Chapter 3 : Every Heart's Exploding
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“Uh, yes mum?”
“Get. Away. From. It. NOW!”
“Yes, mum,” he muttered guiltily.
Stepping away from the elegant white and pink, tiered cake that Mrs. Weasley had been working at all morning, he sent a defeated look in George and Jamie’s way. The two were busy ridding the garden of the last few gnomes that had slipped under Mr. Weasley’s radar the previous day. Hermione and Ginny were busy bewitching little paper birds and butterflies, all blue in celebration of the arrival of the newest Weasley girl. Bill and Fleur were no where to be seen by request. This was, after all, a celebration for the parents-to-be and Mrs Weasley would simply not allow them to lift a finger all day.
“Nice one, Ron,” Harry chuckled as he hung up another lantern.
“Bloody hell! The woman has eyes in the back of her head, I tell you. It’s impossible to get away with anything.”
“Oh Ron, you’ll have plenty of time to stuff your face with cake later. Can’t you focus for a few hours?” Ginny teased.
Dejected, the youngest redheaded boy sulked over to where Harry was, silently grabbing for a lantern and hanging it up.
“I just wanted a bite. No one would’ve noticed.”
Harry let out a muffled chuckle as he put up the last lantern, turning to look at Ron with a wide grin spread across his face. A confused expression spread across the boy’s features and he looked around in attempt to figure out what was so humorous.
“Ronniekins, Ronniekins,” George sighed, coming up behind his brother and placing his hands on the boy’s shoulders. “You have many lessons to learn.” The older brother looked to his side, sending a side-smirk to Jamie as she dusted her hands off on her rather dirty jeans.
“Patience is a virtue,” she commented with a smile.
“Ronald? Go be a dear and get the presents from your room,” Mrs. Weasley called from the kitchen. Ron sent George a look as the older boy muffled a laugh, turning and trudging over toward the door.
“Sure thing, mum.” Harry glanced at Hermione. The two seemed to be sharing some sort of secret conversation. He nodded and jogged to catch up with Ron, placing his arm around his best friend as the two headed inside.
Jamie couldn’t help but laugh softly as she turned to face the others. Hermione arched a brow at the girl, Ginny soon doing the same.
“What?” Jamie asked with confusion etched over her face. “Is there something on my back? Face?”
“You’re smiling,” Ginny commented with a smug little smirk on her lips.
“And laughing,” Hermione added.
“You act like I’ve never laughed or smiled--”
“You haven’t smiled much lately,” Ginny cut in with a nod, folding her arms over her chest.
“Oh, she’s just elated that we’re running off together,” George explained with upmost nonchalance in his demeanor.
“What?” Hermione and Ginny asked in chorus.
“That’s not entirely true. Oh don’t look at me like that, Ginnerva,” Jamie sighed. The fiery redhead looked to be a mixture of hurt, angry, and confused all at once. “It’s just a silly vow he made in case we both end up old and lonely. Nonsense, as usual,” she corrected, shooting George a subtle glare as she nudged him in the ribs with her elbow.
“Right. Nonsense. I’ll never end up lonely. What with my charm and all. Now Jamie, here? Biddy in the making,” he coughed as he rubbed his side dramatically.
“Oh, okay,” Ginny said. Jamie watched as the colorful array of emotions slid off the girl’s face and an uneasy grin appeared, matched with a shaky laugh. “Thought you were serious there for a second.”
“Alright,” Hermione intervened slowly, placing her hand on Ginny’s back. “Let’s go see if your mum needs any help. You two should probably go clean up. Especially you, Jamie. Those pants are absolutely ghastly.”
“Ew,” Jamie muttered as she looked down at the dried mud caked to the legs of her pants and the dirt hand prints on her thighs.
Ginny nodded her head, eyeing George one last time before smiling in Hermione’s direction and walking with the girl to the kitchen door. The three began talking animatedly, but neither of the remaining teens could make out what was being said.
“You’re going to get me in trouble.”
“Now don’t get in a paddy. We all know how you felt about Fred.”
“Feel.” Jamie looked up, her gaze rather hard as George looked down at her. His shoulders sank slightly as he exhaled.
“Sorry,” he mumbled softly.
Jamie’s lips parted slightly as she prepared to respond but all thought process was destroyed when a loud shatter sounded off in the background.
“Oh dear. That doesn’t sound good,” Jamie said with a cringe.
“Not at all. I believe that’s our cue to go get freshened up. M’lady?” George suggested, offering his arm out. She shook her head but couldn’t keep the timid smile off her lips as she slipped her arm into his.
Jamie blinked as the darkness of George and Fred’s old room washed over her. She pulled her arm away, heading over to the bed she had taken over for the weekend in preparation for the festivities. George headed over to the dusty wooden dresser, opening it and inspecting the slim selection of clothes that had been put in there. Jamie started to rummage through her things quietly. Silence settled over the two as they retrieved their things.
“Ladies first,” George grinned with a collared, striped shirt in one hand and a pair of jeans.
“Thank you.” Jamie brushed past him, juggling a plethora of things in her arms. Several times on her little trip to the bathroom she almost dropped something, whether it be her change of clothes, her shampoo, or her make-up bag that seemed to be teetering on top of the pile.
“Holler if you need anything,” George called out as he headed down the stairs and into the small bathroom on the far end of the house. Jamie turned and walked into the second floor bathroom, setting her clothes down on the counter and looking at herself in the mirror. Her appearance was quite ghastly as Hermione had so nicely put it.
Mirrors were not Jamie’s favorite thing. The reflection staring back at her was tired. The bags under her eyes were darkening every day and she was pale as a ghost. She had lost that sparkling smile and mischievous glimmer in her eyes. Her curves were disappearing, her cheeks slightly hollowed out, and it was hard to miss the way the clothes hung on her slight frame.
Looking away through glassy eyes, Jamie walked over to the shower and turned the water on. Soon the bathroom was filled with warmth, steam rising and mirrors fogging up. The slender brunette slipped out of her mud-caked clothes and into the quaint shower. So many things were whirling about in her mind as the hot water cascaded over her head and down her body.
I’m gonna end up old and alone Jamie thought as she raked her fingertips through her hair. It wasn’t what she wanted, but she highly doubted that George was going to end up in a similar predicament. He was a spitting image of Fred and she was obviously head over heels in love with that boy. Perhaps it was because she knew how easily it was to fall for a Weasley that she was so pessimistic when it came to the other twin to fulfill his vow.
Shaking her head, Jamie pushed all such thoughts out of her head. She washed her hair and body, turning off the water and grabbing a towel off the rack just outside the shower curtain.
“Uhm, Jamie?” came a voice outside the door after a quick knock.
“One second,” she replied, wrapping the towel tightly around her and tucking wet strands of hair behind her ear as she stepped out into the steamy bathroom. “Yeah?” Jamie asked as she opened the door with one hand and held the towel to her frame with the other.
“Fleur needs our help with getting ready. Ginny’s already in there trying but we could definitely use another set of hands,” Hermione replied.
“Oh, okay. I’ll be there right quick. Just gotta get changed.” Smiling, Hermione nodded her head and turned around, heading up the stairs quickly where Jamie could hear the soft murmurs of Fleur and the other girls.
Jamie returned the mirror with a grimace, unwrapping the towel and ruffling her hair with it. She changed as quickly as she could, zipping up the sundress and stepping carefully into the pale pink flats. Ten minutes later her hair was somewhat styled and her make-up was lightly applied and the brunette was heading up the stairs quickly.
“Sorry, the zipper snagged,” Jamie apologized as she walked over to the mother-to-be and the two flustered girls.
“No vorries, love. I just need somvon’ to do my hair vwhile zees girls vork on my make-up,” Fleur explained with an apologetic expression.
“Mum told her not to lift a finger and she meant literally,” Ginny breathed, sounding winded from the numerous trips she had made over the past half hour or so.
“Help?” Hermione asked with pleading eyes.
“Right, on it,” Jamie assured her as she stepped behind Fleur. “I have the perfect idea,” the girl smiled.
“Gather ‘round. Gather ‘round everyone. Ginny, move over there dear. Percy, stop arguing with George. Bill, stand closer to Arthur, would ya dear?”
Mrs. Weasley continued to buzz around the garden, ushering guests over to the long wooden table placed under the canopy. Dusk was settling upon the Burrow but the festivities were far from over. Fireflies buzzed within the lanters, lighting up the friendly faces of those there to celebrate the arrival of Victoire Weasley.
“Here, here,” Mr. Weasley interrupted as the last few straggling guests made their way to the table. He placed his hand upon Bill’s shoulder, a smile so proud and a look so loving that it brought tears to Mrs. Weasley’s eyes in an instant. “Son,” he started off, slightly choked up.
“You have never ceased to make us proud, Bill. You’ve been the best son parents could ask for and the best brother possible. No doubt you will make Fleur very happy and in turn be one of the best father’s this world has ever seen. Congrats, to both of you,” Mr. Weasley finished, lifting his mug of butterbeer up. The rest of the guests lifted their mugs, cheering and whistling for the parents-to-be who were both slightly red in the face.
“Zank you, zank you so much,” Fleur beamed as she sat in front of Bill, hands resting comfortably on top of her stomach.
“Thanks Dad, and everyone who came out here and made this night bloody wonderful,” Bill grinned, shaking his dad’s hand before taking a big swig of the butterbeer in his mug.
Jamie clapped her hands as she stood in between Harry and George, the former clapping and the latter letting out several wolf whistles. Hermione and Ron were beside Ginny who was busy handling Teddy Lupin, all with bright smiles on their faces. Everyone from Oliver Wood to Angelina Johnson, Kingsley Shacklebolt to Minerva McGonagall had shown up to this extravaganza and it was a pleasant change in atmosphere. The celebration of new life was easing the pain of losing one.
Jamie pulled out a chair at the large table in the garden, mug in hand and eyes scanning her surroundings. Things had finally started to settle down and it was well into the night at this point. The Weasley men along with Kingsley and Harry were off discussing things in secret as they passed around a flask of what she presumed to be firewhiskey. Hermione and Ginny were sitting in the middle of the garden as Teddy Lupin buzzed around them, snatching at the air to catch a few lazy fireflies. Molly and Fleur had retired indoors. The mother-to-be was quite tired and needed rest, claiming that the excitement had simply worn her out. Several of the Hogwarts graduates were sitting around catching up with one another. Their laughter wafted through the still, warm air.
“Mind if I join you?”
“Oh, not at all,” Jamie replied softly as she looked over. Angelina Johnson.
“Molly always puts on the best parties,” Angelina commented with a glance in Jamie’s direction. The brunette nodded slowly.
“She really does. The Burrow is probably the perfect place to hold something like this, especially in the summer. It’s beautiful,” she finally replied, turning her body towards Angelina slightly.
A silence settled over the two as they sat there away from everyone. It wasn’t awkward, despite their less than stellar relationship in the past. It wasn’t that they loathed one another or didn’t get along. The two just never had a chance to properly “hang out” or get to know one another. All Jamie knew was that Angelina was Fred’s date to the Yule Ball and the two had somewhat hit it off.
However, one summer seemed to change a lot, leaving Jamie in the position of Fred’s girlfriend. Her father, Edward Miller, was part of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and a very good friend of Arthur Weasley’s. Now Jamie had been friends with the twins since their first year, along with Alicia Spinnet, Katie Bell, and Oliver Wood, yet it wasn’t until a summer in Egypt that the two really hit it off.
“Why so glum?” butted in George, startling the two as he placed a hand on either’s shoulder.
“Blimey, George,” Angelina laughed.
“Are you trying to give me a heart attack?” Jamie asked as she turned to narrow her eyes in his direction.
“Perhaps if you weren’t so busy daydreaming about me, you wouldn’t have that problem,” he countered with a youthful smirk.
“You’re such a git.”
“I take offense to that, Miss Johnson!”
“Oh come off it, you know it’s true,” she defended jokingly with an all too obvious roll of her eyes. Jamie sat there silently as the two bantered back and forth, not sure whether to butt in with her own sly remark or to keep quiet. She chose the latter of the two, instead staring into her empty mug.
“Jamie? Anyone in there?” George asked, causing her to look up rather dazed.
“Sorry, got a little lost there,” she lied with a dry chuckle.
Angelina looked slightly confused, and George was as daft as ever. Jamie offered a forced smile as she lifted up her mug towards the two.
“Right,” George finally muttered. “Cheers.”
“I’m going to go see if there’s any butterbeer left. I’ll be right back,” Jamie said as she pushed her chair back and rose to her feet. The other two, still slightly confused, nodded their heads and continued in their playful banter. She crossed the garden and reached for the doorknob but was met by Mrs. Weasley.
“Oh, I was just coming out to talk to you. Come in, come in. I have something for you.”
Jamie stepped inside the warm kitchen and set down her mug, following the redheaded woman into the living room. She sat down on the floral-pattern couch and pushed one of the many pillows aside, watching as Mrs. Weasley pulled a box from the book shelf.
“What is it?” Jamie inquired as the other woman sat down next to her and placed the box in the brunette’s lap.
“Open it up and you’ll see.”
Jamie’s gaze was uneasy as it focused on Mrs. Weasley’s but her hands timidly lifted the lid and her eyes fell to the contents inside.
“He was a very brilliant boy, Jamie. Not so eloquent with words though. Never had the courage to actually give you anything he wrote but had just enough to let his mum know about them,” Mrs. Weasley explained as Jamie thumbed through the letters. There had to be about twenty of them, each about a page long.
“And this?” Jamie picked up a small silk bag and ran her thumb over the fabric. It felt like....a ring. She looked up with wide eyes and Mrs. Weasley simply nodded. The girl shyly grabbed hold of the ties and pulled them loose. She reached in carefully and pulled out a silver band with a small diamond. Simple yet the most beautiful thing Jamie had ever seen.
“I can tell you knew that was for you,” Mrs. Weasley cooed softly. Jamie nodded as she peered at the ring with glassy eyes. “Put it on. It’s your’s,” she assured the young girl.
“No buts. Fred had saved up for that and intended to give it to you. It’d be a shame to see that hard work go to waste.”
“Thank you, Molly.” Jamie’s lips were curled back into a weak smile as she slipped the ring onto her right hand, clenching her fist and bringing it to her chest as she looked up at the woman who was supposed to be her mother-in-law.
“Now go on and get back out there and enjoy the night while it’s still young. Chop, chop. Off you go,” Mrs. Weasley smiled, wrapping the brunette in a quick hug. The two rose from their seats and made their way back into the kitchen.
“Almost forgot why I came in here. Anymore butterbeer, Molly?”
“Let’s see, I believe we have a bit left. You know how those boys go through this stuff like crazy. Take any chance they get to have a little bit of fun, I tell you.” Mrs Weasley poured more butterbeer into the mug and handed it back to Jamie with a small smile. “Looks like George and Angelina are getting along quite nicely,” she commented as she looked up and out the kitchen window.
“Huh?” Jamie looked through the window quickly. George and Angelina were off in the corner of the garden, both intently focused on the other. The redhead’s arms were moving animatedly as he spoke, explaining something related to the joke shop, she assumed. “Swimmingly.”
“Yes?” Jamie responded, snapping out of her gaze and looking over. She tried her best to mask her uneasiness with a smile.
“Oh it’s nothing. Go out and enjoy the night.”
“Thanks again, Molly. For everything,” Jamie smiled, though this time it was rather genuine. The woman nodded before turning to start on the many dishes piled up in the quaint and cozy little kitchen. She turned away and walked back outside, sipping at the mug. She couldn’t help but look over at George and Angelina again. It had begun. Jamie was doomed to end up old and alone.
Author's note: Thanks so much to those who have read and reviewed this story! Please continue to R&R
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