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Stories that, for one reason or another, I've decided to abandon.

"Hi Mr Weasley, Mrs Weasley," Harry said nervously.

"Morning, dear," Mrs Weasley said with a smile.   "What can we do for you?"

Harry looked around, and entered the kitchen.   "Do you think you could..." he waved his hands airily behind him.

Arthur Weasley looked a little surprised, but pulled out his wand and cast several silencing and privacy spells on the room.   Normally one would suffice, but any family with Fred and George in it, often had the need for multiple charms.

"What’s the matter," he asked with a small smile on his face.

"I want to... I need to... well, I need to ask you something," Harry blurted.  

"Go ahead," Molly said, calmly pouring him a cup of tea.  

Harry grabbed it, drawing courage from the warmth emanating from the ceramic mug.  With a slight blush on his face, he took a deep breath, and looked them both as straight as he could.   "I’d like to ask Ginny out, on a date, with me."

Identical flickers of a smile ghosted across the two parents’ faces, flickers that Harry missed, as he had lowered his eyes and was staring at the cup.  

"Shouldn’t you be asking her, not us?" Molly asked.

Harry looked up, "Well, I didn’t know if it was safe.   What with Voldemort."

"Ahhh," Arthur said slowly, a smile appearing on his face.   "Would you be a dear and pour me another cup?" he asked his wife cheerfully.

"I’ll just put the kettle on," Molly replied, standing and walking to the other side of the kitchen.

"You know that Molly and I are in the Order of the Phoenix?"

Harry nodded.

"And that Bill, Charlie, and the twins are as well?"

Harry nodded again.

"And that I am a well known admirer of Muggles? And that Lucius Malfoy and I despise each other?"

The boy nodded for a third time.

Arthur smiled sadly.   "I think you’ll find that our family is very near the top of His list, even without you going out with Ginny.

"But, I do want to know why you want to go out with my daughter."

Harry gulped nervously.   "After Sirius died, I spent a lot of time alone in my room, looking at myself, at my life, and at who I am becoming.   And I realised that I didn’t really like who I am.   Last year was a bad year for m..."

He was interrupted by the motherly form of Molly Weasley embracing him in a tight hug.   "You are a wonderful young man," she scolded him firmly.   "Don’t you ever doubt that!"

Before Harry could blink, she was back at the stove, fussing about with the beginning of dinner.

Arthur smiled at Harry, "I’ve seen seven kids go through that," he said with a smile.   "Take a second, and continue."

Harry nodded, and looked a lot more relaxed.   "Anyway, I wasn’t a nice person last year, I let too much of the stuff that has happened get on top of me, and I spent to much time running from it.   I’m not saying it’s my entire fault -- Dumbledore and I will be having a very long conversation about how he has handled information -- but that’s a different conversation.

"While I was being introspective, a couple of things kept interrupting me -- stopping me from slipping into despair.   They were memories of Ginny.   Of her staring into the fire in the kitchen at Grimmauld Place."   His tone changed slightly, "the firelight was dancing in her eyes, and for the first time, I realised Ginny was a girl."

Arthur laughed under his breath softly.   "I’m afraid that the first time I noticed Molly was a girl was nowhere near as nice as that.   My father had managed to get hold of some Muggle bicycles for me to play with, and I invited Molly to go for a ride."   He turned slightly, so he was watching his wife.   "She came out, and was wearing a light pink summer dress, and no bra.   That was when childhood friendship turned into something else for me, the day I realised Molly had breasts."

"Arthur!" Molly scolded, although the large smile on her face ruined the effort.  

"I knew then I had to marry her," Arthur continued.   "But I didn’t have the courage to do anything about it."

"For three years," Molly grumbled.   "I thought he was just particularly dense."

Harry laughed, and took a deep sip from his cup.   "Well, the other memory was Ginny calling me something similar," he admitted.   "I’d gotten so caught up in my problems that I forgot Ginny knew what it was like to be possessed by that asshole," he froze suddenly, and blushed furiously.

"I’ll think we’ll let you off calling Him an asshole, Harry," Arthur said with a smile.   "Of course, if you ever call him that to his face, I’d appreciate being there."

"Arthur!" Molly scolded again.

"Oh, sorry," Arthur apologised.   "Molly would like to be there to."   He ducked, narrowly avoiding the towel that was thrown at him.

"And she was rather firm in telling me that I was being erm, pig headed.   So, with her in my mind all the time already, I dealt, as best I could, with Sirius being dead, and tried to move on, like I knew he would want me to.   And well, I started to feel a little guilty."


Harry looked down.   "I realised I’d rather spend time with Ginny, than Ron and Hermione."

"Oh, Harry," Molly said, hugging him again.   "That’s just part of growing up.   It’s nothing to be embarrassed about."

"Leave the poor boy alone, dear," Arthur said.   "And where’s my tea?"

"Coming," Molly rolled her eyes at her husband.

Harry took another deep breath.   "I wanted to talk to you first, because you are the only real family I have..."

"Molly," Arthur groaned.   "Can you PLEASE let poor Harry finish a sentence before you mother him to death?"

One of Molly’s hands released Harry, just long enough for her to display a rather vulgar piece of sign language at her husband, before she went back to hugging Harry as hard as she could.

Eventually, she released the hug, pulled out her wand, and cast a revealing spell on the clock in the kitchen.   "I’ve had this in place for several years now, Harry," she smiled.   The clock face showed another hand, one with his name on it.

Harry blinked at it.  

"You’ve been part of this family for some time, Harry dear," Molly said softly.   "I’m so glad you feel that way."

"I do as well," Arthur said.   "But please continue, I’ll try and stop Molly from interrupting again."

Harry laughed, and slumped back in the chair.   "I wanted to assure you that I wasn’t going to play with Ginny or anything, and that, well, I’m sixteen, I can’t promise the world, but I’m really serious about her."

Arthur waved his hand airily.   "You’re not that sort of boy Harry, we’ve known you for long enough to understand that.   Sometimes these things work, sometime they don’t.   It’s up to you and Ginny to work out if it will work for the both of you, or not."

Molly walked over, and refilled Harry cup, absently placing some biscuits in front of him, before pouring some tea for Arthur.

"Biscuits?" he asked hopefully.

"You’re on a diet," she reminded him gently, and settled back down on the chair next to him.

Harry smiled openly at both of them, feeling a lot more relaxed and happy than he had in ages - although he was still a little concerned about actually asking Ginny out.

"Well, as long as you don’t mind.   I, well, need your help."

"With what?"

"You’ve agreed that we’re family, right?"

They both nodded as one.

"And family members can do things for each other, because they love each other?"

They both nodded together.   "You can ask us for anything," Molly said.

"Excellent," Harry smiled happily, and reached into his pocket.   He slid the envelope towards them.

Arthur opened the envelope, and his eyes widened.   "Harry..."

Harry shook his head.   "Those tickets are non-refundable," he stated firmly.   "If you don’t go, they will go to waste.   And don’t even think about insulting me by asking how much they cost or if I can afford it.   Those are not relevant questions.   You agreed to do me a favour, and this is it.  

"There is a full itinerary there, which will keep you busy all day.

"I know you guys don’t normally celebrate birthdays much, but this one, I’m going to make really special for her.

"The twins already owe me a large favour, and I’m calling them on it, so they won’t be a problem.   Ron is going to be busy as well, he doesn’t know it yet, but he will be, and with Bill and Charlie being abroad, that only left the two of you.   Remus helped me get the tickets for you.   So you see, not only would refusing insult me, be futile, it would really get in the way of me making up for not paying attention to Ginny for the past four years."

"And I thought the twins could babble," Arthur said slowly.   He stared at Harry hard, a look that Harry didn’t flinch from.

"Thank you," he said eventually.   "I’m sure we’ll have a wonderful time."

Harry smiled brilliantly.   "In that case, can I steal Molly for the a few hours?"

Arthur raised his eyebrow inquiringly.   "I need to go shopping, and I need someone who knows Ginny’s dress size.   She’s going to need a nice dress, and that’s going to be my present for her eleventh birthday."

"Her eleventh?"

"Yep," Harry said cheerfully.   "I’ve got a few birthdays to make up for.   And this is the only one I want to actually buy for her."

"What about Ron?"

Harry smiled.   "Well, if I’m hopefully going to get a girlfriend, I think he should as well.   He’s about as dense as I am when it comes to girls, so I’m going to give him a little hand.   I’ve set it up for Ron to have a day out as well, with Hermione.   Of course, if he doesn’t do anything during that, it’s not my fault."

Arthur smiled, "Ok then, why don’t you two get off, and I’ll have Ron help my in the shed, I’ve got a wonderful new gizmo that makes the most amazing sound.   It’s called a Vacuous."

"Vacuum," Harry commented automatically.   "It sucks up dust."

"Remarkable," Arthur sighed happily, while Molly picked up her cloak.  

"Come on, Harry," she interrupted quickly, knowing well her husbands propensity for all things Muggle.

Harry nodded, and with a hint of reluctance, followed her into the floo.

They appeared in Hogsmeade.   Because the school was on Holiday, it was a lot quieter than usual, and allowed them to spend some leisurely time together, while they went around the shops looking for just the dress that Harry wanted.

Antonin Dolohov blinked, unable to believe his luck.   Ahead of him was Harry Potter, walking with Molly Weasley.   He smiled to himself, Voldemort would reward him handsomely for capturing the boy.

He ducked into an Alley, and cast a quick spell on himself.   The spell was known only to the Death Eaters, and it was what helped them remain undetected in everyday life.   It makes their voices, made their height appear different to normal, and covered their face with the eerie white mask.

The done, and without bothering to call for help, he stepped into the room and snarled, "Potter."

Harry and Molly were laughing as Harry retold a story about Ron, when they both heard his name called.   They turned together, and came face to face with a Death Eater.

Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Molly go pale, and growled to himself.   He carefully wiped all expression from his face.

"You’re coming with me, boy," the Death Eater growled.

"No, I don’t think so," Harry replied calmly, slowly rotating his wrist, so that his wand could fall down his sleeve.

"We’ll see how you feel about that in a second," the Death Eater smirked.   "Crucio."   He cast the spell directly at Molly Weasley.

Harry took two quick steps forwards, and intercepted the curse.   He fell to one knee, as the pain hit him.   It was painful, but not as painful as when Voldemort had cast it, and he had a lot of experience with pain.   While the Death Eater looked on in shock, he slowly pointed his wand, and drew in his anger that one of his family had been attacked, that a day that should have been fun was ruined, that he was being forced under the Crucio once more.   With all his anger, his hate, his fear, his doubt, he snarled, "Stupefy."

The Death Eater flew back through the air, a good twenty metres, before impacting hard against a solid brick wall, and collapsing to the floor, unconscious.

Harry turned, looked at Molly, and then collapsed to the floor, unconscious long before he landed.

Molly Weasley looked on in abject horror as Harry stepped in front of the curse aimed at her.   Almost disbelievingly, she watched as he pointed his wand at the Death Eater, and cast the singularly most powerful stunning spell she had ever seen.

As Harry turned to her, and collapsed, she started to move.   She managed to catch him before he landed, and laid him carefully down to the floor.   Not that the danger was over, she found her training coming back to her.   She looked at the Death Eater, and cast a strong binding spell on him.

That done, she looked around at the people who were surrounding her.   "Where’s the nearest fire?" she snapped.

"In here," The owner of the local iron mongers said, opening the door to his shop.

"Don’t let him move," she snapped, running to the door.   She grabbed some floo powder from the mantelpiece and threw it in the fire.   "Albus Dumbledore."

A second later the calm head of the Headmaster appeared.   "Molly?"

"Harry’s just been attacked by a Death Eater in Hogsmead, we’re next to the Iron Mongers.   He’s unconscious, he was under the Crucio for at least fifteen seconds, and he caught the Death Eater.   I need help now before the Ministry gets here."

"Step back, my dear," Dumbledore said calmly.

As Molly moved backwards, the Headmaster appeared through the fire.   "The others are on their way."

They ran outside together, where the villagers were still gathered around Harry, looking at him with awe.

"I believed what I read in the Prophet," the iron monger said to the gathering crowd as they watched the two adults tend to Harry.  

They gasped, impressed, as Dumbledore waved his wand at the Death Eater, causing him to float over to him.

"But I saw that young man deliberately step in front of a Crucio curse to protect another person.   I will not accept that he is a lunatic, or dangerous.   You’ve got a Death Eater in front of you.   This young man is a hero, and I won’t here anyone argue."   The fact that the iron monger was over six and a half foot tall, and appeared to have muscles on top of muscles, meant that no one was really willing to argue with him.  

"Sandra, doesn’t you brother work at the Prophet?" he continued.

Sandra, a blonde haired woman of about forty years of age, nodded emphatically.   "He’ll be hearing about this," she promised.   "I saw it with my own eyes.   That idiot Fudge has been lying to us all this time.   Well, no more."

The residents of Hogsmeade separated, as the reinforcements arrived, Madam Pomfrey and Severus Snape.

Snape looked down at the boy and rolled his eyes.   "What’s the idiot been up to now," he snarled.   "He can’t even keep out of trouble when he’s not in school."

Molly looked up, then took two quick steps forward and punched Snape as hard as she could.   Raising six boys, and being a member of the Order of the Phoenix ensured that she knew exactly how to throw a punch.

Snape landed on his back, dazed.

Molly walked over to him, and removed the potion from his hand.   "Thank you, Severus," she said calmly.   "You’re presence here is no longer required.   I suggest you go back to your pit."

Severus looked up at her in shock.  

The older woman stared back down at him with absolute contempt.  

"You heard the lady," The Iron Monger said, reaching down and lifting Snape to his feet easily.   He turned his head to face Molly.   "I’ll be dealing with Severus here, we went to school together."

"Thank you," Molly smiled at him, placing a hand on his forearm in gratitude.  

Without letting go of Snape, the iron monger walked into his shop, carrying the now-struggling professor.

Dumbledore sighed and shook his head, while Madam Pomfrey poured the potion down Harry’s throat.

"He’ll be out for a few more hours," she said quietly.   "But I expect him to have no long term problems."

Molly and Dumbledore nodded together.

"What happened?" the voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt asked, making his way through the crowd.

"Young Mr Potter was shopping with Mrs Weasley when a Death Eater appeared and tried to abduct him," a new member of the crowd said, before anyone else could speak.   "The Death Eater cast a Cruciatus curse at Mrs Weasley, and in a display of bravery that I will never forget, young Mr Potter stepped in to the curse, then, while under it, cast the most powerful stunning spell I have ever seen.  

"I expect Mr Potter to receive a reward for this, and there had better be no trouble from the Department…"

Kingsley froze in place, and then nodded abruptly.   "Yes, dad."

"I think I’ll come with you," Benjamon Shacklebolt said thoughtfully.   "It will be interesting to see what this Death Eater has to say."

Kingsley seemed to sigh deeply.   "Yes, dad."

Molly and Albus looked at each other and smiled slightly.   "Let’s get Harry back to the Burrow."

"What happened?" Ron asked, as his mother, Professor Dumbledore, Madam Pomfrey, and an obviously unconscious Harry arrived in the back garden.

"Get Ginny and the twins, Ron," Molly said, in a voice the brook no argument.

Ron nodded once, and vanished upstairs so fast it would have been slower if he had Apparated.  

Molly led the others into the living room, where they placed Harry on the couch.

"What happened?" Ginny asked, as she was the first downstairs, followed quickly by the other three.

Their mother tucked a blanket around Harry and turned to look at her children and husband.

"Harry and I were walking along in Hogsmeade, when a Death Eater tried to abduct Harry," she said calmly.  

"Harry refused to go with him, so the Death Eater cast the Cruciatus curse at me."

"Molly!" Arthur said, launching to his feet, and embracing his wife.

"Mum!" The four others said in shock at the same time.

"Shh," she replied.   "I’m fine.  Harry stepped in to the curse before I could react. He then cast an incredibly powerful stunning spell at the Death Eater, knocking him out, before collapsing."

Albus Dumbledore smiled slightly.   "It appears that Mr Potter has made himself some new friends," he interjected smoothly, drawing the focus deliberately onto himself.   "He happened to do it in front of the Head Auror, and several eminent businessmen and politicians.   All of which, are now firmly behind Harry.

"I can state without doubt that he will not be receiving an owl regarding his use of magic."   His eyes gleamed brightly.   "Perhaps, Molly, you’d like to explain what happened next."

Molly blushed furiously, and shook her head.

"Mum?" Fred drawled, his instincts obviously aroused.

"Yes, Molly," Arthur agreed.

"I hit Snape," she mumbled quietly.

There was a complete silence in the room, as the four young adults, and one grown up, digested those words.  

"You hit Severus Snape?" Arthur asked quietly.

Molly nodded, blushing even harder.   "He insulted Harry just after he had saved me."

Ginny sighed, and looked at her brothers.   "You know," she said softly.   "I’d pay anything to have seen that."

"Us too," they agreed in unison.

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