Written for the Diversity Competition on HPFC. Prompt: Nextgen.
I don't own HP.
Fred stares at the parchment in front of him for so long that the office woman coughs, clearing her throat impatiently.
"Mr. Weasley, I have another appointment after this, so if you could please continue filling out the form."
Current Legal Name: Fredrick Lee Weasley
The words look so… bleak. Utilitarian. Black on white. He can't help but wonder about it, because, often times, that is what he is reduced to. Words on parchment. A name.
Does changing his name change who he is? Is he, in a way, defined by his name?
And if he is, then does he want to do this? He sighs. If he didn't think it was worth doing, he wouldn't be here. He deliberated long enough – now he's chosen, and he will follow through with it.
He dips the now-dry tip of the quill back into the inkwell, staring at the blank line.
Desired Legal Name: _
Desired. Right. Because he wants this. I want this. This is what I want.
Desired Legal Name: Fabian Lee Weasley
He stares at that for a moment. It seems oddly permanent, this ink, though he knows that it's no more permanent than the first blank was, and as he's changing that, it's clearly not too set in stone.
The name looks oddly right. It's the name of his great uncle, he knows, and close enough to his own – or his previous – name that he thinks he can learn to respond to it on habit easily enough.
Reason For Change:
Now that's an easy question – the first easy question on this entire survey, actually.
Because I'm not him.
Because Fred – or, Fabian, now – knows that he is not Fred Weasley, and he can never be. Fred Weasley died, twenty-one years ago. And he is sick and tired of forever trying to live up to a memory, because he is not Fred the first, and he will never be. And perhaps this will finally make that perfectly clear to everyone.
Place your wand in the circle below and speak the following words.
"I, (insert current legal name here), do hereby certify on my magic that I wish to make this legal name change for non-fraudulent reasons."
Without hesitation, Fre- Fabian unsheathes his wand and puts it in the little ink circle. "I, Fredrick Lee Weasley, do hereby certify on my magic that I wish to make this legal name change for non-fraudulent reasons."
The room glows, flooding briefly with a faint gold light that fades quickly. A small seal appears in the circle at the tip of Fre- Fabian's wand, and he tucks the wand back in it's holster.
The witch nods at him sharply.
"Thank you, Mr. Weasley. Would you like a copy of the official document?"
She nods again. "Stop by my secretary's desk; she'll get that to you promptly. Good day, Mr. Weasley."
Fre- Fabian smiles at her. "Thank you, ma'am. You have a nice day."
The witch looks as though she's contemplating a smile, but instead she simply nods for the third time in the past minute.
"You too, Mr. Weasley." And she returns to her paperwork.
Thoroughly dismissed, Fre- Fabian stands and exits the office, stopping to pick up a copy of the document from the much more cheerful secretary.
He walks through the halls of the Ministry, contemplating his decision. He can't regret it. Fabian Weasley – because that's who he is, now – has nothing to live up to. No expectations. No demands. And he knows that he will always look like his late uncle, no matter how much he keeps his Weasley-orange hair longer than his father ever did, no matter how much he dresses in outlandish ways to distinguish himself.
He looks like his father. Roxy looks like them both, but Fred – oops, Fabian, now – has always looked like his father, and therefore his uncle. No matter how much he tries not to.
So, yeah, maybe Dad will still look at him and see the brother that he misses more than anything. And yeah, people will still compare him to his dad, to his uncle.
But they won't expect him to be Fred Weasley anymore, because he isn't. And he has always known that he could never be.
He tosses the rolled up parchment on the dinner table that night. It's just Mum and Dad and him, because Roxy's at a friend's, but that's all right. She knew he was doing this. She was the only one that knew he was doing this.
"What's this?" his dad asks.
"Read it," Fre- Fabian tells him. Merlin, he's going to be doing that for a while, isn't he?
His dad unrolls the parchment and his eyes widen in shock. Wordlessly, he passes the roll to his wife, who reads it blankly.
"Why, Freddie?" she asks.
Fabian shakes his head. "I'm not Freddie anymore, Mum. Because I'm not him, and I can never be."
He speaks to his mother, answering her question, but he's looking at his father, waiting for eye contact. After a long moment of silence, his Dad looks up. "I'm sorry, son."
And Fre- Fabian knows, in that moment, that his father understands.
"It isn't your fault. I just had to do this."
And his Dad nods. "I know, Fabian. I know."
And the name rolls off his lips as though it's the same one he's been using since birth, and Fabian Lee Weasley has never been so grateful in his life.