This is the first chapter of Evolution, which also happens to be my first foray into the world of a writer of fanfiction.
The bell over the door let out a little jingle as yet another customer enter Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. The store itself was already crowded and among the jumble of voices an occasional bang or squawk could be heard as people used the various sample products. George Weasley stood behind the counter attempting to ring up as many people as he could in as short a time as possible. Looking at the next person in line he was unsurprised to see yet another boy who couldn’t be any older than 14.
“Five Skiving Snackboxes: three Fainting Fancies and two of the Fever Fudge. That be it then?”
“Ya, I’m not sure if I can sneak much more in me trunk and mum will be fuming if she finds out I spent the sickles she gave me on this stuff.” He shuffled his feet slightly
“Oy, me mum used to say the same thing. What house you in?” George replied good-naturedly
“I’m a Hufflepuff,” he whispered.
“Ah, well if you’d been a Gryffindor we might have been able to work out a discount, as is your total is two Galleons and one Knut.” George smirked, “We do have a mail-order catalogue you can order from though, if you don’t want to hide so much from your mum.” And he stuffed a pamphlet into the bag of the boy, motioning to the next person to step up in the queue.
A similar scenario ensued for the next three-quarters of an hour until Fred took his turn at the register. Now George had exactly two hours to get away before he had to be back behind the register. He stretched his arms and looked around at all that he and Fred had created over the last few months. One would hardly have known that their shop was a new venture. It had been more work than either of them had originally thought, but George typically enjoyed it. Creating a new product was actually more fun than work…he just hated working that bloody register.
He stepped out from behind the counter and wandered down one of the first aisles. It had hit him last week how strange it was not to be going back to Hogwarts. All around him were students who had managed to steal away from their parents so they could stock up before returning to school. He felt so old.
A shocked gasp drew George out of his rather depressing thoughts. A petite girl was staring at the crup who was sitting politely next to her. Seconds later, with a burst of flame, a dark haired girl in long gray robes stood where the crup had been. She eyed her companion curiously and George could over hear snipits of the conversation… “So did it work Leslie? What happened?” “Oh Vina, you really don’t remember? It was amazing, one minute you were a crup and then suddenly you were you again.” The girl referred to as Vina began to giggle quietly. “It’ll work perfectly; he’ll never know what happened. Serves him…” Their voices faded away as they took a handful of the small blue balls and moved toward the back of the store. George felt a nudge of pity for the bloke who was the future target of the Crup Crunches, what that girl had tried had only been a sample so it wore off rather quickly. The actual product lasted at least an hour.
“Don’t worry Weasley, he deserves what he has coming to him and a dose more if it had been up to me.” George whipped around quickly, startled at the voice that had spoken in his ear.
“Merlin’s Beard McPherson, you should know better than to sneak up on me like that. You might end up as a toad or some such.” A tall dark haired girl was standing directly behind him, her pale green eyes betrayed the laughter she held just below the surface. She stepped up to him giving him a quick hug. “I take it you know those two,” he muttered as she released him.
“But of course, the crup is my little sister. Don’t you remember, she’s the one who got two quaffles past your little brother last year.” After having made this comment Kyna McPherson smirked slightly, “anyway as I was saying, the little scum-bag is just lucky that Lach or Da hasn’t heard about him or he’d be in for a lot worse than spending a little time as a pet.”
“I take it he has trudged on the honor of the Clan McPherson and is only getting his due then.”
Kyna’s face took on an unmistakably cold glare as she looked past redheaded boy. “The prat had the nerve to break Vina’s heart. Asked her out last year just as the year ended…I even thought it was cute at the time…come to find out that all the while he’s been sending owls to her over the summer saying how much he misses her, he was sending them to some Gryffindor tart too.” Kyna looked around her, belatedly making sure no one could over hear her comments. “She came crying into my room last week. It took me 40 minutes to figure out what had happened then we hatched a little plan. Sometimes I wonder what she’ll do next summer when I’m not home. I don’t think she could have ever come up with this on her own.”
“It really does have the Kyna vindictiveness about it, I should have known she was at least related to you,” George reasoned. “It’s not everyday you come across someone premeditates their revenge.”
“That’s not the best part of it,” her face took on a slight glow. “Leslie over there is the toerag’s cousin…how he didn’t think Vina would find out is beyond me…”
George interrupted her “I don’t think I want to know the details, I might actually end up feeling bad for the dunderhead, and sympathy would be bad for business.”
“Are we becoming too much of a Toff to lower ourselves to the level of common revenge?” Kyna taunted.
“I’ve always been above mere revenge. My projects are for the challenge of it."
"Ah I see," she replied, her curls bobbing as she shook her head. "So what is the working man doing wandering around the store? Not so busy you couldn't go with an old friend to Fortescue’s I bet." Noticing the crowd of third year Gryffindors who had just walked in the door Kyna added, "I'll even buy, seeing as your business is struggling lately." George eyed her wearily but Kyna laughed and hooked their arms as she led him out the door.
“Och, I almost forgot,” she muttered as she looked once more toward the back counter. “Weasley, I’m kidnapping your more handsome half for a nip, I promise to return him for a full refund with as little damage as possible!” He had to shake his head a little, a lady was not something that anyone would ever try and accuse this girl of being.
George wasn’t entirely sure but he thought he heard Fred say something back along the lines of I’ll be lucky if he’s in any condition to work after she’s done with the sap but Kyna was tugging him rather quickly out of range so he couldn’t be sure. “Bit keen to be on our way aren’t you? Afraid that some new Slytherin git might see you with a real man?” he asked her with a very practiced, suave look. “Or maybe you want everyone else to see, to make up for your lapse of judgment in the past.”
“On about that again, if I didn’t know the truth I’d think you were jealous of Alec…instead of Turner Philips.” The mention of the former Ravenclaw had George going a bit pink. “Still a bit sore over that whole thing I see,” she said hugging is arm a little tighter. “Understandable though, you make a right arse of yourself all night and just when she finally notices you, somehow you manage to botch the job over the summer. Not altogether surprising considering…”
“Considering what exactly McPherson?” It shook George to realize that she was right, well not entirely, but he wasn’t as over her as he should be. She hadn’t talked to him in almost a full year now. “And I couldn’t give a knut who you went to the Yule Ball with, I happen to have gone with the best bloody chaser in Hogwarts at the time. Besides it was almost two years ago, haven’t you moved on yet?” If pretending to be Fred for a spot got him out of a discussion he didn’t want to have, well he wasn’t above that. Besides, he always felt a little strange admitting things to Kyna. She’d get this very penetrating look in her eyes and some how he knew that she had everything he’d ever said her to filed away, to be brought back out again for future use.
Kyna’s eyes went from a bright, light green to a darker, grey-green. “You may be able to fool your mother George Weasley, but I know exactly who you are and why you went stag to the Yule Ball so don’t you dare try and pull that stunt with me.” He could tell her mood had shifted but as to where the barometer pointed he would have to wait and see. Luckily with Kyna you never really had to wait long.
As they sat down at a small table next to a window Kyna looked straight into George’s blue eyes. That was one of the strange things about the girl (Well, to be honest there are plenty of things about her that are sketchy at best) her eyes had a way of almost glowing, and you really couldn’t look away, not if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named stepped up right beside you. It didn’t take much effort for her to get someone’s undivided attention.
“She’d forgive you. You know that don’t you?” There really was no question as to whom Kyna was referring to. Her voice had gone quite soft, “If you would just explain it all to her, I know that you guys could at least be friends again. It all just got blown out of proportion between the two of you.”
George wasn’t quite sure what Kyna wanted him to say to that. When she finally looked out the window he was relived to be able to stare at his strawberry and peanut butter ice cream. Why did girls always do this? Couldn’t they just understand that not everyone got a “Happily Ever After”? Besides, even a bloke like George knew that all women-throughout the universe-deemed what he did unforgivable.
The pair sat in silence, Kyna looking out the window, George brooding over her last comment. It was his fault really that she wanted to make things better. He was the one who had first involved her in his love life after all, but could he have really known that one favor at the Yule Ball would turn into something she would hold on to for two bloody years.
Still brooding, his memory slowly started to drift back to sixth year. He could remember Kyna, in glittering silver robes, along with her date (that slimy Alec Kerr). He’d been surprised when the pair had walked in together. For some reason he had always thought she’d go with another Ravenclaw, but it was the pair that followed them in that had really caused George a sharp intake of breath.
Turner Philips was strutting in, a stupid grin on his ugly face, and walking with her hand on his arm was Marilla Nenar. George had been dreading this moment since the ball had been announced. Even if he had wanted to he couldn’t have asked her to come with him. She’d snuck over to the Ravenclaw table to say something to Kyna just as Dumbledore had risen to officially announce it and Turner had stuck his smarmy head right in between the two girls to ask her.
There had been a rumor about something like the Yule Ball going around for a few weeks and when the announcement came George had fully intended on asking Marilla…in the privacy of the Gryffindor common room…where no one could over hear…on the very good chance that she turned him down. He never even got the chance to fail in his mission. Instead, he had to settle for one lousy dance and even that had taken a well thought out strategy.
He’d asked Kyna for a favor. Just getting her to help had been a huge undertaking (how was he to know that asking a girl to distract some guy was considered rude?). It’s not like she should have minded dancing with Turner, she had after all gone with that Slytherin git. You would have thought she’d have been relived to get to dance with someone else. Then just as the song had ended and he was about to say something extremely charming some dolt had come up and claimed her for the next go round. She’d mouthed Sorry over her shoulder as she was lead away, leaving George on the sidelines to watch the swirls of her deep purple robes mingle with the jet black of her new partner’s.
The rest of the year was filled with near misses in his attempts to ask her to Hogsmeade and their usual Quidditch practices. Marilla had always wished she was on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, but had been passed over for Katie Bell and Alicia Spinnet. In her second year Marilla had asked Fred if maybe he and George could practice with her, but it had yet to significantly improve her playing. (This was likely due to the fact that they spent most of their “practices” planning the twins’ next prank or just goofing around.) They had continued their ritual even after all hope of her ever moving up from a reserve and joining the team had been completely extinguished.
All of that, while still rather tragic in the eyes of a teenage boy would have been okay. He’d had at least one more year to make his move. (If she didn’t go out with some idiotic Ravenclaw again.) It was that bloody train ride home that had ruined everything. They’d been talking and suddenly she kissed him. George was still shocked into silence when Fred had come to drag him off muttering about Malfoy and ickle Ronnikins. He saw her a few minutes later as they left the train. She was being towed away by her younger sister, Celeste, and he managed to shout to her “I’LL OWL YOU!” She nodded and been bustled off by the rest of her family.
Kyna’s voice, still soft, brought George back to the here and now. “Alec is getting married next week.” She was looking directly at him again.
“Oh?” Apparently George wasn’t the only one who had thought back to their sixth year, but he wasn’t sure exactly what to make of this comment. “How’d the burk managed to find someone dumb enough to agree to that?”
She laughed quietly, “I hear she’s actually quite a sweet girl.” Kyna shifted her glance back to the hustle of people moving quickly down Diagon Alley. “He’s asked me to be one of the Casters.”
“Ahh,” he finally understood where this was heading. Besides the couple there were two other people who were an integral part of a wedding, one chosen by the bride and one by the groom. These were the Casters. It was these two people that created the actual bond of marriage; joining together they would cast the spell that linked the couples’ hearts. Being chosen showed not only a great faith in one’s magical ability, but also complete faith in them as a person. It took two people who each had a close bond with one of the couple (depending on who chose them) to create the link between them. “I never thought it would be this strange to see him with someone else.”
“He’s been with someone else for almost a year. This isn’t something new.” With Kyna glaring at him George realized that he might not have understood as well as he thought he had.
“It’s just so final…they aren’t just dating anymore.”
Raising an eyebrow he asked, “You couldn’t possibly wish that you were still with the idiot.”
“No, it’s not that.” She thought for a moment. “It’s more that he’s always been there, just in case, and now that’ll be gone. He’s not my Alec anymore; he’s Sophia’s Alec.” At the confused expression on George’s face Kyna blew out a forceful breath. “Oh never mind, you obviously will never understand. Anyway I need a favor. I’ve got to go to Madam Malkin’s and get a new robe for the ceremony and I need a second opinion. Apparently Sophia is rather fond of pink and I don’t happen to own anything that is that particular color. I promise I’ll make it as quick as possible.”
Before he could protest that he really did need to get back to the shop Kyna had slapped down several coins on the table and was once more dragging George out of a doorway. She was muttering to herself as they walked but all he could pick out was the words idiotic, pink, and appalling amid grunts of frustration.
Abruptly, as was her tendency, Kyna’s thoughts changed gears. “Now, back to your debacle of a love life.”
“Eh now, my love life is not a debacle.”
“You’re right, it’s a catastrophe.” He glared down at her. “Well let’s see here Weasley, you have managed to sabotage every relationship that you have had since you left Hogwarts, have you not?”
“I think you need to look in the dictionary again McPherson.” Kyna glared back at that barb, clearly thinking the possibility of a Ravenclaw using a word out of context completely impossible. “Saying I sabotaged a relationship would imply that I wanted it to fail…instead of just enjoying dating around.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her. “So now that you’re free, how about being my next failure?”
“Honestly, I really don’t understand why I bother trying to help you.”
“Gee Professor McPherson I know I’m not going to fail Alchemy of Love this term, but I’d sure appreciate a little one-on-one tutoring.” George gave his best impression of a distraught pupil.
Ignoring the innuendo, Kyna began her lecture. “Good! Now as I was saying earlier, all you have to do is explain why you never owled…or flooed…or managed to think of any other way to talk to her over the summer. That is going to be the most difficult thing to explain. You, George Weasley, conniver extraordinaire were somehow unable to think of alternative means to get a note to her. Hm… ”
“Then just explain why you waited this long to tell her all of this. As long as it isn’t too daft a reason she’ll understand…” George could read the question in her eyes. “Why didn’t you just explain to her about the Order when school started? You managed to explain to me and I forgave you…well I didn’t have much reason to be mad in the first place. You didn’t kiss me and then never talk to me again.”
“There has to be a reason that you keep bringing this up,” he groaned, “but at the moment I fail to see how this is something that has to be discussed.”
“For someone I once thought was bloody brilliant you are being amazingly obtuse mate. Do you not see a connection between all those girls…and honestly George most of them were just girls. Asking out Hannah Abbot--”
“Kyna dear,” he interrupted. “I really wish you would get to the point so that this overly taxing afternoon can end.”
“Oh fine then” she hmphed. “Well I am merely pointing out that the reason all those other girls broke-up with you was because you had no emotional investment in the relationship.”
“Emotional Investment?!?!? Kyna who actually talks like that? Admit it, you’ve started reading Witches Weekly.”
“Shut it! Every time you open your mouth it makes me want to rethink this whole thing.” Kyna replied peeking around people in the crowd.
“Enough effing riddles Kyna. It figures taking into account WHAT? And what do you need to rethink? You are driving me batty, woman!”
“Don’t get your knickers in a twist. I only meant that it figures you botched it up with Marilla. Other than Percy, it’s not like the Weasley men have a great track record. Fred and Angelina didn’t make it past 6th year…who knows what he did to ruin that one…Ron has yet to figure out that he actually likes Hermione, and if he doesn’t straighten himself out soon he’ll be in with you lot. Then there’s Bill and Charlie…” she sighed out the last brother’s name. “Now I’m sure both of them have their pick of the tarts, like that Fleur Delacour, but neither one has had a steady in quite some time.”
“As to what I need to rethink, I have decided to help you get your love life back in order and here we are, Madam Malkin’s.”
George tried to stop so could ask for clarification once more on that last point but Kyna still had a hold of his arm and proceeded to drag him through the door.
“Just what exactly are you…” He was nearly shouting now.
“Oh!” came a surprised voice. “Um, well I guess that you don’t need my opinion on robes now Kyna?”
“And hello to you too Marilla,” Kyna replied attempting not to laugh. “Actually, I’ve decided that I would like both of your opinions. George can judge on whatever it is guys actually judge by and you can actually tell me if I’ll look like a washed-out grindylow.” She looked back and forth between them and must have decided that each looked more uncomfortable than angry because she left to go find one of the many seamstresses. George could have killed her.
I don't really like "Evolution" as a title, but at the moment it's all I've got