20 The Burrow
It was early morning when a young boy with pitch black hair and obsidian eyes exited the house.
The house was anything but normal. It looked as though it had once been a large stone pigpen, but extra rooms had been added here and there until it was several stories high and so crooked it looked as though it were held up by magic. Four or five chimneys were perched on top of the red roof. A lopsided sign stuck in the ground near the entrance read, THE BURROW. Around the front door lay a jumble of rubber boots and a very rusty cauldron. Several fat brown chickens were pecking their way around the yard.
The boy grabbed some chicken feed and threw it at the chickens. He glance towards the sky with a gaze full of pity.
"Mrs Weasley will kill you guys. Hope you can survive her wrath..."
After school had ended, Arth asked his friends if they had a place he could stay. Harry said no because his aunt and uncle would never allow it, Hermione was a growing girl so Arth refused, so that left Ron.
He was given a Bill's old room, which was quite nice, to sleep in and helped Mrs. Weasley do chores whenever possible as repayment. he would even entertain Ginny, the younger sister of Ron.
Today, Fred, George And Ron had gone off to fetch Harry because they noticed something wrong. Harry hadn't been answering to any of their letters which was highly suspicious because Harry would never not respond to a letter, it was his only connection to people like him, wizards.
So Ron and the twins thought it would be a fantastic idea to go fetch Harry on a flying car, and leave Arth as a sentry. His role was to make sure that Mrs. Weasley did not find out about them leaving.
He was starting to get used to Ron's thirst for excitement and adventures.
The terrifying part was that the moment the boy's left the house, Mrs. Weasley came stomping up the stairs with a frying pan and questioned Arth thoroughly. Arth pretended that he had no clue and only just woke up, to which Mrs. Weasley let our a warm smile to.
She then ran off holding a frying pan muttering about killing.
It was the first time Arth realized that a frying pan could be so threatening.
Arth heard the sound of a car engine and turned his face to the sky. The sky was a dark blue color and a tiny bit of yellow was starting to show up in the horizon. In the middle of the sky was a flying Ford Angela.
They had returned, in fact, Arth was able to make out their conversation.
"Now, we'll go upstairs really quietly," said Fred, "and wait for Mum to call us for breakfast. Then, Ron, you come bounding downstairs going, 'Mum, look who turned up in the night!' and she'll be all pleased to see Harry and no one need ever know we flew the car."
"I don't think that will work, people don't just appear in other peoples bedrooms."
The four of them jumped.
"Arth, I thought you were on guard, why are you here... oh no don't tell me."
"Yep," answered Arth with a sigh, "you three are officially screwed."
Ron had gone a nasty greenish color, his eyes fixed on the house.
"Here she comes."
They wheeled around.
Mrs. Weasley was marching across the yard, scattering chickens, and for a short, plump, kind- faced woman, it was remarkable how much she looked like a saber-toothed tiger.
"Ah, "said Fred.
"Oh, dear," said George.
Mrs. Weasley came to a halt in front of them, her hands on her hips, staring from one guilty face to the next. She was wearing a flowered apron with a wand sticking out of the pocket.
"So," she said.
"Morning, Mum," said George, in what he clearly thought was a jaunty, winning voice.
"Have you any idea how worried I've been?" said Mrs. Weasley in a deadly whisper.
"Sorry, Mum, but see, we had to —"
All three of Mrs. Weasley's sons were taller than she was, but they cowered as her rage broke over them.
"Beds empty! No note! Car gone — could have crashed — out of my mind with worry — did you care? — never, as long as I've lived — you wait until your father gets home, we never had trouble like this from Bill or Charlie or Percy—"
"Perfect Percy," muttered Fred.
Arth winced, he could almost visibly see the game over screen appear in front of him.
"YOU COULD DO WITH TAKING A LEAF OUT OF PERCY'S BOOK!" yelled Mrs. Weasley, prodding a finger in Fred's chest. "You could have died, you could have been seen, you could have lost your father his job —"
It seemed to go on for hours. Mrs. Weasley had shouted herself hoarse before she turned on Harry, who backed away.
"I'm very pleased to see you, Harry, dear," she said. "Come in and have some breakfast. Arth, if you've finished feeding the chickens, you can come in have breakfast too."
"Thank you ma'am."
She turned and walked back into the house and they followed her like obedient children.
The kitchen was small and rather cramped.
Mrs. Weasley was clattering around, cooking breakfast a little haphazardly, throwing dirty looks at her sons as she threw sausages into the frying pan. Every now and then she muttered things like "don't know what you were thinking of," and "never would have believed it."
"I don't blame you, dear," she assured Harry, tipping eight or nine sausages onto his plate. "Arthur and I have been worried about you, too. Just last night we were saying we'd come and get you ourselves if you hadn't written back to Ron by Friday. But really, flying an illegal car halfway across the country — anyone could have seen you —"
She flicked her wand casually at the dishes in the sink, which began to clean themselves, clinking gently in the background.
"It was cloudy, Mum!" said Fred.
"You keep your mouth closed while you're eating!" Mrs. Weasley snapped.
"They were starving him, Mum!" said George.
At that moment there was a diversion in the form of a small, redheaded figure in a long nightdress, who appeared in the kitchen, gave a small squeal, and ran out again.
"Ginny," said Ron in an undertone to Harry. "My sister. She's been talking about you all summer."
"She really wanted to meet you. She told me while we were talking about school," said Arth while wolfing down the sausage.
"Yeah, she'll be wanting your autograph, Harry," Fred said with a grin, but he caught his mother's eye and bent his face over his plate without another word. Nothing more was said until all four plates were clean, which took a surprisingly short time.
"Blimey, I'm tired," yawned Fred, setting down his knife and fork at last. "I think I'll go to bed and —"
"You will not," snapped Mrs. Weasley. "It's your own fault you've been up all night. You're going to de-gnome the garden for me; they're getting completely out of hand again —"
"I already did that yesterday Mrs. Weasley."
"Oh, thank you my dear, if only Ron would learn a thing or two from you."
Ron bent over to Harry.
"She's been like that all summer, every time Arth does something, she starts comparing him to me. But that might just be because Arth is good at housework, like literally a pro. Surprising really, expected him to only be able to read."
Arth heard this and smacked Ron in the back of the head.
Harry smiled before asking with a curious gaze.
"What is de-gnoming"
"You basically catch a small little man and spin the around before throwing them across the lawn."
"It's ok because they don't feel pain... probably."
Just then, the front door slammed.
"He's back!" said George. "Dad's home!"
Mr. Weasley was slumped into a kitchen chair with his glasses off and his eyes closed. He was a thin man, going bald, but the little hair he had was as red as any of his children's. He was wearing long green robes, which were dusty and travel-worn.
"What a night," he mumbled, groping for the teapot as they all sat down around him. "Nine raids. Nine! And old Mundungus Fletcher tried to put a hex on me when I had my back turned..."
Mr. Weasley took a long gulp of tea and sighed.
"Find anything, Dad?" said Fred eagerly.
"All I got were a few shrinking door keys and a biting kettle," yawned Mr. Weasley. "There was some pretty nasty stuff that wasn't my department, though. Mortlake was taken away for questioning about some extremely odd ferrets, but that's the Committee on Experimental Charms, thank goodness..."
"Why would anyone bother making door keys shrink?" said George.
"Just Muggle-baiting," sighed Mr. Weasley. "Sell them a key that keeps shrinking to nothing so they can never find it when they need it.. Of course, it's very hard to convict anyone because no Muggle would admit their key keeps shrinking — they'll insist they just keep losing it. Bless them, they'll go to any lengths to ignore magic, even if it's staring them in the face...But the things our lot have taken to enchanting, you wouldn't believe —"
"LIKE CARS, FOR INSTANCE?"
Mrs. Weasley had appeared, holding a long poker like a sword. Arth didn't know how Mrs. Weasley managed to make anything in her hands look like a killing machine.
"C-cars, Molly, dear?"
"Yes, Arthur, cars," said Mrs. Weasley, her eyes flashing. "Imagine a wizard buying a rusty old car and telling his wife all he wanted to do with it was take it apart to see how it worked, while really he was enchanting it to make it fly."
Mr. Weasley blinked.
"Well, dear, I think you'll find that he would be quite within the law to do that, even if — er — he maybe would have done better to, um, tell his wife the truth...There's a loophole in the law, you'll find...As long as he wasn't intending to fly the car, the fact that the car could fly wouldn't —"
"Arthur Weasley, you made sure there was a loophole when you wrote that law!" shouted Mrs. Weasley. "Just so you could carry on tinkering with all that Muggle rubbish in your shed! And for your information, Harry arrived this morning in the car you weren't intending to fly!"
"Harry?" said Mr. Weasley blankly. "Harry who?"
He looked around, saw Harry, and jumped.
"Good lord, is it Harry Potter? Very pleased to meet you, Ron's told us so much about —"
"Your sons flew that car to Harry's house and back last night!" shouted Mrs. Weasley. "What have you got to say about that, eh?"
"Did you really?" said Mr. Weasley eagerly.
"Did it go all right? I — I mean," he faltered as
sparks flew from Mrs. Weasley's eyes, "that — that was very wrong, boys — very wrong indeed..."
"Let's go, before things get nasty." Said Arth with a wry smile.
Ron nodded his head in agreement. "Come on, I'll show you my bedroom."
They slipped out of the kitchen and down a narrow passageway to an uneven staircase, which wound its way, zigzagging up through the house. On the third landing, a door stood ajar. Harry just caught sight of a pair of bright brown eyes staring at him before it closed with a snap.
"Ginny," said Ron. "You don't know how weird it is for her to be this shy. She never shuts up normally."
"In front of THE famous Harry Potter, it's nothing unusual," said Arth with a smirk, causing Harry to blush in embarrassment.
They climbed two more flights until they reached a door with peeling paint and a small plaque on it, saying RONALD'S ROOM.
Harry pointed at Ron's wall that was covered in posters of the same seven witches and wizards, all wearing bright orange robes, carrying broomsticks, and waving energetically.
"Your Quidditch team?" Asked Harry.
"The Chudley Cannons, Ninth in the league."
"It's a bit small," said Ron quickly. "Not like that room you had with the Muggles. And I'm right underneath the ghoul in the attic; he's always banging on the pipes and groaning..."
This is the best house I've ever been in." Ron's ears went pink.
"Ok stop this, if I didn't know you guys on a personal level, I would think that you two are gay for each other. Like seriously."
Ron and Harry responded by picking up the nearest thing they could find, a pillow, and smashing Arth in the face.