Stories from Sixth (and Seventh) Year
A favour to ask
Hermione almost made it to the Great Hall when a small yellow bird came out of nowhere and startled her. Only the fact that she wasn’t quite awake yet stopped her from screaming at the surprise. The bird circled around her and then alighted in her hand, where it dissolved in a gritty puff of powder, leaving a small slip of parchment in its place.
Join me in the kitchens at Chez Dobby — G
Hermione smiled. She’d heard of the private dining room from Ginny, but never had an invitation before. Slinging the large cloth purse that doubled as her casual book bag over her shoulder, she walked away from the Great Hall to the stairwell that would lead her to the lower levels of the castle. She had a breakfast date.
"That was fabulous," Hermione said, wiping up the last of the whipped cream and raspberry syrup from her plate with one of Dobby’s multi-grain crepes. "So, to what do I owe this honour?"
Ginny stirred her coffee clockwise and then counterclockwise.
"I need a favour," she said.
Hermione smiled. "If it’s not blatantly illegal and it’s within my power, of course," she said.
"Don’t be hasty, you haven’t heard what I want yet," Ginny cautioned.
"So, tell me already," Hermione said, pouring herself a cup of tea.
"I need you to keep Crookshanks in tonight and tomorrow night," Ginny said.
"Uh, sure," Hermione said. "May I ask why?"
"I was afraid that you were going to ask why," Ginny said. She gulped down some coffee, and pulled a face when she realized that she’d stirred and stirred, but never added any sugar. "Uh, yeah. You know where I’ve been sleeping recently?"
"Tuh! Of course — you’ve been sleeping with Harry, or more accurately, Tick-tock’s been sleeping with Harry. I think it’s sweet, actually," Hermione said, spooning some sugar into Ginny’s cup.
"Thanks," Ginny said distractedly.
"Don’t mention it, but what’s that have to do with Crookshanks?" Hermione asked.
"Good Lord, you are going to make me spell it out, aren’t you?" Ginny asked crossly. "What time of month does my period come due?"
"On the new moon, it has for years," Hermione said.
"Which means that I ovulate when?" Ginny asked.
"On the full moon," Hermione said. Her face went blank for a moment while her exceptionally bright mind pulled the facts together. "Goodness, you’re going to be in heat this weekend!" she exclaimed.
Ginny put her finger on her nose. "Right on the mark, five points to Gryffindor," she said.
"What’s it like?" Hermione asked.
"Actually, it’s a bit like having the flu, except my dreams are filled with tomcats," Ginny said.
"Aren’t there any other cats in the castle?" Hermione asked.
"There are lots of cats in the castle, but only one un-neutered male in Gryffindor tower. I’d really rather have my first time be with Harry rather than your familiar," Ginny said.
"So you haven’t -- with Harry that is," Hermione said with a slight look of bewilderment.
"I haven’t with anyone, human or feline," Ginny replied.
"Oh," Hermione said, struck silent for a moment. "Well then, I can certainly keep him restrained in my room — there’s a charm for that you know. I think I also owe you an apology."
"Because you assumed that Harry and I have been going at it like frenzied Kneazles?" Ginny asked, breaking into a smile.
"In a word, yes," Hermione said, her ears turning red.
"Actually, that longing is a lot better now that I’m sleeping with him almost every night."
"I have noticed that the two of you seem to have calmed down a bit," Hermione said carefully.
"I’m bonded with Harry. I need to touch him or I get sick, but we’re not doing that yet. It’s rather complicated. I envy the normality of your relationship, even if it is with my brother," Ginny said.
"So, tonight and tomorrow?" she asked.
"Yeah, thanks," Ginny replied.
"You’re welcome," Hermione said, carrying her dishes to the serving cupboard. "Ginny?"
"If Crookshanks gets out, can I have my pick of the kittens?"
"I am so not going there," Ginny replied, pushing the door open. "No way, no how."