Ron furrowed his eyebrows, the bell hanging over the door jangling loudly as he allowed it to close behind him. His eyes swept the room, trying to locate the familiar lanky frame of his brother admist torrents of customers bustling around the shop.
He was met with various coos of recognition and nodded and smiled as was expected of him as he made his way across the room, ducking between the crowds and finally reaching the desk set at the back of the room.
No wonder it seemed to packed in here, the queue stretched from the cash register and all the way to the front window of the shop. A girl he didn't quite recognise stood behind the till, fake, smarmy smile on her puckered pink lips as he approached her.
"Hello." She purred, flicking a strand of silvery blond hair over her shoulder as she served the next customer. "Friend of the manager?"
Ron quirked an eyebrow, eyeing the pretentious girl with amusement as she blinked lazily at him, showing a row of perfectly white shining teeth.
"Brother." He responded, eyes darting to the back room where the door was slightly ajar.
"Oh! You must be Charlie!"
"Uh... no. I'm Ron." He smirked as she grinned and he suspected that she had meant to make the mistake.
"Really? It's just that with muscles like that I thought you must be Charlie." Ron laughed uncomfortably, shifting on the balls of his feet as she stared hungrily at him.
"Can I speak to my brother then?" He asked after an estranged silence. She flashed him another dazzling smile before replying
"Certainly, take over here will you, I'll get him." She left the desk, walking over to the back room before shouting as loudly as she could. "GEORGIE! RON'S HERE TO SEE YOU!" She took over from the blushing red-head and gave him a small wink. "I'm Aphrodite by the way."
"Right... Uh, nice to meet you I guess."
"Ron's here?" A voice called and sure enough the tall, lanky frame of his brother appeared from the doorway.
"Hey George." He smiled gently, still wary about talking to his brother what with the loss of Fred still a painful and touchy subject.
"Mum hasn't sent you has she? Because I swear, I didn't know that batch was dragon eggs, it was a mistake-"
"Mum hasn't sent me." George visibly relaxed, tugging relievedly at the lurid red bowtie peeking over the top of his waistcoat. "Can we go somewhere more private?"
"Sure, this way." George frowned, leading Ron into the backroom but not before giving Aphrodite a small tip on the proper packaging of Peruvian Darkness Powder. He sat Ron into an armchair before taking the other, fiddling with the laces of his shoes as Ron gazed indecisively into the flames. "What did my ickle brother want then?"
"I...Uh... Need your advice." He said sheepishly, scratching the back of his neck as his cheeks coloured. George raised his eyebrows, smirk growing on his lips. "About Hermione..."
"Women trouble, eh? You've come to the right place! I'm a master when it comes to the opposite gender." Ron rolled his eyes as George laughed.
"I was thinking..." He sighed exasperatedly, rubbing his eyes as George became more serious. "I was thinking of proposing to her..."
"Aww, little Ronnikins is in love!" George snorted as Ron coloured visibly. "If it's what you want to do mate, then do it. She won't say no." Ron's head snapped up and he stared wide eyed and incredulous at his older brother.
"Really? You...You think she would say yes?"
"Sure. Not sure what she sees in a scrawny git like you, but still." Ron took great pleasure in his words, completely overlooking the insult. He jumped out of his chair, trying to stop the broad grin from spreading on his lips. "You have a ring, right?"
"Ring?" Ron repeated, furrowing his eyebrows in thought before his eyes lit up. "No! I need to get a ring!" George rolled his eyes as Ron muttered plans under his breath, becoming increasingly more nervous and frantic until George had to soak him in a torrent of ice water screaming from his wand. Ron coughed and spluttered, ears glowing pink as George grinned. "Thanks."
"Happy to help!" George replied, pushing his brother over to the door leading to his private quarters ontop of the shop. "Go get yourself cleaned up then we can talk about rings. No-one will sell you anything in that state ." Ron obediently began to ascend the stairs concealed behind the door, still muttering as he prised his dripping hair away from his eyes so he could see where he was going.
When he reached the top he sighed, resting against the banister as he held his throbbing head. Who knew romance was so stressful?