summary: A missing scene from CoS. What was happening to George while Harry was off saving Ginny in the chamber?
author's notes: You like? REVIEW! You don't like? REVIEW ANYWAY, AND SAY YOU LIKE! Thanks to Amy, as always.
"So what I was thinking we could do," Fred said, looking down at the paper scrawled with scratch marks in front of him, "is use the last three Galleons we have to get some ingredients, so that we can start inventing, and then…George? Are you listening to me?"
"Huh?" replied his twin brother, coming out of a daze. "Sorry, no. What did you say?"
Just as Fred began to open his mouth again, Minerva McGonagall's magically amplified voice came bursting through the corridor, in fact, through all of Hogwarts.
"Would all students please report to their dormitories immediately?"
Her voice cut off, and George looked at Fred worriedly.
"It's not another…?" George didn't need to finish his sentence; Fred understood. They were both hoping that it wasn't another student Petrified, or even killed by the monster that dwelled in the Chamber of Secrets.
The two boys quickly made their way up to the dormitory, meeting up with Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet, two fellow Quidditch team-mates, on the way. The four of them nervously hurried to Gryffindor Tower.
"Where's Katie?" asked George. Katie, Angelina, and Alicia were rarely seen out of the others' company.
"No idea," said Angelina, looking nervous. "She said she was going to find you."
George felt his heart plummet. Not…not Katie. It couldn't have been Katie. Yet even as he thought this, he had a sinking feeling in his stomach about beautiful, but Muggle-born Katie Bell.
"Damn!" Fred swore, as the four of them found themselves in an unfamiliar corridor. "Those blasted changing staircases!"
"We'd better stick together," Alicia warned, as she grabbed George's hand. "If we go off alone, there's no telling what might happen if that…thing is on the loose."
George held his friend's hand tightly, and Angelina and Fred linked arms. "Where are we?" asked Fred, nervously.
"I've never been in this part of the castle before," added Angelina, equally anxious.
Suddenly, Professor McGonagall's voice came booming out into the halls again, "I repeat, would all students make their way to the Houses as quickly as possible. Do not waste time."
George felt Alicia shudder, and squeezed her hand reassuringly.
"Don't worry," he told her. "I'm sure Gryffindor Tower is close by."
Fred, meanwhile, was taking out his wand. "Point Me," he whispered to it and it turned in his palm.
"That way," he said, walking in the direction his wand had pointed him. "Gryffindor's north."
Every creak of the castle made the four students jump, in fear of creatures that lurk in hidden chambers. All felt a sick dread in their stomach for Katie Bell, whom they still hadn't met up with yet.
"There it is!" Alicia's voice was filled with relief. "Oh, thank goodness, there's the Fat Lady!"
The all broke into a run to reach the familiar portrait.
"Took you long enough," the Fat Lady clucked at them. "I was getting worried."
"Wibble," Fred whispered, breathlessly into it, and the portrait swung open.
"Oh thank goodness!" cried Katie, who was sitting in a very tense position on an armchair. "I thought you'd never get here! I thought…I thought…"
They all rushed to hug her, thankful that she was alive. When George finally reached her, he gave her an awkward sort of half-hug.
"All right?" he asked, blushing.
"All right," she answered, smiling.
Professor McGonagall swung open the portrait door at that moment. "Prefects!" she exclaimed, sharply. "Are all the students here and accounted for?"
"We're still missing some people," came Percy's strained voice. "My brothers, Fred and George-"
"We're right here!" George piped up, and Percy looked extremely relieved.
"And Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet-" Percy began again.
"Over here!" called Angelina.
"And Ron and Harry just got here a minute ago, and…" Percy took a deep breath. "My little sister Ginny isn't here."
An invisible hand grabbed to George's heart, and squeezed it. He looked at McGonagall, and she had an expression on her face of…Was it sorrow?
"Yes," she said quietly, "Yes. Perhaps, Weasley, it'd be best if I saw you and your brothers over here for a moment."
George walked over with Fred, each step feeling like his feet were made of lead.
George looked at Ron when he walked over, and his little brother looked anguished. There was no doubt about the fact that Ron was in pain.
"Yes," McGonagall repeated quietly, as if it were very hard for her to get words out. "Yes, well…about your sister, boys…"
Ron let out a choked sob, and ran up to his dormitory. Harry followed. George looked from where Ron used to be to Professor McGonagall.
"Professor," said Fred, in a weak, helpless voice, "Professor, what's happened? Ginny's all right, isn't she? Isn't she?"
A tear ran down Professor McGonagall's cheek, and she wiped it away. "Your sister, boys…she was taken into the Chamber."
"What?" asked Percy, in disbelief. "That can't be, she's…She never…"
Professor McGonagall looked as if she were about to sob herself. "There was a message," she said softly, "Right over the first one. Her skeleton shall lie in the Chamber forever."
"NO!" George cried. "No! You're lying! Ginny's not….She isn't…"
He tried to fight back the tears that threatened to overflow onto his cheeks.
"We're pureblood," Fred whispered. "We're as pure as the next family…Ginny isn't…I mean…she can't be gone…You must have made a mistake." He began to scan the common room, looking for Ginny.
Professor McGonagall placed a hand on George's shoulder. "She's gone. I'm sorry."
"No," George whispered. "No, no, no, no…"
He felt his own grief bubbling up inside. Ginny? His sister Ginny? Full of life, and so completely innocent? How could Ginny be…gone?
"Y-you're sure," Percy whispered, his voice husky.
The older woman gave him a comforting stare. "We're sure. Oh, boys, I'm just so sorry…"
Percy just stared, his eyes full of pain and hurt. He did not cry, just sat, his face full of longing.
George momentarily closed his eyes, hoping to wake up from this horrible nightmare.
"Classes have been cancelled," said Professor McGonagall, standing up and addressing the whole common room. "Ginny Weasley has been taken into the Chamber itself."
There was a gasp all around, and George could feel all eyes on him, Fred, and Percy.
"Do not leave Gryffindor Tower," the professor said sharply. "I cannot emphasise enough how imperative it is that all of you stay in here."
She opened the portrait hole, and stepped out.
George looked at Fred, who looked exactly how George was feeling. Fred's eyes were full of disbelief and pain.
They spent the rest of that night talking. Angelina, Alicia, and Katie didn't leave their sides. Ron had disappeared somewhere, and Percy could not seem to talk to anyone – he just sat, staring at the fire, as if hoping it would swallow him up.
George tried to hide his tears, but every once in a while, he'd feel one escape, and slide down his cheek.
"Ginny never…I mean, she never deserved to die," he whispered, after a spell. "She was such a great kid – never did anything really wrong in her life. She shouldn't have died! I should have died!"
"It's not your fault, George," said Katie, soothingly.
"Yes it is," said George, sounding broken. "It is my fault. I didn't pay any attention to her, this whole year. She's so used to getting all the attention at home; Hogwarts must have seemed like a prison to her. I didn't pay her any mind – I just figured she'd find her own friends. It's my fault!"
"No, it's not, George," came Fred's voice from the corner, sounding almost sick with grief. "It's my fault. Ginny tried to tell me something was wrong this morning…But I didn't listen. It's my fault she's dead."
"Will you two stop?" asked Angelina, sounding angry. "It was neither of your faults. It's the fault of Salazar Slytherin – he created the Chamber, and all the pain that goes along with it. Nothing you did changed that. It's not your fault."
"I just wish," said George, heavily, "that I had died, instead of her."
"She was so full of life," Fred whispered. "You should have seen her before this year, she was always smiling. Always had a grin on her face. Took it well when we played tricks on her."
"She loved Harry," George said. At the girls' expressions of disbelief, he added, "Didn't you notice? She had drawings of him taped all over her walls before he came to stay, but when she saw him, she ran and took them all down. And she talked about him non-stop before he got there. Once he did get to the Burrow, she was quiet as a mouse."
"She didn't send the valentine, though," Fred said, sounding close to tears. "We did…She was so embarrassed…I can't believe we were so cruel."
Angelina patted Fred's back sympathetically.
"She was ever-forgiving," said George. "No matter what we did to her, she'd always turn the other cheek."
"But when we did go too far," added Fred. "She certainly had the temper enough to deal with us."
"I can't believe it," said George. "How can she be, just, gone?"
He buried his head in his hands.
"It's all right," Katie whispered. "Go ahead and grieve. It's all right."
"I don't understand," said George. "We're pureblood…we're one of the oldest families around…we go as far back as the Smiths, and the Macmillians…Ginny wasn't Muggle born. Why in the world would she be involved in the Chamber?"
He shook his head, and Katie patted his back.
Hours later, George was still sitting in the common room with Fred and Percy. Everyone else had long since gone to bed, though the girls had refused to leave their sides, and were asleep on the floor around them.
Suddenly, an overexcited house elf ran in, panting for breath.
"Sirs Weezy and Weezy and Weezy!" cried the house elf, ecstatically. "You is coming to the Hospital Wing with Floozy!"
"Huh?" asked Fred, and George's face echoed the same question.
"Sirs must come with Floozy! Floozy has wonderful news! Come, sirs! Miss Weezy is in Hospital Wing! Sirs must come at once!"
"Ginny?" asked Percy, jumping up.
"In the hospital wing?" asked Fred and George, nearly leaping out of their seats.
"Yes! Floozy saw Miss Weezy with his own eyes, Floozy did!"
The twins were already out the portrait hole, screaming for joy, with Percy close behind them. Floozy struggled to run after them.
"GINNY!" cried George, before enveloping his little sister in a bone-crunching hug. "You're alive!"
"Move it, prat, and let me hug my sister," said Fred, pushing him out of the way. Percy stood next to her, ruffling her hair, and expression of elation on his face.
Ginny promptly began to cry, and the three boys looked at each other, unsure of what to do.
"Don't cry, Gin," said Percy, awkwardly. "There's nothing to be sad about."
"I'm not sad, you brute, I'm so, so happy!" said Ginny, sounding exasperated.
"Then why are you crying?" asked Fred, blankly.
"You men don't understand anything," Ginny told them, more tears running down her face, and grabbing onto George's hand.
And somehow, George felt like he understood a lot more than she gave him credit for.