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Chapter 1: No More Happy Thoughts
George Weasley stood in the middle of the road staring up at the ruins of Weasleys’ Wizards Wheezes. It had been more than a month since the second war had ended, and most businesses had started to rebuild. A few were even having grand re-opening sales that very week. But the once grand joke shop still stood derelict. The formerly flamboyant purple paint was covered with soot and peeling. The enormous window that had once sparkled in the sunlight lay in jagged pieces on the ground. Dirt and grime covered bricks lay scattered in front of the building having been blasted out of the wall by stray curses and vandals. Above the barred doors a nine hung crookedly while the three was nowhere to be found.
George sighed. He had waited as long as possible before coming back to this place. 93 Diagon Alley had once been his haven. Now all he could do was stare at the mutilated building and do his best fight the tears that were gathering in his dull blue eyes. He had thought, after the final battle, that going back to The Burrow would be the hardest thing. To try and sleep in the room he had shared with his twin his entire life was pure agony. But this was worse.
This had been the place he had shared with Fred and Fred alone. Their loft above the shop was no doubt in ruins, and even though he had thought he was ready to go back George stood numbly in the street unable to bring himself to enter the building.
Behind him the world carried on. He could hear the bustle of foot traffic, the shop keepers calling out their wears as witches and wizards greeted each other. Life was working its way back to normal, but for George Weasley the world had stopped on May second, nineteen -ninety-eight. That day he had lost half of himself; half his smile, half his laugh, half his heart.
He had tried, in the passing weeks, to smile. He had stood in front of the mirror in the small bathroom at The Borrow and tried to force his lips to curve, his eyes to sparkle, but it was no good. Without Fred he could find nothing to smile about and no reason to try. He was grateful that the rest of his family had survived the war relatively unscathed, but still he was lost.
George stared sadly at the dilapidated building before him and blew out a breath. He would not be going in there today, or any other day. Dejectedly George Weasley turned away from the building that had once been his pride and joy. Head hung in pain he made his way down the now crowded street. When he reached the end of the street George glanced back at the building one last time before turning sullenly on the spot. He disappeared with a barely audible pop, leaving a single tear splashing silently to the ground.
A/N: A few weeks ago I came across a list of little known Harry Potter facts. One of them was that after Fred’s death George was no longer able to produce a patronus. I sniffled and put it aside, but it kept coming back to me… how excruciating George’s sadness much have been… this story is the result of that. I am also proud to say that minus the title and author’s note it is exactly 500 words! ~Moon~