A/N: Hermione Granger, serious bookworm, sparking with George Weasley, serious prankster = one of the greatest ships ever.

I wanted to explore a scene in which George and Hermione end up sort of thrown together, because I think a slow-burning romance is a bit difficult to pull off between two characters who a) had so little interaction together in the novels/movies, and b) have completely different personalities.

Anyway, enjoy. The story may make more sense when drunk. ;)

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

000

Caution to the Wind

It happens when a witch has a tiny bit too much to drink at a friend's birthday bash. The room starts spinning and suddenly everything is ridiculously amusing and she begins laughing hysterically.

Now for instance. They're trying to have a serious conversation about dragons; Harry's telling her that her fear of flying is all in her head because she was the first to jump on the back of the great brute at Gringotts. Or something like that.

"Hermione, Hermione, Hermione, listen to me," he urges her, leaning in closer.

The scent of fire whiskey is heavy on his breath but it's warm and she feels so uncharacteristically happy that it doesn't bother her. The room is bright and she giggles while she tries to focus on his face. Everything's got a slight blur to it now and his head is bobbing back and forth.

"Okaaay, Harry, I'm listening, I promise. Tell me everything you know."

"Okay, I'm telling you—Hermione," Harry pauses suddenly and looks upward as if attempting to gather his thoughts.

"Right, Hermione, you're BRILLIANT. I'm telling you. The way you just—just did it. Listen to me, no one does that if they can't—no, if they don't," someone jostles Hermione from behind and she bursts into laughter as she lurches into Harry's chest. He pushes her back reflexively and takes no notice.

"ROOOOOOOOON!" Hermione waves frantically at him as she catches sight of him behind Harry.

"HERMIONE," he calls back, "I can't hear you! You're my best friend tho'," Ron sways on his feet and clutches what she thinks might be Neville's shoulder.

"Ron, I can't hear you, I can't hear you." He momentarily moves out of her line of vision.

"Hermione, Hermione, Hermione, listen to me. Flying—you don't think about it. You do it. Hermione, Hermione, listen." Harry's not even looking at her anymore but is deep in thought and speaking aloud.

"Tell Harry, Hermione, tell Harry that he's my best friend too!"

Hermione giggles as Ron throws himself at Lavender Brown, accidently knocking Neville back into the table behind them. Her face feels flushed and warm and the fuzzy feeling in her head is relaxing and pleasant.

"Is it hot in here, Harry?"

"—Flying is an art. Dragons do it. They don't even think about it. Right? They just do it."

Hermione smiles and turns to go, leaving Harry standing there with Luna. He doesn't notice.

There is something incredibly wonderful about tonight, she thinks. It's a good night. Everyone's having so much fun and she should really do this more often. The butterflies in her stomach are in a frantic frenzy and she feels an insatiable need to snog whatever attractive, unattached bloke she comes across first.

It happens when a witch like Hermione Granger has just a tiny bit of fire whiskey. Her defenses become groggy and everything suddenly becomes a good idea. What's the worst that could happen? They defeated Voldemort. She passed her NEWTS. She has a steady job. She's got her parents back, memories restored. She's single.

It happens when a single, drunk pretty little witch bumps into a tall, lanky red head, who just so happens to be attractive, unattached, and as drunk as she is.

"GEORGE!" Hermione yells and grips his arm to steady herself.

"No need to shout, love. It's not like I haven't got two ears!" George grins and throws an arm around her shoulder.

The butterflies in her stomach churn and church and churn. Why not?

"Take me to the shop." She demands of him and begins to pull him toward the floo.

The one-eared Weasley twin drags his feet behind her and waves to a few familiar faces.

"Now wait a second, Granger, what's the rush? Why leave the party? The shop's closed anyway."

She yanks him forward and grins, their noses pressed against each other's.

"But I haven't ever been in your apartment, have I?"

"Granger?"

"It's about time, don't you think?" Pressing the powder into his palm, she ushers him into the fireplace.

George Weasley considers for a moment. Is he really that drunk? Yes. Is this worth the possible consequences? He doesn't get far enough in his thoughts to answer the question before he drops the floo powder, his mouth on hers, and they go up in flames.

Sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind.