Chapter 1 : --His Changed Heart--
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And that something was his heart.
His heart that now had this aching hole that never shrank, never healed. It only grew bigger and bigger, threatening to tear him apart.
His heart didn’t beat the way it used to. Instead of the constant upbeat rhythm, it now played like a sad song on repeat, slow and mournful.
His heart didn’t fulfill him the way it used to. The sensation of togetherness that kept him going was missing. It’s like it ran away into the sky above, no where to be found.
His heart didn’t give him joy the way it used to. There wasn’t any rush of adrenaline or the will to easily smile.
Over the years, George had read a couple books on twins and their bonds out of curiosity and the want for answers. And, the last chapter of all the books mentioned the exact same things over and over again. When one twin dies, the other twin’s bond with the other grows but, also weakens. Usually the other twin doesn’t live that long either. Some people say that the pain gets too much. But that is only a saying, a perception that hasn’t been proved. What rubbish.
Every time he read these words he wanted to scream in frustration. He wanted to scream so loud that everybody could hear and feel his pain. The pain that was so demanding and irritating … and ….
… extremely excruciating.
He just wanted to pour out all his emotions and grief into a bottle and lock it in a vault. That way he could for once just ignore it. All of it.
The books never brought up the emptiness inside him. They never brought up the bare, hollow soul that lived inside him. They never brought up the cold arms that snaked around his neck until he suffocated. Nor did they acknowledge the raging storm that sometimes took over his body.
They didn’t mention any of it.
Sometimes when he closed his eyes, he could feel his internal demons lurking around. The demons that he would never unleash, only tuck into the back of his head.
His demons nowadays were his number one enemy. Taking the slot of number two was time.
George hadn’t realized exactly what power time had. Time had let him feel like that some weeks passed in a blink of an eye. And time had also let him feel that some days felt like long, tiresome months. Those days were the worst. They were the moments where the pain got unbearable, that the pain demanded him to give him. And he almost did.
This day was one of those days. He was currently in the shop that was stationed at Hogsmeade. The sun was nearly gone and he had already switched the sign out front to ‘CLOSED.’ Looking at the shelves of trinkets before him, he switched the light off and went out the door. Locking it up, he made his way down the street. Not many were out at this hour and the few that were seemed to be making their way back home to their families.
As George walked, he felt his eyes droop and the storm that had been calm the last few days began to start again. At first, it felt like a light drizzle, but it didn’t take long for the waves to hit and the clouds living inside of him to get dark. The rain of pain poured harder and flashes of Fred blinked in his mind. It was like a slideshow: the first memories being from when they were happy kids to the end ones being when they were mischievous teenagers. And the last flash was always the picture of Fred’s body lying on the ground motionless, the moment when he was gone. Forever.
And that was when the lightning struck and his legs felt weak like jelly. He could already hear the message his brain was giving: Give up! Fall and let go….cry. Tears filled his eyes, causing his eyesight to be blurred. His breathing became shallow, like he was about to suffocate. Dragging his feet to an alleyway, he held on to the wall in front of him. Tears dropped onto the ground. And then he realised he had to see her.
The one person who understood the most: his mother.
Bringing in every ounce of energy he had left, he apparated. As quickly as the squeezed tube consumed him, it let him go and he landed on the ground. He was about a mile from the house he grew up in. And even though he wasn’t sure he had it in him to get there, he started walking.
It took some time to finally get there. He had walked for what seemed like a millennium with the storm beating in his ear, warning him and reminding him that it was still there.
Raising his fist to knock on the shabby door, the entrance to the Burrow opened. There stood Molly Weasley, his mother, the woman who was scary for her height and was, in his opinion, the greatest cook in the world. But she was also the mother who lost a child and the mother who, in her old age, still searched for hope.
Giving him a small smile, she let him enter. Crossing the threshold, he whispered, “Where’s Dad?”
“Sleeping,” she answered. Making her way to the kitchen, she looked up at the clock that she kept after all these years. The hand that read ‘Fred’ hadn’t moved the past five years and it was a constant reminder that he was gone. George never understood how his mother could live that every second of every day.
Following her into the kitchen, he sat down on a nearby stool. She was already getting ready some food and he hadn’t even been in the house for five minutes yet.
“Mum,” his voice wavered. He had been hoping he could have kept a happy demeanor around her this time, but he could already feel himself breaking down.
Dropping everything in her hands, she turned to look at him. Her face showed not pity, but understanding. Coming up to him, she took a seat next to him. George cried into her shoulder and Molly held her son like he was the only person she cared about at that moment. Tears trailed down both of their faces. Pain radiated off of them. Sorrow clung to them like sweat.
They didn’t cry in anger but cried in bittersweet despair. They sat there for a long time before either of them said anything.
“How do you get over it, Mum?” George asked sadly.
“You don’t, you just learn to accept it and move on,” Molly voiced, confidence laced into her words.
“But I don’t want to forget him.” The storm inside George was still strong, but not as strong as before. The lightning was gone, but the thunder was still booming in his ears. He felt so small. His voice sounded so small.
“You’ll never forget him, George. He’ll always be a part of you. And a part of you will always want to give up and shatter. You just need an anchor to keep going.”
“Who’s your anchor?”
Molly’s lips tugged upwards slightly. “Your father. My children. And my grandchildren.”
“What if I don’t have an anchor?”
“Silly boy. Of course you have an anchor.” Molly stared at her son wonderingly. Stroking his hair, she placed a kiss on his head.
“Who?” George inquired in a lonely tone. His breathes came out heavy with emotion.
“Angelina, of course. Why else would have married her?” These words cause George to smile. The bony fingers that were squeezing his neck were gone. The gray clouds parted slightly to let some sunshine through. The storm that was attached to his soul was calming.
His mother was, indeed, right. Angelina was his anchor. She was the string that held him to the ground before he could fully disappear.
The suffocating pain was now bearable. Maybe that’s why he came to his mother? Because she was the only person who reminded him of his anchor, of his hope to continue. And she was the one person who could truly understand his pain. His emptiness. His changed heart.
Taking his head off his mother’s shoulder, he grinned. “Mum?”
A/N: This is a one-shot that I have been meaning to get out for some time. I got the perfect opportunity when I thought I would enter the Ed Sheeran Song Lyrics Challenge so here it is.
"Weeks pass(ed) in the blink of an eye." is from the song UNI by Ed Sheeran.
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