The Burrow

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Josephine POV

It was almost a week later when I actually looked at myself in the full length mirror in my room. I lifted my shirt above my navel to see the bruises on my pale skin and I could feel the bruises on my left thigh. My lip was swollen and a dark circle covered my eye. . . . I looked horrible.

But it was time for me to get out of here before my family came to look for me here . . . not that they would. Hopefully Ron and his family would be settled in completely when I got there.

For some reason, I couldn't make myself get rid of the bruises on my body. Maybe, I thought to myself, I wanted people to see just how bad the life of a Malfoy was. Just because you loved someone you got beat.

I headed down to the front desk, giving my money to Tom as he handed me some Floo powder. "You have a safe trip Miss Malfoy," he said, kindly.

"Thank you," I said, smiling. I moved to the fireplace looking over my shoulder to see if he were still watching, but he had left, gone into the backroom I suppose.

Still, I was cautious, which meant I quietly called out 'The Burrow' so that I wouldn't be heard.

I popped into The Burrow's fireplace, the house quiet around me as I moved into the living room with my trunk. But then there was a scream and I was grabbed into a fierce hug.

"Oh my gosh, Josephine, we were so worried!" Hermione was saying. "When you didn't respond to the letter we didn't know what to think! Harry will be so glad to hear that you're here safely! Oh, Merlin, what happened to your face!"

I winced slightly, giving her a small smile. "It didn't look that noticeable when I left the Leaky Cauldron."

"Come on, Hermione, give her some air," Ron said, making Hermione let go of me. I gave him a hug and he looked at me sadly. "What happened to you, Josephine?"

"Long story," I said. "I'll explain later."

"Are you alright?" Hermione asked, worried, as usual.

"I'm fine, you guys. Just – just a few bruises, you know. I'm alright."

My friends exchanged glances but they didn't continue questioning me. Ron grabbed my wrist, saying, "I need to introduce you to my mum. Come on."

He pulled me towards the kitchen where Mrs. Weasley sat looking some wedding catalogue, circling things she liked with a wand. "Mum?" Ron said.

"Hmm?" she said, not looking up.

"This is my friend, Josephine Malfoy," Ron said. "Is it alright if she spends the summer with us?"

Mrs. Weasley had looked up as she had misheard her son, and when she saw me, the way I looked, her eyes got wide.

"I know its late notice, mum," Ron was saying. "But she really needs a place to stay."

"If it's an inconvenience, Mrs. Weasley," I said, "I can go back home. I don't want to be a bother."

Mrs. Weasley shook her head, snapping out of her trance. "Oh, no, dear! It's no inconvenience at all!" Mrs. Weasley hopped from her seat, moving towards me. She placed one hand on my shoulder and the other one of my cheek. "You poor thing. Of course you can stay hear, love. Ron will make up a spare bed for you in Ginny's room. You won't be a bother at all."

Tears pricked my eyes because I wasn't used to an adult being this nice to me. "Thank you so much."

Mrs. Weasley smiled, pulling me into a surprising hug.

It was good to have a home.

Of course it was awkward at first. . . . Why wouldn't it be?

The Weasley family, except for Ginny, Ron, and Mrs. Weasley, was cautious around me. They carefully watched what they said and when they didn't know how to say what they wanted to say, they were silent. Mrs. Weasley tried to break the silence with Fred, George, Mr. Weasley, Bill, Charlie, and I by talking about Bill's upcoming wedding, but that didn't work. . . . Ron tried to break the silence by talking about the school year and that didn't work either. . . .

But then I remembered what Ron had said about his father and Muggle stuff and I brought up that subject, actually finding myself interested only because of how excited Mr. Weasley got when he talked about Muggles. The conversation loosened the air a bit, as the others added their input in.

I asked Charlie about his job. It's easy to tell where he got his entusiasm from, even if it was about dragons.

I asked Bill about Fleur and his job and the look in his eyes was just so passionate it was hard not to get into what he was saying.

And, almost a given, the only way i was able to get Fred and George to even look at me was to challenge them to a game of Exploding Snap with Hermione and I. Of course, I wasn't at all that good at the game and neither was Hermione but it filled the air with a lot of smoke and a whole lot more laughter . . . ecspecially when I had to cut my bangs because the ends got singed and Hermione had to change her pants because of a large burn hole, but Fred lost a eyebrow and the front of George's shirt got burnt so it made up for it.

By the end of the night, I felt as if I were one of the family and it was nice. The laughter and the warm, comforting atmosphere was something I never encountered at Malfoy Manor (obviously) and it was a very nice change. It felt as if I had suddenly been adopted, after a day, but Hermione and Ginny told me that was normal in the Weasley family. The same thing had happened for Harry.

As I lay in my bed that night, thinking of the wonderful day I had, I realized . . . I could get used to this, this family, having a family.

I could definitely get used to it.

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