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Chapter 14 : Final Decision
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Sitting around the table it was hard for Harry to comprehend that it was real. Here sat his two best friends who had believed to be dead up until two hours ago, and his fiancée, whom was unconscious and likely to stay that way the last time he had seen her. And now, they smiling, talking, trying to catch Harry up with everything that had happened since his absence. He had explained what had happened to him, how he went to Canada, got a job and ended up moving into his bosses building and met Emily and all the others. He left out the part that he had started to play guitar as well, feeling embarrassed by the new development and afraid what his friends would think. Harry had never shown any signs of having any passion towards music.
“But what happened to you two?” Harry asked after a moment of silence. Hermione was standing at the sink, rinsing out her tea mug.
“Well, after we went into hiding in France Ron and I were pretty isolated.” Hermione said taking a seat next to Ron at the table. “Ron can’t speak French – and I barely could manage it myself. We were in this tiny French village, not a hint of magic in sight. We ended up getting hired at this farm, and they gave Ron and I this little old cottage on the other side of their land to live in. We would work and they gave us shelter and food. It was pretty simple, but not in a bad way. We would go to their home and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and walk back to our own cottage.” Hermione said, smiling at Ron.
“And they fell in love.” Ginny added, smirking.
Hermione laughed a little, and Ron blanched but said nothing. “We got married after a year at the church in town. After Ron convinced me that we should go to Paris to see what was happening. We had no idea, Harry. We went to Paris and got into contact with the Delacour’s and learned what had happened – they thought we were dead! They told us you had disappeared, and that Ginny was still in a coma. By time we got back to England, though, Ginny was awake.” Hermione said.
“Hermione wanted to go looking for you,” Ron said, glancing at Hermione for a moment.
“But we convinced her not to.” Ginny said. “Our theory was if you didn’t want to be found, we weren’t going to go looking for you.”
“I don’t blame you for not coming. I don’t blame you for being mad – I’m surprised you aren’t angrier with me for what I did. I was… I acted like such a coward.” Harry admitted unable to look his friends in the eye.
“We all would have done it in your place, Harry.” Ron spoke softly, but confidently. Harry looked up and met his friend in the eye and they shared a smile.
“So you came back married, how did your mother take that?” Harry asked, raising a brow.
“We didn’t tell her, still haven’t actually. We actually just got married again.” Ron answered. “What she doesn’t know can’t hurt her.”
Harry nodded, understanding. “And since then you’ve been living here? Nothing else has changed?”
Everyone went silent, glancing at each other with unreadable faces. Harry knew something was up, but he wasn’t sure if it was good or bad what they were holding back from him. They looked at each other for a long time until Ginny finally looked at Harry with a warm smile.
“It’s nothing bad Harry, they are just being silly.” Ginny told him, giving Hermione and Ron a meaningful look.
“Then what is it?” Harry asked, looking from Ginny to his friends.
“Hermione was pregnant when we came back to England.” Ron explained slowly.
Harry stared at his friends, eyes wide. “You have a kid?”
“A son,” Hermione answered. “We named him Harry.”
Harry’s neck began to grow warm, and he found himself unable to speak. “You named him after me?” he repeated. He found it hard to believe. After everything he had done, leaving England and hiding, believing they were dead without a doubt, they still named their son after him.
“Harry, don’t act like its such a surprise.” Ginny said, rolling her eyes.
“Is he here?” Harry questioned, sitting up in his seat.
Hermione shook her head. “No, today is the day he spends with Ron’s parents. He is at the Burrow.”
“When can I meet him?” Harry asked, excited now.
“In time, we need to break the news to mum and dad first.” Ginny grinned.
“Why don’t we do it now, and Harry can meet Jr.?” Hermione suggested
“We could do that,” Ginny said slowly and looked at Harry. “Do you have anything you need to do?”
“Not anything I can think of.” Harry admitted. Everything was going much better than he had thought. Sure, Ginny was avoiding the idea of a relationship with him, he could understnad. It had been three and half years since they were together, and for two years he hadnèt been around. But she had not ignored him, pushed him away or told him to leave her alone. She had allowed him to be with her this far. And just like her, Ron and Hermione had been understanding and ready to listen to him and accept him back into their lives. Of course there was still a lot more that needed explaining, but it was going a lot better than planned.
However, as Harry thought this he felt his brain deflate a little as he realized there was no way Mrs. Weasley would take it as easily as they had. She was the one who had brought him into her home when he had no where else to go, insured that he was fed properly and that he had enough human interaction so that he would not go crazy. And how did he repay her? He left a note saying he couldn’t take a little guilt and never looked back. Until now, of course.
“What’s wrong?” Ginny asked, noticing the change in Harry’s body language.
“I don’t think your mother will take all of this as easily as you lot did.” Harry admitted, glancing at Hermione and Ron.
“You have to face her eventually – she would be angrier if you didn’t see her before your name gets splashed across The Daily Prophet.” Ron reasoned.
“Besides, I think she will be happier to know that you’re alive.” Hermione added.
“So let’s do this.” Ginny said after a few moments of silence.
“Okay, let’s go.” Harry said, taking a huge breath.
“We can Apparate down the road.” Hermione suggested as she and Ron left the kitchen to retrieve their coats while Ginny and Harry went to stand in the entrance waiting.
Harry found it difficult to stare at Ginny, though he could see she wanted him to stop. It was so hard for him to believe it was all real. That he had only been in England for a day and already he was standing next to the love of his life, in his two best friend’s flat, about to go for a little visit at the Weasley’s.
“Do you mind Harry?” Ginny asked, looking annoyed.
“Sorry, I just can’t believe it.”
Ginny gave a small smile, looking to the floor. “Yeah, I know what you mean.”
“All set?” Hermione said exiting the sitting room, Ron trailing behind.
“As ready as I can be.” Harry muttered as they exited the flat.
Nothing had changed in the two years Harry had left. The burrow was still as wonky and as Weasley as possible. The garden was still full of gnomes, which Ron occasionally kicked when one came close as they walked up the path to the back door. Standing in front of it, Harry had a rush of memories, like the first time he had ever come to the Burrow. He had been so worried about what Mrs. Weasley would say to him, because after all, he had left his Aunt and Uncle’s without their permission.
Without knocking, they entered the chaotic kitchen which filled Harry with a sense of homeliness. The familiar clock with a nine spoons on it hung on the wall; two of which were slowly turning from ‘travelling’ to ‘home’. From somewhere inside the Burrow Harry could hear Mrs. Weasley shouting for her husband and ‘Harry’ as it was lunch time.
Harry could see the simmering cauldron of stew from where he stood, near the door. Ginny stood next to him, while Ron and Hermione had both walked into the kitchen, looking through the many doors for a glimpse of Mrs. Weasley. Footsteps could be heard coming up stairs, and Ginny’s hand slipped into Harry’s hand as they neared closer and closer to the kitchen. More footsteps followed and then there she was, Mrs. Weasley in all glory.
She came straight into the kitchen, walking over to the stew. “Oh, I wasn’t expecting all of you – I do hope I’ve made enough stew. If not I’ll just cook some up qu-” Mrs. Weasley cut herself off as soon as she had realized Harry was there. Her hair and robes a flutter from walking into the kitchen so quickly, she stared wide-eyed at the familiar face that had not been seen for years. Her mouth hung agape, the words that had once been about to escape them gone.
“What is all this noise about?” Mr. Weasley said, coming into the kitchen behind Ron and Hermione. Harry tore his eyes from Mrs. Weasley to see a small boy in Mr. Weasley arms, flaming red hair just like Ron, and big brown eyes like Hermione. Mr. Weasley saw Harry and quickly echoed the same expression Mrs. Weasley wore. Harry just stared at Harry with a blank and confused face.
“Harry is that really you?” Mr. Weasley finally spoke, snapping out of his shock.
“Ye-Yes,” Harry’s voice cracked. “Yes, Mr. Weasley it’s me.”
“Well I’ll be…” Mr. Weasley said quietly, his arms slipping from around Harry as Hermione took him.
Harry turned to Mrs. Weasley who was turning a rosy shade of red, and he began to fear the worst. Taking her hand from his, Ginny shoved him lightly forward and Harry walked slowly over to Mrs. Weasley. “Mrs. Weasley…” Harry swallowed hard.
“Harry Potter!” Mrs. Weasley said shrilly and moved towards Harry. Just when it looked like she was going to raise her wand at him, he was surprised when she wrapped her death-grip on him. For a few minutes Harry was squeezed to death hearing things like “you are a damn moron for leaving” and “we missed you” and “call me Molly – I can only tell you so many times!”
Everyone was smiling, laughing, all relieved that Mrs. Weasley had taken it so well. Finally Harry was released, and Ginny slipped her hand back in his, smiling up at him. “He finally came to his senses mum,” she said simply.
Harry’s heart skipped a beat as he saw those big brown eyes sparkle. Looking at Molly, he saw a look of worried happiness. Though he knew there were some things she had to say to him about Ginny, she held her tongue and pushed everyone to the table to eat. Surprised by how quickly everything got back into routine, Harry sat between Ron and Ginny as Mrs. Weasley began serving food.
“You have a lot to explain,” Mrs. Weasley said as she placed a bowl of stew in front of Harry.
“Where would you like me to begin?” Harry said, after saying thank you.
“Where did you go would be a good start.” Mr. Weasley suggested as Mrs. Weasley placed a bowl of stew in front of him.
“Well, I caught a plane and went to Toronto, Canada.” Harry started.
“You went on a plane?” Mr. Weasley repeated his eyes wide.
“Arthur,” Mrs. Weasley warned as she sat down. “Go on dear,” Mrs. Weasley said forcing a smile.
Harry tried not to grin. “And I got a job at a small café chain in Toronto. The owner, Josh, had this house and was renting rooms out to some of his employees. He offered me a room, and since I had made friends with most of the people at work I agreed. They are all musicians and my friend, Emily, wanted to go on tour because she had some new material and wanted to see if it was worth recording. So they organized this huge thing, and basically asked me if I wanted to come along.”
“And that’s why he is here now,” Ginny finished.
“It doesn’t sound like your staying.” Mrs. Weasley said promptly.
Harry shook his head. “I think it is time for me to come home.”
Mrs. Weasley’s eyes teared up, and she quickly brushed them away. “You always have a home here, Harry.”
“Thank you Mrs. Weasley,” Harry said with a smile.
As Harry ate his stew, he glanced up to fine Harry Weasley staring at him with curious eyes that reminded him so much of Hermione. “He has your look,” Harry said without thinking.
Hermione smiled. “This is Harry, who you’re named after.” Hermione told the little boy.
“’Arry,” the little boy echoed.
Everyone smiled. “It’s the only word he knows besides mama and dada,” Hermione explained.
“We named you his unofficial Godfather,” Ron went on.
“Really?” Harry asked, surprised.
“Yes, you and Ginny are his Godparents.” Hermione confirmed.
Harry smiled, and looked back at Harry Weasley. Coming home wasn’t so bad, he thought. He was surrounded by friends and family again, and it seemed as though leaving was his biggest mistake ever. Sure, he had found a great life in Canada, and he would never give up the friends he had made there or the life experiences, but this was who he was. He thought about his music, and how he was supposed to open that night for Emily. He wasn’t sure if he could do it anymore. His stomach clenched at the idea, and he knew Ginny, Ron, and Hermione would all want to come to the show, to meet his friends from Canada. How could he go on stage knowing they were out there? And what would they think of him? Singing and playing guitar was so out of character for him… He had become a new person in Canada and he wasn’t sure if they would like it.
If Mrs. Weasley had had her way Harry would have never left The Burrow, and he would have had to endure a three hour party. But he told them he had previous engagements that he couldn’t miss. So they left, and went back to Ron and Hermione’s. Sitting in their living room, Harry couldn’t help but notice body language that told him they were curious as to what his ‘plans’ were.
“My friends have a show tonight, and I promised I would be there.” Harry told them. “As much as I would prefer to see everyone again, I made a promise that I’m going to keep.”
“And you need to tell them that you’re staying as well.” Ginny added.
Harry took a deep breath, and nodded. “Yeah, I need to do that too.”
Hermione caught his eye for a fraction of a second, and he knew she had caught his hesitation. Looking away quickly he turned to Ginny. “Tell your mother I’ll be at the Burrow tonight, around nine and I’ll be ready to celebrate. Can you do that for me?”
Ginny looked at him suspiciously, but nodded. “I can do that for you.”
Harry thanked her, and stood up. Grabbing the tea cups they were drinking from, he said he would bring them to the kitchen. Hermione jumped up immediately to help, and followed him into the kitchen.
“Where are you going Harry?” Hermione asked as they entered the kitchen.
“To the sink,” Harry said with a grin.
“No, where are you going tonight.” Hermione said.
Harry groaned, putting the cups in the sink. Turning to her he frowned. “I promised them I’d be at the concert.”
“I’m sure if you explained everything they wouldn’t mind if you missed it.” Hermione said a-matter-of-factly.
“It’s not that easy, Hermione.”
“Well tell me what makes it difficult.” Hermione countered.
Harry shook his head. “There is nothing to say, Hermione.”
“Where are you going to be tonight?” Hermione asked.
“A club called Spiral,” Harry told her.
“I’m coming to get you at nine Harry,” Hermione told him. “No excuses,” she added as she went over to the door.
So it was decided. Harry didn’t have a choice, and he wasn’t going to force it. Going back to the living room he saw that it was nearing five o’clock. He knew that Emily and everyone would be worrying about him. He didn’t want to leave Ginny or Ron or Hermione. They were talking about the old days, about things he had missed. But finally Ginny reminded him he had to go, so he went. Disapparating in the same old Alley, Harry landed just behind a bush by the Hostel. Hurrying inside, he found Josh in the living room talking to some girls that were staying at the Hostel, inviting them to come out to the show that night.
“Harry, where the hell have you been?” Josh said when he saw him.
“Catching up with some old friends.” Harry explained.
Josh smirked. “Yes, Emily said something about you causing a mysterious girl to faint.”
Harry looked a little embarrassed. “Oh, yeah, things are cleared up with her.”
“Are they?” Josh grinned, and pulled Harry along with him upstairs. “Is she coming tonight?”
“No, I’m meeting her after the show at her parents. They’ve planned a party for me.” Harry said, trying to save most of the details.
“A party? Anything we could join in?” Josh asked. He wasn’t really looking for an answer, and Harry decided not to give him one. Going back to their rooms Harry was quickly interrogated by everyone, as they had all heard of the incident with Ginny from Emily. She sat on the bed next to him, trying to look innocent but Harry could tell she was just as curious as the others as to what had happened after she left.
Finally Josh told everyone to settle down and to get ready because they had to be at the club in an hour. Harry was relieved when everyone went into a flurry to get ready and grab their stuff. Adam went ahead with Josh to bring some of the gear. Left alone with Emily and Georgia, they both turned to him with wide eyes.
“So?” Georgia asked, raising her brows mischievously.
“So what?” Harry asked as he searched through his bag for fresh clothes.
“Had a good afternoon?” Georgia laughed.
Harry turned on her and rolled his eyes. “Yeah, like I said, I saw Ginny, and we went to her parent’s house where some old friends were staying.”
“I thought you said you didn’t have friends in England.” Georgia murmured.
“I thought I didn’t,” Harry said mysteriously. “It’s kind of a long story, and I don’t even want to try and go through it all.”
“And Ginny?” Georgia pushed.
“What about her?” Harry asked, turning to look at them. They both gave him a meaningful look.
“Emily said she was one of the prettiest girls she had ever seen.” Georgia said, nodding her head to Emily who had so far stayed silent.
Harry reddened slightly, and turned back to his bag. “Well she is.”
Emily and Georgia both burst out laughing, hitting each other. Harry stared at them incredulously, but couldn’t help but laughing with them. “Did she take you back?” Georgia asked, shoving Emily lightly.
Harry rolled his eyes. “No, but she doesn’ seem as mad at me as I thought she would be.”
“And is she coming to the show tonight?” Emily asked, finally speaking.
Harry froze. “No, she’s not. None of them are.”
“Why?” Emily asked.
“I didn’t tell them about it.” Harry admitted.
“You didn’t tell them about the show, or you didn’t tell them that you would be in the show?” Georgia asked knowingly.
“I didn’t tell them I was in the show.” Harry finally admitted. “And I hope to keep them in the dark about that.”
“Harry,” Emily said softly and slowly he turned to look at her. “We know that you were a different person when you lived here, and we don’t really know all that much about it. But your music is amazing whether you want to admit it or not. And they should know about it, even if your afraid or embarrassed or what ever.”
Harry didn’t say anything, simply looked at the floor. Both Georgia and Emily stood up and headed to the door. “Where the cowboy shirt I gave you, it will make you look like a real rock star.” Emily said as they left.
Staring at the closed door, Harry frowned. He was being such a coward for not telling Ginny and the others about his music. But what was he supposed to tell them? It didn’t matter anyway. After this show he was going to put his guitar away for good, and go back to the life he loved and missed. He would go back to the ministry and finish his training as an Auror and live the rest of his days with Ginny. It was how he always planned it, and it’s what he still wanted.
Slamming his suitcase shut, he changed into his clothes, and grabbed his guitar hoping Josh and the others hadn’t left yet.
A/N: Sorry for taking so long! Again! Like I said, updates will be incredibly slow. I’m not really sure how many more chapters there is going to be after this. I think maybe two and then a epilogue. It is left to be decided. I hope you liked the chapter, and didn’t absolutely despise how I had the Weasley’s react. There is more drama to come, I promise you all. Thanks for reading!
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