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Free As A Bird? by Hogwartsishome
Chapter 4: Mixed Signals and Mixed Feelings
“George, wake up, we’re going to be late for this interview of yours!” Hermione shouted, pounding on his bedroom door.
“Yeah, just a minute,” George replied. The door opened a second later. George was topless with only his boxers on. He’d been living at Hermione’s for a month now and he seemed to be getting better, his bones were no longer visible that was for sure and he didn’t get drunk quite as often.
“You don’t think you’re going to the interview dressed like that, do you?” Hermione asked, frowning.
“Yeah, why? Is it not appropriate?” George grinned.
“What do you think?” Hermione sighed. She grabbed his shoulders and twirled him round before pushing him back into the room.
“I’m guessing it’s not then, thank god you’re here Granger else I’d have really cocked up this interview, eh?”
“Just get dressed would you? And don’t call me Granger, how many times have I told you?” Hermione groaned.
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe about a million?” George laughed. He pulled his boxers down and threw them onto the bed.
“Hey! I don’t want to see your bum!” Hermione said, her face flushing a deep red.
“Why not? I’ve always thought I’ve had a nice bum, all smooth and peachy?” George cackled. Hermione shook her head and closed the door before heading down the stairs.
“Guess not then!” she heard his voice echo down the stairwell. She couldn’t help it, her lips pulled back into a smile.
“So, how come we’re going by car?” George asked as he slid into the passenger’s seat next to Hermione.
“I prefer it, apparating too much gives me a headache,” Hermione replied, pulling off the handbrake and reversing back into the road. She switched into first gear and started forward.
“Or maybe it’s your Muggle roots showing through, all that ‘I don’t need magic, magic is for sissies’ attitude you’ve sometimes got going on,” George pondered aloud.
“Maybe, anyway, does it really matter how I like to get around?” Hermione growled. She was beginning to get annoyed by George’s constant teasing.
“Actually yeah, it kind of does, it means I have to get up like an hour earlier?” George pointed out.
“If you have a problem go live somewhere else, I’m sure Ginny would be happy to have you,” Hermione said heatedly.
“Hang on a minute Granger, I was just poking fun,” George frowned.
“Really? Well it’s getting on my nerves.”
They sat in silence for the rest of the journey, George only leaning over to turn up the volume on the radio. They arrived at the Leaky Cauldron right on time. George opened the door and got out.
“Good luck!” Hermione shouted just before he closed it, she couldn’t help herself. No matter how moody she got with George she still had to wish him luck. The door opened up and George’s face popped in again.
“Thanks Granger, but how hard could it be? I’ve known Tom for years!”
The door slammed shut and Hermione watched as George walked round the car and into the pub. She pulled out into the road and headed on to work.
There was a knock on Hermione’s office door. It had been a long day and Hermione had got almost all her paperwork done for the recent raid that had occurred the previous day. She shouted for the knocker to come in. A red headed face popped round the corner of the door.
“Hey, it’s me, alright if I come in or are you busy?” George asked. Hermione waved for him to enter. George skipped in and settled down in the chair opposite Hermione.
“God, déjà vu or what hey?” he grinned, looking round the room in awe.
“Why are you in my office?” Hermione groaned.
“I came to let you know about the interview,” George frowned. Damn, Hermione had completely forgotten, all the work she’d been doing had made her completely forget about George’s interview.
“Oh, yeah, of course! How did it go? Tell me you got the job!” Hermione beamed enthusiastically.
“Yes! I got it! Hermione, I got it!” George broke into a grin. Hermione stood up and stepped out from behind her desk, opening her arms. George took her up and pulled her into a gut wrenching bear hug.
“I knew you could do it!” Hermione whispered into his ear as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
“It’s all because of you Hermione, without you I’d have never have gotten off the streets, I’d never have stopped drinking, heck, I probably would be in Azkaban! I promise I’ll pay you rent from now on, I owe you, really I do…” George whispered back. Hermione pulled away. George’s arms were still round her and her face was close to his. His eyes met hers and she couldn’t help but smile. She didn’t even notice as his eyes closed and his lips came down to meet hers until the very last second. She moved sideways and kissed him quickly on the cheek, pulling backwards and separating herself from him. His ear suddenly went a bright shade of red as he opened his eyes. He looked very like Ron when his ear did that. Hermione felt like hitting herself, what was she doing? Was she falling for him? No, she couldn’t be.
“I’m sorry…” George gulped, turning on his heels and pulling open the door.
“George, wait!” Hermione shouted after him. It was too late, the door slammed shut and George’s feet echoed down the hallway. Hermione slumped into her chair and pressed her head into her hands. What had just happened? George had just tried to kiss her, on the lips. Surely he didn’t think. Well, he could, she wasn’t exactly keeping her distance, heck, she’d seen his bum only that morning. Crap. She needed to think. She needed to talk to somebody. So she did what she always did when she needed to talk to somebody.
Ron, I don’t know what to do. George, I think he tried to kiss me, but I don’t want that, at least I don’t think I do. I’ve always said I’d never love anyone apart from you, that I’d never go looking for somebody else because I wouldn’t find anybody else. Now it seems like I’ve no control. It’s as though because I’m not looking somebody’s decided to look for me. George just walked back into my life and suddenly I don’t know what to do. Have you done this? Do you want me to be with George, is that why all of this happened? Would you forgive me if I did love George? I know you can’t reply but this helps, talking to you.
Another knock on the office door.
I’ve got to go, there’s somebody at the door. I love you, always.
“Come in,” Hermione said, sniffing and pulling her head away from her hands. The door opened and a blonde gaunt man came in, Draco Malfoy.
“Hello Granger, I need to talk to you,” Draco said, sitting down in the chair opposite.
“What is it?” Hermione sighed, pulling her paperwork back in front of her.
“There’s been a problem in the Department of Mysteries, Roger sent me up to check with you about it,” Draco continued.
“I see, well, let’s get to it then,” Hermione smiled.
Hermione unlocked the front door and let herself in.
“George!” she shouted up the stairs as she put her keys on the table. There was no answer. Hermione threw her bag down and bounded up the stairs. George’s bedroom door was shut.
“George!” she shouted again. Still no answer. Hermione knocked quickly on the bedroom door before throwing it open. George was in the room alright, only there was someone else with him too.
“Shit! I’m sorry George,” Hermione exclaimed, startled. She closed the door as quickly as she had opened it and ran back down the stairs. She could feel her face had gone very hot all of a sudden and her palms sweaty. She switched the kettle on and pulled out three mugs, dumping the tea bags in each. Crap. The kettle boiled and she poured the steaming hot water into the cups. When she was finished she carried the mugs to the coffee table and sat down on the sofa. She lay her head back on the cushion and closed her eyes, what the hell was she doing?
“Hermione!” George’s voice sounded from the stairs. Hermione opened her eyes and turned round. George was stood on the staircase with his boxers on, different to the ones he’d been wearing that morning.
“I’m sorry, I thought you weren’t back from work until later, I…I’m sorry,” George floundered. Hermione stood and went to meet him. She was stood on the stair below and so George towered over her. Putting her hands on her hips she looked very like Molly all of a sudden. George blinked.
“What do you think you’re playing at? If you…if you want to do that I don’t want you to do it in my house, you understand? I’ve…I’ve got kids, what if I’d brought them home with me?” Hermione steamed. Her face was still flushed, humiliation flooding through her veins.
“I’m sorry, it won’t happen again,” George promised.
“It better not. I’ve made you a brew and one for your friend if she’d like to come down, okay?” Hermione replied. She turned and went to sit back down.
“Thank you,” George said before turning and scrambling back up the stairs. Hermione shook her head. Had George not attempted to kiss her only hours earlier? And now he had another girl in her spare room? Dear lord.
“Hermione, this is Angelina,” George said, reappearing in Hermione’s line of vision and pulling a dark skinned girl with him. The girl gulped in anticipation. It was Angelina Johnson, Hermione knew her, she’d been in the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
“Angelina Johnson, right?” Hermione asked. The girl nodded.
“Well, sit down and make yourself at home, I’m sorry for walking in on you,” Hermione smiled, feeling her cheeks flush again. Angelina nodded and settled herself down on the one person recliner. George passed her the cup of tea Hermione had made for her and sat down himself. An awkward silence filled the room. Hermione sipped on her tea and tried to ignore the apologetic look George was giving her. Soon Angelina stood up and George let her out.
“Bye, I’ll maybe see you later,” Angelina’s voice echoed as George nodded and closed the door after her. As soon as the door shut George rushed over to Hermione.
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t, I didn’t think, I should have taken her to a hotel, or something, I’m sorry,” he babbled. Hermione raised her eyebrows and he stopped talking.
“I don’t care George, it was just a shock, you’ve said you won’t do it again, if you do I’m going to be sending a whole lot of trouble your way, so to me it’s case closed and I’ve said what I wanted to say,” Hermione snapped.
“Of course, yes, I won’t do it again,” George replied meekly.
“Now go to bed,” Hermione ordered. Anger seemed to be building up in her and she couldn’t help it.
“What? It’s only seven o’clock, I’m not…” George trailed as he saw the look on Hermione’s face. Ron had told him long ago not to mess with Hermione when she gave the look he was getting given now.
“Go,” Hermione said sharply, arching her eyebrow. George nodded and stood up swiftly, running up the stairs and heading straight to his room. As Hermione heard his door shut she dropped her head into her hands and for a reason she couldn’t explain she began to cry.