A/N: Hello! This is the last, (and longest) part of the story. I hope you all enjoyed reading it. This chapter switches view a lot, so I hope no one minds. Please enjoy, though!

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. What do I own? A laptop, an imagination, and ten fingers. That's about it.

Part Three: Acceptance

For what seemed like the millionth time in only a week, someone was knocking on George's door. This time it was Ginny. She and Mrs. Weasley were two of the most frequent knockers, and frankly, no one was surprised. A little annoyed at them for not leaving the poor boy alone, but not at all surprised.

From the couch in the sitting room, Charlie could hear Ginny climbing the stairs to the second landing. Then she knocked on the door, followed by words that had also seemed to be repeated a million times this week. "George, please open the door. We want to help you."

And, also for the millionth time this week, she got no answer.

George was defiantly in there. He just didn't want anyone else in there with him.

This week had been unbelievably rough on the now incomplete family of redheads. Harry and Fleur were staying at The Burrow, as well. Hermione had been here until yesterday, when she decided she needed to find her parents and make sure they were all right. If she made it to Australia and back ok, she'd be back here with Ron in about three days. Charlie wasn't sure if Ron would last that long without her.

Everyone seemed to be falling apart at the seams. Mrs. Weasley spent most of her time either crying or cooking and cleaning, which seemed to take her mind off things. There was now an unbelievable amount of extra food on the house, but no one really seemed to mind this. The house was also very clean; it was nearly as clean as it had been before the wedding. But no one said anything.

Mr. Wealsey hadn't gone back to work yet. He spent all his time at home, holding his wife when she cried, sitting down all day, staring into nothingness. He was trying to be strong for the rest of his family.

Bill was the really strong one, though. He was the one who organized the funeral. Who dug the grave. Who spoke the most. Who comforted Ginny when she cried. Bill was the strong one. He could cope. Most of the time.

Percy, on the other hand, wasn't doing too well. He felt an unbelievable, extreme amount of guilt. Although his parents had told him they had forgiven him about a million times, Percy wasn't convinced. He felt like an intruder. An outsider. Someone who shouldn't be involved with something this devastating. He kept saying the death was his fault. That he should have saved him. He was there, he should have done something. This, of course, was stupid. Percy couldn't have saved him even if he knew what was going to happen. Percy knew this. Everyone else knew this. But Percy still felt guilty.

Ron didn't seem to know what to do, especially now that Hermione was gone. He would sit down, then get up, then walk around, then eat something, then sit back down again, and then repeat that cycle a hundred more times. He was unsure of nearly everything. When he was with Harry and Hermione he seemed at his happiest, talking of their adventures, recalling the tale of the downfall of the Dark Lord. But most of the time, he felt the same pain as his family did, hero or not.

Ginny cried a lot. She never really cried a lot before this. She was tough. Growing up with six older brothers, you're not defined as particularly the most girlish figure of the house. But now, she couldn't stop. She'd hug herself, sniffling. She'd hold onto others, crying into their shirts. She'd sit in front of George's room for hours, praying that he would open up.

The Weasley's, or anyone else for that matter, hadn't seen George since the funeral, two days after the battle. Even then, he looked terrible. Now, the door to his room was always closed and locked. Any one of them could have unlocked it with their wands, but that would be wrong. They didn't want to invade on his privacy. So Charlie didn't know why they kept knocking.

Charlie was trying to be like Bill. He was trying to stay strong. He really was. But he didn't feel like it was working.

Charlie wouldn't feel complete until he knew George was all right.

He sat on the couch for a few minutes longer, waiting until Ginny left the second landing and retreated into her room, eyes filled to the brim with tears again. Then, making sure no one was watching, Charlie slowly lifted himself up, walked over to the stairs, and climbed them up until he got to a small landing, where Fred and George's room was located. Or, rather, just George's room. Charlie winced.

The twenty-five year-old stood in front of the door for a while, not quite sure of what to do. He knew if George wouldn't let his own little sister in, whom he was always so fond of, he definitely wouldn't let his older brother in. The twins never really needed to rely on their older siblings for much. And it wasn't like Charlie had any special connections with him or anything. Well, there was that small incident seven years ago, but Charlie was just doing his job as an older brother. Then there was last week, in the Great Hall. But that was only because no one else was going to do it. No, Charlie knew for a fact that George wouldn't open up to him. But Charlie just needed to know that George was there. Just as George needed to know that Charlie was there. He would always be there, just as he had told him all that time ago.

He didn't knock. Instead, he just started talking.

"George? It's Charlie," the man started unsurely, shifting his weight from foot to foot. "I don't know if you can hear me, and if you can, I'm sure you've already heard this a million times. But… I just wanted you to know that we're all here for you. No matter what. And I know you've been told that we're all sad and we all understand what you're feeling. It's true, the whole family is sad, but I know that none of us can even come close to feeling what you must be, er, feeling right now." Charlie knew his words sounded jumbled and bad, but he was still hoping George could hear him. "You don't have to let any of us in. I hope you know that. But I also hope you know that whenever you want to, we're all here for you."

Charlie stood at the door for a few seconds more, unsure of what else to say. Finally, he sighed and turned to leave. He didn't know what he was expecting. That certainly didn't make him feel any better.

But just then, a sound made him stop in is tracks. There came a small 'click' from the door, as if it had just been unlocked. Charlie was sure he must be hearing things, but then the door opened a crack, then a little wider.

From behind the door Charlie could see the face of George Weasley. Even by the little light that was available, Charlie saw that his younger brother looked terrible. He was about three shades paler than what he usually was, with dark circles under his blood-shot eyes and his flaming red hair long and unruly. Stubble was starting to show itself on the young man's chin. He looked like he hadn't had a break in years.

"Wanna come in?" Even his voice sounded tired and worn. His throat must have been dry, for his voice was weak and cracked, and he winced as he spoke.

Too surprised to form words, Charlie merely nodded like an idiot.

George opened the door a little wider, allowing Charlie to enter the small room. He took a quick glance around. In a lot of ways, it was the same as it had been all those years ago. Diagrams of crazy inventions and lists of ingredients hung on the walls, decorating them with the color of lead and quill ink. There was a dresser in the corner with a mirror above it. A desk sat in the opposite corner, covered in even more drawings and notes. The air smelled of gunpowder, and Charlie quickly took notice of black smoke marks on some parts of the walls and ceilings, as if there had been some mini explosions there. The ground was still wooden. The ceiling was still low. The walls were still olive-green. But there was one very obvious difference. While one bed sat in the same place it had always been, the other bed was pushed as far away as it could be, against the opposite wall. It was made. Fred and George's beds were never made.

George slumped onto his own bed, the one that was not and had never been made, vacant-looking eyes glued to the floor. He looked sort of lost, like he didn't know why he let Charlie in at all. Charlie himself just stood there for a few more seconds. Then he sank down onto the bed, sitting next to George. The twin didn't move.

Now that Charlie was here, he didn't know what to do. He didn't know what to say. He wanted so much to do something for George, but he didn't know what. He looked at the younger man, as if he would be the one to give Charlie an answer. As if he would just come right out and say what he wanted Charlie to do to make him feel better, like a child comes right out and tells Santa what they want for Christmas.

Charlie looked at George.

George looked at Charlie.

George looked sad.

So Charlie put a hand on George's shoulder.

That's when the dam broke. George couldn't stand it any more. His brother's warm, comforting hand on his shoulder was the breaking point. George put his face in his hands and sobbed. He sobbed for his dead twin. He sobbed for everyone lost in the battle. But mostly, he sobbed because of the guilt. He had pushed them away. He had pushed everyone away. All they wanted to do was help. That's all they wanted. But George would have none of it. What would Fred say? He'd be ashamed. George could imagine his voice, almost the same as George's own, saying, 'Stop being such an arse and making our little sister cry! Jeez, you know it's bad when you need Charlie to comfort you!' He was right. George was a wimp. A pathetic wimp. He didn't deserve anyone's concern.

And he missed his twin.

All these conflicted thoughts and feelings, which George had been trying so hard to keep out of his head in the past week, were creating a fog around George. An impenetrable fog. There was no one in George's world but him, his thoughts, and the voice of his dead twin.


Another voice broke through the fog.


George looked up from his hands to see that his older brother was still there, his hand still on George's shoulder. He didn't look concerned. He looked sad.

Charlie wasn't concerned. He knew George. He knew George was strong. He knew George wouldn't ever want his family's concern. Even after all that George had been through, Charlie knew he wouldn't want it. That didn't mean he didn't want to help George, however.

"George. I know you miss him, and I know you feel bad about pushing us away. Sure, I don't know exactly what's going through your head right now, I'm sure no one could ever guess, but I've got a vague idea. But you need to listen to me. No one's going to force you to open up. No one wants to do that, George. But when you're ready, we're all here for you. No one's mad. No one's going to be judging anyone. And I know it's hard sometimes to open up, because you feel like that would mean you'd have to push everything, all your troubles, aside. All your thoughts and all your doubts. But we're your family. And we're a pretty wacky family, may I add. You don't need to do any pushing of the sort to talk to us. We're all in this together. We're all willing to help. We all love you, George."

Charlie didn't know where the hell all that came from. He was just speaking his mind; speaking the truth. But when George's eyes met Charlie's, Charlie knew he had done something right. Some of the sadness melted away from George's eyes.

Then the twenty year-old stood up, somewhat shakily, and grabbed his wand off the desk. Charlie looked at him, confused.

"What are you doing?"

George looked back at him, done crying, done running, done hiding. "Disapparating to the bathroom. Gotta wash up. If mum sees me like this, she'll have a fit."

That's when Charlie knew: the old George was back.

Well, some of it, at least.

"George?" Charlie said his name one more time before the man disapparated.

"Hm?" he answered.

"Remember what I said to you in the scullery seven years ago?"

George was silent for a few seconds, before he said softly, "That you'd always be here for me."

Charlie smiled. "Alright. That's all I needed to hear. Will I see you downstairs soon, then?"

A very thin, tired smile slowly worked its way onto George's face. It was the first one seen there in a while. "Yup."

Charlie, feeling dazed and very triumphant at the same time, turned to leave. But George stopped him. "Charlie?"


"Thanks for… for keeping your promise."

Charlie looked at the man from head to toe. Tired, shaken, sad, and scarred, but certainly healable. Charlie smiled. "Any time, kiddo."

A/N: Meh, I think this is my least favorite part… the end felt a little rushed… but what do you readers think? Please review and let me know how I did! I appreciate it so much! I'll try to get back to you if you review, and I also welcome anonymous reviews and helpful criticism! And if anyone has any requests for future Fred and George stories, I'll be happy to take them and credit you for them!

Thanks so much for reading!