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?
It is all very fine for others to tell you not to peek. However, if you have ever been human, you know that when someone else tells you not to look, the urge just heightens. It becomes all you can ever think about. All you could ever want. That thing I just have to see stares back at me everyday. No one dawdles in the pasture now. I've been roaming for what feels like twenty years. It's amazing that time isn't real anymore. I feel old, but not tired. Never tired.
So I am always thinking.
I have a place to think, now, you know. It's pretty glorious and brilliant. I'm alone usually but Remus Lupin visits me a lot, and sometimes Lily Potter. Talking to Colin is almost impossible. James says he's still freaked out over the whole "experience" of watching the living. I still find it so tempting. My party is gorgeous. Miles of clear, blue water and endless ripples of black beyond that. I watch the sunrise and the sunset occasionally, marveling at how the colors are always different. There are hills and trees, all done in autumn shades from red to golden yellow.
No matter where I am, however, my eyes linger upon that grassy valley.
I wait beneath my favorite evergreen for the Potters to leave their bungalow. I have to pass somewhat unnoticed. I scramble over the tiny fence and I'm beneath a strange white cloud. A misty fog surrounds itself around me, even though I know if anyone is watching they merely see me standing under nothingness. I look upwards, and every single thing fades into black.
A pang of utter loneliness stabs me from the inside out. The emotion is surprising and certainly unwanted. But it fades very quickly and now I can see…a flash of red. A tall, brightly lit evergreen tree decorated for the holidays. Snow covers the entire yard like a white blanket. I need to see more, and I'm amazed as the scene pushes itself further along.
The Burrow. Home.
My flesh, if it is still called such, shivers all over. Everyone seems to be celebrating Christmas. Mum and…a rather beautiful woman with dark hair, singing along to that ridiculous winter radio broadcast. I laugh when I see Ginny and Charlie making fun of them. It's rather called for. They all seem very happy. I spy a ring on my little sister's finger, and it isn't too difficult to tell where that must have come from. Hermione and Ron are alone in the far corner. I've never seen baby Ronnikens looking so serious in his entire life. If a look of complete and utter devotion can be summed up in someone's eyes, than I would say that is what his are saying.
Dad's rambling on about retirement to a few of his work friends. Retirement? Merlin, I didn't realize he was so far along.
The house is just as I remember. Same patched furniture. Same overwhelming smell of different foods. I'm watching Harry peck Ginny's cheek beneath a cluster of dark green mistletoe when a tiny girl catches my glance.
Cornelia. She isn't a baby anymore.
If I could cry, I would. But I never will again.
She's holding several little dolls in her arms. A blonde toddler, who just must belong to Fleur and Bill looks at her with glee. Beside her is an older child, with hair that keeps sliding into different shades. Too easy- that one's Teddy Lupin. Cornelia seems to be showing them her doll collection. She's a leader, and that definitely is right from her parents.
Where could she be?
I search the faces quickly, wondering where I can see her perfect one. When I do find her, I can't help that my heart bottoms out.
If I still have a working heart.
Lee Jordan has his arm wrapped tight around her back. He's placing soft kisses all around her neck while she giggles over it. It's hard not to notice the tiny gold ring that blazes against her dark finger. I want to burn and siege with rage- but I can't. I don't have those emotions and she looks too happy. I want nothing less but for her to smile one million times every day. And I don't care if that sounds like a lot.
Now for George. He's the only ginger missing from the crowd packed tight into the sitting room. I can't say I miss him the most. But I think about him all the time. He used to always claim he was alright when I would ask him, even if it wasn't true. I wonder if he would have something to say now that we seem so far from each other. I push out into the tiny hallway near the front door. What I stumble upon is a view that if I could be caught, George would pound me into a pulp for watching.
Oliver Wood has his arms wrapped tight around my brother, their lips together in a shallow kiss.
"It's their loss. They didn't want another scandal to show up in Witch Weekly,"
"But what could they possibly print? They already know we live together,"
Well, well. Go George.
"It's Veronica. She's been babbling to the papers how I've abandoned my family and my Mother,"
My brother's jaw drops into a perfect "O" shape. "Can we kill her?"
I want to snicker.
Oliver's eyes drift right down to where my presence is observing. He makes some sort of snorting sound.
"I don't care about that. I just care about getting your family to like me and getting through this party."
It's too much to watch the way they look at one another. If I could I'd save them from the casualties and harsh realities that make up life. I can already foresee troubles with Oliver's work and family, and how George is still so devoted to the shop. But the Weasley's are good at keeping lovers. It's just what we do.
They embrace and kiss again when Ginny comes tip-toeing through the hall. Her lips turn upwards into a grin and she coughs.
Both men look down towards her.
"Love birds of the forbidden sort! Time for dinner!" she smiles wider and leaves them on the staircase.
George sighs and leans back. "We have the worst luck imaginable,"
Oliver laughs and warms up against my brother's shoulder. "We'll live. Can you deal with all of this?"
"I can. I've had worse before." I feel my insides quiver a little. You have to wonder if that is about me.
"Well that's good then. Loads of practice,"
Then my brother pushes his boyfriend away and drifts back into the living room. Oliver is right behind him, watching him with the most intense eyes possible. I haven't seen Oliver look so serious. Not even during Quidditch trials.
I don't have to stay here long. There is sadness, but happiness clings around as well. I do see mistakes. But I know I can't ever fix them. I won't need to come back here. One day I will see my Cornelia and Angelina, I can laugh and joke with Georgie. However, I never want to see them for a long time. They have lives and I wish I could live it right along with them all.
But I never will.
So, I pull myself out of the warm fog and stand up off the ground. A little bit of shaking rids my head of any more of the chilly blackness. When my eyes blink away the last of the glaze, I see James at the edge of the fence. He looks uncomfortably up at the blank sky.
"How did that go?" he asks me, gesturing back to towards the pasture as I approach him.
"I didn't have a thing to worry over. George is with Oliver. Angie's happy. Cornelia is more like me than I thought."
James cracks a smile. "She's too curious for her own good, while simultaneously ignoring her elders?"
I grin back. "We can only hope."
Together, we walk along the strange beach that has no end. I feel compelled to share at least something with the father of the Boy Who Lived.
"Harry and my sister are married. Thought you outta know."
"Thanks. I hope it works out well," he says thoughtfully, pausing to watch the skies.
"I think so. I really didn't feel too compelled to stay,"
His hazel eyes dart back to me. "You sure?"
I shift against the dark sand. "Well,"
James says nothing more, and just nods silently. I only want to stay if it could be in person. I'd even be a ghost, maybe. But I know that no one would want that sort of existence for me. Everyone is coming along so well. A bubble of warmth spreads all along my being, and, for once, I can recall what happiness is. Their faces filter throughout my brain, the last one being the happy little grin on my twin's face.
Silly me, I had nothing to ever worry about.
In case anyone reading was confused on the time span. & no, I don't care if this follows the actual time line.
Prelude: May 2nd, 1999.
Chapter 2: May 2nd, 1999.
Chapter 3: June 99'.
Chapter 4: around July or end of August 99'.
Chapter 5: late November 99'.
Chapter 6: December 24th of 99.
Chapter 7: January 8th 2000.
Chapter 8: April 27th, 2000.
Chapter 9: April 31st, 2000.
Chapter 10: May 2nd, 2000.
Chapter 11: July 31st 2000.
Chapter 12: September 2000.
Chapter 13: November 2000.
Chapter 14: Dec 2000.
Epilogue: Dec 2000.
Thanks to everyone reading this story. The reviews meant alot to me, and I don't mind if this story is archived. Please check out all of my other stories and look for my new one, which will concern Draco Malfoy, this fall.