Disclaimer: If you recognize it, then I don't own it.
Disclaimer: If you recognize it, then I don't own it.
Chapter One: Home Sweet Home
"Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration."-Charles Dickens
The trees flew by in an endless blur of green, brown, and grey, as the old camaro sped down the dirt path. I'd ridden along this road a countless number of times since I was twelve, but it never failed to give me a thrill. The sky was dark and rain was pouring down on us as we drove to the top of the hill, still, the excitement in the small vehicle was contagious, and it filled both Harry and myself up. We were going home, after two very long months in Australia we were finally heading home.
As we reached the top of the hill we could barely make out the outline of the unbalanced old house that was our destination, it was nothing more than a dark blur in the never ceasing rain, but it was unmistakable. The five floors, the four chimneys, the crazy construction, it was clearly the Burrow, and the sight of it made both Harry and myself sit up straighter, smiles spreading across both our faces. Music blared out of the radio, a song I didn't recognize, but its fast beat and happy tune made me feel even more elated as we continued down the hill towards that wonderful house.
We'd spent the last two months in Australia searching for my parents. I'd asked Harry to go with me because I knew he needed some time away from everything. He needed some time to cope with all the losses, to get used to the idea that Voldemort was dead, and this time he couldn't come back. He'd needed the time to heal in short. Finding my parents was the perfect excuse for him to get away. I would have invited Ron as well, but he hadn't wanted to leave his family, not after how close they had all come to losing Fred. I couldn't blame him, I'd had a really hard time leaving as well, still, I'd had a fun time, and we had found my parents. I'd reversed the spells on them and given them their memories back.
They were still unsure how to feel about the whole thing. They didn't say they were mad at me, at least not in those words, still, I could tell they were disappointed, and that made me feel even worse. I'd done what I had to do to protect them, and they were upset about it. I'd come back to my home to find the building completely destroyed. If I'd have left them with their memories then they would have been dead as well. Granted, I could have told them what I intended on doing, but then they would have tried to stop me. I couldn't risk that, I couldn't risk the chance that they might dissuade me. It was far too dangerous, there was far too much to at risk. Also, if I knew they were safe in Australia with no way of being tracked, I would be able to focus more on the hunt.
Everything had gone rather well until it came time to find them again. Harry and I had a lot harder time finding the 'Wilkins' than I had anticipated originally, still, it had all worked out for the best.
Other than the fact that my parents told me that they weren't sure whether or not they could trust me again. Yes, outside of that I was perfectly fine. Just dandy in fact.
At least the Burrow looked the same, at least it hadn't changed. Thank Merlin for that, I needed something that was steadfast right now, especially after everything else that had changed. Harry and I both did.
We pulled up to the rickety old house and parked the car before climbing out slowly, quietly, both of us breathless with anticipation. We stood outside the car for a moment, both of us slightly worried about our reception. No one had wanted us to leave, I couldn't blame them either, but we had left anyway. Would they be mad at us?
The door to the Burrow burst open and eight red-heads poured out, all grinning and running towards us. I was pulled into a strong hug and I let out a joyful laugh as Ron grabbed both Harry and myself.
"Welcome back!" He exclaimed as we were pulled away. Mrs. Weasley grabbed Harry and Bill grabbed me. A moment later I was grabbed by two identical red-heads and I had to let out a laugh as they tickled my sides.
"Fred! George!" I giggled out, pushing them away in a vain attempt to stop them from tickling me.
"How did everything go? Did you find them? Are they all right?" Mrs. Weasley's voice sounded from beside me and I was pulled into her soft arms in a warm hug. I hugged her back tightly, thrilled to be welcomed so openly by the entire family. I had really missed them, it had only been a month, but it felt like it had been so very much longer. I really was home again.
They led us into the house, surrounding us in a circle of red-heads as they took us to the kitchen. We sat down at the table, along with everyone else while Mrs. Weasley served up a pot of tea. I accepted the mug gratefully and took a deep drink. It was black tea, brewed properly and served with just a bit of milk, not cream. Of everything I eat or drink, this was what I had missed the most. Australian's had no idea how to properly cook tea.
We sat together at the crowded kitchen table, all happy and excited to be back together. It had been far too long, far too long since we had all sat at this table like this. We hadn't been together as a family since before the hunt. Merlin, I had missed this more than anything.
"So you found them alright?" Mr. Weasley asked after we had told an abridged version of our trip. We had cut out the part about my parents yelling at me. Harry was kind enough not to bring it up and there was no way I was mentioning it.
"Yes ma'am, we didn't have much trouble once we finally figured out what town they were in." Harry said, letting out a light laugh. It was so nice to hear him laughing again, he'd stopped laughing during the Horcrux hunt. I'd only heard him let out a few since the battle, I could actually count the number of times on my fingers, and I didn't even need some of them. Hopefully now that we were back at the Burrow that would change.
"It's your birthday tomorrow," Mrs. Weasley said, setting her cup down. Harry's eyes darted to mine, growing wide as a grin quirked his lip up. I fought back a laugh and winked at him which earned me an annoyed stare from him. We'd had an argument on the trip over here about his birthday. I knew that we were arriving the day before his eighteenth birthday, and there was no way that Mrs. Weasley (really, the entire family) wouldn't want to throw him a huge party. He had insisted that they wouldn't, that with everything that was going on they probably wouldn't even remember. I'd laughed at that and told him he was crazy.
So, he had challenged me to a bet. He wagered that they would forget, and that if they did I would have to play a game of quidditch with him and Ron. If he lost (which he just did) he'd have to go for a swim with me. Looks like he was going to have to get his swimming trunks out.
"What would you like to do?" Mrs. Weasley said, finishing her question as she poured him another cup of tea.
"Yes, Harry," I said, smiling at him as he shot me a quick, subtle, glare. "What do you want to do to celebrate?"
"Why not have a group party?" Harry asked, his eyes brightening and a mischievous grin lifting his lips. A group party? What did he mean?
"Group party?" Mrs. Weasley questioned, at least I wasn't the only confused one.
"Yes ma'am, a party for Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and myself." He was positively beaming now, and it was making me nervous. "None of them got to celebrate their birthdays, we were all on the run at the time. We could have a big, group, birthday bash together."
"Are you sure?" She asked, she sounded unsure.
"Sure, I think it sounds like fun. What about you guys?" Harry asked, looking around at us expectantly.
"Sounds like fun." Ron said, smiling a little.
"Brilliant!" Fred and George exclaimed together.
"If you want to, Harry." I said softly, smiling despite myself. I could hardly believe he'd just worked his way around having his own birthday party.
"Very well, I'm sure we can arrange that." Mrs. Weasley said, smiling as she patted Harry's hand. We talked for a little while longer, catching up on everything that had happened since we'd left. Of everything only two things really stuck out. One, George had asked Angelina to marry him. That was extremely exciting and made me laugh happily as I saw how excited he was, and how happy Fred was for him. The other really shocked me, and honestly made me a little upset. Ron had started dating Luna Lovegood.
I had been gone for two months and he had up and started dating another girl. I mean, it wasn't like I had been gone all that long, certainly not enough time to justify him going out with someone else. What about us? I had thought he wanted to give us a try, apparently I was wrong. The whole kiss in the middle of the battle had made me think that he liked me, clearly not.
I managed to hold myself together and not make any sort of a reaction while we sat there, but I was a wreck on the inside. I was broken hearted, I had really wanted to at least try and date him. I had liked him since my second year, I'd been trying to get him to like me since my third.
I was also mad, heck, I was livid. It was taking a good deal of self control not to stand up, walk over to his seat, and slug him like I did Malfoy during third year. The fact that I was sitting next to Harry helped keep me calm. He had grabbed my arm when Ron said the word 'girl friend' and hadn't let me go since then. I also could feel Ginny staring me down, as well as both Fred and George's concerned eyes on me.
With their combined help I managed to keep myself seated and smiling, but just barely. I wouldn't snap at him today, or tomorrow, but after that he was fair game.
We all talked for a little while longer before Bill suggested a quick game of quidditch. Harry agreed eagerly before he turned towards me apologetically. I smiled at him and nodded my head, letting him know it was okay for him to go play.
"Go ahead Harry, I'll even play a game with you. Consider it a birthday gift."
"Brilliant." He exclaimed, smiling brightly at me. We headed to the backyard with the others. I climbed up on the broom stiffly and took the position of referee. I didn't like flying, I hated it actually, but I was doing it for Harry. Besides, if I stayed on the ground I'd end up hexing Ron. I was still tempted, but now I at least had my fear of heights to distract me. If I had known what was going to happen, I might never have gotten on that broom though.
A/N: Hi everyone! This is going to be a time travel fic, but we'll get to the actual traveling next chapter. This will also be a Fred/Hermione fic, but it'll take a few chapters to get there. Let me know what you think so far, and please leave a review!