Chapter 3 : Confessions and Butterbeer
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The next two months went by pretty quickly considering she was literally at a standstill concerning Sirius. She had spent four nights a week helping with Fred’s recovery and was pleased to see that he was finally able to return to work. George seemed to be jumping for joy at the very thought that the infamous duo would be running the shop once again.
But Hermione needed to speak to Fred before he got too busy to see her. The only problem was the more she thought about sharing her secret the more nervous and unsure about it she became. What if he told George? What if he told Ron or his parents? No one would accept her theories; in fact, she was pretty sure they would call her crazy and try to persuade her to ditch the idea all together.
That just wasn’t an option.
“Hey Hermione.” Fred greeted her as she walked into the twins’ flat.
“Fred.” She smiled warmly and plopped onto the couch next to him. “So, Mondays the big day, huh?”
“Yep.” He inhaled deeply, “I'm a little nervous.”
“Nervous?” She gasped, “The great Fred Weasley nervous? Is the sky falling? Are pigs flying somewhere?”
“Shut it you.” He playfully poked her in the side.
“Seriously though, you shouldn’t be nervous you were born for pranking.” She nodded affirmatively.
“It’s been a very long time.”
“Doesn’t mean a thing, Fred. You're a natural concerning pranking. You're a jokester. It’s in your blood.” Hermione shrugged, “You being nervous about doing what you love would be like me being nervous about reading.”
He snorted, “I see your point.”
“Glad to hear it.” She grinned and then shifted a bit to face him better on the sofa, “I’ve come to talk to you about something that’s very important to me.”
“Okay.” He frowned a bit. “You seem serious.”
“I am very.” She agreed and took a deep breath as her knee started bouncing, he motioned for her to continue, “I have another…thing…I’ve been working on for quite some time now and I need your help.”
“Yes, you're help.”
“What do you need my help for?”
“It’s a code,” she began reluctantly while nibbling on the inside of her cheek, “A serious of two codes actually intertwined together to get access to a void.”
“What type of void?”
“I’ve already figured out the base code, wasn’t hard really, it’s just four spells combined in backwards order, but I'm having trouble with the tie in spells. The coding that completes the loop.”
“Hermione, what type of void?”
“It’s very important that you do not laugh at me, Fred. I couldn’t bare it.” She warned and then with a quick inhale she answered, “The Veil.”
Fred stared at her without blinking, “The Veil?”
“You want to work on the Veil?” His brow raised skeptically.
“No, I do not want to work on the Veil. I have a specific...”
“Sirius.” He cut her off with the name and his gaze narrowed on her own with the answer.
Hermione nodded slowly, “I have his genetic makeup, I have the sacrificial installment, I have the foundation code, and all I'm missing is the connection.”
“And why, please tell me, did you think I’d be able to help you?” He asked with evident confusion.
“Fred, you're one of the smartest people I know.” She stated as if it were obvious, “You see outside the box, which is what I need. I'm not an outside the box thinker.”
“So wait, you said it was another one of your issues?”
“I was one and so is Sirius?”
“Did you bring me back just so I would help you?” The hurt in his voice almost broke her heart.
“Absolutely not!” She cried and quickly reached out to grip both his hands in her’s, “Fred, the moment you arrived in that hospital was the moment I decided I’d help get you back. I finished school and the moment I was out I began to try and get you healed. Five years, that’s how long it took me to get to you and to be able to bring you back safely.”
“I had to get you back. If not for you, but for your family…” Hermione trailed off shyly and looked down towards their clasped hands before whispered, “…for me.”
“Fred, you…I…” Hermione paused and shook her head, “Do you know how Harry and Ron are my best friends?”
“I'm aware,” he joked.
“Okay, I’d do anything for them. Anything. But Fred, you're ….we aren’t exactly best friends, but that’s okay with me because I’d rather not have another guy best friend, I’d much rather just have you.” She gasped at her words, “That is to say, I mean I didn’t mean, oh bollocks…I – “
“Hermione, if you didn’t bring me back for Sirius and you brought me back simply because you wanted to, did you….I mean…”
“To be perfectly honest with you, Fred, I fell in love you with you during those last years of school. When you and George started speaking to me like something other than Ron’s best friend, I saw you both in a whole new light.”
“Yes, I know that’s absolutely ridiculous now, but back then, I was.” She said cautiously. Refusing to admit that the feeling was very much alive inside of her. What if he didn’t feel the same way? No, it was easier to tip toe through this particular topic.
“Back then?” His voice was whisper soft, he looked to her with a deep question in his eyes and it stilled the breath in her lungs. Could he mean? No, right? She swallowed.
“Fred…five years of my life…for you. What does that say to you?”
“That you're too stubborn to quit while you're ahead?” Fred slipped, humor breaking the suddenly heavy tension.
She laughed a bit, “There is that.”
He smiled and nodded, “So you want to bring Sirius back?”
“You brought me back for Ron?”
“And me,” She laughed a bit, “I'm going to have to do something extra special for Ron, because to be honest, me being so adamant about your return was a bit selfish on my part. I wasn’t willing to let you go. Not if I could help it.”
“Sirius for Harry, huh?”
“He deserves a family, Fred, and if I can give that to him – if we – can give that to him, wouldn’t you?”
He looked down at their hands and sighed as he traced his thumbs over her knuckles, “In a heartbeat.”
“So you’ll help?” Her voice broke a bit at the sensation of his hands on her’s. “I can’t do it alone.”
“Oh…” He smiled a bit wider as he pulled her closer to where she was laying into him, “I'm sure you could do it without me.”
“Perhaps,” She smiled as she nestled her head on his collar bone, “But Harry deserves to have Sirius back before he turns a hundred.”
A few minutes of silence followed that statement where both of them had taken to looking the other over. The feel of their bodies pressed together in such a foreign but familiar way caused their minds to drift. It was strange, how they had aged six years, the youth of their faces had slowly left them, there were worry lines where there shouldn’t be considering they were only in their twenties, but a war does things to the physic. She was still beautiful, if not more so than she had been. Fred smiled to her, waiting for her to answer – he could tell she was lost in a far off place, probably back to when they had shared their first kiss. It had happened quite similarly to their position now, granted there had been a few butter beers involved and Lee Jordan’s insane dare to snog the first person to come to mind. He would never forget that moment
The celebration was in full swing. Everyone was there, the younger Weasleys, Hermione, Harry, Dean, Seamus, Lavender Brown, the Patil twins, Neville and even a few people the guest had brought. Goldstein, Michael Conner and Colin Creevey and his brother, Dennis, sat talking with Lee Jordan. It was probably the last full party they would have for a long time, they all knew this. The war wasn’t over and the final battle was coming. But that didn’t keep the twins from making sure everyone had a good time before everyone had to grow up too quick, too fast.
“Hey mate,” George elbowed him in his side. “Why so quiet?”
“Just thinking.” Fred said and shook himself out of his thoughts before stepping forward and asking the room full of Gryffindors and D.A members, “Who wants to play a party game?”
A chorus of people agreeing followed that statement before the boy-who-lived stepped forward and asked, “What game?”
“Spin the bottle!” Came Ginny’s reply, her eyes going to Harry with a flirty grin before Ron laughed and refused.
“No bloody way, half the people here are family and I refuse to kiss anyone related to me.” He said.
“There’s always the others, Ronald, I’m sure you could find a way to enjoy yourself.” Hermione said with her brows raised, her brown eyes flickering from Ron to Harry before she wiggled her brows and fell into a fit of giggles.
“Bloody hell, Hermione.” Ron groaned as the room burst into snickers and laughter.
“What? I’m not snoggible enough for you?” Harry teased and feigned hurt. “That’s alright…that’s what your sister’s for...” He winked at Ginny who blushed madly.
“How about Questions?” Neville piped in, his cheeks and ear bright red from all the excitement. Fred smirked as people refused.
“Too easy to get serious,” Dean said to his friend. “I don’t want to be serious, not tonight.”
“Here here.” George cried and then eyed Fred before they both looked over to Lee Jordan. The dark skinned boy grinned his bright white grin and suggested, “Truth or Dare?”
“Yes!” Hermione screamed quite loudly. Her eyes widening rather comically as she put a hand over her mouth and blushed. “I mean, yes, that sounds fun.”
The room fell into laughter again because it was clear that Hermione was getting a bit tipsy. Fred smiled at the thought, she was always fun when she was like that. George grinned madly and him and Fred sat down on one of the loveseats and when they rest of them all shifted and settled down into seats, pulling into an awkward circle, Fred piped in, “Alright, Harry, this is your birthday party, you go first.”
Harry grinned madly and nodded. “Alright then. “He scanned the room’s occupants with an almost sinister look in his eye. Fred and George looked to each other and smirked. Harry had always been good at playing this type of game. He had a ruthless streak in him that made them proud.
“Dean…” His emerald eyes narrowed in on his fellow dorm mate. “Truth or Dare?”
Dean smirked, “Truth.”
A grumble went around the room and Harry laughed. “Alright, playing it safe? Let’s see…” He tapped his chin and then grinned madly, “Is it true that you had a crush on Luna Lovegood?”
“Luna?” Ron asked bewildered, his blue eyes looking to Dean who only laughed and nodded his answer. “Luna? Are you serious, Dean, man…”
“Hey.” Dean held up his hands and grew serious, “The girl is a looker, I still have a crush on her.”
“Have fun with that.” Hermione snickered, “That girl is off her rocker, looker or not.”
“She just thinks differently,” Dean defended, shooting Hermione a quick glance, “I like her.”
“More power to you mate,” Ron chuckled and slapped him on the back rather hard, “Just be careful and not to piss her off…”
“Or some piggysmoogleton might decapitate you.” Hermione leaned forward and said so seriously, with her eyes wide and her face serious in a perfect imitation of Luna that they all fell into giggle fits.
“Sod off!” Dean said through his laugh and looked around the room, “Alright alright, my turn…hmmm...” He glanced over the occupants and narrowed in on George. “George, truth or dare?”
George smirked and sat up straight with an exaggerated air of confidence, “Dare.” He looked dead at Dean as the room followed his gaze to the younger Gryffindor.
“I dare you…” He tilted his head, trying to think of something that would shock one of the Weasley twins. “I dare you to close your eyes, spin in a circle and when we say stop walk forward and kiss the person in front of you.”
The boys in the room groaned at being a part of the dare as George stood up immediately and strutted to the center of the room. He closed his eyes and spun for a full thirty seconds before Dean told him to stop. He opened his eyes and laughed when he saw Harry glowering at Dean.
“Well come on then.” The raven haired boy grunted.
George laughed and shrugged before walking to him and…after an awkward pause, pressed his lips to Harry’s. They stayed that way for five seconds before they both broke away and the room laughed at the bright red flare to their faces.
“Well?” Hermione peeped.
“Well what?” George asked her, a brow raised.
“Hows his snogging skills?” She asked seriously.
“Oh.” George smiled wide and looked to Harry, “Not bad.”
Harry laughed and so did the room as he piped in, “I know.”
“So do I.” Ginny commented and Ron groaned. Ginny laughed, “Don’t be jealous Ronnie, youll get your turn.”
“Shut it you.” He growled and George raised his hands and slapped them together, calling attention to himself.
“My turn.” He said gleefully. “I choose…” He looked around the room and landed on Lee. “Lee, truth or dare?”
Lee grinned and answered, “Dare, of course.”
George looked to Fred and then to the rest of the room, knowing they were all waiting for him to dare the man something crazy. But George was planning on something a bit more, helpful for his friend. “Alright, Jordan, I dare you to compare the Patil twins.”
“Excuse me?” Pavarti asked. “Compare?”
Padma beamed, she had always had a crush on the dark skinned Gryffindor. “How?”
Lee stood and walked over to them slowly before slipping his hand into Pavarti’s dark black hair and pulling her up to stand in front of him. He kissed her then, hard and long until she grunted and pushed against him. He smirked and winked at her before turning to her sister and raising a brow. “Your turn.”
Padma stood up and claimed his mouth before he even got the chance to move, the room watched in silence as they snogged, right there, hands starting to slip in places no decent witch and wizard should allow in a room full of occupants. After a moment, Lee pulled back and said breathlessly, “Wow.”
Padma hummed her agreement and looked around the room only to blush madly. “Oh right, Lee, your turn.” The older Gryffindor looked about the room and nodded.
“Right.” He said as he sat down where Padma had been seated and pulled her onto his lap. George grinned wickedly at his friend and then to Fred. It had worked. He was a genius.
“Hermione.” Lee said after a moment, “Truth or Dare.”
The lioness grinned wide and looked towards Lee, taking a sip of her butter beer she announced boldly, “Dare.”
Ron and Harry groaned, “Why would you do that?” Harry asked her, “Madness.”
“It’s just a game, Harry.” She chided before turning her attention to Lee. “Well, dare me, oh mighty Mr. Lee Jordan.”
Lee smirked, “I dare you to snog the lights out of the first person you think of.”
Hermione blinked and sat there frozen for a long while. Enough time for Neville to lean forward and whisper, “You don’t have to, Hermione.”
“Oh yes she does!” George cut in, “I had to snog a bloke! She has to do her dare.” He looked to her.
Hermione only smiled then, standing up and walking purposely towards the two twins sitting on the loveseat. Both Fred and George looked to each other and then back towards the approaching female, before she leaned forward, placing her hands on either side of Fred’s head and slipping herself on his lap. Knees on either side of his hips. “First person I thought about.” She whispered to him, before slanting her lips over his own.
The rest of the celebration continued, he couldn’t remember exactly how long the game kept on, but neither one of them participated any more after that. They were too concentrated on each other. The way she had kissed him, so possessively, so confidently, he never would have thought she had it in her. And he gave as good as he got.
That was the beginning of their short relationship. They only officially dated for two weeks before she left with Ron and Harry and he hadn’t seen her again until the final battle in the Room of Requirements. Too much was going on for them to do anything but a chaste kiss before the parted ways to fight.
He blinked his way back from the memory and sighed. His eyes focusing on her again, knowing they weren’t done discussing the matter at hand. “I take it we aren’t telling anyone about this?”
“What about Harry?”
“Not until we succeed.”
“You know you're a lot more secretive than I remember.” He whispered into her hair.
“A lot can change in six years. A lot could happen.”
“Too true.” Fred whispered again as he gave her a kiss along her temple, “I’ll help in any way that I can, Hermione, you have my word.”
“Thank you,” she said and looked up to him, “It means a lot to me.”
“You can always make it up to me?”
“Oh and I suppose waking you up from a magically induced coma doesn’t count?” Her brow rose as her lips twitched.
“Not in this situation.” He shook his head solemnly.
“And what can I do to make it up to you?” She asked, her brown eyes slipping from his blue to his lips.
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