Chapter 11 : Fred, Hermione, and Teddy
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As usual, I own absolutely nothing. I am merely having some fun.
"Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven."
- Tyron Edwards
"You look beautiful, Hermione. You really do," Fred said as he pulled Hermione close. It was Bill and Fleur's wedding and they had just walked out of the tent for some fresh air.
"You look quite dashing yourself, Fred," Hermione said, her cheeks a rosy pink from her blushing.
They remained silent for awhile, taking comfort in each other's presence. Fred then stared into her eyes and knew what was coming.
"Fred, I'll be leaving soon," Hermione said quietly, looking away from him.
He sighed. "I know, love."
"You do?" she asked, looking back up at him with confusion in her eyes.
He nodded, "I've seen the way you've been plotting with Harry and Ron. I knew you guys were going to leave sooner or later."
"I'm sorry, Fred. There's no other way," she continued, her eyes glinting with tears.
"It's alright, love. I don't like the thought of you leaving, but it's necessary," he said, tightening his grip on her. He wasn't ready for her to leave just yet.
"I love you, Fred."
"I love you, too. Always and forever."
Fred was sitting at the kitchen table deep in thought. He was tracing with his finger a ruby ring which was sitting on the table. He had planned on giving the ring to Hermione, but never found the right time to give it to her. He cursed himself over and over for not giving it to her at Bill and Fleur's wedding; the last time he saw her.
A flash of green light emitted from the fireplace.
"Bill. I don't mean to sound rude, by why in Merlin's name are you here?" Fred asked, as he ran a hand over his face.
It was universally accepted amongst all Order members that Fred Weasley was in poor shape. Beth ensured that he ate properly, and although she brewed some Sleeping Draughts, for herself and Fred, she knew he wasn't taking them.
Fred and Hermione were a bit more private about their relationship than everyone expected them to be. Since Hermione was so involved in the war, their relationship must have been put on hold. That didn't stop Fred from loving her and missing her like mad.
"It's Hermione, Fred. She's at Shell Cottage," Bill said slowly. Fred noticed how tired Bill looked.
"She's been hurt, hasn't she?" Fred asked gravely.
Bill nodded. Putting the ring into his pocket, Fred made his way towards the fireplace and to Shell Cottage.
"What happened to her?" Fred quickly asked Harry as soon as he saw him.
All that Fred cared about at this point was Hermione and the relief he felt when he saw Harry in the flesh was quickly outlived by his concern. Harry didn't answer right away, and that only caused Fred to become more panicked.
"What happened, Harry?" his voice was filled with emotion.
"She was tortured by Bellatrix," Harry stated plainly.
"Mione's resting upstairs," Ron added quietly.
Fred nodded his thanks and quickly made his way towards Hermione's room. He was prepared for the worst, but then again he wasn't. He hadn't seen her in months.
Hermione woke up to feeling of someone holding her hand. If she remembered correctly, the last hand she held was Harry's and that was while visiting his parents at Godric's Hollow. This hand didn't belong to Harry. She knew this hand, and she didn't believe what she was feeling.
She opened her eyes and saw Fred sitting next to her bed, keeping vigil. She smiled for the first time in a long time.
"I'm so glad you're finally awake!" Fred exclaimed, joy evident in his features.
She smiled wider and squeezed his hand. If she wasn't so weak, she would be nearly bouncing off the walls like Fred.
"How long have you been waiting?" she asked.
Fred shrugged, he really didn't know.
"An hour or two. I'm not really sure," he replied.
She nodded, "I'm glad you're here Fred."
"As am I, love. As am I."
The pair remained silent, both relishing each other's company. Fred could tell that Hermione wasn't ready to tell him what exactly happened, but he knew the gist of it. Fred had a gut feeling that Hermione knew he had a vague idea of what had happened.
Regardless if she knew or not, he wasn't going to push her.
"I have something for you," he said as he pulled out the ring from his pocket.
"Before you say anything, my dear, hear me out," Fred said, knowing she had a lot to say.
She nodded, allowing him to continue.
"This isn't an engagement ring. It's a promise. A promise that I'll try my best to survive this damned war and that you better too or else I'll be very upset with you. A promise that one day after all of this is over, I'll ask you to be my wife," Fred said as tears slid down his face.
He wasn't ashamed of crying, not in front of Hermione. Especially when she was crying herself. Hermione held out a shaky hand to him and he slid the ring onto her finger. She smiled, realizing she now had a constant reminder to not give up on hope.
"I love you, Hermione."
"I love you, too. Always and forever," she said, remembering his words at Bill and Fleur's wedding.
He grinned before he leaned forward and kissed her. The knot of regret that had been in the pit of his stomach for months finally disappeared.
It was a quiet night alone for Beth and George. Molly wanted David at the Burrow for the week and not daring to say no to the Weasley matriarch, Beth allowed him to go. Fred was spending the past couple days at Shell Cottage on some confidential Order business. Although the pair were curious about what he could be doing, they didn't question it.
Beth was reading an extremely battered copy of Pride and Prejudice when George sat down next to her on the couch, and gently placed her book on the coffee table.
"I think it's about time we talk," he said.
"Well, when I said talk I really meant snog the daylights out of each other," he said grinning.
"What? I haven't kissed you since Merlin know's when! And the way you bite your lip when you read has always driven me mad! Can I please kiss you?" George was playfully begging.
"It's not snogging that scares me, George. It's what happens when you go further than snogging that I'm afraid of," she said quietly. She hadn't kissed George since before the incident.
George sighed and cradled her hands in his.
"Beth, I love you. I would never push you into doing something you're not ready for. I'll go at whatever pace you want and if you're ever uncomfortable let me know. I'm in this for the long run, remember?" he said, poking the diamond ring on her finger.
Beth smiled, wondering how she deserved such an understanding man.
"Thank you, George," she said before slowly kissing him.
In her fear, Beth had forgotten how lovely it was to kiss George. In her fear, she forgot what it was like to be showered with affection from the one she loved. She knew she still wasn't ready to go much further, but she took comfort in the fact that she remembered what it felt like to be loved and not used.
"Beth! George! I have excellent news!" Lupin said as he rushed into the living room.
Beth and George quickly moved apart, not expecting someone to walk in on them snogging the daylights out of each other.
"Oh excuse me for not giving you prior warning, but this simply could not wait!" Remus said sounding not in the least embarrassed.
"What is it?" Beth asked.
"It's a boy! We've named him Teddy, after Dora's dad!" Remus exclaimed.
"Oh that's absolutely wonderful, Remus. Congratulations!" Beth said, standing up from the couch to give him a hug.
George shook his hand in congratulations.
"We want you to be the godmother, Beth," Remus said.
Beth smiled broadly, "I'm honored, Remus. Of course I will."
"Excellent! Dora will be thrilled. I need to tell the others now, I'll see you later!"
And with that, the new father quickly left.
"Teddy Lupin," George said. "Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?"
"And I'm his godmother," she said with wonder in her voice.
"You'll be lovely," George said.
"You think so?" Beth murmured.
"I know so."
Beth smiled and hugged her fiance.
A.N: Feeback is as always appreciated! P.S. I cannot allow myself to let Fred die, so this chapter isn't as bittersweet as you thought!