Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me.

They were standing in the room of requirement, alone. Fred had been about to follow the rest of the group out of the door when George grabbed his wrist and pulled him out of the doorway. "Wait." Confused, Fred watched the rest of his friends and family shuffle off to battle before looking back at his brother.

"Don't tell me you're sc—" George suddenly cut him off, flinging his arms around his twin's shoulders and burying his face in his neck. It took Fred a moment to recover from the shock. "Are you—Jesus Christ, George, are you crying?"

"Don't do that." George mumbled against his brother's shirt, his voice giving away that he was indeed crying. "Please don't do that. Not right now." Stunned, Fred nodded, automatically draping his arms over his brother's waist in a clueless attempt at comfort. He cleared his throat nervously, but George shook his head. "Please, Fred, just a minute. Just give me a minute." His unusual display of emotion was touching, and Fred had the unnerving necessity to blink back tears of his own.


"I love you, Fred." George interrupted, "More than anyone else. You know that, right?"

"Sure, George, of course."

George took a shaky breath, and for a moment Fred thought he was going to break away, but he didn't. "Please…please be careful." Fred smiled uneasily, reaching up and ruffling his brother's hair.

"George, don't be such a—"

"STOP! Stop acting like that! Fred, I'm serious."

The word seemed to send a tremor down Fred's back. Suddenly, he was being just as somber. "George…" he murmured in his brother's hair, "I love you, too, Georgie." His arms tightened around his brother and he kissed him gently on the forehead. This wasn't normal. Neither of them had cried since they were babies. George was hiding something. He knew something, and after a moment, Fred knew it, too.

One of them was not going to survive this war.

Fred felt his heart stop abruptly in his chest at the thought. Once it started again, it felt as if it was going three times as fast to make up for the lost seconds. He had to do it. He was the older one. It was his birthright. "I love you, George." He said again, "That's why I have to do this."

Before George could even react, Fred pulled his wand on him. "Petrificus totalus!" George went suddenly rigid in his arms, his arms snapping down from Fred's neck to his sides. He teetered back, about to fall, but Fred caught him and placed him gently on the floor. Tears were streaming down George's frozen face as he stared at his brother, unable to plead with him the way he so obviously wanted to.

"Please forgive me for this, Georgie…I'm so sorry. I really am." He reached over and brushed the tears from his brother's cheek, but more simply spilled over onto his fingers. He swallowed. How was he sure he was doing the right thing? Dying for his brother seemed so much easier than living without him, how could it possibly be different for George? Was he really the one doing the sacrificing?

Despite himself, he smiled. "Take care of Ickle Ronniekins and Ginny, okay?" Tears were starting to escape down his own face now. He was losing his composure. "And don't…" he wanted to tell him not to cry, but it was already too late. Not to mention the hypocrisy in that statement would be ridiculous. "Don't worry." He amended, kissing his brother's cheek, "I'll wait for you." And with a quick backward glance at George, Fred left his brother's side and disappeared out the door.

George knew when the spell suddenly vanished that it was too late. He knew he could move, but he didn't, letting the tears stream steadily down his face and into his hair.

"You selfish bastard."

A/N: I don't particularly like this one, to be honest, but I've been needing to finish one, and with college kicking up I'm proud of being able to do anything not school-related. I'm writing a couple of post-death fics that center on George, but I can't seem to find an ending for them, which seems symbolic, in a way. Like without Fred there in some way, I can't find closure. Whatever. Forgive me, I just got out of my Psycology class. XD