- Story Summary:
- Ginny decides to take Hermione's relationship advice, although the relationship in question is not quite the one Hermione had intended it to be applied to.
Hermione remembers that first night. The first night that Ginny Weasley showed any interest in becoming more than just friends.
She'd been sitting alone in the common room, reading a mystery novel her mother had sent her for Christmas. It had been a box set, actually, of those old Nancy Drews. Hermione had intended to start reading them right away, but as the end-of-year exams had been approaching quickly, she had found it best to start studying a little early. Thinking back on it now, she thought it a great, but fortunate, coincidence that she'd decided to wait to pick them up. They had proven to be a perfect distraction the past four days.
"Aren't you tired yet?"
Hermione looked up to find a pajama-clad Ginny standing at the bottom of their dorm staircase, her arms crossed over her chest in a way that reminded Hermione of Mrs. Weasley when she was cross. "I'm um," Hermione started, taking a moment to register Ginny's words as if she didn't speak very good English. "I'm not sure." She shrugged, trying to force a small smile.
"I meant of reading that thing. It's all you've been doing for nearly a week," Ginny said, slowly approaching the sofa where Hermione sat.
"Oh." Hermione felt her cheeks flush with a mixture of embarrassment and guilt. "I know, I'm sorry. It's just with everything that's been happening-"
"I wasn't looking for an apology," Ginny said quietly, gracefully sitting down next to her. "Besides, we're going home tomorrow. I'm sure that it will make us all feel loads better to be back at Mum and Dad's for the summer."
Hermione shook her head in agreement. "I'm sure," she echoed.
"Did I tell you that Fleur is taking us dress shopping the day after we get back?" Ginny asked, her efforts to try and lighten the conversation obvious, but Hermione appreciated it all the same.
"No," Hermione said, tucking her legs to one side so she was facing Ginny completely.
"Oh, yes. It should be fun, shouldn't it? Just us girls. Well, plus..."
"Phlegm?" Hermione finished, the first genuine smile in days slowly spreading over her features.
"Right," Ginny grinned back. "I'm excited for it. I've never had a proper dress, save for the Yule Ball, but you know what I mean," she continued, her smile falling slightly as she played with a tiny hole at the bottom of her tank top. Hermione watched as her delicate fingers repeatedly pushed through and pulled out again, making the imperfection in the garment more noticeable each time.
"Is that even interesting?" Ginny asked after a minute, gesturing to the book Hermione still held in her hands.
"It is. But it has its slow parts," Hermione admitted.
Ginny nodded. "That's why I don't have the patience for mysteries. I'm more of a hopeless romantic."
"Hmm," Hermione murmured her agreement. Ginny opened her mouth to say something, but then closed it quickly as if re-thinking her words.
"Hermione? Can I ask you something?" she whispered after a moment.
"Of course," Hermione said, furrowing her eyebrows. Ginny Weasley was actually at a loss for words? Whatever it was, it sounded very important.
"Have you... have you ever been interested in someone who didn't feel the same way about you? Or you were too afraid to ask them so you couldn't be certain?"
Hermione sighed. "Ginny, I've told you at least a thousand times. Harry is crazy about you. He's just-"
"No, this isn't about Harry," Ginny said quickly. Hermione sank back a little. Ginny was really over him so quickly?
"Oh," Hermione mouthed more than whispered.
"Have you?" Ginny repeated her question.
"Well, of course," Hermione said, leaning over to set her book down on the table next to her.
"What did you do?" Ginny asked.
"I let them know how I felt. It took a lot of courage, but there's no point in just sitting there wondering, is there?"
"Of course not," Ginny seemed strangely relieved, as if Hermione has just confirmed her own thoughts. Hermione crooked her head to one side, going from worried to curious in an instant.
"Who is this mystery boy?"
Hermione would never remember how it happened. One moment, they were both sitting at opposite ends of the couch, simply talking as they always did. The next, Ginny's lips were firmly pressed against her own. Hermione could do nothing but sit in shock, wondering for a moment if Ginny had slipped out her wand and stunned her. But as she felt her own eyes fall shut, those feelings quickly subsided.
She'd always wondered what it was about Ginny that made so many boys willing to do anything to be her boyfriend. Some very interesting rumors had circulated about what one boy in particular had done for just one date. As she felt Ginny's hand come to rest on her bare thigh, she suddenly felt as if she had just been let in on the big secret. It was like taking the Euphoria Elixir, only intensified by a hundred times. It was the perfect mix of excitement and anticipation.
After what could have only been a few seconds but felt like an eternity, Ginny slowly pulled away. Hermione opened her eyes, staring into Ginny's lighter pair. "W-why did you do that?" she whispered, shock starting to flood her senses.
Ginny shrugged as if nothing had happened. "At least I'm not just sitting here wondering."
She stood and walked back around the couch. "Goodnight, Hermione," she called, as she always did, when she reached the bottom of the stairs.
"Goodnight," Hermione replied, though she had already heard the door to their dorm open and shut.