Chapter 1 : From Third Brother to Fourth Brother
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It took you dying for me to fully appreciate that you’re my brother. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it’s the best way I can put it. You dying changed the way I looked at our family.
I know I was obsessed with my own success, and that I saw you – and the others – as a liability more often than I saw you as a living extension of my own flesh and blood. In those days, I saw our family as just a bunch of people I had to share a space with, and put up with.
Yeah, I made loads of stupid mistakes.
I called you ridiculous and stupid and irresponsible. I told you you’d never amount to anything. And then you and George went and made more money in your first year of business than most of those stupid sods at the Ministry make. You showed all of us.
I see it now, Fred…you saw things more clearly than I ever did. You knew some secret that I was completely missing out on. It’s understandable that you would laugh at me so much. As smart as I thought I was, or thought I had to be, I always missed the point somehow.
I think I get it now, Fred.
I remember how it felt to carry your body back to the Great Hall. Did you know that I wouldn’t let anyone else help? I carried you. I owed you that much, at least.
You were so heavy, but that’s what did it. Feeling your weight with each step I took. How could I not be aware that you were my brother? I felt so numb, that when I looked down at my hands, for a moment I didn’t know whether they were yours or mine.
It’s hard to say whose face was more horrible to watch when they saw you in my arms – Mother’s or George’s.
George is pretty good at keeping up appearances. He can go and hide behind the bright colors, loud bangs, and crowds of children in your shop. The only time he mentions being lonely is when he jokes that his left ear misses his right ear just like he misses you. He says you were meant to be a pair, and that you bloody went and ruined the aesthetics of the whole situation. He’s a riot, alright, but most of us know better.
You don’t know what it’s done to Mother. She could handle having one son mauled by a werewolf. She could handle one losing an ear. She could handle one going off and hunting You-Know-Who, and she could handle me coming back and begging forgiveness after abandoning the family for three years. But she can barely handle this. Maybe the only reason it hasn’t killed her, is that she’s got the six of us left, and she’s got the hope of a son-in-law and daughters-in-law and grandchildren. One big, happy Weasley family – minus one.
Do you remember how Mother had to count us up every time we went anywhere, to make sure nobody was left behind? There were so many of us, sometimes I even lost track of how many people we had in our family. But I know now. There are eight. I’ll never forget it. There were nine, but now there are eight.
It used to irritate me, the size of our family. I always thought that our family wouldn’t be so poor, or so ridiculed, if Mother and Father hadn’t had so many damn children. Once or twice I even thought it would have been best if they had just stopped after me.
I hate myself now for ever thinking those things. It makes me sick to my stomach. I’m ashamed to admit it to you, but there you have it. I promise, I’m not like that anymore.
You know what’s bollocks about this whole thing? Obviously I didn’t want to lose any of my brothers, but it didn’t make any sense for you to go. Charlie wrangles dragons, Bill breaks ancient curses, and Ron fought Death Eaters before he even came of age…but it was you, the kid who sold wands that turn into rubber chickens, who got the worst of it.
But that’s my old prejudices again, isn’t it? – Thinking that someone like you would never be any kind of threat to anyone, and would never be in any real kind of danger. The truth is, Fred, you were exactly the kind of person who was most threatening to You-Know-Who. You knew where you stood, you managed to be both righteous and popular, and you never had the kind of pretentiousness that makes people fall victim to the charade put on by destructive authority.
In other words, you were everything I never was.
You fought for your friends and family and a cause that most people had already abandoned – even though you didn’t have to – because you knew it was the right thing to do.
And, Fred, I’m honored to have fought beside you. I’m humbled that you let me. I’m grateful that I was able to put things right between me and our family before this happened.
I’m sorry I couldn’t save you. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to find whoever did it and make them pay for it myself.
But you know what does make me happy? I’m happy that, even though we were fighting in the very middle of Hell, staring death in the face, I was able to laugh with you. And I’m happy that my last memory of you, is that you were enjoying every minute of what you were doing – even though you were risking your life – enjoying every minute of it because you knew those bastards had it coming to them, and you were glad to be the one dishing it out.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, you were right about pretty much everything you ever said. Every time you told me what a stupid, pretentious git I was, or called me irritating names like “Bighead Boy”…you were right, Fred. And you know why? Because you got it. Whatever the meaning of life is, if there even is one, you got it – or, at least, you got closer to finding it than most people ever will.
Old habits die hard, and I know I’ll always be a little bit different than you and George, or our other brothers, or our sister, or our parents. I’ve always been different. The Weasley kid with the huge stick up his arse.
That may never really change…I think it may be an inescapable part of my being.
But so are you, my brother. And I promise I’ll do my damnedest to make you proud.
A/N: I wrote this because Percy is not written about very often, and I wanted to explore the impact of this event on his thoughts and his overall outlook. Please review and tell me what you think! Cheers!
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