"So" Hermione began as they headed back towards the dance floor, the party still in full swing "why is it you're looking for excitement? Don't you have that in your life already?"
He shrugged "you can never have too much excitement, besides the war's over and we finally got you home. I've got nothing to do for a while, I needed a project"
Hermione snorted in a very unladylike manner "So I'm your latest project am I?" He noticed her eyes drift once again to the corner where Remus had rejoined Tonks and they were talking quietly together and her eyes shone just a little too brightly
"Yes" he grinned mischievously, seizing her hand and dragging her into the middle of the dance floor "and we're starting work now" they waltzed around the room and he was relieved to see that she relaxed quite quickly in his company and was beginning to enjoy herself again.
"So" he pushed on, skilfully maneuvering them around another couple "How are you starting this new life of yours?"
Hermione bit her lip, she had never really done spontaneity before and wasn't entirely sure where to begin. She had promised herself a year, a full year of doing exactly what she wanted when she wanted and she was going to do it properly or not at all. Eventually she said "I'm going to need somewhere to live, Harry and Ginny's sofa is very comfy and everything but I want my own bedroom with a proper bed and a lock on the door."
He mock frowned at her "Your own bedroom?" he exclaimed "whatever will you be demanding next?"
She giggled "Oh I don't know" she was going along with the joke "give me too much leeway and I really will go mad. I'll be expecting to have my own wardrobe next"
Harry appeared next to them "My turn" he grinned
"Aren't you supposed to ask me if I want to dance with you?"
"Maybe, but then asking would imply that you were allowed to say no" Harry teased
Hermione glanced at Fred to check he was OK with his dance partner being stolen "Yes that's fine" he murmured thoughtfully "I have to go and talk to George a second"
He made a beeline for his twin and Harry took the lead "Are you feeling batter?" he asked carefully, looking at her as though she might burst into tears at any moment
She nodded, feeling oddly free "I spoke to Remus earlier, he gave me a photo of me and the marauders. I didn't even know it existed. I know we can never be together again and I wouldn't want us to, he's not the same Remus I loved, but it's so nice to have some one actually acknowledge that any of it ever happened" he nodded thoughtfully and they danced on in silence until Hermione said "So, what did you want Harry?"
Harry stared at her "Sorry?"
She smiled st him "You've got that look, there's something you need to say and you've spent the last minute and a half trying to decide whether to say it or not"
He hesitated as though worried she might be offended by what he was about to say "You know you sent us those instructions for getting Sirius back from The Veil?"
"I've been rereading them and it looks like it'll take a while and it's definitely going to take more than one of us, so I was wondering if you'd be able to help?"
"Of course I will Harry! We'll start the process off as soon as possible and hopefully we'll have Sirius back within a month or so"
He beamed at her and hugged her tightly "Thank you Hermione"
"So what do you think?" Fred asked as he watched Harry and Hermione dance
George stared at him "I think you've gone mental"
"Let's recap, shall we? Entirely on the spur of the moment you want to ask Hermione Granger to move into our spare room. Why are you suddenly so concerned with her welfare anyway?"
"She saved my life remember? If she hadn't cast that shield charm at the last moment I wouldn't still be here."
George frowned "Yes I know"
"And we need a new project. She doesn't smile nearly enough"
George frowned at hie "what's that got to do with us?"
Fred shrugged "We always said that when the war was over, people were going to need more reasons to be happy. She needs a reason to smile, we could be the reason couldn't we? It's only until she finds her feet"
"Well I suppose Angelina would probably appreciate another woman in the flat and there's no harm in it if it is now temporary"
"See? I said it was a good idea!"
Fred made his way back over to Hermione who by now had released Harry so that he could dance with is fiancé and was making her way over to the buffet. He tapped her on the shoulder and was surprised when she jumped
"Don't do that," she hissed looking alarmed
"Sorry, I forget that you haven't really had time to adjust yet"
She shook her head "it's fine, what did you want to say anyway"
"Well" he began, a grin returning to his face "after consorting with my partner in crime and favourite twin in the world, I have decided to offer you a once in a lifetime opportunity"
She raised an eyebrow but said nothing
He cleared his throat and said in a voice reminiscent of Percy Weasley "we would be pleased to offer you a room in the abode adjoining the prestigious establishment co-owned by my sibling and myself. Subject to your acceptance of such a plan we would like to offer you a temporary lease upon the property in question until such time as you feel able to sever the arrangement" he puffed out his chest in a perfect mockery of his brother and threw some Latin on the end for good measure "ergo lupus simia nunquam titilandus"
She stared at him for a second "are you offering me a room in your flat?"
He grinned "the latin didn't fool you then? We've got a spare room and you need a place to stay until you get back on your feet, the two situations interweave like a ... Basket"
She narrowed her eyes for a second "and there's no catch at all?"
He shook his head, doing his best to maintain an expression of honesty and innocence, both alien expressions to him. The next second he was nearly bowled over as the brunette launched herself at him, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck.
"Thank you so much" she gushed "you've been so kind to me, if there's ever anything I can do in return"
"We won't hesitate to let you know" he finished, they grinned at each other before returning to a companionable silence.
After a slight pause Hermione spoke again, slightly hesitantly this time "Fred, you know the words you said in Latin? You do know don't you that you essentially told me to 'therefore never tickle a wolf monkey' don't you?"
He grinned at her and winked "sounds like good advice to me"
A/n: So I promised it would be up for August and here it is. I struggled with writers block for ages writing this even though I had it meticulously planned and it will get better in later chapters I promise. Some people were unhappy with the ending of the prequel to this story and one person even asked if any time travel stories had happy endings...I promise a lot of them do but it wouldn't have felt right for that one. In the interests of not making you all depressed though, I can recommend 'to love a werewolf' and 'a little flip' both by remuslives there are LOADS more I promise, but those are the two in my favorites.
On a slightly different note (and in the interests of making this the longest author's note ever) I recently received this anonymous review on one of the first stories I ever wrote on this profile
"I just read chapter one and.. it's boring. Too boring. Too cliche. I'm sorry, but you have to work on writing your character's real personalities. Even in first chapter, you lacked that. It's not my place to say that but hey, that's what the review button is for. Plus, it just kind of sucks. Sorry."
I've been writing fanfiction for years and I've heard far worse than this but it did make me angry. I'm a big girl and stuff like this doesn't bother me anymore. But at the time I wrote that particular story I was I think 14 and I would hate to think that a younger less confident person might get a review like this and then be scared to write anything in case it happens again. Let's try to remember Harry Potter was rejected by at least 9 different companies before being published, I write for fun, if what I write isn't to your tastes, don't read it. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and constructive criticism is always welcome but this was just rude (If the person who wrote that review is reading this I refer you to the video "Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD" by Tyrannosaurus Lexxx of youtube). Anyway, I'm deeply sorry for taking up so much of your time with this rant but I felt like this needed to be said. Thank you for your patience, I'll bugger off now and leave you in peace.