Chapter Eight: Summer's Bliss
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or affiliated characters, places, and things. They all belong to J.K. Rowling and affiliated companies. This particular plot is mine however. And to make it seem more cohesive to the original stories I am using some of the lines from them, but they are not my material. They came for the excellent mind of their owner.
A/N: Parseltongue, flashbacks, and dreams. Keep the reviews coming! Cheers!
A/N2: Sorry for the long delay my father was in a motorcycle wreck and I have been taking care of my gramps so massive delay. Again I am sorry. This is UnBataed.
Harry was laying there in bed wondering how Duddikens was taking to his new diet without him there to look down on. He chuckled as he ran through all of the things that had changed because of the relationship he now found himself in and the things he had already done. Some things were good, but others far less so. The New Marauders were doing there level best to get their transformations to work flawlessly. This of course had unintended consequences. It seemed that Professor McGonagall had caught on to what was going on. Thankfully she had not approached them about the issue.
Another unforeseen issue (so to speak) was the runaway Ron dilemma. The youngest Weasley had run away from home while the rest of the family was at Sirius' new place during Christmas. Harry was wracking his brain as to where the young fool could have run off to. He went with the Weasleys to checked Diagon Ally, but that was a bust. He just wondered if the boy hadn't gone to one of the 'Imperioused' Death Eaters to stay. Maybe Malfoy, Crabbe, or Goyle Sr. had taken him under their wing? In all honesty he was leaning towards Malfoy because shortly after Ron's disappearance he had come up with a host of allegation and evidence that he was doing illegal work on muggle devices. It was only because Sirius, Albus, and Mr. Greengrass pointed out that all of Arthur's 'trinkets' were actually harmless, and that he was not going out and selling them to muggles. Of course no one had any doubts as to who gave Malfoy those documents.
"Damn it Ron, why did you do this?" Harry said between sighs.
There was a gentle knock on his door. When Daphne opened the door Harry knew he was in for a long, but interesting day. Her bluish green eyes were sparkling with mischief. She sauntered over to the bed. Harry's eyes wondered over her figure, and he wondered how he had missed her all those years ago. Sure Cho was beautiful, but Daphne was not someone to scoff at either.
"Like what you see?" Daphne asked as she brushed a hand over her short denim skirt.
"Defiantly, but I also like the person who the body belongs to."
"And who would that be Mr. Potter?" Daphne asked with one raised eyebrow and a hand on her hip.
"You my love," Harry wrapped his arms around her waist and gave her a chaste kiss on the lips.
"Good answer." Daphne wrapped her arms around his neck. "So are we still going to go to those muggle moving pictures?"
"Yes and their called movies." He smiled as he leaned in closer.
"You know I am still curious about those things. They aren't talking to you right?"
"Correct, but they do tell a story." With that he closed the distance between their lips. Harry could feel Daphne's hands running through his hair as his hands wondered up and down her back. Lost in the moment neither teen heard the door open.
"Wow I am glad they are soul-bound Sirius, or I'd be mad." Kyle Greengrass' voice rang throughout the room.
"Indeed, I think we had better keep a close watch on them during the World Cup." Without even looking at him Harry could tell his dogfather was smiling like a mad man.
Both teens parted.
"Thanks for killing the mood Dad." Daphne said with a smile.
"Just doing my job sweetie," he walked over to them. "And besides what kind of father would I be if I just let my daughter's boyfriend's hands wonder where they shouldn't?"
"A poor one sir," Harry swallowed hard.
"Now Kyle don't scare the poor kids you and Alice weren't the most shining examples of…" Sirius ducked a backhand from Kyle.
"Stop right there Sirius. I DO NOT want my children following in my footsteps. Am I clear?" the man's glare turned to Sirius.
Sirius held up his hands in defeat. "Okay." He looked over at them and winked. "Anyway, we just came to tell you breakfast is ready." Sirius and Kyle started to walk out of the room. Kyle looked once more over his should before turning the corner. A second later he leaned back to see if they were still behaving themselves before truly walking away.
"Is he paranoid or something?" Harry asked.
"Or something, I think he is doing his level best to play the protective father roll even though he knows you would never hurt me." Daphne started dragging him out of the room.
"I see, so are you and the girls still dragging me to the Harrods to carry things for you?" Harry asked this with a little bit of fear in his voice.
"Oh yes, and don't even think you can weasel you way out of this mister."
"Yes my love." Harry said hanging his head.
Tracey was pacing back and forth in front of the fireplace. Susan said she would be here at 7:15 it was now 7:45. She didn't know if the motion picture had already started, or if that was just the time that Harry wanted everyone to meet up. The Floo coming to life caused her to stop in her tracks. When she looked over at the fireplace her jaw fell open. Susan was in a form fitting dress that hugged her in all the right places.
"Looking good Susan, what took you guys so long?"
"Hermione's parents had a hard time finding my house." Susan said with a smile on her face as wrapped her arms around Tracey's neck.
"Hardly, Susan wanted to look perfect for your first muggle styled date, and I would say she did a good job of it." Hermione said with a smile on her face.
Susan wrapped her arms around Tracey. "I am sorry Hermione but I am taken."
"I know, but if we don't hurry I think we may have to pry the other two lovebirds off of one another." Hermione said with a smile on her face.
Tracey started laughing as she walked towards the Floo. "We might also have to make sure they are fully clothed."
Hermione shook her head violently. "Please Tracey I don't need that image stuck in my head."
The other girls started to laugh as she Flooed over to Harry's new home.
Daphne was sitting next to her boyfriend wondering how in the hell he put up with Sirius' constant pranks. At the moment she guessed you just get used to it, or get even. The man seemed to stay clear of pranking her mum for some unknown reason, although it was funny to see Sirius hiding off in a corner when her mum stepped out of the Floo. The sound of the Floo coming to life again brought Daphne out of her thoughts. Looking off to her right she saw Hermione walking into the room. Once the other two arrived she wondered how long before the other two found a spare bedroom, or broom closet. Susan's dress was showing off her assets quiet well, and by the look on Tracey's face she was defiantly distracted.
"Yeah guys what movie are we going to see?" Susan asked.
"I don't know I was thinking Forest Gump. It sounds like a funny movie, and all of the reviews say it is a brilliant piece of work." Harry said looking at the newspaper.
"Isn't that a comedy?" Daphne asked.
"They say it is a mix of comedy, romance, and drama." Harry said setting the paper aside. "Sounds like it could be fun to watch."
"Harry that could be said for just about any movie," Hermione said rolling her eyes. "Besides I hear it has a brilliant message of hope."
"The article said that as well, so are we ready to go?" Harry asked.
"Is that all that is on?" Hermione asked.
"No, but I think it is the only one you girls would want to see the rest seem like movies Dudley would love to see, and I doubt you guys want to see that." Harry said with a smile on his face.
"I think he just wants to be in a semi dark room with his girl friend." Susan said. Daphne could feel her cheeks heat up at this comment. "Oh look she's blushing."
Daphne picked up her napkin and threw it at Susan. "Don't give him ideas! I just received the Talk form my mum."
"And I got it from Sirius. Honestly that man has no tact." Daphne looked at her boyfriend with a raised eyebrow. "He did it with Janet there."
"Oh dear God, at least my mum gave it to me alone." Susan said. "Hell she did it again when she found out I prefer women over men."
"She did?" Harry asked. Susan nodded. "Sucks to be you," Harry had to duck the Daily Prophet that was thrown at him.
"Come on lets go before they pick up the kitchen sink." Tracey said looking over at Hermione.
"That's your girlfriend." Hermione said over her shoulder as she made her way to the front door.
They all made their way through downtown London to large building with a bunch of muggles crowded around the entrance. Hermione told them this was normal for a movie theater. Once at the front of the line Harry and Hermione used small slips of parchment to pay for things. If the outside was a crowed the mass of people on the inside could only be described one word: mob. They were lining up alongside a counter ordering a myriad of sweets that she had never seen before. Daphne was surprised at the amount of snacks available to them in the muggle world. Hermione's were called sugar free she swore these were better, but Daphne had her doubts. Once inside the theater Daphne tried some of the popcorn, and thought she had died and gone to heaven. In the magical world this would have been decked out with all kinds of fantastical flavors, but here the muggles kept it simple: salt and butter. It was addictive.
When the movie started the two magically raised members of the group jumped at the volume of the movie. Daphne asked if these 'actors' were giants, and was surprised to find that it was just the result of projector (whatever that was) being so far away from the screen. The movie itself was outstanding. Daphne was outraged at what the girl Jenny's father did to her, and wanted to cry as she watched said girl fall into some form of addiction. Forest's love for the girl was sweet, and by the end of the movie Daphne was crying her eyes out. On their way back to Harry's place she remembered something about Forest's run across the United States. This caused her to come up with an idea that she passed on to the other once they were inside.
"Hey guys do you remember that line 'Shite Happens'?" Daphne asked.
"And she hates it when I use foul language." Daphne swatted her boyfriend on the arm. "Okay, okay, yes I remember the line. What's on your mind?"
"Well I was thinking…"
Malfoy Manor was loads better than the Burrow. It didn't look it was defying the law of gravity, and it was perfect in Ron's opinion. Sure he had received a few Howlers from his mum, but he didn't care. If things went the way they supposed to he would be back in Gryffindor tower to spy on the Potter brat. That was the best option, but that was just an option. With the Quidditch World Cup, and Triwizard Tournament coming up Ron couldn't even think of being near that glory seeking git. With Lucius and Narcissa's help he had shucked most of his disgusting habits, and the only one he still had (but barely) was the way he ate.
He had been relegated to a separate eating area while the family ate so long as he just shoveled food into his mouth. Lucius explained it this way: "That was the old you Ronald, and as long as you hold onto that eating habits you are still beholding to the Weasleys." He disagreed to the analogy, but he understood the sentiment.
Grimie popped in with Ron's food at this point. "Here is your food sir, and Lord Lucius says if you eat like you did last night yous can return to the dining hall tomorrow for breakfast sirs."
"Thank you Grimie. You are dismissed." Ron waved the house-elf off. "Soon Potter I will be a more respectable gentleman than you are." Ron looked in the mirror at his new strawberry blonde hair and smiled. This was going to be a great summer. He was going to go to the Qudditch World Cup while Potter was left out in the cold with those horrible muggle relatives of his.
Harry was lounging in a red and gold colored lounge chair. The back patio of his new home had been magically expanded and enhanced for privacy. Harry thought that it was enhanced in this manor so Sirius could fool around with Janet. The mere thought of his godfather starkers with an equally starkers Janet Rosemerta was enough to cause him to shiver violently. Harry had spent a lot of the summer thus far sunbathing in an attempt to tan. The first day he had stayed out in the sun a little too long, and he was burned front to back.
The closing of the patio door brought Harry out of his reminiscence of the last two weeks. Looking over his shoulder Harry discovered his girlfriend walking out onto the patio wearing a bikini with a thin piece of green silk wrapped around her waist. Harry tried to resist staring at her, but he was failing miserably. When Harry's eyes finally Daphne's she smiled mischievously.
"Like what you see Harry?" There was a hint of seduction in her voice.
"Oh for sure," Harry said in joking manor.
Daphne popped the piece of silk an inch or so from his nose. "Just remember that my eyes are up here." She had two of her fingers pointed at her eyes.
"Of course love." Harry leaned over and kissed her lightly on the lips.
The two of them talked about the possibility of someone else being in the Quidditch World Cup other than the two Harry had seen play. Harry told her that was a possibility, but highly unlikely. Bulgaria was still leading Russia in a three day long battle that didn't seem ready to end, and Ireland had already won their match against Peru. Daphne was betting on Russia to win with her mum. Harry just smiled and shook his head at this idea.
"What? There is now way that the game will be over anytime soon. Besides all Bulgaria has is one really good seeker, and that is it. There is no way…"
At that moment a screech owl came gliding into their conversation, or more aptly onto Daphne's outstretched arm (she had been pointing at Harry). There was a Daily Prophet attached to the owl's leg, and after paying for the special delivery Daphne began reading, and by the look on her face she was not happy. "Is something bothering you love?"
"Yes, how in the hell did Russia loose?" She threw the paper at him.
Harry looked at the headlines 'Bulgaria Wins 450-300!' He knew that Bulgaria would win, but he was a little surprised by the score himself. "Well to be honest Daphne having seen the way Krum plays, I don't think that Russia even stood a chance of winning. Their seeker flies like a blind duck with one wing missing."
"Harry that's mean," Daphne was giving him her best stare down, but a slight smile gave her away. "Besides until we hear back from the twins we will not know if Mr. Weasley got the tickets. My father can still get us top box tickets if you want to go so bad." Daphne had moved over to Harry's lounge chair, and was now straddling him. "That is unless you'd rather be doing something else."
"Oh defiantly," their faces were inches apart from one another.
"You know I never knew you to be such an exhibitionist Harry." John's voice cut through the air like a police siren.
The two teens separated quickly. Daphne was throwing daggers at John with her gaze. Harry could feel his cheeks burning. "John, this better be important, or I swear I am going to scream."
John laughed manically. "Now Harry, what makes you think that this isn't important?"
"You are wearing a Hawaiian shirt, board shorts, and sunglasses. Need I continue?" Harry said lifting an eyebrow.
"She's in a bikini." John pointed to Daphne. Daphne crossed her arms which caused John to hold up his hands. "Okay, okay. A guy can't even have just a tad bit of fun these days. Anyway back to why I'm here. Harry you know what happens this year, don't you?"
"How could I forget?" Harry frowned a little at the memory of the upcoming year. Cedric's death, the tournament, and the World Cup; and it was funny the way the order these events fell through his mind. A moment ago he was ecstatic to be going to the World Cup, and now he remembered what happened there. "Daphne there is something you should know."
Daphne looked between Harry and John then asked. "He isn't going to die is he!"
"NO!" Both of the men said at once.
"But this is the year shite starts to roll down hill." Harry said looking at the ground. Harry was expecting a slap across the face, but was instead wrapped in the arms of the woman he was becoming ready to die for. "I will be able to deal with everything don't worry Daphne."
"You say that like it's nothing Harry, but what if you get seriously hurt." She pushed away from his body and the look in her eyes made a chill run down his spine. "I want to know what is going to happen this year RIGHT NOW!" There was finality to that sentence that promised doom if he didn't comply with her demand.
Harry gulped before he answered. He started what was going to happen at Hogwarts this year, and to how he gets entered into it all. To the previous challenges from the dragons to the maze, and what happened after he and Cedric grabbed the Triwizard Cup. He looked over at John who was looking down at the moment. When he finished he was knocked to the ground as Daphne threw herself at him.
"Don't you dare die on me Harry James Potter!" Daphne screamed at him.
"I won't, I promise." He looked over at John. "Seriously couldn't this have waited?"
"Wait till when Harry, just before you were entered?" Daphne snapped.
"No I suppose not." Harry said rubbing her back. "Why are you here John?"
"To tell you that unless you want more complication then what has already happened, you will need to sit in front of Winky during the World Cup."
"Who's Winky?" Daphne demanded.
"A house elf concealing the man who will enter me in the Tournament and no I don't want to turn him in because the ritual will kill anyone else." Daphne's face went pale. "I know I sound mad, but Daphne this ritual require a little bit of my blood, and Voldemort is going to try and kill me."
"What do you mean by 'try'?"
"Our wands tail feathers of the same phoenix so they will not fight each other." Daphne's face relaxed at this point. "You know what will happen."
"One of my ancestors was a wand maker so my family library has a few books on wand construction, and their abilities." Harry lay there blinking for a moment. "Oh come on Harry I don't know everything, and the books only vaguely mention Priori Incantatem."
"Oh." Harry leaned in to kiss Daphne on the cheek. "So how are you related to the wand maker?"
"Through my mother," Daphne said sharply. "You have a lot of explaining to do, and maybe a massage or two before I even think of letting you kiss me again." She walked back into the house.
Harry looked back at John. "Don't make a habit of getting me in trouble."
"Why is that?" John asked with a smile on his face.
"You owe me for this one."
"I owe you nothing." John said laughing hysterically.
"I would take a martini at this point."
"Shaken or stirred?" John asked as he faded.
Harry wanted to responded, but hearing Janet call his name meant that they knew something had happened, "F my life!"
The next two weeks pasted seamlessly for Harry and company. Daphne had gotten over the whole Triwizard thing, and was bound and determined to help Harry if the challenges were different. The group as a whole had gone to Zonko's over the weekend and gathered the things they would need for the 'Opening Salvo' as Hermione called it. She was a bit worried about what the twins would do if they were blamed for this series of pranks. Harry tried to tell her that the worst that could happen is that they could find a ten tongue toffee in their food. This however caused an explanation as to what ten tongue toffee was, and this made two of the girls go 'ewww' while the third was laughing hysterically. Tracey didn't stop laughing till her girlfriend tapped her upside the back of the head.
"Tracey that is thoroughly disgusting." Susan said through gritted teeth.
"Maybe I should show you what happened in the Pensieve." Harry said with a smile.
"No, Yes." Was the simultaneous response of the girls?
"Alright to the pensieve it is then." Harry said pointing the way.
He could hear some groans coming from the group behind him, and one glance over his shoulder told him that even the most studious of the group wanted to see this… well sort of. Once inside the memory all the girls were laughing hysterically as his massively obese uncle hurled whatever he could get his hands on at Mr. Weasley. Aunt Petunia did not make herself any friends among the girls as she attempted to help her son while she left Harry in her husband's line of fire.
"Is that woman really that crazy?" Susan asked.
"I am afraid so Sue." Harry said calmly. "Even though she cared about my well being in the end she just couldn't get past the jealousy she had towards my mum."
"That's stupid." Daphne said.
"I know." said Harry.
"Okay now that the disgusting scene is over." Daphne tried to sound completely disgusted, but the light in her blue-green eyes belied her true feeling. "Neville did your gran get you the tickets or is it going to be just us and the Weasleys?"
"Sadly, I will," Neville paused while looking down at the ground. Harry thought he could see his friend's lips pulling up wards.
"It's okay Nev we…" Hermione started.
"…be able to go." Neville looked up at this point, and there was a large grin gracing his face.
"You prat!" Hermione said. She subsequently started hit him on the shoulder. "I swear you should have joined us."
"Gran would have skinned me alive." Neville said between laughs.
The rest of the day pasted uneventfully. Daphne and Harry spent a good amount of time talking about the upcoming game. She was desperately trying to figure out who would win the match, but Harry didn't budge an inch. He enjoyed the bribe attempts though. Snogging could be that dangerous could it? Well maybe some of the things that happened after might be, but that was only if they got caught. On his birthday Harry received a couple of quidditch supplies from Janet and Sirius. Hermione got him a book of advanced defensive spells. Daphne got him a book on Qudditch tactics with a note saying 'Ireland will LOSE' written on the inside. Harry laughed at this. The Weasley's got him a collection of Chocolate Frogs. Tracey and Susan had come together to get him a set of books on leadership both magical and muggle. "We thought you'd need them since you are our leader." Susan said before she curtsied. He opened Astoria's present with a slight amount of hesitation remembering what she had done to Ronald. Once he opened it there was a small 'pop', and within the box was a small wand holder, a pink wand holder.
"Interesting colour choice Astoria, may I ask why?" He looked at her to see she was backing away from her sister slowly.
"They're fake!" she screamed before taking off.
"What are fake?" Harry asked. Sirius conjured a full length mirror to reveal Harry was now wearing a pink tank top that barely concealed his very well endowed chest. "Oh." Was all he could say before he walked to his room to change his clothes.
"She's a Marauder." Was the last thing he heard Sirius say before heading up the stairs.
Astoria was sitting there going over the notes given to her by Sirius, and relishing the idea of being a full-fledged Marauder. The sheer idea that her sister and her friends were all Animagi was astonishing, and slightly annoying. Her sister and her friends were all animagi and they never told her. Oh, this defiantly meant war. Though how to prank five fully trained witches and one overly distracted wizard was the challenge, and the fact that they had been taking notes from one of her teachers was equally troubling. If she didn't do things right she would be in some Sirius trouble.
"I could get used to this." She whispered as she closed the book, and took out a quill, ink vial, and a piece of parchment.
Harry tumbled out of the Floo for the Gods know how many times, and was picked up by a raven haired girl with bluish green eyes. Daphne was shaking her head, and had a bemused look on her face. Harry was trying to shake the feeling of déjà vu as he was 'introduced' to Bill and Charlie. Harry wanted to laugh as the argument of Bill's hair and earring started earlier this go round. Harry guessed that since he wasn't at Durzkaban this had altered a few things. Percy however was still resentful about any amount of noise outside his room. Harry would be bunking in Ron's old room with Fred, George, and Neville. He honestly felt sorry for Ginny because she would be sharing her room with Daphne, Hermione, Tracey, and Susan this time. Astoria would be joining them tomorrow along with her mum and dad.
Once all his things were stored away in Ron's old room. Harry made his way back down to the kitchen. Mrs. Weasley was complaining about Fred and George apparently they got caught using the Ten Tongue Toffee on Susan who was none too thrilled about having an ever growing tongue. Once he and Nev got the forks and knives they made a hasty retreat before any heavy objects were hurled in their direction.
The banging noise coming from the garden told Harry not much about this day would change, but once he rounded the corner he nearly dropped the forks. Bill and Charlie were fighting with the tables, but they were not alone in doing so. Daphne and Tracey were right up there with them, and Susan was trying to get Hermione to move just a little bit closer to the action. When Tracey's table slammed into Daphne's the whole thing just fell apart.
"VICTORY!" screamed Tracey.
"Will you keep it down!" Percy bellowed.
"Sorry, Perce," said Bill grinning. "How are the cauldron bottoms coming on?"
"Very badly," said Percy peevishly, and he slammed the window shut. Chuckling, the four duelists waved their wands and either fixed their tables or set them firmly on the ground. The table cloth Bill conjured this time was so large Harry briefly thought of using it as sail for a small boat.
By seven o'clock the three tables were groaning under dishes and dishes of Mrs. Weasley's fine cooking, and the nine Weasleys and their six guest were settling themselves down to eat beneath a clear, beep-blue sky. Even though he hadn't been 'staved' due to Dudley's diet Harry still busied himself with eating while he let the others talk. He was also under the impression that these tables were enchanted in such a way as to make aware of the conversations going down at the other end.
"I told Mr. Crouch that I'll have it ready by Tuesday." Harry wanted to laugh at this given the changes made to the time stream he didn't know if it would be a single day match like last time, or if it would draw out to week long match. "That's a bit sooner than he expected it, but I like to keep on top of things. I think he'll be grateful that I've done it in good time…"
Harry started tuning Percy out in favor of more promising conversations. Susan and Hermione were having a spirited conversation on sports in general.
"I am telling you Hermione it is a good thing we have sports like qudditch. Without them life would be boring." Susan said enthusiastically.
"I am not saying that we shouldn't have sports, but why do they have to let the game be so violent?" Hermione protested.
"It's no worse than rugby or American football." Daphne chimed in.
"How do you know about that?" Susan asked.
"My dad heard about it from some muggle, and started watching it at home. The house isn't so suffuse with magic that messes with Muggle electricity." Daphne said matter-o-factly.
Next to Mrs. Weasley (who was still commenting about Bill's hair) Fred, George, Charlie, and Tracey were in heated conversation about the World Cup.
"It's got to be Ireland," Charlie said thickly, through a mouthful of potatoes. "They flattened Peru in the semifinals."
"Bulgaria has Viktor Krum though," said Fred.
"That's one player, and need I remind you that MY team has seven good players." Tracy said putting her hand to her chest. "They also have damn good brooms."
"Your team," Charlie chuckled, "do you own them?"
"Not yet." Tracey said before sipping on her butterbeer.
Daphne looked up the table to make sure the twins were distracted before she quietly asked "So how are we going to get those two back for doing that to Sue?"
"It's got to be brutal." Hermione chimed in.
"Yeah- but we will work on it once the World Cup is over." Harry said quietly.
"Look at the time," Mrs. Weasley said suddenly, checking her wristwatch. "You should really be in bed, the whole lot of you- you'll be up at the crack of dawn to get to the Cup. If you guys haven't got your thing leave your school list out I'll get your things for you tomorrow in Diagon Alley. I'm getting my kids tomorrow. There might not be any time after the World Cup; the match went on for five days last time."
"Wow- I hope it does this time!" Harry said with an air of enthusiasm he didn't really feel.
He heard Percy's quip about the idea, and didn't even bother holding in his laughter at the twins remarks.
Harry was jostled awake the next morning by Mrs. Weasley. Yet again it felt like he had just lain down before be roused from his much need slumber. The twins moaned and groaned about not getting enough sleep. Fred groaned about being woken up while George and Nev looked like they wanted to kill someone. They dressed in silence too tied to talk. After a myriad of stretches and yawns the four of them made their way down stairs.
Mrs. Weasley was stirring the contents of a pot on the stove, while Mr. Weasley was sitting at the table check a sheaf large parchment tickets. He looked up as the boys entered and spread his arms so they could see his clothes more clearly. He was wearing a pair of baggy jeans, what looked like a plaid shirt, and an old sport coat. The jeans seemed to be too big for him and were only held up by a thick leather belt.
"What d'you think?" he asked anxiously. "We're supposed to go incognito- do I look like a muggle, Harry?"
"Yes, perfect." Harry said trying to suppress a laugh. This choice of attire only reinforced the idea that while the Weasley kids could dress like muggles their parents really had no clue how to do it.
"Where're Bill, Charlie, and Per-Per-Percy?" Fred asked failing to suppress a yawn.
"Well they can Apparate, so their having a bit of a lie-in." Mrs. Weasley said.
An argument about why the twins couldn't Apparate as well broke out, before she wondered off to get the girls. While she was gone the Floo came to life. Daphne's mum (Alice) stepped aside so that Tori not run into her. Alice opted to stand on the other side of the stairs so as to not block the path to the table while Tori took a seat at the table next to Fred and George. A few minutes later Mrs. Weasley returned with the girls. Harry had to admit only one thing: Tracey did not look that great when she first woke up in the morning.
"Well hello Alice, where is Jacob?" Molly asked as she entered the kitchen.
"He is Apparating with Sirius and Janet later on in the day." Alice said with a smile on her face. "Do you need any help?"
"No I've just about got it thank you for offering though." Mrs. Weasley said over her shoulder.
"So what do you have to do to be able to Apparate?" Harry almost felt compelled to ask this question.
"Well there's a test you take dear." Mrs. Weasley said.
"You have to pass a test?" asked Harry.
"Oh yes," said Mr. Weasley, tucking the tickets safely into the back pocket of his jeans. "The Department of Magical Transportation had to fine a couple of people the other day for Apparating without a license. It's not easy Apparating, and when it's not done properly it can lead to nasty complications. This pair I'm talking about went and splinched themselves."
Everyone in the room flinched.
"George!" said Mrs. Weasley sharply, and they all jumped.
"What?" said George, in an innocent tone that deceived nobody.
Once more the scene of ten tongue toffees flying from the most unlikely of places played out. Harry was looking at the ground during the whole ordeal. He knew the twins would probably yell at him at some point, but not right now, and not here. He just knew that if this didn't happen Mrs. Weasley would never agree with them building Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes later on.
Once breakfast was done Harry walked somberly up to get his things. When the door slammed behind him he knew what was coming.
"Why didn't you tell us this was going to happen Harry!" George damn near screamed.
"Because if I did she would never agree to your idea of a job, and Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes would never be more than a dream!" Harry shot back.
"Explain." Fred said curtly.
"I won't go into to detail, but like I said this need to happen for your mum to see reason."
"So this had to happen for our dream?" George asked. He still sounded angry, but he was no longer yelling.
"Yes it did," was all Harry said before he walked out the door.
The walk to Ottery St. Catchpole was a similar affair. Mrs. Weasley still told the twins to behave as they left. Harry still had the conversation about how they were getting to the World Cup unsure of the affect that not having it would cause on the way things played out. Poor Tori looked like she was going to keel over any second now. Hermione was helping Susan support Tracey while holding onto her side. Daphne was even leaning on Harry's shoulder.
"Are you alright Astoria?" asked Alice.
"I'm fine mum." Tori said between gasping breaths.
"Now we just need to find the Portkey," said Mr. Weasley, replacing his glasses and squinting around at the ground. "It won't be too big… Come on…"
They spread out, searching. They had only been at for a couple of minutes, however, when a shout rent the still air.
"Over here, Arthur! Over here, son, we've got it!" Harry smiled at the sound Mr. Diggory's voice.
Harry turned and smiled at the two taller men silhouetted against the starry night sky. Harry had to bite his tongue keep from saying 'hello' to the approaching men.
"Amos!" said Mr. Weasley, smiling as he strode over to the man. Harry pulled Daphne closer as they walked up to the man. Once everyone was near him Mr. Weasley began the introduction. "This is Amos Diggory everyone. He works for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. And I think you all know his son Cedric."
"Hello Amos," said Alice.
"Lady Greengrass," Mr. Diggory did a half bow.
"Hi," said Cedric looking around at them all.
Everyone said hi back except Fred, George, and Tori who merely nodded. They were still mad because Cedric had beaten Gryffindor last year.
"Long walk Alice, Arthur?" Mr. Diggory asked.
"Oh sure ask him if the walk was murderous." Alice said teasingly.
Mr. Weasley laughed before answering. "It wasn't too far. We live just on the other side of village there. You?"
Harry tuned out the explanation of the Diggorys morning. He knew the explanation, and didn't really want to hear it again. He found himself doing this more and more these days saved for when the situation was brand new. Sure he might get yelled at by Mad-eye for his lack of 'Constant Vigilance'. He had to bite back a laugh because it looked like something serious was being discussed at that moment, and give that Mr. Weasley was pointing at his kids it must be introduction time.
"These three miscreants are mine." Alice said pointing to Astoria, Daphne, and Tracey. "This is their friend Hermione Granger; this is Tracey's girlfriend Susan Bones, and this Daphne's beaux Harry Potter." The amount of sarcastic sweetness in her voice as she introduced the couples made Harry want to gag.
"Merlin's beard," Amos Diggory said his eyes widening. "Harry? Harry Potter?"
"Er- yeah," said Harry.
"Ced's talked about you, of course," said Amos Diggory. "Told us all about playing against you last year… I said to him, I said- Ced that'll be something to tell your grandchildren, that will… You beat Harry Potter!"
Once again Harry tuned things out. He only returned to the here and now when Daphne elbowed him in the ribs. Harry looked around and saw everyone touching a punctured old football. Moving a little closer to Daphne with a little bit of difficulty owing to the size of their backpacks he listened as Mr. Weasley counted down until 'liftoff', and then with the familiar sensation of a hook being attached to the back of his naval. He could feel Daphne and Hermione's shoulders slamming into him as they were pulled irresistibly forward until his feet slammed into the ground. He stumbled for a little bit before he tried to help Daphne keep her footing. This however failed and the both fell to the ground. When his vision cleared after his head hit the ground Harry found himself staring at the back of Daphne's head, and his hand felt like they had soft warm mass. At first he thought it was Daphne's arms then slowly, ever so slowly, it dawned on him where his hands truly lay.
"Those are mine you know?" Daphne said sternly. Harry's hands moved away from her chest so fast he thought his arms would go flying off his body. "Thank you love," Daphne said as her mum pulled her to her feet.
"You know Harry," Tracey said as she helped him to his feet, "we are never going to let you live this down?"
"It was an accident." Harry protested.
"Sure it was," teased Tracey, Sue, and Hermione as one.
"Seven past five from Stoatshead Hill," said the man collecting the Portkeys.
"Come on let's turn this thing in." said Mr. Weasley patting Harry on the back sympathetically.
A/N 3: Keep up the reveiws, and to any interested I am in need of a new beta. You can PM if you are interested.