Chapter 6 : The Leaky Cauldron
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“I’m sorry.” She whimpered softly, “I’m so sorry.”
Fred looked down at her and Hermione looked up at him. Her eyes were red and meaningful, and he quickly looked away. “Why are you sorry?” He asked, staring at nothing in particular across the room.
“For letting Jonathan do that, for falling asleep, for dragging you along with me in this crazy mess, for—”
“It’s alright, ‘Mione.” He said cupping her face in his hands, “I’m not going to blame you for stuff you can’t control or did on accident.”
Hermione gave him a sad smile. “But what if something happened…” She added seriously, “What if you were hurt or I was kidnapped? I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to you!”
“Let’s just be glad nothing bad happened.” He said quietly.
Hermione nodded, and looked around the room. The moonlight was shining through the open window where a light breeze was caressing the curtains. The dresser was barely visible but it was obvious her CD’s were scattered around.
“What happened while I was sleeping?” Hermione looked up, her eyes searching his face.
“Well, let’s just say Jonathan and I got off to a not so nice start.” He said quickly, rubbing the back of his head and giving a weak smirk.
“So that’s why he was trying to burn you alive with his eyes?” She asked jokingly.
“Yea, I suppose. I think he fancies you, ‘Mione…” He said slowly in a low tone.
Hermione sensed that he was unsure and turned to face him fully. She took both of his hands in her hands and looked in straight in the eye. His eyes were glistening with tears and she could tell he was trying to hold them back.
“I love you, Fred. Don’t think some random guy I basically just met today is going to change how I feel about you.” She said firmly, beaming.
Fred smiled, “I was hoping you would say that.”
“Was there any doubt?” She asked, pointing her finger at him.
“No, I believe there wasn’t.” He beamed and enclosed Hermione in his arms. “As long as you say that you love me I will never let you go or let anything harm you.”
Hermione let the warmth of his body relax all her muscles. She noticed that his abdomen was rock hard and his biceps flexed as they enclosed around her shoulders. Her head came to rest on his shoulder and her arms wrapped around his waist.
Fred then fell back onto the bed and pulled Hermione with him. The comforter and pillows around them sprung into the air a couple inches from the impact. Hermione lay at the side of Fred, still hugging his waist. Fred was sprawled out, one of his legs was weighted down by Hermione’s and his arm on the same side had Hermione pushed against his side.
Why can’t this moment last forever? Fred thought. His arm tightened around Hermione, and her arms responded by pulling closer to his side. A couple of minutes past and Hermione was fast asleep, glued to Fred.
Fred closed his eyes, he listened to the hum of the wind accompanied by the rustle of the curtains, but then there was a flapping sound. He listened closer, it was repetitive and constant, and it was getting closer. Just then an owl shot through the window and circled the room. It landed on the bed by Fred.
He took the letter from the bird’s beak with one hand; the bird pecked his hand and flew off. Fred shook the pain off his hand and directed his attention to the letter. The letter was light and felt like it contained nothing. Fred’s name was neatly printed across the front and the letter was sealed with a serpent emblem.
“Who in the world would send something this late?” He asked himself. Laying the letter on his chest he attempted to open it with one hand, but it was sealed shut. “Ah!” He protested.
Fred loosened Hermione’s hold on him; her fingers were intertwined making it even more difficult, especially with one hand. Finally he got it and he slid away from Hermione, the letter held firmly in his left hand. He sneaked out of the bedroom door and made his way over to the kitchen counter.
After lighting a couple of candles he opened the letter, even with two hands the seal was still difficult to break. “Hermione would’ve never been able to open this.” He said to himself and he carefully drew out the piece of paper inside. It was folded in half and had on the folded half, “For your eyes only…”
Fred’s curiosity sparked and he unfolded the letter. The writing was neat and precise with no mess ups.
I want to help you protect Hermione. Meet me at the Leaky Cauldron in an hour. I’m sure she’ll be fine for an hour or two. Show the back half of this letter too the man at the desk. The letter ended with no signature, he turned the letter over to see a picture of a snake. It was slithering and hissing at Fred, trying to bite him. Fred walked over to the couch, his eyes reading the letter over and over. His mind was racing. Should I go? He asked himself over and over again. He sat down and sighed, the dust that was lying on the couch was floating in the moonlight shining through the living room window. Fred sat there, shoes and coat still on from the trip to find Hermione.
“Hermione…” He sighed to himself. He looked over at the door, half-hoping Hermione would walk out so he wouldn’t be able to go to the Leaky Cauldron. No movement came from the door or noise from Hermione inside.
Panic struck Fred and he raced over to the door and opened it quietly. He sighed a breath of relief. Hermione was still in bed, exactly in the same position he left her in when the letter came. Fred walked over to the edge of the bed and looked at the sleeping form. Her back rose up and down with her breathing and her hair was neatly tucked in a scrunch at the back of her head.
“I’ll be back in a little while.” He said softly. Fred reached out a hand and stroked the side of Hermione’s face. A rumble of thunder threatened the town from a distance. Fred looked up to see several flashes of lightning outline the other buildings out the window. He walked over the window where the wind started to blow the curtains more fiercely. Fred closed the window and shut the blinds in two movements and then he took out his wand and performed a silencing charm on the room so Hermione would sleep through the storm.
“Bye.” He whispered to the sleeping Hermione, and he walked out the door and apparated to Diagon Alley.
Hermione looked around. A dense forest surrounded her, with no sight of a river or civilization anywhere she looked. The top of the trees were swaying to a strong wind, but Hermione only felt a breeze. Flashes of lightning danced across the sky, and once or twice they would create a rumble of ominous thunder.
Hermione sensed quickly that someone was near by the crunch of undergrowth and dead leaves. She tried to hear where it was coming from but the sound seemed to circle around her. The crunching footsteps grew nearer.
A man appeared from behind the shadows. He stood there, red hair blazing even though the moon and the stars were blocked by the storm, his hands were limp at his sides, and his eyes had no emotion in them.
“Fred…” Hermione sighed and tried to walk toward him, but her feet felt like they were glued to the ground.
Fred took a couple of steps closer and held out his hand to her, and made a gesture with his hand to come to him and take his hand. Hermione tried to move her legs, but they were like trying to move cement blocks.
She reached out her hand in a motion to grab his hand. “Fred!” She yelled, trying desperately to run to him, to hold on to him with all her might and never let go.
Fred lowered his hand, he blinked and she saw the sadness rush through them. “I knew you loved him…” He said softly as he turned around and walked the other way.
“No! Fred! Come back!” Hermione screamed, tears running down her cheeks.
Hermione tried to walk again and the ground let go of her feet, she stumbled but regained her balance. She looked quickly to where Fred’s retreating figure once was, “He’s gone.” She said softly, she felt wind blow her hair back as she fell to her knees.
Hermione kneeled there, looking into the distance where Fred abandoned her, the rain started pounding the ground all around, her hair became plastered to her head as well as her clothes to her body.
A strong hand came down on her shoulder. Hermione didn’t even bother to see who it was, she didn’t care at this point. All that mattered was Fred, but a familiar voice pulled her out of the trance.
“Hermione.” The man said..
“Jonathan.” Hermione said without looking at him. Then she turned around to meet a pair of dark green eyes. “Why?”
He knew what she was asking, because his face flashed anger and his grip on her shoulder increased, she flinched. “He doesn’t love you anymore.” He stated.
Hermione tried to stand up, but Jonathan’s grip on her shoulder pushed her down. She looked the other way, not wanting to look into his green eyes again. She didn’t want to believe what he just said.
“Why?” She repeated again, not knowing what to say. The wind shook the trees and the rain increased to a down pour. The hand on her shoulder tightened again and she tried to shake it off with no success.
Hermione turned around. She gasped; the dark green eyes were gone. Dark blue eyes were in there spot staring at her with a cold emotion. Her body suddenly felt frozen all over, the hand left her shoulder and she fell forward into the dead leaves.
Hermione’s eyes jerked open, a sudden chill fell upon her and she looked at the window expecting it to be open, but it was closed shut with the curtains drawn. Flashes came from the window and she waited patiently and expectantly for the rumble to follow, but no noise came from the storm.
The chill shook her and she wrapped herself in her comforter and stood up, she noticed she still had shoes on and kicked them half-way across the room with a couple of clunks. She looked at the door, a light gleaming from underneath the door.
“Fred…” She sighed and she made her way to the door.
Fred apparated to an abandoned street in Diagon Alley, the cobblestones were forming puddles from the heavy down pour. Fred popped his coat’s collar in an attempt to keep the rain off his neck and to keep the chilly wind from whipping his face.
Most of the stores and shops in Diagon Alley were closing up, either from the storm or because it was closing time. Lights were blinking off, but one light stayed on, the Leaky Cauldron. He looked up to the sky in time to see a web of lighting streak across the sky; he sighed and looked back at the pub.
Alright, let’s go talk to this guy, get a drink, and leave. He told himself as he pushed himself through the sheets of rain and across the street to the dry inside of the Leaky Cauldron. Witches and wizards in the road ran for safety from the storm as it rumbled threats and flashed daggers. He gripped the letter in his pocket as he opened the door.
Warmth seized him. He shook his hair with his hand to get all free drops out and folded down the collar of his coat. Fred looked around the room for the possible individual he was looking for, but no one seemed to click to him as the ‘save someone’ kind. He sighed and walked up to the counter. The man behind it came up to him.
“What do ya need?” The burly man said.
Fred took out the letter and held the back half so it could be seen by the man and no one else. He looked up to the ceiling and pocketed the letter again. The man just stared at him, which was giving Fred the creeps.
“Right this way.” The man said and came out from behind the counter, the floor vibrating from every step he took.
Fred followed obligingly, but several paces behind. He put his hands in his pockets and started to whistle as they climbed several flights of stairs. The burly man stopped in front of a mahogany door.
“Right in here.” The man said and left back down the stairs, the floor vibrating.
Fred nodded and continued to whistle while he knocked on the door. He heard footsteps on the other side of the door come closer, then the door knob twisted and it swung inward.
“Could you kindly, shut the bloody hell up!?!” The man yelled, “Now get in here, before anybody sees.”
Fred strolled into the room and plopped himself in a chair next to the twin bed. He looked around the room. Just an ordinary room, the twin bed reeked, the photos on the walls moved but held no interest. The dresser probably had holes in the drawers from the look of it. The closet had no door and the nightstand looked like it was about to fall over.
“This room is kind of low for you.” Fred said looking at the man.
“So you knew it was me?” The man said, “Smarter than I thought, Weasley.”
“Yea, well it was just a hunch.” Fred smirked.
“I was kind of expecting you to scream like a little girl once you looked at me and run off the way you came.” The man said meeting Fred’s eyes with his silvery-blue ones. The man ruffled his blond hair.
“Oh, c’mon Malfoy. I’m not all like Ron.” Fred joked then let out a laugh. “I give people second chances.”
“Yea, I don’t need your pity.” Draco snapped and started to stare holes into Fred, “Anyways, let’s just get down to business.”
Fred nodded, “You want to help me protect Hermione from the person who’s trying to kidnap her.”
“Yeah, but I also wanted to tell you some info about this guy.” Draco said with a serious face, “His family is pureblood.”
“So he’s trying to get Hermione because she was born of Muggles?” He asked, carefully avoiding calling Hermione a Mudblood. “Why her?”
“I don’t think that’s the reason.” Draco replied, pacing back and forth in the small room, “His grandparents were ones to fear if you were a Mudblood. They would kidnap and kill. His parents are the complete opposite; they were friends to the Muggles and tried to protect them. Voldemort, of course, had them killed because of their kind hearts. He was about twelve when that happened, and was taken into the care of his grandparents, so things went downhill from there.”
“So, we don’t know if he’s trying to kill Hermione or not.” Fred said, looking intently at Draco who was looking at the floor. “Why are you so interested in helping Hermione?” Fred asked, surprised the idea didn’t seem weird to him at first sight of Draco.
Draco’s eyes went from the floor to Fred’s eyes back down to his feet. “Let’s just say I owe her one.” He said softly, “And I’ve been wanting to get a hold of a reason to beat up this guy for a while.” He smirked.
“Aw, two birds with one stone.” Fred replied with a mischievous smirk. “What did he do to you?”
“I’d rather not mention it.” Draco stated simple, averting his eyes away from Fred.
A moment of silence passed. Draco found himself pretending to like a portrait on the wall and Fred just started at him, clearly thinking things through. Fred’s eyes widened.
“So that’s why you sent that note to Hermione saying not to tell the Ministry.” Fred said, smiling, “You want to take him out yourself! Selfish aren’t we?”
Draco turned around and smirked. “Once again you prove yourself smarter than I took you for.”
Fred gave him a look and looked up at the ceiling. “So what do you think we should do?” He asked, glancing at Draco.
“Right now? Just keep Hermione out of harm’s way so we can figure out where this guy lives and such.” Draco said, arms crossed over his chest. “Sound good?”
“Yeah, mainly cause I had no idea.” Fred stated, another moment passed and Fred stood up from his chair, “Well, Malfoy, it’s been fun and all, but I’ve got to leave before Hermione starts missing me.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Draco said and turned away from Fred.
Fred could have sworn he saw a look of remorse and jealously flash across Malfoy’s face, but he pushed the thought aside. That’s Malfoy. He thought, as he opened the door.
“Aren’t you going to apparate?” Draco asked, his eyebrows raised.
Fred clicked his tongue and shook his head. “Sometimes it’s nice just to walk to your destination.” He beamed and shut the door behind him, leaving a confused Malfoy.
Fred flew down the stairs and out the door of the Leaky Cauldron, everyone in the pub looked at him as he basically ran through. The rain met his face full blast but he didn’t care. He looked up to the sky where the lightning flickered across the sky and several times down the ground, leaving a wake of rumbling to put the finishing touches on the storm.
The wind blew his hair and his coat to the side and Fred quickly put his hands in his pockets to keep his coat under control. He spared a glance up to the top window where he saw Draco looking down at him. Fred noticed he was laughing at him for deciding to walk. Fred threw his hands in the air and spun around then apparated to Hermione’s flat.
When he arrived at the flat his hands were still in the air, but he was facing towards the wall. He turned around and took an immediate step back and his eyes widened.
“How’d you get in here?” He asked quickly.
Hermione slowly opened the door to the living room, but shut the door quickly upon seeing a man with black hair sitting on the couch in the living room. What the bloody hell? She thought. Hermione turned her back to the door and sat down on the floor. Where was Fred? Why was Jonathan here? I’ll just have to go out and ask him. She decided. And with that she stood up, but first she ran to her mirror and checked her appearance really quick. She didn’t want to look horrible, for Jonathan or Fred.
Her hand twisted the door knob and she opened the door not quickly, but not slow either. The man on the couch looked her way.
“Harry!” Hermione said, relief saturated her voice.
“Oh, Hermione! I didn’t know you were home, or else I would’ve woken you.” Harry said, smiling.
“What are you doing here this late?” Hermione questioned.
“I got into a fight with Ginny.” Harry said softly, “I had to get away fast before I started a real fight, so I apparated here.”
“I’m sorry, Harry.” Hermione said, “How did you know where I lived?”
“You described it at the Leaky Cauldron, remember?” Harry pointed out, “Though I can see you did a little remodeling since then.”
“Yea,” Hermione said while looking around the room, “Fred did that.”
“He has quite the knack for interior design.” Harry joked.
“Surprisingly.” Hermione laughed, “So, how’s everybody else in the world?”
“Pretty good, no deaths or illnesses,” Harry said, looking around the room. “Ron and Lavender are starting to take it really seriously.”
“Oh, that’s good, I suppose.” Hermione smiled.
“How are you and Fred?” Harry questioned, his eyebrow raised.
“Oh, good.” Hermione blushed, “I’m starting to see that I love him.”
“Does he love you?” Harry asked, but upon seeing Hermione’s annoyed face he said, “I just want to make sure you aren’t getting yourself into anything, ya know?”
“I know, Harry.” Hermione said softly, “Thanks. And yea, he loves me, he told me so.”
“I’m glad you finally found someone, Hermione.” Harry beamed.
“Yea, me too.” Hermione said, blushing at the floor, “How about I get you something to drink? Firewhiskey?”
“Yeah, thanks.” Harry said, leaning farther back into the couch and sighing.
Hermione left to go to the kitchen, she opened the cupboard to find that there were no clean cups left. She let out a frustrated sigh as she walked over to the sink and started wash out a couple of cups. I wonder where Fred is right now… She thought, her mind drifting out of her body.
A crack sounded through the room, pulling Hermione out of her dazed state. She ran over to where she could see the living room. Fred was standing behind the couch Harry was sitting on and had just asked Harry something, a look of anger across his face. Harry turned around and she saw relief spread through Fred’s face. Hermione turned and washed an extra glass and grabbed the Firewhiskey in the cupboard.
“Thanks, Hermione.” Harry smiled as she poured his firewhiskey followed by hers and Fred’s.
Hermione turned towards Fred. “Where were you?” she asked with no hint of anger or frustration.
Fred sighed and said smoothly, “I went to talk to George about the new product, he’s been so busy so we had to go later at night.”
“Why didn’t you wake me up?” Hermione questioned.
“You needed sleep, plus I was only going to be gone for a bit.” Hermione was quiet after this comment, and Fred turned to Harry. “What brings you here?”
“Ginny.” Harry said.
Fred nodded with understanding. Hermione stood there flabbergasted. She was amazed how men could communicate with as little words as possible.
“You okay Hermione?” Harry asked.
“Oh— yeah, I was just wondering how men summed up their problems with only a couple of words.” Hermione admitted.
“Talent.” Fred said like it was obvious.
Hermione and Harry laughed, and Harry stood up and put his glass on the table.
“Well I better be going, I don’t want Ginny anymore mad at me then she originally was…” Harry grimaced.
“See ya later Harry!” Hermione said, giving her best friend a hug.
Harry nodded at Fred who returned the nod, then apparated back home. Fred walked over to Hermione and sat down on the couch next to her, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. Hermione looked at her feet resting on the table top.
“Today has been really long.” Hermione sighed looking up into Fred’s eyes, she could see that he was reliving today’s events by the distant look in his face.
“Seems like just yesterday the world began.” Fred said, with a smirk.
Hermione laughed, but was interrupted by Fred’s lips connecting with hers; she immediately gave in to his kisses. She was at first trying to resist just to irk him, but she couldn’t handle it. He broke the kiss causing Hermione to have a disappointed look.
“I knew you couldn’t resist me.” Fred smirked, and started to sit up.
Hermione gave her own smirk. Two can play at this game. She thought as she got up and walked to her room. Lifting a hand and patting it to her mouth she gave a fake yawn. Fred’s eyes followed her; Hermione saw this and started to sway her hips a little more. She giggled, after hearing Fred get up and start walking towards her, she turned around, but Fred barreled past her laughing.
“Damn…” Hermione muttered, frustrated.
She went to her dresser and got out a pair of Muggle gym shorts and a cami. Fred eyed them but quickly left the room to go to the bathroom, Muggle basketball shorts in his left hand. Hermione stripped, leaving only her undergarments on, she pulled on her gym shorts. Just when she picked up her cami to put it on, Fred came in the room.
Fred froze, his mouth open and his eyes wide. Hermione suppressed a laugh, and she quickly slipped on her cami. Fred still stood there, watching Hermione walk to the bed. She jumped on the bed and settled herself under the covers, turning her back to where Fred still stood.
Fred shook his head and walked over to the other side of the bed and jumped on the bed with as much force as he could muster. Hermione went flying up in the air. Fred snuggled into the covers took his wand off his nightstand and put out the candles. He heard Hermione growl and settle back under the covers and smiled to himself.
A few minutes passed, both Hermione and Fred had their eyes wide open. Neither of the two were sleepy, mainly because hormones were coursing through their bloodstreams. Hermione decided enough was enough; she was going to end the charade. She inched up to Fred’s back, so they touched backs. Fred stiffened and Hermione smiled to herself. She sensed Fred trying to move away. Not so fast. She thought and turned around and hugged him around the waist. Fred groaned.
Bingo. She thought, a smile on her face. Fred turned around, but instead of giving in and kissing her he hugged her, pushing all the breath out of her lungs. His mouth was close to her neck, and Fred’s neck was close to Hermione’s mouth. They sat their, for only a couple of minutes before Hermione kissed his neck. She sensed Fred shiver all over. She realized he was about to do the same.
Fred started to kiss her neck. Hermione felt defeat, but didn’t care anymore. Fred kissed her lips, holding her against him. He hugged her tighter and kissed her deeper. Hermione was overwhelmed by the passion, and kissed him back deeper than he had kissed her.
Their lips parted and they both sucked in air, Fred continued to kiss Hermione’s neck as they laid there. He straightened his neck and looked Hermione in the eyes.
“You can’t resist me.” He said like he was stating a fact. Hermione saw the love for her in his eyes, the feeling jolted all her senses awake.
“I love you, Fred.” Hermione whispered in his ear and she felt him shiver and smiled. “You can’t resist me either.” Hermione slid her hands down his stomach and to his shorts where she played with the elastic hem. Fred looked at her, surprised. His eyes were full of concern, his mouth opened to say something but Hermione cut him off.
“Not a word.” She whispered in his ear as she pulled his shorts off.
Fred immediately kissed her, fumbling with her shorts and cami. Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck. “You’re right.” Fred said between breaths, “I can’t resist you either.” Hermione giggled.
“I love you.” Fred whispered.
A/N~ Okay! Please leave reviews! My writing improves with them, just leave like 'good job' if you don't feel like going in depth. But please leave something!!!
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