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"So how about here?"

"No."

"Here?"

"No."

"Madam Puddifoot's?"

"Merlin, no!" Lily said exasperatedly as he felt the frustration build in his shoulders.

Their first date was not going as he planned. He had wanted to sweep her off her feet and make her melt at how romantic he was. Though, after she said she didn't want to go to the Three Broomsticks, he had to come up with something new. Snow was beginning to fall around them as he waved at a few mates that were heading over to the Hog's Head.

Turning to look across at Lily, she was staring up at the snow as if she'd been waiting for it. Her deep emerald eyes seemed to sparkle as the snowflakes collected on her eyelashes and throughout her red hair. She looked gorgeous, slightly dusted with shimmering powder as she stuck out her tongue slowly to catch a stray flake. It gave him an idea.

"Stay here, will you? Don't leave, I promise I'll be right back," he put up his hands and grabbed her shoulders as if planting her into the ground. She kind of just looked at him oddly for a moment before he turned his back and ran.

Squeezing through the crowds, he made his way down the trail with a few looks back to see Lily still standing where he left her. Making his way into Honeydukes, he saw Sirius and Remus at the counter and made his way towards them. They both gave him odd looks when he approached, Sirius stuffing his face with treacle fudge.

"Are they still making that cocoa?" James asked, bending over with his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath. Sirius leant over and hit his friend in the back a few times until he stood up and swatted him back.

"Yeah, they are. It's like pure Honeydukes Special," Remus said with a bright smile, a light brown cocoa mustache across his top lip.

"Ol' Moony has already had three, mate, you might want to grab some," Sirius teased, flicking Remus behind the ear before he pushed him back.

Leaving them there bickering like always, he got Mr. Flume's attention and ordered two big cups of chocolate. It only took a few minutes but it felt like everything was going extremely slow to the panicky Gryffindor. He knew if he didn't get back to her fast enough she'd leave him and his one chance would be ruined. As soon as the cups hit the counter he threw some knuts and sickles at the owner and ran out the door with his friends yelling words of encouragement.

"SHAG HER GOOD PRONGSY!"

At least, he took that as a special kind of encouragement. Running back up the road, he reached the spot where he had asked her to stay and she was gone. It was like a bubble full of air was expanding in his chest in panic as he searched around him like a lost child. About to start searching for her, he felt a tap on his back and jumped in surprise. Turning around, Lily was holding a laugh carefully behind her lips as he let out a deep sigh of relief.

"I thought you disappeared on me," he said, handing her one of the cocoas and tried to calm down. Nodding his head towards the path, they began walking again and made their way out of the village.

"I said I'd give this a shot, Potter, I wouldn't just run away like that," she smiled, blowing on her drink before letting out a small laugh. "Okay, maybe I would…but I didn't."

"Yeah, see, exactly! Anyway, come on, I think I finally figured something we can do," he took her gloved hand in his and was happy when she didn't pull away.

Walking up and away from everything, he began talking to her about things that he knew wouldn't lose him points. Class, books, and graduation were safe enough topics that he actually got some laughs out of her and she agreed on things. It was a whole new world out there for him, and he was reaping in the benefits happily. Getting to a place in the path he knew was going to get rough; he took her cocoa from her and set both cups in the snow.

"Nice place you've got here," she looked around them at the trees and wondered just what he was planning.

"We're going to have to climb up that way," he replied, pointing towards the woods behind him as she raised an eyebrow as if he was insane. "It's a bit rough but I'm sure you can do it."

"I'm wearing stockings Potter, I'm not –"

"You'll be fine, just trust me."

The way he looked at her was so sincere that she just let out a long sigh, shook her head, and then took his hand again. They began to climb up the hill, Lily's slipping and cursing every now and again making James grin like a mad man. Turning back to look at her once he saw her slip on a stick and fall on her butt and he couldn't help letting out a loud laugh.

"I want to go back; I don't want to climb this stupid hill anymore." She pouted, looking up at him from under the hair that had fallen into her face. He bit his tongue to keep from laughing more, squatting down and putting out his hand before she just slapped it away.

"Come on Lily, please. I've been planning this out for the last fifteen minutes," he got a smile out of her, though anger was still simmering behind her eyes. "If you don't like what I have in mind, I promise you can push me down the hill and then dump whatever was left of your cocoa on me."

"Well, if I get to do that…" she finally accepted his hand again, standing up and brushing off the back of her jacket. "You better be bruised and battered when we're done."

"I promise. I'll even try to break something."

Leading her the rest of the way up, they finally reached one of his favorite places in the world. It was a small overlook that had an amazing view of not only Hogsmeade but the Shrieking Shack. He had found this place years ago when he was running around as a stag looking for Remus when he got loose on a full moon. It was quiet up here, two large trees keeping it practically invisible to anyone below them.

Hoping he'd made a good decision by bringing her here, he took a chance and looked over to see her looking out over the grounds. She looked amazed, as if she couldn't believe that he knew this place existed or that he'd care to know this place existed. Turning back to James, she giggled a little before reaching up towards his hair.

"You've got a twig in your hair, James," she told him, her pretty pink lips lifting up into a smile. One of her hands pushed through his messy locks to pull out a stick and, painfully, a few of his hairs.

"Ow, watch it there Lily…don't need to make any clones of me I hope," he teased, rubbing the top of his head as she rolled her eyes.

"Trust me, I don't think anyone could take two James Potters."

Though she still acted irritated, her eyes didn't hold the same attitude. She looked happily at him, as if really enjoying herself and pleased that she came. It made his heart warm when she looked at him like that, as if she felt the same way about him that he had felt about her for so long.

"You sure? We'd be the life of every party and then you could boss the other one around and have more time to snog me," he joked as her cheeks turned red, making him delight in the fact that he could make her blush such a beautiful color.

"You are such a tosser," she pulled on his scarf all of a sudden, dragging him closer as she fixed it for him.

It was like the whole world died around them in that moment, the snow falling and keeping them in their own little bubble. Lily was looking up at him from under her eyelashes, her lips opened slightly in surprise as she finally looked at James Potter. His own cheeks were red from the cold but she could tell some of it had to be from how close she was standing. It made her heart pick up in speed, his hands coming up to rest on her arms as she finished pulling his scarf tight.

"You look gorgeous, Lily, honestly."

"James, please –"

"I mean it. I know I've been an arse and that you've hated me since forever, but I'll always –"

"Shut it and kiss me already, Potter."

His eyes widened into large circles for a moment behind his glasses, Lily laughing at his reaction before she tugged on his scarf and brought his mouth down to hers. It was a careful kiss, soft against her mouth and surprisingly warm. He tasted of chocolate and mint; his arms wrapping around her and making her feel safe and happy. Two things she never thought she'd ever feel in his arms.

James couldn't believe he was finally kissing the fiery redhead, her body so warm and close to his that he could smell the lavender shampoo she always used. One of his hands couldn't help tangling into the curls at the end of her hair as he pulled back and looked down into her face. She was smiling more widely than he had ever seen and her eyes shone brightly up at him. Bending in again, he laid a butterfly kiss across her cheek and apologized when his glasses scratched against her nose.

"Bloody stupid things," he swore, pushing them back up his nose when they separated.

"I've always liked them."

"Really?"

"Yeah…made you appear more intelligent than you actually are."

"Thanks –hey! Wait a minute Evans!"

And with that, they ran back down the hill with her red hair flying behind her and both of them laughing loud within the quiet trees. It would be something neither of them would ever forget, the smells, the sights, the feelings they had. They'd both always remember their first kiss, and they'd both always remember the love they felt for each other.
A fic inspiried by a drawing by ~andells

Just a short story about James and Lily's first date. Hope y'all like it :)
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It had been a long hot day. James's hair stuck to the back of his neck as he walked down the path to the gate in front of his parent's cottage. He leaned over it, sighing, as there was no sign of life moving along the dirt road. The wind was picking up now, rolling across the field that bordered the road, rippling it as though it were a great golden ocean. Dark clouds were appearing on the horizon, framing the gold with dark blue. James looked over into Mrs. Wittle's yard, where the well endowed Mrs. Wittle herself was hastily pulling down her laundry in anticipation of the impending storm. She glanced at the clouds worryingly as she pulled down her last pair of pinstriped knickers, catching James in her eyesight and waving. James waved back, watching as she turned and collected her lawn gnomes and took them inside with her. James turned his attention back to the road, ruffling his hair in the wind. No sign of Sirius yet, but his excitement was mounting as the clouds approached. The darker it got, the higher the buzz rose in his stomach. He loved storms. All the better to run around in. He turned his back to the road once more, observing his home lazily. It was a traditional english cottage, boring enough, but pleasant for his parents. It was the woods just behind it that he enjoyed. He grinned sheepishly to himself, imagining his parent's faces if only they knew that he ran around in there turning into a great big - BAM! James spun around, his mouth dropping as thousands of glittering sparks rained down into the field, followed by a faint noise. There was a speck on the horizon, and it was laughing hysterically. The speck grew larger and larger to take the shape of a sixteen year old boy on a broomstick with several trunks swinging below him. Sirius Black had not yet landed, and yet he had already flown from London on a broomstick, in daylight, performed underage magic, in daylight, and had caused enough of a spectacle to draw Mrs. Wittle to her window. In daylight. James could not have been grinning wider as he threw open the gate to meet Sirius as he landed a few yards away.
"Nice" James laughed,
"And how are you?" Sirius grinning wildly, his black hair whipping in the wind.
"Fantastic, though I think Mrs. Wittle disapproves." James gestured with his thumb behind him. Sirius leaned sideways, looking past James to wave at the pursed-lipped Mrs. Wittle, who promptly shook her head and disappeared into her house.
"How wonderful, a neighbor!" Sirius smiled as James helped him untie all of his worldly belongings from the broom. "You know, I've always fancied this place. Peaceful. Desperately in need of my presence." He grinned, meeting James's eyes. James couldn't stop smiling as he took in his dearest friend. Sirius's black hair had grown just past his ears now. He was wearing an open collared maroon shirt, with the sleeves rolled up past his elbows, overtop of a black v-neck that was coupled with tight black jeans, dragon hide boots and black arm bands. This was the child he was about introduce to his parents as their temporary son. They had spoken to Sirius at the train station before, yes, but generally he had not been wearing anything that might give the impression that he had just come from the scene of a mugging on those occasions. It was perfect. The wind was blowing up both of their shirts, the dark clouds were on top of them and Sirius was moving in. James couldn't imagine a better day. Other than perhaps one that involved Lily confessing her complete and utter love for him in the great hall in front of everyone at school. But this was still a fantastic day.

Sirius was practically prancing up the path to James's front door, with James following along behind just as enthusiastically. Sirius paused at the door, looking back to James.
"Open it! It's your house too now," James laughed, as Sirius grinned widely, opening the door. The two boys stood in the entrance hall, kicking off their footwear. James took the lead past the living room where his parents were reading to the background tones of an old radio. They both looked up, smiling warmly as Sirius came to a halt before them,
"Thank you so much for this, I promise I'll look for a place of my own for next summer" Sirius mumbled as Mrs. Potter flew to her feet, taking him into an embrace.
"You can stay here as long as you like, Sirius." She said, patting his cheek, "we're so happy to have you. Plus it will be nice for James to have someone his age.." She looked to James, who smiled looking from his mother to his best friend. Mrs. Potter released Sirius,
"James will show you your room - it's just an old guest room, I'm afraid, but I hope you'll feel at home there. If there is anything at all that you need, just ask" She smiled,. Sirius nodded, smiling a rare smile of gratitude. James gestured towards the hall, and Sirius followed after him. james walked past his own room, plastered in posters of quidditch players and popular singers to a slightly smaller room, painted completely in white. Sirius threw his trunk on the bed, spinning around on the spot. James opened his mouth to apologize about the size when Sirius burst out,
"THIS IS BRILLIANT!"
"Really?" James asked,
"Oh my god, James, your parents... this is more than I imagined. When I wrote you I was hoping for maybe a spot on your floor or in your basement ... never a room for myself." Sirius blinked, looking around again.
"Oh, well perfect!" James laughed, "Mum said we can paint it any colour you'd like, so we can go into the Muggle village tomorrow and buy some."
"Really? That's amazing. Truly, wickedly amazing, mate." Sirius grinned as the rain began pouring down outside, hitting the bedroom window in sheets of white.

Sirius and James spent the evening unpacking, their talking and laughing mixing like a medley with the thunder above. Towards the end of the night James found himself rolling on the floor with laughter after having caught Sirius attempting to slyly slip a stack of WickedWitches magazines under his new pillows. He was roused from his fits of laugher by Mrs. Potter calling them both to the kitchen. Sirius tossed the dirty magazines aside as they both headed out the door. Mrs. Potter had two large bowls of strawberries mixed with whipped cream on the table for them. She set her wand on the counter as the boys entered the kitchen, and passed them the bowls.
"You can eat wherever you like" She smiled, "mind there's a lovely light show going on outside," she gestured out the window at the chairs on the covered porch with a wink as she returned to the living room. Once the two empty bowls were resting on the wet edge of the deck, the two teenage wizards stood staring out into the inviting shadow of the woods against a flash of lightning. James looked over to Sirius who had his wand tucked into his back pocket. The buzz in his stomach had returned. They were immortal, really. Nothing could hurt them as long as they had their wands. That, coupled with their animagus forms and their undoubtably unparalleled wit - they were invincible. James's eyes caught Sirius's in another flash of lightning, who had an eyebrow arched over his reckless grin.
"Care for a run?" Sirius asked casually,
"Sounds freshening" James breathed,  and without another word Sirius took off towards the woods. James took off at a run right behind him, their slim silhouettes caught in several flashes of light as they neared the edge of the trees. Sirius whipped out his wand with a bark of laugher and shot off red sparks into the sky to challenge the lightning's domain.  James laughed, running through the trees parallel to Sirius at a dangerous speed. They shot sparks and disarming spells at each other, the sound of their roaring laughter and ricocheting spells drowned out by the storm. Branches scratched their arms, and mud splashed up their legs and they ran on, laughing and ducking each others shots. James lost sight of Sirius in the dark, and fell back to a stop to catch his breath. Just as he bent over to think, a giant bear like dog jumped off a tree and landed with a thunderous bark just feet away from him. James yelled, stumbling back over branches, landing in a fit of laughter as the dog stood over him, placing a heavy paw on his chest to declare victory. James rolled himself back onto his feet, still panting. He stuck his wand in a nearby tree, and he took off his sweater and tied it around the trunk. James turned back to Sirius-the-dog with a wild look in his eyes and dove towards him in the dark, the figure of a large stag replacing him in the next flash of light. The two large creatures ran on through the woods, leaping over fallen trees and dislodging bark and branches from the standing trees in their way.  

*

A beam of sunlight had found its way right on top of James's eyelids the following morning. James lifted a hand over his eyes in a shooing motion, before he rolled onto his side, moaning as he opened them. He was laying sideways on his bed, fully clothed, and covered in mud. He untangled himself from his blankets to find his clothes mostly torn beyond repair. He slipped on sweatpants and a t-shirt before sticking his muddy head out into the hall to detect wether or not his parents were around, before tip-toeing over to the next room. A muddy lump James took to be Sirius was curled up in a ball on the end of his bed, tangled in his own blanket. James snorted, shutting Sirius's door and darting to the bathroom for a shower. Twenty minutes later, a freshly clean James returned to the dormant Sirius's room, and pelted him with a wet towel. Sirius woke with a start, unsure of where he was, and fell to the floor in a heap of mud, hair and torn fabric.

After a shower and breakfast, Sirius joined James for a sheepish walk in the woods to retrieve their wants. James had no trouble finding his along with his sweater, and after permitting Sirius five minutes of dignity to try and locate his on his own, performed a summoning spell and retrieved it for him. The two boys stowed their wands in their back pockets and headed towards the dirt road, destined for the muggle town. It was a twenty minute walk shortened by their retellings of last night's escapades, and Sirius swearing he had spotted a rogue hippogriff in he woods. Once they reached the town, they stopped for tea at a muggle shop. Sirius watched, eyebrows raised, as James smoothly made the transaction with muggle money. He did not, however miss the chance to wink as the pretty cash girl on their way out. They had to be careful here, for where it was alright to use magic around James's house, in the muggle village it would be asking for a nice plump letter from the Improper Use of Magic office. The boys next stopped at the paint shop, where Sirius took half an hour choosing between a variety of greys. Though after being reassured that he could literally do anything he wanted with the walls in his room, he purchased a large can of red and another of gold. James paid again, and they embarked on the long painful walk back to James's place, resentful that magic could not carry the forty pounds of paint for them. Back at the cottage Mrs. Potter had laid a plastic sheet over all of Sirius's belongings (and had removed the muddy sheets) for them. The boys enthusiastically began painting in a style Sirius described as worthy of the Louvre, which consisted of the two wizards pointing their wands at the paint cans, and splattering the walls with the gryffindor colours in an wildly abstract pattern. Soon enough the two of them were red and gold themselves, and again, clothes were being destroyed. James caught a mouth full of paint splatter as he laughed at Sirius's self painted paw print tattoos on his shoulders.
"I'll get these for real one day," Sirius laughed as James sputtered gold all over the plastic sheets. "Once we're out of school and we all move somewhere close to each other - you, me, Remus and Pete - it will be the best times ever. And I'll have tattoos and a motorcycle, and Remus will have us on the full moon, and we'll all have money."
"And Lily will be my girlfriend." James nodded,
"Yes," Sirius rolled his eyes laughing, "Lily Evans will be your girlfriend."
And so, covered in paint,  James and Sirius continued to laugh, as they dreamed aloud about their futures and all the fun that was yet to be had.
"It will be brilliant."
Yeah.. fanfiction. I used to write so much marauder fanfiction when I was 12, but I just stopped. Anyway. This isn't that good, I did it all in one sitting earlier today.

Anywayyy... some James and Sirius love for y'all.
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I sat in my husband’s old armchair by little Teddy’s crib, waiting for my daughter and her husband to return. They were at Hogwarts fighting, fighting against Voldemort and his band of Death Eaters. Dora was supposed to stay behind, here with me and her little boy, but no she had to go and fight beside Remus. I was glad that she found love. Yes at first I wasn’t so sure about the relationship, he was after all about fourteen years older than her, only six years younger than me, but I realized that age had no matter in love. Plus I knew Remus was a good man and would make my Dora happy. He had been friends with my dear cousin Sirius and I know Sirius made good choices in friends, with the exception of Pettigrew, but then again Sirius never did care much for him in the first place.

I hoped they would return soon. I was so scared and I was afraid they might get hurt. This war would soon be over though. Harry Potter was a smart boy and would surely destroy You-Know-Who. When the war was over I would be so happy. I had lost so much because of it. My beloved husband, Ted, was now dead. He had to run because he was muggleborn and now he is dead. He was caught and killed. I lost the only man I loved. He was my life, he was my love. Because of him I was blasted off my family tree. I gave up my family for him. He gave me the strength to leave them and their stupid prejudice ways. I could never have done it without him and now he was gone.

I wiped tears from my eyes and looked down at little Teddy who had just stirred in his sleep. Dora had named him after her father. She loved her father so much and he loved her too. I used to have to stop them from wrecking the house in their hours of roughhousing. She was so much like him sometimes. She loved to joke around and make people laugh. She had a heart of gold just like him. There was a time, my thirty-sixth birthday to be exact, that Ted and Dora worked together on a surprise for me. I wasn’t really expecting anything, just some ‘happy birthdays’ and maybe a few cards. They had worked together and attempted to make me dinner and some dessert. All the food was burnt, but I ate it anyway. It was the thought that count and I enjoyed myself, even with a charcoal cake.

Teddy woke up and his blonde hair turned teal. The site made me smile. It seemed like yesterday Nymphadora was born and her metamorphmagus abilities showed almost immediately, just like little Teddy. He began to cry and I got up and picked him up, trying to calm him down. He probably missed his mother. She had been here when he fell asleep and the poor boy probably expected her when he woke. He looked so much like Remus, just with his mother dark, twinkling eyes and special ability to change hair color and other parts of his body. He eventually calmed down and rested his small little head on my shoulder. I smiled again at his precious face.

For hours I waited for their return, wishing they were alright. Teddy went back to sleep with a bottle of milk. I wondered into the living room, which was still within earshot of Teddy if he happened to awake. I held my knees up to my chest as I sat on the couch watching the flames of the fireplace dance to unheard music. I couldn’t wait till it was all over and peace arrived. I was tired of living in fear. My life was always fear and I wanted it to end. Maybe if I was lucky I would get to be with one of my sisters without fear of being hexed, but I did not see that happening anytime soon; my sisters, especially Bellatrix, where too deep in with the Dark Arts and following their ‘precious’ Dark Lord. I lost my family to him. Sirius was the only one I had of my family after I ran off with Ted. I even lost my cousin Regulus. Regulus was going to join the good side of things, but then he died. He died because he was in far too deep.

Tears continued to fall down my face. Being alone had surfaced so many painful memories. I pushed them back as I tried to think hopeful. Remus and Dora would be back at any moment. They would tell me how Harry Potter defeated You-Know-Who and how the war was finally over. We would celebrate with champagne and then realize we need to be quiet so we wouldn’t wake Teddy. There would be festivals in Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, and all other Wizarding places. The next generation, Teddy’s generation, would grow up without the fear my daughter, me, and countless others did. The dark times would be over and we would all live happily ever after.

There was a knock on the door. I giant smile formed on my face. It was probably Remus and Tonks. They always knocked on the door to be polite. I bolted to the door, opening it quickly. My smile soon faded. It was my younger sister Narcissa. She looked worn and tired and had a depressing look on her face. Why was she here and not Dora? If You-Know-Who had one she would have hexed me by now not look at me as if she knew something that would hurt me, so why was she here and not my daughter?

“Hello Meda,” she began slowly. “May I come in?”

“Are you going to hex me to oblivion?” I asked with a sort of hiss.

“No,” she said shaking her head. “I have not come to harm you.”

I let her in and closed the door behind her. She looked as if she wanted to tell me something, or had to, but wasn’t sure how to say it. I crossed my arms and then asked, “What do you want Narcissa?” She looked away, but I could see a tear fall down her face. I rushed beside her, my older sister compassion showing up. “Are you alright? Did something happen? Are Lucius and Draco alright?”

She nodded and looked to me, more tears threatening to spill from her eyes. “They’re fine. They went home after the celebration feast. The Dark Lord is dead,” she said with a slight smile at her final sentence. “Potter killed him. The war is over. I helped the boy in the way. Tricked the Dark Lord into thinking he was dead.”

I smiled at her and reached a hand to rub her back. “That’s great,” I said. “I am so glad to hear it. And what of Bellatrix? Is she in Azkaban now?”

My sister sniffed and shook her head. “She stayed loyal to him till the end,” she replied. “She was killed my Molly Weasley.”

“Oh,” was all I could say. Bellatrix and I hadn’t been very close since school started. She got more into the Dark Arts and we grew apart. I then remembered of my daughter. “What of my daughter and her husband?”

Cissy looked away again and I could see her hold back tears. She shook her head and tears finally escaped both her and my eyes. “I am so sorry,” she began. “I am so sorry. Th…the…they are dead. Remus was killed by Dolohov and Nymphadora was killed by Be…Bellatrix.”

My legs weakened and I collapsed. They were dead. My baby girl and Remus were dead. First Regulus, then Sirius, and then Ted, and now Dora and Remus. My eyes stung with tears. Now all I had was Teddy and…did I have Cissy now? She was here and she had switched sides. She was the one to bring the bad news. She was here now.

I felt my sister wrap her arms around me as I cried on my knees. “I am so sorry Meda,” She spoke softly comforting me. I could hear the sadness in her voice. “I am sorry about your daughter and her husband. About your husband too. And most of all I am sorry I was never there for you. I am sorry I turned my back on you. I am so sorry Meda.”

“I know,” I spoke behind my sobs. I reached up my hands and wrapped my fingers on her arms making sure she wouldn’t leave. “I missed you so much Cissy.”

“I missed you too,” she replied. I then turned and hugged her. I did have her now. I finally had my sister back. I lost my daughter and son-in-law, but at least I still had her and Teddy. At least I knew that my daughter and Remus died making the world better. I made sure Teddy knew that too. He grew up a fine boy. He was mischievous, like Remus, and playful like Dora. Finally a happy life for us all.
Andromeda Tonks POV of the final battle...she is of course at home with little Teddy
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"What did you think of that, mates?" asked Terry as he led his friends and Ginny from the Hog's Head.  The wind had picked up a bit during the meeting, bringing with it a drop in temperature.  Adjusting her scarf and hat, Ginny joined her boyfriend behind the other two as they began making their way towards Zonko's.

"I've thought all along that Potter's been telling the truth, so no surprise there.  That Hufflepuff lad's a bit of a prat, though," Michael said.  Ginny smiled and took his hand; she couldn't have agreed more.

"But Merlin, was that Granger girl annoying or what?" complained Tony.  Ginny glared at him, but he either couldn't see her or pretended he couldn't.  That happened a lot with Michael's friends.

"Hermione can be a little overbearing at times, maybe, but she's not that bad," she put in.  As per usual, the three Ravenclaws ignored her.

"I know!" Terry agreed.  "She thinks she's so smart, coming up with this idea.  Probably stole it from someone else, knowing her."

"It's not like she's actually that good, you know.  There are all these rumors that she got a 312% on one of her exams, but we all know that's not possible."  Tony rolled his eyes.  "I was in Muggle Studies with her for a year, before she dropped it, and she was always challenging what our professor said, saying barmy stuff like 'electricity's a perfectly natural phenomenon, just look at lightning' and 'the average IQ of a Muggle isn't any less than I would imagine the IQ of the average witch or wizard is, so you shouldn't call them unintelligent.'  Like she would know any better than the rest of us."  When Tony mimicked Hermione's voice, he stuck his front teeth out and scrunched his nose, much to the amusement of his friends.

"Of course she would, her parents are Muggles," said Ginny crossly.  The Ravenclaws looked at her this time.  "She's right, you know.  My dad's studied Muggles for a really long time, and he says they aren't inherently dumb or anything."

"Yeah, whatever," said Terry dismissively.  "It just bugs me that she thinks she's so much better than the rest of us!"

"Seriously," said Michael.  "She can't be that bright, seeing as she's in Gryffindor and all."

"What?" asked Ginny, taken aback at her boyfriend's statement.  Michael froze, and his friends smirked.  "Did you just say that Gryffindors are stupid or something?"

"Well, I mean…" said Michael nervously.  "Of course not all Gryffindors are idiots, but you have to admit that a lot of them are--"

"Are what?  Stupid?  Rude?"  Ginny pulled her hand from his and glared.  "Obviously you don't want to hang out with me for too long, then.  My idiocy might rub off on you."

"Wait, Ginny!"  But Ginny sent a scorching look at him, tossed her hair, and took off down a little-used side street.

The wind, no longer being blocked by the much-taller boys' frames, bit into her skin, somehow burrowing its way through her thick cloak and sweater to raise goose pimples on her arms.  It did nothing to cool the flames of anger that had sprung to life within her heart, unfortunately.  How dare they talk about my friends like that?  How dare they talk about me like that?!  Still seething, she ducked into the first shop she happened upon.

It was much darker inside, though once her eyes adjusted Ginny could see that it was a secondhand store.  Most of the shelves near the entrance were filled with dusty books, though she spotted a few cobwebbed contraptions spread throughout.  The shop had a generally creepy demeanor, but she was determined not to go back outside until Michael would be long gone.

"What brings a Hogwarts student in here?" asked a croaky voice from the shadowy depths of the shop.  "It's a little late to be buying schoolbooks."

"I'm just browsing for a good book," Ginny responded softly, squinting in the direction of the voice.  She couldn't see its owner in the looming darkness.  Shuddering softly, she picked up a book at random and opened it to read the cover page.  "'Heads Who Gained Honors, a study of Head Boys and Girls from Hogwarts and their future careers.  Sequel to Prefects Who Gained Power.'  I ought to get this for Percy," she snorted.  "He'd love…it…"

The casual thought of Percy pushed Ginny off the precipice that Michael and his friends had placed her on the edge of; the book fell from her hands as sudden tears formed on her cheeks.  Ignoring the protests of the mysterious figure in the back of the store, Ginny turned tail and fled the book that so reminded her of her estranged brother.  She wanted to run to a cold, lonely bench on the edge of the village where she could be miserable in peace.

Luck wasn't with her, as she had taken but five steps from the secondhand store when she collided with another person.  Together, she and the other person tumbled to the ground, Ginny ending up underneath her accidental victim with her face flat on the ground.  Rather than try to stand and continue her flee, she opted to stay where she was and let the tears come.

"Are you alright, Ginny?" interrupted a dreamy voice just as Ginny really got into her crying jag.  "I'd get off of you, but I'm afraid your legs are tangled up in my cloak, and I don't want to rip it or your limbs."

"I'm sorry, Luna," Ginny sniffed, lifting her legs slightly so the Ravenclaw girl could free her cloak.  "I didn't mean to bowl you over like that."

"It's quite alright," said the other, clambering to her feet and offering a hand to Ginny, who still had tears streaming down her face.  "I'm more worried about you, to be honest."

"Don't be, I'm not hurt."  Ginny allowed Luna to help her up and looked down her front in disdain.  "A bit dirty, perhaps, but not injured."

"Of course not, but I overheard what Michael said to you earlier."  Ginny looked up in shock to see Luna staring at her with an unfathomable gaze.  "It was quite rude of him, to be honest, though I suspect from his response to you that he may be suffering from a severe affliction of Wrackspurts.  Terrence and Anthony don't have that excuse, though."

"Wait, you saw that whole thing?"

"Oh, yes, and I imagine several others did as well, it was quite public."  Ginny groaned and put her head in her hands.  "But what I don't understand is why you went into Monsieur Pince's shop afterwards, only to come dashing out after only a minute.  Did he startle you that severely?"

"No, it was nothing."  Ginny wiped her eyes on her sleeve and smiled.  "I'm just being stupid is all."

"I don't think I've ever seen you cry before, though, even when we were first years and you blew up your cauldron on the first day of Potions class."  Luna smiled.  "Would you like to talk about it?"

Ginny almost said no and ran for it; if she had to choose someone at Hogwarts to become her confidant, Loony Luna Lovegood would be far down on her list.  But before she knew what was happening, she and Luna were walking towards the main street side by side as she explained everything that had been going wrong in her life as of late: the displacement of her family over the summer, Percy's abandonment, the rocky relationship with Michael and his antagonistic friends.  Luna never interrupted, just watched her with gray, orb-like eyes as she poured her heart out.

They had nearly made it to The Three Broomsticks when Ginny finished her story, but before Luna could respond a chorus of laughter broke into their conversation.  "He's so pathetic, he doesn't even have anyone to come to Hogsmeade with!  Where's Saint Potter at, Longbottom?  Did he finally realize how sad a person you are?"

"Malfoy," Ginny muttered, and she pulled her wand from her pocket and ran towards the nearby alley.  Crabbe and Goyle each had one of Neville's arms, and Malfoy and a couple of other fifth-year Slytherins had him targeted by their wands.  "Oy!  Leave him alone!"

"Or you'll what, Weaslette?  Sic a basilisk on us?" Draco sneered.  Sparks came out the end of Ginny's wand as she gripped it more tightly, but Luna responded serenely before she could spit out a curse.

"I don't think we have any basilisks, but we will tell Professors Flitwick and McGonagall.  I don't think you would be so happy if you found out you had been banned from the village for the rest of the year."  Luna's wand remained behind her ear, her hands limp at her sides.

One of the other Slytherins, a tall black boy who Ginny had never met before, lowered his wand.  "It's not worth it, Draco.  Let's just go."

"Fine.  You're lucky this time, Longbottom, but next time you may find that you're in a lot worse shape."  Draco and the other Slytherins slinked past Ginny and Luna, leaving Neville alone with them in the alley way.  Ginny followed them with her wand, making sure they didn't try and surprise her with a curse from behind.

"Are you alright, Neville?" asked Luna softly.  Now that the Slytherins were gone, Ginny focused her attention on her Gryffindor friend.  The front of his jumper was stained with blood from a bloodied nose, but he managed a brief smile and a nod.

"Thanks, guys.  They just grabbed me from behind as I was heading back up to the school, and they threw my wand over there somewhere," he said sadly, gesturing to the end of the alley.

Luna smiled demurely.  "Accio Neville's wand!"  It came spinning through the air from the other end of the alley, and Luna caught it with apparent ease.  "Here."

"Episkey," said Ginny, pointing her wand at his nose and wincing when it cracked back into place.  "There, that should be better, shouldn't it?  Oh, yeah.  Scourgify!"  The red streaks on Neville's sweater and face mostly disappeared, and she grinned.  "There, see? You're just fine."

"Yeah, I guess," Neville muttered.  "I guess Michael Corner was kind of right, though.  Some of us Gryffindors are stupid."

Ginny winced.  "I take it you heard that, too?"

"Yeah, I think most people in Hogsmeade did," he said.

"So I've heard," she grumbled.  "Michael's the idiot, Nev.  You're not stupid."

"Draco Malfoy and his friends are just bullies, and so are Michael and Terry and Anthony, to be honest," Luna said with that same dreamy smile.  "They do their best to make the rest of us feel bad about ourselves, but we can't let them, or they win."

Neville smiled slightly.  "Yeah, maybe you're right."  He straightened his sweater and sighed.  "I guess I'll see you guys at the next meeting.  Well, I'll see you before that, Ginny, but you know."

"I should go, too," said Luna.  "I want to go hunting for Snow Porkpies before supper, and I think this might be the optimum weather for it."

Ginny nodded.  "Alright, guys."  As Neville and Luna began walking towards the main street, however, something made Ginny call out to them.  "Actually…do you want to come with me to The Three Broomsticks for a butterbeer first?"

Neville paused and looked back, glancing from Ginny to Luna indecisively.  "Well…"

"Ooh, yes, we'd love to!" said Luna.  She skipped over to Ginny, hooked her by the arm, and pulled her towards Neville, who received the same treatment.  "I've never gone to a pub with anyone before, at least until today."

Ginny smiled at the Ravenclaw's exuberance and Neville's surprised expression, but her smile faded when they made it to the main street and ran into Michael almost immediately.

"Oh, there you are, Ginny!  Merlin, I've looked everywhere for you."  He smiled and took her hand.  "Let's go back up to school.  I'm really sorry about earlier, I didn't mean you."

Ginny tugged her hand back.  "Sorry, Michael.  I've made plans."  And with that, Ginny allowed Luna to pull her down the street.

She didn't know it then, nor did Neville and Luna, but she had just started the two best friendships she would ever have.
This is...not the best piece I've yet written. But it'll have to do, as I'm too bogged down with other work to fix it up properly.

This shows the earliest meeting of The Silver Trio from Ginny's perspective, just after the very first DA meeting. It's for the Beginnings Contest over at :iconthesilvertrio:, which you can find right here: [link]

I hope you enjoy it! Comments and suggestions are appreciated, as always.
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She was looking at Harry like she had never looked at him before.  And all of a sudden, for the very first time in his life, Harry fully appreciated that Aunt Petunia was his mother's sister.  He could not have said why this hit him so very powerfully at this moment.  All he knew was that he was not the only person in the room who had an inkling of what Lord Voldemort being back might mean.  Aunt Petunia had never in her life looked at him like that before.  Her large, pale eyes (so unlike her sister's) were not narrowed in dislike or anger; they were wide and fearful.  The furious pretense that Aunt Petunia had maintained all of Harry's life--that there was no magic and no other world than the world she inhabited with Uncle Vernon--seemed to have fallen away.


                                       -----------

Petunia sat upright in a plump armchair made for slouching, her hands folded tightly in her lap and her eyes staring straight ahead.  Vernon's snores roared at her from down the hall, and though her expression of solemn patience never swayed she winced internally.  Hestia had always been rather good at silencing his snores, allowing the two women and occasionally Dudley to chatter the night away without interruption.  But neither Hestia nor Dedaelus were around to wave their wands on this unusually cold and dark night, and so Petunia and her son received the full effect of the patriarch's rumblings once more.

Perhaps Dedaelus's magical fire weakened when left to fend for itself with no magical presence, or perhaps it sensed Petunia's mood and reacted accordingly.  Either way, the shadows of the parlor seemed to deepen and a chill crept into the room far too easily.  Dudley had wandered off to the room he slept in well over an hour before, muttering about finding something on the wireless to listen to.  He was just as nervous as Petunia, but while she became a statue in the face of such a wait, he turned fidgety and restless.  She would never say it aloud, but she was glad to be rid of him.  Being alone gave her time to think.

Her eyes flicked to an old clock on the mantle; it was nearly half-past five already.  She released a small huff as her gaze returned to the brick she had been watching for the past seven hours.  It had not changed in the slightest during this time, something for which she was quite glad.  Her life had changed far too much in recent days.

Petunia did not ask for much more than simplicity in her life.  She wanted a simply spotless home, a simply loving husband, and a simply brilliant son.  She only wanted to lead a simple, wonderful life like all of the other housewives on Privet Drive.  And her sister being a witch had always complicated her life, even after their marriages and especially after Lily's death.  For upon her sister's murder at the hands of Lord Voldemort, Petunia had been saddled with a child she could not control.  She had tried; goodness, had she tried.  But everything from the boy's hair to his actions to his eyes were beyond her reach to maintain.  His hair, so like his father's; his actions, so abnormal so much of the time; his eyes…his mother's eyes…

She would never admit it to her husband and son, and certainly not to Harry, but she had found it difficult to discipline him.  No matter how angry she got with the boy, all he had to do was look at her with those green doe eyes and her heart broke all over again.  And, she mused silently, she probably overcompensated for her inability to get angry at him.  It was no wonder the boy hated her, considering that she gave him hours of chores and allowed Vernon to beat him and lock him away just so she could keep from seeing her baby sister's eyes looking back at her.

And when the letters had come from Hogwarts, Petunia had felt the stirrings of jealousy once more, but she quickly recovered; after all, she was more than happy with her life as a housewife of a successful businessman.  She didn't need to have a magic wand to get what she wanted.  Vernon, on the other hand, had refused to let the boy be happy.  He wanted to keep him underfoot and crush the very life from him.  Petunia was sure if she hadn't soothed her husband's anger, Harry Potter would have died years before he even knew he was a wizard.  She was glad to see her nephew go to Hogwarts, and glad to see him return unharmed.

As Harry had gotten older and begun to look more like the James Potter she remembered, Petunia had gradually realized that he was entirely unhappy.  This, in turn, made her entirely unhappy.  When he had returned from school after his fourth year away, he had seemed to be twice his age at least; Petunia had only seen her sister's eyes look so haggard once, and she had never seen her sister again.

And then she learned the reason for Harry's unhappiness and generally distraught nature: the person who was largely responsible for his circumstances (and though she hated to say it, Petunia's herself) had somehow come back from the dead, and though Harry had never said as much, she had immediately suspected that he had tried to kill her nephew on the night they had met.  And her simple life had been complicated more than ever before, what with trying to make sure her own family stayed safe while maintaining a normal environment and worrying about her nephew's safety.

This had continued for nearly two years, until the afternoon that Harry had informed Petunia and Vernon that Albus Dumbledore had been murdered and that his world was in an all-out war with himself and Voldemort at the epicenter.  Vernon had screamed and carried on about his job and his son's schooling and their pretense of normality.  Petunia hadn't said a word for over an hour after hearing the news.  Once again, Harry had spared his aunt and uncle of details, but she knew he was not running away.  He would be fighting, and no matter how hard she screamed for him to hide away like his mother, she would never have convinced him to listen.

And so, after much screaming and packing and fretting, Petunia and her husband and son had left their home on Privet Drive.  Petunia had not imagined that she would ever become friends with the frumpy witch and embarrassingly strange wizard who accompanied them on Harry's request, but Hestia and Dedaelus had wormed their way into her heart.  She and Dudley had listened intently as they learned about the Wizarding World for the first time, both wanting to soak up as much knowledge as possible.  Vernon had mostly stayed cooped up in the bedroom, reading Muggle newspapers provided by Dedaelus and gaining weight.

It was in this cottage that Petunia had really learned about her nephew for the first time.  He had never mentioned the Sorcerer's Stone to the family, nor had he said anything about a basilisk.  Petunia had never made the connection between Sirius Black and his godfather.  She never would have guessed that someone as young as Harry could have seen three people murdered before his very eyes and stayed sane, especially when one of the victims was a friend and two of them father figures to the boy, but he had done it.

Petunia had learned about her sister, as well.  Lily had always been bright in primary school, surely, but Petunia hadn't realized that she was a remarkable witch as well.  Her sister had never told her that she was a Prefect and Head Girl; Petunia would have had that in common with her sister, seeing as she played leadership roles at her own secondary school.  She hadn't the slightest idea that Lily showing her magic tricks was illegal, and now realized that her sister was not showing off as much as trying to include Petunia in her life.

Tonight, Hestia had been in the middle of regaling Petunia and Dudley with tales of her own days as a Chaser on Hufflepuff's Quidditch team when Dedaelus had burst into the room.  "Hogwarts…fighting…You-Know-Who!" he had squeaked.  And Hestia had leaped to her feet, smiled at Petunia and Dudley, and run off into the night with Dedaelus.  And all had been silent since then.

And Petunia had been sitting in the same chair, staring at the same brick in the wall, ever since.

All of a sudden, the room filled with light as the first beams of sunshine shone through the window through a tiny break in the clouds.  Petunia actually did wince as the sun hit her eyes, and she raised a hand to block it.  As she did, a most peculiar smell wafted through the room.  She gasped as she recognized her deceased sister's favorite perfume, some magical scent that Petunia had always loved and pretended to hate.  She could almost see Lily flipping her hair over her shoulder and grinning broadly.  "It's over, Tuney.  We won."

The smell and image faded almost as soon as they appeared, but they were soon replaced by the reek of blood and Dedaelus as he Apparated into the room.  This drew a shriek of alarm from Petunia and a cry from Dudley's room, as Hestia and Dedaelus had always emphasized that the house could not be entered except through the front door, and only then by people Hestia's charms allowed for.

"Dedaelus!  What on Earth--?!"

"I am pleased to announce that You-Know-Who is vanquished, Dursleys!" the petite man cried as Dudley ran into the parlor.  "He is dead, and now we must rejoice!  For the Dark Lord lies cold and dead on the floor of Hogwarts, and witches and wizards and Muggles are all safe from he and his followers!"

"You're sure?" Dudley asked excitedly.

"Oh yes, quite!" said Dedaelus.  "The battle ended nearly five minutes ago, right as the sun came up."

Petunia and Dudley both cheered, but the former's gaiety was short-lived.  "But where is Hestia?" she asked.  Dedaelus's eyes lost a bit of their joyful light.  "Where is she, Dedaelus?"

"There were…many casualties in the battle," he murmured, his gaze dropping to the floor.  "Hestia was grievously wounded shortly before You-Know-Who called a reprieve in the battle, and despite the best efforts of our side…"

Petunia fell back against her chair in shock.  Dudley stumbled forward and put a large hand on the chair back to support himself.  "She's…dead?  But she's a witch…she could fix any injury…"

"There are some things even magic cannot repair, Dudley," Petunia said quietly.  "Your cousin's scar, for example."  Her dread grew at the mention of her nephew.  "What about Harry?  Is he alright?"

Dedaelus wiped his eyes on his sleeve and smiled.  "Harry Potter is the one who killed You-Know-Who.  He appeared to be dead, and the Dark Lord presented him as such, but it was a trick!  He is alive and doing well, from what I could tell before I came here."

Dudley chuckled under his breath and Petunia felt a sudden surge of tears at the news.  The Boy Who Lived lived on, it seemed.

"Oy!  If you lot have time to be sitting around shouting, you have time to get my bacon and coffee!"  Vernon's voice thundered down the hallway, interrupting the bittersweet moment.  "You've woken me early!"

Dedaelus swelled in anger, but Petunia shouted before he could.  "You can bloody well wait, Vernon."

Dudley laughed, Dedaelus smiled, Vernon cried in anger, and Petunia just smiled.

                                   ----------------

Several days later, the Dursleys were settled back at Privet Drive.  It had been ransacked, presumably by Death Eaters, but Dedaelus had managed to round up a few members of the Order to help sort it out for them.  Vernon had returned to work almost immediately, though none of his suits fit him owing to his large weight gain, and Petunia and Dudley had tried to adjust to Muggle life once more.  Petunia found herself missing Hestia desperately, for in the blond witch she had found an irreplaceable companion.  It did not seem possible that someone so lively could have died.

On this morning, like most mornings since she had gone into hiding, Petunia occupied herself by cooking.  She was just mixing up a pomegranate and blueberry yogurt topping when the doorbell rang.  Dudley beat her to the door as she wiped her hands on her apron.

"Can I help…Harry!"  Petunia gasped and dashed to the hall.  Her nephew was indeed standing in her doorway, his black hair shining in the sun.  He was smiling, though it looked utterly forced, and seemed to have his arm around someone who was blocked by Dudley's bulk.

"Oh!"  Petunia opened her mouth to invite him inside, but her voice refused to speak.  Dudley offered for her, and Harry nodded and came through the doorway, leading his guest behind.

"Thanks, Dudley.  Good morning, Aunt Petunia."  Harry looked older than he had a year before, though his hair was as haphazard as ever.  His eyes, however, sparkled with the light of youth.  Petunia smiled as she saw Lily in them.  "I take it Uncle Vernon is out?"

"At work," she answered curtly.  "Would you like some tea and biscuits?"

"Er…"  Harry blinked at her, and she realized that she had never so much as asked him if he wanted a drink of water before.  Her nephew had lived with her for sixteen years, and she had never asked him if he wanted or needed anything.  Her cheeks burned.  "Thanks."

If Dudley noticed the awkwardness, he said nothing.  "And what's your name?" he asked the mystery guest.  As the party made their way into the kitchen, Petunia glanced back and saw a mane of long, red hair that was even more vivid than Lily's had been.  "I'm Dudley."

"It's nice to meet you, Dudley," the girl said, though her voice suggested otherwise, "and you, Petunia.  I'm Ginny Weasley."

The name brought Petunia and her son to a stop.  Not only had the Weasley family wrought chaos and destruction on Number 4, Privet Drive upon their first encounters with the home, but this particular Weasley name had come up in one of Hestia's stories.  This was the girl who, at the age of eleven, had been saved from a basilisk in the bowels of their school by a twelve-year-old Harry.  The appearance of this young woman, who looked to be seventeen or so, made Petunia appreciate just how young her nephew had been at the time.

"Right," said Harry.  Petunia realized she had been staring at Ginny, whose face was now contorted into a frown.  "Ginny is my girlfriend.  You've met her father a couple of times, I believe.  Do you remember Arthur, Aunt Petunia?"

Petunia nodded and turned to busy herself with the kettle as to hide her face.  Arthur Weasley had once destroyed her sitting room. "Yes, I remember him vividly."

Dudley coughed.  "It's wonderful to meet you, Ginny," he said, "though I didn't know Harry here was dating anyone."

"And why would you?  I wasn't under the impression that you were ever close to him," Ginny said lightly.  Petunia could tell that the girl was incredibly angry about something, and she was afraid that she would go off any time.

"Well, no, we aren't, but Hestia told us what she knew about him.  Like that whole Tri-Wizard thing and the Chamber of Secrets, for example," explained Dudley.  "She told us how Harry saved you, but she didn't mention that you started dating him after."

"We didn't start dating back then," said Harry hurriedly.  "We dated for a month or so last year, until Professor Dumbledore died, and we've just started up again now that everything's over."

Petunia turned to get china from the cupboard and clicked her tongue.  "Harry, you didn't stop dating her because you were going to fight, did you?"

"Yes, he did," said Ginny.  "He thought it would keep me safe.  Pretty pathetic, right?"  When Petunia turned around, she was surprised to see the witch smiling at Harry.  "As if I wouldn't be in danger because of my name and bloodline."

"Well, he did bother to force us all into hiding," chuckled Dudley.  "What are we to him?"

"The only blood family I've got," Harry said quietly.  Petunia nearly dropped the last teacup at his voice, tremulous as it was.  "Ginny's family and Hermione have always been a better family than you, by far, but blood is blood.  You're my mother's sister.  That means something, whether we want it to or not."

Petunia's blood ran cold.  "Excuse me," she gasped and practically ran from the kitchen.  How could he have known--he couldn't have--could he--

How did Harry know the very last words Lily had ever spoken to her sister?

She fled to her bedroom and threw open the closet doors, forcing the clothes to the sides and digging for her lockbox.  When she found it, her hands shook so badly that she nearly couldn't enter the combination.  Finally, it opened, and she rifled through the papers to find her most cherished ones.  Dudley's report cards…the letters from Albus Dumbledore…Dudley's birth certificate…Harry's guardianship forms…her marriage license…aha!  A large, pink and green envelope found its way into her trembling fingers.

The letter had been read so often that it only curled at the edges now.  Petunia's eyes went straight to the last paragraph, which was the part of the letter that she needed to read now to assure herself of her sanity.

"Tuney, I do miss you, so much.  Things are getting very bad on our side of the war.  We're losing, and losing badly it seems.  Sometimes I feel like things would have been better if I had never met Severus Snape and Professor McGonagall had never arrived to deliver my Hogwarts letter, or even if I had declined the invitation.  You wouldn't hate me so much then, and my life wouldn't be in such danger.  But I would also have never met James and his friends, and I certainly wouldn't have had Harry.  I love all of them desperately, and they're absolutely irreplaceable.  But Tuney, you're my sister.  That means something, whether we want it to or not.  Maybe if this war ever ends we can see each other again and try to resolve the past.  Until then, I'm afraid any communication between us will be impossible.  I'm sorry.

My love to Vernon and Dudley,

Lily x"


"Aunt Petunia?"  Petunia jumped and realized that she was still sitting on the floor in her closet.  Harry was crouched next to her, looking thoroughly alarmed.  "I'm sorry if I upset you--"

Petunia let out one choked sob at the sight of her sister's eyes looking at her with such concern, and threw herself at her nephew as she lost control of herself.  He stiffened at first, but eventually his arms wrapped around her and patted her awkwardly on the back.

As she cried, Petunia imagined Lily's perfume once more and thought she heard her sister's soft sigh.  Harry took in a deep breath.  "That's odd," he muttered.

"What is?" she croaked.

"I just smelled pumpkin and treacle tart…  And I could have sworn I heard Mum…"

Petunia pulled back and met his eyes.  "What do you mean?" she asked severely.  "You've heard Lily's voice before?"

Harry nodded, his brow furrowed.  "Yes, several times.  It's a long story, but…"

She felt her expression soften, and she wiped her eyes.  "I've got plenty of time.  Let's get back to Dudley and your Ginny."

Harry smiled, and Lily's eyes twinkled with the same joy that Petunia had seen so often as a child.  And for the first time, Petunia fully appreciated that Harry was her sister's son.
This is for #The-3-Broomsticks "In Loving Memory" contest.

I chose to do a character study of Petunia Dursley, after having failed epically at my attempt to write Dennis Creevey. I hope you enjoy it!

The quote at the beginning is from Order of the Phoenix Ch. 2.
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God, the corridor was in ruins.  George ducked his head through the haze of smoke and debris and struggled down the hallway.  He was sure he had heard Percy yelling, but now the floor was deserted.  Flashes and bangs echoed from up ahead, but they were already in the stairwell.  He held his wand out in front of him, waiting for the slightest movement.

He ran over the litany of his family members as he struggled down the hallway.  He had just seen Bill going after Fenrir Greyback mere minutes ago; Fleur and Kingsley were with him, so he pushed them aside.  His mother and father, the last he had seen, had been fighting on the second floor; they had attempted to follow Tonks and Lupin onto the grounds but were cut off by several Death Eaters.  He had no idea where Charlie or Ginny were; his stomach churned.  If Ginny got killed… he tripped over a fragmented suit of armor.  Ron and Percy, he was sure, had been in this hallway with Harry and Hermione.  He hoped Fred was with them.  He and Fred had been fighting back to back; he grinned remembering… they had been something to see, throwing curses and dodging hexes like clockwork.  But then George had seen Dolohov and had yelled at Fred to come along, streaking off down the hallway.  That was the last he knew of where Fred was, and that was over fifteen minutes ago.  He hoped Fred was with Percy and Ron; if anything happened to Percy, after just getting over being a git, George would kick himself (and Fred too), and Ron…

“Ickle Ronnie,” George muttered under his breath.

The haze in the hallway was clearing, and George was almost free of the rubble.  There was a gaping hole in the wall and a chill breeze blew through from the grounds.  Yells and flashes reverberated in the empty corridor, filtering up from the battle outside.  He lifted his leg to step over a chunk of the wall when a flash of ginger caught his eye.

“Lumos!”

His beam of light fell into the dark crevice where a suit of armor normally stood; he knew because he and Fred used to hide extra stashes of Dungbombs in it during the school year.  But now the suit was gone and the space was occupied, instead, by a hunched over figure with red hair.

“Fred?”

The figure didn’t move.

“Fred, are you hurt?”

There was a bang from down the hallway and a faint cry.  George glanced back down the corridor and directed his wand at his twin.

“Rennervate!  Now come on, you prat, I think Perce is in trouble, and I haven’t seen Ginny at all… Fred?”

His twin still hadn’t moved.  George blinked.

“Rennervate!”

He jumped over the rubble and landed next to the still form.  His movement dislodged his twin’s shoulder and he rolled out into the hallway, face up.

George dropped to his knees, jabbed his wand directly onto Fred’s heart and shouted, “Rennervate!”

Fred’s eyes fluttered open, and he grinned. “Strong stuff, our Fainting Fancies, aren’t they?”  And he began to laugh…

George’s eyes flew open, his breathing heavy.  He stared at the ceiling, the darkness obscuring the many smoke stains and scorch marks from his and Fred’s experiments.  An owl hooted from somewhere outside.

For the past two weeks, his dream had been the same, except for that last line.  But it was always a last line.  Fred always woke up, each time with a new retort.  George rolled over onto his side, away from his twin’s empty bunk across from him.  The right side of his head throbbed where his ear should be.

Each night it was the same; instead of remaining cold and motionless on the stone of the destroyed hallway, his brother woke up.  But George had no idea what came after that, for he was always jolted awake by his twin’s laughter and failed to fall back asleep afterwards.  He leaned over in bed and shoved his window open, letting the early morning chill slide into his room.  George shivered and wrapped himself more tightly in his quilt, knowing he would not be able to get back to sleep; knowing he’d have to wait out the two hours left before dawn in dark, contemplative silence while waiting to face the day he had been dreading for two weeks.

This was the day he was going back to Diagon Alley.  He had made up his mind; Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes had been closed for over a year now; he wouldn’t be surprised if his and Fred’s protective spells had worn off and all their wares had been stolen.  He didn’t care much at the moment about their stock, but he needed to get back and see what shape the store was in.  

He was dreading it so much that his stomach had been in a perpetual knot ever since he had told his father his plan.

“George, you should take someone with you.”

He had shaken his head. “I’m going alone.”

“People could have broken in… Death Eaters… you had some advanced stuff in there… the darkness powder… there could be residual curses in the place.”

His mother had had different reasons.  

“Oh Georgie,” she nearly whispered to him. “Take Charlie or Ron with you.  You need someone with you… that whole place… you and Freddie…”

“No, Mum.  I’m going by myself.”

She hadn’t had another chance to argue with him, mostly because he took pains now to stay away from his family.  He saw the hopeless way their eyes lit up when he entered a room, as if Fred had suddenly Apparated into their midst, before the grief of realization took hold that no—it was not Fred.  It was just George.

He understood it perhaps better than any of them, but it didn’t make him feel any more apt to be sympathetic.  Every time he passed a mirror, he jumped at the pale and hollow reflection of his twin staring back at him, until the twin slowly morphed back into himself.  His dreams didn’t help erase the image of his brother, his twin, his other half, himself lying there in the corridor, unresponsive to his attempts at reviving the lifeless form…

George squeezed his eyes shut tight against the charcoal morning sky, remembering how the events afterwards had happened in slow motion, as if moving through water.  He had kneeled, eyes locked on his face reflected back up at him, wan, still, and cold, until he could no longer tell whether it was he who was dead and Fred staring down at him.  Then he had Summoned Fred’s wand, shattered, and hoisted the body of his brother over his shoulder, stumbling back down the hallway.

It had never occurred to him to worry that his twin would be killed—obviously he knew that it was a possibility, but in his whole time wondering whether any of his family were left alive, he had never dwelled on Fred, because Fred couldn’t die.  Fred was invincible, a force of nature.  

He had met no resistance as he struggled back to the Great Hall.  He was coming down the main staircase, chunked and stained from the battle raging in the castle, when he heard a cry from behind him.

“George… Fred… no, no!”

He half turned to see his father flying down the stairs towards him.  “Who… which…” his eyes flew to George’s missing ear.  “Fred,” he whispered. “Fred… no… no!”

Arthur had fallen upon them both, all three sinking to the ground.  Sobs began to rack his father’s frame as he searched Fred’s face for any signs of life.  

He heard his mother’s scream.  The whole world seemed to jump into sharp, brutal focus when the high-pitched wail rent the air.  George struggled backwards from the body of Fred as his mother threw herself onto his twin’s still chest.

George had gotten to his feet and run away from the Great Hall, the pounding of his feet drowned by the roaring in his ears and the cries from the castle.  He headed for the door to the grounds, suddenly wishing to be out in the open, somewhere where he would be found by an opponent too skilled to fight against and win.  The great double doors had been blown off their hinges, and he made for the opening to the flashing and boiling grounds, wanting only to come to the end of a wand, any wand, that would end the horrible nightmare he was running through…

He came up short as figures struggled through the doorway.  He did not raise his wand; he couldn’t even feel his body.

“Who’s that?” came a sharp, deep voice. “I’m warning you… Weasley!  Fred!  Or George?  Ah, George, your ear, I see.  Move those rafters for me, will you?”

Kingsley’s voice sounded oddly strained as he pushed his way through the wreckage of the doors, and soon George saw why.  The man passed him, carrying a figure over his back much as George had done with his twin, and the light from his still-lit wand fell across the silent face of Remus Lupin.  Bill was following closely behind, Tonks draped in his arms.  Her hair was brown.

“Fred… no, sorry, George.” Bill’s voice cracked. “They fell… almost together.  They practically died in each other’s arms… they went down fighting… God, I’ll never forget… have you see Mum and Dad?  Help us get these two to the Great Hall… George, what’s wrong?”

George stared at the frozen faces of Lupin and Tonks as Kingsley moved farther into the hallway.  

“George?” Bill shifted Tonks in his arms.  “George, what’s happened?”

He pulled his eyes away from Tonks and looked up at his brother.  “Fred… he…”

Bill hesitated, staring at George, then pivoted on the spot and ran into the hall.  George gazed straight ahead, out onto the grounds, hearing his mother’s renewed cries at the arrival of Lupin and Tonks and his older brother’s hoarse yell.

Someone else was running to the doors, hair flying in dark ropes, but there was a figure chasing her… she didn’t see him… she wasn’t going to make it.  Without thinking, George hurtled through the doorway.

“STUPEFY!”

His red jet shot past Angelina Johnson and sent Dolohov backwards, slamming him motionless to the ground.  His hand shook as he held it out in front of him.

“Fred!”

Her hands grabbed his t-shirt, and she whirled him around, laughing, and kissed him full on the mouth.  “Marry me, Weasley.  Promise me if we get out of this alive, you’ll marry me and we’ll—George!”

She dropped him like a hot coal.  “I’m sorry George, I thought you were your brother…where is he?”  She grinned again.  “I have to make him promise to—”

“Angelina,” he interrupted, “he’s dead.”

The smile froze on her face, seconds slid by, and then her expression became replaced by a look of horror.  For the second time, she grabbed his shirt. “No, George, no…”

But now hot torrents of tears suddenly burst forth from his eyes at the realization of what he had just said aloud, was happening to him, what his world was going to be like…

And he had been right.  He shifted in his bed, pressing his face into his pillow.  His mother, on three occasions, had drawn him tightly to her, crying into his hair, murmuring “Freddie, Freddie,” until George had to remind her who he was.  He constantly regretted this, though, as it made her feel worse.

“George, dear,” she said to him one night last week after finding him on the roof. “You know I love you, you know we all do.  These coming weeks will be so hard for us, and for you.  Georgie, you just have to understand, you look—”

“—exactly like him,” he finished for her.  “I know, Mum, I grew up with him for twenty years.”

He shivered again in the chill breeze coming through his window and flung his quilt away from him.  He couldn’t keep lying in bed, going back over the last two weeks until the sun rose.  He pulled on a pair of trousers and a button-down shirt, and then slid silently from his room and down the hall, moving as quietly as he could.  

He passed Ginny and Percy’s rooms, efficiently avoiding the boards he knew creaked.  Harry was upstairs in Ron’s room, but Hermione had hop-scotched continents, Apparating until she got to Australia, where she revived her parents’ memories.  As far as he knew, she was still there.  He wished she would hurry up and get back; Ron was even more silent and touchy with her gone.

He reached the dim kitchen and scribbled a note hastily for his mother.  He didn’t plan on coming back to the house that day, and he didn’t want her to worry more than he knew she already would.  He left the note on the scrubbed table and opened the door onto the 4 am drizzle.  

He walked for a while up to the hill where he and his brothers used to play Quidditch.  His breath fogged in front of him, despite the fact that August was closing in upon Ottery St. Catchpole.  As he neared the crest of the hill, ringed with trees, he suddenly turned and headed to his left, where a small wall of stones marked the graveyard of the Weasley family.

He weaved in and out among the silent tombstones, the dewy grass soaking his shoes and numbing his feet.  He finally reached the freshest grave, the one that had been dug just six days prior.  His knees buckled and he sat down hard on the settling earth, facing the cold headstone.

He didn’t speak for a while, staring at the motionless, carved marks representing his brother’s name.  FRED WEASLEY, it read.  BELOVED GIFT OF LAUGHTER.  Strewn about the base were various items others had left there during and after the ceremony; several King of Hearts playing cards, some flowers that were beginning to wither, a Gryffindor badge, a miniature beater’s club.  Harry’s first Golden Snitch, its wings finally still.  

The ceremony had been extremely uncomfortable for George.  He sat at the end of his family, next to Charlie.  On his other side was Angelina Johnson, who sat through the service with her head bowed and one hand over her mouth, as if to keep all her grief from pouring out.  During Lee Jordan’s eulogy, a sharp, dry sob broke through her fingers, and George reached out and took her free hand in his.  She squeezed it in return and let her tears fall down her face.  

George had been asked to give a eulogy after Lee.  He had declined.  There was no way he could weave any kind of meaningful message into a string of words, so limited in their expression of what he needed to say about his brother.  So Ron had stepped up to speak instead.  He did a good job, but George couldn’t look at him.

He had asked, however, to be a pallbearer.  He hoisted the box holding his brother’s body onto his shoulder, feeling the weight of his twenty years sink down into his chest.  With Bill, Charlie, Ron, Percy, and Lee, they had carried Fred to the mouth in the ground and allowed him to be swallowed by the earth.  

During the reception back at the Burrow, George had been quiet and still, tucked into a corner of the lawn.  He watched as people milled around and greeted each other, embracing.  Some laughed, some cried.  They stayed away from him, casting furtive glances in his direction before looking quickly away.

Two people, one of his older aunts and a second cousin, had come within hearing range, but they hadn’t noticed George sitting among the hedge.

“—poor Molly just doesn’t know what to do with herself; did you see her during the ceremony?”

“It’s a hard thing, to be sure, but maybe it’s the best of the situation, or perhaps the worst, depending on your point of view.”

“Well, as I told Myrna, Fred will always be young, he will always be beautiful…”

“But that’s just it, don’t you see?  He won’t be either of those things at all.”

“How awful of you to say!  What do you mean?”

“Only this: when someone dies, then yes, their memory is preserved as they were in life, in Fred’s case, indeed, young, exuberant, charming… but his spitting image is still alive, isn’t he?  Fred won’t be remembered the way Fred was; Fred will be remembered the way George is.  They were inseparable during life, and I’m afraid they’re going to continue being inseparable.”

“But surely you don’t… what a horrible thing to suggest… as if… as if one could take the place of the other!”

“I didn’t say interchangeable, did I?  But if you want to get right down to it…”

George hadn’t stayed to hear more.  He rolled backwards, right through the hedge, coming out into the field on the opposite side.  He picked himself up and set off at a brisk and determined walk.  At the edge of the field was a shed where his mother kept gardening tools and old brooms.  He wrenched open the door and kneeled down on the wooden floor.

He set his wand against a plank with a crescent-shaped chunk missing from it.  “Zebedeo Zonko is my hero,” he said aloud.  

The crescent divot stretched into a mouth and began to squeak with laughter before opening up and revealing an impressive stash of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes; boxes of discarded Snackbox ideas (the Palpitating Petit-Fours never worked quite right), dangerously strong love potions (Charlie had developed a frightening obsession with a Muggle short-order waitress until they had managed to slip him an antidote), Decoy Detonators that ran for miles until finally exploding, and a large cache of Wildfire Whiz-bangs.  George leaned in and scooped up as many of the fireworks as he could carry, bewitching the others to float along after him.  Shifting them in his arms, he replaced the board, whispered, “the fun is done” to lock it, and left the shed.

Fred didn’t want Lee Jordan and Angelina Johnson dressed in black, kneeling over a piece of stone.  He didn’t want his mother crying unceasingly and his father unable to keep a steady hold on his wand.  He didn’t want Ron, Bill, Percy, Charlie, and Ginny to be hugged and consoled by relatives they hardly knew.  And hell, he did not want his twin brother to be avoided and whispered about or satisfied with lowering a coffin into the ground.

Fred wanted to go out with a bang.

“Fecking git,” George said out as he reached the hedge once more.  He dropped his armload of fireworks and began to arrange them.  “You really are, Fred, I hope you realize.  We’ve hardly tested some of these.  I hope one hits Muriel; it would take something about as dire as a meteor crash to finish her off.  Shite.  At the very least one might hit the house; maybe it’ll explode in our room.  That would be a suitable goodbye from you, don’t you think?  Bullocks.”

He stepped back, pointed his wand at the first volley, and sent a jet of sparks into its midst.

George was blown off his feet as the set went whistling and cart-wheeling into the air, rending the night sky with smoke and fire.  He heard momentary cries from the lawn.  Scrambling back to his knees, he set off the next wave, sending streaks of blue and green sparks three stories into the air.  The cries began to turn to applause and shouts of laughter.  He heard Ginny and Lee begin to chant Fred’s name as he set off a volley of Catherine Wheels.  Some of these rocketed into the heavens, others just barely made it over the hedge and went whirling off to wreak havoc on the lawn.  Reports and stars rained down over the Burrow; tides of skyrockets, roman candles, and night parachutes blazed through the air and set the clouds alight.  He lit a fistful of strobes and hurled them over the hedge, making the lawn flash in a dozen different colors.  Double and triple aerial shells split the dazzling sky with fountains of red and gold, some petering out halfway through, others exploding into spheres of light a quarter of a mile wide.  His face blackened and his dress robes scorched, George sent a final jet of sparks into his last and most uncertain pile of cakes; he then streaked off in the opposite direction and flung himself into a ditch as the volley went off like a round of Muggle artillery fire.  He lifted his head and watched the final display, silently praising himself and his twin for their superb handiwork.  Glittering phoenixes burst from the flames and sailed off into the skies; dragons and snakes and winged horses swept over the crowd and into the clouds.  After a final, terrifying report, a massive scarlet F split the night.

“Damn you, Fred,” George said, half laughing, half choking as tears ran in sooty rivulets down his smoke-stained face. “That was supposed to be a W.”

George leaned forward and brushed the damp headstone with his fingers.  A chaotic fireworks display was definitely more suitable for a tribute to Fred than a lifeless stone was.  After leaving the sanctity of the ditch, George had Apparated back inside, scrubbed his face, and locked himself in his room.  Each of his family members rapped on his door as they came back in, one by one, after the reception ended.  He didn’t answer any of them, and they all left him alone, except for Ginny.

“George,” she said through the wall. “I know you’re not asleep, and I know you won’t come out, but that was brilliant, what you did tonight.  It was perfect… you know, a Catherine Wheel nearly destroyed Aunt Muriel… Dad had to do the protego charm to keep her from being steamrollered… food was flying everywhere… the gnomes were terrified beyond their wits… Percy’s best cauldron has a great melted split up the side… George.”  She was crying.  “I just wanted to tell you that.  It’s how he would have wanted to go.  Anyway.  Goodnight.  I love you, Weasley, and you know he loves you, too.”

A watery pink fringe was spreading across the horizon.  George rubbed his eyes, bleary and ringed from his two-week long insomnia, and got to his feet.

“I’m going back to the shop today,” he said, gazing down at the headstone.  “Just to see how much damage has been done.  Just to get a feel for…” he took a breath. “I don’t know if I can do it, mate.  Keep it up, that is.  I don’t know how I can work there… now.  I don’t know what I’ll do instead, though… we never did come up with any other options… Dad’d always give me a job… or chasing dragons with Charlie wouldn’t be so bad…”  He trailed off, running down the list of things his twin would have called him had he ever suggested switching to a Ministry career.  “I think I’ll go now, to avoid the morning crowd,” he said, more to himself than Fred.  “Repair crews are starting to show up, I’ve heard, and some businesses have already reopened.”  He pushed his toe into the dirt by the headstone.  “So… that’s what I’ll be doing.  You have a nice long rest for me; catch up on the forty or so hours of sleep I’ve lost in the last two weeks…”

He stood a moment longer in front of Fred’s grave, and then turned sharply on the spot and Apparated to London.

The Leaky Cauldron was completely empty, which George was thankful for as he passed quietly through.  Tapping the bricks on the wall behind the pub, he marveled briefly over how much Diagon Alley had transformed in the year he had been gone.  

The cobbled street had a darkness about it that was not due to the gray morning light.  Almost every opening was boarded, every surface grimy with neglect.  There was absolutely no one out.  Even at this hour before the war, there would have been bakers, vendors, and shopkeepers setting out their wares and sweeping out their stores.  He and Fred had never liked getting up that early, but there were a few times it had been necessary, and the Alley was a completely different world than during the day; serene, peaceful, and quiet.  Now the silence was ominous and heavy, and traces of smoke and acid stung the dewy air.  He passed Florean Fortescue’s empty ice cream parlor and the stained display cases of Flourish and Blott’s.  With a wrench of his heart, he walked past Ollivander’s, the windows smashed and foul words scrawled around the doorframe.  No doubt every wand inside had been stolen or tampered with.  He clutched his own wand tightly in his hand, remembering the day he had gotten it with Fred in Ollivander’s eight years before.  The finish was wearing off and the tip was scorched from many an experiment gone awry, but it had never failed him yet.  He and Fred both had unicorn-hair cores, not twin ones, but from a pair of males who had been foaled together.  He passed by the dilapidated store, recalling the fragments of Fred’s wand that had been buried with him.  All except a shard of the tip.  George had kept that one.

He neared Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and couldn’t decide whether he was relieved or dejected that the window was still intact.  The bright orange and purple lettering had faded slightly, and the glass was scratched and filmed with dirt, making it impossible to see inside.  He placed his hand on the doorknob, but the lock charm was still, surprisingly, effective.  

“Alohomora,” he murmured, proceeding to lift the half-dozen protective spells encasing the storefront.  He then lit his wand, took a short, sharp breath, and pushed the door open.  

His wand cast a watery, dismal light as he stepped over the threshold, throwing shelves and boxes into shadow.  His tired eyes swept the room.  Cobwebs lay thickly over every surface, and the floor was carpeted with dust.  A few items blinked and glittered feebly in the pale light, still attempting to work properly, and something somewhere was emitting a faint peeping sound, which the Canary Creams tended to do after they had lived out their shelf life.  Almost everything else, however, was silent and still.  

George paused, realizing the enormity of what this shop was—his and Fred’s entire life was stacked in here; countless results of tireless testing, conniving, and chiding that they had been working on since they could first perform levitating charms.  He took his hand off of the doorknob and stepped further into the room.

The hex was immediate.  George’s legs and arms snapped to his sides; his wand clattered to the floor and rolled away, still lit, under one of the shelves.  He twisted jerkily to avoid landing on his face as he crashed to the dusty wooden floor of the shop.

Bloody hell, he thought, his jaw locked shut.  Shite.  Bullocks.  Damn, damn, damn.

How stupid could he get?  He and Fred had always had a great laugh from having someone enter their shop before they had lifted the Full-Body Bind curse from the perimeter.  They had pulled it on Lee, and on Ron, and also on Ginny (although her Bat-Bogey hex made them slightly regret it later).  Why the hell had he forgotten about it?  He struggled, thinking that maybe the spell had lost some of its potency in its dormant months, but he remained completely paralyzed, his cheek pressed into the inch-thick dirt.  His nose tickled, but he couldn’t move it; with his mouth shut, he was inhaling streams of dust… his eyes began to water, he couldn’t sneeze… this could be painful…

“George?”

It felt as though a great iron fist had suddenly opened around him; he rolled onto his back and sneezed explosively three times in succession.  Wiping his teary eyes on his sleeve, he looked up into the doorway to see two dark figures silhouetted against the lightening morning sky.  The taller one was waving her wand, lifting the Body Bind curse.  The shorter one stepped forward and pulled George to his feet.

“Serves you right,” Lee Jordan said, beating the dust away from George with enough strength to repel a Bludger. “You pulled that on me once, remember?  ‘Oh, go ahead, Lee, we just have to nip over to our Gringott’s vault...’  Are you alright?”

“Yeah,” he replied, blinking as warm light flooded the room.  Angelina Johnson put her wand down.  “How did you know I was here?”

“Your mum Flooed my fireplace ten minutes ago,” Lee answered.  “Scared the hell out of me.  Said you had left a note in the kitchen and that she didn’t want you here by yourself.  Angelina’s staying with me until her parents get back from the Kazembes’ funeral in Senegal.”

“You look awful, George,” she said.  “Haven’t you slept at all?”

“Hardly,” he answered.  “The git keeps waking me up at wee hours of the morning.  Somebody Summon my wand, will you?”

The thin stick of wood came shooting out from underneath the shelf.  Angelina caught it and handed it to him.  “Thanks,” he said, glancing at her. “No offense, Johnson, I love you dearly, but you’re really not one to talk about me looking awful.”

She shrugged her tired shoulders, a heaviness weighing down her normally upbeat features.  “What can I say, George, I wanted to marry your brother.”

Lee had walked further into the shop.  “It looks like all your crap is still here, Weasley.  Most of it’s kaput, and these Canary Creams seem to be molting everywhere, but at least nobody’s nicked anything.”

George began to follow Lee, weaving up and down the shelves, brushing his fingers over the piles of his and Fred’s handiwork.  Everything was silent and forlorn.  The Decoy Detonators lay on their sides with their little legs splayed out, the Headless Hats were half-vanished, and a few Nose-Biting Teacups had wearily clamped themselves onto confused fake wands.  

Everything he passed made his heart rend and shatter, until he felt as though his whole body was an old rag that had been squeezed and wrung out too many times.  Fred had once blown a hole in his dorm bed hangings while testing those Christmas Crackers; Fred had once made a second-year Gryffindor girl fall madly in love with Professor Flitwick when his love potion flask exploded at the breakfast table; Fred had once turned the entire Slytherin Quidditch team into canaries an hour before their match with Hufflepuff…

He reached the back wall and stopped, leaning on a shelf.  Tears pricked his eyes; this was why he had wanted to come alone.  He heard Lee and Angelina moving slowly up the next row.  George rubbed his eyes furiously and rested his forehead against the wood of the shelf, feeling a Whizgigging Warbler tap wearily against his head.  

A pair of brown arms wrapped around his chest, hugging him tightly.  He heard a sharp sniff as Angelina laid her head against his shoulder.  He paused a moment, then wriggled away from her and turned around.

“I’m not Fred,” he said hoarsely.  “I never was Fred, I’ll never be Fred.”  He felt everything he wanted to say to his mother and father and every last relative come shooting full force out at Angelina, who stood silently, tears sparkling in her eyes.  “No matter how much we look alike, no matter how much we sound alike, or… or talk or walk or think alike, we’re not the same person.  We’re not interchangeable.”  Lee had come around the row of shelves and stood next to Angelina, his eyebrows snapped down at George’s raised voice.  “You—both of you—all of you—you think I’m… I’m like Fred reincarnated or something, like I can be both him and me… But I’m not, I won’t…”  He gripped his wand as if he expected to be attacked; red sparks spat out the end of it.  “You can’t make me be Fred.”

“You git—” Lee began, but Angelina cut him off.

“Don’t flatter yourself,” she said flatly.  “I never loved you the way I loved him.  Yeah, you two look exactly alike, but believe me, after one gets over the temporary shock of thinking they’re seeing Fred, no one could ever think you were anyone but yourself.”  She had meant it to be hurtful, but her voice broke halfway through, and tears began to stream down her face.  She looked directly at him and said in a different, more anguished voice, “You said it yourself, George.  You’re not Fred; you never were and you never will be.”

Gratitude burst forth from George like a spring flood, he leaned back against the shelves with both hands over his face, crying as he had not allowed himself to cry yet, not even when he was cradling his dead twin’s head in his hands two weeks ago.  Two pairs of arms wrapped around him; the three friends cried unabashedly at the hole in their lives left by George’s twin and the solace they now found in simply being together, that some shred of normalcy was left after the ravages left by the war.  Some arbitrary toy on a shelf registered their noise and began to wail as well, which set off the rest of its shelf, and soon every noise-making item in the store was adding its own sounds to the chorus of cries.  George, Angelina, and Lee stood pressed together amid the mourning shop, their cries slowly turning into laughter at the ridiculous noise.  

“I’m sorry,” George said to Angelina once he had finally regained control of his voice.  “I didn’t mean to go off on you like that… I know you didn’t mean anything… but everybody… at the funeral, and my mum and all, it’s just been driving me up the wall…”

“I know,” she replied, squeezing him and kissing his cheek. “You have a very rough couple of months coming ahead of you, George Weasley, but you know we’ll always be right by your side.”

“Hell,” Lee said hoarsely, wiping his damp cheeks. “I’d be more by your side if I had something to eat… it’s nearly time for breakfast.  You still have that stash of Pumpkin Pasties in the back?”  He made for the store room.

“They’ve surely all gone stale by now,” George called after him. “There should be some unopened bottles of butterbeer, though, that might still be good.”

Five minutes later, the trio sat around the front counter with a pile of slightly stale pasties and Cauldron Cakes between them and a bottle of butterbeer each.  They sipped their bottles in silence, each absorbed in a different string of thoughts.

“You know what you should do, George,” Angelina said.  She was sitting in front of the counter and was staring at the wall behind it.  Currently, it was plastered with promotional posters and merchandise.  “You should sanction off this wall and make it a tribute… you know, cover it with pictures of Fred… I have two or three you could put up…”

“Yeah,” Lee put in. “But you should put up everybody, you know, people we’ve lost along the way.  Remus and Tonks… Dumbledore, Diggory, Mad-Eye… Sirius Black, too.  Heck, throw Snape up there, if you feel so inclined.  I’m sure lots of the Order have pictures… and Dumbledore’s on Chocolate Frog cards…”

“I guess,” George answered, staring down into his bottle.  

“What do you mean, ‘you guess’?  I think it’s a great idea.  What else are you going to do with that wall?”

George looked up at the both of them and then back down in the bottle.  “I just… I’m still not sure… that I want to keep this up.”

Lee set his butterbeer down.  “Keep what up?”

“The shop.  I don’t know if I can, now that Fred’s gone.  I don’t mean run it by myself, I know I can do that, we used to switch off all the time… that’s not the problem…”  He looked back up at them, their faces blank.  “I just don’t know that I want to.”

Lee and Angelina were silent.  The rogue Canary Cream started its peeping again from the shelves.

“What will you do instead?” Angelina finally asked, her voice unreadable.

George shook his head. “I don’t know.  We never had any other plans.  This was our lives’ ambition.  I hear the Ministry is going to undergo some major overhauls, though… I could find a job there… I wouldn’t mind being an Auror, I suppose… or Charlie might be able to find me a job with the dragon keepers…”

“You can’t,” Lee said quietly.  

“Why not?  A handful of them got killed off, too, they’re going to need more Stunners…”

“You know what I mean,” Lee replied.  “You can’t close this shop.  What would Fred say?”

“Well, we’ll never know, will we, as he was flattened—”

“He’s right, George,” Angelina interjected. “You’ve been planning this since you were eight.  You can’t go and get a Ministry job; can you just imagine?  George Weasley, famed Hogwarts escape artist and creative genius extraordinaire, sitting in a cubicle filing papers…”

“Don’t…”

“Maybe you can start writing reports on cauldron bottoms, if Percy needs an assistant…”

“Shut it…”

“Just think, George!” she said, her voice rising.  “You know very well what Fred would say!  He’d call you a git for thinking about chucking all your work into the dustbin, a pansy for thinking of a Ministry job, and probably a jaded son of a—”

“Now listen,” he burst in angrily.  “You think I want to just deep six everything we worked for?  Can you imagine, no Angelina, listen to me, just imagine coming into this place every day, over and over, being reminded constantly that Fred is dead, gone, and then trying to sell Nosebleed Nougats and Puking Pastilles as if it mattered?  It was fun in school, throwing ideas around, being the center of attention, and then when we opened, we felt like were helping to raise the mood… give people a few laughs…”  He looked at his two friends with weary eyes.  “But it doesn’t feel like that anymore.  It feels childish, petty, insignificant…”
“So you want to go shelve reports on dragon dung instead?” Lee asked flatly.

“No!  I don’t know.  I just…it’s going to be so hard…”

“Since when were you anyone to step down just because something was hard?” Angelina asked pointedly.

“I’ll help you,” Lee said quietly.  “I’m getting tired of doing promotional work for Cleansweep… I was hoping to get into the sportscasting circuit, but I’m kind of in a rut… I’ll help you here.  If you’d want me, that is.  I realize I could never take his place, ever, but you’ll need an assistant, not to mention someone to test your products on.  We’ll get the place fixed up, mate, we could reopen in a month if you really wanted to…”

“It’s what Fred would want,” Angelina said, taking George’s hand.  “Do it for the people who care about him, who care about you.  Of course it’s going to be hard, of course you’ll think of him, and it’ll be painful for a long while.  But I think it will become less so, in time.  It’ll be a way to celebrate him, George, not just simply remember him.”

“Besides,” Lee continued with a weak grin, “what in the name of Zebedeo Zonko will you do with all this stuff, if not sell it?”

George was silent, gazing out through the window into the alley beyond.  A few solitary figures moved down the street now.  A faint waft of baking pastries filtered in over the smell of smoke.  Somebody out of sight was whistling Puddlemere United’s team anthem.  The reddish glow of sunrise had begun to filter in through the grimy glass, illuminating the items in the front display case.  Underneath a year’s worth of dirt and dust, the Whiz-Bangs still had a faint purple glitter to them and the lettering on the boxes of U-NO-POO feebly flashed their changing colors.  

George looked back at his friends.  “You’ll help me?”

“Of course, idjit, what did you think?” Lee ran a finger over the grubby counter and held it up, coated with dust.  “That we would just leave you out to sea?”

From somewhere in the back of his mind, an image swam into view: Fred sitting on the floor of their room, his wand smoking.  A Whizgigging Warbler he had been attempting to grow wings on had suddenly sprouted feet and run across the room before hitting the far wall and exploding.  Thus, the idea for their Decoy Detonators had been born.  “Hey, mate,” Fred had said later when they were planning out the finer details.  “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”


One year later

“Oi!” shouted the picture on the wall. “You in the green!  Buy that Snackbox!  Don’t put it down, you git, buy it!  You think any professor with a knut for a brain is really going to buy that lame ‘I have a stomachache’ story?  You need quality products, and Weasleys’ is the best!  While you’re at it, you might pick up a couple bottles of Daydreaming Delights as well, you look about as imaginative as the backside of a…”

“Lee!” shouted George over the noise. “I need a couple of Basic Blaze Boxes; that last group wiped us out.  And can it, will you?” he addressed the large picture of Fred on the wall.  “You’re antagonizing the customers.”

“Just doing business,” the image of his twin replied, glancing across the store. “IF YOU BEND IT, YOU BUY IT, SMARMY!” he yelled, making several Hogwarts students-to-be jump.  

“Here,” Lee said, dropping a pile of Whiz-Bang boxes onto the counter.  “We need another order of Frog-Spawn Soap, when we have the time to send an owl.”  

“Maybe if you’d quit snogging my girlfriend, you’d have spare time,” yelled Fred’s picture over the din of the shop.

“Oh shove it, you,” Lee replied. “I only went with her to see Wood playing against Ballycastle.  Keep your shirt on.”

The bell over the door, never quiet for very long anymore, jangled.  Ron strode into the bustling shop.

“Ickle Ronniekins!” Fred’s picture called. “Has Hermione asked you to get a Headless Hat yet?  Or are you still together?”

“Hi Fred.  Lee, George.”

“What brings you here?” George asked as he took the pile of Blaze Boxes to the window.  “Percy’s not wanting more Smart-Answer quills, is he?”

“Fleur had her kid,” he answered. “Bill’s been at St. Mungo’s all day.  It’s a girl.”

“No kidding!” George straightened and turned back.  “I’ll have to nip over there after we close… what are they naming the baby Veela?”

“Victoire,” he replied, helping George arrange the stack.  “Fleur’s pretty disappointed that she has freckles, figures they’ll mar her skin or something later in life, but Mum thinks she’s beautiful.  All blonde tufty hair and everything.  Can you believe it?”

“Yeah,” George answered, frowning at the Blaze Boxes. “You think Mungo’s would object to me letting off one of these in the ward as celebration?  Or should I go for the Deluxe package?”

“Fleur’d probably destroy you.  ‘You are ze most ‘orrible oncle in ze world…’”  He jerked his thumb at the wall over the counter. “You have a few new pictures up.”

“Yeah, Angelina found that Quidditch one in an old album, and Viktor Krum sent us a signed picture.”

“ONLY THE BEST AT WEASLEYS’ WIZARD WHEEZES!” Fred’s picture roared. “BUY ALL YOUR TOP-NOTCH TOMFOOLERY FROM ONE-EARED GEORGE AND DEAD FRED!”

“I see you haven’t bewitched any of the others to talk,” Ron said.

“Yeah,” George replied, grinning at his twin’s picture.  “Lee and I figured Fred does enough damage single-handedly.”

Ron looked around at the jam-packed shop and then checked his watch. “I have to run; Mum wants to know if you’ll be at the Burrow for supper.”

“Yeah, I will, after I go see Bill and Fleur.”

“Alright then.  See you tonight.  Bye Lee!  Bye Fred!”

“Bye Ronnie!” shouted the picture.  

“Congratulations, Weasley, you’re an uncle,” said a girl wearing the green and pink robes of the shop.  She was carrying a stack of boxed Portable Swamps.  These had been an especially big hit item with returning Hogwarts students.  

“Thanks, Verity,” he replied just as Lee poked his head around the shelf nearest him.  

“We’re out of Extendable Ears, and I have a queue of first-years begging me for them,” he said.  

“Urgh,” George replied.

“Oh, there are more in the back,” Verity said. “Under that monstrous stack of order forms you’ve yet to sort through.  I’ll get them.”

“Ah Verity,” George said as she walked off. “Where would I be without you?”

She gave him a grin over her shoulder and he felt a swooping sensation in his stomach.  She had been having that effect on him lately.

The day was one of their busiest yet as customers came and went in a steady stream.  When the last shoppers finally left with stacks of Deflagration Deluxe, George waved off the lights and booted Lee and Verity out of the shop (Lee had opted not to move into George’s flat above the store; he lived instead in his own apartment outside of London).  He then went around the store laying down protective charms and came to a halt in front of the wall behind the counter.

It was plastered with so many pictures that they were spilling onto the ceiling and over the doorframe.  Lupin and Tonks hugged each other, Mad-Eye glared around the empty store, Dumbledore smiled from his Chocolate Frog card, Cedric waved in his yellow Quidditch robes, Sirius turned into a dog and back, Snape glowered, Oliver Wood laughed, Krum scowled, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione beamed from their photos covering the walls.  Grinning down at him from all angles was Fred, waving from an Egyptian pyramid, slinging his beater’s club, dancing with Angelina, exploding things with Lee, and standing with his arm around his twin brother.  

George was very much aware that the picture in the middle was not Fred.  It was only his image, bewitched to talk.  It couldn’t think like Fred had; if George got too complex whilst speaking to it, the photo would fall silent and make firecrackers burst from the end of its wand until George let it recuperate.  

But it was a window; a glimpse of his twin whom he loved and missed with all his heart.  He liked to think, too, that perhaps it was a glimpse of himself from wherever Fred was at the moment; no doubt wreaking havoc with the Marauders.  There had been a few times that the picture had uttered words that no charm could have generated.  When business was low, or when George was having trouble with a new product, or when he was simply sitting silently in the shop, reminiscing, he’d hear a quip or a phrase that sounded so much like Fred, the real Fred, that he had to look around and make sure his twin hadn’t suddenly popped out from behind the Snackboxes.  

George stood in front of the framed picture, captioned by the words “In celebration of Fred Weasley.”  

“Verity likes you,” his twin’s photo said.

George shrugged.

“You like Verity.”

“Maybe.”

“Bring my picture to the wedding so I can take the mickey out of you.”

“Shut it.”

Fred’s picture snickered as George headed for the door. “Say hi to Bill for me.”

“Alright.” George turned, his hand on the knob.  He gazed back into the shop, full to the brim with items of complete nonsense, things to make people laugh.  “Things turned out alright, eh?”

His twin’s grin mirrored his own.  “The best,” Fred answered.
Several people asked about that one-shot fanfic I alluded to in the comments of my last pic. So here it is. Sorry it's so long. I hate reading long stuff, but alas, what can you do.
I don't know how long I'll keep this up, because it weirds me out having something I've written up online. I don't really plan on revising it or writing more of it.
Everything obviously belongs to JKR, except I made up Whizgigging Warblers, Zebedeo Zonko's first name, the Kazembes, and the random character of Myrna.
Related illustrations:
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ETA: At someone's suggestion, I posted this on Harry Potter fanfiction under the penname Deisi. If you're a member of this board, feel free to promote it, as I only joined it to put up this story. Here it is: [link]
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It was one of those perfect, wonderful moments that you would give anything, if only it didn't end.  Harry was snoring lightly, and I was lying on his chest, listening to his heartbeat and trying to ignore the sunlight creeping across the carpet, heralding the beginning of the day.

Thu-thump.  Thu-thump.  Thu-thump.

I knew his second scar was somewhere beneath my head.  The one that Voldemort had given him sixteen years after the first, when he walked into the Forbidden Forest of his own accord, and given his life so that everyone else could live.  Just as his mother had done.  

Thu-thump.  Thu-thump.  Thu-thump.

But his heartbeat.  That's what truly amazed me.  He had such a big heart, so full of love and laughter, but so stubborn.  It had refused to stop, not once, but twice, after all.  

And he's an Auror now.  Being an Auror isn't as dangerous as it once was, but it's not perfectly safe.  I still worry.  I still thank whatever higher power might exist that his heart is still beating, despite all it's been through.  And I pray that it will continue, in its unbroken rhythm, for many, many years to come.
I know this is short and a little bit corny, but :iconharry-potter-club: is doing a group-wide 100 theme challenge. And when I saw that prompt #19 was "heartbeat" I KNEW I wanted to explore the fact that Harry's heart SHOULD HAVE stopped twice during his life. And then I saw the deadline was tonight and i said "OH SH*T." So I threw this together. It could be better. But I still like it. Cause, I think most women will agree with me, for SOME REASON, listening to your man's heartbeat is really wonderful.

Anyway, read, enjoy, comment, fav. Toodles!!!
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Ron wasn't too fond of mornings. He would much rather stay in bed, and get up around noon. He often joked that he would love mornings, if only they came later in the day. Hermione simply called him lazy. She would always be up early, mostly due to the crying of their daughter Rose, and would have showered, dressed and eaten all before Ron had even opened his eyes.

It wasn't that Ron didn't want to get up early in the mornings, truly he did; it was just that he couldn't ever bring himself to do it. The only times he had ever managed to do so was when it was his turn to tend to his daughter, or when his wife was sick.

Ron smiled as he watched his wife sleep soundly next to him. One of her hands was curled protectively around her stomach; the other was clasped gently around his. He pulled her closer to him and placed a kiss on her cheek. Hermione shifted slightly in her sleep before slowly opening her eyes.

"Good morning," she said sleepily.

"Good morning," he replied, his voice somewhat muffled as his lips pressed against her shoulder.

"He's been kicking again," Hermione whispered softly as she placed Ron's hand atop her stomach. Ron smiled again as he felt the soft kicking beneath his warm hand.

"Why are you so sure it's a boy?" he asked curiously.

"My Motherly intuition." Ron snickered. He remembered when Hermione had been pregnant with Rose. She had been sure that it was a boy then too. "What are you doing up so early?" she asked as she realised what the time was. Ron pressed his lips once again to Hermione's shoulder before answering.

"Rose is crying." Hermione smiled as she stretched her legs.

"Your turn." Ron groaned playfully before rolling out of bed. "Don't complain," said Hermione, her eyes once again closed. "I've gotten up every time for the past week." Hermione chuckled. Even without looking she knew her husband was rolling his eyes.

She heard, rather than saw Ron leave the room. As she lay, she allowed her mind to wander freely. Unsurprisingly, she found her thoughts lingering on the day ahead. Ron would be at work, and she would be home with Rose.

She smiled as her daughter's face filled her thoughts. Thinking of Rose, of the perfect daughter she and Ron had created together, always put a smile on her face.

The soft kicking of the baby inside her stomach reminded her of all she needed to do today. Harry and Ginny were coming for dinner with James and Albus, meaning she would need to spend most of the day cooking and cleaning. For the life of her she couldn't understand how the house had become such a pigsty, considering Ron was hardly at home and Rose wasn't old enough to make much of a mess.

Hermione suddenly realised that Rose had stopped crying. She listened closely to try and hear what Ron was saying to their daughter. She couldn't hear a thing, which made her a little suspicious. Rose was two years old, and almost impossible to keep quiet. She wondered what Ron had done to get her so quiet. Lucky for her, she didn't have to wait long to find out.

Ron rolled his eyes at Hermione, knowing that even without her looking at him she would know that he'd done it. He left the room and made his way down the hallway towards Rose's bedroom. Her crying changed to shrieking the closer her got, as though she thought her parents couldn't hear her.

"Hi sweetie," he said as he looked through the door. He could see Rose standing in her crib, her little hands clenched into fists around the bars. Ron and Hermione were in the process of trying to move Rose to her first 'big girl bed,' but just like her Father she was proving to be stubborn and didn't want to leave her crib. Ron walked up to the crib where Rose was rubbing the sleepy-dust out of her eyes.

"Bad dream?" he asked quietly, bending down so that he and his daughter could be eye to eye. Rose nodded, tears slipping down her face. Ron reached into the crib and lifted Rose out onto his hip. "It's over now sweetie. Your dream can't scare you anymore." Rose buried her head into her Father's shoulder and cried freely as Ron stroked her hair. He sat with her in the rocking chair that his Mother had bought them and whispered soothing words to her to get her to quieten down.

Eventually she grew quiet and Ron thought she had fallen back asleep. He stood up, ready to put her back into her crib, when she lifted her head and stared into his eyes.

"What are you looking at?" he asked, tickling her. She giggled and tried to move his hand from her side. "Shh," he said whilst placing a finger on her lips. Rose stopped giggling and looked at Ron meaningfully. "Let's surprise Mummy." Rose smiled and nodded enthusiastically.

Ron put Rose down, took her hand and began leading her towards the bedroom he shared with Hermione. The closer they got the harder it was for Rose to stifle her giggles. When they got to the door Ron got down on one knee to explain the 'plan' to Rose.

"We're going to jump on Mummy," he whispered to her.

"Yes!" Rose whispered back to him.

"When we get inside I'll lift you onto the bed and you jump okay?"

"Yes!" Rose repeated. Ron put his finger to his lips and Rose copied him. He smiled and opened the door. Rose tiptoed into the room and Ron followed her, closing the door softly behind him. He looked at his wife and saw that her eyes were still closed. He could tell she wasn't sleeping, and he knew that she would be expecting something like this. Ron picked Rose up and set her down lightly on the bed. She stood up and bent her knees ready to jump, but just before she could Hermione opened her eyes and pulled Rose on top of her.

"Surprise!" exclaimed Hermione loudly. Rose began to giggle loudly until she couldn't stop. Ron smiled as he watched his wife and daughter laughing on the bed together. "Careful," Hermione kept saying between giggles. Ron rolled his eyes again. It was typical of Hermione to be overly cautious about the baby in her stomach when playing with her daughter.

"Daddy!" cried Rose.

"Yeah come on Daddy," said Hermione. Ron smiled again as he joined them on the bed. He wrapped his arms around the both of them and planted a kiss on each of their foreheads.

"You know what?" asked Ron mischievously.

"What?" replied Hermione.

"I love mornings."
Theme one of my 100 Theme Challenge

Theme: Good Morning
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Hermione-x-Ron
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Note: Link to

first chapter

is in the 'Description' below

Chapter 2: 1998, May 3rd pt 2



Neville
After they took Gran I didn't know what to do. If she were alive I would have taken her straight home. But she isn't here. I can't take her home. What do I do now?
When I returned to the great hall there weren't many living individuals occupying the room. The floor was mostly taken up by covered bodies. Gran was there. Somewhere. Before I could walk into the room a tall, stern-looking man, stop in front of me preventing entrance. "Sorry young man, but everyone has to vacate the area, we need to get all the bodies together, please wait outside if you wish to stay on the grounds, there are several trains leaving from Hogsmeade if you'd prefer to head home. Either way you can't stay in here. Sorry". I nodded and walked away.
Luna and I walked around the grounds aimlessly. I looked around at the ruins, the soot covered grass and the smashed objects, scattered in every direction. The only piece standing was the quiddich pitch, in the far distance, across the grounds. It was still standing, proudly showing the four colours- each representing the colours of each house.
Hagrid's house was almost gone. The last few embers were only just finally dying out. Luna and I sat down near what was left of Hagrid's hut. "What are you going to do now? How's your father?" I asked. I knew I'd lost my grandmother, but we'd both lost people we knew, people we called friends, people we almost classed as family. I hadn't seen Luna's father throughout the battle, I was hoping he wasn't dead, for Luna's sake. She'd already lost her mother, when she was nine.
"I... I don't really know. I suppose I'll go home. Maybe go see Dad at St. Mungo's. Maybe see how Harry is and Ginny and Ron and Hermione and everyone. Although I suppose they might want to be left alone. You know after Fred and Tonks and Lupin and... Yeah".
"I guess it's in times like these you want to be alone but what you need is someone to be there by your side, to silently be there for you."
"Hmm that's how it should be I suppose. Want me to be your silent friend?"
"You already are. Want me to be yours?"
"No, its ok I don't need a silent friend. A friend will do. F Y I you're my friend. So I'm sorted."
We sat there smiling to themselves, silently.

Hermione
All of Ron's family, one by one, knelt beside Fred and mumbled a few words. First Bill and fluer, then Charlie and then Percy. Eventually after staring at Fred's body Ron dropped to his knees and hugged Fred. He composed himself and sat talking to Fred as he held his hand, for what felt like hours.
Ron let go of Fred's hand, placed it on the ground and stood up. His mum came over to him and hugged him. I couldn't see either of their faces but I could see their shoulders shaking. Mr Weasley whispered something in his ears and looked at him with a comforting smile on his face and patted his shoulder.
He looked up and around the room looking for something. His eyes fell on me. He looked straight at me for a few seconds which felt like minutes. He looked back at his family mumbled something and headed straight for me.

Ron
It was time to let go of Fred. I realised I'd been sat there for too long. Everyone else who knew him probably would also like to say their personal good-byes. I let his hand slowly fall to the floor and stood up. I kept my eyes on his body, wishing he would just wake and say "got you guys" and laugh at his prank. Fred's body didn't move it just stayed still and unmoving.
Mum came up to me and hugged me. Myself and the whole family, were in the same condition. No-one could believe that Fred had gone. We were all trying to understand that we would no longer hear Fred's laugh, see his smile or be the victim of his amusing and sometimes tedious pranks.
"Ron, its ok, were going to be ok" Mum whispered.
Dad placed a warm hand on my shoulder and added "I know it hurts but Fred always had a smile on his face it's what we should do. Look around everyone's hurting. Everyone's going to need each other's support. Right now I think Hermione needs yours.
"But..." Hermione? Where was she? Honestly I hadn't seen her since we saw Hagrid carrying Harry from the forbidden forest.
"You need to say good-bye now. It's likely you won't get another chance and they need to take the bodies so saying it now would be best. Also when your mother sees all you lot upset it kills her inside. I don't think she's fully understood exactly what happened. Remember back at Grimauld place, the Bogart showing your mother all of you kids dead. Remember how she felt?" I nodded slowly wishing I didn't remember. "Think about how she's feeling now, son. We need to be strong for her and for each other.
"But, dad..."
"No buts Ron. Fred's gone. You can't hold onto his body forever. But no matter what he'll always be with you. You know that. If you need me I'm here, but your mother needs me right now and Hermione needs you." I nodded and looked around for Hermione. Eventually I found her stood leaning against the great Hall doors her arms folded as if she was stood in the freezing cold, with a frightened expression on her face.
"I know dad. I Know I won't see Fred again, but I can't say bye. If you need me, call me." I asserted.
I made my way straight towards her.

Charlie
A Family member dying has actually crossed my mind before. But never in a million years would I have thought this would happen this way. Fred was too young to die. It couldn't be happening, he couldn't be dead. Only he was. I wished I hadn't stayed away from home for as long as I had done. I should have spent more time with my family. Now I've seen just how quickly a life can be taken, I need to try and come home a lot more often, so I can spend some quality time with my loved ones. Except Fred. It was too late to spend time with him. Now I had to focus on the family I had left, especially George. I need to be here for him. Now.
Here's the first chpter if you want to read it first : [link]
If you've read it you know what it is! Well if your a harry potter fan, so yeah not really much to say but hope you like it.

I'm considering writing more for Charlie and Ron.
I think Charlie's character will be interesting to write, especially as his character hasn't been developed as much as the other brothers have in the books.

But enjoy for now :)

let me know what you guys think! watchers and non-watchers! all you potter heads out there!

Please fav and/or comment before downloading please, i'd really appreciate it :) thanks
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You were walking past a butterbeer cart, admiring your new robes, when you spotted a familiar blond mop.

"HEY ARTY!" you called to your new British friend, Arthur Kirkland.  He was waiting for you on the bridge between the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Jurassic Park.

Arthur turned and only had enough time to raise his hand for a wave before you hug-tackled him.

"U-uhm..." he stuttered.  After a tense moment, he relaxed and put his hands around your waist.

Suddenly there was a bright flash and loud laughter.  "HA-HAAA!  Francis will never believe this!  Arthur got a girlfriend!!"

You and Arthur separated and looked at a tall, blonde haired man in surprise.  His bright blue eyes were gazing mischievously at a digital camera.

"ALFRED, YOU BLOODY WANK-"   Arthur stopped abruptly.

Alfred grinned.  "What?  Cat got your tongue?"

Arthur turned his head away indignantly.  "No.  It's just that a true gentleman would never swear in the presence of a lady."

"Aww, aren't you nice!"  You nudged him playfully with your elbow.  You didn't really mind the swearing, but it was sweet that he thought of the gentlemanly thing to do.

He smiled down at you, and your heart practically melted.

"Pfft, yeah okay."  Alfred said, quickly losing interest.

"Can I see that picture?"  You inquired, genuinely interested in how it turned out.  "I'm ________, by the way."

"Sure thing!"  He positioned the camera to where you could see the screen.  "I'm the hero, but you can just call me Alfred."

You giggled at Arthur's interesting friend and leaned in to see the picture better.

The first thing you noticed was the small smile that accompanied a deep blush on the British man's face.  Then you smiled at yourself; you were grinning like a complete idiot as you hugged him.  The next thing you noticed was Hogwarts.  It was sitting majestically in the background of the picture, looking amazing in the morning sun.

You stared straight into Alfred's eyes, the most serious expression on your face.  "Can I get multiple copies of this?  I'm dead serious; I want it blown up and everything."

"Alfred laughed loudly at your request.  "Of course!"

"What?!  Let me see!"  Arthur squeezed in next to you, getting quite close.  He smiled fondly at the sight of the picture.  "I…I actually like it!" he announced.

"YAY!"  Alfred yelled.  He faced you.  "So, did you guys meet here?  I always said that Arthur would be nicer if he had a girlfriend, so this is gr-"

"Al…We're not dating…" said the embarrassed Brit.

"Well, you totally should!"

Arthur sighed, his face as red as a tomato.  "Al…Just leave."

"Ohhhh!  I get it!"  He winked at Arthur.  "I'll leave you guys to your date!"  The hyper blonde turned and ran away towards Jurassic Park before Arthur could say anything.

"Sorry about him…He's a little…"

"Overexcited?" you offered.  "It's fine; I thought he was kind of funny…"

He laughed humorlessly.  "Yeah….Funny."  Arthur rolled his eyes at the thought of Alfred.  Then he fixed his gaze on you, and his eyes immediately softened.  "So, what do you want to do today?"

"I have an idea…"  You grabbed his arm and linked your elbow around it.  "C'mon buddy!"  With that, you two set off into Hogsmeade.


"________..."  Arthur looked away, blushing madly.  "You look lovely in those robes."

"Aw, thanks Arty!"  You said, smiling widely.  "I think you look very handsome in those Slytherin robes."  And he did.  The Slytherin green really brought out the amazing color of his eyes.

"Thank you."

You two continued through the crowded streets of Hogsmeade and into Diagon Alley in comfortable silence.  A couple of times you caught Arthur sneaking a sideways glance at you.  You just smiled contentedly and pretended not to notice.

You and Arthur reached your destination, the many screams of terrified people echoing in your ears.  You gaped up at the entrance to 'The Dragon Challenge' in awe.  The mechanical sound of the roller coaster sparked the excitement in you.

"Let's go on it!" you yelled.

Arthur looked at you dubiously.  "I don't know, ________."

"Oh come on, you have to!" you said, giving him your most intense puppy-dog eyes.

He faltered a bit.  "W-well…"

Your expression turned to sadness.  "Arty, if you don't go on it with me, who's going to hold my hand at the scary parts?"  You were actually anxious about the ride and wanted someone there to comfort you.

His expression set into determination.  "Okay.  I'll go on it…For you."

You whooped in delight and dragged Arthur through the entrance.  There was hardly any line, so you ran down the path leading to the ride in a hyper stupor.

You two caught up with the short line and stopped to catch your breath.

"Why'd we have to run?!"  Arthur asked, breathing a bit heavier than usual.

"Cause I'm excited and anxious at the same time!" you yelled, jumping up and down to relieve your nerves and excitement.  "It's really not a good combination."

Arthur suddenly grabbed your hand.  You stopped jumping and stared at him.  "Calm down, _______."  He was averting his gaze again, a slight blush creeping onto his cheeks.

'He's so cute when he's embarrassed." You thought.  You giggled at him and moved up in the line.

You and Arthur were the next to go on, but you felt no anxiety.  You glanced over at your crush and smiled.  As long as you were with him, you were fine.

When it was time to go, you both lifted down the harness on the roller coaster, still holding hands.  The lady who worked at the park smiled at the sight as she made sure neither of you would fly out of the seat mid ride.

"This is so exciting!!" you exclaimed as the ride started up slowly.  You swung your feet around happily.

"Yeah, it i-"  Arthur never finished that sentence because at that moment, the ride was taken through a series of high droops, insane loops, and fast turns.

You screamed the whole way through.  You could hear Arthur yelling obscenities beside you.

The ride finally slowed down and made its way into the station.  You were laughing your head off at Arthur's reaction.  "You sure have a colorful vocabulary, Arty."

He smiled weakly at you, still clenching your hand for dear life.

You both exited the ride.  Arthur seemed like he was still getting used to walking on land again when you suddenly hugged him.

"Thanks for comforting me, Arty!" you said into his chest.  You backed away from him and smiled.  Arthur looked like he was in deep thought about something.

"Listen, ______..." he mumbled while his face grew redder by the second.

"Yes?"

"I…really like you," he said, averting his gaze again.  "And yesterday and today have been the best days of my life…Because of you."

You just stood there in shock.  Then your brain processed what he'd said.

"I really like you too, Arty!" you yelled and threw your arms around his neck.  You felt his arms wrap around your waist.

You pulled back, about to ask him something, when a pair of lips crashed down onto yours.

Your surprise lasted only a second before you kissed him back.  It was a sweet, simple kiss, but still amazing at the same time.

You both pulled back.  Arthur fixed you with a serious look.  "______.  I don't want it to be the end for us after we leave Universal…I was hoping I could see you afterwards, as well."

You smiled widely.  "Of course!"  You both were prepared to do anything to be with each other.

Arthur kissed you again, and you felt like you were the happiest girl in the world.

'Thanks, Harry Potter, for bringing us together.'

~~~~~~Extended Ending~~~~~~~

You and Arthur were sitting on a bench, sipping on some delicious butterbeer, when…

"So, ______."  Arthur looked like he was trying hard not to laugh.  "If I were to look into the Mirror of Erised*, I'd see the two of us together."

You almost spat out your butterbeer.  You tried to put on a pokerface.  "Are you using the Confundus Charm* or are you just naturally mind blowing?"

"I'd like to get my basilisk in your chamber of secrets."  Neither you nor Arthur was keeping a straight face at this point.

"My name may not be Luna, but I sure know how to love good!"

You both were laughing uncontrollably when a large shadow fell on you.  You looked up to see a scandalized Alfred.

"YOU DIRTY PERVERTS!"


END!
~For anyone who's not a Harry Potter nerd and didn't get those pick-up lines~
*The Mirror of Erised shows the deepest and most desperate desire of ones heart. (So, you're supposed to go all "D'AAW" an' junk.)
*Confundus Charm causes a person or animated object to become highly confused.
The other ones are pretty obvious, but if you know absolutely NOTHING about Harry Potter, than don't be afraid to ask the meaning...
(By the way, I just could NOT write this story without putting Harry Potter themed pick-up lines in it. I would've been ashamed of myself for not doing it. :iconimseriousplz:)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But anyway, I really wanna say thanks to anyone who commented on/faved Part One of this story ([link]) I really appreciate your reviews. :iconloveloveplz:

And a special thanks to :iconzeldarulez10123:. She probably doesn't it know it, but she gave me the idea for the 'Dragon Challenge' ride in the comments on the first story. :iconimhappyplz:

And sorry for any OOC-ness on Arthur's part. ^^' Still trying to get a hold of these reader-inserts thing.
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