Disclaimer: I own nothing, nothing I tell you! All the characters, places etc. belong to JKR.
CHOCOLATE & PUMPKIN ICE CREAM
"Why so glum, Little Bee?"
Hermione looked up from her copy of the Daily Prophet to see George Weasley stood above her, holding an ice cream cone. She was sat outside Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour. It was a rather hot day in the middle of July and the twenty-five year old was glad to be on her lunch break. She sighed as he took a seat at her table and set down her paper and quill. She had been trying to complete the Daily Prophet crossword, which was particularly difficult.
"Why do you call me 'Little Bee'?" she asked.
"Because you're always so busy," he replied, taking a lick of his ice cream. Judging by the smell of it, it was peanut butter and pumpkin flavour.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Why do you think I'm depressed?"
"I never said you were depressed," pointed out George, pointing his ice cream at her, "merely... down. I've only ever seen you eat a whole quadruple chocolate sundae when something's not right."
Hermione looked down at the empty glass bowl and gave a wry smile. "Me and Daniel broke up," she said frowning.
"I'm sorry to hear it."
"No you're not."
George grinned broadly. "Okay, so I'm not. I hated him. We all did. He wasn't good enough for you."
She smiled gratefully. "Thanks. For some reason I actually believe you."
"Cheer up, Little Bee. We're off to Paris this afternoon!" he reminded her.
"Paris. Ron's wedding."
"Oh," Hermione said, suddenly remembering. George eyes her suspiciously and Hermione tensed under his gaze. She nervously ran a hand through her shoulder-length hair.
"Are you sure you'll be okay locking up, today?" He was referring to 3W, the joke shop which the Weasley twins owned. Hermione was the manager and they had asked her to close the shop up that day as they had to be in Paris early to help with their younger brother's wedding.
"Yes! Contrary to popular belief, I'm not stupid."
"I never said you were stupid," said George, lobbing the last f his ice cream into a nearby bin. "Yuck. Why did I buy that thing?" he asked her.
"Impulse," they both said at the same time.
George grinned. "See you later, Little Bee." He Disapparate, leaving Hermione alone with her crossword. With a fed-up sigh she threw her paper into the bin along with the ice cream. She left the money for her ice cream on the table and set off down the street to 3W. 3W was a quaint little shop. From the outside it looked just like all the other shops in Diagon Alley. There was an Apothecary on one side and a book shop on the other.
To her immense relief, there were no customers for the rest of the afternoon, save Harry, who came to stock up on 'supplies' for Ron's wedding.
"Honestly, Harry! It's Ron's wedding!" Hermione had said to him, but he had just grinned at her.
"He'd do the same sort of thing at my wedding," he replied. Hermione couldn't help but agreed. Sometimes she felt that Harry and Ron had become more immature with age, instead of more mature. The strange thing was, that Fred and George had actually grown up since leaving Hogwarts.
Fred was married and had a baby son who was three months old. George however, much to his mothers chagrin, was the only Weasley who was single. She kept pressuring him to 'settle down and raise a family', something George wasn't entirely keen on.
When Hermione locked up the shop that evening, just after five o'clock, she Apparated home. After showering and collecting together her last few belongings, she Flooed to the Burrow, the Weasley's house, where she was to take a Portkey to Paris. Ron's wedding was going to be held in the Wizarding part of the French capital, though as his bride was half-Muggle, there were certain differences to this wedding than a normal Wizarding wedding.
Ron's fiancee, Amanda was to be wearing a Muggle gown rather than robes, as would the bridesmaids. Hermione was a bridesmaid. Her dress was, to her surprise, maroon.
Molly and Arthur were waiting at the Burrow for her when she arrived. Ginny Weasley, the youngest Weasley, was there as well. Molly, Ron's mother, looked to be full of excitement and was rather emotional at the prospect of one of her son's getting married.
"Oh, Hermione, I'm so sorry to hear about Daniel!"
"Don't be, Molly. I'm better off without him."
Mrs Weasley gave her a sceptical look, as though she didn't believe that Hermione could cope on her own, even though she was twenty-five years old. "Well, if you're sure you're all right, dear..."
"I am," Hermione confirmed. "Shall we go?"
Molly's eyes filled with excitement at the thought of the wedding. "Yes, let's."
They arrived in Paris just a couple of minutes later. They were greeted by Ron and Amanda, as well as the rest of the Weasley brothers. The wedding was to be held the next day, but that evening there was to be a small dinner party as well as a rehearsal for the wedding.
Hermione sat through the rehearsal, feeling slightly bored. She did what she had to do, secretly wishing that she could get this over and done with so they could get to the party - she was dying for a good drink. "You bored as well?" George whispered in her ear. He was stood behind her. She nodded. 'It'll be over soon' he reassured her.
At the dinner party, Hermione found herself sat next to George. "Is it me or do we keep running into each other today?" he asked with a wry smile.
"I think it's just you, George," Hermione said, taking a sip of her white wine. She sighed. "Look around. Don't you feel like the odd one out? We're the only single people in this entire room!"
Looking around, George could see this was true. They were the only (adults) in the room who weren't in a relationship of sorts; Ron was with Amanda, there were various Mr and Mrs Weasley's around the room, Ginny was with her boyfriend of two years, Peter Orion, and Harry was with his long-term girlfriend, Laura MacAllister. "That's just downright depressing," he said, and Hermione nodded her agreement. "We could always change that though," he added slyly.
Hermione was about to ask how, but when she saw the mischievous grin on his face she exclaimed, "George Weasley! Don't even think like that!"
His grin broadened, especially when Hermione hit him on the arm. "Don't worry, Hermione. I'm sure your days as a single girl are numbered. Who could resist someone like you?" he said earnestly.
"Most people, by the looks of it," sighed Hermione. She set her glass down and looked straight at him. "I'm twenty-five years old. I want to settle down. I want to have a loving husband. I want to have a big family. Heck, I even want a white picket fence. But, none of that's ever likely to happened the rate I'm going."
"Poor Little Bee," George said, sympathetically. His expression changed, as though a switch had been thrown. "Let's make a deal," he said.
"What kind of deal?" Hermione asked slowly, narrowing her eyes.
"We're friends, right?" Hermione nodded. "Well, if neither of us is married or in a relationship by the time you're thirty and I'm thirty-two, we'll get married."
"A back-up plan?" asked Hermione, her brow creased.
"Why not? If you can't marry someone you love, why not marry a friend?"
Hermione smiled. She seemed to ponder the situation. She held out her hand. "Okay, deal." If George was surprised, he hid it well and shook her hand. He then held up his wine glass and Hermione followed suite.
"To... friendship," he said confidently.
"To friendship," Hermione echoed. She grinned as their glasses clinked together.
A/N: Okay, that was the first chapter. Amazingly, I do actually have a plot for this fic, and it probably isn't what you'd think it would be from this first chapter. Please review. I love reviews, and any thoughts/ideas for this fic will be greatly appreciated.
Review, Flame, Whatever.