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Hermione pushed the door of Weasley Wizard Wheezes open and began to navigate the large crowd inside. The shop seemed rather busy today. Fred was at the cash register, checking out a long line of customers. He winked at her when he spotted her and then pointed toward the back of the store. Hermione smiled, mouthed a thank you, and turned in the direction of the backroom.

She had decided that she'd surprise George at work, but was now second guessing herself. What if he was busy or didn't want to see her? What if she was being too clingy? Hermione groaned inwardly. She was being ridiculous, wasn't she? He was her fiancé, after all. Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door labeled "Workshop".


Hermione raised her voice slightly so that she'd be heard through the door. "George? It's Hermione. May I come in?"

A series of crashes sounded from the room. And then a long string of words that Mrs. Weasley would not be happy hearing from her son's mouth. A moment later, the door swung open and George appeared, leaning against the doorway with his arms crossed.

His grin was as wide as the Cheshire cat's. "Hello, love. Just couldn't stay away, could you?"

Hermione rolled her eyes, not willing to admit how close he was to the truth. Especially when he was being so smug about it. "Hello, George. Are you going to let me in? Or are you going to stand there blocking the door with your big ego?"

"Funny, Granger," he replied with a chuckle. He moved aside to allow her through the door.

This room was obviously the testing and production area of the shop. There were several large tables in the room, buried under all manner of half-finished projects. The back wall was lined with numerous cauldrons, each one simmering gently and giving off colorful vapors. It was definitely cluttered, but there seemed to be an underlying structure to it all. Organized chaos.

"Well, what do you think?" he asked, coming to stand beside her as she peered into one of the cauldrons.

"It's all very impressive, George. What's this?" Hermione pointed at the cauldron in front of her that was a fierce shade of pink and smelled like sugared roses.

George's lips tilted into a smirk. "This beauty is the newest addition to our WonderWitch line. Would you like to try it?"

Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Is it another love potion?"

"No, of course not," he said with a growing smirk. "Look, if I try it first, then will you try it? Please?"

Hermione's first thought was to refuse. After all, she'd known the twins long enough to know that you shouldn't take anything that they offered you. But if she actually ended up married to George, she would be spending a lot of time around the shop and its products. It would probably be easier for everyone if she got used to this sort of thing.

And if George was going to drink it first, then it couldn't be too bad. She trusted him not to give her anything that would actually harm her.

Hermione gave a great sigh. "Fine. Only if you take it first."

The expression that crossed George's face was something akin to a child on Christmas morning. He turned to the table, retrieving two bottles filled with the pink potion and placing one in her hand.

He unstoppered it and smiled. "Bottoms up, Granger." Then, he tossed it back like a shot.

Hermione held her breath, waiting for whatever was going to happen. His hair was still the same color. His head didn't swell up. He didn't grow scales or feathers or a tail. Nothing happened. Nothing that she could see, anyway.

Her eyes narrowed again. "That's it?"

George gave her a dreamy sort of look and his face flushed. "That's it, beautiful. Now, go on. We had a deal."

Hermione looked down at the bottle in her hand. The liquid inside was shimmering like a thousand tiny gems. It was quite beautiful, actually. But she was already starting to regret agreeing to this. Taking a steadying breath, she opened the bottle and lifted it to her lips.

"If I die, you're not invited to my funeral," she said, pointing a finger at the still smirking redhead. And then, she tipped it back and swallowed. The scent and the appearance of the potion was nothing compared to how it tasted. Like the sweetest, juiciest strawberries she'd ever had. It was wonderful.

She took quick stock of herself. The only thing that had changed was a slight fuzziness in her mind. It made her feel warm and happy. "Oh, this is nice."

George nodded and took a step closer to her, so that she had to tilt her head back to look him in the eyes. "It's quite pleasant, isn't it? Would you like to know what it does?"

His closeness set her heart banging frantically against her chest. All she could do was nod as the tips of his fingers came up to graze the line of her jaw. His touch was hot against her skin and Hermione shivered.

"The potion intensifies any existing attraction and forces the drinker to tell the truth when they're speaking to the person that they're attracted to. Helpful for when a person is reluctant to share their feelings with someone else. Just gives them a little push."

Hermione shook her head. "I don't think I needed a push, George."

He soon replaced his fingertips with his lips and they scorched a path from her jaw to her neck and down to her collarbone. His breath against her throat made her shiver again.

"Me either," he whispered, pulling back to meet her gaze. "You know I'm crazy about you, right?"

Hermione's eyes widened. "Really?"

"Of course," he replied in a tone that suggested she was daft for not having noticed. "I thought it was rather obvious."

And before she could respond to that, he pressed his lips against hers in a fierce kiss. Hermione melted against him, her arms twining around his neck. His lips still tasted like strawberries.

She wasn't sure if it was because of George or the potion, but it felt like every single one of her nerve endings were tingling. It was almost overwhelming.

George, without ever moving his lips from hers, maneuvered her backwards until she felt the backs of her thighs hit the edge of one of the tables. He gently lifted her onto it and stepped between her legs. Hermione's fingertips danced along the bottom of his t-shirt and then slid under it, smoothing over the hard muscles in his chest. She felt his sharp intake of breath.

"What if Fred walks in?"

"Highly unlikely." Hermione moaned as he ran his tongue along her collarbone. "But … maybe we should stop," he murmured against her skin.

Her lower lip jutted out in a pout. "What? Why?"

George groaned and took a step back to separate himself. He placed his hands on her shoulders to ensure that they remained that way, as Hermione was still trying to inch closer to him.

"You know why," he said in a voice that was still slightly husky. "You don't really want to go any farther. It's just the potion."

Hermione shook her head, eyes wide and pleading, as she grabbed the front of his shirt in an attempt to pull him back to her. "George, I want you."

He hesitated for a moment before taking a deep breath. "You aren't making this easy on me, you know. This isn't what you really want. I know that and you know that, somewhere deep inside."

"But, George –"

"Hermione, I think you should go home. My self-control is crumbling. We need to stay away from each other until this potion wears off. Please."

She slid off the table, still pouting. "Fine, but I'm not happy about it."

George gave her a strained smile. "Alright, love. You can tell me all about it tomorrow."

Hermione turned and walked away without even saying goodbye. She was quite certain that he was wrong and was more than a little annoyed. Who was he to tell her how she was feeling? The whole situation was just ridiculous.

When she arrived at the Burrow, she went straight upstairs to her room and flung herself down on the bed. Stupid George and his stupid good looks.

The next thing that she was aware of was a pecking at the window. Hermione sat up and stretched, realizing that she must have fallen asleep. It was now dark outside, so she must have been asleep for a few hours.

Hermione stood from the bed and moved to open the window. An owl she recognized as one George frequently used flew into the room and settled itself on her dresser. She removed the letter from its leg and then tossed it one of the owl treats out of the box that Ginny kept in her room.

The owl hooted and flew back out into the night. Hermione sat down on the edge of her bed and stared at the letter, the events from earlier rushing back to her. She buried her face in her hands and groaned loudly. She couldn't believe the way she'd acted. She'd thrown herself at him. He probably thought she was a lunatic.

Hermione opened the letter and read:

Hello love,

Since I haven't heard from you, I was getting a bit worried. Are you alright? I think you might've had some sort of adverse reaction to the potion. It wasn't supposed to be that strong. I'm not sure what went wrong, but Fred and I'll be sure to figure it out before we put it out on the shelves.

I'm sorry I suggested that you take it. I shouldn't have done it and I want to make up for it. Let me take you out sometime this week?


Hermione didn't want to talk about what happened. She didn't think she could ever face George again. She just wanted to hide underneath her blankets and never come out.

But she supposed that would be a bit difficult seeing as she was going to marry him soon.

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