Harry awoke to the sounds of louder than usual Weasley voices, raised in an attempt to make them understood over the rumble and roar of something mechanical in nature.
Putting on his glasses and looking out the window, he saw most of the Weasley boys--Charlie, Fred, George, and Ron--gathered around-was that? Could it be? - Remus Lupin sitting astride a large motorcycle, occasionally gunning the engine.
"HARRY!" Remus called up when he spotted the late sleeper at the window. "Get your lazy arse down here NOW and let me give you your birthday present!"
Harry nodded, and swiftly dressed. In less than two minutes, he had joined the others outside. Remus gunned the motorcycle one last time, then turned off the engine.
"So what do you think, Harry? Like it?"
Harry nodded. "It's a wonderful motorcycle, Remus. Did you ride it all the way here from London?"
"Of course I did. What, you think I would carry it? A fine machine like this is meant to be ridden."
"It's a bloody wicked rocket on wheels," interjected Ron. "Dad would love it."
Harry grinned at that... he knew all too well Mr. Weasley's fascination with all things Muggle.
"Here," said Remus, holding out his clenched fist. "This is your birthday present."
Harry held out his hand to accept whatever it was that was hidden between Remus's fingers, and was completely surprised to receive a key ring with two silver keys attached.
"Those are for the motorcycle, now that you're old enough to learn to drive," Remus smiled. "Want to take it for a spin?"
Harry looked from the keys to the motorcycle and back again. "You mean ... it's mine?"
"Yes, Harry. But... it's not from me..." Remus looked a bit sad as he spoke. "It's from--from your Godfather. Sirius told me years ago he would like you to have it when you were old enough. This was his... I've had it in storage for years - in fact, I think you and Hagrid were the last ones to use it."
"Hagrid and I? I don't remember ever -"
"Sirius loaned it to Hagrid so he could take you to your Muggle relatives the night V-Voldemort..." Remus voice trailed off as Ron voiced a high-pitched "Eep!" It was as if the older man did not want to finish the sentence.
"The night Voldemort killed my parents," Harry finished for him.
A lump formed in Harry's throat as he thought of the parents that had been ripped from his life, and of the man they had named Harry's Godfather. Sirius had been the only true parent he had ever known. He still felt a pang of loss whenever he thought of that terrible day almost fourteen months ago, when he had lost his Godfather to Belletrix LeStrange's spell and the dark portal in the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic. His eyes blurred for a moment, then he found his voice.
"Thank you, Remus. I'll take care of it, just like he would." He ran a hand along the leather of the seat, then over the cowl as he walked around his new toy.
"Oh, Harry ... one more thing..." Remus smiled gently, "…the motorcycle flies."
"Wicked!" said Ron.
"Oh, bother!" came Mrs. Weasley's voice from the kitchen door. "Whatever you do, don't tell Arthur about that--he'll be pestering you about it every minute he's here."
"Yes, Mrs. Weasley. Whatever you say," agreed Harry.
"But that's enough fuss for now. Everybody come inside and eat some breakfast. You too, Remus--you look like you need some good solid food inside you."
Remus helped Harry push the motorcycle around the house and into Mr. Weasleys shed before they followed everyone else into The Burrow.
"Sit down, sit down--there's plenty for everyone. Bacon with your eggs, Remus? Or bangers? Have some porridge, too." The table barely had sufficient room to hold the plates, so many breakfast items had been prepared – Warm blueberry muffins, two pitchers of cold milk, platters of eggs (both fried and scrambled), sausages, bacon, and several egg and spinach quiches filled the tabletop, except for an open space at Harry's accustomed seat.
Harry found that his chair was now loaded with birthday parcels. He moved them to the space on the tabletop and sat down.
"Which one is from whom?" he asked, looking curiously at the many different parcels.
Ron pushed a box from the pile. "This one's from me."
Harry pulled the wrapping away to reveal a Chudley Cannons jersey with the name ‘Potter' sewn across the shoulders.
"This is great ... Thanks, Ron!"
"This one next ... it's from us, Harry," said George, pushing a package wrapped in a violently purple paper with a neon green ribbon toward Harry.
"We think you'll like it a lot," chimed in Fred.
"Be careful, Harry," said Ginny as she came into the kitchen and sat down next to him. "You never know what will happen with a present from Fred and George."
"I feel offended," said Fred.
"Me, too," said George. "It's not fair how she keeps saying these nasty things about us."
Ginny stuck out her tongue at the twins. "Just because I'm the voice of experience. You have tried for years to set off a present that would remove my eyebrows if I were foolish enough to open it blindly. As for your feeling offended, why don't you two open it for Harry?"
The twins froze in their seats.
"Oh, we couldn't do that," replied George.
"That's right," added Fred. "It's Harry's present, after all. Opening the presents are half the fun!"
"Most assuredly, " said George.
Harry grinned and slid the box back to the twins. "I agree, so why don't YOU two have some fun. I don't want to keep anyone else from enjoying themselves..."
"Oh no, we couldn't..."
"But I insist! I just won't be happy, otherwise."
The twins looked at each other. "Here, George..." said Fred, edging away from the box. "You open it."
"Oh, no--What kind of a big brother would I be if I didn't let my younger twin have the fun," replied George, pushing it back toward his twin.
Harry grinned as the twins kept shoving the box back and forth between one another, and drew his wand from his pocket, pointed it, and whispered softly, "Diffindo!" With an amazing pyrotechnic display, the box split in two and promptly exploded in the twin's faces.
Soot, char, and ceiling plaster were now coating the twins, who blinked in astonishment, just before their eyebrows slid from their faces in a fall of ash.
"I think he got us," said Fred.
"Indubitably," responded George.
"Serves you two right, bringing dangerous presents to the breakfast table. Now clean up this mess--and go wash your faces!" ordered Mrs. Weasley. "More eggs, Harry?"
"Thank you," said Harry as the twins picked up the bits and pieces that remained of their present, repaired the ceiling with a bit of magic, and headed for the bathroom.
The eggs flew from the skillet on the stove to Harry's plate. Harry paused from opening his gifts to take several bites.
"Now this one," said Mrs. Weasley, pulling a brightly wrapped and beribboned parcel from those in front of Harry, "is from Arthur and me."
"Thank you, Mrs. Weasley." He pulled the ribbon from the package, and then unfolded the paper. Inside was a new hand-knit jumper, in the Gryffindor House colours and adorned with tiny brooms and snitches. "This is wonderful, Mrs. Weasley. Thank you!"
"Here you go," said Charlie, and pushed a long, slim wooden box toward Harry. The dark wood was smooth and shiny, and a small brass hinge was visible near one end. Harry picked it up, and opened the box. Inside was a velvet bag, long and skinny, and apparently empty.
"Erm... Thanks, Charlie." Harry was puzzled. A bag in a box?
"It's a storage case, Harry--for your wand!"
With that explanation, the box and bag were clearly explained. "Oh –Yes. That's very nice. Thanks!"
"This is from me, Harry," said Ginny as she pushed the remaining small wooden box toward him, and then planted a kiss on his cheek. "Happy Birthday. I hope you'll like it."
Harry took her hand and squeezed it gently. "I'm sure I will."
With his other hand, he undid the small catch, and opened the lid. Inside was a pocket watch attached to a length of chain and a hooked fob. The silver watchcase sparkled with reflected light as he lifted it from the box. Opening the watch cover, it displayed an engraved message on the inside...
I will always have time for you!
"It's wonderful, Ginny," Harry managed after several seconds, his heart racing at this display of love. He hooked the fob to his belt, closed the watchcase, and placed it in the watch pocket of his jeans. Leaning over, he gave her a quick kiss and a hug. "Thank you!"
"You're welcome, Harry," she whispered in his ear.
Both Ron and Charlie snickered briefly, but a sharp look from both Mrs. Weasley and Ginny shut them up quickly.
Two loud cracks sounded from outside, followed immediately by a knocking at the kitchen door.
"Oh, that'll be special guests to see you, Harry," Mrs. Weasley said before she called out, "Come in, come in, we've been expecting you! The tea's already on!"
The door opened, and both Nymphadora Tonks and Professor Dumbledore entered.
"Good morning, Molly, everyone," said Dumbledore, closing the door behind him.
"Hello, Harry," said Tonks, as she set a parcel on the table. Today, Tonks was sporting dark blue hair with violet streaks, which matched exactly the very tight and low-riding denim jeans she was wearing, and an elaborately embroidered multicoloured shirt that seemed to be about three inches too short, revealing her belly and navel, which somehow had a silver ring attached. "These are for you, from everyone in the Order."
"Thank you, Tonks, " said Harry. "Erm ... doesn't that hurt?"
Tonks looked down where Harry was staring.
"This? No, not at all." She flipped the ring with her finger. "It's what all the Muggles are wearing in the dance clubs. Like it?"
"Erm... It's very nice." Harry swiftly turned his attention to the package on the table. Inside the wrapping were three books ... Darkness Denied: Practical Methods of Combating the Dark Arts, Effective Charms and Wards, and Overcoming the Dark Arts: A Guide for the Future Auror.
"Thank you, these are great! Please tell everyone in the Order I really like these."
"I also have a small gift for you, Harry." Dumbledore placed a ring case on the table, and tapped it with his wand. The lid opened of its own accord, revealing a silver ring with the Gryffindor Crest attached. "Please, try it on ... Ring finger, right hand."
Harry removed the ring from its case and slid it onto the designated finger. He felt a momentary tingle, as it magically adjusted to his size, and watched as the ring glowed for several heartbeats,
"I've placed a special protection charm on it for you, Harry. It will remain in effect as long as you are wearing the ring. My advice is to wear it at all times this coming school year... Voldemort--" there was a squeak from Ron "--and the Death Eaters are still out there, even if they have been quiet for the past few months. Don't take any chances."
"Thank you, sir. I won't take it off."
Dumbledore smiled, his eyes twinkling. "Well, I must be going," he said, shaking Harry's hand. "There's much to do at Hogwarts."
"Oh, won't you stay for some tea? I also have some Sweet Sticky Buns, if you wish," piped up Molly.
"Sweet Sticky Buns, you say? Well, perhaps just one or two..." Dumbledore took a seat at the table. "Hogwarts can wait a few minutes longer."
"Molly knew just what to say, eh, Harry? Appealed to his sweet tooth, she did!" Tonks whispered, trying to suppress a laugh as she passed by to take a seat beside Ginny. Tea was served, and the sweet buns quickly disappeared from Dumbledore's plate as Ginny and Tonks whispered between themselves, giggling together.
A burst of green flame from the fireplace announced an arrival by the Floo network and a moment later Hermione Granger and her cat, Crookshanks, tumbled out onto the hearth, a spot of soot on the tip of the bushy-haired girl's nose.
"Hermione, dear, we're so glad you could come! Have you had any breakfast?" Mrs. Weasley scurried to help her to her feet and drag her trunk from the fireplace.
"I did have a bite before I left, but I wouldn't say no to a cup of tea, please. Hello, Harry, Ginny, Professor Dumbledore, Nympha--"
"Just Tonks, dear, that'll do," interrupted the blue-haired witch with a smile.
"All right, Tonks. Hello, Ron."
Ron just grinned, the tips of his ears turning pink.
Hermione shook her head. "Honestly, Ron, that's getting a bit old, don't you think?"
Ron finally found his voice. "H-hello, Hermione. It's good to see you."
"That's it? We haven't seen each other for a month, and it's just ‘good to see you'?" She stalked over to where he was sitting, grabbed hold of his ears, and kissed him soundly. "I've missed you, you silly git."
Ron's face matched his hair. "I've missed you too, Hermione." He reached up and wiped the tip of her nose with his thumb. "You've got dirt on your nose, by the way, did you know?"
Hermione gave him a playful slap on the arm, and turned to Harry.
"Happy birthday, Harry! I've got a present for you," she said, going to her trunk. Opening it, she took a package wrapped in tissue paper from atop the rest of the contents, and handed it to Harry.
"Thank you, Hermione. Oh, by the way, you were right. Hogwarts: A Historyis a good read."
Hermione's jaw dropped, and Ron sputtered and coughed from choking on a sip of tea.
"What? You actually read it?" he wheezed after a moment. "Harry Potter, the boy who falls asleep in History of Magic, actually read Hogwarts: A History?"
"What can I say? Hermione was right. We should have listened to her seven years ago."
Hermione finally shut her mouth as her cheeks flamed red. "Honestly, Harry? You mean it?"
"Yes, Hermione, I mean it. And I'm really sorry for all the teasing about it I've given you in the past."
Hermione smiled. "Apology accepted. Now hurry up and open your present."
Harry removed the tissue paper to reveal a large green cloth-bound book. There did not seem to be a title on the cover or the spine, and when he went to open it, the cover stayed firmly in place.
"Unlocking spell, Harry," prompted Hermione.
Harry pulled out his wand and tapped the book. "Alohomora! "
The cover popped open to reveal that the book was actually a box, lined in black velvet, and within held a large number of white rectangular tiles, each one marked with a colourful symbol. Inside the cover was pasted a sheet of parchment, on which was inscribed:
The Rules of Play
followed by a great deal of very miniscule writing.
"It's a wonderful game, Harry, and loads of fun. I found it in China when my parents and I went there on holiday. This set is enchanted to play against you by itself, if you can't find anyone else to play it with."
"Oh, that's a lovely gift, Hermione. Arthur and I had a Muggle set when we were first married," said Mrs. Weasley.
"Yes, a most challenging recreation," added Dumbledore. "Molly, thank you for your hospitality, but I'm afraid we do have to run. Harry, enjoy yourself here at The Burrow. I will see you when term begins. Miss Granger, Mr. and Miss Weasley, try to keep yourselves and Mr. Potter out of trouble. Coming, Tonks?"
"Yes, Professor." She got out of her chair and started for the door, pausing to bend over and give Harry a kiss on the cheek. "Happy Birthday, Harry. Goodbye, everyone."
"Oh my, I almost forgot," said Dumbledore, reaching into a pocket of his robes and pulling out several envelopes. "These, I believe, are yours."
He handed one to each of the four Hogwarts students and waited expectantly.
Harry, Hermione, Ginny and Ron looked at each other for a moment, and then broke open the wax seal on the envelopes. Inside each were several sheets of parchment, and when Harry and Hermione unfolded theirs, two silver prefects badges clattered onto the tabletop. Another one fell from Ginny's, and most surprising, Ron's' held a Head Boy's medallion.
"Erm, Professor Dumbledore, sir? Are you sure you have not made a mistake? " asked Ron.
"Not at all, Mr. Weasley – In fact, you were chosen because of last year's Head Girl's recommendation. Miss Granger felt that the responsibility would be good for you," smiled the Headmaster, who shifted his gaze to Hermione. "I do hope you are correct in your support, Miss Granger. He will have quite a job trying to match your performance."
"Oh my," gasped Mrs. Weasley, "All four of you?"
"It's quite true, Molly." Dumbledore's eyes glittered as he smiled.
Ginny was reading her letter, and smiling fiercely herself.
"I believe that Mr. Potter might wish to make an announcement, if I'm not mistaken," said Dumbledore.
Harry's mind went blank. Announcement? He scanned the letter in his hand, wondering if he had missed something.
of WIZARDRY and WITCHCRAFT
Seventh-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for daywear.
3. One set of formal dress robes (any colour)
4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
THE STANDARD BOOK OF SPELLS (GRADE 7)
by Miranda Goshawk
THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL RESEARCHES IN ALCHEMY
(ENGLISH/WELSH DUAL LANGUAGE EDITION)
by Robert ap Hywel ap Dewi de Hwyll
by Hortense Gripplefinger
THE DARK ARTS: A STUDY IN ABERRATIONAL THINKING
by Thaddeus Quimby
PREPARING FOR YOUR NEWTs
by Selected Specialists from the Wizarding Council
(Available free from Ministry of Magic)
EVERYTHING NEEDED FOR YOUR NEWTs
by Aloysius Cavanaugh
(Available free from the Ministry of Magic)
1 cauldron (brass or copper, standard size 3)
One set glass or crystal phials
Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad
Everyone was now looking at him expectantly, and Harry felt his face grow warm. After a moment, Dumbledore cleared his throat and looked at him, then at Ginny, who promptly elbowed Harry in the ribs.
"Erm... OH! Ah, yes, I guess I do have an announcement. Professor Dumbledore has kindly informed me that the beautiful and talented Miss Weasley will not be taking Sixth year Potions this term."
Molly frowned a bit, while Ginny blushed at the compliment.
"Instead," continued Harry, grinning as he did so, "She will be advanced to Seventh year Potions, with the goal of getting an early NEWT..."
"Oh, Ginny, that's wonderful!" cried Hermione, running around the table to give Ginny a hug. Mrs. Weasley joined her a moment later.
Fred and George returned to the kitchen at that moment. "What's going on?" asked Fred.
"Yeah, let us in on it, too," said George.
"Oh, it's nothing much," said Ginny, grinning fiercely. "Just the news that I'm skipping sixth year Potions for advanced study."
For a moment, both Fred and George appeared to be imitating goldfish.
"Oh," she added, "I've also been named Sixth Year Prefect..."
Both her brothers' mouths dropped open again.
"...and I just learned my OWL results," she continued. "I only got -- fourteen."
The twins sat down on the floor in shock, and Mrs. Weasley screeched in delight.
"Not only that, but Harry and Hermione are prefects for the Seventh Years, and Ron has been named Head Boy."
"Well," said Dumbledore, chuckling at the twins' reaction, "That should be all the good news, so Tonks and I will be off, then. Have a safe holiday, everyone.
"Goodbye, everyone," chimed in Tonks.
"And I must be on my way as well," said Remus, pushing back from the table. "Thank you for the breakfast, Molly. Happy Birthday, Harry."
"‘Bye, Professor, ‘Bye Tonks, ‘Bye Professor Lupin..." a chorus of farewells rang out.
Moments later the three guests had disapparated, and the conversation continued around the table.
"Our baby sister got fourteen OWLs?" Fred and George did not seem to be able to assimilate the news.
"And ickle Ronniekins is Head Boy? Tell me where we went wrong, George."
"I don't know, Fred. We tried and we tried to teach them better, but just look at what they've gone and done."
"That's enough out of you two hooligans. You had best be on your way to that silly business of yours. You do not want to disappoint all the shoppers in Diagon Alley, " scolded Mrs. Weasley.
"Right, mum. We will go. It is just that Ginny got FOURTEEN OWLs! And Ron is HEAD BOY!" The twins shook their heads, then grinned at each other. Walking around the table, they paused to ruffle Ron's hair, then hugged Ginny.
"Congratulations, little sister!"
"Yeah, what Fred said. We're very proud of you!"
Ginny smiled, and gave them each a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks, big brothers."
They each gave her a final hug, rubbed Ron's head again, and disapparated.
Charlie stood up. "I've got to go into the Ministry office for a while, too, but I'll be back for the party tonight." His kissed his mother on the cheek, gave Ginny a hug, and paused just behind Ron to wet a finger in his mouth, then stick it in his younger brother's ear.
"Hey! Geroff, you big git!"
"Bye, all," called Charlie as he Disapparated with a crack.
"Oh, I just can't wait to tell Arthur. Will you four be all right if I leave for a bit?"
"Mum," said Ginny, "We're not little children anymore. We'll be fine. You go tell Daddy the news."
"All right, all right--now you four behave while I'm gone. Why don't you all try Harry's new game?" she said as she removed her apron, smoothed down her housedress, and took a pinch of Floo Powder from the flowerpot off the mantelpiece.
"Sure, mum, we'll do that," said Ron.
Mrs. Weasley pursed her lips and shook her head, but stepped into the fireplace, threw down the Floo Powder, and stated clearly, "The Ministry of Magic!" In a burst of green flame, she was gone.
The two girls looked at each other and broke out in giggles, while Ron and Harry just shook their heads. Ginny sat back down next to Harry, taking his hand and squeezing it, and Hermione seated herself next to Ron.
"So, Ronald Weasley, mister shy and flighty--Are you going to get your priorities straight? Do I get a proper welcome?" asked Hermione.
Ron's ears turned pink, but he leaned over and kissed his bushy-haired girlfriend very properly--right up to the moment he leaned just a bit too far and fell out of his chair.
Hermione laughed. "Well, I see I still have some effect on you. I was a bit worried I might have forgotten how to do that..."
Ron clambered to his feet, set the chair upright again and sat down, "Slim chance of that," he replied. "So what do we need to know to play this game?"
"The rules are right there inside the lid, Ron. Just tap the parchment and say ‘Rules for Four'."
Ron did as he was told, and watched the small print rearrange itself on the parchment. "Uhm, Hermione?"
"These rules aren't in English."
"Well, they are -sort of- but they don't make any sense. Just listen... ‘To be playing most ancient pastime Mah-Jhong with players four requires stacking of plates forming wall square beginning before play. To make teams two of two is simple decision with dealer to movement clockwise...'...See what I mean?"
"Tha-that's not right. I know I cast the translation spell properly..." Hermione dove for her trunk, opening it in haste and digging through the contents to retrieve a book. "It's right here on page 91."
Ginny took the book and started reading. "...Fur of a vole, powdered onyx...," she mumbled to herself, "...and you did pronounce this as ‘persevisis tautonia', right?"
"Of course I did!"
Ginny turned the page and read a bit more. "And you used your wand in the pattern of the language?"
"English language or Chinese language?"
"English, of course."
Ginny giggled and pointed to a passage in the book. "That's the problem--the charm means the pattern of the original language! The pattern should have been from the top right to the bottom, not top left across. You got a literal translation!"
"Oh... How did I miss that?" Hermione blushed.
"Well, it isn't real clear on the meaning, so it may have confused you--I can see how you could have made that mistake."
"So we don't know how to play it, after all?" asked Ron
"Well, I learned how, so I can tell you," said Hermione.
"So how is it played?" asked Ron.
"Well, it is a bit complicated at first, and there are several ways to play it, but once you learn the rules it is a wonderful game."
"How many can play?"
"Let's clear the table and clean up, first. Then we can try it," said Harry, putting action to his words. Five minutes later, the dishes had been magically washed and dried, the table wiped down and Hermione was setting up the tiles.
The game had been a bit complicated at first, but Harry had finally caught on to the strategies, and was ahead by two triplets and a double when Mrs. Weasley returned.
"Having fun, Harry?"
"Yes, Mrs. Weasley."
"I see you're ahead this game--you might want to play that three bamboo next turn."
"Mum, that's not fair," piped up Ron. "I haven't had any help, and I've been low player for the last three games!"
"It doesn't matter, Ron," said Ginny as she placed a quartet, two triplets and a wild tile on her scoring rack. "I've won this game, anyway. And that makes you..." she paused to calculate everyone's score, "...low man for the fourth game."
Harry grinned at his best friend. "Don't take it too hard, Ron. You've beaten me about a thousand times at Wizard Chess."
"Yes, Ron," smiled Hermione, "You can always rest on your past laurels..."
Even Ron managed a laugh at that before Mrs. Weasley told them to clear out of the kitchen so she could prepare the next meal. The tiles were carefully packed away in their case, the case relocked, and Hermione's trunk and Harry's presents levitated up the stairs to their respective rooms.
"Ron, I'd like to go into town and phone my parents, if you don't mind. They'll want to hear the good news, and I did promise I would let them know as soon as I heard anything."
"Whatever you want, Hermione. I'll walk with you and keep you company."
"Thank you, Ron.'
Harry said, "I'm going to stay here and read a bit."
Ginny spoke up, a mischievous glint in her eye, "And I'm staying here to distract him."
"Ginny!" Ron sounded shocked. "What would mum say?"
"Pooh! She already knows what a scarlet woman I am with Harry." Unfortunately, she could not keep a straight face at the sight of Ron's expression, and broke out laughing.
Ron's ears reddened. "Well, just don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"And just what is it that you wouldn't do, Mr. Weasley?" Hermione purred at him.
Ron's ears turned a darker shade of red as he changed the subject. "We'd better get going or we won't be back in time for lunch," and he took Hermione's hand and led her down the stairs.
Ginny stood close to Harry. "What say we take a walk, too? We can go down by the river--I'll bring a blanket, and you can read to me there."
Harry grinned. "Sure--just let me get my book."
The two met up in the kitchen just as the Owl Post arrived with that day's copy of the Late Edition Daily Prophet. Harry dropped five Knuts into the owl's change bag, while Mrs. Weasley paused from her meal preparations to open the paper and look at the headlines.
"Oh dear God, no!" she gasped.
"What is it, mum?" Ginny tried to peek over her mother's shoulder.
The headline was printed in red letters two inches tall --
A/N-- Recognize a few lines from SS/PS? One is when Ron says what Hermione said to him on the Hogwarts Express way back in First Year. I just wanted him to have a chance to finally say it back to Hermione. But then, I still wanted Hermione to "one-up" him…, so she quotes Ron' comment to Harry, from a few moments later.
Why Mah-Jhong? Well, to me it feels like a game the adult wizarding community would enjoy--I just can't see Gobstones or Exploding Snap holding much appeal for anyone over fifteen years of age. The Mah Jhong rules were quoted directly from the instruction sheet that accompanied the set I purchased--makes me wish there were a real translation charm...Rdehwyll