Thank you all for the reviews and follows. I had several guest reviews and since I can't respond directly, I will quickly here as I don't know if they are all from the same person. They are from a few different chapters in the story.
While it is feasible for a child to survive an accident in a car seat, when dealing with drunk drivers it seems they always kill the innocent while they walk away. Between the family and friends I have that are first responders and the work I do in auto insurance industry and I have read over numerous accident reports where the child should have survived because they were secure in their car seat and sadly they do not make it because of injuries.
Viktor was not evil, just a misunderstanding helped along by jealousy. I hope you stuck with the story to find that out.
Yes, ovarian cyst are common and they normally don't cause infertility as I mentioned in my authors note. Something I have noticed and I liked the idea with other stories I have read sometimes in the Wizarding world the things we take for granted that can be treated are not because they have never had to deal with them. I planned on discussing this more in depth in my next chapter as George is going to want to talk with Hermione about it all.
I hope that answered the questions if the guest reviewer is still reading, on to the next chapter.
The next morning George was pacing their flat, they were advised by the nurse on duty that Hermione's doctor wanted her to have an appointment with her healer before she left. He wanted her to also see a specialist from America that had been working on researching cases like hers with maladies that were not common to the Wizarding populace. George was supposed to wait until noon before going to pick her up, he had spent the morning picking up not that either of them were messy people but it was something to waste time. Changing the sheets and making sure the last of the laundry was clean and put away. Last week Hermione had shown him the specialty spells she used on her more delicate items.
"George? Where are you?" Hermione is calling from the kitchen.
Entering the room, "What are…" giggling at the sight before her, George was sorting laundry; he is holding one of her bras in his hands trying not to stare but unsure where to put it. Turning to one pile and starting to set it there and then second guessing and then rubbing the fabric and catching Hermione's eye he suddenly drops it like he had been shocked.
"I swear I wasn't…"
"Wasn't what? Feeling up my bra?" Laughing at the extraordinary shade of red he is turning, "George, I have a special spell I use for all of the delicate items."
"My bras, the knickers I do have, my silky shirts," Pulling a couple of items from the laundry hamper. "I spell these differently as the material is a little more delicate. Several of the items are items I've bought in Muggle stores so I don't know how the heavier cleansing spells will work on them." Walking into the bathroom and putting them in the washing tub she has, it was another item she bought shortly after moving in. While some laundry spells don't require water, the ones she likes to use do. "Here let me show you, since we are going to share chores." Pointing her wand at the basin and rolling her wrist in a slow figure eight "delicata tersus novus" the items are slowly spinning and swirling, "The spell will run about ten minutes. I hang these items on the rack the bathroom, I don't really like to use drying charms on them."
"Sounds good, I'll probably ask you to show me that again just to make sure I don't ruin anything," Putting his arms around her waist, kissing her cheek and pulling her close to him, her back flush against his front, "Hmmm, so we've got a few minutes before it's done." Kissing her neck and rocking side to side while Hermione is humming. Placing feather light kisses from her ear to her shoulder, turning her and placing her up on the counter to kiss her soundly. Cupping her face gently and stroking her cheek as he is deepening the kiss, slowly backing off the kiss and leaning his forehead against hers.
"If that is what doing laundry does to you, please by all means do it whenever you want."
"It's you," Kissing the tip of her nose, "Just being around you makes me like this."
End of flashback
Smiling and nodding his head to himself, its true just being with her makes him feel like that. Last night he wasn't able to sleep, he had lain in bed thinking of her. Thinking back to that first night they met her, the twins had been excited that Ron was finally getting sorted and there was no question he would be in Gryffindor like the rest of them but then they had heard the rumors of Harry Potter finally coming to school. The twins had run into Hermione on the train when she was helping Neville look for his toad and they thought she was a funny little girl, all that hair and all that attitude. Then he found her crying in the common room because of his stupid brother. Yes she could be annoying but the twins saw her heart was in the right place. That was when their friendship started. Looking back, he was glad his brother was a git. They may've never struck up a conversation. Then the troll… He was scared, he remembered getting to the common room that night and not being able to find her, Ron or Harry, he was worried but Percy made everyone head to their dorms. When she appeared by his bed that night with the help of Harry's cloak he had about suffocated her with a hug. She told him the whole story, from Ron making fun of her to her taking the blame for them being in the bathroom with the troll. He was in awe that Ron and Harry took on a troll. Then the whole ordeal at the end of the year, he was speechless. Those three had a tendency to do that to him.
His fourth year was rough for him, when she was petrified he visited her in the hospital wing but it was difficult to see her like that so he didn't go as often as he should have. He found her on the train ride home that day and hugged the daylights out of her. Her third year, he could tell sometime was wrong. She was tired all the time. When she told McGonagall about the broom, Ron and Harry went off on her. She snuck in his dorm that night and cried herself to sleep. She did that often that year. She lost a lot of weight and was pushing herself too hard. At the end of the year she told him what she had been doing and he astounded, why anyone would do that to themselves he couldn't understand. He hadn't found out about the time turner until much later.
The year of the Triwizard Tournament, she was stressing herself out over Harry and Ron's arguments. She wanted to help Harry but she had a new friend that she wouldn't say who it was but George was happy for her. She smiled more. Then after hearing about Ron's assumption that she didn't have a date George found her in her spot in the library with none other than Viktor Krum, looking very cozy. Not wanting to interrupt, he watched and the bloke seemed alright so he left it alone until he saw her in the common room that night. When he asked if that was who her date was, the blush that spread on her face was all the answer he needed. He congratulated her and was happy when he saw her that night dancing. Then again his brother was a berk. The rest of the year was strained but she seemed to be ok. Then after Cedric died and Harry said You-Know-Who was back he started to worry about her. Harry had already faced him twice; George knew Hermione wouldn't leave his side for any reason. She would have a huge target on her back since she was a Muggleborn and smarter, stronger witch than most pureblood witches he knew.
That next year was rough on both of them, Umbridge was a menace. They had several spats about their products. They tried to not let that get in between their friendship though then they left. Oh Merlin, he was almost as scared of her reaction as his mothers. He thought she was going to skin him alive, not for leaving but for not telling her. Then he was so mad at her for going to the Ministry after his parents told him what happened, he excused himself and was sick to his stomach. The idea of her being cut open and how hurt she was. He understood why she went but she got hurt and he decided while thinking back about it all, that was when he realized he saw her as more than a friend but wasn't sure what he saw her as.
The summer that followed and then her sixth year they didn't see or hear from each other much. He owled a couple of times to check on her and she would owl back but it wasn't the same. He missed her. He and Fred were busy with the shop and they were members of the Order so he didn't have too much time to think about it. There were a few nights he laid awake thinking of her and that he missed snuggling with her. Then the year was gone and they were on their way to pick up Harry. Then he got injured and she came to him in his room. That was the last good memory he had for a while. The next day at Bill and Fleur's wedding he was about to ask her to dance when all hell broke loose. He locked eyes one more time with her and she was gone.
He, Fred and Lee spent their time on Potterwatch and helping the Order after they had to close the store. No definitive news on the three but snippets here and there kept everyone going. Then the news from Bill, they were at Shell Cottage, alive but injured. It took everything in him to not go to her. Then they were gone again. He didn't know anything else until they got to the castle. Luckily he caught her eye when they entered the Great Hall to confront Severus Snape. He had forgotten that moment until he couldn't sleep last night, remembering he caught her eye and brought one hand to his chest over his heart and smiled at her. Nodding her head and smiling back. He didn't see her again until she rescued those kids. Then a flash before the wall exploded, how could he not recognize her? After the battle it was weeks until he saw her between Fred being in the hospital and trying to rebuild the shop, the Burrow and just everything, they seemed to miss each other constantly. Until one night they both happened to be at the Burrow. Molly insisted on everyone staying the night. She had been letting Hermione use Bill's old room since he had the Shell Cottage and she could sense Hermione needed some space.
This time he went to her, knocking lightly on the door before cracking it open. "Hey."
"Hey." Looking up at her, he could see the exhaustion in her eyes. "Are you coming in or not?"
Closing the door behind him, he is silencing and warding the room to notify them if anyone was coming towards the door. Leaning against the door, "How are you, Meenie?"
"So tired." Shaking her head and scooting back, patting the bed next to her, "Come on, we can set an alarm and you can sneak back to your room later."
"Are you sure?"
Cocking her head at him, "Something the matter? You've never hesitated before?"
"No, nothing's wrong." Walking toward her, pulling the covers down and sliding in next to her. "It's just been so long, I didn't want to assume anything."
"George, you're still my friend, a very good friend." Putting her arm around his middle, her head on his shoulder, "We've just had a rough few years. I've missed you."
"I've missed you too Meenie." Kissing her forehead, setting a time alarm on his wand, "You want to talk about anything?"
"Not really, I just want to feel safe for a while."
"Ok," Putting his arm around her and pulling her close, "You know if you need to talk you can come to me, right?"
"I know. I just don't know what to say about anything right now." Yawning and pulling the blanket up to her neck, "Night George."
"Night Hermione," He is looking down at the top of her head and closing his eyes falling into a deep sleep. For the first time in months neither of them awoke from a nightmare or panic attack, neither of them telling the other.
End of Flashback
Looking back, he was stupid, undeniably stupid. They could have been enjoying each other's company for a year now if he would have just realized it sooner. Nothing he can do about that now, he just needs to make sure she knows how important she is to him and that he is not going anywhere. Looking at the clock, he still has two more hours until he can go to St. Mungo's, groaning in annoyance, heading towards the Floo. Heading to the shop for a while, maybe doing some inventory will get his mind off of things. Entering the through the Floo in his office, "Morning Fred." Walking into the shop and over to his brother, "I couldn't sit at home any longer."
"When can Hermione come home?"
"After noon, they want her to meet a specialist and her healer before releasing her." Leaning against the counter, "I've cleaned and done laundry. I was slowly driving myself crazy alone. I kept thinking about everything."
"I wish I knew what to say George. I can't imagine what you two are going through."
"I'm just worried about her." Shrugging his shoulders, "I slept like hell last night, I thought about Hogwarts and her all night. I also think I figured out when my feelings for her changed. I've decided I was an idiot."
"Yes, brother, you were. So when do you think you started fancying her?"
"Remember when Mum told us about the Ministry?" Shuddering "The idea of her being hurt like that, it made me sick to my stomach. I literally lost my lunch over it."
"That's when I figured. I mean, the year prior she really started looking good. The Yule Ball made a lot of people recognize that but you really started paying more attention to her. At first I thought you were worried about her getting hurt by Krum but then you started watching her a little more. I never understood why you bothered with Alicia that next year."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"Would you've really listened?"
"I guess not."
"So how are you really?"
"As fine as I can be. I mean, last night I didn't push her to talk. I just held her until they kicked me out. We talked a little but not about anything important."
"What are you going to do if she keeps pushing you find someone else?"
"She apologized for that, said she didn't want that. I care that she can't have children but not in the way she thinks I care. It hurts me because it hurts her. I now know what Dad meant when he told us; you'll just know she's the one when you know."
Standing side by side, leaning against the counter in silence, they are the mirror image of each other. Fred is trying to come up with anything he can say to his twin, "You know Angie and I'll do anything we can to help, right?"
"Good." Pushing away from the counter, Fred is walking towards the display of Fanged Frisbees, "I'm going to get to work. What are you going to do?"
"I think I'll work in the stock room for a bit, want anything brought out?"
"You can stock the Wonder Witch products. They looked a little low when I was over there earlier." Getting to work they both are busy with stocking and straightening. George is able to concentrate on work and was able to get the Wonder Witch section restocked and reorganized, he was finishing up just as Lee was walking in.
"Hey Lee." The twins are answering not looking up from their work.
"Freddie, I finished over here. It's time to go get Hermione; I'll let you know if there are any changes."
"We've got it worked out so that you don't have to be back for three days, if you need more time let me know." Giving his brother a hug, "Make sure you pass on my love to Mione."
Taking the office Floo to St. Mungo's, George is walking towards the room where Hermione was last night. Upon entering he finds her on the bed, dressed and looking ready to go, "Hiya love," Kissing her check, "Are you ready to leave?"
"Yes, I can't wait to get home and get into different clothes." Handing him her bag when he holds out his hand, "Do you need to sign anything?"
"No, I already signed everything and the potions they gave me are in my bag."
Offering his arm and walking her through the hallways to the Floo station, "See you at home." Watching her Floo away and then giving her a few minutes to step away, entering the flat behind her, she is doubled over just past the Floo. "You ok?"
"Still just a little nauseous, I didn't think the trip would bother me that much."
"Why don't you go draw a bath and I'll bring you some tea."
Grabbing his hand as he starts to walk away, bringing it to her mouth, "Thank you George. Why don't you plan on joining me, so we can talk?"
"We don't have to yet, we can wait."
"No I think we need to. Plus we had a nice conversation the last time we were in the tub together."
"Yes, we did," Walking her towards the hall, "Go on, I will give you time to get settled." Watching his back for a moment, Hermione is turning to walk towards their bedroom and bath, theirs, she isn't quite used to that yet but almost. Starting the water and looking through her bath salts looking for a specific one, that she likes to use when she is stressed. It is an infusion of chamomile, lavender, lemon herb and valerian, besides the calming effect it always makes her skin feel soft and soothed as well. Stripping down and banishing her clothes to the hamper. Sinking into the water, the tub only being filled to about waist high, she summons a wash cloth to have in case George comes in before the water is high enough. Shaking at head at her thoughts, he has seen her naked, he has touched her and kissed her and caressed her and she is afraid of him seeing her in the tub. "I think I've started going crazy."
"Well, talking to your self is normally a sign."
"Merlin!" Her heart jumping into her throat, "George you shouldn't sneak up on me like that."
"Sorry love, here's your tea." Handing her a mug and setting his on the opposite side of the tub, shucking his jumper and shirt off then sliding his jeans and boxers down. Soon he is stepping into the water, "Circe Meenie! This water is hot!"
"Sorry, sometimes I forget how hot I like my bath water."
"Well at least we'll be clean," smirking at her motioning for her put her feet on his legs, "Come on girl, I'll rub your feet while you talk. Start whenever you are ready."
"I guess my first question is have you ever experienced the Cruciatus Curse?"
"Well, I guess I should explain it some first. Has anyone ever told you what it feels like?"
"Bill and Charlie told us one time that it felt like fire throughout your body. They both had friends who became Auror's and you know from Harry part of the training you have to be cursed and have to perform the curse one time each. Personally I think that's crazy."
"Actually, it makes some sense. Then they can understand what a victim is going through and might be able to see what is in the head of a perpetrator. I think it would make them better at their job."
"I guess when you say it like that but we're getting off track."
"Oh yeah, sorry," Sipping her tea, "It does, it feels like your body is on fire. I'm going to tell you exactly how it felt at the time when Bellatrix had a hold of me. So bear with me and just let me talk please. For me all of my muscles seized up and it's like a full body cramp." Closing her eyes for a minute, "Then it's like you can feel your insides twisting around into a big knot. Then you relax and just as soon as you think you can catch your breath, it happens again. The first few times, it made me arch up off the floor, I was able to keep straight to a point. Then after the next few times I could feel the pressure on my joints, my hips and shoulders took a lot of damage. I figure it's because the type of joint they are."
"Type of joint? Sorry I'm not sure what you mean."
"Crap, that's right Wizarding schools don't teach Biology. It's a science that teaches about the body, the bones, muscles, tissues and such. Ok, so take for example your elbow; how it has a limited motion, it's a hinge joint, like a door. Now your shoulders and hips are called a ball and socket, like this," making a fist with one hand and covering it with the other and moving her fist around, "You have more movement, ok?"
"Ok, so I think that my hips and shoulders took more damage because they have so much free movement. They didn't have the natural restriction to movement."
"That makes a lot of sense, what does your healer say about that?"
"She agrees and I've been taking a potion that is supposed to help with the aches I've got because of it. I've seen a change in the last few months; my hips don't hurt as much anymore. Ok, I need to back up again. So when Bellatrix had a hold of me, she used the curse a lot on me." Breathing deeply and stammering out, "When we got to Shell Cottage, I felt like my back was a question mark and honestly, I couldn't keep food down for several days. Fleur figures it was also because of the curse, once I took an anti-nausea potion, I was able to keep nutrient and pepper up potions down." Looking down at her hands, "I think I want to stop for a few minutes."
"Ok, how about I tell you about my day for a few minutes." Watching her nod her head and sink further into the water, "I couldn't sleep very well last night, so I thought about you and all the years we've been friends. There were a lot of good memories and some not so good memories." Lifting her leg a little and putting her tiny foot on his chest, rubbing up her leg. Massaging her calf as he is talking, "I thought back on all of it. I realized when my opinion of you changed. When you started meaning more to me than I realized," Kissing the top of her foot, causing her to smile at him, "Mum came to us to tell us about what happened at the Ministry, when Sirius nearly went through the Veil." Shaking his head, "When Mum told us you had been injured, I lost my lunch, literally. I couldn't stomach you being hurt so badly. You guys were so stupid for going there. I know why you did it but it could've ended so badly. It almost did. You had two very close calls that night. If you hadn't grabbed Sirius by his shirt and pulled him down, he would've been killed. Then had you not silenced Dolohov, you would've been killed." Closing his eyes, "I'd never tell you want to do or anything like that but Merlin Meenie, you've had so many close calls over the years." Rubbing his eyes with one hand and putting her foot back in the water and bringing the other up in its place. "You're a strong witch and a strong woman and I love you for it. I'm almost glad I didn't realize I loved you then."
"Why's that George," gazing lovingly at him.
"I don't know if I could've let you go at Bill and Fleur's wedding." Clearing his throat, "When Kingsley's Patronus had arrived I had been on my way to ask you to dance. Just a friendly dance, you looked lovely in those red dress robes. When I caught your eyes right before you left, I felt like my heart dropped into my stomach. You looked so scared and I hated seeing you like that."
"I was very scared. I was hoping I could do everything that Harry believed I could do. I had the world in that bag; I had been carrying it around with me for days. We're hoping to leave that night after the reception or the next morning early before anyone woke up."
Holding his hands out to her, "Come here. Sit with me while we keep talking."
Taking his hands and settling against his chest, her head leaning back on his shoulder, "Thank you for telling me all that." Lacing her fingers through hers and placing them on her stomach, sighing and quietly saying, "I should finish."
"Only if you want to."
"I guess yesterday when you were all waiting, Harry threatened someone. That if they didn't get someone there to help me he was going to go to Kingsley." Sighing "Remind me to go and talk with him. He told Mungo's that needed to find someone to help me or he would."
"Don't get angry with him. He was worried about you. Let him throw his name around if he wants."
"I know but I don't like getting special treatment."
Kissing her temple, "Get used to it."
Rolling her eyes, "The specialist that they had come from the states is a squib. Lucy Astor she was born into a reasonably well known family in America, I found out that they are little more accepting to squibs. So she went to a Muggle University and became a doctor, she works directly with a Mediwitch, Mary Lee at St. Brigid's in Boston. Together they have been working on issues that have been affecting Muggleborns that Wizards have never heard of or never had to treat before. They both were there; they reviewed me and all of my history plus what I was able to give them about my mum and her family. It sounds like it was a culmination of several things that went wrong."
"We can wait love."
"No it's just a lot to talk about. Some of it makes my embarrassed. Like I should have taken better care of myself and this wouldn't be happening." Picking at her fingers and then rubbing her nose, "I most likely had the cyst before we went on the run. The malnutrition and stress effective my body then. I stopped having my period halfway through the year. I didn't think much of it because in the past when I was stressed it would disappear for a few months. And it's common in women if they starve themselves it is one of the first things to stop working right. But they think that it could have been the cyst. They used a spell they have been working on; the best way to describe it was they were able to see everything. They were literally able to look inside me. So they were able to see damage. Lucy said she thought it looked like torsion, it's umm… that's where…" Her voice is starting to thicken and she is having a hard time saying it.
"You want to stop for a bit again?"
"No," Her voice cracking, "I was doing so well." Shaking a little, "Basically things got twisted up." Running hand through her hair, "They told me all of the technical terms. I thought it would make it easier talking about it if it didn't sound like I was talking about myself." Clearing her throat, "Remember how I said it felt like my insides were twisting? They were literally. There is no other way to say it."
"Did it cause any other damage? I mean that they could see."
"No," Shaking her slightly, "They don't think so but now there are a few other things to try for the upset stomach and cramps I have. That is if they continue. They were going to stay for a few days since they discovered this and examine a few others who were having some issues since the war."
"Are the others having this same issue?"
"Not as severe, one of the doctor's from St. Mungo's said there are a few women who had short exposures to the curse and only one or two times. And they haven't been having the severe problems with their health but Lucy said it was better safe than sorry."
Sitting there is silence for a few minutes, just holding onto each other. "So this may help others?"
"Yes," Exhaling the breath she was holding, "I guess that is helping me deal with this. Don't get me wrong yesterday I was a mess. Now today, if what I am going through will lead to someone else not having this happen." Turning her body into his and burying her face into his neck, curling her legs up, sitting fully in George's lap now. "And tomorrow I don't know how I'm going to be."
Holding on the Hermione he is whispering "Let it out love." Her emotions are finally pouring out, crying against his neck, her hands are clenched in tight fists. "We'll get through this." Wrapping his arms around her and sliding down into the water and casting a warming spell as the water had cooled off. Getting comfortable in the tub was easier than he thought it would be. Hermione's tears were subsiding and she was now lying still curled up. Both of their heads just above water, rolling onto her back and stretching out against his body. Relaxing in silence his chest firmly against her back, her legs reaching only to the middle of his shins making him think how tiny she truly is compared to him. Their hands laced together resting atop her stomach, "Meenie?"
"Is there anything else you need to watch for?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well… Umm… I mean, do you have to change anything? Not do certain things?"
"They want me to see my healer 3 times a week for the next 2 weeks to talk about things. I hate therapy."
"Any new potions to take?"
"No, none for long term, one for the next week for nutrients. They said I just need to watch for any signs of infection or illness."
"They said if you wanted to, you could speak with a healer too."
"I don't understand why they would think I need to talk with one."
"Well, they said it's because while it happened to me. We're a couple and it affects you too."
"I'd rather talk to you about things."
"I told them that but they suggested this for you in case you didn't want to say thing to me. Because I told them I felt guilty."
"Because I told you to find someone else and I told them you wanted children. I think they are afraid I'll feel guiltier if you express sadness or anger over it."
"I'm sad and angry. I'm sad because you didn't deserve this. Then I'm angry for two reasons. Bellatrix was a mad bitch if they would have just given her the kiss the first war she wouldn't have been able to hurt people again this time. Second I'm angry because St. Mungo's couldn't think outside of the magical world. You can't tell me there other people like Lucy who could have helped in your case." Sitting up and pulling her with him, "But my anger isn't towards you and my sadness is for you." Kissing her cheek, "I'd rather work through this with you. Ok?"
"Sounds good to me, unfortunately I still have to go though."
Sitting up straight and stretching, "But we are both turning into prunes, let's get out."
Nodding her head, "Thank you George," Standing and turning to face him, "I'll be ok as long as you are by my side." She is leaning over to kiss him, hip lingering on his, neither one deepening the kiss, just holding to each other.
Watching her step out of the tub and wrap a towel around her body, he is asking "Is there anything you want to do today?"
"I kind of want to sit around here and do nothing." Ducking her head, "I want comfort food and movies but unfortunately the comfort food I want means we have to go out. So get dressed and I'll meet you in a few minutes."
Standing behind her now wrapped in a towel himself, "Your wish is my command, we can eat whatever you want and I haven't seen many movies so it will all be new to me." After getting dressed, George heads out to the kitchen to wash their tea cups.
"George?" Jumping up on the counter next to the sink Hermione is twisting her hands, "Can I ask you a question?"
"Come here," Pulling him close to her, so his is standing between her knees, "I don't know how to really ask. This is going to sound really odd." He is smiling at her while she is avoiding asking questions, "Normally, I mean, when we're together… Especially if I'm… And you're…" Blushing at what she is trying to ask, closing her eyes and sighing, "You didn't react to me being naked."
"What?" George is asking confused, shaking his head not understanding, "I'm not sure I understand. I love you being naked." Realization dawning on his face, "Oh love, now I understand. This morning I went to the shop and helped for a bit before coming to get you. I figured you'd want to spend some time together and since I can't control myself around you most days." Kissing her cheek, her nose, her forehead, leaning his head against hers, "I took something from the shop that stops that from happening. With everything that was going on I didn't want you to think that was all I thought about. While I can be like any other bloke and do think about that a lot." Laughing at her blush, "I'm a young man, its normal! I didn't want that to be on your mind."
"What did you take? I didn't know you guys carried anything like that?"
"We started thinking of more adult things to carry. Basically it is a potion we have come up with that whoever ingests it won't be able to get hard." Blushing slightly, "Depending on the dosage it can last from 2 hours to a full day, we thought it might be a funny gag for stag nights or if a flat mate is being a man whore."
"You two amaze me sometimes," laughing and shaking her head.
"Actually it was Lee's idea for this potion. Just as a warning I'll be back to my normal self in" Looking at his watch, "About 4 hours."
"Good to know," Sliding off the counter and wrapping her arms around his middle and laying her head on his chest, "Let's head out and have some lunch."
"Where are we going?"
"There's a small diner near my parents' house. You can get breakfast all day. It's greasy and looks like a hole in the wall but dad loved going there. I can appariate us; there is a small park nearby that I have used in the past," Taking his hand in hers "Ready?" Landing in a small grove of trees, "This way," Pulling him towards the road and pointing at a small place on the corner, "it's right over there."
Walking together, George puts his arm around her shoulder and pulls her close. "So did you play in this park growing up?"
"Sometimes, our backyard was good sized so I stayed at home mostly." Frowning, "I had a hard time making friends. Harry and Ron were my first real friends. I was quiet and unsure of myself growing up. Hogwarts was the first place I felt at home," Having chosen a booth so they could watch the people passing by.
"That's saying a lot considering there were a lot people who weren't very welcoming of you."
"For the most part it was ignorance or jealousy, I got used to both. For some reason though I couldn't ignore the boys even if Ron was so mean to me at first." Looking the menus over and having decided on food, Hermione is flagging down the waitress.
"He has mum's temper, the rest of us take after the Weasley's but he is all Prewett." Giving the young woman their order, George is holding her hand and drawing circles on the back of her hand with his thumb.
"Unfortunately I've been on the receiving end of that temper from both of them. Not something I would ever wish on anyone."
"When did Mum get after you?"
"The worst was after 4th year the whole debacle with Harry, Ron and Viktor. She gave me a dressing down because she believed everything Rita Skeeter printed. Luckily Remus and your dad came to my defense that day but it was bad." Watching as the food is being placed in front of them. "Dig in."
"Oh love, why didn't you say anything, Fred and I would've set her right?"
"It wasn't worth it. I just hoped she would let it go and after a couple of weeks, she did." Sitting in silence as they both are enjoying their food, "So how's your French Toast?"
"Pretty good," Stabbing a bite of her hash browns and smiling at her growl, "Hey Weasley! Back off my food."
"Now I know you've spent too much time with Ron, you growl when people get near your food." Laughing at her scowl, "So after here, back to the flat?"
"After we visit a grocery store around the corner, I want to get a few things that I can't get in Diagon Alley. When do you need to head back to the shop?"
"Fred said I have the next 3 days off." Answering her in between bites, "I'd love to be in the flat for all 3 days with you but I think one of those days you should visit Mum."
"I planned on going over soon. I just wanted time to talk with you first."
"I know and she understands that." Finishing up his food and looking at her plate, "Can I have some more potatoes?"
Pushing it in front of him, "I'm done, have at them. I'll pay the bill and then when you're done we can leave." Sliding out of the booth and walking up to the counter where their young waitress is standing with a co-worker. He is watching the interaction, the two workers are motioning back to the table and Hermione's face darkens and she shakes her head. Motioning to him then to her hand, he has an idea of what happened. Her face is gradually getting redder and her eyes are darkening handing her money over and waiting on her change, he can see that the girls are still talking to Hermione. She is stalking back to the table, "Let's go George."
"Kay love," Sliding out of the booth and standing he tucks her in under his arm. "You are going to tell me what that was all about, right?"
"What?" Trying to act like nothing is wrong but she could have steam pouring out of her ears if it was possible.
"Those girls, what did they say?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Come on Meenie, I want to know. You looked like you wanted to hex them."
"The other one, wanted your number. I told them it wasn't possible. They didn't believe that you were with me. Even with the ring on." Rubbing her face, "I know I'm not extraordinarily beautiful but I don't get why people think it's so odd you would be with me."
"What did they say?"
"They asked about the gorgeous bloke I was having lunch with. Then when I said you were my fiancée, they said why is it all the plain girls get the handsome fellas."
"Hermione," Tipping her face to his; she has had such an emotional time, seeing the tears threatening to spill over, "I think you are gorgeous. All of my brothers do too. So does Lee and he doesn't even like girls." Kissing her head, "I'll spend forever telling you how beautiful you are." Lacing his fingers through hers, "Now come one, let's go shopping," walking a little further down the block he sees the store she wanted to go into. Picking up a basket at the front, "Is one enough or do you plan on buying them out of food?"
"One's plenty," She is starting to walk up and down the aisle, pulling strawberries from the display in the produce section. Heading to the crisps section, picking up sour cream and onion crisps "These are my favorite, see any you want to try?" Starting with those, they fill a basket with crisps, chocolate, sweets, ice cream and then her favorite soda. "I think I'm done, you have anything you want to try?"
"No, I'm good," entering the checkout line, she pulls a bag from her purse to load up their purchases. After paying and exiting, "Do you want to walk a bit or find some place close to appariate?"
"I'm getting tired, let's find a place to appariate." Walking slowly in front of him, towards the alleyway next to the store, "Here this looks good." Turning on the spot they land back in the flat, "George can you put the stuff away? I just want to get in bed."
"Sure love, I'll join you in a few minutes." Walking into the kitchen and putting away the few groceries that needed to be cold, leaving the others out on the counter as she is going to want them over the next few days. Unpacking took him about five minutes, in that time, he was figuring she would have changed and gotten in bed. Entering the bedroom, she isn't there, he can hear her in the bathroom and he can tell she is crying. Damn, those girls must have upset her more than she let on, he is thinking. Knocking on the door and entering, "Love?"
"I'm sorry, I really am." She is sitting on the floor in front of the tub, her knees pulled up to her chest, "My emotions are up and down." Shuddering from the tears, "I hate feeling so out of control of everything." Before George can get completely set down next to her, she is crawling into his lap, "One minute I'm fine." Burying her face in his chest, "Then the next I'm trying to convince myself why you are with me. I'm a miserable, bossy, bucktoothed, swot and now I don't even feel like a woman." Clenching her fist tighter in his shirt, "I don't know why you want a half a woman."
"Hermione," He is trying to get her attention, "Hermione'" Rocking her in his lap and getting nowhere. "Hermione!" Startling her by raising his voice, she is looking up at him, "There you are beautiful." Wiping away tears from her face with the pad of his thumb, "I don't want to hear you talk about yourself like that anymore." Shaking her head, starting to argue, "No, it's going to stop. You're a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, loyal and complete woman in my eyes. Beyond yours, my opinion is the only one that counts." Slowly kneeling and the standing with her in his arms, "Now, I'm taking you to bed, you're going to get in, get comfortable and then even though you don't like them, you are taking a sleeping draught. You need sleep. That is part of why your emotions are up and down. Then after you've slept we can talk again. Ok?" Leaving no room for discussion with the tone of his voice, Hermione is slightly in shock. George is normally very laid back and calm. Sitting her on the bed and handing her the pajamas from the foot of the bed, "I'm going to get you the potion and then we are going to both go to sleep for a while."
Watching him walk away and head to the bathroom she can hear him looking in the cabinet while she is changing. Sliding under the covers, she is calming down when he hands her a vial before walking around to his side of the bed. Stripping down to his shorts, crawling under the covers and wrapping an arm around her after she has settled down with him. "Thank you George."
"You're welcome Meenie. We can talk more later. Sleep love." Shutting his eyes and hoping she does the same. They both need the sleep before having any more emotional discussions.
I hope you have liked this chapter. Another emotional one for the two of them but I think they will continue as they deal with things together. The spell for Hermione's clothes was delicata tersus novus meaning Delicate neat new. Thank you for all of the reviews, follows and favorites, it does make my day.