Shadowmen

A HariPo fanfiction

by mew-tsubaki

Note: These characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. Chapter one was for the 100 Prompts challenge by xXKissingSinXx, and I used 29, 30, 58, 77, and 85. Everyone should go check out her prompts! They're excellent for helping you get the right motivation to start a story! Anyways… Read, review, and enjoy! NOTE: Ziven is Morghen's OC and yes, I have permission to use her.

Sooo sorry for the long-awaited update, guys. -.- I thought I hadn't finished ch4…when it turned out that I had and just needed to post it. So sorry if you have to go skim/reread the 1st 3 chapters before commencing. –mew! :(

- ^-^3

Chapter 4: We Might Be Wondering…

Before he could stop her, Angelina sat down across from him in the seat he'd been so sure Parvati would occupy. However, now thinking hard on it, he realized he must've been sent here to "bump" into Angelina. George fought the scowl at the idea that Parvati had planned this chance encounter; last he knew, he and Parvati had still been in the planning stage of his rekindling romance—together.

Angelina nervously chuckled. "Well, um. You look well."

George snapped back to the situation at hand. "Hmm? Oh, uh, yeah, yeah…" That shiver from before settled as a chunk of ice in his stomach. "So…Ballycastle, huh? Good thing Ginny's retired from Holyhead."

For a moment, Angelina's eyes hardened, though when her ex next blinked, the hardness was gone. "The Tutshill Tornadoes didn't want a seasoned veteran on their team. They only want fresh, young blood. But I've held my own on the team," she said, gesturing to her black robes which had a bright scarlet bat on them.

"Northern Ireland, though?"

She shrugged. "The Ballycastle Bats and I worked through an agreement. I still live here, but my fireplace is set up to reach Ballycastle." She smirked. "Having an international Floo feels empowering." Angelina gave a quiet laugh, but then an awkward silence followed. "Uh…what have you been up to?"

George choked on his tea. As if he could mention the Shadowmen! He snorted when he thought of Lorcan's advances, Freddie's determination, and Parvati's… Well, he just chuckled at the thought of Parvati. She really knew how to arrange the pawns on her chessboard. But he frowned; if he was here with Angelina, then that meant that Parvati was probably going through with his suggestion.

A muscle in his jaw twitched. Dean Thomas really didn't deserve her. …but George couldn't think who did.

Angelina waved a hand in his face, and he snapped out of his thoughts. "Sorry?"

She laughed and, for a fleeting moment, George saw the woman he had loved for so many decades. His heart softened as a flood of memories consumed him, and he could feel himself frowning involuntarily again. Unfortunately, Angelina knew him and had enough experience to read his expression and surmise where his mind was going. She stopped laughing. "George…," the witch warned.

He sighed and leaned back in his chair, away from her. "What?"

"Don't even go there."

"Go where?" he patronized.

Angelina groaned and banged her head on the table. "You know exactly what I mean!" She lifted her head and locked eyes with him, glaring. "We aren't going to pick up where we left off. I mean it. I…" The brunette licked her lips, a habit she did sometimes before saying something delicate—a habit she'd picked up from Hermione when they'd still been sisters-in-law. "I don't want to continue."

George winced. Those were the exact the words she'd said to him months ago. And just like back then, the words cut through him like a Severing Charm. He remained quiet.

If she noticed his pain, she didn't dwell on it, as she changed the subject. "You never answered me… How are you these days?"

"Fine, I s'pose." Responding made his tongue feel thick and heavy in his mouth.

"You seemed like you were expecting someone else," she stated, her voice tinged with something…sadness or envy, George couldn't tell. "Are you…?"

"Seeing someone?" he finished for her. "No." He had to bite his tongue from adding, "How could I, the way you left me?" He forced a small smile instead.

"Me neither," she mumbled. A long moment passed before she continued. "Any new inventions?"

"A few."

"Adding to the edibles or the WonderWitch products?"

"Little bit of column A, little bit of column B."

"How are the kids?"

"Fine. Alive. Adult."

Angelina's patience had waned. She glared at him. "Would you show me the respect of actually talking to me? Never in my life could George Fabian Weasley be described as terse!"

He couldn't stop himself: "But it'd be a riot if Fred Gideon Weasley acted like a mute, wouldn't it?"

Simultaneously, Angelina looked livid and queasy. She pushed forward with her anger. "This is why I don't want to continue, George."

George deflated slightly, a bit panicky because, really, wasn't he supposed to be winning this lovely woman back? "Why? Am I not funny enough?"

"Please, George, please don't go there—"

"Am I not creative enough? Handsome enough?"

"George, I'm not warning you, I'm begging you—"

"—kind enough? Sensitive enough? Caring e—"

"You and I just never clicked!" she cried. Both were silent as they felt eyes turn on them, but there was no energy left to feel embarrassed. Angelina was silently crying and George's face looked like that of a person who'd just seen their familiar Avada Kedavra-d.

"Ah." George closed his gaping mouth. He dropped his eyes to the prototype which he'd all but forgotten.

Angelina turned her head away to stare out the window through blurry eyes. She didn't want to hear any more…

"I'm not Fred enough."

There. There it was. It hung in the air, a thick, iron curtain dropped between them to form a barricade as thick as the walls of Hogwarts Castle…walls that, once upon a time, had so easily shattered and taken one twin far too early. And that was how George and Angelina had arrived here. Oh, cycles, vicious cycles.

It felt like forever before George could look at her again. Sure, he felt guilt—a bit—for vocalizing what'd been on their mind, but the blame… It was, to a certain extent, shared by them both. And George now felt as though he had some years on the late Nicolas Flamel.

Angelina sniffled and wiped her eyes. She coughed before speaking. "So the kids are fine without me."

George knew to drop it; it was as though they'd never had the Fred conversation. "…yeah," he finally muttered. "They've got their own lives. They're good."

She nodded. "Good, good…George." She paused and forced herself to look him in the eye. "I—I know I made the right choice."

At that, George felt one more fight in him surge forward, but his ex-wife shushed him when she placed a finger on his lips.

"George, I'm moving to Ballycastle."

He couldn't believe his ears. George gaped at her. "You're what?"

Angelina nodded and sadly smiled. "I am… That Floo connection at my place was only temporary. I'd been thinking of moving for a little while and I decided only last week that I'd go through with it."

"You…" His face grew warm. "When did Ballycastle recruit you?"

"After I left, George."

"So that didn't factor into your leaving the family."

"…no. No, it didn't." Angelina waited for him to say more but, when he didn't, she stood up and smoothed her robes. "I just…y'know, thought you should know."

George remained in his seat but followed her with his eyes. He looked up into her face one last time as she gripped his shoulder. "I don't s'pose a joke might help?"

To his surprise, she chuckled. "Oh, George… Jokes are for rainy days, mate. Not for eternal storms." She bent down and pecked the top of his head. "Goodbye…George."

He didn't turn to watch her leave, nor did he follow her form out of the corner of his eye through the window. He'd already seen her leave once—he didn't need to see her go again.

- ^-^3

For four days straight, George did not leave the shop. It helped to keep his mind and hands busy, but it was also good for him to be present just as demand surged for once. The last time he'd had shortages of anything had been last winter. Apparently, people liked jokes and pranks when they were either really hot or cold. All George cared was that they were alive and paying with real Knuts, Sickles, and Galleons.

When the Weasley father hit his fifth day of nonstop work, he began to tire a little. As it was a Saturday, George took lunch early and closed the store for an hour. He'd just sat down to eat a sandwich when someone knocked on the front door's window.

Groaning, he hopped up and shoved his sandwich in his pocket. He stomped over to the door and opened it. "Oi! Can't you read Engli—"

"Uncle George!"

He blinked as he had to catch a witch with a mass of platinum blonde waves. "Dominique?"

His niece grinned, her hazel eyes bright. "It's been a long while, Uncle George. How's the shop? Why are you on break at the busiest hour?"

"I, uh—" He spotted her companion behind her and regained a little bit of his footing. "Oh. Lorcan."

"Hey, there, George."

George raised his eyebrows. The Scamander had said the same thing a couple of weeks ago before the Shadowmen had even been formed. "Hello."

Dominique looked at the store out around her uncle. "Um, do you mind if I do a little bit of shopping?"

"Hmm?"

"I've been so busy with all the wedding preparations," she stated. "I've barely had time for anything else. Actually, Lorc and I came to Diagon Alley to finalize the dress and take care of other order forms at Malkin's. Vic was a big help, but she had to tend to another customer, so Madam Malkin wrapped up my appointment and—well, it's been forever since I've seen WWW!" Somehow, she managed to say it all in one breath. But she beamed at him. "Business is booming."

George couldn't help but smile. Dom had such a vibrant, bubbly personality. He pulled her into a bear hug and gestured to the place. "Shop to your heart's content, Dom. I'll even give you a discount."

Dominique raised her eyebrows with a laugh as she headed toward the Pygmy Puff corner. Lorcan watched her and remarked in a low voice to George, "The elusive family discount? What the hell happened?"

The father sighed and motioned for the blonde wizard to follow him away from Dominique, towards the register. George waited a moment until Dominique wasn't facing their direction. "Angelina."

Lorcan started to smile then stopped when George sent him a disgruntled look. "I thought that was something good!"

"Me, too." Then he filled Lorcan in on what had actually occurred. "I… Well, I guess it's no surprise I haven't met up with the three of you at all. I'm rather useless as a Shadowman now, aren't I? Angelina cast the spotlight on single, old me." He grimaced. "My shadow was ripped out from under my feet."

Lorcan frowned. "Aw, George… I, I don't know what to say."

"It's all right. What you just said's fine."

The blue-eyed wizard nodded. "If I may… Freddie's had some luck with Ziven. He's gotten a handful of letters as hopeful evidence," he added with a small chuckle.

"That's great," George said, and the first real smile he'd had in days reached his eyes. "Obviously, things are going well with my bubbly niece."

Lorcan grinned. "I've been an extra pair of hands."

"You're watching where those hands go, right?"

He held them up. "Innocent, positive."

George nodded. "So where's your brother in all of this?"

"Just caught up in work. I know he wants to teach Care of Magical Creatures, but his apprenticeship with Hagrid is getting ridiculous." He cursed under his breath as his eyes rested on Dominique once more. "Dominique is more hurt than she's outwardly showing."

"Oh?"

"George… A couple of nights ago I had to magically lock away the seating chart. It was late, but she needed to eat something. I started to throw something together and she came over to me and just…just wrapped her arms around me." Lorcan grimaced and sighed exasperatedly. "She looked up at me and it felt like time froze. She almost… She almost kissed me!" he hissed.

George furrowed his brow. "I thought that's what you wanted. I thought that was the point of our organization."

"I know…" Lorcan shook his head. "But I can't help but think Dom wouldn't have acted like that if she didn't see me as a Lysander replacement. I—I'm starting to wonder if she even sees me. I'm starting to wonder if this is a good idea at all."

George pursed his lips. "Join the club, mate." Silence settled over the two of them, though the shop owner definitely had one more question on the tip of his tongue.

"Parvati seems to have some small degree of success."

Though he was glad that he didn't have to ask about her, George could also feel his stomach drop. What did Lorcan mean by "success"? Was Parvati really impersonating Padma? And just how far was Parvati going to have to go to convince Dean? That muscle in his jaw twitched again over the thought of Dean having Parvati near him… Really, Dean and Padma were in the wrong and therefore deserved each other… Parvati needn't be hurt anymore by them… Maybe George could convince her that the Shadowmen could just find her another wizard, one not so sleazy…

"…orge? George!"

"What?" he hissed, annoyed at having been disrupted from his thoughts.

Lorcan looked at him funny. "Er, why's there a sandwich in your pocket?"

- ^-^3

All my lateness aside, I still find that I like this chapter a lot. The turning point is already rolling into motion, and I look forward to completing ch5 and posting it. Ch5 will mark the halfway point of this story, but I pretty much know where it's going, so I hope the only way I might disappoint will be in posting. Sheesh, I can't apologize enough! Xo

Please review! It's much appreciated…and wanted, *lol*! Up next: 5-"We Taste SWEET?"

-mew! ;}

P.S—Thanks for all the favs, alerts, and reviews, people! :3 Dedication goes to jojor99, jowx97, HarryPotterResidentEvilFanJnL, and lowi: Hope you four like how Lorc's and George's minds are churning. ;D