Disclaimer: "Harry Potter" is the property of J.K. Rowling. Title from the song "Love Show" by Skye.
Sit Down, Give Me Your Hand, I'm Gonna Tell You the Future
Rain was pounding on the roof and windows when Angelina heard a knock on the door of her building. The suddenness and loudness of it, along with the lateness of the hour, made her jump and drop the book sitting in her lap, which she had been staring at without really seeing for nearly ten minutes. Heart racing, she got quietly to her feet and pulled the curtain back an inch to peek out the window. A cloaked and hooded figure was standing outside, and just as she had decided it was safe to ignore the visitor and go back to her book (and actually reading it), the figure glanced up and looked straight at her window and the slit of light showing out into the alley.
Swearing, she dropped the curtain back into place and rocked back on her heels. There was nothing for it, now -- whoever it was had seen her and knew she was there. She'd have to go down and see who it was and just hope that it wasn't a Death Eater come to call about her broadcasting on Potterwatch. Though, in all honesty, she didn't know who else would be here at this time on such a wretched night. All her friends were lying low and she'd told few people where she lived.
Once she'd crept down the dark, narrow staircase, she paused with her hand on the doorknob, fingering her wand nervously. She could still hope that whoever it was wouldn't batter his way in, and then she could just go to bed and not worry about it...not that there was much chance of that. Better to meet him on her own terms.
She took a deep breath and swiftly yanked the door open, whipping her wand out in front of her as she did so.
"I know I don't Floo enough, Angelina, but this wasn't quite the greeting I was expecting."
"Fred!" she hissed, shock and delight warring with each other in her voice.
He flashed a grin at her, that adorable grin that had had her from that first time at King's Cross, and stepped inside, pushing his hood off. The cloak hadn't kept him dry at all -- his red hair was plastered to his head and water was dripping off his nose, which made Angelina laugh as she hugged him enthusiastically. It had never felt so good to be in his arms; he seemed stronger, more real. Or maybe it was just that the world had gotten so uncertain and terrifying.
Fred held her more tightly and for longer than was, perhaps, strictly appropriate, considering the vague nature of their relationship, and if the world were normal, she would not have let him rub her back so intimately.
"Come upstairs," she said quietly, pulling away from him. She almost took his hand, but the moment had broken, somehow, and it felt too forward.
Once she'd shut the door and bolted it, Fred removed his dripping cloak and hung it in the bathroom, and when he came out, he was mostly dry. "You missed a couple spots," she observed.
He waved a hand dismissively and looked at her for a moment, then said, "You've had a haircut."
"Oh." She touched her hair, cut short now, self-consciously. "Yeah. I thought it would be a good idea. Everyone says it makes me look different."
"Well, I'd recognize you, though I admit I'm not the best test," he told her with a smile. "I like it. It's nice."
There were a few seconds of awkward silence between them, and then both of them began to speak at once, which meant, of course, that neither of them heard a word the other said. Angelina smiled a little. "You first. It must be important for you to come out here on a night like this."
He hesitated a moment before returning her smile and replying, "Yeah, it is." He paused again, apparently gathering his thoughts, and Angelina watched him carefully, noting his seriousness. How they had all changed in the past year.
"I've been thinking," he began, meeting her gaze steadily, "that no one knows what's going to happen anymore."
"Quite," she said dryly, and a grin flickered across his face in response.
"I mean, anyone could be dead tomorrow," he went on bluntly. "Like you or me. And I realized that if...that happened, then I might never have told you all the things that I've always meant to tell you."
Angelina blanched. "Fred, don't...neither of us is going to die."
He raised an eyebrow. "Considering your marks in Divination, I don't find that particularly comforting."
Despite herself, she smiled, though it felt taut and brittle to her. "It's hard to think about...those sorts of things."
Folding her arms across her chest, she conceded, "But you're right, anything could happen."
Fred took a few steps towards her but stopped abruptly before reaching her side. "Maybe I'm being paranoid." With a crooked grin, he continued, "Maybe we'll both be fine. Maybe...I don't know, maybe we'll end up getting married and having loads of kids, and..." He trailed off, at a loss for words, before saying quietly, "That would be nice, wouldn't it?"
Her throat constricted painfully for a moment. "Yeah," she answered just as softly, when she could speak again, "it would be."
They met each other's eyes again, and when Fred remained rooted to the spot, she set her shoulders and closed the distance between them. Taking his hand in hers, she began, "Fred --"
And then he was kissing her, fiercely and desperately, one hand still gripped in hers and the other on her shoulder, pulling her closer. She hardly had a chance to respond before he broke away, breathing heavily. Pink-faced, he said, "Erm, that wasn't exactly what I meant to do."
"Oh?" she asked faintly. Her mind was still on the kiss -- mostly that she wished it were still taking place.
"No." Deliberately, he took her other hand. "I'm a bit of a prat. I've been one, that is." When she raised her eyebrows expectantly, he went on, "I...um, well, I love you, and I didn't really realize it, and then when I did I didn't tell you..."
"Fred," she interrupted, and he stopped speaking to look at her. "I love you too, but you're being a prat right now." His expression changed to something between bemusement and laughter. "You cannot kiss me like that and then talk for fifteen minutes!"
That made him laugh aloud as he slid his arms around her waist. "I think it was closer to three minutes, but point taken. And that's the last time I take the apologetic route."
Then he kissed her again, slowly and deeply this time, the sort of kiss that led to exploring hands and shed clothes and bed. It wasn't the first time they'd been together, but it might have been the best, which Angelina told him afterwards as they lay in each other's arms, sweaty and contentedly relaxed.
"I won't tell you I've been practicing," he said into her hair, and she could tell he was smiling.
"Please don't," she replied, making him chuckle.
He shifted, propped himself up on an elbow, and leaned down, brushing his lips against hers gently. "You know," he murmured in between kisses, "I meant what I said -- about getting married?"
She furrowed her brow and brushed a piece of hair away from his forehead. "Let's not make each other any promises." She left unsaid that it felt like a jinx, and that if something horrible were to happen, it would make it unimaginably worse to lose a fiancé and the possibility of marriage and a family.
"Okay." The look he gave her told her that he knew exactly what she was thinking. "No promises." He wrapped his arms around her tightly. "But..."
"Yes," she answered, nestling against him.
"I thought you said no promises," he remarked wryly.
"What promise?" She looked at him, one eyebrow arched coyly. "That 'yes' might've been for anything."
He snorted. "True. Maybe it was 'yes, Fred, I'd like you to stay the night?"
"I think it was."
As Angelina drifted off to sleep, lulled by the warmth of Fred's body next to hers and his steady breathing, she couldn't help thinking that she may not know the future -- in some ways, she didn't even want to think about it -- but that this moment of light with Fred would get her there and, hopefully, get her through it.