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Chapter 2 : Suffering On Little Sleep
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Now, as soon as he remembered the night-time visit, he sat up slowly. Surely he hadn't agreed to go shopping? Harry didn't like shopping at the best of times- but, and here he secretly agreed with Hermione and Ginny, shopping with Ron was almost impossible. Think about shopping with a child who wants to dart off into every sweet or joke shop, and buy impractical things with their money. That's what shopping with Ron was like.
Hoping that Ron would somehow have thought of a present overnight (and knowing full well the chances were practically nil), Harry grabbed his work clothes and got ready quickly, before going down the many stairs to the kitchen, where the smell of breakfast tickled his nose.
“Harry! Good morning! Did you sleep well?” Molly greeted him the same way she had every morning since they had all started living in Grimmauld Place. Harry was saved answering as Molly was called over by Andromeda, who had moved into Grimmauld Place with Teddy after Tonks and Lupin's deaths, wanting to bring her grandchild up with the people who knew his parents best.
Harry looked around the busy kitchen. It was noisy and crowded, but nobody minded much. They were a support system- by living together since the Battle, many broken lives had been repaired as best as possible. Even since people started moving out to properly rebuild their lives, the tight-knit feeling had stayed, with the 'new' Order of the Pheonix trying to meet up once a month for lunch- and of course, like before, there were normally random people wandering around, and being urged by Molly to stay for a meal. However hard she was working, Molly never minded as long as she had all her loved ones safe.
“Oi! Harry! Are you sure you're awake?” Ron, who had been trying to get through the door, sounded far too bright-eyed and busy-tailed for someone who had been up in the middle of the night. As Harry bit back a retort and moved out of the way, Ron leaned as if to get a cup from the side and said, in an undertone, “If you can get off by three, meet me by Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.'
He then went straight off, leaving Harry about to protest that he had to go at six to take Ginny out to dinner. However, he closed his mouth, realising that there was no way shopping could take longer than even an hour.
Later on that day...
“Any ideas, Harry?” Ron whispered, as Harry joined him by Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
“Erm, no, not really. You?” Harry whispered back, not really knowing why they were whispering, but deciding to anyway.
“No, thought we should just look around and find something nice here. Shouldn't take too long, but we've got three hours until the shops shut anyway.
“Right. I've got to go just before six anyway. I'm meeting Ginny for dinner later.”
Ron frowned. “You be careful with her, won't you. I can still take back my permission, you know.”
Harry rolled his eyes. He had been going out with Ginny for over two years, but Ron still got quite protective, as did George, though Harry knew they were just joking. Most of the time, anyway. He had decided a long time ago that the best thing to do was just to change the subject.
“Why are we whispering? And shouldn't we be getting on with it?” Harry went back to speaking normally.
“I don't want Hermione to know I left it this late to get her a present.” Ron continued in a whisper. Harry looked around the quiet street, a little bit confused- most people were still in work, and it was term time, so Diagon Alley wasn't exactly busy. However, Hermione did seem to have a sixth sense for picking up on things, so keeping a bit quiet was probably a good idea.
Harry turned to Ron, grinning a bit, and hoping they would find something relatively quickly.
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