Chapter 1 : Jokes Aren't Always Funny
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You see, they were not killed in the war, like most of the poor, innocent souls that have lost their lives to that monster of a man that calls himself a Lord. Sometimes pity grips my heart and I think that all he needed was a good, caring family to cure him, that all he needed was to be loved. But my darlings Fred and George had a good home, albeit a poor home, but still a safe one.
I can still remember moments from their childhoods like it was only yesterday. One time when the twins were young, they had tried to feed Ronald an acid pop and I whacked their behinds with a broom. It still brings a smile to my lips. Those were the days.
I would sit down in the evenings and just watch all seven of my kids as they played, until I would have to pry Fred and George off each other because Fred turned George’s toy broomstick into a pencil by accident, or some other divergence equally as trivial. I would repair it of course, but George would say it wasn’t the same. He would cry for hours until Arthur popped his head through the door and the little twin would run up to him, attaching himself to his dad’s leg. It would get hard for the man to walk, as Fred would have already fastened himself to his other leg.
Like I said, those were the good old days. The only worries were how to keep the kids occupied, happy.
Sometimes I think back to the moment the twins first told me they were opening a joke shop; I blew my top. I had wanted them to go into the Ministry with their father and Percy, but they wouldn’t listen because they were dead set on going ahead with it. I was so angry with them and was livid for a month, in which time they opened the shop and it became an instant success. They never did say where they got the money to start it up though. When I first visited them at the shop, I was completely awed. They were earning more money than they probably ever could have at the Ministry. They were so pleased that I began having second thoughts about the business, that maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Soon, I was happy to know they were doing well for themselves. After a while, they decided to expand their business. They bought a shop in Hogsmead which aggravated all those on the Hogwarts staff to no end. By the time they were twenty-five, they had stores all over the continent. They became world renowned for their products, and I was so proud of them. I didn’t know at the time that someone had grown jealous.
April Fool’s is now the worst day on the calendar, for it is Fred and George’s birthday. It may seem rather strange that their birthday is so awful, but certain events that happened on this day have left me mentally and emotionally scarred for the rest of my life, events that have tainted a once cheerful day. Now, this is the day I spend the whole year dreading, for this is the anniversary of my little red-headed twins’ deaths. This was the day I heard a knock on the door, a knock that sent chills down my spine as I reached for the knob. Instinctively, I knew something was wrong, so very, very wrong.
The next thing that happened will haunt me to the end of my days. “Molly, I am so sorry, but Fred and George are dead.” I felt hot, salty tears run down my face, and the horrible sensation of having my heart ripped out of my chest and shredded into a million miniscule pieces overwhelmed me. I was choking on the never ending stream of tears. Kingsley Shacklebolt looked at me with remorse in his eyes. I dared to ask one question, dreading the outcome of the response.
“How did they die?”
“They were murdered, Molly.”
My question was answered with the one reply every parent would dread to hear, fears everyday they’d hear. I kept muttering to myself, between sobs, “Why… why?” But it wasn’t long before my question was answered. “We think that the person who committed this unspeakable crime was envious of them, of what they had.” My heart missed a beat. It was because of the joke shop, all because of a joke. Their business had cost them their lives.
So this is what happens when a joke goes wrong. “I know it’s a difficult time, but we need you to come and identify the bodies.” So I did.
Three days later I went to the morgue where my precious offspring lay. As the white sheet was lifted off of their faces, I flinched. My cherished progeny couldn’t look more different from their usual, exuberant, life-loving selves. The freckles that usually covered their faces had nearly disappeared. Their skin was the same colour as the sheet they were hidden under, a pallid, unnatural white. Their blazing red hair clashed with their paleness; they were limp and lifeless, something they had never been before. I couldn’t bear to look any longer. All my fears had been confirmed. I gave a gentle nod to signify that it was them and gave them each a kiss on the forehead. Then I turned around and walked out, leaving a part of me behind as I did. I kept thinking that they would get up and run up to me yelling “Gotcha, Mum!” But it never happened.
Now, it is one year after that I got the visit from Kingsley. As I walked up a gray, paved path, I saw the cemetery where my little mischief-makers were laid to rest. The place was littered with gravestones, most of which belonged to people who had died in the war against Voldemort. When I reached my destination, I pulled the now wilting flowers out of a hole and replaced them with vibrant red roses. On the gravestone they shared between them, it read:
Here lies Fred and George Weasley,
And Loving Fathers
April 1 1978 - April 1 2006
You will be sorely missed
“Grandma!” I heard four little voices yell out to me, followed closely by the pattering of little feet charging at me in a cacophony that rang through the cemetery. “How are you my little darlings?” I asked forcing a smile through the tears forming in my eyes.
“Grandma, is that our daddies’ grave?” “Yes, it is, precious.”
The little faces that looked at me looked instantaneously saddened as they tried to remember their dear daddies, eyes scrunched and foreheads wrinkled in thought.
“Grandma, I don’t remember Daddy.” The words were light and truthful, as if the child didn’t understand how tragic the statement was. I felt my heart break once more as I realized the pain my grandchildren would have growing up with one parent, never fully knowing that their fathers loved them more than anything else.
My mind whirled back years and I remembered the times when Arthur would play Quidditch with the boys. They would arrive home drenched in mud from their heads to their toes, I would fume because I had just cleaned the floor and they had brought half a field in with them. These innocent children would never have a memory like that of their own.
“Where’s Granddad?” “He’s over there, poppet,” I said, pointing at a polished rock by the side of Fred and George.
Here lies Arthur Weasley,
Dear Father and Grandfather
February 6 1954 - June 14 2006
A Truly Great Man
“How did he die Grandma?”
“He died in the war, sweetie.”
“We gotta go see our mummies now, Gran. See ya!”
I watched as the two pairs of identical twin boys ran toward two silhouettes, ignorant that they have been deprived of ever knowing their two cheeky, red-headed, ever-smiling fathers and their kind-natured grandfather. I let one last tear fall and watched, disillusioned, as it dripped off my chin into the grass, disappearing forever like the people it had been shed for. Death leaves a heartache in its wake that no one can steal away.
When I got home that day to my lonely, desolate home, I discovered an anomaly awaiting me on the kitchen table. A jet black owl was perched on my fruit bowl, staring at me with beady eyes, a letter attached to its leg carefully.
As I untied the letter, I could feel that something was about to happen, something that would once again change the balance of my already tremulous life.
The letter had a Ministry of Magic seal stamped onto the front, and the image reminded me of when Arthur used to get these. I flinched at the painful memories that rushed to the front of my mind, but I resolutely pushed them back. Ripping open the letter, I started to read.
Dear Mrs. Weasley,
We would like to inform you that we have we have obtained a suspect concerning the case of your sons' murder, a man by the name of Lee Jordan. The trial will be held tomorrow at 12:30pm if you wish to attend.
Rufus Scrimgeour, Minister of Magic
A mixture of emotions tore at me: relief, unexplainable pity, anger, and simmering, unrighteous hatred. Lee had been their friend since childhood. How could he have done such a thing? I struggled to stay together at that moment.
Tomorrow arrived not a moment too soon. I walked into the court room and glanced with barely disguised dismay at the man who I believed to have killed my beloved twins. You wouldn’t think that ten years ago he had stayed in my home, being treated the same way I treated my own children. Bill came beside me and grasped my elbow, gently guiding me to our seats. He and Charlie had insisted on coming, even though I could tell they didn’t want to. Secretly though, I appreciated their company. Their presence made my life seem less lonely nowadays.
“Lee Jordan, you are accused with murder, how do you plead?” Susan Bones, the prosecutor, asked.
“Guilty.” Everyone in the room gasped, a horrible sound that seemed to epitomize the depths of my personal distress. No one thought he would actually plead guilty to the murder of his two best friends.
As the trial progressed, we discovered that my twins had been killed in their sleep. Lee was jealous of the joke shop and the recognition Fred and George had gained through it. He wanted more than the 10% they had given him. Consumed by greed, he wanted it all, every penny. He had thought that his name was in their wills and the profits would be passed to him if the twins died. But the twins had left it all to their children so that after they were gone their families wouldn’t endure under meagre circumstances. This I already knew. I let myself smile a little at their thoughtfulness through the tears that I was desperately trying to hold back.
The trial ended with a verdict of two life sentences in Azkaban. The dark part of my heart felt a perverse satisfaction that my twins were avenged and Lee Jordan finally got what he deserved, but the larger part of me simply longed for the whole ordeal to have never happened at all, for my twins to have never been taken away, because jokes aren’t always funny.
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