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A Piece of Red Yarn: Parts 1-4

This first four parts of the much requested sequel to "A Questionable Encounter" (see previous two posts). For now this one is a livejournal exclusive. I will not be putting it up at any of the fan fic archives (SIYE, Simply Undeniable, Checkmated) until I finish the story. But I wanted to get some initial reactions.

A Piece of Red Yarn

A/N: A sequel to “A Questionable Encounter.” Take a moment and read that first, if you haven’t. This one will still be here when you get back.

Part One:

Her hands were trembling as she withdrew the length of crimson yarn from her bedside table. It was fuzzy and fraying in the end, because she had rubbed it like a good luck charm over the past two months. The horizon was paling telling her that the sun would soon be up. She could see the ice hanging on the limbs of the trees beginning to glow, and she threw open her window to the cold clean winter morning air.

Moments later there was a soft flutter of snowy white wings and the small piece of red yarn was flying off into the sunrise. Ginny pulled her flannel blanket closer about her shoulders and watched until the owl could no longer be seen. The hard wood floor was frozen beneath her bare feet, but she did not notice. The wind whipped into her face, blowing her bright red hair about her and stinging her eyes. She let out a long held breath and did not even notice the small white cloud that she expelled. Her mind was far away, beyond the sunrise in a place that even she could not locate, but she knew in her heart he was there.

~*~

Tonks, her hair now a festive green with red tips, was rolling a mug of tea in between her palms at the long table in the Burrow kitchen, while Molly started breakfast. The young Auror glanced out the window to see Kingsley Shacklebolt again making his way around the garden path. He had given up his holiday leave from his job with the Muggle Prime Minister to do Dawlish “a favor.” Dawlish wanted to spend the holidays with his family, rather than on Weasley duty, and Kingsley had been happy to relieve him.

Tonks of course had not minded Weasley duty over the holidays in the least. She was glad to be spending Christmas at the Burrow; it was after all where Remus would be. Tonks smiled widely behind her tea, as Molly began heaping a plate with sausages for Kingsley. Dawlish always had to bring his meals with him, Tonks thought as she suppressed a giggle.

~*~

Harry rolled over in his four poster bed, keeping his eyes closed. The hangings had not been drawn, and the light of a cold winter sunrise was beginning to fill the room. He had slept better than he could remember sleeping in the past six months. And maybe, just maybe, he could keep his eyes closed a little longer and it would all be a dream: Ginny would bound in to wake him for breakfast, he would pull his school robes out of his trunk and head down to the Great Hall to eat hurriedly before his first class.

Harry reluctantly opened his eyes and gazed about the dorm. There were only two trunks at the foot of beds this year. Neville had a stack of Herbology books on his night stand, and the West Ham football team still hung above Dean’s bed. But they had both gone home for the holidays. Harry glanced around and saw that Seamus’ bed was empty, which meant only one thing. Harry glanced over at Ron’s bed and saw a freckled and scarred arm wrapped tightly around Hermione’s pajama clad shoulders.

~*~

Ron’s eyes snapped open, at the sound of someone stirring. He had become, over the past few months, a light sleeper. He caught Harry’s eyes, as Harry sat up in bed and gently pushed back his covers. Ron gave the slightest nod when Harry motioned toward the door. He watched his best mate silently pad out of the dorm, closing the door softly behind him. Hermione shifted in his arms and Ron pulled her tighter against him. He pressed his lips lightly to her sleeping forehead and hoped that she could sleep longer.

They had not slept for two days when they flooed to Hogwarts from the Leaky Cauldron at 4:00am, and Hermione had been awake for another fifteen hours searching ancient texts in the library. Ron had been pulling books and ancient scrolls for her, while Harry went off in search of the Grey Lady. He had brushed a lock of hair from her face while she wrote notes from the texts and she had stopped. Of course it would happen in a library, he smiled to himself, as he looked at her eyelashes softly fluttering on her cheeks. And a few hours later, after Harry had fallen asleep, Hermione had slipped into his bed and into his arms; and they had both drifted off into the most peaceful sleep.

~*~

Hermione could feel the warmth of Ron’s chest against her cheek, and his strong arm wrapped around her. She wondered how long it would take him to realize that she was no longer asleep. She had slept well, better than she had in months; not because she was so tired or because she was in a decent bed, but because she was at peace with herself. Finally after years of waiting and wanting, she had told him what she had wanted to say for so long. And then she had heard the words returned to her, full of meaning, blue eyes burning into hers. And she had understood exactly what Harry had said to her, in the basement of Grimmauld Place.

She had stilled his hand last as he brushed a loose hair from her face as she wrote. She pulled him down on the bench beside her and looked into his eyes. And then she told him. He had blushed, touched her face, and told her again. It was the third time he had said it to her, but it was different this time. It was everything that she had wanted it to be the other times, and then he had kissed her softly and they had returned to work. When Harry’s breathing had slowed later that night, she had crept over to Ron’s bed and settled herself into the place where she truly belonged: his arms.

~*~

Hedwig sped away into the sunrise. She turned toward London and made a stop at the park near Grimmauld Place, before swinging by St. Mungo’s and skirting the Ministry of Magic. She then ducked in a barely open window at 93 Diagon Alley and waited patiently until the Ministry owl got tired and flew away. She clicked her beak rather smugly and got a drink out of a small bowl on the top most shelf of the back room. Hedwig grabbed the small stick that sat beside the bowl in her beak tightly. It had rather the same effect that Fred and George’s Headless Hats had, the field of invisibility extending a comfortably owl sized area out from the stick.

Holding the stick in her beak firmly, Hedwig set out to find her master; whom, she had known perfectly well since very early in the morning yesterday, was at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. More specifically, he was currently having breakfast on a couch in the Gryffindor common room. If she was lucky, he would have bacon.


Part Two:

Molly Weasley pointed her wand at the mound of sprouts on the side board and they began to peel themselves. She could hear the scratch of scissors and the squeak of a roll of Spellotape as her only daughter, and her last child at home, made her annual paper chain explosion in the living room. Fred and George had closed up the shop for Christmas Eve and were in the back garden getting carrots and onions for the big family dinner. At least that is what they were supposed to be doing, she decided that she did not want to know why they were wresting on the ground in the back garden. Better not to even wonder, Molly thought as she gazed around her house. It would be full for the holidays, but not as full as she would like it to be. Charlie would not be home again, and she highly doubted that Percy would have anyone pushing him to make an appearance this year. And Ron and Harry…

She wasn’t happy about her youngest son’s long absence. She had not approved, but Arthur had stilled her as Ron was of age. She thought that they had had too many narrow escapes when it came to this war, and she was not sure how much longer true tragedy could be avoided. But still she had knitted their jumpers; and one other with Crookshanks’ outline worked in for Hermione.

~*~

Ginny cut strips of paper and twisted them into links of a chain; one hundred and forty-two links on each chain. Each link a promise, each link was a wish. She knew that Hedwig would find him; she knew that the piece of red yarn would most likely soon be between his finger tips. But she had no idea what he was doing, where he was, or if he would be able to leave where ever he was. She smiled down at Crookshanks who was locked in combat with a length of paper chain and wished again as she twisted the next length of paper between her fingers.

There under the half-decorated tree, Fred and George said that they were working on the finishing touches, sat three wrapped gifts that might not make it to the foot of a bed in the morning. They were the jumpers that Ginny had watched her mother knit for Ron, Hermione and Harry. There were more packages for them, but Ginny had kept hers in her room. She did not know if she could bear to see those gifts still wrapped while the rest of the family ate Christmas dinner. One hundred and forty-two, she had finished another chain.

~*~

Hermione lifted her head and met Ron’s eyes, closing them again quickly as he leaned down and kissed her. She pulled away, stroked his cheek and was rewarded with a lopsided grin. This was better than Christmas morning, she thought, and then frowned as she remembered that Christmas morning was tomorrow. It wasn’t as if they had never spent Christmas at Hogwarts before, but she knew that this year especially they should have been able to be with family.

“What?” Ron questioned timidly as he gazed at her.

“Nothing, Ron, I just remembered that tomorrow is Christmas; and I don’t even have a present for you.” Hermione covered, not wanting to bring up his family right now, in such a moment.

“You love me, I don’t need anything else.”

~*~

Ron kissed her again thinking back on what Harry had said as he burned strands of yarn in the back yard of Godric’s Hollow. He understood now, and he had as soon as she had told him last night. There would never be anyone, anything more important to him that her, ever again. He held her close and was amazed at the way that she fit so perfectly in his arms. She was the best Christmas present that he had ever gotten. Infinitely better than the mess he was in last year, he chuckled to himself.

“What?” Hermione looked up at him again, a playful questioning look on her face.

“I was just thinking that I like my Christmas presents better when they are in my bed than when they are at the foot of it.” He smiled down at her, amazed a little at his own cheek. And she batted him against the arm trying to look put out before they both collapsed laughing.

Their laughter stopped abruptly when Harry slammed back the dorm door and strode quickly into the room, Hedwig bobbing on his shoulder.

~*~

Dobby had answered Harry Potter’s call to Gryffindor tower only a few minutes ago. He now found himself burdened with not only his usual ten crocheted hats but also a long parchment list and a heavy bag of galleons. He popped into Scrivenshaft’s, Dervish and Banges, Honeydukes, and finally Gladrags as quickly as he could. He thrust the list at the clerks that were working and popped on to the next shop as soon as he paid for each order.

He was Harry Potter’s friend, and anything Harry Potter asked of him he would do. He had personally seen to the mending and washing of all of Harry Potter’s things as soon as they arrived. He had made sure that there was plenty of breakfast for Harry Potter, his Weezy and the nice Miss that morning. And now he was making sure that Harry Potter had everything he would need when he left that afternoon. Dobby was nearly overcome with joy when he got to Gladrags and the clerk told him that the list stated that he was to pick out at least three pair of socks for himself. Harry Potter was a good man, Dobby thought as he popped back to Hogwarts under a large pile of shopping bags.

~*~

Headmistress Minerva McGonagall had stopped just shy of stunning Phineas Nigellus’ portrait on her way out of her office. He had a tendency to get on even her nerves. She was not taking orders from a student, as the Slytherin’s portrait wished to imply. She was agreeing to a polite request from a former student who just happened to be in the castle. It had been several months since the young woman and men in Gryffindor tower had been her students. Now they seemed to represent her only hope.

The sight that had met her in the Gryffindor common room, had tugged at her heartstrings, not that she would admit it. So much so, that she did not even reprimand Potter’s use of a school staff member as his personal shopper. She also granted Miss Granger’s request to take several large tomes from the library, stating that she would be more than happy to deal with the wrath of Ms. Pince when she returned. The Headmistress contacted the Floo Office at the Ministry and got approval for a temporary connection to the Burrow. She kindly explained that, some how, by means unbeknownst to her, Harry Potter had arranged for a House Elf on the Hogwarts staff to do his Christmas shopping for him, and she had been asked by said House Elf to make sure that the gifts were delivered.

~*~

Remus Lupin, was enjoying a mug of mulled cider in the living room of the Burrow, and trying not to laugh out loud as Tonks tried again to fight her way back into the kitchen to help Molly. There had been an incident earlier involving a cooling treacle tart and some rogue boiled potatoes, he had chosen not to ask the details. He was shocked to hear his name called from the fireplace, having understood the Floo connection to be disconnected, and thinking that everyone who would want to talk to him was in the near vicinity.

He gladly accepted the parcel and the same story that McGonagall had given the Ministry, and marveled at Harry’s thoughtfulness and ingenuity at a time like this. He opened the parcel and began laying the brightly wrapped gifts at the foot of the Christmas tree, deciding that he would not disturb the ladies in the kitchen. They were disturbed, however, when he let out a loud guffawing laugh as he pulled from the bag a stuffed bunny rabbit with a tag tied around its neck that read: ‘To Moony, With Love, Prongs, Jr.’

~*~

Harry had watched McGonagall carrying is Father Christmas type sack out of the portrait hole with not to much difficulty. He had ushered Ron and Hermione off to the kitchens to bring back some lunch. He had a feeling that Hermione had gone, in part, to make sure that Ron’s appetite did not tax the House Elves too much. As the Fat Lady swung closed, Harry took out a small box that he had slipped into his pocket before the gift wrapping frenzy had begun. Harry sat down again at the long table that was still covered in bits of ribbon, paper and odd pieces of Spellotape.

Harry smoothed a piece of gold paper out in front of him and set the small box down on the paper. This gift was too precious to be thrown in a bag with all the others. He wrapped it slowly, folding the paper in tight angles. He wanted it to be perfect, because she was perfect, well for him anyway. He smiled to himself as he pulled a blank tag from the pile and dipped his quill in the ink well. “To Ginny, 142, Harry.”

~*~

Kingsley Shacklebolt was enjoying his watch at the Burrow as Christmas Eve morning was fading into afternoon. He had told Tonks to enjoy herself, he was the senior officer here, and it felt rather nice to order someone to have a good holiday. He was glad for the time spent out of doors as well, being stuck in the Muggle Minister’s office all day, while amusing at times, was not really his cup of tea. He had no idea how the Muggles who worked there could stand it without magic. And he had thought those three months he was placed on desk duty when he was fresh out of Auror training had been bad. His repeated scanning of the property finally yielded something, and Kingsley lifted his arm for a Ministry owl to land.

He read the note informing him that a temporary Floo connection had been enabled at the request of the Hogwarts Headmistress to deliver ‘Christmas presents’ from Potter to the Weasley family and requesting a complete report on the contents of the large sack that McGonagall had passed to Lupin. He did not even return to the house before hastily scrawling a reply to send back with the owl. “Dear Minister, The Weasleys do not open their gifts until Christmas morning. I would hate to demand they change a generations old family tradition. The report will be on your desk tomorrow night. –KS” Let Scrimgeour stuff that in his pipe and smoke it, he thought as the owl flew away. Packages passed between Order members that came from Harry Potter were none of the Minister’s business.


Part Three:

Harry packed his rucksack neatly; it was something that he had not had a chance to do often in these past few months. He was very grateful for the fact that all of his clothes were clean and mended; not just Scourgified and Reparoed. He folded his Weasley jumper with the Golden Snitch around a small gold-paper wrapped box and tucked it gently into the top of his bag. He threw on his new black wool traveling cloak, cinched his rucksack and slung it over his shoulder. Harry took a last look around the seventh year Gryffindor dorm, and said his good bye to the place that had been his home for so long.

He closed the door and descended the stairs to the common room where Ron and Hermione were waiting for him. He had seen it on their faces when he first came into the dorm, and he was glad beyond words that his two best friends had finally told each other what the other needed too badly to hear. This was going to be the best Christmas he had ever known, if he had anything to do with it. Dark Lord be damned, he could do with a couple of days of Peace on Earth right now, but he would settle for Christmas with Ginny and some of Molly’s treacle tart.

~*~

Ginny had run to the living room door with her mother and Tonks when they heard Remus’ roaring laugh. Her eyes took in the scene which was quite unusual. One doesn’t often see a grown man clutching a stuffed bunny rabbit and shaking with laughter while tears run down his face. Remus was sitting in the middle of an enormous pile of gifts that had not been there when she had brought his mulled cider out to him. Ginny hurried over to his side and started picking up the gifts, To: Fred and George From: Ron and Hermione. She looked down at the package and only gave herself half a second to wonder when Ron and Hermione had started sending joint presents, before dropping it and picking up another. To: Molly From: Harry, To: Tonks From: Harry, Ron and Hermione, To: Ginny From: Hermione, To: Mum From: Ron. The pile beside her was growing and Tonks and Molly had joined her looking at the packages after they left Ginny’s hands.

She quickly reached the bottom of the bag, and her mother and Tonks caught up with her seconds later, passing the last package between them. Ginny watched as they exchanged worried glances in front of her. They looked at her sympathetically, but Ginny’s mind was racing. She knew just as they did that there was no gift in the sack that had a tag that read: To: Ginny From: Harry. For a quiet moment her mind flipped through the possibilities. Harry could have left something for her at the shop, but then why not leave everything there? He could have gotten her something by owl order, but it seemed all the other gifts for everyone had arrived, why would she be the only one with an owl order gift? But there was one more possibility, because she had sent a piece of red yarn away with Hedwig that morning.

~*~

Molly saw the tears streaking down her daughter’s cheeks, and the odd half smile beneath them and pulled her youngest child into her arms. Surely there was an explanation; surely Harry had a gift for Ginny somewhere. Maybe it had gotten mixed in with another gift, wrapped up together on accident. Maybe Hedwig would bring it later and it would be at the foot of her bed with the rest of her gifts in the morning. She heard her daughter whisper against her ear.

“It’s okay, Mum. I’m alright.” And Molly’s hear broke a little. She had been amazed by her daughter since her miraculous birth as a girl some sixteen and a half years ago. She was amazed at the strength of her daughter’s heart and courage. It was no wonder that she was a Gryffindor, a daughter brave enough to love The Boy Who Lived, strong enough to never give up hope. She wondered again, as she smoothed her daughter’s long straight hair, how little Molly Prewitt was able to bring so much strength and power into the world.

~*~

Ron slung his own rucksack over his shoulder, and then gripped the straps of the new bag that held all of Hermione’s pilfered research material. He had known that she would take it, regardless of getting McGonagall’s permission. He smiled over at her as she wrapped her face with her old Gryffindor scarf. He couldn’t believe that the girl who wanted to tell on himself and Harry for dueling Malfoy in their first year, had progressed to be a willing thief, even if it was only books that she was going to steal. He couldn’t believe that she said she loved him, until she caught his eye, and then it was almost overwhelmingly real to him all over again.

He had a slight sinking feeling, telling him that there was no way that his mother would allow him to sleep with Hermione in his arms again that night. It was a necessary sacrifice that he would have to make for the comforts of home, he thought as he grabbed her gloved hand in his. They followed Harry out of the large front doors, and into the wind driven snow of the evening. He sighed and squeezed Hermione’s hand. They were going home.

~*~

Minerva McGonagall watched silently from a frosty window high in Hogwarts castle, as three black cloaked figures braved the blowing snow down the path to the front gates. She saw Miss Granger’s gloved hand clasped tight in Mr. Weasley’s and she saw Harry Potter walking tall beside his friends. A thin smile passed her lips as she noticed that Weasley carried two rucksacks. He was carrying Hermione’s books for her.

She did not know where they were going when they left her watchful eye. She did not know exactly what their quest entailed. She remembered, and it seemed only a few days ago, when she was sitting on a garden wall in Surrey. She remembered that it was only a few short years ago that she was placing the Sorting Hat on each of their eleven-year-old heads. Giving those boys sandwiches in Snape’s office, and writing imploring letters to the Ministry to get that brilliant girl a Time Turner. Now they are strong, grown and wise beyond their years. She watched quietly as the heart, mind and soul of hope for the war-torn Wizarding world exited the castle gates.

~*~

Hermione pulled the hood of her cloak more tightly around her face, as she turned for a look back at her beloved Hogwarts. The pale tones of the winter sunset were glinting off the snow on the grounds, as they made their way down to the gates. Ron’s gloved hand held her own, and she smiled beneath her scarf. It was right that she had told him here, that she loved him. Here is where it had all started, and here it had started again: Something new and old at the same time, exiting and yet so comfortable. She glanced over against the wind and was met by Ron’s blue eyes which were also smiling above his well wrapped face. As soon as they passed the gates, Ron dropped her hand, and with the soft furl of three cloaks, they Disapparated.

They reappeared in the dark alley behind the Hog’s Head where they were ushered in quickly by the bar man. He shoved two bottles of his very old, best quality Firewhiskey into Hermione’s arms. She made room for them in her own rucksack, while he had a hushed conversation with Harry in the next room. Ron was behind her standing look out. No one else knew where they were going that night when they left here. She knew that there is only one clue to their destination, and that was a small package in Harry’s pack. She had always loved the Burrow, it was always where Ron was, that was part of it she knew; but tonight it would feel like stepping into an oasis from the desert.

~*~

Tonks was taking her shift to walk the grounds around the Burrow so Kingsley could sit and have some dinner. Remus had finally stopped laughing earlier, long enough to explain why he was receiving stuffed animals from the Boy Who Lived. Tonks had laughed so hard she had fallen off of the arm of the couch and ended up having to Reparo Molly’s favorite candy dish. Remus had kindly offered to assist her with her rounds of the Weasley property, which was why she was in his arms at the end of the lane rubbing cold noses and warm lips with him.

She was amazed at the moments of sheer joy that could happen in the midst of such a terrible war. She was amazed at how wonderful her time with Remus had been, once he finally let her in. She was amazed to discover that her feet were no longer touching the ground and that Remus was suddenly spinning her around. She finally broke the kiss and looked into his eyes. Suddenly, she saw them sharpen as she heard three soft pops, he dropped her, and with a swift movement he pushed her behind him. “That’s rich,” she thought to herself, “I’m the Auror here,” and she stepped to his side, her wand in hand.

~*~

Remus Lupin had been thoroughly enjoying helping his girlfriend with her watch duty on this lovely star lit night. He was amazed that his heart could still flutter at the mere glance of a beautiful woman, this beautiful woman. It had been years since he had known happiness like this. And everyday he was more and more thankful that Tonks was as hard headed as she was when it came to him. There were many times, like right now, when her lips were pressed to his and she was in his arms, that he could not for the life of him remember what his objections had been.

He was spinning her in the air, kissing her, and thinking that she made him feel like he was seventeen again, when he heard it. Three Apparition pops, came from just behind her. He dropped her, stepped in front of her drawing his wand and at the same time pushing her behind him, hopefully out of harm’s way. Remus felt Tonks, step to his side. His wand was pointed directly at the three black cloaked figures that had Apparated at the end of the lane to the Burrow.


Part Four:

“Don’t mind us.” A gruff voice came from under the hoods of the three figured in front of Tonks and Lupin, “We didn’t mean to interrupt.” The tallest figure made a sound like it was choking and the shortest one clapped him hard on the back. Tonks’ eyes flitted quickly back and forth among the three figures. There faces were hidden in shadow. There was a hiss. Tonks was assessing the situation, planning her actions, waiting for the cloaked figures to make the first move for their wands. The tallest one was shaking silently, and the shortest seemed to stomp on its foot.

“Ouch! Hermione! I can’t help it. I’ve never caught a professor snogging before.”

“So much for sneaking up and surprising everybody! You had to use my name didn’t you, oh great Master of Mystery.” Hermione exclaimed, tossing the hood back off of her cloak.

“They had already seen us Hermione! What were we going to do? Stun an Auror and our old DADA teacher, just so it would still be a surprise?” Ron threw back his hood as well, trying to get the full effect, as he waved his arms around.

“Well, you didn’t have to yell,” Hermione, turned away in a huff. “We still could have snuck up on everybody else.” He walked behind her and wrapped his arms around her from behind.

“Well I don’t see anybody running out of the house.” He leaned down and whispered in her ear. “We probably still can.” He kissed her cheek and she smiled. Tonks and Lupin were just standing there, open mouthed, staring at Ron and Hermione. Harry tossed back his hood as well and looked from the cuddling Ron and Hermione back to the shocked faces of Lupin and Tonks.

“Hey Moony.” Harry waved weakly as a wide grin spread across his face, “Did you get your bunny?”

Harry immediately found himself in a bone crushing hug from Lupin, and saw, looking over his old professor’s shoulder that Tonks had embraced Ron and Hermione. There was a flurry of questions, voices, and embraces. Suddenly, Hermione was hushing everyone in the group. She stepped away from the huddle and looked hurriedly up to the house. The windows were frosted over and the front door was still closed.

“I don’t think that anyone up there heard us,” Hermione said softly as she began to pace back and forth in the snow.

“Yeah, and if they did; they probably just though that it was just ol’ Moony here and his girl.” Ron wagged his eyebrows suggestively at Lupin and was rewarded with a smack to the back of the head by a blushing Tonks. Hermione gave him a reproving half-grin, before she went on.

“It is probably better this way,” Hermione was in a planning mode, Harry and Ron exchanged glances. “I mean, if we had just burst into the house, we might have been hexed beyond recognition, depending on who was behind the door. This way we can pull our cloaks back up and be drug in, like Lupin and Tonks captured us!” She was beaming back at Ron and Harry. They had so wanted this to be a surprise.

“Okay,” Ron and Harry answered in unison, grinning back at her and then each other.

“I love Christmas,” Ron sighed, smiling as he pulled his cloak back over his head.

~*~

“Crookshanks, come out of there,” Ginny pleaded with the ginger cat, who kept diving into the pile of presents under the tree. Ginny assumed it was because the gifts smelled like his mistress. She heaved him up onto her lap and stroked him absent mindedly as she tried to keep him from slipping away. “I know you miss her, I do too.”

Her father was in an in depth conversation with Kingsley Shacklebolt about Muggle office supplies, and seemed to be fascinated by the Muggle machine used for duplicating documents and something called a “facts.” Fleur was curled in Bill’s lap on the couch, his hand protectively over her stomach. They had announced when they arrived that they were expecting their first child in late spring. Her mum was at Fleur’s side discussing everything from nursing to the color of the baby’s hair.

The announcement really had done the trick, it was quite possibly the only thing that could have taken her mother’s attention from the fact that now, only three of her six sons were home for Christmas. Charlie had sent word that it was not safe for him to travel and of course Percy was not about to make a repeat appearance. Ginny leaned back against the chair she was sitting in to eye her twin brothers, who were definitely up to no good. Not that Ginny would solemnly swear to it, she thought to herself with a small smile, but she knew them well enough to hazard a good guess. She had a feeling that it might involve Remus and some kind of trick sweet that gave the test subject rabbit ears, but she had not been paying that close of attention.

Her eyes had just been drawn to her mother’s clock. Ron’s hand had just a moment before swung to ‘traveling.’ It was now back at ‘mortal peril.’ It was not as if this was an odd occurrence, it happened with disturbing regularity. It was the only small window that Ginny had into Harry, Ron and Hermione’s movements. Her letters never betrayed a single clue to where Harry was, so she only knew if Ron was traveling. Ginny glanced around the room and realized that no one else had seen the clock change. She gave Crookshanks a scratch behind the ears and released him; he stalked over to the door and stared.

It was then that Ginny what she thought were shouts from outside. Her father and Kingsley stopped mid-sentence. Kingsley was across to the door in moments, and as he wrenched it open Ginny heard the sound of voices coming from the front garden. All conversation in the room had stopped abruptly. Everyone sat in silence, eyes trained on the door, when Lupin’s voice rang out.

“It’s okay; we’ve got it taken care of!” Ginny watched as Shacklebolt visibly relaxed before setting off down the path. Ginny jumped up and rubbed the frost from the window with the sleeve of her jumper. There were Lupin and Tonks being approached by Shacklebolt, and in front of them stood three black cloaked figures. Her heart seemed to skip a beat. The twins were behind her as was Bill, staring out at the scene in front of the Burrow. Ginny was momentarily distracted by the sight of Crookshanks streaking down the lane in a blur of ginger fur.

The shortest figure had leaned over and gathered the cat in its arms, and Ginny screamed in realization, as she took off for the door. Fred and George grabbed her from behind and held her back.

“Ginny! It’s just a cat!” Bill cautioned, “He’s not worth it!”

“No you idiots,” Ginny whirled around pointing her wand at her brothers smiling as she did so, causing them to edge away from her in fear. “It’s them! They’re here!” Fred and George looked wordlessly at each other as she slipped passed them and out the door.

She ran, her feet beating on the frozen ground of the lane, sending shock waves up her legs, the cold night air stinging her cheeks. She didn’t care, he was here. Her joy, her relief, her heart carried her forward through the crunching snow.

Harry saw her tearing from the house; he sucked in a deep breath of the icy air as he watched her, arms outstretched and hair whipping around her face, practically flying towards him. He threw back the hood of his cloak. He had barely time to take two steps before the cold of the winter night was quickly replaced by the warmth of Ginny. They were wrapped in each other, and again there was no thought to the fact that they had an audience. Their mouths tumbled into a frantic deep, wild kiss and Harry had a mad urge to drop with her down into the snow. His plans, however, were forestalled as the voice of Mrs. Weasley rang out from the porch.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Aug. 28th, 2005 07:16 am (UTC)
Amazing!!!
I have to start buy saying that I find you writing quite amazing!! Out of all the fanfics I have read yours are by far the best. I am loving 'A Piece of Red Yarn'! I first read your works on SIYE and after reading your Bio I had to take a peek at your livejournal. I am astounded at what an amazing writer you are and a little bit jealous I must add! I am also in my early 30's (32 to be exact) and there is little I haven't seen in this world but I must say your adult works nearly made me blush. They were amazing! I hope to see a continuation of Quidditch Leathers in the future, I am interested if the rest of their ten day's were quite as adventurous. Thank you for all the enjoyment you have provided through your writing!

Spellcaster
ladytory
Aug. 28th, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Amazing!!!
Thank you so much. I love to write and I always have. I am so glad that you enjoy my little offerings. I am working on a third part to Quidditch Leathers, but I have to be in a certain "mood" to write it. Thanks so much for your kind words, you are making me blush!
lemaljumellen
Aug. 29th, 2005 04:11 am (UTC)
Aww that was so cute. I'm caught up in all the awness of this story. It's so brilliantly written and absolutely amazing to read. It's fantastic. I believe it is my favorite Harry and Ginny story yet. Amazing job! Please please get the next part up as soon as possible!
cyclonejuliet
Aug. 29th, 2005 12:15 pm (UTC)
Found my way over here from the link at SIYE - known as juliet there. Chapter four continues to show the wonderful way that you have with words. I can just see this happening, it is like it is being played out before my eyes. One typo though with Hermoine talking about Lupin and Tonks "drugging" them in to the Burrow.
Merry Christmas Harry! (he seems to have got his wish with the enthusiastic Ginny)
ladytory
Aug. 29th, 2005 06:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks all. I have part five done and hope to finish part six in the next couple of days. I will post the two as soon as I get my dear beta Lady Tonks to give them a once over. Thanks for your support and kind words!
(Anonymous)
Aug. 29th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
The Evil comment was a compliment. I feel like I cheated tracking you down over here to find Chapter 4 but these are some of the best stories I've found. The smut is good too even though it makes me blush heavily reading it. Anyhow, keep it up, it's appreciated. And Happy belated birthday! You are still 2 years younger than me ;)

---NCSH
ladytory
Aug. 29th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
Oh it is not cheating! It is simply good detective work! And of course the smut is not available on SIYE, hee hee, so there is a bonus there. Oh and I have to say your "evil" review over at SIYE was probably one of my favorite reviews of all time that I have recieved! Thanks so much for it! And thanks for the belated birthday wish as well.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:27 am (UTC)
Oustanding, as always
I think I've reviewed this other places, but will do so here as well, because this story, like all your stories, is so excellent it deserves multiple reviews. :) I love all of your work and can't pick a favorite, so just keep writing and continuing all your stories (and adding new ones). :)
jandjsalmon
Sep. 5th, 2005 06:56 pm (UTC)
ladytory...ladytory...ladytory. This was brilliant! I think I teared up (okay I KNOW I teared up) particularly when McGonagall watched them leave... it was just awesome! :) Thanks for writing more. You see... checking you r favourite people's LJ's after a vacation truly IS worth it! :) It's great being back! :)
ladytory
Sep. 5th, 2005 07:17 pm (UTC)
Glad to have you back dear! Hope you had a good vacation. Thanks for stopping by as always!
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