Author's Note: Originally written in 2011 as a gift for thedreamisreal for a fic exchange on livejournal's rarepair_shorts community, this is a style I'd never really attempted before that time – completely fragmentary, hence the title, and divided into such short sections. These scenes are chronological, but there are intentionally long gaps of time between the events. I challenged myself to see what I could do with the prompts (grief, running the joke shop, children) in as few words per scene as possible, and it really stimulated me to be creative. I hope you enjoy the results!
Disclaimer: Shockingly, still not mine. All JKR's.
It's an ordinary Wednesday when Luna finds him behind the counter of the shop, staring at the wall, entranced by something only he can see. She was on her way home from the Leaky and noticed the shop windows still aglow at nearly midnight. Finding the door unlocked she'd slipped inside, hand clutching her wand, scanning the room quickly. Only his fingers peeked out from behind the counter, lying limp against the floorboards. He didn't notice when she knelt in front of him and softly spoke his name. Just as she moved to cast her Patronus and send it in search of help, his hand on her wrist halted her. "Don't," he whispered. "Please. Just you. Stay." She didn't hesitate, sitting beside him murmuring "alright."
The first time they spend the entire night together, George and Luna don't shag. He wakes the next morning, tangled in his bedsheets and the mad, trailing swirls of her hair, only to find that they are both fully clothed. Her blue eyes are already open when he raises his to her face, and her pale pink lips are tilted in a grin. His girlfriend looks perfectly serene, sitting propped against the headboard reading an old copy of Quidditch Monthly he'd forgotten he owned. He doesn't remember much about the night before – he thinks Charlie and a bottle of Ogden's were involved – but the thrilling normalcy of this moment is something he'd happily wake up to every day. She smiles, and he knows she feels it too.
"Luna did all this?" Lee asked skeptically. "I can't believe it."
"Well, she did, so you'd better," George retorted, his voice slightly sharp. He didn't like how incredulous his friend sounded. "She's got a head for that sort of thing."
Lee looked at him, eyes wide. "But she's doubled your profit margin!" He jabbed at the parchments he held. "How?!"
George shrugged. "I don't question her. But she wasn't a Ravenclaw without good reason. She's brilliant." He smiled and his voice grew conspiratorial. "At everything."
As Lee chuckled, George continued. "So brilliant, in fact, I'm planning to ask her to marry me."
In the next second, George was sputtering in shock as a dreamy voice spoke from behind him. "I would like that very much."
Little hands fist his trouser-leg, clutching tightly as George attempts to walk through the kitchen of their flat. "Freddie," he says to the child attached to his right shin. "Daddy needs to go to the loo…not to mention, he needs his circulation back," he mutters the last few words under his breath. He gets only giggles in reply, and resigns himself to clumping slowly to his destination.
His eyes land on Luna's desk in the corner, overflowing with parchments on her creature research. He passes the toy-strewn couch, and shuffles past a cramped bookshelf. The bittersweet realization hits him that with the second baby coming, they'll finally have to move. His past with Fred is here, but Luna is his present, and, thankfully, his future.
The sun sinks slowly below the treeline, and George leans against the oak near Fred's headstone, closing his eyes. He's sitting quietly, thinking of what he wants to tell his brother this week, when he detects the faint scent of apricots. A small, cool hand slips into his and he feels the tickle of Luna's graying, yet still beautifully insane, hair against his shoulder. Opening his eyes, he presses a kiss to her crown and squeezes her hand.
If someone had asked him years ago, he never would have predicted losing his twin so young or marrying the maddest, most brilliant witch in the world. But over time, his joys have balanced his sorrows, and in this moment he finds himself at peace at last.