Chapter 24 : Chapter 24
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“Granger it’s seven am, what on earth are you doing up?” George asked as he came down the stairs.
“I could ask you the same question,” she stated plainly.
“I was in the bathroom and heard you come down the stairs so came to investigate. Why aren’t you asleep? Even mum’s not up yet,” George pointed out.
“I’ve been thinking...” Hermione trailed off. George looked at her sceptically and raised an eyebrow looking for her to continue. “About what Ron said...” she looked up meeting his eyes and he frowned immediately.
“Hermione don’t you dare tell me you think he’s right? Hermione you’re beautiful, smart, funny, fascinating, caring and so much more, just because one stupid guy can’t see that doesn’t mean that any of it isn’t the truth,” George told her.
“But George how do I know that you’re not just saying all those things because you think that’s what I want to hear?” Hermione asked searching deep in his eyes.
“If you don’t know that I think all those things you really don’t know me,” George said in hurt. ‘How can she not know how highly I think of her? I’ve told her how amazing, how special she is to me. Haven’t I?’
“I do know you George and I know that you would never ever want to hurt me which is why you might say something you don’t necessarily mean,” she explained.
“Hermione you’re an angel in my eyes and you always will be, I think so highly of you and there are countless reasons of why you are so special to me and believe me when I tell you that I’m not the only one who sees it. You’re brilliant and a genius but it doesn’t take one to know how brilliant you are, Ron is beyond help which is why he can’t realise how amazing you are.”
“George,” Hermione muttered softly. “You’re so sweet, I really don’t know if I’d survive without you.”
“Hermione after two months I was tempted to break into Hogwarts just to see you,” he joked loving the smile it brought to her face. “But seriously if it’s bothering you that much you need to talk to Ron about it, okay?”
“Yes,” Hermione sighed and was taken by surprise as he took her by the hand leading her to the stairs. She kept quiet waiting to see what was going to happen and where he was taking her. He stopped outside the room she shared with Ginny.
“Get a couple hours more sleep,” George said shoving her in the room. “Long day at the shop today, Hermione,” he added shutting the door.
Hermione smiled, she couldn’t wait.
After everyone was awake and had eaten breakfast the twins asked everyone if anybody would like to help out with painting and decorating the shop. They knew this was going to be the main project of work for at least a week because of how much work was needed.
Harry said he was going to practice for Quidditch having been owled to say he was to be captain of Gryffindor team. Ginny had declined saying she had homework she wanted to get out of the way though it was obvious she wanted to stay where Harry was. ‘Probably watch him practice through the window’ Hermione thought to herself smiling slightly, it was something Ginny would do. Ron said he’d help Harry practice so wasn’t going to help out which was a good thing because Hermione had gotten over the sadness and was now fuming he had the nerve to say such things. Hermione accepted the offer saying she’d love to help.
They all got ready and Hermione was sat in the living room waiting for the twins so that they could leave.
“Hey Hermione, we’re going out to practice so we’ll see you later,” Ron said as he and Harry headed for the door. Hermione ignored him.
“Damn, left my broom upstairs,” Harry said running up to get it.
Ron sat beside Hermione, “So how are you?”
“There’s no point talking to me Ronald, it’s not like I have anything interesting to say since I’m so boring, and really I’m way too serious all the time for you to have a proper conversation with me plus I should probably go because it must be hard to look at me for so long since I’m not pretty or anything,” Hermione spat at him turning to the stairs but not leaving yet as she folded her arms across her chest.
Fred, George and Harry were stood on the bottom step eyes wide in shock having overheard everything.
Ron said nothing and Hermione turned from the three shocked faces back to Ron.
“What you’re not even going to say sorry? You’re pathetic Ronald Weasley and don’t you dare try and talk to me anymore because I’ve heard quite enough to know I’m not up to your standards,” she yelled at him storming past the three boys on the stairs and slammed the door of her room shut, throwing herself on her bed.
There was a soft knock on the door.
“If you’re Ron go and take a long walk off a short pier if it’s anyone else the door’s open.”
It was Fred, George, Harry and Ron on the other side of the door and Ron looked very scared.
“She is not happy with you,” Fred said looking at his younger brother. “But I do like that one, a long walk off a short pier, I’m going to have to use that,” he chuckled.
They pushed the door open cautiously.
“Hi,” they all said.
“Get out,” Hermione said plainly looking at Ron. He looked back at her blankly, “What you’re deaf now? I said get out!” she shrieked at him.
“Hermione I just want to explain,” he said attempting a calm voice though his words came out strangled.
“Too little, too late now out.”
“Hear me out, did you hear what I said before that?” Ron asked referring to the conversation she’d over heard.
“Yes it was quite sweet actually,” Hermione said bitterly, “a shame you had to go and ruin it.”
“What did he say?” asked Fred becoming extremely interested where George and Harry knew exactly what was going on was clueless.
“He said that he I was great and all but he loved me like a sister, nothing more. Then he added that I was a bookworm and a know-it-all. Then he added I’m too serious all the time and that I’m not exactly pretty or anything,” Hermione explained.
“Why you stupid, little git, that’s how you talk to your best friend...” Fred began. No one else spoke since it was all old news to them.
“I wasn’t talking to her...” Ron started.
“Oh yes talking about her because that’s so much better,” George hissed.
“I didn’t think she would hear any of it,” Ron snapped.
“And that makes it okay, does it? Saying all these horrible things about me to Harry a friend so close he’s like a brother to me, much like I thought of you before this, and it’s okay because I wasn’t supposed to hear it?” Hermione asked him her voice dangerously low.
“No it’s not that that justifies what I said but if you look in the context of why I said it-it sort of makes sense...”
“Context? Okay let’s see shall we because I remember the conversation very clearly but you know I’m sure Harry remembers it better, right Harry?”
Harry cleared his throat nervously, was he putting his best friend against his other best friend? “I um...you heard the conversation Hermione...”
“Harry I’m not going to be angry at you, I stuck around to hear you defending me so it’s fine really. I just want to hear the conversation from your position,” Hermione said sweetly.
“What part did you first hear...?”
“Um...it was Ron speaking...he said that he didn’t know he just really fancied her...I’m not sure who ‘her’ is.”
“Right, so then I said that I always thought Ron liked Hermione and he said no because she was like a sister and went on to say certain things that have already been mentioned,” Harry said summarising it all.
“So Ronald how is it justified by the context you said it in?” Hermione questioned him.
“Well I-I said what I said to-because I wanted to make it clear that I didn’t like you in that way,” he stuttered.
“Oh and that’s your justification, you really make me sick. How are we even related? How can you be so stupid, so idiotic to not see all these amazing qualities that Hermione possesses? Are you blind, are you really that oblivious? Hermione does everything she can to help you, to make sure you don’t get in trouble, to try and keep you out of danger and that’s how you thank her is it?” George spat at him.
“I said I was sorry,” Ron yelled.
“You didn’t though Ron! The word sorry never came out of your mouth. Maybe if it had I would have forgiven you but you were too busy trying to make it out like you hadn’t done anything wrong. You’re too selfish and too proud to ever admit you’ve done something wrong, I’m your best friend is it that hard to just say sorry? Because if you really were my best friend you would have just said it, then again if you really were my best friend you wouldn’t have to say sorry for insulting me behind my back because best friends they don’t do that to each other,” Hermione shrieked.
“Oh...” Ron muttered. “I-I’m sorry...?”
“Is that a question because the answer is you’re damn right to be sorry, however that was not a proper apology and I expect to hear one now,” Hermione said.
“I’m sorry for everything I said Hermione, I was wrong to ever say it and I know I shouldn’t have. I don’t deserve your forgiveness but if you will forgive me I promise nothing like this will ever happen again,” he spoke honestly.
“I forgive you Ron,” she said though her voice was still icy. “But I have a question for you first.”
“Ask away,” Ron said.
“Those things you said, did you mean them? Honestly, please just be honest.”
Ron stared at her blankly mouth open to speak but no words forming. Hermione’s breath caught in the back of her throat biting down on her lip she ran from the room, out of the Burrow and into the garden. She ran faster still until her legs gave way and a stitch pounded in her side. She began to cry again.
‘He couldn’t even answer me, am I really that bad?’ she thought to herself. ‘He was under pressure he was just about to answer you don’t know what he was going to say...I don’t but I can tell you now it wasn’t going to be good. He meant every horrible thing he said about me which means I must just be a horrible person. You’re not a horrible person, you’re jumping to conclusions. Am I? I could tell he meant what he said. Why would he lie, right? But he said he loved you like a sister. Obviously he loves you otherwise you wouldn’t even be friends. Yes but he clearly sees all my flaws as well, like there’s nothing positive he can say about me. Didn’t you hear when you were telling George about it? For everything he said that came as an insult to you George gave you a positive as well.’
Hermione broke from her thoughts and just sat there trying to calm herself. Subconsciously she pulled the blades of grass from the ground and leaned back against the tree she’d slumped next to. The sun shone brightly as if mocking her but Hermione just hugged her knees to her chest taking calm, steady breaths. She’d been at the Burrow a few days and it already seemed like a drama. She knew things would get better though. Her and Ron argued and fell out frequently but by the end of it all they were still best friends.
“Hermione you alright?” George asked.
“I’m fine,” she lied.
“You know he loves you regardless of whatever he says, he may see it as you having flaws but he loves you like a sister despite anything he may think of you. That’s a bond you have to appreciate even if he is a stupid git,” George chuckled.
“I know,” she sighed, “I just- I mean it’s not exactly a comforting thought to know he thinks I’m boring, too serious and ugly.”
“But you’re none of those things Hermione, that’s one guy’s perspective and it doesn’t mean everyone sees you in that way. You’ll always be perfect in my eyes Hermione, I love everything about you so you don’t need to worry,” he said softly.
“Thanks George,” she whispered.
“Now that’s enough drama for now plus you’ve got work to do, the shop isn’t getting any prettier with you sitting out here crying your eyes out,” he joked.
“I suppose you’re right,” she smiled getting to her feet and offering him her hand.
“Funny, this usually goes the other way round, the gentlemen offers the lady his hand and they walk away into the sunset...” George trailed off as Hermione pulled him to his feet.
“Well I would hardly describe you as a gentleman,” she teased, “and this lady can handle herself just fine don’t you worry.”
“One I am such a gentleman that I take it to a new level and two when it comes to standing up by yourself yes I’m sure you can manage but anything else you really need me,” he joked.
“I’m not denying that I need you but I’m pretty much capable thank you very much.”
“You need me?” he asked with a huge smile as his eyes lit up.
Hermione laughed. “George Weasley I couldn’t live without you, never question that I need you. I used to take it for granted that you were always right there when I needed you but then two months without you helped me realise I needed to treasure every second with you because when you’re away I feel so alone.”
“You’re never alone Hermione, I’m always with you- you know metaphorically,” he said.
“That was very poetic until you added the ‘you know metaphorically’ part,” she laughed.
“Well I didn’t want you thinking I stalked you and followed you everywhere all the time so you were never alone because that would just be creepy,” he chuckled.
“Creepy indeed,” Hermione agreed, “did I really run this far?” she asked realising they’d been walking back to the Burrow for a while.
“Yes you did,” George nodded with a smile, “I really don’t understand how you managed it though because half way through I was in stitches.”
“I was too but I just had to get away, every fibre of my body wanted to be out of that room and far away from Ron because I was afraid of his answer. It was stupid to be honest, I overreacted, I was being overly sensitive but I couldn’t help it,” she sighed as they finally reached the Burrow.
“You weren’t being stupid you had every reason to react and feel the way you did,” George told her.
“Hey you two ready to go, Hermione you wasted some valuable decorating time so I want to see you working extra hard,” Fred joked. “You okay?”
“I’m fine thanks,” she smiled, “I’m ready to go if you two are?”
“Let’s go then,” George said, “see you in a few remember...”
“Ninety-three Diagon Alley,” Hermione cut in with a grin.
“Yes that exactly,” he chuckled before he and his twin disappeared.
Hermione flooed to the shop to find them already starting to decorate, “Started without me?”
“Well Granger we can’t wait around all day for the little one to get herself over here, can we?” Fred teased.
“Granger you would have made it here a lot quicker if you were older and could apparate,” George pointed out.
“Well I’m sorry for being two years younger, really it’s not my fault.”
“I suppose not, should blame your parents instead really,” Fred joked.
“Whatever, what do you need me to do?” she asked.
“Um...do you want to paint over there?” George asked gesturing to the wall in the corner.
“Okay what colour purple or orange?”
“Well if we do the one next to it purple we can do that one orange, right?” Fred asked George.
“Sounds like a plan,” George grinned dropping a brush and can of paint beside Hermione. “Enjoy Granger.”
“I will,” she laughed setting off to work.
Hermione sighed loudly. Fred and George hadn’t bought rollers as they’d just charmed a series of brushes to keep them painting but she couldn’t reach higher up the wall to paint and so found herself stuck.
“Fred, George I can’t reach,” she called to the back room where they were working on products and increasing stock.
“Be there in a sec Granger,” George called and within moments popped out from behind the curtains. He stopped and watched with amusement, Hermione had piled two boxes on top of each other and was standing on them trying to paint the top of the wall but still not reaching. He laughed silently watching her becoming more and more frustrated but whilst he was watching he started to see the box at the bottom start to slide followed by the box on top of it and then Hermione. She gave a small squeak also realising what was happening and George leapt forward catching her in his arms and pulling her into himself.
“I got you,” he whispered softly into her hair.
“Thanks,” she smiled as he set her feet on the floor waiting for her to be steady before completely letting go.
“Granger that wasn’t your brightest idea,” he chuckled.
Hermione stood there hands on her hips and huffed, “I was being practical, I couldn’t reach just on my feet so if I stood on something I’d be able to reach further up.”
“Hermione you could have just waited for me to help you,” George pointed out, “you could have hurt yourself.”
“I’m an independent person,” Hermione said.
“Doesn’t mean you have no one to depend on though does it?”
“Of course not, because I can always depend on you,” she said sweetly to avoid further criticism of her idea.
“That you’re right about Hermione,” George said grabbing her by the waist and lifting her up. He leant her towards the wall passing her a brush with paint on it intending for her to start painting the top of the wall.
“George put me down!” she shrieked.
“Hermione calm down, I’ve got you you’re safe just paint,” he told her chuckling slightly as she squirmed.
“Okay, okay,” Hermione said drawing in a shaky breath and beginning to paint. After five or so minutes she was done and he put her down.
“Was that so bad?” he asked.
“It wasn’t so bad but one I am not fond of heights and two you could have dropped me.”
“What? Dropped you? Hermione you weigh nothing and you were entirely safe with me, it’s not like you were in danger.”
“I’m never in danger when you’re around George,” she said softly knowing it was what he wanted to hear and hoping it would help get some of her feelings off her chest.
“Exactly I promise whenever I’m near that you’re safe,” he whispered wrapping his arms around her and resting his head on hers.
She hugged him back. ‘A summer with George’ she thought to herself. ‘Best summer of my life.’
Did you like it? I wasn't too proud of this chapter but I couldn't really think of how else to write it but hope you enjoyed it anyway! Anybody guess what's going to happen next in the story? Hope you continue to read and enjoy the story! Please leave a review because I love to hear from you all! Jenna :)
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