Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Warning: Story probably has some trigger heavy parts if you are a self injurer or suffer from an eating disorder.
Smut doesn't ensue until a few chapters in.
Hermione braced herself, feeling the coolness of the bathroom sink pressing into her palms, fingers curled over the edges. She looked at her face in the mirror, pale and a little blotchy. She hated the soft roundness of her cheeks, the babyfat that seemed to cling to her whole body and make her look younger than she was. Yes, she had started to fill out in some places, a woman's body emerging, but not in the way she wanted. She wanted to be willowy and graceful, not pudgy and "cute". She liked her breasts. At least they made the softness of her stomah less obvious. Her stomach was relatively flat, but gave in too easily under the force of her prodding fingers. How she envied the other girls, with defined abs and portruding hip bones.
She had always been a "nice" girl, complimented on being bright and sensible. She wanted to be more. She wanted to be noticed, for heads to turn when she walked by. Splashing cold water on her face and taking one last steadying deep breath, Hermione turned and walked through the door to face the evening ahead.
"You alright?" Harry asked, shooting her a concerned glance. Ron interrupted before she had to recite her carefully constructed lie.
"Yeah, if you were in there any longer we would've had to form a search party!" Hermione rolled her eyes.
"I'm fine. Let's go." Hermione had been visiting the burrow for a week before classes started, and was sneaking out with Harry and Ron for a night out in a nearby muggle town. Although none of them looked quite old enough to get in to most clubs, Ron had been pleading with Harry and Hermione since overhearing Fred and George mentioning a few shadier bars.
"Come on!" he had pleaded earlier in the day, "we have to be back at school in two days. This is our last chance!" The three were going into their fifth year, and could tell from what they had seen with older students that they wouldn't have much free time. Hermione had argued that it wasn't fair to Ron's parents, that she and Harry were guests in their home and shouldn't be breaking rules. Harry had only put up slight resistance, thinking back to nights Dudley had come home drunk and remembering how obnoxious he was, how even the small amount of dignity he could normally muster had left him completely. In the end, the prospect of a night of freedom had lured them into agreement.
They set out, Hermione uncomfortably aware of the way her favorite jeans now hugged her thighs and behind. Even though her waist was a little smaller, she was sure she had put on weight in other places, and the food at the Burrow clearly hadn't helped. She made a mental note to eat fewer sweets.
The bus stop was a little more than half a mile's walk, and Hermione couldn't help but glance over her shoulder even after the house had disappeared behind them. As the bus whined to a halt in front of a cluster of stores with darkened windows, the three stepped out into the yellow orange glow of the streetlights. Running her fingers through her hair and smoothing out the front of her pale pink button-down shirt, Hermione followed the boys around the corner and into a worn down looking building, marked only with a flickering neon "OPEN" sign. The three exchanged a nervous glance before trading the crisp night air for the stagnant smoky heat inside.
Hermione sat down at a small table while Harry grabbed a third chair and Ron went to the bar to order drinks. Harry leaned toward Hermione, raising his voice so she could hear him above the music.
"Are you sure you're alright? You're acting a little weird."
"Yeah, fine" she assured him, as his head turned, gaze locked on a pair of flushed giggling girls in tight shirts, stumbling toward the bathroom arm in arm. Hermione felt a tiny stab of pain in the pit of her stomach as Harry turned away from her. The dull thud of three glasses hitting the table pulled her back to where she was. Ron gave Harry a beer and slid a drink toward Hermione, who eyed the pink beverage suspiciously. She couldn't help but be slightly offended by its less than dignified appearance, the bits of fruit floating on top speared by little plastic swords and topped with a pink umbrella. She took a tiny sip, surprised when the bitter sting of alcohol never hit her mouth. Aside from occasional wine at dinner with her parents, she had never really drank. Maybe, she thought to herself, it was better that she was starting with something that wasn't too strong.
Ron smugly lifted his martini, sipping it in what he must have imagined to be a dignified manner. Hermione stifled a giggle at the way he flinched when the taste hit him, and the hint of a shudder that shook him after the first swallow. She exchanged an amused glance with Harry.
Conversation was sparse as the night progressed, since it was hard to hear much of anything. For the first hour, they just took in their surroundings, sipping their drinks. When Hermione stood up to get refills, she was surprised by the soft feeling in her legs, and the way her head swam slightly. She walked over to the bar, placing each foot in front of the other with a little more care than usual. She leaned on the counter as she ordered, ignoring the pressure on her stomach and chest. The bartender, a man in his late 40s with leathery skin and gray stubble, looked at her questioningly as ordered, clearly aware of the tension in her falsely casual tone. For a moment, she thought he might confront her, kick her out. Instead he turned with a shrug to make the drinks. When she got back to the table, another girl was sitting in her seat while a second leaned on her and stroked her hair. Ron looked transfixed. Hermione wondered why her friends never looked at her that way.
"C'mon Mione. Dance with us." Ron slurred before draining another drink, letting one of the girls drag him toward the crowd that had congregated in the center, undulating drunkenly. She looked dubiously at Harry as he laid his hand on the second girl's back.
"We can all dance together." He assured her.
"It's ok. I think I'll just watch for now." She took a seat at the bar, leaning her head on her hand. A while later, she sensed someone leaning on the bar next to her.
"Hey sweet thing" a friendly voice said from beside her. She looked up. The guy standing beside her was tall and lanky, his dark eyes shining with mischief. "What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?" Hermione couldn't help but laugh.
"A nice girl like you should be careful."
"Careful of what?" He just smiled at her and leaned in closer.
"Maybe we should go somewhere quiet so I can tell you."
"I can handle myself fine, thanks." She replied, turning away.
"Aw, come on, sweetheart. At least let me buy you a drink." Hermione was about to stand up and walk away, but froze on the spot when she noticed Ron looking tensely at her over the girl's shoulder. A small part of her wanted to know she was worth looking at.
"Fine." She sighed, "One drink." She felt annoyed by his satisfied smirk. He ordered himself a shot of vodka, then turned to her.
"I guess you'll be wanting something weak?" he asked, teasingly. "I bet a girl like you can't handle the strong stuff."
"Make that two." She said defiantly, turning to the bartender. He pounded his back immediately, then looked at her expectantly. She took a deep breath, and tilted her head back, tossing the cold liquid into the back of her throat.
This is my first fanfic, so I would really love some feedback. Thanks for reading!