By Lord Archive
Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling and is used without consent.
George stood in front of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. It had been closed since the Death Eaters discovered that Ron was not ill, but working with Harry to defeat Voldemort. He could've reopened the store right after the Dark Lord had fallen to his own spells, a rather fitting ironic end to one who had killed so many, by unwittingly committing suicide. And doing so when Harry all but warned Voldemort what the result of fighting him would be. George would've laughed at the 'great Dark Lord's' stupidity, but his heart had been ripped out. The very heart of this store.
Months had gone by since it was safe to run the store. The summer sun bore down on the relatively empty roads that would soon be filled with parents taking their children shopping for school supplies. Ginny had just gotten her list of books that she needed for her final year at Hogwarts that morning. Which had prompted George to visit his own store, knowing that if he wanted to keep it alive, he had to open it up for business soon. Yet just being here was painful for him.
George felt as if half of him had died during the battle to defeat Voldemort. Losing his twin brother had been more painful than losing his ear. The rage he felt at the Death Eaters who took him still caused him nightmares. Often featuring blood dripping from his wand, the weapon he had used to end the lives of the murderers who took Fred away. He often cursed the idiocy he had shared with his twin in that battle. Despite the terrors they KNEW the Death Eaters wanted to inflict on them, they approached their enemies as if they were playing a game. Far less scared than they should've been, and having too much fun casting curses that they had invented.
Now Fred was gone, the very heart of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Fred was the one who came up with the ideas for most of the items that the store sold. He was the one who came up with all the plans, while George was the one who figured out how to make them work. He was the brain, but without a heart to laugh with, what could he do?
"Damn! They're closed!" whined a young voice.
George looked over at the young boy scowling at the closed sign of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. The boy then brightened seeing him.
"Are you going to be opening soon? I NEED a good prank!" the boy pleaded.
George looked away. "I'm not sure if I'll ever reopen."
The boy pouted at him. He seemed to want to ask something, likely to ask about the other Weasley twin, yet seemed to think better of it. He then huffed. "Can't you at least sell me something? I need to get revenge!"
"Revenge?" George wondered. "Why do you want to get back at someone?"
The boy hesitated for a moment. "He dropped slugs on my sister while she was in the bath."
George blinked. "Where did he do that?"
"Hogwarts," the boy answered.
"Who and HOW did HE do that?!" George demanded. "Fred and I tried getting into the girls' baths more times than I can count!"
"Peeves," was all the boy said.
George stared at the boy. That a ghost would go into the baths of the opposite gender was hardly new. From what he heard, Moaning Myrtle certainly loved watching the boys in the Perfects' bath. That someone wanted to get back at Peeves by pranking the poltergeist was a bit of a shock. Why hadn't he or Fred thought of doing that?
"Isn't there something you can sell me to get back at him?!" the boy whined.
Without Fred, there was nothing he could do, George almost told the boy yet something stopped him. The boy had just given him a challenge. A prank like no other and done in righteous justice, as if a prank needed such a reason. Fred would be beyond upset if he passed up this opportunity. It was a moral imperative to get back at Peeves! This truly was a challenge worthy of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. He just had to figure out how to do it.
"I don't have anything ready to prank someone like Peeves..." George paused as the boy pouted and started to whine, but he quickly smirked devilishly. "Yet. But if you come back in a couple weeks, I'll be sure to have something cooked up for you.'"
"Really?!" the boy brightened in devilish delight.
Just over a month later, Peeves was shocked to get a ghostly pie smashed into his face.
At that time, a sign hung at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes reading, 'Need a custom prank to spank? A special antic to make people frantic? Unique joke to make someone choke? Make a request and we'll do our best!' And once again a heart beated in the store of mirth, in the chests of all the customers who wished to laugh.