Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Harry Potter universe.
A/N: I am so, so sorry for the really long delay. My laptop got a virus before I left on my summer vacation, so I didn't take it with me and when I got back the screen was cracked. I don't actually have a working computer right now so I can only write when I can use another computer. It's driving me insane.
Learning to Live Again
Ch. 11 - She's Back
George didn't pause to think about his reaction as he blurted out, "What do you mean? What happened? How could you have put me in danger?"
"She's back," was Scarlet's enigmatic answer.
"The Fire Witch," Scarlet shuddered, "Darva Bludd. She was one of the witches we were tracking, but I didn't know that until it was too late. When they attacked us, she saw me. She wants me dead more than any other witch or wizard I've helped put away. I couldn't go back to any place she knows I have a connection to. I didn't know where else to go, so I came here. I'm afraid that in doing so, I've put you at risk. If Darva finds out I'm here, she won't hesitate to kill you in order to get to me. I'm sorry for putting you in this position."
"Don't be sorry," George responded, "I'm glad you think I'm someone you can turn to. It helps me fee like I'm paying you back a little bit. Besides, if anything happens now, we'll be together, and two wands are better than one."
At George's last sentence, Scarlet was finally able to crack a small smile, "Okay, but you have to understand, I'm still going to feel badly about putting you in danger."
George gave a short laugh, "I've been in danger before. I'm friends with Harry Potter, remember? Don't worry about that right now. Go upstairs, get cleaned up. You can borrow some of my clothes for tonight. Once you're all rested up, and by that I mean no earlier than lunchtime tomorrow, we'll go to The Burrow and see if my parents have any ideas that might help us out."
"What could possibly help in this situation?"
"I don't know," George answered honestly, "but even if we can't think of anything on our own, my parents know people who can help us figure it out. They were some of the original members of the Order of the Phoenix, they know things that we don't."
Scarlet took a deep breath, suddenly realizing how exhausted she was, "Okay. Tomorrow we'll go talk to your parents. Hopefully, they can think of something because, frankly, right now I am out of good ideas."
"Alright. Now do as I told you and go get cleaned up and go to bed," George mock-commanded.
In reply, Scarlet smirked and gave him a quick hug before pulling away from him and standing up to follow his orders. George followed her with his eyes until she made it to the stairs and the door closed behind her. Once she was out of sight, he let his head fall back against the wall and he closed his eyes with a sigh. A month and a half ago, he had been struggling to get his life back together. Now, just when he had been starting to want to fully live again, everything was being threatened once again. He knew there had to be a way to get through this. He had the proof of that in one of his closest friends. Harry had faced down the most powerful dark wizard in history more times than George could keep track of and he was still alive to tell the tale. Therefore, George knew it would be possible for this situation to end well, he just didn't know how that was going to happen.
He sat that way for what seemed like hours, but in reality couldn't have been more than five minutes, then, with a resigned sigh, he pushed himself up off the floor and slowly headed back upstairs. He knew his chances of getting any sleep that night were slim, but if he was going to spend a sleepless night in thought, he would rather do so in the comfort of his bed than propped against the door of his shop.
The day broke bright and sunny the next morning, showing no signs of the turmoil that was going on within the flat in Diagon Alley. George woke with a start, amazed to find that he had actually fallen asleep. He hadn't slept for more than a few hours and he knew that this day was going to sap his already depleted energy. Nevertheless, he dragged himself out of bed and made his way into the kitchen. He was surprised to find Scarlet already awake. The sight of her in his clothing was so comical that he almost laughed out loud. As it was, he couldn't surpress the snort of amusement that escaped him.
Scarlet turned at the sound, her eyebrows raised, "Is there something amusing?"
Her question was the last straw. George burst out laughing, "I think those clothes are about twelve sizes too big for you. You're absolutely swimming in them.
Scarlet glanced down at herself and the corners of her lips turned up as well, "Do you think we could stop at Madam Malkin's before we go visit your parents?"
George only laughed harder. Unable to form an answer, he merely nodded his head.
"I'm glad to be so entertaining," said Scarlet, "I suppose if you can't stop laughing though, that just leaves more breakfast for me."
At that, George went abruptly silent and moved to dish up his breakfast.
Four and a half hours and one stop at Madam Malkin's later, George and Scarlet arrived at The Burrow and were greeted enthusiastically by Mr and Mrs Weasley.
"Oh, this is a surprise!" exclaimed Mrs Weasley pulling Scarlet into a quick hug, "It's so good to see you back safe and sound, dear."
"Thank you, Mrs Weasley, but I'm afraid that's not exactly the case," Scarlet informed the older woman.
"Whatever do you mean?"
George glanced between his parents and Scarlet before answering the question, "She's back, but she's not exactly safe at the moment. That's why we're here."
"You see," continued Scarlet, taking over the story, "while I was away, I ran into a dark witch who would like nothing more than to see me dead. She already killed my sister and then I helped lock her up. But now she's escaped and she's seen me. I wouldn't come here, for fear that she will track me down and find you as well, but I didn't know where else to turn."
"Don't worry, dear," Mrs Weasley comforted, "I'm sure we'll come up with something."
"Actually, I think I may have an idea already" Mr Weasely spoke for the first time, "I just need to contact McGonagall, first. I think she can help us better than anyone."
George raised a questioning eyebrow, "How's that?"
Mr Weasley smiled at his son, "Where is the safest place in the wizarding world?"
George nodded, catching on, "Hogwarts. Of course."