Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling
A/N And here we have it...the last chapter of SnowAngels...and it is a nice long one! Please see my end notes at the end. By the way..shame on your guys, expecting a big fight between Angelina and Luna! I said there wasn't going to be any conflict in this story? LOL
"Luna Lovegood?" Angelina looked her up and down, wondering what she was doing there. "What in the world are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing."
"Err…Angelina." George brushed past Angelina and took Luna's hand. "Luna and I are together."
"Together?" Angelina looked like she wanted to laugh…obviously; this was another of George's jokes.
"Promised." Luna lifted her left hand to show Angelina the garnet ring.
"Promised to what exactly?"
George leveled Angelina with a look.
"To be engaged."
A New Year
"To be engaged?" Angelina stared back and forth between George and Luna, her eyes huge. "Engaged...as in married?"
"Yes," Luna fought her growing annoyance, it wouldn't be nice to say many of the things that she was thinking. "As in married."
"Oh my." Angelina shook herself, then, a sparkle came into her eyes and a huge smile spread across her face. "Married! Oh… How wonderful!"
She rushed forward and threw her arms around George, hugging him tightly for a moment before moving on to a very shocked Luna.
"I'm sorry…" She pulled back, her fingers steepled under her chin. "I must seem terribly rude, this is just so sudden. I've only been gone three weeks and I come back to find you engaged…well, engaged to be engaged I guess." She giggled happily , clapped her hands, and then gave George a playful punch on the shoulder. "You always were a sneaky old thing."
"I know." George grinned and put an arm around Luna's waist, giving her a little shake in the hopes of breaking her from her stunned silence. "It's happened a bit fast."
"You have to tell me everything! How did this …"
She cut off at a loud banging from the door; George looked over to find two shadows.
"That will be Ron and Harry wanting in to the shop." He gave Luna and Angelina an apologetic look. He kissed Luna's cheek, and then went to open the door.
"You survived!" Ron burst through the door first. "Mum was flipping out all night worried about you..."
"Angelina!" Harry burst out happily when he saw the extra person in the room. "When did you get back?"
"Just this morning."
"And of course you came looking for George straight off." Ron grinned. "Worried no doubt."
"And it appears I worried my holidays away for nothing." Angelina winked at Luna and smiled widely. "Seems George was well taken care of."
Luna mustered up a smile in response, despite her confusion. Obviously, there had been something between George and Angelina…but what? That was the question. She seemed to be happy about the fact that they were together, but Luna was well aware that what a person said, and what they thought could quite often be different things.
"We need to pop home and change clothes." George was saying "Then we'll be heading to Hogsmeade."
"Just make sure you connect with mum first." Ron warned. "She was in a panic all night."
"Right." George bent and kissed Luna's cheek again. "I need to go and open things up downstairs, I'll be right back." He straightened and winked at Angelina. "Play nice you two."
"Really George." Angelina rolled her eyes. "When don't I play nice?"
"On a broom." Harry said with a smirk as he followed George to the door.
Ron guffawed loudly "With a quaffle in your hands."
"Give you a bit of authority…" George pulled the door open and began down the stairs. "And you turn evil."
"Idiots." Angelina rolled her eyes and turned back to Luna again. Luna tried to work up a smile, but she was still feeling prickly. This was a situation like pretty much everything else she had faced since she and George met in Diagon Alley…vastly...shockingly...unfamiliar.
"Are you okay Luna?" Angelina reached out to touch her arm. "I'm afraid I've shaken you a bit."
"Me?" Luna attempted a laugh, but it was hallow and sounded almost freakish. "What makes you think that?"
"You look as if you've seen a ghost."
"Nothing as dramatic as that." Luna shook herself and began towards the kitchen. If she and George were going to be leaving soon, she needed to get the breakfast mess cleared away.
"Luna, I know we barely knew one another at Hogwarts, but we never had any conflict that I remember…so, this is obviously about George."
Luna scraped her uneaten breakfast into the trash, and then looked up at Angelina, giving a reluctant nod. "Yes, I suppose it is."
"You have nothing to worry about." Angelina put her hand on Luna's shoulder. "George and I are just friends…granted, very close friends…but just friends."
"I heard you…through the door." Luna looked at Angelina accusingly. "I thought I heard you kiss him."
"You've never kissed a friend?" Angelina lifted an eyebrow.
"I've never really had friends, at least not the kind I would kiss. I think Neville would fall over dead if I kissed him, Ginny would certainly hurt me if I tried to kiss Harry and Hermione..." Luna sighed and sank into a chair, a feeling of intense frustration falling over her. "…ugh…this is all so frustrating!"
"I'm sorry." Angelina sat across from her, resting her hand on top of Luna's "I imagine my reaction didn't help matters. I was just so surprised. First, I see lights on up here when George hasn't been up here in months and months, and then I come up here expecting George to be alone and find him not alone. You just really took me by surprise."
"You just expected to spend New Years together, like it was a done deal." Luna looked confused. "You said you came here just for that."
"I did." Angelina nodded, then took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "George hasn't told you much about last summer, has he?"
"No, not really. Only that it was horrible." Luna felt like she was left out of some secret, some terrible secret about George that she really should know. If he really loved her...shouldn't he have told her?
"It was...for all of us, for you too I imagine."
"Yes." Luna's mind went to her father, still missing…though Luna knew in her heart where he was. "It was."
"There were all those funerals, and public memorials." Angelina shuddered as the memories of the terrible summer came over her. "It would have been unbearable going through that alone, but…luckily, I didn't have to. George, Lee, Katie and Alicia and I had always been inseparable…it was even more so during that first days after the battle. We took our strength from each other, but even with all of us…nothing could help George when it came time to bury Fred."
A tear slipped down Angelina's cheek and she wiped it away, her eyes had taken on a look so painful that Luna's heart ached along with her.
"He collapsed at the burial…Charlie and Bill had to pick him up and apparate him back to the Burrow. He locked himself away after that, all we could do was watch on, helpless as he suffered. Then, one day he just came out of hiding and we were so relieved.
"Fall came…Lee, Katie and Alicia had to leave to go back to University and George and I started spending a lot of time together, I decided to take the year off...I don't know, I just didn't feel up to it, and I just couldn't bring myself to leave George. We were together so much I think his parents were half expecting an announcement….I know mine were." She looked up at Luna, quick to assure.
"Worry not; I was quick to dispel them of that notion." She laughed and patted Luna's hand, and then a sad smile ghosted across her lips. "You see Luna...I loved Fred. The idea of my being with George…when he is so much like him, but isn't…it's just, so wrong." Angelina sniffed loudly and wiped at her face with her sleeve.
"Oh Angelina." Luna turned her hand and grasped Angelina's tightly. "I didn't know…I'm so sorry."
Angelina looked up and smiled. "George helped me through it…and I helped him…as much as I could anyway, but he was always so sad. Just when things started seeming better...the holidays came. George was...he started slipping back the closer it got to December. I was quite worried, my family was going away to visit my grandparents for three weeks and…the first Christmas after the war…there was no way I could get out of it."
A wide, jubilant smile came to Angelina's face, and her eyes locked on Luna's over the table as she grasped her hands.
"I am so happy now that I had to go away. If hadn't, he might not have met up with you again. The difference in him Luna, just the little bit I've seen,…it's like comparing a terrible storm to a sunny day. He looks so happy, and that makes me happy."
Luna felt her heart pound hard in her chest; she was lost somewhere between the sadness of knowing what George had suffered, and the joy of knowing that what Angelina had said was true. George was very different now from how he had been the night they met in Diagon Alley.
"How. How do you get by? This pain...I feel...sometimes I feel like it is going to smother me. I can't breathe; I can't move...I can't even think."
Luna still vividly remembered his face as he spoke the words. He had been a man tortured, as if he was enduring something worse than the cruciatus curse. She had felt his pain…she understood it, because she was suffering too.
How could it be that that night had only been just two weeks ago? How could such unbearable pain turn to such joy? She smiled a little, remembering how they had made angels in the snow, and then decided they were her father and Fred…sent down to watch over them. But perhaps, in the light of all that had happened since…perhaps the idea wasn't so far off after all.
It was Christmas time and her father had always told her that Christmas was a time for miracles. If God could send a Savior to earth to save his people…couldn't He also send her father and Fred to bring her and George together?
"I'm happy too." Luna smiled up at Angelina. "I'm happy that you were here to help George after Fred died, and that he was able to help you too….and I hope that we can be friends."
"I would really, really like that Luna." Angelina squeezed Luna's hands tightly.
"But, if it's all the same to you, I'd rather not kiss you." Luna picked up a pile of dirty dishes and turned away from the table. "I don't think George would like my kissing other people, he got a bit angry when I talked to waiter once."
Angelina giggled behind Luna's back. Luna, it seemed, was as eccentric as ever. At least George didn't have to worry about having a boring life.
Luna turned and fussed with the large bow on her back. She generally hated wearing things so frilly and usually went out of her way to avoid them, but Hermione, Ginny and Angelina had insisted that the dress was perfect for her. It was the same shade of blue that was George's favorite on her. It had very short frilly sleeves that were little more than a puff of chiffon that sat on the edge of her shoulder. The squared bodice dropped low in front, low enough to show off a fair bit of cleavage, a matching sash wrapped just below her breasts, from which it dropped to the floor in tiers of chiffon and lace. Luna had never owned a dress so costly, at least five times what she would normally pay for an article of clothing, and that was just the dress.
They hadn't stopped there.
Had it been up to Luna, she would have worn just her usual radish earrings and let her hair hang free…her shopping companions were having none of that. By the time they were done, Luna had spent another small chunk of her inheritance on a crystal choker, bracelet and matching earrings that hung so low they brushed her shoulders. Her hair was pulled back in into a messy knot, and then adorned with deep blue flowers. Then they had decided…since her dress had the look of a nineteen forties movie star…to compliment the look with overdramatic make-up to match the time period.
She looked stunning…even if somewhat uncomfortable.
"Stop fussing." Ginny tugged her hands away. "You look incredible, George is going to flip."
"I don't know, this isn't my usual style."
"Only because you normally dress yourself from second hand stores." Hermione turned Luna around and straightened the bow at her back. "You're just uncomfortable with spending money on yourself because you never do it."
"A girl has to spoil herself sometimes Luna." Angelina agreed. "You look amazing."
Luna looked in the mirror, trying to be objective. The dress did suit her coloring, and it made her eyes deepen from their usual silver to a deep sapphire, the ton of mascara and smoky grey eye shadow that Angelina had piled on around them didn't hurt either. The cut of the dress accentuated her slim, almost too skinny figure and smallish breasts…and it was quite pretty. She even liked the deep crimson lipstick …it made her lips the same color they turned when George kissed her until she thought she was going to turn into a steaming pile Jell-O.
"I suppose I do look…nice." She allowed, a small grin playing about her deep crimson lips. "I hope George thinks so."
Hermione giggled, "You could wear a flour sack and George would be impressed."
"He'd be even more impressed if you weren't wearing a flour sack." Ginny winked, causing Luna to blush deeply. "In fact, he'd be pretty impressed if you were wearing nothing at…"
"Ginny!" Luna warned, casting Ginny a dangerous glare, causing the other three to burst out into giggles. "How would you like it if I said that about you?"
"You're kidding right?" she laughed. "I know Harry wants to see me naked."
"All men want to see women naked." Hermione added. "They're pigs."
"And you never think about seeing Ron naked?" Angelina turned away from the mirror where she was fussing with her hair. Hermione had the sense to stay silent, yet her cheeks turned bright red. "Thought so."
"Why are you in here talking about naked people?" Harry stood in the doorway, his eyes glued on Ginny in her white strapless dress. "You look really nice."
"Thank you." Ginny smiled and cross to the door.
"She started it." Luna nodded at Ginny, then turned and looked for George, still nowhere to be found. Ron stood just behind him, speechlessly goggling at Hermione in her daringly low cut emerald green single strapped gown.
"Wow." He muttered at last when Hermione stood and crossed the room to kiss his cheek. This was a long way from the innocent frock she had worn years ago to the Yule ball and Ron reflected that it was a damn good thing Viktor Krum wasn't the one escorting her this time…it wouldn't have been the miniature Viktor would have been missing an arm by morning.
Hermione grinned approvingly at the clubbed over the head expression on Ron's face, and she approved of Ron's new formal black dress robes. A part of her had worried that he had been planning to dig his old ones out of hiding. Little did she know that Ron had burned them shortly after the Yule ball.
"George is on his way down." Harry nodded up the stairs, taking Ginny's hand. "He's running a bit behind."
"My fault, I made him wait while I finished hanging those drapes." Luna sank down on the side of the bed. They had spent the last five days working on the cottage in Hogsmeade. Luna had been unwilling to leave until everything was perfectly in place as it was the last day she would be able to help him.
Luna sighed as she watched Harry and Ron escort Ginny and Hermione downstairs. Angelina stood in her turquoise gown, then put her hand on Luna's shoulder, giving it a reassuring squeeze before turning for the stairs herself.
She had been struggling all week to not count, something that become next to impossible over the last couple of days. Only one full day remained…the day after New Years, it was back to Hogwarts. How was it possible that in just over two weeks her life could change so drastically? When the holidays had first begun, she had dreaded them…the long stretched out days, and the even longer nights…time she had thought would be spent all alone.
Then George came…and he changed everything. Now, instead of dreading a couple of weeks, she was dreading nearly six months. Yes, he would be in Hogsmeade, and she would be able to see him then…but once a month just wasn't often enough. It wasn't nearly enough.
"Please don't be sad." Luna's head jerked up to find George standing in the doorway, a look of intense concern on his face. "You look too beautiful to be so sad."
"What makes you think I'm sad?" Luna tried to force a smile, but it didn't reach her eyes.
"You've been sad all week." George shouldered off the door frame and stepped to take her hand. "You can't fool me you know."
"You've been sad too." Luna countered
"Never said I wasn't." George shrugged and pulled her close. "I think we should put all this out of our minds for tonight and try to concentrate on the truly horrible thing."
Luna linked their hands and looked up at him, an adoring smile on her face…this one a smile that reached her eyes. "And what is that?"
"That we've been forced into formal clothing, attending this ridiculous thing when we would both rather be here in comfortable clothes snogging in the New Year." He looked down and grinned, "Though, I have to say… you look stunning, that alone makes it worth it."
"You look rather stunning yourself." Luna sighed, "I'm going to have to hex all the girls off you."
George threw his head back and laughed, then took her hand and tucked it in the crook of his arm. "I don't think so. They will take one look at you …"
He leaned down and brushed her lips with his.
"…and they will realize that George Weasley is unavailable for the duration of forever.
George sat quietly watching while Luna was swept away to dance, first with his father, then with each of his brothers. Then of course, Harry had to have a turn, and before long, Neville Longbottom had arrived with Dean Thomas not far behind. The night seemed to be going on forever, and he had yet to have a complete dance alone with her. Either someone cut in on her, or someone cut in on him. For someone who didn't think she had any friends, Luna certainly had a lot of them…and they were almost all male.
It was just after eleven-thirty, while he sat watching Luna dance with Lee and Angelina was off dancing with Oliver Wood, that his mother began to look at him peculiarly.
"What?" He asked, his face resting in his palm.
"Are you feeling okay George?" She looked at him closely, and then slid over to sit next to him. "You're looking a bit peaky."
"I am?" He picked up a spoon and pretending to study his reflection. "Oh look, my face is all round mum!"
"Don't you get all cheeky with me George." She reached out and put a hand on his forehead. "Why…you're burning up!"
"I'm fine." He pulled away, turning his attention back to Luna.
"You are not fine." She pulled on Arthur's hand. "Arthur, feel his forehead."
George looked horrified and pulled away. "I don't need anyone feeling my forehead!"
"What's going on?" Ginny asked, she and Hermione returning from a trip to the bathroom.
"George is sick." Arthur looked at George "And he's not listening to your mother."
"I am not sick." He protested, trying to pull away from Ginny and Hermione who had both reached for his head. Ginny grabbed his shoulder to hold him in place, then she and Hermione both took turns.
"George, you're awfully warm."
"It's just hot in here, that's all."
"Well," Ginny huffed and turned towards the dance floor. "We'll see what Luna has to say about this."
She returned a moment later, Luna, Lee and Angelina in tow.
"You're sick?" Luna slid into the chair next to him. "Oh, I do hope it wasn't that steak and kidney pie. I read just before Christmas that the ministry was using Gnome's for meat to save money after the war."
"Gnomes?" Lee looked at her as if he couldn't decide whether to laugh or check to see if he was hearing things.
"Yes, but…there is so much greenery around too, it could be Nargles, or even Wrackspurts." Luna looked at George, an incredibly worried expression on her face.
"Luna, I'm not sick." George took her hand. "I'm fine."
"You don't look fine." Luna reached for his forehead. She pulled her hand back with a little gasp. "Okay, that's it. We're leaving."
She stood and began to dig in her bag for the tickets for their cloaks. "Would you mind?" She handed them to Lee and he and Angelina rushed off to get them.
"Luna, I'm fine." George fixed her with a look.
"Just be quiet George."
George sat back in his chair and rested his head back in his palm. His head feeling a bit woozy.
"I can take him dear." Mrs. Weasley protested. "You shouldn't ruin your evening."
"It's okay." Luna shook her head and smiled. "You stay and enjoy yourself. I wouldn't have much fun worrying anyway."
"Well, if you're sure." Mrs. Weasley leaned forward and kissed her cheek, then George's forehead. "Take good care of my boy."
Angelina and Lee arrived with their cloaks and Angelina threw George's over his shoulders, while Lee helped Luna into hers.
"I will, don't worry." Luna kissed her cheek. "Please…enjoy yourselves."
George had lain his head down on the table, and now Lee and Angelina pulled him to his feet while Luna dug his wand out of her bag.
"George." Luna said nervously. "You'll have to apparate us, I can't."
George nodded, and then took his wand, put his arm around Luna's shoulder and they were gone.
They landed on spot in the bedroom George was sharing with Charlie. Charlie had gone back to Romania just after Christmas and so he had been enjoying the privacy once again…Charlie's snoring could wake the dead.
Luna pulled his cloak off, then the heavy robe of his dress robes. She turned, dug a pair of pajamas out of the dresser and set them on the bed next to him.
"Can you manage with out me?" She asked, pulling him upright again when he began to slump over.
"I think so." He whispered, his voice weak. "Are you leaving?"
"I'm just going to get out of this dress…I'd hate for it to be ruined if you…well, you know." She sighed. "Gnome stains you see."
George tried to laugh, but it didn't come out. "Go on, I'll be okay. Hurry though."
Luna nodded, and then ran out the door. She was back in ten minutes wearing a pair of fluffy pink pajama's, her face freshly scrubbed, hair down and swirling around her. As beautiful as she had looked all dressed up…this was the way George liked her best.
She found him lying on his bed; he had put his pajamas on and now sagged over on his side. He looked terribly uncomfortable.
"Oh George." Luna set down the bottle of flu potion and glass of water that she had brought on the table. "You look so uncomfortable."
She leaned over, pulling the blankets aside, then pushed him on his back and pulled the blankets up.
"Is that better?"
"Some." He whispered. "But I would be better like this…"
He wrapped his arms tightly around her, pulled her into the bed, then pulled her over him, flipped her onto her back and kissed her. When he pulled back, he propped himself up on his elbow and grinned down at her.
"You…" Luna spluttered up at him. "I thought you were sick?"
"No." He shook his head, his smile widening. "I was bored and tired of sharing you."
"But…you had a fever." She reached up and put her hand on his forehead…it was as cool as a cucumber.
"Luna," George eyes twinkled madly. "Have you forgotten what I do for a living?" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue and green wrapper. On the side were the words…
'Fever Fudge…a Weasley Product'
"A skiving snackbox?" Luna pulled the wrapper out of his hand. "You used a skiving snackbox on me?" she turned to him, her eyes narrow and potentially dangerous.
"Not on you exactly…" he backpedaled. "The family, they never would have let us…"
"You!" Luna rolled over, pushing him on his back and sitting on his stomach. She pulled the pillow from beneath his head…
"You scared the shit out of me!"
…then started beating him with it.
"I'm sorry!" George yelled, his arms over his face protectively while he laughed. "I'm sorry…I swear."
"Say you'll never do it again!"
"I'll never do it again!" Luna stopped pelting him, trying to decide if he was serious…then she decided he was. "Forgive me…please?" He stared up at her, his eyes so wide and puppyish that she couldn't help but give in…her heart was melted goo in his hands.
"Alright. You're forgiven then." She started to move, then gave him one more smack with the pillow…just for good measure.
"What was that for?" George asked
"So you don't forget." Luna began to slide off the bed, but George grabbed her hand and pulled her back.
"Where do you think you are going?"
"I shouldn't be in here if you don't really need me."
"I always need you."
"I need you too." Luna smiled and sat on the side of the bed. "But that's not what I mean."
George looked at her for a moment, and then he smiled and pulled her back into the bed with him. "I promise to behave like a perfect gentleman."
Luna put her arms around him and lay her head on his shoulder. "That would be a first."
"Well...I'm wounded now."
"I know." Luna pushed up on an elbow and grinned at him cockily. "The truth must hurt terribly."
George looked up into her huge silver eyes, wondering if he had ever truly appreciated how beautiful she was. It was true, she wasn't as beautiful by others standards. She was by no means ugly; perhaps a little plain…he was well aware that people had been shocked to see them together that night. On the surface, the idea of George Weasley with Luna Lovegood seemed strange to say the least…impossible even.
He knew too that there had been a time in his life, back before the war, when he never would have considered her. He'd been a boy then, wrapped up in the typical teenage boys childish idea's of physical beauty. He hadn't considered then that there were things that were more important than the surface; hadn't known that what made a person beautiful was what existed inside.
Until he lost the most precious thing in his life.
Losing Fred…almost losing himself because of it,…it had forced him to grow up. In growing up he had learned to search beyond the outward…he sought what existed inside. Luna Lovegood was beautiful in spirit; in heart and soul… while she may not be as physically beautiful as the girls he had once pursued…she was the most beautiful woman he had ever known.
The most beautiful woman he would ever know.
George sighed deeply, reaching up to cup her cheek in his hand.
"I love you." He pulled her face to his, and then brushed his lips over her cheek. "I honestly and truly love you."
Luna sighed loudly. Would she ever tire of hearing the words? Would there ever be a day when they would cease to send her heart fluttering madly in her chest? She desperately hoped not.
She had seen the other girls when she and George arrived that night, their eyes wide with surprise, their mouths hanging open widely…all wondering what George Weasley was doing with Loony Lovegood. When she returned to school, there would be questions to answer no doubt. Most would assume it had been a mercy date, arranged by Ginny haranguing her brother. It was well known that Ginny could be quite persistent when she wanted something…and quite annoying to boot.
The thing that surprised Luna the most though, was that she couldn't seem to bring herself to care.
True, she had never cared about others opinions before, but since the end of the war, she had been a bit more sensitive.
She had lost her obliviousness…
Oh, she couldn't have cared less what they thought of her beliefs, or that they tried and tried to talk her out of them, it was the other things that bothered her, her missing shoes and homework; the finger pointing and gossip about her being held at Malfoy manor. Luna reckoned it had a lot to do with her father's death, not to mention her being held prisoner all those months.
However, despite her sudden sensitivity to the opinions of others…she couldn't care less what people thought about the idea of her being with George. It was a bit like how she had always seen things with her rare creatures. Let them be foolish in their denial…muggles didn't believe in magic either…that didn't mean it didn't exist. Let them believe, or let them not believe…she knew the truth.
Besides, they would figure it all out when she started spending time at a certain shop in Hogsmeade.
The truth was, she was unable to be concerned, because she knew George was sincere. He wasn't like the boys who had invited her to Hogsmeade and then watched her through the windows, laughing with his friends while she waited in the Three Broomsticks for a boy who would never come…who never had any intention of coming.
It wasn't just her obliviousness that Luna had lost…she'd lost her naiveté as well.
But George,…George wasn't like that. George was a dream come true…a dream that she would never have dared to dream, not even in her dreamiest daydreams.
Luna shifted slightly so she could look deep into his eyes. He was her prince, her knight in shining armor…her hero. He would never hurt her as those boys had, he would keep his promises.
"I love you too." She whispered softly as the coo-coo clock downstairs announced midnight. "Always and forever."
"It's midnight." George smiled and brushed a finger over her lips. "You know what that means, right?"
Luna nodded "The Nargle eggs are hatching."
"Yes, they lay their eggs in the evergreen during Christmas, and then when they feel the new year come, they hatch."
"Well…good for the Nargles." George smirked and looked adoringly into her eyes, this beautiful woman of his…the woman he intended to cherish for the rest of his life. "But I was thinking of something else."
"Good for the Nargles?" Luna looked at him with a shocked expression. "George! Nargles are bad, I thought you knew that by now! Nargles..."
"Luna..." He put a finger over her lips. "Shhhh."
He pulled her face to his, and then he kissed her.
They pulled apart a long time later, the moment incredibly sweet. Luna blinked and her cheeks were dotted with a smattering of tears. All too soon she would be leaving him…the moments were all too precious…she wasn't going to waste a single one.
"Happy New Year George."
George lifted his head and moved his lips over her cheeks, kissing the tears away. When not a single one remained, he pulled back slightly. His lips hovered over hers as he whispered the words.
"Happy New Years Luna."
Molly stared down at the two sleeping in the dark room. Her mother's instincts told her to go and rouse them from sleep and send Luna down to the bedroom below. They might be promised, but it still wasn't proper for a young man and a young woman to share a bed without being married. However, Molly Weasley was a woman first…and the woman…the woman remembered what it was like to be young…to be in love.
She smiled, then turned away and closed the door.
Snow was falling in huge fluffy flakes when George and Luna landed in Diagon Alley. The streets were deserted, not a single soul was about. It was their last night together and somehow, Luna had known he would bring her here.
Her eyes misted, knowing why he had brought her….he wanted to remember the night they had met …the night he followed her.
"I landed right here." He spoke softly, and then raised his arm, pointing at the streetlight above the apothecary. "And you were there, under that light."
"I'd already been walking awhile before you came." Luna sighed and leaned against him. "I couldn't stand it anymore…the quiet, the lonely flat. It was crushing me…I had to get out."
He put his arm around her and began to walk towards the street light. "It's the same thing I felt, even though I was surrounded by family. So I came here…and I found you." He smiled down at her, and then brushed a kiss over her lips. "My SnowAngel."
Luna smiled up at him for a moment, her hand on his cheek. Then, she laid her head on his chest and they began to walk, tracing the path they had followed that night not so long ago.
"What made you follow me?" She asked, her hand tightening in his.
"I don't know." He shrugged. "I didn't know then, and I still…I still don't understand. I just felt like, like there was something about you, something telling me that meeting you and being able to go on were synonymous. Like I couldn't do one without the other.
"There's a part of me that wonders; what would this Christmas have been like without you? I'd like to think I would have been strong…but there's another part that thinks I would have ended up locking myself away again, like I did last summer." He smiled at her sadly, "I've thought about that a lot this week…"
"I have too." Luna tightened her grip on his hand. "It's only logical I suppose…to be curious. I have a pretty good idea what my Christmas would have been like if we had never met that night. It would have been cold, and lonely…and just imagining a little of it is enough to make me not want to imagine it anymore."
The lights of Diagon Alley were dim behind them now as they came to the edge of the play park. The snowdrifts were much higher now than they had been that night. Then, they had only reached his ankles, now; they would have buried him to his hips. The two poinsettias from Luna's pin would be buried so far down that it would be spring before he could retrieve them…but he would retrieve them. He wasn't exactly sure why it was so important that he have them, only that it was.
"They're buried deep now, aren't they?" Luna let go of his arm and turned to face him. "The two pieces of my poinsettia pin."
George smiled and kissed the tip of her nose. It was so like them…they always knew what the other was thinking.
"Our snow angels are down there too." He reached out and brushed a bit of hair back behind her ear. "Your father, and Fred."
"Yes." She smiled and rolled her eyes upward. "And they're there too. Watching over us."
"Do you remember when you asked me if I believed in Angels?"
"I didn't then, not really…at least, not the way I do now."
"What do you believe now?"
"Many things." He smiled down at her, his eyes so alive with happiness it made her breath catch…particularly when she could still remember the sadness she had seen in his eyes the first time they had stood in this place.
"I believe the way to a girl's heart is through ice skates with golden blades, that the best part of hunting for a Christmas tree is not hunting for a Christmas tree, and that skulking in a girl's bedroom at four-thirty in the morning is the most dangerous thing a man can ever do." George looked at her and grinned. "I believe in mistletoe, and Nargles, and silly little Christmas trees that aren't really Christmas trees. "
Luna laughed and he reached out to brush the back of his fingers over her cheek.
" And…I believe Fred was an angel that night…and I believe he lead me to you."
"Oh George. I know it…I know my father lead me to you too." Luna wiped the tears from her cheeks and leaned against him. "I love you."
"I love you Luna Lovegood." He buried his face in her neck, pulling her tight against him. "When you come home in June, I am going to put a diamond on your finger, and then next Christmas…I'm going to marry you."
"I'd like that." Luna nodded and lifted her face to his. "I'd like that very much."
George pulled her face to his, the kiss sweet, yet filled with the sadness of the separation to come. Both knew they had a difficult road ahead…separation is never easy…but they trusted that they would make it through.
How could they not; they had angels on their side.
Christmas -Three Years Later
Snowflakes the size of ping-pong balls fell around them as Luna giggled happily, clinging tightly to George's hand while they walked the dark streets of Diagon Alley. She turned her face up to him, a beatific smile gracing her features while snow caught in her hair, on her eyelashes and the white fur trim of her cloak.
"You look so beautiful like that." He smiled, reaching over to brush a finger over her cheek. "With the snow all in your hair…you look like my SnowAngel."
"I think you're just feeling overly nostalgic." Luna grinned. "I'm so fat I look more like a cherub."
"For the tenth time this quarter-hour, you're not fat." George rolled his eyes. "You're pregnant."
"I feel fat."
"Luna, you're two days over due." He pulled her closer as they came to a patch of ice. "Stop being so hard on yourself."
"Yes dear." Luna sighed deeply. "But I don't understand why I am over due. Angie didn't go over due with Leandra."
"You're not Angie, though I am starting to think you two are twins separated at birth."
"Angie brings out the best in me." Luna stopped and stared up at her old flat above the apothecary. She loved that old place…even though all told she had lived there all of four days…the place held a precious memory. She and George had had their first kiss there. The summer after she completed Hogwarts she had stayed at the Burrow and hadn't left until she and George were married that Christmas. Since then, they had lived in Hogsmeade in his little cottage.
"She taught you to shop." George put his arms around her from behind and rested his chin on her shoulder. "That's hardly bringing out the best in you." He nuzzled her ear with his nose. "I know what the best in you is, the thing you love to do the most."
"Not for another few weeks you don't" Luna giggled and turned to walk again. "And not while I look like the butt cheek of a Nufflump."
"You do not look like the butt cheek of a Nufflump." George shook his head. Not that he knew what a Nufflump was…he tried to stay out of his wife's way when she was working on new stories for her magazine 'The Rare Dish'
"They are much larger." From what his wife had told him at least.
"Not much." Luna stopped and smiled, her eyes becoming misty as they always did when she and her husband stood in this spot. Three years before, on this very night, they had met here. He had been escaping his family and ended up following an angel, she had been escaping her loneliness and ended up walking the deserted streets. Though they hadn't realized it at the time, both had been searching, longing for something to hold onto, something that made sense in the world after the war.
They had found one another.
George took a deep breath and looked deeply into his wife's eyes. They had been through so much together, both before and after their meeting here three years before. The six month separation while Luna finished school had been difficult...though not as difficult as it would have been if George hadn't realized that it was just as easy to sneak into Hogwarts, as it had been for him and Fred to sneak out of it.
The aftermath of the war hadn't ended with the new year. There were birthdays to endure, milestones and anniversaries. Luna's father's body had never been found, yet she remained at peace …she had told him the first night they met that she knew where he was. Xenophilius Lovegood was in heaven with Luna's mother, Cera. Fred, George knew, was there too. Someday, he would see him again and as much as he loved his life, there was a part of him that couldn't help longing for that day.
"Are you sure you should do this?" George looked at Luna worriedly
"I'll be fine," Luna assured him. "As long as you don't put your back out trying to help me up afterwards."
George resisted the urge to roll his eyes at her again. "Let's go."
Very carefully, he helped her to her knees, and then she rolled over onto her back and moved her arms and legs up and down. George fell onto the ground next to her, copying her motions. He reached over, grasping her hand in his, and then he smiled, the memories of their first snow angels coming to life again in his mind as it did every year.
"I love you, Luna Weasley."
Luna felt the familiar thrill rush through her at the words, it hadn't faded the slightest since the first time she had heard them the night of the storm…after three years together, she was starting to believe it never would.
"I love you, George Weasley."
He sat up, pulling her up with him so they sat on their knees. George reached into his pocket and pulled out the two pieces of Luna's old poinsettia pin. A tear slipped down Luna's cheek as she laid it in the snow.
"Merry Christmas Daddy."
George held tight to her hand, and then lay his own.
"Merry Christmas Fred."
They kissed their fingers, and then pressed them to the faces of their SnowAngels.
George stood and pulled his wife to her feet, then put his arm around her to lead her away. He would come back in the spring for the poinsettia pins…he did every year.
"George," Luna sighed and put her head on his arm.
George leaned down and kissed her forehead then brushed his lips over hers. After all these years,…she was still the most beautiful woman he had ever known…she always would be.
"Merry Christmas Luna."
"My water broke."
"About an hour ago."
"Luna!" George gave her an exasperated look. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"We needed to make our snow angels. It would be bad luck to break tradition."
He looked at her for another moment, shaking his head. It was so like her…Luna loved their yearly tradition of making snow angels by the park…she wouldn't give it up for anything.
"Ugh.. Luna you are so…"
"George, do you want to argue, or do you want to get me to St. Mungo's?"
He knew from experience…arguing with his wife never made a bit of difference…besides, it was already done. He'd lost this argument before it had even started.
"St. Mungo's" George reached into his pocket for his wand. It was time…finally; it was time for their little girl to be born.
"She's coming?" He grinned as he put his arm around Luna.
Luna nodded, a huge smile on her face.
"Angel's finally coming."
George kissed her, then swept her up in his arms and apparated them away.
Despite all his worry over Luna's being over due…
Perhaps it was going to be a Merry Christmas after all.
A very, very Merry Christmas.
Notes: Sigh...and so ends another! I'm always sad to see a story end...but...as this was a seasonal story it was drawn out much longer than I had planned. I had meant for it to finish by New Years, but unforeseen complications arose. I hope that you have enjoyed the story and I hope the ending was satisfying. I probably should have split it into two chapters, but I wanted to put this one to rest. I have a new story I want to do and I still need to finish up The Year After, which is no where near finished, not even half I don't think. I also am hoping to get back to Beautiful Consequences II sometime soon.
So, a belated Happy New Year to everyone and thanks for following this story!