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Shattered Fragments of My Soul
“Sleep Molly, just sleep.” Arthur murmured, his hand gently stroking the beautiful red and grey hair of his beloved wife. Her face, haggard and grief-stricken smoothed out and her breathing deepened.
Sighing he looked around the crowded room at his sleeping family. He had managed to convince his sons and daughter that sleep was the best thing for them but Molly had been afraid of closing her eyes, terrified that she would see the day’s events on the inside of her eyelids.
A dreamless potion and many comforting hugs later and Arthur was the only Weasley conscious in the room. Getting to his feet slowly he glanced around the darkened room once again before carefully making his way out the door.
The castle was utterly silent, not even a breath of wind stirred the air. Rubble littered the hallways with walls, paintings and suits of armour lying broken on the floors. Picking his way around the objects Arthur continued to walk aimlessly through the castle. Not caring where his feet took him, Arthur walked the silent halls of Hogwarts alone, lost in his thoughts of despair and desolation.
He could not remember a time when he had felt so exhausted, both emotionally and physically. His body felt like it had been bashed into submission by a rampaging herd of elephants. However, the pain that his aching muscles were giving him paled into insignificance compared to the raw, bleeding wound to his heart.
He had never in his life felt so helpless, not even when his parents lay on their death beds. In a single day his entire world had turned upside down and Arthur found himself struggling to find his feet.
Finally looking up and taking in his surroundings Arthur was slightly surprised to see that he was on the sixth floor. He remembered McGonagall saying something about Snape forbidding entry to the west wing of the floor during his reign as headmaster.
A flicker of curiosity worked its way through Arthur’s anguish and he walked down the darkened hallway. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, Arthur wondered why Snape could possibly have wanted the floor cordoned off. All of the doors along the hallway were closed but those that Arthur tried to open showed only empty, dusty classrooms.
Even as the spark of curiosity started to die within him, Arthur tried one more door and to his surprise it was locked. Pulling out his wand and casting a simply Alohomora spell the wooden door creaked open noisily, silvery light from a window spilling out into the hallway.
Cautiously stepping into the room, Arthur looked around in a single glance. There was only one thing that he could see, a covered object that stood almost to the ceiling. As he approached it he felt a slight yearning to pull the cloth away and see what lay beneath.
Being an intelligent wizard, Arthur was wary of anything that seemed to interact with his subconscious. Nevertheless he walked up to it and in a single fluid motion, pulled the cloth away and let it fall to the floor.
Underneath was a magnificent mirror, its frame ornately carved in pure gold with writing inscribed at the top. Arthur felt his breath leave his chest as he stared in wonder at the beautiful creation.
While never having seen the Mirror of Erised before, he instantly recognised it from writings. He backed up a couple of steps, averting his eyes from his reflected image. Fully intending to leave the room quickly, Arthur half turned before an irresistible force halted his movements.
Betrayed by the compulsion that his own body was feeling, Arthur felt himself unwillingly turn back to the mirror and look deep into it. At first he saw only himself, a haggard and grief-worn man longing for the peace that sleep could bring him.
However, slowly the reflection started to change as it moulded itself into the image that Arthur both feared and desired. The Burrow’s lounge-room, warm and welcoming with a merry fire burning in the corner, was filled to capacity with red-heads.
The weary Arthur watched as his counterpart in the mirror sat down on a sofa, Molly curling herself happily in his arms as they watched their children. Swallowing hard his eyes drank in the sight of them all, carefree and happy, as if no war had ever touched them.
Letting his gaze drop to Fred, Arthur felt the monster within him squeeze his heart until he thought it would burst with pain. His son, only dead by hours, was laughing with his twin, maybe having made a joke about a school mate. The others were all watching on with bemused looks, as if entertained but not quite sure what was going on.
All at once the reality of the situation hit Arthur and his legs buckled. Collapsing heavily to the ground he hid his face in his hands as he started to sob. He had tried to be strong for the others, knowing that they needed a rock to hold onto whilst they floundered in their own grief, but he couldn’t be strong anymore, he just couldn’t do it.
Bloodshot eyes raised themselves and looked back into the mirror, drinking in the sight of the happy Weasleys greedily. Pressing his hands to the mirror, Arthur longed to simply melt into the glass, to join them and forget all of his grief.
The small part of Arthur’s brain that was not affected by the mirror knew that he was slowly losing his grip on reality. He knew that if he could not find the strength to turn away from the mirror, he never would. Yet the sight of his lost son, the happiness at seeing him full of life, was eroding any sense that the man had.
His insides were warring with each other, one half trying desperately to escape the mirror’s influence and the other fighting just as hard to stay and bask in the perfect picture on the reflected surface. Torn between right and wrong, grief and joy, darkness and light, Arthur screamed, his voice harsh and piercing.
Slamming his fists into the mirror with all of his might he sagged against the mirror. Instantly it shattered, shards of silver glass raining down like tiny diamonds caught in moonlight. Not even flinching at the blood running down his arms Arthur stared at the floor and the broken mirror all around him.
Only his own face was reflected back at him, broken and aggrieved. Aimlessly picking up a single shard he looked at it, sighing. The broken mirror now reflected his soul more perfectly than anything else in the world. Burying his face in his hands again Arthur let tears run from his eyes freely.
He didn’t know how long he knelt there in the ruins of the magnificent mirror, but eventually he heard footsteps behind him. Not looking up he simply sat there, waiting for whoever it was to approach. The footsteps stopped next to him and Arthur sensed that whoever it was had knelt next to him. Raising his head wearily his eyes met the concerned gaze of his surviving twin son.
George glanced around at the broken mirror, his eyebrows raised and a half smile on his lips, “And here was me thinking that breaking things was Mum’s prerogative.” Shaking his head he turned back to his father and sighed, “I know what it is you saw. I think it is what everyone in our family would see. But I doubt very much that Fred would want us to simply collapse. That wasn’t his way, and I would know since we are…were… the same.”
Arthur tried to maintain his composure, gripping his hands tightly to prevent himself from collapsing. George saw and shook his head, “Dad, its ok to let go. You have been so busy trying to look after everyone else that you have not looked after yourself. You won’t be able to heal if you don’t grieve.” He then gave a half-hearted chuckle, “Sorry, clichéd statements weren’t really my thing. Fred was the one who excelled at them.”
Arthur looked into his son’s eyes, “H-How can you be so flippant George? How can you be so calm?”
The twin shrugged, a shadow of intense pain crossing his face, “Probably because the true reality hasn’t hit me yet. Sure, intellectually I know that Fred is….gone, but at the moment, I still expect him to simply walk through that door and tease us all for worrying about him. Trust me, when it does hit me, I am going to need you all more than ever. I just don’t know what I’m going to do without him.”
Arthur wrapped his arms around George, “No matter what, our family will stick together.”
George smiled, “yeah, even Percy now.” He stood up and gripped Arthur under the arms, helping him to his feet. As they started to leave the room George looked back at the broken mirror and nodded in satisfaction, “Good riddance as far as I am concerned. From what I’ve been told, that thing was far too much trouble for anyone that came across it.”
Turning their backs on the frame they walked out of the room, glass shards crunching underfoot.
A/N: Hope you all enjoyed this, please leave me a REVIEW!
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