A/N: So I wanted to put something up for Fred and George's birthday, and this is what I came up with. It isn't quite on par with my other stories, but still pretty good I think. Anyway, hope you like it! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters…if I did, obviously Fred would still be alive…and so would Remus…and Sirius…and Tonks…and…well the list goes on…

Conquering Her Nightmares

*.*.*.*.*

Fred remained still as he heard the door to his shared room with George opened and a pair of feet padded softly over to his bed. Eyes still shut; he pretended to be asleep, ignoring the rising panic and adrenalin rush that followed the sound. Whoever they were, Death Eater or otherwise, they knew how to be quiet; carefully the hand under his pillow inched towards the base of his wand.

Then he smelled her. Lavender and vanilla. He sighed in partial contentment as his panic faded away to curiosity, though he still didn't open his eyes. However, his eyes opened of their own accord several minutes later when he felt something warm and wet splash on his bare shoulder.

Looking up Fred met the emotionally crumpled face of one Hermione Granger. Her eyes were squeezed tightly shut as she tried to control her breathing, which from the look of it was verging on hyperventilation. Not a sound came from her so he silently figured she must have placed some sort of charm on herself so that he wouldn't hear her. Her hands were clenched tightly on the sheets of his bed, as close as she could get them without touching him.

His heart clenched as he stared up into her scared face, he hated seeing her in any kind of pain, and right now she looked more in pain than he had seen since the Final Battle. Slowly he raised his hand to touch the side of her face in concern, unsurprised when her head jerked away from him and her eyes flew open. What did surprise him was the absolute terror and horror that radiated from her beautiful hazel eyes.

Their eyes met and for a split second Fred thought he saw desperation flash through her eyes before she jumped to her feet and dashed out the door. He remained frozen for a moment, trying to comprehend what had just happened. Before his thoughts had even begun to make sense Fred had grabbed a black tank top that had the DA symbol in blue surrounded by the wings of a flaming phoenix on it and ran out the door after her.

Tugging the tank top on as he went, he just managed to catch her before she went back into her shared room with Ginny, "Hermione," he whispered loudly as he grabbed her wrist.

Hermione whirled around in surprise, tears still running slowly down her face, "Fred!" she squeaked before she ducked her head and tugged on her arm in an attempt to get him to release it.

But Fred didn't let go, instead he turned her to face him as he studied her. Wanting more than anything to just make her feel better, he couldn't deny that he was at a loss as to how to do so. Without his command his free hand reached out to tilt her head up to look at him. It only took him a second longer to realize what it was he was seeing, what the haunted look in her eyes stemmed from, "Nightmares?" he asked her softly in an understanding voice.

Hermione hesitated as she lifted her own free hand to swipe uselessly at the tears on her face, "Yes," she finally murmured her voice so soft that he wouldn't have heard it if he wasn't listening carefully.

Gently tugging on her arm, Fred pulled her into a comforting hug, "I'm sorry," he breathed into her hair as his hands smoothed down her back. His breath caught as he felt Hermione attempt to burrow further into his chest; something just felt so right about holding her against him so protectively.

They stood together for who knew how long before Fred decided that perhaps it was time for Hermione to have to talk to someone about whatever still haunted her dreams. It had been nearly three years since the Final Battle, and everyone had finally started moving on, going back to their normal lives, or like Harry, they were just beginning their normal lives. Whatever still bothered her now wasn't going to go away on its own, and from the conversations he had both overheard and been a part of it seemed as if Hermione hadn't taken the time to talk to anyone about her experiences during the war.

"Go get your shoes," he told her quietly as her sobs began to quiet, "I want to show you something."

Hermione looked up at him in confusion for a minute before stepping away from him and moving for her bedroom door once more. Just as her hand twisted the knob and the door opened just a crack, Fred's hand was back on her wrist, "I will come drag you out if you don't come back on your own in two minutes," he told her seriously, his green eyes locking with hers. Silently she nodded, and pulled out her wand, then with a twinkle in her eye she flicked it, unsurprised when a black pair of flats came zooming out of her room and into her waiting hands.

"That works too," Fred chuckled softly, waiting patiently for her to slip them on. As it was incredibly hot during summers at the Burrow, everyone had a tendency to sleep with as little clothing as they could get away with, and Hermione was no exception, she had on a worn DA tank top similar to his except in dark blue with only the DA symbol in white on the front and a large white phoenix on the back with Gryffindor written in cursive letters in the circle of the phoenix wings. Her legs were barely covered by a pair of blue and white plaid short shorts that revealed her long bare legs. Weakly Fred cleared his throat as he looked away from watching her.

"Where are your shoes?" Hermione asked him softly, speaking more than one word for the first time that evening.

Fred smirked as he allowed his eyes to fall back on the woman who so easily had captured his heart, "We'll stop by my room on our way out to get them," he told her as he took her hand and led her down the stairs and to his own room where he quickly summoned his own shoes and slipped them on. Silently moving towards the next flight of stairs Fred gingerly laced his fingers with Hermione's, hoping she wouldn't try to rebuke him for doing so.

To his relief, despite what his thundering heart might try and say otherwise, Hermione allowed his actions only giving him a shy curious look in response; to which he responded with a wink as they began to descend the multiple flights of stairs that lead to the ground floor. Gently he propelled them to the door in the kitchen and out into the backyard.

"Where are we going?" Hermione inquired, clearly attempting to force back the emotions she had shown earlier.

Fred squeezed her hand, "There is a place a little ways away from here that I always like to go when I need to think things through," he told her, "That's all you're getting out of me until we get there," he laughed and tugged her hand eagerly in the direction of his favorite place at the Burrow.

They walked in silence as a grove of tall trees neared them, neither willing to break the sudden comfortable silence with words just yet. As they entered the tree grove the two kept walking, Fred increasing their pace, seeming to know every step by heart, even in the middle of the night. Eventually he pulled her to a stop in front of a tall wide weeping willow with so many low branches it made it impossible to see beyond the leaves, "I've never shown this to anyone before Granger," he told her seriously with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, "So I would appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone about it."

Hermione nodded her head slowly, pleased that he was sharing something that was obviously important to him with her, "I won't," she murmured eagerly.

With a smile Fred nodded, and pulled back the curtain of leaves to allow Hermione through. Giving him a small smile Hermione brushed passed him and immediately let out a loud gasp. There were fireflies everywhere, hovering and floating around. Under the far edge of the tree there was a small stream she assumed flowed into the ever-full pond that was in the back yard of the Burrow. The stream reflected the small glow of the fireflies. On the ground there were several flowers all blooming and radiating a small glow in a variety of colors.

Fred smiled at her reaction as her head seemed to practically whip from one object to the next, unsure of which beautiful thing to focus on. Gently he twined their fingers again and pulled her to the left over to a beautiful iron bench that was hanging from a branch. Hermione gave a small sigh of contentment as they sat down, unaware of Fred's plan for the night. He was going to get her to spill her secrets, and perhaps in return he would tell her a few of his own.

Fred's thoughts were interrupted as Hermione placed her head against his shoulder. He couldn't help but freeze at the sudden contact, as welcome as it may be. A split second later he relaxed and rested his own head on top of hers. He was quick to admit to himself that he had been longing for this sort of comfortable companionship between Hermione and himself for a long time.

It seemed like he had always be aware of her, from the moment she had bravely entered his compartment on the train in her first year asking if he had seen a toad named Trevor, to that one night he and George had found her in an abandoned corridor two days after her sorting, surrounded by fifth and sixth year Slytherins who were picking on her. They had quickly come to her rescue of course, not even caring that they were still only third years themselves, but their only thought was to save a defenseless girl from their mortal enemies.

Following this experience he and George had agreed that they would do anything and everything they could to protect her, and they had succeeded quite successfully; people from all houses and of all ages soon recognized that if you messed with Hermione Granger, you messed with the Weasley Twins, something no one in their right mind at Hogwarts would ever do. Unfortunately, the one person they hadn't realized still had the potential to hurt their Hermione was none other than their own little brother.

It was merely a lucky break for Ronniekinns that he managed to find Hermione in time to save her from the troll, gain her friendship, and thus gain a sort of immunity from the twins revenge once they found out about the whole thing.

Not once did Fred and George tell Hermione that they were always watching out for her, not when they both snuck out hundreds of times to see her in the hospital wing when she was petrified. Nor did they tell her when they quickly recognized that she was somehow taking twice the amount of normal classes (they later discovered it was due to a time-turner) and made sure that she always had time to sleep, even when it meant staying up late to do some of her homework for her, not that she knew of course.

Secrets and mischief was what they did best, so she had no idea that Victor had only avoided Hermione for so long before asking her to the Yule Ball because the twins had made it quite clear that he wasn't welcome in her presence. It was after they had a short, but meaningful, conversation with the Seeker, that Fred came to realize that he was much more involved in keeping Victor away from Hermione than George was. When he asked his twin why that was, in partial anger, George had responded with a roll of his eyes and a cheeky smirk, "Because unlike me, you fancy her."

This suspicion was confirmed just before the Yule Ball when Fred had helped George out by pretending to be him and asking Angelina to the Ball. Which was followed by the absolutely horrible moment where he came to the conclusion that Ron was an idiot; how could he not have noticed that Hermione was a girl before then? However, it wasn't Ron who had set his world spinning ridiculously with jealousy, it was Hermione's response that she was already going with someone else.

In the end he had reluctantly agreed to go with Katie, who George had accidentally asked through a series of events that are to insane to explain. But when Hermione finally made her appearance at the Ball he was absolutely stunned, and from that moment forward he found himself completely enraptured in all things Hermione. He talked with her, laughed with her, and did everything he could to make her frightfully angry, for he quickly discovered that she looked her most beautiful when her eyes were sparking with anger and hidden amusement.

Her fifth year had been a nightmare. He and George had taken it upon themselves to protect not only her, but just about everyone in the school who used their products in some way or another against the toad lady. He could honestly say he had never been more proud of a person than he was when he found out about Hermione's idea to start the DA. Then later when it became common knowledge that she had hexed the paper to write the word 'sneak' on the forehead of whoever broke the rules of the DA he became absolutely certain that he was in love with the know-it-all bookworm.

Leaving her behind that year had been one of the worst things he had ever had to do up to that point, and he had regretted it immensely, but he'd had no other choice, someone had to take a stand, and he and George were in the best position to do it. It had been painful going through her sixth year without her being somewhere he could simply walk to, to see. Instead he had to rely on the small little snippets of whatever Ron and Ginny had deemed worthy to mention in their letters.

The summer before her seventh years had been lovely, except for the George losing his ear bit, something they were both capable of laughing about now. She had been there every single day, and he had absorbed his Hermione time like a dried out sponge, knowing from all the 'secret' meetings he and George had 'overheard' on the many occasions they were at the Burrow that the trio had no intention of going back to Hogwarts or laying low.

Starting Potterwatch had been his way of speaking to her while she was gone, though she may not have known it. Anything and everything pertaining to Harry Potter brought an overwhelming sense of hope and peace to his then troubled mind and soul. As long as they were out there and alive, there was still reason to hope.

Seeing her again just before the Final Battle had given him the boost he'd desperately needed to be able to fight that fight. When Rookwood had caused that wall to explode and collapse on him, and just as he saw a jet of neon green light come flying at his side, his eyes had locked on Hermione's as she froze, Ron and Harry with her. The horror he saw in her eyes was something he would never forget. But as the spell had collided with his side, just before the first stone of the wall hit his shoulder, he had fallen unconscious, appearing for all intents and purposes to be dead.

Never in his life had he been more grateful that Hermione had chosen to adopt Draco Malfoy as a member of her none-related family than the day he had stopped all the proceedings for various funerals until he had run some sort of counter spell on each and every light side victim. As it turned out, there was a spell being used by the Death Eaters that looked and acted just like the Avada Kedavra spell in every way except in its killing ability. For all intents and purposes, the spell made the victim appear to be dead, when in reality they would only remain 'dead' until they were buried, where they would wake up to the terror of having been buried alive.

It was thanks to Draco that Fred was alive today, something Fred was never ungrateful for. Hermione's face had been one of the first he'd seen, filled with relief and what he hoped was love. He had almost let himself pour his heart out to her then, so relieved that they had won and that it was all over that all he wanted was to share that with her. But then his family had gotten in the way, overwhelming him with tears, hugs, and cries of joy.

Once he found out that she and Ron were in a relationship he had been upset, but certain that they wouldn't last for very long; and he had been right. Within four months Ron and Hermione had decided that they were better off friends and Ron had gone on to date, and as of yesterday, marry one Susan Bones. Hermione had dated on and off, but no one lasted very long. Time and time again Fred had built up his courage to tell her that he loved her, only to change his mind once he had gotten to the part where the words actually came out of his mouth.

Tonight would be different, he promised himself. He would make sure that she didn't leave until she knew how he felt about her.

Hermione moved to lift her head, "Where did this swing come from if no one else knows this place is here?" she asked him curiously, her shifting eyes letting him know that she was trying to avoid the conversation she could sense was coming.

Fred gave a little chuckle, "Do you have such little faith in me that I would be unable to make this myself?" he joked as he slid his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer into his side.

Hermione gave a small laugh in response, "Well it is beautiful, regardless," she told him, as she rested her head against his chest and snuggled into his side.

Fred took a deep breath, he knew what he was about to do was going to be similar to and probably more difficult than degnoming the garden, but it had to be done, "Hermione?" he murmured, his fingers absently playing with her hair, allowing himself more liberties with her than he had allowed before.

"Hmm?" she hummed sleepily, her fist curling around the fabric of his shirt.

"Why were you in my room tonight?"

Hermione froze; and so did Fred, "What?" she asked, her voice sounding wide awake now.

Fred shook his head to himself, "Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about Butterfly," he stated firmly but with a gentle tone of voice.

Suddenly his arm dropped back to his side as Hermione launched herself up and out of the bench, through the fireflies and almost out of the curtain of leaves. Fred caught her around the waist just in time to stop her from leaving the sanctuary, "Don't run from me Hermione," he murmured soothingly in her ear as she strained to get away, "You've been running for too long, let me carry you for a little while," her whole body seemed to sag at his words and once again he found a sobbing Hermione pressing herself into his chest.

He allowed her to cry for a few minutes before stepping back from her, his hand still on her shoulders just in case she decided to try and bolt again, "Talk to me Love," he commanded softly, "I can't protect you if I don't know which demons you need protection from."

Hermione lifted her head as her hands picked absently at the front of his shirt, "It's the nightmares," she finally whispered.

Fred nodded his head, he had figured that much out, "What are they about Angel?" he asked as he brushed away some of the hair that had fallen out of her loose pony tail.

She hesitated a moment as her eyes watched her fingers, "Everything," she stated softly, "All of it, the whole stupid war!" her voice began to raise and her fear and worry was being replaced by anger, though at what Fred wasn't sure yet.

"It had to be done, all of it, I get that," Hermione backed away from him and began pacing, "But why me? Why couldn't I have just been a normal witch who took her muggle parents into hiding or, Merlin forbid, why couldn't I have just been a bloody muggle? What did I do to deserve being tortured and hunted and hated?" she whipped around, "Why didn't I just die like so many other people, like you almost did?"

Fred paused, knowing she wasn't done yet, but wanting to go to her anyway. Soon enough her words continued, though less angry and more heartbroken as her eyes filled with tears, "Every night I see the same things over again. I have the same nightmares in the same order. First dark voices calling me names and telling me things I never wanted to hear, then a brief attack by Nagini. Then I'm…I'm…" Hermione fell to her knees as her hands covered her face, muffling her sobs.

Fred moved quickly to kneel by her side and pull her into him, deciding whether it was helpful to her grieving or not, he was going to give her whatever comfort he could. She tried several more times to speak but each time her voice failed her until she stilled and slowly pulled away from Fred, putting distance between them. Her arms curled around her bent knees, pulling them to her chest and resting her chin on top of them. "Then I find myself in Malfoy Manner with Bellatrix being tortured by her and raped by Greyback."

He tried desperately to hold back the gasp of horror that struggled to break free from his throat to no avail, it escaped him anyway, causing Hermione to turn her head to look at him, "I had known about Bellatrix…" he murmured, "But no one said anything about—"

"That's because no one knew, I didn't want them to know," she paused, her eyes returning unseeingly to the ground before her, "I didn't want you to know. All Harry and Ron heard was screaming, they didn't know what it was from. Whether it was Bellatrix using me as her own personal pin cushion or Greyback shagging me like a wild dog in heat, the screams sounded the same to them, and I never bothered to correct them."

Fred frowned at her grotesque descriptions, "Why did you never tell anyone? We could have helped—"

Hermione was to her feet before he even finished his sentence, "Helped me? Helped me! How in the name of Merlin, Morgana, and Medusa were any of you going to help me? No one else in the Order or the DA was raped or tortured within an inch of their life and then still expected to help Harry-fetching-Potter to defeat that stupid half-blood also known as Tom Riddle as if nothing had happened! No one else had to push down their own pain and anger and depression just to make sure the Boy-who-lived kept living. No one else had to endure torture at the hands of the most insane woman in the world, only to turn around days later and pretend to be her to get into her stupid vault at Gringotts!"

Hands combing through her now loose hair which seemed to be crackling with some sort of magical energy, Hermione paced as she spoke, "No one else had to figure out how, in the name of Merlin's pet dragon, to find and destroy five bloody Horcruxes, only to find out the person she had been trying to protect all along was, in fact, a Horcrux himself! Then when everything was all over not one of you suffers from the after affects of the cruciatus curse. Everyone simply went back to acting as if the last seven years of my life was simply a hop, skip and a jump; simple as that! No one else has to pretend like they don't see their soul mate get crushed and die as a stupid wall falls on top of him over and over and over every night as they fall asleep! So how exactly do you think anyone could have helped me?" she snapped.

Slowly climbing to his feet Fred's mind tried to process everything he had just heard, "Don't you think that at least talking about it would have helped though?" he asked her.

"No," Hermione snapped, her eyes glaring at him, but as he stared at her Fred realized that the anger she was portraying wasn't actually anger at all.

"Tell me you don't feel at least a little better after telling me all of that," he commanded.

Stubbornly Hermione shook her head, though Fred could see the hurt and fear she was hiding behind her anger was beginning to surface, "It didn't," she told him clearly.

Fred shook his head back at her, "You can't lie to me Hermione," he murmured, moving closer to smooth her hair away from her face, "But I wasn't the first person you tried to talk to was I?" he asked her resignedly. Hermione swallowed tightly, as she paused long enough to let him know that he was correct in his assumptions, "Oh Hermione," he murmured as he tugged her back into his arms, "Who was it?" he demanded, "Tell me who you talked to that left you so eager to cover all of this up."

Hermione stubbornly refused to cry this time as she wrapped her arms tightly around Fred's chest to cling to his back, "Remember how I brought my parents back a couple of years ago?" she eventually inquired.

"Yes," Fred cautiously responded, not seeing where she was going with this.

"Well they weren't exactly happy with me for taking away their memories and moving them to somewhere they didn't know. One of the first times I stayed at their home with them I forgot my silencing charms, and ended up waking them both up. But they weren't exactly worried, they were just upset that I was being so loud. Reluctantly my mother asked what I had dreamed about, so I told her…all of it," Hermione's breath shook as she squeezed her eyes shut and tried to calm herself by breathing in the natural scent of spices and matches that was Fred, "When I was done my mother simply rolled her eyes and told me that if I hadn't been so stupid that none of it would have happened, that it was my fault Bellatrix did what she did and that I must have been begging to be shagged for Greyback to do such a thing."

Fred growled, "What kind of mother…" he trailed off, feeling Hermione stiffen in his arms and pull away again.

"The kind that hasn't been spoken to in two years as a result of me telling her off, and her telling me to get out and never come back. If I did she'd call the police," Hermione frowned, her eyes showing her hurt, "That's why I've been spending so much time at the Burrow," she told him, "You lot are all I have left of my family; all that I want for a family. My other family never really liked me anyway, so it really isn't that big of a loss."

"And yet you still miss them," Fred said rhetorically.

Hermione nodded, then rolled her eyes, "But I wish I didn't, I mean, even if my mother were to come here and find me tomorrow apologizing and begging me to forgive her, I still don't think I would really ever go see her, I don't know if I could even forgive her. Does that make me a bad person?"

Fred snorted, "Hermione, if you did forgive her right then and decide to go see her whenever possible," he paused, "I think I might hex you."

Hermione giggled, surprising them both, and making him grin, "Glad I can count on you to help me keep my sanity," she joked lightheartedly.

"Always," Fred stated seriously, "now as to your earlier questions about what you did to deserve everything that has happened to you," Fred sighed as he saw the light fade from Hermione's eyes as she remembered the reason they had come here in the first place, "I think that the reason you went through all you did is because you were and still are the only person who could. Anyone else would have cracked under even a fraction of the things you've had to go through within minutes. No one else could have so thoroughly saved Harry and Ron's lives without killing the two themselves, and I can't think of anyone who was smart enough to do so other than you."

Fred reached out and grabbed her hand, "As far as Bellatrix goes, any lesser person would have been saying anything she wanted to hear to get her to stop, from what Draco, Harry, and Ron tell me, you kept to your story the entire time. Who knows what would have happened if you hadn't been there to do what no one else could. What Greyback did to you was horrible," Fred's other hand lifted to play absently with a curl, "and the fact that even then you didn't tell anyone what happened was to protect everyone proves you are a very strong woman, but being able to talk about it with me," he made sure their eyes connected, "That makes you even stronger."

A frown creased her face as Hermione shook her head, "But still, why me?" she whispered, "How horrible does it make me, if I'm constantly wishing I had never gone through any of those things?"

"I think you would be crazy and horrible not to think those things. Don't you think Harry was asking himself that every time he saw someone give him a look of hope for being the 'chosen one'? Or when Draco chose to spy for you and Harry on Voldemort and saw things, heard things, that no one should ever have to hear or see?" Fred shook his head, "We all had our roles to play in the war, for some it was being a spy, for others it was giving people what little hope they could through a pathetically small radio show, for others it was chasing down mythical objects and destroying pieces of an evil man's soul.

"You did what you had to do, was it worth it? Yes, should it have been you? Not necessarily, but ask yourself this, could you live with yourself, knowing what you know now, if someone else had to go through what you went through, just because you didn't want to?" Fred waited until he saw Hermione shake her head, just like he knew she would, "No, you couldn't, because that isn't who you are. The things that you've gone through have made you who you are, and I think in the end you'll find you're better off for it."

Various emotions floundered for control ranging from love and hope to anger and frustration, ultimately it was the latter two that were victorious, "So you're saying being raped was for my own good?" she snapped, attempting to jerk her hand away from him, only to find him clinging tightly to it, refusing to let her go.

Giving a heavy sigh Fred shook his head, "That's not what I meant and you know it Hermione," he told her softy, "It was horrible, and no one should ever have to go through something like that. But the fact of the matter is that you did. You can't go back and change it, no matter what. What happened to you then, made you who you are today; and who you are today, depends on what you want to do with what happened to you then. So yes, you could go on having your own privet pity party, never progressing, or you could be the woman you were always meant to be, who was made stronger by the things of her past, and live your life."

Hermione gave a small shudder as her mind contemplated his words. Logically she knew he was right, by constantly dwelling on the negative aspects of her life it was making it increasingly difficult to remember the good parts. Opening her mouth a question escaped her lips before it even finished voicing itself in her thoughts, "But how can I forget about what happened in the past if that is all I see when I go to bed at night?"

The worry faded from Fred's eyes into something more akin to love as he watched Hermione tilt her face up to look into his with a desperation he hadn't seen before, as if he held all the answers to her questions. He took a deep breath, it was a difficult question, "Why do you think you keep having the dreams?" he asked her as he gently pulled her back to sit down next to him on the bench once more.

Having no idea Hermione shook her head, "I don't know, I just do," she murmured.

Gently Fred began to rock the swing, "Well let's look at it logically," he said as he wrapped his arm comfortably around her shoulders and pulled her into his side, "Why do people have dreams in the first place?"

"Dreams are the minds way with dealing with things a person sees, does, and thinks about during the day that need extra processing," Hermione stated right off, knowing the answer already, but not knowing where Fred was going with it.

Fred nodded, "Right, and how often during the day do you think about what happened during the war?" he asked her seriously.

Hermione paused, "Well," she started, "Some days are worse than others, but I try not to dwell on everything that happened then for too long. The second the thoughts come up I try to force them down and away," taking a nervous breath Hermione moved to rest her head right over Fred's heart as she reached one arm around his waist to snuggle up to him.

Only after Fred's arm tightened around her shoulders in response did she relax and listen to the words he was speaking, "Well maybe that's the problem then," Fred was saying, "If like you told me earlier, you haven't talked to anyone about what happened, and if you're constantly pushing the problem to the back of your mind, the only time your mind has to deal with the problem of the dark memories and feelings is when you are asleep."

"So what, you think I need to think about it all the time?" Hermione mumbled into his shirt, finding herself ridiculously comfortable in his arms.

Fred shook his head, his mind still thinking over the problem, "No, but I do think you need to come up with some way to deal with it once and for all," he told her, "Even if it is just talking to someone whenever the memories come up."

Hermione gave a small sigh as her eyes fluttered closed, "But there's only one person I ever want to talk to about all of this," she breathed, "and that's only because he's my soul mate."

Not completely unfamiliar with the idea of a soul mate, Fred felt his heart clench as something inside him growled in anger at the thought of someone else being with his Hermione, "How do you know he is your soul mate?" he asked her in a cracked voice, unconsciously hugging her tighter to him.

A small smile graced Hermione's features as she pondered just what to tell him. She had known for several years now that Fred fancied her in some way, but it wasn't until she had spent one night in the newly remodeled Grimmauld Place Library that she figured out why exactly the idea that he fancied her was such an attractive one.

From the very first day she met him Hermione had felt a strong pull to the Weasley twin. At first she had written it off as some sort of hero worship for all the times he had protected her over the years, but when she started contemplating her life before him, there just didn't seem to be the same light and happiness in her life; though as she found out about magic at just about the same time as she met Fred, she figured the light came from magic not the man himself.

There were times, all throughout her Hogwarts years and the rest of her life, when her eyes would meet his and something in her seemed to hum with rightness. Then there were other moments when she knew for a fact the emotions she was feeling weren't her own. Right now for instance, the simultaneous sense of peace and slight panic were radiating from Fred in strong heavy waves.

"Well," she started, forcing her eyes open as she lifted her head a little to look at him, "There are times when I can't remember my life without him in it, nor do I really want to. He makes me laugh when I'm sad and all those cheesy things people say, and when I look at him it's like there's nothing and no one else in the world but us. Then there are those moments, like now, when I can feel what he is feeling," Hermione sat up and turned to look at Fred fully.

Fred was staring at her with a downcast resigned look, he knew the signs of a true soul mate as well as the next wizard, and what she described exactly that. Part of him was frustrated that even though she obviously wasn't interested in him, seeing as she felt these things for someone else, he found himself feeling the same things towards her. There were times where he had allowed himself to dwell on the idea that maybe they were soul mates, but hearing her talk about someone else with such clear passion made it clear to him that his feelings were very much one-sided.

Hermione smirked at the saddened look on Fred's face, "If this isn't a moment straight out of a romance novel then I'm Morgana herself," she giggled, "Honestly, if you ask who the bloke is and if you know him I think I may die of laughter!"

Blue eyes met laughing hazel in confusion, "What are you talking about?"

Hermione rolled her eyes, the man was clearly oblivious. She had come up with several plans of what to do in such cases as these, where it was obvious to all and sundry that there was no way she was going to be able to leave without telling him everything. The first plan involved mustering every ounce of Gryffindor courage she had, before she moved to her feet to stand in front of him. She eyed him closely for a moment before moving forward to straddle his legs, rocking the swing precariously, causing Fred to lift his hands to her waist to stabilize her.

Surprise was heavy in Fred's eyes as she moved her hands from where they were grasping his shoulders for balance to the back of his neck and partially into his shaggy red hair that she loved so much, "I'm talking about how you are somehow completely oblivious to what I am trying to tell you," she told him, her voice lowering to a soft loving murmur, "Do you honestly think that if there is only one person in the world that I want to share my sob stories with, that I would have told you anything?"

Fred's eyes showed his mind trying to process her words, though to his credit, the fact that he could think at all with her sitting on his lap and being so close was a miracle in and of itself. As the meaning behind what she was saying finally sunk in, he couldn't help the surprised widening of his eyes just as Hermione gave a sigh of exasperation, "Honestly what does a witch have to do to be kissed by her Soul Mate?" she growled moving forward to kiss him herself, only to find Fred's lips suddenly being pressed to her own.

Sighing in contentment Hermione kissed him back fervently. A gasp tore through her lips as a stream of emotions suddenly flooded into her, almost as if there had been a mental wall built that was keeping back an overwhelming amount of feelings and thoughts and dreams from flowing freely between Fred and herself. Fred took her gasp as an excuse to deepen the kiss as a moan of his own slipped at his pleasure of feeling so connected to her.

"Ask him," Fred growled as he finally managed to drag his lips away from hers. He chuckled as he looked at the dazed and confused expression on Hermione's face, "All a witch has to do to be kissed by her Soul Mate is ask him," he murmured tenderly as he gently brushed a strand of hair away from her face. Moving slowly he leant forward and followed the trail of her hair with his lips from her forehead to her cheek and jaw back to her ear and down her neck.

Hermione gave a small whimper as she felt him gently lick, bite and suck on her pulse point, "Well it's about bloody time," she moaned, "I've been waiting for you to make a move since I first noticed you watching me at the Yule Ball," she told him softly, tilting her head to the side instinctively to let him continue covering her neck with kisses.

This caused Fred to halt his movements and lift his head to stare at her incredulously, "You mean I could have been kissing you all day everyday for seven years?"

"Mmhm," Hermione sighed as her eyes fluttered open, "I was about ready to shove you into a closet and snog you myself," she laughed at the truly bewildered expression on Fred's face, "But then there was the war, and the hunt for Horcruxes that came with it; and you nearly died," sadness seemed to creep into her eyes as she recalled the memory that haunted her dreams every night that scared her the most.

She would be the first to admit that she had been absolutely terrified the moment her eyes had met his across the small distance that was separating them as the wall fell on him. In fact, terrified wasn't even a strong enough word for what she had been feeling, "That's what wakes me up every time," she told him pressing a soft kiss to the corner of his lips, "Our eyes meet as you get hit with that spell, and the wall crumbles down on you in slow motion. Every night I wake up with the horrifying belief that you are still dead, that you never woke up," Hermione kissed him again, "That's why I was in your room tonight," she sighed, "I needed to know for sure that you were still alive."

Startled at the willing return to their earlier conversation, Fred hesitated a moment before lifting his hand to smooth some hair from her face, "Well, I'm right here, and very much alive," he said softly, his thumb tracing over her lips.

"I can tell," she gave a small laugh and kissed his thumb gently. Cautiously she braced herself against him once more as she lifted one leg over both of his to allow her to sit sideways on his lap, "I just needed to be near you for sanity's sake," she kissed his chin before snuggling into his chest and resting her forehead against his neck.

Fred relaxed against the back of the swinging bench and smoothed his fingers through her errant curls, "And how do you feel now?" he asked her eventually, bringing himself back from his thoughts.

Hermione gave a sleepy sigh, "Very safe and comfortable," she breathed quietly in a voice that told him she was almost asleep. She jerked awake several moments later however, when she felt herself being lifted into his arms as they began to move back towards the Burrow, leaving their sanctuary behind, "What are you doing?" she shrieked, careful not to be too loud, she didn't want to wake the occupants of the house.

Fred smirked down at her and remained silent until they had reached his bedroom door. Gently placing her back on her feet he kissed her intensely again, barely able to remind himself to listen for any other night owls like themselves, "If it's all the same to you," he murmured against her lips breathlessly a few minutes later, "I'd rather sleep in my own bed than on a hard bench."

Hermione felt her heart drop as she lowered her eyes from his, now she would have to go back to her own bed, where the nightmares were sure to return, "Oh, okay," she whispered softly back before turning to head up the stairs to her own room.

A sense of déjà vu overcame Fred as he reached out to grab her wrist once again and he rolled his eyes, "Where do you think you're going?" he asked her curiously, "I have no intention of letting you leave my side now that you're mine," he told her, "Not even to sleep."

Hazel eyes watched him in confusion and barely veiled hope, "But you didn't say anything about me staying with you tonight," Hermione commented, trying to sound flirty to disguise the nervousness she was suddenly feeling.

"Then allow me to rephrase," Fred spoke softly, "I'd rather sleep in my own bed with the love of my life, than on a hard bench with her," he repeated with a twinkle in his eye.

Hermione turned to look at his door then back at him, "Are you sure? What about George?" she asked him carefully.

Shrugging, Fred tugged her to the door and opened it, "Of course I'm sure, and as to Georgie…let's find out shall we?" he joked as he pulled her into his room and closed the door behind him.

The two quietly walked towards Fred's bed, only one actually worried that his twin might wake up. Just as they were about to reach the bed the occupant of the other bed groaned and sat up, rubbing his eyes. Blearily opening them he stared at the couple before him, "Is that Hermione?" he questioned, his voice scratchy.

Fred grinned a wide grin, "Yep," he stated proudly, eagerly propelling Hermione the last couple of feet to his bed.

"Finally figure out that she comes in here crying every night did you?" George commented, flopping back down on his pillow, his eyes already closed.

Freezing his movement to take off his shirt, it was hot after all, Fred turned to look at his twin in surprise, "You knew she came in here all the time and didn't tell me?" he demanded, mild irritation at his twin rising.

George turned over in his bed to stare at the two with a smirk, "Yes I knew, but I figured it wasn't any of my business, so I stayed out of it. You don't normally sleep like the dead, so I thought it wouldn't take you long to figure it out."

Hermione tore her gaze away from Fred's now bare chest to look at the bed in surprising nervousness, not really caring anymore that George seemed to know about her all along, all she wanted was to sleep, and for some reason she just knew that there would be no more nightmares as long as Fred was with her.

Fred met her eyes with his as he crawled into his bed and scooted over, lifting one arm to invite her to lay down with him. After some deliberation Hermione gave a small sigh and cautiously laid herself down next to him on her back, her body ridged and unyielding. Fred gave a small chuckle as he turned on his side and reached out to pull her closer to his chest. Without saying anything he pressed a soft kiss to her neck then down her shoulder until he felt her relax fully against him with a smile of contentment on her face.

"I love you," he murmured softly into her ear.

Hermione smiled brightly up at him, "I love you too," she replied giving him a quick chaste kiss before turning to snuggle into his chest.

Fred's eyes looked over and met George's own astonished ones with a mischievous smirk.

"You finally told her?"George exclaimed.

"Finally figured it out have you?" Fred shot George's own words back at him as he rested his head back on his pillow, smiling as he felt Hermione's even breathing against his bare chest.

George seemed to choke on his words in surprise for a second, "So are you two together now?" finally seemed to escape his mouth.

Fred pressed a light kiss against Hermione's forehead, "Finally," he sighed in contentment.

"Harry owes me five galleons," was the last thing he heard George state before he too drifted off into the sandman's realm where only good dreams and happy thoughts were allowed to dwell.

X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X

So….this isn't my best piece of work, I'll be honest, but I wanted to put something up for the twin's birthday…and yes it is a little late, but still, here it is!

Anyway, if you liked it or didn't, you know what to do! REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW!

Until next time…