A/n: Blame the plot bunnies. :) and I do not own HP or any of its characters.
Prologue: How it all Began
"You might as well hex me to oblivion and get it over with," Hermione Jean Granger groaned out as she paced for the ninety-seventh time around her living room. Ginny Weasley, who was lounging at one of the plush armchairs for the past two hours, was already beginning to show signs of impatience.
"Come on, Hermione, it surely can't be that bad," she repeated for the twentieth time as she idly played with the strands of her flaming red hair. "Just spill it out already, I'm about to die from anticipation here," she couldn't help but add sarcastically.
Hermione sighed, sat at the opposite end where Ginny sat, tugged at the curly strands of hair agitatedly, stood, and began to pace again. This was one of the rare moments she saw the frazzled, uncomposed side of Hermione, which indicated bad news.
"You're going to hate me for this," she stated in a helpless voice, and Ginny couldn't help but raise a brow at that.
"Is this about my brother?" the redhead queried randomly with a hint of curiosity. Her brother, Ronald Weasley, had been away from the country for a year and a half doing missions for the ministry, along with Harry, where they were tracking down the last of the escaped Death Eaters somewhere along Germany. For as long as Ginny knew, he and Hermione have been officially together since the defeat of Voldemort five years ago.
"Partly, yes," Hermione answered honestly. "I don't know where to start, really…"
"Have you two broken up, then?" Ginny asked. Now that wouldn't be news to her, as she had seen Hermione and Ron break up and get back together again for at least a dozen times since they got together during their seventh year. Their temporary break-ups had been mainly because of petty things, so Ginny was pretty sure that no matter how much they tried to call their relationship quits, they would still end up together in the end. Though quite honestly, she secretly thought that Hermione and her brother just don't mix, but that didn't mean she would have picked someone else for Ron. Just as long as they were happy, she was fine with that.
Hermione blanched at that. "Heavens, no! Actually, he's coming back here this weekend," she replied tensely, sitting down again as she wrung her hands together anxiously. She chewed on her lip, and Ginny's curiosity was piqued when she suddenly began to blush as if remembering something she'd rather not remember. Now things were getting more interesting.
"What is it, then?" Ginny persisted, getting more and more curious by the minute.
"Promise me you won't hate me no matter what I say first," Hermione pleaded, her eyes getting glassy with emotion.
"Come on, Hermione, you know I'd still love you if you said you've fallen in love with someone disgusting like Goyle and is pregnant with his baby," Ginny said with an assuring grin which made Hermione smile a little.
"Actually... you're quite close to what I have to say already," she clarified, and it was Ginny's turn to blanch.
"What??" she burst out. "Goyle, Hermione, Goyle?"
Hermione rolled her eyes at the look of utter disbelief on Ginny's face. "I said you were close enough, not correct! Do you honestly think I would still be sitting here in front of you in one piece if it was Goyle?"
Ginny huffed a sigh of relief. "Fine. So you did sleep with someone?" she clarified, and Hermione flushed again. "Who is it? Zabini? That Nott arse? Goodness, don't tell me you slept with Percy!"
"Ginny!" Hermione moaned. "Do you want me to tell you or not?"
"Fine. Go on,"
Hermione took another deep breath and looked at her best friend dead in the eye. "To make long story short, I… I slept with Malfoy during our acquaintance party a week ago and he wants to continue seeing me,"
Ginny could only gape at her, totally speechless for about a minute. Wow. That is one big news. Unbelievable. When she got a hold of herself, she croaked out, "Why?"
Hermione's face resembled a ripe tomato now; tears of embarrassment spiked the corners of her brown eyes, and she never felt more helpless and humiliated for admitting such a dirty thing to her best friend, who happened to be her boyfriend's sister.
"I—I was so drunk that moment, and all of a sudden, we were speaking to each other like the past years of hatred never existed, and he seemed like he needed comfort, and I was feeling so lonely—and—I—I just…" giving up on her incomprehensible tirade, she buried her face in her hands and gave a low sob.
To Hermione's shock, Ginny went over to her and gave her an unexpected comforting hug that made the tears come more uncontrollably. "Shh, it's okay, sweetie," she soothed her best friend by patting her on the back and handing her a handkerchief. "I'm not judging. But you have to tell me the whole story,"
"I will... but I still have to tell you something,"
Ginny's stomach gave a nervous flutter at that. What could possibly be worse that sleeping with an enemy?
"T—th—there's… there's still another problem," Hermione managed to say between sniffles. Ginny gave her a weary look in turn.
"And that would be...?" she asked gently.
"Viktor Krum would also be coming to visit me this weekend, insisting that he had something special for me when he comes," Hermione said miserably before blowing her nose with the hanky Ginny loaned her.
"Oh." Was all Ginny could think of saying. No wonder her friend looked so screwed. She WAS screwed. "So are you telling me that these three guys are coming over to see you this weekend?" she asked after a few minutes of silence.
Hermione gave a weak nod, unable to look at Ginny in the eye. "You have no idea how mortified I am to be confessing such things to you, Gins. But I have no one else to turn to; you're the only one I know who wouldn't judge me in spite of the graveness of what I have done…"
"I have to admit that I was surprised with that bit about Malfoy, though I could hardly blame you. I mean, who would have thought that that git would turn out a bit good-looking?" Ginny mused aloud, making Hermione blush again.
"I did not sleep with him because of his improved looks! Though he did seem very attractive in that awfully starched ministry robes…" at this they both laughed, as Malfoy was known at the Ministry for wearing those expensive but stiff-looking robes that look like they could stand on their own.
"So… what are you planning to do this weekend?" Ginny asked when they had both sobered up. "You aren't actually planning to see the three of them together at the same time, are you?"
Hermione was back to looking forlorn again. "I honestly do not know," she said.
"Well I think," Ginny began, looking at Hermione straight in the eye. "I think you should decide whom you really want, and then tell the other two in the politest way that you're sorry," Hermione stared at her blankly for a moment, opened her mouth, then closed it again, looking thoroughly bewildered.
"Goodness, you do not know who you want, do you?" Ginny exclaimed, looking horrified. "You are actually undecided! I understand that Ron has been gone for a year and a half, but are you seriously considering Malfoy?? And I thought you said that you and Krum were through?"
Hermione buried her face in her hands, her stance weak and powerless. "You would not understand until you hear the whole story," she moaned pathetically, and Ginny took heart. This was her best friend, and no matter what crazy thing she thought and did, she must give her full support.
"You could try telling me the whole story now," Ginny said. "I've got a lot of time to spare."
And so the rollercoaster tale began.
A/n: So, what do you think? Review please. :)