Friday passed uneventfully. Professor Snape was his usual cutting wit in Potions class, and - for a wonder - there were no crises. Harry Potter got to relax, for once. Or as close as he could come, anyway. His mind still urged him to do something about Pansy Parkinson, even though Malfoy, who was closer to her, had said to ... not. Doing nothing was about as foreign to Harry Potter as ... breathing in outer space. All his life, he'd spent it doing things - from making breakfast at the Dursleys to nearly-endless Quiddich practices. Deciding, choosing - not to do something? It lay over him like an prickly blanket - something you could forget about, mostly, only to be reminded of it at the most inconvenient times.
"Harry, do you mind if I come with you tonight?" Hermione asked at the dinner table.
Harry Potter blinked. Tonight was... detention, with Snape. "I don't think the Professor would like that much, Hermione. I don't mind, of course not."
Ron Weasley was looking at both of them, and Harry suddenly sensed both that they ought to tell Ron, and that they ought to tell him, later. "We'll talk about this later," Harry said. "I can get what you want to know."
Hermione fidgeted, "You sure? I can't come?" Hermione was making faces worthy of the twins, petulant and unsure and wildly desperate. The thing was? The twins would have been just joshing around. Hermione wasn't. She was completely real about the whole thing, which made Harry's heart twist.
"I'll get it. Don't you trust me?" Harry asked, trying to distract Hermione away from her thoughts, which looked complicated as they played out over her whole face.
"Thank you harry!" Hermione said, "Of course I trust you, you great galoot!"
Harry smiled back at Hermione, careful not to look over at Ron, who was looking perplexed. At least he's finally out of Lala land.
[a/n: Harry is steadily growing a list of things to think about. Progress, I suppose.
If Harry had actually decided to let Hermione come, Snape would have made it fit. But Harry has more than one reason for not having Hermione come.
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