The Garden Gnome

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Porridge had been a member of the family for a long time. Too long to remember, in fact, how much time had passed.

He remembered when he first met Dad, of course. He'd been sitting on the edge of his old home when the red haired man had walked up to the front door just a few feet from him and went inside. There was a bit of a tussle, and Dad had unceremoniously landed on top of poor Porridge!

Of course, Dad had also broken a few fingers and his old family gave Porridge away to him as an apology.

Porridge hadn't liked his old family anyway. They smelled like old cheese.

Porridge met Mum that very same day, though she wasn't very happy with Dad when he came home. And then he met Charlie and Bill. They were his big brothers and they were lots of fun to watch. Charlie was still in nappies, and Bill wasn't much bigger but they loved walking around with Porridge whenever Dad let them.

His right foot had crumbled after Charlie had dropped him down the stairs one Halloween, and his little blue hat had cracked when Bill had swung the door open too hard. When Percy came home for the first time, Porridge had long since been left by himself on the porch. But he was okay with that. He liked watching his Mum and Dad, and his brothers as they came and went.

Fred and George were his favorite brothers. They liked to prank their brothers with all sorts of things, and Porridge especially liked when Fred and George would decorate his hat to match the pranks.

When Ronniekins first came home, Porridge didn't see much of Mum. She was busy with the little squirmy baby and with Fred and George because they were still little too. Once he started to see Mum a lot again, he knew he would be expecting another little brother. Her stomach was swollen again like a watermelon.

Porridge loved seeing his brothers come home for the first time. And he loved his little family.

He didn't know that Ginny was a little sister at first. All of his brothers looked the same shape as the little baby when they had come home. But he thought he might like Ginny best.

His little sister was the one who put him on top the little red pot so he could stand up higher. She was the one who put a little baby shoe in the spot his foot used to be. And she was the one who would bring him out to the garden and tell him stories.

Like her brothers before her, Ginny eventually left for school. But since she was the baby, there were no more brothers to keep him company! He got lonely a lot, and the other garden gnomes made fun of him because he couldn't talk and he looked too different and he wore a hat.

Sometimes a bird would land on him and chirp about. He couldn't understand them like he could his family, but he liked when they talked to him.

He liked it best when his sister came home. Even though she was bigger, she still sometimes took him to the garden and told him stories. Sometimes she talked about boys and Harry (who wasn't his brother), but sometimes she told him about spells and magic. He loved those stories the best.

Ginny sat him up in a corner by himself in the tent when Bill and Fleur got married; he didn't know her very well, she didn't like to talk to him at all.

It was scary when the bad men attacked. Porridge nearly lost his hat completely! But Ginny saved him.

He didn't get to see anyone but Mum and sometimes Dad after that. He wasn't sure how long it had been, but one day his brothers and his sisters were all back home with him.

Except for Fred. He never came back.

Ronniekins and Ginny were the only ones who stayed for a while, but then one day Ronniekins moved out and so did Ginny. Ginny came to visit a lot though, and she always made sure to say hi to Porridge even if she didn't have time to bring him into the garden.

A few years later, Ginny came home with a boy. She waved at Porridge that day, but she didn't talk to him. Porridge got to hear her and the boy tell Mum and Dad they were getting married.

He didn't know the boy at all! How could Ginny get married without telling Porridge about this boy? She told him about all the other boys!

Porridge didn't get to see the wedding. Ginny didn't tell him about it either. And it made Porridge sad. Ginny used to tell him everything!

A few days after the wedding, Ginny and her husband came for a visit. He didn't know why they were there, Mum and Dad weren't home! But then Ginny picked him up and carried him into the garden!

"This is silly, Ginny," her husband said, his arms crossed.

"Humor me, will you?" Ginny asked him. He sighed, and sat down next to Ginny on the little bench Mum had put there years before.

"For a long time, Porridge was my best friend. That's... probably very weird. But I used to sit here in the garden with him and tell him all sorts of stories. I even told him about what happened the day your father slipped me the diary."

Porridge was very surprised at this. Ginny's husband was Draco Malfoy? The boy she hated? What had happened to make them fall in love?

Porridge wanted to know very badly.

"I'd like to bring him to our home. So I wanted you to meet him first."

"You're a strange little witch sometimes, Ginny," Draco had replied to her.

But Porridge got to go home with them, so he didn't care.

Ginny never told Porridge how they fell in love. Sometimes, he would make up stories in his head about it. And sometimes, Draco would come out and whisper his own stories to him about all the ways they could have met and didn't. Ginny never knew that Draco talked to Porridge, and Draco always pretended he hated him. But Porridge knew the truth.

Porridge couldn't decide which story had the best fluff, or his favorite kiss, or the best banter. Sometimes, he tried to pick favorites and pretend he got to be there to see it happen.

But Porridge was a poor little Muggle garden gnome and he didn't have a voice.

xXx

Author's Note: Porridge the garden gnome may not have a voice, but YOU do. The DG Forum Fic Exchange - Summer 2013 is drawing to a close. All of this year's stories are now posted in their entirety, and the time draws near to choose the best of the best. Polls will open on September 6, 2013. Stay tuned for updates!

Thank you for participating! If you've enjoyed any of our stories, please review! Writers love those. :)