Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me.

Even as babies, when they both cried regularly, it was always obvious George was the more sensitive of the two. He cried more often than Fred, and quite usually, louder as well. But Fred was always able to make him smile, in the end. Even as an infant. Molly would hear her child crying and come running, only to find that George had stopped, and was lying cuddled against his brother. Fred's hand resting almost reassuringly against his face or his arm. It was astounding, the effect Fred had on his brother. Just by being beside him, George seemed calmer, as if he felt safe as long as his twin was near by.

If one was taken out of their crib without the other, all hell would break loose. Molly had eventually learned to juggle two in one hand, for if she didn't, the twin in her arms would twist dangerously out of her grip in an effort to reach the other, the both of them bawling loudly and often waking Percy—who was already a nightmare enough to put down for a nap.

As children, the boys rarely cried at all, though the occasional too-high tumble from his toy broomstick would sometimes cause a lump in George's throat. Fred was always close, and sometimes it seemed that he knew something was wrong seconds before anything had happened. He'd jump down from his own toy broomstick and race to his brother's side, throwing his arms around him before he could even begin to squeeze the tears from his eyes.

"Its okay, Georgie. It's okay, I'm here." He whispered into his brother's hair, "Don't cry, I'm here." And George would rock contentedly in his brother's arms a moment, sniffling and rubbing his skinned knee, but the tears would subside quickly. By the time Fred carried him on piggyback to their mother to heal his wounds, he was always beaming.

As they grew, sad times only got fewer and farther between. It wasn't until Percy left that such feelings from childhood resurfaced. "He's such a bleeding git." George snarled, angry tears flowing steadily down his face. He was their brother. He was supposed to be there for them—for the family. How could he just throw them all away for a career?

Fred was standing against the wall, watching him warily, gauging when he would be needed. Right now George was still too angry, and he would push Fred away. It was something puberty had done to the both of them—pride tangled in their grief. They were men, and men didn't cry, men were never comforted. This attitude wouldn't last, though. It never did. Not between them, at least.

"How could he do this to mum? To us?" George asked him cynically, and Fred shrugged, unable to come up with an answer as he clenched his hands to keep from running to him. He hated to see his brother cry. He felt a surge of revulsion towards their older brother as he watched George struggling to hold back any real emotion. It wouldn't be much longer before he would give in. "Just—just leave like this? I mean, I knew he was—was always a twat, but—I never thought he'd do anything like this…this is…is—" With a sigh of bitter relief, Fred sat down beside him on his bed, calmly rubbed his brother's back, shushing him softly.

"Don't cry, George…It's gonna be okay." George turned and curled against his brother, anger melting instantly to sorrow as he sobbed into Fred's shoulder. "I'm here, George, don't cry." He smiled sadly as he pulled George into his lap, comfortingly stroking his arm as George curled against him. "I'll never leave you, Georgie," he promised softly, "You'll always have me."

George relaxed, the tears still streaming down his face, but the intensity of his sobs had promptly lessened to silence. Fred reached up and ruffled his brother's hair encouragingly. "We never liked him much, anyway, remember?" He added jokingly, and the tension disappeared when George laughed. No matter what it was, Fred was always able to make him smile, in the end.

But now was different. Disgustingly, horrifically, painfully different. George stared down at his brother's lifeless face, knowing his own looked just as dead. He heard his family sitting around him, all grieving with each other, but they seemed unsure of what to do for George. He had always had his twin to comfort him—no one else had ever even tried, and had no idea how. They all seemed to sit awkwardly away from him, as if they were afraid of what he may do, how he may react. Knowing that no matter what they did, what they said, it wouldn't help.

It was Ginny who suggested they give him time alone. She had always seemed to understand her twin brothers more than anyone else in the family, and had George been able to think more clearly, he would've thanked her. The rest of the family shuffled away as one, Ron and Percy both looking back nervously several times before disappearing from view.

"You lied to me," was all George was able to say before the tears came. "You—you said you'd never leave me." George shifted so that he could see him right way up, his hands shaking as he grabbed his brother's arms. "I—I can't do this without you, I—" he had never cried like this before. Usually tears brought some sort of closure, some help in coming to terms with whatever caused them. But as he let go and allowed the sobs to pour violently from his body, he felt nothing. Just an overwhelming emptiness, starting at the pit of his stomach and spreading quickly, swallowing him.

"How do you expect me to get through anything when you're not here with me?" he whispered, shaking Fred's limp body on impulse, but immediately regretting doing so. His brother heaved unnaturally in his arms, feeling too heavy to be real. "God—" his voice sounded strange in his throat; too high, too scared. This couldn't be happening.

He was vaguely aware of the fact that his cries were echoing off the walls of the Great Hall, that the rest of the mourners around had settled into a somewhat awkward, respectful silence as they tried desperately not to watch George collapse onto his brother's chest in utter helplessness. "Why did you leave me?" he shouted painfully, "You promised—please, I need you—"

"Please don't cry, Georgie."

George gasped, tensing at the faint brush of arms suddenly wrapping around his middle. He didn't move. He knew that if he did, it would disappear. He couldn't let him go, not yet. Tears blurred his vision and he choked back a sob, shaking his head slowly. "Please, George…don't cry. I'm here. I am. I promise." George felt his chest lighten and his tears slowed. Despite himself, he was being reassured. He swallowed thickly and closed his eyes, listening to his brother's voice. "Don't cry anymore, Georgie. I'm here. I'll always be here. I promise."

"How am I supposed to do this without you?" George asked softly, "I've never been alone before. I can't—I can't start now." George felt his brother's hand in his hair and fresh tears sprung to his eyes. It wasn't really there. None of this was real. He was losing his mind.

"You're not alone, George." Fred's voice whispered in his ear. "I promise I'll wait for you. I'll never leave you, Georgie. Not really." George's hands clenched in his brother's robes and he shook his head, his tears starting up again. "Now, I told you to quit that." Fred's voice scolded playfully. "You're gonna be alright. I promise. You'll always have me."

It was another hour before the gentle feel of arms vanished, and George realized the emptiness had shrunk back in his chest. It didn't disappear, and George knew it never would, but it became suddenly more bearable, as if maybe Fred was right, and he wasn't alone, after all.

Fred always had been able to make him smile, in the end.

A/N: This was really just a thoughtless little piece I came up with while waiting to fall asleep just now. Still not tired, but it's 6:35am, so I guess it doesn't matter so much anymore. XD Anyway, it's cheesy and not my best, but whatever. I figured I'd post it on here anyway, 'cause I'm stalling for time. Har har.