Author: ty.soglasna PM
AU of HBP. Hermione's sixth year is turning out a bit...complicated. She's having strange dreams, Pansy seems to be trying to seduce her, Ron and Harry aren't speaking to her, not to mention that Voldemort's back. Award winning fic! Femslash. HIATUSRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Hermione G. & Pansy P. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 35,961 - Reviews: 141 - Favs: 64 - Follows: 109 - Updated: 06-07-08 - Published: 02-23-08 - id: 4090881
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Ubi Caritas
Summary: AU of HBP. Hermione and company must face challenges this year that no one was expecting - from the rise of Voldemort to problematic romances to new classes and private lessons. Life is quickly becoming a game to which Hermione doesn't know the rules, but she is determined to learn on her feet if she has to, and more, to win.
Disclaimer: (All official-like for once!) This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Notes: This is the beginning of what I see as a pretty epic Pansy/Hermione fic. (Well, epic in terms of length at least - we all know how I tend to write - but I'll let you be the judge of the quality of the content itself.) Writing something this long is relatively new for me, but I have an outline pretty firmly planned out; I know where this is headed. (So hopefully I will not get lost in the middle! Knock on wood.) Thus, I plan to keep myself to a reasonably strict update schedule - say, every two weeks for now and see how it works. Chapter one's going up before then though because this isn't exactly a real chapter. Hope you enjoy! Oh, and feel free to be mean to me if I fall behind schedule. (Please!)
Warnings: Reasonably explicit femslash, other slash and het pairings later on as I see fit, angst, my own crazy sense of humor, gruesomeness, some violence. If you don't want to / aren't allowed to read things of this nature, please leave now! And now, on to the story...
Prelude: Three Dreams
In a darkened room, a young woman slept. It was a neat room, and unremarkable. The curtains on the single large window were drawn tight; the only light in the room came from a faint strip of light seeping in under the door to the hall, which illuminated dim outlines of furniture – a desk, a bed, a bureau, a chair. Books of all sizes covered every surface like snow; the one on the bedside table was still open to the chapter that read "Transfigurations to and from Precious Minerals," a hair tie left in the gutter as an impromptu bookmark.
On the bed, the young woman's face contorted fractionally, and she let out a small whimper. The large cat that had been sleeping in a tight ball at the other end of the bed uncurled itself, padded up the length of the bed, and settled itself again on the pillow, virtually indistinguishable, in the gloom, from the wild hair which already blanketed the pillow.
The room settled back into its former stillness.
Without warning, the girl on the bed sat up with a gasp, dislodging the sleeping cat and fighting off the sheets which had become tangled around her. She scrubbed her hands across her face, but it did not erase the wild look in her eyes, nor do anything to slow her panicked panting. The cat, seemingly willing to forgive the offense this time, twined itself around the girl's sitting form, nudging its head against her hand insistently.
Hermione shook her head to dislodge the vestiges of the nightmare, and obligingly scratched Crookshanks on the head. His thunderous purrs managed to drag a weak smile out of her, after a moment. She took a deep breath, and tried to forget, but it was hard with the cold sweat still soaking her pajamas and the back of her neck, and the primal fear still clawing at the edges of her mind. She checked the time on her glowing alarm clock – only half past midnight; she hadn't even been asleep for that long - and told herself that there was nothing to be afraid of; it was just a dream.
Her body was not convinced though, so she disentangled herself from the clinging sheets and got up, heading for the bathroom door on the other side of the room. Being able to have one's own private bathroom was one of the better perks of having two dentists for parents, she had to admit. She shucked her clammy pajamas and stepped in the shower, turning the knob all the way, and the water that cascaded over her body did wonders at washing away the nightmare.
This was not the first time she had had this particular interruption to her sleep. It was the second time this summer that a nightmare had startled her awake, and Hermione was not one to have nightmares, usually. It had been the same one both times, too. The roaring fire and the blood falling and hissing on the embers, drop by drop, and the tall figure standing before it, only an outline against the flames, standing and then throwing itself down in prostration. And the voice whose words were like hammer blows. The dream wasn't about anything, as far as Hermione could figure out, but it carried with it the same inexplicable feeling of stark terror each time. She wished that it would just go away.
After a time that was much longer than strictly necessary to rinse off the sweat, Hermione shut off the water and wrapped up in a towel, flipping the light switch off as she left the humid bathroom. Feeling much more relaxed now, she took her time toweling her hair dry, and paused to check through the contents of the large trunk in the middle of the floor one more time. Satisfied that everything was in its place for the trip to Hogwarts tomorrow, she crawled back into bed and picked up her Transfigurations text book and began to read.
Crookshanks climbed up and settled on top of her, and with the earlier fear mostly forgotten, Hermione read herself to sleep in the pool of light from her heavily-shaded bedside lamp.
-) U C (-
Miles away, in another darkened room, a boy with stormy hair and furrowed brow tossed in an unkempt bed. In marked contrast to the other room, this one was cramped and untidy, its contents thrown into sharp relief by the stark moonlight pouring through the window. An empty owl cage sat on a desk that was covered in papers and empty sweet wrappers, and a large trunk lay open on the floor, its contents strewn across the room. The boy in the bed was moaning indistinguishably as he fought against invisible foes, loud enough to be heard from the next room. Harry was dreaming about Voldemort again.
In his dream, Voldemort was sitting in a large, dark, room, at the head of an equally large table. Harry could feel coils of himself looped around the top of the chair, and a skeletal white hand extended to stroke his head periodically, making him hiss in pleasure. Voldemort was addressing a sniveling figure in front of them in a high thin voice.
"Bring the boy, Wormtail. It is time."
The sniveling figure, Wormtail, flinched and bowed to the floor.
"Yes, my lord, I shall! At once, my lord!" He bowed again, and scampered out of the room. When he was gone, Voldemort let out a chilling, humorless laugh.
The laugh lanced straight through Harry's forehead like a knife, and he awoke panting and clutching his scar, which still throbbed with white hot pain. He might have screamed. He was still awake an hour later, when a brown owl tapped at the window. It wasn't even five in the morning; too early for the Prophet, but he tiptoed over to the window anyway and opened it. The owl flew off as soon as he had detached the parchment from its leg, so he took it back to his bed and unearthed the flashlight that served as his bedside lamp from under a pile of socks and t-shirts.
The note consisted of nothing more than two lines of spidery script, and a signature. Harry was apparently to have private lessons with Professor Dumbledore this year. Strangely comforted, he extinguished the flashlight and fell back into a dreamless sleep, still clutching the piece of parchment.
-) U C (-
Across the country, yet another dim room. What books there were sat demurely in the shelves, and there was no clutter. The light of first dawn seeped in weakly past the heavy brocade curtains on the tall double windows, just barely illuminating antique-looking furniture and a large wardrobe whose doors swung open, revealing the robes within. The large four-poster bed with its heavy blue drapes – they matched the curtains on the windows – contained no sleeper among its rumpled blankets and scattered pillows, however.
Instead, the dark-haired girl, who had presumably occupied the bed until just recently, was sitting at the desk by the windows, legs tucked up under her to avoid the early morning chill. She was chewing on the end of her quill, regarding a long sheet of parchment in front of her that contained what looked like several lists, which were in the process of being crowded out by a host of small drawings that had grown up in the margins and taken over almost every free space. Next to this piece of parchment lay an official-looking sheet containing what looked like O.W.L. results, heavily annotated (and somewhat less heavily doodled-upon).
The girl's brow was knitted, and she switched to chewing on her right thumbnail as she reached out with the quill to cross out an item on one of the lists. She regarded it again, added another item to the same list, and then began feverishly bulleting out a new list in a rare clear space further down the parchment. There were only a few hours left before it was time to leave to meet the Hogwarts express, and Pansy Parkinson was strategizing.
-) U C (-
Note: I hope this will be the first, and last, time that I say this, but for what it's worth - please review! I'd love to know what you liked, what you didn't like, parts that were confusing or good, about the characters, the plot, your reaction...anything! Concrit is especially appreciated, but if you don't have any, I'd still love to hear from you. From here on out, though, I will try to stop overtly review-begging...it's my belief that a truly good story attracts reviews on its own merits! Chapter one will be up soon (aka, less than a week.)