Clever Mischief, Chapter 15: DoomedDate: Tuesday, September 20, 2005Location: Three BroomsticksCharacter: George, FredRating: Any Age (adult language warning)Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Fuck. George rolled over for the umpteenth time, groaning. He flung his pillow over his face, thinking without any real hope that he might accidentally suffocate himself. Tragic, yes, but then he wouldn't be in this mess. He wondered if Fred would be the one to deliver the eulogy. It would be fitting, after all, the hundreds of people gathered to see him off murmuring to each other how well Fred was holding up, though inwardly Fred would be a wreck. Fred would mourn the loss of his poor, dear brother who never once hurt him, never once betrayed him...Bloody hell. Maybe if he slammed his head into the wall it would make things better. Fred, after all, had been up ages ago, popping into the pub proper for scones and coffee and flirty repartee with Madam Rosmerta, leaving George to sleep in as he usually did. Yesterday evening had not been fun. As far as George could remember, he had never deliberately lied to his twin, nor concealed something that Fred had the right to know. But nothing like this had ever happened before. Hermione had always been a friend. Smart, yes. Attractive, sure. But attractive in that little-brother's-best-friend kind of way. Hell, he hadn't even really noticed that she had breasts until he'd nearly touched one yesterday and- No. Mustn't think about that. Mustn't think about the taste of her lips against his, of the breathy little moan/growl that escape her throat as he'd deepened the kiss. Mustn't, mustn't, mustn't.He was fucking doomed.Giving up trying to get an extra hour or two of sleep as a bad job, George rolled out of bed, his hair tousled and his jaw covered in stubble. Blearily, he picked up his robe and wrapped it around himself. He'd barely slept last night. In his mind he'd scolded himself the way Mum used to do, bawling himself out for moving in on Fred's territory. He'd known Fred liked her. He'd sodding been planning to drop hints to Hermione that his twin might like to take her out some time but was too much of an idiot to do anything as simple as ask. And what happened? He'd snogged her senseless instead.Or been snogged senseless, more like. How else to explain his complete leave of sense, reason, and rationality? Because during the gaps between his internal tirades, his imagination had gleefully reproduced the afternoon, playing up the way the sunlight had glinted off her hair, the soft fall of wispy hair about her face from where it had escaped her bun, the way she smiled, the way she'd kissed him back, the kiss itself. And then his damned imagination had gone a step further, spinning him fantasies where neither had stopped the kiss and Hermione had confessed her long-buried feelings to him. And there by the lake, beneath the trees, he'd unbuttoned her blouse and-FUCK. He had to stop that. He didn't want her. He couldn't want her. Even if she wasn't interested in Fred, it just wasn't right. As he cast about for slippers, a bit of memory caught him. He and Fred- they couldn't have been much more then thirteen or fourteen, and Charlie and Bill had both been home to visit for a week in the summer. They'd both wanted to ask out the same girl in the Muggle village, and Bill had ended up hexing Charlie's hands into a permanently obscene gesture. Charlie, of course, couldn't go down to the village in such a state, especially not when Mum had seen him and threatened to paddle his backside, no matter that he was nearly twenty, leaving Bill free to sneak off to see the girl."We'll never do that," Fred had said, shaking his head in disgust as he and George peeled potatoes in the kitchen sink."Never," George had agreed. "Stupid waste of time and energy, fighting over a girl.""Doubt it'll ever come up anyway.""But if it does, let's agree right now.""Right- if we both like the same girl-""Then we both back off.""No sense pissing each other off like those two prats," Fred said sagely."Fred! Language," Molly had chirped as she moved through the kitchen on the way out to feed the chickens.George shook his head as he shuffled out of the room in the Three Broomsticks. He needed coffee, preferably enough to drown himself in.When Madam Rosmerta caught sight of him, she nearly dropped her pitcher of orange juice. "Oi!" she called, marching over to him with a swish of her hips.George grunted.She shook her head. "How hung over are you, Fred-or-George Weasley? You need something very bitter and very caffeinated.""Not hung over," George protested. "Though I won't say no to the second thing.""You do know you're in a robe and slippers?""I do." George spotted Fred laughing at him at their usual table. Oh god. He'd managed to avoid much mention of Hermione yesterday, despite Fred's insistent questions. He was afraid his twin wouldn't let his evasion slide this morning."Girl troubles?" Madam Rosmerta asked, handing him a mug that seemed to have materialized out of nowhere.George sputtered. "Girl... No! I- No!""Boy troubles, then?" she asked shrewdly.George patted her on the cheek. "None of those either. I'm holding out for you, Rosie.""With morning breath like that, you'll be waiting a long time," she muttered, giving him a gentle shove toward his table. He stumbled and sloshed coffee down his front, yelping as it burned his skin. Bloody hell, he wasn't usually this clumsy."You're up early," Fred said, far too chipper this morning. Just like every morning. Okay. Natural. George just had to act like this was any other morning and he'd be fine."Couldn't sleep.""You look exhausted. Tell you what, I'll finish those orders for the Hogwarts students and sneak 'em up myself."Oh, he just had to be nice today, didn't he. "I'm capable of doing it myself."Fred rolled his eyes. "Yes, but we don't need you biting the head off a customer or knocking into a singing suit of armour and causing Peeves, Filch, and McGonagall to descend upon us. Besides, maybe I'll swing by to see Hermione."George would not blush. He wouldn't."You never did say if she liked the gift." Fred chewed on his bottom lip, looking worried. "Didn't she?""She liked it fine," George grumbled."Really?""Yeah, teared-up and everything."Fred beamed. "I'm glad. I knew she'd like it.""Sure you did." George stole a piece of Fred's toast and began to eat noisily."What's wrong with you today?" Fred asked, watching George closely. "You're a bit of a bitch.""Told you. I couldn't sleep," George snapped. He immediately felt sorry, his raw guilt rearing up inside him. This wasn't Fred's fault. "Sorry. I am a bit like Mum when she started hitting menopause today, aren't I?""You are. Keep it up and I'll have to throw you out of the business," Fred teased."You wouldn't last a day without me." George pointed at his head. "I'm the brains, remember?""Well, Brains, you might consider getting dressed before you exit our room next time."All right. This was better. Bantering George could handle. "Maybe I'm trying to start a new trend. Fashionista that I am.""At least we don't wear dragon skin trousers anymore.""Thank god our taste has matured." George raised his mug in a mock toast, and Fred clinked his juice glass against it, looking less bewildered.George sighed. Maybe letting Fred do the orders today was a good idea. It would give George time to think and to sort out his muddled feelings. Maybe he could just obliviate himself. Surely without his memories, the sharp ache of want in him would die out too?"You go on," he said to Fred."You sure you're all right?""Yeah. Just... indigestion last night. Kept me up." George winced. Thoughts of Hermione had kept him far more up than was entirely proper. But Fred did not need to know that. "Look, I'll clean myself up and then wander down to the shop, all right?""All right," Fred said, scooting his chair backward. He tossed a wink at Madam Rosmerta and disappeared out into the too-bright morning. George caught his head in his hands and moaned pathetically. Maybe being drunk would help."Rosie, is it too early for a large vat of alcohol, enough to go swimming in?" he asked hopefully as she passed him."Far too early, honey," Rosmerta said sympathetically. "Though I do have something that can help.""Give it to me now, if you have any mercy.""Go back to bed," she ordered. "I'll fish out one of my best pleasant dream potions. It'll put you right to sleep and you'll wake up refreshed, I promise you.""Saint. Angel," George praised, catching one of her hands and kissing her knuckles enthusiastically."Enough of that, young whelp! To bed with you!" She leered at him playfully."Goddess," George affirmed, staggering back to his room. He sprawled in his bed and waited patiently for Rosie, trying with all his might not to think about a shared picnic blanket and a shared kiss.
*g* I'm not saying, one way or the other, but... you're a very astute reader... *coughs* Thanks for reading!