**A huge thanks to my beta: Violet Gryfindor!!**
The bitter winds have no effect on me and the relentless raindrops seem to drown out my sorrows. Everyday I pray that the pain I feel could wash away with the rain and leave me with the memories that I once cherished. Those happy memories are the ones that brightened my day and hopefully left others with the notion of what life should be like. We were inseparable, indivisible, two peas in a pod. Whatever it was, we were it. Now I’m left in my desolate existence, trying to cradle the thought of losing, not just a brother, but also my best friend, my other half, my framework.
“Fred, come inside. You’re going to catch a cold.” My mother’s voice trails from behind me.
I turn to her to see her standing in the doorframe, with eyes so red; it appears she hasn’t slept in days. Frail wisps of hair are dangerously dancing around her face that was once jovial and full of an altruistic aura. Now, all I see is a prematurely aged woman with eyes so dim, I wonder if she’ll ever smile again.
I heedlessly rub my eyes, hoping that the raindrops would blend in with my tears. My footsteps shatter the calmness of the puddles as I leisurely walk towards my Mother. I feel her eyes on me, but I don’t dare look up because I don’t want her to know that a part of me is dead as well.
“Are you ready?” she quietly asks me.
I find no sound when I open my mouth to speak, so I merely nod in her direction. I follow her down a hallway, feeling like I’m going to attend my own funeral. My attention has not left the ground, as I become more entranced with the rich red carpet. As I walk further, my eyes become so transfixed with the deep red flooring that I become intoxicated with memories from Hogwarts.
“You don’t think he’ll know it was us do you?” George asks me with wide eyes.
“Proof, brother. There’s no proof.” I reassure him, knowing that he’d go along with it no matter my response.
“Here.” He whispered, handing me a handful of Canary Creams.
He guarded the door while I slipped into Filch’s office and found a metal dish on the floor labelled ‘Mrs Norris’. I cringe as I lodge the Canary Creams into the squishy, brownish cat food. The smell alone almost induces vomit. I crept out of the office and we hid for 10 minutes before Filch came, followed by his pesky feline. We sustained laughter as Filch cried out as a large yellow bird trotted out of his office, before moulting and starting the cycle again.
I feel a smile forming on my face but a wave of guilt overwhelms my body, which causes the forming smile to retreat. I shake my head to rid any thoughts that could possibly bring about a smile to my face. I follow my mother through a small corridor that leads to a large cathedral-like room, filled with stained glass and glossy wood. Hundreds of faces are staring back at me, with a look I have yet to determine.
Professor Dumbledore approaches me with a sallow face, stripped of the twinkling eyes that we once knew. I feel my eyes focus in on his silvery beard that flows down his robes. It brings back images of the beards that George and I had after attempting to cross the Age Line for the Tri Wizard Tournament. After Dumbledore’s ingenious idea, we spent a full night in the library in hopes to find that exact spell to put an Age Line at the exit of the Slytherin common room. We fancied the idea of watching the entire Slytherin house walking around with Dumbledore-like beards.
“Mr Weasley, are you prepared?” Dumbledore quietly asks me.
I can’t fathom the idea of readiness for an event like this. I daringly look up in his empty blue eyes and stare blankly at him. He says nothing, but gives me a curt nod and walks away before giving me a second glance. I slowly saunter by crowds of people who look at me with pity. I find my way to a large black chair that emits a cloud of dust as I slump into it. The dusty air reminds me of the cloudy Divination classroom, where a vast majority of pranks were held.
“Hurry up, she might sense our aura.” I said to George, with a laugh.
“No, I’m sure she’s in the beyond somewhere.” He replied back to me, with an uncanny resemblance to Trelawney.
He went up to her desk and found her empty teacup, which was surrounded by books and parchment. He drew his wand and enchanted the tealeaves to form a big dog on the bottom of her cup. She would no doubt go into a fit when she sees her fortune.
Ginny’s sobs from the corner of the room bring me back to the present time. I make eye contact with her and silently reassure her that maybe one day, things will be back to normal. If only I believed that myself. Ginny tries to hold back her cries as my Father approaches her, trying to keep strong for the family. Bill and Charlie absentmindedly thank guests for coming to pay their respects, while Ron stares at the stained glass. He cannot seem to come to terms with the fact that George is dead. He has yet to show a single tear.
People are beginning to file into the pew-like benches, clutching their tissues and loved ones. My family slowly walks to their reserved seats and looks over at me to follow. The large chair squeaks as I pry myself out of my trance and over to my family. Dumbledore stands at the front, while a casket magically levitates in beside him. My eyes are itching to look at it, but I know they won’t believe it anyway. My head is throbbing as I hear cries from every direction. I can’t stand this anymore. I finally give in, and steal a glance at my twin, lying there peacefully. I try to swallow down the bile that is rising in my throat, and wipe away the warm tears that are falling into my lap.
Dumbledore begins to speak but I feel like I am a million miles away, watching over the ceremony. I hear nothing, but the constant flashbacks, reminding me why I’m here.
Horrid screams fill the streets as I look around helplessly. I somehow got separated from the Order and my family so I’m left to take care of myself. I have yet to come across a Death Eater, but my hand grips my wand so tightly, my knuckles are turning white. I hear familiar sounds in the distance, which makes me run at full force to the recognizable voices. I finally see George in the distance, standing over a lifeless cloaked figure. He sees me and lets out a sigh of relief, which quickly changes to a horror stuck expression. I come closer as he draws his wand on me.
“LOOK OUT!” He shouts at me, with wide eyes.
I jolt my head around to see a figure that I only heard about through rumours. His snake-like eyes glare at me with disgust as my entire body tenses up. I hear George running towards me as the vindictive figure speaks the curse that ends my brother’s life.
George lunged in front of me like a shield and absorbed the green light, which left him limp on the ground. I collapsed beside him, hoping to see him open his eyes. That time never came.
“Fred. Fred.” Ginny whispered to me.
I looked at her with an odd expression, but then realized that Dumbledore was looking down on me. I must have blocked out his entire speech, leaving it my turn to orate in front of everyone. I take a deep breath as I walk up to the front of the room. My footsteps are echoing loudly, disturbing the peaceful silence. I turn to the crowd to see hundreds of blank expressions looking up at me. I clear my throat louder then I intended to and open my mouth to speak.
“I never thought I’d be writing a speech about this. Well to tell you the truth, I don’t really know what to say.” My voice is cracking. I don’t know if I can go on. “I’m not used to being the sole centre of attention. I’m used to having George by my side, whether it be planning our next prank or sitting next to me in detention.”
I hear people laughing at this. It wasn’t meant to be a joke. My monotone speech rolls off my tongue but I don’t even know what I am saying. Tomorrow when I think back to today, I won’t be able to pick out one word I’m saying right now. My voice is getting shakier as I look to my lifeless twin. My mother is sobbing uncontrollably in the front row. I dare not look at her for I might not be able to continue. I take a deep breath and conclude my address.
After a dreadful hour of forced smiles and hand shaking, we return to the Burrow as a family. My Mother insists that Harry and Hermione tag along as well. I’m starting to think that she’s replacing George with Harry. I can’t seem to find the proper words to say to anyone so I remain quiet in my chair.
A deathly silence is polluting the air as we sit around a long table in the backyard. The same backyard that I used to love. I look to the right of me as I see the spot where George and I first learned how to ride a broom. He was so stubborn to fly better then me, so I pushed him off and he broke his wrist. We still laughed about it when he was alive. To the left of me are those dreadful garden gnomes that look like potatoes with legs. They constantly eat my Mother’s garden, but now she doesn’t seem to mind.
I find all the strength in my body to pull myself out of this tattered chair and walk into the house. I feel eyes on the back of my head, but I don’t bother to turn around to tell them where I’m going. The wooden stairs creak as I slowly make my way to my bedroom. My Mother would have a fit if she knew I was wearing my shoes in the house. I stand outside my bedroom door, contemplating whether to go in. I finally turn the knob and walk in, feeling like I’m walking into my past.
Scattered clothes and unfinished items for the joke shop fill the room, yet it feels so empty. I grab a black box that was hidden under George’s bed and bring it downstairs. When I walk outside, everyone quiets down and stares at me with undefined looks. I say nothing, but walk to the very spot where my first broom experience was.
“What are you doing Fred?” My Father’s voice calls out.
“You’ll see.” I respond, with the first audible noise I’ve made since we arrived.
The box is filled with tiny rockets and sparklers that we have been working on. I pull out a variety of Wildfire Whiz-Bangs and begin to light them up, causing an atmosphere of bright lights and crackling sounds. I hear everyone walking up behind me and feel a hand on my shoulder.
“They are beautiful dear.” My Mother’s voice sweetly comments.
“We had them stashed away to light up when the war ended. It was George’s idea.” I answer her, as I feel warm tears flooding my eyes.
The entire lot of us are gathered under the stars, gazing up at the immaculate fireworks display. For the first time today, I feel remotely at ease, knowing that George is looking down to watch them with us. The explosions of fireworks secrete an aura of peace to my family. Even though he should have been here right beside me, I know George would have wanted this. The fireworks are a symbol of the new life I have. The life without my brother and best friend.
My brother died to save my life, which makes him a hero in my eyes. He fought for a better future for generations to come. I fear that his name will never be recognized for his bravery. I fear losing the willpower to carry on. I fear losing another family member before their time. The one thing that I fear the most is my reflection. I can’t bring myself to look in a mirror and see my face. I should see nothing but a bare existence where my brother’s face should be. My reflection died that day. All I am left with is this empty feeling that longs for my other half.
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