story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK
Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury
Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc.
No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is
Chapter 19: The Next
Waking up to the sounds of Fred's snoring, irritated Hermione. Narrowing her camel eyes at him she thought of no less then five different hexes. 'I must be better if I'm thinking of bloodshed this early in the morning,' thinks Hermione. Pulling back the covers, she slowly forces herself to sit up. 'Not fully recovered but close.'
Rolling her eyes at the man sitting next to her bed, Hermione sighs heavily when she thinks about the last twenty-four hours. 'What the hell am I going to do?' Shaking her head to clear the nonexistent cobwebs, she looks around the room. Spotting a tray of biscuits, little jars of jams and a steaming pot near the foot of her bed, she became aware of how hungry she really was.
Fixing herself a spot of tea and helping herself to a few biscuits, Hermione contemplates Fred's offer. 'If I accept his offer, does he think that everything is just going to go back to the way things were? What is he going to do if I don't except it? Will he take to take her away from me?' Taking a sip of her tea, Hermione feels her troubles start to melt away.
"Hmm, this is really good," mutters Hermione softly. "Why doesn't tea taste the same at home?"
Looking up sharply, Hermione notices that Fred continues to sleep on. 'That man could sleep though a hurricane!' Snorting at the thought she reaches backwards for her pillow. Placing it up against the headboard, Hermione scoots backwards until she feels the pillow against her back. 'Might as well make myself comfortable, seeing as how Fred's not going to awake anytime soon.'
Taking a deep breath, Hermione tries to analyze the problem before her. Slowly she drinks her scalding tea, unaware that Fred has stopped snoring. Shaking her head at her indecisiveness, she felt more alone then she did in a long time. 'He went to my parent's house, so they're going to welcome any advances that Fred makes to get to know Eliza. Exceptionally if that means we have to spend more time here.'
Watching her stare unblinking against the wall, Fred's desolation sinks into his chest. 'What am I going to do if she decides to just go back to the colonies and forget all about me?'
"I know that you're awake," states Hermione without looking at him. "I also know that you want an answer to your suggestion, but for the life of me I can't…"
'She's not going to accept,' thinks Fred. 'This is it, Fred. You've lost your family.'
"I just can't comprehend how you're going to get your family to agree to stay away from our daughter," whispers Hermione. "I just… I want to go home."
An almost tangible relief blooms in Fred. "Well, you're parents are coming later today," Fred replies. "Or if you want I can get the Healers to give us a special portkey."
"Fred, when I said home… I meant my house in New Jersey," states Hermione finally looking at him.
"You live in a 'new jersey?' That must be uncomfortable," mumbles Fred confused.
"It's a state in the United States," corrects Hermione. "I really don't feel up to dealing with your family." Seeing Fred flinch, Hermione decides to take some pity on him. "I don't even feel like dealing with my parents."
"You just want to play hooky?" asks Fred. Looking at her he realizes just how tired Hermione really looks. "When was the last time you had a vacation?"
"Around two years ago when my parents took Eliza for a week to New York City," mutters Hermione. "Why?"
"Well, I have ten years worth of vacation time stored. Instead of heading all the way back to the colonies, why don't we take sometime away just the three of us?" suggests Fred. "No pressure from work or my stores and more importantly no pressure from our family."
"Fred, be realistic. You're opening three new stores in the colonies. You don't have the time to take a vacation now," dismisses Hermione.
"I am," stresses Fred. "Those stores are not opening for another three weeks; the paper work has already been filed. My visa is being processed. All I have to worry about it the day to day running of the store, which I can leave in George's more the capable hands."
Standing up, Fred walks over to the bed. Reaching down he places one hand over hers. When she didn't pull away, Fred takes courage to add, "Plus, I know that Eliza is rather looking forward to swimming in the ocean. We can use this time to re-connect." Seeing her bite her lower lip, Fred states, "I know there is no going backwards, but there is no need to make this a hardship for any of us."
"Alright say that I do agree to this scheme. Where would we stay?" asks Hermione.
"We could stay at the Bluffs," answers Fred.
"Plenty of room and a stones throw away from the ocean," says Hermione as her eyes start to soften. "That would be prefect, ah. But I have to work."
"Ah, no you don't," contradicts Fred. "It seems that you have been let go of your job."
"Smashing," mutters Hermione.
"Look on the bright side," jokes Fred. "Now you can work for me."
"Yeah right," states Hermione sarcastically. "Let's handle one thing at a time."
Stretching her tight muscles, Hermione glares at the man standing out in the middle of the hallway. 'I should have known better to trust him.' Moving slowly she joins him. She once again was surprised at how fast Fred was able to secure a beautiful four bedroom house on such short notice.
"Stop glaring," orders Fred, softly. "You agreed to this?'
"Yeah I did, but I didn't think we would by moving in this quickly. How did you arrange this?" questions Hermione.
"Mommy!" shrieks Eliza happily as she races into view. "There are loads of books! A whole room is dedicated to them! We won't need to go to the library while we here, there's so many. Mommy, are you listening to me?"
"Yes Eliza, she is. She's just in a state of shock," answers Fred for Hermione.