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Chapter 1: Unhealed
My eyes blurred over as I knelt down to Fred. He couldn’t be dead, my second half, my partner in crime. Every laugh we had, every joke we ever played gone in an instant. I felt my knees collapse, the tears sliding down my face.
I looked up for a split second just in time to see Harry run away from our group of mourners. Right now I couldn’t care where he was going or what he was going to do, all that mattered was that Fred and I escape this chaos right this second. I looked back down at Fred, his glassy eyes staring, unseeing in my own. My head started spinning, and everything went black.
My eyes fluttered open to a dark room. I lay still for a second the event of the previous day came flooding back to me. It couldn’t be true. Fred couldn’t be dead. Maybe it was just a dream. Maybe it wasn’t over. I grabbed a nearby jacket and felt my way to the window. As I opened the curtains a stream of light flooded into the room I shared with Fred. His bed empty, the sheets ruffled as usual. There was no telling if he has slept there the previous night.
I opened the door and was greeted by silence. There was definitely something wrong. Our house was usually filled with noises, but today there was nothing. I crept down the stairs stopping on the second last one. There, at the table, sat my mother her head resting on the long table. I stepped down on to the final platform, the wood creaking beneath my feet and she looked up. That’s when I knew it must have happened. Wordlessly my mother got up from the table; her pale face streaked with tears, and wrapped her arms around me. I felt numb. I couldn’t cry, couldn’t speak, I just stood there listening to her sob.
“Oh Georgie,” she whispered, her voice shaking. “He’s gone.” My heart stopped for a split second. I had been expecting this, so why did it feel worse now. I sank onto the floor, shaking uncontrollably.
“Where is he?” I croaked. “Where is Fred? I want to see him one last time.” My mum did not speak only pointed towards the shed. I got up and left silently, not sure whether I would be able to take seeing him or not.
The stones crunched under the shoes that I had thrown on passing through the back door. I had reached the shed. Taking a deep breath I turned the handle of the door and stepped inside. There wrapped in a white cloth lay the body of my twin brother. Still, unmoving, lifeless. I fell to my knees and just sat there staring into the unseeing eyes of Fred. It could have been seconds, minutes or even hours that I stayed by his side when I heard footsteps coming towards me. A small hand came to rest on my shoulder and Ginny crouched down beside me.
“Come on George,” she said sounding as if she had been crying. “Fred’s funeral is tomorrow and we need your help.” She then stood up pulling me with her and led me back to the Burrow, where the rest of my family would be waiting.
As we entered the room I looked up to see not only my family sitting around silently, but also Harry and Hermione sitting either side of Ron. Ginny went to join them leaving me standing in the door way all eyes on me. My father was the first one to speak.
Taking a deep breath he said, “This is the worst time our family has had. We lost a family member yesterday and he will not be forgotten.” I stopped listening there my eyes finding the clock resting on the mantel piece. Six of the nine hands were pointing at home. Two others pointed at travelling. The last one kept changing between all the points as there was not one that said deceased. The sound of my name being called brought me back to reality. My mum was the one calling to me. Her eyes met mine, full of tears. There was a moment of silence before she spoke again.
“George,” she said softly. “Go upstairs to bed. We will sort all this out. I will wake you in the morning in time to leave.” Her voice caught on the last word as I stood up slowly and made my way up the stairs. Pausing in front of the door to the room I shared with Fred I kept walking up to Percy’s room where I let myself in and collapsed on his bed. Suddenly exhausted I drifted off to sleep.
The door creaking open, I tiptoed down the narrow hall way to my bedroom. After a few hours of staggered sleep I could tell that, that was all I was going to get. Taking a quick glance over my shoulder I turned the handle and stepped inside the small dark room I shared with Fred for as long as I could remember. The moon shone brightly through the window giving a spooky effect to the already dreary room. It was exactly how I left it this morning. I took a few steps stopping at the end of Fred’s bed. Lowering myself down onto it, I felt sudden warmth. There lying on his pillow was a long piece of parchment and a quill. My hand shaking I picked up the quill and began to write. Later that day I would give the speech to my friends and family.
I woke up to a tap on the door. I lifted my head off the pillow and a few seconds later my dad’s head appeared around the corner.
“It’s nearly time to go,” he said tears in his eyes. “Quickly get changed and we will be leaving in half an hour.” With that he disappeared again. Taking a deep steadying breath I eased off Fred’s bed and opened the cupboard. Lying there was a set of black dress robes. I quickly changed into them and started slowly down the stairs. The sight that greeted me was not pleasant at all. There sitting at the table were Ron, Harry and Hermione, all of them pale and dressed in black. Sitting not so far away were Percy and Ginny looking the same way. It was Percy who broke the silence. “Come on,” he stammered.” Mum and dad are waiting outside. Everyone got up slowly and made their way outside leaving me alone with Ginny. Without speaking she took my hand, gave it a squeeze and pulled me gently to where the others were waiting beside the car.
The car trip to where Fred’s funeral would be held was long and silent. Hermione had used an undetectable extension charm on the small car so it held our family of eight plus Harry and Hermione. I stared out the window at the sun and blue skies of the day. The weather seemed unfitting for the day’s events. We finally arrived at the cemetery. It was a beautiful place. The hill sides surrounded by flowers and long green valleys. I opened the door and carefully climbed out. A sea of faces greeted us. Straight away I spotted Luna and Neville sitting at the front of the crowd. I searched my robes for my wand and drew up a chair next to Luna’s. No one spoke as the rest of my family took a seat in the front row. Then it started.
I sat there numbly listening to the priest speak about how today we were not grieving a loss but celebrating a life. Then the speeches began. First my mum got up, hardly able to speak. Between sobs she told some stories of the jokes Fred and I had played over the years. Ron went next and he told the story of how when he was three years old he had accidentally broken Fred’s toy broomstick. Fred had then turned Ron’s teddy bear into a spider for revenge. The story brought the tears that were threatening to spill down my checks over the edge. Ron then went on to produce a toy broomstick as a replacement for the one he broke.
After a few more speeches it was my turn. Feeling uneasy I stood up in front of the crowd, took the sheet of paper I had written on out of my pocket and began to speak.
“Fred was my twin brother,” I began shakily, my voice thick and wobbly. “He was my best friend. Through thick and thin he was always there for me. When times were at their darkest he was there by my side.” I looked up for a second before continuing. “Now you’re gone who can I turn to? Who is there for me? I lost not only my brother but my best friend and co-prankster. Now every time I look in the mirror I see you. Every time I use my voice I hear your voice with mine. And I just can’t help but think, why you? Why wasn’t it me?” With that I scrunched up my speech and sat back down. There was complete silence for a second, as if no one knew what to do. My dad then got up and began his speech.
I felt sick as a list of names of the people who had given their lives in the battle of Hogwarts was read out. I didn’t realize how many people had died. Among them were Tonks, Lupin and so many more. A small hand slipped into mine as the last name was read out. I looked down to see Luna’s teary, blue eyes looking sympathetically into my own. I was startled but also warmed by this simple gesture. She then slipped a wand into my free hand. I looked at her for an explanation.
“It’s Fred’s,” she whispered as if she was afraid of how I would react. “I couldn’t leave it there. I didn’t know what to do with it except give it to you.”
“Thanks,” I stammered, looking down at all that was left of my brother. “I think I’ll just keep this safe.” Luna gave my hand a squeeze as I stood up. I looked down one last time.
“Promise to write to me,” she said standing up. “You need a friend at a time like this and I’m here for you.” With that she walked off her long blonde hair blowing behind her in the wind. I found myself gazing after her, transfixed by the image.
A/N: Hello, and welcome to "Rest In Pieces"! This novella will be 30 chapters long, and at no point will it be abandoned :)
I hope you enjoy it