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Chapter 1 : The End of Summer
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Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Twilight. The people with more imagination than me do.
The End of Summer
Gorgeous chapter image by bellatrixx at TDA!
Harry Potter yawned, shifting lightly under his sheets before stretching his arms out above his head. He sat up, rubbing his eyes groggily, then reached for his glasses which lay on the bedside table next to him. Glancing at the clock he let out a slow sigh: it was noon. Harry stood up slowly and padded over to his dresser, beginning to pull out his clothes for the day.
Yet another night and morning wasted from tossing and turning. Harry had been having nightmares ever since the end of the war; usually they were about Voldemort returning to power. Sometimes it was about the death of Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville or Luna. And, occasionally, he got to watch Fred Weasley’s death all over again.
Harry had never really given a thought about the after effects of the war—he’d been too busy worrying about the present time to think about what his life would be like afterwards. He was glad, of course, that everything had ended but it almost felt to him like there had to be a catch...as if danger was only hiding for the time being. As if these nightmares were warnings about the near future.
Harry childishly glanced under his bed. Nope, no dark lord there.
After getting dressed, Harry headed down the rickety stairs of his Godfather’s house and into the entry way. There were muffled screams coming from behind the large black curtain that hung in front of an old picture of Sirius’ mum. Harry gave it a look of distaste as it shouted a stifled obscenity at him.
“Shut up.” He hit the wall with his palm, causing the portrait to scream even louder. Harry put his hands over his ears, squeezing his eyes shut and praying that the sound wouldn’t—too late. Teddy’s cries drifted down the many floors to Harry’s ears.
“See what you’ve done now?” he groaned before quickly dashing up the stairs and into Teddy’s room.
Teddy was standing in his crib, his hair a very vibrant red that matched his splotchy cheeks that were soaked with tears. Harry quickly picked Teddy up and held him tightly to his chest while humming Teddy’s favorite lullaby. Mrs. Tonks had taught it to him while she showed Harry the basics of taking care of a baby. Of course, Harry rarely took care of Teddy alone, in fact, he and Teddy were rarely ever at Grimwauld Place, most of the time they were at the Burrow with the Weasleys...the Weasleys!
Harry pursed his lips to keep from swearing and sprinted towards the changing table to grab Teddy’s baby bag. He was supposed to be at the Weasleys’ right now! Thankfully, Teddy had stopped crying and Harry sat him down by the door frame so that he could retie the laces on his left sneaker. Standing back up, Harry adjusted his glasses and reached for Teddy before there was a pop behind him.
“There you are, Harry!” George Weasley beamed at Harry who was still bent over. George slapped him on the back, “Mum’s been worried sick! But Dad assured her you were fine, after all, with him gone, what kind of trouble can you get in to?”
“I was just heading over, actually.” Harry straightened back up with Teddy’s small arms around his neck. “I woke up a bit late.”
George nodded and picked up Teddy’s bag, “Alright, then, see you in a minute.”
George disapparated and Harry held Teddy a little tighter to him; the poor toddler hated apparating. A second later, Harry found himself in the kitchen of the Burrow.
“Harry!” Hermione cried, running over and throwing her arms around his waist, “We’ve all been so worried!”
“You women always over-react,” George said, tossing Teddy’s stuff into a nearby chair, causing Crookshanks to hiss in disapproval as the bag nearly landed on his tail.
Hermione threw George an angry look and George merely chuckled. Harry had been seeing a bit more of George lately, even though George was busier than before with the shop. He assumed that George must get lonely considering that his twin—whom was always by his side—was gone.
Harry grimaced as he thought about Fred and Hermione raised her brows at him, her wide brown eyes flickering to his scar.
“It doesn’t hurt,” he assured her hurriedly and Hermione nodded as Mrs. Weasley came bustling into the room.
“Oh, Harry, dear! It’s so good to see you!” She gave Harry a kind smile before taking Teddy out of his arms. “What kept you?”
“He slept in,” George piped up from his position on the couch; he was helping himself to a box of Honeydukes’ chocolates.
“George, don’t eat too many, you’ll spoil your lunch,” Mrs. Weasley said sternly, wagging a finger at George before sweeping into the kitchen.
“Got it!” George said but continued to eat anyways.
“Where’s Ron?” Harry asked turning to Hermione who was gripping the back of one of the chairs, teetering on her feet.
“He’s up in his room,” she said with obvious displeasure, “He’s banished me from it. I don’t know what he’s doing—”
“AAARRGHHH!” Ron’s yell came from upstairs and the whole house shook after a large ‘boom’ sounded.
Hermione and Harry glanced at one another before apparating up to Ron’s room. Ron was lying on his back on the ground, his eyebrows and the tips of his red hair singed, while a cauldron spewed out smoke in front of him.
“Ron!” Hermione cried, rushing forward and helping him up; Harry used his wand to stop the smoke from billowing out of the cauldron.
“Th-thanks,” Ron said, his blue eyes still gazing incredulously at the cauldron, “It was fine before—don’t know what went wrong!”
“What were you doing?” Harry asked, backing up slightly as if whatever inside the cauldron would explode once more but craning his neck to get a glimpse of the still simmering liquid.
Mrs. Weasley, George, and Ginny had all arrived at the entrance to Ron’s room.
“What was that?” Ginny asked and Harry felt a lurch in his stomach at the sound of her voice. She smiled warmly at him before looking back to Ron who was now standing steadily on his feet.
“I’ve been trying to work on something new—for your shop,” Ron’s ears turned red and George hurried forward to examine the contents of the cauldron. Mrs. Weasley rolled her eyes.
“Oh, not this again! This house is not a testing ground for your experiments, Ronald! It’ll do you well to remember that unless you’d like to de-gnome the whole garden again!” She stormed out of the room and George beamed at Ron.
“Well I’m glad that an ickle prefect can cause such destruction!” Ron frowned, “Let me know when you get it right.” George saluted before disapparating.
Ginny passed Harry and sat down on Ron’s bed, tossing her glossy hair. Hermione had her arms folded across her chest and Ron was examining his fringed eyebrows in his mirror, touching them delicately.
“Why’ve you been experimenting for George’s shop?” Ginny asked and Harry noticed her carefulness not to include Fred’s name. It was still too much a sore spot for all of them.
Ron shrugged, “Dunno, just...wanna help.”
Hermione’s expression softened a bit as well as her stance and Harry ran his fingers through his messy jet black hair. It was especially untidy since he hadn’t run a comb through it today. Harry glanced at Ron and saw that there was a bit of a glaze over his normally humorous eyes but Ron caught his stare and quickly regained composure.
“So, Harry, you got here late.” He rocked a bit on his feet, changing the subject oh-so-casually.
“Yeah,” Harry nodded, “I just woke up a bit later than usual.”
“How come?” Ginny asked. This was the question Harry was dreading the most. He felt a little embarrassed that he was having constant nightmares.
“Just, didn’t get a lot of sleep.” Harry shrugged and Ginny cocked a brow at him, knowing full well that he wasn’t telling the truth. Ron and Hermione exchanged glances and Harry had to fight the frown that started to form on his face. Of course they all knew he was lying, he couldn’t really lie to them.
But this was something he felt he had to go through on his own. Plus, he was tired of always having an issue to talk about. He just wanted some peace and normalcy for once. So instead of showing his aggravation, he simply smiled and though Hermione and Ginny still looked skeptical, Ron just grinned right back.
“Well, it’s good to see you here again, mate.” Ron shoved his hands into his jean pockets, “I’ve been getting so bloody tired of mum’s nagging.”
“Ron, I was here yesterday,” Harry said, leaning back against the wall and Ron’s face fell.
“Mum has been a bit insufferable lately...” Ginny admitted, tracing the pattern on Ron’s bed sheets with one of her fingers, “She’s been getting on all of us and she’s been super busy herself.”
“Do you think—” Hermione paused a minute, “Do you think she’s in denial? Of—of Fred’s death?”
Ron frowned, “Maybe so, she hasn’t been moping around the place the way I thought she would.”
“Then again, I don’t think any of us are taking it very well,” Ginny looked down at the bed again and Hermione rushed over to hug her. Ron groaned.
“It’s not right, this—” He gestured to Hermione and Ginny, “Fred wouldn’t want this! He’d want us to be happy.”
Harry nodded, Ron had a point. Fred had always had an abundance of energy and humor and though it tore him apart that Fred was gone, Fred wouldn’t have wanted to be the cause of everyone’s grief.
“We’re all allowed to be sad, Ronald,” Hermione said, her own eyes now filling with tears, “It’s awful—what happened the night of the war—”
“Hermione,” Ron groaned, “Of course it was awful but I don’t think we should just sulk around all day and dwell on the past! We should move on!”
Hermione and Ron were now getting into another argument and Harry began to tune them out. “We should move on.” But how? How could Harry move on when he didn’t know what to do with himself? How could he distract himself from the nightmares that haunted him every night? Was it even possible?
Harry watched Ron and Hermione continue to fight whilst Ginny rolled her eyes. He then looked around the room and spotted Ron’s old Hogwarts trunk. Was it even possible?
“I’m going back...” Harry murmured as an idea struck him.
“What?” Ron and Hermione both turned to look at him, confused but Ginny saw his eye line and her face broke into a wide grin.
“Going back where, mate?”
“To Hogwarts.” Harry looked up at his two best friends then gave his girlfriend a smile, “I’m going back to Hogwarts to finish my final year.”
Ginny finally let out the squeal she was holding in and launched herself at Harry, throwing her arms around his neck and burying her face into his shoulder.
“B-back?” Ron asked as Hermione began to grin herself.
“Oh that’s wonderful, Harry! I’ve been hoping that you’d decide to go back! Ron and I’ve all ready talked about it and we want to go back too—!” But Ron cut her off by clearing his throat and Ginny stopped hugging Harry to look around at her brother.
“Well I uh...” Ron shoved his hands deeper into his pockets and hunched up his shoulders, “I was sort of thinking about helping George run the shop...he said I could be the co-owner, I am a Weasley.”
“Oh...” Hermione said immediately looking heartbroken though she tried to hide it by looking at Ron’s shirt instead of his face.
“You could put that off a year,” Harry suggested quickly and Hermione nodded fervently. He couldn’t go to Hogwarts without Ron, it just...wouldn’t be Hogwarts...Ron had been his best friend ever since their first train ride there, except for a few times, Ron had never left his side.
Ron nodded slowly and glanced at Hermione’s hopeful face before he began to grin.
“Alright,” he said, kicking at a shirt that lay discarded on the floor, “I’ll go tell George.”
“Oh Ron!” Hermione cried throwing her arms around his neck the way Ginny had Harry’s but then Hermione began to kiss Ron and Ginny’s face contorted with disgust.
“Eww...time to go.” Harry laughed as Ginny tugged on his hand and the two of them quickly exited Ron’s room, closing the door firmly behind him.
“You think George will be okay?” Harry began to ask Ginny as they got into the kitchen but they found George sitting at the table next to Percy, while Ron’s father sat at the head of the table.
“Why won’t I be okay?” George asked and Ginny shrugged.
“If Ron goes back to Hogwarts for his seventh year with Harry and Hermione and me.”
Mrs. Weasley dropped the sauce pan while Mr. Weasley beamed.
“Well, that’s a wonderful idea!” he said, “It’ll be nice for you kids to finish your education! Molly! We’ve got to go to Diagon Alley!”
Mrs. Weasley nodded, looking a tad stunned but happy none-of-the-less.
“You don’t mind, do you George?” Harry asked and George looked at him with no sign of grief on his boyish face.
“’Course not,” he shrugged, “I’m perfectly capable of running the place myself! Plus, Perc here is gonna help me with finances and what not.”
Percy beamed in spite of himself and Harry grinned at the two brothers who were finally getting along.
“When are we going to Diagon Alley, Dad?” Ginny asked and Mr. Weasley looked up from the letter he was writing.
“Just as soon as I get done with a few things for work...”
“Arthur...” Mrs. Weasley said, frowning at Mr. Weasley, “They haven’t got you working too hard have they?”
“No, no, Molly...in fact I rather enjoy it! I’ve been promoted you see, by Kingsley, says I always was a bit knocked down.”
“Oh that’s wonderful, Arthur!”
“Congratulations, Dad.” Percy grinned at Mr. Weasley who held up a hand still smiling.
“Where exactly can you be promoted to in your department, Dad?” George wondered and Mrs. Weasley waved her hand at him.
“Never mind that, George, we’ve got to get ready to go to Diagon Alley, Ginny, will you be a dear and go tell Ron and Hermione?”
Ginny shrugged and gave Harry a quick peck on the cheek. Both George and Percy watched him with smirks as his cheeks warmed considerably.
“Now, Harry dear, what are you planning on doing with Teddy?” She gestured to the small toddler who was playing with his food in a high chair, his hair a bright yellow.
“Erm...” Harry hadn’t really thought about that. Because he had been made Godfather, it was his responsibility to take care Teddy, though; he couldn’t very well do that while at Hogwarts.
“I suppose I’ll take him to his Grandmother’s...and maybe you’d like to help take care of him too?”
Mrs. Weasley’s face lit up instantly and she gave Teddy an affectionate look, “Oh Harry! I would be honored to help!”
“Great...” Harry said with a grin, “I suppose I’ll go get ready then, see you a little later Teddy,” Harry ruffled the child’s hair and began up the Weasley’s stair but not before catching the wink Mr. Weasley shot him.
* * *
Edward Cullen cut the engine of his beloved silver Volvo after parking in the garage next to Alice’s new pride and joy. A pride and joy he’d bought her in exchange for keeping an eye on Bella. As much as Bella complained that she was being held against her will, Edward just wanted to make sure she was safe. She was too capable of finding trouble.
Edward got out of the car, shutting the door behind him and sticking his keys in his jeans’ pocket before entering the large house. It was another rainy day in Forks but Edward found himself enjoying the weather. It had allowed himself and Bella to take a comfortable walk through the woods near her house, though, she told him she loved it when she got to see him in the sunlight, his skin shimmering and reflecting the light of the sun’s rays.
A smile upturned the corners of Edward’s lips as he began at human pace up the stairs. He found himself doing that a lot lately, walking slowly. He was so used to walking this way with Bella, who was his life. He heard a frustrated growl behind him and Emmett’s irritated thoughts boomed inside of his head.
Geeze...could you get any slower? C’mon, move it!
Edward chuckled to himself and ran the rest of the way to his room to relieve his brother of the stress.
Edward laughed loudly, all the better for Emmett to hear and settled down on his black couch, pressing the play button on the stereo.
Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek began to play; it was a new song he’d discovered and it helped to block out the thoughts of everyone in the house. It was also a good song to think to. He tilted his head back and closed his eyes, for no real purpose other than to see the endless black. He then did what he always did. He thought about Bella. Infatuation barely came close to the way he felt about her. She was his everything.
He inhaled deeply and remembered her scent; he could practically smell it now, though, the memory of it didn’t do the real thing justice. There was a hallow aching in his throat but it was by no means a disturbance. It was normal now. He had control; he no longer worried himself about the chances of him biting her. The monster within him was tamed, in that sense. But others, like his strength, could not be tested, or trusted for that matter.
He opened his eyes only to let them narrow into a glare. But that’s what she wanted. For him to test his strength, he’d offered, very willingly that day in the meadow but that had been on a whim. He figured if he didn’t give the horrible monster time to think, he’d be able to keep better control. But at the same time, he was secretly glad that she’d turned him down. The entire thing could have been a complete disaster. Maybe planning was better. He could gain more control.
He tapped a single finger on the arm of the couch; he would forget every problem he had tonight when he went to see Bella. He’d hold her until she fell asleep and then listen to her speak in her dreams. Edward had felt bad at first when she began to talk in her sleep. As if he were intruding on something that was very personal and private but he’d always been intruding on peoples’ thoughts. And sometimes peoples’ thoughts intruded on him, like Jessica’s or Mike’s. Those were very unwelcome. But after a while of pleasurable guilt, in which Edward heard his name being mumbled several times, Edward no longer felt bad. He looked forward to it every night. It was the one time he could figure out what she was thinking.
Edward heard Alice’s tinkling laugh from the entryway downstairs.
Edward, come down here a minute, please.
Edward stood up and zipped downstairs, landing on the very last step and coming across Alice and Jasper, both of which were standing by the door.
“Hello, Alice, Jasper...” Edward said leaning slightly against he railing. Jasper nodded his head with a smile and Alice teetered a bit on her feet. “You want something?”
“Well, I’m going over to Bella’s to help Charlie try on his suit. Like to join me?” Alice asked cocking her head, her golden eyes glistening humorously.
“I actually would prefer not to come,” Edward said, frowning at his sister who continued to stare gleefully. “Charlie’s thoughts haven’t been as hostile lately but I’m still on his list of top criminals.”
“Who’re we talking about?” Emmett asked coming down the stairs with Rosalie in tow. He bumped against Edward’s shoulder and Edward growled at him, playfully of course.
“Like you don't already know,” Jasper retorted, sticking his hands in his jean pockets and glancing at Alice who was still smiling brightly.
“Sorry, but most everything you say comes out as gibberish," Emmett chuckled at his own joke while Rosalie rolled her eyes.
“So you’re not going Edward?” Alice asked, ignoring Emmett. Edward shook his head as Emmett let out another laugh.
“You should,” Emmett said, “In fact we all should. It will be funny as hell if Charlie tries to shoot you.” Rosalie hissed at Emmett who closed his lips immediately. Jasper was holding a hand in front of his mouth to hide his laughter.
Alice closed her eyes, “Well, I can’t see anything since you’ve decided not to come—”
“Alice, really,” Edward said and Alice pouted.
“I just want you and Bella to get more involved in the wedding...”
Edward stared shocked at her and Emmett spoke up for him, "Of course he's involved. He's the groom, duh."
Rosalie patted his chest, "You're not helping."
Alice rolled her eyes and nodded, “Fine. Well I’m leaving then,” she kissed Jasper’s cheek standing on her tip toes before waving goodbye to the rest of them and heading out the front door, speeding like a bullet towards the garage.
“Oh crap...” Emmett murmured, “I forgot to ask her if it was going to storm tonight...the weather report said it was.”
“Since when do you watch the weather?” Jasper asked, his brows furrowing at Emmett.
“Well, I don’t really watch it.” Emmett put an arm around Rosalie’s shoulder. “I just wanted to know when we could go play ball.”
“You could call her on her cell phone.” Edward suggested and Emmett beamed.
“That, I could. Or you could do it for me.”
“You’re so lazy,” Rosalie told Emmett, putting a hand under his chin and turning his face towards her, pulling him in closer.
“I’ll call her,” Edward volunteered hurriedly. He didn’t want to pay attention to Rosalie and Emmett’s affectionate nudges and would rather not have to focus on their less than innocent thoughts. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and before he could dial, Alice’s number flashed on the screen.
"Alice,” he stated, distracting Emmett and Rosalie from their embrace.
“There’ll be a storm around ten, it’ll hit close to town so it should be perfect weather to play. Are you going to come? You might not get to see Bella.”
Edward was silent for a moment. That was true. If he went to play ball, he might not get to see Bella before she fell asleep. And he liked being there before her eyes would close permanently for the night. Edward bit his lip, a human habit he picked up that betrayed thought, and glanced back at the hopeful faces of Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie.
“Alice, what if I brought her?”
Alice fell silent for a while as well and Edward waited patiently for her vocal answer though he saw flicks of things in his mind.
“Everything should be fine if you bring her. I don’t see another James incident at all.”
Edward couldn’t stop the growl that erupted in his throat at the mention of James. Of course, that had been the worry he had when he thought about bringing Bella. The last time they’d played ball had spelled disaster for the year after. James...Victoria...the Volturi.
“All right,” he said, “We’ll both come then.”
“Hell yeah!” Emmett cheered from behind him and Edward bid Alice a quick goodbye. “Excellent. So I guess we should ask Carlisle if he’ll play to even the teams.”
“Alice and I get Edward on our team,” Jasper piped in and Emmett laughed.
“Oh that’ll help,” Emmett said, sarcasm soaking his tone as he winked at Edward who hissed at him.
“You just wait, Emmett.”
“Bring it on, Edward."
Author's Note: Okay, so it's a bit long...but I promise the next chapter will move a lot more swiftly and we'll get into our plot a little more. Any thoughts on characterization? It's my biggest fear to completely mess a character up. I hope you all enjoyed it and my apologies for any grammatical or spacing errors. Thanks so much for reading and please, please leave a review with your thoughts!
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