Title: Sanity

Rating: Anywhere from PG-13 to R.

Pairings & Warnings: Mainly George/Oliver but contains Fred/Angelina, plus all of the Canon pairings exist. Multi-chaptered. Post-Hallows. Slash and Het. Angst. Language. A lot of drinking. All of those fun things.

Notes: Fred married Angelina Johnson before his death. They had a daughter two days prior to the Battle of Hogwarts.

Summary: It isn't the same, when half of you dies. Not that George is sporting how he's feeling, except to his outlets. When he's asked what he is waiting for, he can't even answer anymore. Could you?


Fred's Introduction.

Being dead really isn't that big of a deal. It is warm and comfortable here. There is no sun, no rain, but there are clouds. Giant white things that you can actually touch. I thought that had just been a lot of fairytale, the clouds. How they feel like marshmallows up in heaven. They don't feel quite as squishy, and I would never try to eat one. Not that I need to eat. I am actually a stiff and all…

There are houses here too. At first I found that most unbelievable. What the hell do you want with a mortgage when your dead? But I was explained to on arrival, "No, silly Fred you idiot. They are just other people's parties. You know, what they wanted during life."

What had I wanted during life?

I spent time pondering on that particular subject. To find your "party" it takes awhile, or so Mrs. Potter tells me. The Potters live (haha live), in a beautiful townhouse by a beach. The water is real too, I've touched it at their courtyard gatherings. Every so often they invite other stiffs over for conversation or games. But usually everyone just keeps to themselves and their own ponderings. I don't have a place. I don't sleep anymore, but there is no nighttime anyway.

Sometimes I think I would like perpetual sunset. All the colors, pinks and purples and oranges splashed together above still water. Call me a romantic guy, but that would be one hell of an afterlife.

What I want most is Angelina.

I covet her life. She is alive and whole without me to care for her. She should have lived in my joke shop instead of crammed in mine and Georgie's old bedroom at the Burrow. We could have slept in a bigger bed, and that was hard as anything to sleep that close while she was pregnant. We managed, though. We always had.

They buried me with my wedding band. I keep it on, always. I've asked the other stiffs if there is a way to see the living still. But their answers were not what I had hoped for.

"Fred, that isn't something I would recommend," Remus Lupin smiled, but it was cracked. Tonks reached over and patted his hand.

"We couldn't pull him away once he saw Teddy try to walk," she said plainly.

I looked over at Sirius. "Why not?"

Sirius had on the same sort of grimace as his best friend. "It pains the dead to watch their living. Especially to notice their mistakes,"

I frowned. "Mistakes?"

"Yes, dear." This time, Lily Potter was speaking. "The living make mistakes every second. Whether it is silly feuds or fights, or just dawdling time away. Precious time that we could been with them, or that we would have had ourselves."

She tried looking happier, but she hadn't fooled me.

"Well where do I even go to see?"

All of them looked at one another.

"There," Tonks pointed a pale finger over to a tree clustered pasture. There was nothing significant as far as I could see. Except, that Colin Creevey sat Indian-style, looking unhappily at the whiteness above him.

"Is he seeing something?"

"Yes. He is watching his loved ones on earth," James Potter looked least pleased about the pasture.

I must have looked intrigued because he grasped my arm.

"What?"

"You don't wanna see it," he was tight-lipped, his everlasting youthful face looked ancient. "I watched Harry for five entire years. It felt like a true hell,"

"Did he make many mistakes?"

James nodded, but only once. "Yes and no. I missed his entire life…to see him being groomed to die was miserable. But now I know he is well and I don't need to watch," he said very seriously, straightening up his shoulders. "And neither do you!"

So I haven't peeked. Not once have I strolled inside the field.

But I look at it.

I think about it.

I wonder if my baby Cornelia is a big girl now. Is she beautiful, like I've been hoping for? But more importantly- is she a riot like I was? I just pray she isn't a Percy. The world needs less Percy. I want her happy. I want Angelina happy. And Georgie.

I worry about them all a lot. Every emotion here is more heartfelt than when you are alive. And you don't feel anger. Ever. It falls into guilt and despair.

Dying itself was like falling asleep. I closed my eyes and I floated away and woke up on the porch swing at the Potter's townhouse. I used to think it was but a dream…that I would wake up and get back to the shop, and my wife and my life- but no. I don't get to be in that picture.

And that's the saddest party of all.