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The Hard Life by killthatrat
Chapter 17 : Chapter 17 The Beast Inside
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 12

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“Hello,” Molly Weasley said cheerfully as she opened the back door that led into the cramped kitchen of the Burrow.

“Oh Harry dear you look much better!” she said as she stepped back to allow them entry.

“Thanks.” Harry said gratefully as he and Sirius entered, the smell of roast chicken wafting from the magical oven to their right.

“I suppose you’ve been to visit St Mathis then have you?”

“Yeah we have,” Sirius said smiling as he placed Harry’s bag down near the door so that they wouldn’t forget it when they left.

“It’s so quiet compared to St Mungos,” Harry said as he sat down at the table, accepting the glass of pumpkin juice that he was offered.

“So where is everyone?” Sirius said sitting down beside him, lounging back and rocking on the chair.”

“Arthur’s still at work, more of those ‘meta-morph’ medals are selling like chocolate frogs,” she said as she wiped her hands on her flowery apron as she sat down with them, just as the sounds of yelling could be suddenly heard from upstairs.

“No I’m serious give it back!” somebody yelled.

Mrs Weasley sighed as she rolled her eyes wearily. “Those two have been at each others throats over everything this afternoon,” she said as the fight upstairs continued.

“Look just give it back!” the same voice yelled again. Distant thuds could be heard as someone descended the stairs, both their voices becoming clearer.

“ I will when you give me back my book!” came the voice of Ginny as she casually entered the kitchen, holding Ron’s battered old chessboard triumphantly.

“Hey,” she said, smiling at Harry. “You look heaps better.”

“Thanks,” Harry said, a little quietly as Sirius gave him a knowing glance.

“Ginny!” Ron yelled as he too entered the kitchen looking furious, and quickly turning red with anger. “Oh hey,” he said sparing the two visitors a glance. He quickly turned back to Ginny who had moved around to the other side of the table.

“Look just give it back!” he said furiously to his sister, who folded her arms holding tightly onto the chessboard.

“When you give me back my book,” she retorted, her fiery red hair glistening.

Groaning in frustration he appealed to his mother. “Mum I was using that! She just took it!”

“Yeah!” Ginny agreed angrily as she pushed her long fringe out of her face. “Just like he took my book!” she said turning to her mother.

Mrs Weasley snapped her head back to Ron, who was looking livid.

“Ronald?” She said very calmly. “Did you take your sisters book?”

Harry and Sirius exchanged quick glances trying to keep a straight face.

Ron quickly shut his mouth, realizing he had lost this fight. “It’s under my bed,” he said tonelessly, glaring at his sister.

Ginny paused for a moment, glaring furiously at her brother, before quickly rounding the table and thrusting the chess board at Ron before running up the stairs in search of her book.

Ron let out a relieved sigh as he studied his chessboard as though checking for damage. Satisfied that is was OK, he put it on the table as he sat down with them.

“What happened to…?” Ron said lightly as he waved a hand in front of his freckled face.

Harry explained where he had been as conversation began flowing freely amongst the four of them, as Mrs Weasley continued to prepare dinner with the help of Harry.

“So what have you got planned for your birthday dear?” Mrs Weasley inquired as Harry peeled some potatoes by hand. He stopped at this thought, considering it for a moment.

“Oh I don’t really know. Haven’t really thought about it that much.”

Mrs Weasley smiled at this as she continued a little sternly. “Well you better get thinking young man, it’s only about 2 weeks away.”

Harry nodded in agreement as he washed the last of the peeled potatoes under the cool stream of water that rushed out of the gargoyle tap.

Sirius stood up and said to the room at large, “I’ve got to go Molly. I’ll be back in time for tea. Just got a few things to do that’s all.”

“Where are you going?” Harry said curiously.

“Just going to get some more stuff set up in the house so you can move in tonight. That’s all,” he said picking up Harry’s bag swinging it over his shoulder.

“Do you want some help?” Harry said as he quickly cut the potatoes he had been peeling.

“Nah that’s alright. You stay here,” he said as he headed towards the door


Sirius quickly left, shutting the door as he did so. Mrs Weasley’s eyes followed him carefully as he walked casually into the backyard where he turned on the spot, apparating with a ‘crack.’ She turned to pick up a wooden spoon when something out in the garden caught her eye. Harry watched as she peered out of the window into the increasingly dark backyard before taking a deep breath.

“Ginerva!” she hollered loudly, as she turned around picking up the wooden spoon to stir the gravy with.

“Why don’t you sit down Harry? You’ve done enough for tonight,” she said kindly to him over her shoulder as she stirred the gravy over her magical stovetop.

“OK,” Harry nodded as Ginny who had been reading quietly in the living room entered, holding the book Ron had taken earlier.

“Yes Mum?” she said slightly annoyed.

Mrs Weasley turned around sharply.

“Did you do what I asked you to do this afternoon?” she said, putting a hand on her hip, the other brandishing the gravy-covered spoon about, flicking gravy everywhere.

“Umm,” Ginny said, obviously having forgotten what she had been told to do.

“Put the chickens back in the hen house!” her mother replied, waving the spoon around again.

Ginny shut her eyes in realization. “Awww Mum,” she whined slightly. “You know I hate doing that!”

“I don’t want to hear it,” Mrs Weasley replied turning back to the stove.

“But Mum!”

Mrs Weasley put up a hand, indicating her to be quiet. “I don’t want to hear it,” she said plainly.

Annoyance took over Ginny’s features, and she looked as though she were about to say something else but thought better of it. She turned to look out of the window, before putting her book down on the bench and heading out the backyard.

Ron sniggered loudly as the door swung shut behind her. “I’d be quiet if I were you Ronald you’ve been in enough trouble today,” she said warningly. She turned her head around to Harry who was pulling out a chair to sit on.

“Harry be a dear and go help her. She’ll be there all night if you don’t.”

“Oh OK,” Harry said, trying not to smile too much. He pushed the chair back under and quickly followed Ginny to the hen house.

“Hey wait up,” he said, pulling his jacket on as he breathed in the crisp air.

Ginny turned around and waited for a moment to let him catch up.

“I’ll help you,” he said nicely.

“Oh,” she said, smiling mischievously. “Thanks.”

They continued walking toward the hen house as Harry tried to find something to say.

“Why don’t you like putting the hens away? You’ve done it before.”

Ginny laughed before answering sheepishly. “They look at me funny.”

Harry laughed at this as he held the door to the large enclosure open for her.

“They’re chickens! How can they look at you funnily?”

Laughing she replied, “I don’t know, they just do!”

They looked around the enclosure at the chickens that were wandering around. Harry slowly approached an unsuspecting chicken, taking hold of it quickly by the legs. Harry smiled as it clucked and fluttered furiously around in his hands, before settling down.

He carried it over to it’s nesting house and put it down, fluttering and clucking until it wandered off in search of it’s nest, very much used to this routine.

He turned around to see Ginny not far behind him, holding a second one. He smiled at her nervously as he let her through the doorway and chased a second chicken down.

“I’m telling you! They look at me funny!” she said as she picked up another chicken and held it to her chest as she carried it back to the nesting house.

Harry laughed openly at this remark, and she stuck her tongue out at him, making the beast within his chest cheer openly.

They soon had only the large rooster to get, neither of them keen to pick up the animal with a violent reputation.

“Why don’t you get it?” Ginny said cheerfully.

“You!” Harry said studying the rooster warily, remembering only too clearly how viscous he could be.

“No!” Ginny replied in dismay.

Harry sighed, and gritted his teeth as he forced himself to pick it up quickly. Immediately it began to screech loudly, and scratch at Harry’s arms, which were thankfully protected by his jumper.

Ginny followed him to the nesting house as he let the viscous rooster free as he shut the door quickly, locking them in for the night.

Ginny sighed with relief as she brushed off the feathers that had stuck to her clothing.

“You know I’ve always wondered who was the first person to look at a chicken, and decide to eat the first thing that came out of it’s butt,” Harry said conversationally as he too brushed off some remaining feathers.

Ginny laughed loudly at this, and the beast inside Harry’s chest applauded even more loudly than before.

“That’s so disgusting when you put it like that!” she said good heartedly. “I guess that’s why I still like you.”

Harry stopped, the words she just said sinking in. Still likes me? He thought to himself in wonder. He looked down at her, as she waited expectantly for him to reply.

Clearing his throat he said nervously, “You still like me?”

Ginny looked at him incredulously. “Who said I ever stopped?”

Harry opened his mouth, trying to say something, but his brain seemed paralyzed, the only words penetrating were, Who said I ever stopped?

“Harry?” Ginny said, worry coming over her slightly over what she had said.

“I-I still like you too,” he blurted out, without even thinking, the beast inside of him roaring with approval.

Ginny smiled with relief as she stepped closer to him. “You’re not just saying that?”

Oh Merlin what am I saying? He thought to himself as he fiddled with his fingers nervously.

Harry shook his head slightly, “No. I’m not just saying it,” he said, his mouth feeling very dry as he suddenly realized how close they were.

“Oh,” she said, looking up at him with a smile. “So what does this mean?”

Harry opened his mouth slightly, trying to say something. Trying to tell her it wasn’t safe to be together, trying to reign some self control. He couldn’t think.

Suddenly they were inches apart, he could almost count every freckle in the light that shone from the house behind them. He could almost feel her breath upon his face as his mind cloud over.

Before he realized what was happening, their lips met in a soft and tender kiss. Without knowing exactly what he was doing or why, he deepened their kiss and bought his hand up to rest on the side of her face, his heart pumping wildly somewhere in his throat.

Harry smiled into their kiss as the beast inside of him cheered more loudly than ever.

A/N well I bet some of you are thinking ‘Yay finally!’ Lol anyway. The rooster was based upon my Aunt’s rooster ‘Icky’ who once attacked me quite viscously! ;) anyway I’m looking for some pointers on how to improve the ending of this chapter, and as always constructive criticism is always welcome!
Killthatrat ;) 

p.s. anyone got some creative ideas for what to do on Harry's birthday that i could use? ;)

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