The Sugar Quill
Author: Wahlee (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: I Found Love  Chapter: Chapter Two--A Weasley Interlude
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Chapter 2: A Weasley Interlude
Chapter 2:

A Weasley Interlude



As Harry and Ginny landed in front of the Burrow, they immediately saw Ron standing on the doorstep, waiting for them.

"Ron!" Harry said as Ginny stepped off the Firebolt. "How did your lunch with the Grangers go? And where's Hermione? I thought she was going to come and spend a week or so with us."

"She's inside, playing with Megan."

"Oh, are Autumn and Remus here?" asked Ginny.

"No, just Megan. Mum's been babysitting while they run some errands."

"Oh goody," Ginny gave Harry a grin that made him go weak at the knees before running off to see Megan and Hermione. He watched her as she walked into the house, fascinated by the way the sun glinted off her hair. Only Ron's voice brought him out of his reverie.

"You have no idea how weird it is to see you looking at my sister like that."

Harry felt his face go hot. Over the past few weeks he and Ginny had spent a lot of time together, but they had rarely done more in public than hold hands—especially not in front of Ron. Harry fought the urge to cringe as he remembered Ron's reaction to the news that Harry and Ginny were now a couple. "You kissed my sister? Are you mad?" Hermione had tried to calm him down, and eventually Ron just sat there in dumbfounded amazement while Hermione and Ginny talked and giggled and Sirius and Remus alternated between being overjoyed and urging Harry not to overexert himself. Ron had never really mentioned the subject again, but Harry still felt uncomfortable bringing the whole thing to Ron's attention.

Harry rejected several responses to Ron's comment before answering—he didn't really feel like discussing his feelings for Ginny with Ron at the moment. He finally decided to turn the tables and change the subject all in one go. "Well, I'm sure it's something like seeing you looking at Hermione lately." Harry's reply had the desired effect, and he smiled as Ron's ears burned a bright red. "You haven't answered my question yet—how did your lunch with the Grangers go?" Ron and Hermione hadn't been able to go with Harry to Privet Drive because of an unexpected invitation to lunch with Hermione's parents. Ron had been extremely nervous. Not that he hadn't met Hermione's parents before—he'd seen them a couple of times over the summers—but this was the first time he'd spent any time with them. It didn't help that the lunch was at a fancy Muggle restaurant, either.

Ron sighed. "It went all right. I didn't really enjoy it much while it was happening, but looking back, I reckon it was fine. I remembered what fork to use and I didn't slurp my soup. Hermione's mum and dad are really nice, though—they asked if I wanted to come with them when they go to EuroDisney—I think that's what it's called—later on in the summer. I told them I'd see how things were going with you and let them know."

"Ron, I appreciate your wanting to stay with me, but I'm fine. I'll probably have moved in with Sirius by then anyhow, so I won't even be around. Send them an owl and tell them you'd be delighted."

"We'll see," Ron replied vaguely. Harry got the impression that there was more to it than just concern for himself, but that Ron wasn't in the mood to discuss it with him.

"C'mon, let's go see Hermione and Megan," Harry said, and started walking toward the house. Ron quickly followed.

~*~

Ginny entered the house and headed straight for the living room, where she could hear laughter. Her mother and Hermione were sitting on the floor, each trying to coax nine-month-old Megan Lupin to crawl to her. Megan herself was sitting in the middle of both, not really paying much attention to either one. When she saw Ginny, however, she immediately went on her knees and started crawling toward her.

"How's my favorite baby girl?" Ginny exclaimed as she picked Megan up and held her in the air. Megan giggled and tried to grab Ginny's nose.

"Ginny!" Hermione jumped up and walked over to her. "How did it go?"

"Well. . ." Ginny blushed and tried to look very intent on putting Megan's barrette more securely in her hair. "Harry did fine. I kind of blew up."

Mrs. Weasley looked sternly at her daughter. "You didn't! Ginny, what did you do?"

"Don't worry, Mum, I didn't flout the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardy. I just gave Harry's uncle the talking-to he deserved. Can you believe it—he gave Harry a bill for everything they spent on him! After the way they treated him!" Ginny could feel herself getting angry again. "I saw the cupboard they locked him up in—and then he had the nerve to ask Harry for ten thousand pounds!"

Hermione gasped. "They didn't!"

"They did. But after what I said, I don't think they'll be expecting anything. Anyway, it's over now. Harry's got his stuff, and we never have to see them again. So that's that." Ginny, sick of remembering the afternoon, changed the subject. "How was your lunch with your parents?"

"It went really well. Ron made a very good impression. Dad's been so worried—after Viktor Krum, he hasn't really trusted my taste in men."

"What was the matter with Viktor? He was a really nice fellow—he even fought on our side during the war."

"I know, but he's 3 years older than me and—I didn't really tell Mum and Dad that he was 18 until after fourth year was over. Dad thought Viktor had convinced me to lie to them, to cover it up. That's one reason why I didn't go to Bulgaria that summer—Mum and Dad wouldn't let me. Of course, they still don't know about half the stuff Harry and Ron and I did in school." Hermione giggled. "Anyway, they were very relieved. Dad doesn't have to worry about what I might get up to here anymore."

"And how about you, Mum?" Ginny asked, setting Megan down on the floor again. "How's your day been?"

"Not bad. Tara—or Autumn—and Remus dropped by just after you left, asking if I could watch Megan for the afternoon. They were worried about asking on such short notice, but Megan's such a good baby—especially compared to Fred and George—that I said I'd be glad to. She napped most of the afternoon, anyway. She just woke up about 15 minutes ago."

"When will they be back?" Ginny loved seeing her cousin. They had become like the sisters neither one had ever had during the time Autumn had spent at the Burrow between Ginny's third and fourth years, when she was still trying to get her memory back. Eventually Autumn had regained her memory, and they were still close even now that she had been married to Professor Lupin for almost 2 years and had a baby.

"I expect them any time now. They're staying for dinner, as well. I figured with everyone else we have coming over, three more won't make much of a difference. Besides, Remus will probably be interested in what your dad has to say as well."

Ginny had given up asking her mother what the big deal about tonigh was, so she just said "Oh, good." She felt a pressure on her feet and looked down to find Megan sitting on them, playing with her shoelaces. Ginny picked her up again and started tickling her. She was still enjoying Megan's giggles when Harry and Ron walked in.

"Can I hold her?" asked Harry. "I haven't been able to see her very often."

"Sure," Ginny said. She waited for Harry to put down his things then handed Megan over, who immediately started grabbing at his glasses. Harry threw her up in the air, sending Megan into peals of laughter.

"Careful, Harry—that's my daughter, not a Quaffle." Remus Lupin stood in the doorway with a slightly disapproving look on his face. Harry looked at his old teacher guiltily.

Autumn, who was standing behind her husband, snorted. "Like you haven't done the same thing every day since she was 3 months old."

"Autumn!" Ginny hurried to give her cousin a hug. "It's so good to see you!"

"You, too Gin." Autumn returned the hug fervently, then extended a hand to Harry. "It's nice to see you, too, Harry."

"Mrs. Lupin." Harry shifted Megan to his left arm so he could shake hands. "Thanks for letting me borrow your daughter."

"It's a pleasure. She seems to like you." Autumn smiled as Megan grabbed for Harry's glasses again. "And please, call me Autumn. Or Tara. One of the two." Autumn turned to Mrs. Weasley. "I hope you don't mind that we just walked in, Aunt Molly—I knocked but I don't think anybody heard. Thanks for watching Megan.  I hope she wasn't too much trouble."

"Not at all, Tara, dear. When you've raised 6 boys, a good-natured little girl like that is a walk in the park. Ginny was the same way—most of the time." Ginny blushed a little. Her temper tantrums as a toddler were legendary.

"Well, let me at least help you with dinner. You're going to have quite a crowd tonight."

"Oh, no, I'm just fine—why don't you stay and visit?"

After a little arguing, Mrs. Weasley finally agreed to let Autumn help with dinner. Ginny and Hermione offered to help as well, and as they took Megan with them, Ron, Harry and Remus were left in the living room. They didn't have long to chat, though.

"MO-ther! We're HO-ome!"

Fred and George came bounding into the room, having just Apparated back from a day at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley. "Cousin Remus!" Fred cried. Fred and George took no end of delight in the fact that one of the makers of the Maurader's Map was now related to them by marriage. Harry noticed that they made sure to attach the "cousin" to Remus' name whenever possible. "Is Megan here?"

"Yes, she's with her mother in the kitchen. But since your mother is also in there making dinner, you'd probably better just stay away. You know how Molly gets when there's a big meal to prepare."

Fred and George plopped down on one of the cushion-covered sofas. Harry often wondered why there we so many cushions on them—you had to put most of them on the floor to get more than two people onto them. They were probably just for decoration, he decided. "You're probably right, cousin," George replied. "I'm sure it's more fun in here, anyway. What were you talking about?"

"I was just about to ask Harry how his trip to the Dursleys went," Remus replied. "Did everything go all right, Harry?"

Harry explained what had happened. Ron got almost as mad as Ginny had been at the mention of the bill, but everyone laughed when they heard what Ginny had done.

"Good for her," said Fred. "He deserved it."

Before they could discuss the matter any further however, the sound of footsteps echoed in the hallway, and soon Percy arrived, carrying one of his triplets. Little eighteen-month-old Paige was resting her head on her father's shoulder, obviously shy of all the new people. "Harry—Remus. So nice to see you both." Percy extended his free hand to them.

"Percy," Remus replied. "Where are Penelope and the boys?"

"Penelope stayed in the kitchen to help with dinner, and Patrick and Preston are currently getting fussed over by our mum. When I heard you were here, though, I excused myself to pay my respects. We're going to have quite the full house tonight, aren't we?"

"I think everyone's going to be here but Charlie," Ron replied. "Can't get away from the dragons. Sirius is coming, too, and Mum said something about a surprise guest for dessert. I wonder where Bill is?" Harry still couldn't figure out what the big fuss was. He could understand a big Weasley get-together, but as to why Sirius and Remus were invited, he had no clue. A surprise guest puzzled him even more.

As if on cue, Bill walked into the room. After the greetings went around again, Harry realized his Firebolt and all his things were still sitting by the door. With all the little kids running around, they would probably be safer in his room. Excusing himself, he made his way to Percy's old room, which he had been given instead of sharing with Ron. "There's no point in having you share if we've got an empty room," Mrs. Weasley had said. Harry wasn't about to argue—he'd had seven years of sharing with Ron, and all the orange in Ron's attic room gave him a headache. As Harry walked back down the stairs, he heard a great commotion coming from the living room, and saw little Paige run for the kitchen. He rounded the corner just in time to have a cushion graze his head.

Immediately the commotion stopped. Harry almost laughed at the scene before him. The two big sofas had been emptied of all their cushions. Percy was standing in a corner looking disapproving, his horn-rimmed glasses slightly askew and a pile of cushions at his feet. Remus had at least three cushions in each hand, and judging by the look on Fred and George's faces, he'd been just about to hurl them all at them. Ron looked sheepish. "Sorry, Harry. Didn't mean to hit you there."

Harry turned around, took his glasses off and put them on the hall table, picked up the cushion that Ron had thrown (obviously aiming for Bill, who stood next to the door, his long hair escaping its ponytail) and threw it with all his might at Ron. Within seconds, the air was thick with cushions once again. Percy, after trying in vain to get everyone to stop, finally gave up and started pelting Fred and George with every cushion that came his way. A few minutes later Sirius arrived, noticed the fun, and jumped in, attacking Remus with gusto. He'd obviously been in his share of cushion fights. Harry was standing in the middle of the room with Sirius and Remus, trying to fend off a concerted attack from all five Weasleys, when he heard a loud whistle. Mrs. Weasley stood in the doorway. Expecting a lecture, Harry dropped the four cushions he'd been holding and looked guility at her. To his surprise, she only looked amused.

"It's a good thing I put those Unburstable Charms on those things all those years ago. Come along, boys. Your father's home and dinner's ready." The Weasleys (except Percy, who looked as though he was going to try and explain his involvment in such a disgraceful activity) all gave a whoop and ran for the kitchen. With the room relatively empty, Molly was able to see Sirius, who was helping Remus to banish the cushions back to the sofas. "So glad you could come, Sirius. Come on into the garden. There's so many of us we're eating outside."

Harry only had time enough to wonder again why everyone had to be at this dinner before he was herded toward the back door.

//
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