AN: First off, this story was inspired by "Dear Percy" written by Nightmarish. Also, much thanks to Zolo, my fantastic beta.
Just for reference, the dates found at the top of each letter are mildly important if you like to have a time frame in your head. In addition, the number of letters (364, etc) are as accurate as I could make them.
I now present to you: The Denial of George Weasley.
May 12, 1998
I know you're not dead. Everyone else is convinced, but not me. Never me.
This is just an elaborate joke, right? I'm a bit hurt you didn't let me in on it. I suppose you didn't have a chance to tell me. I'll forgive you though, if you'll just come home.
Maybe you're in Australia; you always did want to go there. Or maybe even Peru. Really, the only place I know you're not is the Burrow or our shop. That sure leaves a lot of ground to cover.
They had your funeral the other day. I've always thought it would be a bit neat to attend my own funeral like that muggle bloke Hermione told us about. Tom Sewer, I think it was? Anyways, I attended yours, which is pretty much the same thing as it would be if I went to my own.
I always figured we'd have a double funeral. Like a double wedding, only with caskets instead of brides. Now you've gone and had yours without me. It was a bit insensitive, really, but once you come back and then die for real we can have our double funeral anyways.
I know you can't be dead because I'd sense it. Remember how you knew right away when my ear got blown off? Even before any of the Order members who brought me back knew, you did. Or that time when you broke your ankle because you were running down the stairs? And how, even though I was outside at the time, waiting for Ron to walk by so I could throw that spider on him, I was the first one to find you, 'cause I knew something was wrong. Like a little alarm was going off in my head, even if it was a bit hard to hear over Ron's screaming. Well, I can't hear the little alarm, or even that little bit of me that belongs to you, but I figure it must be because you're too far away for me to feel it. Not in a way like you're dead, but like you're in Australia. Or Peru.
Either way, write me, so I know you haven't been bitten by a llama or kicked by a kangaroo. Or that those crazy muggles haven't kidnapped you and made dig in their dumb hole in the ground, looking for rocks. I hear they do that sometimes.
I guess I'm just saying I miss you. Please come home soon. It's not quite the same without you. It's actually a bit glum around here, what with everyone in mourning for you and all. But not me. Never me.
Your left-behind twin,
364 letters. Exactly one every week for the last seven years. And still not one reply.
George sighed, looking out yet another plane window, down at the seemingly endless sea. He was on his way to Venezuela this time.
The entire family (except Fred, of course, who hadn't come home yet) was shocked when George had announced, roughly six and a half years ago, that he was giving over the management of the shop to Lee so he could travel the world. His official excuse was that he was working for the preservation of magical creatures (Hermione had given him the idea), which required enormous amounts of travel, but no one, not even Ron, who had always been a bit slow on that sort of thing, believed him. They knew what, or rather who, he was really looking for. His parents just shook their heads sadly, as they watched another son walk away to never come home.
And so the years past. Ron and Hermione got married, and though no one ever saw him at the wedding, a gift slightly sloppily wrapped in a muggle newspaper ended up in the pile of wedding presents. After searching for several minutes, a card signed Fred and George was found wishing the newlyweds happiness. The gift itself was a box of Instant Darkness Powder that Ron remembered being imported from Peru.
George traveled all over the world, photographing every place he went. He kept each of the photos in a tattered backpack, internally expanded with magic and protected with the most formidable anti-thief spells George knew. The pictures were for Fred, once George saw him. So that Fred would be able to see the world as George saw it. A picture of every thing from the Grand Canyon to a small girl carrying water somewhere in Southeast Asia was there.
George lived in hotel rooms and lived for the next location, hoping more than anything that it would be where he would find Fred. So far, he had covered most of Asia, bits of Europe, all of Australia, and was working his way through South America.
Next stop, Venezuela. George knew this would be the place. He just knew it.
April 1, 2008
We turn 30 today. Did you remember? Get me anything good? I sent your gift with the letter. But you probably knew that already. Actually, unless you've gotten a personality transplant in the ten years since I've seen you, you opened it long before this letter. So, happy birthday, I suppose.
I'm flying out to Kenya today. You know, it would be nice if you gave me a hint. Even just a small one. I know it's a joke and all and right now you've got that mock serious look on your face and are shaking your head at me. You're saying, "Don't ruin the fun, George. I'm almost ashamed of you, loosing your sense of fun like that."
But I have to tell you Fred, it's not funny anymore. I've always told myself that it doesn't matter if I don't have any actual pictures of what you look like right now, that I can just look in the mirror. Except, that's not true anymore. I looked in the mirror the other day and almost didn't recognize myself. You wouldn't let yourself get this skinny or get that big of bags under your eyes. If you were here, you wouldn't let me either. But you're not. Here, I mean.
I miss you, dammit. I'm starting to think you don't want to be found. But that's impossible. You can't not want to be found by your twin. By me.
Please, just a clue. Any clue at all.
474 letters. Ten years of traveling the globe. Not a single reply yet. This normally wouldn't bother George, after all, both Weasley twins were known for being stubborn, sometimes to a fault. If George could look for ten years, it made sense that Fred would be able to stay hidden for ten years just as easily. No, the problem was that George was starting to run out of places to look. And if there was nowhere left to look it meant that they had been right all along. All the sympathetic friends, the grieving family, the bystanders who didn't understand and tried to smother him with their fake words of condolence. They would have been right. Fred was dead and George had done it all for nothing. But Fred couldn't be dead. He was hiding, laughing at his ingenious joke, waiting for George to find him.
George would simply have to look harder.
January 7, 2011
Honestly, this is taking longer than I thought it would. I thought it would be easy. But the best things are usually the hardest to find, aren't they? I guess you're a pretty good prize then. The one thing I want most, actually. Yeah, that would be you. I miss you so much. I know it's just a game to you, but don't worry I won't stop looking.
I've been taking more pictures than ever. I've been to just about every country in the world, but now I've started going back and checking the places I missed the first time around.
Fred, I have to admit, sometimes I get a bit scared. Because at times I think maybe I'll never find you. Or even worse, when I do find you, you won't want me any more.
I don't have much of an appetite anymore, but that's nothing new. What is new are the looks I get sometimes, like they're scared of me.
The funny thing is, sometimes even I'm scared of me. I don't know how to laugh anymore and that scares me almost as much as not being able to find you.
I've been thinking about Mum and Dad and Bill and Charlie and Percy and Ron and Ginny lately. All the people I love who I left behind to find you. Don't worry, I don't regret it.
I think a bit about Harry too. I think that if he could save all of the wizarding world, why couldn't he save you? But then I remind myself that you aren't dead and ask instead why he couldn't save me, at least. But that's what you're here for. To save me. I just have to find you first.
July 18, 2012
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Weasley,
We deeply regret to inform you of the death of George Weasley.
Determined cause of death is a combination of malnutrition and bodily stress, leading to a shutdown of the body on July 16th sometime in the late afternoon or early evening at the JFK airport in New York. It has been determined through tickets found on his person that he was flying to London, England.
Please report to the New York United Hospital, 3rd floor, to identify the body as soon as possible.
All personals, including the belongings found in the hotel room where it was determined George Weasley was staying have been shipped to this address and should arrive accordingly. Should you not receive them within a week, please do not hesitate to contact the address below.
William Phillips, New York United Hospital
July 18, the Weasley family received three separate packages. Two letters; one delivered by a confused looking muggle postman, marked New York, the other dropped by an owl on the grave of Fred Weasley, just as it had every week for the last fourteen years. The third package was a box with a tattered backpack filled with photographs from around the world. But when Molly Weasley cried, she wasn't sure if it was from grief or relief. A bit of both, she supposed.
July 15, 2012
I'm going to head home for a visit. Quite honestly, I haven't seen any of our family in years. I swear I haven't giving up looking for you. I'll find you, even if it takes my whole life, promise. Just a week at home is all, I'll see Mum and Dad and everybody and then I'm flying out to Japan. After all, you always did like sushi.
It was a double funeral. Like a double wedding, only with caskets instead of brides. The casket on the left held a barely recognizable man, maybe in his mid-thirties. The casket on the right, however, didn't contain a body, but rather hundreds of letters. 737, to be exact. It didn't really matter, though, because for the first time in over fourteen years, they were together. Fred and George had finally both stopped running, stopped searching, and maybe, just maybe, could find peace.
AN: Please remember to review.