Chapter 2 : The Burrow
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When Hermione got out of the shower she was relieved to find that her companion from last night had disappeared without a trace. That saved any awkward farewells and she really hadn’t wanted to see him again.
Still thinking about her plan from earlier Hermione reached for quill and paper and scratched out a brief note to the Weasley family, asking if she could come stay for a while. Once she was finished Hermione walked out into the living room and called her barn owl, Greg down from his perch by the window. She fastened the note securely to his leg and gave him instructions on where to go before sending him winging his way from London to the Burrow. Hermione watched the bird until she couldn’t see him anymore and then curled up in her favorite armchair to await the reply.
George Weasley was sitting at the dining table with Ron at the Burrow. Ron, as Harry’s best man, was responsible for planning the bachelor’s party and had enlisted his prankster brother’s help. He knew George liked nothing better than a good party and he hoped planning for the wedding would bring his brother out of the depression he had been in after his twin’s death in the battle at Hogwarts. They were on the subject of entertainment when a tawny barn owl flew in the open window to land on the table.
“That’s Hermione’s owl,” Ron said as George untied the letter from the bird’s leg. Mrs. Weasley came in from the kitchen, drying her hands on her apron.
“How’s the plan-oh, who’s the owl from?” she broke off noticing the bird preening himself on the table.
“Hermione, she wants to know if she can come and stay for a while?” George said handing the note to his mother, who took it and scanned its contents.
“Of course she can, I don’t know why she thought she had to ask. She’s practically family,” Molly Weasley said, “It’ll be good to see her again, she hardly comes by anymore. George dear, would send a reply? I’m still putting lunch together.”
“Course Mum,” he said moving to the writing desk in the sitting, retrieving quill and paper. He sat back down at the table and scribbled out a reply. He carefully folded the note and tied it to Hermione’s owl before sending the bird on his way. George watched the bird go with a trace of some forgotten emotion that he finally labeled as happiness. It had been awhile since he had felt that. As the owl disappeared from sight he turned back to Ron and they continued on with the planning.
Hermione had just choked down a meager lunch of half a turkey sandwich and a glass of water when an owl tapped on the window behind her. Turning, she spotted Greg perched on the sill looking in at her expectantly. Hermione let the bird in and set a bowl of water before him. Settling back into her chair at the island, she opened the Weasley’s reply.
We’d be delighted to have you as Mum would say, she’s busy so I’m writing this letter instead. She says you don’t have to ask to come over by the way since you’re practically considered family. I know Ginny’s been wanting to talk to you later as well. Look forward to seeing you soon. It’s been too long Granger.
Hermione put down the letter and walked into her bedroom. She wondered how George was doing, dealing with the loss of Fred. All of the Weasleys were mourning of course, but George had taken the death of his twin the hardest. It would be good to see them all again she thought, wandering to her closet and trying to figure out what to pack. She started randomly pulling things from the shelves and hangers and stuffing them into her beaded bag that she had charmed a year or so ago with an Undetectable Extension Charm. She went through the kitchen and banished all the perishable food and the garbage. Satisfied that everything was in order, Hermione gave Greg instructions to go back to the Burrow after he had rested and then Disapparated.
With an audible “pop”, Hermione Apparated at the edge of the field that surrounded the Burrow. The warmth of the sun was a bit of a shock after being in her chilly apartment. She turned and looked at the crazily stacked house that the Weasleys called home. Six levels leaned and twisted every which way. Hermione was always amazed that it never just spontaneously toppled over. Shaking her head, she trudged over to the house and stepped in the front door.
“Hello?” she called tentatively as she stepped inside. A loud crash preceded Mrs. Weasley as she came hurrying out of the kitchen to give Hermione a bone-crushing hug.
“Hermione dear, it’s so good to see you,” she said once she had released her.
“It’s good to see you again too, Mrs. Weasley,” Hermione said once she was certain it was still possible to breathe. Mrs. Weasley held her out at arm’s length to get a good look at her.
“You haven’t been eating properly dear, you’re too thin. And those clothes you are wearing are not very flattering,” the woman remarked. Hermione glanced down and saw she was still wearing the sweatpants and oversized t-shirt that she had put on this morning.
“Sorry, I kind of just dropped everything and came when I got your owl. I really needed to come here,” Hermione confided to the only motherly figure she had in her life now after she had used the Obliviate spell on her parents to save them. Ron and George came out into the hall to see what all the fuss was about.
Ron came forward to give her a hug, “I was beginning to think you had forgotten about us.” After their kiss in the Room of Requirements at the battle of Hogwarts they had both mutually decided that they were better off as friends. As far as Hermione knew he was too focused on Quidditch right now to really date anyone.
“I could never forget you guys,” she said as he released her and George came forward and gave her a gentle hug as if he was afraid she might break, which in her current state was a very likely possibility. George was still tall and lanky and when he released her she thought that his head looked slightly lopsided with one ear missing. His normally cheerful, mischievous air was subdued in mourning.
“It’s good to see you again Hermione,” he said.
“Thanks guys, I’ve missed you all over these last couple of months. Where is everyone?” she said looking around. The Weasley house was normally bustling with activity, but right now it was abnormally quiet.
“Ginny’s out doing some wedding stuff with Harry, Charlie’s still in Romania with the dragon project there, Bill and Fleur are at Gringott’s, and Arthur and Percy are at the Ministry,” Mrs. Weasley said, taking Hermione by the shoulders and steering her towards the stairs. “Why don’t you go on up to Ginny’s room dear and put on some fresh clothes? Lunch will be ready in a couple of minutes.”
“Alright, thanks Mrs. Weasley,” Hermione said, “By the way, Greg should be coming sometime soon if you could keep an eye out for him?”
“Of course dear,” the woman said. Hermione nodded and headed upstairs.
A/N: So what did you think? Leave a review in that box there at the bottom, they're much appreciated and your thoughts help me sort out my own. :) Thanks!~Naomi
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