Author's Note: I don't know why I had to write this story, I just had to. I thought of it when I took a Tylenol for my shoulder, and it popped into my head. At first, it was going to be from Harry's POV about Harry's regret after the Battle, but...eh. Didn't want to. So now it's George and Angelina. Well, mainly George.
Disclaimer: I didn't write HP. Obviously.
A GeorgexAngelina Fanfic
May 26, 2008
It had been too long since he relapsed; George should have known that it would be coming in the near future. He should have warned Angelina that it had been nearly two years, twice as long as it had been since his last relapse, and that she ought to be on the lookout for any strange behaviors he might exhibit. But instead he'd let the days slip by like water, and now here he was, standing in front of the medicine cabinet that Angelina just insisted upon keeping, even though George constantly told her that Wizarding remedies were much more trusthworthy.
A frown pulled at his lips as he rummaged around the cabinet; he'd never used it much, considering that half of these medicines looked like little candies, and since when was candy known to heal anything? George himself had invented dozens of candies that were designed to make sure that pain and suffering mixed with comedic affect would ensure, but there was always a cure on the other end of the sweet. That, at least, had been purely his invention; Fred was content with allowing the victim to just puke for hours on end.
Fred. The thought of his twin brother sent a tremor through his body, and George's shaking hands dropped the bottle he was holding, sending the amber bottle tumbling to the floor before it broke. "Shit," he muttered, dropping to his knees and scrabbling to pick up the white pills that mingled with shards of glass. They'd fallen in an eerie pattern, and George stumbled away when he looked at the grinning face that smirked up at him. It was, in his eyes, a sign, a sign that Fred was watching and wanted him to do it. And why wouldn't he? Fred was lonely, for crying out loud. There was no Fred without George, just like there was no George without Fred.
Angelina was wrong to think that he was all right, George mused. It had taken her several months after the last incident for her to leave him alone again; nearly a year until she stopped sending hourly owls to check up on him. At the time it seemed foolish, and George wished she would stop; now, he would have done anything to hear that owl tap-tap-tapping on the window, just to prove that there was more than one dead person who cared about him.
It was on impulse that George would swallow these pills. He hadn't thought about it, hadn't planned it, hadn't saved little pills in a secret corner in case this agony came back. There was no prearranged suicide note, though he knew that he would have to throw something on to paper to explain to Angie why he'd done this. It pained him to leave her in such a final way, it really did, but George couldn't keep doing this. He couldn't live every day hoping that Fred would return, laughing and joking and brainstorming and waiting for George to fall into step next to him. Fred was dead and that was final, something that even he couldn't fix. The only thing he could do was join him.
Angelina hid the alcohol months ago, George knew that. But he also knew that he was a Wizard, and even though she told him that if he ever conjured up anything with even a trace of ethanol in it she'd hex his other ear off, he didn't think that mattered now. He waved his wand at random, grinning in bitter satisfaction as a bottle of vodka burst into being, hovering for a few moments before gravity came into play. But his beater's reflexes caught it easily, the familiar texture associated with this particular brand of alcohol feeling like a welcome blanket being wrapped around his shoulders.
It would be a short death, much like Fred's had been. George didn't know why he didn't use magic to off himself; perhaps it would be too simple that way. Fred had suffered, if only for a moment, and he wanted to suffer the way his twin had suffered. He wanted to die like Fred, and if he couldn't die with him, he would sure as well pass on in the same brief pain. Using a wall to crush himself would be the most obvious option, but destroying the house that Angelina lived in wasn't exactly kind. George knew that he would already be causing his wife inexplicable pain; she'd lost Fred once, and that had nearly destroyed her, but losing him wouldn't be as bad. Angelina never loved him the same way she loved Fred.
He looked frantically around for a quill and bit of parchment, ripping open drawers until he finally found it. Taking a deep breath, he dipped the quill into the inkwell and began to write.
"Dearest Angelina," he wrote, fingers shaking a bit and the words coming out so blurred that it was somewhat unintelligible.
"I don't know how to begin, or how to explain myself. I know you'll hate me after you read this; you have every right to. It's a lot of me to ask you to understand why I'm doing this, but I have to ask. You, of all people, know what losing him did to me. You saw me in the year after his death, you saw the living skeleton I'd become. And you saved me, Angie, at least for the time being. You brought me out of the darkness, brought me back to my family. I can never thank you enough for that.
But I was never meant to live without Fred, Angelina. You know how it was – Fred and George, George and Fred, Gred and Forge, the Weasley twins, etc. There was never a George without Fred, or a Fred without George. It just wasn't right. You and Alicia always knew that, sometimes I think you two might have been the only two who ever understood. Not that we were like, in love romantically or anything (why does everyone think that? It makes me ill), but sometimes we just needed to be alone, and I'm so glad that you guys gave us the space we needed when we needed it. Did I ever tell you that? I'm sure I must have…. Then again, we never did like to talk about Fred…
Oh, and thank you for that too, Ang. Thanks for never making me talk about him unless I needed to. You know how my Mum, always wanted to talk about him, thinking that I "needed to" in order to move on with my life. I would have thought that she would back off when I told her that it hurt, that she would see what it did to me. See, the only person I would talk to about such a sensitive subject like that was Fred. But Fred was gone, wasn't he? Talking to his grave never did anything.
I don't think the depression ever went away, actually. I think I got so good at pretending that I was okay that I convinced myself that I was. But now that I think about it, I don't think it ever was okay. I don't think I ever got over it, and I don't think I ever will. I have to do this; I have to get away from every fucking day being all about Fred. I'm sick of seeing him everywhere and not being able to do anything about it. I'm sick of not being able to smile, really smile, or laugh and relax like I used to. I'm not the same George Weasley, and I don't like who I've become.
You'll be okay without me, Angie. Find someone who is whole and you can love you…I hear that Charlie is still madly in love with his dragons, maybe he'll fall as madly in love with you as Fred and I did. Go find him, he always told me how lucky I was to have you. Tell him I sent you, and tell my family that I'm sorry for this. Tell my mum I love her; tell Dad that I've always been proud of him. Hug Ginny for me and tease Ron, okay? But then give him a hug too. Percy… well, do what you want with him. I don't think I've ever forgiven him for letting Fred die that day… And make sure Bill doesn't worry too much. He's always worried too much, he'll get even more wrinkles than he already has.
I love you, Angelina. Never forget that. Fred and I will be watching you from up there. Promise.
Love you until the end of magic,
He'd managed to remain rather stoic throughout the emotional letter, though George could feel his emotions welling up behind his eyes and threatening to spill over. He bit his lip, determined to show no weakness, not that it mattered right now. For several minutes he looked at the words on the page, shining like the splashes of blood that still stained the walls of Hogwarts. No matter what, those walls would always be tainted and haunted; sometimes, when he went back there, he could hear the cries of those who died that day and who they used to be. He could hear the clicks of Colin's camera, the sounds of Remus' lectures. The quiet "pop" that would happen when Tonks changed her hair, the soft bubbling of Snape's potions class.
He could hear Fred laughing.
George reached for the pills that now lay on the counter, his hands clutching them like they were his lifeline. A small smile played across his face as he realized the irony in that; they would be the ones to finally end the half existence he'd been living since that horrible, bloodstained night. He grasped the bottle in the other hand, trembling as he thought about the irrevocability of his decision. This would be the end; there was no coming back after his heart stopped and his breathing slowed to nothing. There would be no more nights with Angelina, no more days in the joke shop. But there would be an afterlife, eternal and wonderful as it could be, with Fred, and that was all that mattered.
He opened his hand and placed the vodka back on the counter so he could, one by one, place them into his mouth. They were bitter on his tongue, powdery almost, and the taste bothered him. There were thirteen of him, he noted; counting them hadn't been important earlier. Though he didn't know much about Muggle medicine, George was certain that would be enough to numb his body to the point of no return. For several moments he stood there, letting them rest in his mouth and dissolve a bit before he reached for the vodka that would end it all. With one swig he washed it down, reveling in the strange sensation of feeling them drop into his stomach. It wouldn't take too long, and after a few moments, he could feel exhaustion pulling at his eyelids, pulling him down, down, down…
"George, what the fuck are you doing here?"
There was a bright light and it was burning his eyelids red. It wasn't too hot, George noticed, more like… pleasantly warm. And he was so, so comfortable…Why would he want to open his eyes? But there was something shaking him, a hand grasping his shoulder and jerking it back and forth, and why did that voice sound so familiar?
"George! Wake up, you prick!"
Fred. "Fred?" he asked, blinking and shielding his eyes from the bright sunlight.
"Yes, you twit, it's me, now what are you doing here?!" Fred didn't look pleased to see him; on the contrary, his face was twisted with rage and disgust.
"I…I couldn't do it anymore," George said softly, glancing down at the ground. It was dark green, longish, much like the grass at Hogwarts. Actually, he mused, I think these are the Hogwarts grounds. But where's the castle? "Where are we?"
"Wherever you want to me. You heard what Harry said his little encounter with Dumbledore was like, I guess this is the same place, except for you it's the Hogwarts grounds. Weird, eh?" The familiar Weasley twin smile flickered across Fred's face, and George beamed with happiness. But it quickly disappeared after a moment, and the older twin's face returned to its former look of distaste. "You shouldn't be here, Georgie," he sighed.
"No, you shouldn't be here. That doesn't mean I don't miss you like hell, you know I do, but it's not your time. You've got a family to take care of, a life to live. Why would you throw it away so frivolously? I don't understand that…"
"It's not worth living without you, Fred. Every day I feel like there's a huge, gaping hole in my chest that's growing larger and larger when I can't see you… It's hell, you know."
"Yeah, I know," Fred said, running a hand through his hair and glancing around in exasperation. "It's hell not having you here. Torturing Snape is not worth it without you right next to me. But I would have done anything to live, you know that? Anything. Why would you give that up so easily?"
"Because…." George trailed off, biting his lip. "Because I miss you like hell."
"But I'm not worth it. And we'll have plenty of time after your actual time passes to spend together. Go back home to Angelina, George. She's pregnant."
George stared at his twin, gaping like a goldfish. "Y-you're kidding," he suttered. "Shit. What have I done?!" he said frantically, standing up and pacing in a circle around his twin. "I can't leave her…raising a child…what if it's twins?"
Fred laughed. "You're going to have another chance. This 'God' dude is pretty cool. He's letting you go back. But…give me a hug first, okay?" He clambered to his feet, walking towards George in huge strides. The two men grasped each other, holding on to each other like they'd never done before. Neither was sure how long they stood there, or when they both started to sob, but soon they broke apart, knowing that they belonged in different realms, at least for the time being. "I love you, George," Fred whispered. "You'll always be the most important person to me…You always were." He kissed his younger brother's forehead gently, brushing the tears from his eyes.
"Love you too, Fred," George stammered. "I…I guess I should go back now."
The world grew hazy and smoky, and Fred began to disappear in the fog. The tears that had momentarily stopped returned with a vengeance, but at the same time, he could feel them creep closed until he could only hear the distant sounds of Fred's laughter.