Author's Note: Please don't tell me that all British people always say 'mum', they don't. Mum/Mom is simply preference, not an "American-ism".
Hermione walked into the Owlery and pulled out a piece of parchment. She scribbled a quick message to her parents asking if she could come home to shop that weekend and, after a second’s thought, added that she would be bringing a friend. She didn’t know who at that exact moment but she knew she didn’t want to go by herself. Perhaps Susan or Ginny would join her.
“It would be so much fun to show Ginny a muggle shopping center,” Hermione laughed as she attached the message to an owl and then headed off to find Professor McGonagall, an essential figure in her plans to get back at Pansy.
Fortunately, Hermione found her in her office which had been the first place she looked. After a quick glance around to make sure they were alone, she asked as innocently as she could, “Professor, may a friend and I go to my parents this weekend to shop for the Yule Ball?”
“Miss Granger, you have already done your shopping a month ago.” Professor McGonagall set her quill down and gazed her over curiously, “and who is this friend you mentioned?”
“I know, but I just realized that I forgot to buy some nice shoes to go with my dress. I already sent an owl to my parents to ask if it was ok,” Hermione said, hoping she wasn’t turned down. “And I don’t really know who yet, I just don’t want to go alone. I was going to ask if Susan Bones or Ginny Weasley wanted to go with me.”
Professor McGonagall sighed, it was certainly not the best planned trip but she could hardly deny a young girl a chance to look her best for the Yule Ball. She knew Hermione was responsible, as were the two girls she mentioned, so she saw no real harm in letting them go for a few hours.
“There will be some ground rules of course,” Professor McGonagall said and Hermione nodded intently while trying and failing to hide her excitement. “Your parents must go with you.”
“Not the best rule, but it’s not bad either,” Hermione shrugged, keeping her thoughts to herself.
“Your friend, whoever she may be, will be your responsibility.” Professor McGonagall continued and again Hermione saw no problem in this. “As for when, I will be waiting to take and pick you up from your parents at the same time as the Hogsmeade hours on Saturday.”
“Thank you so much Professor,” Hermione smiled. That was more than enough time; perhaps she and her friend could catch a show or something.
“I would suggest you hurry and ask Miss Bones or Miss Weasley before they make other arrangement. I will be expecting an owl from your parents before Saturday morning as well,” Professor McGonagall said pointedly but couldn’t hide a smile. Hermione smiled back gleefully before rushing off to find her friends.
Yet her glee only lasted a short while, and within an hour she was back to being grouchy again. Susan had plans with Ernie and Hannah to go shopping in Hogsmeade and Ginny had an essay to finish for Arithmancy. She had asked others as well; Luna was studying for Transfiguration, Katie and Alicia were going to practice some new Quidditch moves, even Angelina had a date with George.
“I guess I’ll be going alone since everybody else will be busy,” Hermione told herself out loud as she read the owl from her parents saying it was fine if she came home to shop. “Well at least mom will be there.”
“Come on Hermione; don’t feel bad,” said Ginny earnestly, “if you really want someone to go with, why not ask Ron? I know he has nothing to do, nothing important anyways.”
Ginny laughed as she glanced over to her brother sorting his chocolate frog cards. Hermione, however, considered the joke thoughtfully and walked over to sit next to him. “Ron, do you have anything to do tomorrow?” she asked bluntly, ignoring Ginny’s surprise.
“Not really why?” he replied, not paying her too much attention as he sorted his cards into various piles.
“Good, then you’re coming with me,” Hermione said promptly and then, just as promptly, walked off.
“What?” Ron finally looked up confused, “where?”
Hermione didn’t answer, purposefully. She didn’t want to give him a chance to argue. She simply walked into the girl’s dormitory and went to sleep. The happiness she felt over finally finding someone to go with, although Ron was certainly not her first choice, caused her to completely forget that she needed to show the letter from her parents to Professor McGonagall.
When she finally did remember, it was only a half hour before she was supposed to be in the main hall and ready to go. “Ron! Hurry up!” she yelled up at the boy’s dormitory, “and wear something causal, muggle casual.”
“Muggle casual?” Ron asked, completely confused, as he walked out of the door from the boy’s dormitory.
Hermione didn’t answer; she gave him a quick look over, decided he was alright, and dragged him down to the main hall by his sleeve. “Miss Granger, there you are,” came Professor McGonagall when she came into view.
“Sorry Professor, I got the letter last night but forgot about giving it to you because of homework,” Hermione lied. “I want to take Ron with me.”
Professor McGonagall looked Ron over and then eyed Hermione, who felt exactly what she was thinking. “Ronald Weasley?”
“This is certainly unexpected Miss Granger. However, the rules still apply,” Professor McGonagall said, accenting the last part, and Hermione knew she was referring to the ones about her parents being present and that she was responsible for whoever she took with her.
“Yes Professor,” Hermione nodded perceptively. They then followed her outside of the school grounds where they apparated to Gringotts to exchange currency and next to Hermione’s parents, who greeting them warmly.
Professor McGonagall spoke with them privately for a few moments as Ron looked around. “Hermione, you never told me what we’re doing,” he said casually as they watched her parents say goodbye to Professor McGonagall.
“Alright then, where would you like to go sweetie?” Hermione’s mother asked before she could say anything.
Hermione opened her purse and pulled out the magazine ad, “I need to but this outfit.”
“We’re going shopping?” Ron grumbled, almost in a state of shock that he had been dragged along for this.
“Honey, that’s a lot of money,” her mother said and looked the ad over. She felt bad that she couldn’t afford to buy her daughter what she wanted.
“I’ve got it,” Hermione said and held up her purse. “I’ll explain later,” she added when her parents gave her a questioning and very surprised look.
“You brought me here to take me shopping?” Ron asked, still bewildered as to why she had wanted to drag him along. Hermione’s father chuckled at his reaction and both women rolled their eyes.
Within minutes, however, both men were in the car and they all headed towards the more expensive shops in the area. Ron asked how long it would take, being so used to Floo Powder and Hermione joked with her parents about being able to apparate in the future.
“Yes, well, for now you can take a car like the rest of us,” her father said, playfully sarcastic, as he pulled the car up in front of the shoe store to let them out.
“Thanks dad.” Hermione kissed his cheek before turning to her mother, “mom you sure you know what you’re looking for?”
“Relax dear, I’ve got the ad with me. And I’m sure I can find a sales person to help me,” her mother brushed back a strand of her bushy hair and kissed her check, “now have fun and we’ll be back in a few hours. Oh and behave! I don’t want to have to explain to your Professor why we let you go off alone.”
“We will I promise. Bye!” Hermione waved them off while Ron stared around at the expensive buildings.
“I still don’t know why I’m here,” Ron griped, this wasn’t how he had planned to spend his Saturday.
“Because everyone else was busy,” Hermione said, not really paying any attention to him as they headed into the store and she ogled the many aisles of shoes.
When as sales woman came over to them a few seconds later, Hermione didn’t even notice she had said something and Ron had to jab her in the ribs to get her attention. “May I help you?” the sales woman asked again and Hermione had to force herself back under control.
“Yes, I’m looking for a certain pair of Givenchy shoes,” she inquired pleasantly and then followed the woman over to the display for the brand.
Hermione’s eyes immediately fell on the shoe she had wanted so desperately and she swiftly snatched it up. “Do you have these in a size eight?”
“Let me check,” said the sales woman as she turned and headed off to the back to look.
Hermione, meanwhile, eyed the other shoes in the display and the weight of her purse grew ten fold. She still had roughly £600 pounds to spend after her mom bought the outfit and she bought the shoe, and right now the only thing she could see were more shoes.
Ron looked her over and groaned, “what is it about shoes that makes women so mental?”
“I’m not mental simply because I like shoes Ron,” Hermione protested, even though she had to admit to herself that she was feeling rather greedy at that moment.
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