A/N: Written for hpgeorgecentric Drabble/ Art Challenge
George sat with his back against a tree, tearing up bits of grass. He didn’t see the sun glinting off the lake; he didn’t see the breeze softly caressing the flowers; he didn’t see the giant squid and Buckbeak playing together in the waves.
Fred was dead. George didn’t know what to do. He was no longer part of “gredandforge” or “fredandgeorge”. He wasn’t even “Gred”. He was “just George”. Who was “just George”? George was alone; nobody else knew what it was like to lose their twin.
George was startled when Firenze sat down beside him, but didn’t acknowledge his presence. He’d never actually met Firenze! What gave him the right to interrupt his grass-tearing?
“George Weasley. Please forgive my intrusion. I hoped you could help with my predicament. We are bound by shared tragedy. Both of us lost our twin.”
George looked up in surprise. “You have a twin brother?!”
“Yes, Falcian. Twins are extremely rare amongst centaurs. I know of none who has lost a twin.”
“I don’t know any humans who have lost twins, either.” George paused. “When you came to teach, how did you leave Falcian?”
“Dumbledore invited both of us. Our divining skills are more accurate when we work together. However, Falcian refused to accompany me. He saw assisting Dumbledore as betrayal—centaurs do not get involved in human disputes. I know what I saw in the forest was not human, but pure evil. Assisting Dumbledore was helping Light overcome Darkness. I was hurt Falcian led the herd in banishing me. If Hagrid had not intervened, Falcian would have killed me.”
“Your twin would kill you!”
“It is the centaur way. If a centaur goes against the herd’s wishes, he will be banished. The family carries out the banishment. Death is often kinder than life without the herd.”
“Last you saw your twin he tried to kill you?” George was horrified. He couldn’t imagine losing your twin under such awful circumstances.
“No, George Weasley. When the centaurs joined the Light, Falcian found me and begged my pardon. We became brothers again. We fought side by side, killing many Death Eaters before we were wounded. Falcian died from his injuries. I would have died too, if Falcian were not with me. We are always better together than apart.”
“Fred and I are . . . were always better together, too.”
“You changed your speech to the past, George Weasley. Why?”
“Well, Fred died. He isn’t here anymore.” George’s voice cracked.
“Do not humans retain memories of loved ones?”
“Of course we have memories!” George thought this conversation more barmy by the second.
“Fred Weasley will live on in your heart and in your memories, as Falcian will in mine. A loved one never leaves us when we honor their memory.”
“So remembering Fred will keep part of him alive?”
“Yes, George Weasley. Part of him lives in you.”
George nodded thoughtfully, as they lapsed into a comfortable silence. Maybe he wasn’t alone after all.