A/N: I'm sorry for the late update. I had ACT's and, for anyone who knows what they are, they determine my entire future and that's kinda a big deal. Anyways, here is the final chapter of "After the War".
Before I sign out on this story, I just want to say thank you to those who reviewed: Vayalin Whisper, YuuShka, The Hennahito, ice queen, AikoRose, cookietimejbx2, and to anyone else who reviews. Thank you so much.
Ginny Potter sat down on the sofa in the family room, a cup of hot tea in her hand. As she situated herself on the couch, her aching body was soothed by the warmth of the fire in the hearth across the room. Age had been kind to the red-head; however it hadn't spared her the pain that followed from doing simple house-cleaning. Oh, what she would give to be young again and be outside, riding her broom or tossing garden gnomes across the backyard of the Burrow.
Her train of thought chugged on as she stared out of the window beside the fireplace, the snow gently falling outside mesmerizing her.
The years following her mother's death were the equivalent to a muggle rollercoaster. The marriage of her children and the birth of her grandchildren symbolized the highest moments in her life, whilst the cloud of death had continued to linger as a predator of the Weasley family. She had out-lived almost everyone in her family. Fred, Bill, Percy, Charlie. Even Ron had left her behind.
She felt hot tears well up in her eyes, as they always did when she thought of her family.
Despite Bill being the eldest, Charlie was the first to depart. It came as a shock to them when they received the letter. He was still in Romania at the time. Charlie had retired from dealing with the dragons directly, but that didn't stop him from helping out time after time. It just so happened that this time lost his balance and got a little too close to the egg of a Norwegian Ridgeback. The mother, she still had her suspicions on whether or not it was Norberta, didn't appreciate him coming that close. Charlie's body was charred black. He was barely recognizable when they received him.
Bill was the second to go. They weren't surprised it happened. Bill's health had been declining for a while until they decided that it was time for him to go in for an appointment with the Healers, much to Bill's constant reassurance that "he was fine" and that he "didn't need a Healer". He caught a bad case of some muggle diseases while out around Muggle London with Fleur. Something about the diseases didn't cooperate with each other and Bill's body. He died the morning of his granddaughter's birthday.
The third to pass was, Percy. Age and sleep had claimed him. There had been no tragedy, sickness, or foul play concerning him, since the life he led was mostly uneventful. His funeral was a small, quiet one, just the way he would've wanted.
The day was a cold one, the transition from fall to winter had been an early one, coming quickly and without any warning. She stood in the middle of the graveyard, tears falling from her eyes, and quickly freezing halfway down her cheeks. She didn't care anyone. Appearance of being the strong girl and woman she had grown into didn't matter to her anymore. One person could only take so much death. George was standing next to the coffin, speaking in sentences broken by sobs and gasps from grief. He had spoken of no one else but Percy through his speech. Percy's accomplishments, Percy's bravery for rejoining his family, Percy's strength, and Percy's brilliance; just Percy. Then he paused, he looked into the crowd, as if in a daze, and a minute smile graced his face.
"Although Percy threatened Fred and me with detentions and referrals in our school days, he never followed through. Something that many of you don't know is that Percy was a pure genius when it came to pranks, an evil mastermind. He is the reason Fred and I became so good at pranks, he was an excellent person to go for if you needed fixing. But the thing that separated you and I Perce," George addressed the closed coffin, putting his hand on the cold wooden lid, "is that you never followed through with them, you wanted to maintain a perfect image. That's how you are Perce. Perfect. Perfect Percy."
Later that night, George had lifted his glass to his late brother calling out, "To Perfect Percy."
The fourth, and final one to pass, was Ron. Ronald. Ginny sighed, her body already feeling tired, but not from the hour. She looked around at all the photos of her brother in the various frames around the room. In this room alone, he was everywhere. Walking through the house felt like walking through a dream, her closest brother was all around her. Images of him laughing surrounded her outside and inside. His death was also the most recent one. It had been a year and a half since her free-spirited brother had been buried in the ever changing ground.
His cause had been sudden. Quite sudden and unexpected to be honest. It happened at a Quidditch match. He was taking one of Rose's children to a match, her first one outside of the Hogwarts matches. He had just ordered them some food when Ron had clutched the table, his knuckles turning white as Jackie, her great-niece, had described in the waiting room for St. Mungo's. Ronald had started to shake vigorously, his hands still clutching the table of the concessions area, before he fell on the ground, his head hitting the hard-packed dirt hard with a sickening thud. Obviously, he was transported to St. Mungo's immediately. Hermione had been notified and so had Harry. Both the Potters and Weasleys rushed over to find a distraught Jacquelyn sitting all alone, the poor child was scared out of her mind. Within minutes they had the entire story. Ginny had to catch Hermione as she fell to the ground in shock and worry, knowing that her husband might not live to see her again. The all just stood there; Ginny consoling Hermione, Jackie helping as best as she could until her mother and Hugo had shown up.
Harry only stood there. His green eyes, the eyes she had fallen for, wide and glazed behind his wire-rimmed glasses. He was as pale as Nearly Headless Nick, and it didn't look like the colour would return anytime soon. His breaths came in short gasps as he weighed the chances of his best friend's survival. It wasn't long until the Healer had come out; they had pronounced Ron dead then. It wasn't the fact the Hermione had cried out in anguish at the realization of losing her husband, or the fact that Harry had stumbled right then and there, falling back into the wall before he ran to the hallway the Healer had come from. No one tried to stop him as he called out Ron's name, knowing there would be no answer. It was the reality of never seeing her brother again. Knowing that he would never floo over just to eat something while Hermione was out; that Ron would never beat Harry in a game of Wizard's Chess again; that he would never sneak up behind her in an attempt to scare her, only for her to hit him with a bat-bogey hex. Of finally realize that, slowly but surely, death was claiming each of the Weasley's as his own. And she couldn't stop it.
A chime jerked Ginny out of her thoughts; she hadn't even noticed she was crying until she felt hot drops fall on her fingers. She looked at the little drops of salt water sliding down her skin, a shiny trail left in its wake. What she would give to be able to take all of this hurt and just vanish it. There should be a spell for that, she thought bitterly. Well, there is, she remembered, but she would never in her life obliviate herself. There were too many happy memories intertwined with her sad ones. She would have to forget fifty nine years' worth of memories; she would have to go back to the source of the problem; to Fred's death.
How she missed her brother. Now, fifty nine years later, it was still unbelievable to think that her brother, one of the two that had been so full of life, was gone. It was close to impossible to believe that he would never have a child named George, like his mirror image named one after him. It was close to impossible to image George without Fred.
He was a ghost now. Not in the literal sense, like the ones that floated down the halls of Hogwarts, more in the metaphorical sense. George Weasley was a ghost of his former self. There were the times when George's eyes would lighten up like they had when his twin was with him. There were the times when he would see little Fred Jr. pulling a prank or doing something that reminded him of his brother, and George would smile like he had before, he would laugh like he did before, he would be the George he was before. However, more recently than not, George did not laugh, he did not smile something real, and his eyes did not sparkle.
Ginny looked up at the clock. Half past four. Harry should be home soon, she thought to herself. She set her tea on the table in front of her. Although Harry had retired years ago, he still made visit to the Ministry, most likely to check up on Albus, who was the only Potter child who followed in his father's footsteps and became an Auror. Little Lily Luna had become a journalist for the profit, her stories were much better than Rita Skeeter's. Ginny had a scrapbook of all of her daughter's articles and it was growing day by day. James, much to the surprise of Harry and Ron, had not become an Auror. She remembered when James was a boy. He would always play "Auror and Death Eater", a game that many of the War veterans despised and tried to let die, but it just wouldn't. It was all of the evidence from his boyhood and days at Hogwarts, he excelled in Defense Against the Dark Arts much like his father, that pointed to a successful job as an Auror. So, it came as huge surprise when James Sirius brought home an acceptance letter to become a trainee Healer. Within a span of four years, James was a professional Healer, and over time he was known as one of the best. James was also on the team of Healers that tried to save Ron.
Ginny scanned to pristine room, her eyes eventually landing on the mantle of the fire place across the room. There, in the middle of the mantle, was a golden clock. Her mother's golden clock, which she had inherited after her mother's passing, sat there. All nine of the hands were not moving. Seven of the nine hands remained stationary for over a year, some even longer. She studied the pictures of her family; all of them were so young, as if they had never aged. Ron was still the scared eleven year old, age had not touched him. Fred and George were still joking in their frames, constantly jumping around. Percy looked so superior compared to the other photos. Her parents were looking at her lovingly. Bill and Charlie, well, they just smiled down at her. Every hand of the deceased was pointed at "Traveling". Her own was pointed in between "Home" and "Work", apparently the clock didn't recognize Godric's Hallow as her new home. George's was pointed at "Lost". His hadn't moved since Fred died. George and Fred were both separated, split at a 180 degree angle.
She was about to look away when a movement had caught her eye. Something inside the clock was moving. A hand. She watched it wiggle a bit, back and forth, back and forth. Then, as if something set it off, the hand directly across from it began to mirror it. The moved simultaneously, like a muggle sea-saw. They stopped, frozen as they had been for almost sixty years. Slowly, but surely, the began to move downwards, each hand being drawn towards each other by a force greater than any magic she had ever seen. Tears flew to her eyes as the hands stopped in the middle right at "Home"; right next to eat other, side-by-side, as they had been for years.
Her last brother had left her.
Fred and George Weasley had been reunited at last.
A/N: So there is the end. I loved writing this story; it was different, writing a story about the next generation. I usually write them about the Marauders, but I liked it. Thank you, again, to everyone who reviewed, alerted, and favorited me and my story. Reviews are always appreciated and make me feel fuzzy inside. See you next time.