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Chapter 8: Angelina Johnson: Getting Out of Bed
“Oh, this night is too long
Have no strength to go on
No more pain I'm floating away
Through the mist I see the face
Of an angel, calls my name
I remember you're the reason I have to stay”
Pale – Within Temptation
Inside the great castle walls a war was ravaging its very foundation, a battle that would later be known as good versus evil, prejudice versus tolerance. Angelina Johnson found herself in the midst of this very war. She was proud to stand up against the hatred that had been brewing for many years since Salazar Slytherin had been one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The hatred had then been passed on through his descendents including a very dark wizard named Tom Riddle, whom later changed his name to Lord Voldemort. The hatred grew and was spread amongst the wizarding community dividing pureblood wizards from Muggle born wizards, and the pure bloods that supported them. Now seventeen years after Lord Voldemort was destroyed when he cast a spell on an innocent infant, he was back with his followers in an attempt to finish what he had started.
Angelina was against these many followers known as Death Eaters. With each spell she cast, she thought about the life she had lived. She remembered each of the happy moments that had made this battle worth fighting in. She thought about receiving her first letter from Hogwarts. She thought about when she tried out for the Quidditch team and made it. She thought about the moments of pure laughter she spent with Katie Bell and Alicia Spinnet, her two very best friends. She remembered the most romantic moments spent alone with Fred Weasley, the man who only hours before had gotten down on one knee to propose. These were moments that she felt defined her life, the moments she thought would forever decide exactly who she was. In an instant those moments paled in comparison to the life she was about to face alone. She heard the scream, she saw the wall fall, and she watched the love of her life crushed beneath it. Fred Weasley, her fiancé, was dead.
She dropped her wand when he had fallen and she ran to him, screaming. People yelled out for her, watching the many curses that missed her by only inches. There was no stopping her as she frantically tried to resuscitate him. Her attempt proved fruitless; he was gone. She felt strong hands wrap their arms around her and pull her away from the scene, whispering gentle calming words in her ear. She turned in Lee Jordan’s arms and cried with abandon against his solid chest. He lifted her off the ground and followed Alicia down the hall to an unoccupied classroom. Alicia performed a charm and a flask appeared with a potion inside. She forced Angelina to drink it, and a calming sensation overcame the young witch.
As the days passed, Angelina refused to leave the refuge of her bed. She turned away all of her visitors, including her parents. She slept wrapped in Fred’s old shirt, ignoring the fact that the scent of him was beginning to fade on the old, worn fabric. The only time she left her bed was to go into the bathroom where she would expel any of the food or drink her mother had forced down her throat. Then she would cry until she was back in her bed and could succumb to her exhaustion.
Each time she slipped from consciousness, she relived the moments that she had shared with Fred. Each memory seemed fresh in her mind, as though to keep reminding her that she would never find true happiness again. She felt she would remain a hollow shell forever.
After another trip to the loo, she climbed back into her bed and willed herself back to sleep. Her mind transported her back to a day that she had always hoped she would never forget.
Fred was sitting on the small bench in the Hogwarts courtyard. His head was buried in the only book that she ever remembered seeing him read. “Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches,” Angelina read aloud with disbelief laced in her voice.
He snapped the book closed and looked at her as red crept across his pale face. “Just looking for some light reading,” he said casually.
“Who do you want to charm?” she asked, pretending to tease him but deep down wishing he’d say it was her.
“McGonagall of course,” he teased her back. “If only she would return my feelings of love.”
Angelina smiled, though she felt sad that he hadn’t said her. She turned her attention to the other students in the courtyard. Further off, she saw Percy pick up the quill that Penelope had dropped, and he was rewarded with a kiss. She truly wished for this to be her and Fred.
“Percy is such a prat,” Fred commented, obviously having witnessed the tender moment Angelina had been watching.
“Your book is failing you,” Angelina snapped as she stood up and started to walk away.
Fred was dumbfounded for a moment. “Whoa, Ange,” he called after her. “What did I do?”
She turned back. “You are so insensitive Fred. How could I have thought you would actually care for a girl, let alone be romantic?”
“Would you rather I did this?” Fred asked, as he lowered his mouth to hers and tenderly kissed her.
Angelina awoke to her mother placing a tray of food on the bed. “Time to eat dear,” the elder witch said.
Angelina opened her eyes and the light from the sun burned her retinas causing an instant headache to begin pulsating inside her skull. She tried to close them again, but her mother was persistent. “You’re wasting away.”
“It’s my life, and I can waste away if I want to,” Angelina said irritably, as she pulled the quilt back over her head.
Her mother pulled the blanket away and looked at her daughter with tear filled eyes. “I know you’re hurting right now, but not eating won’t bring him back. Your suffering cannot wake the dead.”
Angelina gave up trying to fight, as she was too weak anymore to do anything. She chewed slowly on the bread her mother handed her and then swallowed the lukewarm tea. Her stomach rolled with nausea as she finished. She lay back on her pillow and closed her eyes again.
She needed to escape reality once more and return to the dreams that brought her back to him. The dreams that made her remember why she loved him so deeply. As she slowly drifted off, a smile played upon her lips.
The bright sun glistened across the Quidditch pitch with not a cloud in the sky to hide behind. Not even a gentle breeze could relieve the heat. However, it was the perfect weather for a game, as Oliver Wood, the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, had pointed out. Slytherin was against Gryffindor in a game that would decide whether Gryffindor would take the cup for the first time in seven years.
Angelina soared through the air on her broomstick, trying to focus on the game and not the very attractive red head that was flying circles around the pitch. Things were tense, and she had a feeling this was going to be a very intense and possibly dangerous game, as the enmity between Slytherin and Gryffindor had grown even stronger.
However, Angelina managed to score the first goal of the game, and she felt filled with euphoria as her eyes met Fred’s and he winked at her as a smile pulled at the corners of his mouth. It was short-lived however when Marcus Flint, the captain of the Slytherin team, purposely slammed into her, causing her to almost fall from her broom.
A second later Fred retaliated by whipping the club in his hands directly at Flint’s head. It hit him from behind and sent his face into his broom, which made his nose bleed. Even though Gryffindor received a penalty for this, Angelina didn’t care. All that mattered to her was that Fred cared enough to hit another guy over the head for her.
She made eye contact with him again, and he was looking at her with concern, like he wanted to fly over and make sure nothing was broken. Instead he settled for accepting her smile. He blew a kiss in her direction before focussing his attention back on the game.
In the end Harry caught the snitch, which ended the game with a win for Gryffindor. Angelina could already hear the beginning of the celebration, as Gryffindors, and even Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws, were cheering loudly.
Fred immediately came to her side. “Are you okay?” he asked as his eyes did a visual check.
“I’m fine, but thanks for looking out for me,” she said gently.
“I wish I could have done a little more damage to Flint. Where does he get off trying to hurt you?”
“You know Slytherins don’t play by the rules. I’m fine, and I would rather you didn’t end up in Azkaban over me.”
“It would be worth it. You matter so much to me.”
“You matter to me t…” she couldn’t finish what she was saying as he dipped his mouth to hers. She felt her knees go weak at the way his lips felt on hers. She had found Heaven on Earth.
On the tenth day following Fred’s death, Angelina had yet another visitor. George Weasley opened the bedroom door and sat down on the chair in the corner of the room. He waited for Angelina to wake up, crying silently as he looked at his dead brother’s broken fiancé. After an hour he saw her small body stir on the large queen sized mattress. She rolled over and looked in the corner of the room. “Fred,” she whispered and his heart broke. She sat up quickly and stared through her foggy haze.
“I’m sorry Angie,” George spoke softly. The whimper that escaped her lips felt like a hex to the stomach. She began to cry harder as she looked at the man that was identical to the love of her life in almost every way, except that he wasn’t him and never would be.
“I missed you at the funeral,” George said gently, as he moved closer to her.
“I’m sorry,” she replied. “I just couldn’t face them. I don’t want to face anyone.”
“Hiding from the world won’t make your life without him any easier. Believe me, I’ve tried.”
“I can’t do this right now. I can’t deal with the fact that he is gone.”
“When are you going to be ready to deal with it?”
“When I choose to be,” she snapped. Her dark eyes slipped from anger to sadness again and tears started to fall down her face. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be angry with you. I know you’re trying to help.”
George took a moment to observe the young witch that was sitting before him. She was so much thinner than she had been only ten days before. Any joy that used to be present on her face, or in her eyes, was gone. Instead, her eyes were hollow, and her face was stoic. The underbelly of her eyes was swollen from the many tears she had cried over her loss. He couldn’t begin to imagine the depth of pain she must be experiencing, and he decided he didn’t even want to try.
“Can I go back to sleep now?” she asked gently. Her voice wavered and he could tell she was very weak.
“I think it would be better if you came with me. I don’t want to leave you here like this.”
Angelina seemed to consider this for a moment but the fear of leaving her bed won out, and she politely refused to go. She asked if perhaps another time would work for him.
He asked again, as she caught sight of the unshed tears that were glistening in his eyes. She frowned and dropped her body back down on the mattress. Her head sunk into her feather down pillow, and she knew if she tried she could go back to sleep in only seconds where she would once again relive her memories of him.
“I don’t think so,” she answered. She knew he was trying to help her, but she felt it was pointless as nothing could help. Nothing would fill the empty void that consumed her.
“Come on Angie. You’re stronger than this. I know you are. I’ve seen it.”
“I appreciate that you believe that, but I really don’t have the energy right now.”
George frowned. He set something down on the bed next to her and left. Angelina let her curiousity get the better of her and she opened the parchment.
If you’re reading this it is because I didn’t make it through the war. I asked George to give this to you. It is a few reminders of what we had and the people that I know are going to be there to help you through it. George will be strong for you if you can’t be, Alicia will talk you through anything and cry with you when you need her to. Katie will help you plot ridiculous schemes and make you smile. Lee will remind you of the good times when the pain gets to be too much. My mother will cook for you and hug you tighter than you’ll have ever felt. Please let these people help you. They want to, and I want to know that you are surviving this. I love you so much, and I hate that I won’t be there to spend my life with you. I never thought this would ever be a reality, or maybe I didn’t want to believe it. Since it is, the only thing I can do is give you one last look at what we had and provide you with a chance to let go.
I thought I would share my favourite memory of us. It was the night of the Yule Ball. You looked so beautiful in your long, dark red dress, with your hair pulled back. I wanted to kiss you right then and there, but I knew you, or Katie and Alicia, would hex me for messing up your hair or makeup. So, instead, I opted to admire just how amazing you looked. That night as you danced wildly in my arms, I knew I was madly in love with you. I decided then that I never wanted to hold anyone else the way I held you. You truly were my angel. Later, when you and I slept together for the first time, I knew you were the woman I was going to spend my life with. The good news is that you were the woman I spent my life with. I can’t be the man that does that for you, but I want you to be happy. Please find happiness and love where you can. You deserve it.
I don’t really have much else to say. I’m not good at dealing with my emotions, but you know that. Please take care of George. You are both sharing in this pain, and if you hang onto each other, I have faith that you’ll both survive.
Goodbye Angel, I’ll love you forever and always. Fred
As Angelina read the last word on the parchment, she pressed her face into her pillow as her whole body shook. She choked on her sobs. These were his last words to her. She felt like the strongest of Cruciatus curses had been cast upon her. She was in agony. Memories flew through her mind. She remembered the taste of his kiss and the gentle way his fingers caressed her bare skin. She could still hear the sound of his laboured breathing and the way he’d whisper her name as they came together. He had always been gentle with her, always so considerate and loving. She felt even emptier as she realized no man could ever touch her the same way. No man could possibly make her yearn for him the way Fred always did. He filled her life in so many ways, and now her life had nothing that could bring her joy. She imagined she might never laugh or smile again.
She crawled to the window and looked out at the empty garden. Her mind filled with images of the moments they spent out there together. She wanted to die, but at the same time she knew she had to live for him.
Slowly and with great effort, she wrapped her dressing gown around her shoulders and went downstairs and out into the sunlight. The heat felt almost unbearable at first and the brightness of the sun’s rays burned her eyes as she had become so immune to the darkness.
She wandered further, as her eyes scanned the breathtaking landscape. Nothing had changed since she had last walked through the narrow pathway that led her to the edge of the forest. The world had continued around her, unfazed by her broken heart. This reality slammed against her and she dropped to her knees as she continued to cry with abandon. She had no idea how she was going to live without him. He had been her life for so long, and now she would never have him to rely on. She had to be strong for herself and that scared her more than anything.
She dragged herself up from the ground, fighting the nausea that was overtaking her. She tried to push away the sadness that clouded her mind. She had to keep going for him. For the life he died for. Every muscle in her body tried to fight her will to go on. Pain ripped through her, but she took one step at a time as she walked further towards the tree line.
She pulled her wand out of the pocket of her gown and cast a Patronus that would go straight to George. Within minutes she knew he would be back for her and would help her to begin her life again. She had four amazing friends that would help her pick back up the fragmented pieces of her life. It was time to escape the safety of her bed and the dreams that would forever remind her of the love she lost. However, she was comforted in knowing some day those memories would not bring sadness and tears, but a smile at what she had had.
A/N: Thank you to Ron Hermione Forever 246 for making sure there were no mistakes.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything to do with Harry Potter.