Popped into my head while I was sitting on the porch "studying" for my G1. Couldn't get rid of it…so I decided to write it. :D ENJOY!
Now edited with a Scottish Accent...sorry people if the accents not quitte right, I've never written it before. I can speak it, but not write it. :S
A/N: No one's dead in this fic. I like too many characters. So that means Sirius, Dumbly, anyone who may've died in DH…they're alive. I like them too much.
Disclaimer: Sigh…if only they were mine…the things I could do with them…
"HERMIONE!" Mrs.Weasley pulled the young brunette into a breathtaking, rib-breaking hug that could rival Hagrids.
"Hi Mrs. Weasley. How are you?"
"I'm good, I'm good. Never mind about me. How are you? You look skinny. Don't worry dear, supper will be ready soon. How's work? Staying busy…our little Hermione, head of the Misuse of Magic Department. And what about the love life? Do you have a boyfriend yet? Surely a beautiful, young, intelligent, witch like yourself has found someone spe-"
"Hermione! Hi!" Hermione gave a sigh of relief as her redheaded friend squealed and pulled her into a hug. The sinking, depressed feeling in her stomach lifting slightly as Ginny dragged her out of the kitchen, and out of answering Mrs. Weasley's badgering, interfering questions.
Hermione loved Mrs. Weasley to death of course…she was like her second mother. But she could get a bit interfering sometimes, especially now that her youngest child, and only daughter, was 18 and in a long-term relationship with Harry. The two planned on marrying in a couple months time. Naturally, Mrs. Weasley now felt it was her duty to make sure that everyone older than Ginny was happily in a relationship. So every dinner Hermione showed up to, was filled with numerous questions about the guys Hermione worked with, knew from the past… or perhaps… passed on the street.
Hermione had to admit, she did feel a bit relieved that someone was taking an interest. She herself had given up. It had been over a year and a half since her last boyfriend…and that had been a pretty short-lived relationship. Of course Hermione went on dates with people, but she never went on more than one date. She never felt the chemistry she hoped for. Maybe she was living in a fantasy world, searching for instant sparks, waiting for chemistry, wishing for her own 'Prince Charming' to come and sweep her off her feet, but hey, she was allowed to be picky. After all, she was only nineteen…ok, almost twenty. That's still pretty young though. She had lots of time. One day her Prince Charming would come and find her. If it's meant to be, he would find her… even if she's just sitting in her flat eating Ice Cream from a container and reading a nice Romance Novel while crying slightly about how lucky the heroin of the book was. She sighed and Ginny turned to her as they walked through the dining room.
"Are you ok?"
"Hm? Oh yes, sorry, just thinking." Hermione waved to Sirius, Remus, Bill, Charlie, Mad-Eye, and Kingsley, who were gathered around the dining room table, tipping back glasses of fire whiskey, and playing some sort of card game.
"HERMIONE!" Sirius called, waving frantically with a grin from ear-to-ear. He looked like a two-year-old, his hand flapping back and forth above his head. "How've you been!?"
"Pretty good. Yourself?"
"Fine. Moony look it's Hermione!" Sirius was bouncing up and down in his chair.
Remus rolled his eyes at his best friend and smiled at Hermione. "Good to see you Hermione."
"Same." She smiled at them all as Ginny gave a tug on her arm and they disappeared into the Living Room.
"HERMIONE'S HERE!" Ginny called, then she dove across the couch sideways, managing to land with her head on Harry's lap, while kicking Ron on her landing.
"Ow. Gin! You ruined our game." He watched grumpily as his chess set angrily marched off the couch and out from under Ginny and back into the box. One of them making a rude gesture at Ron.
"Hi Hermione" Harry waved, then kissed Ginny lightly. Hermione looked away slightly. She was happy for them of course. No one deserved a relationship as much as Harry… but why couldn't she find a relationship like Ginny and Harry had?
"Hermione!" Ron pushed Ginny's legs off of him roughly, then stood to greet his best friend. Ginny kicked out though as she pulled her legs back onto the couch smirking, and he groaned as both her legs made contact with his shin. "Bloody sister." He mumbled as he pulled Hermione into a hug. "How've you been?"
"Alright. How are things with Luna?" She smiled at the Blonde who was sitting across the room with Fleur and Tonks, all of whom smiled and waved at her quickly before turning back to their conversation.
"Good as always." Ron was beaming. Hermione frowned slightly as she watched her best friend look dreamily at Luna, who looked up and smiled at him, blushing slightly. Hermione wished someone would look at her like that. Honestly, even RON found someone special. Why couldn't she? Him and Luna had started dating a year ago, just after Luna and Ginny had graduated from Hogwarts. On the night they got together, Hermione had been busy at the office. This led to Ginny and Harry calling Luna out to dinner and a movie with them and Ron, in Hermione's place. If Hermione was correct, this was to celebrate Harry and Ginny's tenth month…or maybe it was eleventh month, anniversary. Those two celebrated their anniversary every month. Personally, Hermione thought it was just Harry's excuse to get out on the town for a night and pig out with his and Ginny's friends, and not worry about being fancy. Ginny hadn't really inherited Mrs. Weasley's SUPERB cooking skills…but she was still pretty good…Harry just really…REALLY liked Boston Pizza. Like, REALLY REALLY REALLY liked it. Hermione found herself wondering often if her 'Prince Charming' would have a weird obsession like that. She wasn't to sure if she wanted to or not.
Hermione was pulled from her thoughts as a loud crash erupted from the Dining room. Hermione, Fleur, Tonks, Luna, and Ron made their way quickly into the room.
"FRED! GEORGE! What did I tell you!?"
"We didn't mean for it to hit the china mum!"
"WHAT DID I SAY!?"
"No letting pranks loose in the house." The twins chimed together gloomily. Mrs. Weasley sent an evil glare at Sirius who was laughing uncontrollably beside a smirking Remus. As soon as Sirius saw Mrs. Weasley's look however, his mouth snapped shut and he coughed slightly.
"You can clean this up now. Both of you. I swear you better hope nothing else breaks or else I'll –"
Hermione didn't hear what Mrs.Weasley would do if something else happened, because at that moment, Fred and George noticed the presence of their favourite brunette. "HERMIONE!"
She was pulled into a twin sandwich and they each kissed her on the cheek, each making a loud 'MUAH!' as they did so. She pushed them back. Being the twins favourite meant you were usually the one on the receiving end of many of their jokes and pranks. Hermione wasn't too thrilled about that. They loved her though, because she always seemed to turn the other way if they broke a few…minor…laws while testing out some products. She couldn't help it. She had to admit…although never aloud, some of their products were pretty good.
"Hello Fred, George."
"Alright, alright. Give the girl some room and clean up this mess." Molly made her way back into the kitchen calling back over her shoulders. "Sirius, Remus, since you both found that so funny. You can set the table. We'll be eating very soon." The door to the kitchen snapped shut as Remus stood, pulling Sirius up by his collar.
"It was funny. There's no need to punish us. They did it." Sirius grumbled, pointing an accusing finger at the twins. His friend shoved the plates into his hands while everyone else laughed. "It's not fair." He whined. Hermione cuffed him on the back of the head.
"Stop whining." She sat in the seat beside where Sirius had been sitting, across from Mad-Eye Moody. The brunette and auror struck up a quick conversation about a new guideline the Ministry was testing, and soon, Tonks and Kingsley joined in. They all laughed as Remus tried to get all the dishes, that Sirius had charmed to fly around the kitchen, much to the amusement of the Weasleys and Tonks, on the table. Fleur dashed out of the room; just as Harry and Ginny slipped in from the Living Room. They ducked just in time to miss the fast flying fork that was racing around the outskirts of the kitchen. Remus growled at Sirius who only smirked as the fork did a flip in the air and poked Remus in the arse. The room burst into loud laughter as the werewolf let out a yelp of surprise. Tonks' hair flashed different colours as she struggled to catch her breath.
"Oi! Mother Hen coming back." Mad-Eye growled. Hermione saw his magical eye was pointed at the door to the kitchen. Sirius flicked his wand and the plates landed neatly on the table, except for Remus', which Sirius set atop of the fireplace mantle. Remus pulled out his wand and summoned his dish just as Molly appeared with the different casserole pans and bowls following behind her. As if on cue, the clock on the wall started to spin and Arthur appeared at the front door. Molly let him in and then embraced her husband in a hug before they sat down.
" 'ello Hermione." Arthur greeted her. "Alastor, Remus, Nymph-Tonks" He turned back to his wife. "Percy left just before me. He and Penelope should be arriving right about…" Everyone turned as the fireplace glowed green, and Percy stepped out, guiding a rounded bellied Penelope. "Now."
"Hello Mum. Everyone." Percy nodded at the rest of his family, helping his wife into a chair before sitting himself.
This was the annual Burrow dinner. The Weasleys and some of their closest friends would gather for one of Molly's home cooked meals that everyone loved, although Harry did note frequently that it just wasn't Boston Pizza.
The only difference with this meal was that it was the start of a week of fun, as the boys all called it. Hermione, Harry, and Luna were staying at the burrow again, in memory of all the previous times. They tried to do this once every two months, because between Hermione's work, and Harry and Ron's Auror training, they hardly found time to hang out with each other, and the rest of the family. Fred and George had given control of Weasley Wizard Wheezes to Lee and Valari for the next week and a half, and Charlie had come home from Romania. No one really knew what the reason for their get together was, but they all loved the idea, and they all decided to gather. Ginny pointed out that it was hers and Harry's two year next month.
Hermione looked around the table smiling. She felt at home here. It was much better than her lonely little flat near Diagon Alley. And she couldn't keep going to her parents for dinner. Even if she couldn't find a guy that wanted to spend day and night with her, at least Hermione knew she had this extended family to come to whenever she felt too lonely or bitter. Now that she though of it, Remus, Tonks, and Sirius came to the Burrow almost every night, except during a full moon. Tonks came by herself then for company, while Sirius hung back with his best friend. All of the kids that had moved out dropped by for dinner at least twice a week, except Charlie, who tried to make it home every other Sunday. Every once and a while, Mad-Eye and Kingsley dropped by too.
As Hermione looked around, she realised that the Burrow was like the 'teenage hangout' for everyone. And no matter how lonely she was at home, she always had someone to talk to when she was here. Suddenly, she realised that she was stuck between Sirius and one of the Twins. She groaned inwardly to herself as they started discussing one of the twins' new inventions. Sirius and Remus seemed to be able to tell Fred and George apart now, so Hermione listened distantly to figure out which was sitting on her right.
Hermione groaned again as she took some peas and looked up across the table. Of course, Bill and Fleur sat across from Hermione, in-between Mad-Eye, and Ron and Luna. Fleur was holding her 6-month, baby daughter as Bill tickled his little 'Angel'. This meant Hermione had to look at the overly happy couple in front of her whenever she looked up from her dinner. To avoid from getting that nauseas, depressing, feeling in her stomach, Hermione turned to look towards Mad-Eye, Charlie, Kingsley, and Sirius on the left of her, the bachelors. Unfortunately, Remus and Tonks also sat to her left, and they kept sending each other looks that again, sent Hermione wishing she had her own Prince Charming.
As if Mrs. Weasley had read her thoughts, she called from her end of the table, clearly bored with the discussion she was having with the twins, Ron, Harry, and Ginny about the twins friend Oliver Wood, after all, she could only take so much quidditch talk herself. "So Hermione, you never did tell me. How's the love life? Did you go out with the Rollins' son Marin?"
Hermione made a pained face at Sirius who laughed silently. The rest of the table looked to Hermione knowingly. This was a regular conversation at the dinner table. "We went out to dinner once. But it didn't work out." She gave Mrs. Weasley a slightly apologetic look. That was another one of her many failed attempts to hook Hermione up with someone.
"Oh that's too bad. He was a really nice boy."
"Mom, he was like, three years younger than her almost."
"What's that got to do with anything?" Tonks asked snapping her head at the twin who spoke. Along with her angered gaze, Fred also held the killing glares of Fleur, Ginny, Luna, Remus, Bill, Harry, and Ron, all of whom had an age difference between them and their significant others.
"Whoa whoa whoa. Calm down. No need to freak out on me. I didn't mean it like that. But he's younger than her. That's a little creepy. I mean come on. We all know that most girls mature a bit faster than most guys. And Hermione's smart for her age already."
There was a small mumble of agreement around the table, but Tonks and Fleur kept sending Fred death glares every once and a while.
"So Hermione. Is there someone maybe in your old neighbourhood that you may be interested in?"
Hermione caught Mad-Eye, Sirius, and Charlie smirking at her…mocking her for getting picked on. She sent them each a glare before answering Mrs. Weasley, looking down at her plate in hopes to end the discussion. "No. Not really."
"Aw. There must be someone."
"Mum, why don't you ever pick on Charlie anymore? He's still single." Charlie, the only remaining Weasley bachelor, sent George a death glare for bringing up the topic. Everyone else in the room knew that Charlie was a player. He liked it. He hooked up with a different girl that he met at a club almost every night. Hermione thought guiltily that, in a way, she was just like him. One date, then that's it. Although her dates never went further that her apartment door. She was sure Charlie's went straight to the bedroom.
"Percy, whatever happened to that one friend of yours? Travis Briggs was it?" Mrs. Weasley seemed to not hear George, much to Charlie's relief.
"Hermione already went out with him last year." Percy replied, not looking up as he piled Penelope's dish with food.
"Perc, you're whipped." Fred called across the table. Like his mother did, Percy ignored him.
"Surely there is someone…"
"Molly. Is this peppered chicken or is it just a different juice you used this time?"
Hermione sent a grateful look at Mad-eye, who winked at her with his good eye.
"I tried a new seasoning." Molly said beaming that someone had noticed. "Is it alright?" The table all mumbled some form of yes to her. Nothing thrilled Molly Weasley more than cooking, and then getting praised for it. Hermione rested her head back on her chair sighing slightly with relief. Fred poked her in the ribs.
"What." She snapped.
"Just curious…how many dates are you at now?" Hermione smacked him on the arm.
After dinner, Harry, Ron, Ginny, Luna, Fred, George, Bill, Charlie, Sirius, Remus, Tonks, and Kingsley went out to the Orchard for a game of 6 on 6 quidditch. Hermione went with Fleur, Penelope, and Percy to watch, as Mr. Weasley helped his wife clean the kitchen. Mad-Eye thanked them for dinner and bid good-bye to everyone as they all parted. He walked with Hermione behind Penelope, who was carrying baby Angel and discussing with her husband and Fleur, different baby items that Percy would have to buy.
"Thanks again for averting the conversation off of ,y love life, or lack of one, back there." Hermione said. She smiled up at Mad-Eye. He laughed a deep-throated laugh.
Just like the rest of her adopted family at the burrow tonight, Mad-Eye was one of them. He was like an uncle to Hermione, and she knew that he had developed a soft spot for her during the course of the war. Hermione, Mad-Eye, and Bill had stood together many times on the front lines against a pack of Death Eaters, and Hermione refused to let Bill make the first move. He, after all, had a family waiting for him…unlike her. It was times like this that made Mad-Eye respect Hermione. He had tried to persuade her after the war, and after she finished school, to go into Auror training with Harry and Ron. Told her she had the guts and will for it. But she declined each time, saying she wanted a more laid back job, that she had faced too much blood and guts, and written wills, during the course of the war. He accepted her answer grimily, still bringing it up casually every now and again. Unlike the other, older men, Mad-Eye seemed to genuinely take her side when she needed someone to, and she was thankful that he respected her as much as he did. She knew that she was one of the very few people he never yelled at.
"No problem. You must be getting sick of it. Well, I'll see you next time I drop by fer dinner." He stopped at the apparation point and called out a good-bye to the people ahead of them. They all returned the act, and Hermione gave him a quick hug.
"Talk to you later." She said before following the rest of her 'family' out to the quidditch pitch, hearing the faint 'pop' behind her.
She sat beside Fleur, who passed her Angel so that Penelope could sit. Hermione rocked the baby in her arms, smiling sadly. At the rate she was going, she would never have her own baby to hold.
" 'ow 'ave you been doing 'ermione?" Fleur asked as she watched her husband block Kingsleys shot.
"I'm ok Fleur."
"You seem to be sad."
"Oh, no, just thinking."
"About what?" Penelope joined the conversation, placing her feet on Percy's lap so he could rub them for her.
"Things. I don't know." She smiled as Angel took one of Hermione's fingers and started sucking on it. "She's getting big." Hermione said to Fleur.
"Oui. She gets 'eavy after za while. Per'aps, eet would 'elp you to talk about what eez bothering you?"
Hermione sighed, glancing slightly at Percy then back up to the pitch. Penelope saw the look.
"It's ok, I don't want to bug any of you."
Percy snorted slightly and Penelope moved her feet. "Perc?" She cooed sweetly at him. "Can you go get me some double fudge, caramel, cookie dough ice-cream, with the dark blue and purple rainbow sprinkles, and a drizzle of pickle juice?"
Percy frowned slightly. "I…um…"
"Please?" She batted her eyelashes at him and he pushed himself up slowly.
"Sure Pen." As he left Penelope turned back to Hermione.
"There, you can talk now, that should take him at least half an hour to find, and a few minutes to put together."
Hermione, Fleur, and Penelope laughed. "Pickle juice?" Hermione asked looking up at Penelope.
"Ooh, it's really good on ice-cream."
"Right." Hermione looked at Fleur who shrugged at her.
"I used to get Bee-ll to buy me ze peezza sause with chunks of tomatoes. Zen I would spread zat on my pancakes…around ten o'clock in ze night."
Hermione raised an eyebrow.
"Eet eez ze cravings. One day you weel know what eet eez like."
Hermione snorted now. "Probably not."
"Why not?" Penelope asked, wishing Percy was still rubbing her feet. "Surely you plan on having kids one day?"
"I have to find a guy first…and at this rate, I'll be lucky if we make it to the second date."
"Oh 'ermione. Don't you worry about a zing. One day you will find a nice man zat will love you. You are after all a very beautiful girl. And you 'ave brains too."
Hermione chuckled dully. "Yea. I've had offers for dates, and I go on one date. But…"
Hermione looked at the child sleeping in her arms. She was pretty sure her left arm was asleep too. "When you two met Bill and Percy…did you…did you know that they were the ones?" She looked up at her two newer friends.
"Not at first, no." Fleur said. Looking from Hermione to Penelope.
"It's hard to say. I liked him. But we only went out for a little while. Then I was petrified." She smiled lightly at Hermione, thanking her for the warning. "My friends said he stopped by a few times to check on me, but after that, we weren't as close. We met again though, at the Ministry. So I guess it always was meant to be. But it took me a couple dates to realise it."
"Right," Hermione sighed again. "I don't know, I think my expectations are too high. I want a Prince Charming." All three girls chuckled slightly. "But, I guess I expect to get one…so all the guys I go out with, just don't measure up."
"Do you know what kind of guy you want?"
"I guess. Something like me…smart, can carry a decent conversation. Knows what he wants in life. Ok, that last one's not so much like me. But I've tried all the guys I know who are like that…" They were silent for a while.
"Zere eez a Prince Charming out zere for everyone." Fleur stating in a matter-of-fact tone, she had adopted from Hermione.
"Sometimes it's just harder to find him." Penelope added.
"Awww. Is that what you're looking for Hermione?" The girls jumped as the twins appeared behind them. Apparently they had taken a break from quidditch.
"Fred, George!" Hermione narrowed her eyes at the pranksters. "How much did you hear?"
"Eet waz a private conversa-shyon."
"So Hermione." They settled on either side of her. One of them squeezing in-between Fleur and her. The blonde moved over frowning at them. "Since when is Prince Charming brainy, and intellectual…"
"Oooh… big word Forge."
"I know eh? Anyways, since when? I thought Prince Charming's were supposed to be handsome and wild, rough and breathtaking."
"He's different for everyone." Penelope spat out.
"Yea I guess…" the one on Hermione left said.
"Percy's your Prince Charming so…I guess there's a chance Hermione can find one like that too…" The twin on her right sent Hermione a knowing look. "But perhaps your Prince Charming isn't the Percy-kind."
"Maybe," his twin added. "You're looking for the wrong kind of Prince."
Hermione looked down at Angel as one of twins squeezed the little girls hand softly. What if they were right? Maybe she was looking for the wrong Prince charming.
"Think about it." They said together as they stood up smirking. "Now ladies," They bowed as they back away. "If you would excuse us…"
"George and I…"
"Have a date…"
"With two lovely ladies…"
"In a few minutes…"
"And you all know Katie and Alicia…"
"And how they have little to no patience…"
"So…we mustn't be late." With that, the twins made another large bow at Hermione and disappeared with a 'pop', leaving Hermione to her thoughts. She looked back up at her friends flying around in the sky as Fleur spoke beside her.
" 'onestly. Zose two are somezing else. Do not listen to zem."
"What's wrong with the 'Percy-type'?" Penelope grumbled. "I like the Percy-type."
"Zey do not know what love eez. Don't worry about eet 'ermione. You weel find someone soon."
"Yea." Hermione said absently. "I'm awfully tired. Do you mind if I head up to bed?"
"Not at all." Penelope said as she watched Hermione stand, balancing angel carefully in her arms.
"Do you want me to put Angel to bed Fleur?"
"Would you please?" The blonde rose and kissed her daughter on the forehead. "goodnight Angel-eeca." She smiled down at the baby before sinking back onto the grass. "Goodnight 'ermione."
"Goodnight Fleur, Penelope. And thanks."
"Eet eez no problem."
Hermione called goodnight to everyone else, and the majority called it back. Harry flew down to see her. "Sorry I didn't get to hug ya earlier and greet you. I didn't want to move Ginny." He gave her a hug and she laughed.
"It's ok love-bird. Night."
"G'night." He took off again and as Hermione started walking back up to the house Penelope called to her.
"Oh Hermione. If you see Percy on your way in, can you tell him I don't want the ice cream anymore. Please. I think I want pickle and liver tacos instead."
"Sure." Hermione smirked as she saw a red head of hair appear at the door of the Burrow and start rushing towards them. She met Percy half way between the orchard and the burrow. "Oh, Percy."
"Sorry Hermione. I can't talk. This is starting to melt." He rushed past her and Hermione called out to him as he went.
"Ok. But Penelope said to tell you that she doesn't want ice-cream anymore. She said something about Pickle and liver tacos." She heard him curse loudly, and a few seconds later he rushed past her again and disappeared into the house just in front of her.
"Oh Angel." She said to the sleeping child. "I hope my Prince Charming is like that with me. But I promise I won't get icky cravings like that."
After laying the girl in her crib in Bill's old room, and his and Fleur's current room, Hermione made her way up to Ginny's room, which she would be sharing with Luna and Ginny. Hermione found her usual cot set up, and without changing, she climbed in, laying back and dreaming of what she thought her Prince Charming would be like. Only this time, Fred and George's description of Prince Charming, mixed in with hers. Maybe she was looking for the wrong Prince…
Hermione groaned as Fred appeared at her shoulder…or maybe it was George.
"Good to see you too." He said.
It was her third day at the Burrow, and she was reading on the front porch waiting for her friends to head out back for another game of quidditch. Their favourite past time. Apparently Fred and George were waiting for one of their friends to come play. She usually went with them to watch, it kept her away from Mrs. Weasley and all the many different men she knew. Hermione had only had one boy-talk-free meal in the last three days, and it was only because she tagged along with Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Luna when they went out to celebrate Harry and Ginny's 23 month anniversary. Hermione didn't want to go and be a fifth wheel. But Harry had talked her into coming.
"Come on Hermione PLEASE! It's Boston Pizza! How can you even THINK to not come to BOSTON PIZZA! It's only like the BEST restaurant ever!! I even proposed to Ginny there!" Ginny gave a quick nod of agreement, looking slightly disappointed that her proposal wasn't at one of those fancy restaurants.
Harry was now jumping up and down. "Come on! Come on! I'll pay!"
Ron looked up. "If I say we won't go, will you pay for Luna and me too?"
Harry ignored him. "Come on please Hermione. Please…it's BOSTON PIZZA!" He was still jumping, and Hermione had to admit, he looked like a six-year-old…and acted like one too. "It'll be fun I promise! They have all sorts of food. You can get a gourmet pizza!! Or..or…" Hermione toned Harry out as he continued to name every item on the menu. So far he had been there enough to try everything…three times.
"Ok, ok, alright, alright. I'll go."
"YAY! BOSTON PIZZA! Here we COME!"
As soon as she was seated with the two happy couples, she regretted being there.
"What do you want?" She waited patiently for the twin to answer her. Instead he sat in the chair opposite her.
"We were wondering. Since mum went into town to get groceries, and everyone else wants to go start a game. Can you possibly wait here for our friends. You don't play anyways. You don't like quidditch." He added as an afterthought. Hermione went to say something, but he added a quick, "please."
"One or two old friends." She raised an eyebrow at him. "Don't worry, Mum knows."
"One or two?"
"Yep. But they don't know where the orchard is. And if they show up and no one's home, they might leave."
She sighed. "Fine. I'll wait."
"Great. Thanks." He hugged her quickly then disappeared into the house. A few minutes later, Hermione heard the back door open and everyone file out.
It was sometime later, when she was completely absorbed in her book, that the twins first guest arrived. She hadn't seen him come over the hill, or up the path, but he had seen her. He coughed to let her know he was there and she jumped slightly looking up. Her eyes widened slightly.
"The one an' only Lass…"
"Umm, Hi. How have you been doing."
He looked at her for a few moments before comprehension suddenly dawned on Woods face.
Great, Hermione thought, he hadn't even remembered her.
"Sorry Lass, I didn't realize who ya were at first. I didn't know you'd be here." Hermione couldn't help but smile at his deep Scottish accent.
"Well I didn't know the twins meant you when they said they had friends coming over." She looked around as if expecting to see that someone else had arrived while she was reading about the hero of her book running through the old forest to find his true love.
"Oh, is there more of us comin'?"
"I guess. Fred said that there were two people coming. He asked me to wait and show you guys where the Orchard is…they all went to play quidditch. Or…maybe George said that." She truly looked bewildered, and Oliver Wood had to laugh.
"Aye, they can be real confusin' pests sometimes." He plopped into the seat that had been occupied earlier by one of the twins, looking around at his surroundings. Hermione took the time while he was distracted to observe how he had changed since she had last seen him up close. Ron had dragged them to some of Woods quidditch games; Wood had given the twins tickets to all of the Puddlemere games, so whenever they played the Cannons, Ron made sure they went, but she hadn't seen him this close since her third year when he graduated, and then again at the Quidditch World Cup… unless you count the brief time she saw him in passing during the final battle.
Oliver Wood was taller then she remembered, and she could definitely see, even through his T-shirt, that his many days of quidditch had paid off. His arms were built and muscled, but not that extreme muscle that scares you. He had a nice dark tan from spending so much time in the sun, and Hermione knew now why he was on Witch Weekly's most wanted Bachelors list. She looked back to his face and met his dark brown eyes. She looked quickly back at her book, blushing slightly.
Oliver looked at Hermione as she looked back at her book. He had known her from school. She was, after all, best friends with the best seeker Hogwarts had seen in a long time. So she was frequently at their practices, even early in the morning, with Ron. Oliver frowned slightly when he remembered back in his sixth year when Malfoy had called her a mudblood. Fred and George had mentioned that moment a few times…it was on the top ten list of their favourite 'Ron moments to remember,' because their brother had been left to belch slugs for half the afternoon. Oliver remembered how the twins and him had attacked Malfoy and half of the Slytherin team as they jeered after the trio as they led Ron to Hagrid's hut.
Hermione's hair was more tamed then it had been before, but it was still bushy, tied up in a ponytail at the back of her head. She was slim, and Oliver knew that she kept good care of her body, eating properly and exercising. She had that healthy figure he had learnt to distinguish from the too skinny kind. She wore shorts and a small T-shirt, which left a small strip of skin visible at the hem of it. She had a light dusting of eye make-up on, which magnified her chocolate eyes. Her face was red from getting caught staring at him, but as she glanced up at him slightly he smirked. Her eyes dashed back to her book and he saw her chewing on her bottom lip slightly.
"So…" He cleared his throat again. "How've ya been Lass?"
"Pretty good I guess. Busy with work."
"Oh yea? Where d'ya work?"
Hermione blushed slightly. She didn't exactly have the best job. "I work in the Misuse of Magic Department at the Ministry."
"That's pretty interestin'... I s'pose." Hermione could tell by his voice he thought it was boring. "I mean, ya get ta go out there every so often an' chase down someone doin' somet'in' weird."
"Actually…I work in the office. I don't go out and issue tickets."
"How's the quidditch going?"
"Awesome! Ya must've heard how well we're doin'." His smile was huge and Hermione felt slightly guilty…
His face fell. "Ya don't follow tha quidditch scores an' rankin's?"
"I can tell you about the Chudley Cannons, Ron talks about them non-stop." Oliver snorted. "But I don't really follow the rest. Whenever I get the prophet, Ron and Harry, or one of the other Weasleys steal the sports section and hand me the rest." She blushed again, was he pouting? She raked her brain to try and remember what she had overheard distantly at the breakfast table. She had been too absorbed in the article she was reading, but Fred had seemed to be talking to her when he was stating the scores. Why… she didn't know, maybe he was talking to Charlie a few seats beside her.
"Puddlemere's tied for first with the Holyhead Harpies, and the Tutshill Tornados are at a close second."
"What are the Cannons rank now? Did they win there last game?" Ron sped into the room from the kitchen."
"Still in last."
"Your teams tied for first right?" She asked, hoping that would help cheer him up a bit. It seemed to do the trick because his face brightened, his eyes sparkling and his smile wide.
"Aye! We're tied with tha Harpies, an' tha Tornadoes aren't far behind. I knew ya couldn't 'ave not known about that. Everyone in tha wizarding world, who are in their right minds at least, knows who's leading in tha league."
Hermione frowned at this and glared slightly at him. He didn't seem to notice though because he was now shooting off random numbers. It took Hermione a few minutes to realize that he was stating Puddlemere's statistics and standings. She wasn't sure if some of these were his own personal accomplishments, or just the team's in general. Her confusion must have showed on her face however because Oliver faltered.
"Le' me guess. Ya 'ave absolutely no idea what I'm talkin' about." He grumbled.
"Scores and statistics for you and the rest of the Puddlemere team...?"
He narrowed his eyes at her, and she kept eye contact, hoping he would accept her answer. Again, she seemed to convince him, because he suddenly started shooting off numbers again. She sighed slightly in relief. If Oliver was friends with Fred and George, surely he must have some of the same traits as them…the one she was worried about was that he would get upset or worried when someone didn't know a lot about what they were doing or saying. That's why the twins liked talking to Sirius and Remus more than to her about their pranks because she generally had no idea what half the things they said meant.
Oliver must have talked for almost an hour, and Hermione sat there politely nodding and smiling at him every once and a while. He stated the statistics for all of the teams in the league, and who had what chance of beating who. He stated who would probably make it into the play-offs, and who would make it to the championship game. His team of course was going to championships. When Oliver finally seemed to run out of facts, or more-likely…breath… he looked at Hermione questioningly. "Why aren't ya playing quidditch with them now instead of waitin' for me an' whoever else is comin'?"
"I don't play." Oliver's mouth fell open.
"Ya don't play?"
"I don't fly."
"Surely ya must 'ave learnt how. Everyone had ta take flyin' lessons in their first year!"
"I know how. And I did for class. But that's it."
"What…ya don't have a broom?"
"No. Don't want one. I don't like flying." Hermione thought Oliver's mouth was close to falling right off. It was wide open and he was staring at her like she had nine heads sprouting from random places on her body.
"Ya don't….ya don't…what?"
"I don't like it."
"How can ya not like flyin'!?!?!?!?" His arms flew into the air and waved around frantically as he cried out loudly. "It's like tha best thing in tha world!"
"I don't know. I just don't…"
"Are ya afraid of heights?" His face was scrunched together as he tried to figure out how someone could not like flying.
"No. It's not the height. It's more the broom. I guess I just don't feel safe while being held up in the air by a stick." She turned back to her book, but she could feel Oliver's amazed eyes on her.
"How can ya not like flyin' Lass?"
She rolled her eyes. "I just told you." He obviously couldn't believe it, and it showed on his face. Hermione had just lost a lot of respect from the quidditch player, who now thought she was slightly mental. How could she not like flying? Or quidditch? "So…" trying to break the awkward silence that was spreading, Hermione tried to steer the conversation back to something they could both relate to and talk about: work. Unfortunately, that was still basically the same subject. "I'm actually surprised you're not training right now."
"I took tha next week off ta come here. I duh need some free time now and then." He grumbled. He didn't want to talk to someone who didn't like flying.
"Oh. I was always under the impression that most qidditch players spent most of their off time practicing."
"Where'd ya hear tha'?" He shot back at her.
"Krum told me back in my fourth year. We went out for a bit." She spoke bitterly remembering the time, and turned back to her book. Unfortunately to her, the one topic she didn't want to discuss, seemed to peaks Oliver's interest.
"Ya went out with Krum? Viktor Krum?"
"Yes. We went to the Yule Ball together…and it sort of went from there…"
"He's an amazin' seek'a. Awesome flyer too. He's great at tha Wronskey Feint… ya do know wha' tha' tis right?"
"Of course I do. And I agree, Viktor did an awesome Feight during the 1994 World Cup Championship."
"So you're telling me that ya went out with him and he never took ya flying? Hm... ah but I guess he nev'a offered. It does ge' annoyin' when girls keep asking us ta take 'em flyin'…I refuse ta take girls flying wit me. Tha's always tha first thing they ask. I'm sure Krum felt tha same…"
"Oh he offered."
"And ya didn't go."
"I told you," Hermione was getting frustrated. "I. Don't. Like. Flying."
"I just don't feel safe on a broom."
"But he was ya boyfriend I though'?"
"You should feel safe with him then…shouldn't you?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "No. I didn't. Besides, he showed me once how he flies, and I didn't like it. It didn't look…good."
"Krum's an awesome fly'a though. Ya would 'ave been fine with him." Oliver grumbled.
"I don't care, I don't like flying." Oliver huffed and flopped back in his chair, crossing his arms. Hermione rolled her eyes again. "You're such a big baby."
"At least I'm not afraid ta fly." He shot back.
"Oh this is stupid." Hermione said. "We're acting like we're little kids. No, you're acting like a little kid."
"Again, I'm not tha one tha's afraid ta fly."
She rolled her eyes and went back to reading. Oliver kept huffing, and drumming his fingers on the arm of his chair. After about 15 minutes, Hermione suddenly stood up.
"Let's go. I'm done waiting for the twins' friends. I'll show you where the bloody orchard is." She took off and Oliver jumped up to follow.
"Where do I leave my bags?"
"Put them in the house." She snapped back and continued walking. "Where else do you expect. The tree?"
"Why is tha' where ya keep your things?"
Hermione glared at him over her shoulder as he threw his bag into the kitchen hall and sprinted to catch up to her. It didn't take him long, but it was longer than he had thought it would take. She was pretty fast… halfway to the Orchard by now.
"Look...Lass..." He said as they made their way down a small hill. "I didn't mean ta insult ya or somet'in'. It's just…how can ya not like flyin'."
Hermione ignored him, but she could tell he didn't mean to make her as mad as he had.
As they came up to the orchard, everyone seemed to make their way out. The twins were the first to spot them. "OLLY!!! HERMIONE!!! HI!!!!!" Everyone turned and looked up at the two who had stopped walking.
"I'm sorry Fred, er, George. But your other friend didn't show up. Whoever it was. The two of us sat there for over an hour and a half waiting." Everyone else gathered around Oliver and Hermione, all of them talking to Oliver, seeing how he had been.
"Oh. Hermione. Didn't I tell you. Sorry, Angelina couldn't make it."
Oliver looked up at this. "Angelina's been in Tokyo for'a week, an' she's not coming back until tha end of tha month. Ya knew that. Ya were both at tha goin' away party."
Hermione wheeled on the twins glaring. They chuckled. "Oh yea…sorry Hermione. We forgot. Honestly." She had a sneaking suspicion however, that neither of them where sorry, they were both smirking too much.
"Hey, did ya guys know she doesn' like flyin'." Oliver said, as if it was the most absurd thing in the world.
"Yes." Everyone echoed absently together as they started making their way up to the Burrow.
"Really? I can't honestly see why."
"She doesn't like quidditch." Ron said. "Hates it when we all start talking about rankings and stats. Bores her to death, can't see why."
Hermione opened her mouth to reply, but Harry cut across her. "She'd rather read a book." Oliver just looked at her even more confused.
"Come on." Ginny whined. "I'm getting hungry."
As a group, they all made their way up to the Burrow. Hermione bringing up the rear end, pouting.
Mrs. Weasley had just arrived home with her husband, and was now bustling around the kitchen putting things away, and starting dinner. When she saw them enter she scanned the crowd for the new face. "Oliver, so good to see you again." She pulled him into a hug, which he returned, and then bustled away to the boiling potatoes, greeting all her children. "Ginny, Luna, Hermione, can you please set the table for me?"
"Um, mum." Ginny said. "We were going to go out today and clebrate Ron and Luna's 13th month." Ginny shrugged. "We hought it'd be nice, and save you some work."
"We're going to Boston Pizza!" Harry said smiling like a maniac.
Sirius came in the kitchen door with Remus and Tonks. "What are you smiling about Harry? Going to Boston Pizza again?" He chuckled, but when Harry nodded enthusiastically, Sirius added a small "Oh."
"Who all is going?" Mrs. Weasley asked as an owl flew in the window and up to George. Landing on Hermione's head to hand him his leg so George could remove the letter. The majority of the kitchen started laughing.
"Well, Ron and Luna, Me and Harry, and Hermione."
"Actually," Hermione said, shooing the owl off her head, "I think I'll sit this one out."
"But Hermione! It's BOSTON PIZZA!" Harry stated again. "You have a pick of so many great foods." Once again, Harry started naming everything off of the menu while everyone just looked at him in bewilderment.
"Come on Hermione." Ginny spoke over her fiancée, completely ignoring his rant.
"No, I'm ok Gin. But thanks for the invite."
"Aww why not Hermione?" Ron asked.
"I'm not going to tag along again." Ginny, Ron, and Luna frowned at her sadly, Harry had started stating the main courses.
"Why don't you guys take Remmy and Tonks with you instead." Sirius said.
Ginny turned to the couple behind her. "Sure! Do you want to come!?"
"Actually, I wouldn't mind." Tonks said looking at Remus. "Harry swears by it, so we might as well try it.
"Good. It's settled." Sirius said. "Besides, Hermione's coming out with us tonight."
Everyone turned to him. "Am I now?" Hermione asked.
"And who's 'we'?"
"Me, Charlie, Kingsley's gonna come…"
"Me, Fred, and Oliver." George said as he tucked the letter into his pocket smiling.
"Yea." Sirius said. "We're having a Singles Night"
"So why are Fred and George going?" Ron asked.
"To keep Olly company. Fred already talked to Alicia, and I just heard back from Katie. They're alright with it. As long as we stop by and see them afterwards."
"I'm not going." Hermione said, looking at the occupants of the kitchen that were going. She didn't trust any of them when there was a bar around. And in Sirius, Fred, and George's case…she just didn't trust them.
"Come on Hermy. It'll be fun."
"Don't call me Hermy."
"Hey, maybe you'll meet someone." Sirius continued.
"I don't need to meet anyone."
"Oh Hermione dear, that reminds me. Today at the grocery store…"
"I'll be ready in half an hour." Hermione said, disappearing from the kitchen before Mrs. Weasley could continue.
Sirius clapped his hands together. "Good. All settled." Everyone slowly filtered out of the kitchen.
"Ginny, Hermione, can you still set the table for Bill, Fleur, Percy, Penelope, your father and myself please." Mrs. Weasley called to the two.
Mrs. Weasley turned to the last occupant of the kitchen who was standing against the cupboard, drooling slightly.
"And then for dessert they have – "
"Excuse me Harry dear, I need to get some spices out of that cupboard." Mrs. Weasley moved to the cupboard and Harry stood taller, looking around slightly.
"Umm, where'd everyone go?"
"They all went to get ready for wherever they're going."
"Oh." Harry looked disappointed that no one had paid attention to him. "Well at least Hermione said she'd come."
"Oh no. Remus and Tonks are gong with you guys." Mrs. Weasley said, pouring some things into a pot on the stove. "Hermione's going with Sirius, Charlie, and a few others. They're going to have a Singles Night apparently."
"Oh." Harry looked confused. When had they all decided this?
"It should be good for Hermione, maybe she'll find someone nice…"
"Yea. Well I got to go get ready for BOSTON PIZZA!!! Bye!" Harry dashed out of the room and Mrs. Weasley chuckled softly.
The music got louder as Hermione sat down at a table with Sirius, Charlie, Fred, George, and Oliver. Kingsley would meet them there in a little while. Hermione had picked out a slim fitting pair of jeans that were ripped slightly in spots. She had on a red halter-top, and a pair of red hoop earrings that went well with her shirt colour. Her hair was left down, except for a small piece she had pulled back.
"I can't believe you talked me into coming." She grumbled, looking at the drink Sirius had ordered for her. She sniffed it slightly before taking a sip.
"Well it was this, or listen to the new date Molly found you." Sirius barked as he spotted a tall blonde dancing with some friends.
"She do tha' often?" Oliver asked, taking a few mouthfuls from his fire whiskey.
"Yes." They all said in unison.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, the men all looking around at the different groups of girls. As Hermione started on her second drink, she heard a familiar voice behind her.
"Hermione?" She looked up at the voice as the rest of her companions smirked, looking down into their drinks.
"Herb. Hi." She smiled slightly at the man behind her. Herb worked in the same department as her, and he often tried talking to her when she was occupied with something else. He was around Hermione's height, although he was about six years older than her. He had thick rimmed large glasses, that not only covered his whole eye, but part of his forehead and cheek too. His hair was slicked back and he wore a suit and tie. Hermione looked from his outfit, to the casual laid-back outfits of her friends.
They all wore a pair of dark jeans, Sirius' fitting him a bit more snugly then the others. Oliver, Sirius, and Charlie each had a button up shirt, and the top three buttons on of each shirt was undone. Fred wore a T-shirt that clung to his abs, and George wore a baggier T-shirt that hung loosely at his waist. As Kingsley approached the table, Hermione noticed that he also wore a slim fitting T-shirt and jeans. She looked back at Herb as he spoke.
"How are you? Are you enjoying your vacation?"
"Yes, yes I am. And I'm good. How about you?"
"I can not really complain. The office has become extremely busy lately, but we are all managing to keep it functioning properly. It seems to be working out however, because the cubicles are all still standing."
Hermione glared at Fred, George, Sirius, and Oliver, all of who were laughing into their drinks. Charlie's face was turning slightly purple from him holding his mouth shut, and Kingsley was smiling. She smiled up at Herb. "That's good Herb."
"Are you accompanying anyone else here tonight?" Herb asked looking around the table. "Ah, Mr. Shacklebolt if I am correct. It is a pleasure to see you again." Herb sent an odd look at Sirius who had started choking on his drink.
"Pleasure." Kinglsey said, slipping into one of the empty seats.
"Hermione." Herb asked turning back to the brunette. "Can I interest you in a drink perhaps?"
"Superb. I am just going to run to the washroom, but perhaps when I return?"
"You know where I am."
"That I do." Herb smiled and made his way across the room. As soon as he left, the whole table, with the exception of Hermione, burst into laughter. Hermione tried hard not to smile, but she couldn't hide it.
"Shut up. All of you."
"H-H-Herb seems…n-nice." George said between laughs.
"He is. He's kind…and smart…"Hermione said, backing up her co-worker.
"Extremely….sup…superb!" Sirius added, barking like a dog.
"Have you… gone out… with him… before?" Fred asked…taking in deep breaths, trying to calm his laughter.
"Wow, now there's a first." Charlie said, taking a drink.
"Har har. Very funny." Hermione said pretending to glare at the redhead.
"You never know Hermione, maybe H-Herb is your Prince Charming." Fred managed to get this all out before falling forward and laughing, face down, on the table.
"Prince Charming?" Sirius asked as Hermione blushed. Everyone turned to her again.
"Fred and I heard Hermione talking with Fleur and Penelope the other night while we were playing quidditch. She wants a…" George put his hands together and raised them beside his cheek, looking up at the sky while he spoke in a dreamy, high pitched voice, "Prince Charming".
Hermione smacked him in the shoulder and the table burst into laughter again. She caught Oliver's eye as he laughed, smirking and shaking his head.
"Surely you can't assume to find a Prince Charming in the Wizarding world when you don"t like quidditch"
"Shut up Wood." She said. "I never-"
"I'd say Herb defiantly fits the…ahem…Charming…part." Sirius said, signalling for the waitress to come back. She approached the table as the all laughed slightly. "A round of Fire Whiskey's on me. To celebrate the possibility of Hermione finally meeting her Prince Charming." He said. Again the table burst into laughter as Hermione shoved her red face in her hands, sliding down slightly in her seat. The waitress appeared beside them a few minutes later.
"Here you go gents, and miss." She handed them each a shot.
"Oh, and two drinks for those two lovely ladies over there from me and my friend here," Sirius smacked Charlie arm slightly. "Whatever they fancy."
"Alrighty, I'll tell them." She disappeared and Sirius winked at the two girls as the waitress approached them and explained. They smiled at Sirius and Charlie as the waitress left to get their drinks.
It was about ten minutes later that Herb finally reappeared. "Sorry for the wait Hermione. Would you still like to go and get a drink?"
She bit her lip to stop from laughing. "Sure."
As they walked away Herb looked her over. "You look absolutely superb Hermione." The table she had just vacated burst into laughter once again.
Hermione stumbled over to the almost deserted table around 2:00. Oliver was signing a few autographs for a group of girls who were giggling and blushing. Hermione plopped down into the seat across from him as he bid goodbye to the girls. As they walked away, the girls gave Hermione a dirty look, and then sighed, sprinting away staring at the napkins.
"Tha's like tha fiftieth autograph I've done tonigh'. Three lasses asked me ta sign their stomachs." He said grinning at her slightly.
"I don't think it's safe for us to leave ya alone." She laughed aloud, hiccupping as she did so. This seemed to just make her laugh more.
Oliver quirked an eyebrow at her.
"So where is everybody anyways?" She asked loudly, swinging her arms in the air and looking around. Oliver ducked so her flying limbs wouldn't hit him, laughing slightly.
"Well. Kingsley headed off aft'a a girl over tha' way." He pointed and her head whipped in that direction, her hair flying. "Sirius an' Charlie are dancin' over there with tha two girls from tha bar." Hermione looked at the bar then back at Oliver nodding. "An' Fred an' George went ta see if they could floo Katie an' Alicia from somewhere nearby. They should be back-"
"Now." Fred said as he slipped into his seat, George slipped into the other side, beside Hermione.
"Hi." She said smirking up at them.
"Hermione! However did your 'date' go with Herb?"
"It wasn't a date." She spat out. "And he's so-o-o-o-o weird. He said he knew I wasn't with any of you 'cause you're 'not my type'." She made quotations with her fingers. "He knows the kind of guys I dated from the office. I would have been bored to death if the guy beside where we were sitting hadn't kept offering me drinks." The twins and Oliver frowned.
"Did you take them all?" Fred asked.
"Of course not! That would be stupid. But after a while of talking to Herb, I accepted a few." She hiccupped again.
"And by a few, you mean…"
"Plus the two Hawaiians Sirius bought me…and the shot of fire whiskey."
"Lightweight." Fred said. They all sat there in their own thoughts for a couple minutes.
"I quit." Hermione suddenly said.
"Quit what?" Fred asked lazily, signalling the waitress much like Sirius had.
"Looking for my Prince Charming." The twins and Oliver shared a look that went unnoticed by Hermione. "I'm seriously going to sit back in my apartment, with a tub of ice cream, getting fat and reading, and wait for him to find me."
"That's the spirit Hermione. Let him find you when you're fat." George said, thanking the waitress as she placed the glasses on the table. Hermione grabbed hers greedily.
"Well I'm sick of looking. It's getting me nowhere."
"I still say you're looking for the wrong guy."
"Whatever." Hermione tipped back her glass, but Fred stopped her hand.
"Take it easy Granger, don't want you passing out." She pouted at him. He placed all of their glasses on the table, making sure they were evenly filled. "Last one to finish has to…to…umm…ask my mum to teach 'em how to cook. That should last a good couple of hours."
"Trust me." George added. "That's not exactly fun." He laughed and took his glass, along with everyone else. Hermione groaned. "What's wrong Hermione? Realizing that, if you lose, you'll be left in the mercy of mum. And I'm sure her cooking lessons will include an endless talk of what men you haven't gone out with." He smirked.
"Ooh!" Fred added. "They also have to volunteer to set the table, and do the dishes afterwards, while wearing a pink apron with red hearts. And drop at least two pieces of mums good china in the process." His companions nodded and when Fred counted to three, they all tipped their glasses back.
Hermione downed hers as fast as she could, letting the hot liquid fall down her throat, she could not get stuck, trapped in a kitchen with Mrs. Weasley right now. She wasn't sure if the others were almost done, so she kicked her foot out, under the table. It made contact and she heard someone spluttering and coughing slightly. She downed the rest of her glass, slamming it down on the table as Fred did the same. George's glass was already sitting there, and he was laughing at Oliver, who's front was dripping slightly with fire whiskey, the remainder sat in his glass. He glared at Hermione as Fred and George laughed at their friend.
"Tha' was dirty Granger." He growled at her. She only smirked and signalled for the waitress. Fred put his arm over her shoulder and laughed joyfully.
"Ah…I think we're rubbing off on you Hermione!"
"Tha's not a good sign." Oliver grumbled, finishing his drink as the waitress brought them another round.
"So Oliver!" Fred said. "I'm sure mum will love to know she's got an extra hand in the kitchen tomorrow." He smirked and the four each took a drink. "So Hermione. What happened to Herb anyways?"
"He went home. Said he was tired and was going to turn in for the night. He needs exactly seven and a half hours of sleep to function properly, and he's already overdue." They all laughed, loud and long. "He offered to take me home, but I told him I promised I'd meet with you lot."
It was almost an hour later, and after lots of chatter, and another seven rounds, Charlie showed up at the table with Sirius.
"Hiya!" Hermione said, giggling slightly for no apparent reason.
"Hey." Sirius was smirking. "Certainly, the Hermione Granger isn't drunk."
"Corps not." She smiled up at him as he smirked again, looking at Charlie who was shaking his head.
"I'm guessing your date with Prince Charming's over?"
"I never met any Princes. But I saws Herb tonight." She giggled again. "He's soooooooooooooooo weird." As she dragged out the so she swayed in her seat. Fred sat her up straighter mumbling again.
"How would ch'ou know that? You never carried me silly." She smacked his arm and the twin looked around at his brothers and friends.
"So how are the two chicks you two picked up?" George asked.
"Oooh I like chickens."
"Great. Sophia invited me back to her place." Charlie said, grabbing a glass off the tray of the passing waitress and giving Hermione a worried look. The waitress placed four glasses on the table, then moved onto the next. Hermione grabbed one of the glasses and took a sip. She suddenly started laughing, spraying fire whiskey all over the table...and it's occupants.
"Hey guys! I said corps not. Hahaha… CORPS….instead of course." She laughed loudly falling into her seat and banging the table with her hand.
"Ok Hermione. I think you've had enough." Sirius took the glass from her and tipped it back himself while she pouted. "Can you guys handle getting this one here home? I kind of promised I'd take Cindy back to Grimauld with me." He smirked proudly as he spotted the two girls approach from the washroom hallway.
"Course we can!" Fred said, checking his watch. "We should probably head back now. It's almost 3:30." He stood and pulled Hermione up beside him. "Can you walk?"
"Of corps I can." She emphasized, giggling like a lunatic. "I learnt to walk a long time ago." She took one step and almost fell flat on her face. Fred and Sirius each caught an arm though and pulled her up.
"Really? Cause it doesn't look like it." Sirius barked out grinning. "You sure you three can handle her?"
"Course we can."
"Or in Hermione's words. Corps we can." This sent Hermione into another fit of giggles, and Fred had to literary drag her out of the bar. She said goodbye to everyone they passed…and everything.
"By funny looking lady. Bye chair. Bye Mr. Umbrella."
"Hermione, I think you missed the broom in the corner."
"BYE MR. BROOOM!" She screamed out. Many people around her looked around. They passed Kingsley on their way out as he danced with two girls who, the sober Hermione would have recognized from the office. "I know you!" She called to Kingsley. He quirked an eyebrow at her companions, who only smirked. They bid goodbye to Sirius and Charlie as they disapparated with the two girls from the club, and then Fred pulled a small object from his pocket. He mumbled a few things under his breath, and then placed the portkey out for them to touch. It was the safest way to get them back to the burrow without splinching Hermione, or any of them for that matter. Each twin held onto one of Hermione's hand so she wouldn't let go of the portkey.
"Well Olly." Fred said as the Burrow came into view. "You can take her from here. We should really go see Katie and Alicia."
"You take Hermione in, but don't wake anyone." George said, smirking like a maniac. "We'll come back tomorrow, and maybe we'll see if the girls want to come play a round of quidditch too." He pulled Hermione up again as she tripped. How she tripped while she was standing still was a mystery to all of them.
"See ya Olly." Fred disappeared with a 'pop' and a second 'pop' stated the departure of George. Oliver looked at Hermione who was looking at the spot Fred had vanished from.
"He's gone!" She said, flailing her arms again. He laughed slightly. He was after all, a little tipsy himself. "They just…just…" She turned quickly and Oliver heard her wrenching beside the door. He pulled her hair back for her sake and looked away. When she was done, she whipped her mouth. "Just disappeared." She finished.
"Yea. Imagine tha'." He grumbled. He pulled out his wand and scourgified the area she had used as a barf bag. Gosh was he tired. "Come on Lass." He guided her into the house, and pulled her up as she stumbled over the steps. "Ok, Hermione, ya can't talk now ok? Be as quiet as ya can so ya don't wake anyone up. Aye?"
"Ok." She whispered loudly, making her own way over to the stairs, pulling at things to keep upright. It was after the third crash that Oliver grabbed her arms.
"A'lright. I'll lead. Just, hold onta... Hermione? … Hermione!?" She had started to slump against him.
"I'm kind of tired." She said. "Maybe I'll sleep here." She lowered herself to the floor and Oliver sighed.
"Hermione ge' up. You'll be dyin' of pain tomorrow if ya sleep on tha floor." When she refused to stand, he did what anyone else would have done. Left her there.
He looked back as he reached the stairs and groaned. She was curled up on the floor giggling quietly about something. Curse him and his gentlemen like side. He went back over to her and bent over, picking her up quickly, one hand under her knees and the other on her back. She giggled loudly and her head flopped against his chest. He walked over to the living room to place her on the couch, but saw that Lupin occupied one, while Tonks occupied the other. He sighed again, and carried her up the stairs. He tried to read the names on the doors and, hopefully, found Ginny's room, pushing the door open with his side. Ginny was sleeping in the bed closest to the door, and Luna was sound asleep and snoring slightly in the middle bed.
"Of course yours is tha bed furthest from tha door." He grumbled. He manoeuvred his way around the few obstacles on the floor and cursed when his foot made contact with the dresser. Hermione started laughing.
"Whosat!" Ginny grumbled, sitting up in her bed quickly. She rubbed at her eyes. "Hermione?"
"Hi Ginny!" Hermione whispered loudly and waved her arm at the redhead, smacking Oliver in the face s she did so. With that he made the rest of the way over to the bed and dropped her onto it. Like, literally dropped her. "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee." She said as she bounced slightly on the bed from the impact. He rolled his eyes and turned to leave.
"Sorry fer waking ya Gin."
The redhead was looking at Hermione with a mix of amusement and bewilderment. "She's trashed."
"Nah…really? I hadn't noticed." He went to leave, he was so tired, but Ginny called to him.
"Wood wait a sec..." She hissed.
"Haha! You're name's funny." Hermione said before falling back onto her pillow. She started to snore slightly as soon as her head made contact. The two looked at her with misbelief but they both shrugged it off.
"I guess it could be worst." Ginny said. "At least she's not throwing up."
"She already did tha' by tha back door." Ginny looked up at him. "Don' worry I cleaned it up."
"Where's everyone else?"
"Sirius an' Charlie hooked up wit' two girls fer tha nigh', an' tha twins just left ta go see Katie an' Alicia."
"So you carried her up here?" Ginny smirked slightly and Oliver was reminded of the twins.
"Lupin an' Tonks are on tha two couches, an' I couldn' just leave 'er on tha floor."
"Oh. Ok, well, G'night."
"Night." He mumbled making his way to the twins' old room and plopping down on the bed, not bothering to change. Much like Hermione, he was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.
Hermione groaned and rolled over. She groaned again. Her head was killing her. She opened her eyes slowly. It was dark in the room. What time was it? She looked at her desk and saw a small vial sitting on it. 'Pepper-up Potion.' She read the note below it.
Hermione, my little drunken friend.
This should help with the headache. See ya downstairs!
Hermione smiled, thankful to have such a caring friend… who had gone to her fair share of wild parties, and experience many hangovers. She tipped back the potion and her head spun again. She got up and realized she was still dressed from the night before. She pulled some clothes out of her trunk and opened the door, making her way to the bathroom for a quick shower. The hallway was a thousand times brighter than her room and she blinked many times, groaning as the sun beat at her brain. As she reached the bathroom door it swung open. She blinked again as Oliver stepped out, his hair dripping.
"Mornin'." She said as he stepped sideways to let her in. He laughed.
"Actually Lass, tis almost 2:00."
"In the afternoon?" Hermione asked, her mouth hanging slightly.
"Nah.. At nigh'. Can't ya tell by all tha sun." He made his way back to the twins room.
"Shut-up. My head hurts." She mumbled the last bit, but judging by Oliver's laugh, he had heard.
"Nev'a had a hangover before?"
He turned and looked at her when he reached the twins door. "Seriously?" She nodded. "Ha. It actually doesn't surprise me tha' much, judging as how ya don't like quidditch." Hermione opened her mouth, but before she could speak, Oliver closed the door to the twins room and she was left standing in the hall. She turned and disappeared into the bathroom, anxiously wanting a nice hot shower.
After her shower, Hermione made her way down to the kitchen. No one was around, so she made her way outside, grabbing her book as she went. As she got closer to the orchard, she could see everyone zooming around on brooms. She saw Mrs, Weasley, Fleur, and Penelope sitting under a patch of trees. Angel was crawling around on the blanket in front of them. Fleur looked up as Hermione approached, her hair tied back in a ponytail, which hung to her tanned shoulders. She wore a pink tube top and a pair of shorts.
" 'ermione. 'ow are you?"
"Oh Hermione dear. Nice of you to join us."
"Hi fleur, Mrs. Weasley, Penelope." Hermione yawned slightly as she sat down on the blanket beside Angel.
"Did you have a good sleep?"
"Yea. I don't honestly remember going to bed."
"Ginny said you were completely out of it. You stumbled into the room around two, but by the time she sat up you plopped onto the bed and were sawing logs."
"Oh." Hermione said absentmindedly, looking up at the people flying above them. "Who's winning?" Ron always made sure they kept score.
"Harry, Ron, Katie, Charlie, and George are losing by 20 points so far to Oliver, Alicia, Ginny, Luna, and Fred."
"That's not too bad." Hermione looked up. Harry and Ginny were obviously playing Seekers, Ron and Oliver were guarding the baskets the Weasleys had placed at either end, and Fred and George were beating around a single bludger they had been able to 'obtain' during their time at Hogwarts. Katie, Alicia, Luna, and Charlie were passing the ball between them. Hermione's eyes lingered on Oliver for a split second. His shirt was off, and him, along with everyone else was sweating like a pig in the hot summer sun. There had been absolutely no point in him taking a shower earlier that day. Harry, Ron, Bill, Charlie, Fred, and George were also flying around shirtless, and as Hermione looked at Fleur and Penelope she could tell that they were following them around in the sky.
"Fred says you ran into one of your co-workers last night dear. How did that go?"
Hermione frowned. She had? Oh right! Herb. "Uck." She hadn't meant to say it out loud. It just came out. Fleur and Penelope flinched.
"That bad huh?"
"Yea." I guess. Hermione thought.
"Well, I'm going to head in and make you all some dinner, you and Charlie and Oliver must be hungry, I don't think any of you ate yet." As Mrs. Weasley left, Hermione looked up at Fleur.
"What time did Charlie get in? Or Oliver?"
"Charlie came 'ome zeese morning. I waz up feeding Angel, around seven. Olee-ver I assume came 'ome during ze night. Ze twins," She spat out 'twins', "Zey came about an hour ago weez Katie and Alicia."
"Oh." An uproar went up above them as Harry and Ginny took off after the snitch.
"Come on Harry!" Charlie called, circling around.
"Harry," Ginny called to him as he passed her slightly in the sky. She wasn't far behind, but she knew he had longer arms anyways. "Did I hear correctly this morning that they're starting a Boston Pizza Mobile service?"
"They already have one!" Harry called over his shoulder. "But nice try!" His hand reached for the snitch so…close…
"Maybe we can use it for our wedding?"
"What really?" He pulled his hand back and turned to face her.
"No." She grabbed the snitch and dived towards the ground. Her team cheering and laughing.
"That was mean Gin!"
Within a few minutes, everyone had landed in front of the three observers. "Good game." Hermone said.
Ginny smirked at her as Bill, Fleur, Angel, Penelope, and Charlie made their way up to the Burrow. "Thanks. Where'd mum go?"
"She went to start getting stuff ready for dinner."
"Oh, Oliver. You better go get ready then to help. I brought that pink apron…"
Everyone looked at George confused… except for Fred and Oliver. Hermione looked between them, and then last nights bet flew back into her brain. "Ooh. Does it have the red hearts on it?" Hermione asked laughing.
Everyone looked from George, to Hermione, to Oliver, to Fred, and back.
"Olly lost a bet." Fred said smirking. "He has to help mum cook, and set the table, and do the dishes." Everyone laughed.
"I wouldn't 'ave lost if Granger hadn't of kicked me shin under tha bloody table."
Hermione shrugged innocently, and Fred and George ignored him. "So we'll meet you back here in a little bit Olly. I need a shower." Fred turned to Katie. "Do you mind if I use your shower, 'cause George'll probably hog ours?"
"Not at all." Katie said. With two 'pop's they disappeared.
"That I will. See you guys in a bit. I'll bring you your apron when I come back." With that, George disappeared with a 'pop'. Alicia was right behind him. Everyone else made their way up to fight over who got the shower first.
Hermione was sitting on her bed talking with Luna and Ginny while they each waited for a turn in the shower. Ginny decided to fill Hermione in on her previous night.
"You were soooo trashed when you got home...and actually... you came home around 4:00...4:30. I told Mum 2:00 though. You are afterall the 'good girl'." Ginny said, smirking like she knew something Hermione didn't.
"Let's see you go out to a club with the twins, Sirius, and Charlie and not get trashed."
"Yea, and Wood." Hermione said, rolling her eyes.
"You're lucky he has more sense than my brothers…they would have just left you on the floor probably."
"What?" Hermione's head shot up…"What about the floor?"
"Oliver brought you in here last night. I didn't tell my mum that either. He stubbed his toe and cursed, and you started laughing. That's what woke me up." Hermione blushed a dark shade of red. "Sirius and Charlie went off somewhere with two girls I guess…"
"Yea, I remember them dancing with a couple of girls."
"And Fred and George portkeyed here with you and Wood, but then they left to go see Katie and Alicia. I guess you must have tripped or something, so he ended up having to carry you. Said he was gonna throw you on the couch, but Remus and Tonks stayed here last night, each were sound asleep on one of the couches. So he brought you up here."
Hermione's face darkened again. "I didn't throw up on him or anything did I?"
"Not that I know of. But he did say something about you wrenching by the back door. He must have cleaned it up."
Hermione's face was as red as it could possibly go as Ginny continued smirking.
"But anyways, he brought you up here, and stubbed his toe in the process. Then threw you onto your bed and left. OH! And when you saw me awake, he was still holding you then, you waved to me, and you smacked him in the face, that's why he just sort of threw you onto the bed."
Apparently Hermione's face could go redder.
"And you were out as soon as your head hit the pillow. After telling him he had a funny last name." Ginny smirked as her story ended.
"Oh…my…God…" Hermione rose slowly as Ron opened the door. "I'm going to kill Fred and George for leaving like that."
"Shower's free." Ron said, looking worriedly at Hermione. Ginny and Hermione left the room and they heard Ron turn to Luna. "What's wrong with her?"
"Nothing Ron!" Hermione snapped as Ginny turned into the washroom. As she reached the bottom of the stairs, Hermione looked into the kitchen. Charlie, Tonks, Remus, Sirius, and Mad-Eye looked up at her, all smirking.
"Wotcher Hermione. Long night for you? You sure slept late."
"Yea. And I was abandoned when I got home."
"Hey don't look at us." Charlie said defensively. "Fred and George said they'd take care of you."
"Well they didn't." Hermione spat out, plopping down in an empty chair. "They got me home, but then they went to see Katie and Alicia. Ginny said Oliver ended up carrying me upstairs because I passed out, or tripped, or something… and would have ended up spending the night on the kitchen floor." The table burst out laughing and Hermione was reminded of Herb. "And Sirius, next time someone comes up to me like Herb did. PLEASE don't let me go with him."
Sirius laughed again. "Deal. Next time, no Prince Charmings."
Judging by the smirks on everyone's face, Sirius had filled them all in on her 'Prince Charming' story. "Yea well, there's not going to be a next time."
"Uh huh." Sirius laughed out. "Sure there will be. I just got to watch out who I take home next time. I couldn't get Cindy to leave my bloody place."
"I thought I had Cindy last night?" Chalie asked looking up.
"No. You went with Sophie, or Sonny, or Sophia…something like that."
"Oh…maybe that's why she didn't mind me leaving last night." Charlie shrugged it off and they all turned back to Hermione.
"What's this I hear," Mad-Eye asked, both eyes turned on Hermione. "You were accepting drinks from someone you didn't know."
Hermione blushed slightly. "I watched as the barkeep made them. Don't worry."
"Mhmm. You know you shouldn't accept drinks from-"
"Oh Alastor, lighten up. She was at a club for petes sake."
"Don't call me that."
"You know just as well as any of us-"
"What are you two yelling about now?" Mrs. Weasley asked as she made her way into the Dining Room. Hermione caught a glimpse of pink behind her and she had to smirk.
"I'll be right back." Hermione left the table and pushed the door open to the kitchen. She leaned against it when it closed and smirked at Oliver. "I think the pink suits you." He glared at her. "Aw come on it can't be that bad." The pot on the stove hissed and Oliver leapt at it, pulling the lid off as it started to boil over.
"Do you need some help?" Hermione asked, noticing that the forgotten knife was chopping the carrots smaller than usual. At this rate they'd be powder in a few minutes. She waved her wand at the carrots.
"Thanks." Oliver mumbled.
"I owe you. Ginny said you made sure I got up to bed last night. Sorry for smacking you."
"Aye, ya just missed me eye." He smirked at her slightly to show he wasn't mad. "If ya had hit it, I couldn't 'ave played quidditch fer a while. Not tha' it matters, ya.00
don't like quidditch anyways."
Hermione opened her mouth to reply, but at that moment a timer went off and Molly pushed back into the kitchen, nudging Hermione as she went. "Sorry dear, I didn't know you were standing there. Oliver, once the timer goes off you take the pork chops out of the oven and make sure they're cooked. Then you can start mixing together the salad…"
Hermione slipped out of the kitchen just as the twins came through the back door with Katie and Alicia. Everyone else was already in the kitchen, all wanting to see Oliver set the table in his pink, hearted apron. Hermione sent the twins a glare before sitting down. Molly and Oliver were now bringing the dishes out. Everyone was laughing as Oliver set their dish down. He laughed along with everyone, except for the twins, who pulled out a camera and quickly took a picture. He pulled at the apron to get it off.
"Oh come off it Wood, don't be a wuss." Hermione said smirking. He glared at her again but left the apron on.
Hermione looked around the table again that night after the whole Weasley family, Hermione, Harry, Luna, Oliver, Mad-Eye, Sirius, Remus, and Tonks began to eat. Hermione found herself once again between Sirius, and the twins. Only this time, Oliver sat across from her, between Bill and Charlie. Mad-Eye was to Charlies left. Mrs. Weasley was in her usual seat, glancing around at everyone as Percy filled her in on some news from the Ministry. She smiled and nodded, suddenly she caught a glimpse of Hermione. Percy's conversation forgot, she turned to the brunette.
"Oh Hermione dear," She spoke casually, but the whole table smirked knowingly with the exception of Hermione, who frowned, and Oliver, who was completely oblivious.
"At the supermarket yesterday, I ran into Mrs. Sanders. She says that her son Wayne works at the Ministry. In the Law Department. He's supposed to be a very intelligent young man."
"Careful zat 'e eez not younger zen 'er. Because according to ze twins, zat eez not allowed." Fleur glared at the two redheads across from her, and Oliver looked up from his meal at them. They were smirking.
He looked at Hermione who was stuffing her fork into a piece of pork with force, while she spoke, not looking up at Mrs. Weasley. "I went out with him about two months ago. It didn't really work out."
"Oh." Mrs. Weasleys face fell. "Well, we'll find you someone dear." Hermione flinched visibly at this, the only one's not noticing were Mrs. Weasley, Percy, Penelope, and Ron.
"It's alright Mrs. Weasley… really."
"Nonsense dear. I don't see why someone as kind, intelligent, and pretty as you isn't with someone."
Mad-Eye, Fleur, Bill, Oliver, Charlie, Sirius, Fred, and George all looked at Hermione as her eyes watered slightly and she busied herself with her potatoes.
"Percy. Isn't there someone at the Ministry that Hermione would like…"
"Mum, we've been through half the Ministry." Percy mumbled.
"Surely there's someone. What about that nice young man you worked with before. Martin something…"
"She went out with him once already."
"What about Diggory's nephew. Dan?"
"She went out with him too." Percy reached for the gravy and poured it on his potatoes as he spoke.
"What about Penelope's cousin A-"
"He took her to dinner, but they both said it didn't work out." Penelope substituted for her husband.
"Oh. What about the Fergus boy? He works in the Misuse of Magic Department too doesn't he?"
"Already went with him." Percy said.
"What about the Minister's second Deputy, what was his name…?"
"Rick. Been there. Same with my friend Luke that you suggested last time." At this point Percy sent Hermione a look of upset, but he turned back to his wife to make sure she was eating.
Mrs. Weasley sighed. "Do you know anyone in the auror department?" She looked from Harry, to Ron, to Tonks, to Mad-Eye, and back again, as she spoke.
"Not Hermione's type."
Hermione looked up now, still red in the face, but no longer interested in her pile of mashed potatoes, which she had taken a liking to ever since Percy had started ticking off the many different co-workers Hermione had tried to date. She turned her attention to Ron, her temper flaring.
"What's that supposed to mean Ronald!?"
"I'm just saying. The Aurours, we're a bit more, rebellious then you're used to. The guys you date…that you get along with, tend to be more…" He struggled hard for a word, but it was too long for Hermione's liking. "Laid back and book-smart."
Sirius snorted into his drink, and Charlie quickly adverted his gaze so that Hermione couldn't see him laughing. Hermione was red in the face, both from blushing, but also from furry. She glared daggers at Ron, who shrunk slightly in his seat, recognizing his mistake.
"So I'm boring now, am I Ron?"
"I didn't say th-"
"I only date boring guys?"
"I didn't mean it like th-"
"Must I remind you I went out with you back in seventh year once. So in turn you're calling yourself boring."
"I never said-"
"Hermione, you do tend to date… guys…that…" Bill tried to back up his brother, but he trailed off as Hermione, his wife, his mother, and his sister all glared at him.
Hermione caught Oliver looking at her oddly, but her head snapped back in Ron's direction. "Maybe I just haven't found that one." Even as she said it, it sounded stupid to her. Suddenly she lost her appetite. "Look Mrs. Weasley. I appreciate your concern, and I don't want to sound rude, but I can find a guy on my own, perfectly fine."
"That's not completely true." Fred dared to say. Hermione's head snapped in his direction.
"Yea," continued George. "I mean, look at the guy who ran into you at the bar last night. With the slicked back hair and grandpa-glasses…HERB."
"And Remember Joseph."
"And Antonio, from Flourish and Blotts."
"And David. Who volunteered at Olivanders."
"And Steven." Sirius added. "Ooh. And that boy from Hogwarts, he ended up working in the plant growth department in St. Mungos. E something…"
"Ernie." Harry and Ron said in unison.
Hermione slammed her hands down on the table. "I'm going to bed." She rose without another word and stormed up the stairs. The twins looked from her retreating back, across the table to Oliver, at each other, and then back at Oliver.
Hermione could hear Mrs. Weasley as she rushed up the stairs to her room. "Hermione dear…How could you say that to her Ronald!" Hermione closed the door and plopped down on her bed crying. Later that night, when someone looked in on her, she pretended to sleep, and the same when Ginny and Luna came to bed.
"Hermione…" The redhead whispered as she sat down on her bed. No one answered, and Ginny soon rolled over and went to sleep.
It was late, but Hermione was sure that both Luna and Ginny were sleeping. She crept out of bed and made her way down to the dark kitchen. She was starving. She pulled a box of cereal out of the cupboard, glancing around the kitchen. It was a little stuffy in the house, so Hermione crept out the door. She went and laid down on the grass and looked up at the stars, humming softly. She crunched on a bit of cereal, and then softly started to sing.
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star...
Your dreams... come... true
"Tha's very nice Lass." Hermione jumped and wheeled around. Oliver was leaning on his broom watching her. Hermione was suddenly thankful it was dark out, because she suddenly turned bright red.
"Thanks. It's from a movie I watched when I was younger…"
"It's…it's like a bunch of moving pictures put together that tell a story."
Oliver nodded. "It's nice."
"Yea, they sing it better in the movie…um, what are you doing up this late?"
"I was gonna ask ya the same thin'."
"Fine, I was hungry, and it was stuffy inside, so I came out here. Your turn."
He gestured at his broom and outfit. "Came out fer a fly." Hermione looked over his outfit. He wore a pair of baggy shorts and a large Navy-Blue sweater that bore the words, Puddlemere United on the front in gold. As he walked past, Hermione saw Wood written across his lower back. Suddenly, she was very aware of the short-shorts and tank top she had wore to bed.
"Do you mind if I come watch?" Hermione asked. He turned to her with a slightly curious look.
"If ya want ta I guess."
She followed him out to the Orchard where he quickly took off. He wove his way in and out of a few trees, and for moments, Hermione couldn't see him because of the dark. He suddenly flew down and landed in front of her.
"Hey, d'ya mind jinxin' a few balls ta fly at tha baskets fer me? I need ta get some practise in while I'm here, an' tha games are usually too funny ta concentrate."
"Sure." Hermione pulled herself up and made her way towards one of the sets of baskets. Oliver passed her the quaffle that had been used in the day's earlier game. She waved her wand and sent the quaffle zooming at the net. He reflected them easily, hitting some with his broom, and catching others. Hermione waved her wand and sent them at him faster. He was really good. He didn't miss very many.
"Thanks fer this Hermione," He called as he hit the quaffle and sent it flying back at her. She jumped up and caught it. "Nice catch."
"But really, I know ya don' like quidditch, so thanks fer helpin'."
"Enough!" Hermione said. Sending the quaffle flying as hard as she could, he missed it and it went straight into the basket. He looked from the falling ball, back tot he witch on the ground, a shocked expression on his face. "I never said I didn't like quidditch. I don't like flying. But I love quidditch! And I know you of all people will argue with Ron that quidditch and flying aren't the same. Sure they're similar but they are not the same. I love quidditch. I've grown up at Hogwarts watching quidditch. Sure I don't grab the paper every morning and check the stats, but I can't do that because someone else always grabs it first. I like quidditch. Honestly, I love both the Holyhead Harpies, and Puddlemere. I think the cannons suck, but I support them none-the-less because they are the first professional team I really knew about. I know how to keep score, and I know what a foul looks like. I get mad when the ref doesn't call a foul, and when I go to games I wear supporting colours. I love watching everyone when they're playing for fun because no one ever takes me to a game anymore. I can give you the whole history on quidditch because I've read 'Quidditch Through the Ages' so many times. I get ticked off every time someone says I don't like quidditch because whenever I go to tell someone that I do in fact like quidditch, someone else interrupts. I love quidditch. It's flying I don't like. And I'm sorry I'm rambling but I have to make this clear to at least one person!" She took a deep breath and looked at Oliver who had landed in front of her during her rant.
"Puddlemere's way better than tha Holyheads will ev'a be." He stated and he smirked when she started to laugh, falling back onto the grass and grabbing her box of cereal.
"I'm sure you guys are." He lowered himself down beside her and she offered him some cereal, which he took greedily.
"Mrs. Weasley took all our dishes soon as ya left. She was mad at wha' Ron said."
"Well he's a prat. I think he was going to apologize to me, but when he looked in my room I pretended I was sleeping."
"Oh…yea…um, tha' was actually…me." Oliver said looking up at the sky as Hermione turned to him.
"I wanted ta make sure ya were ok. Everyone else was too afraid ya'd curse their butts off." They chuckled lightly. "Tha', an' I still had tha bloody apron on, so I figured I would 'ave cheered ya up a bit."
"Yea, no problem."
She was quiet for a minute. "They're a bunch of wusses. I probably would have cursed some of their butts off, but they could have at least tried. Thank-you for not being a wuss."
"Nah problem." He laughed out, looking at her suspiciously. He jumped up suddenly and pulled her up with him. "C'mon."
"What? Where?" She started walking as he dragged her slightly further onto the orchard.
"Flyin'. I'm gonna take ya flyin'. An' then one day ya can go show tha others ya like quidditch an' they can stop buggin' ya."
"But I don't like flying…"
"Come off it Granger, don' be a wuss." He mimicked her earlier words.
"I'm not, and I'm sorry, but I will not go flying…"
"Hey, this is a once in a lifetime offer, gettin' ta fly with a world famous quidditch player…"
"Krum already offered to take me flying. And I told him the same thing I'm telling you now, I'll pass."
"Tha's it. Tha's what ya said ta him. an' he just gave up?"
"Well I'm a Gryffindor, I'm not givin' up tha' easy. An' ya're a Gryffindor too, so suck up some of tha' courage an quit bein' a wuss."
"I'm not being a wuss…"
"Then ge' on the broom."
"C'mon, I'll stay low, just above tha ground. An' I won't go fast. Now ge' on."
"No. I will not-"
"Ge'. On." Without waiting for her to say more he pulled up beside her and tugged her hand again.
"Come on, I'm goin' ta keep buggin' ya til ya ge' on."
She sighed exasperated, "Promise you'll stay low."
"Promise." She climbed on behind him and wrapped her hands tightly around his waist, clinging on for dear life. "Hermione, we haven' even left tha ground yet." He laughed, kicking his feet slightly so he was up off the ground. She tightened her grip.
"Are you sure it's safe with two of us on here? I mean, can it hold us both."
"I don' know, we'll find out won't we."
"Kiddin'. Yes it will hold us." He picked up a bit of speed and started doing laps around the Orchard. Her arms were wrapped tightly around him and she clung onto the fabric of his sweater. Her cheek was resting against his back. She shivered slightly as the wind whipped against her arms.
"You're lucky I'm letting you take me flying. You're like the second to last person I trust in this house."
"Lucky me. Le' me guess, tha twins are tha last people ya trust?"
"Yea. I make sure Ginny's door is locked at night because I'm afraid they might sneak in and draw moustaches and glasses on all of us."
Oliver laughed and Hermione could feel the vibration in his back and chest. She shivered again, loosening her grip slightly.
"Ya doing ok?"
"Alrighty, I'm takin' us a bit higher than."
"Wait, what?" She tightened her grip again. Oliver looked down and saw her knuckles were white from holding on.
"Ya won' fall…"
"What if I slide backwards while you're going up?" Oliver was quiet. "Oliver?"
"Goin' down." She felt herself slide forward slightly and push up against him as he brought them back to the ground. It took maybe, three seconds. He jumped off the broom, but held it up, just off the ground so she couldn't get off right away. "Slide up."
"Slide up furth'a on tha broom, ya're too far back." She slid up a bit. "Furth'a."
"You won't have room to sit if I go any further." She pulled herself slightly further up the broom. "You know what, just let me off here, that was fine."
"Nice try." He threw his leg over the broom and sat down behind her. "Now ya won' slide off." He put his arms under hers and gripped the broom just ahead of where she sat. "Ya might still want ta hold onta tha broom." He said, kicking off slightly and raising into the air. He started doing laps again to get them both used to the new position.
"Ok, now surely this can't be safe."
"I don' know, I've nev'a done this before."
"Stop saying stufff like that, it's not funny."
"Nah really, I'm not kiddin' this time."
"Aye! Tha's my name, ok hold on…"
"Goin' up." He tipped the broom to face the sky above them and Hermione felt herself slide back slightly. Oliver didn't seem to move. As they climbed higher Hermione's back pushed against Oliver's chest, she tried holding onto the broom, but she hardly had room to hold. She started to panic.
"I have nowhere to hold on. I'll fall. Then what? Time to go down now." Oliver released the broom with one hand. "What are you doing? Hold onto the broom! Don't let go! Oliver!" He took her one hand and brought it back so she could cling to his shirt from the front. He did the same with her other hand, then placed his hand back on the broom, squeezing his elbows together to keep her in place.
"Hold on like ya did before. Now ya won' fall." He felt her cling tighter and he smirked slightly. They flew around for a while, then Hermione shivered again as she felt Oliver's breath against her ear. "Mind if we go a li'l faster?"
She took in a deep breath but nodded. She didn't even realize as the broom picked up speed. Oliver zigzagged them through the sky for a while longer, then he turned and tipped the broom forward slightly. Hermione's grip tightened. As they descended from the air, Oliver wrapped his left arm around her waist holding her in place against him. He landed softly on the ground and let Hermione slip off before following suit. She wrapped him in a hug.
"Thank-you." She said smiling up at him.
"Told ya it was fun." He laughed out. He then pulled his sweater off and tossed it to her. "Ya have goose bumps."
She pulled the sweater on, still smiling, and went to get the box of cereal from under the tree. They walked back to the house together, and slipped inside. Hermione checked the clock.
"Oh my gosh, I can't believe it's 4:00. We were out there for so long."
"Aye. We bett'a head upstairs before people star' wakin' up, plus…" Oliver yawned. "I need some sleep yet."
"Yea, me too." They parted at Ginny's door, but before Oliver opened the twins bedroom door, he turned back to Hermione.
"Same time tomorrow nigh'?" He quirked an eyebrow at her questioningly.
She blushed slightly smiling. "Sure."
Hermione made her way downstairs the next morning for breakfast and found half the table empty. She sat down beside Luna and across from the twins, watching Fleur wrestle to get Angel in her highchair.
"Come on Angel-eeca. Be a good girl for mommy pleaze?" Fleur sighed and looked up at Mrs. Weasley who brought a plate of bacon into the dining room. "She 'as been up since 5:30 zeese morning."
Mrs. Weasley placed the dish on the table between Hermione and the twins, smiling at the brunette and then going over to help Fleur. "I think she's teething Fleur dear." Hermione looked up at the twins and caught them smirking at her.
"How was your night Hermione?" One asked as Sirius appeared in the fireplace.
"Did you have a good sleep?" The other added, patting the seat beside him for Sirius.
Hermione felt her cheeks flush slightly but she shrugged. "It was alright. How was your night?"
"Long. I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep." One said smirking at her again. This time she blushed and looked down at her toast to butter it.
"That's too bad."
Sirius plopped into the seat beside the twins and grabbed a piece of bacon of the nearby plate. "Morning y'all!" He called enthusiastically. "How's everyone this fine morning?"
Everyone mumbled a 'good', and Fleur and Mrs. Weasley both shrieked slightly as Angel slapped her hand into her bowl of baby food and it splattered across them all.
"Angel-eeka!" Fleur scolded laughing slightly. "Look at you now." She smiled and picked up her daughter. Bill suddenly rushed down the stairs.
"Fleur! Have you seen my other shirt? I can't find it. Are you sure you packed it?"
"Oui. Eet eez zere."
"Are you sure? I can't find it!"
"Qui." Fleur said sighing. " 'ermione, would you mind watching Angel for me pleaze?"
"Sure Fleur." Hermione smiled and took the toddler from her mother as the twins leant in to whisper with Sirius.
"I 'ave to do everyzing for you don't I?" She mumbled, leading her husband upstairs. "'ello Oliver."
Oliver came into the kitchen as Hermione bounced Angel in her arms. She smiled at him as their eyes met. Looking back at the table she saw the twins and Sirius smirking at her. She rolled her eyes.
Ginny appeared at the bottom of the steps moments later. "ARGH! Make him stop!" She called out to no one in particular. Hermione decided to answer.
"Make who stop what…?"
"Harry! Make Harry stop…!"
"Gin come on. It's brilliant!!"
"No it's not. Tell Hermione, and everyone else, your idea."
Harry turned to Hermione enthusiastically. "Hermione! It's brilliant! For the wedding. I told Ginny, to save her mum some work, we can…get this…get it catered by…"
"Oh no." Hermione said.
"BOSTON PIZZA!" Harry's arms flew out and he stood there holding his arms in the hair smiling. Everyone else laughed, except for Hermione and Ginny. Gionny was pointing at her fiancée and looking at Hermione as if to say, 'see…see what I'm talking about'.
"Oh Harry…"Hermione whispered, holding back her smile. "Harry dear…no. That's just…just no."
He started to pout. "But it would be so perfect." He whined. Ginny smirked at him.
"You heard Hermione. And I'm not getting my wedding catered by Boston Pizza."
"No." She said. They both sat down, Ginny looking smug, and Harry pouting.
This was going to be a long day. She looked over and saw the twins and Oliver arguing quietly about something, he glanced quickly at her then turned his eyes back to the twins. This was going to be a very long day.
Hermione met Oliver at the Orchard every night around 1:00 for the next week. He'd take her flying, and she eventually wouldn't cling to him for dear life. She trusted him. Before she knew it, the week had come to an end, and everyone was once again gathered at the burrow, only this time, they were preparing to leave.
"How about one last game of quidditch before we all split?" Fred challenged, they all agreed as they sat down for their meal, talking with those they wouldn't see for a while. Hermione once again felt a little left out, but Oliver started talking and she turned her attention to listen to him, catching his eye. They both smiled.
After dinner, as Mr. and Mrs. Weasley cleared up the dishes and leftovers, everyone else went out to the quidditch pitch. They picked teams for a quidditch game as Fleur, Penelope, Percy, Mad-Eye, and Hermione settled into the grass. Fred went first, then George.
"Ahh…umm…I dunno, let's see, aw…do I have to…I guess, but do I want to…no… oh heck, why not. Ron"
"That's everyone!" Fred said cheerfully. "Ok, my team. Harry, seeker obviously. Sirius and I will be beaters. Remus, Charlie, Luna, and Katie – chasers. And Bill you can be Keeper, like your old days at Hogwarts." They all nodded.
George turned to his team as Ron frowned. "Ginny, seeker. Kingsley and me will beat. Tonks, Alicia, and Ron will be chasers, and Oliver, obviously, is Keeper... What's wrong Ron?" George asked as he looked annoyingly at his brother.
"I've never played chaser. I've only ever played keeper."
"Well there's a first for everything."
"I can play chas'a I guess. I've had practise as one. We have ta give tha substitute time ta practise in front of tha hoops."
"There ya go Roniekins. Olly'll let you play keeper. But hey, the teams are unfair still. You have an extra player."
"Luna can go with Katie on her broom and it'll be equal flyers." Ginny said.
"That's still not fair." George looked around and caught Hermione's eye. She sunk deeper into the grass. "Hermione. Get on we can have equal teams that way." He smirked at her knowingly and for a brief moment she caught Oliver's eyes.
"Hermione doesn't fly." Ron said. "She doesn't like quidditch either."
Hermione's tempered flared slightly but as she went to say something, she was cut off again…by Oliver.
"I don' ev'a remember her sayin' tha' she doesn' like quidditch. She said she doesn' like flyin' but nev'a quidditch."
"Well you have to fly to play quidditch." Ron said annoyed.
"Alrigh', Granger ge' on. It's safe, and I'm a professional, I know how ta fly."
"But…" Hermione faltered. Partly because she didn't want to seem to eager in front of her friends, but also because she wasn't sure if she wanted to fly in front of all her friends either.
"C'mon. Be a Gryffindor." He taunted.
"Go on Hermione." Ginny piped in. She was the only one Hermione had told about her late night flying lessons, so she tried giving Hermione the urge to go for it.
"Hermione won't. She's too scared." Sirius said, and Hermione could tell by the look on his face he knew of her 'secret' too. This was his way of making it look like she did it out of spite, but she secretly thanked him, and he sent her a wink.
"Fine." Hermione walked up to Oliver as Ron almost fell off his broom.
"But you don't like quidditch!" Ron whined.
"Whatever, same thing." Oliver turned on Ron now. Hermione had been right. Flying and Quidditch were not the same, and he'd fight with anyone who said other wise.
"Tha only similarity between flyin' and quidditch is tha' they both use a broom. Ta play quidditch ya need quick reflexes, cunnin', an' fast speed. Ta fly, ya need ta be able ta ge' yarself off tha ground an' back without killin' yarself. Ta like quidditch, all ya need is a small sense of adventure or excitement. Anyone can like quidditch…but not neccasarily have to like flyin'." As Oliver took a breath Fred cut in.
"Ok, Olly, we'd like to play before everyone leaves, so if Hermione could get on your bloody broom today, we'd all appreciate it."
Hermione climbed onto Olivers broom and he paused as everyone mounted. "Ya want ta steer or pass tha ball?" He knew her answer, but everyone else didn't.
"Then ya take tha front." The twins' smirks, along with Sirius' and Ginny's, grew as Oliver slipped on the broom behind her.
He kicked off and she slid back against his chest. She bit her bottom lip so she wouldn't beam as much as she wanted to. He flew around the Orchard a bit to get her used to it like he did every night, and he could see Ginny, Sirius, Fred, and George smirk. They stopped beside Harry and waited for everyone else to get in place. Harry hadn't seemed to notice that Hermione was sitting on a broom beside him.
"Harry." She called.
"Hermione! What are you doing up here?"
"I…Oliver said...you didn't just see all that…?" She pointed to where they had originally stood.
"No, I was thinking…what do you think I'd have to do to convince Gin to let Boston Pizza cater the wedding?"
"Potter, as ya previous captain, take my advice…give it up." He squeezed Hermione ribs slightly to let her know he was going to take off, and she gripped the broom tighter as he sped off after the newly released quaffle. Oliver ducked down and zoomed under Tonks, who had just got the quaffle off of Remus with a smirk as the werewolf blushed. She dropped it down and Oliver reached out to catch it since Hermione hadn't moved her hands off the broomstick. "Take it." He said as he turned the broom to face Bill. She shook her head. "I won't let ya fall." He whispered in her ear as Katie and Charlie both zoomed at them. "I promise." He pushed his cheek against her ear and squeezed her ribs with his elbows tighter. He didn't know why he did it, but it seemed to work. She jerked her hands off the broom and took the quaffle off Oliver. "Cross yar ankles an' keep yar knees togeth'a like I told ya." He whispered, picking up speed, now that he had both hands on the broom.
As he neared the baskets he squeezed her ribs again. "Give it all tha power ya have, I won' le' go." He brought his one hand up to hold her around the waist and she swung her arm back, throwing the quaffle with as much force as she could muster. Bill cursed as the ball passed his outstretched fingers. Hermione's teamed cheered."
"Alright 'ermione!" She heard Fleur and Penelope and Mad-Eye cheering from down below. Ginny was laughing as Ron looked completely dumbfounded at the other end of the orchard, but happy none-the-less. Harry laughed shaking his head, then turning back to find the snitch. She was thrilled. The twins both cheered for her, and even though he wasn't on her team, Sirius gave her a thumbs up.
"Nice throw. It wasn' tha' hard was it?" She shivered as Oliver whispered in her ear again.
"Of course not. I can do everything." He saw the side of her smirk and laughed slightly. "But I must admit," She added, "I had a good coach." It was Oliver's turn to smirk.
She scored a few more time before, once again, Ginny caught the snitch, ending the game 250 – 80. Everyone had got at least one basket, and they were all in a good mood as they gathered their bags back at the entrance to the Burrow.
After saying good bye to Fleur and Bill, and kissing Angel on the forehead, Hermione called Oliver to the side.
"Thanks again for the lessons." She said cheerfully.
"Nah problem, really." He smiled down at her.
She fidgeted slightly. "I… I was wondering. The Ministry is having this big party for all of the Heads of Departments. We're all allowed to invite whoever we want. And it's mainly for Arietta, the new head of Muggle Artifacts, and me, because we were just promoted not too long ago. They want to make it official, awards, speeches, and stuff. I…I was wondering, I know you're busy and all…but, would you like to come? I'd really like to have you there."
"I'll be there." Oliver said. She smiled joyfully up at him. "I'd love ta be there. I'll be tha one standin' out, and cheerin' when they make yar promotion final."
"Are you sure. They'll be people their from the Daily Prophet so you can probably get your head in the paper for that, and I'm sure they'll be some people wanting your name scribbled on their stomachs." She smirked and he only rolled his eyes.
"When an' where?"
"It's at that new hall that opened up down the street from the Ministry. 'The Underground Undenyable." She laughed at the name. "Next Friday, six thirty." His face fell.
"I have a game… at six."
"Oh." She felt tears swell up in her eyes and she blinked to hold them back. Why was she so emotional for this? It's not like they were best friends. Her 'family' would all be there. Both real and 'adopted'.
"I'm really sorry Hermione."
"It's ok, honest."
"Don't worry about it." She smiled at him. "Just promise you'll stop by and visit me when you're not preoccupied with quidditch."
"Good, So I can expect to see you…what…twice a year then? Or maybe only once?"
He laughed. "I'll see if I can fi' it in, because I was only thinkin' once or twice ov'a tha next two years." He really did feel bad about missing her promotion dinner. There was something in her eyes that disappeared when he told her he couldn't make it. But really, it was quidditch…
"Well, I'll see you around then." She said giving him a hug.
"Aye, see ya." He got a glint in his eye that Hermione didn't recognize, but he quickly turned to say good-bye to the smirking twins. Hermione watched the three immerse in an intense conversation before going to say goodbye to Mrs. Weasley.
"Oh dear, so good to have you here. And I really am sorry for any trouble any of us might have caused."
Hermione smiled slightly as she heard the faint 'pop's in the background. "You know what Mrs. Weasley, it's perfectly alright."
"Congratulations again Arietta, our new head of the Muggle Artifacts Department." Arietta beamed and made her way back to her seat beside Hermione. Hermione looked at the front two rows and smiled at the familiar faces. Mr and Mrs. Weasley sat on the end of the aisle, beside them was Hermione's parents. Then Harry and Ron, Front and centre, smiling at their best friend. Ginny sat beside her brother, and Luna beside her. Fred and George were on the end of the aisle. These two kept looking behind them, down the aisle, but when the Minister went to call out Hermione's name, Fred called out. "YEA Go Arietta!"
"Now go Hermione!"
Some people snickered, Ginny and Mrs. Weasley both glared. Fleur, who was sitting behind Fred, scowled as Angel started to cry, waking up from her nap. Her and Bill hurriedly tried to shush their daughter. Apologizing to the Minister and everyone else. Penelope leaned over from her aisle seat beside Fleur to help the blonde. Beside Bill, Charlie, Sirius, Remus, and Tonks laughed slightly. Mad-Eye smirked up at Hermione and rolled his one good eye. Now Hermione had to stop herself from laughing. You haven't seen funny, until you see Mad-Eye roll his one eye. Kingsley sat beside him, and on his other side sat Professor Dumbledore, a twinkle in his eye, and Professor McGonagal. Hagrid sat at the back of the room, beaming proudly. Percy was up on the platform beside the Minister's chair, looking important. After a couple minutes, Fleur had calmed Angel down and the Minister continued.
"Yes, thank-you for that. Now, as most of you know, our Head of the Misuse of Magic Department has recently retired. In his place, we have decided, upon much consideration, to promote Miss. Hermione Granger as our new Head." The audience broke out into applause, and Hermione could hear Fred, George, Harry, Ron, Sirius, and Ginny whooping and hollering as she made her way up to stand beside the Minister. Hermione smiled at the room as the Minister continued. "Hermione is an extremely hard worker. She always does her best to make sure her work is completed on time; in fact, many times it is finished early. Even during her days at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she graduated top of her class as Head Girl, Hermione always met her deadlines early…" As he continued, Hermione gasped silently. She looked at the door and her eyes met the dark brown ones staring back at her. Her smile grew and he smirked right back at her. He jerked his head sideways and she realized the Minister had just finished up his speech. "So, I'm proud to pronounce Miss. Hermione Granger our new Head of the Misuse of Magic Department." Once again everyone applauded and Hermione could hear the overloud voice coming from the back of the room. Her smile grew as she stepped up to say her small speech.
"Thank you Minister. First off, I would like to thank all of you…"she paused, her eyes locking with the dark ones at the back, and then sweeping over her family in the front. "For coming out tonight to help me celebrate. I'll keep it short, as I'm sure you're all anxious to get to the meal portion." A collective laugh went up, and she continued, speaking about what changes she palnned to make, and what regulations she believed to be the most important. As she promised, her speech was short, and before long the Minister had returned to the microphone.
"Once again. Congratulations Hermione on making Head of the Misuse of Magic Department. We know you'll do a good job. As will Arietta." Everyone one applauded again and Hermione heard the distinctive hollering from the back. She saw Mad-Eyes' eye turn in the direction of the sound, and Fred, George, and Ginny all turned to look. Everyone else continued applauding. "Now, as Hermione mentioned, I'm sure you'll all anxious to get on with the meal…"He waved his wand and the tables behind him filled with plates and food. "So enjoy."
Everyone rose at the same time and Hermione dashed off the platform. Mrs. Weasley and the rest of the family stopped her, all of them hugging and congratulating her. Percy came down from the platform and patted her on the back nodding approvingly to her. Fred and George were the last to hug her as everyone else made their way around the room. Harry, Ginny, Luna, and Ron went to talk to Hagrid who was sitting at the back of the room.
"You knew he was coming." Hermione hissed at the twins as they smirked and started making their way down the aisle to the back doors.
"Of course! Do you know how hard it is to delay stuff like this?"
"But I think we did a pretty good job." Hermione smiled at them, unconsciously flattening out her skirt that she had wore. Her hair was tied back in a fancy bun and her shoulders were bare, but for the straps of her black sequin lined tank top. She sped up as she spotted Oliver leaning against the doorframe. His navy quidditch uniform was splattered with a few drops of dried mud, and his hair was a tangled mess from the wind and rain that was occurring outside. She rushed up to him and flung her arms around his neck. Her stomach flipping slightly. She didn't know why she was so happy to see him here, but she was.
"What are you doing here?"
"Mah game was put on hold. A big fight broke out." He smirked and she raised an eyebrow at him, pulling back slightly.
"And did you have something to do with it?"
"Of course no'."
"I mean I may 'ave told tha Arrows two chasa's tha' our chasa's, two of which are really good friends of mine, an' knew wha' I was doin'… were sayin' tha Arrows all looked like trolls. An' I may have cashed in a few favours wit' our beata's. I helped tha one make the team…and tha other needed some…advice, once. So…no not really, I had nothin' ta do wit it…directly."
She laughed and hugged him again as Fred and George came up behind him. Hermione caught his eye, her hands still around his neck, and his still around her waist. She blushed slightly and he smiled.
"Olly!" Fred said. The two broke apart and turned to the twins.
"Took you long enough mate to get here."
"Sorry, I was kinda in tha middle of a quidditch game. Which reminds meh." He turned back to Hermione. "Congratulations Hermione. An' tha' was a great speech..."
"Thanks." She smiled.
"But I really have ta ge' back though before mah coach starts ta freak." He sent her an apologetic look. "If tha game finishes soon, I'll try ta make it back…"
"Can I come with you? Please." She didn't know what made her ask. But she wanted to go. It was just dinner she would miss anyways.
"Wha' about this?" He asked, a small smile slipping onto his face.
"It's just a dinner. The important parts over…"
"It's rainin' out."
He looked at her for a minute before smiling. "C'mon." He grabbed her hand and dragged her out of the hall.
"Uh, we're coming too." The twins said as they caught up to the two.
"No offence Hermione, but this is awfully boring now."
As they left the hall and went to portkey out of the hall, Hermione spotted her friends leaving Hagrid.
"Can you hold on just a second?" Hermione asked.
Oliver looked at her and frowned. "Aye, hurry though."
She dashed over to her friends and cut them off as she went to speak. "Look, can you guys cover for me when someone starts looking for me…please?" she looked mainly at Ginny who nodded.
"Where're you going?"
"To the end of Oliver's game." Hermione said pointed over her shoulder. They all looked at the twins and Oliver, who looked extremely out of place in his mud splattered uniform. "I don't think I'm just supposed to disappear though."
"Yea, but when you come back, do you think you can stop at Boston Pizza and grab some real food for me…please?"
"Ignore him." Ginny said rolling her eyes at Harry as Hermione dashed back to the three waiting men."We got it covered. But now you HAVE to go with me within the next month to pick out bridesmaids dresses!!!"
"I will...Thanks guys." She called before feeling the familiar tug. Suddenly she was getting beat by the cold pounding rain, and the sound of people shouting caught her ears. The twins pulled their hoods over their head and muttered a quick water repellent charm at each other.
"WOOD!" They all turned as a short stocky man hurried over to them. His face was red and he was soaked to the bone. "Where the bloody hell did you go!? When the fight broke out, you disappeared. I was able to call a quick time out for now, but it's almost over. You better have a good reason for disappearing like that!"
A bell sounded, signalling the end of the time out.Hermione looked around as the navy dressed team pushed off the ground. One of them smirking at Oliver, the skin around his eye black.
"Sorry coach." Oliver turned his back on the field as the two teams went to meet and continue their game. The refs voice boomed out loudly as Oliver rushed into the locker room.
"Now, I don't want to see any more fighting. Or both teams will be disqualified."
"What the bloody hell is he doing now!?!?!?!?" His coach roared. Oliver suddenly dashed out of the locker room. Muttering a water repellent spell aimed at his Navy Puddlemere United sweater. "You know you can't wear that out there!" His coached yelled pointing at the field as the ref turned to them.
"Puddlemere! We need a keeper!"
"It's not fer mah!" Oliver said, shoving the sweater at Hermione and hoping on his broom. He zoomed off towards the net at the far right of the field. Hermione pulled the sweater on, smiling at the sudden warmth. She pulled the hood up over her head as she felt the Puddlemere's coach looking at her questioningly. AS the game started he nodded at the twins.
"Nice to see ya again." He grumbled at the two. "Are you the reason why he left the game, and why he's so bloody late returning?"
Fred smirked at Hermione He answered her quizzical look. "We've come to watch a few of his games from down here." He then turned back to the coach. "Of course we're not the reason."
"Yea." George added. He jabbed his thumb at Hermione. "It's her fault. She had an awards ceremony, she got promoted."
"And Wood just had to be there did he?" The coach growled, as the Appleby Arrows stole the quaffle from his team.
"Of course he went." Fred said, swinging an arm around Hermione's shoulder. "He's in lo-o-o-o-o-ove" He cooed. Hermione's head snapped in the direction of the twins, both of whom were smirking. "Come on Hermione, you're smart. Surely you must have realized it."
"You never recognized any of the looks he sent you the last couple days you were at the Burrow?"
"Or his flying lessons."
"I think that's when he first started to like you, after that first 'lesson'."
"I think he enjoyed it. What about you?" Fred smiled knowingly at her as the tears came to her eyes. She blinked them back again. Thinking back to all of their late night flying lessons. He always made sure she was comfortable on the broom before taking off, and every once and a while, when he sped of, or went to land, he'd wrap his arm carefully around her waist, holding her tightly against him. During meals, whenever their eyes locked he'd smile, and she found herself sitting beside him more often. Whether it was him who came and sat beside her, or the other way around, they usually ended up together. Even when they were sitting in the Living Room, her reading and him talking with others, they were side-by-side.
Suddenly, she knew she loved him too. She wasn't going to say it aloud yet, but she knew she did. She was always thinking about him, and he was the only one she trusted to go flying with. She had hardly known him when they first started flying, and something inside her told her to trust him. So she did.
She now recognized the shiver that went through her as he whispered in her ear while they were flying, and why he had pressed his cheek to her ear during their game. Now she knew why she had been so upset when he said he couldn't make it to the dinner. And why she had been so thrilled, her stomach doing flips, when she saw he had showed up. She knew why she wanted to go to his game, even though her whole family were waiting to see her again back at the hall, and she knew why he had delayed going back to the game in order to get her the sweater…his sweater. She smiled brightly as the Arrows approached the Puddlemere goal posts.
"A wonderful save by Puddlemere keeper, Oliver Wood. The only member who didn't get involved in today's earlier rumble. He passes the ball back out to Jared Palones, who speeds off towards the Arrows goal, passing the ball to Sarah Ryans…" Hermione watched as the black-haired girl zoomed past her.
"Watch the bludger Ryans!" The coach roared as she swerved upwards, missing it by a hair. "So you're the one Wood wouldn't stop babbling about." He said turning his red face to Hermione, who blushed.
"All week during practise, he kept telling Turkins about a girl he went to school with, and then met again while he was on vacation. I'm guessing you're her."
Hermione nodded, her cheeks red. The crowed let out a cheer as…
"Ryans drops the ball to Steve Turkins who SCORES! Puddlemere lead, 140 to 70."
"That's an awesome score."
"We've had better." The coach said. The game continued, Puddlemere didn't make as many shots at the hoops as the Arrows did, but Oliver blocked every quaffle that came his way except for one. He took a nasty tumble when the Arrows beater sent a bludger his way from behind and Hermione screeched, earning a couple of smirks from the twins, coach, and substitute players.
"What? That was so unfair. He hit it at Oliver from behind, how was he supposed to block it from behind, do you think he's hurt…?" She added quickly as half the stadium roared in outrage at the Arrow's beater.
"Nah. He's tough," the coach said. "And I think it only hit his broom anyways."
Hermione fidgeted as the rain belted down on her and she watched Oliver climb back onto his broom and fly back to his position near the hoops. Hermione released a breath she didn't know she was holding and the twins laughed at her as she cheered with the audience.
"Nervous Hermione?" Fred asked slapping her back slightly. She only smiled. The game continued, and when the score was 210 to 80, Hermione saw the Puddlemere seeker dive.
"Harper dives after the snitch, Baffer rears around at the other end of the pitch, but it's too late. Harper catches the snitch! PUDDLEMERE WINS! 360 to 80!!!! Puddlemere United remains undefeated folks!"
As the crowd roared with applause, the whole team did a victory lap around the field before shaking hands with the Arrows' players. Hermione watched as Oliver landed, his team-mates clapping him on the back in congratulations of his superb keeping skills. He met Hermione's eyes as the rain poured around them all.
"Great Game team!!" The coach roared as they all huddled around him. Hermione, Fred, and George huddled back near the wall. "I'll give ya all a break tomorrow with practises, but Sunday morning, ten o'clock on the pitch. Rain, sleet, sun, or snow…you know it."
"Coach it's summer, I doubt we'll get snow." Sarah Ryans called. Heading over to the girls locker rooms, she was the only female player on the team. The men were all still laughing and smiling, oblivious to the large amount of mud and rain that covered them all, head-to-foot. Oliver made his way over to the three standing off to the side as everyone else made their way into the warm locker room.
Hermione beamed and flung her arms around his neck, not caring about the mud. "Congratulations." She said pulling back. The twins backed away slightly to stand with Oliver's teammate Jared… and the three watched and whispered slightly amongst themselves, all their eyes locked on the two in the embrace.
"Thanks." Oliver said smiling at her. "I guess we're both havin' a pretty good day taday." He smiled at her again and their eyes locked. Hermione suddenly felt her breath catch in her throat.
"Meh, could be better."
"How so?" He asked. Was it just Hermione, or had he gotten closer?
"I don't know. You tell me." She smiled slightly and he leaned forward, whispering in her ear.
"I don' wanna tell ya." Her smiled faded. "Bu' I'll show ya." He pulled back and then pressed his lips soundly against hers. She felt her eyes flutter shut and she tightened her grip on his neck. She felt him smile against her mouth, and then she heard the whoops behind her as they pulled apart, her eye's fluttering open to meet his dark brown ones.
"Olly and Hermione sitting on a broom!"
"K I S S I N G!"
"Ya two dolts know tha' doesn' rhyme righ'?"
"Yea we know. But oh well."
Hermione rolled her eyes at the two redheads and then turned back to Oliver. Her smile grew and she pressed her lips to his again. This time, he parted her lips with his, and slipped his tongue in her mouth. She felt his tongue explore her mouth and she hesitated slightly. He pulled his tongue back, sensing her hesitation, but she pushed hers against his, summoning it back. When they finally pulled apart, gasping for breath, Oliver beamed down at her. "How bout I go change, then we'll see if we can make it back ta tha' dinner of yars?" She nodded and Oliver smiled at her as he disappeared into the change room, Jared beside him smirking.
"So Hermione." Fred said, wrapping an arm around her. "Feel any better now. I mean, you technically made it past a first date, because, well, I'd say those late night fly's would classify as dates."
She rolled her eyes at them, but the smile wouldn't leave her face. "Why do I have a feeling you two had something to do with this…or planned this."
"Well in all honesty…we didn't think it would take you this long."
"And Oliver was all up for it. After the whole bar thing, he went along with what we said."
"He really did like you…"
"Does like you. He say's that you're different then all the other girls he's tried going out with."
"You're more independent then the others."
"So we leant him a hand."
"But yes, it was originally our idea to hook you two up."
"That's why we made you wait for him."
"And spend an hour with him when he got there…"
"But we also figured it would get mum off your back…"
Hermione only smiled at them. She wanted to scold them, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. So instead she gave them each a quick hug.
A couple minutes later Oliver came back out and summoned them over. They portkeyed back just as everyone started to leave the hall. Mrs. Weasley spotted them and Hermione made her way over, sliding the hood off her head.
"Hermione dear! Where have you been?"
"We went to the Puddlemere game." Fred said before Hermione could open her mouth. "How was dinner?"
None of them bothered to hide their surprise. They looked between the twins, Oliver, and Hermione in her black skirt, and Oliver's Puddlemere United sweater. Sirius finally spoke. "Delicious…"
"It wasn't as good as Boston Pizza." Harry mumbled. Everyone ignored him.
"So, we've decided. Charlie, Kingsley, me, we're going to have a singles night again…what to come? Harry and Ron got permission to tag along, we'll get Harry's mind of the stupid pizza place."
Harry sprung up anger in his eyes as he pulled out his wand. "Do NOT insult Boston Pizza!! Boston Pizza is the best place in the world! I will seriously HURT you if you insult Boston Pizza ever again!" Ginny snatched his wand out of his hand and glared at him.
"Right…" Sirius looked worriedly at his godson. "So Hermione, you in? You too of course Oliver."
"I'd love to Sirius, but I can't."
"Why not. Come on, we'll limit your drinks this time."
"I can't go to singles night. I'm not single anymore." Mrs. Weasley squealed as Oliver and Hermione linked hands. Everyone's mouths dropped open slightly as they looked between the two and then they all burst out talking at once. Asking each of them questions.
" 'ow deed eet 'appen?"
"Why didn't you tell me you liked him!"
"What the hell!?!?!? How did this happen?"
"Who wants to go to Boston Pizza!?!?!?"
"But he's so not your type Hermione!"
"Oh I'm so happy for you dear! Both of you!"
"Can we go to Boston Pizza to celebrate?"
"Oliver if you hurt her, Puddlemere will be short a keeper."
Hermione and Oliver just laughed at all the questions. A while later they parted from everyone else, Hermione's stomach growling.
"So Lass, how about tha' dinner now?" He asked, pulling her to his side.
"Sounds good. Where to Mr. Wood?"
"Well," He smirked. "I've heard a good review fer a li'le place called Boston Pizza."
Hermione laughed. "Sounds good I guess."
"Oh! Hermione…" Sirius called her aside and she slipped over to him, Oliver waiting near the door. Fleur was also there, and Penelope, Ginny, and the twins came up behind her. She looked between them all.
"One quick question before you slip back into the grasps of Oliver Wood." Ginny said smiling.
"Well, we were wondering 'ermione. Does zeese mean zat Wood…"
"Is your Prince Charming?"
Hermione looked between them all and only smiled as she walked back over to Oliver.
"I'd say that's a yes." Ginny said smiling.
Hermione pushed the hair off her forehead. She took the letter off the leg of Hedwig.
Do you want to come with us tonight to Boston Pizza. Ginny says that since she won't let me get it to cater the wedding, we can go tonight. So how'd you like to come?
Hermione smiled slightly, hanging her cloak up and locking the door. She looked at the clock on the wall. It had been a long day at work. Being Head of the Misuse of Magic Department just wasn't what she thought it would have been. She often found herself staring out the window, or at the clock, wondering what her life could be like. She was thrilled when her day ended and she got to come home. She pulled a piece of parchment towards her and scribbled a reply.
Sorry, I have plans tonight. I'm going to sit back, by myself, with a tub of ice cream and drown myself in a nice sappy romance novel, maybe cry a bit. But I'll see you all at the wedding tomorrow. I'm so happy for the two of you…
She paused here and looked sadly at the paper.
Besides, I saw you all yesterday for Ginny's party. I must say, I think I did a pretty good job… did she like it? Anyways, tell Ron and Luna I say hi too, since I know that they're probably going to be there with you. Have a fun time! And don't eat too much. So much pizza can't possibly be good for you!
Love you all, Hermione.
She sighed and attached the letter to Hedwig, stroking the owl's feathers. "Well Hedwig, thanks for stopping by on one of my lonely nights. I'm glad someone's here to see me." As Hedwig flew away, Hermione thought about, perhaps, sending a letter to Sirius, he was single, and as far as she knew, he had no plans tonight. She shrugged it off, making her way upstairs to change into something more comfortable. She wanted a night in. She'd see everyone at Harry and Ginny's wedding. Then Ginny and Harry would disappear for two weeks.
She went to her freezer and pulled out a large tub of Chocolate and Vanilla swirl ice cream. She grabbed a nearby bottle of chocolate sauce and plopped down onto the couch with it. Her book was sitting on the end table, and she glanced at it. She wanted to read it, but she didn't want to.
She was at that part again, where the hero came rushing into the village when everyone thought he was dead. He'd show up just as the heroin was about to get married off by her greedy mother. The heroin would turn and rush into his arms and in front of everyone, they'd kiss, regardless of the complaints of the heroin's current fiancée. Then the two would break into a battle and the heroin would cheer for her hero. He would win, and then the two would live happily ever after…
Hermione sighed and cuddled up in the corner of the couch, eating her ice cream. She poured the chocolate syrup into the bucket and dug her spoon into it. It was a nightly ritual for her now, sit on the couch in pyjamas, eating ice cream from the carton, and reading her book. Just waiting. She sighed again. She should probably stop with the ice cream. Harry and Ginny's wedding was tomorrow. They had been planning it for over a year. She had gotten her dress a couple of months ago. And if she kept this up as much as she did, she wouldn't fit in it. She sighed again and put everything away, dragging herself to the upper level of her flat to settle in for another cold, lonely, sleepless night.
The next day, Hermione went to the burrow for the long awaited, Ginny-Harry wedding. The two had been together for exactly 34 months now, and everyone was anxious for the vows. Hermione straightened the tiara in the now year and a half old Angel. Fleur would walk her down the aisle, helping her sprinkle the flower petals Ginny had given her. Before long, everyone was ready in their positions. Hermione was the last to go up the aisle before Ginny. She was the Maid of Honour afterall. Fleur and Angel were sitting in the front row now beside Mrs. Weasley who's eye's were full of tears. Beside her, Sirius, Remus, and Tonks sat together. Remus' arm around Tonks' shoulder. Luna was already standing near the archway, along with Harry, Ron-the Best Man, and Neville. Harry was beaming from ear to ear and Hermione was thrilled for her best friends. She made her way slowly up the aisle. Her dark red gown billowing slightly as she walked. Ginny had picked out beautiful dresses. They were ruby red, Gryffindor red, with a gold trimming along the base. The thin straps were embroidered with gold sequins that went all along the neckline, emphasizing the low cut. It was absolutely amazing, and with their hair tied up in a fancy twist each, Luna and Hermione looked wonderful in them. Ron and Neville wore a red, muggle dress shirt, that matched the girls dresses perfectly. They each had on a gold tie and black dress pants.
Hermione smiled at the Weasley's as she passed. Penelope was rocking her son in her arms to keep him asleep and quiet, and Percy nodded as the brunette passed him. Fred and George flipped Hermione a quick thumbs up, each of them with an arm wrapped around their fiancée's. Charlie sat beside them smiling. He, once again, came alone, and Hermione was sure he had hoped to meet someone at the wedding that he hadn't yet gone out with. The professors were in the third row, Hagrid with a special seat that Harry had made sure came for him. Hagrids eyes were brimming with tears as he watched the young man at the front.
Hermione took her place and smiled at Harry as she did so. He was dressed in black dress pants and a white muggle dress shirt. He wore a ruby red tie that matched his groomsmen's shirts. No gold was to be found on him. The music changed, and Ginny and her father appeared at the door. They walked down the aisle together, Ginny's form fitting dress clinging to her in the front, and flowing out behind her in the back. It was strapless and fit her gloriously. Like Harry, she had no gold, but a beautiful bouquet of red roses. One blue one stuck in the middle for good luck.
As they slid the gold rings on each others fingers, Hermione's eyes watered. Their vows had been so nice.
After dinner, she watched the two begin their dance as she sat alone along the side of the dance floor. Slowly, couples started to join them, and Hermione once again, felt left out. She danced once with Charlie, and once with Sirius, but she knew they were just trying to cheer her up. She was going along the edge of the dance floor with Angel, making her way to the other side. She twirled the young girl every once and a while, and dipped her down, upside down, making her laugh. Angel had taken a particular liking tyo Hermione, and Hermione had ended up spending most of the evening with her. She hadjust placed Angel gently on the ground near Mrs. Weasley, when she heard a voice behind her. Ginny, Harry, Ron, and Luna, all of whom were nearby, turned, as did the twins.
"Surely someone as pretty as ya isn't goin' ta jus' sit an' watch everyone else dance?"
Hermione turned fast smiling. She knew that voice so well. "Oliver!" Like the heroin in her books, she dashed into his arms and clung to his neck. He squeezed her tightly and kissed her soundly on the lips as everyone nearby watched. She diodn't care. She didn't even realize they were staring. Her lips clung to his, and when they pulled apart she realized Oliver had dragged her out to the dance floor. "I thought you hated dancing."
"Aye, well…ya like ta dance." He shrugged slightly and tightened his grip on her waist, pulling her as close as he could.
"What are you doing here?" She asked. She realized he had on the black muggle suit she had picked out for him. His dress shirt was a deep golden yellow, and his tie, like Harry's was red.
"We won our game yesta'day, an' coach said I played so well, tha' he'd le' mah miss today's practise. I got 'ome about an hour an' a half ago, an' by tha time I got ready, well… here I am. But he wants mah back out there a li'le earl-ay tomorrow night so I can have some extra time ta warm up fer our game." He smiled at her and kissed her again slipping his tongue into her mouth. She moaned slightly into his mouth before they pulled apart for air.
"I'm glad you made it. You don't know how lonely it was here."
He nodded. "I have a feelin' I do. I hate when we have so many away games, all our practises are on their fields, an' I nev'a ge' ta come home ta see ya." They rested their foreheads together as the song gradually changed. "And don' think I didn't notice tha tub of ice cream in tha freezer. I went to grab some before mah shower. There's chocolate syrup inside tha tub again." Hermione blushed. "Ya've got to stop doing tha'." He chuckled.
As the night wore on, the two were inseparable, around 1:00, they gathered with the other remaining guests to bid good-bye to the happy couple. As some departed to go home, and others went back to the dance floor, Oliver dragged Hermione out of the tent and down to the orchard. The music was loud around the Burrows property, spells put up so it wouldn't bug the neighbours, so when they sat together under a tree lining the orchard, they could still hear the music. "I missed ya." He mumbled into her ear.
She smiled. "I missed you too. More than you know." She sighed. "Do you know how cold the bed gets at night?" They chuckled softly together. Oliver had convinced Hermione to rent a flat with him five months ago, six months after they had started dating. At first she was nervous, but now, she dreaded not having him there when he was away at his further quidditch games and practises. They knew when they had started dating that it would be hard, with his steady quidditch, but they both did what they could to make it work. Unfortunately, Hermione's parents, who lived in London, didn't want her disappearing to all of his away games and practises. They were too used to her stopping by every once and a while for dinner. She sighed again, resting into his side. After a few minutes of silence, he spoke.
"I want ya ta come wit me ta my quidditch games an' practises."
"I guess I can go tomorrow. I'll go see my parents next weekend. Besides, everything else will be a bit calmer now that the wedding's over with. I don't have to throw anymore bridal showers or girl's night outs." She laughed and Oliver smiled slightly.
"No, I mean…I want ya ta come wit me…from now on. Ta all my away games an' practises."
"What?" Hermione sat up and the gentle breeze chilled her skin. Oliver shifted slightly and when Hermione looked down from his eyes, she realized he was on his knee. "Oliver..." she whispered.
"Hermione. We've been together fer a long time now. Longer than any of our other relationships. An' I love ya. I want ta spend tha rest of mah life with ya." Tears threatened to spill from her eyes as she continued. "I love wakin' up with ya in mah arms, and as much as I love quidditch, I hate tha' you're not always there with mah. In fact, I'm pretty sure I love ya more than quidditch." He smiled and she laughed as the tears beat at her eyes, slipping down her cheeks. "I want ta be with ya…I want ta grow old wit' ya…and I know it'll be hard with mah schedule, but I know we can make it work, because I love ya…and I'm pretty damn sure ya love me too."
She smiled and wiped at her eyes. "I love you with my whole heart Oliver."
"When I saw ya before, an' on numerous occasions, helping Fleur wit' Angel, I knew ya'd make a good mother, an' I eventually knew that I wanted ta raise a family with ya, a bunch of brainy quidditch stars. So, will ya marry me Hermione?" He pulled a ring out of his pocket and more tears burst from her eyes. She nodded, unable to speak any more, and he slipped the ring onto her finger. Within a second, her arms were wrapped around his neck. He slumped back onto the grass and pulled her onto his lap. Pressing his lips to hers forcefully, possessively.
As they went to say good-bye to the remaining Weasleys, Hermione turned to him. "I think we should wait to tell them until Ginny and Harry get back. If you don't mind. I want them to all find out at the same time." Oliver nodded. "The only one who might start suspecting something is Mrs. Weasley, so, the less time we spend near her the better. But, do you think, maybe tomorrow before we leave for your game we could go tell my parents?"
"Well…"He paused. "We can go tell yar mother."
"And what, let my dad wait for the wedding invitation?"
Oliver laughed. "No. It's just……he already knows."
"I kind of, asked him if I could marry ya. Growing up, me dad had always told me it was the 'gentleman' thing ta do. And, well, I was raised a gentleman."
"I could argue that." She smirked, but tears quickly came to her eyes. "You asked my dad?"
"Aye." He looked at her a little worried that she'd be upset. Instead, she flung her arms around his neck again.
"Thank you." She whispered.
"Thank ya for sayin' yes."
Before approaching anyone, Oliver put a quick vanishing spell on her ring. She pouted up at him. "You wanted ta wait…"
"Oh yea." They made their goodbye's fast and simple, pausing the longest at Ron, who was a little tipsy, and tried to get his other best friend to stick around.
"Come on Hermione. Stick around. I guess we're officially the more free ones. Harry's tied the knot. We're on our own level now."
Hermione bit her tongue and glanced at Oliver who was smiling. "Maybe you should change that soon Ron."
He leant in, intending to whisper, he ended up more like shouting. "I'm too nervous Hermione. But I know she's the one." He pointed at Luna who was talking to some of hers and Ginny's friends from Hogwarts.
"That's good Ron, you strike up the courage soon though, ok?"
"Ok Hermione. You always were smart, so I'll try." She laughed as Ron started making his way towards Luna.
"Don't do it now ok… make it special…at least wait till you're sober…and have a ring."
He nodded as the information reached him. "No, I'm gonna wait. Maybe in a couple months, around Christmas…" a dazed look came over him and he wandered away thinking.
Hermione and Oliver waved to the twins who were still out on the dance floor with Katie and Alicia.
"Not sticking around?"
"Oh right. Bummer. But good luck!"
"Thanks." The two disappeared with a 'pop' and as the kitchen came into view, Oliver wrapped his arms around Hermione's waist. "Want some ice cream?"
"Sure." She grabbed two spoons as he pulled the tub…and the syrup out. "Oliver…?" She asked, curling into his side on the couch, and digging her spoon into the ice cream.
"What about work? I can't really just up and leave the office."
He frowned. This was clearly a road block he hadn't thought of. "I…"
"You want me to quit don't you…?"
"Hermione. I have more than enough money ta take care of us…but I'm not goin' ta ask ya ta leave your job…"
"You know I don't like it that much."
"But ya still like it. And you're tha type of girl tha' needs ta be doin' somethin'."
"I guess I could talk to the Minister…ask for a different position, with less hours…and one that I could do from different areas."
"What about…weren't ya offered a job for tha Daily Prophet?"
"Yes. But I couldn't write a news article."
"I hate gossip."
"So don't do tha gossip section. Do tha breaking news, or tha sports."
"I could make it work I guess..."
After a moment, Oliver sighed. "Look. Ya're head of tha Department, don't drop that. Maybe I can convince coach ta let me home more."
"No. I think I'd like being a journalist instead…" She was quiet for a moment. "Wait here a sec." She dashed up the stairs. Within a few minutes, she was back beside him, a stack of papers in her hands. "Look at this and tell me what you think." He read the first couple pages, his smile growing.
"It's a biograph-ay…right?" She nodded. "About Harry?" Another nod.
"I haven't showed him yet. I haven't showed anyone. But… after everything he went through with school, and Voldemort, I thought it would be good to get a real story…a true biography out there. So people know the truth, not the gossip people put in the news."
"I think it's brilliant. Ya should get it published."
"I'd have to ask Harry first. I thought…maybe…I could do one for everyone who gets picked on by the prophet. Harry…Sirius, he got some bad publicity…Dumbledore…"
"Could ya do one for me? I've had a fair bit of stories published…"
"Oh yes I know…I particularly like the one that said you were bitten by a piie, which made you afraid of fights. That's why you disappeared when the fight broke out during one of your games." They laughed, remembering all the different stories that had been published about both of them. "Ok, Mr. Wood…I think its time for us to both crash…"
"Crash as in sleep? Or crash as in…"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Oh I could see your book now. The Life of Oliver Wood: Quidditch Star, Heart Throb, and Sex-aholic."
"Well I'll help ya with another book. Tha Life of Hermione Granger: From Bookworm, ta Warrior, ta Mrs. Oliver Wood." He pulled her closer beside him.
"I like the sound of that." She whispered, pushing her lips to his again.
"Wood!! Another owl just arrived for you!!" Fred held the parchment out and Oliver reached for it. "Not you. The other Wood."
"I'm not a Wood yet." Hermione said, smiling none-the-less. She unrolled the parchment as the Burrows kitchen table filled. They had all gathered for Christmas Dinner at the Burrow, and Mrs. Weasley had even invited Hermione's parents. Ron and Luna sat side-by-side, her ring glistening in the low lights. Ginny was looking at her stomach oddly. She had been complaining lately that all of Harry's many dinners at Boston Pizza were making her put on weight. Hermione had another idea.
As Hermione finished reading she shrieked. Everyone turned to her. Oliver, whose arms had been around her waist, and whose head had been resting on her shoulder jumped. "What?"
"It's from the publishers! They like the books!! And they have some ideas for more they want me to do!"
"That's great Hermione! What idea's did you send in?" Harry asked as Hermione and Oliver settled into their chairs.
"Well obviously yours, and…here listen." Hermione pulled the parchment out.
We are proud to say that we have read through your biographies and ideas, and all of us here, agreed that you have a talent. We would love to accept and publish for you, all of the books, and future books, you have sent, these include;
The Life of Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived – Twice.
The Life of Oliver Wood: Quidditch Superstar, and Heart Throb.
The Life of Gilderoy Lockheart: Who REALLY Did That?
The Life of Albus Dumbledore: Because the Truth, Remains the Truth.
The Life of Ronald Weasley: In the Shadows No More.
"I always loved that one."
"Shut up Ron!" Bill hissed.
We also have a few suggestions we would love for you to look into. Perhaps our current and past Prime Ministers. As well as, Nicholas Flamel. I understand Albus Dumbledore and him were extremely good friends It has also come to our attention that you are friends with one Sirius Black. Perhaps an insight on what life would have been like in Azkaban?
"That'll be a pretty boring book, all it would need to say – Cold."
"It's ok Sirius, Hermione can fill it up with a chapter on each of your girlfriends."
"No." Remus said shaking his head. "The book would be as big as the table, and you'd only have one page per girl."
Everyone laughed as Hermione continued.
After reading the wonderful start to the Oliver Wood Biography, we would also like an insight on a few other World Famous Quidditch Players, Viktor Krum being one.
Everyone let out a moan.
"Ok, except that last request, the other's sound great!" Fred said smiling.
"You can also do the Life of: The Weasley Twins: Double Double, Toil and Trouble." Everyone laughed.
"Wheech one's 'ave you feeneeshed so far? And wheech one's are steel work's in progress?"
"I finished Harry's, and Oliver's, and Ron's is half way done. I have information for Dumbledore's and Lockheart's. It's great though, because I can work on them wherever I am. So it's an on-the-go job. Which is so awesome because now I can go to all of Oliver's games." She smiled at her fiancée as everyone else exchanged smiles. Hermione's parents looked happily at their daughter and future son-in-law.
"How's the team doing so far anyway Oliver?"
"Excellent! Coach is givin' us all a break fer tha holidays, but we have practise on tha 30th, and then he's givin' us the 31st and 1st off. But then it's everyday practice until our game on tha 8th." He continued going over their new strategy that they had cooked up, and soon he and Ron and Harry were all in an argument about the sport.
"Hermione, that's really great about your books, But you may need to edit Harry's before you send it in for publishing." Ginny said, leaning in so only the brunette could hear her.
"You may need a new chapter."
"And that would be…?" Hermione's smile grew as she looked at the smallest redhead.
"That's great Ginny." Hermione hissed hugging her friend quickly.
"It won't be long for you I'm sure…"
"Gin, we're not married yet…"
"Engaged, that's good enough." Hermione looked at the beautiful ring on her finger.
"I think we're going o wait a bit longer after we're married before we have kids. Then I can have my Prince Charming all to myself." She sat up and leaned slightly against Oliver, who reached his arm out and put it around her waist, still glaring daggers at Ron who was now shouting about how the Cannons have been playing a lot better these last two months.
As Hermione looked around the table again at her family, her whole family, she smiled. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had turned to Percy and Penelope and were now making goo-goo faces at their grandson, much to the annoyance of Percy who wanted to raise his son without the baby talk. Penelope scolded him though, and he quickly let it drop. Bill and Fleur were sitting on either side of Angel, who was talking rapidly about the snowman she had made outside today with Ginny, Luna, and Hermione.
Ron and Luna sat beside them, their hands linked together on the table. Luna was looking absentmindedly at the mistletoe above the door, as if she were hoping to see a nargle suddenly appear. Ron's ears were red as he continued rambling.
Mad-Eye sat beside Ron, his magical eye roaming the room. He caught Hermiones eye with his good eye and winked. Maybe she should do a book on Mad-Eye Moody… well known Auror and Death Eater's Worst Fear. She smiled at the thought and turned to look at Remus and Tonks. They seemed, yet again, to be in their own little world.
Sirius and Charlie had both joined in the quidditch discussion, neither with a date. As Sirius always said, once you start bringing them to dinners, they start thinking it's serious. The twins were both babbling on about where they think the Quidditch World Cup should be held this year, and their fiancée's were discussing what colours the bridesmaids dresses should be for their double wedding. Hermione smiled at Oliver as her eyes lingered on his face. His brow was furrowed, and his lips parted as he listened to the twins reasoning's. She loved how he always got such a serious expression on his face when he talked about quidditch. She kissed his cheek and he smiled, caught off guard. She turned quickly to Ginny, giggling softly as he turned to kiss her back. Ginny looked annoyed, and Hermione soon realised that Harry was telling her Boston Pizza's new Holiday Hours. When he realized his wife had no interest in Boston Pizza, he turned to Hermione's parents on his right. Mr. Granger and Harry were soon discussing some of the menu items Hermione's dad had tried. Unfortunately, he had only been there about four times, so Harry was left to ramble on.
Hermione smiled again. This was her family, and although most of them weren't official, Oliver soon would be. She smiled at him again as she began slicing her turkey. He scooped up some potatoes and put them on her plate, then poored them each a glass of butterbeer. Hermione spoke ot her opinion during a quick ap in the conversation. "I think the Tornadoes would do a lot better if they got rid of Flint." She felt Oliver stiffen beside her as she mentioned his rival's name.
"I don't know. I hate Flint as much as any other non-Slytherin, but he is pretty good." Ron mumbled.
"Flint shouldn' even be in tha League." Oliver grumbled. Hermione smirked at the new argument she had started. This was defiantly the best Christmas she had ever been to, and it would get better tomorrow when she went with Oliver to his parents house for Christmas day. It truly was the start of Hermione's new, better, excitement-filled life with her one and only, true – Prince Charming.
Well, that turned out a lot longer than I thought it would! a LOT longer! I hope you all liked it! So please, leave me areview and tell me what you liked, didn't like, or what you thought was funny!
I'm already working on a sequel:)