A/N: As uh, usual... I got carried away and did a second tiny oneshot for this prompt, sent by callieskye. x

#17: Needing to kiss to hide from bad guys

Ron had been gone three days on an Auror mission... which meant Hermione had run out of books to reread.

She'd snatched Ginny away that morning from listening to a Quidditch recap on the Wireless and had made a trip to Diagon Alley to replenish, if in part only to get out of her flat. It was late autumn, and the weather was lovely, but even the colours of the bloody leaves changing made her think of Ron and how she'd only been back from Hogwarts for four months and already she was so used to seeing him constantly that not being with him for even one day was frustrating... and lonely.

She'd managed to find two new books that could potentially keep her occupied until the weekend was out, and they'd gone around the corner to a small Quidditch supplies shop where Ginny was browsing whist Hermione waited out front. It was a bit dark and dusty inside, but the streets of Diagon Alley weren't so busy now that the new Hogwarts year was in session, so it was quiet, and the air was fresh and crisp, and she was about to lean back against the stone wall of the building behind her when-

She heard the hammering boot steps first, then a flash of black robes - fading to brown? - as someone careened around the corner of the Quidditch shop and nearly slammed into her left side. Before she could speak, he'd tugged her arm and whirled her around, pulling her flush again the front of his body, and her stunned eyes found his.

"Ro-" His lips crashed down on hers, silencing her exclamation, but a shocked hum vibrated from her, against his mouth. His thumb brushed her cheek, and she closed her eyes.

A million thoughts raced through her overactive mind - what was he doing there, why had he grabbed her so abruptly, and surely it hadn't been only one person's footfalls she'd heard thudding on the cobblestone. No, in fact, she could still hear them. Fading away now.

And there was no doubt this was him, though the idea of Polyjuice had flashed briefly through her mind. Surely no one could kiss exactly the same way... exactly like he kissed her.

She looped her arms around his neck and thoroughly kissed him back. Alright, if he was there, whatever the reason, she was going to take advantage of it.

She felt him moan lightly back, tongue meeting hers and teeth briefly scraping across her lower lip. She sucked in a breath through her nose and gripped his hair in a tight fist, just enough to hold on without hurting him. She'd had a fair bit of practice with this particular thing, and she could feel him grin against her mouth as she pressed her chest tighter to his.

At last, he pulled back, looking dazed and staring at her. She'd lost her tenuous grasp on their circumstances until...

"Cheers," he whispered.

"What?" she answered, breathlessly. Her eyes darted across his face, up to his fringe. "Your hair's brown..."

"Did the charm to hide just after I turned down here... but you're a better cover."

"They were chasing you," she connected, feeling ridiculous for not realising sooner. The shock was wearing off to be replaced with unraveling threads of reality.

"Yeah. They know what I look like now. S'alright though."

She didn't feel entirely confident in what he was saying, that he wasn't still in danger, but she tried to push that back and not ask. She knew he couldn't tell her just yet, anyway.

"How'd you know I'd be here?" she asked, arms still around his neck. His own hands had dropped to her waist, holding her very close.


"So, you'd have kissed the first witch you saw?" she teased.

"Course not," he grinned. "The plan was just to conceal my hair and robes, but this was much better. They're long gone. And... I got to snog you."

"You've got to go again now, haven't you?"

"Yeah." He leaned in even closer, a breath away from her mouth, a secret. "But I'll be home late tonight. Don't tell anyone you know that..." His hand slid up under her jumper, fingertips on bare skin, and she shook her head, kissing him again.

She could have stayed there all day, all year, the roughness of his stubble gently scraping her jaw and his firm body pressing her backward, toward the wall behind them.

He very abruptly pulled back, and she nearly gasped with surprise.

"Gotta go," he said shakily, running a hand though his tousled, brown hair, disappointment etched in his features as he sighed. "Sorry."

"Go," she smiled, leaning fully back to rest on the wall.

"Don't want to," he added, the corner of his mouth arching up.

"I know."

He grabbed her hand and tugged her off the wall and kissed her one... more... time, soft and fast. His fingers slid between hers, he took a step back, and he let go again, turning to rush off the way he'd just come.

She tried to take a deep breath, shaken by his sudden arrival and abrupt departure, nervous for what he was doing, and flushed pleasantly from snogging.

The door to her right chimed loudly as Ginny emerged, a look of utter confusion on her face as she glanced up and down the street, then boggled at Hermione.

"Am I losing my mind, or was some tall, dark-haired bloke just out here snogging you?"

Hermione closed her eyes and laughed, wondering if she ought to tell Ginny the truth or wait until Ron was safely home with her, later that night.