Chapter 6:   Friends and Family

Returning from Godric's Hollow, Hermione followed Harry to his room where they carefully placed the two boxes from her beaded bag onto his desk.

Hermione said, "It was very dusty in the cottage. I'm going to get cleaned up and changed."

Harry nodded as she left the room.

He sat on his bed and began to look at the things they'd brought back at a more leisurely pace. The toy broom was only two feet long. He laid it on his bed and held a hand over it. "Up!" The small broom slowly floated upward into his hand. He lightly willed it to move forward and it responded with a gentle tug. He smiled and placed the broom on the shelf over his bed.

He took hold of the picture frame. At his touch, the images of James and Lily appeared.

"Hi Mum, hi Dad."

The images of James and Lily glanced around. "Hi sweetheart," said Lily. "Is this your room?"

"Yeah, just trying to find the right place for you."

Using a sticking charm, he mounted the portrait on the wall where he could talk with them while lying on his bed.

"Mum, I brought back your diary. May I read it?"

"Yes dear. Just tap it with your wand and say my name."

"Thanks Mum."

Harry was lost in thought as he looked at the precious treasures of his past. After what seemed like only a minute, he heard a gentle knocking on the bedroom door. He turned to see Hermione shyly looking in at him with wet hair and wearing her bathrobe.

"Harry," she said softly, "I'm done using the bathroom. You should shower and get ready so we won't be late to the Weasleys."

Harry's faced became dream-like and he just smiled at her.

With a coy smile she said, "None of that yet, Mister Potter."

He made a pouting expression. She laughed and went to her bedroom.

The image of Lily smiled. "Is she your girlfriend?"

"Hermione has been a close friend since our first year at Hogwarts." After a short pause, he smiled warmly. "Yeah, she's my girlfriend."

Later, Hermione joined Harry in front of the fireplace. "Ready?"

"Ladies first."

Smiling broadly, she took a pinch of floo powder and threw it ahead of her into the fireplace. Green flames erupted. She stepped forward saying "The Burrow!" and vanished from sight an instant later. He waited a moment and then did the same.

Harry stepped from the fireplace into the Weasley kitchen. "Harry dear, there you are." Molly pulled him into a strong hug. "So good to see you."

She pointed to the door that led into the living room. "The rest are in there. Best go straight away." He nodded and went through the door.

"Happy Birthday!"

Harry was first shocked and then smiled broadly. The room was filled with people who began to laugh, joke, and wish him well all at the same time. He saw Arthur tap an old radio with his wand and music began to play.

Arthur moved over to him. Enthusiastically shaking Harry's hand he said, "Happy Birthday Harry! We missed giving you a proper turning of age party last year. So we're doing it now."

"app ee Berth day arry!" said Fleur as she kissed him on both cheeks.

"Thank you Fleur." Bill clasped Harry's hand. "Happy Birthday Harry!"

"Thanks Bill. And a happy first anniversary to both of you."

Bill and Fleur smiled. Harry heard his name called and he turned to see Ginny smiling at him. She gave him a strong hug. "Happy birthday Harry." Then she tugged on the hand of someone near her. "Harry, do you remember Ben Bradley from the Ravenclaw quidditch team?"

"Yes." Harry looked at Ben. "You were a chaser that year. Good to see you."

"Hi Harry. Sorry we never got to play that game together. It was really unfair what they did to you."

"Harry," said Ginny excitedly, "Ben is on a pro quidditch team."

"Really? Wow, that's great. How long have you been pro?"

"I don't think of myself as pro yet," said Ben with a brief glance at Ginny. "I still have a lot to learn. Working my way up the ranks. I'm on the second reserve team of the Cannons."

Ginny said, "Ben got me into the stands to watch a tryout session. I picked up a few ideas for the Gryffindor team."

"Fantastic. It should be a great year for Gryffindor." Ginny smiled broadly.

"Hey mate, Happy Birthday! Hope you don't mind too much. Planning got a bit out of control."

"A bit? You must have worked on this for a month. It's really great. Thanks Ron."

"Were you surprised?"

"Absolutely. I didn't have a clue it was going to be like this." Ron smiled.

"Happy Birthday Harry!"

"Katie, how are you?" He noticed Ron slip his arm around her waist.

"I'm doing really well. I've been helping get things ready for the start of term at Hogwarts. So many people have turned out to help. It is very gratifying to see."

"That's really excellent to hear Katie."

"Happy birthday Harry," said George holding out his hand to shake Harry's.

Harry took hold of his hand ... and George held it firm. There was a buzzing sensation that tickled his palm. Smoke began to rise from their joined hands and Harry had an uncontrollable urge to laugh. He couldn't stop laughing. Of course, George started laughing and then Angelina who stood by him. Then, everybody in the room started laughing when they realized George's trick on Harry.

"Ha ha ha," laughed Harry. "That's enough! Ha ha ha. Please! Ha ha ha. Let go of me! Ha ha ha".

With a smirk, George released his grip and their hands separated with gold sparks and a POP! Everybody applauded, including Harry.

"I can't keep enough of these in stock," said George looking at a small object in his hand. "They really help cheer people up."

"I think it's absolutely brilliant," said Harry. "I need to come by your shop and get one of those."

George held it out in the palm of his hand and then lightly tapped it with his wand. It disappeared into a small gift-wrapped box with a bow. "No need Harry, Happy Birthday." He placed the box in Harry's hand.

Angelina said, "You really fell for that one Harry. You should know George better than that. I have to keep my guard up around him all the time."

"I will definitely remember from now on," said Harry with a smile.

"Harry!" called Hermione.

"There you are, and your mum and dad too. How are you?"

"Very well," said Dan. "Our fireplace is finally connected to the floo network. We're still learning how to make a proper call. It's a bit trickier than using a telephone."

"He's having a lot of fun with it," said Emma with a smile. Hermione giggled.

"Is the floo fully functional?"

"It only works when no other non-magical people are in the house. Emma and I can use it to call your flat and the Burrow. Magical people can use it like any other floo and they can bring us along with them. We've floo'd three times now with Hermione. It does take a bit of getting used to." ...

Everyone at the party had an enjoyable time. There was good food, good drink, and a lot of fun. Much later, after the guests had gone home, Harry and Hermione spent time talking with Arthur, Molly, Ron, and Ginny. Hermione took her parents home and then came back to the Burrow. They got caught up on the latest news. The Hogwarts rebuilding effort was going well and Aurors were making good progress on recapture of dark forces still at large.

It was very late when they returned to the flat. Hermione moved to the sofa, kicked off her shoes, and flopped down. Harry removed his shoes and sat down beside her.

"My word," said Hermione. "This was a very event filled day."

He took hold of her foot and began to massage it. "You must be exhausted. How did you manage it all?"

"Ooo ... It was Arthur and Molly who originally suggested it about a month ago. The Weasleys did most of the work, especially Ron and Ginny. Mmm ... My job was to make sure you were there on time. They explained that with magical families, coming of age is an important occasion to celebrate. Mmm ... It's like your christening that Will mentioned. They understand our reasons for needing to get away. But you know how very family oriented they are. They really feel we are part of their family."

"Yeah, it feels that way to me too. It seems easier to be a part of their family when it's not every day."

"We have to make it a point to stay in contact and stop by and see them."

"Yeah. Arthur likes to talk to me about muggle electrical things."

She smiled. "It made me happy to see you laughing with everybody and having such a good time. I was worried that what we experienced in Godric's Hollow earlier today might have put a damper on your mood."

"Hard to feel sad when you're around those people. It didn't seem so much a birthday celebration for me but more a party for everyone who was there. Did your mum and dad enjoy it?"

"Yes, very much. I think they're seeing more properly now that most magical people are good, just like muggle people. I noticed they spent a lot of time talking with Molly and Arthur."

"So let me make sure I have my understandings correct," said Harry.

"George is with Angelina."

Hermione nodded happily. "She's so good for him."

"Percy is back with Penelope."

She nodded again.

"Ron is with Katie."

"And Ginny ... is with Ben."

Hermione said, "My, that's almost perfect."

"Almost?" ... His face held a questioning look. "Who did I miss?"

With a mischievous smile, she put her hands behind his neck. "Harry is with Hermione."

She leaned forward and he gently reclined on the sofa. She landed softly on top of him. She removed his glasses and they looked deeply into each other's eyes.

Harry said, "I really enjoyed being with you today."

"Oh Harry, you always make me feel so special." Then she sweetly said, "Happy birthday Harry" and pressed her lips to his.

What followed was a lengthy non-verbal conversation about feelings. There were discussions about lips touching lips, fingertips running through hair, lightly caressed forehead and face, the curious skin response to an ultra-light touch on arm or shoulder, of holding a special someone, and falling asleep.

Comprehension of his surroundings slowly returned. He saw daylight in the room as he blinked his eyes. A mass of completely out of place brown hair slept on his shoulder breathing softly and rhythmically. Her body lay against him. Her ruffled skirt revealed a leg entwined around his. She stirred slightly and then her hand gently squeezed his side.

The dream was fading, a softly rolling sea, a place of warmth and security. Now, there was the perception of a hand on her back holding her close. All was cozy and peaceful; she wanted to snuggle in deeper. Her hand was inside his partially unbuttoned shirt.

She took a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. His arm reached over to her shoulder and his head turned to breathe in the scent of her hair. They contented themselves in this half-asleep half-awake condition for several additional minutes. Then, her shoulders and head rolled away from him and her legs tightened. Her face, mostly obscured by hair, reflected the pleasant feeling of a morning stretch. She blew at her hair in a few unsuccessful attempts to move it from in front of her eyes. He carefully parted her hair with the fingers of his hand and two brown eyes sparkled back at him.

"Sleep well?" said Harry.

"Mmm hmm ... Nice and cozy warm," she said with a smile.

"Can you see the time?"

She turned her head and looked across the room. "About nine-thirty."

"Slept in a bit did we?" said Harry with a smile.

"We must have been tired," she said with a grin. "I need to go brush my hair so I can see you. I must look frightful."

"No more than when you'd give me the eye for not doing better on my studies or homework."

She gently poked him in the side.

"Ow, not fair. I don't have my glasses. Be nice now."

She giggled with delight and got up. Then after handing him his glasses, she went to her room.

Bond of the Spirits is an original fanfiction story based on the seven book series 'Harry Potter' written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter, the characters, names and related characters are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc. Harry Potter publishing rights © J.K.R. This is an unofficial, not for profit site and is in no way connected with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing or Warner Bros., Inc. This site is not endorsed by any of these aforementioned parties. Rights to characters and their images is neither claimed nor implied. This fanfiction story is owned by the author and subject to copyright law under transformative use.

Copyright © 2012-2019 Don Buczynski
San Diego, California
Published: 6/24/12
Last Updated: 8/31/19