Something strange was going on in the Weasley household. To any muggle (non-magic person), The Burrow, the house where Molly and Arthur Weasley lived with between one or all seven of their offspring, depending on the time of year, looked completely normal.
As did the residents.
But, the Weasley household was not a normal household, not by any stretch of the most overactive imagination.
For one, there was a ghoul in the attic and real gnomes in the garden.
For another, every one of the Weasley family was either a witch of a wizard.
On this day, even these extraordinary facts dimmed in the light of a visitor to The Burrow.
Molly Weasley and her husband Arthur had opened the door of their home to find the Head Master of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, even though they had quickly counted all of their children and realised they had no more to send to the school. "Good afternoon Arthur, Molly." Dumbledore's mouth crooked in a smile. "May I...?"
"Of course!" Arthur steered passd his gobsmacked wife and pulled the door wide. "Come in, Professor Dumbledore, come in!"
As the robed wizard entered, Mrs Weasley shook herself. "Goodness!" She whispered, wiping her hands down on her flowery apron. "Professor Dumbledore! We're honoured! You should have let us know you were coming...I would have tidied up..."
"Don't worry, Molly." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "I assure you that my office is probably considerably messier than your home." He followed the balding Mr Weasley into the living room, settling on one of the comfortable chairs. "I'm here on official Ministry business, special favour, so I suppose I ought to get started."
"Do you need anything, Professor? Anything at all?"
A strange look crossed the old wizard's face. "Actually, could you perhaps contact all of your children. This involves them as well." The Weasley parents exchanged anxious glances, but Dumbledore raised a hand. "It's nothing to worry about."
"I'll call them." Arthur hurried out of the room, leaving his wife nervously twisting her hands in her apron.
"Would you like a cup of tea, Professor?"
"Albus, please, Molly."
"Oh, yes, of course...would you like a cup of tea...Albus?"
The silver-haired Wizard chuckled. "Thank you, Molly. I would love one."
Leaving Dumbledore seated in the living room, Molly hurried to the kitchen, to see her husband casting handfuls of silvery-green dust into the fire. Filling the kettle, she touched it with her wand, her hand shaking.
"Arthur, you don't think...?"
Her husband looked over at her. "I don't know, Molly...I know that we hoped that one day it might happen, but I don't..." He trailed off as a face appeared in the flames. "Bill! Oh, good! Are you busy?"
"Me? Nah." Their eldest, long-haired son shook his head. "What's up? Another family reunion? Just as long as Aunt Tilly stays away from me..."
"Albus Dumbledore is here." Bill blinked. "He wants all of the family present. He-he says its ministry business..."
The face of their son split into a grin. "Dad, you haven't been tinkering with those muggle vehicles again, have you?" Seeing the tense look on his mother's face as she shakily poured boiling water into the teapot, he nodded. "I'll find Fred and George. Have you got in touch with Charlie? I think Ron's still with him."
"Charlie's my next call." Arthur replied. "Can you apparate here as soon as possible?"
"As soon as I've got the gruesome twosome. See you soon, dad." There was a pop and Bill's head disappeared from the fire. Arthur blew out a sigh of relief.
Grabbing another handful of dust, he hurled into the flames. "Charlie, son, you there?"
Spinning uncontrollably, Charlie's head came to a halt in the grate, blinking dizzily up at his parents. "Hallo, dad." Peering around his father, he winked over at his mother, who was currently firing biscuits from the cupboard onto a plate on the tray. "All right, mam?"
"Charlie, can you afford to take an hour or two off?"
Shaking sweat-matted strands of hair out of his eyes, Charlie looked towards someone that was nearby. "Oi, Jonny, mind if...dad, want me to bring Ron?" His father nodded. "Mind if me and Ron nip home for a bit? Family business." There was a pause as he waited for the response and he nodded. "All right. Dad, when do you want us back?"
"Right away, if possible."
"Ey, Ron? Think you're up to a bit of disapparating?" Charlie turned back to his father. "We'll be there as soon as Ron gets away from the Ridgeback. Ruddy thing decided his hair wasn't red enough..."
"You just make sure he doesn't get hurt, Charlie!" Mrs Weasley called over her husband's shoulder, lifting the tray.
Charlie grinned. "We're working will bleedin' dragons, mum." He replied, a shiny burn on his cheek more prominent when he grinned. "It's like telling Percy that he's not allowed to kiss his boss' arse!"
"See you in a bit, mum." Laughing, Charlie disappeared with a loud pop.
Molly blew out a huff of indignation. "Sometimes, I wonder if we shouldn't have been stricter with those boys."
Her husband laughed softly. "You always say that, love." He remarked. He took another handful of dust. "We only need to try and get Percy away from work and Ginny away from Harry long enough to talk to them both."
"If you ask me, a two month Honeymoon is a bit much." The tray floated from her hands and drifted in the direction of the door. "They've only been married three months, for goodness sake. You would think they would like to settle down."
Barely a month after their youngest child had finished her studies at Hogwarts, she and the famous Harry Potter had married in secret. No one could quite believe it, particularly Harry's best friend and their youngest son, Ron.
When anyone ever asked the grinning Ginny what she saw in her husband, she usually managed to mutter something about his 'wand action', before disappearing off with a wide and surprisingly dirty grin on her face.
After revealing their secret marriage, the couple had vanished away on a mystery honeymoon and hadn't been seen since around the middle of August. Postcards kept being delivered from various points of the world, including the Arctic circle, Stonehenge and - most strangely - the border of America and Mexico.
Even "The Daily Prophet", the wizarding newspaper hadn't been able to locate the now-World-famous couple. From what The Weasleys could gather from the postcards, that was exactly Harry and Ginny's point.
"Harry always did say he wanted to travel." Arthur reminded her, tossing some dust into the fire again. "Harry, Ginny? Are you two..."
"We're here, dad!" Their daughter's giggling face appeared in the flames. "Harry! Stoppit!"
Harry's head appeared too, but he was almost unrecognisable, his hair even longer than it been before, his glasses missing. "Afternoon Mr Weasley!" They both had colourful stripes painted on their cheeks. "You just scared half of the tribe we're staying with out of the wits."
"Are you two...er...busy?"
"We're on our honeymoon, dad." Ginny laughed. "Course we're not. Whats up?"
"Any chance you might be able to come home for a few hours?" The two heads disappeared with a pop. "Harry? Ginny?"
"Boo!" A pair of arms wrapped around Mr Weasley, making him jump with surprise. "Hello, dad! Whatcha needing us for?"
"Ginny! What on earth are you wearing!" Flustered, Mrs Weasley crossed the floor and embraced her daughter, then held her at arm's length.
"And here was me thinking you'd be glad to see us." Ginny returned the hug, then took a step back from her mother and made a twirl. "Do you like it?" She was wearing what looked like a single strip of crudely woven, colourful fabric with clay bracelets circling her wrists. Her waist-length hair had been braided and threaded through with ribbons and feathers. "We were half way down Africa when you called."
"Er..." Molly eyed the rough outfit, fingering her wand.
"Don't even think about it, mum!"
Harry's voice interrupted from the table. "I think she looks smashing." If the Weasleys Senior had stared at their daughter's outlandish clothing, that was nothing compared to the gape that Harry received.
The Wizard was sitting in one of the seats, a woven kilt-like skirt around his hips and what looked like a lion-skin cape flung over his shoulders. His torso, as well as his face, had been daubed with colourful paint.
"I think I might...er...go and see to Professor Dumbledore." Mrs Weasley said, directing the tray through the door.
"Old Dumble's here? Brilliant!" Standing, Harry caught his wife's hand and winked. "I think he's going to love our new look." They followed Molly through to the living room, leaving Arthur to contact his remaining son.
In the living room, Mrs Weasley poured a cup of tea for Dumbledore, who eyed the newly-weds with interest. "Thank you Molly...and you two, remarkably well done on keeping your location hidden."
"We can thank Hermione for that." Harry said with a grin, pushing his long fringe back from his eyes. "She made us enough Polyjuice potion to keep ourselves in disguise until all this fuss wears out. As far as anyone knows, Ron and Hermione have been travelling the world and looking very cosy together."
"But there was that one time we mixed up the potions...Ron wasn't too happy about being married to Ron, was he?" Ginny laughed. "I told Harry we should have got different colours of flasks, but no, the famous Mister Potter knew better..." She did a wicked impression of Snape, their former Potions teacher. "He is so deluded by his fame that he is bound to make simple, foolish mistakes."
"Oh shut up." Harry snatched the cushion from behind his back and aimed it at her head.
"Wow! This must be a special occasion if THE couple grace us with their presence." Neither of the couple on the couch had to look to see who was speaking. "Nice to see you, sis." Ginny was hugged from behind by someone who was still smoking slightly around the head. "Harry...you too."
Harry was on his feet in an instant. "Nice to see you too, Ron." Offering his hand to his friend, he gave Ron a fond hug. "How've you been? Still playing with fire, I see." He nodded to the singed patch of Ron's hair. "Let me guess...you and Hermione had a tiff..."
"Harry, we stopped going out with each other three years ago."
"So...you and Hermione had a tiff?"
Charlie, standing several paces behind his youngest brother, grinned. "Unless Hermione has learned to become an animagus that can turn into a dragon, I don't think so...but with Hermi, anything is possible."
"Did you just insult our teacher of Muggle Studies?" Dumbledore said with a smile.
"Don't we always, Professor?" Ron crossed the floor to shake Dumbledore's hand.
The old wizard nodded with a chuckle. "Good point, Ronald. Very good point." He glanced at the clock in the corner. "Ah, the twins and Bill are travelling together?" There was a 'ding' from the clock, three figures appearing in the centre of the living room.
"All right, mum?" The twins descended on their mother, both wearing white robes that resembled muggle lab coats. At least, they would have been white, if they hadn't been covered in potions and concoctions. They both risked a glance at Harry and Ginny.
Fred raised a brow. "Mum, did you know Tarzan and Jane are in the living room?"
"Funny. I didn't know that Jane was a red head."
Ginny shot a glare at them. "Shut up or I'll set Harry on you!"
"Oh!" Fred peered closely at Harry. "That's Harry! I thought you'd run off with a wild man."
"Mum! Tell them to stop it!"
George grinned. "Sorry, Gin. Its just too easy to wind you up." He looked at down at his mother. "We'll behave, mum."
"I hope you two haven't been getting into any trouble lately." They looked shocked at the accusation. Neither of them had gotten around to telling her that they were the new proprietors of Zonko's Joke Shop in Hogsmeade. Letting each of them kiss her cheek, Molly turned to her eldest son. "Oh, Bill...you still haven't done anything about that hair of yours!"
Sipping his tea, Dumbledore raised his eyes to the former Head boy and smiled beneath his moustache. "It could do with being a little longer, don't you think, Molly?"
"But Albus, it looks so silly being so long and...well..." Her eyes suddenly seemed to alight on Dumbledore's silver mane. "I suppose it can look respectable on the right person..."
"This had better be important." A snooty voice rang through the door of the kitchen.
All of the present Weasleys looked at one another and - as one - said. "Percy!" Hurriedly taking all the seats, they all looked to the door, exchanging grins as the door opened, letting Mr Weasley enter.
The only one of the Weasleys to work for the Ministry aside from their father, Percy strode into the living room behind his father with his usual air of self-importance.
"Deructus." Bill muttered under his breath with the tiniest flick of his wand in Percy's direction..
Percy's shoelaces quickly twisted together and he tripped, falling onto his face in the open floor. "Ow! Mother!" Molly hurriedly helped him up, as the whole room erupted in laughter. He scowled around, hopping to an empty spot of floor and sitting, every seat taken.
"Fred!" Fred gaped at his mother. "George!" He looked baffled. "Charlie!" The dragon-keeper shrugged helplessly. "Ron!" He shook his head. "Ginny!" The nineteen-year-old lapsed into giggles, shaking her head. "Harry?"
"Wasn't me, Mrs Weasley."
Bill, who was looking remarkably innocent, looked up at his mother. She crosed her arms over her chest. "What?"
"At your age, I would have thought that you would at least have learned to set a good example to your brothers and sister."
"Molly, it's too late for him to change now." Dumbledore said jovially. "Now, I hope you are all comfortable? As I told your parents, I am here on business of the Ministry. I was asked especially to deliver the news to you."
Mr and Mrs Weasley looked at each other, Molly coming to sit on the arm of her husband's chair. "Is-is this about what we think its about, Albus?" Arthur asked hopefully, his arm wrapping around his plump wife's waist.
"Quite possibly." Dumbledore placed his cup on his knee and folded his hands in his lap. "We have sent a team of wizards from the Unmentionable department to check, but we believe we are correct. The location of Sarah Weasley has been uncovered. She is alive, safe and well."
Mrs Weasley buried her face in her hands with a loud sob, Mr Weasley sitting upright. "Are-are you certain?"
"Almost a hundred and fifty percent." Dumbledore nodded with a smile.
"Arthur...they've found her...they've found her..." Molly turned to her seated husband, wrapping her arms around him. Tears were rolling down her cheeks, but she was smiling. "Nineteen years...nineteen years..."
All of the Weasley children were exchanging bemused looks. "Mum..." Bill finally asked. "Who is Sarah Weasley anyway? Do we know her?"
Wiping her face on her apron, Molly sat up, smiling happily. "You don't know her...or at least, you probably don't remember her...Arthur, should we tell them...?" He nodded. "Sarah Weasley is your youngest sister, Ginny's twin."
"I-I have a twin?" Ginny stared at her parents. "You didn't tell me I had a twin!"
Arthur patted Molly's hand. "We thought she was dead up until now." He said, his voice shaking with emotion. "Just after you were born, Death Eaters snatched her and would have taken you. It was only days before..." Even since his defeat, saying his name was difficult for the majority of wizards. "Voldemort went after the Potters. We thought she had been killed but it seems she wasn't..."
"Where is she? Does she know about us?"
Dumbledore made a gesture for calm. "She isn't aware of the existence of our world, in its truest form. She was adopted and raised by a couple of muggles, so she has the same kind of upbringing as Harry did." He said. "However, she has been experimenting with her abilities, which is how she was found. It was her location that caused so many problems. From what the Ministry has told me, she has lived her life on a centrepoint of magical convergence, which made it difficult to pinpoint her for a time."
"How are we going to get in touch with her?" Mrs Weasley asked, her voice trembling. "After all, Harry's story has been leaked to the Muggles...maybe she's heard about it?"
Harry sighed, shaking his head. "I just want to know how that Rawlings woman found out so much about me...about us. She knew about the Philosopher's Stone, the Chamber of Secrets, Sirius' escape from Azkhaban...if she keeps on at this rate, she'll tell my whole School life to the Muggles."
"No doubt she will be aware of it, but she probably assumed that it was fictional." Dumbledore steepled his fingers. "After all, its all seems so fantastic to Muggles, that none of them realise that it did happen."
"But we will be able to contact her?"
Dumbledore nodded. "The Ministry has asked me to be the first to contact her, to see if she does wish to rejoin her true family." He smiled around at them. "If she will see me and agrees to see you all, I will contact you and bring her to the Leaky Cauldron as soon as I can."
"Can you even tell us where she is?" Arthur asked hopefully.
The old Wizard shook his head, his expression turning serious. "Not until she is informed of the circumstances."
"But she is happy and well?"
"She is." Rising, handing his cup and saucer to Charlie, Dumbledore brushed his colourful robes down and bent to shake Arthur's hand. "I will let you know as soon as we know more, Arthur. Molly..." She grasped his long-fingered hand, shaking it gratefully. "Take care."
Tapping his lower lip with his fingertips, Dumbledore dipped his quill into the bottle of ink. He had been pondering how to word the letter ever since the Ministry had permitted him to be the one to contact the girl who had once been called Sarah Weasley.
Gazing at the sheet of parchment, the Hogwarts crest embossed at the top, he smiled slightly. Placing the tip of the quill on the paper, he starting to scratch the letter in place, the green lettering shining on the parchment.
Several minutes later, content with his efforts, he carefully folded the sheet and slipped it into an envelope. Turning the envelope over, he released a long sigh and carefully etched the address of the girl on the front.
Miss Willow Rosenberg,
214 Stevenson Hall