Okay, so, I'm back! I'm so sorry its been so long since an update (April 30, 2008 to be specific) So, as a special treat, I'll stop rambling and let you read the super long chapter I've written for you! Enjoy!
Ginny had a very easy time convincing her mother and Fleur, who had both taken up the jobs of cooking and cleaning nonstop since the funerals. Fleur and Bill weren't staying at The Burrow, but they were over so much that it seemed like it. Charlie and Percy had temporarily moved in to help out the family, as had George, though only because he couldn't face going back to the apartment over Weasley's Wizard Wheezes that he and Fred had shared; Harry and Hermione had already gone to grab a few of his clothes. Harry was invited to stay, as was Hermione. She still hadn't reversed the memory charm on her parents. She checked on them, and they seemed to be having fun in Australia, so she said she would make sure everyone and everything had settled a bit before she brought them home.
The party was scheduled for the following weekend when Mr. Weasley, Percy, and Bill could get some time off at work, and Ron and Harry, who had taken over Weasley's Wizard Wheezes temporarily, could close the shop. Mrs. Weasley, Fleur, Hermione, and Ginny had planned it all. They made a big invite list and sent them out with Pigwidgeon, Hermes, and Errol. The party was to be held out in the yard since there was defiantly no room inside the house for that many people.
The morning of, everyone woke early to prepare. The family got to work on the jobs assigned to them the night before; boys in the yard, girls in the house. Mr. Weasley and Bill had been called into work, but would be showing up around the time the other guests were expected.
"Why do we have to de-gnome? People love these little guys. I'm sure the Lovegoods would be thrilled." Ron said as he yanked one out of a bush.
"Yeah well, they'd probably be the only ones thrilled when they start biting." Harry pointed out as he flung one into the neighboring field.
"Nice throw Harry, bet I can beat it though." Charlie said.
The boys had only thrown a few gnomes over the hedges when they were interrupted by an unexpected person.
"I could throw farther than that in my sleep."
They all turned and saw George standing a few feet away from them, his hands in his pockets, his eyes red and puffy.
"Hey George. What's up? Mom need something?" Charlie asked.
"No, um. I was kind of wondering if, you know, I could join you."
They all tried to suppress the giant smiles they could feel threatening to break through. George hadn't asked to join in anything since Fred's funeral.
"Absolutely George, we could always use an extra set of hands." Charlie said. He moved over in the semi-line they had formed, and they went back to work.
After a few swings, George seemed to lighten up. He joined in on the conversation, made bets on who could throw the farthest, and when Percy made a joke, he laughed. A genuine laugh that made the others laugh in response. He seemed almost back to normal, more so than he had been in a while, though there was still a darkness in his eyes.
Ron flung the last gnome over, and as they were watching it sail into the field, George said, "Fred would've loved that."
Nobody knew what to say. They hadn't heard him say Fred's name in 6 months. Whenever someone else said it, George would leave the room.
"Well, are we going to stand here all day or set up the tables and stuff?" George said. He had tried to sound casual, but they heard a slight hitch in his voice.
They all took out there wands and within ten minutes, they had everything looking perfect. They went inside, talking and laughing, to wash up and get dressed.
The girls had obviously not noticed George go outside. Mrs. Weasley turned to ask them if they had finished, and stopped mid sentence. She saw George, talking with his brothers, a slight smile on his face, covered in mud and sweat, and she burst out in tears. She ran to hug him, and George patted her somewhat awkwardly on the head.
"Oh George…" Mrs. Weasley smiled at her son, and George smiled back. She kissed him on the cheek, and he followed the rest of the boys upstairs to get ready. Ginny, Hermione, and Fleur were smiling as they watched them go up.
At five o'clock, Mr. Weasley and Bill arrived with Kinsley, McGonagall, and Hagrid, who squeezed his way through the house and out into the backyard.
The guest showed up gradually in groups, until nearly all of the remaining Hogwarts students and their families had shown up to The Burrow.
Mrs. Weasley was busy in the kitchen, until Bill and Charlie pulled her outside, saying there was plenty of food, and to come and have some fun.
Mr. Weasley was entertaining some of the guest by showing off with some magic in the backyard, and Luna had a group of people gathered around her listening to tales of the Crumple Horned Snorkack.
Percy and his girlfriend, Penelope Clearwater, were sitting around a table with George, joined by some of Fred and George's friends, including Lee Jordan. They were all trying to laugh and have a good time, remembering funny moments instead of focusing on the one person missing from the table.
Harry had summoned Kreacher to join the festivities, and he looked a little uncomfortable talking with Hagrid and Professor Flitwick; Harry had ordered him, on Hermione's command, not to work, but to "relax and have fun".
Harry and Ginny were talking with Andromeda while Harry was bouncing Teddy on his knee. Teddy had taken to his godfather very quickly. His hair was blue today, and, like his mother, would change colour with his moods. He looked more and more like Lupin everyday, but defiantly had some of his mother in him.
People were milling around, sitting at tables or standing in groups. Ginny had made a big plaque with the names of the people who had died in the war on it, and the guest had been signing with their wands it all night. McGonagall said she planned to take it back to Hogwarts with her, after copies were made for Durmstrang and Beauxbatons.
Ron had gone back up to his room. He could see out into the backyard from his window above his bed. He watched as people danced, ate, talked, laughed, remembered, cried, just enjoyed each other's company.
He had been down at the party for a while, talking with a few of his class mates; when people started coming up to him, telling him how sorry they were for his loss, thanking him for saving their loved ones, etcetera, etcetera, he just couldn't handle it anymore. He had been pretty good at holding himself together, being strong for the people who needed him, but he just couldn't seem to handle it tonight. He excused himself and went inside. When there were just as many people inside as there were out, he ran up to his room before the tears fell.
And that's where Hermione found him.
She knocked on the door, and when he didn't answer, she poked her head in. She saw him sitting on his bed looking out the window, tear tracks lining his face. Her heart broke.
"Ron, I brought you some punch. It's really good. There're strawberries in it, I know you like them…" Hermione trailed off.
"Thanks…" Ron sighed; he didn't turn from the window.
Hermione sat down across from him on the cot that Molly had set up for Harry all those years ago. Ron had never taken it down, even though it did cut his free space in half, and there wasn't much of it to begin with. She set one glass on the bedside table in between them, and began sipping on the other.
Suddenly, Ron turned to Hermione. "It's not fair!"
"What's not fair Ron?" She asked, though she knew what he meant.
"Why did this have to happen? Why did Voldemort have to start all of this? Why did it have to end this way?" Ron slumped forward and buried his face in his hands.
Hermione set down her cup, crossed to the other bed, and wrapped her arms around Ron's shoulders.
She had no answer. She really didn't know. She had thought about it all over and over again. Right from the beginning when she learned of what Voldemort had done to the Potters, through to now, and there was no logical answer she could find. Nothing in a book, no clever quote to sum it up. And now, with Ron and the Weasley's and families all over the world broken and torn apart, it frustrated, scared, and hurt her that she, the smartest witch of her age, couldn't come up with an answer to the seemingly simple question of "why?"
Very suddenly Hermione was pulled out of her thoughts in a way she didn't expect. Ron caught her lips and kissed her. It was passionate, urgent, as if Ron was trying to say everything in just one kiss. Yet Hermione could feel pain laced throughout. She yearned for the day that Ron's pain could lessen enough that it was just a dull throb in the back of his heart, that she could look into his eyes and just see him, not the burden life had thrust upon them.
They broke apart, and Ron licked his lips. Hermione gave him a puzzled look.
"You're right, the punch is really good. And I do taste the strawberries."
Hermione laughed and Ron joined her. They just sat there, laughing with abandon, laughing as they hadn't done in ages. It felt good to just let go this way. A different release than crying.
Their laughter died down, and Ron looked at Hermione.
"I'm gonna guess you didn't come up here just to bring me punch. Though I do like the way it was delivered." He winked.
Hermione giggled and shook her head. "No, I came up here to make sure you were alright, and to give you some company if you weren't."
"Thanks. I need it."
They sat in each others arms on Ron's bed for a while. They didn't talk, they didn't have to. As the moon rose higher and higher in the sky, the beam of light lit up more of the bedroom.
Someone knocked on the door. "Hey you two, it's Ginny. Can I come in?"
"C'mon in Gin," Ron said.
Ginny caught sight of the two of them, and a smile lit up her face. "Um, Dad and George are gonna set off some Wildfire fireworks, and then a lot of people are gonna go home. Mum's bringing out a cake once most people leave, Fred's favourite…" Ginny's smile faltered a little, but she held herself together.
"Okay, we'll be down soon." Ron replied.
"I'll tell them to wait for you." Ginny winked and Hermione threw a pillow at her. It hit the door as Ginny closed it quickly.
"I guess we should go down there huh?" Ron asked.
"Only if you want to," Hermione smiled.
"Are you kidding, Fred would kill me if he knew I gave up a chance to watch fireworks." They laughed and started to head downstairs.
"Well, that's-" Mrs. Weasley ducked as a firework in the shape of a dragon dive-bombed her. "That's everyone gone home. What a great idea Hermione." She walked over and enveloped Hermione in a hug. "It's just nice to see everyone smiling and having fun." Mrs. Weasley smiled as she looked around at her family sitting in the grass, occasionally ducking from a firework, then walked inside. Mr. Weasley went in to help her bring out the cake.
It was only the Weasley's left. Andromeda took Teddy home when he fell asleep with a firework lion dancing right in front of his face, and the others said their thanks and goodbyes as they walked out of the protection of The Burrow and apparated or flew off, as a few families used the fire place inside the house to get home.
Mrs. Weasley had the cake floating in the air in front of her and Mr. Weasley had the plates and forks flying to spots on the table.
Everyone got up and sat at the table, laughing at the punch line of Charlie's joke.
The night was clear, and the stars and moon shone down on them.
As Mrs. Weasley served the cake, all thoughts were on the one person missing from the table. Arthur, Molly, Bill, Fleur, Charlie, Percy, Georg, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Harry raised their glasses, shed their tears, smiled at memories, and whispered their love into the sky for their lost son, brother, and friend. And for all the others that had their lives taken away, they raised their glasses once more, and dug into their cake.
The pain was still there in all their hearts, and would never truly go away, but they were still a family, and they were still alive, and their hearts mended a little bit every day.
They all had one common thought; maybe Fred really wasn't gone. Maybe he was still here with them all, watching the fireworks burn themselves out in the starry night sky.
So? Was it worth the wait? I hope so, cuz that's what you got :P If it seems a little funky, it's because I wrote the first bit a few months before great tragedy befell my family, then I wrote the middle bit a few months later, completely forgetting I wrote the first bit, so then I fixed up the first bit and fit the two bits together, and then a few weeks later I wrote the third bit, finishing it with- what I think is- a profound little ending ;) So I hope that explains a little bit about this. I hope you liked it, and as always, review please! :D
P.S. I'm taking a break from all fanfic (The Office, Harry Potter, SVU, Tokio Hotel, Twilight, etc.) I have no inspiration to write anything, and I don't know when I will again. (If you want some different reads, I'm know as bloomsgirl and MrsHale on respective fanfic sites for TH and Twilight)
P.P.S. How many times did I say "bits" in the end notes? LOL
P.P.P.S. Have you ever noticed that its always spelt "always". Its never "alway", there is always an "s" at the end of it. Just thought that was interesting…. I'm very tired right now LOL
P.P.P.P.S. If anyone wants to know Hermione's orginal thoughts while she comforts Ron, just let me know in your review, and I'll send them to you. I took them out because I thought they were a little too... not right for the story, but they do give it a little something more I think. Let me know. (End notes are finished, I promise LOL)