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Ginny leans on Harry’s shoulder, half listening to Hermione’s very heated rant about one of her co-workers while all the other Weasley’s were bustling around the living and dining room, getting everything ready for Sunday lunch.

George swings little Molly around and around in circles, tossing her in the air while Percy looks on disapprovingly.

Molly stands in the doorway, hands on hips, glaring at the room at large. “Stop swinging my granddaughter around, you’re going to hurt her!” George ignores her and tosses his niece into the air, catching her again and again. “Stop it NOW, Fred!”


George doesn’t catch Molly because he’s gone as still and stiff as a board. Percy’s daughter crumples to the floor, but strangely doesn’t cry. Arthur gasps; Ginny’s hand tightens under Harry’s; Bill runs into the garden; Fleur gives a muffled half shriek; Ron shrinks back into the shadows.

“George,” his mother says tentatively, reaching out a hand. “George, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t,” he says, and the words are harsh and grating in the cloying stillness. “Don’t. Please, just don’t.”

“George.” That’s Ginny, who slips from Harry’s arms and walks toward her brother.

“He’s not coming back,” George whispers, and the words are heavy on his tongue.

“No,” Ginny agrees, folding his hands in her own. “No, he isn’t.”

“Don’t,” George says, jerking suddenly. “Don’t.” And he runs out of the kitchen and runs and runs and runs. Harry watches from the window and thinks that he might dissaparate, but he doesn’t. George just runs and runs and runs.

Audrey has picked her daughter Molly up off the floor; Fleur is in the garden trying to find Bill; Charlie is hugging his mum; Arthur is staring at his hands; Ron has his arms wrapped around Hermione; and Ginny is staring out the window with Harry, watching George as he runs and runs and runs.