Chapter 1 : It's Just The Beginning
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A/N: This was written for Elladora's Summaries Challenge at the forums. Hope you enjoy, and please do leave a review at the end!
Two Years Ago
Katya Bennett picked at her food moodily, every now and then sending glares over to the Gryffindor table. Her best friend, Isis, looked over at her warily. “What is it now, Kat?” She followed her glare, and sighed. “What did he ever do to you?” She asked, raising her eyebrow.
“A better question would be what he has not done,” she replied bitterly.
Isis shook her head. “I don’t know why you two have this feud.” She shrugged. “I don’t know why you don’t like him. He’s only ever nice, and I personally think he is kind of cute.”
“Well then you must be blind mustn’t you?” She shot back cruelly.
“How do you know that you aren’t shooting death glares at the wrong twin?”
“I know,” she replied confidently. “I can just tell. He is the one on the right.”
Isis frowned and turned back to her food. “Whatever,” she mumbled under her breath.
Katya heard her but did not bother to form a retort. She knew she was too harsh on Isis for liking Fred Weasley. And she was right; most people would not be able to see what irked her so. He was tall, handsome, funny, well-liked. But the evidence was right there, in every fiber of his being. George didn’t have it, and that was how she could tell the difference between the two. It was the way Fred moved, the arrogant air he carried and the offhand way he shot around jokes and banter with everyone who would listen. It was so drastically different than the serious nature of Katya herself that she could not help but be turned off by it.
Concerning that old saying that opposites attract? Nothing could be more false. Nothing at all, Katya was perfectly convinced of it. Just the thought of Fred…ugh, it disgusted her. People thought she was crazy. Everybody loved the Weasley twins. Everyone was convinced by their cheery exterior and seemingly goofy and loveable qualities. Katya could see right through it.
Yes, Fred Weasley was a top contender on her List of Things I Hate Most… a top contender.
Fred looked up at Slytherin table through his lashes. “She’s looking at me again,” he whispered to his twin.
George glanced up at the woman Fred was talking about. “Don’t flatter yourself bro. She’s glaring, not looking.”
“Whatever she’s doing it doesn’t matter,” he said, setting his fork down. “The point is, her eyes are on me and I don’t like it.”
“Well then why don’t you whoop her into shape?” HHHJe suggested sarcastically.
“Yeah, that’s not funny.”
“It’s not supposed to be funny,” George mumbled in return.
Fred ran his hands through his hair, sighing. “God,” he said dramatically. “Oh God!”
George cuffed him on the side of the head. “Oi, numbskull! Quiet down, no wonder she doesn’t like you.”
“I don’t get it,” he said. “Everybody likes me. I’m not an unlikable person.”
“You are blatantly mistaken.”
“So it would seem.”
George was silent for a moment. “Maybe she secretly likes you. As in the ‘likes’ likes you kind of like.”
“I’m serious. That’s what happens with little kids in primary school. They pick on the person they like. This is the same thing.”
“It isn’t,” Fred said defensively.
“Alright,” George said, holding up his hands in mock defeat.
“That’s disgusting anyways.”
George shook his head. “No way,” he said. “The Alley Kat is hot.”
“Don’t make me puke. Seriously, you are pushing it. I feel it rising.” He feigned gagging.
George just shrugged. “Have you seen her?” He raised his eyebrows. “I’m dead serious. Have you even seen her?”
Fred shot him daggers with his eyes. “I have. And she holds absolutely no appeal to me. I would rather chop of my…something; I shouldn’t jinx one body part by picking it for dismemberment.” George snickered and returned to his food.
Fred turned away, rolling his eyes. His dislike for Katya was certainly unbidden. Maybe it was in their differences. He was light-hearted and jolly and carefree. She was a cold hard bitch that never had any fun and was the mother of all the sticks-in-the-mud that inhabited this Earth. She rained on every parade she spotted marching down the street, and burst every bubble she saw with the pointiest thing she could lay her sharp little claws on.
But George was right about one thing, she was absolutely gorgeous, the kind of gorgeous you saw on Victoria Secret runways. She had ice pale skin, raven hair that fell naturally into perfect gorgeous ringlets, and lips that were always a natural cherry red. Her elegant slender frame filled up five feet and eleven inches of space, and every single thing about her was one hundred percent drool-worthy. But Fred loathed her. He loathed her perfect body, and angel face that left every guy in school wanting her despite her queen bitch interior. He loathed the loathing she gave him.
It would definitely be fair to say that Fred and Katya were each other’s worst enemies. Neither had anything they consistently loathed more than the other. Sometimes, hate doesn’t need to have a reason.
One Year Later
“Roman,” Katya called after her brother. “Robes first, fun second.” Katya’s parents assigned her as her brother’s keeper while shopping for their supplies in Diagon Alley. For him, in his second year at Hogwarts, shopping was still new and exciting.
They made it out of Madam Malkin’s with no mishaps. “We have everything we need,” Roman stated.
“We do! How about Florean’s now?”
Roman shook his head, his black hair flopping into his eyes. “Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes. You promised we could have fun after getting robes.”
Katya crossed her arms, and cocked a hip. “I’m not going in there.”
“Then you can wait outside,” he said amiably, grabbing her hand and towing her toward the corner store.
Katya tried not to look at all of the closed shops at Diagon Alley. The boarded windows and dusty exteriors made her heart ache, especially that of Ollivander’s shop. Everyone thought Ollivander was untouchable. But even he couldn’t escape the Death Eater’s raids.
They stopped outside of the store. “I’m sure George would like to see you,” Roman suggested.
“Then he can see me out here,” Katya replied haughtily. “I won’t go in.” Roman looked dejected, but she knew he would get over it the second he saw all of the joke shop items. Katya leaned up against the glass, and slipped on her huge sunglasses.
She felt a tap on her shoulder, and she turned around, lifting her glasses off of her nose a bit. She smiled when she saw who was standing opposite her. “George,” she said, flashing him a stunning, supermodel-esque smile. “How goes the joke business?”
He didn’t return the smile. “You’d know if you came in, Kitty Kat,” he said, ruining his seriousness with the pet names he gave her. “Why won’t you?”
She looked away. “I don’t know,” she said softly, in response to his real question—the one he didn’t say. “I don’t know why I don’t like him George, I really don’t! It’s obviously not how he looks,” she said, trying to lighten the mood.
He scoffed. “Yeah,” he said softly. “Obviously.” He looked over at her. She was wearing shiny, four inch stilettos, and they were at eye level. Today, she had not done anything to her hair, and it fell in those perfect raven curls halfway down her back in the style that some celebrities paid millions for. George reached up, and pushed one of the strands away from her violet eyes. “You are very strange,” he said bluntly. “But I have to say, it’s kind of hot.”
“George,” she said, shoving him playfully.
“Well, I better be getting back,” he said, gesturing to the store. “It’s always really busy in there.” He leaned over and kissed her on the temple. “I’ll catch you later, Kitty Kat.” He began to walk away, but turned back. “I’m only accepting this as an IOU. You’ll have to come check out our stuff some other time. We’re working on something new. Something to make people…see one another from another’s eyes.” He shoved his hands in his pocket and entered his store. A blast of sound burst out, ceasing when the door closed again.
Katya leaned her head up against the side of the building. She didn’t know why she couldn’t like both of the twins. It was weird; she got along with George fantastically. Her cold exterior even loosened up around him in a way it never did in public. But when she talked to Fred, something snapped inside of her and she could not stand to be around him, or talk to him, or even see him. She hated it. She hated having to avoid him wherever she went or else risk acting like more of a bitch than she usually did.
Roman came out a few minutes later, arms full of goodies. “This is from George,” he said, holding out his hand. In it sat a tiny purple pygmy puff.
Kat took it, cooing. “Oh, he is so precious!” She looked up through the window to see George at the counter, looking at her. He blew her a fake kiss, and she laughed and waved back at him. Her smile faded as she saw Fred recognize who his brother was making kissy faces at and yank him out of sight. She heaved a sigh and ran to catch up with Roman.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Fred asked.
“She’s my friend you numbskull,” George said defensively.
“But we’re brothers! You are supposed to hate her on principle.”
George shook his head. “That does not make any sense at all. She is nice to me, she is fun when she’s around me, and she makes me happy. It’s only when you show your ugly face that she transforms into what you always blabber on about.”
“My ugly face? We’re twins, genius!” He shook his head and stalked off, muttering to himself, and leaving George completely floored. The irrational hate of those two really astounded him. It was based on some weird thing that happened second year, that George could not even remember any more, and frankly he doubted if Katya or Fred did either.
Almost One Year Later
George crept up to the fireplace early one morning with a Floo Powder in his hand. He told Katya to be at her fireplace at four in the morning for a surprise he had for her. He flicked a pinch in the fire, and stuck his head in. “Bennett Manor,” he whispered. Everything whirled, and he was suddenly looking into the living-room of the Bennett’s great house. “Kat?” He whispered.
Her face appeared on the couch. “George?” She clambered up, and kneeled down next to the fire place. She had bed head that looked like it had been configured on purpose, and her ivory skin glowed in the early morning light.
“Good morning sunshine,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows.
She smiled, and George could have sworn he saw a blush—though it may have just been the firelight on her cheeks. “Why did you call this little meeting to session, George?”
“Bill and Fleur are getting married,” he whispered, trying not to wake his family and hers. “Their wedding is in a month in our backyard.” He rolled his eyes. “Mum is in party-planning hysterics already. So, listen, I was wondering if you might want to come to the wedding. You know, as my date?” He looked at her hopefully.
She smiled at the puppy dog look on his face. “Is Fr—“
“Yes,” he replied quickly. “But please don’t let that effect your decision. I want you to come with me because you want to come with me, who cares about whatever fight you have with Fred?”
“I don’t think he would like it if I was there,” she whispered.
“Then he can turn the other way.”
She smiled, and got down close to the fire. She leaned over, half into the flames to kiss George’s lips. She pulled away to see a dazed look on his face. “Is that a yes?” He asked, his voice husky.
“It’s a ‘you-couldn’t-stop-me-if-you-tried’,” she said softly. “I’ll be there.”
“Good,” he said. “Oh yeah, before I forget, mum said I need to color co-ordinate with my date so next week, you and I are going shopping, my dear!”
“Can’t wait,” she said, laughing. “It’s a date.”
George turned around suddenly. “Someone’s coming,” he said. “I have to go, but I’ll see you next week.” He smiled at her. “Catch you later, Kitty Kat.”
George faded from the fire, leaving Kat sitting on her couch, feeling all warm and fuzzy. She hugged a pillow to her chest, and did a little happy dance around the room. Roman came down the stairs. “What’s all the noise?”
“Nothing, Rom,” she said happily. “It’s the sound of happiness!”
He shook his head and went back up the staircase. “You’re insane.”
Kat did one more pirouette and fell back on the couch, breathing heavily, her insides fluttering like a hyperactive hummingbird. She closed her eyes, and relaxed into the cushions of the couch in pure bliss.
George quickly took his head out of the fire and raced over to the couch, where he wouldn’t look so suspicious. “What’re you doing up do early?” George glanced up to see a very grumpy and sleepy Fred standing in the doorway.
“I wanted to see the sunrise.”
“You wouldn’t get up this early for anything short of the apocalypse. Why are you really up?”
George stared into the distance, debating with telling the truth or another lie. Resolving that Fred had to find out sooner or later, he picked the truth. “I was talking to Katya.”
Fred rolled his eyes, a look of disgust on his face. “I’m leaving,” he mumbled turning around.
“I invited her to the wedding.”
That made Fred freeze in his tracks. “You what?”
“She’s coming with me to the wedding.”
Fred turned around slowly, as if trying to control his temper. “You couldn’t invited someone normal to the wedding?”
“I wanted to go with her.”
“Because, stupid, I like her, okay? I like her a lot.” Fred held his hands to his head, as if trying to force out a killer headache. “If you would give her a chance, and if she would give you a chance, you would get along! If you would let go of whatever ridiculous feud you two have, and act like normal people for once, I think you might like each other.”
“But she is the complete opposite of us!”
George shook his head. “Only sometimes. When we’re alone, she’s the sweetest person I can imagine.”
“I can’t see it.”
“Obviously.” They stood in awkward silence for a moment. “Listen, Fred, this thing you have with Kat is tearing us apart. Please don’t let that happen. Please try to make amends with her. I’ll ask the same thing of her concerning you.” George looked at his twin hopefully.
Fred seemed to seriously consider it. “Fine,” he said finally. “At the wedding, I will give her a chance. But if she acts like the ice queen again, it’s over.”
“That’s all I ask.”
Fred nodded. “I’m going to the bathroom,” he muttered, walking off.
“Don’t fall in!” George called after him. He smiled. It seemed like things were finally back to normal.
Kat waited at the place George had appointed ahead of time. She had arrived early on purpose. She always liked to be the first person to a meeting spot for some reason. But it wasn’t long before George came up to her side. “Bonjour, ma belle,” he said in a phony French accent.
“Hullo George,” she said smiling. She was glad George could make her smile. It was a feat that very few people could accomplish with true success. “Where are we going?”
“Dunno,” he answered, looking at a piece of paper. “My mum gave me the directions and said she was going to be there already, picking out bridesmaid dresses or something.” George looked up, startled. “Speaking of dresses,” he said. “You’re wearing one.”
Kat blushed. “Yes,” she said slowly.
“I have never, never seen you wear a dress before.”
“I thought I should get used to it for the wedding,” she said defensively.
“That’s it?” George asked slyly, raising his eyebrow.
“Why do you assume I have ulterior motives?” She asked innocently.
“Hmm,” George mumbled suspiciously.
Kat smiled. “Okay, I have ulterior motives,” she admitted. “I wanted to look nice today.”
“You always look nice,” George said honestly, flashing a smile.
Kat shrugged. “Yeah,” she said, not noticing her arrogance. “But this is kind of like our first date so I wanted to do something special, something I wouldn’t normally do.”
George gave her a sideways smile. “I guess it is, isn’t it? In that case,” he held up his arm in a valiant attempt at chivalry. “For the convenience of m’lady.”
Katya put her arm through his. “Thank you, dear sir,” she joked. She never paused to recognize how strange a joke sounded coming from her voice box. With George, she didn’t give her actions a second thought, a refreshing instinct.
They began to walk in a comfortable silence. Kat noticed, of all things, how suddenly she was able to smell George, and he smelt wonderful. Like rosemary and freshly cut grass, and a smell she could only describe as just George. It was mildly intoxicating. He interrupted her reverie when he abruptly stopped. “This is it,” he said, looking inside. Through the window, Katya saw a short red haired woman with her back turned. She had never met George’s mother, but she’d seen her a few times on the platform. “C’mon,” he whispered, heading for the door.
Kat followed behind him, getting a little nervous as she walked. She had never met a boyfriend’s parent before. Truthfully, she had never really had a legitimate boyfriend at all. Boys, yes; boyfriends, no. When Katya saw girls get all fussed over the meeting in muggle movies, she always thought they must be silly, flighty and weak. But now she realized that it was probably more of a human reaction to the situation.
We went into the shop. “We’re here, mum,” George said, grabbing Katya’s hand.
The woman turned around and smiled when she saw them. “Great Merlin!” She exclaimed. “Aren’t you just the prettiest thing to walk the Earth?” She ran up to Katya, and gave her a squeezing hug. She was startled at first, and looked over to George. He nodded and smiled, indicating this was just something his mother did. Kat put her arms around the woman, and hugged her in return. Afterword, she glanced up at her face. “Dear me, you have the most exquisite features! George,” she exclaimed, hitting her son.
“Ow! What mum?”
“Why didn’t you tell me how beautiful she was? Goodness, how did you get someone like Katya to come to the wedding with you?” She asked smiling.
Katya smirked and looked at George. She liked this woman already. “Oi, mum,” George said, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Actually, I am more than happy that George asked me,” Katya answered, a bit embarrassed by Mrs. Weasley’s flattery. At school, from boys, she was used to it, and took it in stride. But she had no idea how to react from praise of a boyfriend’s mother.
“Violet eyes?” She continued on incredulously. “We have to pick you out a dress that compliments them stunningly!” She grabbed her hand and carted her away to where the dresses were. Kat looked back at George, who was hitting his knee and laughing.
After a while in the store, Kat finally emerged with a periwinkle dress that Mrs. Weasley insisted made her look like an ‘ivory goddess’. It really was beautiful. George laughed through the whole thing, watching her emerge in dress after dress from the room, whereupon his mother and sister would start up a dress critique each time she emerged. As soon as Katya paid for her dress, and George got his attire sorted out, they left the store in a hurry.
“You just loved that didn’t you?” Katya asked, grabbing his chin, and smiling at him wickedly.
“Of course,” he said slyly. “The million faces of Kitty Kat. I might even go watch the matinee tomorrow.”
“You’re wicked,” she said, pulling his face toward her. She stopped with their lips only millimeters apart. “Very wicked,” she repeated seductively. She lifted her face so that their lips just tickled off one another, and then backed off and walked away.
George stood there for a moment, frozen. “Now that was wicked,” he pointed out as he raced to catch up with her. He grabbed her about the waist and twirled her around. She squealed, making people on the street stop and look up at them. He lowered her back to the ground, and stood next to her with a half-smile playing upon his lips, which she returned.
Hoping she wasn’t being too quick, she grabbed his hand and pulled him toward a quiet little side alley. “All those old people were staring at us,” she said jokingly. “I like it better over here anyways. More quiet, more—”
She was cut off when George suddenly went forward quickly and pressed his lips to hers. “Stop talking,” he said against her mouth. It didn’t take her much to agree. She had been dreaming of this kind of moment since she had briefly kissed George in the fireplace. That had been the only time they had done such a thing, and it left her desperately wishing for something more. She kissed him back with the same vigor, finding that the scent she could only describe as George had a counterpart: a taste that she could only describe as George.
She wasn’t wearing her high heels, so even at almost six feet tall, she stood a couple inches shorter than him. It was refreshing to kiss someone who was tall. She had hated kissing guys the same height or even, God forbid, shorter than her. “Kat?” George asked, pulling his lips away and leaning their foreheads together.
“Hmm?” She kissed his jaw line, and was smug when she felt a little shiver go through him.
“I need to ask you something.” She murmured a reply, not taking her lips away from his jaw. “But, I can’t concentrate when you are controlling me like that, and just making me want to snog the daylights out of you.”
Katya smiled against his skin, and pulled away. “I wouldn’t mind that,” she said with a smirk pulling at her lips. “Okay, what’s up George?”
“I need a favor.” She nodded in agreement. “I need you to give Fred another chance.” She made her face go perfectly still, so as to not betray an emotion that might hurt him. “I don’t even know what you two are fighting about anymore, and crazily, neither do the two of you!” He looked at her pleadingly. “Please, Kat. Do it for me?”
She looked at his puppy dog face, and could not deny him anything. “Yes,” she said. “For you, I will try to get along with Fred.”
He smiled ecstatically. “Good,” he said kissing her strongly. “Good, good, good.” He pressed his lips against her forehead for a moment, and then grabbed her hand and walked back out into the street, with Katya following, protesting for only a bit more time in their alleyway.
“I’m not fidgeting.”
“Then stop picking the threads, you’ll shred up the dress.”
“I’m not picking at the threads!”
George rolled his eyes, and grabbed Katya’s hand. “I don’t know why you’re worrying,” he said honestly.
She looked at him reluctantly. “Because I don’t want to let you down,” she admitted.
George smiled at her kindly. “Then you won’t,” he said simply. “That’s all there is to it.”
Her worrying turned out to be futile. Fred and George were both standing next to their brother, as two of his groomsmen. So Kat didn’t even have to look at Fred, let alone be civil to him. It was only after the wedding, at the reception, that she would have to face her fears.
She had just turned away from speaking to someone when she almost ran right into the other twin, who had been standing right behind her.
“Shut your gob,” he said wearily. “And smile, for George’s sake.” Kat turned her eyes to search for him, and she saw him spying not so subtly from behind their Auntie Muriel. “We can pretend to be talking civilly, and then part ways in peace with smiles on our faces, and George will be happy and none the wiser.”
Kat smirked coldly. “Perhaps you aren’t such a moron after all, Weasley,” he hissed. “It’s awfully duplicitous of you, though. Finally taking a leaf out of my far superior book?”
He smiled back at her with sickening sweetness. “If I took a leaf out of your book Katya, the whole room would be dead with poisoned words by now.”
She hissed through her teeth, a smile still on her face for George’s sake. “Not very nice, are we? How precious, Weasley thinks he’s a big fierce wolf…but he’s still just a puppy with its milk teeth.” She pushed her lips together in a pout. “Come back when you’ve learned how to play with the big boys, won’t you puppy?” She was about to walk away when she caught sight of George himself making his way toward the dup with a huge smile on his face.
“I see that you two are getting along!”
Fred smiled evilly at Katya, who could do nothing to threaten his livelihood while George was right there. “Yes, quite well I’d say,” he said slowly. “We’ve found out that we have more in common than we thought. We’re a regular two man wolf pack.”
George’s brow crinkled, but he was still smiling. “That’s a strange was to put it, but alright.” He glanced toward Kat. “Now that things are winding down, we have something we want to show you.”
The other two started speaking at the same time, Kat beginning a protest, and Fred objecting to his brother’s use of a second person tense.
“Shut up and follow,” he advised them, beginning to go. Glancing at Fred angrily, Kat followed. Fred sighed tragically and followed suit. They went around the Burrow to the cellar, where the Weasley’s kept all their assorted magical objects that had no place in the house. “We’ve been turning it into a home workshop,” George explained. “Where we can test things before we put them in the shop.”
“This is new,” he said holding up a bottle with a drawing of a pair of shoes on it.
“I’ve never seen that before!” Fred protested. “When have you been working on it?”
“Long enough,” he said back evasively. “It’s definitely ready for human testing, perhaps not for shelf life. I haven’t figured out how long it lasts.” He cast a furtive glance at the two opposite him. “I need a boy and a girl willing to help test it.”
Fred shook his head. “Get that dunder-head Ron, and Hermione, not us.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually agree with Fred.”
“No,” George whined. “It has to be you two. They need to be independent for legal issues, and it needs to be a guy and a girl.”
“Bill and Fleur.”
“They’re about to leave on their honeymoon.”
“Mum and Dad.”
“Are you kidding me?”
Fred wracked his head, but couldn’t seem to think of anyone else. “Fine,” he snapped. “What do we have to do?”
George looked at Katya and she nodded in agreement. She reasoned that protesting would get her nowhere, other than in the bad graces of both twins. “Just drink the potion,” George clarified. You have to link the arms that are carrying it, and bring it to your lips.”
He poured the clear drink, and held up the glasses. When Kat touched hers, it sizzled and turned a startling and abrupt shade of orange. Fred’s did the same, turning a royal purple. “Why do I get the pansy colour?” George just smirked and shook his head. Fred sighed, and held up his potion arm.
Katya linked her elbow with his, and brought it up to her mouth, swallowing it as soon as possible. “Urgh,” she said, grabbing her throat. “It stings like no tomorrow.” As soon as she was done speaking, smoke began to float out of her ears, nostrils and mouth. She looked up at Fred with a worried frown, only to see that his face was doing the same thing. They both turned toward George, who told them coolly that everything was going as he’d expected.
The smoke was soon filling the room, making it unbearably stuffy and bringing an intense stinging sensation to her throat. Before Kat could protest about her discomfort, she heard a loud thump off to her side. A moment later, she was passed out on the floor next to Fred.
A/N: Thanks for reading! Please leave a review!