HP fic: Dissonance [George/Lee, Fred, general]
Title: Dissonance Author: celandineb Fandom: HP Pairing: George/Lee, plus Fred Rating: general Summary: When George falls in love with Lee, the twins must negotiate a new relationship. Note: This is a series of drabbles; I am posting all those written to date in a single entry, but future additions to the series will be posted separately.
Lee commentates for the Gryffindor Quidditch team for the first time.
The first time Lee commentated at one of Gryffindor's Quidditch matches, George tied a piece of blue cloth to the end of his broom.
"So you'll know which of us is which," he explained to Lee. "Blue so it doesn't disappear into my robes."
Lee nodded. He'd worried about that, a little; it was one thing to always know Fred from George when he could see their faces, quite another from thousands of yards away, and at high speed.
When the cloth went fluttering away -- George hadn't tied it tightly enough -- Lee found it didn't matter; he knew George, regardless.
George feels that he can't tell Fred everything, after all.
The curiosity about what it would be like not to have a twin seems disloyal. It must be tremendously lonely to be a singleton like Percy or any of their other siblings. All their lives, George and Fred have shared: rooms, clothes, friends. They've always understood each other's feelings. He wouldn't have traded that closeness for anything. But now... everything has changed. George is in love, and he is sure that Fred wouldn't understand, because it isn't Angelina, or Katie, or any girl they've whispered about late at night. George loves Lee Jordan, and he doesn't know what to do.
Fred finds out something about his twin that he didn't expect.
"I was going to tell you eventually," George says, his voice unhappy. "I just didn't... wasn't..."
Fred pushes the image of contrasting dark and pale skin away, how George and Lee had looked when he walked in and saw them embraced.
"You're in love with Lee?" Fred likes Lee just fine, they've been friends for years, but he can't imagine fancying another bloke.
"And here I thought it was me Mum dropped on the head." He doesn't really think George is daft, he wants to make a joke, but George gives him a hurt look and leaves the room.
Lee tries to comfort George.
"He as good as said that he thinks I'm mental for liking you."
Lee would like to hex Fred for making his twin so miserable, but knows that would upset George further. Instead he hugs George they sit under the Quidditch stands.
"He'll get used to the idea," he says finally. "I've no doubt."
It's not quite the truth, but George heaves a sigh and relaxes a bit. Lee runs his thumb along the line of George's jaw, and wonders how he can be so turned on by being with George, when he's never felt anything but friendship for Fred.
Neither George nor Fred can sleep.
Their beds are only feet apart, but the distance between them feels unbridgeable. Across the room George hears Lee's light snores. Fred is not asleep, George knows that from the way he's shifting under the bedclothes. Fred must know that George is still awake, too. Stubbornly George decides to let his twin speak first, though he can't remember when they last ended a day angry with each other. Fred took Angelina to the Yule Ball; he ought to understand that George wants to spend time with the person he likes, too. Why should it matter that Lee isn't a girl?
George doesn't sit next to Fred at the Gryffindor table.
Fred glances across the Gryffindor table at breakfast. Although Ron is beside Fred on one side, and Angelina on the other, reeling off Quidditch statistics, Fred feels incomplete without George beside him in his accustomed place. He's not sure if anyone else has noticed that George has moved next to Lee.
Why did George have to go and fall in love anyhow? Fred stabs angrily at a piece of sausage. And what does Lee see in George? Now Fred pauses, thinks. Does Lee think of Fred the same way? Even their mother confuses them; what if Lee does the same?
Lee notices Fred watching him.
Lee is sure that Fred is watching him, although not when George is with Lee, which seems odd. They've been trying to be discreet. No snogging in the common room, no holding hands or sitting beside each other any more often than they ever have – Lee knows exactly how often that is, he'd been keeping track for months. He doesn't think anyone else has noticed that the twins are not so inseparable as they have always been. Lee may be the only one who's seen the different hurt in both their eyes; he wonders if George thinks it's worth it.
George is finding communication difficult.
Lee continues to treat Fred as he always has, as a good friend, although Fred doesn't necessarily respond. George himself finds it difficult. His twin is talking to him again, but the comfortable almost-telepathic communication that George depends on no longer exists. With Lee it's different; despite years of friendship between them George has to explain everything much more than he is used to doing. He's grateful that Lee doesn't try to make him talk about it, instead waiting for George to speak first. Soon he will, but right now he will take what comfort he can in Lee's touch.
Fred tries to make some amends.
Three weeks, it's been, and Fred can't bear it any longer.
They are showering after Quidditch practice. Fred looks at his twin, wondering how a body so like his own can feel an attraction that is so foreign to him.
George's voice is quiet, wary. He has been unlike his usual self ever since... since this began, and Fred knows it's his own doing.
He isn't sure what to say to restore them to what they used to be. Maybe it is an impossible hope, but he tries.
"Maybe... maybe Lee would like to help develop the Wheezes?"
Lee responds to Fred's suggestion.
"It isn't my thing," Lee says, hard though it is to watch George's face crumple in disappointment. "I know Fred means well, and I appreciate that, but experimental charms really don't interest me."
George gives him a half-smile. "I know. I just hoped you might want to."
"I'd like the excuse to spend more time with you," Lee tells him candidly, "but it would be awkward with Fred there, anyhow."
He puts out a hand to George, who comes and sprawls next to him on the bed. They exchange a few kisses, both listening for the sound of anyone approaching.
Going to Hogsmeade isn't always the thing to do.
It's a Hogsmeade weekend, but the twins aren't going. Everyone assumes they've been up to their usual tricks and that this is their punishment, but it isn't true.
Fred waits in the common room, making sure that no one returns unexpectedly and goes up to the sixth-year boys' room. There, George and Lee are kissing, thrashing about in Lee's bed with most of their clothes off -- George still has one sock on -- for the very first time.
They only touch each other today, as neither is yet ready for more, but George thinks that it's perfect just as it is.
Fred wants to know how George realized he liked boys.
"How did you know?" Fred asks.
George shrugs. "I just... knew," he says unhelpfully. "One day I looked at Lee, and there was a spark. That's all."
Fred wrinkles his forehead, trying to understand. "Because I always thought you liked girls. You used to talk about Katie, and Angelina, and Eustacia in Ravenclaw. Were you just pretending?"
"Not really. Sort of. I like girls well enough, but I guess I finally realized they weren't what I wanted." He laughs, digging an elbow into Fred's ribs. "You should be glad. With me and Lee both shirt-lifters, there's more girls for you."
Colin asks Lee a question about Quidditch commentating.
Practice tends to be early for Lee's taste, but he usually goes; partly to rehearse his commentating, but mostly so he can watch George fly.
There are often other Gryffindors there, especially when Angelina doesn't hold practice too early. Today Colin sits near him, listening as Lee talks.
"How can you tell Fred and George apart?" Colin asks.
There's a flutter in Lee's stomach as he responds, truthfully enough, "I don't know." No one has ever asked him that before. He simply knows, that's all. He's sure that his feelings towards George are the reason, though he doesn't understand how.
George gets a letter.
"A letter from Lee?"
George flushes as he nods and stows the letter in his pocket. He and Fred are working on new ideas for the shop, which now looks like it will be a reality, thanks to Harry. It's strange to be home, not to see Lee daily; so they've been writing although they've never corresponded before.
Later he will open Lee's letter and sit alone under a tree to read it. Lee often writes about the things he would like to do with George someday, and mostly they're not ideas that George wants to share with his twin.
It seemed a summer like any other, but it wasn't, quite.
It seemed a summer like any other – carrying out experiments in their room, playing two-on-two Quidditch with Ron and Ginny, de-gnoming the garden under their mother's command.
But not everything was the same. In the hot pale nights Fred lay in his bed, touching himself, aware that George was doing likewise from the creaking mattress and the sound of his twin's breathing. Fred imagined different girls as he always had – Angelina, Cho, Katie, the witch from last month's magazine – yet the thought kept intruding that George was imagining Lee.
Fred tried it, once, to see what it might be like.
Lee writes a letter.
Lee frowns, chewing on his knuckle. He trusts George to keep their letters private, and Merlin knows that he means everything he's written, but it still feels odd to write down things like this. He dips his quill into the inkpot and slowly writes, "I have an idea. Next Thursday, at midnight – we could both wank at the same time, imagining each other. Not as good as being together I know, but what do you think?" He worries that the plan will seem too soppy to George, but seals the letter and sends it before he can change his mind.
It's time to go back to Hogwarts.
August is nearly over. Their mother is slipping into her annual panic, checking whether everyone has enough clothes, worrying about buying that year's books.
"We could tell her that we don't want to go back," Fred says. He gestures around their room, full of joke experiments. "No point to it for us, is there? Only three O.W.L.s each and not likely we'll do better on the N.E.W.T.s."
"She and Dad would be upset," George argues. "It's only one more year. We can use it for more testing." He says nothing about Lee, but Fred looks at him sharply before agreeing.