Chapter 2: Coming Home
to be back,” Ron said, gazing around the living room as he lifted his broom
from his trunk. “Do you want me to take your broom—” He stopped when he saw
the look on her face. “Sorry, Ginny. I wasn’t thinking.”
smiled sadly, “That’s all right. I know you meant well. I need to get my
trunk upstairs.” She drew her wand, pointed it at her trunk and started for
shut his trunk. “Ginny, wait,” he called after her. “Let me do it. My broom
can wait.” With a huge grin, he began levitating the trunk up the stairs,
leaving her in the empty kitchen. Ginny giggled as he commented, “I love being
took very little time, and Ginny soon found herself sitting on her bed with
nothing to occupy her. Mentally, she ticked off the items on her to-do list:
Floo home, unpack, start laundry, wait for Hedwig. The first three had been
accomplished easily enough; the hard part was waiting for Harry’s owl. She was
worried that the Dursleys would not pay attention to Madam Pomfrey’s letter and
require Harry to do chores that would harm him.
flurry of wings caught her attention, and Ginny looked up as Pig zoomed in
through her open window. He circled overhead once, then flew in tight circles
in front of her door as if trying to tell her he wanted out. He had a small
blue envelope she recognized as Hermione’s favourite stationery attached to his
leg. Smiling, Ginny rose and walked to the door. “Was my window the only way
in, Pigwidgeon?” she asked the little owl as she let him out. “Go on, then.
Ron will be waiting for Hermione’s letter.”
whim, Ginny followed Pig up the stairs to Ron’s room. The lid to Ron’s trunk
was open and the floor was littered with a year’s worth of belongings waiting
to be stored away. Ron sat on his bed reading Hermione’s letter, completely
oblivious to Pig choking on an owl treat. He looked up as Ginny strode over to
Pig’s cage and unstuck his beak.
get home all right?”
She’s going with her parents to Ireland for a week’s holiday starting
tomorrow. She says they are going to try to get tickets to a Balleycastle Bats
match while they’re there. She thinks her dad will like our sport. She’s
found a spell she can cast on her parents that will cancel the effects of the
Muggle-Repelling spells on the stadium. I hope it works for her sake.”
too. I’d love to see another match,” Ginny mused wistfully, brushing Ron’s
dirty laundry off his desk chair and sitting down. “Maybe some day...”
hasn’t come yet.”
will. It might take a little longer for them to drive home than it did us to
wait until dark before I start worrying,” Ginny decided aloud.
stood up. “Let’s go for a walk,” he suggested, folding his letter and stashing
it in his bedside cabinet. “I could use one after sitting so long on the
me grab my walking stick,” she replied.
set out through the back garden and headed toward the pond. As they neared the
water, Ginny commented, “You and Hermione are getting along quite well these
grinned. “I know we’re not bickering as much as we were, if that’s what you
giggled. “True. She also seems to have glued herself to you, at least while
we were on the train.”
was really hard to say good bye. I didn’t want her to leave,” Ron admitted sheepishly.
“I wish I’d had the courage to tell her sooner. We could have had loads of
but you’re so chicken-hearted about sharing your feelings, you wouldn’t have told
Hermione if we hadn’t had that little talk yesterday morning. You two would
still be dancing around each other, avoiding your mutual attraction and
annoying the rest of us with your stubbornness,” she said. A smile graced her
lips as she added, “At least this way everyone went home with the knowledge
that next term will be a bit more peaceful in the common room!”
We were never that bad!” Ron protested. He stopped walking, looking worried.
rolled her eyes. “Keep telling yourself that,” she teased. “But I think some
other twosome will now have the chance to take your place as the most annoying
couple in the common room.” She didn’t wait for his response, but took off at
a slow jog, glorying in the thought that she could run away from Ron even if
he’d catch her in two or three strides.
grabbed her round the middle and swung her in a circle like he used to do when
they were little.
me down!” she demanded, laughing.
if you take that back!”
spun them again, slipped on the grass and they tumbled towards the pond in a
happy, tangled heap. Ginny was the first to stand and offered her hand. “That
was fun!” she exclaimed, pulling Ron to his feet.
grinned at her. “Yeah. Are you all right?”
picked up her walking stick and set off around the pond. “I’m fine, Ron.
Really.” She paused and glanced up shyly at her brother. “You haven’t done that
since before we went to Hogwarts. You make a good cushion.”
a good pillow, according to Hermione,” Ron replied, a faraway look flitting
across his face.
giggled at the thought. “Harry thinks my lap makes a pretty good pillow, too,”
made a gagging noise. “Spare me the gory details, please,” he groaned.
walked in silence for a while, Ron sometimes stooping to pick up stones, which
he skipped across the pond. Ginny walked out onto the dock and sat down to
dangle her feet in the water. When Ron joined her, the minnows in the pond to
fled to escape his shadow. Ginny was sad to see them go; her good mood slipped
she asked pensively, “Is it just me or is Harry trying to distance himself from
an eyebrow. “What gave you that idea?”
lot of things, actually,” she said, gazing out over the water, “but mostly how
he’s been acting lately. You know, sort of cagey about his meetings with
Professor Dumbledore. Just this morning he told me he wasn’t going to wear his
phoenix very often this summer.” She looked at Ron expectantly. “I know
something is up, Ron, and I don’t like being kept in the dark.”
glanced away, looking uncomfortable. “Harry’s just found out the extent of his
responsibilities in this war, Ginny,” he said gravely. “They’re dangerous to
him and anyone who knows what they are. The fewer people who know the better.
He only told Hermione and me because Dumbledore insisted he have someone to
discuss things with.”
twisted around to look at him. “Why can’t I be privy to everything you can?”
she demanded stubbornly, hating the way her eyes were beginning to tear up.
This conversation was making her feel as if she was eleven years old again;
left out because she was the youngest and not considered old enough to
participate in everything her brothers could.
closed his eyes and exhaled heavily. “I really wish we could tell you
everything!” he exclaimed. “It would make things so much easier!”
why don’t you just up and tell me?” she demanded, getting up.
can’t...” Ron said with a frustrated growl. “Because Dumbledore and Harry made
us promise... No, that’s not right. Harry has this notion that you need to be
protected! That’s what!”
don’t need protecting, Ron! I’m perfectly capable of defending myself! No
matter what Harry thinks!”
scrambled to his feet. “Listen to me,” he demanded as she turned her back to
him. “Harry loves you! So much more than he’s ever let on! He’s afraid that
if you knew his secrets the Death Eaters and V-Voldemort would use you as a
pawn to get to him.” He grabbed her by the elbows and spun her round, forcing
her to look at him. “Ginny, Harry told me the other night that if anything
ever happened to you again he would go crazy. He’s terrified that the Death
Eaters will capture you... he wants you to be safe... he wants you to be there
when he comes home!”
eyebrows shot up. “Comes home?” she gasped.
swore. “I’ve said too much already!” he exclaimed, dropping is hands and
striding away angrily.
followed him up the bank towards the orchard. “Does any of this have anything
to do with the fact that last night Harry asked me to wait for him? What about
the fact that he might be too scared to speak? Is he really facing death?” she
asked, blocking his way.
face registered myriad emotions as he nearly yelled, “Yes, Ginny! It has everything
to do with all that! You heard what he said that day in the Room of
Requirement. It’s either one or the other! Why else has he trained so hard
and gone through hell to make sure you and I and everyone else has a chance at
a better life? Harry doesn’t want to sacrifice himself, but he will if he has
crumpled to the grass as hot tears coursed down Ginny’s cheeks. He sat there,
breathing hard as she knelt next to him, also fighting to control her
emotions. Finally, she murmured, “I want to be with him, Ron.”
know, Ginny, but if you’re with him he’ll do nothing but worry about keeping
you safe,” Ron said softly. “If he’s distracted by anything he won’t focus
completely on getting rid of Voldemort. He has to be focused. Can you
nodded, struggling to accept the fact that it was best for Harry that she
remain safely at home. “I can, but it isn’t easy. I’m going to worry about
him, you know,” she told Ron in a small voice.
smiled sadly. “I don’t think he’d have it any other way.”
stood and resumed their walk, heading towards the family Quidditch pitch. They
emerged from the trees just as Ginny thought of her father’s promise at King’s
you think there’s really a possibility of going to Mrs Figg’s to see Harry this
week?” she asked tentatively.
shrugged. “I reckon it all depends on how Harry’s feeling and whether or not
Dumbledore thinks it would be a good idea,” he said.
turned sharply to face Ron. “I know visiting Harry would be a good idea whether
Dumbledore thinks so or not, Ron,” she said, almost pleading. “I think I have
Dad convinced of that. Harry needs something to look forward to while he’s
cooped up with those awful relatives of his. Getting to see us might just be
the trick to keep him going until the headmaster fetches him.” Ginny looked
down at the ground, adding softly, “I’m just worried that Dudley will mistreat
him intentionally and Harry will hurt his shoulder again.”
worried too but wasn’t going to admit that just then. “Harry can look out for
himself, Ginny,” he replied. “Besides, he has the Order guarding him day and
night wherever he goes. Dudley wouldn’t dare mistreat him. Nor would his aunt
and uncle after they read what was in Madam Pomfrey’s letter.”
you’re right,” Ginny said as Pig fluttered up.
note was attached to the owl’s leg. Ron plucked him out of the air and read
it. “Mum and Dad are back and Mum wants us to come in to help with dinner,” he
reported. He grinned. “Hedwig’s here, too. Mum says she won’t give her
message to anyone but you.”
gave a little hop of joy. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” she
asked and started back towards the house at a brisk walk.
on the back of your chair,” her mother called from the sink when Ginny and Ron
entered the kitchen a few minutes later.
leaned her walking stick against the door jam. “Thanks, Mum,” she called
happily, walking over to the elegant white owl. “What do you have for me?”
stuck out her leg, regarding Ginny with an imperious look that made her
giggle. “I know. I took too long, didn’t I?” she asked as she removing
Harry’s letter. Hedwig twittered impatiently, then fluttered over to Errol’s
water bowl as Ginny tore open the envelope. She read as quickly as she could
with Ron hovering over her shoulder trying to see what his best friend had to
this is my letter. It’s personal! I’ll read you the parts you
can hear when I’m done!” she exclaimed in exasperation as Ron tried to take the
letter for the third time.
does he say, Ginny? Did he get home safely?” her mother queried. “Ron, stop
pestering your sister and come peel sprouts for dinner.”
groaned and picked up a knife. When his mother turned back to the stove, Ron
slipped out his wand and pointed it at the colander of sprouts, murmuring a
spell. The next instant, the sprouts grew stumpy little legs and began running
all over the counter screaming, “Watch out for the knife!”
Weasley! Cancel that charm immediately!” Mrs. Weasley yelled, grabbing
for a nearby pot lid which she slammed down on top of the colander at the same
time as she tried to commandeer Ron’s wand to do it herself.
Incantatem!” Ron hollered, just in time to scoop up half a dozen of the
offending vegetables as their legs disappeared and they rolled off the counter.
stood where she was, clutching her letter to her stomach and laughing more than
she had all week, as Ron corralled the last of the sprouts and grudgingly
picked up the knife again. Ginny resumed her reading.
letter was short, just a note really. She was happy to see that he’d gotten
home relatively unscathed, but was surprised by what he said about Dudley. We’ll
see how helpful that bloke is when Harry gets here, she thought, tucking
the note into her pocket. To Ron and her mother she said, “Harry’s home safe
now and so far he hasn’t had to do much more than set the table for dinner.”
a relief,” Mrs. Weasley said as a rogue sprout scampered across the back of the
stove. She aimed her wand at it and sent it into Ron’s colander for peeling.
“Call your father. Dinner is almost ready.”
dinner, her parents wanted to know more about the awards ceremony than there
had been time for at King’s Cross. Ron and Ginny told the story with many
interruptions from the elder Weasleys—and each other as they remembered new
things to tell. The conversation progressed to plans for the rest of the
summer, along with the startling news that Bill had just asked Fleur Delacour –
who worked at Gringotts with him – to be his wife. Ron’s ears turned bright
red when he reminded everyone that Fleur was one of the participants in the
she be coming here for dinner?” Ginny asked.
no,” Mr. Weasley answered. “Your mother and I will be meeting Bill and Fleur
in London. We’ve arranged for you to visit your Great Aunt Muriel that
not going!” Ron stated flatly, throwing down his napkin and pushing away from
the table. “The last time we were at her house, she treated me like I was four
instead of fourteen. Isn’t there any other place we could go?”
Weasley shot a piercing glare at her son, and Ginny could see a head of steam
beginning to build. “Ronald Bilius Weasley, don’t you take that tone with me,”
Mrs. Weasley said. “You will do exactly as you’re told, young man! We’ve
decided that Auntie Muriel’s is the best place for the two of you to stay out
of age,” Ron shot back. “I don’t have to go to Auntie Muriel’s if I don’t want
down, Ron,” Mr. Weasley said. “Molly, Ron may be right. Perhaps the children
should have some say in this.” He then turned to his son. “Do you have any
suggestions as to where the two of you might stay?”
and Ron exchanged glances across the table. Ginny inclined her head slightly
as Ron said, “I was thinking of asking Professor Dumbledore’s permission to
stay at Hogwarts with Neville. He’s going back sometime next week to finish up
his article for the Healer’s Journal and do some additional
experimentation with the Stink Sap extracts.” He looked hopefully at their
and Mrs Weasley gazed intently at each other for a few moments, a means of
communicating with each other which they had perfected over the years when it
was impossible to hear each other over the clamour of seven noisy children.
Ginny and Ron had dubbed this silent communication “The Look.” If the stare
ended in frowns, they knew they didn’t have a prayer of getting what they
wanted. However, tonight’s silent exchange ended with nods and slight smiles.
Mr Weasley said almost casually, “Shall you or I write the headmaster, dear?”
Weasley looked at Ron and Ginny expectantly. “If you two will clean up the
kitchen I’ll write to Professor Dumbledore.”
beamed at her mother. “Thank you. It will be nice to see Neville and Harry.”
going to be at Hogwarts this summer?” inquired Mr Weasley.
Ron answered. “Harry told us he won’t be staying with the Dursleys very long
this summer. He needs to meet with Professor Dumbledore and the best solution
was for him to live at Hogwarts before coming here after his birthday.”
see,” Mr Weasley said noncommittally. “Very well. If Professor Dumbledore
agrees, then you most likely will have a good time that weekend.”
began gathering the plates and taking them to the sink. As she came back for
more she asked casually, “Mum, would you ask Professor Dumbledore if Ron and I
could impose on Mrs Figg to have tea with Harry later this week?”
Weasley spoke directly to Ginny. “Thank you for reminding me of that. I don’t
think it’s necessary to bother Professor Dumbledore about it. I’ll enquire with
Arabella about an appropriate day and have an answer for you very soon. Would
you like to be the one to tell Harry of your plans?”
huge grin lit up Ginny’s face as she said, “Yes, thank you, Dad. I’ll write
back to him as soon as Ron and I finish the dishes.” Looking at Ron, she
nodded towards the table and picked up the bowl of left-over sprouts and the
empty bread basket. He grinned back and picked up the nearly empty platter of
roast chicken and followed her over to the counter. As soon as they had
everything cleaned up and the extra food put away, Ron went into the living
room to challenge their father to a game of chess and Ginny retired to her room
to write to Harry.
so glad you got home safely and are being allowed to relax a bit.
never guess what Dad is going to arrange with Mrs Figg...
End of Chapter 2
thanks to my pre-beta GhostWriter who helped me immensely with dialog and
keeping the characters from getting too out of character. Thank you also to my
beta Lady Narcissa. She does so much for me in the way of encouragement,
grammar control and comma policing that what you've just read is as polished as
it is because of her. Finally, thank you readers for your wonderful comments.
They keep me going and eager to finish the story I started. I really enjoy
reading what you have to say.