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Chapter 40

Hermione sat in a chair next to Fred’s bed. He would be released from St. Mungo’s in five hours. She couldn’t wait to get out of there and she knew he was dealing with the confinement much worse. Being cooped up in that small room was driving him mad; his body was completely healed and he was back to full strength. Hermione watched as he paced back and forth in front of her.

“Fred, just sit still.”

“I can’t,” he practically yelled. She cocked an eyebrow at him, and he lowered his voice. “Sorry, I just can’t be still. I want to go home. To the Burrow, to our flat, hell I’d even take Grimmauld Place.”

“I know, Fred, I do,” she paused, “but there’s nothing we can do for five hours. So we just have to sit tight and wait it out.”

Fred opened his mouth to protest but a knock at the door stopped him. They both turned toward the sound and watched as a head popped in. Alicia Spinnet smiled and let herself in without waiting for an invitation and Hermione felt her stomach plummet. She watched as the pretty girl approached Fred with her arms open for a hug.

“Fred, I’m so glad you’re alright.” Alicia’s voice was soft and musical, everything that Hermione's was not.

“Alicia,” Fred started. Hermione averted her eyes when she saw him turning towards her. “Hey, uh, how are you?” She looked up and watched as he grabbed her forearms, stopping the hug that she was attempting to give him. The pretty girl’s face scrunched up in surprise for a moment before she hid it.

“I’m good, really good.” The Chaser circled her hands around Fred’s strong forearms.

Hermione ground her teeth but forced herself to not speak. She was curious what her boyfriend would do.

“Right,” he sounded a little lost, “well, you remember Hermione?” He dropped her arms and moved closer to Hermione.

“Yeah, Harry Potter’s little friend, right?” Alicia smiled her perfect white teeth. “Weren’t you dating Fred’s little brother? Are you two still together?”

“No,” Hermione answered, smiling back sweetly at the girl. “We never dated.”

“Oh, that’s a pity.” She moved to stand next to Fred, who was looking out the window. “So, Fred,” she began again.

Apparently startled, Fred’s head snapped in her direction. He moved to stand next to Hermione. She forced herself to smother her grin at the older girl’s obvious irritation. He placed his hands on her shoulders and kissed the top of her head. Alicia’s whole demeanor immediately changed.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Alicia said with a sneer. “You know, Angelina told me you two were an item but I didn’t believe her.”

“You should’ve,” Fred stated. “Maybe you should just-” Another knock at the door distracted him. “George!” The boys rushed together, wrapping arms around each other briefly.

Hermione grinned at their display of affection. They had taken to being glued together again, as they had after George’s ear incident. But more than that, whenever they were forced to part for more than twenty minutes they would greet each other with a hug upon reuniting. It really was very sweet and she wondered how long it would last. She waved at Verity who hung back in the door way. Their assistant smiled back and sat on the empty bed.

“Hey George,” Alicia inserted. She took the opportunity to wrap an arm around each of them as if she were invited into the hug.

Hermione controlled her anger but a glance at Verity showed the girl was none too happy. Her face had darkened and her nose was flared. To both of their relief, the boys jumped away from her almost immediately. Hermione had learned through Katie that George never really forgave Alicia for the rumors he suspected her of spreading in their fifth year.

“Alicia,” George nodded to her and moved to sit on the bed beside his girlfriend.

Fred moved at the same time over to Hermione. She shook her head when he lifted her hands and plopped onto her lap. She let him put her arms around him, leaving her hands flat against his abdomen. She smirked at Alicia and patted Fred’s hard tummy.

Fred wiggled on Hermione’s lap a little when he felt her peeking out from behind him. Judging by the look on Alicia’s face, she was looking fairly smug. The former Gryffindor Chaser stiffened up considerably and made a small, disgruntled sound.

“I guess I’ll see you later, Fred.” The girl smiled toothily at him. “George.”

He felt his girlfriend’s hands press into him firmly. He rested one of his lightly over the tops of her little hands, while his second ran up the sleeve of her robe to rub against the skin there. He watched as Alicia’s eyes followed the progress of his hand before huffing and heading out the door. He chuckled lightly but didn’t move from his place on her lap.

“What was that about?” George asked, his arm around Verity. Fred was glad to see they could be together in the open again.

“No idea,” he answered. “Can we leave yet?”

“Not yet.” Hermione sounded exasperated behind him. Another knock on the door. “Is everyone you ever met coming to visit you today?”

“Come on in,” he called, laughing.

Harry toed the door open. He was carrying a small bundle in his arms, a large nappy bag slung over one shoulder. “Hey guys,” he called, sounding tired.

“Hi Harry. What you got there?” George asked.

“Teddy.” Harry smiled and dropped the bag onto the bed beside Verity. “Andromeda and I are working on a schedule so we both get plenty of time with him. Actually, she’s asked me to move in with her, so that we can both take care of him at the same time.”

“That’s great!” Hermione chirped from behind Fred.

“Well, I hardly know her though, do I?” The boy looked uncertain and sighed. “I think I’m going to give it a shot. He’s all she has left and well, he’s the last link I have to my parents.”

“I think it’s a good idea.” Fred could tell she was smiling.

“Professor McGonagall owled me this morning,” Harry said quietly, shifting the baby in his arms. “She said that after the rebuilding was complete, Hogwarts was going to reopen. She said seventh year for our class would repeat itself but anyone wishing to go ahead and take N.E.W.T.’s could do so.”

“Wow, I hadn’t even considered that,” Hermione whispered. “What are you going to do?”

“I think I’ll just go ahead with N.E.W.T.’s. As much as I love Hogwarts, I can’t see myself going back there as a student. Plus, if I did, I would have to leave Teddy behind. You?”

Fred closed his eyes, knowing her answer. She would be going back to finish her seventh year. He would have to wait yet another year to be with her.

“I…” she paused, leaning her head against his back, “I’ll have to think about it. Have you asked Ron?” Fred’s heart lifted a bit but it wasn’t to last. As soon as she heard Ron would be enrolling, she would make her decision.

“Yeah, he’s going back. Mrs. Weasley really wants him to. Plus, he doesn’t think he’d be able to pass the exams. And then there’s Luna.”

“Luna?” Fred and George asked at the same time, surprised.

“Yeah,” Harry laughed softly, “they’ve been seeing a lot of each other these past few days.”

“Nice.” Fred grinned.

The group sat together eventually joined by both Ron and Ginny. Finally, several hours later, the large group of friends and family headed over to the Burrow, thankfully with Fred in tow. The dinner table that night was overflowing. The whole Weasley clan was there with their significant others and several members of the Order.

Fred sat so close to Hermione and George that he couldn’t eat without bumping one of them, not that either seemed to mind.

“So, Miss Granger,” Professor McGonagall began, “I assume Mr. Potter has informed you of your choices. Have you come to any conclusions as of yet?”

His girl chewed quietly for several moments. It could be plainly seen on her face that she was weighing her options. “At this point, I don’t think I’ll be returning to Hogwarts.”

Fred suppressed his cry of joy. That she was even considering not continuing her education gave him a thrill and some much needed hope. He tried to not let it show, but he felt George’s elbow dig into his ribs.

“I have to say, I’m quite surprised by you, Miss Granger. I had thought that if anyone understood the value of a proper education, it was you.” McGonagall’s eyebrows were raised.

“I do. But I’m not certain Hogwarts is the right place for me anymore.” She looked at Fred and he caught her eye with a small grin. She turned back to the newest Headmistress. “I think what I would really like is to just move on with my life. And, after all, I am quite confident in my ability to pass the N.E.W.T.’s.” 

Chapter 42
“Hermione,” Fred called to her, “we’re staying at the flat tonight. Do you want to come?”
“To th-the flat?” she stuttered. “What about your mum?”

“I’ll talk to her, she’ll be fine. I’d really like you to stay there with me. No lying or sneaking around this time,” he added.

She looked into his eyes and couldn’t have stopped the words from tumbling out if she had wanted to, “Yes, I’ll stay with you.” She watched his eyes light up along with his entire face when he smiled at her. She felt that grin mirrored on her own face. “Fred?”


“You never finished telling me about the results of your daydream charm.” She felt shy asking him to reveal his dream, knowing he would ask about hers in return.

“Oh, that,” he said as a blush crept up his neck to his ears. “I’ll, uh, I’ll tell you when we get to my place.” She smiled and nodded to him.

Several minutes later found Hermione holding Teddy while Harry shook out his tired arms.

“I never would’ve thought a baby that tiny could be so heavy,” Harry sounded awed as he headed for the bathroom.

Hermione chuckled at him and the baby started to cry. Her eyes widened; she didn’t have much experience with infants, just a distant cousin that had come to visit a time or two. “Harry? Harry! What do I do?” She felt a tad bit of panic when the baby continued to scream. She looked desperately around the room but none of the others seemed inclined to help her.

“Here,” Fred said, dropping down to sit beside her, flicking his hair out of his face. He tried to hand her the baby bottle. However, she was using both hands to make sure Teddy didn’t flop out of her arms. She looked at Fred when she heard him laugh. “Like this.” He manipulated her arms until she was holding the sobbing infant comfortably and safely snug to her body with one arm. He put the bottle of formula into her free hand and made sure she held it upright enough that the little boy wouldn’t get too much air. “You’re a natural.”

Hermione still felt nervous holding such a small helpless being but Fred’s steady arms around her eased most of the tension. She heard him sigh and enjoyed the feel of his lips as he pressed them softly to her temple. Fred’s large hand reached forward to stroke the baby’s cheek. Hermione dared a glance at her guy and found him looking quite content, which both thrilled her and scared her senseless.

They stayed at the Burrow for another hour before Mrs. Weasley announced it was time for bed. “Mum, could I have a word?” Fred directed his mother into the kitchen, and Hermione couldn’t resist the urge to spy on them just a little bit.

Fred had his back to her, but she could clearly see Mrs. Weasley’s face. Her expression started out stern and disapproving. However, as Hermione watched, the frown gradually disappeared and the older woman wiped a tear away from her cheek. Mrs. Weasley nodded to her son and pulled him into a tight hug. Hermione lifted her eyebrows wondering what on earth he could have said to convince her so easily. When his mother finally released him, Fred turned back to Hermione and grinned at her shocked look.

“Let’s go, pet.” Fred winked at her and headed towards the floo, George and Verity right in front of him. Hermione let him steer her by the elbow to the fireplace. He grabbed a handful of floo powder and joined her on the short dizzying trip to his flat.

“Well, kids,” George began, Verity flung over his shoulder giggling, “We’ll see you in the morning.” He winked at Hermione and slapped his girlfriend’s bum lightly.

“George!” she squealed, scandalized, but she ruined the effect by breaking into loud peals of laughter.

“Well aren’t they…friendly,” Hermione said with a small chuckle.

“The friendliest,” Fred confirmed. “You tired?”

“No,” she yawned, “Yes.”

He chuckled at her and held her hand leading her to his bedroom. “Here we are,” he announced shutting the door.

Hermione swallowed thickly looking at the bed. “Here we are,” she echoed softly.

“Hermione, you know I’m not expecting anything from you, right? I quite literally got off my death bed just a couple days ago. I’m in no rush for you to put me back in it.”

She snorted at him and shook her head. “Fred, I-” she took a deep breath, “You remember that day at Shell Cottage?”

“Of course. How could I forget?” His voice deepened and he ran a hand down her arm.
“I thought maybe we could pick up where we left off.” She reached up and placed soft open mouthed kisses along his neck.

Fred tipped his head back to enjoy the feel of Hermione’s lips on his neck. She worked her way up to his mouth and the kiss turned deep and passionate. Hardly aware of what he was doing, Fred walked her backwards until she bumped into the bed.

“Aaahh!” she yelled as she ungracefully flopped backwards, Fred landing heavily on top of her.

“Got to watch that last step,” he mumbled into her neck. He kissed and licked his way up the column of her throat. He sucked lightly just a little below her ear, causing her to moan softly. He felt her squirm beneath him, and he pulled back to see her sliding slowly but surely off of the edge of the bed. When he lifted his weight from her, gravity pulled her down quickly to her arse with a thump. He chuckled when she rubbed her bum. “Can I help you with that?” He reached a hand down to help her up.

Fred tugged her to her feet and started to rub her bum. “Fred,” she laughed, “Stop!” She smiled at him and grabbed the front of his shirt.

“What’d I do?” he asked her, pulling an innocent face. He laughed when she shook him gently by his shirt. “Forgive me?” She grinned again and nodded. She pulled him roughly to her and covered his mouth with hers. His eyebrows shot up in surprise. He soon forgot all about teasing her and lost himself in the feel of her tongue sliding against his. He ran his hands down her sides, gripped the edge of her shirt and pulled it over her head, tossing it behind him. He took a moment to feel her breasts through her light blue bra before he unsnapped it and threw it into the semi-darkness. He nearly yelped when Hermione yanked his shirt off, taking him by complete surprise. “In a hurry?”

“You bet I am,” she laughed. He chuckled wrapping his arms around her and drawing their bare chests together. She sighed, “That feels wonderful.” She slowly drug her hands up his spine.

“Mmmm,” he hummed into her ear where he sucked gently. He lowered his hands to the waist of her skirt and slowly pushed it down and off along with her blue cotton knickers. He kissed his way back up her body, enjoying the little mews of pleasure that fell from her lips. When he stood before her again she grinned and ducked back from his kiss. His heart raced out of control when she licked her lips and reached for the button on his pants.

She mimicked his removal of her bottoms, kissing and licking. His breath came in hard pants while she teased him. Just when he thought he was going to have to stop her, she kissed her way back up to his mouth. He kissed her hungrily and lifted her into his arms with ease. Never breaking the connection, he made his way back to the bed and set her down gently before covering her body with his own.

He stroked her tongue with his and added light caresses with gentle squeezes to her breasts. He slowly slid against her, eliciting a sharp cry from Hermione. “You sure about this?” he asked, recognizing the strain in his voice.

“Yes, please, yes,” she begged, lifting her hips to him.

He swallowed thickly at her pleas, forcing himself to calm down. Taking a deep breath, he gave in to her request, his brow furrowed when his girl’s face scrunched up. He kissed her softly, stilling his movements. He rested his forehead against hers and waited for a sign for him to continue. He didn’t have to wait long for the girl to nod. He began his slow progress again. He felt her tense up beneath him. “Relax, love.” She nodded but held the tension. Not sure what to do about it, he enveloped her in a series of deep penetrating kisses.

He felt her body loosen up and he continued. Her cry of pain was muffled by his mouth and he held completely still. He backed off the kiss and opted for soft pecks on her face and neck. A single tear slipped out of the corner of her eye, and he brushed his lips down her to her temple, following its trail. He lifted his eyes to hers and found her watching him. He offered her a small smile which he hoped she understood meant he would wait until she was ready. They held still looking into each others eyes until she let out an amused breath.

“You’re arm's shaking,” she whispered.

“Yeah, well, I’m a heavy guy,” he tried to keep his voice steady; weight had nothing to do with his shaking. He felt her squirm and she offered him a small smile. Slowly, he began to to move again. It took every ounce of self control he possessed to not let his instincts take over. She was his, and he had to be careful with her.

He saw the change in her features and felt it in her body, when the pain released its hold on her and she started to enjoy the sensations he was providing her with. He started to move faster and moaned loudly when she lifted her hips in time with his. When her body clamped down on him, he grunted loudly and found his release.

His arms felt like jelly and he barely caught his exhausted body before he crushed her. He rolled off of her and pulled her so that she was cradled to his chest, both of them gasping for breath. They lay in silence for several minutes before Fred found the energy to pull the sheet over them.

He thought Hermione was asleep until he heard her whisper, “You never did tell me about that dream.”

He puffed out an amused breath. “Tomorrow, pet. I promise.” He stroked her hair as they fell asleep in each other’s arms.

2 months later
“Hermione, come in here for a minute!” Fred hollered from the pantry. Hermione and Verity had both moved in the previous month and the twins had been forced to expand their flat magically. They altered it until it was something resembling a condo but with a shared kitchen and family room. Their mum had hinted them that their girlfriends would probably appreciate having their own homes. The boys however were reluctant to separate. Hermione had assured him only a few days ago that she liked sharing a home with George and Verity and had no intentions of persuading him otherwise.

“What do you need, Fred? I’m helping Verity with her hair.” Hermione bustled into the room looking harassed.

“What’s she doing to it?”

“Curling it and trying to fix it into some style she saw in Witch Weekly.”


“George told her he had something special planned for today and she wants to look her best.” She shrugged.

“Oh,” he said as he turned and handed her an armful of boxes, “could you hold those for a minute?” She started to protest when he shot her a pleading look.

“Fine,” she huffed.

“Thanks.” He paused, turning toward the shelf. “Hey, could you try and find a box that would fit this?” He turned back to her and held the small diamond ring up for inspection. “I can’t seem to find the right size.”

Her mouth dropped open as she looked over the simple yet elegant ring. “He’s proposing?”

“Yes, he is,” Fred said, dropping to a knee.

“Wait,” she sounded confused, “you’re proposing?”

“Yes, I am.” He reached out and held her slim hand in his own. “Hermione, I love you more than anything. And I can’t imagine anything that would make me happier than having you as my wife.”

“Oh, Fred,” she dropped to the floor beside him and kissed him soundly.

“Is that a yes?”

“Yes, I suppose it is.” He slipped the ring onto her finger then stood them both up.

Before either Verity or Hermione could say anything more, the twins shouted through the flat to each other, “She said yes!”

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