Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: General/Slight Romance
Pairing: Krum/Hermione; implied Harry/Hermione
Summary: "Herm-own-ninny talks about you very often." A "missing scene" from GoF that might have brought about that much-quoted phrase.
Disclaimer: The characters and other recognisable situations and locations herein are not mine, but the sole property of the one and only Joanne Kathleen Rowling. I am making no money out of this story.
Author's Note: Apologies in advance for formatting problems in this one as well.
He hesitated a moment at the door, just looking at her, sitting among the piles of books and parchment that always seemed to surround her. Every moment or so, she would lift her head from the scroll she was writing on and check something in a book, a wholly endearing frown on her face the entire time.
Viktor Krum took a deep breath and moved towards Hermione, sitting across from her. She looked up and a slight smile worked across her features as she noticed him. “It’s nice to see you,” she said.
Viktor just nodded and took out a few books from his own bag, sliding them across the table towards her.
“What’s this?” she asked curiously, pulling them closer to her and opening one.
“You said you vanted to know about Bulgaria,” he said awkwardly.
“I did…Viktor, thank you!” she said, turning the pages of one large book entitled An Extensive History of Bulgaria and Magic intently.
“You like the gift?” he asked tentatively.
“A gift – I can keep them?”
“Of course…if you vant them,” he added hastily.
“I’d love it,” she said, smiling at him. “Thank you.”
“It vos a pleasure.” He peered at what she had been working at before. “Vot vere you doing?”
“Oh, a little research,” Hermione said, still immersed in An Extensive History.
His gaze raked the parchment, filled with spells Hermione had copied verbatim. “Do you vant help?”
She looked up and a tiny blush crossed her face. “No, it’s not for me, actually.”
“It’s for Harry, really,” Hermione said. “In preparation for the Third Task. Of course, we don’t know yet what Harry – and you, and the other champions – will be facing, but it could be anything, and I thought it couldn’t do any harm to do some extra preparation.”
“Ah.” Viktor nodded slowly. “Did you help him for the first two, then?”
Hermione looked at him for a moment as if weighing up whether she could tell him, and capitulated. “For the First Task, yes,” she admitted. “I spent the entire night teaching him the Summoning Charm. I tried helping him for the Second Task as well, but I wasn’t able to find anything. Dob – he found out on his own.”
“He is a very good flier,” Viktor observed, wondering for a moment what she had been about to say before she had stopped herself. “He is better than I vos at his age.”
She shrugged. “Yes, he’s the youngest House player in a hundred years – he managed to get on the team in his first year.”
“Did he see the Vorld Cup match?” Viktor asked, wincing only slightly as the memory of the match came back to him. He shook it off as Hermione nodded eagerly.
“Oh, yes,” she said. “I was there as well.”
“You vere?” he asked, raising his eyebrows curiously. Hermione had never struck him as a person particularly interested in Quidditch – or any other sport, for that matter.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I’ve never seen flying like that before.”
Viktor grunted softly, staring at the table.
“I thought you were very brave,” Hermione added quietly. Viktor lifted his head again. “It looked very dangerous to try that…that…Wonky Faint –”
“Wronski Feint,” Viktor corrected, a rare grin breaking across his features.
She grinned back. “Of course. Harry told me that other time I got it wrong.”
There was a slight pause, in which Viktor’s gaze dropped back to the table, examining the cracks and crevices intently. “Vot else did you think about the match?’ he asked, at a loss for what else to talk about.
“It was so fast,” Hermione said. “I think that the only time I took my eyes off the game was when the referee became distracted by those Veela.” She giggled softly.
Krum let another unusual smile escape. “Veela are powerful,” he observed laconically.
“Yes, you should have seen Harry and Ron react when they first came on,” Hermione said, rolling her eyes in remembrance. “Absolutely ridiculous behaviour – Harry looked like he was about to dive off the top of the box.”
“It happens,” Krum said, “when the Veela are dancing.”
“Just as well I was there to bring him – and Ron – back to their senses,” Hermione said, “otherwise I have no doubt that they would have both jumped to their deaths.”
Krum chuckled slightly. “I do not think so,” he said. “The groundsmen prepare very, very carefully whenever Veela are to be brought on. There are spells cast to prevent any would-be hero from injury.”
“Oh, I see. That makes sense,” she conceded. “How come the Veela didn’t seem to affect your team?”
Krum shrugged. “It is more a matter of conditioning a person to the Veela. At first, our team vos very susceptible, but ve became used to it later on.”
“Oh, I see.”
“The Veela do not generally have much effect on a married man or a man othervise attached either,” Krum added. “It is the younger boys who haff the most trouble.”
Hermione nodded. “And what about playing professional Quidditch itself? It sounds tiring, especially since you have school still…”
“It can be,” he said. “Professor Karkaroff teaches me personally vhatever I miss out on, so I do not fall behind.” He pushed back his shoulders and sat a little straighter. “And I only haff this last year of school left before I am free.”
“What are you going to do?”
Krum looked at her curiously. Most people took it for granted that he would continue his professional Quidditch career. Hermione was one of the few who seemed to realise that he might want something else in his life. “I do not know,” he admitted.
“Surely you have something in mind,” Hermione pressed.
“Nothing,” he said. “Professor Karkaroff has things in mind for me, but I am not sure yet vhether I will do any of them.”
“And you?” he asked after another slight pause.
“Me?” Hermione asked. “I haven’t really thought about it much yet. Professor Moody said that I might make a good Auror the other day – he said something like that to Harry before as well – but I’m not sure. Perhaps a Healer.”
“You vould be a good Healer,” Krum said. “You vould be gentle.”
She blushed slightly. “Thanks.”
“It is the truth.” Krum looked down at her papers again. “How long haff you known Harry Potter?” he asked, probing gently.
“Ever since first year,” Hermione said, dipping the tip of her quill into an inkpot absently.
“And you vere friends from then?”
“Nearly,” Hermione said. “We weren’t friends to start with. It took a troll to make that happen. But after that Harry, Ron and I were very close.”
“And it is a friendship that lasts.”
“Yes,” she said, smiling distantly. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
“I vish I could haff such a friendship,” Krum observed, almost to himself.
“What about your own friends?” Hermione asked.
“I haff none.”
“Nobody at Durmstrang is really friends with another,” Krum said. “Ve are classmates and schoolmates, yes, but further than that it does not go. Ve work as individuals.”
He shrugged. “It never seemed sad before, but now, yes, I think you might be correct.”
“Everybody should have friends,” Hermione said introspectively. “I never had friends before I came to Hogwarts, and I don’t know how I got through it all without them.”
“Vhy did you not haff friends?” Krum asked. “Many people vould haff wanted to be friends with you.”
She blushed again. “I suppose I wasn’t like the rest of them. I read a lot. None of the other girls in my year did that.”
“And now you haff many friends? Besides Harry Potter and the other boy?”
“Ron,” Hermione supplied. “No, I don’t really have many good friends besides those two, as a matter of fact, but I don’t need them.”
“You haff much fun vith them, then?”
“Yes, a lot. Sometimes they annoy me, and sometimes they can be stupid, but all the other times they’re great.” She looked at him with a quizzical expression suddenly. “Why are you so interested?”
Krum shrugged self-consciously, certainly not wanting to tell her that he had seen a certain article in the Daily Prophet. “I vanted to know,” he said simply.
Hermione nodded. “It’s like Harry, really,” she said sympathetically. “He’s never known what a family is like…Ron’s is the only one he has.”
Krum was surprised, although he didn’t let it show. He hadn’t ever considered that side of the Boy-Who-Lived’s life. He acknowledged, even if only to himself, that Harry’s lot must be harder than most thought. “He has you and Ron Weasley, though,” he said.
“Yes, I’m glad we’re there,” Hermione said. “It’s just going to get worse from here for him, and I don’t want him to be alone for it.”
“I don’t know…it’s just a feeling I have,” Hermione said, frowning slightly. She shrugged. “Maybe it’s left over from being worried about him during the first two tasks.”
Krum suppressed a twinge of jealousy. He had saved Hermione from the lake in the Second Task, and it was all too true that she had been worried about Harry – so worried that she had barely given Krum a look once the two of them had surfaced, gasping out a query whether Harry had come out yet and then turning back swiftly to watch the dark waters of the lake when she had found that he hadn’t.
And then, after Harry had finally surfaced with both the last hostages and after the scores had been read, she had ignored Krum again, and his efforts to ask her to visit him over the holidays, too busy cheering her friend to answer.
He realised just then that Hermione was looking at him questioningly. “Perhaps,” he said, grasping at the threads of the conversation.
Hermione nodded, looking back down at her scroll of parchment.
The creak of the door alerted Krum to the presence of another person. He swung around in his seat to meet the surprised green eyes of the person whom he had been musing on only a moment ago.
“Er…” Harry Potter said.
“Oh good, you’re here,” Hermione said, looking up.
Harry nodded and slid into the seat next to her. “Yeah. Sorry – I didn’t expect detention to be so long,” he said, giving Krum a curious look.
“That’s all right; I got heaps done,” Hermione said, handing him her half-filled scroll.
He took it, but didn’t look at it, his gaze still flickering uncertainly from Hermione to Krum. “You know, er…I don’t have to be here,” he said, his gaze settling on Hermione at last.
“Don’t be silly, Viktor doesn’t mind,” Hermione said briskly. She handed him a book. “Here, take this and have a look through it. I thought that there were some interesting jinxes in Chapter Twenty-Three.”
Harry nodded and began leafing to the chapter she had mentioned.
“Viktor and I were just talking about the first two tasks,” Hermione said, with a look towards Krum.
“Oh,” Harry said, a flat tone entering his voice as he stopped turning the pages. “Like how I came up with one more person than I needed to, way after the time limit in the Second Task?”
“Of course not!” Hermione said sharply. “We were just talking about how you got through them.”
“Oh,” Harry said, sounding slightly more relaxed. He looked over at Krum. “That shark transfiguration you did must have been pretty difficult.”
“I did not do it properly,” Krum said, recalling his half-done spell ruefully. “I did it too quickly and mixed up the words of the spell.”
“It worked, though,” Harry said. “I wouldn’t have known what to do if it hadn’t been for – um, anyway, I found out.”
“Gillyweed, vos it?”
“Yeah, that’s it.” Harry nodded and continued to turn the pages of his book to chapter twenty-three.
“Personally, I thought the First Task was the more dangerous one,” Hermione said, leaning away from the table for a moment. “The Second Task just had a time limit – it wasn’t very hazardous, was it?”
“I dunno,” Harry said. “At least you knew exactly what to expect in the First Task. I didn’t particularly like the idea of having to save someone’s life...not that I had to, anyway,” he finished, a note of bitterness in his voice.
“Stop it,” Hermione said sharply.
“Yeah, OK,” Harry said, nodding and dipping his quill into the inkpot. “What about you…er…?”
Krum saved him the trouble of deciding what to call him. “I did not like the Second Task either,” he said. “It vos not – how do you say it? – fun.”
“No, fun isn’t the word that comes to mind,” Harry agreed, poring over the first page of chapter twenty-three.
“I don’t remember – not on the book, Harry!” Hermione grabbed his wrist and prevented Harry from marking something on the page of the book he had been scanning. “Honestly. When will you – oh, are you going, Viktor?”
Krum had risen and was in the process of picking up his bag. “Vell…”
“You don’t have to go because I’m here,” Harry said, sounding supremely uncomfortable once more. “I can just –”
“It is not a problem,” Krum interrupted. “Karkaroff vishes us to be back at the ship early.”
“Oh, if you’re sure…” Hermione began.
“I am sure.”
“Well, I’ll see you later then,” Hermione said, giving him a smile. “Bye.”
“Haff a good night.”
“Yeah,” Harry said, still sounding a trifle uneasy. “Night.”
Krum nodded at him and walked away, shutting the library door quietly behind him.
Walking slowly back to the Durmstrang ship, Krum mused silently on the scene that had played out before his eyes just a few minutes previously. Harry Potter was somebody special – everyone knew that. The tale of his survival against the most powerful dark wizard in history was a household story. But he was special to Hermione in a way that Viktor Krum could never compete with.
He frowned in the darkness as he recalled their easy manner with each other – the way that Harry had dropped into the seat beside hers, the way Hermione had reached for and grabbed his arm. Krum could not think of an instance, other than the Yule Ball dance, that Hermione had touched him voluntarily.
It was possible, he knew, that they were ‘just friends’.
But, Krum decided, looking up and seeing the dark silhouette of the Durmstrang ship, he would have to have a word with Harry Potter anyway.
Thanks for reading. :)