"This is the one," Hermione said with a smile, pointing to the ring.
"It's beautiful, love," Rupert told her as the shop keeper put the ring in a box with a small scroll that included a spell for resizing it. Once Hermione had paid for the ring and taken the box from the man, they walked back out into Diagon Alley toward the Leaky Cauldron. It was the easiest place to go for return floo journeys. "Have you decided how you're going to ask?"
"I'm not sure. I wanted to do something special. Maybe go to the park where we first kissed after we show them the house." She blushed a bit and shrugged. "Just as long as she says yes, I guess where doesn't matter."
"That's very true. After all, you're talking to the man who asked his husband in a hospital room."
Grinning, Hermione took Rupert's arm and they headed out of the alley and into the pub. She kept her head down, seeing a few people that she recognized, including the governor. Since she had been gone from the British wizarding world so long, she didn't want to get into a discussion about where she had been and why. Besides, she wanted to get back to her girlfriend, so they could show her and Wesley the house.
Soon they were back at the house, and they went out to the car Rupert had purchased a few weeks before, heading for the flat. Something struck Hermione as very wrong, though, when they walked in.
It was too quiet.
"Wesley, love?" Rupert called out. Suddenly, he spotted the note sitting there and picked it. "They've probably just nipped out for--what the bloody hell?"
"Rupert?" Hermione asked, feeling her heart pounding in her chest as she tried to see what was written on it.
"'Rupert - You may be leaving us for each other, but we're not going to let you and Hermione take the baby from us too, so we've gone. Don't try to find us. - Wesley and Fred.'"
"Wha--what?" She grabbed the chair in front of her, feeling as though her world had just been knocked off it's axis. She had heard him wrong. She had to have heard him wrong. Wesley and Fred didn't think that they were planning to leave them. She felt like her chest was caught in a vice and she couldn't breathe. "Fred?
"Why would they...?" He pulled out his mobile and tried to call Wesley, but no one answered. "It's off. I don't understand what's going on. They think we were leaving them?"
"FRED!" Hermione called out, finally moving and looking through the flat as though she might find her hidding in one of the closets. She felt herself getting more and more agitated. Fred was gone, and their connection was broken. She had no idea whether the note was real or if someone had kidnapped them and forced them to write that. "What if they've been taken? Oh, God, what if--there are Death Eaters still out there. What if they found me? What if they found Fred? What if they took her and Wesley to hurt us?"
"Hermione, we don't--."
Before Rupert could finish, Hermione pulled out her wand and went to find one of Fred's shirts. After putting it on, she started a locating spell. Immediately, she found herself being pulled to a motel somewhere up the coast. She had just seen the name when she let out a cry, unable to hold the spell, and suddenly, she crashed to the floor in the flat. As she did, she heard something snap.
"I...I..." She tried to sit up, only to find the world spinning and everything going black.
When she woke up, she was lying in a hospital bed, Rupert sitting next to her, his head buried in his hands. A cast was on her arm.
"Rupert," she whispered.
"Oh, Hermione. Thank God," he said softly. "When you collapsed after trying that spell, I didn't know what to do, so I brought you here. They said you broke your arm."
"Fred and Wesley?"
He shook his head. "I don't know."
"They're in a Motel 6. I managed to see it before I lost control. It's up the coast toward Sunnydale. We passed it, I remember."
"Go find them, Rupert." Tears came to her eyes. She needed Fred to be there. She didn't want to wait however long it might be before they let her out of here. "I'll be fine. Go find them. Please!"