Harry woke up to the sound of heavy footsteps that could be unmistakably Hagrid’s as he moved around his cottage. The fire was still lit when Harry woke, its warmth having caused his face to turn a rosy shade. As he stood up to stretch he watched as Hagrid used his umbrella wand to pour water into a kettle. As Hagrid’s massive frame turned to Harry, he paused in surprise.
“’Morning ‘Arry, ‘ope I didna’ wake ya.” He said walking over to the fireplace to put a cauldron over the fire. “There will be some stew for ya if ya want it.”
“Thanks Hagrid, that would be great.” Harry said sitting up, and rubbing his eyes. Searching around him blindly for a few minutes, he found where his glasses and pushed them roughly on to his face. “How is Hogwarts?” Harry asked, noticing flakes of snow on Hagrid’s head.
“Hogwarts is well, m’boy. Professor McGonagall is enjoying her new position quite well now that the school ‘as been rebuilt.” Hagrid replied, disappearing in the kitchen, and returning with two cups of steaming tea which he placed on the table for Harry to take.
“Who is teaching Transfiguration now?” Harry asked. He had stood up and started to fold the blankets for Hagrid.
“A new teacher by the name of Audrey Blackwood. She’s young, only graduated five years ago. But she has a quick wit, and she actually is Minerva’s niece.” Hagrid said happily.
“That’s good, really good…” Harry was at a loss for what to say. “It’s good to know that things have gone back to normal.”
Hagrid nodded. “Now what are ya going ta do today?”
“I don’t know,” Harry admitted. “I suppose I should go back to the Hotel and explain myself to everyone. They are probably all pissed at me for skipping out on them without an explanation.”
“What about the Weasley’s?” Hagrid eyed Harry.
Harry stared into the fire. “I’ll figure that one out as soon as I have my Canadian friends sorted out.”
Car fumes surrounded Harry as he walked down the road, his head bent down to the ground. People walked past him briskly, rushing to their destinations. Harry’s glasses momentarily fogged as he breathed into his chest. Only an hour before he had been saying goodbye to Hagrid in the middle of The Three Broomsticks about to Floo to the Leaky Cauldron. Now he was walking down a familiar street to see Emily and the rest of the gang. He had been searching his mind along the way trying to think of what he should say, how he would explain. The truth seemed to be the easiest response so far even though he knew they wouldn’t believe it.
A hand appeared around Harry’s arm, and Harry looked up to stare Josh and Alan in the face. They both looked relieved, and pulled Harry off the sidewalk. “Where the hell did you go last night?” they asked in unison.
Harry stared at them in a stupor. He hadn’t quite expected this. “I was in Scotland.”
“Scotland?” Josh nearly shouted.
“How the hell did you get there and back?” Alan asked immediately after the shock had worn off.
Harry shook his head. “I’ll explain it later, and we go back to the hostel please? Or at least can we go somewhere warm?”
Josh nodded. “Yeah let’s get back to the hostel. Alan can you call everybody and tell them we found him.”
“Sure thing,” Alan answered, and pulled his cell phone out and began dialing the numbers.
Josh put his arm on Harry and they started to walk, Alan trailing behind them as he told people to call off the search. “So do you want to tell me what happened last night?” Josh didn’t look at Harry, but he could tell he wasn’t pleased.
“I didn’t mean to cause a problem, I’m really sorry about last night but I couldn’t go back in there. I had some things to deal with.” Harry answered lamely.
“Things to deal with? Are you serious Harry? You were on stage, just about to finish your final song, and you stopped and jumped off the stage. It was like something possessed you. You were really good Harry – best I’ve ever seen you play before and you just threw it all away for what? I don’t even know because you didn’t stop to explain!” Josh was annoyed, and harry didn’t know if he could solve this one.
“I know… it was really wrong of me. But my fiancé, well, I hope she still wants to be my fiancé, was there and she didn’t know about the music thing. None of my friends did and they showed up last night.” Harry struggled to explain.
“So that means you run off and leave?” Josh looked angry now.
“No it doesn’t. I’m not saying that at all. But it was either I went after them or I would never see them again.” Harry stopped Josh from walking any further. “I didn’t tell them about the music thing because I’m the last person you would expect to become a musician. My fiancé, Ginny, was in an accident that was my fault and went into a coma. I thought I would never get to see her again. I left the country went to Canada and met you guys. The next thing I know I’m back here and all my friends and family show up and then there is Ginny. A girl I love who I never thought I would see again was there, staring at me with these eyes. I chased after her. She was mad because I had lied to her again.”
“That’s why you left?” Josh’s betrayed himself. Harry could see he wasn’t mad anymore.
“That’s why I left. I couldn’t continue knowing that I wouldn’t see her again.” Harry confirmed.
“So you went to Scotland? Explain that one – that’s a far distance to travel Harry.” Josh looked skeptical.
This was a lot harder to explain Harry had planned, but he quickly amended his words. “I was trying to get to Scotland. She lives in a small town by the mountains. I met her the day before, she was in town visiting some old friends of ours, and she told me she was going to catch a train back to Scotland after the show – I told her about it but I didn’t say I was in it. She wanted to see me before she left. But I blew it, and I thought she would going to catch a train so I went after her. I never found her, and I had left all my money at the club.”
“Where did you spend the night? Why didn’t you just come back to the hostel and explain yourself last night?” Josh asked.
“I slept on a park bench. To be honest with you I thought you wouldn’t want to see me after I left the show. Emily and Georgia are pissed at me, aren’t they?” Harry asked, already knowing the answer.
Josh nodded. “They didn’t say what had happened only that you probably wouldn’t be coming back. What did happen?”
“I yelled at them, I didn’t really say anything though. That’s why they’re mad at me.” Harry explained.
“Well you can explain everything to them when we get back.” Josh said.
They started walking again, and Harry got curious. “What happened after I left?”
Josh grinned. “It went really well, actually. Georgia and Emily were still upset but they put all into the show and it was really fantastic. At the end we all gathered on stage and played a few songs together and we went out after for some drinks. But I think the best part was the reviews this morning.”
“Why, what did they say?” Harry was excited. He was glad to hear the night went well even after he left.
“This one reviewer said it was the most exciting show they had been to in a long time. A lot of people said it was really good, a really cool show of young and hip Canadian artists. They thought your exit – chasing after some girl was romantic and just made your songs a thousand times more poignant.” Josh bragged.
“That’s good – I was worried.” Harry couldn’t help himself. He knew that the meeting he was soon to have would probably end all ties with Emily, Georgia, Teddy, Adam, Alan, and Josh. But he couldn’t help but feel excited that the show had received such success, and that he had been a part of it.
When they got back to the hostel, Harry waited in the main area for the others to come. He couldn’t keep his nerves at bay, and kept drumming his fingers against the arm of his chair. He stared at the doorway, listening for the sound of their voices amongst the banging and shouting that was going on in the hostel. Then, they were there.
Adam and Alan entered first. Alan didn’t look too angry – but he had already heard the whole story – but Adam didn’t either. After them Georgia, Josh, Teddy, and Emily all came into the room, all looking happy and cheerful.
“Harry! We thought we wouldn’t see you again!” Teddy shouted, slapping Harry on the back, followed by Emily hugging him.
“You have to tell us everything – did you find Ginny?” Georgia gushed, hugging him tightly.
“You are staying on tour with us right? The show was so good – even though you left.” Adam asked.
Harry stood still surprised by this reaction. The questions bounced off of him, and they all sat down.
“So what happened?” Emily repeated.
Harry shook out of his reserve. “So you guys aren’t mad at me?”
Emily rolled her eyes. “We’re not mad – I mean I wish you had stayed but you had to do what you had to do. Harry, we knew things weren’t going to be all hunky-dory after we ran into your old fiancé. So what happened?”
“Yes, give us all the dirt! Did you find her?” Georgia added.
Harry shook his head. “No, she’s gone. Home probably. I went to Kings Cross to look for her, and ended up staying there all night.”
“Oh, that’s not nice.” Georgia said sadly.
“You are staying on tour with us right?” Adam asked, putting his had on Harry’s shoulder.
“I hope so. If I can find a way to make things work and I can’t finish the tour I’m fine with that. I hope you don’t mind. I’m going to find some old friends tonight – they were there as well and I’m sure they want an explanation.” Harry answered.
“So you can’t come to the show tonight?” Josh asked now.
“I’ll try,” Harry said looking at him.
“Why are they so shocked you were playing?” Teddy asked. “Is it really that big of a surprise?”
“Yes,” Harry said shortly. “Never in my life did I ever show an interest in music. I knew about singers and bands and that but I never was into it recreationally. Not until I hung out with you guys did I take an interest.”
“Were you some kind of jock?” Alan smirked.
“Pretty much,” Harry admitted, finding those choice words the best.
“Well, if she can’t handle that you’re into music now then that’s her problem.” Emily said firmly.
“It’s not that easy,” Harry argued. “I had actually planned last night that the concert had been my last show and that I was going to get back with Ginny and start my life here early.” Harry admitted.
“What?” Georgia nearly shouted. “You can’t do that Harry – I won’t let you.”
“If you only knew,” Harry said under his breath. “I changed my mind. Sitting at the station, I met a guy who had some really good advice for me. He told me I could have both worlds. He told me if I just explained myself, told Ginny why I didn’t tell her about the music she would understand. And if I explained why I left to you guys, and why everything happened the way it did you would understand because after all you are my friends; my family.” Harry finished, feeling a little awkward.
“You seriously met a guy at the train startion who told you all that?” Adam was amazed.
“London a crazy city,” Alan added.
“Shut up you two,” Emily said, elbowing Adam in the side.
Georgia had tears in her eyes. “I’m just happy your safe, Harry. We’ll help you find Ginny and make everything right.”
“Yeah man, we can definitely sort this entire thing out.” Teddy added.
“So what are we doing now?” Harry asked, looking to Josh.
“Well we’re supposed to be in sound check.” Josh replied, staring at everyone. Nobody said anything, and Josh went on. “How about everyone goes to sound check, I’ll get Harry’s guitars checked and everything and he can go look for his friends.”
“I’m going with him,” Georgia in-put.
“No, I’m fine.” Harry quickly said, thinking of how angry Ron and Hermione would be if he brought her with him. They would probably say it was so they couldn’t guilt him about the past.
“Are you sure Harry?” Georgia asked, surprised by his quick refusal.
“I’m fine; I don’t think they would appreciate it if I brought someone along they didn’t know. They have been my friends since I was eleven, and were really hurt when I left England without telling them where I was going. It has to be just me explaining everything; telling them whole truth.” Harry told them all.
“Here, you can have my car; I’ll take your spot in the van.” Josh said, handing Harry the keys to his car.
Harry laughed, “I can’t drive, Josh. And don’t worry about it anyway; they don’t live that far away.”
“Okay, but you have to call me by seven o’clock to tell me if you’re coming to the show or not.” Josh said, handing Harry a cell phone. “The number for the club is in there.”
Harry nodded. “I will – I should get going though. Thanks for not being mad at me guys, really, I was so worried that I had ruined the night and the show.”
Everybody was standing, and Georgia and Emily took turns giving him a big hug and wishing him good luck. As he was leaving, they followed him to the door.
“I can’t believe I’ve known you all this time and I never knew you couldn’t drive.” Josh laughed, and slapped Harry on the back. “I hope to see you tonight.”
“I do too, thanks.” Harry said, and left.
Outside, Harry hurried down the street to an empty door way. He held his wand tightly in his pocket, afraid that if he did this wrong he would somehow loose it. Thinking hard on the disgusting hallway of Ron and Hermione’s flat, Harry Disapparated.
The stench was worse than Harry had remembered, and he gagged. Covering his face with his arm he walked towards the flat door, and knocked three times. He waited to hear the sound of footsteps or any sign of life but there was nothing. Stepping back Harry realized that they weren’t home. Where else could they have been? He didn’t really need to ask himself that one. Deep down he knew where they were – The Burrow. Scratching his head, Harry tried to think of what he should do. He could go to The Burrow, where he was most certainly not welcome or just never see his friends or Ginny again.
That wasn’t an option. Without hesitation Harry Disapparated again and Harry found himself standing in the back garden of the Weasley home. He could hear laughter drifting from the open window, and George Weasley’s loud voice. They were all home, and they were laughing. Did he really want to ruin their fun?
Harry jumped, spinning around. Ginny was standing a few yards from him, Harry Jr. holding tightly to her dress. She didn’t look happy, but she didn’t seem to be too angry. In fact her voice sounded surprised.
“Hi, I uh,” Harry faltered.
Ginny bent down and looked at Harry Jr. “Why don’t you go inside Harry, I’m sure your mum wants you in from the cold.”
The little boy nodded, and hurried into the house, taking a moment to pause and stare at Harry before finally going inside. Ginny moved closer to Harry, and looked at him, her brown eyes flaming. “So, why are you here?”
“To tell you I’m sorry, and to explain.” Harry tried.
“Explain what? Why you lied to me? Decided to keep something as big as you playing a ruddy instrument and being in some kind of band, have you? I thought I knew everything about you Harry. When I saw you again, nothing about you changed. You were still Harry, just a few years older. And you told me about everything and I thought he still loves me, and he came back because he realized it didn’t matter where he went or what he did he still belonged here with me. And then I go into that club last night and you were singing Harry. You were playing a guitar, and I didn’t recognize you at first and then... I realized it was you, and it was so confusing... I didn’t know it was you.” There were tears in Ginny’s eyes, her face was red.
Harry moved forward, wanting to put his arms around her to stop her from crying. Ginny shook her head, and pushed him away. “Ginny, I’m still the same person. I know it was probably weird, but… did you listen to the lyrics?”
“No,” Ginny said through her tears. “I just couldn’t believe you didn’t tell me.”
“Well, I thought you would laugh at me.” Harry admitted, his face burning.
Ginny gave a struggled laugh. “I’m laughing at you because you are so stupid to think that. If it’s something you like then why would I think you’re stupid? I mean, it would take time to get used to but I would get used to it. I just felt… looking up at that stage I didn’t know who you were, and it scared me because I thought... I thought we knew everything about each other.”
Harry laughed, and finally pulled Ginny into his chest. She wrapped her arms around him tightly, letting him finally hold her. “I love you Ginny, and I won’t leave you ever again and I won’t ever lie to you again.”
“I love you to,” Ginny said and looked up at Harry. He smiled down at her and kissed her deeply. She squeezed him tightly, and wrapped her legs around his waist. He held her tiny frame against him, and finally broke away. Ginny grinned at him, and then laughed.
“You’re not still laughing at me, are you?” Harry asked, arching his eyebrows downward.
“No, it’s just we have an audience.” Ginny said dropping to the ground. Still holding her he turned to look behind and saw that Ginny’s entire family was cramming their faces in the back door window.
Harry turned back around and looked at Ginny. “They hate me, don’t they?”
Ginny shook her head. “Not even – they still don’t know that you’re back. Well, they didn’t know up until now so if anything they just would like an explanation.”
Harry nodded and smiled. Ginny winked at him and started to walk, but Harry stopped her just to check one last time. “So you’re not mad at me? For not telling you the whole truth, and leaving, and-”
Ginny stopped Harry from talking. “To be honest Harry, I’m tired of trying to be indifferent. Besides, now that I have you, you aren’t ever leaving.” She last sentence with a devilish grin, and pulled Harry to the Burrow.
A/N: So I thought I would get the Weasley's in this chapter, but I changed my mind. I thought Harry making amends with Ginny again* would be a good place to end it. There are probably two or three more chapters that I can squeeze out of this, so we'll see. Thanks for reading, and please leave a review! Thanks!!!