Fandom: Harry Potter
Disclaimers: A statement of the obvious but here goes. I am not J K Rowlings, the characters are hers the story is not.
Summary: Friendships can be made stronger or weaker thanks to rumor. A sequel to Song Out of Tune.
Feedback: Feedback, the good the bad and the ugly is appreciated.
Author's Notes: Thanks to those of you who let me know that there is indeed a place for friendship fic in the world of HP femslash.
"Why does she always have to be around?" Ronald Weasley complained to his best friend, Harry Potter, as they watched the third leg of their triumvirate, Hermione Granger, weave her way through the crowd at The Three Broomsticks Blaise Zabini in tow.
"Ron Blaise is Hermione’s friend, she can’t be that bad even if she is in Slytherin. Besides she’s hot." Ron stared at the Boy Who Lived
"Do you fancy her," the redhead’s voice rose indignantly. "You’ve heard the rumors." Ron referred to the rather persistent rumors sweeping the halls at Hogwarts about Blaise and one in particular about Blaise and Hermione.
"And that’s why you don’t like her. You’re afraid she’s gone and made a move on Mione before you ever got up the nerve." Harry punched his best friend lightly on the shoulder as he joked. "Now hush she’ll hear you."
"Who will hear me?"
"Hermione you prat."
"No she won’t, look at her she’s totally focused on Zabini. I could probably strip naked right here and she wouldn’t notice."
"So you see things haven’t changed just because Blaise is on the scene."
"Hi boys what’s so funny," Hermione pulled the chair opposite Ron out and sat down while Blaise sat across from Harry.
"Blaise…Tell me something Zabini why is it that everyone in your house calls people by their last names?"
"I don’t know Harry it just seems to fit most people most of the time. Why?"
"Well you know what the say about curiosity."
"Good thing I don’t transfigure into a cat then. Besides which it’s obviously wrong as McGonagall is still around and they don’t get much nosier than her."
"Oh please don’t talk to me about nosy people till you’ve been forced to live with Pansy Parkinson. Privacy and boundaries are words she’s, unfortunately, quite unfamiliar with. As for McGonagall I imagine Hooch keeps her satisfied enough to guarantee her continued existence for some time."
While Blaise and Harry chatted Ron and Hermione talked quietly until suddenly Hermione stood angrily yelling at Ron.
"It’s none of your damn business what I do with my free time or who I spend it with."
"H", Blaise placed a calming hand on Hermione’s forearm, which the agitated young woman shook off. "Mione come on now, you’re causing a scene." Blaise indicated the surrounding tables filled with Hogwarts students watching them.
"No this is a scene," Hermione bit out and with that she emptied her glass of butterbeer over Ron’s head. "In the future, Ronald Weasley, if you have questions perhaps you should ask them of me and not listen to silly gossip."
"Not that silly if it’s gotten you this pissed off."
"Fuck off Ron. C’mon B lets get out of here." At this Harry protested.
"Hermione don’t be like that. You know how Ron is. You know he didn’t mean anything by it. Tell her Ron."
"Hermione I’m sorry. I didn’t think you’d get so upset. It’s not like I’m saying anything new. Ask Zabini she’ll tell you."
This seemed to appease Hermione, who sat down once again as Blaise asked just what it was she was supposed to tell Hermione.
"You know about the rumors going around about you two."
"If you must know Weasel they are all founded in nothing," Blaise said trying to quash the topic before things were said that would undoubtedly distress Hermione. Blaise did not particularly care if anyone knew about her sexuality but she knew that it was different for Hermione. Hermione cared, she was sure it would disappoint her parents and make her less than in their eyes.
"What rumors Blaise?" Hermione asked. "And don’t call him that you promised me you’d try."
"I am trying but he’s not making it easy," Blaise muttered under her breath.
"I heard that…try harder." Hermione softened her snappishness with a small smile.
"You know Weasley you’d think you’d have learned to ignore rumor given all the ones out there about you and Potter. Not to mention the ones about the three of you together."
"Those are all a load of crap and you know it."
"Yes I do and you’ve never heard me repeat them. So why can’t you extend the same courtesy to Mione, you claim you love her that you’re her best friend."
"I am. We are. Right Harry." Ron’s tone implied that Blaise was a Johnny-come-lately when it came to Hermione.
"So tell me then which one of these wonderful rumors you’ve been hearing did you believe enough to ask Hermione about." Ron blushed. "Certainly not the ones with the three of you going at it like bunnies. Perhaps the one where Hermione and I were going at it like bunnies in the library stacks. Though how that one got started…"
"Is beyond me." Blaise smiled fondly at Hermione as she covered the irate girl’s hand with her own. "Besides we all know Hermione here wouldn’t desecrate the Holy Temple of Knowledge like that."
"The library…" Hermione spluttered, "I’d…how could you even think…Oh I hate you Ron Weasley."
"I hadn’t heard that one," Harry chipped in and Blaise shot him a look. "Well I hadn’t. Besides who would be stupid enough to…" He looked at Ron as he said this.
"Hey I’m not stupid."
"Well you’re certainly not the sharpest tack in the box," Blaise commented.
"What’s that supposed to mean."
Blaise’s perfectly shaped eyebrow rose almost to her hairline silently communicating her thoughts as to Ron’s questionable intelligence.
"It means next time, you prat, you should think before you open your mouth about things you know nothing of", Hermione said.
"I know she’s a bloody dyke", Ron spat out. "I know she’s always hanging around. I know she has it bad for you Mione."
"Two out of three. Perhaps you’re not as stupid as you appear." Blaise drawled.
"Oh so you’re not bloody queer."
"Or perhaps not. No Weasley that one is true."
"Blaise," Hermione hissed, looking around to see if any of their fellow students had overheard.
"Oh bollocks Hermione. I’m tired of it all. So what if people know." Blaise stood abruptly her chair toppling over as she did so. "Listen up people. Listen up."
The room fell silent every eye focused on Blaise.
"It’s come to my attention. Thank you Susan", Blaise raised her glass to Susan Bones who was sitting in a booth across the room with Hannah Abbott. "That quite a few of you have some questions about me. About Hermione and in particular about me and Hermione...bluntly put people…Fuck off."
With that Blaise sat down and resumed talking in a normal tone of voice to Hermione, Harry and Ron. "Now Weasley think about it." Ron stared at her blankly and Blaise sighed heavily. "In order for two of your assumptions to be right your first assumption has to be right don’t you think." Ron continued to stare blankly but by this point the grin on Harry’s face made it clear that he at least understood what Blaise was saying. "Okay see if you can understand this. I’m not interested in Hermione that way. She’s like my sister, surely you can understand where I’m coming from." Blaise sat back in her chair and drained the last of her butterbeer. "Or are those rumors I’ve heard about you and your family really true."
Ron leapt across the table, grabbed Blaise by the jacket collar and attempted to hit her all at the same time. Hermione screamed. Harry held Ron’s fist and dragged him off the shaking, pale faced Blaise.
"Ron" Harry’s voice was low, only for his best friend’s ear, "Ron what are you doing? She was only trying to get your goat. This is not the way to get the girl my friend. Not the way."
Ron shook Harry’s hands off and watched somewhat bewildered as Hermione solicitously straightened Blaise’s jacket. He bristled visibly as the bushy haired girl’s quietly whispered "Did he hurt you?" reached his ears.
"I’m fine love." Turning to Ron she said, "Now you know how rumor hurts." With that the regal brunette collected her bags and left.
"I’ll see you later Hermione. Potter."
The Gryffindor Trio watched the Slytherin leave while around them conversations resumed. The front door had no sooner shut behind the raven haired Slytherin when Hermione rounded on Ron, "You are a homophobic asshole Ronald Weasley."
"Oi now Hermione that’s not fair you heard what she said about my family."
"After you’d already said some horrible things to her."
"What’s so horrible, she said it herself, she’s a dyke."
"Ron", Harry’s voice held a note of warning. Hermione was obviously riled but Ron didn’t seem to care or notice.
"You want to know what rumors I was talking about…do you?"
"Well let’s see for starters. Blaise is gay," he sneered. "Second, you must be too if you’re hanging out with her all the time."
"But we know that’s rubbish," Harry interjected. Hermione didn’t have the heart, or perhaps it was the strength of will, to correct him.
"Third and this one’s the best yet, Susan Bones told me…"
"Actually she’s told about half the school," Harry interrupted again.
"She told you she saw me and Blaise in the library right?"
"Yeah, so you have heard it right?"
"No it’s true." Ron gaped at Hermione in astonishment. "She sees us there every night you twit, we study there. If you ever cracked open a book you might have guessed that."
Ron smirked, "No she says she saw the two of you hugging and being all touchy, like you wanted to kiss but couldn’t because there were other people around."
"She said what!"
"I figure though that Blaise has a huge crush on you and that is what Susan was picking up on."
"Blaise doesn’t have a crush on me Ron. We’ve talked about this, she and I, and we’re just friends. You’re jealous, I know, about all the time I spend with her but honestly how long did you think I was going to be one of the boys. I need a girl friend too Ron. I love you both you know that but it’s been good to have a friend, a good close friend, who is a girl."
"I know Blaise is gay. She’s comfortable with that and so am I and that’s all there is to it." Hermione pushed her chair back and stood. "Excuse me for a moment. I want to have a few words with Susan," she glanced at the Hufflepuff seated a few feet away in a booth with Hannah Abbott.
"Susan, excuse me for interrupting…Hannah if I may have a few moments with Susan." Hermione smiled down at Hannah; seated opposite Susan Bones.
"Oh hi Hermione, sure…I have to go freshen up anyway." Hannah slid out of the booth and Hermione slid in.
"I just wanted to say…that is it’s come to my attention that you’ve been saying things…spreading rumors really about me, me and Blaise. And I just wanted to say that the next time I decide to fuck her I shall do so on the Headmaster’s table in the Great Hall during dinner. How’s that for rumor."
Susan stared slack-jawed at Hermione as if she’d grown not one but two extra heads. "I beg your pardon," Susan managed to stammer out. Clearly, much to Hermione’s annoyance, her sarcasm had gone way over Susan’s head.
"Did you or did you not tell Ron that you saw Blaise and I in the library."
"And did you not say that it appeared as if we wanted to kiss but didn’t or couldn’t because there were other people around?"
"Well there does seem to be an awful lot of touching going on between you two. And everyone knows about Blaise, it’s not like she bothers to hide it, the way she’s always eyeing Padma Patil." Susan clucked disapprovingly.
"You know Susan," Hermione worried at her lower lip as she carefully chose her next words. "You’re right. Blaise is refreshingly honest about herself and we are great friends. I value her. You’re also right that she has a thing for Padma. So why, may I ask, if you know that did you start this rumor."
"I don’t know really. Silly gossip I apologize."
"And why for heaven’s sake did you find it necessary to tell it to Ron?"
"Because he asked. He asked if I’d seen you with Zabini often. And where and what were you doing. The boy’s obsessed Hermione."
"With you, you ninny. Don’t make me question your intelligence."
"Don’t be silly. He’s like my brother."
"Well there are those rumors about his family you know."
"Oh for Merlin’s sake."