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The Captain’s Jersey

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This story was inspired by the following image drawn by Arishatastic -

“I’m so proud of you,” Hermione Granger said, running a hand through her boyfriend’s messy jet-black hair in an attempt to push it out of his eyes. “Harry Potter… Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.”

Harry stood with Hermione in the middle of the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch. He was wearing his brand-new Captain’s Quidditch jersey, and there was an air of confidence about him as Hermione beamed at him in admiration. The bold red and glimmering gold colours really stood out on the fresh fabric. Hermione ran her hands from the number seven on his lower chest, to the Gryffindor logo embroiled on the left breast and a large “C” for “Captain” stamped on the right. She had never been a fan of sport, let alone Quidditch, however, there was something alluring about it.

Perhaps it was because this was The Captain’s Jersey.

It had a level of importance about it. A certain status. A rank, equal to that of a Hogwarts Prefect or Head Boy and Girl. It showed a level of authority, a hint of maturity and a bucket load of responsibility, all characteristics which Hermione held in high regard. And it was on the shoulders of her man. It made her want to grab him by the neck and pull him down into a kiss, which she did, for the umpteenth time since he’d first put it on.

“Can I wear it?” Hermione dared to ask in a whisper the moment they’d pulled apart and she started fingering the fabric carefully.

“What?” Harry asked in confusion, still thinking about the kiss.

“Let me wear it,” Hermione said earnestly, as she was literally pulling the hem of the jersey upwards.

Harry yielded and brought the jersey up over his head. He handed it over and pushed his glasses back up his nose, watching on in amusement as Hermione hastily pulled it over her own head and through her cascading bushy hair. Despite it being slightly loose, it fit onto her shoulders rather comfortably and she took a step back with her arms out as if to ask what he thought of it.

“You look—” Harry found himself at a loss for words trying to finish that sentence, but Hermione looked at him tentatively and raised eyebrows in question.

“Yes?” she asked hopefully.

“Beautiful. As always.”

Hermione gave him a blazing look and then jumped into his arms to kiss him again. Harry wasn’t quite ready for it, she put him on his backside and fell on top of him, laughing. They remained lying in the grass, in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, staring upwards at the clouds as they floated past. Wearing the jersey made Hermione feel like she was wrapped in his embrace, and if she had her way, she may never take it off again.

~ * ~

Not for the first time, the Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team was running late for practice, and by the time he stumbled into the locker rooms, the whole team had already changed into their robes. Ginny Weasley, who had been standing and talking in an attempt to fill the void of their missing leader, turned to face him as he came to a halt on the threshold and she put her hands on her hips.

“Where have you been?” Ginny asked suspiciously, raising her eyebrows at him.

“Sorry,” Harry said automatically, hurrying over to his locker and slumping his broom and bag onto his bench.

“I bet I know where,” said Ron Weasley, his best friend, coolly from the end of the bench. “You were making out in the stacks at the library again, weren’t you?”

Harry didn’t deny these claims, but he didn’t confirm them either. He gave his friend a fleeting glance and a shrug and then when he felt his cheeks turning slightly red, he went back to rummaging around in his bag.

“I lost track of time,” Harry said defensively, clearing his throat as he took out his Quidditch robes and pulled them over his head.

He reached back into his bag and began to rummage around for another important item of clothing, but he couldn’t find it. He frowned as he went through the contents twice over in silence, and then he checked his locker, he checked his bag again, he checked under the bench and then sat down on it with a sigh.

“What is it?” Ron asked through the silence, as everyone stared at Harry.

“My jersey,” Harry said shaking his head, “it’s not here.”

He heard sniggering in the corner, and when he looked around, Katie Bell and Demelza Robbins had put their heads together and were whispering about something.

“What’s so funny?” Harry asked of them, forcing them apart and making them smirk.

“Nothing,” Demelza said shyly, putting her head down, but Katie, being the older and bolder teammate of the two, smirked at him.

“We were just saying what everyone else is thinking, Harry,” she said happily, shrugging at him, “your girlfriend has stolen your jersey again, hasn’t she?”

Harry stared blankly across the room. There were a few sniggers that broke throughout the room, but no one except for Katie was making eye contact with him, and after a moment, he had no other choice but to stand up and clear his throat.

“It’s only practice,” Harry said carefully, he could feel his face getting hot again, “I don’t need it for today… let’s go over some of our strategies, shall we?”

Several of his teammates gave each other bemused looks, but eventually their minds returned to Quidditch and they were able to focus on the practice session at hand.

~ * ~

It was once again the middle of the night. Harry and Ron were bent low over their parchments, desperately scribbling together a Defence Against the Dark Arts essay for Professor Snape as Hermione, who had finished her novel on the subject hours ago, sat opposite them reading a book. The Gryffindor common room was empty, all the other students had stumbled off to bed one-by-one so that yet again, all that remained were the classic trio, who had the terrible habit of doing all their homework last minute.

At least, Harry and Ron did.

Hermione glanced over her book at them with a sigh. Knowing full well that she would ultimately be called upon to review what they had written, she closed her book and put it away in her bag and sat back in the comfortable cushioned chair and waited. Eventually Ron finished first, he slammed his quill down violently onto the table, and then slumped backwards into his chair, rubbing his lower back.

“Bloody Snape,” Ron said angrily, clenching his fist and thumping the arm rest, “that’s the third thousand-word essay he’s given us this month. What’s he trying to do to us?”

“Our NEWTs are next year, Ron,” Hermione said sternly, narrowing her eyes, “he’s obviously trying to prepare us for the strain we’ll be put under.’

“Oh,” Ron said slowly, staring down at his essay and blinking at it, “yeah, right…”

“Just hand it over,” Hermione said kindly, holding out her hand, “I’ll check it.”

“Thanks, Hermione,” Ron said happily, gladly passing over the parchment, where he paused and raised his eyebrows. “Wait… what’s that?”

Hermione blinked in alarm. “What’s what?”

“That,” Ron said pointing at her, as Harry looked up from his essay, “underneath your robes—”

“It’s nothing,” Hermione said dismissively, snatching Ron’s essay from him and attempting to pull her black robes together.

“No, it’s not nothing,” Ron said, looking sideways at his best friend, “there was something red and gold under there… Harry, I think she’s wearing your jersey again.”

Harry snapped his neck towards his girlfriend, whose cheeks had turned pink, and the sides of her mouth had pinched upwards slightly as she tried to hide behind Ron’s essay, and ignore the looks she was getting.

“Hermione?” Harry questioned her, making her lower Ron’s essay hesitantly beneath her eyeline. “You took it again?”

Hermione bit her lip. “Maybe.”

Harry shook his head in amusement and sighed.

“Do you want me to look over your homework, or not?” Hermione asked him seriously with a snap, sitting upright in her chair and narrowing her eyes at both of them in question.

All Ron could do was look sideways in hope at Harry.

“Yes please,” Harry said, handing his essay over immediately, which Hermione took with a small smirk and her two friends sat back in their chairs in wait.

~ * ~

The Hogsmeade weekend was always the perfect way to spend an afternoon together when in a relationship. Although Harry and Hermione weren’t exactly the types to be found sitting at a table in the corner at Madam Puddifoot’s, they did enjoy walking up and down the main street hand-in-hand, looking through the various shop windows and browsing for something to buy for one another.

It was nearing Christmas after all, they were rugged up in their jumpers and heavy cloaks, and Harry would occasionally put his arm around Hermione when she shivered. They retreated from the cold into Honeydukes, which was almost always packed during such weekends, and went about picking out their favourite sweets. Whilst there, they bump into many of their friends who, like them, were shopping for the holidays.

After about an hour of shopping for supplies, Harry and Hermione eventually made their way back up the street to the popular pub run by Madam Rosmerta. Being Christmas season, and still early in the day, they were lucky enough to find a spare table to themselves somewhere near the front. Hermione took a seat whilst Harry edged through a small crowd of Goblins to order two Butterbeer’s in a mug and, after handing over the Sickles as payment, he turned on his heel and headed back through the congestion.

He stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of his girlfriend at their table. Due to the warmth of the pub, she had stripped back her clothing by taking off her heavy cloak and woolly jumper, and now she sat there with her white long sleeve blouse, and over the top of it was the unmistakable sight of the red and gold jersey that belonged to the captain of the Quidditch team.

Harry scowled at her.

“Thank you, handsome,” Hermione said happily, taking her drink from Harry as he approached apprehensively and eyed her attire. “It’s so warm in here, isn’t it?”

“You’re wearing it again,” Harry told her promptly, pointing to the jersey as he took his seat next to her.

“You finally noticed?” Hermione said cheekily, giving him a loving grin.

“Wait,” Harry said, he had been about to take a sip from his mug when he paused and looked back at her. “So that’s why you were acting so weird when you left breakfast. You told me that you’d forgotten something up in your dormitory, but in actual fact, you went up into my dormitory—?”

“Oh Harry, I was being so obvious too,” she said happily, taking another sip from her mug and sniggering, “sometimes I wonder…”

Harry stared at her. “Wonder what?”

Hermione shrugged and smiled sweetly. “Never mind.”

She quickly drank from her mug and changed the subject.

~ * ~

For the first time ever, Harry would be spending the Christmas break at the Granger’s, with just Hermione and her parents. She had pestered him for months about it, and she kept reminding him of all the holidays he’d spent at the Burrow, so that by the end, it almost felt like it was Harry’s idea to stay with her. Ron had invited him also, but Harry had been respectful and polite and declined; but to be fair to Ron, he seemed rather unphased by them spending the holiday without him and had wished them a Merry Christmas at King’s Cross.

Harry had never been to Hermione’s house before and he found himself rather excited as they were driven to it by her parents in a reasonably priced car. It sat on a long stretching, isolated beach, that was rather like a cove, and was so picture-perfect, that Harry wondered if this was really where Hermione lived, or just a beach house they stayed at during the holidays. The house was rather large and spacious and had more than enough room for the four of them.

Harry and Hermione spent their time enjoying each other’s company by talking walks along the beach when it wasn’t snowing and decorating the house for Christmas. Harry had one of the best afternoons of his life hanging tinsel and ornaments on the tree that Hermione’s parents had erected in the living room, and he managed to catch his girl standing under the mistletoe several times. After the first two times, however, he started to think she was doing it on purpose.

When Christmas day arrived, Harry woke to find the windows in his bedroom were pure white, as the build-up of snow had become quite extreme. However, he got the suspicion the house had central heating because when he spotted his sack full of presents at the end of the bed and crawled out from under the covers to get to them, it didn’t feel cold. He had barely managed to rip open the first present at the top when Hermione walked in holding Crookshanks.

“Morning Harry,” she said happily as she approached him, “Merry Christmas!”

“Morning,” Harry said, looking up from his present, “Merry Christmas, Her—”

Harry trailed away. He had just spotted her standing there, at the end of his bed, holding her ginger cat to her chest and the colour of the fur was clashing with the garment that she was wearing over the top of her woollen pyjamas. Harry had to blink several times to make sure his eyes were telling his brain what he saw.

“What’re you…?” Harry found himself to be rather speechless. “Is that my jersey?”

“Yes, yes it is,” Hermione said instantly, not bothering to lie. “Why do you ask?”

“How is it that you’re wearing my jersey?” Harry asked in disbelief, narrowing his eyes at his girlfriend. “I left that at Hogwarts.”

“Oh,” Hermione said, raising her eyebrows in question as well as giving him a small smile, “did you?”

~ * ~

There were only a few days left until the end of year exams. Harry and Hermione were outside, basking in the beginning of summer sunlight, and were sprawled out under the large tree down by the lake, crunching for their first exam, which would be Charms. Despite being in a relationship, there wasn’t much talking going on between the two, especially from Hermione, who was concentrating on reading The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 6 by Miranda Goshawk for about the thousandth time.

Harry was going through all the notes he’d been able to collaborate together from himself and his friends in an attempt to familiarize himself with spells, incantations and wand movements. It was about the third time he had sifted through them, because he was having a hard time with a few of the pronunciations which, annoyingly, all sounded very similar to one another and yet all did very different things.

The silence was interrupted by Ron Weasley, who wandered down the slopes of Hogwarts towards them with his own copy of the Charms book and came to a stop standing over them. Hermione didn’t look up, but Harry did, and he immediately saw the look of amusement etched on his friend’s face, as his eyes swept over the scene.

“What are you so happy about?” Harry asked irritably, as Ron plonked himself down and settled in the grass beside them.

“Oh nothing,” Ron said with a big stupid grin on his face, “I just happened to notice that a certain someone is wearing a certain item of clothing again.”

Harry noticed Ron staring towards Hermione, and when he looked, he suddenly remembered that yet again, his girlfriend was wearing his Quidditch jersey. However, she was so focused in on her book, that despite the distractions, she was not brought out of her reverie and she just carried on reading.

“Oh yeah,” Harry said rolling his eyes, “well, she was just freaking out earlier about, you know, everything. And according to her, wearing that helps calm her—”

“How?” Ron asked in disbelief.

“You wouldn’t understand,” Hermione said under her breath, just barely enough for the two guys to hear it, who looked at each other and shrugged.

“It doesn’t matter,” Harry said seriously towards his friend, “the Quidditch season is over anyway, and as long as it keeps her from stressing out, I’m fine with it.”

“Mad,” Ron said, shaking his head and getting a look from Hermione, “what about when we take the exam on Monday? What are you going to do about your stress then, wear it under your robes?”

Harry chuckled nervously as Hermione disappeared back behind her book.

“Don’t give her ideas, Ron.”

~ * ~

It was the end of another year at Hogwarts.

All the students in the school went through the motions of the familiar routine involved in going home for the summer. They emptied their wardrobes, packed their trunks, rode the horseless carriages downs the slopes towards Hogsmeade station and boarded the Hogwarts Express. They talked and laughed as the countryside became greener and tidier, they ate an assortment of treats from the cart pushed by the elderly witch and before they knew it, they were speeding past Muggle towns and were pulling off their wizard robes and putting on jackets and coats.

The large train pulled into platform nine and three-quarters at King’s Cross station and there was a lot of bustling as they disembarked. There was a long delay going through the barrier, as an old wizened guard was only letting the students go through two at a time so as not to attract attention by all bursting out of a solid wall at once and alarming the Muggles.

Once they managed to get out onto the platform, Hermione spotted her parents immediately and dragged Harry over to them. As he was shaking her father’s hand, he spotted the Dursley’s skulking off in the distance, a fair way away from the rest of the families, looking miserable and like they’d rather be anywhere else in the world than here.

“I’d better go,” Harry told Hermione, who whimpered, and flung her arms around him and held him tight.

“I don’t want you to,” she said sadly, “I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too,” Harry said in agreement, holding her tight also.

When they eventually succumb to the inevitable and pulled apart, Hermione didn’t even hesitate to kiss him before running her hand through his messy hair and smiling.

“Bye then, Harry,” she whispered, running her hand down his arm, “try to have a good summer, won’t you?”

Harry nodded. “I’ll try.”

Hermione tilted her head and frowned. But eventually, she let go of his hand, and Harry turned, pulled at his trunk and began to make his way towards the Dursley’s. After a few paces, however, he stopped, and turned around to look at his girlfriend, who had slouched her shoulders and was giving him a little wave. He made the decision on the spot and turned back towards her, forcing her to stand up straight and look confused.

“I have a present for you,” he said quietly when he got back to her, pulling his backpack off his shoulders.

“Oooh what?” Hermione asked earnestly, as her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.

Harry pulled from his backpack the only thing in the entire world, other than himself, that Hermione would have considered the perfect gift.

The Captain’s Jersey.

“Harry,” she said, recognising what it was immediately as he handed it over to her, “I—”

“Hold on to it for me, won’t you?” Harry asked of her, making her clutch the fabric firmly and bite her lip as she looked up at him. “I know it sounds stupid, but maybe it’ll help remind you of me—”

“No, Harry,” Hermione said, shaking her firmly, “it’s not stupid… it’s perfect…”

Hermione wrapped her arms around him and kissed him again. This time her lips lingered longer on his than before, and despite there being an audience, she didn’t pull away for ages, and then it turned into a hug, and she brought him as close as possible, and whispered something softly into his ear, so only he could hear.

“I love you, Captain Harry Potter.”