Chapter 4 : Only The Beginning
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Agnes glanced at Fred, who gave her a wink. So, with a smile on her face, Agnes took the only empty seat next to yet another red-haired boy to whom she had not yet been introduced. "Hi," he said, offering her a very raw and red hand. "I'm Charlie."
"And ziz iz Bill," said Fleur loudly, from across the table. "My fiance."
Agnes smiled at the eldest Weasley brother, trying not to cringe at his disfigured face. The horror of it made her wonder what on earth could have happened to him. Luckily enough, her question was answered moments later by Fleur, "My Bill, 'ee iz very brave. You see 'iz scars?" She cupped Bill's face and kissed him. "They are 'iz battle scars."
Mr. Weasley cleared his throat loudly as Fleur moved to kiss Bill again. She threw him an affronted look and turned her attentions to her salad. "Have you finished the wedding plans, Fleur?" asked Mrs. Weasley, reaching across the table to serve Agnes some potatoes.
"Almost," said Fleur. "Bill and I will 'ave to go get my dress."
"We're going to have to take off the Fidelius Charm, Remus," said Mr. Weasley. "Just for the wedding."
Both Elle and her daughter looked confused, so Remus explained briefly, "We placed a Fidelius Charm on the house. Alastor Moody is the Secret Keeper."
"Why?" asked Elle, causing everyone to look a little startled. It was the first thing she had said during the entire meal.
"You-Know-Who knows that we're close friends with Harry," said Mrs. Weasley, after a moment's pause.
"Family," interrupted Harry. "They're close enough to be my family."
Mrs. Weasley gave him a warm smile. "Yes," she said. "So we didn't think it would be safe."
"And we were right," said Arthur heavily. "Fred and George's store has already been vandalized twice."
George sighed and leaned back in his chair. "Took a ton of Galleons out of our pocket," he muttered.
"Yes," said Fleur impatiently. "But about ze wedding..."
Twenty minutes of wedding details later, the family and their guests ended their dinner. Mrs. Weasley stayed in the kitchen to help clean up, and Mr. Weasley stayed to help her. Bill and Fleur disappeared, leaving the others to make assumptions about their whereabouts. Elle mentioned to Agnes that she was going to go to bed, leaving Agnes to stay in the living room with the others. Ron was attempting, for the umpteenth time, to teach Hermione chess strategy.
And yet again, it was not working. "Well, what if I move my bishop to the right?" she asked, beginning to get impatient.
"No, Hermione," said Ron, trying to contain his exasperation. "That would only take a pawn. You could take my knight."
"You shouldn't be telling me in the first place, Ronald," snapped Hermione. "That's letting me win."
Ron rolled his eyes and muttered, "But if I don't, you'll get mad at me."
"I will not get mad at you!" said Hermione indignantly.
"You will!" cried Ron, throwing up his hands. "You're doing it now!"
"I am not!" said Hermione, scowling, crossing her arms, and looking away from her boyfriend.
Ron threw a pained look at Fred, George, Ginny, and Agnes, all of whom were sitting by the fire. Ginny motioned towards Hermione, hoping her brother would get the hint. Apparently he did, because he sighed and put his hand on Hermione's.
She wrenched it back.
"Hermione," he said, his voice with a whine in it.
"Don't whine at me, Ronald," she snapped, still not looking at him.
"They do this every night," Fred whispered in Agnes's ear.
Agnes's heart leaped as his lips, accidentally, of course, brushed her ear."And then they somehow end up upstairs."
She laughed, causing Ginny to look over at them. "What are you telling her?" she asked curiously.
"Just informing her of those two's nightly routine," said Fred innocently.
"I'd like to see them try to finish it here," chuckled George. "After dad's little talk."
"I can hear you, George Weasley," said Hermione, turning and glaring at him.
"Well, then, Hermione, my dear," said Fred, grinning at her. "Why don't you save us all the agony and take that poor suffering soul upstairs and fix your little argument?"
Hermione stayed seated for a moment, shooting daggers at him with her eyes. Then, she grabbed Ron's hand, yanking him out of his chair, and started dragging him out of the room. Just before he went out of sight, he mouthed a 'thank-you' to his brothers.
The four burst into laughter, before Ginny said, "Where's Harry?"
Harry had gone upstairs to go to bed. Unfortunately, he found Remus about to knock on the older women's door, in which he knew Agnes's mother was sleeping. Remus turned and looked embarrassed for a moment.
The two eyed each other until finally Harry said, "Who is she?"
"She's just a friend, Harry," muttered Remus quickly.
"I saw you two...doing...stuff..." said Harry, looking extremely uncomfortable.
"We went to school together," said Remus, after a short pause. "I guess you could've called her my sweetheart."
"Does Tonks know?"
Remus shook his head. "And you're not to tell her, Harry," said Remus sternly. "This is past. She doesn't need to know."
So much for honesty in a relationship, thought Harry bitterly. In response, he shrugged.
Just then, Tonks herself reached the top of the stairs. "Oh, Remus," she said, smiling. "I was just looking for you."
She came forward and took his hand. "How about a walk?" she asked. "'Night, Harry."
Harry nodded and turned to go when he heard Tonks say, "Goodnight, Ginny."
The couple had already headed down the stairs and were replaced by a thin, red-haired girl. "Hello, Ginny," said Harry, starting to turn around again.
And he did.
"I didn't just mean moving," she said, as he turned around to face her. "I meant stop being weird."
"What do you mean weird?" he asked, his brow furrowing.
"Anytime you're around me, you've been distant and unresponsive," she said, working herself into a bit of a frenzy. "I don't like the way we ended. But it was your decision. If anyone should be being weird it's-"
Ginny was cut off through, because Harry had strode forward and kissed her roughly. He ran his hands through her beautiful, silky hair once more, pulling her to his body, feeling her warmth. He felt her give in for a moment, one glorious moment, until she shoved him away. "You broke it off, Harry," she said, looking both hurt and angry. "Don't do this to me. You had to be noble."
"I didn't ask for any of this!"
"Don't, Harry," said Ginny, walking away. "Just...don't."
And without another word, she left him standing, dumbfounded, in the hallway.
Meanwhile, Remus and Tonks were sitting by the lake, looking out onto the moonlit water. His arm was around her, and she was resting her head on his shoulder. "It's almost full," muttered Remus, in reference to the moon.
"Don't think about that," said Tonks, slugging him on the chest.
Remus smiled down at her, feeling more calm than he had since Elle had returned. He really did love Tonks. She made him smile. She made him laugh until his sides ached. She was wonderful.
"What're you looking at?" she said, giving him a funny look.
"You," said Remus softly.
Tonks snorted and rolled her eyes. She had never been one for romance, even as much as she loved Remus.
They were silent for a moment, until Tonks laughed softly.
"What?" asked Remus, with a confused smile.
"Look across the lake," said Tonks, pointing.
Two silhouettes were walking together, holding hands. "Neville and Luna?" asked Remus.
Tonks nodded, with an amused sort of smile.
"The world needs more innocence," he said wearily.
"They haven't even kissed yet," said Tonks, shaking her head. "Speaking of kisses..."
From the bedroom window, Elle could see the two figures that she knew to be Tonk and Remus come together in her kiss. She could feel her heart thumping wildly in her chest. All her emotions bubbled up inside her. Jealously. Hurt. Love.
Feeling the tears spring to her eyes once more, Elle turned from the window and slid down the wall. "I love him," she whispered, burying her face in her hands. "I love him."
The heartbreak felt as though it could kill her right there and then.
And she knew it was only beginning.
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