George/Hermione. Hermione reconnects to George through a sea of bubbles and an important birthday.

Sorry lads! This is my first attempt to write about the twins so I apologise in advance if I don't do them justice.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately the twins and all other Harry Potter characters belong to the wonderful J.

AN: This was written for the Twin Exchange monthly challenge

Prompt: Bubbles

Pairing: George/Hermione

Quote: "I'm not so certain this is a good idea"

Theme: Severus Snape, born January 9 1960.

I'm Back

Hermione Granger sighed as she made her weekly trip to Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. It had been five years since the Final Battle and she was one of the few people George allowed to visit him on a regular basis. The death of his twin had naturally hit him hard and he was truly a shadow of his former self. Hermione had already had one disappointment that evening and she was sure that this visit would do little to raise her spirits.

George couldn't admit how much Hermione's visits meant to him. He found it hard to understand how the pretty brunette had gotten under his skin or why she had bothered with him. Fred's death left him with a constant feeling that he was missing something and the disappointment that he couldn't find it. However, when Hermione was bustling around his kitchen re-heating meals from his mother and making tea, chatting about the latest book she was reading he felt at peace if only for a short time. Not that Hermione could tell when all she received in thanks was a series of grunts and brief small talk.

He had left the door open for her. "At least he finally accepts I'm not going to give up" she mused with a wry smirk. She closed the door behind her and headed for the kitchen. The kettle was already boiled.

"Wonders will never cease" Hermione muttered under her breath.

"It's just boiling water Granger. Don't get your knickers in a twist."

Hermione spun around to find the object of her frustration leaning casually against the doorway. For a second she could have sworn she saw the ghost of a smile but if it existed at all it was soon replaced with the sullen expression she was more accustomed to. Hermione sighed and started violently banging cups and presses in preparation for tea.

"Jesus Granger, are you trying to give me a headache… because usually your nagging is more than enough to…"

"Oh shut up George I'm not in the mood!" Hermione snapped as she threw the teabags into the pot.

George peered at her in contemplation. Hermione was usually cheerful and trying to distract him from his troubles but today…

"What's bugging you Granger?"

"Nothing"
"It's clearly something"

"It's nothing…its just Severus."

George wasn't expecting that. As picky as he was about whom he saw and when, Snape was worse. After the battle Hermione had gone back to the Shrieking Shack to retrieve his body. She had snuck off from the grieving Weasleys and made her own pilgrimage to pay her respects to her personal hero, the man who had given up his life for the greater good and to watch over the son of the only woman he ever loved. When she got there she found him unconscious but with a glimmer of life still left. As only she could she reached for her glittery purse and started retrieving potions from it and for the next frantic hour she focused on saving his life. And, as with all things she put her mind to, she succeeded. George loved that about her. The same way she came to him week after week when she should be moving on with her own life. She refused to leave either of them behind. She went to Severus once a month. George guessed he wasn't as tolerant as he was. She was the only one Severus would see but that was only because he owed her a life debt. George smiled at the thought of Snape being indebted to the know-it-all he despised for so many years.

"What did he do now?"

Hermione did nothing to mask her surprise at George's question. He never seemed to care about anyone else these days.

"Why do you ask?"

"Well I'd like to know why my cabinets are suffering your wrath. I think they'd like an explanation too."

Hermione was in shock. That had almost been a joke.

"Eh…well… it's his birthday on Friday. He'll be 49. I'm trying to get him to come to Grimmauld Place for dinner. Molly's cooking and the Order want to see him, Harry wants to see him, but that stubborn man refuses to come."

"Well why don't you force him?"

"The man was a spy under the nose of the greatest dark wizard that ever existed. How do you propose I force him?"

"Is this really important to you? I mean if the man wants to wallow in his misery let that be his birthday present."

"Yes it's important to me! The two of you drive me mad. We're all hurting George. We've all suffered losses. We've all lost friends and family in the Final Battle. Harry is still blaming himself for everyone's death-he thinks it's his entire fault for not being quicker about killing Voldemort. Your parents are barely coping with the loss of Fred and they've lost you too because you haven't been yourself which is not what Fred would have wanted and don't you dare say differently. I still can't find my parents and they don't even remember that I existed. So don't look at me George Fabian Weasley and tell me that it's ok to wallow in misery because then it will all have been for nothing. They all would have been lost in vain because those that survived are just surviving. They're not living their lives. Fred, Remus, Tonks all died protecting their right to live. You have it and you're squandering it. We need you back George. We need to laugh again but you're too God damn selfish."

Hermione finished her rant in a flood of tears and ran out of the flat, slamming the door behind her and apparated back to Grimmauld Place. The guilt hit her before she even reached her room.

On Friday afternoon she came home after work to find George in her kitchen.

"What are you doing here?" She asked in shock.

"Put your coat back on we have a job to do."

Too curious to argue Hermione swiftly put her coat back on and followed George back outside.

"Apparate us to Spinner's End."
"Snape won't let you in George."
"Don't worry he isn't even there, McGonagall is keeping him busy until we're finished."
"Finished what?!"

"Patience is a virtue Granger" George winked at her. Hermione was starting to think she was asleep and dreaming but decided to go along with it because if it was a dream it was a good one. George wrapped his strong arms around her and she apparated them to Snape's house. The house was dark and brooding as befitted the man himself.

"Blimey, I don't blame him for being miserable in this place."
"I'm going to be in so much trouble for this. Will you please tell me why I'm here?"

"You said you wanted Snape at Grimmauld Place for his birthday and I'm going to help you." George stated simply.

Hermione stared at him in wonder.

"Are you going to stare at me all day Granger or are we going in? I promise you he's not here!"

Hermione came to her senses and took him past the wards. They entered the empty house and the door closed eerily behind them. George took his green backpack off his back, unzipped it and started handing Hermione strange cylinders from it.

"Ok we need to set one of these off in every room."

"Ok George what are we doing!"

"We're going to play a little prank on our dear former Professor."

Hermione looked as if her eyes would pop out of her head.

"Have you gone insane?!"

George sighed in exasperation. It's for a good cause Granger. These are going to force him out of his house and where else will he go but…"

"Grimmauld Place!" Hermione finished his sentence. She drew George into a bone-crushing hug.

" You're a genius!"

"I've been telling you that for years. Come on let's get started before he catches us in the act."

"George what exactly are these?" Hermione asked as George set up the first cylinder.

"May I present to you 'Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes Long-Lasting, Non-Popping bubbles!"

"Bubbles?"

"Bubbles."

"You're going to fill Severus Snape's house with bubbles."

"We are going to fill Severus Snape's house with bubbles. Come on Granger we haven't got all day." George set off the first cylinder and watched with pride as the room swiftly filled with white fluffy bubbles.

"I'm not so certain this is a good idea," Hermione said with dread in her voice. "What if you ruin his furniture?

"Oh for Merlin's sake. They are magical, dry bubbles Hermione. They'll disappear in 6 hours time and it'll be like they were never here."
"But what if he…"

"No buts." George took Hermione into his arms and looked deep into her chocolate eyes. "You told me 3 days ago that I had to start living again. When you left I was really angry with you… then I realised you may have a point. And Merlin do I hate that you are always right!
Hermione blushed and smiled at that.

"I went to Hogwarts to visit Fred. I chatted to him about it for a while. The conversation was a little one-sided though." Hermione laughed and hit him fondly in the arm at his joke.

"But then as I'm kneeling there talking and feeling sorry for myself the wind is getting stronger and stronger and next thing you know a branch comes flying at me and hits me in the back of the head. It could have been coincidence but I think it was Fred's way of telling me to get a life and get back to normal. Or, at least as normal as I can be."

George paused and drew Hermione closer.

"I wanted to thank you for sticking with me the past few years. You've kept me sane Hermione Granger and I…I…I'd like to think that you may have wanted to save me, not out of friendship or obligation but…because…maybe you like me. And maybe I let you because…maybe I like you back." George ended shyly.

Hermione looked at him intently. She saw his bright blue eyes shine for the first time in five years and she felt a huge wave of emotion for him. She smiled softly at him. He leaned down and captured her soft red lips in a sweet kiss. She raised her hands and ran them through his messy red hair as she deepened the kiss. It was like she had always imagined only better. He was right. She had always had a crush on the quieter twin but she never felt he would feel the same way. But now in the warmth of his arms she felt five years of worry fall away from her. George gently pulled away from her and grinned widely at her. Hermione had forgotten how much she had missed that grin. Although she knew it meant trouble.

"Enough snogging, more pranking. If you had told me back in Hogwarts that I'd be pulling a prank with Hermione Granger one day I would have laughed at you."

"I would have laughed too. Of course I never thought I'd be kissing you either. Things change Weasley…bet I can set off more cylinders than you!"

"You're on!"

The two ran around the house leaving a sea of bubbles in their wake. They ran out of the house laughing and out of breath five minutes later.
"My heart is racing! This is the most excited I've been since...ever!" Hermione laughed

"Why do you think we kept doing it all those years? This is the best feeling in the world!" George replied. Suddenly they both heard a familiar pop. Snape's ominous black clad figure appeared at a tree at the end of the street.

"Oh Merlin!" Hermione breathed as she swiftly grabbed George and apparated them back to Grimmauld Place.

They landed on the front step and fell in the door.

"Hermione you splinched me!" George cried as he fell to the ground.

"Oh no! George let me see! Are you bleeding? Where does it hurt? What did you lose?"

"One of my ears is gone!"

It took Hermione a few seconds to register what he had said.

"You idiot!" she cried, "You really scared me!" She hopped on top of him and started tickling him with no mercy.

"Hermione? Is that you? We're almost ready for the…"

Molly trailed off as she saw Hermione on the floor straddling her son.

"George!"

"Hey Mum! Snape apparated to his house just as we were leaving so we're expecting him any second"
"Well for goodness sake get off the ground and go into the kitchen or you'll ruin it."
Hermione and George untangled themselves and stood up abruptly.
"Ruin what?" Hermione asked but the answer never came because suddenly the front door flew open and a very angry, bubble-covered, Severus Snape came flying in.

"What on Earth were you thinking Ms Granger! I come home to find my house has been turned into a plaything! Have you gone insane?"

Molly, George and Hermione started backing towards the kitchen door as Snape advanced on them.

"Severus calm down the children had their reasons to do whatever it is they did…" Molly began as she opened the kitchen door.

"They're not children Molly they are…"

"SURPRISE!!"

"…troublemakers" Snape finished as he took in the sight before him in astonishment. All the remaining members of the order were there and the staff of Hogwarts too, wearing party hats and smiling brightly at him. Harry stepped forward.

"We're sorry we had to trick you into coming Professor Snape but we all wanted to see you. You've been a hermit since the Final Battle and if it weren't for Hermione we wouldn't know if you were dead or alive. We're sorry we doubted you but that's your own fault for being such a good double agent. And we'd like to make it up to you and be your friends...but we need you to allow us to do so. What do you say?" Harry extended his hand to the older wizard who grasped it and shook. Everyone smiled at the pair. Snape seemed to still be in shock.

"I didn't think…I'm… Ok Potter. I'll try." He said gruffly. "But in future I'd rather you sent me an owl and kept my house be kept free of bubbles."

Everyone looked around in confusion at that statement but slowly it began to dawn on them what must have happened. They all looked around and stared at the remaining Weasley twin in delight.

"I'm back." George stated simply grinning broadly. His brothers approached him one by one and hugged him one-by-one. Ginny gazed at him with tears in her eyes from the comfort of Harry's arms.

"Alright everyone. Dinner is ready so take a seat." Molly took control and started swiftly issuing orders as Arthur handed Snape a large firewhiskey. George slipped his arms around Hermione and led her back to the hallway.

"So…do you think you could handle being the girlfriend of a Weasley twin?"

"Will there always be this much trouble?" Hermione smiled as she looked into his eyes.

"Well I'm the only one left so I have to be double the trouble…for Fred's sake."

"Hmm…I think the benefits outweigh the negatives."

The sounds of laughter from the kitchen sounded in the background as everyone discussed the image of Snape entering the kitchen with bubbles in his hair.

"Good because I don't think my cabinets can survive another beating!" George remarked as he leaned in for another kiss.

It was good to be back.