Chapter 25 : Chapter 25
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A week had past and they were in the final stages of decorating the shop. All that was left was to stack shelves and put the finishing touches on the store. Fred, George, Hermione, Harry, Ron and Ginny stood outside the store, about to enter for a day of work. They all admired the shop, it stuck to the purple and orange colour theme and the front was glossy orange window frames and brick walls of bright purple. The most amazing feature by far was the fifty foot manikin that stood in the windows with his head stretching out of the building. It had flaming red hair like that of all of the Weasley’s and wore a purple top hat that it lifted and lowered with its hand, a clever charm the twins had used which Hermione had been more than impressed by.
“Almost there Fred,” George said emotionally and Hermione couldn’t help an ‘aw’. It was the way they talked about the shop, it really was their dream.
“I know George,” he grinned, “should be finished by end of today. Then we can decide on a grand opening,” he said eyes glistening.
“You going to talk about when the shops bloody finished or you going to finish the bloody shop?” asked Ron, never the one for emotion or affection.
“Emotional range of a teaspoon,” Hermione muttered under her breath. She’d taken to the saying after she’d first used it in their fifth year.
Everyone besides Ron laughed.
“Way to kill the moment Ron,” Ginny said whilst rolling her eyes.
“Well I don’t see the use of staring at the damn building for an hour,” he said not realising how stupid he sounded.
“See what I mean, Ron do you just not have feelings or what?” Hermione asked.
“I have feelings but I’m not going to cry because we’ve painted some old building, am I?” he said.
“Some old building? That’s your brothers’ dream right in front of you and you’re acting like you couldn’t care less,” Hermione said with accusation prodding him in the chest.
“Sorry okay? I love the building I think it’s amazing and I know what a excellent success it will be because of how hard you have worked to achieve this,” Ron said with false emotion and excitement.
“That’s the best we’re going to get might as well be happy with it,” Fred shrugged as they entered.
They all began to stack shelves, Fred and George opting to do it all manually rather than with magic saying that was the only way they could make sure it was perfect. The inside of the shop was alive with vibrant colours. Streamers, banners and signs hung from the ceiling and the walls were brightly painted. Displays looked perfect and everything seemed just right.
Hermione was stacking a shelve in a corner and had just moved to grab more products from the box behind her but when she turned back to the shelf George was stacking the shelf above the one she had been.
“George,” she huffed her hands placed on her hips giving him that look.
“Granger I’m busy,” he said innocently turning back to look at her.
She rolled her eyes but a smile settled on her lips as she picked up a few more products and slid in front of George so she was between him and the shelves. She went back to her previous shelf and began to stack again. Of course she reached a predicament when she needed more products and George was still stood directly behind her patiently waiting. She sighed and stepped out and by the time she’d turned back arms filled with stock George was stacking his shelf again a smirk on his lips as he moved forward so she couldn’t slip between himself and the shelf.
“George,” she whined. He remained silent though she could picture the look of triumph on his perfect face. Of course not one to give up she decided to use his own tactics against himself and waited for him to run out of products before slipping into his space and going back to stacking shelves. George grinned at the curly brown hair in front of him but he had played games for long enough and gripping her by the waist he lifted her and spun her around, leaving her standing behind him as he returned to the shelves.
They both laughed.
“George really?” she asked.
“’Mione you were in the way, I did what was necessary,” he grinned.
“You are lucky I’m not of age yet or you’d be out cold on the floor by now,” she threatened him darkly but her eyes were playful.
“I am oddly afraid of you,” he admitted with a chuckle stepping back so she could access her shelf.
“As you should be,” she smiled at him. The day passed much like that, filled with laughter and work. When they’d finish they all took to looking around the shop apart from Ron who had left saying ‘we’ve been here all day what do you have to stare at it for?’
“It really is beautiful,” Hermione smiled looking around more. She stopped in a corner filled with pink and pieces of fluff. ‘Love potions,’ she thought, ‘Very advanced, very impressive.’ She picked up one of the clear vials which took on a pink hue but whether it was the glass or reflection of the pink display board she wasn’t sure. Her thumb ran over the bottle as she looked at it. Maybe this was the answer to finally entering a relationship with George, she knew he had feelings for her but neither of them were ready to say anything but could a love potion just help them get a grip on a real relationship.
“What would you need that for ‘Mione?” a voice whispered from directly behind her, their breath was hot against her neck and she jumped slightly. “Tell me what bloke is blind enough to not fancy you already so that you need the contents of that vial.”
“There isn’t a ‘bloke’ I was just thinking about how advanced this magic is,” she told him.
“It was a pain to make as well,” he chuckled. “It smells different to everyone you know, depending on what attracts them. Who am I kidding of course you knew that.”
“I did know that actually,” she smiled. “What did it smell of to you?”
“Strawberries, vanilla, homework and books,” George coughed loudly clearing his throat, “err I mean like parchment.” Subconsciously he leant forward inhaling Hermione’s heavenly scent, her strawberry shampoo and vanilla body cream and the usual smell of fresh parchment that seemed to naturally radiate from her. ‘She reads and works enough to smell of parchment’ he thought to himself.
‘Hmm...Strawberries, vanilla and parchment sound familiar? What do you mean? Um you use strawberry shampoo...that’s just a coincidence. Vanilla body cream...so do a lot of girls. And heck nobody works or reads more than you of course you must smell like parchment...parchment just smells nice everyone likes it. Come off it, he’s hinting at you, take the bait this could be your chance. I’m scared though, what if it isn’t a hint and I make things awkward. Won’t know unless you try. I’m not sure I mean I-I’m shy. Firstly it’s just George you don’t need to be scared or nervous and secondly try and shy that totally rhymed it was so cool. Go away you’re not helpful! I’m in your head idiot, if you don’t like what I have to say just make me disappear. I will,’ she thought defiantly.
“Huh? Oh what George?” she asked coming out of her thoughts.
“You just completely zoned out...” he said awkwardly.
“I did? I-I’m sorry I mean I-I was deep in thought so I didn’t like mean to err... so you were saying?” she asked as she stumbled over her words.
“I was asking what you smelt from the love potion,” he told her. “Are you okay you’re sort of stuttering...?”
“I know it’s just- just nothing sometimes I get like this but I’m fine really,” she could tell she was a bad liar but the fact George could have been trying to bring up their relationship had sent her mind into overdrive, she was completely unnerved but a nagging feeling told her she was being stupid and it hadn’t been a hint at anything.
“That’s fine,” he swept on not wanting to make things awkward for her, “so what do you smell?” he asked gesturing to the display.
“Well I’ve never actually smelt a love potion,” she said in realisation. George grinned uncorking a vial of the potion and passing it to her. She inhaled deeply before her eyes widened and mouth opened slightly. There was no word to describe it-it just smelt of him- of George: faintly of cinnamon and parchment but mostly his aftershave. What could she say when he asked? ‘It smells like your aftershave...’ she mused to herself. ‘That wouldn’t be awkward at all’ she thought sarcastically.
“Well...?” George asked.
“Well um it smells faintly of cinnamon and parchment and- and err aftershave...” she said looking at her feet.
“Who’s aftershave?” he asked and she met his gaze holding it for a moment before averting her eyes.
“Someone’s...” she said quietly looking up at him again.
“I take it you’re not going to tell me who’s then?”
“Well even if I put the cork on the vial I could still be able to smell it...” she trailed off refusing to meet his eyes.
“So it’s someone in here?” George asked.
“Good deduction Sherlock,” Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Sherlock?” George asked.
“Oh never mind,” Hermione said dismissively.
George just shrugged, “Come on looks like it’s time to head home.” Hermione nodded, her, Harry and Ginny flooing out leaving Fred and George to apparate out.
“So you two looked awfully close today,” Fred said nonchalantly raising an eyebrow at his twin.
“We were,” George shrugged his voice sounding distant.
“So nothing,” George said abruptly. “In a few weeks she’s back at Hogwarts and I’m here far away from her. It just wouldn’t work- it couldn’t work, could it?”
“You my twin are in denial,” Fred chuckled.
“As you’ve told me a million times already,” George sighed, “race you home.”
Fred didn’t respond instead there was a loud crack as he apparated out. George shook his head and muttered under his breath, “Cheat.” He spun on the spot quickly before disappearing and when he got home he wasn’t surprised to see his twin sat on the sofa, feet on the table, cup of tea in his hand and wearing a victorious smirk.
“Took your time mate,” he grinned.
“There’s nothing in the bloody cup,” George said as he peered into the mug.
“Dramatic effect,” Fred shrugged laughing.
“Dramatic effect,” George muttered shaking his head but smiling all the same.
“It’s done then?” asked Molly striding into the living room and addressing the twins.
“The shop, is it finished?”
“Yes mum,” Fred said with a smile.
“My boys,” she smiled moving round to hug them. “First ones who aren’t leaving.”
The twins realise what she meant. Bill had gone to Egypt, Charlie to Romania and Percy- Percy was another story.
“Wouldn’t dream of leaving, not even for a second,” George told her reassuringly.
“This is where we belong mum,” said Fred.
“I’m so proud of you both,” she said sobbing slightly. “All grown up,” she said a smile on her face.
“We’re only eighteen we’re not exactly adults or anything,” Fred pointed out.
“The way you two behave I don’t think you’ll ever be classed as adults,” a voice said from the stairs.
“Hermione dear, I most definitely agree,” Molly said laughing lightly.
“We’re offended Granger,” said Fred clutching his chest in mock hurt.
“Oh you’ll survive,” she laughed.
“Leave that poor girl alone,” Molly scolded looking at the twins with an amused expression.
“Poor girl? She just insulted us and yet she’s the innocent one here,” George said raising his arms and looking at his mum for a justification.
“You boys are a handful and I know that from experience, try raising two mischief makers like yourselves- I can tell you now it wasn’t easy,” Molly said.
“Come off it mum, we’re angels,” Fred told her.
“The word angel has clearly changed meaning,” Hermione joked and Mrs. Weasley laughed beside her.
“Is everyone done insulting us now?” George asked feigning offense.
“Pretty much though there are other things but I guess I should just leave it there,” Hermione teased with a smirk.
“Heading into dangerous territory, Granger,” warned Fred.
“Not scared of you Freddie,” she mocked as she ruffled his hair.
“We’ll see who’s not scared soon enough,” threatened George.
“I think that’ll still be me,” Hermione said with a smile.
“I’m off to finish dinner I’ll be back in a moment,” said Mrs. Weasley as she rushed off.
“Ha no one to protect you now,” Fred told her a dark look flashing across his face.
“I’m quite capable of protecting myself,” Hermione said surely.
“Now Fred?” George asked.
“Now George,” Fred confirmed. They leapt on her tackling her to the ground and tickling her. Hermione screamed, in fits of laughter unable to breathe anymore. Her feet kicked out as a reflex but she was held down and fighting was futile.
“Do you surrender?” asked George though Hermione could barely hear him over her own laughter.
“N-never,” she forced out between laughs.
“Really Granger?” Fred challenged as she began to gasp for breath.
“N-no I surrender! I give up! You win!” she screamed.
“Alright now that you know who’s in charge round here you’re safe...for now,” George said mysteriously as they stood and each offered her a hand. She took both and they pulled her to her feet.
“That was torture,” she panted out trying desperately to catch her breath.
“Coming from the girl who fought death eaters,” Fred chuckled whilst rolling his eyes.
“That was definitely worse than the death eaters,” Hermione smiled.
“Drama queen,” George laughed.
“Coming from the drama king himself,” she shot at him.
“All that means is that I’m better than you,” he sung with a smirk.
“Believe what you want to believe Georgie, who am I to destroy your fantasy?” she asked him her voice light and playful.
‘You’re the only thing I fantasise about’ George thought to himself and laughed imagining the horrified, astounded look on her face. ‘Would she be stunned into silence? Would she be angry at me? Would she run away?’ he wondered.
“What’s so funny?” Hermione asked looking confused.
“Nothing Hermione,” he chimed.
“I’m going to write to Angie,” Fred announced and left. They both responded with a simple ‘bye’.
“What were you laughing at?” Hermione asked again a look of curiosity on her face.
“Just that you’re right,” he said simply.
“Right? Right about what?”
“You’re better than me Granger,” he told her with a wink.
“George it was a joke, I’ll never be better than you not if I dedicated my entire life to trying. You’re just in another league, truly amazing,” she smiled her voice heavy with unspoken emotions. She looked to the floor quickly feeling embarrassed and scared that she’d said too much, despite everything she knew a relationship wasn’t practical at the current time.
George tilted her chin up gently so he could look into her eyes and he wore a sincere, genuine smile. “You’ll always be perfect in my eyes and you always have been,” he whispered to her.
A smile spread across her own face, “I know perfection and his name is George.”
He chuckled and grinned but their moment was interrupted by Mrs. Weasley calling everyone for dinner. Hermione sighed but smiled anyway as her and George joined everyone at the table. Everything including her own conflicting thoughts was telling her ‘not now’ and that ‘it’s not the right time’ but George was like a magnet and she felt drawn to him. She was in love and it was weakening her resolve.
So what did you all think? Good? Bad? Love it? Hate it? We're 25 chapters into my first ever fanfiction which I think calls for a mini celebration and a LOT of reviews which I'm counting on you amazing readers for! Thank you all so much for reading, without you I don't think I'd still be writing this! I hope you continue to read and enjoy the story! Jenna :)
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