Here's the second chapter! As per usual, I do not own the wonderful world of Harry Potter; only JK Rowling does. I hope you enjoy this vignette!
It was just another slow, dull, excruciatingly painful day. The sky was blue, like always. The door was maroon, like always. And the cash register’s Ding! was the only sign of life at Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes.
“Welcome to WWW,” a bored voice sounded.
“Hi, I’d like to buy this. It’s my son’s birthday tomorrow, and he simply loves your shop. He thinks it’s the most fantastic place on earth, and he’s been ranting about these new products of yours…”
“That’s nice. That will be 4 galleons.”
The woman paid her money, continuing to chatter. It did not matter. These products were not really new. They had been in development, and had been invented before Fred died. Before George had sunk into a habitual depression. Hearing that children used their- his- products at Hogwarts used to fill him with an unexplainable joy. That joy had drained, and George was at a loss. Soon, all of the ‘new’ products would become old products. How could he invent without Fred? How could a person breath with one lung? How could a person eat with no tongue? Fred had been the Ethel to his Lucy. He’d been the Ben to his Jerry. And now he was gone. Losing an ear had been nothing. He’d lose hundreds of thousands of ears just for the chance to see Fred once more. Fred and him had been inseparable. Even their own mother had a hard time telling the difference between the two.
The bell tinkled, indicating a customer had entered. There was no jolly “hello” however. Most of his customers said something. This person said nothing. Instead, they wandered towards his invention room. When he heard that door open, George looked up.
“That room is off limits!” George called out.
The person just walked in.
Irate, George sprinted towards his inventions.
It was a room that would have made Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde proud. Potions of all colors bubbled, machines creaked and squeaked, and lights flashed erratically. Standing near the George-sans-Fred developments table was a blonde.
“You shouldn’t be here,” George started.
“You have this all wrong,” a dreamy voice interrupted.
“This will never work. You can’t put the newt’s tail until after the salamander powder is dissolved. That’s the problem,” she observed.
“What? Luna, what are you doing in here?”
“And this. What is it supposed to be?” She held up a small black box.
“It’s supposed to be a communication box. Kind of like Dad’s fellytones, or a Patronus. Just for lazy witches and wizards, or inept ones. Or kids at Hogwarts.”
“Hmm…” Luna concentrated on the box for a few minutes.
“Aha. You didn’t do this…Rictumsempra!”
“A tickling spell?”
The gadget whizzed to life.
“You just needed to spark the magic in it,” Luna shrugged. “It just needed a force to charge it again.”
George looked up. It needed to spark the magic in it…it needed to spark the magic…needed to spark the magic…needed to spark…that was it! That’s what he had been missing after Fred died. The spark. The spark that had caused Fred and him to leave school and start a joke shop. That passion in his core. Excited, George leaped towards his potion cupboard. He needed Chizpurfle carapace, some Death Cap, Fluxweed…
He was so excited, in fact, that he didn’t notice a certain blonde Ravenclaw make her quiet departure. He didn’t see the note she left for him either. That note fell off the table as he measured the Chizpurfle carapace, accidentally causing another potion to combust. The note fell into a purple bubbling liquid, dissolving into it and causing it to turn turquoise.
For seven days, George worked endlessly on his new invention. For seven days, Percy Weasley volunteered to manage the shop- ‘the only decent thing to do for his brother, considering…you know’ was how Percy put it. And for seven days the turquoise potion sat there, bubbling and emitting light. On the eighth day, he was finished. It was complete. He just needed a test subject…
“Lee, mate, want to help me out with a new product?” George asked desperately at the Leaky Cauldron.
“With a new product? Are you off your rocker? I know how that testing business goes…you and F…er, well I’ve seen what happens. No way, mate.”
Spinning around wildly, George spotted his next victim.
Malfoy?! Was he thinking?
“How would you like to test a new product of mine?”
Malfoy didn’t even give George a response.
“Erm, nevermind then…by the way, thanks for investing in Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes…”
“I’ll do it.”
How did she keep appearing out of nowhere?!
“Are…are you certain?” George was nervous.
“Yes. As long as you show it to me first.”
“Your palms are sweaty.”
“What? Oh, uh, yeah. They do that.”
They do that? What was it about Luna Lovegood that incapacitated George’s ability to speak properly?
“You know, I think you should put a picture of Fred up over that fireplace. It would be lovely.”
Hm…that wasn’t a bad idea…a portrait of Fred mouthing off as customers entered, flirting at the ladies and teasing George endlessly…
George opened the door and Luna flitted in silently. Oh! Wouldn’t that be grand? Ninja shoes…the ability to walk silently and sneak up on your friends and enemies…
“Well, here it is. Top secret of course…”
“It’s a faux-Petrification potion.”
“How did you guess?”
“The Fluxweed and the Griffin claw. My mother was an accomplished spell inventor, and she dabbled quite a bit with potions.”
“Ah…well, ahem, here’s a, uh, tea…teaspoon.”
Luna calmly spooned a small portion of the potion and sipped it, as if it was strawberry cordial or pink lemonade. With a thunk, she froze up and almost tipped over. George caught her. She was so light. So small. So beautiful…
Several minutes later, she awoke to find a glistening pair of blue eyes staring at her lovingly.
“Did everything work well?”
“What? Oh, yea. Yes everything was great.”
“Look how brilliant you are. You made a Cheer-Up draught as well,” Luna smiled, pointing at the turquoise potion.
George looked at it, smiled, and then turned around again in shock.
“This was purple last time I saw it!”
Luna looked puzzled. Then she reached an understanding. George had not.
“I…I left a piece of parchment by the other day. It must have fallen into the potion on accident.”
George looked at Luna. She didn’t seem happy for some reason. Strange, that a girl so misty-eyed and breathy could look so unhappy after raving about a Cheer-Up draught…
Luna had left again. Merlin! That girl was sneakier than Voldemort! Then a thought struck him. A horrible thought. A thought that would tarnish his player reputation forever...
“LUNA!” he hollered, running down Diagon Alley.
“Sh, you’re scaring the cat.” There Luna sat, in the middle of Diagon Alley, petting a stray cat. Only Luna Lovegood. Taking a deep breath, George had made up his mind. He’d found the spark. Now it was time to create something new. He sat next to Luna, on the cobblestone path, and put his arm around her.
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