Harry was surprised at how aware of Ron’s feeling she was and how ignorant she seemed to be of his own. But then—she was right. He’d done his best to keep them locked inside. Sirius taught him that people he loved were in danger.
Hermione watched him steadily and he couldn’t understand it—why she put up with him. He was bad-tempered and took her for granted and never helped with S.P.E.W. and what kind of friend was he, anyway, always making reckless decisions and putting her life in danger?
He walked to the window, unable to keeping looking at her. “Nice day,” he said and he could hardly believe it, making small talk when they were having this conversation.
“Yes, it is.”
Her voice quivered and Harry felt a twist of guilt. She was good at hiding her feelings, best of all of them. But he knew what she must be feeling. He’d just seen the same look on Ron’s face. And Harry was hurting her. He was causing her pain when all he wanted was to keep her safe.
Kiss her, he thought. Romantic gesture. Profess your love.
Of course, he didn’t do any of that—he couldn’t move at all. He touched the window, the glass cool under his fingertips. Hogwarts’ grounds stretched out before him.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
Say it, he thought. Just. Say. It.
“I love you.”
Harry shut his eyes in relief, still hearing his voice echo around the room. There it was—it was out and that was it. Slowly Harry began to relax. He turned around and Hermione was still watching him, a small smile on her lips.
And it really was that easy.
Hesitantly, Harry smiled back. “Ron talked to me about it. He says he’s okay. He says it won’t break the three of us up.”
Hermione chewed her bottom lip, looking thoughtful. “Really?” she said. “He’s growing up.”
“Yeah. I s’pose he is.”
Hermione patted the space next to her. “Sit down, will you? You’re making me dizzy.”
Harry sat, unsure of where to go next. After a moment, he felt Hermione’s fingers brushing his. Without making eye contact, their hands entwined together.
“Ron’s a good friend,” Hermione whispered, giving his hand a squeeze.
“A very good friend.”
“The three of us… well, we’re lucky, aren’t we?”
“Yeah,” Harry said. “I reckon we are.”
She turned to face him then and if he’d ever doubted her feelings for him, he wouldn’t need to doubt any longer—they were written all over her face. She leaned forward until her lips brushed over his cheek. She pulled away, keeping her face close to his.
“See?” she said. “There’s no reason to be afraid.”
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