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The Night The Lights Went Out – part two Somewhere between sleep and waking Fred’s brain registered that there was something wrong. It was warmer in his bed than usual, and there was something tickling his face. Not to mention there was someting warm and soft in the way when he tried to move. While his brain struggled to try and find out what exactly was wrong, Fred made a sleepy attempt to get rid of whatever it was that tickled his face. He succeeded, only to find that it returned a few seconds later. The second attempt to remove whatever it was that had the nasty habit of tickling him made Fred somewhat more aware. He began to realise what was wrong, and came to the conclusion that it was the fault of the half naked woman who lay beside him, still sleeping. Half naked woman?!? Suddenly wide awake and bewildered, Fred carefully bent over his companion to get a closer look at her. She lay with her back to him, and all he really could see was a large quantity of brown, bushy hair. For a few short seconds Fred’s brain tried to process who he knew with hair like that, and soon it gave him the answer; Hermione Granger. Hermione!?! What the devil was she doing here, in his bed? Which, after a closer look, turned out to be George’s. Then he suddenly remembered what had happened the previous evening. He had come to the Burrow to see if had forgotten a couple of rolls of parchments in his and George’s old bedroom, and she had Apparated in shortly thereafter. They had eaten dinner together, and then there had been a thunderstorm. Fred also remembered that said thunderstorm was the reason why Hermione had spent the night at the Burrow. But why had they slept in the same bed? Oh yes, she had woken him up with a nightmare, and he had fallen asleep comforting her. He debated whether to wake her up or let her sleep. Looking at his watch he saw that it was only three thirty am, and way too early to get up. He slipped an arm around Hermone’s waist and pushed her hair aside before settling in behind her again. She muttered something incoherent, and Fred wondered what she would say when she woke up. Maybe he should just slip over to his own bed before it was too late, to avoid any awkward situations. He knew that he should, but somehow he couldn’t bring himself to move. Lying there, with her in his arms, was far too nice, and he decided to take the risk of her displeasure. Fred soon fell asleep again, still with his arm around Hermione. However, they were unceremoniously woken when the duvet they’d fallen asleep under was yanked off of them, and a loud voice roared, “What the hell are you doing in my bed!? With her?” Fred opened his eyes only to see George, who was standing beside the bed. He was holding two wands, and staring down at Fred and Hermione. Fred’s first thought was that his brother shouldn’t be there, but he had no time to ask any questions before Hermione started talking. “George, it’s...” Fred looked at her, and noticed that she was trying to cover herself up as well as she could. He couldn’t help but take a couple of seconds to look at her, sitting huddled there in nothing but her bra and knickers. “Not what it looks like?” George interrupted her, sarcastically. “Exactly,” Fred butted in. “Then why are you naked?” “George... We didn’t do anything.” “Yeah?” “Will you at least let us explain?” Fred asked. Of all times for his brother to act hotheaded, he had to choose right now. He sighed inwardly, mentally making a note to get George back for this. George folded his arms across his chest. “You better have a bloody good explanation." Fred cleared his throat. George was clearly drunk, and that made things so much harder since reasoning with him was difficult when he was in that state. Why had he come here in the first place? Why hadn’t he Apparated home to their apartment in Diagon Alley after whatever he had been out doing? “I came here last night to see if I had forgotten some parchments, and Hermione arrived ten minutes later to talk to Mum,” Fred begun. “She and Dad weren’t home, and I asked her to stay for dinner. And why are you here? Shouldn’t you be home in our apartment?” To his satisfaction he noticed that George seemed slightly taken aback by this question. “Went out for a couple of drinks, and I guess I Apparated here out of old habit,” he muttered. He quickly regained his composure, though, and looked at Fred and Hermione with a suspicious look. “And why exactly did you ask her to stay for dinner? So you could make a move on her?” “No! I just thought it would be nice to have some company.” George didn’t look convinced, however. “Company my ass! You know Ron likes her! How could you do this to him, he’ll be devastated if he finds out!” “George, he doesn’t like me in that way.” Hermione used the same tone she often used when trying to explain something difficult to Ron and Harry. “Yes he does!” George protested hotly. “You knew that, Fred, and still! Have you forgotten the rules?” No, Fred had not forgotten the rules. Number one: get it on in your own bed thank you very much, and number two: never ever get involved with your brother’s woman. He knew that he had not broken either one, and figured that he would have to try and explain this to his more-than-a-little intoxicated brother “George...” “But you just had to use my bed, didn’t you? And it just happened to be with Hermione,” George spat. He was still holding their wands, and didn’t look pleased at all. Which, all things considered, Fred could actually understand. “That’s really thoughtful of you.” “George, stop it!” Hermione snapped. “There was a thunderstorm, if you remember, and I didn’t want to Apparate in the middle of it. Fred offered me to stay here for the night, and said that I could borrow your bed.” “Then why is he in it too?” George shot back. “Because she had a nightmare!” Fred was now beginning to get annoyed with his brother. Why did he have to be so damned persistent? “And because of that you had to…” “George, we didn’t have sex!” Fred exclaimed. “We just slept, nothing else.” George seemed to finally take in this information. “So you’re not...” Fred sighed exasperatedly. “No, we’ve already told you that!” “Oh... okay.” George looked sheepishly at the both of them, and Fred made sure to shoot him a particularly nasty look. “Now go to sleep. It looks like you need it.” Without another word George went over to Fred’s bed and collapsed onto it, fully dressed. Fred and Hermione didn’t say anything, and Fred listened to his brother’s breathing. When he was sure that George was asleep he retrieved their confiscated wands, then summoned the duvet he and Hermione had been sleeping under. “I guess we’d better try and get some more sleep.” He noticed that Hermione seemed uncomfortable, and he squeezed her hand. “What is it?” “Your brother just walked in on us!” she hissed, pulling the duvet over her. “I think it would be best if I just went home.” She hurriedly put on her clothes. Fred felt that he should say something to make her feel better, but didn’t know what. Instead he sat silent until she was fully dressed. “You can stay if you want to, you know. Ron’s or Percy’s room...” “No, I better go. Thanks for everything, I had a great time until he came home.” She nodded towards George, who snored lightly. Fred grimaced. “I’m really sorry about that. He’s drunk.” “So I see.” Hermione smiled slightly. “Anyway, I can come by your shop some time next week, if you want to. If you’ve managed to talk some sense into him by then, that is.” Fred was relieved to hear that she still wanted to see him despite the embarassing situation. “You’re more than welcome,” he said, reaching out to touch her hand. “I had a great time tonight too.” She smiled down at him. “I’m glad to hear that. See you.” She Disapparated with a crack, and Fred smiled to himself. It had been an interesting night for sure. Now he would try and get back to sleep, and think of a way to get even with George for what he had done. THE END

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