A/N: Hey there readers! I am Lydia :) Nice to meet you all. I usually (and mostly) write for Alice in Wonderland 2010 so you may have read a couple of my drabbles and such over there.
I just wanted to nervously say a couple things- first off...this is my first Harry Potter fic (and probably will be my only long one...perhaps a drabble or there?) and it's with a OC...exploring what would happen if Fred didn't die...however the OC protag is a representative of me..I want to write her appealingly however. So if I start writing a Mary Sue please let me know...I think inserts and OCs can be beyond Sues if given enough effort. If you don't like FGIs you may not want to read this...but I do promise a very interesting plot :)
Also; don't eat me alive. I am trying my best to make canon characters as true as possible. And in saying so...I don't own any of Harry Potter (sadly) just me. And whatever OCs I make up. J.K. Rowling owns the rest :) and England. Hahah.
Alright, I think I've left a long enough author's note. Reviews, criticisms, corrections, complaints, and the like are accepted. Flames are discouraged...but if you feel the need to be nasty...I can't stop you can I?
Fairfarren (may you travel far under fair skies ;))
He wasn't sure why he went down that road that particular day in September. Nor was he sure why he even wanted to go into Muggle land. All that he knew was that he did and he was glad in the end.
It was an oddly warm summer day in England and Fred Weasley was chuffing around with his twin brother George and friend Lee Jordan. The three had decided to try something new instead of shopping for books for another year of school at Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry. Not that Fred did much studying; he and his twin were more the experts in the pranking department.
The wind tugged at his ginger hair and he brushed the strays from his warm brown eyes. His mother was scolding he and George for sporting hair cuts that were long than their collars but both twins thought they looked especially handsome. George had even attempted to grow a beard but only light wisps of hair covered his jaw bone and chin. It wasn't a very good looking beard at all and Fred constantly teased him about it. Which was precisely what he was doing when the three deliberately snuck away from the Weasley matriarch in order to go to the forbidden- London. Well the real London anyways; one could barely count Diagon Alley as real London with all the witches and warlocks that wandered about. Fred was yearning to stretch his wings; he could only imagine the fun that could be had investing in Muggle magic tricks. With real magic of course, thrown in. His mother would no doubt have his head as soon as she found out what he was deviously plotting under his red tufts. She was already furious that her two doubles wanted to start a magic joke shop on this side of the line as it was.
"George, you can't be serious about growing a bush on your chin!." Lee shook his head. "That is going to look utterly absurd on such a firehead as yourself." He gave a tug at Fred's twin's hair. He batted the hand of the other boy away.
"You're just jealous your dark rough hair will never be as silky fine as mine," He tugged the dreadlocked hair of his friend. Fred laughed along with George as Lee rolled his big brown eyes.
"Right; did you ever intend on finding yourself a mate?" Lee narrowed his eyes at George.
"Why we've got you, Lee. What other mate could we need?" Fred answered linking his arm around his friend's shoulders.
"You're a sly one there, Freddie," George laughed.
"I meant a lady friend." Lee responded thickly.
"Ahhh- we'll you see chap," George began looking over to his brother. "We plan on pursuing more than just a little Hogwart-y relationship. In fact we don't even know if we're going to return to Hogwarts this year."
"You're mother would kill you-"
"Ahh but see, mate, we got ourselves a little friend that may have lent us some money-" Fred began before George elbowed him in the ribs. The twin let out a hiss.
"Fred, you can't tell him everything. The name wouldn't ring right if we had to add a Jordan into it."
"You two blokes are stupid sometimes you know that right?" Lee shook his head.
"That's why you hang around with us." George poked at their friend.
"I think, Georgie, that we should go on a little adventure today. What do you say," Fred shot his twin a mischievous grin. "You up for a little bit of trouble?"
"When am I not up for a little bit of trouble?" George elbowed Lee. Lee nodded his head indicating that he was onboard with the plan. Fred and George slinked expertly across the streets until they made it to the magical barrier that hid where the Wizarding world began and where the Muggle World paused. They hadn't been past the line since they were little boys and when their father had found out he beat them thoroughly. Fred swore he could feel it still when he sat down. Which always riled his dear old mother up.
"Where exactly are we going?" Lee asked. George and Fred looked to him and replied in unison.
"Right, around." Lee said running a nervous hand across his dreadlocks. "We aren't going to get killed are we?"
"They're Muggles not Dementors," George sighed sarcastically.
"We'll be fine. Maybe we'll even find us a lady friend," Fred joked. Lee smiled.
"What would your parents say?" The dark skinned boy said with true shock.
"He'd be impressed we brought something Muggle home," Fred smiled. Lee laughed.
"You two are lucky your parents didn't kill you before your pranks did."
"You participated in many of them,"
"Right, well I am not the one everyone suspects." Lee answered pointedly. Fred and George looked at each other.
"But you're practically our triplet!" George protested before stepping across the line. It let out a soft gurgle as he passed and he paused on the other side of the shimmering border to stick his thumbs upright.
"Alright, mate, looks good." Fred turned to Lee.
"You had better find something interesting over here because this is really pushing it…" Lee answered.
"You don't have to come." Fred responded.
"I-I don't think I should." Lee backed away. "There's just something about Muggles-"
"It's alright, I understand. You can be our look out in case our Mum comes back," He winked at his friend.
"As always that is a job I specialize in." He smiled back with a nod.
"Right," Fred said before passing through the other side of the border. He turned to look for his twin and realized that he was nowhere to be found.
"Georgie boy!" He gave a cry as he wandered the sidewalks.
He had only been out in London a handful of times and it surprised him anew how different their worlds were. Automobiles whizzed through the streets of London. If he wasn't careful habit would lead him to just passing across the street but his tall lanky body was of no match for one of those cars.
"Now, where is George?" He muttered to himself and wandered down the street. People kept giving him odd stares as he made his way through the crowd. He assumed at first that it was due to the fact he was moving against the flow. Looking down, however, he came to realize that he was still wearing Wizard's robes. He cursed himself for not changing earlier; why had he and George not thought of that?
Fred moved through the streets of London trying his best to feel the pull in his navel that often led him in the right direction of his twin. It was unusually quiet today which was strange because he couldn't remember the last time he had been this far from his other half. A small part of him began to worry but his adventure seeking side was winning over.
The buildings here were so tall and intricate he noted. The houses were so close together. This was far different from the burrow that he had grown up in. Neighbors were miles away and there was all that space to be. They could play Quidditch or he and Georgie would get lost in the cornfields in attempt to tease their matriarch.
He passed a bakery out of which wafted the scent of freshly baked pastries and felt his stomach growl. He was dreadfully hungry now that he thought about it and the open cafes that he spotted looked extremely wonderful. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a couple knuts that he and George had raised with their new business. Surely this would pay for at least a little something before he could find his twin.
Fred wasn't sure which little place he wanted to choose so he began to make his way down the street glancing at the patrons. The first couple held expensive diners with whom he assumed that he couldn't afford the meals there. As he made his way down the street the places seemed to hold less people but seemed extremely more affordable. He liked affordable. He was nearly ready to just call it a day and head back to the border where George was surely waiting for him when he spotted her.
She was sitting outside a small café, her nose deep in a book. She looked strange among the several other diners who ate in pairs. This was obviously a frequent for young couples during their work breaks. But she sat away from them as she studied her literature, a half eaten bagel in front of her. Fred felt sorry for how lonely she looked sitting there and approached her with a large grin.
"You know, you miss a lot of things when your nose is so far in the book." He tucked his wand into the pants beneath his robes as he approached her table. Her head jolted up in surprise; her green eyes widening.
"What?" She looked him over and then smiled coyly. "Like a man wearing strange robes? Tell me," She leaned forward, closing the book to rest it on the table and resting her elbow upon it. "Have you come to tell me how to find eternal peace?"
"Do I look like eternal peace?" He asked flirtatiously as he extended his arms.
"You kind of look like a freak." She said teasingly. He liked her already.
"Well that isn't quite the answer I wanted."
"Lydia, Lydia MacFlann," She smiled and indicated toward the set next to her.
"You want me to sit there?" He said with surprise. She was extremely trusting that was certain.
"Well do you see any other open seats?" She gestured around the place with her hands.
"Right, right," He sat down and let his legs splay out, placing a hand on his abdomen. "What's with the strange accent?" He had noticed that she spoke with a slight British lull but something else marked her words.
"I'm coming from the Americas." She said bluntly. "Now, you know a lot about me, sir, but I nothing of you."
"Right, I suppose that is quiet rude of me." He eyed her bagel. She pushed it toward him with a half grin. "Name's Fred. Fred Weasley."
"Fred Weasley." She echoed him. "That is a peculiar name,"
"Why is that?" He asked before taking a bite of his bagel.
"I don't know too many Freds." She shrugged her shoulders.
"So how long have you been in England?" He inquired.
"Oh, only a couple of months. Not too long. I am here for a semester abroad in high school and I would love to stay. It's far from family and it's more my type of place." She smiled.
"Far from your family?" Fred paused with the bagel halfway in his mouth.
"Right; that's not something to talk about when we've only just met." She looked down at the napkin she had placed next to her book and began to play with it.
"I suppose." He eyed her warily.
"Are you hungry?" She asked abruptly.
"Are you hungry?" She repeated herself, looking into his eyes. They were quite unique in their color- a striking green with soft whispers of brown. They stood out against her pale skin only to be magnified by her concentrated makeup.
"Yeah-" He mumbled a bit flustered. He was supposed to be answering her question not admiring the hue of her eyes. "Yeah, I always am. I think me and my brothers drive my Mum crazy with the amount of food we can consume."
"How many brothers do you have?" She said, motioning for the waitress to come over.
"I have five." He smiled. "And a sister."
"Oh, your poor sister." Lydia laughed. The waitress came back to the table with a pad of paper in her hand to receive more orders.
"Neh, she handles herself among all of us." Fred teased. He turned to waiter and gave her an ample order of soup, salad, and two sandwiches which caused her to look at him oddly.
"I'm a growing chap," He replied to her incredulous look.
"Growing?" She asked with a smile.
"I'm sixteen now and am going to come of age soon enough." He grinned.
"Coming of age?" Lydia's voice was lined with confusion.
"Of course. When you turn seventeen you're actually an adult to the world."
"Oh, I always though Europe was the same as America and it's eighteen over there." She smiled at him. "You're a really nice guy,"
"Thanks but you're not getting the whole me." He responded slyly. "Not until I've played a decent joke. Which I haven't been able to do all summer with me mum worrying about You-Know-Who coming back and-"
"You-Know-Who?" She asked. Fred's heart raced as he realized he was talking to a Muggle who knew nothing about what he was speaking.
"Uhhh," He searched the papers around him looking for a name. On one of the papers was a picture of an elderly old lady bearing a crown. "Queen-Queen Elizabeth," He squinted his eyes to make out the name that was placed beneath the picture.
"The Queen Mother?" Lydia asked with shock. "The Queen Mother is the You-Know-Who that your mother is afraid of?"
"Right, yeah. Silly old woman, me Mum." He coughed uncomfortably as she looked him down.
"Alright," She said and then began to laugh. He looked at her curiously, cocking his head. She was wiping tears from her eyes as she tried to explain the reason for her mirth. "Right, sorry I just-am imagining your mother fearing the Queen. You must admit this is really funny."
"I-yes I get a laugh every time." Fred bobbed his head.
"So your mother has five boys to look after. That is incredible," She smiled and ran a hand through her short pixie cut. He noticed that in the sunlight she was a wonderful auburn color.
"Yes, five brothers. My parents love responsibility." He grinned.
"Well if any of them are at all like you they must be rather amusing," She nodded her head.
"I have a twin, actually. George."
"George; well that is appropriate as a partner to Fred." She smiled. "Does he look like you?"
"He's nearly identical but I'm much better looking." The man smiled and Lydia laughed.
"Oh of course." She said through a grin. She had a nice smile; it took up her face causing her eyes to squint as if she were teasing you into laughing as well. It was slightly crooked as the right side pulled up a little farther.
"So what's a pretty girl like you doing all alone on a wonderful afternoon?" He asked.
"Just getting some reading done; it's peaceful here."
"Alone?" He cocked his head at her. "You seem like a very outgoing type."
"Yeah well-" She ran her finger down the binding of the book before her as she dropped her gaze to the worn jade green cover. "Sometimes I just enjoy being alone."
She changed the subject and the two began to converse about things. Fred recounted to her several of his latest pranks as well as he and his twin's invention of a joke shop. Lydia explained how she wanted to become a beautiful screen actress or perhaps a writer. He found both positions to be rather fitting wishing her luck. She confided with a wink that she wouldn't mind getting married either. Fred had to laugh this one off. His mother would kill him for bringing home a Muggle girl when he wasn't even supposed to be leaving Diagon Alley. The timing didn't feel right either. He scolded himself for sounding like his friends that took Trelawney's completely pointless class.
Lydia asked him where he was going to school and explained that she was at one outside of London and had taken the bus into town. He made up that he went to some school on the other side of England and was merely on holiday. He had told her the town was tiny so telling her the name wouldn't matter.
Fred's lunch had come during this time and he ate heartily. He shared his soup with the woman before him in trade for scarfing down her bagel. She said it wasn't a big deal that she wasn't that hungry. But he left her some soup none the less.
She then asked him about his family; what his mother and father did, some of which he had to give her vague details. When she found out that Charlie, Percy, and Bill were older she asked what they did. Fred couldn't do anything but curse Percy's name for the fact that he abandoned the family. Lydia gave him a sympathetic look and reached across the table to place a kind hand on his long fingers. He looked at her wanly liking the feel of her soft hand against his skin. He shook the thought from his head and began to question her about where she was from. With dismay he received very short answers.
"I'm from America, New York to be exact." She said with a frown. "I didn't like the culture; I wanted to try something new. So I decided to come here. I am the oldest and my siblings are both sports addicts. I'm terrible at sports. I let my mother down with my ambitions and my dad is the only one who believes in me. Is there anything else you wish to know?" She answered a bit shortly.
"I didn't realize that it was such a nerve." He apologized. She flushed red and placed her hand upon her face.
"Oh, Fred. That was uncalled for. I'm sorry. You've been answering my questions genuinely and I'm acting like a dousche answering yours." She frowned. "It's just- my family isn't as wonderful as yours. We are a team of individuals, not individuals in a team."
"That sounds tempestuous." Fred laughed.
"It is. Lots of headbutting. The Percy thing happens a lot." She shrugged and looked away. "I just didn't want to ruin conversation with something as stupid as that."
"You didn't ruin," He assured her. "Besides women are always alluring when there is that air of mystery." He winked.
"Me, air of mystery?" She mockingly placed her hand against her chest. He laughed along with her.
The day was falling and Fred hadn't given thought to his twin yet. But George had been thinking about him. As Fred was listening to Lydia talk about life in America differing from life in England he spotted George walking down the street; worry upon his face as his dark eyes flitted this way and that.
"Oi! Georgie!" He cried and his twin looked up. A smile crossed his face as he saw Fred sitting in the café.
"Where've you been, you git! I have been looking all over for you!"
"Here. Talking to Lydia." He gestured toward the girl that was in front of him. She looked up and her body twitched as she double took. She looked from George to Fred and Fred to George.
"I suppose you are identical." She mused.
"So is she supposed to be in Diagon Alley as well?" George asked. Fred shook his head and made a slitting motion with his hand. Muggle he mouthed. George nodded his head in understanding.
"I hate to cut your evening short, Ms. Lydia." George said with a wink. "But Freddie and I really need to be going. It's nearly 3:00."
"Oh dammit!" She cried and stood up. "I need to meet a student in the library at 4:00!" She grabbed her book in a rush. She took a brown canvas messenger back from the back of her chair where it had hung. She shoved the book inside then reached into an outer pocket to retrieve black oversized sunglasses.
Fred grabbed her hand before she placed them on and smiled.
"It was nice talking with you." He grinned and she blushed.
"Of course! D-d-do you want my number?" She asked. Fred's heart broke. He didn't know how to use the Muggle means of communication on top of the fact that it would be a really bad idea to contact her once he got back to the Wizarding world anyways.
"Uhm, well I don't really have anything to write it on." He reached into his robes and dug around in his pants pocket to extract a few knuts. He pulled them out eagerly and threw them upon the table.
"What are those?" She questioned.
"Knuts," He said with a smile. She shook her head.
"I believe this currency system is pounds. I have never heard of knuts before."
"Blast!" George cried. "Fred you ate here? You git, we don't have Mug-that kind of money!" He yelled.
"Oh, that's alright." Lydia reached into her bag again and pulled out her wallet. She extracted several strips of paper and placed it against the table. "I have got this."
Fred felt terrible. He was a Gryffindor; he was supposed to be chivalrous. He was having this lady pay for his lunch.
"I-" He didn't have much of a choice, though, did he? "Thank you," Was all he could say in a sigh.
"It's not a big deal." She shrugged. "Thanks for keeping me company, Fred Weasley." She said gently.
"I hope I can see you again," He said sincerely.
"Oh, yeah." She said looking away.
"If I had a pellytone I'd-"
"Telephone?" She giggled. "I forgot you said you lived in the countryside- I didn't realize it would mean you didn't have a telephone." She smiled. Fred sighed that he wasn't completely blowing the nice woman off.
"Well, if we meet again." He extended his arms to wrap her in an embrace.
"Yes," She sighed snuggling her head under his chin. It was a little too intimate for him but he felt bad that she would most certainly spend a longer time alone tomorrow and the day after.
"Alright," George said flatly. "We need to get going," He grabbed Fred by the elbow.
"Right, oh yes. Good bye Fred." She slung her messenger high up on her broad shoulders and turn to pay inside the café.
"I didn't think you'd take Lee's advice for certain!" George growled. "And why didn't you find me?"
"I tried," Fred insisted. "I just…I saw her sitting all alone and she looked like she needed some company."
"Right, whatever. Where's Lee?"
"Looking out for us. He's on the edge of the border." Fred answered. "Too scared to cross over, scared prat." He laughed. George shook his flaming locks and chuckled.
"We may have to run for it, Freddie."
"Well then why are we standing around?" He asked and began to take down the streets of London. He could hear George racing behind him letting out bursts of mischievous laughter.
They reached the border and leapt across with mirth spilling from their lips. Lee Jordan was on the other side to greet them with a cry of shock.
"What the hell? Bout time you got back." He said with tension in his voice.
"Did Mother notice we were missing?" George asked in pants as he was trying to catch his breath.
"I don't think so. She took Harry and Ron and Ginny and Hermoine somewhere." Lee said with a sigh.
"Right, that will buy us plenty of time." Fred said.
"To do what?" His twin asked.
"To make it look like we actually care about our schooling and have bought books." He grabbed George by the collar. George made a cry as the two ran down the streets to enter the various shops of Diagon Alley to purchase their school supplies.
Fred wouldn't reunite the woman he met in the Muggle World for another four years.