"It's the Little Things" chronicles various moments in the lives of the Weasleys, from the perspective of Molly and Arthur. Some such moments include when Molly and Arthur first meet, how they fall in love, their wedding, and many other aspects of their day-to-day lives as they raise their family and watch their children grow up in a world that they constantly try to make better. Hope you like it!
Disclaimer: nothing is mine.
# 78 Where?
Where Am I?
"Where am I?"
George opened his eyes a crack. This didn't look like his flat. His curtains weren't yellow, and they certainly didn't have big giant flowers on them. George managed to register the massive headache he had, and rolled back over onto his stomach with a groan.
"Are you awake?" came a curt voice that sounded way too loud.
He knew that voice. He'd know that voice anywhere. Still though, he couldn't bring himself to do much more than grunt.
"Come on George, I know you're awake" the curt voice continued.
Angelina stared down at him, arms folded. She watched as George rolled back over to squint up at her. "Angelina?" he said groggily. "Where am I?"
"My flat. How do you feel?"
George took a while to respond. "Awful doesn't begin to describe it."
"Uh huh." Angelina reached to the night table and produced a large glass of water. "Drink this. It'll help a little."
George took the glass and drained it. Angelina watched as he put down the glass. He was having trouble breathing again.
"How is your stomach?" She knew he hadn't had anything to eat the night before, and that he needed some food to recover his strength. But at the rate that he had been throwing up last night, well she wasn't sure that he could handle real food just yet. She began to check his temperature, knowing full well what she would find.
"I don't know," he said slowly. "It feels like I've been throwing up. I think it's still a bit tender."
"Ok. Well, you still have a fever, and you're having trouble breathing. Lie back down, and I'll get you some breakfast." With a huff, she turned to leave, but George's hand closed weakly over her wrist.
"Wait. What exactly happened to me last night?"
Angelina turned to regard him with cold eyes. "We'll discuss that after you've eaten." And with that, she turned and left the room, slamming the door behind her.
George knew that look. That was Angelina's "you're about to be in trouble" look. It was enough to make one cower in a corner until her ire waned. She was rather like his mother that way. He only wished that he knew exactly what he had done that drew her anger.
George sunk back down into his pillow with a huff, and immediately felt pain in his head as the world went spinning around him. "Oh Merlin," he groaned. How on earth could he have possibly forgotten how sick he had been the past week?
This was one of the disadvantages to owning a joke shop: little children ran about willy-nilly and grabbing at merchandise all over the place. The germs that they would leave on any given day would be enough to make anyone sick. Case in point: George had come down with the worst flu he'd ever had in his life. He had been dragged to St. Mungo's a few days previous, and even the healers there had "expressed concern" at the severity of his illness. He had left a day later, laden with a large sack full of potions and powders to combat the pain and ease his symptoms.
George felt horrible. His head hurt, and he couldn't breathe without great difficulty. Even if he could breathe, his lungs hurt from coughing so much that he wasn't sure he even wanted to breathe. But none of this explained why Angelina was giving him a side of cold shoulder with his eggs. In his condition, Angelina would have been by his bedside, soothing him into recovery. No, he must have done something incredibly stupid; that much was certain. But what? He couldn't remember doing anything since he went to bed the night before, in his own apartment.
Angelina had come in with a tray of eggs and some pumpkin juice. "Here. See if you can eat this, and if it sits okay, I'll get you some more."
George looked up from the tray she had set on his lap. "Angelina, I…"
Angelina sighed and closed her eyes. "Eat," she said, more calmly this time. George regarded her as he carefully tasted the eggs, as if worried that one bite would kill him.
Angelina sat in the chair next to the bed. She opened her eyes again slowly, and looked at George. She looked tired, like she had not slept all night.
"Do you have any idea how much you scared me last night, George? Do you realize how stupid that was last night? I damn near had to drag you to St. Mungo's. Do you realize you could have died with what you did last night? Seriously! You're just lucky you drank so much that you threw up; if it had stayed in your system, you'd have been dead before I could even get you to St. Mungo's."
"What? Angelina, what are you talking about?"
"What do you remember about last night?"
George thought about it. "I took my medicine, and then I got into bed and went to sleep. I think I got up at some point in the night, but I don't remember beyond that. I guess I must have gotten up, come to think of it."
George immediately knew something was wrong. Angelina stared at him, with her trademark glare now mixed with confusion. "George…" Angelina spoke slowly, "what exactly did you take last night?"
George, who had never been good at medicinal potions, racked his brain trying to remember. "I dunno. The healers gave me some potions."
"Was there a sleeping draught?"
"Yes, I think so."
"And a pain reliever?"
"And the fever powder?"
Angelina thought for a second. "Which did you take, the pain reliever, or the sleeping draught?"
Now it was George's turn to look confused. "You mean I wasn't supposed to take them both?"
"Oh dear." Angelina shook her head. "No wonder you're confused." She sat back in the chair. "That combination isn't good for you George, surely they told you that! It can cause some strange side effects, including sleepwalking and temporary short-term memory loss! You're just damn lucky I was there." She stopped, as if carefully deciding what to say next.
"What happened to me, Angelina?"
She sighed. "I was at the Leaky Cauldron last night, and you came in. I asked you if you were ok, but you said you were just fine, that you had made a full recovery. I hadn't seen you in a while, so I assumed you really were all right. Anyway, we talked and drank a while, and you had what I thought was a few too many firewhiskies, and you looked woozy." Angelina paused. "Er…we…that is, you kissed me last night George…"
George's eyebrows rose a bit. He had kissed her? He had been wanting to for a while, of course, had been dreaming about it, but he had actually done it? And he couldn't even remember? That wasn't fair.
"…And anyway, I noticed that your lips were cracked, and that you were way too hot to be 'all right.'" Angelina gulped. "You had a fever. You were still sick. And I realized that you had just mixed powerful pain potions, fever reducers, and sleeping potions with ample amounts of firewhisky. You're not supposed to do that either, George!"
George pushed his empty plate back, and looked quizzically at Angelina. "Why not?"
"The potions and the alcohol react badly with each other. They bond to create a sort of poison that can get into your bloodstream and stop your heart if you're not careful.* Anyway, once I realized, I brought you here tried to make you throw it up and get it out of your system. You've been vomiting all night. You were so dehydrated by the end, and your fever was so high." Angelina looked pained. "You scared me so much. I thought you might…" she paused, not wanting to say what both were thinking. "Anyway, I sent for a healer, and she came to tend to your fever. She put you to sleep and told me you'd be ok, but that you'd been very, very stupid, and I'd have to say that I agree with her!"
As Angelina talked, George began to remember bits and pieces of the night before. Images fell into context, and George finally began to comprehend the depth of his own stupidity. How on earth had he thought this was a good idea? And to have done something so stupid in front of Angelina…though truth be told, he probably wouldn't have lived if she hadn't been there…but the embarrassment was almost too much.
"Angelina, I am so sorry to have put you through all that last night. I'm beginning to remember bits of it."
Angelina nodded. "Don't ever—EVER—do it again. Got it?"
"How are the eggs sitting?"
The eggs, in fact, were sitting quite badly. He felt queasy, though that could just have been due to the situation. He shook his head.
"Ok. Well, I put on some chicken soup to boil, maybe we'll try that later."
George nodded again.
"George, you said you remember bits and pieces?"
There was silence for a moment, and then the question came. "Why'd you do it?"
Her tone wasn't accusatory. It wasn't angry, or upset. It was quiet, but there was a sense of desperate urgency to the question that made George do a double take. Her question had hit really close to home.
"It was Fred," he began, and in part that was true. In George's life, the only times when he had gotten completely sloshed; it had been because of Fred. The first time was the night of his funeral, and then again on his first birthday afterward. There had been a few others, but now it wasn't just Fred. This time was different because it had been about her too. The past few months she had slowly invaded his brain. He had imagined her, and dreamed about her for a while, but she was Fred's girl. He had made peace with Fred's death, but he hadn't expected this. He hadn't expected to fall for Angelina. "It was Fred, but it was something else too."
Angelina waited expectantly for him to go on, but he wasn't sure he had the words to say what he really felt.
"Damn it, its you," George began rather desperately. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "You were always with Fred all the time. The way he cared about you…you were one of the most important things in the world to him. We used to talk, and he would tell me how he saw his future with you, and what you would do together. He loved you, and that was great. And I made peace with Fred; he's gone and I can't change that. But I never expected this to happen, and I don't know how to handle it."
George spoke slowly now, as if each word had been carefully measured and weighed before spoken. "I never expected to fall in love with you. I tried not to, but after Fred died, you were always there. You helped me reopen the shop, and you've just always been there. It's hard not to see what Fred saw in you, and when I started to feel…you know, that way…about you, it made the guilt come back all over again. I don't know how to handle it."
He had not reopened his eyes. George was sure he could sense the shock on her face, so the comforting hand on his forehead came as a complete surprise. "I won't blame you if you want me to leave. I'll go. I won't bother you anymore." George tried to get up with great effort, only to find that the hand on his forehead had moved to his chest and softly pushed him back into bed.
"George, look at me. I understand that you're working through this, and that's going to take a while George. It's not just going to go away overnight. But I want you to know that you're not alone. I've been dealing with almost the same thing. I used to love Fred. I still love Fred, but lately, my feelings for you have made me feel like I'm betraying him."
George looked at her, startled. Had his ears betrayed him, or had she just said that she had feelings for him?
"I sometimes think about it. Wouldn't Fred want us to be happy? Wouldn't he be happy with the fact that we're looking after each other? It's going to take time to work through this, but I just want you to know that I'm here when you're ready."
George grasped her hand in his, gently caressing it with his thumb. "You know the worst part about all of this?"
George smiled faintly. "The first time I kiss you, and I don't even get to remember it."
She laughed. It was a wonderfully distinct laugh. It wasn't dainty or sweet like the women from the romance novels his mother loved so much, but rather a loud, warm-hearted laugh that rang out for the entire world to hear. "Then remember this," she said, and she leaned over and placed a soft kiss on his lips.
He smiled. He still felt like crap. He still had a fever, and still couldn't breathe. He still felt queasy, and he wasn't sure if that was from the eggs or the guilt. He still had a long way to go before he was okay. It would take a while, but as George lay there in her bed, one thing became clear: they'd make it. Together.
*The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, states that taking pain medications, fever reducers, and sleeping medications, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and diphenhydramine can cause stomach upset, bleeding and ulcers, liver damage, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, sleepiness, dizziness, slowed or difficulty breathing, impaired motor control, unusual behavior, and/or memory problems. George's behavior is based on these reactions.
**You know you're writing your Master's thesis when you write a fanfic chapter (to take a break from thesis writing), and you feel like you need to cite everything, and you realize that its really hard to do footnotes in 's document manager...