Christmas Eve, 1997 (Possibly early Christmas Day)

It was just a simple Christmas card found among some of his Mum's things. On the front was a Christmas tree, the candles on the tree flickering while a stack of presents surrounded it. The card was nothing fancy, in fact it was rather boring in Fred's opinion causing him to debate with himself for half an hour as to rather he should make the card more interesting. A couple of charms and the tree could be singing Christmas carols, a present could explode from the card as it was opened. With it being late in the night on Christmas Eve however, Fred decided it was not the time to try to come up with a way to improve the card. The noise involved would surely wake his Mum, which he did not want her seeing what he was doing, so the card would remain rather boring in his opinion. He did make some mental notes though for next year, a Christmas card line where the cards did sing and presents did explode when they were opened just might attract some of the older generations who avoided their shop like the plague.

Fred got his quill and some ink and after lighting his wand, sat down in the middle of his old bedroom. He noticed George stirring in the bed on one side of the room but other then that he didn't wake up so Fred began to write.

Ron,

Don't worry this card isn't going to do anything to you, why waste my excellent skills on a card that will never be read. I don't even know why I'm writing this since I have no way of knowing where you are. There's no way of knowing that you are okay, though Bill lately seems oddly sure that you are. Mum is beside herself with worry, as are the rest of us; Mum is just more vocal about it. Or maybe the rest of us don't want to make Mum worry more.

It's not much like Christmas, even though Mum is putting on a brave face and trying. It's just odd having only Mum, Dad, George, Ginny and myself here for Christmas. Bill and Fleur are spending "alone" time at Shell Cottage, Charlie is stuck in Romania and Percy… well no need to let you know Percy is still being a complete git. You would think that when the Ministry fell Percy would of come to his senses, but oh no. He's still working there, ignoring Dad whenever they may cross paths. Sometimes I just want to head down to the Ministry and smack Percy across the head with something extremely heavy. Maybe then it would knock some sense into him.

By the way Ron, George and I we do consider you as a friend and not just a brother. I mean would we have really let you hang out with Lee and us when you and Harry were fighting if we didn't. Or tried to surprise you on your birthday last year, sure the whole you getting poisoned thing got in the way, but we did visit you. I hope you are taking care of yourself, wherever you might be this Christmas.

Our shop is doing well; at least the mail orders are doing well. At least we haven't boarded up the windows on the shop like so many other places on Diagon Alley, but that's just pure stubbornness on our part. We haven't had any customers inside the shop for months now. That's not counting Bill, he still comes in everyday and purchases something, he has some crazy idea in his head that if he purchases something we won't have to board up the shop. If you ask Bill, he's the only reason we are still in business.

Might find this as a shock Ron, but I'm scared and not just for myself but for all of our friends and us. Lee is in hiding, sort of. I say sort of because he is constantly coming out of hiding to do something or other. He's almost been captured a few times but has managed to escape each time. He's luck can't last forever. Then we haven't heard from Alicia in months. She went into hiding once her name appeared on the Muggle-born list, the last thing we heard was a note she left for Angelina. If Angelina knows where Alicia is, she's not telling. Katie's been hiding out at our flat for the past couple of weeks, her parents were killed but her older brother got her out of the house just in time. Oliver is still playing Quidditch, when they do allow a match, and helping the Order when it's needed.

I can't help but wonder about all of us. The odds are against us all surviving the war. What if George doesn't make it? Ron, I don't think I'd be able to survive if George doesn't. I mean he's already lost his ear. What would I do if George loses anything else, his arm or a leg or his life? I try not to think about it to much, but then I see the side of his head and it all just rushes at me. He could have died that night, and he's still not safe. None of us are safe. And it could just as easily be you or someone else in the family that doesn't make it. I just try to not think about it.

This card is turning rather morbid, and long I've had to finish on a scrap of parchment. Must be all the stress of the war. What I really wanted to write and tell you is that I'm proud of you. Helping Harry as you are, you're a good friend Ron. Besides the rumors, I know that you guys are working to do something to win this war. (By the way, you are never mentioned in the rumors everyone has bought the story that you are sick.)

Wherever you are this Christmas Ron, have a good one.

Merry Christmas,

Fred

Once Fred was finished with the card, he gathered up his quill, ink and the card and laid it on top of the desk before climbing into his own bed. He went to sleep making plans for that special Christmas card line that he had thought of earlier.


May 1998

George had left early that morning in order to start the process of reopening Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. He had gone by himself, against the protests of everyone else, but he was adamant that he needed to do this by himself and that he would curse anyone who showed up to help. The threats seemed real enough that no one dared to follow.

After George had left that morning, Ron found himself wondering the Burrow before ending up in Fred and George's old room. He hadn't meant to snoop, but the Christmas card lying on top of the desk caught his eye and his curiosity got the best of him. He had carefully opened it, after all if it was in Fred and George's room it just might explode on him, but instead he was shocked to find his own name written on the inside.

Ron picked the card up, went and sat on one of the bed. After taking a couple of deep breaths, he opened the card again and began to read. He read it twice, the guilt eating him away each time that he did. He hadn't been with Harry and Hermione during Christmas; he had been at Bill's having running out on them. Sure, he had tried to find them, but that didn't help ease the guilt.

Some friend I was Fred, Ron thought as he folded the Christmas card and slid it into his robe pocket. Ron picked his wand up and after a few minutes decided that he would go help George today, threats be damned. He was not about to feel guilty for not being there for George as he hadn't been there for Harry and Hermione.


A/N This was written for the Christmas Card 1997 challenge. My character was Fred.