Disclaimer: Can you believe this? The IDEA isn't even my own. That's just how pathetic I am. I can't even come up with my own plots . . .
Author's Note: Originally I wrote this for the Kindred Spirits challenge entitled 'Makeunder'. For my own nefarious purposes I've changed the title, but I hope you're getting the general drift.
Second Author's Note: Just because I need to reinforce the notion into your brains that I greatly enjoy canon rape, I've reverted Snape back to his lovely, greasy position of Potions professor, and am basically ignoring the fact that HBP was ever written. Because I have this thing where my fluff and J.K. Rowling cannot exist in a perfect world . . .
The New And Improved Hermione Granger
Part One: Hermione Improved . . . Or Is She?
Hermione Granger bit her lip, and turned to the left. Sighing, she twirled to the right, and then stopped to smooth down her skirt. She huffed upwards through her fringe, crossed her eyes, and started the whole process over again.
Brain? Nope; sadly, it had been lost in transition.
Hermione wiggled her nose and tilted her head to the left, eyes nervously scanning her reflection; her mirror-self did the same.
Her eyes, already large and brown, were lined with eyeliner instead of her traditional dark circles. According to the numerous teen magazine to which she now subscribed, her custom of studying until six in the morning and then sleeping until one-thirty was wreaking havoc with her beauty regimen; thus it had to be stopped.
Her hair had melted from its frizzy, triangular shape into a chic bob that skimmed her cheekbones, flipped under at the ends, and brushed haphazardly across her face. It was blonder, shorter, and had fringe; the fringe was particularly annoying, but it was in, and thus her hair stylist said she had to have it.
Oh yes; her former ten pound cut and blow-dry was not enough now. Hermione had a stylist. A hair stylist with purple hair that her mother was only too happy to shell seventy pounds out to every three months if it meant her only daughter was finally interested in fashion.
And her school skirt had lost quite a few of its regulated inches, courtesy of a large pair of shears and her mother's sewing box.
All in all, Hermione Granger looked nothing like Hermione Granger had the previous school year. This was, of course, what she had been going for. Poor Hermione suffered from the same affliction that half of the female population of the world suffers from. It's known as In-Love-With-Her-Best-Friend Psychosis, and Hermione was one of its worst cases.
While not only was she in love with her best friend . . . he was completely unaware that she was a member of the female race. Thus, Hermione decided to undergo what her oft-giggling roommates referred to as a 'Summer Makeover'.
She'd purposely avoided her best friends during the summer, citing first her parent's trip to France, and then a bad case of the Muggle Flu her parents had supposedly 'forbidden her from taking wizard treatment for'. In her letters to her best friends, she'd told them not to visit, her being 'highly contagious'.
Harry had attempted to tell her to sod it, and of course he would visit, but she'd managed to waylay him in her usual clever way.
Harry being, of course, Harry Potter. The best friend who Hermione was in love with, but was seemingly unaware that Hermione possessed a pair of breasts.
Hermione's mind returned from the outer reaches of space, and she automatically tugged up the neckline of her sweater, before remembering that it was meant to lay so low on her chest that one could dock a whole fleet of Thestrals in the neckline.
Being beautiful had not made Hermione any less practical, so she had spent most of her 'sick days' mending her current clothes, needle and thread clutched between her teeth as she directed the sewing machine with her wand.
The result was a closet full of miniskirts that had previously reached her knees, jeans that were a size tighter than they had been previously, and sweaters that proved that Hermione's chest was not as flat as a crepe. A fact that Harry Potter had been previously ignorant of, and of which would soon be informed.
"Hermione! We leave for Kings Cross in two minutes, and if you aren't in the car we'll send Crookshanks and your trunk on without you!"
No doubt her parents thought this bit of wit hilarious. Being dentists meant they didn't get out much.
Hermione bit her lip, unconsciously gnawing off her lip gloss, and gave one final twirl before thrusting back her shoulders, unconsciously lowering her neckline another inch, and grabbing her bag off the neatly made bed.
Harry Potter won't know what hit him, thought Hermione triumphantly as she swept – well, it was more of a dignified hobble – out of her room, still a bit wobbly on her three-inch heels.
"Where the bloody hell is Hermione?" shouted Ron Weasley, shoulders hunched against the biting rain that pounded pedestrians outside Kings Cross Station. His companion, who possessed a pair of startlingly large green eyes, ruffled black hair and extremely unfashionable glasses, shrugged in reply, gazing over the cars that swept up to the curb.
Harry Potter – the bloke in the unfortunate pair of glasses – like his best friend, Hermione Granger, happened to be suffering from a horrible disease, the sort of textbook case that makes medical teachers salivate with the thought of sinking their scalpels into the case file. It was, strangely enough, the sister disease to Hermione's own affliction.
Commonly known as, In-Love-With-His-Best-Friend Psychosis.
Dispassionately raking his gaze over a leggy blonde struggling with a large wicker basket, Harry bent his body into the rain to get a look around her, attempting to see if Hermione's parents' car was anywhere near the front of the station.
Worry glazing his eyes behind his somewhat-fogged glasses, Harry pulled his hand out of the pocket of his jeans and checked the time. "We have ten minutes until the train leaves." He stuffed his hand, fingers already cramping from the cold, back into his pocket. "You know," he added, hazarding a sideways glance at Ron, "it isn't like Hermione to be this late."
"Do you think something's happened to her?"
"Of course nothing's happened to me."
Harry wheeled around to see the aforementioned leggy blonde, still clutching the large wicket basket, which he now recognized as Crookshank's travel basket.
Harry thought that he'd been the one who'd breathed her name, but it was probably Ron, who looked like he'd been whopped over the head with a box of Turkish delights. The redhead's mouth was scrapping the pavement as he oogled the pair of stems on their best friend.
And then she giggled.
Harry was all but certain now, as he blindly grabbed the handle of the trolley carrying her trunk, that this wasn't actually Hermione. Not His Hermione. The Hermione that he knew like the back of his hand – and loved, although a flock of rampaging Dementors couldn't drag it out of him – never wore eyeliner, or skirts above knee-length, and most of all never giggled.
The ride to Hogwarts was both incredibly awkward and incredibly silent. Hermione was constantly uncrossing and re-crossing her legs, her skirt riding higher and higher up her thighs each time she did so. Ron and Neville ogled each increasing inch of creamy, porcelain skin, but Harry looked staunchly out the window, jaw clenched unhappily.
"How was your summer?" asked Hermione as the train pulled away from Kings Cross. Harry grunted, and Ron did the same, never pulling his eyes from the V of cleavage her sweater revealed. Resisting the urge to yank it upward – and blushing furiously behind the caked-on concealer she'd applied that morning – Hermione abandoned the idea of polite conversation and joined the love of her life in staring out of the window.
This was not how she'd envisioned her triumphant return to Hogwarts.
In her mind (dreams), she'd imagined seeing appreciation and understanding dawn in Harry's emerald eyes, before he locked his arms around her waist and tugged her forward to plant a mind-blowing, death-defying, Buttercup-and-Wesley-be-damned kiss on her. While her more logical side told her testily that this was completely unrealistic, her dreamy side was sighing with happiness at the picture.
Sangfroid, she told herself. Harry is obviously unsettled by this turn of events. In twenty-four hours he should begin to succumb. Just stay calm and collected.
For about twenty miles, she succeeded. Neville and Ron drooled, Harry stared (glared) out the window, Ginny flipped nonchalantly through last month's Witch Weekly, and Luna never looked up from her reading of The Quibbler at a forty-five degree angle.
But as the scarlet Hogwarts Express chugged past the twenty mile mark, in slid the sliding door, and who entered the already cramped and uncomfortably compartment but . . . Draco Malfoy, ever present to add some cliché to the moment.
"Pathetic beings," he sneered, leaning against the doorframe. "How's the summer gone?" He paused for a millisecond, as Ron tore his eyes from Hermione and Harry jerked around from the window. "Father lost his job yet, Weaslette?" He directed the question to Ginny, whom he assumed to be the weakest wit of the group, next to her brother.
"No," she drawled, not looking up from her magazine as she flipped the page. "But I hear your father's doing his from the inside of a cell at Azkaban."
Malfoy darkened, and he raked his stormy gaze over everyone else in the cabin, inevitably settling on Hermione, who checked the sudden urge to pull up her sweater.
"Granger?" Disbelief riddled his voice. "Doth mine eyes deceive me? Potter's finally pulled his head out of his arse and made the Mudblood his personal who—"
Malfoy never got to finish the sentence as Harry, tired, angry, and faintly disgusted already from the incident at the train station, launched over the laps of Ron and Neville and tackled him. There was a faint whooshing sound as the two slammed to the floor, Malfoy's head cracking against the be-spelled linoleum. He attempted to struggle, but despite the fact that he had two inches and about ten pounds on Harry, the smaller was still far more experienced with beating the crap out of people.
The bespeckled boy looked at him for a moment before saying with great relish, "A hundred and fifty points from Slytherin for insulting the Head Girl." As Malfoy's eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth to argue, Harry smirked. "And twenty more for arguing with the Head Boy."
He climbed off Malfoy, making a show of dusting off his left sleeve, and then slammed the compartment door shut. He silently returned to his seat, and reverted to his staring out of the window. Ron and Neville returned to their ogling, and Hermione, for the second time that day, gnawed off her lip gloss.
Harry could feel Hermione's hurt eyes on him, but he locked his teeth together and refused to return her gaze. Tackling Malfoy had gotten rid of a fraction of his anger, and admittedly punching him would have gotten rid of more, but Harry was attempting to be at least a little more mature this term.
But this whole situation – this was just plain ridiculous.
Why the hell was she sitting there looking like . . . like . . . well, like Lavender and Parvati?
He didn't have to be looking at her to know when she gave up and pulled out at textbook; it was then he deemed it safe enough to have yet another look at his best friend, whom he was starting to think he didn't even know anymore.
She was all but unrecognizable, in a sleek new haircut, with a skirt no more than fringe across her thighs and a shirt that made it look like she was smuggling Bertie's Beans. Harry supposed that some would consider her more attractive this way – Ron, for once, who was acting like a wanker – but Harry saw no visible improvement.
Ridiculous, he thought furiously as her black-lined eyes flicked across the opening page of Ten Thousand More Magical Herbs and Fungi. She was acting just plain ridiculous. Thank Merlin for small favors, though; at least she wasn't reading Witch Weekly.
But no! As she finished the chapter, she stuck in a bookmark, closed the large volume, deposited it in her bag and pulled out . . . Enchanted, Witch Weekly's biggest competition.
What the hell had happened to Hermione?
As he thought this, she looked up from a fashion ad of some sort or another, and shot Harry a look that he could only mentally describe as sultry. It made him sick to his stomach, and he immediately looked away, even as he felt Ron's eyes open even wider.
REVISION REVISION REVISION.
If you think you've read this before . . . you haven't! (Unless you belong to Portkey . . . in which case you probably have.)
Review . . . pretty please?