A/N: Hey guys. I'm putting the feelers out on this sort of fic. I seem to have gotten my writing mojo back and can't stop thinking about new fics to write. I've had this songfic in my head for a few days, and as its only a one-shot, thought I'd go ahead and write it in between chapters of Rewriting Destiny. It's taken me a few days to write, and I'm sure I'll be reading over it again soon to fix any issues with the flow of the story. Let me know what you think though.

Cross-posted on AO3

Song Inspiration: Cornerstone by Arctic Monkeys.

Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K Rowling


Hermione Granger couldn't do this.

Last week, she had received an owl from Headmistress McGonagall to invite her to return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to complete – or at least begin properly – her seventh year at Hogwarts. The war had been over for a few months and the school had been returned to its former glory relatively quickly. It was a good thing. With Hogwarts being rebuilt so quickly, it showed the rest of the magical community that they too could begin healing.

Hermione couldn't start healing yet though.

It wasn't that she didn't want to. She knew that she had to get some help to heal from her mental and physical scars that she had received from the last 14 months, but she just couldn't yet.

Healing meant moving on.

Moving on meant forgetting.

There was no way that Hermione was going to forget.

Because forgetting would mean forgetting him.

She can't forget him. She sees him everywhere she goes. It's like his ghost is following her, and she welcomes it.

She needs it.

The last thing that Hermione Granger wanted to do was to forget him, to move on, to live without him.

How can you live in a world without Fred Weasley anymore?


The first time that Hermione thought she was going to lose her mind, she was in a café in Australia.

She had decided, once the last of the casualties of war had been buried, that she needed to go and try to release the Obliviate that Hermione had placed on her parents before she left for the Horcrux hunt last year.

She didn't have any hope of it working. Obliviates were usually permanent after all, and she didn't quite fancy having to start visiting her parents in the Janus Thickey ward in St Mungo's.

But she needed to give it a go.

She had done all her research. After all, Hermione Granger didn't jump into anything without researching it for at least a month before it happened.

The fact that obliviating her parents was a very spontaneous move didn't register in her mind.

She had done all her research on the Obliviate spell and any counter-curses after her second year when Gilderoy Lockhart had been on the receiving end of a backfired Obliviate from Ron's broken wand. Not the best move, of course, but at least he wasn't a trouble to budding explorers anymore.

That's how she found herself in the quaint café, in 20-degree heat, staring at a couple sat at a picnic table that was placed just outside the café doors. Hermione tried to cool herself down with a handheld fan but was greatly underwhelmed by it. Her neck was sweaty, and she was sure her hair resembled a pygmy puff more now than it ever had.

How she loathed humid weather.

There was a reason she didn't like to vacation to warm countries after all.

Why it was a good idea to send her parents to such a warm country, she would never know.

Sure, 20-degrees wasn't considered too warm to some, but when you lived 10 months of the year in Scottish Highlands, it might as well be 40-degree weather.

"Yes, can I have an iced latte?" Hermione asked the barista once it was her turn to order. She couldn't very well come all this way to the café to not order anything, could she? That would be suspicious, and that was the last thing Hermione needed to be.

As she waited for her cold coffee, a blessing in this weather, Hermione checked her watch. It was a small watch face on a dainty white chain that hung loosely around her wrist. She had yet to regain the weight she had lost while she had been on the run with Harry and Ron. How she wished that she had learned more cooking spells from Mrs Weasley and the Hogwarts library before they left.

It was only 8.44 am, which meant that her parents had less than 6 minutes before they needed to leave to return to their dental practice for the beginning of their shift.

It also meant that Hermione had 4 minutes to retrieve her coffee and follow them towards said practice. She had been trying to follow them every day for two weeks, but something seemed to stop her, and she would lose sight of them. She had to do the magic early in the morning before the sun reached its highest point of the day. That only gave her a small window.

That window grew smaller when she realised that her parents didn't have their lunch break until 1pm, which meant that she had to perform the reversal charm before they entered the dental practice.

Very small window indeed.

"Iced Latte for Herminny!"

"It's Hermione," She muttered to herself, clearly annoyed that they had again not taken her name properly. Was it so hard to say Hermione?

Hermione walked up to the counter and gave the barista a tight smile as she collected her cold coffee, ready to follow her parents as soon as they were on the move. She didn't bother to correct the young girl about the right pronunciation of her name. She did it far too often growing up, and it was unlikely that she would see her again.

"Thank you," she said, just loud enough to hear, then spun on her heel to walk back outside where she would wait at a safe distance.

A flash of red from the corner of her eye caught her attention.

Her heart started to race.

She knew that shockingly bright shade of red from anywhere.

Could it be?

She chanced a look around her to find that shade of red again, to find the person whose hair shines brighter than the sun. Her watch told her that her parents wouldn't be moving for another two minutes, so she could search for that head of hair for another sixty seconds.

Her heart continued to race as she raised herself up on her tip toes to get a better look around her.


Just behind some bushes, she could see that head of red hair that she had been looking for. Her heart hammered away in her chest, threatening to burst forth and take flight. It was all she could do to not run to that person, to not fling her arms around them and break down into gut wrenching tears.

Hermione hadn't been a particularly strong person, however, when it came to matters of the heart.

Visibly torn between following her parents and following the red hair, it took all of two seconds for Hermione to make up her mind.

Her parents would be there tomorrow. They always were.

She didn't know if she'd see this hair again.

It was her only opportunity.

Hermione tightened the grip on her coffee and made her way to the bush, a thousand thoughts running through her mind. The most obvious thought, the one that screamed at her that it couldn't possibly be him, was valiantly ignored by the young witch.

Matters of the heart and all that.

His name was on the tip of her tongue, her whiskey eyes alight with excitement. Her heart was nearly out of her chest now. It was pounding so hard, all she could hear was the blood pumping viciously around her body. He was right in front of her. The same height, the same body shape.

She could even tell that his smile was the same.

The warning bells were ringing loudly in her ears the nearer she got to him.

"Fred?" The man turned towards Hermione at her hopeful tone.

Al of a sudden, his hair wasn't as red. He wasn't as tall. He didn't even have freckles.

The smile dropped from her face as her blood ran cold. She could feel her stomach drop. Her face lit up in embarrassment.

"Oh. Sorry. I'm so sorry, I thought you were someone else," she apologised as she walked backwards, trying to quickly salvage some sort of dignity in the face of her misjudgement. The man smiled awkwardly at her, told her it was no problem, then went back to speaking to his friends.

With a heavy sigh, Hermione turned back towards the café. Her parents were gone. Looks like she was coming back tomorrow after all.

Of course it wasn't him, Hermione. It will never be him.


The second time it happened, Hermione should have seen it coming.

It was Harry's eighteenth birthday, and they were celebrating.

Or, at least, celebrating as much as they allowed themselves too whilst everyone was still healing from the war.

They had decided to go to a Muggle pub for a special dinner and drinks. Not really caring where they went, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny Floo'd to the Leaky Cauldron then made a quick escape to Muggle London before anyone had even noticed their arrival. They walked the busy London streets for an hour, stopping occasionally to pass judgement on a restraint nearby. They would quickly decline for no good reason before continuing their search.

It was Ron that found the restaurant that they would dine in. It was a ye olde-style pub, with a thatched roof and everything. It wasn't too busy inside, and they were able to find a table at the back of the pub that gave them both space and privacy. Hermione was the designated bar runner, seeing as she had a muggle passport to use to prove her age when she asked the bar staff for alcohol.

"Two lagers and two vodka cokes please," Hermione asked politely when it was her turn to give the order to the bar staff. She had already shown him her passport three drinks ago, and wasn't interested in seeing the ID of her friends.

As she waited for the drinks to be made, Hermione turned so that her back rested on the metal rail attaches to the front of the bar. She had no idea what it was for, but the cool metal was nice in the heat of the pub. Her fingers drummed softly against the bar rail, her nails making a soft twinkly tune against the metal. Her eyes searched the pub. She wasn't sure what she was on the look out for. She could sense eyes on her, but knew that they didn't belong to anyone at the table she was ordering drinks for.

If she was completely honest with herself, she was thankful that she was the only one able to order at the bar. She needed to get away from the pity gazes and sympathetic smiles. It was driving her mad.

The war had ended a little under three months ago. Everyone in that battle were still coming to terms with what happened, who died, what they should do now.

It was only normal that she would still think about him. He had been a big part of her life, suddenly ripped away from her in the most horrendously permanent way.

She hadn't even been there to stop it.

That was what hurt her the most. Knowing that if she had been there with him, that wall wouldn't have collapsed on him and he wouldn't be dead.

That if she was there, somebody else would have helped Percy try to drag Fred's body from under the –

Stop it!

A chill up Hermione's spine brought her out of her thoughts. It wasn't like she was thinking of anything new anyway. She was filled with so much regret, too much heartache. She needed to stop thinking so much about what happened, but she couldn't help herself.

Everybody else still did it, so why couldn't she?

Hermione could feel those eyes on her again, and she tried to subtly use some of her magic to pinpoint the general direction of the stare. She wasn't even sure if it would work. It was a mild form of Legilimency to get a sense of who was thinking about her. It's not as if the pub was over flowing with people, but Hermione would have preferred to find out who was staring at her without directing even more attention towards herself.

She got enough of that in the Wizarding World.

It was one of the reasons why the four of them regularly met in the Muggle world for drinks and a bite to eat. It was easy to not be noticed there, so that they could have the privacy that they all desperately craved.

In a far corner of the main pub area, where the patrons who only wanted to drink sat, someone was watching her.

Hermione could already feel her heartbeat increase when she noticed that person still hadn't taken their eyes from her, even when their eyes connected.

She felt herself melting as she stared into those hazel eyes.

As if she was being pulled by an invisible rope, Hermione found herself walking toward him. He was sat in the far corner of the room in one of those wing-backed chairs that she had always wanted.

She told Fred once that she wanted one in her own personal library, once the war was over and she could buy her own – their own – house. She promised that he could have a special lab in the basement and a spare room for whenever George decided to stay the night.

A week later, Fred had bought one in a lovely shade of teal that clashed horribly with the orange décor of his and George's flat. She loved it.

Not once did his eyes leave hers as she made her way across the threadbare carpet. Her fingers clenched and unclenches repeatedly at her sides as she lost herself in the illusion in front of her.

It was as if she had been transported back, back to a time when she and Fred snuck out of the Burrow for a lunch date during her fifth year summer holidays. He'd taken her to the nearest Muggle pub and they shared some chips together while Hermione showed him the joy that was Muggle pop. Fred had become quite taken with the flavour of Coke and had to have three pints of it before he took her back home.

She could remember the look on his face when she showed him the jukebox in the corner and began to show him the Muggle music she grew up to. He was quite fond of David Bowie and Queen, and Hermione knew that her father would approve on that alone.

That's what she could see in front of her now. Fred was sitting in that wing-backed chair, a pint of Coke on the table beside him. He jostled a handful of Muggle coins in his left hand teasingly. There was a mischievous smile upon his face as he moved his hand out of her reach just so, only so that she would have to lean over his body to reach the coins. When she did, he would steal a kiss from her, his smile widening at the blush that graced her features. His hazel eyes would be alight with the love he had for her.

And all of a sudden, three feet away from the stranger in the wing-backed chair, Hermione focused on the room again.

Fred was looking at her intently, his beautifully ginger eyebrows raised in amused confusion.

There was something wrong about this gaze, though.

The eyes were all wrong.

Sure, they were the right shade of hazel, but they didn't light up in the same way.

The eyes were missing warmth. They were missing joy. They were missing life.

They were missing him.

They might have been similar, but they weren't his eyes staring at her. They weren't laughing at her as she tried to tell him off for using first year students as Guinea pigs for his and George's creations. They weren't filled with happiness when he finally succeeded in getting her to fly on a broom with him. They weren't filled with sadness when he realised that he wouldn't be able to see her while she joined Harry and Ron on the Horcrux hunt.

They weren't filled with unadulterated joy when she told him that she loved him for the first time.

Her stomach clenched as she forced herself to look away, realising what she had just done.

His hair wasn't even the right shade of red. It was more like strawberry blonde, and was cut too close to her head.

"Sorry. I.. you look like someone I once knew and forgot myself," Hermione whispered to him before she hightailed it back to the bar.

Her fingernails created crescent shaped cuts in her palms as she tries to keep her breathing steady and her heart rate low. It wouldn't do to have a panic attack in public.


"Your drinks, ma'am."

Hermione's attention was brought back to the bartender behind her and the drinks that she had ordered.

She had allowed herself to be lost in her memories. To feel that brief sense of hope, the one that she still carried around with her that told her that Fred was okay. That he was recovering at home still, or was still resting in St Mungo's with specialist healers at his beck and call. That he had told her of the big date he had planned once he was free from recovering, and could take her to the pub to celebrate the end of the war. It would have been Muggle too. Since becoming of age, he had developed a thing for their ales and peculiarly normal whiskey.

She allowed herself a small moment to get her emotions back under control. It wouldn't do to return to the table and have her friends see the emotional turmoil that she let wreck havoc among her, just because she wished it was him watching her while she waited for her order.

No, this wasn't him staring at her from across the pub.

And she knew it never would be.


The third time she was reminded of him, she wished that she had been somewhere else.

Anywhere else.

It wasn't their fault. Not really.

How were they to know how she would react to seeing the Skiving Snackboxes on the coffee table in the Gryffindor Common Room, lid off as if to entice anyone daring enough to try the candies inside?

Merlin, she didn't even expect to react like that.

They were only innocent third years, eager to try out the present their older siblings had sent them for Christmas. It was a common present for younger students these days.

If you didn't get a gift from Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, your friends and family just didn't like you. Fact.

It was a right of passage now.

You weren't allowed to come to Hogwarts unless you had at least one of their infamous products hidden away in your school trunk. Your roommates would turn you away and laugh at you.

Sure, it would save you from being served detention for however long, but did that really compare to a friendship being saved?

"Who's are those?" Hermione was shocked to discover the quiver in her voice as she lazily pointed towards the Skiving Snackboxes on the table.

The Gryffindor Common Room fell to deathly silence when they collectively realised what she was pointing at.

There was an unspoken rule amongst all Gryffindors; never leave a Weasley product out where Hermione could see it.

Before the war, Hermione didn't have a problem with them. She rather enjoyed them, to be honest. She loved seeing the different pranks and gadgets that Fred and George created together. She had even helped once or twice when their equations were slightly off for a specific potion or spell work. She had no problem with them before the war.

It was when she lost Fred when she started to have the problem.

She couldn't see them without freezing and trying to hide from her emotions. She couldn't even walk into Diagon Alley without seeing the WWW shop and wanting to run.

She hated anything that reminded her of Fred, of what she had lost.

Of what could never be.

So, when she returned to repeat her seventh year of schooling, Ginny had quickly told people that they were to, under no circumstances, leave anything to do with Fred out in the open.

Hermione was due for a breakdown when she finally came to terms with losing Fred, and there was no way that Ginny was going to let her do something so private like that so publicly.

No, Hermione deserved to come to terms with her grief in her own space, in her own time, on her own terms.

After everything that she went through, it's what she deserved.

Unfortunately, nothing ever seemed to go in Hermione's favour.

"I'm sorry, Hermione! I didn't mean to leave them out. I forgot to put them back in my bag after I looked for my Transfiguration homework." The third year began to nervously babble. He jumped up from his spot on the soft couch in front of the fire and all but ran to the coffee table to retrieve his Skiving Snackbox. He shoved the offending item deep into his school bag and faced Hermione with a nervous smile on his face.

Hermione was still staring at the spot on the table where the Skiving Snackbox once sat. Her arm slowly dropped to her side. She didn't hear the third year's apology, not like she needed one, as she felt herself move though time once more. This time, she could see it all so clearly, as if she had used a time-Turner and she was watching the events unfold in front of her as they happened for the first time.

"I hope you're not leaving those around for first years to stumble upon, Frederick Gideon Weasley." Hermione's stern tone held little malice as she stood over her boyfriend and his twin brother.

They were sat on the couch in front of the fire, a popular spot for older students to sit as they studied for the NEWT exams, huddled over a worn notebook. Their shoulders tensed as they felt her presence looming over them from behind the couch. She might have been a petite thing, but she was scary as anything. They would say that they almost would prefer the wrath of their mother compared to Hermione's.


Fred let out a nervous laugh as George quickly tried to close the notebook and hide it in one of the school bags beside their feet without Hermione noticing. She did notice, of course, she noticed everything. She just wasn't going to tell them that.

"Hermione, my love, whatever gave you that idea?" Fred asked as he turned his head to smile at her. His smile was small and forced, and there was a twitch to his right eye that wasn't there before.

Hermione smirked to herself. He was nervous.

"I don't even know what you're on about, Granger." George said from beside Fred. He had turned his body so that the could look at the curly haired witch without straining his neck. "There aren't any Skiving Snackboxes around here."

"Who said anything about those?" Hermione asked, her voice now light and cheerful. Fred's eye twitched again. "I, for one, never specifically mentioned a product by name. So you did leave Skiving Snackboxes out for innocent first years to stumble upon? I was only teasing, but if something happened without their full consent-"

"Well, um… we weren't planning on leaving them out this time. It just sort of happened. We were running late for potions and George forgot to pack the suitcase away. It's all his fault!" Fred yelled, pointing a shaking finger at his twin brother. George rightly looked shocked at him for caving far too easily.

"You little snitch!"

"You're the one that left them out, and without any antidotes."

"You're the one that took away the antidotes! This wouldn't have happened if you weren't being paranoid over them!"

"I'll have you know that potentially losing an appendage while eating the remedy for Nosebleed Nougat would make any man paranoid!"

"But it wasn't even a side effect! They were fine! Just because you had a dream about them, doesn't mean that there is actually anything wrong."

"Boys!" Hermione shouted, clapping her hands together. She was thankful that this was a rare moment that the common room was empty except for the three of them. A soft smile danced across her lips as she watched the brothers argue. "I was the one that found them. Nobody was hurt. None was losing any appendages. I wasn't expecting you to react like that, if I'm honest."

"Yeah, well, we promised not to leave them unsupervised anymore. And whoever eats them has to sign a full disclosure so they know exactly what they're getting themselves in for." George explained to her. "We made that deal after the first time you caught us trying to test them on first years."

"You're bloody scary, you know that, love?"

Hermione smirked as she leaned over the back of the sofa to give Fred a small but firm kiss

"Yes, Gred, I am quite aware. Now, tell me what you've been working on this time." She said, nodding her head towards the bag that stored their notebook.

Fred's eyes sparkled as a wide smile grew on his face. Hermione felt her breath catch in her chest.

Merlin, he was beautiful.

"Just put it away Fred, before more first years have any and are stuck in the Hospital Wing for a week again." Hermione spoke in a monotone voice, her eyes glazed as she became lost in her memory.

The third year Gryffindor frowned at her and went to correct her on his name, but with a jab to the ribs by his friend, he decided to put the Skiving Snackboxes back in his bag. The two third years quickly went up to their dormitory.

The room was still silent as Hermione was brought out of her memory. She looked around at the ashen faces surrounding her, particularly the red headed girl by the girls dormitory stairs. She had a worried look on her face, and Hermione didn't know why. Until she felt the tears rolling down her face.

"Ginny," the brunette whispered, her voice broken. The tears came thick and fast and soon she found herself being hugged tightly by Ginny. She could feel herself begin to hyperventilate, her breathing becoming erratic as she struggled to contain her tears.

Ginny quickly ushered her out of the Common Room and to the Room of Requirement, where Hermione could vent her feelings in peace and comfort.


The fourth time that she felt him watching her, Hermione knew that she finally needed to find help.

It was driving her mad. Slowly and surely.

Was it normal to still be grieving a year after the fact?

George still missed him, but of course he would. They were twins. Together until his end.

There was no reason why she should still be feeling so hollow. So empty

So lifeless.

The Gryffindors were quick to learn to not have any WWW products within direct eyesight of Hermione after The Incident in September. Word spread between the houses, and there were even some considerate Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws who hid the products whenever Hermione came close to them.

Hermione had taken to going up to the Room of Requirement whenever she became overwhelmed with her emotions. She would always create a room that resembled Fred and George's flat that sat above the WWW shop. She felt an odd sense of peace whenever she was there, but knew that if she were to physically be in that flat, she'd have a breakdown before she walked through the front door.

It was going to be a difficult day for Hermione, and for everyone else in the castle for that matter. It was 2nd May, exactly one year since the Battle of Hogwarts. A year since Voldemort h asbestos defeated by Harry Potter. A year since his tyranny came to an abrupt end.

A year since Hermione lost Fred.

Classes had been cancelled since Friday, and would continue to be cancelled on Monday. A long weekend to allow students to return home to their families to mourn, Headmistress McGonagall had said. For those who didn't return home, there was going to be a memorial in the evening by the Black Lake for whomever wanted to show their respects to those who sacrificed their lives in the war.

Harry and Ron had arrived the day before, wanting to spend time with her and Ginny before the other Weasleys arrived the next morning. They'd told her that they wanted some time for only the three of them, like old times, but Hermione knew better.

They were preparing her for seeing George again.

She hadn't seen him since the summer, and even then she had done all she could to avoid seeing him. They wrote letters to each other in a weekly basis. George telling her how business was going, and Hermione speaking about her classes and telling him her worry about the NEWT exams. She enjoyed writing to George.

They didn't have the same handwriting.

It was easier to pretend that he wasn't Fred's twin when they wrote. It was easier to see George as his own person, rather than being seen as part of a twin.

It was easier to ignore the hurt if she didn't see his face.

Hermione knew it wasn't fair to George, of course she knew that. He'd often tell her that he was looking forward to seeing her at her graduation, as he hadn't had a proper one himself, and that he had a spare room at the flat if she was interested.

Neither of them could admit that it was Fred's room that George offered to her. Hermione had politely declined, telling him that she would be better having her own space. Somewhere where she could learn about herself again.

She didn't know who she was since the war.

Hermione made it to the Eastern courtyard before she turned around and run back inside the castle.

All it had taken more than a few flashes of red hair, glimpses of hazel eyes and splattered freckles, for Hermione to realise that she really couldn't do it.

She couldn't be there, stood among his family, mourning someone she hadn't allowed herself to grieve properly for.

Because grieving meant forgetting, and she refused to forget.

She hadn't managed to create a room this time before she collapsed onto the cold stone floor on the seventh floor corridor. Her breathing had become more erratic and more uncontrolled during her journey to the Room of Requirement. Her black jumper was wet from her tears, the sleeves crumpled from her fidgeting with the hem as she ran. She had even begun to hiccup as her panic overtook her.

Hermione had all but collapsed onto the ground. She sat with her back against the wall, her knees drawn up to her chest. She had her arms wrapped around her legs, trying to protect herself from the emotion that was torn from her.

She didn't know how long she was sat there for. She didn't know when her tears stopped. She didn't know when it had become nighttime.

She didn't know when he had joined her.

She was very aware of his arm around her shoulder, pulling her close to his chest. She could hear his heart thumping away underneath her ear and it soothed her. She could smell sandalwood, bergamot and something that was just unique to the Weasley Twins. Perhaps it was a lingering scent from all the potions they brew for their products. With her eyes closed and his scent filling her, Hermione found it easy to forget who it was that was holding her as she cried.

"It'll be okay, Hermione. I'm here now. I've got you. You'll be okay, Hermione."

He repeated these words to her in his deep, soothing voice. His fingers traced delicate patterns on her shoulder as he held her tightly.

For a moment, she believed him.

It wasn't him that she was picturing there with her, which helped her to believe that it was going to be okay. It wasn't him that she thought about constantly. It wasn't him who her heart yearned for every passing moment.

"I'm so sorry," Hermione cried quietly to him. Her fingers gripped his shirt tightly, trying to pull him closer to her. "I'm so, so sorry."

"It's okay, Hermione. I understand." He told her, his voice still quiet and soothing. She could feel his lips press the top of her head in a soft kiss.

"No, Fred, it's not okay. I-" Hermione realised her mistake when his fingers froze on her shoulder. She felt him hold his breath. She could almost hear his heart breaking all over again. Her blood ran cold. "Oh, no! George. I'm so sorry George!"

"It's okay, Hermione." His fingers slowly started to move against her shoulder again. He kissed her head again. "It's okay."

"No, George. It's not okay. It's never okay. I shouldn't have said it. I shouldn't have let myself…" Hermione broke down into a fresh round of tears, her heart constricting painfully in her chest. She let go of her grip on George's shirt and tried to pull away from him, but he held her to him firmly. "I'm so sorry."

"You need to stop apologising, Granger. I will never make you apologise for calling me his name, never. I-" George cleared his throat and brought his other arm around her waist. "I still do it. I'll look in the mirror and forget that it's me. Or I choose to ignore it, and pretend that it's him. I'll wake up from a dream and run to his room to tell him, even though he won't be there. I arrange meetings for the shop for the both of us, even though I'll be the only one turning up. I still can't accept that he's gone."

"George," Hermione's heart broke all over again, but for the man that was offering her comfort. Here she was, crying over a lost boyfriend when this man had lost his twin. His other half. She should be the one comforting him. Today should be harder for him, not for her. She slipped an arm around his back, the other wrapping itself around his waist. She didn't know what to say to him to help him feel better.

He pressed another kiss to her head and held her tighter.

They were using each other as an anchor, trying to ground themselves into the current moment. To the reality that they were in, the one they were refusing to admit to themselves.

"I miss him." She whispered.

"I miss him too." He whispered back.

"I've missed you."

"I've missed you too, Granger."

Hermione and George sat together outside the Room of Requirement on the seventh floor corridor for a couple more hours before they made their way to the Great Hall. The memorial service was over, but there was a feast in the Great Hall so that everyone could continue their mourning with a surplus of alcohol and food.

If anyone had noticed them walking hand in hand, they didn't say anything.

If anyone saw a twinkle in George's eye that he hadn't had for over a year, they didn't mention it.

If anyone had finally seen a smile on Hermione's face, no matter how small, they didn't acknowledge it.

No. George and Hermione were both finally admitting their grief over Fred's death and were starting to move on from it.

And if they had to use each other to do it, well. Who were they to judge?

It was what Fred would have wanted.