POLYJUICE

-Most people would use a Polyjuice potion to look the same as someone else, rather than different from them. I never got the chance to do either. I found my own way…-

I didn't want to look just like him. I had always been more retiring than he, he usually managed to do the talking for both of us. I would come up with the ideas and he would get the credit. That's how it's always been, and how it still is, even with our jokes we now sell. He's good with the ladies, and people in general, and Quidditch too, but he couldn't invent half the stuff I do if his life depended on it. He can reproduce it and sell it, but that's the extent of his talent. He's really such an ass. I think I'm the only one who sees that. That's because they're too busy laughing at the butt of his latest joke, while I have to track them down later and apologize for his idiot antics. Percy cleaned up all the physical messes we made all those years, but it was my job to clean up the terrible emotional messes Fred left in his own wake. Especially mine.

I hated so much to look in the mirror and see his face, unable to stop from asking myself those hated questions. They were bad enough when they came from others, but when those same accusations came from my own consciousness they were twenty times heavier. "Why can't you be more like him? You look just like him. Why can't you take over and be yourself and take credit for what you do instead of letting him steal it all away?" It got to the point that whenever I looked into the mirror I was reminded of everything I was not. I hated even taking showers, having to look down at myself and feeling dissociated from my body, as though it was not mine but his. God, I hated looking like him down to the last fucking freckle. I just wanted to become myself and not hate me for not being Fred's clone. Then one night, it all changed when I succeeded.

I had just stepped out of my long shower in the Quidditch shower-stalls. No one bothered me there at that time of night, and that was how I liked it. As I stood there, towel around my waist, looking at my reflection in the full-body mirror, I became consumed with hatred for my Fred's-body-not-mine body. I felt a surge of loathing coarse through me, and I found my body (or was it Fred's?) picking up my beater's club (or was it Fred's?) and smashing the mirror in with it. Pieces of glass flew haphazardly all over the room. I could see pieces of the body I hated reflected in the scattered pieces of the mirror. Was I shattering like that? Then I noticed my arm, up near my shoulder, reflected in a larger piece of glass. The shard reflected a line of red blood with small trickles running down my arm. Looking down, I saw that the arm attached to my body had that same cut, with the same little rivulets emptying out of it. It struck me that Fred did not have that cut. He was no longer my mirror image. My body was my own; that blood was my own.

I picked up one of the shards of glass strewn across the tiles, and braced myself before digging it into the flesh of my arm on purpose. Again blood trickeld to the surface and over the edges of the wound. I smiled. There. Now I looked even less like Fred. It didn't really hurt; at least, it was nothing compared to the constant pain and self-loathing I had been feeling for so long. The pain gave me something else to concentrate on, a distraction, a release. And, as odd as it may sound, it made me feel better. Finally, George was a separate person from Fred. Fred would never inflict pain on himself.

From then on, whenever Fred made some biting comment or pulled a prank that was a little too nasty, I didn't apologize. I didn't need to distinguish myself from him in that way anymore. I had my way. I'd picked up a few pieces of glass from my incident that day, and I found myself keeping them close. They were like my security, my safety net. They would catch me, however roughly, from falling back into the Fred trap. Fred would lash out and hurt others to make himself feel better. I would curl inward and hurt myself.

Soon, as I began to cut more and more, my cutting spread itself out all over my body: arms, legs, chest, everywhere. The only parts of my body that I felt were my own were those that looked different from Fred; in other words, the places I cut. Any place on my body without scars looked more and more like Fred's; I would start to dissociate from my body when I realized that some part of it was not scarred, claimed by me as my own and not his. Slowly, I took back my body, took back my life, piece by piece. Ironically, if I was like Fred before and Fred was making me feel so terrible, then one could argue I was being self-destructive back then. I just replaced emotional destruction with physical destruction. Self-injury has been my savior. I reclaimed and redeemed myself with my own blood. And I can finally recognize the body I see when I look into the mirror as my own.