“Harry, why are we doing this in the middle of the night?”
“Because we haven’t seen Hagrid in ages and we never have time to visit him during the day,
especially with NEWT preparation.”
It was eleven o’clock, and Harry and Hermione, aided by the invisibility cloak, were heading
towards the small hut where their friend lived. Lately, Hagrid was rarely at Hogwarts,
Dumbledore kept him busy with many assignments. Harry had come up with the idea to visit him
tonight after hearing Professor McGonagall tell Professor Flitwick that Hagrid would be back
after dinner. Harry had invited both Hermione and Ron to accompany him, but Ron said he wasn’t
feeling well and wanted to turn in early. Hermione was game at the time, but as they were walking
to the cabin in the cold, deep snow, she was beginning to have second thoughts.
“See Hermione, the lights are on! I told you that he would be awake,” he said, but at that moment
they heard two voices laughing, not in the hut, but in the garden behind it. Harry and Hermione
walked quietly and carefully around to the back of the cabin, and as they turned the corner what
they saw surprised them.
Hagrid and Madame Maxime (“I should of known that she would be here!” Harry exclaimed)
were standing next to each other, oblivious to the cold, playing with the snow. Madame Maxime
was putting the final touches on a rather nice-looking snowman, but Hagrid’s was. . .
“A hippogriff?” Hermione and Madame Maxime said in unison. Harry nudged her in the ribs as a
reminder to keep quiet, but neither one of the adults had heard them. ” ‘Agrid, why are you
making a ‘ippogriff?”
“‘Cause I had one once. Blimey, Olympe, didn’t I tell you about Buckbeak?” Madame
Maxime shook her head. Hagrid then began to tell her the story, in detail, that both Harry and
Hermione knew so well.
After a few minutes Hermione said, “Let’s go back to the castle. I’m cold, and I don’t think they
want to be interrupted.”
“You’re right,” he agreed. They turned around and started back towards the castle. After they
were out of earshot of the two lovebirds Harry said, “Only Hagrid would believe that making
snow creatures in the middle of the night in frigid conditions would be a great date.”
Hermione giggled. A moment later she asked, “Harry, why is Madame Maxime here anyway? It’s
not like we’re having the Triwizard Tournament right now.”
“She and Hagrid have a meeting with Dumbledore and the Order tomorrow morning,” he
answered. After a few more minutes of walking in silence, Harry stopped suddenly and said,
“Hermione I think I’ve lost my wand. Help me find it.” He started looking at the ground around
him and motioned Hermione to go and search behind him.
“But what about the cloak, Harry!” she cried. “If we’re seen, we’ll get into trouble!”
This news didn’t phase him at all. “Don’t worry. You’re Head Girl. I’m sure you can come up with
a clever excuse why you’re outside, at night, in the middle of January. Help me. Please?” he
“Okay, but it’s your fault if we get caught.”
“If you get caught. Remember, I still have the cloak on.”
“All right, If I get caught,” she said as she started towards the cabin, her back to Harry’s.
It was exactly how he wanted it. He grabbed a handful of snow, packed it together, and lobbed it
at Hermione’s head.
“Harry!” she shouted as he laughed, “You liar! I’ll get you for this!”
Soon they were in the midst of a vicious snowball fight. Harry, still under the invisibility cloak,
was a hard target for Hermione to aim at, but she managed to hit him a few times before she
decided she’d had enough of the cloak.
“Either come out and fight like a man, or I’ll rip that cloak off your back!”
Harry’s response was another SPLAT! on her back. She lunged blindly at him, tripped on the hem
of the cloak, and fell, bringing Harry down with her. They rolled, and rolled, and rolled down
the hill until . . .
CRASH! They hit the ice-covered lake and fell through.
“Harry!” Hermione screamed as she tried to disentangle herself enough from the cloak to stand up
in the muddy, waist-deep water. “Thanks a lot!”
Suddenly Harry appeared, helped her as they both got out of the lake, and threw the cloak over
both of them, saying simply, “Fun, wasn’t it?”
“Yes,” Hermione laughed, “But I’m really freezing to death out here.”
“Well, come on,” he said, grabbing her hand, “Let’s go inside and get warm.”
The two made their way back up to the castle, quietly but swiftly treading down the corridors,
hoping that the wet spots on the floor and their chattering teeth wouldn’t attract Filch.
Harry was still holding Hermione’s hand, but she wasn’t in any rush for him to let go. “This is
very nice,” she thought to herself. “It’s almost like we’re a couple . . .”
They gave the Fat Lady the password and entered the empty Common Room.
“Let’s get changed, Hermione said. “Then we can come back down here and I’ll make us some hot
“You don’t have to make it,” Harry answered, “I’ll go down to the kitchens and nick some from
Dobby . . .”
“No, Harry. I don’t think we should risk another nighttime stroll.”
“You’re right, as usual. I’ll meet you back here in ten minutes.” He let go of her hand as they made
their way to their separate staircases.
“Why was I holding her hand?” Harry asked himself as he changed into a pair of green flannel
pyjamas and, inadvertently, his fluffy lion slippers. “I liked it, that’s for sure . . . Why am I saying
this? Hermione’s my best friend.” He shook himself of the thought as he headed down to the
Hermione was pondering similar things while she was changing. “But Harry doesn’t need a
girlfriend right now,” she told herself. “He needs a friend. And that’s what I am. Nothing more.”
She grabbed a small tray off of her bedside table that had a teapot, two mugs, and hot cocoa mix
on it, and descended the staircase, finding Harry waiting on her.
“You look nice, and warm,” he said smiling.
“Thanks,” she answered, looking at him. “You too. Especially the slippers.”
Harry looked down, his face turning red as he realized which pair of slippers he was wearing.
“Thanks. Mrs. Weasley gave them to me for my birthday. She says the show house pride.”
“I like them.” Harry looked relieved that she wasn’t joking.
“So, do you want some cocoa now? I’m sorry, but all I have is mix. Is that okay?”
“That’s fine.” Hermione started busying herself in front of the fire, and Harry sat down next to her
on a thick, warm rug. “Why do you keep a tea set and cocoa mix in your dormitory?”
“How do you think that I’m able to stay up studying so late at night? Having something warm to
drink helps me relax and focus.”
“Good study tip,” Harry said. “I’ll have to try it sometime.”
As he watched Hermione heat the water and pour the mix into the mugs, he could not help but
realize how pretty she was. He said earlier that she had looked nice, and he meant it. She had her
hair back in a ponytail; her face was freshly scrubbed. She was wearing dark pink pyjamas and a
blue dressing gown and slippers. “Pink’s a really pretty color on her,” he thought, “It makes her
lips show up very nicely . . .” He snapped himself out of his reverie. “She doesn’t want to be your
girlfriend. She’s just a friend.”
“Here you go, Harry,” Hermione said, handing him a mug of hot cocoa.
They sat on the rug and sipped in silence for a few minutes. Harry was watching her lips as they
met the mug. “They are very kissable lips,” he thought.
Hermione was looking at his lion slippers. “It’s been great spending this evening with him. I wish
we could do it more often.”
As he finished, Harry sat his mug down and rose to go, but Hermione said, “Stay for a while. We
don’t have to go class tomorrow; we’re not in a rush.”
“Okay.” He turned to face her, looking in her eyes for what seemed like an eternity. Then they
both broke away and started talking at once.
“Hermione I- ”
She motioned him to continue.
He took a deep breath and started in. “I don’t know how to say this, and I may fumble it a bit, so
please bear with me. I really, really like you. No, wait. I didn’t say it right. I mean that you’re a
great friend, but lately I’ve been feeling that I like you in a different kind of way . . . a better way.
I was just wondering if you liked me that way too?”
Hermione grinned. “I was going to say the same thing. The answer is yes.”
Harry grinned too. “Really?”
They both smiled a little longer, then Harry bent down his head and brought his lips to hers.
It was amazing. Everything that they had done with other people faded out of their minds with
this sweet, simple kiss. Harry realized at that moment that what he felt for Hermione wasn’t just
like. It was deeper, and different, and . . . perfect.
He pulled away and, his forehead on hers, looked in her eyes.
“I love you.”
Hermione smiled again; tears of joy were coursing down her cheeks. “I love you, too.”
Winky the house-elf entered the Gryffindor Common Room to tend to the fire. On a big, fluffy
rug by the hearth she found Harry fast asleep, with his arm around Hermione. Her head was on his
chest; their fingers were intertwined.
Quietly she conjured a blanket and laid it over them. Then, tiptoeing out of the room, left them to
their sweet dreams.