Disclaimer: "Harry Potter" is the property of JK Rowling.

Ten Minutes

Fred Weasley spotted her head the minute he and George entered the Gryffindor Common Room. Bent over something, studying it intently, she didn't even glance up as they came in. Judging by the amount of noise the two of them were making, he had to conclude that this was studiously practiced disinterest on her part. Her hair, he noticed, was different, and he made a mental note to tell her he liked it, in the hopes that it would help get him back in her good graces. Because obviously, he wasn't in them right now.

He turned to George to tell him that he needed to say hello to her, but George was already giving him an amused look. "Go ahead, then, I'll wait," he said.

"I won't be long," Fred assured him.

George snorted. "You're speaking with Angelina, right?"

With a smirk, Fred wove his way to the other side of the room and vaulted over the sofa, landing next to Angelina Johnson with a bounce and a wide grin on his face. "Have a good summer, Angie?"

She made a great show of scribbling something down on the parchment and said absently, "Hm? Oh, yes, fine. You?"

"Smashing," he told her brightly, to which she made a noncommittal noise. His eyes flicked across the room to George, who gave him a sympathetic look and a shrug. Fred looked back at Angelina determinedly, and she determinedly ignored him. So it was going to be like that, was it? "You seem overjoyed to see me."

His sarcasm finally made her glance up at him. The annoyed expression on her face wasn't exactly what he wanted to see, but it was better than nothing. Her lips were pursed in irritation, but he couldn't help thinking that she still looked adorable. Not, of course, that this was the time to tell her that. "Taking a hint, are you, Weasley?" Without another word, she turned her head away and stared resolutely at her parchment again. He just watched her. Her eyes remained completely stationary and there was an occasional twitch in her cheek. "What?" she finally snapped, though she still didn't look at him.

He smiled at her and knew she noticed, because her eyes narrowed. If she was still upset at him in ten minutes, then he'd start worrying. Not a year had come at Hogwarts that Angelina was pleased to see him. He felt fairly certain that, in a way, she was testing him to make sure that he was interested enough in her to put up with it. And from any other girl, he wouldn't have. But this was Angelina, and...well, he'd always been a bit stupid about her, as George delighted in reminding him.

"Want to tell me why you're angry at me?" he asked.

"Maybe I'd like you to work it out on your own."

He ran a finger up her arm, just experimentally, to see what she would do -- and not at all because, at that moment, her skin looked like absolutely the best thing in the world to touch -- and she shifted away from him. Hm, so this might be a little more difficult that he'd first imagined. "Help me out."

When she turned to him, the scowl on her face was so fierce that he nearly jumped. "Well, let's see," she said, sarcasm dripping from her voice, "perhaps because you didn't attempt to see me? Once? All summer? And that you didn't even bother to write?"

"I wrote!" he said, a little defensive.

"Oh, right, how could I forget those poignant lines you penned? What was it, 'wish you were here,' or something to that effect?"

"Er." This wasn't going well. He was pretty sure he hadn't actually written that, but it probably wasn't far off.

"And it's not that I don't expect it from you, because really, Fred, I do," she spat, "and if this were a normal year, then maybe I wouldn't mind so much, but I guess you've forgotten what happened in June!"

The smile had slipped off his face, but he held her gaze. "I haven't," he told her quietly. "Believe me, I haven't."

"I mean, I could've been hurt or killed or...who knows!" she went on. "Or you could've! And how would I have known? I wouldn't have!"

He raised an eyebrow. "You were worried about me?"

That brought her up short. "I..." she began in a frustrated tone, and then, in an apparent attempt to salvage her control of the situation, flared, "That's not the point!"

"You were, though."

A flustered look crept onto her face, and Fred couldn't help feeling a little smug. He was still well under ten minutes, after all. "You still should've written," she muttered with a scowl. "And I'm not forgiving you, either, if that's what you think."

He tilted his head a little. "Not even if I say I'm sorry?"


"Well, I am sorry."

There was a glower on her face, but Fred could tell she was struggling to remain upset with him. Which was definitely a relief. Not that she wasn't perfectly right to be -- actually, she nearly always was -- he had to admit to himself. He'd been an arse not to write to her, at least.

She broke eye contact with him. "That doesn't change anything."

"I know." It was a shame he couldn't tell her anything about what he'd been doing that summer; it might predispose her to be slightly more forgiving. Somehow, though, he didn't think the Order would much appreciate him blowing their cover so his girlfr-- Well, so that Angelina wouldn't be upset at him. "Anything I can do that might?"

With a sigh, she replied, "I don't think so."

Taking a chance, he reached out and wrapped her hand in his. "You sure?"

For a long moment, Angelina stared at their entwined fingers. Things could really go either way at this point. She might whip her hand out of his and storm off to bed, where she would rant about him to Alicia, which would result in stony treatment from both of them for at least the next day and possibly on into Quidditch practices. All things considered, it would be preferable if they could be on speaking terms in classes tomorrow.

Finally, she said, "Try something, then."

With a grin, Fred leaned towards her and kissed her gently. Thankfully, she responded. He pulled back and asked, "How's that?"

"Is snogging your answer to everything?" she said, arching an eyebrow.

"Just the important things."

She laughed a little and gave his hand a squeeze. "Check back tomorrow on whether or not I'm still ignoring you."

Fred snorted. "Could you give me an idea of my prospects?"

Standing up and ruffling his hair, she replied, "Well, they depend."

"On what?"

If he didn't know better, he would have said she was giving him a sly look. "On what else you come up with to convince me to forgive you." With that, she ascended the stairs to her dormitory, giving George a cheery, "Hullo," on the way, and leaving Fred with a somewhat foolish grin on his face.

That had gone brilliantly -- and it was under ten minutes, too.