Chapter Forty

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Silence was not the reaction Charlie was going for after confessing his love to Anora. In fact, he would have hoped for her to say anything besides leaving him in the quiet of the night to stand there awkwardly. Maybe he had come across to strong, he did practically yell it at her, that would certainly cause a person to pause for a moment.

He sighed dropping his head to look at his worn out boots.

"Anora, I didn't mean to yell like that." he said softly. "But I do love you. I always have, we been best friends for years, but at the sanctuary I came to my senses that while I love you, I'm also in love with you. If you don't feel the same towards me..."

He stopped unable to think of what he was going to do if she didn't feel the same way. Their friendship would ultimately be ruined with only one of them holding romantic feelings for the other. Anora would probably feel too uncomfortable to be around him.

The sound of her feet walking over on the gravel made him stay still until he saw her boots line up in front of his.

He couldn't bring himself to look at her in the sudden fear of possible rejection. Over the years in Hogwarts, Charlie had witnessed Anora date other boys and he finally understood the knot in his stomach that formed every time. He was protective over Anora and Tonks, but he didn't get the sense of jealousy when he had seen Tonks with other guys.

 Witnessing Anora turn down other boys of their year over time Charlie prepared himself.While she did her best to be polite about it, the message always hit home...hard.

"Charlie..." she began.

Anora called out her best friend's name as he refused to look her in the eye. His whole body was slouched in defeat as he awaited her rejection.

"Charlie please look at me."

When the man didn't lift his head, Anora placed her hand under his chin and gently pushed it up so that they were looking at each other. Her eyes scanned over his face, seeing the sadness in his eyes, something she hardly ever saw with Charlie Weasley. Normally, his eyes were bright and full of happiness, especially when they were working.

The five o'clock shadow on his face made him appear older and the forming bags under his eyes revealed all the stress he had been feeling over time as he tried to harbor his true feelings.

She had to admit, she hadn't expected Charlie to just yell his feelings out to her but at the same time, the shock that Tonks was right had rendered her speechless for several moments after he confessed. Perhaps, she was hoping internally that Tonks was wrong so she wouldn't have to deal with her own feelings.

For those minutes of silence, she was scared. Charlie had been her best friend for so long and the idea of being more frightened Anora, because if it didn't work out she wasn't sure if the two could salvage the friendship. But her thoughts ran to all the times where the thought of her and Charlie being something more had entered her mine. All the memories they shared where they came across perhaps a little too friendly.

How she believed that he was toying with her emotions when in fact, she had been doing the same to him. They had been silently torturing each other.

The clearing of Charlie's throat pulled Anora back out of her thoughts as she realized her hand was still holding his chin to force him to look at her.

"Sorry..." she dropped her hand.

"I understand." Charlie said turning away. "It's okay Anora-"

"What? No!" she shook her head and grabbed the sleeve of his shirt. "I was sorry for zoning out there. Not for what you said."

He glanced over his shoulder unable to face her fully. She pulled him back to her, her heart seemed to pounding so hard in her chest every beat was like a punch.

"Soo..." she had no idea how to word it back to Charlie.

Charlie's eyes watched her, seemingly waiting for her answer after all the time that had passed.

"I..." Her hands gripped the sleeves of her own shirt as her brain seemed to have completely fried over the last few minutes and she was incapable of putting a sentence together.

For goodness sake, Anora, it's three little words, pull yourself together woman! she told herself. However, Anora knew they weren't just three little words, they were so much more than that, at least to her. She wasn't one to throw the phrase around carelessly.

Charlie saw Anora become more and more frustrated with herself as she continued to try and speak but fail miserably. She pulled at the ends of her hair before looking to him.

"Dammit, Charlie Weasley, look at what you've done!" she said in a scolding tone which threw him off completely.

"What have I done?"

"You've gotten me half crazed to the point where I can't even get the words out to tell you that I love you!"

The smile on his face was instantaneous as he heard her say it. She released her grip on her hair noticing his smile and blushed.

"Oh I said it, didn't I?"

Charlie nodded.

"Okay," Anora said with wide eyes. "There we go...we've both said it. what?" she looked to him for an answer.

"'I'm sorry what?" Charlie drew a blank.

"What do we do now? I mean, we pretty much confessed everything we've been feeling so...and I'm making this weird, aren't I?"

Charlie grinned. "Just a little."

"Alright, I'm going to be quiet now."

Charlie walked over to her closing in the space between them.

"How about we try this without yelling it at each other?" he suggested holding the sides of her face in his hands. 

Her eyes met his with a small smile.

"I love you, Anora Forney." 

"I love you, Charlie Weasley."

The two looked like giddy school children before each other until Charlie looked away.

"You know, I actually liked yelling it better." he said.

"Wait? What?" Anora replied confused.

"I LOVE YO-" he went to yell out but Anora covered his mouth with a laugh. 

"What are you doing? Shouting it out for the whole world to hear?"


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