Hermione looked around the room that Nilia called her bedroom. "Little dark isn't it?"
Nilia nodded and pulled the curtains open, glaring against the sun. "I am so happy to see you. I missed you terribly!" She sat down on the bed next to her, grabbing her hand. "How are things going?"
Hermione squeezed her friends hand. "Great, couldn't be better." She gulped, "Tell me about you."
Nilia shrugged, "Not much to tell."
Hermione shifted her body, "Nilly, what are these...on your arm?" She asked pointing to Nilia's forearm, where she noticed several red scratches. Some were far worse than the others, but most had healed. Nilia yanked her arm back the same way she had done with Ron the day before.
"Nothing, just kinda clumsy." she muttered, looking away from her friend.
Hermione raised her eyebrow, she knew something was far worse with Nilia than her just being clumsy, but she would let it go for now. Instead she had her tell all about the birth of the baby, what they had studied, and how she felt about Pansy now. "I can't stand her!" Nilia announced when she stood in front of her mirror.
She ran her hands through her hair. "My hair is so gross, my skin is greasy, and my clothes are far too big for me now!"
Hermione looked at her friends reflection in the mirror. Ron had told her that she looked worn out, and that she probably needed her best friend more than anyone right now. But she wasn't quite sure what Nilia needed. She had noticed the scratches almost immediately and got a gut wrenching feeling that she had been cutting herself to let out some anguish. That was all she got out of Ron before he left their flat again, going back to his job at the Ministry in the Department of Magical Games and Sports.
She went to stand by her friend, who was poking and prodding at herself in front of the mirror. "You hear about Fred?"
"Erm...no." She stopped 'grooming' herself and stood with her arms at her sides. "Is there something I need to know about?" Her stomach was aching now, what had Fred done that someone should tell her about?
"Wait till you see him." Hermione said, and picked at her sweater, and said nothing else about it.
"What do you mean?" She asked as she made her way over to her closet, throwing clothes on the floor behind her, grumbling about having no clothes.
"He has changed a bit, not in a bad way! Believe me!" She blushed a bit. Then picked up some clothes that were on the floor, and scrunched her nose. "You lost some weight...you need new clothes."
She nodded, and turned to Hermione. "First, why don't you tell me about Fred so I don't have to wait in anticipation. And two, I need a long warm shower to wash all this gunk away. And then, we go shopping! Sound good?"
Her friend picked up a pile of clothes from the floor and put them on her bed. "Definately...about the shopping, but you need to just wait and see him." She flashed a grin at Nilia and picked up an old muggle magazine.
The warm water flowed over her body, washing away the 'gunk' she couldn't stand anymore. She had managed to wash the grease out of her hair after three washings, and now she was lathering soap up again and again. She could of stayed super clean in their hideout, but she didn't see the point. There was no one to impress, she wondered if Fred had dressed to impress at all.
The thoughts of him came rushing over her, what had Hermione meant about Fred? He changed, but how? The one time she wanted information from Hermione, she hadn't gotten it.
And what was going on between Ron and Hermione? She didn't say anything about him, and usually she would be talking up a storm about something he had said to her, or a way he had embarrassed her. But the way she had changed since she last saw her amazed her also. Instead of her robes, she wore tight fitting pants, along with the form fitting shirts. Her hair seemed to be permanently straight, reaching her shoulders.
Ron had looked almost the same, a little taller, and hair not cut short anymore. It was down past his ears now. Like his brothers had been, the last time she saw all of them. What could have possibly happened between the two of them?
The water started to grow colder as she scrubbed all of her body, trying to get all of the memories of the last year and a half out of her head. She wanted so terribly for it to have never happened. But knew that if she hadn't, she could have a child by Draco and having to hand it over to Lucias, which reminded her. She needed to ask Hermione all the details of the summit invasion.
When the water had finally reached its coldest, Nilia quickly shut it off, reaching for a towel. Once she dried off and found her robe, she quietly retreated to her room, finding Hermione on her bed with her eyes closed. When she heard the door close though, her eyes were wide open.
"Feel better?" Hermione asked, then sat up and yawned.
"Sure do." Nilia picked up a pair of jeans and a pink sweatshirt and threw them on over her undergarments. "Hey, can you tell me about what happened?"
"What do you mean?" Her friend asked, while stretching her arms over her head.
"The day he was defeated." She asked pulling on her shoes. "I only know that Harry defeated him."
Hermione nodded and pulled her shoes back on. "How about I treat you to ice cream, and tell you all about it?"
Nilia felt like she would drool, literally. Ice cream had been something that hadn't touched her lips in almost two years. "Hmm...I will take you up on that offer. Lets go."
"When should I go see Fred?" Nilia asked as they sat in a booth at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor. She wiped some vanilla ice cream off of her chin and started back on her sundae.
"He is dying to see you." Hermione answered, while eyeing the man who helped them. He had flirted with her shamelessly, and she kept ranting about it. "He won't stop looking over here!"
Nilia giggled and finished off her ice cream. "So you work at the Ministry now?" Hermione had briefly mentioned it when they were walking into the ice cream parlor.
She nodded. "I managed to get a job at the International Magical Office of Law." The way she said it made it sound official. "Right now I just do research for the head of my department. Gives me something to do while I am training." She caught the look Nilia was giving her. "Oh, I am training to be an Auror. So is Harry."
"That is great, do you like it?" She asked, not wanting to sound too disapointed that everyone else knew what they were doing but her. And she was glad her friend didn't see that dispointment in her eyes when she went on to explain what she had done already. "And so, when Fred told us he knew about where the summit would be, we acted quickly. The Order let me help set up a few things. Of course Ron was furious, he had been weary of the whole thing in the first place. Didn't want me to be in danger. He is a member, but not as active as Harry and I. Did I tell you that he isn't training to be an auror, he wants to play Quidditch, can you imagine?"
Nilia nodded, but stopped short when she was about ready to say something about Ron. "Did you say Fred? Is he in the Order also?" He had never mentioned to her that he even wanted to be in it.
Hermione wanted to kick herself. She wasn't supposed to say anything about it. Fred said that he wanted to tell her that he had joined the Order when they were all still at Hogwarts, if he would of told her sooner she would of worried. "Umm..well, yes. He was at the final battle with us."
Hurt swam through her, no one had told her this. She stood up, feeling betrayed. "When did he join?"
"At the end of his seventh year at Hogwarts..." Hermione whispered not wanting to cause attention to them.
"WHAT?" People were looking at her now, and whispering. "Why didn't you tell me he was doing something like that?"
"He didn't tell any of us until you had left." Her voice now a lot softer. Reaching out, she pulled Nilia back down to her seat. "He is fine, he was never in any danger."
Nilia laughed, "No danger! He was, sorry is, in the Order. And he was at the last battle?"
Hermione looked down at her hands, which were now shaking. Why couldn't Fred be explaining this? "He was not IN the battle, he and I were lookouts. In case anymore DeathEaters showed up."
Nilia sighed, "Fine, as long as you are all ok." She spat out, but was still upset. She couldn't figure out why, he could do what he wanted. But what if he had gotten seriously injured, she wouldn't of been there. Changing the subject she asked, "What happened to the DeathEaters?"
"The majority of them are in Azkaban, the others were killed in the battle." she explained and then sighed, "Unfortuntately, Lucias is still alive. But in Azkaban."
"He won't get out will he?" Nilia asked, her voice shaking. If he was able to get out, her and Draco would be the first ones he goes after.
"Only if he can manage to escape."
She nodded, and looked out the window at the wizards passing by. "Where is the Joke Shop at?"
Hermione smiled warmly, "It's not open today. They are at the headquarters going over a few more things, I can owl him and he can meet us at his flat."
She waved her hand. "No, I want to look a lot better before I see him. He thinks I am still in hiding right?" Her friend nodded, "Good, lets go shopping."
The man behind the counter waved to them as they left and Hermione grumbled. "Why do men have to be like that?"
Nilia grabbed her friends hand. "Because they can!" She set off down the street, towards a clothing shop. "Hey, you never told me about you and Ron."
Hermione grew silent, and glanced behind her. "What is there to tell?" She pulled the door open and walked into the clothing shop.
She caught up with her, looking at a robe of many different colors. "What happened?"
Her friends face twisted up, ready to cry, and then the tears started. "He walked in on...Erp." She sniffled, letting out all these weird noises. "We were all drinking, sort of a celebration because we finished school. Well, I got a little tipsy. Wandered into my bedroom, and someone followed me in. I thought it was Ron!" She wiped her nose with her shirt. "But it wasn't, and I even noticed that once we started getting all into it. We were heavily making out, and that whole time I knew it wasn't Ron! What was wrong with me! Then he walked in and caught us in the middle..."
Nilia had no idea how to react. This was something that she should be dealing with, it was more of her thing then it would of been Hermione's. "Who did he catch you with?"
She fingered the material on the robe she was glancing at, and whispered something that Nilia couldn't make out. She asked her to repeat it, and she leaned over and said it in her ear. "Harry."
"WHAT?!" Nilia said outloud, realizing that everyone in the shop was looking at them now. She lowered her voice. "I thought he was with Ginny, and why would you think it was Ron?"
Looking around, she pulled her behind a cabinet. "Ginny broke up with him right before that. Something about not feeling the spark anymore."
"And, the second part of my question?"
"It felt so right Nilia!" She shifted her weight back and forth. "I never thought of him in that way until then. The things he said and did felt so right."
"And you and Ron?"
"We are still 'together.' He wanted to work things out. But I doubt it will happen. He won't talk to Harry anymore either." She rambled all of these things together, hoping to drop the subject.
"Do you want to be with Harry?"
Hermione nodded slowly, and turned her teary eyes to Nilia. "I want to be with him terribly, but hurting Ron is horrible!"
"I think you two need to talk about it."
"We have, we end up fighting more." More sobbing continued after this, and Nilia held her friend, right there in the middle of the shop.
"Give it time, I think he realizes it's probably over also. Just give it time."
~*Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix*~
"That will mark the end of the meeting." Albus Dumbledore announced and several wizards nodded. Gathering up their things, everyone made there way towards the door, this would hopefully be the last time they had to discuss the matter of Voldemort, at least for awhile.
Fred found Dumbledore and started badgering him with questions. "Can they come out now?" When can I see her- I mean them?" Are they ok?"
Dumbledore patted Fred's shoulder, "Son, calm down please. They will be let out in due time. We still have to make sure all of the DeathEaters are being held. If one knows that they have been let out, they could find them immediately." He saw Fred nod and make his way towards the door. That is when he smiled and walked towards Molly. "No one managed to slip to him that they had been let out yesterday?" He asked with a devious grin on his face.
Molly grabbed some scrolls of parchment and put them in a bag. "We wanted to let it be a surprise, has been hard to not tell him. He constantly talks about her, I have caught Ron almost saying something a couple times" She grabbed a few more scrolls off the table and shoved them in her bag. "How are they all doing?"
Dumbledore rubbed his chin. "I hear that it was tougher for her than the others, according to Severus. He suspects that she is a little better now. Getting to see Hermione and all."
Molly nodded, and closed her bag after all of her parchment was shoved in there. "When do you think she will go to him?"
He shrugged. "I can sense that she is most concerned about her appearance right now. Probably out getting herself ready so she can be presentable." This made Mrs. Weasley laugh.
"I am sure when they see eachother, that won't seem to matter." She pointed out, and found her son George rushing towards her.
"Mum! Do you know when Nilia is coming over? I would rather not be there when she is, you know to give em' privacy." He grinned and his mother smacked him in the arm. "I don't know son, but you can stay with us so they can have their privacy." He nodded and grabbed the bag his mother was holding and carried it to the fireplace for her.
You know the drill! Review! :) Just kidding! I promise those two little lovebirds will see eachother soon. I am trying to figure out how lovey-dovey I should make it. Any suggestions?
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