Chapter 34 : Chapter 34
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It was the day before Hermione was due to return to Hogwarts and her visiting family had returned to Canada leaving her extremely bored. She was watching TV when there was a knock on the door.
"Hermione can you get that," her mum called from upstairs.
"Sure Mum," she yelled and went to open the door.
"Surprise!" George exclaimed from the doorstep.
"George? What are you doing here?" she asked.
"Well the dramatic running onto the train to say goodbye thing has been done already so I can't do that again but I reckon this is even better," he explained.
"The train thing was pretty cool," she smiled.
"The guy who pulled off the train thing was pretty cool," he joked.
"Hmm he's not too bad," she teased.
"Watch it you," he warned playfully.
"I'm just joking with you. The guy who pulled off the train thing was pretty amazing," she told him.
"Thanks," he grinned. They just gazed at each other for a while completely lost in their thoughts and the others eyes. They seemed to be connected- it was as if their thoughts were on the same level and they were both thinking the exact same thing.
"Hermione dear let the poor boy in the house," came her mother's voice.
"What...?" Hermione asked feeling a bit lost. "Oh right sorry," she blushed allowing him in.
"No worries," he grinned. "Nice to see you again Mrs. Granger you look lovely as usual."
"Thank you George," she smiled. "Nice to see you as well. Would you like anything?"
"No thanks," he said.
"Well I'm just going to pop out to the shops and then I'll go and check on your Grandfather but I'll be home for dinner. Your Dad should be home around six. Be good," Mrs. Granger said as she left.
"Your mum's nice," George said.
"Yeah well she loves you. Thinks you’re a 'nice boy' not to mention my dad who thinks you’re a 'real gentleman' as they both told me. Oh and what was the other thing...? Oh yeah a 'lovely young man'," Hermione laughed.
"Your parents are good judges of character," George chuckled.
"That they are," she smiled. "Shouldn't you be looking after the shop with your twin?"
"Yes but I wanted to come and see you before you went back because I figure I won't see you again until Summer so I left Fred with the shop and Lee's gone round to help out as well so they should manage just fine without my brilliance for one day," he grinned.
"That's good because I don't know how I'm going to manage without your brilliance for six months George- I might die of heart failure," she admitted.
"Is it really going to be six months? That's half a year without you...there's no way I'll survive that!" he said.
"I know exactly what you mean. I can't bear the thought of being without you for so long, you just make me so much happier and when you're not around I feel like an important part of my life is missing. I care so much for you that it hurts when we're apart and that's a feeling I don't experience when it comes to anyone else- it's just you George," she told him. 'What am I saying? Am I really going to do this now? Oh but I'm leaving tomorrow- this won't work.'
"Your special to me too Hermione," he smiled.
"So what do you want to do?" she asked.
"I don't know what do you usually do when you're home?" he asked her.
"I read or watch T.V," she shrugged.
"Okay firstly what on earth is a T.V? Secondly reading is not an activity to do when you have company."
She laughed. "That is a T.V George," she told him turning his head gently to face forward.
"The big, black box?" he asked curiously.
Hermione laughed again, "Yes the big, black box." She turned it on and George jumped slightly.
"Hermione Muggles aren't magical, are they? They shrunk people and put them in that box!" he exclaimed.
"No George it's electricity," she explained. "Not magic."
"Oh so they aren't actual people?"
"No. They film things using cameras and then they play them so you can watch them on T.V. There are loads of channels as well so you can watch whatever you want. She flicked to a music channel."
"Who's that?" George asked.
"Who's that? Are you joking?" Hermione asked looking at him in amazement.
"Hermione if this is a Muggle music artist, how would I know him?"
"This is the King of Pop. Michael Jackson. He's a legend," Hermione explained.
"Oh right- I take it you're a fan?"
"Yes," she smiled.
"Care to dance?" he said standing and offering his hand.
"No I don't dance," she said shaking her head.
"That's a lie. I remember the Yule Ball," he told her.
"I had to dance then- I actually didn't have much of a choice," she said. "I just don't dance."
"I'm going to change that," he told her determinedly.
"Good luck," she laughed as he pulled her to her feet.
"Come on loosen up Hermione it's only me," he said to her as he placed his hands either side of her waist.
"Dancing isn't my thing," she protested but reluctantly locked her fingers around the base of his neck gently.
"It might be our thing though," he grinned at her.
"I thought our thing was me boring you to death and you trying to kill me with laughter," she smiled at him as they started to dance.
"I don't find you boring. I find you fascinating Hermione and I can't help being funny it's in my nature- I couldn't change it if I wanted to," he told her.
"I wouldn't want you not be funny- I love that about you," she said to him seriously.
"Thanks," he grinned blushing very slightly. "See this isn't too bad is it?"
"Huh?" Hermione asked in confusion.
"Dancing," he told her.
Hermione glanced down at her feet as they moved slowly in circles. She hadn't really noticed they were dancing all she knew was they were talking and George was clearly a big distraction as she couldn't even feel herself moving. "We're dancing?" she asked then laughed at herself and blushed.
"It just feels so natural, doesn't it?" he spoke with a sense of understanding.
"Yeah," she nodded.
They stayed like that for what seemed like hours just moving slowly and talking about anything and it was perfect. George spun her and dipped her and she felt happier than she'd been in a long time. They only stopped as keys rattled in the lock for the door and they dropped down on the sofa laughing and smiling.
"You are a great dancer," he told her.
"No I had an amazing partner," she explained.
"That is true," he grinned.
"God is it really six already?" Hermione asked. "I guess time really does fly when you're having fun."
"Hermione I'm home," called her dad upon entering the house.
"In the living room," she yelled back.
"Hello dear, you okay?...Oh sorry I didn't realise you had company. Hello George," he said. "Sorry do you want me to leave or...?"
"Hello sir and no it's fine," George greeted him standing to shake his hand.
"Hi Dad," Hermione said. "And no stay it's fine."
"You staying for dinner George?" Mr. Granger asked.
"If you don't mind and it's not too much trouble," George answered politely.
"No of course not- you're always welcome to come over," Mr, Granger said. "Hermione put the football on please it's West Ham versus Chelsea today. Should be a good game."
"Sure dad," she said flicking channels.
"Football?" asked George.
"Muggle sport," Hermione said and George was clearly fascinated as his eyes stuck to the TV as soon as the match started.
"West Ham isn't that um...you know Dean he likes them doesn't he?" George asked.
"Yes," Hermione smiled.
There was a clatter of pots and pans from the kitchen. "You okay?" Hermione called.
"Yeah I'm fine," her dad called back.
"Dad you're not- you're not cooking, are you?" she asked.
"Yes Hermione I am why?"
"Dad leave it. I'll do it," Hermione said getting to her feet and George gave her a quizzical look. "He's great but he's a helpless chef."
Her Dad entered. "If this is about the fire last time then don't worry I have this under control..."
"Dad it's not about the fire last time it's about the five fires before that," she laughed.
"Five fires?" George asked in amazement.
"Six in total," Mr. Granger admitted.
"Which is why I will be cooking and you will sit and behave," Hermione told him.
"No I'll do it," George offered.
"You can cook?" Hermione and her father asked in unison.
"Ouch you doubt me?" he asked.
"I just can't deal with another fire," Hermione told him with a smile.
"Yes I can cook. I just never have to since Mum does it for us," he shrugged.
"Go ahead then, can't wait to see this," Hermione said going into the kitchen which was attached to the living room.
Hermione pulled herself up onto the counter to watch him work.
"Wait what am I cooking?" George asked.
"Roast chicken, “Hermione told him and then with a wave of his wand he summoned all the ingredients. He charmed a knife to cut up all the vegetables as he seasoned the chicken, turned on the oven and put it in. He boiled some carrots and peas, peeled potatoes and put them in the oven too. Hermione watched mouth slightly open in shock.
"Where the hell did you learn to do that?" Hermione asked.
"Watch your language," her Dad called.
"Dad hell isn't a bad word it's in the bible," she said irritably.
"I guess I just picked it up from watching mum," he shrugged.
"Is there anything you're not good at?" she asked.
"Divination was never really my thing," he joked.
"It wasn't mine either," Hermione laughed.
"Oh yes that's when we learnt Granger had an attitude," he teased.
"Oh she was a fraud and you know it," Hermione huffed.
George just shrugged. "I remember all the stories of you punching Malfoy that year. I don't think I'd ever been so proud."
"You punched another student?" her dad asked.
"He had it coming," Hermione told him. "Watching them murder Buckbeak like it was entertaining, he's lucky I didn't hex him."
"Hermione..." her Dad began.
"Hex isn't a bad word either dad," she said.
George looked at her with an odd expression. "Is hex a bad word in Muggle English?"
"No just in my dad's English," she laughed.
"Well it doesn't sound very pleasant that's all dear."
"I'm home," called Mrs. Granger as she entered. "Hermione the poor boy's come to visit and you've made him cook?" her mum asked.
"He offered," Hermione shrugged.
"George dear leave it I'll finish..." she began.
"No don't worry. It'll be finished in five minutes any way," he said glancing at his watch.
After it was finished they ate and Hermione couldn't believe it. It was as if she wasn't at the table as her parents talked to George asked him about his work and laughed. Not once in her life had she imagined this happening- he parents seemed to love him as much as she did.
"George thanks for dinner, feel free to come back and cook for us any time you want," Mr. Granger said.
"Yes at least then we won't need the fire brigade on standby," Mrs. Granger said looking at her husband with a ‘what am I going to do with you’ look.
"Now I'd hardly say that's fair I've always been able to put out the fire by myself."
"Not the point Dad," Hermione sighed.
"You have to let him try and cook again otherwise he'll never improve," George said.
"Thank you George," Mr. Granger grinned.
"Yes but if we let him try again then we'll need to redo the kitchen again," Mrs. Granger laughed.
"Redoing the kitchen is always good fun," Mr. Granger scowled.
Mrs Granger got up to start clearing away but George stopped her as he pulled out his wand, washed and everything with a simple charm before sending everything back to its place in the cupboards.
"Well that was effective," Mrs. Granger smiled clearly happy to have not needed to do anything. "Now go on you two- go have some fun."
"Alright want to go for a walk?" Hermione suggested.
"Sure," George grinned as he grabbed his jacket and they left. "Where are we walking to?"
"I don't know," Hermione shrugged. "Where do you want to go?"
"You're just like your Dad aren't you?" she laughed.
"Hey Muggles are interesting it's not my fault," he grinned.
"Come on then we better get the tube," she said taking his hand and dragging him down the stairs leading to the London Underground.
"What's the tube?" he asked curiously.
"You know the trains that run underground," she told him.
"Trains underground?" he asked excitedly.
She laughed at him as they bought tickets and got onto the tube.
"This is amazing these Muggles have really out done themselves, they don't do too bad without magic," he said as he watched the black walls pass through the window.
"George watch your mouth, if you haven't noticed we're completely surrounded by Muggles," she told him quietly.
"Oh yeah," he realised.
They got off a few stops later at the Thames embankment. London in its prime: bridges and buildings all lit up illuminating the streets.
"What's that?" George asked.
Hermione looked in the direction of where he was pointing. "The Houses of Parliament, our equivalent of the Ministry of Magic."
"It's really...nice? I mean it looks cool," he said clearly not finding the right words.
"It's very historical too," Hermione told him.
George sensed she was about to continue but didn't want a discussion on the history of the building so quickly jumped in. "Wow, is that London Bridge?"
"No that's Tower Bridge but a long time ago the Americans thought it was London Bridge and they offered a lot of money to buy it but then they got London Bridge- which is nowhere near as grand and picturesque as Tower Bridge," she told him.
"So where's London Bridge? And is there anything you don't know?" George asked.
"That is London Bridge," she said whilst pointing to the less glamorous nearby bridge. "And yes there's a lot I don't know."
"Hey do you want to go on the London Eye?" he asked looking thrilled.
"Sure," she said hesitantly though George didn't seem to notice as he dragged her to buy tickets and get in the line. Luckily as it was quite late it was relatively quiet with only a couple of people in line so they had a pod for themselves. Hermione stepped in cautiously flinching slightly as the doors shut and they began to move along the circuit.
"Imagine the view from the top, it must be amazing," George said thoughtfully. "Being that high over the city and all."
"Yeah you don't reckon it's that high, do you?" Hermione asked anxiously.
"Oh Hermione I'm so sorry! It completely slipped my mind how afraid of heights you are..." he began.
"No it's fine," she said with a smile. "You're right I bet the view's amazing." She sat on the bench in the centre of the pod clearly not wanting to stand by any of the glass for a better look.
"Come on Hermione," he grinned taking her hand and pulling her to her feet.
Her entire body shook from her head to her toes but she couldn't stop it. "I'm fine where I am," she laughed nervously.
"Hermione you're shaking like hell, you're fine- I've got you. You're safe," he promised leading her to the side of the pod. She gripped the handle bar tightly with her other hand turning her knuckle white and she squeezed George's hand in distress. "'Mione, don't worry ignore the height and take in the view." He wrapped his arms around her from behind her and smiled at her reassuringly, feeling her relax almost instantly.
"It's really beautiful," she breathed as they reached the top.
"Stunning," George murmured in agreement though his eyes were on Hermione not the city.
"Thank you George," she whispered.
"Helping me with my fears, you make it a lot easier to face heights you know," she told him.
"I'm glad I can help, I want you to be able to enjoy life without having to fear things. Sadly with everything going on that can't happen- but at least you can enjoy now," he said softly.
"I can enjoy anything as long as you're with me," she admitted shyly.
"I guess I just have that effect on people," he joked. "I'm kidding, I feel the same thing with you."
"I'm going to miss you when I go back," she sighed.
"I'm going to miss you more than anybody should miss anyone ever," George chuckled.
"There's a point when missing someone becomes painful- I'm way beyond that point," she admitted.
"Tell me about it," he said understandingly. "I feel like part of me's missing sometimes...well I guess Harry and I are just close like that," he teased.
"Oh shut up," she said whilst shaking her head at him but she laughed nevertheless.
"You know I'm joking," he grinned. "I really do feel that part of me is missing when I'm not with you," he told her seriously.
"I feel the same," she said.
After a while they got to the end and got off and Hermione seemed very happy to be back on land though she was struggling to steady herself. George held her gently until she was happy to stand on her own.
"Okay so I haven't quite conquered the heights thing yet but it was an improvement," she shrugged.
"Yes you're definitely making progress," he smiled as they walked back towards the tube station.
The journey back past rather uneventful with George still fascinated by Muggle technology. When they got back Hermione stood on the doorstep of her house.
"Are you coming in?" Hermione asked.
"No I don't think so. It's quite late- and you need to be up early and I need to be home before Mum starts panicking. The clock's probably telling her I'm in mortal danger anyway," he laughed.
"They always seem to be recently," Hermione smiled.
"Bye then, I'll miss you. See you over summer for Bill and Fleur's wedding?"
"Definitely," she told him. "I'll miss you too. Look after yourself, okay?"
"I will. You take care too," he said and hugged her tightly. She hugged him back.
"Bye," she whispered as she opened the door and stepped inside.
"Bye," he smiled as she closed the door with a small smile at him.
She felt the tears before she knew they were there and she tried desperately to stop them.
"You alright Hermione?" her mother called.
"Yeah," she lied but her voice gave it away. She ran up the stairs to her room, slamming the door shut behind her and wiping her eyes furiously.
Something stopped George from apparating. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to stay with her. His insides battled trying to decide what to do but after a while he couldn't take it and he knocked on the door.
Mr. Granger opened the door.
"I-I..." George began.
"She's in her room," he told him.
"Thanks," George breathed hugging him before taking off up the stairs leaving Mr. Granger in a state of mild shock.
"I'm fine..." Hermione began but turned to see him and launched herself at him. "I really wanted another hug," she laughed as she wiped her eyes.
"Me too," he chuckled wrapping his arms around her once more.
"I really wish things were different George, so that this could be easier for us but it- it's just everything's so complicated at the moment..." she trailed off and sighed.
"I know, I wish things were different too," he agreed.
"I miss you already and you're still here! Does that even make any sense?" Hermione asked.
"Yeah it does," he grinned. "I need to get going but before I do the roses they'll fit back into the box so you can take them with you."
"That's great," she smiled. "They'll be a constant reminder of you just like the earrings and the locket." She was wearing both of these items and gestured to them as she spoke.
"That's what I intended you to use them for," he smiled.
"Bye George," she said softly as she hugged him tightly. "I'll be thinking of you- always."
"And I'll be thinking of you too. I'll miss you always," he told her and clung onto her tightly wishing he didn't ever have to let go.
"You mean everything to me George. I'm going to miss you more than I can express in words," she said to him.
"And without you my world isn't complete Hermione and I understand how much you miss me because I miss you to that same extent if not more. I'll see you over summer," he said.
They left her room hand in hand pausing at the door. Hermione opened it slowly stepping out slightly with him.
"Bye," she whispered hugging him tightly.
"Bye," he said giving her a weak smile and squeezing her hands. He leant towards her and gently pressed his lips to her cheek. "Take care Hermione, write to me as soon as you get there."
She nodded returning the weak smile and trying to ignore the tears which streamed down her face. "I will, look after yourself."
He gave her a final hug, whispered another quick "Bye," and disapparated. Hermione stood staring at the spot from which he'd just vanished from and brushing her fingers across her cheek where his lips had touched so softly. She closed her eyes and composed herself before stepping inside and closing the door.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it! Now that you've read it why not take it just that one step further and leave me a review! They are quick and don't even have to be longer than a sentence any and all feedback is really appreciated and I always love to hear from you all!
Now this may or may not be my last update before the holidays, depending on how fast I type, so just incase I want to wish all my lovely readers (YOU) Happy Holidays! I HOPE YOU HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you'll all be back to continue reading in the new year!
Thanks so much for reading! Hope you continue to read and review the story! Jenna :)
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