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Harry Potter!"

George Weasley of age sixteen couldnt be sure when it had happened. Surely there had to have been some point in the last four years where everything just clicked? Or perhaps it was a more gradual slope of events that led to this innevitable moment , the moment when Harry freaking Potter looked up into his own murky brown eyes and smiled that wonderfully reckless and beautiful grin filled with glistening white teeth (because appearantly the Dursley's could afford to give Harry nice teeth but let him run around in bloody rags one hundred percent of the time?) and surrounded by full pink lips, the culmination of which left George breathless and quite hot under his collar.

Whatever it was George knew it really didnt matter. All he wanted right now, all he had wanted for a while now really, was to lean down and kiss the he'll out of his innocent little brother's best friend.

Well maybe not so much innocent as sassy and a bit of a shit really. Merlin love 'em.

"Harry Potter!"

George's brow furrowed in confusion, as Harry's did the same. Not to say that either of them being yelled at from across the room by a teacher, any of the staff really even some of the furniture, was any sort of irregularity but this wasn't right. No one should be paying them any mind right now! The Tri Wizard Champions were being selected and since neither boy was of age there should have been absolutely zero percent chance of getting cock blocked by the oldest and harriest wizard alive.

Harry craned his head back and then around, as if to find another boy amongst the many teens in the room who just happened to have the same name and a possible penchant for life threatening situations.

Harry looked as if he had seen... Well he looked like he might have seen a ghost, if he weren't already used to that sort of thing anyway. His eyes were wide and full of fear and bewilderment, his face pale as a corpse, his whole body was now racked with a slight tremor. It was a total contrast compared to to the boy who had been sitting next to him only moments ago. The Boy who looked relaxed but slightly nervous as he laughed at whatever whitty, more like bloody brilliant, quip George had just said to earn that beautiful smile.

He wanted that Harry back.

"For goodness sakes Harry!" Came the voice of Harry's best friend Hermione who not-so-gently pushed the boy up off his seat and into the aisle.

Now that the situation had finally caught up with him, George was in utter disbelief.

"He's a cheat!"
"He's not even seventeen!"

"This can't be happening again..." Hermione muttered from behind her hands which were covering her face, trying to hide the anger and sorrow.

George... He couldn't find the strength or words but whole heartedly agreed with her.

Not again...

Chapter Text

4 Months Earlier

It hadn't been a secret that over the summer Harry and George had grown rather close. In fact, by now It was public knowledge that George was a bit gone on the younger boy.

It all started when Hedwig had rapped on his window late one night with a letter from Harry asking about a simple, non magical, method to prank his cousin Dudley who kept sneaking into his room and stealing numerous items from Harry's secret stash. The letter had been adressed to both twins but since George had already been up he took it upon himself to answer without waking his twin who was fast asleep.

Within the hour, Hedwig had been sent on her way with a small packet of Biting Blistals. An invention he had been working on at school but hadn't had the chance to test. Thinking that that would be the end of it, George climbed back into bed patting himself on the back all the while for finding a suitable test subject for his little side project.

That hadn't been it at all.

Not three days later Hedwig had returned with a letter stating that Dudley had already been bit three times by his Biting Blistals and every time the fat git had run screaming from the room. Both Fred and George had a good laugh at that. George had sent Hedwig back with a treat and a letter saying he was glad to be of survive, again, thinking that that would be the end of it.

It wasn't.

Before he knew it Harry and George were writing about anything and everything they could think to put down on parchment. Simple things like how there weeks had been going, Fred and I have just come up with a brilliant idea harry!, to things like Harry's feelings toward his family, I can't wait until I'm seventeen George they treat me like dirt. Soon the letters had dropped Fred's name altogether and Hedwig could be seen almost everyother day between the letters for both Ron and George.

It didnt take long before George had started to see Harry as more than his little brother's bestfriend. He was sweet and insightful and George could always be seen smiling when he was reading a letter from Harry. Needless to say it didnt take long before his family took notice.

"Are you...blushing?" Fred had asked one morning when he had walked into their shared room and caught George REREADING the letter from the previous night.

"O... Of course not!" George had squacked indignantly. He hadn't even heard his brother walk into their room due to the fact that he had been so absorbed in  what Harry had wrote.

"You are!" Fred looked absolutely delighted by the prospect of not even having to leave his room  to tease someone today. "Who's it from?" Fred asked waiting with baited breath.

George had froze. His brother hadn't even realized it was the same letter that Hedwig had delivered last night? Did he assume that perhaps another owl had stopped by while he was out? Maybe if he just proceeded with caution he could still get away with this.

"We are popular this summer aren't we?" Fred had admonished, proving his originally theory correct. "Multiple owls from multiple-"

Fred didn't finish whatever it was he was saying. Honestly George had been to far into panic mode to pay any real attention, but Fred NOT talking was never a good sign. It meant that he was trying to concentrate and If he concentrated hard enough he could clearly see-

"Is that...." George stood abruptly making a hasty retreat out of the room and away from Fred's extremely puzzled look, his brows furrowing at the retreating form of his brother.

That evening George had returned from degnomimg the garden with Ron to find a quiet Fred sitting on his bed with a handful of letters. His letters. From Harry.

He had kept them all. Of course he had. Each one was precious to him. He felt like a twelve year old girl doing it, but, he honestly couldnt help himself.

Fred looked up at his twin who looked as if he had been stricken. He stood and grabbed his twin by the back of the neck and pulled him in, wrapping one arm tightly around his waist while the other wound around his neck, pulling his face tight against his neck. It had made him physically ill to see that look on the face that mirrored his so much, even worse though was the fact that he had been the one to put it there.

"I'll always be there for you." Fred murmered into his ear as George gripped his back finally and pulled his twin In even tighter. "You stupid git." George laughed against the skin of his brothers neck. The whole thing was sappy and sickening but neither twin could find it within themselves to give a damn.
..........

Molly had been the second to find out about his proclivities when he had run into her in the kitchen somewhere between late one night and early one morning. She had made them both some tea since neither could sleep. It had been quiet and peaceful, neither talking as the other enjoyed their tea.

"Well I better be off to bed." his mum had said after some time. "Goodnight my sweet." Molly stood, placing a kiss on the crown of his head and walked toward the hall, only to be stopped by the quitest whisper of her name.

"Mum..."

Molly turned, slightly worried now as she looked down at her child, who was very much not a child anymore as she had to keep reminding herself. She didn't say anything. Only turned to look at him quizzicaly.

George had looked her in the eye and said IT, gaze dropping to the floor as soon as the words had left his lips.

Molly's heart nearly broke. Not because of his words, no, but because of the way he had said them, the way he refused to look up from the table and meet her gaze.

Molly strode to the table and sat in the seat next to him, turning the chair to face him. "Look at me."

He didn't, couldn't.

"George, look at me." Her tone was stern but not unkind. When he looked up she could see the tears that he was forcing back, refusing to let go. Her own eyes swelled and spilled over at the sight. George mistaking her tears for what they were ducked his head in shame once more, the tears finally falling as he could not hold them back any longer.

Molly refused to let him hide from her though. With two pointed fingers, she liftes his chin and met his gaze once more. "You silly boy..." She whispered, continuing quickly before he could act on the only words she had gotten out so far. "Never, EVER, be ashamed to love someone. No matter who they are." She moved both hand to grab either side of his head and brought his forehead to her lips.

"I love you." She whispered into his hair as he gently sobbed into her shoulder.

George's hiccupp was his only reply, but she knew what it meant all the same.

"I don't suppose your going to tell me his name are you?" Molly asked.

George chuckled. "I dont have a guy mum."

Molly narrowed her eyes as if trying to see the answer herself, as if it were written on his forehead. "All this hubbub and no man," Molly shook her head. "I don't believe it for a second!"

George shook his head in mock exasperation. Which was answer enough for her.

Appearantly for Ron as well.

The sound of a glass shattering brought both Molly and George to their feet, both quickly dabbing and wipping madly at their eyes.

Ron stood by the sink, eyes wide with donning realization. "It's Harry id'nt." Not a question.

Realization hit their mother like a hex to the face. Of course! It really had been so obvious. The boy had been running around like a love sick puppy for weeks now. Always with a peice of parchment in his hand.

"Ronald Billius Weasley!" She rounded on Ron quick not giving him a chance to continue. "Does privacy mean nothing to you!" She howled, intentionally throwing her youngest son off whatever train of thought he had been on. "How would you like it if I barged in on you while you were trying have some of that special 'me' time you seem so fond of these days!"

Ron looked horror stricken at the same time a slight choking noise could be heard from behind her.

"Bed now!" She commanded. Ron didn't have to be told twice, practically running from the kitchen, his face red as could be, with Molly in tow.

Just before she left the kitchen, Molly turned to her son with a wink before leaving George alone feeling lighter than he had ever felt before.
..........

Ron had been uncharacteristically quiet ever since that night. George was fairly certain at this point that his younger brother was avoiding him completely. In fact, every time Ron spotted him entering the room the fourteen year old would shoot out of his chair and walk right past him without a word.

George left him be, knowing that if he confronted his younger sibling too soon then it might quite literally blow up in his face.

Still, he couldn't help but feel a mixture of guilt and hurt simultaneously. The twin knew that not everyone would take his comimg out as well as Fred and Mum did, but he never expected that it might be like this. For Merlin's sake, the boy wouldn't even look at him in the eye!

"Oh come on Forge." Fred had said one night when George had confided in him about Ron's behavior as of late. "You know as well as I do that that boy is seriously wound tight." He started, turning quietly. "Seriously the only other person I know wound tighter is our dear brother Percy."

George smiled at that. He could already imagine the indignant sputtering and squawking reaction that their older brother would have. The third oldest Weasley had parted ways with simply being wound tight ages ago skipping straight to something reminiscent of a crotchety old hag.

"Seriously George, give it time, he'll come around."
..........

It had been two weeks since Ron had last spoken to him and George was at his wits end. He was fed up with his little brother's cold shoulder and refused to ignore it any longer.

It finally came to a head one evening at dinner. The entire family, minus Charlie, Bill, and Percy, had been sat at the table for dinner. Ron hadn't even so much looked his way all night which only served to irritate him even further.

"Oi, Ron." George yelled across the table. "Pass the cabbage would ya." Nothing.
Ron didnt even look away from his plate as he continued to shovel his food into his mouth at a rate that would have been funny if George weren't on the cusp of losing his shit.

Fred kept looking back and forth between the two, a look of utter amusement painted all over his face. Their mother, however, looked as if he were about two start a war right here on the table... Well she was bloody right then wasn't she.

"Hey Ickle! Did you here me or not!"

The room went quiet, all eyes on him, all except the ones he wanted to see. Ron still hadn't looked up. The struggle to keep his composure evident in the white knuckle grip he had on his knife and fork.

It was enough to send him flying over the edge in a spectacular way. "That's it!" George stood abruptly, his hands slamming down onto the table, cups and silverware alike clattering to the floor. "I've had it up to hear with your ignorant arse, you stupid git!"

Make that a swan dive into crazy.

Their mother opened her mouth as if to reprimand him for his outburst, but George pushed ahead cutting her off before she could speak.

"If you've got something to say to me then you should bloody well say it already!" He continued to shout at his brother. "Let's have it then, tell us all how you feel about me now Ron!"

That got his attention. Ron was now looking up at his older brother, eyes filled with anger and hurt. Ron stood to meet George's gaze, his cup tumbling over spilling its contents all over the table.

"What the bloody hell are you goin' on a about you  lunatic!" He yelled back at George, his body now vibrating.

"You haven't so much as even looked my way ever since you found out about me." George choked out. "Don't deny it!"

Ginny and their father looked utterly lost, his mother looked taken aback, shocked even, as if she hadn't even realized what Ron had been doing. Fred... Well Fred still looked rather amused.

Ron looked bewildered,  as if that were the last thing he expected George to say. "You think I care about that " Ron rolled his eyes at him. "You really are thick."

George felt the muscle under his right eye twitch.  "I'm not making this up Ron! You've been avoiding me for weeks now!"

"Of course I've been avoiding you! Doesnt mean I care where you wanna stick it!"

"Watch your mouth Ronald Weasley!" Molly shouted but was pointedly ignored by both boys yet again.

"Then why have you been giving me the cold shoulder for the last two weeks?" George asked exasperated.

"Because you wanna stick it to my best friend, that's why!" Ron finished throwing his hands in the air. "You and everyone one else in this bloody house!"

The room fell silent once more. Everyone to dumbstruck to react right away. So Ron continued.

"We're supposed to be his family. This is supposed to be the place where he can come and be safe from all that Boy Who Lived nonsense." Ron grabbed his plate, turned from the table, and walked out of the room.

No one said a word for the rest of dinner.

Chapter Text

Come on Ron!" George had been outside of his little brother's room for at least thirty minutes now, repeatedly rapping his knuckles against the wood hoping for some kind of reaction. Even if it were just Ron to come and yell at him.

At this point either the younger boy wasn't in there or he had gone deaf.

George rested his head against the smooth wood with a sigh of frustration. Had he really screwed up so badly? He thought of all the pranks he and his brother pulled on the younger Weasley over the years, and not once had Ron treated either twin this coldly. Not even that time Fred had turned his teddy into a giant bloody spider.

With one last ditch effort, George gave another ruckus rap on the door.

The door flew open mid knock, his fist hovering inches away from Ron's red and twitching face. Well, if his goal had been to piss his little brother off even further he had most definitely succeeded. The boy looked absolutely murderous. 

"If you knock on that damn door one more time I'll-"

"I'm sorry!" George spat out before Ron could finish whatever empty threat he was bound to spew out.

The murderous look Ron had been sporting only moments ago eased in front of George's eyes, leaving only the anger shinning through.

"Can I come in?" Ron paused at this, the indecision evident in the younger boy's face. Finally, just as George had given up all hope, Ron rolled his eyes and stepped back opening the door wider as an invitation.

George did not hesitate and stepped into the room as quickly as possible, just in case Ron changed his mind last minute and decided to slam the door in his face.

His younger brother shook his head and closed the door behind him without a word. Ron crossed his arms over his chest and silently glared at his older brother, no doubt waiting for some kind of excuse.

"Look," He started, turning to face the other redhead, "I know that I've kinda screwed up in a spectacular way here."  Ron pursed his lips in reply but said nothing. "It's not what you think it is though."

Ron's eyebrows shot up into his hairline, his head cocked to the side, as if to say "Oh really?", but still did not speak.

"I'm sorry that this is affecting you so much, I really am, but I'm not sorry that it's him." George saw the anger slowly start to dissipate, only to have it return in full force by the time he was done talking.

Ron's breathing was becoming more labored as each second ticked by. Just as he was about to open his mouth to no doubt yell at his brother to get out, George whipped out a pile of parchment and threw it on the Chudley Cannon decorated bed. Ron's looming tirade was cut short as a confused look crossed his face.

"Read them." George said simply, with a look of longing Ron had never seen before. "Then you can feel free to judge me all you'd like." 

Ron looked between his brother and the parchment, now sprawled out all over his comforter. It was clear that whatever the parchments contained were important to his brother. So much so that the struggle of parting with them was evident in the twins face.

With one last desperate look between his younger brother and the letters, George walked out. Not a single word was uttered between the two as he walked through the door and down the stairs.
..........

Ron hadn't slept at all that night. Instead he poured through letter after letter, taking in every single word Harry had written to his brother. By the time the sun had risen the next morning, not a single word had been left unread.

If only he had had this much enthusiasm fir his studies. He could have given Hermione a run for her Galleons.

Ron stared blankly up at the ceiling, multiple withes and wizards flying in and out of his peripheral from the posters hanging on his wall. He could hardly believe it really, the propsect nearly boggled his mind. He'd like to think that he knew his best friend better than anyone, sometimes even Hermione! The Harry in those letters though was a Harry he had never known.

It had taken nearly three years to get the same level of information that George had gotten in the span of a month. The Harry in those letters had been so open and honest, whereas the Harry he knew was a bit dodgey at times and liked to keep things close to the chest. Sometimes it even took the combined efforts of both his best friends to open him up for even the smallest amounts of vulnerability.

Ron tried to reason that it was the anonnymity of writing a letter, but Harry wrote him just as often and got far less than his brother.

A knock at the door pulled him from his trance, momentarily ending the derailing train of thought in his head. Ron strode across the room, a whole three steps these days, and wrenched the door open to find a befuddled George. At least he had assumed it was George considering that the other twin wouldnt have a reason to look this anxious in their little brother's presence.

"Can I have them back now?" A look of hope and fear masked his features. Features that indicated to Ron that his brother had gotten even less sleep than himself.

Ron nodded, stepping back into the room to collect the letters from the floor. Neither said a word as George reached out to take the stack of parchment from him. The awkward silence stretched on as both boys stood in the doorway, Ron now empty handed and George hugging the letters to his chest.

George opened his mouth as if to say something, thought better of it, then closed his mouth and shook his head. "See you at breakfast then."

Ron nodded as George turned on his heel, walked down the hall, and descended the stairs, Ron watching his retreating form until there was nothing left to see.

Later on that morning, while everyone sat down for breakfast, Ron asked George to pass the plate of sausage.

It was was honestly the best thing he had heard in weeks.
..........

George was in his room writing to Harry when he heard the knock at his door. Both twins glanced at each other questioningly before both tuning to the door and answering "It's open!" Simultaneously.

To their slight surprise, it was Ginny who walked in with a nervous look of anticipation. Both twins met gazes once more, two pairs of matching eyebrows raised.

"Wha's'up Ginny? Fred asked in an earnest demeanor, both twins had always had quite a soft spot for their youngest sibling. Not that she needed it of course, the witch was as tough as any of her older siblings no doubt.

The young witch in question pursed her lips, then looked between the two. First at Fred who was sitting on his bed by the far wall, then at him, her eyes zeroing in on the ink and parchment sitting beside him. The corners of her lip turned up as if she had found something she had been looking for.

"I was wondering if I could talk to you for a bit George." Her voice was calm, but her eyes betrayed her as her gaze bore into his own.

The twin gave a slight shrug before answering. "Sure, you need something?" He asked.

"Er..." She muttered, "I was wondering if we could talk a little more privately." She said her gaze flicking to Fred. "Sorry, it's just a little sensative is all."

Fred shrugged nonchalantly. "S'kay, I'm all for the whole mystery and secrecy thing you've got going right now."

Both George and Ginny rolled their eyes at their brother.
..........

The moon and stars shown bright in the night sky, completely illuminating the garden as they walked. George, sensing Ginny's struggle, decided not to speak, allowing her to work through whatever it was that she needed to say.

"So..." She finally spoke, finally breaking the silence of the night. "You and Harry then."

George stopped his eyes meeting hers as she turned to face him. In that moment something had clicked in his brain. Information long since repressed was brought to the forefront of his brain.

"Ginny..." He started but was cut off before he could finish.

"I have something to say, could you not talk while I say it?" Ginny looked at him earnestly. George searched her for any sign if anger or resentment but found none. It had been a question not a statement, so George nodded his head in reply.

Ginny nodded, took a deep breathe in, and then a shakey breathe out. "I'm happy for you, truly, I am." George opened his mouth to plead with her but immediately closed it when she pointedly glared at him.

Right, no talking.

Ginny's gaze softened before she continued.  "You could have told me you know, it would have been better than being blindsided at dinner." George said nothing, as requested, letting his sister take her time and sort out her words before speaking once more. "I'm not that same love sick eleven year old you knew, I mean I had a crush on a celebrity, it's practically a requirement for any preteen!"

George raised an eyebrow at his sister's ramblings, patiently waiting for her to get to the point.

"All I'm trying to get at here is that I'm happy for you and that I think it's great to finally have someone I can talk to about guys who isn't mum, I mean she has the worst taste in men." Ginny trailed off muttering something about Lockhart followed by a rather unlady like scoff.

George's smile only grew.

When Ginny did not continue, George took that as his 'go-ahead' to speak once more.   "I guess it doesn't hurt that we have the exact same taste in men, huh?"

Ginny giggled at this and not a moment later was in his arms winding her arms around his midsection, her face burried in his firm chest.

"Ginny..." He satarted looking down at red hair only a few shades darker than his own. "There is no 'me and Harry,' it's just a stupid fixation and I'm sure I'll be on to the next bloke within a month."

Ginny looked up with a frown. "Do you really believe that?"

George's playful smile slipped into something more somber. No he really didn't.

Judging by Ginny's expression, neither did she.
..........

It was the night before he and his family were set to pick up Harry from his prison and once again George couldn't fall asleep. Fred did not seem to have the same problem if the light snoring from the bed next to his was any indication.

George slipped from his bed silently and made his way down stairs, not really knowing where to go only that his bed wasn't where he wanted to be.

Without a sound he slipped outside and made his way to the garden. The quiet breeze and bright stars sending a calm over him that he could not get while inside. Laying down on a soft patch of grass, he allowed what it was that had been bothering him to slip into the forefront of his mind.

Everyone seemed so certain that there was something going on between he and Harry, but there wasn't. The two young wizards had talked about a great many things, including sexuality. George had confided in Harry that he was gay and Harry had answered in earnest that he was bisexual, but neither had ever even hinted at possibly exploring any avenue of a relationship.

Truth be told, George desperately wished that his family were right, that Harry had shown some indication of interst, but they wern't and he didn't.

He closed his eyes and willed the quiet storm of his mind to calm when he felt the grass start to shake restlessly around him. He willed the magic flowing around him to settle and only then did the grass turn inanimate once more.

Just then, the fluttering of wings brought him out of his reverie, the nervous energy that had surrounded him once more was back in full force. He was on his feet to meet the bird in midflight, the owl landing on his outstretched arm without hesitation.

George searched Hedwig for a note frantically, but there wasn't one. His nerves were beginning to skyrocket, Hedwig's demeanor not helping. She was restless, her feathers standing up as if she had been spooked or even worse attacked.

A feeling of horror settled over George as he stood frozen in place, Hedwig still perched on his arm with her hackles raised. Why would she be here without a message? Why was she acting this way?

A sinking feeling settled in his stomach as everything clicked into place. All night he had been restless, unable to fall asleep because of the nervous energy coursing through him. Now Headwig shows up in a frantic state desperately trying to get his attention...

Harry, he needed to get to Harry.

He couldn't breathe. At that moment he couldn't even remember how.

A sharp pain tore through his arm, followed by a warm flowing sensation. It was enough to concentrate on, something to ground him when nothing else would.

When he came to he was on his hands and knees on the ground. How had he gotten there? He must of collapsed. He looked down at his bleeding arm where, clearly, Hedwig had dug her talons in.

The bird was now perched on the ground, still ruffled and even more irritated.

Harry.

He shot up off the ground. His feet carrying him back to the house, Hedwig landing on his shoulder a moment later. When he reached the entrance to the kitchen he threw open the door, not giving a damn about rhe shattering noise from behind him.

He made a mad dash for his mother and fathers room, the door to which swung open followed by two very disgruntled looking parents.

"What the bloody hell is going on?" His father roared at the same time his mother caught sight of him. Her eyes went wide  with fear and panic when she caught sight of the owl perched on his shoulder. 

"George what's happened?" She questioned as George tried to frantically speak.

"It's Harry! Mum. Da'. We have to help him, you have to help him!" George knew he looked and sounded like a madman but he didn't care. He had to make them understand had to make them help.

Without a moments notice Arthur apparated out of the room, leaving Molly to deal with a panicking George.  She drew him in in an attempt to calm the hysterical boy who was now shaking. She could practically feel the magic flying off of him in waves.

She only had a moment to be stunned by a sudden the realization.

She heard them before she saw them. The thunderous sound of three pairs of feet flying down the stairs like a pack of wild animals would have tipped anyone off.

"Mum? What the bloody hell is going on down here?" Asked Ron elloquintly.

"Mum? What's happened?" Asked Ginny worriedly.

"George!" Fred shoved passed his younger siblings in an attempt to get to his brother who, upon seeing his twin, detached from his mother and clung to Fred who wrapped his arms and tried to pick up where there mother had left off.

Molly, now free to move about the kitchen,  started pulling out a pot and tea leaves. Fred sat George down at the table just as their mother heated the tea and still no one spoke. Ginny and Ron, not knowing what else to do, took a seat at the table. Ginny in the vacant seat on George's left and Ron across the table.

George leaned forward, pressing his forehead onto the table and wrapped his arms around his head in an attempt to try and block it all out

Fred, who was now rubbing circles on his brother's back looked between his siblings with a worried expression. He had honestly never been so lost when it came to his brother. Ginny rested her head against m George's shoulder as Ron reached out to grab for one of the arms wrapped around his head.

Molly looked down at her four children. The pride at their solidarity marred only by the worry that had curled up low in her stomach. The revelation she had come to earlier was now pushed onto the backburner, something for her to deal with later.

Whatever this was, whatever was happening, they would deal with this as a family.

A loud crack pulled everyone's attention to the den, tea completely forgotten as they all races toward the noise.

Molly and Ginny gasped at the sight that met then, hands coming to cover their mouth in shock and horrer. Fred and Ron stood stunned unable to process what they saw. George crumpled to the floor, now shaking once more.

Arthur Weasley strode into the room frantically, carrying a bloody and bruised Harry Potter in his arms.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter of number four Privet Drive, Little Whinging, was an odd boy no doubt. Though the reasons why very much varried from person to person. Whether it be the girls and boys who had attended primary school with him, the ones who had watched as a dirty boy in too large clothes skulked around in the background and then suddenly disappeared completely just before secondary term started; or the wizarding world, who saw a shinning light of hope just from the utterance of his name, only to be somewhat taken aback as a boy who looked quite small for a person his age stood before them, his eyes never leaving the ground; even the students of Hogwarts, who saw only a boy with a penchant for finding trouble and an incredible knack for reaking havoc on any poor sap who took up the mantle of Defense Against the Dark Arts proffesor.

Indeed Harry was an odd boy, but none had ever wished him ill will for this fact. None except, that is, for the Dursley's.

The family had always prided themselves on keeping up a certain image, an image of the  picture perfect family, and despite a small bump in the road nearly thirteen years ago, the family had succeeded in maintaining this facade. At least for the first ten years.

They had taken Harry in, given him the clothes off of his wonderful cousin's back,  and even sheltered him in the only available space they had had. All the while keeping what he truly was under a tight wrap, for his own protection of course...

For ten years they played the part of a wonderfully normal family.

That had all changed the day Harry Potter turned eleven.

Since then, the once happy family's life had been chaos. From a flood of letters damaging the structure of their perfect home, to the now ruined list of possible clients. Vernon Dudley had even had to suffer as he watched his dear sister get blown up by the mouthy little monster.

It was evident at this point, that despite all their efforts, their picture perfect family was no more.

It wasn't a sudden, or even abrupt change really. It had started with whispers around the neighborhood. Whispers, from what Vernon and Petunia could gather, that were frequently about the boy.

Whispers they could handle. Whispers were easy to squash with a house party here and there, but that was before their nephew had realized what he was. 

After that, things had gone from bad to worse. The first year alone Vernon had had to take off of work for a very lengthy period of time with no explanation whatsoever. A short phone call from a madman being the only heads up they had received. 

The second year had been even worse. Vernon had had the biggest opportunity of his career in the form of the Masons.  He had had everything planned down to the last detail! Everything would have been perfect, they could have gotten their lives back on track... But his wretch of a nephew had ruined this as well.

It was the third year that had finally broken the older man. Vernon could feel something shift inside of him as he watched his beloved sister, Marge, quite literally float away.

That night Harry had left, and Vernon had prayed that the younger boy would get hit by a bus.
..........

After that night, Vernon had started to turn to the spirits in order too lift his own. It had started out innocent enough, just a small cup of brandy before bed to calm his nerves. One small glass before bed turning into a full glass at dinner, then another after, until finally the sight of the man without a glass in hand had started to become anm sort of anomaly.

Petunia had taken to walking on eggshells around her husband, who was now prone to fits of anger along with his booze. It was nothing she couldn't handle though, or at least that was what she kept telling herself.She had convinced herself that once there Dudley Poo had returned from Schmelting's, then her husband would put down the drink and everything would return to normal. And it had, for a little while.

Until HE had returned.

Vernon's drinking had returned, now worse than ever before. So much so that it had even started to make Dudley uncomfortable, that is, until he learned that a sloshed Vernon would give him anything he wanted without question.  Which hadn't been much of a change of anything as far as Harry had been concerned.

Harry on the other hand knew better than to cross paths with a drunken Vernon. If his uncle had loathed him before he could only imagine how he would feel about him in a drunken stooper.

The first time Vernon had swung at him was a week and a half after his arrival from his third year at Hogwarts. Harry had been trying to get to his school trunk, which had contained all of his homework and his wand, when a sudden force had pushed him against the door, his head hitting solid wood causing bright lights swim in and out of his vision.

Harry had had to blink a few times to get the bright lights out of his vision as Vernon had yelled and threatened him. Without thinking Harry had thrown out some cheeky remark which had only served to anger his uncle further.

Only the pure instinct that he had been able to fortify over the last three years of fighting for his life, had enabled him to duck out of the way before Vernon's fist had made contact with the wall rather than his face.

From that moment on Harry had tried to stay out of the house as much as possible. There had even bean a few memorable days where Vernon had seemed even less approachable than usual and hsd elected to sleep outside on the bench in the garden.

Only the letters from his friends had kept him sane through it all. One friend in particular had really stuck out among the this summer. George's letters wete nearly the only thing that could make him smile

He wanted to run, to grab his broom and bird and clothes and just fly away. Be done with the whole lot. He couldn't though. Serius was still on the run and he could never put the Weasley's in such a position. They had enough problems with getting by wiithout adding Harry to the mix.

So Harry stayed, he hid, and sometimes he took it, not having any other choice.

It all came to a head the night before Harry was meant to be picked up by the Weasley's. Vernon had had more to drink than usual and was now absolutely livid at the aspect of a bunch of freaks popping into his house.

Harry who had forgotten himself momentarily had yelled back at his uncle in a most unsavory way. Petunia and Dudley had been wide eyed at the exchange, almost fearful. Vernon who had been stunned momentarily by his nephew, had now narrowed his gaze on the boy seeing only red.

Harry had watched wide eyed as Vernon decided on his next course of action, which had been to charge. Harry attempted to dodge out of the way, but his foot had caught on something solid, giving Vernon just enough time to knock him off of his feet and slam him onto the solid ground with a large thunk as his head hit the wooden floor.

Petunia had taken Dudley and fled from the room.
..........

Harry laid there on the floor of his room where Vernon had physically thrown him. He wanted to laugh, would have if he weren't concentrating so hard on just staying awake. He had survived three different attempts on his life by the most evil and powerful being in the world and here he was laying on the ground unable to move from the sheer pain it caused him. All because some drunken muggle hated him. If only the wizarding world could see me now he thought biterally, a corner of his mouth twitched up in utter amusement as a single tear slipped from the corner of his eye, running down his temple into the floor. 

He had tried to fight back at first, but the original blow to his head had left him dazed and befuddled his mind, allowing Vernon to gain the upper hand. Once on top Harry was unable to buck him off until finally all he could do was lay there, taking blow after blow.

Harry took in a deep shuttering breath, causing a sharp pain in his side. He was almost sure Vernon had, at least, cracked a rib when he had delivered the final blow. A swift kick in the ribs as Harry lay there, unwilling to pass out.

The taste of blood was now overpowering as he lay there, waiting. He wasn't sure what it was he was waiting for at this point. He just knew he couldn't sleep.

That's when she came.

Hedwig flew into the open window and landed on her perch. It only took the owl less than a minute for her to deduce that something was wrong as she surveyed the room before her eyes finally landed on the prone and unmoving form of a boy, her boy.

The Snowey Owl had flown around him frantically, careful not to accidentally bump any part of him. The smell of blood doing nothing to soothe the bird as her hackles began to rise, ready to attack whomever had done this to her boy.

Harry's eyes were now closed, causing Hedwig's panic to rise even further. The bird was intelligent enough to know that her boy needed help. Quickly.

Without sparing a moment, she flew back out into the night air, ignoring the fact that she had just arrived from a great distance. She needed to find help, her boy had been badly injured and there had been no one there helping him.

Hedwig knew exactly where she needed to go. She knew exactly who she needed to find.

Not even an hour later, the bird flying as fast as she could, Hedwig found her intended target already outside anxiously awaiting her arrival. At that moment she knew rhe red headed boy would save their boy.
..........

Arthur Weasley moved quietly through the halls of number four Privet Drive as he searched for one Harry Potter. When he had apparated into the home of the boy's muggle family he wasn't sure what he would find, possibly signs of an attack? Maybe, to his horror, the body's of three muggles and one Wizard? Indeed, the older man had expected the worst when he popped in. What he found, to his complete bewilderement, was a completely normal muggle home.

Arthur stood, eyes wide, as he took it all in. It was magnificent! They even had a telly vision, oh how muggles never ceased to amaze him.

Arthur smiled, his hands now at his hips along with his wand, and shook his head. He had never been in a muggle home that wasn't being raided before, but he was fairly certain nothing seemed amiss here.

Arthur made to disapparate back to the burrow, where he would give a good hard lecture to whichever twin it was that had caused such an uproar at home, but then he recalled his son's face. The boy had been absolutely mad with grief and worry, the snowy owl they all knew perched on his shoulder not looking any better.

With an audible sigh, Arthur moved further into the house in search of any signs of foul play.

It only took the older wizard a few minutes to search the lower portion of the house. Not finding any signs of an attack or struggle, he made his way to the staircase and ascended the steps until he  arrived at a long hallway with four doors.

Loud snoring could be heard from the first door he arrived at, indicating that whomever resided just beyond the door was most likely in no immediate danger, but he would check every room just to appease the worry that his son had transferred onto him.

"Lumos." He muttered quietly. The tip of his wand illuminating the dark hallway.
Quielty, Arthur twisted the knob and opened the door. 

A large bed with two sleeping lumps lay before him. Arthur chucked quietly. Lucky sod. Oh how he wished he could be so lucky as to be snoring in bed with his wife right now. He closed the door, shaking his head all the while.

The next room he peered into contained a rather large lump in a very impressive looking bed. Definitely not Harry.

The next room he searched hadn't been it either, but it was probably the one he spent the longest amount if time in seeing as how it had been one of the fanciest lous he had ever been in. What ever Mr Dursley did for a living he must of been well paid! No doubt.

Finally, Arthur arrived at the final door located at the end of the hallway, only when he made to open it it did not do so. It was locked. Arthur frowned readied his wand at the knob then paused, his gaze catching on shiny metal hovering at eye level. A lock. A lock on the outside of the door.

A knot formed in the pit of his stomach. A lock to keep someone from getting out, like a caged animal.

"Alohamora." The locked clicked open and clattered to the floor.

Arthur entered the room, his wand falling from his slack grip causing a roaring echo in the once silent room.

There, laying on the ground in front of him, was an unmoving Harry Potter, bruised and bloodied. It looked as if the boy had been beaten within an inch of his life.

Arthur clamored onto the floor next to the boy, his knees hitting the ground so hard that he knew he would be feeling it at a later time. As of now he could not bring himself to care as he searched Harry for signs of life, to make sure that he was still breathing. To his utter relief Harry's chest gave a slight heave before falling once more, followed quickly by a pain filled wheezing.

The older wizard was struck dumb for a few moments as he tried to imagine the kind of monster who could do this to a fourteen year old boy. Surely it was some kind of monster attack, no one but you-know-who could be this hateful, surely.

The creeking of the door jarred Arthur from his thoughts. He made a dive for his wand which had rolled towards the far wall while he had been preoccupied with Harry. The instant his fingers curled around the wood, his wand was pointed toward the door at the ready to fire at whatever had come to finish the job.

Instead of the wild beast that he had imagined only minutes ago, he found himself face to face with a tall and slight women with blond hair curled up around cylindrical objects. Curlers. His brain supplied.

The woman looked terrified, but for whatever reason Arthur didn't believe that it was his presence that she feared. Perhaps it was the way she kept darting her gaze down the hall then at the boy lying on the floor behind him. Arthur made to shield Harry from her vision as if he could erase the fact that he were there in the room from this women who he could only assume was Mrs. Dursley.

A look of certainty settled in her eyes as she took in his defensive stance against her. She opened her mouth as if to speak, only to close it again to rethink her words.

"Take him." She said quietly. Her night gown flowing around her as she stepped into the room. "His trunk is downstairs in the cupboard under the stairs along with his wand and broom." She finished now only inches away from Arthur, a now determined look on her face. "Take him and never bring him back."

Arthur Weasley stared coldly at the woman who stood before him, her chin held high. She hadnt even asked who he was or why he was there. For all she knew he could have been there to kill the boy!

The fact that she hadnt even bothered to looked shocked when she had first spotted the state Harry was in upon her arrival had confirmed the horrible suspician he had come to only moments ago.

She didn't care.

Withought another word Arthur bent down on one knee to gather Harry in his arms, lifting him up off the floor.

Petunia turned her back on the two wizards and silently made her way to the door. Just before exiting, she stopped placing a hand on the frame as if to steady herself.

"Tell Dumbledore that I am sorry, but I can no longer do it." She muttered over her shoulder, now refusing to meet his gaze.

"I'll be back for his things in a moment." Arthur disapparated out of the room with the boy in his arms.

Indeed, if Arthur had his way then Harry Potter would never step foot in that house ever again. No matter what.

Chapter Text

Ch 5

Harry Potter moved as quickly and as quietly as he possibly could along the long expanse of illuminated hallway, careful not to make any noise less he be descended upon by a pack of vicious animals. Animals who had not  given him five minutes peace since arriving at the burrow. It had been three days since his rescue and the only reprieve he got from the merciless onslot of red haired Weasleys was when he went to the bathroom and even then he knew there was at least one of them sitting right outside the door. As if Harry were going to be attacked in the lou or while he was naked in the shower. The thought alone was enough to make him role his eyes, even if there wasn't anyone around to appreciate it.

Unfortunately, the Healer that Mrs. Weasley had flued from St. Mungos the moment he had arrived had put him on bed rest for a whole week. A week! He could scarcely imagine why. He had overheard the Healer, an elderly woman with a sharp nose and stunningkt white hair, muttering to Mrs. Weasley  about something that had sounded like  'punctured lung' and 'broken ribs.' The thought of spending another four days cooped up in Ron's room was enough to drive even the sanest of wizards stark raving mad. 

So here he was. Sneaking down the stairs of his best mates home in an attempt to escape them all. Harry knew that they were only trying to help, but he would go loony if one more person asked him if he was 'okay.'

It wasn't really an escape per say, more of a break really. Harry appreciated that the whole lot seemed to care about his well being, really he did, it was just too much. He had been on his own since day one and even though he had had Ron and Hermione by his side for the past three and a half years, he still wasn't quite used to the mothering and protectiveness.

He was selfish. He knew this to be a fact, the fact of which made him feel even guiltier as he slipped through the empty living room and out into the sunny morning air.

The moment his bare feet touched the ground a wave of utter calm washed over him. He breathed in the the air greedily, enjoying the earthy smell mixed in. He had always felt more at ease while outside, the love of which beginning as far back as he could remember. Especially on days when Vernon or Dudley were feeling extra fond of the idea of using Harry as a human punching bag.

The air seemed cleaner here, fresher, more so than in Surry.  For a moment Harry felt silly as the mental image of Julie Andrews spinning in circles, her arms out stretched as she sang about singing hills.

He made his way to the garden, where he could hide amongst the flowers and vegetables that were now in full bloom. Once there he settled on a soft patch of grass and lied down staring up at the sky. The blades tickling the back of his neck and behind his ears as he found a comfortable position.

What did that healer know about what he needed anyway. How could  he get any healing done in some dingy old room surrounded by four walls... and almost every player of the Chudley Cannons.

The light from the sun washed over him, and for the first time since the summer break had started, Harry felt at ease. Closing his eyes, he let the warmth settle over him. Only a slight sting from his lip and cheek were keeping him from floating away into his own mind anf for that he was grateful. Melon knew that his mind wasbthe last place that he wanted to he stuck.

"Nice day for a stroll isn't it Harry." Harry had nearly jumped out of his skin as the unexpected guest, intruder more like it, spoke right above him. In fact, Harry had moved so quickly that the other person did not have enough time to move out of the way as his head slammed into something solid with a loud thump!, both bodies falling to the ground clutching their foreheads in pain. Harry's glasses flying onto the ground Merlin knows where. 

Harry had to spare a hand for his ribs that were now on fire, one now clutching his forehead while the other wrapped around his chest as if to keep them from falling out.  Harry couldn't even be bothered to search for his glasses so he could actually see who it was that had thought it might be a good idea to sneak up on him and scare the bloody hell out of him.

"Oh fuck," a deep voice rumbled next to him as a hand grabbed the one he had pressed to his forehead, dragging it away so that the person could get a better look at Harry's head. "Shit, looks like your lightning bolt is going to pop off of your forehead. " He spoke again, following it with a small chuckle.

"Can't imagine you look any better than." Harry said with a smile. Just as Harry made to find his glasses, the thin metal frame slip over his eyes accompanied by the softest brush of fingers agaist his temple. A slight shiver coursed through him at the contact.

Harry looked up into sparkling blue eyes and slight freckles surrounding a round face atop a thin neck and broad shoulders. The fiery red hair shorter than usual on the younger man giving him a more mature look about him. He was smiling at Harry now, a beautiful and dazzling smile filled with ivory teeth that were slightly crooked on the bottom row, which only put forth a certain element that seemed to add rather than subtract from the beauty.

"Wha'? do I have something on my face?" George Weasley asked, a hand reaching up to to wipe off any sort of thought might be there. Harry blushed at having been caught staring at the twin, and gave a quick shake of his head at the question. Harry had always felt slightly nervous around Ron's older brother and ever since their first meeting outside of platform nine and three quarters Harry had subtelly shied away from the older boy. He had attempted to treat George just as he did the rest of the Weasley clan once he had become closer to them as a whole, but somehow it never clicked, it never felt right. There was always something... different about their relationship. Not more or less important than his relationship with the others, just... different.

And now he was staring again. Even worse, he had not said a single word since they had collapsed on the ground some minutes ago. George did not seem to mind this though, as he continued to smile at Harry, his brows now raised in a questioning manner.

"If you've come to bring me back to bed you should know that I won't be going without a fight." George laughed a this, a head tilted back full belly roll kind. The sight of which made Harry's pulse flutter ever so slightly.

"Wouldn't dream of it Harry." Said George with a wicked gleam that made Harry's stomach flip. The older boy laid back against the grass as Harry had been only moments ago totally oblivious that his companion was on the verge of some sort of breakdown.

Harry did not follow in suite, instead choosing to stay upright to look down at his umexpected visitor turned victim. "Well if your not here to drag me back why are you here?" Harry asked suspiciously.

"Bloody hell, can't a chap take a stroll through the garden without being accused of such grievous crimes?" The playful smirk never left the red head's lips as he looked up at Harry. "Besides, this is where I always come to get away mate."

"Oh."

"Yep."

A silence fell between the two as both receded into their own thoughts. Harry now felt that he had stolen George's comfort zone from him and was ready to make a hasty retreat. Clearly the twin wished to be alone, why else had he come here? So Harry stood up from the ground to leave.

"I'm sorry, didn't mean to take up your-" but Harry did not get too finish. Instead George had sat bolt upright, as if he had lain on a bed of hot embers, and grabbed Harry's wrist before he could turn to leave.

"Wait!" George's eyes were wide with something reminiscent of panic, his once playful smile was now set in a hard flat line turned down at the corners.

Harry stared at George in shock then at the hand gripping his arm where a tingling sensation was now making its way up his arm in waves. Neither spoke for a full minute.

"I just... I mean..." George scramble for something to say, desperately so. "I mean there's plenty of room here for two extroverts, no reason why we can't share right?"

Harry didn't make a sound, nor move a muscle. George wanted him to stay? And why did that effect him in ways it shouldn't?

George seemimg to sense his inner turmoil started to babble in an attempt to salvage... Whayever this was. "Well, I mean if you want to anyway. I'm certainly not going to stop you if you want to find your quite place else where and I-"

"You don't mind?" Harry asked, stopping George in the middle of his rant.

"Mind?" The red head asked slightly dazed and a little lost in the conversation.

"Sharing." Harry said simply, a smile creeping its way across his face as George seemed to process Harry's answer. The dawnimg of realization was evident as understanding settled over the twin's features. His playful smile returning to its full radiance.

"Nah, plenty of room for two." George gave a gentle tug on Harry's wrist, the one he hadn't even noticed that he had never let go of in the first place, and Harry willingly went. Both laying back into the grass and watched as the clouds floated by.
..........

"He never did let got of Harry's wrist did he?" Molly asked to the small crowd now surrounding the kitchen window that happened to overlook the garden.

Molly, Ron, Ginny, and Fred had been gathered around the window for some time now watching the events outside unfold. It had started out all innocently. Molly had seen Harry in the garden and had appointed George to go and bring him back to bed. Ron and Ginny had entered only moments after for lunch, which was now probably as cold as ice as it sat on the table totally forgotten. No one really knew when Fred had shown up, but it had definitely been before Harry had head butted his twin, as Fred had given an uncontrollable barking laugh at his brother's expense. Everyone had turned on him with insistant sushings and a 'be quiet!' From Ron.

"I really don't think he did." Answered Ginny with a giggle.

"Yea, that's my boy! Holding on to what he wants and refusing to let go! Even when they're about ready to chew their own arm off in an attempt to escape." Molly slapped Fred on the back of the head, he was ruining the moment for everyone. Fred gave an indignant squawk.

"Do you think he knows?" Ginny asked to no one in particular.

"I would hope so," Ron started, "he's about this close from snogging the poor guy! How could Harry not know?"

"No I mean-" but Ginny did not get to finish as she was interrupted by a newcomer.

"How could Harry not know what?" Came a familiar female voice. Ron, Molly, and Ginny all turned around in quick succession, some more gracefully than others, Ron having toppled over three plates while doing so.

"Hermione, dear," Mrs Weasley asked almost breathlessly. The young girl clearly having given her quite a fright. "How was the trip? Made sure to pack all of your things did you?"

"Yes of course," Hermione answered with the slightest tightness to her words. "Harry, you were saying something Harry? Is he alright?" She finished, worry now etched in her tone

Ron chuckled, but quickly covered it up with a cough, how could the girl not be worried. It was Ron who had written to her, after all, telling her everything that had happened only a few nights ago. Hermoine's response had been immediate, an owl arriving the next day.  I'm coming early. Please tell your father to come and get me in two days time." And now here she was, looking as if she were ready to tear through the lot of em' if they didn't reveal Harry's exact whereabouts to her immediately.

Ron gulped, now pulling at his collar as it seemed someone had turned up the heat within the burrow by at least a hundred degrees.

"Relax, will ya." Fred answered with an eye roll, his gaze having never left the window. "He's fine now. Just having a bit of a lie down in the garden is all."

"In the garden?" Hermoine asked increduloisly. "Ron told me the healer put him on bed rest? Why is he outside in the garden?!"

"Because it's Harry, Hermione, and you know as well as I do that he's always gonna do the exact opposite of what anyone tells him." Ron said matter of factly. "I'm surprised he made it three days to be honest."

"Right, well, I'm going to bring him back in and-"

"Already ahead of ya, Hermione." Ginny cut the other girl off and turned back to the window. "Mum sent George out to get him ages ago."

"Well he's clearly not doing a very good job of it now is he?" Hermione strode to the window, her demeaner now slightly aggitated, as if to determine what could possibly be taking the twin so long.

"Oh, I don't know about that," Fred said with a mischievous grin. "I think he's doing better than you think."

Hermione, stated out the window, an expression of 'oh...'  settled over her as realization sunk in. "Well," she started, her eyes never leaving the window. "I suppose a few more minutes couldn't hurt now could it?" The question wasn't directed to anyone but herself, so no one answered. Everyone, instead, choosing to follow Hermoine's shinning example of espionage.

Arthur Weasley, chuckled at his family's antics. He checked his watch and gave a startled jump. Great Merlin look at the time! "Off to work then, have a great day everyone!" When the group did not acknowledge that he had said anything, Mr. Weasley grabbed a pinch of floo powder with one hand and threw it into the fire place. Emerald green flames erupted and Arthur stepped in.

Just before his departure, Mr Weasley flicked his wand toward the group, the shutters snapping shut in their faces. The last thing heard before his departure was a chorus of protest and even a few curses of his name no doubt uttered by his beloved wife.  
..........

"How did you know."

It had been ages since either had said anything and George was already missing the silence. Not that he didn't enjoy listening to Harry, only that he had been expecting this question and was dreading having to answer. He thought about lying to the younger boy but quickly dismissed the idea. How could he ever lie to Harry? The idea just seemed so wrong. And yet how was he to tell the boy the truth? Harry would think him a complete knutter.

"Know what?" George asked, going for the ignorant approach like the coward he was.

"How did you know that I..." Harry paused the words clearly stuck in his throat. The pain of remembering that night evident in his now rigid body. The hurt and embarressent written across his still bruised face.

"I dont know." George answered quickly cutting the other boy off. He didn't want Harry to finish, never wanted him to even think about it. But even worse was letting him think that he was alone in this. George would have given anything to be able to obliviate the whole horrible situation from existence. But he couldn't.

Harry was looking at him now with an odd expression that George couldn't quite place. It was a look of puzzlement and wonder, with something else that defied explination. Yet, it was still a complete improvement to the broken look he had had only moments ago.

"Who told you?" George needed to know. He hadn't wanted Harry to know, hadn't wanted the boy to feel like he owed anyone a damn thing. Least of all him.

"Does it matter?" Harry asked eyebrows raised. Clearly not expecting George's question or the way he had asked it rather coldly.

"Yes."

"Why is that?" Harry's gaze bore into the side of his head as he refused to make eye contact, instead choosing to stare up at the sky. When George didn't answer Harry continued to push. "George..."

In that moment, no one could blame him for breaking so easily. "You don't owe me anything you know." George vocalized his thoughts from only moments ago. "I didn't want you to know because I didn't want you to feel like you owed me a thing." It was only one part of the answer but it'd do for now.

"Well, that's definitely not true now is it?" George now looked over at Harry who had yet to take his eyes off of him. George felt like he might come unravelled at any moment. "Can I at least thank you?" Harry pleaded.

George looked back into the sky, refusing to meet the other boys eyes once more.

"I might be a complete sap for saying this but...." Harry paused. That look returning once more, the one that broke George's heart. He gave Harry's hand a squeeze in an attempt to console both himself and Harry but did not dare interrupt the boy. "I don't know what I would have done if it hadn't been for you." And with that Harry let everything out. Everyrhing that he had been holding back for three days now. The attack, his summer thus far with the Dursley's, his uncle's drinking, his aunt's blind eye, everything. Harry had tears in his eyes and was shaking slightly by the time he had finished and George wanted nothing more than to scoop this boy up into his arms and never let go. Instead he laced their fingers together and gave another squeeze, both boys now looking up into the sky instead of at each other in an attempt to hide.

It wasn't until later that day that George had realized it. Not once had he said who he was. And yet, Harry had known without a doubt that he had been talking to George, never once faltering when he had said his name instead of Fred's.

Chapter Text

Ch6

"What in Merlin's name do you think your doing?" Fred asked as he barged into their shared room, a look of utter frustration on his face.

George looked down at the essay he was working on for Transfiguration then back up at his twin with a look of confusion.
"It's the essay Mcgonagall set for the holidays." George answered honestly, only slightly wary of where his brother was going with this.

Fred rolled his eyes then shook his head at his twins answer. "No you git." Fred said in exasperation. "Harry! What are you doing with Harry!"

George continued to stare at his twin, waiting for him to see that the boy in question was clearly no where in sight. "Well, nothing right now, obviously." He answered when Fred gave no indication that he had already figured this out. "Unless you think I've stowed him under the bed of course?"

Fred looked as if he were about to beat his head against the wall. "Are you being deliberately thick?"

"I'm not the one busting into our room like a bloody loon!" George admonished, his ever expanding patience with his brother growing shorter by the second. His brother clearly feeling the same if the look he was now giving his twin. Fred had moved from the doorway and was now taking up residence on the edge of his bed, his thumb and forefinger now pinching at the skin on the bridge of his nose.

"What I'm trying to say is," Fred started, "why haven't you asked Harry out yet, for Marlin's sake."

George was visibly shocked by this, his mouth opened and closed on an answer he knew he didn't have. "What in blaises are you going on about?" He answered, clearly going for ignorance. The much easier path to deal with at thus very moment.

"I mean," Fred got up to stand in front of his brother, then bent down so that he was at eye level, "You and Harry have been in that garden together every day for the past fortnight doing Merlin. Knows. What." He punctuated the last part with three sharp jabs of his index finger into George's chest.

"Well how do you know I haven't already then?" George pushed his brother's hand away as he got up from their shared desk and made his way to the trunk located in their closet.

"I know you George. Better than any-"

"Ron and Hermione told you did they?" George wasn't about to let Fred hold the twin thing over him when he didn't have the right.

Fred scowled. "Alright fine, yes they told me." Fred pointed an accusatory finger at his twin. "But only because Harry tells them bloody everything and poor old Fred gets the scraps since his twin won't give up the juicy stuff!" Fred said with emphasis on 'his twin.'

It was George's turn to roll his eyes now, making sure to turn back towards Fred before doing it. "First off we've talked about you referring to ya' self in the third person, it's not as glam as you think it is," Fred's scowl deepened before he made to speak once more, but was cut off as George pushed forward. "Second, I can't."  He finished simply. And with thay, he turned back to his trunk and started rummaging through the trunk for the book he needed. Fred's face went from utterly annoyed to thoroughly confused in record time as he watched his twin's shoulder's slump in what looked like defeat. Or maybe, perhaps, complacency?

"I can't ask him out right now Fred," George stated without turning around. "He's been through enough lately and he doesnt need me adding on to that by complicating his life further with my feelings."

Fred stared at his brother for what felt like ages searching for any signs of jest. He had never heard his brother talk like this, it was truly an insight into how George felt about their pseudo brother. This was new, this deep capacity for self sacrifice for someone else's greater good.

Fred didn't like it. Blokes like that usually got the shaft or ,worse yet, friendzoned. His brother was taking himself way to seriously.

"Fine," Fred made toward his brother, "give me your clothes."

George turned to look at his twin now, book in hand, realization settling in. "Fred, that's not going to work this time. I'm telling you-"

"Clothes George." His tone left no room for argument as he stared down his poor brother.

George gave a moment of resistance before giving an audible sign of defeat then continued to strip, his face contorted into a look of belligerence the whole while. Fred rolled his eyes once more and mirrored his brother's action, quickly taking his own clothes off and dawning the ones George handed to him.

When Fred offered his clothes George only shook his head. It wasn't abnormal for them to laze about their room in only their underpants anyway, so Fred gave a slight shrug and threw his clothes into the corner. George went back to his homework as his brother, now disguised as him, made his way out the door and down the stairs.
..........

Fred enetered the kitchen where he knew Harry would be hold up working on holiday homework with Ron and Hermione. To his utter delight, however, the boy sat alone at the table. One hand held a crisp that was now being dunked into a glass of warm milk that his mother had no doubt made for him, she always did roll out the red carpet for the boy not that he didn't seserve it of course with everything he had been through, the other held a quill which Harry was using to do his homework with.

Harry was completely absorbed in his work and, as such, did not notice Fred slide into the chair across from him until the boy had reached out and grabbed a crisp from the plate. Harry gave a quick jolt at the realization that he was no longer alone, his eyes darting upward to meet Fred's.

"A little warning next time you sneak up on a bloke would ya!" Harry said shaking his head at the twin's antics.

Fred shook his head, giving a slight chuckle at this response. "Sorry Harry didnt mean to scare ya." He said in what was his attempt at playful and flirty.

"You didn't scare me Fred, just took me by surprise is all." Fred did not let his smile slip at the use of his own name. Most people got it right half of the time by sure chance. It was only a fifty-fity gamble to get it on the first go.

"Really Harry? I'm a little insulted that you got it wrong on the first try." Fred said in an attempt to throw Harry off, shaking his head as if disappointed. "I thought you might be able to figure out which of us is which by now."

Harry only raised an eyebrow at this before answering, "My apologies." and then returning his attention back to his homework. Fred's smile faltered only slightly, but he was determined to fix this for his brother, so he continued on.

"It's ok you know, no one can really tell us apart anyway, not even mum so don't feel bad if-"

"Look," Harry cut in abruptly with a rather sharp tone, "I don't know why you're pretending to be George, Fred, but I really do need to finish this before we head out for the World Cup tomorrow. So if you don't mind?"

Fred's mouth was now slightly ajar. Harry had no doubt in his mind about whether or not he was right. He already knew, had known from the very beginning! He had never met anyone who didn't at least give a thought to the idea of whether or not they had chosen wrong, often times having done so in the first place. Not Harry though. He saw Fred for who he was, but not because he knew Fred. No. The twin now understoodbthe depth of his brother's relationship with the boy in front of him.

Harry didn't know Fred enough to distinguish the two, but he knew George, probably better than anyone ever had. Himself excluded.

He had to fix this. His mind was whirling, now more determined to accomplish what he had set out to do than he had been before. Plan A hadn't worked so it was time for a plan B.

Fred smiled mischievously.

"Er, sorry." Fred laughed weakly in a feign of apology." His hand coming to scratch his neck in an awkward manner, a slight blush now surfacing as he forced himself to think of what he and Angelina had done on the last day before the holiday's. "I guess it was a rather stupid joke, really."

Harry did not look up from his parchment when he spoke to Fred again. "Well, you'll have to do a lot better than that impersonation anyway if your gonna fool anyone into thinking your George."

Fred's did not let his annoyance show. They had been fooling anyone and everyone with the same trick for nearly two decades, what did he know? "Yea, I know," he agreed, setting the trap, "but George was adamant that it would work," he feigned, "he said you needed a right good laugh any how."

Harry's quill paused on his parchment as Harry finally looked back up into the redheads gaze. A hardness now taking over his facial festures "Did he now?"

Fred had to force down his feelings of complete victory and glee as as he continued on with his charade. "Yea... He did, prat owes me five Knuts now."

Harry looked as if he had swallowed a lemon, the look lasting a moment before a determination settled in. "Well I'm off to bed," Harry stated, standing abruptly and collecting his things. "Night Fred." The boy threw over his shoulder as he practically stormed out of the room.

Fred smiled brightly as he dragged the remaining crisps and milk towards him, savoring the sweet taste of victory.

Harry really and truly did know his brother through and through. They would make a fantastic couple once they both got their heads out of their arses.

Fred on the other hand? Well Harry still had a lot to learn about Fred Weasley.
.........

Harry Potter wasn't angry per say, what he was however was supremely irritated. How could George think that he wouldn't know the difference between he and his brother? As far as Harry was concerned the two twins were as different as night and day.

Harry couldn't help but think about his encounter in the kitchen. How could he have not known that that hadn't been George? George was always more subdued then his brother, Not to say that the boy was shy no, if he and his brother shared anything it was their confidence. The only difference was that where Fred had a sort of reckless compulsion to him George had a more calculating quality, always analyzing every little thing. No, George would never act unless he had thought something all the way through. Fred strolling through the door and plopping himself down without a care in the world had been the least George like thing he had ever seen.

While it was also true that the two brothers were very alike in appearance Harry couldn't help but notice their differences whenever looking at one or the other. For instance, all of the Weasleys had beautiful brown eyes, but George's had always stood apart. His were a wonderful shade of light brown with flecks of amber gold thrown in, the result of which made for a mesmerizing combination. When Harry had looked into eyes of the boy who had sat in front of him all he had seen was a light brown, with a little green mixed in. He had almost been shocked to find that he had been quite disappointed by this.

These were the thoughts that had run rampant inside of Harry's skull as he climbed the stairs one at a time. Things like the scar above the left side of George's lip, his quiet understanding and patience, the way Harry just knew when he walked into the room. Harry had always been able to tell the difference. How could George think otherwise?

Harry's train of thought had come full circle by the time he had made it too the second floor landing. He paused as he passed a door on his left, light still spilling out from the bottom crack. Fred and George's room.

Harry only gave himself a minute to think about it before he was charging into the room, the door slamming shut behind him so he would not disturb anyone while he had his say. The moment the door clicked shut, however, he knew he had made a mistake. He now understood that this had been a very bad idea as the bottom of his stomach fell out in what felt like a free fall.

George stood at his desk, clearly having been startled by Harry's abrupt entrance, in nothing but a pair of loosely fit under pants that barely managed to hug his lean hips. His long and muscular torso was on full display, showcasing exactly what it meant to be a beater on a Quiditch team. A light smattering of auburn hair around his naval and between his pecs was the only thing obscuring beautiful pale skin. Harry couldn't help following the trail below his naval to....
Harry didn't think his eyes could get any wider, or his mouth more dry and yet...

"Harry!" George's voice barely managed to pierce the fog that now seemed to cloud his mind. All Harry could think of now were freckles, George's in this case, and about how they seemed to gather in clusters along his shoulder only to cascade and disperse as they made their way down his body.

Harry wasn't sure when it had happened. Wasn't sure of when George had gotten so close to him, stopping only a foot away, hardley any room to breathe.

"Harry it's ok, you're ok." George slowly reached out a hand towards Harry's considerably smaller chest as if waiting for Harry to rebuke his effort. When he did not, George placed his hand firmly over his heart. It was only then that Harry was made aware of how fast it was beating, along with his breathing which was near hyperventilating. Harry fought to get himself under control, all the while concentrating on the warmth eminating from the hand on his chest.

George smiled down at him, as if he could sense that the spell that had taken over the younger boy was now broken. And finally, when he felt like he could breathe once more, Harry looked up into the older boys face. George continued too smile down at him. Harry wanted to die, which was saying a lot considering his sordid past. He couldn't stop the flush that was most likely now the color of the other boys hair.

"You needed me for something?" George asked. Clearly pretending that whatever it was that was happening, or had happened, didn't for the sake of Harry's sanity.

Harry fumbled for an answer, reaching back passed the fog for the answer that he knew really didn't matter anymore. Then, promptly gave up when George's thumb moved ever so slightl, leaving a trail of fire in its wake. Harry shuttered with a gasp. George's smile fell into something else entirely.

"I... I did," Harry managed to stutter out. "I don't think it's that important now though." George smiled down at him once more, the look that had previously settled now gone.

George chuckled, his hand moving away from the younger boy's chest as he took a step back and then another. Harry already feeling the absence of the warmth keenly.

"It's late." The older boy stated. His eyes never leaving Harry as he backed toward the desk where the younger boy had walked in on him, barged really. "You should go to bed."

Harry swallowed then nodded. "Goodnight then." But he did not move, neither did George, both boys now staring at each other. "George..."

A knock sounded at the door, pulling both boys begrudgingly out of the little world they had temporarily made for themselves there in that room.

George strode to the door, pausing with one hand on the knob, then leaned down till his lips were nearly brushing Harry's ear and Harry could feel each breath on his skin. "Sweet dreams Harry." And with that, the older boy wrenched open the door, officially ending whatever it was that had taken place just moments ago.

Possibly the death of Harry's Sanity

That night, Harry dreamt of the murder of an old muggle man, and a flash of green light.

Chapter Text

Ch7

Though much had happened in the two weeks following, Harry's thoughts had never strayed far from the moment he had shared with George in the twin's bedroom. From the moment Ron had interrupted them when he had come knocking in search of his friend, Harry had been in a sort of daze. Walking around aimlessly, his thoughts never straying far from the closeness of George's lips in proximity to his ear, or the sight of the older boy nearly naked wearing only a baggy pair of trousers that had hung loosely from his lean hips.

Merlin what a view.

From that point on every time George had entered a room, or vise versa, Harry felt his presence keenly. His reaction to the older boy was bordering on worrisome, seeing as how every time George was in sight something inside of Harry would pull and tug. Not unpleasantly so, though, quite the opposite really. The sensation would only get stronger with each step George took towards him, the tension building as the distance between them diminished, until Harry was shaking from it.

George, always seeming to sense Harry's distress, would always push past anyone and everyone who got in his way until he was standing right in front of the younger boy. His hand would move to press against whatever part of his body that he could manage and everytime his touch burned like fire.

If anyone noticed this odd behavior, no one said a thing.

Indeed, Harry was starting to think that such behavior was not normal even by wizarding standards. Then again, he could do quite a few things that most wizards, if any, could not. So why should this be any different? Harry did not allow himself to dwell on the unusualness of the situation less the bitterness set in.

He couldn't even develop feelings for a bloke without making it into a highly unusual ordeal. Figures, really. Maybe Malfoy had been right all along.

Not even the events at the Quditch World Cup had truly taken his mind from the matter. Honestly, if a horde of Voldemort's followers spinning a whole muggle family around in the air like a bunch of rag dolls didn't do the trick then Harry didn't know what would. Even now, as Harry sat on the floor of the train compartment he, Ron, and Hermione currently occupied, the matter still weighed on his thought heavily.

Harry brought his knees up to his chest and curled his arm around them, his head now leaning back as Hermione absently ran her fingers though his hair. All three now sat at one side of the train car, Hermione and Ron on the bench seat and Harry on the floor in between them. Ron was absently looking out the window not making a sound, Hermione was reading a book with one hand while the other continued to move through Harry's hair lazily.

Harry's thought he might burst at any minute from all the thoughts and feelings swirling around inside of his head and sure enough, by the time the Hogwarts Express had made half of its journey, He was ready to explode.

"Can we talk?" He found himself muttering before he could stop himself. 

The silence continued for a moment as his two best friends seemed to register his words. "Sure, what's up Harry?" Ron asked almost hesitantly.

Harry took a moment to figure out what it was that he wanted to tell his friends. Where to begin?

"Harry, is everything okay?" Came Hermione's voice, the worry evident in her tone.

Harry opened his mouth to reassure her, but then thought over his predicament once more. Was he okay? It's quite possible he was going mad. Both of his best friends were now looking at him with matching expressions.

"I... I honestly don't know any more." He answered honestly. "I don't know what's wrong with me."

"Is it your scar again?" Ron asked, now a bit pale. "Does this have something to do with... With You-Know-Who?"

Harry turned to face the two, a slight smile now playing on his lips as he shook his head, then paused. "Well, I mean, that's always on the long list of things that are wrong with me now isn't it?" Both Ron and Hermione seemed to relax at this, both visibly relaxing as they sunk back into their sests.

"Well, that's a relief. One problem at a time then yea?" Hermione rolled her eyes at Ron, a small smile on her lips. Ron continued to stare at him encouragingly.

Harry shook his head at them amuzedly. "Yea, no, it's about George-" Both friends shot up straight at this, their once temporarily relaxed posture now ramrod straight.

"Oh?" Hermione said in an attempt at subtlety.

"About time!" Ron asked going straight for the kill. Hermione stomped on his foot.

Harry stared at them in disbelief. "You know?" He asked them incredulously.

Hermione was now looking at the cieling as if it held the answer to all of life's greatest mysteries. Ron stared at Harry as if he had turned into Goyle again. "Of course we know! It's not like the two of you have been very subtle."

Hermoine groaned, putting her face in her hands, muttering the words, "Ron! Honestly!"

"Well then you know half of whats going on then." Complete silence followed this. Hermione looked as if Christmas had come early, her eyes shinning with an unabashed glee as Harry watched her physically hold back every question that crossed her mind. He was quite proud of her for accomplishing such a feat. Ron, on the other hand, had turned a deep shade of red to match his hair. The expression on his face portrayed the horror he must have felt at that very moment.

Harry had to suppress a great fit of laughter at both of them. He could only imagine what was going through their minds right now, and desperately wishied that it could be that simple for him. It wasn't though, and Harry desperately needed for them to hear what he was going through. Needed their reassurances now more than ever. It was selfish really, but they were his bestfriends and he needed their support.

"Something is happening between Me and George-"

"Oh Harry that's wonderful news!" Squealed Hermione as she flung herself at Harry, his arms automatically wrapping around her waist. "We all knew it was only a matter if time before you two-"

"Hermione!" Ron practically shrieked, now cupping his hands over his ears like a small child. The sight would have been rather funny if he weren't still trying to get a word in edge wise.

"Oh Ronald!" Hermione rolled her eyes once more as she chastised Ron. "All I was trying to say was that we all knew  that they would end up together is all."

Harry nearly choked, an impressive feat seeing as he had had nothing to choke on at the moment. "Wow, hold on a minute. We're not together!"

Both Ron and Hermiona froze once more, two sets of owl like eyes bore down on him once more. Both now seeming rather put out.

"But..." Hermione started.

"You don't have to deny it Harry!" Ron said, his tone now edging on amusement. "You two have practically been snagging each other for almost a month now." He finish with total conviction. His eyes now boring into Harry's as if daring him to lie about it.

"I wish that were the case, believe me!" Harry yelled, his voice now teetering on annoyance. "As it stands, I can't even be in the same bloody room as him without acting like a complete nutter!"

Hermione rolled her eyes for a third time, this time more pronounced than the others. "Oh Harry, it's perfectly normal to be nerv-" but before she could finish, Harry was cutting her off once more.

"That's not it Hermione. I know what it's like to be nervous around someone you fancy and this isnt it!" He finished, crossing his arms across his chest, now daring either to argue the point.

"Ok, ok." Hermione said, trying to defuse the tension that he had stirred. "Why don't you tell us the whole story. There's obviously something we're missing here."

Harry nodded at this and took advantage of the opportunity He had to tell both of them what had been going on. He started with the daily visits to the garden where he and George would lie back and watch the clouds hover in the sky, the backs of their hands always finding each other until both had applied a steady pressure against the others hand. When he got to the night Harry had walked into George's bedroom Ron looked as if he wanted to put his hands over his ears once more though somehow managed to resist the temotation. Harry imfasised the impact the encounter had had on him, how he had become sensitive to the twin's pressence, how the shaking would set in until he could feel George's touch on him once more.

By the time he was finished the only sounds in the car were that of the train moving around them. None had even noticed that night had set in at some point while Harry had been talking.

When someone finally did speak it was Hermione who seemed almost hesitant. "I've read..." She paused as if trying to bring forth a memory, an act that was so unusual that Ron and Harry had to glance at each other to make sure they weren't imagining it. "In the original copy of Hogwarts: a History of Magic, there's a mention of... Of." Hermione was now becoming frustrated that the answer was not coming to her immediately. She closed her eyes in another attempt to conjure the information, her eyes screwed shut in concentration.

Harry was just about to open his mouth to tell her to not worry about it, that the information she wanted would come to her in time, but was thoroughly silenced bt the loud crack!

Both boys looked in the direction of the noise, quickly noticing the small break crack that now appeared in the window of the door to train car. Harry stood abruptly to examine the cause, but was quickly stopped when Hermione spoke once more.

"The founders... The book said something about each one of them having..." Another crack! Sounded from inside the car. Ron now joining Harry in his investigation.

Then Harry felt it. It was as if the air around them had tightened, making it slightly harder to breathe. The familiar taste of magic now tinged his tastebuds as the cracking noise continued too fill the compartment.

"Hermione!" Harry turned quickly, Ron was now at Hermoine's feet shaking her violently. Her face was pale and gaunt, a look of concentration and determination still etched into jer features. Harry knew then what the cause of the strange going-ons was. Harry too was upon her in a split second.

Hermoine did not budge no matter how much they shook her, all the while muttering the same line over and over. Seeing that they were getting no where with there current course of action, Harry reared his hand back and brought it down across Hermoine's face with a loud thwack!

All at once everything that had plagued them only moments ago lifted in an instant as Hermione blinked her eyes open.

Hermione gave a soft defeated sigh and shrugged her shoulders. "I'm sorry Harry, I just can't remember." She finished sounding very much put out by this fact.

Ron and Harry continued to stare at her as if she had gone mad, which given the circumstances seemed rather relevant an option.

Hermione gave an indignant huff, mistaking there reaction. "Don't look at me like that!" She said rather pointedly. "I can't be bothered to remember every book I've ever read word for word. And besides I read that book almost 4 years ago you can't honestly..." But both Harry and Ron tuned her out as they stared at the large crack that now reached from top to bottom of the train car window.
..........

George awoke with a start, his heart now beating thunderously in his chest as he scrambled to sit up in his seat. He didn't know how long he had dozed off but judging by the night sky it had been more than a few hours now.

"Ah, don't worry about him." Came the voice of his twin brother Fred. "He probably just woke up and realized Har-" before he could finish George was up out of his seat and tackling his now giggling brother. Lee laughing all the while at their antics.

"You shut your, mouth you prat!"

It was just barely enough to keep his mind occupied of something other than the last two weeks he and Harry had shared. Ever since the night Harry had barged in on him, in nothing but his most ragged pair of underwear he had owned, he had been feeling things, and not the type of things he had already been feeling for the younger boy. No, every now and again he would get the most bizarre and intense emotions that did not seem to be his own.  And it hadn't taken George long to find out who they had truly belonged too.

That night, the night that now haunted his every dream, nightmare, and fantasy, had truly been a sort of trigger. The next day when he and and Fred had entered the kitchen for breakfast , Fred sporting quite a few bruises from when George had throttled his twin the moment he had returned to their bedroom, Harry had begun to tremble in his seat just as he had the night before. That was the moment he felt it, the rush of unamed emotion that wasn't his own, it had nearly knocked the breath out of him from the sheer intensity.

No one seemed to notice  anything amiss as they carried on about their business as if everything were totally normal though it quite clearly was not. George had moved then on pure instinct, just like he had last night, reaching Harry in an instant. He took the empty spot beside Harry and quickly placed his hand on Harry's leg below the table. "Breathe." He had suggested to Harry in the quietest of whispers. And he did. Taking one gulping breath in and one shaky breath out.

It had gone on like this for two weeks, and had gotten to the point that he and Harry now had a system of sorts in place. The system being that George would always make a mad dash to where ever Harry was at the time so that he could touch whatever part of the boy he could get at first and whisper for Harry to just breathe.  A full proof system, it was not.

But George had only ever felt that intense feeling that Harry got whenever they saw each other.  Never anything more. At least, that is, until now.

It had been a stark panic that had woken him from his nap. A strong and pure panic. It had been fear and worry. It hadn't been his. He knew that the moment he had processed It with a waking mind.

The only thing holding him back from racing throughout the train like a complete and utter loonatic was he and Harry's unspoken agreement to keep their distance while at Hogwarts.

For the most part their implemented system at the burrow seemed to work just fine, George would practically leach onto Harry from the moment they came together until the time they parted ways, only letting go when he couldn't hold on any longer. George's touch and immediate proximity seemed to be the only thing that kept the intense reaction that Harry was subject to every time they were within a certain range of eachother. This had been an okay arrangement at the burrow, but neither could deny that it would be less than effective while at Hogwarts. There was just simply to much coming and going within the castle, George would never be able to predict when he and Harry would bump into eachother, and everyone would witness just what it was that happened to Harry when they were in the same room together.

Indeed, it was Harry who had gotten the shaft end of whatever this was between them. Without a doubt.

It was for that reason that the moment they had boarded the train, George had released Harry's hand and walked in the opposite direction without looking back. Though he could feel the other staring at his retreating form, feel the sadness slowly ebbing as he the distance get between then, George did not date look back.

He wanted nothing more than to be with Harry at that very moment, but forced himself to stay put. He had to have faith in Harry, as well as Ron and Hermione. They hadn't needed him yet, and George seriously doubted that that had changed all of a sudden. The Golden Trio could get through anything as long as they were together, and George was thankful that they had found their strength in one another so early on.

A short time later, the train pulled into Hogsmead Station and everyone started unloading into the warm night air. As George followed Fred and Lee he couldn't help but notice a large crack down one of the Windows he had passed towards the front exit. Somethimg pulled in the back of his head as he felt a phantom of the panic that had woken him earlier that night.

George stretched out a hand to trace the surface of the marred glass, but was promptly pulled away by his brother who had grabbed him by the collar and was now pulling him off the train. "Quickly now I wanna try to get a carriage with Angelina!"

George cast one last look at the broken glass before he was hauled off to yet another year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft ad Wizardry. Only this time, as they made the journey to the castle, a feeling of dread began to pull at the bottom of his stomach.

He didn't know what was going to happen this year, because didn't it always, but it didnt matter. He would be there for Harry in whatever way the younger boy needed him to be.

He just really hoped that fate would prove him wrong.

Chapter Text

Ch8
"Harry did what!" Hermione shrieked as her fingers brushed the left side of her face which was now rather tender. She turned her steely gaze on the boy in question who was now squirming under her scrutinization.

"It's... It's not like I meant any harm by it! I was just trying to-" but Harry did not get to finish as Hermione had attempted to jump across the carriage , presumably to throttle him for what he had done earlier in his efforts to bring her round from her trance like state. The only reason she hadn't was due to the fact that Ron now had her by the waist, the carriage now thrashing around dangerously as she attempted to escape his grasp.

"Moine! Would you let the man finish!" Ron yelled in an effort to calm her down. "Aren't you the least bit curious as to why it is that you didn't even know about the slap until now in the first place?"

This caused Hermione to pause long enough for Harry to continue. "I'm sorry Hermione," Harry pleaded, "I panicked! You were sitting there staring off into space and muttering to yourself like a complete nutter!"

"Not to mention your magic had gone all kinds of haywire." Ron added from behind as he had yet to let go. "You actually broke the window for Merlin's sake!"

Hermione was now looking around in confusion, first at Harry then over her shoulder in Ron's direction. "N... No! That cant be right." She sagged in her captors arms, the fight draining out of her all at once as she slid back into her seat and Ron in his.  "How could I... How could that be? I was just trying to remember... Remember..." Her eyes seemed to gloss over as they had before, and both boys began to panic.

"Hermione!" Harry and Ron yelled in unison at an attempt to keep her from delving into whatever it was that had ensnared her before.

Hermione whole body jerked in response to their outburst, her eyes showing confusion at the worry in their eyes.

"You just did it again!" Said Ron with an air of bewilderment. "Same as before."

Her eyes widened. Her head started to shake from side to side as if to deny it, her frizzy brown hair flying in waves around her face. When she did not say anything to deny it though, Harry decided that perhaps it was time they switched tactics.

"Maybe if you told us what was going on-"

"I already told you I didn't know what was going on!' She snapped at him, his hands going up into a defensive gesture as if to deflect her anger.

"I just meant from your perspective. I mean," Harry started, now looking at Ron for backup.

"Look we know what was going on on the outside." Ron took over from Harry, now running with his own version of an explanation. "But neither of us know what was going on inside that scary brilliant head of yours."

Hermione pursed her lips in thought, mulling over her answer. When several seconds of silence followed Harry thought she might have given up on answering all together.

"Oh, you both know I can get a little single minded sometimes." She stated in a sort of matter of fact way. Ron looked as if he might comment on how much of an understatement 'a little' was, but Harry gave a quick, almost imperceptible, shake of his head, stopping him from making the grave mistake he was only moments away from making. Hermione continued on, not giving any indication that she had noticed their silent conversation. "It was sort of like that... Only more extreme." She paused, thinking further on her answer. "Only the harder I concentrated on what it was I was trying to remember , the harder it was to grasp it. It would just slip away and I would have to chase after the thought again and again. It was quite maddening!" Hermione was now rubbing her temples in an attempt to releive the pressure that was now building in her skull.

"But, how can you not remeber getting the magic slapped out of you?" Ron asked. Harry looked at him incredulously. Hermione stared daggers in Harry's direction before answering.

"I dont know." she answered slowly. "All I remember is an annoying stinging sensation, and when I came to you were both on the floor in front of me."

"Look, let's just forget about it. Okay?" Harry was ready to put the entire subject behind them really. It clearly wasn't worth the price of admission, that was for certain.

Hermione, for a moment, looked as if she might argue but seemed to change her mind last minute, and instead nodded her head in agreement quickly followed by one quick nod from Ron. Harry nodding as well in an acknowledgement that the conversation was now over and done with.

A silence fell over them once more, the creeking of the rickety carriage being the only sound to fill it. Taking this moment to her advantage, Hermione jumped across the sapce between them, punching him in the arm before Harry even knew she had moved.  his arm now stung with an acute pain as he craddled it to his chest.

"Ouch! What did ya do tha' fo-" but Harry did not allow himself to finish the complaint as his gaze locked with her's, which seemed to promise further punishment if he dared utter another word.

He did not. 

Ron, with the same subtlety and grace as always, seem to take this as an eye for an eye and continued on about this years Quiditch team now that Oliver had gone. Both Hermione and Harry seemed to accept this segue and grabbed hold of the conversation immediately.

Harry continued to attempt to catch Hermoine's eye, if only for her to see in his own just how sorry he was, but for the longest time she would not meet his.

Finally, the carriages pulled up to the gates of Hogwarts and all three climbed out, there feet settling onto the solid ground once more.

As he made to set off, as Ron had already started walking towards the castle, a hand grabbed his wrist pulling him to a stop in mid stride. Harry looked down at her hand and then back up to meet her cold gaze. They stood like that for what felt like ages and, just when Harry thought he might break, Hermione gave a very put out upon sigh. Her once cold demeanor now warming quickly until she was staring at Harry with a slight smile on her face.

Harry couldn't help but return her smile a bit more enthusiastically than usual. Hermione sighed once more and strode forward to catch up with the red haired boy now waiting for them only a few yards ahead, all the while never letting go of Harry as she dragged him by the wrist.

Ron only rolled his eyes at them. His broad smile giving away how he really felt about the scene. Once caught up, all three made their way into the castle side by side.
..........

The Tri Wizard Fucking Tournament. Because of course. Why have a nice quiet year at Hogwarts when you could have a thousands year old death match between three teenagers for everyone's amusement instead.

George loathed to think that his line of thought might be anywhere near that of his older brother Percy's at any given time, but this, this had to cross a line somewhere. After all, Dumbledore literally just said that is was banned due to the increased death toll towards the end.

At That moment, a thought that the man might be senile crossed his mind, but, then again, everyone else seemed very intrigued by this turn of events, so perhaps it was just him after all. Even his brother seemed on the edge of his seat, nearly flying out of it as if to raise his hand and yell 'pick me!', when Dumbledore had mentioned the prize winnings of a thousand Galleons.

Well... For that amount of money, who wouldn't? It certainly gave him pause. After all, they really needed the money to get their business off the ground.

George shook himself out of this thought however, knowing that while he and Fred could more than hold there own together, this tournament would force them to separate, leaving each to fend for themselves.

As unhealthy as it was to admit it, they would both crumble under the pressure alone.

George dared a glance down the table at his other trouble maker who now sat between his younger brother Ron and their bestfriend Hermione. The distance between them was just so that George could just barely make out the slightest of tremors racking Harry's much smaller body. Harry's gaze was down cast, not once looking up from the table to acknowledge his surroundings, almost as if he felt that if he ignored the world around him that it would ignore him in return. Hermione and Ron were now pressed so close to Harry that they would be in his lap within the next inch. Their eyes darting around the table as if to detect any imminent danger.

It could not have beeen more clear to him that they knew exactly what was going on. The knowledge of this left George feeling slightly guilty. After all, Fred hadn't the faintest idea about the situation at hand, and although he and George had shared nearly everything for the past sixteen years, George was most resolute to keep him in the dark.

He understood that Harry needed the support of his two greatest confidants, but he himself wanted to hold this close. He just wanted to figure it all out before he went shouting it from the rooftops or what not.

George hadn't realized he was staring until Harry finally looked up and met his gaze, beautiful green eyes boring into his own golden brown. Neither looked away, George taking this opportunity to convey the message that had been on his mind with two arched brows accompanied by a questioning look. 'Please tell me your not finding this as interesting as Ron or Fred?'

Harry, seeming to have gotten the gist of George's message,  and grimaced as if he had bitten into something particularly unpleasant. His head shaking ever so slightly. 'Definitely not.' Harry arched an eyebrow and lifted his chin. 'And you?'

George suppressed a smile as he shook his head. 'Nah.'

"I'm going for it!" He heard Fred mutter excitedly next to him. George had to refrain from rolling his eyes at his brother's exuberance.

When he refocused his attention on Harry, his eyes met not the beautiful green he had become so accustomed to but a pair of brown eyes that belonged to the girl on his left. Harry's head was once again bowed, his cheeks now a crimson shade of red. Hermione was staring at George with a know smirk.

George, who was to shameless to give in as easy as Harry, only smiled politely back at her, an added wiggle of his eyebrows causing Hermione to roll her eyes, mouthing something that might have been 'honestly.'

Ron only gave them an annoyed glare, as if they were interrupting the word of Merlin himself. George thought oddly, that it was probably the most his younger brother had ever paid attention to anything coming from a teacher's mouth.

Dumbledore continued, droning on about things like the three schools Hogwarts, Beauxbaton, and Durmstrang's long standing rivalry and friendship blah blah blah. George's mind wandered now tuning out the old geezer, his eyes drifting down the faces of the staff table. There was McGonagoll sitting next to Hagrid as usual, then there was Snape who was sitting next to... He jabbed his elbow into his brother's side repeatedly until Fred finally took his gaze off of the 'reverant' Dumbledore to glance at him in a bit of annoyance and frustration. That is, until George nodded his head in the direction of the staff table behind the still speaking Dumbledore, his eyes widening the moment they landed on him. Ludo Bagman. The sod who had completely ripped them off only a few weeks ago.

He and his brother had not forgotten his little trick with the Lepercaun Gold. Oh no. The twins looked to each other once more, the shared look between them promising nothing but trouble foe the man in question.

Despite all this, neither could ignore what the headmaster of Hogwarts said next.

An age restriction, only those who are of age, only those who were seventeen and older could compete.

Fred looked murderous, practically half the Great Hall was yelling in outrage. George was beyond relieved, though, this was very short lived as he watched the gears start to grind in his brother's head.

Terrific.

George glanced back down at the table towards Harry, their eyes meeting once more. A now familiar phantom feeling settling in his chest, something akin to sadness and longing. George knew that they were not his, yet were an utter reflection of his own feelings.

The feast continued on with significantly less fanfare, though George found it nearly impossible to keep his eyes off of Harry for longer than a few minutes at a time. Soon, everyone around them began to rise, the feast clearly having ended.

George remained sitting, watching as Ron, Hermione, and Harry all stood to follow the rest of the Gryffindors up to the common room, Harry glancing back at him again and again until finally the three friends exited the Great Hall.

Only then did George stand, falling into stride with Fred who had been waiting for him patiently mid way to the entrance. Neither said anything as they made their way out of the Great Hall and onto the moving staircase, Fred occasionally glancing at him sideways as if trying to read George for some sign.

Whatever he saw did not seemed to satisfy him.

"You know-"

"Just don't." George cut his brother off before he could finish. "Just tell me this idea you've been cooking up all throughout dinner." He said in hopes of changing the subject.

Fred pursed his lips at this, his brother clearly weighing his options. To George's surprise, however, did not argue. Instead, allowing the obvious attempt at a change in subject and relayed his idea of an aging potion. Simple yet effective. Dumbledore would never see it coming.

George knew that that wasn't quite true, but also knew that he could whip up a batch that would most certainly work. It would be difficult and time consuming, but not impossible. Not to George.

Not that he planned on making the damned thing, but Fred would need something to occupy himself with while George tried to figure things out.

Indeed, as George looked out the window into the night sky, he couldnt help but wonder what the future might hold for him and the boy with the lightning shaped scar. Whatever this thing was between them, whatever it was that made Harry act the way he did and George feel what he felt, it needed to be solved. Maybe then they could control it, find something useful in it. George was determined to return to what they had started at the Burrow what felt like so long ago.

Even now as he lay in bed, eyes closed, he could feel the warmth on his face, feel the soft grass brush against his back an even warmer presence resting beside him less then inches away.

That night as the stars shine above, he fell asleep with only the thought of the feeling of Harry's hand pressed against his once more.

Chapter Text

Ch9

George stared up at the ceiling of his dormitory in what had become quite a normal night for him, Fred and Lee now fast asleep after a long evening of excitement and plotting. It had been a week since their arrival at Hogwarts and already George was about to throw in the towel. He had not so much as spoken to Harry nor been in the same room with the boy for more than a minute before he had made a hasty retreat, and it just felt wrong.

He told himself that the feelings of dismay would go away with time, that they were fleeting and he would be rid of them soon enough, but they didn't. Each day that went by without Harry seemed to strengthen them even more. He wondered, not for the first time, if this was what Harry was feeling, but that wasn't quite right was it? No, George knew that this was the culmination of his own feelings mixed Harry's resulting in twice the sadness and longing that was growing even still.

George closed his eyes in an attempt to clear his mind, a feat which had proven, yet again, useless. Feeling the frustration like a growing presence, George threw his pillow over his face to suppress the groan that had escaped him. He hadn't slept in a week, which he was sure was also because of Harry, which made since seeing as he couldn't even stump his toe anymore without it being because of the younger boy in some way.

Even Fred and Lee had noticed due to the ever increasing dark circles under his eyes and the short fuse of a temper he was carrying around these days. Only yesterday, Angelina Johnson had asked him about there homework that had been set by McGonagoll, only to have George hiss that 'she should have been bloody well paying attention!' before turning around to stare at Harry from across the room, all hints of subtlety abandoned around the fourth or fifth day.

Fred, he later found out, had to haul Angelina away before she was able to  punch him in the back of the head. Which he probably deserved.

George was now officially ready to give up on the idea of sleep all together now. Instead, taking the opportunity to head down the spiral staircase, making his way to the common area to finish his homework for Transfiguration. He passed the entrance to the fifth years without fanfare, continuing on until the door to the fourth year dormitories came into view, his pace now significantly slower than before, until finally he was standing in front of the entrance. His hand brushed the surface of the smooth wood, the cold seeping in through his fingers. He rested his forehead against the door now too, allowing it to cool off the heat that had set in.

George didn't know what he was doing anymore. He was so utterly lost. It had only been a week and yet George had fel, how was he supposed to make it an entire year? He closed his eyes and allowed himself to remeber a time when he thought he and Harry could just be together, without all of drama that now plagued their lives. All the times they spent together in the garden side by side, sometimes pressed so close together that there was no space to be seen between them.

He ached for those moments.

Then, the thoughts of his and Harry's affliction sprang to the the forefront as he recalled Harry's violent reaction to his near proximity, the way George invaded the younger boy's privacy again and again as Harry's emotions came to him so treacherously. Neither had spoken about it, yet both seemed to understand. And this was their solution, at least until they figured out what this thing between them was.

George had taken to the library every moment he had free this past week. Fred on his heals with his own agenda in mind, not knowing that his brother had his own problems to contend with.

An aging potion? Honestly. He knew it would never work, but it kept Fred occupied and kept him from asking to many questions about his own research. So he humored his brother's idea and left him to his own devices.

George knew Harry was thinking along the same lines as he had seen both him and Hermione enter and leave the library on numerous occasions. Ron no doubt opting out as he seemed to be allergic to books or anything that wasn't a comfy chair.

George took a step back froom the door, now feeling the exhaustion settle into him bone deep. Turning back around, he headed back up the way he came. His homework completely forgotten as he settled into bed and allowed himself to give in to the exhaustion, falling asleep in a matter of seconds.
..........

Harry wouldn't admit it to either of his best friends, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't help but feel that he had been cheated out of something he thought he, and every other bloody teenager, deserved.

A chance at happiness, with a good snog tossed in for good measure.

For the past week, Harry had been walking around in a sort of daze, pointedly ignoring the world around him as it seemed to only care about one thing. 

The Tri Wizard Tournament.

Everywhere he went it seemed like someone had something to say about it, the corridors filled with the excited whispers of his fellow students. Conversations about which seventh year should enter, whether or not looks should factor into the decision, or even if it should be a boy or girl were unavoidable no matter where he went.

Harry could honestly care less. As far as he was concerned, someone else could have all of the adventure and glory this year. He had, quite frankly, had his fill over the last three.

Besides, he had his own problems to deal with these days. Problems like how the one person he wanted to be with the most was the one person he couldn't be around at all. Not without turning into a quaking mess anyway.

The problem with this was, as the days came and went, the distance that Harry and George needed to keep apart was growing.

Just two days prior, while he, Hermione, and Ron had been working on an essay for Charms, Harry's body began to act of it's own accord, a feeling of intense warmth and pressure starting to bloom in his chest, his hands beginning to tremor slightly, growing stronger and escalating into something akin a full body vibration. George, accompanied by Fred and Lee Jordan, entered less than a minute later.

George had given a quick glance in his direction before almost running up the spiral staircase to his dorm, leaving everyone to stare at him bemusement. Harry's gaze followed him until he had gone from sight. He could only imagine that the older boy would be exiling himself there for the rest of the night.

The While ordeal was so frustrating that Harry had found that he had made a habit of grinding his teeth together anytime he thought about it. He knew it had been George's resolve to keep Harry safe, from the questioning eye of students and teachers alike he supposed, but in all honesty this was turning out to be the worst plan he had ever been a part of, including that one time he and Ron had turned themselves into Crab and Goyle.

He honestly didn't give a damn about what anyone thought, students and teachers alike, but George had his own demons to fight. So, Harry left it alone, and patiently waited for him to come around.

Until then, Harry would have to be content with the George that had haunted his dreams lately. Mostly the one wearing nothing but a pair of loose boxers and a smile. It was, so far, his favorite George at the moment.

It was better than the nightmares that had plagued him over the summer, anyway. The dreams of his uncle, that had him sitting up in bed drenched with sweat, his chest heaving as he held back the tears. Anger an humiliation burned in his chest, not far from where the sharp pain of his ribs would ache with a phantom pain.

No, the dreams about George were much more preferable.

He and Hermione had been to the library now on a number of occasion in an attempt to gain knowledge on the situation. He was keen on figuring out the mystery and had put most of his efforts into obtaining the answers. His desire now bordering on obsessive.

He hadn't ever seen George there, but had felt the familiar pull enough times to know that the older boy had been thinking along the same lines as him. The two often skirting on the border of Harry's... Well whatever it was that was causing all this, anyway.

Harry knew it was only a matter of time until something gave. Whether it be George, the crazy magical bond between them, or Harry's own frustration. Possibly even a combination of the three.

Harry only hoped that when it did happen, that it would push them closer together rather then tear them apart.
..........

George knew that he had a problem, though until now her had refused to believe so. Now, at this very moment, he was beginning to regret all of his life decisions.

He had been sneaking out of his bed every night for the past two weeks, always with a ready excuse to himself, whether it be some meaningless homework assignment or a brisk walk through the corridors, he never let himself over think it.

He hadn't given much thought to his actions until now, it was just a way to ease his mind, a way to be close to Harry for just a little while.

Now? Now, he had seen the error in his desires. The flaw in his selfishness.

Ron was staring down at him with wide unbelieving eyes, the rest of the fourth years now looking at him as if he had gone mad. The worst yet was Harry... Harry was against the far wall, shaking uncontrollably, seemingly unnoticed by the others who were to busy gawking at George.

He had fallen asleep outside of their door.

George, who was now on his feet and against the wall opposite them, was now staring at Harry, his chest squeezing around his heart and lungs causing both to go into overdrive.

He could feel it all. Longing, happiness, relief, and worst of all hope. The force of it all nearly knocked the wind from him, leaving him breathless. George took a step forward, throwing caution to the wind as he made the unconscious decision to go to Harry, a pure instinct that yelled for him to do so, to go to the younger boy and be the one that Harry could fall into, that it would all end the moment that they touched once more. Thoughts of their time together at the Burrow flooded George's mind, the memory of Harry's ever present warmth now a demanding presence urging him forward.

They could do it, surely, be like they were back home. It wasn't full proof but it had to be better than this. Anything had to be better than this offal separation, this state of limbo that they had been suspended in for nearly a month.

The moment his first step landed, however, Harry fell to the floor on his hands in knees, his shaking now more violent then Geroge had ever seen.

His heart sank into the pit of his stomach.

In that moment he did the only thing he could think to do. Without another thought George took off running up the stairs, not even stopping when shouts of "Harry!" wrang out from behind him. Only stopping when he was safely tucked away into his own dormitory, slamming the door shut behind him.

Anger was now prevalent over the many swirling emotions in his head. His and Harry's feelings were now clashing inside of him like never before. It was agonizing, it felt as if several people were screaming in his ear all vying for his attention.

George thought his head might split open at any moment.

He barely felt his knees hit the floor, his hands now in his hair tugging at orange red locks in an attempt to relieve the pressure in his skull.

Fred and Lee were now upon him, now crouched in front of him yelling his name like a couple of madmen, both screaming his name over and over, begging him to answer, but George could not summon the ability nor strength to tell them.

The pain was now searing, the presence of his and Harry's combined emotions ever expanding, the pressure growing wildly more painful by the second. Finally, there came a point when George could not take it any longer, his body finally going limp, his body giving into the pain wholly. As the darkness closed in on him, the rest of his body slumped to the floor. The ringing of his name growing distant as he allowed himself to be taken. 

Chapter Text

Ch10

Harry Potter stared up at the ceiling of the hospital wing, a sight which was rapidly becoming an extremely familiar sight to his growing dismay, with no knowledge of how or when he had gotten there. The last thing he could recall was seeing George, the red haired boy pressed against the far wall, staring at him intently, just before his legs had given out, sending Harry to his knees as a particularly violent shaking fit had racked his body. Everything after that was a blur.

The light from the windows cast a soft glow that just barely illuminated the room around him, indicating to Harry just how long he had been out of it, assuming it was still the same day as when he last recalled.

Losing multiple days wasn't exactly an oddity at this point.

"Harry!" A familiar voice called from the entrance. "Thank goodness your awake, we were so worried." Hermione said as she made her way to Harry's bedside accompanied by Ron, taking the empty seat next to his bed while Ron dragged a chair noisily across the room and placed it on Harry's other side.

"Worried doesn't begin to cut it! You gave us all a right scare mate." Ron told him as he sank down into his seat. "Honestly, I thought Dean and Seamus were going to pass out themselves from all the excitement." He said with an exaggerated roll of his eyes.

Harry did not bother to suppress the amusement from coloring his features. The two best friends were often left out of the trios adventures and thus had not developed the sort of desensitstion it took to find that Harry thrashing about like a loon for almost no apparent reason was just a normal Tuesday to those who were. Even Neville had a more crashed course in this particular subject.

"Well I guess I should apologize for giving them 'quite the fright' shouldnt I?" Harry said, curling the middle and index finger of both hands in air quotations. Both Ron and Hermione giggled at this gesture, Harry quickly following suite.

"It's just as well." Ron stated, the smile slowly fading from his lips. "Your not the only one goin around frightening the less adventurous types."

Hermione glared at Ron who only continued to look down at Harry who was now looking between his two best friends in confusion.  When neither elaborated Harry pushed forward with the questioning. "Oh yea? Who else is scaring their roommates by passing out in the middle of their dorm?"

 

Neither spoke as Harry continued to look back and forth between them, now wishing they had sat on the same side as his neck was starting to protest with the continued back and forth movement. Hermione now biting her lip in a familiar nervous gesture while Ron's gaze was fixed on something just outside the window in the still darkening sky.

"Well, is someone going to tell me what's going on or not?" Harry bit out, slightly annoyed. His two best friends looked at him and then each other, both seeming to agree on something wordlessly.

It was Hermione who spoke then, finally breaking the ever expanding silence that had settled in the room. "Right after they brought you here, Harry, they attempted to admit George."

Harry sat bolt upright at this, cold panic settling over him immediatly. "What do you mean attempted?" He asked in a sort of exasperated way. "Where is he?"

Harry turned his head in every direction in a vain attempt to find the object of his affections, then made to push himself up from his bed so he could further this action when he did not immediately see him, only stopping when both Ron and Hermione each placed a hand on his shoulders and dragged him back down.

It was Ron who spoke first then, drawing Harry's attention. "They tried to bring him here after they brought you in, only every time they tried you nearly jumped out of your bed from all the thrashing."

Harry felt the blood drain from his face at this, the panic twisting and hardening into something more in the pit of his stomach. "Where?" Was the only word he could muster as the offal feeling sank deeper into him.

"Dumbledore turned one of the old classrooms down the hall into a miniature infirmiry." Hermione spoke this time, the hesitation evident with each word, almost as if she were not sure that she should be telling him any of this. Ron gave her an exasperated look, which was odd considering he himself had started this particular thread of conversstuon, confirming Harry's suspicions without question. "Madam Pomfrey is there with him now."

"Great. Thanks." Harry threw back the covers and swung his feet onto the cold floor before Ron and Hermione had even registered his movements. The moment they had processed his intention, however, both of his best friends were on their feet, pushing him back into the mattress with matching looks and shouts of "Harry!" But he did not give.

"Let go, I'm going to see him!"

"Like hell you are!" Ron nearly tackled him back into bed, Hermione quickly grabbing the pillow and placing it in front of the frame just before his head collided with it.

"Honestly Ron! Can't you keep him hear without making it even more necessary for him to be here?!" Hermoine exclaimed loudly. Her arms now crossed over her chest, a single eyebrows arched.

"Well I admit it's not the most elegant course of action." Ron said, now looking to Hermione from his position on top of Harry who was still attempting to shove off the much taller boy but to no avail, their body's now in a perfect perpendicular cross much to Hermione's amusement. "But, it gets the job done doesn't it?"

"Ron!" Harry gasped out. "Can't breathe!"

"Hmm." Ron mused. "That just might throw a wrench into this plan." He paused, seeming to contemplate his next move. "Well, I mean, if he passes back out then he definitely won't run then, will he?" A triumphant look settled in Ron's eyes as he looks up at Hermione who looked as if she might jinx him where he lay, then to Harry who had now turned a light shade of purple.

"Will you get off of him!" Hermione yelled, slapping Ron repeatedly on the shoulder until he leaped up in an attempt to remove himself from the onslaught of abuse, the sound of Harry gasping in a lung full of air completely audible to all in the room.

Ron settled back into his chair, remaining vigilant of Harry's every move.  Hermione, who had chosen to remain standing, looked down at Harry in sympathy. She could only imagine what her best friend was feeling at this very moment, but he had to understand why it was that he couldn't go to George right now.

"Harry," Hermione started, "Dumbledore asked us to keep you from him for now." She told him, the pity evident in her tone.

"Hermione, you can't expect-" Harry started but was immediately cut off.

"Oh we can expect it mate!" Ron nearly shouted, standing from his chair beside Harry's bed. "And we do! This thing between you two doesn't seem to be getting any better, in fact, the whole thing has become a whole bloody ordeal that's landed my brother and my bestfriend in the infirmary." Ron was now towering over Harry, his arms waving wildly in an attempt to bring attention to the room they were currently in, as if Harry hadn't realized it yet.

Harry, unable to form any sort of argument to this, only looked up at him with a look of genuine hurt. Not so much at his friends reaction, not entirely, more so because of the fact that he had been the one to put that look on Ron's usually care free face.

It stung a grest deal.

"It's only temporary." Hermione interjected in an attempt to ease Harry's suffering. "Once we find out what's happening between you two we can fix it and then the two of you can..." Hermoine's words trailed off as he fixed his gaze upon her. His expression pleading with her to not finish, to stop pretending that everything would be alright, to stop pretending that they could ever find a solution that would end up with the outcome he so desired.

Hermione looked almost as pained as he felt.

Almost.

Harry was tired, tired of fighting with his friends and there logical worry, tired of fighting the situation altogether really. Most draining of all was the fight to not go against their demands and pleas, to just shove them to the side and run down the corridor to where he knew he would find the one person he wanted to see more than anything.

Harry resolutely turned his gaze from his two best friends' in a clear dismissal. "Right, I'm feeling a bit groggy then, think I'll grab a bit more shut eye." He did not look at them as he spoke, his gaze never leaving the now dark sky outside.

Hermione moved to speak once more, whether to beg and plead for forgiveness or shout at Harry for being so immature about the whole situation even she did not know. Ron grabbed her by the shoulder, however, and gave a gentle squeeze. When she looked back at him, confused, he only shook his head in a quiet demand. Hermione did not protest.

"Right then." Ron said, grabbing a hold of Hermione's hand to to guide her out of the room. "We'll leave you to it then."

Harry nodded, still unable to look at them, now for fear that they might see what he was truly feeling. As if he could hide the prickling of moisture behind his eyes that threatened to spill over indefinitely.

If either saw, neither said a word as they said there goodbyes and walked out the door, leaving Harry completely and utterly alone as he himself had requested.

The only sound to be heard for the longest time was the clattering of the lamp closest to Harry as it fell to the floor.
..........

"Let go of me you less attractive version of me!" George yelled at his twin brother Fred who had both arms around his midsection and was attempting to drag him back towards the bed in the center of the room. George reached an arm out to the only other person in the room, Angelina Johnson, who only stared at him sympathetically.

"Why do you have to be the worst patient ever?!" Fred grunted as he attempted to haul his brother in the opposite direction. "Last time ya saw him you both fainted. Why are you so eager to go for round two?"

"It's kind of romantic when you think about it." Angelina supplied, only shrugging when Fred glared at her in exasperation. "Wha? I'm jus sayin."

Fred rolled his eyes. "You're not helping here."

"Is that why you brought me? I thought I was only here to give witty commentary?"

"If I wanted that I would've brought Lee!"

George could honestly care less about their sad excuse for forolay. All he could find in himself to care about was Harry, or to be more specific, how Harry was sitting right down the hall from him feeling so lost and uncertain. The dark feelings pressing down on him, nearly choking him from the pressure of it all.

George was about ready to bust down every damn wall between them.

He needed to get to the younger boy with an intensity that seemed to radiate out of him and into the room. It was how Fred sensed that George was going to make a break for it and wasjust narrowly able to grab him before he made it out the door.

"Immobulus!" George felt the charm hit him dead in the chest. His entire body frozen in the position that he had been struggling to get out of for a full minute. He darted his gaze to the side just in time to see Angelina push her wand back into the pocket of her robes.

Bitch!

Fred fell to the floor with a loud thunk! His eyes looking up into his brother's with a sort of satisfaction. "Huh," he said looking back and forth between the two other occupants of the room. "Why didn't I think of that?"

"Because you're about as thick as your brother is." She stated simply.

Fred scoffed. "I'll have you know that I am the brains here!" Both George and Angelina gave Fred a flat gaze that told him exactly what they thought about that statement.

All of their friends knew exactly who was the brains and who was the charms.

"Whatever." He scowled, crossing his arms over his broad chest.

The charm holding George broke at that moment, sending one twin crumbling down on top of the other. One letting out a high pitched squeak, though both would fervently deny having done so.

Angelina rolled her eyes in equal parts exasperation and fondness for the two.

"Men."

A knock came from the closed door in front of them, then slowly opened to reveal the somber faces of Hermione and Ron.

"We just got booted out by Harry, thought we'd stop by to say goodnight." Ron said, now looking down at his two brothers sprawled out on the floor, one on top of the other. "Honestly though I feel like I don't have enough Galleons on me to be in here right now though."

Both of his brothers looked up at him in annoyance, Hermione made a slight frowning noise as she pinched the skin on the bridge of her nose. Angelina, well, she seemed to be the only on to give that particular concept some serious thought.

"Anyway," Hermione said, breaking the silence first, "we thought we could all walk to the common room together? The Fat Lady has been a bit on edge lately. I think her and Violet have been fighting again."

All five Gryffindors winced, an angry Fat Lady could be quite the handful on a good day let alone when mad. It was best to not push her any further by showing up in small infrequent groups.

"Right, well, that's our cue then isn't it?" Fred rose to his feat, dragging his brother up with him before brushing the dirt off his clothes. "George, I do hope you behave yourself tonight."

George, to everyones utter dismay, didn't even pretend like this was a thing that was even remotely going to happen. "Yea..." He drew out, "I'm going to see him the moment you all leave."

Everyone groaned.

"Honestly!"
"Your as bad as he is!"
"Could you please start using the head between your shoulders."
"Dumbass."

George only shrugged at their outburst. Unable to find a fuck to give honestly.

"Well you can try anyway." Hermione glared sharply, the challenge evident in her voice. "I over heard Professors McGonagoll and Dumbledore talking earlier. Apparently there will be someone watching the corridor all throughout the night to make sure you two stay put." She stated in her usual matter-of-fact way.

Admittedly, though, this did throw a slight hitch into his original plan. Oh well, he'd figure it out. He was, after all, desperate to say the least.

"Goodnight." He told them, giving each one a crude hand gesture behind their backs as one by one they exited the room until he was finally and mercifully alone.
..........

Harry had only been alone for about an hour when he felt it, the creeping sensation that slowly spread through every muscle in his body until his entire being was left trembling. Before then, he had been left to count the number of spiders that scurried through the room oit of sheer boredom.

Honestly, any muggle health inspector would have a heart attack upon inspection of Hogwarts' medical facilities.

Harry pulled himself up on the mattress his eyes darting to the door with anticipation. His hands going to smooth  wild locks of hair before he realized just exactly how futile and time consuming that venture would take.

A slight confusion worked its way into him as the shaking grew stronger, how did George get passed whomever was standing gaurd in the halls? Surely he would of heard of something had happened if-

A slight tapping noise drew Harry from his thoughts. It was so inaudible, Harry wasn't sure if he had imagined it or not. Then it came again, and he was certain that he was in fact not crazy. Well crazier anyway.

Another taptaptap filled the room this time slightly louder. Harry spun around toward the window, a bright light floating just outside, a face illuminated in its radiance.

George.

George who was barely hanging on to the ledge outside of Harry's window. Lit wand held in place by his teeth.

Harry scrambled forward towards the window. His legs protesting his every movement as he fought through the shaking to get to the idiot who thought it was a good idea to bring parkour into the wizarding world and nearly give Harry a heart attack and a seizure at the same time.

Not a moment after he had unfastened the latch and opened the window did George swing into the room, crashing into Harry nearly sending him stumbling to the floor.

The only thing that saved him was George's arms around him, shifting his trajectory in the opposite direction and slamming him into a firm chest rather than the hard floor.

The shaking stopped immediately as the warmth settled into him through every part of him that was now connected to the other boy.

All the frustration, anger, and sorrow he had felt for the past month left him in the form of a noise that he himself did not recognize. Something between a sob, a sigh, and a hiccup that was all parts satisfying as well as embarrassing.

Harry couldn't bring himself to care though. George was here, the older boy's face now burried in the mess of black hair, his own still pressed against George's lean chest. The warmth that radiated through him was the only proof he had that this was real, that George was really there, the warmth that Harry had dreamt about over and over again but never quite got right.

"I'm sorry." George whispered, the vibration of his words mixed with the heat of his breath tickling Harry's scalp in the best possible way. "I'm so fucking sorry."

Harry's head was shaking of its own accord, refusimg to let George take all the blame, or let the past month ruin this moment.

Harry backed up only enough to look into George's eyes, emerald green meeting brown and gold. "Let's just start over, okay?" He asked George, who's features were becoming blurier through the tears that threatened to spill. "Let's just do what we want to do, damned everyone else yea?"

George gave a watery chuckle not bothering to wipe the tears as they fell. Harry continued to smile up at him and reach to brush the moisture away from his wet cheeks. "Sounds good babe."

Harry closed his eyes against the euphoric feeling that traveled through his entire body, causing him to shutter from the single word alone.

George stiffened in his arms for just a moment until Harry's body was still once more. Relief settling in immediatly after.

"You like that?" George asked grinning from ear to ear as he looked down at the younger boy who had now buried his face in his chest once more.

"Shut it." Came the muffled reply.

George only continue to grin, basking in the warmth and joy that had been absent from his life for to long. "Well if you don't like it I can always stop I suppose."

Harry looked up at him sharply, glaring up at the taller boy in protest at the thought. His glasses now slightly askew.

George chuckled once more, the sound sending shoockwaves all the way down to Harry's toes. "Maybe I can just call you mine then?" He asked in such an earnest tone that Harry knew that, all jokes aside, George wanted nothing more than to do just that. 

Harry looked into George's honest and vulnerable gaze, his eyes alight with the echo of his question.

Harry didn't bother to answer. Only reached up on his tip toes and wrapped his arms around George's neck to pull himself upward until his lips brushed against George's soft and slightly chapped lips, setting off every proverbial firework he didn't know he possessed behind closed eyes.

George's grip around Harry tightened, drawing him deeper into the kiss. Their body's now flush against one another.

Neither could tell how much time had passed before they were pulling apart once more. Both breathing heavily as they stared at one another in a mixture of disbelief and awe.

George didn't even hesitate to dip his head down once more to catch Harry's lips with his own, this time allowing his lips to move against Harry's deepening the kiss further.

When Harry pulled back for air once more, George nipped at his bottom lip. "Mine." He growled in the lowest and huskiest voice Harry had ever heard come from the other boy. The sound traveling through his body until it settled in the more Soutern regions of his anatomy.

George closed his eyes as he felt something slide into place inside of his chest. His entire being singing out at the claim.

"Yours." Harry agreed, whispering against his lips with the deepest of blushes coloring his neck and cheek. His entire body giving a great shake as something inside of him shifted. A riteous feeling settled over him as the claim stuck.

"Let's get you to bed then." Harry did not argue as he allowed George to slowly manover them into the matress. Harry sinking down onto it with one hand, while the other still held onto the older boy's, George climbing in after him until he was half laying on top of the younger boy who remained propped up against the frame. Harry's fingers raking through fiery red hair as George rapped his arms around his waist.
Both fell asleep sometime deep in the night

Both boys awoke to a tangled mess of limbs in the early hours of the morning. Neither said a word as they broke apart, only stopping for the briefest of kisses until they were standing at the window George had initially crawled through the night before.

George grabbed the back of Harry's head drawing him in for one last kiss before crawling out the window and shimmying his way back toward the room that he was supposed to be occupying. Harry's wand never left his hand the entire time, just in case.

When George was safely back in his room, Harry shut the window and latched the lock. He allowed his forehead to rest against the cool glass as he closed his eyes and allowed the events to unfold once more.

The entire time, he could feel George's presence acutely, felt his every move in the room down the hall from where he stood as if the movements were his own.

Huh