Chapter 3:

It was a particularly windy October afternoon. Angelia wandered mindlessly down the streets of Diagon Alley. She had no clue where she was going, she was following wherever her feet were taking her. That quickly turned out to be a less than ideal idea. She found herself outside Fred and George's, no wait…just George's shop. She peaked inside. There was still merchandise still untouched on the shelves and a fresh layer of dust coating the entire store. Cobwebs were even starting to form. Angelina sighed. This place used to be a hotspot in Diagon Alley, and now it looked like a hole in the wall. Taking a risk, she rapped firmly on the window, hoping that George would hear here wherever he was. She didn't know why she was knocking, but she was.

"Don't waste your time, honey, place is closed down," an older witch said as she passed by. Angelina spun around. "Poor thing," she said with a cluck. "His twin died in the war, and he hasn't opened up since." Angelina turned back around and knocked even harder on the window, she wasn't going to back down.

George was lounged across the couch upstairs in his flat when he heard a distant knocking. At first he thought that it was all in his head, but he quickly figured out that it wasn't. Groaning, he stumbled to his feet and headed downstairs, ready to yell at whatever potential customer was waiting outside for business; he wasn't going to open up shop ever again, and people needed to realize that. George was shocked, however, to discover that it was Angelina standing outside, tapping on the window. Sighing, he began to turn away to retreat to the sanctuary of his flat

"George, please!" Angelina pleaded through the glass. Her voice was muffled by the thick glass. "I just wanted to say hello and see how you were doing." Shaking his head, he started to walk away. Whenever he saw Angelina, he instantly thought of Fred. The two of them had so many memories together. Fred even swore that she was the one, and now he'd never have the chance to tell her that. "George! Please don't leave me!" He spun around. The pain and longing in her eyes would have torn his heart in two had it not been numbed by the alcohol.

"Fine," he relented as he unlocked the door letting her in. She rushed in out of the cold and pulled George into a warm, comforting hug. This completely caught him off guard. The last time someone had shown him affection like that had been a lifetime ago.

"It's so good to see you," Angelina whispered in his good ear. Tears welled up in her brown eyes as she reluctantly let go. Smiling sheepishly, she backed away and wiped her tears.

"Yeah, uhh, it's good to see you too," he stammered as he headed back upstairs to his flat. Sighing, Angelina trailed after him. She knew that she should have expected this instead of the peppy George she was accustomed to.

"George, will you please stay and talk to me?" she asked as they bound up the stairs. He didn't break his long stride or even turn around to face her. Instead, he went into the kitchen and grabbed his nearly empty bottle of Firewhiskey.

"Why did you come here?" he snapped before taking a swig.

"I wanted to see you," she confessed softly. "I figured you of all people would understand what I'm going through." George shook his head.

"You have no idea what I'm going," he pointed out rather bluntly. Angelina sighed.

"I lost someone too!" she argued. "Did you forget that part?" She paused for a second. "This was a mistake, you're obviously too busy to talk to me." Just as she turned to walk away, George reached out and grabbed her arm firmly.

"Don't leave," he pleaded. He sounded like a small child desperate for any type of attention. She turned around and looked George in the eye.

"Fine, I'll stay if you'll stop acting like such an arse."
"Deal." George couldn't figure out why he was so desperate to spend time with Angelina. Maybe it was their common loss, or maybe it was the fact that she was the first person to act somewhat compassionate towards him in a lifetime.

Regardless, Angelina was staying. She ignored the mess scattered across the flat and took a seat on the edge of the couch. George took a seat on the other side of the couch. An incredibly awkward silence followed.

Finally, Angelina said, "I, uh, heard about your brother, Bill, and his wife. You must be pretty excited." He gave her an incredibly confused look.

"What are you talking about?"

"Didn't someone tell you? Fleur's pregnant." This caught George completely off guard. He couldn't figure out why in the world nobody told him. The last time he had really talked to his family had been a lifetime ago, so it kind of made sense that no one had come forward and told him the fabulous news. What really got to him was that his dead brother's girlfriend knew before he did.

All George could really say to this news was, "Oh…okay." What else was he supposed to say to that? He couldn't believe that his family would intentionally leave him out of the loop.

"You mean you didn't know?"

"No, I didn't. Thanks for telling me. I'll have to stop by the Shell Cottage and talk to them tomorrow I guess." Suddenly Angelina felt incredibly uncomfortable. She couldn't figure out why in the world the Weasleys would keep this from George. He must have done something wrong.

George got up and grabbed his bottle of Firewhiskey out of the kitchen and finished it off with one giant breath. Angelina looked at him with wide eyes. Sure she'd seen the twins get a little on the tipsy side, the parties after Quidditch victories tended to include alcohol…at least for the older students. This, however, seemed a little bit on the extreme side, even for a party boy like George. He saw her looking and stopped.

"Oh, sorry, do you want something to drink?" he asked as if it was no big deal. Angelina came to her senses and shook her head.

"No, I'm fine," she replied softly as she stood. "I have to get going, but please floo me or send me an owl if you need anything, day or not." George nodded. She gave him an awkward hug before Disapparating right before his eyes.

After Angelina left, George realized just how lonely and quiet his flat was. Having another person with him, even for a few minutes, was slightly rejuvenating. Deep down inside, it felt wonderful to see Angelina. Human interaction was extremely limited for him; most of the time he spent his days wasting away his days and staring at the bottom of a bottle. It was a lonely life, but it was the only way George knew how to live at this point.