It was another day in the new Wizarding world as Adrian Pucey walked down the well worn trek of a path that he had taken several years prior. He was heading towards Diagon Alley when he heard a sweet voice that he knew all too well.
"Adrian, please wait."
Adrian stopped and waited till a young woman with auburn hair and hazel eyes caught up to him. He knew his strides were long when he walked but didn't realize that his childhood friend still had trouble catching up to him. She was not short by any chance, but she was not as tall as him either.
"Sorry. I was on my way to see you. I hadn't heard from you and wanted to make sure you were okay."
Adrian raised an eyebrow at her and started walking again. He had been trying to not worry his friend because he knew what would happen if she truly knew what was going on. She was as smart and clever as Hermione Granger (Snape now as she married professor Severus Snape in the spring).
"I have just been busy Angel. I promise I wasn't avoiding you."
Angel Mystic Night looked at her childhood friend with knowing eyes and sighed. She knew not to push him for answers but damn it if it didn't hurt that he wouldn't tell her.
"Okay. I just wanted to make sure. Ill talk to you later tonight?"
Adrian winced as he saw the look that passed over her face. He had always loved her but didn't think he deserved her more than a friend. As he watched her turn to head back towards the apparition point, he grabbed her wrist. She stopped and looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Since we're already here, why don't we get some lunch."
Adrian saw her nod and led her to their café that was along the bustling street. He could put off going to diagon alley for another day. He wanted…no needed his friend right now.
Angel Night, looked at her childhood friend across the table as she took a slow drink of her coffee and saw the stress lines that was there. She knew him well enough that he wouldn't talk about it, but she wished for her friend back. The Second Wizarding World War had taken a toll on everyone and Angel knew what it was like for the people that were neutral. Herself had no choice but to join as her family was of the light side, but Adrian was a neutral party. She had met the Golden Trio a year prior to the war and just shook her head as they realized they had stumbled into her home by mistake. It was when she saw what was written on Mrs. Snape's arm at the time that she immediately started planning to help.
"Angel, was there something you wanted to ask?"
Adrian's question brought her back to the present and she looked up at him. She had always loved him but he had always kept her at a distance for some damn reason and it was starting to piss her off.
"Are you going to the Hogwarts Celebration Ball this Saturday night?"
"I was planning on it. Why?"
"I was just curious. You don't talk to me much anymore so I wasn't sure."
This statement had the effect she knew it would on the man in front of her. She watched him tense in his chair and knew that any mentioned of him not talking to her was a touchy subject. She knew about his lifestyle and wished that just once, he'd look at her as a woman instead of a childhood friend.
"Are you going to be attending the Hogwarts ball?"
Angel saw the small hesitation in his gaze and sighed. She was part of the planning committee so she had to be there.
"Yes. I was actually on my way to the school when I saw you. I sent a patronus to Mrs. Snape letting her know I would be a little late."
Adrian nodded his head as he took a drink of his tea and then looked at his watch. He had a meeting in five minutes. He stood and placed a small kiss on her cheek before he grabbed his cup and helped her stand.
"I will see you then. I have a meeting to attend and I know better than to cause you to be any later for your meeting."
Adrian helped her with her cloak, being the gentleman he was raised to be, and watched as she headed to the apparition point. He sighed to himself once she was out of sight and knew he'd never been enough for her.
Severus Snape looked up as his classroom door swung open and saw his former student standing in the doorway. She looked upset and for her that was unusual.
"Morning Miss Night. Is everything alright? Hermione has been worried since she received your patronus."
"I just ran into an old friend Professor. How is Mrs. Snape doing?"
Severus watched as his wife opened the door to their living quarters and rushed out to grab their girl in her arms. He shook his head at how much of a mother hen she had become to the young woman over the years despite their age difference.
"You had me so worried. Are you alright?
"yes. I didn't mean to make you worry."
Hermione looked at the young woman in front of her and noticed that something was wrong. She pulled the woman in question into the seating room and looked at her.
"Angel, what is it? You look like you really need to talk about something other than this ball."
Angel looked at her pseudo mother and then shook her head. It was enough to be ignored by the one man she loved, but to voice it aloud caused h er great distress. As if sensing this thought, she felt a cool sensation of glass in her hand as she looked up at her beloved potions masters face.
"I'm taking a wild guess here Miss Night, but the old friend you ran into was Mr. Pucey wasn't it?"
Angel couldn't hold the tears back any further as they feel from her eyes. She had lost a great deal in the war and that included her family. She had always looked up to her head of house like a father figure.
"Why can't he see that I love him? Am I not enough for hi. To been seen with or is it the fact he still only sees me as a childhood friend and nothing more?"
Angel felt more hot tears rush down her face when she felt arm wrap around her frame and rock her gently.
Hermione had gathered the girl I n her arms and held her as she cried. She glanced over at her husband and saw the softened look he had. She knew all his Slytherins were his children and it mattered not if they knew it or not. This particular woman in her arms though was the strongest she had ever met and it bonded them together more than an unbreakable vow. She had been the one who had offered her arms for Angel to cry on the night she had been so distressed that she had passed out on their sofa. Leaning the woman back she looked at her dried her tears.
"Sweetie, maybe he thinks he's not worthy enough for you."
Angel looked at Hermione as she said this and raised an eyebrow in confusion. Severus was the one who clarified as he uncorked the vial of calming draught.
"Miss Night, you have always been there for him. Whether he realizes this or not does not mean you should keep yourself from enjoying life. Your parents died protecting you and maybe he feels that he should have been the one to do so."
"He risked enough though professor. I would never ask him to do that. No matter the circumstances."
"Exactly. You wouldn't ask, but maybe he feels that he is unworthy of you like my beautiful wife said because he wasn't able to protect you. I stead he had fled during the war and that left you vulnerable."
"it doesn't matter anyway. I have seen the sort of women he would rather be associated with and they look nothing like me. Besides who really would want me? I'm not that pretty."
Severus snorted and heard his wife start in how beautiful the woman sitting on their sofa was. He had to keep his own smile from appearing at the next statement that his beloved wife had made because if he was right, it would make one Adrian Pucey realize his mistake.
"Angel, my darling, this has going to help. If he cannot see you more than a friend than its time to move on. Make him realize his mistake and give him a run for his money. If he truly is unaffected by it then you know exactly what to do. Now let I finish these preparations so that maybe we can get you rest."
Angel nodded and knew that she loved her pseudo parents more than her own life. She had proved that more than once especially taking when she took on Nagini in the final battle to save the man she had come to think of as her father.
It was a few nights later as Adrian and Marcus Flint apparated to Hogwarts for the ball that was being held. He came without a date because he had been told to man up and tell one woman how he felt. He still remembered his conversation with his best mate Marcus Flint earlier that evening. He felt like his ears were still ringing as Marcus had smacked him several times in the back of the head.
"Just tell her Ade! The worst she will do is reject you or tell you she only cares for you as a friend. You do not know if she truly does not want something like this with you and for one, I am sick and tired of hearing you complain about all your shags missing something."
Adrian glared at his friend in the mirror as he tied the cravat he had in his hands. He had picked out the best black suit he could find and had grabbed a golden cravat that matched Angel's eyes. He had not been able to keep her off his mind since his run in with her.
"I will not allow her to see that side of me Marcus. She deserves better than me. I can only cause her hurt. I will not…"
Adrian was cut off by a hard smack to the back of his head and he looked up to see Marcus standing beside him as he rubbed his head.
"You are an idiot! That woman has always been there for you. She has been your best friend since you both came to Hogwarts. Quit telling yourself that you are not worthy of her."
"I am not worthy of her. She does not need my past relationships in her life. I still receive heavily perfumed letters for the whores and tramps that I have lain with. She would never expect me."
"Bloody hell! You are truly an idiot! I will prove it to you tonight. I am going with you to this party and I will make sure that she knows how you feel about her if you refuse to tell her yourself."
Adrian's eyes grew wide as he stared at Marcus. He knew this man was not one for idle threats and for all that was worth it, he did not want Angel Night to find out about his 'crush' on her from an outsider. He would be damned to hell for eternity.
"You wouldn't dare!"
Marcus smirked as he looked at his friend. He would not tell the girl anything, but it was best to make his friend think he would. He knew he was on the right track but getting Adrian to say anything to the voluptuous Angel Night was worse than dealing with Draco Malfoy daily.
"I will tell her everything, from the first time meeting her at Hogwarts to the last several years of you complaining that none of these women have ever held a torch to her."
Adrian growled low as he reached for his suit jacket and then grabbed his robes. He glared at Marcus and shrugged on the clothing to keep his anger down. Another slap to the back of the head made Adrian growl again and he glared hotly at Marcus as the bastard smirked.
"I will give you till eleven to tell her. After that, it is free game for me to say something. I hope you enjoy the thought of her knowing from an outsider."
Adrian growled low at the memory and the man next to him just smirked at him. They walked up the long drive to the castle and entered the great hall. As he looked around at the large space, he saw Severus Snape with his wife Hermione standing at the door. He gulped and walked towards them. When he saw Hermione, she rushed to them and hugged their necks.
"Adrian, Marcus, I am so glad you could make it. How are you doing?"
"I'm alright Mrs. Snape."
"How many times do we have…"
Hermione stopped as she felt a magical presence approaching and looked up to see Angel walking around greeting guests. This was going to be a night to remember…she hoped.
Angel walked around the great hall greeting guests like Hermione had asked her to and her green sweetheart gown was form fitted and she remembered the argument that had been caused when her pseudo father had seen the gown. He was still slightly upset that she was heartbroken over someone but had allowed her to wear it in the end. She had just gotten done speaking with Daphne Greengrass and her fiancée, Draco Malfoy when she heard Hermione's voice by the door.
"Adrian, Marcus, I'm so glad you could make it. How are you doing?"
Angel felt her heart break a tiny bit at seeing the man she was in love with but saw no date on either man that entered. AS she continued her rounds towards the door, she decided to ignore her heartache and give a pleasant display to the others. She was almost away form the door when her arm was touched, and she looked up to see Marcus beside her. She smiled and gave him a hug.
"Little Night, you have grown."
"Oh, shut up Marcus. I thought you couldn't make it tonight."
"I decided that it was better than staying home and besides who else will keep Ade out of trouble tonight. With all these tramps wanting him, someone has to make sure he does not take one home."
"Just let him be Marcus. What he does in his private life is his business…not ours."
Marcus stood shocked at this statement and looked at Angel like she had lost her mind. That was when he saw the determination to be rid of feelings for Adrian. It was in this moment that a plan formed in his head and all he needed was a few people's help.
"Anyway, how have you been?"
"I've been well. I finished my apprenticeship under Professor Snape, and I am now a Potion Mistress."
"That's great news. We should celebrate. May I bring you something to drink."
"That would be fine Marcus. Just please do not think it is more than friendship between us."
"Like I could ever think that of you. You have always been like a little sister to me."
Angel smiled and took his arm as they walked towards the refreshment table unaware of the glare that was following them.
Adrian had stood against a wall most of the evening and had chatted with many people, (particularly a blonde that was trying way too hard to get him in her bed), when he noticed the clock and cursed silently under his breath. It was ten minutes to eleven and he had not had any courage to speak with Angel at all that evening. He had seen her dance and laugh with several men…including Marcus, but he had been a coward and hid from her. He prayed that he had time still to make things right where she was concerned. It was with this thought that he caught sight of a green gown and saw Angel leaving the dance floor she had been on with Draco Malfoy and moved to the refreshment table to intercept her. When he made it to her side, he placed a hand in front of her.
"May I now have a dance with you Angel?"
Angel looked up as she set her glass down and took his hand. He led her back out to the dancefloor as the music began to swirl into a waltz. As he began the dance with her, he noticed she was not really looking at him, but it was what she whispered that made his heart still in his chest.
"I figured you were avoiding me like usual Adrian. You were having a rather interesting talk with the blonde that was sitting with you."
"I will admit I was surprised and scared to approach you tonight."
Angel allowed him to spin her around the floor as the music began to swell. He dipped her with the others and finished the dance with her close to his chest. It took everything in him not to do something stupid at that moment. When he felt her move from his arms though, he knew he had to say or do something that would make her stay with him.
"Do you have a few moments to spare Angel? I wanted to speak with you."
"Actually, I'm about to help Hermione with something. Can it wait?"
Adrian saw that she was deliberately avoiding him now and that sent off a red flag. Had something been said to her? Had he truly wasted too much time in not telling her his feelings for her? He merely nodded as he saw her flee form his presence and move to Hermione's side. He moved back to the wall and cursed again as he saw the clock strike eleven.
"I see that I will have to tell her then."
Adrian glared at Marcus and walked out of the great hall. He should have told her!
'Stupid! You are so fucking stupid! You let the only woman you ever loved lip through your fingers. She will never talk to you again. DAMN IT!'
Adrian stopped at a window and looked out among the grounds. He was a fucking idiot. Why didn't he just tell her how he felt? Because you are an idiot! Afraid that he would not be able to face her anymore once Marcus told her the truth, he left Hogwarts and apparated back to his home. The last thing on his mind though was an apology that he should have said to the woman he loves.
'I am so sorry Angel. I am an idiot, and you deserve someone truly better than me'
A/N: Alright guys. I thought about doing a one-shot, but I cannot. I must give this one more chapter. It just would not be right if I did not finish the tale and have a happy ending.