Chapter 14 : Lucky To Be
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The smell was overwhelmingly beautiful. In the summer his mother would have all the windows on the ground floor open and the smell of her roses, the lilacs, honeysuckles and dahlia’s would waft through the entire house. As George stepped into the Alley that morning, it was this similar smell that greeted him. The only problem was, it was February, not June. On a normal day in wizarding England in the middle of this month, the only thing you could smell was burning chimneys, and the threat of snow in the air. So have these smells take him to his favorite season needed investigating.
He knew the answer before he even saw the shop. It didn’t matter though, he wanted to see it for himself. He had distanced himself from the rival shop for the last few months, taking the time to plan the fresh amount of galleons he now possessed courtesy of Malfoy Inc. And yet, it seemed that the small shop down the lane had done the same.
He saw Mary, dressed in her work robes, rearranging a vast amount of flowers in baskets that were set up on a charming rolling cart outside of the shop. Mary stepped to the side and began to pull vases out of a box and arranged them around the cart. As she did so George saw the sign:
Flowers to withstand the length of your love.
Guaranteed to keep that freshly picked aroma.
‘Damn. Magically modified flowers…never even thought…’
“Good morning Mr. Weasley!” Mary interrupted. “Care to make an arrangement? Surely a young lad such as yourself has a sweetheart?”
She was holding out a rather large vase for him to take, but instead he reached over and grabbed a much smaller one and placed a single yellow rose in it.
“As a matter of fact, there is, but she isn’t one for showboating. The simpler the better, you see.” He smirked.
“Of course, she must be quite the extraordinary girl. Why not take one for yourself.” She said.
Before George could protest, Mary stuck a matching yellow rose to his lapel.
“Free of charge, of course. Happy Valentine’s Day!” she smiled as she turned to empty another box of vases.
He stared at the flower in the vase, it was sure to be a hit during the holiday, how did he not think of it. Oh, that’s right, he was busy expanding his WonderWitch line, protective jewelry, and candles that changed scent depending on the mood of the room. Possession, items, trinkets, not the thoughtfulness of something as simple as a flower. And while the ridiculously overpriced flora would die within a matter of a week, these were breed to withstand the test of time. Just like the love someone might have for another.
While George sat there and wanted to be angry over the outside of the box thinking that the proprietor of Defiantly Devious seemed to possess, it was just that, outside of the box. The two shops weren’t exactly rivals in a sense that they were two joke shops trying to outwit one another, they were simply two shops trying to bring the joy back into a life once filled with darkness.
George sighed in realization and stood to check on the dipping of his new candles when his head collided with something. George ducked and rubbed his head as he looked up at the offending object.
It was beautiful. He recognized the main portion of the floating object as a lightbulb that had artistically wrapped wire along the outside. Underneath the base of the bulb hung a small metal basket. The light within the bulb would flicker on when the small hot air balloon would dip below a certain level. As it began to lower itself back to his eye level he noticed a small note rolled within the basket.
“After all the words, and all the ink and all the blank pages painted black with the adjectives of you, one thing is abundantly clear: Nothing I write will ever be enough to sum you up.”
As the shortest month of the year, February came and went with the sailing of the wind. March brought more rain and slightly warmer temperatures. The sting of winter air had gone and was replaced with mud, fog, and grey skies.
Through all the haze of the Alley, shoppers could find their way to the little black and silver shop by the way of small lights floating in the front window. Each one with a uniqueness that appealed to every individual. Some would try to find a few that closely matched to display at home. While others, especially the younger crowd, would by them with the sole purpose to send love letters to another. A young Mr. Potter had been seen purchasing one such balloon in order to help him deliver an inherited diamond ring to the window of Miss Ginny Weasley.
Needless to say, after word got out about how Harry had proposed, the miniature hot air balloons became a very popular item.
The proprietor walked around the back of the small shop. Today she walked around as the muggle barista in the coffee shop that the proprietor liked to indulge in. This young girl really needed to keep her hair back while working in the bakery, the mere fact that the hair used was located on the purchased donut, slightly disgusted the shop owner.
A few tables in the far back were cover in potting soil and rocks, while the one closest to her had an open umbrella laying upon it.
‘Bad luck to have an open umbrella indoors.’ She thought.
With spring right around the corner, it was important to get these last few products ready. There was an important deadline approaching, and the time spent incognito would soon be no more.
The proprietor took out her wand and aimed it at the umbrella. A stream of water shot from the tip and straight at the umbrella. When the charm ceased, the entire table surrounding the umbrella was completely dry, as though the water was reflected away.
The shop owner turned to the back of the workroom. At first glance, one would wonder why someone would want to grow a weed, but as she walked further down the table she plucked one of the older dandelions. She held it up to her face and thought for a moment. When the time was right, she blew and sent the seeds across the room where they landed in the puddle of water on the floor by the umbrella. She watched as the water began to evaporate, leaving the floor dry. A wish come true.
George hated March. The weather was atrocious, he hated the rain more than he hated snow. The wind at the beginning of the month was relentless, even though it didn’t carry the bitterness of the winter. It was also a reminder that in a few short weeks, he would be “celebrating” his birthday. His birthday, not their birthday, just his. He tried not to think on it. Instead, it was on a particularly windy day, when he entered the shop focusing on fighting to fix his umbrella that had inverted itself, that an idea had struck. He threw the mangled umbrella to the side and entered his workroom. He grabbed an empty butterbeer bottle from the bin and stuck his arm out the back door. He listened as the wind whipped across the lip of the bottle to form a low hum. He angled the bottle until he felt satisfied that it was filled with the invisible air and re-corked the top. He set the bottle on his table, took out his wand and began to test out charms.
A/N: Sorry for the long wait... but we are approaching the end soon...possible two more chapters.
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