Cleaning Grimmauld Place

"Thank you so much Sirius!"

"Well we couldn't have Ron and Hermione driving you completely mad could we? You may not thank me after half an hour of this though."

"What are we doing?"

"Book-burning mainly. My father had some interesting volumes."

"Interesting as in useful, or as in lethal?"

"Both. If you're so inclined that is."

Ginny stood back and watched as Sirius and Lupin forced open the doors to the library. They entered to the usual scent of must and age. Dust flew up around them. Ginny waved a hand in front of her face to clear the air and said, "One of you turn the light on."

After a moment light flooded the room and Sirius was putting his wand back into his pocket. He grinned saying, "Just keeping my hand in Remus."

"You never did have a sense of proportion did you Padfoot."

Ginny was picking her way through the room but she laughed at Lupin's comment. She liked listening to the two of them banter, though it wasn't often it happened. Sirius looked injured and said, "Turning against me Weasley."

"Who said I was on your side in the first place Black?" She said loftily, at last reaching the windows. She heard him say, "Careful. You sound like Snape" as she touched the curtains, but was swiftly buried under swathes of green velvet. Ginny started coughing as she tried to claw her way out from under the heavy material. She heard the two men come stumbling to her aid and stopped struggling. Finally she was free of them and she took a deep breath of dust-free air as Lupin said, "Was that your way of getting us more light Ginny?"

She coughed. "Where there's a will there's a way."

Sirius snorted and Ginny took a closer look at the curtains that had held her prisoner. "You know," she said, "It actually is nice material under all that dirt."

"Going to make a dress out of them Ginny?"


Lupin waved a hand tiredly, "Never mind. Muggle reference."

"Oh." Ginny made her way over to the fireplace and started to clean it out as Sirius and Lupin went through the shelves. Ginny started giggling and said, "Good thing Hermione isn't here. She'd probably have a heart attack at the thought of burning a book."

Lupin grinned. "Even if Professor McGonagall sanctioned it?"

Ginny screwed up her face. "Well if that did happen I think she'd pass out from shock, so we wouldn't have to worry about a heart attack at least."

Sirius tossed "The Care and Control of House-Elves" on to the growing pile and said, "You never know. She mightn't mind getting rid of some of them."

Lupin gave his friend a look and said, "So Ginny what exactly did happen with Percy? You never did get to tell me."

Ginny felt her fists clench in involuntary anger – how could he be so stupid, so blind? How could he think that Harry, Harry who'd saved her life, was a liar? And how could he say those things to Dad? It was so, so petty of him, that's what it was to let... She sighed and tried to relax.

Sirius caught her eye and she smiled, thinking that it was about time she told them. "Right before we came here Percy came back with a new job – Private Secretary to the Minister of something. And Dad mentioned that it might have something to do with Fudge wanting to keep an eye on us cause we believe Dumbledore, and Percy went off and said all this stuff to Dad...and went on about Dumbledore being senile and Harry lying for fame, cause you know, he likes being famous for having murdered parents, and then in the end he packed up his stuff and went. His loyalty is to the Ministry apparently."

Ginny heard her voice become bitter at the end and shook her head. "Anyway it's all so stupid because you could tell he hadn't thought about what he was saying, he was just repeating what Fudge told him. And if he even thought about it for just one second he'd see what a load of rubbish it is. I mean he knows Harry, and Dumbledore; he's got to see that...anyway he wouldn't listen to anything Mum or Dad or any of us said and he's gone now."

Lupin sighed. "It happens. But he'll come to his senses eventually Ginny." She sighed and set a match to the first stack of books and said, "Yeah maybe, but who knows when. And Mum's all upset all the time cause of before and...I could kill him for this, I really could."

She sat back on her heels, enjoying the blaze, and wiped a tear from her eye. Everything was still so uncertain, and Percy was such a...none of it was fair. It wasn't fair on her Mum and Dad, or on Hermione who was staying with them 'just in case' or on Harry, stuck at the Dursley's for so long, or on any of them.

She was collecting the second set of books for burning when she heard the front door open and close. At first she didn't pay any attention, but as she realised whom it was she jumped to her feet. "Bill's here!" She said, trying to find a space for the books in her hands on the floor. "Can I go down for a second? I won't be long."

Sirius grinned at her change of mood and said, "Go on then. Lord knows I don't want to keep you from the famous Bill."

She smiled broadly at him and said, "Thanks" before bounding off down the stairs.