Characters: George Weasley and Fred Weasley II.
Notes: Drables from the life and times of Fred Weasley, the Second. I'd recommend reading it twice, to get the full effect. Please don't favourite without a review, and I hope you enjoy!
"Look, Dad-" You wake up, look around and see me standing there. You tell me, "Fred - when'd you get up?" I don't answer, because you continue with "You always get up last."
But I don't - I've always been an early riser.
Remember how people look at me and always seem to say "You look just like your Uncle."
And you sigh, and say, "What, and I don't?"
There's always an awkward silence and I don't think you realise just how much your words hurt.
Then there's the times you say, "I don't know where you got your seriousness from," because he wasn't serious and you were waiting for me to be the next generation, two in one. But you weren't the reckless twin, Dad, and you seem to forget that he's only my Uncle.
There are the family reunions and everybody laughs and jokes and pretends everything okay. I play along, and so do you.
Then someone brings up Uncle Fred, the taboo name, and Mum has to excuse herself.
She's not going in the bathroom just to touch up her make-up, is she?
"George, who's that little boy?"
It's the question that's always asked and I cough and blush and curse my Weasley complexion.
"This is Fred. My... son." How come you always stumble over that word? Is it so hard to link the name Fred with me? I'm not him, Daddy.
"But, wasn't Angelina Fred's girlfriend?" Even though it's years after they went to the Yule Ball together, a story I've heard a thousand times before, people still have confusion etched onto their faces.
"She was," is all you answer, because however much you deny it, your relationship was built on memories and regrets and both of you trying to hold on. But I'm still your son.
"Sorry, not now Freddie. I'm going to visit Uncle Fred." How come it's always Uncle Fred and not Uncle Fred's grave? That's what you're really visiting, isn't it? Don't lie, Dad.
"Will you listen to me?"
"I am," you say, distracted. Anyone can tell you're lost in memories again.
"Are you?" I whisper, and you blink at the change of tone.
"You look so much like him, you know," you say off handedly, and it may seem as though it's out of the blue, but I can see your thought process. It's not a change in subject for you.
"That's not an answer, Dad."
"To what, Fred?"
"Look at me!" I finally scream.
"I am!" You yell back, and it's odd, because you rarely shout, not when I'm just a living memory of the person you never had to shout at.
"No you're not! I'm me, Dad, Fred Joseph Weasley. I'm not your twin! I'm not that Fred, so when will you start seeing me and not him?"
"Go to your room."
There's a silence. "We're in my room, Dad."
"I got you Bertie Botts' Every Flavour Beans - I know how they're your favourite."
I don't have the heart to tell you I prefer liquorice wands.
"Fred! No, Fred!"
It's 2 am, and it's cold, and it's dark, but I still stumble into your room. Mum's moved next door again, because you're keeping her up in the night and distracting her from her own memories.
"It's okay, I'm here..."
"Fred! Freddie, you're alive..."
"Of course I'm - oh." It takes me a while to realise I'm not that Fred Weasley.
"Mum, where's Dad?"
"He's with Uncle Fred, honey, left side, as always. I thought he told you he was going out?"
"Does he ever?"
She doesn't answer, as I've already left the room.
"Dad, you okay?"
"Fred?" He turns from where he's kneeling at Fred Weasley's gravestone. It's been years since I've seen it. "Sorry, I was just checking up on the stone."
"The stone," I repeat.
"Yeah. It's looking better don't you think? He'd be appalled, but oh well." You flash a grin at me. "Should we start heading back, then?"
"Look, Dad," I pause, waiting for you to interrupt. You don't. "Dad, I don't want to take over Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. There's a job going at Gringotts - Uncle Bill's got me an apprenticeship there and..."
"Sure, son," you say, and you smile, almost a melancholy smile. "I got you some liquorice wands from the shop."
I want to say thank you, but the words fail me. You smile properly again. "I hear you, Fred."