A/N: Well hello there, good to see you again. It's taken some time, again, but finally I can release this chapter. University's been keeping me rather occupied (apparently every single professor decided that it would be a good idea to give us a rather big assignment)
In any case, I hope this chapter is enjoyable for you all, and if not, well, too bad then I guess. But let me know if there's anything that you think I could do better
See you guys on the next chapter ^^
"Get down", Ginny shouted as she literally threw herself against Harry, the impact pushing both of them through the doorway and into the hall. The door closing right behind them, intent on locking both of them inside.
Before Harry head realised what had happened, a muffled bang followed by a rather sickening splat could be heard coming from the other side of the door.
"What in the world was that", he breathed, still trying to make sense of what had happened.
"A trap set by my loveable brothers", Ginny groaned, "judging from the sound we heard they'd rigged a few of their specialised paint dungbombs to go off should someone open that particular drawer. Thank Merlin that we were able to escape relatively unharmed. But I'm not exactly keen to see the inside of their room right now though"
Harry nodded in agreement. Judging from what he'd heard in Hogwarts alone, he knew that the twins were pranksters extraordinaire and as such, were not to be underestimated. He did realise though, that there was another pressing problem, one that Ginny had apparently not yet realised.
"Ginny, Harry, come on down, what's taking you so long", Molly's voice could be heard from downstairs again.
Ginny started again as she heard her mother call out for them. There was the one person that really wasn't going to like what had happened to the room.
It wasn't until she tried to pick herself up from the floor that she realised where she was though. In her panicky haste, she had apparently thrown herself blindly into the hallway. The main problem however, was that in doing so, she had thrown herself on top of Harry, who was now lying on the floor, pinned beneath her.
Almost instantly she blushed a deep shade of crimson and jumped upright as if she'd been burned.
"S-S-Sorry", she stammered as she quickly ran down the stairs, leaving a baffled Harry lying on the floor.
"Calm down Ginny, calm down", Ginny said to herself several times before she entered the kitchen. With an audible sigh she noticed the heat leave her cheeks. She just hoped it was enough as to not arouse any suspicion.
While her somewhat ruffled looks did raise a few eyebrows, no-one really paid attention to it. Everyone was already busy with putting together the trunks and shrinking them down so they could be carried more easily to the Ministry.
Meanwhile, Harry was still trying to figure out what exactly had happened, and why Ginny had responded the way she did. Shaking his head, Harry stood up and chose to ignore her reaction. It was probably a girl thing or something. After all, Hermione also showed some strange behaviour from time to time, and most of the time it was revealed to be something that only girls would do and understand.
"You ready to go Harry?", Bill asked as soon as he set foot in the kitchen, the Weasley's already waiting in front of the fireplace.
"Yeah, I'm good", Harry replied, eagerly anticipating the trip. Not only was he going somewhere outside of the UK for the first time in his life, but he'd also be taught personally by the person he currently considered to be rather trustworthy. After all, he simply had to be if he were trusted by Dumbledore and Ginny.
"Good, I'll be making a small detour via Diagon Alley, but I won't be too long", Bill said, giving his father a knowing look before turning towards the fireplace, throwing a handful of powder in it and vanishing amidst a swirl of green flames.
After carefully shrinking down Harry's trunk, he and the rest of the Weasleys used the floo to go directly into the Department of Magical Transportation, where they arrived in a small chamber filled with nothing more than a single desk with chair, a few filing cabinets, some bookcases and a few random items such as a worn-out kettle, a pair of mismatched socks, and some various other trinkets whose actual use in a Ministry of Magic office completely baffled Harry.
"It's a good thing Dumbledore has this much influence in the Ministry", Arthur said in a soft voice as they stood in the room, carefully knocking the dust and soot out of their clothes, "I wouldn't trust anyone else but Twycross to be discreet enough with a situation like this, except perhaps Kingsley, but this isn't his department"
"What do you mean a situation like this Mr. Weasley?", Harry asked.
"Harry, you're not exactly a person that can keep a low profile by simply walking around in plain sight. Wherever you go, people will recognise you. What Dumbledore did was arrange a 'private' portkey, or rather, that's the best way to describe it. For as far as anyone but Dumbledore, Twycross or us is considered, you'll just be Ron Weasley leaving on a trip to Romania to visit his brother".
Harry simply nodded, he'd seen enough proof of that, and given the nature of their little trip, it was indeed the best choice to keep it a secret.
"But what if a student at Hogwarts somehow tells someone from the ministry that he saw Ron walking around at the school during the holidays?", Harry asked.
Just as Harry asked this question, the fireplace roared, sending a coughing redhead stumbling into the office. The surprising thing was though, that the moment he came out of the fireplace, Bill began chuckling inwardly, much to Harry's dismay. He'd only pointed out a flaw in the plan, that wasn't a reason to start laughing at him.
"Don't worry about things like that Harry", the redhead said as he too stepped out of the fireplace, "once we've started with your lessons, you'll understand that you can do things with magic that you wouldn't have considered to be possible".
The confident grin on Bill's face said more than a thousand words, and Harry wisely refrained from asking. He knew that he'd probably get to know all about it in the near future.
"Are you sure you picked the right one Bill?", Arthur asked his oldest son.
"I did dad", he replied, still smiling widely, "if not, I wouldn't be able to call myself a cursebreaker, or part weaver for that matter".
"Sorry for doubting you son", Arthur smiled. Even after all these years, Bill still hadn't changed.
"What did you pick up in Diagon Alley Bill?", Ginny asked, making no effort to conceal her curiosity.
"That's for me to know and for you to try and find out Gin", he smiled, resisting the puppy-eyes look Ginny was giving him, something his parents still had trouble with, even after all this time.
Just as Ginny was about to change tactics and simply go for whatever Bill had bought in the Alley, a pale, nearly insubstantial man walked into the office, carefully checking whether or not he'd been followed, or if someone had cast a supervising charm in the small instant the door had been opened.
After waving his wand a few times, casting some precautionary privacy spells, he turned towards Arthur.
"Good to see you here Arthur, I was wondering what all the secrecy was about but with both Dumbledore and the little lad here involved, I guess it's useless to ask why", he grinned as he shook hands with his colleague, giving a respectful nod to the others present in the room.
To his credit, his eyes lingered on Harry for half a second longer than the rest of the family, Bill noticed. That, and they didn't even flash upwards, looking for the tell-tale scar that would prove his identity time and time again.
"So", Twycross continued, "is everyone ready to go? I'm sort of doing this outside of the regular channels and this isn't really my field of work, so this needs to be done as quickly as possible".
Nodding their understanding, Bill, Arthur and Molly grabbed a hold of Harry and Ginny and moved closer to Twycross, who had already grabbed a random sock off the desk.
Pointing his wand at the smelly old fabric, he muttered an incantation, causing the sock to glow brightly for a few seconds.
"There, it's done", he smiled as he handed the sock to Mr. Weasley, "it'll activate in ten seconds and return you here at the agreed upon time. Have a nice trip and be safe".
"Come on kids, grab a hold of the sock and don't let go", Arthur said, signalling his intention to both the kids.
After sharing a quick, but rather disgusted look, both Harry and Ginny took a firm hold of the sock. Within moments, both of them felt a sharp pull behind their navel, right before they landed face first into a rather large pile or Romanian snow.
"C-c-cold", was the first thing Ginny said as she pulled her head out of the pile, teeth chattering audibly over the fierce gales that buffeted their surroundings, throwing up small bits of snow and ice which added to the already freezing temperatures.
"It's a bit cold here yeah", Bill muttered darkly as he grabbed Harry by the back of his robes, pulling him up onto his feet in a single fluid motion.
While they had dressed against the winter climate in Britain, compared to the icy winds in Romania, they might as well have dressed against a cool summer breeze. This quickly left every member of the Weasley and Potter family present shaking uncontrollably in the biting cold.
"Oh dear me", Molly huffed as she started fussing over the two kids, "lets get you two somewhere warm right away before you turn into ice cubes on the spot".
"Mum, Dad, over here", Bill heard the faint voice of his younger sibling over the storm.
Sure enough, mere moments after Bill had turned his head towards the source of the sound, the stocky figure of his brother appeared in the distance.
Nodding to his parents, Bill quickly cast a few warming charms on himself and the rest. As it was, they didn't take too long to reach him. Though the dragon trainer almost forcibly had to stop his mother from hugging him.
"Mum, save that for later in the tents, right now we need to get out of this weather", he said, a sense of urgency clearly audible, "the storm's picking up and is probably going to hit us full force within the hour".
Nodding to his parents, he led the family as they slowly made their way towards the encampment right on the edge of the largest dragon reserve in Europe.
After a walk of a few minutes, they reached what seemed to be a few snow covered tents hidden away between some sturdy bushes. Much to Harry's surprise, Charlie entered one of the tents, with every member of the Weasley family following closely behind him. Curiously, he walked around it a few times, trying to find out how on earth it was possible for it not to appear filled to the brim with Weasleys. The answer however, came to him rather quickly.
"Of course", Harry sighed, "magic".
His suspicions were confirmed the minute he stepped into the tent. The difference with the weather outside was immense. Instead of the freezing cold, it was pleasantly warm inside, and it looked more like a house than a tent.
"Ah, that's better, oomph", Charlie managed to say right before his mother's hug crushed all the air out of his lungs.
As Charlie suffered the consequences of not seeing his mother for a rather long while, Bill took a rather curious look around the tent. It was obvious that it had been charmed to be bigger on the inside than on the outside, not that it was that obvious, since the tent itself had been mostly covered in snow.
"So a reinforcement charm on top of an extension charm, plus the obvious heating and drying charms for use in bad weather conditions", he mused, "pretty well made".
For the rest it was a rather straightforward set-up, a small kitchen back in one of the corners and a massive dining table dominating the centre of the tent. Opposite of the entrance was a small fireplace with some rather comfy looking chairs situated next to it. Some tomes, obviously related to dragons, were laying haphazardly strewn across the furniture, though some were actually in the right place, together with some wizarding games.
Noting the amount of chessboards and packs of exploding snap, Bill figured that the nights here in Romania could become rather boring.
One thing was rather odd though. While there were definite signs that the tent had been lived in by several people, right now there was no-one here except for himself and the rest of his family.
"Hey, Charlie", he asked, giving his brother the much needed chance to escape his mother's grasp, "where's the rest of the dragontrainers".
"They went to the storm cabins a few hours ago. During a storm, we usually don't stay in the tents, since they might be blown over by the wind. The risk is small, but we'd rather not take it. Then again, since you hadn't arrived yet, I couldn't do anything but stay here and wait, and going to the cabins now would be suicide"
"So we'll be here by ourselves for now Charlie?", Arthur asked his second oldest son.
"Until this storm blows over? Pretty much yeah", Charlie replied as he casually grabbed a towel draped over one of the worn chairs standing at the dining table, "but no worries there, it probably won't last longer than a day or two".
With a grin, Charlie disappeared behind one of the many flaps that lined the sides of the main area of the tent. Moments later, he appeared again, only this time without the thick coat he'd been wearing so far.
With a gulp, Harry noticed several large burns and signs of healed ones decorating Charlie's arms. Given his occupation, one didn't have a hard time figuring out where they came from.
Other than that, it was clear that Charlie, like Bill, was used to working outside. Callouses decorated his hands, while his face was weathered from the amount of sun and wind he endured.
While it might be a bit contradictory to have sunburn in an ice cold place like Romania, it was actually quite normal. Harry remembered Dudley having sunburn when they'd gotten back from their small skiing trip way back in Harry's childhood.
A large shout from Molly suddenly startled the room, and within moments, Charlie was back under his mother's attention, who was fussing about the burns this time, leaving Charlie to grin sheepishly to the rest of his family.
"Now sit down young man and let me take care of these", Molly said with a decisive tone of authority when she'd finished inspecting the burns.
With a resigned look on his face, Charlie sat down on one of the chairs at the dining table and pulled his shirt off over his head, revealing even more burns and thus eliciting even more huffs from his mother, who instantly got to work.
"We've already made the necessary changes to accommodate all of you", Charlie said, wincing sharply as Molly unexpectedly poked on one of his half-healed burns, "if you go through the flap I went through, you'll find a corridor, each of you has his own room there, so no need to bunk together".
As he said this, he gave a subtle wink at Ginny. He knew of her crush on Harry, and simply couldn't resist some teasing, especially not since the object of her crush was standing a mere three feet away. He was surprised though when she turned bright red and tried to hide herself behind her trunk.
"But seriously now", he continued, "why is Harry Potter of all people here? And why did you ask me to make a reinforced room in the corridor as well?"
"For the same reason I bought this", Bill replied as he pulled a long package out of his robes, "You wanted to know what I bought in Diagon Alley Gin? Here you go, it's yours".
Momentarily forgetting the earlier embarrassment, Ginny walked over to Bill, grabbed the box and eagerly opened it. As she looked inside, her eyes widened before she threw herself at Bill, attempting to re-enact a Molly Weasley style hug.
"What is it Ginny?", Harry asked, curious as to what she'd gotten.
"He gave me a wand", she cheered, bouncing with excitement.
Almost reveringly, she pulled out the gleaming wood. Within an instant, a bright glow suffused the room as the magic contained in the wand bonded itself with her.
"Well done Bill", Arthur smiled from ear to ear, "I knew you'd pick the right wand for her. What's it made of?".
"Maple, 7 and three quarter inches with a dragon's heartstring as the core, a Hebridean Black's", Bill replied.
"Really now?", his father said, "Somewhat figures though, Ollivander's always had a preference for dragon heartstring cores".
"So why give Ginny a brand new wand? And what does this have to do with that room I made?"
"It's rather simple Charlie", Bill said, "You see, Harry and Ginny are both true weavers".
After letting the shock settle in a bit, Bill explained the entire story about the two kids, though leaving some things out here and there. All the while Charlie's mouth remained agape. Obviously, Bill's words had stunned the otherwise so imperturbable dragon trainer.
They went to bed early that night. After unpacking their belongings and eating a hearty dinner, Bill had told Ginny and Harry to get some sleep, since he'd be starting their training the next day, and he'd promised that it would be the hardest thing they'd ever done.
Harry awoke the next day as a ray of light fell through the enchanted window on the side wall of his room. During the night, the storm had died down and the sun had broken through the clouds, transforming the dark and gloomy landscape into a glittering white paradise, that was not taking into account the icy cold though. It may have been sunny, but the temperatures were still freezing. Then again, from inside the tent, Harry didn't really notice anything concerning that.
He put on his clothes and took care of some basic hygiene in record pace before sprinting out into the main area of the tent. As it was, he wasn't the first there. Charlie had already finished eating and was getting ready to go outside and clean up the massive amount of snow that had fallen during the night. His wand drawn and a determined look on his face, he opened the door, avoided the miniature avalanche that came through and started blasting the snow outwards with some well-aimed spells.
Watching this spectacle were Bill and Ginny, the former with an amused smirk on his face, the latter with a piece of toast in her mouth, unable to decide whether to actually chew it, or to continue watching the somewhat comical scene of Charlie attacking the snow head-on.
After eating a rather decent breakfast, which ended up with Bill instructing Harry and Ginny to eat several times more than normal, the two children were instructed by their elder to move to the special training room Charlie had set up for them.
Much to their dismay, he told them that they wouldn't be going outside for the first few days. Not only did the snow have to be cleaned up, but Bill would also need the time to get a decent gauge on their powers.
"So, Harry, what kind of spells do you know already?", Bill asked as the three of them sat down at a small table situated in the middle of the otherwise empty room.
"Summoning and banishing charms, scourgify, all the basic spells taught in the Hogwarts first year curriculum and almost all transfiguration spells covered in the first few years, I've already gotten to animal transfiguration but then vacation started and I had to stop reading", Harry explained.
"I see", Bill nodded, "I'll need you to forget everything you've learned so far though, and promise me that you won't use any spells we haven't seen during my lessons".
"But why?", Harry protested. He'd spent some serious time on learning the spells. Giving them up only to start over from scratch wasn't something he was looking forward to.
"Because I say so", Bill said sternly, "I'll need the both of you to understand this very clearly. The two of you are probably the most powerful wizard and witch currently alive. So many things could go wrong because of an accidental magical discharge. People could get seriously hurt if you fail to control your power, and learning spells the normal way won't allow you to control them with the same amount of precision as the way I'm going to teach you. Follow my rules, and you'll be at the level you were and further within the end of the year. Don't, and you'll be put through a most unpleasant punishment".
Noticing the incredibly serious look on Bill's face, both of the kids nodded their understanding. Mostly because they suspected that the punishment would be really, really bad.
"Well then", Bill continued, "the first thing you'll need to know is that magic exists just about anywhere. There's a huge amount of wizards, witches, magical creatures and what else out in the world. Not only that, but even muggles and normal plants and animals have some amount of magical energy, which explains why muggleborns are born".
"Magic can only be used by people or creatures with the right affinity for it, though not everyone uses it in the same way. The shamans in Africa for example use dances, chants and special talismans to influence things such as a person's health, luck or even the weather. The Scandinavians on the other hand were masters of runes which they used to tap into the power of nature itself. Every single culture has different ways of channelling and focussing magic. While we use wands, the Japanese and Chinese use specialised hand-seals that form the necessary magical circuit one needs. Alchemy from the old times also used this principle, but they on the other hand used complex circles to create the proper result. What I eventually want from the two of you, is that you will either create your own method of spellcasting, or become proficient in the use of several that already exist".
"Create our own method of spellcasting?", Ginny asked incredulously, "is that even possible?".
"For a normal person and even a partial Weaver such as myself, it would be impossible. The two of you on the other hand, are True Weavers and thus aren't limited by things like that", Bill smiled.
"But since we can't use any magic we've learned at Hogwarts, how are we going to do spells that we use in classes?", Harry asked. While it wasn't really a problem for Ginny since she still had about half a year before she went to school, it was a serious issue for Harry.
"Don't worry about that Harry", Bill said, "I'll be taking over the DADA classes, so I'll be at the school. And I'll also make sure that I teach you the correct way to learn the spells before each class. Most people won't even recognise the difference, since it's mostly the way you handle the magic inside of you. The wand movement and the incantation remain completely the same. Be forewarned though, the way I'll be teaching you is several times harder to learn than normal, because of the immense increase in control you gain from it".
After explaining some of the basic issues they'd have with the lessons, Bill started off with a basic lecture about the way one cast standard magic in the standard way. It all consisted of three elements: wand motion, incantation and intent.
Weavers however, were not bound by these limitations, and even most partial weavers could entirely skip the first two parts of casting, effectively achieving silent and wandless magic.
"Now, let's begin with some basic spells", Bill said as he drew his own wand, and started casting.
"Wow", Ginny muttered as she and Harry stepped out of the room and into the main living area. They'd been practising for the better part of the day, only stopping to get some food into their stomachs.
As it was, they were exhausted. They'd been casting low-levels spells over and over, while Bill constantly lectured them about theoretical magic. As such, they were forced to divide their attention between the spellcasting and listening to Bill, a task that was rather hard in the beginning. The result was a lot more accidental misfires of spells than either of them would've wanted.
Ginny smiled ruefully as she recalled one of the more nasty accidents.
They'd been instructed to cast a levitation charm on a few pillows Bill had conjured for them. While she'd been focussing on getting the spell to work, Harry's pillow had suddenly rocketed past her ear, heading straight for Bill's face. She tried to shout a warning, but it was too late. Or so she thought. A bright flash blinded her for a fraction of a second, leaving small black dots dancing in front of her eyes. She sneezed involuntarily as an acrid smell curled its way into her nostrils. Even as small plucks of feather twirled softly towards the floor.
It took her only a moment to realize that Bill was standing there, arm outstretched, while the pillow had been literally shredded to bits in an instant.
"And that's why I want you to practise each and every spell with me around before you try something else", he smiled at Harry, "Tell me, has a spell you cast ever had more effect than you actually wanted".
To this, Harry simply nodded sheepishly. He knew he'd lost control over the spell, it was just his bad luck for it to fly straight at the person teaching him.
"Then now you know why I said never to use a spell we haven't practised. Imagine that you're in the DADA classroom, practising a spell that makes stuff explode, such as reducto, and you lose control over it. I've made my point haven't I?"
Ginny shuddered as she thought back to what Bill said, but she still wondered why Harry had lost control all of a sudden. She still couldn't put the event of yesterday out of her head though.
"Harry", she asked, a blush still adorning her cheeks, "how come you lost control like that?"
He grimaced as he heard her question, but still turned towards her.
"I think it's because I've been learning magic the wrong way for a while now, it's easy for me to fall back into my old way of casting", he said, "but it still frightens me. I had a transfiguration spell go out of control once during class. Your brother is right, if that had been a potentially harmful spell, it could've injured or even killed a lot of people".
The serious look on Harry's face broadcast his fear. Ginny understood how frightened he was. She too would have to watch out with how she performed magic, after all, she was training together with two of the most precious people in her life.
Her blush deepened as she caught herself thinking that and realised the implications, but nevertheless, she simply couldn't deny it. Overtime, she'd really come to appreciate Harry's letters, and he'd quickly become her best friend, even if it was through the use of quill, parchment and owl. Her crush from when she was younger was irrelevant. Harry wasn't some sort of hero, she realised. No, he was simply a boy that was a little more powerful than the rest of the kids she knew. Not only that, but he was frightened of it and the harm he could inadvertently cause.
She mentally kicked herself for reacting the way she had the day before. Had she not pushed Ron out of the way several times in the same manner, with the same result. Then again, Ron was her brother, while Harry was...
"Argh", she muttered, placing her hands at the sides of her head, eliciting a strange look from Harry.
"Sorry", she said, "I'm having trouble thinking".
Harry nodded sympathetically, no words had to be said about her current condition. After all, she'd gone through the same gruellingly hard lesson he had, and she didn't even have a knowledge base to work with.
With that in mind, Harry pulled back a chair at the table for her to sit on, and sat down right next to her.
A hungry growl could be heard from both their stomachs as Molly put down several steaming platters in front of their noses, making the Weasley matriarch smile with obvious contentment.