Percy watched as his brother was thrown back by the force of the explosion, landing harshly on his back. Tiny cuts littered his face, and his clothes were torn and tattered. The older red-head rushed over, kneeling next to his brother's fallen form.
"No! No, Fred!"
Close to tears, Percy let his head drop to his chest, a sob choking past his lips.
"Aw…. Perc… I never… knew you cared!"
In a flash, Percy's head snapped up, locking eyes with his little brother who, though grimacing in pain, was very much alive.
"FRED!" This time the exclamation was one of joy, his face shining with relief. "Are you alright? Are you hurt?"
The other boy shook his head, shakily standing with the help of Percy's hand on his shoulder to steady him. "Naw, just got a nasty bump on the head. I'll be fine."
"Fred!" George appeared from around the corner, shooting a few curses behind him as he went.
Fred rolled his eyes. "I believe we have established that that is my name, yes."
His twin merely stuck his tongue out. "Excuse me for being concerned. I heard Percy scream and seeing as there's, you know, a battle going on and all, I figured it probably wasn't caused by one of our pranks."
"Fair enough, dear brother."
Just as Percy opened his mouth to say something else, Augustus Rookwood appeared. He clambered through the hole that the earlier explosion had created in the wall. Sneering at the three boys, he quickly raised his wand. But he was no match for the three Weasleys. The brothers raised their wands together, Percy shouting "Expelliarmus!" as Fred and George simultaneously cried "Petrificus Totalus!", sending the man to the ground with a dull thud.
George huffed. "How rude! And we were having such a nice conversation."
"That'll teach him to interrupt!" Fred agreed.
Percy rolled his eyes. "Or maybe we should learn from this and save our chats for a more appropriate time?"
"Will do, Perc!"
"We'll hold you to it! When this is all over, we'll all have a lovely get together!"
"You'll be providing the tea and biscuits, of course."
The twins laughed as their brother groaned. The sounds of battle sobered them up quickly, as they remembered again why they were here. A shrill scream alerted them to a student in trouble. Fred and George grinned at their brother one last time.
"Well, that's our cue!"
"See you at that get together, kay?"
Percy laughed as he shook his head. "Fine, just be careful!" He called, as his two little brothers disappeared around the corner, leaving him to turn and assist in a different wing.
The Weasley twins ran towards the sound of the scream, finding what looked to be a sixth year girl cowering before Alecto Carrow, who was holding the girl's wand in one hand, and her own in the other. Opening her mouth to finish the helpless student, Carrow suddenly found both wands flying out of her hands. Fred tossed the student her wand back as George shouted a blasting curse. Alecto flew back, landing on the floor with a grunt. The frightened student, having reclaimed her wand, ran away, hoping to assist more by distracting death eaters than by actually dueling them.
Alecto, not one to be defeated by mere children, scowled and stood once more. Fred and George faced the death eater with uncharacteristic stoicism. Just as they were about to send more spells flying, George found Alecto's wand flying out of his hand. Turning to see what had happened, the boys were faced with a grinning Amycus, who quickly threw the wand back to his sister.
The Weasley twins stood back to back, George facing Amycus and Fred facing Alecto. All four had their wands poised. After a moments hesitation, there was a sudden burst of chaos. A mass succession of firing and dodging spells, lights flying in every direction as they circled each other.
Heeding his brother's warning, both twins dropped to the ground just as Alecto fired a particularly nasty burn hex. Flying over the boy's heads, the hex flew straight towards Amycus. Unfortunately, the man realized what was happening just in time and sprang to the left, the edge of his robe being singed by the attack.
"Watch it you fool!"
"Don't call me a fool, imbecile!"
The siblings did not get to argue long before Fred and George jumped back up, still back to back, once again firing spells as fast as they could.
What happened next, happened very quickly. The twins were exhausted, and they found themselves unable to cast curses as rapidly as they had when the battle had begun. For a split second, both ceased fire and turned slightly to check on each other. Seeing the lag, the Carrow siblings both fired. Twin, ominous green lights left their wands.
George, glancing over his right shoulder, saw the curse hurdling towards his brother.
Fred, glancing over his right shoulder, saw the curse hurdling towards his brother.
They moved so perfectly together it could have been choreographed. George moved right, to protect Fred. Fred moved right, to protect George. In essence, they rotated. Switched places.
Took the hit for each other.
The killing curse meant for George hit Fred.
The killing curse meant for Fred hit George.
And both fell to the ground.
A scream ripped through the battle.
All older brothers are wired to react to this scream.
The scream of their little sister.
Bill, with a burst of adrenaline, fired a string of curses until the nameless death eater before him finally fell to the ground. Percy, who was supporting a seventh year boy whose leg was bleeding, quickly handed him over to another surprised student before rushing off without a word. Ron, who had just returned to the building with Harry and Hermoine and was still shaken from witnessing the death of his former potions master, jerked his head up. Without a second thought, he tore away from his friends' side, following the echo of the sound.
The three Weasley brothers arrived at the same time, Percy and Bill standing next to each other and Ron across the room. Ginny was barely standing, hunched over with her hands over her mouth to stifle a second scream, trembling from head to toe. Her eyes were wide and horrified. Following her gaze, her brothers understood why.
Fred and George were lying on the ground. Lifeless.
They had fallen backwards and landed beside each other, head to toe. Wild red hair flared beneath their heads like fiery halos. Their eyes were closed and their expressions were peaceful, like they had simply fallen asleep. Between them, their fingertips brushed together.
Alecto and Amycus stood tall, their faces filled with a sick pride at their success in killing two children. In a flash, Ron was beside Percy and Bill, all three raising their wands. Hermoine, having followed Ron, rushed to Ginny's side, pulling the distraught girl into her arms, both comforting her and pulling her away from the crossfire. Harry, also following Ron, immediately began firing curses at the death eaters around them, making sure that no one disrupted the battle.
With cries of pain and determination, the Weasley boys all began firing curses, quickly overwhelming the Carrows in the three on two battle. They didn't last long.
Ron let out a cry of "EXPELLIARMUS!" with such force that both death eaters' wands flew into his hand. All he could think of was his big brothers, their pranks, their jokes, their support, and the fact that they were always, always, there for him.
Bill and Percy raised their wands, towering over the two death eaters, who did not seem so confident any more. Their eyes were hard as they both thought the same thing. They were the big brothers, the ones sworn to protect their little siblings at all cost. And they had failed.
And with that, the Carrow siblings were no more.
Voldemort had ordered a ceasefire. The castle was in a state of chaos. Everywhere people were racing to aid the wounded, healers at a loss of who to treat first. The Weasleys didn't care.
Molly's wails echoes through the castle, her tears stained the ground. She kneeled on the ground between her fallen boys, one hand on each of their chests, subconsciously willing their hearts to beat once more. She looked like she had caved in, her body folded and her head bowed almost to the ground.
Beside, her, Arthur sat quietly. His hands were clenched into fists in his lap, his knuckles turning white. Twin tear tracks dug through the dirt and grime of battle on his face. It was the first time any of his children had seen him cry.
Percy stood slightly separate, tears streaming down his face unchecked, mumbling things that no one understood. "You liars. You said we'd have a get together. You said we'd talk. I wanted to talk to you, to make things better after everything I did. I would have brought the biscuits, I would have. You said I'd see you there. You said… You said…"
Ginny was still curled up in Hermione's arms, unable to remove herself from the comfort. The older girl stroked her hair and back, whispering soothing words as Ginny cried and rambled. She had seen it. Seen them move to protect each other. Seen the light hit their chests. Seen their eyes close as they fell. It would give her nightmares for weeks.
A few feet away, Ron sat curled up as well. His knees were drawn to his chest, arms wrapped protectively around himself with his head down, blocking the world out as he shook with silent sobs. Behind him, Bill kneeled, his strong arms wrapping around him, sheltering him. The older boy rubbed his little brother's shoulders and kissed his head, pulling him closer and rocking slightly like he had when he was little and ran to his big brother about monsters and ghouls under his bed. Bill didn't cry. He would, eventually, but not here. Not now, when he needed to be strong and wipe away the tears of those left behind. Fleur watched from across the room, wishing she could make her love's pain disappear, and hating herself because she couldn't.
I feel bad…
Yeah, me too.
No one could hear them. No one could see them either.
You ever seen dad cry before?
In the corner of the room, away from the chaos and mayhem, two twins stood watching.
I'm a horrible brother.
One spirit turned to the other.
Why do you say that, Fred?
The ghostly being hung his head in shame.
Because… if I had to die… I'm glad you're here with me.
George smiled and grasped his brother's hand.
I guess I'm a horrible brother too then.
Fred gave a soft smile.
…If you had to die… I'm glad I'm here too.
Fred looked up in surprise before George continued.
I think being left behind…living without you… would be more painful than the killing curse.
Fred smiled and squeezed his brother's hand.
I think I agree.
Smiling, they turned back to their loved one's. Fred sighed.
They're gonna be a mess for awhile.
You don't think any of them will do anything stupid, do you?
Naw, they'll be fine. Eventually.
We could probably, ya know… help 'em out occasionally.
My thoughts exactly.
Identical mischievous grins softened again as they looked to their family once more. Simultaneously, they sighed and spoke.
Meanwhile, the Weasleys seemed to have stilled. All of them were filled with a sudden warmth. It strengthened them. Their determination to make it through was blazing strongly once more. Their boys would not have died in vain. Suddenly, they felt hope. They could make it. They could do this.
Elsewhere, twin wraiths smiled and faded away, hand in hand.
ONE YEAR LATER
Ginny grinned as she accepted the numerous hugs and congratulations from her family. Her mother was weeping dramatically. Her last child had graduated! Her little girl was all grown up! Arthur was having far too much fun snapping pictures of every moment. Bill throwing Ginny over his shoulder, prompting a swat from Molly for wrinkling her dress robes. Percy with his arm around his sister as she proudly held her diploma. Ron ruffling her hair and pinching her cheeks. Charlie giving her a piggy back ride and running through the halls, prompting another lecture from their mother. And one of Harry giving her a proud peck on the cheek as Ginny blushed in front of the camera. After a while, the graduate excused herself, claiming she needed to go to the bathroom before they made their way back to the Burrow for the festivities.
In reality, she just wanted a few moment with her thoughts. This day was suppose to be so happy... and she was happy! But… it just wasn't the same. Something was missing. Two somethings. Entering the bathroom, she quickly closed the door behind her. Leaning against the door, she felt tears well up. There should have been picture of her with the twins! Of them hoisting her up, or sneaking her candy when Molly didn't want her to ruin her appetite, or tickling her when she claimed she wasn't going to smile for the camera. Her big brothers were such a big part of her memory of Hogwarts, it seemed wrong to celebrate her leaving without them.
Just as the tears were about to fall, she heard a strange rumbling. Looking up, she saw the toilet in front of her shaking. Violently. The rumbling got louder. Ginny's eyes widened with realization. Scrambling to open the door behind her, she bolted from the room, leaping to the floor and covering her head just as a loud explosion has heard. Coughing slightly, the girl turned and sat up, wondering what the heck had just happened. Smoke was coming from the room, and the door swung opened and closed. As it opened again, the seat of the now destroyed toilet rolled out, spinning and landing a few feet in front of the stunned Weasley. It took her some time for everything to click. Ignoring the smoke, and the chunks of porcelain littering the ground, she focused on the item in front of her.
A toilet seat.
…A Hogwarts toilet seat.
The memory rushed to her, the little joke she had always shared with her brothers, and suddenly Ginny rolled onto her side, laughing hysterically.
Within moments, her family rushed up to her, having heard the earlier explosion, and now slightly concerned to see Ginny lying on the floor, clutching her side with laughter, in front of a smoking bathroom.
After a few moments, Ginny managed to calm down enough to relate her tale, reminding them of the Twins promise to her from years earlier. Soon, they were all laughing, tears streaming and sides cramping as they laughed at the pure audacity of it all.
Standing in the doorway of the bathroom, unseen and unheard once more, two spirits grinned proudly.
They turned to look once more at their family, rolling on the floor laughing, and smiled.
I think they're going to be just fine.
Alright, a little explanation (you don't have to read if you don't want, just saying why I find this a happier ending than what happened in the books). See, for me, the real tragedy of Fred's death was George. I almost cried at the thought of growing up as a single twin. How depressing is that? I find it happier to have them both die, because then neither of them is forced to live without the other. Make sense? Eh, it's just my opinion.
Any who, I have mixed feelings about this. I feel I could have written it better, so I may come back at some point and re-write parts of it. But hey! Let me know what you thought! I super love reviews. :)
Also, this is the first in a series I'm gonna start about Fred and George after their deaths, so keep an eye out for me! (The others in the series are actually going to be humor, not angst, if that makes a difference to anyone).
Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading!