Harry stumbled into the Gryffindor common room, robes askew, with a stupefied look on his face. Hermione and Ron exchanged worried glances as Harry sank onto the empty chair across from them at the revision table and blinked at the fire crackling in the fireplace.
“What’s the matter, mate? You look like you’ve seen a dementor,” Ron said tentatively.
“Malfoy,” Harry replied in a haze.
Ron grimaced. “What’d the slimy git do now?”
Harry pressed his fingers to his lips and then looked at his hand. “He kissed me.”
“What?!” Ron exclaimed, eyes bulging. The others in the common room looked curiously in their direction.
“I was wondering when he’d do it,” Hermione said.
Ron’s bug-eyed gaze swung to Hermione. “What?!”
“You knew about this?” Harry stared at her incredulously.
Hermione went back to her revision. “Of course I did. Malfoy’s been acting twitchier than usual all week, always trying to lure you off alone.”
“And that led you to believe he wanted to kiss me?”
“Actually, that would be because Parkinson asked me what you would do if Malfoy kissed you,” Hermione said, turning a page in the open book in front of her.
Ron noticed their audience and lowered his voice. “You told her he’d curse Malfoy, right?”
“I told her that Harry would probably stand there with that exact look on his face—,” Hermione gestured negligently with her quill at Harry, “—giving Malfoy a chance to flee.”
Ron gaped at her. He turned to Harry. “She’s wrong, right? You cursed him good, didn’t you?”
“Um…” Harry shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “It happened so fast…”
“He’s going to do it again, too,” Hermione said matter-of-factly.
Ron sputtered in outrage. “The pervy ferret better not!”
“Hermione,” Harry said a bit desperately, “what do you mean?”
“Simple: he’ll want to know if it was a fluke,” Hermione replied. “He’ll kiss you a second time to see if you curse him or kiss back.”
“Kiss back?!” Ron exploded. “Harry will not kiss Malfoy back!”
The Gryffindors in the common room burst into a fury of whispers and giggles, while staring at Harry. Harry tried to blend into the furniture. “Thanks a lot, Ron.”
Ron glanced around and then shrugged sheepishly. “Sorry, mate.”
“Just remember, Harry,” Hermione jotted something on her parchment, “whatever you decide, we’ll support you.”
“We most certainly will no-oof.” Ron pressed his hands over the spot where Hermione elbowed him. “But Hermione—”
Hermione smiled at Harry. “Our full support.”
Harry sank into the open seat beside Ron at the Gryffindor table in the noisy Great Hall. Ron glanced at Hermione across the table, and then looked at Harry. “Where’d you run off to, Harry? On second you’re with us, the next you’re gone.”
“Malfoy snagged my robe and pulled me into a cupboard,” Harry said, piling his plate with food. “You were right, Hermione. He did try to kiss me again.”
Ron growled. “That bloody git. I hope you hexed his mouth off. We wouldn’t have to listen to him anymore, either, then.”
“Er…” Harry tugged at the collar of his robe. “Actually…”
Ron’s jaw dropped. “You didn’t.”
“It did shut him up,” Harry said, scratching the back of his neck.
Ron made a pained noise and planted his face in his plate full of food. The other Gryffindors further down the table turned to stare.
Hermione shook her head at Ron’s antics and then asked Harry, “How was it?”
“How was what?” Harry said, nicking the brownie beside Ron’s ear.
“Kissing Draco Malfoy?”
Harry eyes twinkled behind his glasses and a wicked grin crossed his face. “Wet.”