|SIYE Time:22:24 on 17th September 2021|
Only Just the Beginning
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Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger
Genres: Humor, General
Story is Complete
Summary: "Are you suggesting, Hermione, that I am using my current boyfriend to make Harry Potter, my git of a brother's best friend, insanely jealous?" Missing scene from HBP where Hermione gives matchmaking a try in an effort to appease her own disasterous love life. H/G with R/Hr undertones. [Complete]
Hitcount: Story Total: 5686
Disclaimer: The Characters and situations of Harry Potter depicted in this story are the legal property of J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, and AOL Time Warner, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is being made off this story and it is being used for entertainment purposes only.
Author’s Note: HBP and general HP spoilers abound. A conversation involving two of my favorite leading ladies I wished I could have read. Hermione plays matchmaker to try and appease her own disastrous love life and the time frame is pretty vague-- Somewhere closely after the Ron/Lavender hook-up. Harry/Ginny and a bit of Ron/Hermione undertones. Huge thanks to Lathana for the beta! Read, review, and enjoy!
Ginny Weasley, by most standards, was having a very bad day.
No, not just bad, horrible. So horrible, in fact, that the idea of jumping off the astronomy tower was becoming more and more appealing by the moment. If anything else went wrong she would have to say she would be genuinely surprised because she already felt like everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong. All in a short amount of time and right in consecutive order no less.
Her brother still was not talking to her due to their embarrassing and fairly public row about her snogging habits. Which, in her opinion, was nobody’s business but her own. Harry had been acting weird for days (probably siding with Ron, that stupid git, Ginny thought angrily the moment Harry entered her mind) and Hermione… well Hermione was, as per usual lately, nowhere to be found.
The only person that seemed to be on her side at all was Dean, and even he was beginning to grate on her already threadbare nerves.
She angrily pushed her fiery red locks out of her face as she paused, debating on how she should continue to fudge her way through the stupid essay Snape had assigned weeks ago. An essay that she had, of course, put off to the last minute. An essay that, just her luck, was due first thing tomorrow morning. Ginny had stopped forming coherent sentences on parchment ages ago, and had since then resigned herself to the fact that since Snape had been promoted to the bloody Defense Against the Dark Arts professor it was no longer going to be her best subject.
In fact, if she were in a better, more carefree mood she would have laughed about how quickly it had stopped being her best subject and was downgraded into being her worst.
Well, damn him to Azkaban, she sneered in thought, pushing her quill more angrily against the already smudged parchment in front of her.
Oh, how she longed for the days of the DA. How she missed the short respite she had found in the midst of work piled upon work that never stopped coming. She longed for them so much in fact that she had recently found herself following Luna’s lead and checking her coin (that still resided in the innermost pocket of her robes) periodically in hopes of a spur of the moment meeting.
It was useless, she knew.
Harry had too much on his mind to resume the secret meetings (Ginny had long since developed sneaking suspicions that those meetings with Dumbledore were more important than the terrible threesome - she had resorted to calling them this after her and Ron’s latest row - were letting on) and since they had successfully achieved their goal of getting Umbridge chucked, no one really thought the DA was needed anymore.
Ginny thought that was just plain rubbish, but since when did her opinion matter anyway? Snape was more competent than ever (she didn’t even want to begin ponder why exactly, but he was nonetheless), and as was to be expected he could teach the students more than Harry ever could.
Although she knew, as she looked around the crowded library filled with students who were rushing to finish whatever load of homework the newly promoted teacher had piled on them, that most of them would have Harry as their first choice teacher.
Snape or Harry Potter? Probably only Malfoy and a handful others would be willing to choose the former.
Barely noticing the insistent sound, Ginny’s eyes roamed over the parchment in front of her, realizing that yes, she had stopped making sense awhile ago. A long while ago, actually, by the looks of it. And if she had any hopes of passing Defense Against the Dark Arts this year with marks that were decent enough for her parents she had better start making sense. Fast.
Standing up, she quickly made her way towards a near section of the library, noticing that most of the books that could be used in her aide were almost all checked out already.
“Have you not heard me ‘pssting’ for the last five minutes or have you just chosen to follow in your infuriating brother’s footsteps and ignore me?” Hermione’s voice cut through the silence around her so fast that Ginny nearly jumped at the interruption. The red haired girl glared towards her older friend and resumed her search.
“Don’t involve me in your rows with my brother. I’d rather be left out, thanks.”
“Oh, don’t be ridiculous, Ginny,” Hermione said, exasperated as she not so subtly looked at the assignment Ginny was clutching in her left hand. “A Compendium of Common Curses and Their Counter-Actions is a couple of shelves over.”
Ginny raised an eyebrow in response - not because it was exactly the book she was looking for, but because Hermione was just being so blatantly nosy.
“What?” the older girl bristled, pinkness climbing to her cheeks slightly. She obviously had realized that she had been caught. Hermione usually only helped out on her own without being asked when she was making headway for something, and Ginny, knowing the girl standing next to her all too well, braced herself.
“I remember the mandatory assignment from last year, that’s all,” Hermione defended in a small fluster. “Besides, you know all that, don’t you? Why are you looking it up?”
Ginny groaned and began her way to the next aisle of books. Of course she knew it, she had excelled at this particular lesson in the DA last year and that was that simple fact that perturbed her the most about this bloody assignment. Ginny knew the answers to the questions like the back of her hand, but none of them - no matter how right they might be - seemed to be good enough for Snape.
“Snape’s been a real piece of work lately. He wants by the book answers and I’m not doing well enough with my marks at the moment to argue.”
Having noticed that Ginny was obviously turning in the wrong direction, Hermione latched onto her elbow and steered her in the direction she was first venturing towards.
“I wanted to talk to you about something,” Hermione whispered in what could only be described as a highly secretive tone.
“Uh-huh,” Ginny replied distractedly, still clutching her assignment in her left hand as she scanned the spines of the books on the shelves in front of her. “And this couldn’t wait until I got back to the common room?”
Hermione stumbled over her words for a brief, fleeting moment as she tried to choose them very carefully. Leave it to Hermione to want to drag out conversation - a secret one at that - when she desperately needed to finish her parchment work.
“We can’t discuss this in the common room,” Hermione said after a pregnant pause.
“And why not?”
“Because other people might overhear,” she whispered again and looked around them nervously. Luckily, everyone within hearing distance were either hard at work or appeared too tired to listen.
“Look,” Ginny eyed Hermione for a moment, “if you’ve finally come to me to declare your undying love for my prat of a brother, can we do it another time? I’ve got to finish this soon or I might have to try and off myself before mum and dad find out I’m failing Snape’s sorry excuse for a class.”
The brown haired girl was stricken with surprise for a long moment and Ginny had a hard time trying to figure out of it was due to the news of her not so terrific marks or the light hearted jibe she’d delivered concerning Hermione’s and Ron’s messy, sometimes-but-not-quite relationship. Ginny loved Hermione - she was after all the closet thing to a sister she had ever had - but sometimes the girl’s priorities, understandably so, were a little mixed up.
“First of all,” Hermione began with as much bravado as she could manage, “what I feel for your brother is the farthest thing from undying love as it can get at the moment. And secondly, I wouldn’t be so worried about me declaring undying love for someone than someone else beating me to the punch.”
Ginny looked at her friend sceptically. “Hermione,” she feigned shock, “do you mean that all those rumours about Harry and Ron are…” she swallowed thickly for effect, “true?”
Hermione looked alarmed and frightened out of her mind. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m joking, Hermione. It’s a joke.”
“Oh,” she laughed nervously, then immediately caught a hold of herself. “Well, funny you should mention it, because Harry’s actually the reason I’m here.”
Ginny, appearing uninterested, kept scanning the spines of the books in front of her. “Don’t tell me he’s mooning over Cho again. I don’t think I can watch anymore of that without wanting to gag. It was bad enough last term - everyone thought so.”
“No,” Hermione said carefully, “not Cho.”
Hermione was now eyeing Ginny like the younger girl had eyed her moments before. Ginny merely stared back, waiting for her to continue and wondering just how long this was going to take.
If she had been eating she would have choked. The urge to do so out of surprise was understandably there, but instead she just stared at Hermione for a long moment, considered what she had just said and burst out laughing instead.
“You’ve gone bonkers, haven’t you?” Ginny gasped in between wheezing laughs.
Hermione looked just about as un-amused as she could get. “I’m not joking, Ginny.”
“What in Merlin’s name are you talking about, ‘Mione?”
“I think he fancies you,” she said, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
Ginny rolled her eyes. “Based on what?”
Hermione paused for a moment then said slowly, “Observations.”
The red head shook her head haughtily. “You are out of your bloody mind.”
“Be serious for two seconds, Gin,” Hermione said as she grabbed Compendium of Common Curses and Their Counter-Actions off the same shelf Ginny had been staring at for the past five minutes and led her into another aisle. “You haven’t noticed it? The looks, the attention?”
“What attention -”
“When Ron caught you snogging Dean he looked just as livid as your brother.”
“That’s because,” Ginny rationalised, “Harry is like my brother.”
Hermione actually giggled at this. “I don’t think he wants to be your brother, Ginny.”
Ginny, fairly amused by this point, stuffed her assignment into her pocket and reached out for Hermione. She felt Hermione’s forehead for a few moments like her mother had done to her countless times before and frowned. “Do you feel ill?” she asked seriously. “You don’t feel feverish.”
The brunette smacked her friend’s hands away with the book in her own. “I am not sick. I’m right.”
“Ginny,” Hermione sighed heavily, “just think about it.”
“No,” she refused adamantly, looking at her friend as though she’d lost her ever-loving mind. “I’m not going to think about it. I have a boyfriend, Hermione.”
Ginny stared at Hermione in shock, clearly affronted. “So? So? Just because your relationship with my brother isn’t going so great doesn’t mean you have to ruin it for the rest of us.”
Ginny knew Hermione well enough to immediately sense her demeanor change. Her shoulders stiffen. It was a low blow, the red head knew, and she honestly did feel bad about it, but she also could not help but wonder that maybe Hermione had been driven to the point of no return. That maybe, finally, she had lost her mind.
Because what she was suggesting - as outlandish and ridiculous as it was - could not be the truth.
Even if it was coming from Hermione Granger, one of her closest friends, and probably the one person she knew that was never, ever wrong about anything.
Well, as her mother had always said, there was always a first time for everything.
“I don’t want to ruin anything -”
“I know,” Ginny rushed in. “I’m sorry -”
“- He likes you, I can tell. And if your brother wasn’t so busy snogging all over the place with Lavender Brown he would realise it too.”
Somehow, even if what Hermione was saying concerning Harry and herself were true, that bit about Ron was probably very unlikely. Amusing, but unlikely.
“Harry,” Ginny began as she made her way back to the table where her books and parchment lay, scattered and probably not very salvageable, “could have any girl he wanted -”
“And surely you know you can do better than Dean Thomas,” whispered Hermione, taking a seat across from her.
Ginny, noticing Seamus looking at them with a high amount of interest, felt her cheeks flush crimson at the thought of him overhearing what they were discussing and then running to tell Dean word for word about Hermione’s ridiculous theories. Nerves made her do it, and before she could even think about it, Ginny took out her wand and mumbled the muffliato spell Harry and Ron had shown her weeks before and had long since mastered.
Waiting for Hermione’s cry of outrage proved to be a longer task than she had expected, and when it looked like the older girl hadn’t noticed a thing Ginny started as calmly as she could, “I fancy Dean.”
“I know you do,” said Hermione carefully, “but I also know you fancy Harry.”
Ginny gave Hermione a very annoyed look. “That’s rubbish.”
There had been a time, yes, when Ginny’s feelings for Harry Potter were not so secretive and not very platonic. That was over now. In the past. Ginny was with Dean now. She cared about Dean. And what Hermione was suggesting - even if it were true, and she highly doubted it was - did not matter.
“You’ve always fancied him -”
“- I got over him. Like you suggested I should.”
“I don’t think that’s entirely true.”
“Are you taking back your advice, Hermione?” She looked at her friend sceptically as she moved the book Hermione had sat down on the table towards herself. “Admitting you were wrong?”
“Of course not,” the girl defended, clearly abashed.
“Then what are you saying?”
“That Harry fancies you and you fancy Harry -”
“I fancy Dean,” Ginny pointed out abrasively. “Dean Thomas - you know the bloke that you suggested I go out with last year after that whole Michael fiasco?”
“Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing running around with all these guys, Ginny.” Hermione’s voice was knowing and low, and she eyed Ginny as if she could see right through her. Which, given her advanced skills as a witch, Ginny wasn’t too quick to say was not the case.
“Are you suggesting, Hermione, that I am using my current boyfriend to make Harry Potter, my git of a brother’s best friend, insanely jealous?” Ginny asked with a small amount of genuine surprise in her voice.
All in all, it wasn’t really an awful idea. Quite good in fact, and if she still liked Harry - which she absolutely did not - she probably would have tried it. But it wasn’t true. None of it. Ginny Weasley was going with Dean Thomas for no reason other than the fact that she liked him. Plain and simple. Nothing more, and nothing less.
Hermione met Ginny’s eyes head on. “Yes.”
“Kind of like you and Viktor Krum, eh?” Ginny shot back flippantly without a second thought. Of course they weren’t talking about Harry anymore, they were talking about Ron, and it was clear enough that Hermione got the message.
Hermione glared unattractively with unleashed anger. Ginny grinned in triumph. She’d had enough of conversation about the bloody Boy Who Lived and was ready to pull out all the nasty tricks to get it to stop. Ron, through dastardly tactics, had officially caused the girl sitting across from her to lose her mind.
Harry Potter, under no circumstances whatsoever, would ever, ever like Ginny Weasley. It just didn’t work that way.
And besides, it did not matter anyway because Ginny no longer had those feelings for Harry. She had lost them somewhere over the last couple of years in the midst of all the trouble and heartache that seemed to surround them daily.
Just then, as if by some cruel twist of fate, the boy in question strolled leisurely into the library, eliciting giggles and swooning in the process as he made his way towards his friends. Ginny stared rather embarrassingly for a moment as the sight of him cut off Hermione’s retort.
“There you two are,” he grinned carelessly, dropping his books on to the table in between the two girls. “I’ve been looking all over for you.”
Hermione raised an eyebrow at Ginny knowingly before turning her attention to Harry. “We’ve been here all along, Harry.”
“Mind if I join you?”
“Of course not,” Hermione interjected before Ginny could say otherwise, rising from her seat. “I was just getting ready to leave however, so it looks like it will just be you and Ginny.”
Harry looked neither upset nor disappointed by this, and as Hermione stood the chair across from Ginny was vacated so Harry could sit in it if he pleased.
What he did, however, surprised her. Shocked her, really.
So much so in fact that when he slid into the chair directly next to her, his arm sliding against hers briefly as he shot her that gracious smile, Ginny wasn’t prepared for, nor could she stop, the colour that rose in her freckled cheeks.
With a smirk that clearly said I told you so, Hermione bid them farewell and made her way out of the library. Ginny glared at her retreating back and grabbed the recently acquired book in front of her hastily. Of course, she just happened to do this at the same time Harry was reaching for a book of his own and their hands brushed in the briefest of touches before retreating quickly, as if the mere touch had scorched them both.
Piercing green eyes met her own and, despite herself and her objections to the latest turn of events, the butterflies that were suddenly stirred in the pit of her stomach could not be helped.
Ginny immediately looked away. Honestly, she really should have known better. Hermione Granger had never been wrong about a blasted thing a day in her life.
Why, in Merlin’s sake, would she start now?
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