Chapter image made by me (MrsJaydeMalfoy @TDA)!
It was a warm September afternoon, almost two years after his proposal to Liz, and Charlie was staring at the pavement as he walked home from work, lost in thought. The past twenty months of his life had been a whirlwind of change, but even with everything that had happened, he still couldn’t figure out how he had wound up in the difficult predicament he found himself in that day. As he continued to walk, he thought back over everything that had taken place, trying to pinpoint exactly where he’d gone wrong.
After an eleven-month-long engagement, Charlie and Liz had married in December, on the two-year anniversary of the day they first met. At Liz’s request, they had traveled to her former home in Tennessee and had a beautiful ceremony in a quiet country church, and the day of their wedding was beyond any doubt the best and happiest day of both of their lives.
After their week-long honeymoon, the couple had gone back to Rhode Island, where Liz moved in to Charlie’s apartment. Being married and moving in together had been an exciting but nerve-wracking new experience, but the new Mr. and Mrs. Weasley quickly adapted; the first nine months of their lives as a married couple had been wonderful.
It would seem that Charlie would be happy with this turn of events and would have no reason to be walking home from work feeling so upset, but in reality, he was terrified. He’d made a mistake a long time ago that now threatened to ruin his relationship, and by extension, his happiness. His mistake: Not telling Liz his secrets… either of them. He wasn’t entirely sure how he had pulled it off, but somehow Charlie had managed to marry Liz and live with her for nine months without her finding out about him being a wizard, or about his family being alive. And he felt horrible about it.
Most people would have been amazed at their own willpower for being able to keep a secret for so long, but Charlie felt like the worst husband ever. How could he have kept two secrets as huge as these from his wife? Why would he choose to do so? A part of it had to do with his continued guilt-inspired avoidance of the wizarding world, of course, but there was something more as well. Charlie had kept these secrets from Liz for so long that he was afraid that if he told her now, she’d be hurt and she’d leave him. That thought was something Charlie couldn’t bear, and it had kept him from giving Liz a guilt-ridden and apologetic confession. Now, though, it seemed that a confession was unavoidable.
It hadn’t been easy to keep his secrets from Liz, especially the fact that he was a wizard. She was very perceptive, and all throughout their courtship she had noticed several small things that Charlie felt were dead giveaways. For example, Liz had been shocked when she found out that Charlie didn’t know what a cell phone was, but she’d chalked it up to him being old-fashioned, and she loved that about him. After they got married and moved in together, however, those small things Liz had noticed before became huge things, and every day Charlie had grown more and more certain that Liz was eventually going to figure out Secret Number One without him saying a word.
Perhaps the biggest of the huge things was Charlie’s constant run-ins with technology. When Liz had moved in to his apartment, she had been surprised to find that Charlie didn’t own a microwave, television, or even a digital clock, and he never used the refrigerator or electric stove. She had almost immediately taken him to the local appliance store to buy the said items, but when she tried to teach him how to use them, each of the items had malfunctioned in one way or another. She had laughingly explained it away by saying that Charlie was so old-fashioned that he practically repelled technology, but Charlie had known the real reason for the mess-ups: The fact that magic and technology don’t mix.
Due to his guilt and the fact that he was now living in the Muggle world, Charlie had already been avoiding using magic as much as possible for quite some time, but once the incident with the appliances happened, he decided to stop using it altogether. He even hid his wand underneath the dresser, at the very back. Stopping, however, was no easy feat, and it still didn’t eliminate the technology problems, because any time he got overly excited or angry, or even tried to touch some form of technology in the apartment, it went wonky.
And then, just last week, something horrible had happened. Liz wasn’t feeling well one morning, and Charlie, trying to be helpful, had offered to make her breakfast. Liz had refused at first, because she knew how horrible Charlie was with technology, but she had finally given in once Charlie promised her he could handle making toast. Charlie had gotten two slices of bread and placed them in their toaster, but his nerves got the better of him. As soon as he placed his index finger on the toaster’s sliding button, the entire contraption had literally exploded, causing Charlie to cry out in surprise and Liz to come running into the kitchen with wide eyes.
Liz seemed much more dumbfounded by this incident than she had by any of the others, and this time she didn’t laugh it off and talk about how technology-repellant her husband was, which made Charlie fearful that perhaps his wife was finally starting to realize that there was something strange going on. And then, just a couple of days later, his worst fears were realized. One morning before work, Liz told him that they needed to talk. Charlie had panicked and frantically made up an excuse for why he had to leave for work early that day, and he’d been going to work early and leaving very late every day for almost a week now in an effort to avoid having that “talk” with Liz.
It wasn’t that Charlie didn’t want to speak to his wife, or that he didn’t love her anymore. It was just that he already knew what she was going to say. He already knew that she’d figured out that something strange was going on with him, and he had absolutely no idea how he was going to explain himself or reveal his secret. After nearly two years of dating and nine months of marriage, how could he explain to his better half that he was a wizard?
After nearly a week of barely speaking to his wife at all, Charlie was stressed beyond belief, and he didn’t know how much longer he could keep it up. And then, that morning before he left for work, Liz had reached her breaking point. When Charlie had insisted to her that he couldn’t talk because he had to go to work early yet again, she’d broken down into tears and questioned why Charlie was avoiding her. Heartbroken to know that this was causing his wife so much pain, Charlie had kissed her and promised that he would return from work at his regular time that day, and he and Liz would talk about whatever she wanted. And there he was, approaching their flat, and he still had absolutely no idea how he was going to tell Liz his secrets.
As he rounded a corner and their home came into view, Charlie took a deep breath and mentally scolded himself, once again, for allowing things to get to this point. His brain went into a frenzy of thoughts, trying to form some last-minute strategy for telling Liz he was a wizard. Just as he placed his hand on the door handle a few moments later, an idea popped into his head, and he just decided to go with it: As soon as Liz walked up to him, he’d tell her the truth right then and there, before she had a chance to question him about anything, before she had a chance to get all worked up and upset again.
He took a deep breath as he pushed open their front door, and by the time he’d closed it behind him, Liz was there to welcome him home with a kiss. Charlie kissed her passionately, hoping to convey to her just how much he loved her in a sort of pre-confession apology, and when the kiss ended Liz quietly reminded him, “You said we could talk when you got home… remember?”
“Yes, I remember, love,” he replied.
“Good,” Liz answered. She took her husband by the hand and led him into the living room, taking a seat on the sofa and pulling him down into the seat next to her. Just as she opened her mouth to speak, however, the redhead interrupted.
“I’d like to go first, if that’s okay,” he said.
“Oh… okay,” Liz replied. She seemed a little shocked, but nevertheless she closed her mouth and waited patiently for Charlie to begin.
After taking a moment to gather his thoughts and nerves, Charlie said, “I know what you want to talk to me about.”
“You do?” Liz asked, bewildered.
“Yes,” her husband replied. “Darling, I know that you know that I’ve been keeping something from you, and I’m very sorry… I just didn’t know how to tell you.” He wanted to continue, to spit everything out all at once, but the way Liz’s face fell with every word he said told him that wouldn’t be a good idea. Instead, he asked her, “What’s wrong?”
“You’ve been… keeping something from me?” Liz asked in a small voice.
“Well, yes, but… I thought you already knew that,” Charlie replied, taken aback. “I thought that’s what you wanted to talk to me about.”
Liz’s green eyes quickly filled with tears, and she withdrew her hand from Charlie’s. “No,” she said breathlessly.
Charlie’s heart dropped at the sight of the tears in his wife’s eyes, and he felt like an idiot. He’d been avoiding his wife all week because he was so sure that she wanted to talk about this whole “technology” thing, but it hadn’t been that after all. “Well, what did you want to talk about then?” he asked, his eyebrows furrowed.
“That doesn’t matter right now,” Liz replied. “What are you hiding from me?” Tears rolled down both of her cheeks, and Charlie desperately wished he could go back in time to a few moments ago, before he confessed anything. When he didn’t answer his wife’s question, she continued. “Are you… Charlie, are you cheating on me?” she asked. The look on her face as she asked the question suggested that she might throw up at the very thought of it.
“What?” Charlie asked loudly. “No!” he insisted. “Why on Earth would you even think something like that?”
“Oh, gee, I don’t know,” Liz sobbed. “Maybe because my husband’s been avoiding me all week, and when we finally sit down to have a conversation, he tells me he’s been hiding something from me!”
Charlie’s eyes widened in response to his wife’s statement, and he felt even more stupid. She had a point. When you said all of those things together like that, the way she just had, it certainly sounded like he was having an affair. He mentally kicked himself for doing this, both to himself and to Liz, but then he quickly cleared his mind so that he could respond.
“Darling,” he began, “I’m not cheating on you… I hope you know I’d never do that.” When Liz didn’t respond, he continued. “Look, this whole conversation has already gotten off to a bad start. Let’s just start over. What was it you wanted to talk about?”
“I don’t want to talk about that right now. I don’t want to talk about anything until you tell me what you've been hiding from me!” Liz responded, still sobbing.
“Okay, okay, love,” Charlie replied, reaching up and gently wiping the tears off of her cheeks. When he finished, he took Liz’s hands in his own and looked into her eyes, hoping she’d take the news well while fearing the worst. “You know how every time I touch something electronic, it sort of… explodes?” he began.
“Mm-hmm,” Liz responded, nodding her head and staring into his eyes half-expectantly, half-warily.
“Well, it’s not because I repel technology,” he continued. “It’s because… because magic and technology don’t work together.”
Charlie said this last sentence rapidly, and he winced when he’d finished speaking. In response, Liz’s eyebrows furrowed, and her mouth dropped open slightly; it was obvious that she was confused. She stopped crying, and a small smile spread across her face as she spoke.
“So are you trying to tell me you’re a secret magician or something?” she asked with a chuckle.
“No. I’m, um… I’m a wizard,” Charlie replied. He released a long, slow breath after he said this, and oddly, he immediately felt relieved.
Liz scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Charlie, I’m being serious right now. I wanted to talk to you about something serious and you’re making a big joke out of it.”
Charlie could tell in her tone of voice that she was slightly annoyed, but the smile still playing on the edge of her lips told him she wasn’t angry. He still knew he had to proceed with caution, though, because Liz obviously didn’t believe for one minute that he was a wizard, and he couldn’t imagine how hard it was going to be for her to wrap her head around this.
“I’m, um… I’m being serious too, love,” he replied. “I really am a wizard.” He made sure not to smile as he spoke, and to look his wife directly in the eyes, so that she’d know he wasn’t joking.
Liz chuckled again and slightly shook her head. “So what can you do?” she asked. “Make things disappear? Card tricks?”
“No, Liz,” Charlie answered. “I’m not like that David Copperfield fellow you go on and on about. I’m a real wizard. I… I can do all sorts of things…”
“Show me,” Liz interrupted.
Charlie was taken aback by this request, partially because he hadn’t expected it and partially because he couldn't show her… it was against the law for wizards to use magic in front of Muggles. Although he knew this was going to make it sound like even more of a joke to Liz, he told her the truth. “I can’t show you, love,” he said. “It’s against the law for wizards to use magic in front of… non-wizards. Unless it’s a life-threatening situation.”
Liz laughed so heartily at this that she had to release Charlie’s hands so that she could cover her mouth. After a moment she regained enough composure of herself to ask, “And who enforces that law? The No-Showing-Anybody-How-To-Pull-A-Rabbit-Out-Of-A-Hat Committee?”
It was clear from her expression that she intended that question as a joke, but Charlie responded, “Well, if that’s what you want to call them...” Her face froze.
“Charlie, that’s enough,” she finally said a moment later. “I appreciate you lightening the mood, but you've had your fun… just drop it.”
“Merlin… you don’t believe me,” Charlie replied, more to himself than to the brunette. Then, thinking of something he hadn’t before, he quickly jumped to his feet. “Look, I can prove I’m a wizard,” he said. “I have a wand. I’m going to go and get it.”
Without waiting for a response, Charlie rushed from the living room and into their bedroom. He immediately fell to his knees in front of the dresser and used his arms to ease himself flat onto his stomach. Then he put his hand in the small spot between the dresser’s bottom and the floor and slid his arm all the way back until he felt the ash wood between his fingers. Once he’d retrieved the wand from its hiding place, he quickly walked back into the living room, feeling a bit odd carrying it because it’d been so long since he’d done so.
When he was once again seated on the sofa next to his wife, Charlie extended the twelve-inch wand in front of him, and Liz looked down at it in bewilderment and something like horror. Then her eyes traveled up to meet Charlie’s, and the look on her face made Charlie afraid of what she was going to say.
“Charlie, why do you have a stick hidden in our bedroom?” she asked.
“It’s not a stick, it’s my wand,” Charlie corrected her.
“You’re serious?” she asked. “You really think you’re a wizard?”
“No, I am a wizard,” Charlie replied, feeling very anxious.
At this, Liz let out a sigh and her eyes fell. “Great. I’ve married a crazy person,” she said under her breath. She then covered her face with her hands and sighed once more. “I’m sorry, Charlie, I can’t do this right now,” she continued. Then, to her husband’s horror, she stood up and picked her keys up off the coffee table.
“Where are you going?” Charlie asked, his eyes wide with fear.
“To my mum’s,” Liz replied, not bothering to look back at him as she made her way to the front door, with Charlie right on her heels.
“Darling, please, don’t go. We've only just started talking about all of this,” Charlie pleaded.
“I just need to clear my head, Charlie,” Liz assured him. “Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon.” With that, she turned the knob and walked out of the apartment, making her way across the lawn to her car.
Charlie stood at the door, terrified, and watched until she pulled out of the driveway and drove out of sight. If this was how she was reacting to just his first secret, he couldn't imagine how she'd act when he told her about his family.
Author's Note: First of all, I want to apologize for the absolutely RIDICULOUS amount of time it has taken me to update. This past semester of school was absolutely crazy! Thankfully, though, I'm out for the summer, which means more time for writing and updating! Yay!
I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed, and favorited so far, especially the amazing Ohmymerlin! Your reviews keep me going! ♥ I'd also like to thank my amazing beta, Tenthweasleywriter, for her immense help!
So what did you think of Charlie's big confession?? Poor Liz... she doesn't seem to be taking it very well! :( PLEASE leave a review and tell me what you think!