Chapter 16 : Chapter 16
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They were all sitting in the Common room talking but there was something off in the group. Fred and George were barely speaking and had seemed almost distant from them all throughout the day. Hermione realised Lee might have been onto something last night when he’d said that something had been up with them.
When conversation died down Fred cleared his throat loudly.
“What’s wrong Fred?” asked Angelina.
Fred looked to George who nodded at him before whispering, “It’s time.”
They looked from each person in the group, Hermione, Angelina, Ron, Ginny, Lee, Alicia and Katie and sighed.
“What’s wrong,” Angelina repeated and the rest of the group looked genuinely concerned.
“Well you see...” Fred began.
“What it is- is...” George attempted to continue but was at a loss for words.
“As you know we got 93 Diagon Alley for our joke shop yesterday...”
“And it’s our last year here anyway...”
“Because we have everything we need to start our futures...”
“We’ve decided NEWTs aren’t necessary and that we should- should um... should...” George couldn’t finish because it hurt too much.
“Leave early. I mean we’ll stay another month or so but it really doesn’t make sense for us to stay,” Fred finished looking at the group awkwardly.
“Leaving...” Hermione breathed and felt the tears before she could stop them and jumped up to make a run for the stairs to the girls’ dormitory.
George was up in an instant and grabbed her wrist and pulled her back, “wait Hermione...”
She shook her arm out of his grip, “I have a potions essay,” she lied though the tears made it fairly obvious as she went for the stairs again.
George grabbed her hand this time, “No you don’t, and I was with you when you did it earlier. "Please Hermione, let’s just talk.” George begged.
“I-I have to go,” she whispered through the tears as she climbed the stairs and this time George made no attempt to stop her.
He sighed deeply and sat back down with the group holding his face with his hands and shaking his head.
Everyone sat in silence until one by one they burst out laughing starting with Fred and Ginny.
George looked up at them all. He was going through the roughest experience of his life so far and his closest friends were laughing at him. He couldn’t believe it, “what are you all laughing about?”
“I mean it’s not that it’s funny George that you’re both so upset but it’s just that it’s so obvious you love each other but neither of you are willing to admit it,” Fred explained.
“Yeah George, didn’t you just see that? She’s crying and you’re not even leaving yet. She cares so much about you that a little long distance relationship couldn’t break it and it’s clear you care just as much about her,” Ginny told him.
“You have to go for it mate, love isn’t something that comes knocking every day,” Lee said.
“They’re right, George. She loves you, you love her so why not?” Angelina said pulling away from Fred’s hold.
“You really think she loves me back?” George asked the hope and excitement building before it collapsed around him. “I can’t,” he said slowly letting the words sink in.
“Why not?” asked Harry.
“Because it’s not the right time, I’m leaving! I can’t leave her so quickly after becoming a couple. There’s no time for the relationship to develop, for the trust to grow... I can’t do it. Not yet at least... maybe one day but for now I-I just don’t think I can,” George decided with a frown before walking away to the boys’ dormitory without another word.
“I’ll see you later,” called Fred running after his twin.
“I better go check on Hermione,” Ginny said as she left.
“They’re leaving.” Ron stated plainly the first words to leave his mouth since Fred and George’s news.
“I know...” Angelina said and the tears followed suit as she left for the girls’ dormitory as well.
Katy and Alicia didn’t look quite on the verge of tears but definitely were extremely sad after the news.
They left together supposedly to comfort Angelina or maybe even to let the tears out themselves. They were at the end of the day close friends with the twins and the twins radiated heat on a cold day and glowed with light when it was dark. It could be known already that they’d be missed by Hogwarts as a school.
When Ginny reached the 5th year girls’ dorm she knocked and entered before waiting for a reply. She wasn’t initially surprised by what she saw; Hermione was sat on her bed with her knees pulled into her chest sobbing softly. However it was what she saw afterwards that shocked her. Lavender Brown ‘gossip queen’ sat opposite her talking to her and comforting her.
“Hi Ginny,” Lavender called gesturing for her to come in.
“Thanks, how are you Hermione?”
Hermione’s head whipped up to give Ginny a look that could kill but it faltered as her bottom lip trembled and the sobs started again.
“Oh Hermione,” Ginny sighed sitting beside her and placing a hand on her arm.
“He’s leaving Ginny do you have any idea how much that hurts? I’m almost certain he feels the same but what good is that going to do me if he’s not here? I knew he was leaving but I- I just thought we had more time... now I know it can never happen and the hurt- the pain that fact causes me is more than any curse or jinx could possibly cause,” Hermione said grievingly.
“It will be alright, you’ll see everything will work out one day.” Ginny said though this didn’t seem to reassure Hermione at all.
“Hermione, if you love him and he loves your love won’t be lost or forgotten it’s stronger than that. Does that mean you won’t have a couple of problems along the way? Of course not there will always be a bump in the road or in your case a mountain but the point is do you turn back and give up or do you climb that mountain and embrace what’s waiting on the other side despite the struggle of the climb? It all comes back to one question, what are you willing to do for George, what are you willing to do for love?” Lavender asked her surprising both girls with the deep, emotional and comforting words.
Hermione smiled despite everything, “thank you both. But I still don’t think anytime soon is the right time, I suppose if it happens and if it doesn’t...” she trailed off not wanting to finish.
They each gave her weak smiles.
“I should get back to my dorm,” Ginny said, “night guys.”
“Night Ginny,” they both said though Hermione got up to hug her.
“You should probably sleep,” Lavender told Hermione after Ginny left.
“Yeah, funny how crying takes away all of your energy,” Hermione agreed. “Thanks Lavender,” Hermione smiled.
“It’s fine Hermione honestly, anything to help. I know we were never really close or anything but that doesn’t mean I don’t care,” she told her.
“I know that now and I care too. So go on, anything you want to talk about that’s maybe too serious or awkward to talk about with Parvati?”
“Now that you mention it- I mean it’s not that Parvati doesn’t know it’s more that she sees it as a bit of a joke. She doesn’t quite realise how serious I am about him,” Lavender sighed.
“Ron,” she breathed.
“Ron? As in Ron Weasley are you serious?” Hermione asked in shock.
“I know it seems strange but I don’t know- it’s just he’s so funny, kind, cute and actually I like how clueless he is.”
Hermione was laughing, “I agree that boy is very clueless, why don’t you speak to him?”
“I do but all I can ever say is ‘hi’,” she sighed.
“I could speak to him for you,” Hermione suggested.
“Thanks but no thanks Hermione, I still want to try but if all else fails I will take you up on that offer,” she smiled.
“Alright, well I think I’m going to sleep,” Hermione said lying back as Lavender moved off her bed.
“Okay, night Hermione,” Lavender said as she moved to her own bed.
“George!” Fred repeated still pounding on the door of the bathroom where George had locked himself in.
Slowly he unlocked the door and came out of the bathroom.
“Did you see that? Did you see how hurt she was? Did you see the tears? Imagine that now and then imagine leaving when we’re a couple, don’t you see being together would just end up hurting her even more?”
“I’m sorry George. Like I said I’m happy to stay here, you know I’d do anything for you,” Fred told him.
“I know Fred and I appreciate it but I just I agree it’s our time to leave and to start our future but I just didn’t anticipate it being so hard,” George said shaking his head.
“It’ll be alright George, it’s clear now that you love each other and so everything will be fine,” Fred said.
George nodded, “I’m think I’m going to sleep.”
“Me too, it’s been a long day and tomorrow’s going to be worse,” Fred said as both he and George cringed at the thought of an hour’s detention with Umbridge for a week.
They both went to lie down in their beds though George was still awake after Fred was asleep, he was still awake when Lee came in, he was still awake when Lee fell asleep and by 2:00 am he was fed up of lying there sleepless. He crept out of the seventh year boys dorm, down the stairs and then into the common room.
Hermione had been experiencing the same struggle to fall asleep and was sat with a book propped up in her lap on the sofa in front of the fire in the common room.
George stopped on the last step as he saw her and sighed silently. He was conflicted now, he didn’t want to upset her again but he did need to make amends.
He was saved from the decision by a soft voice.
“Hi George,” Hermione whispered giving him a weak smile.
He returned it, “hi.”
He sat beside her and they sat for a moment in silence, taking occasional glances at each other before returning their gaze to the fire.
“I’m sorry,” Hermione whispered, “I acted selfishly. I’m happy for you George, I really am. I- I just- I’m just- just going to miss you.”
George grinned at her, “I’m going to miss you too,” he said to her whilst pulling her into a hug.
The words were on the tip of her tongue. ‘I love you’ it couldn’t be too hard. Could it? The words clouded her head and she felt confused by them as they swirled around her mind.
‘Just say it. What are you afraid of? Rejection. I thought it was clear he feels the same way. It was, and now it’s not again. What if I’m just imagining it? Plus he’s leaving and if we were together I can almost guarantee he’ll stay. And what’s wrong with that? Well, as much as all I want is to be with him or be near him I know even if he did stay he’d leave at the end of the year. And I don’t want to be the fork in the road pointing him in two different directions. I want to be supportive and help him achieve his dreams, even if it means saying goodbye. If you love something let it go. And if it’s meant to be it will come back. It’s meant to be, what you’re feeling right now is proof of that. Then it’s time to let go.’
“George, you don’t know how much this school is going to miss you... and Fred obviously. You honestly make the best out of the worst situation. I can’t say I’m proud that you aren’t completing your NEWTs though,” Hermione said with an attempt at a disapproving look before smiling.
George just smiled even wider, “Hermione, we’re going to be just fine without those precious little qualifications.”
“Little? Honestly George you’re lucky I’m too upset to give you a lecture on NEWTs,” she said shaking her head.
“Hermione say the word and I’ll stay. I swear I don’t want to hurt you,” George told her taking hold of her hand and looking deep into her eyes.
The tears filled her eyes before she could control them and spilled down her cheeks. George used his other hand to brush them away.
“Do you have any idea how much I want to say stay? George I’d love that, just having you here for a few months longer until you graduate would be amazing. But I’m not standing between you and your joke shop, because I want you to be happy. George more than anything I want you to be happy and if that means letting you go then I’m okay with that,” Hermione told him whilst blinking away the tears.
She didn’t care if he knew how she felt anymore it was becoming fairly obvious but it didn’t matter because nothing was going to happen between them now. There was no time. One day it would happen and she was sure of it but that day was still far away and yet she was okay with it.
“I want you to be happy too, that’s why I want to stay with you. I want to be there to comfort you when no one else can. I want to be the rock you can lean on for support when the weight of your problems becomes too much. I want to see that beautiful smile everyday and know I’m the one who put it there,” George said to her eyes glistening with unspoken emotion and tears yet to be cried.
“I know you do and I appreciate it. But it’s my turn to support you now okay? The shop’s going to be amazing and I cannot imagine how successful you are going to be, I can’t wait to see you achieve your dreams George,” Hermione told him the emotions flowing through her voice.
“My dream won’t be complete...,” he whispered to her.
“It will be. Even if it isn’t today or anytime soon, one day you’ll have everything you ever wished for. And that’s because you truly deserve it and I know you will work for it.”
“Thank you for what?” Hermione asked slightly confused.
“For being you, for being so understanding and for being there when I need it the most and thank you for caring,” he explained.
“You don’t need to say thank you, I’d do anything for you George.”
“And I’d do the same for you. Anyway it’s late Hermione you should sleep.”
“I know. I couldn’t before because of you,” Hermione told him.
“Sure blame me,” George said sarcastically.
“I just did George,” she grinned before turning more serious, “it’s just because it was bothering me that I’d made that big scene and then we didn’t talk about it.”
“You did make quite a scene,” George agreed and she hit him playfully.
“What did you expect me to do when you told me you were leaving?”
“I didn’t expect any reaction actually Fred’s the one who said you’d be devastated even if you didn’t show it,” George told her truthfully.
“Guess Ron was right...” Hermione smiled wickedly.
“About what?” George asked curiously.
“Fred is the smarter twin,” she smirked.
“Hey! That’s not true I’m just as smart if not smarter and I...”
“George it was a joke,” Hermione laughed as she cut him off.
“Not bad Granger, not bad. Anyway you off to bed it’s late and tomorrow’s a long day,” George told her as he stood and pulled her to her feet.
“Yes Mum,” Hermione rolled her eyes but smiled and hugged him tightly.
“I’m going to miss you,” she told him again.
“You too but I’m not going just yet so please no more crying,” he begged and Hermione nodded and laughed.
Their lips were inches apart and were growing closer when both seemed to tell themselves no and Hermione turned her head looking away from him and sighed. George sighed also but kissed her cheek instead.
“Good night,” he whispered.
By the time Hermione had the courage to look back around at him all she saw was a pair of feet on the stairs before they disappeared. She took a breath to compose herself and thought about it. Since the beginning of the school year she had kissed George (on the cheek) once and he’d kissed her (on the cheek) twice. ‘Maybe’ she smiled to herself thinking about the possibility of a relationship between them and shook her head. ‘Definitely.’
So what did you think? I really wanted this chapter to come out better but for some reason I struggled to find the right words to describe the scene.
Alright so I'm sure you remember this is only my first fanfiction and I'm quite far into it by now but I'd really like to know how you think I'm doing! I really appreciate all of you as my readers and even more I appreciate all my reviewers because I really need your feed back and they encourage me to keep writing. Thanks to all for reading but please you've read it so why not take it that one step further and leave a review? Thanks again and I hope you all continue to read and enjoy the story. Jenna :)
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