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After the war; Growing up with the weasleys. by welshwizard394

Format: Novella
Chapters: 9
Word Count: 18,719
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Kreacher, Andromeda, Neville, Luna, George, Ginny, Teddy
Pairings: Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione

First Published: 04/16/2012
Last Chapter: 09/18/2012
Last Updated: 09/18/2012

Summary:
The war has just ended, and Harry can finally be a normal teenage wizard. He rekindles old flames, rebuilds relationships and searches for closure.
 
 


Chapter 1: The end of the beginning.
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The end of the beginning


Harry sat on the last bench in the great hall, opposite where Fred, Lupin and Tonks’s bodies lay, motionless and empty. For the first time after killing Voldemort, he felt everything come crashing down on him. The elation after the dark wizard’s death had disappeared, and Harry felt a horrible pain creep up his neck. They were dead. Lupin, Fred, Tonks, Colin, Snape, Lavender, Dobby…Ginny? Where was she?

      He looked around the room and saw the redheaded girl he loved so much sitting beside her father, Arthur. Harry stumbled to them, barely upright, and collapsed into Ginny Weasley’s comforting, open arms. He sobbed into her shoulder, muttering the same words over and over again.
      ‘I’m so sorry, please forgive me, I love you.’ Harry rarely showed his emotions in this way, but now he had he found it hard to stop. The only thing that made him muster up the strength to stop crying was the thought that Ginny’d lost her brother, she needed comforting. He took several deep breaths and removed his soaking face from her shoulder and looked into her beautiful brown eyes. They were saddened, but still had a tiny sparkle of hope in them. Harry admired Ginerva’s strength in times like these.

     ‘I don’t blame you, Harry. I love you, I love you so much.’ Tears poured down her face, creating tracks of skin through the coat of dust from the battle. Under any other circumstances, Harry was sure that he would feel incredibly uncomfortable being this intimate with Ginny whilst her father was so near. But Arthur was staring at the bodies..

     Harry wrapped his arms around Ginny’s shoulders, and they embraced for a long while, not speaking, just quietly crying with each others comfort to help them hold on.

      The sun was beginning to rise when their tears had run dry, and their eyes were beginning to droop after hours of consciousness. The Weasley family and Hermione were all sitting on the benches, quietly consoling each other whilst grieving over the many deaths. Surprisingly, it was George who broke the comfortable silence.

      ‘Thank you, Harry.’ He said, looking at the blood covered, black haired boy. Harry’s head snapped up at this, and his eyes locked with George’s, The exact same shade as Ginny’s, and as Fred’s. Although, Fred’s eyes were never going to sparkle with wicked laughter ever again….Harry almost lost track of his thoughts once again, but he snatched them up to listen to George. ‘I know Fred has been lost..’ George took a large gulp of air, as though trying to stop himself crying. ‘But Bill, Charlie, Percy, Ron and Ginny are alive. And it’s thanks to you. You saved us, you saved the whole wizarding world, Harry..I will miss Fred. I will miss him every single day, until I join him again.’ A fat tear rolled down George’s freckled cheek. ‘Never blame yourself, Harry. For any of these deaths. Although many loved ones have died last night, many more were saved.’ George couldn’t go on. His cheeks were stained with tears, and he was now locked in a hug with his mother, who was crying just as hard as he was. Hermione Granger reached from where she was sitting, three seats down, and squeezed Harry’s hand. She knew that Harry needed to hear that. Although Ginny had said the same in less words a few hours ago, Harry could accept it off George. His twin had been lost. His best friend since birth.

    It wasn’t long after George’s speech that chatter resumed between the family of red-heads, and their friends. It wasn’t as it could have been, as everybody was in a state of shock beyond repair. But it gave Harry James Potter that last bit of hope he needed.
   

 

 
 


Chapter 2: Seriousness and awkwardness
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 It was a month after the battle, ad Harry was lying in the spare bed in Ron Weasley, his best friends, bedroom.

    It had been a difficult month for the family, in which Harry and Hermione were now counted. The Funeral of Fred was difficult for everybody who attended, and a lot of people went to pay their respects. Fred Weasley was very well loved in Hogwarts. People counted on him and his twin, George, to help them skive lessons (usually potions) and do other rule breaking things. The most famous thing that people remembered of Fred was the fireworks He and George set off in their final year. After the funeral, which was set in the church in Godricks Hollow, the people who were closest to the Weasley family all crowded into the burrow, and many stories were shared of the mischievous twins’ lives. Despite the sadness of the event, many smiles were visible and lots of laughter could be heard around the burrow.

    Tonks and Lupin’s funeral took place the day after Fred’s. Not as many people went there, it was a much quieter event, although the sadness was equal. The Order were present, and the Weasley’s. After the service, Tonks’ mother sat on a bench outside, draped in a black shawl, and cradling a small, blue haired baby. Harry moved next to her at the end of the service, and noticed she was not crying, just staring thoughtfully at the chubby baby in her arms.

     ‘Hello, Mrs. Tonks,’ He whispered hoarsely, sitting down. The baby’s big brown eyes, an exact match of his father’s, followed him.

     ‘Oh, hello, Harry’ She replied indifferently. Harry guessed she was in a state of great shock, which was wholly understandable.

     ‘I’m sorry to meet again at such a terrible time’ Harry sniffed, but carried on swiftly, taking in a deep breath. ‘I’m terribly sorry for your losses.’

    Mrs. Tonks nodded, and placed a hand on Harry’s, squeezing. ‘Thank you, son.’ She smiled faintly. ‘You’ve grown to become a great man, Harry.’

     Harry fought the urge to shake his head in disagreement, and the blue haired baby in her arms began to wail.

     ‘Shhh, Teddy’ The ageing woman cooed. She couldn’t have been over fifty, but she seemed old for her age. Harry guessed stress and her troubles did this to her. He remembered when he once thought Mrs.Tonks looked a lot like her sister, Bellatrix Lestrange. The differences were magnificent now, as Bellatrix had a heart of stone, and was incapable on feeling remorse like this. Teddy Lupin raised a tiny fist at Harry, grabbing for his hair. ‘I think he likes you, Harry. Would you like to meet him? He is your godson, after all.’

     Harry nodded in agreement, and took the baby from her arms. Teddy immediately stopped crying, and grabbed onto the side of Harry’s glasses. ‘Hello, Teddy. I’m Harry. I’m your god father, but you can call Me…’ Harry paused, unsure of what to say. ‘You can call me uncle Harry when you’re older.’ Harry looked over at Mrs.Tonks and she nodded, smiling wryly. ‘You look an awful lot like your dad, you know. And you have your mum’s nose, and hair’ Harry chuckled, thinking that his nose or hair will probably start morphing as soon as Teddy was old enough to understand his power. ‘Your parents were both great wizards, some of the greatest I knew. Your dad taught me a lot of important things, and your mum taught me never to give up hope. I’m going to make a promise to you now, little Teddy. When I was a child, all I wanted was a friend. I had to wait until my Hogwarts days to get that. So, Teddy, I know you’re a baby now, but when you’re older, and need a friend, or an uncle, or a brother, you can come to me right away. I will help you like your dad helped me, and I will cheer you up like your mum would…’ Harry didn’t feel silly speaking like this to Teddy, although he knew Teddy couldn’t understand. He knew that His grandmother would repeat the speech when Teddy was old enough. When Harry looked over at Mrs. Tonks, silvery tears were escaping down her cheeks, and Harry hugged her tightly. He would be there for grandmother, and grandchild.

 

 

 Harry sat up in bed as Ron came in, smiling. Harry had the feeling that maybe Ron had cheered up enough to go and see Hermione, his new girlfriend, who was sleeping on the floor below, in Ginny’s bedroom.

     ‘Hey, Harry’ He smiled, plopping onto his bed. Harry hadn’t seen him this happy in a while.

     ‘Are you okay, Ron?’ Harry asked, smiling, too. Ron’s smile was contagious.

     ‘Fine, I’ve just been with..’

     ‘Hermione.’ Harry finished the sentence, and Ron blushed.

     ‘Yes, how did you guess?’ said Ron, changing into his pyjamas.

     ‘You seem happy.’ Harry raised his eyebrows, and flicked his newly repaired wand, sending blue sparks around the room.

     ‘I feel better,’ Ron nodded, lying back with his arms behind his head. ‘I know maybe I shouldn’t, yet, but when I’m with her she just makes me feel so much more like me.’

      Harry nodded. He knew what Ron meant, for Ginny made Harry feel the same. Harry didn’t think it would be a good idea to say this to Ron, for he wouldn’t be pleased with the idea of Harry and Ginny beginning another relationship.

      ‘I think I’ve known all along, you know…’ Ron smiled thoughtfully.’

     ‘Known what?’ Harry questioned, although he sensed what the answer would be.

    Ron blushed deep scarlet before answering. ‘That I loved her.’ He shot Harry a worrisome look, but Harry just nodded, urging Ron his friend to speak more. ‘From maybe our third year, I think. Or perhaps our fourth..’

     ‘So what exactly happened with you two down in the chamber, Ron? You never told me’ Harry asked, sitting up and crossing his legs. Not an easy thing in the Muggle’s style of men’s jeans, they were practically skin tight. Ginny liked them though, so Harry put up with the pain of wearing such silly clothing. He felt like a member of the Weird Sisters.

     Ron seemed to blush even darker, but sat up, too. He stared fixedly at his thumbs. ‘Well, Hermione stabbed the Horcrux, and the water in the chamber began to bubble, and Voldemorts face erupted from the water. It was bloody scary. There were about three of them, and they rushed toward us, they sort of burst.’ Harry saw a shiver run through Ron. ‘We were drenched to the skin, and then Hermione sort of just turned to me. I can’t even remember what exactly happened, but we were kissing. And it was weird, I never thought anything would happen between us, you know?’ Harry saw him smiling, and laughed.

     ‘I always knew something would happen between you two. Godric, for the past three years I’ve felt like a third wheel’ Harry said, not exactly truthfully. He never felt left out with his two best friends, but there was certainly times when he thought maybe they should have been left alone. Ron laughed. ‘So are you two, like, official now?’

     ‘I think so’ Ron nodded. Harry grinned, thinking of a way to embarrass his friend, who had done the same to him on many occasions.

      ‘Oh where were you that night after the battle, by the way?’ He asked slyly, knowing that Ron froze the charm on the girls’ dorm to sneak into Hermione’s room. (For two nights after the battle, a handful of students stayed to help repair and clear the castle. Because of Hermione being the only seventh year Gryffindor girl to stay, she had her dorm to herself.)

    ‘Uhm, I was..er, we were in…err,’ Ron stumbled over his words. Harry inwardly grinned; he knew for a fact what they’d been doing, as both looked a mixture of happy, shocked and awkward the next morning. ‘Piss off, Harry!’ Ron lay back onto his bed and stared at the ceiling.

     Harry laughed. He loved winding Ron up, he hadn’t had a chance to in a while, after the whole sadness of the battle. Harry got lost in his thoughts for a while.

     ‘I feel really bad about doing it with her, a night after the battle.’ Ron said quietly, his face was back to its usual pale tone. ‘I feel like I took advantage of her. And I feel like I’ve disrespected Tonks, Lupin and Fred…What decent person does that two days after his brother dies?’

     Harry was in shock for a minute, for Ron barely showed his emotion like this. ‘For a start, Hermione is a clever girl. She wouldn’t have done anything she didn’t want to. So you can rule that out, you didn’t take advantage of her.’ Harry got that out quickly. He didn’t want any unpleasant images in his mind. ‘And for disrespecting Lupin, Tonks and Fred. That’s a crazy thing to say, Ron. I bet they would have been happy that you two are finally together. Everybody deserves to love whomever they want’ said Harry.

     Ron nodded. And Harry grinned, ‘and I bet Fred would have cheered…’ Harry didn’t get to finish his sentence, as Ron’s pillow hit him square in the face, almost snapping his glasses. Harry was going to say ‘I bet Fred would have cheered you two on.’

     ‘Shut up, chosen one.’ Ron said, but there was an obvious grin on his face. Harry laughed, and something odd occurred in his mind.

     ‘Ron..’ Harry started awkwardly. Ron looked at him, eyebrows raised, waiting for the question. ‘Er, well, what’s it..like?’ Harry cringed, embarrassed about having to ask such a question.

         ‘Uh, well, I guess it’s different to how you imagine..’ Ron frowned, thinking. ‘It’s a lot more awkward that what you’d think, but it’s a lot, well..better..than...’ He cleared his throat, clearly uncomfortable. Being men, they weren’t used to talking about things like this seriously. Of course, they’d discussed it as teenagers, but that was immature and not real life. This was. ‘I guess in the beginning I was bloody scared, and so was she. And I worried about doing it wrong.’

     ‘Eh, how did you know you were doing in right?’ Harry asked, and regretted asking when he saw Ron turn Bright pink, once again.

     ‘Umm, let’s just say you know.’ He laughed. And Harry joined in. They talked for a while about Quidditch, and then about music and school. They shared a firewhiskey that Ron had got from Arthur.

     Harry fell asleep easier than he had in the past weeks. Maybe it was due to the Firewhiskey. The conversation with Ron reminded him of the old times, when they were in Hogwarts, winding each other up about Lavender, and Cho Chang.

 


Chapter 3: Down memory lane.
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 Harry woke in the morning, feeling groggy after the firewhiskey him and Ron had drunk. He stumbled sleepily past Ron’s bed, where Ron was snoring loudly, and out of the room. The bathroom was on the third floor of the burrow, below His and Ron’s shared bedroom.

     As Harry reached for the silver handle of the door, it opened, even before his fingers were three inches from the shining metal.

     It was Ginny on the other side of the door, and Harry was sure her surprised expression matched his. She was wrapped in a crisp white towel, and her long red hair was in a long plait, which reached her waist. Harry could feel himself blushing, and Ginny smiled.

    ‘Morning, Harry, sleep well?’ She asked in her tinkling, musical voice.

    ‘Err, I slept fine thank you. Sorry..’ He bowed his head as she walked past him, into her bedroom. Before he closed the bathroom door, he noticed Ginny was leaning against her door frame.

     ‘Harry, I think we should talk later on. About us.’ She blushed, and closed her door.

      Harry locked the door, and sat on the edge of the bath, thinking.

     He thought about how he felt about her. She was beautiful, smart, everything he could’ve wished for. He couldn’t deny it to himself; he was madly in love with Ginerva Weasley. Harry thought back over the past year, how he was away and how it felt, being away from her. He imagined how Ginny must have felt. Harry decided that today was the day Ginny would know exactly what he was thinking, and that he would tell her everything.

                                 ***

After Harry bathed, and got dressed, he went downstairs to where the Weasley’s and Hermione were sitting, eating breakfast. Harry felt an odd pang in his heart when he saw George had an empty seat next to him. Previously, this seat would have been occupied by Fred.

     ‘Morning.’ Smiled Arthur. He’d been looking old before the war, but the past few days he seemed to have grown a few years younger. The Weasley’s all chorused ‘hello’s and ‘Good morning!’s to Harry. Harry greeted them back and sat next to Ron and Ginny. Whilst he was eating wonderfully home cooked eggs and bacon, he felt Ginny’s hand slip something into his. He coughed to cover the sound of him unfolding the small piece of parchment.

    ‘Harry, meet me in the orchard on the hill at eleven, don’t bring Ron for goodness sakes. G x’

    

Harry smiled as he read the note, then nodded quickly hoping Ginny was watching, as he stuffed it into his pocket. Harry had to think which orchard Ginny meant, for there were many orchards, and many hills. He suddenly remembered the high, hidden one they played quidditch in last year. That was the one Ginny meant, for they had shared memories there. 

 

                                   ***

At five to eleven, Harry was still fussing in his and Ron’s bedroom, trying to flatten his wayward hair, and wondering whether his shirt looked better tucked in or out…

      ‘God, Harry. What are you making such a fuss about? I’m sure Teddy doesn’t mind if your hair is a mess.’ Ron said, looking up from the book Hermione and him were flicking through. They were both on Ron’s bed, lying on their stomachs. Harry looked at them, raising his eyebrow, despite his nervous state. It was still odd, seeing Ron and Hermione like this..

     Harry’s excuse for leaving was he was visiting Andromeda and Teddy. It was the best thing he could think of, and he was starting to regret using this. Harry knew Hermione had guessed something was up; she was smiling smugly.

     ‘I just want to look..erhh, responsible. Like a Godfather, you know?’ Harry said as convincingly as he could. He checked the watch he’d had off Molly for his birthday, it was three minutes to eleven. ‘Right, er, I’ll see you later.’

     ‘Say hey to Ted for me.’ Ron said, looking up from the book once again.

     ‘Yeah, and enjoy, Harry.’ Hermione said, grinning. She definitely knew where Harry was going.
                                    ***

Harry ran down the stairs of the burrow, and out of the front door, waving a brisk goodbye to whoever was in the kitchen. Harry thought of the ‘Three D’s.’ He felt himself being forced through what seemed like a narrow tunnel, and then he was spinning, in ankle-deep grass.

      Harry stopped himself, and smiled. He’d apparated perfectly. He still felt pleased with himself, even after a year of learning how to do it.

      He spotted Ginny on the other side of the orchard. She had her back to him, her long red locks floating smoothly down her back. Ginny was sitting on a small blanket, and was waving her wand about, making her patronus horse canter around the orchard. Harry ran his hand through his hair, totally ruining the almost-neatness he had. He took a few breaths before taking out his own wand.

      He thought of Ron, Hermione, flying a broomstick, Meeting his parents, Christmas with the Weasleys and his time with Sirius. He thought of that first kiss with Ginny, and the many afterwards. He thought of that time in her bedroom, before the horcrux hunt.

     ‘Expecto Patronum!’ He said quietly, there was no need to shout the words. His memories were so strong. A silver stag erupted from his wand, and galloped straight to Ginny’s horse. They nudged heads and chased each other around the beautiful green orchard. Harry grinned; it was the first patronus he’d conjured since the war. Ginny was laughing at the patronuses, that looked, well..very much in love.

      Harry jogged to where Ginny was sitting, and sheepishly sat down opposite her. ‘Hello..’ He smiled, nervously.

      ‘Hi, Harry.’ Ginny smiled, bowing her head.

      ‘So, umm..I got your note.’ Harry said foolishly, and Ginny laughed.

     ‘Really, Harry? I would never have guessed..’ She was grinning, and Harry shook his head, turning red.

      ‘Sorry.’ He smiled. With Ginny there in front of him, he was totally lost for words. She was so beautiful, her deep brown eyes, cute freckles, and her hair…She was like an angel. Harry was so dumbfounded with her beauty, and her open smile, he just said it. He wasn’t even nervous, it just flowed out easily, he didn’t realise what he was saying. Until he said it. ‘Ginny, I think I might love you.’

       Ginny was just as shocked as he was, she’d expected a long talk off him giving her all reasons why their relationship wouldn’t work. She expected to have to plead. She’d heard the words just after the battle, but that was a totally different feeling. She couldn’t say much for a while.

       Harry thought her silence was bad. He thought he’d just ruined all his chances of getting this beautiful girl back.

      ‘Uh, that came out too fast.’ He mumbled. ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, I, er, I understand if you don’t want me, or, uhh, this. Oh, godric, I’ve ruined it hav….’
      His words were stopped, for Ginny leant into him and crushed her lips to his. Harry didn’t know how long they were kissing for. He didn’t care, he was happy in the arms of Ginny, the girl he wanted to spend his life with. They grew closer and closer together, hands roaming and eyes closed. Harry never wanted it to end. Her lips were soft and damp, sweet to taste.

     When Harry opened his eyes again, he realised he was lying on his back, Ginny sitting on him. They broke apart and Ginny grinned.

      ‘Err..’ Harry shuffled awkwardly, even though he didn’t mind being like this at all.

       ‘Harry?’ Ginny said, smiling. ‘I think I might love you, too.’

       Harry thought his heart might have exploded, he felt so unbelievably happy. Those words were the sweetest he’d ever heard.

        ‘I want to start again. Us two, no horcruxes getting in the way, no dark lords. I love you, I want to be with you, lets forget the past..and just start..all over again.’ Ginny finished, and raised her eyebrows, waiting for Harry’s reply.

        ‘Yes. Okay, yeah.’ Harry couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. ‘Well godric, that was one good first kiss.’

       Ginny smacked his shoulder playfully and leant down to kiss Harry’s lips once again, softer this time. ‘I love you.’ Harry said, and he could feel Ginny’s on his lips.

        Ten minutes later, they were lying side by side, in a much more appropriate position. Their patronuses were conjured once more, and they were galloping in unison, weaving around trees and generally having a good time.

Hand in hand with Ginny, Harry couldn’t have felt happier.

      ‘So, what was your excuse for coming out?’ Harry asked Ginny, whirling his wand around lazily.

     ‘What do you mean?’ Ginny asked, rolling onto her side.

     ‘Where did you say you were going?’ He asked.

     ‘I said I was coming up here with you..’ Ginny laughed. ‘You made up an excuse to Ron, didn’t you?’

      Harry let out a laugh, and wondered why he had made such a fuss. ‘Yeah, I did.’

      Ginny shook her head, and rolled her eyes. ‘What was it?’

     ‘I said I was going to see Teddy. I didn’t think he’d react very well it I told him..’ He grinned.

     ‘So you can kill dark wizards, but are afraid of the Wrath of Ron..how does that work out?’ Ginny was smiling, knowing she made a good point.

      ‘Your brother has a temper, you know.’ Harry joked.

      ‘Yeah, yeah. So how is Teddy, anyway?’ Ginny asked.

      ‘Oh, the last time I saw him was at Lupin and Tonks’ funeral. I suppose he’s fine..’ Harry shrugged. ‘Hey, you haven’t properly met him yet, have you?’

      ‘No, I haven’t. I saw his hair, though..exactly like Tonks’’ Ginny smiled. ‘Can we go and see Andromeda and him?’

      ‘Of course, come on.’ The stood up and held hands, their wands stowed quickly away into their pockets. Harry thought of the Three D’s again, and then he was swirling around with Ginny in the garden of Andromeda Tonks.

       They stopped spinning, and brushed themselves down. The garden was perfectly groomed, much brighter and neater then when Harry was here last. The biggest difference was a swing in the corner, with a plastic childs’ harness in place of the usual flat seat. Harry smiled, imagining Lupin pushing Teddy aged one, kicking his chubby legs, and then aged five, Teddy laughing and yelling to go higher. He imaged Teddy aged twelve, sitting on the swing trying to read through his charms homework, a look of bewilderness on his face. He imagined Tonks teaching him how to play quidditch, and the look on Lupin’s face when Teddy produced his first patronus. If only…

      They walked up the cobbled pathing stones, and when Ginny’s hand slid into Harry’s, he couldn’t help but smile. It was so natural, so right. Harry knocked three times on the oak door, which had a sign that said ’34-Tonks,’ on it.

      He saw Andromeda approaching through the slim pane of glass, his stomach didn’t clench; she looked the total opposite of her sister these days. She opened the door, and smiled at Harry, then at Ginny.

     ‘Harry!’ she said, opening the door to allow entrance for the pair. ‘How nice to see you. And Ginny, of course.’

     ‘You, too, Andromeda,’Harry said.

     ‘Please, please, call me Andy.’ She smiled, shaking hands with Ginny. ‘Here to see Teddy?’

     ‘And you’ Harry added, smiling. He was happy to see that Andromeda wasn’t stricken with grief-he wouldn’t have liked to see that. Harry supposed that Teddy was keeping her busy, and happy.

        ‘Of course, of course.’ Andromeda crooned, leading them into the front room, where Teddy was kicking his legs happily in a wooden crib.

       ‘Awhh! Look at his hair!’ Ginny laughed while going over to tickle his tummy. His hair was the brightest of blues, but by the time Harry went over to the crib, Teddy’s hair had morphed into a bright red; the colour of Ginny’s.

     ‘Woah,’ Harry said, smiling at Teddy. For an odd moment, he imagined this baby was Ginny’s..he shook his head, knowing it was way too soon to be thinking like that. Teddy turned his head to Harry, and his hair changed again, to the raven black of his godfather.

     ‘He cant control it yet, I don’t even think he realises what he’s doing.’ Andromeda laughed. Surely enough, his hair changed to a dark curly brown when he saw his Grandmother.

      ‘It’s amazing’ Ginny said, ruffling the hair softly. Teddy gave a babyish smile and raised his arms, fists grabbing Ginny’s hair.

       ‘I think he likes you, pick him up if you want.’ Andromeda said, sitting back onto the sofa, which was covered in colourful shawls and throws. Harry felt his heart swell as Ginny put her hands under Teddy and lifted him up to her. She sat on the armchair with Teddy, and laughed as his hair changed from his usual turquoise to her red.

      ‘So, how are you?’ Harry asked Andromeda, only just managing to tear his eyes away from Ginny and Teddy.

      ‘Oh, I’m..coping. Teddy has got me through it, you know? I take him down to the graves every morning. The first time I took him there, his hair..his hair changed to pink. That was Tonks’ favourite,’ she smiled slightly.

      ‘Woah,’ Harry said for the second time in five minutes. He didn’t quite know what to say. ‘They’d both be so proud of him.’

      ‘I know, and I’m proud of him, too. It’s like having a bit of them both here,’ she sighed, and then looked at Harry, straight into his eyes. ‘And how are you?’

      ‘I’m..’ He thought of Ginny. ‘I’m okay. I still feel sort of..bad, you know?’

      ‘All in good time, Harry’ She smiled. ‘Tea?’

      ‘Please, Andy.’ Ginny nodded, too. Andromeda left the front room and left to the kitchen.

      ‘Harry, look..’ Ginny said, ‘He wants a hug.’ Ted was stretching his arms out toward Harry this time, making baby noises. Harry chuckled and took Teddy into his arms, smiling as Teddy’s sturdy weight settled into his lap. Like he did in the funeral, Teddy grabbed the edge of Harry’s glasses. Harry grinned and put them on Teddy. They were hilariously too big, but Teddy shrieked with laughter, and his hair turned black once again.

     ‘He looks just like you.’ Ginny said, sitting on the sofa next to them.

     ‘Yes, he does!’ Andromeda said, returning from the kitchen holding a tray laden with three hot mugs and a bottle of warm milk. Harry took his glasses back off Teddy, and smiled as the baby’s hair changed to Ginny’s red.

      Harry and Ginny stayed at the Tonks cottage for an hour, playing with Teddy and chatting with Andromeda. He found odd peace being there, as though Remus and Tonks were smiling at them invisibly.

      After they said goodbye and hugged Teddy for the last time, they disapperated back to the Orchard. After they’d composed themselves once again, they sat back down on the blanket that was left there from earlier.

      ‘So, what now Harry?’ Ginny asked, a smile playing on her lips.

      ‘Um, whatever, we could go back if you like?’ Harry suggested, even though he didn’t want to; not quite yet. He noticed Ginny frown and said quickly. ‘Or we could go into London? I haven’t been to check on Kreacher in a while.’

      Ginny looked confused. ‘Kreacher..Kreacher as in Sirius’s house elf?’

     Harry laughed, ‘Yes, that Kreacher.’

     ‘Am I missing something?’ Ginny’s left eyebrow was raised, and her mouth hanging open slightly. ‘Don’t you remember what he was like that year we stayed with him?’

      ‘Yeah, he’s changed.’ Harry was grinning his open, most amused smile. ‘Last year we stayed in Grimmauld place for a while. Let’s just say that being kind to him paid off in the long run.’

      ‘I don’t understand..’ Ginny still looked bemused, and Harry took her hand once again. They apperated to the doorstep of number twelve, Grimmauld place. 

      ‘Alohomora.’ Harry said, tapping the door knob. He hadn’t been here for a while, and he wondered if the house was still rightfully his. Seeing as he was able to get to the doorstep, Harry seemed confident.

      There were a few small clicks, and then Harry swung the heavy door open.

     He didn’t recognise the place. The hall was painted pale blue, and all the old photos had been removed. In place of the screaming Mistress Black photo, and the countless grimy pictures of various black relatives, were pictures Harry had never seen before. There were pictures of him, Hermione and Ron from their third year, sitting by the lake. They were throwing stones into it, and Ron was laughing at Hermione, who was refusing to throw in case she hit the giant squid. Harry remembered the day, but never remembered anybody taking a photo of it. Then there was a picture of Harry with Ron, Fred, George, Hermione and Ginny in the quidditch tournament. They were all sitting in the tent laughing at George and Fred, who were doing impressions of Percy. Harry remembered this, too. The next photo was of Ginny and Harry in Harry’s sixth year. They were walking across the Quidditch pitch in Hogwarts, their broomsticks on their shoulders. Both were smiling. On the other side were photos of Hagrid and Buckbeak. And Remus and Tonks. Dumbledore with professor McGonagall and Flitwick, eating breakfast in the great hall. There was also a photo of Sirius, Remus and James from when they were around fifteen. They were standing by the whomping willow. James was making a face which looked as though he was howling, and Remus was rolling his eyes. There was a black smudge on the photo behind Sirius, and Harry thought that maybe whoever had put these photos up had done a spell to remove Peter.

     Harry grinned over at Ginny, who was also transfixed with all these photos. He walked down the corridor a bit to look at the rest. There was a photo of Lily in a hospital bed, holding a little black haired baby, and Harry felt his eyes fill with tears. He had never seen these photos before. It was like watching his childhood, the childhood he had never known. Wiping his eyes, he smiled at the photograph of him and Sirius from before his fifth year in Hogwarts. They were both smiling handsomely at the camera. Harry knew that Remus had taken this photo, he remembered it clearly. The next photo was of Lily on the platform, smiling excitedly into the camera. Snape was next to her, but Harry hardly recognised him, for he had a broad smile on his face. There was a long photo of the Quidditch team, that had been taken in Harry’s sixth year. Luna, Hermione and Neville were in the corners of the photo, serving as mascots.

     ‘Woah, Harry. Did you put these up?’ Ginny asked. Harry only realised then that his face was damp with tears. He hastily wiped his eyes and shook his head.

      ‘No, I didn’t..I don’t know where they came from.’ He smiled as Ginny hugged him tightly, laughing into his shoulder.

     ‘These are amazing..’ She whispered. ‘Woah.’

     Just at that moment, Harry heard footsteps on the coming down the stairs. It was Kreacher.

     ‘Master Potter! And Miss Weasley. How good to see you!’ Kreacher’s voice was less hoarse than it had ever been, and he had a crisp white pillow case hanging on his shoulders. He bowed down in front of the pair, his long nose scraping the floor.

     ‘Hello, Kreacher!’ Harry said kindly, still in shock at the change of this house elf’s personality. ‘Kreacher, what are all of these?’ Harry pointed at the walls covered in the bright moving pictures.

     ‘Oh, they’re photos, Master Potter.’ Harry heard Ginny chuckle.

      ‘Yes, but where are they from?’ Harry said, smiling.

      ‘Oh, master. It’s an interesting story..Come sit in here, and I shall tell it to you, Master.’ Kreacher signalled for them to follow him through the house.

       Harry didn’t recognise this as Grimmauld place at all. All the walls looked freshly painted, and were hung with brightly coloured hangings and the ceilings were no longer grey or yellow. All the furniture was clean, and looked brand new. The troll-leg coat hanger was gone, and in it’s place was what looked like miniature tree, with multicoloured leaves and carvings all up the stump. Harry was in awe. All the wood in the house was cleaned and polished so much that it gleamed and reflected the light. The long table was replaced by a small round one, and the chairs now matched. The living room had a large brown leather sofa, draped in a pale cream shawl. The fireplace had a fire crackling inside, and the room smelt of fresh flowers. Harry and Ginny sat down on the sofa, and Kreacher sat cross legged on the coffee table (after Harry told him to.)

      ‘Kreacher, what on earth has been going on?’ Harry asked, as the tiny elf smiled, showing a row of straight yellowing teeth.

       ‘Kreacher has been cleaning, Master. All day he cleans to keep the house nice for when Master wants to live here!’ Kreacher signalled to the whole house, smiling happily. ‘When master left a Death Eater came, but Kreacher fought him away. This is the noble house of Potter now!’

       ‘Kreacher..what about the photos? Where did you get them?’

      ‘Dobby gave them to me. Dobby was taking pictures with a camera he finds. Dobby takes lots, Dobby did. He gives them to me and says to give them to Harry Potter. When I was cleaning Kreacher finds some of Severus and Lily and James in master Sirius’s old room. And then I ask Master’s friends for photos to use so that master Potter will like his new house. Do you?’ Kreacher looked up at Harry questioningly.

     ‘Do I like it here? Of course I do, Kreacher! Thank you, Thank you.’ Before he realised what he was doing he grabbed the elf into a hug.

      ‘So, you did all this for Harry?’ Ginny asked, she still looked very confused.

       ‘Yes, yes I did.’ Kreacher was sitting on the sofa now, looking alarmed after Harry hugged him. ‘I like Harry Potter and his friends.’ Ginny laughed. ‘Would you like to see the house of Potter, Master?’

      ‘Of course.’

      Ginny and Harry followed Kreacher up the stairs. Everything was painted brightly, it was no longer black and dark. The severed elf heads were gone, replaced with charmed flowers that would never wither. There were giant daisies, white roses and lilies. Ginny stopped to smell the flowers, and smiled with pleasure.

     Sirius’s old bedroom was still covered with Gryffindor flags, but the red and gold paint had been covered again. The posters of the muggle girls were gone, Harry guessed they were hidden under the new looking Chudley Cannons posters. The four poster bed was no longer dust covered, and the tapestries smelt fresh and the colours vivid. Harry could almost imagine a teenage Sirius on the bed, playing a battered guitar or talking with James. The old carpet had been pulled up, and the floorboards underneath were a handsome oak, polished and clean. Harry grinned, and let Kreacher lead him to Regulus’s old room.

     This room had been changed a lot, it was no longer a green and silver cave, it was a more like a small airy office. Regulus’s bed had gone, and in it’s place was the old sofa from downstairs. That too was cleaner than Harry would’ve thought possible. There was a desk on which lay some old books, and a small stool underneath it. The heavy curtains had been replaced by a thin transparent voile, which fluttered with the breeze through the window. The bookshelves on the right side of the room were empty, ready for when or if Harry decided to move in.

      Kreacher stood smiling up at Harry and Ginny, who were staring around the rooms in awe. ‘Come, Master.’

      The next room was smaller than the others, it was painted the palest of pinks, and had a small single bed covering the width under the window. The sheets and curtains were both cream. It crossed Harry’s mind that the whole house was wonderfully coordinated. This room too had a wooden floor, but it was mostly covered by a thick, pale grey, shaggy carpet. This room out looked the back garden, which was also pruned and pristine. 

      ‘Kreacher thought Miss Granger or Miss Weasley would like a room,’ Kreacher said, running a hand across the wall.

      ‘Thank you, Kreacher.’ Ginny smiled.

      ‘You are very welcome, Miss Weasley.’ Kreacher bowed, and began to walk to the end of the hall, on the left, where a heavy wooden door was closed. ‘This is Master Potter’s bedroom.’

       This room was twice the size of the others, and just as wonderful. There was a large bed between two large windows, both overlooking the massive garden outside. The view was magnificent from there. The bed had dark blue sheets; it was the only dark colour he’d seen on the house. It worked well in the lightness of the room. There was a large wardrobe on the opposite side of the room, against the wall so it wasn’t blocking any light. There was a lamp on either side of the bed, on small bedside cupboards. Harry noticed a window seat on the left window, and a pile of books on the floor next to it. Ginny let go of Harry’s hand and walked over to the books. Harry was in awe. There was a carpet in this bedroom, a thick white one which his feet sunk into. He took off his shoes and socks and wiggled his toes, which sunk an inch or two. There was an open door on the left wall, and inside was a small bathroom. There was a bath with old fashioned taps, a toilet and a small sink. The mirror above the sink showed Harry his look of surprise and happiness at this house. He could see the reflection of Kreacher behind him, rocking on the balls of his feet, waiting to hear Harry’s verdict. He could also see Ginny sitting on the bed, leafing through one of the books.

     ‘Does Master Potter like his bedroom?’ Kreacher asked, tugging on the back of Harry’s jean.

     ‘I love it, Kreacher. I love it. I cannot thank you enough. How did you manage to do all of this?’ Harry asked the elf who almost began jumping with pride.

      ‘I had help, Master. Winky and the other elves were helping me.’ Kreacher said.

      ‘Woah. I need to think of a way to thank them…’ Harry got lost in his thoughts until Ginny was calling him over.

      ‘Look, these must’ve been your parents.’ She was smiling with happiness. ‘It’s your mum and dad when they were in Hogwarts, right up until you were one.’

      Harry ached to go and look at the photos, but Kreacher was trying to pull him to see the other rooms. ‘You must look at those later, master. There are more things to see!’ He smacked his hand over his mouth. ‘Please forgive me, master. Kreacher didn’t mean to tell you what to do..’

      ‘No, it’s fine.’ Harry grimaced at the sight of Kreacher upset. ‘I can look at them later, don’t worry.’

      ‘Okay, sir.’ Kreacher squeaked, wiping away a tear. Ginny left the books on the bed and walked with Harry and Kreacher up a small set of stairs into the attic. This is where Buckbeak once lived, but it was totally changed now.

       Harry thought this was the best room of all. It was very large, as it covered the whole house. There were small windows on the ceiling, and the ceiling was painted blue and white, to have the effect of a sky. On the far end, there were old mismatched sofas, bean bags and a fireplace. It reminded Harry of the Gryffindor common room. There was a large Gryffindor tapestry on the wall, next to two smaller Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw ones. There was an arch separating that part of the room to a part where there was a small bed and cupboard (Kreacher said that it was for guests.) Harry thought that Teddy might like to have this room if he wanted to sleep over when he was older. It had some toys, too, so it was perfect for Teddy here. There was a space that Harry was sure a Crib would fit in.

     The next section of the room had a large bookshelf, a desk and a chair on wheels. There was a wonky pot which Kreacher picked up and brought to him.

      ‘Kreacher made this for you.’ He said, handing the pot to Harry. It was painted a funny green colour and had the words ‘To Harry’ on it. One of the ‘R’s were back to front. Harry smiled and thanked him again.

      The last room to visit was the old tapestry room which was on the first floor. Harry remembered the old fraying tapestry with all the Black family faces on it. The only two faces he’d had liked to seen had been burnt off long ago.

    Harry and Ginny walked hand in hand down to the first floor, following Kreacher who was happily walking along with a spring in his step. He looked as though he was skipping.

     The tapestry room was opposite the main living room, behind a door which was covered in blotches of paint.

     When Harry helped Kreacher push the door open, he stood stunned for a few seconds. The old tapestry had been replaced.

     The pictures were no longer dark and brooding. These pictures were bright and happy and smiling. They were the faces of Harry’s family. Not just of James and Lily, or even of the Dursleys. They were the people that had served as Harry’s family. There was Harry, Ron and Hermione’s head and shoulders on the centre of the wall, and behind them were the faces of everyone Harry had ever cared about. He saw Dumbledore, Sirius, Lupin, Hagrid, Neville, Seamus and Dean. He saw all of the Weasley’s, and around Ginny the artist had drawn a few red love hearts. He saw Tonks, Teddy, Andromeda and Ted. He saw his school mates. He saw his parents, he saw McGonagall, and mad eye. He saw his favourite teachers from Hogwarts all clustered in a corner, and Snape was there, too. Aberforth was there, next to members of the order. There were the three triwizard champions, and a picture of smiling Dobby. Harry had no idea who had painted this mural until he realised there was a chain entwining all the paintings. It was a gold one, made up of the words ‘Friends and Family.’ Harry realised where he’d seen something like this before. He’d seen it in Luna’s bedroom, when he went there to visit Xenophilius.

       ‘Ginny, I think Luna did this?’ Harry asked Ginny, who was wide eyed staring at the brilliant painting.

       ‘It’s Luna’s work, all right. She’s an amazing artist.’ Ginny was smiling at the wall. ‘Look, there she is.’ Harry looked to where Ginny was pointing. At the bottom of the mural, at about a foot from the bottom of the wall, there was a smiling portrait of Luna, side profile. She had drawn in her arm and hand, holding a paintbrush.

      ‘This Is…this is too much.’ Harry wanted to cry with happiness. Ginny wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately. Kreacher cleared his throat and looked at his toes.

      ‘Miss Lovegood asked if she would help. This room was her idea, Master Harry.’

      ‘I think we’ll have to hold a party here. To thank everyone.’ Harry looked at Ginny and she nodded. ‘A month today?’

      ‘Sure!’ She smiled and hugged him again.

      ‘Thank you so, so much Kreacher.’ Harry said once again. 


Chapter 4: Back to The Burrow
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  4.        ***

They disapperated back to the orchard to collect their things, and then back to the burrow. George and Ron were outside throwing gnomes over the hedge, and into the field next door. George grinned when he saw Harry and Ginny arrive, but Ron just frowned and went back to a particularly angry gnome.

    ‘Nice time, kids?’ George asked, grinning evilly. Ginny rolled her eyes whilst Harry couldn’t help feel awkward. It was nice for Ginny to see her brother joking again, though. She had always adored her brothers for their humour, and seeing George laughing again brought her nothing but relief. Fred and George had been somewhat guidance counsellors for Ginny since she was thirteen or fourteen. She could talk to them about things; things that Ron would just lose his temper at. They would give her advice about Terry, Dean, and then Harry. She asked them for help with homework, and they practised quidditch with her. Ginny hadn’t recognised George since Fred died. Until that moment. She ran and hugged him, tight around his neck. George was stunned for a second, his tough little sister barely showed her emotions like this. Then he understood, and swung her around. George could see bits of Fred everywhere. He saw him everyday in the mirror; every meal time George saw Fred’s greediness in Ron. There was one physical difference in George and Fred; Fred had a lone freckle just above his left eyebrow, and Ron had exactly the same. Ron’s eyes crinkled just as Fred’s did when he laughed. In Ginny George saw Fred’s stubbornness and temper. All the Weasley’s had a good sense of humour, but Ginny’s matched Fred and George’s the most. Right now, Ginny’s laughter and smile were so close to Fred’s that George felt as though he might collapse with happiness.

      Harry smiled, watching Ginny and George embrace. He had seen a glimpse of the old George in that smile, too. He looked across to Ron, who had his eyebrows raised. He hadn’t let the scene on George’s happiness distract him too much from the fact that Harry and Ginny had been out together.

     Ginny skipped happily back over to Harry, and Ron frowned again. ‘Where have you two been, then?’ He asked. Harry felt stuck somewhere between amusement and nervousness.

     ‘Oh, Ron! Wait until you see it!’ Ginny said, looking at Harry, who was still slightly stunned.

    ‘See what, exactly?’ Ron asked, kicking another angry gnome.

    ‘Grimmauld place’ Harry said, barely able to contain his growing excitement. ‘Ron, you have to come and see it!’

     ‘Why? I thought-‘ he was cut off by Hermione, who walked out into the garden.

     ‘Did you say Grimmauld place? I thought that place wasn’t accessible anymore.’ She said, sitting on the rickety picnic bench, where George joined her.

     ‘Grimmauld place, why have you been to that skanky old pit..’ George asked, and Hermione looked up at him, obviously seeing the old George we’d just encountered, too.

      ‘No, no!’ Harry laughed. ‘Just trust us, apperate there now.’

      Ron raised an eyebrow, but shrugged. ‘I’ll go tell mum where we’re going to, then,’ He said, stalking moodily into the burrow.

     ‘Godric, what’s his problem?’ George asked. ‘You’d think he’d be happy now he’s finally got Herm –‘

     ‘George!’ Hermione said, slapping his arm. Then she realised that he was joking again, and grinned. She gave him a brief hug, and then said. ‘Isn’t it obvious?’ Hermione was smirking toward Harry and Ginny.

     ‘Ooooh..’ George cooed slyly, also smirking at the pair who were slowly turning a unnatural shade of pink. He elbowed Hermione playfully in the ribs, and Hermione raised her eyebrows expectantly at Harry.

     ‘So..?’ She asked, and Harry looked uncertainly at Ginny. He was unsure whether this was meant to be kept quiet or not..

     ‘Um, yes. Harry and I are together.’ Ginny said bravely, looking back and forth from George to Hermione. Both broke out with huge smiles and Hermione bounded to wrap her arms around Ginny, where they both did odd girly jumping around things, whilst speaking in incredulously high voices. Harry walked to sit where George was on the bench, and George smacked his shoulder.

     ‘I’ll leave the whole ‘’you hurt my sister, I hurt you’’ speech to Ron.’ George said, and Harry grimaced. ‘Look, here he comes now.’

     Ron was walking back toward the small gathering, looking cautious at the girls who still were being…odd.

    ‘Harry. May I have a word.’ He said in a tone totally unlike his usual, and Harry heard George splutter with laughter as he left to speak with his Best friend.

     Harry followed Ron to the large field behind the Burrow, where they sat on rocks.

     ‘So.’ Ron said. ‘I know what’s going on, I’m not totally thick.’

     ‘I didn’t say you we-‘ Harry started.

     ‘Look, Harry. You have to look after her. She was so cut up last time you had to end it with her.’

     ‘It wasn’t out of choice, Ron!’ Harry said, picking a handful of grass from the ground.

     ‘I know, but, bloody hell Harry, I thought you were over her. I thought she was over you!’ Ron had his eyebrows raised as though he was trying to solve a particularly hard rune.

     ‘I was never over her, Ron. I never stopped thinking about her.’ Harry said as sincerely as he could.

     ‘Ok. But if you hurt her again..’ Ron warned, but Harry shook his head.

     ‘If I hurt her again, I will personally come to you for a beating.’ Harry said, totally truthfully. Ron laughed, and relaxed quite a bit. ‘Come on, you have to see Grimmauld place.’

                                          ***

An hour later, the five teenagers were sitting on the sofas in the tapestry room. Harry thought that Ron, George and Hermione’s faces were very amusing; they were all identical masks of shock and surprise. Kreacher sat on the floor by Hermione’s feet. Apparently his old hatred for her had long disappeared.

    ‘Merlin’s beard.’ George said.

    ‘Isn’t this fantastic?’ Hermoine asked, looking up at Ron, who had that classic what-the-hell-just-happened look on his face. He blushed a deep red when Hermione shifted closer to him and kissed his cheek. Harry found this very amusing, everybody was well aware of their relationship, but Ron still got stupidly embarrassed when Hermione even just hugged him.

    ‘These pictures are cracking, Harry!’ Ron said, distracting himself and handing back the photo albums that he’d retrieved from Harry’s new room. Harry hadn’t had a chance to look through them yet, he wanted to do it in private, in case he got emotional again.

     ‘Apparently Dobby took most of them, but a lot of them are old ones he found around the house.’ Ginny positively glowed. She was sitting on the arm of the chair Harry was occupying.

     ‘Well. I don’t know if you all agree, but I do think a party is in order. I wouldn’t mind getting drunk out of my mind. I haven’t done that in too long.’ George said, and Ginny chuckled.

     ‘Well we were going to do a party in a month or so, for the elves and Luna. Somewhat of a house warming..’ Harry said, and George scoffed.

      ‘Spiffing teenagers like yourselves! You should jump at the chance. As soon as Fred..’ George swallowed uncomfortably. ‘As soon as Fred and I had our flat we held the biggest party imagin- ‘

      ‘Oh and thanks for my invite!’ Ron interrupted.

     ‘You were under age, still ickle ronniekins.’ Harry stifled a laugh at George’s returning humour.

      Ron went to shout back some retort to George, but Ginny rolled her eyes and yelled at them.

     ‘Boys!’ Hermione claimed, and Kreacher smiled up at her, as though she’d just revealed she was going to purchase him a different coloured pillowcase for every day of the year.

     ‘Anyway. I think we should have a small gathering of sorts, after I’ve moved in here. Just a few friends, some of yours, George? But not anything big, I hate official things.’ Harry said.

     ‘So, you’re moving in here?’ Ron and Ginny asked at the same time.

     ‘Well, I think I’d like to. And all the effort Kreacher put into the house, it’d be a shame to waste it.’

     ‘I agree with you, Harry.’ Hermione said, shrugging.

     Harry smiled and got up to make tea for everyone. He made it the muggle way; he needed time to think. He was pouring milk into the crooked mugs when he felt Ginny’s arms wrap around his waist from behind.

      Harry turned around and kissed her once, softly on her lips. ‘What’s up?’ he asked, and Ginny shook her head and tightened her hold. ‘Ginny?’

      ‘I’ve just got you back, Harry. And now you’re leaving again.’ She said, practically inaudibly into the shoulder of his jumper.

      ‘Ginny,’ Harry said, tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear. ‘It won’t affect our relationship at all.’ He kissed her hair. ‘And anyway, it might be better like this.’

       Ginny looked at him with a puzzled look on her face. She didn’t understand.

       ‘Things might get a bit..awkward if we’re living under the same roof.’ Harry said.

       ‘Why? Ron and Hermione do.’ Ginny said.

       ‘Yeah.’ Laughed Harry. ‘But you’re the only girl, and the youngest. I’m sure your parents are more, well, protective because of that.’

        Ginny frowned. ‘No, it’s Ron that’s protective. Which I’ve always found confusing. He knows you the best, he knows you’re a good guy! He’s more protective than Mum, Dad and George put together.’ Ginny laughed, and seemed to cheer up a bit. ‘And anyway, at least this way I’ll be able to come..visit you.’

      Harry felt himself blush and kissed Ginny once more before they took tea back to the others. George disapparated later that day, he was meeting Angelina in Diagon Alley. Ron, Harry, Hermione and Ginny continued to admire grimmauld place, and how dramatically it had changed. By the time they returned to the burrow, it was time for supper.

       Molly hugged them all in turn when they entered the kitchen, and raised an eyebrow quizzically when she realised George was no longer with them. Harry sensed her question.

      ‘George is in Diagon Alley, with Angelina. He said he wouldn’t be home too late.’ He explained and Molly nodded happily. They sat around the table; Molly, Arthur and the four teens.

        ‘So, Grimmauld place, eh?’ Arthur asked. Harry and Ginny calmly explained everything to them, Ron and Hermione adding bits they forgot. Once they finished their explanation, Molly frowned.

       ‘But Harry! You’re so young to be living by yourself, you’re barely eighteen!’ She said, with a concerned look that mirrored her daughters earlier. ‘Who will feed you?’

        Harry laughed. ‘Kreacher will be there, I’m sure he cooks, and besides; I can cook for myself, anyway.’ Ginny grinned. ‘And I think it will be good, for me to start fresh.’

       ‘But Harry, you don’t need to leave!’ Molly cried.

       ‘I know, I know.’ Harry nodded. ‘And I’m so, so very grateful for you letting me live here all this time. You’ve accepted me as a son and I will never forget that. I will still be here everyday, Molly.’ Harry held her hand from across the table, because her eyes were filling with tears. He smiled fondly at the woman who treated him like a son from the age of eleven.

       ‘Jesus, mum.’ Ron muttered inaudibly. ‘You won’t bat an eyelid if I ever left.’

       ‘Oh, Harry.’ Molly cooed. Hermione sniffed whilst Arthur smiled at the scene.

       ‘Um, I wanted to say something, too.’ Hermione said.

       ‘Hermione, now, don’t tell me you’re leaving too!’ Molly said, pointing a finger at Hermione.

       ‘No, no.’ Hermione laughed. ‘I just was going to say that I think it’s time for me to go and restore my parents’ memories. I want to get them back from Australia.’

       ‘Hermione?’ Ron asked. ‘It’s a really tricky spe-‘

       ‘Yeah,  yeah I know. But the war is over. I need my mum and dad back.’ Hermione focused on a plate in the centre of the table, and Ginny bit her lip.

       ‘You’ll be able to do it, Hermione.’ Arthur said. The table all murmured in agreement; for Hermione was a very clever witch.

       ‘I hope so.’ She said, cheering up. ‘Maybe we could go there, soon?’ She looked at Ron and he nodded in agreement. Harry looked over and caught Ginny’s eye. She was smiling at him.

       ‘I have something to say, too.’ Ginny said. Harry felt himself blush as Ron tensed next to him.

       ‘Ginny, what is it?’ There was concern in Molly’s voice again, and Arthur turned to his daughter.

      ‘Uh, well…’ Ginny’s usual confident manner disappeared and Harry was forced to interfere.

      ‘Arthur, Molly, today I asked Ginny to be my girlfriend again…I hope that’s okay with you two.’ Harry said.

      Both of the red haired parents beamed, and Molly let a fat tear slide down her cheek.

      ‘Oh, it’s absolutely wonderful!’ Molly said.

      ‘Perfectly brilliant.’ Arthur chimed in.

      ‘Bloody fantastic.’ Ron said sarcastically, and Hermione hit his arm playfully.

       They celebrated all the good news that night. George returned home at around nine, smelling strongly of butterbeer and walking clumsily. The drank and shared stories until late, until first Arthur and Molly went to bed, and then George. Ginny kissed Harry’s cheek at around midnight, and disappeared upstairs. Hermione followed after a few minutes, kissing Ron before walking drowsily up to Ginny’s room.

      Harry was pleased to see that Ron was being quite normal with him; he was only frowning whenever Harry and Ginny made physical contact, now. The both apparated to Ron’s bedroom at half past twelve, after listening to a half hour weird sisters music marathon on the radio. Harry settled into his bed, and his dreams were more peaceful than they had ever been before.

                              


Chapter 5: The unexpected visitor
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 5. The next morning, after breakfast, Hermione and Ron set off to Diagon Alley to purchase the items Harry had written onto a piece of parchment. They included food, drinks and things he would need for living on his own. Ginny and Harry were gathering up Harry’s belongings from around the house and putting them into neat piles on Harry’s bed, where Molly was packing them into cases.  

      The last thing he packed was the photo album Hagrid gave him at the end of his first year. Harry thought it’d fit in with his new ones he had yet to look at. He was waiting for a time he could be alone to look at the photo albums, because he felt they would make him cry.

     Molly burst into hears as she buckled the final case closed, and pulled him into a hug that made him realise how much he loved her. Harry hugged her back, and smiled. She was being ridiculous; Harry would still be in the burrow a lot of the time. Aside from Hogwarts, The Burrow was his home. After Molly let him go, she kissed his cheek and left the room. Ginny walked in slowly, smiling at Harry.

      Harry held her in a hug and kissed her. Ginny didn’t respond as he wanted her to; instead she looked up at him and openly grinned.

      ‘I’ll be visiting you tonight,’ She said. Harry raised an eyebrow and tried not to blush or show any surprise or shock.

      ‘Oh, will you?’ He asked indifferently.

      ‘Yes. At midnight.’ Ginny replied. She swiftly kissed his cheek and left, leaving Harry to mull things over.

       Hermione and Ron returned, and a while later George and Arthur did (though at different times.) After another round of butterbeer, the seven of them apparated to grimmauld place.
       After Molly and Arthur got over the initial shock, and had tea, it was time for them to leave. Molly’s goodbye was somewhat tearful, but Arthur seemed quite..proud. Harry thanked them both for everything they had done for him, and said he’d come round for Dinner tomorrow.  George smacked his back and told him to enjoy his new ‘bachelor pad,’ and Hermione hugged him. Ron laughed at all of this, because he (and Harry quite agreed) would be ‘seeing him in the bloody morning!’ Ginny gave him a hug, and before Harry let her go, she whispered in his ear. She’d said ‘Midnight.’ Which left Harry to try and hide his blush once again.
      The house turned quiet as soon as they all left, but it was never uncomfortably quiet as he could hear Kreacher singing in his croaky voice upstairs.
     ‘Can you dance like a Hippogriff?’ He sang and Harry murmured the next line under his breath.
      ‘Kreacher?’ Harry called up the stairs. Kreacher appeared immediately.
       ‘Yes, master?’ He croaked.
       ‘Um, Kreacher. Ginny will be visiting this evening, so uh, if you want to go out to visit Winky in the kitchens tonight I give you permission to.’ Harry said. Kreacher’s mouth opened in a wide smile and thanked Harry profusely before disapparating.
     Harry jogged up the stairs to his new bedroom, and collapsed happily onto the bed. He still couldn’t bring himself to look through the photo albums, he’d had an emotional few days without that to deal with, too. It was ten o’clock, so Harry began to unpack his belongings. He put his broomstick in the office room, along with his old quidditch robes and school uniform. He put his toothbrush and toiletries away in his small bedside bathroom, and went in search of the other bathroom. The bathroom was on the ground floor, behind the old tapestry room. It was unchanged from last time he was here, apart from it had been thoroughly cleaned, right down to the shiny metal feet that held the bath up. He splashed water onto his face and hands, changed into a pair of pyjama bottoms and put his clothes into a basket which was next to the bath.
     Harry went back to his room and unpacked the rest of his clothes into the wardrobe, shoes in a box and his golden snitch was put on the bed side cabinet. He magically sent all the food that Ron and Hermione had got for him to the kitchen, and he heard a thump that confirmed that they had gotten there.
     After an hour, all his belongings were put away and the house felt more like his. The bedcovers were slightly mussed from where he’d been lying on them, and his a pair of his socks were bulging out of the sock drawer. Harry went downstairs, and walked into the living room.

      Where he had the fright of his life.
     ‘Harry?’ Said the voice. The voice he hadn’t heard since he was fifteen. He was in shock, he hadn’t expected to hear that voice ever again. He hiccoughed and slumped into a chair. ‘Harry, don’t freak out.’
     ‘I-uh-what is, uhm, Sirius?’ Harry couldn’t believe his eyes. He couldn’t believe his ears. Sirius was dead. Dead and gone..
     ‘Yes. Harry, it’s me.’ Sirius smiled. It was strange. He wasn’t a ghost, but he wasn’t whole, either.

     ‘What?’ Harry couldn’t believe it.
     ‘Harry, I- Harry, I don’t know why, I don’t understand this at all. But last night, I awoke. I just woke up, here. Like this.’ Sirius signalled with his hands at himself.

      ‘Are you alive?’ Harry asked somewhat stupidly.
      ‘No, I don’t think so. I think it’s an old curse on the house, Walburga must have done it. I only stay for a while, well that’s what happened last night.’ Sirius’s ghostly form sat on the sofa. It was as though he was being projected from a machine somewhere.
       ‘What, why?’ Harry stared at his godfather, who he’d accepted the death of.
     ‘I think, I think that it’s an old curse of the home. I read about it years ago. It’s a blood tie to the house. Old pure blood wizards put them on their homes to frighten off any muggles or non-pure bloods from living in their homes when they pass. Harry, are you okay?’ Sirius asked. Harry had turned a very pale shade of green and was sweating. Harry took a few deep breaths and beckoned for Sirius to go on. ‘It works when the new owner decides to move in. It wouldn’t have worked before, because the house was rightfully, through blood, mine. But I passed the house to you, and we’re not blood related. So I think only now the curse has been able to take place.’ Sirius finished and Harry finally realised that his dead godfather was here. Sitting opposite him, talking to him. He stood up, and Sirius did, too. Harry lunged and pulled Sirius into a hug. It was like hugging a balloon, or a large pressure of air. It was strange, but comforting.
     ‘Sirius.’ Harry sobbed into Sirius’s shoulder. Sirius tapped Harry’s back and laughed.
     ‘Harry, I only have a small while. The curse ends at midnight.’ Sirius said, and Harry nodded. ‘But I’ll be back tomorrow night.’
     ‘Ginny’s coming at midnight.’ Harry said and Sirius smiled his old mischievous grin.
     ‘Well, I knew you two would finally get it together.’ He laughed while Harry wiped his eyes. ‘It’s going to be a big night for you, eh?’
      Harry squirmed and shook his head. ‘I don’t think so, not tonight.’ He said.
      ‘Harry, please don’t let this affect you. I beg you. I’ll be back tomorrow.’ Sirius said, and something odd occurred in Harry’s mind.
      ‘Hang on, where do you go?’ He asked, and Sirius grinned.
      ‘I go back.’ He said.
      ‘So, do you see my Mum and Dad?’ Harry asked timidly.
      Sirius considered this for a moment and then nodded. ‘They’re so proud of you, Harry. So proud.’ Harry went to ask another question but Sirius got there before him. ‘I’ll tell you everything tomorrow, I feel myself going.’
     Sirius seemed to be fading; it was extraordinary and unnerving to watch. ‘Tell them I love them.’ Harry said, and he saw Sirius’s ghostly form nod before it disappeared.
     Harry was confused and happy and frightened. It took him a while to pull himself together, and by the time he did, it was ten past twelve and Ginny was at the door. 


Chapter 6: 6. A surprising night.
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 5.   She was wearing her pyjama bottoms and what Harry thought looked like one of his jumpers. She had a rucksack on her back and she was smiling at him. Her long red hair was in a loose bun on the back of her head. 

     Harry grinned and pulled her into a hug. As they embraced, Harry realised that he had no t-shirt on. Ginny didn’t seem to object or mind, so Harry relaxed. He wanted to tell her all about Sirius. He was so unbelievably happy to have his godfather back, even if it was only for a few hours a night. Harry decided to tell her about Sirius another night; he wanted to spend time with Ginny and Ginny alone, to make up for all those days he was away.
      ‘You came.’ Harry said and Ginny laughed.
      ‘Of course I did,’ She replied. ‘I wasn’t going to stand you up, was I?’
      Harry shrugged, but Ginny knew from the smile on his face that he was joking. He drew his attention back to the jumper she was wearing. It was one that Molly had knitted for him; it had a large golden snitch on the front. ‘That’s mine, isn’t it?’

      Ginny blushed and smiled. ‘Yeah, Uh, I stole it before you left last summer. I’ve charmed it so it still smells like you.’

      ‘You, you really missed me that much?’ Harry asked, feeling quite sad.

      ‘Of course I did, Harry. I wore this jumper to bed every night.’ She leaned her head down, in either embarrassment or sadness. Harry hugged her again, trying to out all unsaid things into the hug.

     ‘I missed you, too, Ginny. I used to watch you on the map, to make sure you were okay.’ Harry whispered into her ear, and he felt her smile.

     They walked hand into hand into the tapestry room; Harry almost shaking with nerves, and Ginny feeling happier than she had for a long time.

     Harry sat on the sofa, expecting Ginny to sit on the other. Instead, Ginny dumped her bag on the other and lay down on the sofa, her head in Harry’s lap. Harry grinned nervously down at her, and Ginny smiled back, turning a slight shade of red.

      ‘So how did you get away?’ Harry asked her, breaking the silence that was quite comfortable to Ginny.

      ‘I apparated from the garden, Hermione covered for me. She put muffliato on everyone so they wouldn’t hear it.’ Ginny did the smile that Harry loved, and he couldn’t help but return it.

      ‘So Hermione knows?’ Harry asked, slightly worried.

      ‘Yeah, don’t worry, though. She won’t tell Ron.’ Ginny said.

       ‘You read my mind,’ Harry laughed.

       ‘It’s not hard, your mind is so open, Harry’ she said.

       ‘What do you mean?’ Harry asked, raising an eyebrow.

       ‘I don’t know.’ She laughed. ‘I’ll try to explain as well as I can. Before the war, it was as though you had so many troubles a cloud was looming over you. I felt as though I only had a tiny bit of your true personality. You were so private and you were always distracted with finding you-know, uh, Voldemort’s horcruxes. But now, it’s like I know the full, real you. You’re so much happier, Harry! Voldemort is gone, and you can finally be a normal guy. Not that you weren’t, uh, normal before. You know what I mean. Since your troubles have gone, I can see you. I feel like I understand you, you know?’

     ‘I, uh, I think I see where you’re coming from.’ Harry grinned. He did feel as though he was finally free. Harry leant over and Kissed Ginny’s lips as best as he could; it proved quite difficult to kiss her when they were lying in this way.

     ‘Thanks,’ Ginny smiled. She sat herself up and kissed Harry, her hands on his chest. When she pulled away, she looked down at his chest and smiled. ‘Still no Hungarian horntail, Harry.’

     Harry was trying to concentrate on not taking this too far, and shook his head. ‘Nope, not yet,’ Ginny stroked his chest, and kissed him again. When she pulled away from her boyfriends’ lips, she found his eyes to be closed and his head to be leaning on the back of the sofa.

     ‘Harry?’ She asked, somewhat amused. ‘Are, you, er, okay?’

      ‘Yeah, I’m – ‘ Harry was cut off, there was a knocking on the door, and a familiar voice calling Harry’s name.

      Harry and Ginny looked at each other with wide eyes; was it Ron?

      The voice was too deep for Ron’s, but it wasn’t far off. Harry trudged to the door, nervous and worried. When he opened it, a figure collapsed onto the floor, sobbing.

     Harry didn’t realise who it was until Ginny came running, and crouched down next to him. ‘Georgie?’ She asked. ‘What’s wrong?’

      She had a look of concern on her face that Harry could understand, George was in a terrible state. He was drunk, and sobbing so deeply that he couldn’t speak.

       Harry helped Ginny move George to the sofa, and sat him there.
      ‘George?’ Ginny asked timidly. ‘What’s happened?’

      George buried his face in his hands, and he slowly calmed down. Harry sat on the other end of the room quietly, unsure of what to say or do. Ginny sat on the edge of the coffee table, in front of her brother.

     ‘I’m, I’m so sorry.’ George sniffed, and wiped his hands on his jumper, which smelled strongly of fire whiskey. ‘I needed to, to get away.’ Ginny didn’t need to ask again, George began to pour his heart out. ‘I miss him so, so much. I don’t even know what happened. One minute we were fighting, and the next… he was dead. I just wish I could see him one more time.

   And today, I saw Angelina. I had so much fun with her.’ He let out a sob which shook him from head to toe. ‘I felt like I was betraying him! It’s, it’s his girlfriend for Merlin’s sake. It should have been me to die! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!’ George clenched his fists and shouted the sentence with such a force, that Harry felt the pain of the death hit him once again. George broke down into sobs once again, and Ginny sat next to him and hugged him.

   It was an hour later when he stopped crying.

   ‘George?’ Ginny asked. ‘You shouldn’t feel like that. You know what F-Fred’s like. He’d want you to have fun. He’d be happy to see you getting back to normal-‘

     ‘It’ll never be normal.’

     ‘I know. But it will get easier George. You felt it, yesterday. You were okay. You had fun!’ Ginny smoothed George’s hair, from where he’d run his hands through it repeatedly. ‘Don’t feel guilty for anything, George. Especially not about spending time with Angelina. Fred wouldn’t mind at all, and you know that.’

     A tear leaked from his eye, and dropped to his knee when he nodded. Ginny kissed his forehead. ‘I was lying in bed, thinking about her when I realised that it was Fred’s girlfriend. For a second, I felt as though he was alive, and I’d cheated with her, or something. I went mad. I went to The Leaky Cauldron and drank so much…I couldn’t go home. The barmaid called me Fred.’ George dropped his head into his hands.

    ‘Oh, George!’ Ginny said, and crying herself, she tried her best to comfort her brother. Harry sat in the chair and found it difficult to control the tears himself. He hated to see George, a prankster and notoriously happy guy, crying in this way. It hurt him so much.

    After another short while, Harry helped the drunk George to the spare bedroom; Sirius’s one. George fell asleep immediately, his face still stained with tears.

    As they left the room, Harry looked at his watch; it was three thirty a.m.

    ‘Harry, I’d better go..’ Ginny said, unhappily. ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t want tonight to be like this.’

     Harry shook his head. ‘No, Ginny, don’t apologise. You helped George a lot tonight. You’d do good as a mental healer, you know.’ Harry smiled and pulled her into a hug.

    ‘I guess so, but it’s so tiring. I’m shattered. I think Quidditch would be easier.’ Ginny smiled and kissed his bare chest. ‘I’ll see you later on, yeah?’

     ‘Of course, love.’ Harry said, kissing her hair.

     ‘I wanted this to be..the night, you know?’ Ginny said quietly, and Harry’s stomach did a flip-flop.

     ‘There’ll be another chance for that.’ Harry replied as coolly as he could.

      Ginny disapparated, and Harry went to his bedroom.

                                         ***

Harry had been itching to look at the photos which were in his bedroom. Sitting cross legged on the bed, Harry braced himself and looked at the one at the top of the pile.

    Smiling, he recognised a picture of the triwizard champions; Cedric, Fleur, Victor and himself. It was of when they’d just finished the second task; Harry was covered in cuts, Fleur looked shaken but was smiling, Cedric was waving toward the camera and Viktor was sulking.

     The photos that followed were snapshots of Harry’s first four Hogwarts years. Harry laughed, smiled and cried whilst looking at photos that had been taken sneakily by Dobby the Elf, or stolen by others by Dobby.

     There was one of Harry on Buckbeak; one of Harry and Ron laughing at Hermione; a photo of Harry stroking Fawkes; one of Hermione hugging Harry at the platform; a photo of Hagrid, Harry, Hermione and Ron in Hagrid’s hut, and many more.  Harry fell asleep with a book on his chest, open on a page that showed a picture of his fifteenth Christmas; a Christmas at the Weasley’s. The picture showed the dinner table in Grimmauld place, where the youngest four Weasley children, Harry, Hermione, Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, Molly and Arthur sat. In the picture, everybody was smiling or laughing, even the more serious people, like Lupin. Harry loved the picture, when he saw it, he just couldn’t help but wish to go back there, even for a few moments.

                               *****
The morning came around quickly; when Harry awoke, he pulled on his robe and went down the stairs, to find George sitting in the kitchen,
   ‘Morning,’ Harry said, sitting on a stool opposite George, who had his head in his hands and a steaming cup of coffee on the table.

   ‘Er, hi..’ George sniffed and shifted awkwardly, still clutching his head.

    ‘Fire whiskey paying its toll?’ Harry asked, smiling slightly. George looked at Harry and nodded, a look of half-amusement, half-embarrassment on his pale, freckled face. ‘Hang on,’ Harry got up, and made a simple muggle potion that he’d seen Aunt Petunia make for Vernon many times in the past; a cooked English breakfast.

    ‘Harry, er, sorry if I ruined your first night here,’ George said, almost inaudibly. Harry shook his head, and spoke without turning back to George.

    ‘George, don’t be stupid. You’re welcome here whenever you want to get away or whatever. There’s no need to apologise,’ he said, frying bacon and rolling sausages over in the pan.

     ‘Thanks, Harry.’ Harry turned around, and saw that George was smiling slightly. ‘Er, Harry, mate, can I ask why..exactly..was Ginevra here at midnight last night?’

     ‘Oh.’ Harry looked around the room, searching for an answer, ‘Er, she left her cloak here from earlier.’

    Feeling himself redden, Harry turned around again and busied himself with making tea.

    ‘Oh, right,’ George said, and Harry could imagine him grinning. ‘Chill out, Harry. I’m not going to freak out or anything, I’m not Ron.’

    Harry chuckled, but still didn’t turn around. After another five minutes, the food was ready and Harry served it onto two plates.

    They sat eating in silence, and Harry couldn’t stop thinking about Sirius. He was returning again tonight, but Harry felt an unfamiliar emotion welling up in him. He had barely thought about it; he hadn’t had the chance to! As soon as Sirius disappeared, Ginny arrived, and soon after that George had. Harry couldn’t help wonder whether Sirius could bring with him his parents, or Fred, or Lupin, Tonks, Mad eye, Dumbledore, Dobby, Hedwig..or even Snape. It was so hard to comprehend; Harry had accepted Sirius’s death, and now all these possibilities had appeared in his mind.

    ‘Harry?’ George was looking at him, an eyebrow raised. ‘You there?’

    ‘Yeah, sorry, I was thinking,’ Harry smiled, and finished off his breakfast. ‘About last night, George,’ He started cautiously, ‘uh, are you sure you’re okay now?’

    ‘Yeah,’ George nodded, biting his lip. ‘It was silly, what I did, getting drunk like that. I’m sorry you saw me in that state.’

     ‘It’s fine…really,’ said Harry. ‘I just want to know if you’re alright, now. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for you.’

     George nodded, a tear threatening to slide down his nose. ‘It’s hard…so hard. But I’m dealing with it.’

    Harry patted George’s shoulder and began to wash up the dishes. 


Chapter 7: Siblings!
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 George disapparated later on in the day, back to The Burrow. Just a while after he left, Ron and Hermione appeared at the door.

     Ron didn’t punch him, or act oddly to him in any way, so Harry knew that the fact Ginny was over last night was still a secret.

     The three friends lounged around in the front room, looking at photos and reminiscing about their Hogwarts days.

     ‘Ginny will be going back next month, for her final year,’ said Ron, who was lying on the floor on his back, whirling his wand around, creating orange sparks.

     ‘I wonder what seventh year is like,’ Hermione said, a tone of thoughtfulness to her voice. ‘We never did our N.E.W.Ts!’

     ‘Thank God,’ muttered Ron, and Harry laughed.

     ‘It’s not funny, Ronald. I’m being serious. If we want to get anywhere in life we need our N.E.W.T qualifications. I heard the new ministry are opening a higher education school, too,’ Hermione said, crossing her arms.

     ‘As if you need extra, Hermione. You’d pass the Newts with your eyes closed,’ Ron said, and Hermione laughed a little.

    ‘So, what’re you saying?’ Started Harry, ‘you want to go back to Hogwarts for a year?’

     ‘Of course she doesn’t,’ said Ron, before looking at Hermione’s face. ‘Do you?’

      ‘Um, well, I was thinking about it,’ Hermione said, shrugging. Ron sat up and Harry closed his book. ‘You two want to be Aurors, right? Well you’ll get into the training easily! You defeated Voldemort,’ Ron went to say something, but Hermione stopped him. ‘Well I don’t want to be an Auror, I’ve had enough of fighting and defeating dark wizards for one lifetime,’ Harry chuckled, and Hermione smiled. ‘So I want to get into the Ministry.’

    ‘The Ministry?!’ Said Ron. He still hadn’t got used to the idea that now, with Kingsley in charge, the Ministry had become a good place.

    ‘Yes, The Ministry,’ said Hermione defensively, ‘It’s different now. I think I’d have a good chance of setting off S.p.e.w with Kingsley in charge! You know, free rights for Elves?’

     ‘We remember what spew is,’ smiled Harry, remembering Hermione’s committee.

     ‘Yes! And I though, well, I want to do good in the world.’

     ‘You’ve just helped kill off Lord bloody Voldemort, Hermione! I’m sure that’s good enough!’ Ron said, and Hermione threw a book into his chest.

     ‘Yes, I am aware, Ronald. I just think that if I want to get into the ministry, getting Newts would be the right way around it!’ Hermione retorted fiercely.

    Harry thought that he knew why Ron was so against her going back to Hogwarts; he would be away from her. Harry hadn’t yet thought of this, until that moment. In a month Ginny, and now most probably Hermione, would be leaving to go to Hogwarts. Harry definitely didn’t want to return there, it would be too difficult for him to be in the school without Dumbledore; it wouldn’t be the same. Harry and Ron both wanted to begin their lives in work, but Hermione, having a very academic mind, would wish nothing more than to finish her Education.

     ‘Okay,’ Said Ron, defeated. It was quite quiet for a few seconds, so Harry decided to break the silence with news that he’d been dying to speak to them about.

     ‘Erm, Hermione, have you ever heard of ancient curses that tie the last deceased person’s spirit to a house?’ Harry asked cautiously, wanting to tell them the story of Sirius without his friend thinking he’d gone mad.

     ‘What?’ Asked Hermione, ‘No, I haven’t.’

     Much to Harry’s surprise, it was Ron who spoke up next.

     ‘I have!’ He said, smiling at knowing a question that Hermione didn’t. ‘My Great, great uncle once moved into a house in Ireland, with his wife and their three children. Well, the kids kept on waking up every night, saying they heard noises and whatnot, turns out there was a kind of guardian there. The person who died, some old dude; frightening guy, apparently, had cursed himself so he could return as a ghost for the hour before midnight.’

     ‘Don’t be ridiculous, Ron!’ Said Hermione, ‘a person can’t just tie themselves to a home. Once a person’s dead, they’re dead, unless you’re the owner of the Resurrection stone, or if you return as a ghost.’

      ‘Ron’s right, Hermione,’ Harry said. ‘There’s a curse on this house. Sirius came back last night.’
      ‘Harry – ‘ Hermione began, a look of concern on her face. Harry was sure that she was going to give some logical explanation why he’d be seeing Sirius. She was probably going to say it was a dream or something. Harry shook his head to stop her.
      ‘I know what I saw, Hermione. Countless of people have said that there’s no spell that can bring back the dead, but that’s what the resurrection stone did, right?’ Harry said. ‘I know they didn’t come back as their normal selves, and I know that they couldn’t exist in this world. Sirius was here last night, he explained it to me…’
    Harry told the pair about the encounter with Sirius. He told them everything, apart from what Sirius had said regarding Ginny. Once he finished the story, Hermione was, for once, lost for words. Ron sat with a thoughtful look on his face, he looked as though he was caught somewhere between anxiety and longing. Harry thought that he knew why; Ron was thinking that maybe Fred could come back sometime. Harry was familiar with the feeling; he had thought exactly the same the night before. Harry had wondered if maybe he would have a chance to see all his lost ones again.
     ‘So you’ll still be able to see him, then,’ Hermione said. ‘I mean, that can’t be a good thing.’

     ‘What do you mean?’ Asked Ron, who had woken from his thoughts. ‘Of course it’s a good thing, he gets to see Sirius again.’

      ‘I know, but it can’t be healthy for a spirit to be hopping about from afterlife to life and back every night, can it?’ Hermione said, and Harry understood what she meant. Because of Harry residing in this home, Sirius wouldn’t be able to move on to a next life.
      ‘I think,’ began Ron, ‘I think Harry needs to speak to him again.’
      ‘I will be, tonight.’ Said Harry, before summoning three Butterbeers from the kitchen. ‘But until then couldn’t we discuss something different, I need to keep it from my mind.’
     The trio of friends spent the afternoon relaxing and enjoying, something that they had missed out on for a very long time. Harry noticed that Ron was slightly quieter than usual, though. Hermione had noticed, too, and raised her eyebrows when she caught Harry’s eye. They both knew that Ron was thinking of Fred, and if there was any way to get him back, even if only for an hour.
     They had an owl at half past five from Mrs. Weasley, telling them that dinner was almost ready and to come before it gets cold. Laughing, the three of them apparated to The Burrow.
     Ginny grinned when she saw Harry, and gave him a swift kiss on his cheek. Blushing, he sat down next to her and poured himself and Ginny some pumpkin juice.
    Mrs. Wealsey came bustling in with Mr, Weasley, both holding plates laden with mashed potatoes and sausages.
    ‘Oh Harry!’ she kissed him on his cheek, too, but needless to say it didn’t have the same effect as when Ginny did it. ‘How was your first night in the house?’
     Harry tried his best not to splutter his juice everywhere, but nonetheless, some went up his nose. He swallowed and composed himself before answering, avoiding the eyes of both Ginny and George.

    ‘It was fine, thank you,’ he said. ‘Very quiet, but I’ll get used to it.’
     Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed George snigger and Ginny blush. Luckily, Ron didn’t notice any of this as he was busy trying to tell Hermione subtly that she had some crumbs in her hair.
     Dinner was a happy affair; Arthur and Molly talked about work, Ron, George and Hermione were debating about the safety of broomsticks, and Harry had a few minutes to speak quietly to Ginny.
     ‘Did you get back okay last night?’ He asked, after swallowing a particularly tasty forkful of potato.
     ‘Yes, thank you,’ Ginny smiled. ‘Uh, how was…’ she darted her eyes across to George, who at the time seemed happy enough.
     ‘He was fine, we had a chat in the morning but really, it was OK,’ Harry didn’t really want to damage George’s trust, or upset Ginny.
     ‘Great,’ she smiled and Harry felt warmth all over his body. She had a beautiful smile.
      George, Ginny, Hermione, Ron and Harry all crowded in the kitchen to do the washing up. Well, in reality, Ginny and Ron argued whilst Hermione washed, George dried and Harry put away. Harry found himself laughing at times. He had forgotten how much the two youngest Weasleys were alike when they were angry. In the end, Hermione put up a shield charm around them so they could clean up in peace. After a few minutes of Ron immaturely just repeating what she was saying, Ginny stormed out the back door. Shooting a look at Ron, Harry followed her.
    Ginny was sitting on the garden bench, her face on her hands. Harry could tell that she was fuming.
    ‘Hey,’ he said, sitting next to her. ‘Er, what’s up?’
    ‘That bloody Ron! He’s impossible!’ She said, throwing her arms down. Harry was relieved to see that she hadn’t been crying, but her cheeks were red with anger. ‘Godric, I could kill him sometimes!’
    ‘What happened?’ Harry asked, wrapping an arm around her, and kissing her hair.
    ‘I tripped him, accidentally, and he thought I did it on purpose. I mean, really? If I wanted to hurt him I’d use my bloody wand!’ Harry had to fight back a laugh, Ginny was right; she had gotten into slug club for her hexes. ‘And then we were just arguing, about nothing in particular, really. He’s probably just angry that me and you are together again..’
    ‘You know what Ron’s like, Ginny,’ Harry said. He was in an awkward position, he had to comfort Ginny but he didn’t want to insult Ron. ‘He’s a hothead. Don’t let him get to you.’
     ‘I know. He’s just so bloody difficult at times. And now I’m going to have to endure his pointless jibes all night. You know what I came home to last night? Him and Hermione bloody snogging on the couch. You’d think they’d at least go to their room.’
     Trying to throw the image from his mind, Harry laughed. ‘Hang on, they didn’t see you, did they?’
      ‘No, I sneaked past, and they were too distracted anyway, by the looks of things,’ she said, cringing.
     ‘Oh,’ Harry laughed again. ‘Cheer up, Ginny,’ he lifted her chin and kissed her lips softly. He felt her smile, and then she was kissing him back. Harry had forgotten how good it felt to kiss her like this. He felt as though they were the only two on the planet. They were disturbed by a wet sponge hitting Harry’s face; George had thrown it, and when they turned they saw him in the kitchen window, laughing, and Ron scowling. Hermione was just shaking her head, after probably having to endure Ron’s moaning about Ginny.
    ‘Can I come over again tonight?’ Ginny asked, a blush high on her cheeks.
    ‘Er, yeah,’ Harry said, trying to shake the images that were forming in his head. ‘Sure.’
    ‘Great,’ Ginny smiled. Harry was reminded again of Sirius, and told Ginny what had happened. She was as sceptical as Hermione at first, but then understood and was intrigued. She also had that same look that Ron had.
    ‘Whoa..’ she said, under her breath. ‘What did he look like?’
     ‘Like he looked before he died, I guess. He looked happier, though, as though he wasn’t worried anymore,’ Harry replied, looking at his hands. He checked his watch; it was half past nine. ‘I should be going,’ He said.
     ‘Okay,’ Said Ginny, ‘I’ll be around at about half past midnight, if that’s alright?’
     ‘That’s great,’ Harry smiled, kissing her once more. Ginny pulled him into a hug before they went back to the house. After saying goodbye to everybody, Harry disapparated back to Grimmauld place. 


Chapter 8: Freedom.
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 7. After unlocking the door and greeting Kreacher, who was dusting the photos happily, Harry went to the front room to wait for Sirius to return. 

     Harry watched the clock, ignoring his increasing drowsiness. He was about to drop off to sleep when the clock struck eleven.

    Jumping up from the sofa, Harry looked around, waiting to watch his godfather appear. It was an unnerving sight; the air seemed to leave the room, as though it had gathered elsewhere. In front of the fireplace, Harry watched Sirius form. At first it was just a strange silhouette, only visible because the air seemed to shimmer around the area, in the shape of a man. The frame thickened, and colour appeared, and there he was. Sirius Black.
     He had a huge grin on his face as he stepped to shake his godson’s hand, and as though unable to restrain himself, pulled him into a hug. Like before, the hug was strange yet comforting.
     ‘Harry!’ Sirius said, looking at the bewildered eighteen year old.
     ‘Sirius,’ Harry said, smiling at last.
     ‘Now I have just one thing to ask before we talk. I can’t help but wonder why you’re waiting here for me, when you have a wonderful girlfriend in The Burrow wide awake, waiting for the right time to apparate over here?’ Sirius said, his tone amused yet sharp. He sat down onto a chair, and a nervous Harry followed suit, sitting onto the couch.
     ‘Well..er, I wanted to speak to you,’ Harry said. ‘There’s things we need to discuss.’

     ‘I know, Harry.’ Sirius grinned. ‘But if there’s one thing I’d like you to remember from me, is that if a pretty girl is wanting to spend the night with you, you don’t make her wait.’ Blushing like a tomato, Harry couldn’t help but laugh. This was so extraordinary. His dead godfather had come back, and was giving him advice on girls…
    ‘Er, well, I’ll keep that in mind.’ Harry couldn’t take his eyes off Sirius. He never once thought that Sirius would be sitting in this house again, talking, even joking!
     ‘Right. We have one hour, and after I go and that poor girl comes here, you’re not to bloody speak about me, okay? You’re being such a Remus about things.’ Harry laughed out loud again, despite the small stab of pain at the mention of Lupin’s name. ‘Now, what would you like to know?’
     ‘Where have you come from?’ Harry blurted out, before realising he sounded a bit silly. Thankfully, Sirius nodded and sighed.
     ‘I thought you’d ask that. The one question you ask is a question I can hardly answer. Harry, I’m not meant to be in this world. I don’t know how long this curse’ll last for, and I don’t know its strength, but if there’s a way to end it I will. I can’t tell you where I come from. It’s not like this. It’s just a place, a harmonious place, and everybody’s there.’
    ‘E-everybody?’ Harry choked out.
    ‘Your mum and dad, Lupin and Tonks, Dumbledore, Fred, Colin, Dobby, Cedric and even Snape. Oh, Hedwig, too.’ Sirius smiled. ‘I think it’s heaven, or something.’
     Harry was holding back tears. They were ok. His family and friends, his dead family and friends, were all okay.
     ‘Harry.’ Sirius’s gravely voice snapped Harry back into reality. ‘None of them blame you.’

      Harry wasn’t even aware that he’d been feeling down about it. But at those words, something lifted from Harry’s shoulders and he was flooded with relief and happiness.

A few tears escaped his eyes but Sirius looked away so that Harry could wipe them.
     ‘Your mum is telling you how proud she is, Harry. Your Dad, too. They’re so happy now, they’re always with you, watching over you, but you wouldn’t believe how much joy they feel at seeing you live normally again. Lupin and Tonks, well, they’re cut up about leaving Teddy. They’re thanking you for what you’ve done for Teddy and Andromeda so far. But, Harry, be a better godfather to Ted than I was to you,’ Harry went to protest, saying that Sirius was a fantastic godfather, but Sirius shushed him ‘Snape rarely says much. I mean, he’s spoken to your mum, but he’s just elsewhere most of the time. Dobby is being his usual self, your Dad has taken a great liking to him,’ Harry chuckled, teary eyed and transfixed with Sirius’s words, imagining Dobby with his dad. ‘Fred is telling you to be there for George. He’s saying that George is healing slowly, but he’ll be ok. Oh, and he’s asking you to tell George that do whatever makes him happy. He also made a joke, if that includes Angelina, I really don’t mind if you do her, too. I think it’s best if you don’t tell George that part, though, Harry. Dumbledore is being as confusing as usual with his old philosophical bloody quotes, but he’s happy, Harry. I’ve never seen the guy so effing smiley. Anyway, Dumbledore’s telling you, never favour the dead over the living. I think he’s trying to say that you shouldn’t let this mess you up.’
     There was a silence when Harry took Sirius’s wise words in. ‘They can’t come with you, can they?’ He asked, not looking away from Sirius.
     ‘No, they can’t,’ Siruis said, somewhat regretfully.
     It wasn’t unexpected, and Harry understood anyway.
      ‘Harry, as a godfather and the most rebellious of the Marauders, I am telling you to have a good life. Don’t let this affect you,’ Sirius said, and Harry nodded.

     ‘My time’s almost up. Now, I will be returning home, and making sure that none of your family or friends will be watching over this house tonight. Make the most of it.’
     Harry didn’t really understand what Sirius meant until he saw the trademark smirk on the marauders face. Blushing again, Harry felt embarrassed.
      ‘I’ll be seeing you soon, Harry,’ Sirius said, grinning like his younger self, before disappearing.
      Oh sweet Merlin.

Harry had to sit and reflect on what Sirius had told him. They were all happy, all the people that had died either protecting or fighting for him. It was overwhelming, pleasing and heart-breaking all at once.

      Harry felt like a normal eighteen year old.

      For the first time in his life, he felt like a normal, carefree, happy teenager. But even teenagers have their own problems. As he thought over Sirius’s words, he pulled on his denim jacket and his boots, grabbed his wand and disapparated.

       CRACK!

     Ginny jumped off her bed in fright. She had been sitting there, waiting for the time to apparate to Harry’s.

     Harry breathed in the scent of the room; it smelt floral, just like Ginny did. Sighing in pleasure, he pulled Ginny into a hug and she laughed against his shoulder.

     ‘Okay, well, that was spontaneous!’ She said, smiling up at her boyfriend, who at the moment was looking around the room, which was unchanged from his last visit here. Harry’s cheeks were red, and his eyes bright.

      ‘Thought it should be the boyfriend visiting the girlfriend for once!’ Grinned Harry, happier than he’d ever felt. At that moment they both whipped around; there was the noise of feet thundering down the stairs. ‘Ron..’ Harry said; he had forgotten why this wasn’t a great idea.

      Ginny swore, and Harry had to fight the urge to laugh; the word sounded odd from her mouth. Before she could get out her wand to perform some kind of charm, (and Harry had forgotten he had his, in a daze of happiness) the door flew open.

      Ginny and Harry both had looks of alarm on their faces, but much to their surprise, it wasn’t any of the tall, redheaded boys. It was, in fact, Hermione.

    ‘Ginny, we heard a cr-‘ Hermione started, but stopped when she saw Harry standing there, scratching his head. ‘Oh, um, well, Ron thought maybe you fell or something and told me to come and check…but, uh, you’re obviously okay..’ Hermione was blushing almost as deep as Ginny was. Harry, who was still in a daze, just found the whole thing mildly amusing.

      ‘Oh,’ Ginny said, sounding normal, which meant she had recovered from her embarrassment. Harry saw a grin on her face. ‘Why were you in Ron’s room at midnight? I thought you were downstairs, finishing your letter to McGonagall.’

      ‘I, uhm, well,’ Hermione flushed red once again.

      ‘Let’s make a deal,’ Ginny said, smiling kindly at Hermione, to show that there were no hard feelings and that this was just necessary. ‘You go back to Ron, and tell him that a minor spell of mine backfired, and that I’m fine. Then I won’t tell mum that you’re sleeping in his room. Deal?’
    Hermione, looking half amused, half shocked, walked forward and shook Ginny’s hand. Then she looked at Harry, and laughed.

     As she left, Harry could’ve swore that she’d muttered something, sounding an awful lot like ‘be safe.’

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter 9: The perks of being The Chosen One.
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 Grinning at each other, somewhat shyly, the pair embraced. Harry felt as though a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He finally felt how he should; happy, carefree, and (almost) eighteen.

    Ginny tilted her head up and kissed Harry, who retorted enthusiastically by lifting her into his arms and spinning around. Ginny giggled loudly, her hair flying around her face, and Harry thought that she’d never looked as beautiful before. The pair stopped still as a coyote shaped patronus soared through the ceiling and circled them.

     ‘Ginny, I’m trying to sleep, please shut up’ George’s voice echoed around the room. ‘And I know you’re there, Harry, you can shut up too, or at least use a silencing charm or something.’

     Ginny pressed her lips together, trying not to laugh, whilst Harry scrunched up his nose in embarrassment.

     ‘Ermmm..’ Harry said, watching the coyote fade.

     Ginny was still smiling hugely, which Harry thought kind of curious. ‘Harry!’ She said, grinning ‘he’s still able to produce a patronus! Mum and Dad thought that maybe he couldn’t, after Fred..’ Ginny’s face grew sad, but Harry squeezed her hand and she smiled again. ‘It means he’s getting better!’

     Harry was happy to hear this, but unlike Ginny, the message unnerved him quite a bit. Now two out of the five other people in the house knew that Harry was there. Deep in thought, Harry didn’t realise that Ginny was looking at him, a strange look in her eyes and a small smile on her lips.

    ‘Harry?’ She asked  quietly.

    ‘Yeah?’ He replied, pulled form his thoughts.

    ‘I love you.’

    ‘I- I love you, too.’ Harry smiled as Ginny pulled him into a passionate kiss.

    A minute or two into the kiss, Harry felt himself grow hot and pulled away from Ginny. Ginny’s eyes were bright and wide, and her breathing was shallow.

    ‘Um, maybe I should…go..?’ Harry asked hesitantly. Leaving was the last thing he wanted to do right now.

    Ginny frowned, and planted a kiss on her boyfriend’s neck. ‘I don’t want you to leave, Harry. There’re won’t be distractions here…and I have wanted this since I was fifteen. Please stay, Harry?’

    Harry wasn’t in shock, exactly, but he was quite stunned. He looked at his girlfriend and smiled. She was beautiful; long red hair cascading over her shoulders and reaching her waist, her slim body hidden by a camisole and shorts, the cute freckles on her shoulders and thighs. Her eyes, wide as saucers with excitement, and her pink lips slightly swollen from kissing. He knew, deep down, that he’d never be able to leave her here tonight. This was totally right; he’d loved her for two years, known her for seven, and they could finally be together.

    The thin strap of her vest was slipping down her shoulder, and Harry subconsciously lifted it back, brushing her soft skin.

     ‘Thanks…’ whispered Ginny, barely audibly.

     ‘I’ll stay,’ Harry whispered back. He was bewildered at himself, he’d never been in this situation before now, but it came naturally to him. Inside, he was a nervous wreck, but it didn’t show in the slightest.

     A huge smile broke across Ginny’s face, and she lunged at Harry, who laughed and kissed her.

     ‘Wait, wait..’ Harry said, laughing. He grabbed his wand from Ginny’s cluttered bed-side table, and muttered ‘muffliato,’ pointing at the door, and again, pointing at the ceiling and then at the floor.

     ‘Thanks,’ Ginny swept her hair from her face, and then stopped, as though remembering something. ‘Uhm, I forgot the spell..’

     ‘What spell?’ Harry asked stupidly, and then his own eyes opened with realisation. ‘Oh, that one..’ It was a contraceptive spell. Ron had come across it in the library, during the time they were looking for a cause to save Buckbeak. Ron, being an immature thirteen year old, laughed and showed the book to Harry and then Hermione.

     ‘Um..’ Ginny was blushing, but laughing at the same time. ‘Well I guess we could just talk or something..’

     ‘I have muggle things, I got them just in case.. a while ago..’ Harry said, reaching for his wallet and pulling out a small square foil packet. ‘If you still want to, I mean..’
     Ginny smirked and Harry’s embarrassment, and nodded. ‘Yeah, I do, Harry.’

     ‘Me too,’ Harry smiled and kissed her again. ‘I’m just, well, new at this stuff, y’know?’

     Ginny rolled her eyes, ‘As am I, Potter.’

     ‘Okay,’ he laughed. ‘We’ll take it slow, then.’

     They kissed again and didn’t break apart once. Neither of them had ever felt anything like it before. There was only once that came close; that lovely afternoon they shared the year previously. Of course, being at Hogwarts, nothing more couldn’t have happened. But now, in the privacy of Ginny’s bedroom, the inevitable could finally happen.

    Within a couple of minutes, Ginny’s hands pushed off Harry’s jacket, whilst Harry’s hands moved from the warmth of her hair to the small of her back.

    ‘Harry?’ Ginny mumbled against his lips.

    ‘Mhmm?’ Harry was in a daze and didn’t ever want this to end.

    ‘I’m going to take your shirt off, now.’ Harry smiled against her lips before pulling his head away to let his shirt be pulled off.

    Harry shuddered as her delicate hands traced his chest, and he knew from that moment that she was all he’d ever want in life. She was amazing.

     ‘Ginny?’ He asked, and Ginny laughed in return, knowing what was coming next.

      ‘Mhmm?’ She mumbled, smiling.

      ‘I’m going to take your shirt off now.’ Harry said, dangerously quiet. He could hardly believe he had uttered those words.

      Ginny flushed red, even though she knew what was coming. Harry took a deep breath and reached for the hem of her shirt, and lifted it over Ginny’s head. He couldn’t believe what was happening. He was in Ginny Weasley’s bedroom, kissing the girl herself, who was in her underwear.

      Instead of making the pair nervous, the new adjustment gave them confidence. Neither could stop what was happening, and ‘taking it slow’ went out the window.

                                    ***

Twenty minutes later, the couple lay in each others arms, their breathing finally back to normal, but neither could find words to say. Within a few moments, the pair fell asleep, and both had dreamless, blissful sleep.

                                 

   RAP-RAP-RAP.

   Harry awoke with a start; somebody was knocking on Ginny’s bedroom door, and he was lying there, without a stitch of clothing.

    ‘Ginny?!’ It was Molly. ‘Why on earth is this door charmed shut?’

    Ginny sprung up, cartoon-like, and pulled on a long shirt over her bare body. Harry watched in a daze, still half asleep, as his girlfriend kicked his clothes under her bed.

    ‘Harry!’ She hissed, ‘Hide, please?!’
     Harry didn’t even think to pull on clothes before rolling under the bed, where he lay dust covered and blushing as he listened to Ginny opening the door.

    ‘Oh, morning, Mum,’ Ginny said, no hint of guilt or anything in her voice.

    ‘Ginny, darling, it’s eleven o’clock! I was worried why you weren’t up!’ Mrs. Weasley sounded cheerful, but slightly concerned. Harry hoped she wasn’t feeling intuitive this morning.

     ‘Sorry, Mum, I was up late last night, reading..’ Ginny lied flawlessly, and Harry could imagine Mrs.Weasley smiling fondly at her daughter.

     ‘Alright, sweetheart. Well get dressed, and you can help Hermione and I with lunch.’

     ‘Okay, mum,’ Ginny said, and Harry heard Molly padding off, probably to wake George, or do some housework. The door closed softly and Harry peered out of the bed, to see Ginny laughing silently, her hand over her mouth.

     Still wedged under the bed, Harry pulled on his boxer shorts, and then went and wrapped his arms around Ginny. Harry found he had a totally new confidence around her. They’d bared their souls to each other and he knew she was the one for him. They were in love.

     ‘Well, that was a bloody close one, Potter,’ said Ginny, grinning up at her man. Harry just laughed, and shook his head. ‘It’s lucky I love you, you know..’

     ‘Is it?’ Harry smirked.

     ‘Yupp,’ said Ginny simply. ‘If I didn’t, you’d have been silencio’d, and I’d have used petrificus totalus on you…’

      Harry looked alarmed, and Ginny laughed.

      ‘I meant just now. Not last night..’ She rolled her eyes and kissed Harry’s nose. ‘Now go and get dressed, and be back at about one for lunch.’

      ‘Yes, sir!’ Harry joked, lifting a hand to his head.

      ‘Love you, Harry,’ Ginny said.

      ‘I love you, too..’ Harry smiled, kissing Ginny’s forehead before collecting his clothes and apparating back to Grimmauld place. 


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