I don't own them.
"I don't want it and I don't need it. But I could do with a few laughs. We could all do with a few laughs. I have a feeling we're going to need them more than usual before long."
The shop seemed to be the meeting place now. George didn't mind. He liked seeing his family. A familiar red-headed person would drop in at least once a day. Harry usually stopped by with Teddy. Ron was, of course, always there. He had told George that he would help re-open the joke shop at least, though he would have to return to Hogwarts to take his seventh year.
"You'd think they'd have better things to do."
George didn't look up from the boxes he was stacking. The place had nearly fallen apart in the few months since they had abandoned it. "Don't be like that, Fred, they've just been through a war, they deserve a break."
Fred leaned against the side of his portrait that hung just over the counter. "Yeah, well, that's why you guys should all be working. We're going to need a new ministry now."
George snorted, nearly dropping a box of fireworks. "Since when have you cared about the Ministry?"
Fred looked affronted. "Hey, it'll be good to have some order again. Maybe then you won't have to look behind you every time you walk out the door."
"It's just a precaution." Ron interjected, glancing at Fred as he sorted out the Snackboxes into their appropriate bins. "Never know who's behind you, right Harry?"
Harry looked disappointed as he threw off the Invisibility Cloak, revealing both himself and Teddy, who was sleeping in his arms. "How'd you know I was there?"
Ron rolled his eyes at George, who answered for him, "If you don't want people knowing when you're sneaking about, Harry, you shouldn't bring along a baby. They breathe louder than anything." As he spoke he scooped Ted out of Harry's arms. Even in his sleep his hair turned red, and George knew that if he opened his eyes they'd be blue, like his own. Like Fred's.
Harry shook out his arms, he looked tired. He glanced around the shop, which was still in partial disarray. "Perce here today?" he asked, raising an eyebrow in George's direction.
"Nope." Ron said, absentmindedly pouring a box full of self-sprouting flowers all over the floor. They grew immediately and started shouting odd words in his direction.
"Oi!" Fred shouted from his portrait as the flowers screeched loud enough to wake Ted, who started crying at the noise.
Ron drew out his wand. "Sorry. Die― no, wait, ―dyeclious." The flowers burst apart with a final wail, spreading petals all over the floor. Ted stopped crying and waved his fists, a huge smile on his face.
"I don't know about him." George said, grinning as he handed Ted over to Harry. His hair changed back to the jet-black it had been, his eyes changing to a sparkling green. "He's going to be a prankster when he grows up, you'll see."
"No thanks to you." Harry said, smiling as the baby gurgled in his arms. "I'm telling you, George, you're the worst influence on this child. If I ever have any more children." He ignored Ron's bark of laughter. "I swear, they will not meet you until they are at least sixteen."
George grinned at Harry, while the portrait behind him howled with laughter. "What about me?" Fred managed, wiping tear off his face.
Harry stuck out his tongue at him, looking much younger than seventeen. "You're already dead, they'll meet you eventually."
"Hey!" Fred yelled in mock-disappointment. George smiled again, though this one was strained. You're already dead. You're already dead. It had been so easy for Harry to say that. Would it ever be that easy for him?
George remembered when he'd first seen the portrait. Percy, who had taken a great liking to their store after seeing it for the first time after the battle, had come in carrying a large, supposedly empty picture frame. George didn't mind his brother coming into the shop; he had forgiven him whole-heartedly for everything. He had made sure Fred's body was safe. He couldn't thank Percy enough for that.
"Hey, George, I think you should see this." He turned the frame around. It was an empty black canvass. George stared at it for a second, then looked back at Percy. "What?" Percy asked, then looked at the blank picture. "Oi! Get out here, you!"
And, emerging from the side of the frame, was Fred, beaming, wearing a Weasley sweater emblazoned with the letter G. George gave a yelp, looking from the portrait to Percy. "How'd it happen?"
Percy looked proud as he set the frame down, a little too eagerly, making Fred give out a yelp of pain. "Dunno. It used to be a picture of all of us, you know, from a long time ago. It wasn't even a moving picture. Then this morning I looked at it and they had all cleared out, and this sucker had come in." he pointed to Fred, who was now sitting cross-legged at the bottom of the frame, grining up at George.
"Told you, Georgie. I told you I'd find a way to come back."
I don't know, they're just such a good pair, I couldn't just upset George like that.