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Chapter 19 : The World is Full of Willing People
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Chapter 19: The World is Full of Willing People
Every person present in the courtroom was awaiting Fred Nevan Weasley’s answer. Of course, there was only one person who actually knew what the answer was.
Hermione Jean Granger.
Hermione was having a hard time breathing. I suppose you would be too if you had just told your once-secret-but-not-a-secret-anymore boyfriend to tell a court full of hundreds of people that you’ve had sex. Sex is a very personal thing. It’s not something you tell the media on purpose. But, Hermione did.
And there was no way to back out of this now.
Molly Weasley, being Molly Weasley, was not as calm as she thought she would have been. After all, this was only a little trial. It was, wasn’t it? But, oh no!, it wasn’t. Her second youngest son was being asked about his love life; the love life that she didn’t even want to know about. Sure, she would have loved it if all of her children decided to wait until marriage in order to…you-know-what. But unfortunately, the times were changing and it was perfectly acceptable to sleep with someone before marriage. Not that they, meaning Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, didn’t you-know-what before they were married. (They were married in April of 1970; Bill came in late November. You do the math.)
Nevertheless, Molly Weasley was very uncomfortable with sitting in the courtroom, awaiting he second youngest son’s answer like everyone else.
Arthur Weasley was quiet. He didn’t have anything to say. He would have never thought that his son would intentionally break his contract. Fred had to have known the rules of the assignment. He had complete faith in his son and Hermione. Fred and Hermione. Now, they were a very nice couple.
Bill Weasley was shocked. Fred, getting in trouble with the law? Never!
Fleur Weasley was a little embarrassed. She forgot that when she was marrying Bill, she was marrying his family too. Now, she was quite alright with Charlie and Percy and Ron and Ginny, but Fred and George were always on her “list.” And being on her “list” was not a good thing. The funny thing was, though, that Fred and George were the only ones ever on her “list.” Well, she just had to deal with it.
Charlie Weasley was amazed. He never expected Fred to have to go on trial. Sure, he was always pushing the limits, but a trial? Wow. That was all he could say. Wow.
Nadalyna Weasley was happy. She loved being in the company of her in-laws. They were so nice and warm and fuzzy. It was too bad that all her family didn’t like them. And Fred? He was very funny. And Hermione, she was nice too. She hoped that she would be her sister in-law eventually.
Percy Weasley was appalled and mortified and very very discontented. He was all alone since Penelope had to work. She couldn’t have gotten out of her job even for this monumental thing. Yes. Percy didn’t like it one bit.
George Weasley was confused. What had his brother done? He just happened to be dating Hermione. That was no big deal. And plus, Hermione was wonderful for him. Anyone could see. You would have to be blind to not see that.
Alicia Weasley was feeling very unwell. It had nothing to do with Fred and Hermione’s trial but rather her current condition. George would be receiving a yelling from her later for getting her pregnant. Yes, he bloody well would.
Ron Weasley was, well, he didn’t know. All he knew was that he was at the Ministry somewhere for Hermione and Fred’s trial. And it was bor-ing! He had almost fallen asleep a couple of times but Margaret, thankfully, woke him up every time he almost did. What a wonderful girlfriend she was. She was definitely a keeper. A very pretty keeper. Sigh.
Margaret Box, most-definitely-a-Weasley-in-the-future, was tired. She hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. But, she knew her job was to keep Ron awake. He snored too loudly. Poor baby didn’t get much sleep either. But, Margaret knew that she had to stay awake in order to hear the verdict. It was very interesting case, she knew. And probably important considering all the journalists present.
Ginny Potter was intrigued. It wasn’t everyday that you got to go to court because your brother happened to break a contract without even knowing it. And the fact that Fred broke it with her best friend Hermione was pretty epic. Her best friend Hermione, the rule follower. Amazing, huh?
Harry Potter was what you could call mystified. Mystified that Hermione was on trial for her “secret” liaison; mystified that this liaison was with Fred Weasley; mystified that they were even on trial from something as stupid as this. He was just mystified.
“Well, I’m waiting Freddy,” Rose Moseley practically screeched, tapping her foot impatiently.
Fred gulped. He looked at his hands then his eyes locked on Hermione’s.
“Yes what?!” Rosie the prickly demanded.
“Yes, I did. Yes, we did. Yes, I was drunk. Yes, so was Hermione. Yes, I wanted to. Yes, she wanted to, too. Yes, I love her. And yes, I think she loves me too.”
The entire court gasped, minus three woman named Ginny Potter, Margaret Box, and Hermione Granger.
Ginny and Margaret sighed because it was just so romantic, being the closet-romantics that they were.
Hermione didn’t make a sound.
Then Rosie chuckled. “I suppose there is no further questioning from me. I’ve managed to make my case.”
Click clack. Click clack went Rosie Moseley’s shoes as she walked back to her seat.
“Well, are there any more questions for Mr. Weasley?” Cormac McLaggen, the Minister, asked, bored out of his skull. Not that was difficult.
Hermione Granger jumped up, realising that she found a very important loop-hole.
“I do!” Hermione cried.
“Alright Miss Granger. Proceed,” Minister McLaggen waved her on. It hadn’t occurred to him that they were in the Slug Club together. Hmm. Imagine that?
“Fred, it is my understanding that you couldn’t be in a true romantic relationship while being on this assignment. However, isn’t it true that you weren’t technically on any such relationship during this assignment because it was only pretend?”
Fred smiled, quite aware that his girlfriend was a bloody genius.
“Yes. You and I only pretended to be boyfriend and girlfriend in order to explain to my family why we weren’t moving more than six inches away from each other.”
“And is it true that you only came up with this idea of pretending to be a couple so it wouldn’t hurt your pride?”
“Unfortunately, it was. I couldn’t bear to be laughed at because I didn’t read the entire contract.”
“And when exactly did we have sex?”
“The very last night of the assignment. But technically, we weren’t even c couple then.
“Actually, I believe the assignment was over at midnight on January 19. We didn’t have sex until after midnight, so it was already January 20. Plus, the contract never mentioned physical contact, sexual intercourse, but only a true couple-like relationship, where there is unmistakable evidence of commitment.”
“Hermi- er, Miss Granger is right. We didn’t decide to become a couple until the week-long assignment was finished.”
“Therefore, I conclude my case and prove that Fred and I weren’t breaking our contract. Now it’s only left for the jury to decide.”
Hermione and Fred walked away from the stand and took their seats. Ginny grabbed her best friend’s hand and gave it a squeeze as George gave Fred a suggestive wink. Hermione and Fred were feeling very good about themselves.
Rosie, however, was not. She was purely livid.
And Marika. Marika looked very sad. Why, she didn’t even know! That is, until she decided to be the better person. After all, Rosie had bribed her with a large sum of money just to be present at the trial and look very crestfallen that her hero was a liar.
“Mr. Minister, people of the jury, I’d like to say one thing before you make your choice. As you know, I won the essay contest. I was absolutely thrilled when I learned I had. When I met Fred for my day with his, I had about died and gone to heaven. It was a dream come true. I am his biggest fan.
“He was so nice to me. People are generally not nice to me unless they want something.” Marika made a point to glare at Rosie.
She continued. “I can tell you now, truthfully, that I believe, no, I know, that this trial was uncalled for and wrong. Fred didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t mean to fall in love with Hermione. As much as I wish that he had fallen in love me, it’s obvious that Fred is happy. Why interrupt his happiness when he clearly, as Hermione has just proven, didn’t do anything? Hopefully, you will decide to be the better person, as I have, and see that what Hermione and Fred have done is not worthy of an type of punishment.”
Marika sat down, feeling very proud of herself.
Soon, a thunderous drumming of some kind exploded. The entire court was clapping! And for Marika! It was stunning.
Minister McLaggen was amused, though he didn’t show it. He called on the jury who were frantically trying to finalize the verdict.
“Have you some to a conclusion?” the Minister questioned.
“Yes, we have,” a stout woman in her late fifties said. “We find the defendants Fred Nevan Weasley and Hermione Jean Granger innocent.”
People screamed in jubilation and Molly Weasley cried. Ginny, Harry, Ron and Margaret laughed. The other Weasleys smiled so broadly and hugged the defendants who were just proclaimed innocent.
Hermione and Fred were over the moon. So, being over the moon, Hermione jumped up and wrapped her arms and legs around Fred and gave him the snogging of his life. And in front of all his family, all the journalists, the jury, the crowd, the Minister.
And for once, Hermione didn’t bother with thinking.
“Marry me, Fred?”
AN: Omigod. Omigod. Omigod.
R & R!
PS: I have finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! Nooooo! sob
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