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A/N – thank you so much for reading so far! And to those who have reviewed already, thank you double! Please enjoy this chapter and continue to read and review!

Chapter 4:

Hermione’s Surprise

Hermione groggily woke up to the sounds of explosions coming from downstairs. She grumbled a half-hearted “what is my life coming to?” as she started to get ready for the new day. 

“Morning Hermione!” Fred greeted as she entered the noisy kitchen. There were a few items on the table which the twins seemed to be working on.

“New tricks?” Hermione asked.

“Yeah,” George grinned, “Hope to have them finished by the weekend!”

Hermione smiled and went to the stove to fix something to eat, “I’m sure you’ll manage.”

The twins smiled back and continued working.

“Did you two already eat breakfast then?” Hermione asked them.

“Well not exactly,” admitted Fred.

“We usually skip it,” agreed George.

“Let me fix you something. Scrambled eggs sound ok?”

“Yeah!” their faces lit up. 

While she was working away, Hermione could have sworn she heard Fred whisper to George, “aren’t we the ones who are supposed to be taking care of her?”

After everyone was well fed and the new experiments were put away still unfinished, everyone headed downstairs to the shop. A plate of scrambled eggs and toast with them for Lee Jordan who was behind the desk, busy as ever. 

“Been busy?” Fred asked.

“All morning,” Lee informed him with a smile.

“Good!” Fred exclaimed. 

Meanwhile, George was showing Hermione around the shop. 

“This area over here is for smaller kids. You know…harmless stuff. That way they won’t get into too much trouble but will still enjoy causing mischief when they get older,” George exclaimed.

Hermione couldn’t help but giggle, “sounds brilliant.”

“yes, it does happen every now and then,” George winked. 

“Oi! George!” Fred called them over, “Don’t forget we have that meeting at 11.”

“Oh right,” George replied, obviously he had forgotten. It seemed that Fred cared a little bit more about the business then George did. Again, Hermione was finding little things to be able to tell them apart.

“Do you mind, Hermione, taking care of the shop while we’re gone? It won’t get terribly busy until this afternoon when we’ll be back,” George asked with such sincerity that Hermione couldn’t say no. 

“Thanks!” the twins said together. 

Fred pulled George away and Hermione could hear them whispering.

“Did you make contact?”

“Yes, everything’s a go! No worries.”

“Splendid, she’ll love it!”

 “Of course!”

Before Hermione could get closer to listen to more of what they were saying, Lee Jordan stood before her. He wanted to run over a few things with her before leaving. It wasn’t too terribly difficult to learn, but necessary nonetheless. 

The boys left a quarter to 11 promising they’d be back around 12 so she could have a proper lunch break. 

Hermione smiled and nodded. What did she care? Nothing really mattered to her. She sighed and took her place behind the counter.

Before leaving George called out, “cheer up! We have a surprise for you!”

Hermione looked strangely at the closing door. Whatever surprise they had for her, she was sure it would be interesting. After all, it was Fred and George.

George lied when he said it would not be busy. As soon as they had left, a storm of people entered. Hermione was running around like crazy showing people to certain products and checking people out at the counter. She barely had time to breath. 

While checking out a blonde headed little girl with her mother, a familiar voice broke her out of her working trance.

“A way to use your Hogwarts education, Granger,” said a deep voice.

Hermione looked up to see Blaise Zabini staring at her. 

“much better than some,” Hermione commented back. It was a well known fact that Blaise didn’t work or do anything really after Hogwarts. He was so rich that he didn’t have to. 

“I have my own businesses to take care of,” he sniffed and started to look around, “What are you doing here anyways?”

“I’m working,” Hermione responded sarcastically. 

Blaise rolled his eyes, “obviously. But why here?”

Hermione shrugged, “I live with Fred and George now. It’s the least I could do.”

“No way,” Blaise’s eyes went wide, “You, Hermione Granger, the smartest witch to come out of Hogwarts is living with the owners of the wizarding world’s greatest joke shop?” He started laughing.

Hermione didn’t even look at him and continued to cash people out with their purchases. 

“Well, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for you then,” Blaise said as he begin to leave.

“Why would you do that,” Hermione looked up curiously.

“Let’s just say that I’m interested,” Blaise winked and walked out the door.

It was the second time that morning that Hermione stared strangely at the closing door of the shop. 

The door she had been staring so intently at barged open and Hermione jumped slightly. She let out a squeal and ran from behind the counter. Harry opened his arms and let Hermione jump into them.

“Good to see you too,” he laughed.

“Oh Harry! You did come to see him like you promised!”

“Of course I did,” he smiled, “How you holding up?”

“Alright so far,” Hermione answered truthfully, “It was a bit busier earlier, but everyone seems to have left now.”

“No I meant you, Hermione. How are you holding up?”

“Oh well…” Hermione paused, “Why don’t we go to the back and we can talk?”

“Sure.”

Hermione put a “back in 10 minutes” sign on the front of the door and then led Harry to the back of the shop where the twins stored extra merchandise. 

 “So spill,” Harry said as they sat on a couple of crates full of what looked like explosives.

“Last night wasn’t too terribly bad I guess,” Hermione confessed, “I just miss them, you know”

Harry nodded understandingly, “Things will get better.”

“Oh I know,” Hermione said suddenly. There was a pause and neither of them seemed to know what to say next.

“Blaise came by,” Hermione commented.

“What did he want?” Harry asked a bit gruffly.

“Not sure really. He just seemed interested in what I was doing,” she replied. 

“Oh well…”

There was another pause in the conversation. Both of them were looking at the floor now. 

“Harry,” Hermione hesitated.

“Yeah?”

“Thank you for caring so much.”

“You’re welcome. I mean…I want to…I err…It’s not a problem, you see. I mean I’ve always liked…it’s something that’s sorta natural…” Harry started mumbling.

Hermione grinned and answered, “I like you too, Harry.”

Harry returned her grin, “I just want to make sure you get through this alright.”

“I will. Especially with your help,” Hermione grinned and moved closer to Harry.

“You think so?” Harry said still grinning and raising an eyebrow as they moved even closer.

“Most definitely,” said Hermione faintly. They were so close. Almost touching. Both with dazed smiles on their faces.

There was more silence that followed. But then, actions speak louder than words. 

Fred, George, and Lee were a bit late. The meeting hadn’t gone as well as planned. Something about a new festival and needing a bit more money to get a good booth and advertisement out. They weren’t in the best of moods when they entered the shop to find it empty and no Hermione behind the counter. 

“Must have started her break early,” Fred commented.

They went to the backroom to find Hermione on Harry’s lap and kissing him very deeply. 

Lee dropped all the papers he was holding from the meeting. George let out a little gasp/grunt that came from a feeling in a pit of his stomach that he could not explain. Fred was grinning. 

Hearing the commotion, Hermione turned around with a huge blush.

“Oh. Hello boys!”

 

A/N – hehehe I love that situation. Anyways, please review and thanks so much for reading so far! By the way, I have my author’s page up if anyone wants to ask questions or comment!

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