[a/n: Second post of the day]
Three days before the train back, Harry was up bright and early, looking forward to seeing a library - well, as much as he ever did. Hermione's parents were fun and all, but eventually, they got a bit old. Particularly with some of the 'caring' looks they were giving him.
He was fine. He'd told them so, and it was true - even if his relations were impossible.
Hermione had announced that they'd be going to the library tomorrow. Harry felt glad that she'd not announced that this was her way of acquiring a better Christmas present. Harry'd rather her parents think he was a poor widdle abused boy, rather than an unbelievably forgetful friend.
Harry was waiting for Hermione down in the living room, watching cartoons rather idly. In this one, someone seemed to be shouting "By the Power of Greyskull!" a lot. Harry wouldn't know what that was about, of course. However, no boy would turn down watching people smash each other in pretend violence on the TV.
Harry heard the bump, bump, bump of Hermione's feet coming down the stairs. Lighter than sneakers, she still managed to sound like half a Dudley. Harry'd never been that heavy on his feet - where he came from, there were consequences to being noticed. "Hermione!" he exclaimed, before standing and turning around.
Hermione was In. A. Dress. It was a dark green number, that came down just to her knees, with long velveteen sleeves. It wasn't even a very flattering dress, honest to G-d. It was just - Hermione never wore dresses...
And to the library?!
Christ on a cracker, what was going on?
Harry wisely chose to keep that particular thought to himself, at least until they were out of the house. Instead, he looked a little abashed, and asked, "Am I underdressed?"
Hermione smiled, and swatted him on the shoulder. "You're supposed to say, 'you look lovely in that dress, Hermione' "
"Too obvious," Harry said, concealing a grin behind a face trying to look stony (and probably not succeeding that well). "That dress looks spectacular on you - it really brightens your complexion."
It wasn't that Harry was an absolute lout, who thought his friend didn't look good in a dress. Or, ya know, didn't wear dresses. There was fourth year Yule Ball, after all (and Harry had fantasized about her in that dress for a good while afterwards. Fantasies were free, no matter if it was about your best friend who was dating someone else). In fact, Harry was taking care to memorize just how Hermione looked right now.
"Oh, you do look lovely, Hermione," her mum said. "Any reason you're dressing up?"
"Just felt like it!" Hermione said, before kissing her mum goodbye.
"I'd say be back before midnight," Her mum said, traipsing onto the front doorstep, "But the library closes at eight!"
Both Harry and Hermione laughed at that one, as they hustled through the cold streets.
[a/n: Leave a review? Do you find it too jarring, switching perspectives like this?]