Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and characters, places, people living or dead. I am merely using them for entertainment purposes only. Plot based loosely on Sabrina.
A True Love Story
The playground was filled with little kids, all who ran around the playground, laughing and enjoying themselves. One little girl was quite content, sitting on the grass and listening to a daycare personnel read a story aloud to a group of children.
"…And the Prince leaned over Sleeping Beauty's bed, and kissed her soundly on the mouth. Her eyes snapped open, and it was then that Sleeping Beauty knew she had found her true love, because only a true loves' kiss would awaken her from her slumber. Soon after, they were married and lived"—the Daycare personnel smiled as all the little kids chimed in, "happily ever after!"
The children clapped and cheered, all getting up to continue playing but one.
OOOH! OOH! That would be me. Yes, little Hermione Granger. The little girl there with bushy brown hair, chocolate eyes and oversized teeth is me at four years old. Ahem, yes, sorry about that interruption.
"Mimi," I remember saying to the lady who was reading the story.
"Oh, Hermione!" she said, surprised, "I didn't know you were still here."
"Um, well…" I trailed off, ashamed. I then glanced back at her.
"What is it?" she asked in a kind voice and that's when I asked her, as she sat on the grass in front of me.
"Will I ever find my Prince? And live happily ever after like Sleeping Beauty?" I just had enough child naïveté to ask. Yes, I know – can I get anymore childish? Oh, very.
"Oh, Hun! Of course you will!" simpered Mimi, smiling at me before enveloping me into a bone-crushing hug.
"Mimi, was that story true?" I continued to ask with my eyes filled with wonder. Gee, wasn't I a barrel of questions?
Mimi smiled kindly at little me again, before leaning forward. "You know what, Hermione? I think it is."
Okay, um – hello? Reality speaking. As if that would ever happen. No Princess can say her true love is a guy who kisses her and wakes her up, and then be your true love like Sleeping Beauty. No way, completely untrue. It's a figment of your imagination.
Somebody once told me the world is gonna rule me
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her
Thumb in the shape of an "L" on her forehead
Well the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do so much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets
You'll never know if you don't go
You'll never shine if you don't glow
Okay, okay. Maybe I'm selling myself short (excuse the pun), but really, I'm not "all that" – no, hardly at all.
I haven't changed since I was four, except of course; I've gotten taller to reach a whoopin' 5'4", filled out to get the curvy shoulders and hips, and oh yeah, so I've got 34B boobs. Not like that'll ever make a guy's head spin.
Nope. See, the "goodbye, hope never to look at you again" happens when they look past my tacky clothes and Wonder Bra push-ups. Apparently, I've got a head that makes Medusa look hot, and then there is my usual bookworm attitude and bossy voice that makes the geekiest guy to an about-face.
Gee, isn't that nice on your ego?
Of course, this whole pessimistic thing could also be because it's rainy outside and anything gray in the world makes me hate everything and everyone. It's like a supplementary PMS thing, and living in London doesn't really help; there are my two best friends, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter though.
Speaking of the two devils…
The door to my flower shop sprang open, the chime echoing throughout the quiet store. Soft, piano music came from the radio behind the counter, where I was. Looking up, my two friends flashed me smiles.
Ah yes, Ron and Harry. I've known Ron since daycare and Harry since we were first years at Carver Prep School. God, yes – I was a preppy and in some ways, I still am. Now, let me introduce each boy at a time.
Ron, now at twenty-five, is tall. Actually, tall doesn't even cut close. He reached his final height of 6'3" when we were all seventeen, and had been known for other… ahem, large items.
He, of course, has shocking red-carrot hair like all the Weasleys. He also has crystal clear blue eyes, like all the Weasleys. He also has some weird addiction to practical jokes, like all the Weasleys. He's also the youngest male in the Weasley household out of five older brothers, and one younger sister. More about Ginny later.
Harry Potter, on the other hand, had always been the hot, mysterious one in our group at Carver, and also had the most girls hanging off his arms at any given moment. He was tall, yet, not as tall as Ron, reaching only 6'0". Of course, that's still a good six inches taller than I am, so I feel so short around my two best friends. Also, Harry's parents are dead. They died in a car crash when he was just a baby, and because his Godfather was on the run for (wrongly) murdering his parents, Harry spent his childhood away from Carver with his Aunt and Uncle Dursley.
Of course, the ebony haired, emerald-eyed Carver cutie could've cared less, since Carver held boarders. Carver had been his home, and I know that he still missed it sometimes. We had a lot of fun there.
"Hey, Mione," said Ron, stepping up to the counter and flashing the single shopper a bright smile which made her swoon.
"Hullo Ron," I smiled, giving his practices a knowing look before ringing up the girls' purchase of roses. After placing the flowers in a complementary vase, she flushed scarlet looking at Ron again before hurrying out of the store.
"You're bad for Hermione's business, Ron," laughed Harry, his eyes twinkling behind his wire frame glasses.
"I know," said Ron confidently, grinning at me. I shook my head, before something reminded me of Ron.
"Ah, Ron!" I exclaimed.
"Remember that flower bouquet you really, really wanted? The one with daisies and orange Lilies?" I asked, slyly sliding a vase across the top of the counter. Leaning forward, I watched as Ron's eyes widened. He looked down at the vase, then at me, and gapped openly.
"You mean… you… actually… fount it?" he stuttered.
"Yep," I smiled, standing straight again. "Want that gift-wrapped or left like that?"
At this, Ron's head snapped up. "Oh, Mione, you taking this out of your own pay? No, I can't do that. I'll come by tomorrow and pick it up from you, since Harry and I only stopped by to see how you were doing and to remind you of Molly's dinner tonight."
I groaned. "The dinner!"
Harry winked. "I guess that means you forgot all about it, huh, Herm?"
I nodded, slumping forward to run my fingers through my frizzy curls. "Ah, I barely have time to get ready… I guess the shop is closing early today… blah! Well, in that case…" I turned to look at my two amused friends. "Out! OUT! I must get ready!"
Harry and Ron said their goodbyes, before leaving me alone in my shop. I turned the "OPEN" sign to "CLOSED", before making sure I had all the money from the sales, then locked the register. I then turned off all the lights, and locked the front door. I then made my way down the street, looking at all the other Bohemian small shops that were around mine. Books, paintings, music stores, they all greeted me from their open doors. Bars placed strategically had saucy jazz music coming out from them, and even some tourists were stopping for drinks on the open patios.
I realized that I should actually start moving if I wanted to be ready by the time Molly's dinner would start, so I hopped the first bus to the nearest Underground station, before flashing my pass. I then found an empty seat on the Underground, and let all my pessimistic worries fly back at me.
I knew that Molly had called this dinner because Ginny Weasley, the only girl and youngest member of the family, was getting married. She and her fiancé were going to announce their marriage proposal, and Ginny had only told Molly Weasley and I. I wanted to look good for that, so as soon as I left the Underground and came upon my house (shared with my parents), I hurried to my room and then bathroom.
Two hours later, and fifthteen minutes to the start of the dinner party, I had finished. Looking in the full-length mirror, I checked myself over.
Okay, so the hair was still frizzy. Okay, so the outfit I was wearing was a bit outdated, but still nice. Jean skirt, and creamy blouse. Not original, but simple enough.
I arrived at the Weasley's, (my neighbors, hahaha) right on time. Ron opened the door, hugged me and ushered me inside.
"See? I knew you would make it on time," he teased. I smiled and handed him my autumn jacket. He placed it on the coat hook, and hurried me to the living room, where Ginny was sitting with her fiancé, Draco Malfoy.
He was the same height as Harry, but slightly skinnier. He also had silver-blond hair and steely cold eyes. I sighed, knowing that he was everything Ginny wanted, but hoped she was making the right choice.
Ginny smiled when she saw me. She was my best friend since I was in my first year at Carver and she was in Kindergarten. She jumped, up, hugged me, and then pulled me to the kitchen.
"I want you to be my maid of honor," she said, spontaneously.
"Really?" I gasped. "Are-Are you sure?"
"Very," she grinned, hugging me. "Draco and I are thinking about Christmas for the wedding… what do you think?"
"I think it's going to be lovely," I gushed to her. I had known that she had always wanted a winter wonderland wedding. Woo, what alliteration!
"Can… Can Roses are Red, Violets are Blue supply the flowers for my wedding too?" Ginny had asked, referring to my flower shop. I squealed.
"Duh! Of course! And half price for you too!" I laughed giddily, hugging my friend.
"Whoa," said a voice. "Don't want to burst my eardrums, but I guess the secret is out, huh? Ginny's getting married."
We both turned to see Ginny's brother, George, who is a twin. Of course, hardly anyone can tell them apart, but I have a knack for it.
I started forward, with puppy-dog eyes. "Oh, George, you can't tell anyone! It's a secret Ginny and Draco are telling everyone at dinner. Please promise you won't say anything!"
"Yes, please George!" chimed in Ginny, copying my look.
George looked from Ginny to me, his eyes lingering with mine. Sighing, he finally waved his hand as he grabbed an apple from a basket. "Fine. I won't say anything." Then he looked curiously at me. "Why is it that you can tell Fred and I apart so well?"
I shrugged. "Don't know."
Molly then came bursting into the kitchen, her salt-and-pepper red hair messily tied in a knot. "Hermione! Ginny! So glad you two are here – and George! Food – NOW!" she ordered. When Molly orders something, you do it.
Together, we took plates filled with food outside to the Weasley's massive backyard and placed them strategically on the table so everything was within reach.
When that was done, Molly used her voice to shout that dinner was ready, and everyone came running out of the Burrow to the table. It was used as a buffet-style, with chairs set up in groups so people could talk privately if they pleased.
I must admit, I didn't know Draco Malfoy that well. I knew him from the school I had gone to, being slightly prestigious. He and I, though, never hung out in the same crowds, so we never spoke. I doubted he even knew who I was; that was hardly the matter though. You see, I have a problem with my self-confidence. If I hear someone saying something mean about me, it hurts. Oh, I'm sure it hurts everyone if they hear something, but I don't have that ability to let it slid. And I doubt I ever will.
Though, as much as I reckon, that night was the last straw…
It was late when Ginny pulled Draco aside. They made a few heated whispers become apparent from where I stood, watching them curiously. Draco looked up and glanced at me. Blushing, I turned away, remembering that he didn't know that I knew that they were getting married. However, even though I couldn't see Draco, I certainly heard him.
"Ginny, who is that insufferable frizzball? Is she one of your brother's sluts? Really, I hope she isn't invited to our wedding," he drawled.
I felt the prickling of tears in the corner of my eyes. Swallowing a lump, I waited for Ginny's reply.
"Oh, Draco," she sighed. She didn't add anything to it, and didn't defend me. I had always considered her a good friend, but now I was beginning to reevaluate that. The lump grew in my throat as I gulped down my champagne, hoping to dislodge it. Nothing worked.
When Ginny and Draco moved to the buffet table, I knew then Ginny wouldn't be defending me in the way I have been defending her in the past. With that (superficial) betrayal, I blinked away a few stray tears and turned. I went calmly into the Burrow, going from the kitchen to the living room, where I finally entered the hallway. I gathered my coat and had shrugged it on when a hand clamped down on my shoulder.
Surprised, I turned to face George Weasley. "Oh… hullo George."
"Leaving so soon?" he asked, his face kind and concerned.
I smiled kindly back, and nodded. "I… ah, forgot that I have to open the shop early tomorrow. It's best that I head off. See you later."
With that, I opened the door and left, walking back to my house. George watched from the doorway, making sure I got home all right.
I felt something in the pit of my stomach, but I was sure it was nothing. After all, it was just one kind friend looking out for a frizzball like myself.
The tears began to leak earnestly, and I found myself wiping them away, scratching my cheeks. I closed our family's main door and went straight to the spiral staircase.
"Hermione, dear? Is that you?" called my father from the living room.
"Are you home early, darling?" asked my mother, but I refused to answer either of them. I headed for my bedroom and then bathroom, stripping my carefully chosen clothes off and letting the shower turn on.
The tears dripped down, running over my cheeks and down my chin, dripping onto my stomach as I slid down against the bathroom door, curling into a tiny ball at the bottom.
Why, why, why? I wondered, letting the sound of the shower and the steamy air clear me up. After letting my tears out, I stood and left the bathroom, shutting the showerhead off, without taking a shower.
I crawled into my bed, and gave a shaky sigh. Why couldn't I find my Prince Charming? Why couldn't there be someone who would stick up for me? Like my really fat cat, Crookshanks? And why couldn't there be someone who just liked me, for me – the insufferable frizz ball?
I fell into an unsteady sleep that night.