THIS TEXT CONTAINS HUGE SPOILERS FOR THE SEVENTH HARRY POTTER BOOK; HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS; DON’T READ IF YOU’RE NOT OKAY WITH THAT!!!
As George threw himself forwards on the ground and rolled out of the way of the Cruciatus Curse, he felt something tap inside of him. This gentle little jerk made him almost freeze in his steps, only managing narrowly to avoid another Unforgivable Curse. George rolled over on the floor and pointed his wand at the masked figure.
“Stupefy!” Perhaps not the best spell to be cast, but the Death Eater did not expect it to come so directly, and he fell to the ground, unconscious.
George struggled to his feet, just to have to throw himself to the ground again to dodge another jinx, and he Disarmed the Death Eater with hissing the word “Expelliarmus!” out between his teeth.
There was as if someone has cast a Cooling Spell on his ribcage, freezing him from inside out and George’s senses got a little dulled of from that uncomfortable, yet unexplainable feeling, so he didn’t manage to avoid a Slicing Spell completely, feeling warm blood trailing from a cold spot on his cheek.
“Come on, Fred!” George mumbled as he duelled the Death Eater that had cut his cheek, noticing that the person was at almost the same level of wizardry as him.
The twin was going to come, they had decided.
“And if we get lost from each other?”
“We meet at the fourth floor, you know the spot.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
It was an old decision, that they would meet at the statue of Arabelle the Mermaid and Thret the Centaur if they ever got divided. It was their ordinary spot of meeting – after pranks, when held after lessons, after the first time they asked Heidi and Laura out…
Now, Arabelle the Mermaid had got her left hand blown off and the other hand desperately clinged to Thret’s fingers which were separated from the rest of the Centaur with a little more than a foot, where his arm ended in the elbow.
George dodged another curse and saw it blow a hole in Thret the Centaur’s flank, before he had to cover his face with the arm to avoid the splinter flying.
“Levicorpus!” the Death Eater flew in the air as George’s spell hit him, and with a jerk at the wand, the ginger headed young man made him hit the ceiling hard and then spat out “Liberacorpus”, so that the Death Eater helplessly fell to the ground again.
“Fred”, he snatched when he noticed the corridor was empty and he got a pause to breathe, “where the hell are you?”
Walking through the corridors on his way to the Great Hall, George was already making up what he was going to say to Fred when he got hold of him, the same was he imagined Fred was making up his speak of defence.
“Where the devil were you, Fred? I waited for ages with Arabelle and Thret! Look at this!” He was going to indicate the slice in his cheek which, he had noticed, was deeper than he first thought and was still bleeding abundantly. “I almost got my other ear cut off!” And then he would hit him on the shoulder, and they would be laughing, and Fred would apologise. Then it would all be over, no more to think of.
When George entered the Great Hall, the cheerful spirit was taken out of him slightly, at the sight of the huge number of injured. There even lay a few motionless bodies in a row on the spot where the Hufflepuff Table used to stand. The long table was blasted in two and had been harshly magicked to the side to make space for the wounded that came in towards the table of honour.
At the platform, the injured lay in complete disorder; jerking, comatose people beside Phoenix members bleeding from open wounds and House Elves stroking cut ears or running to provide Laura and Madam Pomfrey with what they needed.
George’s eyes lingered at Laura for another moment, as she with stressed eyes but a gentle smile handed a dirty and bruised Carmen a pile of fabric and showed her how to press it at Firenze’s side, which were bleeding furiously. The Centaur had gotten an ash grey tone to his face, and he lay leaned to a wall with unfocused eyes flicking in the ceiling.
Laura spoke a few words that George could not hear over the common noise around him, but the torrent of blood seemed to slow of, and Carmen gave her a thankful look when the novice hurried of to an unconscious Phoenix member who has just started twitching without control.
Some wisps of hair had started to fall out from the little hat she was wearing, and among all the dirty, blooded people, the strands looked strangely alike spun gold.
George walked slowly through the Great Hall, in order to let Laura finish her work with the Phoenix member – who was now lying still and just moving a little – before he asked her if she’d seen Fred.
George’s eyes couldn’t help but slide to the short line of dead as he walked past them. There lay a girl from the year under him, the name slid from him, but she looked peaceful in death, almost with a little smile on her lips. A man George knew from the Order lay next, his face frozen in an expression of shock, as if he couldn’t believe he got hit.
George’s eyes browsed the row swiftly, only pausing on faces that he recognised. By one of the bodies, a small crowd was gathering, and George felt sorry for the poor family or friends that were now sitting by the side of their dead companion.
George froze in his steps. A woman who’d just joined the little group gave out a shriek of shock and pain and threw herself over the body on the floor. He resembled the voice. Sweet and medium dark, but sometimes rising to a shrill tone when scolding him and his brother.
George fell into a sprint. The speech that he’d so carefully laid out to give Fred had already fallen from his mind.
The Cooling Spell in his chest made itself known again, stronger this time, trailing through his skeleton and freezing him to the very tips of his fingers.
The crowd around the motionless body – that George suddenly recognised as his family – made way for him to a ginger headed body on the ground, a mischievous face, but pale and cold, with the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.
George didn’t feel his knees bend, just how he hit the ground and stared down in Fred’s face. If it wasn’t for the staring eyes and the pale tone of his face, George would believe that his twin played a prank, but the coolness in his chest had now turned to painful absence, and he knew it, without anyone saying it, that even though Fred seemed to stare at the ceiling, his eyes saw no more.
“Can’t be…” George’s voice resembled Fred’s so much, his mother sobbed even harder at the sound of the two, fragile words of denial. “Can’t be…”
George had fallen into some kind of routine. It took him through the day, but not very much more.
He wanted his brother.
He wanted his brother’s laughter and the pat in the back that meant “Hah, fooled ya!”
Not even the mother’s embrace helped. Molly had hugged and been fussing, but it was as if George was stuck in the state of shock, not even able to cry.
That, he believed, was the thing that grieved him the most. Not being able to cry and properly mourn his brother.
Laura was still working furiously to save as many of the wounded as possible, so she simply couldn’t take time for George.
The ginger headed young man wanted Laura to be there, though not nearly as much as he wanted Fred to come back. He just clinged to the hope that the young novice nun would be able to hold him and comfort him so that he may cry. She would make the pain go away, as she always did. She had to.
Around him was noise. People was whimpering in pain and laughing in relieve that their friends was alive. Above it all ringed a cry of pain with a voice that sounded like Serena’s.
George couldn’t stand it. He fled from all the emotions; since he didn’t seem to have any, he didn’t belong there. The only thing he felt, was emptiness.
The toilet door slammed shut behind him, and behind the stone walls, it was heavenly quiet.
For a long while, George just stood leaned to the door, staring into nothing. The sudden silence seemed to confuse him, so he just stood, perplexed, by the door.
Night had fallen outside, and George decided, after a few moments of thinking, that it would be better if he just went to bed. Perhaps he would wake up and find out that it was all just a dream.
Standing by the basin, George turned the water so hot it burned and stood there till the water turned cold and his hands were blushed from it. Out of habit, George took a short look in the mirror when he was turning away to fetch a towel, before he turned the water off.
He froze. The reddened eyes that stared back from the other side of the glass were so like – but still so different – to his brother’s that George could do nothing but stare, as his own, blue gaze sliced through his body like razors.
Then the pain got to big. George trembled when he raised a hand and slammed it into the mirror as hard as he could. He cut his knuckles at the shattered glass, but that didn’t matter, just as long as he didn’t have to see his own face, a bad copy of Fred’s.
George’s eyes hurt, and something trailed down his cheeks in the same pace as the water from the basin, slowly dripping over the edge and to the floor. George fell to his knees, and then sat down in the increasing pool of water, wrapped his arms around his folded legs and turned his head down so that the world didn’t have to see the poor remainders of the Weasley Twins.