Chapter 1 : The Velvet Box
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“Angie?” George pulled a blue velvet box out of his pocket and held it out to the girl opposite him. George Weasley and Angelina Johnson were sitting on the windowsill of the bedroom he used to share with his twin brother Fred. They were both starring out at the distant green patch that held Fred’s clean, white tombstone. Just last week, they attended Fred’s funeral.
After the service, it had begun to rain. All the guests had retreated inside the small funeral home, but George didn’t feel like facing them all. He knew that they would all stick to him like flies to honey. After all, he was the one who had lost a twin. He was the one they’d all coddle and crowd. So he escaped them into the rain. George walked up to Fred’s tombstone in his dark suit while the rain plastered his hair to his face. He had hoped for some alone time with his departed brother, but someone else was already there, sitting in the rain.
Angelina knelt in front of Fred’s tombstone like someone in prayer at the altar of the great church. The heavy rain did nothing to mask the heavy, black stained tears streaming down her face. The brim of her black hat sagged down and her black dress fell in a sopping wet puddle around her. Angelina’s dark curls started to fall out of her bun and dark makeup ran down her cheeks. She looked like she was melting into the cold dirt right there.
George walked up to his old friend and put his arm around her. Together, they stayed in front of Fred’s tombstone and thought about the man they both lost. Angelina rested her head on George’s shoulder, finding herself fitting perfectly there, like she’d once fit into his brother’s shoulder. She couldn’t bear to look at him though; George looked too much like Fred.
After ages and ages of sitting in the rain, Bill came to fetch them. The rain had stopped on their way back to the Burrow, but the dark clouds still loomed above them. As they left the tombstone, George suddenly knew why they called it a pathetic fallacy; he certainly was a pathetic sight after all.
Back at the Burrow, no one spoke. George and Angelina changed into some dry things and Molly brought them both some tea. No one left the Burrow that night. Angelina didn’t leave the next night either, or the next, or the one after that. She stayed with Fred’s grieving family and mourned his absence with them.
So that afternoon sitting on the windowsill with George was just another silent afternoon.
“Angie,” George said again. He gave her the blue velvet box. “He was going to give this to you after... you know.”
Angelina held the small box in her hand. She could guess what it was. She didn’t need to open it.
“I would have said yes,” she whispered, not taking her eyes off the patch of green in the distance. Even after a week, Angelina couldn’t look George in the eye.
“I know,” George replied. He couldn’t look at her either. The sadness in his would be sister-in-law’s eyes was heartbreaking.
“You would have been the best man and Katie would have been my maid of honour,” she said. “You would have made a silly speech and we all would have laughed. After, we would go on a short honeymoon to the Amazon because he always wanted to go there, but he’d want to get back to the shop as soon as possible. We’d live in a flat in Diagon Alley, right next to the shop and we’d have a daughter. He always wanted a daughter. She’d be called Roxanne and you’d be her favourite uncle of course and-”
“Stop,” George cut her off. “I don’t want to know what our lives would have been. I just know that they’ll never be like that now.”
Angelina looked at George for the first time since Fred died. Her broken eyes pierced him and he could feel all her pain on him. Angelina sighed with the weight of the whole world on her shoulders. She slumped down, as if to disappear into her own thin frame.
“I know,” she finally said. She went back to staring out the window, her eyes empty except for the reflection of the green meadows in front of her.
George stared at the velvet box sitting in Angelina’s hands. He’d been shown that ring only a few weeks earlier, yet somehow, it seemed like a lifetime ago – a lifetime where everything was still falling apart, but nothing was broken yet.
May 2, 1998
The coin burned and Fred and George both knew that it was time, time to fight. They had been cooped up at Great Aunt Muriel’s for long enough and they were itching to finally get in on the action. They zoomed out of bed and roused up the rest of their family. Angelina and Ginny were already up, having gotten the message on their own coins. The girls had beaten them to Molly and Arthur’s room too. Soon, the entire Weasley clan and Angelina were ready to fight.
George waited as Fred scrambled to get his shoes on in the small bedroom they shared at Great Aunt Muriel’s giant estate. The room was large and actually a bit shoddy. It had mismatched drapes and bedsheets. The carpet was covered in questionable stains, the twins suspected from the large number of cats that once resided in the manor. There hadn’t been a better room for them though, so Fred and George lived in the cat urine room.
“Hurry up Fred!” George rushed him. He stood at the door fully dressed waiting for his twin to get his things together. George twitched with excitement, eager to finally get to do something in this war.
“Hold on,” Fred finally laced up his blue trainers, but he didn’t rush out the door like his twin was obviously aching to do. Instead, Fred stopped at his bedside table and pulled a blue velvet box out of the drawer. He showed the box the George before tucking it safely into his trouser pocket and patting it twice. “I’m going to ask her when we win.”
May 15, 1998
Fred was so sure that he’d make it through. He was so sure that he’d make it all the way and then ask the love of his life to marry him. The thought the he might not make it never crossed his cheerful mind. He had always been ever the optimist.
“He knew you’d say yes,” George told Angelina. He saw a tear creep down her face. Before Fred died, George had never seen Angelina cry before. She was the toughest girl he’d ever met, on and off the Quidditch pitch. He’d always admired Angelina for that, but somehow, in her grief now, Angelina seemed even stronger.
“He knew me well then,” she tried smiling, thinking of how wonderful Fred’s proposal would have been. It would have been the perfect touch of romantic and funny. He had always known how to make Angelina smile. Always knew how to make her crazy, even right from the beginning of their relationship, Fred just always knew.
December 25, 1994
Fred led the dark haired girl out into the empty corridor. Her champagne coloured dress glimmered in the dim light and her sharp heels echoed through the corridor.
“Where are we going Fred?” Angelina giggled. He held her hand tightly and she thought that there was nowhere else she’d rather be.
“Just somewhere quiet,” Fred shrugged. He found a bench in the end of the corridor and sat down. Angelina sat beside him.
“It’s so dark out here Fred,” Angelina whispered. “We should go back.”
“It’s too crowded in there,” he said. Fred scooted a bit closer to her and Angelina could feel his breath on her neck.
“Well,” Angelina said nervously. She’d never been so alone with a boy before. Even though she was sixteen, her experience with boys was dreadfully sparse. “What did you want to talk about then?”
“I didn’t really want to talk,” Fred said. Angelina knew what he meant and she shivered. She’d never kissed a boy before. Fred scooted even closer and put one hand on her waist and the other on her thigh. She turned her head towards him slowly and shut her eyes.
His lips felt warm on hers and Angelina gravitated towards his body. She thought it was exactly like what they always said your first kiss should be.
She suddenly felt his tongue hungrily graze her lips and she pulled away and stared at him with wide eyes.
“What?” he asked looking shocked.
“I’m sorry,” Angelina lowered her eyes and slumped back on the bench.
“No,” Fred shook his head and pulled his hands off her. She longed to feel his touch again. “I’m sorry. I knew that was your first kiss.”
Angelina’s cheeks turned red. She was painfully aware of her lack of experience.
“Sorry,” she blushed ever more.
“Angie?” he asked her. Fred’s hand held hers tightly. It almost burned, but she couldn’t resist his touch. “Will you be my girlfriend?”
Angelina blushed again and nodded, not taking her eyes off the floor.
Fred lifted her chin gently and kissed her softly on the cheek.
May 15, 1998
Angelina suddenly snapped back into reality when Molly called her and George down for dinner. She pushed herself up from the windowsill and tucked Fred’s ring into her pocket.
Downstairs in the Weasley kitchen, the air of mourning still hung about. All the Weasleys were at the Burrow. Harry and Hermione were also there. They sat at the long table and silently began to eat. No one spoke.
Angelina always thought that deafening silence was a silly oxymoron, but she understood what it meant now. It meant that the silence painfully reminded you of it all. It was a never ceasing reminder that tore at the wound, making it constantly raw and pulsing. That was the kind of silence that hung over the Burrow.
“Tomorrow, I’m going back to the shop,” George suddenly announced. Everyone stopped eating to stare at him. He had a small smile across his face. Angelina couldn’t even begin to understand how George could be smiling. “Angie, are you going to come back to the flat?”
Angelina didn’t say anything; she just turned back to her peas. She used to live in the flat above the joke shop along with Fred and George. At first, she didn’t really want to live with her boyfriend’s brother as well, even though George was one of her best friends too, but eventually, Angelina came to love her living arrangements. But she only got to live there for a few months before all three of them abandoned the flat to live at Great Aunt Muriel’s.
“George, she isn’t ready to go back,” Molly said softly. She put her hand protectively on Angelina’s back.
“No,” Angelina suddenly said. “I’ll go back.”
The whole table turned to look at her. She stared back at them and bit her lip. Angelina never used to get nervous like this. She was a chaser for the Holyhead Harpies before, she was used to people watching her, in fact, she used to love it, but that had all changed recently. The Quidditch league was suspended during the war and Angelina always assumed that she’d go back to playing pro after, but she was no longer so sure of that. She didn’t revel in the attention anymore.
“We’ll leave tomorrow morning then,” George said.
Angelina didn’t say anything else all night.
The next day, Angelina and George left the Burrow and arrived at the flat they once called home. It looked just like it did when they left it two months ago. The blue sofa still had a small coffee stain on it. Old copies of the Daily Prophet and the Quibbler lay on the floor and Weasley’s products littered the whole flat. The kitchen had an old, unwashed pot in the sink and a molding apple sat on the counter top.
It was messy, but it was home.
Angelina walked over to the sofa and picked up a faded, grey cap. She held the soft fabric in her small hands and reached up to touch the diamond engagement ring that hung around her thin neck. She put it down once again and walked towards the second door on the left side of the hallway.
The door was shut and the lights were off. Angelina reached for the doorknob, but she froze, right there, with her hand on the brass knob. She wanted to turn it and push the door open, but Angelina couldn’t bring herself to disturb that place where they’d been happy. She hadn’t lived in the flat for long, but was she ever happy there.
September 2, 1997
“I have to go home Fred,” Angelina said. She still lay under his sheets with her head resting on his bare chest. Fred’s arm was lazily wrapped around her, fingers tracing spiral designs on her smooth skin. “I have work tomorrow.”
Angelina didn’t want to go back to work anymore. Ever since the war started, the Quidditch League closed and her team was disbanded. So instead of Quidditch, Angelina had found employment at Firebolt. She was broomstick designer now. It was interesting work, but she missed flying more than anything. Of course, nowadays, it was too dangerous to fly at all.
“Don’t go Angie,” Fred pleaded with her. He wrapped his arm tighter around her torso, pulling her chest back towards his. “Stay here.”
“I’ve been here all weekend Freddie,” Angelina giggled.
“Then stay longer.”
“I might as well just live here!” Angelina laughed again. She wound her long legs up with Fred’s under the soft sheets. “I spend most of my time here anyway.”
“Yeah!” Fred suddenly exclaimed. He shot up in bed and stared hopefully at the beautiful girl tangled up in his bed. “Move in here. Live with me Angie.”
“You know I can’t do that,” she protested. Angelina sat up as well and draped her arms over his shoulders, kissing Fred softly on the back of his shoulder blade.
Angelina couldn’t think of a reason why not. She loved Fred and with the way the wizarding world was looking, it probably wasn’t a good idea to live alone. And besides, she spent at least half the week in Fred’s flat anyway.
“Fred!” George whined the next day when Angelina arrived with her things. “You can’t let a woman live here!”
“Why not?” Fred asked his twin.
“Because!” George moaned. “This is a bloke’s flat! There’s no space for her girly things!”
“I don’t have girly things!” Angelina protested.
“Yeah?” George asked. “Then what’s this?”
He pulled a fluffy, white blanket out of the box in Angelina’s arms.
“That’s a blanket! It’s really quite warm,” Angelina said.
“Look at it!” George waved the blanket around. “It’s fluffy!”
“What’s wrong with fluffy?” Fred asked. “It looks quite nice.”
“You’ve gone all soft!” George accused him. “She’s made you soft!”
“I have not!” Fred defended himself.
George stormed off into his own room and pouted about the intrusion of Angelina’s fluffy blanket. But soon, he got used to having a woman around. In fact, George grew to like it, since having Angelina around meant always having food in the fridge.
May 16, 1998
Angelina turned around and went back into the sitting room. She couldn’t go into her and Fred’s old bedroom. The wound was still too fresh. Instead, Angelina picked up the white fluffy blanket from the sofa and wrapped it tightly around her cold body. It still smelled like the last days she spent in the flat with Fred. They hadn’t taken it with them when they went into hiding at Muriel’s, but Angelina was glad to have it back. She hung onto it as a small reminder of those happier days.
George sat on the sofa next to her after a while. He had wandered the small flat already, avoiding Fred and Angelina’s old room as well. George had carried a few boxes of his things in and left them in his old bedroom, across the corridor from Fred’s.
“I’m going to clean up the shop tomorrow and I’ll open it up again soon,” he declared, wiping the hair out of his face. George draped his arm over the back of the sofa, almost resting it on Angelina’s shoulders. “People need some happiness.”
“That’ll be nice,” Angelina said quietly. She hadn’t thought about when she’d return to work. She quit when she went into hiding and they told her that she’d still have a job when she came back. But Angelina knew that she didn’t want to go back to the office where they’d all tell her that they were sorry for her loss. They’d tell her to take as much time off as she needed. Angelina knew what it was all like.
“I think the shop needs to open again with a bang,” George said. He was almost cheerful in the way he spoke, as if the past two weeks hadn’t actually happened and Fred would walk in any minute now. “Maybe I’ll hold a party. Or maybe free skiving snack boxes. Actually no, those are expensive…”
Angelina barely listened though as George went on about the possibilities for the shop’s reopening. She was too immersed in her own misery. She couldn’t understand how George was so happy. He’d lost him too. He’d lost his best friend, his brother, his twin. He’d lost maybe so much more than she had and Angelina couldn’t even fathom the depth of her own pain.
“Why are you so happy?” Angelina finally asked. She hadn’t meant to snap at him, but that was how it came out – quick and sharp.
“There’s no reason not to be,” he said with a perplexed expression. George cocked his head at Angelina and then launched right back into discussion on his upcoming reopening of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
Angelina nodded and for the rest of that day, she and George stayed there on that old, blue sofa. She closed her eyes and for the first time, Angelina didn’t feel herself fill up with the horrors and memories of that dreaded day. For the first time, she didn’t find herself terrified of what was inside her own mind, because for the first time, she didn’t have to think about that day.
July 1, 1996
“Well,” Fred declared.
“This is it!” George finished the sentence. Angelina smiled. She always thought it was sweet when they did that, even though so many of their other friends found it irritating. Angelina always saw it as another sign of just how in tune with each other the twins were. She found it fascinating.
Angelina, Lee Jordan, Alicia Spinnet and Katie Bell were in the Weasley twins’ new flat. It was the summer after they graduated and Katie’s seventh year, but Fred and George of course, had dropped out of school already with a bang and one last prank on Umbridge. Just before they left the school though, Fred and Angelina broke up. It still hurt her, but she pretended that it hadn’t so she could remain friends with him. That’s what they were now, just friends.
“It’s kind of bare,” Alicia commented, glancing around. The flat was completely empty except for a bunch of cardboard boxes and a blue sofa. “You’ve been here for two weeks and all you’ve got is a sofa.”
“We also have beds,” George pointed out, gesturing towards the corridor where their bedrooms were.
“Yeah,” Fred interjected. “All we really need are beds and a sofa anyway.”
“Do you at least have some food?” Lee asked. He started poking around in the empty kitchen.
“We’ve got something better,” Fred said in a singsong voice.
“Firewhiskey for everyone!” George yelled. He pulled a few bottles out and passed them around. “We haven’t got any glasses though.”
Their friends laughed and took the drinks. The six of them spent that night crashed on the blue sofa in Fred and George’s flat and got black out drunk together. It was a night full of laughter, friends and good drinks. They all knew that it wouldn’t be the last night they spent like that.
A/N: Hello everyone! So I guess I'm now simultaneously writing two novels that take place in very close timelines... I feel like this may not be the best idea, but I wrote most of this story ages ago, so really just need to edit things before I post them up. So what do you all think about the first chapter? I feel like there isn't enough out there about George and Angelina, but it's so interesting because we know that Fred at least went to the Yule Ball with her, maybe dated her after. This is my interpretation of the story and hopefully you like it. I've tried to make it quite clear how the timeline goes with the dates and the itallics for flashbacks, but please let me know if anything is unclear or if god forbid, my timeline is off.
Rate and review! Thanks lovelies!
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