update – if you missed it, click to go back to the chapter
before Last chapter! I just have to say I've loved each and
every review you guys have left me, and I'm so grateful for all the
response and support. This has been both a joy and a frustration to
write, but I'm still sorry it's over. Hopefully you'll enjoy
the ending, though :) Love you all! And also – Happy
birthday Harry! XxXxXxX
Last chapter! I just have to say I've loved each and every review you guys have left me, and I'm so grateful for all the response and support. This has been both a joy and a frustration to write, but I'm still sorry it's over. Hopefully you'll enjoy the ending, though :)
Love you all!
And also – Happy birthday Harry!
Harry stared out at the blurry scenery that whizzed on by from beyond the window of the train compartment. The Hogwarts Express had set off hours ago and was likely to reach Kings Cross soon. At least it meant Harry wouldn't have to sit down on a thinly-cushioned seat for much longer.
He winced and squirmed. Despite various healing ointments applied and downing a pain potion, he still ached in a very miserable way, a side-effect he hadn't thought about the night before. Then again, it was hard to rationalise when he was being touched again after months of no contact.
He smiled grimly out at the bright scenery. His time with the twins seemed quite bittersweet. Soon, he would be at the Dursley's, and the twins would be setting up their own joke shop. After the summer, he would be back at Hogwarts, and it would be exactly as it had been for the past months.
Harry wondered if Fred and George would even remember him when they had their joke shop up and running, taking up all of their time. After a lifetime of being cast aside by his relatives, Harry couldn't help but still have his doubts.
Thankfully, he was alone in the compartment, so no-one was there to see his brooding expression and try and cheer him up. Ron and Hermione were performing Prefect duties, and Fred and George were running around the train with Lee Jordan, playing various pranks that involved a large tarantula belonging to Lee, and the seventh year Hufflepuff girls.
At first, they'd been reluctant to leave Harry. In fact, ever since they'd heard of the prophecy, they'd barely left Harry's side, worrying just as much as their mother, Mrs Weasley, would, which made Harry smile.
He'd convinced them to have their last bit of fun at Hogwarts, and had even given them the idea with the tarantula, which they simply couldn't resist.
Harry smiled fondly to himself.
"Hey Harry." Harry turned to see Hermione and Ron entering, both looking flustered and not meeting his eye. Harry laughed as he took in the slightly ruffled clothing Ron's flaming ears.
"Hey guys. Have fun 'Prefecting'?" Hermione scowled at him and moved to hit him upside the head while Ron blushed brightly and mumbled something unintelligible, sitting down across from Hermione.
Hermione sat next to Ron, taking his hand unashamedly. Harry grinned, glad his friends had finally got their act together. "It's about time. I guess I owe Neville five galleons though…"
"Harry James Potter!"
Harry stepped out of the train, looking around himself as he pulled his trunk after him. He spotted flaming red hair in the crowd of wizards and witches, and grinned, beginning to make his way towards the Weasley family for one last goodbye before he searched for the Dursleys in the muggle part of the station.
"Here you are, kitten," a voice announced, and then George's arm magically appeared around his waist. Fred was on Harry's other side, a luggage trolley in front of him. He hauled Harry's trunk onto it and began wheeling it while George tugged Harry along.
"I can do that my-" Harry began to protest, but George spun him around and silenced him with a quick kiss. Fred grinned at him and, in once swift movement, darted in for a kiss as well.
Harry stared at him, absolutely stunned. His sensitive hearing picked up gasps from the people around him, and he paled noticeably.
"Fred," Harry snarled, looking around at wide eyes. Fred grinned and gripped Harry's hand, wheeling the trolley with his other, as they started forward again.
"Who gives a fuck what these nosey buggers think? It's our life," Fred announced, very loudly. Harry groaned and looked down, blushing a bright red. Trust the twins to find some way to embarrass him, just when he thought he was in the clear.
"But what about what you've said, the public reaction and-" Again, Harry was cut off by fingers on his lips. George grinned at him, tugging on his bottom lip and then pulling his hand away to ruffle his hair.
"We've been thinking-"
"Never a good thing," Harry muttered, and George ignored him.
"-And we've decided that Voldemort already knows everything-"
"- Umbridge, and therefore probably the Ministry already know everything –"
" – And our friends all know or guessed."
"So if something bad were going to happen, it would've happened by now."
"Not to mention, with all this destined doom, we want to spend every moment with you."
"And besides, we know you'll be protected in Hogwarts." The grins on the twins faces told Harry they knew something he didn't, but then that often seemed to be the case with their devious plots. He'd pry it out of them when they weren't being gawped at like a circus show.
"Right, let's just get to your parents, all right?" Harry grumbled, deciding not to answer. His heart felt warm and fluttery, however. He'd always wanted them to all be able to show their affection in public. It seemed he was finally getting his wish.
Maybe his previous worries were just that, worries.
"Harry!" Mrs Weasley exclaimed, sweeping him up into a bone-breaking hug. At Harry's feet, a familiar large black dog barked excitedly, causing quite a racket. Harry shushed him, remembering how dangerous it was for Sirius to accompany them after Christmas. Twice in a row? Suicide.
Arthur smiled at him fondly, and Harry found himself grinning back. "I see you're all healed up."
"Thanks to you," Arthur told him, and when it seemed like he was about to start thanking Harry again for his 'rescue', Sirius pulled Harry's cat tail. Harry yowled and pulled away, grasping his tail and hissing.
Fred scooped Harry away with a chuckle while Harry attempted to get at Sirius, pride injured. Sirius just sat back, tail wagging happily and tongue lolling out of his mouth in the perfect picture of innocence that no-one bought for a second.
After a few more petty squabbles and a lot of tearful hugs, especially from Hermione, whose emotions were slightly unstable due to still feeling worn down from the curse from Dolhov, Harry was forced to leave the Weasleys and search for his relatives.
With a heavy heart, he stepped past the barrier into the muggle world, not to return to Hogwarts for more than a month. He trundled through the station with his trunk, Hedwig perched on top, garnering a few strange looks.
Finally, he spotted the Dursleys waiting impatiently near an exit. He wheeled over to them, and Uncle Vernon gazed down at him disparagingly through beady eyes. Dudley was whining at his mother for an ice-cream, and Aunt Petunia was placating him, saying there was ice-cream in the freezer when they got home.
"Boy," Uncle Vernon grunted in greeting. "Survived another year, have you?" He sounded disappointed.
Harry didn't say anything, and the family turned, intending to leave as soon as possible, when hands suddenly rested on each of Harry's shoulders.
"It seems Harry's forgot to tell you, but we're staying with him for the summer. You don't mind having us, do you?"
Harry's head swivelled to Fred, and then to George, mouth gaping open. It seemed the twins themselves had forgotten to tell him.
Uncle Vernon's neck turned red, and his moustache quivered. Aunt Petunia gaped in horror, and Dudley cried out in fear, hiding his large body behind his stick-thin mother.
"Now see here-" Uncle Vernon began, but George cleared his throat. Uncle Vernon's attention was subtly drawn to George's wand, tapping casually against his thigh.
"You can't do your freaky business outside of that damn school!" Uncle Vernon announced, although he didn't sound confident. The twins shared a conspirator smile.
"We're not going to school, so yes, we can," Fred told him and, with a tiny flick of his wand, had turned Dudley's hair a darker shade. Very subtle, so as to not draw attention, but enough to get his point across.
Uncle Vernon looked like he was about to attack them, but George laughed and pressed a hand to Harry's lower back, propelling him forward and grabbing his trunk from the trolley. Together, the three exited the station, the Dursleys following angrily behind, Uncle Vernon shouting about how he wouldn't allow even more freaks to pollute his own house.
"What-What are you doing?!" Harry hissed, incensed, and also extraordinarily happy, not that he would reveal that until he'd scolded the twins for the stupid plan, for not telling him, and for surprising his relatives.
"Why, I do believe we're getting into a car," Fred said, bemused, opening the door to the Dursleys' car as if he owned it. "Right, George?"
"Well, I dunno about you, but I'm opening the boot," George announced, and indeed, he had the boot open and was hauling Harry's trunk into it.
He then turned to a spluttering Uncle Vernon. "Thanks, mate, for being so understanding."
Oblivious to Uncle Vernon's fury, he opened the back door and slid in, pulling Harry in after him, and clutching his hand. Fred was in the driver's seat, and wound down the window. "Clearly, there's not enough room for us all. How about you get a bus and meet us back at your house?"
Fred then twirled his wand, and the car started. He wound the window back up and pulled away from the parking spot, his knowledge on handling a car most likely coming from the muggle-obsessed Mr Weasley.
"We were hardly going to leave you there. Who knows when Voldemort's next going to spring out and attack you?"
"Yes, you need constant surveillance at all times, we figure. You always seem to find trouble."
"In fact, you shouldn't even leave the bed, it's so dangerous," Fred decided, smirk devious.
Harry would have argued right back at them, usually - those two seemed intent on teasing and shocking him.
But he didn't.
Instead, he grinned and curled up next to George, who gladly wrapped his arms around him, pressing a kiss to his forehead. Fred smiled at him affectionately through the mirror.
He'd been through a lot in his short fifteen years, and he was sure to go through so much more. Voldemort was still at large, Death Eaters were bound to begin attacking, and he had a prophecy to fulfil.
But at that moment, for once in his life, Harry Potter allowed himself to relax, and not worry. Whatever he did go through in the future, he was certain he'd always have the twins to lean on.