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Chapter 10 : An Out of Hand Weasley and The Order
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George laughed as the image of Fred doing a pirouette around the kitchen disappeared, and his and Hermione’s sleeping forms reappeared before his eyes on the living room couch. It seemed that Hermione had fallen asleep reading, her feet in Fred’s lap.
Their peaceful slumber was abruptly interrupted by the green flames shooting from the fireplace, revealing a typically pompous-looking Percy. Hermione shot bolt upright, jolting Fred out of sleep as well. Percy cleared his throat stiffly, just as Mrs. Weasley cracked open the door.
“Oh, you two have finally woken up,” she said with a sigh of relief, bustling over to Hermione, giving her a tight hug. Hermione reddened immediately, realizing what a compromising position her and Fred had been found in.
“Arthur told me what happened last night, so I thought I’d let you get your rest,” she said quickly. “But breakfast is ready so off to the kitchen with both of you.” Hermione and Fred exchanged a look and chuckled before retreating from the room, allowing Mrs. Weasley to greet her third oldest son. The moment Hermione made her way through the door she was practically knocked down by two breathtaking embraces.
“HERMIONE!” She laughed, untangling herself from Ron and Ginny.
“We heard what happened—”
“Ronald, Tonks is brilliant! Don’t be such a—”
“Brilliant? You call taking Hermione captive brilliant—”
“Enough!” Hermione said with a set frown. “I’m fine, lovely to see you both by the way, now can we sit down and eat I’m starving.” Ginny and Ron sent glares at each other before nodding and taking their seats. Fred just rolled his eyes before collapsing next to his twin, who gave him a confused look but shook it off and continued eating.
Just as Hermione prepared to take a breakfast roll, the room seemed to freeze as Mr. Weasley burst into the room followed by a flustered Percy, and an equally angry-looking Mrs. Weasley.
“Percy, you know what Fudge has been saying about Dumbledore! You know what their stance is---“ Mr. Weasley said.
“Yes, that Dumbledore is losing his touch!” Percy finished. “I’m proud to be a part of the ministry father! I’m the only one with actual ambition in this family—“
“I resent that,” Fred added cheekily, before popping a forkful of eggs into his mouth. Hermione gave him a look, emphasizing the actual severity of the situation.
“Fudge only wants you in there so he can spy on the family,” Mr. Weasley said. “He already suspects that we’re affiliated with Dumbledore, and now he’s using you. A perfect way to spy on the family.”
“Wait, what’s going on Perc?” Ron asked, jumping in.
“They’ve made me the Junior Assistant to the Minister,” Percy responded, not looking away from Mr. Weasley.
“That is a great position for someone just a year out of Hogwarts,” Percy continued. “Especially for me father. I’ve been fighting back against your lousy reputation since day one of joining the ministry.”
“Oi, you are out of order!” Fred and George had jumped from their seats. Percy rounded on them.
“Yeah? Have you two enjoyed being poor our entire lives?” he said. “I’m going to be bleeding successful.”
“Percy, Voldemort is back!” Mr. Weasley said, his voice shaking with fury. “He’s back. This is the time that our family needs to stay together.” Percy snorted.
“Says Dumbledore,” Percy hissed. “And Harry Potter, the wonder boy. You’ve seen the Prophet—“
“Yeah we have!” Hermione jumped in. “It’s full of bollocks. How could you not believe Harry?”
“This is a family matter Granger, back off,” Percy snapped at her.
“Don’t you turn this on her!” Fred shouted. George stood between the two, though he seemed begrudged to have to. Percy looked back to his parents.
“Dumbledore and Harry both are going down for the lies they’re spreading,” Percy warned. “And I won’t go down with you when you realize just who you’ve affiliated yourselves with.”
With that, Percy stomped up the stairs to his room, to gather his things, with Mrs. Weasley following after him in tears. Mr. Weasley had to grab the twins around their waists to stop them from lunging after their older brother.
Ron remained frozen in his seat, a slice of toast also frozen in midair just inches from his mouth. Ginny was gripping the arms of her chair so tightly her knuckles had turned white. Hermione’s eyes darted between all of them fearfully. And suddenly the door swung open, revealing Bill and a petite blonde, a wide smile on both of their faces. These smiles, however, dropped as Percy barged back into the room, with Mrs. Weasley trailing after him, sobbing furiously.
“What’s going on?” Bill asked tentatively, grasping Fleur Delacour’s hand tightly.
Without a word, Percy slipped into the fireplace, dropped a handful of Floo powder, and disappeared in a flourish of green flames.
The scene slowly faded for George, just as Mr. Weasley hugged his crying wife.
The kitchen rematerialized before him, now dark and empty, with the exception of a single silhouette, visible leaning against the kitchen counter with a mug in hand. Just out the doorway, the corridor was lined with an assortment of trunks and suitcases. They were off to join the rest of the Order at Grimmauld place tomorrow.
“Fred?” George had to strain to see Hermione’s figure tiptoe into the kitchen through the dark. Fred raised his mug slightly in greeting, but didn’t speak. Hermione grabbed her own mug from the cupboard and parked herself next to Fred against the kitchen counter.
“All right?” Hermione prompted. Fred set down his mug and rubbed his eyes.
“Not in the slightest,” he said with a sigh. “All this bollocks with Percy has Mum so upset. Now we’re off to join a secret society, that none of us can really even be a part of.” He looked to Hermione, who had been watching him carefully.
“When did the world become such a bleeding mess?” he continued. Hermione grasped his hand tightly in hers.
“Everything will be all right,” she said quietly. Fred rested his head on hers. “It has to be.”
The scene switched to Hermione’s room in Grimmauld Place, where a large amount of steam was visibly pouring out from under the bathroom door. A hand smacked over George’s eyes just as Hermione stepped out of the bathroom, clad in only a fluffy white towel.
“Not for your eyes Georgie,” Fred said with a laugh. George chuckled along with him and blindly hugged his recently deceased twin’s memory.
“Oh Freddie, where have you been all my life?” George said.
“Attached to your hip you half-wit,” Fred replied. “Now listen…”
George heard Hermione fumbling in a drawer for something when he heard a loud crack.
“Hermione! Check out these Extendab—BLIMEY!” And then a smack of another hand over younger-Fred’s own eyes.
“FRED WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN HERE?” Hermione’s voice sounded, along with a scrambling for more clothing, George assumed.
“Oh my goodness Hermione, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t see anything I swear!” Fred backed into something with a loud thud. George’s eyes were uncovered just as Hermione had flicked her wand dressing herself, her towel now in hand, charging Fred.
“You. Bleeding. IDIOT!” Hermione snapped, smacking Fred with her towel between every word. “You CAN’T just sneak up on me like that!” Fred however started laughing.
“I’m sorry!” he repeated. “If I had known you had worn such scandalous knickers, I would’ve barged in soon—ONLY JOKING WOMAN!” Hermione whipped him one more time with her towel for good measure, and began shoving him towards the door.
“Out, out, out,” Hermione shouted.
“But I wanted to show you these Extendable Ears!” Fred exclaimed in one last attempt. Hermione stopped her pushing.
“Extendable what?” Hermione asked curiously. George leaned over to Fred.
“Impressive distraction,” he commented. Fred smiled.
“Our products were just so darn fascinating to her,” he replied. “Still are I think, though she doesn’t like to admit it.”
“… and then you can listen in on conversations,” Fred finished. “George and I thought they might be useful, what with all of us being banned from Order meetings and all.” Hermione frowned slightly in thought.
“That’s rather brilliant Fred,” she murmured, still looking quite concentrated. Fred beamed at this, but Hermione’s narrowed eyes prompted him to contain it almost instantly.
“Now out with you,” Hermione snapped. “Don’t think I’ve forgotten already.” She pushed him out the door.
“You still love me!” Fred piped just as the door snapped shut. Hermione leaned against the door with a heavy sigh, but she couldn’t hide the slight smile on her face.
“Idiot,” she whispered, shaking her head.
George turned to say something to his twin but he was already gone, as was the room he had just been in. Grimmauld Place’s kitchen rematerialized before his eyes, just as Sirius led Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and the twins into it.
“All right, just keep in mind, he’s not too friendly, piece of shite really,” Sirius said. “Just don’t want him scaring the knickers off of you like he did me when I came back here and realized that he’s still alive and kicking.” Hermione and Ron exchanged a quizzical look just as Sirius wrenched the kitchen cabinet open.
“Kreacher!” Sirius said, grabbing the house-elf by the scruff of his neck. “These are a few more of our house guests. You will treat them just as you would have treated my mother.” Kreacher took each of the Weasleys’ and Hermione’s faces with narrowed eyes. Hermione took a hesitant step forward, holding out her hand.
“It’s nice to meet you Kreacher,” Hermione said tentatively. “I’m Herm—“
“Kreacher’s master would not want him to touch the filthy mudblood’s hand!” Kreacher hissed. Sirius whacked him upside the head, just as both Ron and Fred moved to lunge at him.
“Stop it,” Hermione scolded, holding the two of them back. “He doesn’t know what he’s saying.”
“Like hell he doesn’t,” Fred grumbled. Mrs. Weasley pushed open the door from the dining room, announcing that she needed a hold of the kitchen to start dinner and to clear out. Most of them scattered, leaving just Fred and Hermione standing by the counter, with Mrs. Weasley bustling around in the pantry. Fred was still glaring angrily at the spot where Kreacher had just previously been standing when Hermione turned his face to her.
“Take a breath,” she said quietly. “It’s fine, honestly.” Fred looked at her for a moment before sighing heavily.
“Oh all right,” he said finally. “Up for a match of wizard’s chess?” Hermione chuckled.
“You’re on.” Mrs. Weasley watched the two with heightened curiosity as they walked from the room arm in arm.
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