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A/N – I’ve never had a fanfiction that was so popular, so I want to thank of all you that reviewed from the bottom of my heart! Really, you don’t know how much it means! I just hope to continue to entertain you with this story! Please keep reading and remember to enjoy!

Chapter 5:

Life Goes On

Hermione’s and Harry’s embarrassment was short-lived by Fred’s laughter.

“That’a girl,” he chuckled. Soon everyone was laughing as well. I mean after all, Hermione was still a teenager. And she was coping with a loss. What were they going to do? Tell her off?

“Lunch break is over, Hermione,” George said although still with a slight smile, “think you can save the extracurriculars til this evening?"

Hermione blushed and hopped off of Harry’s lap, “I think I’ll manage.”

Hermione ran passed Fred, George, and Lee. She brushed George’s shoulder and she thought she could feel George wince. Was this his sign that she was in trouble? Would she be grounded? She almost felt like laughing with the image of Fred and George grounding her.

“Er, Harry,” Fred started. His laughter and smile were gone as he approached. George grabbed his arm quickly.

“Wait, let’s talk about this first, Fred,” George suggested.

“Talk about what?” Fred asked, but then realization dawned on him, “Oh, right.”

“Lee, why don’t you take Harry up to the front and show him the new products. He hasn’t been here in a while, and I think he’ll be interested in a few of the more…adult ones for the Auror department,” George informed Lee while giving Harry a smile that said that they would have a discussion later.

“Er, right,” said Lee as he led Harry out of the back room.

Harry paused and looked like he was about to say something to Fred and George. But what could he possibly say? Sorry for snogging Hermione who was currently in your charge even though she’s of age and quite capable of taking care of herself? Well not really, but she would be if she wasn’t coping with the loss of her family. And her raging hormones.

Harry continued walking.

“What do we do?” Fred asked, “ground her? I never liked the notion of grounding, George. Too messy. Too complicated.”

“You’re right, Fred. Grounding does seem a bit…out there for Hermione. Perhaps a strong talking to? And a week of working in the shop! Give Lee a bit of a vacation,” George’s face lit up with the idea. He could keep Hermione under a close watch. After all, they had invited Harry over for a week. And they would need to keep a close eye on him as well.

“Right!” agreed Fred, “Er, what do you mean by a strong talking to?”

“Well, we have to explain to her throwing herself at the first available bloke isn’t a suitable way to cope with a loss,” George explained.

“You want to say that…to Hermione?” Fred asked.

“Well, I thought you could,” George looked sheepish.

“Why me?”

“She already thinks I’m the more serious one! You need to pick up the slack or she’ll think she can get away with anything with you,” George explained.

“Do I seriously have to take this one though? Won’t there be plenty more times?”

“You never know. I mean, after this talking to Hermione might be right as rain and never mess up again.”

“But then wouldn’t that mean that she wouldn’t try to get away with things by me.”

“Don’t change the subject, Fred.”

“Right. Well,” Fred took in a deep sigh, “Tonight after dinner, then.”

“Right-i-o! That’s the spirit,” George grinned.

“Can we get back to the shop now before Potter and Hermione find an available corner to continue their escapades?” Fred said resignedly.

“Yes, of course. Of course,” George agreed, quite glad he had gotten out of the talking with Hermione. He wasn’t sure if he could hold his own emotions in talking to her. Yes, it would be best if Fred talked to her instead.

“Does this mean you’ll deal with Harry?” whispered Fred as they re-entered the store.

“Um, yes I suppose,” George answered. He had completely forgotten the fact that Harry needed talking to as well, “I’ll do it now I suppose.”

And the twins went their separate ways. Fred headed over to Lee and Hermione to check up on sales, stock, and other various store business. George resignedly headed over to a corner of products where Harry was checking over a very unique item.

“Like it Harry?” George asked.

“Oh,” Harry looked up slightly startled, “Yeah, it’s great. You two are brilliant, really. And I’m not just saying that because I was just caught making out with the girl you two are suppose to be taking care of.”

George couldn’t help but chuckle at the silly grin on Harry’s face. Harry had appealed to his better half. His humor.

“Right, Harry. I was meaning to talk to you about that,” George tried to straighten his face.

“I can’t really apologize, George. I mean, Hermione needs someone right now. How could I turn her down?”

“I agree, Harry. But she needs someone to support her. Not to be a crutch. Not someone who she can be like ‘Oh, I feel like crying. Let me make out with Harry so I don’t think about it.’ I mean, she’ll have more kids than my mother if she started making out every time she didn’t want to deal with crying and being upset.”

Harry nodded trying to understand, “So you don’t think I should make out with her?”

George paused. He wanted to scream out no. He wanted to tell Harry to leave the shop, never return, and to leave Hermione alone. But that would appear absurd. Worse, that would appear jealous. And George Weasley was not jealous. He was just concerned. Yes, Harry had to realize that. He had to realize that’s why he was taking these measures to make sure Hermione remained safe.

“Well not exactly,” George attempted a grin, “I mean, heck, you’re a boy. She’s a girl. A very hot girl. It’s only natural she makes out with someone. And if you want to be her makeout plaything…”

“Is that what you think this is? Some random hookup snogging?” Harry interjected looking a bit peeved.

“Call it what you will, Harry, but Hermione doesn’t seem like she has the tolerance to be thinking about a relationship with everything that’s going on with her.”

“Maybe a relationship will help her heal.”

“It’ll be a crutch,” George said firmly.

“If you say so,” Harry seemed resigned to letting George win, but he looked away with a stony look on his face.

For George, this seemed to work and he smiled, “Not saying that after she’s done coping she’s not up for a relationship. And by golly, if she’s gonna choose some random bloke to make out with in the meantime, I’d rather it be you, Harry, than anyone else. I mean, at least you’ll take care of her. You won’t let her use you as a crutch, right?”

“Right,” said Harry, but he still wasn’t looking. 

“I mean, you two might even end up together in the end. Who am I kidding?” George said lightly trying to bring Harry back.

“I think we should just concentrate on helping her cope and get back to normal,” Harry said turning his face back to meet George. He looked sincere and George felt half-bad for the hints of leaving Hermione alone that he had given.

“All too true, Harry. Which is why Fred and I asked you to stay this week. We figured Hermione needs as many friends with her as possible.”

“Of course,” Harry replied finally smiling again, “Thanks for having me. Truly George. I can help out if you want, in the shop and all. I wouldn’t mind.”

“Thanks Harry! That’d be great. We were thinking of letting Lee have a small vacation. You and Hermione can manage the shop while Fred and I are well…you know…inventing and such,” George laughed.

The tension seemed to lift and George was glad. He didn’t want to scare Harry off, but at least he knew that if he was going to make out with Hermione it couldn’t be serious. Not yet. Not until she was ready to be serious. Not until she was ready to let the death of her parents go and move on.

“Let me show the ropes,” George said as he led Harry around the store.

Dinner fast approached as they closed the shop. George took Lee aside and told him of his new found vacation. He was quite thrilled and mentioned something of visiting Egypt to visit his great uncle.

Hermione made dinner while George tried to help. Harry and Fred went to one of the many rooms to look a new product that they were working on. They had wanted to showcase it at the festival this year. If they ever managed to get enough money.

During dinner, everyone was quite lighthearted. Harry seemed to cheer Hermione up more than anything.

“Hermione, I should take you to this new theatre just the other side of town. Live performances you know. You’d love it I’m sure,” Harry told her as they begin clearing the table after dinner.

“Oh Harry! That’d be great! Let me just ask Fred and George.”

She wasn’t sure which one to ask. She got the feeling that George was a bit more serious than Fred, but she didn’t know if either of them would be stricter. If strict could ever describe a Weasley twin.

She approached George, “Do you think Harry and I could go out tonight? Just a trip over to the next town to see a show. We’ll be back before 1am and I could owl once we got there and…”

George stopped her, “Of course, Hermione. You’re not under lock and key, you know.”

They laughed.

Fred approached, “What’s going on?”

“Harry and Hermione are going out tonight,” George looked pointedly at Fred.

“Oh, right. Hermione, before you go, I needed to talk to you.”

“What about?”

“Why don’t we go to the other room,” Fred suggested as they left the rest of the cleaning to George and Harry.

“What did you need to talk to me about?” Hermione asked curiously.

“Well, it’s about Harry,” Fred started.

Hermione wanted to laugh, but the serious look on Fred’s face stopped her, “Oh?”

“It’s just not…not healthy you know to start kissing the first available bloke, Hermione,” Fred tried to sound convincing.

“Harry isn’t the first available bloke though,” Hermione said bewildered. Where was this coming from?

“Right. But Hermione, you can’t say that you and Harry have a relationship to back up your actions or anything.”

“I suppose not. I just thought that didn’t matter. I mean, what if we wanted to form a relationship to back up our actions?”

“Well that’s alright and everything. But just try to take it a bit slower will you? I mean, you’re just trying to settle in and you have a lot on your mind and maybe you don’t…”

“Maybe I don’t need a boyfriend to take my mind off losing my parents?” Hermione finished for him.

“Hermione,” Fred looked truly concerned, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…”

“No, Fred. It’s alright. You have every right to be concerned. But honestly, I’m fine. I mean I wasn’t. And I shouldn’t have made out with Harry like I did. But I’m fine now. Really. I feel loads better already. And Harry…well he’s been more than there for me.”

“I’m glad. We thought if we brought him around, it would cheer you up. Help you cope.”

“And it is. Thank you. That was really clever on your part.”

Fred blushed, “thanks.”

“Anything else?”

“No, I think that was it. Just try to take it a bit slower with Potter.”

“No problem,” Hermione grinned. She could do the whole sneaking around with boy thing. Heck, it would probably be more fun that way anyways.

They both got up to leave. Fred to head back to George and Hermione to go get ready.

Before they left the room, Fred asked, “Do you think you could work at the shop this week? Lee’s taking a bit of a vacation.”

“Sure,” Hermione agreed. How could she say no? They were letting her live with them. It’s the least she could do.

“Have fun tonight,” Fred grinned fully knowing that she would.

Harry had asked to use one of the bathrooms to get ready, so Fred and George had a moment to discuss the “Talking To’s” they had.

“I really don’t think we’ve accomplished anything, mate,” Fred confided to George, “I mean, they’re still going to make out like crazy. If anything we just prevented them from actually getting together with proper titles and all for a while.”

“True enough, I suppose,” George agreed, “as long as Hermione gets better.”

“Still talking about me?” Hermione asked as she entered the room. She looked rather nice with dark jeans and a black blouse that showed her shoulders and deep neckline.

“Always,” Fred laughed.

Harry entered as well and there was a moment that was a bit awkward.

Finally George said, “well have fun. Just don’t stay out too late. Work early tomorrow you know.”

“Of course,” Harry grinned as he led Hermione out the door.

That night was the first of many that Harry and Hermione left the Weasley Twin’s flat to go on one of their many adventures. Neither of them considered them dates. Both felt that Hermione needed time to heal before she could start dating. Every now and then she would break down about her parents and her and Harry would end up making out passionately, but other than that, they controlled their hormones.

It was by the end of the week; Fred and George were eating dinner alone. Harry and Hermione had gone out again.

Fred commented, “Yes bringing Potter over did seem to do the trick.”

George nodded, barely agreeing. Even though Hermione seemed to be getting better, he couldn’t help the “concerned” feeling he had inside him for her. It was growing. It was about to get out of control.

A/N – tried to make that one a bit longer because I think that the next one might be a bit shorter! Thanks so much for reading. Please review!

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