A/N: So, this crazy little story evolved when I learned that James Phelps (otherwise known as Fred Weasley) has an affinity for some of my favorite rock bands (Bon Jovi, Eagles, Queen, Guns 'N' Roses, Coldplay, AC/DC, Metallica, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, etc.) Since Hermione is a Muggle-born witch, I somehow imagined her introducing Fred to Muggle rock and roll, and this story was born.
Each chapter title will be lyrics to/the title of the chapter's song, so you can Google it for a listen, if you think it'll help set the mood.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my silly little plot.
Arthur Weasley was well known for his love of the Muggle world. Luckily for him, his youngest son, Ronald, had befriended Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, and Hermione Granger, the Brightest Witch of her Age, both of whom had spent the first eleven years of their lives being raised by Muggles. Even better, both Harry and Hermione had become as constant a part of his life as his brood of redheaded children.
Fred Weasley was one of the aforementioned redheaded children, but he hadn't just inherited his father's ginger locks; he, too, was intrigued by all things Muggle-made, and did not hesitate to include Miss Hermione Granger in his list of "Brilliant Things of Muggle Origins." In fact, she had topped his list ever since she'd saved him from certain death during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Fred first met Hermione when she was just eleven years old. He'd soon find that her know-it-all personality did tend to rub the wrong way, but that never could overshadow the fact that she was far more brilliant and dedicated that any eleven year old he'd ever met, and had more bravery in her little finger than all of Gryffindor house combined. He grew to appreciate and respect that about the young Muggle-born.
As Hermione's friendship with Ron and Harry grew, so did her friendship with Fred. He chalked up his fondness of her to a filial affection until she'd descended the stairs at the Yule Ball.
Nearly every jaw in the Great Hall had dropped; in four years, it had somehow escaped everyone's attention that Hermione was, in a word, stunning.
Where others were focused on her managed hair and altered incisors, or the glittering dress she'd donned, Fred was focused on the smile dominating her face. It was as though the incomparable personality Fred had taken a liking to was concentrated in that smile. He'd felt a twinge in the pit of his stomach that he'd never, in a million years, believed he'd feel because of Hermione Granger. She was everything he was not, and more importantly, she was Ron's girl; Fred was pretty sure that even disciplined Professor McGonagall had wagered a Galleon or two over when the two would finally announce that they were officially "together." Even after his brother had proved himself a moron with the emotional depth of a teaspoon, Fred was not certain that Ron would let him get away with dating Hermione with all his important bits intact.
Fred had not expected to survive the Battle of Hogwarts, and by all accounts, he should not have. He still couldn't quite figure out how he'd survived; he'd seen, with his own eyes, Hermione make the mad dash towards him. He knew, for a fact, that she would not reach him in time to push him out of the way of the falling debris, but somehow none of the rubble even came close to striking either of them. By the time her body collided with his, they were well out of harm's way.
That didn't stop her from pushing him against a wall and snogging the wits out of him.
After the battle, she didn't mention it, so neither did Fred; he tried to write it off as a "heat of the moment, thank Merlin we're alive" sort of thing. Why should she like him? He'd never given her any reason to believe that he was interested in her that way. Perhaps that could've been a viable option if they'd had a period of separation, but when Hermione revealed that she'd made it so her parents didn't remember they had a daughter, and thus, that she had no home to which she could return at the moment, Molly Weasley had insisted that she call the Burrow home. Since the battle, there hadn't been a day in which Fred and Hermione were apart, and the more time he spent with her, the more he fell in love with her.
Hermione raked a hand through her bushy mane, finding herself frustrated. She'd read the same line thirty times at least, and each time, she found her thoughts drifting to a certain redhead whose she'd shoved out of the way of falling rubble.
A voice in her head that sounded suspiciously like Ginny reminded her that she'd done some more shoving. Shoving him against that wall. Shoving your lips against his. Shoving your tongue…
Hermione swatted the air, as if she could shoo the pesky thoughts away like a fly.
"It didn't mean anything," she muttered aloud to no one in particular, even though she knew this was a bold-faced lie.
Yes, Fred was definitely the crueler and more childish of the twins; he spared no expense when it came to punishing the guilty, and she was ninety-nine percent certain that testing out their merchandise on first years had been his idea, but he had always been the most forgiving and showed infinite compassion to the innocent. Hermione herself had been the recipient of such kindnesses. Despite his tomfoolery, she knew he was a brilliant wizard, and she found herself pleased that he'd used his talent to bring laughter to all who sought it, especially in such dark times.
She supposed her feelings began in her second year, when he was a hairsbreadth away from beating the life out of Draco Malfoy for calling her a "filthy, little Mudblood." She was genuinely touched that someone she barely knew would go to bat for her in a heartbeat. As she grew older, she ignored the butterflies he set off in her stomach, telling herself that it was nothing more than gratitude toward a friend; she managed to keep up this carefully crafted pretense, the blush on her cheeks when he showed her a special attention the only thing belying how she felt.
When faced with the very real possibility of losing Fred, that façade crumbled like the wall that had nearly killed him. She knew she'd rather die than face a world without Fred Weasley in it, and so she threw herself in harm's way. She was surprised to find that they'd both escaped certain death, and before she knew what she was doing, she had him pinned against a wall, kissing him with everything she had.
She hadn't had the courage to speak to him about it, let alone confess her feelings, and Fred had made no efforts on his part, so the issue fell to an impasse. She could hardly force him to return her affections.
Sighing, she admitted defeat, closing the book. She wished she had someone to whom she could talk about this.
It sounded silly; at any given time, she was sharing the Burrow with six other people at least, two of who were the other two-thirds of the Golden Trio. Surely there was someone she could talk to about her feelings.
Ron was out of the question for obvious reasons. Harry would listen to her, but he'd be useless in ways of advice. Besides, he'd invariably let it slip to Ginny, who would tease Hermione incessantly.
Talking to George would be suicide. He'd tell Fred without hesitation, and Hermione wasn't sure she was ready to go off the grid again.
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley could probably give her sound advice, and she knew they viewed her as a daughter, but she didn't think that Fred would appreciate her going to his parents for advice on wooing him.
It was moments like this where she really missed her own parents. No matter what was troubling her, they were always willing to listen, even if they hadn't the faintest idea what she was on about. What was worse was that this was one time that they may actually be able to offer some sound advice.
Merlin, she missed them.
It wouldn't do to dwell on the past. Instead, Hermione took a deep breath for composure.
Perhaps she'd feel better after a cuppa. As she made her way into the kitchen, she noticed the Muggle radio sitting on the counter and smiled; Mr. Weasley must've brought it home, though whether it was for his own purposes, or to comfort Harry and Hermione was anyone's guess. Incongruously, Hermione was partial to rock and roll. It was an outlandishly broad spectrum of music, with artists from all over the world.
Hermione was fairly certain she was alone in the house. She mentally reviewed everyone's whereabouts. Mr. Weasley had left for work long before Hermione had even woken up. Mrs. Weasley and Ginny were shopping in Diagon Alley. Ron and Harry were just outside practicing Quidditch, but Hermione was sure that they wouldn't mind. As for Fred and George…well, the two were a package deal, and since Hermione had seen neither heads nor tails of them, she was left to assume that they were working at their joke shop.
No one was around for her to disturb, so she turned the radio on and began to search for a classic rock station. When she heard a familiar guitar riff, she stopped her searching. Cranking the volume, she began to prepare her tea, bopping in time to the music.
The heavy bass covered the sound of someone walking down the creaky stairs.
Fred had slept fitfully, his subconscious still plagued by memories of the battle. As a result, George had insisted that he could manage the shop on his own, and that Fred should take the day off to rest and recharge.
He'd been lounging about in his room scribbling down ideas for new products, when he'd felt a thumping rock the house.
Fred drew his wand, his guard still up from the horrid nightmares he'd suffered the night prior, and went to investigate.
As he neared the ground floor, the thumping turned out to be the bass line of a song he didn't recognize. Perhaps it was a Muggle song? He knew Harry was outside; he'd just flown by Fred's window. That meant it could only be…
His suspicions were confirmed when he rounded the corner into the kitchen, but it didn't stop his jaw from dropping at the oblivious girl with free-flowing hair currently dancing around his mother's table. Her body's usual rigid set was gone; instead, her form rolled with the emotion of the heavy chords.
"Merlin's pants! Who are you and what have you done with Hermione?"
The witch in question shrieked, before diving to turn off the radio. Son of a banshee! It would be Fred to find her like this. "Fred…What…Why are you here?"
He raised a brow at her. "Um, I live here. What's your excuse?"
She pursed her lips. "That's not what I meant, and you know it. Why aren't you at the shop with your brother?" Suddenly concern flooded her voice. "Did you have another nightmare?"
Bile rose in the back of Fred's throat. George was the only one who he'd told about the night terrors. "I don't know what you're talking about." George was going to get a very stern talking to regarding things whispered in confidence.
She stepped forward to lay a hand on his arm. "You don't have to worry. George didn't tell me."
Fred was surprised. Hermione had answered almost as though she could read his mind. "Then how did you…"
"The war keeps me up, too." She bit her lip, trying to keep tears from falling. "I can hear you crying at night, sometimes."
"Why didn't you ever say anything?"
She answered him honestly. "If you had wanted me to know, you would've told me, but you didn't." She paused, and then met his eyes. "Though, if you do ever want to talk about it, I'm here."
Fred knew she meant what she said. "Thank you for that, Hermione. The same goes for you."
The both looked away, an awkward silence falling over the room. When Hermione realized that the teakettle was cheerfully whistling away, she stepped away from the redhead, and prepared her cup of tea.
"So," Fred started lamely, hoping to diffuse the tension. "What was with the mini-concert?"
Hermione was glad that her back was turned and he couldn't see the blush spread over her face. "I thought I was alone. I didn't wake you, did I?"
"No. I just couldn't identify the thumping from upstairs."
She turned, hiding her grin in her teacup. "Sorry about that."
He waved her apology away. "Don't worry about it. Didn't peg you for a rock girl, though. What's up with that?"
Hermione blushed redder than the hair of the boy in front of her. "Rock and roll never fails to make me happy. That, and it's got a brilliant history. I've got a book upstairs, if you're interested." Mentally, she slapped herself. Fred was just being friendly. He didn't really have a vested interest in the Muggle music. She was just being Hermione "Know-It-All" Granger again.
So caught up was she in her own thoughts, that she almost missed his reply.
"I'd like that."
Her eyes widened. "You…you would?"
His smile nearly melted her on the spot. "Yes."
A/N: Love it? Hate it? Have questions? Either way, I'd appreciate if you followed/favorited or left a review behind telling me what you thought!