Fanfic: When We Were Young | Bill Weasley by LionWitch22 (Free to read, 564,411Clicks)

Description:

The end of July was significant for both Bill Weasley and Olivia Kendrick, just in vastly different ways.

Characters:

No Archive Warnings ApplyFleur Delacour/Bill Weasley Bill Weasley/Original Female Character(s)Bill Weasley Fleur Delacour Ginny Weasley Molly Weasley Arthur WeasleyPost-Break Up Second Wizarding War with Voldemort (Harry Potter) Weddings Childhood Memories Nostalgia Flashbacks Angst Fluff Fluff and Angst Eventual Smut Other Additional Tags to Be Added

Summary:

Summary:

The end of July was significant for both Bill Weasley and Olivia Kendrick, just in vastly different ways.For Bill, it was the beginning. Only fourteen days stood between him and the start of his greatest adventure – marrying the love of his life, Fleur.For Olivia, it was the end. Those two weeks were filled with nothing but goodbyes to the ones she loved most.Maybe finding closure wouldn’t have been so hard if she hadn’t run away from her sorrows all those years ago. Then again, a lot of things could have been different if she had only been brave enough to stay.

Chapter 1: ‘Tis the Damn Season

Chapter Text

JULY 18, 1997

14 DAYS

Olivia Kendrick never expected to return to England. Quite frankly, if she could help it, she never wanted to step foot back in Ottery St. Catchpole, where she had grown up.When she left for the United States at the beginning of 1990, she was meant to be gone for good. All she wanted to do was escape her old life. To run away from the heartache and painful memories that this little village brought to her.But Olivia’s father was dying. It was a long time coming, both the death of Geoffrey Kendrick – whose condition had been slowed thanks to progressive magical medicine – and her inevitable return to the place she once called home.The duration of her stay would only be a few weeks, according to the Healers at St Mungo’s. It was hard to mentally come to terms with the fact that her father’s life had an expiration date. The only silver lining in the whole ordeal was that she wouldn’t likely run into any familiar faces. To have to face a relic of her past would only cause the already tortuous situation to become a million times worse.If she could help it, she’d only ever leave her childhood home to visit her father in the hospital. No strolls through the village, no window shopping on what was left of Diagon Alley, and certainly no visiting Gringotts.The one person she truly never wanted to see again had been working as a Curse Breaker for Gringotts in Egypt for the last several years – that was a fact she knew all too well. But, as luck would have it, Olivia had heard from her school friend, Lorraine, that a particular redhead had recently decided to slow down a bit and take a desk job at the bank instead.She almost didn’t want to believe her. Of course, Lorraine Griffith was the most honest person Olivia had ever met in her life. Veritaserum would have absolutely no effect on the girl because she so willingly told the truth, regardless of the consequences – but still. Working a boring old desk job didn’t sound like the Bill Weasley that Olivia Kendrick had once known and loved.Then again, she hadn’t seen Bill in well over seven years at this point. There was certainly a good chance that he had changed as he had gotten older. The nineteen year old boy that lived inside Olivia’s memories was likely just that, a distant memory.There was no denying that she was most definitely a much different person than she was at eighteen years old. Olivia had been jaded by life, wronged one too many times for her to ever be as optimistic as she once was. It was naivety that led to so much disappointment, she could at least acknowledge that much in hindsight.The only person she kept in touch with from school was her closest friend Lorraine – or Lori, as Olivia had affectionately called her since they were eleven year olds sitting at the Hufflepuff table in the Great Hall of Hogwarts.Lori never lost that optimistic sparkle in her eye that let her see the bright side of almost any situation. Olivia’s greatest friend had a realistic grasp on life while never letting it tear her down and for that alone, she was jealous.If she could have gone back in time and changed one thing, it would have been skipping that Quidditch game in her third year when he winked at her as he handed her scarf back to her. Also known as the exact moment she realized she liked Bill a little bit more than friends. Or maybe she’d go back even further and stop her parents from moving to that little village outside of Devon when she was seven years old, so he would have never become her best friend in the first place.The butterfly effect of knowing and falling in love with Bill Weasley left a path of destruction that was still affecting her all these years later.As she arrived at her childhood home on that warm July afternoon, her mother pulled her into a tight hug. It was an embrace that was making up for the years of lost time that Olivia had spent avoiding this very house. An embrace that felt so tight, it was nearly cutting off her air supply and shortening her life expectancy by at least seven more years.Once she was free from her mother’s quite deceptively frail arms, the weight of the situation finally struck Olivia. It was so easy to avoid her emotions over her father’s condition when she was thousands of miles away. But now that she was forced to face her mother – with the dark shadows beneath her eyes, the deepening wrinkles between her brows, and her prematurely greying hair – it was suddenly much harder to ignore.It was a bit awkward to exchange pleasantries with her mother, whom she hadn’t seen in such a long time. Guilt grew inside her as they talked about things like Olivia’s job at Ilvermorny, where she had just completed her third year of teaching Herbology, and the new flat she had just moved into in Salem, Massachusetts.Catching up so casually over tea while the true reason for her visit home loomed over their heads was nearly enough for her to vomit all of her guilt as her anxiety manifested as nausea.”Molly will be here soon, she’ll be excited to see you.” Faye Kendrick mentioned to her daughter after clearing the table of their empty mugs.”Oh.” was all Olivia could bring herself to say.Molly Weasley had been like a second mother to her ever since her family moved in just down the road nearly twenty years ago. Olivia wondered if her abrupt departure had hurt Mrs. Weasley as much as it had broken her own mother’s heart.After an awkward silence lingered in the room, Olivia finally spoke up once more, “I was actually thinking of going to visit Madam Malkin this afternoon”Lorainne had been sending editions of The Daily Prophet to Olivia for years, although it seemed that more and more recently it had become filled with nonsense. However, the most accurate reporting in the entirety of the rag had been closure of several shops on Diagon Alley. It had become the subject of filler articles in the last few months, seeing as the news wasn’t as sensational as the rest of the lies the paper held.It seemed that only a handful of shops remained, including Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions and Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. The latter of which, Olivia had no interest in visiting. The former, though, still held a few fond memories.Upon finishing school, Olivia didn’t have much direction in life. At one point she had dreamed of opening a flower shop in Hogsmeade and perhaps living in that very village, close to Hogwarts. The castle held so many fond memories for her, the idea of growing old with its facade off in the distance sounded like a perfect way to live. At least, that’s how she felt until the end of her final year.But, after finishing her time in school, Olivia settled on working part-time for Madam Malkin instead. She was nowhere near as skilled as the elderly seamstress, but she had learned how to sew from her mother and kept up with the skill throughout the years. She was good enough to patch up a torn robe and hem a skirt. The rest, she left to the owner of the shop.Her mother paused at the sink, bracing herself against the basin with a sigh, “It would be nice for you to see her and Arthur while you’re in town.”Even after all these years, Olivia still harbored resentment towards not only Bill, but the rest of his family as well. There was no real reason for it. They had done nothing wrong, they were nothing but kind to her – even after it ended. It was just that she had too many memories with his family, memories she wished she could forget.”I will.” she replied, although she wasn’t sure that she’d actually follow through with that promise, “But I’d rather not today. It’s been a long trip, you know.”Faye kept her back to her daughter but nodded. She soon busied her hands by washing the teacups they had just used. Olivia felt awkward and a bit guilty at the sight. Her mother always used housework as a distraction from her stress, even when Olivia was a little girl. So, instead of witnessing the burdens her mother held weigh her down any longer, she silently excused herself and decided now was as good a time as any to head to Diagon Alley.In her first hours home, she was already breaking her promise to herself to avoid the once bustling street. But she decided she was less likely to run into a Weasley here than she was at home. So long as she avoided the twins’ shop. Luckily, Madam Malkin’s was a fair distance away from the joke store, so she wasn’t too concerned.As she made the short walk from the Leaky Caldron to the robe shop, Olivia’s heart sank. So many shops had closed, many had broken windows while others had boarded up doors in an attempt to avoid the same fate.When she stepped inside the shop, Madam Malkin’s head shot up as if she weren’t expecting any customers – or perhaps afraid that whomever had suddenly entered wasn’t a friendly face at all.”Olivia?” the elderly witch blinked her eyes and straightened her glasses.”Morning, ma’am.” she replied with a smile, just as she always did when she arrived to work.The witch rushed over to grasp Olivia’s hands, as if she expected the girl to be a ghost. A smile grew on the woman’s wrinkled face, delighted to see her former employee.Olivia had only worked at the robe shop for about six months before she left abruptly, but she left quite an impression on the owner. Madam Malkin always told her that she reminded her of her daughter who had unfortunately passed during the First Wizarding War.Knowing that fact, Olivia was surprised she had decided to keep the shop open as the current war seemed to only be getting worse. But she presumed the witch probably felt as though she had nothing left to lose.After about a half hour of chatting, the seamstress glanced at the clock and suddenly seemed a bit flustered. Apparently she had a customer coming in to pick up some robes shortly and needed to make sure everything was ready for him.With countless apologies, Madam Malkin rushed to the back of the shop, assuring her that they could continue catching up once she was finished. In the meantime, Olivia decided to browse the racks, stopping at a burgundy blazer that reminded her a bit of the one someone she once knew wore to work each day.”It’s funny, I always thought yellow was more of your color.”That voice.He sounded older and a bit more calm, but she recognized it all the same. Her heart sank and she was almost too scared to release her hold on the fabric to turn and face him. But she decided it would be more uncomfortable to act like he didn’t exist.When she turned around, she first noticed the scars that were etched on his face. They were recent, no more than a month or two, she thought. Instinct told her to reach up and run her fingers over his skin, wondering what happened, worried that he’d ever put himself in such danger.Her fingers twitched, but she didn’t dare make a move – quickly reminding herself that he wasn’t hers anymore. He hadn’t been for a long time. Still, he seemed to recognize the look of concern in her eyes.”Had a bit of a nasty encounter a while back, no real harm done though. I reckon I’m still the best looking of my brothers.”Even after seven years, his boyish smile and magnetic charm were still just the same. Part of his familiarity made her heart soar, then the heartache of longing began to creep in.It was almost too painful to look at him. The blue eyes that held memories of summer skies and days spent swimming in the lake at the Burrow bore into hers. She felt like she was looking into the ghost of her past.A ghost that made every regret she harbored bubble to the surface.A lengthy pause fell between them, one that Bill seemed eager to break, “So, what brings you to town?””My dad.” she said simply.A frown formed on his face as he nodded, “Mum told me a bit about that, I’m sorry to hear he’s not doing well.””It’s fine” she muttered with a shrug as her eyes dropped to his shoes.Of course it wasn’t fine, but what else was she meant to say?’I left because of you and now I regret it because I lost seven years that I could have spent with my dad.’Definitely not. So she kept it short and sweet, hoping he would take the hint that she had no interest in continuing the conversation.Madam Malkin, Olivia’s saving grace, suddenly emerged from the back of the shop holding a set of deep violet robes.”Ah, Mr. Weasley! Right on time.”The elderly witch beamed up at him, craning her neck back due to the height difference as she held up the dress robes to him. He smiled and thanked the witch as he took the garment from her and asked how much he owed.At the till, they exchanged pleasantries as Olivia contemplated simply slipping out the door and disappearing from the scene. But she considered it much too rude to Madam Malkin, who seemed keen on continuing their conversation once Bill left. So instead, she patiently waited as she pretended to browse through the dress robes on the rack beside her.”Please do bring me lots of pictures after the wedding, I love to see grooms dressed in robes I’ve made.” the seamstress chuckled lightly.Wedding. Groom.The floor felt like it had dropped from beneath Olivia’s feet. Realization crept through her like a parasite as her fingers froze on the bulky wool overcoat she had been pretending to look interested in.Her heart was pounding out of her chest, the feeling all too familiar. Anxiety, no, panic set in at the revelation that the man she once loved – the one that part of her still loved – was getting married to someone else.

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