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Author's note: I love Harry Potter, and know this will never be like her stories, but it's still fun to write fanfiction. I hope you enjoy! :)
Chapter One: Lost
Hermione had just returned from a long search for her parents in Australia. She had wanted to go sooner, but she felt that she had to pay respects to everyone who had perished in the war by attending their funerals with the rest of her loved ones. It was truly hard facing the fact that so many people had died and that so many others had been affected so tremendously. But, even though there were many deaths, everyone tried to stay strong and happy.
Hermione was one of those strong, optimistic people until her trip to Australia. There, she learned, her parents had died and none of the Muggles could figure out why or how it had happened. The few neighbors that Hermione was brave enough to talk to claimed they heard screaming, but when they arrived to the small cottage, all they saw was the pair of dentists dead, with their faces frozen in terror. The Muggles, of course, struggled to explain the situation but as it was no true cause of death was found.
However, the thing that surprised Hermione the most was that the neighbors she spoke to recognized her. They had asked Hermione if she was the Granger’s daughter. Hermione had modified her parents’ memory so they would think that they were completely different people with completely different names who didn’t have any children. Hermione figured that she had not modified her parents’ memory correctly because she was so new to using the spell. She had been scared while performing it, her spell might have worked for a while, it must have worn off, there were a million different reasons as to why the spell hadn’t worked. In the end it hadn’t mattered; what was done was done. Hermione recalled the conversation she had with her parents the summer before she went to search for the Horcruxes with Harry and Ron.
“Mum, dad, you have to get out of this country and go into hiding. I don’t want you to get hurt,” cried Hermione desperately with fresh tears in her eyes. She had been arguing with her parents for the last hour about them going into hiding. The way Mr. and Mrs. Granger saw it, Hermione was overreacting, but they didn’t understand that they were indeed in great danger.
“Our answer is no, and that is final, Hermione,” said Mr. Granger forcefully.
“So you really aren’t going to trust me?” asked Hermione in disbelief. Her parents just looked at her, ashamed of the harsh truth in her words.
Hermione’s blood began to boil. Why didn’t her parents believe her about something as important as this? Hermione stalked off and went to her room. She didn’t want it to come to this, but she knew it was the only way. She immediately set to work making false identities for her parents.
It was late one night, approximately one week later, when Hermione tiptoed to her parent’s room, wand ready. She didn’t want to light it until the last possible moment, as to not wake them. It was so dark that she bumped into her father’s desk and caused a loud thumping nose, waking her parents. A light clicked on and she saw her dads face, slightly disoriented and bewildered. He realized that Hermione’s wand was pointing at him in her trembling hand.
“What on earth are you doing at this hour? And don’t point that thing at me!” exclaimed her father angrily. Before Hermione realized what she was doing, she had uttered the words that changed her, and her parent’s lives forever.
“Stupefy! Stupefy! Obliviate! Obliviate!” she cried at each of her parents, her voice shaking heavily. Then she Apparated her parents to the place that they would be staying at in Australia. She woke them and used the Confundus charm to make them think that they were Monica and Wendell Wilkins and they were a happily married couple with no other family to speak of. The rest was history.
Hermione realized that when she was performing that spell, that she was scared and this had probably affected the spell that she cast. After a period of time, she supposed that her parents must have realized what was going on, but decided to remain where they were. They probably realized that if Hermione went so far as to literally put them into hiding, herself, then there must be some serious threats out there that she was worried about. However, they still used their real names and talked openly about Hermione to others. What if someone in the village was a retired wizard and had leaked information? What if a neighbor was an active dark wizard? There were endless possibilities but only one end result.
It troubled Hermione, because like Harry, she began to blame herself for her parents’ deaths. She vowed from that day forth that she would never loose concentration again when performing a spell. Hermione had become a nervous, emotional wreck, and didn’t really want to show her face at the burrow. Shame and guilt had worked their way into her heart and she didn’t know how everyone else would react. What would they think of her when they found out what she had done? What if more innocent Muggles had gotten hurt, or even worse, killed? What other kind of damage had she done from misusing one simple spell? And what would everyone else think of her mistake? Of Her? She remembered how easily Mrs. Weasley had turned on her in fourth year, when she read in Witch Weekly that Hermione was messing with Harry’s emotions. Hermione knew that Mrs. Weasley would never forgive her for it. It was Hermione that had made a fatal mistake, Hermione who would be left with the effects and consequences of her bad job at magic. For that, she wouldn’t really ever forgive herself.
Nevertheless, Hermione really wanted to return to the Burrow. She decided that she wouldn’t tell them exactly what happened, just that they had died. The thought of even admitting that they were dead haunted Hermione. She didn’t even think she would be able to utter the words “death” and “parents” in the same sentence again. She was in a very fragile state when she entered the Weasley home the next day. Still, she mustered up her Gryffindor courage and with a hardened expression embedded upon her features, she opened the front door.
“What’s wrong, Hermione,” asked George Weasley, sitting on the chair facing the door, who had been the first to see her enter the Burrow. Harry and all of the Weasley family, with the exception of Ginny who was out at Hogsmeade, were at the Burrow awaiting her return. In that moment everyone seemed to freeze and look at George. It was unusual to hear his voice in the house and weirder still to hear it scratchy and hoarse from being unused for so long. He’d gotten quiet after his twin’s death. To most, it had seemed normal because of George’s loss, but George had once been so energetic and lively that the Weasley clan knew better. The fact that he had spoken was a great surprise and Hermione found it hard to remain on task. Hermione took a few short breaths and finally answered his question.
“They’re…they’re d-dead,” she sputtered, finally. Then, the tears came, as did the rest of the family to console her. Ron engulfed her in his embrace while the rest of the family patted her supportively on the back.
Around dinnertime the fireplace erupted into flames, and out stepped the familiar figure of the new Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt.
“I have wonderful news,” he announced kindly in his soothing, strong voice. “My lovely idea, if I do say so myself, was agreed upon. They’re making a memorial in the Ministry of Magic with all the names of those who died during the war. So they’re asking us to write all the names down we know and pass it around.”
“They can put Fred’s name on there?” asked George, speaking for the second time in what seemed like forever. There was hope in his eyes, something that had become a familiar stranger in the Weasley household. To see it in George sparked hope in the rest of the family and Kingsley smiled gently.
“Of course,” replied Kingsley.
“And my parents?” asked Hermione, hopefully.
“Hermione,” Ron said. “Your parents are Muggles, though. None of the wizarding world is really going to care if you put their names on that list. Wouldn’t you rather see names of actual wizards on a wizard memorial?” Hermione opened her mouth to speak but couldn’t find the words.
“Well, I’m a wizard and I’d love to see Hermione’s parent’s names on that list, thank you very much,” Harry said, coolly.
“Anyone that perished by the hands of Voldemort or his supporters is worthy of having their name on the memorial. If you’d like to be hired as an Auror under my rule, then I suggest you get your mind in the right place,” Kingsley said in a strict tone.
“Yes sir,” said Ron, slightly offended that no one took his side on the matter. Hermione remained silent, unsure of how to respond to such an insensitive statement.
Later that night, Hermione and Ron took a walk in the garden and the conversation inevitably turned to the news they happened to receive earlier that day.
“So you think that whole Magic is Might statue in the ministry last year is right?” Hermione asked. “With the Muggles bowing down to us in their rightful place?”
“No, Hermione, that was wrong, but I just thought that your parents really had no point in the war so they shouldn’t be put on the memorial. And how did you mess up all of their memories?” he accused harshly. He had put two and two together. That seemed like the only logical answer for how her parents had died.
“No… no point?” Hermione reiterated dumbfounded, “They… they were my parents Ronald. They were the people that raised me. Without them there would be no me! And you think they had nothing to do with the war? And it doesn’t matter if they didn’t mean anything to the Wizarding world! They meant everything to me! I can’t believe you would even say that and then defend yourself for it! I don’t know you anymore, Ronald. You’ve changed, a lot,” Hermione said, trying not to cry, but failing miserably.
“Don’t, Hermione. I’m sorry. I hadn’t realized…” Ron trailed off quietly when he realized he made her cry. He instantly regretted what he had said and knew he was wrong. He’d had a plan in mind for something secret he’d been thinking about for a while, but now, it had pretty much backfired. He had ruined any chance he’d had of following through with his plan. Hermione hugged him and kissed his lips for what she knew would be the last time.
“I can’t do this anymore, Ron. It hurts too much. I’m sorry, but it’s over. I can’t… I just can’t Ron,” Hermione said before running back to the comfort of the Burrow. Ron watched as she left him outside to sulk.
Hermione ran up the many stairs of the Burrow trying to get away from all the pain. She climbed the final stairs to the roof and sat down, putting her face in her hands. What have I done? She asked herself over and over until she heard footsteps behind her. She quickly snapped her head up and her eyes were met with a cautious George Weasley approaching. He sat next to her and they sat in silence for a while.
“You’ve been crying,” said George. It wasn’t a question. He knew that she had been crying because the moonlight highlighted the tear streaks that ran down her face.
“That’s the third time you’ve spoken today,” replied Hermione.
“And you’ve been counting?” asked George raising a bright red eyebrow.
“Everyone has,” replied Hermione. They sat in silence for another moment.
“So where’s my stupid little brother? He certainly made a fool of himself today,” George said. He noticed tears well up in Hermione’s eyes and her bottom lip tremble slightly. “What’s he done?” he asked, his voice hardening. He searched Hermione’s face for the answer. Forever had gone by before she was able to compose herself enough to reply.
“I believe the exact words were, you’re parents really had no point in the war,” said Hermione, her voice shaking tremendously. “So,” she continued. “I-I broke up with h-him,” she stuttered, as the tears flowed freely. George slowly pulled her into a tight embrace and after a few moments Hermione had calmed down.
“He’s a prat, Hermione,” said George. “Don’t listen to him. Everyone, from Fred, Lupin, and Tonks, to Dobby and your parents, were very important in the war.”
“Thanks,” she breathed, pulling away awkwardly. “Sorry.” She pulled out her wand and nonverbally dried the wet spot she had made on his shirt.
“Harry always said that your ability to perform magic when you were upset was amazing,” complimented George with a smile. To his surprise, Hermione returned it.
“I guess I just love magic completely. I’ve always been amazed by it because it was the only thing that no one else in my family could do. I felt, a sense of self-pride knowing that I was able to do it so well.”
“Hermione, having self-pride?” asked George. “Now that’s something you don’t hear every day.” Hermione shrugged. “Looks like little miss perfect has a dark side,” said George.
“Maybe, maybe not,” she said mischievously. They both laughed at her playful attempt to be mysterious but soon Hermione’s face twisted in anger.
“But I just can’t believe my magic went wrong!” exclaimed Hermione suddenly. New tears appeared on her cheeks but anger was the cause not sadness. She was angry with herself and she couldn’t stop the tears from coming. Hermione’s fragile state took George by surprise. He had never really seen Hermione so shaken and it took him a few moments to recover.
“What are you talking about?” ask George gently putting a hand on her shoulder. Hermione realized her mistake. She hadn’t told anyone about messing up with that magic on her parent’s memories yet, and she just let slip something that she would have to explain. Could she trust George? Before even answering the question that had popped into her head, Hermione had opened her mouth, talking rapidly about everything that had happened.
“Please don’t tell anybody!” she exclaimed with a pleading look when she was finished with her story.
“Of course I won’t,” said George firmly. He was very surprised at the information Hermione had just given him. Her parents were dead and, well, it was indirectly her fault. Comforting words to this situation couldn’t reach his mind. He had no clue what to say, so he just hugged her.
“I’m sorry,” said Hermione meekly after a few moments. “I’m putting you through all this. You can honestly leave if you want to. You don’t have to comfort me.”
“If I had wanted to leave, I would have left a long time ago.”
“But why do you stay then? I don’t deserve it. I’m completely stupid. I know Ron didn’t mean what he said earlier. Things he says just don’t come out right. So now, I’ve just ditched my boyfriend for no apparent reason and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg! My parents are dead and everything is entirely my fault! ” Hermione shouted in exasperation.
“Hermione, the reason I stay here is because you’re hurt and you need a friend right now. Don’t justify Ron. He’s completely mental for saying those things and every time you keep going back to him means another chance of you having your heart broken again. Hermione, you’re the brightest witch I know, and yeah you made a mistake, but that’s no reason to blame yourself. It’s not your fault that Ron’s a prat, and it’s certainly not your fault that your parents died. If anything, you gave them more time to live.” Hermione had never thought about it like that before. She finally gave a soft smile.
“I’m not even going to lie, Hermione,” said George with his eyebrows raised. “You look terrible and you need to rest. You’ve been through a lot,”
Hermione nodded and George led her to the room she was sharing with Ginny for the summer. She heard bustling going on inside the room and realized Ginny must be back from Hogsmeade. She had been out getting Harry’s birthday present for most of the day.
“Goodnight, Hermione,” said George. “And don’t think about anything. Just close your eyes and sleep. You need it.”
“Thanks,” replied Hermione. “Goodnight to you too.” And George hugged her for what seemed to Hermione the millionth time that night. But, she didn’t mind, for she needed it. Then he did something he’d never done before and kissed the top of her head. Finally, he released her and walked off down the hallway to his room, leaving Hermione at a loss for words.
Chapter Two: Underestimated
“Well, he got over me rather quickly,” said Hermione to the young red head sitting beside her in their shared room. They had been starring out the window watching Ron and Luna walk hand in hand. Then, as they watched, Ron turned on the spot and the two were gone. Hermione had never realized how close the Weasleys lived to the Lovegoods until last year’s desperate search for the Horcruxes. Nor had she known how close Ron and Luna had gotten since then.
“I can’t believe they’re hanging out again,” said the familiar redheaded girl.
“Again?” questioned Hermione dubiously. Ginny took a good look at her bookwormish friend before deciding on how to answer.
“Yeah, this is like the third time this week,” said Ginny shaking her head. “He’s got some nerve to do that to you. It makes me question whether he loved you or not.” Hermione sighed and rubbed her temples gently, wishing that she were anywhere else but there.
“No matter,” she said to the younger girl. “I’m glad he got over me quickly. I thought he was obsessed for a while there,” she said with a small laugh, hiding the pain that she felt. She could admit to herself that she was stung by Ron’s choice but he was happy and she wouldn’t be the one to rob him of that.
“I think everyone did,” said George from the doorway, the now rare smirk gracing his freckled features pleasantly. Then, he added quickly, “Sorry if I’m interrupting your heart to heart girl time or whatever it is you girls do…” They all laughed and Ginny ran forward and hugged her brother. George was finally starting to come out of his shell again and it seemed that no one could be happier than his little sister. Ginny missed Fred just as much as George did and she had been closest to the twins more so than anyone else in the family. It was a relief and comfort to know that George hadn’t lost his spunk as well as Fred.
“Are you okay Ginny? Usually you would have slapped me for spying, not hug me. Honestly, Hermione do you think we should take her to St. Mungo’s?” asked George pretending to sound concerned. He put the back of his hand to Ginny’s forehead and his eyes opened in shock. “Oh Dear Merlin! I think you’re coming down with a fever! Quick Hermione! This girl needs a Healer!”
“We thought we were going to have to take you to St. Mungo’s if you didn’t start talking soon,” said Ginny with a slight hint of evil in her voice. She had pulled out of the hug and was glaring at George with her hands on her hips.
“He’s been talking since the day Kingsley visited,” supplied Hermione. “You were gone that day buying Harry’s birthday present.”
“Oh,” said Ginny. “Well I know I’m going to regret saying this, but you better keep talking George. I don’t want it to feel as if I’ve lost two brothers!” she said fiercely, before storming up to her room and slamming the door.
“Well wasn’t that pleasant?” asked George, sarcastically, as they both laughed. “I actually thought she was going to take it worse than that,” George said. “She’s pretty good at that Bat Bogey hex, you know.”
“Yes. Thank goodness, I’ve never been on the receiving end of that hex,” said Hermione in a relieved tone.
“Is Hermione admitting she’s afraid of another person’s skills?” asked George, faking shock.
“I’m only afraid of Weasley witches,” she said, truthfully. Hermione smiled as George bit his lip nervously.
“Oh, don’t worry. I am too,” he said with a smile. “Want to take a walk?” he asked her, hopefully. Hermione saw the hope and couldn’t bear to be the one to let his hope down. Besides, she figured, she had nothing better to do but to sit around and mope.
“Um, sure,” she said, obviously surprised, but pleasantly so. They went out the back door and began walking through the fields surrounding the house. Both Hermione and George were silent for a while happily enjoying the peace.
“I’m glad you started talking again,” said Hermione, quietly.
“Yeah, I realized that I was scaring everybody. I guess they didn’t expect George, the other Weasley twin, the one with all the jokes who talks nonstop, to be even the slightest bit upset at his own brother’s death,” he grumbled angrily. Hermione didn’t speak, but she honestly had no clue what to say him. She, like everyone else had thought George Weasley to be some sort of joke box, continuously happy, and incapable of feeling anything else. She was about to say that she was sorry for underestimating him when he spoke again.
“How come it was him instead of me, Hermione?” he asked, his voice cracking a bit. Hermione stopped and looked into George’s eyes. She saw sorrow and true regret there. She wished that she could take it all away from him but she settled for intertwining her arm in his before continuing to walk.
“No one could’ve ever predicted that would occur, George. And we just have to accept the fact that things just happen. I asked that same question myself times. Why my parents instead of me? As much as I hate admitting it, Ron was kind of right when he said that my parents weren’t that important. The Death Eaters should have tried harder to get me instead of my parents.”
“Please don’t even consider what Ron said as being fact, Hermione.”
“Yeah, I know it wasn’t true. But it just hurts sometimes, and I know you know how I feel because you lost Fred just like I lost my parents. I just wish they took me instead. Why did I have to even discover magic? I’m nothing but a stupid Mudblood anyways. If I hadn’t started using magic then none of this would have happened!”
“You’re not a stupid Mudblood! And you’re right none of this would have happened! We would have lost the war against Voldemort without you. You’re worth more than you realize.”
“How?” Hermione yelled. She stopped walking and yanked her arm from his. Her face was defiant but her eyes were in tears.
“Because Harry is a good wizard, a good man, but he’s told us countless times about how your clever ideas and amazing magical skills have saved his butt on several occasions. If you hadn’t become a witch, and if Fred and your parents and everyone else hadn’t died, then things wouldn’t have happened the way they did. They would have become much worse,” George finished his explanation calmly. Still, the question rolled around his head: How come other people had to die instead of them? Because it ultimately led to the defeating of Voldemort, and if those things hadn’t happened just when they did, they would still be in a world filled with terror. It was the right answer, the logical answer, but it wasn’t what he wanted to realize and just because it was fact didn’t make it hurt any less.
“Amazing how yelling at each other solves issues in this household,” said Hermione, sitting down on the grass.
“I’ve been thinking that for nineteen years,” he said with a smile. And sat down, rather ungracefully next to her in the grass.
“I’m sorry…” Hermione whispered. She didn’t know why she said it but it was there hanging between the pair swinging like a pendulum.
“For misunderstanding you. I was pretty much like everyone else. I thought that you did nothing but joke around and that that was all you were good at, but I know it’s not true. Still, I thought it was true and for that I’m sorry.”
“It used to be true, but I guess everyone’s having trouble accepting the fact that I’m not as immature as I used to be.” Hermione nodded silently. “What do you think about me going back to Hogwarts?” he asked, nervously.
“I think that it’s a brilliant idea! But, what about the shop?” asked Hermione.
“Well mum’s been badgering about finishing 7th year and I guess I should listen to her someday. I’ve got enough employees that are willing to run the shop for me, so I’m not worried about that. Are you going back?” he asked anxiously.
“Yeah, Kingsley has offered the three of us positions in Auror Training without our seven years of Hogwarts, but I don’t really want to be an Auror.” She was expecting him to stare at her in shock like Ron and Harry did when she told them, but he only nodded. “Wait. You’re not surprised?” she asked.
“Actually I’m not. Hermione you’re the brightest witch of your age and all, but you’re not cut out for defending the world against dark wizards. If I had your knowledge, I’d put it into being something useful, like being a healer, or maybe Mistress of Magic, or finding the cure for Wizard’s Mumps, or something,” he laughed.
“Finally someone who understands,” she sighed gratefully.
“You, my friend, like me, have been underestimated and misjudged. I mean, you started the S.P.E.W. thing and knit for house elves. You’re kind, caring, and bright. You could put that into actually helping the world, not saving it.”
“You’re the first person who didn’t call it spew. So you don’t think it’s stupid like everyone else?” she inquired with a bright and hopeful smile.
“I like house elves as much as you do m’ dear, but Hermione it’s not just house elves. You could start other organizations and change the way every witch and wizard in this country thinks. You have to power to change the world.”
“You’re the only person who has ever believed in me that much. If I went up to Ron and said, I think I could change the world he would say something about me having gone mental for not wanting to be an Auror.”
“Well I’m not like Ron. He doesn’t see things clearly sometimes and I’m not saying that I’m the amazing voice of reason or anything, but I have a feeling I’m right about you. They already have enough amazing Aurors and if you became one, it would be such a waste of amazing talent,” said George kindly.
“Thanks so much George. I can’t tell you how much your support means to me,” gushed Hermione with a bright smile on her face. She kissed him on the cheek, but it wasn’t a peck at all. It was gentle, soft, and, it lasted nearly five seconds before Hermione pulled away. George’s ears were bright red as they stared at each other for a while.
They heard a small crack and they realized that Ron and Luna had arrived back to the Burrow. Hermione and George quickly scampered off behind a tree so they wouldn’t be seen.
“Today was amazing Luna,” said Ron. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close.
“Ron, you have a humdinger, let me get it for you,” said Luna in her usual dreamy voice, brushing off his shoulder. Ron just chuckled and kissed her passionately. Finally, after a few long minutes, Luna broke the kiss.
“I have to get going now. My dad wants me to help him with dinner tonight. You could come over and help if you want,” said Luna. She and Ron walked over to the back door of the house and Ron called inside to ask if he could go back to Luna’s for dinner. The answer must’ve been a yes because Ron shut the door, took her hand, and turned on the spot, apparating back to Luna’s home.
Hermione let out a small sob and hugged George for comfort.
“Is, it bad that I’m the one who broke up with him and yet, I still feel broken hearted when he’s with another girl?” she cried against his chest.
“No because contrary to popular belief, usually the person who breaks up with someone goes through more grief. It’s tougher to break up with someone than it is to get dumped. And Hermione, just for the record, it’s his loss not yours. You’re like this amazing, perfect angel and he just treated you like dirt. I can’t believe he doesn’t see how amazing you are. Don’t ever blame yourself, it’s not you fault,” he whispered gently in her ear. She pulled away slightly and she gave George a watery smile. He looked at their current position and it surprised him how much it reminded him of the other night.
“We can’t keep meeting like this. Every time I’m with you you’re crying in my arms,” he said. But she could tell that he didn’t mean it by his cheeky grin.
“Well it could be the other way around. Cry in my arms for a change,” Hermione suggested jokingly. George looked down at Hermione’s chest and his grin widened.
“Okay!” he said a bit too enthusiastically. She gave him a playful shove.
“Come on, I bet your mum’s wondering where we got off to,” she said, dragging him by hand into the Burrow.
Chapter Three: Books, Coffee, and Smiles
Hogwarts would have an interesting number of students that year. There would probably be less home-schooled children since the war was over and there would be a lot of returning students that previously hadn’t been allowed to attend because of being Muggle-born. Among some of the more interesting returnees were Hermione, George, and Luna.
Hermione was surprised when she learned from Ginny that Luna was returning. Luna, like everyone else who had participated in the Battle of Hogwarts, had also been offered an Auror Training position and even though Ron had really wanted her to accept the position, she must have declined. The fact that she had turned it down made Hermione have a rush of affection for the girl and made her remember why she considered her a good friend. Even though she was now publicly dating Ron, she still seemed to have a good head on her shoulders (well, as good as it could get for being Luna Lovegood) and Hermione had to accept the fact that she was still the same Luna that she had met in her 5th year of Hogwarts.
The summer was drawing to an end, and day after boring day in the Weasley household passed by. Hermione had told Mrs. Weasley that she felt like she was intruding, but of course, Mrs. Weasley had insisted that Hermione stay for the remainder of the summer. On the last Wednesday, before the start of school, Luna came over to the Burrow to visit.
“Oh, Luna! You look so thin and frail! Is Xeno feeding you at all? You must eat with us tonight! Oh, and you’re hair looks lovely dear! Those robes you are wearing are simply divine. They bring out your eyes! Here, come with me into the kitchen!” said Mrs. Weasley, all at once, to Luna.
“I remember when she used to fuss over me like that,” said Hermione quietly to George, who was sitting next to her on the couch. He looked at her in shock for a moment. She had appeared to be so absorbed in her book a moment ago that it didn’t even seem as if she had heard Mrs. Weasley’s fussing.
“Don’t worry about it, Hermione. I know that since you’re positively hideous, it will be hard, but I guess I could try to make a fuss over you, if you are feeling under appreciated,” he began, jokingly. “Hermione, today your hair looks so bushy. I think your chipped toenail polish brings out your pimples. Did your feet grow?” he asked, faking interest. Hermione smacked him with her book, but with a smile on her face. “I’m kidding!” he yelled in defeat as Hermione whacked him a few more times.
“Thanks Georgie! I feel oh so loved!” said Hermione sarcastically. “But honestly,” she added. “I think that I’m like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of her shoe, like some kind of scum that she’s dying to scrub away. It doesn’t feel right being here.”
“Yes, scum. But very smart scum indeed,” George said with an evil grin.
“Be serious George,” said Hermione. A few years ago, telling George to be serious would have been a lost cause, but times had changed. “Am I really overstaying my welcome? I feel like I’m just a burden,” she said with a sigh.
“Of course you’re not a burden, Hermione. I can’t even believe you would think that. You’re pretty much a member of this family. No one minds you being here. I rather enjoy your company. Everyone makes this huge fuss over how I’m talking again, yet has anyone bothered to strike up a conversation with me? No,” he said, answering his own question. He continued, “But you always talk to me. Actually if you left I’d be quite lonely. Don’t leave me here with those… Weasleys,” he said with a fake shudder. Hermione giggled a bit and George’s face broke into a grin.
“Thanks George,” Hermione said while rolling her eyes, her smile, genuine. “I guess I didn’t realize how lonely you felt. I’ll try to stop reading then to keep you company. Plus, I’ve read this one a million times before anyways,” said Hermione, throwing, Hogwarts, A History, aside.
“Why don’t we go to Flourish and Blotts? You can buy a few new books and I could go and check on the shop.”
“I’ve really only got enough money for my school supplies,” said Hermione. “And a bit I’m saving for a rainy day.”
“Then I’ll get some for you!” exclaimed George. Then he added, “An early birthday present.”
“But my birthday’s not ‘til the 19th of September. I could never let you do that,” said Hermione defiantly. “Well be at Hogwarts on Monday. Then I’ll have all the library books I could ever want.”
“Your birthday isn’t that far away,” said George. “Well, if there isn’t a book in the wizarding world that you want, then maybe there’s one in the Muggle world?” asked George.
“’Well, I did want to read this new book by an American author I heard about,” said Hermione, “but that doesn’t give you permission to go off and buy it for me!” she added quickly.
“Why yes it does,” said George. “Hermione, I’m going to Muggle London and getting you a book whether you like it or not, even if I have to go by myself. And,” he added impressively, “You know for a fact that I barely even know what a book is, so if you end up with something horrifying, which I’m good at identifying, mind you, then it’ll be your fault.” This seemed to have done it and George laughed as Hermione pouted.
“Fine,” she said crossing her arms over her chest. George laughed again at her facial expression and she huffed in frustration. “I’m going to go get ready,” she said still sounding cross.
George watched her as she went up the stairs and he soon followed suit, proceeding to go to his own room. Hermione finished getting ready before George and went to his room to check on him. The door was slightly ajar, and Hermione peeked in. There, she saw George combing his hair and when he finished he looked in the mirror at himself. He looked wistfully for a while at the spot where his ear had been blown off by a spell in during the Battle of Hogwarts. Turning to the door, he squeaked in surprise as he found Hermione watching. It was Hermione’s turn to laugh as George tried to recover quickly.
“Checking me out, eh?” asked George playfully. “I knew you couldn’t resist.” He winked. Hermione ignored this, however.
“Do you miss it?” she asked, tentatively. He shrugged.
“I guess I do,” he said. “But then, when I do, I always scold myself for it, then I say to myself: At least you’re not dead. At least you don’t have a scars and bite marks so bad that it disfigures your face. At least both your parents are still alive.” Hermione gave a sad smile at George’s comment as a tear slid down her face. “I’m sorry Hermione,” said George quickly, “I didn’t mean to bring--” but Hermione pressed a single finger to his mouth.
“I’m going to fix your ear,” she said determinedly.
“I don’t know yet, but I’m going to figure out how to fix it. I promise,” she said, and he believed her. He nodded and smiled as she removed the finger.
“Thanks Hermione,” he said quietly. “Now let’s go get your birthday present!” he exclaimed, returning to his normal cheerful manor. Hermione didn’t object to the book idea anymore. They Apparated to a dark alley in the Muggle part of London, looking around to make sure no one saw them appear out of very thin air. The two emerged from the alley slowly and Hermione led the way to the nearest bookstore.
“Borders?” asked George suspiciously. “Seems like a very boring place so the name fits perfectly.” Hermione laughed as they entered the store. “Oh! Coffee!” said George. “Starbucks? Is that the kind of money that coffee place takes? Do you have any?” asked George. Hermione sighed.
“They take regular Muggle money George. Starbucks is just the name of the place. Do you have Muggle money with you?” she asked, raising her eyebrows.
“Of course I do,” said George proudly. “Fred and I used to go to Muggle joke shops and look at their products so we always carried some around with us.”
“Ah,” said Hermione, thoughtfully. “You two never cease to amaze me.”
“Thanks Hermione. Well, you go and get engrossed in books while I buy coffee,” said George excitedly. Hermione didn’t even have time to answer before George quickly sped off to join the queue for Starbucks. She had a bad feeling about George with coffee. In her opinion the two were a bad combination; George was already hyper enough as it was!
Fifteen minutes later, George found Hermione in the young adult section reading the summary of a book and had some stacked up behind her on the table. She didn’t even notice he was there until he asked her if she wanted some coffee. He held out a Caramel Frappuccino. At this point Hermione laughed at the childishly excited expression on his face. Yes, she’d seen George smile recently, but this look was the one he constantly used to wear in the presence of his twin. She hadn’t seen it in a while.
“Of course,” she said, closing the book and sitting it on the table before accepting the coffee. Who could refuse that look he was giving her? “Mmm…good!” Hermione exclaimed after several long gulps of the cold drink.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have given you coffee,” said George, smartly. “We don’t want a hyper Hermione running around.”
“I was just thinking the same thing about you,” she said with a slight smirk. “Ah darn, brain freeze!” she exclaimed.
“Press your thumb to the roof of your mouth,” said George and she did it.
“Wow, that actually worked,” she said, mildly surprised. “Where’d you learn that?”
“Old Muggle trick,” he said laughing. “Fred taught me actually. You know he dated around, probably a few Muggle girls too. He was always very knowledgeable on the subject.”
“So much about you guys I didn’t know. I wish I had gotten to know him better,” said Hermione, thoughtfully.
“He would’ve liked you the way you are now,” said George warmly.
“How do you know that?”
“Because, he likes who I like. And I definitely like you.” Hermione smiled at his comment.
“I like you too,” she said and then she hugged him quickly and awkwardly pulled away. George’s ear turned bright red.
“So…er, what books do you want?” he asked.
“Um,” she said, looking longingly at the stack of nine or ten books. George smiled.
“Why don’t we get them all?” he asked.
“No!” she cried, as soon as the words left his mouth. “That’s almost 75 pounds worth of books!”
“Hermione, please. I really want to do this for you,” he said quietly.
“Give me a good reason why I should let you buy 75 pounds worth of books for me,” asked Hermione with the hand that wasn’t grasping the coffee on her hip.
“Because Hermione, have you ever seen your face when you see a book?” he asked. “This beautiful smile breaks out and its like amazing and it captures everyone in your presence. I’m not trying to show off my money or anything. All I want to do is make you happy, so I can see your smile. You’re honestly the best friend someone could ask for.”
Hermione sat her cup down on the table, and this time embraced George for what seemed like hours.
“I guess I’ll let you buy them,” she said shyly. “You really like my smile that much?” she asked with a small hint of hope in her voice.
“It’s perfect,” he responded, leading the way to the cash register.
Chapter Four: Unsupported
After buying books at the Borders in muggle London, Hermione and George returned to the Burrow. Dinner was about to start and, Mrs. Weasley had invited Luna. So in total, there was going to be eight for dinner that night. Mrs. Weasley had set the table to include three seats on each side and one seat on each end.
“So Ron, how did you and Hermione break up?” asked a clueless Luna at dinner. She had always been fairly open and didn’t really even notice when Ron flushed with embarrassment at her question.
“I think that’s a question for another time,” he tried. But, it didn’t work.
“Why is that?” asked Luna in disbelief. “You’re around your family. It’s the perfect time!” she exclaimed dreamily.
“Well,” started Ron, choosing his words cautiously. “She broke up with me actually. I said some things that I shouldn’t have, but the truth is, I’ve always loved you Luna. I was too much of a coward to break up with Hermione myself, so I did what I had to do. I made her break up with me.” At this point, Ginny spit out her pumpkin juice.
“Oh Ron, that’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever told me!” Luna said. The whole of the table, besides Luna and Ron, exchanged a look that mainly consisted of raised eyebrows and a shrug. They all then continued to eat as if nothing had happened. Hermione had come to the decision that her and Ron just weren’t meant to be, so she stopped getting upset about their break up. Who marries the second person they ever date in life anyways?
George realized that he had yet to mention to his mother about his plans to return to Hogwarts, having only written to Professor McGonagall that morning to notify her. Towards the end of the meal, George announced that he would be returning to school. For a moment Mrs. Weasley looked at her son in shock and disbelief.
“Are you even my son anymore?” she asked accusingly. “Ever since your brother died it’s like you’ve changed yourself completely.”
“Well mother, maybe I’ve changed for the better. Any other day, you would have been proud of me going back to school,” he said reminding her of her ways.
“But you have responsibilities! You have your store to run George!” she responded.
“Yeah mum, and a million workers like Lee Jordan, and Angelina Johnson to run it for me while I’m gone which I know they are well capable of. I also trust them with that responsibility and like you said, it’s my store now, and I have every right to make that decision, don’t I?” he asked.
“Well yes, but the store is called Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes! Not Jordan or Johnson!”
“It’s not like I’m changing the name of the store mum,” George responded. “It’s only for a year for crying out loud!”
“Do not use that tone with me George Weasley,” said Mrs. Weasley.
“I wouldn’t have to raise my voice if you would just listen mum,” he said through gritted teeth. “You’re the one who wanted me to go back to Hogwarts anyways.”
“That was before you bought Zonko’s. I’ve always thought your store was going to fall through, but now that it’s doing so well, it seems like it’s all going to turn out alright.”
“Gee, thanks. You’re supposed to support your children mum,” George said. “You didn’t support the shop at first, and now you don’t support school. I hope you realize what you’re doing.” Then he got up from the table and apparated to his room before she could reply.
After the row between Mrs. Weasley and George, dinner seemed to be over, so most people left to their respectable places. Hermione immediately followed after George. After checking his room, she realized that he wasn’t there, so she tried the roof. He was lying there on his back looking at the stars.
“Mind if I join you?” asked Hermione quietly. He only shook his head to indicate that no, he didn’t mind and Hermione walked over to him. She sat next to where he was lying down. “Are you okay?” she asked. He nodded yes. Hermione realized that George didn’t feel like talking at the moment so she stayed quiet. After about ten minutes he finally spoke.
“Thanks,” he said so softly, Hermione almost didn’t catch it.
“Coming to see if I was okay,” he replied. “At least I know there’s at least one person I can count on.”
“Your mother will come around eventually,” said Hermione wisely.
“I know,” said George. Then, there was more silence.
“Is this roof dirty?” she asked.
“How should I know?” he responded with a slight smile.
“You’re lying down on the thing and you don’t even know if it’s dirty or not?” she asked in disbelief. George rolled his eyes.
“Just lie down Hermione,” he said exasperatedly.
“Oh fine,” she said, slowly inching her way to the ground.
“You can put your head on my shoulder if you’re that afraid of the germs,” he said, adding another eye roll. Hermione complied. They stayed there for a while, in silence, until Hermione yawned very loud. George chuckled to himself, slightly, and led Hermione back to her room. It was well past midnight.
“Thanks again Hermione. Goodnight,” he said. He pulled her into a tight embrace and kissed the top of her head before he descended the stairs to the landing on which his bedroom was.