Chapter 1 : Hermione gets a job
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From the dining room Hermione heard the door slam and knew that it was not good news. She stayed seated for a while cupping her hands in her face contemplating how bad Ron’s mood would be, took a deep breath and went to greet him.
“Well, how did it go?” she asked and kissed Ron’s cheek, smelling the strong perfume of fire whiskey.
Ron looked at her, his face sullen.
“How do you think Hermione? You’re the smart one after all...” he grumbled.
Stung by his words she recoiled and looked at her feet.
“Maybe next time it...” she began.
“Yeah, yeah- How many bloody ‘maybe next times’ do I need? For fuck’s sake! Anyway I’m going to bed” She heard the slur in his words.
“...Coming?” He added perking up slightly.
“No... I’d better... Clean up the dinner if you’re not hungry”
She tried to keep the anger out of her voice; she knew he was having a rough time at the ministry.
She heard Ron continue to grumble as he stumbled up the stairs as she began to wash the dishes of the meal he never even looked at. Before she could help herself she was aware of tears spilling from her eyes. If Ron never passed his training to become an auror, how would they continue to keep their house? They were struggling as it was. Hermione pull yourself together for God’s sake, one of you has to remain strong. She would simply have to get a job and put aside her dreams of becoming a healer for now.
The next day Hermione went into Diagon Alley looking for any available jobs. She trawled up and down all day, avoiding only one shop- Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes. She couldn’t let Fred and George know that Ron and she had financial troubles, Ron would never forgive her! As she was contemplating this outside the shop she was suddenly aware of someone leaning in the doorway. There stood Fred, arms folded looking down at her with a one sided smile.
“You coming in Granger? Or are you going to loiter outside, don’t think I won’t get the broom on you!”
Hermione blushed and tried to stay cool. How did Fred and George always make her feel so stupid? Fred followed her into the buzzing shop and stood behind the counter.
“So how can I be of assistance Miss Granger? Looking for a love potion to keep my brother sweet? Or maybe some puking pastilles to shut him up? I know what I’d choose...”
He grinned and winked at her, she felt herself blush again. This is ridiculous Hermione! Stop acting like a stupid school girl, it’s just Fred... Although it was just Fred she couldn’t help but notice how good looking he had become. He had grown into his tall frame and he had cut his hair shorter and it stuck up at different angles which made him look like he’d been running his hands through it. Or someone else had... Shocked by her own thoughts Hermione stared at her feet intently and then looked Fred right in the eyes.
“Actually, well this is rather embarrassing... I was looking for a job.”
She lowered her gaze. Fred simply stared at her for a while as if he didn’t fully understand what had just happened.
“Are you serious, I mean if you and Ron need a loan then that’s fine you know... After all those auror tests aren’t cheap! I’m not surprised you’re a bit short of cash.”
“Look I don’t need charity Fred, I’m sorry I even asked, it was a mistake- See you around.” Hermione retorted as she headed for the door.
“Wait! Hey I’m Sorry, Come on Herm- I didn’t mean to offend you!”
Fred chased her to the door of the shop but the loud crack he heard as he reached it informed him that she had already apparated. As he looked around he saw George approaching.
“Hey Bro! Did I just see Hermione leaving? What did she want? Anyway I’ve sent off the order for our new stock, should be here by Tuesday the guy said... Fred?”
Fred snapped back in the room.
“Sorry what was that George?”
“The order- It will be here Tuesday. And what did Hermione want?”
“Oh...er, nothing really. Well, a job I think...”
George looked as confused as Fred had.
Hermione arrived back home and ran through the door and shut it tight. She leant against the aged wood staring at the ceiling. How could she have involved Ron’s family in their problems?
“Herm? Is that you?”
What was Ron doing home? He came through to the hall just after she had composed herself.
“I just had a call from George, it turns out business is going really well at the moment and they could do with an extra pair of hands. They wanted to know if you would be interested; it would give you something to do during the day at least.” Ron shrugged.
Hermione knew exactly what this meant, Fred had told George but she didn’t care right now, she was so relieved as she took a glance at the wobbling tower of bills that were forming.
“When do I start?” she grinned.