Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. Harry Potter and all other series characters are the property of J.K. Rowling (Goddess Esquire), and are not my intellectual property. There is no financial gain made from this nor will any be sought. This is for entertainment purposes only.

Title: Solidify

Category: Harry Potter

Pairing: HGFW

Genre: Humor/Romance

Rating: T

Summary: After Hermione Granger finds herself at the wrong end of Umbridge's quill; Fred Weasley takes it upon himself to cheer her up. One shot set during OOtP. HGFW


The stinging of the tears that were threatening to fall from her eyes was nothing compared to the deep throbbing pain radiating from the back of Hermione Granger's left hand. But she was not about to give that vile woman the satisfaction of knowing just how close she had come to pushing Hermione to breaking. That's exactly what she wants, Hermione thought, to push us all until we are just beaten down Ministry subordinates.

The entire school had gone to hell in the past couple of weeks. Once Dumbledore's Army was exposed, everything unraveled faster than a spool of thread. Dumbledore himself was gone. After he took the blame for organizing the secret defense club that was Hermione's own idea, he disappeared with Fawkes. In his place the Ministry appointed their own toad, Dolores Umbridge, into the position of Headmistress.

With Umbridge as acting Headmistress, the new ordinances at Hogwarts have been strictly enforced and the punishments have been crueler than ever. The Inquisitorial Squad, her appointed group of student ministry minions, are around every corner docking points from every house except their own; Slytherin. With the way they were throwing out deductions, the hourglasses for Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff would be empty by the end of the week.

Detentions had to be relocated into the Great Hall due to the overwhelming nightly attendance. The castle is the cleanest it's been in years due to the amount of polishing, scrubbing, and dusting the punished students have been enduring. The landscaping of the Quidditch pitch has been impeccable. The books in the library have all been organized and sorted away. Professor Snape's potion stock is overflowing with ingredients that have been harvested from the Black Forest. The greenhouses have been completely voided of all weeds. Even the poop in the owlery has been all scraped out by hand. The house elves of Hogwarts were starting to go insane over the absence of work for themselves.

With the newly lacking demand of chores for students in detention, Umbridge has taken another approach to discipline this past week in the form of physical punishment. It was the discovery of this new development earlier today that sent Hermione over the edge.

Hermione was walking towards the library for her free period that afternoon when she came across Umbridge scolding a first year from Hufflepuff in her light pitched sugary sweet voice while holding a thin collection of colorful paper in her hand. "This is not the first time I've seen you with one of these muggle magazines, Mr. Lewes. You are in direct violation of Educational Decree Number Forty-Six which clearly states that all literature written by non-wizards and half-breeds are banned."

"I'm sorry, M'am. It's just a comic-" The skinny dark skinned first year's plea was stopped short by the sharp whistle of a cane whipping through the air before making a loud snap of contact with skin. The boy's books fell from his hand as his cries of pain echoed through the castle hall. Another sharp whistle flew through the air before the poor boy was even able to catch another breath.

"Stop it!" Hermione screamed over the boy's yell as she sprinted down the hall towards the commotion while a third whistle began to rang through the air. "You stop this, you vile-" Hermione was silenced by a razor like pain embedding itself across her lower right cheek as she placed herself right between the Hufflepuff and her Professor.

Professor Umbridge kept her toad like face stoic as she lowered the thin cut of wood to her side before it transfigured back into her wand. "Miss Granger," her voice remained unwavered, "please step aside. You are interfering with Mr. Lewes' punishment."

Hermione set her lips in a firm line as her eyes harden. "No." She spoke with steady conviction towards the Professor.

Umbridge's steel-like blue eyes seemed to grow colder as she stared up into Hermione's taller frame. "Miss Granger, I will not ask you again to step aside." Umbridge's sugary sweet voice cracking with anger towards the end of her sentence.

"This is a barbaric form of punishment." Hermione lowered her own voice with determination. "I will not just step aside and let it continue on a first year."

"Very well, Miss Granger." Professor Umbridge covered the hatred in her voice with a dainty cough before continuing with her soft high pitched tone. "You have just earned yourself private detention with myself for the rest of the week. You will be in my office promptly at 8 o'clock this evening. Am I clear?"

"Crystal." Hermione spoke through her teeth.

Umbridge then directed her frigid glare towards the frightened first year behind Hermione's shoulder. "As for you, Mr. Lewes. You will be serving detention in the Great Hall under Mr. Filch this evening and I'm docking 10 points from Hufflepuff." She punctuated her statement by taking the comic from her other hand and ripping it into several pieces before igniting them on fire with her wand. The burning pieces were falling through the air as Umbridge turned and walked away from the two students.

Once Umbridge was out of her eyesight, Hermione turned towards the small Hufflepuff. "Are you alright?" She asked in a soft and calm tone.

The boy's face strained to control the tears that were forming in his dark eyes. "Yes," he spoke in a broken sob. "Thank you, for stepping in. I just got that in the mail from my brother. My family are all muggles, you see. The X-Men are both my and my brother's favorite. He sends me the latest issues so we still have something to talk about. Everything's changed so much for me. It's getting harder and harder to connect to my family. But those X-Men comics were still ours. I don't know what to do."

Hermione's heart felt for the poor boy as she leaned down closer to his eyeline. "I understand, I'm muggleborn too. It's hard adapting into a culture that is so different from what you've known your entire life while your family doesn't. Especially now with Umbridge and the Ministry doing their best to degrade and abolish any type of muggle culture from the magic culture. You just have to learn to be strong and proud of the fact that you are a wizard of both cultures. Never let them make you feel inferior because of it."

The boy's dark brown eyes looked into her's as he sniffled back some tears and gave her a small smile. "I'll try."

"'Attaboy." Hermione smiled down at him. "What's your name?"

"Paul," the boy answered.

"Paul," Hermione repeated. "My name is Hermione. Can I take a look at your hands?" She asked carefully.

The small Hufflepuff gave one nod of his head before placing his dark hands into her's for inspection. Hermione sighed at the bright red cuts that were prominent on the backs of both of his hands as she noticed that they have started to bleed. She lightly touched the irritated skin around the gash on his right hand causing Paul to wince in pain. "I'm going to escort you to Madame Pomfrey. She'll clean these up and bandage them properly so they won't get infected. Then they should heal properly and fade away just like Umbridge and all of this insanity will one day."

Paul nodded his consent before raising his left hand in the air to the side of her right cheek gesturing to her own cut. "She'll heal you up as well." Hermione gave the boy what she hoped was a reassuring smile before they gathered up their forgotten belongings and headed towards the other side of the castle.

She didn't complain about the burning pain that was radiating from the cut on her cheek once the pair arrived at the school's infirmary. Instead she used it as more kindling in her hatred of Umbridge.

Her private detention with Umbridge that evening almost pushed all the hope out of herself that she shared with Paul just hours before. How could a woman so cruel be in charge of any type of student? A woman so determined to snuff out any muggle affiliation in order to keep a pure magical culture that she personally has began going out of her way to torment muggleborn students and encourages other pure blood and half blood students to do so as well.

Hermione clutched her throbbing left hand to her stomach in attempt to alleviate some of the pain. She already wrapped her hand in her handkerchief in hopes of stopping the bleeding and to ward off infection but she could already see the bright red stains beginning to seep through the thin fabric as she walked towards her dorm in the dark hallways. Keeping her head down she willed the tears behind her eyes to not fall until she was safely back in her dorm.

As she turned a corner, she heard a familiar voice faintly call out her name from behind her. "Granger?"

Her head jerked up as her feet abruptly stopped in place as her heart skipped a beat from the scare she just got. One of the Weasley twins was on the opposite length of the hallway staring at her. She must have walked right past him and didn't notice since her attention was on her hand.

"Oh, hi," Hermione sputtered off in a whisper. She swallowed back her unshed tears and stepped towards the twin while looking down the hallway for signs of anyone else coming. "What are you doing out? It's past curfew you could get in trouble."

The tall ginger boy gave her a deep chuckle. "You do realize who you just asked that question to right?"

"Right." Hermione sighed while she closed her eyes from embarrassment and shook her head at herself as she realized that she was speaking to one half of the infamous Weasley twins. They were known for everything and anything even acquainted with rule breaking or mischief in general. "That was stupid of me to ask."

The twin's mouth turned up in it's trademark smirk at the acknowledgment of his reputation. "Quite alright, pet. Happens to the best of us."

Hermione lifted her head back up and looked closer at the boy in front of her, quickly identifying him by a small mole on the left side of his neck. "So what kind of trouble are you getting yourself into tonight, Fred?"

Fred's smirk grew at her correct identification. "Off for a bite from the kitchen. Degnoming the greenhouse for detention really wears a guy out, you know." Hermione nodded her head casually in response as she subconsciously moved the back of her left hand further into her stomach and cradled it with her other hand. His bright blue eyes caught the movement causing his smirk to drop instantly. "What's wrong with your hand, Hermione?" His voice turned serious in concern.

"Nothing," Hermione quickly responded. "I just got out of detention with Umbridge and I hit it on the door frame on my way-" Her excuse cut short by Fred grabbing her hand to examine it himself. Hermione immediately attempted to pull her hand out of his larger one. "Excuse me! What do you think you're doing?"

"You're shite at excuses," he harshly answered. Fred's grip on her hand didn't budge as she tried to jerk away from him again. With a glance to her angered face at his brash actions, he quickly decided to try another course of action. "Please let me take a look." His eyes turned soft and his grip loosened as he pleaded at her to let him examine her hand. With a sigh she relaxed her body and let Fred remove the blood stained handkerchief.

She watched his face as he gradually took in the sight of her hand. His normally bright and smiling face shifted to an emotionless one before settling on a hard brewing anger that she never before believed was possible for a Weasley twin's face to form. "How was she able to do this?" He asked in a flat rigid voice after Hermione thought the silence between them would last forever.

She took a deep breath in attempt to steady her voice before looking at an empty space on the wall and answering. "She has this black quill that uses dark magic to write in your own blood. It ends up carving the lines she makes you write into the back of your other hand. She's been using it on Harry for most of the year. She also used it on Lee. I'm surprised he never told you."

"What a bitch," Fred growled under his breath. He couldn't take his eyes off of the words sliced into the back of her hand in her posh handwriting.

I will not speak out against authority

Sensing Hermione's discomfort about the amount of time he's spent staring at her injury, he took a look at her sadden face that refused to look back at him. Fred decided to take action and swallowed back his anger. "Come with me." He spoke in his normal light toned voice. He loosely wrapped the handkerchief back around her damaged hand before stalking back off in his original direction.

The confusion she felt over Fred's complete turn around took over Hermione's face as she watched the tall frame of the ginger boy walk with determination away from her. Her hand dropped down to her side as Fred did a double take behind his shoulder before stopping in his tracks when he noticed the brunette girl wasn't following him. "We'll come on then," he encouraged.

After such an emotionally and psychically draining day, all Hermione wanted to do was get back to her room to apply the Murtlap Essence solution she's created to her hand before crawling into bed and going to sleep. "Why should I? I must say, I don't particularly feel like following you all around the castle in the middle of the night, after the day I've had."

Fred's smirk grew as he saw the normal stubborn Hermione slowly coming back into play. "Oh, come on," he said as he walked back towards Hermione. "It'll be fun. Don't you trust me? You might need to reevaluate your life choices if you can't trust your friends."

"Well we're not exactly friends," Hermione bluntly retorted.

A mocking insulted gasp echoed from Fred. "You wound me. We are practically best friends, Granger."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Name one time we've hung out. Just us."

He gave a mysterious smile before leaning in to whisper. "If you wanted some alone time with me all you had to do was ask, pet." He flourished the sentence with a few bounces of his eyebrow. She rolled her eyes at his antics but Fred could see her lips turn up slightly in amusement. Hermione didn't respond though, still waiting for him to answer her question. "Okay, I got one," he interjected. "During the summer, before we were sent to Grimmauld Place, you and I were at the watering hole at the Burrow together."

She let out a single laugh at his response. "I wouldn't classify the 5 minutes we spent in complete silence alone at the watering hole while we waited for your siblings as quality friend time."

"Well then, we are far overdue for some quality friend time, don't you think?" Fred tilted his head in puppy dog fashion in an attempt to sway her into agreeing.

Hermione narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "And what exactly would we be doing?"

Fred clicked his tongue at her in disapproval. "Now, now. What would be the fun in telling you?" He paused a few moments to let her mull over her thoughts, but after deciding that she was taking too long, he added in one last statement. "It will involve some misfortune happening upon our dear Headmistress though."

This broke Hermione out of her resolve. "I'm in."

The lone Weasley twin's mischievous smile took over his face as he wrapped his arm around the younger girl's waist and led her down the dark corridor, far away from her original destination.

The joyful giggle of the giant pear echoed through the empty corridor. Fred hushed the green fruit before it transfigured into a doorknob in the same bright color that he then opened to reveal Hogwarts' abnormally large kitchen. The few times Hermione has been in the kitchen it was full of life as house elves ran themselves ragged as they prepared the meals for everyone. At this time of night, way after the dinner rush, the remaining few house elves were just cleaning and prepping for breakfast in the morning. It was almost like they were going half speed, taking their time to stretch out their work day. The thought that these poor house elves didn't have anything else in their lives that they then purposefully stretched out these menial tasks so their long days wouldn't end stirred up the empathy that Hermione strongly felt towards them. "Poor creatures, this late in the night and they're still-"

"Dobby!" Fred called out effectively cutting off Hermione before she could start in on another rant about S.P.E.W.

Hermione pursed her lips at being rudely interrupted as the excited big eared elf quickly made his way across the kitchen to the mismatched pair. "Mr. Wheezy! Miss Granger! To what does Dobby owe this pleasure?"

Hermione couldn't help but smile at the enthusiastic creature as his big green eyes full of kindness and appreciation shone up at her. "Hello Dobby! I see you're enjoying your new clothes."

"Yes, Miss." Dobby's head bounced in agreement. "Dobby is very thankful for the many clothes you brought to him and Winky, especially the socks." He lifted one of his oversized pant legs to show off the pink and yellow striped ruffled socks underneath.

Hermione heard Fred's soft chuckle from behind her right shoulder as the elf showed off his footwear. "You are most welcome." Hermione beamed down at him, thankful that there's one elf that appreciates all of her efforts. "My parents were just going to throw all those perfectly good pairs out over Christmas break. I figured that there would be no better home for them than with you."

"Dobby, do you happen to know if Umbridge's nightly tea has been sent up just yet?" Fred cut in with his inquiry.

"Not yet, sir. Pierpon is preparing it now," Dobby answered instantly.

Out of the corner of her eye Hermione could see Fred's smirk grow bigger. "Anyway you could do us a favor Dobby?"

Dobby's big eyes brightened even more at the prospect of being needed. "Anything for the friends of Harry Potter!"

Fred reached into one of the inner pockets of his school robe before he knelt down to whisper into one of Dobby's oversized bat like ears, leaving Hermione standing there, out of the loop, wondering what exactly she got herself into.

"You should learn how to breath quieter, Granger. For a girl getting ready to take on loads of death eaters, you need to work on your element of surprise. Your breathing is going to give us away like the world's biggest sneakoscope." Hermione rolled her eyes at his comment but took extra effort in controlling the sound of her breathing. "Thank you," he whispered back in a playful tone after a moment to the young witch standing close behind him.

Hermione rubbed the back of her bandaged hand as the pair continued to stand, hunched behind the bust of Rowena Ravenclaw at the very end of the hallway, staring at the door to Umbridge's office in the middle of it. "Fred, we've been crouched down here for 20 minutes. I'm starting to form a hump. How much longer do we have to wait?"

Fred took a moment to glance at her from behind his shoulder. "Patience is a virtue, Quasimoto," he teased her before turning his attention back to the door.

"This better be worth it," Hermione muttered to herself as she fought through the aching of her back to stay in the hunched position.

A large thump echoed from behind the door to the office. A muffled scream erupted from the same place soon after. "Looks like the show is about to being." Fred's hushed voice grew excited. There was another thump before they heard Umbridge's token high pitch tone scream out Filch's name closer to the door.

Hermione jumped as the door slammed open revealing a full grown gorilla. Hermione's eyes grew huge as she let out a soft gasp of surprise. Fred reached his arm behind himself grabbing Hermione's right forearm to keep her hunched over in place and out of sight. The pair gaped at the gorilla as it continued to try and work out a way to get out of the doorway.

Then the gorilla's mouth opened and Umbridge's voice rang out from it. "Filch!"

Hermione's injured hand immediately covered her mouth as she fought back the urge to scream out in laughter at the sight before her. She was suddenly glad that the twin had his arm holding her in place. Otherwise she would have fallen over in hysterics. The animal in front of them was obviously their professor. Hermione couldn't help but enjoy the irony that Umbridge's true animalistic nature is finally on show.

Umbridge's mouth opened up again but this time with a sound of a hiccup that echoed through the hallway. In time with the sound, right in front of Fred and Hermione's eyes, the gorilla transfigured into a zebra. Umbridge hiccuped again and the zebra quickly transfigured into a duck. "Bloody brilliant," Hermione gasped softly in amazement, watching Umbridge waddle out of the doorway and scream for Filch even more as she flapped her wings in frustration.

Fred could feel the witch behind him start shaking with silent laughter as he was straining to control his own that was threatening to break through. He couldn't wait to tell George just how well the product was testing. Seeing one of their Weasley Wizard Wheezes products finally succeed in testing always causes his eyes to light up in pride but knowing that Hermione was enjoying the hard work of both his twin and himself made it better. That's the reason they're starting the joke shop; to make people smile in the dark times that are quickly approaching.

Mrs. Norris was the first to round the corner of the hallway. The old tabby cat immediately stopped in her tracks at the sight of the white duck waddling direct towards her. Her mean yellow eyes glowed as she hunched down into a hunting position, ready to attack the foreign bird. Umbridge immediately stopped her webbed orange feet in place at the sight of the cat. Filch followed shortly from around the corner, clearly out of breath, holding his hand to his chest. "What. . . have you. . . found here. . . my dear?" Filch wheezed through his labored pants.

Fred felt Hermione lean in closer to his ear before she whispered softly, "Poor man should really invest in some cardio if he's going to be running around the castle after students at all hours of the day and night." Fred had to cover his own mouth with his hand now to muffle his laughter. He's never seen this blatantly sarcastic Hermione before.

Umbridge flapped her duck wings at the sight of the man she had been calling. "Filch! Finally." The duck's beak moved to Umbridge's voice.

Filch eyes grew in shock. "Dolores?"

"Yes you twit!" Umbridge huffed. Mrs. Norris didn't seem to like the tone that the duck was speaking to her owner in and let out a loud hiss before pouncing on the bird. The screams of Umbridge echoed through the corridor as she was chased around in circles by the cat. "Get your bloody cat!" Mr. Filch shook his head to break himself out of his shock before he began to chase after his cat as she chased after Professor Umbridge.

The pair behind the statue watched the ongoing fiasco in stunned silence now. It was a train wreck and neither of them could look away.

Another hiccup rang through in between Umbridge's yells and the duck turned into a large pink hippopotamus. The stone floor below Professor Umbridge broke beneath the sudden weight of the large animal with a booming crack. Mrs. Norris quickly maneuvered out of the way to avoid being crushed to death. Filch tripped over his own feet in surprise and fell hard on the rough floor with a girlish yelp at the sight the giant mammal. "Professor! What's going on?" Filch questioned as he ungracefully scurried his way back up to a standing position.

The pink hippo's massive mouth opened to answer but another hiccup sounded causing the animal to transfigure into a cow.

"How fitting." Fred heard being muttered behind him.

"What does it look like is happening?" The cow yelled furiously at the caretaker. "I'm being transfigured into a different animal every time I hiccup! Probably those damn Weasley twins! They must have gotten something into my nightly tea!" She let out a frustrated scream to punctuate her rant.

Fred turned his head back towards Hermione. "Now I'm flattered," he whispered to her. "She can identify our pranks at the drop of a hat."

Hermione smirked. "Well they do have seem to have a certain flourish. Now don't they?"

"Well don't just stand there! Get me to Snape. He'll have a hiccup potion," Umbridge demanded. Chuckles had to be muffled once more as Fred and Hermione watched Filch strain in attempt to turn the hefty cow around towards the opposite direction. The caregiver's breath started laboring once more under the physical exertion. A look of relief took over his face when another hiccup transfigured the professor into a toad. "Just perfect," the professor muttered.

Umbridge, now able to turn around with much more ease, began hopping her way down the corridor and in the direction towards the two students crouching behind the marble bust at the very end of the hallway. "Shite," Fred cursed under his breath before gripping his hand tighter onto Hermione's arm and pulling her, still crouched, around the corner before breaking into a full sprint once they were around the corner.

Hermione kept with his pace as he lead her, trying their best to be stealthy and quiet. Her heart began to hammer it's erratic beat in her ears. The feeling that was pulsing through her veins seemed to be radiating from the skin beneath Fred's hand and was making her stomach drop. He seemed to be leading them to a large ordinate tapestry of the Medieval Assembly of European Wizards that hung a little less than halfway down the hallway. They dove behind the elaborate tapestry where Fred took out his wand and touched a few of the stone bricks in a pattern. An opening appeared, just big enough to let the two of them through at the same time, just as they heard another hiccup rounding the corner. Hermione registered the hidden space with a quick glance identifying it as a stairwell before Fred dropped her arm. They then both stood by the opening, holding their breaths, as they listened to the commotion on the other side of the thin tapestry.

"Those bloody twins! I'm going to catch them if it's the last thing I do at this school!" Umbridge's voice was so loud it came in crystal clear to the hidden students as it floated with her down the hallway.

Filch's voice followed shortly behind. "I've been telling you this since you arrived Professor!"

The older pair continued their argument as they hustled down towards the direction of the basement. Another soft hiccup was heard followed by the loud crash of metal. "What's going on?" Hermione asked.

Fred lifted up the end of the tapestry. Through his laughter he reported to Hermione, "She transfigured into a panda and toppled into four suits of armor." A lower scream was registered before another clash of metal echoed in the hall. "Flich just tripped over all of the armor."

Hermione couldn't hold in her laughter anymore. It erupted from her with a howl causing her to hunch over clutching her stomach. Fred quickly placed a silencing charm on her before he turned back to check on the scene down the hall. He watched, still masked by the tapestry, as the panda bear slowly continued her path with the metal on the floor scraping as it was pushed out of her way. The caregiver scrambled up himself before disappearing around the corner after the panda.

"Coast is clear," Fred announced before he released the silencing spell he placed on the girl behind him. Her laughter began to fill up the small space as he noticed the joyful tears that were streaming down her face now and that she was sitting down on the one of the bottom steps. Fred's deeper laugh joined in with hers as he let the events of the last few minutes replay in his mind.

It took the pair several moments to calm themselves down but that only cause them to have their laughter start up again. This cycle continued multiple times before Hermione was able to catch her breath. "What product was that?"

Fred's smile grew before he answered. "One of Weasley Wizard Wheezes' newest creations, 'Boisterous Beast Biscuits'." He moved across the small space to take a seat next to Hermione on the step. "Dobby was kind enough to place a couple on the plate with Umbridge's nightly tea for me. That was actually the first successful testing of the product we've had."

"Well at least you tested on Umbridge and not a first year," Hermione muttered. Fred smirked in amusement. She always goes back to their first year testing. Her voice turned sweeter as she continued. "That was brilliant though. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. How does it stop?"

Fred sighed. "The way she figured. One just has to stop the hiccups to make the transfiguring stop. Either by potion or just by time."

Hermione was still marveling at what she saw moments ago. "Even just the magical theories alone that go into the products you two make are incredible. You guys are secretly brilliant."

"Secretly?" Fred playfully scoffed. "Excuse you. Our genius is on full display. It just doesn't happen to show in the traditional outlets."

"You mean like grades or OWLs?" Hermione lifted her eyebrow in challenge.

"Complete and utter nonsense if you ask me."

Hermione let out a huff at his response. "You know the two of you could be the top of your class if you applied yourself to that nonsense."

Fred shrugged. "What can I say?" He could tell the conversation was derailing towards an argument so he quickly changed the subject. "But if we were the top of our year we still wouldn't be top of the school. That's all you, Granger. In fact, we might have to steal that brain of yours to help with some of our products."

Her eyes lit up at the prospect of helping the twin's with such challenging work. "Really?"

"Or course," Fred answered immediately. "Maybe with your help, our eyebrows won't burn off for a 7th time."

Hermione chuckled at him before her face turned serious. "Thanks, Fred. This was a real rubbish day before you forced me into all of that blatant rule breaking."

Fred gasped. "Hermione Granger, be careful. For a second there it sounded like you actually enjoyed breaking the rules."

"I must admit," Hermione confessed, "it was rather exhilarating."

Fred's mouth broke into a smile at her words before continuing to tease her. "I'm sorry. I'm a little hard for hearing. Some side effect from the beginning phases of testing the extendable ear. Can you repeat that? Because it sounded like you enjoyed our quality friend time that involved blatantly breaking many school rules."

Hermione rolled her eyes at the ginger boy before repeating, "I enjoyed our quality friend time that involved blatantly breaking many school rules."

"Now if I could just get that in writing . . ." He pondered out loud which earned him a shove against his shoulder from Hermione. His eyes landed down on the injured hand she just used to push him. On a whim, Fred picked up her bandaged hand with his own before bringing it up and placing a quick kiss to the wrappings. "Just some stupid muggle saying about making it better that Dad told us about," he explained as he dropped her hand back onto her leg. Hermione's brown eyes stared at him with a combination of amusement and curiosity in them. His own eyes stared back at her's with the same questioning glance before he cleared his throat breaking both of them out of their silent gridlock. "Are you going to tell me exactly how you got private detention with Umbridge?"

Hermione took a deep breath before recalling to him exactly how she found herself alone with Umbridge and on the wrong side of the black quill that evening. She told him about the young Hufflepuff, about the comic book, about the cane, and about how she couldn't just watch it happen without doing anything. At the end of her story, Fred was silent, deep in thought, as he looked down at her injured hand for several long beats. Hermione swallowed back the breath she was holding before opening her mouth to speak again to cut the tension she felt, but she was cut off by Fred. "Just so you know." His eyes turned back up to make direct eye contact with her own. "This scar is going to be so punk rock when it heals." Hermione couldn't help but let out a couple of chuckles at his comment causing him to smile again himself. "It's probably not the best way to describe it. But that's the only phrase that comes to mind right now," he continued. "I mean who knew that rule abiding, sweet little prefect Hermione Granger had a secret rebellious side? And that she enjoys it and that the evidence of such will be on the back of her hand forever."

Hermione decided to play along. "Proves to you what you know. I did create a secret illegal defense club underneath a strict Ministry governing of the school this year, didn't I?"

"Yeah, you did." Fred smirked at her. "But that's exactly what I would think about whenever you look at your hand now. Not that vile toad of a woman, but that you are secretly a badass Hermione Granger."

She didn't know how to respond to him. Those words were somehow the most empowering thing ever spoken to her about herself. Not the thousands of times she's been called the brightest witch of her year or when she's been told how brave she has been in helping Harry through everything. Fred Weasley, legendary rule breaker, just called her a badass and somehow that meant more.

Hermione leaned over closer to Fred and placed a soft kiss of gratitude on his right cheek.

Both of them froze in place as they felt the adrenaline from earlier beginning to crawl straight back into their veins. Fred turned his head closer to her's in a silence question. Hermione's breathing became louder as the anticipation grew as his mouth came in closer towards her own. He stopped his movements a few centimeters away in order to give her the choice to cross this invisible boundary. A thousand reasons ran through Hermione's mind as to why she shouldn't even think about it. But in the moment, with the combination of his words, the darkness of the stairwell, and the pulsing running through her veins, she just didn't care. Hermione swiftly closed the distance between their lips, slowly shutting her eyes in order to fully focus on and enjoy the sensations flowing through her body.

Fred eagerly responded to the young witch's mouth. He followed her pace as they slowly and tenderly moved their lips against one another's, testing the waters and enjoying the slow burn that began to develop between them. Fred's right hand wove his way up from Hermione's waist up until he was cradling the bottom of her head, tangling his fingers into her thick brunette hair. Hermione's hands found placement on his sides with her left hand on his hip and the right positioned higher cupping his rib cage.

It was the scratch of the cloth on her left hand against his skin as her hand dipped under his shirt that caused him to pause and break their kiss. "Hermione," he whispered through his now labored breath. "There's something I should tell you."

Hermione's face contorted with confusion and disappointment as she pulled away and tried to gain back control of her own breathing. "What?" She asked softly.

Fred sighed as he looked down at his twitching hands. "We're leaving." He paused for a breath before clarifying. "George and I are leaving."

Hermione let out the breath she was holding. "Leaving?" She asked still confused.

"Yes." Fred voice grew firmer as he lifted his head back up to look her in the eyes. "We got a shop on Diagon. We closed on it last week. We've just been waiting for the perfect time to leave. And since the D.A. has been exposed and Umbridge is acting headmaster now, there nothing keeping us here anymore. I mean you heard what Umbridge told Flich just now. We're as good as expelled once she can prove something. Besides we don't need our N.E.W.T.s."

Hermione's mouth opened, ready to persuade Fred of her automatic reaction that he and his twin were being ridiculous and that they should finish their education. But she quickly closed it as she thought about the situation that Fred just presented to her. After a few moments of consideration, she simply questioned, "I'm guessing the two of you are planning on going out in true Weasley twin fashion then?"

"Top of the class," Fred teased as a smirk grew on his face due to the fact that it looked like she wasn't about to lecture him like he was expecting.

"Just promise to give her hell for all of us on your way out then."

Fred smiled broadly at her words. "That's the plan." He didn't know where this Hermione has been the past 5 years but he's really enjoying her. The standing up against authority, the sarcastic comments, and the fact that she was an ace of a kisser. Fred took a quick breath before continuing. "I just didn't want you to get the wrong idea of something since we just . . ."

Hermione surprised him again as she cut in. "Don't worry, I'm not expecting us to . . ." Her sentence trailed off as she struggled to find the right words. "Look, we just got caught up in the adrenaline and atmosphere of all of this. I'm not expecting anything. This can just be our little moment." Fred nodded his head slowly at her words. "Look at it this way," she continued. "If anything, we just solidified our friendship. Now I can truly say that you're my friend, Fred Weasley. It's good to have you."

Fred smiled at her. "Good to have you too, Hermione Granger."

The pair soon left the hidden stairwell behind the tapestry once they made sure the coast was clear in order to make their way back up to Gryffindor Tower. Fred's hand slipped into Hermione's as they passed the newly formed crack in the stone floor courtesy of hippopotamus Umbridge. Their shared laughter began to softly echoed through the large corridor as they hopped over the crack.

It was when they were about to turn around the last corner from the entrance to the common room that Hermione stopped walking and pulled Fred to a stop through their joined hand with an unyielding, "Hey."

Fred turned back towards the girl with a questioning glance before Hermione stood up on her tiptoes and quickly placed another kiss on his lips. "Say goodbye before you leave," she demanded as she lowered herself back down to her normal height.

"Of course," Fred responded. "After all, I need to stay on the good side of such a badass as yourself. I heard the last person to cross you turned into a cow."

Hermione laughed at his joke before she dropped his hand with a final squeeze and made her way around the corner and through the portrait hole.

Fred stood there for a few minutes in silent thought before he followed through himself.

The next morning Fred sat at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall across from his twin and their best friend Lee Jordan. Fred was in the middle of discussing how well the Boisterous Beast Biscuits tested last night. He left off Hermione from his recap though. It's like she said, it was their little moment.

The collective screech of the owls as they arrived with the morning post stopped Fred in the middle of his sentence. The tawny barn owl that stopped in front of Fred helped itself to a bit of sausage on his plate. "Cheeky bastard," Fred commented before he went through the post that the owl dropped in his lap. His copy of the Daily Prophet was there along with a new letter from his older brother Charlie and another one with his name addressed on the front in a posh handwriting he didn't immediately recognize.

Fred looked over at George and Lee who were both busy looking through their own mail before he opened the letter.

I, Hermione Jane Granger, enjoyed quality friend time with one Frederick Gideon Weasley that involved blatantly breaking many school rules.

An amused smirk covered his mouth as he glanced down the table at the curly haired brunette sitting between Harry and Ginny. She quickly caught his eye and gave him a playful wink before going back to the conversation around her like nothing happened.

Author's Note: Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read my story! Any reviews are welcome.

Felix Felicis With A Twist