Language warning…Again. Sorry. Once again, I blame it on Spring Awakening.
R & R lovelies!
Chapter 18: When It Ceases to Be a Secret
Never had they expected this to happen. Never in a million years, even.
They were totally fucked.
It was just the bitch of living a secret life, I suppose.
Everyone hated them. All of Fred’s fans, his customers, his business partners (minus George of course, and any of them that he’d known forever). Hermione’s boss hated her, her coworkers, even her intern (who is named Khalid). They were hated by everyone but their friends and family, not that that wasn’t expected. And Draco Malfoy since he would be named the Wizarding World’s Most Eligible Bachelor if Fred Weasley lost his title.
And what made being hated even worse, they were to be put on trial! For lying about their secret liaison! Poppycock!
So, Hermione and Fred had to hide out for eight days at the Burrow (which was being heavily guarded because practically all the Weasleys were Aurors), awaiting their trial.
Their trial; it was going to be broadcast all over the wizarding world. This trial was the biggest thing since the end of the Second War. And that’s certainly saying something.
All the Weasleys were present, the Grangers, Harry and Ginny, Lee Jordan, Katie Bell, Oliver Wood, Angelina Johnson, all seventeen of Hermione’s coworkers on her floor of Magical Witch, all twenty nine of Fred’s employees, and Marika. Not to mention Rosie Moseley, the prickly bitch that she is.
It was the morning of their trial. Fred had been staying in his old room that he had shared with George when they used to live there and Hermione stayed in Ginny’s old room. They woke up at six thirty, in order to prepare for their eight o’clock.
Hermione was feeling so horrible, knowing that the result wasn’t going to be good. She never planned to fall in love on this assignment; this assignment out of every assignment. She knew that Fred was going to lose his title to Draco Malfoy, and all because of her. She was so distraught that her face was all splotchy and she felt as though she was about to explode, and being in the middle of her you-know-what didn’t make it any better.
Fred was also feeling oh so horrible. He never intended to fall in love Hermione. Sure, she wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous, but she wasn’t an ugly duckling either. Not to mention the fact that she has some serious brain knowledge and killer magical abilities. She also had a fair amount of funny things to say. Fred never intended to get Hermione all caught up in the crazy hype of being on the receiving end of journalism. But she was, and she said that she was going to face the music. They were going to face it together.
They quickly got ready, dressing in dark, somber suits (a pant suit for Hermione) and making sure that they looked very professional. (Fred wanted to wear a blinking tie, but Hermione persuaded him not to.)
At 7:53 am, Hermione and Fred Apparated to the Ministry of Magic for their trial. In the largest courtroom on the twelfth floor down, they saw all their friends and family, coworkers and employees, and many many journalists.
Their judge was the Minister of Magic, better known as Cormac McLaggen.
Once seated on the appropriate sides of the courtroom, Cormac McLaggen began.
“We are gathered here today to join this man and woman…Oh wait, wrong type of gathering,” Cormac said. “We’re here today to discuss the situation of Mr. Fred Weasley breaking his contract with the magazine Magical Witch, by not being a bachelor and publicly showing couple-type affection with Miss Hermione Granger. Alright then, let’s begin. Rosie Moseley, you make ask for your first witness.”
Rosie Moseley winked (audaciously) at Cormac before sauntering up to the podium and calling Frederick Nevan Weasley up.
“Morning, Freddy,” Rosie smirked. “How are ya?”
“Oh, just peachy, and you Rosie?”
“Simply wonderful. Alright. Let me think of something really good to ask you.”
Rosie paused to a moment and spun around in a circle. “When did you begin this assignment?”
“Do you want me to tell you when I first heard about it or when it actually began?”
“Okay then. I heard about the assignment on January first, and on January twelfth, I met Hermione at Magical Witch with her bosses Bert and Amalia.”
Rosie was about to ask a question when Fred interrupted her.
“It was in the morning.”
“Alright. And then after meeting Hermione, Bert and Amalia at Magical Witch, what happened?”
“Well, Hermione Apparated to her flat to get clothes and such while I talked with Bert. Then, after she returned, we Apparated to my flat. I showed her around and gave her her own room and made lunch. We talked and got to knowing each other. I mean, we hadn’t really spoken to each other in years. Hermione had been dating my brother Ron and I was constantly away. Generally on business.”
“Alright then. Did anything come out of your talking? Any bonding?”
“Well, yeah, we bonded. I had forgotten how witty and intelligent Hermione was. She’s a good conversationalist. It was like meeting a friend that I didn’t realise I already had again.”
“I meant bonding more on a sexual, intimate level.”
Fred gave Rosie a look that could only be categorised as pure, unadulterated loathing.
“No, Rosie. We didn’t bond on a ‘sexual, intimate level.’ Hell, we were just getting reacquainted as friends.”
Under his breath, Fred whispered “bitch.” Rosie thought she heard him say something, so she glared at Fred.
“Miss Moseley, do you have any more questions for Mr. Weasley?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then get on with it. I’m missing my daughter’s Quidditch game.”
“Fine. So, Freddy, in the following days that Hermione spent with you, what did the two of you do? I want a day-by-day account.”
“Sure. Whatever you want,” Fred said, getting very aggravated. “So, the rest of the twelfth, we just talked. About our past relationships, our friends, our family, what this assignment would fully entail. Normal conversations. The weather. I even made food.
“The next morning, January 13th, a Wednesday, I made breakfast. Hermione and I talked some more. Mostly about our professions. Around one thirty. Hermione got an owl from my sister Ginny to go out to lunch. I had no problem with that. So I told her to go. While she was gone, I read some of her previous articles to learn her writing style and what it was that she wrote about in those magazines. Let me tell you, those titles are absolutely horrible. Catchy, but horrible. But I guess all they need is something catchy. Anyway, I’m getting off track. Hermione was maybe gone for twenty minutes when I felt a tugging on my wrist. Seconds later, I found that Hermione was sitting in my lap. And we were attached at the wrist. Because of the stupidest idea in the world: a binding contract. I mean, who has binding contracts anymore anyway? That’s ridiculous!”
“So, you were attached at the wrist?” Rosie said accusingly.
Why she would say anything accusingly at this stage of the game? everyone was wondering.
“Yes. Hermione and I were attached at the bloody wrist. My left, her right. So she could write I suppose. She is a lefty. Do you know that percentages of how many people in the world are lefties? Twenty-seven percent! That’s a good figure!”
“Yes yes. That’s wonderful,” Rosie said, bored with the statistics. “What happened after that?”
“Well, once we figured out that we hand invisible handcuffs on, Hermione dragged me into her room to look at the contract. Within it, we found that there was a binding contract. I then tried to lighten up the situation by tickling her, and then my sister Ginny and my brother-in-law Harry found us in what you could call a compromising position, but I was tickling her. And I was straddling her on her bed. They got the wrong idea. So, that gave me the perfect idea, why not pretend to be a couple, and then we won’t have to explain our predicament!”
“Interesting,” Rosie said, smirking evilly. “Go on. I can tell you have some more to tell.”
“So, we told Harry and Ginny that we were dating. Then that night, we had to tell the rest of the family at dinner. How else were we to explain not moving more that six inches away from each other at all times? But this hole that I dug us into just got deeper once my brother George and my friends came to take us out on Saturday night. We went out to the Elf’s Pixie, a very popular dance club if you aren’t up to date on today’s current party places. There, we had lots of fun. We even got to ride on the Knight Bus home because one of my friends needed help. Hermione and I tried staying up to watch him to make sure that he was alright. I mean, if you were almost molested, wouldn’t you want your friends there to save you? Hermione and I sat in my big-enough-for-two-people chair, watching my friend while he slept off his alcohol. We eventually fell asleep very early on Sunday morning. And in the morning, Hermione and I almost kissed. I tried to blame the lack of the sleep. Hermione probably did too. By now, we were used to waking up sleeping next to each other after the average amount of sleep we’re used to. I mean, we had to since we were attached at the bloody wrists!”
“How unusual. So, you had to sleep in the same bed since you couldn’t move more than six inches away from each other. Interesting. What did you do about bathing? Did you use the magical method, or did you use a shower, a bath tub?”
“Well…we um, had to use a shower since we, uh, knew that using our wands wouldn’t be as efficient,” Fred managed to get out, though he was a nice shade of tickle me pink crayon.
“So, are you saying you showered together? I’m assuming that you didn’t wear clothes?” Rosie asked. She was just positively evil!
“Yes, we showered together and we didn’t wear clothes.”
“You were naked together, in the shower?”
“Miss Moseley, another question. Now,” Cormac asked, by now, very irritated and bored.
“Yes, of course Minister. So, Freddy, you slept in the same bed together, showered together, blah blah blah. Did you ever act on hormones or possibly alcohol? Did you ever, mmhmm, what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, did you fornicate?”
Fred’s eyes got wide. The fact that they were hazel was quite prevalent. He looked to Hermione; he was pleading to her. Forgive me, his eyes were saying.And I love you.
She looked straight back into his eyes, telling him what tell Rosie and the Minister and the court.
Tell the truth.
AN: Hah! Cliff-hanger!
R & R lovelies!
Love ceases to be a pleasure, when it ceases to be a secret.
-- Aphra Behn
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