Chapter 4 : The Letter
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“Who on earth said what dear?” Mrs Weasley said tiredly, fussing about trying to get dinner done. Everyone was gathered at the dining table, fussing over plans for the new bedrooms on the Weasley's home seeing as Harry and Hermione seemed to be spending most of their time there.
“Honestly Arthur it's fine! Me and Ginny are perfectly happy bunking together!” Hermione protested, snatching the plans off Mr Weasley.
“Hermione, we want to do this!” Mr Weasley said, carefully taking the plans back and going over them “... now if we added a wall around here” (he pointed his finger to a spot on the plans) “that would leave more room for here.”
Hermione gave Harry a don't-try-to-fight-it look and went busily to scanning her notes for the next day's niffler trial. She hadn't spent much time on them, however, when a shriek greeted their ears. They all threw their hands up to their ears as they turned to see Mrs Weasley, abandoning dinner and running as fast as her legs could carry her over to George and Angelina.
“Oooh congratulations!” Mrs Weasley said shrilly, tears streaming down her face as she swallowed the pair into an enormous hug.
“What happened?!” Ginny yelled through the loud fuss Mrs Weasley was making.
“WE'VE GOT A WEDDING TO ORGANISE!” Mrs Weasley screamed to the household as she went into a frenzy and accidentally cut herself peeling the sprouts. She rushed away to heal it and the others were left looking stunned, staring at George and Angelina.
“Congratulations!” Hermione said, beaming as she reached Angelina and gave her a hug. “Wow that's an incredible ring!”
The ring was an immensely beautiful make. It had a magnificent diamond placed in its centre and had engravings around the rim saying things like 'Love' and 'Promise'.
“Isn't it!” Angelina said, gazing at it. “We were in the joke shop when he came over to me and asked me.”
“She said yes immediately and jumped on me,” George said through everyone coming over to give their congratulations. “I think I've got a bruise on my arse now from falling into the pile of Fainting Fancies.”
Angelina giggled and kissed him on the cheek.
“See Hermione, now we really do need all that extra room for everyone!” exclaimed Mr Weasley, looking triumphant.
“Oh I suppose so Arthur,” Hermione laughed as they all got up and helped with dinner as Mrs Weasley came back in, looking harassed.
It was hard to believe as everyone ate, that there was another wedding to organise. Bill and Fleur's had been hard enough but George wanted all types of things at his such as a giant gum ball for the cake and an extravagant dancing routine instead of a traditional one.
“Now George I know it's your wedding but honestly, I don't think it would be appropriate for dancing munchkins to pop in behind you when you two kiss!” Mrs Weasley said exasperatedly. It had been a long conversation. Ideas kept going back and forth. Mrs Weasley shut down most of George's.
“I reckon it's a better idea than dove's flying over the heads,” piped up Ginny, reaching for seconds of roast lamb.
“Oh Ginny don't be so stupid!” Mrs Weasley said, snatching the roast lamb from her. “And that is quite enough roast lamb for you!”
Ginny gawped at her mother as she twiddled her fork in fingers venomously. Hermione knew that if Ginny had it her way, she'd be out of the Burrow and living in the Holyhead Harpies headquarters. They'd had a massive row about it when Ginny was first accepted.
Ginny had wanted to go live with her team mates. They had room for her and she quite enjoyed living close to the Quidditch pitch. It definitely would be a lot easier for her to train and get prepared for matches but Mrs Weasley refused to let her.
“I'm of age!” Ginny had protested, fire dancing in her eyes.
“Of age or not, you're my daughter!” Mrs. Weasley lashed out.
It had gone on for what seemed like forever. It led to a very uncomfortable tension between the two women. Ginny stayed well away from her mother and Molly always seemed to have something to pick on Ginny for.
“Ginny has the right idea Mum!” George announced triumphantly. He was overshadowed, however, by the stern and appraising look he received from his mother.
“It doesn't matter on the details as long as it's at the end of December, right George?” Angelina said, placing her knife and fork neatly on her plate and turning to face her fiance.
“True,” George said approvingly, taking her hand in his. “Anyway Mum, we've found a neat little place close to Diagon Alley where we'll be living. I've got work right near me and Angelina can easily get to Saint Mungo's from there.”
Mrs Weasley cast her eyes down to look at her hands in her lap. It seemed that no matter how old her son was, she would never get over the fact that he would be leaving her.
It was common knowledge that Mrs. Weasley was not comfortable with her children 'Leaving the Nest'. She seemed to glare at George every time she saw him take a box from his room and move it to the new home he and Angelina had bought.
Everyone was in and out, trying to help him move all his things. It seemed that despite living in the flat above Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, he had left quite a lot of things in his room. He had lived out one his most haunting parts of his life in that room and it was in a state of destruction. It was on one of the days which Hermione was clearing his room when she found a piece of parchment beneath in his dresser drawer.
As she removed it from its place she saw it was an envelope with very fine print on the front reading: To Fred
“RON!” she called down the stairs. She heard thumping as Ron came hurrying up.
“If it's spiders Hermione I'm not helping you!” he called.
“Come here you asshole I need to show you this!” was her reply.
Ron finally reached the landing and peered into the bedroom.
“What's that your holding?” he asked cautiously, staring at the envelope as though it might explode.
“It looks like it might be a letter George wrote to Fred sometime before or after he died, I'm not sure.” Hermione said, turning the envelope in her hands.
“Well open it then!” Ron said excitedly.
“Ron!” said Hermione, shocked at Ron's behaviour.
“Come on! He'd do the same thing to me!” Hermione looked sceptically at him as she continued to revolve the letter in her hands. Before she could make a decision however, Ron snatched it from her grip and ripped it open.
“Ron stop it!” Hermione whispered urgently, pleading him to see reason. She could not, however block out his voice as he began to read the letter.
I sit here writing this, the day after you died, trying to find the words to say what I have to say.”
“Ron stop it, please!” begged Hermione, racing for the door. She was desperate to escape from this. If she knew what George had written she might never be able to see him in the same way ever again. Ron, however, seemed intent upon her staying where she was and quickly slammed the door and stood in front of it, continuing to read.
“... You were my best mate and brother. I don't think I'll ever be able to get over your death. It's still hard to say it, that your dead. I need to know that your alright and that you're making sure I make the right decisions for the joke shop. I know we were about to come out with a couple new products. I'm planning on producing them and naming their particular brand in your honour: “Fred's Fancies”.
I sometimes wake up and think that it was all just a dream, but it wasn't. You aren't there and you never will be until my dying day. I can't believe I never said goodbye. I never told you the millions of things I should have. The amount of stuff I was planning on us doing after the battle was incredible. But now we won't be able to do all that. Now I have to do everything on my own. I have to live through everything without you. I don't know how long I'll be able to do that. But I'll try. I promise.
No words can say how much I really do need you right now. Everyone's worried about me. They should be, I 'spose. They might be scared that one day I'll lose it. I think I already have lost it. I've lost half of me, half of what defined me. How am I supposed to be okay?
I'm leaving this letter forever so that hopefully, when I'm gone, someone will find it and realise just how much every day of my life after the battle was a struggle and tormenting.
Miss you Forge,
Hermione had tears streaming down her face, staring at the letter in Ron's hand.
“I didn't know,” he said, his face white and stark, staring blankly at the piece of parchment.
“We knew. We just didn't understand.” Hermione answered hollowly, collapsing to her knees and burying her head in them.
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