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: Thanks to everyone for your continued feedback!

Chapter Notes: I thought I'd go with a different point of view for this chapter and show Hermione's side, just to show that it's not just Harry that's clueless! :) Oh, and in case some of you like warnings, some Harry/Luna and Harry/Ginny implied (in the past).

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


Day 2

Ron and Luna were in the Library at a table on their own. It wasn't a normal location for him to be, but in the weeks he and Luna had more or less become an item, her Ravenclaw influence supplemented — and in some cases supplanted — Hermione's insistence of his presence in the library on a regular basis.

Both their heads were over their respective parchments, scratching out with their quills in comfortable silence. Now and then, one of them would glance up to the other. Their eyes would meet and they'd smile at one another — Ron with an awkward, but charming, grin; Luna with a serene curve of her lips.

Before long, Luna put her quill down, blew over the latest words on her scroll to let it dry. She leaned back in her chair.

"Want to go get some biscuits?" she asked out of the blue.

Ron glanced up, blinking. "Nah, afternoon tea's in an hour, I can wait."

"Oh, all right." Luna paused a moment. "Want to go in the stacks and snog?"

Ron looked up again to the girl he was dating and wondered how he ended up with her. Also, he wondered how she jumped around in her conversation the way she did.

"Actually, I'm trying to finish a letter to Charlie and I'd like to get it out by tonight," said Ron apologetically, and offering her another smile.

"All right," said Luna. Only a trace of disappointment carried in her voice. To most of the students, she carried herself — and her strangeness — with a self-possession that few of her fellow teenagers could match. It was an odd contrast to Ron's emotional volatility.

The last of the Weasley children still at Hogwarts, Ginny, as well as Hermione, rounded the corner and spotted Ron and Luna sharing a table. The sight of both of them together took a little getting used to, but in the end, Ginny was supportive of anybody who could help keep her brother grounded. Not to mention out of her love life.

"Hey, you two," said Ginny, as she and Hermione helped themselves to a seat. "My goodness, Ron, are you actually starting to revise before midnight?"

Hermione chuckled softly.

Ron looked up at his sister's grin, giving her an even look. "Oh, shut up. I'm writing to Charlie."

"Oh! I wrote to mum. Send this out when you're up in the Owlrey." Ginny flipped open one of her books and handed Ron a letter already addressed and sealed with candle wax. Ron absently nodded and placed it to the side while he continued scratching out his own correspondence. "So, how are you, Luna?" Ginny asked.

"Hungry. Want to go to the kitchens to get some biscuits?"

Ginny thought about this a moment before shaking her head. "Not really hungry right now."

"Want to go into the stacks and snog?"

Ron's quill stopped momentarily as he looked up at the question, first to Luna, then to his sister. Ginny, who was well-accustomed to Luna's strangeness by now, didn't seem to find the question all that unusual. "Nah," she answered companionably.

Luna's silvery-grey eyes turned to Hermione.

"Er, no thanks, Luna," said Hermione, eyeing the Ravenclaw a little warily; while Luna was a skilled Defence witch, Hermione still thought Luna was a bit too strange for her tastes.

Luna slipped from her seat, quiet as a mouse. "All right. Well, I'll be back." She bent down and gave Ron an affectionate peck on the top of his head. Ron didn't look up, but he did reach up a free hand to gently squeeze her upper arm, sliding it over her robe's sleeve until just their fingertips were touching as she walked away.

Ginny got her books out and was shuffling scrolls of assignments around while Hermione watched Luna walk out. Harry was walking in their direction when he stopped and spoke to Luna. They were just far away enough that their whispers didn't carry. The stop wasn't long, and Luna reached for one of Harry's hands and squeezed it before leaving the library. Harry came over and took Luna's seat. "Hey," he said by way of greeting.

"What was that about?" Hermione asked him, narrowing her eyes suspiciously.

"What was what about?"


"She just said 'hi'."

"And then she grabbed your hand," said Hermione with a frown.

"She always does that," Harry shrugged, obviously not thinking anything of it.

"Always?" There was a definite edge to her voice — which Harry missed, of course.

"Sure. Why?"

"Ron?" said Hermione.

"Huh?" Ron looked up, engrossed with his correspondence.

"You don't mind that Luna does that?"

"Does what?"

Frustration flickered across Hermione's features as her two best, if densest, friends missed her meaning for the 5,462nd time. "Luna grabs Harry's hand when she sees him."

Ron blinked. "She does?"

Hermione just barely refrained from throwing her hands up. Ginny reached over and patted Hermione's forearm. "Relax, Hermione, it's just her way of being friendly with Harry." To make her point, she kicked Harry under the table, as he was seated conveniently across from the redhead. "It doesn't mean anything more, right Harry?"

Luckily for Harry, Ginny's height (or lack thereof), made her kick just brush his shins, where a longer-legged girl (say, Hermione), would have him reaching for his leg in pain. "Er, right." Then, despite the best efforts of the stone in his head to block it, he clued in. Hermione's jealous! "Hermione, you don't think something's going on between Luna and I, do you?"

"Am I the only one who thinks something is wrong with Luna?" Hermione burst out, completely avoiding Harry's question.

"Yes," came the chorus of the other tablemates.

"Look, Hermione," said Harry placatingly, "I wouldn't try anything with Luna. I mean, she's going out with Ron. I'd just as soon go off and snog with Ginny."

At this, Ginny perked up — here, she was presented with the perfect opportunty to tweak some noses. There was the infamous Weasley Grin and twinkle in her eye. "Really? Say, Ron — Harry says that if snogged Luna, that he'd then snog me. Would you mind lending her to him for a bit so I can get my turn later?"

Three pairs of eyes (four, if you counted Harry's glasses), turned to give Ginny with a mixture of responses. Harry looked startled, if amused. Ron's expression was a desperate attempt to not give away a knowing grin. Hermione glared a Ginny, a glare which Ginny easily resisted with a impish grin and a giggle she stifled with her hands.

"What?" said Ginny with an air of innocence — which she failed entirely. "She did ask everyone else if they wanted to snog, so it's only fair if Harry gets that opportunity, too."

"She did?" said Harry, sounding amused. "Ron, mate, it sounds like you're not giving her enough attention."

"Well, if someone wasn't cracking the whip so hard about NEWTs, maybe I could attend to that," said Ron with significant look to Hermione. He was barely suppressing a smile.

Hermione sputtered at her friends' comments. How on earth did Luna's strangeness become my fault? With a retort failing her, she settled into a huffy silence as she unfurled one of their last essays and began scribbling out more inches to it.

Luna came back before long, bearing a napkin with biscuits. She had to hide it from Madam Pince, lest they all get thrown out of the library for eating, an experience Ginny and Harry well remembered from two years prior when the Head Librarian caught them eating Mrs Weasley's chocolate Easter eggs.

"Say, Luna," Ginny began, "Harry might be interested in snogging in the stacks. You didn't ask him." Looking askance, Ginny enjoyed seeing Hermione jerk at her comments; not a lot, but just enough for her to notice.

"Really?" said Luna, looking to Harry with a light in her eye that Hermione thought was entirely inappropriate for a girl seeing someone already. "You're not busy?"

Harry laughed playfully. "Not really, we just have this History of Magic essay to do, and it's dead boring."

"Harry!" Hermione exclaimed.

"What? C'mon Hermione, it's always boring, just like Professor Binns. Besides," Harry added in a teasing lilt, "I haven't snogged anyone in ages . . . ."

Luna stood up and took a step over to Harry with a small little smile and just a hint of mischief glinting in her eye — no doubt a trait she was picking up by hanging out with the Weasleys. "We never did get a chance to snog much last year," said Luna with a dreamy smile. She was tugging Harry up by the arm while Hermione looked on in disbelief.

He can't possibly— he wouldn't actually—

At the beginning of sixth year, Harry was despondent about the loss of his godfather and after a frustrating summer back at the Dursleys, it was Luna to whom Harry turned for a few months. Their shared sense of family loss, something even Ron and Hermione couldn't relate to, and Luna's tranquil manner was the balm that Harry needed just then. Their relationship was little more than a series of quiet moments to find solace in one another, and one brief kiss.

Harry was eternally grateful to Luna for her support at the time, though they both knew nothing could come out of them trying to escalate their relationship. It did provide some grist for the rumour mills, but thankfully, only at Hogwarts, and not in the Daily Prophet.

Ironically, it was that single kiss that spelled the end of their intimate time together; Luna knew Harry was back to normal, which was the whole point. They remained on friendly terms every since.

"Ron! Are you just going to allow this?" said Hermione incredulously.

"Well, only if I can watch them . . . ."

Hermione looked around the table, aghast. Looking at Harry, she said, "I thought you just said you wouldn't—" Then it hit her; everyone at the table had an entirely too mischievous a look in their eye. They were pulling one over her!

Flushing, she clammed up and went back to her essay, ignoring the others and their shared grins. Ron eventually got up and led Luna off by the arm — alone. "We'll be in the stacks," he said over his shoulder as they disappeared.

Harry took his seat again, grinning with Ginny, though he did feel a small twinge of guilt for playing off of Hermione's jealousy. He hoped she wasn't too angry with him. After all, it wasn't the first joke they pulled at her expense.

"So, er, how about we do that History of Magic essay?" said Harry tentatively.

Over on Hermione's side of the table, the Head Girl was wrestling with various roiling emotions and a snarky logical inner voice that was doing nothing at all to help. On the one hand, she was well accustomed to the boys' small pranks; on the other, this particular one left her with an uncomfortable squirming in her stomach.

Jealousy, her inner logical voice said. You're the only girl at the table Harry hasn't kissed at some point.

Absolutely not! thought Hermione. It can't possibly be jealousy. Nope. Nope.

Ah, but if you look at all the symptoms, clearly it's—

You're wrong! It's something else. It has to be.

OK, Miss Smarty-pants, what is it, then? the logical voice challenged.

It's— Hermione faltered. It's something I can't put my finger on, but it'll come to me.

If you say so.

Harry's question took a moment to filter in (she was busy arguing with herself that it was not jealousy), but the conflicted emotions she was feeling left her a little shirty.

"Er, Hermione? Our essay?" said Harry, interrupting her thoughts.

"Well, since it's so boring, maybe you'd like to do it yourself without boring old me," said Hermione in a tight voice. Before she knew what she was doing, she was up from her seat and fled to the girls' loo before Harry could say a word.


Hermione was hiding in a stall, leaning her forehead against the door as she tried to calm herself. Get a grip, Hermione! That was a ridiculous outburst.

Yes, it was. That damned inner logical voice was back.

You haven't been very helpful today, you know.

You haven't been very rational today, you know, it tossed back.

The accusation stung a little, but no more chastising was forthcoming. After a few minutes of deep breathing to calm herself, she figured she might as well take care of personal business since she was already in the stall. She was unbuttoning her robes when she heard the outer door open and voices drift in.

". . . was reading in the Daily Prophet about some Death Eater activity despite You-Know-Who being defeated," one of the voices was saying.

"Don't worry, my Harry will take care of it," gushed the other voice. Hermione recognized it as Julia, a sixth year Hufflepuff whose romantic notions she had always found utterly asinine.

"Your Harry?"

"Harry Potter. He has a little crush on me," Julia sighed wistfully.

Hermione's hand froze in the act of hanging up her robes on the hook inside the stall. Inexplicably, she found herself holding her breath so as not to give away her presence. What in Merlin's name is that bint talking about? Harry wouldn't have a crush on her! If Harry fancied anyone, I'd be the first to know!

"Does he now? In Julia-world?" replied her friend, with mild sarcasm. Carol, that's her name. Hermione always thought Carol the more sensible of the two.

"In Julia-world," Julia reaffirmed to Carol's soft sniggering.

Hermione let out a soft sigh of relief, only then realizing she had been holding her breath the entire time. As if Harry would fall for that little chit—!

"This one time, he came over to my parents' place while they were out, wearing the most beautiful charcoal-coloured dress robes. He came to cook me dinner . . . ." Julia had gone on in a misty tone, reciting what was obviously some fantasy she had with The Boy Who Lived Twice. "And he brought me flowers."

In her stall, Hermione let out a soft snort of disgust before clapping her hand over her mouth as she realized she would be heard. Harry never brings a girl flowers! Well, except this past Valentine's when Harry gave me a red rose . . . .

"Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?" said Carol.

"I thought I heard someone."

"Julia, I have some news for you: It's not Harry sneaking into the girls' toilets to secretly snog with you."

I should bloody well think not!

"Carol!" Julia cried. "I told you that in confidence!"

"Well, it's hard to keep track of all your Harry fantasies," said Carol with what Hermione was sure was a grin on Carol's face. "You sure do have a lot of them. You know, if you put half as much effort into a boy who actually noticed you, you'd be much better off."

I always liked Carol, thought the Head Girl fondly.

"Hmph!" was Julia's response, one which Hermione would have called 'high dudgeon'. It was a old and somewhat silly-sounding phrase, quite apropos for the silly girl who stalked out of the bathrooms.

Carol sighed, following her friend out. "Silly girl," she said, echoing Hermione's thoughts.

"Honestly! The things you hear in the loo these days . . . ." Hermione murmured once she was sure she was alone. What is it with everyone wanting to snog Harry lately?

Hermione frowned as she swore her inner logical voice was laughing at her just then.


Harry watched Hermione leave their table, wordless at her abrupt departure. A small fear crept into his chest that his little jealousy-invoking flirtation with Luna might've gone just a little too far and upset Hermione more than he would've liked.

He was left at the table with Ginny, who gave him a commiserating smile.

"Er, that was a little unexpected, innit?" said Harry, breaking an awkward silence.

Ginny shrugged, privately pleased with Hermione's reaction. "NEWT stress, I figure."

"Yeah," said Harry with a little frown, unsure it was just stress. "I think—"

He was about to confess to Ginny about his suspicions of Hermione's reaction, a confession Ginny could feel was coming. Trying not to looking too eager, she leaned forward. "Yeah?"

Just then, a breathless Dennis Creevy burst into the Library and spotted Harry. He ran over and half-collapsed on the table, gulping for air. "Harry! There's a — fight down the hall — told to — get you or — Hermione —"

Heaving a heavy sigh, Harry nodded to Dennis, who collapsed into Ron's free chair to catch his breath. "I'm never going to finish this essay," he grumbled as he gathered up tossed his essay and quill into this bookbag and straightened his robes. "I'll see you later, Ginny."

Ginny glared at Dennis for interrupting their talk, but the Creevy boy was too busy watching the Head Boy assume an aura of authority to deal with scuffle.

Harry does wear his Head Boyship well, when he wants, she thought, eyeing Harry's exit as well. Not for the first time since she and Harry broke up the previous Hallowe'en, she sighed wistfully. Ah well. Que sera, sera.


Harry didn't see Hermione for the rest of the day, nor did he see her in the Common Room that night. Fate, it seemed, conspired to keep them apart the rest of the day. Harry spent the better part of the afternoon sorting out the fight and reporting it to the Heads of Houses, that he missed Dinner. Dobby, of course, helped him out afterwards, but he was looking forward to talking to Hermione.

After she emerged from the girls' toilets, Hermione avoided the Library, not wishing to run into Harry again just yet. She hid in her dormitory, meditating on her strange day (and feelings), until Head Girl duties called her away. She spent most of the night supervising the Prefect patrols and watching over the armour-scrubbing several Slytherins were assigned as part of their detention for fighting in the hallway earlier that day — the same fight Harry had broken up.

Still hoping to catch up with her, Harry camped out in the Common Room, ostensibly working on his still-incomplete essay, but mostly watching the Portrait Door every time it opened. Hermione was out late, so by the time she wearily climbed through the Portrait, Harry was the only one left in the Common Room, asleep at a table.

Standing next to him, Hermione gazed on his sleeping form with an affectionate smile. She tugged his quill from his fingers, as it was causing a large inkblot on the essay parchment. And, true to form, her eyes flickered over the unfinished essay, making mental notes of his mistakes — she could correct them tomorrow.

She stroked a finger over his cheek before she realized what she was doing, jerked her hand away and blushed in spite of herself. Retreating to her blessedly quiet dormitory (Lavender and Parvati were already asleep), she crawled into bed and fell into a restive sleep.


Harry woke suddenly from his dream and realized he was still in the Common Room. And, much to his dismay, his essay was still undone.

I guess that means I was dreaming that Hermione helped me finished it. He touched his cheek as if remembering a soft caress. I guess I was dreaming about that, too, he added.

Gathering up his belongings, he dragged his lead feet up the stairs, ruminating over his day.

One less day to tell Hermione, and I seemed to have made her mad, he thought distressingly. I need to make it up to her . . . .

He was dressing into his pajamas when Trevor croaked at him from Neville's night stand. Eyes widening in a Eureka! moment, he climbed under his covers with his mind racing as the idea blossomed into a plan (a small one) to apologize. He set his alarm to wake him up earlier than normal.

Yes! Neville can help me!

As he drifted back to dreamland, he was warmed by the small hope of Hermione's favourable reaction tomorrow morning.


Post-Script: Yes, I know, there was minimal H/Hr goodness here. In my own defence, there's still 5 more days to go! :)

Que sera, sera: A french expression meaning, 'whatever will be, will be'.