Chapter 1 : Goodbye
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Sorry. I swore I'd never tell anyone, didn’t I? I won’t continue…
We all miss you, you know. Mum hasn’t stopped crying, bless her. She says that she feels so bad for all the times she’s yelled at you … she’s so proud to call you her son, you know. She has a picture of you on her bedside cabinet … at least, we think it’s of you. It’s hard to tell … it’s a pretty recent one, and whoever it is has two ears, so that’s Mum’s logic behind it.
Oh, Fred, if you were alive you would be so proud to call her your mother - she finished off Bellatrix Lestrange.
Yes, you did read that right. Gin, Hermione and Luna were all duelling Bellatrix, and a killing curse narrowly missed Gin … well, you know how protective Mum is. She pushed them out of the way, claiming that Bellatrix was hers … I’ve never seen Mum duel like that, ever. Bellatrix had underestimated her … the next thing we knew, Bellatrix was dead.
I think Mum’s a lot more proud of herself than she acts about it. She’s so happy to think that she avenged Sirius’s death … she never forgave herself, after his death, when she realised that she hadn’t left him in peace for that whole year, that she’d berated him for everything, when he just wanted to be free…
Dad’s profile has increased a lot since the war, too. Kingsley was appointed official Minister, and immediately made Dad the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Dad says that he didn’t really want a high-up job like that … but we all know he’s pleased with it. Besides, the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects doesn’t exist any more.
Dad helped bring down Pius Thicknesse in the war, along with Percy. He’s really happy about that, and it’s definitely built up his confidence. But he still hasn’t stopped messing round with Sirius’s old motorbike … Mum found it the other day and went ballistic.
Bill … he’s coping. You know how tough he is. And he’s got Fleur to look after him. She really is amazing. She’s been his stable rock for the past month or so since your death. She misses you too, you know. Despite all she ever said to and about you, she was very fond of you. She doesn’t have any brothers, you see, and I think she appreciates being a member of our family … and she always liked you. She liked your sense of humour.
Charlie … ah, well, we don’t know about Charlie, much. He’s had a double blow - he always was in love with Tonks. They were very close while they were at Hogwarts together, and he thought he had a chance with her … but she only saw him as a friend. And now she’s dead. That, added to your death, has taken its toll. He stayed for your funeral, but he’s gone back to Romania now. Back to his dragons. Sometimes I think he gets on with them better than he does with humans, you know. He certainly finds a source of comfort in them, at any rate.
Ron’s doing okay, I think. He always looked up to you … he looks up to all of us, even Ginny. You see, he’s always felt as though he has nothing with which to prove himself. Bill was Prefect and Head Boy. Charlie was an amazing Seeker, and has always been good with animals. Percy’s just a swot. You and I were the troublemakers, and Ginny … she’s a girl.
But Ron, in his own eyes, has nothing that sets himself aside from everyone else, apart from being Harry Potter’s friend. He feels overshadowed by Harry, I think. But my word, did he make a name for himself in the war. He managed to bring down a number of Death Eaters, including Greyback.
I think getting his girl has boosted his confidence a bit. Our book helped a lot with that - well, actually, I don’t think he’d be dating her without it, you know. He was always scared that she liked Harry … course, we all knew that was a load of tosh, but you know how Ron gets when it comes to girls. He doesn’t have the skill that we always had with girls at Hogwarts, clearly.
He’s very quiet and withdrawn, is our Ron. Obviously, he’s got a lot on his plate … he thought he’d lost his best mate in the world for a horrifying fifteen minutes. And he saw you die. With Hermione by his side, I think he’s doing a lot better than I'd expected, but he’s still not brilliant. He’s decided to become an Auror. He and Harry are determined to revolutionize the Ministry … and I think they’ll manage, somehow.
Ginny … well, need I say anything? We all know how tough Ginny is. She’s finding it hard to cope too, obviously … but, like Fleur, she’s a rock for the rest of us to lean on, especially Harry. They’re finally together again, and that’s cheered her up a bit. She played her part at the final battle, too … she took down a number of Death Eaters, despite Mum adamantly refusing to let her join in the fight … that girl has a very mischievous streak, you know, just like us. We did a good job, my twin … our efforts were not completely wasted.
As for Percy … he really is a changed man. He’s very subdued, partly because he’s realised his mistake, and feels guilty for all he’s done, and partly because he had to witness you die. He’s having nightmares every night about it, and even a Dreamless Sleep potion isn’t helping. But he’s definitely quite happy that we have all worked out our issues … he feels like he is truly a part of the family again, and we are all acting as though nothing happened between us, which he appreciates.
I know you won’t be happy about this - we’d banned him from the shop and all but disowned him as a brother - but Percy has a job at the shop now. He starts on Monday. I know, I know … he’s so law-abiding, he can’t work at a joke shop … but if you think about it, it’s the perfect solution. I can invent the stuff, and he can sort out the financial side of the business … you know, the books and all. Besides, he needs a job. It’s not the perfect situation, but it’s the best option we have, isn’t it?
I’m just waiting for him to destroy the dang shop.
I think that the person that’s finding it hardest to come to grips with your death, Fred, is Angelina. She always was in love with you. She’s been so withdrawn … you have no idea how guilty she feels for all the times she yelled at you. She regrets the fact that she never had the chance to tell you how she really felt about you before you died.
Your funeral was wonderful. I always thought that a funeral was the event that finalised a person’s death … but now I’ve realised that it just celebrates a person’s life, and the good things they have done in the world. So many people had so many touching and beautiful things to say, including Harry. I hope you were watching it, Fred … you would certainly have enjoyed it.
Auntie Muriel was there. She was crying. She feels really bad, Fred, for being so cruel to you. She told me how sorry she felt for me, and promised to write me back into her will - which just proves that she wrote us out of it in the first place - and said that she would give your share to the shop. I told her she didn’t need to, but I was very grateful for the gesture … she refused to let me put her off the idea. I was beginning to think that maybe the old bat wasn’t as bad as we’d always made out, until she decided to criticise my lop-sided ears (of course they’re lop-sided; there’s only one!).
And as for how I’m doing…
It feels odd, Fred, that you’re not here now. It feels like I’ve lost a half of myself … and no, that’s not the loss of the ear getting to me.
I feel so alone now. I’ve never been so alone in my life. I’ve always had you there, beside me, to run the shop with, to flirt with girls with, to tease Ron and Percy with…
But now, you’re gone. My brother, my best friend, my business partner, my mirror image, my other half …
I’m crying now. I’m not ashamed to admit that. I don’t think I’ve ever cried in my life before, unless you count the time that you stole my teddy when we were three, the time that Percy yelled at us when we were six, in Fourth Year, when Ginny was in the Chamber of Secrets, in Seventh Year when Dad was bitten by the snake and last year, when Ron was poisoned …
I don’t know what to do without you, Fred. It was always us two. Fred and George. Gred and Forge. But now … it’s just George. And it’s not right at all. You always were the loud twin, the older twin, the more dominant twin, and I was the quiet, younger, less dominant twin. Now, I’m left by myself, having to be both at once. I’m lost without you. I may have four brothers and one sister, still, but none of them are a bit like you. None of them know what I’m thinking, what I’m about to say, who I fancy, when I’m sad, when I’m happy, like you did.
We went through so much, did so much together. Since your death my head’s been flooded with so many memories of our childhood. Turning Ron’s teddy into a spider. Turning Ginny’s hair blue. Almost succeeding in making an Unbreakable Vow with Ron. Throwing Percy’s books into the pond. Going to Hogwarts, and being sorted into Gryffindor, and causing an explosion on our very first feast. Becoming the Beaters on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Discovering the Marauders’ Map, and the secret passages round Hogwarts. Filch devoting a drawer of his filing cabinet to us. Inventing all our joke products. Pranking Snape and Umbridge on numerous occasions at Hogwarts. Pushing Montague into the Vanishing Cabinet. Leaving Hogwarts in such style. Causing somewhat of a revolution at Hogwarts. Opening and running the shop.
We’d always talked about growing old together … reaching Dumbledore’s age, and older than that … growing beards like Dumbledore’s - somewhat like those we acquired while crossing the Age Line in Sixth Year, actually, but hopefully at a much older age than sixteen - and corrupting our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews … all our younger relatives, come to think of it - in the name of fun and laughter. But now, I’m left to do that by myself. My children and grand-children will be left to hear of you as ‘your Uncle Fred, my twin, my pranking partner, who died a heroic death at a tragically young age fighting for justice.’
I never imagined living a life without you beside me. I guess I took your presence for granted, all the years. We heard about so many people dying thanks to You-Know-Who and his Death Eaters, but I never thought it could happen to us, too.
I wish that I had been there when you fell, Fred. I wish that I had been there, fighting alongside you, like Uncles Gideon and Fabian were when they died. Maybe I'd even have died with you … and let me tell you now, there is no one that I would rather die with than you, brother.
I never had the chance to tell you all these things when you were living, and I really do regret that now. If only I had known … I would have told you how much you meant to me.
I hope you’re happy, Fred, up there. And I also hope that, wherever you are, you’re with Uncles Gideon and Fabian, and Remus and Tonks, and Sirius, and Harry’s parents, and all the other loved ones we’ve lost fighting You-Know-Who.
I’ll always miss you, and I can’t wait until I’m by your side again. I can feel you, now, looking down on me, watching me, and I know that, even though you’re no longer here in body, you haven’t left me in spirit, and you never will. I know we’ll be together eventually, and I cannot wait until that moment, but until then, I will think of you every day. And every time I think of you, I’ll think of my courageous brother, who was always there by my side, and was willing to fight to his death for the good of the wizarding world.
I love you, bro.
And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One sweet day
One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey
Frederick Gideon Weasley
1st April 1978- 1998
I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good.
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