George is basically falling apart. He’s lost an ear, and that left a hole in his head, and now he’s lost Fred, and that’s left a hole in his heart shaped like Fred. And he’s just - he’s not doing so well. He’s a mess. And Percy - well, Percy wasn’t the comforting brother type. He was the one they all saw as the nagger. The one who was bossy. Snooty. Priss Prefect Percy. Comforting never came in his resume for brotherhood. He was merely - a lot of the time - a victim of teasings. And of all people in that room, no one feels worse than George. But no one feels worse than Percy either. Percy belives this is his fault. I’ll bet you my bottom dollar. Who was there when Fred died? He was. Who was just inches from him? He was. Who told a joke (he might’ve thought he distracted Fred by doing so)? He did. Who feels like he got Fred killed? Percy does. And here’s George, the boy with the gaping laugh that has an echo, two shadows, and the voice in the back of his head as a solid form just next to him. But all those things are gone now and Percy feels like he took that all away from him. And Percy, as a big brother, has no idea how to fix that. Not a clue. So he clasps George on the shoulder, clenches his fingers, and holds him up. Just like that. Just that small comfort because Percy isn’t a hugger. He didn’t even kiss Penelope on the lips until they were nearly a year into dating. And George just bows his head because everything suddenly feels too big and too empty and not-enough-Fred. And maybe - just maybe - if he closes his eyes (real tight until those spots of dazzling light dance around behind them) then maybe that hand will morph into a mimic of his own, and Percy will become Fred. And Percy? Well, he just wants George to know he’s there. He’ll always be there now. It just took losing Fred to let him know.