Shop Girl - Epilogue

She barely got a glimpse of The Burrow after Apparating there, before she was pulled into the broom shed.

"Hey Granger," she could see his smile in the gloomy light.

"Fred, what are you doing?" Hermione tried to keep the smile from her voice, and show annoyance, it was harder than it used to be.

"Isn't it obvious?" He wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her flush against him. "If I waited till I saw you inside to say hello, I couldn't hold you like this, tell you how pretty you look today..."

"You can't see me, I could look horrible."

"I couldn't tell you how pretty you look in that cute as a button blue sweater, or kiss you when I say hello."

"Ah, now it becomes clear," Hermione laughed. "Well you have to be quick, because I'm late as it is."

"Now that's just an insult, you should be making time for this," he sighed, his hair glinted in the light as he shook his head.

"Later, I promise. Your mum and Ron will probably have kittens if I don't get in there soon. I imagine he's close to banging a fork on the table at this point," Hermione chuckled.

"Suppose so, they are probably wondering where I got to. I've been getting wood for the last twenty minutes," he smiled, kissing her quickly on the forehead. "That'll have to do. But later, for sure."

"I'll see you in there," she stepped out of the shed, brushing the dust from her shoulders. Fred ducked out behind her.

"I'm Apparating to the other side of the yard," he grinned.

She didn't stop to watch him disappear, choosing to dash to the house instead. It wasn't an understatement, she was late. It hadn't been easy to get away this morning, there was a large part of her that had wanted to stay there with them. To take advantage of the lovely mood they were all in, but the other side of her had to go. She had two families, in two very different worlds.

Ron threw open the door as soon as she reached it, "You took your time, in!"

"Sorry," she said quickly, shrugging off her coat. "I got here as soon as I could."

"Never mind," he said, throwing her coat at the rack in the corner, it fell to the ground below. "I'm starving."

Hermione smiled as she followed his rapidly disappearing figure in the direction of the kitchen. Never get between that man and his food, she thought as she rounded the corner. Fred was sitting down right in her line of sight, and as luck would have it the only available seat: right next to him. She said her hellos as she went around the table, sinking down into the chair beside him, suddenly thankful for the small kitchen and large family.

"Hermione."

"Fred."

Ron exclaimed happily as he started piling his plate, and Hermione let herself just sit and happen around her. Although they waited for her, her presence wasn't necessary. The clink of the cutlery, and the conversation were soothing in an odd sort of way. She didn't feel the need to chat, or add any conversation. Her sense of comfort helped whenever Fred bumped against her, it was a common occurrence at a table this size, but it gave her a little thrill that Fleur wasn't capable of.

"That's a nice necklace you are wearing," she remarked beside her.

"Oh thank you," Hermione smiled softly. "I like it."

Fred's hand came down and rested on her thigh, a gentle squeeze.

"Oi! Who gave it to you?" Ron called out, "Your parents?"

"No, a friend."

"A boy?"

"Yes Ronald, a boy gave it to me, for Christmas."

"You aren't seeing anyone, who gave it to you?"

"I am seeing someone now, and he gave it to me," Hermione sighed. "We don't need to talk about it anymore," she said, conscious of everyones eyes on her, including Fred's.

"Yeah, leave it alone Ron," George chimed in. "Eat some more, fill your mouth preferably."

"Shut it George, Hermione's my friend, she can tell me."

"She can, she just doesn't have to," she snapped. "This isn't the time, nor the place. If I want to tell you, I will tell you later."

He opened his mouth, and Harry shoved him, "Eat Ron, leave it."

He did, not without a grumble or three along the way however, Hermione sighed to herself. "He'll be fine," Fred said quietly.

"It's just he's stubborn, pig-headed, won't listen to reason," she whispered back.

"So, you are seeing someone," he smiled, hiding it behind his glass.

"It's only new, who knows if it'll last."

Fred laughed, drawing the attention of a few people. Ron looking at him closely, Hermione watched his attention turn to her, before going back to Fred.

"Oh, bugger," she said under her breath. "Not now, please not now."

"What?"

She whispered quietly, "Ron cannot start developing perception now, not now. Move your hand, now."

The hand on her leg moved away instantly, Fred turning to talk to George about something unimportant, Hermione focusing her attention on her food.

"Unbelievable."

She cringed slightly, not looking up as Ron spoke.

"What Ron?"

She wanted to throw a roll or something at Charlie, anything not to let Ron continue.

"Well I figured if it would be one of us, and not me; it would Percy."

"Me what?" Percy asked, "What have I done now?"

"Nothing, it's Fred."

"Shit," Fred muttered beside her, putting down his fork. "Ron, not now."

"How long?"

"A few days."

"Bloody hell," Ron swore loudly.

"Ron!"

"Sorry mum, but it's a little bit of shock."

"Tell me about it," Fred said quietly, Hermione smiled a little beside him.

"Ron, the only reason you didn't know, is because no-one knew, bar us and George more than likely."

"Yep, I knew."

Hermione watched the families eyes switching between the people talking, some with comprehension on their faces, but they were mostly confused.

"See, only three people. You would have known, eventually," Fred explained. "That's all there is to it, Hermione is my girl something I'm very happy about, and she can be my girl for as long as she would like to be. Nothing more to say."

Despite the blush spreading across her cheeks, Hermione decided that there was one more thing that needed to be said. "Fred?"

"Yes love?" He said turning to her.

"I'm happy to, very happy," she smiled. He grinned at her quickly, before she had a chance to look away, he leaned down and kissed her. Hermione could faintly hear the sounds of the family around them, but it faded quickly. How he did it she wasn't quite sure of, but he made her forget everything. She could feel herself responding, in a way that probably wasn't terribly appropriate for where they were, but she couldn't find it within herself to care (or stop).

His hand came up to hold the back of her head, Hermione leaned into him more, almost sliding off the edge of her chair. It wasn't until a bread roll hit her head, did she come back down to earth.

"That was more than I needed to see," Ron groaned. "And I need another roll."

Hermione laughed quietly, her head resting on Fred's shoulder. "See, no big deal," he smiled. "A little bit of snogging will make them shut it every time."

Other than a few glances, every seemed to turn their attention back to their food, even Ron with his new roll.

"A great plan it seems."

"Oh I didn't plan it, I couldn't wait till later."

"I should have known," she giggled quietly, not wanting to draw everyones attention again. "Then you won't want anymore later."

"Like hell," he said loudly. Whispering in her ear, "You said later, that was just a starter, I need a main, and quite possibly dessert."

"I like dessert."

"Ah you are my kind of girl Granger."


THE END. (Really!) ♥