Author Note: Much thanks to all the fabulous people who helped along the way—in
particular Night Zephyr for being a “fresh set of eyes” and a fantastic beta!
Standard Disclaimers Apply. Thanks JKR
for never saying we can look but can’t touch.
*grins* Oh, and please review!
A Delicate Situation
-by: Mingo Cortez-
Fred demanded sourly. He was slumped
onto a bench, still wearing his Quidditch robes which were grimy with mud and
sweat from the match.
what?” Angelina threw back at him, as she stormed into the team’s locker room. The rest of the team had either been ordered
off the pitch by Madame Hooch or else had quickly retreated to the castle. She pulled off her gloves and let them fall
to the floor, then turned her back to Fred to struggle roughly out of her
crimson robes. With equal intensity she
sat and began working on her boots.
Harry! What happened to them?” he asked impatiently.
to know what happened to them?” Angelina was livid.
She shot Fred a nasty glare, throwing one boot angrily to the
floor. “They’ve been banned from playing
Quidditch by Umbridge—the both of them!” She paused and then in a quieter tone added:
“And you have, too.”
jaw dropped. “Banned? You’re joking. Umbridge can’t do that.”
second boot was hurled to the floor. “Apparently Umbridge
can do that.” She
got to her feet with a bitter smile. “And
Fred was still staring at her in disbelief. “But I didn’t—”
had to lose your temper, didn’t you?” she shouted, turning on him. “You just
had to let that spoiled little cheat wind you up! You didn’t think about
anything else—just your own damn pride!”
Fred protested. “You’re blaming me?
got just what he wanted, didn’t he? I’ve
lost both my Beaters and my Seeker
because you had to be such boys.”
to his feet, angry red patches forming on his cheeks. “Oh, that’s fair, Angelina! I didn’t so much as touch Malfoy.”
glared at her darkly. “I’d have
flattened him into the ground with my bare hands.”
snorted and turned her back to him again.
you see, though, it’s that Umbridge woman! She’s had
it in for Harry since day one—everyone knows that!—and for Gryffindor as
well.” There was a hint of pleading in
Fred’s voice. He tentatively approached Angelina,
but jumped back a step when she rounded on him again.
knew McGonagall had to go over her head to get the team approved!” She jabbed
her finger into Fred’s chest. “You knew
it! And you just had to test her
I’m sorry, all right!” he yelled. “What
do you want me to do? Go try to level with Umbridge? See if she’ll let me back on the team?”
gave a little huff, crossing her arms over her chest. “Right. You’d do that?”
realized what an absurd offer he’d just made.
Fred Weasley grovel and plead with Dolores Umbridge? But he was beginning to feel guilty. He knew how hard Angelina had been
working—how much it meant to her to have a winning season. And that look she kept giving him, as if he
had driven a knife into her back, was almost making him feel worse than the
idea that he’d never play Quidditch again.
“I’d do it,” he offered quietly.
“I’d do it for you.”
him a quick look, clearly caught off guard.
stomach clenched. Despite Angelina’s
tight jaw and hostile posture, there were tears in her eyes.
quickly wiped her hand across her face and then went on with renewed vigor. “Do
you have any idea how hard it is with Oliver gone?” she demanded. “And then with no Keeper and the tryouts? And not enough practices and the rain? We won the last Cup, Fred! And if we don’t
this year, guess who’s to blame?”
else sees it like that.” He puts his
hand on her shoulder but she jerked away.
do!” she countered angrily. She raised
her hand to her eyes again, furiously dashing her tears away.
it, Angelina. You’re too hard on
yourself,” Fred sighed, pulling her close to him.
argued, struggling slightly.
are,” he said, sliding his hand to the back of her tense neck.
pressed her forehead into his shoulder, and took in a thick gulp of air. Fred held her and she wrapped her arms
tightly around him, crying into the front of his robes. He sighed quietly, smoothing her hair down.
sorry,” she mumbled after a moment, gently pushing away from him. She rubbed her face and took a deep breath.
be,” Fred shrugged, feeling suddenly awkward.
He usually kept far away from delicate situations like this—with a girl
crying. In fact, avoiding such scenes
was a long-held principle of his. He had
no practice at what his mother would call “showing some sensitivity” and was
only going on a gut feeling that hated to see Angelina so upset. Angelina, who could be more
manic than Oliver over Quidditch.
Angelina, who could throw a punch that Charlie couldn’t top. Angelina, who fit against
him perfectly during the last slow song of the Yule Ball. He cleared his throat.
shook her head and glanced up at him wryly.
“I shouldn’t have yelled at you like that. I mean… of course it’s not your fault…”
it,” he said hurriedly. He was still feeling rather guilty.
stood in silence a moment and then Angelina gave him a sly little smile. “You’d really go to Umbridge
for me?” she asked.
say that?” Fred tried to put on a smooth innocent look, but couldn’t help blushing just a tinge.
think you did.”
his hand dismissively. “I think your
hearing must be off. Or else you’re
she interrupted him quietly. “Thank you
for the offer, just the same.” She put
her hand on his arm and kissed him softly on the cheek. Then she turned and walked away, leaving Fred
to babble senselessly into the empty air.