Chapter 16 : Time To Breathe
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It seemed that everyone in the order or everyone associated with the Order had joined up. The castle was plenty big most of them were getting pretty adept at navigating it. McNally refused to provide a map so sometimes you wandered around until you weren’t lost. His sister was revealed eventually as she had a run in with Sirius and basically laughed in his face. She made herself useful helping out, cleaning out new rooms; apparently the castle had a great deal of magic that mostly only listened to their family’s bloodline.
They had converted the ballroom again into supply storage and meeting room, a lot of the materials from the hub was moved in. They moved any Deathie prisoners into the dungeons where they would be secure; no one really knew how much information C Team had given the Deathies. Fred and George even moved their tinkering headquarters. Most of the sleeping quarters were in the west wing. There was a second large great room there that was being used as an infirmary. The Pavarti twins had taken the other spies out to recon the neighborhood they were supposed to be attacking. It had been nearly a week since the decision was made, but a coordinated attack of this size was going to take endless preparation.
There was a board in the hall leading up to the infirmary with pictures of all those who were lost. Some were just MIA, but most were gone from the world completely. Luna made it a habit of touching the picture of Doctor Jameson before she entered her domain, well it was a domain she now shared with Molly, Gabrielle, Lance, Fleur, and Joanna, but she didn’t mind the company so much. Other Order members were sent to them to help set up supplies and make the area usable.
“To the left”, Gabrielle directed Serge as he carried a box labeled “potions”. He had volunteered.
Fleur had a baby on her hip as she was checking cabinets to make sure they were being filled. It wouldn’t do to miss something they needed since they were pooling their own potions and supplies from each house, anything that they could salvage they had returned to a bit of Deathie resistance apparently they didn’t expect them to return. All except for Luna’s which they had burned to the ground in attempt to destroy her plants. Her father had discovered them years ago. He was in Peru now looking for the cure for lycanthrope, so they could stop the use of werewolves by the dark lord. They had worked out a shift schedule since injuries could come in at any time. There was a back room connected where they stored their books on various curses and heals for different ailments just in case they came across something they couldn’t handle since none of them were actually registered healers. There was a rumor that more from St Mungos and other wizarding hospitals around the world wanted to assist the order, but the NWWO was keeping a tight lock on the places, some were so much as being held prisoner. Not everyone saw things the way the Order did either. Some viewed them as a little extreme. Most people were barely affected by the war or pretended to be blind to what was going on around them. People were scared however, and fear makes you do strange things.
“Excuse me Miss, where would you like these?” She knew the voice as well as her own, but she had only heard it in her dreams. Luna spun around she was greeted by a dirty face, stubble growing in weird patches as it always did for him. His hair was tossed and matted down. Blood ran down from a small wound on his head and his knuckles were bruised, she couldn’t see the rest of him, it was covered by a dirt covered sweater with a giant R on it, his mother was going to murder him for endangering her handiwork. She frowned at the condition of the man in front of her, but he was here and he was standing, he was alive.
“Ron…” she breathed. She threw herself into his arms not caring what sort of dirt got on her. The others in the room noticed the commotion and crowded around.
“When did you get back?” Fleur asked quickly shifting the baby from one hip to the other.
“Is everyone else okay?” Gabby added.
“Harry and Hermoine are okay, they look about as rough as me, but it’s mostly nothing a shower won’t cure, may need a few cuts healed, but they got taken away for debriefing I only escaped barely because honestly I couldn’t wait another second”, he face reddened and he bent down and kissed Luna, unlike him with the audience. The other two ladies sighed and even Serge sitting there with a stupid smile on his face. They finally broke after a moment and a light shade of red graced Luna’s face as well.
“You smell like you walked into a den of treechers”, Luna sighed and let her head fall against his chest.
“I did actually, you’re right they’re viscous.” He smiled stupidly and held her to him. The entire world started to make sense for him again he was pretty sure he was getting on Harry and Hermione’s last nerve who’s own relationship was strained with everything that was going on. “I’m sorry I stayed away for so long”.
It had been awhile since anyone had heard from the trio let alone had seen them. They returned on hearing that The Pheonix’s had secured what they thought to be a horcrux and since they trio possessed the only means to destroy a horcrux they rushed back, if this one was legit it meant they only had one more to find. They returned to abandoned safe houses and old bodies. Even the hub was empty, luckily one of the Patil’s scouts ran into them at the right moment and was able to get them to. Well they found themselves at the front door, moat? Of a freaking castle. They were rushed to Sirius and Remus immediately, but Ron had managed to escape claiming he had a concussion and they shooed him off the hospital wing.
They had been out of contact for so long the trio wasn’t even sure which members of the Order were alive and Ron scurried past faces he had never before seen either.
“I saw Cliffside burned”, he was still holding on to her breathing in her shampoo from her hair.
“My plants got us out”, Luna smiled a bit proudly, “It was too late to save C Team unfortunately.” She pulled her wand and distanced herself some to heal the cut on his head. Wrinkling her nose she looked at him. “I’ll tell you everything after a shower.”
“Deal”, he grabbed her hand and pulled her with him to whatever direction he supposed a shower must be in.
She started to protest, but he closed on her. “I’m not letting you away from me for at least the next twenty four hours.” He said it so matter of fact, even the Ron that had left on the trios mission was shy about declarations of love and intimacy, especially in front of other people. Apparently time apart had made him deem that unnecessary. “You can stand outside the bloody stall if you want, as long as I can hear your voice.”
“It seems I’ve gotten myself a mess”, she looked down at the smudges he left on her close and arms from the dirt he was covered in. “one shouldn’t waste water.” A small smile graced her face in which held all the promise in the world.
“Right.” Ron sped up as he pulled her along with him. Luna giggled behind him.
“We’ll just look after things here shall we?” Fleur called behind them, “All of your Uncles are delinquents”, she told the little girl bouncing on her hip. “Never ever listen to any of them, actually so is your father or I wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place”, she looked lovingly at the girl. Gabrielle giggled next to her. Serge looked at her little sister like the world actually revolved around her and Fleur couldn’t help but smile, the poor boy was doomed already.
-Somewhere else in the castle-
“Just a pinch of this” Lavender added something to the pot in front of her, “and this.” She added another thing starring down at Mrs. Weasleys written instructions as she went. She had her long brown hair tied back her wand was sticking out of it, it was a bad habit, but she felt right having it near at all times ready to draw. After everything they had seen this week had been, restless. She had been going in constant motion and now she had to stop. It had been awhile since she could think, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to do that. So she approached the elder Weasley woman. If she could teach Ginny how to cook a proper meal then Lavender was certain she could manage at least one.
“Lav, I got your message”, a male voice came through the kitchen. Lavender looked around in panic she grabbed her wand and tried to fly the ingredients into the cupboard most she was too hasty and most of them smashed against the wall, some of them dripping down. She flipped the lid on the pot and moved to block him before he got any closer. “I had to come early”, he said still a bit out of range, any moment he would turn the corner and see this mess, she surveyed the kitchen, things were literally everywhere, and then she surveyed herself. She threw the apron off at the last minute leaving the light summer dress she borrowed from Vena, the woman was weird, but she had style and Lavender was about her size. Unfortunately not in shoes, so she still wore her combat style boots, but she had tried at least. “I have to meet with Draco before…” he stopped short as he turned the corner.
Lavender was in front of him her hair was pulled back, he passed the frantic look on her face and moved down to some dress she was wearing, where in the blazes did she find a dress in this place? It hugged her top and all of a sudden the chilly castle was warm. It ended a bit before her knees and damn did she have legs for days the combat boots just made her look like bad ass Barbie.
“I tried to make dinner”, she said in a rush as he finally tore his gaze away from the woman in front of him and looked around the kitchen how she had managed to make this much of a mess, in this big of a kitchen was beyond him.
“I see that” he treaded carefully, usually he’d make some joke about her cooking skills, but the look she was giving him well he was pretty sure that wasn’t the right thing to say at this moment. Even his thick headed brain knew that. “You wanted to make dinner for me?” for all he knew she had invited the rest of the bloody order, what if this wasn’t what it looked like.
“Well”, she lifted the lid off the pot, “It might be edible.” A weird smell was coming from it, it looked more like a potion than a meal.
“You… um… didn’t have to”. Seamus scratched the back of his neck, well shit what he was supposed to do.
“I’m sorry, this was stupid. I just overheard you talking about your mums cooking and how you missed it, So I asked Molly for a recipe I thought I could do it, it was dumb I’m just not cut out for this stuff”, she gestured around the room. “I’ll never be domestic” she mumbled.
“As sweet as this is”, Seamus began, but Lavender cut him off.
“But you don’t have those feelings for me”, she finished for him, “I get it, like I said stupid. Friends?” she held out her hand for him to shake.
“As sweet as this is”, Seamus took her hand and pulled her into his chest. “I don’t fancy you for your cooking love, I fancy you because when I rush into danger I know you’re next to me and just as fierce as any witch or wizard walking this earth when it comes to protecting those you care about”, she was about to say something but he cut her off with his fingers to her lips, “I fancy you because let’s face it you have a phenomenal ass, and because you call bullshit on me, and because that one night I thought I lost you I was about to lose myself. I get why Ginny and Draco are nutters now, I feel nutters when it comes to you”, then he made a face thinking maybe that wasn’t quite the right words.
Lavender’s eyes were tearing up. “What in the devil took you so long to say something.” She punched him lightly in the shoulder.
“Look love you’re not exactly easy to talk to.” Seamus held up his hands in forfeit. Lavender gave him a wicked smile before grabbing the back of his neck and bringing him crashing down to her.
“Don’t eat anything in here”, she warned after they broke, tears in her eyes, “It’s probably poison.”
“Don’t worry when this is all over I’ll introduce you to the muggle tradition of take out”. He laughed.
“I know what take out is you goon,” she gave him a look. She wasn’t muggle born, but her mum had been. “Besides”, she went to the giant fridge and pulled out two plates. “Molly made these for me in case mine failed.” With a flick of her wand the food was steaming. Seamus brought his out and the mess in the kitchen started to right itself. The small stone table in the corner conjured up a white cloth from nowhere.
“We’re going to have to eat fast”, Seamus ushered her over the table, “I have that meeting, and well a fair bit of snogging to do.”
“In your dreams Finnigan”, Lavender gave him a playful look.
“For years and years”, he admitted with a wink. She pretended to be offended as they sat down.
-And again elsewhere in the castle-
With the trio back the place was practically bristling with rumors and excitement. Nervous tension followed him wherever he went. Or maybe it was just getting close to the full moon. Nym had been keeping up with the cycles of the moon lately. They had planned to lock him down in the dungeon on his bad day nothing down there, but caged deathies he could scare the wits out of even his wolf couldn’t go through steel reinforced bars unless one of them got too close to the cage. He was never eager to take life, but those men deserved worse than that. He was scanning the passing crowd for bright blue hair, which was her latest chosen color sometimes it changed with her moods, for an entire week it had been shocking red and when they lost Charlie Weasley it was black as the night. It would be a few more nights until the moon rose full and the planning had pretty much finished up the trio was debriefed and briefed the three of them spent a long time standing outside the board near the infirmary looking at the faces of the lost or dead. Most of the people they had probably never met, he knew Harry carried it the heaviest of all. He still felt responsible for everyone, as if he could find the horcrux faster if he could just end this with only his life at risk, but it was clear long ago that no one was going to let that happen. War would have come with or without Harry Potter. He gave them hope however that an unbeatable foe could be taken down. Voldemort put so much stock in the prophecy Remus hoped it would be his undoing.
“Looking for someone handsome?” Tonks slipped up next to him, more like she bumped up next to him. Her stomach was the size of a basketball, again. It added stress to the pile that was things Remus needed to take care of. He greeted her with a kiss. Theodore their son wasn’t exactly planned and well neither was this one, not that he loved them any less, but apparently his werewolf curse made not only himself stronger but also drove his animal instincts to procreate, not that Nym had ever complained.
“I seem to have misplaced my wife, about this high”, he held up a hand to her height, “Pink hair, no blue, no red, she has a hard time making up her mind.” He decided.
“You’re lucky I don’t configure my entire face to resemble your mother maybe that’ll keep us out of trouble”, she gave him a smirk.
He cringed and bent down to his stomach, “You’re not trouble are you?” he said to the little being inside. It would be months before he would see the newborn, Teddy was already thrilled of the prospect of having a younger sister. Remus was thrilled that the two children mostly kept Nym out of the fight. She was helping at the hub organize communications mostly when they were all called here. Teddy was at least doing well here, he had room to play and he was in love with the pool. Speaking of his son, “Where is Teddy?”
“Having a play date with Victoire”, she said the little girl’s name copying Fleurs accent. “Fleur offered to give me a break, and I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth”.
“Well Mrs. Lupin”.
“Mrs. Tonks-Lupin” she corrected. Tonks was her father’s last name her mother had been a Black, sister to none other than Narcisca and Bellatrix. Her mother got the hell out of dodge long before her sisters scorn would have driven her out, and met a nice muggle man whom she fell in love with, but it made Nymphadora related to some very terrible people, but there was some good as well in her family. Sirius was her cousin and she supposed Draco would be her second cousin as well. They weren’t saints or anything, but she would take them. They had made Harry Teddy’s godfather and Ginny was his godmother if anything should happen to the two of them. Most thought they were crazy bringing children into a war like this, not that it was planned, but she had always wanted a home a family and she had just started a bit earlier than planned. She had hoped this deatheater mess would be cleaned up by the time she started popping them out, but neither her or Remus was getting any younger she figured.
“Mrs. Lupin” he stated again, it was a bit of an argument between them, she wanted to hold on to her father’s name somehow. He wound his fingers in hers “you should be resting”. She was on her feet much too much for his liking.
“Alls I do is rest” she reminded him. He knew the restlessness was getting to her and even more so that she would end up having the baby here, Teddy was born at St Mungos in the safety of healers who had years of experience assisting in births. Nym had Molly Weasley and although the woman could claim experience with her brood she wasn’t exactly licensed for this sort of thing. It was still a few months out, he hoped without any real hope that the war would be over by then.
“Come on beautiful”, he put his hand on the small of her back, “I heard there was a lake not far still on the castles grounds well within the wards”.
“That sounds lovely”, she let him lead her.
-(elsewhere elsewhere in the caslte)
Sylvia stared at the board six faces stared back at her, six members of her team that didn’t make it, among countless others and the faces they had killed under the imperious.
“Do I have to pry you away”, Jesse leaned against the wall next to the board. She had a habit of standing there for a long time.
“No, I just needed to remember one more time”, she breathed closing her eyes keeping their images tucked away for when she needed the anger to surface. The will that no one will ever do that to them again, if she could help it, she found it was instrumental in using some of the deadlier curses and she had always struggled with those. Jesse didn’t, she knew about the Pheonixs and what kind of means they used, there were members of other teams who did the same, but they were all like that and when she had first heard the rumors she thought they all must be war torn monsters, but here Jesse was, young and bright and she felt like the monster.
“How do you cope?” she asked at least five of the pictures had a phoenix drawn on the side of it meaning that they were lost in the line of duty on their team. Jesse looked up to Kingsley’s picture and to Ned, next to them was a man he barely met, Kyle Noton, a muggle born who lost his wife to Azkaban after she was judged by the new ministry to not be a pureblood. She took her own life after two weeks under the dementors care. He joined the order shortly after. He was deadly efficient with his wand, but he took a stray curse a week into joining the Pheonix and there was nothing to do for the man. The others were there before Jesse was so he only knew the stories about him. They told him all his first night hoping to scare him off or change his mind. It wasn’t for everyone that was for sure.
He realized she was still awaiting an answer and shook his thoughts off, “I focus on those that are still with us, because they still need me, I’m stronger than anyone on my team in defensive magic. It comes second nature to me”, he wasn’t bragging, “I think about how many more we could have lost if I didn’t have a shield up.”
“I wasn’t their shield”, she touched the pictures, “The memories from the days we were… taken come back to me in bits and pieces they used me most of all against the others I was the weakness, no one wanted to see me get hurt. I thought it was cute how they defended me like older siblings when anyone questioned my ability to be there, and when I was made second in command after we lost Lilah”, she touched another picture of a middle aged dark haired witch. “The congratulated me like a family would if I had gotten a job promotion.” She shook her head. “They broke when the Deathies started in on me. I was the trigger. I was the weakness.”
“You were the glue that held your team together”, Jesse put his hand on her shoulders, she didn’t flinch, he considered that an improvement. “being cared about and caring back is not a weakness” he said firmly. “It is what separates us and them”. His belief was so strong that Sylvia was taken a bit back by it. “You need to know that what happened to your team wasn’t your fault, no one would have withstood that any better than you all did you want someone to blame”. He turned from the board, “Blame the damn Deathies that took you, because trust me I do and if I ever find the ones”, he clenched his fists. He didn’t need to finish the sentence; honestly he didn’t really want her to see that side of him.
She stared into his eyes there was a rage she hadn’t noticed before behind them, maybe he hid it for her benefit. A part of it did scare her, but the rest of her felt like a kindred spirit, because if she ever found them she was pretty sure she’d have the same answer.
-More elsewheres in the castle-
“Bits” Fred held his hand up and metal bolts appeared in them.
“Pieces”, George said next to him as they hunkered over a table and some metal plates appeared in front of him as if by magic, but Collin Creavey was running around the room breathless handing the twins whatever it is they desired. Him and his brother were brought under the orders protection a few months back after intel had their names on a list of muggle born children to be “purified”. His brother was a royal pain in the twins arse, but Collin made himself almost indispensible to the twins. He had a fairly good mechanical mind as well.
“Done” they both said together as they held up the spherical objects and Collin grabbed them both adding them to a box with more of the same.
“That’s sixty”, George said standing and stretching.
“Any more and we’ll level the entire block”, Fred agreed. They had been creating magical bombs of sorts, they were almost like a magical knock out device more like, it rendered wands useless for a short time as well as just emitting a bright and distracting light. The twins had been using their talents to create gadgets instead of jokes, not their calling really, but desperate times.
“Bring those down to Sirius”, They instructed the boy, “And tell him they’ll work on any wand so if any Order members get to close they’ll be out of commission for a time.”
“Got it boss”, the kid heaved tried to heave the crate.
“Collin we talked about this, you can use magic now” George gave the kid an endearing smile. He was too used to Hogwarts rules.
“Right right”, he pulled his wand flicking it at the crate “wingardium leviosa”. The crate lifted off the table and then he scurried with it out of the door before he dropped it.
“You know if he drops it they’re likely to go off”, Fred watched him go.
“Have a little faith brother, he’s under our expert tutelage, he’s at least a better wizard than that by now.” George gave him a sly smile. “Besides I’ve just freed you up to now go see your lovely girlfriend, while I sit here in self-loathing alone and unwanted.”
“You maybe would have been less unwanted had you not shagged your way through half the order”, Fred rolled his eyes at him.
“Me? Dear brother I did no such thing? It was only almost half”, He winked. Causing a second eye roll from his twin.
“Off to my loving girlfriend then” Fred gave his brother a pat on the back. “Oh and by the way Angelina Johnson disappeared from her quidditch team in Germany, word is, she’s her.” George stood up as if imperioused to do so.
He sat back down quickly and looked at his nails, “Oh is she good for her.”
“It’s not me you need to lie to brother”, Fred called as he headed out the door.
-To another room in the castle-
He watched her through his dark hair it was getting unruly, he had let her cut it the first time, but it looked like someone attacked his head with a hacksaw he had laughed and she had laughed. God he missed her laugh.
She was bent over a table books spread out from it. Researching the diadem and how best to destroy it. They lost the sword of Gryffindor some time back, he suspected it might show up again, some strange false boyhood hope that it always would, just like Dumbledore was always there to pull him out of the worst of his messes, but that man was gone and so was his boyhood. He wanted to say something to her. To cut through the gap that’s grown between them, but what could he say? He almost lost her. He almost lost her and he heard her screaming while Bellatrix Lestrange cut the word mudblood into her arm. The woman hadn’t known at the time who she was, apparently she had gone even more mad, if that was possible. He sat there and listened and then dobby appeared and saved them all. He should be dead. She could have been dead. That’s what she was, she was his vulnerability and he was dangerous for her. He sighed and picked himself up off the doorway he had planned on talking to her, now that things were settled down some. He wanted to reach out to her, but he saw her crumbling underneath his touch and fading away. Everything was becoming real now, the danger was more real than ever. He wasn’t solving puzzles at Hogwarts anymore. People were dying all around and it was breaking him. He turned and left the room heading into the hall.
Hermione didn’t turn but a frown creased her face then a sigh as she sat. She could feel him breaking and he wouldn’t let her in. Every time she pushed he pushed her away farther and she couldn’t bear his coldness any longer. So she let him push, maybe she should be stronger and fight? Ginny would have fought, Ron would have fought, and god knows Luna would fight with her last dying breath for all of them, why couldn’t she fight? Wasn’t she the girl who punched Malfoy in the face, she saved Sirius. Her fists balled up. Where in the hell did Hermione Granger go and what is this sulking thing that had replaced her. Life on the run and the road had been hard, they had little success and when they did it came with more and more tragedy. She would never leave Harry, he needed her research and her mind, but she wasn’t sure if he needed the rest of her anymore.
Harry shoved his hands in his pockets. He wanted to go back to that room and to scream. A few people walked past him giving him space. Everyone was chummy, they had all been through this crazy war together, but the trio was just this mythical entity. They didn’t even know where they were half the time. Keeping Harry safe was the orders priority and not everyone agreed with that. Harry had never agreed to that, but if he was the key to it all.
“Well isn’t this a flip” Someone had stopped, someone with a biting tone to his voice. Harry’s eyes scanned the tall blonde in front of him.
“Malfoy”, he nodded his head in greeting.
“Here I am happy as a clam and here you are sulking and sullen like someone kicked your puppy”. Draco smirked.
Harry felt a heat within him as his temper rose. “What’s your game?”
“None”, Draco held up his hands in surrender. “Someone once told me to get over myself was wondering if you maybe were waiting to hear the same advice. I thought I was protecting her you know, Ginny. I thought the farther away from me she was the less corrupted she might become, but she’s a wildfire mate, and there is no stopping her, it took me a long time to realize that and once I let myself be consumed well… I think you lost hope Potter and for the one true fucking savior I’m sort of concerned for this outfit.”
“Hope?” Harry scoffed. “What are you even talking about? Kingsley just died last week, and for what? So we can be one artifact closer, so I can maybe kill the dark lord, so I can be the savior if I’m not revered like a hero I’m treated like I’m glass and about to break, people are dying for…” his words were cut off because Draco shoved him backwards.
“Don’t you dare fucking say it, you stupid prat, don’t you dare fucking say people are dying for you. Don’t you dare take their sacrifice away don’t take that from them it’s all they have left in this world now. No one here is dying for you except for maybe Hermione. We are dying because what is wrong with this world is killing us and we’re trying to change that. If you went down tomorrow we would go on. If he kills you nothing changes until every single one of us in the damn ground.” Draco’s grey eyes blazed. Harry took a step back as if he was pushed again taken back by the outburst.
“I…” he started.
“No”, Draco said simply, “Potter, get over yourself, do you know what I did to Ginny for those two years we were apart, I almost lost her, and you’re acting like Hermione is already gone.”
“How do you…?” Harry started.
Draco cut him off again. “Ron had a blood giant mouth mate and he’s been with you two for ages now, even his emotional scanners can pick up on you, although he’s actually sort of human almost since Luna” Draco pondered that for a moment. Harry thought briefly when they were on a first name basis instead of last. Draco spoke Luna’s name like she was some old friend.
“Ron does have a big mouth.” Harry agreed. “Excuse me Draco.” He turned on heal stalking back towards the room he had just left. Draco continued on shaking his head, helping people especially helping Harry Potter will never feel normal. He needed to do something Slytherin, maybe he’d go torture some of the younger members of his team maybe do some smirks in the mirror just to make sure he still had it.
Harry blew through the doorway. Hermione turned at the intrusion.
“Harry?” she started and then was lost in the absolutely determination in his eyes. It was the most emotion she had seen in months. He didn’t stop; however, he continued to move towards her. He crashed into her as she stuttered back into the table half leaning on it. His hands instantly went to her face.
“I will always love you”, he breathed before claiming her mouth. It took her a moment to respond, but she wrapped her arms around him and pulled herself closer. Some of the books cluttered to the floor from the table. When they finally broke Hermione starred at him incredibly.
“What happened?” she breathed. He had just flipped a switch in him.
“Someone told me I was acting like Draco Malfoy”, he gave her a smile.
“The horror”, she mocked fear.
His arms encircled her waste and her hands played with the strands of his hair.
“I will always love you too, I’m sorry I didn’t fight hard enough for you.” Hermione frowned.
Harry shushed her. “All’s you have ever done is fight for me. It’s my turn now.” Their lips met again.
He had already left school, and Voldemort well the threat was real, he worried for his brother who had aligned himself with Harry Potter, not that George Weasley worried much at all. The rest of his class was out for summer and he was going to finally see her again. She was livid they had left the quidditch team high and dry, but it didn’t affect the recruiters. She probably wasn’t even going to finish Hogwarts, who would when you’re already being offered millions to play for professional teams doing the thing you love he couldn’t begrudge her that.
-YEARS AGO IN A SMALL CAFE-
He sat at the table, a tiny coffee shop tucked into Diagon Alley they had found it last summer. Last summer was the best, last summer he had her. They had agreed to keep it casual. They were both heading in different directions with their life. The twins with their joke shop and her with her Quidditch who knows where she would end up anyway, Iceland was on her top five. The bell dinged and he turned.
She looked like his version of heaven. Her brown hair was down, she rarely put it down, but he loved it that way. She wore a pale yellow dress that made her darker skin tone glow. She was absolutely beautiful and always had been. George once joked with himself that would be the girl he would marry, and if she wouldn’t have he would ask her every day until he finally wore her down. So he did, jokingly, it was a sort of inside joke between the two of them.
She smiled at him and he stood, ducking the beam that was too low for his height, the only issue with this place and most of the wizarding world really, everything was old and small.
“Hey”, she started, but before she could say anything else he dropped to one knee the few customers in the place gasped.
“Angelina Johnson would you do me the honor..”
“I’m going to Germany”, she said in a rush before he could finish. George stood immediately his smile disappeared and it nearly broke her heart.
“They offered me everything I wanted, I’ll start their Chaser is retiring and I work really well with their group. It feels as natural on the Hogwarts pitch”, she added in. George sat down and she sat across from him. He had ordered for her already. Hot chocolate with a tinge of cinnamon and a lot of whip cream. Her favorite.
“That’s great!” George smiled.
“You mean that?” she asked carefully.
“Of course, you’re going to be brilliant, I’ll have to buy some Germany memorabilia for the next cup”. He smiled. “I’m not sure how I’ll look in orange and brown”
“Great I’m sure”, Angelina reached across and grabbed his hand. “It means a lot you’re happy for me.”
“I always will be”, he said seriously. George Weasley was never serious, quick do something funny before she notices. He was at a loss for jokes at the moment. He knew she would go, but he thought maybe they had more time. She had some pretty steep demands and she was worth every bit of them.
“I saw your shop on the way here by the way it looks like it’s almost finished.” Angelina changed the subject.
“I could give you a tour, I know the owners after all, not to name drop or anything”, he gave her a wink.
“Oh, do you think you could maybe get me an autograph?” she feigned girlishness, channeling her best friend Katie Bell, whom she would definitely be pushing her new team to scout next year.
“Shouldn’t I be asking that of you?” he dipped his finger into some of her whip cream popping it into his mouth. She gave him a glare.
It had been over two years since that conversation, he led her around his shop and they made out and flirted. She left that summer to train with her new team and he fell into his shop stuff, and then shortly after that all hell broke loose. He figured, being a DA member and all they had gone through at school and who she was she would be the first up to fight the NWWO. It was the opposite however. They used the quidditch teams like Rome used the gladiators to entertain people into thinking everything was okay. A lot of teams had refused; some had joined the order, but not Angelina she stayed. He was more than disappointed. He was angry. He was angry at her and at the world. She was playing puppet to them, and he couldn’t imagine for what? Money?
He wasn’t sure why she was here now, but what Fred heard wasn’t just rumors as soon as his brother left he immediately confirmed it with Remus who he tirelessly tracked down. He refused to answer any other questions, much to George’s annoyance. He stormed out of the room and headed down the hall going in no particular direction, he would find her one way or another. He had questions and now he needed answers.
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