Letters From The Dead
Letters from the Dead
Errol the second was as useless as his predecessor. George knew that Angelina would have gotten another owl to deliver letters and let him go into early retirement but for some reason, George could never replace beloved Errol. The amount of times he had crashed of gotten lost whilst delivering letters form him to the Weasleys at Hogwarts.
Fred Jr. had started there just today and if George was lucky, Errol would soon be returning with a letter from him in his unique scruffy handwriting.
As if by magic, George suddenly heard a splat against the window and looked over to see the top of Errol's unconscious head sliding down the grubby glass. George sighed. Would that owl never learn?
Excitedly, the proud father dashed outside and picked up the drooping body of Errol by one finger and thumb - terrified that stupidity might be catching - and brought him inside.
Resting Errol on the kitchen table with a bowl of owl treats beside him, George proceeded to untie the fraying, white string from the owl's long spindly legs and read the front of the envelope.
To Mum and Dad it said, a splodge of ink creating the 'o' in 'to'.
Hastily, Fred ripped open the seal. Out fell a two sheets of parchments and a chocolate frogs card: Severus Snape. Harry had insisted that they create one with him otherwise the company wouldn't get a photo of the 'Chosen One' or his best friends - Ron and Hermione. Eventually, they agreed but it was one of the rarest cards ever.
George unfolded the parchments. One was addressed to 'Mum,' one to 'Dad' and a small, jam-splatter scrap for Roxanne.
WOW! Hogwarts is better than you and mum described. So far I haven't had any adventures close to what Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron did but it has only been a week. However I did find a Severus Snape Chocolate Frog in the train. I thought Roxanne would like it for her collection so I enclosed it with this letter.
I think the school must have changed loads since you were here. For example, there is now a huge portrait on the corridor on the way to potions (what were you saying about it being in the dungeons? My potions is on the second floor!) of some pale guy with black greasy hair. He spend his time yelling at students between lessons and trying to take away our house points! When he saw me, all he said was "not another one." What does that mean?
And what you were saying about Peeves, are you sure he was that naughty? Apparently he's really tame now, only helping Dead Fred upon occasion with one of his jokes. And Dead Fred, why did you never mention him, Dad?! He is the best! Yesterday he had the whole of the new Slytherins eating sweets which brought them all out in boils! Their faces were hilarious and I even heard one mutter something about telling his dad! Wimp!
Although, he did act really weird at the sorting ceremony - Dead Fred, not the Slytherin. He cheered extra loudly for me and offered to take me under his wing! Someone said he looked like me but I think that's only because he's ginger too, probably why he offered to look after me. He does look quite similar to you in some of those old photo albums Grandma was was showing me, so much so that James asked if it was you. I knew it couldn't be because Dead Fred has two ears!
Now that I think of it, you must have known Dead Fred because he must have been at Hogwarts with you - he was in the Battle of Hogwarts and claimed that he pranked Umbridge. I told him that it was my dad who did the fireworks display with the dragon. The ghost looked really strange when I told him, like he was reminiscing about something or other. It freaked me out a bit.
Anyway, I'll see you soon - Neville (sorry, Professor Longbottom) has invited you and the rest of Dumbledore's Army to tea after Parent Consultations; I'm sure your invitation will arrive soon. I can't believe he's introducing a visiting programme for parents! Slytherins keep calling him a Hufflepuff but I told them he was one of the best Gryfinndors ever and asked what would be wrong with being a Hufflepuff anyway!
I've got to go - the first quidditch match of the season is starting in ten minutes so I'll have to run down to the pitch. It's Slytherin versus GRYFFINDOR! Apparently Dead Fred always does a spectacular fireworks display whenever they play because he's the ghost of Gryffindor (that Nick guy you told me about has joined the Headless Hunt, finally). I doubt the display will be as good as the one you pulled when Professor Umbridge was a tyrant here!
Bye, see you all soon,
P.S. Remind Roxanne that all my room and my stuff are out of bounds until I get back. I bet she's already broken my toy broomstick!
George placed the letter down on the table. His hands were shaking and the last few lines of ink were smudged with tears. He tried to take deep breaths. He closed his eyes.
"Fred?" he asked allowed.
He never knew. How come he didn't know that Fred was a ghost? Why didn't Neville or one of the others tell him?
A gust of wind arrived through the window and swept up the parchment. It somersaulted three, four, five times in the air before landing face-down on the floor.
George reached down to pick it up. That's when he saw it.
In the top left-hand corner was a set of four small footprints. George hadn't seen footprints like that in years, not since he and his brother had handed over the Maurders Map to Harry.
Removing his wand, George placed the letter on the table so that he could still see the footprints. Pointing his wand at it, he said ten words which he never thought he would recite again, especially not alone.
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
The parchment glowed. The footprints began to walk, to pace up and down the letter. They turned around and around, faster and faster in a never-ending spiral before merging into a single splodge of ink.
The splatter grew, spreading out across the page. Blots of ink began to break off until they formed letters.
George took a deep breath and read on.
It has been so long since I have had the opportunity to give you an earful and since you have given me two.
I wanted to find you, I did, but Peeves came and found me just after the Battle and asked for my help - someone had to annoy Filch as he was rebuilding. So many times I have turned around to tell you of a new plan or stopped mid-sentence, presuming you would carry on before realising that you weren't there.
It feels most lonely when James, Harry and Ginny's son (I hope you had words with him about defiling our sister!) was sorted into Gryffindor and I was alone in shouting "We got Potter!" Or when we sing the school song and I finish sombrely alone.
Even so, the extra fifteen or so years at Hogwarts has give me time to attempt all the schemes we never had time to try. Remember in our third year when mum suggested that we blow up a toilet? My only advice is not to stand next to the toilets - the smell is repulsive!
Yet, despite the fun Peeves and I have cooked up to annoy dear old Neville, it would have been a hell of a lot better with you.
I couldn't believe you and Angelina had sent another Weasley to Hogwarts. And naming him after me? I feel so honoured! Just make sure he doesn't ruin my reputation by becoming a clone of Percy otherwise I will change his badge to "Pinhead" again. I tried to convince him and his friends to brew me up a few stink bombs or some puking pastels. He seemed mildly interested so I might just make a joker out of him yet.
I do wish your son would write more to you, for I have left so much unsaid but find myself running out of parchment, and ink (I nicked it from some Slytherin who must have bought it from Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes). As Fred Junior has told you, there's a Quidditch match and I need to put the finishing touches to my fireworks display.
I do so hope we will meet again, George. Perhaps you could visit me and we could get up to some of our old tricks.
All my love and hairbrained schemes,
George only realised the parchment in his hand had been soaked through with his tears until he had reread the letter three or four times. What he didn't realise was that the ink wasn't smudged by his tears, but instead by a ghost's as he was scrawling the wet ink onto the paper.