I have no idea why I wrote this, but having read a few good C/Hr fics of late I guess it was in my head…
TITLE: Confession is Good for the Soul
DISCLAIMER: None of the characters are mine, they are the creation of JKR.
DEDICATION: To Laura, who basically said write whatever you want!
WORD COUNT: 1,155
FEEDBACK: If you want
SUMMARY: Charlie has a confession to make, but has he got the courage?
Hermione looked up from the work she was doing at the kitchen table and glanced out the window. Charlie was sitting with Bill, laughing about something that she was unable to make out. After a few moments of feeling as though she was intruding on a private moment, she focused her attention back on the work she had been doing for her summer assignments. When she had been at Hogwarts she had been able to get most, if not all, her reading for the first term finished before the summer holidays were in full swing. In her second year of attending the Salem Institute she had discovered that university was totally different, she was still working on the summer reading, and wondering why she had taken on such a full class load.
“Come on Hermione,” Ron called as he and Harry headed in the direction of the back door into the garden. “You can’t spend the whole of your holiday reading. I bet the other people in your class aren’t doing as well as you.” Ron was as carefree as it was possible to be. He was in his second year of Auror training but he, like the rest of his class – Harry included, were taking a well-earned two week break which just happened to coincide with Hermione’s yearly visit to the Burrow.
Rolling her eyes, Hermione piled her books up at the end of the table and then, with a flick of her wand, they vanished. “You know what they say about too much work…” Harry grinned, grabbed Hermione by the wrist and pulled her out into the warm sunshine. “We were thinking of taking a walk into the village. Want to come with?”
Shaking her head, Hermione went and sat down on one of the brightly patterned loungers that Ginny had bought in Muggle London on one of her many trips into the city for her job as a trainee robe designer with Madam Malkin – they were getting much more influence now from the Muggle designers like Conran, McCartney and Chloe.
With a wave of her wand, one of the few books she had bought with her to the Burrow that wasn’t connected to her course was in her hands, an aged leather-bound copy of Pride and Prejudice that she read at least once a year, although she was very careful not to damage it any further than the years that passed had already done. After making sure she was enough in the shade to protect herself from the over-powerful rays of the sun, she opened the book to the first page and settled down to read.
Bill nudged his brother and winked, “Now’s your chance,” he whispered, enjoying the fact that Charlie still embarrassed so easily. “You know you want to.”
Charlie elbowed Bill back, glaring at him and wondering why he even bothered, insults, and any attempt to browbeat Bill never worked, as though the oldest Weasley child was impervious. “Shut up,” he hissed, his eyes wandering over Hermione’s supine form, she was obviously engrossed in what she was reading. “I’ll say something when I’m ready!”
“Wait any longer, little Brother, and someone at that fancy school of hers will realise what she is and snatch her up.” Bill looked up when the door from the kitchen opened and Fleur walked through it carrying a small wriggling bundle in her arms. “Take a chance!” he nudged Charlie and then stood up, making his way quickly over to his wife before taking their daughter in his arms, smiling as the baby giggled and kicked her feet frantically.
Charlie wanted what Bill and Fleur had, but – and it was a very big but – he wasn’t one for taking this sort of chance. Sure, he had a very dangerous job, working with dragons on a reserve in Romania, where he was risking his life almost every moment, but this was a different sort of risk. If he cocked this up, said just one thing that Hermione interpreted wrongly, he wasn’t just screwing up in a way that could get him physically hurt!
Bill gave Charlie one last ‘tell her’ smirk before he walked back into the house, proudly carrying his daughter in one arm, his other wrapped around his wife’s slightly rounded stomach – apparently the Medi-Witch had already informed them this one was actually twins!
Taking a deep breath he studied Hermione while he gathered his courage. She was lying back on one of those long lounger things that looked like the velvet chaise in the Gryffindor common room, except this one was covered with a bright pink and yellow flowery pattern that was not in the least flattering. Her legs were crossed and one hand was raised above her eyes to shield them from the sun as she focused all of her attention on the leather-bound book in her hand. The sunlight was reflecting off the golden highlights in her hair making it look like her head was framed with a halo. Her skin was turning the colour of honey slowly; here and there freckles were sprinkled, on the curve of her shoulders, on the skin of her left ankle, on the bridge of nose.
He stood up slowly and walked over to sit on the end of her lounger, clearing his throat to garner her attention when it appeared that she hadn’t even noticed he had moved.
Hermione was feeling hyper-aware of Charlie, the faint brush of his hand against her ankle had all her hormones screaming for attention, but she refused to take notice of them. She took a steadying breath and continued to read until he curled his hand around her ankle and started to speak.
“Hermione, I have a confession to make…”
Hearing the nervousness in his voice, Hermione took the bookmark from the back of her book, marked her page and then put it down on the table beside her, then turned her attention to him. He looked a little bit like he was going to throw up, his face, beneath the healthy tan, was pale, his blue eyes wide. “You do?”
Feeling all Hermione’s attention on him, he shifted nervously on the lounger, raking a hand through his already mussed hair and then wiping that hand over his face. He cleared his throat again; “I’ve wanted to do this for a long time…” He cupped her cheek and leaned across, his lips taking hers in a sweet kiss, his tongue rubbing against hers before retreating.
Hermione’s eyes opened wide, her jaw dropping open as she licked her lips to savour Charlie’s flavour, a mix of rich chocolate and refreshing peppermint. “Charlie, I have a confession too…” she looked down for a moment at the practical pale pink polish that she had let Ginny put on her fingernails the previous evening before looking up and meeting Charlie’s nervous expression with a smile. “I’ll let you do it again.”