Author's note: Hello! Another one shot. Hope you like it. Jk rules the world. Not me.
The air exploded. They had been grouped together, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, and Percy, the two Death Eaters at their feet, one Stunned, the other Transfigured; and in that fragment of a moment, when danger seemed temporarily at bay, the world was rent apart. And Hermione was struggling to her feet in the wreckage, and three redheaded men were grouped on the ground where the wall had blasted apart. Harry grabbed Hermione's hand as they staggered and stumbled over stone and wood.
"No — no — no!" someone was shouting.
Hermione walked towards the group and tried her best not to fall apart. Finally, Hermione saw who was the one lying on the ground, lifeless. Her whole world crumbled. Her heart broke into millions of pieces as if it was her life which was taken away. She broke down and cried next to the body of Fred Weasley.
As though seeing his dead body wasn't enough, they were covered again with a mist for just a second and a half, and the scene she dreaded to see flashed in front of her eyes, again. She saw how Fred Weasley died. "NOOOOOO!" she shouted, tears streaming down her face.
Hermione woke up with tears in her eyes. She was sobbing even in her sleep and she also had difficulty breathing. It was really the worst nightmare. Even worse than rewinding seven years of near-death experiences with Harry and Ron. She just couldn't see her future without Fred. Hermione had nightmares of the same scene over and over again. It nearly drove her crazy. And every time she would have the nightmare, she would wake up, sobbing for a few minutes and then she would stand up and go to Fred's room to check if he's still there. Hermione would carefully and silently open the door and slip inside. Her eyes would automatically land on Fred's chest, checking if he's still breathing. She would just kneel beside his bed, watching him as he sleeps. Sometimes, she would touch him lightly, still making sure he's real. Fred never caught her. She doesn't know whether it's because he's a heavy sleeper or he just doesn't want to embarrass her but she's grateful that he didn't. She's not ready to tell him about the nightmares. It would just hurt his feelings if he would know that she's having bad dreams about him. Looking at Fred, Hermione thought of how she ended up in this complicated situation.
After the battle, the twins offered Hermione to stay at their flat as a way of thanking her for saving Fred during the battle. And so Hermione accepted. It was already two months after the war. They became closer and closer and she was happy with how things went even if they're just friends. Hermione never mentioned her feelings for Fred for she knew that it's impossible for him to return it because Fred never showed any interest in her. He could always be seen flirting with different girls but never getting serious with any of them. That's why Hermione knew she would never have a chance. She just pretended that everything was fine.
After an hour of just watching Fred, Hermione would leave his room quietly and would go back to her own room. This was her routine.
After another week, Hermione had the nightmare again. Just like before, she would sob even in her sleep. But this time, strong arms held her tight. The warm body of the person holding her was enough to calm her down. Hermione opened her eyes and was a bit shocked to see Fred, lying beside her, holding her into him. Her face was buried in his chest, his shirt wet with tears. He was whispering comforting words in her ears as he strokes her hair with his one hand while his other hand was rubbing her back in a soothing way.
"Fred," Hermione said in a hoarse voice. "Hmmmm?" he replied.
"Why are you here?" Hermione tried to move away from him but Fred held her tighter to him. So Hermione just looked up at him and stared at his eyes which were staring down at her as well. She noticed that his eyes, which was usually full of life and happiness was now full of sadness and pain. Hermione's heart ached.
"You're screaming," Fred answered. Hermione was about to answer back when he added, "again."
'What? So he knew?' Hermione thought.
As though, knowing what's on her mind, Fred said, "I've always heard you." If it was possible, he even held her closer to him. "but I just thought you wouldn't want me to know."
A thought occurred to Hermione. She looked at Fred with wide eyes. "So you mean- you – you - . . . You know I . . . I –"
"You go to my room after the nightmare and check if I was still there and alive." Hermione was crying again. She doesn't know how she could handle it. Fred knew. He will surely ask a lot of questions. And every question would just lead to the ultimate truth she was hiding from him. Her feelings for him.
"What's the nightmare about? I'm sure I have something to do with it but I just don't know what . . ." Fred trailed off. Hermione breathed before answering. "The wall. You, dying, leaving m- leaving us."
"But I'm here Hermione. I'm alive. You saved me." He said softly.
"I know. I just couldn't think of you leaving us all. It hurts a lot." Hermione whispered in between her sobs.
"I'm not leaving Hermione." Fred whispered in her ear. "I'm just here. And I'll never leave you alright? I'm staying. I'll be here as long as you want me to." Fred kissed the top of her head before resting his cheek on it.
"Yeah." Hermione replied. There was a moment of silence before Fred broke it with a question Hermione was dreading to answer.
"Why what?" Hermione answered, pretending to look clueless.
"Why do you think you're having nightmares about me?"
"I don't know."
"Hermione. Please answer me." Fred said as removed his hand from Hermione's back and used it to caress Hermione's cheek.
"I'm just. . . I'm just scared. . . It's something that I can't really handle and I've been trying my best not to think about it while I'm awake, so maybe. . . because I was trying to suppress it, it just keeps going to my subconscious."
"Why me? Why not about the hunt, why not about Harry . . . Why not about Ron?" Fred looked at me, waiting for my response.
"It's just. . . it's - . . ."
"Bloody Hell Hermione." Fred said, not angrily, but tiredly. "Just tell me why, please."
"Because . . ." Hermione swallowed. Fred wants her to admit it. Whatever would happen after this, she'd just accept it like the Gryffindor she was. "because I like you . . . a lot." She felt her whole face grew warm. She knew she was blushing. She avoided Fred's gaze so she didn't notice the relief on his face on her admission.
"That wasn't hard, wasn't it, Love?" Fred whispered. Hermione was sure the Fred was smiling. 'Wait what?!' she thought. 'love?'
Fred chuckled but then, he immediately became serious. "I know this isn't the right time to tell you this, but I just couldn't take it anymore."
Hermione's heart was pounding. This is definitely not what she expected. She felt like she's going to get sick because she felt so warm all over her body, and her stomach's tightening. 'butterflies.' She thought.
Nightmare forgotten for a while, Hermione waited for Fred to continue. She licked her lips in anticipation which distracted Fred for a bit before gulping. He breathed deeply, removed his hand that was on her hair and put it on her other cheek, before speaking, "Hermione, I've liked you for ages. I really do." Hermione's heart burst. She could almost hear her heart pounding in her chest. She put her hand on his chest, trying to feel his heartbeat. She smiled when she felt they're the same.
"Are you serious?"
Fred snorted. "Of course. Ever since we're at Hogwarts love." This time, Hermione threw her arms around Fred's neck and kissed him repeatedly on the cheek. Fred chuckled. "I really like you Fred Weasley." Hermione beamed at him, tears of joy flowing freely from her eyes. "I really really like you too Hermione Granger." Fred kissed Hermione's forehead, then her nose, her cheeks and then her lips. It was just a short kiss, but it left both Fred and Hermione breathless.
Fred hugged Hermione. After a few minutes, Hermione looked up at Fred again with a frown on her face. "Fred, if you knew that I was having nightmares about you and I was always going to check up on you after that, why didn't you tell me earlier?"
Fred's smile disappeared and was now replaced with his own frown. "You're trying your best not to let me see. You don't want me to know. That's why even if I really wanted to go to you, I couldn't. Because I thought you wouldn't want that."
"And what made you go here now?" Hermione asked curiously.
"I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't pretend to be happy like nothing's wrong, seeing you, pretending to be happy as well. I heard you shout my name and that's why I knew I had to stop being a stupid git and just go here for you. I'm sorry." Fred's eyes were now glassy with unshed tears. It surprised Hermione to see him like that.
"It's not your fault. You see, I'm also scared to tell you right? It's really my fault."
"George told me I was a big prat for just ignoring you like that."
Hermione sat up and stared at Fred with her eyes almost popping out. "George knew?" Fred also sat up and took Hermione's hand in his. "Yeah. But he says he's not in the position to interfere because it's my job. And he also said that he knows you wouldn't want to be pitied. But he really really wanted to help you too."
They were already lying in bed again, quietly listening to their own breathing. Hermione's using Fred's arm as a pillow as she snuggled closer to Fred. Fred's hands were wrapped around her and their legs intertwined.
"Hermione love?" Fred whispered.
"I'll never ever leave you. Don't forget that. I didn't die. I'm just here. I'm going to stay here as long as you want me to."
"I know Fred. Thank you."
"If you'll have another nightmare, just tell me okay?" Fred said.
"I will. Thanks. You really are a great person, you know that?"
Fred chuckled. "Of course." He bent down and kissed Hermione on the lips. After they broke apart, Fred pulled Hermione closer to him.
"I love you Hermione." Fred whispered as he kissed her on the top o her head.
Hermione smiled, her heart pounding again. Tears escaped her eyes.
"I love you too Fred."
Review please :))) By the way, the first paragraph (the one with the bold and italicized letters), was taken directly from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.