Arthur and Molly Weasley had lived in Ottery St. Catchpole, in a sprawling house affectionately called "The Burrow," for 40 years. The Burrow had begun life as a four room cottage but had grown with time, held together will magic and spellotape, as the years went by and the children came. Children were still apt to be found underfoot, racing through the house or out playing Quidditch on well-worn brooms in the back clearing. Grandchildren now, as all seven Weasley children were grown and gone, or simply gone.
Visitors saw their pictures everywhere—magical, wizarding pictures that smiled and waved and sometimes left the frames altogether to visit other magical pictures nearby. Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, Ron and Ginny stood together in one picture, arranged oldest to youngest. All seven had flaming red hair and freckles. Bill, in his first year out of school and in training for his new job in Egypt, was already starting to grow his hair long.
All of the boys had married, except for Percy, who had died young, not yet out of his teens. He looked stern and proud in his horn-rimmed glasses and black robes in the small photo that sat by itself on the right side of the hearth shelf. Molly dusted the photo every week and carefully replaced it, always saying as she did so "There, now, Percy. You never did much like to get dirty now, did you?"
Bill had married first, in the heat of the Second War. He gave up a career overseas to take a Ministry job and built a new cottage only a few miles away from the Burrow to share with his French wife, Fleur. The twins, Fred and George, joint proprietors of "Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes," had surprised everyone by falling in love with a pair of sisters who ran a restaurant in Diagon Alley. They married in a double wedding and lived in the rooms above the two stores. Ron, the youngest of the boys, had married only a year and a half out of school. He chose his best friend, Hermione, as his bride and they bought a cottage in Ottery St. Catchpole. Ron worked at Gringott's Wizarding Bank as head of local security at the Diagon Alley location. Charlie, only two years younger than Bill, had been the last to marry. He was still a newlywed and lived in the wizarding village of Hogsmeade, close to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he taught Care of Magical Creatures.
Ginny, the first girl born in the Weasley family in six generations, was featured in more pictures than anyone else, with the possible exception of Marie, the first grandchild. Ginny was almost 30 and enjoyed an artist's life as a photographer. She had been living in Paris for more than five years now, and was sorely missed around the Burrow.
But there was someone else who called the Weasleys family and called the Burrow "home." That someone was Harry Potter, as unlike the Weasleys in temperament and appearance as possible. He'd stumbled into their lives when he was only eleven years old—twenty years ago—and his story had become so entangled with theirs that it was no longer possible to separate it out, and no one even bothered to try. Harry was Ron and Hermione's other best friend. He had helped Fred and George launch their very successful business. He had saved Ginny and Bill's lives. He had risked his life to try to save Percy's. He had his own room at the Burrow, created from attic space once the ghoul was finally ousted. And four of the grandchildren were named after him, which made things quite confusing during family gatherings.
In a highly improbable turn of events, four Weasley wives were pregnant at the same time, all due to give birth within weeks of each other. Ron and Hermione's baby was due first, and they made it known that if the baby were a boy, it would be called Harry Arthur. The twins, however, had vowed long ago, when Harry donated 1000 galleons to them to launch their joke shop, that they would name their own first-born sons after him. And Fleur, never forgetting that Harry had saved her little sister during the Tri-Wizard tournament when Harry was 14, also vowed to honor Harry with a namesake.
It was generally hoped and assumed that the first couple to produce a boy would have their Harry, and everyone else would choose a different name.
Hermione and Ron won the prize with baby Harry Arthur, born on June 20th. The baby had carrot red hair and a smattering of freckles. The family was home together only three days when Fleur and Bill's baby arrived, joining big sister Marie. Fleur threw logic and tradition to the wind and came home with baby Harry William, who also sported a shock of red hair. At this point, Molly prayed for girls, though deep inside she knew that the outcome was inevitable. Two weeks later, Fred and Diane welcomed Harry Percival (another redhead) while George and Daphne waited 'til the next day to introduce their own Harry Lionel. This last Harry was quite bald, though in time, his hair too would grow in red.
The Harrys had just turned 11, so everyone had grown accustomed to the confusion, and the boys had long ago learned to respond to their middle names. They kept their godfather (Harry) quite busy, for when they turned seven he was commissioned to teach them to play Quidditch and turn them into the best Gryffindor Quidditch team this century. In the back of his head he sometimes wondered what would happen if they all weren't sorted into Gryffindor and ended up competing against each other on the school pitch instead of flying together on one well-choreographed team.
Besides Marie and the four Harrys, eight more children had joined the fold over the years. George had had a Fred, and Fred had countered with a George. Bill and Fleur added a pair of blonde twins named Audrey and Estelle and Ron and Hermione had produced Jane, Neville, Molly and Will.
The house was happiest when it was full, and the people who visited were happiest when they were there. The house had a way with people. It made you feel warm and welcome. It had mirrors that told you to tuck your shirt in and gnomes in the garden and a wonderful magical clock with 28 hands on it. And though this story is certainly about the Weasleys and their wonderful family and welcoming house, it is also about Harry Potter and what he found there when he was all grown up and wasn't even looking.