As the next few days went by Harry noticed that his feelings continued to change. He felt his heart skip a beat whenever Hermione held his hand or hugged him. It was different from the usual Thread happiness, and he liked it. He also noticed, oddly, that the same thing started to happen with Ron. He found himself grinning more than usual when Ron laughed at jokes or put an arm around him. Harry felt confused.
One day Wood called an evening Quidditch practice. Hermione had agreed to help Ginny with some homework but Ron wanted to come watch Harry play. As he went through the usual drills with the rest of the team Harry found himself shooting glances at Ron, especially when he did well. Was he really trying to impress him? Harry's thoughts distracted him enough that he ended up sitting idly in the air for a full minute.
"Earth to Harry." George called. Harry shook himself and returned to practice. He would think about all this later. Right now he had a game to prepare for.
After practice the rest of the team started to chat as usual, Harry however changed quickly, grabbed his bag and his broomstick and edged his way towards the changing room door
"What's the rush Harry?" Angelina asked
"I'm a little tired today." Harry blurted out "I want to head back to the tower and get an early night..."
Fred and George exchanged knowing glances as Harry left the locker room. Ron was waiting for him just outside the door. Ron took Harry's bag and slung it over his own shoulder
You didn't have to do that... Harry thought
I know. But if you're holding the bag I can't do this. Ron replied, and he took Harry's hand. Harry felt his stomach do a little flip.
They headed back towards the castle
You were great today.. Ron thought.
Really? Harry thought, he felt himself blushing and was thankful for the fact that it was starting to get dark.
Yeah. Ron answered That cup's got our name on it this year.
Harry grinned, suddenly feeling that he couldn't lose a single game now. They got back to the common room and found Hermione saying goodbye to Ginny who was heading bed.
"How was practice?" Hermione asked
"Okay." Harry answered.
"Harry did great." Ron said, smiling. Harry looked at his feet, blushing again.
"I'm...gonna go put my stuff away and get settled for the night." Harry said
"Be up in a bit." Ron said, waving at him. Harry nodded and headed up the stairs. He entered the familiar circular dormitory, put away his Quidditch things and changed into his pajamas. However instead of taking his usual place in Ron's bed he climbed into his own, reaching over into his bedside table he pulled out his sketchbook from underneath the photo album Hagrid had given him. He leaned back against his pillow and opened it, looking at his various drawings. He had a sudden idea, he would draw out his feelings. Perhaps that would help him sort through them. He turned to a fresh page, took out a pencil and started to think
How did he feel about Ron and Hermione?
He loved them.
He started to sketch out a heart
How much though? He loved a lot of people.
Like family? The Weasleys were his foster family after all..and he loved all of them. And his mum and dad. Thinking of his mum made him think of lilies and he drew a couple of them around the heart. But family wasn't the answer.
Friends? Did he love them like he loved his dormmates or his Quidditch teammates? Thinking of Quidditch made him sketch out a snitch over the heart and lilies, but that wasn't the answer either. Ron and Hermione were more than his friends..more than best friends even if he really told himself the truth.
Their bond was something nobody else could understand, after all how much closer could three people be? Able to read each others' thoughts and feelings. Ron and Hermione had saved him from the Dursleys..
He embellished the snitch with three hearts and linked them together with a thread like line.
How much did he love Ron and Hermione?
More than anyone else in the world.
He added Ron's initials to one of the hearts in the snitch, Hermione's and another and finally his own in the last one. Harry looked at his finished drawing and came to his conclusion. He didn't love Ron and Hermione like friends, or family..or anything else. He just loved them.