A/N: Wow, it's been a long time since I posted anything. School + exams = no writing time whatsoever, but it's summer vacation now, thank goodness. Also, I've never written Fred or George before, so if anyone has any pointers on my characterizations I'd be extremely grateful.
Written for the prompt of the day remember me on Hogwarts Online. Also part of the Song Collection.
I feel you everywhere I go
I hear you laughing in the rain
Still can't believe you're gone
~ Who You'd Be Today, Kenny Chesney
He doesn't find the letter until three years later, to the day, of his brother's death. It's only because it's raining and a cold day for May, and he deliberately hasn't looked at the calendar because he already knew the date and he really doesn't want to see confirmation.
His brother Ron, whom he hired after Fred died, is managing the shop downstairs while he takes a break, and for some reason he does what he hasn't dared to do in three years and opens the door to the bedroom. His and Fred's bedroom, where they slept and invented and laughed and lived for the too-short years they owned Weasley's Wizard Wheezes together.
He's been back in their bedroom at the Burrow, of course, but somehow that wasn't the same. So many people had stayed there, before and since they moved out, that it didn't feel like theirs anymore. But this room, it was truly Fred and George's. (Fred's name always came first. It didn't sound right any other way.)
George opens the door, steps inside, shuts it quietly behind him, and just looks. As though it's no longer attached to his body, his arm reaches down and picks up a shirt from the floor. It takes him a minute to realize that it's Fred's, but when he does, George just holds it for a minute while the pain and the memories flood over him like a waterfall.
They were so closely attuned to each other, it was like they were one person who had somehow been split into two bodies. Those who knew them well – Molly, Ron, Ginny, Angelina, Lee, sometimes Harry and Charlie – could tell them apart, but that was only a handful. Most people called them Fredandgeorge, and it was funny that neither of them minded. When George lost his ear, people were relieved that they would finally be able to tell the twins apart, but George was devastated. He wasn't sure how he felt about having a specific identity.
Now he wonders if maybe it had just been fate trying to tell him something.
George wanders over to the twin beds – matching, everything was matching and it was killing him – and that's when he notices it. The letter is sitting on top of his bed, unopened, with the word George scrawled across the top in what is unmistakably Fred's handwriting.
When he picks it up, his hand is shaking. It's stupid to think it was from any time recently, Fred had died three years ago. It must have been left before, then. Before his world had ended. Before Fred had died.
He takes a deep breath and breaks the seal, unfolding the parchment, and begins to read. The letter is not long, but its contents more than make up for its length.
If you're reading this, it means that what I hoped wouldn't happen did happen, and I didn't make it through. Don't think of Trelawney when I say this, but I had an inkling one of us Weasleys was going to die – there's too many of us to make it through a whole war unscathed. If it had to be one of the two of us, though, I'm glad it was me, but I know if our positions were reversed you'd be saying the same so I'll shut up and move on now.
You were always the thoughtful one, the smart one, and I was the loud one who talked up our products to no end. You'll be better at running the joke shop than I would have been, but you've got to find someone to advertise with you. Whatever you do, though, make sure you keep it going because if it really was me you're going to need some laughs. Our whole family is, really.
Don't cry too hard for me, 'cause we're twins, remember – I'll be a part of you no matter what happens. Just remember me.
Keep smiling, but mean it,
His shirt is soaked with tears, but for some reason George feels a million times better for having read the letter. The whole experience has been almost like a catharsis - it's like he finally got some closure with his twin which had been denied to him before. The happy memories push their way to the front of his mind, and for the first time he lets them, realizing that this is how he wants to remember Fred – smiling, laughing, full of life.
The door cracks open, and his fiancée Angelina sticks her head in. "I couldn't find you," she says quietly, sadly, "and it finally occurred to me that you might be in here." She pauses, then, "I'm so sorry, George."
He folds the letter and tucks it into his pillow, then walks across the room and gives her a hug. "We'll always remember him, love. There's never been any doubt of that."
Angelina hugs him back and lets a few tears escape, but she's cried for him many times already. "The rain's stopping," she says, pulling away and taking his hand. "And it's time to leave for the memorial service at Hogwarts. Isn't that just perfect timing?"
They go down the stairs and step into the street with Ron locking the door and trailing behind them, and it's true – the rain is down to a drizzle and the previously black clouds are starting to thin.
"Yeah," George says, giving her hand a squeeze. "Isn't it funny how things work out like that?"
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