There Was A Time

Chapter 8

Hermione was so absorbed in her books that she didn't notice the door opening. The young man by the door didn't make a sound, glad to just stand there watching her. Hermione had her head buried in a voluminous tome. The previously empty desk top was now invisible under piles of parchments and books, some opened, others closed. In one of her hands rested a feather, Hermione was biting the tip of the feather as her forehead wrinkled in concentration.

He could've stood there all night, just looking at her. Admiring the way the light shone on her hair. How it made her skin a beautiful golden tone. Unfortunately, Ginny was waiting for Hermione. Clearing his throat, Harry stepped to the middle of the room. Hermione raised her head and smiled when she saw him.

"You seem busy." Harry said, gesturing at the desk.

"I had an idea. I'll tell you all about it once I've collected some more information," she reassured him.

"Well, you may have to finish that tomorrow. Ginny asked for you."

"Very well then, let me just…" She said, getting up and starting to close some books before Harry stopped her.

"You don't need to do that. No one will be able to see what you were doing. This room is protected, only you and I can come in here." Harry told her, knowing what she was thinking. "Although you should set up some of your own protective spells, just in case."

"Not even Dumbledore can come in here?"

"Not even him." He confirmed.

Hermione took out her wand to cast some more protective spells. After she was done, she walked to the door, but before she could leave, Harry grabbed her arm. Making her turn to face him, he caught her in his arms. Harry drew a finger from her temple to her chin. Their lips brushed lightly, once then twice.

"You call her "Ginny" now?" Hermione noticed.

"She asked me to, it sounds more youthful than her full name." Harry explained, running a hand through his hair. "Do you remember Lavender Brown?"

"I do! Why do you ask?" Hermione faced him inquisitively, as she threw her hands around his neck.

"She was practicing divination and Ginny went to ask her for a reading."

"That should've been marvelous to watch. Ginny never believed that stuff."

"Lavender loved the attention at first." Harry told her, with a smirk on his lips. "But she understood Ginny was quite a non-believer at the end."

"How did Lavender react? I remember she is not one to stay quiet and not enjoy the theatricals."

"I stopped them before it could get out of hand. It wouldn't be proper."

"Of course it wouldn't." Hermione giggled. "Let's go, she will wonder what is taking me so long."

"I'll accompany you to Ginny's quarters." Harry said to her, closing the door behind him and securing it with a flick of his wand.

They walked in silence, not all halls were empty, and they met some courtiers returning to their quarters as well. Once in a while, Harry's hand brushed Hermione's hand. It was but an accidental touch for someone who might happen to notice. Finally, they stopped by a door, guarded by a knight.

"Good night, my Prince." Hermione said out loud, bowing to Harry. "Thank you for your company; I forgot how easy it was to get lost on the castle." She added, for prevention, to someone else who might be listening.

"I'll ask Sir Ronald to give you, and Lady Ginevra, a tour of the castle tomorrow." Harry conceded, winking at Hermione. "Good night, my Lady."

Hermione hid a smile as she pushed the door open. She let herself in an empty chamber, badly lighted, due to the late hour, and decorated with some pillows and chairs around a fireplace. Voices came from behind a door in the end of the room. Following the sound, Hermione knocked on the door before stepping in.

"Hermione, you're finally here." Ginny stood in one corner of the room, in front of a small table with a mirror above it. "Luna can't find my cotton nightgown. Can you please help?"

"Of course, my Lady." Hermione kneeled next to Luna, digging into one of the six heavy trunks. "I've heard you got your fortune read tonight."

"Yes, you know I always wanted to try that, and mother isn't here now," Lady Ginevra answered, sitting on a chair.

"Do you believe that what was predicted will come to pass?" Hermione said as she went to the next trunk, opening it.

"Of course I don't. I only wanted to have some fun." She smiled, a glow illuminated her eyes.

"I do believe there should be some sort of respect for divination." Luna said, looking from Hermione to Ginny. She didn't wait for their answer, already used to their skeptical personalities. "I found it!" Luna exclaimed taking the nightgown out of the trunk she had been searching.

As Hermione and Luna silently prepared Ginny for bed, Hermione couldn't help but admire Ginny's pale skin, flawless completion and effulgent red hair. How could Harry feel attracted to her when he had such a beautiful bride right there? Remorse hit Hermione yet again, as not long ago, she had been kissing Ginny's future husband – that is if Hermione couldn't take care of that. But still… even if Hermione's plan worked, she was afraid to betray Ginny. She needed to work it out quickly, Hermione didn't want to lie to her friend and go behind her back.
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