Summary: The night of the ball has arrived. Many couples eagerly wait for what will happen, and some even plan to give away a ring. What will happen to the twins and who will they go with?
POV – George
I've been watching him. Lately, more than ever. I always watched him. He was always there to watch. I couldn't imagine my life without him, but I know someday I'll have to give him up. I love my brother, my twin, and he loves me. However, the love is different I'm sure. He loves me as he should, as a brother, a best friend, and a twin. I love him as all of those three, and as more. I'm in love with Fred. Some may think this gross, some may frown upon me and spit in my face if they knew, but I do not care. If I could have Fred as mine for just one night, I would die a happy wizard.
Now, I know I can never have him. You see this weekend is the big dance. The seventh years have a dance, called "The Ball" by everyone. Well, unsurprisingly, Fred's going with Angelina. I know a person might wonder why I only now know that he will never love me. You see, during the dance, couples get to do special things. For instance, they ride in a chariot to and from the ball, at least if they pay for one. That wasn't the worst part though. Well, at the end of the dance lovers are supposed to exchange rings. When I say lovers I don't mean bed partners; I mean the ring stands for 'undying love.' Basically stating that after Hogwarts, the person wants the two to be together. On Fred's part, I was sure it was marriage he was going for.
How did I know he was going to do this? Well, I saw him. I was supposed to be showering, and when I started coming into the room, back from the bathroom, I heard Fred talking to himself. Naturally, I waited to hear what he had to say before revealing myself. Fred held out something in front of him. I had to squint to see the object, which turned out to be the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. I almost died then. I knew instantly that this ring was meant for her, but hearing him say so was almost unbearable.
"The night of the dance," Fred had said softly, caught up in gazing at the ring, "I will give this ring, that I've spent just about forever hiding money for," he laughed softly. "That night I will give it to the one person I love, the only person I'll ever love.”
I hadn't waited any longer. I slipped back in the bathroom, so as not to be seen, feelings of horror overcoming me. It just wasn't fair. She couldn't take away my Fred. We were supposed to have our shop. We were going to be together forever. Not anymore.
I sighed and closed the book on my desk. Studying for the newts just wasn't any fun. I might have done better if I had not been so anxious about the upcoming ball. Well, no I wouldn't have. Tonight I would lose Fred. Angelina would tear up and they would kiss and live happily ever after. I wouldn’t. I think Fred knew something was wrong with me. He walked over to me and smiled sympathetically.
"Don't worry mate, Katie isn't that bad of a dancer from what I've heard. I'm sure you'll do fine as well. She not bad looking either. Why are you so down? This is supposed to be the best night of our lives." He put a hand on my shoulder. I almost pulled away, but then I thought that I might as well take as much from him as I can, even if it's just a comforting touch to my shoulder.
I smiled the best I could and stood up. "I'm all right. I just wish I was going with someone I really liked. You're so lucky."
Fred smiled. "I guess. Hey, you know what I heard? I heard the girls started getting ready two hours ago. I'm already finished and the dance doesn't start for at least thirty minutes."
We laughed, but my laughter was just an echo of his. I wasn't really humored. Fred grinned and moved back to sit on his bed. "So, you don't have a special someone for the special 'exchange of rings' tonight?"
I frowned. "Don't be ridiculous. I don't even have a ring. Besides, I doubt anyone’s planning on giving me one in return."
"So, the boys are supposed to give the girls one. The girls don't have to comply. All they have to do is receive, unless they want to give, if they're so bold. So, you don't have a girl that you really like then?"
"No, I do not, Fred. Satisfied?" I paused, unsure of whether or not I should ask him in return. I thought it might be interesting to see if he'd tell me the truth or leave it as a surprise for later, after the two eloped or something. Finally I asked him, "How about you?"
Fred grinned. "Oh, I have something planned."
I rolled my eyes. Damn that lucky girl. She didn't deserve Fred. Well, maybe I didn't either, but I loved him like no other wizard ever could. I was sure of that. The rest of the waiting time passed in almost complete silence. Fred seemed to be getting a little nervous. That was expected of course. After all, he was going to practically propose tonight. Then, Lee came bounding up the stairs with his dress robe already completely messed up. A faint smell of cologne hung to him. The smell had a rather disturbing tang to it. I smiled. Just like Lee.
"Guys, it's time to go. The girl's are waiting. Come on!" He sounded so excited. Lee was attending the ball with a 'mystery girl.' No one knew who, except of course the girl herself, but everyone knew that Lee was giving a ring. He was positively radiating joy through every pore of his body. Something told me he didn't have any doubts of this girl saying no. I hate to admit this, but the whole thing was rather sweet.
Fred and I smiled at each other knowingly, and followed Lee down the stairs. I of course was not looking forward to my date. Katie was a good girl, but she was just not my type. Hah, well I guess that's understandable since I do not even like girls in that way. Despite all of my wishes to flee back up stairs and hide in my bed, I walked on. Down the dormitory stairs, out of Gryffindor tower, and then finally down the main stairway. I could see my date waiting for me. She was beautiful, as usual. I only wished I could enjoy this more. I also saw Fred's date. She saw Fred. A gorgeous smile lit up her fine features. She was an angel. Damn her.
I met my date at the bottom of the stairs and I escorted her into the Great Hall, right ehind Fred and Angelina.
"Why, George Weasley, you look positively stunning tonight," Katie said smiling at me.
I snorted. "Yeah right. In these old things? You're going to make me look like a piper."
Katie giggled and looked ahead. The ceiling of the Great Hall was covered in sparkling crystals. As usual, it also showed the night sky, which was midnight blue, and as clear as it ever could be. The most beautiful dishes were lined on the tables by the walls, except for one side which held a stage. A group was setting up there. I rolled my eyes at the other people goggling at them. So what if they were famous? These seventeen year olds were acting like first years.
Dinner went by, and then the dancing started, the big band striking up a familiar tune. Angelina and Fred immediately moved to the dance floor. Katie had to coax me into getting out there. She rested her head on my shoulder and sighed. "I love this song. It's so romantic. You know what George? We don't have to be sad about not getting rings tonight. You know why? We've got our whole lives ahead of us. Who says we need to fall in love right now?"
I smiled. "Yeah." I only wished she was right. At that moment I looked up and happened
to see Lee. He was leading a short, blonde girl out onto the dance floor. I swear my eyes almost fell out of my head. I had seen the girl around before, she was a Hufflepuff. I couldn’t stop gaping for what seemed like ten minutes maybe. Then finally I croaked out. "Katie, look. It's Lee's date."
Katie's head snapped up and she looked in the direction I had been staring. A grin split her face. "That is so sweet. They're so cute together. George, stop staring." She laughed and looked over my shoulder. Then after a moment of staring at something, a thoughtful look crossed her features. "George, I think I'm going to get something to drink. Want anything?"
I shook my head. "No, it's all right. I'll be fine, you go on."
She did, and I just stood in the middle of the dance floor for a few minutes looking completely stupid. Then, upon realizing I was getting a few odd looks, I walked off the dance floor and sat down at a table. I scanned the room, looking for a certain person. When I didn't see him, a feeling of dread flooded through my stomach. What if he was going to exchange rings early? That sounded like Fred, always impatient.
I started to feel uncomfortable and restless. I couldn't stay still any longer. I rose from my seat and quickly walked out the doors. Couples were snogging here and there. Snape was sweeping around, breaking the couples up with a thorough deduction of points, unless they were Slytherins. I walked on, until I didn't see any more couples, and sat down on a bench. Life wasn't fair. Why couldn't I have what I wanted? Why couldn't I have Fred?
"Hey George, what are you doing all the way out here?"
I turned my head to see Fred standing beside the bench. "I could ask you the same question."
He smiled and sat down. "I was looking for you. Now, it is your turn. Why are you out here?"
"Getting away from all that noise, all those kids shagging in the bushes." I snorted. "So, where's Angelina?"
"Inside, talking to the girls. Lee proposed. He didn't just give that girl a ring, he flat out proposed. All the girl's are admiring her ring." Fred smiled. "It's great."
"Yeah, guess so. So, what do you want?" I asked looking at my feet. I didn't want Fred to see the look in my eyes. I was jealous, but there was no way I was going to admit that.
Fred tilted his head sideways, studying me. "What's the hurry? Don't we talk all the time? Maybe I just wanted to see you."
I looked at him. "Oh come on Fred. You could be in there, with Angelina, dancing and having a good time. There has to be some reason you’re out here instead."
With a sigh, Fred nodded. "There is a reason." With those words said, Fred reached into his pocket and drew out his ring. I almost gasped. So, he hadn't given it to Angelina yet. Fred turned and smiled at me. "George, I know what you’re thinking. Don't. Don't think at all. Just feel."
I was confused. What was he talking about? Feel what? Anger, jealousy. He could have taken his pick. There were plenty of emotion running through my body. "What?" I asked just looking at him.
Fred winked and reached out to take my hand. I looked at it, tightly enclosing itself upon mine. Then, with wide eyes, I looked back to Fred. He just pulled my hand close to him. "George, I know it may sound strange, but I can't think of anyone I'd rather give a ring to than you. I want us to live together. Just you, me, and our joke shop. George, I know we were planning on this anyway, but I can't help but want more. You know what I mean? Please accept this ring as a symbol of my feelings."
I gaped at him. "But, but Angelina."
Fred frowned. "What about her? She's my friend and my date, not my lover."
My eyes only grew wider. This was impossible, unfathomable even. Everything I'd silently begged for the past few years was true. This just wasn't right. Wasn't I doomed to live the rest of my life in misery? I almost pouted at the unexpectedness of it all.
"Fred, I ... I don't know what to say."
"Will you at least think about it?" His eyes begged me to consider, but I already knew.
"I don't have to think about it."
Fred shrugged and tried to study my features in the dim lights. "I see. Well, I thought..."
I had gently placed a finger to my brother's lips, silencing him. I smiled reassuringly and answered, "Yes, I accept your ring. I just wish I had one of my own to give."
Fred beamed. "Really?" He hardly seemed able to believe my decision, even though a moment earlier he had been so confident. With a sure hand, he slipped the ring onto my finger and leaned towards me. I met him halfway, and we kissed, a long and gentle kiss. It wasn't very passionate, but the one to follow was, and the one after that.
The rest of the night seemed to last forever, and was gone in an instant. I finally had my Fred, and his ring. This was the perfect Ball night.