: Secret HeartAuthor
: Charlie Weasley/Alicia SpinnetRating
: frottage, wanking, semi-public sexThemes/kinks chosen
: frottage, confessions, relicsWord Count
: Alicia Spinnet fell in love with Charlie Weasley on her first day at Hogwarts. Some things just don't ever go away.Author's notes
: This is gift fic for the lovely katesque
without whom Alicia would not have a voice and this pairing would not be so near and dear to me. Thanks to luvscharlie
for the great beta (and the non-stop squeeing) and the usual suspects for their support and suggestions. This orginally started out as my August 08 story, hence the use of the relic in there, but this story had other plans.
Alicia Spinnet had loved Charlie Weasley for as long as she could remember. Or at least from the day she'd first laid eyes on him, which was very nearly the same thing. She'd been eleven and newly sorted into Gryffindor House at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Sorting Hat had shouted "Gryffindor!" and young Alicia had walked to the tables as if in a dream, students from her new House clapping her on the shoulder and greeting her with glee. Charlie had been there, a tall (at least to her at the time), handsome, red-haired, well-muscled figure, and at nearly seventeen, far older and more mature than she. He'd grinned at her, then stuck out a large, freckled hand in welcome. Shyly, Alicia had taken it, let him shake her much smaller hand vigorously, while another red-haired boy, younger, taller and thinner, eyed her curiously. The other boy, she learned soon after, was Charlie's younger brother, Percy, currently in his third year at Hogwarts.
Charlie had asked Alicia her name and made certain she'd had a seat at the table as the Sorting continued. Very soon after, they were joined by a pair of red-headed boys who looked like miniature versions of Charlie, only louder and more raucous. They were Charlie and Percy's twin brothers, Fred and George, also first years like herself. There was a certain sense of relief that they'd been Sorted into Gryffindor, even though Fred insisted that he'd known all along that they'd end up there as apparently all Weasleys -- and from what little Alicia gleaned, there were many -- always wound up in that House. The twins immediately took it upon themselves to become the centre of attention, introducing themselves all around to their new Housemates and the other students in their class. Alicia, an only child and somewhat shy, found the whole situation a bit overwhelming, but still exciting.
After that night, Alicia saw little of Charlie Weasley. Sixth year students didn't spend much time around first years like herself, especially when they were prefects and Captains of the Quidditch team. Of course, Alicia was busy with classes and flying lessons and making friends in her own year. Along with the Weasley twins, there was Angelina Johnson, one of her new roommates. She and Angelina had met on the Hogwarts Express and they'd bonded almost instantaneously. Angelina was as mad about Quidditch and flying as Alicia herself -- much more so than the other girls in their dorm -- and coming from two magical parents meant that she was much more aware of things than Alicia had been.
Alicia's Muggle-born father had taken her to one match, which had been exhilarating, but Angelina knew so much more. Having a best friend was also something new for Alicia, but she found she liked it very much. The two of them made a pact to go to every Gryffindor Quidditch match to cheer on their House team. The fact that Charlie Weasley was team Captain had been an added bonus for Alicia, although Angelina couldn't help teasing her about it being the real reason she was showing so much House pride. Alicia couldn't deny that she fancied Charlie Weasley, but she knew she was far from alone in that.
By her second year, Alicia had become a proficient flyer. She and Angelina vowed to try out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team along with at least half their House, including the Weasley twins. Fred and George bragged that as Charlie was their brother, he'd have
to let them on the team, but Alicia could tell the pair were just as nervous as the rest of their housemates, and knowing Charlie, he'd probably be more exacting in his standards when it came to his own family. In the end, both she and Angelina made Chaser on the reserve team, which was a little disappointing, although not surprising given that they were only second years and there were still several older students to fill the team's ranks. The twins managed places as Beaters, but were soon moaning about the rigorous training they were being subjected to by both their older brother and his assistant captain, Keeper Oliver Wood.
Wood was also in charge of the reserve team, so Alicia and Angelina spent more time with him than Charlie. However, the older Weasley would stop by to check up on Wood's charges from time to time, making minor corrections, offering helpful suggestions and giving encouraging talks to the reserves. Alicia always felt a swell of pride when Charlie singled her out for a well-timed manoeuvre or a word of praise, trying not to feel too awful when he criticised her, or corrected her on something she'd done, no matter how gently. Down deep, she knew he wasn't doing it to hurt her, that he just wanted the best possible team, but she couldn't help but feel guilty when she wasn't living up to expectations.
One of the worst days of her life occurred when Alicia got to fill in for Chaser Jo Rogan after Rogan was knocked out cold by a Bludger in the middle of a game with Slytherin. The nervous Alicia, now facing the entire school as they watched in the stands, managed to miss several critical Quaffle passes and then failed to make a goal. Slytherin had beaten them handily and an angry Charlie had taken his frustration out on her in front of the whole team once they'd retired to the changing room. As she listened to his dressing down, trying to take in all the mistakes she had made, poor Alicia had prayed the floor would open up and swallow her whole, anything to relieve her of the humiliation. She stood there, blinking back tears, refusing to cry in front of her teammates, waiting until Charlie had stalked out, gear in hand, before even daring to move.
Angelina had tried to comfort her as soon as he'd left, muttered under her breath about how unfair Charlie had been, trying to reassure Alicia that their overwhelming loss hadn't been her fault at all.
Alicia shook her friend off, feeling utterly miserable. She changed out of her uniform and into her clothes, hurrying back to the Castle on her own, unable to face any of her friends or class mates. She ran up to her room, threw herself onto her bed and drew the curtains around her, refusing to answer when Angelina tried to coax her out to go downstairs for dinner. She lay there, curled in a ball, feeling like there was a stone weighing down her stomach, for what seemed like hours.
"Alicia?" Angelina's voice was soft and full of concern as she called Alicia's name.
"Go'way," Alicia muttered with a sniffle. She hadn't cried at all, although she'd wanted to.
"Alicia, I brought you back some food from the dining hall. I thought you might be hungry."
"I'm not," Alicia argued, although her stomach growled in protest.
Angelina sighed, then drew back the bed curtains, sticking her face in. "You did nothing wrong, Alicia." She looked around guiltily, then lowered her voice considerably. "Charlie Weasley's just a prat."
Alicia felt her lower lip starting to tremble. "N-no, he's not. He was right. I was awful
"You were not! Those Slytherins just played really rough," Angelina insisted hotly. "You were brilliant for your first time out."
Somehow, that didn't make Alicia feel any better. Still, she sat up in bed, her tummy rumbling again, and rubbed her eyes. "You really think so?"
"Uh huh." Angelina flashed her a reassuring smile. "I do. I don't think I'd have done any better, Alicia. Honest."
Alicia drew in a deep breath, trying to take in what her friend was saying. "What did you bring up from dinner?"
That caused Angelina to grin. "I nicked a pasty, some bread, fruit and cheese, and even a bun for pudding. Why don't we go into the Common Room? You can eat while we do our homework."
"I don't know if I can face--"
"Of course you can," Angelina interjected. "Besides, we're Gryffindors. We've got to be brave!"
Nodding, Alicia forced herself out of the bed, then followed Angelina out of the room, down the stairs and into the Common Room. There were a few students milling about, some busy revising, writing essays or talking quietly amongst themselves. The two girls settled themselves on a pair of chairs, a low table set between them. As Angelina pulled the purloined food out of her bag, Alicia took out her Charms textbook, a roll of parchment and a quill. The smell of the food wafted up toward her, making her mouth water. She hadn't realised just how hungry she'd been. With a wan smile, she reached for the pasty, digging in with gusto.
Alicia had only managed a few bites before she noticed someone was standing in front of her. A much taller someone with bright red hair and a concerned expression. She nearly choked on her mouthful of pasty as he cleared his throat.
"Spinnet?" Charlie raked a hand through his close cropped hair, shifting as if he was uncomfortable.
"Y-yes," Alicia squeaked, trying to swallow down her food as fast as she could.
"You busy then?" he asked. "I want to--erm, talk."
Alicia looked at Angelina in something close to panic. To her surprise, Angelina was glaring daggers at Charlie, making Alicia want to sink into the cushions of her chair and disappear completely. "I--"
"If you've got work to do, it can wait. I just reckoned I ought to--" Charlie shuffled his feet against the worn carpet, looking sheepish.
"N-no," she managed. "We can..."
With a nod, Charlie offered her a hand up, immediately eliciting some low whistles and snickering from some of the older boys, as well as the Weasley twins. He rolled his eyes, ignoring their antics. Alicia took his hand, letting him lead her out of the room, through the portrait hole and out into the empty corridor. She could see his face was flushed with embarrassment, and from the way her cheeks were burning, she supposed hers wasn't much better.
She responded with a shy nod, feeling a little bit sick. What if he was going to sack her from the team? What if he had decided her playing today was so awful that she couldn't possibly stay?
"I'm really sorry for losing m'temper with you after the game today. It was your first big match and I had no right to put the blame on you. None at all." Charlie heaved a sigh, his shoulders hunched in tension. "I just had my heart set on winning the Cup this year and today's match was our last chance. I was being a selfish twa--erm, twit.
It was really unfair of me, and I'm sorry."
"You did your best. In fact, you played really well given the circumstances," he replied. "It was a rotten thing for me to do, and you've got every right to be hacked off at me like your mate Johnson is. I acted like a complete berk to you."
Alicia's pulse started racing, her heart thumping wildly in her chest. "I wasn't very good though."
Charlie shrugged. "I wasn't very good at my first game either. Utter pants, if you must know. Fumbled the snitch, fell off m'broom and broke my arm all in one fell swoop." He laughed softly. "Not exactly the grand and glorious save I'd been hoping for. I was so mortified, I was ready to quit entirely."
She suddenly felt warm all the way down to her toes. "You were?"
"Honest. It was bloody embarrassing to say the least. Not to mention my older brother wouldn't let me forget it for weeks," Charlie said. "I shouldn't have shouted at you the way I did. I wouldn't blame you if you never spoke to me again for the way I treated you."
"No!" Alicia blurted, blushing even further. "Hardly. I just thought -- well, I thought you were going to kick me off the team."
"What?" Charlie looked at her, his blue eyes wide in surprise. "Why would I do that? You're one of our most promising players. You just weren't ready to go up against those brutes today, and that's hardly your fault."
"I wouldn't lie about a thing like that, Spinnet. I promise." He looked at her, studying her for a moment.
"Are you all right then? If you need to shout back at me, I can take it. In fact, I probably deserve it. I should know better than to treat girls like that -- I've got a little sister back home, you know. She's only a bit younger than you."
"I'm not a little girl!" Alicia countered before she could control herself, bristling at the insult.
"I didn't mean--" Charlie started. "That's not what I meant at all, Spinnet!"
Alicia glared at him, her mouth twisted in annoyance, tapping her foot impatiently as if to demand a proper explanation as to what he did
Charlie opened his mouth, closed it, then took a deep breath. "Look, Spinnet, you're what...twelve
"All right, you're nearly thirteen," Charlie replied solemnly. "I'm eighteen, yeah? So compared to me, you're younger. Nothing wrong with it. Just...fact. I've got a sister at home. She's," he screwed up his face for a moment as he counted on his finger, "nine, going on ten. Much younger'n you, but still a girl. Again, fact. In any case, I should know better than to shout at someone who is younger than me or a girl -- that would be you -- especially when she played so well today. So, if you want to tell me to go fu--erm, piss off, or tell me where I can shove the Snitch, go right ahead. I won't stop you." He held up his hands in defeat.
Slowly, Alicia shook her head, worrying at her lower lip. "N-no. I don't. I know I made mistakes today. I was just afraid -- well, I thought you might take me off the team and I couldn't bear that. I love playing Quidditch."
"No worries then. You're an asset to the team and Wood's going to need some brilliant Chasers when he's captain, isn't he? Getting rid of you and Johnson would be dead mad. Better keep you on and train you up good and proper so he's got an ace team to help him win the Cup next year." Charlie snorted, the corner of his mouth curling up with amusement. "He's going to need all the help he can get."
"Y-you really think we could?"
"Wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it," he insisted, then flashed her a genuine grin. "So, we still friends then?"
In spite of everything, Alicia felt her tummy flip flop as he smiled at her that
way. "Of course, Captain."
"Brilliant. Now, why don't we go back in there?" Charlie jerked his thumb in the direction of the Common Room. "Before people start getting the wrong idea as to what we're doing out here."
Alicia felt herself blushing -- especially because she wouldn't have minded people getting the wrong impression, especially if it was true-- then followed Charlie back into the Gryffindor dorm. ~*~
The end of her second year came all too soon. Charlie's prediction about the Quidditch Cup proved to be all too true; the Gryffindor team came in third behind Slytherin and Ravenclaw that year, in spite of their best efforts. That coupled with the imminent departure of Captain Charlie, along with Chasers Rogan, Bickford and Trevallion made for a very sad clandestine gathering in the Gryffindor changing room the last night of the term. The Weasley twins had smuggled in bottles of butterbeer as well as a variety of food from the Hogwarts kitchens, so there was food and drink as the team celebrated their time together as well as mourning their loss of the coveted Cup.
As the players recounted their favourite memories from the past year, Alicia couldn't help but feel a bit melancholy. Even though she had only been a reserve Chaser, she'd learned quite a lot this year from Charlie as well as the other team members. Even though she was excited about being on the actual team next year, she would miss everyone terribly...and Charlie in particularly. She knew she wasn't the only one who was saddened by the events. Glynnis Trevallion was blubbering her eyes out -- although Alicia suspected it was more because the pretty, flirtatious Glynnis had spent most of the year trying to catch Charlie's attention without much success, and now there would be no more chances. She couldn't blame Glynnis for fancying Charlie, but down deep, Alicia was rather glad that it wasn't reciprocated. Of course, there was plenty of gossip about who Charlie Weasley was dating; he seemed to have a new girlfriend every week if all the rumours were to be believed.
George and Fred did their best to lighten the situation by throwing themselves at their older brother, pretending to sob as they clung to him, wailing about how they would probably never see their beloved Captain again. When Charlie shook the twins off good-naturedly, Fred looked up, his brown eyes bright with mischief, a cheeky smile on his lips. "So, when are you moving out of the house, mate? Mum said we can have your room when you go."
To everyone's surprise, Charlie had not signed on with any of the professional Quidditch teams which had scouted him. Instead, he was going off to Romania to study dragons. Alicia couldn't quite imagine why anyone would want to do that
when they could play Quidditch for a living, but Charlie seemed ecstatic at the prospect.
"You lot have been brilliant," Charlie said, looking at the knot of Gryffindor players seated about the room. "Best players I've had the pleasure to have known. I'm gonna miss each and every one of you. Well," he cocked an eyebrow, looking at Fred and George sceptically, "nearly all of you at any rate. I'm proud to have been your captain and I know that those of you who're staying behind'll be in very capable hands with Wood next year."
Oliver's chest swelled with pride as Charlie grinned at him. Glynnis let out another sob while Angelina and Alicia exchanged pleased glances. Next year, they'd be on the main team along with the Twins and Wood; hopefully there would be another capable Chaser as well as a new Seeker, although Alicia couldn't imagine anyone who could ever truly replace Charlie in that regard.
"You're all bloody brilliant," Charlie repeated, then raised his butterbeer in salute. The rest of the team burst out into loud applause at his words. He looked at them, his cheeks flushed from embarrassment, as well as the contents of a flask he'd shared with the other seventh years. "Anyroad, best of luck to all of you. Reckon you lot must be sick of hearing me wittering on by now."
"We are!" Fred exclaimed. "Shut your gob, Charlie!"
Ignoring them, Charlie began to say goodbye to the rest of the team, giving each member a firm hug or a handshake as he did. Alicia felt a twinge of jealousy as the weeping Glynnis threw her arms around Charlie's neck, hanging on for dear life until he extricated himself from her embrace.
"Spinnet." Charlie turned his attention to Alicia, then caught her up in a friendly hug before pulling away, mussing her hair up playfully. He moved on to Angelina who giggled furiously, and then to Nora Bickford.
"Alicia," Angelina hissed, then pointed to her bag. The corner of a glossy magazine stuck out from the top. "We've got to ask him before he leaves!"
Alicia gave a furtive glance in Charlie's direction, then looked back at her friend. "I feel silly," she murmured.
Angelina pursed her lips and wrinkled her nose. "C'mon, Ali, you promised...and you know you want him to."
"Well, you do too!" Alicia exclaimed, then noted the disappointment on Angelina's face. "Oh, all right."
With a sigh, she reached into Angelina's bag and withdrew two copies of Quidditch Quarterly
. The cover bore the headline: Courting Charlie: Scouts Slaver Over Sensational Young Seeker
in bright scarlet letters emblazoned over a photograph of Charlie's smiling face. Of course, that was before
Charlie had chosen dragons over professional Quidditch, but it still was exciting to know someone who had made it to the cover of QQ
. And who knew, perhaps Charlie would grow bored with Romania and change his mind?
Angelina gave Alicia a little push towards Charlie who was talking animatedly with Wood, then giggled again as they made their way over to the two. Alicia chewed on her lower lip as she stood there, waiting for either boy to notice their presence. Charlie finally did, stopping in mid-sentence as he realised he and Wood had an audience.
"Everything all right, Spinnet?" he asked, a note of concern in his voice.
"I--erm, I mean, we..." Alicia stammered, feeling her cheeks heating up.
"Here!" Impatiently, Angelina grabbed the magazines from Alicia's hand and shoved them beneath Charlie's nose.
Charlie cocked an eyebrow, staring at her in confusion.
"I think they want you to sign them," Wood said, clearly amused.
"Yes. Please," Alicia managed to say, her tongue feeling very thick in her mouth, her hands trembling slightly. "C-could you sign them for us?"
"I'd be delighted," Charlie responded with a chuckle. "Either of you got a quill?"
"I have." Wood reached into his nearby rucksack and handed Charlie a battered quill. "Here you go, mate."
"Oooh, Charlie, what're you doing?" Fred glanced over at his brother in curiosity.
"It's not love poetry, is it?" George chimed in. "You gonna write one for us too?"
Charlie snorted. "Piss off, you two. I only do this for pretty girls, not hideous great sods like you." He flipped open the magazine to the article bearing his name and likeness and began to write, the quill making a scratching sound against the page.
Alicia felt herself blushing even further.
"We're better looking than you'll ever be, Charlie Chipmunk!" Fred retorted.
George snickered. "Everyone knows we
inherited all the looks in the family."
"And the brains," Fred continued. "The only thing you've got is the brawn."
Ignoring them, Charlie signed his name with a flourish, then handed the magazine to Angelina. "This one's for you, Johnson. I'd hate to make you wait any longer." He touched quill to paper again, and began to write, a thoughtful expression on his freckled face. It took him several minutes to finish. "And this one is for you, Spinnet." As Fred and George rushed over to get a look at what he'd been doing, Charlie pulled out his wand and waved it in his brothers' faces. "Oi, hands off. Touch either of them and I'll send you home to the Burrow covered in festering sores, and don't think I won't do it."
To Alicia's surprise, both twins backed off immediately. She hadn't thought anything could deter Fred and George, but apparently they knew when Charlie meant business. She held on to the magazine tightly, as a beaming Angelina stuffed her own copy back into her school bag. It wasn't until they'd all said their last goodbyes and retreated to the safety of their dorm before Alicia felt comfortable looking at what Charlie had written at all, Angelina doing the same.
Angelina was grinning madly as she looked over the page sporting Charlie's picture. "To Angelina, it's been a pleasure playing with you. Best of luck, Charlie Weasley," she read, staring dreamily at the photo of Charlie in his gear, watching as he repeatedly tossed a Snitch into the air, then caught it again. "What's yours say, Ali?"
"Oh, I dunno," Alicia replied, carefully opening the magazine to the proper page. The Charlie in her copy was behaving in the exact same manner as Angelina's. She scanned the words written in Charlie's scrawl, then began to blush.
"Well, what's it say?" Angelina demanded, looking up.
"Oh, same as yours," Alicia said with a smile. "Just with my name instead of yours, of course."
"Blimey, he's cute here." Angelina's gaze flicked down to the photograph again, and she sighed.
Alicia nodded, feeling a little guilty that she'd just lied to her best friend. Charlie had
written something different to her. It said "To Alicia, it's been a pleasure playing with you this year. One day you'll be in this magazine, and I'll be the one asking for the autograph. I expect great things from you. Your friend, Charlie Weasley." ~*~
Over the next few years, Charlie's message gave Alicia great comfort, especially when the Gryffindor team lost a game or when she felt she hadn't done her best. She would pull out the magazine and re-read his words, imagining Charlie speaking to her, telling her directly. Of course, sometimes, that wasn't all she imagined. Sometimes, Charlie would then tell her how pretty she was, and how much fancied her. Alicia would run her fingers over the written words, thinking about Charlie's fingers on the page, his rough fingertips stroking against the paper as he wrote, and soon she'd be thinking about those very same fingers on her skin, touching her gently as he murmured words of love and encouragement. The touches would lead to kisses, the kisses to more caresses, and then perhaps even more.
Of course, Alicia wasn't quite an expert on just what those things were
; she had started to date so she was well aware of snogging and petting, but not much else. However, she had some idea of what couples did when they were alone. Many a night was spent in her four-poster bed, the curtains drawn tightly, a Silencing spell all around, the signed magazine by her side as she touched herself while thinking of Charlie and imagining all the things she wished he could do with her and to her.
It wasn't that she was obsessed with Charlie Weasley -- at least, Alicia didn't think
she was. She let Oliver Wood take her out to Hogsmeade towards the end of her fourth year, and they'd had a casual relationship until Wood left school to join Puddlemere United at the end of her fifth. She'd even gone with him to the Quidditch World Cup and met his parents. However, it wasn't what she'd considered a serious relationship or a grand romance at any point. Of course, it was due to her spending time with Wood that she'd missed seeing Charlie that day; she'd heard all about it from Fred, George, their brother Ron, sister Ginny and Harry Potter once school began again.
Alicia was further disappointed that she'd missed seeing Charlie at the First Task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. As soon as she'd seen the Swedish Short-Snout brought out onto the field in anticipation of Cedric Diggory's attempt to snatch the golden egg, she'd wondered if Charlie was at Hogwarts. She'd caught sight of him alongside his fellow Dragon-keepers as they subdued the various dragons between the Tournament's participants, but any hopes of seeing him after the day's proceedings had been dashed. The Twins had told her that he'd gone straight back to the Dragon Reserve along with his charges and friends as soon as the Task was completed; unfortunately, there had been no time for socialisation.
She'd tried to forget about him, although that night, her fantasies had been filled with thoughts of Charlie, the pair of them making love in every way Alicia could imagine. She hadn't fallen asleep until sometime near dawn, exhausted and sore. She even went as far as attending the Yule Ball with George Weasley, although only as friends. Fred and Angelina were mad about one another, and poor George hadn't wanted to go alone. Alicia suspected he would have been happy to be more than mates with her if given the chance, but it seemed to weird to go out with Charlie's brother
Her final year had left her with little time to worry about boys of any sort. The new Headmistress had managed to turn the school upside-down with her mad decrees and draconian administration. If Harry was to be believed (and Alicia had no reason to doubt him), Lord Voldemort had returned and was working to destroy the Wizarding World. It was far more important for Alicia to train in Dumbledore's Army than anything else. Still, there was time for Quidditch, especially with Angelina as their new Captain. She had left school with at least one thing to be proud of - the Gryffindor team had won the Quidditch Cup, something that would make her c.v. look even more impressive. ~*~
Alicia was busy setting up a display of the new issue of Quidditch Quarterly
when she heard the bell ring over the front door of Quality Quidditch Supplies. She automatically reached for her wand, her body tensing at the prospect of a new customer. She had supposed it would be fun working here, a way to bring in money and talk Quidditch all day long until her dreams of getting on a reserve team panned out. Of course, that had been before the Death Eaters started destroying Diagon Alley and dragging off innocent shop owners like Florean Fortescue and poor Mr. Ollivander. Alicia's parents had begged her to quit her job, but it was still reasonably safe on the street, and no one had been harmed in weeks.
Besides, Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes was only a few doors down and Fred, George and their staff made certain to look in on Alicia to make sure she was all right. Fred and George had gone out of their way to fortify the shop with their newest and best Dark Detectors and defensive devices, so she was as well protected as anyone could be. Besides, people still needed to buy Quidditch equipment, didn't they?
Usually Alicia was not alone in the shop. Hoskins was normally with her at all times, but he'd nipped off to get a coffee while things were a bit slow, and Alicia was reasonably certain she could handle things on her own. She was a Gryffindor through and through; she was not going to let a little thing like a Death Eater attack ruin her day.
"Hullo?" The customer was male and hardly sounded threatening. That was a relief. "Anyone here?"
"Yeah. Just a moment -- need to finish putting these away." Alicia finished arranging the magazines to her satisfaction, then stood, turning around to face her customer. Startled, she stifled a gasp as she came face to face with Charlie Weasley, standing there in front of her with a big grin on his tanned face.
"Erm, er, hello.
He looked older than when she'd last seen him, his face harder and more weathered, his muscular arms covered in a variety of scars and burns below his rolled up sleeves. She realised he was a lot shorter than she remembered; they were nearly the same height now. He'd seemed so much taller when she was young.
Charlie was staring at her in the most extraordinary manner, his dark blue eyes roving over her body as the corner of his mouth curled up into an appreciative smirk. "Hullo," he repeated. "I'm looking for a Christmas gift for my sister, and I was hoping you might be able to help me."
Alicia nodded dumbly. She'd heard from the Twins that Ginny had made Chaser this year, and Alicia knew Ginny had been an excellent Seeker from her playing the prior year. She cleared her throat, forcing her nervousness away. "What have you got in mind, sir? What position does she play?" Since Charlie seemed to have no recognition of who she was, Alicia decided to toy with him just a little.
"Good position, that," Alicia acknowledged. "Any thoughts on what she'd like? And is there a budget to be considered?" She hated having to bring up money, but the last thing she wanted was to embarrass Charlie by showing him something out of his price range, especially when she was well aware of how poor the Weasleys were.
"Hmm, good question." Charlie scratched at his head for a moment, face screwed up in thought. "I was thinking of a nice pair of gloves...nothing too posh or girly
. My little sister doesn't go in for all that frou frou stuff. So no feathers or lace or spangly things." He cocked his head towards a case full of overly decorated gear, wrinkling his nose in disgust. "Just a well made pair that will hold up to a lot of abuse for at least a season. Dragon hide, perhaps? What do you recommend?"
"Dragon hide would be a very good choice," Alicia replied. "I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but it has some incredible properties...heat resistance, flame retardance, superior grip on the Quaffle, better shock absorption..."
Charlie chuckled. "Actually, I'm well aware of the properties of dragon hide." Alicia couldn't help notice Charlie preening slightly. "I work with 'em full time. Dragons, I mean."
"Oh, do you?" She tried her best to sound nonchalant, if not outright unimpressed by the admittance. "I believe we've got a very good selection of them right over here." Alicia walked over to the equipment case and pointed to the assorted gloves and gauntlets hanging on display. "Do you know what size glove your sister wears?"
With a frown, Charlie came over and peered into the glass. It was obvious that he was miffed that she had not asked further about his dragons. "No, I don't," he muttered. "She's a little girl. Comes up to about here," he indicated his collar bone, "on me. Maybe a bit smaller?"
Alicia was pretty certain she knew how small Ginny's hands were, but she was finding a perverse satisfaction in messing with Charlie right now. "Height isn't a very good indicator of glove size, sir," she said, biting back the urge to giggle. "May I see your hands please? That might give me a better indication."
"Oh?" Charlie cocked an eyebrow. "I s'pose you're the expert." He extended his hands to Alicia, palms down. She nodded, then took one in her own, flipping it over. Charlie's hands were rough, covered with calluses and small burns; they felt warm and sturdy under Alicia's fingers. She ran her fingertips lightly over his palms, as if she were preparing to read them like Professor Trelawney, then knit her brows in consideration.
"Hmm, size five, I'd reckon."
Charlie made no effort to pull his hands away. "Five it is then." He closed his fingers over hers, trapping her smaller hands in his broader ones. Alicia's breath caught in her throat, a jolt of arousal shooting through her.
"Right. S-size five," she breathed, slowly withdrawing her hands. She used her wand to Summon the ladder which hung against the wall, then climbed up to the boxes of size five gloves to pick out an assortment for him. It was easier to go up and check through the inventory than Summon the cartons down as it was impossible to get them back into place by magic due to the clutter. As Alicia rifled through the cartons, she could feel Charlie's eyes upon her, two points of heat boring into her lower back and then farther down. She glanced over her shoulder to see him shamelessly focused on her arse.
Charlie gave her a diffident shrug, his face lit up with a cheeky grin. "Just admiring the view."
Alicia did her best to look annoyed, although it was nearly impossible when he was looking at her like that
, making her knees weak and her pulse race. "At least you've got good taste," she quipped, then tossed down several pairs of gloves, aiming directly at Charlie's head. To his credit, he caught them easily with one hand. She yanked the rest of the size five stock from the box, then made her way back down to the floor.
"I've always got good taste when it comes to women," Charlie murmured, offering her a hand gallantly as she stepped down the ladder. Once again, Alicia felt the electricity as his hand touched hers. She saw Charlie's eyes widened slightly as if he could feel it too. Demurely, she looked away, then headed towards the counter with the assorted pairs of gloves.
She spent a long time explaining the pros and cons of each pair to Charlie, letting him inspect every style and model for himself, occasionally modelling them when he asked her for a demonstration. He also managed to show off more than a little of his Quidditch prowess, casually tossing Quaffles in her direction and nodding in approval as she caught each and every one. In the end, he chose a pair of brown dragon hide gauntlets with excellent grip and flexibility for the total price of 3 galleons. Charlie leaned on the glass case, his head propped up on his hand as he watched Alicia gift-wrap them.
"Here you go," she said amiably, handing him the package. "I hope your sister gets a lot of use from them."
"Ta," Charlie replied. He accepted the package from her, then smiled. "I appreciate all your help, Miss...? I realise I've taken up too much of your valuable time today and never even asked your name."
Alicia drew in a sharp breath, then replied, "Spinnet. Alicia Spinnet."
"Spinnet?" Charlie echoed in surprise. "The
Alicia Spinnet? Blimey, I'd never have recognised you -- you've changed!"
"I'm not exactly the same little girl in pigtails you used to know, Charlie Weasley," she snorted. "It's been six years!"
That elicited a laugh from him. "I'll say." His eyes roved over her again, his obvious interest making her blush. "Besides, the Alicia Spinnet I remember was a shy little thing. Well, as long as I didn't compare her to my little sister. Then she got as feisty as hell." He laughed again. "You're not even close to shy now. You've grown up quite nicely, Spinnet. Who would have guessed?"
"You might've known if you'd kept in touch," she replied.
"Fair enough. So, it is Miss
Spinnet, yeah?" His gaze flickered to her left hand. "No husband, no fiancé then?"
Alicia shook her head. "None. And you?"
Charlie laughed again. "I reckon you'd have heard from Fred and George if there was, Spinnet. So..." He stuck his hand in the pockets of his jeans, looking uncharacteristically awkward. "I'm going to be in town for a few more days. Any chance you might consider going to dinner with me before I leave? I could call in a few favours, possibly get us tickets for a match...?"
It was Alicia's turn to stare, her heart thudding in her chest. She blinked in surprise and then blurted, "Are you asking me out on a date, Captain?"
," Charlie answered as if it was the most natural thing in the world for him to do. "It's what I generally do when I meet an extremely pretty girl. Especially one with such extensive knowledge in Quidditch. Surely you must have blokes chatting you up like this all the time." He reached for her hand, caressing it with his own, then brought it up to his mouth, brushing her knuckles with his lips. "Promise I'll show you a good time."
"I--" Alicia didn't want to tell Charlie how pitiful her love life had been of late. Business had been slow and with the constant Death Eater attacks, chatting up a shop girl was usually the last thing on anybody's mind. The few men who had tried to pull her were not the sort she'd ever have been interested in. She swallowed down, then flashed him a bright smile. "Since you've asked so nicely, I suppose it would be terribly cruel to turn you down."
"It would indeed," Charlie murmured, still holding her hand. He struck a tragic pose, his lower lip quivering. "I'm just a poor chap stuck out in the middle of cold and lonely Eastern Europe with only a pack of bloodthirsty dragons for company. I don't get the opportunity to spend time with such lovely girls that often..."
For some reason, Alicia suspected this was as far from the truth as was possible. "Has anyone told you you're a charmer, Charlie Weasley?"
He gave her a sidelong glance, his eyes sparkling with mischief. "I may have heard it once or twice in the past. So, have we got a date, Miss Spinnet?"
"I get off of work around six o'clock. You can pick me up at my flat around seven if you'd like."
"I'd quite like that." ~*~
Their date went better than Alicia could ever have expected. Charlie arrived at the Hogsmeade flat she shared with Angelina precisely at seven thirty, dressed neatly in a burgundy button down-shirt and black jeans, brown cloak hanging over his arm, and brandishing a pair of tickets for the Pride of Portree v. the Ballycastle Bats. Charlie had admitted that it had been fairly easy to obtain the tickets -- not many wizards were keen on going out these days because of potential Death Eater attacks. It tended to keep attendance to matches down to the bare minimums, but Charlie wasn't daunted by the prospect and seemed pleased that Alicia hadn't been either.
They talked and flirted during the match, much to Alicia's delight. At some point, Charlie draped his arm casually over her shoulder and left it there, his fingers entwining themselves in her short, blonde hair. Alicia snuggled against him, trying to remind herself that this wasn't some adolescent dream, that this was actually happening to her. Charlie felt warm and solid next to her, and he smelled good
: musk and spice and clean all at once. She found herself glancing up at him several times, tempted by the crook of his neck, wondering what it would be like to kiss him just there
. Brave Gryffindor or not, she wasn't up to being that bold. At least, not quite yet.
As she looked away demurely, trying to pay attention to the assorted players as they zoomed past on the pitch, Alicia could feel Charlie's eyes on her briefly, his hand tightening against her shoulder. She tried to catch his eye, but whenever she looked up, Charlie's gaze was firmly fixed on the action in front of him. It was all very confusing.
The game finally ended with the Prides beating the Bats handily 210 to 90, over when the Prides' Seeker caught the Snitch. Charlie had muttered about blagging and what dirty great cheats he thought the Prides were until Alicia quietly pointed out that she was hoping to get on their reserve team soon, at which point Charlie shut up, looking suitably impressed.
"So," he said, rising to his feet, then offered Alicia a hand up, "you still up for a meal?" Charlie grinned sheepishly. "I haven't bored you silly yet, have I? I know I can be a bit of an anorak when it comes to Quidditch."
Alicia laughed. "I work at Quality Quidditch Supplies and I'm aiming to get a place on a professional team, and you're worried that you're
the anorak here?" She placed her hand in his, letting him pull her upright. She smiled as he threaded his fingers through hers, not letting go.
"Well, then," Charlie conceded, "I s'pose we saddos need to stick together, haven't we?"
"I wouldn't say either of us are saddos. Just...enthusiastic about sport," Alicia said with a nod. "I think we enthusiastic sport fans do need to stick together though. It's safer in groups, innit?"
"Or at least parties of two." Charlie reached down and grabbed their cloaks, gallantly helping Alicia into hers before shrugging into his own. "Any thoughts on dinner? I know it's late, but I'm certain we can find a few places still open at this hour."
"I'm not too fussy," Alicia replied. "If...if you don't mind, we could just do a takeaway somewhere and go back to my place to continue our dissection of the match."
Charlie raised an eyebrow and opened his mouth as if to say something in protest, then promptly shut it again. He reached over and brushed back a stray lock of Alicia's hair, then smiled. "Sounds like a brilliant plan." He glanced around the now nearly empty stadium. "How about the Three Broomsticks? It's near your flat and Rosmerta's open all hours."
Alicia nodded, then shivered in the cool night air.
"Sidealong Apparation all right then?" Without waiting for an answer, Charlie put his arms around Alicia pulling her close, their bodies pressed together tightly. She felt herself trembling, then slid her arms under his cloak and around his waist, her head resting lightly on his shoulder. "Ready?"
"Yes." She supposed this was not the time to make a joke about Charlie's Apparating ability. His brothers had been more than happy to tell everyone how Charlie had failed his Apparation test the first time round due to missing the Apparation point and landing on a poor old Muggle woman instead. Of course, Alicia had always been slightly jealous of the old lady for what she considered to be inadvertent luck. The twins and Ron had made it plain that they'd never say anything about Charlie's Apparation skills within his earshot, mainly due to the fact that they all were well aware that he could -- and would -- kick their arses.
Before she could say anything else, Alicia heard a loud POP!
as she felt the sensation of being pressed tight in every direction, and not just from Charlie's embrace. There was a slight rushing and then they were in the shelter of a darkened alleyway, barely lit by a nearby street lamp. It took her a moment to get reoriented; they were off the Hogsmeade High Street, near the Three Broomsticks.
Charlie relaxed his hold on her slightly, his breath warm upon her face.
"You all right then?" he asked softly. "All bits intact?"
Alicia giggled. "You might have to check to make sure later on."
She could see his eyes widen in the half-light of the alleyway. "I might have to do just that," he murmured, then bent his head down, covering her mouth with his own as he kissed her very gently. His lips were warm and soft as they pressed against hers; Alicia closed her eyes and kissed him back, once again trying to reassure herself she wasn't in the middle of an incredible dream. If she was, she most certainly did not ever want to wake up.
Charlie cupped her cheek with his hand, his thumb caressing along the line of her jaw as he continued, his kisses growing in intensity. Alicia sighed as he drew her lower lip between his own, sucking slowly. It was several minutes before Charlie finally broke away, breathing heavily.
"Been wanting to do that all bloody day," he breathed, tracing the edge of her lower lip with a fingertip.
"Oh, yeah..." he said with a growl which made Alicia's toes curl.
"Sh-should we go get some food?" Alicia asked. She wanted to kiss Charlie more, but somewhere in the back of her mind, she was aware that she hadn't eaten since her lunch break and that sustenance might be important to keep her strength up.
"Grub would be a brilliant idea." He chuckled, then took her by the hand, leading her into the Three Broomsticks. The pub was quieter than it had been in the past, but there were still enough people inside that Alicia felt safe. Charlie asked for the takeaway menus and they'd barely placed an order before they were exchanging heated kisses once again. A dark look from Rosmerta stopped the pair long enough to realise that that sort of behaviour wasn't welcome. Charlie muttered an apology, trying not to pace as they waited for their food. He bounced on his toes anxiously, giving Alicia repeated furtive glances as he smirked. Alicia could feel her stomach doing nervous flip flops, even though she was grinning from ear-to-ear. Finally Rosmerta came charging towards them, paper sack of takeaway food in hand. Charlie all but snatched it from her outstretched hands, then grabbed Alicia's wrist and hurried back outside.
Alicia was slammed up against the cold, rough brick wall of the alley as Charlie gathered her up in his arms, kissing her urgently. The sack of food dropped at Alicia's feet, forgotten, as they continued to kiss, Alicia's arms slipping beneath Charlie's cloak to wind around his waist. His leg slid between her thighs and she could feel his erection straining against the flies of his jeans, pressing against her hip. She worked her fingers below the waist of his jeans, feeling the warm, smooth skin of his back against her fingertips. Charlie hissed in approval against her lips, pushing forward and grinding against her leg.
Charlie tightened his thighs, trapping her own between them as he worked his kisses over her chin and up her jaw to the sensitive spot right beneath her ear. His teeth grazed the side of her neck, making her squirm against him. She moaned lightly, the pressure from his thigh causing the seam of her jeans to rub stiffly against her clit, the denim coarse against her skin. Charlie groaned in her ear, rubbing harder against her in response. Alicia ground her pelvis against him, shoving her hand further inside his jeans, grabbing at the firm flesh of his arse.
Another feral moan escaped from Charlie's throat, his teeth closing over her earlobe as he began to suck on it, his tongue flickering wildly. Alicia could feel his hips bucking, his breath hot along her neck. She moved in sync, undulating against his leg, the friction of her jeans only heightening her arousal. The throbbing between her legs was growing unbearable and she clutched at Charlie in desperation. She could hear his breathing growing harder and more erratic, his movements more frantic.
"Oh, Charlie," she gasped. "I...I..."
Charlie cut off her words, clamping his mouth over hers, his tongue swirling against her own. He thrust hard against her leg, pinning her against the wall with the weight of his body. He began to shudder, groaning against her lips as he clutched at her.
The realisation of what was happening stripped Alicia of any ability to hold back whatsoever. With a final gasp, she climaxed, the orgasm sending her reeling. She clung to Charlie, breathless and trembling, her fingers buried in his close-cropped hair as he sagged against her. He nuzzled the crook of her neck, his grip loosening as he took in great gulps of air. It took several minutes before he looked up. Even in the dim light of the alley, Alicia could see his face was bright red with embarrassment.
"Erm..." Charlie started awkwardly, raking his fingers through his hair. He drew in another deep breath. "You...you all right then?"
Alicia smiled shyly, not quite able to look him in the eye. "J-just fine," she stammered. "More than fine."
"Did you...?" There was something ridiculously endearing in seeing cocky, self-assured Charlie Weasley suddenly behaving like an nervous schoolboy.
She nodded, stifling a giggle. "Yeah. Did you?" The slight damp patch on her thigh was evidence enough, but still, she needed to ask.
That caused his blush to deepen, his ears practically glowing. "I swear, I normally don't behave like this. I'm a gentleman. I swear!"
"I believe you," Alicia assured him, then kissed him lightly. "It was...different. Not quite what I imagined back when I--" She caught herself before she said any more, her cheeks burning as he looked at her in curiosity.
"When you...?" Charlie smirked, clearly intrigued. "C'mon, Alicia, you can't not tell me now."
"Oh, come on, Charlie, you must've known I fancied you back at school," she blurted. "I slept with that issue of Quidditch Quarterly
you signed under my pillow for years." She wasn't going to admit what else she'd done with it, at least not yet.
"You did?" His surprise was genuine.
"I thought everyone knew. Surely Fred and George must've said something. They were always taking the piss out of me and Angelina about it. George even reckoned that I'd be interested in him
because you look somewhat alike."
There was a snort as Charlie twisted his mouth up into a grimace. "I hope you didn't agree."
"N-no." Alicia ran her fingers lightly over Charlie's arm. "Not even close. The twins are great mates but...they're not you
. They never could be, Charlie Weasley."
"Clever girl." Charlie leaned in and kissed her lightly. "I knew I liked you. I just don't want you thinking this is the way I generally behave on a date."
"Hardly." She managed to look up at him, a smile forming on her lips. "You know, my flat's not that far from here. We could go there and get you tidied up. Reckon you might want to get out of those jeans for a bit."
"Mmm," Charlie replied. "Reckon you might want me out of these jeans as well. At least, I'm hoping...then perhaps you can tell me just what you did imagine about me back at school." He kissed her again, this time a little harder. "I'm hoping I can live up to your fantasies about me. P'raps even exceed 'em if I'm really lucky. What do you think?"
"I think I'd quite like that. And," Alicia crouched down to retrieve their abandoned and now most likely cold dinners, "to finally have that meal you promised me. I'm famished."
"Budding pro Quidditch player like you's got to keep her strength up, hasn't she?" Charlie agreed. "Although I can't guarantee I'm not going to push you to the edge of exhaustion before the night's through. At least, I'm planning on giving it a very good and thorough try." He waggled his eyebrows at her.
Alicia giggled, then linked her arm through his. "I can give as good as I get, Captain. Fair warning."
"Is that so, Miss Spinnet? I'm always up for a good challenge," Charlie said with a grin. "I can hardly wait to find out."