After the Hogwarts War. The news of Voldemort's downfall is shadowed by the death of Fred.
It took all his might, but George Weasley finally arrived at The Burrow. He made his way up the path, not even having the strength to apparate inside. He opened the door and stumbled inside, and landed at the feet of a beautiful and very pregnant blond.
“George! What’s happened?” the girl shrieked. She bent down to the fallen man’s side, and gently helped him up.
“Fr-Fred’s gone… Rookwood got him while he wasn’t looking…I-I saw the whole thing; the stunned look on Fred’s face. I couldn’t do anything. Riley, I am so sorry.” George broke down and started to cry. Riley also began to cry.
“Mummy, what’s a matter?” A small boy with shocking red hair asked. Riley turned to the boy and swept him into her arms.
“Nothing, baby…Mummy needs to talk to uncle Georgie…could you go check on Audrey for me?” The little boy nodded and went off into the adjacent room.
“What am I going to tell Alexander and Audrey? How am I supposed to tell them that their daddy is dead?” Riley started to sob and George put his arms around her.
“I don’t know… It just seems so unreal…” His speech was interrupted by the sudden arrival of many people at once. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Ron, Hermione, Harry, Ginny, Bill and Charlie all seemed to apparate within seconds of each other, Ginny holding onto her mother’s arm, since she couldn’t apparate alone yet.
“He’s dead, he’s dead; Voldemort is dead!” Ron sang cheerfully. It took a minute before anyone noticed George and Riley, who were still hugging each other.
“What’s up with you two? And where’s Fred?” Ginny wrapped Harry in a hug as she said this, but was still watching Riley and George carefully. George and Riley looked at one another and started crying again, Riley ran from the room.
“What did I say?” Ginny looked thoroughly confused.
“Fred… is dead…Rookwood finished him off…”George whispered to his family. Everyone was quiet except for Mrs. Weasley, who gasped.
“Freddie is gone?!? NOOO! My Freddie!” She collapsed into her husband’s arms. Ginny approached George and gave her older brother a hug.
“I am so sorry, George… We never saw his body when we were…” She trailed off, not wanting to bring back the gruesome memory of sorting through dead bodies of allies and foes.
“Poor Riley. I’m going to go check on her.” Hermione stated, her voice thick from tears, and headed in the direction that Riley ran off. She found Riley up in Fred and George’s old room, sitting on the edge of Fred’s bed.
“Hey… I’m really sorry about Fred…I can’t imagine the pain you must be in.” Hermione sat by Riley on the bed and put a comforting arm around her.
“I-I don’t know what I’m going to do! He was the love of my life…We have two, soon to be three, children together and he’s…gone.” Riley sobbed, burying her head in Hermione’s shoulder.
“We’re all here for you; you’re not going to have to raise these children on your own…”
“I just wish there was a way we could go back and…you know, stop Rookwood from killing Fred…” Riley looked up at Hermione, who suddenly got an idea.
“I’ll be back.” She said, jumping up and leaving. Confused, Riley went back downstairs. George and Hermione were huddled in the corner, whispering between them. Riley was about to say something, when she felt someone at her knees.
“Mummy!” Alexander yelled, throwing himself at his mother’s legs, which was as far as he could reach. Riley noticed her son crying, so she bent down to him.
“What’s wrong, baby?”
“They said that daddy’s dead and ne-never coming back!” Alexander sobbed. Riley picked up her son and glared around the room.
“Which one of you told him this?” Riley demanded. A sheepish Ron scooted forward.
“Sorry Riley, he asked where Fred was.”
“And you should have let me tell him!” Riley nearly yelled. Ron shuffled away, looking as though he had been slapped. A small cry came from the other room. Riley set Alexander down and walked into the other room.
“Hello, my beautiful baby girl.” Riley cooed to her red haired infant. The little girl giggled and reached for her mother, who scooped her up. They headed back into the other room, where Riley noticed that George and Hermione were absent.
“Where did the two of them get off to?” She asked, looking around.
“I dunno… I think they were heading back to Hogwarts for some reason; they never said. Can I?” Harry smiled as he took Audrey from Riley. Riley sat, shaken, in the overstuffed armchair, and pulled Alexander onto her lap. Nobody knew what to say or how to comfort the young widow. Riley glanced at Mrs. Weasley, who was still in her husband’s arms.
“Molly…I am so sorry..” Riley said, as she once again began to sob. Arthur and Molly both stood up. Arthur took Alexander into his arms, and Molly took Riley into hers.
The two women cried until neither of them could muster the strength to shed another tear. By that time, Harry had volunteered to take the kids and get them ready for bed. Riley could hear her children giggling as Harry bathed them, no doubt making funny faces or splashing water all over the place.