A/N Well folks, welcome to the new story. This picks up right after Ginny Weasley and The Dreamcatcher. I know how much you all love my almost daily updates, and I will still be aiming for one a day. I can't guarantee however, that that will happen. My life keeps getting in the way and, since Hermione and Ginny weren't supposed to get together till the end of this volume...well, a bunch of ideas had to get thrown out. Hope you enjoy the first chapter!
Ginny woke up early her first morning back at the Burrow. The truth was she hadn't actually gotten much sleep. She had missed Hermione the moment she walked away from her at King's Cross and it had only gotten worse. As soon as she had gotten home she'd run to her room, taken out the blanket Hermione had given her and had wrapped it around herself. She had laid on the bed for several hours, weeping softly.
In some ways, Ginny was the happiest she had ever been. They had spent almost every minute together for their last week at Hogwarts. They spent their days down on the Quidditch pitch—Hermione, Luna and Padma sitting in the stands watching their pick-up game. It was the only time she and Hermione weren't touching in some way...when she flew. But every time she looked to the woman she loved in the stands, she found her watching her.
They had spent every night sleeping in each others arms thanks to the spells Padma had taught them. Hermione would go to her room, change, then cast a charm on her bed that would make it appear as though someone still slept there. Next, Hermione would cast a Disillusionment charm on herself and sneak down to Ginny's room. By the time Hermione would get there Ginny would already have the drapes around her bed closed and as soon as Hermione had joined her they would cast another charm that would block any noise they made from her dorm mates.
They spent their nights reading Ginny's journals together. Laughing, crying and yes, occasionally making out, for hours. They had only managed to keep their promise to take things slow because of the other people in the room. They were never really alone.
She sighed and crawled out of bed, went to her trunk and got a piece of parchment and a quill. She sat back down on the bed and started a long heart-wrenching letter to Hermione. She was counting the days and the hours until she could hold her again.
She had just finished when there was a soft knock on the door.
"Ginny?" it was her mother; "can I come in?"
"Sure Mom," she responded as she rolled her letter.
"Are you okay, dear? We haven't seen you since you got home..." she went over and sat on the bed beside Ginny. She brushed her hand across her daughter's forehead. "What's wrong, dear, you look like you barely slept."
Ginny couldn't speak as the tears started to leak from her eyes and she looked down.
"Did you have a fight with Hermione, dear?" her mother asked gently.
Ginny's head snapped at her mother's question, blushing furiously.
"No...why?" she asked as she shook her head.
"Ginny, dear...you know you can talk to me, right?" Ginny nodded. "Well...what is it then?"
Ginny shook her head and started to cry in earnest. Her mother moved closer, hugged her and rubbed her back. How could she tell her mother how much she missed Hermione? She wasn't sure she was ready for that conversation. However, considering how lousy she was feeling, she needed to talk.
"I miss Hermione, Mom...so much it hurts," she said very quietly.
"I know, dear, you'll be seeing her soon..." her Mother said, trying to reassure her.
"No, Mom...I love her...I'm in love with her...and she feels the same..." she trailed off, her courage failing her and the tears started to fall again.
"I know you do, dear...I saw the way you two looked at each other yesterday...and I've suspected since Easter," Ginny looked up. "I could see how much she loved you, even then...first loves are always hard."
"She's more than that, Mom," Ginny said, quietly but with determination. "I've been in love with her since the first time I met her in Gringotts...we've only really been together just over a week...but, Mom? She's not just my first love...she's my one and only love. My forever...and I miss her so much it actually, physically, hurts."
Molly just held her daughter, stunned by her fierce declaration of love for Hermione. She seemed so certain for someone so young. Of course she had known that her daughter was in love with Hermione and that she likely felt the same. But Ginny was barely thirteen—how could she possibly be so certain?
"It's only five days, Ginny...and then you'll be together until the end of August," she said, trying to reassure her. "And Ginny?" she asked softly and waited for her daughter to look up; "I really like Hermione. She's a very sweet young woman...if she makes you happy, then I'm happy for you, dear."
"You don't care she's a girl?" Ginny asked curiously.
"I've suspected that you like girls for a long time...the amount of times I found you and Luna curled up together..." she said teasing her. "You two were always so close...until I met Hermione at Easter..."
Ginny shook her head and laughed.
"Why does everyone always say that?" she asked.
"Well...you have known her longer..." Molly teased. "Why don't you go flying for a bit? I got the boys a couple of newer brooms to practice with...there should be one left for you."
"You have a very generous girlfriend...she sent me more than we needed for an owl, so...I decided to get a couple of well, not new, but at least not-as-old brooms for your brothers, so even if you don't beat them to the broomshed you can still at least have a broom to fly," Molly explained.
"Is Jeanie back from hunting, Mom?" Ginny had named their new owl after Hermione, using her middle name.
"No...but she should be soon...don't tell me you've already written her a letter?"
Ginny blushed and nodded, and Molly realised that not only did her daughter love Hermione, she was head over heels for her. "Well," she thought, "I did always want another daughter."
Hermione sat on her bed, rereading one of her favorite passages from one of the four diaries Ginny had written. She knew it would seem silly to some...they had only been apart for six days, but she missed her girlfriend so badly it actually, physically hurt.
She had read each of the diaries at least five times each, even though, thanks to her eidetic memory, she knew every word after the first time she'd read them with Ginny. Seeing Ginny's handwriting on the pages was almost like having her there with her. Almost.
Six days and she'd already received three letters from Ginny, the first arriving the afternoon after she got home. She asked the new Weasley owl, Jeanie, to wait as she ran and got the letter she had written Ginny and added a quick note at the bottom.
After she had received the second and sent her own, she had called Cara, the free house elf who chose to stay with her mentor, friend, and Magical Mother, Minerva McGonagall, to ask her to take a note to her. She had hoped perhaps Ginny could join them for their trip to Diagon Alley to buy her broom. She had planned to buy her a Firebolt like Harry's, but had done some research when she got home, and found out there may be a new prototype broom specifically designed for the all-witch Quidditch team, the Holyhead Harpies. Not only were they going to be designed specifically for Quidditch and meant only for women, they were custom made—which meant Ginny would need to be there.
She almost leapt for joy when Cara returned with a positive response.
Her trunk was already packed and she sat with the Memory Portrait Luna had given her the previous Christmas, gently running her thumb over Ginny, when there was a soft knock at the door and her mother poked her head around the door.
"Why don't you come down for something to eat before your Professor gets here?" she asked.
"I guess, Mom..."
"Hermione? Are you okay, dear?" she asked gently as she went to look at the painting in her daughter's hand. She sighed and sat down beside her on the bed, "You really love her, don't you?"
Hermione sighed and laughed a little. "Leave it to you to figure it out," she said softly. "Does it bother you, Mom? That I'm in love with a girl?"
"You're happier than I've ever seen you, dear...why would I let it bother me?" she asked as she put her arm around her shoulders. "I love you, Hermione. All I've ever wanted is for you to be happy...and I've suspected since I caught the way you looked at each other at Easter. I've had a little time to get used to the idea...and I know it's more accepted in your world, so I know you'll be okay."
"I'm glad you're taking it so well, Mom...I wasn't sure...I mean it's different in the Muggle world...in the Magical world, no one really cares...it's funny, despite all the gadgets and technology Muggles have, Witches and Wizards are more advanced in some ways."
"At least now I know where you've been spending your money," she said, teasing her daughter as she stood.
"How can I not, Mom? They have so little, the Weasleys, and I have so much...so much I don't think I could ever use it all...I just want to try to the help them out, in small ways, when I can."
Rosemary Granger stared at her daughter. Hermione had always been mature for her age and smarter than just about everyone. But somehow, over the last year, her daughter had grown into a young woman. Who happened to be in love with another young woman and was already trying to support her.
"You really love her that much, don't you?" she asked.
"I do, Mom. I want to spend the rest of my life with her...I know you probably think I'm too young to feel this strongly...but it's how I feel, Mom...I'm in love with her and I can't imagine being with anyone else, ever."
Just then there was a knock on the front door, downstairs. Hermione reached out telepathically and said hello to Ginny.
"Hey Babe, be right down..." she thought to Ginny.
She ran from her room before her mother had even realised someone had knocked, and was taking the stairs two at a time, when she slipped and fell the rest of the way down the stairs. She came to rest at the bottom of the stairs, her right ankle hurting terribly.
She got up slowly as her mother rushed up to her. She tried to put weight on it and found, if she tried really hard, she could walk without limping. But only just barely.
"Mom, I'm okay, really!" she assured her as she walked as quickly as she could to the door.
As she opened the door she saw the concern on Ginny's face.
"What the hell was that noise?" she asked as she rushed to hug Hermione.
Hermione laughed and hugged her back—happy again for the first time since she'd let her go six days ago.
"Minerva? Do we have time for me to show Ginny my room?" she asked Minerva, and then continued in thought, "I need Ginny to fix my ankle before we go...I think it's broken."
Minerva nodded and she took Ginny's hand and led her up to her room as quickly as her ankle would let her.
As soon as they were in her room, Hermione turned and pulled Ginny into a hug and kissed her fiercely. Ginny broke the kiss first and was frowning., "Your ankle is broken, come and sit down..." she said, leading her to the bed.
Once she was sitting, Ginny knelt down in front of her to carefully take off Hermione's shoe and sock and then, running her hand along her calf as she did, lifted her pant leg. Hermione's ankle was black and blue and swollen to three times its normal size.
"How did you manage to walk on this?" she asked as she looked at Hermione and frowned. "What was that noise by the way?"
"Slipped on the stairs?" Hermione replied.
Ginny shook her head and started to gently run her hands all over Hermione's foot, ankle and calf.
"This might hurt...deep breath, okay?" Ginny instructed.
She heard Hermione breathe in and as she did she focused on the break in her ankle.
Hermione felt and heard the bone snap back in place and a warmth where Ginny's hands were, spreading up her leg. As soon as the pain was gone completely, she reached down and pulled Ginny up to kiss her.
"I missed you...so...damn...much..." Hermione said between kisses as Ginny pushed her backwards onto the bed and kissed her way down her neck.
She came back to Hermione's lips and kissed her again.
"I missed you, too..." Ginny replied softly. She backed away and gently ran her finger along Hermione's jaw, "But we should probably get going..." she trailed off before kissing her again softly.
Ginny stood back up and offered a hand to help Hermione stand. She put her right foot on the floor and tested it before hugging Ginny again. "Thank you...it's good as new."
"How'd you fall down the stairs anyway?" Ginny asked Hermione as she put her shoe and sock back on.
Hermione blushed as she responded; "Couldn't wait to get to you."
"Stand still a second...I want to check you didn't hurt anything else."
Ginny stood in front of her and put her hands on Hermione's head and closed her eyes. She slowly ran her hands down her head to the back of her neck, and then down each arm, pausing briefly to give Hermione's hands a squeeze before placing her hands just under armpits and then slowly running her hands down her ribs and paused.
Hermione watched Ginny's face the whole time, noticing that she had frowned when she paused. She noticed a small pain but it was gone before she could figure out what it was, and Ginny continued moving downwards with her hands.
She got to her waist and slowly ran her hands over Hermione's behind; and then, with one hand on each side of her left leg, starting from the top, she slowly, and perhaps somewhat seductively, ran her hands first down her left and then back up her right.
Hermione reached down and lifted Ginny's face to pull her into a long, deep, kiss, before whispering in her ear: "Were you checking for injuries or just trying to get me hot and bothered?"
Ginny laughed as she kissed her.
"Both...you mind?" she asked as she lifted her eyebrow.
Hermione just kissed her in response.
There was a knock on the door that scared the daylights out of both of them, as they were so lost in each other.
"Hermione, dear, the Professor said you should call Cara to take your stuff to the cottage..." her mother told her through the door.
"Thanks, Mom...we'll be right down." Hermione replied, as Ginny kissed her neck.
"You're bad..." Hermione teased as she kissed her again.
"And you're not? Breaking your ankle so you could get me to your room?" Ginny teased back, and laughed lightly.
"Cara?" the house elf appeared, "Well, hello again, little one...could you please take my trunk to the cottage?"
"Of course, Miss...I'll see you tomorrow," she replied before disappearing with Hermione's trunk.
"Tomorrow? I thought we were heading to Minerva's right after we're done shopping in Diagon Alley?" Ginny asked, as Hermione grabbed her backpack and they headed back downstairs.
"I have many surprises in store for you today, my love...hope you're up for it..." Hermione replied with a wink.
"Are you okay, dear? That was some fall you took..." her mother asked as she rushed over to check on her daughter.
"I'm fine Mom, really..." she replied, as she gave her a hug. "Do have my money Mom? I want to put it in Gringotts today."
"Of course, dear," she answered as she handed her a rather large paper bag that Hermione put in her backpack. "Will you be safe carrying this much money through London?" her mother asked, concerned.
"With Professor McGonagall watching over me? Not worried in the least." Hermione replied as she smiled to the woman she considered her other mother. "And Mom? I'm getting us an owl while we're there, so you can write me during the summer...it'll probably get here in the next few days. I'll send along everything you need to take care of it. Okay?"
"That would be lovely, dear, but is there any chance you could get something a little less..." her mother trailed off.
"Conspicuous?" she answered, and her mother nodded. "I think they have ravens too, don't they Professor?" Minerva nodded. "Would that be better?"
Her mother nodded and then looked to Ginny.
"So I understand you're my daughter's new...I'm sorry dear, what's the politically correct term?" her mother asked to Ginny's surprised look.
"You can call her my girlfriend, Mom...and Mom? Thanks for being so cool about this."
"Well, I've had a little time to get used to the idea and I've really never seen you happier..." her mother replied as she hugged her again and then turned to Ginny, "It's nice to officially meet the young lady who is making my daughter so happy," she continued as she briefly hugged Ginny, too.
"Mom?" Hermione turned to her. "Will you talk to Dad for me?"
Her mother laughed. "He figured it before I did, dear. He told me to tell you he's happy for you and to have a good summer."
"Wow, really?" her mother nodded. "How'd I get so lucky to have such great parents?"
"How'd we get so lucky to have such a smart and talented daughter?" she asked fondly. "But you three should get going."
"Thanks, again, Mom...I'll take the raven to the cottage with me and send you a letter in a few days?"
Her mother nodded and turned to Minerva.
"Thank you, Professor, for everything you're doing for Hermione."
"You needn't thank me...and please, call me Minerva...your daughter and her friends already do," Minerva replied.
"Thank you," her mother replied. "I'm Rosemary and Hermione's father is Shaun."
They said their last goodbyes and left Hermione's house behind as they walked out into the sunshine.
"How are we getting there?" Hermione asked.
"Side-along apparition, if that's okay with you?" Minerva asked; and then, noting the slightly concerned look on Hermione's face, she said, "Have you not done it before?"
"Only with Cara...wait...is that how you guys got here from the Burrow?"
Ginny nodded. "It's a little weird, but it's not so bad."
They walked to a deserted alley and took Minerva's hands. A moment later they were in London, standing out front of the Leaky Cauldron. Both girls stumbled slightly on arrival and felt their ears pop.
Minerva led them inside and went to sit with Rosmerta, who was waiting for her.
"Aren't you coming with us?" Ginny asked surprised.
"No...you have the afternoon to yourselves. We'll meet back here for dinner and then head to the cottage tomorrow," Minerva replied, smiling as she laced her fingers with her wife-to-be.
Hermione leaned over and whispered in her ear: "I told you I have a bunch of surprises for you."