A/N Thanks to the people who pointed out 'how could Draco and Hermione be dancing when she was linked with Fred?' -shakes head- My only excuse is that I (and the rest of my family) am sick so I wasn't thinking clearly. But I bodged up an explanation so yeah... haha, enjoy the final chapter of I Can't Leave You... Though I Want To.
They were alone.
"I…" Fred trailed off, he didn't even know what he wanted to say. If he wanted to yell or apologise or what. But Hermione simply shook her head.
"Just don't say anything."
Hermione grabbed her toiletries and pyjamas and led a quiet Fred into the bathroom. She didn't hesitate to strip off. He didn't like her anymore, why should she care? That display with Malfoy was simply that, a display.
"Are you getting in?" she called flatly over her shoulder.
Fred watched Hermione. She was upset with him, but he didn't know why. Sure, he'd been a little quiet, but he'd mentally been preparing their last night together, tomorrow night. It was his last chance to win Hermione over and he wanted to go all out. Dinner, dancing, maybe a walk by the ocean. He knew he could win her over, if only she would let him try. He needed to convince her that he was good boyfriend material. He was on his best behaviour tonight, under such a public spotlight. Until Malfoy, but that hardly counted, he was defending her honour.
He hadn't pulled jokes, he hadn't touched her inappropriately, he'd been the perfect 'boyfriend' and he had thought he was doing well. Hermione seemed to be having a good time for most of the night, laughing and even flirting with him. But then the thing with Malfoy had happened and now she was angry at him.
He nearly jumped out of his clothes when she stripped off before him and then invited him in with her. He mentally debated if he could control himself in the shower without embarrassing himself. Deciding he didn't care, Fred shed his clothes quicker then if they were on fire and jumped into the steamy shower with Hermione. Her head was under the water and her eyes were closed. Fred was free to examine her body, her creamy skin, full breasts, the flare of her hips and the dark curls at the apex of her thighs.
He sucked in a breath. That's right, he needed air to live.
Hermione's eyes fluttered open and she looked straight into Fred's.
Hermione woke before dawn, cold. The sheets felt luxurious next to her naked body but she would rather something more solid to cosy up to. Her hand searched the bed for the body she was looking for but found nothing. The sheets were still warm but empty, recently vacated.
She forced her sleepy eyes open to find Fred sitting in a chair by the window. He'd put on a pair of cotton boxer shorts but nothing else. She took a moment to study his figure, hardly believing what they had done only hours before. If she hadn't still been naked, she might have thought it but a dream.
"I'm sorry," Fred said from the window. Hermione sat up, bringing the sheet with her and wrapping it around her shoulders. The air was cold and she wondered how Fred was able to sit there in nothing but his underwear.
"For what? I hope you're not going to get all guilty on me now."
"Shouldn't I? I practically kidnapped you all weekend, forced myself on you, seduced you and demanded that you lie to your friends. Oh and I broke you ex-boyfriend's nose."
"True but I'm none the worse for it. And Draco deserved it. I only danced with him to make you jealous." Hermione got off the bed and sat herself in Fred's lap, forcing him to look at her. When his eyes were on hers she determinedly pressed her lips to his, tasting him all over again, still not able to get enough of him. "In fact," Hermione whispered. "I'd say I'm feeling pretty good."
Fred shook his head but his arms wound themselves around Hermione's waist, pulling her tighter. He sighed and rested his cool cheek against her warm chest.
"I did this all wrong. I should have asked you to dinner or to a Quidditch game or something. Not that you would have said yes…"
Hermione laughed but didn't disagree.
"So what's stopping you? Ask me to dinner now."
She casually played with his messy hair, attempting to straighten it out and flatten it down.
"Will you go to dinner with me tonight?"
"I'd love to. We need to do something to commemorate being able to shower alone again."
Fred kissed her neck, where her pulse beat just below the skin.
"Oh, is showering with me so horrible?"
"No," Hermione sighed out. She giggled as Fred dug his fingers into Hermione's ribs and tickled her.
"You have loved being chained to me, just admit it."
"Never!" Hermione giggled as Fred threw her gently onto the bed.
"Well," he said, standing over her, suddenly devoid of his underwear. "I'll just have to make you admit it."
Hermione and Fred slept late the next day, happily wrapped in each other's arms.
Fred was floating on cloud nine, nothing could bring him down. After a shower when Hermione admitted that showering together did have it's advantages, they had a lazy brunch of tinned spaghetti on toast. They didn't even care that they were missing the weekly Family Lunch at the Burrow.
"Hey!" Hermione said suddenly.
Fred kissed her neck. "Hey…"
Hermione pushed him off gently. "No, hey, I danced with Draco last night."
Fred scowled and lay back on his pillow. They were back in bed.
"I'm perfectly aware of that fact, Hermione, no need to remind me."
Hermione shook her head, he wasn't getting it.
Fred watched as she got up off the bed and walked to the window where he had been sitting last night. The window was at least five feet away. Hermione gave him a pointed look and then continued to move further away from him.
Fred watched her, shocked for a moment and then looked down at the bracelet on his wrist. Before, you couldn't pull them off, now he effortlessly tugged it over his wrist. Hermione did the same and dropped it onto the bed where Fred had let his fall. She climbed back into bed and snuggled up to Fred.
"Well, that's a relief. At least now I can pee without you standing just outside the door."
Fred was still staring at the bracelets.
"You're not going to go running for the hills?" he asked jokingly but his mind was clearly trying to figure out what had gone wrong.
"I will if you even think about locking my in a room to try and figure out what when wrong with those damn bracelets. Your product, your problem."
Fred turned pleading eyes onto Hermione.
"Please, please, please?" he begged, kissing a different part of her body for each 'please.' "These are supposed to go on sale on Wednesday and if they only last forty-eight hours, we need to know to market them properly. Please?"
His words were muffled as he ran his lips all over Hermione's arms, chest and face.
Hermione rolled her eyes but enjoyed his ministrations a moment longer before agreeing. Fred thanked her thoroughly.
After Hermione had received Fred's 'thanks,' they headed down to the shop and the back rooms were the twins did their inventing. Fred showed Hermione the original first few bracelets and the spells and potions they had used on them.
Hermione would never admit it, but she loved working side by side with Fred, even if it was on one of his pranks. Together, they checked over ingredients, wand movements, anything that could reduce the bracelet's intended spell life from seventy-two hours to forty-eight.
"Here!" Hermione shouted after nearly two hours of searching. "The original potion was meant for thirty-six hours, George doubled the potion, but these three ingredients," she pointed out the section of the book she was reading, "don't work well together. When their quantities are increased, they loose some of their magical properties and aren't as effective. You should have used hawthorn leaves."
"Hawthorn leaves!" Fred cried and scooped Hermione up into a hug. "I've got to talk to George. I'll be back soon!" He ran happily from the room, slapping Hermione's arse as he passed her.
She cried out in surprise and then giggled. She tidied up the work space and then slowly made her way upstairs to the twins flat.
Where Mrs Weasley was waiting for her. In her hand, she was holding one of the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes fliers. The one advertising the bracelets, more specifically.
Hermione froze where she stood at the top of the stairs. Mrs Weasley didn't say anything, just continued to stare at Hermione.
"I came to see if you two would be coming to dinner. I was going to come over earlier but Ginny convinced me not to. Young love, she said."
"Yes well, uh, we wouldn't have been dressed so just as well you didn't." Hermione's cheeks flared. Discussing her nudity with her new boyfriend's mother was not high on her list of things to do that day.
"But of course Ginny snuck away with Harry this afternoon so I came right over," she continued as if Hermione hadn't spoken. "Imagine my surprise when I saw this flier."
She held up the bright purple parchment.
"Interesting things, that those twins invent. I don't always approve but these bracelets they've done sure sound interesting. Seventy-two hours chained to another person. That would be fun, don't you think? It's funny but haven't you and Fred been practically joined at he hip for about… sixty-hours now? And I did notice you wearing those pretty matching bracelets."
Hermione was speechless, she didn't know what to say and Fred wasn't there to explain.
"How could you?" Mrs Weasley demanded. "I thought you two were together. I thought Fred had finally found someone to love and that you would finally officially be part of the family. And now I see you two have been playing me so that you can get some profit. Fred, I expected more… Where's Fred? By my calculations, you two should still have nearly twelve hours together. This is what you two were doing, right? Fred roped you in to testing out his new product and then came up with that spiteful story about being together. He should be thrilled. Tested his new product and pulled a prank on his mother all in one weekend."
Mrs Weasley seemed confused now. Hermione was torn between confessing everything and playing dumb, pretending that it was the first time she'd heard of the bracelets and that her and Fred really were together. Which they were.
"You see," Hermione said slowly. "Fred and I…"
"Alright!" Fred cried coming up the stairs. "Problem solved. Hermione, I want you naked, in my bed and waiting for me by the time I reach the top of the stairs. We've waisted enough time today. George is staying at Katie's again so can we christen all the lounge room, the kitchen… hey Mum."
Hermione buried her head in her hands. She didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. She settled for blushing and peeked out between her fingers to see Mrs Weasley blushing also and staring, open mouthed at the young couple.
"I – I – I," she stuttered. She looked from Fred and Hermione, to the flier and back again. "I thought you two had… Dinner's at seven."
She turned and practically ran through the fireplace, eager to get away from the embarrassing scene. She was gone in a puff of floo powder.
Hermione and Fred stared at the spot she had been standing only moments before.
"I don't think I've ever seen your mother speechless," Hermione said numbly.
"I don't think she ever has been speechless." Fred walked up the remaining steps and stood before Hermione. They looked at each other a moment before breaking out into laughter.
"Come on," Fred said, winding her arm around Hermione's waist. "I do believe I requested you naked in my bed."
A/N Aww, they're together.
Wow, done. Strange. This story has been the most fun to write and I'm sad that its ending. I've already received some requests for a sequel but I don't think that's going to happen.
So thanks everyone for reviewing, this has definitely been my most enthusiastically reviewed story.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.