Hermione walked into the kitchen, not surprised to see Harry already up. He was drinking something out of a big mug that had the words, 'THE CHOSEN ONE' printed on it. She opened her mouth to ask but closed it. It was early to start any sort of conversation. Stumbling into a seat, she grabbed her best mate's mug and swallowed a mouthful of hot bitter liquid, barely flinching as it burned her throat.
Harry didn't even bother protesting, simply taking it back from her. His eyes were bloodshot as were Hermione's, who moaned, "Why did I let you talk me into a drinking game?"
Harry winced, "Stop shouting, my head hurts."
The two sat in silence for quite a while till Mrs. Weasley finally entered the kitchen. She stared at the two in surprise, "Why are the two of you up so early? Is everything all right?"
Before either of them could say anything, there was a loud crack and Bill appeared along with his wife. In a matter of seconds Charlie and Percy followed and the kitchen was filled with loud chatter and jokes, Mrs. Weasley's question forgotten in the chaos.
Hermione groaned, "Why are they shouting? Make them stop shouting." She threw a miserable look towards the raven haired boy sitting across the table, and muttered, "Hey Harry, you're the Chosen One. That's got to mean something, right? Can't you order them to stop screaming?"
Her friend looked just as miserable as she was feeling, if not worse. His eyes were bloodshot and his glasses kept slipping off his nose. His head was killing him. It was like a pair of loud drums were beating between his ears. He just groaned and slid off his stool, muttering something about going back to bed. However, before he could so much as take a few steps, Mrs. Weasley growled, "Did you two get drunk, last night!?"
Hermione and Harry flinched and immediately put the blame on the person who wasn't there.
"It was Ron's fault."
"He said it would be fun."
Their best friend's mother gave them a murderous glare until Harry let out a piteous moan. Evidently taking mercy upon them, she waved her wand, murmuring an incantation. Both the teens felt a moment of disorientation before their vision cleared as did their heads. Blinking rapidly, they shook their heads before giving grateful smiles to the elderly witch.
She gave them disapproving looks and launched into a lecture. Just then, a roar of laughter from the next room made the three jump in surprise and Bill called out, "Hey Mum! You might want to see this."
Mrs. Weasley made her way into the room, shaking her head, exasperated, "Honestly, this early in the morning."
A sheepish looking George was standing in front of the fireplace, holding a five year old's hand. The child had the Weasley trademark red hair, and his blue eyes looked around the room happily. When his eyes fell on the frozen Mrs. Weasley, he beamed at her, "Hi, Mum!"
Mrs. Weasley stared at the child in complete and utter shock. She knew who he was. Of course, she did. She had raised him. Her legs quivered and she sat down heavily onto one of the worn couches.
Fred blinked up at her innocently, "Yes?"
She immediately looked to George, "What happened?"
He rubbed the back of his head, grinning sheepishly, "Well, we were trying out a new potion." He glanced down at Fred who was studying everyone around him in curiosity, "Well, Fred was testing out the potion. I was opening the shop. Something happened, I don't know how, haven't exactly figured it out. All I heard was a big explosion and then, well you can see what happened. He doesn't remember anything as such. His memories are those of when he was five."
Fred was now studying the raven haired boy with interest. "What's that on your face?"
Harry's hand immediately went to his forehead covering his scar. He looked at Hermione uncertainly, before speaking, "It's a scar."
Fred looked at solemnly, "I have a scar too. It's on my bum. Wanna see?"
Harry looked positively horrified at the prospect of looking at the arse of one of the Weasley twins. He gave a strained smile, "Um, no. It's okay. I'll take your word for it."
Looking disappointed, Fred looked at the girl standing by the boy. She was pretty. He gave her a grin, "Do you want to see?"
Hermione shook her head, "Not particularly, no."
"Frederick Gideon Weasley!"
The boy winced, "Yeah?"
Mrs. Weasley had quickly recovered from her initial shock and was glowering at him, "What have I told you about indecent public displays!?"
He shuffled his feet, finding them very interesting and mumbled something.
George quickly took over, and nudged his twin, "Sorry mate." Looking at his family, he announced, "There's kind of a problem, right now." When Bill raised a brow, he continued, "We have an inspection today and well, I can't keep an eye on him. I don't know when the effects will wear off, but in the meantime, can anyone just watch over him?"
He looked around pleadingly at everyone in the room. Fred followed his gaze. He had been told what had happened to him and although he couldn't comprehend everything, he knew George would never lie to him. He smirked at Charlie, "You're so big."
Charlie grinned back, "And you're so puny. Hey Percy? " His brother glanced at him, inquiringly.
"Think we should get payback for all the pranks Fred's played on us?"
A small smile curled the corners of Percy's mouth and he drawled, "I don't see why not."
Fred scowled at gave them a defiant stare, "I'm not scared of you. Do your worst."
Before either of them could speak, or before even Mrs. Weasley could protest, Hermione spoke, "Oh, leave him alone. He's just a kid."
George deliberately misinterpreted her words, "So you'll take care of him? You're the best, Hermione. See you guys later."
He gave Fred a slight push, winked at Hermione, and then twisted in the air, probably apparating back to the shop.
Hermione spluttered and stared down at the miniature Fred who gave her cheerful smile. He grabbed her hand, "Can we play Quidditch?"
Nobody had even offered to help her. Harry had promptly disappeared, already busy with Teddy and Mrs. Weasley had immediately backed out, stuttering something about taking Ginny shopping for a dress. What a fib! Ginny had already gotten a dress.
Traitors. All of them.
She now sat on the couch, as Fred squealed with delight on a toy broom. He had found it under his bed in his old room and was going in circles around the dining room table. Just watching him was making her dizzy.
Her headache was returning and she lay down on the couch, closing her eyes. With the exception of her and Fred, the entire Burrow had been evacuated. She scowled. Pathetic.
Hermione smiled. It was just adorable the way he struggled to pronounce her name. Feeling two small hands framing her face, she opened her eyes to see him staring at her, his blue eyes peering at her.
"Are you sick?"
Hermione sat up, "I'm fine. Did you need something?"
Fred looked at his feet, "I'm hungry."
Hermione glanced at her watch. It was nearing lunch and it didn't seem like Mrs. Weasley was going to be back anytime soon. She let out a disgruntled sigh before looking down at him, "We could go to Diagon Alley if you want. For lunch, I mean."
He looked positively delighted, "Can we go see George?"
Hermione looked confused, "You just saw him this morning."
Fred tugged at her hand, wearing a pleading expression on his face, "Please, 'My-nee! I miss George! I wanna see him!"
Hermione hesitated and his eyes filled with tears and he rubbed his eyes with his sleeve, sniffling. Unable to take it, she gathered him in her arms, crooning, "Of course, we'll go see him, Fred. We'll take him out to lunch!"
"Really?" Fred mumbled, his face buried in her shoulder.
Hermione nodded, "Yes."
He pulled away from her giving her a tearful look, "You promise?"
When she nodded in acquiescence, he wrapped his small arms around her neck, "You're the best! I love you, 'My-nee!"
Hermione stiffened at his words and then relaxed as she realized that at his young age, it was very simple to give and receive love. She pulled away from him, and grabbed a fistful of floo powder, "Ready to go?"
He gripped her hand tightly in reply.
She spoke loudly and clearly, "Diagon Alley!"
As the magic transported them away, it didn't occur to her how easy it had been for her to hold the five year old Fred Weasley. She wasn't a maternal person, however, with this particular Weasley, it had been instinct. Had she known then, what she was getting into, she might have just backed out then, or maybe she would have rushed in headlong into this spiral of chaos.
George looked none the worse for wear. His hair was sticking out haphazardly and he glaring at the cash register. The crowd was thinning out Fred spotted his twin. With a delighted cry, he raced towards him, "George!"
Hearing his voice, George looked up and grinned, the stress on his face fading away, "Hey Freddie."
He picked him up and put him on the counter, "Miss me?"
Fred flung his arms around his neck and George heard a muffled, "A lot!"
Hermione walked past a teenage couple, "Present."
George grinned at her, apologetically, "Sorry for pushing Fred on you. Did he give much trouble?"
Hermione gave him a dry look, "When has Fred every caused any trouble for anyone?" George smirked and high fived his brother who looked positively gleeful, "So what are you doing here?"
Hermione shrugged, "We're here for lunch. Your family abandoned us." She sent a glare his way as if blaming him for that.
"Let me just finish with these customers and we'll go upstairs. I'll get something delivered. I'm too 'unpresentable' at the moment to go out."
As he dealt with the last of the customers, he watched Fred and Hermione out of the corner of his eye. Fred seemed very attached to her, pulling her one way or another, showing her tricks and products. He froze when he saw Fred lift his arms, demandingly, and Hermione lifted him up so that he could see a product.
A sly smile touched his lips. Hermione was being really accommodating. That was very un-Hermione like. On hearing a giggle, he couldn't help but look over. Fred's hair was green and Hermione was giggling. The five year old looked entirely too pleased with himself at making her laugh and was sporting a big grin.
A thoughtful gleam entered George's eyes and he closed the shop for lunch break. Hermione's back was to him as he approached and he slid a casual arm around her waist. "So what do you guys want to eat?"
To his glee, Fred made a face at the arm lacing around the girl, and he pulled at her hand, coming between her and George. He sent his twin a glare. George made a noncommittal hmm and grinned as he noted the possessiveness in Fred's every gesture when it came to Hemione. It seemed Fred had formed a little crush.
"So," He started, as the trio made their way upstairs, "I looked into the potion Fred was playing around with. It was our ageing potion." He rubbed his neck, looking slightly peeved, "It's supposed to make someone act like a child, not become one. I think the effects will wear off sometime in the evening." He glanced towards his brother, "I hope."
While George ordered some lunch, Fred dragged Hermione by the hand to a bedroom. Proudly, he announced, "This is my room. George told me!"
Hermione struggled not to smile. "It's very nice," she told the excited little boy. In his excitement, his clear blue eyes flashed and his smile became more prominent. As she surveyed the room, her eyes fell on a few photographs by the bedside. One of them was of the whole family, while one contained just Fred and George, grinning like a pair of loons. It was the third photograph that caught her eye. It was a picture someone had taken of her and Fred. He was leaning towards her and she was trying not to laugh.
This had been taken after the War had ended and Fred had been discharged from the hospital. Why was there a photo of her and Fred besides his bed?
Noticing that her attention was not on him, Fred hopped down from the bed and peered at the photo. He tugged at Hermione's arm and looked at her with a mix between curiosity and innocence, "Were we boyfriend and girlfriend, 'My-Nee?"
Hermione opened her mouth to say something and then shut it, just shaking her head. She didn't know why but he just looked offended, "Why not? What's wrong with me?"
Hermione didn't know whether to laugh or sooth the wrinkle in his forehead so she shrugged, "I don't know. You don't like me that way."
Fred blushed as he shuffled his feet, something which she noted was a habit of his. He whispered, "But you're so pretty."
Hermione chuckled, "You're very handsome too."
He frowned, "Do you like George more than you like me?"
"No, no. Of course not. I like you way more than I like George."
He took offence to that as well, and demanded, "Why? What's wrong with him?"
Hermione stuttered something and to her relief George stepped into the room, curiosity evident in his gaze, "What are you guys doing?"
Fred immediately leapt to his side, "'My-Nee likes me more than you."
George looked confused for a second before grinning, "She does, does she? Maybe I should show her I'm better than you." He took a step forward and Hermione retreated looking horrified, torn between laughing and crying, "George, whatever you're planning, don't."
His eyes were lit with mischief, as he drawled, "Come now, Granger. We all know you think I'm the better looking twin now."
Knowing he was joking, Hermione fought back a smile, "No. Fred's the better looking one. You know it."
George pressed a hand to his heart in mock hurt, and then waggled his eyebrows, "We have the same face, Granger."
She smirked, "Yeah, but he knows how to work it."
In a dramatic sweep, he had bent her low and puckered up making disgusting kissing noises. Hermione giggled and tried to push him away. She knew he was joking. He always mocked flirted with her. And she always put up with it. Ever since she had saved Fred's life in the Final Battle, George had warmed up to her.
It was when George yelped in pain that she saw that Fred had sunk his teeth in his arm, wearing a ferocious expression. Dropping Hermione ungraciously to the ground, he swore, "Bloody hell, mate! I was just messing with ya'!"
"She's mine! She likes me better!"
Hermione took in this exchange with wide eyes. Was Fred actually laying a claim on her? He should be grateful he was just a kid or she would have hexed him for treating her like an object. A little annoyed, she broke them apart as George raised a fist, prepared to knock some sense in his twin.
"Oh, honestly, grow up! Now come on, I'm hungry."
Fred immediately grabbed her hand and stuck his tongue out at George, rudely, something which earned him a sharp reprimand from his companion.
Lunch was a tense affair as Fred kept glowering at George who kept flirting with Hermione to annoy his brother. The atmosphere dissipated when the boy released a wide yawn and rubbed his eyes, making his twin grin, "Fred and I loved our afternoon naps, didn't we Gred?"
At his old nickname, Fred's eyes watered and he burst into tears, running towards George and hugging his waist. To Hermione's surprise, George also looked at him somberly, "I'm sorry too, mate."
It took a lot of coaxing from George for Hermione to stay in the flat with Fred. As soon as George left to reopen the shop the red haired boy asked her, "Will you sleep with me? George and I always take our naps together and he's not here and I don't wanna sleep alone."
Against her better judgment, Hermione let herself be taken in with those big blue eyes and the vulnerable expression in them. Sighing, she settled on the couch, spooning Fred. As soon as he fell asleep, she'd get up. She kept telling herself that but the exhaustion from this morning and last night caught up to her and she found herself falling asleep.
"Granger. Hey, Granger. Wake up."
Hermione moaned and buried her face deeper in the warm body that held her. It was such a nice dream. A pair of arms tightened around her and she heard a barely concealed moan. Groggy, confused, she opened her eyes blearily and peered into the pair of bluest eyes she had ever seen.
It was the amused voice that got through to her head, "I know you love being in my arms, but I really need to use the little boy's room."
Hermione flushed and pulled away from Fred, falling onto the ground. Fred gave her an unapologetic grin and rushed off to the bathroom.
She buried her face in her hands, "Oh, God! That was so embarrassing!"
He had changed back. While she was asleep, the effects of the potion had worn off. She had been sleeping in Fred Weasley's arms. She had always told herself that he was out of her league. She groaned. She had stopped coming to their shop so as to avoid him and now. Oh God, what would he think of her? What was she going to do? She scolded herself. All she had to do was explain the situation and quietly leave.
Five minutes later, she sat composed on the couch. He had wanted to sleep with her on the couch. It was not her fault! At least that's what she kept telling herself.
Fred emerged from his room, looking better. "All right, Granger?"
Hermione blushed, "Yeah, I'm fine."
"Want something to drink? I have a root beer."
Hermione made a non committal hmm and he handed her a drink, sitting on the table facing her, "So..."
"So." Hermione repeated. This was awkward. Where was George when you needed him? She looked around desperately but he was nowhere in sight, "What time is it?"
Fred shrugged, "'Round eight, I guess. Not really sure."
Hermione stared down at her drink, "I should probably go."
"You could stay. Have dinner with us."
She looked up to see him studying her with a strange intensity in his eyes, which made the edge of her ears turn red. "Are you okay, now?"
He stretched his arms and she could help but notice the way his biceps flexed. Her mouth went dry. She had always found Fred Weasley unreasonably attractive, but this was ridiculous. She had just spent a day with him, babysitting him.
"I'm much better. So," he drawled, leaning in. "I'm the better looking twin, am I?"
Hermione pushed herself back into the couch and muttered, "You're identical."
His lean frame was hovering over her body making her feel weak and fragile. His breath ghosted over her lips, "But I know how to work it Granger." She let out a piteous whimper as something inside her turned to liquid and he jumped on her, devouring her mouth.
She tried to move her hands, but they were useless. He buried his hand in her hair, and yanked her hair roughly, sliding his lips over hers, teasing her lips until she let out a moan and he slid in to take possession. He was everywhere. Her emotions were all over the place. She just sat there and let his mouth have his way with her.
He was rough, like he knew she wouldn't break. He pressed open mouthed kisses to her jaw, making her groan as the fire lit up in her lower belly. She still couldn't move. The hand twisted in her hair was rough and his other hand was roaming all over her body, touching places she had never known could be touched like that. She just murmured a garble of his name as he completely owned her with a few wild kisses.
She was his, and she knew it.
He finally released her and she slid back on the couch, feeling as if her insides had melted. She stared at him with a dazed expression and he chuckled, "Did I finally make Hermione Granger speechless?"
Her brain tried to catch up but she couldn't think so much as move, "W-what?"
He leaned in again and his eyes were very serious, "I told you, you were mine. I meant it."
Her eyes widened and she knew she should be protesting, telling him off, but the wild predatory look in his eye made her want to obey a baser instinct inside her which told her to submit. She fought it, but when he pulled her forward and engaged her in another wild kiss, she knew she was lost.
Fred Weasley owned her.