Summer before the Twins' 6th Year, Harry's 4th
George had always kind of assumed that the reason he and his twin Fred were so mischievous was due in large part to where they grew up, Ottery St. Catchpole was a quite town with very little to do. They had grown up with nothing to entertain themselves other than, well, themselves. Naturally, once they had gone off to Hogwarts, it was too late for them to change their prankster ways, even if there was considerably more to occupy them at school than at the Burrow.
It was summer now, however, and home was just as dull as ever. George sat in the room he shared with Fred, staring out the window. Fred was lying on his back on his bed, eyes closed, breathing heavily. He was recovering from testing one of their new concoctions, a Puking Pastille. One end made you puke, the other canceled the effect. They were still trying to work out some kinks, though it had improved greatly.
There was a knock at their door, followed by Ron entering somewhat timidly. George grinned, it had seemed that Ron had learned his lesson. Last week, Ron had barged into their room unannounced and caught them making a Puking Pastille. The twins had pounced on Ron and strapped him to a chair, forcing him to try it. He had thrown up for ten minutes at least, the first five Fred and George couldn't pull themselves together long enough to feed him the other end, for laughing.
"Er, mum wanted me to tell you to get your stuff into my room, before Bill and Charlie get here." Ron said nervously.
"Great, now get out." Fred said not opening his eyes.
"I was just passing on the message." Ron said quickly, shutting the door as he left.
"I'm bored." George sighed to his brother. Fred was no fun in this state.
"Why don't you go pester Ron?" Fred suggested.
"I think he's had enough for this week at least."
"Well, I'm not really picky about what you do, just stop chatting me up. My brain is about to implode."
"Alright, I'm leaving you bloody wanker. You're such a baby." George sighed. He closed the door behind him as he left, letting Fred get some sleep. He needed to get better if they were ever going to fix the Puking Pastilles.
George trudged down the stairs and into the kitchen where his mum was cooking dinner. He grabbed an apple from the bowl of fruit on the counter and bit into it.
"You'll ruin your appetite." Mrs. Weasley said reproachfully.
"I can always eat." George grinned. "I'm going outside for a walk."
Mrs. Weasley turned from her cooking with pursed lips.
"Where's Fred?" she asked eyeing his suspiciously.
"Upstairs, he reckons he's got the stomach flu." George lied with ease.
"Well alright then, but don't forget your jumper, it's a bit chilly out today." Mrs. Weasley said nodding to a pile of sweaters that had been cleaned and neatly folded.
"Right, thanks Mum." he said. He grabbed his jumper from the piled and pulled it over his head.
"Oh, and do try and be home for dinner!" Mrs. Weasley called after him.
"Will do Mum!" he replied, slamming the front door behind them.
He walked down to the river, and strolled along the bank. George glanced up to the sky, getting lost in his thoughts. He had always felt that between he and Fred, he had always been the dreamer, while Fred was a doer. George spent a lot his time thinking up wild schemes and exciting pranks, then he'd relay them to Fred who would figure out a way to make George's ideas a reality, and together they would pull them off.
George had been following the river for nearly an hour and had not noticed the sun setting. He hadn't cared that his stomach was growling. And he had completely forgotten his promise to his mother about being home for dinner. George was deep in his head. He had this idea that if one could stretch their ear just a little they'd be able to listen in on conversations that were not meant to be listened in on. Fred was going to love that one.
George had been so caught up in his ideas that he had not been paying to where he was walking or what was in his way.
"Oof!' he grunted as he tripped and landed on top of the girl sprawled out in the tall grass.
"Ouch." groaned the girl from underneath him.
"Bugger, I'm sorry!" George scrambled to move off of her, but only seemed to make matters worse.
"And that's your knee digging into my thigh." she winced.
They wrestled for a few moments trying to sit up, George trying valiantly not to cause anymore injury to the poor girl.
"Well, it's lovely to meet you." George said once they were both in a sitting position.
Now that they were both level, he had a better chance to appraise her. She was pretty, with long dark hair and violet eyes. What he noticed most however, was the broad smile playing across her lips, which told him, that despite the pain he had inflicted, that she had found humor in the situation. George grinned back.
"Ditto." she replied.
"Your accent is funny. Are you from America then?" George asked. He had noticed that she spoke with mainly an American accent, only it was slightly off.
"Uh sort of." she replied with a nod. "I was born and raised in London for the most part. When I was eleven my mum moved us to Boston. She wanted my to go to the Salem School of Magic. Then all of sudden at the end of last semester she tells me we're moving to this sleepy little town, and that I'm going to be attending Hogwarts." the girl finished sounding extremely put off.
George watched in awe as she told her story. She gave Hermione a run for her money with her speedy chatter. The glint in her eyes when she spoke of her mother frightened him a little. Clearly this girl was not to be crossed.
She threw her head back and laughed as she saw his shocked expression, which only surprised George even more.
"Well, now that you know my life story, how about my name?" she asked grinning.
"A name would be nice." he replied matching he smile.
"I'm Charley Rook." she said. "You're a Weasley aren't you?"
George was having a hard time understanding what was going on. How had she known that it was alright to tell him she was a witch? And more importantly how had she known his last name? Apparently she had realized all that she was saying was beginning to scare him, because she said next:
"I met your sister Ginny the other day. We've been hanging out every once in a while, she's told me all about your family."
"Oh, alright. Then yes, I'm a Weasley." George replied.
"Well, you can't be Bill or Charlie, unless you've come home for a visit, but you look too young to be either of them." Charley said narrowing her eyes at him.
"Ooh so you're going to guess which one I am?" George asked grinning.
"I bet I can guess it on the first try." she replied.
"Well good luck there Doll, you're right about the first two though." George said with a wink.
"I know." she smiled "Anyways, I don't think you're Percy either. From what Ginny says he's far too busy to be bothered with walks, nor would he ever be paying so little attention to where he was going or who he was tripping over."
"Oi, I apologized!" George protested.
"Well, maybe next time you'll get your head out of the clouds and look before you step on a person." she said with a smug smile.
"Oh, just go on."
"Alright then. That leaves the twins and Ron. Now, I'm inclined to believe that you are not a twin, because you're alone, and Ginny tells me one cannot usually be found without the other. But I do not believe you're Ron. From what I hear, I doubt he'd even be able to talk to me as long as you have." Here Charley paused.
"Well my dear, you seem to be out of options." George shrugged with a grin.
"Oh, really?" she asked raising an eyebrow, "Well, if anyone asked me, I'd tell them without a doubt that you were obviously George Weasley."
George gawked at her open mouthed.
"Close your mouth George. Your sweater has a big 'G' on it, and it couldn't possibly be Ginny's since it fits you so nicely. I imagine hers would be a tad snug on you." Charley said with a laugh.
"Oh right." George said grinning, despite his ears turning a deep shade of red.
"So, you go to Hogwarts too yeah?"
Charley was still chuckling lightly, but George was grateful to her for the change of subject. He was more than happy to move on.
"Sure do, Gryffindor baby!" he replied. Which brought another question to George's mind, "Do you know your house already?" he asked.
George thought he caught the slightest flicker of fear in her eyes when he brought up the Hogwarts houses. Whatever he thought he saw was gone in an instant, however. Charley was once again smiling, although, somewhat more reserved than before.
"Um, Dumbledore said I'll be sorted once I arrive." said Charley.
"Any idea which house you'll be in?" asked George.
"Nope." Charley replied curtly. "Well, I should be going." she said standing and turning away from him.
Something George said had offended her, he knew it. She was perfectly fine until they started up on Hogwarts. Or was it the houses that had thrown her off?
"Hold on!" George stood and jumped in front of her, "What did I say?"
She looked down at her interlaced fingers, then up at him, grinning from ear to ear.
"Nothing, you didn't say anything. I just haven't had dinner, and I'm beginning to feel it." she laughed.
George couldn't help but stare at her suspiciously.
"I don't believe you." George said narrowing his eyes at her.
"I really haven't eaten dinner." she smirked.
"Aha! So I did say something then."
"Are you hungry?"
"No. Don't try and distract me."
` "The sound your stomach is making says otherwise."
George had known Charley Rook for less than ten minutes and she had already made his ears go red twice. George was now annoyed.
"Alright, fine, I am hungry. And my mum is probably furious with me for being out so late. It was fantastic meeting you Charley, I'll see you around." George spat. He began to walk away, but was stopped by Charley's laughter behind him.
"I'm sorry," she said placing her hand over her mouth to stop the laughter, "You just got so angry."
She was giggling so much now, that she began to double over. George couldn't help but chuckle along with her. He had acted like Ron, something that Fred would surely pop him over the head for.
"Yeah, sorry 'bout that." George said scratching the back of his head.
"It's fine, I'm sorry too." said Charley. "I'm just nervous about starting an entirely new school, where I don't know anyone."
"Hey now, you know me." George winked.
"You seem like someone worth knowing." Charley grinned.
"Oh, believe me, I am."
George wanted her to stay and talk with him forever, or at the very least let him walk her home. But he never got the chance. With a laugh, Charley turned and walked off into the darkness.