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Chapter 2 : Harry's Arrival
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image by Dydo at TDA
A/N: I am just letting you know I am using the actors who play the characters in the movies when I describe the characters so there is no confusion with the way they are described in the book.
When Harry arrived at the Burrow the next morning he could not understand the tension that filled the house. It seemed to him that every step he took earned him a glare, so, to keep the peace in the house, he decided it would be safest to sit down on the floor of Ginny's room in front of her legs.
Had they not decided- no, had he not decided that them being together was far too dangerous for them to be together than he would have been sitting on the bed next to her. As it were, with the tension already in the house, the added awkwardness would have been, well, apprehensible.
Harry's gaze skipped across the room to Hermione who, uncharacteristically, was quiet since he got there. He cleared his throat rather loudly and the brown haired girl jumped with a start. "Are you alright, Hermione?"
"Perfectly fine. Never better. The best I've felt in years." She forced a smile. "Why?"
"You're being unusually quiet, that's all."
Hermione gathered the books spread out in front of her hastily in her arms, casting him an almost angry look. "I'm perfectly fine, Harry." She nodded quickly at Ginny, arose from her spot and fled from the room as though her very life depended on it.
Harry glanced around the room, confusion etched across his face. "What did I do?"
Ginny sighed from her perch on her bed, leaning over so her head hung over the edge, glancing quickly at him. "You didn't do anything. It's not you, really."
"Then why did she run-"
"She's not upset at you Harry, you bloody git." She knocked quickly on the top of his head as if to ask if there was anyone home inside of that head of his. "She was already upset when you got here, incase you didn't notice."
"Well, um, I did, but I didn't know why."
"And you don't now either."
"Well, why is she upset?"
Ginny shrugged rather awkwardly in her position. "Not my place to tell you really. Besides, you'll figure it out soon enough, won't you? The rest of the house knows, and some of us, like Fred and George, are not so skilled at keeping our mouths shut. By the time we return to Hogwarts, you'll know. No doubt about it."
"And if no one opens their mouth?"
Ginny looked at him for a long time. "Then, if by the night before we leave somehow the twins have gained common sense and kept their mouths shut, I will be more than willing to tell you what has gotten Hermione's nickers in a twist. Fair enough?"
Hermione Granger sighed from her spot on "her" bed. She had to admit, it was rather kind of Molly to let her stay in Percy's old room, considering how much she hoped Percy would give up being a selfish prat and come home soon. It was, in fact, a comfort to be away from everyone, even if it was only to sleep and study. That, in and of itself, was enough.
She felt horrible for running away from Harry. In truth she knew she had no reason to do so. She wasn't mad at Harry, not in the slightest. He had done nothing to her. Truth be told if he knew what Ron had done he would have been as mad at him as she herself was, but she couldn't talk about it. Not yet.
There came a soft knocking at the door, and for a moment Hermione contemplated not answering, but decided against it. Odds were it was not Ron, after all every time he had come to speak to her since the "event" he had been hexed good and plenty.
Clearing her throat she called out into the space of the room. "Come in!"
The door creaked open and a redhead popped in. Fred Weasley smiled cautiously. "Can George and I come in?"
Hermione sighed. "I suppose it could do no harm." She closed the book in front of her as the two Weasley twins made their way into the room.
She had never really looked at Fred and George. They were actually rather tall, taller than Ron, and there was a subtle difference to the two. She could understand where someone who did not know the twins well would think them to be completely identical, but when you really looked at them it was easy to see they were not. Fred was slightly taller than George, only by an inch or so, and he wore his hear a little longer. His voice, she noted, was also a slight deeper.
The twins took seats on the floor across from her, their long legs stretched out in front of them. "Feeling better?" George inquired.
"What do you think?"
"Us?" Fred asked. "Think?"
"Now I know you're smarter than that," George said. "You know us better than that."
"We never think. Not unless it's to think up-"
"-a new and improved gag-"
"-or to make Mum go completely nutter. That happens to be Ron's job at the moment however." He smiled at her warily. "Don't let the git upset you this much."
"But-" Hermione stopped and shook her head. "I can't help it."
"Yes, you can," George said. "He's a git"
"A supreme git."
"He's not worth your time."
"He's stupid you know, cheating on you-"
"-with Lavender of all the people-"
"-the bloody air head she is-"
"-so don't let him get to you. You're so much better than that-"
"-and you're too good for him." Fred gave her a small wink. "After all, and older woman and a younger man? How scandalous!"
Despite herself she found herself smiling. The twins, despite their certain annoying mannerisms, were always the best people to turn to when looking for amusement, or cheering up. "If I'm too good for him, then why didn't he want me?"
"He did," George told her. "He was just too stupid to, I believe the muggle term is, keep it in his pants."
Fred nodded in agreement. "Don't forget, he was never the smart on in the family. Now us?"
"We would never cheat on a girl."
"Because we are not as dumb as he is."
Fred and George exchanged glances. "Want us to get back at him for you?" Fred asked.
"We'd more than willing to," George agreed.
The offer, she admitted, was tempting. She did want to get back at Ron for how he hurt her, but that would have been the immature thing to do, and whatever Hermione was, she was not as immature as Ronald Weasley. She took a deep breath, pushing down all her thoughts of revenge and shook her head. "I appreciate the offer, more than you can imagine, but no, thank you."
The twins looked absolutely mortified.
"Why not? He hurt you! Badly!"
"I know Fred."
"He deserves to be hurt in return!"
"I know George."
"So why won't you let us help you get revenge on him?"
"Because that would make me as bad as him."
There was silence in the room for a moment before Molly's booming voice filled the room. "DINNER!!"
Fred and George smiled at Hermione, standing up. "Come on Hermione," Fred said. "Let's go downstairs and ignore the git."
Harry glanced around the almost but silent table. He would have said it was silent had it not been for the sound of clinking plates and utensils.
Hermione cleared her throat. "Where is Mr. Weasley tonight?"
"Working I'm afraid," Mrs. Weasley answered quickly. "Been far more busy lately than he has been in years."
Ginny sighed, glancing to her left at Harry. "Could you please ask Ron to pass the potatoes?"
Harry frowned at her in confusion. "Can't you ask him?"
"Alright." He shook his head, turning to Ron. "Can you pass the potatoes to Ginny?"
Ron scowled in the general direction of his sister. "Sure thing. Can you tell Ginny to sod off please?" He shoved the bowl into Harry's outstretched hands.
"Ronald Weasley, watch your mouth!" Molly scolded.
"He should be watching other things as well," Ginny muttered as she spooned potatoes onto her plate from the bowl Harry had handed her. She smiled over at Hermione. "Potatoes?"
Hermione nodded slightly. "Yes, please." She spooned some at her plate and glanced at Molly. "How is Bill? And Fleur?"
For a second Molly looked at though she did not want to answer, but then dabbed her mouth with her napkin and swallowed hard before answering. "They're doing well. Planning the wedding, of course. Oh, that reminds me, both you and Ginny should be expecting an owl from them shortly regarding the wedding. Or at least that's what Bill told me."
Hermione nodded, almost absent mindedly. She really hadn't cared much about what was going on in the lives of Bill and Fleur. She just couldn't stand the silence filling the room. She cleared her throat loudly. "So, Fred, George, how is the store doing? Well?"
Fred nodded slightly. "Very well actually." He glanced over at George. "Isn't that right George?"
"Right Fred, very well." He glanced at Harry. "How was your summer, Harry?"
"As horrible as usual?"
"Or was Grimmauld place alright?"
"Had to be better than the muggles, George."
"Right you are, Fred. Anything must be better than the muggles." He coughed quietly to hid a laugh. "Well, unless Tonks was trying to help around the house. That could be a disaster."
"A big disaster."
"Um, it was actually alright," Harry said quietly.
The twins glanced at each other, and then over at Harry. "So, Harry," Fred began. "Did you hear what Ron did this summer?"
"Fred!" Mrs. Weasley's eyes were bugging out of her head. "Don't you dare!"
"You bloody git! Keep your stupid mouth shut!" Ron was steadily turning bright red."
The twins, however, ignored both. "Caused quite a stir, it did," George continued.
"Shut the hell up!" Ron's hands were clasped so tightly on the edge of the table that his knuckles were turning white.
"So, Harry, did you hear?" Fred pushed.
"Um, no," Harry answered, rather uncertainly.
The twins glanced at each other. "Slept with Lavender Brown, he did," George said.
"In this house, under Mum's roof, the night Hermione got here." Fred glanced at Ron quickly. "We could all hear him!"
"I am going to kill you!"
Ron lunged out of his seat, which made Ginny reach out and grab his arm. He pushed her away and pushed her a little too hard, knocking her into Harry, who lost his balance and smashed his hand down onto his plate. With a loud pop the mashed potatoes on his plate went flying into the air and landed on Molly's lap. Molly, who was by this point beyond angry, stood up and was screaming at everyone to be quiet and calm down, but she went ignored, because Ginny grabbed a handful of potatoes and smashed them into Ron's face for pushing her over which started the biggest food fight the Burrow had ever seen.
Hermione glanced around the table and decided to duck underneath it as a handful of peas flew in her direction. She sat beneath the table, her legs pulled up to her chest, listening to the yelling and watching the food fly.
The table cloth lifted up as Fred and George slid their way under the table with her. Smeared across Fred's face and on his clothes there was potatoes and peas were stuck in his hair. On George's head was what Hermione assumed was the pie Molly had made for desert.
The twins smiled at her from around the food all over them. "Well, this is a story to tell your grandchildren someday, now isn't it?"
Hermione, looking at their food covered faces, burst out laughing.
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