Started this shorty after I wrote 'Waiting In Line' and is kinda a sequel to it, but stands on its own if you haven't read it. Angsty with the story revolving around a major character death in Deathly Hallows, therefore contains spoilers. But seriously if you haven't read DH, why not? Hmm?? lol
Let me know what you think :D
He grunted in frustration for the third time in five minutes
He grunted in frustration for the third time in five minutes. His arms dropped to his sides, then he ruffled his hair. Instantly he stopped and looked in alarm at his reflection. He quickly tried to sort his hair out and return it to the style it had been in pre-ruffling.
He tried for a minute to sort his hair out and then grunted in frustration yet again.
The voice from the doorway made him jump, but as he recognised the voice he calmed down.
'Everyone's ready downstairs. The ceremony starts in ten minutes and they're asking that everyone be in their places, ready.'
Ron nodded and turned back to the mirror. He sighed as he remembered that now both his tie and his hair needed attention. He turned back to Hermione.
'Can you help me?' he asked with half a smile.
'Of course,' she replied as she made her way through the bedroom to him.
She took both ends of the tie in her hands and started to tie the material into a double Windsor knot. Ron's hands went to his hair and he once again tried to flatten it and make it smart.
'That's a lost cause whilst it's that long, matey!'
Ron turned sharply and glared at the mirror, which was unfortunate because it was at that second Hermione pulled the knot around his neck tight.
He coughed and Hermione looked at him with an apologetic smile.
'Should I have cut my hair? Is it disrespectful or…something?'
Hermione smoothed out his collar and then looked at him in the eye.
'What did George say to you when you considered cutting it yesterday?' she asked him kindly.
'Don't you bloody dare! You know how he liked it long, meant he could mess it up better!'
Hermione nodded. 'There's your answer then. You know that mirror's got an issue with long hair, that's why Bill swapped it for yours yesterday, remember?'
'Still should be tidy though,' he mumbled. He went to flatten it once more but Hermione caught his hands in hers.
'Ron, your hair's fine, you look very smart.'
'Thanks. You do too. Smart, I mean nice, no wait…no! I mean…' he sighed. 'There was a compliment in there, I promise.'
Hermione couldn't help but chuckle.
'It's okay I found it and pulled it from the wreckage.' Her face fell. 'Oh, Ron, I'm sorry.'
'Don't you dare apologise for making a joke. We decided, didn't we, that we weren't gonna watch what we said. That's not normal, okay? We need to keep some kind of normality while all this is going on. You said he'd want to be remembered with a smile, so…'
Hermione smiled at Ron. 'I did and we will, just…after we've buried him.'
Ron nodded and turned to look at himself once more in the mirror. He seemed happy enough with what he saw and took Hermione's hand. He led her out the bedroom and down the stairs.
'Oh!' he said stopping a few metres from the kitchen door. Hermione bumped into him as he hadn't given any warning he was about to stop. 'Oops, sorry, but I forgot to tell you, he didn't want to be buried. He's being cremated instead. Didn't go down too well to be honest, with mum and especially Aunty Muriel, not that she has any say in it, but still…'
'Is that what the raised voices were about last night. I wasn't sure if it was George or not, but I'm afraid your mother's voice is quite easy to distinguish even from Ginny's room.'
'Yeah, I went down after I heard something smash,'
Hermione looked at Ron in alarm.
'Don't worry, no one threw anything, George had picked up his wand without realising it and had waved it in his mini rant sending a vase across the kitchen. I fixed it when I went into the kitchen, asked what was wrong and was told that it didn't concern me and to go back to bed.'
'And did you?'
'Well, I left the kitchen but I listened on the stairs for a bit. George wasn't backing down. Apparently him and Fred…they'd organised things for if…well, for if either one of them died, and they promised each other they'd make sure their wishes were carried out, regardless of who protested. I mean, the robes are one thing, I think people were expecting something like that, but the rest they thought would be Weasley tradition to the letter.'
Hermione was about to answer when Harry appeared at the kitchen door looking pale and his hair still as unruly as ever.
'Oh, there you are. Everyone's taking their places, the coffin's ready for, well, you know.'
Ron nodded his head in acknowledgement and felt Hermione squeeze his hand in comfort.
They followed Harry through the kitchen and out the back door.
The rest of the Weasley children were standing in a group and behind them was the hearse that was holding Fred Weasley's coffin.
Ron turned to face Hermione.
'I'll see you in a bit,' he said, his voice low. He leaned down to kiss Hermione and hugged her.
When they pulled back she found his eyes.
'You'll be okay, Ron. You all will.'
Ron nodded and Hermione turned away from him. He watched her catch up Ginny who was waiting for her so they could walk to where the rows of chairs awaited the mourners who had come to pay their last respect to the middle Weasley child.
He turned back to his brothers and walked up to them. They were all wearing purple robes, as had been requested by Fred. Well, he hadn't request they wear purple specifically, but had just wanted anything but black. After a discussion with George, the rest of the Weasley brothers had decided to wear the colour that Fred had chosen for Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
Ron looked at Charlie who was pulling at his purple tie.
Bill put a hand on Ron's shoulder and then let his arm drop to his side.
'Yeah, fine.' He quickly made sure a specific brother was out of earshot before asking his question. 'How's George?'
Bill grimaced making a couple of his scars twist and send odd shadows across his cheeks and he shrugged his shoulders.
'Dunno, one minute it's like nothing's happened and the next he's withdrawn. Then again, I think we're all guilty of that, aren't we?'
Ron nodded his head in agreement.
'We'd better get going,' Percy said to the group as a whole. 'The ceremony starts in two and a half minutes.'
'Always with the specifics, eh, Perce?' Bill said with a smirk.
Percy looked at Bill and managed a half smile back at his older brother.
'You'd be concerned if I stopped!'
Bill nodded. 'That's true. Right, is everyone ready?'
Without acknowledging Bill's question the five brothers and Harry took their position around the coffin. They could have levitated the coffin to its place, but they didn't. They lifted it and steadied it on their shoulders. Their holds on each other were strong and evenly matched.
At the front stood George and Charlie, in the middle, Percy and Harry and at the back, Ron and Bill.
Ron held tightly onto Bill's shoulder as they slowly stepped forwards.
'Bloody hell, he's heavy!' Charlie mumbled quietly.
'It's not him that's heavy, it's his bloody ego that's the weight!' George replied.
Against every instinct in him, Ron snorted aloud at George's comment. After a second he felt Bill's shoulder shaking and knew he was laughing. He looked at Harry in front of him and saw his head was bowed but his shoulders were jumping as he laughed silently.
'Stop! Everyone stop!' George said loudly.
The six of them stopped walking and stopped laughing. Ron immediately felt guilty for laughing and was worried at how George was going to react.
'George, I'm sorry, I should never have laughed.'
'Shut up, Ron!' George snapped. 'Never apologise for laughing. Ever. If it were up to me we'd make our way through that lot talking about him, remembering the good times, the jokes, and the times he was the biggest pain in the arse in both the Wizarding and Muggle world, but if we do it'll send Percy's watch haywire and people will not be impressed with us walking through there, with him on our shoulders laughing out loud, will they.'
'I can't see that going down too well, myself,' Charlie replied.
'Exactly, so please, keep the laughter in during what my darling twin brother wanted for his funeral. There will be plenty of time for laughter at the end. I guarantee you that.
'Whatever Fred wanted, George,' Percy said quietly.
'Yeah,' George replied. 'Whatever Fred wanted.'
'This is strange,' Ron said, as he looked at all the people in the Burrow's back garden.
'What is?' both Hermione and Harry asked him at the same time.
Ron sniggered. 'This,' he said, gesturing with his hand at everyone around them. 'Some people don't know what to do. You can see that they want to have fun and remember Fred with a smile and a joke, like he wanted them to, but they don't think they should, or think other people will be offended if they do. Then there's George, Charlie and even Percy bursting into hysterics every few minutes over compensating for the people who don't feel like they can laugh. It's just…weird.'
'It is a bit,' Harry agreed.
'Funerals can be strange anyway, regardless of whether or not the person you've just laid to rest requested you laugh a lot during the wake. People deal with grief differently, no way is right or wrong, and no one should ever question someone else's grieving process… but people are conflicted here. Fred certainly made himself a good show to watch, didn't he?'
Ron snorted and took a drink from his bottle of Butterbeer.
'He really did.'
The three of them jumped on hearing Ginny's shrieks of laughter. Percy was huddled on the floor gasping for breath and Charlie looked close to joining him.
'I think I should have said something,' Ron said suddenly.
'During the ceremony?' Harry asked.
Ron shrugged. 'Yeah, 'spose. I dunno, I didn't because I thought I'd mess it up, but…I dunno, maybe I should've.'
Harry opened his mouth to say something but then changed his mind.
'What would you've said if you did?' Hermione asked.
Ron took a deep breath. 'Um, okay, see, this is the other reason why I didn't, because Fred would've wanted me to be honest but I could hardly stand in front of everyone and say 'Fred was a great brother, but sometimes he was the world's biggest pain in the arse!' could I?'
Harry chuckled. 'No, maybe not.'
'Then don't say it to all that lot.' Hermione said as she pulled out her wand from her robes and refilled hers, Ron's and Harry's bottles. 'Say it to Fred, we're the only ones who are going to hear…and Fred…obviously.'
Ron reddened slightly but took a deep breath.
'Fred…I meant what I said just then…you were a complete pain in the arse,' Harry and Hermione chuckled, 'but I meant the other thing I said, too. You were a great brother…I never told you, really, but you were. You wound me up, and you laughed at me when I really didn't need it…but you were there when I needed you, too. You'd stand up for me in an instant and…and I loved you for that. Um…yeah…'
Hermione raised her bottle. 'To Fred.'
Ron and Harry copied her actions. 'To Fred.'
They drank from their bottles and smiled at each other.
A loud bang above their heads made them jump.
'Ladies and Gentlemen,' George shouted at the people scattered around the garden. 'If you would be so kind as to raise your eyes to the skies and behold the wonder that is mine and Fred's most spectacular display. Enjoy.'
And everyone did.
'…and finally tonight, we've had various reports of what can only be described as a bare backside in the sky this evening. Very strange, and for what is probably the first time in history it can be said that there was two full moons tonight…'