(καιρός) the right or opportune moment; a moment of undetermined time in which something special happens.
2. A Difference in Taste
"A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections." George Eliot
Fred/Hermione- for mirage888
It's her third year, making it his fifth (two years isn't that big a distance, though). He's sitting on the steps outside of Zonko's, staring wistfully at the sky. Cautiously, she sits down beside him. "Why aren't you with George?"
"Why aren't you with Harry and Ron?" His mouth slowly curves up into his usual smile. "Same thing, isn't it?"
"I suppose," Hermione taps her chin. "But it's a bit strange to be sitting on the steps of Zonko's alone."
Fred nods. "True. But it's also a bit strange of you to join me."
"I was doing you a favour," Hermione turns to stare him in his big blue eyes. She cocks her head just a little bit unconsciously. "I am kind, you know, unlike you, and I enjoy trying to figure you out. But if you don't want me here-"
"Kind, eh?" Fred interrupts. Reaching over, he tickles her lightly in the area where she's most ticklish. Unconsciously, she laughs- she can't really help it. She turns to smile at him, brown curls falling in her face messily. Then, just to tease him even more, she starts to stand up. He grabs her arm. "No, Moany Hermione, don't go!"
"Fine," She pretends to pout. "If you care that deeply-"
"Oh, I do," He's playing the part perfectly. His eyes are depths of blue, swimming with fake tears, and Hermione can't help but think that he'd be a perfect actor. Still acting, he requests, "Please have a seat, my dear Hermione."
"Whatever you ask, my sir," She beams, sinking slowly back on to the black marble. "You never did explain. Why are you sitting by your lonesome self on the steps of Zonko's? It's not a common hobby, y'know."
"I am fully aware of that," Fred grins. "However, I do some uncommon things. For example, I dream of owning a joke business much like this one someday."
"Oh, yeah," Hermione remembers. Suddenly, the marble steps aren't just marble steps; they're the gateway to the shop that Fred and his twin George dream of. "Any progress with that?"
"Nope," Fred says glumly, face just a bit more downcast. "Mum absolutely refuses to let us own our own joke shop. Says it's not a reputable profession, two clever boys like the pair of us should be Aurors or something of the like- but it's just not for us, you know?"
"You two as Aurors?" Hermione tries not to snicker.
"Hey!" Fred protests. "It's entirely possible."
"Is not," Hermione tells him, trying to imagine it. They'd end up cracking a joke, and all of them, including the dangerous criminal, would be sitting there laughing until they cried. Either that, or they'd go around pranking the Death Eaters- a Muggle Whoopie Cushion for Lucius Malfoy, fake moustaches for the Lestranges. "You'd probably put fake moustaches on the Lestranges or something."
"What?" Fred chokes out, and then dissolves into laughter at just the mental picture. Frowning, Hermione taps her foot on the cold stone repeatedly until his laughter finally ceases.
Sighing, Hermione states, "I suppose this is what they call a different taste in humour. I always thought it was a load of rubbish until now."
"Yeah," Fred winces. Silence falls over them for a few minutes until Fred breaks it. "I want to own a joke shop someday."
"You do?" Hermione turns to face him, surprised.
"Yeah," Fred grins wickedly. "It would be here, at Diagon Alley, to compete with Zonko's- every business needs some competition, if you ask me. George would own it with me, and we'd have billions of customers pouring in every day to buy our products. We're already putting together some basic order forms, next year we'll give them out- you wouldn't be interested in some Puking Pastilles, would you? Fourth year is the hardest, I hear."
"I'll consider it next year," Hermione laughed. "Honestly, Fred, one of these days you're going to earn detention. If I was prefect, you'd have all too many by now."
"But you're only third year," Fred grins wickedly. "And I'm fifth- it's a good thing I'm not prefect, George and I would get away with too much."
Hermione nods earnestly. "That's too true. I'm glad Dumbledore is too wise to be fooled by the lot of you."
"But honestly, Moany Hermione, you watch. In fifteen years, this business will be booming. Thousands of customers, pouring in from all over the wizarding world," He waves his hand around, as if trying to convey something or paint a picture for her. Hermione doesn't see anything at all.
Smiling softly, she covers his hand with her own and squeezes it just a little bit. "I'm sure you will, Fred. And I'll come have a look- I'm not buying anything, of course. No way would I ever allow myself to get caught with this sort of illegal stuff."
"It's not illegal," Fred counters.
"It is at Hogwarts," Hermione reprimands. "Do you honestly think Dumbledore or McGonagall would approve of these things?"
Frowning, Fred appears deep in thought. "Dumbledore, maybe. But McGonagall, probably not."
"So it's illegal then," Hermione smirks.
Fred shakes his head. "Just watch. Promise me, Moany, that you'll come back here fifteen years from now, to Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, and look at all the business we'll have. Promise me you'll look around, at least, if not buy something. Hopefully you'll have loosened up a bit by then."
"Fine, I promise," Hermione shakes her head, as if he's some silly little child. "Maybe you'll actually prove me wrong."
Fifteen Years Later
Hermione Granger-Weasley appeared at the door to Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. Rose was clutching on to one of her hands, and Hugo on the other, who was talking animatedly with his older cousin Fred II.
"Fifteen years," she whispered to the rushing wind. "It's been fifteen years already."
As not to contradict Fred's words, the shop was booming with business. A rush of sadness filled Hermione as she thought of Fred's death eleven years previous. Without Fred, George and his wife Angelina (with some help from their children Fred II and Roxanne) were still running the shop, but it was obvious to almost anyone that the hole Fred used to fill existed there.
Sadly, the reminder of the promise she'd made to Fred at the age of thirteen still nagged at her. Tugging on her children's hands, she said, "Come along."
"We're going inside?" an ecstatic Hugo questioned.
"Awesome! Come on, Aunt Hermione, Hugo, Rose! I'll give you a tour!" Fred Weasley, who was somewhat near an exact replica of his namesake, dragged Hugo inside. Hugo let go of his mother to follow his cousin. Apprehensively, Rose glanced up at her mother.
"Shall we go inside?" She asked, tugging a bit on her mom's hand.
Inhaling deeply, Hermione opened the doors. The store seemed just as she'd seen it as a schoolgirl- people rushing around, enjoying the pranks and toys in store for them. Rose let go over her then, running over to a display of rare animals. Hermione walked slowly over to a crate of stones. Picking up one, she noticed it read, "In Memory of the Best Owner of this Store There Ever Was, Fred Weasley. It was his dream to create this place."
Stone clutched tightly in her hand, she said to the sky, "Well, Fred, looks like you got your dream. If only you were still here to see it. I wish."
Though there was no wind inside, Hermione could have sworn she felt a breeze brush her. She wasn't a superstitious person. But she could still have sworn she heard someone whisper, "I am still here."
Smiling just a bit, she took the hand she still clutched in her hand over to the register. As George rang her up, he shared a smile with her, as if there was something he understood.
You proved me wrong, Fred, Hermione thought in her head. And I bought something from your store. It's booming, just like you said.
The wind blew inside the store again, and she smiled secretly to herself as Rose and Hugo attacked her, things they wanted to buy piled in their hands.
I miss you, Fred.
We all do.
A/N: Aw, sad! Well, that one was by request of the lovely mirage888, who has reviewed most of my stories, whether HP or iCarly! So thanks, mirage888, and that one's for you! Sorry that I made it sad though. I'm not sure if I got Fred/Hermione exactly right... I've never written for them before.
But looks like I've gotten quite a few requests! I'll be doing so far: Remus/OC (sorry, not Tonks, because it's a school days story), Hagrid/ Madam Maxime, Katie/Oliver (should be fun!), Rose/Scorpius (YAY! Next gen :D I love!), Teddy/Victoire (yay! Another next-gen!), Marauders 4-Some gen. Thanks to mirage888, ilovemybestfriends, Romance and Musicals, and Frissa for reviewing, I'll get to ALL of your ideas!
Got any more pairings? Review! Got a prompt for one of the above pairings? Review! I'll do whatever, so long as it's not cross-gen or slash or incest! Come on, be creative, I ESPECIALLY need prompts!