Hermione Granger sat alone on the bed, waiting and thinking. It all seemed so long ago now. In a way, it was; it was near the end of the summer holidays, just before the start of fifth year at Hogwarts. Professor Dumbledore, Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, had wasted no time after learning from Harry late in their fourth year, at the end of the Triwizard Tournament, that Voldemort had regained his body.
He had immediately begun to recall the old members of the Order of the Phoenix, reforming the group and planning a strategy. But then the year ended and the students returned to their homes, most of them getting their only information from the Daily Prophet, which was more useless than usual, as the Minister of Magic had plainly refused to accept from Dumbledore that Voldemort was back, and so, used his influence to keep any news about Voldemort, or his Death Eaters, out of the wizarding world's premiere newspaper.
Hermione had been rather surprised, and a little alarmed, by Ron's owl, so early in the summer holiday, telling her that Professor Dumbledore had asked that she go to the Burrow as quickly as she could, and remain with the Weasley's for the rest of the summer. Ron's parents were members of the original Order, and had pledged their support once again to Dumbledore the same night Harry witnessed Voldemort's return.
Hermione feared Dumbledore's request must be something to do with this, and she was very worried that something might have happened to Harry since there was no mention in Ron's letter of him going there as well. On her arrival, Hermione was almost relieved to learn that Harry was still stuck on Privet Drive with his wretched Muggle relatives.
The Dursleys were awful people, at least from what Harry had told her and Ron, and they resented everything about Harry, particularly the fact that he was a wizard. So even though Hermione was relieved, she was still worried for Harry at this news as well.
She knew that Harry was safe, but she also knew that he was miserable with the Dursleys, and he would be angry that she and Ron were together at the Burrow, while he was stuck with the Muggles. Having already had the first couple weeks of summer to grow accustomed to being left out of adult conversation, Ron and Ginny offered to help Hermione settle into Ginny's room, where she'd stayed the summer before when visiting at the Burrow to go to the World Cup.
As she unpacked, Ron and Ginny told her what little they knew of what was going on, and how their two oldest brothers, Bill and Charlie, had joined the Order, but they cautioned her not to mention Percy because he'd had an awful row with their dad over what Mr. Weasley deemed was a "suspicious motive" behind his son's recent promotion at the Ministry. In the end, Percy had moved out and was no longer speaking to their parents. Ron said Order members came round to the Burrow quite often, but always clammed up whenever he, Ginny or the twins were around.
About the only useful thing they did know was that Professor Dumbledore had found a place to be used as Headquarters for the Order. It was to Headquarters, ultimately, that Dumbledore planned for Hermione to go, along with the Weasley family, and where eventually, Harry would join them, although Dumbledore seemed to think it was important that he stay on at Privet Drive for a while longer.
Hermione found it very frustrating that Professor Dumbledore told her and Ron very little, and insisted that they not communicate anything at all to Harry about where they were or what they were doing, as long as Harry remained with the Dursleys. Professor Dumbledore seemed in no hurry to remove Harry from what Harry often referred to as "Holiday Hell," but he wasn't particularly forthcoming with any information about why Harry needed to stay there, or for how long.
By the time everyone settled in to sleep that night, Hermione's mind was buzzing with thoughts about all that was going on in the wizarding world, none of which was particularly pleasant, and she worried that she would never get to sleep. She tried to focus on Ginny's steady breathing behind her in the bed they shared. It was comforting to know she was not alone, with Ginny sleeping peacefully behind her. She giggled inwardly thinking it would be nice if it were Ron there instead of Ginny.
She'd had a crush on Ron ever since they were first years, although she'd never actually admitted it to anyone, but she thought Ginny might at least suspect she fancied him. When Hermione finally slept, it was nearly morning. She awoke reluctantly as the sun came pouring in through Ginny's window, and she realized Ginny was cuddled against her back with an arm thrown casually across her waist.
Hermione closed her eyes again and drifted softly back into a comfortable sleep. The next time she opened her eyes, the sun had shifted slightly and was less glaring. Ginny was still behind her, her breath warm on Hermione's neck, and her hand, which had somehow found its way through the loose armhole of Hermione's gown, was resting softly atop her right breast, causing Hermione to moan softly. The sound woke Ginny, and her eyes widened in shock and embarrassment when she realized she was pressed against Hermione with her hand on Hermione's bare breast.
For a moment she was too stunned to even move, then her brain engaged and she quickly sat up, taking her hand away abruptly, but nearly choking Hermione with her own gown, since her hand didn't slip out nearly as easily as it went in. She murmured an awkward apology to Hermione, blushing spectacularly.
Hermione simply laughed at Ginny, smiling at how vividly her red hair clashed with her now crimson face. "It's alright Ginny, you're used to having your bed all to yourself. Don't worry about it.
Just go back to sleep." But there was no going back to sleep, for there was a knock at the door just then, followed by Ron's voice telling them his Mum had breakfast ready. The girls spent most of the day sitting in a shady spot of grass in the field outside the Burrow, watching Ron play Quidditch with the rest of the Weasley boys, or at least, all of them except for Percy.
Ginny liked to play too, but Hermione hated flying, particularly on broomsticks, and when she finally gave up her attempt at playing as a bad job, Ginny quit with her so she wouldn't feel so left out.
Ginny was a year behind Hermione and Harry and Ron at school, but they'd always got on well since Ginny started at Hogwarts in the trio's second year, and since Ginny was Ron's only sister, it kind of led to an automatic friendship between the two girls.
They chatted about school, giggling and gossiping about some of their classmates, which Hermione rarely got to do since she was always with Ron and Harry at school and had very few female friends.
Eventually the conversation got around to boys, and all the couples at school, or the suspected couples, and the girls talked about their own love lives, or rather lack of them, since Ginny's crush on Harry was thus far as fruitless as Hermione's crush on Ron, although Ginny did tell Hermione she was pretty certain Ron fancied her, but was just too thick to admit it even to himself.
Hermione's blush at the mention of Ron merely served to confirm what Ginny had long suspected; Hermione fancied her brother. Neither girl spoke about how they'd woken up that morning, until time to go to bed that night.
When Ginny caught herself watching Hermione undress to put on her gown, she told Hermione if she was uncomfortable sleeping with her after what had happened before, she would kip on the floor and Hermione could have the bed. "Don't be silly. It was an accident," Hermione said in her most practical tone, "Besides, if I waited on your brother, no one would ever touch them." Both girls giggled and blushed.
Then they snuggled into the small bed next to each other, this time with Hermione pressed up behind Ginny, and fell into peaceful sleep. The next morning, Mrs. Weasley woke them early with a rare surprise. She said Arthur had managed to take the day off work and they were going to visit a nearby lake for a picnic and to go swimming, because they'd be moving into Headquarters the following day, and from what she'd been told, the place was a mess and they'd have their work cut out for them making it livable.
Mrs. Weasley packed a huge lunch and several blankets since there were nine of them, and they set off on foot for the lake, just a mile or so away. As soon as they'd arrived, clothing started to fly as everyone, even Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, had worn swimsuits underneath their walking clothes in anticipation of a refreshing dip in the cool lake water.
Hermione held back a little, sort of embarrassed to take off her clothes because her swim suit was a two piece one from the year before. It fit her pretty well at the time, but her breasts had started to develop a little more since then and her hips had gotten a bit fuller, and she was suddenly very aware of how little fabric there was in a two piece bathing suit.
The older boys didn't bother her so much - well, maybe Fred and George a little since you could always count on the Weasley twins to tease you about something - but it was Ron who made her the most uncomfortable. He and Harry were her best friends, but somehow without Harry here, she felt more like a girl, like she was staying with her friend Ginny, and just happened to fancy one of Ginny's brothers.
"Hermione, come on," hollered Ron, barely evading George's playful attempt to drown him in the shallow water. "It feels great out here!" Hermione turned her back towards the boys and pulled her t-shirt over her head, then pushed down her shorts, stepping out of them. She hoped if she moved quickly enough she could get into the water before anyone really noticed her. "Wow, Hermione," said Fred, smiling at her, as Ron stood looking at her with his mouth slightly open.
"You really look good!" added George, making Hermione blush nearly as pink as her swimsuit. Ron opened and closed his mouth a couple times, but no sound came out, and he soon realized it was best just to close it. Overall, the day was wonderful, although Hermione was much less self-conscious in the water than she was out of it. But she did eventually give in to Ginny's plea to lay with her on a blanket on the shore and soak up some of the plentiful sunshine, a concession she thought later might have been best avoided, as she looked in the mirror after her shower at her brilliantly red, sunburned skin.
She jumped when Ginny knocked at the bathroom door, barely pausing to hear Hermione's soft "who is it?" before opening the door.
"Goodness, Ginny," Hermione said upon seeing her friend, whose skin was even redder than her own, and probably looked even worse because of Ginny's plentiful freckles.
"You're even more sunburned than I am!" "I know, and my red hair makes it look even worse. We should have listened to Mum and got in the shade sooner, but she's given me a potion we can put on each other to take the burn out. It should even stop us from peeling if we put it on soon." Hermione didn't even bother to dress since she'd have to take her clothes off again in Ginny's room to let her apply the potion.
She just got Ginny to check the hallway for stray brothers, then ran the short distance to Ginny's room wearing only her towel.
Hermione shivered slightly as she lay face down on the bed. The room was far from cold, but she was very conscious of her lack of any clothing.
She was both uncomfortable with the idea of Ginny's hands on her body, and a little excited by it. No one else had ever had their hands on the parts of her that were usually under her clothing, but the idea of another girl touching her like that wasn't supposed to excite her. She supposed it was just from having spent the full day marveling at the masculinity surrounding her with all the Weasley boys wearing nothing but swim trunks; every last one of them was gorgeous, lean and muscular and, Hermione blushed as she thought it, very sexy.
Mr. Weasley was balding a bit, and his job at the Ministry didn't keep him quite as fit as his sons, but he wasn't exactly hard to look at either. Hermione shook her head slightly trying to clear the thoughts of Weasley men from her mind as she was beginning to tingle in places not touched by the sun. "Mum said we're supposed to apply liberally and allow the potion to remain on the skin a couple minutes for the healing to start before rubbing it in," said Ginny. "This may be cold." And with that, Ginny began to drizzle the potion across Hermione's shoulders and back.
It tickled as it ran across her skin, but surprisingly, it was not cold at all. In fact, it had almost no temperature and it was very soothing. Since it was supposed to soak in a few minutes before rubbing, Ginny slowly worked her way down Hermione's body, pouring potion onto her friend's lower back.
Ginny smiled a little to herself as she realized how little unburned flesh there was on Hermione's bum, and as she remembered how warm she'd felt watching the seductive sway to Hermione's hips as she'd run from their blanket on the beach into the lake to cool off.
She continued to pour the potion across Hermione's hips and down the length of each leg, noticing how it dripped intimately into the crevice between Hermione's upper thighs. Ginny bit her lower lip and shook her head slightly, wondering why she was beginning to tingle in places not touched by the sun. "Umm, let me know if I hurt you at all. I'll try to be really gentle while I do this." And then Hermione felt Ginny's hands on her shoulders, softly rubbing the potion into her sore, sunburned skin.
The feeling was quite exquisite; the softness of Ginny's touch and the silkiness of the potion, plus the relaxing feel of a massage. Hermione allowed her mind to wander, scarcely noticing as Ginny moved downward, until she felt Ginny's fingers graze her inner thighs, and Hermione couldn't help but suck in a deep, steadying breath.
"Am I hurting you?" Ginny asked, alarm in her voice. "Umm, no. It's okay, it feels good actually," Hermione said, not really sure what else to say, but allowing her legs to fall a bit farther apart to give Ginny better access to the runny potion, then shaking herself mentally. Girls weren't supposed to make her want to spread her legs. Her mother would remind her, of course, that at her age, neither should boys. As Ginny rubbed in the last visible traces of potion on the heels of Hermione's feet, she was a little surprised at herself when she realized she was thinking more about how much she was enjoying herself and less about the healing effects of the potion.
" This isn't Harry you're rubbing," she silently told herself, very aware of how much she wished that it were. Hermione was surprised at how good Ginny's touch felt. The potion must be really good because there was no pain or soreness left on her backside, and she blushed slightly when she realized she was getting warm in places the potion had not touched. Again she told herself, girls were not supposed to create those feelings in her.
Ginny whispered, sounding as if she were nearly out of breath, "Why don't you roll over and I'll do the other side." Without thinking, Hermione obeyed, feeling only slightly uncomfortable as Ginny looked at her naked body, wondering if Ginny's wide-eyed stare was concern over the burn, or interest in the view. Ginny said nothing, but stood at the foot of the bed, this time pouring the potion from foot to shoulder, never taking her eyes off Hermione's bare skin.
Hermione thought she may have noticed her friend blushing slightly, but it was hard to tell with all the sunburned skin. After a couple minutes, Ginny began her gentle massage with the toes on Hermione's right foot, lovingly caressing each one, while moving at a pace that was both agonizingly slow and tantalizingly erotic, working her way up to the crease where Hermione's thigh joined her body.
The anticipation was almost too much for Hermione, and she almost cried out in protest when Ginny moved again to her feet to repeat the massage on her left side. At the juncture of left thigh and body, Ginny stopped and moved herself up onto the bed, even with Hermione's bum, and leaned over her slightly to resume her work. "Why don't you just sit on me?" suggested Hermione. "It can't be comfortable leaning across me like that without your hands free to support you." And so Ginny straddled Hermione's naked body, the red curls that escaped from the edges of Ginny's knickers tangling against Hermione's brown curls, causing both of them to tingle inwardly, each of the girls trying hard not to let her reaction to this new sensation show to the other.
Ginny resumed her massage, although her hands trembled slightly this time as she touched the tight skin on either side of Hermione's navel. She wondered what was wrong with her; girls weren't supposed to make her feel "that" need. Ginny worked more slowly this time, a small battle going on in her brain as she wondered what she should do as she moved upward.
She wondered if she should avoid touching Hermione's breasts and just go between them where the fabric from her suit narrowed, leaving sunburned skin there, but then she rationalized she couldn't really avoid Hermione's breasts because the potion was on them as well.
She ignored the relief she felt at talking herself out of skipping that part of Hermione that she was now so anxious to touch. Hermione's heart was pounding so hard by the time Ginny's hands neared her breasts that she was sure Ginny would feel it. She tried to remain stock still and look perfectly calm, as if the two of them were doing nothing more personal than painting a wall, but the anticipation of Ginny's hands on her tits, fully awake and intentional this time, was almost too much for her to bear.
When Ginny finally caressed the swell of Hermione's breasts, her thumbs brushing lightly across her nipples, Hermione couldn't help the moan that escaped her lips or resist "that" need to push her hips toward Ginny's body, nor could she stop the feeling of shame that swept through her immediately upon doing so. If Ginny was shocked or upset, she hid it well. Instead, she simply asked, "Hermione, have you ever been with a boy before?
Or a girl?" and she continued to knead Hermione's breasts until the last traces of potion disappeared.
Hermione's heart was racing from the physical contact, and from Ginny's question, and probably from knowing it would be her turn to do Ginny's body next. She was sure Ginny could feel her heartbeat considering the location of her hands.
"Of course not! I've never actually told anyone, but I kind of fancy Ron, only he clearly doesn't want me. In fact, the twins were the only ones who even noticed I was a girl today, and there I was worried about what Ron might think." "They weren't the only one who noticed, Hermione." Not sure really what to say to that, Hermione kept silent, but watched intently when Ginny's weight lifted off her as she rose to remove her own clothing so Hermione could heal the damage the sun had done to her that day.
For some reason, it never occurred to Hermione to put her own clothes back on, and when Ginny stretched out across the bed, Hermione began to dribble the potion slowly onto Ginny's freckled red skin. When Ginny was fairly well covered in the healing liquid, Hermione began massaging it into her friend, starting with her feet, one hand for each of them, and working her way upward across ankles, calves, knees and thighs. She allowed her fingers to follow the curves of Ginny's legs around each side, being sure not to miss any area of burned skin, and she didn't bother to be extra careful as her hand slipped between Ginny's upper thighs.
She could feel the heat against her hands as Ginny's pubic hair tickled her fingers. It was Ginny's turn to moan softly, and Hermione took a very deep, slow breath, before sitting on her friends legs as she moved her hands across Ginny's bum and worked slowly up her back and across her shoulders.
Ginny automatically rolled onto her back when Hermione lifted herself off Ginny's legs. Following the same route from foot to head, Hermione suppressed a small twinge of guilt, wondering if she'd given Ginny's legs sufficient treatment in her haste to once again straddle her friend's body. 'Girls aren't supposed to make me feel this way, to feel "that" need,' Hermione thought as she pressed her triangle into Ginny's so she could apply the lotion to Ginny's tummy.
At this point, Hermione's movements slowed; she was reluctant to finish and thus end her reason to have her body and hands on Ginny's body. Ginny thought Hermione was bashful about touching her breasts, which were still a little smaller than Hermione's, but at the moment seemed to be aching with need.
"It's okay," she whispered throatily, "I did yours." And so Hermione put her hands on Ginny's breasts, feeling their roundness and perky little reddish nipples.
She didn't know what made Ginny reach up to touch hers again, but she was suddenly very glad of the contact, somehow making it seem right that she should bend and kiss Ginny at that moment. Ginny's lips parted willingly as Hermione's weight pressed against her and their tongues met for the first time, both shyly and boldly, neither sure what they were doing, but both sure what they wanted.
Their breasts pressed together making their hands suddenly in the way, so they began to explore of their own volition, seeking out the yet uncharted territory behind red curls and brown. Ginny's hand found its way first, her fingertips dipping into Hermione's wetness as her thumb rubbed against the little nub at Hermione's opening. Hermione's heart felt like it would burst from the heat of Ginny's touch and she sought quickly to share the feeling, tangling her fingers in Ginny's curls, then plunging a slender finger, then two inside her friend.
Instead of her thumb, Hermione slid her dripping fingers out of Ginny to tease her secret spot, then disappear again inside. They continued to kiss furiously while their hands worked between one another's legs until they both came, panting, at nearly the same moment.
Neither girl moved for several long moments, both feeling blissfully satisfied but rather unsure of herself at the same time. "What's come over me? What was I thinking?" each wondered to herself, but Ginny, being the least bashful of the two with six older brothers, was the first to speak. "Well, I feel better now, how about you, Hermione?" she asked.
They both laughed and snuggled together, barely remembering to pull the sheet over their naked bodies before falling asleep. Hermione was first to wake in the morning, and she lay next to Ginny, enjoying the feel of their bodies pressed together, skin on skin.
When she sensed Ginny was awake from the change in the rhythm of her breathing, she rephrased Ginny's question from the night before, "Ginny, have you ever been with a girl before last night? Or a boy?" "No, but I've thought about it sometimes," Ginny said honestly. "I know I'm probably too young to think like that, but Mum and Dad were married right after they left Hogwarts because everybody was scared about You-Know-Who, and he killed Harry's parents when they were just twenty-one, and now he's back." Both were silent for a moment, then Ginny went on, "I always wondered what it would be like for Harry to touch me the way you did last night, and I was jealous sometimes wondering if he'd already touched you that way, I mean, the three of you are so close." Hermione smiled at her friend, "I've never even thought of Harry like that, well okay, maybe I have a few times.
He does look pretty hot in his Quidditch Robes, particularly when he comes off the field all sweaty and looking all happy because they've won. But it's Ron I've always fancied. At least it was a Weasley who got to me first." Ginny laughed, "Does last night count? Are we still virgins?" From that moment on, Ginny and Hermione shared a special bond. Being in different years at school, they shared neither classes nor a dorm room, but somehow when either began to feel "that" need that only a special friend could fix, they found time to be alone together.
On Hermione's advice, Ginny worked her way through a handful of boyfriends while trying to put Harry out of her mind.
It wasn't that Hermione didn't think Ginny had a chance with Harry, but Ginny was uncharacteristically shy around Harry and Hermione thought it would do her prospects with him good if she loosened up a bit around him.
So, Ginny learned a great deal about snogging, and according to Hermione, became quite good at it, as well as at other things, but the other things she practiced only with Hermione. She still wanted to give her boy/girl virginity to Harry if he ever noticed her, but even if he didn't, she knew she hadn't found the right boy to give it to yet anyway. Dean Thomas had been the best kisser, she'd told Hermione, but he still wasn't "the one." Hermione had fewer boyfriends, probably - she suspected - because of her close friendship with Harry and Ron.
Not many boys were open minded enough to want a girlfriend who only hung around with other boys.
In fact, Hermione had only dated one boy, Viktor Krum, a seventh year from Drumstrang, who'd visited Hogwarts during Hermione's fourth year.
He was a Champion in the Triwizard Tournament, and he actually played professional Quidditch. He'd invited her to be his date for the Yule Ball, and they'd spent several chilly afternoons in the library and sunny afternoons by the lake together during the remainder of the school year.
They still corresponded, even though Hermione never let Viktor do more than kiss her a few times, having to hold his hands on some occasions to make them behave. But Hermione was still hopeful that Ron would eventually come around, and it would be difficult enough making him accept her intimacy with his sister. She didn't want to have to explain having allowed "the enemy" to take her virginity. (That was what Ron had called Viktor at the Yule Ball; claiming he'd only asked Hermione to be his date so he could spy on Harry, who was also one of the Triwizard Champions).
Although there were times when Hermione had been tempted to give in to Viktor, as he was rather good looking, it was Ron she really wanted.