AN: I don't own anything from Harry Potter it all belongs to J.K.Rowling.
Fred was in shock, his battle trained brain unable to take in the vision in front of him or the voice emanating from it. Hermione Granger had died in battle, bled out in his arms as he had vainly tried spell after spell to close her wounds and heal her. He had blamed himself for years. His blame being only half of what society had landed on him. His brother Ron no longer saw him as family and the rest of his siblings looked on him with pity. George was the only one he could stand being around, his twin who had lost everything in the final battle when his fiancé threw herself in front of a killing curse for him. His parents understood but disappointment always shone in his mothers eyes. Harry Potter had vanished for weeks after the battle, and was even now still in St. Mungo’s, not allowed visitors, especially not him; apparently Hermione’s death had destroyed him. Her death was on his shoulders. He should have been able to save her, should have took the curses for her, it had never been said to his face but they thought it.
He had never told anyone of her wounds. How her shoulder had been dislocated, the deep wounds over her body, the defensive wounds on her hands and arms. He’d kept the horror of her broken knuckles to himself and the ragged torn nails. He told no one of the torn robes, the shaven head the dullness of her brilliant eyes. He’d known it would break her friends, would kill his brother to know the truth. She’d been out there alone because of him, because he hadn’t figured the clues out in time. When he had he’d rushed to the moors, apparating to her side, all to late. He’d told no one of the burning curse that had lashed across his back, the rage that had consumed all sense when he had seen her lying broken on the ground, how he’d destroyed half of Voldemort’s inner circle with the backlash of his magic. How despite of this strength he still hadn’t to save her.
Hermione watched the man in front of her carefully for signs of recognition. She knew him. Had known him. With him she was safe. He would keep her safe. He had tried to save her before. Her eyes widened with a sudden thought. He had thought her dead also. That much was clear from the look on his face. He thought he had failed her. Guilt rushed through her body and she flung herself forward to embrace him without a thought.
Fred reacted solely out of instinct. Seeing a shadow hurtle at him with arms out stretched he backed sharply, slamming a repelling charm at the attack. Then it hit him what he’d just done and the wand slipped from his nerveless fingers. His knees hit the floor with a sharp crack, and pain jolted up his legs. He forced himself to raise his head, to see that he’d failed her again. His head snapped back as a hand connected with his check and his jaw dropped. Hermione Granger was stood before him, very real from the feel of his face, shaking with suppressed rage. Her eyes flashed and her hair crackled with currents of magic. He widened his eyes at the situation he was in, he had just attacked someone he should be glad to see and someone he knew could blast him into the next century leaving no trace. He gulped, swallowing his fear as he looked up at her, as he starred waiting for his doom to fall he noticed something was minutely different about the girl, no woman, in front of him, but he couldn’t figure what it was.
Hermione felt the spell hit her and froze. He’d attacked her. She watched as he dropped his wand, slipping to the floor in shame, before looking up at her with agony in his eyes. She swung her hand without thinking, a typical Hermione response, holding back with the strength of the blow, even so his head still snapped back, she cringed. Her magic was flowing freely now, her eyes unshuttered showing her true self. She took a step towards him carefully, controlled. Shutting her eyes for a second, before dropping to her knees in front of him, their knees touching, eyes meeting. She reached a hand towards his cheek, tracing a silvery scar there, before cupping it gently in weapon-roughed hands. She was surprised when instead of retreating he leant into her touch a sigh escaping his lips. He raised a hesitant hand towards her, brushing her check with a butterfly touch. She held perfectly still, careful not to startle him again, as the gentle touches traced her check bone, across her forehead and down her nose. One side of her mouth raised in a gentle smile as he drew his thumb along her bottom lip. It was like he was saving her face in his memory, like he expected her to leave him again.
Fred realised he could well be making a fool of himself, tracing her features like this, but her couldn’t bring himself to stop. He heard gentle footsteps approaching and Fred opened his eyes to gaze into the dark brown, honey flecked eyes in front of him. He returned her smile shyly, “You’re really here.” his voice cracked, “you’re really alive.”
Unconsciously they had leant together, and their foreheads rested lightly together. Red gold hair and soft dusky brown hair mingling, Hermione’s hand resting gently on his check, Fred leaning in craving her touch. Knees touching, eyes closed, wands discarded. This was how George found them as he entered the room. His eyes widened in surprise, taking in the picture in front of him. A tear escaped his eye to make it’s leisurely way down a smooth check. He cleared his throat and two pairs of eyes turned to look at him, the slate grey eyes swirling with emotion and the brown eyes frowning in concentration.
Fred rose to his feet, pulling Hermione with him. He walked to his twin sliding a hand down her arm to hold her hand comfortingly. “George I’d like to reintroduce you to Hermione Granger.” he looked his twin straight in the eye, his voice shaking, “George?”
George watched in astonishment as the beautiful young woman beside his twin stepped cautiously forward holding out a small fragile looking hand. He grasped it tightly, surprised at the strength there and the feel of calluses brushing his palm. “Hermione” he breathed the sadness in his eyes banished fully for the first time since the war. “Hermione, welcome home.”
Hermione shook he head and the twins froze, she smiled at them sadly leaning unconsciously towards Fred. “Not home, just safe.” she stated, “I haven’t had a home for a long time.” A crystal tear ran down unblemished skin, her eyes shinning with those she would never shed. Fred wrapped a strong arm round her slender shoulders, pulling her flush to his side. The twins eyes met, they both knew what she meant, but before they could respond to that statement Hermione slipped free of Fred’s arm, giving it a reassuring squeeze for a second. “Do you have any food? I’m starving” she glanced at the two men next to her, staring at her as if star stuck. “What?”
Fred chuckled, the laughter quickly spreading to George, he grinned at her. “Only you Hermione.” Seeing her forehead wrinkle in confusion, he ran a finger over it smoothing the lines away. Leaning in he whispered so only she could hear, “Only you could bring us our hearts back. Thank you.” With a chaste kiss on his check he walked away to the stairs, George ahead of him. Just before they descended Fred turned back, “bacon and eggs do you?” Hermione’s laugh followed them down the stairs.
Left alone Hermione raised a hand to her check a sudden flush bringing her features to life. She smiled to herself, before running lightly after the twins and into the kitchen of the Burrow, following the sounds of quiet laughter and smells of breakfast.
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