CHAPTER 5: All of me
For the first time Renee was up earlier than any of her roommates the next morning. She gathered her things and snuck away to the showers before anyone could bother her. Her nerves were on fire and she tried desperately to calm herself as she wondered what Fred could possibly want to show her. She must have tried six different hair styles before she settled on wild curls with a flash of red underneath her naturally black hair. She did her makeup in shades of purple with bold black lines making her eyes resemble green cat eyes and she put a cherry gloss on her lips. She braced herself and stared into the mirror for a moment, scrutinizing every angle of her face until she determined that she looked ok. She dressed in her uniform and set off for the common room; draping herself casually over an arm chair until it was time to leave for her first class.
Fred was conspicuously missing the entire day which didn't put her mind at ease for a second as she sat beside George and Lee. Neither of them so much as dropped a hint as to where he was or what he had planned, perhaps they didn't know. She hated the surge of emotions running through her and wished with all of her might that she could stop anticipating his motives; if she spent the whole day dreaming up romantic scenarios and then he just wanted to show her some way he had come up with to prank Umbridge she knew the heartbreak she would be in for and it would only be her own fault. It felt like the longest day of her life as her last class came to an end and immediately she rushed out into the hall. She was too nervous to eat dinner so she made her way to the courtyard and got comfortable on a bench. She was half way through her required reading by the time she felt a soft hand on her shoulder.
"Oh, hey!" she exclaimed, shoving her book back into her robes. "Where were you all day?"
"Decided to do a little product testing." He winked, "Had some preparations to make, you know? So I gave the old skiving snackbox a go."
"How mysterious." She raised an eyebrow and felt her heart skip a beat as he grabbed her hand and pulled her up.
"I like to keep you guessing." He shrugged. "Speaking of, come along."
She followed him without question as the two treaded through the castle; they crossed through abandoned halls and came out through the castle entrance. She didn't say a word as they crossed the grounds until he led her to the foot of a sinister looking tree that thrashed about of its own volition.
"Stay back a bit, hold on." He picked up a stone and swished his wand, sending the stone flying into a knot in the trees bark and the tree became deadly still revealing a passageway in its roots.
"Fred, where are you bringing me?" Renee quickly looked around to be sure they weren't seen.
"Trust me!" he implored and again took her by the hand, willing her forward as they stepped into the dark.
"Lumos!" he whispered, lighting the cavernous trench around them.
Renee's heart was pounding and she was unsure if it was from the contact, the fear of being caught or the general fear of being crushed to death if the dirt walls caved in.
They walked on for what felt like an eternity, until they came to a hatch in the floor.
"Here we are, love. After you!" he pushed the hatch open and she could see a warm glow pouring out.
Trusting him she willed herself forward and he gave her a boost as she found herself in a small room that looked as though it hadn't been occupied in years. The wallpaper was old and shredded and the furniture was mostly broken but amid the destruction there was the most beautiful display she had ever seen. Candles floated in midair, blooming out of roses that glowed with their warmth. There was a blanket and cushions in the middle of the floor and a basket bursting with food nicked from the kitchens. He climbed in behind and closed the hatch, shutting them in the dazzling firelight together.
"Do you like it?" he asked nervously, his hands shoved deeply in his pockets.
She turned to face him and she couldn't find the words as she studied his features, how perfect he looked…how he somehow appeared innocent…she simply nodded in response.
"Sit!" he willed her toward the blanket and he took a seat. "I have something else to show you."
"Like this wasn't enough?" she laughed nervously.
"Don't mock me, I'm trying to impress the prettiest girl in school." He scoffed. "Now sit down, woman!"
An uncontrollable smile spread across her face and she sat down across from him.
He reached into his robe and pulled out a bit of what looked like tinsel. He tapped it with his wand and whispered an incantation as it sprung to life. It whizzed past her and circled her twice; she followed it with her eyes as it lapped the room shooting off glorious colored sparks in all directions until it reached the center of the ceiling where streams sprouted from either side forming a heart that spanned every color of the spectrum before running itself through with an arrow and exploding into confetti that floated down on them.
She gasped at the climax of the show, the loud pop and the sparkling rain.
"Fred." She locked eyes with him and for once he looked as nervous as she felt. "That was amazing. That was truly an impressive bit of magic."
"We've been working on these for a while. We have all kinds of shapes and colors but this one…this was what happened while I was thinking of you."
She felt the blush rise in her cheeks and swore she could hear her own heart, the blood rushing through her veins… he slowly leaned in and she forgot everything else as she closed her eyes.
His hand brushed her cheek and then came to rest on her neck as his lips gently touched hers. It was soft at first but became more urgent the second she grabbed the collar of his robes and pulled him closer. She parted her lips and deepened the kiss and he moaned gently into her embrace.
He eased her back onto one of the cushions and pressed himself into her, propping himself up on his elbow and kissing from her lips down to the side of her neck, licking and sucking the sensitive spot below her ear.
Her body tensed in response and she loosened his robes, he helped her remove them and she dug her nails into the back of his school sweater as their lips met again.
He ran his free hand down the side of her body and over the curve of her behind until his fingertips delicately pushed under the hem of her skirt.
Her breath caught in her throat at the sudden sensation of his skin against her own and he broke their embrace.
"Are you okay? I'm sorry did I go too quickly here, I-" he stammered and she placed her fingertip over his lips and shushed him.
"No I was just…I didn't know what to expect coming here and I just need to know what this is to you before we progress…"
A smile instantly appeared on his face and he responded warmly, "What this is? That is simple. This is everything to me, love. You had me captive the moment you stepped into that train compartment. You are brilliant and you are bold and utterly beautiful…I'm yours if you'll have me."
His honesty in that moment shocked her and rendered her speechless. The only response she could think of was to kiss him again. Her senses were overwhelmed at the joy she felt throughout her entire being. Her fingers tangled in his hair and he pressed himself into her, both of them wanting to eliminate all of the distance between their bodies. She finally gathered her thoughts and as he broke the kiss to look at her again she admired him. She had been thrilled to have him as a friend since arriving at Hogwarts and now the thought of having him as more both excited and terrified her.
"I'll have you, Weasley." She sighed, "Just don't get all soft on me; I rely on your biting wit to get me through my days."
"Oh, you'll have my wit…" He replied, leaning down and nipping at her neck then trailing kisses down her collar bone until he reached the edge of her shirt and looked back at her, "You'll have all of me."