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Softer Than You Think by luvinpadfoot
Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
 
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Disclaimer: I don’t own HP. Neither do you. Get over it. Unless you’re JKR. Then I’m extremely sorry because she definitely does own HP.

 

 

Bill bursts into the room glaring. He does that a lot these days. Ever since Fleur divorced him. I think it’s kind of got his spirits down. But I’m way off topic. I think I’m supposed to be telling you my story, and that most definitely should NOT include Bill Weasley.

 

But he’s here anyways. “Morning Bill.” What can I say? My mother raised me to be a polite person. Even to those who aren’t nice back to me.

 

“Whatever.” See what I mean about not nice? He’s right sour. That sounded really weird. Oh well. But I think I’ve already gotten ahead of myself. You don’t even know who I am!

 

So to begin with, I’m Hermione Granger. Bookworm. Healer. Yeah, her. Now you might be asking yourself, what is Bill Weasley doing in Hermione Granger’s flat? I have that answer. Along with many others that you don’t even care about, but would probably know if you read Hogwarts: A History like I did in my first year. And second. And third. And fourth. And- you get the idea.

 

See, Fleur divorced Bill right after their honeymoon when she met an Italian. A very hot Italian, I might add. Bill went into a depression and tried to kill himself. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley both died in the war that year, too. It’s a very sad thing that he had to lose both his parents and his wife in the same year and a half.

 

Ron’s living with Lavender (they got back together after he and I had a fling right after the battle. They make a very cute couple) and Ginny’s living with Harry. Charlie’s still off chasing dragons and the twins are off doing their thing. No one wanted Bill to live alone, so I’m stuck with him. Not that I would say that to his face, of course.

 

Now you may have noticed that I didn’t mention Percy. Well during the war, he stayed on the side of the ministry in our fifth year. Until Voldemort emerged and showed himself to people besides Harry and the Death Eaters. Percy decided that he wanted power and Voldemort could give it to him, so he became a Death Eater and is now in Azkaban.

 

But back to Bill. You might say it’s not virtuous to live alone with a man, but trust me; Bill and I don’t like each other that way. In fact, we don’t like each other any way. We’re kind of stuck together.

 

I was the only person that lived alone that Bill could move in with. Not that Harry and Ron haven’t tried to set me up with people before, I just don’t want a boyfriend. I’d rather become a Healer.

 

“Are you going to work today?”

 

“Why? Planning on killing yourself?” Yeah, I know I’m mean. I feel pretty bad about it, but it seems to make him feel better. I think he hates it that everyone treats him as though he’s as fragile as porcelain. Which he is, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat him that way.

 

“No, I want to get a job.” Well that was a surprise. I just stand there blinking for a few minutes until he finally says, “Hermione? Are you ok?”

 

“Oh, yeah. Yep, perfectly fine.” He wants a JOB? He does know that involves leaving the flat, right? “Where were you thinking? Gringotts? They’d probably hire you again. Or maybe you could work at the Ministry. They’re always looking for people. Or-”

 

He cuts me off. Rudely, I might add. “No. I was thinking about helping Fred and George with their shop.” Oh. That kind of puts a damper on it, but at least he wants some connection with his family again. Did I mention that he hasn’t seen anyone but me in over a week? It doesn’t seem like very long, but it is.

 

“Oh. That’s nice. I can take you by there when I head over to St. Mungos.” Bill looks at me with a grateful expression on his face and we sit down to breakfast. Eggs and bacon. My specialty.

 

We eat in silence for several minutes. Well, I eat in silence. Bill sits there and picks at his food, eating like a chicken. I never can figure out how he eats like that and doesn’t die of malnutrition.

 

“Ready to go?” I sound really forced when I’m saying that, but I don’t think Bill noticed. He doesn’t notice much these days.

 

“Sure. You think Fred and George will mind me working with them?” Mind? They’ll be ecstatic to see him out of the house.

 

“Course not! They’re your brothers. They’ll love having you work with them.” I grab the floo powder and hold out the pot to Bill. He takes a handful and throws it in the fire.

 

“Diagon Alley!” He jumps into the fire and I quickly follow. I don’t know what the Weasleys would do with me if I somehow managed to lose Bill.

 

I look around and see him at the street corner. He turns down the road that Weasley Wizard Wheezes is on and walks toward the shop. It’s bustling with people. He stops right in front of the door and I catch up with him.

 

“You really didn’t have to walk that fast,” I tell him. If I lost him, every single Weasley in the universe would avada kedavera me. No joke.

 

He rolls his eyes at me and I shove him in. The store is full of people. Kids just out of school for the summer checking out the new merchandise. Parents mulling in the rows of products waiting for their kids.

 

A girl in crimson robes looks hassled as she works at the front desk. Another girl, looking slightly less hassled, helps her. Several other employees are stacking shelves or helping people find the products they’re looking for.

 

Fred and George generally hide in the backroom or ‘test’ already proven to be safe products on random customers and themselves. It’s generally a big hit and a lot of people buy that particular product. They must be in the backroom today because I don’t see them and they usually stay near the entrance.

 

Bill and I head into the backroom when a witch in crimson robes shouts, “Hey! You’re not allowed in there!”

 

Bill instantly freezes and looks as though he has second thoughts about getting the job. She’d better not say anything else to make him want to quit. “He’s a Weasley. I believe Weasleys are allowed to visit their brothers.” The witch’s face now matches her robes as she nods at us and turns away.

 

“Hermione, I don’t know about this. Maybe I should come back another week.” Uh, no. He is not coming back next week. Then he’ll just change his mind and spend all day in my flat again.

 

“The hell you are!” I grab his wrist and drag him into the backroom. Fred and George look up and grin at Bill.

 

“Bill! Just who we wanted to see!” Yeah right. They looked really busy. “Any particular reason you’re down here?”

 

“Can’t a man visit his brothers when he wants to?” Mhhmm. Now give them the real answer. Fred and George seem to be thinking along the same lines as me. “Well, I was wondering if maybe I could get a job here. You know, shelving products, or being a test dummy or whatever.”

 

Fred and George exchange a look that clearly says that neither of them will say no. “We always need extra workers. You can start working in the back and then move up to cashier.” Note that he said nothing about being a test dummy.

 

“Well if that’s all, I better get to work. I’ll pick you up on my way home, Bill.” I leave the room and Fred gets out some crimson robes for Bill to wear.

 

 

A/N: I hope you liked it! I always seem to do multi-chapter fics for challenges. This one will only have a couple, though, so you can be happy about that! Just kidding. Please leave a review in the little tiny box at the bottom of the screen.

 

Oh, and does anyone know if I spelled St Mungos right?

Oh, (again) this is for WittleAna's Rare Pairs Challenge.


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