What In The...?

AN: Thanks to everyone who reviewed! Just to clear some stuff up: AwesomeNinjaTaco, I switched it around so George was the one who died, when Hermione said 'was it worse than losing your twin?', she was referring to the fact that George died in the battle. Physics_chick, heehee, I couldn't help myself, I've never liked Ron :P Scooby, the first chapter wasn't supposed to be a one-shot, that was just the ending to the first chapter, thanks though anyway :) So here would be the second (and probably last) part to this story!

Chapter 2 - What's the worst that could happen?

Well that was traumatizing, was the first thing I thought when I finally reached home. Apparently, Hermione hasn't changed in the slightest over the past decade and still doesn't understand the meaning of partnership. I spent literally the entire day being constantly squashed under her thumb, which may have something to do with the fact that she actually knew what she was doing, but that is besides the point. She wouldn't let me do a damned thing! She gave me all the orders she was supposed to give her secretary. She sent me off on missions as if I were just some common ordinary Auror and she actually confiscated my wand! And all because of one charm I couldn't resist casting on bloody Draco Malfoy.

And I've never loved her more.

Everything she did that day just made my heart beat faster, her constant snapping...she looked so beautiful, her orders...that fiery look in her eyes, and best of all, the fact that she didn't try to get me fired. Which either means that she has no problem with me being there, which is just so plainly not true, or she actually wants me to be there, a fact that pleases me to no limit. How was any normal wizard supposed to resist chasing after something like that? Especially me, I can resist everything except temptation, it's a known rule about me. Everyone's aware of it, including Hermione Granger.

By the time I had my my microwavable dinner set and laid out in front of me, I had made my resolution; by tomorrow, I would not be the only who's heart beat exceeded the norm, Hermione would fall back in love with me again...that is, if she ever managed to get up again after the last time.

Memories of that last time I saw her besides today flooded through my head, and to my horror, I felt my eyes well up, I thought was past that stage.

"...What? What?" Hermione croaked, she looked up at me with those big brown eyes. "That isn't funny Fred, you can't say that."

"I'm so sorry Hermione, but this isn't some kind of sick joke. I wish it was, trust me, I really really do. I don't even know why I have to do this, but I know that I do."

"What does that even mean?"

"I swear to Merlin, if I had any other choice, I wouldn't leave you, but the thing is I don't have another choice."

"What are you talking about?!"

"I have to go, Hermione. I'm sorry."

"But why you? Ron's staying, George is still here, as far as I know, Bill and Charlie are still where they're supposed to be. I know for a fact Percy is still at the Ministry. Why do you have to go?"

"I don't know. I really don't. But I have to."

"No, I will not let you go until you give me a proper reason for taking away the one thing I love most in my life."

"I can't, Hermione. I wish I could tell you, but I've been forbidden. I made the Unbreakable Vow to not tell anyone."

"That doesn't include me."

"Yes, yes it does. And this is all my fault, I over-heard some stuff I wasn't supposed to. I walked in on what was supposed to be a confidential meeting. They couldn't just let me go without making sure that it would stay a secret. Me telling you even this much is almost pushing it."

"Fred, listen very carefully, you are not leaving me. I will not let you, not after all of this."

"I have to go, Hermione. It's not safe for me here anymore, I know too much."

"So share the burden, tell me, Fred!"

"Hermione, I can't! I really wish I could! If I stay here, I will die. And there is no way I'm putting you in danger too because of my idiocy."

"I've known you for too long for me to still be affected by your stupidity, Fred."

I sighed and took her face in my hands.

"No matter what happens, Hermione, I will always love you. There is a chance you may never see me again, I may die anyway. But in spite of all of that, nothing, and I do mean nothing, will ever change the way I feel about you. There is not a single charm on the earth or a single person who can cast an Imperius Curse strong enough for me to ever stop loving you."

"So why in Merlin's name are you leaving me?"

"Because I'll put your life in danger."

"I don't care, if I'm going to die before my time, I want you to be the last person I see and love. I want you there with me, and if you - if anyone dares taking you away from me, I want to be there to see it. I want to be there to know who the first person I'm ever going to kill is. I will not let you just leave."

"Hermione, stop it. I have to."

"Is this why you've been acting so distant for the past week?" Okay, so she noticed, my bad.

"I haven't been distant! I've been everything but!"

"You've never kissed me that much in one day before, is this why? Have you been trying to salvage what time you have left?"

I looked down, ashamed to meet her eyes.

"Yes, and I'm sorry. I should've told you sooner. It wasn't fair for me to keep this to myself, you had a right to know. But I'm telling you now."

I could feel her staring at me, those beautiful eyes of hers boring into my head. Eventually, I had to look at her, I had to see her, I had to see what I was leaving behind, and for what? The pathetic-ness that is my life.

"When - When...are you going?"

"The break of dawn."

"As in tomorrow?"


"Did you mean what you said about there being a chance I may never see you again?"

"Hermione, the stuff I know, it's dangerous. It's deadly, there are people who would kill for this information."

"There are people who would kill you." It was a statement, one that I wished to Merlin wasn't true.

"Yes. And if I told you, they'd kill you too. And I would never forgive myself if anything bad happened to you and it was because of me."

"So don't tell me! Just stay! I can live my entire life not knowing about this entire thing!"

"These people will still kill me! And these aren't just your ordinary goons we're talking about here! These are people who will use bait, and you're the best thing anyone could ever use against me."

"Let them come, no one is taking you away from me. And that's final."

"It's not like I want to leave, Hermione! I never thought this day would come, I envisioned us sharing the rest of our lives together! Please don't make this harder than it has to be. This will be the hardest thing I'll ever have to do in my entire life, I promise you that. Just remember, I will always love you, no matter what happens."

"And I will always love you."

I kissed her, and this time, I took my time, it was slow, it was passionate, it was everything I wished our entwined lives could be. It was dark, so I didn't see her tears streaming down her face, but when our lips met, I felt her tears on my face, and then I realised that I was crying too. I didn't realise quite how hard this would be, I had some idea, but I would've never imagined anything could be this painful.

After what seemed like an hour, we finally pulled apart, reluctant and panting.

"I guess that's that then." And with that, Hermione turned and walked away, as far as I knew at that time, that would've been the last time I would ever see her.

She was almost out of sight when I heard the most horrendous thing I ever could, Hermione let out a wail, it was soft, it was hurt and it was painful enough to make my already broken heart crumble. I fell to the floor, I could feel the cement of the Hogwarts corridor under my knees, I put my face in my hands and wept every single last drop of water out of my body. I had just lost the most important thing in my life.

Snapping out of my reverie, I changed my mind, tomorrow was too far away.

"I'm home!" I called, shoving the house keys back into my coat pocket.

Of course, it was raining, the perfect ending to a perfect day. I had met the person I hated most in this world that morning, I got stuck in an elevator, of all things, with him for over two hours, I was forced to work with him for the next dozen hours and finally, when I leave what used to be my favorite place on Earth, I walk out of the Ministry to find that it was raining.

I returned home to the familiar sound of the television blaring from the next room and the obvious shadow of Ron's overlarge stomach and his mandatory packet of chips in his hand. As usual, next to him was a cot containing a screaming baby girl, and judging on the pitch and frequency of her cries, she was hungry, but how was Ron supposed to know that? That idiot doesn't know anything except what the bloody Quidditch score is. I heard that same noise, the only noise that made my life worthwhile, I heard the soft pitter-patter of Johnny's footsteps running down the stairs, getting ready to jump in my arms.

"Hi mommy! Guess what happened today?" He yelled happily as he leaped into my waiting arms.

I cradled his soft body close to my chest, reminding myself as I did everyday that there was a reason I didn't walk back out that door to find someone else who didn't want to make me vomit every time I laid eyes on them. This, Johnny, was the reason why I never left Ron, he was the reason I didn't jump off the roof of this failure of a house, the love I feel for him makes up for what I should've felt for Ron the day I married him.

"What's that?" I smile down on him, carrying him into the living room, purposefully walking in front of the television and ignoring Ron's protests.

"I made a new friend today!"

"Really?" This actually surprised me, despite how amazing Johnny is, he doesn't tend to make a lot of friends. Johnny goes to a Muggle school, and though he never gets mad or angry, he does get scared often, and unlike other kids who pee in their pants when in a case of fear and/or horror, strange things start happening around Johnny. One time lockers started banging like crazy outside his classroom, sometimes the kids who pick on them suddenly realise that they aren't stuffing his head down a toilet and are instead on the the roof of the school, scared out of their wits. At first his classmates thought he was some kind of hero, then they slowly started getting scared of him, fearing that he would randomly make something horrible happen to them.

"Yeah! He came to my school today! He's older than us, he's kind of your age. He was super nice to all of us! But listen to this, mommy; he was nicer to me than anyone else! Why isn't he scared of me, mommy?"

"Because he must be a smart little cookie and understand you would never harm a soul." I touch his nose with my finger and he giggles and shies away into my chest. "He must have more brains than the rest of your classmates, he has no reason to be scared of you."

At the time, I had no idea who this mystery man is. I genuinely thought someone had come in to be one of their guest speakers and happened to notice Johnny's brilliance and was specially attracted to him, once you know my son, it's hard not getting attached to him. I wouldn't give a split second thought to the fact that maybe my life and Johnny's were a little more entwined that I would've been comfortable with.

"But he was like really nice to me! I got more attention from him than anyone else!"

"Yes, because you're more special than anyone else in your class, Johnny."

"Does he know what I can do, mommy?"

"Well I hope not, that would be very...discomforting."


"Some people aren't exactly very nice to our kind, darling. They, like your classmates, don't understand us. They think we will harm them, this man, this new friend of yours, probably has no idea about you."

I set Johnny down next to Meredith's cot and pull a bottle filled with milk from the cabinet next to me and hand it to her. Her cries immediately faded to muffled sobs as she started drinking to her heart's content, soon she was silent. Thank god.

"I think he does, mommy."

"Why is that?"

"Because today, before Aunt Ginny took me home, before school ended, he told me that we're one of a kind. He told me we both loved the same girl, but in different ways. He said we both had the same secret, he also said that he was looking forward to seeing you again. Do you know him, mommy?"

My face had lost it's colour by now. "Sweetheart, you haven't told me who he is yet. What's his name? What did he look like?" My voice was strained and slightly desperate.

"He didn't tell me his name, he said you'd tell me. And if you didn't figure it out, he'd tell me tomorrow."

"What did you call him the entire day, then?" I didn't mean to sound harsh or rude, but I was getting scared.

If that man touched my son...

"He told me to call him Ginger."

Oh. My. God. That was my nickname for him, that was our secret. No one else knew it. It couldn't have been anyone else.

"Sweetheart," I had to be sure. "What did Ginger look like?"

"He had red hair, kind of like daddy's. Actually, he looked a lot like daddy. But he was taller, and he didn't have a big tummy."

Unfortunately, that was when my darling hubby decided to listen into our conversation, maybe it had something to do with the sickly green colour of my face.

"What you two goin' on about, now, eh?"

"Nothing." I said, not looking at him.



"Well how'd your day go, then?" I knew he didn't really care, but I couldn't resist, I had to mess with him.

"It was my first day as Head, apparently it's a partnership. I had no idea."

"Who's your partner then?"

"Oh no one, I just met him this morning, I was surprised as hell. But I'll get used to it."

"Who was it?"

I turned to look at him, he obviously didn't have the same courtesy. He was still glued to the current Quidditch game on the tele, but I saw his eyes constantly darting in my direction.

"You don't care, trust me, it's no one."

"Well, that's new. You never don't tell me nothin', even that time Harry tried makin' a move on you. Now you have t'tell me."

"Ron, just go back to your game, let me talk to my son, since you clearly can't be bothered to."

"Hey, now tha's not true!"

"Yes, it is."

"Just tell me, 'Mione, or I'll beat it out of you."

I knew I was signing Fred's death certificate, but technically, when he decided to get to me through my son, he told practically told Death to take him himself.

"Fine, I'll give you clues. Red hair, better-looking than you."

"Comin' up blank."

I sighed, he could literally guess anyone of his several brothers.

"I used to date him."

"Well, that's strange. You've only ever been with two people, me and - " An then realisation decided to bang him on the head.

"There you go." I turn back to Johnny, was, as usual, minded his own business and was rather occupied making faces at his baby sister, not even caring that all he received in return were cold glares.

"WHAT?! But no! That git is DEAD! NO!" He blew up, I knew it would come eventually, and now I'd have to suffer through it.

"I thought so too, you'd think he'd at least have the decency to show up before now. But yeah, I met him in the Ministry this morning. He's somehow managed to scrap himself up a job as Head of the Auror Office."

"Head of the Auror Office? I thought they disbanded that job after what happened to Neville?"

"Ron, do you not listen to anything I ever tell you? I got promoted on Friday to Head of the Auror Office! Today was my first day."

"Wait, Fred is your new partner?" I think it's safe to say that by that point, his Quidditch game was completely forgotten about.

"Yup, I'm not too thrilled about it either."

"Are you messing with me? Because I swear to god, Hermione, if you are -"

"Oh please, I'm a little more inventive that that. Like pretending your arch-nemesis has returned from the dead would be nearly satisfying enough for me." That was a lie, I would never even think of that to begin with.


See here's the one thing I can always count on Ron for, we both share the same hate towards his brother. He hates him for stealing me away for years, and I hate him for leaving me after those years. It's the only thing we have in common.

"Well get over it, he's back."

Ron struggled to get out of his armchair, attempting to heave himself off it several times before finally succeeding and falling over flat on his face right in front of the television set.

Johnny, who had heard the huge thud turned from Meredith to see his father lying on the floor. We shared a look and suddenly both burst into fits of laughter. After a few minutes, when I was still in strong and never-ending giggles, and my hands were clutching my stomach, Ron managed to get up into a sitting position and glared at us with a look could possibly kill. Johnny had enough sense to at least attempt to calm down, but I didn't, I just continued laughing, wiping tears away from my eyes.

"Right, that's it!" Ron grabbed the table nearest to him and used it to pull himself up. He hobbled over to me and grabbed the front of my shirt. By that time, my laughter had brought me down to my knees. But Ron had enough strength in him to pull me up so my feet were dangling in the air. He bellowed into my face. "YOU WILL STOP LAUGHING, GRANGER! THIS IS NOT FUNNY! IT IS YOUR OWN BLOODY FAULT I CAN'T MOVE! YOU DON'T FEED ME WELL ENOUGH! SO STOP TRYING TO PROVE THAT YOUR SMARTER THAN ME WHEN WE ALL KNOW YOU'RE NOT! GET INTO THAT BLOODY KITCHEN AND MAKE ME MY DINNER!"

Just then, the doorbell rang. Who in the hell could that be? I did what I usually did when he tried to act all intimidating, I kneed Ron's groin. He dropped me instantly and doubled over in pain, groaning louder than should be human. I rushed to the door before Ron had the time to start beating me up.

I opened the door to a familiar sight.

"You are dead." I muttered darkly to the man before me.


"Hermione, calm down, we are still within ear-shot of minors." Fred pointed back at the house, I turned and saw Johnny standing by the doorway obediently.

After casting a particularly clever charm I had made up myself after the first few years of my marriage on Ron, I had asked Johnny as politely as I could if he could stand guard and make sure Ron doesn't leave the house, but it was hard keeping a straight face when Fred Weasley was standing at my doorway and I honestly couldn't feel anything but pure resentment towards that man.

I walked a little faster away from the house, across the road to the other side of the street and then started slowing down, I looked back to see Fred just a pace behind me. I wrapped my raincoat a little tighter around me, not even caring about my hair getting wetter and wetter every passing second.

"So, you were saying?" He asked me, his voice calm and controlled, unlike mine.

"What the hell were you thinking?! He's a little boy! He's 7! How could you use him like that?! And that shit about you two loving the same girl! You must've confused him silly! What is your problem?!"

"See? It worked didn't it?"

"What worked?!" I demanded.

"It got your attention."

"Fred, all of my thoughts since this morning have been directed at you and how unfair life is. I literally don't have the space in my head to think about anything else! You didn't need the extra attention!"

"Hm, you've been thinking about me all morning?"

"Yes. And how best to torture you tomorrow."

"You think sending me around on a billion different insane orders was torture for me? Hermione, I haven't had that much fun in the last 15 years! Today was better than I could've ever imagined!" Okay, that didn't work.

"Really? Is that a fact?" What else what I supposed to say?

"Yes, it is. Just seeing you, talking to you, hell, you talking back to me. I didn't think you'd give me even that. I didn't think you would've thought I deserved it."

"Oh, I don't. I still don't realise why I didn't just ask Rufus to fire you, I thought maybe I could make you quit yourself, clearly that isn't going to work."

"Neither would talking to Scrimgeour."

"What are you talking about?"

"Do you want to know where I've been for the past decade and a half?"

"Fred, I've gotten past that stage. Those five years of my life are over, those mornings where I would walk to the Great Hall, expecting to see you sitting there, waiting for me as if you never left. Those nights where I would lie awake until 4 in the morning wondering what I did wrong for you to leave me. Those days where I'd have to endure those sympathetic looks from everyone, even the Slytherins, who passed me in the hallway. Even McGonagall called me into her office 5 times in the next month, asking how I was doing. That all stopped after five years when I gave up on looking out my window every other hour, hoping to see you riding on your broom straight to me to rescue me from the hell I'm living. So no, I don't want to know, I don't care anymore." My voice was almost completely choked up after all that, and I could feel a lump forming in my throat.

I looked to my side to see Fred's eyes glistening, his face pale in the moonlight and his hair sopping wet around his face. I didn't even have the energy in me anymore to ponder how anyone, though completely damp, could still look that good. His tears were threatening to spill over his face, but I knew that even if they did, I wouldn't realise, they would just blend in with the rain water. In one quick movement, he swivelled around in front of me, stopping me in my tracks.

"Hermione, I know apologies could never make up for what I did to you. I honestly didn't believe it would hurt you that much. I thought you'd get over me after a while. A month tops, but I could never have imagined that you'd still be in pain for half a decade. I swear to Merlin, if I could take it all back, I would. I know you don't want to hear it, but I'm going to tell you where I went anyway and why I had to leave you."

I looked away but he used his hand to push my head back so I could look very clearly into his eyes, those beautiful dark green-grey eyes, a Weasley trademark.

"I overheard my father talking to Scrimgeour in the Burrow that Christmas. Don't you remember? When I left the room to go to the kitchen and when I came back I was so struck I wouldn't say anything? And you got so mad at me you didn't talk to me for an hour?"

I nodded, I did remember that, it was the first time I'd ever suspected something off going on in Fred's life.

He took a deep breath. "When I went to the kitchen, dad and Rufus were there talking about...well, the vow's broken anyway, so I may as well tell you now. They were talking about dad...leaving the Ministry. He was...he was under the Imperius curse, he wanted to become a Death Eater. Well, Voldermort wanted him to become one. He had Charlie under one too, and he made him make a vow that he'd never leave the Dark Side. What no one knows, even to this day, is that dad cast an Imperius curse on Rufus that day, and I walked in on them just in time to hear him say it. I tried to stop him but it was too late. They double-tagged me and made me swear not to tell anyone. After that, they figured it was safe enough to continue talking as if I were never there. They, Voldermort's side, were planning an attack on the Order. They had this...weapon, I'm not quite sure what, but from what I gathered, it was a human. It wasn't Harry, this person was someone else, just your ordinary everyday wizard who had no life and no one knew about. Apparently that's what made this person so special. They planned on using him to spy on the Order, and everything he or she told them, they would use against us, to their own advantage.

"Hermione, dad had the dark mark on his arm that night. Seeing him like that, with this glassy far-off look in his eyes, he was so...evil, it was without a doubt the scariest experience I've ever had to endure. I felt like he was going to turn around at any second and just kill me, and no one would ever know what happened. This person, this tool, they were going to make him become like best friends with Harry or something then have him lure Harry to the Malfoy Manor and kill him once and for all. By that time, Voldermort didn't even care about letting Harry have some grand death, he just wanted him dead. And then...then they realise I was still in the room. They thought they could get me to...to lure Harry to his worst enemy. What they didn't realise was that I had mastered the art of non-verbal spells and I deflected all the charms they tried using on me. Eventually they gave up and went back to talking about their plans. What they decided in the end was to get Scrimgeour to introduce the two of them and make all the professors at Hogwarts force them together. Listening to this was torture enough, but when Scrimgeour finally left, dad turned back to me. He told me that if I uttered a single word of that to anyone, he would laugh at my dead corpse when I made that mistake. And then he Crucio'd me. It was...painful."

"Oh my god, Arthur cast the Cruciatus Curse on you?"

"Yes, and that fact hurt a lot more than the actually spell."

I couldn't help myself, that look on his face, the tears rolling down his cheek, clearly just recalling this experience was hurting him enough. I could only imagine how many times he would lay awake at night thinking about this, I threw my arms up around his neck, burying my head in his shoulder. He bent down and hugged me back, his arms tight around my waist. I was crying with him now too, our sobs were constant and somehow in perfect unison with each other.

It felt so right to be in his arms again, to be loved again. It was then that I realised just how much I needed him, pretending I had gotten over him, acting like I didn't care about him anymore, it was all pointless, he knew as well as I that no matter what happened, neither of us would ever stop loving each other

Finally, after what seemed like ages, our cries vanished, leaving behind tear-stained cheeks which soon also disappeared with the rain.

"Not that that isn't bad enough, hell, it's a lot worse than I ever thought possible, but why did you have to go?" I had to know, it wasn't enough for me to know why he barely spoke to me for weeks after that horrible Christmas.

"Apparently, darling daddy figured having me around was too dangerous, so he 'let it slip' that I had information about Voldermort's plans and that he was planning on hurting an innocent person to get to Harry. Of course the Order didn't bother wondering how dad knew all of that, they just went straight for me, demanding to know what I knew. When I told them I couldn't tell them, the got pissed, like all of them, like really pissed. The looks on their faces...well, it's the second scariest memory I have. They thought I was a traitor, don't you remember when I refused to go to the meeting? Do you remember how they glared at me every time we passed one of them? Dad was one of them, pretending he too felt betrayed by me, pretending I had information that could potentially save Harry and that he had no idea what it was even though he was one of them people who came up with it. They thought I was influencing you, they told me to stay away from you. I told them to shove it, and then they got murderous. Lupin and Tonks tried on several occasions to force the information out of me, but I managed to escape. Do you remember when Moody 'visited' Minerva? He wasn't really, he was convinced I had become a Dark Wizard, and you know how he gets with those. So basically he had come to kill me."

My breath hitched, I did remember that, I had no idea at the time...I had dinner with him, I was nice to him, I shared laughter with him...he was probably just testing me, the little (yet now dead) bastard.

"That was the same day I told you I had to leave. When I found out that he came to you, I got scared. It dawned on me then that they would stop at nothing. So I ran. That's the thing with me, the thing you always told me was my fatal flaw, when things get tough, when it gets too much for me, when I panic, I run away from my problems, assuming that when I come back, they'll have gone. I tried coming back Hermione, several times, but I always found them there, waiting for me, unlike you. I almost wished you were on their side, maybe then it would've been easier leaving you if I knew you wanted me dead anyway. When dad and Scrimgeour found out I had left and had apparently disappeared off the face of the Earth, they told the Dark Side, they assumed I was looking for someone to tell, and soon they wanted me dead too. So basically I had both sides behind my tail, and that just caused my fear to rise. So I ran harder and faster than I ever had before, and it worked, for about three years. After living like a homeless criminal for 35 months, I decided it was too much. So I went to the Ministry and told everyone I could trust that Scrimgeour was under the Imperius Curse, most of them demanded for my immediate removal from the premises, but eventually I got Kingsley to believe me. He did a little investigating and found out I was telling the truth. It took a while for him to convince the Order that I was innocent the whole time, yes I had information, but I swore not to say a word. He told them about dad too, and he was instantly chucked into Azkaban. But then there was the problem of the Dark Side, the Order already had Harry in hiding, and that itself was troublesome enough. Moody, in a poor payment of trying to kill me, came up with the idea of making me a secret Auror. They had me pretend that before dad was sent to prison, he put me under the Imperius Curse and I wanted to turn to the Dark Side."

"So for the past decade and a half...?

"I've been a spy for the Order, working with Voldermort, and then becoming his successor after he died. Know one even noticed that after I joined more and more Death Eaters seemed to be disappearing. I'd been giving their locations away to the Order and no one once suspected me. A couple of months ago, I 'arranged' a meeting between every single Death Eater still left, and an hour after all of them reached our secret 'evil' lair, I had every single Auror I could think of raid in on them, I never showed, it was too risky. There were few who managed to escape, and I spent the last three months tracking them down one by one. Oh, and something I should mention, about 7 or 8 years ago, the Department of the Reversing of Unforgivable Curses managed to get the Imperius Curse off Scrimgeour, when he was told he'd been working for Voldermort for all those years, he was so aghast, he was disgusted with himself and dad, who too had the curse taken off him. But he was eternally grateful for me, and when I finally got rid of every remaining Death Eater he figured that was a feat worthy of the new Head of the Auror Office. But then he told me that there was someone else who deserved it as much as me, and that this person was indirectly responsible for everything I've managed to do. It was only this morning when I found that that person was you."

It was silent for a while, we just looked at each other, listening to the soft plops the rain made on the gravel.

"Why didn't anyone tell me? If the entire Order knew, why didn't I? Why was I, the only one who would've believed you from the start, not aware of where you were, or if you were even anywhere, when everyone else who wanted you dead did know? How is that fair?"

"Hermione, nothing about what's happened since the last time I saw you is fair, none of this makes any sense, I've never been involved in this stuff to such a degree, I had no idea what it was like. But now I do, and now it's all behind me. I'm starting my life anew, Hermione. And there is nothing I want more than for you to be in it. Come on, what's the worst that could happen?"

"You could leave me again. I wouldn't be able to stand it the second time around, I barely made it through the first time."

"I would never let that happen. These past few years have been the hardest of my entire life, I don't ever plan on letting myself or you go through that again."

I let my train of thoughts follow along that line. I scoffed.

"What?" He asked me, probably confused out of his mind.

"Am I a sucker for punishment? Seriously, because despite all of this, despite everything you've put me through...I believe you. I believe everything you just said, I believe you won't leave me again, I believe you want to live the rest of your life with me. But why? What is it about you that just makes me want to die and soar at the same time?"

"Maybe it's my way with words. I am inhumanely charming, aren't I?"

"And you just had to involve my son in all of this, didn't you? You had to use him to get to me."

"Hey, you know what they say, the way to a woman's heart is to use what's already close to her."

"Who says that?"


I laugh.

"Fred Weasley, you are without a doubt the most manipulative, vindictive person I've ever met in my entire life." I put my hands on either side of his wet cheeks. "And I love you for it."

And then, for the first time in 15 years, I kissed Fred Weasley, and I've never felt better.

AN: And there you have it, this was without a doubt the longest chapter I have ever written, like ever. It's longer than a lot of my stories too. But I was determined not to chicken out like I did with Make Me, I was going to make sure this remained a two-chapter story. But if anyone thinks I should split it, I'd be more than happy to.
I've just uploaded a prequel to this story called 'For The Record, I Blame You', and it basically just shows how their relationship started. And the second last line here 'you are without a doubt the most manipulative, vindictive person I've ever met in my entire life' will only make sense to you if you've read that, it's kind of an inside joke :)
So, I'm sorry if this was a little too long and it felt like I dragged it out too much, but still, even cruel criticism is fine with me, so basically...
All reviews are loved and appreciated!