The Time Turner

This story is my take on how George Weasley could've coped with losing his twin. How would he react if suddenly a Time Turner, enabling him to revisit his twin, fell right into his lap?

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1. Prologue

 

"The consolation of the imaginary is not imaginary consolation." - Gregory McGuire

 

”George, I can understand that you are lonely,” his mother started, her voice soft and soothing - or at least trying to be. She was worried, and George didn’t blame her. He had been closing himself off more and more, and no one really knew where he went when he disappeared with no note as to where. They couldn’t track him - which meant perfect sense, ’cause he wasn’t there. Not just in the house, in Diagon-Alley, in the store, or even in London. Or in England for that matter. No, George had found a wholly different kind of refuge. No, George went out of this world. Literally. In the beginning it had been enough for him to just stare into the Mirror of Erised, any mirror really, because he could pretend that Fred was still with him. In the Mirror of Erised, or Mirror of Desire, as George bitterly had realised, he saw what he’d lost, but he did so in every mirror, because for George Weasley, every mirror was the Mirror of Erised. Inside every mirror, there was his brother. Maybe altered a slight bit. A bit shorter than he was when he lived, but there. If George remembered to turn the right side to the mirror, he could tell himself that he was looking at Fred. Sometimes he talked to him, sometimes he didn’t. Sometimes he just cried. Usually the crying started when he turned to face the mirror full on. His own missing ear became the constant reminder that he was not Fred and never would be. 

 

”I’m not lonely, mother. I’m alone.” He said hollowly, gazing down the bottle of firewhiskey. How many times had Ginny not told him that the answers weren’t on the bottom of a bottle? George couldn’t bring himself to care. For just a couple of hours the alcohol would numb the pain. Not that George was a happy drunk anymore, but when he had the alcohol burning in his system it kind of evened out things. Sometimes he could still pretend that Fred was there. Yes, he was delirious, he was in denial, but George Weasley couldn’t bring himself to care, ’cause he had not only lost his other half, he’d lost himself as well. So used to being one of two, so used to being one part of a set. How was he George with no Fred? They had always been Fred and George, George and Fred. Sometimes George still caught himself lingering midway through a sentence, waiting for it to be finished by someone else. That never happened. George’s sentence would linger, unfinished, and everyone around him would know who was supposed to.

 

And then they would send him those looks. Pity. He’d thought in the beginning that the pity was the worst part. That it was the most terrible thing these people could do to him.

 

”Oh Georgie, you’re not alone,” his mother said, and he could hear that his words were breaking her heart, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. ”You have us. All of us. We love you, Georgie.” She whispered, soft fingers on his wrist as she tried to get him to look at her.

 

He sent her one single look. One of anger and resentment, knowing that this was not her fault, but unable to contain his hurt. ”You might, but no one else does anymore, Mum. I’m a constant reminder that he’s not here anymore. Don’t you understand that the only thing people see when they look at me is Fred? There is no George anymore. There’s only the one that looks like Fred.” He said, his brain screaming at him to stop saying this, to stop throwing these things in the face of one of the only people who still recognized him as a person, not just a memory. He tried to stop, but he felt his voice growing louder, and even though the back of his head screamed at him for painting that horrified expression on his mothers face, he couldn’t help himself. He was drunk and angry and hurt, and he missed his brother. ”Don’t you understand, Mum?! Can’t you see it?! Even Ron and Ginny do it sometimes! Why do you think Bill doesn’t visit? Why do you think Charlie stopped coming home for Christmas and birthdays?! They can’t bear to even look at me! They all see him! I can see Ron flinch sometimes, I can see in Lee’s eyes that he blames me! Even Angelina blames me for looking like him! For being a constant reminder of the hurt we all had to go through! I hate it, Mum, I hate it! If people don’t pity me, they hate me.” he yelled, his voice growing louder and louder, until the very last sentence that came out as a whisper. ”And even that,” he whispered, so low that Molly had to lean in to hear him and he couldn’t look away from the tear-stained face, so full of hurt because of his words, because of the way her second-youngest son was hurting, resenting himself. ”Even that I could stand, if I could just see him one more time. Just hear him talk. Pull one last prank, have one last laugh, just… just see him. Instead of just seeing myself in the mirror, and catching myself wishing that I had died instead. Wishing that he was the one to live through this, ’cause he was always so much stronger than me, Mum. He could’ve done this. He could’ve run the store and kept the family together. I wish I was dead, Mum.” He sobbed into Molly’s shoulder as she pulled her son into a warm embrace.

 

”Oh Georgie.” She whispered, and George couldn’t help but be angry with her. Bitter because she said nothing to make him think otherwise. She didn’t even try to convince him that his words weren’t true, because they both knew that it was true. George’s heart convulsed for a moment, and he really, truly wished that he had died instead of Fred. The self-loathing and anger was becoming too much for him. He felt his mother’s fingers thread through his hair softly, trying to calm him down, and he let her. He knew that he had hurt her with his words. He was sorry, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell her that, because all he wanted to do was get drunk, pass out on the couch and sleep until the next day, where he would probably get a shot of firewhiskey or two just to steady himself for the day and then he would go down to the shop and start shipping the last packages. It wasn’t even that hard a blow that he’d lost the shop. It was nothing compared to the searing pain of having lost his other half. Packing up the shop was like… saying goodbye to Fred for real. Every little bit hurt, but the small stings were actually better than the world-numbing pain that had overtaken George ever since his brother died. It had been half a year now, and it didn’t feel like the pain had lessened at all. Which was probably one of the worst parts of it, next to the resentment and pity of everybody around him. It felt like he wasn’t moving forward. His life when Fred was alive had been pure movement, always on the run or working on something new for the shop. Movement and life. Fred was life, and Fred was gone. He had taken George’s life with him. He was stuck in this horrible void of Fred-less constant pain.

 

”I think you should go home, Mum.” George said, his voice emotionless. He started understanding why a person like Voldemort would split his soul. George felt like his own was split, and if he could’ve found a way to bring Fred back… he would’ve. Illegal, eternally evil or not. George would’ve sacrificed everything to bring his twin back.

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