Books, Cannons, and Conversation
Silently reading a book on the couch near the fireplace in the Gryffindor Common Room was none other than Hermione Granger. Of course, everyone knew she was to be left alone while she read or studied. And no one in their right mind would do such a thing for the consequences were bound to be worse than a stern talk from their Head of House, Professor McGonagall. The only one to be witness of that was poor Dean Thomas who, in his third year, tried asking for notes for DADA class since he had missed that day's lesson. He came into the library, face seen as a light brown complexion, but left with more than a tint of maroon on his cheeks. Once in the Common Room, he confided to his roommates what the "know-it-all bookworm" was really capable of doing to her intruders on her study time.
Since then, not even her best friends planned on paying a visit to Hermione during reading or studying time. Well, maybe one Harry Potter had the guts to do so. He did defeat Voldemort after all and even though Hermione was downright scary at times to the extent of a Dark Lord, but for different reasons, Harry took his chances. And besides, he loved having fun with his bookworm friend.
"What are you reading this time?" Harry asked as he swiftly sat next to Hermione, getting close and level with her head to read along.
This wasn't the first time Harry had bothered her while reading and she was definitely sure it wouldn't be the last. She noticed though that were it to be someone else, she would have sent them to the next dimension by now, but she learnt to deal with Harry's idea of fun. Merlin knew he used to have a heavy weight on his shoulders not too long ago and he never had anytime for fun. So if he wanted to play around with her, then she'd play along.
"If you must know, I'm reading Hogwarts: A History." Although she was a bit tipped off about having to pause her reading, she still had a small smile as she spoke.
"Not that rubbish again. You've read that more than Ron has read Quidditch Through the Ages and that's saying something. Ron hardly reads." Harry deftly snatched the book from her hands and pretended throwing it into the fire. And skillfully keeping it out of Hermione's reach as she quickly acknowledged what he was bound to do.
"Harry! You've got to stop doing that! And the only reason Ron reads that book so much is because he's crazy about Quidditch and take into consideration that's the only book he reads!"
Ron, overhearing the conversation between his two best friends from the table he sat at yelled out, "GO CANNONS!"
Hermione just resorted to rolling her eyes at Ron's antics and after retrieving her book back from Harry, decided her time with her beloved book had come to an end, placing it in her book bag.
Harry, knowing his mission of bugging Hermione was accomplished, walked back to his seat at the table where Ron was having a chess match with the one and only, Dean Thomas.
"True. Point is, you should try reading a different book next time,” Harry pointed out as he moved one of Dean's chess pieces, creating the destruction of one of Ron's.
"Hey! What gives?! This isn't a 2 on 1 match." Ron exclaimed.
Dean, happy with the boost, high-fived Harry. "Ron, you're still beating me so there's nothing to worry about. As for you Harry, I don't know how you get away with it. Interrupting Hermione and not earning yourself an earful." Dean shook his head, somewhat awed at the green-eyed wizard's capabilities.
Hermione, who was standing behind Harry, sat on the seat next to him. If she couldn't read, she'll just watch the match. Everyone knew Ron's skills when it came to Wizard's Chess. "I've told him plenty of times not to interrupt while I'm reading, but I can't seem to get it through his thick skull." Hermione, same as Dean, shook her head also amazed at Harry. In her case, she was amazed at how thick he could be, though she knew he was mostly joking.
Having all the fun in the world, Harry just laughed along at the complaints and concerns from his friends.
As the night grew and everyone from Gryffindor went to their dorms, two friends were having light conversation as they lay on their four poster beds.
"I'm telling you Harry, the Cannons are going to win it this season. I can feel it,” Ron said as he stared at the ceiling of his canopy bed.
Harry, having heard this one too many times, said the same thing he'd always say every time they had this conversation. "Ron, you've said that for the past 6 years. And I've gotta say, your feelings are the worst." Harry chuckled as Ron kept insisting on his instincts.
"Yeah, but this time it's different! I can't explain it, but it's there." Ron smiled to himself. He was right this time. He knew it.
A few moments passed before anyone else uttered a word, but it was once again Ron who spoke. "I think I've figured it out, Harry."
"What? How you're going to ask Lavender on a date to Hogsmeade?" Harry grinned at Ron's well-known infatuation with their fellow Gryffindor classmate.
"No, no, it's not about her. I'm still working on her, though. Anyway, I figured out why Hermione doesn't give you a hard time just like anyone else if they were to interrupt her.” Ron sounded quite proud of himself. He wasn't regularly one to be perceptive or observant.
That was the last thing Harry expected. He just thought it was because they were good friends. Maybe Ron just barely put the pieces together. He could be slow at times. Then again, they were all really good friends. The three of them. They even called them the Golden Trio. But something about Ron's tone seemed to throw him off. Realizing Ron wasn't elaborating, Harry spoke up.
"Well, what is it?”
"Right. Well, I'm just saying, if I were to pretend and throw one of Hermione's books into the fire, or anywhere for that matter, I'm sure she'd burn my hair off before I even get my hands on it. And speaking of hair, didn't you see how she was playing with your hair while you were sitting down? I'm just wondering if you've noticed that she might have more than friendly feelings for you. You know, maybe she fancies you."
Harry was somewhat at a loss for words. The fact that Hermione could possibly like him never really crossed his mind. He doubted it. "Well...that's because you guys argue too much. I'm sure she wouldn't let you anywhere near her books or any item she treasures. As for the hair..." Now that he thought about it, he almost didn't realize she had been playing with his hair. He did feel something around his hair. And it felt like bliss. Soothing. But only now did he realize that it was her messing with his messy mop of hair. "She always does that, doesn't she? It's normal." Harry said, almost unsure of himself, yet trying to convince himself of that.
"Well, she doesn't do that to anyone else. And you also went with her to Slughorn's party. Do you have more than friendly feelings for her?
All these questions were really making Harry think. "I don't know...I mean she's got nice hair." And that's when a part of Harry's mind that was almost always reserved, came into action.
"Nice hair?" Ron repeated with a dubious tone.
"Yeah...at Slughorn's party...her hair looked nice. And her eyes..." Harry hardly knew where this was coming from. "Yeah...she looked nice. Did you see her that night?" Harry had a dazed expression as the words came out of his mouth.
Ron turned to face him and leaned on his elbow to get a better look at his best mate. "Harry...I think... I think I figured it out." Ron's tone was full of pride, his face wearing a huge smile, happy that he could help his friend.
Harry, too, turned to face him, mimicking his position. "Ron... I think I fancy my best friend. Is that bad? I mean I feel like... I don't know what I feel like. I feel something...something I’ve never really felt before."
"Harry, I think this calls for a dou-"
"Oi! Will you two go to sleep already?! Can't get a wink of sleep." An annoyed Irish accent rang throughout the dorm.
“Right, sorry,” both Harry and Ron apologized simultaneously.
With this newfound realization, Harry couldn't seem to sleep. He fancied Hermione. He probably subconsciously knew. Had it kept in the back of his mind. It just needed a trigger and Ron was it. He needed that extra push. Tomorrow he'd look for the signs that Ron obviously saw. If Hermione really did fancy him...well, that feeling came back once he thought of the idea.