Chapter 42 : Chapter 42
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"George," Hermione whispered whilst nudging him gently with her elbow. She'd woken not too long before to find that she couldn't move anywhere, George lay partially upon her and he was holding her strongly so she couldn't move.
"Mmm..." he murmured.
"George," Hermione said a little louder.
"Hermione?" he said breathlessly and jumped up fully awake. "What's happened? Are you okay?"
"Yeah I'm fine," she smiled up at him. "Just awake."
George suddenly realised his arm was wrapped around her and blushed. "Sorry."
"It's okay, haven't had such a good sleep in a while," Hermione admitted. "Haven't slept knowing I was safe in so long..."
George grinned at her, "Glad I could help."
"'Mione, you up?" asked Harry quietly pushing the door open only silently.
"Yeah you can come in," she called.
"You alright?" Harry asked them.
Hermione looked at George beside her and nodded whilst smiling. "What time is it?"
"Six am," Harry said. "Ron and I need to fill you in on what Ollivander and Griphook said."
"Okay give me a second to get ready," Hermione said and Harry left with a nod.
"I guess I'll give you some privacy then?" George said whilst sitting up.
Hermione nodded and smiled at him catching his hand before he left. He turned and looked at her with a smile. She squeezed his hand gently running her thumb of the back of it.
"Thanks for staying with me," she said softly.
He nodded at her with a small smile knowing they'd be leaving again that day was proving to undo the stitches of his only just repaired heart and anytime he looked at her he was overcome with an urge to beg her to stay.
When she was ready she found Harry and Ron and they explained to her everything she'd missed and she gave her input on the situation making the decision that their plan would take action once they'd eaten breakfast. Hermione found herself in the kitchen not long after, considering that it was only seven in the morning she was surprised to find everyone was up and eating apart from Griphook and Ollivander who were in their rooms.
Fred slid her a plate with toast on it as she sat down followed by a mug of tea. Hermione smiled appreciatively at him but frowned as she looked around.
"He wasn't upstairs?" asked quickly Fred leaping to his feet. He hadn't seen his twin come down.
"Relax," Harry told him from where he was stood peering out the window. He drew back the curtains further to reveal George's form knelt beside Dobby's grave.
Hermione grabbed her tea and left to find him. After she'd left Fred walked over to Harry where they stood and watched the pair outside.
"How's Ginny?" Harry asked quietly.
Fred's eyes closed in apparent pain, "Hogwarts isn't as it used to be."
Harry looked at his shoes, "If something happens to me Fred..."
"Harry," Fred said looking at him sadly.
"Please, I need to know that someone will do this for me," Harry pleaded.
"Okay," Fred nodded slowly.
"If something happens to me," he began again, "I want you to tell Ginny that I love her. But she has to move on because I don't want her to be alone."
Fred shook his head, "I'm never going to need to tell her that mate."
"Better safe than sorry," Harry said. "...I don't want them to leave things too late," he frowned looking out at the pair.
"Me neither," Fred agreed his eyes falling on his twin.
"What are you doing out here?" Hermione asked softly as she placed a hand on George's shoulder from behind.
"Thinking," George said distantly.
"You," he said simply.
"I don't think I can manage another goodbye," he told her.
"I hate to leave," she told him whilst kneeling beside him.
He sighed deeply, "One day this will be over."
Hermione shook her head, "this will be over soon. You'll see."
"At what cost? Me? You? Fred? Mum? Dad? Ginny? Ron? Charlie? Bill? Harry?" George said shaking his head. "My point is that is it worth it all ending if anyone of us is lost in the process?"
"If we don't then everyone we've lost already: Dumbledore, Moody, Dobby and everyone else have already died in vein," Hermione told him.
"I don't want to lose you," George choked out.
Tears leaked from each of their eyes and Hermione grasped both of his hands within her own tightly, squeezing them gently. "You won't lose me George."
George didn't argue he just nodded, crying heavier and buried his head in her shoulder. Hermione whispered to him softly, telling him it would be okay even though it wasn't necessarily the truth, it was just what he needed to hear. She stroked his hair affectionately with one hand her other still clasping his.
"I'm sorry," he murmured lifting his head off her shoulder. "I don't usually cry much."
"We all need to cry sometimes," Hermione said understandingly. "George I hate to do this but I have to go..."
"You're leaving now?" George asked her.
"Pretty much. I need to go gather my stuff and then we'll have to leave," Hermione said pulling away from him and standing.
George took the hand she had outstretched for him. "Thanks."
They walked hand in hand back to the house but when Hermione began to ascend the stairs George stayed. She glanced back at him, tears streaming down her face and gave a slight nod before continuing up. George slumped against the wall at the bottom of the stairs and after a while he heard the bottom stair creak. He looked up to see Ron.
Ron gave him a pitying look but didn't leave. Instead he sat down on one of the steps. "You alright?"
Words had never been Ron's strong point but here looking at his brother, slumped against a wall with a tear stained face it wasn't hard to work out he wasn't 'alright'. And yet George somehow didn't have an insulting and witty comment for his younger brother.
"Listen George I know it's been rough..."
"Just don't Ron," George said getting to his feet. "Thanks though," he told his brother in slight surprise. Ron wasn’t usually one to offer comfort. George turned to leave.
"George," Ron called after him.
He stopped and turned back to him. "Yeah?"
"She loves you."
"I like to think so," George said thoughtfully before walking into the kitchen.
"George..." Fred said upon seeing him.
"Not now," George sighed. "Ron just stunned me into silence, I cried so much I'm dehydrated and these guys are leaving again any second now."
Dean and Luna who were sat at the table looked at him like he was mental.
"You try saying goodbye a thousand times to two of your brothers and the girl you're madly in love with!" he said defensively. "It's not easy."
"They didn't say anything George," Fred told him.
"I know," he sighed dropping into a chair.
"You guys ready?" Hermione asked entering the kitchen in clothes which were definitely not in her usual wardrobe.
"What are you wearing?" Fred asked.
"It's part of our plan," Hermione said dismissively.
"We better um start saying goodbyes then," Harry said standing alongside Ron.
It was strange; Bill, Fleur, Dean, Luna, Fred and George seemed to form a line in that order. There were too many tears to count from every eye in the room.
"Be strong Hermione," Dean whispered to her as she hugged him.
She nodded slightly, "stay safe."
"I don't think it's a very good idea Hermione," Luna said.
Hermione raised a quizzical eyebrow at her.
"You pretending to be Bellatrix."
"Look after yourself," Hermione told her shaking her head at the girl. She was a true mystery.
Hermione paused and watched Harry and Ron who were saying goodbye to the twins.
"Do us a favour Harry? End this, end this once and for all. Kill him," George was telling him.
Harry nodded, "We're trying."
"Take care of yourself," George said hugging him.
"You too," Harry said stepping back and moving towards Bill and Fleur.
"Ron you're a twit but we love you," Fred grinned at him through tears. "Just keep yourself safe."
"I love you guys too," Ron said hugging them both.
"Ron," George said seriously. He gripped him by the collar of his shirt and pulled it hard bringing his face close to him. "I love you and I believe in you Ron. But you do not leave them again. Do you understand me? They are your friends, they are your family. You never turn your back on your family. Protect them with your life just as they would for you, am I clear?"
Ron nodded, "I won't leave them."
"Hermione and Harry are counting on you, we're counting on you. You've grown up to be so strong and brave and I'm so proud of you but you can't leave them Ron. You need to keep them safe as well as yourself," George told him. "Take care," he said finally hugging his brother tightly before releasing him.
"Your turn?" Fred asked Hermione tentatively.
She nodded at him, biting her lip but she did not move.
"Hermione," Fred said softly.
"Oh Fred," she choked throwing herself into his arms and bursting into desperate sobs.
Tears streamed down his face as he held her tightly. "Be careful."
Hermione shook her head as Fred started to release her, "Please, please just stay safe."
"You come back," Fred paused to compose himself. "You come back with those two and you come back in this same state that you're leaving. Okay?"
Hermione nodded quickly, "look after everyone here." She stretched up to whisper into his ear. "If I don't come back can you give him this?" she asked pushing an envelope into his hand.
Fred looked at her unable to speak through his tears, "I-I-I okay..."
"I don't like this part," George murmured as Hermione turned to him.
"It never gets easier," Hermione frowned holding George's hands. "Bye."
"Bye," he whispered looking at his feet.
"I'm sorry to leave," she told him.
"I'm sorry to see you go."
"I'll be back."
"I can't wait for you to come back."
Hermione stepped forward and hugged him tightly the tears starting again. "I'm going to miss you."
"I'll miss you too," he said hugging her back. "I don't know much about your mystery plan but please don't do anything stupid."
"Too late for that," Hermione sighed. "You're such an amazing person George. I'm so thankful to have met you and have you as a friend."
"This isn't that type of goodbye Hermione. Please say it isn't?" he begged. "It's not goodbye forever, is it?"
"Of course not George," she promised. "It's just goodbye for now."
"I might just be able to live with that," he told her.
"Be there when I come back?" she asked.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world," George told her. "And Hermione?"
"No more coming back and leaving again. When you come back you're staying because I'm never letting go again."
"I won't ever ask you to," Hermione smiled at him. He tightened his grip on her for a few seconds before releasing her reluctantly.
"Bye," he whispered as she moved back to Harry and Ron.
"9 am," Harry said as he glanced at his watch. "Time for us to go."
Fred and George stood at the window and watched as Harry, Ron, Hermione and Griphook walked to just beyond Dobby's grave. Hermione drank something from a vial and then morphed into Bellatrix...
"No!" George screamed. "No she can't!" He sprinted out the door of the house and out towards them.
"Hermione this is suicide!" he yelled at her quickening his pace.
"George she has to do what she has to do," Fred shouted catching up to his twin and pulling him back.
"I'm sorry," she called back to them. "I have to do this."
"Please Hermione," George screamed louder struggling against his twins grip.
"You have to let her go," Fred told him.
"I'm sorry," Hermione shouted again. They were too far away. George would never be able to get to them. He watched, feeling helpless, as Hermione took Harry's hand and vanished with a crack.
George fell to his knees in tears. Fred wiped his own eyes and sat beside him.
"It's okay, it's okay," he murmured soothingly. "George she's tough and she's got Harry and Ron. They won't let anything happen to her.
"And who's going to make sure nothing happens to Harry and Ron?" George questioned. "I can't lose any of them."
"They're going to be just fine," Fred told his twin though he was crying too.
George hugged his twin and sighed.
"Have they gone?" asked Dean as he and Luna came out.
"Gone," George confirmed.
Dean sighed and sat beside the twins a tear track glistening on the left side of his face.
"Your Mum, Step-father and step-siblings are worried about you Dean. They've been contacting Potterwatch to find out any information they can."
Dean looked anguished, "I miss them."
"You don't have to stay on the run, mate," George said having composed himself. "The Order will help you out."
"Thanks," Dean nodded.
"I can't believe they've gone again," George sighed.
"You'll be seeing them sooner than you think," Luna said in her usual mystical tone.
"How soon?" George demanded.
Luna smiled. He would usually just dismiss her and call her a 'nutter'. It went to show the importance of hope. "Tomorrow."
George sighed and rolled his eyes. "So much for that."
Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it! Please review! Jenna :)
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