Written for the Golden Snitch Forum
School House: Hogwarts/Ravenclaw
Prompt: El Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
(dialogue) "If I don't visit here, who will? Who will make sure he is ok?"
(character) George Weasley
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Author's Note: This is set about a year after the defeat of Lord Voldemort, around the time of Hallow's Eve, or Halloween.
"Harry! Hermione! Ron! Ginny!" A slightly dreamy voice floated through the air, an eccentric looking girl accompanying it. She was wearing a very exaggerated dress. It was bright pink, with elaborately decorated skulls plastered all over it. It was very pretty, once you got over the shock of it all.
Harry let out a groan and rolled over on his bed. Ron rolled over too, although he went a little too far and ended up falling off the bed and onto the ground with a thud. Sitting up, he rubbed his head grumpily and climbed back onto his bed. Harry, now awoken by all the commotion, squinted as the light from the window penetrated his eyes. "Blimey, Luna," he croaked. He held up his hand to check the time, then swung his legs off the side of the bed. "It's only 8 in the morning!" Luna rolled her eyes. "It's just the Nargles," she said. Now Harry rolled his eyes and attempted to push Ron, who was snoring again, off his bed.
Ron, realizing what Harry was trying to do, swatted his hand away, but sat up in fright when he heard Hermione's voice.
"Ron, get up, you lazy git!"
"Coming, 'Mione!" He hurried over to the dresser, attempted to flatten his hair, then sat back down in bed, yawning widely. Then he saw Luna and froze mid-yawn.
"Luna? Er … what are you wearing? And why are you in my room?"
"It's El Día de los Muertos," she said, leaving Ron more confused than ever.
"What?" he started to say, but at that moment Hermione and Ginny walked in, both completely dressed, except for Hermione's messy bun. Hermione kissed Ron on the cheek, as did Ginny to Harry.
"What are you two doing up so early?" asked Ron, but he was slightly pink and grinning from Hermione's arrival.
Ginny sighed. "Oh, ickle Ronniekins," she said. Ron returned to his grumpy state.
"We're not babies anymore, ickle Ronniekins," she continued, a grin unfurling on her face. "We don't need as much beauty sleep as you do."
Harry chuckled. "Leave him alone, Gin," he said, reaching for his wand. After Harry and Ron got changed, all eyes turned to Luna.
"Luna?" asked Harry. Luna turned towards him.
"What's, er, Dia de los Mentos?"
"Muertos," she corrected him. "I read about it in Daddy's latest Quibbler edition. It's a Mexican holiday celebrated around the time of Hallow's Eve."
Harry stared at her, and then spoke. "Er, Luna, I don't usually celebrate Hallow's Eve, because, er, you know … " he trailed off. Luna, however, continued.
"Oh, yes, I know that, which is why I thought you'd like to celebrate El Día de los Muertos," she said, smiling. "It's a Mexican belief that on Día de los Muertos, we are able to honor the dead, and help them through their spiritual journey. We create an altar to them consisting of their favorite things, such as foods, colors, and a few of their pictures. If only the Wompizzles hadn't interfered," she muttered under her breath.
"Er … " Harry and Ron looked more confused than ever.
Ginny grimly smiled and said, "She was trying to make an altar to your parents, Harry."
Harry opened his mouth like a fish out of water, then closed it in silent gratitude.
"You did?" he asked Luna quietly. Luna nodded and frowned. "If it weren't for those silly Wompizzles, I would've finished. I felt like you needed a happy Hallow's Eve for once."
Harry could feel his eyes stinging with tears. "T-thanks Luna," he stammered. "You don't need to finish the altar," he said, wiping his eyes. "It's fine."
Luna agreed, but looked slightly disappointed. "I'm hungry," said Hermione, rubbng her belly.
Luna brightened up immediately. "I've made some pan de muertos!" She pulled out her wand and muttered a spell. They watched as a platter of bread floated into the room. Harry's mouth watered as it drew nearer. It just occurred to him that he was hungry, and he theory was proven correct as his stomach rumbled.
Ron, Hermione, and Ginny seemed to be thinking along the same lines, because Ron groaned in pleasure and Hermione enquired, "What is that, Luna?"
"It's pan de muertos!" she said cheerfully. "Bread of the dead!"
"It tastes like bread blessed by the ancient sugar fairies of Swamplogus times!"
Harry, Ron, and Hermione frowned. Ginny, who was quite used to Luna's lingo by now, sighed and said, "It tastes like a croissant sprinkled with sugar."
"Oh," they said. "Would you like some?" asked Luna.
Pieces of pan de muertos was passed around the room, and everyone, especially Harry, was grateful to Luna for introducing this new holiday to them. Of course, they had to spread this holiday around, and sat in thought as to who might enjoy it the most. Ron was the first to notice a particularly lone figure moping about the house, a big hole where his left ear might've been.
Ron beckoned them all to the door, and they watched as this new, broken George Weasley drifted along in obvious grief of the loss of his twin, Fred.
"Reckon he's up to it to try this?" Ron whispered to the others. Ginny, who hated seeing her usually cheerful brother in such a state, whispered back fiercely," Of course he will."
Then she proceeded to snatch the the bread from Luna's hand, and made her ways towards George before anyone could stop her. Seeing no point in stopping her, Harry followed, and slowly so did Hermione, Ron, and Luna.
"George?" Ginny said quite loudly. George turned towards them, a hollow, dead, look in his eyes. Ginny's fire seemed to die at the sight of him.
"George," she said, tenderly. "George, I've got something that you'll like."
"It's pan de muertos."
"What the hell is pan de Mentos?"
"Muertos, George. And it means Bread of the Dead."
"Not so sure I want to eat bread for the dead. Fred would've liked it." He made a slight jerk towards his right, as if he was turning to someone, but no one was there. Fresh tears started pooling in his eyes. Ginny and Hermione knelt beside him, and Ginny wiped his eyes with her hands. She motioned for Harry and Ron to go with Luna, and perhaps Luna understood what she wanted her to do, because she flounced away to an empty room, Harry and Ron in her wake.
They entered Charlie's old room, which was now empty, and Luna started waving her wand around as a table, some ribbon, and a photo frame landed in a heap in front of them.
"Luna?" said Ron tentatively. "What are you – we - doing?"
Luna smiled happily, and even Harry grinned as he understood. "We're making an altar," he said.
Harry, Ron, and Luna stood, slightly panting, staring at the sight before them. They were covered in orange and blue paint, but the finished altar was worth the mess. It was painted orange and blue, with sugar skulls set upon and around the table. Next, a huge mix of Zonko's and Weasley's Wizard Wheezes were set on the table, indicating Fred's favorite things. Finally, a huge portrait of Fred and George was set in the middle, giving a great finish to the altar.
George walked in, accompanied by Hermione and Ginny. His jaw dropped when he saw the altar prepared for Fred, and said in a croaky voice, "Gin and Hermione just explained what this Dia de los Muertos was, but I did not expect … this."
His face showed happiness on every inch, but Harry, all too familiar with grief, saw the pained look in George's eyes. He took him aside and whispered, "Look, mate, I don't whether this was appropriate or not, but we did it anyways. And you know, we all miss Fred. I just … this isn't a grave or remembrance to him you know. It's like … in his honor. Because he meant a lot to all of us, you know, so this is just a small contribution to you … and him."
Harry finished this speech quite awkwardly, anxiously awaiting George's response. By now, all of them had gone quiet and were struggling to listen in on the conversation.
George gulped. "Blimey, Harry, I … I finally understand what all those people say about you all being more than just famous faces," he said, a watery smile on his face. Ginny smiled weakly and said, "Don't cry, 'cause then I'll cry, and Ron'll never let me live up to that."
George chuckled and ruffled Ginny's hair. "We can't have that, can we?"
Luna piped up behind them and said, "So I take it that all of you like my surprise?"
They all closed in on her and gave her a huge bear hug. George kept on going back for more, as he had found out that she had indeed planned this. They all laughed, "talked" to Fred's altar, and had some pan de muertos.
Over the course of the next few days, they noticed that George was repeatedly going to Fred's altar and constantly telling it about his day, that he missed him, how business at their joke shop was going, all normal things,
When asked about this behavior, George replied, ""If I don't visit here, who will? Who will make sure he is ok?"
They then left him in peace, and one day, as Harry was telling Fred how much they missed him, he could've sworn he heard a "miss you too, Harry" as well.
Hoped you liked this story! Again, this was written for the Golden Snitch Forum, so it's not normally what I'd write, but it was interesting to have a prompt to go along! Reviews are appreciated!