"Are you alright, Freddie?"
Fred's heart clenches as he looks across the Hogwarts grounds, tension thick as lives are on the line. Flashes of lights go askew in all directions, some green, some red, and then Fred swallows, looks at George's hand which nudges his own. His stomach drops, and he gets an overpowering sense of foreboding, as if something terrible is sure to happen tonight, and he starts panicking, and then he pauses. George is right beside him. Harry's looking for whatever it is, and his family is somewhere diligently fighting, being heroic. And despite Fred's want to keep his family, Harry, Hermione, somewhere safe, somewhere where nothing can hurt them, he knows he can't. They signed up for this. They know what might happen. And yet, this doesn't calm Fred at all; if anything, it's multiplied his worry and anxiousness tenfold. But as he listens to George's deep breaths beside him, he takes a step closer, making their shoulders push against each other.
He knows George is frowning, he knows that George is worrying about him, but Fred finds that he is alright, as long as George is here. "Yeah," he answers, and senses his twin smirk beside him.
There's a pause, and Fred soaks everything in. For a second, he can't believe any of this. Any of this fighting, the Death Eaters, the fact it'll take quite amount of time to put the Hogwarts castle back to its original glory. He hears a scream from below and perks up, just as George does. They're little moment of time to gather their thoughts has been diminished. Fred freezes as George steps away from him, his twin saying something about how they should head into the fray now that things are escalating. Fred nearly tries to make an excuse that the passageways still need protected, that maybe they should just stay here until everything is over because the secret passageways really need protected, but he doesn't. Instead, he stays near the balcony, stolid, heart beating erratically. Worst scenarios play through his head, and he nearly cries at the thought of anyone dying. Mum, Dad, Ginny—dear god, not his little sister—Charlie, Ron, the rest of his family… and George. A strangled sound emits from Fred's throat, and he cringes. He hears George turn and walk closer, footsteps sounding so loud. His hand is on the middle of Fred's back, and Fred grips his wand tighter.
"I'm so scared, George." His voice cracks as he looks at his twin through the corner of his eye.
George purses his lip and tightens his hold on the back of his jacket, fabric gathering in his hand. Fred starts talking again.
"What if—what if Mum or Ron or Dad or Bill… what if they—God, George, what if you—what if you—"
Fred cuts himself off, shoulders shaking as he grips the stone railing. Tears well in his eyes, and the Weasley angrily furrows his brows at himself. This isn't the time to be crying, but nonetheless, he is, and his twin—his other half—wraps his arm around his shoulder. Fred gulps and leans in to George's side, wishing they were six again and back at the Burrow. He closes his eyes, and it's almost like he is in his and George's room, and he woke up from a nightmare and George his hugging him like all the times he's helped Fred and Fred has helped him. But there's a colossal blast, and ground shattering sounds can be heard from a few floors down, and Fred reluctantly throws himself back into reality.
He hears George take a deep breath. "Come on, don't… don't talk like that. They'll… be fine, you'll be fine, I'll be fine," George turns to him; a cheeky grin that Fred knows is fake spread across his lips, "Don't worry about it."
Fred snorts despite himself, "You shouldn't either."
He stares as George rolls his lips into a thin line, and Fred feels inclined to say something comforting.
"I'll die for you, Georgie," he says softly, staring unwaveringly into the brown eyes that are so much like his own. George's arm slips off his shoulder, and he nods.
"I'll die for you, too."
"Hello, Minister!" Fred looks at Percy, momentarily pausing in shooting jinxes and curses everywhere. "Did I mention I'm resigning?" Fred laughs as Percy sends a jinx to a Death Eater who seems familiar—despite the current situation, he's too happy to care.
"You are joking Perce… I don't think I've heard you joke since—"
There is a great bang and Fred gets slammed into the wall. He hears his twin's panicked, strained, petrified yell—"FRED!"—and somehow, out of nowhere, George is there, right in front of him. There's a green light, and before Fred can even articulate what's happening, George crumples into his chest. Fred, shocked beyond hell, quickly wraps his arms around George's waist, looking down into his vacant, empty eyes. Time stops, and somehow Fred's heart keeps hammering.
Fred's mouth opens and closes. No—no, no, no—not—no, not George. He hears an evil, evil laugh sees a flash of red hair, and Percy and Ron are beside him in an instant. Terrified even by his own brothers, Fred tightens his grip on his twin—the body—and an anguished cry forces out of his mouth. Guilt washes over him instantly: he shouldn't have gotten so distracted, he shouldn't have dropped his guard, then George wouldn't have had to—he would still be—
Fred hears Percy and Ron cry at his sides, even hears Hermione sob a few feet away, and pays them no heed, burying his nose into George's hair.
"Wake up," he mutters. "Wake up, wake up, you stupid git, you arse, you—why did you do that—I should've died, George—God, George."
Fred sobs and sobs. He feels broken, lost, like part of him has died and rightfully so—part of him has. His other half, his brother, his twin, his partner in crime is… Fred won't say it. He can't.
He barely hears Harry say that they've got to move on, that they've got to leave the body. His heart clenches, and while he knows that Harry is just being realistic, that he's just worried about everyone's wellbeing—hell, the corridor is about to collapse—Fred hates him. How can he just leave George? How can he just walk away, how is he so calm and unfazed? There's a cackling laugh, and Fred feels his blood boil.
Fred lifts his head and sniffs, glaring at the man in front of him and the others. With his muscles pounding, he protectively tightens his hold on his twin, a nearly impossible feat, considering how strong his grip is now.
The man looks familiar as he talks—Fred thinks his name is Rookwood—, "How sad," he drawls, "Poor little Freddie lost his Georgie."
Fred breaths harshly through his nose, blood pounding as he glares at the man, arms slacking around George. He hates this man; he hates him so much he can't think straight, hates him so much he can't even scream and shout and yell. He shakes, and there's a soft noise before pebbles fall from the ceiling. Harry anxiously takes a step forward, hand out, as if to talk to Fred, or to stop him. Fred doesn't give him any attention, and through his periphical vision, he sees Harry drop his hand and Hermione nudge him. She looks at Ron, and Fred doesn't know what else happens before she leaves with Harry.
As calmly as he can, Fred achingly sets George on the ground, shaking. He stands and juts his chin out, look at Rookwood defiantly, who snickers. And though Fred has never wanted to use this curse, has always cringed when it's come up, and never imagined himself doing it before, he raises his wand with a shaking hand, wanting to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible on this man, because it'd only be an ounce of remorse and devastation that Fred feels now. He whispers so low he wonders if his brothers can hear him, his lips barely moving.
Fred suddenly feels sick as a bright, saturated green beam emits from his wand. The Death Eater gasps and falls instantaneously, limbs askew. His wand clatters to floor as he stares at the man.
"Bloody hell," Ron says, "Fred…"
The redhead doesn't hear him. He doesn't hear Ron saying he has to go back to help Harry and Hermione, doesn't hear Percy's apologies or Ron running off; but he hears Percy ask him if he's alright, and Fred nearly throws up, legs giving out as he sobs beside George. He closes his eyes and grips his twin's cold arm, just wanting to be six again and at the Burrow. And no matter how hard he tries to conjure up the image of George alive, George asking what's wrong or popping up at yelling April's Fools, it doesn't work.
"Are you alright, Freddie?"
No, Fred thinks.
A/N: I've had this idea for a while, and mixed with my love for the twins I just had to write this. I don't really think I gave the idea justice because lol I have no talent~*~*~ Anyways, expect Harry Potter fanfiction, mostly Fred and George stuff, because I'll have to live for the rest of my life somehow.