Title: 5 Small Incidents that Snowballed into Something Rather Significantly Larger
Dislaimer: JK Rowling's, not mine
Rating: R for vague sexual situations
Warnings: Incest, slash (m/m sex)
It's a few weeks before they left Hogwarts for good, and they're a little blown away by it all as they lay, side by side, in George's bed. They know it's going to go just the way they've planned it; everything they do always goes as they plan it - they're artistic geniuses and they know it. Still, they are about to attempt possibly the largest gig of their lives so far, and it's just a little bit terrifying.
Fred thinks of all the time they've spent here, all the tricks they've played, the lessons they've learned, all the Quiddich matches and nighttime trips and exams and friendships, and it's all a bit daunting. He knows he shouldn't say anything, he shouldn't let George know just how worried he is that something's going to go wrong, but he can't help it. He needs George's fearless words now more than ever.
"Hmn?" George turns his head slightly to the side, his cheek now resting against the pillow, his lips mere centimetres away from Fred's, and for a moment, Fred hesitates as he feels George's breath against his face.
"Did you ever...you know, did you think about graduating?"
George looks at him a moment, then looks back up at the ceiling and shrugs. "I don't think much about it now. After all, we're going to be better off, anyway. Who needs a diploma when you've got genius?" He winks at Fred, grinning in the old, carefree way that reminds George of the days when they were children and they'd lie in bed together and giggle over the prank they'd just pulled and the bigger one they were planning next. For some reason, this calms him, and he feels his stomach unclench slightly as he relaxes back into the covers, ready for sleep.
He doesn't argue, however, when George's hand wraps warmly around his and holds on tightly until he drifts off to sleep.
Fred still isn't sure they've really done it as they're speeding away from the school on broomstick, the cheers and cries growing faint as the school gets smaller and smaller behind them. Fred knows George isn't looking back, is only looking ahead as they near the end of the forbidden forest, but he can't help but look over his shoulder one last time at the place that was once his home for the good part of the year.
Their home, he corrects himself. It wouldn't have been home if George hadn't been there.
The great mass of trees begings to thin out beneath them as they fly a little farther, and as they reach the other side of the forest, George suggests they land and rest for a bit. The adrenaline is still pumping in both their veins, and Fred agrees, eager to calm down a bit, to enjoy the rush as it fades into the satisfaction of victory. They lazily drift to the ground, grinning stupidly at eachother before dropping their brooms and collapsing against a large rock, laughing. They know they've won and they're giddy; comparitively, it's smooth sailing from here.
They laugh until their chests hurt, and even then, they roll to the side of the rock, leaning against eachother in a sort of solid interdependence they've always shared. There are no words for quite some time; Fred can think of nothing to say that properly expresses the way he feels, and he has a feeling George doesn't either. He is proved correct when George looks at him for a long moment, breathing slightly heavily as he catches his breath from the adrenaline and the hysteria, and then says, "We did it."
However, Fred isn't expecting it when George presses a hard kiss to his lips, holding his shoulder in an embrace for a split second before pulling away with a sheepish and yet victorious grin. Fred barely hears him when his brother announces that they ought to be going and kicks off again, and he has to work to catch up for a good ten minutes, calling and complaining all the while.
George has never been modest, but Fred has always felt the need to give others their privacy. After all, he's lived without just that for all of his home life, and so he tries hard to be sensitive and look the other way the others are changing for Quiddich or getting ready for bed or showering. He doesn't want others to have to experience the imposing feeling he often encounters when he knows there's a line for the shower outside the bathroom and he remembers that he's forgotten a towel.
However, now that it's just he and George, he realizes there's no real need for modesty. After all, he and George bathed together until they were 7, and have shared a room for their entire lives; there is nothing about his brother's anatomy that Fred doesn't know.
At least, that was the way Fred felt until he accidentally stumbles into the bathroom 2 months after they had opened their shop and begun sharing a flat. It is completely unintentional, and he is horribly embarrassed, but even as he stands there, staring at his brother's naked body under the running water, he is paralyzed, his eyes captivated. He hadn't remembered that being so... or this being quite that... But then somehow he breaks free, and, with a choked apology, stumbles out of the bathroom again.
He lays on his bed in their shared bedroom for the remainder of George's shower, beating himself up for being so stupid and for staring and for thinking the things he did, which George couldn't possibly know, but he felt like he did, anyway. He feels his ears burn as George saunters back into the bedroom, towel wrapped loosely around his waist, and he goes to look away but can't again.
George doesn't bat an eyelash, however; instead, he grins. "Did you like what you saw?"
Fred opens his mouth, but no words come, and he knows they aren't going to when George's smirk widens and he drops the towel.
Fred and George have known Voldemort was back for some time, but it makes it just that much more real when they hear about Katie Bell and the Imperius Curse. It had never really occurred to them, though they could logically deduce it, that someone they knew, someone they had played Quiddich with for years and had conversed with and hung out with for years could so suddenly be attacked. Fred doesn't know how to feel about it; he feels numb to the whole ordeal, almost as if it isn't happening. It makes him restless; during the day, he twitches, his hands idly touching anything, his fingers playing with seams and small objects and anything around, and at night, he rolls around in bed, tossing and turning with nightmares and waking thoughts that aren't much better. He tries hard to charm away the bags under his eyes, hide them with any manner of potion and salve, but he has the feeling that George knows they're there.
And then one night, he wakes with a start from a bad dream to find his bed sliding smoothly across the floor. It stops after a second, and he's disoriented, looking around wildly to see George in bed beside him, wand in hand, a mixed expression of worry and care barely visible on his face through the dark of the early morning. Fred pants, trying to catch his breath after the adrenaline of the nightmare, watching wordlessly as George sets his wand on the nightstand, having made his and his brother's bed one, before leaning over and pulling his brother tightly into his arms.
There are no words for a moment, but finally, softly, carefully, George speaks. "It's going to be all right, Fred."
Fred nods slowly, glad George isn't letting go just yet. "I...I know."
"You don't need to be afraid." George's voice is matter-of-fact and confident, and Fred remembers briefly how, in school, he used to always admire George's bravery.
"I know...I just...it seems..." he trails, tightening his arms around George's waist. "I don't...want to lose you."
George blinks, and his muscles tense for a second, and Fred can tell that wasn't what he was expecting. However, after a second, he laughs softly. "Don't you fret. I'm not going anywhere."
Fred nods. "I...I don't mind dying, so long as you're with me when I do."
George shakes his head. "Don't think that way." He takes Fred's chin firmly in his hand and nods. "Besides, even if you're planning on offing yourself so soon, there's still a few things I'd like to get done." And before Fred can ask, he's pulling him into a soft kiss that melts deeper and deeper until the twins fall asleep entangled in eachother's arms across their newly combined beds.
Neither of them have ever liked doing inventory, but it's especially bad these late, cold nights, in the flickering lamplight. It's not that they're frightened, not especially, anyway, it's just lonely, and cold, and dark, and the last thing they want to be doing is kneeling in the back room counting boxes upon boxes inside boxes. They know they have to, however, and so they do, wrapped up tightly in sweaters and gloves and scarves sent from their mother and huddled together to conserve body heat.
It's one night in late February when they're a little low on funds and thus only one lamp is burning that Fred realizes that he's shivering harder than usual. He tries hard to stop it, he knows that his brother can feel his shuddering against his body, and he doesn't want George to worry. He begins to realize it's a hopeless cause, however, and finally, George turns to him with a look Fred doesn't recognize until later as guilt. "You're cold, Fred. Let's close up, we can finish tomorrow."
But Fred insists, shaking his head quickly. "No, w-we have to stay...we h-have to finish inventory-" his voice stutters and breaks from his trembling.
George shakes his head slowly. "All right. We can stay here if you want...just let me warm you up." And, as has become his habit, he presses their lips together before Fred can respond.
Fred does not mind, however, he is a little surprised when he finds that George is peeling back the layers of sweaters and scarves from his skin. He realizes quickly that he isn't getting cold, however; his pale skin is pink and flushed as George places burning touches and kisses down his chest. He's practically melting by the time George is removing his trousers, he mewls when he feels his brother inside of him. They rock together, clumsy among the boxes and crates and the one lamp, and Fred doesn't even remember to be embarrassed when he cries loudly as he comes. He falls limp as George follows suit before gathering Fred's body into his arms and holding him tightly.
They stay like this for quite some time before returning home to their two-twin-beds-made-queen-bed, but even as they do, it's as if something has changed. There's still the darkness around, the cold, the worry, there's still everything there was before. But now he's not facing it by himself, he's not alone. And somehow, to Fred, that makes all the difference.