Written for the Speed of Lightning Competition at the Harry Potter Fanfiction Challenges forum. Prompt: "Why do you love him/her and not me?"

I chose George/Angelina for this because I've always wondered how George felt about Fred asking Angelina to the ball. I also wondered if one twin was ever jealous of the other for some reason. I mixed those two ideas and voilĂ .

Happy reading! :)


Pretend

As he watches, she spins and twirls and laughs, her face lighting up in a way that can only be described as beautiful.

'Is this what love feels like?' he wonders.

He frowns slightly, trying to keep those thoughts away. It's not the time to think, only to see, to admire, to feel. He is unable to tear his gaze away from her, as if she were a magnet, drawing him in, hypnotizing him...

"George! Are you even listening to me?"

He blinks and the spell is broken. Sighing quietly, he turns to look at Katie Bell, his fellow Quidditch teammate and, most unfortunately, date for the night.

She huffs, folding her arms. "What is wrong with you, George?" she says crossly. "It's not like you to act like this. You're acting as if I'm not even here!"

For him, it's as if she isn't there. Nice and friendly as she may be, those traits are hidden beneath her shallowness and desire to always be the centre of attention. She is nothing compared to her. Still, he doesn't want to ruin such an important night for her.

And so he decides to pretend.

"Don't be daft, Katie, you're impossible to ignore. I believe that high-pitched squeaking you call a voice is the reason behind it," he teases, smirking.

She laughs and slaps his arm lightly.

"Can we dance now?" she asks, eyes shining.

He nods and takes her hand, feeling relieved when he hears the fast tempo of the music. Slow, romantic songs are not what he needs now.

As they walk towards the centre of the dance floor, he looks around once again. She is nowhere to be seen. Instead, his gaze falls on his brother Ron, who is watching someone with a look of pure longing mixed with anger. Amidst the happy, dancing couples, George sees a prettier-looking Hermione Granger dancing with Victor Krum, and realizes that he is not the only one yearning for someone way beyond their reach. Despite his constant pranks and sarcastic comments, George feels sorry for his little brother.

Like a hairy troll, learn to rock and roll,
Spin around like a crazy elf,
Dancing by himself,
Boogie down like a unicorn,
Don't stop until the break of dawn,
Put your hands up in the air, like an ogre just don't care

Wincing at the familiar and terrible lyrics, George begins to dance. Dancing has never been one of his many talents, but it doesn't matter, Katie is good enough for both of them. She spins and moves, each step taking her closer to George, but the redhead doesn't notice.

Because he asked Katie to be his date for the Yule ball, but he can't pretend that he wouldn't rather be dancing with Angelina Johnson.


They were in the Common Room, trying to get Ron to lend them his owl, but the nosy git wouldn't stop asking questions. At one point, George could tell that Fred had been sorely tempted to hex their little brother, but had finally decided to change the subject and asked about dates for the Yule Ball.

George hadn't been paying much attention at that moment, his mind distracted by the presence of Angelina, who was chatting to Alicia next to the fireplace. Trying to concentrate on the conversation, he'd grabbed a Cauldron Cake and had slowly started eating it, not being particularly hungry.

"You'd better hurry up, mate, or all they good ones will have gone."

"Who are you going with?"

"Angelina."

George had choked on his Cauldron Cake, but his reaction hadn't been noticed by anyone. He'd stared at his twin with wide eyes, unable to believe what he'd said. Fred wouldn't have kept that to himself, he would've told George immediately!

"What? You already asked her?" Ron's question echoed his thoughts.

"Good point. Hey, Angelina!"

"What?" she'd said, her huge brown eyes fixed on those of his twin.

"Do you want to go to the Ball with me?"

And she'd accepted, turning back to Alicia with a smile on her lips and a blush on her cheeks that had broken George's heart in two.

He and Fred had made their way to the Owlery after that, Fred looking at his twin with worry. He'd known something wasn't quite right with George, but he hadn't said anything, thinking that George would tell him later.

"Oh! Hi, Fred! Hi, George!" the familiar voice of Katie Bell had made them stop and turn around.

"What are you doing here, Katie?" they'd asked simultaneously, as they always did.

Katie had giggled. "Oh, nothing much. I was looking for George, actually," she'd said, smiling brightly at him.

Fred had snickered. "Well, I'll just leave you two to 'talk', shall I?" he'd said, waggling his eyebrows suggestively and walking away.

An awkward silence had followed.

George couldn't help thinking that Katie wanted something from him, judging by the way she'd ensured that both of them had been left alone in a dark, secluded corridor. He'd nearly groaned when he'd realized what she was after but, after thinking about it for a few seconds, he'd decided to give it a go. There was nothing to lose, anyway.

"So... Have you got a date for the Ball, Katie?"


Midnight.

He has been dancing with Katie for hours now, every dance getting wilder, more chaotic. He has been trying to forget her, but he has failed miserably.

The music stops, and he stops with it.

"Why did you stop dancing, Georgie? Come on, this song is so pretty!" squeals Katie as she hears the first notes of 'A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love'.

He hides his irritation behind a fake smile. "Nah, this one's too cheesy for my liking," he says.

Lies.

Even though he does hate the song. A lot.

Seeing Katie's disappointed expression, he makes an effort and his smile turns into a grin.

"I'll go get some Butterbeer, okay?"

She merely shrugs, already looking around the room to see if there are any Beauxbatons boys available.

As he walks towards the tables that hold the beverages, he hears Hermione and Ron arguing again. Their shrill, angry voices are hard to ignore.

"Well, you know the solution, don't you?"

"What?"

"Next time there's a ball, pluck up the courage and ask me before somebody else does, and not as a last resort!"

As Hermione leaves, tears streaming down her cheeks, George can't help feeling sorry for his dumbfounded, shocked, angry little brother. Ron's eyes meet his, and George smiles sadly, silently telling him that he's not the only one who's having a hard night. Ron nods, and George keeps walking.

He doesn't drink Butterbeer, no, he wants something a lot stronger than that. Grabbing a glass of Firewhisky, he downs it in one go and leans against the wall, feeling thankful that he is alone and unable to see the dance floor. It hurts too much, seeing Angelina and Fred looks so happy together.

Because he loves his twin, but he can't pretend that he's not jealous.

He briefly contemplates the idea of staying there until the Ball is over, drowning in Firewhisky, but grimaces at the thought. Fred would murder him if he did that.

Sighing, he makes his way towards the door, feeling that the night won't be a complete waste if he manages to find Lee's secret stash of Chocolate Frogs. It's better than Firewhisky, at least.

After a few steps, a figure collides with him and he instinctively grabs it to keep his balance. Looking up, he notices that it is a girl. A very pretty girl with eyes and skin and hair the color of chocolate... Oh, Merlin...

"Where have you been?" demands Angelina Johnson, jabbing a finger at his chest.

He stares at her, gaping, his mind completely blank. "I-I... well..."

She rolls her eyes. "I've been looking for you for ages! Come on, let's dance," she says, grabbing his hand and dragging him back to the dance floor. He can hear his heart beating frantically against his chest, his face as red as his hair.

Oh, come and stir my cauldron...

She stops and turns to face him, eyebrows raised.

And if you do it right...

He hesitantly puts his hands on her waist, pulling her closer, and smiles slightly when she puts her arms around his neck.

They begin to dance.

I'll boil you up some hot, strong love...

George loses track of time. He forgets where he is, he forgets that he was depressed a few minutes prior, he forgets that the wonderful girl he holds in his arms is not his. He doesn't want to remember. He just wants to be there, with Angelina, dancing forever.

To keep you warm tonight!

The song ends and they stop dancing, looking into each other's eyes. Blue and brown. Brown and blue.

Angelina's eyes are warm, soft, looking at him with a feeling he can't quite place. He feels lost in their dark depths, but he welcomes the feeling. He has never felt so nervous, yet content at the same time. Something changes, Angelina's eyes flash with determination, and she leans forward...

... gently brushing her lips against his.

The kiss lasts for no more than a second, but to George it feels longer. He blinks, staring at her, his mind not processing what has just happened. Slowly, a feeling a pure happiness takes hold of him.

Angelina smiles shyly, her cheeks turning pink. She leans against his chest, sighing, and he wraps his arms around her.

"I love you..." she whispers.

His face lights up with a smile, eyes shining with joy. He has never felt happier.

"... Fred."

And with that simple word, George freezes. No, no, no... Oh Merlin, no...

Angelina has mistaken him for Fred.

That realization hits him with so much force that he feels as if he can't breathe. His entire body feels like ice. Frozen. Still. Empty.

"What's wrong, Fred?" Angelina asks, making his heart twinge painfully.

"I... I'm not Fred," he whispers.

She stares at him, uncomprehending, before she realizes. As pathetic as it may sound, he wants to cry. For a few seconds, he'd felt as if he was flying, full of joy, only to have his hope ripped to pieces immediately afterwards.

"George... Oh, George, I'm so sorry," she says, covering her mouth with her hand, pity in her eyes.

Because she knows he loves her, she can't pretend that she doesn't.

"Why?" he whispers.

She doesn't answer, but he keeps talking. He has to know.

"Why? Why do you love him and not me?" his voice is getting louder, cracking ever so slightly.

She bites her lip and shakes her head.

He walks away, unable to stand the pity she feels for him. Pathetic. He is pathetic.

As he opens the door, he nearly crashes into someone.

"Hey, Ange, I found it! Let me sho- George?" Fred's voice makes him grit his teeth, and he keeps walking, not bothering to answer. Tears stream down his cheeks now.

Because, even though he loves Angelina, he can't hate his twin, but he can't pretend that he has never felt more jealous.