"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.


21. Cliché Feelings and Snogging Friends

She felt embarrassed, humiliated as she pushed through the bodies of dancing students back towards the table she had previously been sitting on by herself. Had Jerome only ever showed interest in her because of what she was? So that he could make her change her appearance into something that 'suited' him. Well that wasn't going to happen, she thought bitterly as she grabbed her heels from under her seat and shoved them onto her feet. That wasn't going to happen for anybody, no matter how incredibly good looking and charming they may be. What kind of blunt jerk would say that someone? Even Lee wouldn't dream of being such an inconsiderate blighter.

Her eyes travelled around the dance floor and she couldn't help but feel, alone. She loved to be alone, to be with her own thoughts, but there was nothing more Phoenix Lancaster hated and feared than feeling alone. There was a large different between the two. Feeling left out; forgotten, insignificant was something Phoenix hated. A lump rose in her throat as she stared down at her mother's dress and she felt more alone than ever – her father had been betraying her since the age of three, it seemed as though boys were only interested in her for being a Metamorphmagus and now her friends didn't even realise how alone and miserable and pathetic she was feeling, though she didn't blame them.

Feeling as though she would rather not cry in front of the entire school, she made her way out of the hall and towards the oak front doors. The outside of the castle was even more beautiful than the inside. An area of lawn had been transformed into a sort of grotto, full of fairy lights (one of Phoenix's favourite things) – which meant hundreds of real life fairies were fluttering around the rosebushes over statues of Father Christmas along with his reindeer.

Phoenix walked towards the grotto and sat down on a vacant bench after she cleared it of snow. It was cold and she shuddered, it was still snowing and the warmth she had felt inside the hall had vanished. A cold tear ran down her cheek as she pulled out her wand, conjuring several metallic butterflies that fluttered around her head.

How could she even think for a minute that her mother's dress could make this night special, make herself special. She felt like an incredibly melodramatic teenage girl, crying away from a party over a stupid boy. She almost laughed at how ridiculous she felt, but then remembered that that wasn't the only reason. She wanted to believe that her father had done the right thing but then, she thought savagely, he couldn't bear to live with Phoenix's condition so he had the memories of her mother wiped to make himself feel better.

How could he keep something like that from her for over thirteen years? What father takes away his daughters memory and doesn't even allow an explanation afterwards? Doesn't even tell her?


She jumped at George's voice and quickly wiped away any stray tears as he sat down beside her. "What are you doing out here? You must be freezing!" He hastily took off his robe and wrapped it around her shoulders, leaving him in his white shirt and black trousers.

"I-I needed to get out, too hot," she mumbled, forcing herself to not look at him, but instead at the collar of his shirt. "Why are you out here?"

"Let's see…" George scratched his chin thoughtfully, "All of my friends are with their dates and if I remember rightly, you said that we could fifth wheel together. Also… I know when you're upset Pixy."

"Is my nose too buttony?" She asked George before she could stop herself.

George laughed for a moment before he shook his head, "No your button nose is rather cute, why?"

"Jerome," she scowled at the mention of his name, "h-he said that it was too buttony,"

"You're not going to change the bloody shape of your nose for him are you?"

"No!" Phoenix said indignantly, crossing her arms over her chest and kicking a large pile of snow with her shoes. "I wouldn't do that for anybody! He was trying to get me to change my appearance, kept saying that he liked, or should I say rather, preferred girls with a pointy nose."

"What a pillock!" George exclaimed, "I thought he was being too grabby or something–"

"Surprisingly no, he was a gentleman in that sense which makes it all the more disappointing," she shrugged her shoulders, "Lee was a little bit grabby but I have good reflexes when it comes to Lee Jordan. Do you know that Lee brought me lingerie for Christmas?"

"Lee has no boundaries," George chuckled. "So I take it you don't like Jerome then?"

"I never liked him," Phoenix said nonchalantly. "Not in that way anyway… I liked talking to him but I always felt rather awkward with him, we don't have anything to talk about."

"I never liked him at all. Full spot. Period." George said defiantly and Phoenix snorted. "Is he the reason you were crying?"

"I-I, er, yes, I suppose."

"You suppose?"

Phoenix sighed and rested her head against George's shoulder, "I feel like a complete overdramatic adolescent girl for saying this but… I'm just upset because, I've never had a night to be anything remotely girly and I just thought – or rather hoped – that tonight would, I don't know, be special… and I would have a lot of fun. But here I am, away from the ball, crying in front of Father Christmas about a stupid boy."

"It's not your time of the month is it?"

Phoenix laughed despite herself, she punched George's arm before she leaned back into his shoulder. "It's not," she sighed, wrapping an arm around George's torso as one of his arms encircled itself around her waist, "I-It's just… I'm wearing my mother's dress and I just felt sort of, special. No matter how ridiculous that sounds there is no other way to put it,"

"I understand Pixy," George said softly.

If there was one thing Phoenix had always loved and appreciated about George Weasley, it was that he had the ability to listen and understand her. Unlike Fred, George was more grasping of one's emotions, it was not that Fred didn't try however; it was that George was usually the one to comfort and Fred was the one to make jokes to make the person feel better. George would listen to her, he wouldn't push nor would he ask. He would wait for her to be ready. People like Ed, or Will didn't do that. But Phoenix needed time. Time so that she would think, to revaluate the situation. And that was exactly what George did in situations like this.

He also looked at her with understanding when she talked, rather than pity – something that she always despised. And when she finally stopped talking, George would think over what was bothering her. More than anything she loved talking to George. Out of all of her friends, George Weasley was the one to go to when she was upset. She never told anyone this because for one, they would not believe her. George Weasley, the jokester, the life-of-the-party was actually, deep down, sensitive and mature. He would occasionally flash his lopsided, cheeky grin, but when Phoenix was upset, George had an entirely different persona around her. He was so serious it almost scared her.

"The night is still young Pixy, tonight could still be special." George whispered, squeezing her waist with his hand slightly. "And you owe me a dance."

"Thank you George," she leaned over to him and kissed his cheek quickly before she stood up, grabbing his hand and pulling him back towards the oak front doors.

When they re-entered the hall, Phoenix discarded her heels once again behind a suit of armour, gave George his robe before and they began to approach the dance floor. But before they could go anywhere however, they were both almost immediately approached by a harassed looking Fred.

"Are you and Angelina having fun?" Phoenix asked, looking up at Fred's very messy hair.

Fred ignored her and turned to George, "There you are!" he exclaimed. "We have to talk to Bagman, Lee's just told me something–"

"But–" Before George could get his words out however, Fred dragged his brother away. George shot Phoenix a rather apologetic smile as they approached Bagman, who had just kissed Professor McGonagall's hand in thanks for a dance.

Not wanting to look lonely and determined to have a good time, Phoenix walked towards Angelina, who was dancing alongside Lee and Alicia.

"Phoenix!" She bellowed, grabbing Phoenix's hand and dragging her towards the very middle of the dance floor.

"WE'RE DOING CIRCLE TIME!" Lee shouted, grabbing Phoenix's other hand and Alicia's, who took Angelina's free hand. Together, the four of them began to spin madly around in a circle. Phoenix shrieked with joy as her hair flew madly about her, Lee laughed loudly, Angelina and Alicia both sang along at the top of their lungs.

All in all, Phoenix learned something as she span around in circles with Angelina, Lee, and Alicia. She learned that spinning and Lee Jordan should never mix – especially since the latter had drunk a quarter of a bottle of Firewhiskey. Lee suddenly tripped over his own feet and went flying into Professor McGonagall. Phoenix laughed along with Angelina and Alicia as Professor McGonagall yelled at Lee for 'reckless behaviour' before they began to dance again, though this time they avoided spinning in a circle.

"You're not dancing without us are you?"

"Of course not!" Angelina grabbed Fred's hand and pulled him towards her and they began to dance, though Phoenix thought it looked more like they were trying to start some sort of mosh pit.

"I believe," came a voice from behind Phoenix, "That a certain Miss Lancaster owes me a dance,"

"I think you're right Mr. Weasley," she turned round to face George.

"Mr. Weasley is my father," George said in smooth voice. "Call me George."

Phoenix raised an eyebrow as George grabbed one of her hands. "What about Georgie?"

"I will never let you call me Georgie," he told her as he spun her about to the music.

"Why not?" Phoenix had to yell over the music as it got louder, they were now jumping up and down, dancing rather terribly but at that moment they did not care nor did the people around them.

"It's not manly enough!"

Phoenix didn't sit down at all the rest of the night. She danced happily without having to worry about her feet, seeing as though her heels were hidden away behind a suit of armour. She had even managed to get a picture that she had promised to send to Tonks (to proof to her that in fact Phoenix could wear a dress) with Alicia, Angelina, Lee, Fred, and George. By half eleven however, an half an hour before the ball was due to finish, she had become almost exhausted of jumping up and down and excused herself from dancing with Fred to take well deserved rest at a nearby table.

"Gosh it's hot," Angelina greeted Phoenix, taking a seat beside her, carrying two goblets of Butterbeer, one of which she handed to Phoenix. "Fred's spun me around so many times I've become permanently dizzy."

"Fred is a rather exotic dancer," Phoenix laughed; she herself had been spun around plenty of times by Fred. "Are you and Fred enjoying yourselves then?"

Angelina smiled and let out an uncharacteristic girlish giggle. "He actually spoke to me about his feelings."

"Oh," Phoenix exclaimed, turning round to face Angelina, placing her goblet onto the table. "What did he say?"

"That he likes me… That was about it, we got a little distracted."

"Story of your life…" Phoenix murmured before taking a swig of her Butterbeer. "So are you two together or is it 'complicated' or something?"

"I think we're together…" Angelina shrugged which only made Phoenix grin – for a self-proclaimed control freak this was one situation Angelina Johnson didn't appear to have control of, though that may have been due to the Firewhiskey Lee had put in her goblet earlier that evening. "I saw you dancing with Jerome earlier… what happened?"

She told Angelina all about what Jerome had done and said to her. Angelina, as Phoenix knew she would, called Jerome several harsh names and swore that she would curse Jerome the next chance that she got.

"It's a shame that he turned out to be complete broomhead," Angelina shook her head and pursed her lips. "He is rather dishy."

"Who's rather dishy?" Fred and George strode over, grinning.

"You talking about me love?" Fred asked Angelina, kissing her cheek before he sat down on her other side while George sat beside Phoenix.

"Oh gosh," Phoenix shook her head and looked at Fred and Angelina with an amused sort of look. "We're going to have to put up with them giving each other pet names George."

"How we will live?"

"Shut up," Angelina slapped both Phoenix and George on the arm. "The day I let Fred call me Sweetie Pie or Honey Boo will be the day that Snape discovers shampoo."

They all laughed just as the Weird Sisters began a new song. It was a ballad, a lot slower and less loud than the last of their songs.

"Oh I love this song!" Angelina grinned at Fred. "Do you want to dance with me Fred?"

"Well I'm not going to dance by myself am I?" Angelina rolled her eyes and dragged Fred to his feet. He winked at Phoenix and George before he allowed Angelina to drag him away to the dance floor.

"Love birds," George gave a snort of laughter before he drank the last of Angelina's forgotten Butterbeer. "Do you want to dance Pixy?"

"Better than sitting here like a pair of saddo's," Phoenix took George outstretched hand and he dragged her, much more gracefully than Angelina had Fred, towards the dance floor. All around them couples were slow dancing, well most of them were, Ava and Lee were eating each other's faces off not too far away.

George's arms wrapped around her waist easily, Phoenix had to stand on the tips of her toes to wrap her arms around his neck securely. He grinned down at her, looking amused.

"What's the weather like down there?"

"You are in no position to make short jokes about me George Weasley," Phoenix warned. "I could easily throttle you right now."

George gave a snort of laughter as they swayed along with the music together. Phoenix laid her head to rest against George's chest, her hands now resting on his shoulders and no longer on her tip toes. She could hear George's heartbeat through his shirt, which made her feel oddly warm inside the pit of her stomach.


"Yes love?"

Phoenix rolled her eyes and moved her head away from his head to look up at him. His brown eyes were glistening with familiar mischief as they looked into her hers, she felt herself blushing though she thought that there was no need for it.

"What did Lee tell Fred?"

"What?" George looked bewildered for a moment before he gasped, looking suddenly ecstatic. "Oh, it was about Bagman!"

"What about him?"

"Well Fred was telling Lee about our situation with the old prat and Lee told him something rather interesting," Phoenix starred at George, waiting for him to continue. "Well it turns out that Lee's dad also has had a little trouble with getting his money back from Bagman–"

"And by trouble you mean?"

"That he didn't give Lee's dad the bleeding money!" George exclaimed and Phoenix gasped. "So you were right, we weren't the only ones Bagman hoodwinked."

"Maybe… maybe Bagman was having some sort of trouble with money… so he made all these bets with people and took the money… that's the most probable reason."

"Whatever the reason is, he's a complete pile of dung."

"Well said George."

"This next song goes out to all of the lovers out there," Phoenix's face flushed pink and immediately returned to lay her head against George's chest to cover the flush of her cheeks. "Hold each other tight and keep each other warm."

"How incredibly cheesy," George's voice whispered in her ear which made slight chills run down her spine at how close he was to her.

"Incredibly cheesy things makes me want to gag myself," she and George both laughed softly as they continued to sway slowly as the Weird Sisters lead singer, Myron Wagtail, sang the most incredibly cheesy and romantic lyrics Phoenix had ever heard ('To hold the one you love, You know you've waited long enough'). "Bus as far as cheesy and corny things go, this is nice."

"Hey, I actually like this song." George said, his voice was still in Phoenix's ear and she had now come to conclusion that he was leaning his head down so he could talk to her; she could feel a slight pressure on her shoulder where his head lay. The thought made her stomach feel as though it was on fire.

"You like these incredibly cheesy lyrics?" Phoenix asked, her voice filled with amusement.

"I love them," George's voice was dripping with sarcasm.

They fell into silence and Phoenix began to listen to the song again, ('And make your final moveDon't be scared, she wants you toYou must be brave, Don't let this moment slip away').

"I hate to admit it," Phoenix said softly. "But this is a good song."

"Yeah," George breathed. "I love the guitar."

"You're a great dance partner."

"I'm terrible!" George laughed, his chest vibrating against her face. "I'm using all my might not to stand on your delicate little feet. Why on earth do you think I'm a good dance partner?"

"Well you aren't trying to grab my arse for one."

"Doesn't mean I haven't thought about it," Phoenix could hear the laughter in his voice as she clipped him around the ear, her face and hair now both a flush pink. "Now I know what's like to be Lee."

"I hit Lee a lot harder than that."

"I'm glad that you take things easy on me."

George's arms around her waist tightened to bring her closer and Phoenix's stomach felt as though it had an extra pulse, making her feel almost queasy. A chill of nervousness seemed to crept over her body, the same feeling she had on her first day of Hogwarts, a rush of nervousness but at the same time, excitement. The feeling was warm and sent tingles in her stomach.

"I like dancing with you," George's voice was barely a whisper.

"Are you flirting with me George Weasley?"

"That depends, do you want me to?"

"I'm not complaining."

George chuckled, moving his head from her shoulder to rest his head upon hers.

"People are leaving," he told her, slowly releasing his arms from around her, the absence of them made her feel lightheaded. "We should probably be going."

"Yeah," she agreed, her face was hot as she removed her arms away from around his neck and fell limply to her sides. "I should probably get my shoes… wait for me."

George nodded, beaming at her before he followed the crowd that was heading towards the doors of the Great Hall. All of the students were beaming at one another, laughing and kissing each other goodnight. Phoenix managed to retrieve her heels from behind the suit of armour; she slid them on her feet before she walked out of the hall. George was leaning against a pillar, waiting for her.

"Ah, you've grown!" He greeted her and she shoved him back playfully before they began to make their way up the marble staircase. "So did you have fun tonight?"

"Besides what happened with Jerome yes, I had a terrific time,"

"We should probably a different route…" said George, leading Phoenix through a tapestry on the first floor. "The corridors will probably be crowded with people snogging,"

"Sounds intriguing," Phoenix grimaced.

"You know what I was thinking Pixy,"


"I was thinking… how stupid it was that we didn't just go to the ball together in the first place," he said, scratching the back of his neck. "I mean, as friends obviously…"

"Now that I think about it, it was pretty stupid we didn't go together," said Phoenix as she walked up a narrow staircase, careful not to trip over the hem of her dress. "Your robes even match the detail on my dress a little,"

"Now that's cheesy."

"Oh shut up!" Phoenix laughed.

"But on a serious note," said George, stopping and turning to face her as they reached the corridor along where the portrait of the Fat Lady stood. "You do look especially radiant."

"Radiant?" She laughed once again, though she was blushing.

"Yes Phoenix, radiant. As in glowing, emitting light, rather beautifully I may add," Phoenix bit her lip to reframe from laughing. "What I am saying is basically you look really, really fit."

She snorted with laughter and whacked George's arm as they approached the Fat Lady. She and her friend Violet were incredibly drunk; George didn't even have to say the password ("Fairy lights") as she swung open as soon as they approached to reveal the portrait hole which they climbed through.

"You just missed it," Fred sniggered as they entered.

"What did we miss?" George asked.

"Ron and Hermione," said Angelina with an exasperated look. "I think Ron's jealous that Hermione went to the ball with Viktor–"

"Or maybe he's jealous that Viktor went to the ball with Hermione," Fred interrupted grinning widely. "Since we all know how much Ron loves that Bulgarian Bon-Bon."

"But Ron," Angelina began, her tone as stern as Professor McGonagall's as she fixed Fred with her most deadly stare. "He's denying that he's jealous… he just says that Viktor is only using her to get to Harry… but really Ron just wanted to go with her and he was too much of a pansy to ask her."

"Sounds like someone I know," Fred murmured and George smacked him round the head.

"Ron did ask her but she was already going with Viktor," Phoenix told them, smirking as Fred nursed his throbbing head. "After he suddenly realised that Hermione was a girl."

"What a prat," Angelina snorted. "Then again Fred and George are both his big brothers… that's where he probably gets it from."

"Do you want to say that again sunshine?" Fred asked Angelina in his best attempt at a loving voice.

"Yes, you're a prat." Angelina grinned at him and they stared at one another for a moment before Fred grabbed Angelina around the waist and smashed – quite literally smashed – his lips onto hers. Phoenix was surprised that Fred had not given Angelina a concussion.

"Do they have to do that in front of us?" George groaned covering his eyes. Fred and Angelina however showed no signs in breaking apart, Angelina's arms wrapped themselves around Fred's neck which only pulled him even more closer – if that was even remotely possible. "If they're going to do this all the time I'm going to need a bucket to throw up in."

"I second that," Phoenix made a face of disgust at her two friends snogging and turned to face George. "I'm going to bed before those two can get any further."

"Good idea," George said, walking towards the doors that lead to the boys and girls dormitories, leaving Angelina and Fred to their public displays of affection. "Thanks for dancing with me."

"Thanks for dancing with you?" Phoenix gave a snort of laughter. "Is that the best you've got? You can do better than that George."

George smirked, "Okay, okay! Thank you for being my sort-of late date for the ball, it was pretty awesome."

Phoenix rolled her eyes. "That's better Georgie."

His eyes narrowed at her. "You will be the death of me Miss Lancaster."

"Whatever you say Georgie," she leaned up towards him, now being in her heels she no longer needed to be on the tips of her toes to reach him. She gave George a gentle kiss on the cheek and then pulled away, beaming as she hoped to hide her blushing cheeks, "Night George."

She pushed open the door to the girl's dormitory, but not without a final glance at George, whose ears were as red as his hair, though there was a massive grin upon his face.

Maybe it was how magical the entire night had seemed to be – how the Great Hall resembled a beautiful and magnificent ice castle. Or maybe it was the effects of extremely cheesy love songs or the small amount of Firewhiskey running through her veins. But Phoenix felt slightly dizzy, she felt as though she wanted to twirl and dance around her dormitory. At this thought, Phoenix reframed from rolling her eyes at this teenage-girl giddy cliché feeling but to her, there was no other way to describe it. Was it the entire evening? How it had in fact turned out to be a perfect night, full of laughter, fun and a lot of terrible dancing. Was it simply the magical atmosphere around the hall? Or was it a certain flirtatious red-head that made her feel this giddy?

Phoenix pushed this thought aside. Of course it wasn't George who was making her feel this. After all, he was her best friend. She wasn't supposed to be feeling lightheaded because of her best friend. But, she had to admit to herself the feeling she had in her stomach when dancing with George was one of the best and magical feelings she had probably ever felt, she couldn't deny that. Nor could she deny how flirting with George came so easily and natural to her and never had she never really considered herself to even be remotely flirtatious.

And she couldn't deny that she liked it. She liked dancing closely to George. She liked talking about terribly cheesy lyrics with George. She liked flirting shamelessly with George. She even liked the cliché feeling that was thriving in her stomach at the thought of flirting with him again, dancing with him again.

At this thought, Phoenix swore under her breath and once again, cast those thoughts aside as she pushed the door open to her dormitory. She was thankful that she was the first back; she liked the solitude and would prefer to not her Alicia's squeals about Jason or hear Ava talk about her and Lee's shenanigans in broom cupboards.

She sat down on her four-poster bed and slid off he heels, rubbing her sore feet.

"This is exactly why I don't like wearing heels," she murmured as she slid her mother's dress off carefully, placed it back on its hanger and hastily pulled on her pyjamas. She washed her makeup off with a makeup remover charm that Anastasia had taught her before she climbed into bed, exhausted.

The dormitory door suddenly banged open and Phoenix jumped in her bed, hastily grabbing her wand from her bedside table and pointing it at the person who had just entered. Angelina smiled dreamily at her, his lips looked swollen and her lipstick were smudged, her once elegant bun now very messy and loose.

"So," she exclaimed, she sounded just as giddy as she looked. "You and George, eh?"

"What do you mean me and George?" Phoenix asked, sitting up on her bed. "There is no me and George as far as I'm aware of."

"Oh pur-lease," Angelina laughed, putting her hand on her hip and narrowing her eyes. "I saw you and him getting all cosy when you were dancing."

"That's what you're supposed to do when you dance," Phoenix flushed.

"Did you enjoy getting all cosy with Georgie?" Angelina asks as she threw her heels into her trunk and sat down on her bed, looking at Phoenix expectantly. "And don't lie! I saw you giggling and blushing!"

"Well…" Phoenix began, fiddling with the threads on her blanket. "We were flirting a bit–"

"AH HA!" Angelina yelled, jumping to her feet and tripping over the hem of her dress.

"Friends can flirt Ange," Phoenix said in a matter-of-fact sort of voice.

"But the real question is Phoenix," said Angelina in the same mischievous tone that Fred and George were usually the ones to adopt. "Did you like it?"

"Like what?"

"Like," Angelina began, exasperated, "being as cosy and snug with a certain George Weasley? Did you enjoy flirting with him?"

Phoenix didn't answer. Her cheeks flushed rouge and her hair became a deep, violent pink that was enough of an answer for Angelina. She smiled knowingly at Phoenix, who was still blushing as she scowled and pulled her blankets firmly over her head as Angelina skipped around the dormitory, getting into her pyjamas and singing loudly about how apparently Phoenix was 'deeply in love with George'.

"You like him," Angelina sang as she finally climbed into bed. Phoenix mumbled several of her favourite swear words and pulled the hangings around her bed shut. "You can mumble and grumble all you want but yoooou like him."

"I don't like him like that!" Phoenix exclaimed, feeling frustrated, "I mean I liked flirting with him and stuff but I don't like him! I can't like him! I'm his bloody best friend. I'm tougher than most of the male population at Hogwarts, I'm no more girly than he is!"

"Okay, okay," said Angelina and Phoenix was thankful that she was no longer singing. "Maybe you don't like him. You just like being close to him, dancing with him, flirting with him."

"Yeah…" Phoenix agreed, pulling the hangings around her bed apart ever so slightly so that she could look at Angelina. "I mean flirting with him came pretty natural to me– why are you smiling like that?"

"Oh Phoenix," Angelina shook her head, still smiling. "You clearly like him, you just don't–"

"I'm going to sleep now," said Phoenix shortly, pulling her hangings shut, so harshly that it almost ripped off entirely.

"Getting defensive won't convince–"

"Night Angelina."

"Nor will denying it–"

"Goodnight Angelina."

"Alright, alright," even though Phoenix could not see Angelina's face, she knew that Angelina would be grinning widely. "Don't bite my head off."

There was a moment silence. Phoenix could almost hear Angelina's mind nagging at her to continue talking.

"Just think about it," she said finally.

"Think about what? George is my best friend."

"But what if he was more than that?"

Phoenix didn't reply. She sighed as she turned over in her bed and pulled the blankets tightly around her. For the second night in a row, she couldn't sleep. But this time, it wasn't because of the mystery and secrets that surrounded her mother's death. This time, it was because of a certain red-headed prankster. 'You clearly like him'. Angelina's voice seemed to echo around her head, she tried to push it away but it only became louder and harder to ignore. Then George's voice added to the echoes swimming around her head. 'I like dancing with you'; 'You will be the death of me Miss Lancaster'. Remembering what George had been saying to her throughout the night gave her the same feeling she had had when she was dancing with him – as though her stomach was made completely of air.

What was this feeling?

What it just because Angelina had asked her what if he was more than her best friend that now Phoenix was now thinking about it. What if she did like George? Certainly, she didn't at all mind waking up beside him after a night of drinking Butterbeer and Firewhiskey and she couldn't deny that being so close to him tonight had made her stomach lurched. But she couldn't like him and he couldn't like her – she would not be a victim of unrequited love. She was sure of that.

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