AN: My dearest readers, I am mostly known for SLASH fiction, but let's not forget the beauty of two women finding a connection beyond friendship, always found it beautiful... So here it is, for you, a little sapphic romance between two powerful young women. May it inspire longing and deepen desire.
Chapter 1 - Home
It doesn't matter where you come from, or where you travel, you will still meet people who believe powerful women gained their position not only through honest means and hard work, but by using their...assets. Some go as far as to call these powerful women who dedicate their life to work frigid, label each and every one of them a dragon lady, or an ice queen. But what really made Hermione chuckle was the close mindedness of some who automatically assumed that a powerful woman had to be a lesbian. The reason why she found it hilarious, was that they didn't even know how true their guess actually was in her case.
She sighed softly and leaned back in the armchair that currently held her curled up yoga-inspired position. It had been a long day but she could not prevent a smile from sliding upon her face even after the 9 months in which her business has already been running. She lit up, taking a deep toke of the cancerous smoke and caressed the photo on her desk. It has been almost two years since that fateful May's day of the final battle, and they no longer looked malnourished or anaemic.
The summer after the war had been most difficult for Hermione. They all slept for about two weeks after finally getting the full body count and helping everyone begin healing. Even though she tried to protect her parents by taking their memory away, they found themselves in a car accident and bones yielded to metal much too easily. She mourned her parents, her friends from Hogwarts, her mentors...all those that have lost their lives, before finally picking up the pieces of her life. The invitation to come and finish her N.E.W.T.s was a true godsent and she immediatelly agreed to return and help rebuild Hogwarts for the new term. The boys however accepted the offer from Kingsley to rebuild the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and to once and for all catch the remaining Death Eaters. It took a year, but Harry and Ron trained themselves and others in battle and strategy, and succeeded. Their lives were going in completely different directions, but Hermione knew their bond would not suffer. The photo on her table was of the three of them at the day of her graduation alomost a year ago, and she was happy to still call the two men her best friends.
While many had expected her and Ron to end up together after the war, their predictions remained unfulfilled as most of Trelawney's prophecies. Their kiss in the heat of the battle was just that, one isolated moment in time where they feared for each other. But looking back, Hermione was glad it happened. At least they knew they were not meant for each other. What did change her life and rocked her world was the first two weeks of summer after her graduation. She had found a comfortable three bedroom flat near Diagon Alley, but in the muggle part of London.
And that was how she met Caitlin, a friend of her neighbour. There was something about her that drew Hermione to get to know her, to not shy away from her approaches, or from letting go without much thinking, and experiencing an intense sapphic romance. It lasted only a fortnight, but Hermione now knew what she wanted, craved and desired. Or rather, who. The lives of the Golden Trio were never private unfortunatelly, so of course the whole wizarding world was aware of her inclinations, but she honestly did not care. In a world where a potion can change gender, or induce a male pregnancy, sexuality was hardly an issue.
So she tackled one of her biggest desires yet, her own bookshop. She had used much of the money her parents have left her as inheritance, sold their previous house and clinic and invested in making the space now in her possession look exactly as she had always envisioned it. It was perfect. 'Sappho's', as she had named it due to her love for poets and philosophers, was a bookshop that specialised in a mix of wizarding and muggle literature, rare tomes, specialised research materials, and classical fiction. And the business was booming. Nine months in, and she was the youngest and one of the most successful of business owners in Diagon Alley, at the age of 20. Powerful, yes. Young, perhaps on paper. Lesbian, definitely. At least they got that right, she thought to herself and took one more deep toke before banishing what remained of her cigarette.
"Hey Granger." a much familiar voice interrupted her thoughts.
"Draco, is something wrong? Is it Georgie?" she asked, not quite used to the blond in her store yet. It was usually Georgie who popped over. Those two were honestly a little peculiar. She could not even begin to imagine how it felt for Georgie to loose his twin. And for a while, they have all feared for him. Then, about a month into the summer, Draco appeared at their doorstep with intent to apologise to the whole Weasley family for the behaviour of his family towards them, and to agree to end the blood feud. A few months later, he begun helping Georgie in the shop. And by the spring break at Hogwarts, Hermione had received a letter telling her the two were an item. It baffled her sometimes, but Draco appeared to be good for Georgie, so she just shrugged it off and let the Slytherin make his apologies before befriending her as well. They were going to celebrate their one year anniversary in but a week and if Hermione knew Draco well, which she did now, Georgie had a treat coming his way.
The blond just shook his head with a grin. "I am but a messenger. Apparently Weaslette- err..Ginerva has firecalled to say she has returned this afternoon from spring training, and wants to have a night out. I am to annoy you into agreeing to come, or, if that tactic fails, it is my duty to 'grab you and throw you over the shoulder like a caveman'. Her words, not mine." he winked.
Hermione just chuckled, used to his antics by now. "Alright, no need for that. When and where?" she asked.
"Awww, you are no fun Granger. I was looking forward to being the caveman for a change." he pouted.
Hermione threw a scrunched up parchment at him. "You can't even lift me up, ferret. Now tell me where this night out is, or I'll start calling you a cockroach." she grinned, the once harshly spoken words mere teasing between them now.
"Fine, fine. Merlin's at 10. You better be there woman!" he called with a laugh, disappearing around the corner before she could throw something at him again.
Hermione just shook her head and smiled once more at the photo in front of her. Life was good, and they deserved it after the little joy in their teenage years. She still had two hours before she had to be there, meaning a nice long soak in the bath before getting ready. Thank Merlin she only lived 5 minutes away...
"Oh Ginny dear, welcome home!" Molly squeezed her only daughter in a bearhug, glad to have her back with them. Quidditch was such a dangerous profession and every moment her little girl was back home was precious."I will make you a nice big dinner to feed you. Look how skinny you are!" she fussed, immediatelly heading for her pots.
Ginny chuckled. "Mum! Calm down, I eat well, don't worry. I just train a lot." she tried to reassure the always worrying Weasley mama. Truth be told, she had tried to eat all healthy but it just wasn't enough for her Weasley metabolism, so it was never a problem to return home to her mum's cooking.
"How long are you staying this time?" Molly asked, knowing they trained hard before the beginning of season in July.
"A month, before I have to get back. Don't worry though, I will be home from late October to March." she smiled, knowing her mum relished the fact that her children still returned home every chance they had. After Percy and Fred passed, it had been touch and go for a while with mum's mind, the weight of loosing two of her children almost too much to bear. And so Ginny returned home to give her peace of mind.
"That is nice Ginny dear, Christmas this year will be a vary happy affair! With Fleur pregnant again, I can expect another grandchild underneath the Christmas tree!" Molly beamed and started humming to herself happily as she cooked.
Ginny smiled affectionately at her dear mother before picking up her duffelbags. "I need to unpack and clean up mum. And we are going out tonigh, but I promise to stay at home this weekend and spend time with you and daddy." she smiled and pressed a kiss to Molly's cheek.
"Of course dear. And leave any unwashed laudery in the basket at your door!" she called after her.
Ginny smiled and sat down at the edge of her bed. She was home, and it definitelly needed to be celebrated.
Hermione smiled as the heat and smell of dancing bodies and smoke filled her lungs upon stepping over the doorstep of Merlin's. It used to be an empty public hall available for speeches, political propaganda, or a shelter during war if necessary. With the latest war over, they have decided to sell it and so it became a booming business. The largest and most sought out club in Diagon Alley.
She noticed Harry waving at her from a table below and headed his way. With his mere presence, Harry got them a large table on a small landing overlooking the club, with armchairs and numerous seats for their extended party. Luna sat happily at his side, her pretty blue flowery dress brining out her eyes in the dimmed lights of the club.
"'Mione you look great!" Harry complimented her as she hugged him tightly.
"Thank you, and so do you. Luna, I love that dress on you." she smiled and kissed her cheek as was their custom before sitting down in one of the single armchairs.
"The shop appeares to do you well, Hermione. The number of stripewing bumblers around your head has dwiddled down." Luna said in her usual dreamy voice.
Harry smiled affectionatelly at his girlfriend. They had gotten together after Luna did an interview with him on his post-war plans and hopes for the future. And Hermione could not be happier to see an honest smile on Harry's face. The man she considered her brother was finally finding the peace and love he had so hoped for.
"Stripewing blumbers? Any relation to the crumplehorned snorcacks?" she asked, amusement in her eyes.
"We are still working on the pedigree." Harry replied with a grin.
Hermione just chuckled and picked up her clutch. "Let me get a drink and you can tell me more about them." she smiled and stood.
"Are you sure you want to go alone 'Mione? I could get you the drink, so no one loses a limb after groping you." Harry asked cheekily, refering to her revealing dress.
"Harry James Potter, cease your teasing or it will be you who loses a limb." she said in her best Molly immitation, before leaving for the bar with a wink.
It was still quite early, but people were already gathering on the dancefloor, dancing close to the seductive beat as smoke swirled around their forms and the occasional drop of sweat fell to the ground before a hungry tongue managed to lap it off their partner's neck. It has been a while since they had an outing such as this and the night has begun fairly well, the music and rising heat making her want to give in and get seduced by the night. The bartended flashed her a smile and she just chuckled internally at his wasted efforts.
"What can I get you Miss?" he asked, leaning against the other side of the counter with his hip.
"Someone looks like she could use a nice Sex on the Beach. Make it two." came a much familiar voice from behind her. She whipped around only to find the grinning redhead behind her. "Ginny!" she beamed happily.
"How long has it been since you last saw each other?" Draco asked, his fingers intertwined with Georgie's happily.
"Since we graduated. Soon after I left for the intense training in Bulgaria before Christmas. When I came home for the holidays, I was told she was in China for three weeks with your pretty self." Ginny grinned at the blond.
Draco but chuckled. "Ah yes, that was a nice holiday. I hear you and Georgie here were both pouting at the Christmas dinner. Missing us?" he winked, knowing of Ginny's affections towards Hermione.
Without the boys and the war, Hogwarts was quite changed for both Gryffindor girls, and they had spent much time together as best friends would. Ginny found their bond comforting, and by the time they graduated, she could no longer deny her feelings for the brunette. Of course she had read the article written by none other than the Skeeter bint that spoke in great detail about Hermione's sexuality, and her primary reaction was joy. Now, she just wasn't sure Hermione would ever see her in a romantic light.
Draco and Georgie exchanged a look that did not go unnoticed by the young woman however. "What?" she asked suspiciously.
"Well, it has been a while since you've seen her and Hermione has..changed, understandably." Georgie begun, not quite sure how to explain.
"Changed how?" Ginny pressed.
Draco squeezed his lover's hand gently and replied. "Well, where to begin? The lion queen has tamed her mane, grew claws and got a bit more...bold." he said with a grin. Personally, he was glad to see Granger with a new attitude. Gone was the boring little bookworm, and in her place stood a woman even he wouldn't mess with.
"Bold how?" Ginny asked hesitantly, not sure what to make of the blond's words. He just raised an eyebrow and nodded for her to turn around.
The light in the club was a little dim but Hermione could be seen clearly, making her way around the dancefloor, heading towards the bar and an already grinning bartender. Ginny felt her breath hitch in appreciation at the sight before her, blinking a couple of times to make sure the vision was not a dream. Tamed mane, check. While still tightly curled and bouncing a little wildly around her shoulders, Hermione's hair was no longer frizzy, only shiny and a beautiful honeyed colour. Claws grown, check. Her whiskey coloured gaze was sharp on her surroundings, each movement of her curvacious body sensual as she moved through the crowd effortless. And most definitely bold by the dress she was wearing. While it reached midthigh, her back including what looked like a swirl of ink was completely bare, the thin piece of fabric hanging on her supple body with two metal clasps that would see the dress falling down if released. Ginny wondered if Hermione had forgone panties as well...
A hand waving in front of her face brought the redhead out of her thoughts and her eyes turned to Draco who was grinning like Cupid himself. "Go get her tiger." he winked and let his own Weasley take him to the table with Scarhead.
"I've missed you so much!" Hermione pulled the grinning redhead into a tight embrace before pressing a kiss to her cheek. She looked her friend over and had to admit she looked fantastic. Her once skinny frame and loose clothes were replaced by toned arms and belly now shown off in a simple white corset top, and long lean legs in tight black jeans. She was stunning in one word, and Hermione was glad for her photographic memory. Here they were, both changed, for better or for worse, but it was still them and their friendship, their bond.
"Missed you too, almost sent you a howler for skipping out on Christmas." the redhead grinned. "You look amazing." she complimented and handed the blushing brunette her drink.
"So do you. Come on, let's have some fun tonight and I expect to hear all about your training tomorrow over coffee." said Hermione and led them to the table.
It has been a while since the whole gang met and not one seat was left eampty. Harry and Luna, Ron and Lavender, Draco and Georgie, Neville and Susan, Dean, Seamus, Ginny and Hermione, all present. Once they arrived at the table, Draco pulled the lion queen down to the couch with him and Georgie, until she rested sideways with her long legs stretched out over the men's laps with a giggle. Ginny really hated the ferret sometimes...
They raised their glasses in celebration of Ginny's first official season beginning soon, and chatted in small groupps before taking to the dancefloor. They were on their third drink, glasses clinking together merrily when Hermione noticed her hand beginning to shake again. It had been happening quite often after the war but she worked hard on others not noticing this little problem. Scars could always be covered and everyone she loved was finally happy, so what does a little war injury matter? Madam Pomfrey said it was due to being tortured too many times by the Cruciatus, espeacially during the last year on the run. Otherwise she was healthy and loving life, so she did not mind.
It was however one of the reasons why she had started smoking. It appeared to somewhat lessen the shakes and soothe aching joints on a day of moody weather. Hermione reached for her lighter, but her hand started shaking a little bit more, thankfully still out of sight while she was bent down. She was about to excuse herself, when Draco gently took the cigarette from her lips and lit it up for her with his own in one go.
"I like your lighter, wouldn't want you to use up all your gas." he said almost conversationally, but his eyes were knowing. Georgie and his lover were probably the only ones who saw her often enough to notice the unfortunate shakes. She did not think even Ginny had noticed last year at Hogwarts.
She nodded in gratitude and took a deep toke, leaning into the blond's side as she finally felt her hand calm down and enjoyed the rest of her smoke. The exchange however did not go unnoticed by Ginny who had been covertly observing her best friend the whole evening. If she was to get to know this changed Hermione, speaking to Draco would probaly be her best option. For now though, tthey had more drinks to enjoy, and dancing to do.
AN: Any thoughts? Let me know x