Nobody ever asked my birthday

Stewing

Harry Potter was coming down for breakfast - down to the common room that is.

He was early, as usual - after his morning run and shower, it was just common sense to stay awake.

He'd almost had time to start thinking about the Order Meeting when he saw -

Hermione swirled around the Common room, like a stirring rod through a clear potion.

Like Veritaserum.

Maybe I really will get better at potions, if I keep up with metaphors like that

"Hermione?" Harry asked tentatively, coming down the stairs.

"Harry!" she said, her tone excited, pleading, and demanding.

On the toes of his feet, Harry scampered down the stairs, coming to rest in front of Hermione.

"No detention." Hermione hissed in his general direction.

"What's wrong with that?" Harry frowned, "I thought no detention was a good thing?"

"He's up to something," Hermione said.

Harry grinned, for a flash of a second, and then smoothed his face. He shook his head, "No, he's not."

"How can you be so sure?" Hermione demanded, her hands on her hips.

"He'll want to let you stew first. He will plan something, see if he doesn't... but it'll be when you've grown tired of looking behind every curtain, and under the bed."

Hermione let out an aggrieved sigh, and stomped around the room some more.

"Food, Hermione," Harry said, grabbing her by the back of her collar, and tugging her bodily towards the Common Room Entrance.

From upstairs, they could hear Lavender and Parvati giggling.

Which made Harry think of Ron...

What, if Malfoy and Hermione can't ... um... be together, they're going to drive each other crazy?

Typical, innit, leaving me right in the middle of it?

Harry strode into the Great Hall, Hermione already fishing for a book to read at the breakfast table.

She didn't see, but Harry did - Malfoy's glittering pearls of teeth flashing at them. He looked ever so smug.

Harry'd never cared for smug. Not in Hermione, not Snape, not Malfoy. Oh, sure you didn't tell your friends, but you could find ways to get them to stop being so smug. Harry preferred people who looked inquisitive, interested.

Ron and Lavender eventually made it to breakfast - minutes after Malfoy had taken the long way around the room, just to have a chance to walk directly behind Hermione.

Harry was glad he wasn't in Ancient Runes or Arithmancy. Potions had assigned seating, after all.

[a/n: Leave a review? I swear, I got a whole plot in the time between last chapter and this one. Anyone know any good pranks?]