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It's a funny thing.. time by shanelizken
Chapter 2 : Where's your bearded twin?
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 8

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chapter image by LittleMiss @TDA

George watched as the curly-haired brunette disappeared before his eyes. Without thinking he glanced around the room nervously, even checking under the bed. For a brief moment he almost chuckled at this fact, as if Hermione had hidden under the bed, but then remembered whose bed he was looking under, and the smile fell right off his face. He stood slowly, and went to try the door to check the rest of the house. Locked.

  “Bloody hell...” George mumbled under his breath. He then turned his attention to the heavy journal still sitting on his desk. Along the spine it read Hermione Granger in neat loopy script. George wondered for a moment if she really wanted him to read it. For a girl, a diary holds every secret, and usually isn’t just handed over for anyone to read. Still, he thought, she was pretty persistent.

He opened to the front cover, where a set of directions for him had been placed.

Dear George,

If you’re reading this, I’m already gone. And you are probably very confused, but it’s really nothing to worry about. I know I must seem crazy, believe me, I’ve never acted so rashly. But this needed to be done, for all our sakes. What you need to do now is read this journal. It’s incredibly important that you distract yourself with this until I get back, for it will give you so many answers and explain what I have done. At the end of Fred’s bed is a small bottle of potion. Just take it, and begin reading. It will help you focus, and give you a bit of a different view of what is contained in this journal. Don’t bother acting all precautious, I know you two have tested so many highly dangerous products on yourselves that one more (which by the way is NOT dangerous) won’t hurt. So go on and take it, and begin reading. It will be well worth it.
Lots of love,

p.s. Don’t bother trying to leave; I charmed the door and window locked, just as a precaution.

George shook his head. Clever. He walked to the bed and found a bottle containing a swallows-worth of a shiny silver potion. He pulled the cork out and glanced at a photo of him and Fred.

Nineteen years of pranks and laughter, and it had all ended so abruptly. George didn’t know what would happen with their joke shop. What he would do now without his other half. How he would live at their flat, go to their shop every day, and know that he wouldn’t be there. No longer were “the twins.” It was just George now. Nineteen years, and he had never felt so alone.

He lifted the bottle.

“Cheers brother.” And with a half smile, he downed the potion. It had such a smooth taste. Like water straight from the spring. At first, George felt nothing. Still in his shoes, he took the journal and slid into his twin’s bed. He sat back, only to feel a large lump under the pillow. He pulled out a tin parrot, one of their many joke shop inventions, a trick wand that turned into a useless singing tin parrot. Feeling slightly sedated, he chuckled. The first time he had so much as smiled for a full 10 seconds since Fred had died. He shook his head rapidly. Fred’s dead. How the hell can you be happy, he thought. Irritated with himself, he roughly flipped to the first page and immediately felt it.

There were words on the page, but he strained to read them. The room began to spin faster and faster, until he was lurched forward, tripping into another world.

“Wait for me will you, while I nip upstairs and get the badges?”

George opened his eyes to find that he was standing at the top of the marble staircase at Hogwarts. What the... He looked down and saw Hermione jogging up the stairs toward him. She looked different... younger even. As he opened his mouth to say something to her, she ran right through him. George spun around watching her run up the second flight of stairs, and decided without a second thought to follow after her. After all, she was the one that had gotten him into this mess. She must have some answers. He jogged after her, turning the corner at the top of the stairs towards the Gryffindor tower.

Hermione was much farther ahead of him. At the end of the hall she turned into another, out of sight. George sped to keep up. He didn’t want to lose her. As he got to the end of the hall and turned, he stopped dead.

He was looking at his twin. Bearded and laughing, apparently just after the two had attempted to trick the age line to enter the Triwizard Tournament almost three years ago. Dumbfounded, George moved closer until he was only feet away from the two outside the Hospital Wing entrance. He watched as Hermione stood before him with her arms crossed, tapping her foot with an amused expression on her face.

“Where’s your bearded twin?” she asked, the grin on her face growing in size. Fred laughed.

“He’s inside getting his removed,” he replied. “So. Are you here to gloat?” Hermione burst into a full grin.

“Of course not,” she said sarcastically. “But I did tell you so.” With a smile, she turned on her heel and continued down the hall. George watched as his twin stared after her with a bit of a glint in his eye. How had he never seen that? Was something going on the whole time that he had simply overlooked? It was his twin after all.

The door to the Hospital Wing opened and George watched as his younger self (now clean-shaven) and Lee exited, joking about a first-year who had been in the infirmary with boils all over. George then watched as his twin stood up and walked through the door. As he shut it behind him, George disappeared once again.

George opened his eyes again to see that he was now sitting at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. The Halloween feast. George looked up to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione enter the Great Hall and take seats across from him and his twin. Hermione smirked.

“All clean and shaven I see,” she said while suppressing a giggle. The twins mockingly ignored her, and paid particularly close attention to the food that had just appeared.

“Hope it’s Angelina,” said Fred. Hermione was about to respond when George was suddenly distracted by a hissing to his right, away from the group.

“Psst. George.” He looked over. And sitting to his right was Hermione, the present day one that is. George looked back to past Hermione, and then back, just to be sure he wasn’t hallucinating. Although, what would this whole experience be called anyways if it wasn’t a hallucination.

“Hermione what the hell is going on? How did you get here? Better yet how did I get here?” George threw out question after question in frustration. Hermione gave him a small smile.

“I needed you to see why I went back to save him. So much has happened between us in the past few years, and I just thought you should know about it all.” She shook her head and looked at her hands in her lap. “I just needed you to understand that there was a lot you didn’t know, but I’m telling you now through this journal. The me you’re seeing right now, isn’t really me. It’s more of just a narration to lead you through this journey.”

“What is this though? Are these memories? A dream?” George asked.

“Before the fight at Hogwarts, Fred gave me the journal in case anything happened to him. It contains all the memories of just the little things we’ve had together. And after I decided that I needed to go back to save him, I thought that you know, he’d want you to read it. That way you’re caught up when he comes back.”

“But Hermione, I don’t understand how he can come back. Right now, while I’m here in this... memory thing, Fred’s funeral is going on. He’s dead. What’s going to happen to the future if you change the past? I just don’t understand how this is going to change the people who are preparing for the funeral. Are they just going to pop into wherever they would be if Fred hadn’t died? I’m sorry I know I’m being a pain, but I just don’t get it.” Hermione bit her lip, looking as though she was thinking of the right words to say.

“The reason I locked you in your room, put you into this memory, was to protect you from those changes. I needed someone to be independent of this change. So for you, Fred has died. You’ve experienced that. But when you wake up, he’ll be back. Completely healthy. I needed one person to hold on to this journal, and to hold on to this experience of Fred’s death. And I chose you because I felt like you would appreciate his life and yours so much more once you had lost it, and then regained it.” She gave him one last small smile. “I’ll be in contact.”

George blinked, and she was gone again.

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