Disclaimer: I don't own anything. This is just a figment of my imagination
Author's Note: Well, guys, here it is. The last chapter of The Better Weasley! This is where it all comes to gether, where it all finds its end. I hope you enjoy this ending and be sure to let me know!Chapter twenty-two: Silly Things
"Just a second, I'm coming!" said a muffled voice from behind a door.
He could hear some keys jingling and some hushed talking before the door opened. Two curious eyes stared at him. He said nothing because nothing seemed to make sense anymore.
The door opened a little bit more and he could hear a familiar voice ask who it was at the door.
"...Ron?" he asked, completely forgetting why he had come here.
Tess stepped aside to let him in and eyed him with a glance that could be defined as suspicious. Ron nearly rolled off the couch when he saw his older brother standing next to Tess.
"What are you doing here?" both boys asked simultaneously.
Ron grinned. "I, er...Tess is..."
"We're dating, remember?" Tess said. "Or are you George?"
He shook his head. "...No...I'm Fred."
Ron got to his feet and wanted to escape this growing uncomfortable mood that had settled in with Fred's arrival.
"I'll see you later, then." he said to Tess as he pecked her cheek.
"This better not be about Hermione..." Fred could hear him mutter before he left.
Tess sat down with a serious frown.
"This is about her, isn't it." she started slowly.
Fred nodded. It was all he could do.
"Did you tell her how you feel?"
"I-" he started hesitantly. "I don't know...not...not in so many words, but-"
He tried to remember everything that had happened.
- - - Flash Back - - -
"Wait...There is something...I need to say."
He looked at her. Her face was so serious...what could it be? Was there something wrong?
'Come on, act like George.' he told himself furiously.
"I think...that I'm in love with you..."
Her voice was so soft that he could barely hear her. He swallowed difficultly. Why did she say that? Why did she say it like that? She thought she was talking to George, didn't she? Perhaps they had been in a fight...or they had just never said those words to each other out loud. Oh Merlin, what should be do?
"Well, that's a silly thing to say." he said with a nervous chuckle, hoping that George had been chivalrous enough to have at least said he loved her once.
But his remark seemed to hurt her. She brushed past him, shaking her head. And that's when she said it: "I don't think it is...Fred."
Before he had registered her words she had slammed the door in his face. He heard her lock it and could see her run away towards the appartement.
"Alohomora!" he said, suddenly finding himself in persuit.
All that he remembered after that was her pulling away from a hug to run upstairs. He had followed her bravely, but at the sound of shouts coming from his brother's bedroom, all hope had fled his mind.
On his way back downstairs, a green cloak that had been thrown aside onto the floor seemed to jump out against the now so vague surroundings. He recognised it vaguely and after that, everything seemd to be a blurr.
- - - end of flashback - - -
"And now you're here..." Tess said slowly. "You didn't...even kiss her after she said that to you?"
"There was no time! She was gone..."
"But Fred...She loves you. The least you can do is to go after her to hear her out."
He hung his head. "I did something stupid, didn't I. But when she ran up the stairs...I thought...George-"
"George isn't the one who sat by her bed when she was ill. George was fawning over some ex of his when Hermione was in the hospital. All those romantic gestures came from you, not your brother. And she realised it before you had the courage to tell her. This means she had time to think, Fred." Tess said calmly. "And when Hermione thinks about something, she ends up getting it right. She chose you, Fred."
"But she was crying! I made her cry! How can I go to her if I make her cry!"
Tess shook her head with an understanding smile. "She cried because she is confused. She's with George and finds out it was you she fell in love with...How would something like that make you feel?"
Fred bit his lip. "I think I understand...but she's probably making up with George now. He'll be charming enough. I saw him charm his way up to Vivian too...it's...almost funny."
But Tess didn't laugh. "Vivian...Hey...You- you said something about...a cloak? A green one?"
Fred raised his eyebrow and thought deeply. "...Yeah, why?"
Tess gasped. "Oh no! And you heard arguing? Fred...Vivian's got a cloak like that. She always shows it off! She must have been up there with George when Hermione came up! You've got to find her, she'll do I-don't-know-what if she finds out!"
Fred jumped to his feet. "But how do I get-"
"Have you forgotten how to apparate? Did love make you forgetfull as well as blind?"
He hugged her hastily and disappeared with a loud crack.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
He saw someone walk away from the shop door when he had regained his balance from the landing. He recognised the green cloak from before. He ran up to her and grabbed her shoulder roughly.
Vivian scowled. "Come to take me back so soon?"
Fred looked at her with disgust.
"You are nothing but a powerhungry nymphomanica, aren't you." he stated disgusted. "I want you to stay away from Hermione and George. They deserve better company than you."
"Oh, Fred. I thought you were someone else. Well, I don't think I'll be wanting their company either. So if you'll let me pass..."
She pushed past him roughly.
"Wait! Is she up there?" Fred called after her.
Vivian shook her head. "I don't think she'll ever want to set foot in that building again."
Fred sighed and looked around wildly. Where could Hermione have gone? To her appartement? He had no idea where that was. He felt lost. The only other place he could think of was her office, but he hardly thought she'd go there to overcome her grief. He walked on, seeing how shop owners had slowly started to get their stock back inside as dusk seemed to be settling in. It was getting late.
Suddenly two words seemed to stare at him, screaming their name. The sign he had just passed in the street called him back, pulling his eyes towards it.'Flourish & Blotts'
With a satisfied smile he opened the door. It was dark inside and it took a moment before his eyes had adjusted to it.
"Can I help you, sir?" an elderly man asked.
"Well...er, I'm looking for a girl. With brown hair..." he said, feeling awkward under this man's stare.
"Oh. Her. She'll be somewhere in the back. Last time I checked she was in the history section."
Fred thanked him hastily and brushed past him into the direction he had pointed out. At the end of a long corridor of bookshelves, he could see the light of a candle burning. A long bushy mane of hair shielded him from seeing her face, but there was no doubt about it that it was her.
The words 'Hogwarts: A History' were embossed on the cover of the book she was holding up.
"Did you know that it was Rowena Ravenclaw herself who bewitched the staircases to move?" she said in an awkward voice. "I knew, you see. But I'd forgotten."
He leaned against the bookshelf uncomfortably. "Hermione...I...I know about George and Vivian...I'm...sorry."
She looked up suddenly. He could see she had still been crying. She scrambled up to her feet and threw herself against his chest, wrapping her arms around him in a tight hug. He closed his arms around her after a moment of hesitation, thinking back to Tess' words.
'She chose you, Fred.'
"How...did you know it was me?" he asked softly as he allowed his fingers to play with her hair. She tightened the hug as if her life depended on it.
"...I'm not sure...But...I knew...in the end. I'm sorry for everything I did to you, Fred. I never wanted to hurt you! But back at the shop..."
He shook his head and lifted her chin with his hand.
"I don't care." he said softly. "You were just as confused as I was."
"...Aren't you anymore?" she asked almost frightened.
He shook his head again. "When I kissed you, my head spinned and nothing made sense anymore. I didn't care I was supposed to be George, all I wanted was to kiss you again...But you never appeared to know the truth, so I said nothing. But when you kissed me outside the shop today, you knew, Hermione. You knew I was me and still you kissed me."
She turned away, not able to look him in the eye.
"You love me...don't you? That's why you kissed me today...Isn't it? You...love me." he said quietly.
Why was she turning away from him? Had Tess been wrong after all? Was Hermione still-
"Everything...it was always you, wasn't it. At the hospital." she said in a whisper. "All the things that made me forgive George...it was all you. I didn't fall in love with him all over again, I fell in love with you, didn't I."
Fred said nothing, his arms limp by his side. He wanted to touch her shoulder but she stepped away as he reached out for her.
"Yes...I knew today and I kissed you because I knew. But then I ran from you. I left you and I hurt you...I-" she wrapped her arms around herself to suppress a shiver. "I understand if you don't want to be with me after that. I'll leave you and George alone and I'll-"
She was roughly interrupted as Fred grabbed her shoulders, turned her back to face him and pressed his lips down on hers. She was too shocked to react. He pulled away with an almost angry expression.
"There! That's what I want, Hermione! You! Didn't you listen to anything I said? I never want you to stop kissing me! I want to be the one to hold you and who you tell your worries to! I don't care about what George might say or anyone else! All I want is for you to say you love me, because I love you so much that it hurts every second I can't be with you!"
Her bottom lip started to tremble and he could see another tear taking shape in the corner of her eye. Suddenly she flung herself forward into his arms again. Her shoulders started to shake violently, but when she looked up he could see she was smiling through her tears this time.
She pulled his head down so she could kiss him over and over again. He happily obliged and once again lost himself in the feeling that soared through his entire body.
"Oi! This is a bookstore, not a brothel!" the old man yelled down the corridor.
Fred wrapped his arm around her shoulders and guided her out into the street. He looked at her as they stood on the pavement. Both of them seemed somewhat lost now they had left that sheltered surroundings of the bookstore. He stepped up closer to her and cupped her face in his hands.
"Hey...It's alright now." he said softly, wiping away her last tear. "Everything is alright now."
She nodded. "I know. It's just...I didn't think you'd want me anymore...That you wouldn't have me...after-"
"Well," he said, smiling happily, "that's a silly thing to say."
And with that same happy smile on his face, he leaned in to kiss her again. Slowly the lights in the bookstore behind them were turned off. He took her hand and looked around. All the shops had closed by now.
Hermione slowly leaned her head against his shoulder.
"Come on..." he said. "Let's go home."