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The night spent in the boy's dorm and with Harry had been one of the best sleeps she had actually gotten in at least a week. Granted it had mostly been potion induced but still nice. There were actually none of the nightmares she had been having or no buzzing of the mind. Instead her dreams had been mostly based upon talks she and Harry had had about futures they hoped for..and her own of things she wanted. But she would not voice it. Or rather could not. They weren't even a proper couple and she didn't know if they could be. Though god did she want it.
The girl woke to the shuffling of the boys and hearing them and their conversation. She did not make any moves and kept her eyes shut. Honestly she had not meant to stay in the boys' domitory all night but she had not wanted to go back to the girls' either. What was better even was she WOULD probably be reemed for skipping out on prefect duty and patrols. It would be fun having to face the Gryffindor head of house. What would she even tell McGonagall? It wasn't like she could say anything because Umbridge would go after her and Harry much more so. Herself she wasn't worry about but she was Harry.
It was the gentle shake that had her eyes flutter open and she looked up at him. Very slowly did she push herself up to sitting, her muscles still aching abit from the day before. [b "Seems we did...And I'm sorry..I swear I meant to go back to my bed and not take yours.."] She said with a deep pink in her cheeks.
When Harry woke the next morning, it was to the sound of the other boys getting ready. Glancing down to make sure that Hermione was still asleep, he carefully extracted himself from the bed, slamming the curtains shut behind him so they wouldn't see inside. Ron was the first to notice. [i "Feeling alright?"] he asked, a knowing concern in his eyes.
[b "Yeah, much better. How were tryouts?"] Harry replied.
Ron beamed, chest puffed out proudly. [i "McLaggen didn't stand a chance. He was making mistakes left right and center! I'm almost guaranteed the position."]
He smiled at his friend's enthusiasm. [b "That's great, Ron. I'm happy for you."]
[i "Surprised you missed tryouts, Harry,"] Neville joined the conversation, pulling his sweater on. [i "Figured you'd be right in the middle of everything Quidditch related. Like Wood."]
[b "I wasn't feeling very well after dinner. I asked the twins to take over, so I could sleep it off before Hogsmead. I trust their judgment,"] Harry swiftly lied.
As the other boys filed out of the room to get breakfast before leaving, Harry felt a bit of the pressure leave his chest. Ron stopped at the door, glancing back to make sure they wouldn't be overheard. [i "She's alright, then?"] he nodded in the direction of Harry's bed.
[b "A little worse for wear last night, but the potion seemed to help. She needed the rest, I didn't want to wake her,"] Harry sighed.
[i "She can use the cloak to get back to the girls' dorm without anyone noticing. I think Lavender is still taking her time getting ready,"] Ron said before closing the door behind him.
Glancing back to his bed, Harry drew the curtains back. Sitting down, he placed a hand on her arm and gave her a slight shake. [b "I think we slept a bit late,"] he smiled down at her. [b "Time to get up."]
The potion seemed to be getting to the both of them. The girl assumed she still had at least some of her wits about her. Or she really did hope so. [b "Of course..it's your bed and you haven't got to ask."] She said as he had motioned to the empty spot beside her.
Hermione moved over as much as she could to give him room too but had to keep her eyes on the ceiling. She was scared what would happen if she looked at the boy. Already she seemed loose lip enoug and so what would she end up doing if their eyes met? It was silly but with the potion she seemed to act before she thought.
It was when his arms were around her and she heard the soft snoring did Hermione realize that Harry was completely asleep. Being in his arms felt so nice.. safe even. Should she have liked it as much as she did? Probably not but it didn't change that she felt protected. And gently she removed his glasses and used her wand to make them levitate to the bedside table. Once she did that, the girl did find herself curl against the boy and fell into sleep herself. No longer could she fight it.
He felt a dopey smile stretch on his face. [b "Alright. The day is still on, then. Until then, we rest up so we're not limping around all afternoon."]
Harry shifted around, trying to find a place that was a bit more comfortable than trying to lean against a bed post. [b "Do you mind if..."] he trailed off, gesturing to the space beside her.
The dorm beds weren't made to hold much more than one person, but it would work well enough for them both. He stayed close to the edge of the bed, not wanting to press against her and cause any strain on her injuries. He laid his head next to hers on the pillow, but forced himself to remain staring straight up at the ceiling.
If he looked into her eyes when they were this close together, he might do something absolutely stupid. Like kiss her.
[b "Food, shopping, and adventure. Sounds like a good start for a first date,"] he mumbled groggily, feeling his eyes closed once more.
This time the potion kept him asleep. Soft snores came from his nose, and he'd been too tired to even remove his glasses. Used to holding a pillow to his chest while sleeping, muscle memory caused him to roll sideways and wrap an arm around her waist.
[b "We both know you're too stubborn and want to try and last as long as you can.. But after seeing and feeling what she had done I wondered why you didn't. I'm sorry I should have gotten on you and made you do this way sooner."] The girl whispered as she had her eyes closed. And she really did mean it. She was literally kicking herself mentally for letting him suffer all day.
Her eyes opened when she heard the curtains move around the bed and her head tilted. She had been about to ask Harry, but he beat her to it and explained. And it was a very good explanation and idea too. Honestly she was tired and knew he was too. The other boys would be interested in their own thing and so Ron really would be their only probably when it came to it. [b "Oh we definitely won't live this down for a long while with him.. But at least we know he'll let us rest before the hard time.."] She said softly as the pair of them were laying side by side. Maybe one day they would have this freedom and not just because they were hurt. It was a nice thought at least.
Hermione looked to Harry when he shifted and he spoke his words. Slowly the girl shook her head. [b "I don't want to... I've been looking forward to this all week...and besides it's just what we need after that nightmare. So don't worry."] The girl said as her hand moved to take his and give a gentle squeeze.
His body felt like a bowl of jell-o. If he tried getting off the bed, he would likely face-plant onto the floor. If they weren't careful, they would both fall asleep and no doubt end up caught by Ron's smug face. [b "Feeling much better than I did this morning. I should have done this right away,"] he admitted.
While his consciousness was still with him, Harry had enough sense to wave his wand to draw the curtains around his bed. Another spell ensured they stayed shut and silent. He settled down onto the mattress, staring up at the pattern above them. [b "The other boys won't care to check why my curtains shut, and Ron will leave us be. Granted, there'll be a fair amount of teasing later on, but for now, he'll let us rest,"] he sighed.
His brain was getting foggy. Was this what being content felt like? It wouldn't be so terrible to have this time with her when they were both in good health and not under the influence of pain medicine. Side by side without prying eyes disrupting them, all the time in the world to do absolutely nothing.
Harry's eyes shot open right as they completely closed. Sitting up, he looked down at her with a look of concern. [b "If you aren't better tomorrow, I'll understand if we have to postpone our Hogsmead day. I don't want you to strain yourself if you're still in pain."] The last thing he wanted was to look like a total jerk, forcing her to walk all day with him after having suffered an Unforgivable Curse.
Hermione peeked at Harry when she heard his words. The girl almost expected to be teased or asked about it. But when he spoke she smiled even. [b "Maybe I can help there. You know give you a better chance."] Oh dear she had not meant to say that but she had. As horrid as the medicine had been it truly did wonders.
Her parents actually didn't know EVERY time she got into trouble it was because she was helping Harry. The girl had just left it as there were some mysteries around and she wanted to figure it out. She had even told them how he had saved her quite a few times. So really they didn't hate him but just were more curious of who the boy that their daughter seemed so fond on. Though, Hermione did not see this a good time to mention all of that. She actually figured when he saw how hopeless she could be in romance and such he would run.
[b "It's actually helped a lot...I can't feel it anymore at all.. Well I actually can't feel."] She admitted with a soft yawn. It was so relaxing and did have the girl almost tired. Okay it had her giving into the exhaustion she had been fighting. [b "And you..how do you feel?"]
He grinned at her blush. [b "So I have a year to make him like me?"] he teased, feeling a little more loose-lipped under the relaxation of the drug. [b "Challenge accepted."]
Harry hadn't had much of an opportunity to speak with her parents, other than quick greetings on the train platform every September and June. Hermione had never given her parents a reason not to trust her, but he was essentially a stranger to them. Not to mention, he was the reason their daughter was in danger almost every other month. Harry couldn't help but doubt that he would be an ideal choice for a boyfriend, in her father's eyes.
[i Don't get ahead of yourself, Potter], he scolded himself. It was a bit early to be throwing around labels like that. Besides, they hadn't even gone on a date. So far it was just bashful flirting. She might change her mind when she would inevitably find out how utterly pathetic he was at the whole romance thing.
He'd lost feeling in his feet, and the magic was slowly working its way up his legs to his abdomen. He wouldn't be surprised if he ended up falling asleep under the relaxing magic. [b "Are you starting to feel any better?"] he asked her after a small stretch of comfortable silence.
Hermione watched the boy to make sure he actually drank the foul liquid after clanking the bottle to the glass she had in hand. As soon as he put it to his lips, the girl did the same and TRIED to down it like she had been told. But of course she hadn't quite managed it and was gagging a bit. Harry had been right and it was just horrid! A bitter yet sweet taste that SHOULD NOT have even been a thing and it burned her throat all the way down.
When she had managed to stop with the gagging, the girl was leaned against the pillows and had moved one from behind her and moved it towards him. Hermione was still watching Harry and gave a small smile when he said what it would be like. [b "Floating and numb sounds nice..."] The words slipped her lips before she could stop them and she leaned back, thankful when she could no longer feel the aching in her muscles.
His words caught her and she could not help laughing. [b "Deal.. I don't want my dad to want to kill you or to think we've done anything. Technically I'm not supposed to date until I'm sixteen.."] And as soon as ahe said that, Hermione blushed a dark red and hid her face. Internally she was screaming at her admission.
He tried to scowl at her, but his grin tugged at his lips. [b "I thought I was going to get away with it,"] he looked to the bottle.
With no other glass available, he lifted the whole thing to his lips. [b "Cheers,"] he clinked the glass against hers.
It was just as awful as he remembered. Not sweet, but not tart either. An in-between balance of horrid flavours that had no right to exist. Harry's face scrunched as he forced himself to swallow the foul liquid. It burned all the way down into his stomach, where he swore he could feel it curdling. [b "Not quite champagne, is it?"] he coughed.
He slid his shoes off and moved to sit back against one of the bed posts at the foot of the mattress, facing her. [b "It won't make you tired, but it'll numb your body. Kind of feels like floating at first,"] he explained. [b "It's a peaceful feeling."]
Resting his head back, he closed his eyes and waited for the medicine to take hold. One hand reached out to rest on Hermione's shin, needing some kind of contact to prove to himself that she's still there, and Umbridge hadn't taken her away permanently. [b "Remind me to never tell your parents that we've hung out on my bed together,"] he cracked an eye open to look at her. [b "I'd rather your father didn't kill me."]
Somehow hearing Madam Pomfrey to be so very outspoken when it came to Umbridge. The way the woman had acted when they had gone to her should have been full telling. [b "That honestly doesn't shock me that she is very vocal about it. I mean look how she had behaved when we had showed her our hands at first.."] The girl muttered and gave a pout when he has gently taken her hand and led her back to his bed. Honestly staying still when her mind was buzzing was never an easy thing for her to do.
But she was good and did sit again, dark brown eyes locking on the boy. She was silent as she listened to the rest of what he had seen and heard. The faintest of smiles did trace her lips. [b "Then it sounds like we may have a couple of people on oir side...I'm not saying to tell them right out..but if they find out I think they will keep the secret."] Her words were thoughtful, though her gaze was questioning as if asking if it made sense.
As soon as the blue liquid was poured into the water glass, Hermione looked up at him. It smelled absolutely awful and his words had not made it any more appealing. And she really was horrid when it came to shots or "downing" things. She had tried at one of her parents' parties once and had choked on it. A faint smile did however cross her lips. The boy was stubborn and she knew it and she also knew what she was going to do was a dirty trick. Even if he seemed mostly fine, the girl figured he was in at least some pain. [b "I'll drink if you do too.."] She finally said, keeping her gaze locked on Harry.
[b "Madam Pomfrey is in the middle of lecturing McGonnagal,"] he skipped the greeting as he dropped his cloak to the floor. [b "They walked in while I was leaving. Pomfrey is more pissed than I've ever seen her."]
Harry then noticed she was out of bed. [b "Should have known you wouldn't sit still,"] he gently took her hand to lead her back to the bed.
Placing the blue bottle on his bedside table, Harry pulled the blanket back and motioned for her to scoot back into place against his pillows. He gave them an extra fluff once more before she sat back. [b "Anyways, like I was saying, Madam Pomfrey might be the most outspoken staff member in terms of hating Umbridge. I don't think this is the first time she's ranted about her to the professor."]
Uncorking the bottle, he slowly poured some of the florescent liquid into his water glass. It was potent enough to sting his nostrils. [b "Alright, in my experience, the best way to do this is just throw it down the hatch. Don't hesitate, or you'll choke on it. It'll burn more than firewhisky,"] he warned, holding out the glass.
He didn't envy her for having to drink it. His pain from that morning had been fading slowly throughout the day and was now just an ache in his bones. He was willing to stick it out without drinking any pain medicine. Hermione, however, was still fresh from detention and in serious need of some relief.
[b "Harry, please be careful.."] Hermione whispered, her cheeks becoming a dark red from the kiss to her temple. Was everyone right and she was just blind? No..he was her best friend and they cared for the ither A LOT. Or at least that was what she had to tell herself, though she knew for her those feelings ran so much deeper.
A sigh eacaped the girl as she leaned back against the pillows that he had propped up for her. Now that she was not around the boy, Hermione could not help the tears that fell or stop the fact that she felt it all. The woman was mad and yet they could not do anything. If she did, Harry would be the one to suffer. But they could still raise the awareness of their fellow students and help them. That in itself had NOTHING to do with Umbridge though she knew it would be breaking so many school rules. At this rate, they had no choice. The times were mad and they all needed to know what they were getting into.
Her mind as always was racing and she was not entirely relaxing either. It was when she heard the steps on the stairs and coming up did the girl force herself up. [b "Harry?"] Hermione asked when as she did open the door. She didn't know why but she had a feeling still so much more was off than they had even expected for there to be. And slowly did she move to the side to let the boy in, even if she could not see him due to the cloak.
Harry couldn't help but smile softly at her. [b "Then I should probably stop giving you reasons to worry about me."]
Leaning forward, he pressed a kiss to her temple and then rose from the bed. [b "I'll be back soon."]
Under the protection of the invisibility cloak, he hurried through the corridors. Having been a frequent visitor to the Hospital Wing, he knew exactly where to look for the pain relief potion. Luckily enough, Madam Pomfrey appeared to be down at dinner with everyone else. The large cabinet was locked, but a quick charm did the trick and opened it for him.
Spotting the Skele-Grow potion, he nearly gagged at the memory of having to choke it down in second year. Reaching past it to grab the familiar blue bottle, he slipped it under the cloak with him. He was turning to head for the door when approaching footsteps made him freeze.
[i "I'm telling you, Minerva, the woman is going to inflict serious damage on the wellbeing of our students!"] Madam Pomfrey wasn't even trying to keep her voice down.
McGonnagal walked alongside her, looking serious as always. [i "It's only a matter of time before Hogwarts becomes another prison under her watch. All those decrees she's posting in the hall. I can't believe Dumbledore has not done something yet,"] she continued.
[i "I'm sure Albus has his reasons. All we can do is encourage the students to speak with us if things are unsafe for them,"] Minerva sighed.
Harry slowly edged to the door, being careful not to let his feet fall too loudly. In the safety of the hall, he broke into a sprint to get back to the Gryffindor Tower.
[b "She likely gave you the same threat that she had given me. I'm not mad Harry...And I should have guessed from how you were acting this morning when I found you... I also should have known from what Kingsley had sent..I just thought she wouldn't because we are students and those curses are unforgivable for a reason..."] She knew when felt guilty, espcially when he would not look at her. But she needed him to know that this has been her own fault and that he was NOT responsible for what had happened. The girl KNEW Unbridge was a monster and had provoked her.
But the girl didn't say anything more. Instead she let herself become lost to her thoughts. She was trying to think how best to keep Harry and their classmates out of trouble. It was definitely going to be tricky as the woman LOVED to punish them and in the worst possible ways too.
When they got back to the Gryffindor Tower, the common room was empty. Silent even with only the crackling of the fire. The girl would have been content to stay in the common room but knew they ran a risk of others finding out. So bed would be the best. [b "Sadly that is very true...So thank you..."] Hermione said quietly as Harry helped her up to the boys' dormitory. And soon he was helping her to lie down. A bit overbearing but she knew he cared.
[b "You know telling me not to worry never works...I always worry about you."] The girl said quietly as her dark gaze fell on him as she moved to sit up. Hermione knew what he had said but she didn't want him going alone either. This was her fault after all.
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