Chapter 8 : Complicated Thoughts
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Disclaimer: (since I haven't done it in a while) all you recognize isn't mine. Unless you're a mind reader and know what I'm going to write :)
A/N: I hope you enjoy!
I hold onto the fence of the Burrow as I catch my breath from apperating, and wait for the feeling of nausea to go away. I always try and brace myself for the feeling but it never really works. As convenient it is, I still hate having to do it. I gather my senses, and start towards the house. What is it with wizarding transportation anyway? Why does it always involve spinning or great discomfort of some kind? I open the door, and hear Ginny in the living room.
“Alright Hermione I’ll talk to you soon, good luck with Ron. Bye.”
By the time I run to the fireplace all I see are green flames.
“Oh, Harry you’re home,” Ginny says smiling at me, “you just missed Hermione.”
“I heard, what was that all about? Is everything ok?”
“Oh, everything’s fine,” she gets up from the floor and kisses me on the cheek making me smile.
“Good, then why’d she floo?”
“Oh, apparently Ron’s going to try and surprise her today and do something nice. She said he left a note that said he might mess up, but he’ll try.”
“Wow, now I’m curious. How’d he think of the idea, and what’s he’s come up with?” I pause to think about it, but seriously can’t think of one idea. “I guess we’ll find out at some point,” I shrug, and head over to the well loved couch with a flop, exhausted.
“Are you okay love? You look beat.”
“I am. I seem to have a problem. The goblins that are from other Gringotts’ are trying to charge Ron, Hermione and I with murder of all the goblins that were killed at the one we escaped from.”
“How do they figure that? Voldemort was obviously behind that.”
“Yes, but we were the ones who broke in, and in turn lured him there. Although it was on behalf of bringing him down ultimately, they’re still reasonably upset.”
“What does Kingsley say about it?” She asks, worry on her face.
“He’s trying to negotiate, but all they’re seeing is that we broke in, and then all those goblins were killed. Part of me can’t blame them for how they feel, but I did kill the one who was really responsible, so maybe they’ll see that and I can offer them gold.”
We sit on that old couch for a few moments thinking. It’s a complicated situation. Goblins have their own set of rules, it’s their culture. We can’t expect an easy solution.
“Bill warned me about them before we went to Gringotts. We didn’t have any alternatives though. What were we supposed to do? Go as ourselves and ask? Voldemort had people everywhere.”
“Harry, I’m sure Kingsley will find a solution. Maybe there are laws concerning Goblins that will change and they’ll be appeased that way. Bill’s always saying that they’re not really interested in gold, but in what they think belongs to them.”
“That might work. Anyway Kingsley still told me to lay low, and maybe not go out too much. The goblins are really vengeful right now. I’m glad Ron and Hermione are out of the country for this. The wizarding bank is a bit different over there, and I’m sure they won’t be as easily recognized.”
“Well I’m glad your home. We can relax here, and mum and dad love that we’re staying here,” she snuggles into my shoulder and I hold her close and savor the moment.
The fire crackles, the clinking of needles of Mrs. Weasley’s knitting. I’ve never felt so at home. I have the girl of my dreams in my arms, and a loving family. What more can I ask for?
I jerk in surprise.
“Hello Cora dear.”
“Hi Molly. Hello pumpkin. Were you good for Aunt M today?”
Ginny and I get up as Sirius James launches into his exciting day at the Burrow.
“Yep, we made cookies today.”
I grab one of said cookies, and take a bite.
“Mmm. They’re very good too.”
“Harry, we were going to save them for after dinner.”
“If Uncle Harry has a cookie can I?”
“No, Harry didn’t know, you’re a good boy and do,” said Mrs. Weasley glaring at Harry.
Sirius James shrugs and continues his story as I take another bite.
“Oh, and the fireplace threw up!”
I promptly choke on the cookie.
“It was so cool! Then Aunt Minnie’s head popped out of it and talked to Aunt Ginny! Mum can our fireplace throw up?”
I’m laughing and coughing so hard. Ginny starts thumping me on the back, and giggles to herself.
After I’m able to catch my breath Molly announces dinner, to which Sirius James enthusiastically bounds to his seat at the table making the silverware clatter.
“Honey calm down or you can’t watch your movie later.”
Sirius James immediately stills, but of course Arthur is immediately intrigued.
“Are you talking about the moving pictures muggles watch for hours?”
“Yes, his favorite movie now is Kiki’s Delivery Service. I found it while I was out looking for a job in muggle London, and now it’s all he watches.”
“Have you never seen a movie Uncle Artur?”
“No, but I’d love to one day,” he says with a bright smile on his face.
“Can’t he come over Ma? He’d love it!”
“Sure, maybe you can look after him one day; Sirius James knows how to work the VCR as he sneaks it on all the time,” Cora says giving him a playfully stern look, as he grins at his mom widely.
A pan crashes to the floor suddenly, and Molly bursts into tears and runs out of the room, not even caring that her roast potatoes roll over the floor.
Arthur starts to get up but Ginny beats him to it.
“Dad don’t worry I have an idea.”
I give her arm a reassuring squeeze before she gives Arthur a small kiss on the head rushes after Molly.
“Um, what happened there?” Cora asks.
“Is Aunty M alright?”
Arthur clears his throat “Yes, she’ll be okay. I’ll tell you later Cora,” he says looking down to Sirius James and back. He obviously didn’t want to bring it up with him in the room in case Sirius James start thinking it’s his fault.
We sit in silence for a bit waiting for them to get back, just when I think I should go after them, they come into the room smiling softly.
“Hm, well, Ginny had a great idea Cora, why doesn’t Arthur watch Sirius James next Sunday so they can watch the moving pictures, and Ginny you and I will go to Diagon Alley? Just us women.”
“Oh that sounds wonderful, it’s a plan then,” she says smiling.
Sunday, Sunday… there’s something important about Sunday…
Ginny and I finish dinner, and say goodbye to Cora and our Godson.
Godson! We’re supposed to watch Teddy that day! I pull Ginny over to the stairs so no one can hear me freak out.
“Ginny! We’re supposed to watch Teddy on Sunday! I can’t do it myself!” I whisper frantically.
“Harry, listen you’ll be fine…” She looks down at her shoes. “You didn’t see her Harry, Mum’s a wreck. We need time together, even if it’s just a little while. George isn’t returning any Owls, or seems to be around when she Floo’s. She feels like she needs to at least know how he’s doing, but he’s not letting any of us near him.” I see tears start running down her nose, “it’s more than losing Fred. We’re losing George too. Angelina said she’ll do what she can with him, but there’s no way to know if she can even help.”
I put my arms around her, and hold her. She starts sobbing into my chest so I gently pick her up and carry her to her room. We sit, and I stroke her hair gently thinking to myself. I feel terrible about what happened, but I can’t make this about me.
Ron’s words from last summer echo in my head and ease the guilt slightly, ‘you may be the chosen one mate, but it’s bigger than that, it’s always been bigger than that.’
Right now Ginny needs me, but I share her pain. I lost people too. A large lump forms in my throat, and tears leek out. We sit there holding each other until we fall asleep at least knowing that we’re there for each other through this.
It’s already Saturday and I have no idea where to take mum and Cora. I hardly even know why I’m in Diagon Alley in the first place; probably because I’ve already been to Hogsmeade just as many times. Now, I’d take mum to Madam Malkin’s but George is just up the street, and he’s part of the reason I’m doing this whole thing anyway. No, Diagon Alley is not the place. I better go back to the Leaky Cauldron, get some lunch, and rethink this.
Heading up the street I pause at George’s unbelievably busy store. I miss my brother. Of course I miss Fred, but I almost miss George more because I know I can still see him. I take a deep breath and walk inside. I can at least invite him to lunch, and I can at least reach out and do my part as a sister.
I shoulder my way through the crowd and at least 10 people shout in my ear trying to hear each other. At this point I won’t even be able to hear what his response is. That is, if I find him.
I spin around so fast I think I must have whiplash, and the people next to me must have a flat feet. I look up and see George.
“George, hi!” I give him a big hug. Surprisingly he hugs me back. I thought he’d do one of his awkward pats on the back like he’d do when he was uncomfortable about something.
“Let’s go upstairs, I can’t hear anything!” He yells back. He takes a minute to tell his assistant Verity and then he runs up the stairs after me.
When we close the door all the noise from the store stops so suddenly it seems too quiet.
“Wow, good Silencing Charm.”
“Yeah, the noise gets to me sometimes so I charmed it enough so I can hear myself think.”
“My brother needs to hear himself think? After all the noise you made during school? Now you need to have quiet?” I say smirking at him.
“Well, it was mostly Fred who loved the noise, he never minded so I never said anything. It was fun, especially the fireworks.”
I smile sadly. So that’s another reason he did the fireworks at the memorial. I’m getting a bit off the main reason I’m here though.
“Well, if you want we could grab a bite to eat at the Leaky Cauldron. I was on my way there when I passed here.”
George furrows his brows, “After their food history? Do you think that’s really safe?”
I smile, “It should be fine now. Neville told me he and Luna went by the other day, and a Hufflepuff in his year just took charge of the place. He said the food was pretty good.”
He shrugs, “I haven’t had lunch yet. I don’t see why not.”
We sit down at a small table by the wall, and George lets out a big sigh, “Alright, when are the questions going to come? Let’s get the pitying over with so we can actually eat.”
“George, what are you talking about?”
He opens his mouth to answer but-
“Hi, can I get you something to drink to start?”
“Two Butterbeers, please, thanks Hannah. George you know enough not to drink during the day. You’re lucky I’m not Mum.”
Hannah walks away bemused. It’s lucky there’s a lunch crowd, I don’t particularly want to draw attention to us talking about this.
“Yeah, what’s the difference?”
“George, what’s with you? And who said I was coming to lunch with my big brother just to pity you? I came for 2 reasons, one was to see you and the other was to tell your butt to go visit his mother.”
I let him think about that for a minute. Good, he’s quiet.
“She misses you terribly. I do too for that matter, but you know me well enough that I’m not about to let you stay away from me too long. It’s different with Mum though. Lately it’s felt like I lost 2 brothers that day. That mum’s lost 2 sons. Last Sunday was hardest. Luckily I came up with the idea to take Mum out somewhere tomorrow with Cora.”
“Where are you going?”
A pause of silence later and, “Here’s your Butterbeers. Can I get you anything else?”
“What do you think Hannah? It looks like the Menu’s changed.”
“The Shepherd’s Pie is quite good, and so is the Sausage Pasty.”
“Thanks Hannah, that sounds great.”
“What if I didn’t want either of those things Ginny?”
“Since when did you not want either of those things?” I ask quirking my eyebrow at him.
“That’s what I thought. Listen, I know things are hard on you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard on everyone else. We’re all hurting George, and we’re a family and need each other’s support. I can’t do it on my own. Percy’s trying to help fix the mess at the Ministry, and Charlie, Bill, and Ron are all out of the country. Charlie at work, and Bill and Fleur finally went on their Honeymoon.”
“I’m sorry Ginny. I guess I sometimes take for granted how big our family is that I thought I could just hide. That wouldn’t have worked anyway even if everyone was here huh?”
I shake my head.
“I know it’s hard sometimes. I don’t expect you to come over every day, but once and a while, at least once a week, can you make it?”
Our food comes right after, and we start talking about other things. Work, what Harry’s been up to, and what might happen with Hogwarts next year. I know mum wouldn’t let me not go, but I really don’t know about everyone else.
We’re pulled from our conversation as we hear a huge CRASH from the bar area.
“What do you mean there’s no more Shining Sherry? I come down here, hava few drinks, and therisn’t ‘ny more Sherry?”
“Why does she sound familiar?” I ask George.
“Yeah, I’ve definitely-“
Hannah straightens her back and says “Professor Trelawney, that was quite more than “a few drinks” there were 3 bottles, and that all we stock of that kind until we order more for next month.”
Well that was certainly someone I didn’t want to see. I wave to Hannah to come give us the check. She sees us over the inebriated Professor who was still muttering to herself.
“Now if you please Professor I have to give the check to the Weasley’s and I’ll floo your sister to come get you.”
I wince as Hannah said our name.
“The Weeeasssey’s?!” She exclaims and she searches the space. George and I try to hide behind the menus but our traitorous hair gives us away.
I catch Hannah’s eye again to try to say, hurry up! She nods and rushes to the back.
“How’ssss the fam’ly? Ooops, hic, sorry. Um, How’ssss how’sss…”
I interrupt her strained thought process and tell her “Oh, we’re all fine. I was just telling George that I was taking our mum out tomorrow.” I still can’t see Hannah so this seems the safest topic to go with.
“That sssoundss-sppplendid, AAbbbsoluutly-spplendid. Where-ya goin’?”
“If-ya don’ know where-ta go my sis hasa job assa chef at thiss-fanccy, hic, hotel. You-shhhould go. It’sss darn g-good. THEY, never-run outta Sherry.” She told me as Hannah thankfully comes with our check, and another woman who can only be the Professor’s sister who’s shaking her head.
“Hey Sssis! Guess who’ll be comin to yer-restaurant-tomorrow? Littl-miss Weas’y and her mum.”
“B-but, I never said-“
“OOOoh that’s wonderful dear,” she says in a high voice. “Let me tell you the directions. It’s at the Falmouth Hotel, a little past Tinworth. It has an absolutely LOOOVely view of the ocean. Do you know they named the Menu after me? I’m sure you and your mum will love it dear. I’ll expect you tomorrow at 12:00pm. I’ll set reservations for you don’t worry about a thing.”
“Now, come along Sybbie let’s get you back to the castle-“
“Nooo!! Noo, I don’t want to go back there! The blood, the—“ And she fades off as they go to the back.
We all sit there in silence, Hannah next to our table, George with his mouth slightly open. He closes it, shakes his head sadly, and digs in his pocket to give Hannah the money.
“Hmm, maybe I won’t charge her double for creating a scene. Poor thing.” There’s the Hufflepuff in her.
George clears his throat “Well Gin, at least you know where you’re taking mum and Cora tomorrow.”
I turn to him and glare at the stupid smirk on his face, even if I’m overjoyed to see he’s back to doing it a little.
Later that night, after I tell Harry what happened, and Mum that I figured out where we’re going; Harry and I sit in my room, he’s reading his very worn Quidditch through the ages, and I just have my head on his shoulder when I hear it again.
“What is that?” I ask sleepily. It’s around 11pm.
Harry starts sitting up, “It sounds like an owl.”
Harry’s too slow. “It must be from Hermione!” I rush off the bed, and knock Harry off. I open the window, never minding Harry’s grumbling, give the owl a cage with water and owl nuts, and tare open the letter.
Ginny, your brother is …’
A/N: Sorry guys, I couldn’t resist it ending there. :) Please tell me what you think! Hope you enjoyed it!
P.S Just wanted to say that Falmouth Hotel is a real place in Cornwall near the ocean which is where Tinworth is supposed to have been set! I was looking for things to do in Cornwall, or places to stay, and it came up in my search, and no joking, the first thing I saw on their website was Trelawney's Restaurant Menu!!! So I had to pick that to put into the story :) Awesome right?
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