Chapter 1 : (I miss you)
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George had learnt that the hard way.
Everybody kept telling him it would get better. Friends, family, people he didn’t even know.
“It’ll be okay, you’ll be okay” They always said, and for awhile he almost believed them.
So he spent two weeks, not speaking, not crying, not feeling. He just tried to focus only on that one thought that the ache in his chest where his heart was meant to be, would eventually go away. But it never did, the hammering ache never left his chest and slowly he wondered if they had all lied to him
He isn't sure that it will get better anymore, its an odd feeling. It's like he's drowning because suddenly he can't swim. It's harder because he could swim before. He could laugh and talk and smile, but he just doesn't know how to anymore. There’s a lot of things he’s not sure he can do anymore.
This makes him want to scream, but he didn’t, because he wasn’t sure he remembered how to. He wanted to cry, and scream and feel but he was too scared because it hurt so much already, if he stopped being numb, it might kill him, he decided. So he just thought only basic thoughts like how to breathe and how to walk, and he tried not to think or feel.
His family were worried, he knew that. He had heard what they were saying, he wasn’t stupid, just because he didn’t want to feel or think, didn’t mean he was deaf. He had seen it on their faces too; they thought that when they lost one, they lost the other as well.
Witch was kind of true anyway, he thought. They were a one, ‘Fred and George’ now it’s just ‘and George’ and somehow he knows that isn’t right at all.
It doesn’t really feel real, it’s impossible that he’s gone because he had promised he’d never leave. But he knows it’s real because his chest aches and he wants to cry but Dammit he just can’t.
Are you watching me right now? George wonders as he lies on his back and tries not to look at the empty bed next to him.
Can you see how messed up things are? He thinks, because surely, he can. George feels like he should be trying, but he just physically can't. He feels like not just half his heart has gone missing, but all of it.
'Because you weren't just my other half' he says in his mind because he's forgotten how to speak 'We were a whole'
But if his whole heart is missing, then why is his chest aching where his heart used to be? George doesn't know.
George wonders, as the now familiar cries that wrack through the house every night reach his ears, if he can see how he messed everyone and everything up by leaving.
His mother bursts into tears every time her watery eyes land on George. His father is quiet and scared and his youngest brother and sister fight more then they used too. George thinks about how if he was here they could stop the fighting and the tears together, fredandgeorge, like they used too.
But that's no good, because he's missing. He's missing, he's gone and he can't come back. Witch is why his elder brother doesn't leave his room, which is why his two oldest brothers are taking control even though he knows they cry at night too.
Can you see what you've done to us? George asks the heavens above, but he doesn't know who he's talking to, because there isn't a god. There isn't a god because you’re not here and dammit why aren't you?
George doesn't know who to blame, so he blames himself.
(A confession: George thinks it's his fault)
They tell him it's just survivor’s guilt. They tell him that there was nothing he could do to prevent it. But he thinks there wrong. George was by his side every minute of every day, but the second he leaves it, he's gone forever.
Surely that's George's fault, isn't it?
'No you great tosser, its not your fault’ a voice inside his head whispers and he's almost certain it sounds like him, but George knows that’s ridiculous, so he shoots it down and tries very hard to sleep.
(He doesn't sleep)
The next time George hears the voice, he's in the kitchen and he doesn't notice but his family is watching him and crumbling.
It's been two weeks since he's spoken a word. Two weeks since any flicker of a smile. Two weeks since his face showed any trace of emotion. George is blank and he's empty, but he doesn't care because what does it matter? There’s not really a point to anything anymore is there?
His mother is watching him, crying silently into his father's shoulder, who has never looked so lost. His youngest brother and sister are bickering, and then his sisters crying and his brothers yelling because “Dammit George what's wrong with you?” His oldest brothers are scared, and that makes him scared too, because he never thought he'd see that. He looks around and notices his elder brothers not there.
George realizes it’s his fault.
“Try” His voice is in his mind again, and before he can think he’s opened his mouth and has trying and trying but suddenly – “Do you want…some tea?” He rasps. It’s croaky and rusty and scared, but he’s spoken and his mother almost smiles.
(A dream, a memory: he gets the dragon pox and George is scared)
His family doesn't cry that night, he can hear it, and for the first time in two weeks, he sleeps, and he dreams.
It's a memory, really, of when he was only four and the hardest thing he's ever had to do is eat his peas at dinner. His mother tells him that his twin has the dragon pox and that he needs to stay away incase he gets it too.
But he doesn't follow rules. And so he sneaks in whenever he feels like it, and its okay. Because George and him laugh and plan pranks and eat berty Botts.
He catches the dragon pox, but it's okay.
When he wakes from his dream, "I miss you" his voice whispers into his mind. He lays awake wondering if the voice is real. But he knows that’s impossible because he’s…dead.
George almost cries - Merlin only knows he wants to, he needs too - but he can't because he's still a little numb.
(Two days later, George cries)
(Its still another week until he smiles)
It's because of his voice again.
His sister says something amusing and his family murmur a laugh, worried eyes flicker to him, but this time, he smiles too.
And it's because of the voice in his head, laughing lightly, almost like it's alive in his imagination.
The voice of his lost brother, Maybe he's okay, then, wherever he is.
(He hears it again)
It's been four weeks since it happened, and he is talking, and crying, and sometimes, though only sometimes, he smiles.
It's a lot different from four weeks ago, he knows that. It's a lot different to pranks and jokes and laughs and having someone next to you all the time. Now its like the air next to him almost quivers with loneliness. But maybe it's going to be okay, eventually.
The first time he looks at his brothers empty bed next to him in the lonely room, its because he was laughing with the voice in his head. It had been a swirl of memories, of remembering the laughter, but also the tears, then his eyes flickered to the cold bed next to him.
Then, he climbs out of his bed and before he can think, he has crossed the room and tucked himself into his lost brothers bed. He spends the night not sleeping, only crying. But this time, his voice is there to make the pain go away just a bit.
(The first time he laughs, he cant stop)
It’s her again, actually. Angelina.
(He’s going to be okay)
The memorial is late, it’s been six weeks since the loved fell in the battle, but its here now and it’s just as painful as he knew it would be. But then they come to his name, and he tenses and he wants to run because he doesn't think he can handle this. But there’s his voice in his mind telling him he can.
So he sits there as they talk about bravely and honour and he wants to yell because that's not him. He was blue eyes and winks, wicked smirks and fierce passion.
So, when he gets up, he takes a shaky breath and he doesn't talk about war or bravery or sacrifice, he tells them all a memory. A memory of two twin boys. He talks about the 'little things' and the pain. And when he's done, no one claps, they just sniff and smile sadly, and he almost wants to cry.
But as he sits down he hears a murmur from his voice. And he wonders, like he always does, if the memory of his brother in his mind is real, or if it's just that: a memory.
For the first time he realizes he doesn't care.
You never stop missing someone, George learnt that the hard way, because Fred’s voice never leaves his mind, and the ache in his chest slowly disappears but the pain in his mind never leaves.
"Your going to be okay" is what he hears, and for the first time in a long time, as his eyes catch Angelina’s, he believes it.
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