Finished January 1, 2019
SHE COULD ALWAYS TELL
Moments from his death, Fred Weasley's thoughts are only for one person. He has the opportunity to have some profound thoughts about life, and what little time we all have to leave our mark, but instead he's thinking about a bushy haired girl.
SHE COULD ALWAYS TELL
Hermione has always been something of a curiosity to him. She was so smart, pretty, kind but she didn’t know how pretty she was. And despite her book and magic smarts she didn’t see the collection of blokes ready to fall at her feet. And despite the hell they’ve all been through, the betrayals, the obvious yet mysterious heart break she suffered sometime near the end of the 4th year, she was still kind and loving and ready to fall in love from the sounds of her conversations with his baby sister Ginny. Yeah he’s listened in on that. Pretty pathetic, but he wanted to know if she ever talked about him. Of course she hadn’t said a word besides the regular things everyone says.
He’s watched her fall in love with Ron. He’s watched him dismiss what they could have together. How thick could he get? That woman is perfect.
He hadn’t seen her in months. He knew she was off trying to save everyone, him included, with Harry and Ron but the idea of them allowing her to put herself into such danger infuriated him. But he couldn’t change her, nor did he want to. Her willingness to put herself into harms way to protect the people she loved and really all muggle-born and muggles alike made him love her all the more.
It probably started the night she walked down the stair case coming to the triwizard ball that he knew exactly how he felt. Even then he knew that Ron would win her in the end, he liked her all the same. And when he realized she was one of those taken underwater at the lake for a triwizard challenge, he was furious she had to be involved in something so dangerous. For some stupid cup. He had only entered that contest because he thought maybe if he won she’d see him as more then Ron's older brother.
When they trained together as Dumbledore’s Army he watched her become stronger, and his love for her grew into something unchanging. She was no longer just a silly girl, and it was no longer just a silly crush. And still she insisted on putting her life on the line.
And then last year she came back marked with the word 'mudblood' on her arm. He just about went after Bellatrix himself, and almost did had it not been for his brother who stopped him from such madness.
He thought it was so funny how all this time he kept quiet about how he felt even though it would all be meaningless in a matter of time. Instead of giving it a real chance. But now it was only a few moments and he’d probably be dead. And she’d never know.
George wept on his knees, clutching the gurney that Fred lay on. That kid would be useless without him, but maybe now he will have to shine brighter. He really would have to stop being so sensitive and quiet, he would have a reputation to uphold, and Fred wouldn't be there to help him.
Hermione walked into the dining hall with Harry and Ron on her heels, Arthur Weasley came to them immediately.
“The twins were attacked, Ron…” he said. He was pale and shaking. “He’s not for this world much longer”
Hermione ran to the group at the far end of the great hall. She saw one twin knelt down wailing with tears running freely down his face as if a part of him were dying with his brother. Molly Weasley was in hysterics and Arthur was holding her while she tried to stop the tears and the hyperventilating.
“My boy” she kept whispering between sobs.
Hermione knelt beside him. She touched the freckle on his temple, which was curiously shaped like an anchor that she had come to realize was one of the many defining features that set the two boys apart.
“Oi, Hermione, what’s got you so upset? Not me I hope, see I'm actually doing great" he chuckled. His breath ragged and wet as if blood was filling his lungs.
“You silly boy. What mess have you gotten yourself into now.” She said as clear as she could. Her tears fell on his shirt as she leaned over him. Ron appeared beside his brother and held his hand tightly.
“Eh brother, at least I went out with a bang, you're looking at the lad who took out five death eaters!” Fred coughed furiously and blood began to trail out of his mouth.
Hermione never had to look to see if a twin had a missing ear to tell between the two. She had no problem telling the difference between the boys since 4th year. She never pointed this out to them, she knew how hard they worked to fool people into thinking they were each other. Recalling a moment one of the twins had spoken with her privately in 4th year she felt the need to tell him she knew it was him in that moment.
Fred's family and close friends had composed themselves and gathered around him. He realized he was probably one of the few of the students who would be dead after the war that would actually get to say goodbye to the people he loved.
"I love.... the lot of you.... stroppy cows." at that Ron sobbed and Bill gave a half hearted grin. Molly and Arthur looked pained, watching their son cough more blood, but trying to make light of his circumstances.
“And we all love you” Ron said when he had collected himself. He was shaking he knew his brother had only minutes till he'd be dead.
“Fred, you are a good, strong man. Thank you for telling me what a bloody idiot your brother was being all those years ago and for not letting me cry alone that night." She thanked him. "Even though you pretended you were George.” Everyone had a very pained chuckle at that.
She knew. How was it that she knew? Fred was actually shocked to realize all these years… she actually had been the only one. She saw him.
He raised his hand and cupped Hermione's face. He was so weak, and even this movement caused so much pain, it took everything he had not to cry out.
“I cannot....... believe........ that you.......were the one..... who.... could always.... tell.”he said unable to catch his breath but needing to say those last words.
And then his world went black.