A/N FROM CHI!: This story 110 Yumi's. Yumi is my sister and not old enough to have a fanfiction account, but is-if I do say so-an amazing writer. All comments should be directed toward Yumi, I'm just the beta! Carry on, my reading-mignons, carry on.
George's Silver lining
George Weasley stood on the roof of Gringotts Wizarding Bank on a stormy, rainy day. There was not a face in site at the usually crowded Diagon Alley. It was too much of a 'gloomy' day for wizards to go shopping. The wind was whipping his hair in front of his face. He didn't remember why he had apperated here, but then again, he didn't remember much anymore. Not after he died. George didn't want to say or think that name ever again. He supposed he should be happy now that the Voldemort was dead; but he felt nothing but remorse. In his mind, there was no happiness, no light at the end of the tunnel.
Everybody kept telling him that Fred wouldn't want him to mourn his death, but they didn't understand. There was no George. There was always Fred and George. One did not go without the other; it was as simple as that. He had been getting much hate-mail lately, asking why Weasley's Wizard Wheezes had not re-opened. Everyone had expected it to open, and be more festive than ever, but it had gone the other way. George covered most of the posters and bright colors with gray paper, or sheets, and took down all of the mirrors. They didn't understand. Most of them could care less about the news, and were unaware of the fact that Fred had died, and George's spark had died with him.
It did not bother George that he was suddenly on the roof of a very tall bank with no recollection of getting there. He did this a lot just apperating to random places. While most people hated the feeling of being sucked through a tube, not being able to breath, it was like a drug for George. When things got to bad, and he couldn't take the pain, the pain of loss, he would apperate. It was the only thing that could distract him. The physical pain, took him away from the pain of memory.
Although he had come up here with only the intention of forgetting, other idea's started to pop into his head. "One step" He thought. That would be all it took and he would be with Fred again. Now was the time to choose; his family and remaining friends, or Fred. Not just Fred though, Dumbledore, Remus, Tonks, and Sirius would all be there. But what about Percy, who had just come back to the family? Ron, who finally has a meaningful relationship; his mum and dad had already suffered the loss of Fred; they wouldn't be able to deal with George gone too. And what about everybody else? Bill, Charlie, Harry, Ginny, Lee?
But how did he even know if they would care, he was practically dead already. Nobody enjoyed his presence. He wasn't the same George who had met them.
One step. That's all he could think of at this moment. Two words, with so much meaning. But would it be painful? Falling off the edge and hitting the ground would hurt, wouldn't it? It would be much less painful if he was to use the killing curse against himself, but could he do that? Was it even possible to use that kind of curse on himself?
And what if he could? He would have to get the curse correct, practice it to perfection. No. That was out of the question, no more lives needed to be lost. Besides, he was here now. He could have one last thrill of falling before death. He picked up his left foot- there was a loud crack, and then, "GEORGE! NO!" He didn't have to turn around to here the voice of his best friend Lee Jordon, who had just apperated to the roof with him. "George! Stop! Go back down!" That was going to happen, whatever he decided on doing, but he didn't say this out loud.
"Why?" was George's reply.
"Why? What the hell do you mean 'why'? You can't do this George!"
George shrugged his shoulders. He didn't have the heart to turn around and see Lee's face.
"Why? Why shouldn't I jump? Tell me, what difference would it make?"
"What difference would it make? Are you kidding me? Everybody misses him George! You don't think we all feel this pain?" George didn't reply. "You don't see us jumping off banks! Do ya? Besides, Fre- he wouldn't want you to do this. He would NOT be happy to see you again, until you are an old fart!"
There it was again. He was sick of everybody telling him how his brother would have felt and how his brother apparently wouldn't have wanted him to do anything that would make him happy. They all seem to think they knew him better than he did. Nobody knew him like he did! Fred was part of him, not just a brother. "Nobody talks to me anyway, what difference would it make if there was one less Weasley out there? Whenever one of you thinks that I'm lonely, you'll come over, say I'm so sorry, pat me on the back, and leave. How do you think that feels?"
"George, what the hell is your problem? We'd talk to you if you let us. You just ignore us!" He heard Lee restraining tears, and found himself doing the same. "Please George. Don't do this. How could you do this to all of us? Just wait it all out, happiness will come. There is a light at the end of this dark, drippy, tunnel!" It was odd, how George's own thoughts were thrown back at him in reverse. He wanted to jump with all of his heart, but Lee had a point. He couldn't leave this world. Not just yet anyway. He Turned around to face Lee, and to go back down to safe ground. But he turned too quickly, lost his footing, and slipped.
He saw only a glimpse of Lee's face, as he shouted, "NO!" The wind whipped past him, making his limbs flail uselessly. He now saw Lee's tear stricken face over the roof, watching his fall. A tear dropped from Lee's cheek, racing George to the ground. He shut his eyes, waiting for the splat. But it didn't come. Instead, hit a small, hard object, and was apperating. He didn't know where. All he knew was that he couldn't breathe, and two tight arms were wrapped around his waste. Somebody must have caught him and apperated, so that he wouldn't hit the ground. It was over before he could process the next thought.
He landed on his back in the front yard of a small cabin that he took to be this ladies home. "What the heck were you doing?" George jumped. He was so surprised at his new destination that he had forgotten about his savior. He turned his head to see a woman, who looked to be the same age as him. George even thought she was quite pretty. But she looked troubled. "Hello? You got an answer?" She tried to say it harshly, but her voice was still has sweet as honey.
"S-sorry," he stuttered. "Tripped"
"Tripped huh? Looks a bit different to me." George sighed in defeat.
"You caught me. I was going to jump. My friend came up and persuaded me not to though, and then I slipped." George only realized how pathetic he sounded after he had said the words.
She smiled for a moment, and then burst out in laughter. "You slipped? Wow that must suck! Sorry, I know I shouldn't be laughing now." But the more she laughed, George couldn't help it. He burst out in laughter. It was a strange and unfamiliar sound to him. The both of them sat there, for who knows how long, laughing.
As the laughs turned to giggles, the girl spoke again. "I'm not going to ask you why you jumped, well, slipped. But may I ask you your name?" George grinned.
"George, my name is George Weasley. And yours?" She smiled back. "Clara, my name is Clara Tofty" She mimicked him. George recognized the name, but did not act on that though. He looked at the hut, and saw a single eye peeking out of the glass, but when he blinked, the eye was gone.
"I think I have to leave, everybody thinks I'm dead." Clara's smile vanished.
"Oh, ya. Well, see you around, I guess."
"Thanks for saving my life." She giggled.
"No problem." George stood up to leave, but had an idea.
"Hey Clara, if you ever want to see me again, well, so I could thank you again, you could stop by Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. Me and my bro-, well, I own that store."
"Sure thing." And with that, George spun in the air, and was apperating to the Burrow. As he traveled, he realized that he had not thought about Fred once during the whole entire conversation.
As he arrived in his garden, the feeling of cheerfulness had left him, and he was already back to his morbid self. He walked up to the front step, and braced himself for the explosion. He opened the door and walked to the living room. What he saw and heard was more than explosion, it was equal to about five explosions.
He saw his mother crying into his father's shoulders, as his father was trying to stay strong for his wife. On the couch beside them were Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, each girl sitting on there boyfriends' lap. Across from them, Charlie, Bill, and Fleur were standing, Bill with one arm around Fleur, and Charlie holding Teddy Lupin, trying to distract himself. Next to them, Percy sat in a recliner, while Lee sat on the arm of the chair.
As he walked in the room, the reaction was immediate. Everybody looked over at him, and Ginny stood up with a glare on her face. "George." Ginny said calmly as she walked over to him.
"Look, I know what your thinking. I can explain everything…it's really not what you think!" Ginny walked rite up to him, and slapped, rite across the face.
"OW! I almost die, and you slap me."
"YES! WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US?" George was dumbfounded. He looked up at the clock, and realized it had spent quite some time at Clara's home.
"L-look, just let me talk, I can explain."
Now Lee joined in, "Oh can you? I've already told them everything…you can say your excuse now."
"Ok" George sighed. "I've been apperating for the heck of it." He heard Ginny make a noise that sounded like "Hmph" "Ok," he caved, "I've been apperating to get my mind off of, well, you all know. So anyway, Gringotts popped into my head, and I remembered always wanting to stand on the top as a kid." He invented. "So that's where I went. Once I got up there, I will admit, suicide was on my mind. But I never really planned on jumping."
"YOU LIAR!" Lee shouted, getting up from his spot. "You said you were going to. You kept saying stuff like 'Why not?'"
"I was testing you. I wasn't ever going to jump! I just wanted to know why I shouldn't. I when I was turning around to go to Lee to thank him for stopping me, even though I wasn't going to, I slipped. A girl named Clara caught me and apperated, so that I didn't hit the ground at full impact. I was a fool."
Percy smiled. "That's my line." He teased. "Personally, I don't care if that story is true or not, just as long as your fine." He went up to George and patted him on the back. Mrs. Weasley couldn't restrain herself anymore. She flew out of her husband's arms, and gave George a humongous hug. Next thing he new, he was surrounded by his family and his friends, while holding little Teddy, of whom Mrs. Weasley was babysitting for, because Mrs. Tonks was out to a dinner with friends.
As everybody cleared away and started fussing over dinner, he and Harry were left in the room. "Are you ok?" Harry asked calmly. George tried to move his head up and down, but couldn't bring himself to do it.
"Harry, can I ask you a question?" Harry sat down on the armchair.
"Sure, anything." George remained standing. "How? How do you do it?" "Do what?" Harry looked extremely puzzled.
"Handle the pain? Your parents, friends, teachers, hell, even enemies. You've had to watch all of them die." He watched as Harry's eyes got glossy wet. Oh no, George thought. He didn't mean to get Harry upset.
"You think I've gotten over all of that? You think that every day, I don't think that if Voldemort had just killed me, then all of these people would be alive today? No George, I don't deal with it. I run, and I know I shouldn't, but there is no way to get rid of remorse, no way to handle the pain.
"Sometimes you just have to wait it out, and wait for the one spec of hope given to you at the end of this horrible cave. Remember, I was the one who watched him die, watched the light go from his eyes, and watch my best friend cry for the first time in my life." George didn't need to hear this. There was no hope, no way out of his cave.
"Thanks. Tell mum and dad that I'm staying here tonight." He muttered, and went up to his old bedroom. The thought of Fred, no life in his eyes was unbearable. He let himself remember Fred's body, a mere reflection of himself. He recalled the smile on Fred's face. What was he happy about? It was worse that he was happy when he died. If he was frowning, and knowing of his death, everything would have been less depressing. But no, Fred didn't know a thing. He wasn't even hit by a curse. The damn wall just punched in by a giant! How is that a way to die?
He stopped his thoughts there. He had to go to bed before the other memories came back as well. Not even bothering to summon pajamas for himself, he crawled into bed. Sleep came faster than expected but George didn't care.
That night, he had a dream. The first dream that he had had since the horrible night at Hogwarts, that didn't involve Fred's lifeless face. This time, Fred was there, but alive. He looked at George, and just stood there, laughing. His features just how George remembered them. He ran forward to go to his lost brother, but then Clara appeared. "It's a pleasure to have finally met your brother." She said in an echoing voice. Then the three of them just stood there, laughing, and laughing, and laughing. None of them knew why, but they just couldn't stop.
He woke up with a smile on his face, and rolled over. "Fred, I had the weirdest dream last night. I-"And that's when reality came down hard over him as he saw the empty bed across the room from him. His smile slowly fell. He never slept in this room without his brother. Was he there last night with him? In heart and spirit?
What had just been his happiest moment in months had turned into any other morbid day. By the time it took him to get down to the breakfast table, George had decided that it was an insult to Fred to be around Clara, who made him happy. George didn't deserve happiness, not quite yet. Harry had said himself, hope was given to you, you didn't go get it.
Lee was sitting at the table, waiting. George scratched his head, "You weren't here all night were you?"
"Na just came over to make sure you weren't doing anything stupid." He punched George's arm playfully. As Lee tried to smile, George thought of something.
"Y-ya?" He answered nervously.
"How did you know I was at the top of Gringotts?" Lee's faint smile vanished.
"I uh, guessed." George glowered.
"Ok, I was going to look for you at your shop, and saw you on the roof."
"All rite, all rite, I'm an animagis. My animal form is an ant. I've been on your foot; following you to make sure you didn't jump."
"LEE!" George didn't want to here any more excuse.
Lee held up his napkin as a sign of surrender. "I really did go to your flat, above your shop...to check in on you. When you didn't answer, I kind of snuck in."
"Stop, I'm not finished, save your anger for when you hear the whole story. Anyway, I found this on your desk." He held up a piece of paper with a bunch of places written on it, some scratched out, some circled.
It was the list that George had made, of places he would apperate to. When he wasn't apperating, he had nothing else to do. So he made that list, to make sure that he never ran out of places to go, so that if the pain got to hard…he wouldn't have to think about it, he could just check the list, and go. The only one that was circled, without a line through it, was Gringotts.
"Are you mad?" Lee asked quietly. Indeed, George was extremely mad, but when he saw Lee's helpless face, the anger was gone.
"No. In fact, I should thank you for stopping me."
"Didn't work though, you fell."
"Tripped." George corrected.
George ate his breakfast of bacon and eggs, the classic, and headed out the door. It was only until after he walked out, that he realized, he had nowhere to go. Sure he could go back to his flat, but that would only lead to more apperating, which he had now decided would not be a safe option for him anymore.
He had told Clara that he'd be at his shop, what if he went there and opened it back up? No, he couldn't. It was wrong to be with Clara, who made him happy. It was just wrong to be happy, after what happened. Or, at least that's what he believed.
But what about the kids who were waiting for the store that had been closed for so long? He had to open it…for them. And, if Clara happened to stop by, well, then he would be polite, and chat. 'There,' he thought, 'that should be a good enough excuse.' And with that, he thought, "Weasley's Wizard Wheezes!" and was gone.