Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, I'm just borrowing the characters for a little while, I promise I'll give them back. (Maybe not Fred or George XD )
Okay, this is set during Fifthe Year, during the two weeks after there meeting at the Hogshead, but before Dobby shows them the room of requirments.
As usual, I was the last one up in the common room. Harry and Ron had gone to bed nearly a half hour before. I probably should have headed to bed, but I wanted to finish my essay on the witch hunts of the fifteenth century. I already had the required five feet, I was mostly writing now to keep my mind off what was going on.
I lifted my tired eyes from the parchment and checked the clock above the fire for what must have been the hundredth time. It was past midnight; I really needed to go upstairs to bed. I shoved my feet off the couch with a sigh and scooted to the edge of the couch. I was about to thrust myself off of it when I heard the portrait door open. I whirled my head towards the portrait hole and watched as a familiar red head climbed through the whole. He looked around the room quickly, not noticing me sitting on the couch. Apparently satisfied that he was alone, he began to tiptoe towards the boys dormitory.
"George?" I questioned as he crossed the middle of the floor. He jumped up and turned towards me, his wand gripped in one hand and his other hand hidden in the folds of his robe.
"Merlin, Granger!" he exclaimed, breathing heavily. I repositioned myself on the couch, laying my arms across the back of it and laying my stomach against the back cushion. He was still hiding his hand, but he lowered his wand, a guilty expression on his face.
"What are you still doing up?" he asked, shuffling his feet nervously. I titled my head curiously as I answered. I'd never seen George, or Fred for that matter, look nervous.
"I was finishing an essay for History of Magic. What were you doing out?" The prefect in me was thinking I should berate him for being out after curfew, but something was telling me I shouldn't. Besides, I really didn't like punishing George, Fred, or anyone else for that matter.
He sighed heavily and lowered his eyes. "Nothing, I was just getting back from a detention." His voice was quiet and nervous. A suspicion crossed my mind and my hands tightened into fist as I spoke again.
"George, let me see your hand." His eyes shot up again and he glared at me defiantly. I stared back at him just as steadily, drawing on every inch of my prefect façade. I rose from the couch and walked around it right up to him. He was still glaring at me, but his breathing had grown faster as I drew nearer. I gently reached into his robe and pulled out his hand, holding it at the wrist. My eyes never left his vivid blue ones as I withdrew his hand from his robes. Only when it was fully out did I lower my eyes to his hand. His hand was covered in blood and looked to be swelling. I drew in a quick, sharp, breath, mentally cursing Umbridge for what she had done. Without taking my eyes off of his hand I spoke again.
"Go sit on the couch, I'll be right back." I turned around, not waiting to see if he followed my order, and ran up the stairs to my dormitory. I grabbed the bowl of murlap off my dresser and ran back down the steps. A quick glance around the common room showed him to be sitting on the couch, his head lowered and his hands folded in his lap. He looked utterly defeated and I cursed Umbridge again at the sight of him. I hated seeing such a sad look on his handsome face-they weren't meant to be so unhappy. They were the ones who always smiled, always had a joke on the tip of their tongue. She did this to him, she made him break down. She made the entire school afraid to do anything and it made me sick.
I walked up to the couch as quickly as I could without spilling the bowl's contents and laid it carefully on the table beside the couch. George looked up as I set the bowl down and glanced at me briefly before hanging his head again. I grabbed his hand in my hands gently and sat down next to him. I laid the bowl in my lap and gently submerged his swollen hand into the liquid. He gave a brief hiss of pain before a look of relief flitted across his face.
"Thanks," he mumbled sheepishly. I nodded my head softly as I withdrew my hand from the liquid. I grabbed a washcloth out of my robe pocket and submerged it in the liquid. I began to slowly wash the blood off his hand as I asked him a question.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"Not much to say really," he answered quietly, eyes on the wash cloth. "Fred and I were going to Charms class when we saw a first year hiding a dung bomb. Umbridge was coming around the corner and there wasn't much time to act. I told the kid to run and grabbed the bomb. Umbridge believed I did it and gave me detention."
"Did you know about the punishment?" I asked softly, my heart swelling with friendship and admiration for the prankster. Not many people would have taken the blame for a prank. It just proved he really was a Gryffindor.
He shook his head, finally meeting my eyes. "No, wouldn't have made any difference though. I couldn't let a first year take something like that."
"That was really sweet, George," I said. His ears turned a faint pink and he smiled.
"Thanks, Granger." He paused, staring at me intently for a moment. "How do you do that?" he finally asked. "How do you tell me and Fred apart? Not many people can."
Oh, I hadn't expected that. I honestly wasn't really sure how I did. The differences were really small.
"I just do. It's not that hard if you know what to look for." He tilted his head at my answer and smirked a little.
"What do you look for?" he asked. I looked at his blue eyes and bit my bottom lip. It was a stupid nervous habit and I never thought about it when I did it. His eyes darted to my lips before returning to my eyes.
"Well, your eyes are slightly darker than Fred's, and you have a small freckle on your chin that he doesn't have," I answered honestly, a faint blush coloring my cheeks. I didn't know what made me say all that. I hadn't wanted to admit how much I had actually studied the two of them. I found them fascinating for some reason. The way they were so carelessly themselves, which was really cool to me. I'd always been extremely self conscious of what others thought, and often found myself trying to meet others' expectations. George and Fred didn't care what others thought; they were themselves no matter what. They were smart, something not many people gave them credit for, and of course, incredibly funny.
He was staring at me as I spoke. A smile lifted his lips and his eyes brightened up.
"Have you been studying us, Granger?" He asked, a playful glint in his eyes. I suppressed the urge to blush and flipped my hair pompously.
"You wish, George," I said, he smiled wider and chuckled softly.
"Seriously though, that's pretty neat. Not many people notice that kind of stuff, Mum and Ginny are the only two who can tell us apart, and they get it wrong sometimes."
I smiled to see that he didn't look as upset as he had and decided to continue with some more observations. "Also, you two may act a lot alike but you've got different personalities. You're more observant than Fred, but he's more unreserved."
I had finished cleaninghis hand so I let go of it and withdrew my hand and the cloth from the water. My eyes briefly lingered over the clean cuts on the back of his hand, and I felt my stomach tighten into knots as I read the now clear words written in red on the back of his hand. I must not cause trouble. Anger caused my blood to boil and I found myself wanting to hex Umbridge once again.
He withdrew his hand from the liquid and I moved the bowl back to the table as George stood. I looked up at him and was surprised to see him leaning towards me.
"Thanks, Hermione," he said. The use of my first name wasn't lost on me and I felt myself grow unexplainably warm at the sound of it. He smiled softly at me as a blush once again colored my cheeks before he leaned down so close to me that his face grew blurry before my eyes, andplaced a soft kiss on the corner of my lip before drawing back again.
"See you tomorrow," he finished before turning around and running to the top of the stairs. I sat on the sofa with a stupid grin on my face, raising my hand to touch the spot where his warm lips had briefly touched mine. I couldn't explain the flutters that had filled my stomach, or the sudden urge I had to giggle. All I knew was that I was suddenly not the least bit tired, and it was a good thing because I would not be getting any sleep now.
True enough, I woke up the next morning having scarcely slept at all. When I had fallen asleep my dreams had been pleasant, though I couldn't recall what they had been about. I put on my uniform quickly before heading downstairs to join the others for breakfast. I headed out of the portrait hole to the great hall with a throng of other students. I reached the table quickly and smiled as Harry waved me over. He never failed to do that. We'd eaten in the same spot for all five of our years and he still always waved so I would know where they were.
I sat down next to Harry, bidding both him and Ron good morning before spooning some eggs onto my plate. I picked up my arithmacy book and began reading as I ate my breakfast, taking notes occasionally as I read. I was so deeply immersed in my book that I didn't hear George sit down beside me until he grabbed the book from my hand.
"Oi!" he exclaimed, scanning the page quickly to see what I was reading. "You shouldn't be reading at breakfast, you're probably breaking an 'Educational decree.'" I smiled at that before snatching the book back. I didn't open it back up though, laying it down instead. Harry was in an animated discussion with Ron about quidditch, and Fred was talking to Lee about some joke item so I decided it would be okay to ask my question.
"How's your hand feeling?" I whispered quietly. He smiled brightly as he gulped down some pumpkin juice.
"Fine, thanks to you." His eyes drifted to Fred quickly before he returned his gaze to me. "Thanks for not saying anything."
I nodded my head and smiled softly, feeling nervous suddenly. What was the deal? When had George suddenly turned so cute? Why was I suddenly having trouble controlling my thoughts when he was in the room? And why, for the love of Merlin, did that darned almost kiss have to keep replaying in my mind?
The rest of breakfast passed uneventfully. I finished my food as quickly as I could and left for the library before my first class. I was researching information for where we could have Harry teach us, but I hadn't come up with anything as of yet. It felt weird, actually searching for a way to break the rules.
A/N: Okay, this is going to be fun. I'm going to try and stay faithful to the books timeline, so please let me know if you notice any things off in the upcoming chapters.
Until the next chapter!
PS. Don't forget to review, they fill me with Joy and urge me to write faster!
Pps. Thanks to Ninja Goldfish who took the time to beta read this for me.