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Chapter 2 : The Not-So-Unbreakable Vow
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“George?” The redheaded figure turned and smirked, shaking his head slightly as he continued to retreat down the bare Hogwarts’ corridor. “Fred...,” she whispered as her eyes widened.
Jamie took a step forward, placing her shaking hand on the cool, stone wall of the castle as she tried to steady herself. It....couldn’t be, could it?
“Come on, Jay. You’re going to miss out on all the fun,” hollered the redhead just before turning a corner. She could hear his footsteps, but they sounded so far off. Now that she realized it, everything seemed a bit far off. Her chest felt as if it were about to collapse, her breathing heavy as everything sunk in and registered with her head. Fred was....alive.
Jamie pushed off the wall, her steps quickening until she was running down the empty corridor. As she rounded the corner in search of Fred, she froze. Her eyes widened slowly at the sight before her.
“No! Fred! No!”
The explosion sent Jamie stumbling back, slamming into the wall and sliding to the floor as she clutched her bruised arm. She saw Percy leaning over the other redhead’s cold, lifeless body, Ron kneeling beside as well. Harry and Hermione were struggling to get out of the destroyed corridor and all Jamie could do was sit there and cry, willing herself to breathe--
Jamie’s eyes opened quickly. Her chest rose and fell quickly with each ragged breath and racing beat of her heart. It was just a dream. It was always just a dream. Every bloody night she had that awful dream, waking up with tear stained cheeks and wet pillow cases. It really was enough to drive someone insane.
“Fred?” she croaked. Was she still dreaming?
“No, Jamie. You’re awake,” George sighed.
“I had it again,” she whispered as she pushed herself up into a sitting position. Jamie clutched the sheet to her chest as she curled her legs to the side.
The dream itself hadn’t plagued her for the entire year, only for the last six months. Jamie couldn’t deal with knowing the exact details of his death right away, and she simply put off asking and listening. Eventually not knowing wore her down and she had assumed that knowing would help. It did, for a few weeks that is, then the dreams started occurring.
“Yeah, Mum sent me up. She heard you....screaming,” he admitted timidly, looking down at the floorboards of his room.
“Actually I think the entire house heard you.”
“Not helping,” Jamie cut in as she looked at him through tired hazel eyes. Nodding, George rose from the wooden rocking chair in the corner of the dimly lit room and crossed the space to sit on the edge of the bed.
George’s fingertips brushed lightly against her cheek causing Jamie to breath in sharply . He tucked a loose curl behind her ear before dropping his hand and letting out a heavy sigh. “You should really get some sleep.”
“Been there, tried that. Didn’t work out at all.” As if on cue, Jamie yawned slowly as she adjusted the sheet around her thin frame. “Have you gotten any rest? You look down right beat, George.”
He chuckled softly. Jamie felt a bit of warmth rising up inside her just at the sight of the familiar smile. It had been too long since she had seen the way his skin wrinkled at the corners’ of his eyes or the cute little dimple that formed just above the crease of his mouth on his left cheek. She found herself smiling as she continued to focus her gaze on him. George shook his head and then straightened himself up a bit.
“Can’t say that I really have.”
“I really doubt Fleur’s baby shower is going to take that much energy, Jay.”
“But still,” she trailed off as she twisted her lips to the side.
The two sat there looking intently at each other. Jamie was fairly certain that neither was about to attempt to catch some more sleep. To be honest, she wasn’t even sure what time it was, only that the moon was still out and the sky was a deep blue. She blew air our of her lips and George mimicked her, causing her to smirk briefly.
“We could go for a walk?” the redhead offered, looking over at Jamie out of the corner of his eye.
“It’s like four in the bloody morning.” It sounded about right to her, though it was only a guess.
“More like three forty-five,” he replied with a shrug. “If neither us our going to hit the sack, we might as well make use of our time.”
A walk did seem like a better idea than staying in bed and possibly falling asleep and having another dream. Reliving Fred’s death once was all she could handle for one night. A second time would no doubt push her over the edge. It looked like a nice enough morning as well. The more she got to thinking about it, the more she believed that a bit of fresh air and an early start would do her some good.
“Alright, give me a few minutes to get dressed,” Jamie finally replied. George nodded as he pushed himself off the bed.
“See ya in a jiff,” the boy grinned.
“George?” Jamie called softly as she stepped out of the Burrow’s kitchen door. The moon was hanging high up in the sky, vast and bright and shining across the restless reeds and grasses scattered around the house. She took a few small steps forward with her arms loosely wrapped around her own waist, eyes intently focused wherever she looked. “George?”
Sighing, Jamie started to walk slowly away from the house. Just as she was about to step around the house a hand pulled her quickly back as another cool hand found her mouth.
“Shhhh,” George mouthed as he carefully lowered his hand and peered around the edge of the house. He nodded his head towards two figures sitting at a table the Weasley men had dragged out there to the garden the previous evening. “He comes out here almost every night. He’s watered right now. Glum as can be if his guard’s down.”
Jamie stared in the direction of the tall redheaded boy and the small curly-haired brunette sitting beside him, hand placed gingerly over the other’s. It was about time that Ron and Hermione declare their love for one another, but it hurt to see them able to depend on each other during this hard time. Jamie was jealous. There wasn’t any other way to put it.
“At least he has ‘Mione,” she breathed, looking away just as Hermione placed her forehead against Ron’s. “A walk doesn’t sound so appealing anymore. I’m feeling rather tired.”
“On the contrary,” George started, proceeding to sling his arm around the back of Jamie’s neck, “I’m feeling quite refreshed.”
Jamie tilted her head to the side and looked up. He still looked exhausted in her opinion. The bags under his hazel eyes were only further accentuated by the shadows of the moonlight, his hair was tossed into nine different directions--all of which seemed to be in dispute with the other eight, and the way he carried himself seemed to just scream that he was seconds away from passing out cold.
“What?” George asked sheepishly. “Weasley’s honor.”
“Right,” she repeated skeptically. However she continued to keep up the pace George was walking.
The two walked silently for several meters, Jamie looking straight down and George looking straight ahead. The silence was slightly uneasy but it was better than mindless chatter that only made things awkward. What was there to even say? It was four in the morning, the dawn before Bill and Fleur’s big day, and there they were wandering around the outskirts of the Burrow.
Jamie stopped as the two neared the edge of the orchard, looking over at George before turning to look behind her.
“What’s the matter?”
“Nothing,” Jamie quickly replied, shaking her head as she stepped forward and starting into the lush orchard. George rose a brow but let it go. Girls were not his forte and he never, ever tried to make sense of them. Fred had been a bit more of a “ladies man” than him, but he had never really bothered to fret over it. Eventually he’d learn how to read girls.
“You sure?” George asked after they had made it a ways into the orchard. The trees were blossoming and the flowers created a pleasant aroma wafting through the many rows, but even that didn’t seem to remove the uneasy air floating about Jamie.
“Have you ever thought about....,” she trailed off. “Oh nevermind. It’s nothing.”
“Nothing my arse. Out with it.”
George sidestepped her and moved to stand in front of her, arms folded across his broad chest. The brunette looked down at the ground quickly and nudged a small pebble with the tip of her shoe.
“Harry has Ginny. Ron has Hermione. Bill and Fleur? Your mum and dad? No doubt you’ll be the next to find someone.”
“You’re not going to turn into a cat biddy. As for me, I’m aiming for permanent bachelorhood, mind you.”
“I’m serious, George. Everyone’s pairing off and it’s just too much.” Jamie’s lips curled down into a solemn frown, but she dared not to raise her gaze to look at George. She felt childish and selfish and awful for thinking such things, but it seemed as if she had no control of her emotions anymore.
“Jamie,” he trailed off, placing his forefinger underneath her chin and tilting her head up. “You’ll find a great bloke and everything. It might not be any time soon, but that’s right expected.”
He was right. Jamie didn’t want to admit it, but George definitely had logic behind his assurance. Of course it was going to take time to heal, and even if she was taking a longer time than she should’ve, anyone who knew how deeply she loved Fred was a little more understanding.
“It’s ruddy awful seeing everyone all lovey-dovey.”
“Look I’ll make you deal. If I’m wrong and you do turn into a biddy--” Jamie shot him a icy glare and he flashed her his best Weasley smile. “Now let me finish. If I’m wrong, and you’re wrong about me, well we’ll run off together, ya hear? I’m not Fred, but I’m bloody close.”
Hearing that almost hurt. George was the closest thing she had to Fred and sometimes she did use him in a sense to help comfort the dark feeling of emptiness that loomed in her chest.
“Fine?” George repeated, his voice fluctuating in question.
“Yeah, fine,” Jamie replied with a shrug.
“That doesn’t do a bloke’s ego any good,” he muttered. “But I’ll take it. I, George Weasley, vow to save you from becoming a biddy.”
“You’re so charming, George.”
As Jamie looked up at him she couldn’t help but smile softly. He returned the gesture, looking up at the sky and then sighing.
“Might as well head back. The day’s just about to begin. Mum always gets a bit frazzled before parties.”
Nodding her head, Jamie linked her arm with the tall redhead’s arm and started her way down the path that led out of the orchard. Despite how odd this whole ordeal seemed to be at the moment, it was rather comforting. There was a slim chance that she wouldn’t end up old and lonely after all.
“George Weasley?!” came a shrill call from across the way.
“Right on cue,” he winked. “Coming Mum!”
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