A/N: Wow I am so sorry for the long break. I hate that I haven't been able to update in so long, but I hope to fix that soon. I have a hectic week coming up but I figured I could take the small amount of time I have right now to send one quick update your way since you guys are so great to me and this story.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter characters, places, references, etc. Everything in this wonderful Wizarding World belongs to the awe-inspiring J.K. Rowling.

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"How the hell do we know so many people?" George muttered to himself in amazement as he pulled yet another letter from the box. "Seriously, Penelope Clearwater? I haven't heard from her in at least twelve years. Why in the name if Merlin's saggy Y-fronts would she be writing a letter to us - you - now?"

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she dated dear old Percy for eight years and was practically estranged family?

"She and Percy haven't been a thing in ages, though…"

Does that really need to matter?

"I guess not…" George shrugged and flipped the letter open. "I was just wondering, you know. No need to get all snippy with me, Your Highness."

Weasley is King, after all, peasant.

"You remember that song was directed at our little brother, first as a series of insults, then because he played probably one of the greatest games of Quidditch the school has seen?"

Royalty by relation then.

George snorted and rolled his eyes. This echoed so many conversations from their past, and it left him with a myriad of feelings, an odd mixture of happiness and calm with splashes of anger and an old pain. He noted, with some surprise, that the pain wasn't as harsh as it used to be. Or rather, as it had been these nineteen years. It wasn't gone completely, not by a long shot, but it was muted, as if the wound had finally stopped bleeding and a bandage could be wrapped around it tighter.

Maybe it was the letters, or maybe it was the sound of his brother in his ear, but George knew he was starting to heal, and it wasn't as bad as he had always imagined.

Dear Fred,

It has been quite a while since we last spoke. It had been years even before you passed away so bravely. Do you remember me, Penelope Clearwater? Normally, I would doubt it, being that I was in Ravenclaw and a few years older than you, but Percy and I did used to date. And it is for that reason why I write to you after these many years of silence. I knew Percy once, loved him, and while things between us didn't work out, I have never stopped caring for him, nor for your whole family.

Percy and I dated for five years. I know, you and George heckled him the most about getting a girlfriend, and of course, somehow, managing to get me. But the truth is, Percy isn't all brains and booksmarts, okay, he has depth to him. Something I believe you and your family learned once Percy came to his senses. Oh, I know all about the fallout. It was a contributing factor to our breakup. I'll get to that later in my letter.

Anyways, as I was saying, Percy has depth to him. I was working in the library late one night and Percy came through. He obviously didn't realize I was a prefect and came over to scold me about being out of bed. I scolded him right back, told him that he should get ff his high horse for once and mingle amongst the crowd and maybe then he wouldn't be such a joke to the younger years. I never expected him to take it so personally and before I knew it, we were talking softly about our fears, our families, our careers. I found him sweet, and when he asked me if I'd like to go to Hogsmeade with him, I said yes. Pretty soon, we were going steady,

I don't think it was love, not for either of us. But it was nice to have somebody, somebody to hold me and to talk to and to claim as my own and to be claimed. At some point, it became tedious, though. And Percy was withdrawing deeper and deeper into himself and the Ministry, and it was like I no longer mattered, like I didn't exist. And what with the war coming….and with his fallout from family, it was like nothing mattered to him anymore except trying to fix things, but that boy and his pride….I ended things between us. I know that sounds cold and heartless, but I couldn't go on like a dog on a leash, at his beck and call, being fed only when he remembered I was there.

I tried to convince him to go back to you guys much earlier than he did, before the war got too bad. I told him that he didn't know you all would make it out of it alive so it would be best to make amends now. He didn't listen to me.

I didn't fight in the war. I went with my family to a safe house, and whether or not that makes me a coward is irrelevant. It made me smart because I survived. Somedays, though, I do wish I had been there. To meet you all officially. To see Percy finally break down those walls of his.

I got a letter from Percy a few years back. He told me everything, about your death, how he had greatly reconnected with his family, and how he married Audrey and had two little girls, Lucy and Molly. He apologized, too, for how he had treated me in the end of our relationship. He admitted that he knew we were never meant to be, as I did, but he wished, as I do, that it had ended in a better time, on better terms.

I am happy that he is finally happy, and has opened his heart to someone who can better nourish him like I never really could. All we had together was mutual loneliness and intellect. A relationship can't survive on that alone. I haven't told him as much, of course. It took me a long time to realize this on my own, and he'll have to do the same if he hasn't already.

I haven't done much with myself in these past…nineteen years? Probably much longer than tat since I last spoke with anyone else in your family. Not married, working at a Muggle hospital part time, and part time at St. Mungos. I haven't really figured what I want to do yet, except maybe figure out a way to start merging Muggle and Wizarding medicines. There's so much we can actually learn from each other if we can only move past the bigotry we all have.

I don't know if this letter was helpful at all. It certainly wasn't sappy, I don't think, so I don't think I made you sad. I just wrote this because…well, you were a part of my life, even at a distance. And everyone deserves to know how they touched people's lives. You deserve to know that you were so loved, Fred Weasley. By everyone you met. I doubt that even a single being on this earth could find it in their heart to ever truly hate you.

Fare thee well, Fred. Take care of yourself wherever you are. I hope your looking down on all of us.

Penelope Clearwater

George nodded his head as he finished Penelope's letter. She was right - it wasn't a particularly sad, sappy letter that made him cry and reevaluate himself and Fred and the pain he was feeling. But she had had some important things to say, and if he was being honest, he was very glad she had written to Fred. Even though her letter had mainly been about Percy.

But then, Percy had been there at the end of Fred's life, and Percy had blamed himself for so long about Fred's death. George had never blamed him. It was a tragic accident in the middle of a war, and the only one George blamed in the end was Voldemort and the decisions that sad, twisted soul had made. Killing hundreds of people, corrupting good souls, killing parents and brothers and children and sisters, husbands and wives, friends, people who deserved to live a life that they chose, not that was chosen for them.

"And isn't that the hard truth." George sighed to the empty room.