The afternoon was a typical London downpour when Fred stumbled in the door of the apartment. He would not be surprised to find himself alone another evening as Lydia was out and about preparing for the wedding. Allison had disappeared again under the cloud of the Wizarding world. Fred went out and bought take away pizza if that were the case. He was in no mood to attempt a culinary adventure this dreadful evening and he was too busy thinking about ways to dissuade Lydia from going into the Wizarding world. He found it admirable that she wanted to stand by his side as they went to his family. Something in his bones told him that it was going to be too dangerous a task for a woman that could not defend herself with magic. He was certain that there were greater risks out there than just the dementors. There were people that wanted to cause just as much damage by leaving the soul in the damaged victim.
Fred sighed as he came into the foyer, shaking off his rain boots and set down the plastic bag he had in his hands where the pizza was carefully placed. He bent down to remove his shoes and throw his court to the floor. He would pick it up later once he was dried off and fed. His stomach was roaring in demand for food as he picked the bag up off the floor and headed into the kitchen.
He was taken aback as he saw Lydia already sitting there; she had served a cup of tea to a guest. The guest had settled into a seat at the island and took the cup in his long, freckled fingers with a smile at Lydia.
"Thanks love," He replied. Fred flew forward in a confused and possessive rage.
"I didn't know you'd be back." Fred said to Lydia as he looked at the guest for the first time. Fred could not help but audibly gasp as he looked into a mirror image. The man had the same brown eyes, the same long nose, and the same upturned pink lips. His fiery red hair was cropped shorted about his head and he only had one ear; but he was nonetheless Fred's twin.
"What the hell is this?" Fred asked indignantly as he looked to his fiancée with a hurt glance.
"I was going to tell you Fred but I could not find the right moment all week. We've both been so busy and I know that I should have called you aside to-"
"I'm George, your twin." George finally spoke up as he goofily grinned at his twin.
"What are you doing in this world?" Fred asked as he looked from Lydia back to his twin.
"I was about to ask you the same question. Of course, I don't see the need to as I can see you have yourself a pretty dame here. She's the one from the coffee shop, isn't she?" George looked at his brother as he took a sip of his tea.
"I still don't understand what is going on." Fred shook his head. Lydia came over with an apologetic look, placing a hand on his arm sympathetically.
"Fred, I really didn't try to keep this from you. It's a bit awkward, you see. I just ran into him because he was shopping for Luna Lovegood-" She began.
"The strange and quiet blonde witch?" Fred looked to his brother for reference.
"You shouldn't call her strange for long; she's about to becoming your sister in law. I see that one won't have to be bachelor without the other." George said as he winked at Lydia. Lydia dramatically rolled her eyes and turned back to Fred.
"So he was buying Luna a dress and I thought he was you, Fred, but he really wasn't." She explained quickly. "I mean, of course he wasn't because I didn't see you. Anyways, we met up and talked. Fred, you need to go home." She said as she placed a hand on his chest. Fred looked away from Lydia holding back his emotions. He didn't know whether he should be angry at her for keeping the information, to kiss her in the joy that she was able to locate George, or to leave as he realized that it was time to make hard decisions that he had been avoiding.
"It's not quite that easy," George responded. "You can come back to us Fred, assuming that they don't hunt you down and make you do it anyways. But she is going to be a little harder to bring into the world."
"Fred, we have to try." Lydia turned to look at him. Fred sighed.
"We are getting married in a couple months; can't we wait until after then?" He settled into a seat opposite his twin.
"No," George said with the shake of his head. "The ministry has met with our prime minister and he has decreed that we need to close the gate between the worlds until we have time to heal as Magical folk. Of course, we Weasley's just suspect it's his way of closing us off to Muggles until he has the opportunity to overtake them. I think Vaniteaux would like nothing more than to place the Muggles below us. Throw them into hiding as they have thrown us. Of course this is all completely absurd. We are just feeding ignorance as the Muggles have fed it in their cultures with religion and literature."
"I see," Fred responded. "When is this motion going to be passed?"
"They are pushing it through now. I can't really say when it's going to happen but your chance of smuggling her into the Wizarding world is going to be tricky. I already spoke to Mum-"
"Mum," Fred leaned forward, his brown eyes going wide. "How is she?"
"She is doing fine, though I think she feels a little lonely at the Burrow. What with all of us being married or on our way," George placed his elbow lazily on the back of the chair he was leaning in. "Well, except for Charlie since I don't think his work actually counts as an actual marriage."
"Fred," Lydia looked to her fiancé. He was biting his lip in concentration and took up the same stance as his twin brother. His brown eyes rose to look into her large green ones. "You have to make a choice on what to do."
"This is a bit of a rush. Can't we have a couple days to work this out?" He looked at George.
"Course you can, you git." He laughed. "If you want to live with her in the Muggle world I can't say you aren't able. Well, as of right now. They are trying to strain all the Magical people from this world but there is no sense in doing that properly until the gate is closed. If you marry her before that she might be able to pass through," George said calmly. "But I cannot guarantee it, is all I am saying. Why the bloody hell are we talking about this anyways? I haven't seen you in so long and I want to know what the hell happened?"
"It's hard to really explain since I still can't remember everything," Fred said with a frown. "But I think someone did something to bring me back to the land of the living. I was a bit bummed at first when I came to. I wanted to haunt Hogwarts just like good old Peeves does. Then I remember a yell and a flash. And everything with the Wizarding lifestyle has left my memories. Of course, Muggle living has been a challenge in itself." He replied with a sigh.
"I can imagine. What with the automobiles every on these roads and all this technology," George gestured about the kitchen. "Things are so much easier with spells." He said and winced when he looked at Lydia. "Of course you lot do well with what you've been given."
"We seem to manage pretty well." Lydia said with a glare but a friendly nod. "We all wish we could be exactly like you."
"But some are spectacular without all the extra pizzazz," Fred said and wrapped an arm around his fiancée, placing a kiss on her forehead. "And speaking of words with the letters pizza in them, I have some," He gestured to the bag that he had dropped to the floor in his surprise.
"Pizza?" George looked to his brother.
"The Wizarding world cannot be a good place if they don't know what pizza is." Lydia rolled her eyes and winked at her brother in law. "I think you'll find we outdid ourselves this time."
"Sounds so," George looked at the box that Fred placed on the table. The twin opened the box and showed his brother what he had discovered in the Muggle world.
"Smells fabulous," George said as he eyed the melted cheese and pepperoni atop the breaded crust.
"Well, help yourself," Fred pushed the box toward him. "Lydia won't eat any as she is too concerned about her wedding dress."
"Oh hush, perhaps I shall eat a bit." She reached into the box and pulled out a slice. Fred wrapped his arm about her waist.
"Oh weddings, it seems that is what the buzz is about lately. That and all this Muggle nonsense. It doesn't help that future Hermione Weasley is fighting both battles at once." George said with a sigh.
"Hermione always did stack her plates filled with endeavors." Fred replied as he grabbed his own slice of pizza and bit in the triangle.
"Well, it seems that this Hermione has two wonderful things on her mind. And what about Luna, what is she like?" Lydia asked as she looked at George. George smiled.
"You'll just have to meet her. She is a treasure trove of valuable advice and is one of the most endearing women I have ever met. But she is not easily explained." George responded. "This pizza food is quite delicious. You'll have to teach mum how to make it when you come to the Burrow."
"If," Lydia corrected.
"I don't need one of Trelawney's visions to know that you are most certainly going to be dwelling at the Burrow under the nose of the Ministry. I can tell that you like a sense of mischief almost as much as me and Freddie do. And that is good quality to have. You wouldn't give up a sense of danger." He shook his red hair and finished his slice of pizza, quickly reaching for another.
"So you've already told the family?" Fred said as he reached for his second and third slices.
"It was more Allison Freund that did; can't say that she did it in the best way at Harry and Ginny's wedding but…do you remember Harry and Ginny?" He cocked his head over at Fred. "It's a bit funny to be talking to my old best friend who has been given a clean slate of everything."
"I have been more told than actually remembered." Fred said with a sigh. "I am remembering more and more as time has been given for me to heal. Perhaps returning at some point will jog my memory."
"Let's keep the whole notion of returning out of this portion of the conversation." George looked between Lydia and Fred. "I can tell that I hit a terrible nerve for it and I don't wish to cause an argument at a time like this."
"Sounds like a reasonable demand, don't you think?" Fred looked at Lydia.
"I suppose. But now, tell us all about your family…well my possible future family." Lydia replied as she sat at the island next to Fred.
"Merlin's beard you are an absolutely stubborn woman!" George said with a laugh. "But alright. Dad's still working at the Ministry of Magic. Though, I don't quite know why since he hates it there so much. Mom's been volunteering at St. Mango's to give her something to do." George began to explain all that the Weasleys had taken up in their effort to heal after the war.
"And what about you, Georgie?" Fred asked as he looked over at his twin.
"Someone has to take care of Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. Who knows what could have happened if Ron had continued running it all by himself!" George let out a laugh and Fred joined in.
Fred was finally feeling more comfortable with his twin around. And as much as he wanted to stay with Lydia in the Muggle world where it would certainly be so much safer for her, he found that he wanted to return home more than ever before now.