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Chapter 6 : A Night To Remember
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“There you are, mate” he exclaimed as Fred strolled out through the portrait hole. “I’ve got a question.” He looked at his brother with the utmost respect.
“What is it?” Fred replied.
“What would you do if you liked this girl? She’s so pretty it just lights up a room when she walks in, and she is so smart. Would you ask her out? Oh, of course you would. It’s just that everyone knows her; she gets all the attention of so many people. She’s just so much better than-” he rambled more about it for a few more seconds.
“George, George, stop! You’re not making any sense mate, just slow down. Who is this girl you’re so star struck over?” he asked.
“Promise you won’t laugh?” he asked with a guilty grin.
“Hah! No way” Fred smiled mischievously.
“That’s what I thought. OK.” He took a deep breath. “It's Hermione”
Fred stopped dead in his tracks. “You can’t be serious! She’s…she’s…Hermione! I can’t even think about being with her!”
“Well I’m not asking you to!” George nearly yelled. He sat down on a nearby bench next to the wall, covered his face with his hands and sighed. “I just don’t know what to do, brother. I’ve never felt anything like this before. It’s…strange.” He leaned back against the wall, and looked toward the ceiling.
“Well mate, if it means that much to you just ask her. Talk to her.” He said. George leaned his head towards Fred as he sat next to him. “I’m serious. You don’t have to give her the details, George. Just ask her out or something. What harm could it do? None I can think of.” He smiled.
“Alright Fred, but if this backfires, it’s your arse I’m blaming.” George smiled.
He walked into the library with as much confidence as he could muster. He picked up a few random books, and made his way to the back table. That was her spot. All was well until he saw her. His heart fluttered into his chest. He couldn’t help but smile at her as he set his books on the table and pulled out a chair. “Alright if I sit here?” he asked quietly.
“Hmm?” was her reply. She looked up and smiled at him. “Oh, George! I thought it was Ron again.” She laughed, and her cheeks became a little pink. “Yes of course, sit down.”
He felt his face begin to heat up at her words, and he sat in his chair.
“What are you studying for?” she glanced at his books. “Dragons? Why are you reading about them?”
“What? Oh!” he thought quickly “I was thinking about working with them after school, and thought I should read up on it a little more” he smiled lightly. I hope she buys that. He thought hopefully.
“Ah, I always thought you would go work with Fred at a joke shop or something” she replied.
“Yeah, that might work too.” His eyes shifted back and forth. “Just keeping my options open I guess”
They sat in silence glancing between each other and their books for a minute or two. Just ask her already you wimp. He took a deep breath. “Hermione?”
“Yes” she replied without looking up from her book.
“Would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me tomorrow?”
She looked up with a puzzled expression. “George, there isn’t a Hogsmeade trip scheduled for another two weeks. We can’t go tomorrow.” She smiled. “Oh, I see. You want to break the rules. I can’t do that!” she laughed.
“Aw, c’mon Hermione!” he laughed, and brushed a piece of her soft bushy hair out of her face. “I promise if we get caught I’ll tell everyone I stunned you, and drug you out there or something.”
“George!” she laughed. “I can’t-“
“Please, Hermione. It’ll be fun. I promise.” He winked at her, and couldn’t help but notice her cheeks get a small tint of pink in them.
She glanced down at her book for a second or two, and looked up at him. “All right, but if I get caught I swear I’ll never do anything with you again!” she smirked as the hair fell back into her eyes.
It felt as though his heart was ready to leap straight out of his chest. He beamed at her. “Great! Meet me in the common room at seven o’clock.”
“Why so late?” she asked.
“Well we can’t very well fly out in the middle of the day now, can we?” he smiled, and stood up. He walked out of the library before she had the chance to protest. Now it’s time for the essentials. He thought to himself.
Strolling with extra swing in his step, he made his way to his favorite secret passage. It led straight to Honeyduke’s cellar, and from there he could get some food for the night.
After about an hour of browsing for the perfect dinner, and an endless list of to-dos on his mind he made his way back through the secret passage. He was so lost in his thoughts that he was almost caught sneaking back into the corridor by Mr. Filch. However, he still had that swing in his step, and a smile plastered on his face. “Tonight will be the best night of my life” he assured himself.
He walked down the stairs into the common room, broom in hand, only to find her sitting by the fire staring into the flames. Already he had fixed their food, and bewitched it to their place by the lake. He leaned against the wall to just watch her for a moment before he called her name.
“Hermione?” she jumped at his words.
“George! You don’t really mean for us to fly, do you?” she said with a most worried expression.
“Aw, Hermione. Don’t you trust me?” he winked at her.
She thought about how she trusted him more than anyone else she knew.
“Just give it a try. If I scare you, then we can walk the rest of the way. Sound fair?” he grinned at her as she nodded warily.
“OK then, let’s go.” He grabbed her hand and made for the window. “Oh, wait! Before we leave I meant to give you this” he pulled out his wand, flicked it, and a beautiful red rose appeared in his hand. She blushed as he handed it to her. “It’s beautiful, George. Thanks” she held it up to her face, and enjoyed the fresh scent of it.
He took her by the hand and helped her onto the broomstick that was floating beside them. “M’lady” he smiled.
He got on in front of her, and she wrapped her arms around him tightly. The butterflies in his stomach soared at this, and he couldn’t help but smile. With the rose in her hair, they slowly flew threw the open window. She tightened her grip, and he lowered them slightly. They traveled at a slow and steady pace, so as to keep from frightening her. “It’s not so bad, eh?” he asked her.
“I never said that” she muttered.
He smiled as he neared the lake near Hogsmeade. “Here’s our stop”
“I thought we were going into town?” she inquired.
“You did, did you? Well, we are just outside it.” He helped her off the broom after they landed, and led her through a small wood. He pulled the last leafy branch out of their view and saw a picture-perfect picnic by the lake. There were candles hovering over the blanket, and a large basket. Plates, cutlery, and glasses were fine china.
“This is absolutely gorgeous, George. How did you manage it?” she sighed.
“Oh I pulled a few strings here and there.” he smiled, and took her hand. She squeezed it slightly as he led her to the blanket.
The lid to the basket lifted itself up, and the food floated onto their plates. There were two servings of juicy steak, corn on the cob, green salad, and flaky rolls. The glasses filled themselves with Butterbeer.
“Simply lovely” was all she could say.
“Well, lets eat then, shall we?” he smiled. They began their meal in silence, but it was soon broken.
“It’s sad that we don’t have classes together” she said. Trying to start a conversation.
“Yeah, I’d love to have more time with you” he winked.
“Stop it, you’ll make me blush!” she laughed.
“So” he smiled at her. I can’t believe I’m here with her. This is spectacular…
“So, that’s rude” she smiled back. They didn’t speak for a few more moments.
“I wish you had asked me sooner” she said softly.
He nearly choked on his steak. “Really?” Regaining his breath he said, “I was afraid you wouldn’t want to go out with a guy like me” he replied.
“What’s that supposed to mean? A guy like you?” she put her hand on his, “You’re funny, clever; attractive…” she looked out to the lake as her voice trailed off. “It’s so beautiful” she sighed and leaned back, both finished their food, and the plates and baskets disappeared without them even noticing.
“Yeah, it is” he said, but he wasn’t looking at the lake. “But it gets better” he smiled, stood up, and walked to the lake. He took out a small pouch from his pocket and sprinkled a sparkling powder into the lake. As he walked back to the blanket and sat next to her, the water swirled into the air. It swirled slowly, romantically, in every direction, and all of the streams full of colors. It began to play music, and the water seemed to dance along. The sounds were so beautiful it could make the toughest ogre’s heart sigh.
She turned to find him watching her, and lowered her eyes. “You know, I didn’t expect this”
“Any of this. The special treatments, the wonderful food, the water and music, the butterflies in my stomach…” she giggled a little at that because the butterflies were the one thing she knew to expect.
“I guess not” he smiled, and looked deep into her eyes. The music played a hopeful song, with many high and low tones. It sounded full of hope and love. The lake had gained a voice that echoed in the trees, and the sounds of it filled their hearts.
They leaned toward each other slowly until they could feel each other’s breath lightly on their faces. Their lips met, and they kissed softly. George ran his fingers through the hair he had come to love so much over the years. She wrapped her arms around him in a tight embrace, as if she felt if she let go it would all fly away.
Holding her in his arms, they laid down on the soft grass. He kissed her forehead, and felt her breath slow down slightly.
“George” she said with a sigh.
“Yes, Hermione?” he replied, as he rubbed her back.
“I wish this would never end”
“It never will, love.” He watched her smile, and she held him closer, as close as she could manage. He could feel her heart beating in her chest. Her eyes closed slowly, and he followed her into a deep sleep, each full of wonderful dreams of the other.
She lay there in his arms, her curls covering her face. He gently brushed a few away so he could see her clearly. Her eyelids fluttered open, and focused on George.
She yawned, “How long was I asleep?”
“All night” he replied. She sat up and looked around. They were still by the lake, and there were a few trickles of water still flying about through the air. A light fog covered the area, and it was oddly warm. “Oh”
“Something wrong?” he asked her. He couldn’t help but smile as she tried to hide her discomfort. He knew she was worried about being out all night. “It’s alright you know. I’ve spent the night in Hogsmeade before.”
She tensed up immediately. “You have! With who?”
His eyes grew as big as saucers. “What? Oh, no! Not with anyone special. Just Fred of course.” He laughed. “Think this is how I romance all the ladies, do you?”
“Well…” she trailed off.
“Well. I save this for only the special girls.” He shook his head. “No, the special girl.”
She looked at him. “You better, George Weasley. I shall not be another notch on your belt” she shook her finger at him playfully.
“Is that so?” he looked at her with a mischievous grin. “You better run for it then, because I’m coming for you Miss Granger”
She jumped up and ran for her life as he chased her down the lake. This didn’t last long, as his legs were so much longer than hers. He caught her, spun her around, and looked into her eyes. “I got you,” he said softly.
“I hoped you would” she replied. She slid her hands up his arms and around his neck. “I was loosing my breath”
“Now you know how I feel.” He said. With his arms around her waist he raised her up, and kissed her.
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