Chapter 24 Life With the Weasleys
It had been a mostly uneventful summer. After Dumbledore's death, they had had the funeral and closed down Hogwarts a few weeks early. A somber atmosphere had attached itself to everyone, regardless of who you were. Even the muggles realized that something was going on.
Draco hadn't been sure what to expect when school finished. He hadn't thought of it until that point, but he had no where to go.
When he had voiced his concerns in front of Potter, (the two had a very tense relationship since the incident in the bathroom, regardless of apologies) Potter had suggested that Draco could go stay with either Lupin and Tonks, seeing as Draco and Tonks were cousins. He also mentioned his aunt, Andromeda, whom Draco had heard little of since his mother and aunt Bellatrix never spoke of her.
Draco was uncomfortable with both options, because he didn't know them, and there was so much resentment between their sides of the family. But it was immediately settled when Fred and George heard about his problem.
"Oi!" Fred had said. "He can come with us! We could use an extra hand at the shop, and I would love to hear what sort of pranks Slytherin's play on each other. You never hear much about that..."
After George had heartily agreed, there had been no argument.
So Draco had spent the majority of the summer helping in the twin's joke shop. But they weren't just working on products to sell. Draco was still in the process of perfecting it, but the twins had shown him a hat that when worn, it made it's wearer's head invisible.
Rather clever, but Draco wondered if he could make the hat cause a whole person to disappear.
Take that Potter, he thought, remembering the invisibility cloak and a certain snowball incident in third year. So far, he had managed to make all but an arm and a foot disappear. Why that was, he had no idea. But he enjoyed the challenge of figuring it out.
The trio managed to visit the burrow at least twice a week if not more. Draco enjoyed these visits, for two reasons. One, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley made him feel like part of the family. He had never had any siblings, but when he walked thought that door, he suddenly had several. Fred and George had jokingly called him the "bleached ginger."
The second reason was Ginny. Draco hadn't said much to her about where they stood with their relationship, but whenever they were in the same room together, he always found himself beside her, and finding as many excuses as he could, even volunteering for dish duty, to stay by her. They chatted a lot about whatever they could think of, and other times they just enjoyed the quiet of each others company.
Draco was also very aware that everyone but the Weasley parents knew about something going on between them. Draco was constantly getting glares from Ron, and Fred and George were always giving him the thumbs up whenever Draco carried a stack of dishes into the kitchen with Ginny following.
And the day after the attack on the school, Draco had briefly visited with Bill, and he had given Draco a piercing glare, and said, "Be careful." All Draco had to do was look behind him to where Bill inclined his head to see Ginny standing across the room.
It made Draco really wonder what Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would think if they weren't so oblivious to it.
Ginny heaved a great sigh as she reached the bottom of the stairs. Her mother, who had been leaning over the sink, looked up with a disapproving stare.
"Now don't be like that young lady," she said.
"I still don't know why I couldn't go with."
"Not this again. You are too young! Now, I don't want to argue with you about this again. Why don't you help me get some food ready for when they get here?"
Ginny heaved a very unladylike sigh, and stomped her way over to the counter where there were ingredients to make some brownies. Not for the first time she wished she was of age, so she could just wave her wand and poof! The brownies would make themselves.
As she stirred the mixture together, she constantly looked out the window.
Please be alright Draco, she thought. Don't go and get yourself killed.
She jumped when she felt a presence at her elbow. Turning, she noticed Fleur standing to her right. The blond was also looking out the window, her face reflecting the same worried glance Ginny was sure was on her own face.
"They'll be alright Ginny, don't you worry." Ginny smiled at the older girl, realizing that she wasn't the only one worried about a boy.
"They'd better be alright. I mean, I would personally beat Bill myself if he stood you up for your wedding."
Fleur smiled back, but they both continued watching and waiting.
Fred had laughed at the look on Draco's face when he'd been told what their mission plan was.
"You mean I have to be him?"
"Just for a while mate. And just think! George and I get to go from twins to septuplets!"
Draco had rolled his eyes. "Hey, it's your own fault mate for taking Fleur's place," George said.
When they had arrived at Harry's aunt and uncles house, Fred and George couldn't help but regale the story about their heroic rescue of Harry in second year with the flying car. "Was that the same car that they flew into the whomping willow?" Draco asked, a smirk on his face.
Fred had grimaced. "Uh, yeah. I'm afraid we may have been a bad influence," to which Draco had snorted and George had whacked him over the head.
"Hello Harry!" the boys heard Hagrid say upon opening the front door to the house.
Fred didn't hear what was next, but Mad Eye's voice was clearly heard as the grumpy auror said, "Yes, he looks absolutely gorgeous now let's get inside before somebody murders him."
If Mad Eye wasn't so scary, Fred would have laughed.
"You ready?" Fred asked Draco, who was hanging back a bit.
Draco rolled his eyes a bit. "As I'll ever be." And then the blond made a gagging motion that prompted a sharp laugh from Fred. The noise drew a look from Harry, who nodded in Draco's direction.
"What's so funny?" he asked.
"Well, wouldn't you love to know," Draco taunted.
Harry simply rolled his eyes.
"Don't worry much," Fred said,
"You'll find out soon," George said,
"And then you'll see," Fred said,
"If you laugh too!" George said.
"Hey," Fred wondered out loud. "Did we just rhyme?"
"No, you didn't." Draco said, heaving a sigh and giving Harry a dirty look when the other smiled in amusement.
"Are you sure mate, cause I thought we did."
It looked as though Draco was about to argue some more, but everyone's attention was brought to Mad Eye.
"Now, this is what we're gonna do."