"You actually are joking Perce, I don't think I've seen you joke since you were-"
Fred Weasley was cut short when a loud explosion rang through the air. Somewhere to his right, he heard a shriek; his eyes widened as what used to be a Hogwarts wall disintegrated. He had a single second to think of his twin brother, of what George Weasley would become, just before he was sure the whole thing would collapse and become the cause of his untimely death.
It never did.
Something pushed him down like a flash. A chunk of marble flew above him, sailing above where his head would have been a mere few seconds ago. A thought shook him, a single thought, as he staggered up and ignored the pain shooting up his shoulder from his fall. He could've died. He could've died, if it weren't for...
"HERMIONE! HERMIONE, NO!"
His heart skipped a beat at the name of his fellow Gryffindor. Two blurs of ginger hair and some other black-haired person (who Fred would later realize as to be Harry Potter) swarmed over something, rather someone, on the floor. Fred saw none of it, as his eyes trained over the thing the three were crowding over.
Hermione Granger. The bushy-haired brunette, the supposed know-it-all, the 1/3 of the Golden Trio. She lay motionless on the floor, her hair matted against her face, a steady trickle of blood making its way down from her hairline. A pit seemed to dig itself in to Fred's stomach at the sight. This was the girl his brother had loved and taken for granted. This was the girl that Molly Weasley, their mother, had always wanted to be part of the family.
This was the girl that had saved him.
He limped over, getting to his knees. Her eyes fluttered open, and she seemed to look at all of the surroundings' faces, finally falling to Fred. "Fred." she muttered, her voice small and yet managing to lord over all the sounds the ongoing war made. "Hermione." Fred replied, grabbing her hand. It fit perfectly in his. "Bloody hell, Hermione..."
She offered him the smallest of smiles, then turned her head to Harry. "Harry," she struggled to say. "Voldermort."
"We're not leaving you here!" Harry Potter cried, his green eyes shining with unshed tears. Hermione had been like a sister to him, Fred knew. Hermione had never left his side. Ever.
"Harry." The brunette said firmly. "Go."
Harry glanced over at Ron Weasley desperately, whose jaw was clenched as he tried to prevent the impending waterworks. "Harry," Ron began. "She's right. She's always been right. This is our mission. It's the least we can do."
It's the least we can do for her. The rest of Ron's unfinished sentence. A smile graced Hermione's features as she squeezed Harry's arm with her free hand. "See? Go on. I'll be okay."
Harry wavered, before bending over and planting a prolonged kiss on Hermione's forehead. It was a sad scene, sadder than anything, because Fred knew that Harry knew Hermione wouldn't be okay. Merlin, the Weasley twin thought. This must be one of the hardest things Harry's going to do. "We'll do it, Hermione," Harry croaked as he pulled away, his eyes never leaving his lady friend. "We'll do it for you."
"Good." the girl mumbled.
"Fred, Precy." Ron commanded as he hauled Harry up to his feet. "Take care of her. Please."
The two Weasley brothers nodded and watched the two run off, the Golden Trio down to a duo. "I'll bring her to the Great Hall. Maybe…" Fred trailed off, not wanting to say what or what might not happen in front of Hermione. Hope, after all, lies in the faculty of wrongness.
Precy nodded glumly. "I'll go kick some Death Eater arse." He said, determined. He cast his gaze down on to Hermione. "Thank you." The eldest Weasley told her sincerely. She offered him a grin and replied, "Always welcome."
Fred gathered Hermione in his arms. She wasn't heavy, but carrying anything made it feel like his shoulder was being torn up. He endured it as he rushed through the halls, ignoring inquisitive glances from fellow students, avoiding any more damage that could be done to the fragile thing he held.
They reached the Great Hall, and Fred laid Hermione on the nearest cot gently. He opened his mouth, about to call out for somebody, when Hermione's fingers wrapped around his wrist. "No, Fred." She managed. "No. Not… anymore…"
The ginger boy was flabbergasted. "Hermione, we need to get you help." He said. Her amber eyes were staring up at him, pleading and bright, as though the once rosy complexion of her cheeks and lips had decided to put their colour in to them. "Just… stay with me." She begged. "At least... 'till I... fall asleep."
Fred hesitated before pulling up a chair next to her. They stayed there for a few seconds, silent, all sounds muted as the minutes ticked. "Where does it hurt?" he asked awkwardly. She smiled a bit before answering. "Everywhere."
He sighed, intertwining his fingers with hers, an act so unconscious that he wouldn't realize he'd done it until later on. "Why'd you do it?" he muttered. "Why?" A heartbeat passed. "Because," Hermione started slowly, the mere forming of words seemingly an effort. "You… you deserve… to live."
The words sent a sharp pain in to Fred's chest, sharper than that of the one in his shoulder. "You deserve to live more than I do." He said, his voice shaking. "You've done so much, Hermione. You're the brightest witch of your age. Cross that, of this school. You know that Ron and Harry can't live without you. You can still do so much."
The smile plastered on Hermione's lips pulled in to a thin line, as though Fred's speech got her thinking. "Like what?" she questioned him softly. "Like…" he stopped to think, then went on. "You could be the Ministress of Magic."
She laughed, stopping as coughs began to rack her petite frame. "No… such thing…" she said in between her fit. Fred barrelled on. "Okay, a good Auror. You'd work for the Ministry. But a good kind, right? Or maybe a Hogwarts teacher. The one everyone loves. You'd marry a Weasley, have ginger-haired kids running around your house. Mum would ask you to bring them over so much. She loves you, you know? She's always wanted you to be a Weasley."
"Hermione Granger-Weasley." Hermione mused, her eyes closing. "Exactly." Fred went on. "And then you'll push through S.P.E.W, and all the house elves will get the equality they deserve. You'll make history. Not because you were Harry Potter's best friend, not because you married the most handsome ginger-haired wizard in the world (This put a smile on Hermione's face.), but because you're you and…"
He stopped abruptly when Hermione flinched, her fingers twitching in his own. He grasped a bit tighter to her. "Hermione?" he said, worry lacing his voice. "Are you okay?"
Silence answered Fred as Hermione regained her composure. She managed an answer, her eyes flitting open to look him straight in the eye, the soft truth that slapped the former in the face. "It hurts, Fred."
With his free hand, Fred stroked her hair gently. "Shh. Everything will be alright. Tell me how I can make it okay." He said through the lump in his throat. She remained unmoving for a minute. "Kiss… Kiss it all better." She mumbled.
Fred froze, unsure he heard it right. "W-what?" he stammered. Hermione grinned a bit, eyes boring in to her opposite. "You heard me, Weasley." She joked.
Even has the time to joke when in pain, Fred thought in disbelief as he shook his head. "You sure?" he asked, teeth sinking in to his lower lip. "I… yes." Hermione replied, her next words strung together hurriedly, speaking as though her normal self would have. "It's just… I've never had my first kiss. It's silly, but I've always wanted to have one, you know?"
The ginger-haired boy nodded, leaning over her, their faces inches from each other. "Hermione," he whispered. He was unsure if his voice worked, or if he had just mouthed her three-syllable name. It didn't matter, though. Because his lips met hers in a tentative kiss, everything around them slowing with the simple action. She tasted like cinnamon and sugar, with a hint of apple. He didn't appreciate it as much until later on; the aftertaste she'd leave, the lingering feeling her lips would give him.
He was the one to pull away. For air. If it weren't for his lungs, he would've kept kissing her. "Thank... you…" Hermione sighed as Fred sank in to his chair. The sounds faded in gradually, the blasting and the cries and the spells being cast.
"Fred?" Hermione whispered after a few minutes of awkwardness.
"I… I'm not ready to go."
Fred didn't know if it was her quavering voice, the desperation, the sadness, the fragility of it; or the fear etched on to her pale face as she looked up at him longingly; or how her words were simple yet holding so much emotion, but it broke him beyond repair. "You're not. You're not going." He assured, more for him than for her.
"I am." Hermione said plainly. She took a shaky breath, not as colourless as most dying people would be. In fact, she even seemed to shine.
"I won't let you."
A smile formed on Hermione's lips at Fred's childish demand. "'M afraid that's not… not for you to decide." She said.
Her breathing seemed to quicken, like she was gasping for air. Fred wanted to look away and yet, at the same time, didn't want to take his eyes off of her. "Bloody death eater. Bloody wall. Bloody war." He cussed, tears streaking down his face as he held on to her hand as though it might keep her alive. He expected to be scolded, but Hermione didn't seem to have the energy.
"It's… not your… fault…" she choked out, her eyes closing. No guilt lessened on Fred's part. "You… didn't know…"
Fred felt her tight grip on him loosening, and he shut his eyes tight. He did it whenever something was going to happen. He did it when he was afraid of losing something. And now, Hermione was one of them. She seemed to still be fighting, still holding on to the small sliver of life left within her. "Fred…" she muttered. He refused to open his eyes as his tears made their way down his face. "Fred… Goodbye..."
Finally, her hand went limp, her fingers stopped twitching and squirming while he held them in his own. His breath caught in his throat at the inevitable. He made no move to wipe away the tears cascading down his cheeks. Slowly, he opened his eyes, looking down at the girl.
Her hair was spread around her face, framing the paleness of it, the stillness of her. A smile, the ghost of her last smile played on her lips, and she looked so peaceful that Fred almost convinced himself she was asleep, just like she had said earlier. To stay with her 'till she fell asleep.
It struck him then and there. He would never see her amber eyes again. Never hear her voice state facts, or answer questions, or bark at Ron for being such a 'bloody git'. Soon, to everyone, she would fade in to nothing; she would become a memory, something that used to be, that could have been. They would point to her pictures and say that it was such a shame, that she could've been something and would've been someone. Fred didn't want her to be just that.
He wanted her to live the life she couldn't. He wanted her to become a world famous Auror, or the Hogwarts teacher everybody would remember even after leaving the magical school. He wanted her to have children that would feel embarrassed of her at times but be proud of her all the same, ginger-haired children that Molly Weasley would drown in love and food. He wanted to be the reason for her smile, he wanted to die with her. He wanted to be the one to change her last name to Weasley. He wanted... her.
Slowly, he let go of Hermione's hand, standing wordlessly. He had realized everything too late. Now, he had to face the truth. Leaning over her one last time, he brought his lips to her forehead, the farewell Harry had done. "G'bye, Hermione." he muttered, then made a promise he would keep till he himself got to his grave.
"I'll never forget you."
A/N: ok why did i do this i'm crying. this was inspired by Kiss It All Better by He is We. the first time i heard it i automatically thought of fremione so BAM here ya go. i have a similar, shorter story on my old account AndieMiki2636; i got the story idea from there. this is my first story on this account, i'm open for suggestions and stuff~ that's all. i hope you enjoyed! DON'T KILL ME!