Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any part of JK Rowling's wonderful world. I am merely borrowing bits and pieces.
A/N: This was a just for fun Challenge Fic issued by Anasella Emm. See my profile for the challenge requirements.
This was fun to write... I hope you enjoy it!
Don't Call Me 'Mione.
"Where are my bloody shoes?!" Ginny wailed.
Hermione bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing. It was terrible of her but she could not deny the fact that Ginny looked quite ridiculous at the moment, racing around her bedroom at the Burrow in an elaborate wedding dress, barefoot with a toothbrush hanging out of her mouth.
But as the Maid of Honor, it was Hermione's duty to appease the bride on her big day.
"Ginny, just calm down. Go finish brushing your teeth and I will find your shoes."
The red head nodded frantically and rushed into the bathroom.
Hermione smiled to herself as she began searching for the elusive ivory heels. It didn't help that Ginny's room was a disaster. In fact, it appeared as though the closet had vomited everywhere but with all of the planning leading up to the wedding, straightening up her bedroom was possibly the last thing on Ginny's mind.
Picking up stray articles of clothing as she went, Hermione continued looking. Bound by her fitted spring green bridesmaid dress, she carefully got down on her hands and knees to look under the bed. Squinting her eyes to see properly, she crawled forward until she was waist deep beneath the bed in the depths of decades of Ginny's junk.
A low wolf whistle sounded behind her, startling Hermione and she smacked the back of her head on the wooden bed frame. She scooted backwards and finally pulled her body out from under the bed and turned around to see Charlie Weasley leaning against the doorframe, arms crossed over his chest, eying her appreciatively.
"Well, that was a sight for sore eyes," He drawled, flashing a lopsided grin as he shook his shaggy red hair out of his eyes.
Hermione blushed against her will. Gods, he was good looking.
"Me, halfway beneath the bed?" She asked sarcastically.
"Trust me, 'Mione. The view from here was spectacular. But I do spend all my time with vicious, fire-breathing beasts… so what do I know?"
She rolled her eyes and got to her feet, rubbing the tender spot on the back of her head.
"I've asked you repeatedly not to call me 'Mione'," She noted as she brushed the newly acquired wrinkles out of her satin dress.
"Sorry 'Mione. Completely forgot. Oh and just so you don't think I wasn't making myself useful," He reached over and picked the pair of delicate white shoes up from the nightstand. "Looking for these?"
"Um… yes, thank you," Hermione muttered, going over to take the shoes from him. "How did I not see them?"
"No complaints here," Charlie mused, letting his eyes roam over her petite figure.
Hermione wrapped her arms around herself protectively and shook her head. She had been growing increasingly tired of Charlie's infuriating flirtation over the past couple of months that he had been home in England. Even more unsettling was the fact that she couldn't manage to get the brazen Weasley out of her head.
Charlie began to leave but paused and turned back quickly.
"And Harry says he will be ready shortly," He informed her. Then added boastfully, "Though I don't know why he bothers. When the guests see how dashing I look in my dress robes, they'll think I'm the groom."
"Charlie Weasley, you are the most arrogant man I have ever known!" Hermione exclaimed with frustration.
He winked at her before disappearing down the narrow hallway.
"Oh, Thank Merlin, you've found them!" Ginny announced with enormous relief as she reemerged from the bathroom.
She took the shoes from Hermione and after much arranging and adjusting of her massive gown; she sat on the bed to strap them on her feet.
"I don't know why I am so nervous. I have been wanting to marry Harry Potter since I was a child and now that I am actually about to marry Harry Potter, the butterflies have set in and I can't seem to catch my breath. Once the ceremony is over I'll be fine. I just need to get down the aisle without tripping," Ginny rambled anxiously.
Hermione just stood staring out into the hallway with an oddly familiar expression on her face.
"What's with you?" Ginny asked her friend when she realized that Hermione had not even acknowledged her presence. "I haven't seen that look since Viktor Krum asked you to the Yule Ball when you were fourteen."
Hermione spun around as though noticing Ginny for the first time.
"What? Oh, yes… good idea."
Ginny smiled and quirked an eyebrow at the frazzled girl.
"What's a good idea?"
Hermione furrowed her brow in contemplation.
"Um… I didn't… um… whatever it was you said?" She answered feebly.
"You didn't hear a word I said!" The red head laughed.
"I'm sorry, Ginny. I was thinking about… something else," Hermione tried to apologize.
A voice from the doorway interrupted the girls.
"Are you ready, Sis?" Charlie asked just as casually as if he were inquiring about the weather.
Hermione did a double take. In the few moments he had been gone, he had changed into his dress robes and though his disheveled hair gave off the impression that he had just rolled out of bed, Hermione could not help but agree that he looked… well, "dashing".
Ginny stood up from the bed and smoothed down the broad skirt of her dress.
"Yes, I'm ready, Charlie."
Her brother's face broke out into a smile of the utmost sincerity and pride and he embraced her. When he pulled away he gazed at her in a way that only an older brother can when he sees his baby sister in her wedding dress.
"Aw, Gin. You look like a princess," He said genuinely.
"Thank you. Tell Mum I'll be right down," Ginny said, smiling back at him.
After Charlie had gone, Ginny turned to Hermione and saw that the same goofy expression was set upon her face.
"Thinking about something else again, Hermione?" She asked mockingly.
"Huh?" Hermione asked, turning away from the door.
Ginny laughed knowingly. "Nothing. We had better head downstairs though. Mr. Something Else says it's time to get started."
Hermione looked back at her friend, her brown eyes wide with embarrassment at being caught ogling Charlie.
"Oh, don't act so innocent, Hermione Granger. Do whatever you like with my brother after the ceremony. Until then, all eyes on me, alright? I didn't squeeze into this colossal dress for nothing!"
The ceremony was lovely. Hermione had never seen Harry look happier nor had she ever seen Ginny smile so brightly. Indeed, the two were absolutely beaming at one another.
Ron couldn't have been more pleased to be the best man at the wedding of his best friend to his only sister and Hermione was delighted to be present as Harry finally began this new chapter of his life, starting the family he had always longed for.
The reception was now in full swing. Friends and family toasted the young couple as the band played cheerful harmonies. Arthur Weasley had unsuccessfully fought back tears while giving a long, sentimental speech of well wishes to the newlyweds. And Molly had repeatedly kissed Harry and Ginny on the cheeks until George dragged her away to give the happy couple a moment's peace.
But now the dance floor was crowded with joyous guests as the champagne, firewhisky and butterbeer flowed plentifully and were consumed in great quantities.
Hermione quietly watched the revelry from her seat as she slowly sipped her coffee.
She stifled a laugh as she witnessed Ron being dragged about on the floor by his Great-Aunt Muriel sending pleading looks to Bill and George who were laughing riotously at his predicament.
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley slow danced together on one side of the room. Had it not been for their ages or their seven children, one might have mistaken them for the newlyweds as they looked so utterly in love.
Hermione observed Harry and Ginny who were swaying together in the middle of the dance floor. Ginny's arms were wrapped around Harry's neck and her head rested on his chest while Harry held her close around her waist. They were oblivious to the lighthearted merriment surrounding them, completely absorbed in one another.
Hermione sighed dreamily in a most un-Hermione-like fashion.
"What's that you're drinking, 'Mione?"
"It's a café au lait and how many times must I ask you not to call me 'Mione?"
She looked up as Charlie held out a glass of champagne.
"No, thank you," She said politely.
"Come on, 'Mione. It's your best friend's wedding. If you can't enjoy a glass of bubbly here then when can you, eh?"
Hermione conceded and took the filled glass. Charlie pulled out the chair beside her and swiveled it around, straddling it as he sat. He always managed to do everything in a way that was unmistakably masculine.
"Cheers," He saluted, raising his own glass.
They clinked the rims of their glasses together and drank the fizzy champagne.
"How about a dance?" He proposed nonchalantly.
Hermione shook her head. "No, I don't dance."
He chuckled. "What do you mean you don't dance? It's a wedding. Everyone dances. Come on."
She grabbed her still half-full champagne flute and drained the glass. If she was going to have to dance, she thought, then she would certainly need the assistance of champagne.
Without giving her another chance to argue, Charlie grabbed her hand and pulled her off towards the center of the dance floor.
The band began to play a beautiful slow melody.
Charlie took Hermione's small hands and placed them on his shoulders and he placed his much larger hands on her hips as they began to sway together to the music.
"For someone who doesn't dance, you move very well, 'Mione," Charlie complimented her with a grin.
"Would there be any use in my reminding you not to call me that?" She asked exasperatedly.
He pretended to consider her question.
"Hmm… Nope. Absolutely no point whatsoever."
Hermione laughed despite herself.
"You are incorrigible."
Charlie pulled her a bit closer.
"Coming from you, I take that as a compliment."
Hermione smiled and blushed, averting her eyes from the handsome older man. It wasn't easy seeing as they were facing one another and standing extraordinarily close while they danced but she gave it quite an effort. In her attempt not to make eye contact with Charlie, she noticed Percy sitting at a table with his new girlfriend that he'd met at the Ministry.
Thinking it better to speak about something than nothing, Hermione asked, "Percy seems awfully happy with Marla, doesn't he?"
Charlie glanced over at his younger brother and his date critically.
"I suppose. Is it just me or does she vaguely resemble the blasting end of a Blast-Ended Skrewt?"
"Charlie!" Hermione admonished. "Don't be so superficial! If Marla makes Percy happy then you ought to be pleased for him."
"I am pleased for him," He reasoned. "I am particularly pleased that I'm not the one that has to wake up to that mug of hers."
Hermione gasped. "That's terrible!"
Though, she had to admit he had a point.
Charlie laughed, a low rich sound that tickled the hairs on the back of Hermione's neck and he pulled her closer still.
"But, you, on the other hand, 'Mione, look stunning this evening."
Hermione looked down to conceal her flushed cheeks.
"Thank you, Charlie. You… um… so do you. I mean… you look nice," She babbled nearly incoherently. For such a smart witch, she found that she hadn't the faintest idea how to deal with flirting. Not that she wanted to flirt with Charlie… of course not. Her internal argument raged on.
"Hmmm?" She answered without looking up.
"The song is over."
"What?" Her head snapped up and she realized that she and Charlie were alone on the dance floor, a hundred pairs of eyes watching them curiously. "Oh! Goodness…"
She turned and rushed back to her seat, certain that her face was red as a tomato.
When she reached her table, she found that her champagne flute had been refilled and she took a long swallow of the chilled beverage and slumped down in her chair, trying her best to become invisible.
After a few moments, she was joined at the table by Charlie, Bill, George, Ron, Harry and Ginny, all of whom were chattering away excitedly, a side effect of the alcohol and the occasion itself.
Hermione tried to listen to the conversation but every time she looked up she found herself staring at Charlie. He was leaning forward in his backwards chair, muscular arms folded over the chair back. Her eyes would follow the motion as he jerked his head to sweep his red hair out of his eyes or when his large calloused hand gripped the delicate champagne glass and brought it to his lips.
"…so I was walking off the pitch and some bird leans over the rail, grabs my sleeve and asks, 'Are you wearing a cup or is that all you?'"
The table erupted in laughter at Ron's story.
"And then what happened?" Ginny giggled.
"Then he woke up, that's what happened!" George taunted his younger brother.
They loved to tease Ron about his female fans but they were all immensely proud of his accomplishements. He had become quite the heartthrob in the Quidditch world since being taken on as keeper for the Chudley Cannons, who had finally begun to win most of their matches.
Hermione smiled broadly at him as Ron blushed. As much as he loved the notoriety that came with his success as a professional athlete, at heart he was still the awkward youngest Weasley brother.
"Bill, where has Fleur gone off to?" Charlie asked, realizing that his brother's lovely wife was nowhere in sight.
"She went to check on Victoire. Something about 'nappy rash'… I have no idea."
George screwed up his face in disgust.
"What is Merlin's name is 'nappy rash'? You know what, on second thought, I don't even want to know."
Bill laughed and nodded. "Quite right, you are, George."
The band struck up an upbeat tune as the wedding cake was wheeled out. A towering eight-tiered confection created by Molly and, much to Molly's chagrin, Fleur. Decorated with edible pink flowers that stood out against the white frosting, it looked magnificent.
"That thing is huge!" Harry observed in shock at the massive structure.
"That's what she said!" Announced George loudly as their table and everyone within earshot burst into laughter at his corny joke.
Molly shot him a cautionary glare before pulling Harry and Ginny forward to ceremoniously cut the cake.
Soon, the band was playing once again as everyone enjoyed their cake. Hermione covered her mouth as she yawned, it had been a rather long day chasing after Ginny and locating missing wedding items. She felt a warm hand on her knee suddenly. Trailing her eyes up hesitantly she saw Charlie conversing with Bill, acting as though absolutely nothing was out of the ordinary.
She didn't know what to do. Should she push his hand away? Get up and leave? As far as she knew, there was never a chapter in Hogwarts: A History that detailed how to deal with flirtatious older men.
After a few minutes, Bill got up to go check on his wife and daughter, and Charlie turned to Hermione with a roguish grin.
"Getting sleepy, 'Mione?"
"A bit, actually, yes," She nodded, her eyes fixed on his thumb which was he was rubbing back and forth over the soft skin of her knee. "Um… I probably ought to be getting to bed."
"And where will you be sleeping tonight?"
"In Ginny's room, of course, as always," Hermione stated obviously.
"I'm not sure Harry or Ginny will appreciate that very much."
"What?!" Her eyes widened.
"They aren't leaving for their honeymoon until tomorrow morning. And my dear, darling, wholesome sister has threatened to jinx any one of us who dares come within three yards of her bedroom door tonight."
"Oh…" Hermione sighed. "Well, I guess I could sleep in Ron's room then…"
"Nope, Longbottom's already called it."
"Oh…" She repeated. "Then I suppose I'll just go back to my – "
"Gods, Hermione! What's a bloke got to do?" Charlie joked. "You can stay in my room, alright? There. It's settled."
Hermione shook her head stubbornly. "No. I am not sleeping in your bedroom."
"And why not?"
"Because… Because…" She strained to think of a worthy excuse. "I… didn't bring pajamas."
The second the words left her mouth, she regretted them.
Charlie's eyebrows rose dangerously high.
"Well… lucky you, then. I haven't the slightest problem with that."
"Charlie! I –"
"Don't have a choice. You'll sleep in my room and that's that." When he saw the accusatory look she was giving him, he went on with feigned shock, "Not in the same bed! Naughty 'Mione. How dare you suggest such a thing? I am a gentleman."
She sighed and realized it wasn't worth arguing. It actually did make sense for her to stay over. There was to be a wedding brunch the following morning and she had promised Mrs. Weasley that she would arrive early to help.
But the thought of spending a night in close proximity to Charlie was rather troubling. Especially, if he kept looking at her that way.
After saying all of her goodnights and goodbyes to the various guests, Hermione slowly made her way up to Charlie's bedroom. When she arrived, his door was open and the room was empty. Never having been in Charlie's bedroom before, Hermione noticed that it must have been briefly used as a storage room for Weasley's Wizard Wheezes as there were boxes stacked in one corner as well as a few burn marks in the worn carpet. Charlie's large bed had been neatly made, covered with what looked like a home-knitted bed spread bearing a Gryffindor crest.
She hovered in the doorway, feeling awkward about entering Charlie's room alone.
"I assure you the bed is much more comfortable when you are actually in it and not just looking at it," Charlie's low voice spoke directly into her ear.
She turned around and smiled nervously before walking into the room.
Charlie walked in after her and began readying himself for bed. He removed his dress robes, under which he had a pair of black dress slacks and a green button down shirt.
Hermione perched on the edge of the bed and began to slowly unfasten the straps on her heels. Looking down at her dress she silently cursed herself. She hadn't been lying about not having brought pajamas and her dress would certainly not be comfortable to sleep in.
Suddenly an orange Cannons t-shirt landed in her lap.
"That will probably be a bit more comfortable for you," Charlie suggested as though he had read her mind.
"Thank you," Hermione said. She looked up at him and took in a sharp breath when she saw that he no longer had a shirt on. His broad chest was well defined as was his stomach. He reached down towards the buckle on his belt and looked up at her, clucking his tongue.
"I am going to have to ask you to look the other way," He said in mock bashfulness.
Hermione quickly turned about, wringing the t-shirt in her hands. Counting the moments until it was safe to look at him again. And by "safe", she meant when he was fully clothed.
"Do you want me to leave so you can undress?"
"Excuse me?" She objected and swirled around. She immediately wished she hadn't.
Charlie had, in fact, changed into his pajamas… but as they consisted solely of a pair of baggy flannel pants that sat so low on his hips, she could almost see where –
"Do you want me to step outside so you can put that on?" He asked pointing at the shirt he had given her, interrupting her thoughts.
"Um…" She fixed her gaze on the floor. "Yes, thank you."
When he had closed the door behind him, Hermione quickly unzipped her dress and stepped out of it, pulling Charlie's shirt over her head. Parts of her body that shall go unmentioned tingled when she noticed that the shirt smelled undeniably like Charlie, like musk and aftershave.
There was a soft knock at the door.
"Can I come in now?" Charlie's voice was muffled.
"Yes," She answered, tugging on the oversized shirt. It was very large on her but still only came down mid-thigh.
Charlie walked in and stopped abruptly when he saw her.
"What?" She asked with aggravation when he just stared at her.
"Nothing, it's just that… well, if I knew you would look like that in my shirt, I would have suggested you wear it to the wedding."
Hermione opened her mouth to retort but no sound came out. Instead she busied herself by smoothing out her bridesmaid dress and draping it over a chair.
Charlie pulled a blanket from the top shelf of his closet while Hermione pretended not to notice his pants slip down a bit lower on his hips as he did so. He laid the blanket on the floor and grabbed a spare pillow from his bed.
A loud, boisterous voice boomed in from the hallway followed by another knock at the door. Hermione, feeling practically naked, quickly climbed into Charlie's bed and pulled the comforter up to her chin.
Charlie walked over and pulled the door open. A rather drunk looking George stumbled into the room singing loudly to non-existent music and halted, looking extremely confused when he saw Hermione beneath the covers.
"Whose room is this?" George whispered loudly to his brother, his inebriation leading him to believe he was being very discreet.
"It's my room, George," Charlie answered solemnly, but threw a wink over his shoulder at Hermione who was watching the scene with wide-eyed amusement.
"That's what I thought," The younger brother agreed emphatically. "When I saw her I knew it couldn't be my room. It isn't every day you find such a good-looking bird in your bed."
Hermione raised her eyes to the ceiling, praying that George would not remember this in the morning.
"Right. Goodnight George," Charlie hinted, trying to ease his brother out the door.
George furrowed his brow in deep concentration and leaned into Charlie as though he were about to tell him a most important secret.
"I can't find my room. This is the third door I've tried. Ginny almost cursed off my bullocks when I – "
"Alright, George!" Charlie quickly interrupted him, having no interest whatsoever in hearing what George had walked in on. "I'll take you to your room."
He placed both hands on his brother's shoulders and steered him back out the door, smiling bemusedly at Hermione as he left.
When he was gone, Hermione got out of bed and finished getting ready for bed. She removed her earrings and began unpinning her long curly hair.
This is the sight Charlie was blessed with when he reentered the room. Hermione's long hair flowing over her shoulders, his favorite t-shirt skimming her thighs, her tanned and toned bare legs…
"I'm sorry to make you sleep on the floor," She apologized sincerely, snapping him back to reality.
He shrugged genially. "Don't worry about it, doll. If you saw the way I live in Romania, you wouldn't feel bad."
She smiled and chewed on her bottom lip. The room was starting to feel incredibly warm and stifling all of a sudden.
"Well, goodnight," She said softly and she padded barefoot over to his bed.
She didn't make it far though as he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards him. He looked down at her with a searing gaze.
"We'll see about that," He mused and brought his lips down on hers with all the self-assurance in the world.
Hermione pushed against his chest and broke the kiss.
"What are you doing?!" She demanded, feeling rather dazed.
Charlie did not have the nerve to look even remotely shamed.
"You said, 'goodnight'. I am ensuring that we do, in fact, have a good night," He stated simply.
"But… I didn't mean – "
She was cut off though when Charlie kissed her again, more softly this time. He moved his lips slowly against hers awaiting her reaction. Her hands flexed against his chest as she feebly contested the kiss.
Charlie wove his strong hand into her hair and tilted his head. It was then that Hermione began to return the kiss… slowly at first and then with mounting enthusiasm.
Her head was swirling with contradictory thoughts. But the knowledge that she had long been yearning to be kissed like this by Charlie was overpowering any of the insignificant voices urging her to push him away.
She wasn't sure when or how it happened but in the back of her mind she vaguely perceived that the lights in the room had been extinguished.
Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck and he moaned into her mouth as her body pressed against his.
He reached down and wrapped her legs around his waist and carried her to his bed where he laid her down and settled himself above her without once breaking their kiss.
Hermione let her hands take charge as she caressed his naked chest and gripped his muscular arms.
Charlie's rough hands traced their way up Hermione's leg and under the over-sized shirt. Her taught, flat stomach was warm and smooth under his touch. He had suspected that Hermione was concealing a nice figure beneath her robes but never could he have imagined, and he had imagined it quite frequently, that she would be so entirely perfect… at least he thought so.
She toyed with the drawstring waistband of his pajama pants and he groaned with mounting arousal. He cupped her small but firm breasts in his hands and slowly inched the t-shirt over her head and on to the floor.
They each reveled in the sensation of bare skin on bare skin and wrapped their arms more tightly around one another. He trailed searing kisses from her forehead to her nose to her neck… he couldn't get enough of her.
His lips brushed against her ear and he whispered to her, "Hermione… You are so beautiful."
He captured her lips again and Hermione sighed against his mouth.
"Could you… call me, 'Mione?" She asked breathlessly.
He smiled against her lips.
"Of course… 'Mione."