Chapter 12 Worries
It was well past midnight at the Burrow, but George Weasley couldn't sleep. He'd had an uneasy feeling all day that something was terribly wrong. At least, more wrong than it had been.
He felt the all too familiar tears welling in his eyes as he gazed out the window of his old room. He hadn't wanted to come home for the holidays, but he didn't want to be on his own, either. How could they celebrate Christmas and the New Year when they was just a huge...piece, of George missing.
The piece that was his twin.
The tears were flowing freely now, and he could barely see through the watery haze. But gazing at the nearly full moon in the clear sky, George felt some semblance of hope and longing in his chest, that just maybe his brother was looking at the same moon. But that awful feeling that something was wrong made that fleeting hope disappear.
Come home. Please, Fred. Come home.
Fred shrank back, trying to avoid whatever new torture Bellatrix had come up with, but it was in vain. A slash of her wand was all it took. A white hot agony flared up his right leg, as blood began to drip from the gash now in it. Though he tried not to make a noise, a whimper still escaped his lips.
Bellatrix's manic laughter echoed around the room. "I know just how to make you really scream."
A kick from Greyback had him laying on his back, gasping for air. His numerous broken ribs protested and made the action unbearable. He felt his face contort in agony, and heard the rest of the Death Eaters laugh.
He barely registered when someone pulled the sleeve of his shirt up his left arm, but when he felt the first cut, he couldn't hold back anymore. Within minutes, his voice was hoarse from screaming and the tears were streaming down his face.
"Please, stop. No more, Please!"
Draco was sitting in a chair beside his bed, his heel tapping the floor in a rapid rhythm. He watched, all nerves, as Libby applied the last bandage to Fred's arm. Draco once again had to keep from being sick when he thought of those words carved deeply into Fred's arm.
"Libby has done all she can. Libby does not know if what she did was all right-t. But-t she has done her best-t for Mast-ter Draco."
"Thank you, Libby. Please keep an eye out for any of the Death Eaters, especially my aunt. I know they're out now, but just in case."
The small house elf bowed her head, and apparated away, leaving Draco alone with Fred. For the first time since he had seen Fred earlier this evening-or was it last night?-he really looked at him. He had lost weight, and his face was a sickly pale gray color. A long cut that looked to be half healed ran from his right ear to the left side of his nose. A bruise that was already tinged green discolored the left side of his chin.
Draco looked lower, and swallowed as he saw the dark bruising around Fred's neck in the shape of hands. And then there were all the injuries under the bandages that were hidden beneath the blankets. He closed his eyes as he remembered the list Libby had given him.
Five broken ribs-one nearly puncturing a lung.
A stab wound to his shoulder.
A broken wrist. Libby had had to re-break it because it had started to heal the wrong way.
Some deep slashes on his lower back and one on his right leg.
And then his arm. Libby said that the knife had been enchanted. It was going to scar.
And then the shaking. It wasn't very pronounced because Fred's weak body could barely come up with the strength to shake, but Draco knew it was because of the Cruciatus curse.
Draco didn't know when he had started to cry, but he was suddenly away of the tears that were dripping onto his clenched fists.
"I'm so sorry! This is all my fault. If I had only listened to you last time. None of this would have happened if I had just gone to Dumbledore. I'm a coward. Please, please wake up!"
Fred was confused at first. Everywhere hurt. But it was comfortable too.
Hang it all-how could there be both things at once?
But then another sensation hit him. Warmth. Godric, he hadn't felt warm in months.
And then he heard it.
"-ward. Please, please wake up!"
At first, Fred felt panic spread through his body as memories of the past week shot through him. But then he heard the now familiar sound of crying. Over the last several weeks, he had convinced himself that Draco was just as bad as Ron had always made him out to be. That he was like the other Death Eaters.
But Fred didn't think that Death Eaters would cry over someone like him. A blood traitor. The pain in his arm flared for a moment, and then another realization hit him.
Bandages. The gash on his leg, his ribs, his arm…
Fred groaned inwardly. Why was everything so complicated? Or, not complicated. Confused. Both…maybe?
Fred finally decided to open his eyes and see what on earth was going on. The sight that greeted him was very unexpected.
He was laying on the right side of a queen-sized bed, covered in forest green blankets. The soft light of the fireplace spilled out from about ten feet from the foot of the bed. The rest of what he assumed was a large room was bathed in darkness save for the light of the moon out the two windows on the far left wall.
Fred turned his head to the right, where he was greeted with the sight of Draco Malfoy. The boy was hunched over, head in his hands, elbows on his knees. His shoulders shook as he quietly sobbed.
Fred had been prepared to be angry at Draco, but seeing him now, he couldn't be.
Taking a deep breath-or at least trying to-Fred finally croaked out, "Draco?"
He heard a sharp intake of breath, as Draco whipped up his head. The tears were still easy to see in the dim lighting, as was the shocked expression on his face.