WHISPERS (3/3/03)

Summary: An late night discussion by the fire leaves Hermione knowing that she's not in love with the wrong person after all.

Disclaimer: I am not J.K. Rowling and thus do not own any of the Harry Potter characters. I'm also sorry if f/f slash offends you, but I think it's beautiful.

Dedications: This is dedicated to my girlfriend, Nicole.

* * *

I curl my knees in to my chest, wrapping my arms tightly around them. I'm sitting at the window of my dorm room, and it's late. I shouldn't be up.

But I am.

The other fifth year Gryffindors are fast asleep; Parvati's even snoring. Lavender and Sally-Anne have the scarlet curtains pulled tightly shut around their four poster beds. It always amuses me to see people aching for this kind of bedroom privacy. It's impossible to get any such thing within these walls. I've never been in a place with such a rampant gossip mill.

All the other girls are best friends with each other. They whisper and giggle and finish each other's sentences without batting an eye. They stay up late at night talking, playing truth or dare, giggling over the cutest boys in school.

My best friends are asleep elsewhere in the tower. One's a redhead, and the other has the most unmanagable jet-black locks I've ever seen. The other girls spend hours doing each other's make-up and nails and hair. The other day, the boys played Quidditch for two hours in the middle of a rainstorm. Does pushing some soggy hair from Harry's forehead count?

I sigh.

I'm not like them, and I know I'm not. Sometimes, when I'm curled up with my own bed curtains drawn tightly around me and a large book in my hands, I almost want to join their circle and listen to their gossip. I almost left my safe confines the other day. I decided not to at the last minute. I had to remind myself that I'm not like them.

I finished the book within the hour and went down the the common room. I watched Harry and Ron play chess, and then I watched their Quidditch practice. Ron's the third Chaser this year, and he's rather good. I was going to watch their practice yesterday but was ambushed by a swarm of girls with round brushes as I tried to leave Gryffindor.

Two hours and several chunks of missing hair later, I was reminded why I prefer the company of my guys to the girls of my house and year.

They really aren't as bad as I make them out to bed, and I must admit that my hair did look lovely for a few hours. (Peeves threw some waterballons at dinner. Any kind of water or humidity...) They're rather predictible, though, and that's what always gets to me about them. They always ask the same questions, and they continue to ask me whether it's Harry or Ron I'm snogging.


And I wouldn't want to be.

Don't get me wrong. Harry and Ron are wonderful, both of them simply wonderful, but I don't like them. Not like that I don't. Harry is as brave as Ron is loyal, and I love them both for it, dearly. Sometimes I almost wish I liked one of them like that because I know Ron's begun to fancy me.

Fancy me?

He shouldn't want to.

With as much time as the three of us spend together, it's amazing that none of us fell for each other sooner. It's almost as if I should have given my heart to one of them by now, but I have no desire to. I can't think of a single boy that I'd be willing to give my affections to. I can't even think of a single boy that I think is cute!

That's my problem right there.

I suck in my breath until it hurts. That's why I'm awake right now in the first place. It's rather horrible to be fifteen and so confronted with the feelings you've known you've had for ages. It's simply not fair to be like me.

I do a pretty good job of hiding it, don't I?

Hermione Granger, model student. Hermione Granger, best friend of Harry Potter. Hermione Granger, bestowed with Ronald Weasley's affections. Hermione Granger, Viktor Krum's heart's desire. I'm all of those things, and then I'm more, and there's a side of me they'll never see. What would they think if they did see it?

I start sucking my breath in again, but I am not careful enough. An angry head pokes through angry curtains, an angry voice cuts through an angry night.

"Hermione! If you're going to stay up to sniffle, do it down in the common room!" hisses Sally-Anne. "Some of us are trying to sleep!"

A blonde head disappears behind scarlet velvet. I think that it is a rather striking contrast as I slowly pad across the floor. I end up there almost every night. It's warmer in the common room, anyway. The fire there always makes things so very cozy, and it's a refreshing place to be alone.

But I am not alone.

Ginny Weasley is sitting in one of the overstuffed chairs. She is wearing a long white night gown and a silky bathroom. Her flaming red hair is loose and flowing against her shoulders. I give her a slight smile. I know Harry fancies her, and I think she still likes him.

It is easy to see what he sees.

"Are you having trouble sleeping, Ginny?" I ask politely. Surprisingly, she shakes her head.

"Not exactly," she says. "Are you?"

I smile ruefully. "I'm a bit of an insomniac, you know." It's not far from the truth.

"I remember that from this summer," says Ginny, and she curls her legs up under her body as I sit down next to her. Harry and I spent most of the summer at the Weasleys, and the four of us became inseperable. Gone was Ginny's shyness around Harry.

I wonder if her affection for him is gone too, and I wish.

"What's keeping you from sleeping?" asks Ginny. I am startled, lost in my own thoughts.

"The usual," I say, and then I lie. "Worries about homework and O.W.L.s and..."

I trail off as Ginny laughs.

"Hermione!" she exclaims. "O.W.L.s aren't until the end of the year! It's what, November?"

"It's only six months!" I insist stubbornly, and she just laughs. She has a very sweet, very real laugh.

"Only you," giggles Ginny.

No, I think. Only you.

It's my turn to speak. I have to. "So why are you down here?"

"I thought that you'd come down here," says Ginny knowingly, and I am surprished. "Sally-Anne told me the other day that you're up every single night. She figured that, as your best female friend, I would want to know. I figured that you might want to talk."

"Talk." I say the word numbly. It is awkward on my tongue. "That can't be the only reason. Not to undermind your qualities as a friend, but your sleep is very important to you."

"It is," says Ginny. Now, she is the one staring off into space. "I've had a lot on my mind, lately."

I laugh. I think I know what she is talking about. Justin Finch-Fletchy asked her out the other day. Surprisingly, she turned him down, and oh, how the rumours have circulated.

She's saving herself for Harry, they say.

"Is this about Justin?" I say it almost too knowingly.

"If only," says Ginny, and she scoffs. She does not look me in the eye, and I almost panic.

Then, I remind myself that I'm not supposed to care like that.

Finally, she lifts her head. Her beautiful red hair falls forward, and she has to shove it out of her face. "If you must know," she says, "there's somone else."

I know that. Don't all the girls know that?

"Harry," I say, knowingly again.

"Not Harry," says Ginny, and I know my mouth drops open. Her eyes usually twinkle, but they are a stormy blue ocean as they lock with mine. "There's someone else."

"Who?" I am curious. It hurts to ask, but I'm more pained not knowing.

Ginny looks away again. "No one."

"Come on, Ginny. Who is he?" I smile slightly as I run through the list of Hogwarts's eligible bachelours, and I giggle slightly as I propose my next idea. "It's Draco Malfoy, isn't it? Afraid Ron will do you in for it?"

"Very funny Hermione," says Ginny. She gazes out into the fire now.

"I really would like to know," I say. I'm honest but pained. "Do I know them?"


"Is it a fourth year?"


"Fifth, then?"


"A Gryffindor?"

"Do you think I would go for anyone else?"

Her smile does not quite reach her eyes.

"A yes, then," I say, and I try to sound excited with a girlish giddish. "Dean? Seamus? Neville?"

"No. No. And NO!"

"But you said it wasn't Harry!" I exclaim. Ginny will not look at me. I can see her blue eyes filling with tears.

"It's not."

And I know.

"It's not a he," I say slowly. My heart is pounding against my ribcage. She turns to me, and she is so close.

A few centimeters away, that's all.

"No," says Ginny miserably. "It's not a he, and I'm a horrible person."

"You are not a horrible person," I say, and I scold myself. Hadn't I just been saying that to myself a few minutes earlier? "There's nothing long with liking girls, Ginny."

"There is if you are a girl!" she breaks down into sobs, and I want to through my arms around her.

"No," I say.

We're kissing.

As my arms wrap around Ginny's trembling body, I remind myself that this is Ginny Weasley, my best female friend. My mind is still working properly, at least, but my heart is in control. This is what I've wanted for longer than I can remember. Her tongue brushes against my lips, softly, and the kiss changes. Her tongue touches mind hesitantly. I haven't much experience with kissing, but this kiss is perfect. It is sweet and wonderful and everything a kiss should be.

I know I should feel guilty when we break apart, but I don't. My arms stay around Ginny, holding her around her shoulders. She keeps me in her embrace, and I smile.

"There's nothing wrong with liking girls," says Ginny, repeating what I said earlier. "Hermione? Does this make us lesbians?"

"Does it matter?" I say, and my words sound startling to my own ears. A passionate hunger has taken over my body, and I want to taste Ginny again. We kiss again.

It is less rushed this time. Even more perfect than the first. It's hard to kiss her from this angle; my stomach is squashed painfully across the arm of the chair. I can't bring myself to care, and my tongue caresses hers hungrily. We finally pull apart.

"Mmm," Ginny mutters. I have never seen anything more perfect in my life. Her eyes are closed, and she looks rather peaceful. That gorgeous hair is hanging in her face. I loosen my grip around her, and she leaves her chair. The chairs are so oversized that there is plenty of room for both of us in mine.

We would have made it work even if there hadn't been.

This kiss is more intimate. Her leg, bare from right above the knee, presses against my own bare leg. Her arms encircle my waist, and my hands are buried in her hair. Her breasts are pressing against mine. I never want the moment to end, but it must. The two of us pull back, breathing heavily. I am in awe of Ginny. Pure awe.

"Hermione," she breaths, and she is stroking my face. I have to remind myself to keep inhaling. "Did you feel this way about me before tonight?"

"Yes," I say. "I've never felt strongly for boys. I've never really felt strongly for girls, either. I've always felt strongly for you."

Ginny initiates this kiss. She is as fiery as her hair.

"I think..." she mutters. She is still almost kissing me. Her lips are still touching mine at least, and the sensation she creates is most wonderful. "I think I like this."

"It's wonderful," I agree. Her hand drops from my cheek and begins to stroke my thigh through the silk of my nightgown. My breath catches in my throat for the millionth time that night.

We are kissing again, more hungrily than before. We are both ranveous. I cannot get enough of her. This sweet, hot passion fills every inch of my body as she presses against me. We are moving too much, and we fall off the chair.

"Are you okay?" I question. I am lying on top of her, and she is giggling beneath me.

"As long as you are," says Ginny, and she pulls my head down into another seething kiss. Parts of my body begin to awaken with sensations I did not know existed. I realize that Ginny is now stroking my inner thigh, and we break apart. "Hermione? May I continue to touch you?"

"Please," I say, and I realize that my nightgown had gotten hitched up when we fell. She is stroking my bare skin, and she rolls me over gently. The light touch of her fingertips is a wonderful sensation. Then, she does something that surprises me. She pushes up the nightgown, and she lifts it over my arms and head. I shiver, left to lay on the floor of the Gryffindor common room wearing nothing but my underwear. I blush knowing as Ginny's gaze settles on my breasts. She touches them tentatively.

"It's okay," I assure her, and she nods. Suddenly, her mouth is on me, and I have to bite my lip to keep from moaning in delight. The sensation of her tongue on my left nipple is almost more than I can handle, and I squirm happily beneath her. She gives each breast equal attention before kissing down my stomach. Her mouth hovers over the band of my panties, and I stop her.

I want her to keep going.

"No, Ginny," I say. "This isn't all about me."

And I repeat her movements. I roll her over onto her back, and I untie her robe. It slips easily off her shoulders. Her night gown is the next thing to go. I am delighted by what I see. She is beautiful, pale skin with a light dusting of freckles. Like me, she does not sleep in a bra, and she is not wearing underwear either. My breath catches as I see the light patch of red hair in the area above her legs.

I kiss her in the middle of the stomach, and I leave a perfect trail of moisture as I kiss my way to her chest. I take her nipple in my mouth, biting gently. She whimpers beneath me, and my hands entangle in her hair again. I wait until I hear her moan before starting on her other breast.

Suddenly she pushes me away.

"Hermione," she gasps. "You have to stop. I... I want..."

She does not say it, but I know. My own underwear is slipped off my hips, and I rest my naked body against hers. I feel something between my legs, and I automatically part them for her hand. She is hesitant at first, merely running her finger around the area, and I decided to make my own move. I shift carefully so I am not resting my weight on her.

My own hand is between her legs, giving her a gentle massage.

I am, too, hesitant, but I am the first to do it. She gasps as I slide a single finger into her, pushing it into the knuckle and withdrawing it almost completely. I wiggle it a little, and I begin to rub.

"Oh!" she gasps, and I feel a finger plunge into me. I have found her clitoris, and she has found mine. I want to lose myself in the pleasant sensations she is creating within me, but I cannot. I try to ignore them.

This is her first time, and I want it to be special.

"Another?" she asks, and I blink. I do not know what she is talking about at first, but then I nod. My walls tighten around her as she slids in a second finger. I do the same, and she lets out a long moan. I know that I should tell her to be quiet, but I do not.

She strokes me gently, and I gasp for breath. I have never felt anything quite like this in my life. Something is building inside of me, and I think I know what it is. I lower my weight a little, and my breasts are squashed against hers.

Ginny moans again. Her entire body is starting to shaken, and she suddenly kisses me. The flood hit me at that moment. I am quieter than her as my body has its first orgasm, but it's not because I enjoy it any less.

Ginny, on the other hand, screams my name. I am reluctant to leave her warm, but I do anyway. I take her hand as she withdraws from me, and she breathes heavily as I suck each of her fingers clean.

"We can't stay down here," I say at last. Her legs are tangled with mine, our sexes pushed together. It it a wonderful feeling, and the tingle that runs through my body makes me want to make love to her again.

"No," agrees Ginny. We pull apart, quite reluctantly, and we stand there for a moment. I love her nakedness, and I hope she loves mine. We dress quickly and walk back into the dormitory hand-in-hand.

"Goodnight, Hermione," whispers Ginny as she opens the door to the fourth year girls' room.

She kisses me once more, and I go into my own room. I cannot wait for tomorrow. I'll hold her hand at breakfast and kiss her in front of the entire school. I don't care.

There might be whispers, but I don't care.