Despite George's awkwardness, he and Angelina ended up having a somewhat decent conversation and had eventually made it out of the shop and down Diagon Ally. Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour was up and running again and looked exactly the same as before; it seemed only right to offer to buy Angelina an ice cream as they walked past it. They sat around a pastel yellow round table on matching vintage chairs, with their elbows on the table as they ate their ice creams and looked at each other.
"Sorry, I'm staring," George looked down at his ice cream,
"It's okay," she smiled sweetly, "it's nice to have so much attention."
As they laughed, George realized how angelic her laugh was and how he had never genuinely laughed in so long. He finally felt like the old George he used to be and it was because of Angelina. She reminded him of all the fun he used to have when Fred was there and that maybe, he could be the same without him.
"Are you still playing Quidditch?" he asked as he quickly finished off his ice cream,
"Oh definitely, hoping to be on the Holyhead Harpies, if I'm good enough," she was still working on her ice cream,
"Of course you're good enough," George insisted,
"Well it would be rude if you said I wasn't," she laughed.
They laughed and talked for ages, when they had finished their ice cream, they remained outside the ice cream shop. It was when George's watch beeped that their conversation had to come to an end.
"I'm sorry, I have to go, Harry is coming back and we're having a family gathering," George explained as he got up,
"It's okay, we've been here for around two hours talking," she smiled as she got up,
"Well, maybe we could meet again sometime?"
The knot in George's stomach that he thought had vanished came back as Angelina looked down and sighed.
"George, today has been lovely, but when I look at you…" there was no need for Angelina to complete her sentence,
"You see Fred, not me."
George was afraid of this. He didn't want to remind anyone of someone who had died tragically, but when you're an identical twin, that's one of the only things you can do right. There was no point of him staying to be put down even more. He nodded and started to walk away.
"Friends first?" Angelina called for him.
He stopped and smiled to himself. Maybe he did have a chance after all, maybe for once things were going his way. He turned around and smiled at her. She walked up to him while taking out her wand and placed it on the top of his left hand.
"This is my number and address, when you want to go out, just call or send a letter," she said softly as her number and address appeared on his hand in delicate black writing.
As she lifted off her wand, she smiled and walked off into the sun like an angel going back to heaven. A part of George was proud, he had actually talked to her and got her number, but another part of him was excited to show it off in front of Ron. There was a grin on his face as he walked down the street and made his way home.
"Ron, how many times do I have to tell you to stop taking the sausage rolls?!" Molly shouted as George entered the house.
When he walked into the kitchen, he was amazed by the effort that Molly had made. There was a red and gold banner hovering over the entrance saying Welcome Home Harry in black glittery writing. There were platters of food on the table, sausage rolls, chicken drumsticks, crisps, chocolates, drewballs, liquorice wands, mini pizzas, bread rolls, chocolate brownies and more. The smell of all the hot food mixed together sent George to his own version of heaven, making him close his eyes and smile. When he took himself away from his special place, he saw Ginny who was wearing a baby blue free flowing dress and putting another platter down on the table. She was all made up, her hair was curled and put to one side and her cheeks were the colour of freshly bloomed red roses, but she wasn't wearing heels like she usually would for special occasions, instead she wore simple blue ballet pumps. It was moments like these when George would realize how much Ginny had grown, how much everyone had grown.
"Ginny, let me just have one more sausage roll," Ron pleaded as he came in buttoning up his shirt,
"Like mum said, no. How can you eat so much?" Ginny replied and before she left, she looked at George to smile at him,
"I have a stomach, that's how," Ron walked over to George.
Ron's shirt was perfectly ironed with no stains or creases, but most importantly…pink. His navy blue jeans looked new and his converses had been cleaned so that they were an almost bright red, not the normal murky maroon colour, even his hair was somewhat presentable. This had to be the work of Hermione.
"You look…good," George smirked,
"Hermione insisted that I should clean myself up a bit," Ron pulled on the bottom of his shirt,
"A bit? It must have taken hours to get your hair sorted, another thirty minutes to convince you to put on that shirt," George could go on, but Ron put his hand out to stop him,
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's not focus on what I'm wearing,"
"I think you'll find that's all I can focus on,"
"Let's focus on how your day was with Angelina."
George made a cheeky smirk before walking over to the table and stealing a crisp. Ron turned around, watching him with an eager face of expectation.
"We talked for ages, she's so interesting, I don't think she's changed much, but she laughs at all my jokes; who wouldn't? We had ice cream and sat there for hours it was absolutely amazing," George ranted.
Ron was staring at him with an amused face. George knew that anyone would find it weird to see him like this; he was beaming, he hadn't been this happy in ages and even he was surprised by how he was reacting.
"So you didn't embarrass yourself then?" Ron laughed,
"Speaking of embarrassing, you better not get any stains on that pink shirt, Ginny would probably lend you one, just in case," George chuckled as everyone else came into the kitchen.
George couldn't help but smile as his eyes hovered over everyone. Ginny and Hermione looked beautiful, Molly and Arthur looked like they hadn't aged whatsoever and they both had big smiles on their faces as they talked to each other, Ron was eyeing up the food as usual in his pink shirt and Charlie and Percy would occasionally tap his shoulder to get him to think of something else other than food. They all looked happy. George had never seen them all like this before….without Fred. Stop thinking about what this would be like if Fred was here, he screamed at himself as they all gathered behind the banner and waited for Harry.
"What time is he meant to be getting here?" Percy asked while adjusting a camera,
"I'm not too sure, he just said some time in the evening," Ginny smoothed out her dress,
"So for all we know, we've all gotten here at 5 o'clock with the risk of being shouted at by mum, when there is a chance that Harry could be getting here at 10 o'clock," Ron sighed,
"Yeah, pretty much," Ginny looked at Ron with a stern face, "you got a problem with that Mr Pinky?"
"No, not at all," Ron moved away from her slightly.
A clicking sound from the front door made them all turn their heads to face the entrance to the kitchen and produce the biggest of smiles. As it opened they heard someone say, "Bloody glasses, how comes other people can fix them but I can't?"
They all giggled quietly to themselves before Harry entered the room.
"SURPRISE!" most of them shouted,
"WELCOME HOME, HARRY!" Ron shouted.
Harry was taken back. He didn't look as presentable as them, his hair was a mess, his glasses were crooked, his long black jacket was speckled with dirt, but apart from that, he looked like the same old Harry. He laughed and held his arms out for Ginny who ran to him and flung her arms around him.
"We've missed you," Ginny smiled as she kissed his cheek,
"I missed you too," he glanced over everyone with a smile before focussing on Ron, "erm…Ron?"
"Yeah mate?" Ron stepped forward.
Harry was silent for a while as he seemed to search for words. George was waiting for something sentimental and meaningful; Harry had been gone for almost four months and they hadn't really been able to contact him. Poor Ginny was worried sick about him and everyone had to reassure her that he'd be alright, even if they didn't know if he would.
Harry simply put his hand on Ron's shoulder and smiled at him, "Pink is definitely your colour."
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