“Ginny what’s my shift tonight?” Hermione throws her briefcase down and hangs up her coat.
“I’ve got you down here for six till two, don’t forget that you’re covering extra hours for me because I covered you for that conference thing to do with the magical creature legislation”
“Yeah yeah I remember. I shouldn’t just stayed at work for that conference, I’ve never wanted to jump over a desk and knock someone out before” Hermione flops herself down on the sofa and started to undo her boots. She could hear Ginny laughing from her bedroom at her pain. It had been such a long day for her at work but these few shifts that she’s been working at Luna and ginnys sex line are her way to get paid and goof off.
No one that had known Hermione at school would have believed that she would be in this line of work. It all started as a joke; one evening of drinking with the girls while they were still working. She had to admit to herself that when she found out about lunas sex line she was disgusted that it was happening in the apartment that she shared with the girls but the more she saw them at work the more normal it was (read funny) she had previously walked in on Ginny using a ruler she must have stole from Hermiones desk, using it to hit the counter top and fake moan on a call. She did this while dressed in fluffy slippers and a minion onesie that hermoine had brought for her after she became obsessed with them from watching dispicsable me. It was a sight to remember!
Anyway after a few of these instances happening and the girls opening a few bottles of wine Luna managed to talk Hermione into jumping on a call that came in asking for a threesome. At first Hermione felt awkward fake moaning with her best friend but after a few awkward minutes she kinda settled into her role. Afterwards she felt kind of free because who would expect the golden girl to take part in phone sex with a stranger let alone be paid to take part in phone sex. And the rest is history! She had been working at the ministry for five years (she was inundated with job offers after she went back to finish her NEWTS) and she had been moonlighting as a sex phone operator for the past six months. Sure sometimes she received calls that disgusted her and make her shower a couple of time after the client had ended the call but most of the time it was your run of the mill man wants you to talk about how much you want his dick. Being gay Hermione thought she’d be a bit shit at it and the first couple of calls she did by herself were abysmal but now she’s gotten into the swing of things she find herself enjoying the work (plus it gives her some pocket money to by books and stationary)
“I’m off for the night, gabbys dragging me to a club in central. Luna should be home in the next hour or so she’s working tonight too” Ginny stumbled out of her room pulling on her left high heel.
“Jesus gin you look good! Could that dress get any tighter?” Hermione laughs finally pulling herself to her feet to go and get changed out of her work clothes.
“Next to Gabrielle delacour you have to pull out all the stops!” Ginny shimmies her hips to make Hermione laugh.
“Well have fun with our resident party girl. Give her a kiss from me!” Hermione shouted from her room while changing.
“Will do! Have a good shift, we’ve had quite a few calls from older pure bloods. Having Pansy on the pay roll has really worked out for us. She’s networking like fuck with those rich twats. Anyway goodbye my non lover!! Au revoir beetch as gabby would say!” Those are the last words that Hermione hears as the door slams shut.
There is little that she actually has to do to get ready for work; she just threw on some shorts and a vest top and pulled out her work from her briefcase. At five to six she starts to pair her wand to connect with her Bluetooth headphones so she can have her hands free to do work. (Before you question it remember Hermione is the Goldern GIrl and the brightest witch of her age). The first few hours were pretty bog standard; working men hiding in their office or car to get off quickly. With the practice she had she managed to get them off with little effort on her part and even managed to make herself some dinner.
It was coming up to nine o clock when her headphones started ringing again. “Hello this is Emma how can I service you?” Hermione asked rolling her eyes at the scripted opening Luna made her use. After a couple of seconds there was still no reply. “Hello? Is anybody there? I’m pretty sure I can hear you breathing.” Hermione huffed, slamming her back into the soft mattress in her room. “Is this what you want? Just to breath down the phone to me until you get off. If that’s the case let me know if you need any help getting off because that’s what I’m here for”
There was a slight sniffle on the end of the phone it seemed like this mysterious caller could be crying. Just as Hermione was going to ask if they’re okay, a soft quiet voice come through the headphone. “I don’t need help getting off. I don’t even know why I called a sex line… a bloody sex line! What was I thinking?” The mysterious woman continued to ramble on about the shame she would get if someone found out. Hermione sat up realising this call was different to her other. “Hey hey listen to me you’re gonna end up hyperventilating if you don’t calm down. Just take some breathes with me in…. Out…. In…. Out. That’s it there you go. Do you feel a little better?” A whispered voice answers her, Hermione straining to hear them.
“Yes thank you. I just… I needed to talk to someone and I don’t have anyone anymore. I’m sorry” Hermione can hear the pain in the strangers voice as sniffles and coughs vibrate through her headphones.
“You have nothing to say sorry for. It may sound weird but there are a lot of people that call just to talk. Just try and calm down, have a sip of water.” Hermione can’t help but pour her care through her voice. She hasn’t forgotten how broken she was after the war and honestly she wouldn’t be here if she didn’t take a chance on a psychology mediwitch from st mungos. “We can start with our names if it would make you more comfortable, my names Emma” after a couple beats of silence Hermione hears “Annie… you can call me Annie” Annie lets out a big sigh like she’s carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.
“ okay Annie, what’s your favourite colour?” Hermione asks hoping to distract the new stranger. She hears a breathy chuckle down the line. “You’re a sex phone operator and you’re asking me what my favourite colour is? Are you serious?” Hermione could hear the amusement in her voice. Hermione couldn’t help the massive smile that broke out on her face.
“I’m just want to make sure you’re comfortable Annie. This doesn’t have to be sexual, we can literally sit here and talk about the weather if that’s what you want to talk about?”
“Thank you. I guess my favourite colour is green” Hermione could almost hear the shrug Annie did. “What type of green? Like green of an emerald Jewell or green of the grass?”
“I guess I would describe it as a forest green, almost a dirty green. Dark but comforting like what you see in the freshest leaves on the trees when spring comes into season. That crisp but dark green as the leaves are at their healthiest. And colour erupts over the forest” Annie’s voice gets stronger with each word until hermione could hear her properly through the headphone. “Okay… you paint such a beautiful picture I can almost smell the scent of greenery and rain” another small chuckle plays through the headphones. “Nothing beats that earthly scent…” Hermione had closed her eyes as Annie was talking and she could see the fields and forests that they drove past on the hogwarts express all those years ago, nights of going through the forbidden forest with Harry Ron and hagrid looking for ingredients for potions. She was startled out of her trip down memory lane by the voice on the other end of the phone.
“What’s your favourite colour?” There’s a slight rustle through the phone as Annie moves. “Erm... I think I’m gonna have to say maroon. You know the reddish brown of the covers of old books you find in the library or in random little book shops? I don’t know what it is about that colour but it gives me a sense of comfort and seduction. I find there’s nothing better than cracking open an old book and being taken along a journey whether that’s fictional or not… great I’ve gone into a rant about books. You’re gonna think I’m a weirdo or something and this is meant to be about you and what you want to talk about” Hermione can feel her skin heating up with an embarrassing blush as she settles further into her bed.
“No I find it interesting the way you describe books, I feel the same way to be honest I’m a bit of a nerd. Plus if anyone’s the weirdo it would be me who just freaked out while on the phone to a phone sex operator.” Feeling a little lighter from Annie’s concession Hermione tries to move the conversation along “okay next question, what…” she was quickly cut off “I believe it’s my turn to ask a question” Hermione was trying to picture the mysterious woman on the end of the phone. Her voice sounded mature, the type of voice you develop over years of experience and life. “Yes you’re right I’m sorry. I’ll save it for my turn” Hermione conceded her question, she could hear Annies breathing and it was causing heat to start in her belly. They played this back and forth of favourites for a while, slowly helping Annie get more comfortable with Hermione.
A few questions each later Hermione asked her “How has your day been today?” There was a long sound of breath breaking through the ear phones. “Well I was not expecting that… today has been strange. Yes let’s go with strange. I started the day wishing it would pass by and I wake up tomorrow to be frank with you.” Hermione could tell that there was something specific about today that was hard for the other woman, clearly. “I’m sorry you feel like that annie. Just think that if today had been passed over for tomorrow we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I don’t know about you but I’m enjoying talking to you. Do you want to tell me why you felt like that?”
“Jesus you sound like a therapist! I have enjoyed our conversation surprisingly. I did not wake up this morning thinking that I would be talking to a sex phone operator a few hours later.”
“Look I know that you don’t know me annie but you called for some reason and whatever that reason is you don’t have to tell me if you’re not comfortable but sometimes talking to an outsider can help because I can be objective”
“I know. Has anyone told you that you sound wise beyond your years?” Hermione couldn’t help but chuckle thinking of how she’s been told that for as long as she can remember and how she was christened the brightest witch of her age. “Yeah sometimes” acknowledged Hermione; even though she hated the nick name Goldern Girl she knew that she was clever and she was never one to hide her brains from those around her nor would she apologise to them for it.
“Today has been hard for me. It would have been my wedding anniversary today, 27th anniversary. I know it isn’t a big anniversary but for some reason it’s hitting me hard this year…” Hermione can hear how chocked up Annie sounds just beginning to talk about their anniversary. Hermione has the wherewithal to work out that Annie’s husband was dead. Her heart couldn’t help breaking for this woman beginning to sob at the end of the phone. She was aware that this was not part of her normal job but she just wanted to offer some kind of comfort to Annie. “It’s been six years since he died and it’s hard…”
Doing the maths in her head she worked out that her husband died in the mist of the second wizard of war; the war that effected some many in both the wizarding world and the muggle. So many lives were lost because of a group of megalomaniacs following the biggest megalomanic history has ever known. The ministry, what was left of it anyway after the fall of good old snake face couldn’t even give clear figures on how many souls were lost on both sides. “I’m so sorry for your loss Annie. I know that it sounds like a common platitude but I genuinely mean it from the bottom of my heart. I’m sorry that you lost your husband, that he couldn’t be with you to celebrate today and all the anniversaries gone and coming. No one should have to lose someone that is so important to them.” Sobs rang through Hermiones ears, she could hear how heart broken Annie was over loss understandably. “Is there no one that can be there for you today?” There was a sniffle from the other side, Hermione could tell that Annie was trying to keep it together. This was hard for Hermione, her role in the war was to stop noseless and his followers and she can’t help but feel that if her Harry and Ron had worked a little harder or faster more lives would’ve been saved.
“He… he was a good man and I miss him every day. Today has been hard for me and I know everyone has suffered loss some more than others so I feel like I can’t talk to anyone. I have my daughter and I know I could floo her but I don’t want to drag her down. She’s only just managed to pull herself together fully in the last two years. And my sisters… they wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh Annie I’m… sorry doesn’t even begin to cover what I feel for you and your family. I know loss, I know how hard those three years were for everyone in wizarding England as well as the muggle side. Do you maybe want to tell me about him?” Hermione asked quietly while willing herself not to cry, both for Annie and for herself. There was silence on the other end of the line, she could kind of make out the sound of tissues being pulled from the box but that was all. Feeling like she may have over stepped the line she began apologising only to be cut off with a quiet “that’s okay. I know you’re only trying to be kind. You know no one who didn’t know him that well have asked me about him as a person and it’s a shame because he was such a person. He had The kind of smile that light Up a room. He was kind, happy, loving and so many more wonderful things. I remember when I told him I was pregnant with our daughter which trust me was a surprise to both of us he ran out of the house and I saw he left me but maybe 10 minutes later he came barrelling in with A couple of baby books, chocolate‘s, and the biggest bunch of wildflowers I’ve ever seen. He said to me that even though the pregnancy was a complete shock to him he was stand by me and support me and love me in a way that I’ve never been loved before. I mean, imagine a grown man stumbling over stuff that we had on the floor carrying all that stuff for me and I’ll child. He did things like that all the time he surprise me with flowers almost every week our house smelt like a florist because of how many bunches of flowers he would buy me. He was a wonderful man, and I don’t know how I’m supposedTo go on without him. He was my my lighthouse in storm, my safe place, the person that I could rely on more than anyone else in my life. And I’ve had to live without him for six years. He was my safe place. “
Hermione was speechless. Hearing the love Annie and her husband had for each other pulled at her heartstrings. She couldn’t begin to fathom that type of love, the deepest love she has in her life is that found in friendship that’s lasted a decade. “Hello, Emma are you still there?”
“Yeah… yes Annie I’m still here. It’s Just hearing about the way you speak about your husband engulfs my heart with such sadness for you... I know I have no place to understand what you’re experiencing, and what your life is like now. The way you talk about him it’s just so bloody beautiful and I only hope that I manage to find love like that, people search for love like that every single day. I know it’s hard and I know it feels like it’s almost impossible but it’s not Annie. After I left school I felt like a lost little lamb. The war had taken a toll on every single person that I have close to my heart and there was nothing I could do to prevent the heartache that happened. Im muggle born and because of that my parents had to go away out of the country for their own safety. I decided to stay though I wanted to help light up a dark time which I realise makes me sound like Dumbledore. But I feel like true words have never been spoken and it became my mantra for my life: Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light” hermione whipped a few tears that had began to fall down her cheeks in the middle of annie talking about her husband. “ and I know it’s easier said than done, but I believe everyone has something to live for. Existing in a world where you have nothing to live for to me is madness. I can hear the love that you have for your husband and I don’t even know you he can probably feel the love you have for him no matter where he is. I think and this is just free advice from a phone sex operator or a part-time phone sex operator seen this I only work three days a week but I feel like you should try and find the beauty in things it could be anything at all but one day you start to feel your heart beating again you will start to find joy and happiness; that is exactly what you need.” And the end of her long speech she realise she’s been pacing in her room around her bed )an aweful habit she picked up from hogwarts.
Silence enveloped Hermione while she tried to catch her breath. “I’m sorry annie I didn’t meant to lecture you it’s just that…”
“No don’t apologise. I think… you’re right. He wouldn’t want me miserable and holding on to him. He would want me to be happy. Thank you Emma! I don’t know why your advice sunk in more than others but it has helped me calm down. Thank you!”
Hermione takes a few seconds to compose herself; I mean who would want to talk to a sex phone operator that sounds like she’s been crying?! “It’s not a problem Annie. I know this is weird but you… I mean if you want to you… you can call anytime and request to speak to me specifically… if you feel like you need an objective voice.” Hermione holds in a groan at how awkward she sounds.
What in the hell is she doing?! Of course a normal person would not call a sex line just to talk about things that weren’t sex! This is weird… why did she do this to herself?! Hermione can feel the anxiety and awkwardness build up inside her. She felt like a bumbling teenager who didn’t know how to bloody string a sentence together. Her inner strife was interrupted but the soft voice down the phone.
“I think I might take you up on that offer… if it’s not too much trouble for you?” Just like that all the anxiety has been stamped out.
She blows out a puff of air and relaxes into the comfort of her bed. “No Annie. It’s no trouble at all.” She can’t help the soft smile that adorns her face.
“I guess I better get off your line so you can talk to someone else” Annie softly chuckles “I really enjoyed talking to you Emma. I mean it, you managed to calm my storm of emotions which isn’t a easy feat I’ll be honest. Talking to you has helped”
“I’m glad Annie. I mean it, call and just ask for me. I’ll hopefully talk to you soon. Bye Annie”
Hermione swears she can hear a smile in Annie’s voice as she softly says goodbye and hangs up the phone.
On the other side of London, in a sizeable semi detached house, Andy can’t help but shake her head at herself. What was she thinking, mother and father would be rolling in their graves if they knew she called a sex worker!!