Author's Note: This story is old. I was cleaning out my computer and found it. I'd estimate I wrote it around 2008, so if any of the information is outdated for some reason, I apologize. So if you read my other story, All the Difference, don't worry - I didn't take time out of writing that to write this. Oh - and I don't own Harry Potter. Please let me know what you think!
The separation of twins is no ordinary separation.
Imagine surviving an earthquake.
When you come to, you find the whole world unrecognizable.
The horizon is in a different place.
The sun has changed color.
Nothing remains of the terrain you know.
As for you, you are alive.
But it's not the same as living.
It's no wonder the survivors of such disasters often wish they had perished with the others.
Pg. 183, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
May 8th, 1998
It's a beautiful day, Fred.
Not a bloody cloud in the sky. It's warm outside. The wind's not too fierce – it's a perfect day for flying.
We should be flying right now.
We should be huddled in corner somewhere, making Mum wonder what we're up to.
We should be passed out on our beds after a long day's work in the shop – especially after testing those Twittering Toffees we were prototyping.
We should be standing next to each other, right now.
We should both be alive.
I've left the shop – I don't know when I'll go back. It's ours; not mine. I can't continue if you're not going to be here.
They keep reminding me you're not here. That you're not ever going to be here again.
But that's not true. I would feel it, wouldn't I? I would feel like I'm never going to finish your sentence again – our sentence – or that we're never going to develop another Weasley's Wizard Wheeze's product together.
I don't feel that way, Fred. I just know if I look hard enough – if I wait long enough – you're going to walk through that door (whatever door you please, as long as it happens). This could be your most epic prank ever, right? You're just messing with me.
The names, though, Fred. You're one of the names. Lee and Kingsley read them out every night on the radio. Of those who died in the Battle of Hogwarts. But your name is always last, almost as though they're just waiting for you to answer – as though they're calling for you to take over the program, but you just haven't shown up yet.
No one really believes you're gone. Mum sat out dinner for you last night. She has, every day since you left. I think it makes her feel like she's still taking care of you, even though she can't anymore.
I'm not supposed to grow up, Fred. Why are you making me?
If that's not enough motivation to get you back here by my side, then there's nothing left that will.
Prove them wrong, just as we've always done.
May 9th, 1998
I saw you today.
It was horrible.
They lowered your body down in the ground, waved a wand, and you just disappeared. Dirt flew on top of your coffin – and that was it. It was over.
I keep thinking I should have been there when you'd died. Maybe I could have shoved you out of the way. Maybe I could have killed Dolohov before he killed you. Maybe – Maybe I would have died, too.
We were born nearly at the same moment. We lived nearly the same life – we were different, yes, but I was – am – proud to be just like you. We should have died together, too.
I messed it up.
I was supposed to die too - I just know it. What could possibly make me special, that my life was saved and yours was taken? What good will ever come of it?
I'm not Gred, or Forge, or Fred and George – I'm just George now.
What can "Just George" ever do that will be as good as what "Fred and George" have done?
I'm so alone. I sit and wait for you. I don't know how to live without you – and I mean that literally. I don't know how to make Mum laugh anymore (and she desperately needs it, Fred, she's worse than when Percy left). I don't know how to talk – no one is there to finish or start my sentence. I still look for you, to see your reaction or to see if we're thinking the same thing. I'm sad, Fred, and it doesn't make any sense to me. I've never been so sad in my entire life, and it's gotten to the point where 'sad' doesn't even cover it.
We're the twins who kept a joke shop open in the middle of a raging war. We're the twins who blew up Umbridge's decrees, the ones who helped organize an illegal radio broadcast. We aren't sad or depressing, and we don't give up.
I think I'm giving up.
I stay in our room most of the time. Everyone else is grieving, and it hurts them to see me. To them, I am you. My face (despite the lack of ear) is identical to the Fred Weasley they've just lost.
I am you, Fred. And you were me. And now that you've died, you've taken me with you.
I know you're still out there, somewhere. Where are you? What are you doing?
You're haunting me, Fred.
August 9th, 1998
Mum called me Fred today.
It made her happy, just for that one second, when I looked up at her to answer – I almost believed I was you, too, in that moment.
Ginny cried. Mum nearly fainted. Percy glared.
I held my hand up to my imaginary ear, and felt for something that just wasn't there anymore.
We're still waiting for you, Fred.
December 25th, 1998
You've missed Christmas.
It was almost normal. Harry and Hermione are here. But then again, they've been here nearly permanently since May. I suspect they'll be here for a while longer –if Ginny and Ron get their way, they'll never leave.
Not that I mind, of course. You would have loved to see Ron's red face when Mum caught him kissing Hermione in the pantry – oh, it still makes me laugh.
Fleur announced she's pregnant. Mum cried and Bill looked happier than he's been in months.
This Christmas was so different from last. Diagon Alley was bursting with new stores and happy shoppers. The shop made a small fortune in the week leading up to Christmas. I've run out of Skiving Snackboxes.
I would love to tell you more. I haven't spoken to you in months – it was just too difficult to remind myself that you never say anything back.
Right now, though, Charlie's just arrived late from Romania, and Teddy's accidentally disillusioned himself.
I'll talk to you soon, Fred.
Oh – and Mum's left your Christmas jumper under the tree, just in case you were looking for it.
She's made it white this year – as if you could ever be an angel, eh?
January 1st, 1999
It's a new year.
I closed my eyes at midnight, and wished you were here with me.
April 1st, 1999
Today's the day.
The day I've been dreading.
I keep thinking, "It's our birthday". Our. And then I realize, no matter how I think about it, it doesn't matter. I'm twenty-one. And you are still twenty. You will always be twenty years, one month, and one day old.
I broke Mum's heart today, too. I didn't do an April Fools prank. She walked around all day, Fred, waiting and waiting for it. She spent the entire day of April 1st doing her customary check of things. Scanning for fireworks, or dungbombs, or even a stray pygmy puff.
She was so disappointed that at the end of the day, when she picked up her wand a final time to clean up dinner, Percy replaced it with one of our fake ones. It turned into a purple rat.
They both cried.
I don't think I'll ever celebrate another birthday again, Fred.
I've decided to stay twenty years old forever.
July 3rd, 1999
Her name's Victoire. She's already beautiful, and she's just hours old. She has blonde hair, so far. No telling if it'll eventually turn red – if Fleur's genes manage to out the Weasley red hair, Bill's picked himself a winner.
Not that our hair isn't glorious.
Merlin, Fred. We've been waiting for this moment for years! The chance to corrupt a new generation of Weasleys. Don't worry. Don't worry at all. She'll be blowing up casseroles and putting beetles into Percy's pumpkin juice in no time.
Give me some pointers, yeah? I'm a little rusty without you here.
October 3rd, 2002
Ginny got married today.
The first Weasley wedding since you left. Wish you could have been here – it was much more fun than Bill and Fleur's; no Death Eaters to ruin the day.
We had to go all the way out in the middle of nowhere and charm the whole bloody area just to make sure no one found us. Harry being the "Boy-Who-Lived", "The Chosen One", blah blah blah - well, he attracted much more attention than anyone could have guessed. The Prophet was covering the engagement for weeks before they were even engaged!
Not that I had anything to do with that, of course.
Witch Weekly offered up nearly five-hundred galleons for wedding pictures, but I figured everyone would get suspicious if I suddenly became an inspired photographer. And, I suppose, I respect their need of privacy. She is our sister.
We toasted to you. Harry made a grand speech about the lives we'd lost over the years. About the people that should have been at that wedding.
Percy set off fireworks for you. Technically, it was in celebration of the newly married couple and, at the same time, remembrance of our loved ones, but I know Percy did it mainly for you.
You got through to him in the end, Fred.
There was a moment, right when the fireworks flew through the air, when I know everyone was thinking of you. They smiled, Fred. For the first time in nearly five years, we were all able to remember you with a smile and not tears.
But you probably already knew all of this.
I know you're watching over us.
February 6th, 2003
I've been keeping a secret from you.
Can you believe that? I can't.
It makes me guilty, Fred. This secret pulls at my heart, it shreds my confidence, and yet it still confines me. I can't tell you. I'm too ashamed.
But most of all, I'm just sad. If you were here, my secret wouldn't be a secret.
February 14th, 2003
I know it's been bothering you, not knowing my secret, so I've decided you can know.
I asked Angelina to marry me today.
Er, yeah. Angelina Johnson. You – uh - you probably remember her, right? Tall, brown hair, lovely skin. Likes Quidditch. I think you might have taken her to the Yule Ball, and you might have liked her, and actually – you may have dated her, I guess.
Yeah. That very same Angelina Johnson.
I keep wondering if you're angry. I know that you and Angelina were never horribly serious, but you were still interested in her, if only for a while. Angelina feels guilty sometimes, too, I think. Ginny told me that you're probably out there somewhere cheering me on. Begging me to stop whining and pining over you and move on.
It bothers me, Fred. Not knowing if you'd be angry and wondering if you do want me to move on. I used to know what you were thinking and feeling in ten seconds flat, and now – well, you know. Now that's impossible.
But Angelina and I - we've kind of been dating for a year. I say 'kind of' because I never officially asked her to be my girlfriend . . . she just sort of was one day. She helps me. She can make me laugh even if I'm having an awful day, or even when I'm remembering you. She's been helping with the store as well, especially since Ron's been slacking. Our dear little brother seems to think that being an Auror is suddenly more important than mass-producing sweets that makes children vomit.
Anyway . . . she said yes.
I'm getting married, Fred. I'm committing.
I'm starting to realize that you're never coming back.
I think I'm starting to move on.
I hope that wherever you are, you are moving on, too. I hope you're happy.
Some people seem to have this ridiculous notion that moving on means forgetting, Fred. But it's not. It's learning to live with the past and look forward to the future.
I'm finally looking forward.
October 14th, 2003
Everything went unusually well at the wedding today. You would have been proud of my charm. I was respectful and witty, not a bit inappropriate. I managed to pull it together for a day and be responsible. I did everything right – I got the suits, I got the ring, I showed up on time. I did it all the way it was planned.
But then – then came the toast. Most men open or close it with 'To my wonderful bride', but . . . I forgot to mention Angelina. All together forgot to acknowledge her.
I had this huge moment, though, standing up in front of everyone. I planned to mention you in my speech, of course (you were my best man, even if Ron swears it was him). But one mention of you turned into a bunch of 'I remember this time when we –" and "Fred would have-".
It was the first time I got to talk about you without someone cutting me off or looking at me sadly. It was the first time I could talk about you without anyone making me feel guilty for being alive.
Once I started, I couldn't stop.
I didn't realize what I'd done until at the very end – when I was winding down with the classic story of when we turned Ron's teddy bear into a spider and instilled the fear that would last a lifetime. Angelina cut me off mid-sentence and 'officially' toasted to you.
I never did get around to telling her she's a great woman, but I figure I should have years to do that.
I wish you could have stood next to me today, Fred, but I know you were still here in spirit.
May 2nd, 2005
It's been seven years.
I can't wrap my head around it – seven years since I last saw you. Seven years since we were Gred and Forge.
I don't look like you anymore. I mean – I do, of course, but now . . . you can tell I'm getting older. I'm nearly thirty, mind you. No one accidently calls me 'Fred' anymore. No one stares at me like they've seen a ghost, and they don't avoid me on the days we miss you the most – like this anniversary, or Christmas, or our birthday.
Because I'm just George now. It's a horrible thing to admit, but we've adjusted to not having you here.
I still don't like it, Fred. Too much time has passed to pretend. You still live in our memories of those glorious years at Hogwarts, or the summers at the Burrow, and even in the flat above the shop. But you've missed so much. You've never met any of your nieces and nephews. You weren't at all our weddings (even Percy got married, can you imagine that?).
You even miss the simpler moments, like when Ginny tells a joke I know you'd love, or when Dad breaks his own regulations and charms a Muggle this-or-that (it's been happening more in his old age).
Anyway – seven must really be a magical number.
Angelina just found out she's pregnant last week. An actual human baby, Fred. I'm going to be responsible for a baby. Every time I say that to Angelina, she reminds me that it's eventually going to grow into a child, and then a teenager and an adult. But let's not rush this process – I still have to make sure it survives to toddlerhood.
I can't imagine what you think of this. I don't think either of us ever thought about having children back then. It just wasn't on our agendas. But I'd like to think that you'd be having one of your own right about now, too.
I can't make you the godfather. I wish I could.
Instead, if it's a boy, I'll just have to settle with naming him 'Fred'.
February 27th, 2012
You won't believe what happened today.
I nearly had a heart attack.
There I was, minding my own business. The family and I were visiting the Burrow and I was in the kitchen, enjoying the wonderful pie our dear mother made for Ronnie's birthday (she shouldn't have made it so early if she didn't want me eating it).
And in walks Fred, all four feet of him. Nothing's terribly unusual about that, of course, except he was carrying a tiny dress (I sincerely hope it was from one of Roxanne's dolls) and a gnome.
"You're playing with Roxanne?" I asked incredulously. They get along, of course, but Fred has never agreed to play dolls with her.
The evilest little grin spread over his face. Every single tooth, except for the three missing ones, was visible.
"No," he told me.
And then he tried to walk out of the kitchen. He's planning a prank and he dares not to tell me . . .
"What are you doing with that dress and gnome, Fred?" I used my 'father' voice, which I really only use maybe twice a year.
"Can't tell you, Dad," he laughed. "You'll see."
There was the slightest pause.
"But I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
He ran out of the room.
Angelina found me fifteen minutes later, clutching my chest and sobbing my poor little eyes out.
"What happened?" She panicked. "Are you okay?"
It was probably my duty as a parent to stop whatever it was that Fred had planned. But how could I, when he stood there and said that to my face?
"I'm just so proud," I gasped and wiped my eyes. "Fred's fantastic."
I didn't tell Angelina the full story, mainly because I figured she'd try to stop him or be on the lookout from that moment on. The kid's not even in Hogwarts yet and he knows about the map. I didn't tell him about it. It was probably James, but that doesn't matter.
There's another Fred Weasley in the world wrecking havoc, dear brother.
Oh – and you would probably like to know that Roxanne is now absolutely terrified of gnomes. Turns out they don't make good dolls.
I told her to go see Ron, considering he has experience with childhood toys turning into nasty little creatures.
April 1st, 2018
Twenty years, brother.
I'm twenty years older than you. I'm forty. Oh, Merlin.
All this time has passed, and I still think about you nearly every day. Mum thinks it's a bit ridiculous, since I'm supposed to be an adult now, but I still play some of our signature pranks. You know, a dungbomb here or there. Or maybe a firework. Every once in a while I apparate right behind her just to keep her on her toes.
Somehow I did the impossible. I lived all these years without you.
Now I've decided to look at my old age a different way. I'm forty – so I'm sixty years away from one hundred. Assuming I don't live to be ancient like Dumbledore, that means I have sixty or less years until I see you again. Eh . . . that's still too long, but we'll meet again someday.
Until then, I'm still carrying on. The kids are at Hogwarts now. The shop's still going strong – both shops. I keep forgetting we hadn't opened the Hogsmeade shop before you died. We built a good business, Fred.
It's lasted twenty-two years. Even though the Hogwarts crowd considers our original joke products 'old', they still make people laugh. They still get people into trouble and they still bring joy into the darkest of places.
Even though you aren't here, every time I create a new product I think of what you'd say. Whether or not you'd think it's corny or pathetic. Every time I tell a joke or fly a broom, I still think of you. When I look at my children, especially Fred, you pass through my memories.
Point is, you'll always be my best friend. My best brother. Gred.
I'll spend the rest of my life missing you, Fred.
But I'll get through it.
I'll be okay.
I solemnly swear.
In three words,
I can sum up
Everything I've learned in life:
It goes on.
- Robert Frost