The rain came and came and would not stop. Angelina's belly was quite round, but she worked just as hard on the job so as not to have anyone pity her. James had been there for her as much as she would allow. She didn't want him thinking he could get too close. She'd thought that he'd distance himself from her after she started to show, but he hadn't, and she was grateful for his friendship when he worked with materials that nauseated her or made deliveries when she was just too exhausted to do so herself. He never told anyone, he never brought it up, he just pitched in to help when he could. He even offered to go with her to her doctor's appointments, which she turned down. George should have been the one to do this, and if he wasn't available to, well, then, she'd go it alone.
She'd found out two things at her last visit: one, that she was having a girl, and two, her due date had been off. The baby was coming mid September. She had conceived back in December, which made her feel worse about the last time she'd seen George. She had been pregnant the morning they'd argued, the day he'd left her.
Angelina's family knew of her "condition" as her mother had called it, and they were not at all pleased. Partly because she was single and unmarried and partly because she refused to admit that it was George's baby. Finally, she broke down and said it was the result of a very causal fling with a friend, and that she had found out too late to get rid of it. The truth was, Angelina just didn't want to talk about George anymore. Her sister probably knew deep down that she was lying, but she played along as if she didn't and didn't press Angelina, which Angelina was most grateful for.
She'd never been so hurt in all her life over George's actions. He had not called, he had not come to see her, and he had not shown the slightest bit of concern over her well being since the time they had argued over James' owl that morning, months ago. Angelina became more and more terrified the further along she went into her pregnancy. She had long since accepted that she was going to be a single mother; she had the money to take care of herself and a baby, but still.
She didn't know what she would do as far as George was concerned. Part of her never wanted to tell him, not ever. She'd already planned to give the baby her last name. She'd been toying with a few first names already. She liked Bailey, and Kirsten. Julissa and Brigelyn. Roxanne and Rachel. She kept coming back to those last two, the R names.
"Tell him he's the father, for God's sake!" Katie exclaimed once when she and Angelina had ducked out of the way of Percy Weasley walking out of a market. Katie had been told only because she'd happened to Fone Angelina the same day she'd found out, before she'd gathered her wits. She'd been hysterical that evening, one of several times in her life that had been carved into her mind like forged steel.
"No! He abandoned me, and he abandoned the baby! I don't need him!" Angelina told her friend. Angelina had been avoiding the Weasley family like the bubonic plague. Thank the gods for magic, or she'd have been spotted several times. Ginny had come over to her flat twice, but Angelina hadn't answered. She'd almost broken down when George's mother had owled her and told her that she was still welcome to come by, any time she liked. Angelina had fought back tears as she wrote back a gracious thank you note, knowing that she'd never set foot in Mrs. Weasley's home again. As for her near run ins along the street, well, there was nothing like some Peruvian powder or a shot of wrackspurts to deter one's attention for a quick getaway.
"How could he abandon a child he doesn't know about? It's not right, Angelina. He deserves to know," Katie fussed.
"He broke up with me! He hasn't bothered to see how I'm doing at all, which clearly tells me that he doesn't give a damn! So I don't give a damn to let him know about her!" Angelina practically screeched, coming to a standstill.
Katie looked around, giving apologetic looks to the innocent bystanders. "Forgive her, she's in a highly emotional state," she said to them. Angelina rolled her eyes and popped open her umbrella as fat drops of rain began to fall from the slate gray sky.
"You promised you wouldn't tell," she reminded her through clenched teeth.
Katie ducked under the umbrella. "And I won't. But I think you should," she grumbled.
Angelina was convinced her plan to keep George oblivious was infallible until very early one morning, as she was leaving the local park from walking a few laps, she ran almost straight into Hermione Granger, who was with Ron Weasley.
"You scared me!" Angelina gasped, which she had to do more and more often. She tried to duck off, her heart racing, but damn Hermione's friendly nature, she just had to exclaim, "Angelina! How are you?"
"I think it's bloody obvious how she is," Ron said, pointing to her swollen belly.
Angelina felt faint, and fumbled in her words. "Um, I, er, I wasn't expecting to see anyone—"
"Angelina!" Hermione gasped, leaning closer. "Are you…Is it…is it George?"
Angelina said nothing, unable to lie. She glanced down at the ground, and wiped some sweat from her forehead. When she looked up, both Hermione and Ron were staring at her, waiting for an explanation. She held her head higher.
"It is," she admitted, shocking herself. And even in spilling the truth just then, she felt a small load lift from her conscience. "But he hasn't spoken to me since we split, so he has no earthly idea. I've managed to avoid you all until now."
"He doesn't know? Why haven't you told him? I can't believe you kept it a secret, especially not from Percy and Ginny and I!" Ron said. "Are you out of your mind?"
"Ron!" Hermione hissed. "For heaven's sake, don't—"
"No, he's right," Angelina interrupted. "I should have let you all know. I found out entirely by accident, and I sort of…went into shock. By the time I came out of it, so much time had passed that I didn't know how to tell him. It doesn't matter now, at any rate. I'll be fine on my own, and you may tell him I said so, if you happen to mention you ran into me. Better yet, please do ask him to see me. I'll give it to him straight, just so he knows, not at all because I care, and then he can continue slutting it up around London and go on as he's been doing the past few months-"
"George hasn't been slutting it up with anyone, not that I know of. All the times he's stopped by Mum and Dad's, he's been alone."
"I haven't seen him looking so serious and sad in ages. I told Ron he should check on him, but he insists on being left alone—"Hermione interjected.
Ron continued, "He told us you'd broken up, of course, but after that, he wouldn't say anything else about it. He sort of drifted around, staying with us, staying with Percy, then Bill. Finally he bought a house, just outside of London—"
"Honestly, Ron, I don't care what he's done. It doesn't matter now," Angelina repeated. She pulled her wand out, preparing to Apparate home.
"One last thing, what are you two doing here, anyway?" she asked. What she really wanted to know was How in Merlin's name did I get caught at a quarter to six in the morning?
"Flying lessons. Hermione's finally built up the nerve to go on a broom, only she doesn't want the park to be full of people so we came out early," Ron said with a small grin.
"I see. Well, good luck, Hermione. You've got a teacher that came a long way," Angelina said with a small smile. Ron let out a groan, "Oh, don't mention how pathetic I was when I first tried out. I've been trying my best to put that out of my mind."
Angelina left the couple at the park and returned to the comfort of her own home, trying not to think about the new information she'd received about George, but failing.
The usual rain slammed against the windows of Angelina's flat, and while it normally would have put her in a foul mood, she felt surprisingly relaxed. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that she'd just finished off a small but satisfying carton of vanilla bean ice cream while wrapped in her warmest blanket, and was engrossed in a trashy romance novel complete with moving pictures. She didn't feel irritated until her doorbell chimed. She glanced at the clock, noting it wasn't terribly late. She was due some order forms for work, and her assistant Juniper Allington had told her she'd send them her way. Angelina pushed herself up off the couch with a grunt and waddled to her front door to sign for her things.
It was George. He must've talked with Ron, else he wouldn't be here…
Before she could say a word, he brushed by her, coming in. He closed the door firmly, then whirled to face her, eyes wide with hurt, anger, devastation, all at once.
"I-I didn't invite you in," Angelina croaked. Her throat had gone dry.
"Why would- How could you? How could you do it?" he asked her, sounding as if he were being strangled. His head shook back and forth as he lowered his gaze to her belly. Angelina instinctively covered herself with her arms. She was trembling all over, not knowing what to do or say. She opened her mouth to give George a reason, one of the thousand reasons she had for not telling him she was pregnant, but no sound came out. Angelina blinked back tears, and tried to calm her rapidly beating heart.
This was the first time she'd laid eyes on him in six months. He was so gorgeous, and she was so…swollen, filled with ice cream, not a dollop of makeup on. Her hair was in a messy ponytail. She shouldn't give a damn about how she looked to him, because it didn't matter, but suddenly, she felt disgusting…awkward, ashamed. She swallowed, pressing the back of her hand to her eyes briefly, trying to hide her tears. She couldn't stand him looking at her the way he was now, so she turned away from him.
"You…you…were just going to go on, and not tell me? Is it true, Angelina? Is it even mine?" he pressed her. Now she whirled back around to face him, her brown eyes burning into his blue. She found her voice then, ready to answer that question at least. Was it even his? Indeed.
"Yes, of course. It's yours, it's all yours. Who else's would it be?" Angelina spat out, her temper flaring.
George balled up his fists and let out a horrific sounding wail towards the ceiling. "Why wouldn't you tell me that you were pregnant with our child? What the fuck were you thinking?" he shouted.
"Don't pretend now that you care! You know good and bloody well you don't!"
"That's bullshit, I've known you for half my life, we'd been lovers for nearly a year and you just let me walk about without knowing you were pregnant! Whether we'd broken up or not, you still should've told me! I shouldn't have had to find out from my fucking brother!"
"You left me! That's why I didn't tell you, you wanker! You don't care or you wouldn't have left me! You stopped loving me! I've been alone, George, alone for six months, terrified at how I'm going to manage and all by myself!" she screamed back at him, and burst into tears. Fearing she would give way beneath her trembling knees, she threw herself down on the couch, and turned her face from him, holding herself as best she could over her belly.
How dare he shout? How dare he ask her why?
"No…you've got it all wrong…"George was suddenly at her side, kneeling before her, his hands on her. His eyes clouded over as he looked at her. "I had my reasons for what I did…and I never meant for the separation to be permanent. But you should've told me, Angelina. Dammit, you should've told me…"
"Oh, and now here we are with your lovely, false words. Your words mean nothing, just as I said before, and you can get up and leave if you'd like. I don't need you. I don't want you here," Angelina gulped, pushing him away. "After all you've done, all you've put me through…"
"After all I've done? I bought a house…for us, for you and me. I haven't so much as touched another female this whole time. I've been completely celibate. I've worked myself to the bone to start a second company in Manchester. I did it all for you, for us."
"There is no us, remember? You left me."
George, in response, lay his head tenderly in her lap. He pressed his face against her, his hands on either side of her belly. Angelina could feel his heart beating against her, the furious rhythm matching her very own. She could scarcely move.
"Angelina…my Angelina…" he whispered. He looked up at her, now touching her face with gentle hands. It was now his turn to wipe her tears away, which he did, lovingly. "I was wrong for what I did and what I said. But please, believe that I had every intention of coming back. I never stopped loving you, or caring about you, or thinking about you. It wasn't about that owl or your friend. It was about me, honestly. I had to be on my own for awhile. If I didn't know that I could look after myself, how would I be able to look after you?"
"I don't need you to look after me."
"And that's exactly why someone must," George said softly. He let out a sigh, and moved next to her on the couch. "I was prepared to fight for you if you had moved on with some other bloke. I needed to do this, Angelina. For myself. This will be the last time in our lives I will need to ask your forgiveness about anything, I swear it."
Angelina shook her head. "You can't just waltz back into my life and expect us to pick up where we left off. I've been promoted, SPC is my company now. I run it. I'm busier than ever. Yet I've had to manage that on top of going to the doctor and make sure things are going okay with the baby. Every appointment I've been to, every time I've been sick in the middle of the night, every visit to a nursery or interview for a nanny, I've done alone. And you really expect me to believe that things will be different?"
George grabbed her suddenly against him in a tight embrace. "If you still love me, if you never stopped, then yes."
He kissed her, her hair, her neck, her lips. She started to pull away, but couldn't in the end. He smelled so wonderful, and he was holding her so tight and she did love him, more than she had loved anyone else in her life. She kissed him back, though only a little.
"I hate you," she whispered to him, her head pressed to his. "But I love you."
George let out a small smile. "It's a start, at least."
Angelina bit her lip, looking fully at him. "I'm scared," she whispered. "I don't want you to hurt me anymore."
George shook his head. "Those days, those hours, all of those bad times are over, forever. They have to be. We're having a baby. We're starting a family. It's fate, don't you see? It's time to heal, it's time to move forward."
"Please, let's. And let it be for real this time. Because this baby is coming in September, ready or not, George."
He kissed her hands. "Gods, I just can't believe that you're pregnant. When Ron told me, I nearly lost my shite, I mean, I literally almost passed out. I thought about what to say for hours, I was so nervous. I just kept hoping you'd be here. I'm so happy right now, I could explode. D'you know what it is yet?"
"A girl," Angelina said softly.
George let out a shout of joyous surprise. "A girl? A girl! My little girl!" he said, his voice wavering.
"I-I-I've picked out some names…Roxanne, and Julissa, and Rachel, though I…I think I like Roxanne…"
"Roxanne…That sounds just perfect, it's brilliant. Roxanne Weasley. My little Roxy…oh, Angelina, I can't bear it, let's get married, right now, tonight," George said, hugging her again.
"Don't be ridiculous," Angelina said.
"I was always going to ask, Angelina. I was—oh, once you see the house, you'll understand how serious I am about you, how I was before I even knew you were pregnant."
"What on earth does the house have to do with anything, George?"
"The backyard with a space for a garden, and a gliding chair on the back porch…the bedroom overlooking the city…all the things you told me once you wanted. I built a place for you and I to carry on with our work at home, an entire floor," George said. "Of course, if you chose to stay at home with the baby, that wouldn't be a problem either."
Angelina smiled. "I didn't go through all those Herbology and Care of Mythical Creatures classes at Hogwarts to stay at home. Though, I have had trouble finding a suitable nanny…"
"Then it's settled. You stay at home. At least for a year," George said. "I insist. If you'd like, I'll hire a dozen house elves to assist you."
"This doesn't mean you're forgiven."
"Oh, but it does. You're adding to the Weasley family, you're part of us for the rest of your life, even if you turned down my proposal."
"Which I still might do. There's no telling what kind of husband you'd be. There's no guarantee we'd even get along after she's born. I'm already fat and swollen, I might never lose this weight-"
"I'm going to marry you, Angelina. Whether you stay a cherub or not. I love you and we're going to raise our little Roxanne together."
"I haven't decided on that name, it was just one that I liked. It's not settled yet."
"It fits. I know instinctively that Roxanne should be her name. She'll be tall and beautiful and the color of caramel. And you'll braid her hair like you wore yours when we first met. And then we'll wait a year or so and we'll have another. A boy, perhaps? And we'll-"
"George, honestly. I haven't even had her yet. I've got to get through the labor, and from what I've been hearing, that'll be no stroll through the park. You know, for Merlin's sake, why are we even talking about this? I've got work in the morning. You've got to go!"
"I'm not going. I'll never leave you again. We'll pack all your things this weekend. I can't wait to show you."
"George, you're giving me a headache."
And they bickered affectionately until Angelina became quite firm with George and told him she needed to get her rest. He stayed with her, rubbing her feet and sang all the nursery songs he remembered (which ended up being only three, and were quite off pitch) until she was sleeping soundly.
When Angelina woke up the next morning, George was still there. She smiled, knowing finally in her heart that he always would be.
SOME YEARS LATER…
"Roxanne! Fred! Get down here this instant and clean this mess up! I've told you not to play in my and your father's workroom!" Angelina said loudly, her hands on her hips. "Now, if you don't hurry and get it tidy, you're going to miss seeing your grandparents and you're going to miss dinner, and Grandma is cooking one of her three course meals!"
A young girl with a cloud of wavy auburn hair whizzed past Angelina, followed by a younger boy. They tattled on each other as they scrambled to get the contents of a box containing unfinished exploding popcorn quills back in order.
"Fred did it, Mum! He brought me the key, tucked away in his breakfast napkin!"
"You sneaky little devil!" Angelina said, swatting at her son with the shoe she was about to put on.
"Roxanne told me to get it! She said to wait until Dad had left for work, then we could go in and see what her birthday present is!" Fred exclaimed.
"I did not!" Roxanne wailed, proving her guilt.
"You did too!" Fred wailed back.
"That's enough from both of you. Roxanne, if you don't start following rules, you won't get any more Quidditch lessons from your father or me, d 'you understand?"
"Yes, Mum," Roxanne said glumly.
"Fred, you won't be able to help your father with any more inventions if we can trust you to do as you're told. There's a reason we tell you not to go wandering about when we're not with you," Angelina said.
"Yes, Mum," Fred said.
Angelina handed both of her children their coats, and led her children to their waiting hover car.
"Will Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny be at Grandma's? They're so much fun, and I just love Uncle Harry's stories. Are they bringing the new baby?" Roxanne asked as the three of them settled into the car, and were whisked away.
"I don't like the new baby. He smells funny," Fred pouted, pretending to fire his toy wand at passersby in the streets below.
"Don't do that, darling, it's very rude," Angelina said to her son. To Roxanne, she said, "Yes, your cousins will both be there. We're meeting your father there as well and we're already late. It's a shame, I can't make it on time anywhere chasing after the two of you."
Fred continued to pout about his new cousin Albus while Roxanne asked her mother a thousand questions about how to properly hold a newborn. Angelina answered them in a way that would make the most sense to a seven year old.
As they pulled up at the home of Bill and Molly Weasley, Angelina could already see her husband through the window, holding a small bundle. She smiled, feeling eager to hold Harry and Ginny's new baby again herself.
"We're very lucky, you know," she told her children as she helped them out of the car. "We have such a big, loving, wonderful family."
"Nothing's better than having people around who love you, right, Mum?" Roxanne said as she slipped her small hand in Angelina's.
"That's absolutely right. There's nothing better in the world," Angelina said.
A/N: I was always curious to know exactly how Angelina and George ended up being married with children, so here is my version of how they did just that. I wasn't sure who was born first, but I like the idea of Roxanne being older, so I kept it in. I know Angelina and George's "makeup" was a little cheesy, but, they've been through quite enough and deserve to be happy for the rest of their days. Angelina, George and I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to read their/my story.