Title: Trying to Move On
Disclaimer: Sorry folks, don't own it. Or else things would be very different.
Summary: DH SPOILERS TO END. Sometimes it's hard to cope when there's a piece of one's soul missing.
A/N: Just one of my reactions thus far.
A Brother's Tale
The sun looked frozen on the horizon, melted hues of purple, orange and red sharp against the soft, spaced out clouds. The birds seemed to forget their song as they sat in the trees, perched on branches, wary eyes on anyone who would walk by them. Or maybe people just wanted to remember the specific sunset, or needed to block out the sounds of the birds in the trees as they pressed forward in their silent march toward a glossy coffin. Someone lurched into sobs, but trying to decipher who it was had been like trying to find a needle in a hay sack. I decided it wasn’t worth it to try and find who it was. My eyes were trained, anyway, on the glass-like surface of the coffin I was sick of seeing already because he wouldn’t want it to be this way, he would hate people to be somber and silent and marching like they were in the fucking army on their way to their execution. Mum was crying, heaving herself on Dad who was standing their, stone faced looking over the casket – not on, over it – because he couldn’t bare to look at another loved one he’d lost.
Fred’s funeral was the last one. I don’t really know how it’d happened like that, but when Harry told us everything that happened with Moody, we only really had a silent ceremony for him and Dobby. Ted wasn’t ever really given a right good funeral, but Remus and Tonks had a beautiful ceremony. Colin Creevey had his ceremony a few days before Fred’s, and I couldn’t bare to look as his younger brother heaved and shuddered, looking over at the pale, lifeless complexion of his lost brother. What he felt is something close to the ache I still have in my heart. They were brothers, yes, and Charlie, Bill, Ron and Percy all understand that brother-to-brother connection, but no one understands the connection that he and I had long since accepted. Our relationship wasn’t just friendship and brotherhood – all we ever had was each other.
When either of us missed home, or longed of companionship – particularly in our early years – we would crawl into each other’s bed after everyone had gone to sleep and set some sort of alarm to help us be more aware and ahead of the other boys in our room. He’d curl against me or I’d lean into him and we’d fit in a way that made us look like one big connected mass, fitting in places and in ways most lovers wish they could succeed in. This was simply one of the aspects of Fred and my closeness. He wasn’t just my brother; no, he was my everything. Our first shop opened because of Harry but also because of our hard work. Our second shop opened because I’d nearly lost the drive to sell. When everyone had licked their wounds from the last battle, I sat cooped up in our shared apartment, clinging to his pillow, cursing out Voldemort and L’estrange, and even on some occasions, Harry because of his friendship that drew us to the fight. But my Harry debate never lasted because I knew Fred would hate that; he would hate me using Harry as some kind of excuse as though he and I weren’t fully prepared to do what we had to in the sake of everyone else’s safety.
Mum was crying when we had found him, laying there, completely lifeless. I stopped breathing and suddenly, my lungs collapsed. Whether or not I cried I can’t say for sure – I just remember peeling open his eyelids so I could stare into those soft, lifeless eyes and cradle his head in my lap. Mum’s sobbing overpowered my soft cooing, and the way I repeated his name over and over again into his ear as if trying to tempt him to come back. He wasn’t allowed to leave – he wasn’t allowed to be gone and I was so frustrated with him for having left my side if even for a moment. It was when someone pulled me away from Fred that I realized I’d been crying as hard as I was. My pants and hands and some of my shirt were drenched in my tears but I didn’t care – I just wanted my Fred back.
“You’ll be all right,” Dad had said at the funeral while gently massaging my shoulder. Mum was leaning on the coffin, whispering things to him as though he were still there; telling him he was such a fool – such a hardy fool with not enough fun to have filled up the short amount of time he was alive. Nineteen – what a way to go, too. Death in battle. It was when I sat down and started to talk to him that I was able to smile and laugh again. This was short lived, though, as soon as I returned to my cramped flat, I stumbled into his bed, threw his sheets over me and sobbed and longed for him to return to me.
Harry told me that Snape begged him to look into his eyes on his deathbed. After having been sucked into Severus’ dream, he discovered the man’s obsessive love for Lily – his mother – and realized that all Snape wanted to see before he died was Harry’s eyes – or better, Lily’s eyes. I can’t look in a bloody mirror – Fred’s all I fucking see. Except for he had two ears, and now I’m half-deaf. Literally. And Fred would’ve chuckled at that thought, would’ve poked some more fun at me until we pummeled one another to the floor, fighting and tickling until we were out of breath. Then we’d lay for a while, breathe in and out and be calmed by each other before starting on some new fantastic idea that seemed to hit us both at one moment without warning.
My second shop was completely designated in remembrance of Fred. On occasion, Ron and Harry will come over and help me with making new gadgets and gizmos. Eventually, everything consumed me and I became absorbed in work. Ron and Harry, after their first few visits took to reminding me that Fred wouldn’t want that – and whenever they stop by, they still do, because they know I need someone to check in on me on occasion.
But, “I can’t do this without you,” I mutter and I can feel the chill of death as it wafts over the gravestones. I’m kneeling now, wishing I weren’t here, wishing today weren’t the day, wishing it had been me and… and not him. For fuck’s sake, why’d it have to be him? “I need you Fred. I need you.” I’m coughing and wheezing and trying to catch whatever bit of breath I can as I inhale the flowers I’m resting on his grave. Suddenly one of our old, disgusting candies – one I must have forgotten I put in there so long ago – falls out of my pocket and onto the gravestone. It’s melting and melting somehow, as though the stone is hot, but I assume it’s only because of what its chemical make up is. I watch, memorized as it thins over the stone, bubbles, and then emits a soft crackling noise and the blaring fireworks that read “WWW” in obtrusive gold and maroon colors.
I muster my strength and stand again and I feel someone’s hand on my shoulder, but I turn to see no one. It was probably just the wind. “Fred,” I start again and my heart is beating. “Fred, I’m sorry. So… so fucking sorry. Just… sorry.” I drop a few of the last flowers I have onto his gravestone and then shove my hands into my pockets and stride over to the Apparating point. Within moments, a crack resounds, and I’m gone.
Don’t be. Don’t be sorry.