Fred didn't laugh anymore, his blue eyes too serious for his normally happy face. Every so often Charlie would see Fred with a wistful smile on his face, but Fred would catch himself as soon as he looked to his side to tell George something only to be reminded that George was gone.
Charlie watched as Fred went through the motions of living without ever making an effort to live. His brother's shoulders were always rounded and pointed inward even as he handed out Canary Creams to excited children in Zonko's.
Fred drank too much, spending his nights in Charlie's apartment with a bottle of firewhiskey and diagrams for a Weasley's Wizard Wheezes shop that would never be. Charlie knew that Fred's future died with George on a muddy field in Scotland at the hand of an unknown Death Eater with a quick wand and murderous intent.
Some nights, Charlie would wake to the sound of Fred shuffling around the apartment, muttering to himself. Once, Charlie heard Fred talking to George in the front room about his day. Charlie had rolled over and pretended not to hear.
Other nights, Charlie would get out of the bed and join Fred in his. Fred's kisses tasted like tears and Charlie never even noticed that Fred would call him George.