Just a quick one shot. I stole the idea of the anti-swear charm from the tv show 'The Good Place' :)
"George, where's Fred?" Hermione asked, doing her best to remain calm. George was currently stood with his back to her, hurriedly stocking a shelf.
"Dunno Herms," he said, not even throwing her a glance. "He's around somewhere. Why? What d'you want him for?"
"Oh, not much," she said, narrowing her eyes as she looked around the store. "Some mild hexing, cursing, maybe a little bit of killing..."
"What?" George frowned, finishing up quickly. "Why? What's he done n-"
George's eyes went wide as he turned to face Hermione. She glared at him, silently challenging him to say something.
"So, any idea where he might be?" she asked again, eerily calm.
"Uh, maybe over by the counter?" George offered lamely.
"Thank you George, you've been very helpful," she said with a smile, walking away from him.
George breathed a sigh of relief, glad for once that the bushy-haired witch could tell them apart. He smirked to himself as he watched several shoppers stop what they were doing and instead begin to avidly watch the Hermione Granger as she marched towards his dear brother.
Fred was chatting up a cute little witch as he rang her items up at the till. The girl was laughing, flirtatiously leaning in and placing a hand on his forearm. Fred winked at the witch and Hermione felt her insides boil.
"Fred?" she called, a little less calm than she'd hoped.
"Yeah?" Fred said, looking up before bursting into laughter.
"It's not funny Fred! I'm forking BLUE!" she screeched, thanking the heavens that the twins had installed an anti-swear charm on the place.
"Mind your language Granger," he howled. "And actually, you aren't blue anymore..."
Hermione looked down and groaned. "Gold is not any better!"
The crowd had tentatively gathered around the pair, watching from behind shelves and stands. It was no secret that Fred Weasley, being the last unmarried Weasley boy and a very successful business man, was considered the number one most eligible bachelor in Wizarding Britain. He was as much the talk of gossip as the angry little witch yelling at him from across the store.
"I don't know what you want me to say, Granger," he said with a shrug.
"Uh, sorry would be a start," she scoffed.
"Sorry?" He frowned. "But I didn't do it."
"Don't play games with me Fred!" she growled. "You gave me that sweet yesterday at the hospital and you promised it wouldn't do anything to me!"
"I swear it was just a sweet!" he cried, his hands immediately raising as if to surrender. "-wait, you ate it?"
"Yes I ate it! Obviously!" She gestured to herself, now turning a lovely, angry red.
"Hermione, it was just a sweet. I promised you yesterday and I promise you today, it was harmless," he said. "I'd never want to prank you after you did such an excellent job of healing me."
"Then how the hell do you explain this?!" she shrieked.
"Well, it looks like someone slipped you one of our Mood Munchies," he said.
"What, pray tell, is a Mood Munchie?" she asked, stepping towards him with a growl.
"It's like one of those muggle Munchies, except it turns your skin different colours depending on your mood," Fred explained. "We even designed them to look like the muggle sweets too..."
Hermione's jaw had gone slack and her eyes were wide. "Ginny!" she whispered furiously, her surprise quickly replaced with a roar. "I'm going to kill her! Why would she do this?!"
"Dunno, probably part of some twisted scheme she's got going to set you up with someone," Fred grinned, although it didn't quite reach his eyes she noted.
"How would turning me blue help?" Hermione huffed, beginning to deflate now her anger with Fred had subsided. She noticed her skin turning a grey colour instead.
"Turning you blue won't help, but literally painting your skin the colour of your feelings, that might do it," he smirked.
"How long does this last?!" Hermione wailed, stalking around the tills and collapsing into a small chair stationed the other side of it.
"Usually about twelve hours," Fred answered, smiling back at the little witch in front of him.
Everyone else had begun to dissipate, realising they weren't going to get anything else out of either of them. Hermione rested her head in her hand and watched as Fred flirted shamelessly with the young woman at the counter.
"Yo! Herms!" George called, a wicked glint in his eye. "You're gold again."
"So the fork what?" she spat back at him.
He merely chuckled as he walked past with more boxes to restock more shelves. "If you're going to mope here all day, you can forking well help us out," he said. "That queue is pretty long, and you know how to work a till."
Hermione grumbled as she came to stand next to Fred, mumbling something about how it would go a lot faster if he stopped making goo-goo eyes at all the pretty girls and just gave them his number. She looked up to find a rather handsome man smiling back at her.
"Just these Sir?" she asked sweetly.
"Yes thanks love," he grinned. "Birthday present for my nephew. He's only six."
"Oh how sweet," Hermione smiled, "he'll love it."
"Gold suits you," the man grinned, "but I like this pink one better."
Hermione looked down at her hands and realised they'd turned a pastel pink colour. She smiled and looked back up. "Thank you, I didn't realise it had changed again."
Beside her she heard Fred's till slam shut with some force and glanced towards him, snorting as she took in the sight of his gold coloured skin.
"What?" he glowered.
"Ginny didn't happen to offer you one of her muggle sweets by any chance?" Hermione laughed.
"What? No!" Fred looked down at his hands and gasped, quickly turning white before settling on a bright blue. "I don't get it..."
"She didn't happen to drop off some birthday brownies this morning that she claimed your mum made for her?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, she did," said Fred.
"Yeah, the sweets were in the brownies," Hermione explained.
"But that's impossible," said Fred. "If she'd have baked them, they wouldn't have worked."
"She's Ginny, she probably put them in after she baked the brownie," Hermione huffed.
"The queue isn't moving guys," a blue George called to them.
"So Ginny decided to pull a birthday prank," Hermione sighed.
"It was a good one," Fred conceded.
"What do all these colours mean, anyway?" Hermione asked, going back to packing the lovely customer's purchases.
"Well, blue is peaceful and relaxed, red can be passion or anger but I think we all know which one you were attributing it to," he said, smirking at the little witch who'd giggled at him. "Gold is a weird, undetermined mix, white is frustration and confusion, grey is stressed, same as black but black is worse obviously. And pink, the shade you are now, means you're into the guy your serving," he said, nodding a little pointedly at the man in front of her. Hermione felt her cheeks warm with nervousness and embarrassment. She immediately turned a light brown as she scowled at Fred.
"Brown means your nervous, restless, probably embarrassed," he said with a smirk.
"You think," she growled.
"I don't mind love," the customer winked at her, "maybe we could go on a date sometime?"
"Uh..." she stammered, turning white and then brown and then a brilliant shade of purple. "You seem like a really nice guy, but I'm not looking to date right now."
"Fair enough," he said with a nod. "Purple wouldn't happen to mean she's lying, would it mate?" The guy looked at Fred.
Fred laughed softly, and shook his head. "Sorry bud, purple means a sense of purpose and clarity. Basically, she means exactly what she says."
"Damn, well, it was worth a try," he sighed, winking at Hermione. "See you round love, and let me know if you ever do want to date."
She nodded gently, smiling politely and moving on to the next customer as he walked out the door. Turning she smacked Fred with the back of her hand right across his chest.
"Ow! What the fork was that for?!" he huffed, rubbing his shirt where she'd slapped him. "I see we're back to red now too," he sniggered.
"You know what that was for!" she hissed. "That was so embarrassing!"
"And yet you handled it like a lady," he grinned. "Any chance your feeling passionate towards me, rather than wrath or rage or fury?"
"Fredrick Weasley, you wouldn't know what to do with me if it was passion," she scoffed, serving yet another customer all while Fred kept his little witch waiting.
"You might want to to rephrase that," he smirked, his own skin turning a deep blue. "I'd know exactly what to do with you."
Hermione felt her cheeks flame again, trying her best to hide her hands and face from him lest he saw what colour he was turning her. She hadn't expected that answer from him, and was subsequently flashing like a muggle disco ball.
"Hey Herms," George called. "Thought you could use a pick me up! Catch!" He tossed her a packet of the Mood Munchies and winked. She glared at him before looking down at the packet, seeing the explanation of what each different colour meant.
"Hey!" The witch that Fred had been serving squeaked suddenly, Hermione hadn't even had chance to look at all the colours and meanings before she looked back up just in time to see Fred vault the counter and bolt after George, his skin not far off the colour of his hair.
"I'll finish off your transaction if you like," Hermione sighed, rolling her eyes at the boys as Fred continued to chase George around the store.
"Oh, um, it's fine, I don't mind waiting," she said, looking back at the two of them wistfully.
"Well, okay, if you're sure," Hermione said with a shrug, seeing her skin turn gold again as she stepped back. What was with the gold? She began to tend to the queue and it was very quickly down to the last couple of people waiting in line. The young witch was still waiting on Fred, smiling sweetly as the boys wondered back to the cash registers, out of breath and grinning widely (well at least one of them was).
"Sorry to keep you waiting," George said as he came to stand beside Hermione. He winked at the bushy-haired witch as she finished with her last customer.
"Oh it's no trouble," the little witch said as she put on her best coy smile. Her hand came to rest on George's arm just as it had done on Fred's and Hermione tried her best not to snigger at the poor oblivious girl. It still amazed her how the two could swap so easily, despite the fact that George never took his wedding ring off.
"There you are, all done," he smiled, handing the girl her bag.
"Thank you," she said, taking it from him and accidentally-on-purpose allowing her fingers to brush against his. "You wouldn't happen to be free for a drink this evening? Would you?"
"Not really, no," he sighed. "Sorry, but I don't think my wife would be very happy with me, especially since she hasn't long given birth to my daughter."
"What?!" The woman shrieked. "But you've been flirting with me and chatting me up for the last half an hour!"
"Uh, no, I haven't," George said patiently.
"Yes you have!" she snapped indignantly. "Are you calling me a liar?!"
"No, I'm saying you're confused," George sighed.
Hermione caught sight of Fred out the corner of her eye. He'd gone a pale grey colour, a sad defeated look in his eye. She could tell he was listening even though he was making out as though he was uninterested.
"I am not confused!" she snarled. "How dare you-"
"Ma'am," Hermione said, cutting the girl off. "You do realise that the owners of this store, Fred and George Weasley, are twins, right?"
"Identical twins," Hermione said, her own brow furrowing at the continued indignation of the woman.
"What exactly is your point?" she glared.
"Uh, they look exactly the same. You were talking to Fred before and now you're talking to George," Hermione explained. "That's what he meant by your confusion."
"That's ridiculous," she sniffed, her nose in the air. "I know who I was talking to and it was this man right here!"
"Fine! Whatever!" George huffed. "Either way, no one is going for a drink with you tonight, so could you please puce off and leave the store."
"You're not worried I'll tell your wife? Or the press?" she scoffed.
"No," George scoffed back. "You know Hermione Granger, right? She's one of a very few who can actually tell us apart, she knows who you were talking to when you thought you were getting somewhere."
"I was getting somewhere," the girl seethed.
"Sweetheart, my brother has been hung up on the same witch for so long I've lost count of the years," George laughed. "You were getting forking nowhere."
The girl growled, snatched up her bag of goods and stomped off out the store. A second later Fred had smacked George across the shoulder and was stood giving him a steaming glare, his skin red again.
"Why would you tell her that?!" Fred barked. "Now she's going to go blab to the whole world that I'm pining after some witch!"
"You are pining after some witch!" George protested, rubbing his shoulder as he scowled at his brother.
"That is not the point!" Fred huffed, suddenly turning to a gold Hermione. "Forking hell! Now Granger knows too!" he muttered.
"Well, I'm not going to do anything with it," Hermione said, folding her arms and wondering why she felt oddly disappointed.
"At least not until she works out who you're hung up on," George replied cheekily, ducking just in time to miss a slap to the back of the head.
"Georgie I swear, if you don't shut the fork up I'll tell Angie it was you chatting that girl up," Fred growled.
"Okay, okay!" George said, holding his hands up and knowing when he'd pushed his brother too far.
"It can't be that bad," Hermione said with a frown.
"I..." Fred groaned and looked forlornly up at Hermione, his skin that deep blue again. "I've liked this girl since school. Since I was fifteen. I don't know how it happened, or why it happened but all of a sudden I seem to have these ridiculous feelings for her. It was like I got run over by a truck one day, and I have no idea where it forking came from."
"Well have you told her?" Hermione asked, turning a pale brown.
"No," Fred said, looking curiously at her. "She's way out of my league. She deserves a lot better than me."
"That's ridiculous," Hermione said flatly. "There's no league of woman that's out of yours. And how exactly could anyone deserve any better when practically every unattached female in the wizarding-country sees you as the best?"
"And therein lies my problem. She's not like every unattached female in the wizarding-country," Fred said softly.
"But she is unattached," George added with a smirk.
"Shut up Georgie," Fred sulked. "Besides, she's never looked at me that way before and I'm pretty sure she never will."
"How do you know if you haven't asked her?" Hermione said.
"I just do Granger, so let's drop it," Fred said miserably.
"No, I won't! You obviously feel very strongly about this woman, so, what's stopping you from saying something?" she asked, still trying to work out why her heart had sunk and she felt a little ill.
"She's a good friend and if she doesn't feel the same way, I could lose her for the rest of my life. I could lose everything I have with her," Fred said with a shrug and a small smile.
Hermione frowned at him and cleared her throat, not sure why it had closed over. "Or, Fred, you could have everything you've ever wanted since you were fifteen."
Fred's gaze snapped straight to hers and he held it. Her skin was still golden, but it had greyish, brownish hues. Her amber eyes smiled softly at him, and he found he couldn't quite argue with her.
"Okay," he mumbled before he could stop himself.
"Okay?" she said.
"Yes, okay, I'll tell her," he said.
"You will?" Hermione gaped at him, cursing this stupid fluttering of her stomach and the suddenly incessant need to cry.
"You will?!" George yelped from behind her.
"Yeah, I will," Fred nodded. "I'll make it Gin's birthday present since I haven't actually got her anything yet, and she'll love to see the complete and utter humiliation I apparently want to put myself under."
"She's going to be at Ginny's birthday meal?" Hermione squeaked. "The girl you like?"
"Yeah..." Fred said, his gaze turning into a bit of a grin. "You don't think Gin will mind, do you? You don't think it'll ruin the meal?"
"Uh...no!" Hermione said, shaking her head with a forced chuckle. "You are right, if it works she'll be thrilled and if it doesn't she'll also enjoy revelling in your awful humiliation."
"Here's hoping to the former," Fred smirked. "I'll see you there Granger, you can even make a guess as to who you think it could be if you like?"
"No, I'm good with the surprise thanks," she croaked out, suddenly realising with perfect clarity that she could perhaps be in love with Fred Weasley and it was far too late to do anything about it.
"Suit yourself," he grinned. "See you tonight." He waved nonchalantly as he walked off, back to sort the store out and the small queue that had begun to form.
"Fork!" Hermione hissed furiously at herself.
"Now now, language remember," George chuckled.
"Oh puce off Weasley," she huffed.
"Oh Herms, have you just been hit with that same truck that got Freddie sometime in his fifth year?" George sniggered.
"Possibly," she mumbled.
"Really?!" he said, shocked she'd admitted it.
"Well it's not like it matters now, does it!" she whisper-hissed. "I've just convinced him to tell the love of his life how he feels!"
George rolled his eyes. "Merlin, you're a right pair of idiots."
"What exactly is that supposed to mean?!"
"You'll find out later," he said. "See you at Ginny's meal, and don't miss it."
"Wouldn't dream of it," Hermione grumbled, stalking up to the boys' old flat and using their floo to get home.
Once she'd arrived back in her own flat, she went immediately to her bedroom and flopped onto her bed, face in her pillow as she cried her heart out.
Why? Why did she always do it?! Why did she always realise stuff like this too late? Now she was going to watch Fred make a life with another woman and there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it! And she had to watch him tell that woman exactly how he felt! Tonight! Less than twenty four hours after she'd suddenly realised how she felt about the man! Why did she have to squash all her feelings down so damn much!
The day dragged on and Hermione forced herself up and out of bed to get ready. She glared at her deep blue skin as she climbed in the shower, deciding to tell the twins that their product needed tweaking. She felt neither relaxed nor peaceful and that's what the stupid packet had said blue skin meant! Just as she'd finished with her hair, sticking it up in a messy bun that for some reason the press seemed to think was elegant, the floo went.
"Who is it, and what do you want?" she snapped as she stalked out from her bedroom.
"Good to see you too Herms," came the reply.
"Fred, don't start that again, you don't call me Herms," Hermione sighed as she glared at him. "Let's not try and pull that one again, shall we?"
"It was worth a try," he said, smiling softly at her.
"Was it worth a hex?" she asked, twirling her wand in her hand.
"You know, you've never told us how you can tell us apart," Fred mused.
"Oh, I think it's a subconscious thing really," Hermione said, a snark to her voice that she got when she was upset with herself and started taking it out on everyone else. "Usually when I look at you, there's a big flashing sign above your head that says 'prat'."
"Please tell me there's an equally awful sign above George's head? Otherwise I might be quite offended," he teased.
Hermione looked at him and sighed. "I'm sorry Fred..."
"What's up Granger?" Fred asked softly.
Hermione glanced forlornly up into his eyes. "Oh...nothing I can fix right now," she answered just as softly.
"Don't count on it," he smiled, "you were the one that told me to go for it. Why don't you too?"
"Go for what?" Hermione frowned.
"That love you're in," he smirked, looking down and gesturing to her skin.
"Your skin, it's deep blue," Fred murmured. "Means you're in love and you're thinking about it."
Hermione closed her eyes and sighed, trying to hold onto her tears and the wobble she knew would become apparent in her voice. She cleared her throat and looked up at Fred again. "I...I didn't realise until recently. Sort of-"
"Hit you like a fucking truck?" Fred asked with a chuckle.
"Yeah, pretty much," she nodded, trying to laugh along with him. "Turns out it's a little bit too late though. He's in love with someone else."
"If that's the case, he's an idiot," Fred said.
"It is the case, he told me so," Hermione said with a shrug.
"He actually said 'Granger, I'm in love with someone else'?" Fred asked.
"Pretty much," Hermione nodded.
"Please could I get a quote?" he asked.
"Um, no," she said.
"Because I said so."
"Do I know who it is?" he asked. "Will I recognise the bloke from a quote?"
"Fred, can you just drop it please?" Hermione huffed.
"You mean like you dropped it with me?" he asked.
"That was different," she said.
"It just was!"
"This guy obviously means a lot to you, Granger," he said. "What's the harm in telling him?"
"Can we just get to Ginny's meal please? I want to get the evening over with as fast as possible," she said, stalking towards the floo.
"Sure, but it's apparition only so I figured you might like an escort," he grinned, holding his arm out to her.
"Thanks," she mumbled, begrudgingly taking his arm. "I can apparate myself though, you know?"
"I know," he said, giving her a little wink before apparating both of them to the restaurant.
"You look incredible by the way," he said, taking her coat for her as they passed through the cloakroom.
"Thanks," she said.
The pair of them wondered into the room and knew instantly which table was theirs. It was the loudest one with the most guests. Obviously all Ginny's brothers were there with whatever other-halves they had, then there was some of her quidditch teammates which included Katie Bell and Alicia Spinnet. Luna was there and even Lavender Brown had made the list, the Patil twins, Seamus, Dean, Lee Jordon, even Daphne Greengrass had made quite good friends with them.
"Fred! Mione! You made it!" Ginny squealed, jumping up from her chair and racing towards them.
"Happy birthday Gin," Hermione chuckled, hugging her friend.
"Yeah, happy birthday little sis," Fred grinned.
"Thanks," Ginny said. "I can't wait for your gift by the way Fred, Georgie told me all about it..." She winked at him and laughed as his skin turned brown. "Nervous?"
"No, I'm inhuman you horrible witch," he huffed.
"Well done Mione, me and George have been trying to get him to confess for years!" Ginny grinned, ignoring her brother's scowl.
Hermione simply smiled at Ginny and nodded.
"Nice prank by the way," Fred said, gesturing to their skin colours and giving his sister a reluctant grin of respect. "It's not often one can get one over on us. Especially when using our own products."
"I am a master, I was taught by the best," she laughed.
"I'm not going to pretend like you meant me or George," Fred said with a roll of his eyes.
"Come on then, let's get to it and sit down," Ginny grinned. "I'm dying to get to the end and watch you embarrass yourself like never before."
"Listen Gin," Fred started, "I might maybe postpone it a little bit..."
"What?" Ginny looked truly hurt and somewhat outraged.
"Well, this is a public place and it's not really fair for me to go declaring my undying love to some poor witch in front of everyone, is it? Doesn't really give her much of an option and it's a bit of a dick move," he said.
"Well, you make a good point," she grouched. "You can do it at ours later on. We're all going back to Grimmauld Place, no exceptions!" She eyed Hermione as though daring her to disagree. "Mum's got the kids so we're making the most of it."
The meal dragged as Hermione found herself looking at every woman around the table, wondering if they were the girl Fred would be taking home tonight. She couldn't help but do it to herself. She barely registered what she was eating, smiling as best she could and fobbing everyone off with some measly excuse that she just wasn't feeling too good but wanted to celebrate Gin's birthday like a good friend. Soon it came time to retire back to the Potter's and Hermione felt physically sick.
Once they were through the door, Hermione found herself shoved unceremoniously onto the sofa, squished right next to Fred. She felt like her heart was in her mouth, her body was thrumming and all she wanted was to curl up and sink into the sofa, so far that she'd disappear from view. Her skin was rippling with the tidal wave of emotions she was feeling and she hated how it always seemed to come back to the deep blue.
"Right Freddie!" Ginny screeched above the noise, making everyone settle down. "Please, take the floor!"
Fred, a wonderful shade of gold and brown, and looking slightly sick, stood up and bowed theatrically.
"What's going on?" Katie asked.
"Freddie here has harboured a crush on one particular witch since he was fifteen, and as my birthday present he's been persuaded to tell said witch how much he likes her," Ginny explained, looking back at Fred excitedly.
"So, its one of us?" Katie grinned, winking at Fred. He couldn't help but wink back, seizing as much bravado as he could.
Hermione stood up abruptly at that point, mumbling some sort of apology before bolting to the bathroom. She sat on the edge of the bath breathing in and out deeply, trying to hold onto some sense of calm. She just couldn't sit there and hear it, not yet. She'd let him get it over with and then rejoin the group, finding out after the fact and adjusting accordingly. She couldn't cope with the suspense, the tension, she was wound up too tight already.
Hermione jumped at the soft tap on the door.
"Herms?" Fred called.
"Exactly how many times do we have to go over this Fred?" Hermione growled. "Stop calling me Herms and trying to pretend you're George!"
Fred was silent for a moment and Hermione thought he'd finally got the message until she heard him practically explode on the other side of the door.
"How the fuck do you do that?" he cried. "You can't even see me! How in the hell do you know it's me stood here?!"
Hermione stood quietly and fidgeted with her fingers. "I, uh...I don't know..."
"You don't know," Fred repeated, almost flatly.
"I really don't," she said. "I just...it's like I can feel when it's you-" She muttered a curse to herself as she tried to cut her sentence short, but it was too late.
"You can feel when it's me?" Fred asked through the door. "What about George? Can you feel when it's him?"
Hermione would have given anything to apparate away at that point, anything at all. "Sort of," she forced herself to reply.
"It's not that I can feel George so much as I can feel he's not you," she mumbled.
"Didn't quite catch that," Fred said.
"I just know he's not you!" she yelled. "Happy now?!"
"Yes, very actually," Fred chuckled.
"What are you doing up here Fred?" Hermione sighed, coming to rest her forehead against the door. "You should be back downstairs, spending time with the woman you love."
"Yeah, see, there's a problem with that," he said, his tone a lot lighter than it had been earlier in the store. "She's not downstairs. And it's kind of hard to profess your love to a woman when she flees the scene and then locks herself in the bathroom refusing to come out."
Hermione was silent for second or two. "That's not funny Fred."
"I'm not joking, Hermione," he answered.
Hermione gasped, knowing he never called her by her full name unless he was being dead serious about something. It was a pact the two of them had made a long time ago. "You have to be joking..." she whispered.
"You know I'm not," he murmured back.
Hermione took in a deep breath and mustered all her confidence. She turned quickly, before she could talk herself out of it, and opened the bathroom door just a crack. "Hi," she said softly, finding herself peering into his deep brown eyes, surrounded by his still deep blue skin.
"Hi," he smiled back. He paused for a minute, letting Hermione catch her breath a bit. "I love you." Before taking it away again entirely.
Hermione felt her eyes tear up and her heart ache and before she knew it she'd pulled the door open and thrown herself into Fred's very accepting arms. "I love you too," she whispered furiously into his ear, "you complete and utter prat!"
Fred laughed as he pulled back, only to plant his lips on hers and thoroughly snog the life out of her. Hermione, in a bit of a daze, thought she registered Ginny's dulcet tones shrieking up and down the stairs about something that was happening, not that Hermione really cared what at that point.
"I don't understand," Hermione whispered as their kiss came to an end. "You could have had anyone, literally anyone, why me?"
"I cannot believe you're asking me that question," Fred said, looping an arm around her waist and hauling her back into the bathroom before shutting and locking the door.
"What are you doing?" Hermione asked.
"Giving us some privacy before the hoard descend upon us, Gin isn't exactly quiet," Fred chuckled.
"You know what they'll all think we're up to though, right?" Hermione squeaked, looking aghast at the man leaning casually against the door.
"Yep," he said. "I don't really give a fuck what they think. I finally got you."
"Since you were fifteen? Are you sure?" Hermione asked, fidgeting with her fingers.
"No, not at all. I've just endured this really rather painful form of torture for an immeasurable amount of time, it wasn't like I was really counting," Fred scoffed lovingly. "Yes I'm bloody sure you barmy woman. Although I didn't realise it until I lost it at Gin a few months back for setting you up with random strangers."
"That's why she stopped," Hermione said, the pieces finally clicking in a little bit.
"Yeah, her and George figured it out ages ago," Fred laughed. "George especially. He's known I've had a thing for you for about as long as I've had it."
"But what started it?" she asked, confused. "I was fourteen..."
"You punched Draco Malfoy in the face," Fred said.
"Really? It was that simple?" Hermione chuckled.
"Pretty much," he nodded, pushing up off the door and moving towards her. "After that, I just kept falling and I didn't even know it." He gripped her hips and held her tight, watching happily as her skin flushed deep blue to pink and back again over and over. "Hermione, you are extraordinary."
"The fireworks you set for Umbridge," Hermione said.
"What about them?" he asked.
"They were the equivalent of that punch, for me," she smiled.
"I can see that," he grinned, dipping his head and leaving his lips an inch from hers.
"I didn't realise I loved you till today," she whispered.
"The fact that you did is enough for me," Fred murmured.
Hermione reached up on tip toes and threw her arms around his neck, connecting their lips once again. She ran her fingers through his hair, smiling as their tongues danced in time with each other. He was warm and strong and everything Hermione had ever wanted in a man. He made her feel like she'd found her home.
They broke apart to take a breath, grinning madly at each other. Hermione brushed her fingers through his hair, loving the way he'd linked his hands together behind her back. She laughed at the way their skin was the same deep blue colour, her eyes widening as she realised it was the same colour Fred had turned at the counter.
"That's why George threw me those sweets!" she exclaimed.
"What?" Fred frowned.
"George! He threw me those Mood Munchies and I thought he was taking the piss but he wasn't," she said.
"No, he was trying to tell you how I felt about you," Fred said with a growl. "It's why I leapt over the counter and chased him around the store. Evidently it didn't make a difference because he told you I'd been hung up on you for ages anyway..."
"Why'd you feel so disappointed when that other witch was having a go at George, then?" Hermione asked tentatively.
"Because..." Fred sighed, swooping in to steal a quick kiss for courage. "Because I didn't think there was a hope in hell that you'd ever feel this way about me, so I figured why not have a little fun. But even a little bit of fun hurts sometimes when a witch doesn't know if she's talking to you or your brother and it apparently doesn't matter enough to care."
"Besides, you're one to talk," he scoffed. "You were gold almost the whole time she was there."
"Gold, in that instance, would usually indicate jealously," he smirked.
"Well if that's the case, I wasn't the only jealous one, was I?" she sniggered.
Fred smirked and nodded in defeat, grinning at the girl he was allowed to stand so close to now. "How long have you been able to tell us apart as well as you do?" he asked softly.
"Since you and George stuck up for me when Ron thought Crooks ate Scabbers," she said.
"That long, huh?" Fred mused. "And it's always been a feeling? Fred and not-Fred?"
"Don't call George not-Fred! That's not what I meant!" Hermione cried in embarrassment.
"But, yes, I suppose it's always how I've seen you both," she sighed. "You just, you tried to talk Ron around first, and George sounded like he was just trying to get Ron to drop it. You...well...you sounded like-"
"-like I cared they weren't talking to you," Fred said.
"Exactly," Hermione said.
"I did, care that is. I'd seen you running all over the school, wearing yourself beyond the point of thin and I didn't like it. And I didn't like that a rat Ron professed to hate more than once was his excuse for making you even more miserable." Fred leant his forehead against hers and smiled. "And then you went and smacked Malfoy in the face and the rest was history."
"So it would seem," she grinned.
Fred kissed her again and Hermione hummed contentedly. His arms snaked their way around her waist before a hand trailed its way up her back to grip her neck and pull her even closer to him. Fred's kisses were so full of passion and want and longing that Hermione found it hard to breathe at times. She found herself walking backwards, guiding him towards her until she felt her back hit the wall. Fred dropped his arms from around her, gripping her hips and pressing his body along the length of hers, effectively pinning her against the wall and all without breaking their kiss. Hermione moaned a little and Fred grinned, sliding his hands further down and around to grasp hold of her and lift her up, wrapping her legs around his waist. Hermione felt herself warming, her whole body was buzzing in a way she hadn't ever felt before. Not quite like this anyway. Her eyes flickered open for the briefest of seconds and she couldn't help the little giggle that erupted at the sight of them.
"What?" Fred mumbled, kissing along her jaw and down her neck.
"We're red," she laughed.
Fred pulled back to look at her and was startled to see her skin a deep, fiery red. His was also the same colour.
"I believe you told me you'd know exactly what to do with me should this mean I was passionate and not angry," she teased.
"And I stand by that statement, but d'you really want to find out what that is in my little sister's bathroom?" Fred chuckled.
"Well, its not the ideal location, no," she mused. "But everyone thinks we're up to something similar anyway..." She gave him a wicked look and he gulped.
"I'm not making love to you for the first time in my little sister's bathroom," he said. "Come on..."
He set her down and grabbed her hand, pulling him behind her.
"Where are we going?" she squeaked as he unlocked the bathroom door and swung it open.
Outside stood the entire party, watching as Hermione turned from bright red to an embarrassed golden brown, shifting awkwardly as everyone stared at them and their clasped hands.
"Merlin Gin, this is a bit excessive, isn't it?" Fred raised an eyebrow at his sister.
"Maybe, but it's my party and I can be excessive if I want to be," she said with a pout.
"So, you and the Hermione Granger, huh?" Alicia eyed the pair of them with a slightly contemptuous gaze.
"Looks like it," Fred grinned. "Thanks for a good time Gin, we're heading out now."
"What? Why? The night hasn't even started yet! What could you possibly have planned that would be better than my birthday celebrations?!" she shrieked.
Fred merely looked at her in disbelief. "Are you serious?"
"It's my party!" she whined.
"And I will make it up to you," he said, dragging Hermione past the crowd and down the stairs towards the fireplace.
"But Fred..." Ginny sulked.
Fred rolled his eyes at his sister, dropping Hermione's hand and enveloping Ginny in a hug. "I'm pretty sure you'd rather not know the ins and outs of my sex life Gin," he whispered in her ear, "so for the sake of not making you sick on your birthday, could you please just drop it and give me your blessing. I'd rather my very new relationship with one of your best friends not reach newer and more exciting levels on your bathroom floor, or any other room in your house if I'm being honest."
"I think I'd rather that too," Ginny mumbled, hugging her brother tight before letting him go. "But you will make this up to me," she said as he took Hermione's hand again.
"Of course dearest sister," he bowed solemnly. "You have my word."
"Hermione, you haven't said a word since you left the bathroom," Harry frowned. "Fred isn't blackmailing you or something, is he?"
"No," Hermione shook her head quickly, clamping her mouth shut just as quickly.
"She's just really worried that if she talks for too long in her oh so nervous and embarrassed state, she'll let slip that this was basically her idea," Fred grinned, laughing as Hermione rounded on him and slapped him hard across his shoulder.
"This was not my idea!" she hissed.
"No, your idea was to do it in the bathroom," Fred said with a nod.
"Fred!" Hermione shrieked, thoroughly embarrassed by now and completely mortified by how many people were finding her humiliation amusing.
"Right, well, now that's out the way, I'm going to take my new girlfriend home and hopefully pick up where we left off if she doesn't kill me first," Fred said.
"Girlfriend?!" Several people, including Ginny and George, yelped at him.
"I've been in love with the witch since I was fifteen and I just found out she loves me too. At what point did you think that wasn't going to amount to a serious relationship?" he frowned, mainly at George and Ginny who'd known how he felt.
"We thought you'd go on a few dates first, at least!" Ginny cried.
"Neither of you are the type to go exclusive that quickly!" George protested.
"We've wasted enough time," Hermione shrugged.
"But...are you still going to be allowed to heal him at the hospital when he comes in? If you're his girlfriend?" George whined. "I thought there were policies and stuff on Healers dealing with their own partners and families?"
"There are," Hermione said. "But like anyone else in the hospital is going to be able to put up with him as a patient," she scoffed, eliciting a few chuckles from the group. "There's a reason why I'm always called for when he comes in and it has nothing to do with patient preference."
"You wound me Granger," Fred gasped.
"You wound yourself, that's the problem," Hermione snorted.
Fred gave a conceding little shrug and grinned at her.
"Right, I'm heading over to your flat, feel free to join me when you've had enough of the verbal banter with your sister and the rest of her party," Hermione said, mustering every ounce of her confidence and reaching up on tiptoes to kiss him firmly on his lips.
Fred picked up the floo powder, threw it in the fireplace and shouted out his home address, following Hermione into the flames with barely a wave at the crowd. The last they saw of the pair was Fred sticking his tongue down her throat in what could only be described as a very passionate public display of affection.
"Well, mum's going to be happy," Gin said as they disappeared in the grate. "I can't wait to see how they handle being hounded about marriage and kids every Sunday dinner."
There were a few sniggers in the crowd which slowly turned into chuckles and eventually the whole party were laughing merrily at the poor couple before getting back to Ginny's birthday celebrations.