Chapter 1 : The Beginning
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Fred Weasley stormed up the stairs, his footsteps resounding through the large family home. He turned a sharp left, narrowly missing the ceramic vase on the corner ledge. Storming straight into his room, he slammed the door closed. Fred’s own teeth felt the impact of the loud reverberating door.
His hands clenched open and shut in frustration. His ears were red from anger. His eyes roamed the room, looking for a stress relief mechanism. An old vase caught his eye. Why must his mother own so many vases? Without warning, Fred’s hands wrapped around the neck of the vase, and he threw it against the wall in one fluid motion. He watched the shards of ceramic fall to the ground lifelessly. Running his hands through his thick brown hair, he felt himself subconsciously take a few deep breaths.
Fred slowly walked to the shards of ceramic. One of which had landed on a glossy magazine discarded on the floor. Slowly bending down, his eyes landed on the scenic photo printed on the magazine’s cover. He stood there for a bit, staring at the overrated pictures of bright golden sand in the shapes of many pyramids. 'Perfect,' Fred thought bitterly, 'just what I need! Another thing to remind me of my father and his late twin!'
His mind objected, leading him to a specific moment just that morning, when his mother had said, “I need a holiday.” Maybe that’s what he needed. A holiday. But not Egypt. Surely not Egypt. What Fred really needed was somewhere exotic and completely new that none of his family had ever been before. Somewhere completely crazy that would never remind him of his family. Somewhere that would never remind him of his responsibilities. Or of his father’s expectations.
Fred felt blood once again rush up to his cheeks and ears at the mere thought of his father. His hands tingled with a sudden urge to crush up the magazine and throw it at the same wall. ‘Poor wall,’ he thought dryly. Controlling the urge, he forced his stiff hands to pry open the magazine. Vibrant images assaulted his eyes. All he saw were bright scenes of yellow sand clashing against the brilliantly vivid blue sea.
It was a feature on the Mediterranean islands. In particular, Greece. Fred collapsed back onto his bed. Shivers travelled down his spine as he thought about the hot sun shining on his already tan skin as he relaxed, sunbathing on a beach. He sat up straight and turned to the next page. Another picture of Greece. This time of a lush green hill on an island. Large mansions with bright coloured walls climbed up the picturesque hill, each one surrounded by evergreen trees. Large, grey, floor-to-ceiling windows lined the circular walls of these mansions, allowing for what Fred guessed was a breathtaking view.
He could imagine standing against one of those windows with Emma’s arms wrapped around his torso. Then he remembered what she had said when he’d last seen her. He felt the familiar sensation of desperation and heartbreak. That’s when he decided.
A few minutes later, Fred stood with his old trunk open on his bed. He remembered when he’d come home from his last day at Hogwarts. He’d thrown the trunk into the darkest corner of his closet and vowed to never touch it again. He thought that this was what irony was. With the smirk still on his mouth, Fred Weasley II got to work. He bustled around the room, throwing in all his necessities, from his boxers, to his travel guides, to his muggle condoms that Emma insisted he get for extra protection.
He left the hardest for last. His photos. Fred looked around his room, even though he had removed almost all of his clothes, his presence still hung in the air. The photos held memories of moments that he was sure his imagination had made up. Fred studied a photo on his bedside table. It was of him, his parents, Rox, and Emma.
Emma hadn’t looked at him with that much love in her eyes or hugged him that passionately for a while now. He had just been too oblivious to realise. It had been a while since his father had looked at him with pride, too. His mother’s expression hadn’t changed much… and Rox. His beloved baby sister hadn’t changed at all. Except for her, erm... Interest in boys. That had been a recent development. Fred wasn’t too pleased.
A ghost of a smile crept onto Fred’s face as he thought of his latest conversation with her. Just that morning, before his fight with Dad. She’d teased him when he’d whined about not getting any milk. Shoving her own cereal under his nose, Rox teased him with the smell of the fresh, cool milk. In response, Fred simply snatched the cereal bowl from her grip and took a huge spoonful, making sure to chew with his mouth open. Rox squealed loudly in protest before waving her wand, causing the cereal bowl to tip straight onto Fred’s shirt. Fred then proceeded to give his sister a big bearhug.
This latest memory made Fred want to unpack all his clothing and stay here forever. But he knew he couldn’t. It was too late for him; his mind was too far gone with seeds of doubt about his father’s intentions and thoughts when it came to him. He wondered how Rox would react to this. Him leaving.
That's when it really hit Fred. He was leaving. For how long? He didn't know. Where would he go? He didn't know that either. How would he make it all work? He had no bloody idea. If this was a family holiday, Fred was sure his mother would have had a major panic attack by now.
He stopped himself before his train of thought reached Rox or his father. If it reached Rox, he would probably stop himself from leaving. On the other hand, if it reached his father… Well, he was scared on the behalf of the closest book on his bedside table meeting the wall. ‘Poor wall,’ he thought again.
Making up his mind, Fred zipped up his suitcase and walked out of his room. He was just out the door when he heard a voice behind him.
“Forgetting something, Fred?” Rox asked casually. In her hand was Fred’s wand, the same one he’d discarded during his fight with his father. Her face was a hard mask.
“Rox-” Fred cut himself off, unable to think of anything to say. After all, how could you tell someone that you’re leaving, when you’d promised them that you’d always be there for them? Fred continued to stare, still speechless. Roxanne let out a watery laugh.
“Go on then,” she tossed him his wand, “go wherever you want.” She looked at him once more, her expression unreadable, before going to shut the door. Fred stuck his foot between the gap, instantly regretting it as the door landed heavily on his foot.
“Rox.” Fred said steadily, prying the door open.
“What, Fred?” she replied exasperatedly, but not in anger. He stared back silently. “Fred. What on earth do you want to say to me? If all you’ve got is that idiotic caught-in-the-headlights look, please do save me the time. I do have things to do, you know.” She crossed her arms and shot Fred a pointed look.
“Is that all you have to say?” Fred demanded to know, positively shocked. “Here I am, leaving for Merlin knows how long and that’s all you have to say?”
“Well what do you expect me to say? Please don’t go?” At Fred’s hesitant look, Rox continued on. “Absolutely, positively not. If you’ve made up your mind, who am I to change it?”
“Aren’t you worried? I’d think you’d care a bit more! Not even a goodbye?”
“Why should I offer you a goodbye when you didn’t bother to offer me one?” Rox replied. Fred was left speechless. He could finally see the hurt behind the thick wall she had put up around herself. It ripped at him like a hurricane.
“Rox, I’m so sorry. I swear, if-” Fred’s whole body had softened, his voice was tender and loving.
“Don’t give me excuses, Fred. We all know that what you wanted was a quick escape. Not even bothered about leaving a family that cares about you. Not to mention-” Her voice bordered on hysterical. Fred crushed her into a hug, the remnants of the sentence turning into muffled syllables against his chest.
“I’m a git.” Fred stated simply, and to his surprise, Rox laughed as she pulled away from his chest.
“That you are.” She said through peels of laughter. “So, off you go then!”
“Really?” Fred asked, his face momentarily reminding Roxanne of a younger Fred anxiously waiting the night before his birthday.
“Of course, you dolt! You can’t possibly think that you went to all this trouble of packing just to not go!” Rox replied, punching Fred’s chest lightly. He beamed.
“Thanks, Rox! See you later then?” Fred had never been good at goodbyes.
“Yeah. Later. But Fred, do tell me where you’re going, won’t you?” The look in her eyes was expectant and Fred felt himself melting.
“Rox- I- I really would love to, but I really want this to be all my decisions, and knowing your affection for family…” He didn’t know how to finish it without offending his fifteen year old sister. But, it seemed that he didn’t have to as a light seemed to switch on behind her dark eyes.
“Of course! Knowing me, I’d probably spill it even before dad starts his trust speech!” She seemed to carry no guilt or sorrow with these words, so Fred relaxed.
“Thanks for understanding, Rox.” Fred smiled slightly as he enveloped his sister into another hug. She pulled away, her eyes tingling with tears.
“Go on! Off with you!” She shooed him away, still trying to blink away the tears. Fred grinned before pecking her cheek and running down the driveway. Roxanne quickly wiped away the tears as her brother’s back was turned.
“Bye, Rox! I’ll write!” Fred said, smiling widely. He cast one last look at his family home, Rox, and the silhouette of his father in the upstairs bedroom window, before spinning on the spot and apparating.
A/N: Hi everyone! This is our (Maelody and ReeBee) new collab story! We’re going to alternate with writing the chapters, e.g.- ReeBee wrote this one and Maelody will complete the next :) We are super excited and can’t wait to hear what you guys think of it! If anything is unclear, we hope to fix that with chapters to come! But please note that Fred is going through a hard time right now, and just may be taking things out of proportion ;). As for what the hard time is, you’ll just have to wait and see! Guesses are welcome! Any reviews (even two words) are always appreciated!
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