LbN: Hey guys! Last chapter!
Harry ran his hands through his hair and sighed. How was he going to tell Fred? He mentally pummeled himself once more. A gift, yeah right. As he descended the stairs, Kreacher came into the hall and wheezed up at him,
"Masters Fred and George Weasley have come to see you, Master Harry."
"Thank you Kreacher."
As he entered the kitchen, Harry gave a shout and stumbled back into the doorframe. Standing there were George and Fred, but Fred looked…different. Harry could see through him partially. This sealed Harry's theory on what was happening.
"Kreacher," he said, "Could you bring us some of your special pumpkin juice?"
"Right away, Master Harry," the elf bowed.
"What's so special about it?" George asked.
"It's spiked with three types of alcohol," Harry answered. "I normally only ask for it when I'm sick, but I have a feeling we're all going to want some."
"Have you found something out then?" Fred asked, and this time he sounded distant even to Harry.
"I think I know what the problem is, and how to fix it. You're not going to like either," he said, more to George than to Fred. "Sit down."
Kreacher brought back three glasses, into which he poured a dark orange liquid from a flask. After taking a sip and cringing, Harry began to explain.
"From what I read, I think what's happening is this: I pulled Fred from a stable reality through an unstable one and into another stable one. In both stable realities, you should be dead. So, you know, this reality is trying to adjust to you being here the easiest way possible—"
"By getting rid of me," Fred nodded.
"Er…yeah. You're fading. And…well, there's another thing. If you fade from this reality, you won't exist at all since you're not…um, where you're supposed to be."
Avoiding the twins' panicked looks, Harry took another swig and continued.
"But if we can just put you back, you'll be fine. You'll be in your correct…whatever it is."
"Do you think…" George trailed off, looking at the shadow of his brother. "Do you think this would happen to me if I went with him?"
"I think it would, George," Harry said apologetically. "There's a bigger problem though."
"Another one?" Fred sighed.
"I destroyed the entrance to the Room of Requirement, remember?"
"All of them?" both twins asked.
"The Room can regenerate entrances at different places in the castle. You just have to find where it moved to when you destroyed the tapestry."
With a pang of sadness, Harry recalled how he had found the Room the first time. He'd have no help this go around…
"I'm going to get my map," he told the twins. "You two send a message to McGonagall; tell her we're coming."
Harry got to his feet a tad unsteadily, but regained his balance and bolted for his room. He pointed his wand at the top drawer of his desk and heard the lock turn. Opening it, he grabbed the Marauders' Map and locked the drawer back. When he returned to the kitchen, Fred and George were standing near the fire.
"It's easier for him to Floo," George explained. Harry simply nodded and followed the twins into the green flames.
"I will assist you as much as I can," McGonagall said when Harry gave her the very abridged rendition of what was happening. "I have to oversee some of the construction going on, but I will keep an eye out and send a Patronus to you if I find the Room."
"Thanks professor," Harry said, turning to leave. He went back into the hall where Fred and George were waiting.
They began in the dungeons, combing every classroom looking for the door. Harry had no idea why he'd even brought the map. The Room had never appeared on it before when he…
He stopped. Fred and George turned to look at him.
"What's up?" Fred shouted.
It was so simple. The Room had never appeared because he'd never needed it to. He'd known where it was when he'd gone in his fifth year, and in his sixth he hadn't know Malfoy was in there, so he hadn't asked the map to show him the room.
"George, hold this up," he said.
Once, twice, three times. I need to put Fred back.
He looked. There, on the second floor between the statue of the Eleventh Educational Rebellion and a painting of Glemis the Gallant, was the Room of Requirement.
"Found it," he smiled.
When they made it to the Room, Harry stood back and let George have a moment with his twin.
"I can't hug you," George said, trying anyway. Fred stood back and waved at Harry.
"I'm sorry, Fred," Harry lamented. "Really, I didn't mean for this—"
"'s alright," Fred smiled. "Just…look after George okay?"
Harry opened the door. It was still dark inside. Apparently the Room couldn't repair itself, or hadn't gotten around to it yet."
"Bye Fred," George said quietly.
Harry closed the door on the redhead, hoping that this worked. Once it was closed, he turned to look at George, who was sitting on the wall opposite the door.
"George? Come on, we can't stay here."
"Suppose not," he whispered.
"Oh, hello Harry!" Molly smiled.
It had been about a week since Fred had gone. George, unable to stand his family's uneasy looks, had stayed with Harry for a few days. That morning, however, he had been gone when Kreacher went to wake him for breakfast.
"Er…Mrs. Weasley, has George come by today?" Harry asked.
"Bill sent me an owl saying he turned up early this morning," she answered.
"Oh, okay. He didn't tell me he was leaving."
"I think he just…wants to keep moving right now. He told me he wants to go back to the store next month."
"I think I'll go see him," Harry said, walking toward the door. "It's been a while since I've seen Bill and Fleur too."
"Have a good trip, dear," Molly smiled, pressing a cinnamon roll into his hand as he left.
A minute or two later, he was standing in front of Shell Cottage. He took a bite of his breakfast as he rang the ornate bell. Fleur's doing, he though with a smile. Footsteps approached and the door swung open to reveal Bill Weasley.
"Harry!" he smiled. "Mum told you George was here?"
"Yeah," Harry nodded. He still felt a little weird around the Weasleys. He hadn't expected them to forgive him like this. "How's he doing?"
"Alright. He's out back, if you want to check on him."
George was sitting on the cliffs when Harry reached him. Panic shot through him as he saw the redhead, but George smiled slightly when he approached.
"Hey Harry," he said. "Mum tell you where I was?"
"Yeah. You okay? I didn't know you were leaving."
"Sorry about that. I just…dunno, wanted to see Bill."
"It's fine. Just wanted to make sure you were okay."
He sat down next to George and the pair of them sat in silence. The waves crashed and rolled. Harry looked over at his friend; George looked calm. The calmest Harry had seen him in days in fact.
"He was in my dreams last night," George said after a while. "Fred. He said he got back to wherever he was."
"Good," Harry smiled in relief.
"I thought about killing myself, you know," George continued. Harry looked up at him, alarmed. "No worries, I'm better now. I just…had this selfish moment where I wanted to be with him and that was all that mattered."
"George, that's hardly selfish," Harry smiled slightly.
"It was. It would've killed Mum and Dad, and all the rest of them. And you."
He turned to look at Harry.
"Look Harry, I know you blame yourself for this, but it's okay. I would've done the same thing; any of us would. Well, to be fair, Ginny might've brought Tonks back…Anyway, the point is, don't beat yourself up about this. He's happy, he told me so."
"You don't hate me?"
"No way," George smiled. "And neither does he."
They looked back out at the sea. Sitting there in silence Harry knew, through his pain, that everything was okay.
I am losing you again
Let me out and let me in
'cause you're not alone here
Not at all
Let me belong here
Break my fall.
LbN: Hope you liked it!! Review please! New poll's up.