37 4 15

On the first of April, about a week after George met Iris's family, she could find him nowhere. She knew it was his birthday, had even reminded Hermione a few days ago, insisted on buying him a present—a long, black scarf sold at the shop she worked at that had caught her attention—despite Hermione's soft warnings that perhaps that wasn't the best idea. She hadn't listened. On the day of his birthday, after she had finished her shift, she had stopped by his shop because she knew he would have to work—April Fool's Day was of great importance to joke shops, after all—and even though she had told him she could wait, he had taken the present and ushered her off, told her he wouldn't be home. Iris had protested but in the end, she had had no other choice but to leave.

She didn't see him at all on the day of his birthday. He didn't stop by her apartment, even though she had been hoping he would, part of her thinking he would make some time for her in his schedule, even if he was busy and could only spare a few minutes. But he didn't, and Hermione could only frown at the times she saw her cousin, telling her softly it wasn't her fault and that really, George got this way every year on his birthday.

Iris told herself she would see him the next day, but when she headed to the jokeshop after work he wasn't around. Only Ron was able to receive her, and when he saw her, he sent her a small smile that seemed more of a grimace than a greeting, and to her question of where he was, he replied that George had taken the week off of work and he didn't know where he would be staying, only that he wasn't in the Burrow or his apartment.

Iris returned home confused, disappointed and defeated and slipped into her room, not really in the mood to see Hermione, have her look at her with that gaze that seemed to tell her she knew what had happened—but she didn't know, Hermione always thought she knew but she hardly ever did, not really—and frown in sympathy. She would rather she stayed on her own.

The next day she headed back to her apartment without bothering to check the joke shop for any signs of him. She made a little something to trick her mind into thinking she wasn't hungry and slipped into her room once more, closed the door behind her, left her plate on her desk and started changing into more comfortable clothes. She had just made herself comfortable amidst her midnight blue sheets, her plate of food at hand, when she noticed the little piece of parchment left on her bedside table, her name written on it. She blinked, and confused, reached for it, opened it and started reading.

Hi, Iris. This is probably not what you wanted or expected right now and I'm sorry but I really can't stay here any longer. I needed some time away from everything. I should have told you before but I wasn't sure if I would leave or not. In the end, I couldn't really stay.
Thank you for your gift. The scarf is really nice, I appreciate it. I'm sorry things couldn't be the way you probably imagined they would be. I'll be back at work by the end of the week. Maybe I will come back before then, maybe not, I don't know. I will see you then.
Love, George

The letter in her hands only made Iris frown. She left it back to her bedside table, looked blankly at the wall opposite her.

She didn't mind that George had left, he probably needed a vacation. She did mind that he never told her, though. She had seen him on his birthday before he had sent her off, she could have occupied a minute of his time for that purpose. It would have saved her time and effort. And even today, when he appeared to have dropped the letter, she wouldn't have minded if he had stopped by for a minute to explain things. A reassurance would have been enough for her. Just so she wouldn't have done the distance to his shop and back the day after his birthday.

Iris shook her head, left her bed, headed back to the kitchen, plate of food at hand. She suddenly didn't feel all that hungry.


ELYSIUM • G. WEASLEYWhere stories live. Discover now