Disclaimer: As usual, I do not own any of the characters in this story. They belong to the amazing J.K. Rowling.
A/N: My first Fred/Hermione story! :D But look out for more to come (I have another multi-chap fic planned and I'm really excited about writing that too). Anyway, I hope this story is easy to follow, enjoy! :D
Not Another One
"Not another one," George groaned as he dropped his bag beside his brother. "This is, what, the third one this week?"
"You're just jealous, Georgie," Fred looked up from the piece of paper he was holding and grinned broadly at his twin. "'Cause I'm the more attractive twin that all the girls love."
Rolling his eyes, George ignored his comment. "What does this one say?"
Judging from the look on Fred's face, he'd been dying for George to ask the question. He sat up immediately, put on a mock serious look, and cleared his throat. "Ahem. Listen to this." Putting both of his hands to his chest in a dramatic fashion, he imitated a high-pitched, girly voice as he read the note aloud. "I love hearing your laugh. I love seeing the way your eyes twinkle, the way the corners of your mouth upturn, pouring happiness and joy into everyone who is lucky enough to see your smile."
George pulled a face. "Cheesy much?"
"Naw, I think it's really cute." Fred chuckled as he tucked the note into his robes.
"Maybe it's not even from a girl." Lee Jordan laughed as he slid into his seat beside the twins. "For all you know, I could've sent it."
"Forget it, Lee. If you can write something this romantic, you'd be with a girl already." Fred teased good-naturedly.
"Hey! It's not my fault all the girls at this school can't spot a charmer when they see one." He retorted. "Heck, if I really tried –"
"Now now, Mr. Jordan," Professor Flitwick squeaked as he entered the classroom, hopping onto his pile of books. "No chitter-chattering during class!"
When Professor Flitwick looked down to mark the register, Fred Weasley turned towards Lee. "Well, someone did spot one," He whispered with a grin, pointing to himself, and received a punch from Lee in response.
Fred still remembered the day that he received the first note.
Angelina had just dumped him the day before, and he didn't even know why. "I'm sorry. It's me, not you," was all she said before she turned and left, leaving him standing alone in the cold Hogwarts ground.
Fred acted like he didn't care. He shrugged it off whenever someone asked him about it, saying that their relationship was a casual one – one that never meant a thing to him – but Angelina's rejection hurt him much more than he cared to admit. He had flirted with dozens of girls whose names he could not remember, but Angelina was different. For the first time in his life, Fred could actually picture himself having a stable relationship that would turn into something more than just a summer fling. But then Angelina decided that he wasn't good enough for her.
"Wanna talk about it, mate?" George had asked sympathetically when he found his brother slumped in the armchair in the Gryffindor common room, staring at a photograph of him and Angelina, taken after their win at the Gryffindor-Slytherin Quidditch match.
Fred shook his head as he leaned his head back against the armchair, closing his eyes with a deep sigh and letting out a shaky laugh. "I can't believe I'm moping over a girl during Christmas break." Opening an eye, he peered over at his worried twin. "I'll be fine. Just leave me alone for a while."
"Well, you know where to find me," George replied, giving him an encouraging smile as he clapped Fred on the back before exiting through the Fat Lady portrait hole.
Alone in the common room, Fred blew out his breath and scowled. C'mon, Frederick Weasley, pull yourself together. He told himself, mentally slapping himself for being such an idiot to actually take this relationship seriously, when Angelina obviously didn't.
It was then that Fred noticed a small piece of paper fluttering down towards him. He made a grab for it and looked around, but didn't spot anyone around him. Opening the note and scanning its contents, Fred couldn't help the smile that was spreading to his face.
Roses are red, violets are blue, you're super hot, and I want you.
Shaking his head, Fred pocketed the note and, still chuckling to himself, walked out of the common room, in a slightly better mood than before.
"So, any idea who the secret admirer is?" George asked as they filed out of the Charms classroom.
"Haven't got a clue," Fred replied, frowning slightly. "At first I thought Angelina finally realised that she's made a mistake and wants to get back together, but she really isn't the kind to be all secretive and shy. She'd just come straight out and tell me."
"Can't imagine which girl would do this for you," George snorted.
"Why, my dear twin, when it comes down to someone like me – charming, wickedly clever and exceptionally witty – it could be anyone." Fred grinned. "I'd love to find out who it is, though."
"Well, why don't you?" His red-haired twin stopped abruptly and asked. "This girl – whoever she is – must have sneaked into the classroom earlier to place the note beneath your desk. We can just –"
" – borrow Harry's invisibility clock and hide in the class to see who she is." Fred finished for him, his eyes sparkling the way they always did whenever he had an idea. "I like the sound of that. What's your guess, George?"
George shrugged. "I'm thinking it's just a first-year having a crush on us because we're so ruggedly handsome, and decides to try her luck with one of us, but didn't dare to approach me for the fear of rejection, since I'm much more sought after."
Fred would never admit it, but he loved the notes that he had been receiving. The first few notes he received gave him a good laugh, with ridiculous poems and declarations of love. The best one so far was "My love for you is like diarrhea, I just can't hold it in."
But then the nature of the contents of the notes changed. They became more thoughtful, sweeter, and much more heart-warming, touching the deepest core of his heart, the part that he had covered up and never showed anyone.
Thank you for bringing so much joy and laughter to everyone with your jokes and tricks. You're really a blessing and I'm so thankful to have known you.
You're an amazing person, please don't ever forget that. If I could reach up and hold a star for everytime you made me smile, the entire nightsky would be in my palms.
After the first note, every single note was hidden beneath his desk during Charms. Truth be told, it was the biggest reason why he was looking forward to class these days, even more than the pranks that he and George had planned.
Whoever this secret admirer was, he owed it to her for constantly making his day.
"Hey, Harry!" Fred spotted the dark-haired wizard the moment he entered the Gryffindor common room. "Just the man I'm looking for."
"Yeah?" Harry stifled a yawn as he glanced up from the paper he was writing, looking tired and sleepy.
"Do us a favour, mate. We need to borrow your invisibility cloak." George said lightly, sinking down into the red cushioned armchair beside Harry. "Aw, Potions essay?" He pulled a sympathetic look as he leaned over Harry's shoulder to look at what he was writing.
"Snape's a douche. It's a ten-page long essay on the effects of the Dogbane Potion, and he wants it in by tomorrow. Seriously, when are we ever even going to use it?" Rom grumbled from his place next to Harry, glaring at the piece of parchment in front of him which was completely blank.
Harry nodded his head in agreement, then turned to look over at the twins. "Sorry, I don't have it with me. Hermione borrowed it."
"Hermione?" Fred asked, genuine curiosity etched across his face. "What does she need it for?"
"Beats me," Harry shrugged. "She's been real secretive these days, and she gets irritated when Ron and I ask her about it, so we just let it go."
"What are you two up to, anyway?" Ron asked his older brothers, showing much more interest in the conversation than to his undone essay.
"Keep your nose in your own books, little brother. It's nothing that concerns you," Fred patted Ron's head in mock affection.
"No harm in him knowing," George grinned as his twin shot him a warning look. "You see, dear Frederick here has been getting some anonymous love letters, and he seems to have gotten it into his head that he has a lovely secret admirer somewhere. Since he can't get a girl on his own, he figured he might as well find out who this secret admirer is, well, provided it is a girl, of course."
To the twins' surprise, both Harry and Ron burst out laughing.
"Blimey, Harry, this is way funnier than I thought!" Ron chortled as he slapped Harry on the back.
"You two," Harry gasped in between bouts of laughter, "actually took it seriously?"
"What?" Fred glanced at George and saw his own confused expression mirrored in his twin's face. He looked back to the pair of hysterical boys in front of him. "You two know who did this?"
"Oh, we do," Ron replied with a smug look on his face. "We're very familiar with them."
Fred narrowed his eyes. "Both of you are behind this?" He shot a deadly glare at Ron, feeling cheated. But his look was ignored as Harry, Ron and George collapsed in laughter together, clapping each other on the back and wiping the tears of laughter running down their faces.
"Nice one," George gave Harry and Ron a thumbs-up. "I have to give it to you guys."
"Why in the name of God would you do such a thing?" Fred rolled his eyes, although his initial annoyance at the pair was dying down.
"We couldn't bear to see you moping around after Angelina dumped you," Harry replied, a broad grin on his face. "So we decided to cheer you up in a different way."
"Yeah, we had fun writing those notes anyway," Ron supplied.
Giving an exaggerated sigh, Fred smiled in spite of himself. "Thanks, I suppose. I have to say though, some of the notes you sent are disturbingly sweet. Like the one about stars and night skies? I can't believe two guys like you could write that."
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked, looking confused. "We never sent anything like that."
"Yeah, our notes are never cheesy. They're just funny and stupid to get you to loosen up about Angelina." Ron said, picking up his quill as he snatched Harry's parchment on Dogbane Potion and began copying it. "Sorry, mate, it's getting late, and I don't want to face Snape's wrath tomorrow."
Fred and George exchanged a look.
"You sure we should be doing this?" George asked, looking slightly skeptical. "We've been here for almost half an hour, and no one's shown up yet."
"Be patient, old man," His twin replied. "She'll be here soon."
"I still can't believe Hermione did this. Merlin's beard, I always thought she was after our little wrench of a brother." George commented, stifling a yawn.
"I know," Fred grinned. "I'm just too irresistible. Still, it's just a hunch. But our hunches are usually right. Now, shhh. She might be here any minute."
The twins were hidden towards the back of the Charms classroom, blocked by a long table. Their eyes were glued to a certain desk, one that Fred sits at during every lesson. Fred had managed to obtain a copy of Hermione's timetable from Harry and Ron, and after comparing it to his, he concluded that this was the only period that Hermione would be able to sneak into the empty classroom to drop off the note.
Suddenly, a loud sneeze erupted from the direction they were watching, followed by another, and another. "That's her," Fred whispered gleefully. "Those Sneezy Powder has worked."
He jumped out from his hiding place and in quick strides, marched over to his desk, reached out and grabbed hold of a piece of cloth. He pulled, and the invisibility cloak came off, revealing a certain brown-haired girl who let out a surprised squeak.
"Hermione," Fred suddenly found himself at a loss of words. "So...it really was you who did it?"
Hermione flushed a bright red and fidgeted with her hands, her eyes adverting Fred's. "I...I..."
George had silently sneaked away from the classroom unnoticed, understanding that this was a private moment between his twin and Hermione.
"Harry said he and Ron were the ones giving notes but...you...?" Fred trailed off as he stared at Hermione's red face, unsure of how to continue without agitating the nervous girl before him even further. "Oh, sorry about the sneezing. I planted some Sneezy Powder in my desk so that whoever comes near it would start sneezing non-stop so that I'd know someone's here." He said sheepishly.
"Oh, God, this is so embarrassing. This really wasn't how I planned for you to find out," Hermione turned away from the redhead standing before her and covered her face in her hands.
"Hey, hey," Fred quickly placed a hand on her shoulder, crouching down to her level as he smiled at her reassuringly. "It's okay. You don't have to say anything if you don't want to."
There was a pause as Hermione looked up and stared at him, her own brown eyes searching his for comfort and encouragement. She took a deep breathe. "No, I want to."
Hermione had been the one to find Fred sitting outside under a willow tree, on the Hogwarts Grounds in the cold, after Angelina broke up with him. She plopped herself down beside him, stealing a sideway glance at him.
"I heard about what happened." She said quietly.
"News travels fast around here, huh?" Fred laughed humorlessly. "Well, I should know."
They sat for a while in comfortable silence, each lost in his or her own thoughts. "She made a mistake, you know," Hermione suddenly spoke up, her voice rising. "I don't know why anyone would break up with someone like you."
Fred gave a small smile to the indignant-looking witch beside him. "Aw, thanks, 'Mione. That's a rare compliment coming from you."
"No, I'm serious, Fred," Hermione frowned as she unconsciously clenched her fists. "It wasn't fair of her to do what she did - leaving you without even giving an explanation. You deserve better than that."
"Maybe it just wasn't meant to be," He replied, faking a grin. "I suppose it's her loss, eh?"
"Oh, stop pretending and acting all nonchalant," Hermione interrupted him quickly, reaching out to take his hand. "It's OK to be upset. It's only human. You don't have to pretend to be strong all the time."
When Fred didn't reply, looking away to hide his expression which betrayed his feelings, Hermione did something she never expected herself to do. She leaned in and pulled Fred close to her, hugging him tightly. "You can let your guard down with me, you know that, right? I would never judge you."
It took a few seconds before Fred's arms circled her waist and hugged her back. "Thank you, Hermione." He whispered into her hair, and Hermione swore that she could feel him smile.
"You know I'm here for you, Fred, whenever you need someone to talk to." She beamed widely, her heart beating so loudly that she was sure Fred could hear it.
"I-I like you, Fred. I like you a lot." She began, looking down at her feet, aware of Fred's eyes on her. "At the start, when Angelina broke up with you, I..have to admit that I was a little happy, although I felt terrible for feeling that way. But then I saw how upset you were, and it killed me to see you hurting so much, so I thought of possible ways to try and cheer you up, and asked Harry and Ron for help. In the end we decided on writing anonymous notes for you, and I was so happy knowing that we could make your day brighter, even if it's just by a little bit. And the boys had fun writing them too." She chuckled softly, her eyes still glued to her shoes.
"They got bored of writing them pretty soon, though. But I couldn't help myself. I think I needed to let my feelings for you be known somehow, and so I chose the most cowardly way to do it - by continuing to send you secret admirer notes, but this time, every single note expressed my true, genuine feelings. I know you'll never want me, Fred, but -"
"What if I say I do?"
Hemione's head snapped up. "W-what?" She stammered, unable to believe her ears.
"What if I say that I've fancied you for years, but never acted upon it because I didn't think a girl like you would ever fall for a bloke like me who spends his whole day planning tricks and pranks? What if I say that if you give me a chance, I'll show you how special you are, how much you deserve to be cared for and loved?"
She was silent for a minute. "I'd say you're lying." She whispered, but the longing look in her eyes gave her away. "There is no way –"
Hermione's words were cut off as a strong pair of arms enveloped her, pulling her close. She buried her head in his chest as she tried to contain her tears that were threatening to spill over, while his hand rubbed circles on the small of her back. He smells like vanilla and strawberries, she thought as she suddenly became consciously aware of the closeness between them. Her arms gripped his shirt and pulled him even closer, if that was even possible.
"Look, Hermione, if there's one thing I could ever do for you, it'll be to make you see the wonderful girl I'm currently holding - strong, brave, brilliant, thoughtful, amazingly loyal and drive, and so, so beautiful." Fred's warm voice drifted down to her as he rested his chin on the top of her head.
"You're so kind to every single being you've ever met, showering everyone with your smiles and love. After the breakup with Angelina, you were there for me. You helped me to regain confidence, to turn back into the Fred Weasley everyone knows. Heck, you're practically an angel, and I don't know how I will ever match up to you. But I'm willing to try. Will you let me?" Fred gently pushed Hermione away from his chest so he could look at her properly.
Hermione's eyes widened as she felt her cheeks heat up. No one had ever said such a thing to her, and she couldn't believe that she was standing right here, alone with the most amazing boy she had ever met, listening to those words.
"Oh, Fred," she reached up and tenderly touched his cheek. "That is the sweetest thing anyone has ever told me. Thank you for saying that. And you know I will. Of course I will."
Fred smiled and reached for her hand, lacing his fingers with hers. Leaning down, he planted a sweet, chaste kiss on her forehead. "I'm so glad I found you, Hermione."
A/N: I'll admit, not my best piece of work. I'm really not that familiar with Fred's character, but I hope you liked it! Tell me what you think please? :) Written for the Title Swap Competition and the Wand Wood Competition.