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Chapter 33 : Chapter 33
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The last week of term past quickly. And before they knew it they were on their way to Hogsmeade station. They boarded the train and the journey past quietly and uneventfully. When they arrived at Kings Cross Hermione had barely stepped off the train when she was pulled into a tight hug.
"Hello," George said cheerfully as he took her trunk and headed towards Mrs. Weasley who was chatting happily to Mrs. Granger.
George lay the trunk down on the trolley which Hermione's mum had by her side before hugging Hermione again.
"Guess what?" he asked her.
"What?" Hermione asked suspiciously.
"You get two Christmas' this year!"
"What do you mean?" she asked curiously.
"I mean, your mother very kindly invited us all round for Boxing Day so we can give you your presents then and you can give us ours!" he grinned.
"Really?" Hermione pulled away from George to address her mum.
"Of course dear," she smiled warmly.
"I'll see you then I guess," Hermione grinned and hugged George, Ginny, Harry, Ron and Mrs. Weasley before leaving with her mother.
Spending time with her family was great for Hermione but the excitement constantly building inside of her was leading up to Boxing Day.
As the days flew by Boxing Day finally arrived. Hermione was literally buzzing and the second she'd eaten breakfast she was in her room getting ready. She put on a deep blue strapless dress which had a silver ribbon across the waist and fell just below her knee. She brushed her hair, which she'd tamed into glossy ringlets, before sitting down on her bed to read 'Hogwarts: A History' her favourite book.
"Hey 'Mione, can I borrow your hair dryer?" asked her cousin Layla.
"Sure Lays, it's on the dresser," she said not looking up.
"What are you reading now?" she asked.
Hermione's eyes widened and she quickly covered the book under the blanket on her bed. "N-Nothing," she stammered.
"You've become oddly secretive since you started at that boarding school. You used to tell me everything, you never write anymore either!" Layla pointed out.
"It's really busy at school and I don't often get a chance, but I don't know your address either so I can't exactly send a letter."
"True," she shrugged. "So who is it that's visiting today?"
"My other family," Hermione smiled. "Friends from school and their parents."
"Right and which one do you have a crush on?"
"George huh? Is he cute?" she asked.
"H-how did you know?"
"You are literally bursting with excitement!" Layla pointed out. "I may not see you often but I know you Hermione and you're not usually this excited."
Right," Hermione sighed. "In other words I'm completely obvious about everything."
"Yes," she laughed and they talked for a short while and Hermione explained all about her friends. "Anyways you didn't answer me- is he cute?"
Hermione laughed and blushed. "Yes he is and he's funny and smart and caring and considerate and..." Hermione stopped as the noise from downstairs escalated.
"They're here!" Hermione leapt up from her bed glanced in at her reflection in the mirror and bounded downstairs dragging Layla with her.
"Hermione!" Ginny exclaimed upon seeing her. "You look great!"
"Thanks Gin! You too," Hermione smiled. "This is my cousin Layla."
Ginny hugged Hermione as she reached the bottom of the stairs. "Nice to meet you, I'm Ginny," she said with a smile towards her cousin.
"You too," she smiled.
Hermione went around introducing Layla and greeting the Weasleys.
"Hey Granger, you forgot to greet the two most important people here," Fred called across the room to her where she was chatting with Harry, Ron and Ginny.
"No Fred, Harry and Ron are right here," she teased.
"Whatever Hermione," he chuckled.
Hermione grabbed Layla's wrist and dragged her over to the twins. "And these two are the twins: Fred and George."
"Hi, I'm Layla," she smiled.
"Fred," George said.
"George," Fred said.
"Or I might be George," George said.
"And I might be Fred," Fred grinned.
"But you will never know," they said in unison.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "In other words that one is Fred and this one is George."
"And this one is the only person on earth that can always tell us apart," George smiled and hugged Hermione who returned the hug.
"Nice to meet you," he said to Layla after pulling away from Hermione.
"You too," she offered him her hand to shake.
George laughed. "Oh come on we're all friends here," he grinned and hugged her.
Layla looked to Hermione for help but she just laughed and smiled at her. "You people are a friendly bunch."
Fred shrugged. "You get used to it."
"I didn't think this house could hold so many people," Hermione said.
"I would have come alone if we couldn't all fit," George told her.
Hermione smiled up at him. "Presents?"
"Presents," he agreed.
Everyone gathered around and the Weasley's having exchanged presents the day before between themselves ended up with a present each from Hermione but Hermione had presents from everyone. Most people had opted for the obvious and bought her books like Harry, Ron and Fred. Then Ginny had bought her a pair of boots and a matching bag and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had given her homemade sweets and a Weasley jumper as usual. She opened her last present which was a very carefully wrapped, small, golden box with a tag attached to it. 'Merry Christmas 'Mione, love always George xxx' She looked up at him across the room and found he was watching her intently. Upon catching his eye he grinned.
He shook his head at her. "Not now," he mouthed at her across the room.
She looked at him curiously, raising an eyebrow at him across the room. He got up and sat beside her. "Not here," he whispered resting a hand on the present.
"Why?" she asked quietly glancing around. Her cousin sitting to her left was watching the pair with increasing interest.
"Magic," he answered lowering his voice and glancing at Layla who looked away pretending to be once again interested in her very own Weasley jumper.
After dinner George called Hermione out of the living room.
"I want you to open it whilst I'm here," he told her pushing the gift into her hand. "Not here though...where's your room?"
Hermione took his hand and lead him up the stairs. She pushed open the door to her room and sat on her bed. He paused- taking in his surroundings before sitting beside her.
"Nice room," he grinned.
The walls were a welcoming scarlet colour and they were covered in posters which all appeared to be of Muggle things. There was a large bookshelf along one wall and more books stacked beside it.
"Thanks," she smiled. "Can I open it?"
"No I'm going to make you sit and stare at it," he said sarcastically.
She laughed. "I was just checking." She opened it carefully unwrapping it and removing the lid from the box. As she three boxes sprung out of it resting perfectly around the original box. All the boxes were the exact same size as the box she had initially unwrapped. She glanced at George who simply smiled at her. She opened the first box and a crystal vase revealed itself, it was filled with a dozen red roses.
"George they're beautiful," she breathed.
"They'll never die," he told her. "So that you can keep them forever as a memory and a reminder of how much I care for you."
"Thank you so much," she said and hugged him.
"Hey hug me at the end- you've still got two more to open," he said.
She nodded and opened the next box. It was a pair of lilac, heart-shaped crystal earrings. "They match my necklace," she said as she gazed at them and her fingers brushed the pendant that George had bought her for the previous Christmas.
"That's not a co-incidence," George smiled and watched her remove her hoops and put in the new earrings.
She opened the final present and found a locket. It was gold and heart-shaped and she opened it to reveal a picture of herself on one half of the locket and a picture of him on the other. Her fingers felt numb as she grasped it and she turned it over in her hand to see a message engraved on the back. 'With love, George xxx'
Tears streamed down her face as she fumbled with the clasp in an attempt to put it on. George's warm, steady hands held her shaky one's and fastened the chain around her neck.
"George you are so thoughtful and sweet but you- you shouldn't have spent so much money on me. George having you in my life is a gift and blessing in its self I can't believe you did all of this!" she said softly as she wrapped her arms around him.
"You're worth it Hermione," he told her. "I just wanted to give you some stuff that can always be with you even when I can't be. To remind you how much I adore you and how much I care for you. So that whenever you feel alone you still know that I will always be with you," he said sincerely.
"George," her voice came light and soft. "There is nothing in this world that could make me forget how much I can trust you- how much I can depend on you and I will always be thankful for that. I will always appreciate having such an amazing friend and I just I want you to know that no matter what I will be here for you. I mean I don't know what the future holds even though I have hopes for it there's no way of me knowing but I know that you will be part of my future. I don't know how or in what way but you will always be a part of my life and just a part of me."
"George time to go home," Mrs. Weasley called.
He closed his eyes clearly feeling very torn. "I guess I should be going," he sighed.
"Yeah," Hermione agreed and stood up to hug him. She rested her hand on the side of his face kissing his cheek.
"I'm going to miss you," he breathed.
"I will miss you too," she smiled and he took one of her hands in his and kissed the back of it softly.
"Oh wait," he said as he remembered something. "I never opened it," he muttered pulling out the present Hermione had given him. He unwrapped it to find a photo frame with a picture of the both of them from Christmas day last year. It showed them beneath the mistletoe and the short clip in which George kissed her cheek and transfigured the mistletoe into a rose and given it to her.
"Wow..." he smiled at it."How...?"
"Ginny got out her camera to film a kiss but this is what she got instead and when I saw it- I just had to do this," she smiled at him.
"Hermione I love it really," he grinned and examined the frame closely. The frame itself was dusted with glitter and it changed colour, melting slowly into a new shade every few seconds. Etched into the bottom of the frame was a short message 'All my love, always. Hermione xxx'
"Thanks for everything George," she smiled hugging him again.
"You're welcome. Thank you as well," he grinned returning the hug.
She said goodbye to the rest of the Weasley's and to Harry before giving George a final hug.
After everyone had left Hermione helped clean up.
"He's a lovely young man, darling," said Mr. Granger.
"Sorry Dad?" Hermione asked.
"George, he's a real gentlemen."
Hermione almost choked on air. "Excuse me?"
"Well it's just that if there's someone you'd like to be with we're glad it's a nice boy who will treat you well," her mum said as she joined the conversation.
"Yeah you were right 'Mione he is cute," Layla said.
"Ahh I'm so not having this conversation," she laughed and ran upstairs.
"Mione?" Layla's voice floated through the door.
"Doors open," she called back.
"So what did he get you?" she asked excitedly.
Hermione gestured to the items sat on her bed.
"He bought you roses? And earrings? And a...a locket with pictures of you in it? I've never known anybody to be so romantic he must really like you!"
"And I really like him..." Hermione sighed. "No I love him with all my heart. I just can't tell him because I'm afraid of it not working...he means too much to me. He means too much to me for me to risk having him in my life..." she admitted.
"Whoa...you’re serious about him?" Layla asked.
"I want to spend the rest of my life with him Lays... I can't picture myself with anyone else," she told her.
"Oh 'Mione you're only sixteen how can you possibly know that?" she asked her.
"Because the thought of being with someone else hurts me. Because being away from him hurts me. Because I've never felt this way about anyone else."
Layla nodded. "Then what are you waiting for?"
"I don't know- I guess I'm just afraid it won't work out..." she trailed off.
"Girls lights out in five," Mrs. Granger called.
"You'll never know unless you try."
"I suppose," Hermione sighed.
That night Hermione's thoughts and dreams were filled with images of George. She had been so touched by his gifts and after he'd given them to her he'd been prepared to finally tell her. Why were they always interrupted? Were they really not supposed to be together? Or was it just that they weren't supposed to be together yet...?
And chapter 33 comes to a close! What did you think? Love it? Hate it? Like it a little? Suggestions? Whatever it is you must have something to say after 2312 words(yes it pays to be precise!) and the way to say it is in a review! Thank you all so much for reading and it's greatly appreciated as always! You guys are the best! Please review everyone, I love to hear from you all!
Thanks again for reading! Hope you continue to read and enjoy the story! Jenna :)
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