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Chapter 2: Green Dragons
‘Why don’t we ever see you with a girl’ asked Harry, his habit of meddling getting out of control.
‘Because I’ve not found a girl who can withstand a Weasley’ replied George.
Harry laughed, ‘Seriously though, why are you still single?’
George sighed, ‘I guess I just haven’t found the right person. There is no one there to help me, Fred always helped me’.
‘I’m sorry mate’ said Harry, unhappy that he’d made George think of Fred.
‘Besides the last time I went out with a girl it was really weird and made me want to vomit’ he said.
Harry raised an eyebrow curiously, ‘Explain’.
‘Well you know how Fred used to date Angelina, well she cornered me one day at the shop and asked if I wanted to catch up and stuff. I said sure why not. The annoying thing was she just wanted to talk about Fred, then she threw herself at me and called me Fred not George’ George shivered, ‘It was proper creepy, like she thought just because Fred and I were identical she could replace Fred with me, totally screwed up’.
‘That is a bit sick’ said Harry.
‘Yeah, sort of put me off girls’ replied George.
‘What if there was a girl that was interested in you?’ asked Harry.
‘Well if she was alright, funny, intelligent and swooned under my charm she’d be perfect’ said George.
‘Interesting’ replied Harry.
‘Why the sudden interest in my love life aye?’ inquired George.
‘No reason’ responded Harry, ‘just bored’.
‘You need to get out more’ said George shaking his head at Harry.
As George left Harry was startled out of his thought by the arrival of Charlie.
‘Why are you meddling?’ asked Charlie.
Immediately Harry was on defence, ‘I’m not’ he replied innocently.
‘Oh please, you couldn’t be more obvious if you tried’ said Charlie.
Harry sighed, ‘I was just curious’.
‘No, you’re bored so you’re meddling with other people’s lives’ said Charlie seriously.
‘Fine’ said Harry, ‘but they would be perfect for each other!’ he said.
‘Maybe but it isn’t up to you to decide that, you have to let things progress naturally’ said Charlie.
‘But then it might never happen!’ moaned Harry.
Charlie sighed at Harry’s stubbornness, ‘Let the chips fall Harry, let them fall’ he said, hoping his words would sink in.
George had been hard at work all morning trying to come up with an idea for a new project. Some days he was inundated with ideas and some days, like today, it was like there was a block on his mind and he couldn’t seem to come up with anything.
Truth be told the object of his distraction was Hermione. See yesterday she’d been wearing a ludicrous pink elephant patterned scarf. She said she wore it because she liked it but he half wondered if she wore it to get a rise out of him. Most of the clothes she sold at her shop were really good and he enjoyed seeing her in them but this never venture into animal printed clothing was a bit bizarre.
Surely she didn’t willingly want to wear these clothes? Who in their right mind would want to wear a hat with green dragons on like the one she was wearing today. He’d asked her why she was wearing the hat monstrosity and she’d just breezily replied that it was going to be cold out and she didn’t want her ears to be cold.
Cold?! It was like March, it wasn’t cold anymore, winter had been and gone yet she refused to remove the hat. George had been grumbling about said hat all day, he just couldn’t get it out of his mind, or the way Hermione had looked in said hat, cheeks flushed, eyes sparkling, hair for once contained.
These were not thoughts one should be having about one’s friend but ever since his conversation with Harry just that very morning he wouldn’t have been thinking about Hermione in that way at all. The fact of the matter was, as George had suddenly become aware of (thanks to Harry) was that Hermione was George’s ideal woman. She was intelligent and funny (though she didn’t realise it) and she wasn’t immune to his charm, as he had discovered over months of flirting with him.
She was loyal and had a tremendous amount of love to give, he couldn’t imagine a better person to spend the rest of his life with. But that was just it, he was already fantasizing of a life with her and that was a little too creepy for him to think of at the present. She’d only just moved from friend to potential love interest in his mind that every morning.
He resolved to stop thinking of Hermione – for really it would only lead to bad things – and continue with the day’s work. However, that didn’t stop the grumblings Verity heard throughout the day of ‘ghastly green dragons’.
On the other side of George’s shop, Hermione was having a better day. She was trial running the animal print collection and so far had been stopped by many people questioning when it would become available and how many patterns there would be.
Hermione and Clara had had a successful morning, Harry had stopped by with a box of pastries claiming that ‘his girls’ needed to keep their strength up for all the work they did. He left leaving a furiously bright red Clara behind – flushed at being referred to as one of ‘his girls’.
Hermione usually wasn’t one to meddle in the lives of others but just because her own love life was non-existent didn’t mean everyone else had to be miserable.
‘Clara’ she said.
‘Hmm’ was her response as Clara was busily pinning together an outfit they were making.
‘How long have you fancied Harry?’ Hermione asked.
Clara was so startled by Hermione’s question that she pricked herself with the pin she was currently holding and cursed, ‘I erh, I urh’ she stuttered.
Hermione felt sorry for putting Clara on the spot, ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable’ she said.
‘No, no. It’s fine. I guess for about half a year’ she replied softly.
‘You’ve fancied Harry for half a year?’ asked Hermione.
‘Yes’ said Clara.
‘And you haven’t made a move yet!’ exclaimed Hermione.
Clara looked up at Hermione confused.
‘Dear God! That boy talks about you nonstop, I’d have thought they two of you would have been aware of each other’s feelings by now’ said Hermione.
‘Feelings, Harry?’ she asked.
‘Take a chance, ask Harry out’ said Hermione.
‘But what if…?’
‘Won’t happen’ said Hermione.
‘Not a chance’ said Hermione.
‘He won’t’ replied Hermione.
Clara sighed, ‘If I ask him out you won’t interfere or meddle will you?’ she asked, her eyes narrowed.
‘I promise I won’t meddle’ replied Hermione, happy that two of her favourite people would soon be together.
‘I popped by George’s earlier to pick up my nephew’s present’ said Clara.
‘Oh yeah’ replied Hermione, ‘How was George?’
‘Fine…except he kept muttering about green dragons and how absurd they are’ said Clara.
Hermione giggled loudly till tears of laugher threatened to fall.
‘Am I missing something?’ asked Clara.
‘No, no. George has just taken it upon himself to have a vendetta against the animal print clothes. He doesn’t understand the point’ said Hermione.
‘And so you wear them to annoy him?’ questioned Clara.
‘Of course’ replied Hermione which sent both girls into peels of laugher.
George was in a mood. He couldn’t concentrate and his ideas were rubbish. It was times like this that he knew Fred was looking down from above and laughing, it made George wish for the presence of his twin once more. Fred always knew what to say to help put things in perspective.
Like this thing with Hermione. Insane right, it was definitely Granger danger alright. When had Hermione changed from being a regular girl who’d help save the world that he’d always seen as a little sister. Now she was like a secret hot ninja – popping up all the time and looking incredible.
George felt a little iffy having these thoughts about a girl who used to date his brother. Granted his brother was a total jerk and Hermione was free and single but still – bad George!
‘Georgie Porgie’ he heard someone say in a sing song voice.
George looked up to see the one he was trying to stop thinking of, ‘Georgie Porgie?’ he asked.
‘Pudding and Pie’ she replied with a smile.
‘What on earth does that mean!?’ exclaimed George with a smirk.
‘It’s just some muggle saying’ replied Hermione.
George laughed, he thought muggles could be so silly sometimes but it was a big part of Hermione so you had to be careful about what you laughed at or you could end up on the wrong side of a hex.
‘What brings you to my shop anyhow?’ asked George.
‘Shop was quiet and Clara can handle that on her own. Plus I was bored and I heard from a certain someone that you’ve been skipping lunch to work on your ideas’ she said.
‘Certain someone wouldn’t happen to be my brother would it?’ he asked.
‘Which one?’ She teased, ‘It was Harry actually’.
‘Hmm’ replied George.
‘Anyway’ continued Hermione, ‘I was wondering if you wanted to get a spot of lunch with me’ she said.
George pretended to ponder her request, lunch with Hermione would definitely beat sitting here moping about all the failed ideas he’d had.
He jumped up with an air of dramatics, then bowed before Hermione stating, ‘My dear maiden I would be delighted to partake in some luncheon with you!!’ Hermione laughed at his dramatics. With George you had to go with the flow, otherwise the humiliation could be overbearing.
She decided to play along, ‘Well you fine gentleman where would you like to go?’
They ended up in a pub called ‘The Golden Leprechaun’, it was owned by Seamus Finnegan and his family – they opened in the cheap rush months after the war. The pub had a friendly feel and was very lively and jolly. Of course there was the added bonus of being school chums, the discount was good. Seamus’ Mother was the best cook in Diagon Alley – her cooking beat all the stuck up pureblood restaurants in the gold district and put Hermione’s good cooking to shame.
‘I can’t believe you went for a salad!’ said George.
Hermione huffed, ‘It’s not a salad it’s a pasta dish’ she replied.
‘Then why is it full of green leaves’ he asked.
‘That’s spinach you idiot’ she said.
‘Oh’ replied George, ‘Well it still looks too healthy’.
‘Well compared to yours it would do’ she said.
‘What’s wrong with my food?’ he asked.
‘Nothing…other than it looks like it could clog your arteries in ten seconds’ she smirked.
‘Oi Granger, leave off. I like my food’ he replied, the use of her surname slipping in when he was mildly annoyed etc.
‘Back to Granger are we?’ she sighed – falsely dramatic.
‘You insulted my food’ moaned George.
‘Heaven forbid anyone does that’ she replied.
‘Ok enough, no more criticising my food’ he said.
Hermione laughed, ‘I’m sorry George’ she said while smiling.
They talked and laughed the way through the rest of their lunch, the conversation flowed easily and they were both struck by something – how easy it was to be themselves around each other. Their friendship seemed complex to outsiders, and they were especially close but until that moment in The Golden Leprechaun, neither had realised it for themselves.
‘Have you noticed Harry and Charlie acting suspiciously?’ asked George.
‘I have actually; they’ve been having secret meetings and suspiciously whispered conversations’ replied Hermione.
‘Do you think they’re conspiring something?’ asked George.
‘Well I sort of thought that perhaps Harry was asking Charlie’s help on how to clue in his crush’ said Hermione.
‘His crush?’ questioned George, ‘Oh you mean Clara’.
Hermione nodded, ‘Yeah, that’s what I thought but now I’m not so sure’ she said.
‘Perhaps we should find out’ said George.
Hermione smiled mischievously, ‘What do you suggest?’ she asked.
After George had whispered his plan in her ear, she cackled loudly alerting many tables nearby to her presence.
George laughed at her embarrassment, ‘Can’t take you anywhere’ he said smiling, ‘Come on, let’s go’.
Tell me what you think ~Zyii