The Sugar Quill
Author: Kalarien  Story: A Brother  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: It's probably a good thing that I don't own any of this, because I definitely couldn't do this even a quarter as well as our wonderful J.K. Rowling.

George watched from the corner of his eye as his best friend, twin brother, partner in crime, and confidant laughed with his girlfriend. On the other side of the common room. As far away from George as possible.

"Oi, Weasley," he heard. "It's your turn."

George snapped back to reality. Lee Jordan, his REAL friend, was trying to get his attention. "What?"

"Exploding Snap." Lee spelled out, looking as though George needed some time at St. Mungo's insanity ward. "You know, the game we've been playing for the last quarter of an hour? It's your turn. If you don't hurry, we might not make it to the end of this one. The cards look like they'll blow any time now."

But George wasn't listening anymore. By this time he'd once again become distracted by Fred and Angelina, who by now were nearly snogging in the middle of the crowded common room.

"All right, then!" exclaimed Lee as he stood, gathering up the cards, carefully, so as not to spark an explosion. "You, my friend, are no fun tonight."

George didn't care. He was watching Fred and Angelina, who were far too occupied with each other to notice the jilted brother sitting across the room. He couldn't take it any more. "I'm going to the library," he announced to Lee, who was sucking on a finger burned by the now flaming cards. George had been so distracted that he hadn't noticed the loud BANG! that had just sounded off next to his ear. "I...er, I have a History of Magic essay that I need more notes for."

As he stood up he could've sworn that he heard something like "poor jealous bloke" come from Lee, but he kept going.

How could Fred just abandon him like that? How could he break up the best practical joke team in Britain? All just for a girl. Angelina was all right, but George couldn't see what Fred saw in her, besides her Quidditch talent. And she was pretty, and had a good sense of humor. And she was nice. But other than that...what did she give Fred that could make him give up his twin brother?

George followed this line of thought for a good quarter of an hour, wandering around the halls, until he decided that he had better head to the library so as to get a book that he needed anyway. It wouldn't do to go back to the dormitory and have Lee tease him because he hadn't gone to the library, but instead had moped around the castle. He didn't need the whole school to know that he went on walks by himself, even if this was really the first time that he'd done so. All because of HER...

He opened the door into the library, to find it nearly empty. It was nearly curfew, and only those who didn't want to hang out with their house mates were here. And Hermione, but she was always here. She was Ron's girlfriend, and so he'd been spending more time here as well. In fact, there he was, coming up behind her. Probably trying to convince her to put the books away for a while. George wondered what Harry did, now that his two best friends were an "item." Did he wander the castle alone? Or did he have other friends that he spent time with? After all, he was the Boy-Who-Lived. He would be very popular.

Then George remembered. Harry and Ginny were together. Was he the only single Weasley at Hogwarts? Last year, he'd gone to the Yule Ball with a Ravenclaw (thankfully not a prefect-he didn't want to be taking a leaf out of Percy's book). She'd been very nice, and she was pretty, but he'd really only asked her because both Fred and Lee had brought dates. He didn't want to be the only one of his friends without a date. They had remained friends afterward, but had agreed to leave it at that. Now she was going out with some Slytherin sixth year. Was that all anybody thought about? Snogging? George knew that when he found someone, she wouldn't just be a snog partner.

So occupied was he with his thoughts that he didn't notice the person who walked up behind him, until she touched him on the shoulder. It was Angelina. "Hey, George." she greeted him.

George glanced up at her, and narrowed his eyes. "Where's little Freddy?" he asked, mockingly.

Angelina sat across the table from him. "He went to bed. He has a big day tomorrow. We all do." She smiled. "Or had you forgotten that we've got the first Quidditch game of the season tomorrow?"

"Er, well..."

"As Captain, I'll pretend that you answered me promptly with a 'No, ma'am'" She grinned at him. "I should be in bed, and so should you, but I figure we have some things to talk about."

"Like what?" George asked, with a mix of surliness and pure interest, which is an interesting mixture.

"Like the problem you obviously have with me and Fred. And your tendency to list to the right while flying, but we can talk about that later."

"What are you talking about?" George asked, innocently.

"Damn it, George. I'm not going to play these games with you. You know precisely what I mean." she let out a sigh that sounded more like a growl. "The whole school has noticed the big green monster on your back."

George lost it. "You know what it's like to have your best friend, your favorite brother, all of a sudden go off and snog with some girl and you have nothing else to do, no one else to go to? You know how lonely that makes you? You know how..."

But Angelina cut him off. "Pince," she muttered, jerking her head toward the desk where Madame Pince was looking sharply at them. "Let's go. We can talk somewhere else."

He placidly followed her out of the library, into the Gryffindor Common Room, which was now nearly empty. They sat by the fire.

Finally, Angelina broke the silence. "You know, you're all Fred talks about." She smiled. "He's always on about the great times that you two had together. I think it would be great to have a brother like you. I've always wanted a brother."

George took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. "I guess it's just hard for me to see all my siblings off with other people. Even Ron and Ginny...even they have Hermione and Harry."

"Just remember, George, that they're always going to have their own lives. Just as you will always have your own life. Fred told me about your plans to open a joke shop. He even told me about the money Harry gave to you two. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone." She reached and put a supportive hand on his shoulder. "Even so, you will both have lives outside of the joke shop. You'll meet someone one day, and Fred will be jealous that you never spend any time with him any more." She smiled knowingly at him.

"I don't know where I'll be in all this. I love your brother, George, and I would love to spend my life with him, but these things change. Neither of us knows what we're going to be like next year, or even next month. That's why I need to make sure that the two of you don't come out of this hating each other. I can leave anytime I want, and the same is true with any girl that might come into either of your lives, but you two will still be brothers. You'll still be twins. And that's a bond you can't break so easily.

"And Fred and I should do our part to make sure that you don't feel lonely. We can still hang out with you-if you don't mind the occasional snogging break." He rolled his eyes, then grinned mischievously. "And no, you don't get to join in. Unless you find yourself someone else. But you'll have to find another corner."

George snorted at that. Then he sobered. "I guess it was just kind of hard this year. I mean, last year, even after the Yule Ball, the two of you were still...you still talked to me and Lee and everything. But this year, even during the summer...Fred was always writing to you and even when he wasn't, he was talking about meeting you in Diagon Alley, or you coming over, or anything about you. And after Harry and Hermione came, I didn't even have Ron and Ginny to talk to. And who wants to talk to Perce?

"It just felt like the whole world was abandoning me. Fred's always been the really flashy one. We'd both work out the plans, but he was the one who'd announce them to the world. He would make sure that everyone knew who was behind the Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and who had charmed the tapestries to belch every time someone walked by. And when we got back here and Fred didn't spend anytime with me at all, I just couldn't take it anymore. I was all alone. It's no fun playing practical jokes when there's no one to laugh with. And no one notices just George. They notice Gred and Forge, and sometimes even just Fred, but not George. Then tonight, when the two of you didn't even look at me and Lee, I just couldn't even think anymore, I was so mad."

Angelina nodded. "I'm sorry that we made you feel so excluded. It's just that...well, we didn't think that you and Lee wanted to be around us while we're being so..."

"Mushy?" George provided.

"Yeah." she smiled. "We figured that you wanted to play your game, not watch your brother and his girlfriend snogging. I think I know what our problem is."

"What's that?"

"Communication. None of us wants to tell the others what we want, so as not to insult anybody, but that also means that we don't feel like we can get along. You understand?"

"Yeah," George looked thoughtful. "I promise not to be insulted if you won't be."

"Good. Agreed, then." She stood up. "I'm going to bed. If tomorrow you're so tired that you fall off your broom, I will take no excuses, Weasley." She started up the stairs, to her dormitory.

"Wait, Angelina." George held up his hand, as if to stop her. She turned around. "What about you? What do you want?"

She smiled. "I'd love to have a brother, George."

A/N:I need to thank my wonderful beta reader, Yolanda, and Incurable Romantic,too, for being my idea bouncer. And Zsenya for helping me fix this thing about fifty times (crazy Macintoshes...)

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