How Wizards Do Money: Angelina Johnson
Angelina is going to be with her father until he dies.
She got the owl while her family was in the Patagonia Desert watching the Quidditch World Cup. She got several owls, and sent a few in return, stepping outside of the arena and flicking away a beetle that kept trying to crawl onto the letter she was writing.
Of course she would be there. She’d apparate immediately. And she would stay.
When Angelina’s father first became ill, she felt that uncomfortable pull of responsibilities: her children, her husband, the business she and George shared, her father.
All right, let the business go, George and Ron can manage it for a while. So: her children, her husband, her father.
She immediately went to visit him, and he immediately told her to go back to her family, as she knew he would. They said things about money and nurses and how this would take years and how everything would be like normal for a very long time. Everything did still in fact seem normal, that Christmas. Angelina’s father put on a Santa suit and came in through the back door to surprise his grandchildren.
By the next summer there were nurses, full-time. Her children, her husband, her father — Angelina stopped working. She took the Floo Network and arrived dusty, then came back next week and wondered why there was still ash on the floor from her last visit. Whose job was that? Not the nurse’s. Angelina hired a housekeeper. Her father didn’t like all these strangers around. He stopped sleeping comfortably and looked visibly nervous. Angelina let the housekeeper go and picked up a broom.
She also let her husband go, around that time. She told George “this has to be my priority” and they had an agreement, if an unwilling one. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes was paying for the nurses, and the medical treatments that Angelina suspected would prolong but not increase her father’s life. She’d come back to George when this was over. She hated that she was thinking of her father as “when this was over.”
She sat next to him, fed him, read to him, told him stories. She brought Fred and Roxanne — her children, her father — and they told him what they were learning at school. She thought about pulling them out for the year, wondered if it was essential that they sit by their grandfather while they still could, and decided against it.
Then the Hogwarts term ended, and it was summer, and Fred and Roxanne were home full-time. Her children. Her father. Angelina let her children go. Fleur reached out and fed her children French-style dinners at Shell Cottage. Hermione gave Roxanne books and asked for book reports by the end of the week. George was always there, taking on the work that Angelina had left behind.
She knew the rumors, because she read the gossip papers. She had “left the family home.” She was “having an affair.” She burned the papers and sang songs to her father. She stroked his hand.
George insisted they all go to the Quidditch World Cup together. They had purchased the tickets a year ago, bought the hotel rooms. It would be such a waste if they couldn’t go. George was always angry about money in a way that Angelina didn’t quite understand. Fleur said to her once that Bill was the same way, and it was because the Weasley boys had never had enough, growing up.
So they went, Angelina side by side with George in a way that now felt strange, especially with him spending the whole trip trying to get at least as much fun out of the vacation as they had paid for. It had been a hard year for him as well; she hadn’t noticed until then. She should have noticed. She had let too much go.
And then the owl came. It was time. She would apparate right away, because she could, and George would follow with the children, because they were not old enough to apparate yet.
And she would stay. The whole family would stay, all of them together, they would stand by her father’s bed and give as much love as they could.
And then Angelina would grieve all of her losses.
Previously: Teddy Lupin