Extendable Ears

Finally the battle…the war…is over. Voldemort is dead, and Harry is still the Boy-Who-Lived. All is right with the world.

But yet here he sits, the cold hard reality of the past few hours finally able to sink in now that he's sitting alone in what used to be his old bedroom, which he had shared with his brother. Now, the room feels empty, though the floor is cluttered with a number of boxes filled with rejected Wheezes. And George sits alone on his mattress facing Fred's old bed and he cries.

Nothing had prepared him for the sudden loss of his twin. He's alone in the world now. Even with his five remaining siblings, his parents, Harry and Hermione waiting patiently in the sitting room, probably worried out of their minds about him, unable to possibly comprehend the feelings of grief and loss he was feeling at that moment, as though he would never be whole again.

When he had found out about Fred's death, nearly an hour after it occurred, he almost felt as though he had already known. He had been dueling with a masked Death Eater when, after sending out a particularly nasty jinx, he felt a sudden coldness grip his heart, for only a moment. At the time, he had shrugged it off, believing instead that the dementors were simply drawing nearer, an ominous thought in itself, but nothing to the effect of what that feeling really meant.

Now, however, now George knew what that ice around his heart was was, his brother, his twin, his other half…leaving him for good, never to return to him, never to joke around, never to scheme or plot.

"Hey mate!" the voice pulled George from his sorrow for a moment as he glanced around the room, half expecting Fred to suddenly appear, alive and well, with the flush he always had on his cheeks after laughing at a shared joke. But, of course, no such thing occurred and George fell into silent sobs once more.

"Stop blubbering you git!" Fred's voice was with him again. Whispering in his ear as though the two were sitting next to each other…as though George still had his left ear! He looked around again, cursing himself as he did so, for succumbing to this false hope, this pretense he had created.

"Come off it you wanker! You can't see me! I'm dead!" Fred told him. George, however, could not stop searching the room with his eyes. "Stop looking around! I'm not gonna pop out at you!"

George did as he was told and tried to simply stare at his hands, but they couldn't hold his attention, he began throwing furtive glances around the room, before asking quietly, "Where am I meant to look then? I'm not talking to anyone then am I?"

He heard Fred's mirthful laugh, still sounding identical to his own. "'Course you are mate! You're talking to me! Well, I'm talking to you. You've gone bloody mad and are talking to an empty room."

George couldn't help but release a small strained chuckle at this before Fred continued. "So, I reckon I'm not meant to be doing this… Not playing by the rules, you see…talking to you like I am…"

"When have the Weasley twins ever been ones to follow rules?" George asked, forgetting for a moment he was only talking with himself.

"That's the spirit mate!" Fred agreed cheerfully.

"So…how…how're you talking to me then? You're not a ghost are you?" George asked suddenly hopeful yet distressed in the same moment. "Cause I reckon if you are…I reckon I'm gonna have to kill you again, I'm not walking the earth myself for the rest of eternity just to keep you company!" George grinned at his palms which suddenly held Fred's face in his mind's eye.

"No thank you, going through that whole dying bit once, was enough for me!" Fred laughed. "Actually, my dear brother, I nicked your ear. The severed one, works just like the expendables it seems to me."

"So," said George, he felt nearly elated, he and his brother weren't to be separated after all! Not entirely at least, "so- I'm not alone, then? You'll be with me, right? Talking to me all the time..like before... with that, then?"

"Sorry mate," Fred sounded regretful, and George knew at once his hopes had been too high, "like I said, definitely not supposed to be nicking a man's severed ear and then talking to him through it. I won't be able to talk much longer actually…" George could almost picture his brother, huddled in a corner somewhere holding his contraband ear with a gleeful smile, shooting furtive over the shoulder glances to ensure he will not be caught. "I only wanted to say goodbye." Fred continued in a near sorrowful tone, before his voice added with a more forced happiness, "For now at least."

George felt the now familiar warmth of tears trailing down his cheeks, "I'll miss you Gred" George whispered to the room trying to make his voice sound lighter and happier than he felt.

Fred chuckled, "Yeah I'll miss you too Forge. But don't worry, you won't be alone. I've never left you a day in my life, and I won't now either. Look," Fred paused, "I really have to go now. I'll try and nick this back when I can…so…you know, keep an ear out for me!" the two shared an identical laugh and George was sure he felt his brother shaking his severed body part slightly on the word "ear" as it made the joke.

"I love you Fred."

"Love you too, George. We'll see each other again soon enough, you'll see" Fred tells him encouragingly.

"Not too soon, I hope!" George says laughing despite himself.

"Certainly!" Fred replied, there was a pause for a moment, "Goodbye George, keep the family laughing, will you?"

"Nothing could stop me," George whispers with a grin, "Goodbye Fred"

And with that, the room was silent. George felt as though he was free to live again. Something, only hours before, he was certain he would never again be able to truly do. Standing from his bed, his feet lead him to the door. He looks around the room one last time, taking in the memories for only a moment before repeating, "Goodbye Fred" and closing the door behind him as he left to join the rest of his family.

Disclaimer: The Harry Potter world and everyone in it belongs to JK Rowling

AN: I hope you enjoyed this story, the idea of Fred talking to George through his severed ear as though it was an extendable came to me while sobbing over some threads involving disdain for Ms. Rowling's seeming lack of heart. I hope it was readable enough considering I broke down slightly part way through. I would also like to add this poem, it is not mine, that seemed to fit so well with how, I believe, Fred would feel about his death and it's affect on his twin. And reading it through again it seemed to fit with my story as well, which is nice. Enjoy!

Death is nothing at all
(by Henry Scott Holland)

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away
into the next room.

I am I,
and you are you
whatever we were to each other,
that, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used,
put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air
of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we shared together.
Let my name ever bethe household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all
that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you
for an interval, somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well

Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!