Thought of this with a friend, writergal24. Dedicated to Gred and Forge, because they don't need a sweater to know who they are ;)
It was raining. Well, not really raining, more like flooding the streets with water, and soaking everyone's socks and shoes, while shocking people with the load booms of thunder, and the occasional lightning streak. The storm reminded him of Fred's death. The way it was sad, dreary, and grey… and came surprisingly. Earlier that day it had been bright and sunny at the Burrow, but now the weather reflected everyone's feelings. Sad, mourning, and guiltily happy that the war was finally over, everyone hustled around Diagon Alley. The stores were all back in business, it had been two weeks since the war had ended, and now almost everyone was back to their regular lives.
Everyone, but him. He wrapped his warm Weasley sweater around him, glad for once that he had it. He used to be ashamed of wearing it. There was his fifth year of course… when Fred teased him about it, and tried to stuff him in it. Those were the days, when the Ministry was his dream, and he would become the best Minister. Those days when Fred would tease him about caldron reports, and his "engagement" to Crouch… It was his entire fault… he should have died! Not Fred, if only he could go back, and push Fred out of the way. Or if only, he hoped, for the first time ever, that Fred and George could be joking.
That was why he was here though wasn't it. For a joke. Well, he wasn't playing a joke; he wanted to help though. He had to do it; it was the only thing that felt right now. The new Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, had offered him his old job back, with a 40% raise. He had declined, politely of course, but the Ministry was not his place.
Percy Weasley's shaking had turned the dusty doorknob of the only unopened store in Diagon Alley. The most important store of all, because the world needed a little laughter now… but everyone understood, because everyone knew Fred Weasley was dead, and everyone knew that George Weasley had locked himself away from the world.
Percy Weasley's footsteps echoed on the dusty stairwell in the backroom, the one that led to the colorful flat above. All the light's still worked… no Death Eaters had made it inside the store, because the twins were very good at protecting charms, and used them for some of their products. Decoy Deluminators, Edible Dark Marks, Day Dream potions, and all the products were still in the store. Despite the dust they were in perfect quality.
Percy Weasley turned away from his glance at the store products below him, and swallowed his pride, and gathered his Gryffindor courage, and knocked on George Weasley's door.
A faint shuffling was heard. A chair screeched across tile, and the door creaked open.
George Weasley was a wreck. His hair was long, uneven, and dirty. He was uncharacteristically pale, and his eyes had dark circles under them. He wasn't wearing his own sweater, but Fred's.
"Hullo." He croaked, his voice hoarse from not speaking. He stared at Percy blankly.
"Hullo George. I was wondering… if… well… I was hoping that…" Percy stuttered.
"Just spit it out already Perce!" George laughed, a smile stretching on his face, and then, as fast as it had appeared, it vanished. Percy had an idea.
"George," Percy put his arm around his brother and lead him to his room "Look at yourself, you look like you died! Not Fred! What would Fred say? He wants you to live on! Trust me, I'm still mourning, but I don't look like the living dead here do I? It was practically all my fault! I'm the one who was joking, and then…"
Percy broke off, tears were streaming off both their faces, and Percy took a deep breath and said, "Look, I'm not telling you to forget him, but he's still here isn't he? He's sneaking around downstairs right now, setting trip jinxes off so then when you open the store, the world will get a long overdue laugh."
George looked at Percy, the happiness slowly seeping back into his eyes.
"Your right Perce…"
"And George, I was wondering… Could I help you run the shop? I know I won't be as good as Fred, but I was thinking you probably needed some help running the place, and making new things and-"
"Why, who are you? What have you done with the real, Ministry loving fool of a brother I have?" George said, looking in astonishment at Percy, who blushed.
"Why that old fool? Oh, he finally took his head out of the Minister's butt and realized what he needed to do."
"Well then Perce, welcome to the Team!" And with that, the two brothers shook hands, pulled out their wands, and with a "Scourgify" and a few boxes being pulled out, the place was as good as new.
Outside, it was still storming. But out in that storm, everyone in Diagon Alley stopped and stared. Weasley's Wizard Wheezes was a bright as ever, the lights were on, and the noises of the Pygmy Puffs and fizzing potion tricks were drawing people near the entrance. Two young men were at the front of the store; both dressed in bright yellow Dragon hide jackets. One was George Weasley, the twin of the deceased Fred Weasley. The other was a shock, everyone was expecting Ron to help his brother, but it was Percy. Percy and George Weasley opened the large glass door to the store, and flipped the bright sign over on the open door. As people rushed in, most didn't even look at the sign, they just were glad that the store was finally open.
But someone did look at the sign, along with a few others. One man looked down from the heavens, and smiled, happy that his twin had moved on, and opened the store. He was glad that Percy was going to have fun, and be happy even though he wouldn't be there.
Fred Weasley read the sign on the door from all the way up in heaven, and knew, that for once, everything just might turn out right.
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes is now: OPEN in Honor of Gred Weasley, because we never needed a sweater to remember who we are.