Chapter 1 : Today is Friday
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Ginny's here, digging through Hermione's trunk. Why, Hermione does not know, but she doesn't bother to attempt to stop the younger girl.
Hermione sits exactly in the middle of her bed, 'An Introduction to Advanced Animal Transfiguration' open on her lap, but she isn't reading. Instead, she's staring at the LRE in the sea of initials carved into her footboard, wondering, not for the first time, why Harry had to go and decide he wanted someone who looks just like his mum.
Ginny lets the trunk lid fall shut and she groans- loudly and dramatically, the way Ginny does everything, to ensure Hermione's attention.
"Boys are such idiots."
You mean Harry's an idiot, Hermione thinks but will never say aloud, because he isn't yours. Yet.
Hermione is, after all, a smart girl. She knows that, sooner or later, likely sooner, Harry and Ginny will find each other and they'll all live happily ever after.
"Yes, they are," Hermione says. Girls are too.
Ginny's face softens into what Hermione assumes is supposed to be a sympathetic smile. It looks more like a grimace. "Don't worry," the red haired girl says. "Ron will come around."
Hermione resists the urge to laugh. She's sure that a laughing Hermione would appear to be an insane Hermione.
She does have a reputation to uphold.
"Whatever are you talking about?" says Hermione, because she knows it's what Ginny expects her to say.
Ginny smirks and moves to sit on Parvati's bed. "Ron's too daft for hard-to-get to work, 'Mione."
Hermione. It's not hard to add one syllable. Hermione. See, wasn't that easy?
The mental battle is all she has anymore. Some Gryffindor I am, she muses. Can't stand up for my right to have my name said the way I want it to be said. Can't tell Harry I... or Ron ...
"Boys are idiots," Ginny repeats, more firmly this time. Hermione suspects she's fishing for a certain response, but what? Hermione doesn't know what she's supposed to say.
Ginny blows the wisps of hair off her face, and Hermione thinks How utterly childish she is.
Some days, like today, Hermione feels so very grown up. That school, as much as she enjoys it, is pointless. One more week of Ancient Runes won't help in the fight against You... Voldemort. And other days, like tomorrow, Hermione feels like a seventeen year old girl who wants everything to be easy, who just wants to be happy, who wants to be free of fiery Gryffindors who aren't afraid to put words to their hopes and dreams.
"Maybe I should take the lead," Ginny says in a tone of voice meant to be conspiratorial. "Maybe I should just tell him how I feel. Or just, you know, snog him, or something. D'you think that could work?"
Ginny, Hermione thinks, doesn't really want Hermione's opinion. She just likes to hear herself talk. About Harry. No. That's mean.
But true, a quiet voice hiding in the back of Hermione's soul whispers.
The voice, Hermione realizes, sounds rather like one of the twins.
Ginny nods, quite decided. "Yes, that's what I'll do. But when?"
Tomorrow is Saturday. The Quidditch Game of the year, between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. Playing for the Quidditch Cup, and, for all points and purposes, the House Cup as well.
Hermione doesn't think she'll go. Harry won't be playing. Ginny will. Cho will. And Ron.
There's always homework to do.