Title: Reckless and a Little Magical
Author: Keira Marcos
Big Short Prompt: Magic
Fandom: Harry Potter
Relationship: Harry Potter/Hermione Granger
Warnings: Language, discussion of verbal abuse and domestic violence
Word Count: 745 (complete)
Summary: Hermione’s mother educates her daughter in a blunt fashion.
* * * *
There was nothing attractive about Ron Weasley. He was lazy, foul-tempered, judgmental, and verbally abusive. The information her mother had sent her on abusive relationships had frankly stunned her speechless. The letter she’d sent home about Ron dating Lavender had just been her way of venting, and she’d admitted that she had a bit of a crush on Ron. Her mother’s response of “What the fuck!?” on a Post-It slapped on top of pamphlets on gaslighting, verbal and emotional abuse and domestic violence had been startling to find on the top of her birthday package.
Her mother was right, of course, Ron was not a good boy, and she couldn’t count on him to be a better man. He had the manners and the demeanor of a feral hippogriff. She was young, of course, but magicals normally made romantic and magical connections at a young age. And she’d been seeking to make such a connection herself. Hermione had been ignoring how incompatible she and Ron were not just in personality but in magical ways as well. Her fingers trembled as she opened the information on domestic violence once again. The statistics were horrific, and she wondered how that translated into the magical world.
Ron insulted her often—her work ethic, her Muggle parents, her desire for knowledge. He found fault with practically everything she did unless it directly benefited him. The very idea that she’d been willing to overlook that just to have a boyfriend made her feel stupid. It wasn’t a state Hermione Granger was all that familiar with. She closed the booklet and took a deep breath.
She turned to find that Harry had joined her on the sofa. It was late, but not past curfew so she didn’t try to lecture him for not being in bed. Though he looked exhausted, not a surprise since Quidditch try-outs had been something of a disaster. He was holding a small, unwrapped box.
“Still upset about Ron and Lavender?” Harry questioned.
“Not the way you think,” Hermione said then slouched against the sofa with a frown. “Harry, Ron’s…terrible.”
“He’s verbally abusive, rude, judgmental, and lazy. I don’t know why I thought…” She huffed.
“Perhaps you thought you could manage him?” Harry questioned. “Change him to suit your needs?”
She blushed. “I…that makes me sound terrible.”
“No, at least I don’t mean it that way.” Harry flushed. “You don’t have to settle, Hermione. You’re brilliant.”
“Lavender is pretty.”
“You’re beautiful,” Harry blurted out and blushed. “I mean…Merlin, Hermione, look in the mirror once in a while, okay? Girls like Lavender and Ginny just pile on the cosmetic charms like they’re going out of style, but you don’t need all of that. Half the time I’m not even entirely certain what parts of girls are real.” He grinned when she laughed. “But you’re real, and honestly it’s refreshing. You’re also loyal and brave. I’ve never known anyone I could trust more than you.”
“Harry.” She blinked back tears. “Thank you.”
He offered her the little box. “I didn’t have time to wrap it. Dobby just brought it to me.”
“What is it?” She asked as she took the box. She pulled off the lid and blinked in surprise. “Harry.”
“It’s a library,” Harry explained as she picked up the necklace with a single shining gold charm shaped like a book. “A personal library. It’s empty right now, but you can put a hundred books in it. I saw it in the owl catalog, and I had Dobby go buy it for me.”
“It’s beautiful but too expensive.” She turned to him and nearly sighed at the stubborn set of his jaw. “Help me put it on?”
Harry relaxed and took the chain when she offered it. She turned, and he slipped it around her neck. “It’s a dimensional store so you just hold books and papers you want to store then think about storing them. They’ll sort of pop into the book which is actually a shrunken library index.”
She touched the locket with trembling fingers as she turned to him. “Harry…”
“Happy Birthday,” he said. “Thanks for saving my life repeatedly and being my friend and for being someone I can trust no matter what.”
Hermione stared at him for a few seconds then did the fifth most reckless thing she’d ever done in her life—she leaned forward and pressed her mouth to his. He was still for an agonizing second or two then he kissed her back. It was amazing and maybe even a little magical.
The Big Short is a short-form writing challenge hosted on Rough Trade’s forum, The Workshop. The prompts come in two forms — a word challenge (the theme) and a single character challenge. I post my responses to the prompts on the forum first and eventually they’ll make it to my website. Each is a stand alone piece with no potential for expansion.
These short works are NOT prompts! These are my responses to the forum prompts. No, you cannot use them as prompts. No you cannot continue my short work with a longer work or write a sequel. For fuck’s sake.