**Author's Note: I'm not sure if I'll continue writing in this so please review with your comments!**
George Weasley sat in the Gryffindor common room playing a game of chess with his younger brother. He gazed across the room to where his twin was. Fred was on his feet and making large gestures with his arms. Whatever he was doing must have been pretty funny because Angelina Johnson, who was sitting near him, was laughing so hard she had doubled over. George wondered why he could never make girls laugh like that.
He looked up. "What?"
His little brother stared at him impatiently. "It's your move."
"Oh, right." George pondered his next move, while his brother waited, tapping his foot against the floor in an annoying manner. To call Ron little was really very untrue. Ron was actually taller than George by a good three inches. And he wasn't very young either. He was fifteen, two years younger than George, and in the in fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
"Ha!" Ron said when he had made his move. "Checkmate. I win."
"Sorry I wasn't a challenge today; I'm not really feeling well." George rose from his seat and headed up the stairs.
He heard Ron call after him, "You're never a challenge."
He hadn't noticed her before, but a girl was coming down the staircase as he was ascending it. "Hi, Katie."
Katie Bell, a Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team was standing before him. George had always known her to be a quiet girl despite her aggressive nature when it came to flying. She had long blonde hair of which she either wore down or in a single braid.
"How are you?" she asked. He shrugged and she continued, "First match of the year is coming up. It'll be weird without Oliver."
"Yeah, the feathery git won't be there to pressure us anymore," George said, frowning.
Katie frowned at him with disapproval. "I miss him."
George's eyebrows went up. "Katie, you don't have a little crush on Oliver, do you?"
She rolled her eyes. "No."
He started up the stairs again.
"Oh, uh, George?" She went up after him. He turned around, giving her a questioning look. "Where are you going?"
He shrugged. "I was just going to sit in my dormitory, I guess."
She cast her eyes downward. "Oh, then I suppose you want to be alone."
"You can come if you want," he offered. "But I won't be very good company."
Katie followed him into the seventh-year's dormitory. "Why?"
George stared at her, somewhat surprised. He hadn't expected Katie to think twice about his last comment. "Uh, I'm just feeling a bit depressed." He sighed, recognizing the "out with it" look she was giving him. "All right, if you want to know the truth, I'm starting to get jealous of Fred."
Once again, to his surprise, Katie laughed. "Jealous of Fred?" she asked. "Why? You've got everything he's got: brains, a great sense of humor, Quidditch skills."
He stared out the window, looking glum. "If I'm so funny, why can't I make girls laugh like he can?" He sighed again. "I'm just so lonely."
She put an arm around his shoulders. "Well, if it makes you feel better, you make me laugh."
He smiled slightly. "So, you'll be my girlfriend?"
"George, I'd rather be your friend than your girlfriend. You don't need one to be happy."
"Even Percy, that four-eyed prat, had a girlfriend before his seventh year," George said gloomily. His eyes wandered over to his Cleansweep Five broomstick. "Wanna go for a fly?"
Katie looked out the window. "It's getting late, and you know we're not allowed out after dark."
"Don't you ever break the rules?" he asked, eying her suspiciously.
She shook her head. "Not if I can help it."
George stood up and grabbed his broom. "Well, I'll see you later then." Hunching his shoulders, he walked out of the room.
He did his best to avoid the gazes of any teachers and was mostly successful. Little Professor Flitwick stopped him in the hallway to compliment him on an excellent Refreshing Charm he had done in class. Luckily, he didn't question George as to where he was off to with his broomstick in hand.
By the time he reached the pitch, it was nearly eight o'clock and very dark, though the crescent moon was shining brightly.
He took to the air, flying a few laps around the goal posts and letting the wind whip through his robes. He checked his watch: eight o'clock. Quickly, he flew to the ground and headed back to the castle.
He was very fortunate not to run into any teachers for a second time that night - no one had probably even noticed he was missing. As he neared the Gryffindor common room, he bumped into Hermione Granger - in the most literal sense, however.
"Oh!" Hermione cried, dropping her books.
"Sorry about that." George grabbed a rather large spell book and handed it to her. "I guess I wasn't paying attention." He smiled sheepishly.
"That's okay, George," Hermione said cheerfully. There was a broad grin upon her face that was unfamiliar to George. "Nothing could possibly ruin this day."
George stared at her curiously. "Why's that? What happened?"
"Well, Professor McGonagall has offered to give me extra lessons for more advanced spells, sixth-year spells." Hermione smiled. "She says I'm so far ahead of all the other students that it would be silly to merely continue with fifth-year lessons."
George leaned on his broomstick, watching her. She was positively glowing. But there was something different about her. Why hadn't he noticed it before? Hermione was … pretty. She was smart, she was friendly - everything he wanted! "That's great, Hermione, that's really great." He approached the portrait hole and said, "Bertie Bott's. Do you need help with that?" He took a few of her books.
The door sung open and the two went inside.
Ron looked up as they came in. "Hi, Hermione. Hi, uh … George." He eyed his brother suspiciously. "What are you two up to?"
"Oh, we just ran into each other in the corridor," Hermione replied cheerfully. "But I have the best news?"
"What?" Ron asked.
"Professor McGonagall is setting up extra Transfigurations classes for me!" she said excitedly.
"But Hermione, you have the best Transfigurations grades in our class, why would you need extra lessons?" Harry Potter questioned.
Hermione shook her head, laughing. "That's the point. I'm doing so well that she's giving me sixth-year lessons!" She dropped a pile of books on the chessboard. "Here are all the spell books I need. It's so exciting!"
"Wow." Harry looked at the textbooks. "They're huge! Look at the size of them!"
"George, did you have books this large last year?" Ron questioned.
"Yeah, probably," he answered in a flat tone.
"But you'll still be in class with us, won't you?" Ron asked. He almost looked worried.
"Yes, Ron, I'll still be there." She shook her head. "You don't need to worry." Hermione gathered up all of her books a second time. "Well, I'm off to bed. A wonderful day of classes on the morrow." She flashed them all a grin and skipped up the stairs.
"George!" Katie smacked him in the back of the head.
"Hey!" He rubbed his head furiously. "What was that for?"
"You were staring," she answered stiffly.
"So you hit me?" he asked, irritated.
Katie loosened up. "Actually, I've just always wanted to do that. What's up? You've got a funny look in your eyes."
"Nothing." George shrugged, said goodnight, and went to his dormitory. He had trouble falling asleep that night because of the fluttery feeling in his stomach. He couldn't get Hermione's image out of his mind, and he was kicking himself for taking so long to notice. Hermione Weasley - no, Hermione Granger-Weasley. She was definitely one of those girls who would want a hyphenated last name.
George closed his eyes before splashing some water on his face. "Hermione Granger," he muttered, staring at his reflection. "I must have been mad." The more he thought about their possible relationship, the more impossible it seemed. For one thing, he had completely forgotten about Ron.
He dried off his face and made his way to the Great Hall for breakfast. "Hi, Katie," he said as he sat down.
She smiled wickedly, watching him eat.
"Wha'?" he asked with food still in his mouth.
"Hermione Granger, is it?" she said, still smiling.
George took a drink from his goblet of orange juice. "What do you mean?"
"Angelina heard you this morning muttering about her," Katie explained.
George rubbed his forehead. "Wonderful. I hope you're the only one she told."
"I think you're safe." Katie looked around. "Why Hermione, George? I mean, I like her and all, but she doesn't seem to be your type."
He rolled his eyes. "Why what? There is no Hermione. I've thought about it and I just don't think it'll work out. It's just not plausible."
"George, I need your help."
He jumped when a pile of books was dropped on the table in front of him.
Katie raised her eyebrows, amused, as George stuttered a few hellos.
"What's the problem?" George asked the troubled fifth-year.
Hermione sat down next to him. "I just had an extra Transfigurations lesson and there's something I really don't understand. I didn't say anything to Professor McGonagall because she has such high hopes for me. Can you help me?"
George nodded. "Of course I will. I mean, what are friends for?"
Hermione smiled. "Thanks, George." She gulped down a glass of orange juice. "How does this afternoon sound?"
"I've got Quidditch practice," George said. "But after that, I'm free."
"Great. Then I'll see you after Quidditch." She grabbed a piece of toast and hurried off.
"Somehow, Katie," George began, "it seems slightly more plausible now."
"Don't do anything to get yourself into trouble," she warned him.
"Oh, come on, you know me," George said.
"That's kind of the point."
"I'll be fine," George assured her. "And I'll be a perfect gentleman."