Author: Kristen

Title: True Love and Secret Crushes 1/?


Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in the Harry Potter Books. Their creation solely belongs to J.K. Rowling.

Rating: PG-13

Characters/Pairing: Sirius/Hermione, Percy/Luna, Ginny/Draco

Spoilers: Up to Book 5, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. Characters and situations from the book Except the major character death may be mentioned. If you haven't read it and wish to remain unspoiled, turn back now!

Summary: Answer to Shannon's Shades of Grey Christmas challenge with a Harry Potter twist. Fred and George's new invention cause everyone to admit to past or present crushes. The results inspire some very interesting changes.

Feedback: Is appreciated and cherished. This is my first HP fic I've been brave enough to post. Let me know what you think

A.N. Obviously this is slightly AU since Sirius is still alive in this fic and it's set in the future, post-Hogwarts. Just assume that everything else in Book 5 happened with one exception: Sirius didn't die. Now that we're all clear, enjoy!

A.N. 2 Much thanks to Emmy for beta-ing this and giving me a better version to post for you readers.

Part 1

Things had changed since Voldemort's fall. Time and experiences had changed them all. Hermione sat in her office at the Ministry musing over the unexpected places some of them had ended up in. They had lost loved ones and gained a few new ones. Some had pursued their expected careers and others had chosen surprising new ones. Hermione worked in the Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. She was determined to see that house elves had rights and that was only the beginning. She was fighting hard for werewolves as well as other creatures or people she felt were mistreated or misrepresented. She was very fond of Remus and determined to see that he got the respect he deserved. Needless to say her efforts had expanded far beyond S.P.E.W. She supposed it was the get together at Grimmauld Place coming up making her nostalgic. The holidays were near at hand and everyone would be on break from school or leave from work if they could. They would all come together at Grimmauld Place since it was the only place big enough for all of them, spend Christmas together and catch up. Not everyone would be staying there some would only drop by. However, everyone would use the chance to reconnect that their schedules hadn't always permitted. It had actually been a long while since she had seen some of her friends.

It was a couple years now after Voldemort had been defeated during the Trio's final year at Hogwarts. The battle had taken place the day most of the students had been leaving for Winter Break. Voldemort had sent some Death Eaters and Dementors to attack the train taking the students home, while Voldemort and the rest had gone to Hogwarts. Those attacking the train had gotten more than they bargained for. It had held members of the DA who had given them quite a fight. It had been a wild and terrible battle all around and no one had escaped unscathed, least of all Voldemort; He was dead now by Harry's hands. After that, things had changed and people had tried to move on with their lives.

Ron was currently going through Auror training, having been eagerly recruited by them right out of Hogwarts. She had dated Ron for a while but their relationship had fizzled before their seventh year was done over. She loved Ron dearly and they remained close friends, (add comma) but they had finally decided that they would never work out. So Ron had joined the Aurors and all of his family was quite proud of him.

Even the twins were proud of Ron not that they would ever tell him that. No, as Ron's older brothers it was their sacred duty to torment and tease him. It, was a calling that they were quite good at. After all they were Weasleys! Not just any Weasleys either. They were among the most feared students at Hogwarts, give or take a few Slytherins. The twins ran their very successful joke shop. They had earned their feared reputation testing out products on their fellow classmates that would later become top sellers in the shop. People had learned the hard way to be wary of the twins and anything they tried to offer you. Fred and George had been a great asset to the Order with a few of their products that were now deemed illegal by the Ministry though it was still unknown who had invented them. Of course the Ministry waited till after the war with Voldemort was over before banning the items in question. They had been quite willing to look the other way for a while since the items had been great weapons against Death Eaters.

Harry had forgone being an Auror even though McGonagall had been true to her word to help him prepare for it. The Auror Division would have been happy to have him but Harry had politely declined. Though he had been battling Dark Wizards since he was eleven and was quite capable of it, it wasn't something Harry wanted to do with his life anymore. What Harry had wanted most of his life was to just be a normal wizard, and he couldn't be one as an Auror. Maybe later Harry would consider it, but for now he wanted time to recover. His physical injuries had healed just fine, though it had been touch and go there for a while. Harry had nearly been The Boy Who Gave His Life to Save Us. It was the emotional wounds that would take a little longer to heal. Instead, he had taken Dumbledore up on his offer to be the next Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor. The success of the DA had made Harry more than qualified for the job. He was quite happy to be a Professor at the only place he had ever considered home. During the holidays he stayed with Sirius and Remus.

Sirius and Remus were staying in a flat nearby. Sirius had welcomed the chance to finally move out of the Order's headquearters. Sirius had been cleared when Pettigrew had been killed during a Death Eater attack in Harry's sixth year. Sirius was working as an Auror now. He was also working to ensure that no one else was ever falsely imprisoned again like he had been. He had started his campaign not long after he was cleared. Both jobs kept him pretty busy.

Remus was teaching Astronomy at Hogwarts having taken over for Sinistra. Sinistra was dead. She had tried to kill Harry during the final battle at Hogwarts. Ironically it was Draco Malfoy who stopped her. Much to the disbelief of nearly every student at Hogwarts, Draco had turned out not to be a Death Eater. After his Father had been arrested and Draco was out from under his thumb Draco had been free to make his own choices. He had chosen to support Dumbledore. When asked Draco would say it was because he was no one's lackey. He was the one who had lackeys. Those who were closer to him knew better. Draco would deny his good motivations while everyone else just smiled and nodded. In Draco's sixth year he had dumped Crabbe and Goyle and had taken to hanging out with those who didn't support Voldemort, including those nauseating Gryffindors as he called them. He had joined the DA and worked hard to make sure Voldemort wouldn't win and Harry would succeed. He may not have liked Harry much but Draco hated Voldemort more.

Draco was now training hard alongside Ron to be an Auror. They were partners in training and would remain partners when the training was over. When they weren't at each other's throats they were a powerful team. They were quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best teams in training. Their shared experiences at Hogwarts and during the War had helped to form a strong bond. Admittedly it had been a grudging one at first. However things had changed. They had changed. If you asked either one about those changes in the other they would both admit the changes were good. But only after threats to the listener of terrible torture and a slow death if their words were repeated had been gotten out of the way first would that happen, and never in the other's presence would those words be spoken. As much as they respected each other and, yes, liked each other now, neither would ever admit it.

Ginny was working as a curse-breaker and such for the Ministry. She went along on raids of Dark Wizard's houses and worked hard to build good cases for apprehension. Ginny was exceptionally good at Charms and DADA. Both served her well. Ginny might not talk about her experience during her first year much, but she was tireless at working to ensure Dark Objects stayed out of the hands of Dark Wizards and innocent victims.

Most surprisingly to those who knew him Neville was working with Snape when both their schedules permitted. Neville was studying Herbology hard at a Wizard's University. They were combining their knowledge of Potions and Herbology to search for an effective treatment for the Cruciatus Curse. Classes on both their parts kept them busy, but they were devoting as much time as possible to the project. They were hoping to help the patients in St. Mungo's who had been tortured beyond healing with the curse. Among those victims were Neville's parents and many friends. Students at Hogwarts, family members, Aurors, members of the Order, some of each but not all were lying in St. Mungo's. Unfortunately many others were dead now. It seemed that no one had remained untouched by the War. Everybody had lost someone somehow. Even the Weasley's didn't remain untouched. They had lost Charlie and Bill was in St. Mungo's. Neville was determined to bring everyone back that he could. With Snape's help he just might accomplish it. Snape had been working on the project for nearly as long as he had been a spy. It seemed Neville wasn't the only one who knew people in St. Mungo's. Regretfully Snape had at one time had a hand in some of the victims being there in the first place. It wasn't something Snape was proud of but something he was determined to change.

Luna was working at the Quibbler. She was co-editor and often wrote articles herself. People might think Luna weird and she did write articles on topics that Hermione found utterly ridiculous but she did have a way with words. Her slightly skewed view of events and sometimes perceptive remarks had made her nearly a household name.

Those were just a few names. Everyone was moving on and yet Hermione knew they weren't really moving on. Too many losses and too much work had gotten them all stuck in a bit of a rut. They didn't date witches or wizards who hadn't gone through the same experiences they had. In fact they didn't date much at all. Hermione knew she couldn't be the only one who was lonely. Or maybe she was. After all no one else had said anything or seemed interested in changing their dating status. Maybe it was just her.

Perhaps it was the holidays making her melancholy with the realization that she had no one. She wouldn't be kissing anyone at midnight on New Year's Eve. Yes, it was probably just the holiday blues. She should put it out of her mind and get back to work. There was tons that she still had to accomplish before Christmas. Besides, she had a full life and many friends. She was still young, and there was no rush to change things. Yes, there was nothing Hermione needed to do to change things yet. With that mindset she turned back to her work with a new will. Hermione would have been uneasy if she had realized that at that moment while she might not have been planning to change things others were. Others by the name of Fred and George Weasley.

Fred and George had decided it was their mission to liven everyone's lives up. And having captive victims at Grimmauld Place was the perfect opportunity to do it. Harry. Ron, and Hermione would be there as well as Percy and Ginny. Percy had finally told the family during Ron's sixth year that he had been a spy for Dumbledore in the Ministry. Since then he had been included once more in family celebrations. While the twins might reluctantly respect him for it they still lost no opportunity to tease and aggravate Percy. Luna, Neville, and Draco were coming as well as Sirius, Remus, and Tonks. Having them all there was the perfect opportunity to test out one of their new products. If they were lucky it would get everyone out of their rut. If not the potential for embarrassing everyone (especially Percy) was still good enough to make it worthwhile for the twins. So they set to plotting with a vengeance. If Hermione or anyone else could have heard their plans they would have been terrified. Because when Fred and George plotted, things didn't usually turn out well. Unless you happened to be Fred and George for whom the chaos usually meant success. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, they were all oblivious to what was coming.

End Part 1