Disclaimer: Not my characters, as you certainly know. I am just borrowing them!
Huge thanks to Katy and Kerichi who are betaing this for me! You're helping so much!
This is a story that switches back and forth in time telling the story about the relationship of Alicia Spinnet and George Weasley. I know it is sort of AU now because JKR said that George marries Angelina. But I think if you take only the books it might have happened that way. The actual timeline of this story starts after the end of DH but there will be a lot of flashback scenes, so read the date at the top of each chapter carefully otherwise you might get confused.
Chapter one was originally a one-shot called 'The Reunion', but I ended up turning this into my longest ever fanfiction. Please enjoy reading it and don't forget to tell me your opinion afterwards!
December 28th, 1999
For a first date, a Hogwarts reunion feast seemed to be an odd choice, Alicia knew that. But Evan had agreed. After all, he had once been a Hogwarts student, too, before Alicia's time, though.
For days Alicia hadn't been sure whether she should look forward to the reunion or dread it. Of course, it would be fun seeing Oliver, Lee and Katie and Angelina there. But there was also the one person she wasn't sure she would want to see – although it had already been almost a year since they had broken up. Eleven months to be exact. A long time, but maybe not long enough –
As if he could read her mind Evan chose that moment to say, "So – your ex-boyfriend will be there, too, won't he?"
"Yes," said Alicia. "But don't worry – he will probably ignore me completely." Like he hadn't ignored her before she broke up.
They were walking up the snow covered path towards the castle. There was nobody else outside. They were late – most of the other students had probably arrived already. When they entered the castle they saw a few people standing in the Entrance Hall. Among their midst Alicia spotted a burly, redheaded wizard in his mid-twenties whom she recognised as Charlie Weasley. He shot her a look that made Alicia think if looks could kill, she would be dead by now. Evan had seen it, too.
"Isn't he one of George's brothers?" he asked, indicating Charlie.
Alicia sighed, "Yes, he is. Guess I shouldn't have expected any kindness from him."
"Did you and George have such a big fight when you broke up?"
Alicia frowned. "No, we didn't have a fight at all. Listen, I don't want to talk about George, okay? And you wouldn't want to hear it, trust me."
"Okay, that's fine with me – I'd rather not talk about your ex, either."
They walked into the Great Hall and Alicia turned around to find somebody she knew. It wasn't as easy as she had expected. The Great Hall was overwhelmingly full. That was a bit of a surprise because Professor McGonagall had only just invented this new tradition after the war. But it was already popular. The first time, last year, Alicia had come with George.
But this year it was Evan who was walking by her side. Several witches shot her envious glances. She could understand why; tall and well-built with broad shoulders, Evan looked like he had just jumped out of the latest edition of Witch Weekly. Plus, he was turning thirty in two months and he was wealthy. Alicia had met him at work. They both worked for the ministry.
A voice calling out distracted her from her thoughts and she turned around to see Angelina Johnson and Katie Bell coming towards her, beaming.
"God, it's good to see you," said Alicia, when they hugged her.
"You too!" said Katie. "Oh – and you haven't come alone, I see."
Katie looked Evan up and down, curiously. Alicia smiled to herself. She knew that her friend was checking him out.
"Where's Lee?" asked Alicia, grinning.
Katie blushed, looking slightly guilty. "Oh, er – dunno. Said he wanted to say hi to somebody he works with and walked off with George a couple of minutes ago." Her eyes fell upon Evan again. "Now, are you going to introduce us, or what?"
Alicia introduced Evan to her two friends and then she asked where they were sitting. Angelina pointed at a table at the far end of the room. "Over there, see Oliver? By the way, George is sitting with us, too. Hope that's alright for you, otherwise you'll have to find a different table."
"Oh," said Alicia, looking up into Evan's face. "As long as I don't have to sit next to him – I won't, will I?"
"No," said Katie, shaking her head.
"I mean it's not like I didn't know he was probably going to be here. Do you know if he came alone?" Alicia had no idea why she had asked that question. Angelina and Katie looked taken aback, too. They threw glances at each other before they turned to Alicia again.
"Yes," said Katie finally. "He came alone."
"But why do you care?" said Angelina. "Now come on everybody, it's almost time to eat."
The food was always the best about the Hogwarts feasts. Alicia was sure that for some former students the food was the only reason to come to the reunion.
"Yeah, Lee's a good example," said Katie half-joking half-annoyed, when Alicia told her friends about her suspicion. "As if he's not had anything for weeks – I mean it's been two days since Christmas, for Godric's sake!"
"Yeah," giggled Angelina. "You had better watch it – he'll be twice his size in no time if he goes on like this."
Katie pulled a face and stuck out her tongue at Angelina. "We can't all be together with Quidditch heroes and male super models," she mumbled.
Alicia turned to Angelina. "So, it's true? You and Oliver?"
Angelina looked uneasy. "Well, kind of. Not too sure, yet, where it's going to go, though. Oh – here they come."
Alicia turned to look the way her friend was indicating, and her heart started beating faster, because, indeed, there was Lee Jordan walking towards them, followed closely by the man, Alicia had both, dreaded and wanted, most to see.
Alicia noticed that he hadn't changed much since their break-up. Okay, it had only been eleven months but for some strange reason Alicia had thought he would have changed. Alicia had had her hair cut short and bought a pile of new clothes after the break-up.
She realised that she was staring at George, when suddenly he looked up and their eyes met. He didn't look surprised to see her. Curiously he glanced over at Evan, standing next to Alicia, and a hint of a frown appeared on his face. It was barely visible but Alicia knew him well enough to notice.
Alicia introduced Lee and George to Evan. When they shook hands, Alicia noticed that George and Evan were eyeing each other suspiciously. Alicia had to admit that next to her date her ex-boyfriend looked rather inconspicious, small even.
"Let's sit, everybody, food must be served any minute," said Lee, abruptly ending the uneasy silence that had fallen
"Do you ever think about anything else but food?" asked Katie, rolling her eyes but smirking all the same.
Lee just grinned at her and winked.
Alicia sat next to Evan and was relieved when George sat down next to Lee, far away from them and on their side of the table, so they couldn't see each other. Minutes later the food appeared on the tables and they all started eating.
When they were finished with eating and comfortably stuffed Evan bent over to Alicia and told her, "I just saw somebody from my year. I'll go over and say hi, is that okay? I won't be long, though."
"Sure," said Alicia, who was actually glad for getting the chance to talk to her girlfriends for while without him listening. "Sure, I'll be here."
Evan grinned. "Will you dance with me later?"
"Sure," said Alicia again and smiled sweetly. But when he was gone, she felt slightly relieved for some reason.
"Wow, Leesh, you are one lucky girl," said Katie excitedly as soon as Evan was out of earshot.
"I am? Why?"
"Well, look at him." Katie pointed over to where Evan was talking to a wizard about his own age, who was wearing expensive dress robes, just like him.
"Would you give up your relationship with Lee? To to be with somebody like Evan?" asked Alicia.
She must have sounded a bit harsh. Katie looked at her, surprised. "No, of course not."
"What are you on about?" asked Katie, but then it seemed to dawn on her. "Oh right, I see. It's about George, isn't it? You're still not over him."
"I am – I'm the one who broke up, remember?" said Alicia quietly so George wouldn't hear. "This has nothing to do with George, okay?"
"Yeah sure," said Katie sarcastically.
Before Alicia could say anything else the music began to play. Soon Angelina and Oliver and Katie and Lee went off to dance and George vanished off somewhere, too. Alicia saw him dancing with his younger sister, whose boyfriend – famous Harry Potter – had probably refused to dance. (The boy could defend the world against Death Eaters and the most powerful dark wizard of their times, but he couldn't dance to save his life.)
Evan was still talking to his old school friends, and so Alicia sat alone, sipping her drink.
"Care to dance?" said a vaguely familiar voice suddenly, startling Alicia. She almost spilled her drink. Turning around to she found herself staring into a once handsome, but now terribly scarred face, framed by long red hair.
"Bill Weasley. Now, that's a surprise." She smiled and took the hand he offered, letting him lead her to the dance-floor.
"Why is it such a surprise, seeing me here?" he asked.
"I didn't mean seeing you here, I'm just surprised that you want to dance with me."
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Because I thought you hated me, too. I saw Charlie earlier and I was almost afraid that he was going to hex me."
Bill shook his head and smirked, "Don't take him too seriously. Charlie has inherited our Mum's temper – once he's angry it takes a while until he gets over it."
"So – you're not angry with me?"
"I have to admit that I was, at first. Just after you left George –"
"I have hurt him, haven't I?"
"He doesn't talk about it but – well, yes, you probably have. But I know my little brother, and he's not as innocent as he likes to pretend. He has hurt you too. I don't think it was his intention but he hurt you all the same."
"He was so distant, I couldn't get through to him," Alicia explained. Her eyes were stinging as she fought back the tears. "He wasn't the same, anymore, after Fred died. I tried to put up with the situation. I tried for months but he was – I dunno – just like a stranger."
"I know," said Bill, sadly. "And I don't expect you to apologise." He remained quiet for moment, staring past her. But soon enough, his smile returned, "So, it's you and Evan Delavera now, huh?"
"Oh – er, not really. It's just a first date. Do you know him?"
"Hardly," said Bill shaking his head. "He was Head Boy when I was in sixth year. And I always kind of looked up to him. He was very popular back in the day." He grinned, "Not that I could ever complain –"
Alicia laughed. "Old swank," she said to Bill. "Just like Fred, showing of and all –"
At the mention of his dead younger brother's name, the smile disappeared from Bill's face once more, and he suddenly looked very serious. Realising what she had said, Alicia felt embarrassed and very stupid. "Oh Godric, I'm sorry."
"No, it's okay", said Bill. "We can't avoid mentioning him all the time, can we? That's what we all keep telling George, but he still refuses to listen to us. He doesn't seem to understand that it's very hard for the rest of us, too. We're all missing Fred."
For change of subject and out of cusiosity, Alicia asked Bill, "Does George have somebody new?" The question had been on her mind all evening, no matter how hard she tried not to think about it.
Bill shook his head. "I don't think so. At least he hasn't brought any other girl home, yet, to introduce to the family. But, of course, I don't really know who he spends his time with these days."
"Mostly Lee, probably," said Alicia. "And Ron since he's working the shop with him."
Bill nodded. "Yeah, probably. Maybe you should ask Lee or Ron, then, if you don't want to talk to George." He glanced at his watch. "Listen, I have to leave. I promised Fleur I wouldn't be home too late."
"Why didn't she come?"
"She wasn't feeling so good. Besides, she never was a Hogwarts student, so it's not all that interesting for her. It was good to see you, Alicia." After hugging Alicia briefly Bill got ready to leave.
"You too, Bill," said Alicia. "And thanks."
Alicia stared after him for a while, thinking about his words. Bill was right – there had been a reason, why she had broken up with George, and it hadn't really been an easy decision. And still she wondered sometimes if maybe there would have been a chance for them – if she only had tried harder, been more patient.
Evan was still chatting with some old school friends, and so Alicia went back to the table where she had sat with her friends earlier. Nobody was there except Lee.
"Wanna dance?" asked he, when he saw her. "Gotta work off all those calories, otherwise Katie will probably make me go running with her, tomorrow. I hate running."
Alicia couldn't help smiling at that. "Speaking of Katie, where is she?"
"Dancing with your ex-boyfriend."
"Oh yeah? Well, why not? He came alone, didn't he?"
Lee nodded. "Yeah. His new girlfriend had go to work tonight. She works as a waitress in that new restaurant in Diagon Alley."
Alicia's heart started to beat faster at the words. "He's got a new girlfriend?" she asked, trying to keep the emotion out of her voice.
"Of course he does," said Lee. "What did you expect? I don't think it's very serious, though. I guess they're just – well, never mind."
"Just what, Lee?"
"Well –" said Lee sheepishly. "Just shagging, that's all."
"Do I know her?"
"Probably – she was in Katie's year. Linda Abbott. She's got a sister who was in Harry Potter's year."
"Oh, yeah. Yeah, I remember her," said Alicia. "She's very pretty, isn't she?"
Lee grinned. "Not prettier than you, my darling."
"Oh, shut up. You already have a girl," said Alicia, laughing.
After dancing with Lee, Alicia danced with Evan, but after a couple of songs he suddenly suggested that they leave and go somewhere else. Alicia agreed, following him outside. It was snowing. No sooner the doors had fallen shut behind them Evan pulled Alicia into his arms and kissed her gently.
It was the first kiss in Alicia's life which she didn't share with George. (Unless that awkward experience she had once shared with Lee in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom when they were in their third year could be counted.) Sometimes she wondered if maybe that was strange as she was almost twenty-two.
By then, there had never been anybody else for her. She had started going out with George for a while during their sixth year at Hogwarts after the Yule Ball. That relationship had ended when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had returned. When they were eighteen they had started a second try and their relationship had lasted until after the war. Even now, eleven months after their break-up, Alicia found it hard imagining herself with somebody else. But then, here she was – with Evan.
It wasn't the same, though.
Well, of course it's not the same, silly, said a voice inside her head.
It started with the way they kissed. Evan's kiss was slow and gentle, while George's had been rougher but also more passionate. And the way Evan was holding her – like she was something extremely fragile. She knew she was supposed to like it, but wasn't sure if she really did.
But then, she thought, that would probably it come in time. She'd just have to get to know him better, and then everything would be fine.
When the kiss finally ended Evan brought his mouth close to her ear. "Let's go home," he whispered.
"Home?" said Alicia, suddenly scared.
"Well, we don't have to –"
"No. I mean – yes. Yes we can go home. My place or yours?" said Alicia, quickly. If her stupid ex-boyfriend could have a sex life without her then so could she.
"Where ever you like."
"Okay, then we'll go to my place," said Alicia, knowing she would feel much more comfortable if she was in her own flat.
They Apparated, materialising right in front of the house Alicia lived in, and she let them in. All the time Evan hadn't let go of her, holding her hand firmly in his own large one. The moment the door had closed behind them, he bent down and started kissing Alicia again. After a while she broke free.
"Do you want – can I get you anything?" she asked awkwardly.
Smiling, Evan shook his head. "All I want is you –"
It was easy to guess what he meant by that, and Alicia let him kiss her some more, although she wasn't sure if it really felt the way it should – no matter how much she wanted it to.
Evan's hand slid up her front and started unbuttoning her blouse. He knew exactly what he was doing.
It was a new experience to Alicia, because her first time with George had been completely different. Neither of them had had any sexual experiences and both had been insecure and clumsy.
With a pang, she suddenly realised how much she longed for George – everything about him. His touches, his looks, his smiles as much his occasional lack of manners and even his obnoxious jokes. She missed his laughter, even the tears he had cried after Fred had died. The way he had made her feel to be the only person he'd ever let in. Apart from his twin brother.
Unable to understand or help the change that had been going on with George when he had begun to realise that Fred was gone and would never come back – unable to deal with the distance he had started to put between himself and everybody else, including Alicia – unable to cope with all of this, she had finally decided to bear with the consequences and had walked away from him.
Evan was placing gentle kisses on her collarbone now, pulling Alicia back to the present as he started to push her lightly towards the bedroom door. Panic rose in Alicia. She didn't want this. Not tonight.
And not with Evan.
She tried to push him away. "Evan. Evan, stoppit!"
He stopped kissing her, his eyes finding hers, looking surprised. "What is wrong?"
"I – I – we can't do this! I'm sorry, I can't –"
"But I thought –"
"I said I can't," snapped Alicia. "Please, leave." She barely met his eyes as she added, in a whisper, "I'm sorry."
With a sigh, Evan backed away from her, raising his hands, defensively. "Alright, alright, I'll go. I don't know what I have done wrong, though." He didn't sound angry only confused, but Alicia didn't feel able to explain. So she merely shrugged.
"Do you really want me to leave?" asked Evan, sounding disappointed now. "I mean, we really don't have to – you know –" With a nod he indicated towards her bedroom.
"No, I want to be alone," Alicia said, avoiding his eyes.
"Okay, I'll go. But does this mean, that you and I, that this was it?"
"I don't know," said Alicia quietly.
"Will you let me know when you found out?" asked Evan, although Alicia couldn't shake the feeling that he was only asking out of politeness. His interest in her must have run low after how this evening had ended.
"Yeah, sure. I'll walk you down."
"You don't have to," said Evan, looking at her with compassion she hadn't expected. Maybe he did understand, after all. "And don't worry too much about this. I think, you put yourself in situation that went over your head. You should probably try and find out what you really want."
"You're not angry?"
"No, just a little disappointed. And sorry."
"What do you feel sorry for?"
"For making you feel uncomfortable."
Alicia felt guilty. "Let me at least walk you down, then."
When he was gone, Alicia remained standing in the doorway for a moment, staring into the direction where she had last seen Evan before he had Disapparated. But it was still snowing and cold, and Alicia shivered. She was on her way back inside when, suddenly, another person materialised out of thin air – tall, with untidy red hair –
"George!" exclaimed Alicia. "What are you doing here?"
He didn't answer right away, and for moment Alicia thought she might be dreaming. But then George began to talk and she knew that it was him and he was real.
"I wanted to talk to you." He was looking at his feet, as if afraid to meet her eyes. That was very unusual behaviour for George Weasley, but then again, he hadn't acted like himself for months. "But then I saw that you had the lights on and that, er –"
"Well, I could see the two of you through the window. So I Apparated back home and tried to get to sleep but I couldn't and then I got up again and Apparated back here and that moment you were opening the door and I Disapparated so you wouldn't see me and now I'm back again." He finally paused for a moment. "Is he gone?"
"Yes, he's gone," said Alicia impatiently. "Now could please tell me what this is about?"
Rubbing his hands together, George said, "Can we go inside? I'm freezing my arse off out here."
"Is this going to take long?" asked Alicia as she moved aside a bit to let him slip past her into the warm house.
"No, I don't think it will take long," said George walking up the stairs to Alicia's flat. Alicia let them both in and offered George a cup of tea which he refused. She made one for herself, though.
Sipping the hot tea, carefully, she waited for George to elaborate, but he seemed to want to put it off. He took a look around, curiously.
"Nothing has changed here," he said, pulling off his thick winter cloak. Underneath, he was wearing the same jeans and thin t-shirt he had worn at the reunion earlier.
"No wonder you were freezing outside in this," said Alicia. She pointed her wand at the fireplace to light a fire. "So, what do you want to talk to me about?"
Instead of answering George started pacing the small room, still not looking at her. "Who was he?" he asked.
"That bloke you've been with."
"Well," said Alicia, "although it isn't any of your business, his name's Evan Delavera. I know him from work."
"Is he your new boyfriend?"
"I wouldn't call him that. Not yet, at least."
"U-huh," said George, still pacing, but slower now. Finally he came to a halt, lifted his head and for the first time since he had arrived, his eyes found Alicia's and then he said, "I want you back."
"What?" said Alicia, completely taken aback.
"I said I want you back," repeated George, his green eyes looking dark in the half-lit room and his voice sounding determined.
"Yeah, I heard you," said Alicia.
"Why did you ask, then?"
Staring at him, disbelievingly, Alicia needed a few moments to find an answer. "It's not that easy, George."
"I thought you would say that," he replied in a serious tone. "Honestly, and I am willing to wait, if I have to."
"I thought you had a new girlfriend," said Alicia.
"Who told you?"
"Well, he must have misunderstood that, then," said George, frowning. "We're not together, we've just –"
"So?" said George angrily. "You sleep with other men, don't you?"
Now Alicia was furious, almost too furious to find words. "No, I don't," she finally hissed.
"Oh, so he was here just for a cup of coffee, then, was he? You know, I'm not stupid!"
"As I said, this is none of your business. I broke up with you, and my love-life does not concern you anymore," shouted Alicia.
She expected him to shout back, but to her surprise he just stared at her, his expression unreadable. Finally he said, "You really meant it then?"
"Breaking up with me."
His words made Alicia gape at him open-mouthed. "Of course, I meant it, George. What the hell did you think?" she asked.
George didn't answer right away. He was staring down at his feet again and moved over to the fireplace. In the light of the fire Alicia could see his face better. He was looking confused.
"I thought we were just – er, sort of taking a break. I mean, we both needed a little time to ourselves, I agreed with that, but I would have never expected for you to move on. At least not yet. I always thought we were going to work it out some day."
Alicia was speechless.
"So, seems like I was wrong, doesn't it?" George continued.
"I – I don't know," said Alicia quietly. "It's not that easy."
There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence, before George grabbed his cloak and pulled it on. "Okay, I think I had better go."
Alicia nodded, quietly, looking after him as he left and still staring at the door, long after he had closed it. Strangely, she felt like she was missing him even more, now.