a/n - A suffering!George fic. Because I know he suffered, and I hate that some people think he didn't. But I think Harry suffered too.

Voices came and went, but never the one voice that mattered.

So many words, choked and grief-stricken, clouding his room and his mind until he finally shut them all out. He doesn't want them there. He talks and talks to himself, instead, half-drifting, half out of his mind, but it wasn't the same. People always told them they sounded so much alike, but that voice was more beautiful, always, that voice always knew just what to say. That voice was gone forever. And he shakes as he whispers through the night, trying desperately to make the solitude less scary.

On the really bad nights, when his head is hot and his blankets are sweat-soaked, and his words are barely words anymore as the world tips and sways, he can almost believe that voice is really there.

So many faces they all blurred together, but never the one that mattered.

Every mirror in his flat broken, shattered, shards of reflection everywhere. He can't stand to see himself, but he used to love his reflection. He used to say so all the time, laughing, and being laughed at - he didn't mind they didn't understand. His reflection reminded him of how unbelievably undeniably indescribably lucky he was. His reflection went with him everywhere, reminded him every day he wasn't alone. He's alone now.

And the reflection in the mirrors is wrong. He notes this dully, staring at the glinting sharpness around him, the sticky red on his hands and fingers. Breaking the wrong reflection hurt him, but at least the wrong reflection's broken.

So many people, but never the one his heart is breaking for.

They sit, they talk, they touch his arm, touch his hair, kiss him, hold him, beg him to stay.

But that's stupid. He isn't going anywhere.

He isn't going anywhere.

Knocks on the door make him wonder. Family usually walks right in, like it's easier on him that way. It isn't, but he lets them come and go as they please. As painful as it is, when the door swings open he loves the powerful swell in his chest as his heart gives way to hope that maybe it's -

It never is, it never will be, but it's funny that he remembers hope. It's hard to remember. It's too much to think.Names and places escape him. He barely recognizes visitors, even his own blood. The red hair should be a giveaway he knows, but colors are fading lately. He stares at them, unseeing, and he knows it's his fault they cry.

Time passes strangely these days, and visits are becoming few and far between. He knows it hurts them to see him, hurts everyone to see him, and he can't blame them. Loneliness is something he isn't used to, but he's trying to be, because all he is is lonely now. He doesn't even count as a whole person anymore. It's better this way, to stay tucked away and forgotten and forgetting. Better that he's by himself, keeping all his darkness close and contained.

He doesn't want to drag anyone down with him. He'll fall alone. He deserves it, they deserve it.

Knocking again. He doesn't answer, why should he answer, but a voice calls in, "George? It's me, it's...Harry."

Harry. Bright green eyes, messy dark hair, shy smiles and heartbreaking surprise at every warm word, every affectionate touch. Small and strong and always with so much to live up to.

He remembers Harry.

"I don't...I don't know if you..." There's a painful, pregnant pause before words are thrown in haste, as though they burn. "I came because Ron said you'd be here, 'cause you're always here, and you never leave and you never eat or sleep or talk, George, and I... I'm sorry."


"I'm sorry. I'm scared you're going to die too and I want to tell you how sorry I am. It's all – it's my fault. Okay? It's mine. If I could've...done something more, done something better, then maybe Fr..." The sudden, choked silence is full of weighted sorrow, regret, a fear as sincere as a child's. "Maybe he wouldn't have died. Maybe a lot of people wouldn't have died. If I could've been a better - a better soldier, a better Chosen One, like I was supposed to be, if I could've fucking listened then maybe S-Sirius..." The words were trembling now, and full of tears. Words waiting to be said forever now finally tasting freedom and it must be so scary. "I'm sorry, George. It's my fault he's gone, my fault they're allgone. Not yours, never yours. It's mine. Please..."

It's not about that. Harry you stupid, stupid child.

It's not about fault.

He's across the room in four strides and the door is open before Harry is ready. His shoulders are bowed with a weight that never should have been his to bear, bright eyes searching his for just a split second – waiting for the agreement, the hatred, the blame that at this point would be so welcome because there has to be one constant in the world, one thing that he knows is right and it would be painful but God, just don't lie to me –

George is holding him. Distantly, he's amazed that his arms remember how to do this, how to reach out and encircle and support.

But somehow, they do.

"It's not about that." George whispers fiercely. "It's not fault."

He has to believe it's not fault.