A/N: This story, or rather, this whole fandom has been bugging me to write it for a while now so I decided to give it a shot. My other stories are still being worked on, I haven't stopped with them, I always finish what I start. This however offers a nice outlet for the accursed writer's block that seems to have me trapped on certain parts of my other stories where I'm not quite sure how to move on.
Anyway, enjoy! (I know I did while writing it! ;) )
Pictures on a Wall
Chapter 1 - Pictures on a Wall
While waiting for Angelina to come down with Freddie and Roxanne from upstairs, George Weasley decided to leave the desirable job of clothing his infant children to his wife while he waited patiently downstairs while looking at the many pictures of his friends and family on the wall. Now, patiently wasn't normally a word that was associated with both him and his twin brother Fred, but when one had two infant children of the ages three and one respectively, one tended to develop some sort of patience, if only for the sake of your own peace of mind.
And anyway, he had waited ten years for this moment to arrive, it wasn't as if another half an hour waiting was going to make much of a difference. At least, not on the larger scale of things anyway.
After that preservation spell had been placed on Hogwarts by god knows who after the war, half of his family, as well as practically all of the student population of the time had been caught in it. The spell had finally been broken a couple of weeks ago, only for the outside world to realise with astonishment that barely ten weeks had passed by in the old castle and its grounds (which included the surrounding villages and Hogsmeade) while ten years had passed by for the rest of the world.
It was going to be frightening for all of the ones coming home from the castle for their Christmas holidays, although Kingsley, now the Minister of Magic, had proclaimed that people had been in to explain the situation at hand for them. Apparently he had even been in himself to tell them all about it. As expected, the reactions had been ones of shock and in some cases even horror, since the people there had effectively lost ten years of their life.
Life had gone on without them, and when he looked back now, he realised that a lot had happened in the last ten years, more than he would have thought possible.
Apart from Charlie, Bill and Fleur and he himself, everyone else in his family had been stuck in Hogwarts. His mother and father had gone over to help rebuild the castles as members of the Order, as well as be there for Fred while he recuperated from his near death experience. Many of the injured had remained at Hogwarts due to their injuries and St. Mungo's literally overflowing with the ones wounded in the war.
The only reason he himself hadn't been at the castle was because he had briefly gone away to take care of the shop and because Percy had promised that he would sit by his twin's bedside until he returned. So Percy had ended up being stuck there as well. Charlie had gone back to Romania to take care of the dragons that the death eaters had apparently kidnapped to use in the war and Bill and Fleur had been on their way to Hogwarts when it had happened but not actually within the borders so they had been 'shut out' of the preservation spell as well.
Ron and Ginny had both refused to leave Harry's side and since Harry had been helping to rebuild the castle as well, they had been there too. And they would have stayed anyway since they had been practically ordered by the Ministry to redo their lost year of schooling. Which was quite logical at the time since it not only offered a sense of normalcy and showed that the war was over, but because it also gave them something to do while they tried to figure out what to do now that everything was over.
And because of this 'order' by the Ministry, nearly all of the student population had been there as well, with only a few people not there because they were either still on their way there or had still been on a much needed vacation from everything.
George's eyes travelled onto an old picture of his family taken during the summer where they had gone to Egypt. It seemed so far back now, especially with all that had happened since. His eyes travelled to another picture taken the summer before the final year of the war. They all looked haggard and tired, but since they were together on that picture taken in Number 12 Grimmauld Place, their eyes had been happy.
Only he, Bill and Charlie now looked older than they had been on that picture, the others allegedly all looked exactly the same. Which he guessed was the truth since it had only been four months for them since the war had ended and only one month since the preservation spell had been lifted. The only reason that they hadn't been allowed to rush over and see their lost family members was because Kingsley had said that they needed time not only to adjust to what in their minds was the end to a very recent war, but now also the fact that ten years had actually passed by without their knowledge.
So that was where he was headed with Angelina, Freddie and Roxanne, to the Burrow where the others, along with Harry and apparently also Lavender Brown (who he was guessing was Ron's current girlfriend, Lavender that was, not Harry), had arrived a couple of days ago.
The whole thing with putting pictures on the wall was something that Angelina had started. She had said that it was something that her family used to do all the time and he had liked the idea, so therefore they had started doing that as well in their cottage in a small countryside village near the outskirts of London.
The wall told the story of their lives since the war had finished as well as remembering happy times from before it. There was a picture of Angelina and her family when she had been small, a picture of him and Fred as beaters in their third year, the grand opening of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, the re-opening of the same store after the war. Happy memories took precedence here, the wall often served as a way to remind him that things always turned out alright in the end.
He continued gazing at the wall and then chuckled softly when his eyes reached a picture he would have bet a million galleons on never ever happening. It was a picture of the wedding day of Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy. When she had told them that she was in a relationship with the ferret he had thought that she was telling them a joke, and a very bad one at that. But after a couple of seconds of absolute silence and the complete seriousness in her eyes, they had realised that she was not, in fact, joking, but telling the truth.
Hermione had gone off to Australia on her own in that summer after the war to retrieve her parents and hadn't come back to England yet by the time Hogwarts had been put under the spell. Harry and Ron had wanted to accompany her but she had remained quite firm that this was something she wanted to do on her own.
After returning to England and finding Hogwarts closed off, she had moved to France to complete her final year of schooling and had then gone on to live in muggle Paris while working here or there in the muggle world, having decided to take it nice and slow for once and just enjoy life. Draco Malfoy had been in France while waiting for his trial, after which he had also gone to Beauxbatons to take his NEWTs and had then also lived in muggle Paris as part of his parole.
They had met there and had reconciled their differences, going on to found Stellar Potions, a by now world-reknown potions company, having become one of the most popular and also quality-wise one of the best potions companies out there. After nearly two years of a relationship, the two had become engaged and by now, they had been happily married for seven years.
He looked at the picture on the wall and smiled. Hermione looked absolutely stunning in her wedding dress and Draco looked like the happiest man alive. Charlie had been the one to give her away as her parents and she were estranged due to the whole 'memory-swipe' thing she had done with them but he was pretty sure that she had mentioned that they were beginning to talk again, if only in clipped sentences.
It had been a small wedding in the French countryside, somehow both Draco and Hermione had fallen in love with the whole country, and had only moved back to England two years ago. The weather had been gorgeous, it had been a bright and sunny day in the middle of May and he had to admit that it was one of the best weddings he had ever been to.
Seamus Finnigan, who had been in Ireland at the time of the spell-casting, and Gregory Goyle, who had been in exile from England as a part of his trial at the time of the spell, had been the best men to everyone's surprise, especially the choice of Seamus. Somehow he and Draco had become friends over the years, his brash personality somehow working seamlessly with Draco's calmer and more detached one, now being his second-in-command in the company.
Goyle had turned out to be not as stupid as he had always thought him to be. After his exile of three years, he had returned to England and had become an auror in the Ministry, helping immensly with the capture of ex-death eaters and the like since he had known many of them personally.
Seamus and Goyle had found some sort of common ground, not only in their choice of friends, but also in their choice of Quidditch teams. Both supported Puddlemere United with an unwavering passion and it was often a topic of heated discussions between them and Draco, who was a fervent supporter of the Holyhead Harpies since childhood.
The wedding picture also held Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, who had surprisingly turned out to be not so awful after all. Narcissa had fallen in love with Hermione after meeting her and from what he knew, the two of them were quite close. It had taken several years longer for Lucius to come around but with the constant prodding from his astonishingly willful wife, he and Hermione also now got along pretty well, and he and his son had patched up their past problems and issues.
Draco Malfoy wasn't as bad as he had originally thought. It had taken him and his two brothers some time to grow accustomed to the fact that Hermione, who was like a sister to them, had fallen in love with a Malfoy of all people, but they had decided to give him a chance since he and his family had done nothing but try to atone for what they had done during the war after it was over and they had found, to their surprise, that they got along pretty well. Bill and he shared the same biting sense of humour, he had a fascination with dragons, but not necessarily other creatures, and that made for a common topic of discussion between him and Charlie, and he was ingenious with spells, which meant that he took quite a lot of interest in how George made his joke products work, sometimes even volunteering to help test things.
And then there was the small fact that he could speak fluent French and could cook (surprisingly! He would never have guessed a Malfoy would cook but apparently those years in Muggle Paris changed his outlook on several things in life) which put him in Fleur's good books. Although the two had gotten on fairly well even before that so there was never really an issue there.
The guy had honestly tried his best to change and none of them could begrudge him for it. They actually came to see that his life hadn't always been as rosy as they would have liked to believe, in fact, sometimes it had been downright awful, especially in the later years of the war.
The next picture was one of Hermione and Draco with their children, the most recent one. Scorpius Hyperion was the oldest at five years of age, with Cassiopeia Narcissa following him closely at four. Jasper Abraxas was already a genius at two, he had obviously inherited both sets of his parents' brains and Elizabeth 'Ella' Carina was merely two months old. Hermione loved the age old tradition of the Malfoys of giving their children exotic names that involved constellations, much to Draco's everlasting dismay, and thus all of their children so far had gotten some quite unconventional names. Although he guessed that with names such as Hermione Jean and Draco Abraxas for parents, the children shouldn't wonder about their parents' choice in names.
The family picture glowed with happiness and contentment and George knew that no matter what anyone said about the unlikelihood of their match or the possibility of it falling apart, it wouldn't happen. He had rarely ever seen two people so happy with one another, so suited in so many he ways, that he could say with certainty that they were soul mates, although it had taken him a fair amount of time to reach that conclusion.
He now knew that Hermione and Ron wouldn't have worked out. Ron was too brash at times and fired up too quickly, Hermione needed someone to stay calm even when she couldn't and be a voice of reason when she got too fired up about something. Gryffindors and Slytherins complimented each other in a surprising amount. The often overcourageous and self-sacrificing nature of Gryffindors was balanced by the cautious and self-preserving features of a Slytherin. On top of that Draco was incredibly smart so therefore he was able to keep up with Hermione and her logic, sometimes even outwitting her in an argument. It was quite hilarious to watch sometimes.
He understood why Hermione would be cautious with bringing Harry and Ron the news of her husband though. For her it had been ten years since the war, seven of which she had been married to the former Slytherin. For them however, it had been only half a year since the war, they hadn't really had the time that everyone outside had had yet to learn to forgive the other side of the war. He knew that Hermione was fretting about it, Draco had told him that a week ago when they had met for the fortnightly dinner between their friends.
It was going to be hard for the ones who had been trapped in time, more so than the ones that had lived on, he thought. Their ideals would have to change more quickly than the ones not being stuck had had.
He sighed and shook his head. He would think about that issue in fifteen minutes when they flooed over to the Burrow for the Boxing Day banquet his mother had made. After not having eaten her food for a good ten years, he was looking forward to it immensly.
The next picture he saw was one of Bill, Fleur and their family. It was taken just as the the sun was setting behind Shell Cottage, creating a beautiful backdrop against the cottage and behind it, the sea. With them were their three children, grinning at the camera while Fleur and Bill smiled peacefully. Victoire had been born a year after the war and had just turned nine. She had her mother's straight hair, and had managed to avoid the Weasley genes of bright red hair, her own being a beautiful strawberry blonde. Dominique was seven and her hair was the same as her sister's, just a touch darker. She was a lot more like her father though, often going exploring without telling anyone and sending them all into a panic as they searched for her. Louis, the youngest of the bunch and also the only boy, was five and he had managed to finally inherit his father's bright hair, the eyes were most definitely his mother's though.
Today would be the first time that their mother would be meeting her grandchildren. He and Bill were both quite scared of her possible reactions. On one hand she might be so overwhelmed that she would break down in a flood of tears or she could get really mad that they hadn't visited her and their father in the last couple of days since they returned from Hogwarts. Although the first one sounded more frightening than the second option since women and tears together were never a good combination, it was still preferable to being subjected to their mother's famous Weasley temper.
And Bill would probably not be the only one who got into trouble. He had children himself and he was married. Married. He, George Weasley, the man who had said that he would wait at least until he was thirty before even thinking about marriage was married with two kids at the age of thirty. Yeah, his mother was probably going to gut him for doing this to her. As in, getting married without her being present and then having grandkids without her knowing.
Fred was going to have a field day with this one.
At least Charlie was being spared from that whole ordeal since he was still unmarried and childless. Although he had mentioned that he had started dating one of his fellow co-workers who was into dragons and her job as much as he was so their mother might even get him to invite her over for a Saturday dinner one week and subject her to their whole family.
Now while he absolutely adored his family, George also knew that his family had the tendancy to overwhelm most people when they met them the first time all together. It was probably the combination of chaos that came with him and Fred, the opposing no-nonsense air of Percy, the eccentricities of their father, the loving air of their mother, the laid-back attitude from Bill, Charlie's happy-go-lucky way of life, Ron's temper and Ginny's sarcasm and blunt comments. They made quite a troop actually. Add in their extended family, aka Fleur and her Frenchness, the whole aura from Harry (the-boy-who-lived, thereby practically a celebrity), Hermione's logic and rationality and then Draco's normally quite cool demeanour as well as all of their children and anyone in their right mind would go nuts. It really was no wonder that nobody introduced a boyfriend or girlfriend to the family unless they were certain that the relationship was going to work.
He smiled as he gazed at his and Angelina's wedding picture. It had been four years ago that they had finally gotten married after a four year relationship. It had been slightly weird at the beginning, seeing as she had been with Fred at some point in the past but somehow they had managed to make it work and he knew that he wasn't just a replacement for his brother. Replacements for someone weren't what made a relationship work in the long run after all.
They had wanted to wait until his family was out of wherever they were, since they hadn't been sure that they were still in Hogwarts at the time, but then they had decided to get married nonetheless. It was as Hermione had said when they had asked her why she wouldn't wait until Harry and Ron and the rest of the Weasleys were back again; "We don't know when they're going to be back," she'd said, "and I can't go around waiting forever for them to turn up again. I miss them as much as you do, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't hope for them to come back but then again I can't wait forever. They might be back today, they might be back tomorrow or next week. But they might also not come back until next year or in a decade or fifty years or long after we're gone. I can't spend my life waiting for them when I don't know when they will be back."
George knew that Draco would also have loved to wait for his best friends from school, Pansy Parkinson and Blaise Zabini to be at their wedding but it simply hadn't been possible. So they had all moved on in a sense, not giving up on their vanished friends but also not getting stuck and avoiding living their life as it came.
He was just happy that they had taken a lot of pictures. Their mother would be able to look at all of the pictures and see exactly what it was like. The pictures may not capture each and every moment in time, but they captured a lot of the best ones and he was pretty happy with the ones that he had.
His wedding had taken place at the end of August, a late summer wedding. It had taken place near Shell Cottage, courtesy of Fleur and Bill. Again the wedding had been rather small, as it had also been with Draco and Hermione, and they had managed to avoid any press coverage. News of Draco's and Hermione's wedding had buzzed around the papers for weeks, but without any real pictures and only speculations, the stories and rumours had quickly died down.
Angelina had been in her mother's wedding dress, a simple white dress that mirrored the fashion of the 1930's. It had been her grandmother's dress before that. He had proposed to her with a ring from his mother's side of the family, but not from Aunt Muriel. The woman hated him, especially after the whole dungbomb incident from many Christmas' ago, so there was no way that she would have helped him find a wedding ring. The ring that he had eventually found had once been a part of the Black family collection a long time ago and it was one of the more simpler ones and even despite that, absolutely priceless.
Angelina had fallen in love with it almost instantly.
On the picture he stood tall with one of his arms wrapped around Angelina's waist as she returned the action. To his left were Charlie, Bill and Fleur, as well as a five year old Victoire and a three year old Dominique in their flower-girl attire and new-born baby Louis sitting happily in his mother's arms. Next to them were Lee Jordan, who had been his best man, and his date, some woman that he couldn't even remember the name of now. The relationship hadn't really lasted long anyway. Next to them were Draco and Hermione with a three month old Scorpius blinking at the camera in a way that mirrored that of his father. The eldest Malfoy son was a complete carbon copy of his father, there were no two ways about it.
Then to Angelina's right were her mother and father who had come back to England for the wedding, they had moved away during the war and hadn't come back yet. In front of them stood Angelina's younger sister, who was ten years her junior. Next to them stood Angelina's three bridesmaids, one of whom had been her other younger sister, this time only four years younger than her, as well as two friends from their time in school. Behind them were all the other relations, cousins, second cousins once removed, grandparents, aunts, uncles and a variety of other friends. It had been a wonderful wedding and George had loved it, the only thing missing being his family.
Next to that picture were pictures of Freddie Jr., whose full name was Frederick (much to his own dismay but Angelina had not budged - "I will not give my child exactly the same name as your brother, it's like tempting fate to make him into a trouble maker before he's even born!") and Roxanne, who had been born a year ago, two years after her brother. Out of the two of them, she was definitely more the trouble maker than he was though, with her one year she had already managed to make the stew pot blow up when she didn't want to eat what Angelina had been making and after taking away one of her toys, Freddie found himself waking up the next day to a face that had been painted on with crayons.
While he laughed at his daughters antics, Angelina despaired. She kept muttering about having more than enough prankers and trouble makers in the family already, she didn't need her only daughter being one as well.
"Sweetheart, we're ready to go." George looked up from his picture gazing to look at his wife as she stood in the threshold of the door to the living room, her jacket already on as she looked at him with a smile on her face. She often came here as well to look at the pictures when she was uncertain or wanted time to think about something, the pictures helped them concentrate, centre themselves and remind themselves of what was really important in life.
"Let's go then!" He grinned and picked up his son as he ran at him as fast as his tiny legs could carry him. "Off to my mother and her absolutely lovely Boxing Day dinner!" He grinned once more as Angelina sent him a mock scowl.
"Are you implying that I cannot cook?" She asked with a raised eyebrow and he laughed. Roxanne laughed happily in her mother's arms, not really understanding what was going on but smiling nonetheless because of her parents' good mood.
"No, I would never imply that. Why would you think that?" He asked, feigning hurt as he put a hand over his heart, pretending to be wounded. Freddie giggled as he watched his father's antics.
"With you, anything is possible." She replied with a snort and he smiled in reply, his eyes twinkling.
"Well then, let's go meet the rest of your family and break the news." She said as he picked up Freddie to get ready to floo over with him in his arms.
"Prepare for the worst." He muttered darkly to himself and Angelina just shook her head in exasperation before taking the green powder into her free hand, the other holding onto a bouncy Roxanne tightly. She threw the powder into the fireplace and a loud shout of 'the Burrow!' echoed around the living room and she was gone.
"Well, let's go then Freddie." He said with a smile and his son nodded happily. He took the powder from the flower pot and the two of them stepped forward.
He threw one last look at the pictures on the wall to calm himself, the excitement of seeing his family taking over as he thought of what was waiting for him on the other side. As he threw the powder into the fireplace and he stepped forward into it with Freddie in his arms, he shouted loudly 'the Burrow!', a name he had not said in way too long a time.
As the emerald flames engulfed them, he remembered what Hermione had asked him to do a couple of days ago. 'Aw crap...' ran through his head as he thought of it, the others weren't going to like this turn of events.
His surroundings began to take shape again as familiar forms of the Burrow's living room made themselves clear and he knew that he'd think about that problem later. For now he would forget the pictures on that wall of his back home and concentrate on the people and happenings that were in front of him right now.