A/N: So, I'm seeing that most of my stories are becoming very focused on characters doing what they can to help each other whether they know it or not. These challenges are absolutely perfect for my stories. Definitely challenging though :) So Thank you for coming up with them!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything you recognize. JK Rowling does, and The Killers, and Simple Plan do too. They're much cooler. I do own the plot though, which isn't so bad in my opinion :)
One Month Later
I close the door to my parents' shop, and walk the short distance around the corner to Fred and Georges’ joke shop.
I refuse to call it only Georges’ even when Fred is gone. Well it belongs to both of them I’m not going to pretend it isn’t just ‘cause I can’t see one of them… ever…again. I start getting misty eyed and stop walking right outside his joke shop. I can’t go there right now, I’m here to be strong for George. Not that George was just sitting in his room all day. No. Instead he’s thrown himself into work so no one has any chance to try and talk to him about Fred... I'm not going to force it, I have a different plan.
This is my very own hair brained scheme. Ok, not so hair brained.
I quickly prepare myself and go inside, which was a mad house more than I’ve ever seen it before. This was saying something. But now that I think about it people need this place more than ever before too. Then all of a sudden a young boy ran past me with a bunch of his mates carrying something slimy in a huge bucket. I was about to tell him off when I slipped and crashed to the floor on one of the said slimy things from the bucket. Lying there, I hear the bloody song, playing in the store, that Fred quoted years ago. “It's just the price I pay, destiny is calling.” I look up at the ceiling. Ha, ha Fred, very ironic. I bet he's laughing his cute arse off at the irony of things. To top things off, I've continued his habit of playing said song over and over since he... well, since I last saw fireworks. Now, I'll forever have the song stuck in my head. Not a totally bad thing, it's a good song.
I'm of course thinking all of this to keep my mind off the fact George has now seen me fall flat on my now aching back.
“Well that was one way to make an entrance. Are you going to just keep lying there until I have maintenance come clean you up?”
“Ow, bugger…shit… oh, hey George,” and he helped me up, vanishing the slimy thing from the floor that, cringe, was a slug. “My mum and dad say hi” I said lamely.
“Right, thanks. Was that all you wanted to do? Come in, slip on a slug, say hi from your parents?” said the cheeky prat.
I gathered myself, “No, I didn’t plan on the slug, but I realize coming over here anything could happen. What I really wanted to say was I’ve come to work for you-“
“I don’t need-“
“Yes you do, don’t even go there,” giving him a glare. “I see just how busy this place is, and to be perfectly honest there isn’t anyone else I’d rather help.” Crap, didn’t mean to say that much. He just looked so endearing right now, his hair all over the place, looking at me like I’ve got 2 heads… ok maybe not the last bit.
For a split second he had a strange look like he was almost relieved, then it was gone. He sighed, “Fine, but I bet you won’t last more than a week. Especially if you didn’t plan on the slug. So, what do you think I need help with?”
I had anticipated this question, and knew exactly what the answer was. Just by looking around I found a perfect example.
“Well, judging that this love potion is stuffed in with the display of instant darkness powder, I’d say you were in serious need of some organizing. The store prolly isn’t the only place that needs it either.”
“What are you talking about? I thought you came to work for the store?
“I said that I’ve come to work for you. That meant where ever you might need help with. Cleaning, paperwork, errands, whatever.”
If he looked like I grew 2 heads before, it looked like I had sprouted yet another one, like some weird plant from Herbology nobody wanted to get near. Perfect...
“Listen, this, what, why? Ok wait…” He stuttered.
“Alright, I’ll walk around and see what I can do while you work this out in your head.” With that, I turned away with a big smirk on my face. At least I know I have a talent for making George flabbergasted. Maybe I have more talents than I thought. Strange that I've only thought this before around Fred...
I stared after her as she walked away. She picked up an ear out of a bin of nosebleed-nougat. Merlin, I need more help than I thought. I wonder what the bloody hell gave her this idea.
I sighed, looked upwards to the heavens (ceiling), and talked to Fred, ‘If this is your idea of a bloody joke, I’m not laughing.' I went back to work. If one thing Angelina was right about was the fact that I did need help. Not that I’d ever ask for it. I didn't want everyone to ask how I was doing so I threw myself into work, plain and simple. It worked too.
“Oi, if you ever want to come back here again, I suggest paying for those!”
The kid stopped in his tracks at the sound of Angelina’s voice and rushed to the incredibly long line to the register. Bloody hell, she was a better security system than a pack full of Hippogriffs would be.
Ok, maybe this is a sign I shouldn’t be all against this idea of hers.
“Angelina!” I yelled
“I need to talk to you after we close for the night!”
“Alright!” and she went back to work.
What? It was noisy in there. I didn’t want to walk all the way over to talk normally. Apparently neither did she. But then again, she was Fred’s’ girlfriend, the one who asked her out to the Yule Ball by yelling across the room.
“What was that about?”
I turned around and saw Verity behind me, one of my employees.
“Oh, hey, she’s a friend from school who came over to help.”
She raised her eyebrow at me, “Since when did you ever accept help besides the people you hire?”
I was not about to tell her I was too dumbfounded by Angelina’s sudden decision to refuse.“Who said I didn’t hire her?” Ha.
“She did, when I asked her what she was doing straightening shelves and whatnot.”
Crap. “Oh, that’s uh, well…” Crash!! “Better see what that’s about!” And I ran in the direction of the noise. Whew, that was close. When I got to the mess, I saw Angelina looking around for a culprit.
“Forget it, we’ll never find them in here. It’s a joke shop, if any customer is worth their salt at pranks they’re sure not to get found out.” I quickly fix the display of love potions with a flick of my wand. “So, I figured we go to the Leaky Cauldron for a drink or a bite to eat to talk” I found myself saying.
“Really? I thought maybe you’d wanna just talk upstairs at your place or something after working all day.”
“Nah, I like to get out after work, change of scenery” Really, I was exhausted, but the upstairs was worse than the store. It was a wreck.
“Are you sure? ‘Cause I can go upstairs to clean-“
“How did you? Mum… of course. She put you up to this right?”
“No, it wasn’t…”
“George, we need your help over here! This customer reckons…” the rest got drowned out by the crowd.
“I’ll talk to you about it later, we have work to do” she said, and walked to the stairs that led to the apartment. “Women” I said under my breath.
“Men!” I said, after I was in the blessedly noiseless room above the shop. The only noise left was the wireless for the store; apparently set up, up here somewhere.... in this mess of a room. Crap. I knew it’d be messy, but I wasn’t expecting this. Even when I knew this was George I'm helping here. I saw no help for it though if I didn’t roll up my sleeves (so to speak, it is summer, so I’m wearing a T-shirt). I started with the floors for the simple reason I could move around the place better if there wasn’t anything in my way. With a few well-placed cleaning spells the place was starting to look a bit better. I have to remember to thank mum for relentlessly teaching me those.
I kept listening to the wireless while cleaning. The line I randomly notice is: "I'll try to think about the last time, I had a good time" … Really? More irony? Most of my friends have started returning to their “normal” lives. Jobs, hanging out, dating. I haven't quite wanted to yet. Not without thinking of Fred. I wonder if George is going through something similar. That's what I'm here to change though. Fred would be ashamed of us; going so long without a laugh. Granted, he gave us the most laughs. He wouldn't take that as an excuse though.
Hmmm, now that I'm done putting cleaning spells all over; if I remember anything about his family it’s how much they appreciate food after a hard day. I'll Look around the kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator… not much, but enough so I could transfigure what was left to a pile of turkey sandwiches. If I run home real quick, I could grab some butter beers before he closes at 6. Then we'll see if we can manage to have a good time. All we can do is try.
I got back inside just as he came upstairs. He looked like he just stepped into another world entirely. “Are you actually speechless for once?”
He nodded. Smirking, I said, “Here, sit have a sandwich and a drink”
“Only if you finally explain why you’re doing all of this, if it’s not because of my mum.”
“Awwight” I said as I took a bite out of my sandwich.
“Real lady like Angelina” he said smirking. The first one I’d seen in a really long time. I was used to them, but this one made me smile back.
“It’s from being friends with you so long” I stick my tongue out at him. He rolled his eyes at me, then started eating his sandwich too and looking at me expectantly. I took a gulp of butter beer and told him “Well, the idea started when I was invited to the Burrow last Sunday and you were talking about work, as usual. It got me thinking to this one time I was with Fred, he said if he weren’t around, and all you were able to do was talk about work, I was to make sure you were alright until you were at least able to talk about something else.”
He's looking at me funny again.
Before I'm able to work out the look he's giving me, a womans head pops into the fireplace.
Talk about taking his mind off work. My not so hair brained scheme might work out even if i don't instigate anything at this rate.
A/N: Boy, this chapter was fun to write, but I had the worst time figuring out where to end it! Please Review! There's only a few days left of one of the challenges and with the queue so short this week I'd have time to maybe edit some things with feedback :) I'll have the next chapter up shortly as soon as I figure out where to go with it. Wish me luck! I have a few ideas, don't worry :) Thanks!
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