~~We'll Call Him Fred~~
~By Weaving Radiance~

~To those who have ever dreamed up of all the things they could do with a charmed air conditioner~
(for Macceh's 3AM Challenge)

You could say that George Weasley was a very light-hearted man. Actually, that was an enormous understatement. For George Weasley was one of the greatest tricksters and jokemakers in Hogwarts history, along with his twin brother, Fred. But I'm sure you already knew that. They were notorious for their clever and elaborate pranks, and loved for their sense of humor and good-will. They very seldom crossed the line between hilarious and dangerous, and they were always very brave and very bright boys. They were loved and cherished by all of their family and friends.

But for all that, there were times when George still got a bit down.

No one can help it. Even the great George Weasley must get a bit sad sometimes. Everyone that fought in the war gets depressed occasionally. They can't stop themselves – the experience was too horrible to ignore, and at times, it was best just to let all those feelings rush in. Especially if you'd lost a twin.

Like I said, Fred and George Weasley made Hogwarts history with their pranks. They did everything together, from schoolwork to chores to games to pranks. They were even both beaters on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. And they were particularly known to finish each other's sentences. But most, most unfortunately, Fred never made it out of the Battle of Hogwarts alive.

They say they don't know who was more devastated. George Weasley or their mother, Molly Weasley. In my opinion, it was George. You could tell on his face. While Molly Weasley lost her son—which is still most definitely a tragedy, of course—George had lost his other half. His twin. The one who knew him best, and whom he knew best. They could not have been any closer, and then Fred was ripped away from George with an untimely death at the age of twenty.

It was on one particular warm, humid night, that George was shoved into such a profound memory of Fred that he could not push it away. Usually for him, he would savor the memory for a few moments before taking a deep breath and tucking it away, the instant of melancholy remembrance fading. But this one, for some strange reason, he could not ignore.

It was him and Fred, lying on their respective beds, Fred with his hands tucked under his head, palms up, and George with his hands folded peacefully on his stomach. The dark of night permeated the room, along for one soft ray of moonlight, casting long shadows on the twins' faces and turning their usually fiery red hair to a dull, tinted-blue orange. It was currently in the middle of summer, and the suffocating humidity invaded the room and plopped itself down on their chests.

"You know, George," Fred had said, sounding as if he were grinning from ear to ear. "I think we should get one of those muggle air conditioners for this room. I think we're going to die in here."

"Sure Fred," George mumbled back, roused from his sleep by his brother's suggestion. It was almost three o'clock, and he really just wanted to go back to sleep, and not be disturbed by Fred's crazy ideas. Honestly, he was starting to sound like Dad.

Fred sat up. "I'm serious, Georgie. We're going to be dead by morning. I think we should get Dad to get one for us. Tinker around with it a bit… like the car… and then we could get it to work with a clap of our hands! You know how muggles are. They've always got to make things complicated, to prove their cleverness. Who wants to try and figure out all that muggle rubbish? The air conditioner probably has a million settings to choose from and thousands of knobs…"

"M hm," George said.

Fred fell back, assuming his hands-behind-the-head position again.

"And maybe we could enchant it to do some really crazy things once we're back at Hogwarts. Like make it blow hot air instead of cold. Or charm it to ooze chocolate whenever we feel like it. Or install it above the doorway in the common room and charm it so that when we flick our wands, water will come pouring out where the air would've. Or maybe—"

"Honestly, Fred," George said, exasperated and truly very tired. "Do you really think three in the morning is the appropriate time to be discussing this?"

"Well then, what would be the appropriate time to discuss this?"

"Like, tomorrow morning, when we're all awake and I'm not as likely to blow this off as you trying to bond with Dad or anything crazy like that," George replied.

"Ha ha," Fred said sarcastically. "Bonding with Dad. How terrible."

"Come on, Fred, let's just go to sleep."

For a few quiet moments it seemed like his brother was actually going to listen to him, for once, but then—

"What about Angelina?"

"Come again?"

Fred had all of his brother's attention now; he barely ever talked about Angelina. George suspected that it was because his twin knew if he started, he was going to end up talking about feelings and whatnot, and that was foreign territory for him. The truth was, Fred could act suave and charming when he liked, but when it came down to the heavy, L-word sort of stuff, he really was useless.

He could hear Fred sit up. "Is three in the morning an appropriate time for discussing Angelina?"

George was silently thoughtful for a minute. He sat up as well, facing his brother. "I'm game."

"Next year's our last year, Georgie," Fred prefaced pensively. "And with You-Know-Who coming back…"

The other Weasley twin nodded, and Fred continued

"It—it was all so… simple with Angelina, before the Yule Ball," he said, his words coming out slow and drawn out. His brother listened patiently; Fred never opened up this much. George figured letting him talk would be healthy for him, plus he was really curious as to what Fred would say. "But then… she came down those steps… I swear, for a moment I probably looked more pathetic than Ron." He chuckled. "Imagine that."

"Oh, I am," George said with a grin, picturing his brother's face. He had gone with Alicia, and they had left a few minutes earlier than Fred and Angelina, thus missing that particular moment.

"And now… I just can't get her out of my head. How utterly, pathetically corny is that?"

"Terribly corny." George replied, but couldn't bring himself to grin this time. Fred was being serious now, and George was going to respect that. He almost snorted as he came to this conclusion—things were getting strangely gushy and… heartfelt now. Unfamiliar territory for the famous and infamous Weasley Twins.

"But I can't help it, mate…" Fred said. "It's just so…strange!"

You can say that again, George thought.

The two were silent again.

"Alright then, Georgie, you can go back to sleep," Fred said suddenly, and George could tell he was grinning. "I've got that off my chest, so I'm done scarring you for life."

"About time," George replied, and the pair laughed, both knowing that he was being perfectly un-serious.

~WCHF~

It felt very bizarre, now, lying in the same bed with the same girl Fred had admitted his feelings for so many years before. It wasn't so much as the possibility that Angelina might not love him as much as he loved her, knowing that she and his twin had dated, if a short while. George knew that wasn't the case, and it never would be. No, it was more of George's suspicion that Fred, where ever he was, was looking down on the pair with scorn or disgust.

How could you do this to me, Georgie? he could practically hear his brother whisper to him. You heard me that night. I had feelings for her. I even said it.

Would Fred be happy for him, that he had found someone, after years and years of being single (the Yule Ball with Alicia didn't count—they went as friends)? Or would his brother disapprove, even be resentful, that George had married Angelina, and they were now going to have a baby?

George turned from his side onto his back, hands folded behind his head, in the same position Fred was that night, nine years earlier.

"Angelina?" he said, waking up the only other person in the room, as Fred had also done those nine years earlier.

"Yeah, George?" Angelina replied groggily.

"Do you think Fred is… happy about… us?" he asked hesitantly. Like Fred, he was broaching an un-discussed topic. Sure, they talked about Fred, and they talked about feelings (mostly their own), but they never really put "Fred's feelings" together, or, at least, his past feelings for Angelina.

Angelina turned to face George, and he found that he couldn't read the expression on her face. She sighed. "I think he's happy that you're happy."

"Are you sure, Ange?" he said, absent-mindedly rubbing her now rounded stomach with his thumb. She was about five months pregnant, and they had been putting off picking a name for a while. George couldn't quite put his finger on why. He had a name in mind, and was pretty sure that Angelina wouldn't disagree, but there was something stopping him from suggesting it.

Angelina's voice broke through his thoughts. "Don't worry, George. Fred always wanted to see you happy, like you did for him. As long as we're both safe and sound and enjoying life, he won't be mad at you."

George nodded. "I guess you're right, Ange. Fred was a good brother. He'd be just like you said he'd be." He was half-lying, of course, not completely convinced. He did think Fred was a good brother, of course, but he couldn't quite bring himself to believe that he would be okay with him and Angelina.

She seemed to sense his doubt and pecked him lightly on the nose. "Don't worry, George," she repeated, her voice much softer, but also more pressing. "Fred loved you very, very much. He understand that we love each other very much, and is happy about that, where ever he is."

George felt a bit comforted, if still not completely convinced, and the room was soon filled with a thoughtful silence. It left as soon as if came, though, as Angelina let out a small gasp.

"What is it?" George said, sitting up, concerned.

"Oh, nothing," replied Angelina with a small chuckle. "Just the baby moving and kicking. Must not like this horrid heat and bloody mugginess."

It felt as if a small flicker of… something had presented itself in George's chest. He got up from the bed. "I'll go open the window, then," he said, making his way over.

He pulled the window up and relished a cool breeze that swept over his face and hair. "Ah, much better, isn't it?"

And then, just as he was going to turn around, an almost inaudible whisper floated into his ear.

"Geoooooorrrrrge…"

He froze.

"It'ssssss…"

A pause.

"Al… alrrriiiiiiiight…."

More silence.

"I… love… you… two…"

Ten seconds passed, and still George did not move, sensing there was something more.

"…You… threeeee… so, so… much…"

George's eyes widened. Fred… It was Fred, of course. Fred had spoken to him. Just as he had went to open the window, for his unborn son… who had just proclaimed his dislike for the heat and humidity, just as the boy's uncle had, so many years before…

It was a sign. An obvious sign.

"George?"

He turned to Angelina, who was looking a bit worried for him now.

"Are you alright, George?"

"We'll call him Fred," he said abruptly. "We'll name him Fred, for him. To honor him." George had finally said it. And now he understood why he hadn't before.

I was scared… he admitted to himself. I didn't want to name my son after my brother if Fred was angry at me and Angelina. It would be like mocking him; saying that we had a son, we named him after you, and you'll never meet him. But now he's given us his blessing, so there's no way he'll ever think like that.

He probably never would have, anyway, George realized.

Wow. You're such an idiot, George. You were too concerned with how Fred might think to realize what Fred would think.

Then he noticed that Angelina was talking to him.

"Sorry, Ange, what was that?"

"I was waiting for you to say that," Angelina repeated, not looking annoyed in the least. "After I saw that you were having doubts, I decided that I wanted you to say it by yourself."

Wow, George thought again. I am so insanely lucky to have had both Angelina and Fred. Angelina somehow knew that if George hadn't come up with it himself, if Angelina had suggested it and he had just went along with it, that he would never have realized what Fred would really have thought and said, and therefore would have lived with doubts his son's entire life.

George climbed back into bed and kissed his wife tenderly on the cheek.

"Then it's decided then," he said, pulling the blanket over him. "We'll call him Fred."

Angelina rolled over onto her side and smiled a small, contented smile. George leaned back against his pillow and looked out the window, where thousands of stars were twinkling merrily against the black expanse of sky.

Thank you, Fred, he thought, and before he fell asleep, George Weasley could have sworn he heard his brother whisper a pleased your welcome.


Whoa! Two one-shots in one week! Yep. I've been biz-ay! as the guy in the Incredibles says. So yeah. Sorry if I got my math wrong. Please correct me if I did. Oh, and this is about as "hot-off-the-press" as Miss Weaver gets (I only looked over it twice - I usually do it about about three times in the Word file, and then once in the FF Document Manager) so excuse any stupid grammatical or punctuation errors). Hope you enjoyed it!

Yours ever,
~Weaver