Chapter 10

The Burrow was towering over Hermione as she neared the door to the Weasley's. The boys had asked her to come a few days earlier to spend some time together and help with preparations for the wedding. Hermione had gladly accepted, having missed the welcoming feeling that was always present as soon as she stepped through the threshold.

"Hermione dear, come in!" Molly ushered her in before closing the door then enveloped her in a big hug. Hermione smiled and hugged the woman back, relishing in the warmth and comfort of her best friend's mom. Obviously she didn't know anything about what happened between her and Ron, and Hermione silently thanked him for having enough sense to keep quiet about it, at least for now. She didn't want to be excluded from this family just yet, especially now that her own parents were on the other side of the planet. The familiar sound of running footsteps brought Hermione from her thoughts and Harry and Ron appeared followed by Ginny who was beaming.

"Hermione Gods I've missed you!" She nearly shouted and grabbed Hermione for a rib cracking hug, nearly choking the breath out of her.

"Good to see you too Gin'" She barely managed to press out from her lips before the smaller girl released her, only to have Harry attack her followed by Ron.

"Wow guys if you missed me this much how come you didn't write me more often?" Hermione half joked and saw Ron sending Harry a worrisome glance.

"Er.. well the school was really busy with the upcoming N.E.W.T's and all. You know" He tried to explain and visibly relaxed when Hermione declared she wasn't seriously hurt.

They all sat down in the kitchen with a cup of cocoa, Mr. Weasley had arrived from the Ministry just a moment earlier and he was now sitting in front of Hermione but instead of drinking cocoa he seemed to be having a shot of whiskey. Hermione suddenly felt childish sitting there with her school friends drinking hot chocolate and even though she had spent most of the semester alone, all she wanted at the moment was to go to her room and hide in her bed.

"How have you been Hermione? How is Paris?" Arthur asked after taking a sip of his auburn colored drink. She could see bags under his eyes and wondered if he had to go through a lot at work.

"Wonderful. Although I've been there before. But the school is magnificent, not like Hogwarts mind you" She sent a smile to her old school friends who returned it. "I've learned a lot though, things we don't get to learn at Hogwarts" At the end of the sentence she lowered her voice when she realized how it sounded.

"What do you mean? Can you give us an example?" Mr. Weasley peered at her over his glass. She licked her lips nervously trying to think how to formulate the next sentence.

"Well for starters their library is huge, I mean really huge. And there is no restricted section, you can read whatever you want. And the teachers there aren't much for theory… which was a disappointment at first" She saw Ron rolling his eyes at this and continued. "However my proficiency at casting spells have increased, dueling is a part of the daily schedule. I think you would like this school Harry" She finished and looked at her raven haired friend who nodded slowly in response.

"Yeah it sounds amazing" The tone in his voice followed by his gaze dropping to the table indicated that he had no intention of applying for this school. Everybody knew that he wouldn't stay. He had to destroy Voldemort. Hermione immediately felt stupid and wished she hadn't said anything. An unwanted silence settled around the table for a couple of minutes before Mr. and Mrs. Weasley decided to go to bed, bidding all of them good night. Hermione suddenly remembered something.

"Where is Fred and George?" She asked, puzzled by their absence.

"Oh they're at their shop still. I swear soon they will move in there for good" Ron said and chuckled sadly. In spite of them being annoying it was obvious he would feel lonely without his older brothers. Hermione offered him a smile and said she would go to bed too. Ginny followed her and soon they were sitting on each bed in Ginny's room.

Hermione was undoing her shirt to change into her pyjamas when Ginny asked a question that nearly had her topple over the bed.

"So who's the guy?"

Hermione looked up and straight into her friends' eyes that seemed to held a spark of amusement by her reaction.

"What guy?" She pulled off her tank top, sitting in only a bra and jeans. Ginny started laughing which had her even more confused.

"Why are you laughing?"

"You just look so funny, sitting there half naked with your eyebrows knitted together. You look like McGonnagall"

At the mention of her previous teacher Hermione started blushing and quickly put on her pyjama shirt, trying to hide her face.

"What's wrong? I know you Hermione and there is something bothering you. Now who is it?" Ginny kept going and Hermione thought she was going to explode.

"There is no one! What makes you think there is someone and it's none of your business anyway" She said a bit more sourly than she had intended but couldn't find the strength to care so she dove under the covers with a tiny "good night" to her friend who kept looking astonished. Just before she had lain down she had seen something outside the window. A pair of familiar, green eyes. Her heart kept beating fast for several minutes until she had to tell herself to calm down.

The next day Hermione apologized, explaining the last months had put a strain on her with so much school work plus coping in a whole new environment. Ginny had accepted the apology and said she was right to get angry and that it indeed wasn't her business. She just couldn't help having a 'curious nature', she explained which earned a smile from Hermione.

The preparations took most of her time during the three days she spent there and she, Harry and Ron barely had time to talk about the Horcruxes let alone make any plans. The day before the wedding Kingsley announced that the Minister, Scrimgeour would be arriving and the three of them couldn't help but get nervous.

It turned out he wanted the same thing as everyone else, information about their quest. Hermione had received a children's book which she had no idea what to do with. She had already read it several times by the evening and finally gave up, stuffing it into her beaded bag. The boys and Ginny decided to play a last game of Quidditch with Fred and George so Hermione was left sitting in the grass watching. She didn't mind really, the thought of sitting on one of those brooms made her slightly queasy and she couldn't hit a ball even if her life depended on it.

Before going to bed Hermione decided to take a last look at the book and sat down next to the window. Just as she was about to flip the page she saw them again. Turning her head so quickly her neck cracked she caught the sight of emerald eyes before they suddenly vanished. Hermione blinked, wondering if this whole business with Minerva was causing her to go mad.

The following morning was anything but calm. Molly had woken them up by yelling at Arthur for trying out his new cleaning equipment which he claimed by muggles to be called a "vakee cleaner". The thing was now lying in a heap on the floor, parts of it scattered all over, a result of Molly's fury. Hermione couldn't help but chuckle when she came down and saw the mess, but felt sorry for poor Arthur whose only intention was to help. She wondered how he solved the problem with electricity but the question was quickly answered when her eyes caught the sight of two small holes in the wall, undoubtly handmade by Arthur. The next two minutes she had to spend in the bathroom to avoid being heard laughing her lungs out.

By lunchtime, nearly everything was ready. Hermione transfigured her jeans and top into a beautiful red dress and her sneakers into a pair of matching heels. Ginny had volunteered to fix her hair so she was patiently waiting for the redhead to appear. Meanwhile Hermione took the time to study herself in the mirror. She had grown up, that was for sure. She looked at her cleavage, wondering if she should adjust the dress to avoid being stared at. "But you want her to look at you, don't you?" A voice was heard inside of her and she faintly blushed. Reaching for her makeup she started applying a small amount of foundation although her perfect complex hardly made it necessary. After a few minutes Ginny showed up, already dressed and looking like a doll.

"Oh Hermione you look gorgeous!" she exclaimed and conjured a set of tools. "Now let's tame that bush of yours"

The comment made Hermione bubble with laughter and blush at the same time. An hour later and several "ouches" Hermione was ready to face the public. The guests had already started to arrive and as she made her way across the lawn butterflies started growing in her stomach. Greeting a few people she knew, Luna Lovegood and her father, and some of Ron's relatives made her feel slightly better but then she spotted her, chatting with an old looking man. She was wearing a green tartan dress with a light green chiffon around her shoulders making her look exceptionally beautiful. Hermione held her breath and couldn't help but stare at the woman standing less than ten feet away. This would be a long evening, a long evening indeed.

I'm aware that I make some mistakes in my story but I hope you will enjoy it nonetheless.
Thank you for reading and extra thanks to those who review.