Chapter 1 : A VERY DIFFERENT DAY
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A VERY DIFFERENT DAY
Harry filed the last paper and closed the cabinet draw, watching the clock as the second hand completed its last cycle, ticking slowly to 5 o'clock.
Yes! Finally, he thought.
He picked up his briefcase, left his office at the Ministry for Magic and walked slowly to the elevator along with most of the other wizards and witches that worked there.
Just like yesterday, he thought. And the day before and the day before that, and just like tomorrow and the next and the one after that, the same thing every day, FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE!
Ever since the battle with Voldemort and the destruction of Hogwarts, Harry and Ron had been working as Interns at the Ministry of Magic and at first it had seemed wonderful and magical, every day something new. That had lasted about a week. Then it was repetition, the same thing over and over. File this, fetch me that, he was Harry Potter, a name that no longer conjured whispers and stares. Now it was just Potter, where are you boy. I need...........
'Hi there, Harry.'
Harry smiled and turned to see his best friend Ron Weasly behind him.
'Hi there, Ron, good day?'
'Not bad, you?'
'Usual,' Harry replied with a sigh. 'Sometimes I think I miss the old days.'
'Are you mad!?' Ron exclaimed. 'We nearly died. EVERY year it was something! Give me the quiet of the office any day. What you need is a holiday, we should go away. We could go to Egypt.'
Every since Ron's first visit to Egypt, he’d wanted to go back. He still carried the family photo and talked about it all the time.
'Not a bad idea that Ron, I'll talk to Ginny.'
Harry and Ron queued up as one after another, a wizard or witch shot up one of the chimneys in a flash of green fire.
'See you tomorrow, Ron.'
'See you, Harry.'
Harry shot up the chimney and down into his home. From the outside, it was an old rundown, abandoned shack on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. Inside it was a large, well-established home with all the modern comforts of magic. Every since his first visit to the Weasly's home he had wanted something similar for his own, much much different from the home he grow up in on Privet Drive with the Dursleys. Here it was warm and inviting, fireplaces ablaze keeping the chill off the sea outside, large comfy sofas and armchairs filled the lounge. In one corner a Wizard's chess set was laid out, pieces dotted about the board as Harry and Ron were in midgame, in fact it was very much like the old Gryffindor common room, where he and Ginny had spent so many evenings with their friends whilst they were at Hogwarts
Large Grandfather Father Clocks tick tocked loudly, each one showing a different dial, one the muggle time, the next the location of family and friends, the next the different chores and tasks that were done or still to be done. Harry's didn’t notice the ‘Buy books and clothing for Hogwarts’ as he went through into the kitchen having heard noises and assumed Ginny had come calling.
Ginny was standing by the stove watching the pots stirring, the chicken in the oven basting and the kettle pouring steaming hot water into an impatient Teapot.
'Come on, come on' it complained. Master Potter is home and I need to let the tea brew, come on come on.'
Harry smiled, it was the same every day, but it eased his worries, calmed his thoughts, and made him warm inside.
It was home.
Ginny turned excitedly towards Harry,
'Harry, you'll never guess. Hogwarts has been rebuilt, it’s finished and they are taking in students again.'
Harry felt a pang of nostalgia and regret. He did miss the old days at Hogwarts and sometimes the bitterness that it had all been spoilt rose up within him. He tried to suppress the feelings and put on a smile for Ginny.
‘That’s great, good for them.’
Ginny wasn't listening she was talking excitedly about the books they would need to buy. ‘ We need to get Dark Art Defences, Spells and Incantations, Potions Level 5, new robes, new cauldrons, new everything. Saturday would be a good day to go to Diagon Alley, don’t you think? It’s going to cost a bit, good thing we never spent that reward money the Ministry gave us.’
Harry still wasn't listening;
‘Ron was talking about taking a holiday, to Egypt, what do you think? We could go in September after the school holidays; it will be cheaper then and cooler’.
Ginny had stopped talking and was looking at Harry with amusement
'Holiday, what holiday? We’re not going on holiday, Harry, haven't you been listening, we're going back. We got our letters today, we're going to Hogwarts!'
Harry was stunned; he hadn't heard it right, He couldn’t have, back to Hogwarts?
Ginny handed him his letter.
MR H Potter
The old Shack
On the cliff
By the sea
Harry turned it over and saw the familiar ruby seal of Hogwarts.
With shaking hands, he slipped his fingers beneath the flap, broke the seal, and took out the parchment inside.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WHITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDARY
Head Mistress: Minerva McGonagall
Dear Mr Potter
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to complete your year seven studies and graduation.
Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment
Term begins on September 1st. We await your owl by no later than 31st July
Deputy Headmaster Professor Flitwick
'No way,' he breathed.
Turning to Ginny he suddenly let out a loud yell. 'WE'RE GOING BACK TO HOTWARTS!' He grabbed Ginny and spun her around. He read the letter again and again hardly daring to believe it. This list of books was daunting, only Hermione would be happy to see a list that long.
Harry and Ginny had the same thoughts at the same time.
‘If we have our letters...................,’ said Harry.
‘They must have theirs,’ finished Ginny.
At that moment, an owl flew in through the window and dropped something onto the table.
‘It’s an Exclaimer,’ said Ginny.
Similar to the Howler that gave Ron angry telling off for flying the car to Hogwarts their second year, an Exclaimer was for good news.
Ginny grabbed it first, grinning at Harry in victory and opened it.
‘HARRY,’ it yelled. ‘HARRY, I GOT..... WE,’ Hermione’s voice cut in,
‘WHAT?’ Ron's voice sounding confused.
‘WE GOT,’ Hermione explained in her superior tone she always took when explaining things she thought were obvious to all
'Oh right' said Ron. ‘WE GOT LETTERS TO BACK TO HOGWARTS, WE'RE COMING OVER. NOW!’
Harry and Ginny both turned towards the lounge to see Hermione and Ron arrive in a flash of green fire. They rushed towards each other hugging and talking excitedly when another flash of green announced the arrival of George,
'Hello you lot. I see you got your letters too.'
'You got one as well?’ Ron questioned. 'But you were two years ahead of us'
'But we never finished, Fred and I. We left, if you remember. Well we've been invited back to complete the seventh year and graduate.'
Harry, Ron and Ginny all cheered, slapping George on the back and including him into their plans to visit Diagon Alley that weekend.
'Hang on,' said Hermione. 'You said 'WE'VE' been invited back, surely, I mean, they didn't send .......’
Blushing, Hermione turned away, hoping no one would see her brushing away a small tear.
With a small smile, George said, 'Never could get anything passed you Hermione, come on out Fred.'
With a loud, 'WE'RE GOING BACK TO HOGWARTS!' Fred appeared.
Fred stepped out of George; which would have freaked out anyone in the muggle world but Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny had been around ghosts for many years whilst they were at Hogwarts. They were nevertheless still startled.
'FRED! Ron yelled with glee and threw his arms around Fred, which of course went straight through his middle, pitching Ron face down on the carpet.
'Oowww,' he groaned
'Ron get up,' Hermione said crossly. 'Fred it's wonderful to see you again.'
Fred beamed as he looked around at the surprised faces of his friends and family, tears coursed down all faces even his ghostly face as they all digested seeing Fred again since his death during the battle with Voldemort.
Ginny was in floods of tears.
'Oh Fred I have missed you so much.’ Her hand stroked his ghostly arm.
Ron, having brushed himself of, stood with Harry, both trying to be stoic but still tears glistened on their faces. Only George remained dry eyed.
'Come on you lot, its only Fred' let’s all sit down. Harry I think your teapot is going to have a stroke if you don't pour that tea out soon.'
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