Word count: 2049

we all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe

"I'm gonna pick up the pieces

And build a lego house

If things go wrong

We can knock it down"

Lego House – Ed Sheeran

You know you shouldn't be here. You should be in your joke shop, creating and inventing and putting laughs in bottles for the empty days of depressed people.

(thing is, how can you create laughs when you can't laugh yourself?)

Well, Fred should be there with you, supporting you but then that would be fair, and when had life ever been fair? You shouldn't be alone, you should have your twin sitting next to you on the very same spot where he had once, when they had first arrived at Hogwarts, tried and failed to put a joke on you.

('Hey George, look! Bill showed me this place, it's amazing. I'm sure you'll like it,' he had said with that smile that always looked too big for his head.

'Really?' You had answered, half-interested only, because you had been thinking on playing a joke on the Slytherins and that required planning if you didn't want to get caught.

'Yeah, and tell you what? I bet you you can't catch as many butterflies as I can!'

You had looked up and the magical sight had taken your breath away. Blue, green, yellow and red wings, fluttering softly in the warm breeze, flying over a grass way too green to be real and a lake sparkling like small sapphires.

It had been a more than welcome pause in your studies, and in the end you had caught more than Fred, as well as masterfully avoided his tries to trip you into the lake.

It had been a good day.)

Since the Battle, you've come here every day, from the moment the sun comes up to the moment it finally comes down, hidden in this last piece of paradise, perhaps the only one untouched by the war. If you close your eyes, you can even see yourself and a younger Fred laughing as he chases a particularly beautiful butterfly toward the lake and slips on a patch of mud and into the water.

Today is a day like any other. Everything looks the same as it used to be. The water still sparkles like a thousand sapphires under the warm light of the sun, the grass is still as unearthly green as it is in your memories, and around you there is the same fluttering of wings as there was each time you came here to plot with Fred.

Only everything feels tarnished somewhat. What used to glitter so calmly now seems dull, and what once was a soft breeze almost feels like a cutting wind.

(or perhaps that's just your mind expressing grief)

And today, today your sanctuary is broken. When you come in, someone is already there. For a moment you feel a burst of overwhelming hope, hope that it's him and that he came back for you – but that would be stupid, and it's also impossible.

(Fred would never come back as a ghost, he told you so)

But then you so the blonde hair and the flashy yellow dress, and you know exactly who is there.

It's Luna, and she's lying on the ground, her arms raised in the air for the small creatures flying there to land upon, and has she been standing she would have looked like one of those angels.

But she's lying and she almost looks like a statue, and yet she's so at her place in what you always described as your little piece of heaven (only in your mind of course, it sounds way too sappy aloud) that you wonder why it's only the first time you see her there.

You sit next to her, your head resting on your knees and your arms wrapped around yourself like it would protect you from the world, protect you from the truth and you try to think of what Fred would have said.

Would he have seen the magic of the scene in front of your eyes, or would he have dismissed it as ordinary, or strange? Would he have laughed at the picture she gave, covered in multicolored creatures, or would he have made one of those terrible jokes he seemed to reserve just for this kind of occasion?

For the first time you don't know, and you feel a weird pang in your chest, like regret but stronger, and yet it doesn't hurt as much as your grief usually does.

You're silent and she's quiet, and the only sounds you can hear are the sounds of the butterflies leaving her one by one, their small wings fluttering one, twice and then many more as they fly away.

It's like a painting full of colors and forms, one of those where the more you look at it the simpler it becomes, the more sense it makes.

(slowly what was a girl covered in butterflies becomes just a girl, and you can't help but feel like you just lost something)

She looks at you with eyes that seems too big for her face, full of an innocence that shouldn't be here if you if your brother's words can be trusted (and they can). You can't comprehend how a girl who saw the worse of life can still look so… normal, and for once you feel jealous.

You feel jealous that she can keep going on with her life while you're stuck behind, left on the side of the road you were meant to walk on with your other half (the one who has been there since the beginning).

But then you remember that it's not because we hide our scars that they're not there. You see that she no longer wears the ridiculous jewelry she made herself, that jewelry she used to be mocked for and that was supposed to protect her from outside forces, from weird and invisible creatures.

It's small and it's there, and you wonder if her presence here is not as much an invasion of your privacy as another soul desperate for calm and loneliness, for beauty when they didn't see any for several years.

You've been used to silence and your own company for so long now, which really is your own fault because you've taken to avoiding everyone as much as possible, taking refuge here all day and then hiding in your small flat in Diagon Alley at night, that it comes as a surprise to you when you open your mouth and talk.

(You thought your voice would be rough and that it would be hard to talk, but it really is not. Perhaps it's because you never quite seem to manage to realize that Fred is not beside you, ready to laugh and make a joke from anything you'd say.

Perhaps it's because you keep talking to him like he was still there.)

"Why did you come here?"

Her light eyes snaps into focus and the difference is almost frightening. Just a second ago she looked like her head was in the clouds, but now that you've talked it's clear her mind is on you and your words.

It makes you wonder if she was always like this, or if this is just a recent development. You almost fear the answer, and that's why you'll never ask.

"I heard you needed company," she says like your presence in this place is common knowledge, like this place you've always known to be empty of human life was actually known of everyone in the castle.

"Now who could have told you that?"

"Why, the Nargles of course." Her answer falls so naturally out of her mouth, like the existence of those Nargles is a fact more than a fantasy, that you nearly smile.

(Nearly, because then you think that Fred would really have liked to know her. You remember that Fred had thought her interesting when you had first met her.

So had you of course, but then you still think of her that way.)

"Do they say anything else that I would find interesting then?"

She looks at you with a weird emotion in her eyes, and it's not until she talks that you figure out it was pity. Or maybe sympathy.

"They say that he's not coming back George. He's gone, and he's not coming back," she repeats, and this time she takes your hand in hers.

It's a gesture of support; you know it is because you've seen everyone do it around you when they got bad news. You never had anyone to do it, because despite the fact that you were surrounded by your family they didn't seem to understand that you felt like your heart and soul had been ripped in two, and that one half had died with him.

They lost a son and a brother that terrible day, but you lost so much more than that that you can't even begin to voice it.

You look into her eyes and you know she's not saying that to be mean or to force you to do anything like everyone else seem to be. She's not telling you you'll get over it, that you'll forget the pain and that one day it'll get better.

(you don't want any of that, because if the pain leaves then what will you have left of him?)

She's just telling you the truth and it hurts, but you can't get angry at her for that the way you snapped at your mother when she told you you'd feel better one day the way it had felt better for her when she had lost her brothers.

(you're not sure you'd ever be able to get angry at her anyway, at least not when she's looking at you with those eyes that seem both too young and too old for her face)

You grab back her hand and she tightens her hold just that little bit to tell you she's there. She leans against you, and the next time she talks the sun is almost down, just a patch of warm colors on the other side of the lake.

Her words are so soft you would have mistaken them for the wind had you not been desperately wishing to hear her again. She's company after all, and just like the nature around you she doesn't judge.

"When my mother died, I thought the world had died with her. I thought the world just had to die with her," she begins, and she's looking at something so far away you're not sure it even exists.

Her head moves and her hair tickles against your chin, but you feel like whatever she's about to tell you is something more important than anything you've ever learned. Perhaps it's because what she's saying is exactly what you're feeling, what you've been feeling for the last year.

"When I realized it didn't, I felt terrible. I even wished it had, because then I wouldn't be feeling anything, and we would be together."

"I wish the world would end too," you hear yourself say.

"No you don't," she answers you, and there's sympathy again in her eyes, and an emotion so deep you feel like someone is holding your heart too tightly. She's almost smiling, and you wish you knew how to paint because that scene right there in front of your eyes is something you wish you'd remember forever.

"No I don't," you whisper, and for the first time in months, there's a real smile on your lips.

(the world hasn't ended and it won't, and as you look into Luna's eyes you know that even though Fred is gone, there are still some things for which you want to live)

Her smile is as blinding as the sun disappearing behind her back, and it seems to tell you that you're on the edge of something beautiful. It could go wrong (it probably will too), but it could also go oh so right.

(you've always been one to go with the flow anyway, so you know you won't be able to resist this, whatever it becomes)

And from the way this single day has gone, you feel it will go right.

AN/

Once again, not much of Luna, and she is different from how I usually write her. I'm not sure what to think of this version of her, but I certainly liked writing George in this.

The title comes from Andrea Gibson, as I seemed to be unable to find a name for this. I thought it fit.

This was written for the:

-Fanon Pairings Competition, Round 1: George/Luna (word: butterfly, phrase: "he's not coming back, George.", color: blue, song: lego house by ed sheeran)

-As Strong As We Are United Competition (paint, sun, innocence)

-HP Potions Competition, Antidote to Uncommon Poisons

-The Legendary Gods and Goddesses Competition, Nephtys

-The Ultimate Side of Disney Movie Challenge, Bambi II

-Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry Challenge/Competition, Art (blue)

-Weasley-Potter-Prewett Category Challenge, George Weasley.

This author is poor. This author is nice. You like this author. This is not an attempt at hypnotism (unless it's working, in which case it totally is).

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