A/N: I've made an executive decision to cut this Fic short; I had initially intended for it to be longer and I have some more chapters panned out but with my absence from writing I've grown less fond of my ideas as time has gone by. I've re-read this from start to end and think that this chapter is a logical place for the Fic to come to a conclusion; that way everyone ends up happy and there's no extreme Ron-bashing (which I had intended to be the case otherwise). Who knows, maybe one day I'll write an alternative ending, but for now I'm going to call it finished. To anyone has reviewed this fic, I would like to say thank you very much – I couldn't have done it without your support. And lastly, one massive thank you to the wonderful JK Rowling for giving us the right to play with her characters – where would we be without her, huh? Thank you – Beth xx
You Belong With Me
Things were distinctly awkward as the Weasley family sat around the table for Sunday lunch. Subtle smirks were playing on the faces of George, Alicia and Ginny – who'd been deep in discussion prior to sitting down. Molly Weasley was regarding her children and their in-laws with intent suspicion; something was clearly going on, something which she wasn't a part of – and Molly Weasley resolved to find out what was going on. Hermione was chewing parsnips absent mindedly, trying to ignore the location of Fred's hand, which was inching its way slowly up her thigh.
"So," George grinned, a wicked glint in his eyes, "How's the kitchen in the flat, Fred?"
Fred raised an eyebrow quizzically, and Percy, Charlie, Harry and Ron all looked equally confused. What was his brother on about? His eyes widened as an image of Hermione, breathing heavily atop the granite countertop popped into his head. "Sorry?"
"You heard me," his twin smirked, "How's the kitchen?"
Ginny choked on a roast potato, already privy to the knowledge that Alicia had shared with her husband the day before. She'd gone mental when she'd found out, upon returning from her honeymoon. Harry sat next to her, looking utterly confused, broccoli hanging halfway between his mouth and plate.
"It's great, thanks," Fred retorted, his tone steely as he shot a sideways glance at his Mum, whose suspicions were definitely aroused.
"Getting good use out of your utensils, yeah?" Ginny chipped in, stifling a laugh.
If looks could kill, Ginny would almost certainly be fried to a crisp with the look Hermione shot in the redhead's direction as she realised what was going on.
"What?" mock innocence filled the air as Ginny spoke.
"Right," Molly Weasley bossed, "Desert. Who's finished?" A series of hands shot up across the table. She bustled out of the kitchen, ears tuned into the conversation at the table – a skill she'd honed over the years.
"You dirty fuckers," George grinned. "The kitchen, huh, Granger, wouldn't have pegged you for that sort."
"I don't know how you know," Hermione glared at Fred, assuming he'd told his brother, "But I'd appreciate it if we kept this conversation for after dinner." She threw a pointed look in the direction of Molly, who was washing up at the sink.
Fred's eyes widened as he realised Hermione hadn't divulged the secret. "Wait," he asked, confused, "How did you know?"
Hermione's face was just as surprised as Fred asked how they knew. How had their romp gotten out to be public knowledge? She surveyed the table. Alicia was a shade of magenta, looking fixatedly at her gravy, averting eye contact.
"I was in the flat," Alicia admitted sheepishly, "But don't worry I apparated out as soon as I realised what was going on."
Ron, who had been religiously devoting himself to his Yorkshire puddings up until now, sprayed food across the table when he asked, "What's this?"
"Fred's been fucking Hermione." Ginny announced bluntly, and from the kitchen there was an almighty crash as Molly Weasley dropped the plate she was holding.
Hermione blushed furiously, and Ron threw Fred a look of contempt not dissimilar to the way Hitler regarded the Jews.
"Since when?" His tone was steely.
Molly bustled back into the room, diffusing the surmounting tension by asking, "Blancmange, anyone?"
Hands were raised, and servings of the creamy desert were dished out.
"So," Molly started the conversation that had died as soon as she had re-entered the room. Arthur, who had been held up at work happened to apparate in at that very moment. "Anyone got any news?"
"What's this?" Arthur asked, as he sat down, warming his dinner with a simple heating charm.
"Just asking the kids if they have anything they want to share, dear," Molly bustled as she poured gravy all over his plate, shooting a pointed look in Hermione's direction.
Fred cleared his throat nervously. "Hermione's my girlfriend," he blurted out, none too ceremoniously.
Molly splashed gravy all in the lap of her husband, who barely reacted as he surveyed his son with confusion, and happiness.
"Since when?" Arthur grinned, ignoring the steaming sauce in his lap, as he tucked into a slice of beef.
"Well we've been hanging out for a while now –" Hermione started, before being interrupted by Ron.
"Funny way of putting it," he mumbled, and he was silenced by the looks everyone around the table threw him.
"And we decided to start dating on Friday." Fred finished, sliding his arm around Hermione's shoulder and drawing her to him. She smiled at him, her wide chocolate orbs filled with admiration.
Molly clapped excitably. "Oh this is brilliant! I've always thought you two would make a brilliant couple!" She exclaimed, and Ron protested.
"Thanks Mum," he remarked pointedly.
"Oh phish posh," she fussed, "You and Hermione were never going to last."
There were laughs around the table. "But this is brilliant – here's to Hermione and Fred," Molly smiled fondly at the girl she already regarded as part of the family. Everyone raised their glasses and drank, everyone except Ron who was sulking solemnly, and Hermione thought that it was probably a good idea that Lavendar wasn't present, to witness his display.
"Cheers," Charlie grinned, winking at Hermione who smiled back at the dragon tamer, cheeks flushing as she remembered her drunken antics. "Well done Freddie."
"Yeah well done Fred," Harry chuckled, drinking deeply. "We have an announcement too, though." He stood up, grinning proudly.
Ginny had been glaring at her glass of pumpkin juice (in the place of her usual mead) pointedly all throughout the meal; and Hermione's eyes widened as she put two and two together, mere moments before Harry confirmed her suspicions.
"We're having a baby!"
Molly Weasley screamed, and everyone laughed as a sarcastic Percy bit, "I didn't know men could have babies, Harry."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Yeah, Ginny's pregnant."
Molly Weasley promptly fainted, and that was the end of that.
"I can't believe Harry went and spoilt our thunder," Fred grumbled, half-heartedly, "What's with the need to pop out ginger sprogs all of a sudden."
Hermione laughed. "Oh come on Scrooge," she pushed a curl behind her ear and buried her hands deep in her pockets, the cold November air biting at her fingertips. "I'm happy for them."
"Me too," Fred hurriedly admonished, drawing closer to her to share their body heat. "It's just everyone's growing up so quickly, you know?"
She nodded, silently pondering the events of the past few years. Harry and Ginny were married – and now expecting. George and Alicia already had a beautiful baby girl; and here she was, only having just started dating the renowned Prankster, Fred Weasley. Another year had passed, and her life hadn't progressed as much as she had hoped, in her delicate life plan she'd constructed over the years.
"Maybe that'll be us some day," she spoke softly, forgetting her company for a moment. Fred looked surprised. "I thought you don't want kids?"
"I don't," Hermione quickly corrected, her maternal side getting the best of her. "I just meant maybe one day we'll be getting married."
Fred nodded, then laughed. "Yeah, who knows. Although I'd sooner elope than let my Mum handle our wedding, to be honest."
Hermione burst into peals of laughter – Molly Weasley was certainly known for going over board when it came to festivities. "Speaking of which, it's nearly Christmas." She smiled, "What do you want?"
"Baby all I want for Christmas is you," He grinned, a cheesy smile that stretched across his features.
"Such a charmer," Hermione smiled as she pressed her lips to his, as he drew her closer to be pressed flush against him.
He leaned forwards to brush his lips over her temple; his voice deep with desire, as it fell to a seductive timbre.
"I love you, Hermione Jean Granger, I hope you know that."
She smiled, inhaling his cedar wood scent as she buried her face in his coat, as they walked together along the streets of Diagon alley. "I love you too, Fred Weasley."
"Good," he chuckled, "You belong with me, I belong with you. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather be with."
"Mhmm," Hermione sighed contentedly. "Me neither."
A/N: Once again, a massive thank you to anyone who has seen this Fic through to the end. Reviews are always appreciated no matter how long/short. - Beth