Author's Notes: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Now, I'm sure a great lot of you are out there saying that I missed Christmas by about a week. Well, according to Emily Post, Queen of Etiquette, it is perfectly acceptable to send a Christmas card as late in the holiday season as New Year's. I have been laboring under that same logic concerning the posting of my Christmas story. Think of this story as my Christmas card to you, and maybe you won't mind that it wasn't sent out until New Year's Eve.
I had a bloody hard time trying to complete this story. My original draft was scrapped two days before Christmas when I realized there was NO plot, NO conflict, NOTHING; oh sure, there was some dialogue, and I had a few ideas of what I wanted to throw in there, but it really wasn't much of a story. Then, as I got in bed, shortly after midnight, an idea hit me. Grabbing my notebook from my bedside table, I quickly got to work. Two hours later, I had a large amount of the scenes at Fred's graveside written; everyone except Harry, Ginny, Molly, and George.
I knew going in that writing the scenes for Molly and George were going to be tough, but I didn't realize how tough until I spent two entire days staring at the screen of my laptop and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING coming to me for their graveside scenes. Christmas came, and I was very disappointed that I wasn't finished my story, although I did stay up until about 5:00 in the morning, typing up Ginny's and Harry's scenes. Still nothing was coming to me for Molly and George.
My Christmas was anything BUT ideal, and by the time I dragged myself back home that night, following Christmas dinner, I was in the mood to do NOTHING WHATSOEVER. Which, incidentally, is what I did…for the most part.
WHO in their right mind, WHO, I ask ya', CHANGES the plans for Christmas morning WITHOUT telling everyone involved?! I mean, was it supposed to be FUNNY when I showed up at my sister's house at 7:00 on Christmas morning only to find the house dark and no one answering their phone?! Was it some sort of practical joke on ol' Uncle BlackHawk that the opening of the presents was MOVED to 12:00 NOON at my parents' apartment without giving me the courtesy of a phone call?! Oh, I was not a happy 'Hawk on Christmas, boys and girls. The joy and spirit of the holiday season was NOT in me as I stood on my sister's porch, freezing my tail-feathers off while I tried to reach ANYONE in my family who could let me know what was going on. Good thing Santa and his reindeer were already done with their mission, or I might have been liable to shoot the jolly fat man down and spend the next year eating deer jerky.
Thank God Christmas is over. I know, I sound like such a prick, right? You have NO idea, though, you really don't. My family could give the Dementors a run for their money with the way they can suck the soul right out of you. Swear to God! Soul sucking and evil…I'm convinced someone in my family mated with Satan at some point. It's the only logical explanation.
*sigh* And we're BREATHING…and we're RELAXING…and we're --…I mean COME ON!!! NO ONE thought to call me?! Really? No one? Nobody thought I'd maybe like to know about the change in plans?! Christ-on-a-cracker!!!! You'd think when my mother and my sister came UP with this plan, they'd look around the room and do a head count.
Mom: "Okay, one…two. Two of us know about the plan, and your father lives here, so HE doesn't need to be told. Are we forgetting anyone?"
Sis: "I dunno…how many kids did you have again, Mom?"
Mom: "God, I don't know…one, two, who keeps track of these things?!"
Sis: "Don't I have a brother or something?"
Mom: "Do you?"
Sis: "Don't I?"
Mom: "Hrmm…I think I remember giving birth twice, but I mean, honestly, I didn't pay attention."
Sis: "Well, I definitely remember beating someone up a lot when I was a little girl…there was the baseball bat in the mouth…the front steps to the mouth…and the edge of the bed to the mouth…yes, there was definitely somebody…I think I've got a brother. Should we tell him?"
Mom: "Tell him what?"
Sis: "That we've changed the plans for Christmas?"
Mom: "Do we REALLY need to tell him? Can't he figure it out for himself?"
I can only assume that THAT is how the planning session went, and that was the beginning of a very Hell-filled Christmas for me. And while I wasn't taken out of the mood to write (I've been getting some good work done on a future story of mine), I was certainly not the least bit in the Christmas spirit. How do you write a Christmas story when you haven't a lick of Christmas spirit in your body?
I turned to Charlie Brown. I pulled out "A Charlie Brown Christmas" from my DVD shelf, as well as "It's a Wonderful Life", and "Eight Crazy Nights" (not Adam Sandler's best, and a bit too many poop jokes for my taste, but I still enjoy it very much). I figured watching those movies might spark some holiday spirit within me. Not really.
Jeez…this is less like an Author's Note, and more like a long, ranting blog entry, huh?
Ignoring the soul-sucking debacle that was Christmas with my family, writing this story has been difficult. It's no laugh-a-minute romantic comedy. It's sad and emotional and not something I want to write at a time of year when people should be happy and joyful and full of light. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. It's not the holly-jolly Christmas story I had wanted to write; with any luck, I can write THAT story for next Christmas. If not, well, maybe I can tweak it into something else. In any event, it's finished, and I've managed to keep on-track with my holiday stories. Yeah, I missed Thanksgiving, but that's not a British holiday, so I'm cutting myself some slack on that one.
I'm not real sure how I feel about this story. I know you all must be sick of me CONSTANTLY bad-mouthing every single thing I write...I mean, if it sucks so bad why am I posting it, right? Well, here's the thing...in my life I've found out the moment I take a moment to congratulate myself on something, and to think that I did good, the Universe comes along and pulls the rug out from under me. So, I'm going to keep writing, because I've got these ideas in my head and I need to get them out...and I'm going to keep posting them because now that I've started posting, I like it...I like the feedback...it makes me feel like I've accomplished something, even if it's just writing a story that everyone hates. And, I'm probably also going to keep thinking I suck. Pride goeth before a fall, and if I start getting prideful and thinking I'm good, well, I'll be do another Universal smackdown.
Before I let you guys at it, I just want to give you a head's up. This takes place in the same universe as AFTERMATH.
Anyway...this is a sad, Christmas story, but I think I also managed to squeeze some funny bits in as well. You be the judge.
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns these characters, and if she wanted to give me a nice belated Christmas present (or an early birthday present...my birthday's in June), she could write a new series of books from Ron Weasley's point-of-view. And if not, well, money's good, too!
The Burrow was crowded; moreso than it had been for several Christmases now. It had seemed almost impossible to get the entire Weasley family together in one place for the winter holiday, but this year, they made every effort to be together for their first Christmas since the end of the war. It was also their first Christmas without Fred, and his absence hung over the Burrow like a heavy fog.
The opening of the presents that morning had been a rather quiet affair, a complete turn-around from previous years, when things quickly degenerated into an orgy of ripping colored paper as the Weasley children tore into their gifts. This year, everyone was more subdued.
When all the gifts were opened, there was one package remaining under the tree; a large, lumpy package almost identical to several others that were given out that morning. Nobody said anything about the package, for they all knew what it was and to whom it belonged.
When the quietly subdued atmosphere got to be too much, Arthur stood up, clearing his throat to gather everyone's attention.
"I want to thank all of you for coming home for Christmas," Arthur said, looking at his children and the loved ones they'd brought with them, "This year it's more important than ever for us to be together as a family, and to remember just how blessed we are to have one another."
He cast a glance over at his wife. Molly was sitting in a beat-up old armchair, crying silent tears as she watched her husband.
"Even though we've lost loved ones in the war, we are fortunate to still be a family, and to still be able to come together and celebrate as a family. I want you children to know this and to remember this always: your mother and I love you with all our hearts and we couldn't be happier and prouder that you lot are our children."
Another glance at Molly found her nodding vigorously in agreement with her husband, her tears no longer silent as she sobbed openly and unashamedly in front of her children. Arthur moved over and put a comforting hand on his wife's shoulder. She took his hand and quickly brought it to her cheek, resting her face against it as if drawing strength from Arthur.
"I would ask that each of you now raise up your glasses," Arthur lifted his mug of mulled cider, and the other Weasleys quickly followed suit, "And let us drink a toast to absent friends and lost loved ones."
The assembled Weasleys joined in the toast, Fred foremost in their minds as they drank a toast to absent friends and lost loved ones. When the toast was finished, Arthur put down his mug and grabbed his heavy winter cloak.
"Where you going, Dad?" Ron asked, looking up at his father from his spot on the floor next to Hermione, Harry, and Ginny. The rest of the Weasleys also seemed curious as to what Arthur was about to do.
"I'm going out into the garden to wish your brother a Happy Christmas," Arthur said as he made his way towards the kitchen and the back door.
A look passed between each of the Weasley children, and it was decided without saying a word, that each of them would follow their father's example, delivering Christmas greetings to their brother.
Outside, a new blanket of pristine white snow covered the garden of the Burrow for as far as the eye could see. Arthur made his way out to Fred's gravesite, his Wellington boots crunching noisily as he moved through the snow.
"Happy Christmas, son," Arthur said, brushing snow off the headstone with his gloved hand, "The family misses you a great deal, Fred, and it's never been more apparent than it is today. Ever since you lot started attending Hogwarts, it's been almost impossible to get everyone in one place for the holiday, but we've all made an extra effort to be here today. I think this Christmas…the first one since…well…I believe this one will be the hardest. The pain is still so fresh."
Arthur took a deep breath and exhaled it in a long, mournful sigh, "Things are getting better though, son…not as many tears these days, although today was an exception. We think about you every day, Fred, don't ever doubt that; we think about all the good times…all the smiles and laughter. Merlin, son, you were so full of life!!"
Arthur produced a handkerchief from his robe pocket and wiped quickly at his eyes and his runny nose that was red from the cold winter air, "Not a day goes by, Fred…not an hour…not a minute…where I don't wish it had been me that day instead of you, son. I'd give anything to take your place, Fred. You were so young…too young. We love you so much, son, and we're all so proud of you. We just miss you terribly, Fred, and we always will."
Arthur Weasley bowed his head and clasped his hands together in front of himself as he began to quietly recite an old wizarding prayer that he'd learned long ago from his father. When he was done he placed a hand gently on the grave-marker and said in almost a whisper, "Don't forget about us, son."
When Arthur came back inside the Burrow, he made his way over to the fireplace and stood there, gazing into the fire for a few moments, allowing it to warm him before he made his way towards Molly. Crouching down in front of her chair, he quickly took her into his arms and held her tight, the two of them talking in hushed voices.
The Weasley children looked away, allowing their parents to have their private moment. Bill stood up and began to make his way out back. Fleur jumped to her feet and followed him, quickly taking his hand, intent on providing emotional support to her beloved husband.
The journey out to the grave was completely silent, and it was only once they reached the headstone that Bill broke the silence. "Hey there, Fred; it's Christmas, as I'm sure you can see," Bill indicated the brand new blue Weasley jumper he wore. "I don't mind telling you, Freddie, that it's not the same without you around. It's too peaceful!"
Bill laughed a bit, and Fleur, too, could be heard chuckling quietly, "Don't get me wrong…George is still a handful, but without you…well…he's only half the prat he'd normally be. I'm sure if you were here, most of the decorations would've exploded by now. As it is, only two wreaths and a sprig of mistletoe have blown up. Of course, maybe that's for the best…I don't think Mum can handle too much stress today."
Bill's joking demeanor faded, and the slight smile he'd sported left his face, "I miss you, Freddie, and I'll let you in on a little secret…I love you. As the cool, older brother, I never said that enough…not to any of you…but I hope you always knew. I promise you, Fred, I'm going to say it more…even to Percy. That's my Christmas promise."
When he finished, Bill lifted Fleur's hands to his lips and kissed it before sweeping her into his arms. They stayed like that for several minutes, holding each other, before making their way back inside where Charlie was waiting for his turn to talk to Fred.
Like his brother, Charlie eschewed wearing a cloak or a coat as he left the house, relying solely on his red Weasley jumper for warmth.
"Happy Christmas, little brother," Charlie said, a grim sort of half-smile on his extremely freckled face, "How's Heaven? I bet you're giving the angels all sorts of Hell…so to speak."
Charlie's smile faded completely, as he folded his arms across his chest, trying not to shiver too obviously from the cold, "Things feel pretty empty without you, Fred. I kinda wish I'd have come home more at Christmas. Dragons are ruddy brilliant, but they're not more important than family, I reckon. Well, I'm done taking the family for granted, little bro; I even make it home for all of Mum's big family meals on Sundays. It's a bit of a hassle with the time difference between here and Romania, but if the family isn't worth the effort, then what is? Take care of yourself, Fred, and I'll be seeing you sooner or later."
Charlie reached down and patted the headstone before turning on his heels and heading back inside. If Charlie Weasley wished that he, like the other Weasleys, had someone to hold and comfort him as he re-entered the kitchen, he didn't show it. He simply made himself a cup of tea and sat at the kitchen table, alone with his thoughts.
Not wanting to intrude on his brother's quiet reflection by going through the kitchen, Percy pulled his tweed travelling cloak over his yellow Weasley jumper and made his way out the front door of the Burrow and trudged through the snow into the back garden and on towards Fred's grave. His fiancée Audrey didn't seem to know whether she should follow him or not, having never met Fred. She opted for waiting by the window for some sign of Percy's return.
"Hello, Fred," Percy said, sounding a bit stiff like he did when lecturing about cauldron widths a few years ago, "I wanted to come out here and wish you a Happy Christmas, but I also wanted to thank you. You were the first one to accept me back into the family after I realized what an incredible prat I was being."
Percy took off his glasses and slipped them into the inside breast pocket of his cloak. When he spoke again, his voice had lost its officious tone, and cracked more than slightly, "I don't know what I'd have done if I didn't have a chance to reconcile with you before…before you passed."
Tears pricked at the corners of Percy's eyes, causing him to blink to clear his vision, "I spent so much time worrying about getting ahead at the Ministry…I'm sorry, Fred. I'm sorry I was so blinded by my quest for power and prestige that I wasted time that could have been spent with you and the family."
Percy began wiping at his eyes that were now pouring tears at a rapid rate, "I'm sorry for breaking Mum's heart. And I'm sorry you had to die before I realized how much I would miss my siblings if they weren't around anymore. I hope you can forgive me for that, Fred…and I hope one day I can forgive myself."
When Percy returned to the front door of the Burrow, Audrey was there waiting for him. She quickly wrapped him up in her arms and the two of them moved over to the dilapidated old loveseat in the corner and sat down, where Percy buried his face in Audrey's shoulder.
Ginny had been tapping her foot and picking imaginary flecks of dirt off her sky blue jumper, waiting anxiously for Percy to return, and as soon as he did she jumped to her feet and rushed for the back door. Harry started to get up, intent on going with her, but she motioned for him to stay where he was and gave him a look that told him she needed to do this alone.
"Hi, Fred. I'm really sorry I've been such a bad sister and haven't been out here to see you in, like, three months, but I'm back at school these days. I made Quidditch captain, you know? Everyone, except Mum, was really proud of me…I know she was probably a little proud, but with Hermione getting Head Girl, it kind of overshadowed the whole Quidditch captain thing. I hope you're proud of me, too, Fred. I think Ron was a little jealous; you know he always wanted to be captain of the Quidditch team." She smiled as she said this, knowing that Fred would have gotten a kick out of Ron's jealousy.
"I really, really miss you, Fred. I had a really hard time getting over your…getting over you being…well…you know. I still don't think I'm completely over it, but Harry says that's okay…and you know how much practice he's had at getting over people he loves dy--…leaving…too soon."
Ginny took a deep, shuddering breath and exhaled slowly before continuing, "I can't believe you're dea--…gone. I can't believe you're gone, Fred. I keep expecting you to pop out of the broomstick cupboard and start laughing at all of us for falling for another one of your practical jokes. Of course, George isn't in on the joke, and since I've never seen you pull a joke on him, I guess it's not a joke. Oh, how I wish it was a joke, Fred!"
Ginny laughed at the idea of Fred playing a joke on everyone, but it was a sad sort of laugh and her brown eyes were swimming in tears. She wiped at her eyes, but more tears quickly fell to replace the ones she wiped away.
"When I was out shopping for Christmas gifts this year, I nearly bought two of the same gift like I always do…for you and George…I was halfway to the register before I remembered. I just broke down, right in the middle of the store and started crying. You're probably laughing at me…you think I'm being stupid…getting this upset."
She laughed again, but this time it was an even sadder little laugh than before.
"Of all the people I worried about, Fred – Dad, Bill, Charlie, Harry, even Ron – I never thought that you could be the one we'd lose. You and George were always just making jokes, having fun, not taking anything seriously. It's not people like you who get ki-…who are…lost. It's people out there on the frontlines, like Harry and Ron, or people working in secret for the Order, like Dad, Bill, and Charlie."
Her voice rose in volume as she went on, and she seemed to be getting angry. "It's not supposed to be someone like you, Fred! It's supposed to be people like them, and as hard as it would be to lose one of them, it would at least make sense because they were targets! Losing you, well, if someone like you can…can die, Fred, then this world doesn't making any bloody sense and I hate it!! I HATE IT!!!"
Ginny was sobbing, taking great heaving, shuddering breaths as she reached up and ran her fingers over the engraved writing on his headstone, "Promise me something, Fred…promise me this will all make sense one day. Promise me I'll be happy again some day. I'm supposed to be happy, Fred. It's Christmas, and we're all supposed to be happy. We're supposed to be happy. Promise me Fred…please…"
When half an hour passed, and Ginny hadn't returned, Ron went out to check on her with Hermione in tow. They found Ginny hunched over the headstone weeping heavily. Her whole body was shaking, and when Ron touched her she felt ice cold. He helped her to her feet and hugged her for a few minutes before sending her back inside with Hermione.
Ron ran his fingers though his hair and adjusted his maroon jumper before he started speaking.
"Alright there, Fred?" he blushed and smiled shyly at the absurdity of his question, "I reckon that's a bit of a stupid question, yeah? Just think of it as something new to take the mickey out of me for…it's my Christmas present to you…ickle Ronniekins sounding like a complete prat while talking to his brother's grave."
"So, today's Christmas like I said…Happy Christmas, Fred," he slipped his hands into his pockets and grimaced before continuing on, changing the subject, "Hard to believe it's been almost eight months without you. For a while there, it didn't look too good for George, but now…well, he's going to be alright; I'll make sure of that. Don't you worry, Fred, I'm taking care of things, and I'll be there for George for as long as he needs me."
Ron looked up to the heavens as he finished, "I can't replace you, Fred…and I'm not trying to…but I do have George's back; so rest easy, mate, and have a Happy Christmas up there."
When Ron re-entered the Burrow he found Ginny in the arms of their parents, still trying to get her crying under control. He moved over towards Hermione and enveloped her in a tender hug, kissing the top of her head. He looked over towards Harry and nodded, indicating that it was his turn.
It took Harry several moments to start moving towards the door. He wanted to stay and comfort Ginny, despite the fact that she was already being comforted by Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. With a last glance towards Ginny, he left the house and made his way towards the grave.
"Uh…Happy Christmas, Fred," Harry said, nervously fidgeting, tugging at the hem of his dark blue jumper, "This is kind of awkward for me; I really don't know what to say to you, Fred. I know your family had loads of things to say, but the only thing I can think to say is 'I'm sorry'. I'm probably always going to feel like you died because of me, and I hate that I made your family suffer. I'm going to do everything I can to make it up to your family for the pain I brought them, Fred…I give you my word."
If Harry's time at Fred's graveside had been shorter than anyone else's, nobody commented on it, and when he entered the sitting room of the Burrow, Mr. Weasley helped his wife to her feet and escorted her towards the door. Ginny held her arms out to Harry, and he sat on the couch next to her, holding her. Things were very awkward in the Burrow at that moment, and no one seemed to be talking about anything. It was the most uncomfortable Christmas Harry had experienced since learning he was a wizard.
Molly stood at the grave with Arthur holding onto her arm, supporting her in her time of need as he'd done since they first fell in love. She patted his arm, knowing that he'd be there when she needed him, and she slowly got to her knees on the cold, damp ground, holding a lumpy package in her arms.
"Hello, Fred-dear; I've brought you a gift. I know it must seem silly, but I couldn't help myself…I was knitting Christmas jumpers for everyone, and the thought of not doing one for you was just breaking my heart."
Molly brought the green sweater with the embroidered "F" to her lips and kissed it before setting it in front of the headstone. Tears fell from her eyes onto the green wool of the jumper, leaving dark spots on the material.
"Oh, Fred…my dear, sweet, darling boy!!"
Molly broke down completely now, great heaving sobs wracking her body. Arthur immediately got to his knees and wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight, and planting a gentle, loving kiss on her temple. She reached up and patted his hand and rested her head on his shoulder as she composed herself enough to continue.
"Don't mind me, dear, I'm just a silly old woman who misses her child. I don't think I ever told you how proud I am to be your mother. I know I spent quite a bit of time scolding you, Fred, but it was only because I wanted you to grow up to be a good man…and you did, and I am so proud of you for that…so proud. And I'm sorry I never took the time to tell you that."
Tears continued to fall as Molly ran her fingers over Fred's name on the headstone.
"Christmas…nothing…is the same without you, dear. There is a hole in our lives now, and there's nothing that can fill it. We all love you so very much, Fred, and we're going to miss having you with us for the rest of our lives."
Despite her weeping, Molly began trying to stand up, and Arthur was on his feet in an instant, helping her up and keeping a supportive arm around her. She looked up at her husband, tears staining her rosy cheeks. She gently caressed Arthur's face and then placed a gentle kiss on his lips, in silent thanks for the support he'd been giving her, not only now but for her entire adult life.
Molly then carefully shuffled over and, bending low, placed a loving kiss on Fred's tombstone.
"Happy Christmas, darling boy…I love you."
When Molly and Arthur finally came back inside the Burrow, Arthur escorted her up to their bedroom so she could lie down for a bit. Once they were up the stairs, all eyes turned to George. He sat staring at his shoes for several minutes before taking a deep breath and getting to his feet.
Angelina started to get up from her seat next to George, but he waved for her to sit down. He wanted to talk to his brother alone. He looked into her eyes, and silently asked for her forgiveness for wanting to be alone outside; she nodded her consent and he left the house.
As he reached the grave of his twin, he couldn't help but smile slightly at the Weasley jumper lying before the headstone; a jumper that identically matched the one he wore, save for the letter "G" emblazoned on the front of his own.
"Oy, Fred! I see that not even death is an escape from Mum's Christmas sweaters," George joked, allowing a slight smile to grace his lips, "I bet you've been wondering when I'd get around to coming out here. I thought I'd let the rest of the rabble come out and talk your ear off first. But now it's my turn."
George's demeanor changed, and the slight smile left his lips to be replaced by a hard, thin line.
"I never could lie to you, Fred, so I'm not even going to try. Living without you…Merlin, but it's been hard!! I swear, I thought I was going stark, raving mad in the beginning, Fred…I was so mental…out of my tree with grief, you know? If it wasn't for Ronnie, I'd be locked up in a loony bin somewhere, helping Gilderoy Lockhart sign his autographs."
George sighed, crouching down in front of the headstone, running his fingers over the "F" on the front of Fred's Christmas jumper.
"You know, between you, me, and Mum's sweater, dear brother, without ickle Ronniekins, I'd be lost. He's really stepped up, Fred. Without him, I'd have surely lost the joke shop by now. Who knew Ronnie could be that kind of a guy, yeah? Well, I reckon Harry and Hermione knew…and Dumbledore, since he was the one what made Ronnie a Prefect…but, honestly, I never would have guessed he'd come through for me the way he has. Almost makes me regret taking the piss out of him so much…almost."
George smiled, and looked up. There was a wicked twinkle in his eye, and he could almost picture Fred looking down, smiling mischievously.
"Oh, and hark this, Fred…Ronniekins and ickle Hermione are engaged! They grow up so fast, Fred," George said in a mock remorseful tone, wiping away a fake tear, "Too fast come to that. Life goes by too fast, Fred. You and I didn't have near enough time together, brother dear…so many pranks that we never got to pull together. Don't fret, though, Fred…I'm keeping up the reputation for mischief we so rightfully earned…but it's not nearly as fun as when we did it together."
George sighed mournfully, looking down at the sweater on the grave.
"Nothing's as much fun as it was when you were around. Life has lost so much of its sparkle now you're gone, Fred. At first, it didn't seem like life was worth living without you…it was like I was only half alive. Ron's kept me going, and now I've got Angelina…"
George took a deep breath, as if what he was going to say next was incredibly difficult.
"I love her, and she's good for me, Fred. She's not above smacking me around when I get out of hand…which, you can well imagine, means I'm getting slapped about on a daily basis."
He chuckled again, rubbing a particularly sore spot on his upper arm that had been the object of Angelina's wrath just the other day.
"Before you know it, Fred, everyone will be married off and starting their own families…well, except Charlie, of course. I'm starting to think he might just be a poof! Regardless of Charlie's poofiness, dear brother, you have my word that, when I've started my own brood of little Weasley imps, they're going to know all about you. After all, they're going to have some big shoes to fill, if they hope to keep up with the Weasley Twins' legacy of mischief!"
George rose to his feet, looking up to the heavens once again. He placed his hand over his heart before his final words to his brother.
"They might be able to fill your shoes, but no one can ever take your place. Happy Christmas, Fred."
Author's End Notes: Okay, so, it was definitely not a Holly Jolly Christmas, but what do you expect for the very first Christmas after losing a member of the family? Hopefully, it's not as bad as I think it is (and, honestly, I don't think it's THAT bad), and someone will enjoy it...and be able to forgive me for posting it a week late.
Happy New Year's, everybody. May your 2009 be better than your 2008, and may everyone have health and happiness for years to come.