katmarajade: Woman drinking coffee with words "wake up" over her face (xmas present)
[personal profile] katmarajade
Title: Holding On To Tradition
Author: [livejournal.com profile] katmarajade
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] eloquent_toast
Pairing: George/Luna
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1082
Prompt: George being too devastated to go to boxing day or something and Luna just appearing at his flat above WWW and comforting him in her quietly eccentric but empathetic way.
Summary: It's not Christmas but Boxing Day that hits him hardest.
Notes: I've taken a few possible liberties with Boxing Day and May Day traditions …


It's Boxing Day. It's Boxing Day and George is not at the Burrow.

He sits in the sitting room in his flat above Wheezes, legs curled beneath him, head resting against the ostentatious winged edges of his bright yellow arm chair. He and Fred had bought the pair of hideously amazing chairs, a twin set just like them, with one of their first real pay days. Now he stares at the other half of the set, a familiarly dull ache of loss swirling in his chest as he thinks that it will never again be a real twin set without his other half sitting in that chair.

Missing Christmas wasn't an option, and George dutifully went to the Burrow on Christmas Eve, spent the night at his parents' house with all the relatives milling about in a mixture of forced and real cheer. There were presents, egg nog, and enough food to feed three families their size. He had come home last night, promising his mother that he'd be back for breakfast today, but sitting here now he can't bring himself to go back.

The chime at his fireplace comes as no surprise; he wouldn't be a Weasley if there weren't a dozen interfering family members bothering him at all hours of the day. He waves his wand at the floo without looking, allowing the person inside. The girl who appears in his sitting room, casually brushing green powder out of her long, slightly disheveled blond hair, however, is very much a surprise.

"Luna," he says, not even trying to hide his shock. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, hello, George. Happy Christmas," she says, her voice quiet but cheerful.

"Happy Christmas …" he responds slowly. "What are you doing here?"

"Just stopped by to say hello. Your mother invited me to breakfast, but I had a funny feeling I should come here instead. And here you are," she offers a small but genuine smile and sits on the floor, carefully avoiding the other yellow chair.

"You can sit in the chair, Luna. You don't have to sit on the floor," George says, mildly irritated that she's popping in uninvited and making herself at home, and also for avoiding Fred's chair without being asked. He hates when people just plop down in his twin's chair these days, but can't bring himself to tell his family or friends not to. Now, she's sitting on the floor as if it's no inconvenience whatsoever, and his possessive feelings about the chair seem a little less important than they did before.

"Oh, no, I don't mind the floor," she says softly, running her fingers across the coarse weave of the magenta and orange rug next to her. Without really thinking about it, George finds himself sliding out of his chair and sitting across from her. She doesn't say anything, but every once in a while she gives him a bit of a smile. He's surprised to find that he likes having her here, having someone keep him company without forcing him into overly cheerful small talk or serious discussions and inquiries about grieving processes. It's nice having some quiet without being alone for once. They sit there, silent on the floor, lost in their own thoughts for nearly half an hour. George finally breaks the silence.

"Christmas was always so important to Mum. Nice, quality, well-behaved family time. It was the one day of the year that Fred and I tended to mind ourselves and not cause trouble. Taking a day off for the holiday or something like that. There was so much food and so much going on … we always said it was for Mum's sake, but I think we liked having a day off once a year."

Luna nods, her jingle bell earrings twinkling and jangling with the movement.

"We always made up for it on Boxing Day. Really let loose and went crazy. Pranks at the breakfast table, general mayhem and family fun all day long. Many of our more spectacular pranks and jokes were designed and executed on Boxing Day. It was a tradition, as established as Mum's traditional kidney pie. The kidney pie truly is ace, you know, so you're really missing out by skipping."

Luna reaches over and lightly grasps his hand.

"I couldn't face Boxing Day breakfast without Fred. Christmas is for Mum, for the family, and I could do that. I went and smiled and even had a decent time of it. But Boxing Day … all the best jokes took a partner and it feels wrong without Fred. I meant to go, and Mum was so insistent, but I woke up this morning and I just couldn't do it. Reckon she's upset?"

Luna hums noncommittally and squeezes his hand gently. "Holidays are harder, I think," she finally says. George looks at her quizzically, wondering where she's going with this.

"My mother loved May Day, the dancing, the crowns, the flowers. Seems silly to some people, but she thought it was beautiful and so full of meaning. I remember that so clearly, even though she passed away when I was quite young."

"I'm sorry," says George.

"It was a long time ago. When I was very little, we would pick flowers and make pretty posies for each other. Hers were always so much lovelier than mine. I wasn't old enough to know which flowers would look best or how to arrange them. Mine were quite a mess, truth be told, but she thought they were such beautiful bouquets. She'd dry them and leave them out all year, tucked in a corner, to bring joy and luck. Until she replaced them the following year with my next attempt."

"That's sweet," George says with a slight smile.

"Yes, it was rather. But do you know that I still set out a tiny bundle of flowers each year for her. Just between me and her, no one else knows why they're there. It's nice to hold onto our traditions, even if they have to change a bit."

George can't find a proper response to that and Luna doesn't seem to expect one. They sit together quietly, the sunlight brightening and fading as the hours pass. He's sad and he's hurting, he misses his brother, he aches for what's lost, but Luna's quiet strength as she sits and holds his hand makes him think that maybe there's still hope. Maybe this will get better. They'll just have to wait and see.
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