Author's Notes: Hello everyone. This came about because I wanted to write a one shot, and while looking for ideas, the only one I came up with that I knew how to write was this one. Please review if you like it. Please review if you don't, and tell me why. All feedback is appreciated and will be taken into consideration when I write something else.
A Proper Send Off
The ceremony was beautiful. A clear blue day and the number of people that attended was staggering. So much so that at one point, a number of the Hogwarts Professors were stationed at the entrances, making sure that people knew whose funeral they were attending to make sure there were no mistakes. There had been so many funerals over the weeks that followed the Battle of Howarts that the new cemetery, set up on the border of the grounds of Hogwarts, had not been empty of people except at night time.
The sun shone weakly over the proceedings. People crowded, squashed together in grief at the grave site, the family at the front, all in black, and all in various stages of grief.
Mrs Weasley sobbed openly, chokes of breath between her cries carrying loudly over the voice of the Minister. By her side; Mr Weasley let his pain spill silently. Tears rushing down his cheeks in rivers and his arm shaking where it wrapped around his wife's shoulders. Next to Mrs Weasley, Fleur wrapped both arms around her husband's shoulders as a few tears slid silently over her perfect face, letting Bill shake and cry and not thinking any less of him for it.
Charlie and Percy stood behind their parents stubbornly wiping away tears from their cheeks and eyes every minute or so. On his father's left hand side, Ron sat with his girlfriend Hermione. His tears poured silently, like his father, and she gripped his hand in both of hers, whispering words of love and comfort in his ear. Ginny, the youngest, had given up her seat to let her great Aunt Muriel have a chair, and sat in Harry Potter's lap, her head pressed into his shoulder, her tears slowly soaking through his black robes.
Behind Harry and Ginny, George stood. No tears, no shortness of breath, no anything. He stared into the distance over the heads of the other guests, his eyes blank, mouth dry. About half way through the ceremony, Percy had leant towards George and asked him in hoarse whisper if he was ok. George had not looked at his brother, but nodded mutely.
After the Minister had given his last words, the guests began filing out of the graveyard, some throwing anxious looks at the Weasley family, some approaching to give their condolences. From behind the crowd, Minerva McGonagall pushed her way through and approached Mr Wealsey, a nervous gaze fixing on George for a few moments before she spoke.
"Arthur…" she began cautiously.
"Yes Minerva?" Arthur Weasley replied, looking up with wet eyes.
"I know we said we'd have Fred's wake in one of the larger classrooms in the castle, but I've moved it to the Great Hall."
Arthur stared incredulously at her.
"There are so many people, Arthur. They wouldn't fit in a classroom." When Arthur still stared at her blankly, she nodded carefully to Harry and Hermione, who stood and tried to bring the Weasley's with them.
The Weasley family made their way slowly back towards the castle. In the grief of the funeral, none of them had really noticed how many people had really turned up, but as they walked into the Great Hall to find it filled with people, they stopped in awe.
"Why are there so many people?" Harry asked quietly to Minerva McGonagall, who turned to the Weasleys as they grouped together.
"Weasley Wizard Wheezes were doing fantastically, a lot of the customers wanted to come and pay their respects to a fantastic inventor." Her eyes lingered on George's blank face for a moment. "Also, every student who knew Fred is here, not to mention Order of the Pheonix and some members of the Ministry."
Harry felt a swell of pride in the number of people that had turned up to support the Weasleys, easily Harry's favourite family in the world. Groups formulated around the Great Hall, some quite in reflection, some rowdy in their memories of the twin. In the far corner, Harry could see the Gryffindor Quidditch Team, a little way off, a number of the DA. Students stood with their friends, Professors caught in conversations with the parents. Not to mention the dozens of Wizards Harry had never met scattered around the Hall.
Along the centre of the Hall, one of the house tables stood, gleaming golden plates set neatly along, and as the Weasleys made their way forward, the platters filled with snack foods and flagons of different drinks.
With shaking hands, Mr Weasley left his wife with Fleur and Bill, and with Percy following quietly behind, approached a group of Ministry workers to thank them for attending. Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Harry made their way over to the DA and accepted their condolences for the family with grim faces. By the door, George stood staring blankly at the ceiling, white clouds swirling softly around the blue sky seen above.
When everyone had eaten the food, and were enjoying the drinks the house elves kept sending, a number of people got up to talk about Fred Weasley, how they'd known him, and what they would always remember. The Gryffindor Quidditch Team grinned and nodded when Oliver Wood spoke fondly of Fred's brilliant Beater skills. All the students giggled behind their hands when their Professors talked of his constant disregard for the rules, even laughing out loud when Professor McGonagall chose to read out some of the choice reasons the twins had been punished in their six and a half years at Hogwarts.
Everyone was silent as Percy Weasley spoke of his brother's last heroic moments; laughing until the end. How he was eternally thankful he was able to patch things up with Fred before he was lost. And still George stood in the corner, not saying a word.
When the final speaker got up onto the platform where the teacher's table usually stood, George finally looked up. Stood before the room full of people, Verity, smiled nervously and began talking about her first day at Weasley Wizard Wheezes. With a giggle, she explained how she'd accidentally fallen into a stack of the Patented Daydream Charm boxes and Fred had to spend the next three hours trying to break the charm while she had been day dreaming of a prince on a white horse.
It was only as Verity was talking, that the guests began noticing the piles of boxes stood along the back wall, and that was only because the DA students had left their corner and were climbing up onto the platform, opening the boxes and moving things around. A few people whispered curiously to their neighbours, some craned their necks to see the contents of the boxes, and Percy grinned to himself.
Leaving his father with the Ministry officials, Percy returned to George, putting an arm around his shoulder and steering him towards the platform. George narrowed his eyes and looked questioningly at his brother. Once on the platform, George saw the insides of the boxes and almost snorted with laughter. McGonagall wouldn't like this.
"Everyone." Verity continued. "We've heard some speeches about how nice Fred Weasley was, how bravely he fought in the Battle of Hogwarts two weeks ago, and how sorely he will be missed." She glanced around to make sure everyone was ready before she continued. "However, a group of students came down to Weasley Wizard Wheezes and told me they wanted a proper goodbye for their fellow member of Dumbledore's Army. A farewell tribute that was fitting to his character. A display of his achievements."
On the other side of the Hall, Minerva McGonagall narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips. Verity stepped over to George and rubbed a hand down his arm.
"We thought you should be the person to start this off." She whispered. "He would want it, George. He'd want to be remembered. He'd want you to go on."
George closed his eyes as tears began welling up. He nodded mutely and pulled out his wand. His footsteps fell like lead as he took the few steps towards the nearest box. He could feel all eyes in the hall on him as he crouched, tears falling thick and fast down his cheeks and onto his robes. Placing his wand inside the box, he ignited it, and watched as the closest fuse began fizzing. As quickly as he could, he lit the other fuses and stood up, almost running away from the box. The DA members began lighting the fuses of their boxes before jumping down from the platform.
Percy and Verity pulled George away, both slinging arms around his shoulders as the room erupted into bangs of light and colour. Firecrackers popped, Catherine Wheels whizzed, Rockets hurtled above the heads of the guests, dragons of fire soaring gracefully between them.
Mrs Weasley looked about on the verge of a heart attack. Mr Weasley watched in awe of his son's brilliance. Bill, Charlie and Fleur cheered and laughed; wet smirks plastered to their faces. Ron and Ginny exchanged evil grins and began firing spells at the fireworks. Percy thanked Verity and told Professor McGonagall that opening the windows of the Great Hall might be a good idea.
George watched his and his twin's creations, tears pouring down his face; tears of grief and joy. The funeral had been beautiful. The speeches had been heart wrenching pain put into words. His mother's tears were too much to handle. This was much better. This was perfect. If anyone knew Fred, it was George, and he knew the only thing Fred would have wanted was a proper send off.