Summary: Fred and Hermione face the music at the kitchen table.
A/N: I wasn't sure I was going to post this but an anonymous friend on Tumblr encouraged me to do so!
Hermione and Fred were both red-faced as they entered the kitchen, doing their level best to appear completely innocent and innocuous, especially to the parental units in the room.
"Nice of you to finally join us," Molly teasingly admonished, trying her best to keep up her matriarchal machinations, despite the utter joy in her heart at knowing that Fred and Hermione had found love in each other. "I was beginning to…"
She stopped short upon looking up at the couple. Suddenly, it wasn't nearly so hard to pretend to be the stern mother. It was true that she knew they were both adults, and that she trusted them to make sound decisions. However, this didn't mean that she approved of them being late to dinner because they were having a quickie. "Frederick, I will not tolerate - "
"Listen, woman. We're here, aren't we," Fred grumbled, still annoyed at having been interrupted, even for something as delightful as a meal lovingly cooked by his mother.
Both Hermione and Molly were glaring at him, and he held up his hands in defeat. He shrank down into his seat, Hermione folding herself into the chair next to him.
The room was eerily quiet, as no one was quite ready to address the elephant in the room that had caught Molly's attention and flared her anger. Specifically, the fact that Hermione was braless, and Fred's hair was messier than Harry's on a good day was entirely impossible to ignore, and everyone was quite well aware of must have transpired to put the two of them in such a state. Instead, the mages stared down at their plates, watching as they began to magically fill with food.
"So," Ginny began, finally breaking the incredibly long and awkward silence. Every face in the room swiveled around to face the youngest witch. Uncomfortably, she stirred her potatoes around with her fork.
"How was Africa," Ginny finally asked, nearly buckling under the weight of seven heavy gazes.
Crossing her arms tightly over her unbound chest, Hermione seconded the question. "Yes, Molly. Do tell us." Ginny squinted at the older witch, unsure of her intentions. Hermione smiled at her best friend gratefully, thankful that she was at least attempting to draw the attraction away from her and Fred. Ginny nodded once surreptitiously, acknowledging that she was purposely seeking to help out her friend, though remained befuzzled as to why Hermione would deliberately thwart her efforts.
Molly smiled pleasantly at Hermione, and then turned her daughter, momentarily distracted by twice asked question. "We had a lovely time. Thank you so much for arranging the trip."
Arthur nodded his head enthusiastically. "Yes, the people of Kenya are so lovely. So considerate and grateful for what they have."
"And the Wizarding community there is absolutely fantastic," Molly continued. "So willing to help out their Muggle counterparts. It is a rather poor part of the world, you know," she added somberly.
"Our guide, Ashura," Arthur added through a mouthful of beans, "is a professor at Uagadou, the Wizarding School in Uganda. He heads up an organization of students dedicated to raising money to bring underprivileged African wizards and witches to the school."
There was a beat of pause, and for a moment it seemed that Hermione and Fred were going to be interrogated once again. Harry, at the behest of an incinerating glare from Ginny, cleared his throat. "That's rather brilliant of them. So did you help out this organization or…"
Molly smiled. "We couldn't directly, since the school is not in session. Instead, we went on a magizoological safari. We saw an entire pride of gryphons, with a recently hatched clutch of eggs!"
Ginny cooed overenthusiastically, hoping to keep up the distraction of her mother long enough for Hermione to finish summoning her bra and for Fred to fix his hair. "That's so sweet! I hope you took photos to send to Charlie!"
Her mother scoffed, pretending not to notice Hermione's contortions as she tried to put her bra back on without exposing her breasts, nor her eldest twin's deliberate attempts to not watch his girlfriend refasten the garment. "Of course, darling! I took so many pictures!"
"Did you enjoy the hut we put you up in," George wanted to know, leaning as far forward in his seat as possible to shield Hermione and Fred as she tried to refasten her bra while simultaneously slapping away Fred's futile efforts to help. "I know it was a bit small, but we thought you might like the authenticity."
At this Molly laughed, both at George's vain attempt at hiding the obvious, and the memories his question brought up. "It was quite wonderful, until your father awoke to a family of meerkats on his chest."
Finally having sorted out her underclothes, Hermione exclaimed, "You're kidding? A whole family of meerkats?"
Arthur snorted. "I wish she was kidding, but Ashura's little ones were bigger tricksters than Fred and George ever were."
The twins turned to gasp overdramatically at their father in mirrored expressions of hurt and disbelief.
"Father," George cried theatrically. "I'm disgusted. I'm revolted."
"We dedicate our entire lives to our Lady and Savior Thalia, and this is the thanks we get."
"No one is bigger trickster's than the two of us," they chorused simultaneously.
Ginny snickered from across the table. "Perhaps Thalia would rather you hadn't, you big twerps."
"No one, Ginevra, and I repeat, no one is as much of a twerp as a little sister."
She stuck her tongue out, and Fred mimicked the gesture in retaliation.
Molly's eye was caught by something glinting in his mouth. Apparently, the piercing and Molly's ensuing glare caught everyone else's eyes as well, because they gasped and froze. Fred looked around in confusion, his tongue still hanging out of his mouth. Hermione cleared her throat, subtly nodding at his tongue. In a flash it was back in his mouth, obscured by his hands.
"Frederick Gideon Weasley, what is that?" Molly's voice was at it's most terrifying; certainly, she'd done her fair share of yelling in her days of raising children, but Fred and all his siblings knew that they were truly in trouble if her voice went low and quiet.
A sheepish smile plastered itself to his face. "What are you talking about mother dearest," he asked between nervously gritted teeth.
Ron whispered, a bit too loudly, "She's already seen it, you plum! We all have! Don't make it worse by lying to her face."
Fred's innocent and cheerful façade dropped in an instant, and his eyes were like daggers. "A little bit louder, Ronnikins," he snarled. "I'm not sure Charlie heard you."
Ron's face crunched up quizzically. "Charlie's in Romania, Fred. I could scream bloody murder and he wouldn't hear it."
At this, Harry smacked his best friend up the head, telling him to can it.
"When did you get a piercing? She rounded on her other children, who were vainly attempting to hide the looks of guilt on their own faces. "What, have you all got one? What sorts of shenanigans have you all gotten into!"
The quiet around the table was deafening, as each child tried to pretend that they hadn't heard a word their mother had said.
"I'm waiting," she sang maniacally.
"It was my fault," Hermione sighed, realizing that Molly would never believe the full story even if all six teenagers corroborated it. Cor, if she hadn't been at the epicenter, she wouldn't have believed it either. "Fred and I went out clubbing, and we got good and drunk."
Fred caught on to Hermione's lie right away, and smiled sheepishly, as though he were agreeing with her. "Guess drunk me thought a tongue piercing was a right genius idea." He snickered, dragging his fingers over Hermione's stomach deliberately. "Of course, she did get one of those navel piercings too, so drunk Hermione's not much better."
The bushy haired witch scowled, yanking her blouse up to reveal the ring with the obnoxious charm that Fred had magically speared through her skin. She glared up at him. "At least I didn't pick the jewelry. I'd have picked something far smaller and more elegant."
"You were so drunk you could hardly stand. Besides, you're the one that fake married us," Fred shot back, scrounging at something to throw at her.
Hermione scoffed, just barely concealing her laugh of incredulity, staring at Molly in a look of sheer innocence. "I woke up to my new piercing and thought it only fair. I conjured rings on our fingers and a marriage certificate." She smiled in a demonic grin that would rival Fred's own, and added, "I also might have vanished our clothes and gone right back to sleep."
Molly actually laughed at that. "Can't imagine he was too happy when he woke up."
Fred pouted, crossing his arms over his chest tightly. "Of course I bloody wasn't! I couldn't remember past the piercings, and woke up to the two of us starkers, and apparently hitched!" He directed a glare at Hermione. "Drunk people can't consent! Of course I freaked out!"
Molly raised an eyebrow. "Is this how the whole Cruciatus thing happened."
Fred sobered up quickly, wincing both at the memory of the pain, and the visible hurt on Hermione's face. He held her hand tightly. "Yeah, it is. I was so hung over and panicked, that I didn't recognize my own reflection. Thought it was some intruder."
Tears came unbidden from Hermione's eyes, and she burrowed her face into Fred's chest. "I'm sorry, Fred. I didn't mean…I didn't know it would upset you so much."
He rubbed her back soothingly. "I already told you, love. All's forgiven." He kissed away her tears. "I love you."
She sniffled, and gave him a watery smile. "I love you, too."
From the other end of the table, Ron snorted. "Oy, get a room. I'm trying to eat here."
Fred and Hermione blushed, and pulled away clearing their throats. Molly rolled her eyes. "Oh, meal's almost over. Get going."
Fred grinned devilishly, before grabbing Hermione's hand and apparating away.
They landed in an unfamiliar room entirely decorated in white. "Fred, where are we?"
He smiled proudly. "Why, the wedding suite in Florock's Hotel. Finest Wizarding hotel in London."
She narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously. "Don't you have to book rooms of this sort in advance?"
He flicked his wand, sending his Patronus scampering. "Yeah, but Florock sort of owes me a favor. Besides," Fred purred, drawing Hermione close by the hips. "Don't you think we deserve to have a proper wedding night? One we can both remember?"
"We were never actually married, you plum! That story never even happened!"
Fred bit his lip. "Doesn't mean we shouldn't take advantage of this golden opportunity."
She sighed affectionately. "You are positively incorrigible. What am I going to do with you?"
"Whatever you like."
Hermione considered that proposition for a moment, before yanking Fred's shirt off. "I think I'd like to start where we left off."
His thumbs brushed over the bare swells of her hips. "That sounds like a great idea."
A/N: That's it! The End!
I really hope you enjoyed this last chapter as much as you enjoyed the rest of the fic. Thank you so much to everyone who read and reviewed and favorited. You were all so kind and so patient with me!
If you're interested, I'm writing a new Fremione fic as we speak; look out for it in September!
Again, thank you all!
The Writer xxx