Title: Peace Offering
Author: DMitchell1985
Rating: PG - for quick lesbian kiss
Genre: General, (Femme)Slash
Disclaimer: I don't own any part of Harry Potter.
Summary: Cho Chang seeks Hermione Granger out to settle things between them.
Warnings: Book spoilers and femmeslash
Pairing: Cho Chang/Hermione Granger
Archiving/Feedback: Both are appreciated. The feedback needs to be constructive, and I need to know where the story is headed.
Email: betagirl23 at yahoo dot com
Website: livejournal . com / users / dmitchell1985 (sans spaces)
Author's Notes: I decided to use more book references in this one-shot since I tend to stray in my HP stories so far. Also, I must have subconsciously put in the pun in the summary. I didn't realize that until I re-read over it. But it fits, so why mess with it?

-

Hermione leaned back in her favorite armchair in the Gryffindor Common Room. The warmth of the cheery fire crept up her toes to the rest of her body. She enjoyed peaceful Sundays spent in the Common Room, or catching up on her lastest personal area of study.

This week, she was concentrating on the tasks required of her for the N.E.WT.S. Traditionally, the some of the teachers pressed the importance of both career-deciding tests upon the students with little time for any of them to rest. But, the recent battle at the Department of Mysteries with Voldemort and his Death Eaters, along with the changes in administration, altered the centuries-old school routine.

Hermione sighed deeply, remembering the terrifying conflict and the fatal results. She knew that Harry would miss Sirius the most, seeing as he was the last direct, non-hostile link to his parents, besides the staff at Hogwarts, of course. She did not want to even think of the nasty Dursleys as a link to anyone, especially Harry's parents. Sirius was his godfather, and possibly, his salvation from the Dursley home. She would miss him even more for the loss of hope he briefly presented for Harry.

Hermione shifted on the cushion of the chair uncomfortably as she felt her skin chill with the memory surging to the front of her mind.

"I need to take a walk to clear my head," she thought to herself.

She pushed on the arms of her chair, and hefted her suddenly lethargic body out of the embrace of her beloved chair.

She shook her fingers through her untameable brown hair before addressing Ron and Harry; who were, caught up in another childish competition of how they measured up to one another.

"They're probably attempting to put the whole mess out of their minds," she surmised.

"I'm going out for a bit of a stroll," she informed them.

"Ok, 'Mione. Bring us back each a sweet roll from the kitchens will you?" Ron asked without looking away from Harry. "I'm telling you, my muscles are larger than your sticks could ever dream of being."

"Sticks? Have you taken a look at your legs lately?" Harry shot back.

Harry glanced over at Hermione, "Oh, enjoy your stroll. Bring me two sweet rolls, if you don't mind."

Neither boy heard the faint 'Sure' mumbled by Hermione, as they'd moved on to the next comparison.

Hermione shuffled her feet to the door, and pushed it open. Her feet landed on every other step as she descended the staircase leading away from the Common Room. Hermione wanted to make certain that she was far removed from the staircase, ere it decided to change direction.

Hermione paced her steps to avoid standing too close to any of the other students lingering in the hallway longer than absolutely necessary. She needed solitude much more than any half-hearted smiles or forced pleasantries apologizing for her loss. Even after five years at Hogwarts, she knew exactly what some people still thought of her.

She maneuvered through the halls until she reached the courtyard where Ron once tried to defend her with a faulty wand in Second Year. She smiled and groaned lightly in digust at the slimy, stomach-retching results of the mis-casted slug-eating spell.

Hermione lowered herself onto a stone bench just off of the main path that crossed the courtyard. She cursed herself for not bringing a book with her to read. She peered up at the sky through squinted eyes to check the position of the sun.

Judging by the setting angle of the giant star, Hermione placed the time at about five or six in the afternoon..

Hermione picked at her fingernails while the horrifying scenes replayed on a loop inside her head. So much sadness. So much pain and torment. Too much of everything.

A lengthy shadow blocked out Hermione's sunlight, causing her head to snap up in immediate response. Hermione did not know whether to believe the sight without hesitation, or to look away before re-focusing her eyes on the unexpected visitor who stood in front of her.

"Hi," Cho Chang grinned down at Hermione. "You wouldn't mind if I joined you?"

Hermione shook her head dumbly, and moved over to offer the older girl a place to sit.

"It just feels so surreal, don't you think?" Cho twisted to fully face Hermione.

Hermione nodded wordlessly again.

"Look, I know that I am the last person you expected to see sitting here talking to you, but I thought I'd get rid of any awkwardness between the two of us."

Hermione sat still, staring at Harry's ex-girlfriend. "She broke off the relationship due partly to Harry and I being friends, what could she want to say to me?" Hermione silently considered the reasonable topics of conversation that Cho would want to bring up.

"I can practically see the thought brewing in your irises, 'What would I want to say to you?' right? Just that I realize that you and Harry have a solid friendship, enviable even. I wanted to tell you that I respect the friendship, despite the way I may personally feel about it."

"Thanks," Hermione managed, as she tried to recover from the initial shock of finding Cho standing in front of her. "I appreciate that."

"Anytime. How about a little peace offering?" Cho asked in a serious, formal tone.

"Sure," Hermione extended her right hand to shake Cho's.

Cho flicked her eyes to Hermione's proffered hand, leaned around it, and pressed her lips firmly to Hermione's. She backed away before Hermione could react.

"There," Cho rose to leave. "See you around." She turned on her heels and sauntered past the few students who witnessed the chaste exchange with their mouths hanging open in invitation to any airborne insects.

Hermione exhaled and stared after Cho.

"Whoa. . ." she whispered breathlessly.

Hermione sat up straighter as the kiss echoed inside her head.

"Perhaps I should just go get those sweet rolls," she thought to herself, stamping down on the repeating memory of the fading kiss.

She placed her hands on the grainy stone of the bench, pushed herself up, and walked toward the ancient castle without sparing a glance for the stunned students, or the scene of the pleasant understanding.

-

The End