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Author: atruwriter
Genre: Romance/Drama/Humor
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: None that I can think of...
Music: Drowning - Backstreet Boys
I do not own any rights to any Harry Potter whatsoever.
Image(s): Banner and chapter photo made by Jeanie of The Dark Arts!
Summary: With the war long over and life going on, Fred finds a distraction and passion for Hermione Granger. His only problem is that she doesn't seem to share the feeling. Despite three and a half years of doing everything he can think of, Fred has been unable to get Hermione to take him seriously. He isn't giving up however; a Weasley perseveres.

Persistence Pays Off

Fred Weasley figured it was the challenge that really caught him at first. It probably lasted longer than it should have; the chase. For years he looked at her and only saw his youngest brother's bossy best friend, but circumstances opened his eyes a little wider. Without the pressure of school and grades, Hermione had loosened up some. Not so much so that she was a different person entirely, but without war and her future hanging perilously in front of her, she'd learned to relax some. Those close to them both, the Weasleys, Remus, Tonks, Moody, and especially Harry, had all made it through. There had been casualties of course, friends and mentors had died a hero's death over the year long battle that raged during what was supposed to be Hermione's final year at Hogwarts. In the end, they came out the victors and finally, everybody was able to find peace.

With the end of such an epic part of their young lives, Fred hadn't been sure what the aftermath would bring. He and George had their joke shop, running quite smoothly, as people were looking for humor to battle back the harsh memories. Harry and Ron had gone off to become Aurors. After finishin school, Ginny joined a Quidditch team as a top notch Chaser. Bill returned to curse breaking and Charlie to his dragons. His father went back to working in the Ministry, quickly getting a better position for his sacrifice and hard work in the war. He'd proven himself an asset and without the corruption the Ministry once had, he was able to find a better place for himself, a position he deserved. Percy, ever the prat, had tried to reconcile with the family and though their mum welcomed him with open arms, his brothers and sister weren't entirely accepting; there were still awkward moments and unforgiving frowns directed his way. But for the most part, life had reached a nice, smooth, even ground, which is why he needed someone to challenge him.

Hermione could never be classified as the “average girl”. She had an appeal that was carefully shrouded behind bookish intelligence and skilled power. Too many had seen nothing but a girl with a large book and an overworked brain, but there were a few who'd looked past the mask to see the pretty, witty girl she was. Fred had figured that particular fact out about her some time during the war. She became a bit of a fascination to him. How skilled she was while fighting, how level headed she could be in the worst of situations, how despite the death around them, she never lost the compassion she was made of. When his humor seemed to pale in comparison to the darkness that surrounded them, he need only look to her, to see her strength and understanding, and some part of him knew that he'd make it, that they all would. Because she was too intelligent to hold on to hope for something impossible.

It took him a few years to do anything about his interest in her. There was rebuilding to be done, so many other people to focus on. Friends and family were injured, both physically and mentally, and he had no time to think about romanticism and pretty girls with soft smiles and caring brown eyes. He was just one of many who went out daily to help build homes and businesses, to clean up after the blood and bodies that layered streets and fields, homes and schools. It was a nightmarish site to behold, one he still shuddered at when he thought back.

Three years passed and the war became that defining moment for so many, but a memory nonetheless. They didn't fear waking up to people shaking them, screaming that Death Eaters were coming. They no longer waited with bated breath to hear the name of the most recent casualty. Instead, they woke up to the beginning of a new day, with fresh robes and a leisurely morning of breakfast and chit chat before making their ways to work. They had what normal people had, without grueling hours of practicing defense charms and saying their last goodbyes just in case. His friends and family moved on, got on with their lives, and learned to cope with the memories as they survived.

Relationships seemed to be popping up all over; love and forever becoming a more stable reality now. George married Alicia Spinnet were as strong as ever, later marrying on the five year mark of both the beginning of their relationship and the end of the war. Ron was dating the rather odd but always entertaining Luna Lovegood; a match made in heaven seemed to be the overall opinion. She accepted his rather obtuse self and he grew to love her odd behavior. Bill and Fleur were still happily married and after seven years of pressure from Molly, had a baby son named Jean-Paul to show for it. He was blessed with the customary Weasley red hair and his mother's fair looks. He quickly became the most adored Weasley grandchild, likely due to the fact that he was the only one, but that was besides the fact. Honorary Weasley Harry was happily dating a very pretty former Hufflepuff who he'd grown close to while fighting in the war. Susan Bones, a confident and relaxed young woman, took Harry's heroism in stride, recognizing him for being a savior to all while loving him more as regular ol' Harry. Ginny was going strong with Neville Longbottom, much to the surprise of many. And Fred... well, he'd passed on the chance to date many a nice bird, too hung up on the escape he'd found during the war.

He didn't exactly hide his affection for her. If anything, he went out of his way to show her. He distinctly remembered Bill's amused expression as he shook his head, watching Fred's newest attempt to get Hermione to take him seriously. In all honesty, he had been goofing off in hopes of making her laugh. He couldn't help but let his inner child shine through, it wasn't in him to be serious for too long. With all the dark seriousness of the war, he was more interested in finding the happy guy he'd been beforehand. He'd tried the serious route, however, just to see if perhaps he'd catch her eye then. He'd worn his best robes, brushed his hair back, held back any jokes, and refrained from smiling too much. He'd spent an entire evening trying to be a stuffy, serious businessman, and she hadn't even spared him an extra glance. At one point, she did touch him, but it was only to check and see if perhaps he had a fever to explain his odd behavior. He ended up going home early, frustrated and scratching at his neck, the collar of his best robe had been chafing his neck for hours. So he'd given up on the serious façade and became flirty, always having something to say to her about how she looked, what she was doing, how much he liked her, and she took it all in stride. Too easily, actually. She simply smiled amusedly at his antics, patting his arm, and shaking her head, a soft sigh on her lips. He couldn't figure her out, but he wasn't about to give up.

There were moments where he thought he got through. Was sure that she'd finally see him standing there, hopeful and very, very interested. Like a year into his obvious attention to her, at one of his mum's garden parties. The seven Weasley children and dates or significant others had returned to see their mum and visit with friends and family. George was off somewhere with Alicia, probably snogging. Bill and Fleur were enduring Molly's rant about how they should be thinking of having children. Harry was chatting with Ron about whatever, and Charlie was whispering something in his girlfriend's ear; something naughty by the flush on the girl's cheeks. Fred had been trailing around behind Hermione, helping her set up the platters of food and bringing them out to the picnic table. He'd gotten there earlier just so he could monopolize her time and hope that she'd see how devoted he was to her.

“I think I saw Charlie out there, you know, Fred,” she told him as she cut more cheddar to bring out, seeing as Ron had been scarfing it down like his life depended on it.

“Yeah, saw him. What d'you suppose he's whisperin' in that girl's ear?” he asked her, his voice low and suggestive. He leaned closer, smirking at her devilishly.

Her eyes looked over at him for a moment, her cheeks reddening slightly and he wondered if maybe... maybe she wasn't so indifferent to him. But just as quickly as he'd had the chance to hope, it had been dashed. She snorted, rolling her eyes. “If he's anything like you, he's probably telling her of his latest prank and how he's the king of all things funny.” She turned her attention back to slicing the cheese and he deflated some.

“King of funny, eh,” he bounced back quickly, smiling at her warmly.

Hermione sighed, shaking her head at his antics, but he saw the smile there all the same. “Do something useful, Fred. The swiss won't cut itself,” she told him, passing him the block of pale yellow cheese.

“Hermione, you know there are charms to do this for us,” he reminded, pulling a long knife out and unwrapping the saran wrap from the cheese.

She looked over at him, lifting a brow. “Fred Weasley trying to spend less alone time with me? I'm shocked,” she said, her tone holding a distinct humorous edge.

Grinning slowly, he felt a note of triumph. So she had noticed his advances. “It'll be a cold day in--” He stopped, noting the purse of her lips. She hated cursing. “... a very hot place,” he put in instead, rolling his eyes, “when that happens, 'Mione. No, I was looking to cut the time spent doing this so we could do something much more fun.”

“Oh?” she asked, the sides of her mouth curving. “And what would that be?”

“I know this very cozy place, right here in the Burrow,” he told her, his voice low and conspiratorial. “It's perfect for what you've been planning to do to me for some time.”

Hermione looked over at him, her brow lifting. “And what is it I've been planning to do to you?” she asked, her mouth curled as if she already knew the answer.

He wondered why she even asked. “To snog me senseless, of course. Don't deny it, 'Mione dear, I can see it written clearly in your face.”

She chuckled, shaking her head. She continued on in her meticulous task, her mouth still smiling. “It's time we brought you into the optometrist, Fred, darling. Your eyesight is waning.” She turned to him, her expression free of teasing, though he saw the sparkle in her eyes. “Don't worry though, I'm sure you will look perfectly handsome in glasses.” She paused for effect. “Just like Percy.”

Fred huffed, thwarted again. He rolled his eyes at her burst of laughter, unable to help the twitch of his mouth. Despite the fact that she'd turned him down again, he couldn't help but admit that she had a bit of a gift for humor herself. Just another facet of her he couldn't help but enjoy. “Remember, love, you'll regret turning me down one day.”

Her laughter subsided and she looked up at him as he returned to cutting the swiss. He glanced at her from the corner of his eyes, noting the serious look in her eyes. He wanted to say something, to tell her that he really hadn't been teasing all these years, but nothing came out. She stared at him for what felt like an eternity and he fought back the urge to crack a joke to ease the tension. She was searching for something, he could tell by the way her eyes so keenly stayed on him. The door opened abruptly and Bill strolled in, winking at them before he grabbed a butterbeer from the icebox and walked back out. Hermione's stare was broken and her gaze moved back to the neglected dairy product. “Probably,” she said, her voice faint and soft; so quiet he wondered if perhaps he'd dreamt it.

The day wore on, the moment was never spoken of and she took the rest of his flirting like always. But a spark of hope had been lit inside of Fred and he wasn't about to deny himself the smallest chance of having her. His brothers found it amusing. He knew because they never failed to smirk or laugh or cajole him as he was shot down again. They shoved him around playfully or clapped his back as another of his attempts failed, but he knew that they were all silently cheering him on. They'd all found their significant others. Even Charlie was seeing a nice Romanian girl steadily and talk of a possible engagement was on the horizon. In the Weasley boy's cases, they were at least dating the girl they were enamored with, but Fred still hadn't even managed to get a kiss. He'd come close; closer than he thought he would, he had to admit. There were four almost kisses to account for and he cherished each as if he'd actually found her mouth and passionately snogged her until she admitted she cared for him too.

The first occurred a year and a half into his courting of her. It was her birthday, the big 2-4, and he'd given her a custom made writer's kit. He knew that she was writing a book, so he got her the best ink and quill he could find, a 100 ft roll of parchment that was charmed to dry immediately and never smudge, and a small hat that stated on top, with a charmed-to-blink light bulb shape stitched into it, “Hermione's Thinking Cap.” He'd spent a good portion of time trying to figure out the best gift he could possibly give her. She'd told him about her aspirations to write a novel about the harsh realities of war and the difficulty in starting anew in a world where her main goal wasn't taking down the darkest wizard of their time but being a normal witch. He'd spent a great deal of time sitting with her and enjoying how enthusiastic she could be talking about how she wanted the next chapter to go or relating to what she told him of a particularly hard part to get down.

She was one of the few people he could talk to about the war freely, without feeling like he was just bringing up bad memories for them. It was one of those moments where they were able to be serious friends and he hadn't been overwhelmed with feeling as if he'd been stuck in somebody else's life. He found when he wasn't forcing himself to be serious, it sometimes came naturally. He could be that way when she needed him to and he relied on that instinct some days. They'd become close over the year and a half of him paying more attention to her, even if she did shrug off his romantic affections.

“Oh Fred,” she exclaimed. She'd loved it so much, she turned to give him a grateful kiss on the cheek.

Of course, he'd been excited to see that she'd loved it and hadn't expected such an enthusiastic embrace so he turned to her. They were sitting on the couch in the living room of the Burrow and there was barely any room between them, so their turns caused more than expected. Her mouth pressed against the very corner of his, lips so close he could just barely feel the heat and softness caress his own. Realizing how close she'd come, she broke away quickly, her eyes wide. It was only a second or so, but time seemed to slow, and he swore it was the best second in his entire life.

Hermione moved back in, kissing his cheek and murmuring her thanks, but he was still stunned by the first kiss that he just stared out dazedly, a monstrous grin on his face. Of course, it was marred some by the hooting of his brothers and the shushing of his smiling mother, but it was a moment he hadn't forgotten. It took a couple pillows being thrown at him before he was shook out of it and found she was moving on to another gift, her cheeks very lightly rosied. He floated on cloud nine the rest of the day, so happy he couldn't even roll his eyes at the amused expressions of his brothers and the shaking head of his dad as he chuckled to himself. He even let his mum titter on about how cute it was that he had a crush on Hermione, all the while smiling like an idiot.

It was after that first almost-kiss that they became just a little bit more comfortable with each other. They'd already been able to talk about most anything and he didn't hesitate to ask her what was on her mind. He wasn't sure how physical he was allowed to be around her though, so he began with small touches, just testers to see what she'd allow. She never moved away or removed his arm when he put it around her shoulders or her waist. She never flinched or frowned when he kissed her forehead or her cheek. And he'd grown a habit of playing with her hair, tugging on curls or simply running the soft strands between the pads of his fingers. She just looked up at him when he did that, a soft expression on her face. He tried holding her hand a few times, but he found he always pulled away when others were around, worried that she might reject him, so he ended it before she could. His heart was on his sleeve and he wasn't shielding it well, but some instinctive defenses still arose. He got used to hugging her frequently, tugging on her hair when the urge nagged him, and wrapping an arm around her out of his own need to be near her. As long as she wasn't pushing him away, he'd continue to do it. He knew some of it could be construed as friendly, but he thought he was being obvious enough.

Hermione accepted it all as it came, even finding her own habit of running her fingers through his hair in greeting if she was passing by and he was talking with his brothers or busy without her. Every once in awhile she'd tug on his ear, something nobody really understood, but always made him smile like a little boy on Christmas. It was automatic response, he didn't even think of it. When Hermione noticed, it became another of her habits, especially if she noticed he was unhappy with something. It was those little moments that he wondered if maybe she felt something too. But she never said anything, never really let it pass small physical touches.

The second near-kiss was after Crookshanks had passed away. A little over two years into his show of affection and her half-kneazle had fallen asleep and never woken up. He found her in the back of the Burrow, digging a hole near the flower beds. She looked up to see him, her eyes red rimmed and her cheeks littered with tears. He'd dropped in to pick up the lunch his mum had ordered him to come by and get for him and George when he heard her sniffling. She was kneeling in the grass, her hands covered in dirt and the very still, very furry orange ball that was Crookshanks lay beside her. He knelt beside her, brushing the thick dark curls of her hair off her face and behind her shoulder. “I'm sorry, love, I know how much he meant to you,” he said quietly, his thumb brushing against the apple of her damp cheek.

Letting out a strangled noise, she threw herself into his arms, her own wrapping around his shoulders tightly. Her face pressed into his neck, tears quickly dampening his skin. He felt her shake and held onto her tighter, his hands rubbing her back soothingly as he waited out her sobbing. She was mumbling against him, nothing he could really make out except the furball's name every few hiccups. He felt her hands holding tightly to his shirt and knew that later, when she was done, she'd apologize profusely for getting dirt all over him. It was one of those Hermione-things that he continued to find adorable.

When she finally pulled away, she wiped at her face quickly, leaving dirty streaks over her face. He refrained from laughing and instead untucked his shirt and used the end to wipe at her face. She smiled wanly up at him and he dropped a kiss against her forehead. Sniffling, she looked down at her pet and bit her lip. Fred leaned back, found a gardening tool and dug the hole a little deeper and wider. He picked up Crookshanks carefully and placed him deep in the hole. Taking her hand in his, he turned to the hole and cleared his throat. “I remember him fondly. He enjoyed chasing gnomes, torturing traitorous rats, and driving Ron nuts. Life will never be the same without the little furball,” he said, his voice oddly reminiscent.

Hermione stared at him a moment, her eyes wide with an awe he'd never seen before. She nodded slowly, a few stray tears slipping down her cheeks. “H-He was the best companion I could have ever asked for,” she said, her voice hoarse and choked. “He knew how to make me feel better on the worst of days. He was always there when I needed him and... and I couldn't ever replace him.” Sniffling, she rubbed at her nose with the back of her arm, leaving a tiny smudge of dirt. “I only hope that the half-kneazle paradise you're in has your favorite chew toys. Perhaps I should have brought those. I don't suppose that means they'll go with you, but.. I think one is under the couch and the other, I believe, you left in my bed. Yes, I rolled over on to it this morning. Unless you'd rather I found your kneazlenip mouse? I don't know where you--”

“Hermione,” Fred interrupted, only slightly amused.

“Right,” she said, nodding. Clearing her throat, she looked back at the hole, reaching out and taking the garden shovel to push a small pile into it. “You'll always be my beloved Crookshanks,” she said softly, her mouth quivering. Her hands shook as she filled in the rest of the hole, patting it once in the end and dropping the shovel. “I... I'm really going to m-miss him,” she whispered shakily.

Fred turned to her, rubbing the tear tracks away from her pale cheeks. “I'm sure he misses you, too. After all, you were the only one he really liked” he told her, half-smiling.

She snorted, rolling her eyes. “That's not true. He took a great liking to Harry,” she told him, nodding. “And he often allowed you to pet him. He only ate your chess pieces once and he coughed them up when you asked him to.”

“More like begged him to,” he muttered, his thumb stretching out to rub away the dark spot marring her pretty pert nose.

“Now who am I going to come home to?” she asked him, her eyes pitifully large and shimmering. “He always greeted me on my arrival home from work. And he ate dinner with me. 'Course he had a dish on the floor, but he always paid me great interest when I told him my day. And- And- He always laid right there beside me, curled up on the bed. I don't know if I can sleep without him there,” she told him, shaking her head, her hair twisting around wildly.

“You're right. It's obvious that you badly need somebody to fill in,” he told her, nodding seriously. “I'll do it. You've convinced me. I'll be there to greet you when you get home, eat dinner with you, and I'll even sleep next to you.” He held up a hand quickly as her mouth dropped open. “No! Don't try and talk me out of it. I'm doing it for your own good. I'll get a distinct sense of pleasure from doing such an unselfish deed.”

She stared at him a moment before a soft chuckle escaped her throat. Shaking her head, she blinked away the tears that had previously stained her beautiful brown eyes. Reaching up, she wrapped her arms around him tightly and leaned in. his breath caught in his throat and his hands shook as they landed on her hips. She pressed a warm kiss to his chin and then nuzzled her face up against his neck. “Sometimes, Fred Weasley, you leave me so stunned I could fall in love with you without a moments thought.”

“I wish,” he breathed against the curls of her soft hair, hugging her comfortably. He really thought that maybe that would be the moment.

She broke away from the hug a moment later, standing up and holding her hand out to him as if to help him from the ground. “I don't suppose George would mind if I joined you and him for lunch, would he?” she asked, lifting a brow hopefully.

Standing up, Fred brushed off his jeans. “Of course not, 'Mione. You're welcome to spend all of your lunches with us from now on, if you'd like.”

Smiling briefly, she hooked her arm with his. “Come along then.”

Unfortunately, he never got to take over Crookshanks coveted position as companion to Hermione, but he did buy her a tiny half-kneazle on the one year anniversary of Crookshanks death. It was furry, flat-faced, and very much the runt of the litter. He explained to her that nobody had wanted the half-kneazle baby and that she'd have to feed it by bottle for the next few weeks because it's mother had abandoned him. She'd immediately taken it from his hands and got to work making him healthy and loving him. She'd hugged Fred tightly before he left, telling him he always knew just how to make her feel better. He could tell by the red rim of her eyes when he'd shown up that she'd been mourning her lost pet. He was happy to know he could give her a new start with a pet that would forever link her to him. She had something that would always remind her of him, especially since he later found she'd named him Freddy and absolutely refused to change his name. Stating that, “he's already grown fond of it. It's his name now. Deal with it!” And he had, because secretly he was quite flattered.

The third almost-kiss occurred just two months after the second. She apparated to the Burrow, unusually a few minutes late for the Weasley family dinner, and promptly ran across the grass to jump into his arms. He wasn't exactly ready for that kind of response. In fact he'd been turning to greet her when suddenly her arms and legs had wrapped around him. Surprised, he'd fallen over backwards and landed with a heavy thud. The pain was short lived as within seconds her mouth was kissing all over his face; sweet, warm lips touching every inch from his hair to his chin, exempting his actual mouth. So incredibly shocked, he simply lay there with his eyes wide, his mouth hanging open and his arms splayed out to the side. “I'm dreaming, aren't I?” he finally asked, her hair covering the outside surroundings. Everybody else was inside while he had been waiting for her arrival, so there was nobody to answer his stunned question.

Hermione finally pulled back, still straddling his waist with her hands cupping his face. “My book is being published!” she exclaimed, grinning so largely he thought her face might split.

Laughing in excitement for her, he somehow managed to flip them over. “That's wonderful,” he told her, his chest swelling with pride and adoration. “I say we celebrate. An expensive dinner. With tons of champagne! Name the place, I'll pick up a diamond ring on my way.”

She simply chuckled, reaching up to pat his cheek and smiling at him with her glittering eyes. “You're the limit, Fred Weasley.”

“I try,” he replied, smiling cheekily. “If I roll us back over, will you continue what you started?” he asked, lifting a brow.

Snorting, she shoved his shoulder until he was on his back once more. “Sorry, darling, I have others to tell my grand news to.”

“Not so enthusiastically, I hope,” he muttered, a frown marring his mouth. The mere thought of him greeting his brothers like she did him sent a dark clench through his entire body.

“Of course not, you were the first, I had to get all of that pent up excitement out,” she told him, lifting up from the ground and brushing off her knees.

“Feel free to find me whenever that pent up excitement gets to be too much,” he told her, smirking happily.

He heard her snort amusedly as she walked away. Crossing his arms behind his head, he closed his eyes and replayed the moment over and over again in his mind; a silly smile sitting serenely on his face.

When her book came out a year later, the dedication included all of the Weasleys, but she'd added his name, separate from “the Weasley family.” Alongside his name was Crookshanks', Harry's, and “all the lost souls of the war”. He ended up buying two copies, so that he could have one that would never be creased or ruined and another to read at his leisure. He never told anyone, but he had his suspicions that Hermione had found them both. He kept one on his nightstand and the other on his bookshelf. He'd read it front to back seven different times, feeling as if he'd never read something that captured his own feelings of post-war so perfectly.

His name was mentioned more than once and he was beyond satisfied at her description of him being both “charming and handsome,” and “having a creative brilliance she could only dream of,” despite the fact that he found her brilliance far deeper than his own. She'd signed his book, he found. One day he'd opened it up and there in the front it read: “To Fred, my number one fan and biggest supporter. Thank you for your help in creating this and all the time we spent discussing it. If it weren't for you, I'm not sure this book would have ever been finished. Love always, Hermione.” Fred had no idea when she'd ventured into his room and signed it, but he couldn't help but smile fondly whenever he saw the dark ink words written in the pages of his favorite book.

The fourth and most recent had been at a Halloween party and it occurred to him that every kiss before it just so happened to be at the Burrow. This one, however, blessed him at Harry's large house as he was playing host for that years big Halloween bash; costumes necessary. He'd found Hermione almost immediately, not exactly comfortable in the coupled essence of the party to begin with. She too wasn't entirely at ease and had found a taste for the spiked punch. They ended up sitting on the couch in the den, discussing past Halloweens, people's outrageous outfits, whether or not the tipsy Gypsy was going to fall out of her top, and how giddy Hermione got when she drank. They gorged on sweets, drank far too much punch, and spent four hours cuddled, giggling, and loudly making jokes about the people around them in their silly outfits. It was after midnight when she turned to him, her eyes half lidded and her mouth curved in a lazy smirk. “You're quite handsome, Fred,” she told him, her words slurred and low. She tugged on his ear, half-smiling at him.

A grin lifted his mouth immediately. “Why thank you, love, you're quite beautiful yourself,” he replied, his voice just as deep and lazy. She was laying half on top of him, her chin on his chest and her body arched as her legs lay back over the couch while his were crossed in front of him on the floor.

Reaching up, she brushed his hair off his forehead. He hadn't dressed silly for the occasion, since it was the first year George had gone in a couple's costume with Alicia. He wore his best robes though and since Hermione had dressed up as a very delectable French maid, everybody had assumed he was the “rich man” she worked for. He wasn't complaining or denying, simply smirking. Her outfit wasn't nearly as suggestive as many French maid outfits he'd seen in the past, but he was more than aware of how curvy and attractive she was in it. With her inhibitions low because of the alcohol consumed, she wasn't shy about wrapping herself around him and he wasn't about to object. He enjoyed it for what it was, even with his mind a haze of firewhiskey and his eyes drooping.

“You can be quite the charmer,” she told him, her eyes thinning. She poked his chest as if to emphasize the point and then sighed, looking morose. She mumbled something under her breath that he couldn't quite make out. He asked her to repeat it, but she only slid up his chest, looking him dead in the eye, her brown gaze glazed. Instead of answering, she sighed softly and he couldn't help but think he'd give anything to know what she was thinking. Her hands were threaded in his hair, fingers slipping through the red strands with ease. “You're one of my best friends, did you know that?” she wondered, lifting a brow.

Before he could reply, she leaned closer, kissing one corner of his mouth slowly. Her moist lips felt incredibly warm against his skin and left behind a tingling sensation. His eyes fall closed in bliss and he nearly frowned when she pulled away, until he felt her kiss the other corner just as gently. She lingered there a few seconds before pulling back just slightly and her mouth hovered over the center of his, so close he could feel a faint brush of her lips as she whispered, “I won't remember this at all in the morning.” She sounded almost sad and his eyes opened to see her brows lift high as her eyes fluttered. With a small frown, she let her chin fall to his chest again and within moments she was sleeping peacefully. Just once he wished he could really kiss her. Full on the mouth, no hesitation, tongues melding together, teeth grazing over lips, heated and passionate.

The thing that bothered him most was that she took all of their almost kisses in stride, just like his incessant flirting. Right after they happened, or in the last kisses case the next day, she'd simply moved on and forgotten all about them. She still treated him the same, rolling her eyes or smiling amusedly at his amorous affection. He simply couldn't get her to take him seriously when it came to his feelings for her. He'd asked her out countless times; suggested dinner, lunch, a vacation in the Bahamas, but still she just chuckled and patted his arm. They'd gone out to eat, sure, but she always paid her half and she never treated it as if it were a date. He didn't know what he could do. He'd tried everything to get her attention. He was always there when she needed him, he went out of his way to make sure she knew that he was always willing to be that guy she came home to, and he never even so much as expressed attraction to another witch in her vicinity. In his opinion, she was the last woman on earth.

Second Half 


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2007 02:24 am (UTC)
I loved this, especially after DH came out. The Fred/Hermione pairing is one of my favorites and I really enjoyed how you portrayed it. Usually it's Hermione trying to get Fred's attention, from what I've found, but I love the rare Fred vying for Hermione's attention. And he really did love her. It was so obvious! I felt so bad for him for how long it took and how hard he tried. Great work! I look forward to reading you other stories! :D
Aug. 8th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
I LOVED THIS. Fred trying to get Hermione's attention rather than Hermione trying to get Fred's is so much more interesting. I've just started really getting into the Fred/Hermione ship a couple of months ago, and this fic was just really satisfying for me. Your characterizations are perfect. I really enjoyed this. :D

I look forward to reading more of your fics. :)
Aug. 9th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC)
You thought you'd mess up Fred?! Oh man, I haven't read a story that has portrayed Fred better. Wow.

One thing I have to say though is that I got kinda bored with all the reminiscing and recapping stuff. It was just paragraph after paragraph of retelling. However, your dialogue and those sort of scenes were amazing. I love the way that you described them, it seemed to fit in so seamlessly with their words. Excellent
Aug. 13th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
jesus, i LOVE this fic. love it.

it's just so great and the emotions and the heartbreak and the rejoicing. gah.
Sep. 6th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC)
Sep. 13th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
Can I just say that I absolutely adore this fic. I love, love, love the tale of the four almost kisses. I love Fred and how he is in this story, just so completely wonderful. I love his infatuation with Hermione. And I love that they get together. I don't even know how many times I've read this. Every so often when I want to read something good and nothing new has come out I return to this story. Thank you.
Sep. 16th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
That was amazing. Like, certified, jaw-drop amazing. This is going in my fan-fiction folder, under "to be read over and over until your eyes fall out, at which point you will find someone to read it to you. (James Phelps, preferably)" Obviously I can't tell you everything that tickled me, but the best part was Fred. That characterization was fantastic. I think you know him better than Ms. Rowling herself. Thank you so much for writing this, I'm now going to recommend it to everyone I know. And some who I don't.
Jan. 1st, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
I love this story. It's so sad and happy and romantic, and it made me tingle in places. *Sigh* I just love Fred!
Jan. 2nd, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
Lovely... seriously. Fred is just wonderful, what the heck is wrong with Hermione!!! Poor bloke.
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