Moving Day

"Ron, where does this box go?" Fred hollered from the dining room and Ron suppressed a very improper reply, conscious of the little girl that was clinging to his back like a limpet. Harry would smack him one if he taught her another swear word - it was bad enough that she'd shouted 'bugger' in the playground at nursery school the other day when she'd stubbed her toe.

"Put it in the attic with all the others," Ron replied and carried his burden out into the front garden where her daddy was working. She swung to the ground with the ease of two months practice and trotted over to supervise the painting of the garden gate.

They had decided in the end to leave the main part of the house untouched. Harry had not turned back into a Wizard over night, despite confirmation of the return of his magical abilities. After long discussions and much thought, Harry had decided to remain in his job and his home, rather than returning to the Wizarding world and the political games that his arrival would inspire. As Harry was continuing to live as a Muggle that meant that his friends would continue to pop around when they felt like it. Ron had been welcomed into that circle, and Harry had explained that the Auror worked as a field consultant in law and order. The cover story was a good one, as Ron had a legitimate excuse for not talking about his work, and Harry's friends soon learned not to bother asking beyond the usual polite inanities.

It had taken Ron and Harry two months to change the attic. That part of the house was one that the Muggles had never accessed, so any changes there would go unnoticed. They'd added a storey to the house, and built Ron a study of his own, with all his magical instruments proudly displayed. Harry's school things had joined them, and they'd set up a potions brewing area, as well. Harry had said quietly that he was determined to give Rose a head start in that subject as Snape was sure to penalise her for her parentage. That would wait until she was eight.

Ron had put off moving in until the attic was completed and Rose accustomed to him. He spent the majority of his nights at the Hutch, actually pining when he was separated from his lover for a night or so. Rose had eventually asked when he was moving in properly, and that had been the sign they were waiting for. It was her house too, and she would have to share her father's attentions with Ron once he moved in. She didn't seem to mind.

Ron had accompanied his new family to London for the biannual shopping trip, and they'd had fun. He'd learned a lot about the Muggle world from Hermione over the intervening years and could fit in well enough not to be stared at or locked up, and the day had been a real eye opener to him over the parenting style of Harry Potter.

No meant no, and though Harry asked her opinion and gave her choices, those choices were limited to what her father felt were safe for a child her age. Ron was given equal standing as a parent, and he did his best not to undermine anything Harry said. Once the nearly four year old had gone to sleep he'd sat Harry down and asked a thousand and one questions, making it clear that he wanted to parent Rose the right way, not in opposition to his lover. He'd been shagged almost into a coma as a result of that discussion, and had made Harry promise that they would always talk things through no matter what. Their love was too precious to ruin over a misunderstanding, especially as they'd already missed ten years together.

Rose was thriving. The Weasley's had welcomed her with open arms, and she had returned the gesture whole-heartedly. With the presence of Nanny and her Aunties in her life, she no longer lacked the female guidance and touches that Harry couldn't provide; no matter how much he loved her. She had quickly come to realise that Magic was for the Burrow, and home was normal. The fact that Harry wasn't pulling his wand out at the least excuse only reinforced that - her daddy wasn't doing anything differently to before.

Her birthday had been and gone, with two parties - one for the family and one for her friends. That had been an eye opener, as a houseful of four year olds could make an incredible amount of noise and mess when they put their minds to it. Hedwig had retreated to her custom built perch in the attic, along with the always-excited Pigwidgeon.

Ron directed the last of the boxes up into the attic and thanked the twins, wondering how many pranks they'd secreted among the contents. He made a mental note to ensure that Harry did his share of the unpacking and to have a camera handy when he did. The twins tumbled outside to say goodbye to Rose and interfere with Harry's painting, coming back inside with identical stripes of paint in their hair and expressions that were far to cheerful given the difficulty they'd have getting it all out.

"Good aim," Ron complimented Harry as he came in with Rose giggling in his arms. Harry grinned and winked at them both before pretending to throw his daughter to Ron - a sneaky levitation charm keeping her safe - and heading upstairs to clean himself up.

"Hey mum? Can we have an iced lolly now? You promised we could once all the boxes were upstairs," Rose reminded him and he grinned, carrying her into the kitchen before plonking her onto the floor and heading for the Muggle cold box in the laundry to honour his earlier promise. It wasn't until he was shoulder deep in the contraption that his mind caught up with his ears.

"Wait a minute? What did you call me? HAAAAAAARRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEE!"