WARNING: SPOILERS FOR HP 7 WARNING: SPOILERS FOR HP 7
Ok don't say I haven't warned you. So this is simply something I really missed during the Battle of Hogwarts, because I cried when Fred Weasley died, and it made me wonder how his twin must feel. There was nothing about it in the book, so this here is George's point of view about what happened.
I'm not a native speaker and don't have a beta reader, so if there's something terribly wrong just let me know, but forgive me minor mistakes. ;) Furthermore, I want to say that my style of writing, all those "and"s and long sentences are used on purpose, I think it fits the situation, I can't explain why.
However, I'm talking to much. I had to get this out of my head because the thoughts were haunting me, so here's the result:
CAN YOU FEEL 'NOTHING'?
1. Our Farewell
The air was filled with jets of light, red, green, silver, gold, blue, they flew through the halls and corridors of Hogwarts, people were screaming, falling down, vanishing into nothingness.
He held on tight to his wand, he knew he mustn't losen the grip, and as he stared at the hooded figure in front of him, he knew what he had to do. There was no thinking, it was mere intuition, and he didn't know how long he would be able to keep that up.
A jet of orange sparks passed only inches above his head, burning a bit of his red hair, he could smell it and yet he didn't care.
"George, behind ya!", a yell, he turned round and drew his wand, "Expelliarmus!", "Stupefy!", the tall man fell to the ground.
"Thanks Dean", he panted, not wasting time on long chats, and turned round again.
The voices around him echoed in his ears, wait, no, it was only one ear, he reminded himself and couldn't help a little grin, he had never thought he'd laugh at a place, in a situation like this, but if Fred could just see him now, yelling "Holy shit!" every few seconds, he would join in his laughter and maybe even forget the horror they were in.
"Dean!", he called between some desperate moves of his wand. "Have you seen Fred anywhere?"
"He's off with Percy!", came the answer, and George shook his head in amusement. After all, the prodigal son had returned. Maybe there needed to be moments like this to get your family back together, he thought as he watched his elder brother Bill fight alongside with his father from a corner of his eye.
Suddenly the ground beneath his feet shook heavily, making everyone stagger and stare around in confusion.
"What was that?", a young man, whom George recognized as Oliver Wood, his former Quidditch teammate, shouted.
"Dunno!", his friend Dean answered helplessly while protecting himself from the sparks smashing around him.
George closed his eyes for a split second, he knew it was foolish, but it happened, and the most strange feeling emerged inside his body, a sensation he couldn't describe, it was something he'd never experienced before, something beyond fear, beyond pain – nothing. Could you feel 'nothing'?
"George!", he was pulled down by a strong hand, his face hit the ground, it hurt, and he saw the green jet of light ricochet off the marble wall, and it was his mother's eyes that stared at him with an expression he couldn't determine.
"It's okay, Mum", he assured her and patted her slightly on the shoulder, and she understood. There would be plenty of time later. At least he hoped so.
Time passed by and he lost his sense of it, he couldn't tell how long they had been fighting, it seemed so endless, and sometimes he could hear it, the voice inside his head, trying to convince him: 'You cannot win. It's all for nothing.'
And then there was silence. The dark figures retreated, and for a short moment he thought 'We've done it, it's over', then the most frightening voice hit the Great Hall with such force that he shivered on the spot, and it took a while until the words reached the one ear he got left.
"Lord Voldemort is merciful. I command my forces to retreat, immediately. You have one hour. Dispose of your dead with dignity. Treat your injured…"
George gazed around in bewilderment, maybe it was the sudden silence or simply the fact that now, for the first time in what seemed an eternity, he wasn't distracted by battle, that he noticed how many were actually suffering from the wounds they had received. Firenze, the centaur, laid on his side, bleeding heavily; a Ravenclaw boy was clutching his arm; a deep cut slashed Bill's already scarred face; his father was limping slightly. George took a deep breath, his chest ached where it had been hit by a spell he had hardly noticed, and he spotted dried blood on his left hand, whether it was his or someone else's he didn't know. He was alive. He went over to his mother, and finally, there she was, hugging him as if she never wanted to let him go again.
"It's alright", he muttered quietly. "Everything'll be fine."
A shout erupted from somewhere near him, he needed a second to realize it was Bill.
"Oh God I'm so glad you -"
He heard his father's voice, stopping in mid-air, as if stupefied by three wizards at once, and he felt his mother's grip losen, her eyes staring at something behind his back, and it wasn't until he heard her scream that the emptiness he had felt before overcame him again, with so much more intensity that for a moment he felt like falling to the ground, but finally he caught himself.
He didn't want to turn around. He dreaded the moment he'd have to face what he feared most, and still he knew he had to, he knew it by the sobs that found their way through the thick mist that seemed to be closing in on him, he knew it by the fragments of words of his brother, "It – it – so dark – and he…", he heard the voice breaking off, and he turned around.
The world stopped turning, all noises evaporated, he didn't see anything but the figure on the ground, the flaming red hair on the white floor, the closed eyes, the laugh on the familiar face.
He felt himself falling down, and he didn't try to prevent it, his knees hurt when he collapsed on the hard ground, but the pain didn't reach him because there was no place left to feel physical pain. His hands reached out and touched the cold skin of the young man below, and all his senses were screaming inside, yet he couldn't say a word, he wanted to, he wanted to yell at his brother, tell him to get up and make a joke about his ear, but there was only silence.
He saw his mother fall down onto his brother's chest, tears streaming down her face, "Fred… oh Fred, no, please…", he heard his father's empty voice, helpless, tired, "Molly…", he had never heard his father like this before. His mother looked up, their eyes met, and he saw the grief reflected from her kind eyes, his mother's eyes, and he still refused to believe what he, in some distant part of his soul, knew was true. He knew it because there was something missing, a part of him he had always taken for granted, and now it was gone, leaving nothing behind. Could you feel 'nothing'?
There was Bill's voice, "How did it happen?", a croaked, hoarse whisper with the sound of tears, and George shut out the answer, he didn't want to know. It didn't matter to him, there was no way to make it undone like some Transfiguration, no chance he would get up again as if he had been Stunned. He wouldn't move. Never again would he see him waving his wand, catching toffees with his mouth, mount his broom for a Quidditch match, flirt with the girl from the robes shop next door. The thought hit him like a Cruciatus Curse, sending twinges through his exhausted body, sharp knives that cut deep into his soul. Twenty years he had spent with this boy who was now lying there motionless, twenty years. They had gone through it all, together, and suddenly he was alone, utterly alone, despite the people around him whose voices he heard as if speaking from a distant place, a place he didn't know anymore and to which he would never return.
He saw Ron approach, slowly, his dirty face showing silvery lines where tears had run down, his little brother was finally with them, and some part of him wanted to run over to him to make sure he was real and not a ghost in the air. But there was another part of him which made him stay still on the ground, holding his twin's head in his hands and not letting go. His mother's tears dropped onto Fred's robe and mingled with the blood on his chest, a silvery glance on crimson cloth, painted with the cruel fingers of Death and Grief.
It was only then that George realized that he wasn't crying, his eyes were dry, and he wondered why until he knew that it was simply because there was no way to express his feelings, no words, no tears could show how he felt. Emptiness. Maybe it was emptiness. Nothingness. Could you feel 'nothing'?
A hand suddenly rested on his shoulder, a human touch that made him flinch, he had almost forgotten there were such things as feeling warmth.
"George?" The voice was shaky, tear-soaken, and still it magically found its way through the misty air around him. He knew this voice, but he didn't remember to whom it belonged, what did he know at all?
Finally he managed to raise his head, and his brother was staring down at him, he hadn't seen him for far too long, and now they were here, united in their pain, and he remembered his thoughts that seemed to long ago, maybe there needed to be moments like this to get your family back together, but never had he thought that his family would never be together again.
"Bill, he…", he couldn't go on, he choked hard to fight back the tears, but as he looked into his brother's blue eyes that were like a mirror image of his own, of Fred's, he couldn't hold them back anymore. He hardly saw Bill kneel down at his side, he only felt his arm around his shivering shoulders, and the tears streamed down his face as he shut his eyes tightly, trying to shut out the world, the people, the truth, reality. His sobs died away into his brother's ragged robe, his grief was carried away into the wide open of the Great Hall that was a symbol of what had happened, the place in which they had shared their laughter, their sorrows, a part of their lives, a place that was now shattered to pieces, torn apart, like the part inside him which he thought to be his soul. A soul ripped apart, because it had always been shared by him and his brother, not able to live on without its counterpart.
And as he heard the horrible voice again, telling them to come out and surrender, he lifted his head and only his elder brother could see how dark his eyes had become, and he clenched his wand and looked down at his twin. He would not retreat, because fighting was the only thing left to do, he had nothing to lose, there was nothing left to save his own life for.
Could you feel 'nothing'?
This day would come so soon
We had no time to say goodbye
How can the world just carry on?
(Within Temptation, "Our Farewell")
A/N: I might write a second chapter, because imho everyone deserves a funeral...