A/N:

Written BEFORE Order Of The Phoenix was released in 2003.

You flame, I report you.

The Morning After

Hermione Granger rolled over, winced and raised a hand to her head. It throbbed slightly. She had definitely overdone it the night before, when she went out with Luna and Ginny, "That last shot of Bulgarian Fire Whiskey was definitely not the best idea I have ever had."

The small Christmas Eve party had also seen the other three boys, Ron, Harry and Neville pummel alcohol until they were completely drunk, hammered to the point of uncaring existence before they had passed out… and probably were still sleeping it off in the backroom of the Three Broomsticks. Until the three girls had using a little magic – apparition – to get them back to the front gate of Hogwarts, and then, a little more magic – locomotion charms – to levitate back up to their respective dormitories.

Luna had stayed with Neville, keeping a close eye on him, for reasons that were deeper than friendship, if what Hermione suspected was true – not that it is too surprising. Ginny had suspected the same thing for several long months. Ron and Harry would be fine when they woke up, apart from a somewhat more severe hangover that made Hermione's headache, dry throat and thirst seem like a picnic on a warm sunny day.

"That Fire Whiskey really has a kick to it. Forget kick, more like an anvil being thrown in to the head," she mused, even as she lay in her own bed, within the Head Girls' private room. The Queen Size bed far too large and in some ways, she was envious of Harry, who had somebody to share it with from time to time. Ron even, had a girlfriend of his own now. Neville and Luna, that was just inevitable. Give them a little more time and that would fall in to place.

Than left only herself and Ginny, single within the original Hogwarts Six. She smiled as she reached out to the bedside table, squinting against the bright sunshine that peeked in through the gap in the curtains, casting long rays of golden warm sunshine from the world outside. The rays merely touched the blanket spread over her feet. She shivered slightly, not in the habit of sleeping in the nude, even during warmer nights in spring, despite the fact she could lock the door to her room, it failed to mean anything to her that she was in the nude. Part of the magic of alcohol was still with her.

She grasped the glass of water using both hands, not quite trusting her sense in her slightly inebriated position, taking sips of water to wet her mouth as she drank deeply, relieving the dry dust like taste in the back of her throat. Replacing the glass where it belonged, she glanced at the clock: Nine in the morning on Saturday, 25th of December, Christmas Morning. Somehow, it did not seem right that she get out of bed. Especially with everyone else, most probably, well, most certainly still not awake apart from herself. With the slight drowsiness caused by the alcohol still with her, the hangover making its presence felt yet again and far too comfortable, safe and warm to move, Hermione decided that opening presents could wait, while she grasped another hour or two of sleep. Considering that she had only returned home, with the others at around four or five in the morning, four hours of sleep could not be enough, "Going to sleep till noon at least," thought a groggy Hermione as she stole another grudging sip of water from the glass on her bedside, and replaced it one handed. Pulling the blanket up, her head hit the soft goose feather filled pillow as she curled up and began the slow descent back in to the realm of sleep.

The alcohol had left a gaping hole in her memory of about four hours. What had transpired within that gap involving another person she knew and cared about, was asleep and had not moved or stirred. However, she would when cold crept over her, because she was missing her share of the blankets.

Hermione Granger returned to sleep, as the cold air did its magic, robbing just enough warmth from Ginny Weasley to wake her, also suffering from a hangover about as bad as Hermione's and considering their different tolerances to alcohol, Ginny had matched Hermione drink for drink and almost shot for shot. No, mean feat that.

"Why is…so darned… where is the blanket?" she noticed, immediately where the blanket had gone. The spinning in her head, coupled with the disgusting, bile like taste in her mouth was convincing proof that she had made a mistake, not in matching Hermione drink for drink, but for trying to match her in shots. Ginny had folded like a house of cards after the second shot. Hermione had twice or three times that.

Goose bumps were forming on her skin, as she stared for a moment at the blanket entangled Hermione, the little of her that she could, was attractive, in its own way, the tanned skin and mop of dark hair, that fell, more like cascaded down the pillow and the side of her face, highlighting her features. Ginny was not sure whether the goose bumps were from the cold, or from the memories she replayed before her eyes, inside her head of what had transpired the night before between herself and Hermione.

The spark that erupted from between her thighs was a clue enough to how fantastic last night, or rather, earlier this morning had been. The smile that creased Ginny's face was not one of evil or delight in what some would call her seduction of Hermione Granger. The smile was one of happiness, and contentment. Hermione had walked down a path that she had been curious about, with someone who knew and had taken her inexperience in to stride, without embarrassing her about it.

Gently, she pried some of the blanket away from Hermione, and curled up beneath them, giving herself a few minutes in which to warm up slightly before she slid next to Hermione. Like any person lost in sleep, and perhaps weaving a path between dreams, Hermione Granger did the most natural thing in the world; she leaned back, against the source of warmth, rather like a cat purring with arched back against a heater on a chilly winter morning. She did not resist as Ginnerva Weasley wrapped her arms around her and pulled them closer together.

The aftermath however, was only hours from coming as Hermione awoke, just after noon; she reached out again for the glass of water and drained the last few drops from it, and swallowed. Her throat still felt a little dry and raw from the alcohol abused the night before. However, her head was clear and apart from the thirst she had, she felt unaffected by the previous nights excesses.

As tempting as it was to remain in bed, especially with Crookshanks sleeping at her back, curled up beneath the covers. It was in that moment that she realized one, and then a second thing. Crookshanks does not have hands with opposable digits. Flinging back the covers, Hermione rolled out of bed, in the process tearing Ginny from sleep like an owl having its tree bowled over.

"Here we go," thought Ginny, "Time to pay the price."

Hermione could only stand and stare, not noticing the coldness of the room was having an enticing effect on her body. She could only stare, "Ginny? What are you doing in my room?"

She paused for a moment as the cold nipped at her flesh, "What are you doing in my bed?" and then it dawned on her, "Why the HELL am I naked?"

Ginny stood, wrapping the blanket round her body with practiced ease as she folded it down, preventing it from falling while leaving her hands free, "You remember what we discussed at the Three Broomsticks last night? Before we started on the Fire Whiskey?"

Hermione could only nod. She remember telling Ginny that, she never been with another woman and wondered what it was like, as the alcohol had given her the courage to confess her curiosity, to her girlfriends. Luna had blushed like a rose and disappeared to find the boys. Ginny had stayed, and held Hermione's hand, making the offer straight and to the point, "If you want I can show you," before tossing back her butterbeer and gesturing for Madam Rosemerta to bring on the shots of Fire Whiskey.

Hermione could only stare in shock, looking as if she was about to break and shatter. The gap in her memory filled itself in, as if someone had unlocked, blown open a damn with a ton of dynamite. The images and events flooding her mind left her stunned, doing a goldfish impression, uncertain if she could accept what she had done, and what that made her. Did it make her anything, different?

Ginny guided Hermione gently back to the bed, and sat her down, before getting herself, and Hermione a glass of water. Hermione still looked a little stunned but there was some color in her cheeks, instead of her being ghost white like a sheet. She sipped at her water, as Ginny watched her, almost catlike. Time stretched between them, each second seemingly an hour, until finally she broke the silence.

"Who knows?" asked Hermione, her voice a croak.

"Nobody knows, and nobody will know, unless you tell somebody about it."

"Who knows about…" Hermione was more than unable to finish the question, "you know… you…" Hermione hesitated, she was not sure if there was a way to phrase the question without being insulting.

Ginny saved her from that, "Being a lesbian?" the redhead shrugged, "I'm more bi-sexual than a Lesbian really. But, Parvarti, Lavender and Padma. Oh yeah, Luna knows too," Ginny paused for a moment, leaning against the wall, not staring but more, looking in the same direction occasionally catching Hermione's eyes.

Hermione sat speechless, even as the events of the previous night continued to unfold before her unseeing eyes; she could see and remember every detail, causing a flush to appear in her cheeks, she felt that spark as well. Lost in her thoughts, she only say Ginny when she sat down, almost, kneeling on the floor in front of her, her face a few inches from hers, "What happens now is up to you. You say stop, I stop, but don't think I'll stop unless you say so."

Hermione froze, uncertain where to go from here. She had gone past the point of no return. There had been signs, warning signs even. However, The kiss was soft and gentle, sensual in a way she had never imagined possible. Deep, absorbing and mind numbing in its pleasure, it was a single kiss that relit the fires of desire and passion within Hermione Granger. She knew she was so far past the point of no return, she did not even remember what it looked like. Ginny pushed her, gently, laying her upon the bed, and the kisses began to fall like a gentle spring rain upon her body. Her hands gripped the sheets, knowing but not caring, as every kiss, snaked its way down the side of her neck and along her collarbone sent waves of pleasure traveling through her body….