Okay so mixed feeling from myself on chapter 38 because don't think I did the event justice but I'll let you read and you can be the judge of that! On with the story...
On the day before the Wedding everyone was grateful they had a great excuse to rest for once as it was obviously Harry's birthday.
They were at the table eating dinner when the Minister of Magic arrived and requested to talk to Harry, Ron and Hermione. Hermione glanced at George desperately and he squeezed her hand telling her it was fine though he couldn't help a feeling of curiosity as he watched her go inside.
Later that evening Hermione found that she wasn't tired as everyone else left for bed and George was clearly having the same problem as he told Fred he'd be up to their shared room soon.
"What did Scrimgeour want?" he asked sitting beside her.
"To give us things Dumbledore left for us in his will," Hermione said slowly.
"Oh well what did you get?" he asked.
Hermione explained briefly what she had received and then what Harry and Ron had gotten.
"So you reckon somehow this stuff has something to do with your secret mission?" George asked.
"Yeah I do...I just can't think how..." she admitted.
"You'll work it out. You always do," he said reassuringly.
"Yeah I guess...you looking forward to tomorrow?"
"Yeah I am," he grinned but it faded when she frowned at him. He turned away from her and lowered his head. "You think my lack of ear looks horrible don't you..."
"What? George of course not! You're as handsome as ever and you can barely notice it beneath your hair!" Hermione said quickly. "You're a beautiful person George, inside and out. Never forget it."
George blushed. "Thanks...sorry it was just the way you looked at me just then made me think..."
"No I was just thinking we've only really stuck around this long for the wedding so I imagine we'll be leaving any day soon..." she trailed off and watched George as he looked down at his feet.
"Oh..." he said still not looking at her. "W-when...I mean- um...how long are you going to be gone for?"
She sighed loudly getting up and moving round into the kitchen quickly making two mugs of tea and sat back down setting one in front of George.
"To be honest I don't know...I reckon it'll take a while...there's always a chance I'll never come back..."
George groaned loudly. "Don't talk like that Hermione!"
"But George it's true and you know it..."
"I don't want to know it. I don't want to wake up one morning and find you, Ron and Harry have gone off and think there's a possibility I'll never see you again! I can't think like that...it hurts too much," George said loudly though he didn't sound angry but more scared and upset.
"I'm sorry. I hate the idea of being cut off from you all and not knowing how you all are but there's something that needs to be done and I'm going to do all I can to do it," Hermione said seriously.
"And I hope you can achieve whatever it is you need to do. I want you to be safe though. I will never give up hope of seeing you again Hermione, I will spend every moment of everyday waiting for you to come through those doors," he said softly finally meeting her eye.
"And I will fight off thousands of Death eaters until I get back to you," she whispered with tears glistening in her eyes.
"Hey don't cry," he told her and pulled her into a hug. "It's all going to be alright, you'll see."
She nodded. "Thank you George. Just for being part of my life. I'll always be thankful for knowing someone like you."
"You sound like you're saying goodbye..." he said.
"I don't know for sure when we'll be leaving," she told him. "I just didn't want to not have the opportunity to say goodbye. It would make leaving even more painful."
George nodded, "We're going to need to get to bed soon. We have to be up early."
"Yeah," she agreed and they ascended the stairs together.
"Goodnight 'Mione," he smiled as they stopped outside Ginny's room.
"Night George," she said closing the door as she stepped into the room. George heard the sobs as he continued up the next flight of stairs and the faint sound of Ginny's soft, comforting voice.
The next morning there was a rush to get ready.
Hermione put on her purple heart pendant necklace from George and removed the locket which she put in a box and slipped into her small beaded bag.
"'Mione I have to go help Fleur get ready and stuff so I'll see you later," Ginny called.
"Alright Gin," she said pulling on her heels glancing at her reflection in the mirror before running down the stairs.
"There you are Hermione dear. You look lovely. Ron, Fred and Ha- sorry Barny are showing the guests to their seats. Do you mind finding George? He should be down already."
"Thanks Mrs. Weasley you look great too and yeah I'll go find him now," she smiled disappearing back up the stairs.
George stood in his room in front of the mirror glaring at his reflection. He brushed his hair from side to side trying to disguise the slit in the side of his head. Hermione watched him from the door way and frowned. He caught sight of her in the mirror and grinned.
"Hey 'Mione," he chimed. "You look amazing."
"Thanks," she blushed stepping into the room. She reached up slowly and brushed his hair back a bit so that the hole was partially visible and she smiled at him. "Perfect," she muttered.
"Thanks," he said his face flushing slightly pink.
"You look great," she told him taking his hand. "Come on then there are guests out there that need to be shown to their seats."
"There you are," said Fred as he spotted them. "Come on we need a hand."
"How can I show people to their seats? I have no idea who any of them are!" Hermione pointed out.
"Neither do we just ask their names," Ron said with a shrug.
"But that's impolite..."
"We don't have time to be polite," Harry told her.
Hermione stared at him curiously.
"Oh come on Hermione it's me," he said whilst rolling his eyes.
"Oh sorry...um Barny. I forgot," she apologised.
"It's okay," he said.
"Hermione show Great Aunt Muriel to her seat for me," said Fred.
"Sure," Hermione said greeting the elder witch.
"And George," Fred added quietly. "Go with them you know what she's like."
"So what are you?" Muriel asked.
"Why are you here?"
"Well I- um I'm a friend from Hogwarts..."
"No just a friend..."
"Well I'm Ron's year..."
"And where are your parents?"
"Well, see they're muggles and..."
"Muggles? I'm sure Arthur loves you..."
"Here's your seat Great Aunt Muriel," George said abruptly.
"Oh thank you Fred," she said and George didn't bother correcting her but instead dragged Hermione away quickly.
"Sorry about that. She's mental."
"It's okay," Hermione said still looking a bit puzzled as she glanced back at the woman.
After that she rushed around showing anyone she could to their seats then she finally returned to the opening of the tent where Fred, George, Ron and Barny stood waiting for the arrival of more guests.
"Hey guys," came the voice of Lee Jordan.
"Who invited him?" asked Fred curiously.
"Oh it's good to see you too," he said rolling his eyes.
"No offense or anything but we didn't know you were coming," George said. "But it's a great surprise!"
"Thanks," he grinned. "You're all looking good."
"You too," Fred said.
"This is our cousin Barny by the way," Ron said clapping a hand on Harry's shoulder.
"Hey," Lee said then studied George closer. "Blimey mate what's happened?"
"Don't ask. Not here at least," George warned him.
Lee nodded but looked at him worriedly.
"Hermio-ninny," came an all too familiar voice.
Hermione looked round to see Viktor Krum and opened and closed her mouth several times glancing at George who was glaring at him with a hatred that could kill.
"Viktor," she smiled.
"You look beautiful," he said.
"Thanks," she said.
"How have you been?"
"Well thanks, you?"
"Well Fred why don't you show Krum to his seat," George said squeezing his twins shoulder a bit too tightly causing him to yelp in pain.
"Calm it mate," Lee whispered to him as he glared at the back of Krum's head as he was lead away by Fred.
George nodded casting a downward look at his feet in embarrassment.
"You lot find your seats would you," Molly called.
"Okay," they all chimed.
The service wasn't particularly long and afterwards tables appeared around a dance floor and then the music started.
"Hello," said George as he pulled up chair beside Hermione.
"Hey," she smiled.
"Barny," said Ginny softly.
"Would you dance with me?"
Ron glared at Harry and as he bit his lip in thought.
"Ignore him," George said as Harry looked to him as if seeking his consent. "Go on."
"Yeah I'd love to," Barny said accepting Ginny's hand and allowing her to lead him to the dance floor.
"Hermio-ninny," said Viktor Krum as he approached the table.
George glared at him and his twin nudged him to try and get him to stop.
"Would you like to dance?" he asked in his thick accent.
"Um I...well... okay yeah. One song," she agreed casting George an apologetic glance as she got up.
"When she sits back down you have to ask her to dance," Lee told him.
"I can't..." George said. "It'll look like I'm jealous."
"You are jealous," Fred pointed out.
"Yeah but I don't want her to think I am..."
"If you don't then I will," Lee warned him.
"So you and her don't have a romantic history so that won't bother me. Plus you have a girlfriend and you're my friend."
"So it wouldn't bother you in the slightest?" he asked and George nodded.
"We'll see then," Lee said knowingly.
When Hermione sat back down Lee coughed loudly and Fred nudged George again.
Lee shook his head knowing that George was being stubborn. "Hey Hermione," he grinned.
"Hi Lee," she smiled.
"Do you want to dance?" he asked.
"Sure," she said without hesitation taking his hand and following him.
"Not jealous, huh?" asked Fred who was holding back a laugh and George looked at Lee with such intensity that he could be trying to make him catch fire.
"You two are annoying! I love Lee and but right now I hate him."
"The power of jealousy my twin," Fred told him.
"But I don't understand. I mean I know Hermione doesn't like Lee and that Lee doesn't like Hermione in that way so why do I feel like this?"
"Because you like Hermione in that way."
"But I can't ask her to dance now," George said.
"Because it'll seem pathetic."
"No. I reckon she really wants you to ask her."
"Look now she's dancing with Barny," Fred told him as Harry and Lee switched partners. "How much do you hate Barny now?"
"More than I should considering he's supposed to be our saviour," George admitted.
"I'm telling you. You need to ask her to dance, before it's too late."
"Okay, okay maybe later."
Fred shook his head. "I'm going to dance, you coming?"
"No. Who are you dancing with anyways?"
"Our little sister. Family’s important, you know?" he told him heading for the dance floor.
"Hey my turn," Fred told Lee.
"All yours mate," Lee grinned dropping Ginny's hands and heading back to George.
"George, your twin's going to get a dance with her before you."
"I know," he sighed. "But I don't want her to think I'm only dancing with her because all of you did."
"She won't think that," Lee told him seriously gesturing back to where Fred was now dancing with Hermione. "You want to get in there before Ron or someone else don't you?"
"Yeah," George said determinedly.
"Go on then this song's finishing now," Lee said and watched proudly as he headed for the dance floor.
Fred grinned as he watched his twin approach. "I think someone has finally worked up the nerve to ask you to dance," he told Hermione out of the corner of his mouth.
Hermione looked over his shoulder and smiled. "Thanks for the dance."
Fred winked at her, "have fun."
"Um...do you want to dance?" George asked.
"Depends are you dancing with me or are you going to stand there with your hands in your pockets?" she asked looking at him in amusement.
"Sorry," he blushed removing his hands from his pockets and took one of her hands placing his other on her waist.
Hermione smiled resting her hand on his shoulder as they began to move in time with the music. "I thought you were just going to sit and stare at me all night, you know?"
"Sit and stare?" he asked.
"That's all you've been doing so far. Your twin and Lee told me you were being shy," Hermione said grinning as he blushed furiously. "But I said surely not. George Weasley is never shy especially not with his friends and family."
"Shy? Me? Of course not! But it's all about timing, isn't it?" he said smiling as he regained his composure.
"Timing? I thought you just weren't going to dance with me," she admitted.
"Like I'd miss out on such an amazing opportunity," he said making her blush.
"You and your charm Mr. Weasley. It's going to get you into trouble one day."
"I only use it on one girl," he shrugged.
"I guess that makes me very lucky then," she said.
"You're a great dancer," he said softly.
"You're a convincing liar," she said.
"No Hermione you really are," he told her.
"Thanks, you too."
"So um...how was Krum?" he asked with an attempt at a casual voice though it failed terribly.
"He was okay I guess..."
"Well he was talking about getting back together and I had to explain that I wasn't interested and it was quite awkward. I mean so much has changed since then and even then I only really accepted because nobody believed I'd get a date and I really wanted to make them eat their words," she explained.
"So much has changed?"
"Yeah I mean...well...you know- I'm older, I've got more to deal with and well I-I've fallen for someone," she told him.
"Yeah?" he asked in a strangled voice. "Who would that be?"
"I don't really have to spell it out to you George. I'm pretty sure you can work it out for yourself," she said quietly looking down at her feet.
He smiled at her. "Sorry."
"Don't be," she said looking up at him and smiling as she brushed his hair away from his eyes.
"Thanks because that was really starting to bug me," he chuckled as she did. "But I didn't want to move."
She laughed. "It's such a nice night."
"Perfect," he mumbled his eyes moving around the room and he stifled a laugh.
She followed his eyes and laughed too. "So Bill and Fleur," Hermione said gesturing to the pair who were slow dancing. "Barny and Ginny. Ron and Luna though I'm assuming that's just as friends since he's with Lavender...and then Fred and Lee."
In the middle of the dance floor just beside Bill and Fleur was Fred and Lee who were slow dancing together.
"If you look carefully, Fred is playing the girls role!" George laughed and gave a loud wolf-whistle.
"Oi stop looking at my girl," Lee called putting on a rougher voice.
"Sorry mate, can't help it! She's a nice one," George joked making everyone around them laugh loudly.
"Eyes on your own dance partner," Fred called.
"Hard to take them off her," George said quietly so only Hermione could hear.
Hermione blushed. "You Weasley men and your charm," she said whilst rolling her eyes.
"Hey what other Weasley men have been charming you?" George demanded in a joking manner.
"Well..." Hermione trailed off with a smile.
"So what was with the tears during the ceremony earlier?" he asked.
"It's a wedding- I'm a girl..." she told him.
"So you're putting it down to the fact you're a girl?"
"No it's just sweet- I mean to see two people so happy, so in love even despite all the darkness around us it's just nice and emotional and I mean I don't even know if I'm going to have the chance to get married! I guess it's just such a happy occasion but I'm so sad," she frowned but looked up to see his smiling face.
"I know what you mean," he nodded still smiling. "It is such a happy day."
Hermione was torn between reminding him about the thing she'd said after that but his smile was enough to make every trace of sadness disappear and she smiled back at him.
It was in that moment that everything changed. A patronus appeared, Kingsley's patronus. It told them more than they needed to know. Scrimgeour was dead and the death eaters were coming.
Okay you know the drill...Thank you so much for reading and please please review for Steve's sake if not mine! Really hope you enjoyed the chapter!
Thanks again for reading hope you continue to enjoy the story! Jenna :)