Chapter 2 : The Burrow
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“Yeah.” Fred agreed. “Have you ever talked to them like that?”
“No.” Harry admitted. “But it felt pretty good.”
“I bet it did.” George answered with a grin.
Harry had to smile at the comment, then a wave of confusion swept over his face. “I, erm, have a couple questions to ask you two.”
“Ask away.” They replied together.
“You are here and your family is….”
“At The Burrow.” George answered.
Fred gave a sideways glance. “I guess what you mean is why we’re picking you up and not Ron?”
“Yeah…I mean... I don’t mind that you two came, it’s just that…I expected Ron here, that’s all.”
“He’s at home taking care of some business…as in baby sitting our parents.” George replied with a scowl, and before Harry could ask, he cut him off. “And please don’t ask us to repeat anything…the scars are still healing. Ron will fill you in when we get there.”
“Oh. Alright then.”
“What was your other question?” Fred asked.
“Erm…why are we driving in a normal…muggle car? I expected something more creative out of you two.”
“Well, I’m glad you asked that, Harry, me boy.” Fred began, sarcastically.
“We are legal apparaters. You are not. And after the whole Ford Angelina experience, dad promised mum no more bewitching muggle objects. Henceforth…we have to drive.” George added, disappointment dripping from his tongue.
Not even a few minutes later, Fred pulled on a couple knobs and they began to float in mid-air…then they vanished.
Reading Harry’s unanswered question, the twins laughed.
As if he was sure someone was eavesdropping, Fred lowered his voice to a whisper. “What mum doesn’t know is that ever since we knew how to observe, we’ve spied on dad as he’s bewitched things. So, er, we know how to do it.”
“But no worries, mate. We’ll land a few miles from the burrow so mum doesn’t see.”
“Why not floo powder?”
George sighed. “Didn’t bring any. Dad didn’t want us to cause a ruckus. But I suppose that didn’t go over too well the last time, did it?”
“Plus you fireplace isn’t on the network anymore. Kind of a bummer.” Fred added.
“Oh.” Harry said simply, beginning to understand. “Alright, last question. Why the Beetle?”
“Have you or have you not noticed we’re a couple of clowns?” George began. “And if you haven’t I’m forced to say you have a horrible judgment of character and should be sent off to St. Mungo’s. Anywho, we wanted to go with a car that screamed ‘there go the Weasley twins in that clown car’. No offense to us, naturally.”
“Absolutely.” Fred added. “So we went for a clown-resembling car. The red’s to match our trademark hair.”
“Besides, chicks dig men in small cars.” George pushed his sunglasses to the bridge of his nose and gave Harry thumbs up. “Next best investment to the joke shop-which is closed for the summer thanks to skyrocketing sales.”
Right… Harry thought to himself.
“I can’t wait until we’re home.” Fred absently began, running his fingers through his hair.
George agreed. “You’re going to have so much fun. We’re doing our annual Weasley Quidditch match this year. Granted, there’s only going to be five players on a team, but we’ll only play with one chaser.”
Quidditch in the summer for two weeks? It can’t get any better.
Harry was greeted with a giant bear hug from Mrs. Weasley before he even got to the door. Due to his growth spurt over the summer, he practically had to look down to greet her.
Her short arms barely went around Harry’s waist. Bringing her hands to his arms, she sighed. “Harry, darling! How are you? Have you been well? Have you been eating? Oh, of coarse you have; look at the meat you’ve gained! Fred and George weren’t too much trouble were they? Did you have a safe trip? Oh, I am so happy to see you!”
Mrs. Weasley bombarded him with questions before he could even get a word in. She was defiantly in higher spirits than the previous year.
A moment later, Harry spotted Bill, long red ponytail and all. “Mother please, let him breathe.” He leaned against the doorframe with an amused grin on his face, sipping on a cup of tea.
“Sorry, Harry, dear.” She apologized, brushing off imaginary dirt off his chest. “I’m just glad you’re feeling well. You are feeling well, aren’t you?”
“Yes, ma’am.” He answered with a laugh. “Don’t you worry about me.”
Fred and George showed up a minute later with Harry’s trunk and Hedwig.
“Mum’s on happy potions.” George explained. “Warlock’s orders.”
“Oh, don’t be silly. I don’t need any medication to make me feel good. I have all my wonderful children around me! What more could a mother ask for?” She did an odd circular dance with a gesture of her hands, then clapped them together.
There was one child missing, though. Percy.
“Sure, mum.” Fred and George replied, in unison; then swept passed them with Harry’s things to be sent to Ron’s room.
“Please come inside, Harry. There’s some sweets on the table waiting on you.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Weasley.” Harry replied, with gratitude.
No sooner did Harry sit down to enjoy an oatmeal cookie, when a thunder of footsteps was heard thudding down the stairs.
“Harry!” Hermione screamed, running to greet him. Harry stood, then felt a quick wave of fear rushing through him as he noticed Hermione not slowing down her pace. Laughing, she knocked him straight to the ground, wrapping her arms around him in a giant hug, then plastering a kiss on his cheek.
“Wow. Are you happy to see me?” a shocked Harry asked, hugging her back.
She grinned. “Uh, huh. How have you been, Harry darling?”
Darling? “Sober. And you?”
Hermione giggled and sat up, still grinning at him. Harry got a better look at her. Summer had defiantly been her friend. Her hair was cut shorter than normal and the semi-bushiness was tamed and ruler-straight. The look suited her. He also noticed she was wearing make-up.And the partial summer in Florida left her normal milky skin a light bronze color. Harry was quick to wonder if Mrs. Weasley wasn’t the only one on happy potions.
“I’ve always admired your sense of humor, Harry.”
Before she could answer, Ron appeared half way down the stairs. Harry didn’t think it was possible he could get any taller. But apparently he did. The only form of re-assurance was the fact that they were actually eye-to-eye now and his gawkiness seemed to be filled in with semi-muscle.
He rolled his eyes. “She’s been giddy like that ever since she got here.”
Hermione climbed off of Harry’s lap and stood, straightening out her pleaded skirt. “Not even you can ruin my holiday, Ronald Weasley.”
Before he could protest she skipped out the door, merrily giving her hellos to Charlie and Bill.
Harry stood up and rose an eyebrow, brushing himself off.
“Wasn’t going to. So…how are you?”
“I hope you don’t expect me to kiss you like that.” He replied, making his way to the bottom of the stairs.
“No…a ‘good, Harry, and how are you?’ is fine with me.”
“Okay….good, Harry and how are you?”
The two of them burst into a fit of laughter, realizing how dull they sounded.
“Well, I for one would like a hello kiss.” A playful voice came from the top of the stairs. It was Ginny, and as she began to make her way down, Harry’s heart nearly leapt out of his chest. She grew an inch or so, proving that the men in the Weasley household weren't the only ones who could inherit all the height. She was wearing low-rise jeans and a purple Weird Sisters t-shirt. Her red hair was done up in a ponytail.
“Hello, Harry.” She looked dead into his eyes as she said it, causing him to swallow a lump of mucus that had formed in his throat.
Ron glared at his friend. “Watch it, mate.”
“Ron, behave.” Ginny ordered as she gave Harry a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek.
“Alright, alright, that’s enough. Harry, can I see you outside…alone.” He added, glaring at his sister. She just shrugged.
Ron dragged the still dazed Harry out in the front yard, where the twins were de-gnoming the garden. “What is going on?” he demanded, when he thought nobody could hear him.
“What are you talking about?”
“The girls are acting weird. Hermione has been in a giddy fit of giggles ever since her new boyfriend came into the picture-“
“New boyfriend? What happened to Krum?”
“Ask her. Ginny’s been all over my friends-“
“What about her boyfriend?”
“They broke up. My mother has even showed a lot more public displays of affection towards my dad!”
“I thought the happy potions were for depression.”
“They are. I’m telling you, something is going on with the women around here. Fred and George walked in on my parents one day while they were, ugh, I can’t believe I’m going to say this…shagging up. Now they’re scarred for life.”
Harry understood now what they meant by babysitting.
“Whenever the two are snogging in a room, the twins cover their ears and run out of the room screaming ‘demons are controlling our parents!’”
“They’re married, mate.”
“My parents don’t snog in public, Harry.”
“I’m sure it’s nothing. Maybe things’ll turn back to normal when term starts.”
“I hope so. I like girls and all, but there’s only so much of this I can take.”
From a distance, Charlie cupped his hands to his mouth and yelled for the boys. “Harry, Ron! Do you want to play Quidditch or not? We don’t have all bloomin’ day!”
“Coming!” Ron called. Then turning to Harry, he sighed. “You have yet to see a family Quidditch match.”
“No. Can’t say that I have.”
“We started them a couple years ago when Fred and George got on the team, so they could practice their beating skills. Now, seeing as Ginny and I are on the team, they see fit for us to practice again. Especially since my horrible performance last season.”
Harry smiled, and began to hum the first few bars of Weasley is Our King, a song the Slytherins made up to spite Ron’s pitiful keeper skills, ensuring victory over every match. But it backfired, turning it into a song the Gryffindors sang when Ron came through during the final match.
Ron rolled his eyes and half smiled. “I wan to prove that wasn’t a fluke. I really want to show my stuff this year, Harry.”
“You will, mate.”
“Come on, ladies!” Fred shouted.
“Yeah!” George added. “We don’t have all holiday!”
“Alright. Let’s go, then. Before my family loses it.”
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