This was wrong. All wrong. It shouldn't be like this.
George couldn't move. Once again he found himself sitting on his bed, staring out the window. Instead of looking at the surrounding field of wheat he saw a large white tent, much like the one that was erected at Bill's and Fluer's wedding. Now it stood as a reminder of happier times, before everything went to hell for George.
He found it odd that something that brought such joy and excitement before left his stomach in knots and his heart aching for it all to go away. He looked down at the wizards and witches that were lifting the tent and saw a familiar shock of red hair surrounding a shiny patch of skin.
George felt a stabbing sensation right where his heart was. Or where it used to be. He was an empty shell now. He walked around the house in a daze. Sometimes he wasn't even aware that he had actually moved. One time he had made it out to the marsh that surrounded The Burrow when his father tried to drag him back to the house, yelling at him for trying to drown himself.
George has been underneath strict watch from his mother and father since that day. They were afraid that George would do something stupid and they had every right to be worried. Every time George left their sight they searched the house frantically until they found him in a perilous predicament. Each time he would fight them, begging them to let him go to wherever Fred was because he couldn't stay, not without Fred. Each time his parents would break down in tears and George would watch them with a dry eye.
He constantly wondered what was wrong with him. Why he didn't cry when he found out his twin had been killed. He could still see that last smile on Fred's face every time he closed his eyes. It kept him awake at night and, on most nights, he recounted the last conversation he had with his brother.
"You ok, Freddie?" George asked, resting his elbows on the railing at the top of Hogwarts castle.
"Yeah," Fred replied, keeping his eyes to the dark sky. Behind the barrier he could see in the distance people gathering. George took a deep breath and cleared his throat, tightening his grip on his wand.
This is it.
George turned to smile at his brother and nudged him with his elbow gently. "Me too," George agreed.
The twins shared their final smile.
"Yeah." That was the last thing Fred said to George and in that one word alone George felt the love that Fred had for him. He hoped that Fred knew he loved him as well. Even though George never said it he felt it all the time. He loved Fred. Hell, he looked up to Fred despite only being five minutes younger. Fred was the person that George wanted to be.
But he couldn't do that now, not with his partner-in-crime having been ripped away from him in one second. One breath.
George managed to get himself to his feet and look around the room. It was exactly the same as it was before the war. Fred's side of the room was messy while his side was neat. Drawings and sketches of new Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes prototypes littered the floor, George's "homework" that he hadn't had time to bring to the shop.
It felt…wrong that the papers and pictures that came from Fred's thoughts were there but Fred wasn't. George's stomach knots got tighter as he thought of all of the things that Fred wouldn't be there to see: His first steady girlfriend, his engagement, his wedding, having children, and making their joke shop the best shop in the entirety of the Wizarding World.
He wouldn't be there for any of it.
And it wasn't fair.
George couldn't go a day without hating himself for being alive instead of Fred. He couldn't look at himself in the mirror without seeing Fred looking back at him. He was trapped, cursed even. Cursed with having Fred's face. He couldn't go anywhere near anything with a reflective surface in fear of seeing his own face and mistaking it with Fred's.
But there was one difference.
George traced a finger over the bumpy terrain of skin where his ear used to be. He and Fred made constant ear jokes about it. After a while George wanted the jokes to stop but they seemed to come out of Fred's mouth like a waterfall. That was Fred's way of coping, George knew. It was his defense mechanism, so to speak. If there was something Fred couldn't talk about, he'd joke about it instead.
George had no one to joke with now. He had no one to talk to now that Fred was…gone. He hadn't admitted those words to himself before, not even out loud. But now the word haunted him whenever he overheard hushed conversations. He was gone.
As more people Apparated into the yard George forced his eyes away and took a step towards the door. In that one step he fell to his knees. He leaned forward and slapped his palms on the ground as his body seized. He took in a deep breath and let out the loudest scream that his body could produce. As soon as the scream ripped through his throat his body wracked with loud, soul-filled sobs while tears poured down his face.
His soul was hurting. Whatever was left of his heart was hurting.
And he swore, in the back of his mind, he could hear Fred crying as well.