LbN: Last chapter! Hope you like it!

True Colors

Patience wasn't normally the word one would use to describe Fred and George. The twins always had to be moving and weren't all that fond of having to do things five million times unless they were fun things. However, the pair of them had been extremely patient in teaching Ron the joke shop business; and Ron had caught on pretty quickly. Today was different. Ron had a major case of "the fuck its" and couldn't be disciplined in any sense of the word.

"Bloody hell Ron," Fred rolled his eyes. "Just go and get ready, we'll close up."

"Sorry mate," Ron grinned, picking up the fallen boxes of Edible Dark Marks. "I'll be better tomorrow, promise."

"Don't worry," Fred grinned. "I'd be a wreck too if I hadn't seen Angelina in five months."

"Yeah," George nodded, climbing down off of the ladder. Standing back to admire the sign he'd just hung (Chilling Chocolates- the newest edition to our famous Skiving Snack Boxes!), he threw Ron the house keys. "Go ahead home, and tell Hermione hi from us."

"Cheers guys!" Ron waved as he exited the shop.

An hour and a half later, he was standing outside of Merlin's Ballroom; his and Hermione's favorite "special occasion" restaurant. He wiped his hands on his tux jacket and checked his watch again. She wasn't late, he was just nervous as hell. He turned a second later, hearing the clicking of heals, and his mouth fell open. Hermione was walking toward him, wearing a midnight blue dress, hair down around her shoulders. She grinned and ran toward him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders.

"It's so good to see you!" she said, hugging him half to death.

"You too," Ron smiled brightly. "You look…wonderful. You tanned!"

"Five months hunting for exotic plants in the Amazon Basin will do that for you," she said, taking his arm. "Shall we?"

The entered the chandelier lit foyer and turned down the left hallway. An usher silently led them into a small room where a table and chairs had been set up. Hermione smiled up at the youngest Weasley male as he held her chair out for her.

"Ron, you're so romantic," she smiled.

"Every once in a while," he said. After he sat down, he said, "So, tell me everything."

"Well, there's not much to tell. We've been researching antidotes for uncommon poisons, and one of the team members (Natalia) is from Uruguay. She'd been to Brazil a bunch of times before and figured she knew some places to look. She didn't. We spent the first two months looking for these roots in completely the wrong place before we decided to regroup and start over. We hit gold around July, which made the heat a little less ridiculous. Only a little though; it was horrid."

"So you guys found the roots?"

"Pink Brazilian Mushrooms," she nodded. "Didn't know they were poisonous though, so we spent the end of that month recovering from the fumes…"

Ron choked on his water.

"Excuse me?" he sputtered. She'd left that bit out of the letters…

"Well, you have to stew mushrooms when you want to use them in antidotes right? Well, the fumes were slightly poisonous and we all got sick. It could've been much worse; we just had upset stomachs and headaches for a while…but after that was when we got to work. All of it's pretty boring if you don't like potions though."

"Tell me," Ron smiled as the waiter delivered their salads.

"We found that the mushrooms increase the…potency, shall we say? Of whatever remedy you put it in; including hangover cures…"

"Something you need to tell me?" Ron laughed.

"Not me! Markus got drunk off his tits one night and decided to add the mushrooms the next morning. I was yelling at him for coming to work plastered so I don't think he really cared if it ended up killing him. Anyway, we filled enough files to get funding for the next three years. Kingsley's already signed the papers for grants, so we're going to be building a permanent research center in Brazil."

"That's great Hermione!" Ron said, ecstatic. "Have you told anyone else?"

"Nope!" she smiled. "I wanted to share the good news with you first. So, want to talk about your time while I was away?"

"Not really," Ron smirked. "It was hard, but I'm over it mostly. Plus, I have something a bit more interesting to talk about."


"Fred and George put me in charge of…oh, what did they call it? Forget the title, but the gist of it is I get to come up with the designs and packaging of their products. I was messing around with some of their Wonder Witch products and repackaged some stuff. They liked it and pretty much said, 'Go ahead and screw around for the rest of the day'. So I've got a permanent spot now."

"That's great!" Hermione smiled. "I'm sure they're psyched to have you there."

They sat quietly for a while, eating their food. Finally, Ron broke the silence.

"I'm glad you're back, Hermione."

She leaned over and kissed him, blue dress skimming against the red table cloth.

"Glad to be back, Ron."

LbN: Hope you liked it! Send reviews, por favor. Tonks' story's next!