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Like Monday by Jasaline
Chapter 1 : Like Monday
 
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Like Monday

He had this habit, of breaking mirrors.

*





In the home of the Weasleys, there are no mirrors. No muggle mirrors, no Mirrors of Erised, no two-way mirrors, no mirrors that talk back.

The Burrow used to have mirrors, of course. But he broke them all and now, there are none.

Today is like any day, a lot like Monday, which was three suns and four moons ago. The burrow is quieter than ever before—there are no hushed discussions with the Order at the dinner table, no rants of frustration or fear, no rolling around in the dirt looking for bothersome little garden gnomes.

And every other dawn or dusk or afternoon solstice, a shatter would be heard followed by a delayed shriek of frustration.

That would be him, smashing mirrors and Mrs. Weasley, stressing out all over again.

These are the little bits of excitement that occurs in the burrow these days, in which the dark has been defeated and everyone just goes to work or goes to school or dwindles forlornly at home. George does just that. He goes away a lot. And he keeps the Joke Shop open from dawn until midnight, in a manner not at all like before.

(After the incident, George changed.)

Yet still, the Weasley family gathers around the table for supper every day, like yesterday and the day before and the day before that. At the round table is a family of survivors, a family of heroes. And for once, the earth around them is still. Too still, perhaps. Today, there is no one for them to save. Tomorrow, there will be nothing to save, either.

No one really smiles, and no one really frowns.

He, especially, does not smile. He eats his fill and slips quietly away into the dimness of his bedroom that is only half-full. Or perhaps, half-empty. 

(After the war, he developed Eisoptrophobia, the abnormal fear of his seeing his own reflection.)

And like the loving family that he has, they worry for him.

His appearances at the burrow, of course, are occasional. He works twice as hard for Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, now that Fred is gone.

When he is home, though, he’s always locked away in his room but tries desperately not to glance towards the empty bed to his right. And so, he stares ahead. He gazes out the window to see a sky of nothingness and looks intently at blank walls for hours on end, expecting to find inspiration that had been long lost.

He works and works, his room filled with half-finished creations and half-hearted scatters of wilted ideas.

(The dangers of the illness are that the emotional turmoil could be completely disruptive to his daily functioning.)

When he speaks now, he speaks with purpose. Gone, are those insignificant stories that would just roll off the tip of his tongue and go on and on and would stop abruptly and end with a bark of laughter. He (and Fred): the daybreak in their family’s dusk, the apples in a barrel of citruses. But still, they were the red heads in a house full of red-heads. And though the color of their wit and elation glowed radiantly, they blended in quite well with the rest.

That was then, when he was known as Fred and George. Now he is George. Just George.

And he chooses not to remember.


His laughter is still loud and big and booming like his father’s, like his brother’s. But passionless. His laugh does not smile and his smile does not laugh. Sometimes, he’d try so hard to laugh that it’d be painful to hear, painful to smile at his own jokes and to be generous to other people when he had nothing left to give them. That is now, when there is nothing to laugh or smile or frown about.

(For as long as he continues to see himself in those mirrors, the abnormality in his behaviors will continue.)

Crunch.

Many, many red heads in the kitchen turn toward the noise, expectant.

George, reading the daily prophet, and Fleur, doing her makeup, are sitting on the couch. Well, at least, she was doing her makeup.

Fleur stares at the broken compact mirror that had she had held in her hand just a moment ago.  Then her eyes graze down to George’s knuckles, which are speckled with shards of broken glass and oozing with blood. She gapes at those knuckles.

“Merlin, George…” She whispers this to him but says no more because she knows about this habit of his, of breaking mirrors.

(Unchecked, the fear of one’s reflection can become a debilitating condition. The only cure is through mind stimulation, by removing his ability to see his own reflection completely.)

There is a creaking of doors to the attic that night. He had tossed and turned and lost much color on his already pallid face worrying about his decision all night long, but as the flutter of his long black robes leads him swiftly up the winding staircase, he knows he must do this.

Tonight, he will learn to forget.

And so, he sits. He sits on the dusty attic floor next to evanescent candle lights, his legs folded and relaxed. 

He looks into the last mirror the Weasleys own-- which, technically, belongs to the house’s Ghoul-- and he peers at the reflection that he so loathes and sputters at it without second thought,

“Why did you just leave like that, Fred? You lied to me, you fool.”

(Nausea. Hyperventilation. An uncontrollable urge to break mirrors.)

A deep, unwanted laugh escapes from his throat and echoes tremulously off his lips,

“But I was the dimwit old fool, wasn’t I? I should’ve known you were making a joke when you said we’d be each other’s right-hand man through and though.”

(The patient must remember to forget. Everything, anything, and remember absolutely nothing.)

“You know Fred...being funny is getting harder these days. It had always been so easy when you were here, you know? You’d make the punch line, I’d add a witty remark and we’d soon have barrels of people laughing with us.”

He stares blankly at his ‘brother’. It frustrated him that his twin would just stare silently back, wearing the same stupid expression he wore. His fists clench together frenziedly-- he just wanted to reach into that mirror…tear down that exasperating layer of glass…and give his brother a good pummeling in the face…

(Nausea. Hyperventilation. An uncontrollable urge to break mirrors.)

He sees Fred. He could only see Fred, whose memory could not die away. After the war, George had become a difficult man. Difficult, because everything that he does reminds others of Fred. Difficult, because every time he peers into his own reflection, he sees the faint silhouette of his dead brother. Difficult, because no matter how many times the Weasleys try to forget, to stuff the memories away into a corner and all the traces into an abandon old broom cupboard, they’d be reminded by George’s ashen face and all efforts of forgetting would be lost. 

(The patient must remember to forget. Everything, anything, and remember absolutely nothing.)

George shakes his head to clear his mind, breathing heavily but inhaling nothing. He stares into that mirror until his vision blurs with salty tears of exhaustion and searing temptations. He is waiting.

Waiting, for that silhouette image of himself to slowly fade and disappear from his lifeless green eyes that has seen too much and expected too little.

He will wait patiently tonight.

He will wait, but how long would it take for that pain to die? To fade away into obscurity?

The answers to such questions, he knows not.
 
And yet, he will wait because he is ‘Fred and George’ no longer; he is George.

Just George.  

And maybe, when the Fred within him has gone, he will sleep soundly tonight.




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