Title: Sweet Lemonade
Author: Caitrin Torres
Fandom: Harry Potter
Summary: This is not what her parents were worried about.
This was not what her parents had in mind.
Hermione reckoned that when her parents decided to send her to the Quidditch World Cup, their permission was rooted in one part football madness (her father), one part nostalgia (her mother, who had been rather more social as a girl than Hermione had any intention of becoming), and one part Ginny Weasley. It felt as if her mother spent half the trip into London reminiscing about summers spent sleeping over at friends' houses and gossiping about boys, and the other half reminding her to make sure she didn't do anything with the boys to gossip about.
As if she would. They arrived at the Leaky Cauldron just in time to see Ron cram three quarters of a sandwich into his mouth at once. The twins, Ginny explained with a roll of her eyes, claimed to have heard a bit on the Wireless about Muggles who had competitions to see who could eat the most. Ron was considering training up for it. "That's disgusting," Hermione scoffed, and after one last round of hugs from her parents, Hermione was only too happy to let Ginny pull her away.
This was not what her parents had in mind at all.
After her first few days at the Burrow, which were oddly awkward for a reason Hermione couldn't quite identify, came the hottest day of the summer. Hermione and Ginny spent the afternoon on the far end of the Weasley's land enjoying a perpetually full pitcher of icy lemonade under a shady tree. The trunk was wide and nicely slanted on one side, and Ginny said that Bill used to like to bring his girlfriends out here to snog when they came to visit. In return for her silence, he didn't bother to take down the Notice-Me-Not charms when he moved out. None of her other brothers knew about her hiding place.
It was on the hottest day of the summer that Hermione admitted, if only to herself, that she'd been missing out when she pointedly ignored Lavender and Parvati's most scandalous gossip sessions. She was beginning to think that she should have paid attention long enough to pick up a few pointers, because it was on the hottest day of summer that Hermione learned that Ginny had something in common with her brother Bill. Somehow, idle conversation turned into a game of Truth or Dare, and the already abbreviated outfits they'd been wearing to soak up the sun disappeared piece by piece.
Her father suspected Ron, but it was Harry her mother didn't trust. "It's the polite ones," she'd mutter. "That boy is too nice."
Before she left for Hogwarts, her mother sat her down one evening and talked to her about dormitories and changing bodies and boys and saying no. Her father had had a similar talk with her just the week before, although this time with rather less emphasis on bodies and much more on the waiting. Neither of them ever told her what to do with a hot summer day and a girl who tasted of sugar and tart lemons, but Hermione reckoned they were doing a pretty good job of figuring it out themselves. Ginny was very nice.
And when they disappeared from the house the next day to go back to the tree, Hermione refused to feel guilty. Boys were one thing. This was quite another.