Author's Note: The predecessor of this really fucked with my head (I found it really triggery) and I think that I fucked up in the last chapter, I'm having major writer's block over it so I thought I'd write this. It's only going to be about Hermione and from her POV, there won't be much magic or characters from the books, as alot of it takes place in the muggle world. But I really wanted to explore what her life outside of school might be like. Review with suggestions, praise and criticism (and with any ideas about the original fic--- how weird is that? My fic has a spin-off). Also, keen readers might have noticed that my titles all come from Hole/Courtney Love songs- I've kinda run out of good titles, I keep having to look at more and more songs. Any ideas of an artist to replace them? I was thinking Ani Difranco but I'm not sure.
A not-so-vague Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to Harry Potter (well that's a lie, I own all of the books, the films, the books on CD, a couple of posters, the top trumps for POA and two action figures (Sirius and Bellatrix 3)--- but I own no copyright). I do, however own all the muggle characters (bar the Grangers). I should also own shares in the tabacco industry, given how much my characters smoke (which might make it cool to readers and make them smoke--- please don't though. Or if you have to, please don't learn to inhale, being addicted to nicotine is a pain, and only makes you look cool.)
Hermione looked around at her friends. Harry had his arm around Ginny and Ron was fiddling with Hermione's iPod, the ear buds falling out of his ears every time he moved his head. She took a drag from her cigarette and blew the smoke into his face, sticking out her tongue when he coughed. It was the second week of the summer holidays and they were by the stream that ran near the Burrow, drinking and contemplating going into town. Something that they contemplated every day but never could be bothered to do. She flicked her cigarette into the bonfire in the centre of their circle and lay down, pulling down the front of her top to cover her stomach.
"I wish I was on holiday." She sighed and lit a new cigarette, enjoying the quicker rush of nicotine that lying down gave her. "Or even in London, I would happily settle for London."
"If we were on holiday then it might actually top twenty-five degrees in July." Ginny agreed, rubbing her hands over her bare arms. Harry unzipped his hoodie and put it over her shoulders without a word. Hermione rolled her eyes at Ron.
"We really need new friends." She joked. He scowled at the couple, only half-joking.
"Hey, that's just my little sister and her git of a boyfriend. You're the only friend here."
"One day Ron, one day I'm going to get you a muggle girlfriend and all of this pent-up frustration is going to get a proper outlet." She smiled.
"So he can bludgeon her to death?" Harry joked.
"If that's what you're planning on doing with Ginny…" She stuck out her tongue again. Ron looked up sharply and narrowed his eyes at Harry.
"Relax Ron; I share a bedroom with her and you with him. We both know that they are far too innocent for that."
"Unlike you, you mean?" Ginny laughed.
"When did I become the bad one?" Hermione asked, mock-shocked.
"When you started chain-smoking." Harry answered.
"And getting tattoos," Ginny added.
"And went out with more boys in one school year than the rest of us have in our whole time at Hogwarts." Was Ron's contribution. Hermione smiled at them and took a swig from her bottle of cheap beer.
Two weeks later Hermione walked through the door of her parent's house. She had barely made it into the kitchen when a stranger jumped at the sight of her. From her faded jeans and cheap trainers Hermione guessed that this was her parents' cleaner.
"I'm Hermione." She smiled. "Sorry, I didn't call ahead to tell my parents that I'd be coming home." The woman gave her a blank look.
"Richard and Emma's daughter… I've been away at school." She nodded towards the photograph of her aged eleven in her Hogwarts robes that was pinned to the notice-board. The cleaner finally got the message and Hermione made her way up into her bedroom, dragging her trunk behind her. Her room had been (for what felt like the fifth time in as many years) re-decorated and was now a mother-of-pearl colour, her bed was covered in pristine white sheets and volumous white curtains replaced the bamboo blinds that she remembered from the previous summer. She placed her trunk on the bed and took her iPod from her pocket. She placed it in the (new) dock on her bedside table and turned it on. She spent the next few minutes sorting through the trunk (with the help of her wand) and put everything away in her bedroom, leaving the dirty/old/damaged clothes in the hamper at the end of her bed. When she was finished tidying she changed her outfit and pulled her long hair into a loose bun. Shoving her bus pass, wand, cigarettes and money into her new handbag she walked out of the room, iPod in hand.
"It's weird; no matter how long I spend away from here I seem to have the bus routes encoded into my brain." She smiled when Amy opened the door. Amy raised her eyebrows at the sight of her old best friend standing on her doorstep. Hermione breathed in sharply when after she had taken a look at her.
"You're so skinny," both girls said at the same time. They both smiled and looked at the floor. Neither wanted to admit to what they were thinking. That they weren't skinny, not properly, not enough.
"Want to go upstairs?" Amy asked. Hermione nodded and followed her up the familiar stairs and into her friend's bedroom. The room was the same as the year before, but the smell of cigarette smoke was stronger and the collages of models had been taken down.
"The parents thought that they wouldn't help my recovery." Amy rolled her eyes and lit a cigarette, flicking her brown fringe out of her eyes.
"You went into hospital?" Hermione asked, her eyes wide as she lit her own cigarette. Amy laughed. "Nothing as dramatic as that, I'm afraid. My mother read a magazine article about anorexia, decided I was anorexic and made me visit a the-rape-ist for a few months." Both girls smiled at the Girl, Interrupted reference. "Then she decided to do up the garden and stopped bugging me to go to the appointments. "
"And now we don't have to smoke out of the window…" Hermione commented.
"I think that my mum has just gone into complete denial. She just makes comments about how I seem to burn incense constantly." She rolled her eyes. "How are you?"
"I'm…. okay, I guess." Hermione said after a pause. "I've been made Head Girl at my school."
"That didn't answer my question, Granger." Amy said sadly. "Have you been ok?" Hermione bit her lip, Amy was the only person she had confided in but she still didn't want to talk.
"Do you want to go out tonight?" She smiled hopefully. Amy started to say something but thought the better of it.
"A boy from college is having a party, it should be ok." Hermione smiled and walked over to her friend's wardrobe, a fresh cigarette dangling from her mouth.