Alright so here's Chapter 20. Sorry it's a little bit late but that's only because I had a lot of trouble accessing the files on my USB which meant I had to struggle to recover all of my work. But now I've sorted it out and we can continue with the story! Thanks so much to all my readers and an even bigger thanks to my reviewers because you inspire me to keep writing! Now on with the story...
Hermione woke in the morning and the tears followed suit. She wiped her eyes mentally cursing herself for being so stupid, just because George was leaving it didn’t mean it was the end of the world. She showered and dressed alongside Lavender and Parvati who didn’t try to comfort her knowing their words would just set the tears off again. She ran down into the Common room and straight to the Great hall wishing she could run away from all her problems in the same way. She sat at the Gryffindor table and then buried her head in her hands starting to tear up again thankfully she’d gotten ready so quickly there was no one there except for the odd student.
“Hermione, come on it’s alright,” came a voice from behind her as they slipped into the chair beside her and hugged her into their chest.
“Fred I’m going to miss you both so much,” she told him honestly.
“I could be George for all you know,” Fred said wondering how she could possibly tell them apart by voice as she hadn’t even glanced at him.
“No offense Fred but you have a higher pitched more girly voice than George,” Hermione said wiping her eyes and laughing.
Fred chuckled, “I’m offended anyway Granger and by the way we’ll miss you too. Obviously one twin will miss you more but I’m not naming any names.”
“Fred I really didn’t realise you thought so highly of me,” she teased.
“Hush it Granger, I got a girlfriend you know?” Fred said laughing. “George came up crying last night you know?”
“So I wasn’t the only one, I went to bed crying too.”
“He cares about you more than you know,” Fred sighed.
“Oh I know. But it’s too late- I should’ve acted sooner,” Hermione admitted.
“There’s no such thing as too late,” Fred assured her.
“Ha,” Hermione gave a pathetic false laugh. “I just keep thinking how different it could be right now if I’d just said something...”
“Don’t wonder ‘if’ because ‘if’ is not going to help you now is it?”
“I know I just I wanted a relationship with him to work so badly that I didn’t want to risk ruining us before we started,” Hermione told him.
“You and George think so alike,” Fred said.
“When- when exactly are you leaving?” Hermione questioned.
“Hermione my dear it’s supposed to be a surprise! But I promise you won’t be left out of the celebration,” Fred told her with a mischievous grin.
Hermione didn’t have any time to question him as George, Harry, Ron, Ginny, Lee, Angelina and Alicia came in.
“Wondered where you two had gotten to,” said George taking a seat opposite them. “What exactly have we been talking about?” he asked arching an eyebrow- his twin talking to the girl he loved meant one thing...trouble.
“You,” Fred grinned wickedly.
“And what were you saying about me?” he asked slowly.
“How incredibly nosy you are,” Hermione laughed.
“What I-I wasn’t being nosy,” George lied trying to laugh it off, “No I was merely curious.”
“Uh-hu,” Fred nodded. “Does everybody know or should we let these ones know now?”
“Am I the only other person you told?” Hermione asked.
“No, we told Lee and Angie,” said Fred.
“And I told Alicia when I came back to the dorm crying,” said Angelina.
“Good thing too I might have had to tell her when she saw me crying,” joked Lee.
“Lee you did cry,” said George causing everyone who knew what they were talking about to laugh.
“No I didn’t!” Lee protested, “I was devastated but I did not cry.”
“Someone tell us what you’re all going on about?” demanded Ron.
“Right so we’re like really sorry for the short notice but you knew it was coming and well we’re...” George began but Fred joined him for the next part.
“...leaving today.” They said in unison.
“Really?” asked Ginny. “But you- you should have said sooner...”
“We thought it would be better because way you don’t have to be sad about it for long,” said Fred with a frown.
“Yeah but we would have done something to celebrate you leaving,” Ron told them.
“Ah but we have quite the celebration planned already my dear brother,” George told him with a grin.
“Oh I dread to think...will the school still be standing afterwards?” Hermione asked playfully.
“Granger we can’t tell you all our secrets,” Fred joked. “It wouldn’t be a surprise if we were to tell you that.”
They all laughed before the bell rang and they all sighed.
“Our last breakfast in the Great Hall Fred,” George said sadly.
“Aw Georgie don’t go all sentimental on me. I can barely take this now and I don’t need you going all sappy and setting off the water works,” Fred said with a chuckle though his voice seemed strained.
“We’ll see you all in period two,” George said as they reached the doors of the Great Hall and were about to separate.
“By the way that’s all you’re going to know of the surprise so no questions,” Fred told them.
“Do I need to say goodbye now?” Hermione asked clearly not wanting to.
“No you’ll have another chance,” George promised.
“Now all of you get to class you’re going to be late,” Fred told them.
“’ You two coming?” asked Lee as he Alicia and Angelina started heading in the direction of their first class.
“We won’t be in lessons we’ll be preparing,” George said waving goodbye as he and his twin raced off to set up.
Hermione willed the hour stuck in potions to pass faster. She was dying for second period and the surprise the twins had planned and yet another part of her didn’t want it to come at all because it would just be the opening act and then the finale them leaving Hogwarts.
“Class dismissed,” Snape said bitterly breaking Hermione from her trance as she joined the group of people filing out of the room.
Hermione, Harry and Ron walked to Defence Against the Dark Arts. They dreaded the lesson because of the teacher but the promise of a surprise from the twins’ raised their spirits. Time ticked on as they sat copying from the board as usual. Things only became interesting as the doors for the class room burst open and something flew in. There was a loud high pitch whistling before it exploded in fireworks of all colours.
The class cheered loudly except for the most of the Slytherins as Fred and George flew in on their brooms. More fireworks erupted and they lead the class from the room into the packed corridors and onto the balconies to watch a larger display. Clearly they’d taken their time to disrupt all lessons and now there was a mass of students screaming and chanting “Weasley! Weasley! Weasley!”
Hermione, Ron, Harry, Ginny, Lee, Angelina, Alicia, Seamus, Dean and most Gryffindor and DA members fought their way to the front of the crowds alongside teachers who were making no attempt to stop them. Umbridge and Filch were an exception but some teachers like Flitwick were cheering and McGonagall stood amongst them a look of pride and triumph on her face.
“You two have taken this too far,” exclaimed Umbridge her voice shrill.
“This place is getting a little old, don’t you think Georgie?” Fred asked loudly as they landed in front of Umbridge.
“Yeah I’d say it was time for a change of scenery wouldn’t you?”
“Yes I would,” Fred agreed with a grin.
“WE QUIT!” they yelled at Umbridge together.
“No you don’t! You’re expelled!” Umbridge screamed.
The twins shrugged. “Better than being anywhere near you,” George spat.
“Couldn’t have said it better myself,” Fred said.
“Bye guys,” George turned to their friends.
Everyone took their time to say goodbye and wish them the best.
“Goodbye George,” Hermione smiled wiping tears from her eyes as he hugged her tightly.
He kissed her cheek softly whispering that he’d write soon before he turned to his twin who’d just said goodbye to his girlfriend, Angelina.
“Bye you lot, don’t miss us too much now.” Fred grinned.
“Good luck,” Lee smiled.
“Lee you’re the best friend we made at this school. Don’t be a stranger, stay in touch we’ll meet up once you’re out of here,” George told him.
“We love you man,” Fred said as the three hugged and the girls in the group gave a collective “aw.”
Fred and George turned to each other they each took shaky breaths before smiling at their friends telling them they’d see them soon before taking to the sky. Fireworks lit the sky once more in a final brilliant display as they did a lap of the grounds. When they arrived back at the balcony most students had left except for Gryffindors and DA members.
The chants started back, “WEASLEY! WEASLEY!”
The twin’s grinned and threw more fireworks these ones were scarlet red and formed giant letters in the sky spelling out ‘Gryffindor’ and a large golden lion formed behind them. The crowd screamed louder. Hermione’s arms were killing her from waving but she refused to stop until they were gone.
“This is it!” the twins yelled at them releasing the last firework which exploded in golden letter spelling ‘Hogwarts is Home.’
Screams grew louder as the twins waved goodbye to the school. Hermione blew a kiss to George the last thing she could do now. George grinned wider and blew a kiss back waving like crazy. Girls around Hermione swooned claiming the kiss was for them but Hermione wasn’t stupid the kiss was for her but right now all she wanted was a real kiss from him or at least one last hug.
She put up a brave front and waved until the twins were just dots in the distance before they disappeared all together. The tears grew steadily until they streamed down her face freely and sobs shook her body.
To Hermione's surprise it wasn’t Harry or Ron or Ginny to comfort her as she felt someone considerably taller than her engulf her in a hug. Angelina. She was the only who could relate to what Hermione was feeling. She was crying equally as hard. Angelina knew how it felt, she loved Fred in the way Hermione loved George. They were going through the same pain. It wasn’t long when Lee joined the hug followed by Ginny then Harry, Ron and Alicia. They stayed there for a while just understanding each other’s pain.
“It’s not that bad,” said Lee as they separated, “We’ll see them soon enough.”
“I know but they won’t be here, when we need cheering up,” Angelina said one arm still round Hermione who nodded in agreement.
“We’re leaving soon it’s only a couple month then we’ll all be together again,” Alicia said.
“You’re leaving soon,” Hermione corrected, “You will all be together again. Not us.”
“They wouldn’t have been here next year anyway if it’s any comfort it’s just a few months longer without them,” Lee said.
“It’s not that though- I waited too long,” Hermione said her voice filled with regret.
“He feels the same if it’s any consolation, anybody could tell you that,” Angelina said.
“But he never actually said the three words I needed to hear and I never told him them either,” Hermione sighed. “Did you tell Fred you loved him?” she asked Angelina.
She nodded her response a look of pity on her face.
“Did he tell you he loved you?” Hermione asked and Angelina nodded again.
“I just wanted to know- I wanted him to know,” Hermione said shaking her head and wiping tears from her eyes.
“I know what you mean,” said Ginny with a frown chancing a glance at Harry before turning bright red after catching his eye.
“Ah-hem,” came a cough from McGonagall.
“Professor,” Lee acknowledged.
“I reasoned with Dolores to give you a little while to calm down after having your friends leave but I’m afraid you will have to return to classes now.”
“Damn we were in class,” Ron realised.
“Sorry Professor, we’ll go then,” Alicia said.
Angelina turned back to Hermione, “Hey, that’s enough crying now. It’s okay he wouldn’t have wanted you to be so upset.”
Hermione nodded and hugged the elder girl before stepping back in line with Ron and Harry. Ginny walked alone to her own class, Alicia, Lee and Angelina left for their class together and Hermione, Harry and Ron left with McGonagall as their next lesson was Transfiguration with her.
After the school day was over Hermione separated from Harry and Ron not in the mood to talk or socialise and wandered about the school aimlessly. Her feet moved slowly and she found herself at the library door. She sighed to herself. ‘Maybe this is what I need? Some quiet time and a book to take my mind off things. Things being...? George? Yes George I need some quiet time and a book to take my mind off George! Does that make you happy? Well there’s no point denying the truth is there? I’m not denying anything! The entire point was to take my mind off him not to focus my thoughts on him.’
Hermione sat at a table in a far corner of the library where it was empty. She looked up at the shelves noticing it was the section of muggle stories only ever really used by Muggle Studies students or students of some muggle relation who either got homesick or just enjoyed muggle books. She picked out ‘Romeo and Juliet’ a book she’d read a while ago but thought it would be good to refresh her memory. She flicked through the pages but her mind didn’t seem to take in any of the words on the pages she was lost in thoughts. Thoughts about him. Thoughts about George. ‘So much for taking my mind off him,’ she thought bitterly.
“Hey Hermione,” came a familiar voice. She looked up from the book she wasn’t really reading to see Terry Boot.
“Hi Terry,” she said attempting a false smile as he pulled up a chair. She really wasn’t in the mood to talk.
“How are you?” he asked.
“Okay but I’ve been better. What about you?”
“Alright,” he said. There was a moment of silence as Terry too picked out a book.
“It must be hard for you,” Terry said with a pitying expression.
“What do you mean?”
“Well with your boyfriend so far away...it’s got to be hard for you to maintain that trust.”
“Boyfriend...George?” Hermione asked almost laughing at the irony. Not long ago George had believed that Terry had asked her out and now here was Terry thinking George was her boyfriend.
“Yes I suppose it would be but George is just a really close friend we’re not together or anything,” Hermione explained.
“Oh...” Terry said in surprise, “sorry I just thought that- I mean the way you acted towards each other...well I can’t explain but everyone thought you were a couple.”
“That’s okay it’s not that I don’t like George in that way but it’s just complicated,” Hermione sighed. ‘Shut up why are you telling him this?’ she scolded herself. ‘Well you need to get it off your chest and I’m not seeing anyone else here. Fair enough.’
“Right well I did get the idea that there was some sort of romantic feeling there,” Terry said.
“Yes the power of a Ravenclaw’s mind,” Hermione laughed as did Terry.
“There you are Terry, are you ready to go?” came the mystical voice of Luna Lovegood. “Oh. Hi Hermione.”
“Hi Luna,” Hermione chimed.
“Yes Luna I’m ready to go when you are,” Terry said getting up.
“See you Hermione,” they both said. For a second Hermione wondered if the two were going out but didn’t feel it was her place to ask.
“No Hermione we’re not,” Luna said as if reading her thoughts, “He quite fancies Padma Patil.”
Hermione grinned as Terry turned bright red, “Well I...um- we will err we’ll see you,” he stuttered running out of the library.
“Oh I wonder if I embarrassed him...” Luna said in her usual dreamy tone though Hermione noticed a glint of mischief in the blonde’s eyes.
Hermione laughed, “Maybe just a little. Have a good day Luna.”
“Yes you too Hermione, say hi to the Gryffindors’ for me.”
“I will. See you,” Hermione called as Luna left.
Hermione suddenly missed the company though she hadn’t really been in the mood to talk they had taken her mind off the issue at hand. She again fell deep in thought but grabbed her discarded book from the table holding it as if reading as not to look stupid just sitting there all alone and then if anything she could hide the tears if and when they came.
She was sat like that for a while when someone sat down beside her. ‘Again’ she thought to herself longing to be left alone to her thoughts but nevertheless could use a distraction from the hurt.
“Hermione are you okay?”
“Yes just reading,” she said not looking up from behind the book that she really wasn’t reading or even bothered about. She recognised the voice as Lee’s.
“Hermione listen I know I’m in no position to judge considering I haven’t picked up a book in...Well however long but I’m pretty sure that you’re supposed to read it the other way up so you can actually understand the words,” Lee grinned at her.
Hermione glanced down at the book and realised she was in fact holding it upside down. “Sorry I was just deep in thought.”
“Lee no offense but what on earth are you of all people doing in a library?”
“I’m lost to be honest, Alicia and Angelina are girl talking and the twins are obviously gone and so I’m here all alone. Thought I’d wonder around and found myself here so here I am,” Lee explained.
Hermione nodded in understanding, “that is actually very sweet.”
“I know I’m all mushy and sappy but trust me this is a onetime thing, my two best friends just left the school that we first met at and I feel very sentimental and nostalgic at the moment.”
“Aww,” Hermione couldn’t help it. She hated that boys’ loved to pretend that nothing bothered them and really found it sweet when they opened up and showed they actually had feelings.
“Yes I have feelings so 'aw' all you like. No need to ask what’s eating you,” Lee said matter-of-factly.
“No I suppose not,” Hermione shrugged biting down on her lip fighting tears.
“Oh you’re alright it’s fine,” Lee said comfortingly as her tears came back and he hugged her closely to his chest.
“I miss him already- that’s just not right,” Hermione groaned. “Why? Why didn’t I tell him?”
“Hey now don’t be like that, you had your reasons and it’s fine. It’s going to get better you’ll see, just because you’re not together it doesn’t mean you don’t have that bond- it doesn’t mean you don’t love each other.”
“Lee you’re right and I know you are but...”
“You don’t need someone to be right you need someone to listen and understand what you’re going through and trust me I understand,” Lee said interrupting her but he wore a look of concern and knowing.
Hermione’s eyes just filled with tears again. Lee comforted her for a little while longer before they went to dinner and the rest of the night went on rather uneventful.
~Earlier that day~
The twins landed just beyond the grounds of Hogwarts in Hogsmeade they took a last glance back towards the castle before gripping each other by the arm and apparating away. They landed in the living room and both grinned, happy to be home. That was until...
“Petrificus totalus,” screamed Molly coming out of the kitchen panicked after hearing someone apparating in.
“Fred, George?” she gasped in realisation undoing the spell and helping them up.
“Damn mum I know we just dropped out of school but that is no excuse for what you just did,” Fred said laughing as she hugged them.
“Dropped out? To pursue the joke shop career I presume?” Molly asked.
George thinking she was angry rushed to explain, “Yes mum and we know it’s a risky business but...”
“I’m not mad, I’m proud actually. You’re going after your dreams and not stopping until you finally achieve your goal and no mum on this planet could be mad for her children wanting happiness.”
“Mum you’re the best,” they said hugging her.
They missed Hogwarts but they were home now and about to start their future and they were excited beyond all belief. But to both of them back at Hogwarts they’d left behind the girls of their dreams but at least for Fred Angelina was his but George- George just didn’t know what to do now.
So let me know your thoughts? I love to hear from you and come on you bothered to read the chapter so you might as well write a review! Thanks for reading and I appreciate praise, criticism, suggestions, improvements and anything else so please don't be shy! As always thanks for sticking to the story and I hope you continue to read and enjoy the story! Jenna :)