"Where's your boyfriend, Bridget?" Hermione said, her grin looking nothing short of throughly nasty. Harry didn't mind - a bit of personal vengeance felt... good. Besides, they weren't really hurting anyone, were they? Just nicking some pride from some hoity bitches.
"He's practicing for his basketball game," Bridget said huffily.
"Oh, so he's tall - is he dark and handsome too, then?" Hermione's questions were pure spite, and from the looks on the other girls' faces (the ones Harry could see, they were ringing the two of them at the edge of the long table) they knew it.
"Of course he is," Bridget said, and Harry swore she would have stomped her foot. Her friends were looking at her, and that told Harry a lot more than what Bridget was saying.
"Bullshit." Hermione said, opening her book again, "You don't even have a boyfriend. And here you sit, so jealous you have to make fun of mine." Hermione had seen it too. Or maybe she's just gambling on being right.
"If he's your boyfriend," said a pale girl with dark brown hair, "prove it."
Hermione looked up idly, and smiled, "Why, whatever would convince you?" She looked... as if she was willing to do anything on a dare. Well, anything that wouldn't get them kicked out of the library, Harry amended. Gryffindor Bold, Gryffindor Brave.
A busty girl with a darker complexion, and hair as dark as Harry's, leaned over the table. "Kiss him."
Hermione blushed, her voice squeaking, "You want me to do what? In public?"
If Harry hadn't known Hermione better than he knew the back of his own hand... She was playing this up for effect, and he knew it. Of course, she was also asking him if he'd mind, giving him time to back out if he really, really wanted to.
Harry couldn't get vengeance on his own relatives. But these toity bitches? It was on.
"Kiss, Kiss, Kiss," the thin brunette started to chant.
"Yes, show us how real this relationship is, Herma-ninny." Bridget said.
"Bridget, you know that's not my name," Hermione said, crosser than she'd ever been when Krum had been butchering it.
Harry just shrugged, ignoring the girls around him, as if Hermione was his entire world. He gave her a dazzling smile, and stood, holding out his hand, "Shall we?"
Hermione's eyes sparkled - she knew him so well! - and she stood, putting her hand in his.
Then she closed her eyes.
Harry kept his open until his lips touched hers. They were soft, and warm. Harry let his eyes close.
Neither of them wanted this to be a sisterly kiss, so when Harry ran his tongue over Hermione's lips, she opened her mouth. It felt strange, and fun, and a little scary and cozy at the same time, doing this with Hermione Granger, his best friend for ages now.
The girls around them gasped.
The busty one even clapped, and the brunette squealed.
When they stopped kissing, Harry gave Hermione a soft smile, which she returned brightly.
"Who would ever have guessed that swotty Hermione could snag a boyfriend before me!" Bridget said.
"Oh, just ignore her," said the redhead, who'd stayed quiet all this time. "Focus on Dean."
"I think it's romantic," said the busty girl, "Even the most nags-a-lot girl can eventually find someone who can stand her." Somehow, she managed to say this with hearts swirling around her.
"Before easter," Bridget said, "I'll have Dean for my own before Easter."
The girls stalked out of the library, still plotting - all plans to get books for their report completely discarded, in the face of priorities.
Harry and Hermione shared a wild grin.
[a/n: I don't normally poach scenes this blatantly, but I wanted to have a bit of fun, and Hermione needed to be able to ask for a gift that Harry could give her. This is both a bit of wish fulfillment - getting one on over the bullies - and a reminder that just because Bridget's a mean girl, doesn't mean all her friends are all that meany pants.
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Up next: Plot happens, I promise.]