A/N: This has to be tied for my Most-Depressing-Story spot. I dearly hope it's well-written and everything, so please feel free to leave constructive criticism.
Disclaimer: I do not now, nor will I ever, own the Harry Potter franchise.
Warning: There is a minor implication of twincest, so don't say I didn't warn you.
My Brother, My Lover, My Twin
It was the day everyone had been dreading, the day that made their loss official. Set in stone. Final.
The day of Fred Weasley's funeral.
They all knew he'd have wanted it to be a happy occasion, a reminiscing session chock full of reliving the good ol' days. But that just wasn't going to happen, since their Freddie was ripped out from underneath them before his time. He was in the prime of youth, clawing his way to the top with the help of his twin, still spreading laughter and joy to the wizarding world in the time of chaos and fear.
And now, his funeral was just a reminder of what had happened.
There was no happy chatter from the Weasleys that day. They were all silent and tearful, red hair popping against their black clothes. Not able to speak a word.
Especially George, the wreck. He had obviously suffered the most, since Fred was truly his other half. The night before the funeral, George almost thought he couldn't take it anymore. Life was empty without Fred.
And yet... he was expected to speak at the funeral. No monosyllabic answer, either. An entire speech. He wouldn't have, except he knew that Fred deserved it. Fred deserved much more than he got out of his all-too-brief life.
So when it came time for the big speech, George found a special courage that he couldn't explain as he ascended to the podium. His eyes were bloodshot and puffy and his hair was a mess- from all the uncontrollable weeping and hiding his head in his lap- but he didn't care. This was no time for false cheer. This was a time for speaking at his twin's funeral.
George hadn't planned what he was going to say, not really. He had a couple sentences worked out, like the last one because of its importance, but he had decided mainly to wing it. It shouldn't have sounded rehearsed, and should have come from his heart, so that's what he determined to do.
Taking one last sniff and brushing off a lone tear from his cheek, George began his oration.
"Hello, everyone." He paused, thinking of what to say next. Maybe he should have written it out before. No, no, he knew what to say. "Fred..." he could barely choke out the name, and had to say it again, "Fred was important to all of us. No, not just important. 'Important' is too tame a word to describe his impact. Especially on me.
"I'm not asking for pity or anything, but I can say with utmost sincerity that I am definitely the one most affected by his loss." He realized that, somehow, the more he spoke, the more certainty entered his voice and the stronger his words became. "I'm not saying that none of you are upset, but Fred and I were a single unit.
"He was my brother, one of many. But still... Fred and I were closer than I was with any of my other brothers. We did everything together, from tormenting Percy to serving detentions. We were always seen as 'Fred and George.' Not just 'Fred', never just 'George'. It just didn't work that way.
"Some people may say that Fred's name was always listed first for a reason. And I've got to hand it to them: they're right. Fred was the more devious one of us, the more loudmouthed, the more obnoxious." George actually cracked a smile at that point, and several people in the audience did too. "And Fred knew that. In fact, he was happy about it. He was definitely more outgoing than I ever will be, and I'm okay with that. I enjoyed letting him take the spotlight, as long as I was at his side. As long as..." George faltered for a moment. "As long as we were together, everything was okay. Anything bad could happen and we would survive, just because we had each other."
Now it was time to move on to the more... controversial part of his speech. The part that no one knew about. But if he couldn't say it now, when could he say it? "And he... He and I... We..." George paused again, slightly nervous as to how people would react. And that was clouding his orational skills. But the world had to know, had to understand just how far his pain reached. So George took a deep breath and declared, "I know this may shock most of you, but please bear with me." His mother's face blanched, and she held her handkerchief against her face in worry. Was his decision to tell everyone really right?
Yes. It was. "Fred was more than my brother. He was my lover," George said, a haunted expression on his face as he scanned the crowd of spectators. He almost couldn't look at his mother, who was sobbing silently while Mr. Weasley squeezed her hand and put on a brave face. The other Weasleys looked scandalized, especially Ron. And almost every other spectator seemed disgusted. But it was too late now; there was no turning back. "Yes, Fred was my lover. I'm not afraid to admit it. Society may frown upon what we had, but I believe that if soulmates truly exist, that Fred was mine. In fact..." George had to stop because tears sprung to his eyes. He wiped them away, saying directly to his parents, "In fact, we had agreed to tell you all right after the Battle of Hogwarts." He drew a ragged breath, and fought more tears. "We... we hoped that you'd all accept us even if we loved each other... And just in case, we were prepared to leave the country so you wouldn't have to see us anymore..." Teardrops coursed down George's face, and he didn't even care anymore. People could see him crying. "But obviously, that didn't work out. If all had gone according to plan, we wouldn't all be here right now. And Fred would still be here with us. With me." At that point, Mrs. Weasley actually wailed aloud, causing George to avert his eyes from her. He didn't like making his mother cry like that.
But he had to continue on with his speech. He still had one major point to make. "And even if we were in love, Fred was foremost my twin. My real 'other half'. Perhaps my 'better half'. Maybe he even had half my brain, and I just didn't know about it. What I do know is that when he was murdered, my world came crashing down. Half my heart had been ripped to shreds, and I didn't think I could survive with only a part." Now it was time for another confession, albeit a darker one. "I wanted to die. I still do, I guess. I tried to die. Nearly did, even." That was George's way of explaining his small bout of alcoholism and how he tried to get addicted to Muggle drugs. "But it just didn't work. That much is clear, since I'm delivering this speech right now... Anyway, something kept me living. And I realized that I have to keep Fred's memory just as alive as I am. I'm not going to let him be forgotten. I know I'll never forget him... He haunts me every day.
"What I'm saying is... Fred would have wanted us to remember him. And I fully intend to hold true to that.
"Because Fred was a part of me, and also a part of us all. We can't get that part back, but... the least we can do is to remember him fondly, to never forget him.
"And Fred, if you're listening, which I hope you are..." George shed a few more tears, "...I want to know that I still love you. We all do. You were my best friend, and more. And I'm not to go taking my own life because I want to see you again. That would be far too selfish." George looked hopefully to the sky and smiled. "And besides, we'd never figure out just how gorgeous you'd turn out." Sad laughter echoed through the crowd, and Mrs. Weasley noisily blew her nose.
"So here's to you, Fred, and I hope you stay with me. Even if you don't, you'll always be my brother, my lover, my twin." And George wordlessly, with tears in his eyes, walked down from the microphone-less podium. He was prepared to face the masses now with conviction. Ready to beat down the opposition.
But it turned out that he didn't have to. Before he could sit down, his mother ambushed him into an emotional embrace, holding her son tight. He hugged her back, glad that she wasn't going to shun him.
And a certain young man in the crowd by the name of Harry Potter stood up and applauded, smiling and crying at the same time. Everyone else slowly joined Harry in the applause, and for the first time since Fred's death, George felt accepted.
Something unexplainable washed over the lone Weasley twin, a kind of warmth that could only be applied to Fred. And it said as clearly as water, "I'm here with you, George. I'll always be here."
George grinned brightly, his eyes still watery, and he knew for a fact that everything was going to turn out alright.
And that was because Fred hadn't left him after all.