The next morning Hermione woke with a splitting headache. She sat up and heard a grumble. She turned to see George, also in pajamas. She smiled, "Sorry."
"Nightstand," George said, not opening his eyes. Hermione reached and downed the hangover relief potion, "Better?"
"Much," she sighed. "Was I dull?"
"The exact opposite," he opened his eyes and smiled, "Knut-boy will be getting his comeuppance or my name isn't George Weasley."
"Thank you," Hermione squeezed his hand, "I have to move out. Oh bollocks this is going to be so embarrassing."
"I can take care of that," George said. "How about you help me with the shop today and we can have Verity and Lee go get all of your things?"
"Where will I stay though George?"
"Here with me," he said, "I cleaned out Fred's room. I get lonely, it'll be nice to have you here."
"You're like a prince, George."
"Thanks," he smiled, getting up and going to the bathroom to take a leak. Hermione smiled. George was such a prince. After Fred had died she'd been there for him, just there. Never forced him to do anything before he was ready but still guided him along so that he would take steps forward, not back. Ron had been jealous. Hermione had said it was absurd. George was in an emotionally fragile state and even if she had wanted more than a friendship, he wouldn't have been in any situation to give it to her.
Last night it seemed the roles had changed. She had been the emotionally fragile one, and George had been there for her. She got up from his bed and decided to make him breakfast. She went to his kitchen and started up a nice hot breakfast of bangers and scrambled eggs, as well as some hashbrowns.
George exited the bathroom and inhaled. Sizzling sausage. And potatoes? Merlin that witch was amazing. He smiled, "Just for me? I must be special."
"I wanted to thank you. I can't just stay here George. I don't have a job."
"Work in the shop," he said, shrugging, "I like to create things, Lee and Verity sell them and take care of owl post, I could really use someone to handle the books and I recall you being skilled in Arithmancy."
"So you're not just saying this because you pity me?"
"When have you ever known me to offer pity?" He asked, smirking. That was certainly true. George didn't pity her. He was upset about her situation, and sympathetic, but it wasn't pity. And he probably did need help with the books. He wasn't one to make things up. "Besides, we just bought Zonkos," he said, "old Zonko sold the shop to me. His staff is good enough, don't seem upset by Zonko's retirement. He has a son who's going to manage the shop. It's really a good showing."
"Congratulations on the expansion of your business. Fred would be pleased."
George grinned, "Yeah I think he would. We always talked about buying Zonkos." He sat at the table as Hermione served him a plate, "This looks delicious."
They ate in mostly silence before Hermione said, "I accept the job offer and the place to live. But are you sure you want me in Fred's old room?"
"I cleaned it out," he said. "It's empty. Better you're there until you're on your feet than to try and sort out yourself elsewhere. Besides, Lee and Verity will be thrilled to have help with the books. Especially Verity. I tend to pawn off those things on her."
Hermione rolled her eyes as she ate. "You're so thoughtful."
"Quite," he grinned.
She took a shower after breakfast and then went down with George, in some of his clothes, to the shop. Verity arrived for work with a bag of clothes that George had asked her to grab. "Thanks," Hermione smiled.
"Go on and get changed. Lee should be here soon."
Hermione returned up to George's apartment and changed. Verity must have bought these clothes because they didn't look like her own wardrobe. Hermione settled into them, comfortable. When she returned she hugged Verity, "Thank you."
"I don't like cheaters. And Ronald Weasley is a sanctimonious arse."
"He grabbed your ass once, didn't he," Hermione said knowingly.
"It was before you two were together. But yes, he did. George says you're going to be doing the books?"
Hermione nodded and Verity showed her the ledger behind the counter, "It's not complete, of course, George has the stuff for the Zonkos acquisition and Lee handles inventory. We do this stupidly."
"So long as collectors aren't knocking on the door it can't be that bad," Hermione said. "Do you have any extra blank ledgers? I figure I can start now. I can't face the sanctimonious arse right now."
"Oh sure," Verity reached under the counter, "here you go," she handed her a quill and inkwell, "It's quiet in the basement if you want to work down there."
"I will later. I'll stay here with George. Thank you for doing this."
"It'll be nice to have another girl to work here with me. Especially around Lee. George is nice, and professional. Lee…is more like Fred," Verity concluded. Hermione laughed.
When Lee arrived Hermione gave them a list of things that were hers. George gave them empty boxes to shrink her things down and into, and told them outright that if Ron gave them any problems to hex him. Verity had a twisted gleam in her eyes when he said that. The two took off, leaving Hermione and George alone to run the shop. Hermione was quiet as she looked through the books, "They're well organized. At least I won't be playing catch-up," she said.
"True," George nodded, "I have the Zonkos books upstairs. I had a real accountant look through them when we purchased them, to make sure they were honest, but they were so I have their books."
Hermione smiled at him, "I think I'm going to like working here."
"Me too," he smiled, kissing her on the cheek. "Hermione I have…intentions toward you. My mum would call them less than honorable. I would disagree."
"I'm not an idiot George. I know about your crush."
"I'll give you time to get over getting over my idiot brother, and if you don't want to hook up with his older brother I understand," George realized he was rambling but he couldn't stop.
Hermione kissed him and George finally shut up, "Just give me some time to heal, George. And understand that my issues with trust have nothing to do with you and everything to do with how he's treated me."
George nodded and hugged her, "I promise. When you're ready, just say the word and I'll be ready."
"That sounds good," she sighed into his embrace, "can you just be my rock now?"