Aki- well, I finally got this chapter done. This is the last chapter, unless by some chance in the future I get inspired to write chapters for the other, lesser known next generation characters like Percy's kids or Victoire's siblings or even Roxanne who is mentioned in this chapter. However, don't hold your breath. It was a fun ride though, thanks for reading this all the way through and for those people who were fans and especially those who reviewed to tell me what they liked.
Fred Weasley goes by Freddie. It's a nickname chosen for him before he can remember, but he likes it. Moreover, it differentiates him from the past, never know Uncle he was named after. So there was a definite difference when the names were dropped. He was always Freddie, and his dad's twin is and will always be Fred.
Freddie was a brave soul, a Gryffindor at heart, and a reckless prankster, as would be predicted of him. He was not easily scared. Detention, pathetic. An out of control bludger, child's play. The Forbidden Forest, ha! But Grandma Weasley… holy hell, when she got going, when he set off a bad prank while visiting her house, got the younger kids screaming and running around from a scary story, got into some type of mischief, oh Merlin, she was the scariest thing in the world.
Freddie wasn't stupid or blind. He could see it, even though he had nothing to compare it to, but he could sure see it. When his dad would say 'we' or 'us' instead of 'I' or 'me'; when he walked by a mirror and only caught the reflection out of the corner of his eye and did a double take; when the sometimes late at night when Freddie was supposed to be asleep he could hear his father talking to someone who wasn't there; how April first is not the pranksters holiday it should be in there house… the list could go on and on, just the little things, like how old stories, reminiscences, sometimes, where just cut off, trailed off, when the role of that person they never talked about arrived in the story.
No, Freddie wasn't stupid or blind. He could see it and he knew what it what. Something (someone) was missing for his father.
Freddie thinks his dad is awesome (he runs a joke shop, hello, awesome), but he still has a favorite uncle. And he thinks that he is the only one of his cousins to have this uncle be his favorite (for he knows a couple of them his dad is probably their favorite— joke shop, remember?) but Freddie's favorite uncle is hands down Uncle Percy.
Why? Yeah, most people ask that.
Well, for one, he is book smart in the way his dad isn't. No insult to his father, but the man really isn't much of a benefit when it comes to helping out with tough summer essays. Uncle Percy, however, is brilliant at it. Of course, Aunt Hermione is more than glad to help all of her nieces and nephews with school work if they asked, but all of them did ask. She probably had a schedule and doled out appointments knowing her. But Uncle Percy was always there and was an untapped resource. Second was the mere fact that he was just always there. See, he helped Dad out at the joke shop, taking care of all of those things it was easy for Dad to overlook. The Boring Stuff his dad called, the legalities and paperwork and number crunching. (Freddie wouldn't learn until he was much older the secret guilt that Uncle Percy wore around his neck like a millstone, about abandoning his family, about the first Fred Weasley's death, and how he was trying to make it up by being a better brother, particularly to his little brother who had lost the most. Uncle Percy was the one who told him this, being probably the most open of any of the adults that raised Freddie and his cousins about the weights of the war against Voldemort on their lives. And this maybe is the third reason). The fourth, hanging out at Uncle Percy's was awesome because Aunt Audrey was always baking biscuits and other goodies. Win.
There were a hundred other little reasons. The man always treated him like an adult rather than a kid. He was a piece of structure in his life. And always willing let Freddie badger him, when he was little, with all the 'why' questions of how they world work, and when he was older, let him ask those things he needed to ask an adult about, the moral dilemmas and such, without the embarrassment or guilt of asking his parents. He was a good uncle. Maybe not as fun as the other ones, but good. What else could be ask for.
Freddie's dad was silly and cool and secretly intelligent. Mum was something else entirely. She was tough. She put up with all of his father's shenanigans and experiments and more. She wrangled two kids that were taught troublemaking at their daddy's knee. Yeah, she was tough. And Freddie respected that. He thinks it is in her nature, but it was also a honed skilled, something he saw a hint of in his dad, and his grandparents, and his aunts and uncles and anyone from that generation he got to know. They had to get toughed up with the world they were living in. His world wasn't perfect, no world ever was, but his didn't involve a war, or hiding, or fearing for your life every day. He had none of that.
Freddie wasn't weak, or soft, or any opposite of tough. But he wasn't like them either. He respected them, and he was proud them, but he was secretly glad he didn't have to be that way. That he didn't have to struggle just to survive. They had given him that much, suffered that much for him and his sister and everyone of his generation.
Uncle Fred had given him more than just a name.
Professor McGonagall catches him after he pulls his first prank just two weeks into his first Hogwarts. He doesn't want to go into detail, but let's just say it concerned a whole bunch of uncooked spaghetti, some shrinking spells, and toothpaste.
Once she is done scolding him, taking away points, and giving him detention, she says something like: "Not another one. I've already got a second James Potter and now another one of the Weasley twins." But Freddie swears to this das when she said that there was something sparkling in her eyes.
Freddie is more than ready, when he graduates, to take over the family business. At least, he thinks he is. He spent so much time in his youth there. It was practically a second home. He grew up there. He could grow old there.
And somehow the idea gets less appealing. Sure, it would be fun. Sure, he practically could run it by himself at just fourteen, he knew all the ins and outs of it by now. Sure, it was everything that he lived for, admired his father for... but… it was like home. It was that blessing that made it a curse. Wasn't growing up about branching out, breaking away, perhaps just a little, from your parents and family that had held you and taught you and raised you? Wasn't it about taking everything they gave you and showing them you could stand on your own? That you could break new ground?
And with this realization, the future just got a whole lot scarier, because Freddie didn't know what else in the world he was ready for.
Roxanne is his little sister, but all-in-all, she's pretty cool as little sisters go. He figures as far as little sisters go, he could have been landed with a worse one. He tells this to Roxanne. She rolls her eyes and says thanks with a tone dripping with sarcasm it was painted on so thick. But honestly, he does like her. She's a bit of a tomboy so they tend to like to do a lot of the same things, which was convenient growing up because he was not much of one for tea parties or dress up or dolls, even if just to appease a younger relative. Rather, they would toss a quaffle around in the back yard and chase gnomes from the garden and fight over whose turn it was to get the cookie batter spoon to lick off.
Roxanne also amazes him at some points. See, she really isn't into the whole pranking/practical joke/running amok thing like he and his dad are. Hell, he thinks mum is grateful for that! But that hardly means Roxanne doesn't ever do it, y'know, pull pranks. Because she does, just a lot more infrequently, and often a lot more effectively. See, Roxanne is a planner, not impulsive or reckless or hasty. If Roxanne wanted to prank someone, and it was usually for a reason and usually quit a valid one, she took her time. Revenge is a dish best served cold, so if it took a while, no sweat. They were elaborate and even though everyone clearly knew it was her work, hardly traceable. It was almost devious, if it weren't for any grudges that inspired such actions disappeared once the prank was complete.
Sometimes Freddie thinks Mum and Dad unintentionally created a monster. Other times he thinks they created the most awesome person ever.
At school he has this reputation as being a rebel. A class-clown type of rebel, but a rebel nonetheless. Freddie found this just a little bit ridiculous. He never considered himself such. Not at school and certainly not in his family. He was raised by his father to be a prankster. That's not rebelling, that was conforming to expectations. If he had been a straight-laced, toe the line kind of guy, that would have been rebelling.
Despite everything: his name, his disposition, his part in being just as crazy and wild and fun as his dad, and reportedly his Uncle Fred— he does not think he is a stand-in. See, Freddie was never forced to be anything, anybody, he wasn't. If he hadn't enjoyed toeing the line and practical jokes and laughing until his face hurt, he wouldn't have engaged in such things. Sure, maybe these ideals were raised into him, but he was glad they were in his personality, in his soul.
Freddie was never anyone he wasn't . He never pretended to be or felt forced to be. Despite everything, he doesn't feel like, nor does he believe he is or ever was, a replacement.
Aki- I may have went a little overboard on the Percy love, but I find him an interesting character with a lot of potential for character development. You may have noticed such Percy love also in Audrey's chapter. Alright, this is the end. Can't all of you review this time, please? It is your last chance, after all. :)