Title: Refractions

Summary: "Because if one thing is wholly tragic, and beautiful, then it is the mirror at the back of that little shop in Diagon Alley. And its owner, of course." One-shot on the deaths and lives of the Weasley twins.

Characters: Fred and George Weasley.

Notes: Well... this is how I spend my Saturday night, how about you? THE FEELS. You can decide at the end whether or not it's AU - THE FEELS - though it is, in my point of view. I repeatedly started sobbing whilst writing this - THE FEELS - from, you guessed it, THE FEELS. I really, really hope you enjoy, and that it makes you think of a different side to the Weasley twins.

I show not your face but your heart's desire. Well, what about that, Georgie boy.

The thing is, his face is his heart's desire.

He has heard of the mirror; of men who have fallen for glory and riches, of women who have died for beauty and power. He remembers Harry telling him, once, that he knows just what his parents look like. But he doesn't remember them.

This is why.

The mirror is ornamental, and dusty, and much like everything else in the room. He wagers that none of the other customers know what the mirror does, but they want it.

Oh, they all want it.

The mirror is gorgeous and deadly, and if the human race is known for one thing and one thing alone, it is that we always fall for the tragic and beautiful. This is why martyrs die young and immense beauty fades so under the hardships of war and love and life.

We all look for happiness; that is everyone's ultimate life goal, is it not? Happiness.

And yet we all fall for those who won't catch us, and chase after things that can fly while we're stuck on the ground. The human race is contradictory, and imperfect, and we'll never be anything else.

The people in the shop hustle and bustle around him, and sometimes they ask after the mirror at the back of the counter, half covered by a dusty old rug (a rug that no one knows where it came from or why it's there, not even the shop owner himself) and sometimes they just stare.

Because if one thing is wholly tragic, and beautiful, then it is the mirror at the back of that little shop in Diagon Alley. And its owner, of course.

They sometimes see a shimmer in the reflection - a flash of gold in the corner of their eye, a spark of red that is not there to be reflected - and they stop, and pause, and blame it on their wild imaginations.

Because they are mundane little people with so much left to lose.

The only one who recognises the mirror is Harry; how could he forget the only thing to show his parents as they were alive and whole, rather than ageless spirits who had turned bitter and old in their death.

He doesn't ask. He only stares.

The twin, who is growing older and older still - which seems wrong because no twin should grow without the other - waits for Harry to scream, or curse, or beg. He doesn't.

As far as he knows, Harry doesn't tell anyone of the real meaning of the mirror behind the counter. Maybe he believes it'll help him heal; maybe he thinks he's past healing. Either way, he stays silent.

And the mirror stays.

He has waited for this mirror for so long; his family are pleased that he's finally found a creative outlet, falsely so.

"He's found a purpose... It's always been Gred and Forge, you see, and he needs something now. Now there's just... well, him. But it's okay now; he's doing better now. The circles under his eyes are darker, but it's just a bit of stress, you see, from the shop. His walk is slower, but he injured it rushing round the shop. His skin is paler, but it's just the dim lighting in the shop.

"He cries when we're not watching, but it's just the shop, you see."

He waits in front of the mirror; he doesn't know what for. Maybe he waits for the image to come alive, to step out of the confines of the frame, or maybe to drag him into the reflection too.

"Chin up, Georgie boy," one of them whispers, but it doesn't matter which one, because the mirror image's mouth moves too, and the sound is only in their heads.

It's not just a mirror; he figured that out long ago, don't you know?

But it shows him his twin beside him, touching him, loving him, because the second half of - well, the second half of Fred&George.

It shows a refraction and a reflection - three ears between them, too - and one sits, lonely, on the wooden floor of the shop that used to sell love potions and Screaming Saucers, but now sells dusty old ornaments that still glint in the right light.

He looks up at his twin, the one who has always been a perfect copy of him, except when he's not.

Fred was always the reckless one, where George was the thoughtful one. Fred was the outgoing one, where George was content to hide half in his shadow, smiling his little grin and happily just being half a person.

They were twins in every way that didn't matter.

And now they aren't twins at all, because one has grown, and the other has left him, and how can they say they're identical?

He's waited a long time for the mirror to find him; after all, he's just so tragic, and the mirror is built by human hands to show human desires, so it's natural that they both find their place in the back of that little shop in Diagon Alley.

Its secret never really stayed so secret, but he doesn't really care, because the mirror can show him a future where his twin is alive.

Still, though, refractions don't exist beyond the frames of this mirror, so he leaves.

But he always comes back.

He is whole here, in the confines of this frame, but he hasn't eaten in days, and those beautiful brown eyes don't hide the shadows underneath. His wrists are paper thin and his cheeks are hollow, not that he'd know, because the mirror doesn't show his face.

He will die and waste away here, in front of the Mirror of Erised, but it's all going to be okay, because here he's whole, and here he's strong, and he's going to die being who he always wanted to be - one eared and laughing and alive.

I'm coming home, Georgie boy.