Mid-Winter Owls at Diagon Alley

I’m freezing”.

They had used the floo powder quite a few times to escape from his family, especially at Weasley holiday dinners. They had never before ended up in Diagon Alley. It was the night before Christmas, and the streets were almost empty.

The only creatures causing a soothing noise were the owls in front of Eeylops Owl Emporium. Maybe they were freezing too. No wonder, it had been snowing for days now.

“Come on, it’s not that far from here.” Fred ignored her remark and grabbed her hand. He rand and jumped down the street, excited like a five year old at his birthday, dragging her along behind him.

“But… at least tell me where we’re going.”

He stopped and looked right into her eyes. “Would it be a surprise then?” When he leaned down and kissed her gently, the one of a kind Fred Weasley smile she could feel in the kiss made her feel warm inside. If only for a moment.

“Here.” He took off his blue sweater with an ‚F‘ on it and placed it around her shoulders. She didn’t get to savour this moment as much as she wanted to, when he took her hand again and ran off.

Only a few minutes later he stopped again, this time covering her eyes with his hands before she even knew where they were. “Fred Weasley…”, she said in her best McGonagall impression, trying to take his hands down from her eyes.
He wouldn’t budge. “No, just wait.”
She could feel Fred’s body shifting around her, his left hand covering both her eyes now, his right arm around her shoulder. Fred’s whole body was shaking a little, more than shivering, more than freezing. In one quick but gentle move, he turned her around so that she’d face the building to the right.

“On this special day, at this special time, I proudly present to you…”
When Fred took his hand down, she was looking at a building. The windows covered with wood and all kinds of tools were laying in front of the house. A big version of one of the twins’ heads with a top hat smiling above the door.
“…Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.“

Before she could say anything, Fred starting babbling so quickly, she had a hard time to keep up. “… I know, it’s not even close to finished, but… No, wait. Let me show you inside.” He took out his wand, smiling but anxious; she always just knew what was behind his smile.

The doors opened with a little creak, and Fred placed a hand on her back, ushering her inside. “Come on.”

More babbling ensued. Fred hardly took a breath, giving her no space to say anything. “It still looks like it’s been hit by a bomb, but just imagine some shelves here and here, and a cashier desk over there… and we’re going to sell Pygmy Puffs and Fake Wands and Extendable Ears and…”

All she could do was let Fred show her around and stare, in amazement. She had never seen him this excited; he was running around the shop like a bouncing ball. A chuckle escaped her, unintentionally, just happy.

“What?” Fred stopped surprised when he heard her. The anxiety that she might not like it made his smile disappear, his lips quiver. The fear that she might be laughing about it, about him.

“Nothing… It’s just…” She looked around again, taking it all in and saw everything he just described. The incredible Weasley Twin magic and charm she loved so much would turn this place into a paradise, she just knew it.

Slowly, she placed the palms of her hands into his, neither of them shivering or shaking anymore. “This is amazing, Fred. I’d bet a million Galleons that you are going to do great.”

With their fingers interlaced, Fred drew circles into her palm with his thumb. More nervously than for the magic of the moment.

“Why did you bring me here?” she asked, though she had already read the answer out of the way he behaved.

Fred looked up, straight into her eyes but he couldn’t hold her gaze. His eyes shifted onto the half-finished stairway, tools scattered all around it. “I… you know… I wasn’t… I am not sure…” Hearing her ‘man of big words’ struggling like this made her smile. She knew it was cruel, at least in this moment that is so special to Fred, to them.

She swallowed it and placed her hands softly onto his cheeks, turning his head around carefully so he would face her again. “You and your brother will be amazing. This will be amazing. And do you know why?” She paused, giving him the chance to answer, but he remained silent.
“Because you are who you are: Fred Weasley. You’ve got power, more than anyone in this and the muggle world, and charm, and magic and…”
The end of the sentence disappeared into a mumble into Fred’s shoulder, as he suddenly pulled her into a hug. They just stood there, Fred holding held her tight for a moment that felt like an eternity, on that special day, to that special time.

“This needs to stay our secret, you know? George would kill me if…” Fred said while closing the door behind the two of them. She nodded. They were standing on the empty street again, it was still snowing. She wasn’t freezing anymore.

Title: Mid-Winter Owls at Diagon Alley
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Fred/OC
Summary: They had used the floo powder quite a few times to escape from his family, especially at Weasley holiday dinners. But they had never before ended up in Diagon Alley.
Words: 640
Author’s Note: this is a little something I wrote years ago, back in my LiveJournal days. It was full of typos and mistakes my younger English-learning self used to make, I hope I corrected them all.