Chapter 6: Boy Talk
Hermione waited patiently outside the door to the girls' dormitory. She had a pressing question to ask Ginny, and she seemed to remember seeing Ginny slip. Yes, she was sure she'd heard Ginny's voice behind the door as well.
"Ginny?" Hermione repeated.
The door suddenly opened, surprising Hermione, and Ginny stumbled out Ginny, one hand on her bulging stomach. And so, Hermione noticed with a funny look, did Harry, right behind her.
"Oh... sorry Hermione, just helping Ginny with some... stuff," said Harry quickly, and walked quickly away towards the common room.
"Ginny," whispered Hermione, "what was that?"
"Don't—burp—worry about it," said Ginny with a belch, one hand still laying atop her globe of a stomach, which looked absolutely stuffed to the brim.
"Is that... chocolate frosting?" said Hermione quizzically, noticing a smear and some crumbs around Ginny's lips.
"Oh... all right," sighed Ginny, "but don't tell anyone. Harry likes to watch me... eat."
Hermione's eyes widened as she put the scene together. "He likes to... in that way?"
Ginny's face reddened to match her hair. "Yes, he likes—burp—to watch when I pig out, and—burrrrp—oh dear," she said, clutching her gut and letting out a long sigh.
"Are you all right?" said Hermione nervously. "Did he... did he make you eat too much?"
"No no, he doesn't make me eat anything... he just knows I like to pig out on snacks, and he likes to watch... it's my—burp—fault for overdoing it this time," said Ginny. "I suppose I'd better slow down."
Hermione looked carefully over Ginny's body, and tried to avoid her goodie-two-shoes instinct to be a little repulsed. She saw Ginny getting dressed most mornings, so her ample size wasn't much of a surprise, but now, stuffed into her Christmas sweater with a good amount of pale gut poking out the bottom and smears of cake on her mouth, Ginny looked even a tad bigger than she did just recently at Christmas. Her prominent, globe-like gut was finally starting to droop slightly under its own weight, and for the first time Ginny's face appeared to be taking on a few pounds—a hint of a double chin was forming on her previously unchanged face. Hermione supposed this was what happened when someone's body realizes it hasn't just been a temporary period of overindulgence, but a new permanent lifestyle.
"I suppose it's rather embarrassing," muttered Ginny as she breathed heavily and absentmindedly rubbed her belly, "me being this tub of lard now, and you—"
"No!" interjected Hermione quickly. "Not at all! There's actually something I wanted to talk to you about."
"Oh?" asked Ginny quizzically, as they walked into the empty Gryffindor common room and sat down.
"Well, I saw how happy you've been since you've let yourself g— I mean, since you've let yourself eat whatever you—"
"It's okay, you can say I've let myself go," laughed Ginny, her gut bouncing a little with each laugh, "I'm not exactly Quidditch material anymore."
"And Ron," continued Hermione, "he's also so happy and content with eating whatever he wants, even with that... butterbeer belly of his," she chuckled a little.
"You can say that again," said Ginny. "People act like I'm the only Weasley with a big appetite."
"Well, since I noticed all this at Christmas, I've tried to let myself eat a bit... that is, I've been less stingy about what I'm eating, and..."
"Your teensy little flab from beginning of term is back?" asked Ginny delightedly.
"A bit," said Hermione, looking around and sheepishly raising her shirt to show an adorable, soft little bulge in her previously toned stomach.
"It looks great on you!" said Ginny, "What are you worried about?"
"Well, this is awkward, but... do you suppose..." Hermione gulped. This time it was Hermione's turn to blush. "Do you suppose Ron will like it?"
Ginny laughed. "I'd almost forgotten you had feelings for that big oaf," she said, causing Hermione to redden even more, "but yes, I'm sure. He might even like you better this way. The whole obsession over skinny witches is mostly just made up to sell sleazy magazines."
"You don't think it's too much?" asked Hermione, doing her best to pinch an inch of her newly softened stomach.
Ginny snorted again. "Hermione, you could put on another five stone and still look great. Trust me. Oh, speak of the devil! I think that's him!"
As a few laughing male voices approached outside, The Fat Lady swung open to reveal Ron, who lumbered in and plopped down in a chair, and Dean, who grabbed a few things and dashed off to his next class.
"Ugh, Snape's a menace," groaned Ron, a tiny sliver of his impressive gut becoming visible as he sighed. "How're you two?"
"Good," said Ginny, "just chatting about the Transfiguration final."
"Merlin's beard, that's coming up soon too," cried Ron and buried his face in his hands.
Just then, Ginny leaned over to Hermione and whispered, "Show him!"
"What?" mouthed Hermione, confused.
"Show him!" Ginny hissed, motioning with her eyes down to Hermione's stomach.
"No!" hissed Hermione back, going red in the face again.
"What's that?" asked Ron, looking up quizzically.
"Nothing," said Hermione, "I was just saying I—I need to go to Astronomy," and with a rather abrupt movement she got up and left through the Fat Lady.
Ron watched carefully and then muttered to Ginny, "I could swear Astronomy wasn't for another half an hour?"
The following morning, as everyone left for breakfast, Hermione and Ginny found themselves the last ones in the girls' dormitory as they collected their things.
"Listen," said Ginny, "I have a plan."
"What?" asked Hermione.
"I'm going to prove to you that Ron will like you just fine this way. I know where Harry keeps his Invisibility Cloak—I'll grab that, you hide under it in the common room at noon today when everyone's left for lunch. I'll tell Ron I want to have a conversation."
"Ginny, you really don't have to—" began Hermione.
"I know you were raised in one of those Muggle households that emphasized thinness even more than we do," said Ginny knowingly, "and I know it's not easy to let yourself be okay with some extra weight. So I'm going to show you, using your lovebird, that it's fine." Hermione rolled her eyes awkwardly at this.
Hermione crouched under the cloak, waiting for Ron and Ginny. As she waited, she absentmindedly fondled the stomach roll that covered the button of her pants as she crouched. She gulped, realizing it didn't usually do that, but then took a deep breath as she remembered what Ginny had said.
The Fat Lady swung open, and in stepped Ron and Ginny, two matching red-headed siblings with rather unwieldy guts leading the way in front of them. Hermione almost giggled—that was somehow kind of cute.
"All right, what is it Gin? I'm not staying more than a few minutes, I'm starving," said Ron.
"Well, I have a friend that's rather... interested in you," began Ginny.
"Oh yeah?" said Ron, swelling up just a little with pride.
"Yeah, and here's the thing... she's putting on a bit of weight, and she's worried that you won't like her as much."
"'Ow much?" said Ron, munching on a bag of pumpkin pasties he'd brought along. "Like..." he motioned back and forth to Ginny's stomach and his own.
"No, not that much!" giggled Ginny. "She's much thinner and is just getting a little bit of a belly."
"'Course, why would I care?" said Ron. "Honestly, probably better that way. Means she's not stingy about eating."
Ginny threw a knowing glance to where she knew Hermione was crouching under the cloak, and Hermione gulped silently and smiled.
"Dunno what all the fuss about skinny girls is, anyway. You looked like a gust of wind could snap you in half, back in first year," he said, motioning to Ginny's body. "'Course, you've rather blown up since then," he said, trying to suppress a grin.
Ginny hit him in the arm. "Look at yourself, arsehole!" she said, also grinning a bit, and pulled up Ron's shirt to expose his large, wide gut, which was even fatter now than Hermione had imagined it under his robes. Strangely, she didn't mind it one bit.
"At least it matches my body!" said Ron, racing to pull up Ginny's shirt. "Look at this big thing sticking out like a sore thumb! Looks like someone just slapped it on there from someone else! Actually," he said, surveying Ginny's newly developing spare tire, double chin, and thickening legs, "I s'pose you've just gotten fat all around."
Ginny hit him again, and he burst out laughing as he stood up to leave. "Nah, honest Gin, I wouldn't mind a body like that one bit. Provided it's not on you," he said. "And provided this lucky lady is fine with this ol' thing," he said, giving his own gut a slap and letting out a belch that was rather deeper and more disgusting than Ginny's cuter ones. "Speaking of which, better go fill 'im up, he's starting to rumble." He stepped out of The Fat Lady and headed out, with Ginny close behind.
Wow, thought Hermione. Ron wouldn't mind me even at Ginny's size? I guess I was wrong about boys. And, she thought with a twinge of a smile, biting her lip, I don't mind "that ol' thing" one bit.