The Sugar Quill
Author: B Bennett (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Other Kiss  Chapter: default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N: This is short, and takes place at the end of GoF. I own the typos and the fluff; everything else belongs to JK Rowling. Rated G, R/H.

"Bye, Harry!" Hermione said. She then did something sheíd never done before; she kissed Harry on the cheek.

Harryís eyes met hers briefly, his lips twisting into a half-hearted attempt at a smile. He then gave his attention to Fred and George, who were mumbling so low that Hermione couldnít catch what they were saying. When the twins finished speaking, Harry turned, and with a solemn wink to the small group, followed his Uncle Vernon out of the station.

Hermione looked to Ron, and wasnít surprised to find his eyes on her.

"Ron, Iím really worried about Harry."

Ron glanced in the direction their friend had just disappeared. "I know," he said slowly. "I am, too. But he doesnít seem to want to discuss it, does he?"

Hermione sighed. "No. Iíve tried a number of times to get him to talk, but he always changes the subject. I donít know what we can do about it, other than let him know weíre here if he needs us."

Ron ran a hand through his red hair, shoving it back from his face. Hermione noticed that he looked as tired as she felt. The last few weeks had been a lot to take.

"Weíll just have to work on Dumbledore," he said, looking determined, "and get permission for Harry to come stay with us. I donít care what anyone says, he canít be better off with those muggle relatives of his."

Hermione glanced around the station for her parents, but they were no where to be seen. "Until then, we both should try to write as often as possible. I canít bear the thought of him stranded with that awful family, especially after all thatís happened."

"Right, Iíll owl him first thing when I get home. Are you going to Bulgaria this summer?"

Startled by the sudden change of subject, Hermione looked at Ron. His cheeks were slightly flushed, but his gaze focused steadily on her own.

"Viktor did invite me," she began. "For the first of July. His team has two home games that week."

Bending, Ron caught up his worn travel valise from the floor and swung it over his shoulder. When he straightened, he offered her a tight-lipped smile.

"Then I hope you have a nice time. Everyoneís waiting, Iíd better go."

Hermione put a hand on his forearm.

Ron stopped, his face unreadable.

She took a deep breath. "He did invite me," she repeated, "but to be honest, there are other places Iíd rather be this summer." She felt her face go warm. "And other people Iíd prefer to spend my time with."

Ron stared at her. For a moment, it felt to Hermione as if the crowd and bustle around them had vanished, and they were the only two people in Kingís Cross Station. Then he grinned, and the noise around her came flooding back as if a switch had been thrown.

"Iíll send you an owl with an official invitation. Maybe if Harry comes, we could all go to the ocean this year. Dadís been promising for years."

Hermione smiled happily. "That sounds like a lot of fun." She took a tentative step closer. "I suppose Iíd better go find my parents." Still holding Ronís arm, now for balance, she stood on tiptoe, and as she had done to Harry, pressed a quick kiss to his cheek. She caught Fred and George out of the corner of her eye, who were each wearing an identical, wide grin, and knew Ron would surely be in for it once they reached the Burrow. "Bye, Ron. Have a safe trip home."

Ron blushed furiously, but he returned her smile. "You too. Bye, Hermione."

Not daring a look toward Ronís family, Hermione turned and fled, as quickly as one possibly could while pushing a trolley laden with a heavy trunk and a sleeping cat.


Want to know what Ron was thinking? Read Arabella's sequel, After King's Cross

Wonder if Hermione gets to go to the beach? You find out in Getting Close to Somewhere!

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