Chapter 4 : The Weasley Return
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The Weasley Return
Thursday had come faster than Harry Potter had expected. Maybe this was because with no Ginny to see during Ministry Training, he had nothing to do and went home a lot earlier than usual or maybe it was simply because he was so busy training, time just decided to fly out of the window. All he knew was, he was now getting ready for Bill’s return from Egypt. Harry knew that Bill and Fleur hadn’t seen much of each other the past four or five months, as Bill had been away curse-breaking in Egypt while Fleur stayed at home in France but now both were coming to The Burrow for a couple of weeks and there would be a wonderful Weasley dinner to accompany them. Harry was quite pleased with this as he always enjoyed Mrs Weasley’s cooking, especially his favourite Treacle Tart that she cooked so brilliantly.
After another abandoned attempt to flatten his hair, (he even tried his luck with some charms, but if anything, they made his hair look worse) Harry stepped into his fireplace, grabbing a handful of Floo Powder, and shouted, ‘THE BURROW!’ before letting it go on himself and watching as green flames engulfed him. When the flames died down, he was staring out at The Burrow. He stepped out, to see the whole Weasley family in the Sitting Room. Standing close to the fire, as if waiting for him, was Mrs Weasley, who immediately embraced Harry into a bone-crushing hug.
Also in the room was Mr Weasley, who was sitting on one of the single chairs in the room. A couch was being shared between Ron, Hermione and Ginny. Charlie Weasley, who Harry had also not seen in a while (Charlie had been home quite a lot over the past year, but also busy working in London) was standing up, just left of the room, talking to George Weasley, who’s missing ear had been replaced by a magical duplicate and finally Bill Weasley was sitting in the final chair in the room, with Fleur Delacour standing over him, stroking his long, red hair. She was talking to him very fast in what Harry thought was French, but he had no idea that Bill could speak or understand a word of French.
‘Welcome, Harry, dear!’ Mrs Weasley cried, finally unleashing her bear-like grip. Harry was still amazed that someone could hug so tightly, especially Mrs Weasley who was at least a head shorter than Harry.
‘Hey, everyone.’ Harry replied back, and was met with a murmur of Hello’s and How are you’s. Bill waved at him, but was in deep conversation with Fleur, and so didn’t start a conversation with Harry.
Ginny got up off her seat and put her arms around Harry’s neck, kissing him on the lips and smiling, ‘I missed you!’ she grinned. ‘Told you I would.’
‘Guess you did.’ Harry smirked. Ginny hugged him tightly, and waved her wand, pulling up a spare chair for Harry to sit in. When Harry looked surprised, she said, ‘When you live in this house, conjuring chairs is a spell as important as Expelliarmus.'
Harry gratefully took the seat, and Ginny returned to hers. They all took in turns to catch up with Harry, and Harry enjoyed talking to Charlie, and later Bill, who he hadn’t caught up with in a long time. Bill mentioned some news from Egypt, but said he would discuss it later. Charlie told Harry his work was going great, while George told him Weasley Wizard Wheezes was also doing well.
‘We’ve just got some new products in.’ George chimed. Harry noticed how George always said ‘We’ve’ and ‘Us’ even though he was the sole owner of Weasley Wizard Wheezes but Harry assumed this was more out of habit that anything. ‘We’ve forked out a fair few galleons to stock up on Crumplies.’
‘Crumplies?’ Harry asked, confused.
‘They’re funny little creatures. After the success of Pygmy Puffs, we’ve been looking into more small creatures, and the Crumplies seem our best bet. They're like little tiny frogs I guess would be the best way to describe them, but really small, no bigger than a walnut.’ George explained.
‘Why are they called Crumplies?’ Harry asked, amused.
‘Well, you see, when they are scared, they crumple up into little balls. They can fold their skin more than anything I’ve ever seen. They are like scrunched up paper balls when they do it... but green.’ George added.
‘And are they doing well?’
‘Well?’ George asked, ‘Try amazing. We thought the Pygmy Puff’s sold fast, but man, these are going faster than we’re ordering them in. But at 4 sickles a piece, they are extremely cheap.’
‘Why are you selling them so cheaply?’ Harry asked.
‘Well, we buy them so cheaply. They are generally quite cheap to breed and sell, which is why they’re so popular I guess.’ George replied.
‘And do they do anything... interesting?’ Harry asked lamely.
‘Well, not really.’ George replied, ‘But neither do the Pygmy Puffs... I guess people just like the company. I mean, before Arnold died, he used to always hang around Ginny, didn’t he?’
Harry nodded. Arnold died a couple of weeks before Harry’s eighteenth birthday and Ginny was distraught, but the Pygmy Puff’s simply didn’t have that long a lifespan.
‘How long do Crumplies live?’ Harry asked.
‘Not as long as Pygmy Puffs.’ George added, ‘I think that’s the only downfall, to be honest... still, Ginny will most probably buy one.’
A few minutes later, Mrs Weasley popped her head out of the kitchen and announced dinner was ready. Everyone made their way around the dinner table, and Harry took a seat next to Ginny. Mrs Weasley served up dishes of Shepherd’s Pie and Roast Potatoes complete with gravy. She also offered Butterbeer or Pumpkin Juice to whoever wanted it, and then sat down herself, putting the spare portions of Shepherd’s Pie and Roast Potatoes on the table, for anyone to take. They all hurriedly began to eat, obviously hungry. Harry had forgotten how good Mrs Weasley’s cooking was, as he hadn’t had a meal over there for a couple of weeks. It was a good five or ten minutes later, that Bill spoke.
‘So, we had some news in Egypt.’ Bill said, not looking happy, ‘Turns out, that in the village of Istabl Antar, not far from where we were breaking curses, there was a murder.’
Harry looked up, ‘A murder?’ and Bill nodded.
‘There was an old squib named Adam Akil who lived near the archaeologists there... he had a hut full of research on Ancient Magic, but he was killed and most of his papers were taken.’ Bill grimaced.
‘That’s terrible!’ Hermione cried, and Bill nodded.
‘It is.’ Bill said, ‘You’d think after Voldemort there’d be peace in the world.’
‘Ancient Magic?’ Harry repeated.
‘Yeah, it’s a very sceptical part of magic history. All sorts of magic was supposed to exist, magic we wouldn’t even ponder the thought of existing today.’ Bill replied.
‘And is the Ancient Magic... real?’ Harry asked, and Bill shrugged.
‘That’s exactly it, no-one knows... but nobody shows interest in Ancient Magic anymore.’ Bill replied.
‘Why not?’ Harry asked, persistently.
‘Well,’ Bill said, ‘If there is such thing as all of this Ancient Magic, no-one ever comes near finding it, and if someone claims to find some Ancient Magic, they’ve never gotten it to work. I bet there are people who believe, and maybe Ancient Magic does exist and is still very active in certain parts of the world, but I for one, have never heard of such nonsense.’
‘Nonsense?’ Harry repeated.
‘Well, if Ancient Magic was real, surely we’d have Wizards finding it and using it?’ Bill protested. A thought occurred to Harry.
‘But Ancient Magic does exist.’ He said, ‘It was Ancient Magic that was activated when my mother sacrificed herself for me.’
Bill nodded, ‘Of course, but that just sort of happened and I believe there is that sort of Ancient Magic around... but to actually control it with a wand? Actually use the spells at your own will? Seems very unlikely to me, mate.’
Eventually, the conversation steered away from Ancient Magic and the murder and onto things like the Quidditch World Cup, which Ron and George were very excited for, while Mrs Weasley served desert, which Harry was pleased to see was Treacle Tart.
‘Well, they couldn’t run it last year, Harry.’ Ron said, ‘So the Quidditch World Cup is this year instead. The group stages start in June.’
Once everyone had finished desert, Mrs Weasley cleared all their trays with a flick of her wand. Everyone seemed full, and when darkness began to creep on them, everyone began to call it a night. Harry, in particular, decided he would be on his way back to Grimmauld Place, until Mrs Weasley called for him.
‘Harry dear, why don’t you spend the night here?’ Mrs Weasley asked, ‘I certainly don’t mind, and I know it can probably get extremely lonely over at Grimmauld Place.’
‘Mrs Weasley, you already have a house full and there’s no... .’
‘Nonsense.’ Mrs Weasley interrupted, ‘You can share with Ron, there’s plenty of room here. I don’t mind at all, Harry.’
If he hadn’t have been extremely full and extremely tired, Harry wouldn’t have accepted, but he decided it would make Mrs Weasley feel better, and so he nodded his head and Mrs Weasley beamed.
‘Alright, then!’ She smiled brightly, ‘You know which room it is, Harry. I’m off to bed, goodnight.’ And Mrs Weasley rushed upstairs. The only people left in the Sitting Room now were Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Harry.
‘Well, I’m off to bed.’ Called Hermione, as she made her way to the Sitting Room door, and Ron followed her up, telling Harry to hurry up after him. Ginny seemed to stay behind purposely, and Harry figured she wanted to talk to him. When Ron was finally out of the way, Harry turned to Ginny, who was plumping the pillows.
‘So, what did you want to talk about, Gin?’ Harry asked, and Ginny turned to him.
‘You stayed behind.’ Harry smirked, ‘You obviously wanted to stay and chat in private.’
‘Oh, yeah.’ She said, hastily, ‘Well, the thing is... I was going to... ask Mum if I could move in with you.’
Sudden happiness burst through Harry’s chest. This was blatantly obvious because he beamed thoroughly, his grin reaching his ears, ‘That’s great, Gin!’
‘Maybe...’ She said, ‘But I can’t see how I’m going to ask her. I mean, she obviously knows about us, but I don’t know how serious she thinks we are... and will she let me move out at seventeen?’
‘Well, you are of age, Gin.’ Harry stated.
‘Oh, I know that.’ Ginny replied, ‘But this is Mum we’re talking about. If it were up to her, we wouldn’t be of age till we were twenty-five!’
Harry laughed, ‘Then why don’t you wait, just a bit longer? Until your eighteenth birthday?’
Ginny considered it, and said, ‘Well, I would be a year older.’
‘Exactly.’ Harry chimed in, ‘And your Mum will have had more time to think about you moving out.’
‘But that’s still over two months away, Harry.’ Ginny said, but Harry shrugged.
‘I can wait two months.’
‘Yeah,’ Ginny replied, ‘that’s brilliant, Harry. Oh!’ She ran up to him and gave him a tight hug. Harry had the bizarre idea that tight hugs ran in the family. She kissed Harry and beamed, ‘It’ll be great, moving in with you.’
‘Yeah, I heard the one-man band I put on every Friday is really entertaining.’ Harry joked, and Ginny slapped him on the shoulder playfully.
‘You know what I mean.’ Ginny said, ‘You won’t be on your own, alone, anymore.’
‘Yeah, it’ll be great. So, eleventh of August it is?’ Harry grinned, at the thought of Ginny moving in when she turns eighteen.
‘Eleventh, it is!’ She finished, pecking him on the cheek and leaving the room to go to bed.
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