Chapter 7 : Chapter 7
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The next few weeks past and Hermione and George didn’t get any time to speak again. Between DA meetings, George’s studying for his NEWT’s which didn’t actually happen too often, Hermione’s studying for her OWL’s, Fred and George’s product testing and inventing they just couldn’t find time. Days turned to weeks and eventually each began to think the other must have just forgotten about their interrupted talks. Of course this wasn’t the case for either of them.
One day saw them into the beginning of December, the day of the last DA meeting before the Christmas holidays. As usual everyone met up in the Room of Requirement, today the main spell they were looking at was casting a Patronus. Harry went about helping those struggling.
“Harry! Harry, look mine’s an otter!” she exclaimed she sounded so childish but she’d never conjured a Patronus before so she was excited.
Harry laughed at her childish manner, “That’s great Hermione, practice a little then go and see who you can help.”
She did as she was told.
“It’s-Not-Bloody-Working!” George yelled waving his wand about like a maniac.
“I know why isn’t it working?” Fred asked frustrated.
“For God’s sake would you calm down? It’s not going to work if you’re angry, you have to think of something that makes you happy which can’t be hard for you two you’re always happy,” Hermione pointed out.
“Happy like turning Ron’s teddy into a spider?” Fred asked.
“If it makes you happy that he’s still having nightmares about that,” Hermione smiled.
“No, because it reminds me why I had to do it, I loved that broom and he broke it!” Fred said breaking down in overly dramatic fake tears.
“Then something else?” Hermione suggested.
“Setting a dung bomb off under Great Aunt Muriel’s chair at Christmas dinner?” Fred asked.
“How happy did it make you?”
“A little,” Fred shrugged.
“Then it’s not good enough,” Hermione said.
“First year, in the boats and seeing Hogwarts for the first time,” George said a smile playing on his lips as he stood in a slightly dazed phase.
“That’s what I thought of,” Hermione said smiling at him strangely.
“That’s a good one! And remember- I can’t think of what you said George but you had us laughing so hard Lee almost fell into the lake!”
“Let’s try it then,” George grinned. He and Fred raised their wands and spoke in unison, “Expecto Patronum!” they cried identical Patronus’ flowing from the tips of their wands.
“We did it!” they exclaimed high-fiving each other.
“Yeah they’re um they’re... what the heck are they?”Fred asked as their Patronus’ disappeared.
“They’re Hyenas. They’re animals, predators that are famous for being laughing animals and I must say I couldn’t think of anything more fitting,” Hermione told them.
“Animals that laugh?” Fred asked still mildly confused.
“Yes Fred, animals that laugh,” Hermione shook her head at him with a smile.
“Appropriate.” George agreed, “So why isn’t yours a book, I mean if ours are Hyenas because we’re funny then shouldn’t yours be a book because you’re smart?”
“Thank you for saying I’m smart and Patronus’ are always animals. Also the Otter symbolizes laughter, curiosity, mischief, feminine power, grace, empathy, joy, play and helpfulness,” Hermione recited this off the top of her head causing the twins to give her odd looks.
“How big is your brain?” Fred asked her making Hermione laugh.
“I’m sorry Fred I don’t know and I’d rather not find out,” she smiled subconsciously touching the top if her head.
“I’m going to go see who I can help I’ll see you guys later,” she waved her goodbye as she walked away.
“I think an Otter for her is a perfect match,” George grinned.
“Yeah I definitely agree with the feminine power part you saw what she did to Ron in their duel the other day,” he said referring to a time in one of the DA meetings.
“I saw and I did not want to be put in his position,” George said giving a slight wince as he imagined it.
“Then when you get together you best not get her angry,” Fred smirked.
“Why don’t you just shout that to the entire world?” George said annoyed at his twins big mouth.
“Fine I will,” Fred stuck his tongue out at his twin before clearing his throat loudly getting the attention of everyone, “DA members my twin has something he’d like for me to share...”
“Oh shut it!” George hissed at him.
Fred laughed his response, “Never mind go back to having happy memories and that,” Fred called to the group.
“You know I hate you?” George grinned at him.
“Yes and I know in your language that means you love me and so I hate you too” Fred smiled at him.
George grinned at him, “Aww my sentimental twin,” he then clapped his hands in front of Fred’s face loudly, “Snap out of it!” he yelled at him jokingly.
The session went on and once they reached the end Harry called everyone together.
“Alright so you all tried really hard and I know a lot of you struggled but it is very advanced magic and we knew it wouldn’t be easy, I promise we will do more work on it in the future. But let’s just come away from that and look at everything we’ve learnt so far we’re making great progress and I hope it continues after the holidays. So Merry Christmas have fun and I’ll see you after Christmas break,” he said feeling incredibly awkward he hated having to speak like a teacher he felt ridiculous.
As everyone left they thanked Harry wished him a Merry Christmas. After everything they went to dinner and discussed the holidays that were to be spent at Grimmauld place in just four days. Hermione was coming too as her parents were taking a trip to Paris.
“Hermione didn’t you want to go to Paris with your parents?” George asked.
“No, I mean my parents asked if I wanted to go but I hate everything about France,” she told him.
“What do you mean?” George asked.
“I don’t know there’s something about they’re accents that annoys me and the French language drives me insane,” Hermione said.
“Alright then,” George shrugged.
“Oh God I’m sorry, that sounded so racist it’s not French people at all don’t get me wrong I’ve got family from France and Paris is so pretty when it’s all lit up but I don’t know it’s just not something I’ve ever liked,” Hermione admitted.
George just grinned at her, “Strange, most girls go mad over the whole city of romance thing.”
“Yes well I’m not most girls, my life doesn’t revolve around romance and fairy tales,” Hermione pointed out.
“I never said you were most girls I just made a simple comparison please don’t kill me,” George begged moving away from her slightly.
“I’m not going to kill you, I’d just prefer you didn’t compare me to some of these other bubble heads,” gesturing down the table to a group of girls doing each others’ hair and whispering and giggling annoyingly loud.
George slowly moved back towards her and whispered to her, “I know we’ve both been busy but I haven’t forgotten hopefully we’ll get to talk over Christmas break.”
Hermione smiled at him before whispering her response, “I’d like that.”
They smiled at each other for a while oblivious to everyone else before Hermione left with Ron and Harry.
“So did George ask you out?” asked Ron after they left the Great Hall.
“Did who do what?” Hermione asked.
“Despite what you may believe Hermione, we haven’t forgotten what you told us about your feelings for George and the whispers and funny looks haven’t gone unnoticed either,” Harry pointed out.
Hermione’s eyes widened in shock she had believed they’d forgotten and that they were completely oblivious to her personal life, clearly she’d been mistaken. “For your information he did not ask me out,” she told them.
“But he’s going to,” Ron stated rather plainly.
“Not necessarily,” Hermione said feeling increasingly awkward in the situation as far as she saw it they were boys and they were great and she loved them both as if they were brothers but she just didn’t want to discuss her love life (if it could even be called that) with them. “Listen as much as I appreciate you guys taking an interest I’d rather not have this conversation right now,” Hermione told them.
“Fine by us,” Harry shrugged.
“Thank you for not making me have to pretend to want to discuss this,” Ron said.
Hermione laughed, “Well thank you for pretending it means a lot that you guys care.”
The next day past nothing important happening and after lessons and dinner Harry, Hermione, Ron, Fred, George and Ginny were sat in the common room.
“One more day guys then freedom for two weeks!” exclaimed Fred.
“Thank god,” everyone muttered in response.
“So not disappointed to leave, Granger?” asked George as the conversation around them changed to Order of the Phoenix matters.
“No, I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad. Hogwarts used to be my home now it’s my hell,” Hermione sighed.
“Umbridge is killing the school,” George agreed.
“I’m just not going to try anymore if the Ministry doesn’t want to teach us then I’m not going to learn! If they want us to pass our OWLs but aren’t preparing us properly then that’s their problem I’m not making more stress for myself. They think they can change the school then school’s going to change, for the worse,” Hermione said angrily.
George place a hand on her shoulder comfortingly, “Hermione, you love school don’t let the Ministry ruin that you’re determined and your intelligent prove to them what your capable of even if they aren’t teaching you. The school’s changing and yes they’re bad changes but don’t let the Ministry change everything you’ve worked so hard for previously Hermione, you’re not you if you don’t care about your work and your grades You can’t give up Hermione, your effort, determination and intelligence are some of the things I love most about you,” George told her sincerely his eyes locked on hers.
Hermione blushed. ‘Some of the things he loves about me?’ she thought.
“You’re right George and I know it but it’s just that with everything else changing it’s becoming harder and harder not to change with it. I know giving up isn’t the right thing to do and yet I don’t want to do well to give Umbridge anymore self-pride than she already has by putting her under the illusion she’s a good teacher,” Hermione told him.
“Hey, trust me you cannot fuel her pride any more she’s already delusional enough to believe what she’s doing is right and that she’s some sort of teacher God. So right now all you can do is what’s best for you forget toad face just remember you deserve your grades and when you achieve them your proving her wrong not the other way round,” George said.
“George I honestly don’t know what I’d do without you,” Hermione smiled at him.
“I’m sure you would have come to the same conclusion without me I mean with your brain I’m surprised you hadn’t reached the same conclusion already,” George grinned back at her.
They rejoined the group discussion and after a while everyone left for bed each thinking about what was soon to come in the war, each worried about the possibilities and tragedies it would bring, only able to hope and pray that those close to them wouldn’t be lost. But they were clueless none of them had any clue what the war would bring none of them had any control over what would happen well all except for Harry his dreams gave him a clue as to what would happen but did he have any control? He was the Chosen One after all, the Boy Who Lived but what could he do? He was fifteen Dumbledore was ignoring him and he was feeling more alone as everyday past.
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