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Stubborn by Permanent Accountficexchange

Rating: PG. Created: December 27th, 2006. Updated: December 27th, 2006. Read Reviews (2)
Disclaimer: Characters, the magical world, etc, is property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros, not the owner of this fic.


Merry Christmas, ForeverOptimistic!


"Er, thanks, Harry," Hermione said after a moment's silence. She took the gift from his hands and placed it in her lap. "But if you don't mind me asking, why the, the…?" she trailed off, delicately fingering the enormous bow – nearly the size of her bushy hair – atop the wrapped box. The said box was hurting her eyes as the sunlight glinted off of the shiny golden wrapping.

"Oh! Er, well, just thought it looked a bit nice. Don't you agree?" Harry muttered in reply. It was all that McDougal's fault. Her boyfriend, who'd presented her with "such a beautifully wrapped gift, don't you agree, Harry?" Well, Harry could give better gifts, and with better wrapping, too.

He shoved his slipping glasses up his nose and looked away. "Well, I'm off to the, er, library! Yes! Must catch up on a bit of studying."

Hermione gave him a strange look. The bloke sitting beside her coughed dryly, but Harry preferred to completely deny his existence.

He continued. "Even though I did get top marks on that last Defense essay. Never too early to start studying for those NEWTs."

"Harry, it's Christmas. You and Ron never study during Christmas."

"Well, I am now! Best be off." He slapped a grin on his face and planted a hard, sloppy kiss on her cheek before whirling around and heading down the corridor. By the time he had turned another corner, Hermione's face resembled a sun-ripened tomato.

Studying for NEWTs, Harry? Can you really get any lamer than that? An exasperated groan escaped his throat. But Hermione loves studying, argued another voice. Maybe she'll even come study with me, and leave that, that –

That Morag McDougal bloke. Harry clenched his jaw in frustration. What kind of name was Morag, anyhow? The more he thought about it, the angrier he got. By the time he reached the Gryffindor common room, anger was practically steaming from his livid expression.

"Baubles," he snapped at the portrait. He didn't wait for the Fat Lady's, "Cheer up, dear boy! It's Christmastime!" as he raged inside, up the stairs, and into his dormitory, which was satisfying empty.

How in the name of all things good and fair did someone named Morag McDougal manage to snatch away his bloody beautiful best friend was beyond Harry.

- - -

This is a dream, this is a dream, this must be a dream…

Harry sat stock still, his lips frozen against Hermione's. His arm was tingling from holding it above his head for so long, but he refused to move. This was the moment, his moment. He began to move his mouth against hers, and she began to move as well, and –

"What in – Hermione?" an incredulous voice interrupted them.

Harry didn't know what happened next, but all he could feel was a terrible stinging on his left cheek and her shrill, angry voice in his ears.

"Harry James Potter!" she screeched furiously. Those ridiculous tears that always seemed to come at the worst times were welling up behind her eyes again. "What is wrong with you? That was rude and completely uncalled for. You are being a pathetic excuse for a friend. Pathetic!"

Grabbing McDougal's hand, she stormed out of the Great Hall, leaving Harry with the words still ringing in his ears. He slumped in his seat, the pitiful sprig of mistletoe pinching his rough fingers.

Great Merlin, what have I done?

- - -

"Please, Hermione, please. I'm sorry, so, so sorry, please…"

She turned on her heel and walked away.

"Hermione, listen to me, it's the least you could do."

She turned sharply into the girls' loo.

"I know I was a complete bugger, alright? Can't you just—"

Without looking up, she slammed her book and headed off.

She wasn't speaking to him, and it was killing him. Not even a single glance his way. Well then, fine. Two could play this game.

- - -

This wasn't the way it was supposed to be. He wasn't supposed to stop talking to me at all. He wasn't supposed to start hating me. I'm sick of lying, sick of pretending. I'm sick of Morag, too. I want Harry. I need Harry. Harry, please. Just talk to me again. Just look at me again.

- - -

This is hopeless. I can't hate her, as much as I try. Every time I see her holding McDougal's hand, I feel my cheek burn again, and my heart stings too. I know I'm supposed to just leave her be, and she's better off without me, apparently. But I can't help it. Each moment that slips by, each time that I could be with her, each time that my heart is bursting with something that must be like love, I die a little more inside.

- - -

The last embers were glowing in the common room. Harry was as exhausted as ever, physically and emotionally. He couldn't concentrate on this cursed Potions essay, because she sat two seats away from him in Potions, and all he could think about was her, and all he could see and hear and smell and taste was her, and –

A shadow fell over him, blocking the already feeble light from the fireplace. It was she. Hermione. His heart swelled in pain as he looked the other way.

"Harry, look at me."


He felt cold finger brush against his chin, and he gave in. Their eyes locked. And suddenly, they understood each other, wholly and completely, and no words needed to be said.


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