Dear Reader

By a_blaq

Romance / Drama

Anonymous Boyfriend?

It had already been such a terribly long day. Hermione loved taking all of the classes but she was exhausted. She was nearing the end of her schedule but even then, she had to use her time turner to finish the day. She was so tired that she actually waited for Harry and Ron at dinner before leaving Transfiguration. She knew that at least today would be easy. Professor McGonagall wouldn't be covering the grittier details about the chapter since the entire fifth year class would be together today.

Upon entering the classroom she noticed that her assigned seat had a package sitting on it with a letter. The writing immediately awakened her in a way that nothing else could have, it was the writing of her reader. Keeping her cool, she casually dropped her wand from her sleeve and flicked it at the items so that they would end up on her seat where neither Harry nor Ron would see it. As soon as she sat down she slyly put the book in her bag but she took the letter out and stuffed into the pages of her transfiguration book. She had a few minutes before Professor McGonagall would be ready so she hurriedly read her reader's letter.

Dear Granger:

I assume you can figure out what my hint is for you, but just in case you're as tired as I am I'll spell it out clearly for you. I am a fifth year as well. So you've now got together than I am a male fifth year. The girlfriend, not girlfriend, thing is completely irrelevant. But we can keep it on the list because I'm sure it's distinguishing somehow.

As for the book – I read it over the course of 24 hours. Although, I must admit I am certainly paying for it. I used every spare moment I had to finish it quickly. Even had to reread the last few pages because I might have fallen asleep while reading them! I would talk about it in more depth but I find myself in a strange predicament. Parts of the plot remind me of some personal issues I am facing in my life right now. All I wish to say is that I very much loved the story and cannot wait to see what you give me next.

Yours.

Hermione folded the page before anyone could catch her. The reader had written so very little. She couldn't be greedy, though, seeing as she received a letter last night as well. Her heart was fluttering without direction. This was so exciting! It had to be the most exciting thing that had ever happened to her, other than going to the Yule Ball with a famous Quidditch player.

Yet this was different, it was special. In a way, Hermione kind of felt like she had a crush on her reader; did that seem too ridiculous of a conclusion? Crushes seemed so petty and wasteful. Somehow, though, she was sitting here swooning momentarily over this guessing game she would be having with her reader.

Over the course of transfiguration she looked around and all the fifth year boys and made a mental list of everyone that she could identify by name. She had read young adult fiction back home, the silly teenage romance stories where someone fantastic secretly loves someone else who feels invisible in their everyday life. For a moment she thought perhaps that could be here but when class started back up she had to drop the idea because she started take notes in her books and on parchment when Professor McGonagall started assignment homework.

Her last classes of the day were tedious and required her full attention. Hermione returned to the dorms that night and fell face first into her bed and didn't even think about the book. Actually, the following day was just like this. From dawn to dusk the bright witch jumped from one class to the next. And when she had an open block she worked through her assignments. It wasn't until Friday afternoon when Harry sat down with her at breakfast that she realized how much time had actually passed.

"What day is it, Hermione?" Harry asked after patting her back. She pushed hair off of her forehead and looked around the Great Hall. People were dressed up for the Quidditch match that afternoon. It was going to be a Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff game today, which gave Hermione a moment of relief. Umbridge had cancelled class, which meant she could relax a little bit after Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid.

"It must be Friday. There's a match today." She replied hazily. Harry wrapped an arm around her and stole a left over strain of green beans from her plate. They laughed together for juts a moment before Harry pulled away.

"You're going to make a great Ministry worker someday. You run yourself ragged all for the pleasure of saying you can do it all." She would have responded but Harry was gone just as quickly as he had come. The moment of loneliness hadn't lasted long, though, because a second later the afternoon mail was being delivered.

Much to her surprise two letters arrived for her. The first from her parents, saying that she must return the purse because they bought her some new clothes and a new book while they were out shopping; she made a mental note to send the charmed purse back home for her parents to use.

Then she opened the second letter mindlessly, as though she were on some automatic function.

Dear Granger,

Perhaps another hint is enough to wake you up.

I am in the Great Hall as you read this.

Yours.

"Well that certainly does me no good. Half the school is in here right now and I don't have the time to filter out which ones are fifth year students." Hermione grumbled before pushing the letter into her bag. Since she had a walk ahead of her she decided to simply finish her orange juice and leave. Along the way she decided that she needed to stop in the Library, though, because she had kept forgetting to bring a book back for her reader. Her unfunny, unhelpful reader…

Dear Reader:

Here is a lovely read as well. It is even darker than "Moby Dick" was in some ways as far as the story is concerned. I am fond of the story regardless and hope that you find it equally as entertaining. I apologize if this letter is very short and dismissive but I admit that I am incredibly tired. There is a Quidditch game tonight, as you probably know, and I think I'll have to skip attending it for a full night of rest instead.

Yours,

H. Granger

P.S. You're previous hint hardly did me any good. There were far too many people there for me to possibly pinpoint any fifth years in particular. You were not joking when you said you would give me little hints. Perhaps not that little in the future, yes?

Harry and Ron were griping prior to the game about Hermione not going. She was already in her pajamas and headed upstairs. After ten minutes even Ginny came back around to double check and make sure that Hermione was actually not going to the Quidditch game. When it was only half an hour before the game was due to start she finally snapped at everyone and explained that she was very tired and just wanted to go to bed. Nobody questioned her after that and allowed her to sleep peacefully the whole night through.

Hermione woke the next morning with a smile on her face and a letter sitting on her trunk. Ginny was sitting by herself brushing through her hair patiently. Her first instinct was to grab the letter and ensure that it was unopened that would make it seem as though she doesn't trust her friend. Instead she tried to stay calm.

"Did you see who sent it?" Hermione yawned her question as she got onto her feet and faked her way through inexplicable excitement when she saw the reader's handwriting. She knew that that there was no possible way that her reader finished reading "Man in the Iron Mask" overnight. Not unless this person skipped the Quidditch match as well. And if this person wasn't also exhausted…

"I think it was a darker brown owl but I didn't recognize it. Harry says you've gotten another letter like that or something. Is there something you're not telling us, ‘Mione?" Ginny isn't like the boys. She picks up on things straight away so it is hardly a shock to Hermione when her friend has questions immediately. Since she trusts her, Hermione decides it is probably time to let someone in on the game.

"I have a bit of an anonymous reader-writer guy friend." Hermione doesn't know that she may have picked the best words to describe the situation, but it certainly captured Ginny's attention. She stopped what she was doing immediately and threw herself forward on her mattress. It was all very cliché girly time scenery, honestly. Once Hermione crossed that off her list of things 'to do' and added it to the one filled with 'never do again' tasks, she placed herself at the end of her own bed and began.

"I put one of my favorite books in the Restricted Section last week, actually a week ago exactly. I left a letter in the cover asking the reader to send the book back to me. Well the reader also wrote a letter back to me. After that I left another book and letter behind. Since then my reader had given me some clues as to who is the reader. It's turned into a bit of a guessing game. I just left the third book in the library last night. Since there's no package with this letter I can only assume he hasn't read it yet. But that's all there is to it."

Hermione really plays down how much this anonymous reader had affected her in one week. She might say that whenever she's not thinking about school and her work she's thinking about when the next letter will arrive. Luckily she's been getting letters frequently and she doesn't have to wait very long between them.

Ginny calls her out, "You definitely like whoever you're writing to, ‘Mione. What information do you have so far?"

Hermione adored that her friend was so straightforward. Growing up with as many brothers as she did there was no room for the frilly stuff that most girls wanted to mess around with when talking. A smirk brightened both girls' expressions momentarily before Hermione recapped the information that she had.

"Well, open your letter. See what that has in it really fast. Maybe I can help you find out who this mystery man is." The redheaded girl chirped sweetly. Her laugh was so genuine. It was funny to look at her and know she was so confident in herself and comfortable in her skin. There was not an ounce of bad self-esteem in the youngest Weasley child.

Following Ginny's recommendation, Hermione opened the letter slowly and found yet another very short letter considering the weight of the envelope.

Dear Granger,

Buy yourself a drink at the Three Broomsticks this Sunday. And keep a sharp eye.

Yours.

Ginny had meandered over and was reading over her shoulder. A swift punch to her arm signified exactly what Hermione had suspected. There were half a dozen galleons sitting at the bottom of the envelope. Hermione dropped her jaw at the money in her hand. She did not need that much for a single drink at the Three Broomsticks. Then, all rather manically, the two of them squealed very loudly.

"Ginny!" Hermione shouted as she shook the envelope with the money in her hand. It wasn't as though she hadn't seen that kind of money, both muggle and wizard currency. It really wasn't as much as she was making it seem. For just a drink? Really? Her reader was just giving it away freely as if they didn't mind losing the muggle equivalent of fifty dollars!

"I think you've got more than an anonymous reader-writer guy friend on your hands. I think you've got yourself an anonymous boyfriend." Ginny walked out of the room with hands behind her back and her hair slung over her shoulder. Hermione was left to question her statement alone as she fantasized about what Sunday might bring when it arrived. She felt back onto her bed allowing the letter to remain in her lap.


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