This is the last chapter done my my first Beta Maggie. She was more than my beta, she was also my friend and inspiration. She helped me keep this story with her words and amazing work with each chapter. I'm going to miss her a whole lot, but I have a really good feeling about my new Beta. So don't worry, the fic will go on.
I dedicate this chapter to Maggie, for all her hard work and her constant patience and understanding and just for being amazing.
It was Ron.
"Ron!" Rose breathed; not daring to believe it was really him outside of her window. Jumping off her bed, she ran to the window and opened it so they could talk through the bars, her eyes nearly tearing up at just seeing her friend.
"Ron, how on Earth did you – what the?" and Rose's mouth fell open as she realized exactly what she was seeing in front of her. Ron was leaning out of the back window of an old turquoise car that was parked in midair. Grinning from the front seats were Fred and George, Ron's elder twin brothers.
"Alright, Ro?" asked George and Rose shook her head. She wasn't all right, not with Dursleys, at least.
"No, I'm not alright at all. It's horrible." She told them trying not to cry.
"What's been going on?" asked Ron, the light too dark for him to really see her bruised face or the slight swelling of her eye. "Why haven't you been answering my letters? I've asked you to stay with us about twelve times, and I know Tracey has as well. After you didn't reply to her first four letters she started writing to me, asking if you'd spoken to me." Rose couldn't help but smile. Tracey was such a paranoid worry-wart.
"And then Dad came home and said you'd got an official warning for using magic in front of Muggles -"
"It wasn't me, I swear – wait, how did you know?" she said, interrupting him.
"Dad works for the Ministry," Ron answered. "You know we're not supposed to do spells outside of school-"
"I couldn't cast a spell if I wanted to. They locked away all my things including my wand. And you're one to talk, Ron Weasley," Rose said, staring at the floating car he and his brothers were currently occupying.
"You mean this? It doesn't count since we're only borrowing this. It's Dad's, we didn't enchant it. But doing magic in front of those Muggles you live with-"
"Did you not just hear me? I told you, they locked away my wand. And the only accidental magic I ever do is making my bloody hair grow!" she snapped, her patience lost. "The Dursleys don't even know about the hover charm. They locked me up because an owl from the Ministry flew into the house when they were having a dinner party," Rose told them.
'Should I tell them about what Uncle Vernon did to me? Maybe that whale of a man would get punished somehow if people knew how he hit me,' Rose wondered to herself. In the end, she couldn't keep it a secret; someone had to know, "My uncle beat me Ron, I've been locked in this room for a week starving!" Her eyes watered, green orbs pleading with him to rescue her.
Ron looked shocked, "That's terrible! We'll get you out of here I promise, Rose. We've come to take you home with us."
Rose wiped at her eyes before her tears could fall as she didn't like to cry in front of people, and right then it stung at her eyes to do so. The only one who'd ever seen her really crying was Tracey. She was just so happy; she was finally being rescued from this nightmare of solitude. "But how? You can't use magic-"
Ron interrupted her, grinning ear to ear, "We don't need to use magic. You forget who I've got with me," he said, still grinning as he jerked his head towards his brothers in the front seat.
"Tie that around the bars," Fred said, throwing the end of a rope to Rose, who didn't hesitate to do as she was told.
"If the Dursleys wake up, my uncle might actually kill me this time," she said to them with a grave voice, the color draining from her face with genuine fear of her Muggle uncle.
"Don't worry, Ro, we won't let them hurt you again. Now stand back," Fred told her, revving the car. Rose did as he said and backed away from the window and into the shadows near Hedwig's cage, who seemed to have realized the importance of the situation and kept herself still and quiet in her cage.
The car revved louder and louder and suddenly, with a crunching noise, the bars were pulled clean off the window to dangle from the rope a few feet off the ground. Panting, Ron hoisted the bars up into the car. Rose listened anxiously through her bedroom door, but there was no sound from her uncle and aunt's bedroom.
'This is it. I'm really leaving this place. I'm so relieved. Maybe I won't have to come back this time,' Rose thought, smiling, trying not to cry out of the joy she felt from her rescue.
When the bars were safely in the back seat with Ron, Fred carefully reversed the car as close as possible to Rose's window.
"Get in," Ron said.
"I can't yet, all my Hogwarts stuff is still locked away," she told them.
"Where is it?" the twins asked her.
"Downstairs; locked in the cupboard under the stairs. But I can't get out of the room, they locked me in, remember?" she told them.
"No problem," said George from beside his brother in the front seat. "Move out of the way, Ro."
She did, and the two of them climbed catlike through the window and into Rose's room. Rose had to hand it to the two of them as she watched as George pulled out an ordinary hairpin and started to pick the lock.
"A bunch of wizards think it's a waste of time, knowing this sort of Muggle trick," said Fred quietly, "but we feel that they're skills worth learning, even if they are a bit slow." And then there was a small click and the door swung open.
"We'll get your truck and you grab anything you need from your room and hand it out to Ron," George whispered to her.
"Watch out for the bottom stair, it creaks loudly," Rose whispered back, the twins nodded and soon they had disappeared out onto the dark landing.
Quickly telling Ron to close his eyes and explaining she planned to change her clothes, Rose moved over to her dresser and pulled out the first thing she grabbed. Ron blushed and then did as he was asked. Once finished dressing she quickly slipped on her shoes before starting to hand over her things to Ron.
She made sure to first pass over Hedwig, making sure he was careful with her before passing him her other things out the window. When she'd finished she went to help Fred and George with her trunk up the stairs. As Rose tiptoed down the hall she heard her Uncle Vernon cough in his sleep.
At last the three reached the landing, then carried the trunk through Rose's room to the open window. George was the first to climb back into the car to pull with Ron, while Rose and Fred pushed her trunk in from the bedroom side. Slowly, inch-by-inch, the trunk slid through the window.
Uncle Vernon coughed again from his room.
'Please don't wake up, please don't wake up, please don't wake up,' Rose thought as George panted from inside the car with Ron as they pulled.
"Just one more good push, Ro," Fred encouraged her, and as they threw their shoulders against the trunk it slid through the window frame and into the back seat of the car. Rose winced and bit the inside of her cheek as her side flared up with pain from where her uncle had kicked her.
"Okay, lets go," Fred whispered and climbed out of the window and into the car, turning and holding his hand out to Rose to help her. Taking his hand, she climbed off the windowsill, and then she was in the car sitting next to Ron and holding onto him for dear life.
'I'm free!' Rose grinned from ear to ear, her eyes misty with tears of joy.
"You boys are my heroes!" Rose laughed, kissing each one of them on the cheek and laughing as Ron wiped his with his sleeve. She rolled down the window, the night air whipping her long auburn hair back, its color darker than the Weasleys' ginger hair. She didn't dare look back at Privet Drive, she didn't want to. She just wished that she could leave that life entirely behind her. Suddenly Hedwig gave a screech from where her cage sat between Rose and Ron.
"Go ahead and let her out, she can fly behind us," Ron said and Fred handed him the hairpin, picking her cage's lock and soon Hedwig was soaring joyfully out of the window, gliding beside them and hooting happily at her own freedom.
"Did they really beat you, Ro?" George asked suddenly, turning around in the front seat to look at her, to really look at her now that the light of the moon was giving him a clearer image of her bruised face.
"Yeah, what's the story? What's been happening? You look awful, I can't believe they hurt you so badly!" said Ron.
"My uncle did. My aunt doesn't approve of him hitting me but he's much too strong for her to really stop him," Rose answered Fred's question.
"That's how I got all these bruises," she said, gesturing to her face and body, her eyes started to water. Ron put his arm around her shoulders in a comforting gesture."I said the word 'magic' once and my uncle slapped me, knocking me down and spilling hot coffee on me. That's why I have these bandages on my legs. They treat me like a slave. I do all the chores, I cook all their meals, pour them their drinks and serve them their food at the table while I'm left with nothing but the scraps from the leftovers... I absolutely hate it there with them. I don't know how long I would have been able to take anymore if you hadn't come," Rose said honestly in a whisper of a voice, not bothering to hide any of it anymore.
'I never want to see the Dursleys again. Their house could catch fire and I don't think I would care. I hate them so much,' Rose thought with the darkest of malice and hatred. She then started to tell them about Dobby, the warning the house-elf had given her and the fiasco with the owl from the Ministry and all that happened after that led up to them showing up. They were like knights in shining armor to rescue the princess from her tower.
"Very fishy," Fred said finally after a long, shocked silence.
"Definitely sounds dodgy," George agreed with his twin.
"So he wouldn't even tell you who's supposed to be plotting all this stuff?" George asked her.
"I honestly don't think he could. Like I told you, every time he got close to letting something slip, he started banging his head against the wall," she told them and she didn't miss how Fred and George looked at each other.
"Do you think he was lying to me?" Rose asked them.
"Let's put it this way — house-elves have got powerful magic of their own, but they can't usually use it without their master's permission. I reckon old Dobby was sent to stop you coming back to Hogwarts. Someone's idea of a joke, maybe. Can you think of anyone at school with a grudge against you?" Fred said.
"Draco Malfoy," Ron said and Rose rolled her eyes.
"I don't think it's Draco. I read the letter he sent to me, I really think he wants to be friends, he just doesn't really know how to go about doing so, nicely, without being a snobby show off," she explained.
"Are you talking about Lucius Malfoy's son?" George asked them.
"I don't know his father's name, he never mentioned it, but I suppose he is. After all it doesn't seem to be a very common name. Why?" Rose asked him.
"It's just that I've heard Dad talking about him. Apparently he was a big supporter of You-Know-Who," said George.
"And when You-Know-Who disappeared, Lucius Malfoy came back saying that he'd never meant any of it. Load of dung – Dad reckons he was right in You-Know-Who's inner circle," Fred told her, craning around to look at Rose as he spoke.
"I still don't think Draco has anything to do with this," Rose told them, ending conversation on the matter.
"I'm really glad that we came to get you, anyway," said Ron and Rose smiled as she saw his ears tinge pink under the moonlight.
I was getting really worried when you didn't answer of my letters. I thought it was Errol's fault at first-"
"Who's Errol?" Rose interrupted him to ask.
"Our owl. He's ancient, and it wouldn't be the first time he'd collapsed on a delivery. But then I started getting letters from Tracey Davis, asking if I had heard from you and that she had asked you to stay with her a dozen times in her letters but she hadn't received any reply and was just as worried as I was," Ron finished. "I think if I hadn't wrote telling her we decided to come and get you, she would have arrived on your doorstep to take you home with her herself. We'll have to write her right away when we get home so she'll stop bugging me asking about you... She also asked about Fred a lot," Ron said, looking a little annoyed at the memory of Tracey's constant barrage of letters.
"You're driving too far west, Fred," George said, pointing to a compass on the dashboard. Fred twiddled the steering wheel in the right direction they needed to go.
"So, does you dad know that you've got the car?" Rose asked with a smirk, already guessing the answer.
"Er, no, he had to work tonight. Hopefully we'll be able to get it back in the garage without Mum noticing we took it out," Ron said sheepishly.
"And what does your dad do at the Ministry of Magic?" Rose asked with an appropriate curiosity.
"He works in the most boring department. The Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office," said Ron.
"The what?" Rose asked.
"It's all to do with bewitching things that are Muggle-made, you know, just in case they end up back in a Muggle shop or house. For example, last year some old witch died and her tea set was sold to an antique shop. The Muggle woman who bought it, took it home and tried to serve her friends tea with it. It was an absolute disaster – Dad was working overtime for weeks," Ron said exasperatedly.
"A tea set? What on Earth happened?" Rose asked, genuinely interested.
"The teapot went berserk and squirted boiling tea all over the place and one man ended up in the hospital with the sugar tongs clamped to his nose. Dad was going absolutely frantic – It's only him and an old warlock called Perkins in the office – and they had to do Memory Charms and all sorts of stuff to cover it up – "
"But your dad – this car – " Rose stuttered and Fred laughed.
"Yeah, Dad's crazy about everything to do with Muggles; our shed's full of Muggle stuff. He takes it apart, puts spells on it, and puts it back together again. If he raided our house he'd have to put himself under arrest. It drives Mum mad."
Rose remembered their mum, she had met her when she was first trying to find Platform 9 ¾ , and then Mrs. Weasley had sent her a sweater and fudge last Christmas.
"That's the main road," said George, pointing out through the windshield. "We'll be there in ten minutes... Just as well seeing the sun's starting to rise..." he said as the sky started to become light, a pinkish glow burning along the horizon to the east.
Fred brought the car lower, and Rose saw a dark patchwork of fields and clumps of trees ahead and George told her that they lived a little way outside of the village Ottery St. Catchpole. So lower and lower they went and the end of the radiant red sun was now gleaming through the trees.
"Touchdown!" Fred said as they hit the ground with a slight bump, landing next to a tumbledown garage in a small yard. Sticking her head out the window, Rose got her first sight of the Weasleys' humble abode.
The house looked as if it had once started as a large stone pigpen and extra rooms had been added on until it was several stories high and so crooked it looked ready to fall over. It was possible the reason it was still standing up was because it was being supported by magic. There were at least five chimneys that were perched on the red roof. There was also a lopsided sign in stuck in the earth near the entrance that read, THE BURROW.
Stepping out of the car, Rose jumped when a chicken ran in front of her feet, along with a number of several other fat brown ones running and pecking around the yard. Near the front door lay a jumble of wellington boots, all different sizes.
"It's not much, but it's home," said Ron.
"I think it's absolutely wonderful," Rose told him, smiling as they stood near the car, waiting for Fred and George to get out as well.
"Alright, now we'll go inside and upstairs really quietly," said Fred to them, "and wait for Mum to call us down for breakfast. And then, Ron, you'll come bounding downstairs going 'Mum, look who turned up in the night!' and she'll be so happy to see Ro and no one needs to know we flew the car."
"I don't think that's going to work," Rose said.
"Why not?" Fred and George asked her in unison, and she just pointed behind them towards the house where Mrs. Weasley had just thrown open the door, her eyes landing on her sons and Rose right away.
When the twins turned to see exactly what it was she was pointing at, their faces drained of all color while Ron's turned a sickish green as they watched Mrs. Weasley march across the yard, the chickens scattering in front of her.
Rose was amazed that for such a short, plump and kind-faced woman, it was remarkably terrifying how Mrs. Weasley seemed to turn into a fierce saber-toothed tiger.
"Ah," said Fred.
"Oh, dear," said George.
Mrs. Weasley stopped in front of them, her hands on her hips as she stared at each of her sons who all had guilty expressions on their freckled faces. She was wearing a flowered apron with a wand sticking out of the pocket. And though all of her sons were taller then her, the three boys cowered at the mere presence of their enraged mother.
"Morning, Mum," George said, in what Rose assumed he'd thought to be a jaunty and winning voice.
"Have you any idea how worried I've been?" asked Mrs. Wealey in a deadly quiet voice, like the calm before the storm.
"Sorry, Mum, but we had to get Rose. Those Muggles were-" But Ron couldn't finish as his mother's rage went wild.
"Beds empty! No note! Car gone – you could have crashed – I was out of my mind with worry – do you care? Of course not! – Never, as long as I lived – oh, you just wait until your father gets home, we never had trouble like this from Bill or Charlie or Percy –"
"Perfect Percy," Fred had the bravery to mutter.
"YOU COULD DO WITH TAKING A LEAF OUT OF PERCY'S BOOK!" roared Mrs. Weasley, prodding a finger into Fred's chest. "You could have died, you could have been seen, you could have lost your father his job-"
"Please, Mrs. Weasley, don't be mad at them. They only did it to save me." Rose stepped forward to defend her saviors.
When Mrs. Weasley finally took notice of her, one hand going to her heart the other to her lips as she let out a gasp, taking in the damage to Rose's face. Her cheeks were bruised, a bit swollen under her left eye, and the cut on her bottom lip had reopened. Looking her over completely, Mrs. Weasley saw the dirty bandages around the girl's legs and her eyes welled with tears as she dropped to her knees in front of the child.
"Rose, dear, what happened to you?" she asked, horrified.
"That's what I was trying to tell you, Mum. Those Muggle relatives of hers were hurting her, they'd locked her up in her room and were starving her. There were bars on her window!" Mrs. Weasley nodded to let her sons know she was listening.
"Is this true?" Mrs. Weasley asked Rose, taking her gently by the chin to look in her eyes. Rose nodded. "You poor thing. How could anyone be so cruel to a child?" Standing up, Mrs. Weasley brushed off the skirt of her dress.
"Come on into the house and I'll heal these terrible injuries. Are you hurt anywhere else?" Rose nodded; she had bruises on her torso from where her uncle had kicked her while she was down and many other places on her body. She didn't think she had anything broken though which was probably a miracle after how hard her uncle had hit and kicked her. With a gentle hand on her shoulder, Mrs. Weasley led Rose across the yard and into the house. They entered into a small and cramped kitchen, in which Mrs. Weasley had Rose sit herself down at one of the chairs at the scrubbed table that sat in the middle of the kitchen. As Mrs. Weasley told Ron to get her healing salves, Rose took the time to look around, as she had never been in a Wizarding house before. There was a clock on the wall opposite her, but the strange thing about this clock was that it only had one hand and no numbers. Instead, written around the edge were things like Time to make tea, Time to feed the chickens and You're late. Books were stacked three deep on the mantle piece, books with titles such as Charm Your Own Cheese, Enchantment in Baking, and One Minute Feasts – It's magic!
Finally Ron came back, his arms filled with a multitude of vials that he put on the table beside his mother who was working on unraveling the bandages on Rose's legs. After a wave of Mrs. Weasley's wand, breakfast was cooking itself while she tended to Rose.
"Arthur and I have been worried about you, too. In fact just last night we agreed that if you didn't write back to Ron by Friday we would come and get you ourselves. But this, we could never have imagined they were-" She stopped herself, her eyes watering as she started to peal away the bandages. Rose hissed as she peeled the last bit from her skin. Mrs. Weasley tried to keep her composure as she was faced with the severity of Rose's burns. They were becoming infected and Mrs. Weasley kept herself from cursing the Muggles that had done this to such an innocent child. Rose should have been taken to a hospital right away to treat her burns instead of wrapping them up to fester.
Taking out her wand from the pocket of her apron, she cast a spell to first clean the wounds before grabbing one of the bottles that Ron had brought and started to smear the milky colored substance gently across the burns. For a minute she had to ask the boys to leave the room so that Rose could hike her dress up so Mrs. Weasley could treat the burns that were higher up on her lap and the bruised on her torso. Mrs. Weasley kept her composure when she saw the dark black and blue mark that started from Rose's underarm down to her hip from where she had been kicked in the ribs. She was amazed that none of the girl's ribs appeared to be broken. She summoned a roll of bandages that she directed with her wand to wrap themselves securely around Rose's legs before having her sit down once more so she could heal the lesser of her injuries.
"I'm so sorry that we didn't come for you sooner, we should have realized something was wrong-"
"Please, Mrs. Weasley, this isn't your fault."
Mrs. Weasley sniffled, nodded and wiped her eyes quickly before grabbing another bottle, this one of a green colored salve that she rubbed on the bruises and dabbed on the cut on Rose's lip, watching with satisfaction as the cut closed and the bruises began to fade.
"There you go, pretty as a peach again. And in a few days your burns should be completely healed and your sides may ache a little, but I can brew some herbal tea that will help with the pain." Mrs. Weasley smiled as she recapped one of the vials, calling Ron back in to take them away and put them all back, which he did obediently.
Then Mrs. Weasley left her to attend to the breakfast, taking back over as she threw some sausages into a frying pan. In reality she was trying to distract herself from the new knowledge that Rose's relatives were abusing her. She made sure to cook up a wonderful breakfast, and when she was done she made Rose's plate for her. Piling up sausage, bacon and eggs, giving Rose much more than her own children as she encouraged the girl to eat until she couldn't eat anymore.
Rose tried to eat with as much grace and manner as she could while her stomach grumbled loudly and her mouth watered as she started to eat at a slow pace, savoring each bite like it was the first time she had ever tasted food. Real food. With a soft look and sad smile, Mrs. Weasley watched as Rose tried to control herself from digging into her food like a starved savage, while she started to cut the girl some bread and buttered it for her.
"Here you go, dear." Rose thanked Mrs. Weasley and took the plate of bread. "You're welcome, dear."
As Rose was slicing the white of her eggs, there was a sudden diversion from their meal as a small girl in a long nightdress appeared in the kitchen. Her red hair was a mane of short curls similar to Mrs. Weasley's, the fiery color matching that of Ron's and the twins'. When she spotted Rose she gave a squeal and ran out again leaving Rose blinking owlishly after her, wondering if it was something she had done to make the girl run off.
"Ginny. My sister. She's been talking about you all summer," Ron told her in an undertone.
"Yeah, she'll be wanting your autograph, Ro," Fred told her, chuckling with his twin before catching their mother's eye and ducking their heads without another word until all their plates were clean.
Mrs. Weasley finished tending to Rose, and then promptly ordered the boys out into the yard to 'de-gnome' the garden. As the boys whined in protest and complained about how tired they were, Rose perked up in interest, wondering exactly what this 'de-gnoming' would entail. Despite Mrs. Weasley's insistence that she go straight to bed, Rose joined Ron and the twins outside. She was eager to see what would happen, and what a gnome looked like.
The garden was large, with gnarled trees all around the wall, and there were plenty of weeds and the grass needed a cut. There were some plants Rose recognized and some she didn't pouring from every flowerbed. There was also a big green pond that was sure to be full of frogs. Rose thought it looked exactly like a garden should. The Dursleys would have hated it. Rose wondered briefly what they would think when they woke up to let her out to use the bathroom and she was gone, and the cupboard beneath the stairs empty of her things.
Rose jumped when there was a sudden violent scuffling noise and the peony bush shuddered before Ron straightened. "It's just a gnome," Ron told her grimly, holding a small and leathery creature by its large, knobby head that looked almost exactly like a potato. Rose tilted her head at the strange, and rather ugly and mean looking creature.
"Gerrof me! Gerrof me!" the gnome squealed as Ron held it at arms length as it kicked out at him with its horny feet. Ron then grasped it by the ankles and turned it upside down.
"This is what you have to do," he told her, raising the still squealing gnome up above his head as he started to swing it in great circles like a lasso. When he saw the shocked look on Rose's face, he assured her that it didn't hurt them.
"It's just to make them dizzy enough so that they can't find their way back to the gnomeholes," he told her and let go of the gnome's ankles. Rose watched as it flew twenty feet in the air, landing with a thud in the field over the hedge.
"Pitiful. I bet I can get mine beyond that stump!" said Fred, watching as he threw his own gnome. Rose felt a surge of competitiveness and started a search for her own gnome to throw.
Rose joined in with the de-gnoming with relish, and ended up on Fred's shoulders, squealing happily as they all catapulted gnomes here and there over the garden wall.
"They'll be back," Ron said when the large crowd of gnomes in the field started to stand and walk away in a straggling line, their shoulders hunched, disappearing into the hedge on the other side of the field. "They love it here because Dad's too soft with them; he think they're funny..." And just then the front door slammed.
"Dad's home!" George said, and Rose squealed as Fred hurried after his brother into the house with her still riding on his back. When they entered the house Rose was giggling as Fred set her down on wobbly feet, both the twins kissing her cheeks, and ruffling her hair as they thanked her for the help and told her she'd done a great job getting rid of those gnomes.
At the kitchen table, Mr. Weasley sat slumped in his chair with his glasses off and his eyes closed. He was a thin man, with hair as red as his children's. He was wearing long green robes that were dusty and travel-worn. "What a night," he mumbled as his sons took seats around him, groping for the teapot that was out of his reach.
Standing, Rose moved to the cabinets, searching through them until she found clean teacups. Taking one out along with a saucer to place it on, Rose put the cup in front of Mr. Weasley and began to pour him the warm tea.
'He seems to have had a bad day at work. If they're letting me stay with them, the least I could do is pour the man some tea,' Rose thought as she continued to pour the tea.
"Nine raids. Nine! And old Mundungus Fletcher tried to put a hex on me when my back was turned..." When he continued to grope blindly, Rose put the cup in his hands, smiling when he took it and brought it to his lips, taking a long gulp of his tea and sighing.
"Thank you, Molly, dear." Rose giggled.
"That's not Mum, Dad." Ron and the twins laughed. Mr. Weasley finally opened his eyes to blink at his sons in confusion, and then he looked opposite the boys to Rose who still held the teapot in her hands as she poured herself a cup as well, putting a little sugar and honey in her own.
"Who are you? And what happened to your face?" he asked blankly.
"Rose, sir. Rose Potter. And it's a long story," she introduced herself, sitting down and nursing her tea in her hands, smiling pleasantly at him.
"Good lord, are you really? Well it's a pleasure to meet you, Rose. Ron's told us all about you," he said holding out his hand for her to shake, which she politely did.
"The pleasure's all mine," she told him.
"Well aren't you just a charming young lady? I can't imagine how such a lovely thing like you got mingled with my troublesome boys," Mr. Weasley laughed.
"Troublesome they might be, but I'm never bored when I'm with them," she replied before taking a sip of her tea.
Mr. Weasley only nodded. "Yes, it's never a dull day in The Burrow," he agreed with her.
"So, did you find anything, Dad?" Fred asked eagerly.
"All I got were a few shrinking door keys and a biting kettle," Mr. Weasley said to his son, followed by a loud yawn. "There was some pretty nasty stuff that wasn't in my department, though. Mortlake was taken away for questioning about some extremely odd ferrets, but that's the Committee on Experimental Charms, thank goodness." He took another gulp of his tea, nearly emptying the cup, and instinctively Rose refilled it, sensing that the man needed it. He thanked her.
"Why would anyone bother making door keys shrink?" Rose asked him, finding herself falling as easily into conversation with the father as she did with his sons.
"Just Muggle-baiting, really," sighed Mr. Weasley. "Sells them a key that just keeps shrinking to nothing so they can never find it when they need it... Of course, it's very hard to convict anyone because no Muggle would admit that their key keeps shrinking – they'll insist they just keep losing it. Bless them, they'll go to ignore magic, even if it's staring them in the face..."
'Bless them?' Rose thought with malice and disdain, clutching tightly to her teacup as she sipped her drink. 'I'd rather curse them.'
"...But the things our lot have taken to enchanting, you wouldn't believe – "
"LIKE CARS, FOR INSTANCE?"
Rose looked up from her tea to see Mrs. Weasley holding a long poker like a sword, pointing it at her husband who stared guilty at his wife.
"C-cars, Molly, dear?" he asked her nervously.
"Yes, Arthur, cars," said Mrs. Weasley, her eyes flashing dangerously. "Imagine a wizard buying a rusty old car and telling his wife all he wanted to do with it was take it apart to see how it worked, while really he was enchanting it to make it fly."
Mr. Weasley gulped, blinking at his wife before finding his voice again. "Well, dear, I think you'll find that he would be quite within the law to do that, even if – er – he maybe would have done better to, um, tell his wife the truth... There's a loophole in the law, you'll find... As long as he wasn't intending to fly the car, that the car could fly wouldn't –"
"Arthur Weasley, you made sure there was a loophole when you wrote that law!" shouted Mrs. Weasley, making her husband and the children in the room cringe. "Just so you could carry on tinkering with all that Muggle rubbish in your shed! And for your information Rose arrived this morning in the car you weren't intending to fly! And that being said, we need to talk." Mrs. Weasely suddenly became much more calmer but no less serious as she glanced at Rose and then back to her husband. "Boys, why don't you go and get Rose's things from the car and bring them up to Ginny's room, she'll be staying with your sister while she's with us." Taking the hint and reading the atmosphere, the twins, Ron and Rose left the house to leave Mr. and Mrs. Weasley too it.
Rose helped retrieve her things from the car, and upon returning to the house they only had to go up to the first landing of the house to get to Ginny's room, which was labeled by a small plaque on the door that said 'GINEVERA'S ROOM'.
Ron knocked on the door, "Ginny, open up, Rose is going to be staying in your room and Mum told us to put her stuff away." The door opened with a creak and Ginny poked her head out shyly, not meeting Rose's eyes as she looked at her brothers, who stared at her with annoyance and impatience until she finally opened the door all the way for them.
Ginny's room was small, smaller than the room Rose had had at the Dursleys'. There was a large bay window on the other side of the room from the door, and the walls were painted pink and decorated by drawings that Ginny had done of her family, and Rose blushed when she saw one drawing of what appeared to be her and Ginny holding hands with the words 'Best Friends' above them.
Walking over to the window, Rose saw that Ginny had a perfect view of the orchid outside. She smiled wide when she saw the familiar spot of white as Hedwig slept in a tree outside.
"Thanks for letting me stay with you in your room," said Rose, feeling like bit of a nuisance for the younger girl.
"I-it's fine. It'll be fun, it's not a bother to me at all." Rose grinned when Ginny's shyness with her started to fade away and the younger girl began to ramble on, pointing out to Rose the things in her room before pushing her brothers out. "Go away, you got to spend time with her all night and this morning! It's my turn now with her." Rose giggled as she watched the boys bend back on Ginny, letting their weight fall on her until they were in one big dog pile on top of her. And though Ginny was complaining and yelling at them, Rose saw the hint of a smile on her face.
This was one of my favorite chapter to write. It shows a darkness in Rose, and why it's there. You'll eventaully come to find, that the Weasley's are what balance Rose's darkness. They fight off her anger, and her hatred, they quickly find themselves in her heart and gaurd it from her dark feelings. They are her sactuary, her normalcy and her comfort. Remeber this, because it's an explanation that will help you understand the choice I make concerning Rose's future and the difference from the oringinal and my fic.
Thank you for reading, and I welcome helpful, mature criticism and reviews. I look forward to reading what you have to say.
Next chapter will be up shortly and will be in thanks to my new beta, who without I might not have decided to continue.