A/N: You know, I've noticed that I'm better at sad scenes than happy ones. Huh. Anyway, here's my first one shot.
Disclaimer: Secondhand Serenade is my inspiration for this story, hence the title. I also do not own Harry Potter.
Hermione apparated in front of the hospital and rushed in. She didn't check to see if any muggles had seen her appear out of nowhere at four in the morning in the middle of the street, which was a testament to her stress. She shot into the building and sent an Obliviate at the receptionist because she didn't need directions to know where she was. Hermione had been praying for years that she wouldn't to do what she did, but she knew. Her mind was in turmoil, and she could hardly breathe past the panic, but she had to keep going. Thank Merlin the patients had to wait in another room or she'd been in trouble.
Ignoring the alarmed looks she received, she ran down the hallways, and, before she even knew it, she was in front of the door and looking in at its occupant, and her heart was tearing to pieces. For five years, she'd imagined seeing her again, looking at her beautiful face, beautiful hair, smile, but nowhere in her mind had she imagined seeing the strong, feisty girl so vulnerable and sad and broken. Still, she was slightly relieved to see that instead of pale death.
"Mione," she girl said hesitantly, like Hermione was her mum and she was about to get it. "It's not—It's not what you think."
Hermione seethed. "What, so you were cutting carrots and just fell on your knife a few times?" she practically screeched.
Ginny raised her arms and looked at them with troubled eyes. They were stitched and wrapped up, and a tube went out of one and into a red bag. It seemed like such a primeval thing to do to pump blood back in her arms, but she was dealing with Muggles, and the needles actually made her feel kind of good... "Who called you, Mione?"
Hermione sighed, trying to reign in her anger. "Nobody. I was at Mum's—"
Ginny flinched at Hermione's casual reference to Molly as her mum, and her eyes darted to Hermione's hand before she even realized she was looking for a ring. Hermione quickly pulled her arms behind her back to hide it, and Ginny was simultaneously relieved and disappointed at the pain she'd just avoided.
"—and your hand on the clock left 'Traveling' for the first time in years and kept going from 'Mortal Peril' to 'Hospital,'" she continued as if she hadn't noticed Ginny's fervent gaze. "Your mum"—Ginny flinched again because Hermione was studiously avoiding it—"fainted and the rest of us split up to find where you were."
"How'd you find me?" Ginny asked, uncomfortably picking at her bandages.
Hermione was silent for so long that Ginny was about to repeat the question when, "I remember you telling me once that you wanted to see the muggles on 'Bigway' before you die. So…New York."
"Yeah"—she smiled ruefully—"they laughed when I came here and asked where Boardway was." There was silence for a moment. "I…can't believe you remembered, Mione." The way she said that age-old nickname almost sounded like "Mine" and Hermione shivered.
"I remember everything, Gin…Now come on, let's take you to St. Mungo's." There they'd be able to heal her up almost immediately.
Hermione's eyebrows shot up, and she started mustering up her anger again when Ginny cut her to the chase with, "I want to…feel it."
And her eyes were widening in shock while she took a hesitant step forward. "Ginny," she breathed, "what—" That sounded way too horrible to be real, but Ginny was scooting back away from her in her hospital bed, looking terrified that Hermione might get closer, like being near her made it impossible to breathe, smothered her.
"Hermione, just go, okay? I'm fine, I—"
"You just said cutting made you—"
Ginny held her arms around her chest like she was keeping her heart together and tears welled in her eyes as they burned into the ground at Hermione's feet. "Just go," she whispered hoarsely.
"Go away!" Ginny suddenly yelled, throwing a remote at Hermione that missed by miles. "I don't want you here! You're killing me!"
"You're doing that job well enough on your own—!"
"Don't you think you have something to do with that?" Ginny regretted the words immediately when she saw Hermione's pain. "I…"
"No…say what you want to say."
Ginny's eyes darted up to Hermione's and quickly back down. "You being here," she said quietly, "hurts ten times worse than a thousand razors. I—I've been numb ever since…"
She trailed off, but Hermione knew what she was talking about. Black sheets and red hair and alcohol and kisses… It was her best night to date from way back in the days prior to the Proposal.
"Ginny, I've told you, I thought that was something we'd never talk about again, something to be ignored for the sake of sanity! You never mentioned it afterwards and I never thought—"
"Well, tell Ron you're through!"
"I can't break his heart like that!"
"Hermione." Her teeth were clenched and they matched eyes again. "Hermione, I want to—I can't live without you. Please—"
"Ginny, don't—don't make me do this."
Ginny's face crumpled in pain, and she turned it away, closing her eyes. Hermione took another step, then another until she was at Ginny's bedside, her hand inches from the redhead's shoulder with comforting words on the tip of her tongue, but suddenly a wand was in her face. "Leave." That word held such raw, twisted hurt that Hermione hesitated. "Hermione," her voice shook, "I left for five years, leaving no doubt behind as to why, and then you send me—"
"That was Ron," she said lowly, frantically. "I told him not to, but he—"
"—a wedding invitation." She laughed bitterly, and the tears broke loose. "Just leave."
Hermione hesitated until the wand began to shake in her face, and Ginny squeezed her eyes shut tightly, lips moving like she was trying to say the spell, and with one last, lingering, broken look, Hermione turned and left.
A/N: Hope you liked it. Or, well, no I don't 'cause it's all sad, but I hope…Well, you know.