A/N: So I own nothing except the computer I wrote this on. But you knew that.
Thinking about the Amortentia potion and what Hermione smelled. I went by the book version, so no toothpaste there. I like the idea of Hermione and George; she grounds him when he needs it and he helps her fly.
This takes place during the summer shortly before Hermione returned to Hogwarts for her seventh year. Fred never died but everything else happened (I think).
Hermione flipped through her sixth year potions text, reviewing for her upcoming seventh year. Now that the war was over, she was free to return and finish her education. Her mind brought up memories of her first six years with almost every page turn. It wasn't until she began reading on the Draught of Living Death that she actually stopped.
She remembered the first time she brewed that particular potion. It was the first day of potions with Slughorn. Harry had brewed it perfectly winning the Felix Felicis. The professor had also introduced the class to the Polyjuice potion, Veritaserum, and Amortentia. Hermione frowned as she thought about the last one.
The smell of Amortentia is different to everyone, depending on what they find most attractive. For her it was fresh cut grass, new parchment, and sweet spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the like. She had always thought it was Ron; he smelled of grass and parchment but not the spices. Instead, he smelled of spearmint. There was something…off with the other two as well; they were close, but not exactly what she smelled. It was good, but she knew there was a better match somewhere.
She shook her hair away from her face. It was kind of like her and Ron, really. They were close and good together, but not good enough. They had that summer but realized they were better off as friends than boyfriend-girlfriend. They had broken up on friendly terms and remained best friends. Last she heard, he was reuniting with Lavender.
Harry and Ron had decided to take Kingsley up on his offer and were to start Auror training in September. The three of them were living together in Grimmauld Place with a much reformed Kreacher and a silent Walburga Black. The sound of the library door opening brought her out of her thoughts.
A dark haired young man poked his head into the room. She smiled at him and set aside her book. "Ready to go, Mione?"
"Yes, Harry." She stood and moved toward him. "Just let me grab my bag from my room and slip into shoes."
They were headed to Diagon Alley to pick up her school supplies and to stop by WWW. The shop was back up and running at near full capacity, providing laughs for all in post-war Wizarding Britain. It had been a narrow escape with Fred though. They had nearly lost him when a wall exploded on him during the battle, but some quick thinking on Percy's part had saved his brother's life. Now they were back in business and would have brought Hermione headaches galore if she had taken the position of Head Girl. She had come to several realizations during the summer, including that she didn't need extra stress on top of her already full class load. Headmistress McGonagall had been shocked by her refusal but understood the reasoning.
Hermione grabbed her bag and slipped into flats before joining Harry. They were walking down Diagon Alley in no time. Shops were open and people were milling about. Businesses were finally bouncing back now that the people were no longer living in fear. Though Fortescue's remained closed, most of the other shops had re-opened.
"What first?" Harry asked.
"Flourish and Blotts, then Scrivenshafts and the apothecary. And then the twins."
Together they gathered her school supplies and Harry picked up a new book on defence. With all the purchases shrunk and stored, they strolled down to the bright storefront that was Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. Through the windows, they could see people looking through the many items the shop sold, most of them probably bound for Hogwarts.
They were barely through the door when voices called their name. The pair looked up to see Fred and George on the upper level of the shop. They descended on the friends, neatly avoiding the clusters of customers.
"What brings you two to our humble shop?"
George grinned at Hermione. "Jokes for the new school year for the seventh year?"
"Perhaps a sampling of our defence items for the new auror?"
Harry looked at Fred, his eyes wide. "You've got new defence items?"
"Of course! Right this way. We've developed a new product that…" Hermione didn't catch the end as Harry and Fred disappeared through the crowd.
"What can I do for you, Hermione? A Daydream Charm? A Skiving Snackbox? Perhaps some Whizbangs?"
Hermione laughed. "You should know better than that, George. I need some of your self-inking quills."
"Ever the student." Together they worked through the crowds to where the quills were shelved. "We've developed them a bit more, added some variety."
He nodded. "They come in several colours and there's one that changes ink with a tap of your wand. There's a version that only writes in invisible ink. We've added dicta-quills with students in Binn's class in mind. And we've created a version that combines the spell-checking with the self-inking; the charm lasts longer now too. Here you are milady." George bowed slightly.
"Thanks." Hermione picked up a pack of five standard quills. "This should get me though until next term."
"What's your favourite colour?" he suddenly asked.
Hermione looked confused for a moment. "Blue. Why?"
George said nothing for a moment, choosing to reach onto the shelf instead. "Here," he said as he handed her another pack of quills. These ones were charmed to write in navy blue ink. "On the house."
She shook her head. "I couldn't."
"Please. It's a gift."
"Alright." She smiled brightly at him. "I suppose I should find Harry. This was all I needed." She was about to step away from George when she was suddenly shoved from behind. She barely heard the apology as she stumbled forward, straight into George. The impact with his hard chest knocked the wind out of her. She inhaled and froze.
Her mind whirled back to her thoughts a mere hour ago on the Amortentia potion and the smells that had been distinct to her. While Ron had been close on two of the three scents, George was, she realized, damn near perfect. There was the smell of fresh cut grass, that clean green smell that lingered in the air. There was the parchment. It wasn't the older parchment book smell of a library or the smell of the sheets that lingered in school bags, waiting for notes or assignments; it was the scent of parchment fresh from the shop, a crisp, new sheet just waiting for ink. And there was that last aroma that had been missing from Ron. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and other things she couldn't name. It was like spice biscuits fresh from the oven. It was exactly what she remembered from that day in potions class.
Slowly, Hermione lifted her eyes to meet his. Brown met blue. His arms were wrapped around her waist, holding her upright.
He waited until she was steady on her feet before loosening his grip. "You alright, Hermione? You look pale."
"Fine. I'm just—I'm just going to go home," she squeaked. She turned and fled the shop, leaving a very confused George in her wake.
In no time, Hermione was back in the library of Grimmauld Place, curled up in her favourite chair. Would it be so bad to date George? She didn't think so. She had developed a crush on both of them way back in her first year when they made her laugh and it had done nothing but grow. At first, they were irritating, always cracking jokes, but they grew on her. Though she had told them on few occasions, Hermione thought the twins brilliant and talented. They worked hard in their shop and had developed such amazing products, including some that were ingenious in their design. She knew they weren't academically inclined, but they were skilled at what they wanted to know; it was easy to tell just by looking at their creations. For many, they had to have an in-depth understanding of potions and charms; for others, they needed transfiguration and arithmancy.
People often thought of the twins as just two parts of the same whole. And while they were just that, there was also more to them, more to George, than just being twins. George was the quieter, gentler of the twins and, though he was not as cruel as his brother could be, he still had a vindictive streak of his own. His sense of humour was not as harsh, and he was just as inclined to make fun of himself as he was others. She loved that he loved to make people laugh. There had been many times when they were still at Hogwarts, especially during the Toad's reign, when they would cheer up the common room. Where Hermione delighted in books, the twins got equal satisfaction from seeing someone laugh, from seeing someone smile.
A soft smile stole across her lips. No, dating George wouldn't be so bad. If he asked she would probably say yes. The smile faded. Not that he would ask her, bookworm extraordinaire.
"Mione?" She looked up to see her best friend approaching her.
He sat in a chair beside her and leaned on his knees. "What's wrong? George said you tore out of the shop like Fluffy was on your heels."
She looked him over. Should she tell him about her sudden realization? There was a determined glint in his green eyes. Yes, otherwise he will bug her until she does.
"Do you remember, back in sixth year, when Slughorn introduced the Amortentia? Do you remember what I said I smelled?"
Harry closed his eyes for a moment in thought. "You smelled grass, parchment, and something else you didn't say." He looked back up at her. "What's this got to do with anything?"
"I'm getting there, just hear me out." She took a deep breath. "The scents were specific. Fresh cut grass and new parchment. The third was sweet spices, cinnamon, ginger, things like that. I thought for a while it was Ron I was smelling, but I realized that, while he was close, he wasn't exact; he only smelled like two of the three to me, and even then only just." She smiled gently at him. "You're a good listener, Harry. You probably don't want to hear about this."
"Nonsense. I'm your friend so I'm going to listen. Now what does the potion have to do with the shop?"
"I was talking to George and picking up some self-inking quills when a student knocked into me. I stumbled and he caught me. It's the first time I've really been physically close to him since the Bill and Fleur's wedding, and then the potion was the last thing on my mind. When I knocked into him, I realized that his scent isn't just close, it's exact. It wasn't just Ron's grass and parchment smell. It was that fresh, green smell of grass that's just been cut. It was the new parchment fresh from the shop or a book straight from the printers, one that's never been opened. And there was the spices, like warm biscuits. I don't know how to explain it other than it just felt… right."
Something sparked in Harry's eyes and the grin on his face was mischievous. "And if he were to ask you on a date, what would you say?"
"I'd probably say yes."
"Well then." Her eyes shot to the door as it opened wide. Framed in the entry way was none other than George Weasley himself. He strode over to her and picked up her hand, kissing it lightly. "Would you do me the honours of allowing me to take you out?"
Hermione was dumbstruck for a minute. "What… When… Why?"
"I'm asking you out for a date tonight because I can and I think you're beautiful."
"Yes, thank you, but I'm not pretty." She shook her head.
"I didn't say you were pretty. I said you were beautiful. C'mon."
George pulled her to her feet and towards the door. "What? Where?"
He laughed. "On our date, silly."
"But I've got to get ready and change clothes and—"
He looked over her as she waved her hand at her jeans and t-shirt. "You're fine, trust me. Have your wand?"
"Of course. Where are we going?"
"Surprise." He pulled her out to the front steps of Grimmauld and then into his arms. Before she could even comprehend what he had done, they were apparating. She would have stumbled if not for the tight grip he had on her waist.
"Where are we?"
"Take a look."
Hermione looked around and smiled. They were at the bottom of the hill where the Shrieking Shack stood in Hogsmeade. In the middle of the clearing were a blanket and a basket, which she suspected was filled with food. On one corner of the blanket was a wireless set already playing.
"How long have you been planning this?"
"Honestly?" She nodded as his cheeks tinged pink. "Since you and Ron broke up."
Her brown eyes widened. "It's been months. Why haven't you said anything before?"
George finally released her waist and picked up her hands, his eyes trained on them and not her face. "I didn't think you'd feel the same or that'd you'd even give me a chance. I followed Harry home from the shop today to make sure you were alright and heard what you said."
"How—how much did you hear?"
"All of it. Glad to know I smell so good," he said as he wiggled his eyebrows and grinned at her. She blushed red. "Come, let's eat."
Together they sat on the blanket and ate, talking of anything that came to mind. George stood when a slow song began playing over the wireless and pulled her up. She was rather stiff at first, but relaxed into the dancing, even being comfortable enough to rest her head on his shoulder. The song finished and then the next before either said anything and then it was George.
"Would you… would you like to do this again?" His voice was soft and Hermione could hear the nervousness in both his voice and the way his heart rate jumped under her ear.
Her eyes drifted up to his and she smiled softly. "Very much."
He grinned and just held her close, dancing the first set in a long line of dances to come.