I own nothing having to do with Harry Potter and make no money. This story will have Hermione romantically linked with several key characters. I would love to hear who you would like to see her end up with!
Somthing About Hermione
An unnamed restaurant in the Wizarding World:
"We've got to do something about Hermione!"
Lavender's artfully plucked brows rose high on her forehead. This wasn't the first time in the past few months that Ginny had rambled on about Hermione, though she couldn't remember her ever sounding so vehemently about it. She was sure there was an unmistakable thread of desperation in Ginny's voice.
Lavender took a delicate sip from her glass being careful not to smudge her lipstick before answering her clearly upset friend. "Hermione can handle herself. She's not the type to welcome interference into her personal life, not even from you."
While Hermione and Ginny had been solid friends since their days at Hogwarts, Lavender – while not close to Hermione herself – was well aware that meddling was a sure way to gaining a hex or two from Hermione's more than accurate wand.
Frustrated, Ginny exclaimed, "It would be an intervention!"
"She doesn't have a drug problem, Ginny." Lavender cracked a small smile at the very notion of Hermione Granger addicted to anything more than what a good book could provide. "She likes being by herself and doing her own thing." Ginny snorted. "She does, Gin. Leave her be."
"It's not normal," Ginny grumbled against the rim of her wine glass. "She doesn't date. She doesn't even try to! She needs to get out there. Meet people, meet men! I mean, I've tried being subtle…"
Lavender rolled her eyes thinking that Ginny had about as much subtlety has the Hogwarts Express running full tilt and out of control.
"… but it's like she's oblivious to every dropped hint." Heaving a deep sigh, Ginny continued, "It's damned depressing. I could probably set her up with an ex of mine, but her sour attitude is off-putting to even the most determined wizard. Have you seen her lately? She looks awful, and she can't afford to be walking around looking like that." At Lavender's curious look, Ginny spelled it out. "Let's face it; Hermione's never been one to attract loads of admirers."
After flagging down the waiter with her menu and ordering a salad with poppy-seed dressing Lavender said, "Surely you exaggerate. Hermione's grown into her looks over the last few years." At Ginny's startled reaction, Lavender continued, "She's not pretty in the same sense that we are, that's true. But, Hermione is good looking in her own fashion. I've seen plenty of men giving her the once over, and don't tell me you haven't ever wished for a figure like hers."
Ginny scowled. She had endured the teasing taunts of her brothers when puberty had come and gone with nary a change to her form. Ginny knew without vanity that she was beautiful. She'd had wizards falling at her feet since her fifth year at Hogwarts. Still, she would have happily traded some of that beauty for a smidge of voluptuous flesh. "Okay, yeah," she grudgingly admitted, "she's – as George has commented on once or a million times – 'got quite a rack on her.'"
Lavender's nose wrinkled in distaste. Bleck! What a horrid way for George to compliment Hermione's womanly attributes. Fortunately, Hermione loved him to death and took all of his lascivious comments in stride. Otherwise, Lavender might actually fear for his life. Truth was; Hermione didn't take those comments in the least bit seriously. In her mind, George was just being, well… George. And since he was who he was, Hermione never quite took in the fact that George might actually mean all those comments. More than likely he was hoping to one day sample some of Hermione's goods. But, George was destined for disappointment. Only one Weasley had ever had a go, and he'd blown it. Big time!
"She's got more going for her than just a pair of large breasts, and nicely shaped hips." Ginny gave Lavender a side look filled with derision making Lavender tack on sharply, "And, I'm not just talking about her mind! Everyone in the Wizarding World is well aware of her brilliance. Why must Hermione be categorized as brainy Granger, and nothing more?"
"Because that's what she puts herself out there as," Ginny retorted, flinging her fiery red head back. "And because of that, that's what people – men in particular – see. They don't look at Hermione and see her as an object of desire!"
Ginny, noticing the waiter approach with Lavender's salad stopped speaking. Lavender understood her wariness. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were firmly entrenched in the publics' mind as heroes. As such, they were subject to much gossip and speculation. It looked as if Ginny wasn't taking any chances on being over-heard by the man. Who knew if he might take it into his head to sell their conversation to the press? Every move they made, every word they spoke was noted, dissected, and then reported either on the wireless or the newspapers. What had happened with Ron and Hermione was a perfect example of the catastrophic consequences of not being aware of ones actions. Ron had been a brainless, stupid git!
After the waiter's departure, Lavender picked up her fork and made a stab at one of her cherry tomatoes and prepared herself for a continued diatribe on the flaws of Hermione Granger. Ginny seemed stuck in the negative mode of running the other woman down.
"I realize what Ron did isn't something that could be easily forgiven, but he's not the first wizard to stray."
Lavender's fork halted on its way to her mouth. Was Ginny kidding? She had to be! But, the serious set look on Ginny's face told its own story.
"I can't believe you just said that." The censor in Lavender's tone did not seem to affect Ginny in the least, and that bothered Lavender. Trying a different tack, she asked, "And I suppose you'd be able to forgive and forget if it'd been your boyfriend that had been having it off with another witch?"
"That would never have happened," Ginny huffed, put out that her friend would even voice such a thing. "I know how to keep a man happy." On seeing a frown settle between Lavender's brows, Ginny hastily added, "Don't get me wrong. I don't condone what Ron did, but maybe if Hermione had been, well… a bit more adventurous or something. Besides, Ron's made it clear that he wants her back, and she would do well to take him up on it or she's going to find herself alone."
Lavender's appetite disappeared leaving behind a hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach that had nothing to do with hunger. "So, what you're saying is that Hermione's to blame? That if Hermione had been some sort of sex goddess that this wouldn't have occurred?" Now, it was Lavender's turn to snort. "That's real rich, Gin"
"I never said it was Hermione's fault," Ginny exclaimed, defensively. "It's just; I know that she and Ron have been having difficulties in the sex department." Lavender looked shocked. "Oh come on, he's my brother for Merlin's sake! Sometimes he confides in me. It's understandable because as Hermione's friend I'd have some insight into her and her reasons for doing what she does."
"It was wrong of Ron to be so indelicate as to divulge such personal information," Lavender stated, sounding to Ginny's ears like a prude. "And I, for one, have no desire to hear the specifics from you."
"You're missing the point! Ron said he's willing to take her back even though she's lacking in the sex department."
"Let me make sure I have this straight. Hermione should just forget about what happened and be grateful that Ron wants to get back together with her," Lavender demanded angrily. At Ginny's affirmative nod, Lavender placed her fork on the table with a bang before exclaiming indignantly, "What a load of dragon shite!" Ignoring Ginny's taken aback expression, Lavender pushed onward. "You're a true friend there, Gin. Hermione's fortunate to have you."
Shocked at one of her best friend's unexpected outburst, Ginny retorted, "Since when have you become a champion of Hermione's? You've never cared a whit for her! Back at Hogwarts you constantly gave her grief by flaunting your tongue-down-throat relationship with my brother! You reveled in the knowledge that it made her life miserable! Now, all of a sudden, you're angling for do-gooder status in regard to her?" Ginny snorted. "Talk about a load of dragon shite."
Lavender listened to Ginny's tirade in silence and then exclaimed harshly, "Be that as it may, it doesn't stop me from feeling sorry for her. She's gotten a raw deal from Ron, and I do remember what that feels like. Granted, the betrayal was on a much smaller scale, but it was a betrayal none-the-less." Leaning forward, Lavender spoke quietly, "Ron was my first real love, and one doesn't forget that. Hermione might not have my friendship, but she does have my sympathy." With that, Lavender threw her napkin beside her uneaten salad and gathered up her purse.
The chair she sat in made an ungodly screech as she shoved it back. Heedless of the stares and whispers around her, she dropped several coins which clattered against the outer rim of her dinnerware. "I won't be meeting you for drinks tomorrow. Viktor's going to be in town."
"I thought he wasn't coming until Friday," Ginny stated in consternation.
Lavender stated matter-of-factly, "He wasn't supposed to be, but he owled me two days ago of his change in plans,"
"But, we always have drinks on Thursday! It's tradition!" Ginny exclaimed, sounding immensely annoyed.
"That's precisely what I told Viktor when he told me he'd be arriving early. He very graciously agreed to stay with the rest of his team-mates until Friday so that we could enjoy our weekly girls night out" Lavender smoothed out the folds of her robes. "They'll be no need for that now. I'm off to floo him to let him know of my change in plans."
"But, why," Ginny asked, confused. "If he said he wouldn't mind hanging out with his mates until Friday?"
"Because, Gin I don't think I'll be able to be in the same room as you for a little while." Ginny's mouth fell open. "I'll see you, when I see you." With that, Lavender turned and made her way out of the restaurant.
An un-named pub in the Wizarding World:
"We've got to do something about Hermione!"
Harry sighed. Here we go again. When was Ron going to get over this? Hardly a time went by while in the course of a day that Ron hadn't brought the subject of Hermione Granger into a conversation, and always along the same vein.
"Leave her alone, mate. That's the best you can do."
Ron's head swiveled toward Harry so fast that his reddish-orange hair slapped against his flushed cheeks. Flushed from too much drinking, Harry thought worriedly. Ron had been imbibing far too much liquor of late, and Harry guessed he ought to mention it and his concerns. But, he didn't because recently Ron's mood had been volatile at best. So, engaging him in a heart-to-heart about the dangers of abusing alcohol wouldn't be welcome and would more than likely end up with a wand being drawn on him.
"One fuck up," Ron exclaimed while holding up a finger. "One!" he reiterated as if Harry hadn't heard him the first time, "and she chucks it all! Who does that?"
Harry reached across the bar and pulled a bowl of peanuts closer. Taking a few, he popped them in his mouth munching on them slowly. After a while Harry felt compelled to say, "Yeah, well it was quite the fuck up. And it didn't help that your fuck up was splashed across every tabloid known from here to all the other continents of the Earth."
Ron glared at Harry through bleary eyes before countering with, "How was I to know the daft bitch would go about gloating to anyone that'd listen? Huh?"
Harry glared right back, and then demanded, "How could you not?" Running a hand through his messy black mop, Harry muttered quietly, "Jesus, Ron, of course she was going to blab! There are more hero-whores out there than we'll ever be able to count. The sheets probably weren't even cool before she was hot trotting it to the nearest floo."
Ron's complexion blanched a bit. It wasn't often that Harry didn't give him his unwavering support, but his discomfort was short lived. "If she really loved me she would have forgiven me! "Anyways," he added snidely, "to my way of thinking we were on a break!"
Harry's green eyes grew wide. "How much of a break could it have been?" he demanded. "You were living together for Godric's sake!"
After downing another deep swallow, Ron continued on in his role as the helpless victim by whining, "She wouldn't sleep with me, Harry. That's got the ring of a break all right. I got stuck with the couch. The bleeden' couch!" Ron snorted. "Said I snored and that she needed her sleep; said she couldn't rest with me sounding like Hippogriff in heat." He slammed the tankard on the bar and stated adamantly, "It wasn't my fault that another witch liked what she saw. I ain't some bloody monk! If it's anybody's fault, it's hers! Weren't for her, this whole blasted thing would never have happened."
"That's a load of BS and you know it." Harry popped a few more peanuts and began venting his own frustrations at Ron by chewing on them viciously. "You're just using that as some sort of half-assed excuse for cheating."
Leaning toward Harry, Ron snarled angrily, "You're always taking 'Mione's side. Whenever we have a fallen out there you are, good ole Harry Potter to the rescue with a shoulder or a home to crash in!"
Harry snapped back. "What did you expect me to do, Ron? Huh? Did you want me to slam the door in her face? Turn my back on one of my dearest friends when she needed me?" Shoving the bowl of peanuts aside, Harry tagged on, "You've just got your boxers in a bind because she dumped your sorry arse before you got back and had a chance to try to explain away your behavior."
"Well," Ron sputtered, "the bloody lease on the flat won't be up for another six months! How the hell am I supposed to pay for it without Hermione? When she came blubbering to you, you could of said, 'No, Hermione you gotta go back home and work things out with Ron' or 'I'd welcome you with open arms only I know if I did you'd regret it. Go back to Ron.' You couldn't do that though, could ya?" Wiping a hand across his slightly sweaty face he added in a tired voice, "Least you could have done was let me move in with you instead of her."
Harry could not believe his ears. Ron was worried about not making the rent? Was all his moaning and lamenting about losing Hermione a cover for being left to handle the bills that someone on a lone Auror's salary wouldn't be able meet? Harry was hoping not because if that were the case then Ron really did have the emotional range of a teaspoon.
Harry asked the bartender for another bottle of butterbeer, and then said, "That's something you say when a couple has a simple run of the mill argument. Which, this clearly was not."
Two and a half months ago
Harry would never forget the pounding on the door that had woken him from a deep sleep that fateful morning. He'd rolled over and whipped his wand from underneath his pillow and in nothing but his boxers ran to the stairs. It took his sleep-addled brain a second to realize that only someone he knew would have been able to be making such a racket. Only his nearest and dearest had access to Grimmauld Place.
He'd no sooner flung the door wide open and he was engulfed in a quivering mass of Hermione Granger clutching at him and sobbing uncontrollably. At first, Harry had been positive something dreadful had happened to Ron. He'd been off on an assignment and while it hadn't been a dangerous one, in odd instances benign assignments had been known to go south.
He'd quickly ushered her in and settled her on the sofa and tried desperately to understand the garbled mess that Hermione was attempting to convey. But, no matter how attentively he'd listened he hadn't been able to decipher any of it. To Harry's credit, Arithmacy had not been one of his best classes at Hogwarts, and what she was spouting had sounded an awful like that.
When Hermione had finally taken a good look at him, it had become clear to her that Harry hadn't a hope in Heaven of understanding her indecipherable babble. With a choked sob, she'd thrust several papers into Harry's hand. He hadn't even noticed them, so concerned had he been. After sparing Hermione a questioning glance, he'd unfolded the scrunched up pile.
There on the front page had been a picture of Ron in his Auror robes receiving his badge and certificate officially declaring him a graduate of the finest Auror Academy in Britain. He'd been grinning and waving to the cheering crowd. Next to him stood Hermione sporting a proud smile and gazing at Ron with eyes that shone.
Beside it, was a photo of a dark haired woman with an overly made up face. Harry supposed she could have been considered attractive in a coarse sort of way. Her mode of dress certainly left little to the imagination, and the fact that her scarlet lips formed into a provocative moue totally put her in the slag category in Harry's opinion.
Then, the words flashing off of the paper had sunk in. Harry had drawn a deep indrawn breath. Ron had cheated on Hermione? Impossible! Yet, here it was in black and white. This, this … woman was claiming to have had sex with Ronald Weasley, Hero of the Wizarding War!
Harry's head shot up from his reading to find Hermione watching him closely. Her eyes were dark pools of wet, wounded anger. "This…," Harry sputtered, shaking the paper in his hand, "This can't be right! He'd never…," Harry paused when she shook her curl-tangled head from side-to-side. Grabbing her hand, Harry stated more firmly, "It's load of rubbish, Hermione and by Rita-bleeding-Skeeter no less! It's trash, nothing more. You have to know that!"
Hermione had gotten herself sufficiently under control enough to swipe the other papers from the hand of Harry's that wasn't holding onto her own. Slamming them down on the coffee table, she'd spread them apart as if they were a deck of cards. Giving her clenched fingers a comforting squeeze, Harry leaned over and separated the papers more evenly. To his dismay, on the front page of each and every one was a similar story to that of the Daily Prophet.
Even with the evidence before him, Harry had still assumed there'd been some sort of mistake and said, "Lot's of people go to the press with false tales wanting their fifteen minutes of fame." Furious, Harry exclaimed angrily, "We'll sue every one of their sorry asses for libel, that's what we'll do!"
"Oh, Harry," Hermione had cried wretchedly. Then, she'd pushed the other papers to the floor and picked up the one that was still left on the table. Rifling through the pages, Hermione had pulled one page back with so much force that the top part of it had ripped. Wordlessly, she'd jabbed at the particular paragraph she'd wanted him to read.
Harry'd quickly scanned the pointed out portion, mouthing the words as he read. So far, other than throwing around a bunch of muck that could have easily been false, he'd seen nothing of consequence. Then, Harry's eyes had grown wide in shock as the next sentence had struck him with the force of stinging hex. Because, within those lines had been the telling information which had proved the veracity of that bimbo's claims.
"Oh, Hermione," Harry'd exclaimed in despair, squeezing her hand to the point of pain. "I am so sorry."
Turning her hand so that their fingers intertwined, she'd answered in a voice that trembled, "You didn't do anything, Harry. Ron's the rat bastard who did this."
Harry had tried not to show his surprise at her language, she'd always been a stickler when it came to swearing. Though, in this instance, he couldn't really have blamed her for her momentary lapse. Instead, he'd agreed with her, "You got that right."
With a swish of his wand, Harry'd produced a cool, damp towel and handed it to Hermione. She'd taken it with a tremulous, though grateful smile and pressed it against her blotchy and overheated face.
After she'd wiped the cloth across her swollen eyes, she'd said, "I can't go back there, can't stay in that flat." Her voice broke. "He's all over, everywhere I look." Pressing a hand to her stomach, she cried, "I get sick just thinking about staying where he's been!"
"Of course, of course," Harry murmured while pushing a few strands of her messy hair behind her ear. "You can stay here."
"Really?" Hermione's face had brightened somewhat.
Smiling, Harry'd assured her, "My home is your home for as long as you like. Now," he'd said, trying to sound a tad cheerful, "Do you feel up to going back for your things?"
Giving Harry a sheepish half smile, Hermione had reached into an interior pocket of her robes and pulled out a bag. Harry'd recognized it immediately from their days of hunting Horcruxes.
"I took a chance that you'd invite me to stay," she'd explained.
Harry'd gone silent for a moment, and then let out a laugh that had brought a true smile to Hermione's face.
"You could always move back to the Burrow," Harry suggested to Ron before bringing his bottle to his lips once more.
Ron cringed. "Don't know about that. Mum's been a right terror to live with. Least ways, that's how Ginny tells it."
Now, it was Harry's turn to cringe. Missus Weasley hadn't been too happy to discover where Hermione's new abode was. Fact was, she'd read him the riot act stating it wasn't seemly for Hermione to be setting up residence with three bachelors. She'd made Harry feel like a first year again, it hadn't been pleasant at all. Still, Harry had managed to bear her immense displeasure without caving. Harry hadn't known who'd been more surprised; Missus Weasley or him.
"Maybe if you was to talk to Hermione she'd come round." Warming to his subject, Ron continued in excitement. "She trusts you, mate! You could convince her, I know you could!"
"Forget it, Ron," Harry replied in a flat voice. "On this Hermione won't listen. Besides, I have no interest in doing your dirty work. Man up already, and accept defeat."
"Bloody hell, Harry," Ron yelled, catching the attention of several other people sitting at the bar. "You're supposed to be my friend too! A little help, please!"
"Keep it down, you idiot," Harry hissed. "You know as well as I, that we have to keep a low profile. Like we really need to give the press anymore fodder to work off of."
Ron gave him a dirty look, but to Harry's relief lowered his voice. "Fine! All I'm saying is we've been best mates since we been eleven; even before Hermione."
If Ron was expecting Harry to feel guilty he was in for one hell of a shock. "If Hermione had been the one in the wrong we'd be sitting here having an entirely different conversation."
"Excuse me, Mister Potter?"
Harry glanced at the bartender, and warily admitted, "Yeah."
The bartender grinned, and then said, "Thought so. There's a floo call for you in the back."
Harry's eyes followed the direction of the man's thumb to a set of double doors set up so that most people wouldn't even notice they were there. Harry'd been here a dozen times and hadn't seen them before either.
The bartender whispered in a conspirator like manner, "We keep it charmed so that only the staff can see it." Then, he gave Harry an audacious wink before saying, "But, the boss said it was okay to let you through."
"Um, okay." Harry stood up and walked behind the bar. He could feel Ron's curious gaze burning a hole in his back. Pushing through one side of the wooden apertures, Harry found himself in a small storage area; in the far corner stood the floo. He crossed the room and gazed into the flames. Looking back at him was the angry face of Ginerva Weasley.
"Harry," she spat out, "why can't I get into Grimmauld Place? I've been standing out here for the last half an hour trying every which way I know how to enter, and having no success!"
Harry sighed. Why'd Ginny have to be so pushy about this? Hermione needed time to deal with all that had happened. But, Ginny – as well as several other people of their acquaintance – felt the last two months was long enough for Hermione to get over it. Harry knew different. His best female friend still suffered over Ron's indiscretion.
Hermione Granger had a long, really long memory. The Weasley's were unaware of this because Hermione had taken Ron back almost immediately after he'd returned to help them continue the search for the Horcruxes. It had given the mistaken impression that Hermione wasn't one to hold a grudge. In most things, that assumption was fairly accurate, but this had been a betrayal of the most heinous kind. It was going to take a good, long time for Hermione to come round.
"Hermione asked me to change the wards, so I did," was Harry's calm rejoinder.
Ginny clicked her tongue in annoyance, and asked, "Why?"
"Oh, I don't know, Gin," he began, sounding sarcastic. "Maybe the fact that you and your mum have been hounding Hermione relentlessly since this entire fiasco began just might, might have something to do with it."
"That's ridiculous," she exclaimed. "We're just concerned."
"When Hermione wants to see you, the wards will be changed so that they'll recognize your magical signatures again," he explained patiently. "Till then," he shrugged, "you're out of luck."
The look on Ginny's face was murderous. "I'll remember this, Harry," she promised him.
He replied nonchalantly, "You do that. I have to be going now; I have a butterbeer with my name written all over it waiting for me." With that, he turned his back on her and strode toward the double doors leaving Ginny to stew in her juices.
Reviews would be welcome!