Andrew Largeman: You remember that idea I had about working stuff out on my own and then finding you once I figured stuff out?
Sam: The ellipsis?
Andrew Largeman: Yes, the ellipsis. It's dumb. It's dumb. It's an awful idea. I'm not gonna do it, okay? 'Cause like you said, this is it. This is life. And I'm in love with you, Samantha. I think that's the only thing I've ever been really sure of in my entire life.
I went to go look for Fred today, to see if we could talk things out. I figured I could give him a few days to cool off and then, you know, we'd go back to being together just like old times. But imagine my sheer surprise, when I literally knocked into a breathless Alicia AND Katie. Both of them were about to collapse from exhaustion and if I wasn't in such a somber state of mind, then I probably would have laughed.
However, I said, "Where's the fire?"
Alicia rolled her eyes and Katie snorted.
"Move out of the way, Angie! The Twins are about to leave!"
My eyes widened and I instantly found myself following them, right at their heels. It seemed too surreal. Maybe they were mistaking them for someone else; it couldn't possibly be The Twins, as in my now ex-boyfriend, Fred Weasley?
The three of us made it to the entrance hall in lightning time, panting and gasping for oxygen. There was a very colossal mob of students standing about, arranged in a wide circle, watching with awe. Peeves was lingering about like the stench of spilled milk, cackling and watching Fred and George.
The girls and I shoved our way to the front of the crowd, our attention solely focused on the scene before us. I took a peek at Alicia, and could tell that she was sharing my own tumultuous feelings of shock and amazement. I watched as Umbridge gleefully scolded the twins, appearing as though she'd just found a pot of gold in her underwear drawer.
"So…you think it amusing to turn a school corridor into a swamp, do you?" she demanded.
I snorted. Once again, the Dynamic Duo was up to their usual tricks and pranks. However, considering the fact that 99.9 percent of the school was plotting the demise of Toad Woman, I think it's highly doubtful that anyone cared that one of the school hallways was out of order. Like a fly attracted to dung, Filch came scurrying through the crowd, waving a piece of paper.
"I've got the form, Headmistress!"
This really was like a scene from a muggle movie. Or a train wreck. Despite the huge amount of spectators, no one dared to utter a single syllable. Toad Woman continued to lash out at Fred and George, this sinister expression of delight embedded onto her hideous face.
"You two are about to learn what happens to wrongdoers in my school."
That threat certainly was an empty one. Fred and George probably had received more detentions than the entire Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Slytherin house combined.
Their reputation was now legendary, famous as well as infamous. They were like the human form of Peeves. I studied Fred, wondering what in the world he had hidden up his sleeve.
"You know what? I don't think we are."
I nearly gasped at my boyfriend-er, I mean ex-boyfriend's sassy remark. I know teachers seem to think that Fred can be sort of a smart aleck, but I was dumbfounded by his bravery (or was it total stupidity), for speaking to Toad Woman with such blunt disrespect.
Not that I was chastising him for this, but Fred had crossed the line from hoping to raise a few laughs to raising hell. However, in a weird way, I was not ashamed or surprised to admit that as I stared at him, I was glowing with admiration.
Though I was all about control and order, sometimes I wished that I could just throw it all away. There are times in life when you should play by the rules. But there are other times in life when you should disregard the restrictions and break the chains that hold you down. Just because you play by the rules doesn't mean you're fully alive.
Is that what I had been missing? The opportunity to live my life to the fullest? When I had been arguing with Fred, had the sources of my resentment and annoyance really been rooted from the fear and apprehension of truly seizing the day, or rather, my life?
Fred turned to George and said, "Time to test our talents in the real world, d'you reckon?"
"Definitely," said George.
They grinned and chanted, "Accio Brooms!"
With a bang, the brooms came crashing from Umbridge's office and into the waiting hands of their rightful owners, chains and all. Still, the crowd of onlookers failed to speak, with the exception of the random gasp or low mutter of speculating the observation.
"We won't be seeing you," Fred said to Toad Woman, mounting his broom.
"Yeah, don't bother to keep in touch," George replied.
And suddenly I really realized what was happening. Fred was leaving. Fred was actually going to get on his broom and soar into the distance, leaving Hogwarts forever….leaving me behind as well. My heart seemed to be locked in a cage lined with sharpened spikes and it yearned to break free.
With each passing second, it threw itself against the cage, only to be captured by the spikes, causing enormous pain to shoot through my veins. I wanted to cry out in objection, I wanted to break free from the crowd and beg him to stay, at least for my sake.
But I knew that my act of desperation would be, at the very least, selfish. Besides, if I ran up to him now, it would probably delay his departure. And I didn't want him to get into any more trouble. Delaying his departure would only ruin the magic of the moment; it would only cause a distraction and would only burn the growing glory that was being created by this legendary act of disobedience.
I couldn't very well ruin such a monumental moment in Hogwart's History, could I? I locked eyes with Alicia, who was probably on the same train of thought. We exchanged weak smiles and Katie, who was standing between us, grabbed each of our hands and delivered a short yet comforting squeeze.
So this was it. After nearly seven years of friendship and nearly three years of romance, this was how it was to end. Without a kiss, without a hug, without even the simple word of goodbye. I was, inevitably, a nameless onlooker in the crowd. After everything that had gone down, I was too insignificant to even be granted a "formal" invitation to this spectacle.
Don't cry, Angelina, chin up, don't cry.
Fred and George advertised their stupid Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes products and Umbridge roared commands with fury.
Fred and George kicked off and hovered a moment. Fred turned to Peeves, his expression void of trickery of mischief.
"Give her hell, Peeves."
And with that, Peeves obediently saluted the twins, as they zipped past Umbridge and her Inquisitorial Squad and zoomed through the open doors, cheers and thunderous clapping ending their glorious retreat. Fred didn't bother to look back.
My mouth hung open and by now, my enslaved heart had relinquished its impossible fight. My throat went dry and my eyes were burning with acidic tears. I didn't dare glance at Kates or Leesh, because I knew that I would immediately succumb to my bewilderment.
I had to replay the scene in my mind, as if I had been asleep. Did it really happen? Did they really just leave Hogwarts? Part of me hoped that the next morning, I would wake up and go into the Great Hall, only to find Fred sitting at the table, shoveling pancakes into his mouth, grinning like a loon.
But the rational part of my mind knew that it was useless to imagine anything. Fred had left. He had really left. Is this why he wanted to break up with me? Had he known this all along, all year?
Despite the ongoing howl of approval from my fellow students, I felt absolutely dead inside. Had I let Fred get the best of me? I had cared too much, that was it? Was it possible that the flaw in my personality was that I loved him too much? Had I clung on too tightly?
This year certainly had been a disaster. I wanted to be Quidditch Captain and I ruined Gryffindor's chances of victory. I had wanted to be Fred's girlfriend and he had abandoned me. Everything was falling to pieces right before my very eyes. I felt lower than low. I was totally numb.
My entire body was aching to seek short deliverance, screaming for the tsunami of alligator tears. But my pride was the tyrannical dictator of my emotions and I felt like Alice In Wonderland, falling down her bleak rabbit hole, unable to pin-point the end.
The applause still ringing in my ears, I pushed and elbowed my way through the crowd and to the hospital wing. Madam Pompfrey was making the beds and looked rather confused when I entered.
"What seems to be the problem, Miss Johnson?"
She briskly strolled over to me, as I flung myself onto an empty bed. Her face was all business and formality.
"I think I'm dying," I hoarsely replied, internally kicking myself at my own display of melodramatic nonsense.
She furrowed her brows together and a thermometer magically popped into her hand.
"Oh, nonsense. You seem to appear perfectly fine to me. What in the world do you think you're dying of?" she shrilly demanded, shoving the thermometer into my tightly closed mouth.
Her expression softened when I uttered, "Can't you tell? A broken heart."
So, after like five minutes, I was kicked out of the hospital wing. Madam Pompfrey stopped being sympathetic after the first ten seconds of my moaning and groaning, crisply told me to "Make space for people who are actually sick," and then walked away. But no matter, because my broken heart was soon mended by a late night visitor. I had gone to bed quite early, though I was having trouble falling asleep.
Alicia was out like a light, but sniffling every 3.421 seconds. Christina, the Notorious Snoring Queen, was certainly living up to her name. I figured it must be around 12:30 or 1 AM. I had headed up to the dorms around 8:30 and when Alicia had stumbled up, she said it was 10. I had desperately wanted to talk to Alicia about the Twin's Departure, but I could tell she was as much of a mess as I was. I didn't want to upset her even further. Just when I was about to doze off, there was a loud clatter at the window.
I assumed it was nothing out of the ordinary, and continued to allow fatigue to conquer my senses. But the clatter was louder and couldn't be ignored. I rolled onto my other side, slowly opening my bleary eyes, wondering whoever was attempting to break into our dorm in the middle of the night, damn well have a good reason. Imagine my whirl of emotions when Fred Weasley was the intruder. I immediately bolted up right, startled and ready to question my sanity.
"Fred? Is that you?" I anxiously whispered.
I could have sworn that my heart stopped beating.
He smirked, as though this was an everyday occurrence. And for a moment, I hated him for it. That stupid smirk; who did he think he was?
Did he think he could just swoop into my room, unannounced, pretending that he hadn't dumped me, stomped all over my heart and then left without a goodbye? Who did he think he was, assuming that I would easily be won over by his charms and stupid, sparkling eyes? My hands strangled my bed sheets, as our eyes coolly connected.
"Of course it's me, you prat. Who else would it be?"
"Well, for all I know, you could be some weirdo, disguised as Fred, by Polyjuice. Tell me, if you're Fred, what's my sister's name?"
He chuckled. Not the least bit fazed, he rattled off his response.
"You don't have a sister, you have a brother named Holden, who goes to Cambridge University of Wizardry for Gentlemen, your Mum's a muggle who teaches preschool, your Dad works at The Daily Prophet, you hate seafood, you have a weakness for chocolate. You have a scar on your…right knee because when you were six, your brother threw a…what is it? Oh yeah, a fellytone at you. Your worst subject is Potions, you had a crush on Oliver Wood before you fell madly in love with me…need I go on?"
I felt myself smile, in spite of the situation.
"I thought I'd never see you again," I murmured.
This couldn't be real….I was still dreaming. The boy in front of me was merely a specter, the result of my irrational imagination.
He sighed, letting his broom flop to the floor. In the darkness, I could tell that his shaggy hair was all over the place and his cheeks were probably flushed by the wind, making his freckles appear even brighter than normal. Still the same old Fred, still irresistibly, imperfectly perfect. And I knew I could never hate Fred, no matter what he did. He was as much a part of me, as I was a part of him.
"Yeah well, truth be told, I thought that today was the last time I'd ever see this place."
I stared at him, wanting to dissolve into his arms. Neither of us refused to budge from our places. He remained crouched by my bedside, his hands to himself and my hands remained covered by my duvet.
"Then what are you doing here?"
He was silent for a moment.
"You really have to ask that? Then I guess you're not as smart as I thought."
"Well, last time I checked, it didn't make sense for a bloke to tell his girlfriend he was madly in love with her, and then dump her like a sack of potatoes," I hissed.
Surprisingly, he didn't get mad.
"Well, a lot of things haven't been too much sense, lately. But I'm here now. I'm sorry I didn't tell you about today. I couldn't, you know? If I had told you, I wouldn't have been able to leave. It was a secret…we didn't want anyone to know…George didn't tell Alicia, either."
I didn't say anything, contemplating the confession. I brought my hands out from under the duvet and reached for his hand. The moment he laced his fingers through my own, my heart began beating again.
My icy exterior melted away and drank in my surroundings, the feeling of his hand intertwined with mine, his light breathing. And all I could to do was grin and he promptly grinned back at me.
"I missed you, Lina."
I rolled my eyes.
"You were gone for one day."
He tenderly rubbed his thumb across the back of my hand, a goofy grin plastered on his lips.
"Felt longer than that."
"Frederick Weasley, you're one of the biggest gits I've ever had the sheer pleasure to meet."
"And you, Angelina Johnson, are the most stunning and breathtaking dictatorial perfectionist that I've ever had the fortunate opportunity to encounter."
I laughed and grabbed him by the arms, pulling him onto the bed. He chuckled, resting his hands behind his head, his mouth hovering near my ear.
"Well, well, it seems as though you really did miss me more than you let on! However, I don't think this would be quite a brilliant idea, seeing as how your room mates are on either side of us," Fred huskily teased.
I shook my head, laughing even harder.
"Just shut up, just shut up and kiss me, you idiot."
And let me tell you, though I had forgotten about my anger, I CERTAINLY had not forgotten about Frederick Weasley's excellent kissing skills.
When he finally scrambled for oxygen, there was something haunting his eyes that I had never witnessed. It was a stirring mixture of love and something else. Something greater than love, something that encompassed every degree of such an endeared emotion. The sounds of the night rang like a symphony and I studied his half-hooded gaze, my hands wrapped around his neck.
His lips brushed my collarbone.
I took a deep breath, speaking slowly. I was burning for the knowledge.
"You never really told me…Why'd you come back?"
He chuckled, his hands sliding down my sides and then encircling my waist. He pulled me closer and somehow, I believed the notion that I was tiny, like a ballerina gracing the top of a music box. Relishing in this deceiving notion of fragility, I snuggled into his arms, like a kitten purring at the sun.
"I couldn't stay away. The moment I burst out of Hogwarts, I knew I had made a mistake. Oh, I'm still cursed with wanderlust, but the thought of missing your beautiful face was too much to juggle. I realized…this is it. This is it, Angel. I've got a million chances to achieve glory and greatness and fame and wealth, but I can't rewrite history. Life….it's much too short to always say goodbye."
I sighed, clinging onto his lanky frame, squeezing my eyes, letting his reasoning wash away my grief.
And as the sun rose, its colors bled into the fading gray of night's silver cloak, exchanging darkness for illuminated splendor. And as the stars shimmered and evaporated like burnt out bulbs, Fred failed to move an inch.
A/N: I was going to wait until after vacation to post this, but I decided why make everyone wait longer? But really, I can't believe it's finally over! I feel like I'm closing a chapter in my life, or something! Haha. Well, I'd just like to say, thank you to each and every one of you for reading and reviewing this story. AIL was really my first "big" hit and I love reading what you guys have to say about the chapters. It amazes me that although this is the second time posting WILAY, many of you have read and reviewed for the second time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Speaking of future projects...would you guys like me to do another Fred/Angelina story or would you like to see a Katie/Oliver story?
Note: Dialouge from The Twin's departure is taken directly from the American hardcover version of OOTP.