disclaimer; i own practically nothing. some quotes are directly from the book, just so that you know. :]
He grimaced, flexing his fingers in his bloody right hand; he was pretty sure at least three of them were broken. He had been duelling a Death Eater - who he recognized, as one of the ones upon the brooms before Snape cursed his ear off all those years ago, when he jinxed his feet and he tripped, his hood flying off – when a curse hit his hand that was outstretched behind himself to keep his balance. There were several cracking noises like muffled gunshots, and his fingers were suddenly in agony. He had spun on his feet, trying to find the curser, but only to throw himself quickly out of the way of one of McGonagall’s tables.
As soon as the Death Eaters had disappeared and Voldemort’s high, cold voice informing them of perhaps their final hour of free life, everyone seemed to automatically head for the Great Hall. Some where running, screaming for friends, siblings… others where helping others, arms swung around their shoulders… others walking stiffly, alone, healing injuries as they walked… some carrying the dead, arms laden with their dead weight…
George looked around for a hint of red hair, one of his brothers, Ginny, Mum or Dad – where was Fred? They had gotten separated early on when George ran into a duel because the girl had blood gushing out of her leg and could barely stand.
He couldn’t turn back and look around: too many people were flooding into the Great Hall, and he was fearful that if he tried to push through he would hurt someone.
He turned to the person beside him. He had torn robes and an awkward, bloody arm; his longing blonde hair fell into his blue eyes. Tears were streaking down his handsome face, mingling with his blood, dirt and sweat: in his strong arms, George saw with a pang, was the same girl he had protected earlier, her silky black hair messy, her bright brown eyes frozen, glazed over. Her whole body was limp, and was being dragged by the boy.
“Here, let me help,” George said hoarsely, ducking under the girls arm and putting his arm around her waist. Her skin was frozen like her eyes.
“Th-Thanks…” the boy muttered, ducking his head as he cried. They limped their way over to a long table people were carefully placing their losses upon.
“Her n-name is N-Natalie… Natalie B-Becktug…” the boy muttered. Though his voice was quiet and almost inaudible, it rang with such self hatred and bitterness it was heart wrenching, almost agonising to hear, but impossible to turn away from. George also had the disadvantage of only having one ear, which was on the same side the boy was walking on, so he could hear him louder, “I… s-she was my b-b-best friend… si-since fir-first year… s-she didn’t l-laugh at m-my m-muggle bra-braces… I…” the boy faltered, rising his bloody and awkward arm with a wince to wipe his eyes, sniffing softly, “I l-loved her. I… I n-never told h-her… n-never… I was – I w-was too… t-too m-much of a-a-a… c-coward,” he finished bitterly, and he couldn’t stop the loud sob escaping his throat.
George didn’t respond. The pair of them solemnly placed Natalie upon the table, carefully. The boy straightened out her robes, fixed her hair… tears falling down from his face to hers.
“Orchideous,” George muttered. A burst of white lilies burst out of the top of his wand; he caught them and, without a word, passed them to the boy. He took them placed them in Natalie’s hands, resting them on her stomach. George watched the boy as he stood there, seventeen years of age, gazing at his best friend. All emotion was gone from his face, save from the tears still falling from his eyes. His arm was still bloody and awkwardly angled, but he seemed to not know nor care.
“Episkey,” George murmured, tapping the boy’s arm. The boy didn’t even twitch as the arm twisted back to its normal position. “Tergeo.” The blood vanished.
“Thanks. F-For everything…” the boy muttered, patting George’s shoulder, “Weasley, r-right?”
“George,” he nodded in response, turning his back to the table. The Great Hall was now filled; people were hugging each other… people were crying and screaming… people were sitting quietly in a corner… people were pushing through crowds, shouting names…
“I’m T-Tad. Tad J-Joument.”
George nodded and his eyes jumped to his Mum, who had tears flying down her face, and was muttering something at a rapid speed, her hands curling across her mouth. Dad had his arms around her shoulders, tears falling down his own face. They were heading, he saw with another sharp, brutal pang, towards the table George was standing beside.
Muttering a quick ‘I’m sorry’ to Tad, George ran towards them, pushing past people unseeingly.
“M-Mum?!” he said loudly, stopping in front of her. They were less than five metres from the table to which George had his back to. Up close, he saw his mother was on the verge of hysteria, and his father simply… stricken. “Mum? Dad?! ”
“Georgie!” Molly yelled, throwing her arms around his neck and sobbing frantically into his chest, “Thank Merlin… Thank M-Merlin… o-oh, G-God…”
“M-Mum?” George repeated, awkwardly patting her back, his eyes glanced to his Dad’s, who was looking at something behind him, his eyes full of tears and glasses clutched in his grimy hand, as though if he didn’t wear them, he wasn’t seeing it. As if what he was seeing was blurred and unfocused, it wasn’t true, it wasn’t there.
Molly let go of him, but gripped his sleeves instead, not want to let go of him, as though if she did he would disappear, disappear into thin air. Her overbright eyes slid over to the same place his Arthur’s where and, with a heart wrenching howl, she collapsed, falling to the floor, hiding her head in her hands. Arthur dropped quickly beside her, gripping her into a hug, crying into her shoulder.
Slowly, George turned around to see just what had caused them to react like this.
The world seemed to stop; the noise around him silenced, and the people were just a slow blur of noiseless colours. The air itself froze, causing George not to be able to even breathe; the ground spun under his feet, though his feet didn’t move. His heart pounded in his ears, throbbing behind his tongue, pumping loudly around his body. His heart itself seemed to extinguish; blood gushed out of it, flooding down through his legs and into the ground, leaving him forever; it burned and froze at the same time, the physical and emotional pain the same thing, the same thing flooding through him, replacing his blood…
He stumbled forwards, people seemingly moving out of his way – not that he noticed. A blurred, red headed figure that may or may not have been his brother, he didn’t know, he couldn’t remember, he couldn’t think, he could only feel, turned around and moved quickly out of the way. His feet suddenly gave way and he landed heavily on his knees, kneeling as though at an altar, staring at the cruel, unnecessary sacrifice…
Fred Weasley’s eyes were closed, and if he had not been lying upon the table of the dead he may have been sleeping. His arms lay lifeless beside him, his robes torn and bloodied, his freckled skin grimy and bloody; his red hair had particles of rubble and dust in it, the white specks speckling his face and clothes as well. His whole body was there, just… lying, lying still. His body was there. His soul had gone.
George’s hands gripped the wooden table so hard his knuckles turned white and his nails bit into the wood, chipping it; he was frozen to the spot, frozen like Natalie’s body, frozen like Natalie’s eyes, frozen like Fred’s body, frozen like Fred’s eyes.
He felt his world capsize around him; the world had ended, nothing was left, there was nothing left fighting for… so why were people still moving? He couldn’t hear them, but he could just see them, moving in dull blurs around him… their shouts and sobs turned mute to his ears…
A hand rested softly on his shoulder. He almost staggered under the sudden weight; it was like an anvil had just rested on his shoulder, forcing him into the ground, even if it didn’t mean to.
He shrugged the hand that was meant to comfort him away, stumbling to his feet.
“Georgie - ”
He pushed the other hand off his shoulder, tripping forwards to the edge of the table. His brother – part of himself was set on the very end of the wooden surface. George fell to his knees again, his limbs shaking badly. He leant his head on the cold, smooth edge of the table, struggling to know what was happening.
Fred is dead.
The words, playing over and over and over again in his numb brain, made no sense. How could Fred be dead? Surely, if Fred had died, then he would have? Fred couldn’t possibly be dead; it was – is - impossible, unthinkable, completely and utterly bizarre to even suggest…
He didn’t hear the loud mutterings and mournful sobs of his family; he didn’t hear Mum collapse on Fred’s chest – that was alive, how could he be dead? - or Dad crying; he didn’t hear Ron or Hermione or Ginny approaching; he didn’t hear Percy sobbing about how it was his fault. All he heard was Fred. Fred’s faint voice. Fred’s faint laughter. Fred’s faint jokes. He heard him, but it was like a whisper, like he was on the other side of the room, his voice echoing, spinning and swirling…
The tears weren’t coming, so he couldn’t fight them. The tears weren’t coming because the whole situation, the whole place, whole setting, whole scene, whole act – it was fake. It wasn’t real. How could it be real? How could life be that unfair; how could life be that cruel and… and… and wrong? In what possible way could something be real, if it was impossible? In what possible way could something be happening, if it was a nightmare? A horrible, unforgivable nightmare?
George barely heard Ginny’s voice; but it sounded so much like Tad’s had, it sounded so lost and so desperate and so agonizingly emotional it was impossible not to hear.
“H-He was - ”
Ron’s voice cut off, and George closed his eyes. It didn’t matter anymore. It didn’t matter if they won, if they lost. They had already lost.
“I – I’m going t-to find h-him.”
Ginny’s distressed voice cut through him again, and he heard her footsteps fading as she ran out of the hall.
George stumbled to his feet, causing his family to turn their backs from where Ginny had disappeared to and look at him in sorrow and fear.
“G-George – s-sit down,” Bill said quietly, stepping forwards. His robes had torn badly across the hem and he was covered in blood, dirt, sweat and dust, “R-Rest - ”
He ignored him and stepped beside Fred’s body, gazing down at his brother. He felt a hand fall softly on his shoulder, and muffled footsteps. People were whispering, talking, crying and moaning… their voices dropped, fading away slowly like a mist, dropping and dropping and dropping in volume until they were nothing... not even whispers…
Staring down at Fred, it still hadn’t hit him. His vision blurred slightly as tears prickled the corners of his tired eyes. Fred was dead. Fred was dead. Fred was dead…
His hand went to his twin’s shoulder and he gripped him tightly, the cold air biting his rough hands, freezing his fingertips. His body felt stiff, fixed and icy, as though he was a porcelain doll.
He lost time as he stood there, staring unseeingly at Fred. He indistinctly heard muffled voices and footsteps, but it was as though he had blinkers and earmuffs glued to his head. He couldn’t hear anything; he couldn’t look in any other direction except Freds…
Finally, what seemed like a century later, he felt a new, raw emotion flood through him.
“W-Who killed h-him?”
His voice rang numbly in his ears, the tone deadly calm yet broken and damaged. His family instantly fell silent, their whispers and sobs instantly muted. People were moving around them; their mouths were opening and closing, but no sound came out.
“Who k-killed him?!” George demanded, standing up straight and striding forwards. His hands were clenched into shaking fists, and he felt rage; impressible, undeniable, pure rage flooding through him – he wanted to kill this person… not with magic, with his bare fists… he wanted to kill them, he wanted to make them suffer, just like they had made Fred suffer…
His eyes glanced around his family; they were all standing, frozen in emotions. Ginny had returned.
“I as g-good as k-killed him…” Percy stammered, his horn rimmed glasses cracked and dirty, his whole body shaking, tears still flooding down his face, “B-But – I t-think it w-was R-Rookwood. I – I chased a-after him… b-but he g-got away… ” more tears flooded down his face, and his whole body shook in a rattling sob. Mrs Weasley engulfed him in a bone crushing hug, sobbing onto his shoulder as he did the same.
George moved forwards quickly. He had to find Rookwood at any cost, his own life if need it be. He needed to find Rookwood, to make him share his pain…
A hand shot out and pulled George back around. Charlie was looking, fearfully, at him, his hand biting into his forearm, “George, you can’t - ”
“Harry Potter is dead. He was killed as he ran away, trying to save himself while you lay down your lives for him. We bring you his body as proof that your hero is gone.”
The voice echoed around the Great Hall, around the whole of Hogwarts. An automatic hush fell upon the Hall; everyone was silenced as though struck dumb. There were faint footsteps as a tall figure in tartan ran out the door. No one stopped Ginny as she sprinted out of the Hall, weaving in between frozen figures. Ron and Hermione hastily followed: eyes wide and bodies stiff.
“The battle is won. You have lost half of your fighters. My Death Eaters outnumber you and the Boy Who Lived is finished. There must be no more war. Anyone who continues to resist, man, woman or child, will be slaughtered, as will every member of their family. Come out of the castle, now, kneel before me, and you shall be spared. Your parents and children, your brothers and sisters will live, and be forgiven, and you will join me in the new old we shall build together.”
Everyone in the Great Hall stood in place, unmoving, for several moments. Then at once they started forwards. Not to kneel before Voldemort as he commanded, but to see whether he was speaking the truth, to see if it was real, to see if they hadn’t of been the butt of some horrible joke…
George glanced back at Fred before moving forwards quickly with the crowd. If Voldemort was outside, Rookwood would be too. He pushed through the crowd, his body screaming in pain and emotions.
McGonagall’s cry made some stop suddenly, eyes wide; it made some rush forwards quicker than before. Her scream was one no Hogwarts student, parent or any witch, wizard or magical being had ever heard before, or ever wished to hear again.
Ginny’s cry was the last, and it echoed in the still air around them. Several people sprinted forwards, Molly Weasley one of them; several others let out a strangled sob, the truth hitting them like a fist to the stomach; others, still, stopped, shock still, eyes wide…
Screams and shouts and cries of abuse at Voldemort and the Death Eaters filled the air, some petty, others full of swear words, others threats of death, others still much worse –
“YOU BASTARDS!” George yelled, running through the crowd as fast as he could. His feet hit the wet grass and he slowed, pushing his way to the front of the crowd. There, Ron was holding Ginny back, who was punching and kicking and screaming, trying to get free, wanting to run at Voldemort and kill him with her bare hands… Hermione was screaming, her voice breaking and tears flooding down her face; the wand in her hand sparkled with red hot magic –
There was a deafening bang and a flash of light, and, though their mouths were still moving, silence was washed over them. The crowd stopped, standing dead on their feet, the only movement from Ginny, who now had to be held back by both Ron and Hermione, she was struggling so much –
“Harry Potter is dead!” Voldemort cried, striding in front of the body laid behind him, “Do you understand now, deluded ones? He was nothing, ever, but a boy who relied on others to sacrifice themselves for him!”
“He beat you!” Ron yelled, his face twisted in fury, pain and hate, both of his hands gripping Ginny as she screamed, twisting and turning, her bright, empty eyes never leaving the body behind Voldemort.
Ron broke the charm; more shouts, curses and screams echoed throughout the grounds, shouting abuse and contradictions.
“He was more of a wizard than you ever were - !”
“YOU SICK F - ”
A bang deafened the screams, and George was shunted over slightly; Neville Longbottom was fighting his way through the crowd, wand held tight in his hand, face contorted to one of rage and power –
“He was killed while trying to sneak out of the castle grounds. Killed while trying to save himself - ”
Neville had broken free of the crowd, running towards Voldemort, his wand held high. A shot of bright, vivid purple light emitted from it and was dangerously close to Voldemort’s chest before he blocked it with a flick of his wand; Voldemort wordlessly Disarmed Neville and he was blown backwards, landing on the ground with a hard thump, his wand flying into Voldemort’s pale, spider like one.
“And who is this?” Voldemort laughed softly, his laugh sounding like that of a snakes, “Who has volunteered to demonstrate what happens to those who continue to fight when the battle is lost?”
Rage tore through George’s inside; the battle was not lost, they were still standing, still armed and prepared to fight; armed with wands and weapons, and with a burning fire in them to avenge their loved and lost ones…
“It is Neville Longbottom, my Lord! The boy who has been giving the Carrow’s so much trouble! The son of the Auror’s, remember?” Bellatrix’s voice was full of laughter; she was eager and excited, the possibility of so much pain and destruction at her very fingertips…
“Ah, yes, I remember,” Voldemort said softly, staring at Neville with blood red eyes, who, instead of backing down, rose to his feet, unarmed and unprotected by physical means, but strong and shielded and fierce far more than the man in front of by emotional means. “But you are a pure-blood, aren’t you, my brave boy?”
“So what if I am?” Neville said piercingly, causing several members of the crowd to cheer quietly.
“You show spirit, and bravery, and you come of noble stock,” Voldemort said, quieting the crowd, talking to Neville as though he were an interesting item in a shop, “You will make a very valuable Death Eater. We need your kind, Neville Longbottom.”
“I’ll join you when hell freezes over. Dumbledore’s Army!” Neville shouted, provoking yet even more cheers from the crowd. George joined in, yelling at the top of his voice, brandishing his wand high in the air - he didn’t hear what Voldemort said next, but the crowd instantly hushed. Not by magic, but at the sight of a mangy, dirty creature flying through the air straight to Voldemort. Many eyes followed it as Voldemort caught it and shook it, almost tauntingly.
“It’s the Sorting Hat…” a girl whispered near George, her robes of Ravenclaw splattered with dirt and blood, “But what does he want with - ”
“There will be no more Sorting at Hogwarts School. There will be no more houses. The emblem, shield and colours of my noble ancestor, Salazar Slytherin, will suffice for everyone, won’t they, Neville Longbottom?”
His wand was pointed at Neville, who froze. Though he could not see Neville’s eyes, George knew they were full of a burning hatred, a desire to destroy the man in front of him –
The Sorting Hat was forced upon Neville’s head and it slipped halfway down his face. The crowd George was in stirred, some craning their necks to see what was happening. The Death Eaters all raised their wands simultaneously; as did the crowd, but somewhat haphazardly.
“Neville here is now going to demonstrate what happens to anyone foolish enough to continue to oppose me,” Voldemort said, his red eyes glinting in the falling moonlight. With a flick of his wand, the Sorting Hat burst into flames.
There was a strangled outcry of rage and disgust from the crowd, George included, as Neville caught fire, unmoving. People yelled, their cries filling the air, as they ran towards Voldemort, most from outside the crowd in front of the castle itself. A loud, earth rumbling cry of, “HAGGER!” thundered above all the cries and Grawp was stumbling from around the castle; his presence and cry triggered that of Voldemort’s giant army, who charged at Grawp. Centaurs galloped forwards, their hooves pounding rhythmically on the ground, the screams drowning out the twang of their arrows; the Death Eaters scattered as the Centaurs tore towards them, murderous and anger locked in their eyes.
George was pushed forwards with the crowd; he lost sight of Neville as he ran forwards, yelling still more abuse and wielding his wand. He saw his sister’s flaming red hair and he watched her helplessly as she sprinted right towards Voldemort, who had not seen her, her arms raised and wand high in the air. Before she reached him, however, she was locked in a furious battle with a hooded Death Eater.
“HARRY! HARRY – WHERE’S HARRY?”
Hagrid’s shout thundered over the noise of the giants and Centaurs and curses and shouts; pandemonium ensued. George ran forwards towards a Death Eater he recognized as Rookwood, rage flooding throughout his body as his feet hit the ground; he narrowly dodged the flailing hooves of one of the Centaurs as he reared in power and fury.
Just as George raised his hand to curse Rookwood, who had his back to him and was duelling Aberforth Dumbledore, a body slammed into his and they were flown sideways, landing heavily on the grass. Looking up, George saw Giant’s foot where he had been standing, and a Giant roaring and swiping at people with his oversized hand. He quickly turned towards his saviour; Lee Jordan was scrambling to his feet, swiftly brushing his dreadlocks away from his face and aiming a curse at a Death Eater, who stumbled.
George jumped to his feet; he had lost Rookwood. He swore loudly, spinning on the spot, looking for the cursed Death Eater. He stumbled slightly as a body hit his; he held Lee up as he stumbled backwards after being hit with an Impedimenta Jinx.
Lee grabbed George’s arm and started pulling him towards the castle, the shelter from the giants. “Where’s Fred?” Lee yelled, ducking a curse that would’ve hit him directly in the face. A curse flew at George from out of no where, there was no chance to stop it – then, suddenly, it rebounded off a Shield Charm no one had cast…
George didn’t answer Lee, but his question roused a new found energy, hate and power in him, filling him stronger than ever before. He gripped his wand and shot spells left, right and center; cast jinxes and hexes every which way, not stopping for time to relish when a Giant howled as his thick, tree trunk size of a leg erupted in massive, pus filled boils…
A nasty green spell hit George on his arm; his forearm split open and blood splattered over himself and surround wizards and Centaurs; he stumbled as he ran up the stone steps with Lee, and into the Great Hall, his arm throbbing and bleeding. He was quickly engulfed with a fierce duel with Yaxley.
No other spell seemed to hit them as they duelled; Yaxley was a capable wizard, but was pushed to his limits as he fought the two of them. George shot a strong Stunning Spell that hit Yaxley in the stomach; he crumpled and slammed to the floor. Lee had no time to congratulate George, as another Death Eater whipped the both of them into another battle.
“NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH! OUT OF THE WAY!”
George spun around at the strangled yell of his mother’s voice echoing around the Great Hall; he saw her usher Ginny, Hermione and Luna to safety as she took over the three of them with a ferocious battle with Bellatrix Lestrange. The rest of the duels, barring Voldemort’s with Kingsley and Professors McGonagall and Slughorn, stopped as everyone turned to watch the two witches engage in a ferocious battle.
George started forwards, pushing through Death Eaters and students and barmen alike. He saw Charlie out of the corner of his eye do the same thing; they fought through the string of people to get to their mother, to aid her in her fight with one of the most powerful witches in the room –
“No!” Mrs Weasley screamed as George and several other students broke free, running to her, “Get back! Get back! She is mine!”
They seemed to line the walls as they watched the two duels, their eyes darting from one spell, to another curse, to another Shield –
“What will happen to your children when I’ve killed you? When Mummy’s gone the same way as Freddie?”
Rage; undeniable fury pounded through George; he started forwards, ready to kill Bellatrix with his bare hands, but a hand grabbed his arm and held him back. Turning around angrily, his eyes flashing, George saw Hermione, pale as a ghost, holding him back, her eyes wide.
The crowd suddenly roared as there was the unmistakable thump of a body hitting the cold floor – George spun around, and he faltered when he saw Bellatrix, her body still and unmoving on the ground and Molly Weasley standing over her, triumphant in every way but one.
There was a sudden bang as Voldemort screamed and shot McGonagall, Kingsley and Slughorn backwards all at once; he spun around and directed his wand directly at Molly Weasley.
George started forwards again, but this time it was not a hand that stopped him –
The Shield Charm came from an unseeable force in the middle of the Hall, and it was a strong, powerful Shield that shot itself from roof to floor, protecting Molly Weasley from Voldemort.
The cries of shock and surprise as Harry appeared from where the charm was cast where stifled as soon as they started.
George looked from Harry to Voldemort, who had begun circling each other, and his eyes rested on the table behind them, a table that was full of people, fuller than it was before.
His eyes feel upon his twin brother’s dead body and he knew, the instant his eyes snapped from Harry’s, to Voldemort’s, to Fred’s, that Voldemort was going to die, that Fred's death was going to be avenged, in a couple of long, difficult moments.