Title: That Line - 1/2
Summary: Right now, that line doesn't exist.
A/N: In response to the Christmas Challenge at Granger Enchanted. Also using the Too Much prompt for 100quills. 2000words.
"You have snow in your hair.'
"Well, it's snowing."
"And you walked?" Hermione asked incredulously, shaking her head, glancing at the speckles of snow spread over his hair.
"Let me in," Fred sighed, "It's pretty cold out here."
"I don't know," she smiled, "Bill told me not to let anyone in, it's not safe."
"Bollocks," he said pushing past her, shaking off his coat, "The bloody wards stopped me at the top of the bloody drive, so I had to walk a mile through the snow. Be sure to thank Bill for me."
"I will do," she chuckled closing the door behind them.
"How's the terror?" Fred asked, looking down the hall.
"Asleep, we had dinner. Well, I had dinner; Victoire thought the floor, ceiling, and my jumper were hungry," she shook her head. "But after that she settled down, I read her a little story about an hour ago, and she's been asleep ever since."
"You have the knack it seems Granger," he smiled.
"I doubt it, I just caught her on a reasonable day," she said, stopping as she was walking into the lounge. "What are you doing here? Did you mother send you? Oh she did, didn't she! Checking on me."
"No, she didn't send me to check..."
"God! It's just one night! You'd think she'd want Bill and Fleur to have one night away to themselves, and I'm not completely incompetent. I know how to handle children, I've read several books on how to do it."
"Some things don't come from books Granger."
"Still, I can do this, and you can go tell her that."
"She doesn't need me to tell her, she knows."
"She does?" Hermione asked quietly.
"Yeah," he smiled, reaching into his coats pockets. "She sent me over with these."
After opening the paper bag he handed her, she looked inside, "Biscuits?"
"Well mum thought Fleur would have nothing appetising in the house, what with her constant dieting, so biscuits," he threw his coat over a chair.
"I feel horrible, she was just being thoughtful, thank her for me," Hermione smiled, "Just leave out the ranting."
"Of course," he said, sitting himself down in a chair.
"Are you staying?"
"I'm frozen," he grinned, kicking his shoes off. "You can't send me back out there, not without a hot drink, and maybe a biscuit or six. I can't feel my toes Granger."
"Fine," she said moving into the kitchen.
"I haven't seen you for a few weeks," he called out to her, and she stopped in the middle of the kitchen.
"I've been busy," she called, "Work has been crazy, and I've hardly had a moment to myself."
"Oh okay," she heard him say quietly. "We miss your input on things." Fred didn't say anything else as she bustled around the kitchen. She had stopped going by their shop, and it hadn't been because of work, she still had ample time to stop by. Hermione wanted to go their, but there was something that stopped her. She enjoyed going there, they'd sit her on a stool in the corner of the workshop, and show her what they were developing. They listened to her opinions also, no matter what they were they'd take them on board.
It had been fun, and interesting, then it changed. George wasn't always there, so Fred would shop her their products, and then George was never there, after a little while there were no more products to show. So they'd talk, and that was lovely, she'd watch him working around the back. She didn't realise what was happening till she left the shop that last time, and an old lady she passed in the street remarked on the 'look of love' on her face. There was a fear that stopped her from going the next day, even though she had wanted to, and it just became easier not to go. He would have no doubt asked questions to why she hadn't come the day before, and it would just snowball, so she avoided him.
Today was the first time she had seen him since.
Walking back into the lounge, she passed him his mug, "Thanks." he raised an eyebrow as she sat down on the floor.
"Nice and warm down here," Hermione smiled.
"I'm sure, but the biscuits are up here," he said holding up the bag. "Where they are staying."
"Now that's just mean."
"So am I."
"I suppose I could be inclined to move back down there, if there was the right incentive."
"This rug is very soft."
"Not moving me Granger, inspire me," he winked at her.
"This fire," she sighed, "Is lovely, I'm tempted to sleep right here tonight."
"Better," he said, nodding his head, "But I'm still thinking these biscuits and I are better off up here."
"I'm afraid I'm out of material, I've used all I've got."
"Have you? Have you really?"
She leaned back against the chair, after a moment she turned to him, "I'm down here."
Fred grinned at her, tossing her the paper bag, "There you go."
She opened the bag as he sat down opposite her, "See? Good isn't it?"
"It has benefits," he smiled.
Shaking her head, she reached into the bag, looking at the biscuit in her hand, "Nice biscuits," she said slowly, turning the odd shaped biscuit over.
"Mum was distracted," he said quickly, grabbing the bag out of her hand.
"They'll taste fine," Fred said, biting into one.
"Calm down Fred, they don't have to look perfect," Hermione watched his face as he chewed slowly. "I'm sure they taste nice."
"Uh-huh," he muttered, clearing his throat, "That's what's important."
She nibbled on the edge of the biscuit in her hand slightly, after swallowing, "Fred, she did use sugar didn't she?"
"She was distracted," he said slowly. "There is a lot happening in that house, all the time, you know that."
"I know, but your mum can cook in the middle of anything."
"Alright, biscuits," he said picking up the bag, "Inedible," and he threw them into the fire beside them.
"Your mum made them?" Hermione asked quietly, wiping her hands on her trousers.
"It doesn't matter," Fred whispered softly. "The thought was there."
"No more about the bloody biscuits," he snapped.
Hermione started at his sharp rebuke, it wasn't like him at all. If there was something to be teased, or mocked, you could count on Fred Weasley to be there to do it. Not wiping the sides of his mug slowly, with the smile gone from his face. He almost looked hurt, like she had done something to upset him. She turned her attention to the fire beside them, the paper bag having burnt away leaving several biscuits in its ashes smoldering away. It really was obvious when she stopped to think about it a little.
Hermione moved her mug out of the way, she leaned forward resting a hand on his knee for balance, and kissed his cheek softly, "Thank you," she whispered.
Closing her eyes as his breath moved the hairs on her neck, "You know what, it was very sweet of you."
"I wasn't trying for sweet, charming maybe, romantic even. I'm too old for sweet."
"Never," she smiled, sitting back on her knees.
"It didn't work though, I buggered it up."
Shrugging, "Like you said, the thought was there."
"Depends on the thoughts."
"And there intentions."
"And how long have you had these intentions?"
"I'd say just about as long as you had yours."
"I didn't," she said quickly, smiling at his amused expression, "Well not yet, and I daresay they would have been different to yours."
Fred grinned widely at her, moving his mug next to hers, "So what do we do now?"
"There are a few things, one springs to mind immediately."
"Well I have one too! Do you think it's the same?"
"There's a very good chance it is, only one way to know for sure," she said, feeling herself moving closer to him, her knees brushed against his, and Hermione stopped herself there.
"Are you going to look at me?"
"I just need to think about it first."
"Hermione, what is there to think about? I know how I feel, and pretty darn sure it's the same for you. So in my book, there ain't nothing to think about."
"It's that line, we have a line. On this side of it we are friends, we get along well, and I'd really like to keep that."
"I would too," Fred said quickly.
"There is just that other side, it's just right there," she said, gesturing between them, "And while it may be nice to cross it..."
"Better than bloody nice."
"Tickets on yourself Mr. Weasley?"
Laughing, "There is nothing wrong with us seeing what will happen when we happen, we'd be mad not to. So let's stop thinking so much, and definitely stop talking. Right now, that line doesn't exist."
"But later, after, we have to..."
"Yes tomorrow," he smiled, leaning forward brushing his lips against hers, "We'll talk."
"I'll hold you to that," she brought her hand up, and pulled herself closer to him, pressing her lips to his firmly. His lips parted beneath hers, an arm wrapping around her holding her to him. Hermione could feel herself moving closer to him, slipping herself onto his lap, getting as close as she could, but still not close enough. Their lips moving in counterpoint to each others, his hand slipped under the back of her jumper, it was warm against her bare skin.
"That works," he whispered.
"Yeah," Hermione smiled, pulling him forward, his arms wrapped around her instantly, holding her to him tightly. The kiss deepening between them, she gave herself up completely, she couldn't stop herself, she had to touch him, feel him, and do it now. Hermione could feel him in return, his hands moving across her, over her back, through her hair. He moved back, laying across the rug, pulling her with him, and in one movement, Fred rolled them over, and she was staring back up at him.
He smiled at her, running his lips over to her ear, "This is fun."
"Yes, loads, we should have tried this weeks ago, we have to make up for lost time," his lips were on hers again, and then they were racing towards something she could see in the distance, it was coming to quickly, they were going to fast, but she couldn't stop. It was too much, but not enough at the same time, she wanted more, and knew she could have more if she asked. The question was should she.
He pulled his head up, "Do you hear that?"
"There," he whispered.
Listening closely, "It's Victoire."
"Is she awake?"
"She must be," she groaned. "I should go check her."
"It's probably nothing."
"Fred, can you," she bit her lip, "I can't move."
"Oh," he flushed, rolling over, and next to her. "Sorry."
"It's fine," she said quietly, sitting up. "I'll just go, won't be long."
Hermione stood quickly, and walked out of the room, smoothing her hair down as she walked. She could feel her heart racing, blood pumping through her faster than she could ever remember, and she could tell that what had just happened was minor compared to what could, if she let it. Hermione opened her door quietly, and stepped inside; the small night light beside the bed cast a glow over the room, and the sleeping girl. She must have just called out in her sleep, because she was fast asleep, not stirring at all when Hermione came in.
She straightened her blankets, tucking the small doll under the covers again, before leaving the room, shutting the door silently behind her. Her feet moved slowly as she walked back to the lounge room, sitting down next to Fred who was staring at the fire from the lounge. He kept his eyes off her, but reached over and held onto her hand.
There was something that needed to be said, she just couldn't bring herself to say it. So she chose to rest her head on his shoulder, and watch the fire with him, for whatever reason he was.
It was then that she heard it, so soft she wasn't surprised that she hadn't heard it till now. "Fred, what are you doing?"
"Nothing, just sitting."
"I have to," he groaned.
"Well, it's distracting me, and right now I need to be distracted."
"Okay," she said, smiling to herself. "You are a weird man sometimes."
"Hey, it's all your fault."
"Every bit of it."
"What did I do?" She asked defensively.
"Bloody hell Granger," he shook his head. "You touched me, kissed me, wrapped yourself around me, drove me bloody crazy, and then left me all alone. So I need to stop myself from throwing myself on top of you, and doing more than we should."
"Oh, right," Hermione whispered, "I don't think we should, tonight."
"No," he agreed. "Too much, too fast, besides we've got to save something for an actual date, and after all that bloody talking you want to do."
"I think that's a good idea," she said, moving closer to him.
Fred wrapped his arm around her, "Me too."