Misdirected Passion

"Dammit Fred, I didn't sign up for this!"

"What do you expect me to do? Not go? This is my work. My shop. I have to go!"

It was the same damned argument they seemed the have every month. Hermione's throat already felt hoarse from yelling and Fred was so red in the face she thought he might pass out. She'd have been worried if she wasn't so angry with having to go through the damn ruddy issue for what seemed like the millionth time.

"Not every time!" She shot back, shoving the freshly folded laundry into their dresser haphazardly. "Let George go by himself for once. I'm sick of you being gone all the time."

"It's not all the time. Every other weekend. If you can't give that up so I can make sure our business doesn't go under, then forgive me!"

"It's not just the visits to the shops and you know it. Every night it's something else! Drinks with George. A Quidditch match with Lee. Dinner with Angelina."

"Oh come on. If you wanted some boring guy who would sit at home all the time, you should have stuck with Ron!"

'Maybe I should have!" She glared at him then marched out of their bedroom, he followed close behind as she charged into their study where she'd been intending to spend a quiet evening reading.

"You know this wouldn't be so bad if you actually came with me once in a while." He suggested, his tone still harsh but his voice at a much lower volume.

"I tried that, remember? After about the fiftieth time you mentioned my being in the way I left." She stared at a stack of papers to keep him from seeing her tears.

"I'm not talking about the shop. I mean going out. Actually doing something instead sitting in this damned flat all the time!"

"I don't drink!" She shouted, the calm of the argument having lasted only seconds. "I hate Quidditch and I'm sure as hell not going along while you drool over your ex!"

"Oh come on! She's a friend and that's all! I can't believe we're having this conversation again!"

"We'll keep having it until you stop giving me a reason to doubt you!"

"What reason have I given?" He glared at her coolly as if daring her to come up with a reasonable answer.

"How about how you lie every time you're with her? You don't really think I believed you when you said you were hanging out with Oliver last week, did you? You can't stand being with him one-to-one because you can't get away when he gets out of hand. Your excuse about caught up in paperwork yesterday was even more pathetic!"

Fred smiled sarcastically. "You know me that well, but not enough to trust me?"

"Should I?"

"Yes! Look, I'm a lot of things, but a cheater isn't one of them. I like to go out. I enjoy a good party. I can't help it if I fell in love with a damned bookworm whose idea of excitement is asking the store owner if they got any books in before the release date."

"That's not fair! I am fun."

"What's the last fun thing you did that I didn't have to drag you to?"

She huffed. "I went to dinner with Harry and Ron."

"That was three weeks ago and you only did that so you could talk about Ron all night to get me riled up!"

"Like you didn't do the same with Angelina two weeks before that. At least then you had the decency to admit you were out with her."

"How thick are you?! I have never, ever, been out with another woman without you knowing about it."

"Then where the hell have you been?!"

"Buying this!" He reached into his desk drawer, pulling something from the back of it and throwing it forcibly across the room. Hermione winced as a dancing glass figure shattered. "Obviously that was a mistake," he spat, storming out of the room. She charged after him and he rounded on her, gripping her shoulders firmly.

"Look, I love you, but if I don't leave right now I'm going to do something I regret," he ground out. "George and I will be in France for three days and then I'll be back. We'll talk about it then." He looked towards the study and sighed. "Just don't make a decision until then alright?"

He kissed her briskly, then left before Hermione could say a word. She stared at the closed door, confused by his sudden change in demeanor, then sighed and headed to clean up the mess made by his outburst. With a flick of her wand the shattered glass gathered itself and landed in a nearby bin. Finally she bent down to pick up the small box on the floor, guessing it's contents in an instant. Opening it she stared at the ring and let her tears fall.