19 May 2056
Angelina wiped her cheeks with her handkerchief and sniffed as George came into their sitting room, looking equally morose and carrying a tea tray.
"Hell of a way to spend our anniversary," he said glumly, setting the tray down on the table. He sat down on the sofa next to Angelina, and she rested her head against him.
"I miss her," she said tearfully. "I miss her—so much—and it hasn't even been—" Angelina gave a little sob, burying her face in her handkerchief.
George sighed heavily. "I know, Ange," he said. "I miss her too."
"Poor Oliver," Angelina said after a moment, drying her face again. "I can't even begin to imagine—they were married even longer than us. What's he going to do without Alicia?" It was early evening, just about nightfall, and they had just returned from spending the entire day with Oliver Wood, who had Flooed early in the morning to tell them that Alicia, after a long sickness, had died during the night.
George shook his head. "I don't know. At least—at least he got to be with her, though. And she hasn't really been that well for a long time, has she?"
Angelina nodded. "She wasn't really the same after she had Alivia," she mused. "I—I guess it's better that she's not in pain anymore, but…Merlin, George, I don't think I could go through what Oliver is." She sat up slightly, fixing George with a firm stare over her spectacles. "I get to go first, all right?"
George gave a little snort. "Age before beauty, my dearest wife," he said, and Angelina actually cracked a small smile.
"You're never going to let those six months go, are you?" she asked, shaking her head.
"It's an entire half-year where I am basking in the glory of not being as old as you," George said, in a tone that plainly said he would be a fool to give up this triumph.
Angelina chuckled a little dully, sitting back against George's chest again. "Really, though—don't leave me all alone, all right?" she asked.
"Ange," George said softly. He hugged her shoulder a bit tighter. "I'll never leave you. I like you too much to do that to you."
Angelina looked up at him, her brown eyes a little watery. "I like you too, I guess," she told him with a trace of a smile.
"Besides," George added thoughtfully, "if you ever tried to leave me, I'd probably just go with you."
Angelina nodded again, hugging him tightly and kissing the spot above his missing ear. "Happy anniversary, sweetheart. I'm sorry it's been so down."
"Eh, who cares about fifty years—everyone in my family's done it—well, except Charlie, but he's completely barmy," said George. Angelina shoved him, shaking her head. "I say we shoot for a hundred and fifty, then we'll throw a party."
"Sounds good to me," Angelina said, grinning.
George smiled back. "There she is," he said, touching her chin, and she smiled a bit more. "Happy anniversary, Ange."
Angelina kissed him, and they both relaxed into the sofa again, their tea tray sitting forgotten. George was just starting to doze off when Angelina began to sniffle again.
"I'm sorry," she said, quickly wiping her tears away. "I just—I can't stop thinking about Alicia. I—should've gone to see her yesterday, and I—I didn't—"
"Okay," George said softly, rubbing her arm. "All right. Shh, shh, it's okay, Ange. Alicia knew how much you cared. You were her best friend for ages. She—" his voice broke slightly, thinking of how ill Alicia had been, but how happy she always was to see them, right to the end. "She went the way she thought she should. That doesn't mean you did anything wrong."
Angelina sniffled quietly into George's chest for quite some time, before George finally spoke again. "I have an idea," he said. "I think it'd be good for us."
Angelina raised her head, frowning slightly. "What would be good for us?"
"Give me fifteen minutes," George told her, getting up and hurrying from the room.
"On three, okay?" George said as Angelina drew her wand and nodded. "Ready…one, two—three!"
Angelina tapped the fuse, and immediately the fireworks rocketed into the air, igniting with bright colors and tremendous bangs. She felt George put his arm around her, and they lay back rather stiffly together onto the blanket and pillows they had brought with them to Stoatshead Hill, not far from the Burrow.
"I always think the classic Wildfires are the best," Angelina said.
"Yeah, well, who wouldn't?" George asked. "That was the best product debut we ever gave."
Angelina turned her gaze away from the spiraling dragons and glittery silvery clouds to watch George's outline. Lit by a sudden burst of brilliant pink from a cloud of winged horses, George turned his head to look at her.
"For Alicia, right?" he said, giving a half-nod to the spectacle over head.
"Right," she said. "Alicia." Silence fell, and they both gazed up at the sky.
"Do you know what I love most about you?" George asked after a few minutes, as two green spirals collided and turned bright violet. Angelina looked at him and smiled gently. "I love…that we spent our fiftieth anniversary on someone we care about, instead of ourselves, and that you're completely all right with that."
Angelina smiled slightly, hugging George and kissing his cheek, when suddenly, she felt a rather sharp pain in her back. "Er—George," she said softly, as she moved painfully to lie flat beside him, screwing up her face in pain when she twisted badly. "Georgie," she said again.
"I also love that you're old as the hills and still like to set off fireworks with me," George added conversationally, and Angelina gave a slight whimper. "Ange?" George asked, lifting himself off the blanket to look down at her. Angelina lay flat, very obviously pretending to be enthralled by the fireworks. George took a deep breath, pressing his lips together, and tried to put a concerned, sympathetic expression on his face. "You put your back out again, didn't you?"
"Old as the hills, my arse, George Weasley," she said in a strangled voice. "Now give me your hand and help me up."
"Always," George said, leaning over her and giving Angelina a gentle kiss. She smiled, trying not to look as though she were in too much pain. "I love you, Angelina."
"Love you too," she said. "Really. Can you get me on my feet now?" George chuckled. With a great deal of effort, he helped Angelina get up, rubbing her back in pain. George put an arm around her, waving his wand so that their blanket and pillows soared neatly into their magically expanded picnic basket.
"Don't you dare tell Roxy or Fred about this," Angelina said, holding her back as she limped slowly, with George's help, down the hill a short ways to Disapparate. George laughed.
They stopped walking as their last sparkling dragon twisted through the sky above them. George looked sideways at her, his arm still supporting her around her waist. "Happy anniversary, Angelina," he said, grinning.
Angelina smiled. Very gently—and she was the only person whom George allowed to do this—she reached forward and very softly touched the white scars around his missing ear.
"Happy anniversary, George," she said. George met her gaze, and they kissed warmly, just as their dragon burst into an enormous cloud of red.
All done! :D SNUGGLES FOR EVERYBODY! *opens arms for snuggles*