Title: The Adventure Inherent
Chapter 4: Hermione's POV: Exaudi Orantionem Meam
Week One, Day One: Monday Evening, continued.
Chapter Summary: "Well, it's a good thing you're sitting down, because I've got some bloody awful news." Hermione glanced over as she brushed off her hands. "I'm getting married to our Potions Master."
She had spoken with Harry and Ron. Ron's eyes had bulged and his face turned red, but as Harry had clapped his hand over their friend's mouth, the entire Common Room was saved from hearing what the sixth Weasley child had to say on the subject of marriage between his marvelous best friend and the greasiest of all greasy gits.
The conversation, as well as it had progressed, had worn her out, and by the time Professor McGonagall had come and gone Hermione was mentally exhausted, and full of some rather perturbing questions that wanted answers.
She put a hand to her forehead and rubbed. As tired as she was, she didn't think there was any way she was going to get to sleep. Harry and Ron, as wonderful as they were being, weren't really helping.
"Guys," she said, interrupting a litany of Draco Malfoy's faults. "I think I'm going to go to my rooms." She looked at Harry. Sweet, wonderful Harry. Why couldn't it have been Harry?
"Harry," she started, looking over at Ginny in a knot of sixth years by the fire. Not only were the two dating, and quite frankly, perfect for each other, but Ginny was her only close girlfriend.
"I don't really want to interrupt her just now, but after a while, would you ask Ginny to come over to my room? I want to tell her too, and I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep for a while."
"Of course, 'Mione."
She got up, and they rose too, each giving her a long hug in turn, before she exited to the small and dimly lit hallway that led to the Gryffindor Head Girl suite.
It was only just as she had finished brushing her teeth, braiding her hair and changing into her nightgown that the knock came on her door.
"Hermione, it's Ginny," she heard, muffled.
"Come on in," she called.
"Bloody hell, Hermione!" she heard in muffled exasperation. "You know I can't get past your wards! Just open up and let me in, already!"
Hermione grabbed her wand and pointed it at the door, speaking the password phrase. "Domine, exaudi orationem meam, et clamor meus ad te veniat."
The door swung open and Ginny was revealed, hands on her hips, giving Hermione a look.
"How you remember all that is totally beyond me. You're taking this Latin thing entirely too far, Hermione."
"I'll have a simpler one for next week, I promise."
She turned away to put a log on the fire while Ginny made herself comfortable on the bed.
"You alright, 'Mione? You seem… off."
"Well, it's a good thing you're sitting down, because I've got some bloody awful news." Hermione glanced over as she brushed off her hands. "I'm getting married to our Potions Master."
The laughter could be heard ringing even faintly down into the Common Room.
"Oh, you're not joking, are you?" Ginny asked, between gasps for air.
"No, I'm not," Hermione answered, not quite being able to keep a straight face. She finally gave up and smiled. She felt infinitely better for the effort.
She came over and sat on the other side of the bed. Ginny took a good look at her, and fell back onto the bed in a second gale of laughter. At some point Hermione gave in and laughed with her.
When the two girls could finally speak coherently, her heart was considerably lighter.
"Well, he's not exactly the Sex God of Slytherin, now is he?"
"Ginny!" Hermione squealed, completely mortified by her best friend's habitually racy candor.
"But I bet there's quite a bit of pent up passion behind that dark and brooding exterior. You can see it leaking through whenever he deducts house points."
"You have thought entirely too much about this, Ginny Weasley."
"Well, that's my job - to think these things through, since you're clearly not on top of it. It's not like Harry or Ron are going to be pointing these very important things out to you."
Hermione laughed and agreed.
"Well, alright then. Tell me the whole story. I take it you're still a virgin?"
"It's nothing like that, Ginny," Hermione said, and began to blush furiously.
"Well then, you'd better tell me what it is like, or I'll-"
But Hermione cut her off before she could really get going.
She told her about the applicability of the law to her life. She spoke of the time turner, of Lucius Malfoy, of Professor Snape's counter bid, of her fears about the school, her parents, Draco and Slytherin retaliation tactics. In short, she poured her heart out.
And Ginny, Ginny was the perfect listener. She didn't interrupt as Harry and Ron tended to do, merely nodding and murmuring her approval, disapproval, and encouragement. When Hermione was finally done, when there was nothing left to say, and when several tissues had been consumed, it was then that Ginny spoke.
"I dunno how to say this, so I'm just gonna say it. It doesn't sound like you're too upset about marrying Snape."
"What?" Hermione exploded, but this time Ginny did cut her off.
"No, listen," she said, sitting up and gesturing with her hands. "I knew it'd come out wrong. I mean, it's clear you're pissed about the law and rightly so. I mean, I'm pureblood so I get to choose, but so help me God if someone tries to get to Harry before I do, there's gonna be hell to pay. So really, it sucks whatever side you're on. And you're worried about what the fucking idiots in the school are going to think of you, and what retaliation you're going to have to be prepared for. Also, that totally sucks. And of course you're filled with shock and horror at the thought of marriage to Malfoy - anyone would, outside of Pansy Parkinson, I don't care how good he is in bed. He's a twisted little ferret and there's no two ways about it.
"The point I'm trying to make, though, is that even under the circumstances, you don't seem overly concerned that you can't marry someone of your own choice, and at your own time. I mean, that's probably a good way to think about things at this point in the game, it's just that it seems rather strange."
Hermione sighed and shrugged. She hadn't quite thought of it that way, but it was true. It seemed like, in the grand hierarchy of important things to be bothered about, that issue seemed rather far down on the list.
She sighed again, and tried to work out her feelings as she spoke them. As was the case with Ginny, she usually realized only as she was speaking, that what she was saying was true.
"It's not that I don't care, really. I mean, I care. And this was definitely not in my plan. I don't know, I just…"
Hermione cried out in frustration and tipped herself back onto her pillows.
"Ginny, I don't know what the hell is going on with me, I really don't. I haven't had a serious boyfriend since Viktor, and even he was bloody annoying toward the end, there. I'm never comfortable with them, except Harry and Ron of course. They never want to do the same sort of things I do, and even when I am interested, it all turns out badly. They all turn into annoying prats when they realize you'd rather be doing Arithmancy than snog yet again in front of the fire." She broke off then, and mused softly, "Not that snogging is a bad thing, really, but if it's just the same thing over and over again, then no thank you."
"So what are you saying, Hermione? All you can find to date are immature boys, so why not an arranged marriage?"
She looked over at Ginny and shrugged.
"Well, I'll grant you that whatever Snape is, I doubt it's immature. At least, not most of the time."
"He was really sweet, Ginny," Hermione said softly.
At her friend's completely incredulous look, she continued.
"We're going to do a project so I can get to know him better. And when we were together, it wasn't like class. He's… I can't even describe it. He's totally different. He's human. He's got comfortable chairs by his fire, and he let me call him a complete bastard, among other things."
"And you've not been expelled yet?"
"No." Hermione rolled to her side and propped her head up on her arm. "Ginny, he gave me this totally amazing look and asked me how else he could be, circumstances being what they are."
"So you're saying it's all an act? That, for instance, Snape doesn't actually hate Harry?"
Hermione sighed. "No," she said. "I think he really does hate him. In fact, hate might be too gentle a word for how he feels about Harry. I don't know, Ginny. I'm not saying that Snape might not have a natural tendency toward nastiness, but I don't think he's completely incapable of being genuinely kind, either."
She thought for a while in the silence.
"I think I would be quite miserable married to our Potions Master. But I don't feel the same way about the man I was with this evening. If I must marry, I see no great fault in marrying that man."
Ginny smiled and leaned over to embrace Hermione. It was going to be alright, she could feel it, and the feeling would last until breakfast, when Harry and Ron would remind her of other parts of reality that must be dealt with. For right now, however, it was going to be alright.
Ginny leaned back and hopped off the bed.
"Get some sleep if you can, Hermione. Dream sweet dreams of Sevvy for me, okay?"
Hermione threw a pillow at her.
Giggling, she ducked. "No, but seriously, Hermione. After all is said and done, you're going to have to tell me how the sex is, alright?"
Hermione threw another pillow.
Ginny shrieked with laughter as the pillow hit her square in the face.
Author's Note: Alrighty then. Now I'm off to write Chapter 15 and edit and review Chapters 5 & 6. And eat my dinner. Yay for dinner. Stay tuned for Chapter 5, in which we see the following: "Severus was seriously fearing that he had gone soft at some point. The upsetting part of the matter was that he didn't care nearly as much as he thought he ought." ::smiles charmingly:: Don't forget to review and tell me what you think. I adore it, you know.
And oh - translation on that Latin? "Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you." What can I say? I'm a church geek. Please don't hold it against me. Otherwise I am quite normal. (Though, it might amuse you to know that I got it from one of the Roman rites of Exorcism. ;) You can pick up the strangest things in Seminary, really you can. Anyway, moving on...)