Fandom: Harry Potter
Title: Dock of the Bay
Pairing: None (mention of Hermione/OFC)
Disclaimers: Once again I am not JK Rowling. Never have been. Highly unlikely I shall ever be. I use her characters without permission but much gratitude. The fic itself though...that's mine.
Archiving: Okay to list archives, The Realm and anywhere else I post it. All others please ask. http://www.realmoftheshadow.com/morte206.com
Feedback: Should you deign to give it I am inclined to receive it at email@example.com
Summary: A friendship is reaffirmed.
Author's Note: Woke up about two hours ago with this idea just floating around in my head. Ever notice how much action the lake at Hogwarts gets? This will probably make more sense if you've read Song Out of Tune and Rumors but it's not absolutely neccessary. Additionally this has not been beta-ed therefor any and all mistakes are mine and mine alone. I take full faith credit for them.
Hermione left The Three Broomsticks more than a bit disgusted with herself and her peers. She was a coward, readily letting Blaise take the heat of Ron’s ire rather than correcting his assumptions about Hermione. Ron was an ass, mostly for actually believing, on some level, the rumors travelling the halls but also for behaving hideously towards Blaise and being a homophobe in general. She couldn’t believe he had actually tried to throttle the other girl. Harry…Harry sat there like a lump on a log for the most part, judging from the expression on his face earlier Hermione would have guessed that he had spent quite a bit of time visualizing said rumors. And Susan Bones * that bitch * she thought starting those rumors in the first place. For no reason other than boredom and now both of them, Blaise and Hermione were hurting for different reasons that were quite the same. Hermione’s thoughts raced as she walked back to Hogwarts, hoping that maybe she would catch up to Blaise ! so that they could talk about what had happened earlier. But she’d reached the gates of Hogwarts without seeing the other girl and so she headed for the lake and the tree they always sat under to talk about serious matters away from prying eyes and keen ears. Sure enough the Gryffindor Prefect found her friend by the lake and sat down.
They sat, not touching, side by side watching the giant squid swim back and forth; Blaise with her knees pulled up to her chest and Hermione legs straight out, ankles crossed leaning back on her elbows. Minutes passed in silence until Hermione suddenly scooted behind Blaise. Wrapping her arms around the other girl she murmured, "Is this okay?"
Blaise relaxed, sagging backwards into Hermione’s embrace. "Yeah. Feels good even."
Hermione rested her chin on Blaise’s shoulder so that their cheeks brushed, "It does doesn’t it."
They sat that way, drawing strength from each other and their friendship, caring not that they could be seen by other students however alone they might appear to be, and talked.
"I love you H."
Hermione’s arms tightened around her friend, "I love you too B."
"I’m sorry I lost my temper with Weasley."
"Don’t be…I’m sorry I put you in such an awkward position."
"Do they bother you that much, the rumors…"
"About you and me?"
"It’s not that…" Hermione ran a hand through her hair and sighed heavily. "It’s…the rumors per se don’t bother me. I know they’re not true so it’s easy to ignore that aspect of them. But I’m not you. I’m scared and I don’t want anyone here in my magical life to know about my Muggle life, about Shelagh, you know. But on the other hand I don’t want to…I love my parents. They would be so disappointed and there’s so much they don’t know about my life anyway what’s one more little thing. Does that make sense? Sometimes it feels like there’s my life here at Hogwarts, my life there in the Muggle world with my parents and then there’s my real life."
"And Shelagh? How, where does she fit in?"
"In my real life where magic and muggle meet." Shelagh McClarty was a Squib Hermione had started dating over the summer holidays. She lived with her magical family, worked at the Muggle bookshop near Hermione’s parent’s home and was in her second year at the local university.
"You live such a compartmentalized life Mione I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t but it’s your choice to make and I respect that. I do my best to discourage the rumors. I’ve out and out told people that there is nothing other than friendship between us. I keep your secret, I’ve evaded and even lied by omission…"
"Blaise." Hermione’s voice in her ear stopped the flow of words. "B you…I know…it’s private, my life, no one needs to know. Not right now at any rate. I want to go to university and not just a magical one. There’s a program at Infinitas University where you can get your magical degree while also working on your Muggle university degree at Oxford. Recommendations are important…"
"I dare say Professor Vector would be more than happy to give you an excellent one. Besides you’re so smart you’ll get in with no problem. Certainly you’ll qualify for a scholarship. And if for some strange reason you didn’t I would…"
"No," Hermione murmured. "I depend on my parents financially."
"Do you really think I’d let you pass on university for something as trivial as money? I think you’re doing yourself, your family and your friends a huge disservice. Don’t underestimate them so much, they love you. They only want you to be happy. Personally…in your place I’d be so stressed I’d be tearing my hair out."
"I envy you sometimes Blaise." Hermione began to lightly massage her friend’s shoulders as she continued talking. "Your openness your almost naivete…the belief, deep down, that everyone in your life will accept you if you accept yourself."
"It’s not naivete it’s truth. Ohhh right there, harder." Blaise moaned as Hermione worked on a particularly sore muscle. "And being honest, being out, doesn’t mean you have to talk about it. I mean look at me…Did you know that, excepting you and my immediate family, before today I’d never actually come out to anyone. But everyone pretty much knows and that’s cause I never hid it really."
"You have nothing to hide Blaise. Your parents love you, they accept you for who you are but my parents…my parent’s barely accept, barely comprehend my being a witch. Their friends all think I go to some exclusive boarding school on scholarship. They’re trying to adopt another child. I overheard them talking my last night there about how it was a good thing I was leaving when I was. This way there wouldn’t be any need for me to talk about school or anything out of the ordinary with the social worker doing their home evaluation."
"I’m sorry you had to hear that." Blaise stilled Hermione’s hand on her shoulder with her own.
"You know what really hurts? What really hurts is that they never even told me they were considering adopting or fostering. That’s how far apart we’ve drifted. There was a time…before Hogwarts there wasn’t anyone I was closer to than my mother, except for my father." This last was said in a wistful tone, that almost brought Blaise to tears. She could not imagine being in Hermione’s position, could not imagine not being a central part of her parent’s life.
"But enough of that," Hermione said in a falsely cheerful tone that clearly indicated she wanted to change the subject. "So did I tell you that Shelagh says she’ll be able to come to Hogsmeade next month."
"Hermione’s gonna get laid. Hermione’s gonna get laid", Blaise teased. "Hermione’s gonna…OW!"
"Keep it up and you’ll really know pain."
"Jeesh…all right all right." Blaise rubbed the tip of her left ear, which Hermione had just flicked. "That really hurt H."
"Sorry." Hermione stopped rubbing Blaise’s shoulders long enough to kiss the tip of her ear. "Better?"
"Yeah…switch? You give the best backrubs."
"No I’m fine." Hermione slid her arms around Blaise’s waist again, scooting forward slightly as she did so. "Can we just sit like this for a bit?"
"Sure love." Once again Blaise relaxed into the circle of Hermione’s arms. "So tell me what else did Shelagh have to say?"