Hermione collapsed, exhausted, upon the worn couch. She shifted as a broken spring pressed annoyingly against her hip. She was so tired of work. Her eyes closed as she recalled her first year at Hogwarts; expecting an old memory of halcyon days. It was not there.

Sometimes thought of her friends could be painful. Hermione sighed, rose from the threadbare sofa, and walked over to where there was a hot plate on the cabinet that served as a combination pantry, and small refrigerator. Using her wand to produce a stream of water she filled the kettle turned on the heat, and prepared her night-time treat of cream and sugar with her herbal tea. Her thoughts wandered to where her friends were now.

Harry had made more sense as a kid than after the Final Battle. She knew he suffered from terrible nightmares that had begun after the Final Battle. He had finally gone to a Muggle doctor for an anti-depressant. The medication curbed the edges of the nightmares, but nothing stopped them. It was something Ginny Weasley had not been able to cope with.

Hermione smirked ruefully; her eyes still closed. She had suspected that her best friend did not love Ginny as she professed to love him. And, Ginny, hanging on to the threads of fame of the Boy-Who-Lived-Twice, hurt Harry to the quick every time she opened her mouth to the Daily Prophet. It took a year of such faux pas' until Harry, in a fit of royal temper, had literally thrown Ginny to the curb from #12 Grimmauld Place.

Still, embers for Harry still burned within Ginny. She flew for Holyhead Harpies, and everytime she caught the Snitch, she owled it to him.

Harry, despite his depression, and nightmares, was trying his best to continue with his life. He was a successful Auror, and now was head of the Auror Defence Training department. He had also begun the ponderous task of renovating #12 Grimmauld Place magically.

Hermione's break-up with Ron had been quicker than a breath. Right after the Final Battle they had a tempestuous, argument-filled affair for six months, and then she had found her "boyfriend" in the arms of some red-head whose ginger hair resembled flame.

Hermione had hexed Ron's cheating nether bits with a terribly itchy rash, and consoled herself with ice cream at Fortescues and the recurring thought that the red-head had been as flat as a pancake.

Hermione had never been a "pretty thing", and she had taken after her mother in genetics. She stood at five feet in her heeled shoes, had curly hair that exploded to bushiness if she did not take care of it properly, and her figure was curvy; bigger in the hips and breasts than she wanted. She also hated that those same areas were the first to accumulate weight.

It had taken a year to get rid of the ice cream-curves she had indulged in after her break-up with Ron. Limited finances had also led to weight loss.

All of that coincided with a boring job at the Ministry that amounted to shuffling paper from here then to there, and filing it. Her only dealings with the public came from those witches and wizards that needed updated photos for their licences' or had a new test taken that just needed filing, and to be replaced by the ornate little card that declared this witch or wizard could now legally Apparate.

Hermione wanted to do so much more; take an apprenticeship, be a teacher, or have her own book store. She could not afford it, though. She barely was able to afford the small room she rented from an old witch that ran a quaint little tea cafe in Hogsmeade.

After the Final Battle she had been given a job in the Ministry's very interesting department of Historical Research, but the moment her break up with Ron had been luridly (and sympathetically towards Ron) splashed across several issues of The Daily Prophet - articles scathingly written by poison pen journalist Rita Skeeter, she had lost her job.

The articles in the Daily Prophet had spread their vile poison and Hermione had fallen from heroine to poor within a month. Her little reward from the Ministry as a Heroine of the War had been splurged by she and Ron during their whirlwind romance. The little left went to rent and groceries.

As for Hermione's parents, she had re-located them to Australia, but had subsequently "lost" them when the Wilkes had decided to move. Where they had gone, Hermione did not know. Once she had fallen out of favour with popular opinion her avenue of searching for her parents had ended. Harry had tried to continue the search in an official capacity but when his job had been threatened with such an association Hermione had told him to drop it. One day she would find her parents.

Crookshanks, her beloved half kneazle and half cat had vanished sometime during the Final Battle. She refused to think he might be dead since she missed him so terribly but knew deep down that he was likely gone for good.

Hours later that evening, the embers dying in the fireplace, and the tea treat long gone, Hermione closed her book, put out the flames with a touch of water from the end of her wand, and wandered off to her tiny bedroom, and crawled under the covers where she immediately fell asleep. To dream of happier days.

A/N: This was begun out of boredom. I am now up to 24 chapters and have decided to post it here. 7 Chapters can be found at Tumblr at a-fine-romance-sshg dot tumblr dot com / story2 do if you want to read more.

I will post every Friday, although for this Friday you will get two chapters.

I have no beta so if you find a glaring error, please point it out to me.