Chapter 1 : Be Here
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I feel helpless, and I know I’m not the only one. My entire family has been checking in to see how he’s doing, but I sit here and watch him and do not leave. Everyone else has friends and loved ones to attend to and make sure that they’re okay. They have other obligations. I have nothing, and no one, to go to except for George. I left my family when they needed me the most, and I deserve to be lonely.
George, on the other hand, doesn’t deserve what happened to Fred. My entire family doesn’t deserve what happened to our brother; it should have been me. I know everyone is glad to have me back, but they would be even happier if Fred had never been gone. I sigh to myself and watch my younger brother stare aimlessly at the wall. Suddenly, he tears his gaze from the wall.
“What are you sighing about,” he asks, surprising me. His red, tired eyes stare into mine. I shift uncomfortably.
“Nothing, are you all right?” I ask stupidly. I just can’t think of anything else to say.
“What the hell are you just sitting here for, Percy? Just leave me alone, okay? I’ve been doing fine without you for the past year. I certainly don’t need you here now,” he says scathingly.
“I’m just here to watch out for you. You don’t have to talk to me or say anything. Pretend like I’m not here,” I suggest. His nostrils flare and his eyes are reduced to slits as he glares at me.
“I don’t want you here! Why do you want to be here? Just go crawl back into the hole you crawled out of! Don’t try and play big brother now. You blew that title when you decided to side with the bloody ministry,” he turns away from me and I’m pretty sure I see a tear slip from his eyes.
“I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere,” I tell him. He doesn’t respond, and just continues to stare at the wall. I settle into the armchair across from him, watching him and hoping to make up for the last year of mistakes.
Everyone comes and goes for the next few days, and George continues to be a shadow of his former self. Well, more like half of his former self. I’m pretty much George’s keeper. No one told me to look after him, but I do it anyway. Everyone else is busy with Order business and Harry. Mum’s pretty beat up about Fred as well, so she and dad have been pretty scarce for a while. I watch after him, make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid, and try to ignore the fact that he wishes I were dead.
I haven’t been to work in a while; I don’t even know if I want to go back to the Ministry. Everything is pretty much in shambles now anyway, so I look after George and make sure that he stays as whole as possible. The joke shop is closed, and all George does is mope around the Burrow all day. His stay at rock bottom lasts for about two months before I begin to see any signs of life from him at all.
I’m eating breakfast, and I can feel his eyes burning holes into my head. I look up from my eggs to find my brother staring at me curiously.
“Why are you still constantly around me? Am I on suicide watch or something?” He asks.
I shake my head. “I’m just here in case you need anything. I told you I’m not going anywhere.”
He looks at me in confusion for a few seconds and then goes back to his food. “Whatever. Not like you have a life anyway,” he mumbles. I suppress a smile unsuccessfully. He just made fun of me by insulting me! Finally, he takes a step in the right direction. I miss the “Big Head Boy” days.
It’s been about three months since the Final Battle, and everyone, including Harry and Hermione, are crowded around the table at the Burrow for dinner. The atmosphere is not as somber as it used to be, but it is far from the usual boisterous affair. Everyone seems detached, far away. I suppress a sigh before taking a bite of whatever mum made. Before my fork even leaves my mouth, I erupt into feathers. There is dead silence for a moment before everyone bursts into laughter. George cracks a small smile and then goes back to eating.
I get up from the table without even yelling at George. Everyone is still talking about the prank, but I’m just glad that George is back to semi-normal. I feel better knowing that he is getting better, but the guilt is still there. Hopefully, by being here for George I can make up for Fred dying. Maybe I won’t be as worthless as everyone thinks that I am.
I hear the back door of the Burrow slam, and I see George making his way towards me. He walks up and stands next to me, silent at first.
“You didn’t even yell. I was waiting for the yelling. ‘I’m trying to eat my dinner you little prat.’ I would even settle for you storming angrily out of the kitchen. What happened, huh, Perce?” I can hear the humor in his voice, but I still can’t get out of my guilty mood.
“Just thought I’d let you have your fun,” I say shrugging.
“Oh, come on, you know I do it just to get a reaction out of you.”
“Yeah, I know,” I tell him. He elbows me hard, and I turn my head to look at him.
“It wasn’t your fault, you know. I resented you for it for a while, but I don’t anymore. You can stop feeling all guilty and stuff now.” I look at him in surprise. “I’m not thickheaded like Ron. I know you’re beating yourself up, and it’s unnecessary. You have nothing to atone for, or make up to me or anything ridiculous like that. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Be here, it helps,” he tells me more seriously than I have ever heard him say anything in his life.
“So, you don’t hate me or anything?” I ask in surprise. He shakes his head.
“You were here Percy, even when I brushed you off and pushed you away. If you honestly think that I still hate you for leaving last year, I don’t. You came back, even if it was a little later than you should have. You’re my brother. I can’t hold a grudge from you forever. Plus, I need someone to test all of my new products on,” he sneaks in slyly. I allow myself to laugh quietly.
“Whatever you need, just ask,” I tell him. He nods and looks up at the stars longingly.
“Hey, Perce,” he asks.
“Can you do something for me?”
“Sure, what is it?”
“GEORGE WEASLEY! I’M GOING TO HEX YOUR ARSE OFF!” I hear Ginny shriek from the back door, covered in feathers.
“Nope, you’re on your own,” I say before shoving George to the ground and running for cover by the broom shed, laughing the whole way.
A/N: Just a short one-shot that I wrote during school last year... I haven't posted anything in a while, so I thought I would just give you all a little something. Let me know what you think in a review :]