A note from the authoress: I apologize ahead of time for this fic. I really was devastated by these occurrences and couldn't believe Rowling didn't delve further into them. So this is my final goodbye.
P.S. I can't remember which twin Arthur was flying with, or who was even guiding which broom. Since it doesn't affect the story too much, I figured it didn't matter much. If you happen to recall and it bothers you, please let me know.
The title means 'blood connection' in very loosely translated Russian. I thought it sounded beautiful.
P.S. Again: Review please! Everything is appreciated!
He knew, from the moment it happened, that something was wrong with Fred. Never would he have guessed the extremity of the 'what's wrong,' but he had the sinking feeling that there was something from the moment it had happened.
It felt a little like when he had woken up to discover that he could no longer feel his ear: a bit empty on one side, a bit cold, and most definitely like something was missing. He was standing with Lee, having just disarmed some foe, when a dull ache spread through his body and was instantly gone, leaving behind the same feeling of emptiness.
George knew that it couldn't be himself. It was almost too distant to be himself, and it wasn't the first time he had experienced something strange such as this. He and Fred had discussed it on numerous occasions, how one or the other just happened to know when something had gone either terribly wrong or terrible right. It happened every time an experiment blew up or a test went very, very well.
Fred had even mentioned that he had felt the loss of George's ear months ago; it had been a rather somber moment between the two, just making sure the other was ok, when Fred confessed that he had suddenly experienced a pain and just knew something was wrong. It took all Arthur had, he explained, to keep him from falling off of the broom (to this, the two boys had a generous laugh at their father's unknowing expense).
George's optimistic side let out a chuckle and mentally suggested that maybe they could be identical all over again, and that Fred, too, had lost an ear. He hoped not, as it was a rather large inconvenience, but the thought was comforting as he knew he wouldn't see his twin to confirm for a while as it was.
The emptiness grew stronger as the fights wore on, despite the fact that Lee and George were drawing closer and closer to where they suspected they would meet the others. By the time they were in the same room (flashes of bright red hair could be seen above the others), the feeling had once again become a very dull throb. This only made George suspect a missing limb more, and again he hoped it would just be the ear.
Percy was the first Weasley the two approaching warriors spotted, though by his haggard appearance they could only guess the how the others looked. George surveyed the faces as he could see them. There was his dad, standing next to Percy with an identical look of grief upon his again face; and his mum, too, though tears were pouring from her eyes as she tried to console Ginny in her arms. He could also see Bill and Charlie themselves looking quite distressed. Sudden fear gripped George as he looked for the two missing Weasleys. A shock of red hair could now be seen on the ground; George's heart nearly ceased for a moment when he realized he had probably lost his only younger brother.
It did clench as realization had hit him just an instant later. It wasn't likely to be Ron, because Ron had disappeared before the battle had even begun. That left only one possibility for the body resting at the feet of the others, and an all-too-convenient explanation for the now-gaping whole in his heart.
George had staggered, with Lee's help, to rejoin his family, legs finally giving out as he approached his clearly deceased brother. He wanted to believe it was some idea of a joke, or maybe just a state of unconscious, but Fred's vacant expression and ghostly complexion were two very harsh reminders that this could not be possible. He couldn't even fathom the idea of Fred actually being dead, but the proof was laid quite literally in front of him.
The choked sob that escaped George's throat only caused his mother's quieting sniffing to erupt again into loud wails, but George could no longer hear her. He was lost in the emptiness of Fred's gaze, a dark loneliness that continued to build in the darkest recesses of George himself. His twin brother was dead, he had to remind himself, over and over again, because every time he realized it some part of him refused to believe it.
Anger suddenly washed over him, and he shook the corpse in front of him roughly. How dare Fred leave him here, suffering and trying to understand how just one of them remained? How dare Percy return when it meant Fred would not? How could either of them do this to him, to their parents?
He shouted his grievances towards his twin, but collapsed against Fred's chest before anybody could make any movement to stop him. He continued to speak and question through thick, heavy tears, wondering why Fred was playing such a cruel joke and didn't he remember that they were supposed to be famous first? Didn't he remember that they were supposed to grow old and befuddle children even into their ripe old age?
Did he remember that wherever he went, George was supposed to follow?
I can't follow you this time, he would remember whispering even years later, I can't follow you this time; what a terrible prank you've played.
That's when George had realized that their lives truly had been one big terrible prank. One had always delivered the introduction and their other the big finale, but either way it had always been a two-person practical joke against everybody else. And in the end, there had always been Fred-and-George, Gred and Forge, George and Fred, laughing until it hurt too much to continue.
George figured that even though Fred's role had been cut unreasonably short, he wouldn't want George to get too caught up in the details and lose the joke. George knew that one day he would be able to carry on, but it would be very hard to laugh when one was always missing the punch line.