I stared into the crackling fire. The flames warming my face. It had been less than three months since the funeral and Fred’s absence was beginning to take its toll. I would often forget that he was gone and race to tell him something only to find he was not there. The smallest things would remind me that he was gone. I couldn’t bear to look at the clock sitting on the mantel piece, Fred’s hand still changing every few seconds. Fred’s bed was as he left it the day he died. I found it almost unbearable to be in that room and was now sleeping in Percy’s room.
A loud crack brought me out of my daze. I looked back up at the glowing fire, shocked to see a face looking up at me. Luna’s face.
“You haven’t forgotten have you?” she said. “You promised to write and here I am three months later without a word.” I just looked at her, well her head, trying to find the right words to answer.
“I wanted to write,” I croaked my voice weak from the lack of use. “I just didn’t know what to say.” She looked at me quizzically. She then said “Well that’s why I’m here. To help you find the words. You are invited to come and stay at my house for a while.” My heart ached to say yes but I just wasn’t ready.
“I’ll think about it,” I said getting up to leave. Luna’s head disappeared with that. I stared at the place her head had vanished from. Unsure of what to do I grabbed a jacket, pulled it on and half ran out the door, into the night.
I didn’t know where I was heading, all I knew was that I running. I stopped at the end of a steep ascent, looking around. In the light of the moon I could see that I had ended up on the top of Woodwind hill, Fred’s favourite place in the world. I walked down the winding path towards the circle of rocks right at the top. I sat down on top of one, staring into the night. It was a perfect night, not a cloud in the sky. I remember sneaking up here on nights like this with Fred. The moon was half full but as bright as a light. A flash of movement caught my eye. I looked around searching for the source of movement. A shadow from behind a nearby tree suddenly shifted. “Fred,” I immediately thought, my eyes darting towards the shadow again. Someone stepped out from behind the tree. I saw a flash of blonde hair before breaking down.
“George, George,” a voice sounded in my ear. “It’s only me, Luna.” I felt her small hand come to rest on my shoulder.
“I thought……Fred,” I managed to say before breaking in to uncontrollable sobs. I felt shattered. For a minute I really thought he was there. I looked up to see Luna standing over me a worried expression on her face.
“You have to come with me George,” she whispered. “You need to get away. Staying here isn’t doing you any good.” Unable to respond I let her move me to my feet and pull me off the ground. She led me down the winding path to the Burrow. I felt the pain in my heart as I watched her walking silently next to me. The reality that Fred was not there with us was overwhelming.
We arrived at the Burrow to find my mother and father standing there waiting for us, standing side by side.
“Luna,” my mum finally said breaking the silence that had formed. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m here to get George,” she said looking directly at them. “I want him to come and stay with me for a while. He isn’t coping here.” My mum and dad exchanged a worried look. Finally my dad spoke, “We realised that Luna. Everyone here is grieving but for George it is different. We think it would be a good idea for him to get away for a while.” I just looked at the ground. They were discussing me like I wasn’t even there, like I didn’t get a say in what was happening. Luna spoke to my parents for a few more minutes before turning to face me.
“It’s all sorted,” she said. “You will come and stay with me for a while. Go and get your stuff and then we will leave.” Without replying I made my way up the stairs.
I reached the top of the stairs. I couldn’t see any one around. I walked a short way until I reached the still closed door of the room I used to share with Fred. I stood for a few seconds before grabbing the handle and swinging the door open. Taking a deep breath I prepared myself to go in grab a few things and then quickly leave. I walked hurriedly in and threw open the wardrobe. I grabbed a few random pieces of clothing and threw them on my bed. Reaching down to retrieve my suitcase from under the bed I stopped short. My eye caught the mirror leaning against the wall. I stared for a moment at my refection, identical to Fred’s. A tear rolled down my cheek as I slowly walked up to it. Without thinking I punched the glass, shattering it into a million pieces. I looked down at my hand, covered in blood. It didn’t hurt. Not as much as loosing Fred at least. I chucked the final things in my suitcase, zipped it up and ran out the door, slamming it behind me. Taking a few seconds to compose myself I walked down the narrow stairs completely forgetting my wounded hand.
When I arrived back down to the sitting room I was surprised to see not only Luna and my parents waiting for me, but Harry Ginny, Ron and Hermione as well. They looked up as I entered the room.
“What happened to your hand?” asked Ginny looking at me as if searching my face for the answer. I looked down at my hand shocked to see that blood was still dripping from it.
“I…I… umm,” I stuttered not wanting anyone to worry, but of course everyone was.
“I punched a mirror.” I finally managed to get out, my eyes finding Luna’s blue ones. No one said anything for a moment until my mum started fussing over it. Once it was clean and bandaged up nicely, Luna and I said our good-byes and apparated to the hillside near her house.