"Still giving me the silent treatment, eh?"
Angelina Johnson turned around in the corridor to face the speaker. He did not look at all upset, as usual; in fact, there was a crooked grin plastered on his face. Rolling her eyes at his nerve, she turned to Alicia and Katie, who were walking next to her, and said, "You two might as well go up to the common room without me."
She saw Alicia and Katie exchange amused looks and Alicia, attempting to stifle a giggle, asked, "Why, going to be awhile?"
"Not if I can help it," she answered, staring at the freckly, red-haired boy rather than either of them. Glancing at each other again, they continued on their way back up to Gryffindor Tower, and Angelina stood, arms crossed over her chest, alone with Fred Weasley. "I haven't been giving you the silent treatment," she said pointedly, figuring it was best to get this – whatever this was – over with. "Didn't I just tell you that I found two new Beaters for the team?"
"I suppose that's true," Fred conceded casually. "But generally speaking, you tend to avoid conversation with me. Which I find appalling tonight, being that it is the eve of Christmas holidays." He raised an eyebrow at her. "Surely you want to be more forgiving?"
Angelina altered neither her stance nor her expression, which was somewhere in the range of cold to icy. "Actually no, I don't much care to be. Is that all you wanted to say to me? Because if it is, I've got packing."
"Er, no." The smile had slipped off his face. Angelina took a certain malicious pleasure from that. "To be honest, I wanted to see if I could cultivate some sort of good feeling between us." When her expression still didn't soften, he added, "I'm sorry I got myself kicked off the team, Angie."
She sniffed. "Don't bother with this 'Angie' business."
"It was the apology that was the important bit."
Against her will, she felt her icy look melting a little. But Fred really didn't deserve niceness right now. She couldn't really explain why it was him she was mad at. It was George and Harry, after all, who had actually attacked Malfoy on the Quidditch pitch. Well, on second thought, maybe she did kind of have an explanation. Fred, at times, did have the sort of relationship with her that could allow one to loosely term him her "boyfriend." And somehow that made his being kicked off the team so much more…what? His fault? Like he should have been more sensitive to her feelings and not been kicked off?
Yeah, she supposed, something like that. It was a little silly when put that way, though.
"It's okay," she finally said. "It's not your fault that foul toad of a woman's got it in for Gryffindors."
"Truer words were never spoken," he said solemnly, though there was a gleam of laughter in his eyes. "So we're friends again?"
"I guess so," she replied dubiously. "Unless it means I have to test your Fever Fudge."
He smiled at her. "That's only if you want to make a few extra Galleons." As an afterthought, he added somewhat hopefully, "Do you?"
"I think I'll take poverty instead, thanks."
The two of them stood without speaking for a moment or two and the silence grew suddenly awkward. "So," Fred began, "merry Christmas."
"Yeah, you as well."
He took a couple steps to the side of the corridor and leaned against a door frame. Angelina followed him, and as she did so he asked, "You going home?"
Angelina nodded. "My mum's making a big fuss now it's my last year here. You'd think I told her I'm moving to Australia after I sit my N.E.W.T.s, the way she carries on."
"Are you?" Fred asked in such a studiously nonchalant tone that Angelina couldn't help but think he was a little anxious. She considered telling him that she was thinking about it, just to see the look on his face, but decided against it. He had, after all, apologized to her. Plus, even though he was cute when he got worried, it was hard to beat that smile of his.
"Of course I'm not," she replied, flashing him a grin. "Why, would you miss me?"
Shaking his head, he said, "I'm shocked you could even ask me that."
In response, she only laughed. Then the two of them fell into a companionable silence for a few moments. "So," Angelina said, "I'll see you after Christmas?"
"Of course," Fred replied.
"All right, then."
"Yeah." Fred's eyes flickered upwards very quickly and a lopsided grin crept onto his face. Pointing up, he asked, "Did you notice that?"
Angelina followed his gaze and noticed the ball of mistletoe hanging from the door frame, directly over their heads. Arching an eyebrow, she inquired, "So?"
He gave her a nonplussed look. "What do you mean, 'so?'"
With a chuckle, Angelina asked, "I mean, so? Should I care?"
Fred rolled his eyes. Then, with a determined glint in his eyes, he stepped forward and put his arms around her, pulling her close. Looking into her eyes, he said, "I'm glad you're not mad at me anymore, because I've been trying to get you under this mistletoe for ages." With that, he kissed her soundly. Angelina slid her arms around his neck and enjoyed his warmth and nearness. She knew that after the holiday he'd probably act as though this had never happened, only to shock her with something uncharacteristically romantic around Valentine's Day. That suited her, though. She'd never been interested in maintaining a steady relationship. School and Quidditch left little time for that.
But she was interested in Fred, as clearly evidenced by the fact that she was still standing in the corridor kissing him. Rather enthusiastically, it might be said.
Then, reluctantly, Fred pulled away from her. "Well, we'd better get back to the common room before Umbridge comes along and gives me another lifetime ban."
"On what?" Angelina asked, snorting.
Fred shrugged. "I don't know. Girls? You? It would be tragic either way."
"Okay." She shot a crooked grin back at him. "Just as soon as we've made sure to take full advantage of this mistletoe. It won't be here when we come back, you know."
He laughed, leaned forward, and kissed her again.