Note: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters.
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Weeks passed and still nothing happened to decrease George's irrational fear of people. He now relied on Fred, or Lee Jordan to bring him homework. He refused to attend classes, choosing to either stay locked up in the dormitory, or if on occasion, see Dumbledore.
Surprisingly, the headmaster had become a great comfort to him. He seemed to understand exactly how he was feeling and together, they were trying to find ways to overcome his fear.
Today, in fact, was one of his visits to Dumbledore's office. They sat on opposite sides of the desk, Dumbledore's Pensieve in between them.
"I find it comes in very handy when you need to get your thoughts in order," he said to George kindly.
"I've never heard of or seen one before," George answered truthfully.
"Yes, they are very rare. I was very fortunate to come across it, in fact. It was many years ago, I was a lot younger and a lot-" he stopped abruptly, realising he was getting off topic.
"How does it work?" George then questioned.
"Ah," Dumbledore seemed delighted by this question. "See that blue stuff in there?" he asked. "They are all my thoughts and memories. I find I sometimes have too many things to think about at once, so I just put them in here and I can come back to them whenever I need to."
George was impressed. Right now, he wished he had a Pensieve.
"I thought we could use it today, to understand why the sudden Agoraphobia," Dumbledore continued.
George opened his mouth to speak, but Dumbledore cut him off. Didn't they know why?
"Yes, I know it all began after that Quidditch incident, but perhaps if we take a closer look, we might be able to notice something different; something neither of us saw before."
George felt slightly overwhelmed by the interest Dumbledore was showing. Would he have taken so much time for any other student?
It's because he understands, he told himself.
Dumbledore showed George how to extract the memory. He did it reluctantly, not really wanting to relive the embarrassment, and placed the thread of white light in to the Pensieve. The headmaster gave it a swirl and then dived head first in to it.
Slightly nervous, George followed suit and he found himself standing in the middle of the Qudditch pitch. Looking around, he saw that the school was there, just like they had been on that day. In fact, everything was exactly the same.
A Bludger flew straight towards him and instinctively, George jumped out of the way.
"No one can see or hear us," Dumbledore told him. "This is simply your memory," he looked up to where there were fourteen people on brooms. Seven were in red and gold for Gryffindor and the other seven were dressed in silver and green-Slytherin.
This is weird, George thought, following Dumbledore's gaze. He spotted himself in the air. He seemed normal, a grin on his face, laughing, smiling. This had started off as just an ordinary Quidditch match. How many times before this had he taken to the air, without a care in the world?
They watched from the ground as the match continued. George watched himself, trying to determine when and how the incident had happened. Part of him felt jealous...no...envious of his former self. He wanted to be able to play like that again. He wanted to be brave...like a lion.
Then he saw the Bludger. It was flying right towards the George in the air. The George on the ground watched as he braced himself, getting ready to aim it straight at Draco Malfoy. He watched intently, trying to see how he had managed to hit himself. He swung the Beater, the Slytherin Beater closing in on him and then whack! The bat had made a funny manoeuvre in his hands and he had lost control completely. No one seemed to notice that the bat had done it on its own accord.
Gasping, George got a moment's glance in the direction of Malfoy. He had his wand out. It had been Malfoy! Malfoy had used magic.
"Lets go back," Dumbledore said quietly, grasping his shoulder. George felt his feet leave the pitch just as the memory George fell from his broom, blood spraying everywhere.
They landed gently back in Dumbledore's office. For a moment, George didn't say anything; he just stood, glued to the spot.
"Sit, please," Dumbledore told him.
George obeyed without thinking, taking the same seat he had occupied just moments before.
"Nut?" the headmaster offered, moving a bowl of funny shaped nuts in front of him. "Almonds," he added, after George's puzzled look. "Muggle food. I find them quite delicious," he picked a handful up for himself.
"So, you see, Mr Weasley, your accident was caused by foul play from another student-which I will be having words with Mr Malfoy about. It had nothing to do with your inability to play. You and your brother are two of the best Beaters this school has seen in a very long time."
George gave a weak smile. Sure, he now knew it wasn't his fault, but the rest of the school still seemed to think he was useless.
"Ah," Dumbledore began, as if reading his mind. "It all happened in such a blur. Harry Potter had just caught the Snitch and then the next moment, it appeared you had miss hit the Bludger and hit yourself instead. I guess no one was really watching what anyone else was doing."
"I bet Malfoy was really pissed that Harry beat him again, so decided to take it out on something," George muttered furiously.
"Although I will not choose your choice of words, I will agree that he was not happy. Harry Potter once again stole the spotlight from young Draco."
"So how do we convince the school I didn't do myself in?" George asked suddenly.
Dumbledore chuckled slightly before answering. "I don't think we need to convince the school of anything," he said. "Does it really matter what they think, when you now know the truth? The next Quidditch match is in six weeks. Until then, train hard, practice and then get out there and play like you normally do. As long as you believe you can do it, so will everyone else."
George sighed. Maybe it wasn't going to be that easy.
Again, Dumbledore seemed to know what he was thinking. "I believe that if you face your fear, you will overcome it. Your fear is facing the other students, because you think you made a fool of yourself and do not wish to repeat it. But if you have confidence in yourself, you will not suffer the same embarrassment."
George nodded slowly. Dumbledore would sometimes speak a conundrum of words, but if you thought about it carefully, he actually made a lot of sense. He needed to believe in himself to be able to overcome his fear.
"Remember, Mr Weasley, one of the reasons you were placed in Gryffindor was because of your bravery. If anyone can overcome a challenge, it is you."
The final Quidditch match of the season was just moments away. It was between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. Ravenclaw had annihilated Slytherin, so all Gryffindor had to do was win by more than fifty points.
Easy, George thought, a grin forming on his face. They had been practicing new moves for the past month or so. They had a plan. All Harry needed to do was catch the Snitch and it was theirs.
Oliver Wood was barking orders at the team, making sure it was drilled in to them. George, however, was not listening.
He knew what he had to do and it wasn't what Wood was telling him. All he had to do was play with confidence and everything would be fine. Then, the whispers would stop following him in the corridors.
If he had a helping hand in winning this match, he would be the hero again. His reputation would be restored and the younger ones would consider him to be their leader; their sovereign-their king. George Weasley would be back!
But what if Malfoy tries another trick like before? A tiny voice in his head asked.
Then you will send him to the hospital wing with a black eye and broken leg, another voice answered.
"You got that George?"
George came back to reality. Oliver Wood was speaking to him.
"What?" he asked. Beside him, Katie Bell rolled her eyes.
"You and Fred are to target the Chasers," Wood said with a sigh.
George nodded, winking at Fred. They could manage three Ravenclaw Chasers.
"Good, because the less points scored, the sooner this can be over."
"So you have said five times in the last minute," Fred complained. He was levitating his bat in the air, showing all signs of boredom.
Oliver Wood gave him a scathing look and then went back to lecturing the team. Once he was happy that everyone knew what they were supposed to do, he instructed them to get ready.
Like he had done so many times before, George pulled on his red and gold robes and picked up his broom. It was now or never. If he was going to prove to the school he wasn't a useless Beater, it was going to be in the final and he was going to do it in front of everyone. He was going to face his fear.
His heart fluttered slightly as the voices grew louder, but he forced himself to stay calm. There was nothing to be afraid of.
He was a Gryffindor. He was brave. He had the heart of a lion.
The End. I hope you all enjoyed this fic. I managed to use all ten prompts, which I was very happy about. At first, I never thought I would be able to do it.
Please review if you are going to favourite. It is very much appreciated!