A/N Hey guuuuyz! I'm back (After dying XP) just hope my writing wasn't as crap as it was back then. i know that Fred seems a bit OOC in this chapter but you have to remember people do seem to get a bit angsty after dying.
Can't believe I only spent four hours on this.
Anyway, enjoy this random fic.
Edit: 13/01/12 some minor spelling and alterations to one or two sentences. Thanks to the awesome reviewer who reminded me that the twins were two years older than Harry and not one.
The sun was blindingly bright. Mothers and fathers of all ages were carrying suitcases and ushering their children on to the Express. A small army of children marched impatiently towards the Platform and began teasing each other and chucking their bags into the train.
Fred looked at the train nostalgically. The last time he had been- even seen the train was before he and George made their Great Escape away from Hogwarts. The last thing he remembered was laughing with George, being blasted away by an explosion and, by all rights, should be dead. In fact, he was pretty sure he was dead, because his heart definitely stopped at some point and George still had his ear.
Did he go back in time? It was possible, but he didn't seen any time-turners and even if he had one he would not bloody shrink. He thought to himself desperately, I am almost dead, looking at moments of my life before I kick the bucket. There is absolutely nothing wrong and when I get to Heaven I could ask Padfoot for some more tips...if they don't kick me out first. His brow twitched humourlessly. At least he tried.
But being dead was weird. He could feel his toes and everything. His arm was starting to turn black from all the times he pinched himself, the worn feel of his old suitcase rubbing irritably at his hands. If this really was just him hallucinating, then he might as well go along with it since there was nothing he could do beside panic. Besides it really was kind of funny listening to George talk in a voice that was an octave higher than usual. And Harry…Harry, oh Merlin. Eyes that bulged slightly through his eye sockets (whether this was because he was so little or he was still a tad underfed at that point was not something he knew very well) had an innocence that was gone at the end of the Tournament and he was so pale he could have rivalled Malfoy- Malfoy, for Merlin's sake- as well as dirty oversized (undoubtedly second-hand as well, he should know) clothes dangling over what little muscle he had, making him look like a voodoo doll mixed in with a bit of scarecrow.
It would have been funny if it wasn't so damn pitiful. Well, thought Fred as he looked at the Boy-Who-Lived's attempt to heft his trunk into the train and supressed an urge to decapitate the Dursleys, Here goes nothing. "Want a hand?"
"Yes please," Harry wheezed, and shouted for Fred to come and help. 'Course, he was Fred, but nobody else knew that did they? Oh, confusing unsuspecting kids was so much fun. George had obviously caught on to the joke and grabbed the handle, ready to swing it over the gap between the platform and the train. "Thanks."
"What's that?" said George suddenly, jabbing his finger towards Harry's forehead.
Fred's head snapped up. "George?"
"Oh um," said Harry, getting a little awkward and put a hand over his scar, "This?"
George's eyes lit like light bulbs. "Harry? You mean-" his voice dropped, "he is. Aren't you?" He said, stunned.
Fred elbowed George in the ribs. Twin or not, Harry was like a brother to him and having people look at him like he was, quote his mother, 'something you goggle at in a zoo' was getting annoying. "I think he knows who he is, George. Kind of hard to forget your own name." He pretended to not notice Harry's incredous expression.
George looked at him disbelievingly. "But he's Harry Potter!"
"Might not be our Harry Potter, George. After You-Know-Who there might be people naming their kids Harry Potter-you know," he said cheerfully, "Imitating the great and all that."
"Oh." George turned. "Which Harry Potter are you then?"
"The slightly less traumatised one I hope," said Fred, surprised he had said that. "C'mon, I think I hear our mother screaming for our hides."
George turned to look at Harry one last time, and off they went. Fred furrowed his brow –something he 'borrowed' from Remus- in thought. Something was wrong with that conversation. It felt like it changed a bit, somehow. And wasn't all this just memories?
"-A prefect," crooned Molly. "All right dear. Well, have a good term; send me an owl when you get there. Now, you two-this year, you behave yourselves. If I get one more owl telling me you've-you've blown up the toilet or-"
"Blown up the toilet?" Fred found himself saying in mock horror, "We've never blown up a toilet."
"Great idea though, thanks, Mum." George added and Fred couldn't resist a sad smile.
"It's not funny. And look after Ron."
"Don't worry," said George teasingly, "ickle Ronniekins is safe with us."
"Shut up," said Ron, his nose suspiciously pink. Fred clenched his fist at the sight of Ron's wriggling shirt pocket and tried not to hex the damn rat. No pun intended.
"Hey, guess who we met on the train?"
"Oh Mum," squeaked Ginny, bouncing on her heels, "can I go on the train and see him Mum, oh please-"
"You've already seen him Ginny, and the poor boy isn't something you goggle at in a zoo (so that's where he got it from). Is he really, George? And how did you know?"
"Saw his scar," said George and nudged him, "But we didn't ask 'cos Fred thought it might be some imposter trying to look cool."
Molly raised an eyebrow. "Fred?"
"Never said he wasn't," he said, holding his hands up defensively, "I just said he might be. I'm pretty sure he is, but we wouldn't want Harry to get mobbed by loving fans on his first day of school, would we?" Especially if these loving fans would shun him with extreme prejudice later, he added mentally.
"That…that's a very mature look of things, Fred."
"Why thank you Mother dearest," said Fred, "Glad to know you had absolutely no doubt of my grown-upness." He smiled at the irony of it all, being almost as experienced with war as his mum while should being barely able to cast an accio.
"Don't be silly dear," said Molly quickly, "I never doubted you for a second."
"Uh-huh," deadpanned George. "So what were we talking about before this? Something about a toilet?"
Molly flushed and shooed them back into the train.
"Fred," said Ron, "Was it really Harry Potter?"
"Ask him yourself Ron."
"Think he knows what You-Know-Who looks like?" asked George.
Fred looked at him. "You remember your arch-nemesis when you were one year old?" Was he really that tactless when he was that age? No wonder Snape hated them…or was that just them making his life hell? Life is hard to keep track of sometimes.
"Just asking, Fred." said George, turning a bit red. The whistle went and they leaned out the window, waving goodbye and promising Ginny they would get her a toilet seat for Christmas, much to the chagrin of their mother.
"C'mon," said Fred, "Let's go introduce ourselves."
"Indeed, my brother dear," said George, "That was very rude of us."
"Scandalous," replied Fred, feeling the familiar pattern of their conversations and shoved back the wetness in his eyes. "Esteemed gentlemen like us neglecting our manners! What would mother say?"
"She would start on about common courtesy," said George, pretending not to notice.
"Then berate us for being disrespectful-"
"Whack us with a floating ladle-"
"Apologise to Harry about her wild and impolite offspring-"
"Honestly, the favourism-"
"Shut up," said Ron as he went into what was predictably Harry's compartment, "Anyone sitting here?"
"Listen Ronniekins, we're going to find Lee, heard he's got this massive tarantula with 'im-"
"Right," mumbled Ron. Fred stifled a snort.
"Harry," said George, "I apologise for not introducing ourselves. We were utter prats-"
"Scandalous, I told him," said Fred. "Allow us to introduce ourselves. This is our esteemed brother Ron-"
"Who has the small fault of not being able to clean his nose, but nobody's perfect-"
"And my twin-also lover- George-" He frowned. It was harder than he thought to look like he usually did.
"That's what you say," said George, turning away dramatically and folding his arms, "But you cheat on me all the time! I know where you go on Saturdays!"
"Oh George," he said equally dramatically, "I would never cheat on you!"
"Fred!" Cried George, holding his arms out. Fred wiped away a tear (genuine, but the others seemed to think he was getting a bit carried away and he would never let anyone know about this ever. Bill still wouldn't let the time he tripped over Ginny's stuffed bunny and bawled his eyes out go).
"Fred!" George pulled him into an overly dramatized man-cuddle.
"George!" Fred man-cuddled back, and tried to sound hyper.
"And you've met Fred," Ron cut in, "HE's the craziest out of all of us."
"No!" Screamed George, "What about ME?"
"Yeah," said Harry, looking a bit more amused than last time, "I never got to say thank you for…you know-" He turned in his seat nervously, and fiddled with some folds in his huge t-shirt, "For not making a fuss about it. People at the Leaky Cauldron were, well….um….kind of-"
"People tend to have obsessions with the oddest things," said Fred as he leaned on a spluttering Ron's head. "Just nod and smile Harry, nod and smile. If they still won't bugger off we'd be happy to hire ourselves out as bodyguards."
"Four Galleons every hour," added George as he leaned on Fred's elbow, therefore pissing Ron off even more.
"And now, Mr Potter, We shall take our leave. Don't forget our offer. Come on, dear brother."
"Our salutations to you and good day."
"Look out for fan-girls."
"Fred, I know you said we would go and find Lee, but could I talk with you for a minute?"
"Fifty-eight seconds, George," said Fred in an overly chipper voice. George smiled hesitantly.
"Are you feeling OK, Fred?" He murmured, and Fred frowned. "I mean, it was probably a good thing to not tell the whole world (here he started whispering) Harry Potter was on the train and let him be gawked at all day, but you just seem a bit…" He looked at him worriedly, "…different."
"Every day is different, dear brother," said Fred, starting to feel incredibly guilty even if it was all just a dream. "Original pranksters must always be adaptable to certain situations." Like turning back into a fourteen-year-old.
"Well," said George after some thought, "more different than usual. You seem to drift off into the clouds a lot and you're more serious, which like, never happens. I'm a bit worried." Fred put a hand on his shoulder.
"George, I would trust you with my life." Which was true, even after being killed. "I'm fine, just gimme some time to get back to the swing of things after travelling back in time."
George raised an eyebrow. "Fred."
"I'm serious," said Fred, "I was at Hogwarts fighting You-Know-Who with the rest of Dumbledore's Army and I was laughing at Percy shouting at the future Minister of Magic about resigning from the Death Eater-run Ministry and then the world exploded and then I died."
"Fred!" said George loudly, "After what you said about asking Harry about You-Know-Who I thought you wouldn't joke about this stuff-"
"That's because I'm not bloody joking," he hissed back, "That honestly happened!"
"No, you're not!" shouted George, shoving past him and into a throng of onlookers, "Maybe if you'll bloody trust me with your problem which you won't bloody tell me I can help you! We're bloody twins!"
"…You can't, George," he murmured, ignoring the burning sensation in the corners of his eyes, "You can't. You're just an illusion. I'm dead."
"Fine," George snapped, "Fine! Go live in your dead world! Go fight against a dead guy who blows up Hogwarts! Go see if I bloody care!" He stormed off, half hysterical, pushed a first year into an open compartment with a squeak and slammed the door to Lee's compartment shut. Fred clenched his fists and yelled at his audience to get the hell away. They did, but it was obvious they were still listening.
This had better be all in his head.
When Fred opened his eyes the first thing early in the morning (which was rare in itself) he noticed was that he was not in his joke shop or his room in the Burrow. He looked up at the ceiling and tried to keep his thoughts collected. He began counting each crack and each piece of loose thread on his pillow and tried to imprint them in his mind. He would never see them again, after all. He pulled a run-away towel off the floor and headed for a long, cold shower.
God, they looked so young. You would've never guessed in six years time more than half of them would be fighting for their lives, as well as the majority of magical Britain. They all looked so innocent and carefree and alive. He saw some of them fall with his own eyes, as well as one of his idols, Sirius. Was Sirius still in Azkaban?
He came out and ignored George's sleeping form as he tugged on a shirt and his hand-me-down robes. He briefly remembered the feast and Harry getting into Gryffindor again but he and George didn't do the victory dance or sing the school song like a funeral march. He saw McGonagall as well as half a dozen other teachers look at them oddly and didn't stay for dessert. Quietly he slipped out from behind the Fat Lady and went down towards the pen near Hagrid's hut, barely registering the chill in the morning mist and the condensation clinging to the bit of his socks above his shoes.
Thestrals. He could see them.
Hagrid was already there, flinging stacks of whatever they eat at them and beaming proudly when they devoured it. He waved at him, and Fred waved back.
"Hullo there, Fred?" he boomed, "Up early today, aren't you?"
"Yeah," he said and patted a Thestral's snout, "Couldn't sleep." Hagrid nodded understandingly.
"Heard you got into a fight with yer twin. George?" He asked for confirmation and nodded again. "That stuff's common after a 'guement. It'll be fine when you two make up." He tossed some more of the stuff into the pen and the Thestral practically flew towards it. "Who did you see?"
"My role model," said Fred roughly. In a way, Sirius was.
" 'm sorry."
"Wasn't your fault."
"If yer ever need someone tae talk to," said Hagrid as he clapped his giant hands on his shoulder, making his knees buckle, "I'll listen. Now go to your lessons 'fore yer late."
"Right," said Fred.
He hurried down to breakfast, swiping a piece of toast and a glass of pumpkin juice. George was avoiding him-he couldn't blame him. They have never had row that bad in their lives, and in truth he felt the same way. But he wished George would believe him, even for a single second within this mindscape. The babble on the Gryffindor table was less Harry-orientated and more them-orientated this year, undoubtedly about their less-than-concealed shouting match. Fred glared at them angrily. As if he couldn't hear.
"Your schedules," said McGonagall as she handed said schedules out. "Mr Weasley and Mr Weasley, may I talk to you for a second?"
"No you may not," said Fred cheerily before George got a word in. McGonagall frowned disapprovingly at him and continued anyway.
"I understand that you have issues among you two and I'll advise you to repair your relationship soon. However, please bear in mind the feelings of other students."
"Sorry," said George, pretending to sound happy like Fred.
McGonagall nodded curtly and handed them the pieces of parchment. "I look forward to seeing you back in the team, and do, do try to do better this year. Last year was humiliating enough without Severus smirking everywhere."
"Sure," said Fred. McGonagall's eyes held a tint of worry at the lack of enthusiasm for just a second before it vanished and she continued on to find the next third year. George looked at him sadly, and went to sit with Lee. "I wish you'd just believe me, George." He sighed. "Lee," he called, "I'm skiving DADA."
"What?" Said Lee, surprised, "It's the first day back!"
"Exactly," he said, even though he couldn't see the logic in it himself, "Gonna practice knocking Quidditch player-wannabes off their brooms." He could've sworn Hermione's disapproving look at him before she sunk her face back into a book, as well as Ron's confused blabbing and Harry's concerned gaze. "You wanna skive too?"
"No thanks," said Lee, eying George awkwardly, "I'm not as big a skive as you."
"Right then," said Fred, and went out into the courts. He cast an invisibility charm over himself (as part of his research, he needed to know which spells would work best with his products), a Bludger, a bat and his broom and kicked off into the sky, smacking the murderous ball as hard as he could like his life depended on it.
Hitting things always made him feel better.
After three broken bats, a severe telling off, hearty compliments from Flitwick about his wand work and twenty points from Gryffindor, Fred was ready to face the (dream) world by turning beetles into buttons. Compared to self-manufacturing complicated joke items, there were no problems at all besides the lesson getting boring and he started turning it into a boot, a quill, a Skiving Snackbox and a TV (Which obviously didn't work), fortunately while McGonagall wasn't looking. The last thing he needed was for him to get moved up and become a prefect. George met his eye seven times even while on the opposite end of the room in the first five minutes (Twin synchronisation was creepy) and finally succumbed to a small wave, which Fred did the same back and Lee, being a bit smarter than he looks asked to go to the toilet and McGonagall shoved them together and waited for the inevitable explosion.
"So um," said George awkwardly, sitting on the other end of the table, "How did you do it?"
"You waved it too much," said Fred, pretending not to care, as he trapped the poor beetle with rolled up parchment, "You just need a little jab at the end to make it better."
Wave. Jab. Flash.
It still wasn't a button. Fred coughed delicately. "At least it doesn't have legs."
"True," said George drumming his fingers irritably. "Then it'll try its best to get down your shirt."
"Why my shirt?"
"Because it doesn't like you."
"And why wouldn't it?"
"Because you turned it into a bloody boot, that's why," said George, wrinkling his nose and grinning, "and I could smell it from there."
Fred grinned too and turned the beetle into a cowpat. "I'll give you something else to smell."
George let out a (slightly disgusted) laugh and McGonagall marched over quite peeved. "I congratulate you for doing something more advanced but," she glared at Fred who was laughing himself, "May I remind you next time to transfigure something less…organic?"
"Sorry Prof." Merlin's balls, he doesn't sound very apologetic when his voice was trembling...and McGonagall still does not seem too pleased. An idea flashed into his brain and he waved his wand over the cowpat. It turned into a stuffed cat with grey fur, a pair of glasses and a crooked, dark green witch's hat. ("Teacher's pet"-Lee) "For my favourite Transfiguration teacher."
"I am your only transfiguration teacher, Mr Weasley," said McGonagall, but the cat did seem to quell her wrath a little bit…and just in time for the bell. The students leapt out of the classroom like it was on fire and George dragged Fred to the greenhouses, procuring a pair of earmuffs and demanded to be partners. Fred knew what he meant; they could talk then.
Neither noticed Minerva propping the cat up to a suitable place on her desk.
You know the nice, shiny button underneath that says 'review'? Well, I dare you to click on it.