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Chapter 4 : Undisclosed Desires
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I love you so much. Every little thing about you makes me feel alive. The way you smile helps me get through those long days at the shop and your lingering scent on my pillow helps me through those lonely nights when you’re off studying.
A loud slam echoed through the paper thin wall of the apartment, causing Jamie to look up from the tattered letter in her hands. A familiar feminine voice sounded just on the other side and an annoyed expression soon appeared on the brunette’s face as she returned her gaze to Fred’s messy scrawl.
I can’t wait for what’s to come...
Another loud thud interrupted Jamie’s concentration. A loud giggle was echoing through her head and she groaned loudly, leaning back quickly and hitting her head against her headboard a little hard.
“Ow,” she mumbled softly as she rubbed the sore spot.
Living next door to Fred and George had been beneficial when her boyfriend had lived there, but now that he was gone and the other twin found it amusing to stumble into the apartment at all hours of the night, it wasn’t so convenient.
More unabashed laughter wafted through the thin walls, only worsening Jamie’s mood. This was the third time this week that Angelina had ended up over at George’s apartment and it was slowly wearing at her sanity. He wasn’t supposed to go and find someone that quickly. What happened to bachelorhood for life? Ending up old and lonely like Jamie?
“Why do I even care?” she asked herself aloud as her slender fingertips tightened around the edges of the letter, eyes averting back down to the scrawl.
Remember that one time when we stayed up all night trying to come up with some way to get George back for jinxing all the doors in your apartment?
Jamie’s lips curled into a smile. It had been one of the longest yet most amusing nights of her life. She looked over at the clock hanging from the wall as she folded the letter and set it on top of the others resting on the night stand. It was nearing three in the morning and she knew that if she didn’t attempt to go to sleep that she’d grow even more agitated.
The brunette turned the light off and slid under the cool covers, pulling them high over her head to drown out the sound of Angelina’s soft whispers and the occasional low chuckle of George. They sounded happy whereas she was bordering miserable at best.
Willing herself to sleep, Jamie closed her eyes and focused on the letters she had read and reread every night for the past two months. As she replayed the sweet words in her head and envisioned Fred’s comforting voice speaking them, she was finally able to drift off into a light sleep.
Light was a very good way to describe it. Not three hours later she was woken up by the sound of the soft click of a door being closed and shuffled steps. Jamie rolled her eyes as she laid there in the dark, counting in her head.
“There is a door, you know,” she commented groggily as she stared up at the ceiling.
“How did you know-”
“This is the third time this week I’ve been rudely awakened by her,” Jamie cut in again, though her tone had a bit of a bite to it this time.
“Sorry,” George mumbled as he stood there awkwardly.
“Can this wait until tomorrow?” she sighed as she closed her eyes.
“Er, sure. Sorry ‘bout all this. I just, well,” he stuttered.
“Uh huh. Night George.”
Merlin knows what had gone down during the three hours she had been unconscious, but Jamie was far too self-centered and bitter to allow the redhead gloating privileges at six in the morning.
“Ruddy, no good-” Jamie mumbled as she rolled onto her side and tried to fall back asleep. It was no use. She was up and her day had begun with three hours of sleep to keep her going.
As she laid there in her last feeble attempt at passing out, Jamie began feeling slightly remorseful for being so harsh towards George. He deserved to be happy even if she felt it a little quick. He had been there for her when she was happy with Fred and when she struggled to deal with his death. The least she could do was try and be happy for him despite not wanting to accept the fact that his vow to not let her die old and alone was quickly becoming invalid.
Jamie sat up and turned slightly, raising her fist and knocking on the wall.
“Yeah?” came a tired reply.
“You wanted to talk?” Jamie spoke, trying to sound apologetic in tone as she stared down at the crumpled pile of letters and remember what it felt like to be giddy at the start of her relationship with Fred. She was going to have to cling to that feeling if she wanted to really share George’s excitement.
“Can I come over?”
“Oh, I’m quite liking this whole talking through the wall thing,” she replied sarcastically. A low chuckle echoed through the wall and soon she heard the creaking of the floor boards. Jamie slid off the bed and pulled on a light robe. She placed her wand in the pocket and made her way to the living room, anticipating the knock.
“Alohomora,” George whispered.
“George Weasley, you don’t just barge into my house like that!” Jamie scolded with a small laugh bubbling from her lips.
“I was trying to save you the trip to unlock the door but alas I was too late,” he quickly defended. She rolled her eyes before motioning him towards the couch.
“Would you like some tea or coffee?” Jamie inquired as she crossed the room and walked into the kitchen.
“Whatever you’re having.”
Jamie pulled out her wand, flicking her wrist as she turned on the faucet. The kettle hovered over to where she was and she flickered her wrist once more, muttering incendio to light the stove as she filled the kettle with water.
“So, what?” George replied from the other room.
“Well, there has to be some reason you came barging into my room at this ungodly hour,” Jamie said as she walked over to the stove and placed the kettle onto the fire. She appeared back in the doorway seconds later, leaning against the white frame and narrowing her eyes in the redhead’s direction.
“I think I might dig Angelina, y’know,” he started nonchalantly.
“Really? I never would’ve guessed,” she shot back sarcastically with a forced smirk.
“Yeah, I mean, she’s a charming girl and well, I’m a charming bloke,” he grinned, but his facial expression changed when he looked over at Jamie who didn’t look impressed. “What?”
“Is this about that silly vow?”
“What? No, of course not. I told you that you wouldn’t be a bachelor forever,” Jamie told him. The high-pitched whistle of the kettle caused her to jump slightly. She turned quickly before George could respond and tended to the hot water. “Accio teacups,” she mumbled as she lifted the kettle carefully. She distributed a bag into each cup and poured the water into them.
“Not a problem,” she replied as she handed George the cup. She sat down on the love seat situated across from the couch he was resting on, sipping cautiously at her drink. She only took her tea with honey but she had yet to go to the store and buy some. Jamie had yet to get out of her funk, but she was doing slightly better than before.
“Oh, sorry.” She stood up and shuffled back to the kitchen. Jamie returned seconds later with a cup of sugar. “Are you planning on anymore late nights with Angelina?”
“You say her name like it’s a bad thing that I found someone,” he commented as he took the sugar from her. He dropped two spoonfuls into the tea and set the cup on the coffee table.
“It’s not her, it’s the lack of sleep I’ve been getting thanks to your rendezvouses at such odd hours.”
George furrowed a brow before taking a sip of the tea, eyes full of confusion as they focused on Jamie. The awkward tension had been something that was slowly forming between the two over the past few weeks. Ever since Angelina had come into the picture, she had seen less and less of him, and when she did get a chance to be graced by George Weasley’s presence, he was never alone. It wasn’t like she had this long list of friends to go bother. She had friends outside those from Hogwarts, but everyone seemed to be busy with their own lives. Time was passing Jamie by and she didn’t have the power to step out of her comfort zone and catch up.
“We just talk,” George finally commented.
“It is none of my business what you two do. You’re an adult and you can do as you please. Just keep in mind that these walls are paper thin and your room is right next to mine.”
“Thank you.” Jamie peered into her cup for a few moments and sipped at the warm tea to keep herself occupied. Nothing about this was pleasant.
The ticking of the clock was the only sound to be heard. The air around them could have been cut with a butter knife, yet neither attempted to clear up the tension. Occasionally one would sip at their tea, but that was the only movement made.
“You got to move on eventually, Jamie.”
Her heart sank slowly. What an awful way to break the silence.
“Eventually, yes, but I can’t right now. I’m not ready to open up to someone like I did Fred. I’m not ready to love someone yet. I don’t want to seem like I’m replacing him,” she whispered.
“No one is going to think you’re replacing him. You deserve to find someone to spend forever with, just like I do.”
“Wait, what? You’re already thinking about forever? You just started seeing her!”
“That’s not what I meant, Jamie. I’m just saying that we all deserve it. Just look at Ron and Hermione, or Ginny and Harry. They’re happy. I might be a lot of talk, but that seems like a bloody good thing to aim for. I mean, I look at Mum and Dad and I want that. Bill and Fleur are well on their way and Percy and Audrey are getting quite chummy. I mean, we all know Charlie will never marry anyone, so that means I’m next, right? Next to find someone? Fred had you, and that was swell and all but, he’s gone. He’s gone and you need to realize that he’s not just going to miraculously appear again. Don’t let the love you had for Fred go to waste, Jamie. Give that to someone. Let yourself be happy. He’d have wanted that for you. We all want that for you.”
Tears threatened to pour over Jamie’s cheeks but she held them back. Perhaps that was what she needed to hear. It wasn’t comforting and it definitely wasn’t reassuring, but it was the truth and she needed to accept it.
“I guess you’re right,” she murmured with an absent expression.
“Just get some rest. Sorry for keeping you up.” George stood up and crossed the small space to stand before Jamie. He leant down and pressed his lips to her forehead. “See ya later, Jay.”
Jamie sat there silently, not moving or speaking as he retreated to the door and stepped back into the hallway. A lot was sinking in as she sat there. She knew she had a tremendous amount of love to give, but up until now she had assumed it was only to Fred that the love could be given. Perhaps there was someone out there for her, someone who could make her feel as Fred had. Although it was hard to accept now, maybe George was right.
She rose from her spot on the love seat and trudged down the hallway, crawling into bed in a daze and laying her head on the pillow. All will to do anything productive had been drained from her, but part of her knew that when she woke up she’d feel differently. Jamie closed her eyes as she toyed with the ring on her right hand. This would no longer be a burden but a reminder that she had so much love to give.
Several loud knocks stirred Jamie from her sleep. She squinted for a few moments until her eyes adjusted to the shrouds of sunlight streaming through the blinds. The clock read five in the evening which seemed impossible. She couldn’t have slept that long, could she?
“One second,” she croaked as she moved out of her bed and stumbled to the door. She was still quite tired and her body had yet to catch up with her willpower to answer the door.
The figure behind the door was not who she expected at all. Of all the people who could have stumbled by her door in need of something, Angelina Johnson did not strike her as the type to want to talk to her. If you asked Jamie, she would tell you that Angelina was definitely pushing the fact that she was with George in her face, though no one would agree. It was as if the girl was saying she was going to take away the last thing that reminded Jamie of her Fred. It was silly, but the brunette was definitely absorbed in her own misery.
“I was just leaving George’s and well, he told me about you’re little row this morning.”
“Oh it was just a silly argument.” Great Jamie thought as she stood there, putting on a obligatory smile.
“Whatever it was, I wanted to say how sorry I was for keeping you up. It’s just I’ve never really connected with someone as much as I do George. And well, we do have a lot to catch up on. I didn’t have the opportunity to spend as much time with him as you did.”
Jamie wasn’t too keen on Angelina’s tone of voice. If she was being oversensitive, that was fine with her. However, it really did seem that the girl standing at her front door was enjoying seeing her squirm. To top it off, she wasn’t entirely sure why she felt so miserable at the thought of losing George. Was he even hers to lose? A girl wasn’t going to ruin their friendship as far as Jamie was aware.
“It’s quite all right. I guess I’m a light sleeper,” Jamie shrugged, forcing out a short laugh.
“Good, I’m glad we’ve got that settled. You’ve always been so easy to get along with. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other. I really do need to get home though. See ya later,” Angelina smiled, waving her hand at Jamie as she turned to walk the rest of the way down the hall towards the stairs.
“I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other,” Jamie mimicked with an irritated, sarcastic tone as she shut the door. She turned around, jumping two feet in the air. “Bloody hell, George. Eavesdropping. It’s gotta stop.” She took in a deep breath, hand placed against her chest as she tried to calm herself down.
“Sorry, curiosity. I heard voices.”
“That does not give you the liberty to pop into my living room at any given moment,” she responded calmly. Her brow rose slowly as she took in George’s apperance. “What were you doing?” she asked as her hazel eyes took in pale, bare chest of the redhead. His hair was a little messy and wet. The blue jeans were hanging dangerously low, revealing the subtle ‘v’ cuts of his hips. The same cuts Fred had had. The same cuts that Jamie loved to run her fingertip down slowly as she laid pressed against the toned torso of her lover.
“We played a quick game of Quidditch at the Burrow. Mum wanted to see me and Angelina insisted she come along. I just got done with a shower. You all right?” he asked.
“Er, uhm. Of course. Sorry. Just spaced out,” Jamie quickly lied, a shaky smile forming on her lips as she lifted her gaze and looked at George.
“Right,” George nodded. His smile was wide and his eyes held that familiar glimmer.
“You look quite chuffed.”
“It was a right good evening. Of course I’m chuffed, Jamie.”
“Why are you here again?” she inquired, not bothering to keep up her facade any longer. Her expression was less than cordial and she was exuding tenseness.
“I told you, I heard voices.”
“You’re a no good, ruddy liar. You told Angelina to come apologize, didn’t you? Quite the sincere girl, you found.” Sarcasm was her weapon lately.
“Now, don’t get your britches in a bunch. I didn’t tell her to go apologize. I mean, I may have dropped a few hints here or there.”
“Oh bugger off, George.” Jamie pushed past him, shoulder brushing his arm as she made her way down the hallway to her bedroom. “You obviously know the way in, so kindly show yourself out,” she hollered from the other room.
George sighed, raking a hand through his mess of gingers locks. He stood there for a few seconds contemplating his options. It really probably wasn’t a good idea to let her go back to sleep, especially if she was as pissed off at him as she seemed. On the other hand, he didn’t deserve her attitude. He had only been trying to help and she was being a ruddy pain in the arse.
“Jamie,” he sighed, head down as he followed her path down the hallway. “I’m right sorry about all of this.”
“I know you think I’m mad, but I swear to you that girl enjoys rubbing your relationship, or whatever it is, in my face.” George opened his mouth to no doubt defend the other girl but Jamie held her hand up. “I’m not finished, thank you very much. Remember at Kingsley Shacklebolt’s promotion party that Molly threw? She was giving me the worst time. All parading around like she was the Queen of England!”
“Jamie, don’t act like this.”
“Don’t give me this rubbish. I said out!”
The tall redhead sighed as he stood there in the doorway, eyes intently focused on Jamie who was all curled up in the bed. He shook his head before apparating out of the room. She heard the soft pop of him appearing in the room right next to her.
“When you’re done acting like a toddler, let me know,” came his deep voice from the other side. His voice always had been deeper than Fred’s.
“Oh come off it,” she muttered, letting out a heavy sigh.
Jamie’s lowered her eyes to the ring as she brushed her thumb over the silver band. Despite all the events that had gone down that day, she still was able to find truth in George’s words earlier that morning. She knew she had to give her love to someone else instead of letting it rot away as misery consumed her. Fred was all about laughter and living life to the fullest, not sulking about.
Yet there was a new problem. A very big problem that Jamie wasn’t sure how to face. For a brief moment, no longer than a second or two, she had found herself attracted to George. The new feeling had come and left in an instant, but it was strong enough to throw her off guard. Perhaps that little sliver of confusion was what had created the initial excitement of George’s vow or all these hard feelings with Angelina.
There was someone she needed to pay a visit to and soon.
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