Dead Twin Walking
Miranda Shadowind

Author's Note: This is an alternate universe fic of sorts, but has nothing to do with the movie "Dead Man Walking" or a certain Book 1 chapter whose title was modified...

Chapter 1: The Twin Who Lived

"But if he's all you say, would he fly from heaven to this world again?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket, "Fly From Heaven"

(St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies)

"Come on, Molly, just a little more..." Arthur Weasley encouraged his wife, who was currently in labor. She could only moan and breathe heavily in response.

******

(Hogwarts)

"Sibyll, this is indeed a surprise!" Dumbledore greeted the Divination Teacher, turning his attention away from a very old, very thick, and very large book. It was open, and on top of it lay a quill that quivered as if it had a life of its own.

"Quite. I was just crystal gazing, and I saw myself joining you both here as a fellow witness to the 'event' as it were." Professor Trelawney gestured to the book, and McGonagall rolled her eyes.

Dumbledore nodded, smiling. "So it will happen today. Arthur did say that they were expecting any day now.."

Trelawney sat down, but soon went rigid, her eyes unfocused. "TRAGEDY WILL STRIKE THIS VERY DAY..."

The other two staff members looked at her in confusion. "Sibyll?"

"ALL WILL NOT BE AS IT FIRST APPEARS... THE DEAD HALF WILL LIVE, BUT BE SPIRITED AWAY... HE WILL NOT REUNITE WITH THE LIVING HALF UNTIL 11 LONG YEARS HAVE PASSED... BUT DEATH AWAITS HIM AFTER THE HALVES HAVE JOINED... THE DEAD HALF... WILL LIVE... BUT STILL DIE..."

******

(St. Mungo's)

A piercing wail rang out as a tiny baby with flaming red hair took its first breath. "A boy Mrs. Weasley!" proclaimed the doctor.

"Another boy? ...Where's his twin..?" Molly panted.

"On the way, keep pushing..."

******

(Hogwarts)

"And just what do you mean by that?" asked a shocked McGonagall.

"Pardon? I must have dozed off," Trelawney replied.

"But you just said-"

"Minerva, look!" Dumbledore interrupted, pointing to the quill and book.

The quill, now standing on end, jumped to a vacant line on the page and wrote "Weasley, Frederick" before moving to the next line and hovering. One of Trelawney's predecessors had bewitched the quill to accurately predict the names of magical newborns and write them down.

******

(St. Mungo's)

"One more push... There!" said the doctor, catching the second infant. "Twin boys!" He cut the umbilicle cord, stood up, and gently smacked the boy on the back.

After a moment or so of silence, an exhausted Molly looked from her husband, who was holding the elder twin, to the doctor, who was shaking his head. "What... what's wrong? Why doesn't he cry? Is he mute?"

"Far worse than that I'm afraid.."

"How...?"

"He's stillborn it seems..."

"No... You're lying..." The doctor brought the silent little redhead forward for her to see. He was pale, unmoving, and his eyes were closed. "It.. It can't be... Nooo!" She burst into tears, and Arthur, trembling, tried to comfort her. Sensing his parents' distress, and perhaps the loss, the twin who lived wailed.

******

(Hogwarts)

All three staff members watched the quill intently, waiting for it to reveal the other twin's name. It suddenly twitched, then fell flat and still on top of the book.

"Oh, my..." Dumbledore was at a loss for words.

McGonagall slowly shook her head. "Stillborn... Arthur and Molly must be devistated..." Sibyll could only nod, whiping a tear from her eye.

******

(St. Mungo's)

After a tearful farewell, the lost infant was given to Teresa Carroway, the nurse on duty, for burial. She and the doctor left the Weasleys alone with their newly-named son, Frederick (Fred for short).

"Such a shame really... Poor thing..." Teresa muttered, heading for the morgue. Unconsciously, she rubbed a finger along the boy's back. A barely audible cough and some sputtering came from the bundle, startling her. She looked at the stirring baby, at the doorway of the maternity ward, considered, then headed down another corridor.

Hundreds of miles away, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Trelawney sadly vacated the former's study. None of them saw the enchanted quill suddenly spring to life and write down another name: "Weasley, George"

To be continued...