Harry woke early the next day, having dreampt that the entire trip to his past had been just a hallucination, and he was really in St. Mungo’s, but as he rolled over, he knew it had not been. Ginny was still sleeping, now in pajamas, which confused him, as they had both simply collapsed into bed when they reached the manor. House elves was his first thought, and he determined to begin checking his full account very soon. After a few minutes, he nudged Ginny awake, only to have her roll over and fall asleep again with her head on his shoulder, prompting him to nap just a while longer as well.
After about an hour, both of them now fully awake at the kitchen table eating breakfast, Harry began to tell Ginny about his conversation with the beings who claimed to be the founders’ spirits. Neither of them knew what to make of it, and since they had yet to contact him again, there was no real way to find out for sure.
“Well, that’s enough eating for now I guess, we have shopping to do.” Ginny pulled Harry to the fireplace, laughing at his protests and his hatred of shopping. As they arrived in Diagon Alley, neither of them would need supplies for school any more, but the manor was very sparsely furnished, meaning that Harry and Ginny needed quite a few things before they would truly be comfortable.
“Gin, you know I hate shopping, and as long as I have a place to excercise and somewhere quiet to relax, I don’t have any specific plans for the rest of the house.” He sighed, but as he continued, Ginny just laughed, pulling him from store to store, buying chairs, tables, drapes and many other items he had no interest in, but he put on a good show.
After a full day, and thankfully, all of their purchases being delivered, Harry and Ginny went to the Burrow for dinner, as they had basically fled the wedding party the previous night leaving Mrs. Weasley a bit upset, but understanding none the less.
“Hi Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Weasley, everything go all right after we left?” Harry sat down, Ginny snuggling up beside him as they talked while Mrs. Weasley finished the dinner.
“Oh, everything went fine, dear, and now that your family,” she grinned, causing Ginny to chuckled a little, “no more of this Mr. Weasleyand Mrs. Weasley nonsense, call us Mum and Dad, or at least Arthur and Molly.” Harry blushed as she finished, only serving to push Ginny further over the edge, into full blown laughter. Harry, in the mean time, was fast approaching Weasley red, but was saved from the moment as Sirius stepped out of the fireplace.
“Well, pup, I’m surprised you’re awake this early.” Sirius grinned, but received a glare from Mrs. Weasley and a punch in the arm from Ginny, only to surrender, taking a seat near Harry.
“We’ve been shopping, there was next to no furniture in the house, so we had to get everything, and I think I left my feet somewhere around Madame Malkin’s as we passed it for the 10th or 20th time.” Harry was obviously exhausted, and as Sirius laughed at the idea of Harry being drug from shop to shop all day long, Ginny just smiled and kissed his cheek.
Dinner passed in the usual manner, with the twins trying to pry more tips out of Sirius, Ron and Hermione bickering or else Ron staring at her with a goofy look on his face, and Mrs. Weasley running around the kitchen making sure everyone ate enough. It wasn’t until desert that things got interesting, as Sirius said he had an announcement to make.
“It seems that the Board of Governors has decided to make a few changes at Hogwarts.” As Sirius started saying all of this, he tapped his wand on his watch, and both Narcissa and Bellatrix stepped from the fireplace to join him. “Narcissa and Bellatrix have been offered the position of instructor for finance and etiquette, and yes, you two” he indicated Harry and Ginny “are invited to take any class you don’t have a N.E.W.T. in, and I,” he bowed comically, “will be taking over History of Magic, something about Professor Binns being able to bore students to death, or maybe being dead boring, I wasn’t really paying attention.”
No sooner than he had finished, the kitchen erupted in talk, with Narcissa, Bellatrix and Sirius being congratulated, while Mrs. Weasley began asking if Harry and Ginny were going to go back for any classes they didn’t test in, and of course planning a trip to Diagon Alley immediately. Over the next hour, as Harry and Ginny just watched, it seemed that life couldn’t get any better. At 15 and 14, already married thanks to Fudge sticking his nose in Harry’s life again, but very happy, they were still going to be at school, just living at the Manor and floo’ing in each day. Harry would be back around his friends, and safe from the press for at least two more years, and by then, he hoped the furor would die down, but no one knew what was coming next.
As Ginny, Harry, Hermione and Ron walked into the castle on September first, just as they crossed over the Hogwarts crest in the entry hall, all four of them lost collapsed. Seeing this, Professor McGonagall immediately called for Madame Pompfrey, but no matter what anyone tried, no one could come within ten feet of the quartet, now laying in the hall, seemingly unconscious.
“What happened?” Ron looked at the other three, who seemed, like him, to be floating down a long tunnel. “Where are we?”
“This is very familiar.” Said Harry, but he had not told anyone other than Ginny of his meeting with the founders’ spirits, and did not see that he had time to do that now, and chose to simply wait until they came to their destination to see what happened.
After a few moments, all four of them were standing in an ornate ritual chamber, facing the same four spirits Harry had talked to after watching the events in the Chamber of Secrets.
“Welcome, we are the spirits of the founders, and we have brought you here to pass on our knowledge.” The wizard in the flowing green robes, standing opposite Harry, was addressing them, but Harry could not fight the feeling of uneasiness rising in his stomach. This would turn out to be a very interesting day in deed.
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