Summary: It has been a year since the Final Battle. George has lost himself during that year in his grief. No one has been able to get him out of it until Hermione returns from Australia to the Burrow. Well her secret be what it takes for George to return to his old, fun-loving, prankster self?
A/N So I know my grammar is horrible... So I am glad to announce that I have a beta for this story and all chapters should be fixed in the next couple of days. Thanks to BizzinElfGirl for becoming the beta for this story!
Disclaimer: Obviously I do not own Harry Potter. If I did a certain someone would still be alive and I would not be posting on Fanfiction... I'd be busy counting my millions.
Hermione walked slowly up the dirt drive towards the Burrow. It had been a year since she had been in the wizarding world and seen her friends. Although she had missed them all terribly, she had decided to spend some much needed time with her parents in Australia; her parents had decided to stay there once Hermione had reversed the charm placed on them. She had kept in touch through letters, and it was Ginny who had insisted that she come to the Burrow for a family dinner. She made her way inside and called out, "Mrs. Weasley? It's Hermione."
"I'm in the kitchen dear. Come on in here; hurry up." Was the response that Hermione got. She made her way to the kitchen and smiled at the scene she had seen many times at the Burrow. Mrs. Weasley was busy preparing the dinner as usual, but stopped when she saw Hermione. Running over to her and giving her a hug, she exclaimed, "Hermione! It's so good to see you again. Are you here to stay?"
Hermione returned the hug and said, "Yes I'm back. I loved Australia but I couldn't wait to come back to England. It's so good to see you too. How is everyone doing?" She said the last with a little concern in her voice. No one had told her how everyone was holding up after Fred's death; none of the letters ever mentioned it.
"Well Arthur and I are good." Mrs. Weasley's eyes filled with tears but she quickly pushed them back. "It was hard at first for everyone when Fred… Well we're doing a lot better now. Come and sit down. This meal can wait long enough for us to catch up." Mrs. Weasley added as she led Hermione to the table where they each took a seat.
"Bill and Fleur are expecting she's only got a couple of months left to go, the baby is due in October. Bill's still working at Gringotts, but Fleur quit her job when she found out she was pregnant. She helps Ron out at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes now."
That was odd, Hermione thought. She knew Ron was working at the joke shop but Mrs. Weasley made it sound like Ron was running the place. Ron had never made any hint in his letters about running the shop; she had assumed George was still there as well.
"Charlie's still in Romania and doing well; he'll be here later. Percy and Penelope Clearwater are to be married by the end of the year. As you know, Ron is at the joke shop, and he's doing a fairly good job at keeping it opened and running. Harry is in Auror training still; Kingsley told him it was silly for him to be going through the training, but Harry didn't want any special attention and insisted on going through it like everyone else would have to." Hermione smiled at that, she could picture the argument Harry must have had with Kingsley, who was now Minister of Magic. "Ginny, well I'm not allowed to say. She's making a big announcement at dinner tonight so you'll find out with the rest of the family." Mrs. Weasley finished and Hermione couldn't help that she didn't mention George.
"What about George? How is he doing?" Hermione asked.
Mrs. Weasley became very thoughtful then said, "He's not good. He's taken this harder than everyone else, and he just hasn't been able to come out of his grief. Ron's been running the shop and George only goes in whenever Ron absolutely needs him. He's been staying here ever since. I'm really worried about him; he hardly leaves his room."
Hermione was surprised to find out she wasn't as shocked as she thought she would be. She knew George must be taking Fred's death harder then the rest of them, but no one had told her how hard he was taking it. I should have known though, she told herself. Out loud she asked, "Is he here now? Can I go up and see him?"
Mrs. Weasley nodded, "He's the only one here. The others will be here after work. You can try, but he doesn't usually see anyone."
Hermione thanked Mrs. Weasley, then turned to head upstairs. She had to see for herself how bad the situation was. When she reached the door that she knew had been the twin's room she knocked. When nothing happened she knocked again, opening the door and calling softly into the room, "George? It's Hermione can I come in?"
She saw a figure sitting on the bed who shrugged, so she entered the dark room. After turning on the light, she went and sat on the bed by George, putting an arm around his shoulder. He looked as if he hadn't left the room in weeks. "How are you?"
George looked up as if this was the first time he noticed Hermione was there, saying, "Hermione when did you get here?"
"A little while ago. I thought I'd come up and say hi and see how you were doing."
George let out a haunting laugh, "The family tell you I'm losing it?"
"No. Your mother just said you were having a hard time. She's worried and I thought I'd come up and see if there's anything I could do."
George pushed Hermione's arm off him. "Well I'm doing just fine, and unless you can bring Fred back there's nothing for you to do."
Hermione looked at George for a long time then said, "I know you're hurting George, but Fred wouldn't have wanted you to be like this."
"How would you know what Fred would have wanted?" George snapped, "You didn't really know him."
"You're right. I didn't take the time to get to know either of you that well and I regret it, but I understand what you're going through George, and this is not good, trust me."
"How dare you say you know what I'm going through Hermione! I lost my twin, my other half, and the only way to know how that feels is if you've been through this yourself. You can't just read it in a book then tell people you know how it feels; it's not something you can learn from a book. Now get out of my room and leave me alone." George said.
Hermione didn't move for a long time. "No, I'm not going to leave George." Neither said anything for a long time then Hermione whispered, "I do know what you're going through George, and no, I didn't learn it in a book. You're right. This feeling isn't something you can learn from a book."
George turned to look at the girl sitting on the bed by him. "What are you getting at?"
Hermione's eyes filled with tears but she turned to George as well. "There's something I've never told any of you, not even Harry or Ron. There is a reason I never took the chance to get to know you and Fred better. It's because I was jealous that you two had each other."
"What do you mean you were jealous Hermione?" George asked, as he watched the tears escape her eyes.
Hermione took a deep breath then said, "When I was ten my sister died in an accident. We were playing on a frozen lake by our house and she fell through some thin ice. They couldn't save her in time."
George looked away and said, "I'm sorry Hermione, but at the same time, losing a sibling isn't the same as losing a twin."
"You're right George." Hermione took a deep breath, then, in a whisper that was barely audible she said, "Abby was my twin sister."