Hey! I finally have enough ideas for this to continue it! I'm gonna take a random guess and say this is only gonna be about... 10 chapters, more or less? I don't really know, but my head's gonna take this in its own direction, so will see what happens! This chapter, by the way, takes place about two weeks after he walked out on the rest of the Weasleys. Wow, that makes him sound bad... Plus, sorry if I get any facts wrong, seeing as I know absolutely nothing about Wales. I mean, I know about some stuff... but whatever, you get it. And plus, in this chapter, I use my first bit of 'language'. Though, is it really classified that way? I guess it depends on what context you're using it in. Enjoy!
George sat in a dirty old pub, an untouched bottle of butterbeer sitting in front of him on the wooden, rickety table. A cloak was pulled low over his face, and he looked rather ominous to any outsider. But still he waited; he waited for the information that would change everything.
Every time the rusty old bell over the door clanged, an odd surge of hope rose up in him, like a dog rising on the scent of game. But no wizard came toward him.
Yet still, he waited.
George had remembered cornering someone in the alleyway outside, across the street. He'd gone to Wales, just like the clipping said. Some mysterious old man had followed him for days, thinking he was silent and stealthy and unnoticed, but George knew he was there all along. Finally he led the gullible man into the alleyway, turned on him and pinned him to the wall.
"Why are you following me?" George had demanded. The old man had gasped and spluttered a bit before George loosened his hold on his throat.
"You're searching for the Time Vortex," the man had gasped.
"What makes you say that?" George had retorted. That was seriously creepy. Could this guy read minds and/or perform Legilimency, or what?
"People looking for it always have this aura about 'em," he'd croaked. His voice was wheezy. "You can always tell, because they just look like they've got a purpose. So what's yours? You have a dead relative? Did something you want to take back?"
'Definitely a Legilimens,' George had thought. "Where'd you learn Legilimency?" George demanded, avoiding the question completely.
The man's gaze was confused; either he was an amazing actor, or he had absolutely no idea what Legilimency was.
"What's Le-geely-mensa?" the man had asked, confused. "It's not one of those voodoo arts you wizard people do with one of your wands, is it?"
"Erm..." George had trailed off. It was time to wipe the man's memory of the whole ordeal. He let go of the man, pulled his wand out of his pocket and pointed it at the man's head.
"Wait!" the man had said hurriedly. "Please, not one of those things again! Last time I saw one of those I was telly-ported to some place in Scotland! It took me ages to get back!"
George hesitated. His best guess was that he was a Muggle who knew about wizards- maybe he possibly had a relative that could perform magic- and had had a bad run in with some of them.
"All right," George had said. "I won't wipe your memory. But," he added- the man's face had erupted into an expression of relief- "only on one condition."
The man's face fell.
"You have to help me find the Time Vortex," George finished.
"Sorry- I can't do that," the man had said after a long silence.
"Are you sure about that?" George turned his wand on the man again.
"Okay, okay!" the man had said in a rush. "The name's Abner, by the way."
"All right, Abner," said George. "Where do we start?"
Abner had said he had to go and get someone, someone that could supposedly explain better than he could. George placed a tricky hex on him that would make him return as soon as he found this person. He also told him how to get inside the nearest Wizarding pub. And with that, Abner hobbled off back down the street.
So George was waiting for this mysterious man. It had been a full day since George had wormed the information out of Abner, yet Abner had not returned. George was getting slightly impatient. He didn't want to wait any longer. The longer he waited, the longer he would have to turn time back, and there would be less chance of finding Fred and saving him. Not to mention the tediousness of turning it back and forth to the exact moments in time, to avoid polluting the timeline or even coming back to the point where George hadn't thought of this plan yet. That would be horrendous. It was very confusing and complicating; it had taken George a while to figure it all out.
Finally, the door opened once more. The bells above it clang merrily, and finally, in walked Abner, an extremely old witch bobbing along in his wake. She was surprisingly agile and quick for her age. They wound their way to George's table and sat themselves down; glancing around a bit to make sure they weren't overheard.
"Took you long enough," George commented in a low voice, jerking his head in Abner's direction.
"Yeah, well, I had to get this one to trust me and come so cut me some slack." Abner pointed absently at the woman next to him.
"Ab, just because I'm a hundred and nineteen doesn't mean I can't hear you. You know I've been tricked a time too many in my years," the old lady said in a clear voice, not slurred like George expected.
"Sorry, Heather," said Abner.
"So why do you need my Time Vortex, boy?" the woman called Heather asked George.
George was slightly shocked by the abruptness of the question, but kept a calm composure and said carefully, "I need it because I lost someone," George's throat tightened slightly here. "He wasn't just a friend or a brother." He swallowed. "He was my twin."
Heather, who had had a very well rehearsed look of remorse on her face after George's first sentence, dropped her jaw in a round "O". "Well, that certainly changes things, doesn't it, boy?" Heather asked, patting George's hand. He nodded. Heather exclaimed, "Hm. I may be willing to help you. But you must know I am a woman of honesty. You've got to prove to me that you really want to bring this person back. You have to know for sure that this is what they want. You have to be sure."
George grinned, sly and foxlike, at the woman's agreement, but immediately became serious once more. "How do I prove it to you? Let's just say my life has so far been a living hell without him- we were inseparable. He was like my other half. I don't fancy being 'and George' for the rest of my life without Fred to go first. If that's not proof enough then I don't know what is. I know Fred wants this. I'm positive he didn't want to go that night. It takes a twin to go to such drastic measures, trust me." George finished. Heather looked impressed at George's openness. It was clear no one had ever been that sincere.
"Well, 'and George', I think you've proven it well enough to me," she said, smiling. "I give you permission to use my Time Vortex."