AN: My first multi-chaptered Harry Potter fic! I've got the first few chapters done and the main plot laid out but any input on where you'd like to see this go would be greatly appreciated.
Chapter One: Where'd You Go?
Fred wasn't all that concerned when he woke in the morning to find his wife missing. Hermione had always been an early riser and he often found her reading out in the garden or sipping a cup of tea in the kitchen on her days off.
When he failed to find her in either place, or anywhere else in the house for that matter, he began to worry. By that evening he was deeply concerned and Floo'd just about everyone either he or Hermione had ever met. The next day, when there was no sign of her still, he was frantic and by that night he was so distraught that George insisted he stay over at the old flat with him. He spent the night in his old bedroom, staring up at the ceiling while absentmindedly playing with an old paperweight.
Fred woke from a restless sleep on his third day without Hermione and wearily made his way to the fireplace. He didn't bother changing out of the pyjama's George had leant him before Flooing over to the Burrow for some much needed comfort and advice. Ron grunted at him from the breakfast table, too focused on his cereal to spare him more than a glance.
Fred sighed. "You haven't seen her, have you?"
"Who?" Ron asked between mouthfuls. Fred rolled his eyes.
"Professor Sprout," he answered sarcastically. "Hermione of course. Who else?"
"What about her?"
"Ron I'm serious. This isn't the time to be joking." He couldn't believe his brother could be so callous at a time like this. Just yesterday he'd nearly broken down in front of him and now he was acting as if nothing had happened.
"Fine," his younger sibling shrugged. "She's in there." He gestured toward the sitting room.
Fred took off running and gave a sigh of relief when he found his wife standing near the arm chair, sorting through a stack of papers. "Hermione!" He threw his arms around her, peppering her face with kisses. "I was so worried." All of the tension and anxiety drained from his body as he experienced the relief of finally having her back in his arms. He smiled when he felt her hands run up along his chest, but his excitement and happiness waned when she pushed him with force, shoving him back.
"What do you think you're doing?!"
He stumbled back, baffled. "What?"
"You can't just walk in here and kiss me and expect it to be okay."
Fred swallowed hard. He has been terrified that something had happened to her and that fear had consumed him for the past two days, but at the same time he had worried that he'd done something wrong and that she'd simply left. While it was clear now that she was okay, his secondary fear, it seemed, had been realized.
"Hermione, I don't know what happened to make you so upset, but we'll work it out."
She gave him a scrutinizing glare. "I think it's obvious what you've done."
His mind raced as he tried to figure out what she was referring to. He had come home late on Friday. And there was the dinner he ruined a week back, but none of that made sense. They hadn't fought. He wasn't cheating on her or hiding things or any of the typical things that might push a woman to leave. He stepped forward, resting his hand on her side. "Mione please."
"I hate when you call me that," she huffed
"No you don't," he said with a weak smile. "You used to tell me that it bothered you but you secretly liked it."
A blush rose in her cheeks and she quickly looked away. "That's ridiculous."
"Come on Hermione. I don't know what I did, but whatever it was, it'll never happen again." He moved to cup her cheeks. "Please, I need my wife back."
She stared at him blankly. "You don't have a wife."
Fred felt his heart sink and he pulled back. Like any couple they suffered the occasional row, but she'd never walked out before. He couldn't fathom what he could have possibly done to make her denounce their marriage.
"You can't possibly mean that."
She continued to stare at him with a look of annoyance.
"Hermione, I love you. Please." His voice broke as he dropped to his knees. He felt like a fool, pleading with her in a situation where he had no idea what was happening, but his own brother had told him that love was a fool's game. That was the night he had proposed to her.
Hermione looked shocked at his display of emotion. She stared down at him as if analyzing his actions or perhaps determining his sincerity. Finally she bent down to meet his eye level. "Where's George?"
"What?" Why was she asking for him at a time like this?
"George, you know, your other half. I don't know what kind of joke this is supposed to be, but you usually reveal it once both of you are present."
"Hermione, why are you acting like this?" He grabbed for her hand, pulling it towards him to kiss her knuckles.
"Fred stop." The look she gave him was tainted as cold as ice. "This isn't something to joke about and you're making me uncomfortable."
Fred released her, his arms hanging limply at his sides. That one word, uncomfortable, was enough to break him. Wasn't that why they had gotten together in the first place? The comfort they found in each other? That warmth and softness and an indescribable feeling of home whenever their bodies met. And here she was, telling him she didn't even want him to hold her hand.
"Is it someone else?" he choked out, unable to look at her. If she couldn't tell him what it was he'd done, then perhaps…
She gave no answer and he continued to stare at the carpet, a sharp pain twisting in his gut. Finally she spoke again.
"Fred, George is here. You can stop now."
He looked up at her, a feeling of rage like he'd never experienced towards her building quickly. "Is that it then? Wait for George to be here when you tell me you're leaving?! Oh, George will take care of Fred. He'll be fine without his wife as long as his twin is there to pat his back. It doesn't work that way!"
Hermione looked genuinely scared as he shouted. George ran forward to calm him while Ron came running from the kitchen.
"What the hell is going on?"
"This is between me and my wife, Ron."
"What are you on about?"
Fred glared at his younger brother. "I said stay out of it."
Rather than leaving, Ron turned to Hermione. "What's going on?"
"I don't know," she answered meekly. "He came running in all happy, then he kissed me and started talking about his wife."
Fred felt George squeeze his shoulder. "You alright mate?"
"No, I'm not. Hermione seems to think that if she pretends we're not married, it'll be like the last three years never happened."
All three turned to gape at him. He was glad his brothers seemed to agree with his opinion of Hermione's behavior, but he couldn't believe she had the nerve to look upset.
"Fred, maybe you should lie down." He felt George lead his to the sofa where he sat wearily. "Are you feeling okay?"
"Bloody hell, of course I'm not. My damned wife is leaving me and doing a shit job of it."
"Fred," George looked at him with concern in his eyes. "What the hell are you talking about? You're not married."