Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters, and I'm certainly not making any money off this work. If I was, my student loan company wouldn't still be hounding me. Bunch of vultures.
A/N: Soooo, I had another plot bunny attack me while having a conversation at work (Odd place to have a plot bunny attack, yes, I know.) This was originally going to be a one-shot, but at the moment it's looking like a two-fer. The lemon will be in the next chapter, mostly cause I haven't gotten around to writing it yet. I was going to do it at work today, but I couldn't open the file on my work computer. Go figure.
Hermione placed the last bowl of crisps on the table and brushed her hands together, grinning at the loaded dining table, proud of a job well done. Her flat-warming party promised to be a good time for all invited, and any gate-crashers would be totally welcome. After the final battle was over and done with, Hermione decided it was time to learn to let her hair down. She went back to Hogwarts to retake her seventh year along with Ginny. She managed to talk Fred and George in accompanying her, since her two best friends were going straight into Auror training with the agreement that they wouldn't need to sit their N.E.W.T.'s. Hermione had had all the fighting she could stand, and at the moment she wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life. She could work anywhere she wanted to, but with the money she made in awards from the ministry, she could afford to take some time off and she planned on making the most of it. After graduation Fred and George, who had befriended her as soon as they realized she wasn't going to be the same old "perfect prefect bookworm" they had known in their last year of school, helped her find a flat in Diagon Alley not far from their own flat above their shop. Hermione was brought from her musings by a loud rap on her door. She clapped her hands happily and ran to open it for her first guests.
Hermione flung the door open and grinned at the sight of identical mischievous grins in identical freckled faces. She threw her arms around Fred's neck, then George's, and invited them in, showing off the spread of party food she had put out. She was about to ask Fred if he remembered to bring the famous Weasley fireworks when she heard a rough, unfamiliar voice yell out,
"Hey, Twin Terrors, am I in the right place? Ya left me a bit behind back there!"
Hermione stood on her tip toes to peek between the twins' shoulders, and felt her jaw almost drop at the tall, tan, brawny and broad shouldered man standing in her doorway, arms folded and leaning against the frame. Fred grinned at Hermione's expression before he turned towards the newcomer before replying,
"Hermione, you remember Charlie, our older and much slower brother."
"Yes, much slower," George continued, "He'll be needing a walking cane before long."
Hermione shook her head to clear her brain, realizing she resembled a fish at feeding time. She nodded slightly before replying, in a much higher pitch than she normally spoke in,
"Of course! It's nice to see you again, Charlie. It's been quite a while!" She walked forward and outstretched her hand in order to shake his. He looked down at her hand briefly, and gave her an evil grin before grabbing it and pulling her to him in a tight hug and replying in her ear, his voice coming out in a low rumble,
"It's nice to see you too. You've grown up quite a bit. Perhaps we can get to know each other a bit better?"
Hermione swallowed nervously before nodding. She could feel his muscles rippling beneath his tee shirt and had the sudden urge to yank his shirt off and lick him from navel to neck, just to find out how that freckled brown skin tasted. Hermione's reverie was broken when she heard Harry's voice from the door asking if the party had started yet. Charlie let her out of his embrace, but not without running a large calloused hand across her bum as she headed to the door to greet her two best friends.
"Harry, Ron, I'm so glad you could make it!" She exclaimed, taking them both in in their Auror uniforms, obviously having come straight from work. They were so grown up and handsome. After a hug from each and peck on the cheek and a grin from Ron, they both headed for the food table. Ron managed to swallow his mouth full of crisps with a swig of butterbeer before inquiring with a twinkle in his eye that Hermione didn't miss,
"I didn't know Charlie was going to be here?"
Hermione shrugged and grinned in response, "Neither did I. Apparently, Gred and Feorge invited him."
Within the next hour, more people both came and went, all complimenting Hermione on her new flat, enjoying the food and drink and generally having a good time. The fireworks show planned by her and the twins was a big success. By midnight, most of the people invited had gone home. The only ones left sitting in the living room around the telly were Hermione, Harry, Ron, the twins and Charlie, who had not wandered more than a foot from Hermione's side the entire evening. Charlie was now sitting next to her on the sofa, arm flung lazily around her shoulders. The butterbeer had long since run out, and the boys had broken out the firewhiskey, coming up with silly drinking games based on whatever show was coming across the telly at the time, and Hermione had had no scruples about participating. It wasn't as if she had to drive anywhere. She giggled aloud at the thought of explaining to a bunch of pureblooded wizards why it wasn't right to drive a car while intoxicated. She set her glass down, thinking she needed to slow down, as her thoughts were getting a bit muddled, and her vision was fuzzy. Charlie leaned over to her ear and asked in a low voice,
"What's so funny?"
"Oh, nothing." Hermione giggled in reply, then was struck with a sudden inspiration.
"Hey, I know a game we can play!" She jumped up and shouted, only to stumble and fall backwards into Charlie's lap. She giggled and wiggled her bum a bit against his hips, causing him to groan internally at her antics.
"A game, eh?" One of the twins asked. Hermione had long since given up trying to tell them apart.
"Yep, a game. You guys ever played Truth or Dare?"
"And I believe this our cue to make our getaway," grinned Ron. He and Harry had played several of rounds of this game with Hermione over the years, and he really didn't want his secrets spilled to his older brothers. He smirked internally at the thought that his brothers were about to learn what kind of tricks Hermione could have up her sleeve when she wanted to get her way.
"Oh, leaving so soon, guys? Are you sure you don't want to stick around for just one round?" Hermione stuck her lower lip out a bit in an attempt to pout at Harry's grinning visage, which was nearest hers as he leaned down to give her a goodbye hug.
"That stopped working on me at fourteen, Love. We both have to work tomorrow, or we would gladly stay and play. Right, Ron?" Harry said, grinning at his best mate, encouraging him to agree, despite the fact that they were off all weekend.
"Right, mate. We'd really love to stay and play, but we, uh, gotta go. Work tomorrow and all. Night, 'Mione." Ron agreed, running his hand through his hair and leaning down to peck her on the cheek, then whispering in her ear,
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do."