A/N: I guess this is slightly AU, assuming that Hermione and Ron and Harry and Ginny are not established couples.

Also, I literally got home from the premiere about an hour and a half ago and I had to get this out pronto.

Hermione always has this strange scent about her, an odd aroma that reminds Ginny of libraries and museums. It makes sense when she thinks about it, because Hermione is a cauldron bubbling over with knowledge, crammed full of history and its mysteries. The fellow Gryffindor girl is the brightest witch of her age. It's not so much a boasting claim as it is an observation. It just is. Ginny knows that better than anyone.

The redhead's nose breathes in the pages she imagines are layering beneath Hermione's wan flesh. Soft, pale hairs on the older girl's arm rise in Ginny's wake, alerted of her presence and following the ascent of her nose to the question marked curve of Hermione's shoulder. Ginny sighs, the arm circling her lover's waist tightening as if on reflex, drawing the sleeping girl closer. Hermione turns, her face lax with dreams only her closed eyes see, dark lashes giving the slightest flicker over her cheeks. Ginny studies the unconscious girl, watching the way her eyes crunch slightly at the corners, a stray curl looping across her forehead. Ginny pinches the dark strands between her fingers, drawing it away, but leaving the patch of skin it had occupied warm with a soft kiss.

Her brother's wedding is only a few short hours away. The sun is waning and the sky is tinging from indigo to blue. A rustle somewhere on the other side of the house tells Ginny that her mother is waking up, and soon her father, and before long the entire house will be buzzing to life to prepare for the event. Ginny has learned that things rarely go according to plan, especially as of late, and she isn't naive enough to keep on believing that things are going to be 'normal' anytime soon. Voldemort is alive. The entire Wizarding world is in very real danger, and the woman she loves the most is Harry Potter's best friend.

Not that she's ever really held anything against the Boy Who Lived - she knows he didn't choose this, nor did Hermione choose to become so close to him. Harry is a nice boy and a great friend to both her brother and Hermione. Ginny's arm tightens about the other girl's waist, forehead settling in the slope of Hermione's neck. Still, it's of no comfort to Ginny knowing that Hermione is in just as much danger as Harry just by being his friend.

Ginny's lips press together to muffle the rough exhale building in her throat. Hermione is the most loyal, brave girl she's ever met, but as much as she loves those parts about her, adores them, worships them, she sometimes wishes that Hermione would choose her over Harry, as selfish as it sounds. She wishes the world and all of its bull would halt if just for a minute so the lines of worry mapping Hermione's face could be permanently flattened from Ginny's gentle fingertips.

But the world doesn't stop for anyone - not for wizards or witches or Muggles or two girls in love, and the sun rose and the house woke up almost in unison, though Hermione was the last to stir. Her dreaming face cracked away, the familiar lines that Ginny has so often traced creasing stress from the inside out. The older girl yawns, rubbing sleep from her eye with a fist as she rolls closer to the warm redhead beside her. Hermione's leg weaves between the other girl's, her foot resting just below Ginny's knee. Heavy auburn eyes turn up to her with a smile that tries so hard for Ginny's sake.

"I don't want to get up," Hermione whispers. It surprises Ginny so much that nearly a whole minute goes by in silence; Hermione so rarely peels back her tough cover to reveal the frail, sometimes brittle pages underneath, the ones that are handwritten in secrets. Ginny's hand swoops over Hermione's chest, the tips of her fingers balancing on the edge of her jawline and pulling her face closer. Hermione's eyes fall closed again, tired, and Ginny knows that while the other girl sleeps, it doesn't necessarily mean she's resting. "Everything is so crazy anymore. I just want to stay here, right here." Hermione's head nudges beneath Ginny's chin, like she wants to burrow inside of her, lock herself in the cage protecting the girl's heart.

And Ginny wants that, too - to bolt her arms around her lover and refuse to let her go, to be selfish, to keep Hermione all to herself. Let Harry fend for himself. Let him experience what she has to all the time; living without Hermione, sleeping alone, staring anxiously at the sky as if it would tell her if and when any harm came Hermione's way. Let Harry deal with not knowing whether or not Hermione is alive. Because it kills her sometimes, those painful, aching days without her that punch invisible bruises, but then there are soft, weak mornings like this, when Ginny can read Hermione better than any book and find worth in all of the words on the pages.

"But you're Hermione Granger." Ginny dips her nose and lips into Hermione's hair, breathes in the wise scent of museums, and exhales slowly. She can hear silverware scraping together, the morning chorus of breakfast warming up for song. Ginny wants nothing more than to stay cocooned in this rising dawn forever, entwined in Hermione's legs, reading her.

But the world doesn't stop, and Hermione is the brightest witch of her age, and as much as Ginny wants her, the world needs her more.

Hermione kisses poetry on Ginny's lips. The sun rises and the two crawl out of bed, one foot in front of the other.