Chapter 17 : Last Apology
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The Weasley kitchen was exactly as Harry remembered. The same cheery surrounding’s that were cluttered but homey. At the long breakfast table was set for a late lunch, and a cauldron was bubbling in the fireplace with freshly made stew. Half the Weasley family was standing in the kitchen, all looking at Harry with a mix of anger, confusion, happiness, and shock on their faces.
“Before you all freak out, Harry does have a good explanation.” Ginny spoke with a gentle but commanding voice.
“We’ve already heard it, thank you very much.” Ron said bitterly. Harry Jr. was in his arms, and the little boy stared at his namesake in an awed confusion.
“Well you can hear it again,” Mrs. Weasley snapped at Ron, stepping out form behind her husband. “Harry, is it really you?”
“Erm,” Harry started. He hadn’t meant that to come out, but before he could say anything else Mrs. Weasley had her arms wrapped tightly around him, her happy tears wetting his jacket.
“You look so much different, I barely recognized you!” Mrs. Weasley wept.
“Mum, you’re killing him.” Ginny sniggered behind Harry.
“What? Oh, alright, sit down Harry. Supper is ready now; you look as if you haven’t eaten a good meal in years.” Mrs. Weasley dithered as she pushed Harry into the nearest chair.
After everyone had taken their seats, Ginny loyally at Harry’s side, people began to eat as Mrs. Weasley passed bowls of stew to everyone, and placed a loaf of bread and pumpkin juice in the centre of the table. Everyone talked with an easy chatter about their days work, but for the most part everyone ignored Harry. He felt uncomfortable and he knew he had to say something to stop it. Taking a deep breath, he gave Ginny’s hand a squeeze and stood up.
Every pair of eyes was on Harry, and he wasn’t quite sure who he should look at. Everyone but Mrs. Weasley and Hermione were giving him cold looks, so Harry chose it would probably be best if he took turns looking at everyone in the eye. Taking a steady breath, he began. “I know I’ve hurt all of you here by leaving without a goodbye or an explanation. I regret that. I came here tonight, with Ginny, in the hopes you, my friends and family will forgive me. Being away for such a long time has made me realize that I was a prat-”
“-moron-” George chimed in.
“-git-” Ron added.
“- and completely mental-” Hermione chirped.
“-for leaving.” Harry grinned at his friends who all smiled back.
“So its settled then?” Ginny looked at her family.
“Of course it is,” Mrs. Weasley gave her family a sharp look before continuing. “Harry, we’re just glad that you’re back. You’ll stay for dinner, of course? Bill and Fleur or going to be stopping buy – you’ll get to meet my granddaughter, Victoire.” Mrs. Weasley said sweetly.
“Oh,” Harry said surprised, and then sat down. “That would be great.” Harry smiled.
As everyone began to eat again Harry felt as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Everything was relaxed, and George even began teasing him about leaving making Harry feel as if everything was normal again. However, even with their forgiveness, Harry was waiting for one of them to ask about his music. He could see it in Ron’s eyes whenever he caught his gaze, and he knew very well that George was itching to tease him about it as well. Finally, someone asked.
“So, Harry, tell us where you’ve been? What have you been doing?” Mr. Weasley asked, looking at him with a small smile.
“Oh, um, well...” Harry struggled to find the words but with an encouraging look from Ginny he decided to just come out with it. “I’ve been living in Toronto, with a group of friends I made there. They’re all musicians-”
“Muggles? Musicians?” Mr. Weasley interrupted.
“Let him talk Arthur,” Mrs. Weasley spoke quickly, sensing where this would be going.
“Er, yes, Muggles. And they are musicians.” Harry confirmed, and Mr. Weasley gave him an excited look.
“So we heard right then?” George piped up, “You’re a singer?” George fought a laugh.
Harry didn’t know how to answer, and glanced at Ginny for help, but she shrugged and he knew he had to get himself out of this one. “It’s really just for fun.”
“Do they use Eckeltricity?” Mr. Weasley jumped in.
“It’s pronounced 'electricity', Arthur,” Hermione corrected to deaf ears.
“For fun eh? Come off it Harry, we all know you did it for the girls – OUCH that’s my bloody foot Ginny!” George shouted, glaring at his sister.
“Oh sorry, I thought it was a big spider – they’re a real pain in the ar-”
“Ginny!” Hermione and Mrs. Weasley warned at the same time nodding towards Harry Jr. but the two sibling’s didn’t seem to notice.
“Now, now, I’m simply asking your lovely boyfriend here what he did with his life for the last two years because it wasn’t like we would know.” George said in a mock tone.
“Stop being such a git!” Ginny nearly shouted.
“Oh-ho, articulate comeback, my dear sister.” George bit back, merely causing Ginny to grow even angrier. “It’s like I said, I’m simply asking your boyfriend here what was so important that he had to leave without a word?”
“You know what; I’m starting to understand why Angelina doesn’t want to speak to you. Why don’t you go back to your flat and stop ruining everyone else’s happiness.” Ginny spat sourly.
At once both siblings were on their feet, wands drawn. But before any damage could be made, Molly Weasley, as always intervened.
“Children!” Mrs. Weasley was at her feet almost as fast as her children. “There will be no more of this talk at the table! You will put your wands away and behave like adults! Now apologise to each other!”
Harry had to fight to grin. Here stood his nineteen year old girlfriend and her twenty-two year brother, being chastised by their mother like they were little kids. Catching Ron’s eye, the two of them shared a knowing look. However, feeling a little guilty, Harry stood up now. This was partly his responsibility; Ginny had been standing up for him.
“Mrs. Weasley, I think it’s me who has to apologise here.” Harry spoke clearly, looking from Mrs. Weasley to George. “I understand that it’s going to take you awhile before you can forgive me – and if that takes my entire life, then so be it.”
George didn’t say anything, but Ginny took this as an opportunity to say something. “You don’t have to apologise, Harry. George is the one at fault, and he knows it.”
Giving her a bewildered look, Harry looked to George who no longer wore a hard expression. “She’s right, I’m sorry about the things I said.”
“It’s okay,” Harry answered, feeling awkward.
“There now, problem solved!” Ron clapped his hand together.
“Yes, now tell me more about this Eckeltricity. Do the instruments use Eckeltricity?” Mr. Weasley asked excitedly.
Harry heard Hermione faintly mutter under her breath something that sounded like ‘it’s pronounced electricity’. “Yes, all of them use it.” Harry went on to explain.
The rest of the lunch passed with ease, and when it was time for Mrs. Weasley to clean the dishes, Harry was happy for the light chatter that followed. George seemingly had gotten over his previous misgivings, and happily joined in.
“So the music was just an excuse to do something?” George asked genuinely.
“Sort of, that’s how it started out. They invited me to live with them for cheap rent, and I didn’t see why not. My friend Emily offered to teach me to play guitar, and I didn’t have much else to do. After awhile though I got too really like it.” Harry explained, feeling a little uncomfortable. It was still weird for him to talk about all of this to his friends. He could see on their faces that they were still getting used to this new side of him. He hoped that eventually the ‘two sides’ of him would combine and he would be just Harry to them again.
“You know, Bill started a band with his mates back in seventh year.” Mrs. Weasley remembered. “Of course they weren’t very good; I think Bill was doing it for some girl he liked.” Mrs. Weasley smiled.
Ginny snorted. “Sounds like Bill.”
“I don’t remember him ever saying anything about that.” George said, looking to his siblings.
Both Ron and Ginny shook their heads. “Who was the girl?” Ginny asked looking to her mother.
“Oh, I don’t remember. There was a new one every year to be honest. He probably just hasn’t told any of you because it was quite embarrassing for him.” Mrs. Weasley explained.
“Don’t tell me they let him sing – he’s tone-deaf!” Ron exclaimed.
“Oh mum, you’ve got to be kidding.” George said, sniggering. “I have to remember this for tonight.”
“I am not kidding; I told you he was embarrassed by it.” Mrs. Weasley confirmed, “Now stop teasing your brother when he isn’t here to defend himself.”
“Oh he’ll never be able to explain this one; I’ll make sure of it.” George laughed.
“George!” Mrs. Weasley warned.
“Listen to your mother,” Mr. Weasley offered lamely.
Harry couldn’t help but smile. He missed the Weasley’s, he missed everyone. Looking at Ginny, he snuck a kiss while everyone was talking loudly and whispered into her ear, “Thank you for forgiving me.”
Ginny gave him a strange look. “Harry, I don’t think I had a choice.” She grinned and kissed Harry again.
“Oi! I don’t need to see that when I’m eating!” Ron interrupted.
“Shut it Ron! I think it’s cute.” Hermione said, smacking Ron.
It was late when supper was over, almost eight o’clock and Harry knew he had to leave if he wanted to go to the show. He had told Ginny in the time between lunch and dinner, and she had decided that she would go to the show, and actually listen this time around. Harry wasn’t completely sure how to go about telling everyone else though, and he mused the idea that maybe the entire family would come.
“Well we should probably get going,” Ron said, standing up. Harry Jr. was fast sleep in Hermione’s arms, tuckered out from a long day of running around the Weasley home.
“Yeah, I should too.” Harry said quickly, taking this as a perfect time to leave.
“If you don’t mind mum, Harry and I were going to go over to Hermione and Ron’s to catch up.” Ginny said, standing now.
Mrs. Weasley didn’t say anything, but nodded, looking a little sad that Harry wasn’t staying. “Yes, that’s fine dear. We’ll you be coming back tomorrow Harry? If you’d like, I could set you up in Ron’s old bedroom.”
“That would be great Mrs. Weasley, but, um, I’ve still got some things to sort out with my band mates. I’ll probably be staying in London for awhile, right now.” Harry explained rather awkwardly.
“Oh, all right.” Mrs. Weasley said, looking a little disappointed.
Everyone said their goodbyes, harry receiving a rather suffocating hug from Mrs. Weasley, and the five of them were outside. Hermione was trying to wake up Harry Jr. so that when they Disapparated he wouldn’t wake up upset.
“He’s okay Apparating when he’s awake,” Ron explained, helping his wife. “We tried to do it while he sleeping once and he had a fit. He didn’t stop crying for an hour.”
“Do you have a show tonight, Harry?” Hermione asked, crouched on the ground in front of a half-asleep Harry Jr. She was fixing his cloak, as he stood pouting.
“Yeah, it’s too bad you two can’t come.” Harry answered.
“Actually,” Ron started, looking at Hermione for a moment. “We were thinking about going. The girl who lives next door is always happy to babysit... so if you want, if it’s okay I mean, we could come.”
Harry smiled. “Sure, yeah, if you want to come. I mean, don’t if you’re not really into the whole idea.”
Ginny and Hermione looked at each rolling their eyes. “Boys,” they said in unison.
“What?” Ron said defensively, holding Harry’s hand.
“Never mind, let’s get Harry home. We’ll meet you at the club – its the same one right?” Hermione asked, looking to Harry.
“Yeah, don’t worry about coming late. I think I’m the third act.” Harry explained, he felt Ginny’s hand slide into his own.
“Okay great, we’ll see you there.” Hermione smiled.
Ron picked Harry Jr. up and with a resounding ‘pop’ they Disapparated. Hermione waved, and with a ‘crack’ she was gone too. Looking to Ginny, Harry let go of her hand and wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
“How are we going to get there?” Ginny asked.
“Well I said I would meet them at the club. We’ll just Apparate.” Harry explained.
“Well let’s go then,” Ginny grinned.
Harry simply grinned back, and with a ‘crack’ they Disapparated. Appearing in an empty alley way across the road from the club, Harry smiled at Ginny, who thankfully was still next to him.
“I’m glad to see that your Apparating skills are still up to par.” Ginny joked.
“I’m glad you have faith in me,” Harry retorted, walking down the alley towards the club. There was a line up, and Harry had to quickly remember to go through the back door. He felt Ginny’s grip tighten slightly once they entered the club, and he forced himself not grin. He knew she was probably worried about meeting his friends.
Harry turned to see Alan behind him, his hands full of food. “Hey Alan, where is everyone?”
“In the green room,” Alan told him nodding ahead of him. “Who’s this?”
Harry smiled, Alan knew who it was. “Alan, meet Ginny. Ginny this is Alan, he kind of plays with everyone in different bands.” Harry explained as they walked down the hall. It was crowded; people who worked at the club were rushing back and forth.
“Nice to meet you,” Ginny said, smiling nervously.
Alan went to go shake her hand, but found his hands were full. “Erm, it’s nice to meet you too, sorry.” He gave a big smile.
“It’s all right – you kind of remind me of my brother Ron.” Ginny said, trying to sound sweetly.
Harry laughed, and Alan looked pleased. “Well your brother must be quite handsome than.”
Ginny was laughing so hard she couldn’t say anything until they entered the green room. Alan was ahead of them now, and placed the trays of food on a table. Everybody was in the small green room. Emily and Georgia were warming up while Josh and Adam looked to be in deep conversation. When Alan put the food down Teddy jumped up off the couch immediately and started eating.
“Harry’s here!” Alan announced, and everyone looked at him. “And he’s brought Ginny.” Harry rolled his eyes at Alan who gave another big smile before eating as well.
“Oh!” Emily and Georgia both said loudly, rushing over to where Ginny and Harry were standing.
“It’s so good to finally meet you!” Georgia exclaimed, tearing Ginny away from Harry and sitting her on the couch, Emily following. “Harry never told us how pretty you are!”
“Thank you,” Ginny said uncomfortably.
“Georgia settle down, I think you’re scaring her,” Adam laughed.
“Shut up Adam,” Georgia said, not even looking at her boyfriend, still grinning at Ginny. “So is this the first time you’ve seen Harry play?”
“Yes, well no, I saw him for a few minutes the other day.” Ginny explained.
“Oh, right,” it was Georgia’s turn to look uncomfortable.
“Well what I heard sounded pretty good,” Ginny said, glancing at Harry.
“He’s amazing – I wish I could write like him.” Teddy broke in.
“You can play guitar better than I can.” Harry amended.
“Yeah, but there are people out there who are better than me.” Teddy argued.
“If you two ladies are finished, the show is about to start in five.” Josh broke in, walking between Teddy and Harry. Pausing next to Harry, he put his hand on his shoulder. “No running away this time?”
Harry gave a small smile. “No running away,” Harry confirmed.
Josh gave a big smile. “Great, all right, so Georgia, Adam, and Alan you’re on first as planned. Harry you’re second, then Teddy, Emily, and then group. Now, if anyone plans to run off stage tonight, than please tell me before we start.” Josh teased, looking at Harry.
Everyone was laughing, and getting to their feet. Harry turned to Ginny, who was now standing next to him. “Come on, let’s go find Hermione and Ron.”
The club was full of people talking excitedly. Harry was glad he wasn’t well known like his friends, and no one paid any attention to him. He could tell Ginny was a little uncomfortable, and he gave her a comforting squeeze, earning him a soft smile. They found Hermione and Ron by the coat room; Harry could hear Ron cursing ‘Muggle money’ as he paid the cover charge, and shared a knowing smile with Hermione.
“Everything sorted out?” Harry asked when Ron joined them.
“Blasted Muggle money, it’s not even real, just bloody paper.” Ron complained.
“Harry got to sleep alright?” Ginny was asking Hermione at the time.
“Sure, he loves getting babysitters. You would think we beat him the way he gets excited over a sitter.” Hermione mused.
“This place is crowded, are you sure you’re going to be okay up there?” Ron grinned at Harry.
“I’ll be fine, it s’not that bad.” Harry shrugged, and looked around. Indeed, the club was full, even more so than the night before, but Harry didn’t mind. Once on stage, with the lights in his face, it would be hard to see the audience unless he was really trying.
“Do you want us to hex any hacklers?” Ron joked.
Hermione rolled her eyes, “Ron, you know very well you can do nothing of the sort.”
Ron grunted in response. “Of course I know that, it was a joke Hermione.”
“Well you shouldn’t be talking about magic anyway – what if someone overhears?” Hermione suggested.
“Well then they’ll just think we’re all mental.” Ron answered a matter-of-factly.
“Harry should be getting back stage now,” Ginny interrupted, prodding Harry in the chest. “Good luck,” she grinned at him, and planting a soft kiss on his lips.
Harry felt his whole body shake, and he found himself unable to let her go. “Thanks,” he murmured.
“Hey,” Ron was warningly, but Harry ignored him kissing Ginny again, deeply this time.
They breathlessly pulled away, when Harry heard his name being called. Looking behind him, near the door leading backstage he saw Josh waving him over. “Gotta go,” Harry slurred, pecking Ginny on the cheek and nodding towards Hermione and Ron.
“Break an arm or whatever!” Ron called after him.
“Its break a leg, Ron, not arm...” Hermione’s voice trickled from Harry’s ears as he raced backstage.
“Is this not the most thrilling, wonderful, amazing thing ever?” Georgia exclaimed to Harry as he joined her standing by the curtain. Josh was preparing to introduce Harry, while Alan was setting up the stage, placing everyone’s things in order.
Harry laughed. “Yeah, I guess it is pretty exciting.”
Georgia gave him a sideways glance, but grinned at him. “I hope I’m still doing this when I’m forty years old.”
“Me too,” Harry admitted.
“Put down your mobile’s, your camera’s, and put your hands together for Harry Potter and his lovely friend Georgia!”“Are you ready?” Georgia asked, looking to Harry.
Harry just smiled, and stepped on to stage, letting the blinding lights him in the face, and warm him up. Yes, this was exactly what he wanted to do until he was forty, maybe even a hundred.
A/N: Yes, that is the last chapter! I know you’re all probably shaking your fist at me for ending it that way (and very cheeseyily....) but there will be an epilogue that will lead to the sequel that I am so excited to be writing :) Thanks for waiting for this chapter, and reading it after it has taken so long for me to update. It was the best I’ve written, but I’m happy. THANKS FOR READING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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