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A/N: Hello, everyone! I've decided that I'm going to reboot this story and I hope that you guys enjoy the changes that I've made! Enjoy the first chapter and let me know what you think! This story contains profanity and violence so please be aware that this is not for anyone younger than eighteen. Much love.
Angelina Johnson sat nervously in a chair by the fire as she thought about what she would most likely have to do, without her parents knowing of course where she intended to go. They of course would not appreciate the fact that she, their only child was going back to Hogwarts, via Apparition to Hogsmeade and sneaking her way back into the school with her friend, Alicia Spinnet.
The two of them would go into hysterics if they caught a wind of what she was going to do and they would most likely try to stop her or go with her. They were former Gryffindors after all, but she couldn't risk the two of them getting hurt. Although she was half-blood and by most standards quite safe from the war that was raging, Angelina couldn't stand those silly pureblood laws that demanded that they rise above other (Muggles and Muggle-born) people and destroy them.
It was all a bunch of nonsense in her opinion but no one wanted to hear that right now so she simply sat there, worrying and waiting for her friend to arrive. Alicia would most likely be a little late, she would be making sure that her parents and siblings were taken care of first before she did anything and Angelina could understand that.
Her own parents were safely tucked away in their beds and because she knew that they would expect her to see sense. Angelina knew that they wouldn't wake up anytime soon to realize that she had, indeed, left them. It burned her heart to do it but she had to fight, she couldn't stand not knowing and waiting while friends were killed...people she had known for years and had grown to love... “Don't think about that.” She whispered desperately to herself while looking at the D.A. coin that had given the urgent message for them to assemble.
But thoughts of her other friends, Oliver Wood, Katie Bell...The Weasley twins, Fred and George, kept flashing through her mind. She had a feeling that this was going to be the night and if she lost any of them without being there, she wouldn't be able to live with herself.
Or anyone. Suddenly, there was a discreet knocking on her door and Angelina rose from her seat and held out her wand, muttering, “Bring it,” to herself. There was no telling who it could be at this hour, with Death Eaters roaming all over the town and demanding entrance to do their dirty work, it could be anyone but she wasn't going to take any chances and have them come here and hurt her family, or herself.
But when she walked over to the door and cautiously opened it, she saw no one but her dear friend Alicia Spinnet, staring up at her from under a long, black cloak. Although they had known one another on the Quidditch team for years, she had always marveled at how unbearably shy her friend could be, “Angie? It's me. Are you ready to go?” she asked in a low whisper.
Angelina blew out a sigh of relief and stepped slowly out the door and locked it as she slipped outside. For a moment they simply stared at each other, grim and silent before she engulfed her friend in a tight hug, “Thank you for coming, you didn't have to.”
“But I did have to, this might be the last time that I...” Alicia trailed off hesitantly and held her tighter. For someone who could play so viciously on the pitch, she was actually quite gentle and Angelina worried that she might be more affected by the coming events than anyone, “if something happened to any of you and I wasn't there, it would kill me.”
Angelina nodded in understanding before pulling playfully on the hood of her cloak, knowing that on any other day, she would have hated hiding her blonde hair. “Never thought I'd see you hiding your pretty face,” she teased and Alicia blushed a little and turned her nose up at her, “let's get out of here, we don't want to miss anything.” She said tightly.
Alicia watched as she turned swiftly and began placing protective charms over the small home that she had lived in all her life. It hurt to leave it behind but her parents had to be protected and the note she left would explain everything to them and if they found it and didn't faint, they would know where she was and want to join her.
But not now, she had a feeling that the beginning of this battle would get bloody and she didn't want to see them hurt. Both of them were already stressed out enough as it was, what with the Ministry of Magic so twisted and when she finished, Angelina walked a ways with Alicia in the warm night air, she had lit the fireplace earlier for something to do and to warm her cold hands.
But nothing would make it go away, not until that bastard He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was put in his place. Angelina only hoped that Harry Potter got the chance to stick it to the jerk, and she hoped, more importantly, that he didn't die in the process, the Dark Lord was very adamant about having Harry killed. That was something that she couldn't bear either, she liked the kid and she didn't want to see him hurt, he was already so kind to others and to think of that kindness stripped away from the world made her grit her teeth angrily.
Alicia suddenly snatched her hand and they hid behind an alleyway as two Death Eaters stalked by, both of them looking grim as they faded from sight. Her friend's hand was soft and warm but she could detect the faintest of tremors and gave her a supportive squeeze, “Are you ready?” she asked.
Angelina nodded once they were sure the Death Eater's were gone. Without a moments hesitation, the two of them looked at each other, and after giving her hand another squeeze, Alicia was soon transported to Hogsmeade, via side-along apparition.
And once their feet touched ground, the two of them gasped. Hogsmeade looked completely different from the last time that they had been here, the shudders of many stores were closed, buildings looked ransacked and the stench of fear was strong. Angelina pushed Alicia back a bit, “Oliver should be meeting us and then we'll head to the Hogs Head,”she whispered.
They waited against a darkened corner of a building for a long time, both of them growing concerned by the ominous sight of Hogwarts in the distance. It was so beautiful, and yet, so close to being taken away forever. Alicia suddenly swallowed hard, “Angie?”
“Are you scared?”Alicia asked around a shudder.
Angelina nodded. “Of course but we have to do what we have to do.”
“I don't want to die,” Alicia said fiercely.
“Then don't,” Angelina said shortly. A moment passed between them, a cat howled in pain and then— “Protego!” from up ahead. The two girls looked at each other for a split second before dashing up ahead, wands drawn, to see what the issue was and they stumbled a bit at the sight of Oliver Wood already battling a ferocious looking Death Eater, Katie Bell beside him.
The Death Eater looked as if he had been caught unawares, his eyes as big as saucers as he held out his wand, clumsily shouting. “Crucio—” only to have it blocked.
Katie shot a well- aimed jinx at him that he was too slow to dodge and crumpled to the ground in a heaping pile of robes. He groaned weakly, holding his chest where the spell had struck him, “I'll take care of this,” Angelina said while rushing over, wand still held high, “Stupefy,” she whispered viciously at the man.
There was a slight crack before the Death Eater fell to his side and lay still. Oliver Wood turned to look at her in relief and she saw his familiar grin spreading across his face, “So you made it, huh?” the fact that he had been with Puddlemore United since he had graduated only to return here spoke of how much Hogwarts really meant to him. When Quidditch wasn't involved, he was mild tempered and a bit more reserved than most people expected, “didn't think you'd show,” Angelina heard him say teasingly.
“Of course I made it. Don't be stupid,” Angelina said tightly while nodding at Katie Bell, who grinned at her impishly. The pair hugged tightly for a minute before she released her, staring into the familiar features that she had known for so long, “snuck away from your gran's all right?” she asked her, watching as her friend pushed a lock of brown hair behind her ear.
Katie nodded solemnly, her brown eyes a tad glassy. Her parents had died when she had been very young and her grandmother had raised her like her own ever since, “It was hard but I had to. I didn't want her worrying about me more than she has already,” she explained.
Alicia and Oliver had exchanged a quick hug but Angelina heard her friend ask, almost in a whisper that made her chest ache. “Have you heard from Lee...?” the worry in her voice could have broken anyone's heart and Angelina exchanged a look with Katie, hoping that the fear in her eyes wasn't so easily seen.
“I haven't in a few months, I'm sure he's all right. He's with the twins and they're practically triplets you know,” Oliver said to Alicia reassuringly, patting her on the shoulder. The girl bowed her head for a moment and Angelina watched her former Quidditch captain turn to the two of them, “Lee and the twins have been doing a good job with Potter Watch, I never miss it.”
Angelina had been worried about the twins and their friend Lee Jordan while they had been on the run these past few months. They had each gone their separate ways after graduation but had kept in close touch until the War had started to get out of control and she felt a pang, hoping that the three boys were unharmed, “They're a bunch of nutters but they're brave, I'll give them that,” Katie said fondly, giving Oliver a soft smile.
Oliver's cheeks turned a bit pink and he coughed stupidly in his fist. Almost as if he had forgotten, he indicated the unconscious Death Eater, “Erm, let's get out of here before more of them show up.” The four of them walked slowly and cautiously towards the Hogs Head, a place no one would have wanted to go on any other occasion.
When they knocked, there was a short pause and then the door was yanked open and they were roughly jerked inside. As soon as they were inside, they were released, “What are you all bloody doing? Coming up into my pub...” the man grumbled, who could only be Aberforth.
“We were told to come here.” Oliver said annoyingly with a frown as they watched the man shuffling about with a scowl on his craggy face. He hadn't appreciated being man handled and Angelina could see a spark of his temper flaring before Katie placed a hand on his arm, “We want to get inside of the castle.”
Aberforth grunted irritably and Angelina thought he looked a lot similar to Dumbledore, but thought that was a bit stupid. The old man glared at her for a moment as if he had read her mind before he gave a grunt of understanding, “Of course you fools do.” He nodded at a tall painting of a wan looking girl, who smiled and turned away, “Potter and his friends were here not too long ago. They wanna make a go of it.”
Alicia was shrugging out of her cloak and tossed it onto a rickety chair. There was a fierce look to her face now and Angelina sent her a smile, even as butterflies danced in her belly, “Well, its great to hear that he's alive.” She said with a relieved sigh.
Angelina nodded, her hand on her wand tight. Katie asked worriedly, “How did he look?”
“Like hell, that's how he looked!” Aberforth grunted angrily. “He looked scared, and determined and...” he hesitated before adding reluctantly. “Brave. I sent him on his way with Longbottom.”
“Longbottom?” Oliver asked in surprise. “You mean, Neville Longbottom?”
Angelina felt a moment of doubt. It was common knowledge that Neville wasn't exactly the brightest bulb in the box, “Are you sure that you meant Neville?” she asked in disbelief.
There was a slight creaking just then that alerted them to the portrait, which had swung open. A round faced boy was peeking his head out, “Whats that supposed to mean?” he asked indignantly.
“Nothing,” Angelina said lamely, taking in his bruised face in shock. “Hello, Neville.”
“Well, come on. I didn't want to come back but I had to make sure that you guys were all right first, you know.” Neville said with a shrug and the group hoisted themselves into the portrait hole. “I wanted to see if anymore were coming but if this is it?”
“Aren't there enough people, Neville?” Katie asked.
“There are...some people.” Neville said as they walked.
Angelina groaned inwardly. “We're outnumbered aren't we?”
“Don't be that way, Angie, it makes for better sport.” Oliver said with competitive pride.
Alicia let out a nervous breath. “Are Harry and the others really there, Neville?”
“Of course they are. Only, Harry doesn't want us to fight for him, he wants to handle this on his own, but we can't do that, we can't let him win.” Neville said fiercely.
Angelina didn't blame Harry but he was being sort of stupid about this. They had to fight, it wasn't just him that was in trouble here, there were so many other lives at stake and she just couldn't stand not knowing, “Are the Weasleys there?” Katie grinned at her. “You know, Fred and George?”
“Of course they're there, they sent for us.” Oliver reminded Angelina with a snort.
“For all we know they could have gotten delayed, Death Eaters have been watching them too, you know.” Angelina snapped back and she thought she heard Katie laugh.
Oliver gave her a dry look but didn't respond. “Yeah, they're here.” Neville said with a look over at them. “Whole family, except, you know, Ginny can't fight because she's under aged and everything.” He said.
Angelina had a feeling that Ginny was going to get her way in the end but the thought quickly passed as they finally reached the end of the long tunnel. They were all panting as they suddenly entered a large room that was packed with people from nearly every House and she felt a moment of intense pride and hope.
Harry was nowhere in sight but she spotted Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, who were whispering together and looking worried beyond belief. “What are you all doing here?” someone shouted and Angelina turned, finally getting out of the portrait hole, to look over at the voice.
Fred and George Weasley were rushing over, grinning. They looked well but a little battered and she felt her shoulders sagging with relief, “Just couldn't let us have all the fun, huh?” Fred teased.
“You contacted us, stupid.” Alicia said with a laugh.
Angelina hadn't seen them in a while and hugged them both before Alicia and Katie were able to get their turn, for perhaps the last time. She looked away from their grinning faces and stared around at the other students, recognizing faces and feeling her heart constricting at the thought of never seeing them again, whether she knew them or not.
“Hey, Angie, relax, everything will work out.”
Angelina jumped at the sound of George's voice so close to her and smiled up at him. She had always liked him, he had a way of calming her when no one else could and he knew it too, “I was just thinking, that's all.”
“I hate thinking, I try to leave that all to Percy,” George whispered.
“Is he here?” Angelina asked worriedly.
“No.” George said shortly. “But you know, whatever. We'll be fine without him,” he said scathingly.
Angelina could hear his doubt and chose not to say anything about it. “Are you scared?”
“Me neither then,”
George wrapped his arm around her shoulder and kissed her temple in that brotherly way he always had, making her grumble. “Oh, Angie. What would I do without you?” he asked and before she could say anything he had walked off, now cracking jokes to Lavender Brown and Dean Thomas.
Katie sidled up to her. “You know, you should really get to telling him.”
“Shut up,” Angelina said tightly.
“You've liked him for years!” Katie said annoyingly. “Remember? You were hoping he was going to ask you to the Yule Ball but Fred asked first.”
Angelina remembered that. Fred had just blurted it out at her and she had been so surprised and flattered that she had agreed, smirking. But it had only been afterward that she had wished that George had asked her instead. It probably would have ended with a kiss and a confession instead of getting drunk on fire whiskey and chasing Percy around with Dungbombs,“Katie,” she warned.
Katie pursed her lips and Angelina was momentarily distracted as she heard Ron and Hermione whispering something about a bathroom. She wondered if they had nervous pees or something. Anyone would be wanting to have a full bladder at this rate, “Angie. Its now or never,”
“Everything will be fine and I'll tell him later!”
“There might not be a later!” Katie hissed warningly.
Angelina felt the blood drain from her face at that and looked down at her trembling fingers and shrugged out of her robes and rolled up her sleeves, she didn't want to think about it. “George and Fred will be fine.” She stated firmly. “I'll tell him later.”
“If you like him, this is the perfect time to say so!” Katie snapped.
That caused a flush to spread into Angelina's cheeks but she shot her friend an irritable look regardless. “What about you and Oliver?” she asked in a low whisper, watching in satisfaction as Katie's cheeks turned scarlet, “you've liked him for just as long but you never made a move on him or anything.”
Katie shot her a glare and tried not to look embarrassed. It had come as a shock that she had harbored such a crush on Oliver when they were nothing alike, “I tried getting Oliver to go out with me ages ago but he turned me down. He said I was too demanding for him,” she grumbled and Angelina blinked in surprise, feeling sorry that she had teased her.
“You know how easy going he is. If it doesn't have anything to do with Quidditch he's not an angry guy at all.” Angelina said with a worried look at how miserable her face became. Alicia had expressed the same concerns when Katie had revealed how deep her crush went, “just...be a bit more gentle with him but you know, its now or never.”
That earned a wry smile from Katie that made Angelina scowl warningly. She watched as her friend pointed idly over to George, who was causing Lavender Brown to roar with laughter and grip Dean Thomas's arm for support, “I don't see why you won't just ask him! There's no excuse, its not like George would say no or anything!”
“What do you mean?” Angelina asked in alarm.
Katie stared at her in bewilderment. “Didn't you know, Angie?” when Angelina only stared down at her in confusion, she heaved a weary sigh, looking pitying, “Merlin, the two of you are pathetic. Its obvious to everyone else that George would do anything for you if he was sure it would make you happy,” she said with a weary sigh.
Before Angelina could tell her to shut up again and stop making up ridiculous lies, Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood (She looked the same as ever, doe eyed and strangely alert in her aloof way) rushed back into the room and they all stared at him expectantly. He looked as though he hadn't slept in years and there was so much dirt and blood on him that he seemed unbearably small, which made her anger all the more at the cruelty of the situation. What kind of horrible bastard tried to kill a bunch of kids anyway?
“Whats the plan?” someone asked and she thought it might have been Professor Lupin, who was standing with Kingsley.
Harry was looking over at his old Quidditch team and Angelina grinned at him until he was forced to look away, his eyes hard. There was no telling what he had been through and she saw that the gawky little kid that she had known was gone forever, “We're fighting. We have to go to the Great Hall....” he might have said something else but Angelina was already rushing past him with the rest of her friends, George sidling up to her right and Fred on her left, both of them deadly calm.
Her wand, a cherry and ten quarter inches with unicorn hair was drawn and she was feeling so much strength emanating from it that she knew that it was as eager and as nervous about this battle as she was. People were thundering past her, Ron and Hermione rushing off faster than anyone else, “I'm sure we can find more than enough fangs down there, hurry up!” the redhead commanded to the girl as they ran.
Angelina had no idea what they would need with a fang or why Hermione had been staring at him with such an awed look but she shrugged it away. This would probably be the last time that she would see Hogwarts like this and it caused an ache to form in her chest, the walls, the corridors and the portraits were as familiar to her as her very own home.
It seemed to take forever as she and various students continued rushing to the Great Hall, Hogwarts ghosts flying over their heads. Peeves had an unusual look of concentration on his face as he soared through Parvati Patil's torso, ignoring her squeal, “Good to see you, Angie!” Lee Jordan said suddenly from beside Angelina as they rounded a corner, his dread locks whipping around his head.
“You too, Lee!” Angelina said with a laugh, stopping briefly to hug him. The two of them had bickered constantly during school but she had always thought of him and Fred as brothers she would never have and it was good to see him, “where were you? I didn't see you in the Room of Requirement!”
Lee shrugged his shoulders slightly but she could see a few scars on his dark skin as his forehead crinkled in thought. It looked like he hadn't really slept in months, “Well, I was talking to Susan Bones for a minute before Alicia found me. I wound up talking to her for a long time, she's amazing, ” he said with another shrug, though he appeared regretful about something, “its weird how I never noticed.”
Angelina wondered what he meant but he only gave her a swift kiss on the cheek and continued on his way, unaware of her heart nearly breaking. This was going to be the fight and battle of a lifetime and she felt her throat constrict as George suddenly took her hand and guided her the rest of the way into the Great Hall, “Come on, Angie.” He said softly, ushering her over to the Gryffindor table.
Fred was already there and placed a hand on her shoulder and she felt instantly comforted. The two of them were grim but there was a manic need for action in both of their eyes that made her spine tingle with eagerness, Angelina had always felt connected to the two of them, they were her best friends, aside from Katie and Alicia, Lee and Oliver.
“Its going to be okay, Angie. You don't need to be scared.” Fred said reassuringly.
But she was scared. She was very scared, but she wouldn't let them worry. George was looking down at her with a soft look in his eyes and her heart chose that moment to beat stupidly in her chest, she hated it when he looked at her like she was some weak kneed little girl. Sometimes she wished that she was so she could have him look at her like the boys looked at students like Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil. Angelina forced herself to smile, “We'll see each other after this is over and have a butterbeer, find Percy and goof on him like always.”
Percy had shown up at some point while she'd been arguing with Katie but she couldn't see him now. The Weasleys really did have very red hair and even she could easily spot him in the midst of the crowd, looking surprisingly fierce. “Of course. First thing on our list once this mess is over.” Fred assured her.
George sat down next to her as Professor McGonagall and the rest of the Order of the Phoenix began talking to the students, ghosts and the teachers that had drowsily arrived. They were going to make a fight of it and when some stupid girl asked where Snape had ran off to, she was delighted when McGonagall told them all that he had taken a short break.
At some point a hush fell over the crowd and Angelina could see Harry in the middle of it all, looking small and grim and scared. But there was a steely determination in him that made her slightly concerned but she ignored it as she saw something else that made her skin prickle. Colin Creevey had somehow lied his way back into Hogwarts and he was sitting with his younger brother, Dennis and she had the sneaking suspicion that things weren't going to end too well, he was too young.
Way too young, but the more she thought about it, she couldn't help but remember that Luna Lovegood and Ginny Weasley were also underage. Her heart beat horribly at the thought of young students dying. All because they had decided to say no to the cruelty, to the evil and the wrongness that You-Know-Who thrived on, all because they were all going to say no. Angelina looked over at George and he glanced at her with a warm smile that flooded into her veins and to the center of her chest. She quickly looked over at the teachers that she had known for so long, recognizing Flitwick, Slughorn, Sprout and countless others that were also going to say no. They weren't going to let this happen.
And she wouldn't either.
The Great Hall was tense and when Lord Voldemort's voice burst over the Hall and filled them with the ultimatum to either give Harry up or die, Angelina stood up, wand in hand and said, “Fuck this. I'm not going to give up shit,” much to Fred and George's amusement.
They were around Harry now, some of them holding hands, others pointing wands at the foolish girl that had said that they should do as the Dark Fool wanted. Well, he was going to have a hell of a time getting to him while they were around, of that she was sure, “I was only suggesting it!” she could hear the girl, some Slytherin bitch (Pansy?) shouting to the others that had advanced on her maliciously.
Professor McGonagall gave them all a look and ordered that they be evacuated out of Hogwarts but warned them in a tone that was colder than ice that if they stepped within the castle again and took up arms against the rest of them, they would be killed. Some of the Slytherins blanched and Angelina watched as Draco Malfoy looked between his two cronies, Crabbe and Goyle, whispering feverishly. She narrowed her eyes on him meanly, wishing that she could send a good hex at him, the person who had nearly taken the light out of Hogwarts.
Malfoy had nearly killed Dumbledore but instead, had allowed Snape to do it instead. As if he knew the trail of her thoughts, the boy looked up at her suddenly as the Slytherins were leaving and she saw a brief flash of shame in his grey eyes. Angelina blinked and it was gone, replaced by nothingness and she deemed that that was somehow a lot worse. But now was not the time to worry about that. Professor Lupin was taking a few brave students out onto the grounds, others were mobilizing all over the castle, enchanting whatever they thought could help and some were whispering about places to hide and ambush.
Angelina knew before anyone else did that she would be at the Quidditch pitch, she had suddenly gotten a bright idea. “Where did Harry go?” someone asked, the voice touched with worry and she recognized it as Mrs. Weasley's and felt her chest lurch with pain.
It had to be terrible for a mother to know that she might lose her children but Angelina shook the thought of, worrying about Harry now. She had no idea where he had gone but hoped that he was going to be okay, hating that she didn't have time to worry about it...the most ridiculously crazy idea had just sprang into her head and she just had to do it, “You've got a crazy look in your eye.” Alicia suddenly said, appearing from out of nowhere.
Angelina jumped at the sight of her and grinned wildly. “I sure do.”
“You don't mind if I tag along, do you?” Alicia asked worriedly as she twiddled with he wand, her eyes wandering over the Great Hall. Angelina followed her eyes, surprised to see that she was watching Lee, her lower lip trembling, “I'm turning into a watering pot all by myself.”
The fear that was bouncing off of her was enough to have Angelina taking her hands gently in her own and giving them a squeeze. “Its going to be all right,” she whispered softly and Alicia nodded, blue eyes welling with tears, “don't ruin that pretty face by crying tonight...I don't think Lee would like it,” she added slyly.
Alicia spluttered, jerking her hands away abruptly. “W..what are you talking about?” she demanded and Angelina raised her brows, ignoring the sight of students and ghosts clambering all around them, shouting out spells, encouragement and support, “I have a boyfriend!” her friend cried, cheeks flaming.
“You do?” Angelina asked in genuine surprise. “Who?”
Alicia blushed harder, blue eyes turning misty. “Its not important...happened right before graduation...didn't want to say...too much going on...” she mumbled embarrassingly and Angelina couldn't help but notice that her eyes had strayed back to Lee, who was enchanting a few mirrors with his wand, the glass shimmering like diamonds.
“Licia...if you want to say something, now's the time.” Angelina whispered worriedly.
“The boys are leaving,” Katie interrupted as she walked over to the pair of them, watching Oliver walking off with a slew of students and teachers, looking grim. “God, I love him.”
Alicia snickered. “Why don't you go say so, then?”
Katie stiffened a little but shot them both significant looks. Angelina had lost track of Fred and George but quickly spotted them standing a few feet away, deep in conversation, “I'm going for it, ladies but in the meantime,” she quickly kissed their cheeks and, giving them a look that tore at her soul, darted off. “Oi, Oliver! Wait up—I've gotta tell you something!”
Angelina watched Oliver pause with his group to allow Katie to catch up and felt a vicious kick to her stomach, hoping that this wouldn't be the last time that she would be seeing all of her friends alive. “The boys are about to leave now,” Alicia suddenly said, her eyes still roaming the Great Hall for Lee, who had moved on to join Professor Flitwick and a group of Ravenclaws.
“Really...already?” Angelina asked in a slight panic, she hadn't even noticed that the twins had moved away, talking about the best ways to get an advantage on the Death Eaters. They all looked so brave, “I didn't get to...” she trailed off miserably and clenched her fists.
Fred and George were going to take some students at the secret passageways to wait for the Death Eaters, their faces hard. Angelina saw Hannah Abbott and several others volunteer to go with them, “We'll see you guys around,” one of the twins said as she felt the gentlest of kisses on her cheek before they walked away.
But because Angelina was so scared, so exhilarated and filled with sudden frenzy, she missed if the soft kiss had been from Fred or George. Turning away from Alicia's worried gaze, she concentrated on their retreating backs, watching as Fred turned and waved, George gave her a wink that made her toes curl. “Promise?” she shouted, reminding them of that drink and the inevitable annoyance of his older brother Percy.
Fred roared with laughter and George shouted back happily. “We promise, Angie!” his smile was enough to chase the fear away for a few seconds, “see you then!”
Angelina watched them go, unable to smile back.
A/N: Hello, again! Had to do some editing on this chapter so I apologize for anyone who wanted to read this and had some trouble! Anyway, here it is, the second chapter and I'd like a review please and I hope you enjoy it very much, this is not a popular shipping but I thought it deserved a FF so any read I get on this story is very appreciated! Much love, as always.
“Tell me again why we're out here doing this?”Alicia asked Angelina annoyingly as the two of them lugged the heavy wooden box back up towards Hogwarts. The Quidditch supply room had been broken into only a few minutes before and she was surprised by just how heavy it was, though it may have been her nerves weighing down every action. Angelina hadn't been able to banish her wild idea but she wondered bleakly if it would be enough to stop the horrors to come, “I thought that you had a pretty good idea but this just seems kinda crazy.” Her friend continued dryly. There was a frown working onto her face and her blonde hair appeared to glow like liquid silver in the muted light around them, the castle glowing like a forbidden bonfire in the distance, “I can't believe that I let you drag me out here like this.” The girl complained. Angelina shot her an irritable look as they continued walking, the grounds were swarming with students and teachers, waiting for the fight that was going to come. Even though the night would probably be the most terrible that she could have ever endured, the air was clean and the moon was ominously full, so full that Angelina thought that it might pop and cover them in some kind of protective charm.
Angelina was far more afraid than she would have allowed herself to admit and she waited for some sort of miracle, some sort of blessing. It never arrived and she gave Alicia a look, “Look, I know that this is taking a lot more out of us than we thought but I have to do something.” Her voice was firm but she must have appeared more determined than angry because Alicia's expression softened. They could have used their wands to carry the box but neither of them were thinking clearly at the moment and using magic for something like this felt like a waste, “everyone else is going to be trying their hardest and I want to do the same. We'll be all right if this idea of mine works,” she continued with a small frown. She was a little worried that they hadn't seen Katie again since she had run after Oliver in the Great Hall but she didn't voice this fear out loud, praying that they would see one another again when this was all over, “I'm going to enchant the Bludgers and send them flying at the Death Eaters when they start coming at us.” She suddenly explained as they set the heavy box down on the ground, her fingers throbbing.
“What?” Alicia asked in disbelief, a wry smile playing across her lips.
“They're not walking into this school without a fight, Alicia,” Angelina said fiercely while opening the trunk of Quidditch gear. Memories swamped her for several seconds and she tried not to allow the tears prickling in the corners of her eyes overwhelm what had to be done, “I don't want them to think that they've scared us enough to back down. This war has cost a lot of people their lives and if we don't make a stand now, then they'll never be at peace—it's something that my grandparents used to tell me, a person should never die for nothing.” Alicia appeared a little uncomfortable with the grim words but they were true. Angelina knew that too many people had been killed because of one wizard's insanity and she wouldn't let them down by being a coward, “you know as well as I do that getting hit in the face with a Bludger can put you in the hospital. If we do this right, we might be able to catch a few of these Death Eaters off guard,” the struggling Bludgers were fighting against their leather straps and she quickly took out her wand. “George taught me a spell that might help, he's always been a lot better at Charms than me,”
Alicia withdrew her wand. “So what do we do?”
Angelina inhaled for a few minutes and tried to think of the precise spell that George had taught her and although he had ended up making the trees around them fight, it should be powerful enough to work now. Her chest tightened at the thought of him but she voiced out the spell to Alicia, the tip of their wands pointed at the Bludgers like hissing snakes, “I just hope that this works.” She whispered softly as they performed the complex spell that brought them to life, “George told me that if I do this correctly, the objects will only attack when I tell them to.” Alicia stared at her doubtfully but appeared surprised when the rattling Bludgers stopped after a sharp command. “Thank God, could you help me with these?”
Alicia was staring at her with open mouthed amazement but hastily nodded and opened one of the leather straps with a few deft tugs. A strand of her hair had fallen over her forehead and she brushed it aside irritably, though she closed her eyes tightly as if she expected the Bludger to smash directly into her face, “I'm going to have to thank George for this spell someday.” Her voice cracked slightly and Angelina tried not to think of the sickening possibilities. The thought of never seeing George again was enough to break her apart, she loved him too much to live a day without him, “I can't believe that this actually worked.” The girl murmured softly as the Bludger remained exactly where it was and didn't immediately try to attack her. A grey light had fallen over them and they seemed to pulse for several minutes as if they were struggling against the magic that was keeping them in place, “are you sure that they'll know what to do?”
“Of course. Until I tell them to,” Angelina said grimly.
“Angie...” Alicia hesitated.
Angelina stared at her in concern. “What is it?”
“Do you think that we stand a chance?” Alicia asked quietly.
The night air brushed by them like a ghost and Angelina knew that there was a chance that they might die tonight but she had to force herself to remain strong. Alicia appeared so fragile that she worried what would happen to her if the oncoming battle forced them apart, “This might be the only chance that we have to make a difference and I know that we'll make it through this. We're Gryffindors,” she said confidently as they released five more Bludgers. Alicia smiled at her but took her hand for a brief moment, squeezing away the fear that had worked into her system and they stood together in silence, breathing in the moment. The Bludgers hovered over their heads and vibrated with suppressed energy, as if they were brimming with blood lust. Angelina allowed her friend's hand to fall away and was so caught up in her own thoughts that she didn't immediately notice the swarm of activity nearby, there were suddenly dozens upon dozens of students surrounding them and it looked like some sort of shaking army but she could smell the defiance in the air, could feel it tainting her skin and she swallowed hard and waited.
Across from them, the Forbidden Forest loomed just as dangerous and as darkly menacing as always but it held another fear this time. Briefly, Angelina wished that she had had enough sense to get Hagrid's dreaded Blast Ended Skrewts (George had recounted their horror from Ron one night when they'd had a brief moment alone together and she'd laughed then, but now she desperately wished for the help) but there was only one or two left and she had a sneaking suspicion that Hagrid had taken them away so they wouldn't be hurt. Something zoomed above them and Angelina looked up to see several students on their brooms, bags of something in their hands. The smell was noxious and Alicia covered her nose as Angelina asked what was in the bags and was delighted when they told her it was undiluted Bubotuber puss that they were going to lug it over the walls. They flew away before she could congratulate them.
Others were in good groups of five or ten, each of them circling, practicing for the battle that was going to happen. Angelina swallowed hard before jumping in surprise as something large, inhuman and made of stone came close to her shoulder, “What in the hell?” she murmured. The ground shook and rumbled as more of the creatures arrived and she looked up in surprise to see that it was a monstrous statue from the school next to her, a scythe in hand and a tense look in its eyes, regarding the Forest. There were thousands, literally, thousands behind it, surrounding and protecting the students. A flush spread over her exposed skin and it was nearly impossible to understand the feeling that enveloped her just then and she wanted nothing more than to live through this night, protect everyone that was out here with her now. There was only one person capable of doing something like this and she had to privately admit that McGonagall was a woman that should be feared immensely, “I think that I should have paid a lot more attention in Transfiguration,” she whispered shakily.
Alicia jumped as a lumbering gargoyle crushed the box of Quidditch supplies beside her but appeared too startled to be afraid. The statue grunted its displeasure and Angelina glanced at her just in time to see her truly smile for the first time, “This is getting kind of cool, huh?” she asked with a nervous giggle. Her wand was gripped tightly in her hand and she appeared more capable of handling herself than she had a few minutes ago, “I didn't think that I would live to see the day when I'd be happy to have a gargoyle backing me up.” She was deeply afraid of trolls and all manner of dark things but those childish fears didn't seem to matter to her now, “...I hear that the Death Eaters have giants with them but if they can bleed then I sure as hell hope they can die.” Her voice was bitter and it was almost hard to hear the faint tremor in the words.
Angelina laughed, trying to shake off her fear. “Are you still scared?”
“Maybe,” Alicia said with a weak grin.
“Where do you think Oliver and Katie went?” Angelina asked curiously.
“They're probably still inside, enchanting some of the school things. Oliver will probably be out soon but I think he's swooning over the fact that Katie's confessing her love first,” Alicia said with a laugh, shaking her head. There was a rueful smile on her face but Angelina thought that she appeared a little regretful and wondered why she had never confessed her feelings to Lee...her love for him was so clear that she couldn't understand how they had never noticed. Lee had never been someone that she would have pictured with her friend but she was overwhelmed by how much it would hurt if those words remained unsaid, “Katie's been in love with him for years and I'm pretty sure Oliver isn't going to turn her down at a time like this—he's always liked her too.” Angelina laughed, “I should have figured that was going to happen no matter how hard he fought it, he always treated her extra special during Quidditch practice.”
Angelina couldn't help but think that was true and laughed a little, hoping that they would have time to mock him for it later, Oliver was incredibly modest. The fact that he had turned Katie down for so long puzzled her but she had a feeling that he may have been afraid of what might happen if he gave in to his own feelings, though that was stretching her imagination a bit. He would probably deny it with all his might, “And what about you, Alicia?” she asked her friend carefully, unsure whether it would be prudent to bring up her feelings for Lee at a time like this. Alicia shot her a guarded glance and the gargoyle beside her shifted restlessly, “I know that you're seeing someone right now but did you ever think of confessing to—”
“Lee's never been interested in me but that doesn't change how I feel. I'll always care about him and if he ever needed me, I would be there and that's all that matters right now,” Alicia interrupted curtly, her blue eyes appearing to glow. Angelina wanted to apologize but the girl shrugged helplessly, as if it were something that neither of them could really help, “I'm not going to spend the rest of my life—especially if I die tonight, worrying about what might have been.” The bitterness in her tone was enough to have Angelina wincing. All of the tears that she had shed in the Great Hall earlier had faded away, the fear dissolving into a steely resolve that she had to admire, “I asked Seamus Finnegan out last year and we've been good together, that's all I can...” she trailed off with a weak grin. The explanation was a little depressing but she was startled that she was dating someone younger than her, though it was clear that the relationship did nothing to diminish the longing for someone else. Even though the words hadn't been spoken aloud, Alicia shot her a fierce look, “w-we have a lot in common, okay? And Lee never did anything...so...” she mumbled, blushing.
“If you're still in love with Lee—” Angelina started awkwardly.
Alicia shook her head firmly as more statues thumped loudly along the grounds, causing a few students to flinch in surprise. The grounds brimmed with tension and Angelina knew that she could have cut it with the edge of a spoon...her blood was pounding so heavily that she was nearly dizzy, “Angie, this isn't really the time to be talking about this sort of thing but Lee's never noticed me or anything and I got tired of waiting for him to.” Her lower lip trembled slightly and her eyes turned glassy, “but if I die tonight, promise me that you won't tell him how I've always felt—I don't want him to be burdened with that, he won't understand...I don't want any of you to hold that against me, okay?” Angelina felt a pang in the center of her chest and refused to make such a dark promise, recalling Lee's words before they had gone into the Great Hall. She shook her head and her friend sighed wearily, one stray tear sliding down the curve of her cheek before merging into darkness, “...I won't ask you again, it was wrong of me to expect you to do something like that for me.” A pause, “Angie, I know that you don't want to talk about it but you should have told George how you felt. I think that...that he probably would have needed to hear it.”
“He needed to hear it,” Alicia interrupted firmly.
“There's no time to worry about that right now.” Angelina said curtly but the fear in her chest lightened instantly at the thought of him—George was the most important person in her world. The love that she had for him had been a secret for so long that she couldn't imagine revealing it to him, she had never been able to work up the courage. It sounded so silly with everything that was happening now but the confession had remained locked away for too long and her chest became heavy—the sensation abruptly ended as a boom echoed loudly over the grounds. Her heart seemed to stop beating. Alicia's eyes had suddenly gone round with terror and Professor Lupin muttered a curse nearby as he scanned the dark grounds frantically, hearing a crackling sound spiking sharply in the air like a thunderbolt. The blood slowly drained from his face and he looked just as shocked as she was while thousands of figures suddenly burst forth from the Forbidden Forest, all of them with wands outstretched, “Stand together!” Professor Lupin shouted.
Angelina could feel the fear bubbling in the pit of her stomach as she watched the black mass running towards them like a murky river. Alicia was whispering a prayer under her breath and she was certain that a few of the other students had begun to cry, though they stood their ground even as their enemies drew closer...closer and close like a plague. Some were Disapparating, others trying to burst through the protective shield that was surrounding the school. The unlucky few that ran straight ahead burst into multicolored lights and faded from this world and Angelina couldn't help but shield her eyes from this horrible sight. But there was more coming, as hex, curse and jinx after jinx shot around the bubble of a shield.
Boom! Angelina's heart cascaded.
Boom! They were gaining a bit of success.
Boom! Death Eaters were running now, panting, screaming, shouting for blood at Hogwarts and there was an outcry of fury from the students. Angelina had never felt so much hatred in her life and it was so consuming that the pit of Hell should have opened beneath their feet but she clutched the handle of her wand with all of her might. I won't run, she thought. The air became heavy with the stink of rage and terror but she flinched warily as a tall Death Eater broke apart from the others, the tilt of his head held arrogantly, “I won't back down.” Angelina whispered to herself. Her words were too faint for anyone to overhear but they flooded her with strength as the man raised one imperious hand to his companions, forcing them to stop in their tracks. The borderland between the fighters and the damned, “This is your last warning from the Dark Lord! Cease this fruitless effort and join us! Slytherin House has already made the right decision, join them while you still have a chance!” the man suddenly screamed. It took a lot of nerve to demand surrender after everything that they had done and Angelina glanced over at Professor Lupin and Kingsley before walking forward, her back straight as she ventured as close as she dared, Alicia shrieking for her to stop.
“No!” Angelina shouted.
The Death Eater reeled in the night as he tried to find her voice. “What did you say?”
Angelina's heart was pounding and she could feel a faint tremor in the pit of her soul that should have made it impossible to stand. The world had faded away into nothing and she would never be able to turn her back on anyone that needed her...she wouldn't give anyone the satisfaction, “You heard what I said.” There was a catch in her voice that was almost hard to decipher. There were thousands of eyes watching her every move and she could hear the faint whispers breaking out among the group, hear the twisted thoughts sleazing through their minds but held her head proudly. “I said no!” she screamed furiously. Turning to look at the other dumbfounded students she screamed, “we've all had enough of this and we're not going to take anymore!” a flash of red light burned by her ear and it was immediately blocked with a swift wave of Professor Lupin's wand. Angelina backed away just in time to avoid a shower of green light and some wordless agreement shifted between the two opposing groups, the Death Eater's approaching faster than a crushing wave, “No!” she screamed angrily as she ran through the rest of the crowd with dozens of others at her back.
“Angie, I'm right behind you!” Alicia screamed.
Angelina was only dimly aware of the people around her and the grounds seemed to explode with screams, the sky burning with blood and magic. Statues thundered path with stone weapons swinging and she could taste the panic on her tongue—the world had erupted into chaos around her but it was nearly too much to see. War cries lit up the night and she could hear the sound of bones breaking, bodies falling and her name being shouted over the melee, “Protego!” she screamed reflexively as a shaft of yellow light nearly struck her shoulder. It was impossible to determine how long she ran and fought but she was only dimly aware of the others around her, she was too busy aiming hexes and jinxes at her unwary opponents, who were unleashing a barrage of terror onto the students as they collided, fought and died.
Death Eaters were fighting furiously now against a band of bedraggled students and Angelina, insipid and crazed with blood lust dared not look to see who fell behind her. Blood was flying everywhere, clinging to the edges of her vision but she didn't want to know who started crying or who was dying around her. The truth was too horrible to contemplate,“Stupefy!” she screamed waspishly at a man that was going after a small Ravenclaw girl, “Stupefy!” she screamed again when she missed, this time hitting him in his gaping mouth. The terrified girl thanked her weakly and started fighting again but Angelina was too suffused with blood lust to wonder if she made it or not. Although it couldn't have been more than a few minutes, she felt as if she had been fighting for days and when the Death Eaters were starting to force their way through, she ran drunkenly back to the Bludgers and screamed, “Go, now! All of you go!” they flew from through the air and rushed at the Death Eaters, cracking skulls, smashing faces and breaking arms so fast that Angelina smiled darkly at the sight of blood, the sound of their pain.
It didn't last long, however and Angelina quickly found herself immersed in the battle again, spells flying from her tongue with rapid fire. There was no telling how long the battle would drag on and she couldn't stop herself from thinking of Fred and George, her parents, the students that she knew, that she didn't know. Being without them was too much to dwell on, “Petrificus Totalus! Get away from him, you bitch!” she screamed furiously at a female Death Eater that tried to slice a Hufflepuff boy open with long, vicious strikes with her wand. The boy appeared shaken to the core but darted away into the fray before Angelina could determine that he was all right and she let out a cry as the fallen woman was crushed by a statue as it rushed through the crowd. Angelina heard an awful roar shake the night and she saw dozens of statues charging wildly in the distance, slicing and hacking at what was now joining the battle. Giants. There weren't many but they towered over them all like deranged mountains, swinging clubs and maces, “Christ! Get out of the way, move!” someone shouted shrilly as a few students stood terrified on the spot as the beasts broke through the line of statues towards them, “get out of the way—!” the voice commanded loudly.
The monstrous roars splintered through the night and the giants crushed whatever foolishly stood in their path, hitting dozens with bull-like growls. Angelina felt the ground shaking with each step that they took and she watched as their victims flew through the air, broken little dolls slamming harshly onto the ground. A scream was wrenched from her throat at the sight, the mangled remains that were piling along the grounds with every growing second, “Everyone, run for cover!” Angelina blearily heard Professor Lupin's voice through the carnage. Giants were swarming towards the castle and were so large that they seemed to block out the moon above and she managed to break out of her shock long enough to move out of their way just in time, staggering shakily as something exploded over her head like macabre fireworks. Dirt, rock and large shards of glass pricked at her skin like bee stings— “Run for cover!” Professor Lupin continued to shout in the darkness but before Angelina could find a safe place to hide, a vicious spell collided with her leg like a lightning bolt and she staggered from the force of the pain.
“You should watch where you're going, girl!” A sneering voice declared.
Angelina felt blood welling from the wound and she blearily fell to the ground, the pain was beyond anything that she had ever imagined. It felt as if thousands of claws were digging into her skin and she shook the braids from her sweaty face just in time to see a hulking, leering man staring down at her triumphantly, “I guess you'll be lucky number thirteen.” Horror went through her, nearly eclipsing the agony but before she could even think about protecting herself, the man had connected his booted foot to her chest and she went sprawling onto her back, seeing stars and planets. The sound of screams and death faded away into a dull hum but Angelina tried to lift herself up, her fingertips clenched tightly around her wand. Her opponent aimed his wand for the center of her chest, “Avada—” the Death Eater's final curse was barely out of his mouth before he was suddenly writhing in pain, nasty black boils breaking out over his entire body.
Angelina felt her entire body tense and she gasped harshly for breath, barely able to understand what merciful being had spared her life. Lucky number thirteen, “Angie, is that you?” the voice was instantly familiar and she looked around frantically until she spotted Oliver Wood a few feet away, “thank God that you're all right.” His voice sounded distorted over the sound of screams and she could barely see him through the haze of delirious pain that swept through her. The world seemed to be on fire and she could barely think, “I wasn't sure if I was going to make it in time—don't move!” he broke off quickly and crossed the distance between them hurriedly, dodging curses and spells until he was kneeling down to help her up. Angelina was relieved to see that he was alive and although her leg pulsed with agony, she managed to find the strength to stand, though she eventually shook him off roughly. “Angie, you're going to be okay—you're hurt, stop fighting, it's me!” he cried furiously, shaking her until her struggles ceased. His face was smeared with smoke and his eyes appeared blood shot, his lower lip swollen, “I've been looking all over for you but you're hurt, we need to get you somewhere safe—dammit, would you stop fighting and listen?!” he shouted.
“Let go of me! I have to fight—” Angelina said angrily before hitting him and running back into the screams, darkness and death as he tried to stop her. The world was spinning into crazy shapes, she didn't know what was real and what was a figment of her imagination, her head was pounding so fiercely that it was a miracle her skull was still in one piece. Horrible images were swarming through her memory and her heart was filled with so much despair that she would have longed for any chance to escape from this awful reality. Hogwarts had always been such a happy place, it had always been the one place where she had felt truly happy and now it was on fire, now it was falling apart and people were dying around her. Was this real? Oliver's voice was barely distinguishable over the loud cries and although she knew that he had only meant to help, some part of her wondered if the exchange had ever really happened in the first place—was it some Death Eater trick? If it had been the real Oliver, she should have felt sorry for hitting him but her blood was boiling hotter than lava and her mind was a mess of fury and grief but because of it, she fought and fought, knocking down Death Eater after Death Eater with all her might.
The minutes ticked into hours and Angelina soon lost a sense of time but as she struggled to hold on and fight through the pain, a horrible scream suddenly tore the night apart. There were so many people fighting...so many students dying that she couldn't immediately place where it had come from but through the dust and gloom, she managed to see a hulking, barrel chested man ripping his teeth into a thrashing girl's throat. Vicious fangs tore into soft flesh before ripping away, causing blood to spurt and curtain the air, “No! Let her go!” another girl screamed and she turned swiftly on her undamaged leg to spot Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil running over to the writhing victim. Angelina's leg screamed in protest but she made her way over and clapped a hand over her mouth as she took in the terrible sight before her, “You let her go, you bastard!” Lavender shouted at the beast, who leered at her with bloody, yellowed teeth. The dead girl had been Eloise Midgen, a Hufflepuff that Hermione had told her was infamous for cursing off her own nose but by the time she rushed over, the girl was tossed aside, falling to the earth with a hard thud.
“No, Eloise!” Parvati screeched.
The terrible sight of her lifeless brown eyes and the vision of the monster wiping his mouth caused Angelina's own to fog over with fright. It clawed its way up her spine but it didn't stop Lavender and Parvati, who shot curse after curse at the monster, who could only be the child killer Greyback. He blocked most of their spells but shot a few of his own, knocking Parvati down with a vicious jinx that surely must have broken a few ribs and quickly fending Lavender's attacks off as she lost her footing and was nearly brought down by a stream of black light. Angelina jerked in shock as the earth near the girl's feet caved in like wax, “Lav!” Parvati shouted weakly, gasping for breath. Lavender staggered unsteadily but before anymore curses could be fired, Angelina suddenly intervened and managed to shoot a hasty curse at Greyback, whose interest in Lavender was apparent by his furious look in her direction. Revulsion coiled in her stomach as she realized that the younger girl was exactly his type, she was tall and blonde and pretty, “Out of the way,” Greyback hissed warningly. “Get out of the way you stupid bitch!”
“Stay away from her!” Angelina shouted fiercely, firing more complicated spells at him that the two girls hadn't performed. Greyback was struck hard in the shoulder and stumbled back a few feet, though his body appeared to be tougher than she could even comprehend, “Parvati, make sure that Lavender is all right and stand back.” Parvati looked too weak to move far but she obeyed the command without a second thought. Lavender appeared shaken and allowed her friend to help her but appeared distracted by the fight happening before their eyes, “I want you two to stay behind me and try not to make any sudden moves!” Angelina barked with the barest glance in their direction. Greyback snarled something obscene and a harsh blast silver light was blocked by Angelina's wand, forcing her to fend off the werewolf with everything that she could but he fought her hard and would have ripped a hole in her chest if she hadn't dodged at the last second. Thin tears appeared in her shirt but she was beyond all rational thought and fought him harder, by the time Lavender regained herself, she was battling the beast viciously as well, sending such a strong protective charm at him that he flew several feet into the air and landed with a sickening crunch.
Although it was unlikely, Angelina prayed that the monster was dead but she had an unpleasant feeling go down her spine when she glanced at Lavender. The Gryffindor girl looked braver and stronger than she had ever seen but nodded at her gratefully before helping Parvati to her feet, “Thanks for helping us,” Lavender said when she had Parvati standing. A brief silence fell over them as their gazes fell on Eloise Midgen's body, “there's nothing we can do, we didn't get here in time. Come on, we have to see if we can help,” her voice broke but she swallowed back a rush of tears as she regarded her friend, keeping an arm around her shoulders. Parvati gave Angelina a sharp nod and the two friends ran into the castle, which was currently on fire and the sound of screams from inside of it pierced her ears. It made her want to sob in distress as a tower exploded ahead and she saw chunks, mountain sized chunks falling towards the ground, effectively killing some Death Eaters that had been pouncing on some students.
Angelina couldn't see if they had been crushed as well when she had been too horrified by the sight of the kids falling from the tower, screaming for their lives. The hasty spells that attempted to save them failed harshly as they all landed with hard, grotesque thuds and she turned away from this horrible image but nearly received a curse to her chest. Alicia's shrill voice suddenly cut through the chaos erupting in her head and she gave a sharp gasp as the girl screamed, “Protego!” and blocked the curse before it could properly end her life. It bounced off like a rocket and shot into the night with enough force to destroy a small village, “Wake up, Angie!” her friend yelled. She turned to say something but the words became trapped in her throat and Alicia was soon rushing away to defend a group of students that were capering under the weight of curses and hexes. Angelina had never seen her friend look so fierce and shook herself off and looked despondently around at the grounds, where little bundles littered the grass and felt her rage overtake her again. Death Eaters were rampant and their black robes were like an extension of night as they battled ferociously with the teachers near the castle, Professor McGonagall was sending curses with expert precision and fighting five of them on her own. Flitwick and the others were spread around in a small circle, protecting what looked to be a group of frazzled Hufflepuff students that were shivering behind them. Angelina could see their cuts and wounds even from where she stood and she had to turn away, catching sight of Slughorn battling with superb skill with a group of men near a collapsed wall.
The man looked mad, crazed and very silly in his green silk pajamas but he fought like a demon and many fell dead at his wand. Angelina tried to help as many students as possible but the fight was a fierce, difficult one and she saw too many of them die—Colin Creevey had been fighting nearby with a group of Ravenclaws for a short moment before a Death Eater had snuffed out his life. His companions had barely managed to escape and the sight of his small body collapsing underneath that green light caused something to break in her—there was nothing to stop her from tearing them apart. She threw herself into more of the fighting, running now, through parts of Hogwarts that were torn to pieces. She ran past demolished buildings, over bodies and fought with everything that she had until the breath was knocked from her lungs. But there was no stopping her...there was no stopping the sights of children being murdered right before her eyes and she paid little attention to who she fought against and who fell around her.
As the tormenting night continued, Angelina stood alongside Lee Jordan, Neville Longbottom, Hannah Abbott, Alicia, Oliver Wood. At some point she even noticed Luna Lovegood and Ernie McMillan dueling someone who looked suspiciously like Bellatrix Lestrange before running off, “Crucio!” the woman screeched wildly, her aim deadlier than sin. Students were trying desperately to fend the Death Eater off but she was stronger than all of them and Angelina bleakly wondered if madness was the cure to every fear. There were experienced killers in this batch and that particular terror was too much for them and she found herself rushing away from the force of the woman's spells and sharp cries, “You can't run from me forever!” Lestrange shrieked. Professor Lupin had vanished but she had seen him rushing forward with a few students an hour ago, though the darkness appeared to grow like a fungus around her. I'm going to die, Angelina thought bleakly and she was so startled by the abrupt thought that she didn't immediately notice the cold, suffocating feeling was suddenly smothering the air and dread settled into her chest...Dementors were hovering in the burning sky and she looked up in horror as they spread above her like a disease.
Angelina's legs immediately began to feel like jelly and even as she tried to step away, there seemed to be hundreds of them surrounding her, sucking her in. You-Know-Who had brought on an arsenal of death and the pain in her bleeding leg seemed to intensify while memories flashed through her mind, things that she had forced herself never to remember again. Dementors were truly the most despicable creatures...they were forcing her to relive her worst fears in a haze of murky images and color, feasting on everything that she had to offer. Her eyes began to overflow with tears and she was suddenly buried underneath the paralyzing sadness that had gripped her after she had lost her grandparents, the despair that had made every bright day dull. I'm never going to see them again...they're gone forever and I'll never see them again... the thought pulsed and thrummed in the pit of her heart with constricting force until she could barely climb away from it. They're dead...I'm going to die...they're dead...I'm going to die here all alone...
A scream threatened to rip Angelina apart but there was no sound and she was suddenly drowning in misery, despair and fears to awful to contemplate. It was too much. This wasn't something that she wanted to think about. The chaos opened up like a chasm, spilling out deeply guarded horrors until she was choking from the force of them and she was soon overcome with agony at the fear of seeing George around the arms of another girl and tossing her fragile love aside. Despite all of the death that she had seen tonight, that horrified her more than anything and she was unsure if she would be able to deal with the loss. I'm never going to have him. Angelina's mind was growing numb with panic as she was forced to imagine the love of her life being comforted by someone else. I should have said something sooner... They were getting married...having children...growing old together when she had always been there for him and would love him until she couldn't draw breath... “No, th..this can't be real. Give him back...” her voice was becoming slurred and thick, this ghostly hallucination was becoming the only real thing in the world.
“Expecto Patronum!” someone shouted and a brilliant lion, perhaps bigger than life itself broke through the darkness and the Dementors skittered away as the creature lit up the world. Angelina felt herself breaking away from the clutches of grief dazedly but even as she tried to stop herself from falling, the muscles in her legs gave out and she was hurtling towards the ground, her mind swimming with the awful delusion the creatures had given. Everything was spinning, dancing, merging into nothing but before she fell, her body was caught in the arms of someone she knew and did not know. “He's mine, don't touch him...” Angelina told the imaginary girl that was swirling in her mind, the girl that was holding George and taking him away from her. It was difficult to breathe, her chest was too tight with emotions that were eating her alive, breaking her down,“take your hands off....” the horror of losing George pounded through her, the Dementors had succeeded in warping her mind to pieces and she could barely see. “I've always been the one...I've always...” her heart was beating too fast, flooded with misery.
The sounds of screams rent the night and Angelina could hear the sound of the dying, the wounded, the weeping of friends and her rescuer was calling her name. Her breathing was still too rough and she couldn't focus on the familiar sound, “Angie!” it was someone she knew and loved, yet she couldn't quite place it. Angelina wanted to speak but her gaze was faltering and before she understood what was happening, the figure picked her up and carried her for a very long time until setting her down near what looked like fallen glass. A tower must have been blown apart and she could blearily make out the shape of stone, statues and bits of torn clothing that clung to the shards but it was becoming difficult for her to keep her eyes open. Earlier, she had seen part of the castle had been blown away but this small space felt like some sort of sanctuary and it was unclear if she would ever be able to lift herself up from this spot without collapsing. Loud, fractured sounds of battle were so far away that she wondered if she really was dying but the screams were so loud. The screams were everywhere, “Don't move, Angie. Stay here, I'll be back for you.” The person kissed her on the cheek and vanished into the smoke, the death and the blood.
Angelina wondered if they would really come back for her and if she would be dead by the time that they returned. The energy was fading from her body and she closed her eyes numbly, allowing herself to fade from the world for a moment—all of the screaming and pain slowly started to become nothing more than a dull ache. There had to be somewhere better than this and instead of ascending to heaven or to that other place, she found herself transported back to her first day on the Express, shortly after she had seen her parents off for the first time to Hogwarts....
Angelina was terrified. This was the first time that she had ever been away from either of her parents for so long and the thought made her nervous as she stood nervously in the corridor, she was scared that she would hate Hogwarts but oddly excited at the thought of finally going. Angelina had heard stories about the place from her cousins and was afraid that she may not be able to live up to scratch if she managed to get into Gryffindor House—her parents would be so disappointed. A lump formed in the pit of her stomach. Her parent's smiling faces had faded away and she inhaled raggedly before looking for a place to sit, disgruntled to notice that most compartments were full with chattering students that didn't look very thrilled to include her in their groups. Angelina felt a loneliness creep into her system just as a tall, red haired boy bumped into her. He had appeared from out of nowhere and startled her so badly that she nearly jumped three feet in the air, “I'll get you two beasts for this!” the boy vowed. Angelina blinked up at him irritably, “you wait until I tell Mother!” he was snarling, looking very pompous and full of himself.
“Watch it!” Angelina snapped.
The boy looked down at her in apparent surprise, horn rimmed glasses perched on his nose. There
were thousands of freckles on his face and he had the reddest hair that Angelina had ever seen but he possessed a haughty air that made her instantly dislike him, “Who do you think—sorry.” The older boy said with forced politeness. Angelina scowled up at the prat for a moment or two, he looked as if he wanted to throttle everyone and everything but she simply returned his forced smile with a sour expression, “if you'd please excuse me.” He spat unkindly before stomping off. Angelina watched him
leave with a sigh of relief and wondered if trolls could take human form—
“Did you see his face?!” someone shouted behind her.
Angelina jumped and looked to see another boy laughing uproariously at the older one who had just stormed off. The boy was her age and had just as many freckles as the troll that had just stomped away but his smile was warm enough to make his red hair flame all the brighter. He was wearing faded robes and looked so impish that she expected something to fall apart underneath them but she felt a curious feeling spread in her stomach at the sight of him and couldn't quite explain what it was but she had enough sense not to trust it, “Who're you?” she barked.
“Me? Oh, I'm George Weasley.” The boy said rapidly, grinning at her. He seemed to have been studying her with the same curiosity that had strangely gripped her, “I hope that troll didn't bug you too much, he's always been kind of mean and grouchy.” Angelina opened her mouth to say something but he interrupted her happily, rocking on his heels and staring at her, “that was my older brother Percy, he's a prat and thinks he's gonna be Minster of Magic someday. Don't mind him, he's always a stuffy git,” he explained while eyeing her with a grin that she couldn't help but give back. “Anyways, I'm sitting with my twin brother Fred, and this girl, Alicia or whatever.” He rolled his eyes heavenward as if he were being deeply set upon, “come sit with us.”
Angelina hesitated for only a few seconds before following after him and when they entered the compartment, it was bursting with laughter. There was another red-haired boy, who had to be his twin, laughing evilly with another girl with light blonde hair and Angelina couldn't help but think that she resembled an angel. The naughty-looking twin could only be a devil and she watched as the girl's cheeks turned brilliantly red, she was laughing so hard that she could barely breathe, “In his tea! He was itching for weeks!” Fred was saying happily. George closed the compartment door with a clang and coughed into his fist to catch his brother's attention, “well, well well, who is this?” he asked George curiously when he noticed Angelina.
“I don't know.” George said.
Three people turned to look at her expectantly.
“Angelina Johnson,” she said shyly.
“I'm Fred Weasley,” the other twin declared smugly.
The giggling girl introduced herself with a warm smile. “I'm Alicia,”
“Nice to meet you,” Angelina murmured.
Fred eyed her warily. “You're not gonna be a complete bore, are you Angie?”
Angelina frowned. “Don't call me—”
George laughed and placed a warm hand on her shoulder, the sensation spread to a strange place in her chest. Angelina shot him a glance but wasn't able to move away, “Better go sit with Percy and Clearwater, the two happy little Prefects,” he said mock angrily. Fred shuddered and Alicia laughed, her eyes sparkling as she glanced between the two brothers, like they were pieces of herself in male form. “Percy was sitting with us for a while but he's just so bloody dull and we just had to put something in his robes to get him to leave.” He informed with a smile that made her face blush. She wasn't sure if she liked this, “if you stick around with us for a while, we'll turn you properly rotten. Or, you could sit with Percy and talk about boring things like yarn and good deeds,”
Angelina shivered slightly at the thought of being that dull and shook her head firmly, she didn't want to sit with boring, perfect Percy. George was watching her face carefully but apparently seemed perfectly at ease playing with the lobe of her ear, “I don't want to be boring!” she smacked his hand away. He retaliated by pinching her cheek, “stop that—I'll stay with you guys!” Angelina declared desperately. Fred looked very pleased by the decision but was watching his brother with a curious expression before gesturing towards the opposite seat, where he quickly began relating another story to the dazzled Alicia. Fred didn't seem to be all that interested in her but he did stare at her for a few minutes as if he found something very interesting, “So, that grumpy bloke was your brother?” she asked the other twin.
George was lounging next to her now with a relaxed smile, reading something from a mangled Zonko's magazine. Angelina thought that he looked very cute but could tell that he and his brother, though identical down to the last freckle, were not exactly alike, “Yeah, sadly.” Although there was a twinkle of mischief in his brown eyes, he seemed calmer, quieter and warmer as he played idly with her fingers for several minutes before turning a page in his magazine. Angelina had a feeling that he kept touching her on purpose, just to see if he could annoy her, “I have other brothers though. Bill, Charlie and my baby brother Ron.” He was saying to her while allowing her to peer curiously at something in the Zonkos magazine, “Bill is really cool and Charlie is a great Quidditch player.”
Angelina sat up straight. “Quidditch? I love Quidditch,”
Fred said skeptically. “Do you?”
Angelina nodded. “I'm gonna go pro for sure. I'm really good,”
“Ooh, you hear that George? Angie says that she's good,” Fred teased, causing his brother to snort into his fist. Angelina didn't get the joke, “but you're not better than us.” Alicia looked very interested in the conversation, her eyes glowing. “If you are, then you can join with us when we make the team.”
Angelina frowned but George asked calmly. “What position are you best at?”
“Chaser,” Angelina replied, flushing.
“Fred and I are gonna be Beaters,” George said.
Angelina was curious. “Are you any good?”
George nodded, smiling. “Angie, make sure that you're in Gryffindor.”
“Why?” Angelina asked annoyingly.
George whispered secretively. “Because I'll be in Gryffindor,” when he pulled back, she was gaping at him and he was laughing, “you know, Angie, you should be in Percy's compartment, I haven't seen you laugh once!”
Angelina frowned. “I can laugh! I'm just nervous!”
“Then laugh,” Alicia said.
“Go on, or we'll tickle you.” Fred said, cracking his knuckles.
Angelina tried to force herself to laugh but was unable to do it and before she was able to stop them both twins and Alicia was tickling her. She laughed so hard and fought them playfully but by the time they were done she was crying and Percy Weasley had shown up again, looking furious. “What is going on here? We'll be at Hogwarts soon so you'd better stop that!”
Fred frowned. “Get a life, Percy! When was the last time you told a joke?” he asked annoyingly.
Percy grouched something awful. “I'm gonna tell Bill!”
Fred glared at him. “You're such a spoilsport, Perce. I swear, the day I see you crack a joke'll be the day I die,” he muttered.
But Percy was already gone, his ears red.
Angelina was settled on George's shoulder. “What's his deal?”
“He's ambitious. Probably should've been in Slytherin,” Fred said nastily.
George covered up the awkward silence that fell to say to Angelina. “When we're in Gryffindor, come sit with us. And then, tomorrow, we'll put something in Percy's tea.”
Alicia laughed. “Again?”
“Again,” Fred said with a laugh.
Angelina figured that that was the reason he had rushed out, flushed and furious when he had bumped into her in the corridor. The four of them laughed and joked for the remainder of the trip, getting along so well that when they were finally at Hogwarts, Angelina couldn't imagine what it would be like not to see them again. Of course, it sounded a little silly when they had just met but Angelina felt that some things either stuck with you forever or passed you by and when she was Sorted into Gryffindor, the feeling was impossible to be rid of. The four of them managed to sit together during the Feast and George appeared interested in every little thing that she said, breaking past her shy boundaries until she felt cracked open and brand new. A few rows down, a girl named Katie Bell was blabbering non-stop to a boy named Oliver Wood, who was older than them and looking enchanted. Angelina felt happier than she had in months.
Her grandparents had died not too long ago but being with her new friends had lessened the pain and she was now so elated that she felt like she was going to burst. George was a good listener and he expressed sympathy for her loss, stroked away every sad feeling with a smile that centered in her chest like a tattoo. There was something about him that made everything better, brighter and she had never had such a strong pull towards another person before but it was only when they were going to their separate dorms did she realize why. Fred had just said goodnight after they had spent a few more minutes chatting but George lagged behind, as if he wanted to say something before the words became trapped and locked away. “Hey, Angie...”
“What is it?” Angelina asked worriedly.
“I'm glad that I met you today,” George eventually muttered.
Angelina brightened. “Me too,”
George thought about something and stared at her for a long time. He opened his mouth to say something but then grew silent, his cheeks turning pink and she raked her eyebrow up at him, “...Its been a really good day.”
Angelina blushed as he suddenly took her hand. “What is it?”
“Aren't you going tell me goodnight?” George asked softly.
“Goodnight.” Angelina said shortly.
George burst out laughing. “You're very blunt, aren't you?”
“What did you want me to say?” Angelina asked him, confused. George shook his head, squeezed her hand and walked away, laughing. She didn't really understand what was going on with him or why he seemed so amused but she sensed that they were tied together somehow...it was a strange, scary thing to realize but something she would never forget. The days would be brighter, “Wait, what did you want me to say? George—?”
The memory washed away just as quickly as it began and when Angelina opened her eyes, she wasn't surprised to hear the sounds of death, of loss and of pain all around her. Blood was thickening the little corner that she had been stashed in but she forced herself to stand, she had to make it out of this and with a weak, “George?” she realized that she was still disoriented and thought that they were still outside of their dorms, back in first year. Angelina blinked dazedly and was careful not to fall down on the pile of glass beneath her feet and she shook the memory away, her damaged leg making it useless for her to walk very far without hissing in pain. It was excruciating but she forced herself to head towards the castle, she had to make it inside, to help but she was in a sort of haze as she hexed, cursed and jinxed Death Eaters that got in her way or wanted to fight and left them bloody and empty around her. She had to go inside, she had to make it into the school, to ask George, to see him and ask what he wanted besides a goodnight....
Angelina somehow made it back it into the castle without being shattered completely and she was unsure what monster she fought along the way. The Great Hall was swarming with spells, blood and thrashing bodies fighting for the upper hand and she launched herself wildly into the fighting without hesitation, trying her best not to crumble underneath the weight of survival. It seemed to never end and as she slid along broken glass, she heard a girl scream from above and saw Lavender Brown falling over a rail with a grey, snarling blur before colliding with a heavy thud to the ground. A scream was torn from her and before she could rush over to see if the girl were alive, the staircase nearby was suddenly smoother than glass as Ron, Hermione and Harry slid down it (Angelina figured they were invisible but caught a shock of red hair). The three of them landed on the ground and a quick spell made the stairs shoot back up to their original state, making the Death Eaters who had been chasing them crumble and gasp in surprised shock.
Angelina was still rushing towards Lavender but as she did so, Greyback staggered back onto his feet and rushed at the fallen girl, teeth bared but a harsh, “NO!” exploded from the gloom and was followed by a thunderous blast from a wand. Greyback was thrown back but as he tried to get back to his feet, something large, clear and round landed on his skull and he didn't move again. Angelina prayed that the beast stayed down and shook off her shock and rushed over to Lavender, barely noting that Parvati had somehow appeared through the melee, clutching her side. The girl looked battered, bloodied and beyond rational thought but she sent her a grateful smile as they made it to Lavender, who was barely stirring. “Oh, please, no,” Parvati sobbed while lifting her friend's bleeding skull onto her lap, “Oh, Lav,” she sobbed.
Angelina checked her pulse. “She's barely breathing.”
“Don't say that!” Parvati cried. “You make it sound like she'll die!”
The grim possibility was too much to contemplate but Angelina bit her tongue and helped carry the girl to Madame Pomfrey. Although Angelina had always considered the school nurse to be very soft-spoken, she looked as if she had been through Hell and didn't hesitate to rush towards them with a few sturdy Hufflepuff students, “Give her to me, I'll take care of her.” The woman promised firmly as Parvati seemed reluctant to let her friend go. Lavender was moaning weakly, her eyes fluttering every now and then as if she were traveling to some greater place, “she's safe with me.” Angelina heard the nurse say curtly when Parvati faltered again before allowing her friend to be placed on a makeshift stretcher. Parvati refused to leave her friend's side and was given permission to follow them as the group as they looked for a safer place to tend to Lavender's wounds, “I'm not going to lose another student tonight...” Madame Pomfrey vowed darkly as they fled through the crumbling remains of the Hall.
Angelina watched them go worriedly before returning to the battle, only to see that several of her friends, people that she had known for seven years were dead or dying. The sight was more devastating than a lie. Unsure where the strength came from, she ran through the crowd of Death Eaters, fighting and saving as many Hogwarts students as she could—Draco Malfoy was even spared from being ripped apart when she unthinkingly rushed to his aid. The boy had been riddled with tears and had shook off her concern before running away and Angelina had quickly forgotten about him as she spent the remainder of the night dueling alongside Luna Lovegood and bloody Ginny Weasley, the three of them together taking down many of their enemies. The explosions, the screams, the curses, the sound of Hogwarts crumbling around and below, were ignored as survival took its toll and Angelina fought and fought until, out of nowhere, Voldemort's cold, icy voice rang out. Angelina ignored the sound of it but deduced that he wanted his forces to retreat for now and then, for the survivors to tend to their wounded and take care of their dead, to wipe their filth from the battlefield. It was over as soon as it had begun.
The Death Eaters retreated like smoke, and they were abandoned like a bad dream. Air seemed to rush out of many lungs but before long, sobs were soon replaced with screams as Angelina truly saw the amount of damage that had been unleashed upon the school. There were bodies everywhere and the scent of blood was so thick that it poisoned her lungs and as she stood there, she became aware of the injuries that she had endured. Her leg was throbbing painfully and there were too many bruises and cuts to count but she ignored the stinging aches and bit the horrible scream that was rising but felt her eyes fog over from the effort. Luna was gone, Ginny was looking for her family and she was left alone for a moment. Angelina tended to the wounded, helped carry the dead even though some part of her was already gone, “Angie!” someone screamed moments later as she gently placed a body of a Hufflepuff boy beside one of Hogwarts professors. The sight tore at her heart and she closed his eyes so that he would appear to be sleeping, “Angie!”
Angelina looked up to see Alicia and Oliver running over to her. “What is it?” she asked, instantly concerned. They stopped and hesitated, both of them bloody, torn and cracked. “Are the two of you—thank God that you're all right!”
The left side of Alicia's face was badly cut and a hasty bandage had been slapped on to stop the blood but it looked as if it were pulsing. Angelina flinched as she gently reached out and touched her arm, knowing that the worst was about to come. It was enough to have the floor swaying, “Angie, it's—”
Angelina's whole world was about to fall and shook her off. “Is it Katie? Where is Katie?” she screamed angrily.
Oliver shook his head, slowly. There was a very nasty gash on his forehead and the side of Alicia's face was heavily bandaged but bleeding badly, “Angie, she's fine. She's outside....gathering bodies with Neville and Seamus. I'm going to join them soon.” He hesitated slightly but Angelina saw in his eyes that the news was still too fresh for him to even comprehend.
Angelina felt her heart shattering. “...Please, no.”
Alicia tried to envelop her in a hug but she shook her off. “Lee's in pretty bad shape but he's getting c-cleaned up.” I didn't want to be the one to tell you when you're so hurt—”
“Tell me what?!” Angelina demanded viciously, hearing her throat constrict. This couldn't be happening...this wasn't happening.... “t-tell me what?” she asked around a choke, knowing that it would tear her to pieces.
Oliver and Alicia exchanged a look with one another and the world was swaying and dancing around her eyes. Colors were merging together, “You need to sit down, you're about to pass out. You've lost some blood and...” but Angelina was glaring at him, ready to fight if he didn't tell her what was wrong...who was gone. “Merlin, Angie please just listen to us—”
There was a horrible noise then, like the sound of angels falling from heaven burst through the Great Hall and Angelina turned at the sound. A large family with red hair was sobbing, and a mother was crying so loudly that everyone else was staring....wondering, waiting for the horrible news that Angelina just couldn't face right now. “You don't need to go over there right now,” Oliver tried to say but she barely heard him.
Angelina's feet were forcing her forward and she could barely hear the two of them behind her, urging her to turn back. “You need to sit down, Angie!” Alicia urged but she didn't think that turning away would be any better, she had to see who she had lost...even though the very thought was making her far more dizzy than any curse. She tried to get a hold of her arm and bring her back, the sound of her own tears enough to make her knees crumble. “Wait, Angie—”
Angelina shook her off roughly and ran the long distance across the crowded Great Hall to the Weasley family, who were nothing but a dazzling array of red. “No, let me go!” she cried as she ran over, shoving Oliver away when he grabbed her, “let me go, please!” The look on her face seemed to startled Oliver and he released her, watching as she continued tripping and bleeding to the family. They didn't look at her as Angelina stopped near them and when she could manage a look for herself, a horror unlike anything she had ever seen shattered and her mind and soul, burst into agonizing pain.
This couldn't be happening.
Someone said her name but Angelina couldn't hear them any longer, she could only see his last smile, those freckles...the red, red hair and before she was able to do a thing, she fell into darkness and never wanted to wake up.
A/N: And, I am so sorry for the delay and I'm so sorry for anyone that has read the original chapter, disliked it or were hoping to read it again only to find that it was deleted. I had some serious editing to do and I hope you enjoy the new version of this chapter and please, please leave this girl a review! Much love, as always.
For a moment Angelina was certain that she had died, she could feel herself fading far, far away and the sounds of screaming, sobs and the dead vanished.
The retreat into her mind was a welcome one and a blissful peace seemed to flood into her marrow. She allowed shapes and colors to swarm around her mind, moving so quickly that it appeared unreal, surreal and deeply loved.
Flashing shapes of her grandparents, her parents whom she loved and various friends that were now gone danced in her mind. But over a while, the pain of losing George to this awful war caused her mind to go into a painful replay of every moment that she had ever had of him.
Angelina had loved him for so long.
Since that moment on the Express when they had been children and while she hadn’t known him at all, there had been something, a kind of happiness that had started in the pit of her heart the instant he’d taken the time to smile at her.
Kind…George Weasley was one of the kindest people that she had ever known, or at least he had been. And Angelina saw so many instances in her mind of him cheering her up and calming her temper in a way that no one else could.
He soothed her and made her laugh, made her angry. And yet, at the end of the day, he was there to say goodnight in that strangely special way of his, always staring at her as if he expected more, wanted more but Angelina had never understood it.
They were good friends at Hogwarts along with Fred and Lee, Alicia and Katie and sometimes Oliver. Angelina watched her mind forming disjointed memories of them all and she found that if she ever woke up again, she would want to fall to sleep again.
It wasn’t the same without George, nothing was the same and if she died and could be with him for just a while longer, then it would be worth it, right? How could he have never known how deeply she loved him?
It was written all over her face.
Every moment with him was etched onto her very skin and the pain of never having him for herself was in each step that she took, it was so painful that Angelina wondered if she were in Hell.
Surely this had to be some form of that place because her memory was stopping and sliding and halting on herself when she’d been fifteen. So many years after they had first met and Angelina gripped the edges of the recollection tightly until she fell.
“Why so glum Angie?” Fred asked in the beginning of her memory as the colors and sights finally settled and Angelina was able to see them all near the edge of the Black Lake, relaxing after a horrible day of OWL’s. Tests that she had known she’d failed.
Angelina looked up and stared at him and briefly set aside her Quidditch magazine. “Nothing, Fred,” she said simply.
Fred stared at her for a moment longer before shrugging and looking away, his face settling into a frown as Alicia tended to removing the butterfly wings from his bare back.
“You’re missing George, right?” Katie asked just then while she lounged on the grass and stared up at the clouds in a perfectly blue sky.
Angelina wished that she wouldn’t say it so loudly and in such a teasing voice but Lee didn’t seem to mind it because he was too busy trying to shove a few blades of grass up Katie’s nose. “I haven’t seen him, is all.” She said.
Lee was promptly smacked when Katie realized what he was up to and held his pounding cheek and said. “I saw him, Angie.” Angelina didn’t like being called that but they had never stopped. It had always made her sound girly and weak, something that she sometimes wished that she was so George would actually like her, “he was still talking to his girlfriend inside.”
Angelina felt a familiar pang in her chest and Alicia said while giving her a kind look, “You two are practically sewn together.” She teased but it wasn’t really true, she could barely get a few minutes with George alone. “Maybe you were born to different mothers but are really siblings.”
“You think?” Fred asked curiously. “I wouldn’t mind having Angie as my sister, at least then I could have someone new to pick on besides Percy, he’s such a git. He’s gunning for this job at the Ministry and he’ll bore us all about it when he gets it,” he complained.
Angelina often wondered if Fred and Percy hated each other but she didn’t say anything and went back to her Quidditch magazine. Her heart was wistfully set on a pair of Chaser gloves that her father had hinted on giving her if she got more than one Outstanding, not being academic himself.
But she turned the page away from those lovely assets at a new, personalized Beaters bat that George had hinted on wanting for his birthday. She had already bought Fred a box of Muggle magic tricks, to give him more ideas for their joke shop. “Well, I don’t know what I’ll do. I know I’ve failed everything.” Angelina said with a sullen frown.
“That’s the spirit Angie!” someone said just then and she looked up and saw George strolling up to them with that same smile on his face. It was really the only sure way that Angelina had of telling he and Fred apart, aside from the way they talked to her when they were alone, “failure is the best option. No one expects anything out of you when you do.”
Fred nodded gravely. “My point exactly, Georgie.”
Angelina knew that if she failed, her mother would hang her and then spank her until she turned black and blue; she was a real Percy for success. And stuffy as well, “If I die, George, I’ll keep that in mind. My mum will only be too happy to murder me over these damn OWL’s.”
Lee rolled around on his back for a minute before hopping up with a bit too much energy and Katie scowled while sitting up. Apparently, he had rolled right over her on purpose for slapping him.
“Your mum needs to loosen up!” George said with a conspiratorial wink at her and she laughed a little. “Me and Fred will get three Outstandings each just to get our own mum to back off.”
Katie asked him. “Why only three?”
Fred replied sourly. “Because Perce said we’d only get one.”
Lee rolled his eyes before stretching a bit. “What took you so long? Snogging that pretty brunette?” he asked George.
Angelina scowled a bit and hastily looked down in her magazine but Alicia sent her a pitying look as she finally turned back to Fred’s butterfly wings, which were fluttering and catching rainbows of light.
“Broke up with my girlfriend, took longer than I thought.” George said irritably and she felt just the glimmer of hope before he turned to his twin and laughed, “What the hell happened to you now?”
Fred snorted and rolled his shoulders a bit. “Some girl hexed me after I flipped her skirt.”
“Was she your girlfriend? You two date so much I lose track,” Katie said dryly.
“No, and I guess that was the point,” Fred grumbled. Angelina laughed a bit and watched as he said with a sigh, “there’s enough of me to go around. When I get married, I’ll have two wives and then they can make a schedule and fight over me on the weekends,” he said happily.
George rolled his eyes and heaved his bag onto the ground with a loud thump before making himself comfortable beside her. Immediate pleasure followed afterward, “Two wives? You’re mental. I’ll pitch myself into the Black Lake before I even consider marrying one.”
Katie asked while giving Angelina a blunt stare that she ignored. “You don’t want to get married, George?”
“Sort of but nasty girls don’t make good wives,” George said decidedly and Angelina rolled her eyes a bit while wondering why he went out with such stupid girls when she had always been around.
Not that she was stalking him or anything but if he had ever needed her, she would be there because he had done it time and time again for her in the past, “now, she didn’t take me breaking up with her well at all though.”
Lee dodged a swift kick from Katie and retaliated by pulling her hair. “You should have just let me put grass up your nose!” he snapped at some point while Alicia glared at him for some reason, “anyway, George, why’d you ditch her?”
George mulled it over and Angelina stared at him for a moment, briefly thinking that he was the most handsome person in the world before seeing his hesitation. “I got bored, that’s all.”
Fred nodded in understanding just as Alicia finished removing the butterfly wings from his back and he thanked her by turning around and smashing her face in his hands. “Understandable, mate. They all act the same after a while,” he said distractedly.
“Will you stop it?” Alicia cried, flailing and laughing.
Angelina wondered if Alicia would pinch his nipple before asking George in a low whisper. “So what really happened? You look upset.”
George was crowing with laughter at his twin but turned and looked down at her and winked a little and made her stick out her tongue. “Only you would notice, Angie. Just admit to stalking me already, its eerie,” he said and she briefly smiled before he asked. “What’s wrong with your face anyway? You’re all frowned up. Did you eat something from the Slytherin table? Might be poisoned.”
Angelina shook her head a bit and watched as Alicia tackled Fred and started shoving his face into the dirt while Lee and Katie cheered them on. “No, nothing like that. Merlin, look at her, she’ll kill him.” She said while Alicia threatened Fred.
“Give it back!” Alicia fumed. “I’ll make you eat this dirt!”
Fred squirmed. “Never!”
Angelina laughed. “Alicia calm down!”
Her friend ignored her. “Give it back, Fred!” she hissed.
Fred was thrashing around for a long time before he was able to snap again. “Never! You’ll have to make me eat all of the ground because I’m not giving it back!”
Angelina was worried now because Alicia’s eyes looked red with anger. “Uhm, Georgie should we do something about this?” she asked while he laughed.
George eyed Alicia warily as Katie and Lee roared with laughter at the sight of his brother being taken down so easily by a girl. “She’s so violent for someone so soft spoken. Oi, Freddie, be a man and snap her bra at least!”
“Don’t you dare!” Alicia snarled just as Fred might have done it. “I’m not letting you up until you give it back!”
Fred was turning blue. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Alicia’s eye twitched and reminded angrily. “Git! You stole my bra the last time we went swimming in the Lake! I want it and my panties back!”
Angelina blushed at this because the group had a rather disconcerting habit of swimming nude in the Black Lake during all times of the season, thinking that it was a thrill if it were especially cold. She thought that they were mental but George called her a prude, “This is why I’ll never do it!” she said then.
George angled his head at her a little and peered into her face. “You’re just shy, is all. It’s no big deal, Angie, not like I haven’t seen anyone naked before.” Angelina scowled up at him, “live a little!” An expression must have crossed her face then because he asked gently, “Is it today then?”
“No, it was yesterday but I was trying to be a bit stronger,” Angelina replied quietly just as Fred managed to free himself from Alicia, grab his shirt and run away, laughing. Fuming, Alicia and the others ran off after him, “does he really have her bra and panties?”
George laughed and nodded. “Yeah, I don’t need to know why though. Anyway, Angie, do you want to light some candles for them later?” he meant for her grandparents, who had died a while before she had gone to Hogwarts, yesterday having been the anniversary of their deaths. “I’ll stay up with you.”
Angelina nodded a bit, she had been depressed the entire day about it but had gotten comforting letters from both of her parents and it had briefly made her feel better. But it had been harder than she had thought and her eyes watered, “Thanks Georgie. You don’t have to do that,”
“Oh, no, are you crying?” George asked in a panic while waving his hands over her face just as one tear escaped. “Merlin, Angie! You’re human after all!” she gave him a dark look. “I don’t mean it like that, stupid, I just meant that you need to let yourself cry, you do too much.”
“I do not!” Angelina denied.
George scowled and reminded. “You remember that time you stayed up for finals studying and then practiced for three extra hours after Quidditch practice and then helped Alicia with her Potions homework?" he asked. "And do you remember that time when you beat up that group of Slytherin girls and didn’t go to the hospital wing even though you were bleeding everywhere and had a nasty bump on your head?”
Angelina had beaten the Slytherin bitches up for calling her a nasty word and pushing some other Muggle-born girl that she hadn’t even known down some stairs and she frowned at the memory. “They deserved it and I wasn’t going to let anyone see me limp!”
George stared at her in both admiration and fury for her words and the fact that she had just interrupted him. “Mental!” he cried before bringing up another event. “And do you also recall that time when you robbed Honeydukes with me and then tripped down some stairs and then woke up really early because you had a sugar high and puked all over Lee?” he inhaled and Angelina covered his mouth, laughing shakily.
“I just have to try my hardest, I don’t give up!” Angelina cried with another laugh even though it sounded like a sob. “Grandma and Grandpa have to be proud of me when I see them again, that’s all.”
George took her hand and then tenderly kissed her knuckles. “Angie, you’re amazing. They’ll be proud no matter if you wind up turning into someone like Percy or Hermione,” at her shudder, he laughed a bit. “You take care of people and you never think about yourself, you’re too kind to scum.”
Angelina thought about that for a while but watched as he kissed her knuckles again, staring at her piteously. “Oh, I’m not that bad, prat!” she cried while snatching her hand away. “Mum and Dad want me to be perfect but I know I can’t be, I curse too much.”
George nodded in agreement and moved a bit closer to her until she could smell his cologne, or some other girl’s perfume. “And you’re mean as hell, remember that.” Angelina felt her lips twitching, “and you’re really, really ticklish and a damn good Quidditch player and you like talking to me.”
“Why is that an attribute?” Angelina asked in surprise. “Of course I like talking to you, you’re my friend.” She said curiously, “what happened with you and that girl anyway?”
George stared at her for a second or two before turning away and resting his head against the tree that she had been leaning up against. “She said I was boring and crude.”
Angelina didn’t think that he was boring at all but a lot of people sort of did in their own way because he was still the quiet one out of the pair of twins everyone knew so well. She liked that he was though, Fred was very loved of course but he could wear her out, “You’re not boring, but you can be a bit crude. What did you say to her?”
“I told her that her broomstick that she’d lost somehow was in my pants and she took it the wrong way.” George said with a confused expression.
Angelina was trying hard not to laugh and she nudged him in the shoulder. “You should have also said that your broomstick came with its own polish; that would have really stirred her up!” George burst out laughing until his cheeks turned red and she had to pat his back to stop him from choking.
“She didn’t think my first joke was funny!” George managed to cry out as he wiped at his eyes a little and then settled back into looking disappointed. “Girls always do that with me, they can’t handle me at all. And they never think I’m that funny,”
Angelina stared at him for a second or two before nudging him in the ribs until he gave her an irritable look. “You make me laugh,” she said firmly.
“Thank you Angie, you’re one in like, five million,” George groused sarcastically.
“You know, George, I do care about you and everything but maybe you like being around nasty girls who don’t.” Angelina said sharply and he warily looked at her, his skin paling at the sound of her anger. “She wasn’t worth it, she probably couldn’t even tell you and Fred apart.”
George thought about this before he was able to relax enough to say with a dry laugh. “Good point, Angie,” he said thoughtfully. “You can though, right?”
“Of course I can!” Angelina said proudly and while it had taken a minute, she had figured it out first year and had never been wrong when they’d tried to play tricks on her. “You,” her finger reached out and touched the corner of his mouth, “have a dimple on the right side and Freddie’s got one on the left, I don’t know why no one notices.”
George turned just a bit pink but it might have been because she started to pull on his cheek before he smacked her hand away. “My ex couldn’t, but it was a good thing that I had so many of our mum’s sweaters or she’d have snogged Fred ages ago.” He laughed, “The ladies love him a lot more than me, you know. So do a lot of people but that’s okay in the end, we’re actually related.” He laughed evilly, “So they can’t take that bond away.”
Angelina didn’t have any siblings and asked curiously while drawing her legs up. “Is it nice having so many siblings, George?”
“Sometimes, there’s always a lot of noise, always something to do and someone to pick on but it gets a bit tiring.” George admitted with a fond smile, “I don’t know how mum and dad do it.”
Angelina was very jealous and while she didn’t like babies or anything, she wouldn’t mind having a lot of kids to fill her house up. The thought made her wonder if she had lost her mind, “Maybe they’re inhuman, like me.”
George gave her a comforting pat on the arm and then leaned over a bit and kissed her temple in a way that made her frown. “You know, Angie, you should come round the Burrow this summer. Charlie and Bill will be there.” He teased and Angelina laughed a bit, she had had the biggest fascination with Bill for years.
“I can’t come round! My parents would have a hippogriff if I said anything about it!” Angelina reminded and George burst out laughing, “You remember why you’re not allowed over my house, cause otherwise I’d invite you over, you know, with their permission.”
George wiped at the corner of his eye a bit and nudged her in the arm absently until they started a sort of battle that ended with her rubbing her arm and glaring at him furiously. “All I did was put dragon dung in your dad’s stew!” Angelina forgot about her pain and roared with laughter, “and so what if I put a gnome in your mum’s hair? Merlin, they needed a laugh! And honestly, Angie, I didn’t mean to give him a Nosebleed Nougat—”
Angelina liked the thought of the twins coming up with funny trick sweets but her parents found it useless and no way to live. “It was funny to me,” she insisted and he laughed again.
“And you came back later on anyway to hang out with me a bit more,” her father had sent him home via Floo but George had come back on his broom and had spent most of the night in her bedroom, gaping at a lot of her Muggle stuff and complaining about no magic.
“True and I’d do it a lot more often if I could, I like watching movies.” He said and Angelina was surprised that he had admitted to this, he usually just complained the entire time, “but at least I got you to laugh, Angie! You should laugh more and stop being so shy all the damn time.” George complained in mock anger. “Fred and I can’t always go around tickling you.”
“Fred seems to enjoy it more than you do.” Angelina said dryly.
George thought about that and then frowned, as if something else had entered his mind and she knew that he wouldn’t get to the point. “That’s just because you’ve got boobs now but I like tickling you too! Remember when I made you pee in third year?” she punched him in the shoulder. “It was hilarious! Your face was priceless and you didn’t talk to me for a whole week!”
Angelina recalled that horrible incident and then asked him with a laugh. “Remember that time we demolished that bathroom last year because you got mad because Fred kissed me?” this was only meant to tease him but his face turned into an irritable mask, “what?”
“I’d have given you your first kiss if you had asked!” George said hotly and Angelina quirked her brow at him and he said quickly, “You know, you’re my friend and all that and he’s got no right snogging you!”
“Because you don’t like him like that!”
“And he’s such a git, he made fun of me all night about it!” George said loudly and Angelina just stared at him pointedly. “Just because every other girl likes him doesn’t mean that you will too.”
Angelina didn’t think that Fred thought of her that way, he barely paid attention to her as it was when he didn’t have to. “But I don’t fancy him, George. Easy, you’re smoking around your ears,” she said while tugging on one.
George frowned and folded his arms before making a nip at her wrist before she took the hint and let him go, snickering. “Why don’t you have a boyfriend anyway?” he didn’t sound like he believed her about his brother but she left that thought to him, he could be overly sensitive about the dumbest things, “you’re really pretty, Angie.”
Delight shot through her system. “You think so?”
“Yeah, so?” George countered back blandly.
Angelina glowered at his attitude. “I don’t fancy Fred, prat! Merlin, you can be such a girl sometimes! I’m gonna call you Georgia if you keep that up,” she said with a disgusted frown and his lips twitched a little.
“Anyway, all the blokes that ask me out always wind up in the hospital mysteriously,” she said pointedly.
George flushed and then snorted. “So what? None of them are good enough for you! You’ll get abused!” he said when she just stared at him, “you’re not delicate or anything but really pretty girls like you always get hurt.”
“All of your girlfriends have been pretty,” Angelina reminded bitterly.
George rolled his eyes and said hotly. “See? The worse type of guys go out with girls like that!” he cried and she laughed. “What?”
“There’s nothing wrong with you, George.” There was a slight pause before she was able to change her words. “Well, you do get on my nerves sometimes and you’ve got the most horrible temper and you have this annoying habit of twisting everything up in a way that makes absolutely no sense and then you never say what’s on your mind,” Angelina said while ticking these things off on her fingers.
George frowned annoyingly and pinched her cheek until she swatted at him and made his own turn a bright, searing red. “I don’t know if you’re complimenting me or not!”
“I am, prat! Those are just some of the things that make up who you are, that’s all.” Angelina said angrily as he suddenly pounced on her and wrestled the Quidditch magazine out of her lap and held it up out of her reach, being far taller than her. “Give that back!”
“No!” George said teasingly as he stood and waved it over her head. “Come on, Angie. You know you want it,” he jeered and Angelina blushed a bit before standing and kicking him in his knee, “ow!” he snarled, “what’d you go and do that for?”
Angelina snatched the magazine from his hand and said sharply. “Because you’re being a stupid, childish prat! Anyway, I was hunting for birthday presents for you and Fred and now you’ve made me lose my page!” she snarled while flipping the magazine back open, “I already got Fred something but I might have some money left over and—”
George stared at her for a long moment and then interrupted, “Are you still tutoring people and doing their homework for five Galleons?” he demanded and Angelina nodded warily, he didn’t seem to like it one bit. “You’re mad! We’ve got OWL’s, and you’re still studying?”
“I wanted to get you something nice,” Angelina countered back angrily.
“I don’t care what you get me,” George said slowly. “Just as long as you say happy birthday and smile at me a little,” he admitted and Angelina flushed a bit, “Merlin, you’re mental. Fred said you did Ron’s History of Magic homework for him.”
Angelina recalled this and shrugged. “So?”
George went on with an aggravated twist to his mouth that made her wonder what was really on his mind to begin with. Eventually that became clear, “And some Hufflepuff bloke snogged you, right?”
“So?” Angelina asked again with a weary expression. It hadn't really been a kiss, just a peck on the lips that she hadn't been able to turn away from in time but it had meant nothing to her.
“So?” George countered back blandly, his face turning red. “You can’t just go around snogging people! What if they’ve got some kind of horrible disease or they turn into Percy?” he cried and Angelina laughed, “It’s not funny, dammit!”
Angelina rolled her eyes and sat back down onto the grass and watched as he kicked at his bag before sitting down. “Georgie, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were jealous. Fred snogs me all the time you know, passionate kisses that last all night—”
George spluttered and a horrified look came across his face and he demanded while moving closer to her and making her face turn hot. “So is that why you won’t come to the Black Lake with us and get naked?”
“George, I am not getting naked with your brother!” Angelina snarled furiously, smacking him away from her forcefully. “I’ve never done anything like that and I don’t want to see Fred or Lee naked anyhow!” the very thought made her gag. “Alicia and Katie walk around naked all the time in our dorm so I’m used to that,” she said with a shudder.
“But you want to see me naked?” George asked her teasingly and she snorted nervously. “You said Fred and Lee. Ooh, Angie, something you wanna tell me?” he pressed and her face turned hotter and hotter until he was roaring with laughter and disbelief, “yeah, right. You’re like my sister,”
Hope seemed to crash and burn like a mangled Muggle airplane and Angelina swallowed a bit as she seemed to remember that he would never do anything with her. Never kiss her or hold her or look at her the way she looked at him, “…Very funny.”
George took in her face and then sighed heavily as she bent and rolled up her magazine and looked around for her own discarded school bag and when she found it, she stuffed it inside of it with more force than she had intended. “Why’re you so mad at me now?”
“I’m not mad at you, George. If I were, you’d know it,” Angelina snarled and she heard him wince a bit because she had a bad habit of coming up with her own hexes and curses, the last time she’d gotten really mad at him had caused him to stay green and prickly for weeks.
There was a slight silence before George said warily. “You know, I like you Angie. I may date and everything but I always come back to you.” Angelina turned and gave him a wary look, wondering if he were making fun of her, “as uninteresting and boring as I am, you like me anyway so that makes you my main girl. But don’t tell Lee because he’ll get all emotional and shit,”
Angelina didn’t want to know why but her heart was pounding with happiness and she was about to smile but he had leaned forward, so close to her mouth that she closed her eyes only to feel him peck her on the nose. Bemused and embarrassed, she rubbed at it, “What was that supposed to be?”
“A passionate moment between my mouth and your nose,” George answered seriously and when she burst out laughing, he briefly rested his forehead against her own, “I’m a wreck without you, Angie. I don’t know what I’d do without you,”
Before Angelina could even begin to say how she felt, Fred ran up screaming at them. “Help me get this fucking thing off!” and they both broke apart, George looking a bit disappointed and regretful before roaring with laughter at the sight of his brother in a pink bra. “Hurry, before Alicia makes me put on the panties!”
Angelina felt her mind slipping away just then and the George in her memory, who was laughing too hard to care, faded away abruptly. But she wasn’t able to forget that later on he had stayed up with her in the common room and had lit two candles for her grandparents, whom he would never know and had held her just a bit as she cried before causing her to laugh again.
As much as she loved her other friends, George had always been the joy in her life and if he were gone from her, she wasn’t certain how she would be able to deal with his loss. She was more than certain that if this were Hell, then it wasn’t nearly so bad.
The pain would ease a bit but if she got to see him just a few more times before being cast away, then it was worth…
“Angie, wake up, please!” someone was sobbing. “Please don’t be gone!”
The last few visions of George seemed to fade away like smoke and she grasped at them desperately, wanting to stay in this Hell if he was going to be there. “I don’t think she’s going to wake up!” another voice said worriedly. “This is so scary, what if…?”
Whatever question was asked was lost on her and she felt the fog around her brain and all the pain, horror and grief tear into her anew.
Feeling George slipping away from her once again, Angelina tried to get her body to be peaceful and still but there was a strange, thumping sound in her chest that told her that no, she was not dead and that no, she hadn’t been in Hell at all.
Seeing his last smile, or what she could of it didn’t mean the end. And her heart started to pound and blackness lifted from her mind when the memories burst away and she was forced to open her eyes and stir, her body back to life.
A/N: And hello again! Okay, I am so happy that this story gets so many reads, it never ceases to amaze me and I owe you all so much for taking the time to read and sometimes leave me a review!
As soon as she was able to feel her body moving, her eyes opening and taking in the blurring shapes around her, Angelina was aware that something bad had happened right before her body decided to come back to this world.
There was the thick, coppery smell of blood and the sounds of agonized screams, monsters roaring their rage and the lights and furious battling or lights as they collided in deadly, rainbow colored blasts and made the air tremble.
Hogwarts was under attack again. Harry Potter apparently had given his life away and was dead. The force of his kindness made it harder for Angelina to rise but once she did, she was shoved back down by a pair of bloody hands. “Stay down, Angie! Stupefy!” it was Katie, and she appeared just as shocked as she was.
“Katie?” Angelina whispered but then her mind started to fog over again, images of George sweeping across her brain and causing the deepest grief to form over her soul. “George,” she whispered and his name sounded like something lost and almost tainted, he had been taken away from her forever.
Thick dark hair flew around her and she struggled up, fighting Katie away from her body and heard something whizz by them.
“Get away from my friends, you bastard!” Alicia cried just then and Angelina was able to angle her head and see her just a few feet away, dripping in blood and aiming complex hexes and jinxes at whoever had tried to harm them.
They had been the voices that she had heard in her unconscious state and as Alicia ran forward, leaping over their bodies, Angelina felt immense love and devotion to them both. Katie struggled with her for a while longer before rolling off of her, panting and holding her arm.
“You’re hurt!” Angelina cried in surprise while looking at the thick blood that was seeping from her friends flesh.
“It’s nothing!” Katie groaned as she stood and forced her trembling legs to work, looking taller and more powerful than Angelina had ever seen her before she was able to say. “I’m so sorry, Angie. I really am.”
Angelina wasn’t able to say anything back because her friend rushed away into thick, black smoke from beyond her. Shaking and frightened, she felt her fingers closing over her wand and stood up, her leg twitching with pain and blood pooling before she took in the scene around her. She gasped in outrage at the Death Eaters that were swarming inside.
It seemed like thousands of them were there, inside a place that rejected them with its students and its teachers and Angelina was certain that many Hogsmeade villagers had finally had enough. And if she didn’t know any better, a centaur or two was tearing into them left and right.
Arrows were blazing by, colors swayed and collided with the ceiling and she forced herself to stay strong, for George, for Fred, for her parents. And dear little Colin Creevey, whom she hadn’t even known and she felt her heart steeling.
Something jolted by her and she gasped to see Lucius Malfoy and his wife running by, screaming for their dementedly cowardly child. Angelina knew that her own parents would be the same if they weren’t here already.
Gripping her wand tightly in her hands, Angelina looked around for someone to attack. To slash and to destroy and ran into the thick throng of the fighters and Death Eater after Death Eater seemed to fall and crumble.
She was dazed, blood lusty and stricken with grief and thinking of the boy that she had always loved and would never be able to hold for herself, not ever. Not until she would see him again after years and years apart.
Tears stinging her eyes and making her appear quite mad herself; Angelina found her legs taking her from the demolished Great Hall and up many stairs. Tripping over dead bodies and blood; crushed stones until she was running down a wrecked corridor, fending the enemies away.
“Petrificus Totalus!” someone screamed and she turned and saw what might have been Parvati Patil, in her own rage as she caused a Death Eater man to topple away like a rock from a trembling boy.
Angelina and she met eyes for the briefest of seconds. A smile started on her face but just then, the window behind her in the corridor was blasted apart and a giant’s hand reached inside, bloodied and the horror of it tore her away.
Parvati screamed and she leapt away just as she did, the stones crumbling, smoke billowing and the beasts eyes dark and menacing. “Get away, run!” Angelina cried because she knew no spell that could spare them from this.
Together, they ran from it and heard someone distantly scream in agony and death but as they ran, Parvati was somehow lost to her. Angelina was left alone again, finding more Death Eaters and more students that needed her help.
The wand in her hand was a monster on its own and her hand whizzed and slashed through the air and her mouth tasted like blood. She wondered vaguely if she had somehow lost a tooth.
Hannah Abbott and Seamus Finnigan were alongside her at some point and the three of them were taking down at least six Death Eaters on their own and having just a bit of trouble. Reinforcements came in the form of Madame Rosmerta, Professors Sinistra and Sprout and about a dozen other people she recognized.
Bowled over from the sheer force of will, the Death Eaters that weren’t killed pleaded for their lives, tossing aside their wands but Angelina wasn’t able to lower her own and only stopped herself from killing them because it frightened her deeply.
Could she become a creature like them? Could she kill a man, a woman, a child that was begging for their life? No. Angelina stumbled away from them as the world around her seemed to crumble, it still being dark outside and many more bodies strewn about the corridor floor.
After shaking off her terrible thoughts and thinking of George again, she thrust herself back into the battle. He wouldn’t want her to be that way, he would want her to stay strong, to be happy and that caused her to grow more strength, even as her body was trying very hard to get her to die, to rest a bit, perhaps forever.
The ceiling was shaking, people were crying out in pain and Angelina found out why when she stumbled down an adjacent hallway to see Dementors, once again, trying to feed on helpless innocents.
A grouping of about six or seven students were trembling, holding their mouths as the inky creatures bent over them like an evil cloud, trying to steal their souls and a few of them appeared as if they had succeeded.
“Someone help!” a boy cried between his fingers.
Angelina was panting hard and conjured up the happiest memory that she could, the happiest feeling and an old image of George as he smiled at her, and energy sprang like the thump of her heart.
“Please George,” she whispered before raising her wand and crying, “Expecto Patronum!” and almost instantly, the force of her lioness exploded from her wandtip and charged.
She was beautiful; the most beautiful thing in the world and Angelina kept her mind and her feelings on George, always George and watched as the Dementors reeled away from the children, trying to fight her Patronus off.
Her feet were sliding and her knees felt weaker and weaker. But she held on as strongly as she could and eventually, the slimy, black creatures faded away, retreating through a broken window, their would-be victims sagging with relief.
Angelina watched as her Patronus prowled around them, bringing with it a warmth that made their pale cheeks turn back red and sweaty, “Thank you so much!” a girl whispered and Angelina could only nod.
Without another word to her besides a few nods and relieved smiles, the group managed to stand and walk away through the smoke and the darkness before her Patronus burst away.
Angelina felt as if the very life had been taken from her and she very nearly fell but almost as she did so, a mangled looking Death Eater woman seemed to emerge from nowhere, her hand gripping along the wall.
She was going after that group of kids and Angelina shot a curse at her, “I don’t think so you bitch!”
The woman blocked her attack just in time and turned to her and Angelina was surprised by how hard she fought her, as if she were in just as much of a haze as she was.
Her magic was far more advanced than hers but Angelina fought her just as hard, her mind gone but a nasty hex struck her shoulder and she cried out in pain and had to steady her hand against the wall.
“Poor little Hogwarts witch,” the woman jeered meanly and Angelina felt her eyes fogging over with pain but just then, just as she knew that she would have died, a curse struck the woman directly in her forehead.
She watched as the woman’s eyes went wide with shock before she fell and Angelina gasped as she felt someone’s hand wrapping around her waist and tugging her upright against them.
“Merlin, Angie, are you all right?” She looked up and saw red hair, freckles and a face covered in blood. “Hey, you’re safe now. It’s all right,” he said softly, pulling her to him.
It was a dream of some kind because she would know his voice and his touch anywhere and she felt as if she couldn’t breathe properly. “George,” her voice was a hoarse whisper and she broke down into relieved sobs so terrible that she almost fell to her knees, “George!”
At first, she thought that he would crack some sort of joke and say that he was Fred, like he would sometimes do to tease her a bit but he said nothing. Instead, he stayed silent and Angelina grew obsessed with the pulse of his heart as it beat in his chest and right then she was unable to stop herself from crying harder, his one arm locking her harder to him.
For just the briefest of seconds her face was lifted up and he might have kissed her before the moment was broken by a harsh and nasty laugh. “Well, well, isn’t this touching? Two little Hogwarts fighters all alone…”
Angelina turned around with him and saw that two Death Eater men were standing there, one of them so tall and so wide that he appeared to touch the ceiling. “Back off, or we’ll kill you.” The other, a squat man that she couldn’t quite place said while holding up his wand.
The battle apparently wasn’t going so well for them down below and Angelina swallowed hard and raised her wand, unsure how she was able to see at all through her tears. George’s wand was already out and there was a fierce look in his eyes that was almost inhuman, deadly and his body stiffened until Angelina wasn’t able to recognize him but she was by his side, and that was all that mattered.
No words were said and the Death Eaters fired spell after curse after hex at the two of them and Angelina found that she was able to dodge. To duck and to leap over them with a grace that was coming from survival and not the energy she knew that she didn’t have.
George stayed beside her the entire time and only needed her help when he stumbled and his large, evil opponent nearly killed him with a blast of green light and Angelina was able to grab him aside. “Thanks, Angie,” he panted.
“Not a problem, George,” Angelina said back but he was already turning away from her and fighting again and she went back to her own opponent, who was losing his nerve and appearing as if he were running out of ideas.
Not feeling sorry, she was able to dodge his Killing Curse and Bind him with a flick of her wand that was so strong that his little body flew back and into a wall, his head banging violently against it and making him slump.
Just at that time, George was able to dance around his opponent and fire a curse into his chest that made him fly backwards through a shattered window and land far, far away and Angelina wasn’t able to hear the thud.
Unable to believe what she had seen, Angelina stared at him and saw that he had changed drastically since she had seen him last. Before the battle had started and wondered what was done to him, to turn him into this.
She had seen murder before and she was unsure if she had killed anyone herself but to see George murdering a man caused an odd mix of feelings enter her heart. But she pushed them down and tried to gather her breath.
Sunlight was creeping onto the horizon and George’s hair seemed to turn into molten lava, his back to her as he allowed the silence to engulf them both. Angelina could hear no fighting below but the distant sounds of screams and shouts could be heard and a black, horse-like creature that could have only been a Thestral flapped by the window at some point. But there was no other sound save for their breathing and the thumps from various feet.
“We should go back down to the Great Hall.” George said then and his voice caused her to jolt just a bit before he angled his head back at her and smiled, that right dimple appearing and assuring her that he was just who he was. Angelina managed to nod and he wandered up to her and held out his hand and when she hesitantly took it, his voice turned cajoling, “Scared you might like it?” and he grasped it before she could reply.
It seemed that all of the grief and hatred she had felt while thinking that he was gone from her seemed to seep from her lungs with each breath. Angelina managed to look up at him and notice that his eyes were hard; there was no longer a need to speak.
They walked over wreckage, tore their eyes away from the dead and it took far longer than she would have thought to reach the remains of the Great Hall. But when they did, she was able to see that the War was over.
Harry Potter was somehow still alive and the celebration seemed to explode around them. The sounds of cheers and merrymaking made it all seem like some terrible, horrible nightmare and Angelina wasn’t sure if she could take it in.
George’s hand gripped hers tighter until she looked up at him, “…I’m so glad that you’re alive.” He said, “For a moment, I saw you lying there after he was gone and I thought the worst.”
“When who was gone?”
Angelina thought and her memory yanked her back until she recalled the red haired man on the ground, surrounded by family, the freckles that she had known so well and for so long causing her heart to stop. “…George, where’s Fred?”
The question was all it took for him to break and he started to squeeze her hand so tightly that for a moment it hurt.
But her heart hurt much worse, almost as if it had been ripped from her chest and stomped on but George said nothing, his eyes going red. Tears started to flood but she was already engulfing him in her arms and feeling his forehead resting on her shoulder, his arm going round her waist again until he was overcome with depression and grief.
But there was relief that it was over and hatred for the person that took his brother from them all, making them empty. Angelina wasn’t able to get her mouth to work, her mind to form words. But George didn’t appear to mind and while the celebration raged around them, people letting off fireworks, they held onto each other so tightly that nothing else in the world mattered.
Oh, I am so SORRY for the wait! I was editing and adding onto other stories (If you haven't checked A Force of Wills out, please let me know what you think!) and I'm sorry if you all were getting rather frustrated with me. So, anyway, please enjoy this chapter and let me know what you think! And as always, much love.
“Congratulations!” Katie cried and Angelina, who had been standing quite still and lost in her thoughts, was abruptly yanked out of them. When she jumped a bit and turned round, butcher knife in hand, her old friend gaped, “Merlin, don’t stab me!”
Angelina let out a relieved breath and placed the knife back down on the cutting board, a weary sigh coming from her lips. She hadn’t thought that she would be found in her own apartment, nearly a year after Hogwarts celebrating anything when just getting through the day without screaming exhausted her, “Sorry, but you scared me!”
Katie looked a bit concerned and she held up her hands to fend her off, which put her very pregnant belly in display. She and Oliver had promptly married just a few short months after Hogwarts and while it had made her very happy, seeing them blending so well together only left a bitter tang in her own heart, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to! But you’re so jumpy!”
Angelina was unable to tell her that it was still because she assumed that Death Eaters would appear from around every corner with bloodlust in their eyes. The nightmares were enough and the aching loneliness she felt couldn’t be soothed no matter how much she tried, “You shouldn’t sneak up on people!” she said with a laugh.
Katie looked apologetic but Angelina waved it away and went back to slicing meat, her fingers shaking, as they often did now, just a bit. “I’m just so happy for you, Angie. Everything seems to be going in the right direction lately.”
It was a very kind compliment but Angelina found that no matter if she were getting promoted at the Department for Magical Games and Sports and had been offered a chance to join the Holyhead Harpies this summer as replacement Chaser great news.
The thought that she would be alone while she gained more Galleons and went across the country to Ireland to train, if she went, only sent her spiraling into a deep, dark hole, “…You could say that.” Angelina whispered.
There was an uncomfortable silence and while Katie had had to have some physical therapy for her wounded arm, the emotional damage she had suffered had been largely taken care of by Oliver’s constant and loving support.
Alicia and Lee had grown closer this past year as well and Angelina scented that they would be together for quite some time while she remained alone, “Get out of the kitchen for a while and I’ll finish making the chili.”
Angelina reluctantly left the meat aside and was a bit uncomfortable having a party tonight to celebrate how great her life had benefited her when in fact her life had given her nothing. She was so empty inside that she could barely roll out of bed in the morning, “Where are the others? I thought they’d be back by now.”
Katie shook her head a bit before dragging her from the stove and forcing her into a chair at her small dinette. “They had to stop by for a few more things.” She said evasively and Angelina narrowed her eyes on her as she went about flicking her wand at vegetables, pots and various sauces, “you know, Angie I’ve been a bit worried for you.”
“Why?” Angelina asked sharply.
“Don’t get an attitude with me!” Katie warned while briefly turning around and glaring at her, looking very much like a mother. “I’m just concerned, is all. You’re so unhappy, I just want you to take a step forward, find someone to make you happy.” A horrible pang settled into her chest and Angelina shook her head a bit, unable to really find the words that could make this conversation cease. “There’s this really nice bloke that lives next to Oliver and me, I could introduce you.”
Angelina wanted to tell her that she didn’t need to date but in truth it was just that she didn’t want to. “I’d only muck things up.”
Katie let out a slew of curses that had her brow rising, “Angie, for Merlin’s sake! You’re tall, your curvy, your legs go on for miles and you’re probably the nicest person that I know besides Geo—” she hastily covered herself up by saying, “if I were a guy, I’d be all over you.”
Angelina felt her heart do a nasty jolt and she stood up hastily and said. “I’m going to find something else to put on, I can’t celebrate in this old thing,” she lied, as her jeans and t-shirt were completely devoid of burns, tears or lint.
Katie scowled at her. “Put the dress I bought for you on!” she commanded.
Angelina gave her a grateful smile before rushing away and going into her bedroom and slamming the door. Why did she have to bring up George? Every moment with him replayed itself over and over again until her brain felt as if it were going to implode. She missed him terribly but they hadn’t spoken since before Fred’s funeral.
Just then, her eyes welled with tears and she covered her mouth to hold in the silent scream that was bubbling up. She often had nightmares about him and his last smile before she woke up at night, screaming for George, for anyone and finding that, like always, she was left to sob into her pillowcase alone. It was still hard, missing him and so many others.
If someone could simply hold her for a moment she would be fine but Angelina couldn’t depend on her friends when they had their own lives to tend to and she appreciated the comfort that they did give her.
But it just wasn’t the same without George. He would know exactly what to say and what to do for her and she would be able to smile again without feeling her lips ache, he would know exactly how to make her happy.
The sound of her apartment door opening and closing, with voices and laughter flooding inside caused her to snap out of her thoughts. Angelina shakily wandered further into her bedroom to hold her other guests off, spotting a few photographs on her nightstand.
They were mostly of the gang from Hogwarts and she sadly walked up to grab her favorite of them all together after a particularly rowdy practice, their arms around each other.
She traced Fred’s face for a moment before deciding to show Katie, who didn’t have nearly enough things for her and Oliver’s apartment. “Angie, darling where are you?!” It was Alicia and she sounded very happy.
Very in love, even and Angelina called back. “Just a minute!” and spent a long moment or two wiping at her eyes before shrugging out of her clothes, so as not to alarm Katie and putting on the simple blue dress that she had bought for her.
It fit nice and after slipping on a pair of different shoes, she took the picture and made a great show of looking down at her feet as she walked out. “Sorry, I had to make sure this dress of Katie’s actually fit me. She thinks that—”
“Looks good on you, Angie, Katie can do something right at least,” someone said and Angelina’s head jerked up in both surprise and disbelief. George was standing there with a wide, if not weak smile on his face between Oliver and Lee.
Alicia had somehow melted away into the kitchen to grab Katie but Angelina hardly cared that they were obviously waiting for some sort of dramatic reaction. Her fingers were shaking uncontrollably and the photo in her hand slipped and crashed to the floor, though she didn’t hear the sound. “Angie?” someone asked in concern.
It had to be some sort of joke.
She had been so worried about him and the sight of him now brought an unholy urge in her entire being and before she was aware of what she was doing, she was hurriedly crossing the space between them.
Oliver and Lee leapt away just as her arms wrapped around his neck and she kissed him hard on the mouth, over and over again until he gripped her upper arms to fend her off, “Why haven’t I heard from you?!” she screamed.
George didn’t blush very easily but his face was entirely red, his eyes wide with shock and yet, he wasn’t looking at her as an unknown voice spoke up.
“…Uhm, are you going to introduce me or what?” and Angelina jolted out of her emotions to spot a girl standing awkwardly in her hallway, tiny and cute and everything she was not.
Alicia spared her from the most humiliating moment of her life by rushing up and taking her hand. “Sorry about that Natasha, it’s been a while since they’ve seen each other! This is Angelina, we told you about her the last time we were over?” she said hastily.
Blood was rushing to her face and Angelina saw that the rest of her friends avoided her eyes guiltily and she frowned angrily.
They had been seeing him for the past year, on secret get-togethers without her and her eyes flashed to George’s and she saw that he couldn’t look at her, there was a deeply forced smile on his face that made her ache.
It was a betrayal of the worst kind and Angelina felt her face paling and her hands shaking even more and Alicia gave her a squeeze. Though she didn’t want her touching her just now, “Oh, uhm…hi?” the girl said nervously, coming up.
Angelina stared down at the girl and quickly ran her eyes over her pretty form, her immaculate skin and the thick, shortly styled brown hair.
Her eyes were very big, like a doll’s and were a deep, piercing blue, her lips pouty and red and to add salt into her wounds, she was dressed nicely as well and stunk of wealth. “Hi, sorry about that, I’m Angelina Johnson,” she said, offering her hand.
“Natasha Orion, it’s nice to finally meet you, I suppose. From the way Lee was describing you, I expected you to be a lot bigger and decked out in armor,” Natasha said with a laugh while giving her hand an enthusiastic shake. “Oh, dear, why are you trembling? Am I that ugly?”
That caused George to laugh, Oliver as well and Angelina was aware that these were her typical words to break the ice. She quickly let go of her hand and clenched her fists to her side, “Just a little overexcited,” she lied.
Alicia was still holding her other hand and gave it a squeeze again before saying to Natasha happily. “Angie here fought five Death Eaters at once! She’s an amazing fighter!”
“Wow, cool!” Natasha said while staring into Angelina’s face curiously. “And you’re so pretty! I’d never think that you wrestled trolls!”
Angelina felt her lips twitching and she asked dryly. “And who said that I did?” Lee made a nervous sounding cough and she glared over at him. “Git!”
“Sorry, but it’s probably true! I mean, look at you!” Lee cried nervously and she knew that though Natasha couldn’t tell, her long-time friends knew when she was growing a bit of a temper.
It wasn’t nearly as strong as it could have been though. It was more like a numb, constricting ache, more hurt than rage that they had excluded her from their activities, “Tasha, she could pop my head right off.” Oliver said in agreement, chuckling.
Natasha roared with laughter and she walked over to George and touched his arm, which made him look down at her with a fond smile. Angelina’s lungs seemed to squeeze the last bit of air from her body and she yanked her hand from Alicia’s and shakily walked into the kitchen, “Why’re you looking so glum rouge? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost!”
George’s reply was drowned out by whatever Oliver was saying to them, laughing comfortably but Angelina was so upset that she couldn’t even bask in the sound of his voice. Why hadn’t he tried to speak with her?
After all that they’d been through…she hadn’t expected him to distance himself from her so strongly, she knew that everyone grieved differently but it was almost as if he were trying to keep himself from her.
How her friends had been together with him and his new girlfriend without inviting her along to join in only caused her to feel the most painful bitterness. She couldn’t stop the tears from welling in her eyes, her hands shaking so badly that it hurt.
“Angie…?” she flinched a bit at the sound of George’s voice and she didn’t bother to turn around, making herself busy by gathering bowls and spoons. Oliver and Lee wandered into the kitchen at some point and she glanced back at them, “we brought some more food and some butterbeer. Lee was wondering if you wanted to let off some fireworks.”
Lee grinned at her when Angelina turned around to give him a warning look. “I won’t blow anything up this time, I promise!” he said, as he had nearly blown up her parent’s house at her birthday party several months before. “It’s a warm night and you’ve got a great back garden—”
“Do not let off the really fancy ones or the Muggles will think something is up!” Angelina warned, her voice sounding like a croak. Lee gave her a grin before nudging Oliver and whispering something to him as they unloaded their food and drinks onto her dinette.
George was standing awkwardly in her kitchen, having never been in her apartment before and she promptly turned back to gathering dishes. The chili was nearly ready and she swallowed hard as he made a jerking motion toward her, “I wanted to get you something but I didn’t know what you’d like.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Angelina replied crisply. Oliver and Lee were making a lot of noise and she asked angrily, “what are you two nutters doing? Do not break anything!” she warned.
“We didn’t break anything!” Oliver said and he sounded very happy and she felt another bitter taste invading her mouth.
Katie wandered in to say something to him and he roared with laughter, Natasha and Alicia were making conversation in her living room, getting along so well that it was almost a sin.
George was staring at her but Angelina couldn’t bring herself to look at him and when he made a step forward to touch her, she flinched visibly. “…I’ll leave you alone.” He said as he took the hint and walked out, his head down.
Angelina felt her lips trembling and looked over at the others, who were giving her concerned looks and she smiled weakly. “I’m okay, really. I didn’t know he was going to be here, so I might run out of dishes and we’ll have to eat outside, it probably won’t rain.”
Katie was wringing her hands together nervously, as if she expected her to explode but when Angelina simply stared at her unblinkingly, she said. “We’re sorry, we wanted to surprise you.”
“You surprised me all right,” Angelina said tersely.
Oliver bit on his lower lip. “It’s really not that we hadn’t tried—”
Angelina overrode him. “I don’t care. Stop talking about it!” she commanded and the three of them flinched before letting the issue drop. “Could you all move everything outside? We might have to elongate the kitchenette magically but I’ve got some extra chairs in the closet in the living room.”
The command was sharp and Oliver and Lee bustled off with her kitchenette, being careful not to allow the food to topple off.
Katie stared at her for a while longer before sighing and going back into the living room to get the extra chairs and Angelina turned back to gathering the bowls, spoons and briefly checking on the pot of chili. “Need some help with that?” Alicia asked her, coming inside.
Angelina shook her head as she flicked her wand at the objects and watched as they floated in the air, and began to follow her as she made her way out into the back garden.
The night air was warm and the stars alight. It was a very pretty evening but she couldn’t glory in it, “I’m fine.” She said tightly.
“Angie, don’t be so mad at us.” Alicia pleaded worriedly.
“Let it go, Alicia, I don’t want to talk about it.” Angelina snapped angrily and her voice carried a bit, which alerted George and Natasha as they stood in the living room, chatting.
They looked over at her in surprise but she smiled disarmingly and forced herself to look away before flicking her wand and causing the bowls and spoons to situate themselves on the dinette.
Oliver and the others were arranging food but none of them were able to look her in the eye and for a moment she almost asked them to leave her alone. But she loved them all too much and sighed irritably before turning round to get back inside. “George is going to get the chili for you! He thought it might be too heavy.” Natasha said happily as she walked out, looking very cute as she skipped over to the others.
“Oh,” Angelina said softly. She didn’t want to be around him anymore than she had to when it felt as if her heart was breaking into small little pieces so she walked back to the dinette, barely noticing as Katie came out with more chairs and situated them around it, “that was nice of him.”
Natasha looked at her with a quirked brow but she didn’t say anything to it and made herself comfortably besides Alicia, grinning wildly. “He’s a dear, isn’t he, Licia?”
Angelina felt her eyes welling with tears and wondered who this girl was in the first place to have made George so happy in the past year. Of course, it was not a surprise after years and years of watching him with other girls but the pain didn’t ease when she’d needed him so badly for her own comfort, wanting to make him smile for herself as well.
The fact that she couldn’t and would never be able to be with him caused her breath to catch raggedly before she gathered herself and sat down next to Katie, who took her hand so she could rub her stomach for her.
“Is the baby kicking?” Angelina asked in delight as she felt little feet pushing against her palm as if it were dying to be freed.
Katie nodded in annoyance, her brow furrowed. “I found out that I’m having more than one, actually and these little beasts are ripping my insides apart.” She complained and Oliver laughed beside her.
Angelina was very surprised and she asked excitedly. “You’re having twins? That’s amazing news!” she cried, hugging her and briefly forgetting about her anger. “Have you found out what you’re having?”
Oliver snorted disbelievingly. ‘There’s no way of knowing that!”
“Yes there is. Muggles have all sorts of things that allow you to know what sex your baby will be and they can take pictures from inside the womb.” Angelina said knowingly and Oliver and Katie looked very stunned, even frightened. “My mum told me all about it, she’s Muggle-born.”
Natasha looked unimpressed and Angelina shot her a look underneath her lashes, wondering if she were some pureblood who had previously supported Voldemort, like the Malfoy’s. Though from what she had heard, Lucius Malfoy was in St. Mungo’s for spell damage to his brain and then when he recovered enough, he would be sent to Azkaban.
Angelina hadn't heard much more but she figured that there was nothing no one could do, even though his wife and son had been pardoned by the Ministry for what little they had done. She had only heard these little details from the Daily Prophet, as they were keeping tabs on any family, friends or business associates that had been involved with either Voldemort or his followers.
“So you’re Muggle-born…?” Natasha asked her curiously, bringing her back into the conversation and Angelina blinked her thoughts away.
“No, I’m half-blood. My father is a pureblood,” Angelina replied with a slight smile as she said to the others, “he told me the other day that he made the greatest decision in marrying my mum, he said that no one else can punch him as good.”
Alicia roared with laughter while Natasha politely smiled back, looking a bit confused by the flow of the conversation. “Your parents are so stuffy! I can’t imagine that!”
Angelina knew that it was very true but she had learned that the two of them had arrived at the Battle of Hogwarts sometime before sunrise and had fought and saved various people. She was very proud of them but the aftermath of what might have been if they had lost her caused them to be rather overprotective now, expecting an owl at least three times a day and constant visits to check up on her.
While it was comforting, it was also stifling and Angelina tried hard not to hurt their feelings and kept it to herself, knowing how lucky she was just to have them. “I can’t imagine it either, but they make it work somehow.”
“Well, at least some people do.” Alicia said bitterly and Angelina knew that she was referring to how Seamus had broken up with her some months after the War to elope with that Abbott girl. She had never gone into detail about why things hadn’t worked out between them but Angelina had a feeling that it had been their age differences and whatever pain that had marked them both, “though I still can’t see your mum throwing a punch.”
“Me neither but my dad swears that she can! When she was in labor with me, he claims to this day that she punched him right in the eye.” Angelina said with a weak laugh. “And after they found out about me being a girl, he also claims that she kicked him in the groin for wishing I was a boy.”
Katie was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down her face and Oliver was rubbing her stomach, Angelina absently patting it as well. “Do you really think that Muggles have a way of looking inside me? It sounds scary!”
“Sounds like a fantasy,” Oliver corrected and she grinned.
Lee sounded very amazed and rubbed his chin a bit as if he had come up with the idea and she was able to spot his two missing fingers easily. “Amazing junk that those Muggles come up with,” he said with a grin. “Maybe they’ll tell you how fat they’ll be, since Katie weighs a ton.”
Katie glowered at him. “Shut up!”
Angelina laughed a bit and a slight distraction came in the form of George maneuvering the large pot of chili and various drinks with his wand, looking grim. “Do you need help with that?” Oliver asked in alarm.
“Nah, if my mum can do it with eight of us, then I can do it too.” George said distractedly and Angelina felt a small ripple go among the group as he had counted Fred among the members of his family that were still alive.
Natasha looked a bit confused by the silence that fell but she ended up standing to help George, her wand drawn and a grin on her face. “You do too much, rouge,” she teased as they managed to get everything on the magically elongated table, the weight of all the food and drinks threatening to make it cave.
Angelina frowned at the pet name that she had given him but her limited French told her that rouge meant red and the apparent closeness between them made her feel all the more miserable. “You didn’t have to do that.” She said to George shortly.
“It’s the least I could do, Angie,” George said while avoiding her eyes and sitting beside his girlfriend and fidgeting. When an awkward silence fell, he demanded, “so? Who’s going to fill my bowl? I’m starved!”
Katie did it for Angelina, who couldn’t bring her hands to stop shaking and ladled out heavy helpings for everyone around. Butterbeer, chips and various other treats were rotated around but Angelina merely played with her food until her friend snapped, “Eat! You’ll lose that delicious figure if you don’t stuff yourself!”
Lee was giving her a worried look but he asked Katie suspiciously. “And why would you be concerned with her figure?”
“Haven’t you looked at her?” Katie asked dryly.
Oliver snorted into his food as Natasha asked curiously. “You all seem to know each other really well. How long have you all been friends?” there was a frown on her face as she glanced at Angelina though and she sent her a thin smile.
“Since Hogwarts,” George said after swallowing his food and holding out his bowl for Katie to refill for him, which she did with a roll of her eyes. “I met Alicia and Angie on the Express, Lee was my dorm mate and Oliver was our Quidditch captain for a while and Katie joined later on,”
Natasha looked down at Angelina and then back at George with a suspicious frown. “You never told me you met Angelina on the train! Why didn’t you tell me? That’s such a long time to be friends, I’m jealous! I didn’t have any friends until second year! Everyone said I talked too much.” She laughed.
George didn’t answer her and Angelina gave him a hurt expression before digging into her food before Alicia said happily. “Angie never smiled, we all had to gang bang her,” Lee spluttered his drink all over his lap, “Fred said—”
The name caused them all to stiffen a bit and Angelina shot a look at George to see that his hand had stilled on his drink. “Fred said what?” he asked after a while.
Alicia shook her head and said with a very weak smile. “Ah, nothing. But it was really fun getting to run my hands all over Angie though,” she gave Angelina a cocky grin that had her smile for the first time without it hurting too badly. “Oh, the memories…”
Natasha looked a bit uncomfortable but she waved it away as they continued to tease and joke, Angelina so accustomed to it that she barely interrupted them. “You all are so strange! Rouge, why didn’t you tell me that your friends were so strange when they got together?”
“You couldn’t tell when you met them a few months ago?” George asked in surprise and she gave him a playful nudge with her arm before he shrugged. “We’re all just used to each other, I suppose. That sort of thing happens when you go swimming naked in the Black Lake. And other places…”
Katie spluttered at the memory but Oliver was looking very envious of this as he demanded with a heated look. “You all went without me lately?” he asked and George shook his head, laughing a little. “Merlin, it’s been ages since we did something like that. We should do it again sometime,”
Angelina rolled her eyes and shuddered. “I’d rather not.”
Lee waved his spoon at her, sending beans and meat flying in all directions. “You finally went swimming naked but you didn’t go with us! George here was the only one who got to see the goods, which is totally unfair!” George shot him a dark look and he coughed, “I mean, I might have seen a glimpse of that mole you got down by you—”
“Would you shut up?” Angelina cried embarrassingly as Natasha shot George a look from underneath her lashes. She had quite forgotten about that time over the past year, “and I don’t have any moles!”
Lee pursed his lips and Alicia opened her mouth to say something to that, as she had seen her naked a few times when they’d been younger but Katie struck up a completely different conversation and asked Natasha, “So, how is your boutique doing?”
Angelina felt her irritation with life spiking a bit but she listened only marginally as the girl went on about a boutique that she owned in Diagon Alley with her younger sister. It was a very lucrative business that sold naughty lingerie.
George had wandered into the shop apparently to buy some for Lee, as their friend had lost some sort of bet and they’d struck up a funny conversation and had been dating ever since. And while she tried not to let it depress her, it was hard not to.
Natasha was bright and bubbly, supportive and kind, with a decent love for jokes and was obviously hinting at moving in with George sometime later this year.
“That’s great news for you two! I hadn’t thought that George would ever settle down.” Alicia said with a slightly forced smile as George smiled thinly. “It seems like everyone is getting hitched or hooking up lately.”
Lee nodded as he gave her a cheeky grin that made her blush and smack his shoulder in a warning way. “Angie, why aren’t you showing off that gorgeous figure to some lucky bloke?” he asked curiously and she gave him a startled look before she shook her head. “Ah, not wanting to get attached before you go to Ireland, I bet.”
George placed his spoon down abruptly and he turned and stared at her, a hurt look coming across his face before he quickly reeled it in. “So you’re leaving m—” hastily he covered up his words and asked with a false smirk, “so you’re taking the offer to join the Holyhead's?”
“I haven’t really decided.” Angelina said while her brows shot up warily, as he hadn’t spoken to her in so long to really care where she went. “It might be good for me, change of pace and everything.”
Katie looked relieved that she was trying but Oliver was frowning a bit as he probably recalled his experiences as reserve Keeper. “You’ll have to take loads of pictures for us, Angie.” She sent him a slight smirk, “oh, and George, have you told her about how you’ve expanded the shop?”
Angelina blinked a bit at the tears that were threatening to fall and hastily dabbed at the corner of her eyes, trying to appear overwhelmed with happiness.
Katie put more chili in her bowl with a frown, giving her a stern look when she just stared at her, “…No, he hasn’t said a word.”
George looked very uncomfortable but he smiled faintly as Natasha placed her hand on his arm and gave him an encouraging smile. “Well, I was talking with Perce a while back and he said that it would be great if I expanded the shop to some places in Scotland and Ireland, maybe Germany. Business is going so well that I’ve got a lot of offers for spreading mischief.” He said with a ghost of a smirk.
“That’s amazing news, George, I’m happy for you.” Angelina said truthfully while wondering why he couldn’t quite look at her anymore without frowning. Her heart started to pain her a bit but she forced herself to eat more of her food, “I’ll have to stop by and see some of your new products.”
It was said absently and though she would want to very badly, George’s face hardened a bit and the offer was not taken with a delighted expression. Lee instantly covered up the nasty silence and regaled Natasha with battle stories, making her grimace and gasp at the right moments as he talked about how he had lost his fingers and how he had been saved by a very pretty girl.
Alicia of course rolled her eyes during this but Angelina didn’t join in on the conversation, it was hard to let Hogwarts go. Images swam through her mind as her friends talked and joked with one another and if this had started out as a party for her, it was quickly becoming a party for George and Natasha, who were apparently so happy together that nothing could tear them apart.
They touched and whispered to one another, made each other smile when they thought no one was looking and Angelina felt a crushing blow each and every time until she was more than relieved when the food was gone.
Alicia had collapsed in a stupor on Lee’s shoulder, complaining loudly about how fat she would be and making him laugh. Katie was yawning but Oliver proposed, “Angie would you like us to let off some fireworks? It is your party after all. You got a raise, might be going to Ireland to be an amazing Chaser,” he tried to say confidently.
The expression on her face must have been very downtrodden because Katie gave her a very worried look before Lee could get up. “I don’t think you touching fireworks is a good idea!” she said.
Lee pouted. “But I won’t blow anything up!”
Angelina stood and started gathering plates, her hands shaking again but she tried to appear calm as she said. “Go on, then. It won’t be a bother, just don’t use the fancy ones! Did you get them from the joke shop?” she asked Lee curiously.
“For my birthday. George loves me after all,” Lee said dramatically and George snorted doubtfully. “I’ll keep it simple, Angie. Don’t wanna frighten the Muggles.”
Natasha was barely able to hold in her sneer but Angelina narrowed her eyes on her before gathering more bowls and utensils. “I’ll help you out, Lee!” she said to her friend, rushing out of her chair and practically pouncing on him.
Alicia laughed. “She’s rather lively, isn’t she?”
Angelina said nothing, as the comment was directed at her and made her way back into her flat, struggling just a little.
When she walked back inside, she dumped everything into the sink and started the water, adding a bit of liquid soap and losing herself in the continuous scrubbing, rubbing and scraping, determined to get away from George and the others.
The force of her loneliness was only made worse as she heard their laughter and chatter, the night being riddled with lights and booms from the fireworks that Lee had just lit. Not for her, but for that girl and George.
Bitterness welled up and she dabbed at her eyes with her wrist before scrubbing the last plate, her fingers shaking terribly, “Why do you always insist on doing too much?” George’s voice asked irritably from behind her.
Angelina turned in surprise and the wet plate slipped from her shaking hands and crashed to the floor, though she couldn’t hear the sound. It was like a distant echo from someone else’s mind, “What do you want?” the question was harsher than she had intended and his face hardened.
“Are you going to get that up?” George asked instead of replying to the question right away.
“It’s okay where it’s at,” Angelina said sharply, turning away and letting the water out of the sink and watching as the dirt and bits of food started to vanish. She wished that she could do the same, “what do you want, George?”
George laughed bitterly and she glanced over her shoulder to see that he was staring at her loose hair, as she had given up on her braids quite some time ago. “I didn’t know your hair was naturally curly, it’s really cute.” Angelina ignored the compliment and simply eyed him coldly. “Angie, I’m here, what else do you want out of me?”
“I want some sort of explanation on why I haven’t seen you. And why you’re being so distant with me, you’ve never been that way before unless something was really bothering you, Georgia,” Angelina said with a pointed look. The old nickname caused an annoyed flush to his cheeks and she took him in a bit more, noting the bags under his eyes and his severely cut red hair. “You look like Percy,” she said after a moment, “something must be wrong.”
George flinched a bit and then glared at her, completely disarmed at how easily she had almost made him smile. “Don’t mention Perce, Angie.”
Angelina was instantly concerned. “Why the hell not? I haven’t spoken to him at the Ministry lately,” though she probably hadn’t been paying attention, she tended to simply slouch her way in and out of work. And on the few times that she had paid attention to Percy, he had seemed distant, depressed and lost in his own thoughts and she hadn't wanted to disturb him, “Is something wrong with him?”
“He’s run off,” George said uneasily after a while and it was apparent that he hadn’t shared this information with anyone else and she stared at him in horror, a million questions bubbling inside of her before he explained. “A few days ago, he quit his job and ran off to only Merlin knows where.”
“Have you all looked for him? Told everyone?” Angelina asked in alarm.
George nodded and he made a jerking motion towards her but stopped himself, as if he were afraid to even touch her. “Charlie is on the hunt for him, Bill is doing his best at Gringotts but Percy is nowhere to be found, it’s almost as if he’s vanished off the face of the earth.”
Angelina would have never expected something like this from the Percy that she had briefly known at Hogwarts and she felt her heart hurting for his family. “I’m so sorry, Georgie. You should have told me! I would have come and helped you all search for him, you know that I would have.”
George ignored the declaration by snorting under his breath and she felt her chest constrict a bit at the brimming anger around him. It seemed as though it were settling on her shoulders, “We don’t need your help, don’t you do enough already? The promotion, this flat, going to Ireland—”
“I haven’t decided if I should go or not.” Angelina interrupted firmly, frowning at him for his nerve to sound upset. “Why would you even care where I go? We haven’t spoken since—”
The words wouldn’t come out and George said it for her, almost as if he were spitting on her own future grave. “Since before Freddie’s funeral, I know. But I did it on purpose.” That must not have been something he had meant to say because he cursed hotly under his breath.
“Why?” Angelina asked him painfully. “George—”
“We’re looking for Percy. He was never right after Fred died, he was the last person to be with him other than Harry and the others,” George said and his lips thinned a bit as his eyes flicked to hers, as if he were dying to blame her for something.
Angelina waited for him to explode, as he always did when he was trying to hold his emotions in but when nothing happened, she let it fall. “How are you handling all of this with Natasha? She must be just as upset about everything.”
George looked surprised that she had brought his girlfriend up but he folded his arms and briefly closed his eyes. “I don’t talk about my family with her, they don’t really—” Angelina had a feeling that he meant to say that his family didn’t care for her much and she was confused as to why they wouldn’t, though there was something about her that rankled. “Bill says she’s a gold digger. Ron says that she’s a snob and reminds him of a female Malfoy.”
“Why would he say that?” Angelina asked gently.
“Because of the look she gave Hermione after she found out she was Muggle-born. She was all politeness and sugar but you could tell that she was faking it,” George muttered and his brow furrowed. “I like her, we get along and she doesn’t ask too many questions or tries to butt in.”
Angelina swallowed hard for a moment before saying with a concerned frown. “That sounds like an empty relationship,” and he glared at her. “But I have no business asking about her or your feelings for her, I’m not your ex or some girl you had a fling with.”
George didn’t appreciate the slight reprimand and he gave a crude sounding laugh that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. “I would never sleep with you.”
“…Well, that’s good to know.” Angelina shot back, trying not to allow the words to hurt her as much as they were meant to. “We’ve always just been…like brother and sister.”
“You could say that. I relied on you so much in school,” George replied sardonically and Angelina was briefly surprised by this, “the best part of my day.” He said more to himself than to her and she felt an uncomfortable flush spreading to her cheeks.
Angelina turned away from him for a moment to gather her breathing, longing to tell him how hard it had been not to have him by her side.
Something told her not to say so as rampant images of how lost and faded he had been after the battle infested her brain, “I’m glad that you think so.”
“Thought so.” George corrected dryly. “So, are you seeing anyone?”
“No.” Angelina replied shortly. It was impossible to form a relationship with anyone when she was so broken on the inside and only wanted one man, a man that stood with her now that she was forbidden to touch, “…there’s no one.”
George let out a sigh and she thought that it sounded oddly relieved before he abruptly went on in a supposedly calm tone. “Why not? You are gorgeous.”
Angelina looked back at him and quirked her brow. “So you say,” George made a motion to touch her but his hand fell short, “but I can’t be with anyone the way that I am now. There’s too much to say and not enough ears to go round.”
“You could just get an Extendable Ear,” George suggested gently but when this failed to make her smile, he went on with a faded grin. “Remember after I saw you naked in the Black Lake and you told me all sorts of naughty things that you did with your boyfriend?”
Angelina’s cheeks flamed and she recalled that while he had finally convinced her to go swimming with him, he had practically bullied her into getting naked.It had been fun, embarrassing but she had had one of her wildest fantasies come to life because that memory of George Weasley soaking wet with not a stich on still made her giggle, if she could find the time to.
The image struck her just now and she corrected hastily. “You forced the answers out of me! You were tickling me!” it had left them both with bruised skin though and because Angelina had gotten mad at him for taking a feel out of her butt, it had resulted in him alone getting a black eye.
George grinned widely and ran his hand over his chin flirtatiously. “And what a tickle fight that was, eh? I still blush when I think about how much fun it would have been to make you wet everywhere.”
“Prat!” Angelina said, flushing furiously and tossing a towel at him. He dodged it easily and held up his hands to fend her off, “Merlin, you’re such a pervert, I’ve forgotten.” She said warily. “And anyway, I was dating someone.”
“Someone that always left you hanging, if you know what I mean. Wouldn’t have had to worry about that with me,” George said suggestively and she blushed again. The sight caused him to roar with laughter, the first real laugh that she had heard from him all night. “Do you even look at yourself naked, Angie?”
“I do all the time, my reflection swoons.” Angelina shot back and he laughed again before he began to choke and she instantly went to him and patted his back roughly. “Merlin, would you breathe?”
George had tears in his eyes and he gripped her hand as she rested it worriedly on his arm and squeezed it tightly. “I’m okay, I’ve missed you so much.” He said after a moment and Angelina felt her heart stutter to life, “Katie and the others have been worried about you. They wanted me to show up and give you sweet dreams.”
Angelina’s smile sobered a little and she settled herself next to him and began nudging his arm until he returned the playful action. “Why haven’t you seen me before? I’ve been worried sick about you.”
“…Do we have to talk about that just now? Come on, Angie, make me laugh again. Tell me that you want to get naked with me,” George said in her ear and she rolled her eyes. “No? My ego just took a dive.”
Angelina angled her face to retort that he didn’t have much of an ego to begin with when she saw the expression on his face. There was so much regret in his eyes that it made her wish that she could read his mind, “What’s the matter Georgia?” For a moment it appeared as if he would say something to her but instead, he pressed his forehead against her own in that familiar way that she had been without for so long.
“Even if I were dating someone, you’d still be my main guy, George. I’m a wreck without you, I don’t know what I’d do without you.” She said with a faint smile.
His lips turned up in a cheeky grin and she felt him pressing closer, the feel of his lips nearly touching her own when they heard a loud cough.
“I rather like the sound of that name,” Katie said as they broke apart, Angelina moving as far from him as she could, unsettled, “Georgia…I was going to name one of the babies after Fred but I rather like having a girl named Georgia,”
George was looking as unsettled as Angelina and he gave her a shamefaced look before he made some sort of excuse and walked out. Katie watched him leave and then shot her a sly grin, “Trying to steal him away from that insufferable brat?”
“You don’t like her?” Angelina asked in surprise. “Why didn’t any of you tell me that you had seen him over the past year?” she demanded angrily, all of her hurt coming out. Katie gave her a soft smile and touched her arm.
“We didn’t think that you were ready to see each other. He’s been such a mess and he made Oliver and I swear not to bring you to him while he was…indisposed,” Katie said as some distant memory struck her.
“You’ve been so down, Angie and we wanted to really give you a boost but I don’t think any of us would have thought he’d literally melt into the ground.”
Angelina snorted in disbelief and gave her an irritated glance but was unable to stay angry with any of them. Talking to George for just a while had left her feeling as if she could fly, “I leapt at him and snogged him. He did not melt!”
Katie walked up to her and smacked her on the hip with her wand as if she had said something very naughty.
Angelina let out a reluctant laugh, “Oh, yes he did. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him turn that red and he kissed you back. Which is why that spoiled little rich girl interrupted.”
“Katie, really?” Angelina asked in annoyance.
Her friend threw up her arms in a very childish manner and said sourly. “Oh, Angie, she’s horrid. She’s so bubbly and perfect!” she emphasized in a girlish voice.
“You all seem to like her just fine to me,” Angelina said sourly and Katie snorted at the tone of jealousy in her voice. “I mean, you’re all fawning over her!”
“Fawning? We’re trying not to scream. I swear— she doesn’t play Quidditch, she doesn’t know anything about George really other than what he’s told her and she doesn’t show any real sympathy for Fred,” Katie sounded most upset about this. “And I think she’s a Muggle hater.”
Angelina was worried about all of these things as well but she was still too hurt by George’s arrival and seeing them together so happily to really worry. “I’m sure they’ll grow closer and that everything will be solved,”
Katie groaned in irritation. “He wants you, not her. All you have to do is fuck him.”
Angelina gaped at her. “Katie!”
“It’s true! Merlin, just pounce on him, rip his clothes off and do all the things you’ve been dying to do with him since we were kids.” Katie said dramatically and Angelina rolled her eyes while trying very hard not to laugh out loud.
“I couldn’t do something like that, Katie. My God, what sort of monster are you?” Angelina asked in alarm before saying worriedly, “George doesn’t want me around him, I can tell. Whatever the issue is, I want him to tell me. I won’t barge in on his life, not after so long,” she said firmly and Katie snorted.
After a moment, Lee stumbled back inside and Angelina roared with laughter at the sight of his bald head and the patches on his clothes. “Blew up your tree in the back, didn’t mean to. God, I think I might have those please- men over here in a minute.”
Angelina felt a bolt of irritation and fondness. “You mean the police you git!” she said while Alicia rushed inside with Natasha, Oliver and George following in concern.She could hear the distant sirens of the police and even a fire truck and she wondered how much of her back garden was demolished and how many of her neighbors they had scared. “Lee, I swear to Merlin, I’ll skin you alive!”
“Don’t, cause I know you mean it!” Lee said with a horrified look.
Angelina ran a hand down her face before saying sharply to everyone. “Wands away, do not mention any wizard things and for all that is holy, Alicia, will you go get some towels to clean him up? I’ll grow your hair back for you later,” she promised to Lee before smoothing down her dress and flipping her hair over her shoulder.
Natasha looked a bit alarmed but a bit amused as she put her wand away. “So these are Muggle people coming?” she asked to George. Angelina shot her a dark look from under her lashes, “why should we be afraid of them?”
“We’re not striking a fight with them.” Angelina said firmly just as the doorbell rang and she started to pass them by. As she moved past George, she felt his fingers grip her wrist in the slightest of touches and the heat she got from them carried her through the most exhausting interrogation of her life.
“Angie, I am so sorry for this!” Lee said for about the millionth time as he ran his hand over his short brown hair that she had regrown for him.
The police had come over and had given her a hefty fine after she had told them that she and her friends had started a bonfire. Which had gotten out of hand and with all of her friends gawping and whispering, they’d also thought they’d been on drugs.
“Lee, its okay. I’ll pay the fine, you’ll get cleaned up and we’ll have to do this again.” Angelina said while she stood with them all near the door, waving them off.
Katie was rubbing her belly and she said with a laugh. “If I’m having another girl, Lee, I’ll name her after you for the sheer delight of knowing that you were bald.” Lee shot her a look.
Oliver laughed uneasily. “You already said you were naming one after George!”
Angelina smiled a bit as George tried to smirk smugly but when he caught her eyes, his entire face turned a bit pink and he hastily looked away.
Natasha looked a bit sour but she had a feeling that the brush with Muggles wasn’t sitting well on her stomach, “If you do, know that I was the one that helped you out. Georgia is a lovely name.”
“Angie,” George said wearily.
She ignored him by hugging Alicia and Lee, who tried to kiss her and then stretching upwards a bit to hug Oliver. Katie was harder to wrap her arms around but she eventually managed before seeing them out the door, where they would walk outside, find a dark place and Disapparate home, “…It was nice meeting you.” Angelina now said after they were gone to Natasha.
“Yeah, this was fun.” Natasha said with a friendly smile that never quite reached her eyes and Angelina tried very hard not to frown. For George’s sake, she smiled, shook the girl’s hand and then gave him a jerky nod of farewell, “have a nice night. Sorry about the mess.”
Angelina waved it away absently as George stared at her, looking indecisive and angry. “Its not a problem, I’ll clean it all up.” Natasha looked relieved before tugging on George’s arm and she said with a false smile. “…I hope to see you again. Goodnight,”
George’s entire frame flinched and he stared at her in disbelief, as if she had said something incredibly rude. “Goodnight Angie,” he said in return and whatever expression Natasha saw on his face when she looked away must have alarmed her because she coughed impatiently, “I’ll see you around.”
“All right,” Angelina said with a faint smile in his direction. George tried to stall for just a moment longer but Natasha pulled at his arm and he was forced to turn away from her and she walked with them to the door for a moment before letting them go. “Keep me updated, Georgia!”
A flinch tore across George’s back but he waved back at her and she was surprised to see that his eyes were a bit red. It took all of her power not to run after him. But she forced herself to let him go, Natasha’s arm locked with his possessively as she talked and distracted him from her and Angelina inhaled a bit before closing the door.
Emptiness greeted her and it took more than an hour for her to clean up the mess that everyone had made of her apartment but the work gave her something to do. It took her mind briefly off of George and she tried hard not to cry as the night progressed and the last of the trash was put away and with nothing more to do, she quickly showered, dressed in her night clothes and prepared for nightmares.
Angelina had barely been asleep for thirty minutes when she heard someone knocking at her door, the sound haunting and unfamiliar in her weary state. Thinking that it might be the police or a neighbor coming to complain about how much noise she had made during the night, she reluctantly rolled from bed and wandered back to the living room, down her hallway and said, “I’m coming, hold on a moment, would you?”
Heaving a sigh, she smoothed out her hair before opening the door and finding George standing there, looking as if he had been torn apart. “Angie, let me in.” He said desperately, “I’m a wreck without you.” Angelina barely became aware of moving aside, feeling the most unbearable ache as his eyes briefly flicked to hers.
Here it is, my favorite chapter in the whole story! Thanks for reading and please leave a review if you like! Much love of course.
A/N: Now, I had another version of this chapter up for a short time and I know some of you must have read it but please forgive me because I actually got rid of it. So sorry if you had wanted to read it again, perhaps leave me a review but I just didn't like the flow of it. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this new version and even if you don't, please check out my other work and enjoy! Much love, as always.
The moment their eyes connected was brief and yet Angelina felt as if it had lasted far longer. The unbearable ache in her chest seemed to grow and threaten the control of her breathing.
She was starting to tremble more severely than she had all night and she made a motion to close the door but George did it for her. His presence was so close to her own that a flush spread into her cheeks, “What are you doing here?” Angelina asked. “And alone?"
“I took Natasha home. She wasn’t in the best of moods.” George said evasively and Angelina had a feeling that it was somehow related to her. When he didn’t say anything else, she looked away and nervously contemplated what was going to go wrong, “Angie, look at me.”
The gentle command caused the hairs on the back of her neck to stand up and Angelina looked up at him to see that the redness in his eyes was gone.
It seemed as though his earlier emotions were being held back severely and that worried her, “You look so worn out.” George commented as he reached up and touched her cheek gently with his thumb, “I didn’t like the thought of you cleaning up all this mess on your own.”
Angelina felt a jolt of sensation go down her spine and she shook it away and gently pulled away from his touch. “I cleaned up on my own, it’s okay.” She insisted but George was looking down her dark hallway and frowning, “Lee did blow up half of my back garden but I did the best I could.” She laughed shakily.
George swallowed hard and she looked down to note that he had something in his other hand, a large bag filled with toys and gifts. “Oh, I didn’t know what to get you, remember? So I raided my personal stash to give you.” He said after noticing that she wasn’t looking at him.
Angelina thought of all the toys that Fred had shown her a while after the shop had opened to ridiculous success.
They had sat together after the shop had been closed and he’d delighted her with big boxes of every toy that he and George had created and while they’d been laughing, he’d asked at some point, “So, Angie. When are you going to snog my brother?”
“Excuse you?” Angelina had asked while taking off a pair of kaleidoscope glasses after they had given her a bit of a headache. Fred had been lounging behind the counter while she’d sat on top of the surface and she’d frowned at him, “what is that supposed to mean?”
Fred had grinned, that left dimple flashing cheekily. “Oh, come on. How thick do you think I am? Anyone with eyes can see it.” He had smiled at her, “you really like him don’t you?”
Angelina had been more than a bit embarrassed and had wondered how obvious her affections had been. “When did you notice?”
“Since…George brought you into our compartment when we were eleven,” Fred said said with a little smile and Angelina had blushed furiously. “I know we’re not as close so you don’t have to tell me anything, but I’m just curious.”
Angelina had considered him one of her best friends but there were a lot of things that they didn’t talk about. She could say that they didn’t know each other as well but there was fondness between them, the kind that she would have had with her brother if she had ever had one, “Why?” she’d demanded.
Fred had poked her absently in the leg with his wand and left a bright blue mark on her skin and she’d frowned at him. “You’d look good in blue.” He had said after a while, “I guess I’m a bit worried. I don’t know how far this war is going to go. I’d like him to be taken care of…if something happens to me.”
Angelina had been horrified by that but there had been many disappearances and murders lately and Diagon Alley had appeared destitute. “Nothing is going to happen to you, Fred.” She’d said firmly and he’d raised his brows thoughtfully, “why would you think that?”
“I just have it on my mind. Anything can happen, you never know, Angie,” Fred had said sourly and she’d frowned worriedly, “George is a lot more sensitive than I am. He’d fade if something happened to me, he’d die if something happened to you so I’m just saying…make him happy and take care of him for me just in case.”
Angelina hadn’t known then that that would be a dark promise between them but at the time she had been terrified of never seeing him again. “Oi, Freddie, nothing is going to happen to you. Or me,” she’d said as an afterthought.
Fred had stared at her thoughtfully and she’d frowned at him warningly but he’d simply smiled for a while. “You’re so tough, Angie. Like a hammer,” he’d said and she’d laughed. “But you know; you need to have someone take care of you too. If something happens, I know you pretty well to know that you’d sink.”
Angelina hadn’t liked that image of herself and yet at that time she had feared that he might be right. It had been so long since she had grown depressed about anything but she could sink if… “George won’t let me sink.”
“He won’t?” Fred had asked doubtfully. “He can be such a girl. Just go up to him, strip off his clothes and fuck the shit out of him. It’d solve everything.” He’d said and Angelina had roared with laughter, pushing at his red head with her hand. “Merlin, you’re both pathetic.”
Angelina had been about to ask him something more but George had stumbled back into the shop, looking annoyed. He’d gone out to get them something to eat and while he had large bags of something from a neighboring restaurant, he hadn’t seemed pleased, “What’s the matter Georgie?” she’d asked.
“Some annoying bitch stood in line forever. Merlin, I swear, she changed her order a million times and had the nerve to get mad at me when I told her to hurry up,” George had complained and Fred had laughed. “I’m impatient as hell.”
Angelina had known that for years but he also procrastinated, complained and thought too much to the point where it was annoying. “Who was the girl?”
George had waved it off. “Some snobby girl who talks like this…?” he had made his voice outrageously high, adding an inflection at the end of the question and they’d roared with laughter. “Merlin, I hate stupid girls. Anyway, Angie, Freddie, I got the food.”
“I’m starved too. Angie, your great looking ass is going to be hard for me to concentrate on my food,” Fred had said, poking at her hip. George had shot him a dark look from under his lashes while Angelina had swatted at him, “And how come you didn’t go swimming in the Black Lake with me and the gang?”
“I went with George.” Angelina had said while hopping off the counter and pinching his nose until he’d turned pink. When she’d let him go, George had set their food down, looking annoyed, “he sort of bullied me into it.”
George had groused. “I didn’t!”
Angelina had rolled her eyes but had watched as foam boxes had been passed around. She’d grabbed a drink from him and he’d stuck out his tongue at her, “Oh, Georgia,” she’d said with a snort.
Fred had laughed. “Georgia?”
George had frowned. “Stop calling me Georgia!” Angelina had ignored him and had opened her own meal and had dug into her burger, “and anyway, Fred, she was all shy and stuff, like I’d never seen a girl naked before.”
Fred had snorted. “So…how was it?” he’d asked slyly, perhaps having thought that they’d done more than swim. Angelina had spluttered and George’s face had turned bright, bright red. “Oh…wait. Must be thinking of someone else.” He’d said innocently.
“We didn’t do anything! I don’t molest my friends in the Black Lake.” George had snapped at his brother and Angelina had spluttered again.
Fred had laughed. “Ah, Alicia is still mad at me that I made her twitch.” He’d said and Angelina had gawped at him but he hadn’t elaborated, “I’d have dated her but she’s so into Lee. It’s such a bummer. I thought we were made for each other.”
Angelina had been more than a little surprised by that because Alicia had said nothing to her about the two of them together. “You slept with Alicia?”
“No, but I wanted to. Why?” Fred had asked carelessly.
George had rolled his eyes. “You shouldn’t play around so much you know.”
Fred had frowned. “I wasn’t playing. I mean, I have a whole box filled with her bras and panties, Merlin knows I’m in love,” he’d joked and Angelina had worried that that hadn’t really been a lie, at least about their friend’s underwear at least. “But in all seriousness, I’m not interested in settling down. I don’t think I could really stick to one girl.”
George had looked very worried and Angelina had been a bit uncomfortable by the declaration, wondering where this had come from. “If you weren’t always joking, you could.” He’d said simply and his brother had snorted before going into his food. “What about you, Angie?”
“What?” Angelina had asked.
“Dating someone? Rolling around in some satin sheets?” George had asked her teasingly and she’d rolled her eyes. “Yes? Ooh, hear that Fred?”
“I heard you. Angie’s a big girl now, she can do whomever she likes,” Fred had sent him a pointed look and George had frowned at him in annoyance.
Angelina had sighed and said simply. “I’m not rolling around in satin sheets.” She’d paused after a moment to add, “They’re silk.” The boys had burst out laughing, “Now, enough talk about sex. Merlin, you two are perverted. Let’s eat.”
Fred had grinned and had opened his mouth to say something but George had gotten to it before him and had teased. “I’m sure that’s what he said.” And Angelina had punched him in the arm.
“Shut up!” Angelina had snapped. “I don’t do that and anyway,” the boys had stared at her and she’d snarled loudly, “enough! I am not going into details that you all don’t need to know about! Merlin,” she’d ended embarrassingly.
George had looked as if he might say something but Fred had turned their attention back to their food and they’d eaten with chatter going between them. By the time that she had been ready to leave and head back home, they’d walked out with her, “Gonna Disapparate?” George had asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine.” Angelina had said when he’d looked very concerned. Fred had been looking around the dark streets suspiciously. “Do you think that things are going to get really bad?”
“I think so. But it’ll work out,” George had reassured, Fred now looking back to them with a little smirk on his face. “I mean, it’ll be okay.”
Angelina had been more than reassured by that and she’d smiled at him, ready to make her good-byes but Fred had kissed her lightly on the mouth. “What was that for?” she’d demanded after he’d pulled away, “you’re such a git.”
“I know but I couldn’t help it.” Fred had laughed.
George had glowered at him. “Why are you snogging her?”
“I didn’t make out with her. Relax,” Fred had said before waving at Angelina in farewell as he’d turned to go back inside. “Maybe if you weren’t such a girl, you’d do it yourself!”
“Prat!” George had snarled.
Fred had just laughed.
Angelina had rolled her eyes, “It doesn’t mean anything. He just does that,” she’d said with a weary sigh when George had glared down at her, “and anyway, why is it making you so upset?”
George had looked annoyed that she had noticed. “No reason.” He’d said stiffly and Angelina had frowned a bit, waiting, “and anyway, Angie, you never let me snog you.”
Angelina had roared with laughter. “George, you’re jealous for no reason! And plus, who says I want to snog you?” she’d asked teasingly. “You’re such a prat.” She’d said fondly.
George hadn’t been able to deny any of this. “Well…you’re my friend you know.” Angelina had given him a weary expression, “oh, shut up. Anyway, I’ll see you later.” He’d said before hugging her and kissing her forehead, “goodnight, Angie.”
“Goodnight George.” Angelina had said automatically, loving him so deeply that it hurt. When she had pulled away and kissed his cheek, he’d grinned before she’d walked down a ways and gone home.
The memory of that time seemed to fade away as quickly as it had come and Angelina blinked in confusion. George was staring at her worriedly, “Where’d you go?” he asked. “You sort of spaced out on me.” He said now, cupping her face.
Angelina blushed a bit by how close he had gotten and explained weakly. “I was thinking about one of the last times I talked to Fred.” She said honestly and his eyes hooded a bit but he didn’t let her go right away, “he was teasing me, like always.”
George stared down at her for a moment before releasing her face and moving away, the unbearable heat of him leaving. “You space out like that a lot?” he asked her as he moved into her living room, “could you turn on the light? I’m twitching.”
Angelina’s hands were still shaking but she hadn’t thought that he would be suffering from the same thing. Hastily, she went to the wall and flicked the switch until light flooded the living room and bathed them both in comfort, “It happens from time to time. When I passed out at Hogwarts, I thought of you twice.”
“Really?” George asked dryly.
Angelina frowned a bit and wondered why she had said something like that when neither of them could really talk about Hogwarts. “…Really. What are you going to do now that you’re here?”
“Give you my presents.” George replied calmly.
Angelina walked into the living room and watched as he sat down on her couch as if he belonged there. She felt a bit of irritation at the sight of him but didn’t know why, “What’s your issue?”
“I don’t have an issue that you need to worry about.” George shot back angrily and Angelina’s brows went up warningly. The hurt stung but she could handle that just now, “sit down?”
“You know, George. I didn’t invite you over here either time so you can really watch your attitude.” Angelina snapped and he looked up at her and flinched. When her eyes softened a bit, she sat down beside him, keeping a bit of space between them to spare them both, “why are you really here?”
George looked at her and she was reminded of how he had been when they’d been younger but there was no joy in his eyes. “You scare me.” He said after a moment and before Angelina could even begin to say something to that, he explained, “You’re not yourself. It scares me.”
Angelina knew that this was very true and she inhaled raggedly before placing her hand on his arm and was surprised when he flinched away. “I’m not going to try and kiss you. Like earlier,” she said embarrassingly, “I wouldn’t have done it if I had known.”
George placed his bag of toys on his lap and eyed her from the corner of his eye but he didn’t say anything. A pink he spread across his cheeks, “…It’s partly my fault. I never contacted you and the others didn’t either…and I did kiss you back.”
Angelina flushed but she ignored the admission while wondering why he hadn’t wanted to see her and why no one had bothered trying to explain it to her. Katie’s explanation had been the closest but it still made her burn with envy that they’d been close to him while she’d been alone, “I just startled you.”
“You did but that’s no excuse.” George muttered and after a moment of staying in a crippling silence, he started taking toys out of his bag. Angelina saw some Extendable Ears, Canary Creams; Fever Fudge and some trick wands thrown in haphazardly, “it’s been too long since we saw each other.”
Angelina was handed a few things and she played with a pack of Everlasting Burping Powder and smiled a bit. She could put this in her father’s tea when she saw him again, “It has. I’ve missed you,” she said.
George flushed pink, as if she had just confessed her undying love or started taking off layers of her clothing. That thought had her blushing too and she cursed, “I know you have. It hasn’t been that easy for me to stay away from you but I didn’t want to see you.”
“Why?” Angelina demanded hotly.
“Because it hurts, that’s why.” George said slowly and she frowned a bit before looking down at her clasped hands, the Everlasting Burping Powder losing its appeal. “You wouldn’t really understand.”
“I wouldn’t understand?” Angelina asked slowly before turning and giving him a hurt stare that had him reeling away. “What wouldn’t I understand? I was there too. I fought and saw people that I knew and didn’t know die, too. We could have talked about this together if you had wanted but I never would have pressured you.”
The words caused his skin to pale drastically and George spluttered for a moment, desperate to find words that he could express. When nothing happened, he looked away from her. “Why do you always have to do this?” he demanded angrily.
Angelina reeled back a bit but she gripped his present in her lap tightly and it almost ripped open and she hastily set it aside. “Do what exactly?”
“Care so fucking much!” George snapped at her and she felt her eyes widening a bit until she was unable to speak. “You would have smothered me to death! I get it enough from my parents and siblings…friends that I knew that hadn’t died,” he said bitterly. “But I couldn’t handle it from you too, I was fucked up…you didn’t need to see me like that.”
Angelina had never thought that her caring about things or people would be such a bad thing and she frowned hurtfully. “I came to Hogwarts a year ago because I cared too much? I watched people die and thought you were dead and hurt so badly because I care too much?” she asked him acidly, slowly and his eyes seemed to bug. “…having nightmares, feeling empty…that’s all the price I paid because I care too much…I never thought of it that way.”
The words weren’t meant to enlighten him but to make him feel as if he had truly and deeply hurt her, which he had. George’s face paled drastically again and he looked as if he might say something but Angelina didn’t want to hear it, “…You thought I was dead?” was all that he asked.
“I saw Fred and I thought he was you. I fainted,” Angelina corrected coldly, looking anywhere but at him.
George was silent for a long time until he spoke again. “I thought you died too. If Oliver hadn’t have taken you away from there, I would have thought you were dead…you weren’t moving,” he said after a moment, his tone haunted. “When I found you again later, I was really relieved.”
“I don’t care.” Angelina said firmly while standing up and wiping irritably at the tears that were falling down her face. “Get out, George. Just get out,” she commanded.
“Why?” George demanded blandly and she felt him getting up but wouldn’t look at him as he stood in front of her. He was just as furious but she had no idea why he would even dare to be upset when he had hurt her without a care in the word, “can’t handle seeing me?”
Angelina could hear the mocking tone in his voice and she looked up at him and glared so darkly that he took a step back. “I can handle you, George. We could have done it all together because we’ve always been there for one another.” She reminded bitterly and he flushed pink, “you make it sound like I deserve to be miserable.”
George was silent for a long moment, brooding and thoughtful before he actually spoke again and Angelina waited for it. There was going to be some sort of explosion, “You don’t deserve it, Angie.”
“Then what do I deserve? You don’t think about anything that you say. All night you’ve been so strange with me but I thought that we were getting along okay in the kitchen earlier…” Angelina reminded him slowly. But it seemed like a lifetime ago, “I thought we were becoming friends again.”
“You’re just saying that because we almost kissed.” George said nastily and Angelina glared at him furiously before stepping away from him. She wanted to go into her room and block him out but he blocked her path before she could even move, “what do you take me for? I said that I would never sleep with you and even if I did miss you, I know that coming here was a mistake.”
Angelina felt as if he had stepped on her heart and she gasped for a moment before steadying herself and asking firmly. “Then why did you come? I know the others are worried about me and they should be but why did you come?”
George looked as if she had slapped him hard across the face and he seemed to sway a bit with his thoughts before gritting out. “I was worried about you too. Don’t look so bloody surprised,” he sneered and Angelina glowered at him hatefully, “and don’t look at me like that. I have missed you but I didn’t think it would have resulted in something like that.”
Angelina felt her bones chilling and she crossed her arms and then demanded abruptly. “Something like what?” she felt her eyes welling again. “I’m not some conniving bitch that’s going to try and break you up with your girlfriend so I can have you for myself.”
George laughed a bit but it sounded very mean and cruel and she wondered if that had been on his mind. Like a bad itch, “At least you’re being honest. I don’t want things between me and Natasha to fail because of you.” He said tonelessly, “we get along fine. She doesn’t ask questions and she wouldn’t fuss over me the way you would.”
Angelina could only imagine what kind of relationship they really had. It was empty and devoid of any real connection, “If you want that sort of relationship that will never bring you anything special, then that’s your decision.” George was surprised by this but she then said, “Just be happy, that’s all that I can say.”
“You’d be happy with me being with someone else?” George demanded forcefully and Angelina flinched a bit at the words. Laughing nastily, he ran his fingers through his hair a bit, “I’m not blind. You love me, don’t you?”
“I do.” Angelina said distantly, wondering if she were going to be reduced to nothing. “More than anything,”
George looked as if he hadn’t been expecting this but he stared down at her for a moment and made a jerking motion toward her before stopping. “I can’t be left in the same room with you, I don’t trust myself. What we have is a lot different from what I have with Natasha. It’s almost sickening how much I need you.”
Angelina had never thought anyone would describe the sort of love that she had for him as sickening. It was more than pathetic…pitying to be honest, “…Why are you saying this? If you’re afraid of something happening, then just don’t show up anymore. I can’t stand this.” She said brokenly, uncrossing her arms and wiping at her eyes, “just leave and be happy, George. Please,”
For a moment there was a thick and uncomfortable silence before George closed the space between them and took her hand. It was warm and calloused from years of Quidditch and sneaky experiments with his long gone brother, “You don’t have to beg me for anything, Angie.”
Something warm and sensual spread throughout her system and Angelina looked up at him in surprise and wariness. “What?”
George pressed his forehead against hers and inhaled softly. “You don’t have to beg me for anything. I’d give it to you if you wanted. Anything and everywhere…it’s almost the least that I could do,” he whispered.
Angelina laughed bitterly and shoved at him forcefully. “I don’t need your damn pity! And fucking me wouldn’t be good for either of us! George, just get the hell out!” she snapped commandingly, broken beyond rational repair. “I don’t want to see you again!”
“You don’t mean that!” George said worriedly but Angelina made another attempt to push at him and he gripped her wrists. “Angie, stop.” He said and she wrestled away from him and stomped into her bedroom, instantly hunting for her wand.
It lay in a motionless heap under her bed and Angelina snatched it from between her sheets and aimed her wand at George. “Get out!” she screamed.
George took out his wand, looking stunned. “Angie, be civil.”
“Get out!” Angelina screamed shrilly. She was beyond thinking and she was beyond normal hurt, he had crushed her effortlessly, “George Fabian, get the fuck out of my flat!” when George merely stood where he was, feet braced, she fired a curse at him and was effectively blocked.
It had been a long time since she had fought anyone and Angelina felt her mind snapping in the same way that it had when she’d been at Hogwarts.
In her mind, there were giants and Death Eaters…Greyback was tearing into that little girl again and Colin Creevey was long gone from this world and the images made her breathing ragged, “Angie, you need to lie down. Stop,” George broke off as she fired another curse at him, the orange light brushing by his cheek.
A thin string of blood appeared and George’s eyes seemed to grow dark and he fired back almost unthinkingly. “Protego!” Angelina cried just in time and the curse bounced off and fired into her wall.
There was a menacing crack that sent chills down her spine and she retaliated as a nasty, evil curse shot through her mind and she fired it with a flick of her wand.
George tried to dodge it but it missed and struck his arm in a way that made Angelina think of monsters dancing on skulls. Doubling over, he gripped it with his free hand, gasping for breath, “Angie, help me.”
Angelina wanted to leave him where he was, she never wanted to see him again but he was starting to bleed copiously. It was all her fault…she’d hurt him…she’d hurt George, “….I’m sorry,” she whispered through her tears, “Georgie—”
“Just help me.” George panted furiously and when Angelina weakly walked up to him and got down to her knees, he gripped her by her shoulder. There was no pain from it but her eyes were widening a bit, “…that hurt.”
Something in his tone shot a bolt of terror through her soul and Angelina ignored him and went to fluttering at his injured arm. Blood was gathering on her floor and she said, “Take off your jacket.” George complied and grunted with pain, “I think it may be broken. We’ll have to go to St. Mungo’s, I don’t know what to do.”
There was a loud knock on her door just then and a concerned neighbor asked. “Ms. Johnson? I heard raised voices. Are you all right? Do you need me to call the police?” it was an elderly woman that Angelina gave extra food to on occasion, she lived next door.
“Angie,” George demanded angrily to get her attention back to him and his skin had turned ghostly pale and he was resting his head on her shoulder. His hot breath fanned against her neck, “Angie, it hurts.”
“I’m calling the police.” The woman outside of Angelina’s door said worriedly and she could hear her shuffling away as fast as she could.
Angelina worried that she wouldn’t make it but George was fading fast and she wasn’t able to stop crying. But she had done this to him and after thinking of St. Mungo’s as clearly as she could, her arms wrapped tightly around his shoulders, they Disapparated with a loud crack.
“I won’t say that he didn’t deserve to get his ass kicked.” Katie soothed to Angelina while she rested in her hospital bed, George surrounded by his family and Natasha just a few feet away.
Her pregnant friend was rubbing her belly but giving her a motherly love that Angelina’s own mother had blessed her with before she and her father had gone home.
When Angelina had Disapparated from her flat, she had been so disoriented that she’d Splinched herself pretty badly.
She now had a very nasty mark on her back that the Healers had healed easily enough, though she would be staying for an extra day just to be careful, “Katie, I don’t want to hear it.”
Katie frowned at her a bit before taking her hand and squeezing tightly but Angelina wasn’t able to look at her. The Weasley family was making a lot of chatter and she angled her head on the pillow to look at them, “You’re going to be just fine, though.”
Angelina tried to make out familiar shapes but she hadn’t seen the Weasley family in a long time but she was able to spot out George’s parents.
Mr. Weasley was still tall, though he’d put on some weight and Mrs. Weasley looked as if she had lost some. She sat at George’s side, stroking his hair back and making him smile, “I don’t deserve to be so close to them.”
“Oh, Angie. You were upset! If anyone had done what he’d done, I would have had a duel with them too,” Katie whispered angrily, unable to believe it. Angelina had gone over everything with her twice now but her friend still looked stunned, “Oliver and the others wanted to come but they’re all busy with work, should I tell them what happened?”
Angelina knew that they would find out the truth some way or another but she didn’t want to know what they would think of her. “…It’s up to you. I just don’t want to be there.”
Katie’s eyes were big and brown but they were now subdued with worry and not even an ounce of her usual joy or spark. “You don’t want to be there…or here?” she asked worriedly. “Angie, I’m so sorry about everything. I should never have invited him to your party, I had no idea that it would have turned out like thi—”
But her words were drowned out as Natasha Orion suddenly stepped away from the large Weasley family and stomped over. Angelina stared at her in alarm but had honestly expected the slap, even if it still hurt, “You bitch!” she screamed. “Don’t you dare sit there and look innocent!”
Katie flared instantly and was reaching inside of her massive robes for her wand but Angelina stayed her hand. “Angie—” she said furiously.
The Weasley family and the other patients and family were looking stunned. That slap had been as loud as a thunderclap, “Don’t hit me again.” Angelina warned to the girl, who was huffing furiously by her side, “just don’t if you know what’s good for you.”
“What’s good for me?! You attacked my boyfriend!” Natasha cried and her cheeks were turning rather red by now. Her hair was a mess and she looked as if she’d been crying, “You broke his arm and he lost a lot of blood!”
Angelina knew very well what had happened to him because the Healers had been murmuring about it as they’d treated her. They’d given her startled looks, whispering that she was too pretty to be so cruel, “I’m aware of that and I’m not saying that I think it’s funny either.”
Natasha’s cheeks turned even redder and Katie made herself busy by rubbing Angelina’s pounding cheek worriedly with her own hand. “Touch her again and I'll hex you within an inch of your life,” she hissed darkly at the girl.
Angelina turned her face into Katie’s palm for comfort but said to Natasha. “You made your point clear. Now go away, I already know what I did.” Natasha looked as if she might want to argue that point and she started to tear up a bit but a new voice rang out.
“Leave her alone, Natasha. Now,” George commanded sharply and Angelina watched his family look at him in relief and surprise. When his girlfriend merely stood where she was, glaring hatefully at his former friend, he snarled, “I said now. Let her rest.”
Natasha sniffled and turned bitterly away from Angelina. “She needs to be in Azkaban!” she cried before walking back to the family.
That caused a ripple to go among the group and Angelina saw Bill glaring at her, Fleur holding their daughter’s hand as she swayed to her own song.
She was a very pretty baby and Angelina noted sadly that she would never know what it was like…no one would want to be with her, “That’s a bit harsh. We don’t even know why it happened really.” The oldest Weasley brother said sternly.
Natasha sent him a look but it vanished the instant Fleur quirked her brows at her, defensive over her husband in a way that would scare the dead. “Why did it happen George?” the girl now asked to her boyfriend, who had closed his eyes.
“I’d rather not say. But I did deserve it.” George said calmly.
Angelina had never despised him more and Katie was sending him a confused look. “Are you going to be okay?” it was Ginny Weasley asking.
George looked to be shrugging and their mother plumped his pillow for him distractedly while looking extremely worried. Angelina felt even guiltier, “I should be fine. Just a broken arm, nothing I’ll have to live with forever.”
“But you’ll have a scar.” Mrs. Weasley fretted.
“I’ll be fine, Mum.” George said with a weak smile. “Angie fought five Death Eaters at once, I didn’t stand a chance,” his family was surprised that he was laughing after the words. “Five,” he repeated and that made them chuckle a bit, though it was weak.
Katie turned away as Angelina buried her head in her lap. “What are you going to do?” she whispered to her, rubbing her shoulders comfortingly, “come on, you can tell me.”
Angelina looked up at her and said slowly. “I’m going to leave. I need to get away for a while,” she murmured softly and Katie’s face fell, “I can’t be here anymore. I wish that I had never met him at all.”
“You don’t mean that.” Katie said in a harsh whisper as she wiped at the tears that were streaming in her eyes. “Angie, stop being ridiculous. From what you told me, he did deserve it and you haven’t been well since Hogwarts, you were bound to snap at some point, it was too much.”
Angelina didn’t like that there were excuses to be spoken for when the fact remained that she had put the only man that she had ever loved in St. Mungo’s. “I never want to fight again.” She said decidedly, “I never want to hurt anyone ever again.”
Katie nodded firmly and bent to kiss her forehead. “Okay, Angie. That’s fine.” She soothed and Angelina swallowed hard, unable to speak, “he’ll be out soon and you can go home tomorrow and I want you to take it easy. I don’t want you to strain yourself.”
“I can’t be fit to do anything after what I did last night!” Angelina cried and she tried to reel in the words but they spread like a toxic glass. The Weasley’s were eyeing her uncomfortably, perhaps more worried for her than they were for George, “….Just take me anywhere, Katie. I can’t stand this.”
Katie nodded and pressed her hand to her curly, knotted hair. “I’d tell you to crash with me and Oliver but the babies will be here any moment.”
“I’ll go to my parents.” Angelina said weakly.
Katie frowned a bit because her parents were already very worried about her and seeing her in St. Mungo’s after she’d survived Hogwarts would only smother her completely. “When the babies get here, come round, Angie. I’ll be there and we’ll talk about anything you want.”
Angelina knew that she wouldn’t talk about George and she had never appreciated her more and nodded. “Are you going home?” Katie nodded a little, she got tired easily lately. “I’m going to go to sleep.”
Katie smiled reassuringly before kissing her forehead before sliding off the bed and wobbling away, no words needing to be spoken. While she walked past the Weasley family, she said nothing at all to George but declined Bill’s offer to help her walk out, “I’m a big girl,” she said with a laugh.
“I could still help.” Bill said worriedly and Fleur looked a bit concerned herself, knowing more than Angelina did about carrying extra weight. Katie rolled her eyes and offered her arm, “It’s a secret dream come true, right? You used to like me in school.”
“That was Angie, not me!” Katie said embarrassingly as Bill took her arm and started to charmingly walk her from the room. “But you were a huge flirt. I can’t blame anyone for being fooled.”
Bill burst out laughing at that and as they walked out, Angelina made herself comfortable on her bed and ignored the others. She felt as if she were going to go to Azkaban but as she tried to rest her eyes, she felt the bed dip, “Katie, stop being so damn stubborn,” she said, turning.
But it wasn’t Katie, it was Mrs. Weasley. Horror struck her and she instantly started to apologize but the matron merely smiled at her warmly, “How are you feeling? The Healers told us that you were Splinched, dear.”
Angelina hadn’t been expecting her to be so calm or so nice. She had expected her to be very furious even and to blame her, “…Why…why are you talking to me?”
“Because I’m concerned, you didn’t think that I remembered you, did you?” Mrs. Weasley asked teasingly while patting her hand. “The boys brought you round the Burrow and you put worms in my tea and a slug in Percy’s.”
Angelina remembered that and she glanced apprehensively at the other members of the family but they didn’t find her speaking to her all that strange. George was chatting to Natasha though so she turned away hastily, “I remember that.”
Mrs. Weasley looked delighted that she had. “I won’t ask what the issue was about but I know that it’s more than what he told me. Anyone with eyes can see it.” She said with a soft laugh, though her eyes were sad, “don’t hold it in, dear.”
Angelina felt her eyes watering and she tried to fight it but they came regardless and without worrying about what it might look like, she reached for George’s mother as if she were her own.
And when she was pulled into a gentle hug that made her feel as if she had done nothing wrong, a small explosion seemed to come from the center of her heart.
It should have been embarrassing for her to cry like this on a woman that she didn’t know but Mrs. Weasley smelt like nice, comforting things and she had no issue with rubbing her back and stroking her hair.
This was what a loving person did and Angelina was struck by how much George was like his mother, he would have done this for her on his own if things had been different. The fact that he would never do that for her again and would move onto his own life no matter that he knew how she felt, caused Angelina’s heart to die a quick and painless death.
By the time Mrs. Weasley pulled away and tucked her in, a kiss on her cheek, Angelina knew that she would never be able to look at her son without bursting into tears or feeling nothing but a distance that could never be breached.
I know what you all must be thinking: "Why does she do this?!" but if you haven't read "A Force of Wills" yet, you must not know that I put my females through quite a bit. But don't be too upset, this story has a happy ending, I promise!
A/N: And I bet you all were like, "Oh, my goodness, she's the worst person ever!" and I assure you that while this is true in every sense of the word, this story has a happy ending and you're going to get it! This is the second to last chapter and I'm thankful to everyone who has read this story from the beginning and I'd love it if you all stuck with me to the end. Much love.
Angelina stared determinedly at the building in the distance and even though she was shaking from the center of her heart, she couldn’t stop her feet from pressing forward.
Warm night air caressed her cheeks and she inhaled a bit and the wind carried away her shaky breaths and her excuses as she placed one foot in front of the other. She was more than ready to put this all behind her for the best.
It had been a month since she had gotten out of St. Mungo’s and the brief time that she had spent with her parents had been good for her. And when she had gone back to her flat, cleaning up George’s blood from her bedroom floor, she’d felt different.
Not better or happy, but she’d felt different. She wasn’t sure what to call it really but something about allowing Mrs. Weasley to hug her and being taken care of like a child by her parents for a while had reminded her of something.
As quickly as life seemed to be; it was also unbearably short and if Angelina wanted to move forward and make an effort on what she wanted the most, then she would have to do something about it.
So, without really thinking, she had made decisions and choices that would pave the way for a new future. A fresh start and a chance for her to breathe deeply without recalling some terrible death or hearing the sound of long-ago screams from Hogwarts and beyond, the distance she put between herself and this place would be good for her.
Exhaling slowly, Angelina made her way to the bright lights of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes without her old wand; she hadn’t come here to fight anyone. And because she never wanted to use her wand for violence again, she’d broken it.
Her parents had been horrified by the action and the fact that Angelina had tossed it into their fireplace but a few days ago they had personally taken her to see Ollivander, who had just started to get back into business.
Understandably, he had been a bit reluctant to make a brand new wand for Angelina but after she’d explained how she’d been thinking of making a fresh start, he’d slowly relented.
She wasn’t sure what had happened or why he had seemed so emaciated even after an entire year but the old wand maker had personally delivered her new wand for her. Angelina now had in her possession a vine and Pegasus wing feather, something that was apparently rare for Ollivander to make and she gloried in the new feeling it gave her.
Oddly, it made her feel peaceful and peace was something that she would need right now as she finally made it to the door of George’s shop and heard laughter and merrymaking inside.
Angelina didn’t know what the celebration was for but she had heard from Alicia, who’d heard from Lee, who’d heard from Oliver that George had made a good deal with expanding the shop.
It was really in the works now and there would be more Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes in Ireland, Scotland and Germany for certain but that didn’t cause her to catch her breath.
Angelina hadn’t seen or heard from George since she had gotten out of St. Mungo’s and she had wanted to keep things that way. But she didn’t want to have things on bad terms so she summoned her courage and opened the door.
Instantly, she was bombarded with colors and an enormous circular room that was filled with shelves and shelves of merchandise. Blues, greens, reds, yellow, purples and everything in between caused Angelina’s eyes to nearly go blind but she shook it off as she closed the door behind her and stepped forward on the maroon carpet.
Everything looked similar to the last time that she had been here, the same silly products popping out in every direction and the maroon carpet muffling her steps. But soon, Angelina noted that there were a lot of new products that she had never seen before on the shelves, things like Muggle toys but possessing the allure of magic and far more disastrous effects.
Some of those must have been Fred's idea she thought with a sweet pang, he'd been all about physically forcing his jokes on people while George had worried that they'd actually hurt someone. But even still, she was able to sense that all was not well.
There was a sort of emptiness about it, as if it were forcing its happiness onto the patrons. Angelina walked further around, seeing the place filled with people that she vaguely knew from Hogwarts and plenty of others that she’d never seen before.
Whatever they were celebrating had put people in a rather good mood and Angelina impatiently sought out George so that she wouldn’t have to stay long and ruin someone’s night.
The thought was barely even formed when a cold voice asked, “What are you doing here?”
Turning, Angelina saw Natasha Orion glaring at her some feet away. Her voice had sounded like nails on a chalkboard and she held in her wince, “I’m not here to start some sort of trouble.” She said to the girl.
Natasha was standing with another brunette that was far less pretty than her and yet Angelina had a feeling that it was her sister. Vaguely, she recalled that the two of them owned a shop together, “You’re not wanted here after what you did!”
Angelina felt her skin paling and she inhaled calmly to stop herself from losing her temper even as she took her in. Expensive silver robes hung over Natasha’s body and she noted the glass of champagne in her manicured hands absently, “I know how you probably feel but I really didn’t come here for some sort of clichéd fight with you.”
Natasha’s brows knitted, that apparently hadn’t been what she had thought Angelina would say and before she could ask her what she meant by that, Lee suddenly appeared. He had come through the crowd of people almost out of nowhere, “Angie!” he cried happily upon reaching her. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to see George,” Angelina replied after they exchanged a hug and she’d given him a quick kiss on the cheek. He pretended to blush, “where’s Alicia? What’s going on?”
Lee’s reply was drowned out as someone started laughing and the people in the shop began talking and partying all the harder. Annoyed, he leaned down and answered loudly, “Alicia couldn’t make it. She went to Hogwarts for a job interview; she wants to become the Muggle Studies teacher.” Angelina roared with laughter, “I know, right? But I’m proud of her.”
Angelina was glad that their relationship was still holding on and a while back when she had gotten a visit from Alicia, she’d asked. “Do you mind if I ask you something?”
“I guess. You’re not going to ask about my third nipple are you?” Alicia had joked while she’d toyed with her TV remote with her wand.
“No, no. It’s about Fred actually.” Angelina had said while coming to sit beside her. Alicia had given her a confused but sad look, “did you and he have something going on? You can tell me. I was just thinking of something he’d said a long time ago.”
Alicia had blushed very red and then had roared with laughter. Her eyes had gone a bit glassy at some memory of him, “No, but he wanted to fool around. But I always loved Lee and he never asked after I told him. I sort of wish that I had dated him sometimes, I hate to think that he didn’t have someone.”
Angelina had thought about that before saying softly. “Well, we all loved him so that’s all that we can say.” They’d fallen silent after that and she’d asked, “So, are you and Lee going to stay together forever?”
“I hope so! I love him a lot.” Alicia had said happily. “He works part-time with George and he’s trying to start his own radio show, you know.” Angelina had been thrilled, “it seems like time is moving by so fast.”
Angelina allowed that memory to fade away as someone’s laughter rang through her ears and Lee nudged her in the arm to say in amazement. “Anyway, George just got a big deal to expand to Russia! Came out of the blue this morning and he has to sign the papers in a few days!”
Angelina nodded in stunned amazement and could see why the people in the shop were partying so hard and so out of the blue, “Where are Katie and Oliver?” she was surprised not to see them here.
Lee thought about it for a moment. “I sent them an owl but I don’t know if they can find a time to come, not that they’d want to since they had the babies.” He said with a laugh.
Angelina could understand their reluctance and didn’t really think that they would give up time with their pretty dark haired daughters to come to a party. Time really had moved by fast and Georgia and Leanne Wood were already a month old, “Make sure to tell them all about it then. I’m sure the news is going to be in the Prophet.”
Lee nodded and he appeared a bit overwhelmed by it all. “You know, Fred would be bouncing off the walls if he were here, I think about how smug he’d be.” He said with a sad smile, “George says that I can run the shop with Ron while he’s gone, you know.”
Angelina could only imagine how happy Lee would be to have himself surrounded by nothing but jokes and trick toys. “That’s great, Lee! And you’d better do a good job,” she warned jokingly and he pretended to squeal, though it was drowned out. “This place is pretty rowdy.”
She could hear music being turned up and bottles of beer and wine were being passed around and someone had let loose some streamers into the air. The merrymaking was all for George and his happy girlfriend of course, she noted dryly.
Natasha hadn’t moved from where she’d been with her sister but was somehow managing to chat to various people at once, “I can’t believe there’s going to be a Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes in Russia now. Can you believe it?” Angelina asked Lee and he nodded proudly.
“He’s been asking about you a lot lately but I haven’t been able to get a hold of you, you’ve been ridiculously busy!” Lee said with a pout and Angelina laughed a bit. “What are you doing here anyway? Thought you and George weren’t on good terms,”
Angelina flushed guiltily and she shouldn’t have thought that Katie wouldn’t have told Lee or Alicia and she said slowly. “It was an accident. I never would have done something like that to him.” Lee nodded in understanding, as only someone who had fought at Hogwarts could understand, “I just came to see him for a minute. I won’t stay long.”
Natasha had overheard this and now turned away from whomever she had been chatting with and said angrily. “You had better not!” Lee and Angelina angled their heads at her irritably and she flushed pink. “It’s bad enough that you almost killed him.”
Angelina felt herself flinching and Lee defended. “We don’t really know what happened between them and relax; you don’t have to be so hostile. Unless you’re jealous,” he said innocently and Natasha flushed red and turned away with a huff.
“What was that about?” Angelina asked him when Natasha started yanking her sister away and going into the crowd. Lee was looking after her in a bit of annoyance, “don’t tell me that she thinks I’m going to steal George away from her? It’s ridiculous!”
And she tried to ignore the fact that George had thought the same thing out of her not too long ago as Lee said with a shrug. “I don’t know what her issue is but he does talk about you a lot. Asks how you are and everything, I don’t think he can help it and he gets really mad about it sometimes.”
Angelina could understand why when he wanted his relationship with Natasha, as empty and unfulfilling as it was to last. She felt her heart trying to break over the thought of him with her but shook it off firmly, “I’m just here to talk for a minute. I really won’t stay long.”
“Why the rush?” Lee asked worriedly.
For a moment she considered telling him what she had decided to do but just then they heard loud, almost ear splitting cheers. Almost against her will, Angelina turned and saw George being yanked forward by some friend of his, looking too stunned to speak, “Congratulations!” about a hundred voices seemed to shout.
George looked around at everyone, his eyes going wide and his cheeks a bit pink and Angelina saw that he appeared the same. Outwardly, his hair red hair was still brutally short and he had the same smile but she was able to sense, even from this distance that he was unwell, “You’re taking over the world!” Natasha said as he came up to him.
Lee barely held in his gag while Angelina tried to hold in the sting of tears as Natasha pressed upwards and kissed George on the mouth. Teasing laughter issued out of many mouths but George didn’t really react from the act and gave her a light press of his lips before someone handed him a glass of wine even as he tried to decline, “I don’t know what to say…” he said with a weak laugh.
“Give some sort of speech!” someone shouted annoyingly.
Angelina wished that she could tell them all that George procrastinated and doubted himself far too much to come up with something on the spot like that. Lee was laughing a little and asked, “Do you want me to get you something?”
“No, I’m okay.” Angelina assured him.
George was still struggling to say something and someone had turned down the loud music to be able to hear him better. His face was starting to turn a bit red and Angelina saw that he was rather uncomfortable and probably hadn’t wanted this party to happen, “I guess I’m just happy to be here and I know Fred would be happy for me and the shop. We worked too hard—”
Natasha interrupted him impatiently and held up her champagne glass to the air as her younger sister did the same behind her. Angelina felt a burst of irritation and strong dislike, “To happy memories!” she cried.
The crowd apparently didn’t find anything wrong with what she had done and they held up varying glasses and cups to cry out. “To happy memories!” and there was more drinking and talking afterward, George being completely swamped and forgotten.
Angelina frowned furiously and Lee was frowning as well and was looking as if he might say something but just then George’s eyes scanned the crowd and landed on her.
If there had been any breath in her body, it was quickly sucked out as his face seemed to lose its color and an incredulous smile started to brighten his face as he cried, “Angie!” and about a dozen heads turned to look at her.
Humiliation quickly bounced over her and Angelina smiled a bit before waving, barely hearing the glass in his hand fall and shatter to the floor. “Good to see you, Georgie.” She said truthfully.
Lee was looking between them and hastily moved out of the way as George shoved and pushed his way towards her. There was a lot of cursing and grumbling and Natasha’s jaw was dropping but Angelina was too stunned to move as he crossed the space between them, wrapped his arms around her and pressed his mouth eagerly on hers.
Angelina instantly melted and she hated that she did before pushing her hands firmly against his chest. It was like trying to move a rock but he moved back a little, “George!” she snapped when he tried to kiss her again, his eyes hooded. “What the hell is your problem?”
“…Oh,” George said slowly and the echoing silence that was brimming around them was so acute that a needle could have been heard several miles away. “I thought I was dreaming.” Angelina heard him murmur against her cheek and she thought that he was smiling, “well, damn.”
Irritation exploded within her along with her confusion, that dislike that she’d had for his character now fading fast as he let her go.
Angelina hated that he could so easily do this without a care in the world for her feelings and she almost slapped him but Lee said loudly, very loudly, “Don’t mind them! They’re just really good friends! Someone turn the music up again!” he cried desperately.
Apparently someone took the hint and turned the music up again but that didn’t stop Natasha from storming over. Her sister stayed behind and Angelina couldn’t blame her as the girl sank her nails into George’s arm and forced him to look at her, “What do you think you’re doing?” she snapped.
George groaned in aggravation and bowed his head for a moment or two before inhaling and saying gravely. “We need to have a talk.” Natasha’s eyes widened and he motioned for her to follow him but she shook her head stubbornly, “fine, if you want everyone to hear, then I don’t care.”
Angelina looked between them, feeling suddenly sick to her stomach at being caught in such a situation. “I’m sorry,” she said to Natasha earnestly, “I really didn’t come here to cause any sort of riff between you two.” George looked down at her in confusion and what looked like respect for her attempt to smooth over the issue.
Natasha’s piercing blue eyes were watering a bit and she glared at Angelina hatefully before she turned back to George. “I want to know what makes her so special, George. All you talk about is her whenever you open your mouth—”
“Not every time I open my mouth.” George corrected dryly.
Natasha’s temper was starting to flare and Angelina tried to stay calm herself, she didn’t want to fight anymore. Angrily, the girl reminded George, “She put you in the hospital, she’s a nutcase and can’t stop her hands from shaking!” she indicated Angelina’s trembling fingers, “she won’t know what to do with you!”
George sighed and ran his hand down his face before motioning for Natasha to follow him to a more private place. She shook her head firmly and Angelina was able to see that quite a few people were starting to stare at them, unable to help it, “Don’t talk about Angelina like that, she fought at Hogwarts while prissy little girls like you sat home and hid.”
Natasha’s cheeks turned an ugly reddish color and Angelina was more than surprised that he had brought up Hogwarts at a time like this. “That doesn’t make her any better than me,” she said to George icily.
“It does actually.” George said menacingly and Angelina sent him a startled look and hoped that he wouldn’t do something too drastic. “Everyone had a choice whether to fight or not and she chose to fight and she…saved people because she cares too much. She didn’t sit around on her ass to wait for it all to be over.”
Angelina could hear that the words were putting a strain on him and he sounded so different from the person she’d encountered a month before. “George, stop it and just say what you need to say. I really didn’t come here to do this, I came to say goodbye.”
George’s eyes widened and he turned back to stare at her, complete shock, regret and hurt coming across his face. “To say goodbye for what?” he asked reluctantly, dreading the answer.
“I decided to go to Ireland to play for the Holyhead Harpies. A fresh start would be good for me and I didn’t want to leave here without patching things up between us,” Angelina said firmly and George looked suddenly ill as Natasha glowed with triumph, “too much has happened and I barely understand you anymore, I need to be away for a while.”
There was a long moment where Angelina didn’t think that George would say anything at all; his entire body had gone stiff with varying emotions. After another long few minutes, Natasha attempted to pull him away, but he shook her off, “Would it matter if I said that I was sorry for everything?” George asked Angelina.
Would it really matter to her if he told her that he hadn’t meant all the cruel things that he had said? Angelina felt as a giant hole had opened up underneath her feet.
She hadn’t considered that he would even care really where she went when they had agreed not to see each other again, “I thought you would be happy if I left. It’s what you wanted, isn’t it? Not to see me anymore?” she whispered.
“I thought it was what I wanted. But I can’t pretend to be angry with you for anything that you did at Hogwarts when I was the one…” George trailed off miserably and uncomfortably looked away before saying in a rush, “it was me that changed afterwards. I couldn’t face all the things that I did,”
Angelina felt a wave of sympathy for him and tried to banish it completely but it was impossible as she stared at his face. “We both did things that night that we regret. I don’t know how I was able to go through the days afterward, no one is the same.”
George flicked away her response as if she hadn’t said anything at all and she saw that he was about to explode. Slowly, just like always, his emotions were about to release themselves upon her and because she had never run before, Angelina stayed to listen, “That’s not the same. I have nightmares about Fred, about you—”
“About me?” Angelina whispered in surprise. “Why?” she asked worriedly.
“Don’t you remember the Dementors, Angie?” George demanded desperately and Angelina’s mind went back until she was seeing the lion Patronus. As recognition issued across her face, he patted his chest to emphasize, “I saved you but you could have died!”
Natasha was looking more uncomfortable by the second and she shot her eyes between the two of them as if they were alien creatures. “What are you two talking about?” she asked furiously.
Angelina ignored her and stared at George for a long moment before wiping at her eyes a bit, completely overcome. “Why didn’t you say something to me sooner about it, George?” she asked weakly.
“I honestly didn’t think you needed to know and I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to see you afterward and have you fussing over me and stressing yourself out…I’m so messed up,” George said in a haunting breath. Angelina didn’t touch him but her fingers itched to feel in skin and offer comfort, “You deserve so much better but I want you anyway, but…”
Natasha was starting to look as if her whole little world was crumbling around her and Angelina felt eerily the same. “But what?” she asked George forcefully.
George shook his head and refused to say what was on his mind and Angelina waited for him to speak again and when he did, his voice was almost so low that she almost missed it. “I dream about that man that I’d killed—”
Natasha looked repulsed just then and Angelina heard her distantly ask. “You murdered someone?” in a shocked tone. George flicked his eyes at her, “you never told me that! Why didn’t you ever say something?”
“Does it even matter?” George asked her irritably and Angelina wondered what must have happened between them in the past month. “Do you ever ask anything about me? Do you care that my brother died?” he snarled at Natasha.
The answer was evident from the silence Natasha gave but she hastily said to him.“But that was a year ago! He’s been dead a year, you should get over it! Rouge—”
George looked as if he could have hit her and Angelina instinctively grabbed his arm and held it down as he snapped angrily. “It wouldn’t matter if it had been a year, two years or ten! My brother is dead and he isn’t coming back you stupid bitch!”
“George!” Angelina said warningly up to him. “Stop!” Natasha was trembling a bit and she looked as if she might start to cry but she said to him, “I want to get better. You have to get better too! Fred wouldn’t like you to be this way. Try for his sake at least and you’ll get all the support you need.”
The party was officially becoming a nightmare and many people were staring at them and whispers were breaking out among many groups. Lee was desperately attempting to divert them but it was doing little good and George said miserably to Angelina, “I’m not the same anymore, Angie. You’re not the same anymore. What good are we if we can’t be together like we used to be?”
“I never left you George but I have to get better. I have to leave,” Angelina said to him and she looked to see that his eyes were turning red. He desperately needed her but she didn’t know what sort of person he would be by tomorrow or the next day and she wasn’t certain if she could handle the stress of it, “Georgie, I’ll always be right here.” She pressed her hand to the center of his chest where his heart pounded.
George placed his hand on hers and stared into her face and said pleadingly. “Angie, please don’t leave me.” His tone was very harsh and desperate. The words seemed to be too much for her and Angelina started to move back a bit, her hand slipping away from his.
There were so many people watching them that her cheeks were beyond red and Lee had given up trying to distract everyone.
“I’m sorry, George.” Angelina whispered and his shoulders slumped in defeat. “I just don’t understand you,” she said brokenly before turning around and rushing out as fast as she could from the shop and into the night air.
Diagon Alley was a lot scarier to Angelina than when she had last been here and no matter if it were trying to build itself back up, the War had taken its toll on many things.
The air was rank with it.
There was something haunting and eerie about the broken buildings, the elongated shadows of destitute people as they wandered the streets, desperately looking for somewhere to be. She felt as if she couldn’t get away fast enough.
Perhaps her coming here to speak to George for one last time had been foolish on her part but she hadn’t expected the need and love that she had for him to rise up again. She had to bitterly note that it had never gone away.
Even with all the things that he had said to her, Angelina knew that she would never be able to leave him behind, he was everything that she was. It would be like taking her own heart and ripping it from her chest, George Weasley consumed her completely and going to Ireland for a second chance at life wouldn’t change that.
Ten years, twenty…thirty were meaningless in the end when he would always be under the surface of her mind. No other man and no other memory would ever become as sweet as the ones she held for him.
Angelina’s eyes were streaming with tears and she flicked them away impatiently with her trembling hands. Natasha’s nasty words rang through her ears but she refused to believe them, she refused that she wouldn’t be able to be with anyone because of all of her emotional baggage.
It would take time to move forward but she didn’t want to dwell in her self-pity, depression or guilt any longer and that moment that she’d had with Mrs. Weasley replayed in her mind now. “Don’t hold it in dear…” the kind woman had said.
Angelina wouldn’t hold it all in any longer and she banished Natasha, her prettiness and her nastiness away firmly as she wandered down the street to find a decent place to Disapparate from, eager to go home and bury herself in her blankets and sheets and cry properly.
Her mind was so jumbled that she wouldn’t dare risk Splinching herself and winding back in St. Mungo’s again because of her rambling emotions so she walked along the street, trying to calm herself and having no luck.
A footfall sounded behind her and she felt the hairs on the back of her neck rising up, images of Death Eaters exploding through her brain but a moment longer the sound of panting could be heard.
Whoever it was had followed her and was out of breath and if it was a Death Eater from Hogwarts, she knew that she would already be dead and she tried to keep her mind focused on the present and not the past.
There were no Death Eaters roaming randomly through Diagon Alley with the intention to hurt her. They were being held in Azkaban…Greyback was dead after trying to escape from Aurors from what the Prophet had said.
Giants were no longer roaming the country after the last few had fled from Hogwarts…she was safe…she was safe…Angelina tried to say the words over and over in her mind. Slowly, the crazed tension in her body seemed to ease, though she didn’t turn around. “Angie…?” it was George’s voice and for a moment she’d thought her mind had gone bad.
Angelina refused to turn around and looked up at the sky instead and saw millions of stars, a heavy, fat moon. It was as beautiful as it had been when she had been at Hogwarts before the Death Eaters had attacked but things were so different now, “What do you want?”
“Angie, don’t leave me.” George said after a minute or two, his voice oddly heavy and Angelina turned around and saw that he was sweating. His eyes were bugging out of his skull and for some reason the sight caused her to laugh, “…shut up.” He gasped, “You walk so bloody fast and I couldn’t find you. I almost used a damn Summoning Charm.”
The laughter was almost infectious but Angelina forced it to cease and stared at him patiently, waiting. “George, just say what you want. I hate it when you do this; it’s why I call you Georgia.”
That caused him to flinch and a reluctant smile curved his mouth before he managed to catch his breath. “I know why you call me Georgia but I still hate it.” George said after a short pause before saying, “nothing that I’ll say is going to make you stay.”
“You don’t know that.” Angelina said and the truth of it shocked her.
George apparently saw it on her face and he looked away from her for a short minute before taking her in again. “You look better than the last time I saw you. And your back is all better?” he asked and Angelina nodded, “my arm is okay. I really did deserve it after what I said to you and I shouldn’t have pitied you for being stronger than me.”
Angelina hadn’t looked at it that way, it had seemed as if he had wanted to make her feel as low as possible. “Why would you say all of those things?”
“Because I think I’m mental.” George said seriously and his eyes seemed to glass over a little, this thought perhaps forming against his will. “I have nightmares, I told you that already. Sometimes I talk to Fred and he never says anything back.”
Angelina almost cried from the words. “Georgie—” she said, stepping closer.
George flinched from her and said curtly. “Everyone has been there but I’ve felt like I’ve been dying, sometimes I don’t want to talk about it. Sometimes I just want someone to look at me and say hello without pitying me. I know what the fuck it feels like to have him gone, I don’t need someone rubbing it in my goddamn face.”
The words were said so low that Angelina almost missed them but she was unable not to hear them. To think of him suffering this way alone and not voicing his emotions frightened her, “No one is rubbing it in your face, they’re just worried for you. Your parents and siblings want to talk about it because it hurts them too, but I suppose everyone grieves differently and there are some things that they just wouldn’t understand.”
George looked relieved by the word and he let out a slow breath that seemed to shake him from his very core. A rueful smile touched his lips as he stared back at her, “You’ve always been stronger than me, Angie. You can handle anything, it’s inhuman.”
“I’m just as human as you are, George.” Angelina assured with a weak laugh as he almost looked as if he might smile. “I have my issues too. It hasn’t been easy with my nightmares and not knowing if I murdered anyone that night…seeing Fred and having all those feelings of how it felt when I thought I’d lost you. It hasn’t been easy,” she whispered brokenly.
“But look at you. Even with all of that, you’re still standing.” George said and Angelina shook her head in denial, “I sank and wasn’t here for you when you needed me the most. The way you’ve always been for me.”
Angelina did threaten her mind to bring up all of her jealousy and all of her hatred and loneliness but she couldn’t. They seemed to have slowly, achingly fallen away like chipped glass, “I’ve never left your side but I won’t blame you for leaving mine. Things have been hard for both of us, and everything does seem to hurt, I understand, George.”
George was silent for a very long time after that and the only sound that came from the streets was the slow footfall of some lonely soul several blocks from them. “Of course you do, Angie. You do too much and I should have been around to take care of you the way you would have taken care of me.”
“No, it’s not okay and I can’t make up for the past year by making excuses. If it hadn’t have been for you and Fred, you on my left and him on my right, I would have faded a long time ago,” George said gravely and the tone of his voice made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. “But I knew you were stronger than me and might make it through better and I guess I was a little jealous.”
Angelina took all of this in slowly, trying to understand what he was saying to her. The feel of his words were rushing over her and paving away every bad thought until she felt almost vulnerable and naked, completely his like she’d always been.
Slowly, she found her voice and asked heavily. “You thought that I would pity you? Baby you through everything? I’m really not any stronger than you are, George. I have nightmares and I space out sometimes, my hands still shake,”
“Mine do too. Haven’t you noticed?” George asked with a bitter laugh and he held up his hands for her and she was able to detect a faint tremor. “Not as badly as yours, Meriln only knows what you saw when we were apart but they shake…and they never stop.”
Angelina placed the heel of her hand against her forehead to block out the sounds and sights of Hogwarts. The very sights of his trembling fingers exactly like her own almost brought back every painful, horrifying thing that she had seen that night, “We’re both mental, then.” She whispered. “…I can’t walk alone at night because I think Death Eaters are around every corner.”
George actually looked around the dark expanse of the street and she saw that he perhaps had been thinking the same thing. The fear of being bombarded with curses was something they shared and once he flicked his gaze back to hers, it was haunted. “I barely even come out at night anymore.”
“I feel so empty, but I’m trying, I’m doing my best.” Angelina said shakily but a few tears escaped from her eyes as she lowered her hand. George’s entire face mirrored her emotions so easily that they could have been identical and that thought made her smile weakly, “things weren’t as well.”
George looked confused by the words but held himself back from reaching for her and risking his own composure by touching her. “But you were doing so much. The flat, getting the promotion—the offer to go to Ireland, it’s like you were leaving me behind, like I was stuck in the same place without you.”
“I had no idea what you were going through—you should have just talked to me!” Angelina shouted at him furiously, her tears falling heavily. She didn’t bother wiping them away and the sight of her in so much pain devastated him, “I would have been there!”
The sound of her voice seemed to echo into the night like a banshee’s call but it didn’t bounce back to her. George’s eyes turned glassy and he seemed to double over with heaving sobs that seemed to be torn from his soul, “I’d only have used you.” Angelina shook her head to deny this but he forced himself to keep speaking, even though it hurt him to do so. “And the way I was…you have no idea how I was after Fred died, if it hadn’t have been for Percy…” his voice trailed off.
Angelina supposed that it could have looked like that to anyone on the outside but she hadn’t been doing well at all. At least not to her and she whispered, “We could have talked about everything but at least Percy—”
George cut over her abruptly and cried. “Percy’s gone! He was the only one who could understand how smothered I was, he was there with Fred when he died, but I think he was worse off than me. He hadn’t called me by my name in an entire year,” he said brokenly and Angelina felt her heart nearly stopping. It must have hurt them both, “I don’t think he knew what he was saying or doing but he would talk to me and call me Fred and apologize for all the things he used to do.”
“George, I’m sure that he wasn’t trying to hurt you,” Angelina said desperately.
“I know, I know,” George flicked away her words as he rushed on, his shoulders slumped and tears falling slowly down his cheeks. “But he said that he would be here for me and I had to think about what I was doing. He was so ill that I learned that I had to wake up and be there for everyone else too.”
There was a long silence after that and Angelina could see that it had taken all of his power to say the words. She had a feeling that he had told no one else, “You feel like he betrayed you after all the things he said.”
George nodded grimly and he ran a few fingers through his hair, the short style perhaps making him feel more in control like Percy always had been. “He left us.” He whispered harshly but his voice was filled with no hate, only grief as he continued on, “Fred is gone and you’re going to leave me too and I don’t think I can handle it.”
Angelina opened her mouth to interrupt him again but he went on in a toneless voice that actually frightened her more than anything she had been through before. The words were haunting, “I’d die if you left me. You’re everything I am, I need you so much— I know you won’t want to believe me after all that I’ve done, but it’s the truth.”
Angelina stood where she was and stared at him unblinkingly before realizing that his mind had warped their relationship into something that he could understand more easily. Katie and the others had probably been telling him about the promotion and how she had supposedly been having such good luck while he had been left alone to suffer and his bitterness for it had raged through him.
It would explain why he had been so distant with her when they’d met a month ago for the first time. And then, to make matters worse, Percy had abandoned the family again after offering him comfort and perhaps bringing him back to life for a brief time and he hadn’t been able to handle it.
Angelina could now see why he had been about to cry that night. The thought of her going to Ireland had stunned him so badly that he had come back to see her, desperate to explain how he had felt. Instead, he had belittled and insulted her and she hated him for using her to make himself feel better, no matter if it had been his intention or not. He’d said then that he’d needed her and Angelina believed him, she shockingly believed him,
“You’re going to be different every day.” She said to George and he looked as if he hadn’t heard her. Angelina was grateful that he hadn’t. “I…believe you George about needing me.”
George looked as if she had punched him in the chest and she worried that he might stumble and fall but he stood where he was. Somehow, he managed to stand his ground but he didn’t dare reach for her, “I don’t expect you to be able to handle me.” He said and he started to take a step back. “I know that I don’t deserve you after everything that I did.”
Angelina felt a spark of anger at the words and she almost wondered if it would feel nice to hit him. George must have sensed the train of her thoughts because he hastily took another step back, “I don’t deserve you, I deserve someone better and you should move on with your life.”
George looked as if she had just stabbed him through the chest. “Angie—”
Angelina snorted and felt a rush of anger at him and she continued furiously as more tears threatened to overflow. “Is that what I’m supposed to say?” she demanded hotly. “I have no say in the matter, prat?!”
“What?” George asked, his eyes flicking to her clenched fists. “Angie, please don’t hit me. I didn’t even cop a feel of your ass this time,” he reminded hastily, paling. Angelina stomped up to him and kicked him in the knee instead and he cursed. “What the fuck was that for?!”
“Do you love me?!” Angelina demanded up to him furiously. She was trying not to cry but it was very hard to hold everything in, “George, I love you but if you can’t be man enough to handle me and let me help you, then we don’t need to be together!”
George’s mouth opened for a moment or two as he stared down at her and his face seemed to explode in a blush. Angelina waited and waited and he snapped, “Of course I love you! Merlin, I love you so much that it’s almost pathetic!"
"There's nothing pathetic about it. I feel the same way, George," Angelina said softly and her voice felt tight and strained.
A slight silence fell and she heard George take a deep, shuddering breath, releasing words he had never spoken before. "...I can’t do anything without you.” He said truthfully and she saw his eyes glance away, “since we were kids I’ve loved you but…almost losing you at Hogwarts really made it obvious for me.”
There was a long, thick silence after that and Angelina wanted to touch him but she held back from doing it. She wasn’t sure what was holding her back but she asked gently, “What do you want to do?”
“I want to try with you.” George murmured and Angelina must have opened her mouth to ask another question and he absently said. “Natasha left with her sister and told me to go fuck myself. Little does she know that I’ve been doing that often,” he said with an eye roll. When Angelina didn’t laugh, he said seriously, “give me a chance, Angie, I’ll make up everything I did.”
It was such a risk and there was still so much to say but Angelina couldn’t deny how much she needed him to. As strange and as hard as it would be, she wanted to try and without saying another word, her arms lifted and George closed what little space there was between them and pulled her into a hug that promised anything and everything.
There! Now, stop hating me and rejoice! Two more chapters await you and thanks so much for reading and sticking through with so much angst! You all can complain but I'm sure you love it! ;)
A/N: I know that many of you who have read this story from the very beginning must be upset or a bit sad that this is ending but its a short story! No, really, I'm sorry but everything has been said and while I love this story very much, I really appreciate all of you who've read it this far so much more. Much, much love.
“If I catch the two of you snogging one more time, I’ll go mental!” Ron shouted and Angelina pulled away from George and heard him laugh against her neck. “Ugh, take it outside would you?”
After a moment, the youngest Weasley brother seemed to think about that and he shook his head as some horrid memory struck him. “No! Don’t!” he cried when George started to pull Angelina slyly out of his parent’s kitchen, “the last time that I caught you two, you were doing it in the shed! Don’t, for all that’s holy—”
Angelina was doubling over with giggles by this point and George was roaring with laughter at the look on his brother’s pale face. “Sorry, Ron,” she said to him. “We’ll make sure to bang each other on the kitchen sink instead.”
George started to laugh so hard that Angelina had to smack him on the back as roughly as she could with her hand to get him to breathe again. Ron was looking disgusted but the other members of his family were so used to them that they paid them very little mind, “Or the dining table.”
Mrs. Weasley had been ushering people outside where they would be having dinner, everyone carrying or levitating the massive meal she’d prepared. “Enough!” she said to George and Angelina sternly when they started to make more dirty jokes to Ron, “you two will give me nothing but a headache!”
“We’ve done our job then!” George cried happily and Angelina was glad to see that he was smiling at all. Percy had been gone for nearly half a year now, with no sign or warning that he would ever be coming home and the strain of worry that it put on the rest of the family had left them all rather frazzled, “Mum, can’t you pretend that you’re happy to have us back?” Angelina heard George complain.
Ron answered for their mother. “No, cause now you’ll be rolling around banging each other—”
“Ron!” Mr. Weasley warned as Mrs. Weasley bloated like a frog. “Help your sister and get outside already.” He commanded and Ron sighed heavily before going to Ginny as she struggled to hold onto two chairs that were bigger than she was, “George, Angelina, at least pretend to do something.”
Angelina sighed annoyingly and turned back to the bowl of carrots that she had been about to carry outside when George had snuck up on her. His family surprisingly found nothing wrong with their relationship and she had been relieved to feel welcomed and even loved after what she had done to George and even as they had been told why, there’d been no ill will towards her.
Ron and Bill had whispered that anything was better than Natasha but Angelina had had to wonder if she were good enough for George. With both of their issues and all of the things that they had done to each other, Katie and the others had expressed slight concerns on whether they would be able to last at all.
But Angelina somehow was able to deal with George and eventually forgive him for the things that he had done and when things seemed too hard for both of them, they simply talked. Or argued but the end result was a relationship that had somehow survived every bad, horrible nightmare to grow into something stronger than their friendship could have ever hoped for.
Angelina took the days slowly and she could say now that there were happier times, though not all of them were from things happening currently in her life. Some of them were from a memory that she would have of Fred, or of the George that she had loved and lost so long ago but they were quickly being filled in with nostalgia of both of them together, forever in a place in her heart.
Angelina’s parents had been furious and confused as to why she had stayed in Britain after arranging to go to Ireland to become reserve Chaser but she had gone to Ireland with George, just not to stay. They’d gone there together to expand the joke shop all over the country and while that had been fun and exhausting, it had also brought them together until Charlie had joked wearily that they should just be sewn together after they’d visited him in Romania.
George had said that he wouldn’t mind but Angelina had honestly told him that she couldn’t stand looking at him every day while she went to the toilet and so on and that had made him laugh. He smiled a lot more often now and while Angelina gave him times alone to grieve, he also did the same for her but on other occasions, they came together, sometimes not even saying a word.
“You’d think that this party would be for us but they’re just being mean. We should go home and cuddle,” George complained to Angelina now as he wrapped his arms around her waist from behind, a dramatic sigh coming from his lips.
“I thought I told you that I wasn’t moving in with you until you cleaned up that pig sty,” Angelina said with a warning laugh. George groaned in annoyance, “and who says I want to be looking at you every day all day?” she asked with a well-placed shudder.
George’s hand coasted over her front before settling on her abdomen. “This does,” he whispered softly and she flushed with pleasure. “That’s what happens when you walk around naked covered in oil you know.”
Angelina didn’t recall the first time they actually slept together quite like that. Though she heatedly remembered that one kiss goodbye had led to another and another until every scrap of clothing she’d had on had mysteriously vanished, “Oh, really? That is not how it happened! And we have to tell everyone soon.”
“And we have to get married.” George said almost absently and Angelina nodded, so overcome with love and happiness at the thought. And then pure horror struck her at the look that would cross her parent’s faces when they found out, they didn’t necessarily hate George but they didn’t love him either, “if you want to.”
“Of course I want to!” Angelina cried as the other members of the Weasley family managed to move outside with dishes, chairs and lively conversation. Harry Potter was here for a visit with Andromeda Tonks and her grandson Teddy Lupin and that delighted Ginny to no end while Hermione brightened up Ron’s night, “your mum can arrange it for us and keep it off my mind.”
George shuddered and said firmly. “No! We are not going to do that. You have no idea what a pain it was having her do Bill and Fleur’s,” he said and Angelina thought better of it immediately as he went through a brief description of the horror that had been his mother.
Angelina wondered if they could just do it in secret and was about to propose this idea to him when they heard a cough. She would know it anywhere and turned around as George reluctantly released her, “Katie!”
Katie and the others had been invited to celebrate them coming back home and George had also proclaimed that he was now ridiculously rich as well. That had caused some arguing and brotherly fighting amongst his siblings and Ginny but her friend said now, “We just go here and Ron said he was too afraid to come in. What do you two do when you’re alone?”
George grinned lasciviously and Angelina thought that it was a bit strange to see two people she cared about most getting along better after a rough start. Katie had given him such a telling off when Angelina had dragged him over to see their friends and they’d been on irregular ground ever since but she was slowly beginning to trust him (Though she warned that if he did something stupid to Angelina she would put him in St. Mungo’s permanently), “Where are the monsters?” George asked now.
Just then, two little brown haired girls ran into the kitchen screaming madly with Oliver rushing to catch them. Georgia and Leanne were both holding handfuls of worms and trying to eat them before their father could stop them, “Give me that, dammit!” Oliver snapped.
Georgia ran over to Angelina and hid behind her legs while Leanne held up her arms for George, who instantly picked her up. Dirty little hands offered him a worm and he politely declined while Katie roared with laughter, “Let me get that away from you.” He said kindly to the baby.
“No!” Leanne shouted before stuffing the last of her worms into her mouth and causing Angelina to gag a bit. Georgia was grinning evilly at her father and Oliver was panting for breath, “mine!”
Angelina picked Georgia up and held her over the sink and washed her hands for her. Glancing out of the kitchen window she was able to see that the Weasley family, Lee, Alicia, Hermione and Harry were already eating without them and she laughed, “I suppose they were hungry.”
“It’s that Teddy Lupin! I swear he’s such a bad influence. He had Victoire eating worms too before her mother snatched her up and cleaned her off with her wand,” Oliver said as he regained his breathing.
Katie walked up and patted him on the arm, though she was clearly very amused by the sight of him and he glared at her. “I think he’s a cutie.” Oliver snorted angrily.
George used a dish towel to clean off Leanne’s fingers and Angelina took the clean Georgia and held her. Sensing that she’d been spared, the little girl hugged her slyly and Oliver bowed his head in defeat, “We’re having a baby you know.” George said innocently.
Katie and Oliver gaped at the casual way he said it before Angelina nodded in confirmation, looking very embarrassed and happy. “You are? Angie, you still look amazing! How far along are you?” she asked, jumping in place before rushing up to her.
“About two months. George you prat!” Angelina snapped, she’d wanted it to be a surprise but George just shrugged smugly. Oliver congratulated him and they started walking into the back garden, Leanne squealing and talking about a mile a minute to her uncle, “I’m hoping it’s not a boy. I don’t think I could deal with another George.”
Katie smiled at her fondly at the lie, grabbed the bowl of carrots from the counter that Angelina had forgotten and they soon made their way out into the back garden. Though the air was starting to chill, it was still a nice night.
Everyone was laughing and joking, that air of sadness over Fred’s passing pausing some occasionally but her friend said now. “I’m really happy for you, Angie. Things are going in the right direction.”
Angelina could honestly say that they seemed to be and she held onto her goddaughter a little tighter, wondering what holding her own child would be like. “Thanks, and I’m really glad that you’re supporting me with him. It hasn’t been easy.”
Katie pursed her lips a bit because she knew it better than anyone else because Angelina talked to her about George quite often when he would become too much for her. “It wasn’t easy with me and Oliver either, so I can understand. And you two love each other, that’s all that matters.”
Angelina smiled gratefully as they managed to squeeze into seats, Katie beside Oliver and George shoving Lee out of his seat so he could take his place. Lee punched him before practically sitting on Alicia’s lap as she chatted happily with Fleur, “Git!” his girlfriend screamed before allowing him to stay where he was.
“He was just telling me that he got a deal for his own radio show. Like he’s that cool,” George grumbled beside her while eating Lee’s food. Hermione was across from them and she handed Angelina a plate loaded with food as Ron complained beside her.
“I don’t like the thought of you even working at the Ministry if Malfoy is going to be there, he should be in Azkaban!” Ron was saying hotly to his girlfriend.
Angelina and George exchanged looks at this and she asked Ron in surprise. “Malfoy is working at the Ministry now?” and Ron nodded furiously, stabbing into his meat.
That caused quite a few of the people at the table to frown distastefully but she thought of the cowardly child that had been at the Battle of Hogwarts and said slowly. “Maybe he got scared straight.” Angelina murmured thoughtfully.
“Or maybe he’s just looking for some pity.” Ron said to Angelina hotly, needing to vent some of his frustrations out. Angelina was eerily reminded of George, “I hear he’s adopted some kid and everything.”
Hermione even looked a little annoyed now and she frowned thoughtfully. “Apparently he was a friend’s baby and Malfoy decided to do something…noble.” For a moment she looked very uncomfortable about that and Ron snorted and cursed, “Ron, relax. We’re not going to be around each other much.”
“I don’t care. Any place with Malfoy in it is wrong!” Ron snarled.
Angelina hadn’t thought that anyone would entrust their child to Draco Malfoy and she wondered wryly if he had stolen some baby from a Wizard orphanage. Just for pity, as Ron had said since his family name was in shambles and his father permanently in St. Mungo’s for spell damage to his brain, “Is the baby a Muggle?” she asked Hermione.
“I don’t think so and he hasn’t really said anything about it at the Ministry when we do talk.” Hermione admitted and Ron looked scandalized. “I don’t know what happened to him but he’s almost not the same.”
George snorted disbelievingly and absently handed Leanne a biscuit to gnaw on as she smacked her little hand on the table demandingly. Katie and Oliver looked just as uncomfortable and even furious but Malfoy’s nerve, “Maybe some girl broke his heart.”
Hermione actually looked a bit startled by that and she thought for a moment and Angelina laughed a little because she always seemed to be thinking. “…Now that you mention it, he did say something about a girl. Greengrass…something but I don’t know what he’s really thinking but I hardly care, I’d just hate to think of a baby suffering.”
Angelina thought of the baby that she would have and wondered if a world where people like the Malfoy’s still reigned was a good idea. George sent her a comforting smile just as the thought formed and she smiled weakly back, “It’s his issue now, though.”
George looked for a change of topic quickly as Hermione and Ron went back to arguing with each other and he said to Katie and Oliver. “Oi, Oliver!” Georgia answered instead and he laughed for a moment before continuing on. “Did you tell Angie that you’re making your own broomsticks now?”
Angelina snorted with laughter and nudged George while Georgia bounced happily in her lap before noticing that Leanne was held in her uncles. Frowning, she promptly leaned forward to smack her twin in the face, “Stop that!” she snapped when Leanne started to cry.
Katie took Georgia off Angelina’s hands and handed her back to Oliver. “She’s awfully jealous and you know she has a crush on George.”
“I don’t even want to go into how wrong that is.” George said as he fed Leanne some mashed peas with a spoon. If Angelina didn’t know any better, she could swear that the baby looked awfully cunning, “anyway, Oliver, tell Angie about your brooms!”
“Do they come with their own polish?” Angelina asked Oliver slyly and George chocked with a laugh that had Hermione and Ron reeling back warily.
Oliver shot them both a look as he leaned down to say. “Of course they do!” and Katie, having caught the joke, roared with laughter. “What’s so funny? I’m going to make the best brooms in the world!”
Alicia turned away from talking to Fleur to say proudly. “And I am going to be the best Muggle Studies teacher there’s ever been!” she waited for applause and was rewarded as Bill and Fleur fed her ego a bit, laughing.
George looked very doubtful of this but Angelina nudged him sharply in the ribs before he said to her with a fond smile. “And you’re going to be Head of the Department soon. Don’t forget that.”
“Ludo Bagman’s not going to retire just yet. He can barely get his fat ass out the door,” Angelina said seriously and George laughed at her before going back to feeding Leanne. Katie and Oliver were laughing, “But I do have a lot to be excited about.”
“Like what?” Alicia asked curiously while Lee ate the remainder of her food and caused Mrs. Weasley to frown disapprovingly. Ginny and Harry were engrossed in a conversation with Charlie about Quidditch so the sight didn’t bother them, “ooh, are you going to get married?”
George slammed his fist dramatically on the table and the sound must have startled everyone because conversation ceased. Though he hadn’t told Angelina all the things that he had said and done in the year they’d been apart, his temper had been one of the issues that had tormented his family and his own being, “Dammit, Alicia! I was going to propose, why’d you have to say that?”
Alicia blinked. “Wait, are you being serious?” and Lee laughed.
Mrs. Weasley was looking very relieved but then her face started to grow excited as Charlie, Ron, Harry, Ginny and Hermione looked terrified. Angelina couldn’t blame them from what she had heard from George, “You’re getting married? That’s wonderful news!”
Angelina was certain that her own parents would not be too thrilled. “He hasn’t officially asked me though, or given me a ring.” She said pointedly to George.
“What? I’ll buy you a million rings and Angelina, do you want to marry me?” George asked her anxiously, the first signs of nerves coming into his face as he looked into hers. She pretended to think about it, “You were excited about it in the kitchen!”
Ron spluttered. “Don’t tell me the two of you—”
Angelina interrupted him easily to say to George happily. “Of course I’ll marry you, George. But I only need one ring and make sure it’s really, ridiculously huge—”
“Like my package?” George asked loudly, just to see the look on Ron and Hermione’s faces as they turned beet red, although Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were shooting daggers down at them.
“Well, I guess it’ll have to be smaller than I thought.” Angelina said worriedly and this caused the whole table to roar with laughter. “But sure, a ring would be nice.”
After everyone had calmed down a bit, Mrs. Weasley asked the two of them eagerly. “Why the sudden rush? The two of you haven’t been dating long. Young love,” she said softly and nudged Mr. Weasley in the ribs and he spluttered wine down his front.
“Yeah, we’ve got to or else our baby will be a bastard.” George said calmly and Angelina shot him a furious look as the entire table burst with the news. While his parents chastised them both hotly for being so careless and unorthodox, the others were sending out congratulations and more wine was being offered.
Lee was hopping off of Alicia’s lap. “And now I have to get the fireworks out!” he cried happily and he started rummaging in his robes, “I was going to surprise you all with them.” The Weasley’s and their guests looked really excited about this but Angelina and her friends knew better.
“I don’t think letting him do fireworks is a good idea.” Katie said worriedly.
Angelina went back to eating her food. “I don’t think we’ll be able to stop him.” She said with just as much worry as George continued to take their congratulations for them, looking happier than she had seen him in so long.
After the fire that Lee had started from nearly blowing half the back garden had finally been brought under control, Angelina found herself lying in the grass far from the Burrow with George.
They could hear laughter and activity floating down from his home; one side of the house still smoking a bit as Lee heavily apologized. “I had a feeling that that was going to be a bad idea. He only lost half his hair this time,” George said as he stared up at the dark sky with her.
“I think it’s a nice look for him.” Angelina said seriously and he laughed a little before she felt the slight brush of his fingers against hers. “I wonder when he and Alicia are going to get married.”
“Alicia might come to her senses when she realizes that she’s lying next to Lee every morning.” George said with a laugh and Angelina chuckled a bit and closed her eyes as a chilly wind blew. He moved closer to give her some warmth, “you know what this reminds me of?”
Angelina shook her head. “No, what?”
Slowly, George took her hand in his and held it for a few minutes before placing it on his chest, “It reminds me of the times that we spent at Hogwarts near the Black Lake.” He said after a minute or two and Angelina stiffened only a bit. Her hands still shook but the tremors weren’t nearly as bad as they had been, “I miss those days but I don’t think that I can ever go back…”
Angelina knew that the first steps to truly healing would be to confront Hogwarts and all the things that they had seen and done. But some part of her wanted to leave them very far away, “I don’t think that I can go back either, maybe someday we’ll go together.”
George rather liked the sound of that and she took their hands and placed them on her belly and he smiled all the wider. “What are you hoping for?” Angelina thought about it and he said before she could really give him an answer, “…can we name the baby, if it’s a boy after Fred and Percy? I think they’d like that.”
Angelina rose up to stare down at him and she pressed her forehead on his, their fingers still hanging on to one another and she said firmly and carefully. “Percy is going to come back, George.”
“But it’s been so long! I know he’s a stuffy git but he doesn’t know anything about what might be out there. They caught a lot of the Death Eaters but quite a few of them got away,” George whispered up to her before pressing his lips to her chin. “But thank you, Angie.”
Angelina hated to think of where Percy was and what he might be up to and she prayed that he wasn’t in any sort of danger. Swallowing those fears back, she said comfortingly to George, “He’s going to come out of nowhere and you’re going to be okay and you’ll have a long, nasty talk with him before pounding him into the ground and then hugging him and making it all better.”
“Exactly in that order?” George laughed weakly.
Angelina pressed kisses against his cheeks. “Exactly in that order.” She said and when George closed his eyes against painful thoughts, she kissed the tip of his nose. “Any day now, don’t give up.”
They stayed that way for a long time before George rolled her underneath him and kissed her deeply. Angelina was twining her fingers through his hair when they heard a cough and she impatiently looked up to see Ron staring down at them, “Come quick— I mean, that isn’t what I mean…” he stammered in an embarrassed rush.
George’s hand had been slipping up her shirt but he withdrew his hand and they both sat up quickly and stood. “What’s going on?” he asked worriedly, taking in his younger brother’s face.
“…Its Percy!” Ron cried excitedly as he began to rush back down to the house and his voice carried over the chilly wind almost hauntingly. “Percy’s come home! Hurry up if you want to punch him!”
Angelina felt George stiffening but they were both rushing down after Ron so fast that they nearly tripped five times in the grass.
When they finally reached the family, Percy Weasley was being hugged, punched, kicked and kissed on every available surface by his brothers, sister and parents, “You git!” George shouted furiously.
Percy looked dirty, unkempt and there was a haunted look around his eyes that Angelina could see from behind his glasses. He was dressed in filthy traveling robes, his red hair overlong and from a distance she almost believed him to be Charlie or Bill but the two of them and Andromeda Tonks were standing with Ginny and Ron. Angelina allowed George to move ahead without her.
Mrs. Weasley and the others parted away from him to give George a chance to get to his older brother, her own shock and joy causing tears to brim in her eyes. “You’re George.” Percy murmured thickly, upon seeing him.
“Yes, I’m George you piece of shit!” George snapped and Angelina heard a crack in his voice as he halted in front of his brother, just a few feet from him, “You’re Perce and I’m George!”
Percy seemed to know what was coming and while the others waited with baited breathe, Angelina’s friends politely watching from the sidelines, he nodded. “…Hi, George,” he whispered.
There was nothing more to be said and Angelina saw George laugh as he crossed the space between him and his brother and pulled him into a tight hug.
The sight was so endearing and filled with love that she knew then that no matter what happened, time would be able to heal all wounds and bring them all together again.
Now, I can't thank you all enough for reading this to the very end but please hold on because there is an Epilogue. But all in all, this is it and I couldn't have been happier to have written this and you all were great! Please keep reading and if you like, check out some of my other work! (If you all like enjoyed this, please check out "Growth" for some Roxanne Weasley action! Hahaha.)
A/N: And what can I say? I can't even begin to tell you all how much its meant for me to have had this story read at all. Alot of you may know that George/Angelina stories aren't very popular but you all have made me so happy with how much you love this story, whether you've reviewed or not. But please, at the end, leave me your thoughts so I can know what you loved/hated or remembered the most. Much love.
“For a moment I didn’t think that you would bring him back, Percy.” Angelina said fondly as a tall man in horn-rimmed spectacles maneuvered into the joke shop with a baby in his arms, looking so enraptured by the child that he appeared as if he hadn’t heard her, “it’s been a week.”
Percy Weasley took his eyes away from the sleeping baby in his arms and smiled at Angelina and she saw true fondness cross his features. After he had come back, he had stayed with she and George for a while to get himself together and they’d all become rather close, his need to be there for his younger brother so strong that Angelina had almost been completely forgotten, “Sorry, I was having too much fun with him.”
Angelina could only imagine what her two-year old son had done to him. “I can only think of what you were doing.”
“Nothing really, I took him to the zoo and then we went to the beach and I bought him some more toys and clothes.” Percy said while holding up a bag in his free hand. Her son was resting on his shoulder, his dark lashes fluttering a bit as he threatened to wake and Angelina felt a burst of panic, “where’s George?”
Angelina could hear the slight hesitation in his voice as he said his brother’s name, as if he had done something wrong. Or wasn’t quite sure where he was and she felt a pang for him and indicated the figures behind her, “He’s helping out a customer and his son.” She said evasively.
Percy looked curious and frowned a little, stepping further into the joke shop that looked as if it were sprawling with joy. Angelina didn’t think she deserved all the credit but George told her quite often that he wouldn’t be able to make it through a day without her and because he had reunited with Percy, he said that he couldn’t deal without either of them. “Is that…Malfoy? Draco Malfoy?”
Angelina could hear his dislike and she hastily held up her hands to fend him off but even in elegant robes and his severely cut hair, Percy Weasley still vibrated with something…unpleasant from his travels.
Though he hadn’t told her personally what he had been up to, George had hinted sadly that he had done a lot of things that might get him thrown into Azkaban, “It’s okay! It’s okay. He isn’t here to cause any trouble.”
Percy looked very thoughtful about that and adjusted Fred on his shoulder a bit and she saw her son’s brown eyes open. Angelina sighed in defeat as soon as he looked around and spotted her, a cheeky smile appearing, “Oh, no.” Her brother-in-law said.
Fred had a very deep right dimple and though his hair was threatening to curl a bit, Angelina thought that it would be a wavy variety. “Mama!” he cried happily, reaching for her.
Angelina took him and he practically hopped into her arms before pressing kisses all over her face. When she laughed and kissed him back, he promptly smacked her on the head, his usual greeting and she sighed, “And…you’re still the same.”
Fred began chattering away happily to Angelina and she wiped at his sleepy eyes gently with her finger while Percy smiled sadly. He spent so much time with her son and she didn’t like to sadden herself with how it might have been different when his brother had been alive, “So what’s Malfoy doing here?” Percy asked her.
Angelina turned along with her son, who was still chattering a mile a minute to stare down the expanse of the shop. Draco Malfoy had walked in with a baby of his own hanging onto his robes and looking at all the bright colors happily and because George had been in a good mood, he’d let them come in even after they’d closed the shop, “He’s buying his son some new toys, apparently.”
Malfoy looked worn out even from here and Angelina wasn’t certain what it was but he seemed very depressed, there was a slight hunch to his shoulders.
No matter if his black robes were perfect and that his hair was, as blonde as ever, he carried with him a sort of heartbroken energy that made Angelina feel quite sorry for him, “Son?” Percy asked dryly. “Oh, that’s right. Hermione was telling me he adopted a boy.”
“I’m not really sure where he’s from but Malfoy says that he was a friend’s son. I’m thinking that Crabbe was doing more than just staring in space.” Angelina said lightly and Percy laughed. “…But the kid must look a lot like his mother because Crabbe was no beauty.”
Percy roared with laughter at this and Fred, wanting to copy him, laughed too and Angelina kissed his cheek. “How have you been?”
Angelina rubbed Fred’s back absently and she thought about that and had to say that being Head of the Department kept her busy but she did enjoy her job. When she wasn’t at work, she helped George here at the joke shop and kept him level, “I’ve been great. George says I’m still fat from giving birth, even though it was two years ago.”
Percy snorted as he looked at her quickly, something that he wouldn’t have been able to do in the past, as that would have been very rude. “I don’t know what he’s talking about. You don’t look as if you’ve even had a baby.”
That had to be from wild Quidditch games with Katie and the others in Alicia’s back garden when they got together. Georgia and Leanne Wood were three now and Lee was going to pop the question to Alicia this weekend at her birthday, “Hitting on my wife?” George asked to Percy as he walked up with Malfoy and his son, “Percy, you dog.”
“There were a thousand things wrong with what you just said.” Percy said dryly and Angelina laughed while the two of them walked up to the counter. Malfoy shot them furtive looks from the corner of his eyes, his body stiffening defensively, “and no, I wasn’t.”
George walked behind the counter as Malfoy placed his items on the counter and Angelina looked down at his ankles. His boy was looking up at her and smiling, “Angie’s not good enough for you, huh?” her husband gasped. “Merlin, that’s a relief. I want her all to myself.”
Malfoy looked at Angelina a bit more closely and she looked up from his son and was about to ask about him but he said, “Thank you.” And she recoiled a bit in confusion, “I remember you and I just wanted to thank you.”
Angelina thought that he would mention Hogwarts but she cast a look at George and then at Percy but neither of them reacted. Her hands still shook along with her husbands and Percy was on another level of depression that was concerning, “I’m not sure what I did for you, but you’re welcome.”
Malfoy looked relieved. “I’m being rude.” He said apologetically while offering his hand and Angelina took it, Percy scowling in disapproval. “Draco Malfoy, you didn’t kill me at Hogwarts, I just wanted to thank you for that.”
“Angelina Weasley. You used to call me a breed in school,” Angelina couldn’t help but say and he flinched with distaste. She was surprised by it and felt a level of respect for him before they released each other, “so, I hear you spawned.”
George roared with laughter. “Angie, way to be smooth,”
Malfoy looked embarrassed but he bent and picked up his son and Angelina was confronted again with black hair and strange colored eyes. Fred was eyeing him with acute distrust, apparently thinking that he was the only baby on the planet, “It’s all right. Say hello, Benjamin,”
Benjamin Malfoy looked as if he would rather be somewhere else but he smiled at Angelina anyway and she couldn’t help but grin. Fred smacked her in the face for her betrayal, “Hi,” the baby said before resting his head on his father’s shoulder with a sigh.
Angelina asked him. “How old are you, sweetie?” Malfoy showed him how to make two fingers and he proudly thrust them at her, “you and my son Fred are the same age.”
Malfoy flinched a little at the words but he didn’t say anything and Angelina watched as he stared at her son and smiled. Fred frowned at him, “Not very friendly, is he?”
“No, he’s just smug.” Angelina corrected and that had George laughing a bit as their son wrapped his arms possessively around her neck, “our family spoils him rotten.” She jerked her head back at Percy, who snorted disbelievingly.
Malfoy smiled a bit at the words and Benjamin idly touched his chin before clutching the front of his robes, his eyes on her son. Angelina had a feeling that they would not be getting along by the time they went to Hogwarts together, “I’m sure they do. My mother spoils Benjamin as well, I barely see him during the day,” he said with an eye roll.
Angelina knew that his father was still in Azkaban and he didn’t seem as if he wanted to speak about it. That deep sadness around his being made her ache a bit and it was something she had never thought that she would feel for a person that had gone out of his way to torment others while he had been in school, “Is he your only son?” she asked him politely.
“So far,” Malfoy said with a thin smile.
Angelina grinned and he gave her a wary look. “So far…? You must be a skirt chaser Malfoy and if you weren’t so young, I’d be all over you,” she was just teasing but he actually looked as if he might be blushing and that had her roaring with laughter. “I’m just joking, relax,”
Malfoy was slightly pink around the ears. “It’s been a while since anyone’s teased me, I’m afraid.” He said lightly, and his grey eyes appeared haunted and clouded before Benjamin tugged on his robes, perhaps bringing him back to life.
George was laughing to himself while ringing up Malfoy’s things and after a moment or two he held out a bag and Malfoy absently passed him some Galleons. “Thanks again, Malfoy. You’ve officially tainted yourself with Weasley merchandise.”
Malfoy flicked his eyes at him and looked as if he might actually smile before taking his things and shifting his weight awkwardly. “Thank you again for letting us in. I’ve never taken him to Diagon Alley before.” George waved it away.
“Is it his birthday?” Angelina asked him curiously.
“No, it’s mine.” Malfoy said absently and he said it in a way as if he wouldn’t have anyone to celebrate it with. But he didn’t elaborate and said to Benjamin. “Ready?” and his son stopped smiling at Angelina in what she swore was a flirtatious way and nodded his head.
Percy hadn’t said anything but Angelina was glad that by the time Malfoy and his child had gotten out that he hadn’t pulled out his wand. His tone was bland after they left, “What’s his issue?” he asked to George.
George stretched a bit and started shrugging out of his robes with a shrug before placing them under the counter. “I don’t know about you but if I were marrying Pansy Parkinson, I’d be depressed too.” Angelina and Percy exchanged a shudder at the memory of that foul toad, “he seemed like he had his mind on someone else.”
“Sort of how you were with Natasha?” Percy asked lightly, teasing.
George looked hastily around, as if expecting the girl to appear from the shadows and Angelina roared with laughter before reminding him. “She’s getting married to Jeremy Travers, George.” The girl had practically thrown the news at them both one day; her sneer too amusing, “and she’s finally free to let all of her ignorance about Muggles out to someone who might understand.” Angelina ended dramatically and the boys laughed.
Natasha had made herself quite the nasty little thing when she had come to the joke shop two years ago when Angelina and George had been fooling around with some of the products.
Papers and toys had been everywhere and they’d been so happy together that they’d barely noticed her. But she’d stomped in, harped and bitched and Angelina had seen George flick his wand at her.
It had been the first time that she’d seen him use it and the girl had run out screaming and crying with boils breaking out along her face and he now roared with more laughter. “Well, good luck to that bloke. Just thinking about her makes me ill.”
Percy snorted himself and handed over Fred’s new things and George gave him a curious look that Angelina didn’t understand until his older brother flushed. “…I’m seeing someone,” he muttered eventually.
“Really?” Angelina asked as Fred reached for George, having gotten tired of her. His father grabbed him around the waist and hung him under his arm, where he squealed with delight, “Perce, that’s great news! Who is she?”
George was snickering into his chest a little as he kicked at Percy good-naturedly, “You mean what is she?” Angelina sent him a confused look. “Didn’t think that I’d get you that into strip clubs.”
Angelina felt a wave of annoyance and punched him in the arm. “Since when are you going to strip clubs?” George looked innocently away. “Lee…” she said assuredly and her husband nodded.
“Lee,” he confirmed with a laugh. “He wanted to celebrate Percy getting that job at the Ministry and all that. Undersecretary to the Minister and all that drivel,”
Percy frowned at him before saying to Angelina. “I had no idea, Angie, I really didn’t. And trust me, I didn’t mean to give her the impression that I was interested and she’s so rude…and mean…” he said annoyingly and Angelina laughed at the blush coming into his pale cheeks. “She’s a Muggle and I promised to show her my wand since she gave me a free dance.”
Angelina and George roared with laughter.
“I didn’t mean it like that!” Percy snapped, blushing red. Fred laughed too and he shot him a fond look, “et tu, Fred?” George looked confused before his brother said, “Shakespeare. She’s got me reading some Muggle writer and if I don’t get out quick I’ll miss her.”
Angelina was awfully curious. “What’s her name?”
George answered with a waggle of his brows. “The Bad Taste, that’s her stage name.” Angelina shot him a dark look and he took a step away from her, “she’s just doing it to get through college! Rather noble of her, wouldn’t you think?”
“Her names Audrey Tang,” Percy said to Angelina seriously and he sounded very defensive of her, perhaps even fond. She had a feeling that they probably spoke a lot even while he pretended to be irritated about it, “I’ll see you three later.”
“Are you going to show her your wand?” George called to his older brother as he finally retreated and walked out into the streets. Diagon Alley was starting to quiet down and while it was still repairing and Angelina still didn’t go out often after dark, it was gathering itself slowly, as they all were, “Merlin, I never would have thought that Perce would go for a girl like that.”
Angelina took Fred’s presents and placed them on the counter and George flung Fred into his arms and kissed his nose. He returned the favor, though he licked him instead, “I hope he starts to get better.”
George stopped talking to Fred long enough to say seriously. “I hope so too, I’m getting a bit worried about him. I don’t really know what he was doing while he was all over the country but whatever it was, wasn’t pleasant.” He said and Angelina turned to look at him, now feeling nervous about his brother.
“Maybe he’ll be able to share it with this Tang girl,” Angelina said sourly and George sent her a smile at her annoyance that he had been going somewhere that she wouldn’t approve of.
Lee was such a bad influence and because Oliver was busy starting his broomstick shop, he didn’t have a lot of time to fool around anymore. Not that Katie would let him nowadays when their daughters gave them such hell.
“He’ll be a wreck without her, I bet.” George said to her softly and Angelina felt a pleasured smile come into her face. “Before Malfoy and his kid came into the shop, you were going to tell me something. What was it?” he asked curiously.
Angelina had been rather nervous about it all day when she had found out, more than suspicious but now she wet her lips. George’s eyes flicked to them distractedly and she said in a rush, “We’re going to have another baby.”
George stared at her in disbelief for a moment but then a wide, almost unbelievably pleasured smile crossed his features. The joy coming from him almost made her heart stop, “Another baby? Since when?” he cried, crossing the space between them.
Fred leaned forward to swat at her, to little success as Angelina angled away playfully. “I just found out the other day but I wanted to be sure.” Angelina said with a smile.
George seemed to think about it rather hard and then his face started to turn a bit pink before he waggled his eyebrows at her. “…Oh. It’s from when I got you on the wall, isn’t it?”
“No, I’m pretty sure it happened from that time Ron caught us putting our clothes back on in the shed.” Angelina laughed and she was suffused with joy, not certain why she had been so nervous about revealing this to him. George’s smile hadn’t faltered and he kissed her before she could say another word, Fred complaining loudly, as he hated this but when they pulled apart, she whispered, “are you happy?”
George nodded and he looked as if he might cry but he rummaged around in his pocket and took out his wand. Angelina took out her own immediately, thinking that something was wrong but her husband cried. “Expecto Patronum!” and the silver lion appeared. Fred had never seen it before but watched as it prowled, casting light into the darkening shop, “show me yours, I’ve never seen—”
“Expecto Patronum!” Angelina mimicked him exactly and her silver lioness appeared beautifully, matching his so well that it brought tears to her eyes. They seemed so bright and together in a way that was surreal, beautiful and heartwarming and no matter if there had been doubts, the love was there.
It was everywhere and no matter what happened; she would stay here and allow the person that she had always loved to spend the days with her and to rest his nights with her. As the darkness of Diagon Alley began to spread around them, Angelina watched as the Patronus’s danced until they were nothing but thin whispers of light.
Without another word to each other, Angelina and George closed the shop up properly and she retrieved Fred’s toys. They slowly went into the back of the shop and made their way up to the flat where comfort and relaxation waited, “When are you going to tell Mum and Dad?” George asked eventually.
Angelina knew that he meant her parents and only called them that to their faces because he knew how much it bothered them. They liked him but in very small, small doses.
“Tomorrow, I suppose.” She said with a sigh. When she’d revealed that she was pregnant with Fred, they’d been thrilled but her father had nearly wrung George’s neck for getting her pregnant out of wedlock. He had even chased him around in the back garden with a bit of wood, “we’re going round for dinner anyway.”
“I won’t put so much dragon dung in your dad’s food, I promise.” George said and there was a smile in his voice at the lie.
They reached the landing and Angelina noticed that the flat was still comfortable, still carrying sadness that was left over from Fred’s empty bedroom. All of his things had finally been cleaned out and given to their parents, who had thanked them before breaking into tears and pulling them into a hug that still made her heart swell.
Angelina and George had cried and laughed throughout the entire process of emptying his room and because the apartment had a spare, their son dominated that one. She knew that her dear friend’s empty bedroom would be for their next child but the thought of entering it made her bittersweet as she recalled how they had packed everything away.
Memories of Fred had decided to plague them both at odd times. Sometimes still, they went their separate ways to grieve but she liked to think that they came together on others, stronger than ever, even after two years of hardship and love.
“You’re such a liar,” Angelina said to George now.
Her husband sent her a grin, right dimple flashing but his eyes were soft and filled with tenderness. Angelina knew that the thought of having another child delighted him to no end even though it made her slightly nervous to know that she was going to be treated like porcelain glass for the next few months.
Katie had laughed at her of course. But Oliver had treated her exactly the same and because their daughters were some of the most hellish creatures on the planet, any amount of help he gathered from her was much appreciated.
Lee and Alicia had slyly hinted that they wouldn’t nearly be so pathetic. But Angelina worried about the two of them bringing a child into the world and feared for the fate of humanity even as the thought processed.
George snapped her out of her thoughts by nudging her playfully in the arm. “Let’s get this monster settled in before bed.” He said now, indicating Fred as he was placed on the floor.
The toddler instantly ran around to the living room where Angelina and George followed. “No bed!” he said angrily to them, shaking his head. “No bed Daddy!”
“Oh, you’re going to bed monster. No excuses,” Angelina said fiercely and Fred frowned at her before breaking into tears. George laughed and she shot him a look. “Help me out would you?”
George waved her away, went to their son and picked him up. Fred fought him viciously, screaming at the top of his lungs until his father said sternly, “No more crying! You’re supposed to be a big boy, Fred!”
“I am a big boy!” Fred cried.
George’s lips twitched. “Really?” he asked dryly.
Angelina thought of what might scare him and said to the child. “If you don’t stop crying this instant, I won’t let you see Uncle Percy anymore!” the threat of not getting anything he wanted and being with his favorite uncle dawned on him and their son stopped sobbing immediately but shot Angelina a glare.
George laughed and shook his head before wiping at his son’s eyes and kissing him on the cheek, which only made him smile happily. He was completely soothed and Angelina shot her husband a look and wondered how he was able to do it, “You’re such a good boy, Freddie.” Their son nodded in agreement.
“No bed,” Fred whined worriedly to Angelina when she wondered over and patted him on the head, watching as he smiled slyly to his father.
Having two of them in the house would drive anyone mad. After that disaster, Angelina was in a strong need for a good sit down but Fred had more energy than even a million children put together and she hated to think of how he must act with Teddy Lupin and the others.
It was a wonder the Burrow was still standing at all, she thought fondly before going through the motions of getting her son and husband (George played just as much nowadays) relaxed and into bed.
Together, they gave Fred Uncle Percy’s new toys, held up his new clothes and played with him for a long time before giving him a bath (Which resulted in all three of them getting wet) and something to eat before tucking him into bed.
“Goodnight, Fred.” Angelina whispered after kissing his cheek and tucking him in.
Fred was already asleep though; his little sighs making her heart swell as George bent over him and kissed his cheek. “I love you, Fred,” her husband said.
When they wandered into their bedroom and settled into bed, George spent a long time plumping her pillows, rubbing her ankles and stomach until Angelina beat him with her fist to get him to stop. Just as they were starting to doze off, George still grumbling, she said. “Goodnight, George.”
“I love you too Angie.” George replied and at her look he laughed. “Haven’t you figured that out by now? I’ve been saying it for so long, in exactly the same way for years. Goodnight, Angie,” he said again and Angelina broke into a smile that she couldn’t hold in and was wrapped in his arms, everything as well as she could have hoped.
And there you have it! The end! I'm so sad to let it go but it had to be done, I sort of almost forgot that this story was supposed to be a short story...haha. Now, I know alot of you may be mad that I ended it at all but please, if you like, check out "Growth" for some Roxanne Weasley action, it sort of continues on from this story.
Or...if ferrets are your thing, try out "A Force of Wills". And even still, if you want a bit of humor, try looking at my first ever fanfic, "Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince".
But, I must say if you all hate those stories then I've failed as a human being and will take some requests for another "This is..." story! Leave me a review if you have a character you'd like to see written and I'll do my best! Again, much love from Gabbie.