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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.

                              

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