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Chapter 2 : Imposter
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“If I hear one more word out of either of you, I swear that you’ll be red for a month! That is enough!” George heard his mother threatening over the awkward silence that had fallen over their small kitchen a few days after the Cup. The house had been a bit tense of course after what had gone on there and he had kept his head low and his complaints to a minimum, unable to endure anymore whacks to the back of his head from either of his parents.
But that, of course didn’t exactly deter Fred from mocking Percy at every turn as he and their father took extra hours at the Ministry, which of course was getting all the blame for the disastrous turn of the Cup. Before their mother had intervened, Fred and Percy had been going off on one another for at least half an hour and while everyone else, including Ron and Hermione, who argued quite frequently fell silent, George had merely groaned in annoyance.
He wasn’t sure what it was but his two brothers couldn’t get along to save their lives and he wondered if something drastic would have to happen for them to ever stand side by side. Without shouting, belittling or growing red in the face. Some part of him severely doubted it though as he glanced irritably at Fred, who was sitting across from him and glaring at Percy, who had oddly sat beside him for once instead of making his own little space at the table.
He usually said nothing during breakfast and was perhaps the worst person to ever rouse from sleep (George had learned his lesson years ago not to really bother him when he was only half awake) and it showed. The longer hours at the Ministry, doing whatever it was that he did for that fellow Crouch had only made him even grumpier, if that was possible, “I didn’t even do anything! He started it,” Fred was saying hotly to their mother, his face a bit red.
George wasn’t even certain what they had been arguing about and had decided to block them out in the best way that he could. By stuffing his face full of porridge, “You should be a little more polite to your older brother, Fred. It shows a lack of character when you only open your mouth to say something stupid and rude,” Percy said with a sharp glare in his direction.
“You are such a git,” Fred started furiously while Harry looked between them worriedly, as if they would explode. George thought that he had enough to worry about when he had, unsurprisingly gotten into some trouble at the Cup for supposedly conjuring the Dark Mark, “it’s not my fault that your boring girlfriend broke up with you.”
“Fred!” their mother snapped, her face turning all the redder. George warily eyed her, seeing that she was holding a frying pan in one hand and a spatula in the other, “you apologize right now!”
Percy had gone as stiff as a board and though he hadn’t said another word about his letter or the fact that he had gotten dumped, George sensed that it still stung. “Don’t bother trying to get him to understand proper manners, Mother.” He sneered.
Ginny, Bill and Charlie, who had stayed for another day before heading back to Romania, were looking back and forth between them. It was like watching a horrible Quidditch game that was never ending and because their father had left a bit earlier from work, the discipline was handled by their mother, which was far, far worse, “Look, maybe if you weren’t such a freak, Penelope would still like you.” Fred said with a sly look at Percy.
George hadn’t been told what had been in their brother’s letter and he had personally not wanted to know, understanding that it was none of his business. The fact that Percy had had a girlfriend at all had been more than mind boggling, “Fred, shut up already.” He said over a mouthful of porridge, the words coming out slurred.
“What was that George?” Fred asked tightly, narrowing his eyes on him as if he had been severely betrayed. When he didn’t say anything fast enough as the porridge slid hotly down his throat, he turned his attention back to Percy, who looked like he might truly punch him, “and don’t bother worrying about my Percy, everyone likes me better anyway.”
Ginny’s eyes widened a little. “That’s some ego you’ve got there,” she said and George saw Bill and Charlie roar with laughter. Ron and Hermione snickered a little too and Harry visibly relaxed and sent her a grateful smile, which made George’s sister turn beet red.
Their mother had had enough though and she wandered over, frying pan still clutched in a death grip in her hand. Ron eyed her frightfully but she merely shoved more eggs onto his plate before moving on to Hermione, Harry and Bill, “I have had enough of this. You’ve been snapping and barking at one another for days and if I don’t get a little peace I might just lose my mind.”
There was an underlying threat in the words and George shuddered a little, knowing that it wouldn’t be pretty. Someone’s ass would be sore for days and that was something no one needed, as the seats could get a little uncomfortable with a giant welt on your butt cheeks, “You know, if you apologized for reading Percy’s letter, we wouldn’t have to listen to you two going at it all the time.” George managed to say as he finally swallowed his hot porridge.
It had been the wrong thing to say. Fred’s face twisted with what almost looked like guilt before he shrugged it off and glared at Percy, who was stiffly slicing his ham, “Like I said, if you weren’t such a freak in the you-know-what, then Penelope wouldn’t have broken up with you in the first place.”
Bill’s eyes had widened a little. “What are we talking about?” Charlie nudged him in the ribs and he looked extremely embarrassed even while their mother looked confused and very disapproving. “Oh. Fred shut up for Merlin’s sake and leave Percy alone. You’re being a git,”
“Not like that’s anything new,” Ginny said after sipping from her pumpkin juice. Fred gave her a threatening look that faltered as Percy, who had turned an odd shade of grey and red, stood up abruptly from the table, pushed his chair aside and left the kitchen.
George heard the door bang open with a blast from his wand and it wasn’t even a moment later when he heard a distinct pop, like a firecracker going off. “Look at what you did, Fred! I’m going to have a word with you once your father comes home.” Their mother said sharply but they all knew that this conversation would happen far sooner than that and it would be far from pleasant.
Feeling the air turning into a chill, George left his brother to his fate, slurped up a bit more porridge, stole a few slices of bacon from Charlie’s plate and stood as well. “I’m going to pack up my stuff for Hogwarts,” he explained to their mother, who eyed him suspiciously. Slowly, he backed away, making his escape as hastily as he could, “I’m a good boy, aren’t I, Mum?” he asked, batting his lashes.
“I’m not so sure most of the time,” was his mother’s weary reply before he dashed from the room to the other’s laughter and Fred’s surly grunt. “You clean up in your room while you’re up there George!” she called to his back, but he was hardly listening.
Once he was upstairs in the room he shared with Fred, Ron and Harry (For the moment), he kicked some dirty socks out of his way and flopped onto his bed. Textbooks, old quills and his robes got in the way and he kicked at them impatiently until they flopped off and fell to the floor, which he thought was giving birth to who knew how many germs. He could hear his siblings, Harry and Hermione talking below and wondered just how much trouble Fred had gotten himself into, “Such a bloody git,” George found himself mumbling, although it was fond.
There was no one who knew him as well as he did but even he needed a break from him every now and then and despite what some thought, they didn’t spend every waking moment together and at Hogwarts, there were times when they didn’t see one another at all. What his brother did on his own time and what George while on his were completely different things and he knew once they returned to school, he would be far too busy with either pranks or girls to really bother with his brother’s moods.
A smirk came over his face at the fact that Fred usually said he was the moody one. With the sunlight pouring in from the window, George found himself stretching and yawning, knowing that he wasn’t going to do anything he’d said he would and with a brief spark of alarm at what his mother would say if she saw the filth in the room, he drifted off to sleep.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
George’s eyes opened and he groggily sat up, unsure on how long he had been asleep and knowing that, according to the sunlight still shifting in that it hadn’t been for too long. Running a hand through his hair and wondering why he had had a dream about that time Fred had turned Ron’s teddy bear into a giant spider, he glanced at the window.
A plump, tawny owl was pecking at the glass and he swung his legs over the bed and hopped off, curious as to who had sent it. Lee was off with his mum today since his parents were divorced and they’d talked not too long ago since they’d both been at the Cup and seen all the horror that had been there. He’d talked to Oliver Wood as well, Katie and Alicia and…. “Angie,” George said confidently after opening the window and letting the owl inside.
It twirled around for a while, stretching its wings before landing on his outstretched arm. Talons dug into his shirt and he winced but took the letter tied to its leg and allowed it to hop off and land onto Fred’s bed, “Angie sent you right?” he asked it and the creature tilted its head, blinking and hooting.
He supposed that meant yes and eagerly tore open the letter, seeing the familiar scrawl of Angelina’s handwriting. The two of them had been sending letters back and forth for a few days but she’d had to go somewhere with her parents at the last minute the other night and he hadn’t heard from her since. Wondering if she were doing all right and still a bit worried for him, George happily read:
How are you doing? There’s all sorts of shit in the Daily Prophet about what happened at the Cup but none of it is really making sense to me. I think they’re pointing all the blame in the wrong direction to make themselves feel better! Is your family doing all right? I saw your dad’s name in the paper and was worried that he’d gotten into some sort of trouble, which would be completely ridiculous.
Anyway, I’m back from my uncle Angelo’s (I wasn’t lying when I said that was my uncle’s name you know) and I’ve got a free day and was wondering if you and Fred wanted to meet up in Diagon Alley? We could have a late lunch and I need to get some more of my school things.
Send this back with Athena when you can see if its all right, okay? And prat, don’t make me wait long or I’ll have fun without you! There’s this amazing new Dye Powder at Zonko’s that’ll turn someone green for a week, I have to have it!
P.S.: I have a present for you too. Do you have an issue with lace?
George didn’t really know what the last bit of her letter was talking about because she knew he hated lace and anything frilly (Except when he was making Percy wear nightgowns).
Stupidly, he wondered if he was going to see her in a frilly nightgown and for a few blissful minutes he thought of what that would look like…something sheer and white against her gorgeous dark skin— “What’s that look on your face for?” Fred’s voice burst him out of his thoughts and he coughed a little, trying to sound manly and important while his brother’s footsteps crossed over to him. He kicked a Cauldron Cake wrapper out of his way and snatched Angelina’s letter easily from his oddly sweaty hand, looking amused, “got a letter from Angie, huh? No wonder you’re grinning.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” George spat out, annoyed. The image of Angelina in a sheer nightgown would have to amuse him later on, hopefully when he was alone and he snatched her letter back from his brother, almost ripping it, “and you’re not reading my mail, prat.”
Fred looked briefly irritated before he burst out laughing. “It’s not like she was saying, “Ooh, Georgie, I want you to come over to my place right now. I just so happen to have forgotten my panties and I’m soaked—”” George sent him a vicious look even as his face flamed and that only caused him to laugh even harder.
“That’s not even what she sounds like!” George cried angrily and Fred snorted with laughter and gave him a pitying look. “What? I’m going to ask mum if we can go and see her.” He shoved him out of his way, not sure why it prickled him so much that his brother was following, making little kissy faces behind his back.
Their mother had had her revenge on Fred. She had only given them permission to leave if they de-gnomed the garden, cleaned the chicken coop, washed the dishes and then, after they’d been near to exploding with misery, she’d made them help Ginny braid Hermione’s hair (Apparently she was trying to make it less frizzy to probably impress Ron).
George wasn’t sure why she had decided to torture them or why Fred had seemed rather pleased by the style they’d given Ron’s annoying friend but by the time it was over, George only had a few minutes to send his reply back with Athena (She’d been bonding with Pig the entire time), shower faster than humanly possible and dress.
He was still in a rather annoyed mood by the time a very amused Bill Disapparated with them outside of Quality Quidditch Supplies, “I’ll see you all later, all right?” he was saying now, while George was trying to get over the strange sensation of his belly button being pulled.
George was no fan of Disapparation but Fred appeared cheerful and unruffled, which strangely annoyed him even more. “Where are you going?” he asked their oldest brother curiously. Charlie had opted to take them but George had given him a vicious glare at the offer because he’d suspected that he’d only wanted to flirt with Angelina again.
Bill shrugged his shoulders and for whatever reason, it made some passing witches titter excitedly. George sent him a dull stare at his unnerving array of good looks and watched as his brother grinned hoplessly, “Not my fault,” he said with another shrug. “I was going to go down to Gringotts for a minute, check and see if there’s anything to do.”
“Why would you willingly go in to work?” Fred asked, aghast.
Bill laughed. “It’s not really work. I’m just…checking to see if they’ve got everything ready for the winner.” He gave them a sly wink before he turned on his heels and began walking confidently in the other direction, his long red hair burning in the sun.
Fred gave George a confused glance and he shrugged. “What winner? What are you talking about?” he shouted and their brother merely waved it away, now farther ahead and probably not willing to turn around. They’d been hearing about weird little things at the Cup too, “what do you think is going on at Hogwarts this year that they can’t tell us?”
George had no idea but he was curiously excited and hoped that, whatever it was, they would get a break from studying. He wasn’t looking forward to walking in to Potions and seeing Snape glaring over at him as he failed yet another poison and if it hadn’t have been for Angelina being his partner, he would have failed years ago. “Who knows? It’s probably nothing that interesting,” he said distractedly while looking at the displays in the front window, Quality Quidditch Supplies was one of his all-time favorite places but he could barely afford half the things they had there.
A pair of pristine dragon hide gloves caught his attention as they sat on a pile of blue cushions and he wondered vaguely if Angelina would like them. She was a rough player and her old pair of Chaser gloves had nearly fallen apart at the seams, “Those look expensive.” Fred said from beside him, appearing a little annoyed, “Why’s everything got to need money?” George laughed. “If I didn’t want mum to kill me, I’d break in and steal it.”
“You know, Angie and I got into trouble for breaking in to Honeydukes a while back.” George said and this was true and very hilarious. He wasn’t even sure if they could go back into the shop without being shooed out by the angry owners of the place, “but if you’re thinking about becoming a thief, you’d better make sure you tell people Percy’s our brother.”
“Why?” Fred asked with distaste.
George rolled his eyes. “You know, you should really just apologize.”
“For what? Reading his letter?” Fred asked dryly. “It wasn’t that big of a deal. Penelope was just letting him have it for some stuff that I don’t even want to say out loud,” George glanced at him curiously at that remark, recalling vaguely that he’d mentioned that Percy was a freak in the you-know-what but it was almost so laughably absurd that he nearly pushed it from his mind.
The clink of the door opening drew their attention and George turned, spotting Angelina immediately by the long fall of her braids. She was grinning over her shoulder at someone else and he figured that she had just bought something, “What took you two?” she asked happily when she caught sight of them, a few bags in one hand a smile on her face.
Fred shoved George out of the way to hug her first as she walked over to them, nearly toppling her over. Angelina laughed, ran her fingers through his hair and avoided an ardent kiss on the mouth that had George wondering if he really needed to be a twin, “Our mum made us do chores for half the day, Angie! It was torture,” he whined, burying his face into her shoulder.
George briefly saw red but managed to grit out as he gripped the back of his brother’s collar and shoved him aside. Angelina was laughing though but he said to him, “It was your fault. If you and Percy hadn’t been fighting all morning we could have been here sooner.”
“Bugger off, George,” Fred grumbled, shaking him off.
Angelina looked between them, sensing that she had missed something before she gave George a soft look. His stomach squirmed happily, “So, prat, happy to see me?” she asked and he stuck out his tongue at her. “That’s not a good attitude to have!” despite her mock frown, she reached up to hug him, her arm sliding over his neck.
George was a bit taller than she was so she had to stand on the tips of her toes and he had the strangest thought of pulling her closer. They hugged a bit at school when they weren’t joking around but suddenly the thought of actually holding her was too tempting— “Oh, get a room.” Fred said with a teasing glint in his eye as he mistakenly shot a look at him.
Angelina stiffened and released him, pinching his cheek as she did so until he was cursing and wincing. “That’s for making us wait,” she said after letting him go and avoiding a retaliation that involved him pinching her arm in that way she hated.
“Us?” George asked in confusion, looking around. Angelina was an only child so he wasn’t really surprised that there wasn’t some mysterious sibling appearing and he didn’t think that she’d mentioned Katie and Alicia popping up either. Lee was busy with his mum so he asked again, “What do you mean by us?”
Fred stuffed his hands in his pockets, sending him that same pitying glance that made him want to punch him. “So we’re not going to have you to ourselves? Shame,” he said while Angelina laughed and motioned for them to stay put.
George watched her go back inside of Quality Quidditch Supplies and he barely glimpsed her making her way around shelves of brooms and mannequins of robed witches and wizards. He and his brother waited or a while longer, the two of them wordlessly trying to guess who the other person was before he felt a pool of dread settle into his stomach. It couldn’t be who he thought it was…and right when he thought formed, like some horrible music in his ears, did Angelina come back out of the shop with her arms linked with some random blokes.
Some random…outrageously gorgeous bloke, “Hot damn,” Fred whispered beside him and George glared down at him as they took in the stranger. He was tall, black and probably could get a nod of approval from Charlie for having such rippling muscles (George didn’t really like that he was looking but it was hard not to notice how large he was), “well, shit. Tough luck, George,”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” George hissed back at him while Angelina and the bloke came over to them. He quickly assessed his clothes and the way he carried himself and figured that he probably had more money than they could ever hope for and something nasty churned in his gut and he wanted, suddenly to punch his face in. But that would probably make him look more rugged, “so, erm, who’s this?” he asked awkwardly while Fred snickered beside him.
Angelina looked happy, pleased and a little embarrassed. The bloke was running his eyes over the two of them as if he were very curious…but unimpressed by what he saw and George felt a ripple of dislike go over him as a pair of light brown eyes settled onto his darker ones. It was a look that was filled with, what he couldn’t mistake as…hate?
What the hell had he done to this bastard? Did he owe him money? “Terrence, this is Fred and George Weasley. They’re two of my good friends from Hogwarts,” Angelina was saying while glancing up at the bloke with a smile. He briefly took his eyes off of him and smiled back (Fred gave a wistful sigh beside him), revealing amazing dimples, “Fred, Georgie, this is Terrence Shepard, my boyfriend. I thought it’d be nice for all of us to get to know one another a little better.”
Fred reached out to shake the monsters hand and George felt a spark of betrayal as the beast shook it, looking friendlier. “Nice to meet you, anyone ever tell you that you’re gorgeous?” Terrence appeared surprised before he burst out laughing, Angelina looking very relieved. “I’m Fred by the way. Me and my brother are nothing alike.”
Angelina snorted. “I wish everyone believed that,”
George watched as his brother and the monster released one another and he felt a stiffening of his spine as he held out his own hand. Angelina looked nervous for some reason but his fingers were gripped in a painful clasp as Terrence regarded him with barely held contempt, “I’m George, not wearing a sweater with my name on it or anything.” He said bitingly.
“How do people tell you apart?” Terrence asked with equal venom. Fred was looking between them with open amusement but Angelina was appearing worried and a little annoyed, “you look exactly alike.”
George felt a spark of irritation. “We’re not the same, I’m older by ten minutes.” He explained, though this wasn’t a very known fact by many people. Angelina hadn’t even known and she appeared curious, “and I’m cuter.”
Terrence released his hand, though the two of them had been gripping one another as if they were trying to break bones. George’s fingers stung but he refused to let it show and stared at the imposter, feeling nothing but dislike, “Angie told me you were funny,” was all that he said and there was something underlying the words…like a punch to the gut.
And who the hell did he think he was, calling her Angie like he knew her? George felt a wave of rage go through him but he reigned it in and said, his tone dripping. “I’m fucking hilarious,”
Fred intervened before Terrence could say anything more, the temperature, while a bit chilly suddenly feeling ice cold. “So, er, you were wanting lunch with us, Angie?” he asked her, nudging his elbow none too lightly in her arm.
Angelina punched him, glaring. “Yeah, there’s a Muggle Cuisine place that just opened up around the corner that I thought you guys would like.” George knew that she was half-blood, her father being a pureblood and her mother being Muggle-born and he glanced at Terrence, wondering if that bothered him like it would some people.
Terrence didn’t appear to mind it though. “I’ve never had foreign Muggle food before so I thought I’d give it a try.” He had a pleasant smile on his face and before any of them could say anything, he mentioned with a careless shrug that made his muscles shift (Fred sighed again), “I’m pureblood and my parents aren’t really fond of Muggle food, they think it’s too fattening.”
“Not that there’s an ounce of fat on you,” Fred said stupidly.
Angelina snickered and George glared at him, annoyed. “I really like the American food they have there and if we leave now, we might get there before it gets crowded.” Looking up at Terrence, the horrible imposter that had been glaring a hole into his forehead, she asked, “do you think your boss minds that you’re getting off earlier than usual?”
Terrence gave her a reassuring grin. “It’s fine, I already explained it to him. He’s cut my hours down anyway since I’m going back to Hogwarts too,” he shot the twins a look and before George could demand what House he was in, he said, “I’m a Ravenclaw so it’s no wonder we never saw one another.”
Which was a damn good thing; George’s mind hissed. “Let’s get going all right? I’m starving,” Angelina said and with that proclamation, they started on their way, though he hung back. Terrence and Fred were chatting but he had this feeling, this strange feeling that this lunch would be the worst experience of his life.
Hope you enjoyed this and I love hearing what you thought so uhm, attack that little box down there! Much love from Gabbie. Uragh, I guess I have to go update for something else now...D':
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