The Mysterious Pumpkin Valentine

“Ahhhhh…” was the first sound heard from the 5th year Gryffindor girls’ dormitory.

It seemed that their resident alarm clock was now awake. The only problem was, this was Saturday, and Valentine’s Day, so the only thing she would have to do to wake them up would be to mention Valentine’s Day to them. However, this meant she didn’t have to start as early, and therefore could go ahead and get dressed. But something was amiss.

When she got to her trunk where she kept her clothes, and opened it, she noticed a pretty Heart-Shaped Pumpkin hair comb with some heart-shaped sapphires beneath it.

“Where did this come from?” she asked. Shrugging, she picked it up along with her clothes, changed and put her hair back, placing the comb in to hold it. When she got back into the main dormitory, where Lavender was stirring and Parvati was mumbling something about Dean Thomas and presents, there appeared to be a note on the table next to her bed. She picked it up, and read it.

H.G. – Thought you might like something else for your hair. Happy Valentine’s Day! – An Admirer

“Lavender! Get up! I’ve got something to show you.” she went over to Lavender’s bed, where the formerly sleeping classmate of hers was now sitting up, looking as if she’d been awake for hours instead of only a few seconds.

“What is it, Hermione? What are you so eager to show me?” Lavender asked anxiously. She loved it when any one of them got anything that they actually wanted to share.

All Hermione could do was shove the note into Lavender’s hands. She then started pacing around in a circle, around the rug that was placed in between her bed and Lavender’s.

“Who would send me something like that with a gift? I have no clue who it could be, but I want to know!” Hermione exclaimed, sounding rather frustrated.

“Hold on, Hermione! Whoever sent you this note, along with the gift I have yet to see, doesn’t want their identity revealed yet, because they signed the note ‘An Admirer.’ That means it’s supposed to be a secret for now. But let me see the present first. Maybe I can gather clues from what it looks like.” Lavender turned Hermione around so she could see the comb. “Well, there are sapphires, a pumpkin, and they’re all heart-shaped, in representation of Valentine’s Day. The sapphires are your birthstone, and the pumpkin is one of your favorite scents and things, right?”

“Well, yes. But I can’t remember whom I told besides you, Ron, Harry, and Ginny that I like pumpkins. Unless… No, surely it’s not one of them.” Hermione shook her head.

“Don’t rule Harry out yet. But it’s not Ron… We were up late last night, past midnight, and he told me he sent Eloise Midgen something. He said he sent her a scented Phoenix feather quill. Ron and Ginny have been receiving money from Fred and George lately, since 3W is so busy and successful, so that’s how he got it. And he had the bag he’d brought it back from Hogsmeade in, and it had some of the scent on it. I swear, that boy’s gotten more and more sensitive lately. If I didn’t have Seamus, I’d be after Ron!” Lavender exclaimed, and Hermione couldn’t help but agree. Ron had, in fact, become almost like Harry. If it wasn’t for the fact that he still fought rabidly with Hermione, he would have been a Harry in how he treated people, but that was the one thing Hermione would never change. Their fights were often about things that the wound up laughing over, such as a wrong spell or certain sports and books.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

After Parvati had gotten up, and stated her opinion on the note—‘I think it’s Harry, but possibly Neville,’ she had said—the girls met Ginny on the way downstairs, and on the rest of the way down, Ginny admired Hermione’s hair comb, and Lavender, Parvati, and Hermione admired Ginny’s charm bracelet, which had charms of a dragon, a maiden, a green snake, a red lion, and two house crests together in locket style that you had to open to see the crests. On the outsides of the crests was the Hogwarts crest, and on the other side was the English translation of the school motto.

When they got to the common room, the boys were nowhere to be found, so they decided they would head on down to the Great Hall for breakfast. And sure enough, like typical boys, they were already there, eating away. Ginny nudged Lavender in the side and seemed to point towards something on the table. Lavender then nudged Parvati, motioning discreetly to whatever it was Ginny had noticed. Parvati, being the shortest one of them, had to stand up almost on tiptoe to see what they were so interested in. Lavender tried to discreetly push her back on regular toe by patting her gently on the head, which sort of worked, except Hermione noticed.

“What’s so interesting that Parvati’s on tiptoe?” she asked, giving them a suspicious look.

“Oh, uh, well, nothing!” Lavender said nervously.

“Yeah, right, and I am the Queen of England. Lav, I’m not buying the innocent ‘nervous’ act. Spill, or chill!” Hermione took a look at her and finally decided to head on to the table.

“Hermione, you’ll find out at the table, I promise!” Ginny pulled her back to them. “Besides, I’m worried about what Ron’s reaction to my gift will be. After all, isn’t who sent it to me obvious?”

“Don’t mention it to him, Gin. He’ll never notice unless you do,” Parvati stated wisely. The other girls looked at her and nodded, agreeing. Ron may have been someone they, with the exception of Ginny, wouldn’t mind having a guy like, but he still sometimes failed to notice things when it came to his sister.

They were only a few feet away from the Gryffindor table—and Harry—when the food at the place between Harry and Ron changed. Instead of the plain oatmeal and toast that most other people had, in its place was a glass of Pumpkin juice, some Pumpkin Shaped Pancakes, and a bowl of syrup with Heart-shaped strawberries in it.

“Hermione…. Isn’t that your favorite breakfast on the table?” Lavender asked surreptitiously. “Funny, I thought only the Weasleys and Harry knew it was your favorite. But you said it couldn’t be Harry or Ron. And none of the Weasleys, apart from Ginny that is, are here, and we know she doesn’t go that way.”

“Oh, my… Lavender that was an image I did not need right now. Go find Seamus and snog or something for a while why don’t you. Leave me in peace for a bit.” Hermione pushed her in the direction of the aforementioned Irish Gryffindor and took her seat between Harry and Ron, both of whom looked as if there was nothing unusual about her breakfast. All in all, this seemed very suspicious to Hermione, but she quickly dismissed it, as the food would get cold, and she wasn’t about to waste it.

– – – – – – – – – – –

He quickly snuck a glance at the girl to his left, who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying her ‘Pumpkin-themed breakfast.’ Thank Merlin, Lavender and Parvati can actually sense when certain things are meant to be secret. After all, I would have never gotten that comb into her trunk without their help. He honestly thought the comb looked perfect against the soft chestnut brown of her hair, in which he could see shades of red peeking their way out as the sun shone in the enchanted ceiling. He was also greatly thankful—though he’d never admit it—to Draco Malfoy, though they had had a deal: Draco help him with the enchantments for her breakfast, and he’d help Draco get his valentine’s present to her. And it certainly seems to have worked, he thought, as he could clearly see the bracelet on its receivers’ right wrist.

– – – – – – – – – – –

Ron had gotten up and headed over to the Hufflepuff table to chat with Eloise, while Hermione had noticed Ginny trying to discreetly sneak out after a certain Slytherin had passed by the table and tossed a note in her direction. This left Hermione alone with Harry, as the other Gryffindors were currently busy with their ‘significant others.’ For example, Lavender and Seamus had long snuck out of the hall, apparently heading for either the Astronomy Tower or the nearest broom closet. So when Harry got up to leave, he offered his hand to her.

“Are you ready to go?” he asked, helping her up with his famous grin.

“Sure, let’s head on up,” she replied, returning the grin.

Little did they know, an even powerful thing would meet up with them on the way back to the common room.

– – – – – – – – – – –

A couple moving staircases and silent moments later, they didn’t seem to be any closer to the tower, and Hermione was getting worried that they were lost.

“Harry, where are we?” she asked him nervously.

“I- I- I don’t really know… I guess I sort of lost track of where I was taking us- Wait.. I think I’ve got the map in my pocket or something.” He dug around in his pockets, as if searching for something. He grinned when he touched the handy parchment that was sure to help them out, and pulled it out, flattening it as much as he could without getting it dirty. “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”

They both watched as the familiar map began to outline the whole of Hogwarts. Hermione noticed with amusement that instead of being in the Astronomy Tower, Lavender had drug Seamus to the same broom closet she and Harry had arrived in during their 3rd year Time-Turner experience. She was moreover satisfied to see that she was right about whom Ginny had been following, for the girl and her Slytherin beau were the only current occupants of the Astronomy Tower. If only Lavender was right about whom my Admirer is. But wouldn’t it have been obvious?

“So you saw who Ginny is with?” Harry’s voice broke through her thoughts like lightning during a thunderstorm.

“Yes, I certainly did. And did you notice where Lavender and Seamus are?” Hermione watched him look at the map, and then back up at her with an incredulous look on his face.

“They’re in- they’re in the broom closet that we arrived in after turning the Time-Turner in third year, aren’t they?” Harry looked at her, admiring how her nose gently sloped downwards before angling up ever so slightly at the tip.

“Yes, they are. hold on, what’s that writing in the room next door?” Hermione asked him inquisitively.

“Something about saying the word ‘magicus itemus’ to reveal any magical items in nearby rooms. That’s weird, this has never shown up before on the map, why would it now?”

“Maybe the item is important to what’s going on around us?” she suggested. Something about the atmosphere made her think they should say the words.

“Well… Magicus itemus!” he stated forcefully. Then, in bright orange ink, in the room next door, was the word “Erised.” Harry now understood. “Hermione… The item in the room next door is the mirror.”

“The mirror? Which mir-Oh! Surely you don’t mean the Mirror of ERISED?” she asked, getting louder with every word.

“Yes, that’s the mirror. You want to go see it? I’ll only go if you don’t mind.” he watched her, waiting for her response.

“Well, seeing as I’ve only seen the pictures in books, and I’d love to see it for real, I’d love to see it. Come on, let’s go.” Hermione dragged his arm over to the door that connected to the room. She opened it with her free hand, as the other was now firmly grasping Harry’s, and stepped inside. She soon found however, that nothing could have prepared her for the first glimpse of the real Mirror of Erised. “Oh, my…. It’s beautiful!”

“Funny, standing next to you, it looks rather dull.” came the reply. She looked at him, and noticed the slight blush that was creeping along his cheeks. Wait a minute… Harry’s blushing? At me? The thought was very foreign, but it made her feel all warm inside.

“Listen Herm, if you want to look in the mirror with me, there’s a chair or two in here I think,” he said, lighting his wand with a quick “Lumos.”

In the end they found only one chair fit to sit in, as the others seemed to have been broken.

“Uh… Herm, if you want to, uh, we can share.” He seemed a bit nervous, but then, he’d never been in this situation before. And he knew the only way they would be able to share was if she sat in his lap.

“Ok, if you’re sure you don’t mind,” she replied, albeit a bit shyly, but then again, best friends with platonic feelings for each other didn’t generally feel shy about even doing things like this.

“Ok,” he said, pulling the chair over to the mirror, and sitting down in it. “Come on, Herm, I’ll stand up if you want me to.”

She smiled at him, walking over. “I have an idea. But you have to get up for me to do it.” He complied, getting up, and she changed the wooden chair into an exact replica of their favorite chair in the Gryffindor common room. She went ahead and sat down, sinking into the chair, as it was so comfortable. “Come on, Harry, surely you’re not afraid of little ole me, are you?” His eyes narrowed, even though he knew she was only teasing him.

“Ok, you asked me to, so I will,” he said sitting down next to her and putting his arm around her shoulders. She leaned against him, silent for a moment, as if she was transfixed by whatever she could see in the mirror.

“Harry?” she asked after a moment, though she was still staring into the mirror.

“Yes, Herm?” he replied, pulling her a bit closer in his arms still.

“What do you see now, when you look into the mirror?” her voice was soft, wistful, as if whatever she saw was beyond anything she’d ever imagined.

“Why do you ask?” was his answer, as he was sure he couldn’t be happier. Upon looking into the mirror, he had been astonished to see that he was looking at the two of them exactly as they were. What was it the Headmaster said to me? Ah, yes. He told me the happiest man alive would look into the mirror and see himself exactly as he was. Which must mean I couldn’t be happier right now…

“Because I’m looking at what’s real, Harry. The image in the picture shows us exactly as we are. Together. Alone.” She tore her eyes away from the mirror, turning her head up to look at him, as he was looking down at her now. “But for some reason, I thought when I looked into the mirror, I’d see myself finding out who my mysterious admirer is.”

“Maybe the mirror’s trying to tell you what you want to hear? And maybe it’s not lying,” he said softly, eyes never breaking contact with hers.

“But that would- that would mean you are my admirer,” she said, with disbelief in her voice.

“Hermione… Lavender was right this morning when she said your admirer meant to keep his identity a secret at that present time. But, truth be told, I think he’s realizing he wants you to know. Believe, Hermione. She was right. Don’t rule me out, because I am the person who sent you that comb, which, I might add, couldn’t look even half as good on anyone else as it does on you.” He brought his left hand up to turn her cheek towards him, and without him noticing, she shifted her body so she was sitting in his lap sideways. “And yes, the breakfast was me, as well. Though, you’d never believe who helped me with the breakfast… I’ll tell you later, not now.” Not when there’s something much, much more important than telling her all the details of the ‘Secret Admirer’ endeavor.

“I can wait to find out who helped you. I just want you all to myself for awhile,” she said, smiling bashfully up at him. Merlin, his eyes look so bright in this light… Too bad they don’t look like this in normal light.

Finally, Harry found he couldn’t resist her any longer, and pulled her closer, taking care to keep eye contact the whole while. And when their lips met, neither one could repress the sighs that came out of their mouth. For, in that one day, their friendship had changed, thanks to some good friends, and an old mirror. Of course, the friends that had helped them were currently busy in their own romantic endeavors, but none of them had gotten lost quite like Harry and Hermione had. Later, Hermione told Harry that in her books, that was what all Valentine’s Day’s should be like. Not about red, pink, or any of the flowers and candy, but gifts from the heart, the unconventional things that really mattered. And from then on, both looked at Valentine’s Day as just another day, but also as the anniversary of the best day of their lives—getting lost or not.

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