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By: tweety-src-clt9


You're just too good to be true
I can't take my eyes off you
You'd be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much


 

Today is a very important day. After four years of studying in Australia, my best friend, Hermione Granger, is finally returning to Britain. Not only that, she says that she recently accepted an offer to work as an Unspeakable at the Department of Mysteries so it means that I will be seeing her every single day. Aside from seeing her in the ministry, Hermione has also agreed to live with me and Neville in the four-bedroom flat that we occupy.  

 

Yes, it will be a great day ahead.

 

I welcome the bright and sunny morning with a big smile on my face.

 

To say that I’m excited is such an understatement.

 

After all these years, Hermione’s back. My best friend is back.

 

It will be like Hogwarts again. Seeing her every day, talking to her, getting nagged by her, and just being with her again makes me so happy.

 

A lot has happened ever since the war ended. Hermione went to Australia and she successfully retrieved her parents’ memories. And then, she decided to stay there for a while since she received a scholarship to study aboriginal ritual magic as well as elemental magic in the Australian Institute of Magic. Since these two course offerings are not available at Hogwarts, Hermione eagerly accepted the offer because staying in Australia gives her more time to heal her strained relationship with her parents.

 

Meanwhile, Ron Weasley, my other best friend, moped for one week when Hermione, his intended girlfriend (not that they ever made their relationship official), decided to leave Britain. Luckily, Luna Lovegood was there for him. With Luna’s support and the Chudley Cannons courting Ron to be their new second-string keeper, my best mate easily moved on from Hermione. Now, Ron is the star keeper of the Cannons and is a father to a pair of twins. He married Luna over a year ago. Life has been very kind to Ron and I am so happy for him.

Of course, there’s me – Harry James Potter. I am the Boy Who Lived (I hate that moniker). After the war, my life’s been rather boring, which to me, is a bloody blessing. Neville, Dean, and I decided to skip our final year at Hogwarts and we all enrolled in the Auror Academy instead. After a gruesome three-year training, all of us are now full-fledged aurors. My life is only centered on three things – my job, my godson Teddy, and traveling to Australia every chance I get.

 

You may think my life is boring but to me, it’s perfect… Well, not yet since Hermione’s not back, but when she returns, it will be.

 

It will be me, Hermione, and Ron again. It may not exactly be like Hogwarts but at least all three of us will be on the same island again. Also, living with Neville is great since the bloke is a very nice guy. I’m certain that Hermione will easily fit into the home dynamics we already have. I do the cooking and cleaning of the first floor while Neville does laundry and the second floor. I’m sure Hermione can easily find something to do, maybe decorating or something. Nev and I just can’t decorate for shit. Our flat is so basic. It’s large because Ron used to live with us before he married Luna but us blokes never cared much about curtain colors, furniture, and those other things. So, I’m excited to see the changes that Hermione will bring.

 

To be honest, I have a feeling that in a year or so, Hermione and I will be the only ones left in the flat. Neville is bound to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Hannah Abbott, soon. When they get married, I also have a feeling that Neville will accept the long-standing offer of being the Assistant Herbology Professor since Pomona Sprout has been hinting of a retirement.

 

I should stop thinking about the past and just get out of bed. I need to be at Heathrow Airport early. I haven’t seen Hermione in around four months so I can’t wait to see her again.

 

If only I do not have the responsibility of taking care of Teddy, I will gladly join Hermione in Australia.  There must be something about the Land Down Under because every time I see Hermione, she looks better and better. Not that she ever looked bad, she’s always been beautiful to me, she’s my best friend after all… But it’s just, I don’t know. She looks different to me. She looks happier and healthier and more at peace. I reckon there must be something in the air in Australia. Or maybe Hermione’s just so happy to be reunited with her parents. Or it’s also possible that she’s delighted to be in her element – learning new things. Whatever it is, I’m just happy that Hermione decided to come back to me, er, Britain.

 

One hour later, I’m standing in front of the signboards looking at the flights that recently arrived from Sydney. When I see Hermione’s flight details under the just arrived list, I feel giddy with excitement. I’m busy looking around, scanning the crowd for a petite woman with wild curly brown hair.

 

“Ahem!” I turn around when I hear someone clearing their throat.

 

I look at the beautiful petite woman in front of me and I’m stunned. She looks like a vision – well since I miss her so much, the fact that my best friend is finally back just makes me so happy. After all this time, we’ll be together again.

 

“Hermione? Is that you?” My eyes are wide as I look her over. It’s hard to identify her now because her skin is tanned and her hair – her hair is so short and it looks golden brown now.

 

“Of course, it’s me, silly!” She opens her arms and I tightly wrap my arms around her. God, I miss this woman! Despite the new haircut, I believe this hairstyle is called a pixie something, the sweet scent of her hair is the same. It still smells of jasmine, vanilla, and parchment. It still smells like my Hermione. My Hermione? What the hell? Well, my best friend Hermione.

 

After all these years, ever since I first hugged Hermione, the feeling of her in my arms remains to be the same. She still feels like coming home. It must be her warmth or the way she’s always been there for me but this, my arms around Hermione, makes me feel so safe, comforted, and at peace.

 

“I miss you, ‘Mione,” I whisper as I press my lips on top of her head. I miss the tickling sensation of her wild curly hair.

 

“I miss you too, Harry,” she whispers back and we pull apart.

 

I look at Hermione and notice that even if she’s sporting a new hairstyle, she’s just, well, there’s no better way to say it – gorgeous. She looks healthy, tan, beautiful, and happy. There must be something in Australia indeed!

 

“Is it just me, or are you like taller or something?” She grins.

 

“Well, maybe… Or I got fitter, you’ll never know… Or, you’re just tiny,” I tease her.

 

She huffs. “Not all of us can be tall strong aurors.”

 

“Come on, let’s go home. I cooked something special for my favorite girl,” I wrap an arm around her shoulders while I grip on the handle of her suitcase.

 


At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I'm alive
You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off you


 

“Hermione! We missed you!” Ron says with excitement as he wraps his arms around her. Ron and I organized a surprise welcome party for Hermione so the gang is all here. We didn’t invite the older generation though. We all want her for ourselves for now. Besides, there are things that we youngsters just can’t talk about in front of Professor McGonagall and Molly Weasley.

 

“I miss you too, Ronald,” Hermione says happily.

 

“I’m actually loving the hair… Now we can see more of your pretty little face. Though it makes you look, I don’t know, like younger or something… I mean you’re already short – “

 

Hermione snorts at Ron’s rambling. “Still as charming as ever, Ron. I don’t know why Luna puts up with you,” she shakes her head in fond exasperation.

 

I watch the byplay with a big smile on my face. I miss this. Seeing Ron and Hermione argue feels so natural. It used to annoy me when we were at Hogwarts but now, it just feels so nostalgic. It seems like nothing much has changed ever since the war ended. All three of us may have chosen different paths but I know that we will always be the best of friends.

 

While I agree with Ron’s statement, that Hermione’s new hairstyle highlights her pretty face, I don’t like it. This Hermione seems like a version of my best friend who I really don’t know. This Hermione is the Australian version of Hermione. I know it sounds silly but well, I just really miss her long curly brown hair. I miss the way it bounces with life and radiates with her magic. Oh well. At least Hermione’s back.

 

“So… How is the most popular wizarding scholar of Australia?” George winks at Hermione and the other witches chuckle.

 

“I’m hardly the most popular wizarding scholar.” Typical Hermione, she still downplays her achievements as if it is nothing consequential.

 

“It’s true though, Hermione. Your research is brilliant! I’ve read your work on the use of sex magic on – “ Luna’s whimsical voice gets interrupted by all of us men in the room.

 

“Excuse me?!” Neville exclaims.

 

“You what?!” I say.

 

“Bloody hell!” Ron spills some of his drink.

 

Hermione rolls her eyes. “Merlin! It’s just one of my research. I’ve been observing a sex ritual that one of the aborigines – “

 

“Hermione, we don’t care much about what the ritual does. What we care about is you! You’re doing naughty little things like that,” Ron grins mischievously.

 

“Stop being silly, Ronald. Hermione’s theories on the effect of – “

 

“I’m sorry, love. It’s just – wow! Hermione studies sex magic of all people! If I were smart enough, maybe I’d do that kind of research too,” Ron says.

 

“Look, if you only read the dissertation, I didn’t do the ritual. I just observed its effects.” Hermione huffs.

 

“There aren’t any wizards that made you interested in doing rituals yourself?” Angelina says playfully and Hermione rolls her eyes.

 

“Honestly! With all the research going on, I haven’t had much time to date,” Hermione shakes her head in exasperation.

 

“All that sex magic knowledge and she’s not shagging anyone! Tsk! Tsk! Hermione Granger, we really need to help you sort out your priorities,” Ron sighs.

 

“Whatever! Luna, if you want to discuss my research, we should schedule a girl time. With all these boys around, we can hardly discuss anything logical,” Hermione glares at us silly horny blokes.

 

“Of course, Hermione. I’ll floo you,” Luna grins.

 

“Hmm… I don’t believe you, Hermione Granger! Surely there must have been a date or two,” Ginny gives Hermione a penetrating stare. I can’t help but listen in. This is interesting indeed. I truly want to know the answer to this question but I know that if it’s me who asks, it will be too weird. Thank Merlin for Ginny’s nosiness.

 

To my disappointment (I don’t even know why I feel this way), Hermione blushes and the witches squeal. Ginny, Luna, Angelina, Hannah, Fleur, Parvati, and Susan are bouncing with excitement.

 

I feel my face contorting into a frown. Hermione never tells me about any dates or blokes during our long-distance calls. I don’t know why but I honestly feel hurt that she’s keeping this as a secret from me.

 

“I went on a few dates but it never extended to a second date. It’s just I’m kind of, er, popular in Australia for the war and everything and then there’s the research and well – let’s just say that I don’t want to be someone’s trophy girlfriend,” Hermione explains.

 

I force myself not to smile at her statement. I don’t why but I feel so relieved that she didn’t date anyone she felt a connection with.

 

“Oh. Is that – is that why you cut your hair?” Luna, ever the sensitive one, inquires.

 

“Yes… I mean, I’m quite known for my wild bushy hair so I reckon I can hide my identity better in this look,” Hermione points to her very short hair.

 

“Well, it will help conceal your identity for a bit. But well, your new hair does bring out your pretty face,” Susan says.

 

“Thank Merlin for the Unspeakable robes then,” Hermione chuckles.

 

“But aren’t Unspeakables, well they take off their robe outside of the DOM,” Neville remarks.

 

“Great! I should just wear a mask every time I go out,” Hermione sighs.

 

“You can date Harry. He scares people off,” Ginny suggests and the witches giggle.

 

“Really smart, Gin,” Hermione scoffs.

 

“What? Just saying… He’s the most popular wizard and you’re the brightest witch. Besides, he doesn’t date around because people only see his fame and all. You have the same problem… So, why not date each other?” Ginny wiggles her eyebrows playfully.

“Huh… That kinda makes sense,” Ron says pensively.

 

“I can’t believe you, Ginny! Just because you are way over Harry now, you push him to date me,” Hermione rolls her eyes.

 

“I reckon it’s funny. I dated Harry at Hogwarts and you dated Viktor. Now I’m marrying Viktor so… you catch my drift,” Ginny winks.

 

“Ha-ha! Very funny! Speaking of your fiancé, where’s Viktor by the way?”

 

“He has a game in Switzerland. Actually, after your surprise welcome back party, I’m heading to Germany. The Harpies have a big game in three months so the practice is intense right now. If I don’t love you, Granger, I would never have skipped practice… Anyway, do you want to watch the game? I can score you free VIP tickets. You can bring Harry as a date,” Ginny grins.

 

“Very subtle,” Hermione huffs.

 

“You know, mate, I feel really bad for you,” Ron pipes in.

 

“Why?” I frown.

 

“Hermione’s your best friend but she doesn’t want to date you. I mean for a bloke, that’s just sad,” Ron teases me and I roll my eyes. I have to admit though that he has a valid point. It kinda feels insulting. Am I really that bad?

 

“I’m not saying that I don’t want to date him – “

 

“Oh! So, you want to date Harry?” Luna gushes.

 

“You can’t just force people to date. People have to like like each other first,” Hermione says matter of factly.

 

“Hmmm… well, I still say that you should just date each other,” Ginny shrugs.

 

“Whatever, Gin. Can we eat? I’m hungry. The flight was just too long,” Hermione changes the topic.

 

“Why do you insist on flying that metal plane thingy then?” Ron inquires. I look at Hermione and we share a laugh.

 

“What’s so funny?” Our friends' chorus.

 

“Oh, nothing! It’s an airplane, Ron. Or aeroplane or plane. Not metal plane thingy,” Hermione says in her know-it-all voice.

 

“See? You have the same weird sense of humor,” Ginny teases us once again.

 

“Shut it, Gin!” Hermione scoffs.

 

“Can we still get the free tickets though?” I pout.

 

“Only when Granger over here comes with you,” Ginny retorts.

 

“Come on, ‘Mione!” I whine with puppy dog-eyes.

 

“No!”

 

“Puh-lease!”

 

“No!”

 

“I’ll buy you the new edition of Hogwarts: A History,” I negotiate.

 

“There’s a new edition of Hogwarts: A History?!” Hermione’s eyes shine with excitement and I nod.

 

“Gin, can we still get the tickets?” Hermione turns to Ginny who had a smug look on her face.

 

“Oh, fine! When you two get married, I insist that you name a daughter after me. Setting you two up – is hard work,” Ginny says dramatically.

 

“I’m gonna ignore that because I’m so happy there’s a new Hogwarts: A History,” Hermione replies and we all chuckle at that. Some things never change.

   


Pardon the way that I stare
There's nothing else to compare
The sight of you leaves me weak
There are no words left to speak


 

There’s something to be said about living with a woman. The house feels cleaner. The smell of the house seems homier. And overall, our flat seems warmer and happier. Or maybe it’s just me. To say that I’m bloody happy that Hermione is back in Britain is such an understatement.

 

Neville is out on a date so it’s just Hermione and me in our flat this afternoon. It’s the weekend before Hermione’s first day of work in the ministry and she seems to be in a panicky state which is so adorable. I mean there’s just something so Hermione about the way she’s pacing around the kitchen as she tries and fails to bake cookies. It’s so cute. I miss times like these. It’s just like watching Hermione panic about a test result during our Hogwarts years.

 

“Oh my! I put salt instead of sugar into the mixture!” Hermione exclaims. I can no longer keep it in and I burst into a fit of laughter. She gives me a stern glare and throws some flour on my face that I easily dodge.

 

“You’re not helping, Potter!” She huffs.

 

“I’m sorry – ‘Mione ha-ha-ha – sorry it’s just – “ I really can’t stop myself.

 

“You think this is funny, do you?” She crosses her arms and pins me with a cold stare. I can see a glint of amusement behind her stern façade though so I know I’m not in real trouble.

 

“Not funny but cute… Super cute,” I chuckle.

 

“Oh, is it?” She tilts her head and I gasp in surprise. She waves her hand and pours some flour on my head. This time around, it’s her turn to laugh.

 

Instead of retaliating, I find myself mesmerized with the sound of her laughter and the way her chocolate brown eyes sparkle with mirth. Her short hair is sticking out all over the place and there’s some flour on her cheek.

 

It’s like seeing Hermione for the first time and I catch my breath.

 

My heart pounds erratically inside my chest. I gulp.

 

I know I’m in trouble. Oh, Merlin! I think I’m in love with my best friend.

 

“Harry? Are you alright?” Hermione’s question breaks my reverie.

 

“Er, what?” I ask stupidly.  

 

“You spaced out just there,” she gives me a curious look.

 

“I, er, do you need help with the cookies?” I immediately change the subject.

 

“Thank Merlin!” She sighs and I chuckle.

 

The entire time our hands accidentally touch as I show her how to bake cookies, my heart pounds wildly and I feel my palms start to get sweaty. I am in deep shit. I just know it.

 


But if you feel like I feel
Please let me know that is real
You're just too good to be true
I can't take my eyes off you


 

“Woah! Who is that?”

 

“Is that – Hermione Granger? THE Hermione Granger?”

 

“Damn! A brilliant mind, a gorgeous face, and a fine arse to boot! I so wanna bang this one!”

 

“Remember her wild crazy hair at Hogwarts? I’m so glad that’s gone… Her short hair – bloody sexy! It highlights her face and you can just imagine her when she’s – “

 

Hearing these bastards ogle my best friend is getting on my nerves so I clear my throat. They all turn around to face me and they gulp. My arms are crossed and I have a deep frown on my face.

 

“Auror Potter, sir!” One of these bastards exclaim.

 

“If I ever – and I mean ever – hear any of you talk about my best friend like that ever again, you won’t like what I’ll do to you. Is that clear?” I say sternly.

 

“Yes, sir!” they chorus.

 

I gave a firm nod before walking away. Despite the crazy fame after ending Voldemort which is truly very silly, the intimidation factor is useful at the very least. I have a smug smile on my face as I walk back towards the auror office. That should warn those punks from ogling my Hermione.

 

I really need to tell Hermione to stop wearing those tight skirt things. It just makes blokes crazy. I know I sound like a hypocrite but ever since Hermione started working at the ministry, the ogling, the staring, the whispers, and all the blokes talking about her just grates on my nerves.

 

How dare these blokes treat Hermione as if she is a piece of meat they can fight over? They only see her as a prize – a body and a brain they want to show off. They never understand the Hermione I see. They don’t know the real Hermione. They don’t know the Hermione who is the best friend in the whole wide world.

 

They don’t know the compassionate, kind-hearted, and sweet Hermione that always cares for others and fights for the rights of the oppressed. They don’t see the big heart that makes Hermione shine bright in a room full of witches with fake hair and magically-enhanced looks.

 

They don’t know Hermione at all. They just see the accolades and the prestige of bagging the Brightest Witch of the Age. They don’t see my Hermione – the girl who’s been with me throughout the shit in my life.

 

They don’t see the Hermione that I love. Oh shit!

 


I love you baby
And if it's quite all right
I need you baby
To warm the lonely nights
I love you baby
Trust in me when I say


 

“What’s up with you, mate?” Ron greets me as we meet for a boy’s night out with Neville, Seamus, George, and Dean.

 

“Hermione,” I mutter.

 

“Ooh! She’s nagging you already?” Ron chuckles.

 

“He’s in love with her,” Neville says knowingly and my eyes widen in surprise.

 

"I knew this would happen,” Ron smirks.

 

“What? Of course not! I – “

 

“Look, mate, the sooner you admit, the faster you’ll win her heart. If you continue to fight what you feel, then some other bloke will snatch her up – “

 

“Not on my watch,” I growl and my friends chuckle.

 

“Woah! Slow down, tiger!” George placatingly pats my back.

 

“Er, sorry. It’s just – the blokes at the ministry, everywhere she goes really! I hate the way they talk about her. It’s like – like she’s a piece of meat or – “

 

“You have to tell Hermione what you feel, Harry,” Neville says.

 

“Yeah, if not, well – you can start by asking her out at least,” Seamus adds.

 

“I know… It’s just, what if she only sees me as a friend?” I say pathetically and Ron snorts.

 

“Look, mate, if you can’t ask Hermione out, then no one else can,” George grins.

 

“Yeah! I mean – come on! Man Who Conquered. Brightest Witch of the Age. You’re like the Golden Couple,” Ron wiggles his eyebrows suggestively and I shake my head in exasperation.

 

“Do you think she’ll say yes?” I mutter.

 

“You know… I overheard Ferret boy boasting that he’ll ask Hermione out,” Seamus says conspiratorially.

 

“Where did you hear that?” I frown.

 

“Harry, Harry, Harry… When you own a pub, you hear a lot of secrets,” Seamus remarks smugly after gulping his Firewhiskey.

 

“Harry Potter, if you don’t ask Hermione out, and Ferret boy gets together with our girl, I’ll have Ginny and Luna hex you!” Ron threatens.

 

“Gee, thanks Ron,” I nod sarcastically and the men chuckle.

 

“Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to ask Hermione out before Malfoy – “

 

“Shut it, Thomas! Hermione’s mine!” I interrupt Dean with a glare.

 

“Ooohh!” George swoons playfully.

 

“There you go, mate! That’s the spirit. And shut it, Dean! You’re a great guy and all but you don’t deserve our Hermione,” Ron frowns at Dean who only shrugs it off.

 

“Well then, we should at least help Harry out by giving him tips on how to woo the girl of his dreams,” Neville intervenes and I give him a grateful smile.

 

For the rest of the night, my friends tell me various tips on how I can ask Hermione out. I learn so many tips that I can only hope that at least one of them will work.

 

Hermione Granger deserves the best. So, I must not screw this up.

 


Oh, pretty baby
Don't bring me down I pray
Oh pretty baby
Now that I've found you stay
And let me love you, baby
Let me love you


 

Neville’s out on a date again and Hermione’s still not home. It’s been a week since I had drinks with the boys and I still haven’t asked Hermione out yet. I’ve been busy with a new auror mission and I think Hermione has a lot going on too. She’s barely been an Unspeakable for a month but her research work is already making waves. She’s awesome like that.

 

So, since I’m all alone, I guess it’s the right time to practice my script on how I’m going to ask my best friend out. I’m pacing around the living room thinking about all the tips I’ve learned from my friends. I’m thinking of a sweet spot on how I can blend all those tips into one solid line.

 

“From the moment I saw you, there’s just something in my magic that tingled. Maybe it’s because you are so powerful… So brilliant. I have always been amazed at the way you command your magic at such a young age… I’ll never forget the first time you showed me how to do a spell – you fixed my glasses with that Oculus Reparo…”

 

“As the days turned into years, I have always felt our connection. I thought it just means our magic is compatible but it’s more than that…”

 

“We are compatible. Our connection’s special…”

 

“Maybe what I’m trying to say is, Hermione Granger, will you go out with me?”

 

I shake my head in the utter silliness of that line. “Fuck! That’s so lame,” I groan in exasperation.

 

I’m about to try again, maybe go for a cocky approach this time as Seamus suggested instead of the sweet and shy strategy that Neville told me about, but I hear a throat clearing.

 

I gulp. Please let it be Neville. Not Hermione. Not Hermione. Anyone but Hermione. That’s the mantra going on and on in my head.

 

“Actually, I think it’s rather perfect,” when the sweet feminine voice that can only belong to my best friend articulated those words, I turn around to face my doom. There’s a smirk on her face and I almost give in to my desire to apparate away. Busted!

 

This is the most embarrassing moment of my life. I’m a grown-ass wizard but I still can’t ask girls out in a suave and confident way. Some Man Who Conquered I am! I can already see the Witch Weekly article about this!

 

Man Who Conquered Dies of Embarrassment for Awkward Confession Blunder

 

Brightest Witch of the Age Rejects Silly Man Who Conquered…

 

Steeling my nerves, I look into Hermione’s beautiful brown eyes. I know I’m blushing like crazy right now but I might as well salvage the situation by facing this embarrassment head on.

 

“Hermione – I – “

 

“So, what should I wear for our date?” Hermione grins.

 

“Wha – You mean – I – er – oh,” I blabber like an idiot and Hermione chuckles.

 

“Breathe, Harry,” she smiles at me.

 

“Right… Hermione, will you go out with me?” I might as well try to rectify my blunder by asking the question again.

 

“I’d love to, Harry,” Hermione walks towards me and I can feel my heart beating fast. This is crazy! I’ve never felt like this before.

 

“You’re so cute,” Hermione giggles before she kisses my cheek.

 

“I – I, er, I’ll make dinner,” I mutter.

 

“Great! It’s a date!” She winks before she leaves me standing slackjawed in the living room.

 


You're just too good to be true
I can't take my eyes off you
You'd be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much


 

“Merlin! This is so good,” Hermione groans as she samples the pasta dish I cooked for dinner.

 

“Glad you like it,” I grin. I enjoy cooking for people who appreciate the effort I put into it. Besides, I love this woman so seeing her enjoy my cooking makes me happy.

 

“So… What took you so long?” she asks with a mischievous glint in her eyes after she swallowed her food.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“What took you so long to ask me out?” She chuckles and I blush.

 

“Er, you know about that?” I nervously run my hand through my hair.

 

“Harry, I’ve known about your feelings even before my return to Britain,” she rolls her eyes and I’m in shock.

 

“But – but – I just figured it out when you returned,” I reply.

 

“Harry, you haven’t dated anyone ever since the war ended. You spend your free time from auror training between visiting me in Australia and being there for Teddy. I see the way you glare at the blokes who try to ‘befriend’ me even back then – do you want me to continue?” she smirks.

 

“Oh…” Merlin! I am such an idiot! I’ve been in love with her for a long time and I don’t even realize it.

 

“So… what took you so long?” she chuckles.

 

“I, er, I’m scared you’ll say no,” I say sheepishly.

 

“You’re so adorable,” she giggles.

 

“You’re not just pitying me, are you?”

 

“Of course, not! If I don’t fancy you back, I’ll never say yes,” she rolls her eyes.

 

“Oh…”

 

“Honestly, Harry! You’re still so clueless around girls,” I can hear the exasperation in her voice.

 

“So, this is like – our first official date, right?” I still can’t believe my luck so I need to hear her confirmation.

 

“Yes, and you can stop threatening the wizards at the ministry now,” she says knowingly and I blush. Seriously! Is there anything that she doesn’t know?

 

“You know about that too?”

 

“Yep!”

 

“Merlin! This is so embarrassing,” I admit with a blush.

 

“You’re lucky I find your awkwardness endearing,” she teases me.

 

“You’re enjoying this too much,” I pout and she nods.

 

“I just love the way you’re still the same old Harry, my best friend,” Hermione looks at me with a wistful glint in her eyes.

 

“Awkward and silly does it for you?” I smirk and this time it’s her turn to blush.

 

“Yeah, I guess it does… I’m tired of the way wizards see me as some sort of prize to be won… But you – you see me for me and I – it’s just so sweet really,” she smiles shyly.

 

I gently reach for her hand and give it a reassuring squeeze. “I guess we’ll be awkward and silly together then?”

 

“I like the sound of that,” she grins.

 


At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I'm alive
You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off You


 

 I know that I have a stupid grin on my face but I don’t care. I’m just so proud of Hermione, my girlfriend. Girlfriend! I still can’t believe that she’s my girlfriend now. After my embarrassing confession, she eagerly agreed to be my girlfriend after our talk during dinner. There’s no need for grand gestures. We just talked and that’s that.

 

Hermione is giving a speech about the irrelevance of blood status on magical ability along with empirical evidence about this fact from her academic research in Australia. She is speaking about the results of her study because the Wizengamot is debating a rather controversial law about equality between witches and wizards regardless of blood status.

 

While the death of Voldemort has significantly toned down the extreme blood supremacists, there are still purists who believe themselves to be above those who aren’t pureblood. So, the Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, sought Hermione’s help by asking her to provide evidence that can be used to refute blood supremacy. The minister is hoping that her speech will help persuade the traditionalists to vote in favor of the equality laws.

 

I’m sitting behind the Potter and Black seats, one of the most powerful voting blocks in the Wizengamot. Of course, I already know what my vote will be but I just can’t help the big grin on my face as I listen to Hermione’s passionate speech. I am so proud of her. She worked so hard for this research so I’m just so happy that all her efforts are finally put to good use.

 

Neville, who occupies the Longbottom seat, discreetly elbows me and I turn to face him. “What?” I whisper in confusion.

 

Instead of speaking, Neville passes me a note.

 

Stop smiling like a loon. I can literally see the hearts in your eyes.

 

I chuckle after I read Neville’s note. As Hermione continues with her speech, I try to school my features better. I don’t want people to speculate about the true nature of our relationship yet.

 

Hermione and I agreed to keep our relationship to ourselves and the few people we trust. We are very proud to be together but we also know that the press will go crazy at the news of our relationship. We want to avoid the drama and keep the secret for as long as possible so I must stop smiling like a loon as Neville pointed out.

 

When Hermione finishes her speech, the Chief Witch, Madam Augusta Longbottom calls for a recess. Since the members of the Wizengamot disperse to discuss the points being raised, I stand from my seat so I can congratulate my girlfriend.

 

“I’m so proud of you, love!” I exclaim and the hall is stunned into silence.

 

“Oops!” I chuckle nervously. Hermione’s going to kill me for this slip-up.

 

“Might as well go all out,” Hermione mutters before she shocks me by pulling my face down and pressing her lips onto mine. I can feel the blinding flashes of the cameras on us but I don’t care. Kissing Hermione never gets old. It just keeps getting better and better with time.

 

“So, the secret is out now then?” I ask with a silly grin on my face.

 

“Well, might as well claim me, Potter. The staring from these old wizards is starting to creep me out,” she whispers.

 

“Well played, Granger. Well played,” I roll my eyes.

 

“I might as well take advantage of your powers of intimidation. You’re free to go caveman protective in public now,” she jokes.

 

Well now that she puts it that way, I grin. I immediately wrap a possessive arm around her waist as I glare at the press and the wizards who are ogling my Hermione.

 

“Lord Potter, how long have you been dating, Ms. Granger?” one of the reporters inquire.

 

“A while,” I smirk and Hermione rolls her eyes. I notice that the ogling wizards’ eyes immediately cease from their perverted staring. I really can’t help but feel smug about this. After all, Hermione just gave me the go signal to finally act like a protective caveman. This day just can’t get any better!

 

Yes, you idiots! She’s mine. I know I look really smug right now but I don’t care. If wizards have been ogling your witch the way these bastards have been coveting my Hermione, you’ll understand how I feel too.

 


I love you baby
And if it's quite all right
I need you baby
To warm the lonely nights
I love you baby
Trust in me when I say


 

Hermione and I plan to go out on a fun date with little Teddy so I’m waiting for her to get ready. I spot one of her paperback novels on the center table so I decide to entertain myself by skimming through it. According to Ron, he sometimes skims through Luna’s books and copies the romance ideas there. It always makes Luna happy so he reckons it’s a very good idea. Since my best mate and his wife have a very good marriage, I reckon that it’s a bloody brilliant advice.

 

I use the bookmark as a guide for my skimming, but the first words I read make me frown. While the book is not that bad, the sex scenes are great, but it’s the characters that make me upset. The bloody book’s main characters resemble Hermione and Draco fucking Malfoy.

 

The female lead has long curly brown hair, hazel eyes, and a petite frame. Not only does it make me miss Hermione’s long curly locks but it makes me so upset because the book is pairing my Hermione to someone like the ferret. Now I know that it’s just a book but I notice the way the ferret gives Hermione longing looks.

 

More importantly, why is Hermione reading a book with a male lead that looks like the bloody ferret? Why can’t she read a book about a silly raven-haired green-eyed bloke instead?

 

“Harry? Is there something wrong?” my thoughts are interrupted by Hermione’s question. Her voice is filled with concern.

 

My frown immediately dissipates when I look at her. She’s wearing a white sundress with flower prints that she paired with a denim jacket and some flat sandals. I truly am a lucky bloke.

 

“Are you alright?”

 

“I am now,” I grin.

 

“What’s gotten you so – Oh!” She sees the book on my lap and she rolls her eyes.

 

“Why are you reading a book with a character like Malfoy?” I can’t help but feel petty about this.

 

“The plot seems interesting and the male lead’s name is Harry,” she points out.

 

“Huh?” I skim through the pages again. Oh… I only notice the description of blonde hair, arrogance, and smirks. Ah, there it is! The character’s name is Harry.

 

“You’re jealous of a book?” Hermione pinches my left cheek after taking the seat beside me.

 

“I’m just being an idiot again,” there’s a sheepish grin on my face.

 

“Yes, you are,” she chuckles.

 

“Sorry for being an idiot.”

 

“Well, it’s one of the things I love about you,” she winks at me.

 

“You – you love me?” I can feel the shit-eating grin on my face.

 

“Of course, I do, you silly man,” she rolls her eyes.

 

“And here I am waiting for the right timing to tell you that I love you,” I chuckle at my silliness. Merlin! How lucky can I get? Who else but Hermione can tolerate my quirks?

 

“You don’t need to say the words. I thought you’re just nervous so – well, even if you don’t say it, I can feel it. The way you look at me, your actions, the way you kiss me, I’m not an idiot, Harry,” she grins at me.

 

“Oh.”

 

“You’re feeling silly again, aren’t you?” She smirks at me.

 

“Don’t ever change, Granger. I love you so much – sassy know-it-all bossiness and all,” I grin.

 

“I love you too, Potter. Silly clueless caveman and all that,” she retorts and I chuckle.

 

She doesn’t know it yet but I intend to marry her next year. I’m bloody sure about that! There’s no one else like her. No one else understands me the way she does. Hermione and I – we click. We’re perfect together. We balance each other. She’s my best friend. She’s my confidante. She’s, well, she’s everything to me. I won’t ever find a better match for me.

 

No one else comes close. My future is certain. I will marry this witch.

 

After all, Hermione Granger is a cut above the rest.

 


Oh, pretty baby
Don't bring me down I pray
Oh pretty baby
Now that I've found you stay
Oh pretty baby
Trust in me when I say