NINE

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Iris's next day off was in a week, although that didn't mean she didn't see George throughout it. He dropped by her apartment twice that last week after his shift was finished and they stayed late, watching a movie in her bed, close together. Iris had Hermione help her get in Diagon Alley once so she could spend a while around George once more. It was safe to say they had seen each other plenty of times during the week but on the day they were to leave for Hogsmeade Iris still felt excited, as if she was about to see someone for the first time in a while. She couldn't quite explain it. So she didn't try to.

She had tried to ask Hermione what she should wear a couple of times so she wouldn't seem out of place when they reached Hogsmeade, but she had only told her that no matter what she wore, no one would bat an eye. Without much help from Hermione, she had decided to wear a pair of black leggings and a light blue shirt that grazed her thighs. She debated over wearing heels or not and in the end, heeding Hermione's warning it was usually cold in Hogsmeade in the start of March, she ended up wearing a black pair of heeled boots. And once she had decided what she would wear, she spent about half an hour in front of a mirror, trying to make herself look her best. Hermione was suspicious to say the least.

"So, you mean to tell me there is nothing going on?"

"He's just going to show me around the village," she replied, not looking away from where she was applying her mascara.

"Then why are you getting dressed up?"

Iris shrugged, "I just wanted to leave a good first impression."

Hermione snorted, "On who, the middle-aged witches and wizards who own the shops?"

She hummed in return, reached for the brush to brush through her hair once more. Hermione narrowed her eyes at her, didn't quite let that go.

"There is something you are not telling me, Iris. And I will find out what it is."

"Relax, Hermione," she chuckled, barely spared her a look as she fixed her hair. "When there is something for you to know, you will know."

"So there is something!" she exclaimed, eyes wide. "You're just not telling me yet."

"You may perceive things as you want."

"I'm going to tell Ron and we are going to start questioning George."

"Do whatever you want," she mused with a smile, "I doubt he would break any easier than I would."

Hermione groaned, annoyed with the turn of events, but Iris only chuckled, greatly amused. She set the brush down, about to turn to face her when the bell to the door rang. Her eyes lit up at once and she rushed to the door to open it. George was waiting there, holding a lone blue iris at hand he handed over to her the moment he saw her. Iris's smile widened even further. She thought he was about to lean in before his gaze fell on something behind her. Iris turned her head. Hermione was there, watching.

"Don't let me deter you," she told George, but the moment was over anyway as Iris walked away, headed to the kitchen to leave the iris in some water.

"What's bothering you, Hermione?"

"Something is going on between you two and she won't tell me. Don't worry, though, I will find out myself, just you wait."

"Just don't think too much about it," Iris called out as she walked over, reached for her black coat on the way and put it on, finding her place beside George at once.

"Don't worry about me," Hermione shook her head, "have fun."

"We will," George assured her, already leading her away from the house. They walked side by side until the apartment was out of sight and then, finally, he reached to hold her hand. Iris interlocked their fingers as he tugged her closer so they were now walking shoulder to shoulder.

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