Again, I won't be doing Aiko's prompt for this one ('posture').

Prompt #9: Absent


It was not immediately apparent that there was someone missing, but beneath the wild chatter and wide smiles of the family, there was a darkness lurking. The absence was not noted in an empty chair or extra plate, but it was still there, and it was still just as important as it would be if it were particularly noticeable.

The Weasleys were blissfully unaware, the year before, that their last Christmas dinner together had just occurred. It may have crossed their minds that one of them—especially since Ron had left to go horcrux-hunting—might not survive the war, but the actual possibility of life without Fred was not even considered.

Until it was reality.

Suddenly, George was no longer a pair. Jokes had lost their humor without Fred there to complete the punch line. Sometimes, George would forget that he was not a twin anymore and start a sentence, but without Fred, it would dangle meaninglessly in the air, like one-half of a friendship locket, one that would never meet its match. It was now Christmas, but every day had lost its meaning without Fred—so why should this one be any different?

It was not instantly recognizable that a part of their family was gone, but Fred's absence put the pain there, in each of them, like holes in their hearts.