So, it’s been a long time since I’ve actually sat down to read the books. I read Stone & half of Chamber while I was pregnant last winter, but it’s probably been 2+ years since I’ve read the later books. Suffice it to say that thinking about Fred’s death is VERY DIFFERENT for me now than before I had twins. We went to HP trivia last week and since then I’ve been on a bit of an HP feels kick.
The thing is, there are a LOT of Weasleys (and I love them all, as previously discussed). And each Weasley wants to be seen independently of his or her brothers and sister. And the twins are already unique in their twin-dom – after all, none of the other Weasleys are a twin. But they want to be something more, they want to carve something out for themselves (like all their siblings do). So they become the jokers. The pranksters. And eventually, the light in the darkness.
To me, the light in the darkness piece is IMPORTANT. Because all of their siblings – From Bill all the way down to Ginny – actively fought Voldemort. And Fred & George did as well – but they also fought a secondary battle, for the happiness of the wizarding community. As Albus Dumbledore famously said, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if we only remember to turn on the light”. The Weasley twins were the light. Was it a smart business decision to open a joke shop at the very beginning of a war? Probably not – after all, the wizarding community already had a joke shop in Zonkos. Bu tthey did it anyway, and they floursished. Why? Because they remembered that people need light in their lives. It’s not enough to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, or to remember why you’re fighting – while those are both noble things, they aren’t enough to sustain the human spirit through a bloody war. The Weasley’s pranks are.
Also, the Weasleys reminded us that pranks can be used as weapons, especially when the enemy takes themselves too seriously. After all, what did turning a piece of upper hallway into a swamp really accomplish? Nothing, except reminding Dolores Umbridge that she can’t control everything, no matter how hard she tries. What was the point of smuggling Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes under Filch’s nose for a full year (besides the obvious holding onto their customer base)? Again, it was to show that nobody has complete control, no matter how hard they try, and the world needs a sense of humor.
So, yes, I think the Weasley twins are important. i think they’ve carved out a piece of wizard history for themselves, and I hope future generations take what they have to teach to heart. And I’m still heartbroken over Fred’s death and no amount of apologies from JK can ever put my heart back together again.