The winds whistles in their ears, flattens the grass around their feet, pushes the trees back and forth, lifts the matching hair from their matching brows, and quietly, silently, you watch, listen, and feel with them as they stumble slowly up the hill.
George looks at the grave without saying anything for the longest of times; you can see the tears brimming in his eyes, but you don't think Fred does, and you're glad. After a while, when George does nothing but stand, make no movement, and stare, Fred, whose head only comes up to somewhere around George's navel, nudges his arm slightly.
George looks down at him as though he's not really seeing him, and you, at least, know that today, he isn't, not completely. He's looking down at a boy whom he wishes with all his heart is you, can be what you were, will become what you would have been today. He kneels down, his fingers tracing the lettering on the headstone, and shivers race each other down your spine. Fred kneels down, too, looking extremely unsure of himself.
"Daddy?" he asks curiously, but he keeps his voice quiet: You aren't sure, but you think his five-year-old sixth sense – the one that you and George had – tells him that something is different about today. "Why is my name on a piece of rock?"
George lets out a shuddering breath; the words have punched him in the gut. Impatiently brushing at his eyes, he looks at his son and tells him, "This is a grave, Freddie. This is where your uncle's buried." He brushes the grass with his hand. Fred looks confused.
"You mean Uncle Charlie?" he asks. "The one I never see? Why's he under the ground?"
Turning his eyes back on the gray stone, George shakes his head. "No, not your Uncle Charlie," he says quietly. "Your Uncle Fred. My twin." It's almost lost in the wind.
Fred sits back, crossing his legs. "Tell me about him," he says, and you're reminded irresistibly of Ginny as she asked to know more about the Boy Who Lived. George smiles; he thinks the same.
He takes a deep breath. "He… he was a lot like me, actually, Freddie. The two of us… we loved to pull pranks. You know that, don't you?" Fred nods eagerly, a grin lighting up his face. "He loved to laugh. He always tried to cheer everyone up, even if they weren't being very nice about it."
He snorts, just as you would've.
"We have the same name," Fred notices.
For the first time since he averted his eyes, George looks at him again. Slowly, he nods. "Yes, you do."
In that instant, everything changes. The wind stops whistling, the grass pops back up, the trees still, and their hair lays flat. George takes his time, and he gazes not at the grave, but at you, pleading. And you can't tell him anything.
"Because you're different."
He stands, offers his son a hand. Fred takes it, and with a final look over his shoulder, George waves to you, his brother, twin. They walk back down the hill, and you know Bill and Percy – oh, God, Percy – and Ginny and Ron will visit later, but always, George will come back. He always comes back.
And as he walks away, he's thirty-two years old, you're twelve years dead, and all of you, Fred, George, and Fred, are three of a kind.
1 April, 1978 – 2 May, 1998
A/N: For Fred and Fred.