Chapter 6 : Purple Zebras
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Mild Sexual Nature
Though the most dreaded day of the year for some or the most wonderful day of the year for others was fast approaching, Hermione couldn’t bring herself to wear the fabled pink or red. Instead her favoured choice for the day was purple Zebra short shorts, though the weather hadn’t been particularly warm of late, she felt the shorts would be best worn today. Honestly it was just another excuse to wear the animal patterned clothing, she’d already had a mass of orders on the items she’d already been pictured seeing and couldn’t wait to actually start selling things.
Hermione wasn’t a big fan of Valentine’s Day, she wasn’t a big believer in it nor was she a great hater of it. She just didn’t really understand why it was celebrated so much, surely everyday with the person you love should be special, so one day shouldn’t stand out to be more special than any other. Besides, nowadays it seemed to be so commercial and all about making money rather than celebrating the love you shared with another.
Perhaps Hermione was biased, she hadn’t experienced Valentine’s Day the way it should be experienced, and she hadn’t encountered the sweeping gestures, the romantic nights out, the words of whispered worship. No, she’d encountered a drunken kiss in the dark and a ‘sorry they ran out of flowers’. But being typically Hermione, she’d learnt – through books – that those predictably romantic tales that made every girl squeak with unquenched desire were just that tales, what she needed was a man to show her what she was missing out on but even a man who she had deep feelings for was just a man – would he be able to rise to her expectations or would he fall without ever reaching her?
It was with a groan that she dragged herself to the kitchen, hair still messed and damp from her shower, she didn’t really care. The kitchen was empty when she arrived save for one red rose and a plate of marmite on toast. Hermione didn’t know whether to groan, sit down and eat the toast, or turn on her heel and go back to bed. She opted for the groan and was still standing before the rose and toast when Harry entered.
‘Whatcha doing there?’ he asked.
‘Groaning’ she replied.
‘Why?’ he asked.
‘Isn’t it obvious, that!’ she exclaimed pointing to what lay before her.
She watched Harry glance over at the ready made breakfast and then laugh.
‘What’ she growled.
‘Nothing, just forgot your hatred for Valentine’s Day’ he said.
‘I don’t hate Valentine’s Day’ she replied.
‘So that would be why you haven’t accepted the rose or eaten the toast’ he said.
‘Sod off Harry’ she replied.
‘Look, I know you aren’t a fan of the day for whatever weirdly bizarre reasons you have thought of but someone is obviously trying to give it a go and make their feelings known so why don’t you just give in and let them’.
‘When did you get so wise?’ she asked.
‘Always surprised, I’ll have you know I’ve been wise for ages’ he said.
‘You know who sent the rose don’t you’ she asked.
‘Of course’ he replied.
‘And you won’t tell me?’
‘You already know’.
‘Perhaps’ she replied.
Harry left Hermione to her toast, which she began to tentatively eat in a manner which suggested she didn’t think it was safe. She looked at the rose with mixed feelings. On one hand it was – she could admit – everything she wanted, though on the other hand it bought forward feelings of vulnerability and confusion. Then there was that stupid annoying part of her brain – the part she wished would shut up – that was saying how commercial Valentine’s Day was and that a gift given didn’t have any true meaning behind it, it was just another obligation to give.
Checking the time she realised she needed to leave now or she would be late for work, opening the front door she was confronted with another rose, and upon arrival to her shop, yet another rose was taped to the front door. She carefully filled a vase full of water to place the roses in, though she would admit it to no one, Valentine’s Day was beginning to have an effect on her.
‘Those are nice flowers’ said Clara as she arrived.
‘Yes’ muttered Hermione.
‘Who sent them?’ she asked.
‘No note’ replied Hermione.
‘Ahh mysterious’ replied Clara, ‘who do you want it to be?’ she asked.
‘What do you mean?’ replied Hermione.
‘The sender of the flowers, who do you want it to be?’ she asked.
‘I refuse to share my thoughts and feelings with you, you’d only go off and conspire with Harry and Charlie’ she said.
‘How rude I would not do that’ huffed Clara.
Hermione glared at her.
‘Ok fine, I might be inclined to do that once or twice’ she said twiddling her thumbs, then bowing to the pressure of Hermione’s glare, ‘Fine, you can’t trust me with your thoughts and feelings, I just go running to Harry and Charlie. Happy now!’ she said.
‘Very’ replied Hermione.
Hermione’s day proceeded quite nicely, though no more flowers appeared, a box of chocolates, an adorable teddy and an unsigned Valentine’s card did. Clara kept out of her way for most of the day – likely she didn’t want to tease Hermione to the point that she might lose her job – and Hermione was grateful for the peacefulness.
George was minding his own business in his shop, it was quiet today, everyone had more important things to do than come to a joke shop, and they were all out with their love ones. He had to admit his plan was going very well, he’d been a bit unsure when Harry suggested Valentine’s Day, in the Wizarding world Valentine’s Day was a bit different than the commercial muggle way but Harry had convinced him that muggle was better where Hermione was concerned. It hadn’t been all that difficult to arrange, a bit of research on that web thing Harry kept making him use and he’d understood what needed to be done. Of course he hadn’t realised that most muggle men stick to buying just one present for their loved ones and not a large variety of presents but then when has George ever been ordinary – a clue, he hasn’t.
Anyhow, he was just deliberating his next move when the one who held his heart walked through the door and boy did she look hot. George had never noticed how amazing Hermione’s legs were, but in those – he noted ‘annoying’ – purple zebra short shorts, her legs seemed to go on for miles and never ended. He could feel his male hormones coming to the fore and willed himself not to drool down his face. She looked – cliché aside – good enough to eat.
‘Hi George’ she said, standing – he might add – in his personal space.
‘Hi’ he replied though why his voice had to sound all high pitched and squeaky he didn’t know.
‘I wanted to..to..urh’ she said, struggling with her words.
‘To thank me?’ he asked.
‘Yeah, to thank you’ she replied.
‘For?’ he asked, his eyes twinkling at her uncomfortable blushing state.
‘The flowers’ she replied.
Not bothering to torment her further, he replied ‘I’m glad you liked them’.
She blushed prettily at him, ‘I liked the other stuff as well’.
‘I wasn’t sure if you would but I’m glad I got it right’ he said.
‘George’ she whispered, they were so close, and she could feel his breath on her face.
And then, suddenly, as time slowed almost to a stop, George moved away from her, the air got cold and Hermione blinked in confusion.
‘You me, tonight, karaoke?’ he asked with a smile.
‘I…what?’ said Hermione.
‘A date Granger, tonight, at eight o’clock’ he said.
Eight o’clock came faster than Hermione ever thought possible, since she’d returned from seeing George her mind hadn’t really made much sense. She’d tried to sort out the jumble in her head but all she could think of was what she would wear tonight, should it be short and black or long and flowing, making clothes choices really shouldn’t be this difficult.
Harry passed her as she rushed from the shower, hair wet and towel attached to her body, he chuckled at her state of dress, he would never have thought her to be so nervous about a date but then had she ever been on the right date?
The answer was no, Hermione was treating in unknown waters and she was terrified. It was the usual worries that someone gets on a first date; would it go well? Would they have enough things to talk about? Would he get bored? Would there be a kiss?
Five hundred outfit choices later Hermione had eventually decided on what to wear, she thought it was probably not a good idea to wear one of her patterned animal print items of clothing. Though George often found her animal print clothing humorous, it didn’t exactly scream ‘date night’. So instead she went for a lacy to the knee dark purple dress. For her it seemed appropriate, it was of reasonable length and it wouldn’t make her seem too slutty, nor was it too long – and it didn’t make her look like an old maid.
They lived in the same house but still George knocked on the front door and waited for Harry to let him in, it was then Harry’s job to tell Hermione that George had arrived so that she could make her grand entrance down the staircase to meet George. The look of complete wonderment on George’s face led Hermione to believe that she had made the right decision with her outfit choice.
‘You look amazing’ he whispered, ‘perfect’ he added.
She blushed, ‘Well you always look so dashing, I had to make an effort’ she replied.
George had a bursting comment that she didn’t have to make an effort – but thought it best not to say it.
‘Come on then love, let’s get going’ he said, guiding her from the house, giving Harry a cheeky wink and praying the night would go well.
‘Where are we going?’ she asked.
‘Not far’ he replied.
He apparated them with her approval and before long they stood before a brightly lit karaoke bar. George smiled at her amused expression but said nothing else. A few awkward moments and drinks later and the date was actually going quite well. It was so bizarre for them to be awkward around each other, normally it was so easy but put them in the setting of a romantic situation, and they became completely out of control, unable to talk without moments of extended silence.
Hermione managed to convinced George to sing karaoke, it was a horrible thing to watch, he really was awful at it but it made Hermione laugh the way George put jokes into the song and continued with it despite the fact that he was so bad.
‘Are you enjoying yourself?’ he asked some time later.
‘Yes’ she replied.
‘Are you sure?’ he asked.
‘I always have fun with you’ she replied.
‘I never have fun without you’ he replied.
‘Liar’ she giggled.
‘Hush you, was trying to be romantic’ he huffed.
‘I’m sorry’ she whispered pulling him close.
The lights of the karaoke bar drifted into silence, the voices became distant sounds, all Hermione could see was the detailed face of George, his eyes sparkling bright, his mouth smirking deviously, his head bent towards her own. Millimetres apart, Hermione could see every inch of his face, their breath mingled with each other, time stopped.
Their foreheads touched, just another step and…
AN: Short, sweet, fluffy – I don’t generally do anything to do with VD writing or otherwise, but this chapter is for weasleytwinlover2011 – in the hopes of annoying her with another cliffy (: [Love you really].
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