“How’d you get over there, when I was just talking to you there…and now you’re there!”
“Harry, what’s he on about?” Hermione said innocently, her eyes sparkling with mischief as she turned to look at him.
Harry grinned; mischievous Hermione was always fun, and it was a breath of fresh air after their adventures that night. “Don’t know. Honestly Ron, how can someone be in two places at once?” he replied, in a near perfect imitation of one of her earlier retorts. She snorted in surprise at the uncanny resemblance – it was really a quite good imitation – glancing up at exactly the wrong moment to catch his eye. That was the last straw, both of them collapsing into helpless giggles as Ron watched in bemused resentment from the bed.
“Someone want to catch me up, or would you prefer to have your dumb little private jokes?” he said sulkily.
The laughter instantly ceased as Harry tensed and opened his mouth to retort. Hermione touched his wrist, forestalling the angry words as she smiled apologetically at the redhead.
“Sorry Ron. It’s been a long, crazy night.” She said quietly. “We were just relieving some stress. And there really isn’t much more we can tell you.” She shrugged. “We freed Buckbeak, avoided Professor Lupin and the Dementors, and got him to Sirius, and they both escaped.” She yawned suddenly. “And I’m exhausted. C’mon Harry. Ron, we’ll come visit tomorrow, first thing. I promise.”
It was clear he wanted to protest, but he mumbled a ‘good night’ and slumped down in bed, still sulky, deliberately turning his back to the door. Harry suddenly felt a wave of guilt; here he was, with the best night and secret ever, and he hadn’t told his best friend about it yet, but instead had teased and laughed and made jokes. He resisted Hermione’s gentle tug, his gaze on the other boy. “Hermione…”
“We can’t. Not yet. C’mon, Harry.” She murmured, too low for Ron to hear. She firmly pulled him away. They were nearly all the way back at Gryffindor Tower when she said, “I know you wanted to tell him Harry, but we promised.” She stopped just inside of the portrait hole and turned to face him, offering a tired smile. “Despite everything, I had fun tonight.”
He couldn’t help returning the smile. For all her quirks and strange habits and ideas, she was truly one of the most important people in his life. “I’m glad you were with me.” He replied, though his cheeks heated slightly. “We made a good team.”
Her smile brightened. “We did, didn’t we?” She studied him for a moment, then impulsively leaned up to kiss him on the cheek. “Good night, Harry.” She darted up the stairs, leaving him staring after her.
After a moment, he shook his head. “Witches.” He muttered. “I will never understand them.”