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A/N – My apologies are so meaningless I know, but seriously, being pregnant and moving is not easy! By the way, only 2 more months now! We’ve picked out a name for the baby, Ethan. And actually, after this chapter future chapters will probably come more easily. SO please keep reading and enjoy!

Chapter 16: Distractions

After the fight with George, Hermione continued to get worse by leading each guy along. Only Ron really felt he didn’t have a chance. As for the others, they couldn’t wait for Hermione to finally make a decision. She had mentioned something about Christmas being that time. And it was fast approaching.

“You two are such guys!” Hermione threw up her hands in frustration as she was talking to Fred and George.

“Obviously,” Fred said, “or at least I hope so.”

“I mean,” Hermione continued, “Christmas is almost here and you have nothing planned. You don’t even have a tree up!”

“Overrated,” George rolled his eyes.

Hermione just glared until Fred came in to intercede, “Alright, alright. We’ll get some help. I’ll ask Angelina to come and help plan some festivities. Brighten the place up a bit.”

“That’s all I ask,” Hermione grinned as she left the room. No doubt on her way to Blaise’s library once again.

“Angelina?” George quirked an eyebrow up at Fred.

“yes,” Fred said trying to keep a straight face without emotion.

“I thought you two…”

“Yes, we’re pretty much over. I think,” Fred hesitated, “Which is another reason I’m bringing her. It’s time we finally fixed the Harry problem.”

“A razor might be just as…”

“I meant Potter.”

“Oh”

“All you have to do…”

“Wait just a minute, Fred, I have to do something? I’m not sure if I like this plan.”

“Do you want to finally show Harry for what he is?”

“Well yes of course.”

“Then just listen. You convince Angelina to flirt with Harry. Harry falls for her and Hermione sees that he’ll snog anything with boobs and an arse and problem solved.”

“I don’t know Fred, sounds like it could get dirty.”

“I suppose there’s always a chance. But if Harry really loves Hermione, then this test will tell all. And we can all stop worrying.”

“What if it doesn’t work?”

“Then we kill Malfoy and Zabini”

George chuckled.

“I’ll send my owl,” George smiled.

Angelina was quite happy to oblige the twins’ request and came right away. The girls hit it off right away and soon everything was ready for Christmas.

“Well, our work here is done,” Hermione smiled as her and Angelina finished up the tree.

“Truly,” Angelina smiled.

“So I noticed you have a follower,” Hermione grinned.

“What do you mean?”

“Harry, he’s always trying to be around you.”

“Are you sure it’s me and not you?”

“No, it’s you. Thank goodness for once.”

“I thought you and Harry…”

“I thought so too, but I don’t know really.”

“Well I wouldn’t want to…”

“Don’t worry about it, Angelina. I think it’s brilliant.”

“What is?”

“A little competition. These guys. All they can think of is me since there is no other girls around. Having you will even the odds of finding the right one.”

“I never thought about it like that.”

“So do you mind helping a bit?”

“I would love to,” Angelina grinned.

“Now if we could only get one more.”

The girls sat in thought for a little and then a smile came to both of them at the same time, “Ginny!”

“Oh it’s perfect,” Hermione squealed, “I know Harry still feels something for her. I bet he’d remember those feelings if she was around.”

“How will we get her here?”

“I have an idea!”

Immediately the good works of Christmas decorations turned over to the whisperings and manipulations of females. All in good fun, of course.

“Where’s Hermione?” George asked Fred as they watched their guests mingle the night of Christmas Eve.

“Still getting ready, I suppose,” Fred answered distracted, “What does she see in them?”

“huh?” George asked then looked at what Fred seemed distracted with. Angelina was sitting in between Harry and Blaise. Harry seemed to hang on her every word as Blaise was getting to be a little too close for comfort.

“Something wrong, boys?” Hermione asked as she snuck up behind them making them both jump.

“Other than your indecision, no,” George said gruffly.

Hermione rolled her eyes and started to continue to the room.

“Wait,” Fred grabbed her arm, “Does Angelina…”

“Does Angelina what?”

“Nevermind. It’s just Harry. I thought you two…”

Hermione shrugged, “Don’t change the subject Fred. It’s obvious you’re jealous.”

“I’m not jealous. I’m just worried about you.”

“Oh please, I think I can handle it.”

George rolled his eyes, “Cause you’re handling everything else so wonderfully.”

“Shut it, George.”

“Gladly,” he grumbled as he left to join the others.

“What’s his problem?” Fred asked confused.

“Some people don’t take rejection well.”

“What?”

“Nevermind. Now about Harry. I’m sure he’s just infatuated with Angelina. I mean, she’s “new meat” so to speak.”

“I thought he cared about you.”

“Who knows who he cares about. For all we know, he still cares about Ginny,” Hermione said with frustration and then left to join the others leaving Fred to his own thoughts.

“Ginny,” he said with a smile.

“…and that’s all it took to win the whole game,” Angelina finished her story.

“That’s totally awesome!” Harry said eagerly, “You’re incredible!”

“Obviously,” Blaise rolled his eyes, “she already knows how incredible she is, Potter. But there’s more than quidditch. How about how insanely gorgeous and intelligent she is?”

Angelina blushed, “Thank you Blaise.”

“Just the obvious,” he shrugged.

Meanwhile, Draco whispered to Hermione, “How’s the decision making coming along? Can we expect an answer tomorrow?”

“I don’t know Draco,” Hermione sighed.

Draco took another sip of his wine and looked over to where the guys where surrounding Angelina, “It seems the decision might be easier than you think.”

Hermione gave a grunt of frustration and started to leave.

“Hermione, we’re tired of waiting,” Draco commented loud enough for everyone to hear. They all stared briefly at her as she blushed a bright violet before running out of the room.

“That wasn’t necessary, Malfoy,” Angelina glared.

“It was only a statement,” Draco sneered.

(A/N – I had my baby! Sorry, just had to add that in here!)

“Do you want to handle this one?” Fred asked George.

“Nah, it’s your turn.”

“Fine, but you get the next one.”

“fine”

Fred knocked softly on Hermione’s door, “hey, it’s me”

“what do you want?” Hermione asked grumpily.

“Just making sure you’re ok.”

“Why shouldn’t I be?”

“What Draco said…”

“Was the truth. I know everyone’s tired. I’m tired.”

“Then why don’t you just make a decision.”

“It’s not that easy.”

“Well what’s hard about it? Maybe I can help.”

“It’s hard to tell if the guys really like me for me, or if they like me because I’m the only girl around.”

“Hermione, they’re all crazy about you.”

“I’m not so sure.”

“Well, just try giving them the benefit of the doubt. See what happens.”
 
“I guess I could try.”

“And don’t worry, I’ll try to help you too.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“Oh you’ll see,” Fred grinned.

Hermione couldn’t help but smile. Whatever Fred was planning, it could only help her at this point. She reluctantly went back to the room where everyone was congregated. Fred, however, had disappeared.

“Oh thank goodness, Hermione. Finally someone to protect me from these guys. How do you handle them all the time?” Angelina teased.

“God only knows,” Hermione tried to smile.

“Well with you here, we can finally open presents!”  Angelina responded.

“Sounds good to me.”

Angelina gathered everyone in a circle and started distributing the gifts that were collected under the tree. No doubt, Hermione’s pile was the largest. After receiving a rare book from Blaise, a box of chocolates from Ron, a diamond necklace from Draco (with a snide comment of future matching jewels), and a charm bracelet from Harry, Hermione felt rather spoiled.

“Did you like all your gifts Hermione?” George asked as he apparated into the room.

“Yes, I did thank you,” Hermione said polite but curtly, “Where’ve you been?”

“Oh, just getting another present,” George grinned as he turned to the door of the room.

And as everyone’s eyes followed to the door it opened slowly to reveal Ginny smiling brightly in a dark emerald dress.

“Happy Christmas,” she grinned.

“Oh Ginny! It’s so good to see you!” Harry rushed to her and gave her a hug. The girls couldn’t help but giggle.

Hermione whispered to Angelina, “Things just might go back to normal.”

“We’ll see,” she whispered back as they observed the sweet reunion.

After Ginny had made it around the room with all her greetings Blaise found Angelina, “how about some cocoa?”

“How sweet Blaise! Wouldn’t you rather share with Hermione?”

“She’s a bit preoccupied at the moment.”

And so she was. She was sitting on the couch with Ron and they were in a deep conversation with Ron blushing every now and then, but Hermione looking a bit bored. Draco was nearby and looked like he was about to interrupt. Ginny and Harry were still talking, but look like they were getting quite comfortable with each other on the loveseat with his arm around her. However, he was glancing towards their direction now. Fred and George were whispering in the corner. Up to no good no doubt.

“So I see,” Angelina tried to smile as she accepted the hot mug from Blaise.

In another moment Fred and George silently pointed their wands and casted spells with a huge grin. Beautiful mistletoe grew above each couple. Ron blushed as Hermione kissed him softly but quick. Only to be interrupted by Draco who grabbed Hermione to meet him standing up and kissed her deeply. Ginny and Harry quickly went to making out as if they had never broken up. Blaise grinned at Angelina.

Angelina couldn’t help but giggle at the scenes around them.
 
“Something amusing?” Blaise asked as he moved closer.

“Just in the Christmas spirit I guess,” Angelina smiled as Blaise started to kiss her.

The kiss was short lived however. Harry and Fred were both pulling them apart in seconds.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Blaise yelled at Harry.

“Me? You! Forcing yourself on Angelina like that. It’s so vulgar. How could you?” Harry spat back.

“Excuse me? It wasn’t force, she wanted it!”

“I seriously doubt that,” Fred said darkly.

“What’s it to you anyways, Potter? I thought you were quite busy with a certain weasel.”

“You just watch it now, Blaise,” Harry snarled.

“You can’t have both. All three now that I think of it.”

“What is that supposed to mean.”

“Think about it, Potter. You’ve kissed every girl in this room, except Angelina, and god knows you’ve been wanting to.”

“I don’t see how that’s relevant,” Harry said confused.

“Relevant? It’s bloody disgusting, Harry!” Ginny chimed in, very angry now, “Just who do you think you are? Who do you really care for?”

“Well I care for all of you,” Harry said bluntly.

“Yes, but who do you really care for?” Hermione chirped in. This was it. The moment of truth.

Everyone was staring, but Harry could only focus on one gaze. Ginny looked like she was on the verge of tears. How long could he keep hurting her? Ginny who had loved him since his second year of Hogwarts, who had been there with him through it all.

“I guess, you then.”

Ginny still looked angry, “You guess? It needs to be more than a guess, Harry.”

“I know,” he said boldly, “Ginny I’ve always loved you. I guess I just needed some growing up to realize how much.”

Ginny looked content, “And Angelina? Hermione?”

Harry shrugged but looked confused.

“I can help with that,” Fred muttered, “Harry, you’ve outstayed your welcome. You’re no longer eligible for Hermione’s hand.”

“I thought only she could make that decision,” Harry pointed out.

“It seems you’ve made the decision for her,” Fred said pointedly looking at Harry and Ginny’s joined hands.

“Hit the road, Potter,” Blaise sneered.

“Gladly,” Harry glared at Blaise as he and Ginny started to leave, “finally, I can get away from you!”

“So mature, Potter,” Draco rolled his eyes.

“Goodbye, Hermione,” Harry ignored them as he stood infront of Hermione. She was all smiles.

“I’m glad for you, Harry, I really am,” she said with a hint of sadness in her smile. They hugged tightly before Harry and Ginny apparated away.

“Well, I guess the competition is over then,” Draco grinned.

“Pardon?” Hermione said.

“Face it, Hermione. Ron doesn’t stand a chance…”

“Hey!” Ron chimed in.

“…Blaise is smitten with Angelina. The only one left is me. It’s quite obvious.”

“Not so fast, Malfoy,” Fred butted in.

“Oh,come on Weasley, what now?” Draco sneered.

“There’s just one problem,” Fred pointed out, “Angelina is not smitten with Blaise.”

Angelina crossed her arms, “is that so, Fred? How would you know?”

“Because you still care for me.”

Angelina scoffed, “Excuse me? I gave up on you a long time ago.”

Fred looked crushed, “Please, Angelina, don’t say that.”

“Why? Why shouldn’t I give up on you Fred? Just give me one reason!”

“Because, I still love you!” he shouted then blushed.

“That’s a good reason,” George whispered to Ron.

“Really Fred? You mean it?” Angelina was close to tears.

“Really,” Fred smiled, “I can’t take not being with you. I almost lost it when I lost you.”

Angelina nearly jumped in his arms and the collided into a very satisfactory make-up kiss.

“Disgusting,” Draco sneered.

“Guess the competition is still on,” Blaise chuckled.

They both looked towards Ron who cowered a little.

Hermione started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” George asked her.

“For once, I’m not the center of attention. For once I’m perfectly blissful in all these distractions!”

“Well don’t get used to it,” George grumbled. And it was true. Tomorrow was Christmas and her time was running out.

A/N – oh my goodness. I’m sorry that took sooooo long! Months! I can’t believe it. I do hope people still read and review since it’s been so long! On the plus side, this was the hardest chapter I had planned out. The following chapters are going to be super easy to write so they’ll come out faster, I promise! Thank you all who have reviewed! P.S. – my baby’s name is Ethan and he’s 7 weeks now!

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