Légitimement Mariés [Harry Potter]

COMPLETED: Harry Potter Marriage Law. Fremione. Post Hogwarts. Fred may have survived the Battle of Hogwarts, but now he has a new challange - being married to Hermione!

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11. Tout en une journée de travail

All in a day's work

 

As soon as the despicable man had left, Hermione let out a sigh of relief that she did not even know she had been holding. Fred did the same, and finally extricated his arm from around her waist. It had comfortably remained there all throughout the ministry inspection, and Fred had even managed to write with it still there when they were filling out their individual questionnaires.

Now that he had let go, Hermione felt a little lopsided, a little naked even. It was like something was missing.

This feeling both startled and confused her as she went around setting things straight once more (the ministry official had decided that looking at their belongings had not been enough).

"Well, I guess I'd better head back to the shop," said Fred, his voice breaking through the silence like shards of glass.

Hermione began to say something, but was cut off by Fred's kiss on her cheek.

"I'll see you tonight," he said as he walked out the door, hardly stopping to grab his jacket.

Hermione stood there for a few moments, feeling completely stupefied. Her cheek, where he had kissed her, was still tingling as though the imprint of his lips had been burned onto her face.

Slowly she gathered her senses and began to move again. She abandoned the pretence of restoring her home. She did the one thing that she had always been able to count on, and that was to bury her feelings in work.

She jogged over to her bedroom and collected her handbag before grabbing a pinch of Floo powder and whisking herself away to work. She hoped that all she was feeling would have blown over by dinnertime.

HPHPHPHPHPHP

Hermione decided to work late that day, thinking perhaps that Fred might have wanted to do the same considering that they had both missed a good chunk of the day with the inspection. It was therefore a slight shock to her to arrive home to the hearty, warm smell of stewing meat and vegetables.

Fred was already setting the table, ready for dinner.

"Smells good," said Hermione, smiling as she put down her work things.

"You can thank Mum the next time we see her. I think she must've come over on her own because I found it on the table next to a piece of parchment with heating instructions."

He handed to Hermione a note scribbled with Mrs Weasley's love, and indeed heating instructions. Neither herself nor Fred were that inept in the kitchen, but she appreciated the sentiment nonetheless.

Hermione chuckled lightly to herself before fetching two wine glasses. She had not realised how hungry she was until she smelled the good food.

The unlikely couple made their usual small talk throughout the meal, helped by a generous measure of elf-made wine. There was an unspoken, mutual agreement that it had been a long day, and they really needed it.

Hermione had drunk just enough of the wine to make herself a little giggly, but she was well within her limit. She could still think coherently, if only a little more boldly, as she and Fred lounged on their sofa, facing one another.

"I've just had an idea," she said to Fred, whose state was not all that different to hers; relaxed, but still functional.

"Yeah, what's that?"

"We can play a game," stated Hermione as though it were the most natural thing to suggest in that circumstance.

"Right..." replied a slightly bemused Fred.

"I was thinking that we play Twenty Questions, but instead of pretending to be someone else, we ask questions about one another. We have to answer with the complete truth, no more, no less – you know, so we can get to know one another better."

"Ok, fire away," replied Fred in an unconcerned tone.

Hermione blinked rather rapidly, as though she were trying to bat away wrackspurts with her eyelids. Clearly, she was expecting a little more resistance considering neither of them had been incredibly forthcoming with each other up until this point.

"Really? You're okay with this?" questioned Hermione, squinting one eye towards her husband as though trying to ascertain whether he was being serious or not.

Fred, nodding his head, replied with the same blasé attitude.

"Fire away."

Hermione decided to dive straight into the deep end, before her courage could fail her.

"Hmmm...question one...what is your favourite childhood memory?"

Fred pretended to think for a few moments, twisting his mouth in different directions before finally answering.

"There are so many to chose from – many involve tormenting either Ron or Perfect Prefect Percy, of course..."

He ignored the annoyed sound that came from Hermione as he sat, contemplating her first question.

"There is the teddy bear incident with Ron... the dragon dung thing with Percy...hmmm...I would have to say that my favourite childhood memory is Sunday lunch. Every Sunday lunch. I guess I never really appreciated how great having a large family, like mine, is until there was the chance that it could be taken away."

Hermione nodded her head in understanding. She knew that he was talking about the war, and how painful it was for him. The healers had been able to save him, but it had been touch and go for awhile after the wall was blasted away. He was not without scars.

She watched as Fred shook his head trying to divest himself of the terrible memories, like a dog trying to rid its ears of water.

"Ok, my question to you is the question that you just asked me."

Hermione wrinkled her nose. She hated it when people copied others.

"Ummm... I guess that it would have to be wrestling with that mountain troll in first year."

Fred was giving her a look that suggested that she had perhaps told him that she was Voldemort in disguise.

"How on Earth could that be your favourite childhood memory?"

Hermione turned a little pink as she explained, acutely aware of his gaze upon her.

"Well, it was when and how Harry, Ron and I became friends."

"Ohhh! So that's how it happened. I always thought –"

He suddenly stopped, averting his eyes as though he might give away his response just by looking at her.

"No, go on. What were you going to say?"

It was Fred's turn to be a little nervous.

"I was going to say that I always thought that Ron had a bit of a thing for you – even then. That's why he hung around you so much. Harry was his friend, and I guess they came as a bit of a package deal, so you ended up having to deal with the both of them."

Hermione's gaze towards him softened.

"Ron has always had a bit of a thing for me. As far as I know, he still does, but you have to understand that we could never make it work. Our relationship was much too volatile. We're better off as friends, it's much less complicated this way."

"He's still pining after you, you know. Even though he's married to Luna."

"I know," Hermione sighed. "There is nothing that I can do about that. It's something that he has to work on by himself. He married Luna, I married you. That's going to have to be good enough for him... but we're getting off topic. Next question: What is the best holiday that you've ever been on?"

"I would have said Egypt, but Mum caught us before we managed to get Percy in the pyramid. Still, it's right up there. We didn't really go on many holidays..."

Fred trailed off, and Hermione looked down at her lap. She couldn't help but feel a little ashamed of herself for bringing it up. She should have known better. The Weasley's barely scraped by as it was, of course they wouldn't have gone on many holidays.

Allowing Fred to change the topic, Hermione nodded for him to continue.

"If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you take, and why?"

Hermione pulled her knees up to her chest, resting her chin on them as she pondered the question.

"I would take... a book - no, don't laugh at me! - something along the lines of 'How do I get off this island?'... some food...and a wand."

"Useful," said Fred, his smiling leaking into his reply, "you're turn to ask."

The pair continued to ask each other questions while the level of wine in the bottle continued to decrease at regular intervals. All too soon, Hermione had moved down the sofa, and nestled herself into Fred's arms.

Resting her head on his chest, they continued to talk, or rather Fred did. Hermione was content to listen to the sound of his soft voice, and it wasn't long before her eyelids begun to droop, and she was asleep.

Fred did not care in the slightest, and not wanting to wake her, he summoned a blanket to cover them and he too was slumbering within moments.

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