Seven Days

by Nox


Overview: H/Hr, R/Lu. Romance/Humour. Hogwarts, 7th Year. Ron gives Harry seven days to fess up his attraction to Hermione before Ron does it for him. (Challenge)

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and other related trademarks and copyrighted materials are property of their respective owners. Use of such properties is for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute a claim on such properties.

Authour's Notes: This is my first-ever response to a challenge posted on PortKey by Julietta.

Chapter Notes: Thank you all very much for the reviews so far! I'm glad you're enjoying the read. I'm having fun thinking up scenes for the upcoming chapters.

Again, this has been unbeta'ed, so spelling and grammatical errors are my fault.


Day 1

Hermione raced up the stairs to her dormitory, fleeing the uncomfortable and embarassing scene in the Common Room. Well, she thought, Ron discovering us like that was embarrassing. The sleeping bit wasn't all that bad . . . .

As she entered the room she shared with fellow seventh-years, Lavender and Parvati, she found them already up and gossiping. Merlin, don't those two ever stop? Unfortunately for Hermione, the Head Girl's absence was the current topic of discussion.

Two pairs of eyes swung over to the door as Hermione entered, briefly looking over her appearance. Bed still made? Check. Sleepy? Check. Rumpled? Check. Cheeks flushed? Check.

"Ooh, someone didn't spend the night in her room. Possibly snogging?" Lavender sing-songed as she and Parvati broke out into giggles.

Hermione rolled her eyes and padded over to her wardrobe and began pulling out a fresh uniform to change into after her shower. "Please," she snorted dismissively. "I just fell asleep in the Common Room. There was no snogging involved."

She was digging in the far back of her dresser for a new blouse when she turned around and found Parvati invading her personal space. "Excuse me!" she huffed.

Parvati was holding one of the Hogwarts sweaters in one hand and with the other she gently cupped Hermione's chin and compared the pattern to Hermione's cheek. "Hey Lavender, looks like Hermione slept on someone's sweater. See? The House crest pattern is the same and — wait — I can see letters —"

Breaking free of Parvati's somewhat intrusive investigation, Hermione dashed over to the closest mirror. Her roommate was right: there, imprinted lightly on her cheek was Gryffindor crest — along with the letters 'HB'. There was no doubt she fell asleep on the Head Boy's chest. Her lips twisted into a small frown as she rubbed her cheek to erase the evidence.

She found Lavender and Parvati giving her knowing looks and a grin she wanted to smack off their faces. "What?" she said irritably.

"Well, there's only one person in the whole school who has 'HB' on a Gryffindor crest," Lavender pointed out. "So that means . . . ." She left it dangling there to see if Hermione would play.

"All right! I fell asleep on the sofa with Harry, okay!" Hermione exclaimed, as she yanked the rest of her clothing and toiletries out of her wardrobe with a bit more force than necessary. "Honestly, you two aren't happy unless there's some drama going on. Nothing sordid happened. Nothing's going on," said Hermione, unconsciously echoing what Harry was saying to Ron in the Common Room.

"Really?" said Parvati looking highly skeptical.

"Yes. We were revising Charms, as you two should be, if you expect to do well on the NEWTs." That was more like Hermione: the bossy, studious student they'd come to know and love. Well, maybe not so much the last bit for them.

"We were revising Divination last night," said Lavender. Hermione snorted. "It's the first NEWT exam, after all—"

"—but Harry can practice his Charms on me any time," Parvati interrupted, sharing another maddening giggle with Lavender.

"Hmph!" Without another word, Hermione grabbed her belongings and stalked out to get a shower before the girls could monopolize it and spend an inordinate amount of time primping when they should be thinking about their studies.


"What do you think, Lav?" asked Parvati, when Hermione had left the room. "You think the rumours are true?"

"Absolutely. But they're in so much denial, it's painful. You see the way she walked out when you said you'd do Charms with Harry? That was jealousy if I ever saw it."

"Someone should do something about it," Parvati mused. "There isn't much time left before we all leave Hogwarts, after all."

Lavender laughed. "I don't think it'll matter. Some friends are inseparable, like those two. They'll figure it out eventually. In the meantime, we get to have a little fun with Miss Stodgy."

Silvery giggles filled the dorm room as they separated and began their own daily preparations.


Breakfast had just barely arrived before Ron started digging in. Most days, he had breakfast with his best friends, or Ginny, or Luna, but this was one morning when all of them were late in making it down at the start of breakfast hour.

Ginny made her way into the Great Hall and noticed Ron off by himself at the Gryffindor table. Sitting down across from him, she began filling her plate. So enthused by his meal, Ron didn't even notice that his sister was right in front of him. Snickering softly to herself, Ginny waved a hand until she caught his attention.

"Goodness, Ron. If I didn't know better, I'd say you were in love with your meal. Should Luna feel jealous?" she teased.

"Ha, ha," said Ron with a roll of his eyes. "So I enjoy my meals, nothing wrong with that!"

"No, but you go a bit beyond enjoying them sometimes. You didn't even notice I was right here!"

"Well, it was just you. Nobody important," said Ron, grinning cheekily at her.

"Hey!" Ginny tossed a sausage at him.

Ron speared it with his fork and calmly took a bite. "Thanks!"



With a knowing laugh, they settled into their respective breakfasts. The comfortable playfulness they shared was a source of amusement for them and their closest friends. True rows between them were rare, and sometimes a little scary. Redheads were like that.

"Oh! You should've seen what I found in the Common Room this morning," said Ron around a forkful of scrambled eggs. "Harry and Hermione were all cozy on the sofa. Turns out they fell asleep there last night."

Ginny's eyes widened at Ron's news. "No! Really? What were they doing?" As Hermione's good friend, she knew that Hermione didn't see Harry that way — or so she repeatedly told Ginny. She leaned forward expectantly.

"Nah, but they were sharing a blanket. I woke them up and told them that they should set a better example for the firsties."

Ginny giggled at the thought of Ron lecturing the Head Boy and Head Girl. "Bet you enjoyed that."

"Of course! Hermione ran to her dorm to change. Harry said nothing was going on."

"D'you believe him?"

"Yeah, I believe him. But I told him he should also tell Hermione that he fancies her. I said he had a week to tell her or else I'd tell Hermione."

"Ron!" Ginny laughed. "You did not!"

"I did," Ron grinned wickedly. "Oh, come on! You know as well as I do they fancy one another. They think the other will say no and make it all weird between them, but it won't happen."

"You think he'll tell her in time?" said Ginny, looking pensive.

"Dunno, but it'll be a fun week if he doesn't."

"This present so many opportunities . . . ." Ginny started with a mischievious glint in her eye. "What do you think? Should I pretend to fancy Harry again, throw myself at him?"

Ron nearly choked on the juice he was drinking. Never a good thing, laughing and swallowing at the same time. "It's your own neck. You know how good Hermione is at her hexes."

Ginny shared a grin with Ron. Oh yes, this could be quite fun.


The day passed uneventfully, what with classes and studying and all being as exciting as they usually were. That is, it passed uneventfully for everyone but Harry, who was on tenterhooks on how to best approach Hermione and beat Ron's deadline.

He hadn't come up with any brilliant ideas.

Late that night, the Gryffindor seventh years were being drilled and prodded into revising Charms by Hermione, who had taken up the position of NEWT Drill Instructor for Gryffindor House; a title, some suggested quietly, that should be added to the HG on her school crest.

It was this school crest that Harry was staring at, oblivious to all the questions and answers that were flying about; having studied with Hermione the two evenings prior, she directed her questions to the others — particularly Lavender and Parvati, much to their disgruntlement.

It suddenly struck Harry that the Head Girl initials matched Hermione's, an errant thought that had him smiling to himself.

A gentle elbow to the ribs nudged Harry out of his reveries. He turned to Ron, who had jostled him. "What?" he whispered — he didn't want to interrupt Hermione's interrogation of her two roommates.

"Could you be any more obvious about staring at Hermione's breasts?" said Ron with barely suppressed snicker.

"I was not staring at her breasts!" Harry hissed back

"Mate, you were doing nothing but staring at them for five minutes there, and then you smiled. Were you thinking about how'd they'd look like without her jumper on? Or, let me guess —"

Ron never got a chance to tell Harry his guess, since Harry upended Ron's bookbag and yanked it over his head. The commotion caught the attention of the others, most of whom were looking on with amusement — Harry and Ron's horseplay was nothing new. Hermione, on the other hand, was giving them the dreaded McGonagall Stare, a look she had, somewhat distressingly, perfected over the years.

"We'll be over at the other end," Harry offered with his hands up in surrender, before Hermione could say anything. Grabbing a fistful of Ron's jumper, he dragged his best friend, bag-on-head and all, over to the other side of the Common Room.

Taking the bag from off his head, Ron looked around and saw he and Harry were over at the far couch, away from the study group. "Thanks! I was getting a little tired of studying anyways," he said to Harry.

Harry gave a small, guilty laugh. "Don't tell Hermione, but I could use a study break, too."

"Yeah, you had that big night last night," said Ron blandly.

Harry narrowed his eyes at Ron. "You know that was just between friends, right? I told you, nothing happened."

"Oh, come on, you two were a little too lovey-dovey for 'just friends'," accused Ron.

"We fell asleep studying!" said Harry in protest. "It's not like you and I haven't fallen asleep in the Common Room while studying late."

"Yeah, but I don't curl up against you like Hermione did last night," Ron pointed out.

"Only because I pushed you away when you did," Harry smirked.


"You were totally all over me when we pulled an all-nighter for that last Potions test."

"What, afraid of a little snog with your best mate?" Ron grinned, shifting next to Harry and clapping a hand around Harry's shoulders.

"Like you and Seamus last Hogsmeade visit?" said Harry, grinning wickedly.

Ron flushed horribly as he stared daggers at Harry. "I WAS DRUNK AND IT WAS A DARE!" he roared. From across the Common Room, their study group looked up at Ron's outburst. Very curious looks at Ron's outburst. If possible, Ron's face reddened even more.

"Hey, just saying, Ron. Nobody forced that firewhisky down your throat," said Harry, pausing for just a moment. Ron saw a glint in Harry's eye and knew the other shoe was about to drop. "Or Seamus' tongue, for that matter." And there it was.

Harry had him there, leaving Ron's face burning with embarassment, both at his outburst and the memory of his drunken actions that time. "Fine," he growled tightly. "Nothing was going on with you two." Ron wanted nothing more than to wipe that damned grin off of Harry's face.

"Seeker one, Keeper zero." said Harry glibly.

"I'm going to bed," said Ron stiffly, quite put out at having his little Hogsmeade indiscretion aired — by his best friend, no less!

Since it was nearing one o'clock in the morning, the study group broke up soon after, and everyone trudged up to their respective dormitories. Hermione came over to Harry, where he was staring into the fire with a pensive expression.

She was quiet, but Harry sensed her, rather than heard. Glancing up, he smiled and was disconcerted at the stomach flutters he felt when she smiled back. "What was that all about?" she asked, cocking her head to the side, a quizzical look furrowing her brow.

Merlin, she's cute when she looks like that.

"Oh, just knocking down Ron a peg when he gets a little big for his britches," said Harry with a laugh.

Ron's words echoed in his head, as he was in this spot at sunrise when he had his discussion: Tell her! Tell her! Tell her!

"So — erm — the studying's going well, you think?" he said. Idiot!

Hermione shrugged, lifting her shoulders slightly and dropping them again. Another gesture Harry thought was one of her more adorable gestures. "I think some of the others need a bit more time revising and less time thinking about our next Hogsmeade visit. But I think you're doing fine," she added.

"Well, good. I have you to thank for that, you know." Tell her, tell her!

Harry's chest warmed at her smile. "You're welcome," she said quietly. "Anyway, it's quite late. So, I'll see you tomorrow?"

Harry nodded dumbly; he knew his courage wasn't going to rally in the next twenty seconds. "Yeah, I'll see you at breakfast. Erm, g'night, Hermione." His breath caught as she leaned up and gently brushed her lips on his cheek.

"Good night, Harry!"

Harry waited until she was out of sight before letting out a breath he was holding. This is going to be harder than I thought.


Ron was already changed and in bed when Harry entered their dorm; the other boys were already conked out, no doubt unaccustomed to the late, late night studying habits that Hermione had. "Ahh, the Head Boy returns home," he taunted lightly. "So, did you tell—"

"—shut up," Harry grumbled. He didn't want Ron to finish asking. It would just be a reaffirmation of his failure that night.

Harry finished getting ready for bed in blessed silence and crawled underneath the cool sheets of his bed. He tossed his glasses onto the night stand and waved his wand to put out the remaining lights, when he heard a whisper from somewhere to his right.

"One day down, six to go."

This is going to be a long week.