As it turned out, Ron had rather taken to Muggle life. Hermione had been working at the Office of Muggle Affairs in the Ministry of Magic. She had financed the buying of a house in the Muggle town of Warwick. Hermione commuted everyday by floo powder, while Ron stayed at home reading books on Muggle life, watching television and learning to cope in a Muggle house. Ron’s latest achievement was passing the Muggle driving test, and he took great pleasure in driving his friends and family everywhere.
This was why, on a warm July Sunday afternoon, a Ford Focus carrying Harry, Ron and Ginny pulled into the long driveway at Ottery St. Catchpole that lead up to the Burrow.
“Nice to be home,” said Ginny from the front passenger seat, looking at the house coming closer.
“Mum’s cooking us a nice meal,” said Ron, carefully avoiding the chickens and bringing the car to a perfect stop just outside the front door.
“Well, here you are,” said Harry, escaping from the back of the car and stretching his legs, taking the opportunity to hug Ginny again.
“Ok, break it up, guys,” said Ron, taking Ginny’s trunk out of the back of the car, and proudly locking the car.
“Well driven, Ron. Didn’t know you would turn out to be like Dad,” said Ginny. Ron went red around the ears, and led the way into the house.
“Ron! Ginny! Harry! Lovely to see you all again,” said Molly Weasley, coming into the hallway from the kitchen. “Your father should be home soon. He’s gone fishing with Hermione’s father.”
“He’s still doing that?” asked Ginny sceptically “Is he any good?”
“He caught five last weekend. He’s getting better. Anyway, you go and get yourself sorted. Nice to have you back, Ginny. Boys, you’re helping with dinner,” said Molly, kissing her daughter’s cheek, and beckoning the boys to follow her into the kitchen.
“Thanks, Mum!” said Ginny, taking her trunk upstairs to her room.
“Right. Ron, you can do the potato salad. When you’ve done that, count out the right amount of cutlery. Harry, chop those tomatoes, slice this cucumber and grate that cheese there. I’ll be picking fruit in the orchard should you need me,” said Molly, pointing to where everything was, then gathering a basket and a sun hat, and exiting the house into the garden
Harry and Ron went to work at their tasks, chatting occasionally about Harry’s job as Sport Correspondent at the Daily Prophet. After a while Ginny came down and began helping Harry with his chopping and cutting.
“Wonder when the others will....” Ginny was cut off by the sudden arrival of Hermione, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Fred and George, all Apparating into the kitchen
“Woah!” exclaimed Ron, checking his precious potato salad, making sure there was no damage done.
“Hi all, just thought we would drop in,” said Fred
“Drop in is the word all right,” said Ginny
“Yay, ickle Ginny’s back” said George, running over to hug her.
“Careful, George. We don’t want Harry getting all jealous,” said Charlie.
“Good to see you again, Charlie,” said Harry, ignoring the comment “Ready for another bit of Quidditch this time?”
“It’s a deal, Potter,” said Charlie, winking.
“Oh, hello, boys. Right. Fred and George, take the tables out side. Bill, set the table with the right amount of spaces. Charlie, put the plates out, and Arthur, go and sort out some drinks.”
“But Mum,” said all the boys in chorus.
“We’ve only just got here!” said Fred
“Well do you want dinner or not?” said Mrs Weasley, going back to her kitchen.
After the war, Bill and Charlie had gone back to their original jobs in Egypt and Romania. They had decided, at their mother’s insistence, that they come home more often to see the family in England. Arthur had taken a new post at the Ministry as Chief Minister of Muggle Affairs. This meant that he occasionally had to have meetings with the Muggle Government, so had called on the Grangers to help him get together with some Muggle etiquette.
Harry was the Sports Correspondent for the Daily Prophet. This was a post which he was passionately devoted to, and had gained a reputation as a notable Quidditch journalist. He had considered playing Quidditch professionally, but had decided to just keep flying and Quidditch to his spare time. He lived in a flat in the Muggle city of Birmingham. This put him close, but not too close, to Ron and Hermione. He Apparated everyday to the offices of the Daily Prophet in Diagon Alley.
After they had left Hogwarts, the three friends had lived in a small flat in London together. Hermione was taking exams to enter the Ministry of Magic, Harry was pondering whether to play or write about Quidditch, and Ron was just being Ron. Soon after, Ron and Hermione married, and moved away from London. Hermione had got the job she wanted in the Office of Muggle Affairs, and Ron was being trained in the way of all things Muggle. Harry was left alone, waiting for Ginny to come back from Hogwarts. He applied for the job of a sports columnist in the Daily Prophet, and after a particularly good article, was promoted to Correspondent of Sport at the Daily Prophet only after three months on the job.
After that, Harry had decided to move to Birmingham. He wanted to get away from London, and he also wanted to be near, but not too near, his two best friends. Ron was always glad to help Harry with his Quidditch writings, and he came to most of the matches that Harry was writing up. Ron was also assisting Harry with a new section of the Sports pages devoted to Tactics.
Ginny had finally completed her last year at Hogwarts, despite the events of the war that ended only a year ago. She and Harry had been together since her sixth year and his seventh. They had been through the war together, which made them closer than ever. Harry had been searching for an engagement ring during the year, and planned to make use of it fairly soon.
Harry and Ron were playing a heated game of chess. Hermione and Ginny were sitting opposite each other next to the chess board. Harry had improved a lot at chess over the last year, since he had been called on to write up the Wizarding Chess Tournament. He had been playing a lot of chess, and Ron was only too willing to help him learn.
“Harry, you’re too good, mate,” said Ron, wiping his brow.
“Not yet, I can see something you can do to finish me off there,” Harry replied, looking at the board.
“What?” asked Ron, concentrating on the board.
“Not going to tell you, am I?” said Harry. “Come on! Make your move, we haven’t got all night you know,” said Harry
“I know, I know,” said Ron, making his move. “Check.”
“Bugger…”said Harry, looking at the board. “You didn’t do what I thought you would, but what you did worked anyway.”
“Well come on then, Harry. I can see two ways to get you out of it, and three ways of getting you to check mate,” said Ron
“You know, Harry, you might want to look there,” said Ginny, pointing at two of Ron’s pieces.
“Thanks, Gin,” said Harry, making his move.
“Check Mate. Another reason why you should never listen to your girlfriend,” said Ron, laughing, and shaking Harry’s hand.
“Well, I did that because I can smell food. Dinner must be almost ready,” said Ginny, getting up, and putting a hand out to pull Harry up.
“Ah well. Never could beat the reigning champion, could I?” said Harry, letting Ginny pull him up.
“Dinner!” said Mrs Weasley, appearing in the doorway to the living room.
“Right Mum,” said Ron, getting up and putting his chess pieces away.
All of the Weasleys appeared from the different parts of the house, and made their way outside to the table that Bill and Charlie had set earlier. Mrs Weasley had once again outdone herself with the amount of food she had cooked. Ron’s potato salad took pride of place somewhere near the top end of the table, where Mr Weasley had just sat himself.
“Thank you all for coming. And congratulations to Ginny, who passed all of her NEWTs. And to Bill who has settled down with Fleur, much to her mother's delight in the end. And the Twins. What would we do without them? And of course to Harry and Hermione who are distinguished guests of honour here tonight,” said Arthur, standing to make his announcement.
“Cheers to all, and many happy years to come” said Fred
With a clink of glasses and a chorus of cheers, all the Weasley’s plus Harry and Hermione settled down to their meal.
Several hours later, when everyone had finished eating, Mr and Mrs Weasley got up to go and do the washing up, while the rest talked and played a large game of Poker. This was Ron’s idea, since he had been taught how to play poker by his elderly next door neighbour in Warwick. He had explained the rules to them all, and all were thoroughly confused, although Harry and Hermione were quickly picking it up. After another hour or so, they had finished the game. It had not taken Ron long to finish the game. Mr and Mrs Weasley had appeared to check how things were going, and had ended up watching their youngest son thrash the rest of his siblings, wife and friends.
After a while, Bill and Charlie got up to leave. They were going to stay in London then take an early journey back to Egypt and Romania respectively. Fred and George apparated back to Hogsmeade, where they were sharing a flat together above their shop. Ron and Hermione were heading off home to Warwick. That left the Weasley parents, Ginny and Harry sitting around in the living room in the Burrow.
“Its good to have you back, Ginny,” said Mr Weasley after a while “What are you going to do?”
“I was thinking of entering the Ministry. But I’m not sure really,” she said, smiling happily, and snuggling into Harry’s arms
“Have you considered Quidditch?” asked Harry
“I’ve thought about it. Not sure,” she replied sleepily
“Well you have to decide sometime soon, don’t you?” said Mrs Weasley, getting up from her seat, and yawning “Come on, Arthur. Lets head to bed. Are you staying here tonight Ginny, or going back to Harry’s?”
“If Harry doesn’t mind, I think I’ll stay at home,” said Ginny
“Alright, dear. See you in the morning. Thanks for coming, Harry,” said Mrs Weasley, heading for the stairs while Mr Weasley dragged himself up off the sofa
“G’night, all,” he said.
“Night” said Harry in reply.
They waited a while until no sound was heard from the upstairs. Harry leaned over and kissed Ginny tenderly on the lips.
“I’ve missed you,” he said.
“Missed you too,” she replied, kissing him back.
They sat in each others company for what seemed like an eternity, occasionally broken with short conversation and a kiss. Just as Ginny was about to fall asleep, Harry got up from the sofa.
“I’d best be going,” he said, holding out a hand to Ginny who was on the sofa.
“Ok. I’ll come round and see you tomorrow,” she said, taking his hand, and pulling herself off the sofa. They kissed, and Harry Apparated away, leaving Ginny standing in the living room with a dreamy smile on her face. Tomorrow was Saturday. A weekend. Perfect for a lie in. Ginny made her way upstairs to her room. At 1am, after a long day, peace descended on the Burrow.
A new version of this story, made to fit with the new Canon from HBP.
I will also take this opportunity to thank my beta, Jen (jenadamson) for all her work in looking over my stories here at the Song J Thanks Jen!