1-22-10. This is the first Harry Potter one-shot I've ever written. It's super duper old. I wrote it ages ago and had it up on this site for a pretty long while, but I took all my stories down. Now I'm re-posting it all, starting with this one. Hope you like it! Reviews would be just peachy, thanks. :)

Disclaimer: If I was J.K. Rowling, would I really be wasting my time writing fanfiction? I'd have written about five hundred more Harry Potter books by now. xD

Promises, a Fred Weasley one-shot

It hurt.

The pain was unbearable. It was close to impossible for me to breathe. I sat there, unaware of the cries, shouts, and yells of the people around me. The only thing I was conscious of was him.

The pain grew. I was suffering, so much that I almost fainted. There were no visible wounds, no signs of blood. It was the inside of me that hurt. The part of me that's the hardest to heal: my heart.

The crowd broke into applause and joyful tears, the din sounding distant although it echoed throughout the Great Hall. That was it. We had won. All our efforts had finally paid off. There would be no more fighting, no more hiding, no more innocent lives lost. But there was also no more Fred.

I slowly exited the room. This was not my place. It wasn't right for me to be around people so happy, so giddy. I needed to be alone. I needed to be with him.

Anger slowly took over me, rushing over my body like a rapid waterfall. How could he do this to me? He told me we would be together forever. He told me that he loved me. I should have known. He'd never been one to keep his promises.

"May I have this dance, fair maiden?"

I looked up to see Fred with his arm outstretched, bowing low. He winked at me, a goofy grin spread across his face. I couldn't help but laugh.

I took his hand and he twirled me onto the dance floor, spinning me gracefully as music played softly in the background. He pulled me closer to him, and I breathed in his warm scent. I was captivated.

"Marry me, Raleigh."

I stared at him, stunned. He gave me a hard, blazing look, and I felt as if he could see right into my soul. I had never seen him so serious before.

"Fred, I —"

"We can go, right now. We can elope! I overheard a few Muggles talking about drive-through wedding chapels. I'm not exactly sure what the ceremony is like, but I found one right outside of —"

"Fred!" It was my turn to interrupt. "Do you hear yourself? We can't just go off like that! Your mum will be furious! We need a proper wizard to marry us, not some random Muggle bloke we don't even know. And aside from all that, I haven't got a thing to wear! And . . . And . . . Oh, Merlin!"

"Raleigh, love, you have no idea how long I've been thinking about this. About us. I want you. I need you. Please, spend the rest of your life with me?"

My knees went weak. He always had that power over me. He always made me feel like I was special, like I was the only one in the world that mattered to him. He always made me feel safe, happy. Loved.

"Fred, you know what my answer is. You know it'll be a yes. But . . . I think it's best if we waited. We're in the middle of a war right now. Please, just give it time. When everything's alright again, then we'll get married. I promise."

He nodded solemnly, very much unlike his usual joking self. "I'll wait for you, Raleigh. Forever."

I wanted to curse myself. Why hadn't I said yes, right that second? Why did I have to be so rational? I knew in my heart there was no time to waste. Why couldn't I have just listened to him?

Finally, I began to cry. Bawl. I couldn't control myself. Every time I tried to dry my eyes, more tears would form. Eventually, I just gave up.

"Raleigh, are you okay?"

I heard that voice. Almost identical to his, yet somehow different. The footsteps came closer, and a figure sat on the cold, hard ground next to me.

"It's amazing, isn't it," he started, looking out over the Black Lake. "Not less than two hours ago, he was here. With us. And now . . . He's gone."

"I really miss him," I said softly, turning to face the ginger-haired boy beside me. I felt a jab of pain in the center of my chest. It hurt to look at him. "We were supposed to get married, George. But we can't anymore. He left me. He left us."

"Raleigh, you know that's not true," he consoled, draping his arm around my shoulder. "Fred would never leave us. You know what? I bet you he's just in the store, working his arse off like usual. I always thought he was the workaholic out of us two, you know." The corners of his mouth turned up slightly at his attempt to make a joke, but I could see through his act. His eyes weren't shining with mischief. Fred and George's eyes always shined with mischief when they joked.

I leaned against George's strong body and closed my eyes, imagining it was Fred who was with me. George wrapped his arm more tightly around my waist, keeping me warm. Then I let myself rest, knowing that, in time, everything would be all right.

And Fred's voice came to me, like music in my ears. "George is right, Raleigh. I'm with you. I'll always be with you. Forever. Just like I promised, remember?"