A/N: So I've been tossing with the idea of keeping this as a one-shot or separating it into smaller chapters for the past few days, and as you can see, I eventually kept it as one. Hope I don't regret it later. Any dialogue or ideas you recognise in here are not mine, they belong to JK Rowling. And there's quite a few of both of them in here. I tried to keep this as canon as possible, so pretty much all the books have now migrated to my desk for easy access because I have to keep checking things. Of course, that doesn't explain why the DVD's have migrated as well… Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy it, and remember reviews = love, so please, spread the love!
George was the first to breathe fresh air.
His loud screams pierced the labour ward at St Mungo's in the early hours of April 1st, 1978. Molly Weasley sobbed with delight as the nurse wrapped George in a soft green blanket and handed him to a proud Arthur. Molly's pleasure was short lived however, as she was forced to resume pushing.
"That's it Molly, just a little longer," a second nurse was encouraging. Molly barely seemed to hear her, face strained from the effort.
Six minutes after George had filled his lungs with air, Fred did the same.
Fred was the first to smile.
Molly was cradling Fred in her arms, Arthur was holding George. The twins were five weeks now, and their parents had their hands full. Arthur was seated in an armchair by the fireplace, head lolling back as he struggled to keep his eyes open after several sleepless nights. Suddenly, Molly let out a shriek.
"What?" Arthur shot up, frantically looking down at George, assuming the worst. George stared back at him solemnly, perfectly unhurt.
"It's Fred! He's smiling!"
Arthur raced over to Molly and looked down at his son. Fred was baring his gums at his mother happily. As Arthur watched, Fred looked at him and displayed his gums cheerfully.
"He's smiling!" Arthur echoed happily. Fred's attention moved from his father to his twin. As Molly and Arthur watched, Fred smiled at George. And a few seconds later, George was smiling back.
"Oh!" Molly said in surprise, eyes tearing up slightly. Both twins turned at her voice and smiled up at her.
She smiled back.
George was the first to talk.
Everyone nearly missed it at first. The family was in the midst of an argument. Two year old Percy was shouting at Charlie, accusing him of ruining Percy's colouring book. Three (nearly four) year old Charlie was protesting vehemently, while Bill shouted at both of them to be quiet. Arthur was sitting in a chair with his hands over his forehead, fighting off a migraine. The twins were lying on a blanket nearby, babbling to each other. Molly was standing in the middle of the room, struggling to be heard over her five sons. She finally exploded.
"All of you be quiet THIS INSTANT!" She yelled, and all five of her sons fell silent. Then-
"Shush!" A voice demanded. Molly glared at her sons.
"Who said that?" She asked warningly. Bill, Charlie and Percy all shook their heads.
"Shush!" The voice demanded again. Molly spun around, and to her surprise found the owner of the voice was none other than six month old George Weasley.
George was frowning at her, his arms wrapped around Fred who had tears streaming down his face, evidently caused by the yelling. Fred was crying, shying away from the rest of his family, hiding his face in George's arms.
"Shush," George repeated, slightly quieter this time. Molly and Arthur stared at each other.
"Did he just-"
"Was that his-"
"George's first word!" They both cried out at the same time.
"Shush!" George reprimanded again.
Laughing quietly, Molly bent down to scoop George up in her arms. A few seconds later, Fred, who had quietened down, burst into tears again.
"Geor!" He sobbed, arms held up to his brother. "Geor!"
George immediately started crying too. Molly placed him down next to Fred and both twins instantly stopped sobbing. Molly observed them, hands on her hips.
"Why couldn't your first words be mum or dad?" She asked them, half amused. They stared up at her.
"Two first words in one day," Arthur commented. "They really do do everything together."
Fred was the first to walk.
The twins were nearly 11 months by this stage. Both had developed the skill of hauling themselves up to their feet and sliding along the couch, their feet cautiously taking small steps while their hands tightly clenched the couch fabric. Bill had tried several times to get them to let go of the couch and walk towards him, but each attempt had resulted in a fallen twin wearing a shocked expression.
Currently, Bill was seated on his father's armchair reading a book about Hogwarts. He would be attending there in a few years, and was excitedly awaiting his chance to see the magical corridors and the mysterious Dumbledore his parents had told him so much about. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Fred rise to his feet, swaying precariously. George was still seated, gazing up at his twin in curiosity.
Slowly, Bill put the book down and got off the armchair, standing several steps away from Fred. He crouched down.
"Hey Fred," he called softly. Fred looked at him, his head tilted sideways. Bill held out his arms.
"Come on Fred, come to Bill," he encouraged. Fred took a shaky, hesitant step towards his older brother before promptly falling down. Discouraged, Bill hung his head, however when he glanced back up he found Fred was once again on his feet, a determined look on his face.
"That's it Fred," Bill whispered. He once again held out his hands. "Just a few steps, Fred."
Fred once again took a hesitant step towards Bill. And then another. And then another. A few steps later, he fell into Bill's awaiting arms. Bill lifted Fred high into the air, a grin on his face.
"You did it Fred, you did it!" He yelled loudly, swinging Fred around. Fred laughed happily.
"What's all this racket?" Molly asked as she walked into the room, apron around her waist, spoon in hand.
"He walked mum! Fred walked!" Bill told her excitedly. Her mouth dropped open.
"He did? Show me!" Bill placed Fred on the floor and crouched a few metres away, holding out his hands. Fred repeated his shaky steps towards his older brother. Molly squealed in delight.
"Arthur! Oh Arthur, come quickly! Fred's walking!" She called. While she waited for Arthur to come downstairs, she turned to look at George.
"And are you going to start walking too, mister?" She asked him. George blinked at her and smiled.
Two hours later, she got her answer.
Two weeks later, as she chased the twins around the house yet again, she couldn't help but wonder why she had been so excited.
George was the first to get seriously sick.
He woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat, runny nose and a severe headache.
"Fred," he called softly, wincing at the pain it caused his throat. Fred stirred and sat up, rubbing his eyes.
"Whassamatter George?" He asked with a yawn.
"Don't feel good," George answered truthfully. Fred was out of his bed and on top of George's in a split second, his small hands groping at George's face and forehead like he had seen his mother do to Percy in the previous winter.
"You're hot," he informed George. George sniffed and burrowed his face into Fred's shoulder.
"Make it go away?" He asked Fred. Fred pulled the blankets over the pair of them and snuggled close to George.
"Course, George," he told his brother comfortingly.
By early morning though, it was clear to both twins that hugging wasn't going to be enough to cure George. Fred found himself wishing that their mother would come upstairs and check on them like she sometimes did, because George's skin was growing clammy, his teeth chattering loudly, and Fred was absolutely terrified that he was on the verge of losing his brother.
At around 5am, Fred's wish came true. Molly Weasley peered around the twin's bedroom door, and her eyes widened when she saw the boys huddling on George's bed.
"Oh my, what's wrong?" She asked in alarm as she neared the bed.
"George's sick," Fred told her, his voice wavering slightly. Molly clucked her tongue as she pressed a hand to George's burning forehead.
"Ok Fred, I need you to go downstairs and fill a bowl with water-" But Fred was already shaking his head.
"I can't leave him, mummy," he informed her.
"Fred, George is sick. If you stay here, you're going to get sick too," Molly tried to explain, but Fred continued to shake his head.
"Please don't make me go" he whispered, and Molly struggled to stop herself from tearing up at the vulnerability in his voice.
"Alright Fred, you can stay," she said, and the small smile she was rewarded with was worth it.
Two days later, George was well on his way to recovery. The twins had several visitors come to their room, including 11 month old Ginny who amused them all by singing her very own composition entitled "Fed an' Goge" several times. Everything slowly went back to normal.
However Molly couldn't help but notice that for the next month, Fred refused to let George out of his sight for even a second.
Fred was the first to play a prank.
George found him huddled under a table, clutching a wand. He plonked himself down beside Fred.
"Whose is that?" He asked curiously.
"Dad's," Fred informed him gleefully.
"Cool. What are you going to do?" George asked.
"Get Ron back for breaking my broom," Fred informed him with a scowl on his face. The previous day, three year old Ron had grabbed Fred's toy broom and attempted to fly it without permission. Instead, he somehow caused it to fly straight ahead- without Ron on it, luckily- and crash into the wall, effectively shattering the handle. Molly and Arthur had scolded Ron and told Fred they would buy him a new broom for Christmas, but Fred had yet to forgive his younger brother.
"Won't mummy be mad?" George asked worriedly. Fred shrugged.
"I'm madder at Ron," he stated. George accepted this without question.
"Look, here he comes!" Fred whispered. Sure enough, Ron toddled into the room, his hands firmly clutching the new teddy he had received on his birthday.
"What are you going to do?" George whispered to Fred, who grinned evilly.
"Watch," he replied, and pointed the wand at Ron. A jet of blue light left the wand and hit Ron's teddy. As the twins watched, the teddy bear seemed to expand, growing hairier, several long legs beginning to protrude from its side. Six eyes joined the two it already had. Ron was staring at it in horror.
"MUMMYYYYYYY!" He screeched as he dropped the bear-turned-spider and ran for his life, leaving Fred and George howling with laughter under the table. They both received a good scolding later, but Fred declared it was worth it to see the look on Ron's face. George couldn't have agreed more.
George was the first to have a nightmare.
He woke up in the night, panting heavily, hands still flailing as he tried to fight off the monsters coming to eat him and his siblings. Glancing around the dark room, George felt a shiver of fear ride up his spine. The shadows seemed to loom overhead, the tree branch tapping the window outside forming a hand, every creak ten times louder than it normally was. George whimpered.
"Fred?" He called quietly, but Fred only rolled over, still asleep. Biting his lip, George nervously sat on the edge of his bed, his feet dangling off the sides. Realising that any number of creatures could be lurking under his bed, just waiting for him to step on the floor so they could devour him, he hastily placed his feet back on the bed. He glanced over at Fred's bed, calculating the distance. He could make it, couldn't he? He had to make it.
George rose to his feet on his bed, and taking a deep breath, launched himself forward to Fred's bed. He landed with a loud thump right in the centre, effectively waking up Fred in the process.
"Ahh!" Fred cried out, snatching his blankets close.
"It's me Fred, it's me!" George hissed. Fred relaxed slightly.
"What are you doing on my bed?" He asked George, confused. George looked down, feeling ashamed.
"I- I had a nightmare," he mumbled, cheeks flushing slightly. Fred stared at him for a moment before scooting over and pulling back the blankets. George immediately squashed himself next to Fred.
"It's okay George," Fred said sleepily. "The monsters can't get you if you're with me."
George pulled the blanket over the two of them before leaning back, his head next to Fred's.
"I know Fred," he said with a small smile before drifting off to sleep.
Fred was the first to fall off his broom.
It was the summer break, and Bill and Charlie were home from Hogwarts. Fred, George, Ron and Ginny were all ecstatic to have their elder brother's back. In celebration, they organised a game of Quidditch. Bill, Fred and Ron were on one team, Charlie and George on the other. Ginny was indoors, sulkily helping Molly prepare dinner. The boys were using apples in replacement of the Quaffle, and were well into the game when it began raining, as the clouds above had been threatening to do for the past two days.
"Ah hell, mum's gonna murder us" Bill sighed as the rain soaked his clothes. All five Weasley's were shivering, however they continued to play, apples flying in each and every direction. It was then that a badly aimed apple hit Fred sharply on the head. George watched in horror as Fred, reeling from the blow, and half blind from the rain, lost his grip on the slippery handle and fell off his broom.
"Fred!" He yelled as he urged his own broom towards his brother, who was falling to the ground. They hadn't been playing too high above the ground; however a fall from such a height could still cause serious damage. George was growing closer and closer, however the ground was approaching just as fast. A few metres above the ground, George somehow managed to grab Fred around the waist, but was unable to slow his broom down in time, and the two hit the muddy earth with some force.
Groaning, George untangled his legs from around his broom, before frantically looking at Fred. To his utter relief, Fred was staring back at him, looking pale and muddy but relatively unhurt aside from the growing bump on his head.
"Fred!" George cried out, launching himself at his brother.
"Ow, ow George!" Fred grimaced, struggling to remove himself from his brother's grip, but to no avail. George held on tighter, trying to rid his mind of the terrible image of Fred falling. Fred relaxed slightly, sensing his brother's terror.
"George, it's okay," he murmured, patting George's back comfortingly. By this time, Bill, Charlie and Ron had all landed on the ground, faces pale.
"Are you alright?" Charlie asked as he squatted beside the twins. "Are you hurt?"
"Few bruises, but we're fine," Fred told his worried brothers. He glanced down at George, who was still clinging desperately to his shirt. "Um, can you guys give us a few minutes?" He asked. Bill and Charlie exchanged a glance.
"Sure buddy. We'd better get inside anyway, it's really pouring now," Charlie said as they rose. The three left, Ron kindly taking the twins brooms with him. Once they were alone, Fred looked back at George.
"George, are you okay?" He asked quietly. George sniffed and looked up.
"You just fell off your broom and you want to know if I'm okay?" He asked disbelievingly. Fred raised an eyebrow and George sighed reluctantly.
"I'm fine. I just… I think that was the scariest thing I've seen in my life," he admitted as they rose to their feet.
"More terrifying than mum when she found out we stole her wand?" Fred asked.
"Yes," George said solemnly. Fred cocked his head to a side, staring at George, before pulling him into a quick hug.
"I'm sorry," he said quietly into George's ear.
"Just… don't do it again," George scolded lightly as they headed back to the Burrow. Fred nodded.
"I won't. I promise."
George was the first to open his Hogwarts letter.
He and Fred had been impatiently waiting for weeks now. Molly kept telling them it wouldn't come for several more days, but every morning he and Fred would race downstairs, asking whether the mail had arrived.
One morning, Fred appeared to have given up.
"Fred, come on, we have to check for our letters," George said as he poked Fred, who just grumbled.
"No, I wanna sleep. You go check it for me," he said with a yawn. Huffing, George went downstairs alone. Once he reached the bottom landing, he ran up to his mother.
"Mum," he began, when she turned around with a big smile, holding two letters. George's eyes widened.
"Is it-?" He didn't need to finish, seeing the answer in her eyes. Molly wordlessly handed him one of the envelopes with a proud smile. George stared at it in wonder. It was addressed to Mr G. Weasley in green ink. Tearing it open, George pulled out the first letter, reading the large words at the top of the page.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. Of Wizards)
Dear Mr Weasley,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...
George looked up from the letter, almost too happy to speak. He then remembered that there had been two letters. He looked at his mother, who handed him the second letter.
"Go on, go give it to him," she said with a smile. George took the envelope and dashed off.
"Fred, Fred, Fred!" George yelled as he raced upstairs, clutching both letters in his hands. He heard several loud grumbles from his siblings as he woke them up, but he continued onwards. By the time he had reached their bedroom, Fred was awake and dressed, albeit still yawning.
"What George?" He asked tiredly. However his face brightened when he saw what George was holding.
George nodded and Fred let out a whoop. He grabbed his letter and opened it, staring in wonder at the letter than fell out.
"We made it," he whispered, eyes wide. He looked at George, who beamed back.
"We're both going to Hogwarts!"
Fred was the first to be sorted into Gryffindor.
With the last name Weasley, the sorting was nearly over by the time Fred's name was finally called. There were only two other first years waiting; George and a blonde girl. At the call of "Weasley, Fred" from McGonagall, Fred stepped forward with a backwards glance at his twin before the Sorting hat was placed over his head.
Another Weasley, the Sorting hat said. You lot breed faster than rabbits!
'Please, please put me and my brother in Gryffindor,' Fred thought in his head.
Your brother? The Sorting hat asked.
'Yes, George. He's my twin. I couldn't bear to be apart from him, so please put us both in Gryffindor.'
And if you're not meant to be in Gryffindor?
'We are.' Fred thought determinedly.
And why are you so sure?
'All our family has been in Gryffindor. So you have to put us there too. And if you don't, George and I will give you to Mrs Norris to play with,' Fred thought fiercely.
Well, there's no need for threats. If you're sure…
"Gryffindor!" The hat yelled, and Fred let out a sigh of relief as the hat was removed from his head. He ran down the stairs to the Gryffindor table, offering George a reassuring grin as "Weasley, George" was called.
And sure enough, a few seconds later-
Fred let out a whoop from his seat next to Charlie. The two applauded loudly as George ran to the table, his face glowing in happiness and relief.
"Well that's five Weasley's down, two to go," Charlie told them. At that moment though, all Fred could feel was utter relief that he had George with him for at least another seven years.
George was the first to get a detention.
It wasn't his fault, strictly speaking. He had been showing Lee Jordan, one of the boys in their dormitory, the dungbombs he and Fred had bought from Diagon Alley when one of them had slipped from his hands and fell to the ground.
Everyone in the vicinity gagged as the putrid stench reached their noses. A furious McGonagall immediately swooped over, her mouth forming a thin line.
"Mr Weasley, you may be a first year but you know very well that dungbombs are not allowed at Hogwarts. Detention tonight!" She declared before clearing up the mess.
"Why did you have to go get a detention?" Fred sighed, shaking his head.
"I didn't mean to," George snapped back, a little upset that he would be in detention by himself.
Five minutes later when Fred purposely dropped several stink pellets and was awarded a detention as well, George felt much better.
Fred was the first to discover the secrets of the Marauders map.
He was lying on his bed in the boy's dormitory, moodily prodding at the blank parchment in front of him.
"Bloody hell, this is pointless. What was a worthless thing like this doing in that drawer?" He growled angrily, flinging the parchment to a side and stretching out on his bed. A sudden movement caught his eye, and he turned his head slowly to see thin scrawls of ink spreading across the previously blank parchment. Eyes wide, Fred cautiously moved closer to the parchment.
Mr Moony finds it quite insulting that one would call this genius parchment 'worthless'.
Mr Padfoot agrees and would like to add that if one would so like to discover the uses of said parchment, one would have to be worthy of its contents.
Mr Prongs feels he should add that as one would not know the contents of this parchment, one might find it hard to prove ones worth.
Mr Wormtail wishes his fellow Messrs would stop referring to one in such a manner.
Mr Moony agrees, as it is growing rather tiresome. Would one be so kind as to state ones name?
Fred's eyes widened further as he realised the parchment was waiting for a response.
"Err… my name's Fred Weasley," he said, feeling slightly foolish.
Mr Padfoot welcomes Mr Weasley and asks him how he came in contact with this remarkable parchment.
"My brother and I sto- err, borrowed it from Filch's office,"Fred told the parchment.
Mr Prongs congratulates Mr Weasley on such a feat, and believes he and his brother are indeed worthy of the contents of this parchment.
Mr Wormtail would like to inform Mr Weasley that to activate the map, one must press their wand to the parchment and declare 'I solemnly swear that I am up to no good'.
Mr Moony would like to remind Mr Wormtail that it was he who insisted we no longer refer to Mr Weasley as 'one'.
Mr Wormtail would like to offer his sincere apology.
Mr Padfoot would like to add that once finished, Mr Weasley should press his wand to the parchment and say 'mischief managed' to clear the map.
Mr Prongs would like to wish Mr Weasley and his brother Mr Weasley the best of luck in their misdemeanours.
The words faded, leaving a once again blank parchment and a shocked Fred. George came strolling into the dormitories, and immediately noticed Fred's expression.
"Fred? What is it?" he asked worriedly, rushing to Fred's side. Fred wordlessly held out the parchment. George stared at it.
"What?" He finally asked, confused. Fred, biting his lip, pulled out his wand and held it to the parchment.
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," he said quietly. George chuckled, about to respond when he saw thin lines of ink spreading across the page from Fred's wand tip.
"What on earth-"
Both twins let out a gasp as the lines spread to form a map, displaying a perfect replica of Hogwarts. At the top of the parchment, green writing proclaimed:
Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers
are proud to present
THE MARAUDER'S MAP
The twins looked at each other for a second before their faces split into identical grins.
George was the first to make it onto the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
After eagerly waiting one year, both he and Fred were trying out for the position of beater. Luckily for them, both positions on the team were available as the previous beaters had both graduated. The captain of the team, Oliver Wood, seemed impressed by their flying.
"Alright, I'm ready to announce our new team!" He shouted, and everyone who had turned up for tryouts stopped talking and gave Oliver their full attention. George felt Fred shift slightly at his side.
"To fill our final chaser position: Angelina Johnson!" Wood called, and a mixture of clapping and disappointed sighs echoed around the pitch. Angelina stepped forward to join the rest of the team, a wide grin on her face.
"The first position of beater goes to… George Weasley!" Wood said, and George felt a rush of both happiness and anxiety. Why was he chosen before Fred? People always said their names alphabetically, Fred first then George, so why hadn't Fred been chosen first? Did Fred not make it? George barely noticed he hadn't moved until Fred elbowed him in the ribs and pushed him forwards towards the rest of the team. George stood with the team, staring back at his brother. Fred looked back at him, appearing perfectly calm on the outside, and only George could see the flicker of uncertainty Fred was hiding.
The second position of beater goes to…. Fred Weasley!" Wood declared, and George felt a rush of relief. He grinned widely as Fred loped over to join him, slinging an arm across George's shoulder.
"I thought I should mix the order up a little," Oliver informed them with a grin. They both laughed and congratulated Oliver for fooling them.
Neither of them mentioned the flutter of fear they had both experienced.
Fred was the first to get a girlfriend.
George had seen it coming, ever since Fred had told George that he wanted to ask Angelina Johnson to the Yule Ball. George had encouraged his brother, congratulated him when Angelina had accepted his offer, celebrated when she agreed to be Fred's girlfriend.
A small part of him though, was in a constant state of worry that he was on the verge of losing his brother.
Neither twin had ever had a girlfriend before. George wasn't quite sure whether the pact they had made when they were seven, that no-one would ever come between them, still applied. After all, times had changed, and Angelina was very attractive. George tried to give the pair privacy whenever he could, but Fred and Angelina didn't seem to want it. They were rarely alone, preferring to hang out with their group of friends rather than spend time together. By the time the next Hogsmeade trip came along however, George was positive Fred would ditch him. After all, Hogsmeade was the perfect opportunity for a romantic date.
So it was that Fred found his twin lying on his bed, broodingly making scorch marks on the ceiling.
"Whatcha doing?" Fred asked him.
"Isn't it obvious?" George answered back, creating yet another scorch mark.
"Ok, let me rephrase. Why are you up here? Everyone's getting ready to go to Hogsmeade." Fred sat at the foot of his bed.
"Well, I don't really fancy going." George replied.
"But you were just complaining to me the other day that you need to restock on Zonko's products," Fred recalled.
George didn't reply. Fred reached out and grabbed the wand from George's hand.
"Spill, George. What's wrong?"
"I just don't want to go to Hogsmeade alone. Lee's off with Alicia, and you-" George cut himself off, not wanting to sound like he was complaining. Fred's brow furrowed.
"What about me?"
"It's nothing," George muttered, rolling off the bed. Fred jumped up as well.
"No George, tell me." He demanded.
"Well you'll be going with Angelina, won't you?" George asked, voice quiet. "I don't really want to be a third wheel."
Fred was silent for a few moments. George, feeling his cheeks beginning to burn in embarrassment, turned to leave, and was promptly stopped by a pillow to the back of his head. He turned around to face Fred, eyes wide.
"What was that for?" He demanded.
"That was for being an idiot," Fred told him matter-of-factly. "You really think I'd just ditch you as soon as I got a girlfriend? You prat, you think that lowly of me? For your information, Angelina is going to Hogsmeade with a bunch of her friends, and until recently, I was planning on going with my fool of a twin."
"Oi!" George threw the pillow back at Fred, unable to hide his smile of relief. Fred walked towards the door before turning back suddenly.
"Angelina's known us since second year, George. She knows that if she gets one of us, she gets both of us." Fred said quietly. "Besides… don't you remember? No-one will ever come between us. We promised," he reminded George solemnly.
"I remember. I just wasn't sure…"
"Make a promise with me mate, and you're stuck with it for life," Fred told him kindly. Before charming all the pillows in the room to fly at George's head as he left, laughing.
George was the first to find the premises for Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
It was just a stroke of luck really; they had been searching for months with no results. George had been sitting on his bed in the 7th year Gryffindor boy's dormitory, skimming the Daily Prophet half heartedly when the small notification caught his eye.
"Fred. Fred!" He called out to his brother who currently had his head stuck in his trunk, searching for his misplaced charms book.
"Ouch! What George?" Fred asked grumpily, rubbing his head where it had collided with the trunk.
"Look at this." George held up the paper to Fred eagerly. "Look!"
"Sale at Madam Malkins Robes for All Occasions, 40% off all dress robes. Well that's all fine and dandy, but you don't need new dress robes George."
"Not that, this!" George proclaimed, shoving the notification at Fred's face. Fred's eyes widened.
"Diagon Alley! We never thought there'd be any available premises there!"
"We could afford it Fred," George said seriously. "If we wanted to, we could get it."
A look of concentration passed over Fred's face for a few moments before it was replaced by a large grin.
"Fancy a trip to the Owlery?"
Fred was the first to agree to help Harry escape from Privet drive.
"I'm in," he declared instantly the minute Mad Eye told them of the new plan.
"It's a bit dangerous though," Bill said, looking slightly concerned. "There needs to be six people acting as Harry plus seven others to pair them up with. That's a lot of people involved. If something went wrong-"
"It's the best solution we could come up with under such short notice," Remus informed them.
"Well Ron and I are in, obviously," Hermione said.
"Be interesting to be Harry," Ron mused. Everyone stared at him for a few seconds. "What? It will!" He said defensively.
"I want to come," Ginny said.
"No Ginny, you're too young," Molly said immediately.
"It's not fair, everyone else is going!" Ginny declared, her cheeks flushed.
"Ginny, we need you to wait with your mother. She might need help if things should end…. badly," Arthur said. There was a tense silence.
"What about you George?" Tonks asked the twin who had yet to speak. Fred's eyes locked onto George's for a second, taking in the way he was nervously chewing the inside of his cheek.
"Do you even need to ask?" George replied, but the worried look still lingered in his eyes.
George was the first to lose a body part.
His ear, to be more specific. Something you never really think about as being important until it's gone.
The pain he had felt when the spell severed his ear from the rest of him was immense. He could vaguely remember clinging to Remus, trying to attack the death eaters surrounding them but failing as his vision blurred and faded to black.
The next thing he could recall hearing was a male yelling. It sounded like his father, but that couldn't be right because he never yelled. Two pairs of footsteps were approaching him, and he recognised one of them immediately. His heart lightened at the realisation that Fred was back, that he was okay.
"How do you feel, Georgie?" He heard his mother whisper, and he struggled to open his eyes, his hand immediately heading towards the side of his head.
"Saint-like," he murmured, hoping that Fred would catch on. Because everything would be alright if Fred caught on.
"What's wrong with him? Is his mind affected?" He heard Fred croak, and George would have shaken his head in disappointment if he could. After 19 years…
"Saint-like," he repeated as he opened his eyes and looked at Fred. "You see… I'm holy. Holey, Fred, geddit?"
And the relief he felt when Fred understood was enough to numb the pain, even if it was momentary.
Later, much later, when everyone else was asleep, George stared at Fred, who was camping on the floor next to the couch where George was, despite George and Molly's protests. Fred's back was turned to him, but George knew he wasn't asleep. His twin was still paler than normal, had been ever since he had seen George's wound. And George knew now that something had changed between them. It wasn't just their physical appearance (but boy did that suck, no more playing tricks on people). No, for the first time, the twins had proof that they weren't invincible. That this wasn't a game. That they couldn't just go into a battle laughing and come out unscathed.
And it terrified both of them.
Fred was the first to accept Percy back into the family.
Percy's reappearance had startled everyone. Fleur and Lupin attempted to break the silence by talking about Teddy, but they all knew someone was going to have to be the first to speak. And surprisingly, it was Percy.
"I was a fool!" He roared suddenly, interrupting Lupin. The entire Weasley family jumped, not expecting such an outburst. "I was an idiot, I was a pompous prat, I was a- a-" Percy couldn't seem to find any words to describe himself, so Fred decided to help him out.
"Ministry-loving, family-disowning, power-hungry moron," he concluded helpfully. Percy swallowed.
"Yes, I was!" He admitted.
"Well, you can't say fairer than that," he said, and offered his hand to Percy. He was interrupted by his mother, who pushed him aside as she clung to Percy. Fred rolled his eyes, but a grin was clearly visible on his face.
Later, as they pounded up the stairs with Bill and Fleur, Percy turned to both Fred and George.
"I'm sorry," he said again. The twins exchanged a glance.
"You already apologised, Perce," George reminded him. Percy shook his head.
"No, I'm not sorry for that. No I am, but I mean- I'm sorry for being such a terrible older brother and role model," he said solemnly.
"Ahh Percy, we never looked to you as a role model. You always were too studious," Fred said with a grin.
"But we do accept your apology," George continued.
"And welcome you back to the family." Fred concluded.
"Speaking of studious, I hear you two have opened a joke shop?" Percy asked curiously. Fred and George both grinned.
"Yeah, we have. Weasley's Wizard Wheezes," Fred said proudly.
"We could show you, after all this. If you'd like, that is…" George's voice trailed off uncertainly, but Percy grinned.
"Yeah, I would." He said enthusiastically.
Fred and George grinned back.
George was the first to say goodbye.
The twins had taken charge over the students who were staying back to protect the castle, directing them towards the different secret passageways that needed to be protected. The two paused as they directed the last of the students, realising with a start that they would need to split up.
George stared at Fred for a second, biting his lip. Fred's gaze was lingering on his ear, and George knew he was remembering what had occurred the last time they had separated.
"Hey," he said softly, drawing Fred's attention back. He offered a weak smile to Fred. "I'll see you when this all ends?" Fred made a noise that was both a laugh and a sob, pulling George into his arms. George tightened his grip on Fred, trying to express his emotions wordlessly because the bond, the connection they shared was more than he could ever describe with words. And he could feel Fred doing the same, both clinging to one another in the desperate hope that they would make it out of the war together.
They finally drew apart, both blinking back tears, and George could feel the words lingering on the tip of his tongue.
"Fred, I- I-" But he couldn't say it, he couldn't say those three words because it wasn't enough, not nearly enough to sum up everything he felt. He didn't need to say it, because Fred was nodding, smiling slightly.
"I know George. Me too," he said quietly, and George could feel his heart pounding in his chest, a combination of adrenaline and emotions. George nodded, before glancing behind him.
"We should go," he said sadly. Fred nudged him in the ribs.
"Don't look so depressed. This is the biggest battle in history, George! And we get to be a part of it," he said, trying to be optimistic for George's sake. George smiled.
"I'll see you later, Fred," he said, gripping Fred's shoulder tightly. Fred nodded, his hand reaching up to do the same.
"You'd better believe it, George," he said, and with a shared grin, the twins separated.
Fred was the first to die.
And for George, the pain never left.