Hermione had vague, scattered memories of the last month of school. She knew Harry had spent much of it in his dorm with Ron, hiding from the rest of the school. She knew he blamed himself for Cedric's death, and even though the Diggorys had made it clear they didn't, Harry was scared that everyone else would.
She did have one distinct memory. Fred had been there. The whole time. Whenever Hermione needed him, and whenever she thought she wanted to be alone, he was there. Hermione could come up with words to thank him.
So she hoped the snogging was thanks enough.
Hermione thought that she had handled Cedric's death very well. She didn't know him all that well, but he was the closest person to her that had ever died. She hadn't lost a family member since she was very little, and her great grandparents passed.
She hadn't known them. But she knew Cedric. And she hadn't gone completely off her rocker, and it had been nearly a month, so things were looking up.
It was time for the leaving feast. Hermione watched the rest of the common room emptying out as the students headed down to the Great Hall. Hermione glanced anxiously towards the stairs leading down from Harry and Ron's dormitory, waiting for the familiar form of her friends to appear.
Fred had stood up already, and was about to follow George, Lee, and Angelina out of the common room when he noticed Hermione hadn't moved. So he sat back down next to her on the couch. The movement jostled Hermione out of her trance.
"Go with your friends," Hermione said softly. "I'm going to wait for Harry and your brother."
"They're your friends, too," Fred told her, leaning over and kissing the side of her head tenderly. "You sure?"
"Go, get out of here," Hermione joked, stretching her neck up to kiss him one more time before her jogged to catch up with the other sixth years.
Just a few minutes after he left, Ron and Harry came down into the common room.
"You ready?" Harry asked softly.
Hermione nodded, pushing herself up off of the couch and joining the boys as they started the walk out of Gryffindor Tower and down to the Great Hall.
"The end of another year."
Hermione turned her attention away from the various professors at the Heads table to the headmaster himself as he started his speech.
"There is much that I would like to say to you all tonight, but I must first acknowledge the loss of a very fine person, who should be sitting here, enjoying our feast with us. I would like you all, please, to stand, and raise your glasses, to Cedric Diggory."
Everyone in the Great Hall moved in near unison, the benches scraping along the floor as the students and staff stood to pay their respects. In one loud, low, rumbling voice, Cedric's name echoed across the room. As they all sat down again, Hermione caught Fred's gaze, and he smiled reassuringly at her
"Cedric was a person who exemplified many of the qualities that distinguish Hufflepuff House. He was a good and loyal friend, a hard worker, he valued fair play. His death has affected all of you, whether you knew him well or not. I think you have the right, therefore, to know how exactly it came about."
Dread filled the pit of Hermione's stomach.
"Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort."
A panicked whispered erupted across the Great Hall, and people were staring up at Dumbledore in disbelief, in horror.
Carefully, Fred rose from his seat, and slid into the space next to Hermione. He took her hand under the table, and held it through the rest of Dumbledore's speech.
Hermione went through her room one last time. Lavender and Parvati has finished accosting her with hugs and had already left for the entrance hall, leaving her with peace while she triple checked her packing. Satisfied, she sat at the end of her four poster bed and took a deep breath.
"Think this will ever get easier?"
Crookshanks didn't give her an answer, choosing instead to crawl onto her lap and purr loudly. Hermione let out a giggle.
"I'm not sure why I was expecting you to respond. Honestly, I'd be a little worried if you did answer me," Hermione decided, lifting her cat into her arms and standing up off the bed. With less work (though not much) than the last time, she wrestled the now hollering beast into his carrier and shut the door quickly. "It's just until we're on the train, Crooks."
Slinging her purse over her shoulder, she grabbed the carrier and the handle of her trunk and maneuvered herself down the stairs to get into the common room.
As he promised, Fred was waiting in front of the long burnt out fire place, his trunk at his feet. He turned when Hermione entered and hurried over to greet her.
Hermione didn't hesitate to let go of her trunk and the cat carrier to wrap her arms around Fred's neck as he kissed her.
"Hi," she said breathlessly, once they broke apart.
"Hi," Fred replied, a large smile on his face. "We're late."
He grabbed his trunk and Hermione's, shaking his head when she tried to protest. "I'm being a gentleman here. Besides, you still get to carry your crazy cat."
Despite the months that Hermione had been steadily dating Fred, her beloved cat had not warmed up to the boy. Sure, he had stopped attacking his foot every time Fred got within five feet of her, but he hissed violently every time the boy tried to pet him.
Hermione and Fred reached Ron and Harry just as Ron was asking Victor Krum for his autograph. When he was finished, he looked over at Hermione. She waved at him kindly, and between that and Fred wrapping his arm possessively around her waist, the Bulgarian student got the idea and left quickly afterwards. Hermione rolled her eyes at her boyfriend's behavior, but didn't say anything as they loaded their luggage and themselves into a carriage.
"You sure you'll be okay?"
"I'm not that fragile Fred."
"I know you're not love, but I'm allowed to be concerned."
Hermione and Fred had yet to board the train. Harry and Ron had long since ditched the couple in favor of snagging a compartment. Fred wanted to make sure Hermione didn't mind him sitting with his twin and their friends.
"This won't be the first time I've ridden the train with those idiots Fred. Have fun with your friends, I'll see you later, I promise."
Fred nodded, helping her onto the train. After one last kiss, he ran off to find the compartment where Lee supposedly had a two head bull frog.
When she finally found Harry and Ron, the compartment was just like it usually was. Ron's dress robes covered Pigwidgeon's cage to keep him from hooting relentlessly; Hedwig was dozing in her cage, and her boys were scarfing down the last of their treats from Honeydukes.
The moment she had put her trunk away and sat down, she let Crookshanks out, and he settled onto one of the empty seats like a fluffy, orange cushion.
They trio carried on a casual conversation until the lunch trolley came by. Purchasing her food, Hermione returned to her seat and pulled out her copy of the Daily Prophet from that morning. Harry looked at in uneasily, but Hermione grinned. "You won't find anything in there. Fudge seems to be trying to keep everything quiet."
"He'll never keep Rita quiet," Harry argued, "Not on a story like this."
"Oh, Rita hasn't written anything since the third task. In fact, she won't be writing anything for a while. Not unless she wants me to spill the beans on her."
She had their full attention now; Ron even managed to put down his food to ask her what she was talking about.
"I found out how she was listening in on private conversations when she wasn't supposed to be coming onto the grounds."
Hermione had been dying to tell them for days, but thought it would be best to keep it to herself in light of recent events.
"It was actually you who made me think of it, Harry."
"Did I?" said Harry, perplexed. "How?"
"Bugging," Hermione said happily.
"But you said they didn't work –"
"Not electronic bugs. You see, Skeeter is an unregistered Animagus. She can turn –"
She pulled a sealed glass jar out of her bag.
"—into a beetle."
The boys voiced their disbelief, and Hermione explained how Skeeter had been hiding all over the school for ages, and how she'd finally caught her resting on the windowsill in the hospital wing.
"I've told her I'd let her out when we get back to London. I'm going to see if I can break her of her nasty habit of writing lies about people," Hermione said, sliding the jar back into her bag.
Just then, the compartment door slid open.
"Very clever, Granger," said Draco Malfoy.
Hermione fought the urge to roll her eyes. She had had enough of Malfoy ages ago. This was just getting old. She tried to ignore him, zoning out until he called her a Mudblood.
It was like something had exploded. There was a loud bang and a frenzy of spells, and Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle lay unconscious on the floor.
Hermione, Ron, and Harry had all used a different spell. And they had not been the only ones.
"Thought we'd see what those three were up to," Fred said, stepping onto Goyle and into the compartment, kissing Hermione hello. Both he and George, who was careful to tread on Malfoy as he entered, had their wands out. Soon they were comparing spell work.
"Well, let's not leave them here, they add nothing to the décor," George said, staring down at the bunch. He, Harry, and Ron rolled the bodies outside into the hall, leaving Fred and Hermione a chance to catch up.
"Do you have to do that all the time?" Ron asked as he came back into the compartment. The snogging couple broke apart as the area filled up again.
"Exploding Snap anyone?" Fred suggested, pulling a pack out of his pocket. They group played the game for the rest of the ride into Kings Cross Station, pausing only when Harry seemed to remember something.
"You two are still opening that joke shop, right?" he asked the twins.
"Yeah, why?" George responded.
Harry dug though his rucksack for a moment before coming up with a small bag. He tossed it at Fred, who caught it, confused.
"They're my Triwizard winnings. Consider it a start-up for the shop."
Hermione hid a smile behind her hand, enjoying the dumbstruck look on the twins' faces.
"Harry, we can't accept this," Fred argued.
"Take it, or I'm getting rid of it. I don't need it or want it. Besides, I think we're all going to need a good laugh soon."
The twins nodded together, and Fred quickly tucked the money into his trunk. Not soon after the train came to a stop, and they were all getting off, stepping over the Slytherins' still bodies in the hall.
Hermione could see her parents, standing not too far from the Weasley's and Harry's relatives.
Mrs. Weasley was the first to say her goodbye's to Harry, hugging him tightly and whispering something in his ear.
"See you, Harry," said Ron, clapping him on the back.
"Bye, Harry!" Hermione said, kissing him on the cheek.
"Stay away from my woman, Potter!" Fred called jokingly, making those around him laugh.
"And Harry, thanks," George added, Fred nodded furiously beside him. Hermione watched as Harry winked at the two of them, before turning him to his uncle and following him from the station.
"He'll be alright, Mi," Fred said into her ear. The brunette turned into a passionate kiss, one that seemed to last for several minutes. When they did break apart, Fred was holding her head in his hands gently, and their foreheads connected. "Go home, have a fun few weeks with your parents. We'll pick you up in July; I'll see if I can talk dad into letting me go by myself. You can introduce me to your parents."
Hermione nodded, her eyes a little damp. "You better remember to write," she warned him. "You two as well," she added, turning to George and Ron. They all agreed, laughing. Hermione and Fred kissed one last time, and after a quick hug from Mrs. Weasley, she was hurried over to her parents, and walked with her dad on one side and her mother on the other to the car.
What would come, would come, and she would have to meet it when it did.
Wow. There you have it. The final chapter of my Fremione version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I hope this chapter lived up to all of your expectations, and then some.
I can't thank you guys enough for sticking with this story. When I did NaNoWriMo and was gone for a month, when I went through my break-up and was gone nearly that long. You've dealt with horrid spelling mistakes and cheesy lines, especially when I first started this story six months ago. Thank you thank you thank you.
Of course, this is far from over. There are still three more books, and probably an epilogue. But if the time it took me to He Noticed Her is any indication, we might be at this for a year…or two.
Again, I can't thank you guys enough for all of your continued support. Look for the next one some time in the next few days. That one will be called He Saved Her, and I promise it won't be nearly as depressing as it sounds xD
So, leave me one last review and let me know what you thought of the finale, eh?