Disclaimer: I am only borrowing from J.K. Rowling.
Chapter Twenty-One: Old and New Friends
“So Ron still doesn’t know that you already took me here?” Ginny asked.
“No, I don’t believe so?”
“Who did you tell?” She questioned and Harry looked at the ground.
“No one.” Ginny raised an eyebrow and Harry swallowed. “One of your brothers found out.”
“Which one?” Ginny asked and he looked at a neighboring house.
“George.” Harry muttered and finally looked at Ginny and she immediately relaxed.
“Let’s just say he would be the the best to find out, him or Bill, but Bill might freak out a little. Charlie would probably be good too.” Harry raised an eyebrow as she just named all her brothers. “If Percy found out.” She trailed off.
“Why would Bill freak out?” Harry asked hoping to discover a little more about the Weasley dynamics.
“Well he’s the oldest I guess.” Ginny said. “I’ve never really thought about it.”
The silence continued for a bit and then Harry announced, “So would you like to see the insides? It’s changed quite a bit.”
“Why else do you think I’m here?” Ginny asked sighing slightly. Harry opened the door and she clasped her hands over her mouth. “Oh my God.” She said. “This is, well, bloody amazing! Did you do this all by yourself?” She asked.
“No.” Harry said rocking backwards slightly. “I had help, but for the most part, I got it done myself.”
She kissed him lightly on the cheek and went to explore the house. Harry figured that he didn’t need to mention that he had muggle plumbers and electrician do some work that he then reinforced with magic. He even had them add several outlets to his “office” just incase muggle technology would be used ever in the magical world. She came back and Harry gave her a smile. “So?” he asked.
“It’s amazing. But you need a little help on furniture and decorating.” She teased.
In fact, the only furniture other than kitchen appliances was the bed, and he had nothing up on the walls. That was, he always assumed, the woman’s job. “That’s where you come in.” he replied. She smiled and hugged him. “So what’s happening at Hogwarts?” he asked.
“Well we had a meeting with our Heads, McGonagall’s still ours, but I haven’t gone yet, because my last name starts with a bloody ‘W’.”
“Well we could always change it to Potter.” Harry said and then turned bright red. Had he really just said that? She wasn’t even out of school yet, it was hardly the time to think about marriage.
“I was always hoping you would take Weasley.” She joked and Harry smiled glad that she didn’t over react.
“Harry Weasley sounds a bit too much like hairy weasel for my liking.” Harry added with a grin.
“I think it suits you.” Ginny said crossing her arms. They both burst out laughing and with one last kiss, mind you it was more a good minute or so, they exited the house and Harry locked it. He didn’t want Ron to come bursting in if they were gone too long from Hogsmeade. With a pop they disappeared and came back in the clearing in front of the Shrieking Shack. There were no students and with hand in hand, began to walk towards the main road.
“Can we stop at Honeydukes really quick?” Harry asked as he felt the gold in his pockets. He was going to need to go to Gringotts soon.
“As long as you buy we a couple sugar quills.” She responded and they veered entering the sweet shop.
Harry felt like he was a third year again and quickly stocked up on all of the old favorites and then added a couple new candies that were being added. He was looking forward to trying Sugar Snitches. Ginny shook her head, but when he handed her a sugar quill she just smiled and they made their way to the Three Broomsticks were Ron and Hermione were waiting.
It seemed that they really didn’t mind Harry and Ginny out as they were all wrapped up together and didn’t seem to understand that you needed to breath. “Hem hem.” Ginny coughed with her Umbridge impersonation.
They jumped apart both looking rather red. “Glad you could join us.” Hermione said her voice a little higher than normal.
“I hope we weren’t interrupting anything.” Harry said chuckling.
“You weren’t.” Ron said rapidly growing more scarlet. “We were just passing the time.” Ginny snorted and Harry slid down into a chair as he ordered two butterbeers from a passing waitress.
“So,” Hermione said who was still a brilliant shade of red, “How’s the house?”
“How do you know?” Harry asked though he was sure that Ginny had transmitted the information.
“Ron and I talked for a bit.” She said defensively while Harry and Ginny smiled. The two were so clueless.
“Hermione please be careful with him.” Ginny said. “You know how delicate he is and I would like to see him in the future.” Ron shook his head as the two butterbeers were delivered.
Harry passed the waitress some money and then looked at the two girls. “How are the classes going?”
“Good.” Hermione said. “You two wouldn’t believe all of the stuff you are missing out on. I suppose you don’t need most of it for being an Auror but it sure is amazing.”
“And Quidditch?” Harry asked Ginny.
“Quite well, the team we have is doing fantastic.” Ginny said. “I think we have a chance of winning the cup.”
“That’s what I want to hear.” Harry said as he sipped his drink.
“So.” Hermione said and Harry raised an eyebrow. If it was to ever come, it would come now. “We read about your heroics.”
“His what?” Ron practically spit his butterbeer all over the table.
“Heroics.” Ginny said simply as if she was commenting on the weather. “You had a stunning testimony that insured the protection of the Malfoys.”
“Oh, yes.” Harry said. “About that.”
“What do you mean about it?” Ginny asked.
“Well I’m sure that after Hogwarts last year I’m sure Malfoy was one of your tormentors, I didn’t think you’d be too happy with it.”
“He was absent a lot.” Ginny finally got out and Harry looked at her waiting for her to continue. “He would be there but it seemed that every weekend he would leave the school. He would torture us, but he wasn’t like Crabbe or Goyle.” A shiver ran through her as she said the names. Harry rubbed her arm and offered a smile, trying to get her to forget that year.
“I think it was good of you. It was the right thing to do.” Hermione said.
“Thank you.” Harry said. “They should announce the verdict soon.”
“That reminds me.” Hermione grabbed her bag and rifled through it. “Professor McGonagall gave me this.” She handed him a letter and Harry looked at it. On the front was Aunt Petunia’s familiar writing. He pocketed it looking at their curious faces.
“It’s probably nothing.” He said, “Don’t want to bore you with it.” His stare told them that it was not something he was going to share so they let it drop.
The day continued and Harry smiled for it reminded him of the old days. Voldemort had never really been absent in his life like now, but he certainly had a less of an impact. He felt as if he didn’t have a care in the world and there was nothing that was going to change that. The said their goodbyes and they went their separate ways and Harry waved back to Ron and apparated home. As he closed the door behind him and took out the letter. Ripping it open, he started to read.
You will probably never forgive me, not that you should. I made your life extremely difficult these past years and I am sorry. I didn’t treat you fairly and that is entirely my fault.
Last year opened up my eyes. I saw that being jealous is a silly idea. The witches and wizards were nice and weren’t freaks at all. I heard about what you had done, and I am amazed. Your mother would be so proud.
Can we see each other soon? I know Dudley would like that.
P.S. You can send your owl with a reply.
A tear started to form in his eyes. His mother would be proud. He couldn’t believe it and reread the note several more times. A tear fell and he quickly brushed it away. He read the last part and sighed. Hedwig was gone, his constant companion of his school summers. He sat down on the floor and sighed. He wouldn’t borrow Pig, or Errol, and Hermione didn’t have an owl. He would either have to buy an owl or use the Post Office. Harry grabbed his purse. It was time to go to Diagon Alley. With a wave of his wand he wasn’t very recognizable and he pulled his jacket around him. He apparated and landed into the Leaky Cauldron. He shielded his face and no one paid him any attention. He walked out and no one looked twice at himself. He smiled and continued to walk all the way down to Eeylops Owl Emporium, where Hedwig was bought so many years ago.
“Hello what can I get you?” The store lady asked as the bell rang as he opened the door. Harry looked at all of the cages around and cleared his throat.
“I need an owl. My old one has, um, passed.”
“I’m sorry dear.” The lady said and then went on, “What kind was your old one?”
“I’’m guessing you don’t want another snowy, not with all the memories?” The lady asked and Harry paused. It probably would be hard for him to see a snowy owl and not think of Hedwig. The memories would be good, but it would always be the guilt over his head that it was his fault that she was gone.
“No.” Harry said. “I was thinking something more like a Brown owl.” He said glancing at one that was near the counter.
“Do you like this guy?” The lady asked pointing at the one that Harry had just glanced at. It’s eyes were unmoving and it just stared Harry back.
“Yeah.” Harry took a step closing and it continued to stare.
“He’s all yours for ten Galleons, Mr.?”
“Mr. um, Finnegan.” Harry said. He didn’t think using Neville’s name again would be any good since he had gained some fame after the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry slid the money to her and she handed him some treats and the owl in a cage.
“Have a nice day!” She said and Harry nodded and then stepped outside. He quickly turned on the spot and appeared in front of his house. Now, it was time to write the letter. He quickly scrawled something at and attached it to owl’s leg. He ordered it off and as it flew away he wondered what it’s name would be.