A/N Whats this? An update? You're joking. Jack doesn't update anymore. Well yes, yes she does. It has been almost a year - hangs head in shame - but yes, this is a bona fide update. I hope you enjoy it.
George sat studying the documents, trying to pinpoint what was wrong with them. It was a standard contract for a new supplier but there was something niggling the back of his mind telling him something was amiss. A knock at the door tore him away from his obsessive examination.
"Come in," he called wearily. Since Hermione's visit three nights ago he hadn't slept more then a couple hours of sleep a night. He hadn't seen or talked to her since.
Fred stepped through the door, a serious look on his usually jovial face.
"What now?" George sighed.
"Its about Hermione," Fred answered.
"Of course it is." She filled his thoughts at night and kept him awake, why shouldn't she also disrupt his work. He threw aside his quill which had long run ago run dry and slumped back in his seat. "She's looking for a house to buy," Fred said without preamble. "She's picking out baby names, wondering if she'll have a boy or a girl. If it will have red hair or brown. Probably auburn she's decided."
"What's your point, Fred?" George demanded, feeling guilty yet strangely empty at the same time.
"So you've told her yes? Done the deed? Because if you have, you should be doing all that with her! She should be talking about it with you, the father, not me the uncle."
"Doesn't she tell you everything?" George sneered, angry with his twin, jealous that he was missing out on all of that. "Didn't she run to you the other night and confess everything."
"She's staying with me but all she told me was that her apartment flooded." Fred raised his eyebrows waiting for George to elaborate on what he thought Hermione would have confessed.
"You weren't her first stop." George sighed and sat back up in his seat, placing his elbows on the desk, his chin in his hands. "I did tell her yes. And we started… you know."
Fred smiled slightly. "Yes, I can imagine."
"But then I did something without thinking and we had a bit of a argument and she left." George shrugged.
Fred watched his brother, the brother he knew better then any other person on this earth. He could see how hard George was trying to seem nonchalant but really he was nonplussed.
"What did you argue about?" Fred queried.
"It was nothing." George shrugged again. "She was saying she didn't want to be in a relationship. She just wanted to do the deed and, I don't know, forget it ever happened, I suppose. She just wanted me for my body," George concluded, his lips twitching.
Fred laughed. He saw it now, what was really going on.
"You like her," he said, laughing more.
"No, I don't!" George cried, a little too fiercely. "I just don't want to be used like a stud. I mean, she could at least let me take her dinner."
"You stupid, stupid man," Fred said, not unkindly.
"Its not that stupid. She's a woman, you would think she would want a bit of romance," George grumbled.
"Of course she does, but this is Hermione we're talking about. Smart, sensible, logical Hermione. Think about why she would want such a passionate, intimate beautiful thing like the conception of a child turned into a mission, something to be accomplished."
"Why?" George said, not bothering to think about it at all. If Fred had the answers to the questions that had been swirling around his head, keeping him up at night, he didn't want to pussyfoot about.
"She likes you!" Fred shouted at his brother, suddenly angry. George was being offered everything that Fred would never have and his brother was behaving like a spoilt child who was given books when what he really wanted was a toy. They never realised how much better for you the books were. "You stupid, blind git. The girl is half in love with you. Why do you think she chose you? Your stunning good looks? Your charming personality? For whatever reason my best friend had decided, subconsciously maybe, that its you she wants and that terrifies her. She's nearly thirty years old and she's never lost herself to love. Crushes and flings aside, this is the first serious relationship she's been faced with and she's scared." Fred looked ready to throw something. "She's the most important thing in my fucked up life, George. I love her like she was my second sister. And you're hurting her. I know you don't mean to, you probably don't even realise you're doing it but you are. You need to decide wether you can do this and walk away or if you want to commit fully. Not just for while you two are trying or for while she's pregnant or until the child's in school. If you want any part of your child's life you need to get down on your knees and beg that woman to be with you. Tell her how you feel, tell her what you want for your lives together. Tell her you want a family with her. Hermione deserves the world, the moon. If you can't give her everything, you shouldn't be giving her anything."
Fred rose and left without another word, leaving George to once again contemplate just what he was ready to give to Hermione.
He had known her for years. Watched her grow from a bossy, busy haired know-it-all, through the years where she found her place in the world, into the beautiful, confident woman she was now. He had never been ignorant to how amazing she was. It wasn't an active thought, something he oft contemplated, it was just something he accepted as fact; Hermione was amazing. She would do great things with her life, she loved fiercely and protectively, she was passionate. But he supposed, along with the thought that she was amazing, was the knowledge that she belonged to someone else. He had never given her a second thought before all this because the way he had seen it was that first she had been Ron's friend, too young and obviously crushing on his brother. Then their paths had been separated through school, war and work. By the time they collided again and Hermione had grown into someone worth his twenty year old self's time, she'd been friends with Fred, seemingly on their way to their own romance.
But now Fred was telling him that Hermione liked him. That yes, Fred loved her, but not in the way Hermione needs. That Hermione needs, of all things, George. And God damn it, he needed her too. It was the strangest sensation, like the first breath of air after years of drowning. He felt more alive, more a part of the world in the last month than he had in all the years since that fateful incident with Lavender. He thought he had been doing the smart thing, distancing himself from everything that could hurt him like that again. But he could see now just how wrong he'd been. He should have gotten back up on a different broomstick, not refused to ever fly again.
George smiled at his inelegant analogy. Hermione would be cranky if she knew she was being compared to a broomstick. His smile broadened as he thought of his fierce lady. She would fight him he knew. Fred was right, he would have to beg. She wasn't going to just say, "Oh, okay, of course we should be a proper family. Lets get married, George."
That pulled him up. Marriage. Married. Husband and wife. That would be one way to convince her. Wizards and witches married for life, not like muggles who married and divorced at the drop of a hat. Oddly, the idea didn't scare him as much as it would have only three nights ago. He wanted to be with Hermione, wanted to see her belly swell with his child, sleep beside her at night. Make a family with her. Love her. Of course he wanted to marry her.
He gave a little laugh and picked up his quill. He dipped it in the ink pot and fixed the now glaringly obvious mistake. He had spelled his name wrong.
A/N So I hope George's thoughts and feelings weren't too rushed. Let me know what you for sticking with me despite my sporadic updating.