If you're feeling low and lost today / Probably doing to much again / You spend all your hours just rushing around / Do you have a little time, to have a little time for me?

Hermione couldn't pinpoint the moment she'd fallen asleep in the library. Again.

She woke to the lights lowered, not quite dark enough to signal that it was almost time to go back to the common room, but enough to know she'd completely disrupted her OWLs timetable. The choking feeling of an oncoming messy cry clawed at her throat. Her fingers stuck a bit in her hair where they'd gotten lodged during her slumber, and she winced when several strands came away, stuck to the bracelet her parents had given her for Christmas her first year at Hogwarts.

Huffing in defeat after comparing the time on the clock and what remaining time left on her schedule, she moved to gather her supplies and push her post-study walk to the common room up a handful of minutes, her nap shaving off at least an hour of scheduled sleep time.

"As if there was a doubt where I'd find you."

Hermione looked up from carefully capping her inkwell. Watching Fred approach, she was glad she hadn't started crying when the urge fought her.

From the way his eyebrows knit together, she wasn't as successful as she'd thought. His voice grew serious, and his hands busied themselves with holding her bag open for her to place the books inside, in the order she wanted. "Granger, is there an Inquisitorial Squad lackey that needs to meet my evil twin?"

A surprised laugh bubbled from her, and she ducked her head to hide her smile. "No, Fred."

The way he held the schoolbag instead of trying to help gather the papers made one of the knots in her shoulders from stress begin to loosen. Ron or Harry would have bungled up her notes, but this way she could arrange stuff as needed.

"Say the word, and it's done," Fred said, buttoning up the bag once she'd finished, slinging the strap over his shoulder, despite her protests. "Now, if you wouldn't mind, we're taking the long way so Georgie can finish taking notes on the results of the improved batch of Fever Fudge."

Hermione reached over to slap one of Fred's shoulders, her eyes alight with indignation. "Fred Weasley, you are not testing on first years again!"

"I plead the Fourth Wizard Right!" Fred called over his shoulder as he sprinted in the opposite direction of Gryffindor Tower, Hermione forced to follow his long strides since her bag was still securely in his arms, trying hard not to laugh or think about how off-kilter her timetable would be now.

If you should stop for a while / You will find me standing by / Over here, at the side of your life / I'd like to hold you still / Remind you of all you've missed / If you have a little time, if you have a little time that is.

The sun lit the heads of every Weasley man preparing for the wedding in various fiery hues, little candles shining in the dawn light. Hermione absentmindedly watched their wand movements and lighthearted teasing from the bedroom window, her brush moving methodically through her hair. She would need all the memories she could to hold onto while they were on the run, chasing shadows and rumors, moments like this to remember why they did it in the first place.

Ginny reached behind her back to try zipping up her dress, but stopped to stamp her foot and groan. "I hate dresses, I wish mum would let me wait until the ceremony to get into this terrible thing." She paused in another attempt, mischief blooming on her face. "Was Harry downstairs with Ron?"

"Mmhmm," Hermione responded, shaking herself out of her daze to turn and nod at Ginny, in case the hum wasn't enough. But, when she turned fully, Ginny was already gone, leaving the bedroom door open in her wake.

A private smile bloomed over her lips at the antics of her friend, and she hoped Ginny would be able to distract Harry a bit. She expected he was twice as disconnected as she felt, the feeling growing stronger every hour. The anticipation and secrecy...she was amazed Ron hadn't tried to pick a fight with her yet to relieve some of the tension. She would almost seek it out herself, at this point, but it wouldn't do any good.

The floorboard creaked outside of the room, and Hermione looked up from buckling her shoes, expecting Ginny back.

One of the twins stood with his hand raised to knock on the bathroom door next to Ginny's room, but his neck was twisted a bit too far to be comfortable, watching her. Before his hand lowered and body adjusted itself to face her, she knew it was Fred. Even without the tell of the gauze around his head, she could tell the two apart from the first day they met; as much as they were identical, the two were unique. Where George was the left half of the mirror, Fred was the right.

The two stood in silence, Hermione sitting on her camp bed with one shoe on and the other in her hand, and Fred folding his arms across his chest to lean on the doorjamb.

"You escaped those terrible bridesmaid dresses, I see." His eyes sparkled with laughter, one side of his lips turned up higher than the other. "Yours is much better."

He barely gave her enough time to smile at him in thanks before he raised his hand to knock on the bathroom door and entered it a moment later.

Why do you still run when you could walk with me / Life will pass you by when you move this quickly / What can you see when you're spinning around? / Do you have a little time, to have a little time for me.

"Two to your right, Granger!"

Hermione turned to direct her slicing hexes towards her right instead of her left. She watched Seamus run off behind Dean and salute her, before turning his fist into the covered face of a Death Eater, his wand snapped and forgotten, Dean using another to shield his friend as he turned to more physical tactics. Momentum carried her away, but her feet felt wooden. She couldn't move fast enough, trailing behind Ron and covered in sticky grime from the Chamber of Secrets.


A wall buckled, debris cascading down into her hair and over her shoulders, and time slowed to a molasses pace when her sight locked on the group of men standing in front of the structurally compromised bricks.

They didn't shine like candles in the dawn, but burned like hellfire with the surrounding spell lights. Each red head of a Weasley stood out starkly, and she swore she saw trails of fire follow behind them as they sprinted away from the groaning brick and mortar. Her heart leapt to her throat as she trailed them, barely able to make out distinct individuals in the collecting dust, but it didn't matter. The magic in her veins screamed FAMILY and her wand arm moved like a compass needle, away from the two bleeding Death Eaters she'd hexed, to point towards one of the many reasons she was still fighting.


The force of the spell brought her to her knees. When she felt a rush of air moving towards her, the logical part of her brain (largely ignored while instinct took over during battle) went into hysterics that she'd just summoned four human male bodies towards her, and she narrowly missed landing beneath each and every one of them.

If you should stop for a while / You will find me standing by / Over here, at the side of your life / I'd like to hold you still / Remind you of all you've missed / If you have a little time, if you have a little time that is.

Hermione couldn't pinpoint the moment she'd fallen asleep in the hospital wing. Again.

She woke to the lights lowered, not quite dark enough that she couldn't make out the shape of a few mediwitches and wizards at the other end of the ward, but enough to know she'd slept for at least an hour. The choking feeling of a panic attack rose in her throat, clawing its way from her stomach up to her tongue where it sat, bitter and cloying. Her breathing increased, grew more shallow as her eyes fixed on a point on the opposite wall, the scent of spellfire choking her until -


The rough croak of her name was as effective as a slap to the face, but the warm fingers capturing her own above rough hospital cotton anchored her back to earth.

"Fred," she said, the single syllable bursting from her throat, releasing the tears in her eyes to fall through the dirt on her cheeks.

Memories floated back as she took a calculating look at the man tucked beneath the sheets: the battle was over. Harry was alive. Voldemort was defeated. She'd barely managed to save Fred as half of the wall fell atop of him...but he was alive. He was as real as the chair beneath her, or the hunger clawing at her belly.

Fred brought the hand holding hers up to his lips, and kissed the back of hers softly, his dried lips rough against her knuckles. Bringing it back towards her face to use his thumb to wipe at the tear tracks. His eyes sparkled above dark shadows, betraying how tired he was pretending not to be, sitting up straight and alert in his heavily bandaged state.

"The offer is still open, you know," he said, his eyes tracking the movement of his fingers.

"To work for you?" she asked, her mind focused entirely on watching him and how gentle his touches were.

Fred chuckled, his hand falling down to the bed, but still wrapped in hers. "I would give my left arm if you'd work for us, Granger. I meant, whoever made you cry, the offer remains that I will set my evil twin on them."

She squeezed his hand once and bit her lip. "Sure you're not the evil twin, Fred?"

"Me? Gred Weasley, the evil one? How dare you imply such a thing, Granger. I ought to lower that salary offer I gave you. I should!"

Hermione's lip biting did nothing to stem the way her giggles morphed into muffled laughter the longer Fred went on. Their hushed barbs continued into the night, their hands holding fast, and the torchlight igniting Fred's hair into the warmest hearth. For the first time in years, Hermione felt like she were home.

italicized lyrics from : Do You Have a Little Time - Dido

[A/N] 9.24.2016 - Happy Birthday to NessaJana!