Chapter Two – Revelations
As Rose and I trudge down to the Entrance Hall neither of us speaks, she refuses to explain why she lost her cool in Potions and I refuse to explain why I lost my cool on Malfoy. She nods as she heads down to the dungeons and I push open the heavy wooden door to get to the Greenhouses. I nod back.
The grounds are unusually quiet; I guess the unseasonal cold has kept most students in doors. I wander down to the Greenhouses and am met by Professor Longbottom. He tries to give me a stern look but just ends up grinning as usual – Longbottom must be the happiest Professor Hogwarts has ever seen: he is always smiling even when he is shouting at someone for mistreating his plants (which he is extremely protective over). He leads me into his tiny office – which to be honest just looks like another small Greenhouse with the amount of plants covering the place – and sits me down at his desk.
“Would you be so kind as to sort these into alphabetical order for me Miss Weasley?” He smiles opening a filing cabinet bursting with papers. I groan inside. To begin with, these files have been sorted countless times – I know, my cousins have been in detention quite a few times – and besides, there is a simple spell that could sort these files instantly but no – as a punishment we must do it by hand, knowing that our work will just get mixed up again for the next poor kid who ends up in detention.
“I don’t see I have much choice,” I mutter darkly, Longbottom grins and leaves me to it. Hmm… where to start? Then I have a brain wave: these are detention slips – I could find my parents files! Rummaging around I finally find a file marked ‘Weasley’ or I should really say a draw marked ‘Weasley’ as there are so many of them. I spot Uncle Ron’s file (which is pretty big) and Aunt Ginny’s (which is a little bit smaller) Uncle Bill and Uncle Charlie both have files (Charlie’s is about twice the size of Bill’s though) but I cannot find one for Uncle Percy (surprise, surprise; I expect dad only has a tiny one, after all, Percy is the brother my dad sees the most). Then I find it ‘George Weasley’, it is tucked behind a folder labelled ‘Fred Weasley’ which is the same size as my dad’s… Why on earth is my brother’s file in here? And how is my dad’s file so big?
I pull out both files, careful not to drop any of the hundreds of pieces of paper contained in them. Sitting down at Longbottom’s desk I find the bit of paper with the student’s information from the ‘Fred Weasley’ file, it reads:
Name: Fred Weasley
Date of Birth: 1st April 1978
Parents: Arthur and Molly Weasley
Siblings: William, Charles, Percy, George, Ronald, Ginevra
I blink at the parchments: that cannot be right. That is not my brother. If this paper is right that would make this ‘Fred Weasley’ my uncle. Dad does not have a brother named Fred. I pull out dad’s information:
Name: George Weasley
Date of Birth: 1st April 1978
Parents: Arthur and Molly Weasley
Siblings: William, Charles, Percy, Fred, Ronald, Ginevra
I stare at the parchment. Dad’s birthday is not the 1st April, it was the 2nd May – the same day as the Battle of Hogwarts took place, the same day as my cousin Victoire. Surely, these papers must be wrong. I shuffle though the papers (feeling oddly like Zabini) and begin reading the detention slips… there are thousands of them; my dad must have spent most of his life in detention. This cannot be possible. My dad – quiet, shy and unassuming George Weasley – was not – could not – have been a prankster. It just was not possible. Each detention slip reads along the same lines, whoever this ‘Fred Weasley’ is he was in every single one of my dad’s detentions; it is as if they were one person. I spend hours looking through the papers; it could not be possible that my dad had done all these things… “Clogging the bathroom sink;” “Setting fire to Jordan’s robes;” “Shoving Montague into a Vanishing Cabinet;” “Selling prohibited goods;” “Setting of fireworks during OWLs…” the lists are endless. I just cannot imagine my dad doing these things.
“Roxanne?” Longbottom calls out. “Are you still here? I thought I said you could leave at ten? It is almost midnight…” he trails off as he comes into his office. There is paper strewn everywhere and I must look a complete mess; I can feel the tear rolling down my cheeks. “Uh… Are you okay?” He asks hesitantly. I shake my head staring at the two piece of parchment with the student details written on them.
“He had a twin.” It is not a question, I know it is true: there is no other way to explain this… I break down into proper sobs as Longbottom backs out, mumbling something about getting Katie… I just let the tears stream down my face. How come no one ever thought to tell me my dad had a twin? How come I don’t know anything about him yet my brother is named after him?
Longbottom comes hurrying back in with Madame Bell at his heels; Madame Bell is our flying instructor. I cannot stop the tears now that they have started and I just look at them, waiting for someone to speak.
“I’ll deal with this Neville,” she whispers and Longbottom backs out the room again. “Roxanne,” she says gently, conjuring a chair up beside me. “I’m Katie Bell; I was at school with your parents, in the same year in fact.” She starts, her voice is calming and my sobs soften. “Fred and George Weasley were some of the greatest pranksters to every walk through the halls of Hogwarts,” there is something oddly poetic about her voice. “As you can tell…” she gestures to the slips of paper scattered around us. “They got caught plenty of times but it never stopped them; they loved to make people laugh… During the Battle of Hogwarts Fred was fighting alongside Percy – who I think they had just reconciled with – when an explosion shattered the corridor they were fighting in. Fred died with a smile still etched upon his face.” I look up to see tears streaming down Madame Bell’s face. “Your father was distraught, nothing and no one could console him; if it wasn’t for Angelina – your mother – I don’t know if he could have survived it.” Bell was sobbing in earnest now. “Your mother was very good friends with both Fred and George, but it was Fred who had always held a special place in her heart… When he died, she collapsed, I couldn’t do anything so I just brought her over to his body where George was and they cried over him for almost an entire day and night until they were pulled away so Fred’s body could be moved…”
“She loved Fred…?” I ask but I don’t think Bell hears me: she is too deep in her own memories.
“Fred was buried the next day and no one saw either George or Angelina for almost a month – Mrs Weasley was heartbroken. Nine months to the day after Fred’s funeral, Angelina gave birth to a son which they named Fred (when you were born six years later, everyone was almost as shocked as when your brother was born). Turns out, in the month they were away, they grew closer in their grief and consoled each other the only way they could; they eloped. Neither of them were ever the same after Fred’s death.” Bell sniffs and wipes away her tears; I leave mine on my cheeks.
My parents have always been a very quiet couple, they never showed any of the lovey dovey stuff Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill do but that never bothered me. I always thought they were just quiet people. Now I feel like I do not know my own parents at all.
“Why didn’t anyone tell me?” I whisper.
“Most people probably assumed you knew,” sighs Bell. “The others didn’t think it was their place to tell you… Your parents never speak of the Second Wizarding War, they leave the room if someone brings it up, it still hurts them… They never talk about Fred.”
“But it was so long ago…”
“I know, but when it happened, a part of George died with Fred… He used to live life with a smile, so did your mother, she was beautiful, funny and talented – she was a chaser on the Gryffindor team with me… I’m sorry you had to find out like this, perhaps someone should have told you but I suppose it is a hard thing to explain…”
Madame Bell still has tears rolling down her face but mine have stopped. A calmness has settled over me, almost a numbness. I nod my head and then get up and leave, leaving a tearful Madame Bell amongst an array of detention slips.
I know what I need to do.
“Tonks,” I mutter at the gargoyle. How weird, I wonder why the Headmaster as ‘Tonks’ as his password. The gargoyle leaps to life and moves out the way so I can climb the staircase. As I push open the Headmaster’s door I wonder if he will even be awake.
“Miss Weasley,” he sounds startled. “How can I help you at this hour?” The Headmaster is sitting at his desk, stroking his silvery cat.
“I need to see my brother.”
“Your brother?” He raises one of his heavy eyebrows in surprise.
“Miss Weasley, are you quite alright? Has someone upset you?” He notices the tear tracks still on my face. “I am afraid I cannot just let my pupils go flooing around the country at this hour with no permission slip from their parents…”
“Headmaster, it is about Fred… my uncle.” The Headmaster looks taken aback but quickly recover himself.
“I see… Well, I suppose I can make an exception,” apparently even my Headmaster knew about my uncle before me. “So long as you return before breakfast.” He walks over to the fireplace (the only fireplace in the school with proper floo connection) and throws some floo powder in. “Number Six, Downsview Lane.” Without thanking him – or even looking at him – I jump into the green flames. Sitting rooms, kitchens, office and shops wiz past me until I come to an abrupt halt in my brother’s fire place.
“What the-” Fred yells as I tumble onto his carpet. I dust off the ash from my school robes before looking at him. “Roxanne? What the bloody hell are you doing here?”
“Did you know you were named after dad’s twin?” He stares at me, shock and confusion distorting his face.
“Dad’s twin?” he whispers – no, apparently he didn’t know.
“Yes, dad had a twin called Fred who died in the Battle of Hogwarts, they named you after him. Did you also know that dad got even more detentions than you when he was at school? And that he and mum eloped? And that you were probably conceived on the day of your namesake’s funeral? Or that mum was a chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch Team when she was at school? And that dad set off fireworks during OWLs? Or that- or that…” I break down into tears and Fred just stands there, staring at me as if I have gone mad.
“Dad set off fireworks during OWLs…” He breathes at last. Trust that to be the thing my brother picks up. “Why did I never think of that?”
“Fred!” I stamp my foot. “This is serious! Dad had a twin and no one ever thought to tell us about him!” Fred has the decency to look guilty.
“Maybe we should go and talk to mum and dad…?” He suggests.
“They haven’t told us anything before, what makes you think they will now?” Besides, I do not want to see my parents at the moment. “No, I think we should go and talk to Nana Molly and Granddad Arthur.” Fred agrees and holds out his arm, I grab onto it and we apparated to the lane leading to the Burrow. During the Second Wizarding War, my Grandparents put anti-apparation spells on their house and they have never bothered to remove them.
The lane is dark and Fred flicks his wand to light the tip, the little gate ahead of us opens as we approach it and we make our way up the path to the house. The Burrow is a bizarre looking building with multiple stores that hang out unsupported; I love the Burrow, it feels much more homely than my parents small flat above the shop.
“Nana Molly!” I bellow, pounding on the door. Fred looks uncomfortable beside me, probably guilty about waking Nana and Granddad in the middle on the night. I yell again and eventually the door creeks open.
“Roxie, Fred, what in Merlin’s name are you doing here at this time?” Nana Molly is rubbing her surprised eyes, still trying the cord of her dressing gown.
“Sorry Nana, we had to come and talk to you… About Fred.”
“Fred?” She raises an eyebrow at my brother.
“Yes…” Nana opens the door to let us in. Fred and I take a seat at the ancient kitchen table while Nana begins stirring cups of tea with her wand. No one says anything. “Why did no one tell us?”
“Tell you what, dear?”
“That dad had a twin,” Nana freezes; so do the spoons in the tea. Slowly she turns around.
“What do you mean…?” she asks slowly.
“Why did no one tell us about him? Did they think we would never find out?” Nana stares at me, her mouth hanging slightly open.
“No one told you…” I shake my head. For almost a minute no one moves, then Nana snaps; she runs out of her door and down the path (holding her dressing gown up around her knees – she runs pretty fast for an old woman), me and Fred run after her. The second she runs out the gate she vanishes.
“The shop!” I scream at Fred, grabbing his arm as we apparate for the second time that night. We arrive in Diagon Ally just in time to see Nana blasting open the door of my father’s shop. “Nana!” I call after her; she ignores me so we follow her in. Dad’s shop is small, selling out of date toys and tricks – apparently it was extremely successful just before the War but now it is somewhat run down (Fred is desperate to take it over and return it to its former glory with Ted Lupin as his partner).
“George Weasley!” Nana screams as she storms up the stairs. “How dare you! How dare you!” Fred and I follow closely behind her as she bursts into my parent’s small living room. “GEORGE!” The door of my parent’s bedroom creeks open and my dad comes out, closely followed by my mum.
“Mum? What are you- Roxanne? Fred? What is going on?” my father demands, looking stern.
“You never told them? How dare you! That is a disgrace to your brother’s name!” Nana yells in his face. Oh Merlin. Dad’s face falls and my mum lets out a gasp and looks over at me and Fred. “What were you thinking? If it had been the other way around do you think Fred would not have told his children about you?” Nana’s face is bright red, contrasting hideously with dad’s ashen pale one.
“What-” Dad looks horrified, he just stares at Nana.
“Molly,” mum reaches out her hand to try and calm Nana down but to no success.
“Did you honestly think that they would never find out?”
“Answer me George Weasley!”
“SHUT UP!” I scream over the fractured shouting of my parents and Nana. “Does someone want to explain what on earth is going on?” I ask as everyone turns to stare at me. “Dad, why did you never tell us?” it is the only answer I want.
“I just thought… I just – I couldn’t…” Dad’s voice cracks and tears come streaming down his face – I have never seen my dad cry before.
“It hurt too much, Roxanne,” mum replies for him.
Please review, I would love to know what you think of my characters. Thanks for reading.