Home Is Where the Heart Is

written July, 2004
for Romanticalgirl

Hermione sat at her desk, chewing absentmindedly at an already well-bitten fingernail.

Fromme forces seven, windes blow and bread is leaven.

Leavened bread. She knew about that, being from a Muggle Jewish household, though non-practising. But what did that have to do with…


She pulled a rogue curl to her mouth, sucking on it as she worked through the arcane part of the spell.


It registered that someone was standing in her doorway, so she looked up.


"For you."

A bouquet of forget-me-nots was thrust at her.

"Um. Thanks."

She placed the flask of flowers on her desk, promptly ignoring them.

Windes blow…

Hermione put her sandal-shod feet on the desk, admiring her pedicured toes, a rare indulgence procured a few days prior. She wracked her mind for inspiration. When not being sent off on rather reckless thrusts against the Death Eaters in eastern Europe, she worked on her Septenology. Sevens. She saw them everywhere, even dreaming about them. A patron of the number eight since childhood, a beautiful, curvy, mystical number, she was rather unsure how she had become trapped in the studies of the number prior to her favourite.

Windes blow… She stuck out her lower lip and blew upwards, momentarily moving her fringe off of her forehead. Blast. If only the Ministry would allow for some decent cooling spells.

All of a sudden she realised she had just been given flowers.

She reached out, looking for a card, or note, or something. Anything.

The flowers sat in their vase, resolute and noteless.

"Curious," she said, tracing one of the blue petals with her index finger.

Windes blow…


A week ago, she had been at the Burrow, cooing over the newest addition to the Weasley clan, yet another red haired boy, son to Percy. Fred and George had encouraged her to join them outside, engaging her in croquet since they knew she hated to fly and would rather dig ditches than play pick-up Quidditch. Her deep-seated love of Ron had proven to be far more familiar than anything else, and in their seventh year they had recognized it for what it was. She and Ron were destined to have a sibling-like relationship, not lovers in the traditional sense of the word. It allowed her to be the eighth member of the Weasley family, edging out Harry through sheer determination and her ability to write thank-you notes, something he had never mastered but Molly Weasley appreciated almost above anything else.

"Nice frock," Fred had said before whacking the ball across the yard. There had been a yelp as he accidentally hit one of the garden trolls escaping the yard, but then George gave his twin a celebratory high-five while Hermione choked back her laughter.

"'S'alright!" Fred said, winking. "You're an honourary Weasley. Go ahead- laugh a bit. We do."

He gave George a knowing look, and his twin shook his head.

"You're shameless," George said, readying his mallet. "You should warn them next time, though, if you care about them."

"Why should I?"

"Fred!" Hermione squeaked.

"They're used to it. Not like house-elves, Merlin knows how you've taken up their cause." Fred's mouth quirked up in a smile. "Admirable, really. Just hopeless."

She watched as he rolled up his shirtsleeves, exposing more freckled skin to the brazen sunlight. He was completely unselfconscious, rightly so at his own house, yet Hermione was captivated. The twins had made a fair amount of money, and the finely woven blue linen shone against his muscled forearms. She adjusted her hat to disguise the fact that she was staring.

Where were her sunglasses, anyway?

"Where are your sunglasses?" George asked, standing away from a wicket.

"You'll need those, to go with your porcelain skin and all," Fred echoed.

He said it in such a matter-of-fact way that Hermione didn't think twice.

"I was just thinking that! I don't know. There's probably a simple charm-"

"Saw them on the table," Fred offered, pulling his wand out of a belt loop and motioning it toward the house. "Accio sunglasses."

They wafted out through an open window into Fred's hand. "Thanks, Fred," she said, putting the glasses on her face and placing a chaste kiss on his cheek.

He made a perfunctory bow. "Not a problem."

She made a mock curtsey in gratitude.

George grinned behind his brother.


"Ms. Granger!"

"Yes, what is it?"

She pulled at a strand of hair, rolling the tendril over her tongue. It was instinct, habit. She didn't even know she was doing it.

"Owl for you. Message, anyway."


She expected to hear from Harry, or Neville. Those messages were announced by someone more important than this upstart, though he was endearing due to his earnestness.

"Is it sealed?"

"No, Ms. Granger. It isn't official correspondence. Not from the field, I mean."

She looked up at the youngling, probably three years her junior.

"I'll take it. Thank you, Geoffrey."

He beamed.

"That will be all."

He fled her cubicle, leaving her with the scroll of parchment, which she opened not without trepidation. It was unmarked, but if it had gotten that far, it was bound to be harmless. She read.

Love, love, a lily's my care,
She's sweeter than a tree.
Loving, I use the air
Most lovingly: I breathe;
Mad in the wind I wear
Myself as I should be,
All's even with the odd,
My brother the vine is glad.

She mulled over the words. They were bound to be by someone famous. Someone… something to do with her studies?

First line. Seven syllables. Next line, six syllables. All six again, save the last line. Was somebody sending her something to do with the number six? There was a whole department dedicated to that. Sixes invoked introspection, sibilance, charms. An anti-seven. Though not as sexy as eights, sevens were powerful; a wary, wily number, found in the Cabalistic text she had snuck in as an additional reference. Who had sent this to her?

She spent the afternoon puzzling over the meaning behind the scroll when translating baffling messages from Prague was simply too taxing for her. At home, she called out to Crookshanks, who purred and made loving figure eights around her ankles, then promptly coughed up a furball.

While scrubbing at the new stain on the carpet with a sponge (she knew that there were spells, but they didn't work as well as Muggle elbow grease), she thought about the words some more. They didn't seem malevolent, nor did they seem to pertain to her job.

"'Shanks, what could they mean?" she asked her cat, tucking a stray curl behind her ear.

He meowed in response.

"You're no help, you brute."


"But I don't want to be blindfolded!"

Hermione sulked even as Fred tied the fabric behind her head.

"It's a game. Won't last long. Would I send you astray?"

She pouted, though she rather enjoyed feeling his hands being caught up in the curls of her hair. "Of course you would. You of all people!" she retorted, shoving her hands onto her hips.

"True enough," Fred breathed into her ear. "But this is an innocent game of pin the tentacles on the squid. No funny business. You're just playing along."

"Uncle Fred! Uncle Fred! Me next!"

She heard her twin nephews-by-proxy jumping at the chance to participate, so she held out her hand to be spun around by George. At least she hoped it would be George.

"Ron!" She would have recognized the sweaty palm anywhere.

"No wonder you're an Auror!" she heard Ron say in appreciation as he indicated that she should hold on to his pointer finger by waggling it in her hand. She spun around until she was dizzy, staggering blindly toward the wall, hands askew, a tentacle clutched in her fist. She slapped it onto the first solid surface she ran into, then gratefully pulled the scarf up from her eyes. The nephews were laughing so hard that their freckled faces were scarlet. She had managed to put the squid's tentacle a good three feet away from the diagram magically drawn on the side of the house.

"I'm an only child!" she exclaimed in her defense, frowning.

"You're hilarious," Fred said, a nephew on his shoulders, and a grin so wide it was alarming.

"You're wretched," she replied, the fabric falling into her eyes.


"Ms. Granger?"

The sapling was there again, with a glass of…

"Lemonade. Sent to you. It's been scanned."

He looked very pleased with himself.

"Thank you, Geoffrey," Hermione offered. "Looks delightful. Just right for this time of year. But I didn't ask for it."

"No, no. It was sent."

The youth stood at attention, all business.

"Right, then. Cheers." She toasted him with the beverage, looking at her fingernails. Merlin's beard, but they needed to be cut.

"Oh, and there's this," he said, thrusting a piece of parchment toward her. "Not from the field. I think you have an admirer," he continued, quirking an eyebrow.

Hermione sighed. "I wish. Thank you anyway." She took the paper. Geoffrey leaned against her cubicle entrance. "Do you want a tip or something?" she asked.

"No." He grinned. "Just wondered if you might read the note out loud. The other mail blokes and I have been thinking that-"

"You lot have been musing about my parchments?!" Hermione fumed, glaring at him.

"Well, um," he began.


"Um," she continued, petulant. "I mean, I'm working diligently on it, even though it's not from our usual sources."

Geoffrey looked shocked, and backed away from the cubicle.

"Bye, Geoffrey."

He made a hasty retreat to another part of the office.

Hermione took a deep swig of the lemonade, then looked at the parchment.

I thumped on you the best I could
which was no use;
you would not tolerate your food
until the sweet, fresh milk was soured
with lemon juice.

A poet. She was being… courted? Propositioned? Something. By a poet. Hermione was so confused. She didn't go out; her whole social life revolved around the Weasley family when she wasn't in the Czech republic or Bulgaria. Who was writing her?


October. Ginny's wedding. Hermione was not exactly surprised when an unknown owl brought her a piece of parchment. She poured herself a cup of tea and went out on her balcony to read the messy handwriting, suppressing a thrill that her admirer, whoever it was, had not abandoned her to the chill of late autumn.

Short gasps of flame in the green of night, way off
the pomegranates are in flower,
small sharp red fires in the night of leaves.

And noon is suddenly dark, is lustrous, is silent and dark
men are unseen, beneath the shading hates;
only, from out the foliage of the secret loins
red flamelets here and there reveal
a man, a woman there.

She got dressed, treating herself to a glass of out-of-season chardonnay. It was cold enough that she could wear the forest green velvet dress she had seen at Harrod's when she had last been in Muggle London. While she was sure she had put on some weight (those restaurants in Eastern Europe had rather delicious food and rather affordable prices), it seemed to have settled in some not poor spots. Cleavage isn't such a bad thing, she decided, looking in the mirror and pulling down a corkscrew of hair in front of both ears. Two hours later, out on the rolling verdant carpet that was the charmed lawn outside of the Burrow, Hermione gladly read a selection from a famous Wizard, a very eloquent poem about love and magic and wands crossing and she felt that she had done them justice.

"Care for a dance?" a familiar voice called out.

Hermione refocused on the reception. "As long as I don't have to be blindfolded!" she replied, and was rewarded with a generous smile.

"Not for the first one, anyway," Fred said, pulling her close to him. "After that, all bets are off."

"You're wicked," Hermione breathed into his neck, gathered closely to his wide chest.

"You're exquisite."

"Hmmm?" Hermione said, sure that she had misheard him. There had been a fair amount of wine; Fred and George were the best men, after all.

"You. Are. Exquisite," he repeated.

Hermione was silent as Fred guided her skillfully across the dance floor.

"You're only being nice," she said, mostly to herself.

"Didn't you ever wonder who sent you those poems? And the forget-me-nots?" he asked, gliding his right hand down her spine to the small of her back, leaning her into a sheltered dip.

Hermione looked up into dark chocolate eyes. "You?" she whispered, as she was righted and they continued dancing. "But you've never said…"

"You're the clever one," Fred spoke into her hair. "I thought you would have had me pegged by now."

Hermione was suddenly aware that her heart was racing, and she was very, very close to Fred Weasley. Who was an exceedingly good dancer. Whose hands were warm, but not wet like Ron's always had been. Whose deep baritone was speaking unfathomable things such about her beauty into her ear, and how he had been dreaming about her at night, and how it was making delightful shivers run down her spine and goosebumps flush on her arms.

"I think I might need some air," she gasped.

"After you," Fred said, spinning her outward from his arms but still holding her hand.

She walked toward a copse of trees in full autumnal bloom, a riot of orange and gold, trying to focus on the chill air. Fred? How could it be Fred? How could she have been so blind?

"I didn't know that you were interested in poetry," she began, resting against the trunk of an oak.

He leaned into her, a large thumb running across her open lips. "There are a lot of things you don't know about me," he said, then pulled a coin out of his pocket. "Heads and you'll give me a kiss. Tails and I'll be on my way."

Hermione didn't want him to go anywhere, but was still so surprised that all she could do was nod.

He looked rather disappointed. "Right." He tossed the coin. Covered it with a freckled hand after it landed on his arm. Uncovered it. Heads.

Hermione beamed at him. "I'm so glad," she said, smiling, pulling him toward her. He hastily pocketed the coin and put his hands behind her back. She was shocked at how tender he was, how soft his lips were, how hungrily she sought his tongue in his mouth. She was burning, desire making her dizzy. Lust! It was a foreign sensation, something she had never felt when kissing Ron, but she quickly discovered that she rather appreciated it while sucking on Fred's lower lip and hearing him moan in response. She arched into him as he moved his hands around to the front of her dress, running his thumbs reverently over her breasts.

Her nipples hardened in response even as he murmured, "So beautiful."

"How long?" Hermione thought to ask, twining her fingers into his long hair, admiring its softness.

"Ages." He trailed a line of kisses down her collarbone to a spot right above the deep V of her dress, still caressing her breasts.

"Hmmmmm." She appeared to have been sundered from her normally astounding vocabulary by the sensation of his fingers stroking her sensitive chest through the velvet.

Fred looked up at her, his gaze hungry. "It's a bit cold out here. Would you care to go inside?"

Hermione willed herself not to squirm, feeling the dampness between her thighs. Merlin. It was as though every word he said went straight there, making her throb. Even when she occasionally pleasured herself with some faceless image, she never felt like this. She had been perfunctory, uninspired. The heat roiling in her now made her knees weak. It was ridiculous, but she really did feel like one of the women in those silly romance books she had discovered one summer up in her parent's attic. "Yes. I would very much like that."

She suppressed a whimper as he stepped away, but then he retrieved her from the bark and pulled her next to him, draping an arm around her waist. He rubbed at her hipbone as they walked to the Burrow. "Need to put some meat on you," he said. "Mum's always saying you're too thin."

Hermione chuckled, laying her head on Fred's shoulder. "Flattery will get you everywhere."

"I hope so," he joked.

"Insolent prat!" She feigned indignation, clutching more tightly to the squared bone at his waist with her left hand. He was muscled, and shorter than Ron, but still fairly lean. Not in all areas, though, she had noticed as he had been pressed against her. They went through the chaos of the Weasley kitchen, Fred snagging two flutes of champagne en route.

"It was a double-headed coin," he admitted.

Hermione stopped short, facing him.


Fred shimmied toward her, draping his glass-laden hands behind her neck. "Don't lie- you didn't really want me to leave, did you?"

Caught, Hermione shook her head, though she tried to impose a chastising look on her face. "No. But I would have admitted that without any of your tricks."

Full lips caught her as Fred kissed her thoroughly, and she returned in kind. This was turning out to be a rather extraordinary day, she thought, enjoying the warmth of Fred's mouth.

"I wasn't so sure of that," he admitted after breaking away, his voice husky. "I didn't know if maybe you had a bloke in one of those countries you keep travelling to. Reckoned you did, actually. Since you didn't seem to be interested in anyone here."

She was stunned. Fred had thought she had a foreign boyfriend? She liberated one of the glasses and took a sip of the bubbling liquid.

"Not a one," she said, trailing a finger down Fred's neck to the buttons of his shirt. "And here's another surprise," she found herself saying, stunned at her own honesty. "I've never actually… well… you know."

Fred stared at her.

"Okay, I know it's odd, it just, well, Ron wasn't right, and I've travelled so much, and in school there wasn't-"

The rest of her sentence was muffled as Fred's lips were on hers, making the words rather irrelevant. Hermione wished that she weren't holding the champagne flute as it made it rather a challenge to hold him, so she settled for fondling a very satisfactory round cheek of Fred's bum, enjoying the fact that his arousal was pressed against her.

"I don't believe it," he said, his gaze heated. He kissed her neck, ran a finger across an eyebrow, then took both glasses and looked quickly about for a place to put them. He stepped away to deposit them on a sideboard, then scooped her up into his arms. "Oh. Do you?" he asked, suddenly hesitant. "You probably want to go back outside, I suppose." He placed her back on her feet. "I wasn't really planning on-"

"Frederick Xavier Weasley, you will pick me back up again. Now," Hermione commanded, her face flushed.

"Well. If you insist," he said, grinning.

"I do."

He carried her up to his old room, a place not nearly as familiar as Ron's had been in the past when she had spent time visiting. It was Fred and George's room, of course; exceedingly untidy and very comforting all at once.

"We won't get walked in on, will we?" she asked, nuzzling a particularly pale part of Fred's earlobe.

"Not if I have anything to do with it," he replied. "Family this size, house this small, privacy and silencing spells are the first things you learn."

Hermione nodded as he gently put her down and went looking for his wand. The necessary spells were cast as Hermione looked out the window at the guests still dancing outside. "You really do have a wonderful family," she said, smiling. "I've always felt at home here."

"It's because you are a part of the family. Not in a pervy way, I mean," Fred said, winking as he slid his hands around her waist. "I already have a sister. But you're different. Couldn't believe how Ron was mucking things up with you, but I'm glad he did."

Hermione pushed a strand of hair behind her ear, then stood up on tiptoe to lean against Fred and murmur into his mouth. "Me too."

Then there weren't words. There was his tongue reacquainting itself with hers, running around her teeth, his full lips open. Her fingers made their way to his posh shirt, undoing the buttons as quickly as possible, which was still terribly slow. She ran her hands from clavicle to abdomen and back, noticing how much hair he had on his chest and how his breath hitched when she rolled the nubs of his pink nipples between her thumbs and forefingers.

She heard him mutter something, then felt the zipper on her dress descend as he pulled it down. Hermione was far too busy lavishing attention on Fred's chest with her tongue to really note what was happening, until…

"Bed?" he pleaded.

"Hmmmm," she replied.

Standing was indeed becoming a bother. Stupid high heels. Fred carefully pulled Hermione's dress from her shoulders, looking gratefully up at her as she stepped out of it. Hermione happily kicked off her shoes. He draped the green velvet on a chair before turning back to her and undoing his fancy trousers, which were promptly caught on his shoes, which he hadn't taken off yet. He took care of that. They tumbled onto his narrow bed, Fred above her.

"There are spells," he began, as Hermione tried not to stare at the bulge in his blue plaid boxers.

"Yes. Please use them," she replied. "There may well be a time when I want to add to the Weasley line, but today is not it."

"Have I told you how beautiful you are?" Fred whispered, leaning on his hands, his muscular thighs surrounding hers.

"Yes. But you can tell me again."

He did. Fred undid her bra, pulling it tenderly off of her shoulders. He kissed her breasts, pressing them together in his hands. Hermione shuddered under his affections, trying not to grind against his hips, to no avail. She raised herself up, feeling his erection against her, knowing how wet she was. His right hand travelled down, under the elastic of her rather plain knickers. She hadn't been planning for any kind of intimacy, or she would have chosen to wear something a bit less white cotton. Then it didn't matter, because Fred had pulled them down, and Hermione discovered that Fred's tongue was extraordinarily talented, and not limited to witty retorts. She held his head in her hands as he laved at her, her knees akimbo, before she called out his name, digging her fingers into his scalp as she shuddered through the most intense orgasm she had ever had.

She lay back, panting, looking at Fred's strong arms as he smiled lazily at her. "Merlin, but you even taste beautiful," he said, licking his lips for emphasis.

"Oh god," Hermione replied. "Please. Just. You know."

"I know," he said, retrieving his wand to incant a contraceptive spell. Then he pulled down his boxers, revealing rather extraordinary anatomy. The flushed tip bobbed dangerously close to her legs, and as Hermione looked at him, and the nest of curly auburn hair at the base, she really wondered how on earth it would…

He licked a finger, and gently put it inside of her. Not unpleasant, Hermione decided. She opened her legs further. Then there was Fred, and it was painful, but bearable, and ohMerlinthickow!ohthat'sbetterohohohohoh. He cradled her shoulder blades, hands splayed underneath her, thrusting gently until she moaned in response, at which point he rode her with enthusiasm, oddly soft sacs of skin slapping lightly against her thighs. Hermione was a woman who knew appropriate words for any occasion, save this one. She had been abandoned by speech, left only with guttural, primal noises. Everything was caught up in sensation, the extraordinary feeling of being filled by someone else, a someone so dear and he was-

"Fred!" she moaned, as he rubbed his thumb in an area he had so thoroughly plundered with his tongue moments ago, the tension of being full and overstimulated crashing around her. She clutched at him, ankles crossed over his waist, fingernails dragging small red paths across his shoulders. She saw sparks, felt heretofore unknown muscles from far within her grasping at him, could have sworn she saw unrecognised magic bursting from his freckle-smattered back in a sanguine aura. How had she never known this? Why on earth had she waited this long?

"Ohhhermione." Fred chanted as he came, covering her face with blistering kisses. "Mionemionemione." His body rocked against her, hands grasping hers, almost bruising in the hold. "So tight. Mione. Mine."

He blinked slowly, realizing what he'd said. "No. Not mine. But- "

"Yours," she replied, running a finger across his forehead. "Yours for now."

Fred looked at her, sated, breathing through his mouth. "Thank you," he said.

She pulled him down, relishing in his weight on her chest. "No," she kissed into the side of his neck. "Thank you. This has been a most… illuminating day." She wriggled her hips under his even as she sensed him softening, unwilling to let him slip out from her. "Let's not go back outside yet. Maybe you can read me something from your treasure trove of poetry."

He kissed her fingers.



Author's Notes

Fred's poetry snippets are, in order:

-from "Words for the Wind" by Theodore Roethke
-from "Heart's Needle" by W. D. Snodgrass
-from "Andraitx - Pomegranate Flowers" by D. H. Lawrence

Many thanks to lyric for a most helpful beta.

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