Disclaimer: I own nothing! J.K. Rowling is the one true owner of Harry Potter!
The party was much needed affair. It gave everyone a small respite from the pure stress they'd all been under for so long. Moody had brought an old Order of the Phoenix group picture and was telling Harry stories, Tonks was entertaining anyone near her with her metamorphogus skills, and Mrs. Weasley was running around being a very wonderful host. I had found a spot in the corner of the kitchen and was watching everyone. Harry was mollified because Sirius and his father hadn't been prefects either. So I was happy for him for that. About halfway through the night Mrs. Weasley had gone upstairs to deal with a boggart Moody had identified that was trapped in a desk. I had followed shortly after. As I walked by the room with the boggart I saw Mrs. Weasley kneeling on the floor sobbing, a figure spread eagle in front of her, entirely too pale. I walked into the room and saw that it was Fred. I let out a quick scream before regaining my composure. Fred was downstairs with George. I'd seen him as I walked out of the kitchen. So what on Earth was this?
"Mrs. Weasley?" I asked quietly dropping down to my knees next to her. She managed to get out a word through the sobs, but it wasn't at me.
"Riddikulus!" she sobbed, but it did nothing. Fred was replaced by his twin. Each one of her efforts just brought a new dead family member. Then Harry. Then me. My stomach rolled and my hands were shaking at each new vision.
"Mrs. Weasley go! Let someone else do this..." As I said this Lupin rushed in followed by Harry and Fred. Lupin took a look at Mrs. Weasley and I on the floor then the boggart (currently a dead Bill) and took the situation in stride. As soon as the boggart was gone the three of them knelt down on the floor next to us. Harry grabbed my hand, steadying my shaking, while Fred wrapped an arm around my shoulders.
"Oh I'm so sorry. What must you think of me! Not even able to manage a boggart," Mrs. Weasley choked out. "Just don't tell Arthur. I don't want him to worry."
"Mrs. Weasley, we don't think any less of you," I whispered. "It's a terrible time, you're allowed to be afraid." She looked at me with a watery smile and threw her arms around me pulling me close. After she let go, Lupin sent Harry, Fred and I to bed. The three of us quietly made our way upstairs, still connected the way we had been in the room.
"You okay Hannah?" Fred asked gently.
"Yeah I'm fine. I mean, it wasn't real or anything. It just scared me. Walking by a room and seeing you lying on the floor dead." I shuddered at the memory and Harry held my hand tighter. We walked in silence until we got to Harry and Ron's room. He turned to me looking me over.
"You sure you're okay?" I nodded and smiled.
"I'm positive. Go get some sleep okay?" I detached myself from Fred's arm to give Harry a hug. "I'll see you in the morning." He nodded and went into his room and Fred and I continued to his floor. I let out a shaky sigh and Fred pulled me into a hug. I didn't relax into this one though. I really couldn't afford to be more attached to anyone than I already was. Seeing him dead, even if it was just a boggart had driven home how much I cared for him. How much I really did like him. With a war on and his death, all of our deaths, a legitimate fear, getting closer was not a good idea.
"Hannah look at me," he said quietly, lifting my head up to meet his eyes. "What's going on that you aren't telling me?" His eyes pierced me so deeply that I couldn't look at him anymore. I stepped back and turned away from him.
"Nothing. I'm just startled and tired and...tired." I turned back to him and he was shaking his head.
"You're such a bad liar Hannah. You always have been. Now," He stepped closer and looked me in the eye. "What's wrong."
"It just scared me seeing you dead. Really that's it."
"You've been acting weird all summer Hannah. Tell me. Please?" He reached out to pull me into a hug but I backed away again.
"I'm fine! Just let it alone okay?" I moved away from him but he grabbed my arm.
"No, Hannah. You're not," He said so gently I almost didn't hear it. "There's something you're not telling me. Not telling any of us. And it may not be a big deal but you're not doing yourself any favors by keeping it in." He pulled me closer. "Tell me."
"Don't touch me." He dropped his hand from my arm instantly. "I can't think when you touch me. I can't breathe when you're that close." I froze realizing what I had just said. Shit. Well it was out I guess. I looked up at him, and he just looked back. "I can't think straight around you Fred. I can't breathe. I find myself worrying more about you than Hermione, or Ron." Stop talking. Stop talking. My brain yelled but my heart was having none of it. "So seeing the image of you lying on the floor dead tonight was a little more than I can handle. And you're right! There is something I'm not telling anyone. I like you. I've liked you for as long as I can remember knowing you." Oh my god I'd said it. "So there you go. You know my secret. Happy?" He took a step closer to me, still not touching me.
"You have no idea, how happy that makes me Hannah," he whispered. "The only thing that would make me happier is if you let me touch you right now. You don't need to think for a few minutes." He held out his hand and looked at me. "But know I will never go against you asking me not to touch you." I looked at his hand, still out stretched in front of me, asking permission. I reached forward and took it in mine. He pulled me close and looked down at me. I could feel my heart pounding through my entire body. "I have waited for you to say something like that for two years."
"Two years." He smiled at me and nodded. "Two years...and you never said or did anything?" My voice was rising now, and I knew it but couldn't find it in myself to stop it. "No flirting, no hinting no...Nothing!" Fred took a step back and looked at me in surprise, a frown forming where a smile was moment before.
"Well you didn't exactly say anything either." He snapped back.
"How could I? I'm two years younger than you. You're two of my best friends older brother. You're a Weasley twin! Every girl in Hogwarts with any kind of brain finds you attractive. How was I supposed to say anything?"
"Easy! 'Hey Fred, guess what? I like you!' Easy as that."
"If it is so easy why didn't you do it?" He frowned again.
"For some of the same reasons you listed." He said this so quietly I realized just how loud we gotten. "You're you. Ginny adores you and Ron is quite fond of you too. Plus you and Harry are so close, how was I supposed to compete with him? Even if you two only have sibling love for each other. It's a lot for a guy to compete with." He looked at the floor hands in his pockets, before speaking again. "But when you were stuck in the lake last year as Harry's most valued item, I was terrified. What if you didn't come back? How would I live with myself if I hadn't told you? And I tried. I really did. But I got scared. So I chickened out of asking you to the Yule Ball and played it safe with Angelina. And I'm sorry about that." He looked up at me again, his eyes sad. "You're a lot to take in. I love that about you, but you're a force of nature and...well it's a lot."
"Even for a Weasley twin?" A soft smile crossed his lips.
"Even for a Weasley twin."
"I find that hard to believe." He looked at me again, eyebrows raised.
"Yeah. I mean come on. You and George are well...the Weasley twins. Nothing scares you and you rarely take anything seriously." That was a mistake. His eyes flashed and he took a step towards me.
"We do take things seriously Hannah. We take the fact that any one of us could die very seriously. Surprisingly enough we even take our schoolwork seriously. We're not just pranksters."
"I know that," I snapped. "But you also don't ever SEEM to take anything seriously. See what I'm saying? So how is anyone supposed to get to know you for real when only a few people can distinguish the real you from the prankster?" He was quiet again and I was struck how loud silence could be.
"So now what do we do?"
"Now what? We're both in like with each other so what do we do about it?" I honestly hadn't thought about it.
"To be honest, I hadn't gotten much farther in my plan then telling you. And even that was...well...sketch." I was trying to lighten the air but he didn't smile. He looked at me with those eyes that I swear can see my soul and I couldn't fine words to bridge the gap.
"I want to date you Hannah," he whispered. "I want to hold you in a hug and know that you're mine. I want to be the one you turn to when something is bothering you, and I know how hard that is for you. Would you want that too?" I swallowed thickly and nodded. He smiled again, his true, Fred smile I loved so much. "Would you allow me to be that then?" I nodded again and his smile grew as he pulled me into a hug.
"Bout time," someone said from behind Fred. We split apart and whirled towards the voice. It was George. "Thought that'd be a lot smoother than it was, but hey it happened." He was smiling too. "Now let's call it a night before someone catches you two up this late okay?" He gave his brother a wink and waved at me before turning back to the room he'd come from. I looked at Fred again and couldn't help the smile.
"Well," he said softly. "Now that we got that all figured out, guess we should go to bed."
"I guess you're right." He reached out his arms and I leaned in for a hug. "Two years?" I could feel him laugh against me.
"Yeah. You were quite an impressive 13 year old." I looked up a him and smiled.
"Well I'm glad. See you tomorrow."
"See you tomorrow." With one last smile he turned and disappeared into the same door his twin had. I stood there for a moment letting it all sink in before turning towards the stairs to head to my room. When I got to the landing, a figure came out of the shadows nearly making me scream before I realized it was Sirius.
"Don't do that." I said, hand over my chest feeling my heart racing.
"Do what? Listen to your conversations or sneak out of the shadows?"
"Both! But I was talking about the sneaking part. Guess old habits die hard." He looked at me intently, eyes looking for something. "How much of that conversation did you hear?"
"All of it." He had enough sense to look somewhat abashed at his eavesdropping. "And then you got loud and it was hard not to listen to." My face flushed as I kicked myself for not thinking about volume. "You really like him?" I nodded and he sighed.
"Are you gonna be all protective dad about this since I don't have one?"
"Of course," he said with a smile. "What kind of god-father do you think I am?" I grinned and he laughed a bit. "But in all honesty Hannah, he hurts you at all, you tell me okay? I'll hex him six ways from Sunday and not feel bad."
"You'd cross Molly Weasley for me?"
"Yeah. No one messes with my girl." I could feel the tears pricking the back of my eyes and knew that this was what it felt like to have a dad. I threw my arms around him and buried my face into his chest. He hesitated for a moment before wrapping his arms around me and holding me close. I don't know how long we stood there before he finally began to loosen his hold. "You should get some sleep. Tomorrow's a big day." He let go of me and I looked up at him, his eyes sad.
"I'll miss you Sirius. I wish...I wish things weren't so complicated and we could see you more often."
"You and me both love." He gave me a last quick squeeze before ushering into my room and bidding me goodnight. I quickly changed for bed and relaxed into my pillow, not really believing what had just happened. Fred and I were...well dating. And Sirius had finally accepted me as a daughter figure. I suddenly didn't feel so alone. I could tell this feeling was going to be addictive.
A/N: Ha! Finally! I did it! YAY! Five years in the making and they finally said it. I am happy with this. Are you? Let me know what you thought by clicking that beautiful blue button and leaving a review! It'll make me happy!