Summary: One of Hermione's deepest desires is to belong… to the Weasleys.
Disclaimer: I so don't own these characters.
So. This is not my best work, and it'll probably be edited a lot before I'm satisfied, but it's something. Also, I'm working on "The Trouble with Being A Twin". Expect a new chapter of that in the next couple of weeks.
Reviews make me happy.
Over-stuffed, tattered, stained, and with one cracked leg that was probably only stable due to spell, but so comfortable she had to seriously debate over whether or not getting a drink of water would be worth getting up.
That was the chair that Hermione had adopter as her own whenever she visited the Weasleys. It was perfectly positioned in the living room—she could see all of the activity going on in the kitchen, the living room, near the front door, in the backyard, and on the staircase. It was marvelously placed by the window, allowing warm sunshine to flow in as she sat reading a book, or, if it was winter, she could watch the snow fall into the unkempt garden. The couch was close enough that quiet conversations could be held with those seated on it, and she could keep an eye on Harry and Ron as they played chess.
Hermione Granger had never felt so at home as she did sitting in that chair, which Arthur often said he would have thrown out ages ago if Hermione hadn't loved it so, a good book in her lap with her feet tucked beneath her and the Weasleys scattered around the room. Ginny liked to sit on the arm, chatting with Hermione as she braided her hair. Ron sat on the floor where her feet would have touched if she let them dangle over the edge, poking fun at Harry for his dismal chess skills. Fred and George changed position often, and were either spectacularly hilarious or suspiciously quiet as they pored over a long roll of parchment near the fireplace. Molly would often sit opposite Hermione in her rocking chair, knitting a sweater for whoever had the most recent growth spurt. Arthur enjoyed taking the chair beside Molly, giddily flipping through electrical manuals and asking Harry and Hermione questions about wires.
When Christmas came around, Percy would sometimes watch Ron and Harry play chess, too, or would settle into a book like Hermione, though she had to admit she probably watched the Weasleys more than she read. Charlie and Bill would be avidly discussing their travels and occasionally Molly would chide Bill for his hairstyle or earring. There would be a tree in the corner, decorated with so many shining ornaments that it seemed to glow of its own accord, even without magic. There were never too many packages beneath it, but nobody seemed to care.
In these moments, Hermione felt like she really belonged somewhere. Before she had discovered she was a witch, she had always felt quite out of place. The friends she had had then were only her friends for lack of better company, and she often spent her afternoons reading up in her tree house rather than out playing with the others. Even when she had started Hogwarts, and she had finally thought all of her dreams would come true, that she had found her niche, she hadn't made a single friend until the night that Harry and Ron had saved her from a mountain troll.
But as time progressed, and she got to know the Weasleys, she got the feeling that the Burrow was where she truly belonged. Hogwarts was lovely, of course, but the Burrow was more of a home than she had ever known. She loved her parents dearly, but they had never made her feel… accepted. She was held at arm's distance, almost cautiously, as if they were not entirely sure how to deal with the fact that she was not like them.
Hermione looked around the living room, tears brimming in her eyes despite herself. She had never loved a group of people as much as she loved the Weasleys and Harry.
Arthur sat in his usual chair, merrily chattering on about how wonderful "eckleticitry" was and grinning from ear to ear. He was tall and thin, with wispy red hair and horn-rimmed glasses that Hermione thought were very charming. He was so brave, she thought, straying from the "norm" of the wizarding world. He was a Ministry worker, but his heart was not in it, and he was the father of seven red-headed, rambunctious children. He was such a delightful man. Hermione adored him. Sometimes she wondered if Ron would look like Arthur when he got older.
Molly, so short and adorably chubby, was the perfect mother. She was cheerful most of the time, but harped on her sons when they were bad, and knit wonderfully warm sweaters every Christmas. Her cooking was savory and she told delightful jokes to Hermione and Ginny in secret, not wanting it to get out to her sons that she had a sense of humor. She loved to chat in the kitchen in the wee hours of the morning before the boys got up, saying it made her feel young again. Hermione always told Molly she was not old, and Molly would reach across the table and squeeze Hermione's hand before going back to asking questions about school.
Hermione did not have much of a relationship with the three eldest Weasley boys, but it did not bother her in the least. She could talk to Bill about Egyptian magic, and one Christmas he had given her a book on the topic, which he had picked up in Cairo. She talked to Charlie about the different species of dragons and where they originated. Percy preferred to discuss politics or arithmancy, and the only person he could seem to find an intellectual equal in the Burrow was her. These conversations were usually brief, but never strained, and she loved that.
Fred was loud and rambunctious, and Hermione often thought that he was much more like his brother Ron than he liked to admit. Fred was quick to temper, but usually he was very laid back and happy. His laugh was infectious and Hermione liked to think that Fred was the laughter of the Weasleys. He was the funniest, and whenever anyone was down, he was the first to be at their side with a fake chicken or a stupid joke about hippogriffs. He and George had grown out their hair a bit, and he took great care in feathering it every morning. He was also very proficient at the braiding of hair, Ginny had informed Hermione, because Molly had made him do it a lot of mornings while she was busy with other tasks. Hermione often thought that Fred was Ginny's favorite brother, for she spoke of him often and even when she seemed annoyed with something he had done, she had to hide a grin.
George was probably Hermione's favorite Weasley boy after Ron, though she did have a soft spot for Fred. Unlike his twin, George knew when to be quiet and when to draw the line. He was always the brains behind Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, and when not under Fred's boisterous influence (which was rare), he was very sweet. When Fred had fallen ill after testing a Skivving Snackbox, Hermione and George had walked to Ottery St. Catchpole (Ron and Harry were still sleeping) to pick up some herbs from a tiny market for a potion to calm Fred's stomach. They had talked the entire time and she took pride in the fact that she told him a joke he did not already know, and that he had found it so hilarious that he had laughed the whole time they were in line to pay for their items.
Ginny was the only real girl friend that Hermione had, and she treasured her. Ginny was smart, funny, and very artistic. Hermione proudly displayed not only Ginny's painting of a phoenix on her wall in the dormitories, but a photo Ginny had taken one holiday break of Hermione with all of the Weasleys (photo Ginny was partially blurred since she had ran to get into the picture). Ginny was her confidante, somebody to tell all of her girly thoughts to—things she could not share with Ron and Harry. Ginny had been the one to call her on her crush on Ron.
Ron. There were so many things about him that angered her and sent her heart thumping. She loved him. She had made her peace with that. It was all a matter of letting him know. She inhaled deeply as she looked over at him, so deep in thought over his next chess move. His red hair glinted in the sunlight and she loved him even more.
Sometimes she wondered if she loved Ron because of his family, or if she loved the Weasleys because of Ron. The answer was neither. She loved them separately and together.
She loved their red hair, their freckles, their eccentricities, their pranks, their loud arguments, their too-small pajamas, their laughter, and the fact that they were Weasleys.
She looked at Ron again. He reached up and scratched at his scalp, concentrating very hard on the board. Hermione breathed in again, allowing all of the scents she associated with the Burrow and Ron to seep into her very being. She wanted to get off of her chair (it would be worth it), hug him, kiss him, and whisper in his ear while she played with his hair. She wanted to tell George another joke, and ask Molly how to knit a sweater. She wanted to buy Arthur an entire electronic store and a tool kit so he could figure out how it all worked, and she wanted to ask Ginny about her paintings. She wanted to ask Fred why he feathered his hair, and tell Bill that she really liked his earring. She wanted to tell Percy nobody cared about the thickness of cauldrons, but his talks about international policy were interesting. She wanted to ask Charlie about Romania and Ron why he was so thickheaded sometimes.
But more than anything, she wanted… to be a Weasley.