Late Lunch, Chapter 43
Hermione's laughter grew rapidly louder and she had to restrain herself from accidentally elbowing Fred in the stomach, her body wanting to defend itself as his kisses tickled her neck mercilessly on the bed.
"Thank you, thank you," he said, ignoring her protests, "Thank you."
Hermione grinned. "It was nothing, but I'm glad you like it."
"Oh, good," said a voice. "I was hoping I'd someday catch my brother slob on a poor girl's neck." George entered Fred's room and picked up a jumper from the floor and aimed it at him. "You're not a vampire, quit it."
Fred caught the jumper from hitting Hermione's face just in time and chucked it back at his twin's feet. He pressed his cheek against Hermione's from behind and kept his arms around her waist, smiling. "What you want, you great prune?"
George sighed. "Mum's out with Ginny on errands for a couple of hours."
As if reading his thoughts, Fred responded with an: "Ah."
Hermione looked questioningly at her boyfriend.
He smiled. "Would you mind spending some time in the shed?"
She shook her head. "Of course not. Although, it depends on what we'd be doing there."
George laughed. "Don't worry, Granger. S'nothing illegal."
She gave him a wry smile. "You saying that makes me believe you even less."
George just laughed again and began his descent downstairs.
Hermione and Fred lingered for a moment longer.
"You truly don't mind?" Fred asked.
"No, and you don't have to worry about entertaining me," answered Hermione, leaning against his chest and peering up at him. "I just want to spend time with you."
She felt his breath deepen and how he clutched her slightly tighter. Finally, he pressed a kiss to her forehead. "C'mon, let's not keep George waiting. He gets pathetic when he's left alone."
Hermione only nodded and allowed Fred to pull her down the stairs. Some things didn't need to be said, instead they could just be felt. But Hermione was proud of what she'd managed to say, despite the slight warmth coating her face. It was easier nowadays telling Fred how she felt and if it made him this happy to hear it, she'd keep at it.
Speaking of happy, she felt her lips pull up thinking about what had happened five minutes ago, when Fred had received his gift from London. At first, he'd been staring at the wrapped package, asking her what the occasion was, to which she'd simply responded with an ushering motion, telling him to go ahead. He tore off the paper (a bit too indelicately for her taste, but never mind that) and Hermione watched him break into the widest grin she'd ever seen. That was the last thing she saw before he tackled her down to the bed and thanked her.
"How come I've never been invited to this mysterious shed before?" Hermione asked as they walked around the house and towards the back.
Fred moved a small branch to the side, to prevent it hitting her face. "Well, as you can see, the pathway to it gets a bit overgrown in the summer and since Mum doesn't really enjoy us working in there anyway, she doesn't bother making a fuss about us tending to it. But George and I don't mind. It feels more like a secret clubhouse this way."
Hermione raised an eyebrow. "And are girls allowed in your secret clubhouse?"
"Not really, so I might end up owing George a whole lot of favours after this," said Fred and winked.
"I thank you for your sacrifice," Hermione answered.
They arrived in front of what resembled a small house, larger than the Grangers' tool shed which was closer to a wardrobe in size, and Hermione had to admit she was impressed with the condition it was in. While they had let the way to it become overrun, it was clear that the twins valued this place.
George stood waiting right outside, tinkering with a small metal cube with a screwdriver while the door was open. Inside, Hermione could already see a table covered in items, ranging from old phones and discarded motorcycle parts to plastic vampire teeth and rubber ducks. And batteries. Lots and lots of batteries.
"Uncle Fabian swore this would work," said George. "But I can't help but think he just got us this as a joke."
"That would be an excellent prank," said Fred. "Perhaps one for the 'potential ideas' box?"
George shrugged. "Wouldn't hurt."
"You remember Uncle Fabian and Gideon?" asked Fred.
"Their names do sound familiar," said Hermione, well aware of the twins' favourite uncles—who incidentally also happened to be twins. The pair of them had been most insistent on demanding a dance each from her at Bill and Fleur's wedding and it had driven them to laughter to find out how she and Fred had met. She still struggled to understand how they could be Mrs. Weasley's older brothers.
"They dropped off a few things they thought might interest us when they were here last," continued Fred, "And me and George have been trying to find use for it all. So far, the largest potential lies with an old computer we're scouring for parts. Found a decent CPU cooler."
"Right," said Hermione, wishing she'd studied more on computers. "What's those in there for?"
"I think Dad dropped the ducks in there," answered George. "Was never sure why."
She nodded absently and proceeded to inspect the things. She never dared venture inside for fear of knocking anything down and instead stayed safely outside, but peeking in. "You have anything that's finished?"
Fred shook his head. "Nothing worth showing anyway. Mostly we work with fixing things, but when it comes to building them, we usually lack important, expensive parts."
Hermione turned and smirked. "Or perhaps it's your ideas that are too ambitious?"
Fred laughed and George chuckled to himself.
"All right, no more of that, Granger," said Fred, "Let me show you why we're here."
Fred led Hermione along, and not inside the shed as she'd expected, but around it. She'd seen something white poke out from behind the edges of the house before and been curious to what it was, but hadn't thought much of it. Now, however, she could see what it was even before Fred pulled the tarp off.
Hermione gaped. "That's a car," she said.
"Yup," Fred smiled. "A Ford Anglia."
"How on earth did you get a car?"
"Dad's had it forever," said Fred, "trying to fix it and keep it in decent shape. But he never quite had the time he needed, so he finally just gave it to us. He said we could keep it if we figured out what's wrong. Mum has no idea."
"But . . .you can't drive yet," said Hermione and frowned while her boyfriend laughed yet again.
"We'll be taking the test soon enough, Hermione. In the meantime, we'll work on getting this car to roll and you know, not kill us."
Hermione's lips twisted up. "That would be nice, seeing how I've grown fond of you. You sure it'll be safe?"
Fred nodded. "Dad wouldn't give us anything that could hurt us."
That's when George joined them, carrying a toolbox and a very dirty towel, covered in grease. "Let's get to it, gents!"
They spent the rest of the day there, the three of them. Fred and George hidden under the hood of the car, and Hermione, seated on a tree trunk, handing them the occasional tool. By the end of it, the sky had gone from blue to orange and it came as no surprise when Ginny texted George that she and Mrs. Weasley were on their way back from the city, only stopping to pick Ron up on the way.
"Right-o," said Fred, "time to call it quits. We might need to clean up a bit before Mum gets back."
"You'll need to do more than wipe your hands on that towel," said Hermione, scrunching her nose as she wiped a thumb across Fred's cheek.
"She's right," said George. "You look awful, brother."
Fred swatted George with the towel and once the things were locked inside the shed and the car was covered, they walked inside the house.
While the twins showered, Hermione waited in Fred's room and scrolled through her phone. Throughout the day Harry had sent her messages and photos from his visit to the Lupins'. Mostly it was pictures of Teddy, smiling at the camera.
She sent him a photo she had taken of Fred and George fighting over the same wrench, both covered in grease and making the most ridiculous faces.
- You have your child, I have mine.
A/N: Such cuteness…ugh.
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