Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling and Warner Bros. I in no way claim ownership of any rights to the Harry Potter Universe.
Chapter 3: The Cunning Use of Comic Books
Author's Note: Thank you Matt for never pulling your punches and for your hilarious editor's comments
“There is no limit to the ingenuity of man if it is properly and vigorously applied…” Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister.
Eyes still shut tight, Harry bent over circling an arm around his stomach and a hand over his mouth in effort to stave off the nausea he always felt after Side-Along. Ginny’s hand was drawing soothing circles on his back. He took a long steadying breath and opened his eyes cautiously. He blinked a few times against the brightness of the sun and then blinked again at what he thought could only be described as a basketball court for giants.
An oval perimeter with varying sized stones cordoned off what he guessed was a game court of sorts that was a little over the size of a football field. On either end of the field were three sets of vertical rings that were about forty or so feet high in the air.
“Umm, Ginny? What’s that?” Harry pointed to the rings.
She looked up at him beaming, her hand a comforting weight on his back. “That, Harry, is our Quidditch pitch. It’s not official sized, but it’s good enough for our Weasley pick-up games.”
“And how do you play this Quid Itch, on brooms?” He laughed at his own attempt at humor.
She rolled her eyes at him, “It’s not Quid Itch, Harry. That sounds like a fungus that grows on your privates or something. And as a matter of fact it is played on brooms.”
“You’re kidding right? I was joking.” Harry’s eyes widened at the imagery his imagination was conjuring.
“Nope.” She hooked her arm through his and proceeded to walk across the grassy pitch.
Harry stumbled along in a daze until they crossed under one of the poled rings. His head tilted up as he stared in awe at the structure that was five or so stories high. They crossed through another copse of trees, and the sight that greeted him had Harry’s eyes bugging and his mouth agape in astonishment.
The structure before him could only be held together by magic. It looked like an old English country farmhouse that had six lopsided stories that must have been added willy-nilly as the family within its walls increased in numbers. He laughed to himself at the thought that the Three Little Pigs had a hand in the design of the house and that Mother Goose was the contractor. A huff and a puff and you could blow the house down. A weather-beaten wooden sign jutted out of the ground proclaiming the name of the Weasley homestead as the Burrow.
“Welcome to the Burrow, Harry,” Ginny exclaimed proudly but just as suddenly began to worry her bottom lip. “Are you sure you want to meet my family?” she asked with apprehension.
Harry took her shoulders in his hands and turned her to face him directly, her brown eyes staring into his with worry. “What are you worried about? Your mother isn’t planning on fattening me up then baking me in a meat pie, is she?”
Ginny snorted and then covered her mouth with a hand as she gave a full out laugh. “She’s not going to serve you up for supper, but she sure is going to do her damndest to fatten you up.”
He’d always had a scrawny, lanky frame and the thought of his head on uncle Vernon’s body had Harry laughing at her assertion.
“I sure hope you’re hungry. My mum’s idea of a growing boy’s appetite is three or four helpings. Given the way my brothers eat, that’s her only barometer, and they eat like Frank.”
“Frank?” Harry asked puzzled.
“Our pot-bellied pig, you know, as in frankfurter,” she explained as she took Harry’s hand again and proceeded to cross the yard. Harry could only roll his eyes at the moniker
“Mum got him a few years back, and we were going to fatten him up too,” she teased as she bumped his hip with her own. “Only we were planning on getting more than a meat pie out of him. We were hoping for plenty of bacon, ham and sausages - yum.” Ginny licked her lips, and Harry was enthralled by the action.
“Never make a pet out of your food Harry; it doesn’t turn out well,” she advised with a sagely nod of her head. Playing along Harry mimicked her movement, causing her to grin at his antics.
“When we first got him he was just so teeny, all pink and cute. He followed us kids around like a puppy dog. When it came time to slaughter him I begged, pleaded and cried for Mum to spare him. I made quite the dramatic fuss.”
“She first sent Dad out axe in hand and a hangdog expression on his face. He came back into the house and swore that all he could see was Frank’s soulful brown eyes staring up at him in recrimination, looking so much like mine, and he couldn’t bring himself to do it.
She sent every one of the boys out there with the same results.”
As they strolled across the yard’s expanse they scattered the chickens and geese that were pecking at the feed that lay on the ground. A rather decrepit looking and very territorial rooster crowed at their passing from atop the henhouse
“Mum railed at all of us for being so sentimental about our Sunday dinner. She stormed out of the house axe in hand and dragged the squealing Frank by his collar and took him to Dad’s shed. A half hour later Mum comes back into the kitchen, eyes swollen and red from crying, walks straight into my father’s outstretched arms and blubbers out that we were having chicken and dumplings for dinner.”
Harry roared with laughter along with Ginny. He realized that the story was for his benefit as much as hers. It served to put them both at ease about the impending introductions. While he wouldn’t admit it to her, he was a bit apprehensive about meeting her family. He wanted to make a good first impression.
Harry jumped in surprise as a two legged potato bolted from one of the hedges that lined the front of the house as it was being chased by two identical redheads.
“That’s the last one Gred, don’t let him get away,” one of the twins wheezed out as he bent over, hands on his knees trying to catch his breath.
Harry watched as the twin named Gred, which couldn’t possibly be his real name, dove for the bipedded potato, grabbing it around one
stubby leg. “Gotcha!”
With surprising agility it turned over on its back and proceeded to kick the twin in the face with the leg that wasn’t being held, scrambling away as he was released.
“Buggering hell!” The expletive was muffled by the hand that covered the redhead’s nose as blood seeped through his fingers.
“Get ‘im Freddie or Mum’ll have your bollocks on a platter!” Ginny yelled, holding onto Harry for support as she doubled over in laughter.
As the spud sprinted past on his stumpy little legs, Ginny still laughing stuck out a foot and tripped him allowing her brother to grab him by both legs, turning it upside down. He shook it vigorously as it flayed its arms back and forth. Walking towards the edge of a stoned lined fence the twin spun several circuits and proceeded to fling the squealing Mr. Potato Head over the fence a good fifty or sixty feet like an Olympic hammer thrower, grunt and all.
“Good one Fred, you almost beat Charlie’s record with that one,” Ginny cheered as her brother turned towards her with a triumphant grin.
Harry could see an orange flag a good ten or so feet further than where the potato was swaying dazedly on his squat legs and Hobbit-like feet.
“Pft! That gnome,” he jerked his thumb at the potato in question, “weighed a good half a stone. The only reason Charlie made it that far is because he got the runt of the litter on that throw.”
Her brother sauntered over to where Harry and Ginny were standing and quirked a questioning brow at his sister. Ginny ignored the implied question and patted her brother’s cheek condescendingly. “You keep telling yourself that Fred.”
“Wait, what? That’s a garden gnome? But it’s naked and ugly! It looks like a spud with legs!” Harry turned to Ginny with an incredulous look.
“What? You were expecting it to wear clothes, a red pointed hat and sport a gray beard?” Ginny teased.
Harry opened his mouth then closed it. Ginny smiled knowingly at his obvious erroneous assumption and then turned to the second twin trying to stem the blood that was still seeping from his nose.
“Oh, George, come here and let me look at that.” She took out her wand in one hand and his chin in the other as she turned his face down towards her. While her brother was of the short stocky variety, he still towered over her.
She clucked her tongue reprovingly and then lifted her wand and pointed it at her brother, causing him to cross his eyes. Episkey followed by a quick Evanesco and the nose that had obviously been broken before was once again straight and true and the blood was gone from his face and clothes.
“Porgie, you know better than to just grab them by one leg…” Ginny was interrupted mid rant when Harry was jerked forward by her brother’s over enthusiastic greeting.
Harry’s hand was grabbed in between two rather large calloused ones as his was pumped for dear life.
“Say my good man, such a great pleasure to make your acquaintance, Fredrick Gideon Weasley. And you are?”
“Ha…Ha…Harry,” he managed to get out through the vigorous handshake.
The second twin took his other hand and proceeded to give it the same treatment. “Well then Ha…Ha…Harry, I’m George Fabian Weasley, the good looking twin.”
“Pft! You’re the delusional twin. I’m the handsome twin.”
Harry somehow managed to liberate his hands from the twins’ grasps shaking them to get blood flow back into his numbed appendages.
“That’s Harry Po…”
“So, who’s here?” Ginny interrupted Harry loudly, clearing her throat for maximum effect.
As if on cue a yelp could be heard in the direction that Ginny and Harry had come from earlier followed by a loud, “Forge!”
Harry turned to Ginny and mouthed Forge with a questioning arch to his brow.
Leaning in she whispered, “That sounds like Bill just got trapped in one of the twin’s magical mines, and Forge is what we call them for expediency’s sake.”
The one Weasley Harry had already met came crashing through the trees at the edge of the yard looking like a crazed, wild-eyed Oompa Loompa. Harry couldn’t stop the snort from escaping at the sight of the formerly formidable older brother.
“Turn me back you demon spawn,” Bill gritted out, nostrils flaring, a white knuckled grip on the wand at his side.
The Forges were leaning against each other for support as they howled in laughter at the sight of their older brother.
“We take offence to –“ one twin choked out between guffaws.
“– such disparaging remarks against our – “
‘- progenitors!” finished the original twin, and then the two burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.
“Sorry, Bill; there isn’t a counter charm. It’s a timed jinx,” Ginny explained, since it appeared that the twins were currently indisposed due to their state of mirth.
Bill turned his glare towards his sister who seemed unfazed by her brother’s obvious ire. “You! You helped them with this didn’t you?
Don’t deny it; you three are as thick as thieves!” he pointed an accusing orange finger at her.
“Me? Surely not. Dad got caught in it last week. Mum was livid, but Dad thought it was a hoot,” she explained with an obviously exaggerated look of innocence plastered on her lovely face.
As normally as he could manage, Harry walked over to Bill and stuck out his hand. “Good to see you again, Bill. That color goes really well with your earring there.”
“Good one Ha…Ha…Harry,” the twin Harry thought was Fred praised. Harry turned towards Ginny to hide his smirk from her brothers. Ginny smiled up at him appreciatively.
“Boys!” a commanding voice boomed from the direction of the house. As one they all turned to see Ginny’s mother in all her matriarchal ferocity.
Harry’s first thought was that she was the quintessential house mom. She was short and pleasantly plump. He could tell that her pretty face had the bones of a once quite beautiful woman. A worn wand jutted out from the pocket of a floral print apron. Her ginger hair was piled atop her hair with flyaway’s here and there. As she caught sight of Harry her annoyed countenance beamed with an openly welcome expression.
“You’re in for it now. Brace yourself, Harry,” Ginny warned as Molly Weasley came barreling out of the doorway to meet the assembled group.
Her maternal gaze honed in on Harry and never wavered as she wrapped Harry in a bone crushing hug, his breath escaping with a
Keeping her hands on Harry’s arms, she pulled back to give him a full inspection, her face bright and welcoming. “It is such a pleasure to meet you, dear. Our Ginny here has never brought a boyfriend home for us to meet. I mean she has way too many friends that are boys, of course, and Merlin knows boys have been sniffing at her heels for years, but our Ginny’s a picky one.” She turned to her daughter with a disapproving frown. “Aren’t you, dear?”
“Mum,” Ginny groaned in embarrassment, blushing to the very roots of her hair.
“A mum can tell when a boy fancies her daughter. Don’t think they weren’t hoping for you to turn your eye on them,” her mother continued to reprimand.
The Forges and Bill snickered at their mum’s words diverting her eagle eye from Ginny and Harry towards them.
“Boys! Didn’t I tell you to deactivate those magical mines last week?” It was funny to watch two grown men cringe in fear over the tiny yet formidable figure that was Molly Weasley.
“Thought we got ‘um all Mum,” one of the twins sheepishly mumbled out.
“I need your help bringing out the table from the kitchen, or I’d make you go out there and find the lot.” Turning her stare towards her eldest son she ordered, “Bill, be a love and bring out the chairs, and while you’re at it, can you fix a few of the legs? Some of them are a bit wobbly, and you may need to conjure a few.” As she tossed out orders like a well seasoned drill sergeant her brood jumped to do her bidding.
On her last command a couple came strolling into the yard hand in hand. A tall lanky redhead along with a much shorter girl with wild curls surrounding her pretty face walked toward the still gathered group.
“Hermione, it’s so good to see you dear. The Ministry’s keeping you busy; I’ve not seen you in a Pixie’s age.” Molly embraced the girl warmly.
Turning her maternal glare to the lanky redhead, she immediately flayed him with her sharp tongue, “Ronald Bilius Weasley! I am your mum not your house-elf.” At Hermione’s intake of breath, Molly turned kind eyes towards the girl. “I’m sorry Hermione, dear. It’s just an expression.” Then, in an about face, she turned her glare back towards her youngest son. “You know better than to leave this house without making your bed and picking up your dirty clothes from the floor. For the love of Merlin you’re a wizard not a Muggle, all it takes is one spell.”
Hermione turned her own glare towards her furiously blushing boyfriend but refrained from adding commentary, though her look had a ‘we’ll talk about this later’ quality to it, then turned towards Ginny in greeting.
“Ginny, how are you? I’ve hardly seen you at all this summer.” Ginny was enveloped in a warm embrace that she returned in kind.
“I know, I’m sorry, but what with helping the twins set up their shop and produce products, summer homework and the lot, “ she explained lowering her voice, but loud enough for her mum to hear, “and Mum’s unrelenting chores…”
“Ginevra Molly, you’re not too old to feel my wand on your bum young lady,” Ginny’s mother huffed, making her daughter laugh in turn.
Feeling Ron’s heated stare, Harry turned to note that a frown and glare were pasted on his face. Deciding to take the upper hand, he stuck out his hand. “Hello, Ron right?”
Ron looked down at the offered hand, and then looked at Harry’s friendly expression. He maintained a stoic demeanor until a hard elbow to the ribs from his girlfriend prompted Ron to shake his outstretched hand albeit grudgingly.
“Yeah, Ron, and this,” he turned his now smiling face towards his girlfriend,” is my smarter half, Hermione Granger.”
Harry, pivoting, offered his hand in greeting. “It’s nice to finally meet you. Ginny’s told me so much about you.”
“Oh, she has, has she?” Hermione arched a knowing brow towards the redhead in question.
“You learn to ignore those knowing smiles of hers. It’s a perpetual state of being for Hermione,” Ginny joked walking towards her friend and bumping her hip to lessen the sting and acknowledge that her words were just teasing.
“Well, that’s what happens when one dates a Weasley,” she teased back.
“Ouch, Hermione, that hurt.” Ginny clutched her hand dramatically to her chest as Hermione smirked at her.
“Hallo, Weasleys.” An elder, balding, lanky, bespectacled older version of Ron came striding into the Weasley yard a cheery, welcoming expression on his face. He strode directly to his wife and unabashedly kissed her in greeting, causing the Weasley matriarch to giggle like a school girl. Turning towards the two non-Weasleys, he amended, “and guests.”
“Hello, son, you must be the Harry our Ginny told us would be joining us for dinner this evening.”
“Yes, sir, it’s good to meet you,” Harry shook his sixth hand of the day.
“Just Arthur, son. We don’t stand much on formality here. Do we, Molly?” Arthur winked at his wife.
Molly Weasley giggled, blushing prettily, which to Harry’s estimation seemed such an incongruent expression on the formidable matriarch.
“Arthur, Ron, bring the plates and pitchers out to the yard and help Bill and the twins finish setting up the tables. Girls come help me bring out the food,” Molly commanded, giggly-school-girl replaced by a no-nonsense drill sergeant.
“Come on, son. Let’s go help the boys set up the table.” Arthur placed a companionable arm across Harry’s shoulder and guided him towards the battling chairs and tables. Male laughter could be heard across the yard under the shady tree that was lit by what seemed like hundreds of paper lanterns against the twilit sky.
Harry stood just outside the periphery of the swaying lights, taking in the familial camaraderie between Arthur and his sons, the laughter they shared in the simple task. The irony of his position was not lost on him, as he stood on the threshold of this idyllic family scene. This is what he’d always wanted, this sense of belonging that these men more than likely took for granted, and for the first time in a very long while he felt the tug of longing for a family. He wanted to have this one day, a family of his own. He wondered back to
Ginny’s questions from earlier in the day; did he belong in this world? Would his children?
He shook his head as if to rid himself of the thoughts that were currently running through his mind. You’re getting ahead of yourself, Potter. Tomorrow’s questions were best left to the future. He still needed to iron out his present. Hearing Arthur call his name he shook his head once more and stepped into the illumination cast by the lanterns and towards the laughing Weasley men.
Brick walls. If Harry had to describe the vision of all the male redheads that sat across the dinner table staring at him balefully, it would be brick walls. They were all, well, big. Either taller than him in a lanky, muscular way, or relatively the same height yet broader of build. They were an intimidating bunch to say the least, yet Harry didn’t find the situation at all threatening. He was rather amused by it actually.
Molly Weasley greeted him like some long lost son and Arthur Weasley kept asking him questions about everyday Muggle devices like plugs and batteries and the purpose of a rubber duck. So being stared down by four brothers that looked as if they’d overdosed on steroids with Molly and Arthur Weasley as parents just didn’t have the effect they seemed to be going for, which was straight out intimidation.
Even more amusing were the verbal acrobatics being performed by Ginny whenever the question of Harry’s parentage or last name came into the conversation. Who knew the redhead was so creative?
But there was laughter, joking and ribbing all around too, and Harry felt welcomed among the tight knit family even with the occasional intimidating glower he would receive from time to time. It was as if they were struggling to maintain their bullying demeanor, though
Harry was pretty certain he’d receive the ‘talk’ before the night was over.
The twins were the most comical in their antics; they would mock glare at him one moment and make silly faces the next. He identified with them as they included him in their banter, and while they acted like baboons, they were, by Ginny’s own description, conjointly evil geniuses and idiot savants. Harry had a strong feeling that the Forges were trying to slip something into his drink as they passed him yet another glass of pumpkin juice that Ginny immediately plucked from his grasp.
“You don’t want to drink that,” she said and then proceeded to dump the contents unto the grass. She then filled another glass with the wizarding drink and placed it on the table in front of him. When he’d first been offered the strange drink, he’d thought that it would be the most horrid thing imaginable. Surprisingly enough it tasted like a citrusy fruit drink with a hint of pumpkin spice.
“Ginny tells me you’re from America,” Harry turned his attention once more to the Weasley patriarch. He was keenly interested in Harry, more than likely stemming from a fatherly concern, and Harry was happy to assuage his curiosity.
“Yes, from Boston to be exact,” he answered between bites of roast and potatoes. He loved the Yorkshire pudding, which confused Harry when it was first offered because it wasn’t a dessert at all - it was cup-shaped bread. He cut up another piece of it and dipped it in the beef gravy, savoring Molly Weasley’s cooking.
“In what part of America is that located?” Arthur asked cutting into his own beef and taking a healthy bite.
“The northeast, in Massachusetts,” Harry responded after swallowing a bit of potato.
“Is that near Salem? They’ve a rather large wizarding community there as well as a wizarding school. Did you attend Salem Academy?”
Harry was surprised by the question, he had no idea there was a school let alone a wizarding community so close to him. It was amazing that he’d spent practically his entire life there without ever coming across a single magical person, only to cross the Atlantic to meet up with a witch in a pub only a few days after arriving.
“Salem is not far from Boston, about 30 or so miles - that is approximately 50 odd kilometers,” he took a sip of pumpkin juice before answering the second half of Arthur’s question. “I wasn’t aware there was a school or wizarding community there, though,” he chuckled at the irony. “Considering Salem’s history with witch burning, that shouldn’t surprise me.”
“I remember learning about that in our Muggle studies class, which is funny really; you’d think we’d learn that particular bit of information in History of Magic, but if it didn’t involve another Goblin rebellion then Professor Binns just couldn’t be bothered,” Arthur chuckled as he too took a sip from his glass.
Harry mmhmm’d around another bite of roast.
“I wasn’t aware there was another wizarding school in that area. Which school did you attend if not Salem Academy?” Arthur’s curiosity about Harry had yet to run its course. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed that Ginny had turned towards her father.
Harry opened his mouth to respond, “I di…” but closed it as Ginny interjected.
“Dad wasn’t there a witch, Gwendolyn something or other, who let herself get caught just so they could burn her at the stake? She was from Salem, right?” Ginny asked breathlessly. Harry narrowed his eyes at her. That was the third time she’d interrupted a response to one of her father’s questions.
“Wendelin the Weird,” Arthur corrected his eyes twinkling with excitement. “Interestingly enough her many times great granddaughter, Prudence the Prude, was from Salem. She was burned at the stake as well, twice. She kept giggling while the flames licked at her heel; she simply jumped down from the pyre and walked off. Silly Muggles ran after her, and set her on fire again with the same results, only the second time she turned their Magistrate into a goat,” Arthur chuckled. “They left her alone after that.”
Ginny laughed along with her brothers, while Hermione sucked in a breath in indignation, “That’s an outright violation of the Statute of Secrecy. Wouldn’t she have been arrested by the Colonial Ministry of Magic? It’s an outrage that she’d be allowed to attack a Muggle without legal repercussion. Hermione then glared at Ginny and the twins, whose laughter died abruptly at her icy stare.
“The Statute of Secrecy as you know it wasn’t established here in Britain until 1692, primarily due to the goings on in Salem. However, the then Colonial Ministry didn’t establish similar laws until the 1780’s. With the Muggle war and their own dark lord to contend with, Muggle protection wasn’t very high on their list of priorities.” Arthur’s face had gone from jovial to grim as he related his bit of history.
Hermione simply harrumphed and stabbed at her roast in irritation. One of the twins brought up the subject of plugs and off Arthur went as he warmed to the conversation. Ginny was right about her mother; she’d managed to place a second helping of everything on his plate while Arthur grilled him about Muggle technology.
“Harry, so you’re saying that an electic plug is a conduit for electicity for things like discus players and tellyfisions.” Arthur, Harry soon learned, was an extremely inquisitive man with an enthusiastic interest in all things that had to do with the Muggle world.
Harry did his best not to grin at Arthur’s pronunciations, but could not help a small quirk of his lips. “Well sir, the correct wording is electric plug, disc player and television, and yes electric plugs are conduits for electricity. They connect to a central power source that then operates things like televisions and lamps. Although disc players are battery operated.”
“Remarkable. The things that Muggles create in order to live without magic is astonishing.”
Arthur then began to relate what he thought he knew about microwaves, and Harry almost interrupted to point out that Arthur had it all wrong, but Hermione managed to catch his eye and shook her head meaningfully.
When Molly asked Ginny to bring out another pitcher of pumpkin juice from the Burrow’s kitchen, Harry watched as she reluctantly left to fetch it. Hermione scooted over to Ginny’s vacated seat while Arthur was distracted by Ron’s grousing about his father’s plug collection.
“The first time I visited the Burrow I was corralled into a two hour conversation on the workings of a toaster.” She lowered her voice and leaned in conspiratorially, making Harry lean in as well to catch her whispered words. “Mr. Weasley is the dearest man, and he’s absolutely mad about all things non-magical, but he often gets his facts all jumbled, and trying to un-jumble them can be very frustrating.”
“Yes, it is rather odd to explain the workings of items we consider to be mundane, nor would I be able to give an accurate description of how a toaster works other than it uses coils to produce infrared radiation to toast the surface of bread.” Hermione blinked at him owlishly as he laughed at her expression. “Third grade science project. It was a bit more detailed than that, but I can’t be bothered to remember it all.”
“I overheard your conversation with Arthur, and I hope you don’t mind my asking,” she paused as she waited for him to nod for her to proceed with her questions. “Can you tell me a bit about the curriculum at Salem Academy? Does the Academy send out letters when you turn eleven as well?”
It was Harry’s turn to blink owlishly at her rapid fire questions, he was about to her assumption but was interrupted by Ginny’s return.
“Hermione, did you know that Harry earned a full scholarship to Oxford?” Ginny had placed her hand on Hermione’s shoulder making the girl startle and scoot back over to her chair as Ginny once again expertly diverted the questions that would give any significant details to Harry’s life. “Didn’t you tell me that it was one of the most prestigious Muggle universities?”
That was enough to have Hermione fire off another set of questions not related to Harry’s scholarship, academic achievements and Oxford. If Ginny was so intent on keeping personal questions to a minimum she must not have told her family that he was that Boy-Who-Lived character. Sneaky little witch.
Harry reached out and brought the glass of pumpkin juice to his lips taking a mouthful when Ginny’s shout made him jump in his seat.
“Harry, don’t –“ Too late. He’d swallowed the mouthful in an uncomfortable gulp, and with a pop, where a messy haired man once sat now was perched a six foot bespectacled yellow canary.
“Boys, how could you? And to a guest!” Molly Weasley screeched, sending well aimed Stinging Hexes at the pranking duo.
“Mum, I thought you patted them down before they sat at the table. I told you not to invite the horde,” Ginny’s tone was serious, but her
poorly stifled snort and the laughter in her eyes gave away her amusement at the prank.
“Merlin knows I’ve done my best to instill some sense of propriety into you two –“ a snort at the end of the table cut Molly off mid-rant.
“Arthur, honestly, don’t encourage them,” she scolded.
“I’m sorry Molly, my dear.” Arthur’s chuckles turned into full out laughter which only served to set off a chain reaction around the table.
“It’s just,” he began trying to catch his breath. “I’ve never seen a canary with glasses before.”
At that all eyes turned toward said six foot canary setting them all off into another fit of laugher. Harry squawked and hooted repeatedly, his canary shoulders were shaking in what seemed like laughter and with another loud pop and a puff of smoke he proceeded to cough, spitting out a yellow feather. “Honestly,” Harry scolded, dusting a few stray feathers off his shoulders before meeting the eyes of the twins across from him, “is that any way to treat Harry Potter?”
All commotion ceased as those assembled froze in opened-mouthed astonishment. Turning towards Ginny, he asked, “I thought you said I was a national hero?” Harry couldn’t help but add to Ginny’s discomfiture. She’d been trying to avoid the inevitable all evening, and he thought a bit of humor interjected into the situation would help to ease the evident shock that his declaration had caused.
“Bugger!” Ginny cursed.
“Ginny, language!” Hermione scolded.
All eyes turned to Ginny and then Harry and then back again until finally settling on him. Harry squirmed in his chair at the attention he was receiving. He had initially been amused by their reaction to his pronouncement, but he became unnerved by the intensity of their scrutiny.
“Oh bugger,” Ginny repeated unrepentantly and waved her hand resignedly at Harry’s forehead. “Go ahead, Harry. Show them.”
Not wholly comfortable with the request he nonetheless lifted the fringe from his forehead.
“Bugger me! You’re –“
“Language!” admonished Molly and Hermione in unison.
“Harry Potter!” completed Forge number two.
Molly Weasley turned to her husband who was seated at the far end of the table. “Arthur, could it be, I mean he –“
“Yes, now that I’m aware to look for it he is the spitting image of James Potter - well except for the eyes; those are Lily Potter’s eyes.”
Though it was a small reference Harry was moved by the thought that his parents carried on in him. Harry watched as Arthur Weasley turned to his youngest child. Gone was the jovial demeanor to be replaced by the stern visage of a father requiring an accounting from his child.
“Ginny, you’ve some explaining to do.”
“Yeah, I guess we do. Mum maybe we should clear the dishes and bring out a spot of tea and the pudding. This might take a while.” Without waiting for an answer she brandished her wand and then proceeded to banish the dishes and cutlery as her mum followed her
into the Burrow’s kitchen.
“I’ll help.” Hermione jumped from her chair eagerly and proceeded to follow in the direction Molly and Ginny had taken.
“A Galleon says she just went in there to get the lowdown on our national hero here,” Ron speculated. There was a hint of disapproval
in his tone, though Harry didn’t think it was directed at Hermione’s actions.
“That’s a sucker bet Ronnikins,” one of the twins, Fred possibly, commented.
An uncomfortable silence followed and tension hung heavily in the air. Although he wouldn’t call the stares he was receiving wary or hostile, they were certainly openly questioning. Harry could not fault their curiosity; he was claiming to be someone this world had long thought dead.
Blessedly the sound of female voices had the men sitting at the table turning to face the women as each took up their places in turn.
Ginny walked back to her empty seat just as Harry stood up and moved her chair out for her. She smiled at him gratefully, and as she sat down he took her hand in his for support.
The jovial atmosphere of only a few moments prior was no longer present as they all waited expectantly for the explanations to begin. Harry was peripherally aware of the noises that surrounded him: the creaking of chairs as their occupants fidgeted in them nervously, the whispered words, the clearing of throats.
“Ginny,” her father prompted.
“Sorry, Dad, not sure where to start. Maybe it would be better if you asked us what you wanted to know.”
“Well for starters we,” one of the twins waved their hands between each other, “would like to know how you managed to bag Harry Potter.”
“George,” his mother reprimanded.
“I’m Fred. Honestly, woman, you gave birth to us. One would think you’d be able to tell us apart after all these years,” the reprimanded twin responded.
“Oh, bother, you’re identical for the love of Merlin and the sake of Morgana, how you expect –“
“Just kidding Mum, I am George,” he winked at his mum and laughed along with his identical sibling.
“Boys, while we usually appreciate your sense of humor, now is not the time.” Harry watched as the droll duo straightened up in their chairs, all too serious out of place expressions on their faces at their fathers reprimand.
Arthur turned towards Harry and Ginny. “Perhaps you should begin by telling us how you happened upon each other,” her father prompted.
Ginny, who had been looking at her father openly, immediately dropped her eyes to the scuffed table and fidgeted in her chair. “Yeah, well, I was hoping to skip over that particular story.”
“They met in a Muggle pub in Oxford,” Bill inserted flatly and with obvious disapproval.
Arthur Weasley turned sharp eyes towards his eldest. “And how exactly is it that you are aware of the circumstances of their meeting,
“Well I, that is Ginny –“
“Harry and I got into a spot of trouble with a Muggle mugger.” She turned to Harry in nervous amusement. “That sounds funny doesn’t it, Muggle mugger? Can you imagine the headlines if the Daily Prophet got a hold of that bit of news: Muggle Mugger Makes Mischief for Missing Magical Magnate! The possibilities for alliteration are –“
“Ginny,” Harry gently reprimanded and then turned to Arthur to explain before she dug a hole she’d have a hard time getting out of.
“Ginny was in Oxford at a pub with her friends Willie and Winnie; that’s their names right?” He turned to Ginny for confirmation, and at the nod of her head he continued. “I was out with my roommates, uh I mean flat-mates from Uni –“
“I meant to ask you earlier, I’ve taken my A-levels, and I’ve been debating between Cambridge and Oxford. What do you –“
“Hermione, focus please. We need to keep on task,” Ron interrupted his girlfriend, placing his arm around her shoulder. She blushed furiously.
“Yes of course, sorry. Continue.”
“Yes, well my flat-mates convinced me to go with them to the pub.” He turned to face Ginny who was softly smiling up at him.
Someone cleared their throat and Harry broke eye contact with Ginny and resumed his story. “It was difficult to carry on a conversation in the crowded pub, so I convinced Ginny to accompany me to a tea shop where we could talk.” Harry remembered how he’d stared at her from across the room for a good half hour before he’d gathered the courage to introduce himself. She looked so out of place there, as if she didn’t belong, and she was so damn pretty. He felt drawn to her like the proverbial moth to the flame, though he wasn’t going to express that to a table full of male Weasleys.
“We talked for a while, just getting to know each other, and on our way back from the tea shop a mugger pulled Ginny into an alley and started threatening her and demanding my wallet. I’ve never been so frightened in my life; he didn’t seem as if he was in control, as if he wasn’t quite right in the head and one wrong move from either of us could be the breaking point for him.” Harry recalled those desperate moments vividly, every last detail from the putrid smell of garbage to the sweat dripping down his spine and the look of abject fear and determination warring for dominance on Ginny’s face.
“I threw the wallet down as he’d asked, and Ginny tried to reach for what I now know was her wand. The mugger panicked and threatened her with his gun. I threw up my hands and blasted him across the alley –“
“Wait, what? You can perform wandless magic?” Hermione interjected. “But that’s impossible, well not impossible, but it’s so rare –“
“Yes, I know, so Ginny keeps telling me. Though I didn’t know it was magic I was performing,” Harry replied sardonically.
“What do you mean you didn’t know you were performing magic?” Ron asked with a hint of belligerence in his tone. Harry stared at him for a moment wondering at the not so veiled hostility that seemed to emanate from the youngest male Weasley.
“Exactly what it sounds like,” Harry’s tone matched Ron’s. “I’d no idea until that evening that my accidental and sometimes not so accidental bouts of magic were actually that, magic. I never knew until Ginny told me that I was in fact a wizard.”
“But how is that possible, and where have you been for the past thirteen years, other than across the pond of course?” Bill asked the question that seemed to be on everyone’s mind.
Harry’s grin was self deprecating. “I was in fact living at St. Jerome’s Catholic Orphanage in Boston, Mass since the day my relatives left me on their doorstep when I was five years old, or at least I think that’s how old I was.” That revelation, Harry noted, seemed to make the table come alive with curiosity as an onslaught of questions were thrown at him all at once.
A loud piercing whistle cut across the melee, and Harry jerked his head in time to see Ginny lower her fingers from her mouth. “No, he didn’t die in that car crash with his relatives as was widely reported, obviously because he wasn’t in England at the time. He didn’t know he was a wizard because his relatives never told him. He didn’t get a letter from Hogwarts. We don’t know why. Even though he was in Boston he would still be down in the Hogwarts’ Book of Names,” Ginny looked at Harry at this point, reminding him of the conversation they’d had the night they’d met. “As far as we could determine, distance should not have been an issue in regards to his receiving his acceptance letter –“
“Distance shouldn’t have been a deterrent, not with such a powerful magical object,” Hermione interrupted. “It’s in Hogwarts: A History,” she continued brightly to the groans of her boyfriend and several other Weasley siblings it seemed. “Well, it is,” she stated petulantly.
“Thanks, Hermione.” Ginny smiled at her friend then turned back to her family. “Anything I missed in there?”
“Yes, thank you, Ginny, but don’t think your mum and I won’t be discussing your little foray to a pub in Oxford either, but that will be better served for another time.” Ginny’s father looked at his daughter sternly over the rim of his glasses.
Ginny blushed and nodded her head lowering her eyes to hide what Harry knew to be acute embarrassment at being reprimanded in front of him.
“Harry, were you aware that your relatives had died in a car crash?” Arthur’s tone was respectful and compassionate.
“No, sir - well not until Ginny told me about it. Frankly, I thought it was ironic that they would die in the manner they told me my parents had. They took delight in telling me my father was drunk behind the wheel.”
“James and Lily Potter, die in a car crash! Not bloody likely!” Molly Weasley shrieked in outrage.
“Mum!” The twins reprimanded with a mischievous gleam in their eye. “Language!”
“Sorry, dears, but it’s outrageous that such a thing could even be contemplated. And to say that they were drunk is shameless. How could they say something so blatantly false?” Harry felt a sense of comfort from the Weasley matriarch’s reaction to what Harry now felt to be a terrible slight on his parents’ memory.
“Well they weren’t very nice people, Mrs. Weasley,” Harry soothed.
“Minerva told me when the news of the car crash began to circulate in the Prophet that she knew they were the worst sort of Muggles. I see now that she was not exaggerating,” she huffed. Her tone and facial expressions then changed from outraged to maternal in the matter of an instant as she added, “And please call me Molly.”
Harry couldn’t help but smile at her. He could see out of the corner of his eye that Ginny was beaming at her mother in approval. Well he at least had the support of the Weasley women on his side. He caught the smiling visage of Hermione as well and thought he had the approval of a possible future Weasley woman as well. Now if only he could do the same with the Weasley men.
“Harry?” Arthur’s voice interposed into Harry’s musing. He turned curious eyes toward the Weasley patriarch.
“If you don’t mind my asking, when did your magic begin to manifest itself? Do you remember how old you were?”
“As far back as I can remember really. When I lived with my relatives, I would make things happen. I didn’t know that I was doing it, but my family always punished me for it. I never associated, until I was much older and at the orphanage, that it actually was me making glass break and windows rattle. It would often be set off by my emotions: fear, anger, anxiety.” He felt Ginny squeeze his hand and glanced at her. He’d been so engrossed in the conversation that he’d forgotten that their hands were still entwined.
“But how did you learn to control it?” Arthur interjected. “As Hermione mentioned wandless magic is a very rare ability.”
“I didn’t at first. It wasn’t until I had one too many accidents at the orphanage that I started to even attempt to control it. Since the only correlation between these accidents was my emotions, I decided to try to control them.” He fidgeted in his seat for a moment. When he first started speaking he’d been looking directly at Arthur Weasley, but, as he began to recall those first bouts of accidents and the fear that it would generate, he looked towards the dark shadow of the trees. He hated that more than anything; he couldn’t stand the thought that something he did would make others feel the way his uncle had made him feel.
“I was about eleven or twelve, I think, when I started to try and clear my thoughts at the end of the day. I would go over anything bad that happened to me throughout my day and try to release my anger and negative thoughts, a meditation of sorts. It helped me minimize the incidents, but a causal result of the meditation that I wasn’t expecting was a tingly feeling that would course through my skin and end at the tips of my fingers…”
“It was your magical core,” Hermione interjected. “It was looking for release. At least that’s my hypothesis.” She shrugged sheepishly as all eyes turned towards her.
Harry nodded at her in acknowledgement. “I didn’t know what it was; I only knew that I had this overwhelming urge to let it loose. It was beyond irritating, like an itch I couldn’t scratch. So during my, for lack of a better word, meditation exercises, I started to focus on releasing that energy through my fingertips.”
Harry closed his eyes and placed both hands on his thighs, palm up. He took deep, even breaths as if to recreate the incident all those years ago.
“During one of those sessions I wasn’t focusing properly, and I let my mind wander. I was thinking about something that had happened earlier that day, an incident with another kid from the orphanage where my glasses broke. I wouldn’t be able to get a replacement for a few more days, and I was practically blind without them, so I was sulking about it. I sat there meditating though in actuality I was really brooding and the thrumming in my hand became exponentially intense. I opened my eyes, and there in my hands were my glasses – in perfect condition no less.”
Harry opened his eyes blinking and squinting at the blurry faces around him. He closed his left hand around his glasses and smiled.
“Just like that,” he said, taking the familiar spectacles and placing them yet again on his face.
“So what did you think you’d just done if not magic?” The curiosity on Arthur Weasley’s face was keen.
Harry laughed, “I had no idea, I thought I was some sort of superhero or something like one of the mutants in X-Men.”
“Umm Mutants, X-Men?” One of the twins interjected
“Comic book characters,” Harry clarified.
“Oh you mean like ‘Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle’? Except he didn’t have umm, super powers. He was just a bit, well, mad.”
“You’ve comic books? That’s cool, I’d love to see them.” Harry turned towards Ron who seemed to have temporarily forgotten his previous animosity towards Harry as he warmed to the subject of his favorite comic.
“Oh, we’ve loads, but I only have the Martin Miggs comics. I’ve got them stored in my room. They’re collector’s items and –“
“Ron, focus please. We need to keep on task,” his girlfriend mimicked his earlier words with a smirk on her face.
“Yeah, right, umm sorry. Continue,” Ron said with the look of an overgrown chastised puppy.
“Harry?” Ginny’s soft voice had him looking towards her openly curious face. “So what did you do after that? I mean how did you start to learn to do magic wandlessly?”
“Well, as I’ve mentioned, I had no clue it was magic. I thought it was some latent superhero powers. I did notice that the thrumming that had been coursing through my body constantly seemed to tone down a bit. It didn’t go away altogether, but it was much more bearable than before.”
“So what did you do?” This question came from Bill who was no longer sporting his Oompla Loompa look.
“Like I said, I turned to my comic books.” Harry rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly.
“Yup, I’d be embarrassed too if I were you. That’s like me turning to Martin Miggs for tips on how to be a Muggle.” Ron chortled and then yelped as his girlfriend cuffed him on the side of the head.
“Oi, Hermione that hurt!” Ron whined.
“Good, it was mean to,” she replied unrepentantly. “So what did you glean from your comic book research, and did that help you in any
“Well I was mostly a Marvel comics fan, X-Men, Spider-Man, and the like, and even though I gravitated to the bespectacled geek kid bitten by a radioactive spider, I really didn’t think I had the ability to shoot spider webs from my wrist or climb brick walls, so the mutant powers seemed more up my alley – “
“Harry, can you keep the additional information to a minimum for the time being; we’re a bit overwhelmed here,” Ginny interrupted.
“Umm yeah, yeah I can, sorry.” He gave her an embarrassed grin. It wasn’t like him to ramble on. “Anyway I picked the comic book heroes that were appealing to me.”
“I’m sure,” Hermione asserted. “What was the first ability you tried from your comic book heroes?”
“Flying,” was Harry bald reply.
“How’d that work for ya’?” one of the twins questioned with a laugh from across the table.
“It was a spectacular, unequivocal failure,” he admitted.
“What did you do, Harry?” Ginny’s question was both amused and reprimanding. Something Harry found quite amusing, she looked like a mother-hen who was both proud and irritated at its chick for attempting to fly out of the chicken coop.
“I jumped off of the roof of the church rectory. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t fly, but I did bounce. So I determined flying was not one of my mutant abilities.” He could laugh at it now, but at the time he was devastatingly disappointed. He really did want to be able to fly. He’d not totally given up on that ability either.
Ginny placed her hand on his knee. It felt warm through the cloth of his pants; the air had gotten cooler since the sun had set. It was a comforting weight, familiar almost. It continued to amaze him how comfortable he felt with her.
“What super power did you get wizard-man?”
“Well, George, since I couldn’t fly, the next best thing was teleportation.”
“How’d you know I was George?” he asked with a petulant frown on his face.
Harry smirked. “Elementary, you admitted it to your mother –“
“Forget that, what the bloody hell is teleportation?” Fred exclaimed.
“It’s a lot like your Apparation only without the squeezing your guts through a straw and scrambling them back together feeling,” Harry explained.
“You can Apparate? Why didn’t you tell me?” Ginny’s tone managed to sound both hurt and accusatory.
Harry was a bit taken aback by her reaction, “Well, it’s not really Apparation is it? I have some limitations,” he placated.
“What limitations exactly?” Ginny eyes were openly curious, and at that moment she reminded him of her father’s intensely keen interest in his magical naissance.
“Well I can’t Teleport somewhere I’ve never been to before or don’t have knowledge of, or at least I don’t think I can. Given my situation at the orphanage, I couldn’t really test my limits too much. So I’ve really no idea what my limitations as regards to distance are. In the middle of the night I would go from place to place within the orphanage like the dining hall or our recess area, places like that.” He noticed Ginny biting her lip in that way that she did when she wanted to ask him something but was embarrassed to.
“What? Go ahead and ask. The worst I can say is no,” Harry prompted.
“Would you mind showing us?” He could barely hear her whispered inquiry.
With a mischievous grin Harry shimmered noiselessly out of existence.
“Where’d he go?” Fred exclaimed.
Everyone at the table scrambled around in their seats searching out Harry’s whereabouts within the limits of the light given off by the paper lanterns that were swaying in the trees above their heads.
Harry watched on amusedly from his perch on the tree branch above the table until he heard Ginny call out his name anxiously. “I’m up here,” and as soon as her eyes sought him out he shimmered back into existence at his seat at the table.
He gingerly placed his hand on her forearm, feeling his heart clench in his chest at the look of worry in her eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you,” and without caring that they had an audience, he took her in his arms as she hugged him back fiercely.
“I didn’t mean to panic. I was being silly,” she assured him.
He pulled back to look at her, searching her face to make sure that her words matched her countenance. “I’m sorry.” He brought up his hand to cup her cheek. Her eyes were looking intensely into his own as he gently brushed the hair away from her face in what he hoped was a soothing motion.
“That was wicked!” George exclaimed from across the table, effectively interrupting the moment. “You didn’t even make a sound, and you just shimmered, and then you were gone. Do you know how bloody useful that is?”
Harry scanned the table and noticed the vary looks of speculation and curiosity. “It did come in handy whenever I was in the mood for a midnight snack from the kitchens.” Harry grinned at the memory unrepentantly.
“What else can you do, Harry?” That the eagerly intoned question came from Hermione was of little surprise to Harry by now. She was an intensely curious person, as curious as he was when faced with a new imponderable.
He shrugged. “Well, I can move things around.” He demonstrated by making the salt shaker that was on the far end of the table fly towards him, slapping against the palm of his hand. “I can make them disappear.” With a wiggle of his fingers the salt shaker vanished.
“I can make them reappear.” The salt shaker materialized nestled in the palm of his hand. Grinning wickedly he decided to show off a bit by levitating the salt shaker a few inches and then spinning like a top slowly at first then gaining speed as it became a blur, coming to an abrupt halt as he dropped it back into the palm of his hand. With another wiggle of his fingers, he banished it back to the far end of the table. He bowed his head in appreciation when he received enthusiastic cheers and applause from Ginny and the twins.
“Well, from what you’ve seen in the time you’ve spent with Ginny, what can’t you do?” Bill interjected.
“I’ve never tried to alter the composition of an object - I think Ginny called it Transfiguration.” He looked at Ginny for confirmation, and at her nod continued. “I’ve never tried to conjure something out of thin air either, that’s wicked cool!”
“It would seem that your ability is only limited to the things you think are possible, Harry.” Ginny spoke softly from beside him, a proud beaming smile on her pretty face. “It’s amazing that you were able to accomplish any of that without any formal training. It’s not much different than what we can do with a wand, but that you can do it wandlessly is, well as Hermione put it, practically impossible.”
There were general nods and words of agreement from those seated at the table, and, though he hoped he didn’t show it so clearly on his face, he was basking in the praise of those around him.
“Now that you know you’re actually a wizard, Harry, what do you plan to do?” Molly Weasley asked from the head of the table.
“That’s a good question, Harry. While you’ve a fair few tricks there, formal training would not be amiss. You are, after all, as you so succinctly put it, a national hero. It wouldn’t do for The-Boy-Who-Lived to be untrained, not to mention hazardous, especially if you’re going to be living in England.” Arthur looked upon Harry with concern on his kindly face.
“Your daughter said the same thing, sir. She’s convinced me that I should at least go to Hogwarts and meet with the headmaster. To be honest, I’m not too keen on altering my life at this juncture. I worked really hard to get a scholarship into a good university and the chance to study abroad. I had my life planned out; however, the idea has merit, and from what Ginny tells me there is a magical terrorist group out for my blood.” Harry wanted to be as forthright and honest as he could be with the Weasley patriarch. He wasn’t totally convinced of the need for formal training, but he was willing to meet with the headmaster to placate Ginny’s fears.
“She’s right, you know. Just being here at this moment in time is precarious for you. Did Ginny tell you about your parents and how they died? “
“Yes, yes she did. She told me all about that night and the man that killed them and that there are rumors that he’s back from the dead or some such fantastical tale,” Harry confirmed.
“You shouldn’t be flippant about this, Harry. Every moment you’re in Britain could be a death sentence for you,” Arthur Weasley gently reprimanded.
“I’m sorry, sir. I don’t mean to make light of the situation. You must admit that it’s a bit much to get on with, knowing that you’re being stalked by some homicidal megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur. I know it’s a serious matter, and, as your daughter put it, if I don’t at least learn to defend myself I ‘might as well tattoo a bull’s-eye onto my arse’.”
Arthur turned a reprimanding eye towards his daughter. “I’ve no doubt she used those exact words.”
“Sorry Daddy, but it finally got the point across. He’s a bit stubborn.” Ginny shrugged her shoulders.
“That’s the tea pot calling the cauldron black,“ the twins chorused.
Ginny’s wand appeared in her hand, and she fingered it lightly as she gave the twins a pointed stare.
“Point taken, Half-Pint,” Fred laughed nervously, and Harry chuckled at the notion that these two grown men were intimidated by their diminutive younger sister. He imagined she was quite formable with her wand if she could cow them so easily.
“Well, Harry, no time like the present. Perhaps it would be wise to at least make the introductions this evening to our most esteemed headmaster. You can then make a formal appointment to meet with him at Hogwarts. The earlier the better, I’m thinking,” Arthur advised.
Harry turned to Ginny silently seeking her counsel. If he were honest with himself he rather dreaded the introduction. Once that threshold was crossed he feared there was no turning back, and truth to tell he wasn’t emotionally or mentally prepared to make that step. However, looking into Ginny’s earnest, open and concerned stare was sufficient motivation.
“No time like the present, sir.” Harry repeated.
“Wise choice, Harry. I’ll just make s Floo call shall I,” and with that the Weasley patriarch strode towards the Burrow’s kitchen as all eyes watched his departure.
“Harry?” Bill called, bringing Harry’s attention back to the occupants seated around the well-worn Weasley table.
“They’re right, you know, Ginny and Dad. You’re a wizard, Harry, and by the looks of it a very powerful one. It’s in your best interest to learn as much as you can. You’re going to be learning from some of the best and brightest witches and wizards that Britain has to offer. You’d be a fool to pass that up. If Dumbledore decides to take up a part of that training himself, well you’re one lucky bloke.”
Bill’s voice and countenance was open and forthright, and Harry appreciated the advice from Ginny’s older brother. He’d never had an older brother figure he could turn to for advice.
“We think we should take you under our wing, make you an honorary Weasley -”
“Or you will be someday if Ginny has any say,” the twins snickered. They yelped in unison as Ginny fired a spell at them under the table.
“That’s your first warning; the next one will be flapping bogeys,” Ginny warned, her tone menacing even to Harry’s ears.
Harry’s attention was diverted as he noted that Arthur Weasley was striding back toward the table. As he came closer he advised,
“He’ll be here momentarily.”
“Bugger,” Harry cursed lowly, not completely prepared or looking forward to his meeting with the Hogwarts headmaster.
“Harry dear, language,” Molly gently rebuked.
“Oh, umm sorry Mrs., umm I mean sorry Molly.” Harry shrugged then sheepishly smiled at her. “It’s a habit I picked up from your daughter.”
Ginny swatted his arm with the back of her hand at the exaggeration and spluttered indignantly when her mum responded with, “Of that I have no doubt.”
The table erupted in laughter, and Harry couldn’t help but join in even if it was at Ginny’s expense.
The assembly suddenly became quiet and all eyes turned towards the Burrow as an imposing figure seemingly glided through the yard in long flowing robes. Harry was mesmerized by the presence of the man who looked like something out of Tolkien’s imagination. Harry took in every detail of his presence, the long snowy white hair and beard, the silver embroidered constellations that seemed in constant motion across the fabric of his robes, and the square glasses perched at the end of his nose. Each detail painted the picture of what Harry would classically define as the quintessential wizard. So this was Albus Dumbledore.
The aged wizard came to a stop directly across the table from Harry, taking a seat at the chair that had been conjured by Bill Weasley. He linked his fingers together placing them on the scarred table, his eyes twinkling merrily on his grandfatherly face.
“Harry Potter, I presume.”
AN: I’m aware that the twin’s middle names are not canon. I’ve read several fanfics that utilized their uncle’s names as middle names, I can’t give credit since I’ve no recollection which author utilized it first, but it just seems so fitting that Molly would honor her twin brothers by naming her twin sons after them.
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