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Chapter 22: Chapter 22
George was sat with his twin in their bedroom at the Burrow about to head out to do more inventing in their joke shop which was still rather old, dusty and uncared for. They had a lot of work to do but they were more than willing to put in the effort. This shop was their dream, a dream they were desperate to make come true.
There was a light tap on their window and George opened it seeing an owl fluttering about outside, it flew in landing beside Fred. They recognised the owl immediately as Hedwig.
“From Granger no doubt,” Fred said teasingly.
Hedwig seemed to hover between them trying to decide which Hermione had asked to deliver the letter to. George reached for her so she settled beside him allowing George to take the letter. George grinned widely as he saw the writing, long, elegant letters formed so perfectly. It was Hermione’s writing just another perfect aspect of her perfect self.
He patted Hedwig’s head affectionately as he read the letter a grin turned to a frown then to a small smile. He grabbed some parchment and a quill and began to write.
Firstly I’m so sorry I’m not there to help you when you’re going through such a hard time and I really wish I was there to give you some of my legendary comfort in person. However I can write it instead. Hermione, you’re such a brave, intelligent, perfect girl and you’re admired by many (me especially) this however doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to express your feelings. Remember just because I’m not there it doesn’t mean you’re alone. You know Harry is there for you to listen though in light of recent events it might not be a good idea to talk to him about this, not Ron because as you said he has the emotional range of a teaspoon, but Ginny’s there for you, you know that even Angelina, Alicia or Lee would be there, you’ve got people like Neville, Luna, Dean and Seamus that you can turn to as well. Don’t suffer in silence there’s a difference between putting up a brave front to bottling up every fear and worry until all you’re filled with is that negativity. Talk to someone you trust and let it out. Even then I’m only an owl away and I’m always here for you no matter what. Whilst you should let out your feelings don’t panic too much because that will lead to you being pessimistic with things and I don’t want you to have that type of outlook I love your determined, optimistic attitude so try and stick to it. Remember it’s only the end of the world if you let it be, be positive there’s light at the end of the tunnel even if we’re in the shadows at the moment. Hope you’re well and things are starting to go back to normal with Dumbledore back in charge. Best wishes to all on that side, how’s everyone? What about Harry? Listen just try and enjoy school you little brain box and I’ll see you in about a month. Miss you loads. Love now and forever,
Fred stood over him reading as he wrote.
“You’re such a sap,” he teased. “Not to mention you trying to impress her with fancy words, ‘pessimistic’ from one of the best pranksters ever! You’re trying too hard mate,” Fred joked.
“Hey just because you don’t know what it means there’s no reason to be bitter,” George said playfully.
“Yeah what does it mean?” Fred asked seriously but soon broke into a grin and laughed.
“It means my twins a goof,” George said whilst hitting him, “Let’s head out.” He sent Hedwig off with the letter and headed downstairs.
“You two off already?” Molly asked
“It’s not going to become a success overnight mum. We have a lot of work to do!” Fred pointed out laughing as his mother tried to tucking his shirt.
“Well if you want to be professional you should look it,” she scowled as he swatted her hand away.
“Well we’ll be back for dinner,” George said as he hugged his mother saying a quick goodbye.
“Oh George dear, how’s Hermione?” Molly asked as they turned to leave. George turned red glaring at Fred, who was in fits of laughter, through the corner of his eye.
“W-What do you mean?”
“Well you seemed awfully close in the hospital wing the other day,” Molly pointed out.
“What-we-I-we’re just friends, good friends. We um we get along well,” George said.
“If you say so dear, I mean she’s such a lovely young lady. Practically family. I just thought maybe she would be family.”
“Mum,” George groaned.
“George Weasley, why can’t you admit to your own mother that you fancy her? You just don’t mess with that poor girl’s affections, do you understand me? She’s gone through enough as it is.”
“Mum, I wouldn’t hurt her,” he said seriously.
“I know dear, thank goodness none of you boys are like that. Well Bill and Charlie are something else but that’s beside the point I suppose...”
“Yes it is,” Fred said with a chuckle wanting her to return the topic to George and Hermione quite enjoying the red shade of George’s face and his look of horror.
“Don’t you start Fred, I don’t know why you haven’t brought Angelina round yet. We’ve been asking to meet her for a while now,” Molly scolded him.
Fred now matched George with his face going pink as his twin began returning to his usual colour.
“Well we’ll just get going now then,” Fred said as they said ‘goodbye’ and apparated away.
Hermione received George’s response and read it in her dormitory. She smiled as she read each word and once she’d read and re-read it she folded it and slid it under her pillow where all her letters from him were alongside a picture of him which Colin had given her. It was of him during the fireworks display they’d put on with a golden one going off behind him and him blowing a kiss. She’d loved it and had offered to pay for it because it had meant so much to her.
She decided now was a good as time as any to write back, she, Ron, Harry, Ginny, Luna and Neville had been excused from classes for the remainder of the week until they felt ready to go back. Of course she wasn’t planning on wasting learning time so she took a day to compose herself and promised that tomorrow she’d be back to lessons. For now classes hadn’t been dismissed yet and so she was alone which was good. She hated people reading what she was writing it made her feel stupid, she expected people would think she was pathetic due being able to write the word ‘love’ but not say it. She wanted to say it because she meant it with all her heart but she felt she needed the right time. However their moments were always interrupted or it just wasn’t the right time- it wasn’t as easy as it looked. It wasn’t just speaking but it was those three words everyone dreamt of being able to say and hearing them in return and if the moment wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t the right time.
She loved him, she loved him to the extent where it became painful that she didn’t know if he felt the same and couldn’t tell him her feelings. She wrote her letter and went down to the Owlery sending it off.
Sitting in the backroom of the shop George grinned as a Hogwarts’ owl flew in through a window opened because of the purple smoke the cauldron, which was currently stirring itself in the centre of the room, emitted.
“Replied already has she?” asked Fred with a wicked grin as he took the letter of the owls’ leg, “stay please because I need you to take my reply,” he said as he petted its head and it shook its wings, a sign of understanding.
“Fred you can’t read that it’s mine!” George exclaimed jumping up to try and get the letter.
Fred cleared his throat loudly as he opened the letter pretending to read it, “Dear George, you are the most annoying idiot on the planet. I can’t believe that after everything you still haven’t asked me out or told me how you feel. By the way even though you’re near identical Fred is definitely the better looking twin,” Fred teased.
“Fred,” he groaned, “stop it! Just let me read my letter.”
“Now, now princess don’t whine,” he laughed and passed him the letter, “there you go you can have it.” George began to read immediately, desperate to hear from the girl that held his affections.
The legacy of your advice and comfort lives on. You’re even so helpful and comforting through writing, it makes me miss you more because I can’t get the hug that usually comes with the advice. George sometimes I really don’t know what on Earth I’d do without you, you can calm me down and reason with me at times no one else can. It’s this amazing, unusual affect you have on me and I really hope you know how much I appreciate all the things you do to make my life as happy as it is. Things are slowly settling down here and it’s about time too and everyone’s more or less okay with the exception of Harry which is understandable. He’s still mourning and he’s taking his time, he’s been through so much and is still blaming himself for everything. Sirius, Cedric, his parents and says he’s just put everyone in danger. Anyway how are you and Fred? We’re all missing you here but we’re surviving. Not too long now until I’ll be there for summer, I can’t wait. It’s been a long year at school, looking forward to a break though I know I haven’t ever had a ‘normal’ year at Hogwarts I think this is definitely the least normal or most hectic at least! Love and miss you always,
“She’s such an amazing girl,” George sighed.
“Yes now watch it, it’s time to add the dragon scales,” Fred said rolling his eyes.
George placed the letter down carefully and opened the lid to the cauldron, coughing slightly as he did, and tipped the contents of a nearby jar into it quickly closing it as a loud crack like an explosion echoed from inside the cauldron.
George wrote back and the weeks went on much like that letters going to and from at least once every few days. The time passed quickly and soon enough another year at Hogwarts was over. They found themselves on the Hogwarts Express before they knew it and the journey passed slowly. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna piled into compartment on the train and were all talking.
“Crazy year, don’t you think?” Ron asked them all.
“Yes it was,” Hermione said and everyone nodded.
“Do you ever wonder if our parents would have approved of everything we do? Would they be proud of us or think we were stupid for endangering our lives through our actions?” Harry asked. “You know Neville and Luna?” he added as those who still had both their parents looked at him with awkward but pitying expressions.
“Father often says she’d be so proud of everything I’ve achieved but I’m not sure. I’d hope she was proud of me,” Luna said thoughtfully.
“Gran says I’ve grown to be so brave and noble like them but a lot of the time I don’t see it,” Neville admitted looking at the floor.
“I wonder sometimes why I didn’t die alongside them instead of leading such a dangerous, tormented, dark life. Wouldn’t it have been easier?” Harry asked but everyone looked at him with apologetic looks.
“You know after a while those looks burn me from the inside, they’re killing me. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me I just need to talk to someone. It would be nice to talk to a parent or even a godparent about something like this, wouldn’t it? What did I do wrong? What did I ever do to deserve this never ending suffering, am I going to have to endure it my entire life? But who knows that might not be too bad my life could end pretty soon with the darkest wizard of all time after me, right?” he spoke grievingly.
“Harry...” Hermione began.
“I’m going for a walk,” he said abruptly cutting her off as he walked away.
“A walk? He does realise he’s on a bloody train, right?” Ron said looking completely confused. “Where’s he going to walk to? The driver’s compartment?”
“Leave it Ron, he’s still mourning and you are being entirely insensitive to everything he’s gone through,” Ginny snapped at him.
“She’s right Ron, Harry still blames himself about his parents and adding Sirius to the list hasn’t helped him. Not to mention the Cedric thing, the DA going badly and the fact he thinks he’s endangered all of our lives,” Hermione said.
“You think I don’t know that? He’s my best friend and I know he’s going through a bloody rough time but that’s the point I am his best friend and he can’t even talk to me about this. Why won’t he talk to us? Doesn’t it bother you? I mean I treat him like my brother he’s practically family and what I wouldn’t understand?” Ron said making his point. He’d been on edge after Harry had become more distant with them all and it had really strained him.
“Ron, it’s not that he feels you wouldn’t understand nor is it that he can’t trust you, you know how close you are to him and you have a sibling like bond but he’s trying to make sense of it all. As far as he sees it he’s being weak and he hates that not to mention the fact he thinks distancing himself from us will mean we’re safer,” Hermione told him.
“I know,” Ron sighed.
“So you’re spending four weeks with your parents then you’re coming to ours right?” Ginny asked Hermione.
“Yes,” Hermione said her mind a lot further away.
“Luna you should come round, you’re just over the hill,” Ginny said.
“That would be nice Ginny, thanks for the offer,” she chimed.
“I’m not sure whereabouts you are Neville but we’re always around if you need a change of scenery,” Ron told him.
“Thanks,” Neville said with a grin.
Not long after Harry re-entered the compartment looking a bit more relaxed.
“Hey, driver says we’ll be there in about twenty minutes,” he said as he walked in.
“Good,” Ron said, “bored of this train. Feels like we’ve been going for hours.”
“We have been going for hours,” said Ginny rolling her eyes at him.
“Oh shut up,” Ron hissed. The journey went on rather uneventful most of them keeping quiet and getting lost in their thoughts. When they arrived they grabbed their trunks and fought off the train into the crowds of platform 9 ¾.
“Ron, Ginny, Harry, Hermione over here dears,” called the familiar voice of Molly Weasley. They battled through the students and their waiting parents finally reaching Mrs. Weasley.
She hugged them all and then Hermione felt someone tap her shoulder from behind so she turned. In an instant a pair of strong arms engulfed her frame in a tight hug and cradled her closely into their chest. She looked up to see what was happening and saw him...
“George!” she cried loudly her arms flinging them self around his neck attempting to get closer to him.
“Hello Hermione,” he said casually releasing his hold on her.
“What are you doing here? I didn’t expect to see you for a month,” she smiled also letting go of him.
“Hey it’s been two months without seeing that perfect smile you think I was going to risk a third? I would have died of heart failure,” he grinned.
“Still as charming as ever,” she smiled at him.
“It’s a gift really,” he joked.
“Where’s Fred?” Hermione asked.
“He ran off to find his girlfriend,” George shrugged. ‘And you ran off to find yours. Not my girlfriend. Not yet. Exactly.’
On cue Fred appeared but his arm wasn’t around his girlfriend who was walking beside him with Alicia, no it was around Lee’s shoulders and they were joking and laughing. Hermione laughed at the irony of the situation, he’d been without his girlfriend for months but he didn’t seem to care at all.
“Lee,” George grinned hugging his friend quickly.
“It’s over guys,” Lee said looking emotional.
“We’re never getting back on that train,” Fred said with a frown.
“Good memories were made there, back at the school,” George said thoughtfully.
“Good friends were made there,” Lee said hugging the twins again.
They all said ‘goodbye’ and Hermione found her parents who talked with the Weasley’s for a while before leaving. Hermione was already looking forward to the time a month later when she’d be spending two weeks at the Burrow. The Burrow where George would be. Two weeks with George Weasley. Yes it sounded like heaven to her.
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