Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 208

Harry, as he ascended to Gryffindor tower, was pleased to see that he was far less out of breath than he'd have been this time last year. Training - it hadn't brought him muscles like Cedric had, but endurance was what he needed.

Every step upwards, Harry had been bothered by a simple question, Who was Snape's Gryffindor friend? It was an aggravating question, one that didn't seem likely to go away, and bothered him at the most inconvenient of times. An itch that he couldn't scratch, and that when he tried to scratch it it just got worse.

By the time he reached the Fat Lady, he had resolved that he'd ask someone. The only question was who?

Harry stepped into the Gryffindor Common Room, and immediately all those wispy thoughts were burnt off like fog on a summer's noontime. Hermione was there, her feet resting on the couch, her arms engulfing a pillow. Her head rested on it, and from the looks of it, Harry could see that she'd been crying.

"What's wrong?" Harry asked, "Got a spell you couldn't master?"

Hermione sniffled, and said, crossly, "E-e-everyone's got someone, except me!"

Harry looked at Hermione, and then looked cross himself, and said, "What, am I nobody now?!"

Hermione looked up, mustering a small smile, and said, "Of course not, Harry, you're my best friend."

"Who do I have?" Harry asked, trying to summon one of those cocksure smiles that his father had had in Snape's pensive (and very deliberately ignoring any other thoughts about that).

"Oh, Harry, how do you always know what to say?" Hermione said. "I thought I wanted to have Ron - but if he's really serious about Lavender, then I was clearly wrong!"

"You never have liked her, have you?" Harry said.

"We have nothing in common, so I truly can't see what Ron sees in her." Hermione said, and Harry wisely decided not to bring up her sex drive.

"Me neither. Maybe he just sees someone who honestly thinks he's better than she is? Someone who will fawn over him." Harry said dubiously.

"But that's such a horrible idea for a relationship!" Hermione said.

Harry responded dolefully, "I know, Hermione, I know."

And then, abruptly, it was Hermione that was consoling Harry, saying, "Oh, don't worry, you'll find someone, eventually, who can see past The Boy Who Lived."

"Let's get up to bed, before Professor McGonagall catches us." Harry said, for once taking the words out of Hermione's mouth.

[a/n: Someone's not too pleased with Harry's scheme to get Ron attached. Leave a review.]