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Saved by his brother's love

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The dementor was gliding towards him. With every inch that it came closer, the rattling breath of the foul creature got louder and louder. George was paralyzed. He was filled with a deep sadness and hopelessness. He was a failure. His whole life was a failure. Their shop was never going to work. It had in the past but it was bound to go downhill now that Voldemort was gone and people weren't in as much need of a joke anymore as they had been before. Fred would leave him. True, he had survived the war but he would leave George for good, once he realized what a fraud and failure he was. The dementor inched even closer. George stopped feeling anything at all. All that was there was a vast, empty void inside him, where his heart and gut had been before. He didn't even feel like crying. He was beyond this kind of sadness. His vision faded. Slowly, the world around him turned dark and ever colder. He shivered as he collapsed onto the cobbled stones of Diagon Alley, curled up like an unborn child.

Except that he had not been alone in his mother's womb.

"EXPECTO PATRONUM!"

 

Slowly, George regained consciousness. Leaning against its headboard, he was half sitting, half lying on a warm, comfortable bed. His insides still felt like ice. "Merlin's goddamn fucking underpants! What the bloody hell were they thinking letting those foul... those evil things escape?!" Fred was beside himself, swearing incessantly. When he realized that his twin was looking at him, he at once stopped rearranging the heap of blankets he had put around his brother to look George in the eyes. "Georgie! Are you alright? Come here..." Fred thrust an enormous bar of Honeydukes chocolate in his hand. "Eat this," he demanded, pulling him into a tight embrace. George's trembling fingers fumbled with the wrapper but once Fred had torn it open for him, George bit off a huge piece. Warmth spread through his whole body and he wasn't sure if the chocolate or his brother had the larger effect on this. Fred kept holding him close, stroking his hair and whispering softly into his ear. "It's alright, Georgie. It was a dementor. One of the escaped ones, they already caught him. They will all be gone soon. Very soon. you don't have to worry, I drove it away, it can't hurt you anymore." George felt his eyes prickle and had to suppress a sob as he thought about the horrible things his mind had told him under the dementor's attack. "It was horrible, Freddie. I was... I was so afraid... And I thought.. I thought I was a failure and nothing was going to work out and you'd leave me and-" Fred hugged him even tighter at this. "Shush, Georgie. Don't speak. I would never leave you and I hope you know that. I'm here. I always will be. It was just a stupid dementor. It's gone now. It won't come back. And if it does, I'll fight it off again. I'd do anything for you." He pressed a kiss onto George's hair. "I love you, Georgie. I always will." At these words, another wave of warmth spread through George. The two brothers remained as they were for a long while. Fred kept stroking his twin's hair and holding him, George kept eating the chocolate. He was grateful for his brother, his other half, for rescuing him, for being there, for... taking care of him.

The longer they sat there and the more chocolate George ate, the better he felt. It took some time but eventually, the veil that had clouded George's mind lifted. Everything didn't seem dark and futile anymore. It was like the sun breaking through the clouds after a gray and rainy day. Like birds starting to chirp again in the spring after a long and cold winter. Fred was there. They both were. Their shop was running well, they had their family, their friends and, most importantly, each other. George was immensely grateful. And he knew: As long as he and Fred were together, nothing could really, substantially, hurt them.