Chapter 4 : A night under the stars
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Ron shuffled his feet awkwardly as he headed towards Hermione to kiss her goodnight. He saw similar postures on Harry and Percy. George and Charlie were smirking at them and Bill and Fleur had already disappeared into their own tent with a look of married superiority. When all the uncomfortable good nights were completed the boys made their way back to the tent. Ron couldn’t help but notice the angry glares his brothers were giving Harry; he tried not to laugh, as uncomfortable as thoughts of Harry and Ginny’s love life made him, he was still better at coping then his brothers were. They couldn’t seem to wrap their minds around why Harry and Ginny had to kiss; hand holding seemed like more than enough physical contact.
In the tent the boys quickly changed into Pajamas, Ron sighed as he pulled on his perpetually too small maroon pajamas. The tent was rather large with four sets of bunk beds, a bath, and a small kitchen. Teddy was hopping up and down on Harry’s bunk while Harry tried patiently to get the squirming child ready for bed. Ron was sharing a bunk bed with Harry and Teddy so he fervently hoped the child would calm down. Finally everyone was in their night clothes and Teddy was snuggling his stuffed wolf, named moony, contentedly.
George looked around the tent at his brothers and evil grin stretching across his face, “Okay boys, mum’s not around, how about some more truth or dare?” Ron glanced around nervously and nodded his assent. They sat in a circle on the floor, Teddy at Harry’s insistence remained in the bed. George went first, “Ron Truth or Dare?”
Ron gulped, why did he have to get picked first, “Dare.” He closed his eyes and awaited his sentence. Finally after what seemed an eternity George spoke, “Your dare is to strip naked and go jump in the lake. Then come back here and your hair better be wet.” Ron felt his ears go red and moved to the tent flap before removing his pajamas; hopefully they would still be here when he got back. Taking a deep breath he ran into the night and jumped in the lake, the water was freezing. After ensuring all parts of his body had gotten wet Ron climbed out of the water looking towards the girls’ tent. He hoped they didn’t come out and see him.
Ron rushed back into the tent and hurriedly covered his freezing body with his still warm pajamas. Harry used his wand to help dry Ron off and soon he stopped shivering. Ron looked up to see Bill and his dad walking into the tent. “Bill and I decided we would come see what you were up to.” Arthur Weasley smiled down at his children. “Mum and Fleur were going to have a little girl time," Bill explained.
In the girls tent Hermione was looking around nervously. Their tent was identical to the boys, just a bit smaller. Fleur and Mrs. Weasley had just shown up to have some girl time. Hermione felt as though her stomach was in knots. This was too like those awful childhood slumber parties. Hermione knew Ginny and Mrs. Weasley would never try to hurt her, but she didn’t know about Fleur or Audrey, and accidents could happen.
The women settled in on the bed, baby Victoire was tucked into some blankets fast asleep. Once she was sure her daughter was asleep Fleur looked to the other women, “Okay, ze men are off getting into zome mischief, now it ez time for a little girl talk.” Hermione eyed Ginny nervously; the other women tittered at the idea of girl talk. Audrey spoke up, “So basically you want to talk about our love lives.” Fleur looked at Audrey like she had two heads, and Mrs. Weasley spoke, “Of course dear, there’s nothing wrong with a little chat between us girls.” Fleur nodded in agreement, “So let us start wiz the obvious, ow iz it?” Fleur looked suggestively at the other women. Hermione and Ginny exchanged a glance. Hermione wasn’t really comfortable talking about her and Ron’s love life, and she knew Ginny and Harry were waiting for something. This was going to be a long night.
Several uncomfortable hours later, everyone was returned to their beds and settling in for the night. For a while only the sounds of snoring could be heard coming from the tents and then everyone was startled awake by the gut wrenching screams that tore through the night. Harry and Ron were both thrashing about in their beds. Harry was screaming, “NO, PLEASE DON’T HURT THEM. STOP! PLEASE STOP!” A terrified Teddy was sitting in the corner of the bed crying as he tried to wake his still screaming godfather. Ron fell out of his bunk, his words ripping from his throat, “NO, PLEASE, DON’T! TAKE ME INSTEAD!” Percy pulled Teddy from Harry’s bed and tried to comfort the toddler, while George and Charlie tried to wake the screaming boys. Arthur came running into the tent just in time to see both boys wake up still visibly shaking.
The two pale boys were covered in sweat, they looked at each other and an understanding passed between them. Arthur put a hand on each boy’s shoulder, “Maybe you two should get cleaned up, then have a nice cup of tea and head back to bed.” Before either boy could answer a scream pierced the night, they looked at each other, “Hermione.” Before Arthur could stop them they were racing across the campsite to the girls’ tent. They found the girls crowded around Hermione’s bunk, Molly was sitting on her bed trying to calm the shrieking girl. Ron managed to shake Hermione awake. The three friends looked at each other and remembered the last time they had been in a tent together. It had been when they were captured by snatchers. When Hermione was tortured by Bellatrix. The three wandered out to the edge of the lake still shaken from their nightmares and sat shoulder to shoulder looking out over the landscape.
Hermione was the first to speak, “I don’t think I can go back into that tent tonight.” Harry and Ron nodded their agreement, so all three summoned their bed clothes and they laid them out on the beach side by side. Teddy escaped Percy’s clutches and ran up to Harry, “Awwe, you otay?” Harry smiled down at the little boy; his hair was a deep blue which means he was worried. Harry picked Teddy up and cuddled him, “Everything is fine kiddo, it was just a nightmare.” Eventually Ron and Hermione fell asleep holding hands, and Teddy curled into Harry’s chest and was softly snoring. Harry lay awake and stared at the moon. He couldn’t help but remember all the bad memories, a wave of guilt rolled over him, and he felt his mood sinking. Harry tried to shake himself out of it, he wasn’t going to let anyone hurt these people he loved again, and Teddy may not have parents, but he had Harry and he would make sure Teddy always knew how much he was loved. Eventually Harry slipped into unconsciousness.
Molly and Arthur watched them fall asleep; they gave each other concerned looks. Would Harry, Ron, and especially Hermione be able to sleep in the tents all week?
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