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Chapter 5: His Burden of Fault
“YIPPEE!” George screamed like a girl as he jumped on his brother’s back, Fred stumbled backwards with a groan.
“Geroff me you great, big ol’ lump.” Fred roared, before he backed up and smashed his back against a wall.
“Well that wasn’t very nice Freddie poo!” George yelped, scrambling off Fred’s back. “That hurt, not just in the backside, but deep down.” George solemnly stated, resting his hand on his heart. Fred rolled his eyes.
“Yea and I think Dolores Umbridge is one fine piece of work!”
“Hey mate, whatever floats your boat,” George said, giving a look of disgust.
“Git.” Fred glared at his brother.
“Oversized gorilla!” George shot back, grinning gleefully.
“Flobberworm eyeballs.” George just opened his mouth to shoot another insult at his brother, when Mrs. Weasley popped into view.
“Mum, we could have had our pants off!” They chorused together, they said this every time she came in unannounced.
“I hardly think you two would be running around stark naked in your apartment.”
“We’d have our shirts on.” George commented, as if it where the most obvious thing on the planet. Mrs. Weasley gave them a look.
“We could have at least had our trousers off,” Fred pressed earnestly.
“It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”
“Mum!” they moaned together turning slightly red.
“Oh, this is not the time! I almost forgot! How could I forget! Fred we need you at the headquarters.” Fred gave his brother a quizzical look, as they quickly apparated to Grimmauld Place. Walking through the door, he immediately heard the blood curdling screams of the old bat, Mrs. Black. Walking down the hallway he saw Lupin and McGonagall fighting to close the curtain.
“What do you suppose they want you for?” George whispered Fred shrugged his shoulders uncertainly. They passed the living room without glancing inside and headed toward the two struggling adults. McGonagall noticed the approaching boys.
“Oh good Fred, you’re here.” She let out an exasperated sigh, “We’re having a slight problem with Missy, and she won’t let anyone go near her, we don’t know what happened. She’s in the living room now.” Fred walked back to the living room, he saw Missy huddled in the corner on the other side of the room. Walking slowly, he stopped a few feet in front of her.
“Missy?” He whispered, taking another step toward her she jumped back quickly, pushing herself tightly against the wall. Fred frowned, for a fleeting moment he thought she didn’t remember him.
“Fred?” She said, squashing his thoughts, she stared into his face her eyes tracing his every feature. Fred closed the distance between the two and drew her into his arms. She stiffened at first, but after hearing his soft comforting voice she settled down and laid her head against his chest.
“What happened?” He asked after a few minutes, he pulled out of the embrace so she was at arm's length away. He noticed the flicker of fear pass across her eyes before she covered it up and tried stepping further away from him. Holding tightly to her forearms, he refused to let her go.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She said a determined air flew about her, he knew he wasn’t going to get anything from her. Chuckling slightly, Fred twirled her around; Missy’s eyes brightened and grabbed his hand more fiercely so she wouldn’t go spinning out of control.
McGonagall peered over at the dancing couple; her eyes saddened considerably.
“I can see where you’re coming from Molly, but look, she is so comfortable with him.” McGonagall pointed out. Molly looked at the two and shook her head.
“But as soon as he’s gone, she is completely opposite. I don’t like this any more then you do, but this seems like the only option. We can’t help her, she won’t open up to anyone.” George looked at his mum.
“Mum, how can you even suggest that?” He said accusingly.
“George, we really don’t have much of a choice.” Lupin said with a hint of remorse in his voice. George shrugged his shoulders.
“Good luck getting Fred to allow it though.” George chuckled as he looked over at the two. The group followed his gaze; for once her eyes were glittering with happiness as Fred danced her around the living room in a fast paced dance. They looked so happy, Fred was in the process of telling Missy some story about a mishap in the shop and Missy was laughing. Molly’s eyes softened at the sight.
“I’m afraid,” McGongall started resignedly. “That not even Fred will be able to help her.”
About a week later, George was bouncing around the apartment waiting for Fred to get back from the headquarters. They hadn’t put Missy in St. Mungo’s as they wanted to, Fred put up quite a fight over it, saying that it wasn’t the place for her. But George knew Fred was fighting a losing battle, the Order members agreed that if they seen a change in her in a week, they’d think about letting her stay. She had changed but only for Fred, and even that was minimal. She was comfortable with him, but he had told George that Missy still kept to herself about anything personal. She refused to comment on what happened when she seemed to have some sort of seizure. Whether she didn’t remember a thing or what, Fred didn’t know.
George shrugged his shoulders, and continued bouncing around; they were going to meet Alicia, Oliver, and Lee at Hogshead tonight. It was in special celebration of the twin’s expansion to Hogsmeade. Mostly, it was an excuse to go out drinking with their friends. Just as George decided to apparate to Hogshead by himself, Fred popped into view, Missy in tow. George gave a disgruntled sound.
“Fred, come here.” George dragged his brother into the corner. “Why’d you bring her?” Fred shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t know, it’ll be fun for her. Now let's go.”
“Do you realize you’ll have to watch her every second, not to mention she’ll freak when she sees the strange creatures that go there!” Fred stopped a moment to think, he had honestly not even thought about that.
“She’ll find out about it soon enough. Lupin just told me she’ll be going to St. Mungo’s soon.” Fred bitterly spat out. George sighed; there was no arguing over the matter, it would lead to nothing. Both of them where just to stubborn for there own good.
“Whatever mate, but if she has a heart attack and dies because of the shock of seeing a hag, I’m blaming it all on you.” George snorted,
“I’ll just go explain it to her then.” George watched him go over to Missy. Rolling his eyes slightly, Fred was getting in deep with who couldn’t even tell you her name. “Okay let's go.” Fred chirped. George glanced over at Missy to see how she took the news. All he seen in her eyes was complete and utter trust in Fred. Wondering what Fred had told her, he shook his head in wonder, someone should tell that girl never to trust a Weasley twin. Missy clung onto Fred and the three apparated out.
Stepping through the door to Hogshead, George immediately spotted Lee, Alicia, and Oliver in the corner. Skipping his way over to the table, he jumped onto Lee’s back.
“Hey mate, it’s been years! My life just hasn’t been complete without you in it!”
“Oh shucks George, stop it!” Lee imitated a girl wile fluttering his eyelashes. Fred appeared just as George blew a kiss over to Lee.
“Oi Fred, who’s that? I thought this was supposed to be a guys night out?” Lee said shocked.
“Lee!” Alicia said warningly.
“Oh sorry Alicia forgot you where here.” Lee said stupidly, smacking his hand against his head. Alicia looked at Missy a second before realization dawned upon her face.
“Is that…?” George quickly jumped over to Alicia and almost smacked his hand against Alicia’s lips.
“This is Missy.” Fred said Missy gazed at the group taking a step toward Fred her eyes grew larger.
“Come now Missy, we don’t bite, take a seat and I shall show you just how charming real men can be. Fred there is just a blunder head.” Lee flirted patting a seat next to him. Missy’s eyes danced with mirth and she let out a small giggle before clamping her hand over her mouth. Fred laughed and sank into the seat beside Lee draping his arm around Lee, gazing lovingly into Lee’s eyes.
“What, I’m not good enough?” Fred joked as Lee squirmed away,
“My taste is a little more dignified then that, hey Alicia!” Lee called; he quickly switched seats with Oliver. “Want to dance sugar cakes?” Lee grabbed Alicia’s hand and they scooted out to the dance floor, but not before Lee took anther swig of firewhiskey. George suddenly clamoured up from the table.
“Fred, Oliver want anything? I’m going to go get us some more drinks.”
“Firewhiskey for me, some butterbeer for Missy.” Oliver ordered a firewhiskey as well.
“So mate, how’s business?” Oliver asked, leaning back in his seat comfortably.
“It's brilliant, me and George almost got this new product down, it’ll be a best seller for sure.”
“What does it do?” Oliver asked getting interested.
“That’s the best part, it’s this small pill. All you have to do is slip it into the victim’s drink, it dissolves instantly and shazam as soon as you take a sip doubles of you are made up. Now some may think that’s a good thing but the more sips you take the more doubles created. They are all different parts of your personality, and no one will know who the real person is and all chaos will ensure because eventually people will see the doubles together and they will think they lost it.” Oliver chuckled.
“Wouldn’t they get the hint though when more of them just start appearing after they takes the sips?”
“That’s the ingenious part of it, they turn up in different parts of the castle, or wherever you happen to be. So you won’t find out till you run into them. And they all think they are the original one.”
“That’s not the best part,” George added in as he returned with the drinks. “Each double takes on a different aspect of the drinkers personality you never know what they’re going to do. So one may be pulling a prank, while the other is hooking up with a girl. And when the day is done they all disappear except for the original and that one is left with all the consequences, maybe a new girlfriend or a couple of detentions. Whatever and they’ll have no clue what hit ‘em.” George popped open his firewhiskey and took a sip. “How’s the Quidditch working out for you?”
“Bloody fantastic, right now I’m only a reserve but they are talking about moving me up to an actual line for the next game just to see how it goes.” George nodded and gazed across the bar.
“Hey does anyone knows who that is, she looks familiar.” George said staring at a girl with long dark brown hair. She was sitting at a booth with one long leg crossed over the other. Oliver and Fred followed George’s gaze.
“That’s Morag Macdougal, I believe she was in Harry’s year, but I could be wrong. Her father works high up for the Ministry and they always get box seats for the Chudley Cannon games.”
“Oh, hey Oliver how bout a game of pool.” George suggested, Oliver agreed and the two sauntered off the empty pool table. Putting their drinks on the sides, they got ready.
Fred looked over at Missy; she was slowly sipping at her butterbeer, looking slightly uncomfortable.
“How is it?” he asked, she looked up at him in surprise
“It’s warms me right up.” She said smiling, Fred chuckled, he looked out to the dance floor, and he didn’t think it would be right asking her to dance yet. She’d probably get spooked; the last time it was just the two of them and not a crowd of unknown people. Plus, the dance here wasn’t as innocent as the one they had back at the headquarters.
“Did I tell you about the time…” Fred started. A couple hours passed in similar fashion, Fred reminiscing from stories in the past, usually having to do with Hogwarts in some fashion he even went as far to tell her of George’s and his escape out of Hogwarts. He could never get enough of her laugh, it sounded something akin to a dying cow but it suited her. Fred looked up to where the rest of his mates where. He noticed Lee in a corner with some girl, Alicia was dancing with this kid from Hogwarts, but he couldn’t remember the name of the kid. Oliver and George had started some Irish line dance on the dance floor; a few others had joined in with them.
Fred leaned down to Missy’s ear, “do you care for a walk?” Missy nodded, standing up Fred grabbed Missy’s hand and they walked out of Hogshead. Missy took a deep breath in, the night air was crisp and it felt better then the smoke filled air of Hogshead.
The couple walked down the streets of Hogsmeade in silence for a second. Missy looked up at Fred, he had this faraway look on his face as he walked.
“Fred?” She asked squeezing his hand tightly; he looked down at her smiling. “What’s wrong you look a million miles away?”
“I’m fine, Missy.” Fred said smiling reassuringly.
“Fred I’m not dumb, your eyes are an open book all a person has to do is take one look into them and you can tell your life story.” Fred looked out past the shrieking shack, how could he explain it to her, that he was the reason his baby brother was dead. Missy grabbed his arm with her other hand and turned him to face her brown eyes searched his. Fred turned away and continued walking. Missy hurried to catch up with his fast paced stride. Fred didn’t seem to have noticed her jogging to keep up with him, “Fred please, slow down.” Missy said. Fred finally looked down at her and slowed his walk. “Just forget I asked.” Missy glanced down at his hand; in a moment of indecision she slipped her hand into his. Fred sucked in his breath.
“You remember I told you about my little brother, Ron?” He ventured out, as Missy nodded. Fred silenced, for some reason he felt like she should know what happened. He just couldn’t find the right words sometimes. Nevertheless, he had to speak of it so as not to allow the memory to absorb him.
“In a couple of months after the Final Battle, Ron showed up at the Burrow, the house I grew up in. Everyone was so shocked to see him, because we thought he had died,” he paused. It was as if it had happened the previous day.
“Everything was fine for a few weeks, but Ron had completely shut himself out from the world around him, he refused to talk to anyone, and he barely ate. So I decided to take it upon myself to cheer him up,” Fred sighed, letting the memory fill his mind.
Fred walked up the stairs of the Burrow, as his feet moved uncommonly slow upon his reaching the landing. Walking to a door, he stopped in front of it. He didn’t know what he was going to say to his brother, or what would happen. But Ron wasn’t in his normal state, and though the war changes everyone, you have to keep going. Ron, however, wasn’t. He had stopped living; sometimes it was if he was dead.
Bracing himself, Fred lifted his hand up and knocked on the door. A muffled ‘what’ came from within the room, so Fred pushed open the door. The walls that used to shine a bright orange colour seemed duller now. Ron was sitting in the gloom of the room, the blinds were pulled shut, and the lights were off. Fred shrugged his shoulders and clicked on the light.
Waiting for Ron’s outburst but it didn’t happen, so he settled his stocky frame onto a clean piece of desk and fell silent. He was still thinking how he was going to go about this.
“Such gloom is very unbecoming you know.” Fred plunged in saying the first thing that came to his mind. For once in his life he was at lost for words, he had been put into these sorts of situations before, but just looking at Ron’s fiery expression Fred drew a blank.
Fred went quiet again, he didn’t know if he was explaining things right,
“-if I just kept my bloody mouth shut I doubt he would have left.” Fred said anger and sadness ringing in his voice.
“Fred it…” Missy stared but was interrupted by Fred.
“Missy it was I who told him that she was impossible to find, that the Order was doing all they could to trace her where about. I told him that he couldn’t do it himself. He hated to be told hat he couldn’t do, I should have known it would have provoked him to go looking for her! But no, I was an idiot and told him that she’d probably be locked away in some Death Eater headquarters on the other side of the country.” Fred burst out angrily. “The day after I talked to him he was gone. Frimley was the last place we heard from him. There was an attack there and we haven’t head from him since, he wouldn’t have cut contact with us if he… if he had made it through the attack.” Fred added, with a softer voice. Missy bit her lower lip as she watched Fred speak; the eyes that glinted with childhood mirth had disappeared replaced by a man’s eyes that had suffered too much pain. His shoulders were hunched over slightly and he refused to look at her.
Without a second thought, she wrapped her arms tightly around his torso. Resting her head against his chest she felt his muscles relax beneath her touch.
“I better take you back before they send out a search party out for you.” Fred said with an emotion she couldn’t quite pin point. He drew away from their intimate embrace, Missy let got of him slowly before she grabbed tightly onto his arm so he could apparate back to the house.
“Goodnight Fred, I had a good time tonight.” Missy said smiling slightly once they reached her bedroom. He smiled gingerly down at her.
“Night Missy.” He replied lightly kissing her cheek, he disappeared with a final wink and a cheeky grin.
Missy touched her tingling cheek as she stared at the place he had vacated; smiling uncertainly, she got ready for bed before Mrs. Weasley came in demanding where she had been all night.
Side notes: Lyn Midnight(yea!) helped correct some and work some words out better when Fred talked to Missy about Ron.