AN: I really ought to be sleeping instead of posting this, but, oh well. I haven't decided if I'm going to add more to this; if, by some chance, I do, chapters will be few and far between and will very likely become quite shippy, keeping with canon. I don't own these characters, but, if I did, the circumstances leading to this would probably never have happened and thus this ship would be sunk. Also, did I seriously write a humor/hurt/comfort? It's definitely hurt/comfort, and I just feel like George would be a funny drunk, even in grief. That's just his personality. I dunno. Categories may change.
George mulled over the firewhiskey in front of him. He'd never much cared for the drink, to be honest. It had really been more Fred's drink of choice, and George would simply follow suit, but he needed something strong right now, and nothing quite compared in strength to firewhiskey. Honestly, it had been a long year, made even longer by the past few weeks. It had started out with Dumbldore's death, then losing his ear, then moved to being constantly on the run, then quite suddenly took a turn for the morbid when his twin brother died. George gladly told this story to anyone willing to listen –not, of course, that very many people wanted to hear about his troubles. He really wasn't the only who'd had a long year. Still, he shouted his story to strangers in the pub, all of whom would one by one slowly nod and make their way to the other end of the room.
Some three firewhiskeys later –was it three, or five? He'd lost count- he could no longer keep track of the details of his story. Had he lost his ear before he'd had to turn into Harry? Or had that been why he'd lost his ear? How many people had died again? Lupin, Tonks, Mad-Eye, hic!, Snape, Harry… No, wait, Harry was still very much alive. George smiled to himself. Hic! He'd really never been one for firewhiskey, he explained to those unfortunate enough to be stuck near him, but, after the numbing effects started to take over, he could barely even taste the habanera powder anymore.
Another firewhiskey, and he was barely even able to stand. Instead, he gladly twirled around on the barstool. Why was he drinking again? Oh, yes. Fred. His sudden decision to sing excerpts from Rigoletto, however, had become infinitely more important. Hic! La dot dot daadadum... He didn't speak Italian, or he would have gladly sung the actual words for the whole pub to hear. He thought he might have heard the bartender telling him to stuff it, but that was of little importance. At times like these, Verdi was always more important.
If George's vision were clear, he would have been able to tell that the bartender was about two seconds from giving George a good whack to the back of the head. Fortunately, no such disciplinary action was required, as someone had quite suddenly grabbed him by the sleeve and commenced to drag him out of the pub. He couldn't quite make out the figure, other than that he thought it might be female, with dark skin and long dark hair pulled back into a ponytail. If he couldn't figure out his mystery dragger before, however, there was soon to be no mistaking her. A good slap to the back of the head and a loud, "Oi! What was that about?" and George was set perfectly straight, relatively speaking.
It may have been about a year since he'd last seen her, but there was no mistaking Angelina Johnson.
Angelina was always a special sort of person. She'd never been too serious, unlike Alicia or Hermione, but she could still shout with the best of them. Evidently, she'd kept that trait, since her voice was now sending a shooting pain through his head. "Five minutes. I'm in there for five minutes and all I can hear is you singing and you're so out of tune I can't even tell what the song is. I reckon you've drunk enough for the both of us plus the barman."
George thought she might be glaring. More importantly, though, he thought she might be taller than he was. He promptly swiped his hand over the top of his head to see where it landed in relation to her, hitting her squarely in the forehead. This was met with a slap on the arm by Angelina, who was not amused.
"I was there at the battle, too, George. I know who died. I know Fred was on the list." Her voice softened as she reminded George of that painful day. "But, for Merlin's sake, pull yourself together! Would Fred go out and drink himself into a stupor? Wait, no, don't answer that," she added as she realized the error of those words. Fred and George were practically one and the same in many ways. Of course they'd have the same reaction to grief like this as well. Tears began to well up in George's eyes as Angelina backpedalled. "I don't blame you for being upset, it's just…" She took a deep breath. "It's just that you've gone and made a bloody idiot of yourself for the whole world to see. Not that you weren't a bloody idiot anyways, but now all of Diagon Alley knows it."
Perhaps George might have been insulted, had he not been preoccupied with the residual flavor of the firewhiskey coming to life again. He guessed the effects were beginning to wear off, and he'd have to deal with the world again. Great.
He winced as Angelina grabbed his sleeve again, dragging him behind her. He meant to ask her a question, a simple, 'And where are we off to now?' but it seemed that was an impossible task. Instead, he asked, "Wherwegongow?"
Thank goodness Weasley's Wizard Wheezes (the sign for which hadn't been lit up since before the Battle of Hogwarts) wasn't too far from the little pub. At the very least it meant that Angelina would spend less time tugging on his sleeve. Evidently, he'd voiced his complaints about this without realizing this, as Angelina quickly replied, "You're lucky it's just your sleeve. I have half a mind to grab your one good ear."
As the two stumbled into the lower level of the shop, Angelina flipped her wand to illuminate the room, much to George's chagrin. "Oi! Watch the eyes!" Speaking of which, his eyes were beginning to water immensely. He'd never been one for tears, not even when he'd lost his ear, but that didn't stop him now. He shuddered to think of what Fred would say if he saw this.
Oh, God. Fred.
Before he knew it, he was bawling out all of what he'd just been yelling in the bar, only this time the person he was talking to wasn't leaving. "It's like I died out there, y'know?" he managed to choke out between sobs. "I mean, obviously, I didn't, but Fred's gone now, so I've just been this empty shell walking around for the past couple of weeks. Dammit, Ange, what am I s'posed to do?" His words just sort of ran together in sloppy sentences. "We were the same person-"
Angelina stopped him suddenly by putting a finger to his lips. "Actually, you weren't."
What? Of course he was, he wanted to say. Unfortunately, the sentence sounded considerably more like, "Coriwah."
"No, you weren't." Angelina shook her head, or so he thought. His eyes hadn't really adjusted yet. "You two were really similar, I'll give you that, but I don't think you ever tried to find out what made you different because he was just too overpowering. He could be a right git, you know that, and you could too, don't get me wrong, but you weren't half as bad." The words riled the heart of the already emotional George, who would gladly have heard anything else. "And, believe me, I liked Fred, but he could be a bloody nightmare to deal with. You might not have protested, but you weren't the one who thought of all that. I reckon you didn't let yourself be another person 'cos you thought people would like Fred more."
George may have felt more anger if sleep deprivation weren't beginning to take hold of him. Instead, he let out a sleepy, "Well, leastways he's dead, innit he? Wouldn't do to be so disrespectful."
"I'm not being disrespectful. I'm just telling you the truth." Angelina smiled as she dragged George up the stairs. "'Sides, you know what the first thing I thought when I heard he died was?"
"What?" George was only half-listening at this point, as his bed was right in sight.
As she laid George down, Angelina laughed. "When I heard he was on the list of casualties, the very first thing that went through my mind was, least it wasn't George." With that, she leaned over and kissed the now-asleep George on the forehead.