Author's Note: written for slantedknitting at georgecentric 2010

Warning: M/M action in here. You have been warned.

The Past

I can't stop my breathing in. I'm weak and you were my medicine.

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

George Weasley didn't bother looking to where his best friend, Lee Jordan, stood. He knew the other wizard wanted the best for him, but all George wanted was his life back. It had been five months since the Battle of Hogwarts, five months since Fred's funeral, and what felt like forever since he smiled. His family remained mostly ignored (how could he face them alone?), and only Lee managed to battle through his barriers and find the small spark that existed. George held on tightly to Lee, using his friend as his link to sanity.

"No," he finally answered, honest. "I'm not sure of anything anymore." He forced a smile on his face, hoping it didn't look too lopsided. "The world needs laughter and Fred would have wanted it this way."


"If he were here, the shop would have been opened within a week after the war." George stepped closer to the door, running his hand over the cracks near the handle. "I can't disappoint him."

The door shivered, recognizing his magical signature. The lock was specifically tuned to both his and Fred's, and George saw no reason to change it now. Besides, Fred had created the system himself and George wasn't even sure he could redo the wards without buggering it up. He was just glad the door held when the Alley was torn through. The windows could be replaced with his own wards, but the door was something Fred did right before they left for the last time.

"I'm just worried about you, mate." Lee rested a hand on George's back, his fingers curling lightly into his shoulder. "Your mum even owled me, right worried about you."

"Tell her I'm fine." He pushed into the shop, toeing a few bits of broken glass away with his shoe.


"Go on, Lee." George tightened his grip on the door handle. The cool metal felt as though it were burning into his skin, but he ignored it. "I need to clean this up."

"Let me help you."

George turned a strained smile to his friend. "No thanks. You don't know where we set the nasty hexes. Might trip one and then where would I be?" He closed the door, murmuring to it so that the lock slid back into place.

The rest of the Alley needed to be cleaned before it could reopen, but George knew that the first sign of hope was laughter; Fred told him that shortly after their sixth year. It was, George mused, the only reason they acted out against their mum and left school. They were needed elsewhere, and not just within the walls of Hogwarts. Not that he could go back there. George rubbed at his chest, trying to get rid of the ache that refused to leave. It seemed that while his mind knew he had to move on, his body refused to listen to the request.

George sighed and, before he even touched the mess, went up to the apartment he now shared with no one. Fred had hidden a bottle of liquor behind the towels in the bathroom. "In case of emergencies," he had said. To George, this was the worst kind of emergency.

The post down the lane was the first shop open, followed by Madam Malkins and Quality Quidditch Supplies. A month after George had left Lee on the doorstep, and he wasn't even finished cleaning out the back room. Notes from Fred, reminding him of various details or shopping supplies, littered both the apartment and the shop. George had even found the birthday gift to him Fred had lost. It stayed perched upon the kitchen table, the wrapping still tied tightly around it.

The days bled together to the point where George wasn't sure what was going on anymore. Lee stopped by every week at least, a package of food from his mum in his hand. They would spend part of the night drinking, and when George woke in the morning he would find something else cleaned up inside the store. He hadn't figured out how to say his thanks, but every time he tried, Lee had just handed him another bottle.

George kept himself in his apartment most of the time, afraid to expand himself past the walls where he and Fred barely spent any time. The apartment was a place to sleep and eat, though that was even scarce. More times than not, they would end up in the back room, propped up on boxes with notes while their potions boiled away. Before they had to leave the Alley and return to the Burrow, George had forgotten the last time he actually slept in his own bed.

The floor was more comfortable than the bed, and George was taking advantage of that. The nearest bottle of liquor was buried beneath a pile in the bedroom and he hadn't felt like digging through their old clothes just yet. Instead, he parked himself right under the window, an ashtray to one side and a pack of fags to the other. So far, Lee was the only one to know of his new habit, but had said nothing. The simple movement of lighting the stick, breathing in the tar, and blowing out the smoke set his nerves a little straighter.

He had promised Lee it would only be for a short time, a crutch to rest on for the moment, but now George wasn't quite sure if he could ever quit. There was a reason, Lee had said, that muggles poisoned themselves for years – now George knew why.

Sighing, he turned and stubbed out his half-burned fag. If the creek on the stairs was any indication, someone other than Lee was coming up. The general sound between the fourth and fifth step gave off a different groan, not to mention that he couldn't smell the food by now. He wasn't sure if whoever it was would appreciate or approve of his new habit.

The door cracked slightly before messy black hair poked through. "George?" The hair was followed by a lightning bolt scar and black framed glasses. Harry Potter looked no different than he had the last time George saw him, scars included. "You here?"

"The floor." George sat himself up, resting his elbows on his knees. "Didn't expect you to come here, at least not yet. Did mum send you?"

"Nobody sent me." Harry moved over to where George sat, pushing a few empty food containers to the side with his foot as he did so. "Gin's been worried, yeah, but I figured it was about time somebody came to say hi."

"Lee comes by-"

"Someone other than Lee." Harry sat down. His back leaned against the side table and his cloak dragged through a puddle of some kind of liquid, but he barely seemed to notice. "Someone from your family. They're terrified to come near here, thinking you'll toss them out or curse them."


Harry smiled softly, resting a hand on George's knee. "Something about how you used to test products you knew were unstable on anyone who came in."

George raised an eyebrow, not sure where that idea had come from. "Then why did you come in?"

"What can I say? I've already been through it all, I think. What's a simple prank going to do?" Harry's smile faltered slightly, but it didn't drop. "I came to make sure you were doing okay. I trust Lee, but I wanted to see for myself."

"I'm fine," George reassured him.

"Are you really?"

George closed his eyes, sucking in a breath. He wanted to be, more than anything, but he wasn't sure if that moment would ever come. "I am for now," he told Harry. "That's as good as I'm going to get."

Harry shifted closer, sliding an arm around George's shoulder. "Let me help you clean up around here."

He opened his eyes and looked toward Harry. "All right." He paused, sliding away from him. "Before we do, can you do me a favor?"

"Anything, George."

"Tell me how it happened."

Harry looked uncomfortable, though George understood why. He poured a drink for the dark-haired wizard, sliding the cool glass across the rough floor. Harry took it with a small thanks and cradled the drink near his chin. The two sat in silence, George waiting for Harry to speak and Harry waiting for the courage to do so. He didn't push, didn't force Harry to speak sooner than he felt safe to. Still, he was happy when the younger man took a deep breath and downed his drink in one go.

"All right," he said, his voice just a little shaky, "I'll tell you. Pour me another?"

George gladly dipped the bottle, filling Harry's glass again. "Thank you."

Harry shook his head. "It's best I get it off my chest anyway. The only people I can talk to about this stuff were there, so it's stuck inside." He settled back, letting his glass hang between his legs. "And I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"Not doing anything."


"No, George, don't. Gin's already tried to get me not to blame myself, but I can't help it. There should have been something I could do, some way to stop what happened. It was all too fast and the situation was under control."

George nodded, leaning back to rest against the wall. "Okay."

"It was right after we got Malfoy and Goyle out of the Room of Requirement," Harry began. "We heard the dueling and looked up to see Fred and Percy fighting two Death Eaters. They got them down, but then the wall just… exploded."

A shiver ran down George's back, the selfish part of him glad that he had not been standing in that corridor when Fred fell. The other part of him wished he were, that way he could have died instead. He took a deep breath before nodding to Harry.

"George, I don't have to-"

"I need to know." George opened his eyes. "Please."

"All right." Harry took another drink. "It took me a while to convince Percy to get off him, then the two of us pulled him to a corner where he would be safe. I don't know who brought him downstairs."

Harry fell silent, settling his glass on the floor. George wouldn't have noticed either way. He was too caught up in the images flashing through his mind. How he had come running through the doors to the Great Hall, a smile on his lips and a story on his tongue. It had died as soon as he saw his family, and as soon as he saw his brother, motionless on the floor. His mum clutched at Fred's shirt, pulling and screaming at the same time. The only thing George could do was drop to his knees and cradle the lifeless head in his lap, praying to whoever would hear him.


He jerked his head toward Harry, blinking twice at the figure standing behind him. Lee had the usual food bags in hand, and a worried look on his face. George hadn't even heard him come up the stairs. He cleared his throat and forced a smile on his face.

"Sorry, I wasn't paying attention."

Lee sat down, putting the bag between the three of them. "It's fine. Just here to make sure you eat."

Harry rested a hand on George's knee once before opening some of the food. "Boy's night in?"

"Sounds good to me." Lee passed George some food. "Come on, then. Tomorrow, let's actually do some work around here."

"Here, here!" Harry laughed, raising his fork. "Hey, Lee, what do you think goes well with crushed beetles and moonstone?"

The Present

I've got a sickness, you've got the cure. You've got the spark I've been lookin' for.

An hour after the shop's initial close and the last customer finally stepped through the door of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. The lock above the door let out a small sigh before sliding along the cracks, burying itself between the frame and the door. Behind the counter, George smiled sadly as his brother's last invention went to work in securing things. He would never tire of seeing it slither into place. It was getting it out that was the issue some mornings.

Glad for the semi-silence of the otherwise loud shop, George pulled up his stool and sat down. It was time for the nightly logs and though they weren't the best job, it was something he had to do. Lately, some of the students at Hogwarts tended to swipe a thing or two while they were here and George had to find out what they were taking so he could develop a specific spell for it. Putting any regular old spell on a product could cause it to explode, as his best friend Lee Jordan found out a year before. Tracking spells and their portable swamps did not mix well.

If Fred were still here, George knew that the problem would have been taken care of already. It had been two years since he had to do this on his own, and it never got easier. Inventions came slower, and the customers almost doubled. Ron had tried his best to help, but his main job was at the ministry with Harry and more times than not, he had been called away in the morning for an assignment.

Perhaps he should consider Harry's first suggestion and just offer free products for those who caught others stealing, and then teach said rat how to prank properly. It was tempting, and he obviously had the backing of the most popular wizard in Britain, but he didn't want to lose his business just as he was beginning to invent new things. It had taken him years to get some of his life back and he wasn't about to throw it away on some prick kid and his mum complaining about this or that.

Seven Puking Pasties were missing from his display by the window. George made a note to work on those, and the other candies, next. After the celebrations, the ministry would be busy correcting any muggle who had seen, so he would wait until later to ask for Ron and Harry's help. He knew he could pull Lee in now, as his job over the wireless wasn't as demanding.

Merlin, George would never get tired of hearing his voice.

His quill paused over the page, thinking that last thought over in his head. He cleared his throat, shaking his off as exhaustion and the lack of a personal life. Not that witches (and a few brave wizards) hadn't tried. Angelina Johnson owled him at least twice a week, asking for a dinner date of some kind. He stopped answering her owls after the first two months. It hadn't stopped her, but he no longer felt as though he needed to make excuses. 'My brother just died' didn't seem to work on her after he got back to the shop.

The back door opened, the only sign being the slight creek in the hinges. It was the only way in after the lock settled into place. "George? You in here?" A scuffle of feet slid across the backroom. Enough people had tripped back there by just stomping around.

"The front!" George flipped a page in his log book as Harry finally stepped into the room.

"How's it going?" Harry asked, leaning against the counter to peer over the log book. He had helped start the business, after all. The least he could do was help find out who was being the thief.

"Checking the logs now." George glanced over to Harry. "What are you doing here? Thought you'd be with Ginny considering you two will be all over the place tomorrow."

"I'll be back tonight. Draco and I are going to Plevin."


Harry smiled. "It's in France. There were some attacks there in April originally thought to be made by the muggles, but now they think wizards might be behind it."


"Yes, really. Draco thinks it's a waste of time, as do I, but assignments are assignments." Harry leaned forward. "Though, at least I'll get lunch out of the deal. The report said that someone blew up a McDonald's."

"A McDonald's?" George stared at Harry, and then couldn't help but smile a little.

"It's a muggle restaurant that serves cheeseburgers and fries," he explained. "And fast, too. Only takes about five minutes."

"Right. Sounds like a honeymoon."

"That isn't funny." Harry turned so he could pull himself up onto the counter, slightly covering the sign for love potions. "I have no intention to seduce Draco Malfoy. We're just partners-"

"That sounds worse," George pointed out, looking back down. "But I was kidding. You said Malfoy-"

"Draco," Harry corrected.

"Fine. Draco's got his eye on that bird at the front of the ministry, yes? What's her name?"

"Astoria, I think. He actually asked her on a date."

"When? You're already too busy at the office. Ron can't even help out here anymore." George turned a page in his log book. "He left early again today."

"Sorry about that. Maybe you should hire someone?"


The back door slammed open. Harry turned to see who it was, but George already knew. Only two people slammed the door like that: Fred and Lee. He sighed and closed the log book, pushing it away. It would be useless to do now.

Lee stumbled into the room, giving the floor an accusatory glare before looking back up. "Harry! I thought I saw you come in here." He smiled brightly, clapping the Boy Who Lived on the shoulder. "Come to test out a new product? I hear George's got something perfect. Made specifically for you."

"Don't listen to him," George warned. "He's a liar."

"I did go to school with him for five years," Harry reminded George, moving away from Lee and off the counter. "I think I can handle when he lies."

"Excuse me, but I most certain do not lie." Lee huffed, puffing out his chest. "I always tell the truth."

Harry laughed, reaching forward to grab Lee's nose. "Okay, Pinocchio."


"It's a muggle thing," George supplied. "You wouldn't get it, so don't worry."

Lee made a face. "You'll have to explain it later. Get this, I was researching at home and found alihotsy. Remember it?"

"I think Snape mentioned something, but I barely remember any of his lectures." Harry leaned closer. "So go on, spit it out. Maybe it'll help me remember."

"Right, well, alihotsy is a plant and when you eat the leaves…" Lee and Harry tilted their heads closer, neither noticing anything but their conversation.

There wasn't much George could do when Harry and Lee put their heads together on something. They were the ones who came up with the latest trick quill ("Lend it to a friend and it will write nothing but insults!") as well as their latest love potion line ("Why fall in love with a person? Lamp shades and other objects are better!"). Harry even donated some of his own hair for the Boy Who Lived Scar Potion ("Get your own bolt today!"). He did appreciate it; inventing by himself had never been fun when he and Fred were fighting. He liked to pretend, now, that he was just having another row with his twin instead of the truth.

Listening to Harry and Lee debate about the properties of alihotsy distracted him from his memories, though he was glad for it. His mum was getting worried enough when he didn't smile every bloody moment. Honestly, he had moments before Fred died where he didn't smile, she just probably didn't see it. Unless she liked watching him sleep, though even in those days George doubted that he had frowned as long as he wasn't alone in the room.

"No, Lee, you've got it all wrong. Hellebore does that, not alihotsy." Harry shook his head. "You'd kill yourself going about it that way."

"It's all about the amount, Harry. You'll only die if there's too much."

"Lee, come on! Go look up the properties."

"I have."

George glanced to the back door as he heard it open. The two arguing children in front of him hadn't notice, too caught up in deciding how much was too much when it came to mixing hellebore with other substances. He offered a short smile to Draco Malfoy once the man stepped in. The blond's only response was to quirk an eyebrow at the bickering pair. George shrugged, and then motioned toward them with his hand. Draco bowed his acceptance to the challenge.

"If you two are quite finished," Draco interrupted, "hellebore and sneezewort combined would cause your nose to explode. Unless, of course, you were to add the right amount of nettle."

Harry quirked an eyebrow, a motion George was sure he learned from Draco. "And what would that do, oh powerful potion god?"

Draco smirked, stepping forward until he stood next to his partner. "I'm not sure, but it could cause the sneezer to shoot sparks out of their nose."

"Really?" Lee wrapped an arm around Draco's shoulders. "Think we could make it work?"

"I think," Draco said, shifting out from under Lee's hands, "that Harry and I need to go. We're going to miss our portkey and I've managed to secure the package in the vault, Potter, so don't even think about coming back for it before tomorrow."

"Package?" George glanced between them. "What package?"

"Ministry business," Draco told him quickly. "I'll be in touch about the fire sneezing, Weasley."

Harry offered a smile as Draco dragged him out, waving just before the back door closed.

Lee waited a moment after it closed before letting out a long whistle. "They do make it look good."

"Make what look good?" George leaned over the counter, trying to see if they were still there or not, just in case. "Working for the Ministry?"

"No, you wanker." Lee knocked George's head back with his palm. "A couple. Those two make it look good."

George made a face, rubbing his forehead where Lee had smacked him. "They aren't a couple."

"What, Harry and his Slytherin? 'Course they are!"

"Don't let Gin hear you say that," George warned. "She'll skin you alive."

Lee waved a hand dismissively. "They have to be buggering each other on the side. Too much tension otherwise. I wonder who's on top."

"Enough!" George covered his ears. "I don't want that burned into my brain!"

"All right, all right. Don't twist your knickers." Lee motioned toward the back door.

"Come on, let's get out of here. I'll come down tomorrow while people are getting piss drunk and finish the logs."


Lee held out a hand, grinning as George took it. "I promise. When have I ever broken one to you?

George held the door open for Lee with his foot, flipping through his mail as he did so. Junk, letter from his mum, letter from Ron, and an ingredient's list from Neville Longbottom. Why the newest Botanist in Diagon Alley needed another list of ingredients from him, George wasn't sure he wanted to know. He slipped it on the side table, figuring he had all day tomorrow to read over it and go through his stores. Neville hadn't asked for anything too strange the first time and he was always glad to help out another Gryffindor.

"What in merlin's pants is that owl doing at your window?" Lee stepped in behind George, pressing slightly against his back and pointing toward the back.

George followed his gaze and shook his head. "Angelina's owl. She writes every now and then. Tries to get me to go on a date with her or some other bullocks."

"And you said?"

"I tell her no." George ignored the owl and went into the kitchen. "Want something to eat?"

Lee smiled, leaning in the doorway with his arms crossed. "You don't have anything to eat. In fact, I know that you tend to eat whatever your mum sends you until its out."

"Your point?"

"The last time she sent you a package was a week ago." Lee motioned back toward the door. "How about I run out. The Leaky is still open and I'm sure Tom won't mind if I order to go."

It was the truth, and George knew it was useless trying to tell his best friend otherwise. Especially when Lee used to deliver the food himself. "All right, go grab something from Tom. Tell him he owes me for that potion I gave him and he'll probably give you a discount."

Lee laughed and shook his head. "I'll tell him."

"Thanks." George moved into the living room and fell back on the couch, throwing his arm over his eyes.

George wasn't sure how long he stayed on the couch, but he managed to move his arm and stare at the door as Lee walked back inside. Two bags of food hung from his hand, their smell slowly reaching George's nose. Sheppard's Pie with extra sauce and spices added to the potatoes – exactly what George had ordered there last week after he ran out of food from his mum. He sat up on the couch, making room for Lee to sit down next to him.

"Get drinks, too?" he asked. He took the bag that Lee handed to him, sticking his nose into it to smell it better.

"Tom said you already got enough drinks for a week from him." Lee flopped onto the couch. "You having problems again?"

"No. Prick must have lowered my amount again." George pulled out the food box. "It's fine. Food like this doesn't need anything else."

"As long as you eat it all." Lee dug a fork into his food. "Skin and bones and all. Can't have you looking like a stick for the birds, yeah?"

George snorted and decided not to answer that. So what if he didn't like girls? Lee didn't have to know that yet. Harry knew, and had known for a while, and that was enough. Even if Harry did try to set him up with other men sometimes, George appreciated the shoulder to lean on. In a way, it reminded him of what he hoped Fred would be like once his twin knew. George was pretty sure Fred did know, but he felt guilty that he wasn't able to say it out loud.

The window cracked open, letting the tawny owl inside. It flew around the room, flapping its wings and knocking whatever it could onto the floor. George sighed and put his food down; there would be no use trying to eat with the ruddy thing trying to peck his eyes out. He grabbed his fags and went to the side door, ignoring when Lee jumped up and tried to swat at the bird.

The porch was an enchantment George had learned from their mum. The first time she came up to their apartment, she complained about having no place for fresh air. George had jokingly told her they just needed a porch. A few spells and adjustments later and they had a nicely sized porch overlooking the Alley. It wasn't even a question of where he would go once he started smoking. If Fred were here, he would never want the smell inside the house.

George rested his back against the wall and slid down the side. Angelina's owls were getting pushy and he wasn't sure how much longer he could go silent before she did something drastic. He knew that he was her link to Fred, but he was tired of being the link. If they got together, he would just be a replacement for someone who no longer existed. He closed his eyes, letting the fag burn away between his lips, and tried to forget about the mess he would have to clean up later.

The door flew open and when George finally opened his eyes, an owl was flying away as fast as it could, smoke coming from its tail feathers. Lee walked out onto the porch calmly with his wand in hand. His pony tail was slightly askew, but he seemed to not notice.

"Bloody bird," he muttered. "Maybe she'll get the message this time, yeah?"

"Maybe," George agreed, stubbing his fag out before lighting another.

"Why didn't you tell me she was hounding you?" When George shrugged, Lee let out a sigh and looked out to the street. "They're almost done setting up."


"Coming to Hogwarts tomorrow morning?"


Lee smiled softly. "I figured. What do you plan on doing?"

"Same as last year." George looked up at him. "Why?"

"Well…" Lee flicked his wrist, and a bottle soon arrived in his hand. "I have this crate…"

George hesitated, the offer tempting. "I thought you didn't want me drinking this much." He put the fag back in his mouth.

"This is an exception." Lee held the bottle out to George, shaking it once. "How about we make our own kind of celebration."

Lee crawled across the floor, the bottle in his hand hitting the ground with every move he made. "More?" he asked, holding up the half-empty bottle in his hand.

George shook his head and groaned. "My 'ead's killin' me."

"So?" Lee sat next to George, his back against the wall. "That's what it suppose' to do."

"No more," George told him, then tilted his head up to look out the window. There wasn't much to see, considering it was past midnight and most of the preparations were finished, but the stars were out. He tried to focus on them, but it was hard to find one when three were swimming in and out of his vision.

Just when he opened his mouth to ask Lee to help him focus, a pair of lips ghosted across his neck. George closed his eyes, his head leaning back a little more. Lee's hand came across his waist, and George heard the bottle drop the short distance to the floor before rolling away. The lips trailed up his neck until they reached right below where his ear used to be.

"Don't," George pleaded, moving away from Lee. "Not there."

Lee tightened his grip on George's waist. "'kay."

George turned his head to look at his best friend, slightly confused. "Why you doing this?"

A smile grew on Lee's face and he leaned in closer. "You're temping, shut up."

Before George could ask anything else, Lee was kissing him. The sloppy feel of lips against his own had George vaguely wondering how anyone could like this, but he was responding all the same. He wrapped his arm around Lee's neck, pulling his friend closer. Lee broke the kiss, shifting over George to get a better angle. His lips came down on George's neck this time, his legs settling on either side of George's own.

George sucked in a breath, his hand pulling slightly on Lee's ponytail. "Wait," he murmured, trying to pull him away. "Lee-" He stopped, arching into Lee slightly as teeth tugged on his ear.

Hands moved to the front of George's waist, pulling at the buttons of his pants. He barely noticed when the zipper came down, though he lifted himself off the floor enough to pull his jeans down over his hips. Lee's mouth was still around his ear, tugging at the lobe before kissing directly below it. A soft moan escaped George's lips as a hand wrapped around his erection.

The hand moved slowly, sliding up and down with a firm grip. George reached one of his hands back to grip the windowsill above him, his other wrapped further into Lee's hair and part of his shirt. The lips returned to his neck, right under his chin. He couldn't think straight, between the alcohol and the shock moving through his body, and just allowed Lee to do whatever he wanted.

"George?" Lee moved back up to George's ear.


"Let go. My head's hurting."

George released his grip on both the windowsill and Lee, letting his arms drop to the floor. Lee chuckled a little, pausing around the still cock in his hand. A small noise came from George and he tried to shift his hips in order to move the hand again, but Lee shook his head. He completely let go of George, bringing his hands to fumble with his own pants.

An extra set joined him, and George leaned forward to kiss Lee as he helped. Both focused on the kiss, George wasn't sure when Lee's pants were shoved down or how they moved, but his best friend was soon straddling his waist once again. Their erections pressed between them, moving against each other as Lee constantly shifted. His hands cradled George's head, his tongue tracing across his lower lip.

Both of George's hands were sliding across Lee's waist, slipping under the shirt he still wore. Lee's hand returned between them, but George wasn't sure where it went. The feel of the slightly calloused hands were absent from his straining erection. He couldn't tell the difference between the noises in the room, unsure which one belonged to him and which one came from Lee.

The kiss and the pressure of the warm body suddenly disappeared. George felt a whimper escape his throat and his face lean closer to the warm breath moving across his cheek. He raised a knee, trying to keep Lee close, not wanting to stop.

"Hold still," Lee breathed, his hand coming to wrap around George's cock again. "Just… stay."

George kept as still as possible. His ragged breath and need to be closer didn't help, but somehow he managed it because Lee did come closer. George opened his eyes to watch him, slightly confused as Lee stared down between them. His friend's hair tickled across his chest. He reached out to move it and barely had his hand wrapped around the locks when Lee lowered himself down.

A hiss came from Lee as George gasped, his back arching. "Shite…"

"Let go." Lee placed a hand on George's chest, leaning his head toward the direction of George's hand. "Merlin's balls, George."

Barely able to think, George released Lee's hair and moved his hand down to his lower back. Lee was breathing heavy against his chest, his hands now resting on George's shoulders. The two kept still, just breathing, for a long time. It was broken when George shifted under Lee, pushing deeper inside of him. Lee let out a low moan, his lips attaching again to George's neck.

George moved under him again, thrusting slowly. The angle was bad and he couldn't move as much as he wanted to, but he would deal with it. He moved both hands to Lee's hips, guiding them to match his own rhythm. He turned his head to try and kiss him, but Lee dodged it and moved further up George's neck. He blew slightly into George's ear before tugging on the lobe again.

Neither of them lasted long, though George could barely think over the feeling of Lee's lips and the tightness surrounding his cock. With a shaking hand, he reached between them to tug on Lee's erection, pulling at it in time with their frantic thrusts. It wasn't long before Lee cried out, his seed spilling out into George's hand. He thrust twice more before releasing himself, his back sliding off the wall and to the floor as he did so.

The last thing George remembered before he let himself succumb to sleep was Lee rolling off him and onto the floor.

The Future

Make your heart drop and come alive.

George sipped at his cup of coffee, watching the last-minute preparations outside. A wizard he didn't recognize guided a stage to the center of the road before lining it with various decorations. For a moment, George actually debated whether or not he should go out there and join the crowds. He had supplied the fireworks, after all. However, instead of leaving the apartment, he gripped his mug tighter. He hadn't gone the past few years, why would he go now?

A pair of arms wrapped around his waist. One of the hands traveled up to grip around his shoulder. He kept still, not sure what Lee was going to do next. A shiver ran down his back as Lee kissed the back of his neck, the arm around his waist tightening slightly.

The past few years had been a whirlwind for George, from his family to the shop. Lee never left his side, keeping a steady arm around his waist through the good and the bad. He closed his eyes, leaning back into the embrace. Just last year, he had woken up on the floor, liquor bottles scattered around him. Lee's arm stretched across his waist, holding as tightly as he could in his sleep. For a moment, George had wondered what to do, how to act after what they had done.

A soft kiss directly under his ear had stopped him from doing anything other than keeping where he was. Lee asked no questions, spoke no words as he moved over George's body one more time. He had been content not to move as the rest of their clothes came off and the actions of the night before repeated.

His mum had not been thrilled when George told her not to expect grandkids out of him. Angelina hadn't stopped sending her owls, though George barely cared about the reason why. Ron refused to talk to him until Harry bodily dragged him into the shop, forcing him to apologize in front of both George and Lee (who decided to help out, quitting his radio show). The rest of the family took it in stride, Charlie giving him the most support.

"From one to another," he had told George in an owl. "Mum'll find out about me later. I'm bringing John home to meet her next month." That confrontation at the Weasley dinner table had been interesting, and it had George and Lee laughing for a while. His mum didn't seem to mind after that.

"Knut for your thoughts?" Lee asked, sliding a hand over George's stomach.

George shrugged once, resting a hand over Lee's own. "Nothing important. Just thinking."

"Merlin, there's a disaster." Lee grinned, letting go. "Let's take that brain to the shop, yeah? Or the bedroom, either place it'll work."

"Arse." George grinned, closing the curtains and following Lee downstairs. He may not enjoy the celebrations, but Lee always did manage to find ways to make them interesting. It was their own private party.

George couldn't wait to get it started, not wanting to think too much on the past any longer. In the frame by the window, Fred smiled and waved at him before going back to the firework he had been working on when the picture was taken.