Chapter 17 : Found Memories
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“Hey! Watch where you point that thing!” Harry pushed Ron’s wand to the side. “Look, I am not saying that you don’t have a valid suspicion but, really Ron, I don’t think Draco is behind this one. Trust me, I have looked.” Harry looked a bit sheepish and Ron suspected that Hermione probably had no idea that Harry ever suspected Malfoy.
“Yeah, well I think he did it and I will prove it!”
“Okay, just be careful. He may be married to Hermione now, but he is still a Slytherin.”
Ron cocked an eyebrow, as if he could forget what Malfoy was. “Look, just don’t let him catch you at sneaking about. For that matter, don’t let Hermione catch you either. Remember she can still hex a helluva lot better than you can.”
Ron’s face turned pink, and under his breath he muttered, “Glad I can’t remember then.” A bit louder Ron said, “So did you find anything when you were in Longford?”
“No, though we hadn’t really expected to.” Harry began packing a bag for their trip to Japan that day.
“Yeah, guess not.”
“So... talked to Blakely recently?”
“She owled me the other day, but I haven’t written back yet.” Ron sat on the edge of Harry’s bed and watched as Harry folded up a navy blue robe.
“Why not?” Harry raised a questioning eyebrow in Ron’s direction.
Ron scratched the back of his head, leaving bits of his hair sticking out to the side. “Dunno.” He shrugged. “Not really any point is there?”
Harry let the subject drop, for which Ron was grateful.
“You ready yet, mate?”
Harry shoved a black cloak into this bag and then zipped it shut. “Yep, ready.”
“I meant, are you ready to get married?”
Harry’s face blanched and he gulped before answering in a clear voice, “Yes.”
“Right answer,” Ron replied and then patted his friend on the back as they made their way downstairs where the rest of the family was gathered. They were taking the floo that Hermione had hooked up with Ginny and Harry’s fireplace and all the red heads (and a couple varying other colors) queued up in front of the stone hearth awaiting their turn to enter the flames.
“Oh, why did you insist on having them all stay here?” Hermione fumed while straitening up the last of the guest rooms for the Weasleys.
Draco was helping her to put the rooms in order, under penalty of serious injury from Hermione.
“Keeping my enemies close,” he mumbled while throwing the last pillow onto the bed.
“The Weasleys are not your enemies.” She huffed and, arms crossed, gave Draco an exasperated look complete with blowing a stray curl from in front of her face.
“Yeah right,” he said in response before tucking the newly placed pillows under the quilt.
Hermione stared at him until he looked up from his task. Her fiery stare made him raise his arms in submission. “Fine. They aren’t my enemies. Happy?” He grimaced
“That’ll do for now. This is a big deal for Ginny and Harry and I won’t have you ruining it.” Her tone softened as she approached him and wrapped her arms around his waist. “I know that it is hard for you. It isn’t always easy for me to reconcile the two halves of my life but please try to be nice, for me.”
He lowered his arms and wrapped them around her small form. “I’ll see what I can do.”
Hermione smiled into his chest, hoping that any plans that he had formed before had been wiped out with this conversation. She had fretted about it ever since he calmly invited the entire family to stay with them. Knowing her husband would never do something out of the goodness of his own heart, she worried that there might have been some devious plan developing in that twisted Slytherin brain of his.
Relief filled her, and now all she needed to worry about was being in the same house as Ron the entire week. Thankfully there would be so many other people there that she would be able to avoid him quite easily, or so she hoped.
The clock in the hall chimed ten, and Hermione jumped at the invasive noise. “They’ll be here any second.” She ran out of the room and down the hall into the only room with a fireplace just as the green flames flared to life.
Out popped Ginny, followed closely by her mother and father. There was hardly time to greet one member before another flash of the flames indicated that someone else was coming through. Bill came next followed by Fleur, who clutched Victoire closely. Then Percy, Audrey, Charlie, George, Angelina, and Harry finally appeared. When there wasn’t another flare of green after Harry, Hermione stared into the fireplace; feelings of relief as well as regret consumed her.
She gave hugs to the entire party and was just about to show them all to their respective rooms when the fire flashed and out came the last Weasley. He stooped low so as not to bump his head on the mantel and ducked into the room, not bothering to look anywhere but the floor.
“Glad you could make it,” Hermione managed to eke out. “Now if you will all just follow me, I’ll show you where you’ll be staying so you can get settled in.”
The place they had rented had low ceilings, and some of the members of the party (mainly Ron) had to stoop slightly in certain areas of the home. It was more of a compound then a house. Hallways led into little cabana like structures that were all built around a Japanese styled garden. Each structure boasted a couple of rooms and a large balcony overlooking the garden. There were 6 structures in all.
The main one was the one that the Weasleys just entered through, and was made up of four rooms. It contained a library, kitchen, study, and one guest room. Hermione directed Charlie in the direction of this first room and led the rest through the remainder of the home, losing a couple of Weasleys at every stop.
She had put Harry and Ginny in the same cabana house as their own, and grouped Percy and Audrey with his parents. Angelina, George and Ron all shared a little house, and Bill, Fleur, and Victoire took the last. The remaining cabana was used as their bath house, and had a rather large soaking tub planted in the middle of the room.
They planned to get settled and then meet in the kitchen area for a light lunch. After that Ginny, Harry and Hermione would ‘run errands’ while everyone else stayed to help sort out the rest of the unpacking.
“It won’t take long; I just needed some help with a couple of errands I wanted to run today.” Hermione said as she looked at her watch.
“Dear, would you like me to come too?” Ron heard his mum pipe in as she rose from her seat.
“NO!” Ginny moved quickly towards their mum and pushed her back down. “No, we’ll be fine. Like Hermione said, it won’t take very long.”
Everyone looked at Ginny oddly, but she brushed it off and turned to face Hermione. “Ready to go then?” Ginny grabbed Harry by the arm, and they followed behind as Hermione rushed from the house.
“What’s got her knickers in a twist?” George muttered to Charlie behind his hand.
Molly snapped her head around and glared at George, who turned red and quickly put his hand back at his side.
“So, Ron, Charlie, Bill and Angelina can take the library. George, Percy and Audrey can take the study. Arthur and I will finish setting up the kitchen.” Molly began bustling about the room while all her children remained seated at the table, still debating if they were supposed to listen to her or not.
“Why can’t I be with Ange?” George whined.
“Because I want you to actually do some work, not sit in a corner and snog each other’s faces off.” His mum retorted back.
“What about me?” Fleur asked as she pulled a knife out of Victoire’s reach. “Em I to just seet and watch?”
“Well, you have Victoire to look after.” Molly turned to face her daughter-in-law.
“You can help me to finish up the bedroom,” a deep voice came from doorway.
Draco stood there with a devilish smirk on his face. Ron inwardly shuddered at the sight of him. Why couldn’t he just leave them all in peace as he had for lunch?
Bill didn’t look too pleased with the idea of his wife and child spending any alone time with a Malfoy, let alone in his bedroom. “Maybe I should help with the bedroom, too.” The look on his face brooked no argument.
Draco just shrugged. “Have it your way.” He turned and walked out of the room, and the rest of the family took that as their cue to relax.
“What are you all just sitting around for? Get to work!”
At their mother’s request everyone shot up out of their seats and to their respective tasks.
Ron followed Charlie into the library with Angelina closely on their heels.
“She’s a bit scary sometimes,” she said once they were all safely tucked away into the library.
Both brothers nodded their heads in agreement.
There were bookshelves lining the entire back wall, and a wall of windows with a sliding door leading out onto a balcony overlooking the garden in the middle of the compound. Boxes filled with books piled up against the wall opposite it. It was these that they were to put away.
A bit of parchment laid out on one of the only bits of furniture stated exactly how the books were to be ordered.
“Should have figured,” Charlie groaned aloud.
“What?” Angelina asked.
Charlie showed her the parchment, and she too grunted in annoyance.
“Well, it’s not like we didn’t know.” Charlie continued. “I mean, Ron, remember that…” Charlie’s voice faded off as he took a look at his youngest brother.
Ron went white and turned his head towards one of the stacks of boxes, making as if to open one.
Ron just grunted and continued to work his way into the top box on the left.
After that they all worked quietly, the other two far too embarrassed to speak and Ron so absorbed in his own thoughts that he hardly registered the lack of conversation. He looked through each box diligently, and leafed through several of the books as if looking for something.
The box he was looking into seemed to be filled with Hermione’s books, as her name was written in each cover. Ron needed to find some of Draco’s, so instead of organizing the stacks he decided to tear into a few more of the boxes to see if he could find any trace of a clue to help him prove Draco responsible for his kidnapping.
After the last box had been ripped through and there was still no whisper of anything, Ron sat dejectedly in the corner. His brother and Angelina decided to let him slack off for a bit, and didn’t seem to bother that he was now being a useless git.
Ron stared around the room, looking for something that might hold a secret. His eyes fixed on a tote bag tucked away towards the front of the room by the door. He got up from his sulking spot and went over to the bag.
Sure it was Hermione’s, but maybe there was something in there worth seeing. He pulled it open, and saw to his amazement that there were not only more books, but also small stools, a lamp, a filing cabinet, and a clothes rack with all manner of robes hung on it.
Pulling out his wand he first started with the filing cabinet, sure that if there was some kind of paper trail it would be hidden in this.
“Whatcha got there?” Ron jumped and saw that Charlie and Angelina had moved and now stood right beside him.
“God, it look like Mary Poppins has some serious competition.” Angelina observed.
They all started to pull things from the tote; only leaving the clothing rack behind, figuring that was meant for the bedroom.
Charlie sorted out the furniture and placed it precariously around the room while Angelina began sorting the remaining books found in the tote. Ron decided to tackle the filing cabinet, and when asked what he was doing he suggested that it might have more of the books and such things that Hermione might store in the library.
They each went about their tasks, only speaking to complain or comment on something they had come across. Ron had no luck in the filing cabinet, and was beginning to get peeved that he hadn’t been put on study duty with George and Percy instead of this library nonsense when Angelina dropped a book and the sound jolted him out of his frustration.
He turned around to see a book on the floor, but the contents of it seemed to have been spilled. When he looked a bit closer, he noticed that it was not a book at all but some sort of hiding spot. Figuring that that must be what he was looking for, he dashed over to where Angelina sat gathering up the loose items.
When he came near, Angelina tried to push him away but he held his ground and began to sort through the objects. There were letters and a few odd pieces, such as a wine cork with the number one written on the top, a sprig of dried bluebells and a stack of pictures.
Ron began to suspect that this was not Draco’s hiding place at all, and his suspicion was confirmed when he looked down to see his own handwriting staring back at him. Angelina stopped trying to pull everything out of Ron’s way once she saw the look on his face, and even Charlie came over to see what was causing such a ruckus.
“Maybe you should just put it back,” Angelina pleaded.
“Put what… Oh.” Charlie said as he finally neared where they were crouched on the floor.
Even though Ron’s head screamed at him to just listen to Angelina and put the letters back, his hands acted of their own accord and his eyes couldn’t help but read the writing on the worn pages.
Happy Christmas. I hope you like the bookmark. It isn’t much, but it lights up in the dark so you can read your book at night.
Harry and I have been playing wizard chess all break and the pieces that he’s borrowed are now refusing to play with him. It’s pretty funny watching them cower in the corner.
Hope your Christmas is fun.
Egypt is cool. Fred and George tried to get Percy to go into a cursed tomb, but unfortunately for them mum found out what they were up to. They haven’t been able to sit properly for three days.
Ginny’s been really quiet, and I think she might have gotten sick in one of the tombs. It had a big stone snake wrapped around a mummy, and mum said she can’t go in anymore. So now she is moping.
See you when we get back.
Found this perfume at that posh store in Diagon Alley.
I miss you. Two days won’t be so bad though, and I will be back before you know it. When I get home we can figure out what to do about you being the MCO for Malfoy. They can’t be daft enough to think that he has changed. He should be watched by an Auror, not my girlfriend.
The convention is actually pretty exciting, and George says that we already have offers to bring a shop into America. Don’t know who we’d get to run it, but it would be great to go international.
Be home soon.
There were more letters and notes written on everything from napkins to a matchbook. After that last one though, his body started listening to his mind and he threw the lot back into the secret book. His stomach started to convulse and he began to feel the bile rising up his throat.
“You okay?” His brother broke in, and Ron looked up at Charlie as if he was surprised to find he was not alone.
“Yeah,” Ron managed to croak out before he got up and rushed from the room to the nearest toilet.
A/N: So... what do you think? Were the letters good? DId they sound like something Ron would have sent?
Thanks so much to those of you who are reading and special thanks to those who have been reviewing, I love feedback.
P.S. My beta rocks! Thanks Georgia Weasley!
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