A/N: Okay – this has way too many little details and random ideas for those who are looking for action and adventure. This is the story of the gradual construction of a better Burrow. I had so many ideas of how it would be done magically that I spent far too much time working out the little things. If you get annoyed with it – only read the last section or skip this chapter entirely. My anal retentive side is in full bloom here. Okay… it will be two parts. The second chapter will be the exciting one – but this one sets it up.
"The Lone Traveler: Young man who tried to change the past and save those he loved… plan failed and became the Lone Traveler, wandering through time and reality, making a difference wherever he went… very powerful… defeated a powerful Dark Lord… swept along the path he walked by a spectacular aura of blue light."
'Legends & Myths of the Wizarding World' by Gertrude Yolanda
FF St ID 2673584 – Chap 9 – The Professional
Harry appeared on a road in a very familiar place. However, he was shocked that one of his favorite places from his own world looked nothing like he expected.
He saw three men exit and stand around the house. They were gesticulating at the short house.
He cupped his hands and yelled out, "Hello!"
The three men turned and saw the man standing on the road. One of them, the shortest, waved the figure toward them. As he approached, the shortest man stepped forward.
"Hello! Can I help you?" a much younger Arthur Weasley asked the man.
Harry smiled. "I was passing through and saw you three arguing. I was just curious. My name is Gary, Gary Seven."
Arthur moved forward to shake the man's hand. "I'm Arthur Weasley and these are my brothers-in-law, Fabian and Gideon. They're here to help me. We're going to have a baby and they're here to help their sister and her husband get the house ready. We just were trying to decide how to go about it."
"Ahh!" Gary (Harry) paused. "First one?"
Arthur blushed and nodded. The other two ribbed him a bit for knocking up their sister.
"You need another hand? Or wand?" The three looked surprised. Gary chuckled. "I saw the holster. I happen to be a wizard as well." He pulled his wand half out and pushed it back in. "As I am not in any particular rush, helping a young family prepare for a new wizard sounds appealing to me."
Arthur was hesitant. "I appreciate the sentiment. But funds are limited – I just started at the Ministry – and so I can't afford any extra for help. But I do appreciate the sentiment."
Gary chuckled. "I wasn't offering for money. Maybe a good meal or two. I truly just want thought a good deed for a young family sounded right pleasant as a break in my routine."
Arthur turned and spoke with the other two. The two, with some humor, walked over and inspected Gary up and down and then returned to speaking in quiet tones with Arthur. Arthur, with a laugh for a comment made by Fabian, said, "Well, I think I can afford a meal or two. You're welcome, then."
Gary walked with the three back to the house. Arthur said, "What do you think is the best course?"
Harry considered it. Although he loved the Burrow, even he could admit it might have been better planned. "Well, I guess the first question is: Would you prefer tall or wide?"
Arthur chuckled. "We only have one baby. I think on room on top would likely be the best route."
Gideon said, "That was one of our disagreements. I thought adding it on the back would be best."
Fabian added with a grin, "And I was just fomenting discord between the two."
Gary laughed. "Well, are you going to stop at one baby?"
Arthur blushed. Fabian and Gideon both gave Arthur the gimlet eye and Gideon said, "I think messing with our sister once is enough." Fabian nodded in agreement.
Gary shook his head. "And what does your sister say about it? Should I ask her?"
Both of the men looked in horror at the visitor. "We made Arthur promise not to tell!"
Gary gave them an evil look. "Do I look like Arthur?"
The four laughed a bit. The two Prewitts missed Arthur's grateful look. He was getting a bit tired of the teasing.
Gary finally said, "Why not combine them? Add a couple of rooms in the back. Then, if more are needed later, you can add a first floor over that, a second floor – or even a third. Who knows, you could end with a whole quiddich teams worth! Better to plan ahead."
The three red-heads looked at each other with wide eyes. Each of them knew that Molly wanted a big family: The Prewitts – especially the women – loved kids.
"And if you do an extra room or two for visiting family, these two could stay while you and your lady wife can perhaps go on vacation to work on the next one. When they come, the extra room will be handy."
Arthur, blushing all the while, nodded in agreement. "Well, first, we need to get the wood cut and shaped." He pointed toward a stand of large trees nearby. In Gary's time, that area was denuded – it was obvious where the wood came from to add on to the Burrow.
Gary asked, "Who knows the charms for it?"
Gideon and Fabian both raised their hands. "We were going to do it for him."
Gary said, "Well, show us both – and we can help. And the next time he needs to add a room, he'll be ready."
The two brothers looked at each other and then nodded to Gary. The four moved to the stand of trees. The two brothers showed Arthur and Gary how to use cutting charms to cut the trees and shape the wood.
Gary's precision with his wand meant that less was wasted and so not as many trees needed cutting.
An hour and a half after they started, Arthur's wife came out with a pitcher of lemonade. It was interesting to see Arthur's face light up when his wife came into view.
"Molly!" He turned to Gary. "That's my lovely bride, Molly. I'll introduce you." He turned and yelled, "Break time, guys!" Gideon and Fabian appeared out of the stand of trees.
Molly approached, eyeing the extra man with some curiosity. "Molly, this is Gary Seven. He was passing by and volunteered to help, a bit of a good deed for him." He took her hand and turned to Gary. "This is my lovely wife, Molly."
Molly giggled at her husband's introduction. While no great beauty she wasn't unattractive; when she smiled and laughed it was much more obvious. She looked to be a few months along.
"It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Weasley." Gary smiled at Arthur. "You're a lucky man, Arthur." He smiled broadly in agreement.
Molly blushed as she said, "Thank you. You can call me Molly. Thank you for helping us. Would you like some lemonade?"
Gary nodded. He conjured four cups and they all drank deeply. When he was finished, he banished his cup and thanked her again. The other three followed suit. Molly stood up. "Lunch will be at noon. Bring your appetites." All four smiled as she made her way back, after flirting briefly with her husband.
Her two brothers scrunched their eyes closed and covered their ears. Fabian yelled, "We don't need to see that!"
Gary laughed and Arthur blushed. When the brothers' attention was turned back towards the stand of trees, both yelped. The four turned to see Molly holding her wand, a smirk on her face. "That's for the drama." She then sauntered back to the house, the pitcher in one hand and twirling her wand with the other.
Gideon lamented, "She's always been good with the stinging hex." Arthur and Gary laughed at the two, until the brother's joined in as well.
By the time Molly called everyone in for lunch there was a large pile of beams and boards. The smells coming from the house as they approached made their mouths water.
The lunch did not disappoint. The four ate very well, encouraged by Molly. As they were finishing Gary said, "Okay. So, let's plan the next steps."
With some suggestions from Molly, the planning progressed. Because they were adding on the back rather than just building up, they would need to gather field stones for a foundation. That would be a heavy draw of magic but Gary volunteered he was quite good with accio charms.
The four red-heads were a bit dubious. Arthur hoped it would work because he only had two days off from his Ministry job to finish the addition.
The extended family was coming by the next day to help raise the walls. Molly's brothers and husband were supposed to get all of the material ready.
And so the four family members all followed Gary as he made his way to the large back field. They all looked for locations of stones until he had a pretty good idea of where they could be found. They moved to the area behind the house where the addition would be added and Gary prepared himself.
He began summoning the stones and placing them in a pile. The other three men would levitate the stones out of the way while Gary took a breath and then this would repeat.
Molly took one look at the energy Gary was expending and moved inside to brew some pepper-up.
Within a few hours, large piles of stones were now close to where they would have to be laid. The four men moved back inside and Molly gave them all some pepper up potions. It was decided that they would only work a little while longer so that they could be rested for the next day.
As they sat around the table Gary asked, "Are there any runes that we should be adding to the stones or the wood?"
Arthur looked curious. "Runes?"
"Yeah. I assume there will be some wards you will add: Fire prevention, stability, anti-pest. Anything else. I know you can add wards later, but maybe there are things we can add to make it easier in the future?"
Arthur considered it. "I didn't think of that." None of the family members were particularly educated on wards. Finally Arthur said, "I should go ask my mum. Her family is big on wards."
At his wife's agreement, he moved to the floo. "I'll be back in a bit."
While Arthur was off talking to his mother, the other three men worked to make a furrow where the stone foundation would be laid. At four, Arthur exited the house followed by an older woman as well as Molly.
Arthur introduced his mother. "This is my mum, Cedrella Weasley. Mum, you've met Fabian and Gideon. And this is Gary Seven." Arthur's mum was an aristocratic looking woman who looked to be in her late forties or early fifties.
"Mrs. Weasley, it is a pleasure to meet you. I am Gary Seven." She presented her hand and Gary brushed his lips over her hand.
"Arthur came to me asking about runes. I was curious. Explain." Cedrella Weasley was obviously very used to being obeyed.
"I asked if there were particular runes which should be added to the wood or stone to make warding easier in the future."
Cedrella walked to the piles of stone. After taking a look she turned. "There are Rune sets which would be helpful but etching them into so many stones would take a long time. Normally, only a few stones are etched so that they can be tied into a ward stone."
Harry considered it. "Can I ask a few questions?" Cedrella nodded. "How deep does the etching have to be?" "Do they have to be drawn in or can they be placed at once, in full?" "Does how they're etched have an effect?" "Do they have any effects before being charged?" "Can you draw the Rune sentences that could be added to each stone?"
When his questions were answered, Gary asked that two copies of possible Rune sequences be put together while he retrieved some tools that might be useful.
Curious, Cedrella agreed.
Harry looked back in his memory and, remembering where he needed to go, then apparated away.
It was a good thing that Tom at the Leaky Cauldron was so helpful in exchanging galleons he happened to currently have with muggle money. Tom also didn't ask any questions. And he was much faster than visiting Gringotts.
By the time he returned, Cedrella had several parchments prepared. There were three copies each of runes to be placed on stones, on beams, and then on the other lumber if possible.
Gary first took a parchment and drew random lines on different parts. He then transfigured different sections of the ink into different substances until he found one which caused the ink to eat through the parchment but only where there was ink.
He then took a new parchment. He wrote, "The Burrow," several times and then separated each instance into its own piece. Moving outside, he placed charms on the several slips so that they were still flexible but otherwise impervious.
Taking several stones, he placed different slips on each one. He then retrieved several containers that he had obtained from a crafts store as well as a chemical store. Because they were in such small quantities, he luckily didn't need to register the purchases. He had explained that he was experimenting with doing drawings on stone. Employees at each store had helped him find the right acids and brushes.
Duplicating the brushes and each container, he had temporarily conjured items he could experiment with. He left the originals alone.
Using different chemicals, he brushed several stones and waited the time needed for the acids to eat into the stone and then become inert.
Once the time had come, he vanished the slips as well as the residue left behind on each stone.
While Cedrella inspected each one, he did the same thing to several small pieces of wood made from one of the boards that he sacrificed for the experiments. Cedrella inspected these and then pointed out which ones might be useful.
He vanished the chemical containers that had proven to be useless and then took one of the sheets that Cedrella had made with runes and repeated the process.
Using only the acids which produced acceptable results, he repeated his experiments on three different stones using the templates he had made from the parchments provided. He also put the runes to be placed on wood using several different pieces.
Once these were completed, Cedrella inspected them. She asked that Gary move them away from the house so that she could try charging the different pieces.
When the experiments were done and only the best result for each material were left (everything else having been vanished or banished) they were left with an acid and brush for wood and three acids and brushes for different stone types.
Cedrella, at some point, had flooed her husband to say she would be at Arthur's for a bit longer and he should arrange dinner for himself and the two boys at home.
After a break to eat, Gary brought took two boards from the pile and made a box to hold the different tools and templates. He wrote out the exact names for the acids and brush types and corresponding materials. He then wrote out a list of steps and spells for each step.
When he was done, Gary presented Arthur and his family a complete Rune etching kit for magical construction.
The Weasleys and Prewitts were regarding the visitor with a bit of awe. In a matter of a few short hours, Gary had devised and prepared a durable method for preparing proper materials for a home that could now be completely tied in to wards.
Such preparations normally required a team of trained warders many days and would be available to only the wealthiest clients.
Because he had used a mixture of both muggle and magical means, it was almost inconceivable that it could be easily reproduced.
Purebloods would never have obtained muggle chemicals to etch stone or wood. They preferred to use spells which required someone trained in the Ancient Runes to draw each one manually.
Muggleborns normally didn't acquire the spell repertoire that this process required. Most were discouraged from careers in warding or enchantment. Those that did follow those routes normally didn't stray much from what they learned from those that taught them.
As Matriarch of the family, Cedrella (after getting permission from Gary) demanded that this become a family secret. She explained the enormous economic possibilities that it could provide in the future.
Gary suggested that at some point, someone would notice and rumours would fly. At that point, an effort could – and perhaps should – be made to sell the method to Gringotts. He also suggested that as a part of that agreement the Weasleys and Prewitts be exempt from any secrecy oaths they demanded.
Gary, to his relief, felt no call to move on. He began to make his way out so that he could get a room at the Leaky Cauldron but Molly insisted that he stay. They didn't have much room yet, but they did have enough for that. Shrugging Gary agreed. He was enjoying himself and so didn't disabuse the couple from the idea that he would have to pay.
The next day, Gary agreed to continue helping.
The Prewitt brothers were once again present. This time Arthur's father, mother, two teenage brothers, three of his uncles, and several of their children (adults) were present to help raise the addition to the house.
Gary helped to arrange the assembly line to prepare the stones and wood. Cedrella had once again insisted on secrecy, even though most of the family thought that the material they were using to etch was some special potion. None but those who were present the day before knew exactly where the original came from.
Gary hadn't even needed to open the muggle container – he duplicated it as it appeared. Therefore, the original acids never needed to be exposed or compromised.
The teenagers had fun doing the brushing of the etching materials. His assembly line allowed them to do twenty stones at a time and each batch took ten minutes.
Gary prevented a catastrophe occurring when Gideon and Fabian tried to prank the teenagers working on the foundation stones. Gary sicced Molly on them and they desisted after they finished rubbing their ears.
After etching the stones, the teenagers helped to mix the homemade mortar which would be used. Gary, under direction from one of Arthur's uncles, dried the mortar using specific spells.
When he asked why not make it impervious, the Uncle explained how weather would crack walls that were set too rigidly. If the mortar didn't have any give, cracks could form in the stones.
Another Uncle helped to prepare for a new bathroom. Gary had asked and Cedrella had come up with a Rune scheme for a magical septic tank. It would vanish any water or waste but could be accessed if someone dropped something like a ring or money into it accidentally.
What the visiting Weasleys (other than Cedrella) didn't notice was that Gary also placed a suitable place in the construction that could hold the main ward stone. Access was on the opposite side from the real septic access door. Who would look for a ward stone behind what looked to be access to a septic tank?
By lunch, the foundation was completely laid, including a sill beams that would support the new construction. The bathroom location was marked out as were the locations for the new rooms. The hallway location and the entrance to the original house was also defined.
Wall construction was fairly quick after the lumber was prepared with the Rune schemes Cedrella had defined. Gary found out that the magical world – at least the Weasleys and the Prewitts – used permanent sticking charms to attach materials together. In exchange for his help, he was taught the one they inherited from the Blacks. It was a much easier decision after Gary admitted he was also distantly related to the Blacks.
A new Rune scheme was also applied for pipes that would conjure fresh water. Cedrella was going to design a magically controlled system to determine the temperature, but it would take too long.
Gary apparated to a plumbing supply store and obtained normal shower and sink hardware and charmed them to never break. It was much easier for Cedrella to charm pipes for hot and cold exclusively. Gary did ask her to make Rune templates for a magically controlled system. Muggle parts weren't always easily available.
The new system was so much better than what was already in the house that Gary obtained hardware for the kitchen and existing bathroom. Arthur's father worked on those as well as tying them into the new magical septic tank. He then sealed off the old one.
By 4:00, the outside walls were up as was the frame for all inside walls. Roofing was done using slate which Arthur had saved up for. In truth, the money that Arthur had saved stretched much farther due to Gary's intercession. He had anticipated paying experts for a number of things that Gary and his mum devised. He had insisted on replacing the galleons that Gary had originally spent on his first trip for muggle chemicals and supplies. He had also provided the galleons for the hardware.
Muggle hardware was so much cheaper than what he would have had to pay for magical versions in Diagon Alley.
By 5:00 the Weasleys were inside, applying the plaster to the walls. Gary had insisted on stuffing the outside walls with hay which was magically treated to be fireproof. He explained that it would mean less magic being needed to prevent drafts in the future.
Gideon and Fabian suggested they do the same for inside walls. It would mean few silencing charms needed for when they visited – they really didn't want to hear their sister and her husband performing their spousal duties.
By 9:00, the entire visiting family was ensconced around the rather large dining room. It was a luxury, but Arthur had decided that if he was going to host family functions in the future (or if they had as many children as his wife seemed to want) that they should have a space sufficient to hold them all.
The old dining room attached to the kitchen could be used for their small family or for whatever.
The new addition sported a new master bedroom, a smaller bedroom which could double as a nursery, a full bathroom, a dining room, and a hallway connecting everything to the original house. Arthur and Molly had decided that they would convert their old master bedroom on the first floor of the original house to a guest room or room for later children.
Harry, having an idea of how large the family would become, had insisted on leaving room at the edge of the dining room for a second future stairway if needed.
The Weasleys all celebrated the completion of the addition. Gary was thanked by all of those in attendance for his help and was given a permanent invitation to visit. A grand time was being had by all.
Finally Gary felt the call. He stood up. "Molly, Arthur, Prewetts, Weasleys, my time to move on has come. I do hope to take you up on that invitation, but I don't know the next time I will be around. Enjoy your newly expanded home and I wish you the best of fortunes."
He was farewelled by those present and then he made his way out. For some reason, he didn't move on until he was out of site of the Burrow.
The next morning, Molly was cleaning the dining room. Everyone had returned to their own homes later the night before and the two of them had celebrated – as best they could with her in her current condition anyway. She had left the cleaning until Arthur went to work.
As she worked, she contemplated the generous man who had helped them. She knew that if Arthur and her brothers had been left to their own devices, the added structure would never have been as sound as what they had accomplished.
She loved her husband and brothers but they were not builders.
As she worked, she contemplated how to decorate the new areas. She remembered a clock that she had once seen. She might have to ask her mother-in-law for help with the runes, but she wanted to duplicate that clock.
Even as she contemplated this, she found a strange thing: One single hair was left from Gary on the chair he had sat upon the night before. She held it up and looked at it. Maybe she should add a hand to the clock?
Molly and Arthur were sitting in the breakfast nook, as the old dining area had come to be called. Molly was wiping Charlie's face even as Bill was making faces at his brother. She was pregnant again.
Arthur was considering the plans for adding a first floor over the master bedroom and dining area. Charlie would be moving into Bill's room (the old master bedroom) when this one was born, but Arthur knew that eventually they would each need a room. As he had saved a bit more money for it, he wanted to take care of it now rather than later.
Once again, Gideon and Fabian would be coming to help out. They loved to visit and used the second bedroom. Molly had insisted that a spare room be left for visiting kin.
His uncles and brothers were all too caught up to be able to assist. His parents were getting on a bit, but would be visiting. His mum would help Molly with the children.
Suddenly a noise interrupted the family. They both looked up to see Gary Seven's hand moving on the clock. It was very odd. Ever since it had been placed, the hand had been stuck on "Traveling." For the first time it was moving – and it's final position was "The Burrow."
Arthur and Molly quickly stood and made their way to the front door. Looking out, they saw the long-missed person in question making his way to their house. They – as well as others – had asked around and no one knew him.
However, he had done so much for them that they would always welcome him into their home. As to his past – every man had a right to privacy. And although Molly was nosey (she knew it too) she wouldn't ask.
Molly rushed out of the door. "Gary! Welcome back!"
The man smiled as he braced himself. Molly threw her arms around their visitor and hugged him as hard as she could – given her current limitations.
Arthur walked up smiling. "I will add to my wife's good wishes and say welcome as well."
Once Molly had let go, Gary said, "Molly, Arthur. It's good to see you too. And it's obvious that the family is expanding!" He pointedly looked to Molly's current baby bulge.
Arthur grinned and said, "Yes. We Weasleys have a deserved reputation. How have you been?"
They all moved toward the house. Molly was determined not to allow their visitor to leave without at least feeding him and so she maintained a heavy grip on his arm.
"I've been well. Traveling. Helping out here and there. How have you two been?"
Arthur and Molly both beamed as Molly answered, "It's been wonderful. We have two boys – you saw me carrying the first – and now another one the way. It's strange though – you only showing up right as we're planning our next addition."
Gary looked surprised. "Truly?"
Arthur said, "Yes. With another on the way and knowing that we want at least one or two more, I've saved up a bit. We're going to add a first floor above the new section."
Gary grinned. "Well, I guess I will be working for food again." Molly started to protest, but Gary only said, "You cooking is quite worth it in my opinion."
Molly blushed and Arthur smiled at his wife.
Gary had fun meeting the younger versions of Bill and Charlie. Bill was five and was highly interested in their visitor. Charlie was out of his uncoordinated toddling stage but still was very much a toddler. He was going though toilet training right now.
Soon, there was a call from the floo. Arthur moved to welcome his parents. While that was happening, a knock at the door signaled that Molly's brothers had arrived.
There were many greetings as the visiting family was amazed that Gary had shown up to help with the next build.
The four men moved to denude more of the tree stand. After moving a particularly large pile of boards Gary commented to Arthur, "At least this time we don't have to move more rocks."
Arthur and the Prewett brothers laughed. They were once more provided refreshment by Molly. They laid out the assembly line to add runes to the beams and lumber when Gary had a thought. He turned to the others and said, "Before you start, I want to ask your mum a question."
He moved inside and found Cedrella playing with her grandchildren. "Mrs. Weasley?"
Cedrella looked up. "Yes, Mr. Seven?"
"I need your expertise once more."
Being very interested in the young man's ideas, she called for her husband to watch the two children while she moved to help him.
They sat in the dining room with the rest of the family watching. Harry asked pensively, "I've heard that there has been trouble recently."
There was a small pall that stole over the room. "Yes. Some muggleborns have been being attacked. But most established wizarding homes have been considered safe."
Harry said, "Yes, for now. But what if it expands?"
Molly began to be worried. She had heard rumours from her brothers and husband about disappearances and she didn't like contemplating the idea that they would be in danger.
Cedrella sighed. "That would be very bad."
"Right. My question is: If we are going to be building another floor essentially, is there a Rune scheme we should add or is there a different Rune scheme that would allow the first floor to be warded differently than the ground floor?"
Everyone stared at Gary with a bit of confusion. "In what way?"
Gary was obviously thinking as he put his idea forward. "Imagine if someone wanted to add another ward … let's say the Fidelius Charm." A few were confused as it was a well known charm, but Cedrella was not one of them. "Could, for example, we apply a set of runes to the first floor materials which would make it easier to apply such a charm there and not on the whole house? If someone was planning an attack, the family could retreat to the warded area. A Fidelius would mean that any invaders would assume that the family wasn't home. With the charms preventing fire, it wouldn't be worth it to burn the place out. They might do a bit of damage and then retreat or be driven off. Is such a thing possible?"
Cedrella considered the question. This Seven man certainly had some radical ideas. However … She turned to Molly. "Molly, dear, do you have some parchment?" Molly scurried to retrieve parchment and quills. "And Arthur? Please retrieve The Box." Arthur moved to retrieve the valuable set of construction and warding tools.
Everyone watches as Cedrella made some notes. She drew a few runes and compared it to the runes that were already laid in the addition. She then scratched out one set of runes and drew another. She considered the two together and then said, "We need to test this. Make a small fake house – it doesn't have to be fancy. Put the original set on the ground level and the second on the first level. Use two fist sized rocks for temporary ward stones. Make certain they are within a foot of each other. The full size stones would have to be within ten feet of each other."
Harry and the Prewitts moved to comply with her request. Everyone followed and watched. Bill was fascinated as Gary applied the two sets of runes. He used the original template (a magically produced duplicate anyway – the original was never to be used) and used Cedrella's new rune scheme to make another template. He finished and then stepped back.
Cedrella took the two fist-sized rocks and applied two different basic warding schemes to them. She also linked them, but not completely. She asked her husband to help. She powered the two ward stones and stepped back. Everyone who saw the miniature house waited – but nothing happened. Gary sighed, "Oh well. I guess it's not going to work."
Cedrella laughed. Everyone stopped and turned back, wondering what she was laughing about. She smirked at her family and said "Septimus?"
Her husband, also grinning, said, "The Doll House has a first floor."
Everyone stared and then looked at the miniature. Suddenly, they noticed what they had failed to notice before: The top of the small house had disappeared and they had never noticed. Cedrella laughed again and then said, "I would never have been able to cast it on a full size house – I don't have that amount of power – but this? It will work as requested."
Everyone grinned. Gary was about to make sure the temporary mini house was vanished but Cedrella asked him to wait. He began before ensuring that the new rune scheme was the one added to the lumber for the first floor. As they were applying them, Gary had a thought. "Arthur!"
The three men looked at Gary. "Can you move Bill back in with Charlie? We're going to have to deconstruct your current first floor to apply all the schemes. He can move back tonight when we're done, but he might need a nap."
Everyone helped clear out the first floor and they applied the new scheme to every wall and as many boards in the wall as they could. It was remarkably quick.
As the men were removing the roof for the addition, Molly was cooking, Septimus was watching the children, and Cedrella was planning out a rune scheme for a second floor and even a third. If Gary Seven was so concerned as to start on this path, she would ensure all eventualities were planned for. She couldn't design the full wards that should be applied – but she could design a system for several ward stones to hold different schemes for different floors.
Soon, construction commenced and the first floor took shape. Instead of a dining room, the first floor had a study/library. Gary's suggestion that it could eventually be used for the children to do homework was met with Molly's enthusiastic approval. It would also give her a place to home school the children before Hogwarts.
Because it wasn't as big as the dining room, it left room for three bedrooms to be added – as well as another full bathroom. The bathroom was tied into the same septic tank. When inspected, the tank's charms were holding perfectly well with no degradation.
Molly blushed a bit when an inexpensive bracelet she had lost was found in the tank. As it wasn't that important or significant an adornment, she hadn't been upset when she noticed it gone and promptly had forgotten it. She had been distracted almost immediately by the birth of her second child.
All in all, the new addition was completed much more quickly than the original was. A secondary stone was placed and Cedrella had enough power to place it under a Fidelius. She made Arthur the secret keeper and he promptly told three people: Molly as his wife, Bill as his firstborn (even though he wouldn't think about it much until he was older and trained as a curse breaker), and Gary Seven – who had made it possible. When Gary protested, Arthur had only shaken his head and said he trusted the man.
After a wonderful celebratory dinner, Cedrella convinced Gary to add a second floor to the mini house and to try her additional scheme. If that one worked, the third floor scheme would work as well – she was confident enough in her skills to be certain of that.
Each scheme had been firmly ensconced in The Weasley Box. Arthur had wanted to call it the Burrow Box, but Cedrella pointed out that if it was ever widely known, the Burrow shouldn't have anything to draw attention to it.
Gary knew it was time to move on. He farewelled the Weasleys and family and left out of the front door. He had never noticed his hand on the clock. Molly sighed as she looked at the clock.
Arthur asked, "What is it, Molly?"
She pointed to the clock. "It says Traveling again." Everyone saw Gary Seven's hand was firmly back to its original position.
Molly stared at her clock. The times were so fraught with worry. Her brother's hands often moved to "Mortal Peril." The first time it had happened, she screamed and it took her husband several hours – and their hands moving back to the position for their home – before she calmed down.
She didn't see them enough. She had many children she was watching and they were off helping against the Dark wizard that Britain was now struggling with. The Ministry had finally acknowledged the danger. Even her husband was busy helping out when muggles needed to be obliviated.
His hand had moved to Mortal Peril once and she almost had a fit. Luckily, it almost immediately moved back to "Work."
Suddenly, a hand that almost never moved did – and landed, for the second time in its history – at "Home (Burrow)." She screamed again – but this time it was in joy. She rushed to the front door and pulled it open. Walking up to the house, once again, was Gary Seven. She rushed out and gave one of the hugs she was notorious for.
"Oh, you're back! It's so good to see you, Gary."
She let go and looked at him. Strangely, he looked almost exactly like he did when they first met him. He grinned at her and said, "It's good to see you, Molly. It's been a while."
"It certainly has!" She began, once again, dragging him inside. He was looking far too thin. She would feed him up properly! "I have to call Arthur! He'll want to know you visited immediately!"
She pushed him inside and in the family room. He noticed several children. There was Bill, Charlie, Percy, and … a large crib with two very young children sitting up and babbling at each other.
So, it was likely to be …. 1978? 1979? He waited till Molly returned from flooing her husband and said, "You know? I've been so busy traveling that I've lost track of the date. What day is it again?"
Molly chuckled and said, "It's Saturday, 11 November. When was the last time you checked?"
Gary blushed. "Er. August?"
"Ooooh, you!" She moved to pick up third youngest. "You remember Bill and Charlie, right? Well this one is Percy. And these two scamps are Fred and George."
Gary chuckled as he asked, "Scamps? How can they be scamps? They're just babies!"
"My parents took one look and agreed that they were far too much like Fabian and Gideon … and that was only days after they were born. Everyone who's seen them has agreed. So … scamps."
Gary laughed. "Well, I bow to your better wisdom." He noticed several things then. Although she was obviously happy to see him, she seemed … off. So he quietly asked, "How have you been, Molly?"
Her expression quickly changed to once of hidden grief. "We've been well, but the troubles have intruded a bit." She glanced at the clock, as though afraid to look. "I've seen far too much Mortal Peril for my liking."
It was obvious she was trying everything possible not to break down. With some empathy, he stood and moved to hug the woman who, in an earlier life, was the closest thing he had to a mother.
Molly broke down then. Her children looked on with wide eyes. They normally didn't see that. As Gary comforted her, he looked again at the clock. It was then that he noticed.
"Wait! You have a hand for me?"
Molly suddenly stopped crying and smiled as she looked at her visitor. "Yes. You left a hair behind on your first visit and I used that. Unlike all of the others, it almost never moves. Normally it's on 'Traveling.' Only on your last visit and today has it moved." She quietly added, "It moved both times to home."
It was Molly's turn to comfort her guest. It had been so long since he truly had ever been told he was home that a large emotional pustule burst – and he was reduced to tears. And like fluids released by lancing, as the emotions came out he felt a deep sense of relief. A pressure in his mind that he had started ignoring so long ago suddenly vanished. And the release of all of those mental poisons was so profound that he felt almost faint. Molly saw how he was affected and gently sat him down.
Her curious older sons (8 and 6), remembering the man from when they were younger, climbed up on the couch beside him even as Molly went to get tea. Bill asked, "Are you okay?"
He looked around at three worried children (the twins were still too young to comprehend) and said, "Yeah, Billy Boy. I'm okay."
The two were relieved and, as they were wont to do with visiting relatives, they climbed up on his two legs and sat down. Charlie looked at the visitor and said, "Why you cry?"
He looked at the boy and then at his brothers and the asked, "Have you ever had a splinter?" Both boys solemnly nodded. "Did it hurt when your mum took it out?" Nods. "But did it feel better after it was out?" Nods.
Gary sighed and then smiled. "It's kind of like that. It's been a long time since I was told I had a home. Normally, I move around helping people but never get to settle down. You mum telling me I was home was kind of like pulling a splinter out. And even though it hurt a bit, now that it's out I feel much better. Do you understand?"
Both boys considered that. Bill nodded that he understood. Charlie just shrugged. "Well, you'll understand when you're older."
Charlie said, "Okay. You come back and visit again?"
He smiled at the boy. "I hope so."
Charlie grinned as only a six year old can. "You come home! Splinter won't be owie!"
Gary laughed. "That's right." He accepted the two boys' impulsive hugs before they dropped off his lap to return to playing with their toys.
Molly, who had waited until her sons were done, moved in and presented a cup of tea. She didn't say a word as she watched her visitor drink it.