It was easy to forget that at one time, death had only been a word. A concept which had been taught to him at an early age, one which had been put on a backburner in his mind – too abstract to touch, too illusory to feel.
“George, please, no. Please – you have to listen to me.”
“I’ve heard you, Angelina. There’s nothing more to say.”
“George, it doesn’t have to be this way. Please.”
His wand was directed away from his throat, now pointing at the second figure in the room. He could see the fear in Angelina’s eyes as she warily took a step back, shaking her head in desperation.
“What the hell do I have to live for, Angelina? My brother is dead. My twin – dead. Do you have any bloody idea what it’s like? To wake up every morning and realise that you’re living, breathing,
feeling what he never will?”
Nineteen years later, George Weasley knew better. Death had been a constant presence in his life – an immutable entity for so long that he often wondered how it was that children were born without any concept of death. How they didn’t understand that outside of their sheltered lives, worlds were crumbling down around them.
Angelina’s arm was shaking as she made to raise her wand before lowering it once more.
“George, please. It’s not your fault. It was never your fault. You have to listen to me. Fred’s gone, but the rest of them aren’t. Your family, George. They need you.”
“They don’t. No one’s ever needed me.”
George closed his eyes and rested his head on his arms. It was a quiet day at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. He preferred the usual bustle and activity – it kept him busy so that he wasn’t required to relive his memories.
When he looked up, he gave a start.
“I didn’t see you come in.”
“I just got here.”
Angelina walked around his desk and kissed him lightly on his lips. She sat down in an adjacent chair and leaned back, sunlight spilling onto her face as she closed her eyes.
“Do you ever regret it?” she asked after a moment had passed.
“What use am I? Why could anyone possibly need me?”
“There’s no one like you, George. Your whole life, you’ve been able to make people smile when they don’t want to. Fred wouldn’t want this. He’s only ever wanted you to be happy.”
“You – you couldn’t know something like that.”
“I do. Better than you think.”
Nineteen years later, it was hard to forget that at one time, he had forgotten how to live. It was hard to forget the hold that death had over his life – the constant reminder of the way things used to be, and they way they could have been.
And sometimes it was hard to remember that there were some things worth living for.
“No,” he finally answered. “I don’t.”