Here Comes The Sun

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sunday
The wind was howling.

Angelina had once been afraid of the moaning it made; but now, it sounded sad to her, like a call for someone who was lost. "The wind isn't scary, darling," her mother had told her as she shivered under the covers. "He's lonely. Can't you hear him? He's looking for someone."

She slammed down the bottle she had been drinking out of so fiercely, it cracked against her wooden table.

Winters before the war had never been like this. Winter had once meant snowball fights and hot cocoa and ringing bells and laughter and green and red and frost. It had meant warmly blazing fires; it had meant family. But Angelina Johnson, all of twenty two years and all alone, didn't have a family anymore. It hadn't mattered that first Christmas, because Alicia had only lost a leg, not a mother, and had taken her home that year. But this year—this year limp ribbons were scattered across the Diagon Alley flat she shared with her thoughts, and she could hear children singing Christmas carols outside her window.

She watched wine seep through the cracks in the glass and trickle down her arm. She almost wished she could give one of her legs up, if it kept the loneliness from swallowing her whole.

She sat with her back against the wall and drank from her broken bottle.

.

monday
Angelina was finished with self-pity.

If winter was hard, then damn it, she was going to bring summer into her life, because Angelina never settled for anything less than what she wanted, and that was that.

She rolled up her sleeves (and rolled them down again, it was cold), brought out her mum's old CD collection, and plunked herself in front of the windows. She had learned the charm ages ago—surely after some experimentation she'd get it right.

She spent the morning wiping the memories winter dredged up off her windows. A carefully placed Weather Viewing Filter made the streets outside gleam and smile in simulated sunshine, freed from their snow-chains; she waltzed the tip of her wand across the surface of the glass, and the delicate patterns of frost slowly softened into clarity; and after a cartload of curses, several ill-advised kicks directed towards the wall, and a hasty consultation of her old textbooks, she discovered (remembered) a charm to make the softly-falling snow disappear from view. She was pleased—she sat on the sofa and let the music wash over her, but she'd always been the sort of girl who simply couldn't sit still, and before she knew what was happening, her foot was tapping on the floor, and suddenly she was off the sofa and shaking her hair out and laughing as she danced.

"Little darling," she sang with the recording, "it's been a long, cold, lonely winter…"

"Angelina?"

She came to a crashing halt and spun around, and of course George Weasley was standing there in his knitted hat and coat, looking torn between confusion and laughter.

"You could've knocked," she said.

"I did," George said. "I guess you didn't hear me." He grinned openly and nodded towards the CD player. "My dad has one of those things in our garage, but he reckons it's a remote for getting the toilet to clean itself. He'll go mental when I tell him it's for music." He brought out a small purple pot from the depths of his coat and placed it on her table. "You asked for one of our pimple vanishers last week, and I hadn't seen you out and about for a while, so I thought I'd come over and bring it."

Angelina remained silent, waiting for him to ask.

"So… what's all this?" He looked at the windows, at the CD player, and at Angelina.

She lifted her chin. "I'm making summer."

The best thing about Fred and George had been the fact that they never thought anything was too ridiculous.

"Can I help?" said George.

.

tuesday
"Do you think I'm a little mad," she asked, "trying to force a bloody season on my flat?"

George held up some blue material and looked at it critically. "Madness is underrated. Do you prefer this or the white muslin?"

"I like this one better than either, actually," Angelina said, trailing her fingers across the bolt of lavender cotton. She could just imagine the color fluttering in a summer breeze. George helped her pull out the bolt and after they'd ordered two yards of it, they walked back to her flat, the parcel swinging merrily on George's arm. "So," he said, looking at her closely, "why are you, to quote your ever eloquent phrase, "trying to force a bloody season" on your flat?"

She shrugged and, because she couldn't think of anything else to say, muttered, "I hate winter."

Surprise rolled over his face for an instant, but he managed to control his expression, and Angelina remembered all over again that he'd become more thoughtful and quiet over the past two years. "It's because of Christmas," she burst out. "I've always spent it with Mum, and she… she isn't here anymore."

George looked at her intently. He'd changed, but was still himself in many ways. "There's still… you know… there's still hope."

Angelina shook her head. "Half the muggleborn witches and wizards taken were never found. Some of their bodies turned up last year, and if my mum hasn't been found by this time… I don't think she's coming back."

"I'm sorry."

"It's been two years," she responded with a light shrug, and she gave his arm a friendly squeeze. They understood each other.

The afternoon was spent struggling with the lavender cloth and laughing their heads off, as her mum's music softly played in the background and the snow, hidden by the charms on Angelina's windows, stirred itself up into a storm outside the warmth of the flat.

"I think it's okay," said Angelina with a bite of pride in her voice, as they surveyed their work.

"Don't be stupid," George said, rolling his eyes, "it's loads better than it was yesterday."

The wretched red-and-green ribbons had all been taken down, as well as the rest of the Christmas décor, and her small tree had Vanished from its place beside her dining table. Brand new lavender cotton curtains rustled gently by the windows, touched by a simulated breeze.

Angelina sniffed, surprised. "I can smell the sea."

George bowed.

.

wednesday
Angelina had sometimes caught herself in the middle of Fred and George when she looked at the remaining twin—the memory of a boy she'd sort-of-liked, and the very real reality of George. But now—now it was just George. She'd known that they had always been distinct, two entirely different people; but as she and George worked together, she found herself, for the first time in two years, not thinking of Fred at all when she looked at his twin's face. Maybe it was the sting of his death beginning to lessen, but somehow, she didn't think so. She thought it might just be the fact that she was rediscovering George all over again, and it felt good.

He'd brought a few things over from the shop, and she felt like a child during Christmas as she rummaged among the parcels.

"These are great, George," she said, offering a grin. "Thanks, really. Just tell me how much all of it costs and I'll—"

But he was already shaking his head. "Nah, don't bother. I kind of feel like you're doing me a favor, letting me help you out." He laughed at the contradiction. "Just make good use of this one time," he warned. "You're not getting a discount from WWW for about… twenty years after this."

"Sounds fair." She helped herself to some Grass-Growing Granules and scattered them on the rug at the foot of the sofa. Lush, soft grass curled around her ankles.

They forgot grief and responsibilities and were children that day, tramping through a kingdom of toys and wild imaginings, as they hoisted fluttering mechanical birds up into the air (they had to take them all down afterwards, the mess of metal pellets that resulted was overwhelming), flung Grass-Growing Granules and shouts of laughter at each other, and made a colorful, wonderful mess of Angelina's ordinarily neat flat. It took them ages to clean up the damage, and occasional bursts of uncontrollable laughter necessitated them to take breaks from their work, but eventually, it was finished.

Angelina smiled as George conjured a few butterflies from his wand, to flutter by the wooden swing—they were a lurid purple and every once in a while emitted a loud bang accompanied by a bright, silver flash that danced across both their eyelids. George was still George, however changed she thought he was.

"Little darling, the smiles are returning to the faces," sang the CD player, as Angelina bade George a good night and shut the door behind him.

.

thursday
"What is this bloody song?" George asked. "You've been playing it for days."

Angelina barely spared him a glance, absorbed in her task. "It seemed appropriate."

"Can you show me how to make the song repeat itself?"

After Angelina had taught him the fine art of rewinding, he listened to the tune trailing gaily into the air as she bent over her book, concentrating hard and barely realizing that she was mouthing the words she was reading.

"Guess it is," he said, when the song's last lingering notes had faded.

"Hmm?" she said absently.

"Appropriate."

"Yeah," she said, still frowning over her book.

"You got it?"

"Almost," Angelina said vaguely, running a hand through her hair. "I'm supposed to say the incantation first and then do the wand movement if I want to make the temperature hotter, because doing the opposite will only lower it… yeah, I think I'm good."

"Go on, then."

She took a deep breath, said the words, and gave her wand a complicated flick.

George's pants caught fire.

"Oh, God," she exclaimed, hurrying forward. In a minute the fire was out, leaving a sooty George and an upset Angelina. She wrung her hands, unsure of what she should do, and her distress must have shown, because George began laughing in her face.

"Look," he said, "I set your hair on fire during fifth year, so we're even now."

Angelina felt her worried expression transform itself into one of thunderous outrage. "That was you?"

"Er… no."

Eventually, they figured out how to pull up the temperature and, both smeared with shadows of ash but triumphant, sat back against the edge of the sofa, chuckling a little. "I had no idea that was you," Angelina repeated for the fifth time that day.

"It was Fred's idea," George said, putting his hands up. "He made me do it."

She laughed again, and then realized that he had mentioned his twin's name for the first time in… oh, in ages. She immediately quieted, looking at his face for some sign that they should stop talking, but his eyes were still smiling and suddenly seemed to hold the whole world.

"Look, I've been thinking," he said. "You should come to the Burrow on Saturday. We always have Christmas lunch and you can stay for the rest of the day—the whole family will be there and you know most of them—and Harry'll be there too."

Angelina could feel her heart expanding under his smile, and she cast her gaze to the floor. "Are you… are you serious? I mean, I wouldn't be a bother?"

His voice tilted upward, and she knew his mouth was doing the same. "Mum knows you, she's ready to adopt you. And Dad will practically ambush you because he'll want you to explain plugs and sparks to him, and you know Ron and Harry and Percy and Bill and Fleur, and Charlie's great, really easy to get along with. They want you to come, Mum just about jumped when I told her I'd invite you."

"Really?" The old Angelina would have despised the almost pathetically hopeful note in her voice, but she had been thinking of the lonely Saturday that approached for some time now, and the thought of spending it among noisy siblings and smiling parents and George made her feel impossibly, incredibly tall.

"Would I lie to you?" She finally managed to meet his eyes and, impulsively, threw her arms around him.

"Thank you," she said.

He patted her back.

.

friday
"You know," George said, "I actually think we've done it."

Angelina could only nod. It was true—they'd defied frost and sleet and made their own summer, and she felt a deep gladness that went in warm waves all the way down to her toes.

The scene outside her window smiled, summer-young and free of any suffocating snowdrifts or trailing flakes, but the inside was even better. Her beautiful curtains whispered in a breeze that seemed to have been blown all the way from the sea, and fresh, clean grass grew where her round rugs once had. A wooden swing quivered beside her table where her poor Christmas tree had once stood, and purple butterflies drifted lazily, fluttering between sunflowers in cracked jugs that stood on every accessible surface.

She brought out glasses of ice cold lemonade to celebrate, and they toasted each other before drinking deeply. Oh, it tasted like summer, the drink, her flat, her life—this was what summer had meant and would always mean, whether the world came crashing down or not—freedom and heat, swinging music and the smell of lavender and dancing and falling in love.

"Angelina," George said suddenly, standing up, "it isn't finished yet."

"What do you mean?"

He nodded in the direction of the CD player, which had been softly tinkling away all to itself, and he hummed as he pointed his wand at the windows.

"Here comes the sun," he said, smiling, and he flicked his wand.

The windows poured streams of the liquid sunshine of summer, banishing the wintry, splintered light Angelina suddenly realized she'd been enduring for days. The beams pooled lazily around the cracks of her flat and she thought, for the first time that week, that she might actually cry.

But she smiled instead, a smile that filtered summer gold, and she said, "George, thank you. For everything."

His eyes were as blue as the sky. "Thank you too. You don't know how much it's helped me, being able to make some sunshine with you. Winter and Christmas are hard for me too."

They both danced to her mum's music that day, and before he left, he said, "I'll see you at the Burrow tomorrow, don't forget. You might get distracted, now that you have your own personal summer and all."

"I wouldn't miss it for the world."

George looked at Angelina for a moment, and then gave her a swift kiss on the cheek and a brilliant smile. "See you," he said.

Angelina was too busy trying not to beam too brightly to give him a suitable reply.

.

saturday
It was Christmas morning, and Angelina felt alive in a way she hadn't for a while now.

She seated herself on her wide wooden swing and rocked a little, smiling at her noisy purple butterflies. Perfect—it was all completely, utterly perfect, down to the last mote of dust floating in the sunlight. She reached over and grabbed a sunflower from the nearest jug, and she twirled it idly in her hands, rubbing a petal between her fingers. It was a pool of sunshine in itself, the flower—her whole flat was full of sunspots and airy light. She suddenly felt a surge of incredible fondness for everything, and she laughed a little, remembering how she had drunk from a broken bottle and thought her life in ruins six days ago.

Angelina was glad she had found her summer, after all. After winter and wandering, she'd been handed the sun.

She had the perfect dress in her wardrobe for the Christmas lunch today, a lovely, golden yellow—she'd wear summer in her hair and it would match her eyes, and she'd do it for George, because they'd both helped each other find summer in lives that had felt so empty, and she was glad.

Her mum's CD was still playing, and she danced all the way to her bedroom.

"Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting; little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear. Here comes the sun…"


A/N: For any of you who don't know the song or want to take a look at the lyrics, this is the Beatles' lovely Here Comes The Sun (and it doesn't belong to me!):

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long, cold, lonely winter
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles're returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I see that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say it's all right
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say it's all right

And, uh, in case you were wondering, the background I formed for Angelina Johnson: Muggleborn mother, half-blood father who died when Angelina was younger, no siblings; her mother was taken during the war and never found. Thank you, thank you for reading! I'd love a review. :)