Chapter 4: Five Years Later
-“Are you okay?”
George suddenly seemed to come back to himself. In front of him, a tall, attractive, ginger young lady was looking at him with big eyes swimming in grief and sympathy.
-“Never mind, I was just looking all over for you. We’re all gathered in the Great Hall. Join us whenever you feel like it.”
He looked at her, giving a little nod, his mouth twisting into the smallest, saddest, deepest of smiles. A moment later, Ginny was leaping into his arms, wrapping hers around him in a tight hug, tears trickling down her face onto her brother’s neck.
-“Don’t worry about me, I’m okay, I’ll go down in a minute.”
He stared at her as she headed back downstairs.
Okay? Was he really okay? Would he ever be okay again?
Would he ever get used to waking up each day and not seeing an exact replica of his face looking back at him?
Was he ever going to get used to the absence of the most important person to him?
His brother. His twin. His best friend. Fred. Gone forever.
No… He must be imagining things. Fred can’t have left him. He never did. Not even when he was stuck in detention with their old caretaker. Those late nights during their school years now seemed so far behind, but that didn’t mean things changed. They were always a pair, and surely always will be.
Yes… He was sure that in a minute, Fred will come out from behind a pillar, grinning, like he always did when he saw his brother. It’s just another one of his pranks, tricking him into believing he was lost forever.
-“You know, Fred,” said George while standing up, “this little game you’re playing is just cruel. That’s not how we do it. We never trick each other.”
Silence. He began pacing around the room, his eyes looking desperately in every direction trying to catch a glimpse of ginger hair somewhere in the ruins left by the battle that had killed many. But no, not Fred. He was alive, George was sure of it.
-“Okay Fred, I surrender now”, he said lifting his arms in the air. “Come out already. You got me.”
He let out a nervous giggle followed by a pathetic whimper. Desperation was starting to get the best of him as the inevitable truth started downing on him.
-“That’s it! Stop! This isn’t funny!”
His shaky voice was starting to grow into a terrifying yell. He was now running, breaking into every room, smashing into doors and walls, searching for his twin who he knew wasn’t hiding anymore.
-“FRED! STOP IT NOW! YOU’RE STILL ALIVE, I KNOW IT, YOU’RE IN HERE, YOU’RE TORTURING ME, FRED! YOU’RE NOT GONE! YOU’RE NOT…”
George’s body seemed to stop responding. His legs couldn’t carry him anymore; his head couldn’t take the full weight of his thoughts. He flailed and fell down, splattering his blood, sweat and tears on the dusty floor.