Vulnerability

"To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength." Phoenix Lancaster is just as extraordinary as she appears, she is a muggle-born metamorphmagus, and she has never had a quiet life. Thanks to her courageous and troublesome best friends, Fred and George Weasley.

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26. A Pinky Promise

When Phoenix climbed back into bed that night she found that her dreams contained no flashes of green light, no images of her mother falling to the ground, no Bellatrix Lestrange. She slept peacefully. Perhaps it was because of the last few dregs of Dreamless Sleep still coursing through her body, or perhaps it was because she and George had stayed in the common room way after curfew, talking about anything and everything – excluding the dream of course.

"What are you doing over the summer?" George had asked her as they sat, facing one another, on the loveseat in front of the fire.

"Well we have our Apparition tests in the summer so hopefully I would have passed that," she had replied, moving her legs into a more comfortable place so that they were resting over George's. "And I've thought about getting a summer job… a Muggle one perhaps working in a bookstore or a cinema–"

"A what?"

"It's a place where Muggles go to watch films. They're really fun! You and I should go to one and… and bring Fred and the others along as well," Phoenix had found herself blushing after this. She had very nearly suggested that she and George could go alone and was quick to cover it.

George however seemed not to have noticed. Most probably because he did not know how romantic going to a cinema alone could get. He had smiled enthusiastically and then questioned Phoenix about every single film she had ever seen.

She slept so peacefully in fact that she very nearly missed breakfast.

"Why didn't you wake me up?" Phoenix glared at both Angelina and Alicia as she looked down at the empty golden plate.

"Because you are actually incredibly difficult to wake up," Alicia told her. "And we thought that you deserved a real rest."

"But now I've missed breakfast!" Phoenix said miserably.

"Have some of mine," George said, offering Phoenix a couple of pieces of bacon and a sausage. She smiled gratefully at George and ate her food hungrily.

"I forgot to ask you, but what lessons did I miss yesterday?" she enquired of Fred and Lee.

"Well you missed Potions," Lee grinned. "And Herbology, the Venomous Tentacula grabbed me. I thought I was a goner!"

"I believe you also missed Charms and Transfiguration–"

"Transfiguration?" Phoenix exclaimed in a high voice, her fork dropping onto the table with a loud clatter. Without warning, she dug around her feet for her bag and pulled out her Transfiguration books and notes. "We were supposed to do more on transfiguring our appearance. I can't believe I missed Transfiguration!" Phoenix complained loudly. She hit her head, rather harshly, against her copy of Guide to Advanced Transfiguration.

"It was just some more human transfiguration," Lee told her with what he thought was an encouraging smile, but in Phoenix's rather exhausted and now foul mood, it looked more like a smirk. "You don't really need to learn any of that stuff, you're a Metamorphmagus."

"Oh really?" her voice was dripping with false cheerfulness and sarcasm as she fixed Lee with a rather cold glare. "I haven't noticed."

"Al'right! Keep your hair on!"

She grumbled in reply, her Transfiguration book falling onto the table with a loud bang!

Why she was in a terrible mood was not because she had missed Transfiguration however. She was dreading the meeting with the Healers. The worst, and to her the most likely, outcome of the meeting would be that she would have to have her memory modified again. George had tried to reason with her that they couldn't possibly do so, but Phoenix had pointed out that if it was her father's wishes then she would have no choice, after all she still underage.

Her first lesson, Defence Against the Dark Arts, saw Phoenix reading through her notes on the Fidelius Charm, though she was not concentrating. Every now and then, she let out a loud yawn so that Angelina would cast her slightly annoyed looks. Phoenix hated not being able to concentrate. Especially in one of her favourite lessons on a topic that was sure to come up in their exams.

The Fidelius Charm is an extremely old spell, in fact it is one of the most ancient of all spells. It is also extremely difficult, multifaceted and potent charm that can be used to conceal a secret inside an individual's soul. The witch or wizard who keeps the said 'secret' is most commonly referred to as the Secret Keeper. A dwelling whose location has been protected by the Fidelius Charm is then invisible, intangible, unplottable and –

Phoenix felt something hit her on the side of the head. Frowning, she turned to see George staring at her, nonchalantly dipping his quill into his ink bottle. She gave him a small smile, her stomach somersaulting as she did so.

George cautiously leaned his elbow upon his desk, so that his arm concealed part of his face from Moody – whose both eyes were too busy checking a bare piece of parchment – and then George mouthed the words, "Are you okay?"

She shrugged in reply; she knew that she couldn't lie to George. After all, George could read her like a book. "Nervous," she replied.

The corners of George's lips twisted into a smile; though it looked reassuring Phoenix was not reassured in the slightest.

Healer Loyalar and Healer Chorster were waiting for Phoenix when she walked, once again, into Dumbledore's office. Phoenix was already familiar with Healer Loyalar, she had a kind, motherly face, and she was the Healer who always fixed Edmund's broken arms and scolded him for doing so. But Phoenix had never met Healer Chorster. He had a very serious look upon his face, with was emphasised by silky black hair that was pushed back into a high ponytail. His dark eyes made Phoenix feel rather uncomfortable as she sat in the chair in front of Dumbledore's desk.

"You've grown a lot haven't you Phoenix?" Healer Loyalar gave Phoenix a warm smile that was not returned. She was too busy focusing on the bowl of Fizzing Whizbees on Dumbledore's desk. "Haven't seen Edmund in a while,"

"That's a good thing," Phoenix muttered, her gaze unmoving.

"Well," said Dumbledore, clearing his throat, "now that we're all here. Phoenix…" he spoke in such an imperious manner that it felt as though Phoenix's head moved to look up at him of its own accord. "As I informed you yesterday, this is a precaution that we must–"

"You're not going to take away my memory again are you?" she burst, her hair and eyes turning pale at the thought. "B-Because I don't want you to. I'm fine!"

"Take away your memory?" Healer Loyalar looked incredulous. "And why would we do that?"

Phoenix's eyes shone brightly, her heart seemed to stop. "W-What? But you did it last time!"

"You were three years old Phoenix," said Healer Loyalar. "Leaving you in the state and condition you were in would have been incredibly dangerous for your health in later life. It was the best, and most undoubtedly, the only solution that would have been beneficial for your health."

"What you need to understand Phoenix," Healer Chorster spoke, fixing Phoenix with a stern gaze, "is that last time not only your health was in grave danger but your mental health also. It was the best thing we could have done to help you–"

"Oh yeah," Phoenix gave a disbelieving snort. She could not help herself. She had a bitter feeling in the pit of her stomach that had been bubbling all morning. "Because taking away my bloody memories is a great way to deal wit– " she stopped when she saw the look on Dumbledore's face.

"It did help you Phoenix," said Healer Loyalar, walking towards her with the soft expression on her face that she most probably used with all of her patients. "You have grown remarkably well considering–"

"If I'm not here to get my memory modified then what exactly am I doing here?" Phoenix asked, her eyes were now narrowed and flickering from Healer Loyalar to Healer Chorster, "Because you could have just told me this in a letter." Phoenix knew that she was being rather rude but she was too angry and bitter to care for politeness.

"As a sort of follow-up we need to inform you of a few things and answer any questions you may have," Healer Loyalar explained. "Since the last time you experienced something so traumatic you were diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which means that –"

And then she began to explain about how the traumatic events affect not only the brain and personality but child development. Apparently because of the trauma Phoenix had been unconsciously carrying with her for the past thirteen years was indeed the reason she found it difficult to control her Metamorphmagi abilities – it apparently was common for children who were victims of traumas to have great trouble of controlling emotions and took a huge part in why some wizarding children find it impossible to control their magic. She explained a lot that Phoenix didn't understand – mostly things that sounded far too medically complex for her to fathom (she had always hated Biology). Though all the things she explained seemed to clarify what Phoenix had once not understood – why she had had flashbacks for the past few months, why she had suffered from a panic attack and why she developed a penchant for pushing people away to deal with issues on her own.

She also explained how throughout childhood the body's biology develops. Phoenix tried to listen to this but it was like being in Professor Trelawney's or her old Muggle Physics classroom again. Healer Chorster then went on to explain how biological functions, in both Muggles and magical beings, are greatly determined by environment. And that living with a trauma can create stress and that by her father taking away the memory of her mother's death it decreased the threat of Phoenix's immune system and her body's response to stress not developing normally. After that, the words that the Healers said went in and out through her ears.

It wasn't until her father was pulled into the conversation that she brought her attention away from Fawkes.

"What did you say?"

Healer Chorster's dark eyebrows rose, evidently he suspected that Phoenix had not been listening. "Yourself, your father and his wife will be having a further meeting sometime during the next week–"

Her eyes were wide open. Phoenix was sure that if it were possible they would be popping out of her head.

"Yes Phoenix, your father," Healer Loyalar, noticing her worried expression.

She had no choice but to obey. She knew that there was no way in hell she would be able to get out of the meeting. It was inevitable. She knew that much that much was true.

"Do you have any questions Phoenix?"

"Huh?" Phoenix adverted her eyes to Healer Chorster. "Oh uhm," she felt rather flustered; she wasn't too sure how to phrase the question she was so desperate to ask. "Do you think I, uhm, still suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? I mean, after the nightmare? Is that enough to… you know."

"I don't believe so," Healer Chorster replied slowly. "You couldn't possible relive the memory in your dream to its fullest extent. When you were emitted to St. Mungo's after what happened you were not only traumatised from seeing your mother be killed but also the pain and suffering from the Cruciatus Curse. It is impossible that you could feel that sort of pain during your sleep. Also, theoretically you have already suffered from the trauma. We may have modified your memory but not the rest of your body. After all, traumas affect not only your mind but the rest of your body. It's a part of your magical genes – your body already knew you had gone through the memory so you are not in any risk of being diagnosed again."

Phoenix, who had spent part of her early years going to Muggle schools and learning science (though admittedly she was not at all gifted at the subject) could not see how this made any sense. Then again, how did anything in the magical world have scientific theories behind it? She never even knew before that wizard and witches very bodies held their own powers to protect.

"You look troubled Phoenix," Dumbledore observed, his bright blue eyes surveying her expression closely.

"It's just the Muggle scientific knowledge I have in me," she muttered. Dumbledore nodded, he seemed to have understood her.

The rest of the meeting past in a haze and she left Dumbledore's office feeling much worse than she had on entering.

"Phoenix! Are you okay? What did they say?"

She collided into the firm and broad chest of George Weasley. He looked quite frantic.

"They didn't take away your memory did they?" he grabbed her shoulders and shook her slightly, as if trying to hear her memories rattling around in her head.

"Who are you?"

George's face paled and his jaw dropped.

"Wha–"

"I'm messing with you!" Phoenix exclaimed, nudging his shoulder. "Of course they didn't–"

"Merlin's arse Pixy!" He exclaimed, almost angrily as he brought her hurriedly into his chest. She couldn't help but smile as his arms wrapped around her, embracing her so tightly that she was almost struggling to breathe. "You scared the shit out of me." He murmured against her hair.

"Sorry," she couldn't help but giggle as a rouge flush covered her cheeks and woven from the roots to the very tips of her hair. "I couldn't help it."

"You are such a devil," George grumbled.

"Were you really that worried about me?" She could not help but feel flattered and she looked up at him, her hands still gripping the front of his robes, his rested upon her waist. Her heart rate accelerated as she was blissfully aware that they were holding one another exactly how they had been on the night in the broom cupboard – the night that she was sure George had very nearly kissed her.

"I was," he said, his brown eyes sparkled in the flicker of a nearby candle. "I don't know what I would do if you couldn't remember me."

There was something about the look on his face that Phoenix could not quite describe. But it made her heart pound. In that moment, she knew the reason girls and boys met in secret broom cupboards to snog. She wanted, no, she needed to kiss George Weasley more than she needed to breathe.

"Peeves leave me alone!"

Both Phoenix and George jumped apart.

"I'm warning you Peeves!"

They both turned, curiously, in the direction of the angry and screaming voice. To their amusement, it was Katie Bell, running down the corridor, Peeves zooming along behind, carrying a bell that rang loudly.

"So what did they say?" George asked her when they both found a vacant bench in a nearby courtyard.

"Mostly medical stuff," she told him, "about the brain and what not. But apparently from what I could understand modifying my memory was the best thing that they really could have done." George looked confused and so she added, "it could have been dangerous for my development as a child to grow up with a trauma and the stress of it. The only thing the trauma really affected was my Metamorphmagi ability. They explained about how Metamorphmagus' abilities are affected by their emotional state – well they explained it in much more detail but that's basically the point. And…" she paused for a moment, frowning. "…we're having a meeting with my father and Cecilia sometime during the next week."

George also frowned. "That will go well."

The day before the Second Task saw Phoenix having her very first day of not being behind on any of her homework. She and Fred and George were meandering around on the fifth floor – Fred and George talking animatedly about several products that they had been working on to Phoenix.

"–and then we're working on a line of products that is designed for witches–"

Phoenix snorted with laughter and looked at Fred incredulously.

"You have to be kidding me! What are you working on? Perpetual lipstick? Or… don't tell me, love potions?" She was of course joking of course. But instead of joining in with her laughter, the twins both smirked at her. "Please tell me you two aren't making bloody love potions!"

The guilty smiles on their faces were enough to give her an answer.

"Speaking of our love potions," said Fred, slinging an arm over Phoenix's shoulder. "We need testers–"

"I will never willingly test one of your bloody love potions," she replied immediately. "If you even think of slipping me one I ensure you that it would be the very last thing you would ever do."

"We tried Fred," said George.

"She's one tough nut to crack–"

"A challenge if ever we saw one–"

"Weasley, Weasley!"

"We didn't do it!" They shouted together. It was almost like their reflex to say this when any of their teachers – especially Professor McGonagall – called their names.

McGonagall and Phoenix both raised their eyebrows, looking suspiciously between Fred and George's rather guilty expressions. Phoenix supposed that their guiltiness may have something to do with the fact that during their morning break, Fred and George had somehow managed to flood a bathroom on the third floor.

"For once I am not here to ask the pair of you about your wrong-doings," McGonagall's tone was rather harsh, perhaps to help conceal the rather grim expression upon her face. "I would be most grateful if you would find your brother and Miss Granger."

"What for?" George asked curiously, he too seemed to have noticed McGonagall's expression.

But she ignored his question and instead, turned to Phoenix, "How are you feeling?"

Phoenix shifted slightly, shuffling her feet. "I'm fine… really," she added when McGonagall did not look so convinced.

"Very well Miss Lancaster," McGonagall said shortly. "Make sure you bring both Mister Weasley and Miss Granger to my office when you have found them."

With a swish of her cloak, McGonagall turned in the opposite direction, leaving Fred, George, and Phoenix all looking rather perplexed.

"How the bloody hell are we supposed to find them?" Fred frowned.

"They're probably in the library," said Phoenix, grabbing Fred and George's wrists and pulling them along the corridor. "I've seen those two and Harry in the library near enough every day."

"Wonder what McGonagall wants with them," George mused as they jumped down the steps of the marble staircase.

They reached the library in no time. They could hear the voices of Harry, Ron, and Hermione from the very top of the corridor.

"I haven't got a chance of turning into a frog by tomorrow morning..."

Fred and George sniggered as Harry's voice echoed through the silent and lamp-lit library.

"Oh this is no use," Hermione said in a sigh, seconds later the sound of a book snapping reached Phoenix's ears as she and the twins stood behind a bookshelf. "Who on earth wants to make their nose hair grow into ringlets?"

"I wouldn't mind," Fred smirked as he and George, Phoenix trailing behind them, stood before the three fourth year friends. "Be a talking point, wouldn't it?"

"What're you three doing here?" Ron asked, raising a curious eyebrow at his brothers and Phoenix.

"Looking for you," George replied with a bright smile. "McGonagall wants you, Ron. And you, Hermione."

"Why?" Hermione asked in surprise.

"Dunno... she was looking a bit grim, though," Fred shrugged.

"We're supposed to take you down to her office," George said, resting his arm on top of Phoenix's head, which made her scowl.

"We'll meet you back in the common room," Hermione told a pale looking Harry as she and Ron got to their feet. "Bring as many of these books as you can, okay?"

"Right," said Harry, he sounded as though he was trying his best not to show his uncertainty.

They left Harry in the library, looking desperately at the books scattered around him. Ron and Hermione were whispering to one another feverishly while Phoenix walked in between Fred and George, all of whom were silent.

"Why does Harry want to turn into a frog?" Fred enquired of Ron as he held open a door for them all to walk through.

"Why were you listening to our conversation?" Ron asked, frowning at his brother.

"Well you three weren't exactly being quiet," said George.

"We could hear you all the way down the end of the corridor," said Fred.

Fred and George had bombarded them with questions and Phoenix could not quite blame them for the look of relief (though still rather anxious) on their faces as they reached Professor McGonagall's office.

"Thank you," McGonagall said quickly to Fred and George, ushering Ron and Hermione inside before she too entered, the door just closing behind her.

"Surely we deserve house points for that Professor!" George asked McGonagall with large, very nearly innocent smile, his foot the only thing blocking the door from shutting.

"I hardly think so," she replied shortly as George withdrew his foot. "I am well aware of the bathroom you two managed to flood this morning." And with a snap, the door closed behind her.

Phoenix rolled her eyes, once again having to pull them by the sleeves of their robes to make them move. "At least you didn't get a detention," though she did not doubt that there was one looming on the horizon.

Gryffindor tower was rather loud and noisy. Everyone was buzzing about the second task that would be taking place tomorrow. Phoenix frowned, seeing that there were no seats left.

"I think I'll go to bed," she told the twins.

"But we need a favour!" said Fred, grabbing the sleeve of her robe and pulling her towards the door to the boys dormitories.

"Oh, please don't try to give me a love potion!" she begged as Fred dragged her up the staircase, George trailing behind them.

"We wouldn't dream of it, would we Fred?"

"Course not George!"

Fred pulled her into their dormitory and closed the door behind George. Lee, Kenneth, and Tony seemed to be downstairs in the common room or somewhere in the castle (Phoenix didn't doubt that Lee was in a broom cupboard somewhere) because the dormitory was empty.

"I'm not going to test any love potions for you," she said definitely, crossing her arms determinedly over her chest and sitting down on the foot of what she was sure was George's bed.

Fred and George grinned before Fred walked over to the trunk at the foot of his bed and began to rifle through it. Several pairs of his boxers flew through the air – one landing on Phoenix's knee, which made her squeal and throw them at George – as Fred dug deep into his trunk.

"Don't throw Fred's underwear at me!" George shouted, chucking them at Fred's back.

"I panicked," Phoenix told him simply, leaning back on her hands to stare at the ceiling of George's four-poster. She smiled when she saw the glow-in-the-dark stars stuck there. "You used the stickers!"

"Yeah," said George, sitting beside her and glancing up at the stars. "They're pretty cool."

"Found them!" bellowed Fred. He stood up from rummaging around in his trunk, his fist held high in the arm. In his clutches he held a small, pink box.

"Is that–"

"Not a love potion," George told her, seeing the expression on her face.

"What is it then?"

"Everlasting Eyelashes!" both Fred and George said together.

"Excuse me?"

Fred thrust into her hands the pink box. In large, bold letters that was clearly George's handwriting was the words: 'Everlasting Eyelashes!'. Through a transparent material she could see a pair of what looked like the Muggle false eyelashes, similar to what Phoenix had in her makeup set at home.

"Are these the eyelashes you sold when you were making money for the Yule Ball?" she asked, flipping over the box to see it was nothing but more pink boxing.

"Not exactly," said Fred, "the eyelashes we sold then were just Muggle ones."

"But after we made all that gold from selling all those girls things, we decided that Weasley's Wizard Wheezes could make a lot of gold if we created a line of products especially for witches. Wonderwitch products!" continued Fred.

George took the Everlasting Eyelashes from her and opened the box, titling it so that the eyelashes flew out onto the palm of his hand. "What these do is, obviously make your eyelashes longer, but they are also charmed to fit the shape of your eye perfectly and they are everlasting!"

"And you don't even need the glue that Muggles used. And they can also be easily taken off without much hassle. I remember Angelina complaining about how painful taking off those fake eyelashes Muggles wear – so these come off without pain!" said Fred brightly.

"And why are you showing me these?" she asked, looking back down at the eyelashes in George's palms.

"We want you to test them for us!" said Fred brightly.

"But–"

"They're just eyelashes Pixy," said George. "All you have to do is let us put them on you so we can make any adjustments to them. They won't burn your eyelids or anything."

She glared at them before she nodded her head. "Alright but if anything does happen I'll be writing to your mother."

Fred and George shuddered slightly. Writing to their mother was something Phoenix had yet to result to do. Only their teachers really wrote to her and that often ended in them being sent an angry Howler – something that was definitely not a stranger to one of the school's most notorious pranksters.

"We're guarantee that nothing will happen to those pretty little eyes of yours," George assured her with a wink that cause a flush to grow up her face. "Now close your eyes and relax while I put them on you."

Tentatively, she closed her eyes. She could feel George get up from beside her and then hear him crouch in front of her. She could not help the now brightly glowing blush on her cheeks nor could see help the pinkness of her hair as George's warm breath hit her forehead. Two of his fingers gently ghosted over her cheekbones, causing the nervous feeling in her stomach to arise again. He was holding her head so gently that she was sure her heart was to explode. She barely registered the cool eyelashes being placed to her lashline, she was too focused on George's hands. His hands were beautiful, large and gentle. The feeling in her stomach had turned into an almost fluttering feeling – like butterflies. He then placed the other eyelash over her other lashline as tenderly as he had held her in the Quidditch stands. She felt as though her heart had taken refuge in her throat.

"How do they feel?"

Phoenix had almost completely forgotten that Fred was almost in the room with them. In those few moments George had been barely an inch from her, she felt as if they were the only people in the room. She opened her eyes to see George now getting to his feet and Fred walking over to her.

"Oh, uhm, they feel nice…" she said slowly. "I can't really see if they shaped on my lashline properly though."

Fred held a mirror in front of her face. She was still blushing, her hair was very much still pink. As soon as she saw this, her hair turned mousy brown. She now looked at the Everlasting Eyelashes – like fake eyelashes, they made her blue eyes look bigger, fuller and more inviting. But unlike fake eyelashes, they shaped over her lashline so perfectly they appeared to be natural.

"For a pair of blokes you sure know how to create makeup products," Phoenix laughed as she handed the mirror back to Fred.

"Thanks!" he beamed. "Oh George! Will you do me a favour and get my bag from Angelina?"

"Why don't you get it?" George enquired suspiciously. "She's your girlfriend after all."

"She's giving me the silent treatment," Fred shrugged; he didn't look discouraged that his girlfriend was ignoring him in the slightest.

George shrugged before he left Fred and Phoenix alone in the boys' dormitory.

"Are you and Angelina alright? Why is she ignoring you?" Phoenix asked Fred as she pulled the Everlasting Eyelashes off and handed them to Fred who slipped them back into the box.

"We're fine," Fred replied with a grin. "We always bicker. It's the fuel to the passion of our–"

"I don't want about that stuff!" Phoenix cried, flinching as though burned. "Angelina already tells me about all that in very extensive detail."

"She does? She said I couldn't tell George or Lee about all the times we've–"

"Fred!" Phoenix cautioned.

He grinned, throwing the Everlasting Eyelashes carelessly over his shoulder, the box landed easily into his open trunk. "The reason that she is giving me the silent treatment is because I managed to figure out a interesting piece of information."

"Really?" Phoenix raised an eyebrow at Fred.

"Oh yes really," he nodded, leaning back against the pillows on his bed, still grinning over at her. His knowing grin made her feel uneasy. "I, being a very curious individual–"

"You mean nosey–"

"–questioned my girlfriend about whom her best friend likes." Fred continued, ignoring Phoenix's interruption.

"That's easy. Alicia likes Jason. Everyone knows–"

"I meant you."

Phoenix swore that she was frozen to the spot. Fred didn't… he couldn't… Fred could not know about who Phoenix liked. That would be a disaster.

"Oh really," her voice was unnaturally high as she straight up in her seat on George's bed. "And… and what did she say?"

"Nothing," Fred smiled as the panicked look on her face disappeared. "She said that you didn't like anyone."

"Oh good," she sighed in relief, before her eyes widened and she quickly added, "I-I mean I don't like anyone!"

Fred got to his feet, smirking as he made his way over to Phoenix. "Don't lie to me Miss Lancaster," he warned, tapping her nose with his finger and continuing to grin knowingly. "I saw how flustered you were when George was so close to you."

"I don't like him!" she lied, her face now she hot that she was certain she could have cooked an egg on it.

"Well you don't blush like that when myself or Lee are that close to you. You don't look at me and Lee as if we're the only people in the world. You don't smile at me or Lee like you smile at George. Hell, I don't think I have ever seen your hair so pink than when you're around George!" Fred exclaimed, throwing his hands dramatically up in the air. "It's so clear that you like him!"

Phoenix opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. She was simply groping at Fred. He had figured it out. Oh sweet Merlin! She thought. It's all over! If Fred knows – if George's bloody twin brother knew – then George was sure to found out.

"D-Don't… don't you dare tell a soul!" she warned, her heart rate quickening in fear.

"I won't."

"I'm serious Fred!" she snapped, the pools of blue in her eyes turning pale. "If you tell him–"

"I swear I won't tell him," Fred reassured her, placing his hands on her shoulders and looking at her dead in the eye. "I will make the Unbreakable Vow if I have to!"

"We'll just settle for a pinky promise, alright?"

Fred nodded, entwining his little finger with her own.

I officially start Sixth Form on Monday. I would try and squeeze in another chapter this weekend but I highly doubt I would be able to finish it by then! Updates may be cut down to once a week and I apologise for that but my A Levels are important and they're going to be difficult. Next chapter will be the Second Task!

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