Pints of Ale and the Weasley Initiation
The Burrow was a flurry of activity. Relatives were constantly aparating in and out and a large pile of unopened wedding gifts were starting to pile in the corner of the living room. Mrs. Weasley was constantly running around telling her boys, including Harry, to pick up a rag and clean something while Ginny felt like she hadn't been released from kitchen duty for more than an hour each day.
If you were to ask any of the Weasley men what the most anticipated event of this three ring circus was, they would unanimously say it was going to happen that evening, the Bachelor Party. The twins were hosting it at their flat. The evening promised to be unforgettable complete with exotic entertainment.
Remus, Harry, and Ron were in charge of getting Bill to the party on time, they took him to the Leaky Cauldron for drinks then over to the flat. Upon arriving Bill was ceremoniously greeted by his brothers and friends who had decorated the entire place in black to symbolize his demise.
As the party got into full swing Ron and Harry enjoyed themselves, partaking in the freely flowing pints. They were now the legal Wizard age to drink alcohol, well Ron was. Harry still had a week to go. Neither of them had ever drank that much. At least not enough to get drunk, this was going to be quite an experience.
Ron found himself a bit wobbly quite early into the evening. It didn't help that Fred and George kept handing him a new pint each time he even got close to the bottom of his glass.
"You know," he told Harry as he was unsuccessfully trying to remain seated on a bar stool. "I really do fancy the girl."
"Is that so," said Harry with a chuckle, this was promising to be good.
"Yes, and I would have acted on it much sooner if she would have just kept her bloody mouth shut."
"Oh, really," said Harry. He couldn't wait to hear why.
"Yesh," he slurred. "She can be quite infuriating sometimes, she just talks, and talks and talks and talks. There were occasions where I was bloody tempted to kiss her just to shut her bloody mouth up."
"Well, mate," said Harry "why didn't you, you know, just kiss her. Until now that is."
"I was shicken" slurred Ron.
"Shicken?" questioned Harry.
"Yah, you know shicken, bawk, bawk, bawk, bawk." Clucked Ron as he flapped his arms and finally fell to the ground.
Harry helped him up and propped him back onto the stool. This got Fred and George's attention.
"Is our little Ronnykins having a hard time holding his ale?" asked Fred in a sarcastically sweet voice.
Harry just laughed. "I think my friend here has had his fill."
Fred and George just laughed and spun the stool around by its seat. They broke into absolute hysterics as Ron, yet again, fell off.
"I think I need to use the loo" said Ron as he covered his mouth and bolted toward the door.
"How many pints did he have anyway?" asked George.
"I counted eight." said Harry as he drained his and headed for a refill.
He was at the keg when Bill approached him.
"Hey mate, not too many ok" cautioned Bill, "Molly will have my head if she finds out you and Ron drank too much."
"No problem" said Harry with a wide grin "this is my last."
"So, you and Ginny eh?" asked Bill with a serious look in his eyes.
Harry just smiled. He really wasn't looking forward to this conversation. He knew the twins and Ron would just harass him, no lecturing would be involved. He was completely unsure of how Bill was going to torture him.
"I'm sure you've gotten all kinds of threats from Fred, George, and Ron right?" asked Bill.
"Sort of," answered Harry, trying to figure any possible way of escape.
"Well I'm really not the threatening type."
"Thank you," said Harry, he really couldn't think of anything else to say.
Bill continued, "You've got a pretty complicated life. Not many people could handle the burden you've been dealt. I can't even imagine the amount of stress you must be under."
Harry felt like crawling into his pint. He now saw where this was headed. He looked over at Bill and shrugged. For the past six years Harry's life had been nothing but stress. Looking back, one of the brightest moments he could think of was he and Ginny's first kiss. It felt like time had stopped, for that one moment everything was perfect. His time spent with Ginny has always seemed like a vacation from his harsh reality. He looked up at Bill and smiled, hoping that the next thing he said did not include him being forbidden to date Ginny.
"You're a very lucky man though" said Bill with a reassuring smile. "If there is anyone out there capable of handling it, it's my baby sister" he said as he patted Harry on the back.
Harry gave an audible sigh of relief and a big goofy smile, "yah, I know, Gin is pretty brilliant."
"Still," continued Bill, "I would hate to see anything hurt her."
"I tried to end it with her. Really I did. At Dumbledore's funeral I told her it wasn't a good idea for us to be together. I didn't want them to use her as a way to get to me. I still don't. I want to protect her, not put her in harms way." He threw his hands up in exasperation. "Then I came back here for the holiday." Harry rubbed the back of his neck, kind of embarrassed over his next statement. "Well, she just stood there looking so sad and beautiful. Blimey, she probably wouldn't have had to say a bloody word and I would have caved." Bill laughed at this, knowing just what his sister was capable of to get her own way.
Harry suddenly looked very serious. "I just don't know anymore. I can't let my feelings for Ginny get in the way of my common sense. Voldemort will stop at nothing until I am dead. He knows one of us must die. He is not above killing anyone to accomplish his goal. I have watched him do it. He killed Cedric as if he was swatting a fly. How do you think he would act if he knew how much I cared about Ginny?" Harry shuddered. "He would not only kill her, he would enjoy doing it while he made me watch."
"I understand" said Bill now really getting why Harry had broken up with Ginny at the funeral. "But like I've said, Ginny is a pretty amazing person. She's handled us her entire life and I must say she wields a pretty tough wand. Sometimes sheltering someone does more harm than good." He looked intently at Harry. "Ginny is that kind of person. I have a feeling she would cause more damage to herself trying to get to you during the battle than if you two had discussed things beforehand. If you would just let her in you'd be surprised at how much she can handle."
Harry thought about it than replied. "You're in the Order Bill. You know what I have to do, what I am faced with. I am going to have to leave soon. What if I don't make it back" he stated more than asked. "That is a real possibility and you know it. I saw what happened to Cho after Cedric was murdered. I don't want Ginny to mourn me." That was his biggest fear, to cause Ginny pain.
"What if I get hit by the Night Bus tomorrow? I still want to marry Fleur." He gave Harry a reassuring smile. "It's not how long we spend with a person, what matters is that we let them know how much we love them every day that we have. It's obvious that you're in love with Ginny. Everyone can see it. Just because you don't' want to be known as Ginny's boyfriend doesn't mean that you automatically stop caring for her. You practically fall all over yourself when she enters the room. We all know that she's in love with you. I think she has been since the age of ten. She's going to morn you whether or not she's a part of your life. We all care about you Harry. I don't know if you've realized it yet, but you've been made a member of this crazy family." Bill winked, "even before you walk my baby sister down the aisle."
At this Harry practically turned beet red.
"Maybe you two could make some plans, something that would occupy her time and still involve you in her life. That way she wouldn't be fighting an overwhelming need to join you in the battle. It would give her something to look forward to when you return, and you will Harry. We all have faith in you. I wish you would see that. You will defeat him." Bill smiled now trying to lighten the mood. "You know, you two are going to need a place to live after the war. I am sure you don't plan on just "dating" forever. I know it may seem premature, but don't you think making "plans" will give her something to hang on to?"
Harry's eyes widened in surprise, was Bill really suggesting that Harry and Ginny start making plans to live together after the war? Maybe even get married?
"Just think about it ok," said Bill with a grin, knowing that he had just sent Harry into a tailspin.
Harry put out his hand to shake Bills and brought him in for a "manly" hug. "Thanks mate. I'll think about it."
"Hey, don't mention it," chuckled Bill. "Just do me one thing?"
"What?" asked Harry.
"Kick Voldemort's arse and get back here right quick. Molly's already pressuring Fleur and I about grandchildren. Now that Ron's finally got his act straight with Hermione and you and Ginny are together. That's two other couples she can harass. She'll be in her glory for years."
Without even thinking Harry asked "What about Percy, Fred and George?"
Bill laughed again. "Percy's basically excommunicated himself and I don't think there are women out there brave enough to marry those two lunatics."
"Sure thing mate," said Harry as he again shook Bill's hand.
After Bill had left and Harry thought about it some he realized. Did I just tell Ginny's oldest brother that when I get back I was going to marry her?
Harry took one last swig from his pint. Shite, I guess I did. He then smiled to himself. Well there's no sense worrying over spilled potion.
He poured himself another pint and went to go pull Ron's head out of the loo. Suddenly he felt like celebrating. He had a future to look forward to with this wonderfully crazy family. Ironic, he grew up in a house with absolutely no love, was alone for so many years. Now he suddenly found himself with six honorary brothers and a potential future wife. He wanted more than ever to get out there and start the search for the Horcrux and defeat Voldemort. Harry smiled and thought to himself; I have a great life to look forward to.
He found Ron and the other guys intently watching the exotic entertainment. Somehow Fred and George had booked two Veela to come and "perform" for Bill and the guys. Every last one of them had his eyes glued to the two gyrating females. Harry found it hard to look away. By now they were scantily clad and shaking their bodies at such speed that Harry's eyes blurred. The music came to a frantic halt and the Veela practically threw themselves into Bill's lap.
Of course George took this opportunity and snapped about a dozen pictures of the barely clothed women draped all over his oldest brother. Harry was sure they would be used as blackmail at a future date.
A bit later in the evening Harry was enjoying himself playing a game of poker with a few of Bill's friends. He wasn't doing that poorly considering he had already consumed much more ale than he had anticipated.
Suddenly he was blindfolded and hoisted from his chair.
"Bloody Hell! What's going on?" he yelled.
Bill spoke up. "Now Harry don't you worry, it will all be over quickly. You just stay still and let Fred and George do their thing."
"WHAT! Are you bloody daft!" he yelled again. God knows what Fred and George were capable of. Wasn't this Bill's Bachelor party? Shouldn't he the one who was objected to all sorts of humiliation?
Harry heard a wrapper being crinkled and then someone said "now open up Harry, take your medicine like a good boy." A wand must have been used because suddenly he found it almost impossible to keep his mouth closed. A soft nougat was popped into his mouth. "Ok now Harrykins, be a dear, and eat your toffee" said Fred or George in a sweet voice. It tasted like chocolate. Harry swallowed. "This had better not be from your Skiving Snack boxes." He was interrupted by Fred or George again. "No, even better, just hold tight mate we need time for it to take effect. We were going to do this earlier but we decided it was in our best interest if you were a bit more pissed."
Harry sighed. What in bloody hell had he gotten himself into?
A few minutes later the blindfold was removed and a mirror was thrust into his hands.
"Welcome to the family!" yelled the Weasley brothers. Harry opened his eyes and looked into the glass.
"Bloody Hell!" was all he could mutter. His jet black hair was now an amazing shade of Weasley red.
"We all talked and you were unanimously voted an honorary Weasley. We just thought we would make it official by giving you our wonderful red hair" said Ron, who had obviously had some time to sober up.
"In other words, we approve of you dating our baby sister" said Fred and George. "But please do us a favor and limit all physical contact to places where we cannot see you. We all love you mate but that doesn't mean we won't kill you for deflowering our only sister."
Harry stood shocked looking at his new image. He had red hair. He had red hair! Ginny was going to kill them.
"You all do know that though I do find this amusing, your sister is going to hunt you all down and hex you till then next century."
"We anticipated that" said Bill with a smug laugh. "That is why the Weasley initiation only lasts a few days. Long enough to give us a good laugh but not too long that Ginny will want to do permanent damage."
"Smart thinking" said Harry, now relieved that he was not going to permanently have the Weasley red hair. He thought it was sexy as hell on Ginny, on him it was a bit disturbing. Looking in the glass again he realized that he looked a bit like a deranged leprechaun.
He could only imagine what these crazy people are going to do at his bachelor party.
O O O
The next morning Harry stumbled into the washroom. He looked into the glass. It still came as quite a shock to see himself with red hear. Between that and his pounding head he was in a right state. He should have listened to the twins, they had a never fail system. They each ate an entire pepperoni pizza right before they started drinking, guaranteed no hangover the next day. Why hadn't he listened to them? It felt as if there were at least twelve Hippogriffs dancing on his skull.
He heard a loud pop from the fireplace. Who could be here at this hour?He looked at his watch. Merlin's Boxers it was noon!
"Wow, I guess everyone had a great time last night." said Ginny.
"It looks as if the twins threw Bill quite a bachelor party" said Hermione. "I wonder if there were any survivors."
"It should only be my brothers and Harry right now" said Ginny. "The twins had two people as designated floo'ers. That way no one ended up at the wrong houses. They've already learned their lessons with that one."
As Harry finished in the loo and opened to door he was greeted by none other than the love of his life. He was just about to try to say something when she exploded.
"WHAT IN BLOODY HELL HAPPENED TO YOU!"
"Please love. Not so loud ok?" he asked while holding his head to try and block out the noise. Dear God his head was surely going to pass out.
"HERMIONE!" yelled Ginny. With a surprising agility considering his current state, Harry quickly covered Ginny's mouth with his hand.
"Love, I know this is quite a shock. The guys were just having some fun. But could you please keep your voice to a dull roar so that my head does not completely split open." Ginny nodded as he placed a light kiss on her forehead.
"Thank you love," whispered Harry.
As Hermione approached she placed a hand up to her mouth to suppress a giggle. "Oh, my God Harry, what did they do to you?" she asked as she ran her fingers threw his bright red hair. She knew he would never do something this ghastly to himself.
Harry grimaced because to him it felt like she pounding on his head with a mallet.
"Ask your boyfriend" he groaned as he flopped onto the sofa and pulled a pillow over his head to block out what he knew for certain was going to happen next.
He waited a minute and looked out from under his pillow. No explosion? Ginny was still staring at him in shock. She was not screaming at her brothers. She was not hexing them into oblivion? Suddenly, she smiled. Harry immediately recognized it as her they'll never know what hit them smile. He did not envy her brothers. They had no idea what was in store for them and he really did not want to find out.
"Will you both excuse me please?" she said politely. Harry and Hermione looked at each other each trying to guess what she had up her wand.
Ginny disappeared for a few minutes then rejoined her best friend and boyfriend in the living room. "I think it is time we get going Hermione, don't' you? Harry love, could you just let everyone know we will be waiting at the Burrow" she leaned over and kissed his very red hair. "Why don't you get yourself a shower and take some of the hangover potion I am sure the twins have up in their cupboard. Meet me when you are ready, ok?" She then flitted back over to the fireplace and with a pop, she and Hermione were gone.
Harry could only dream of what she had done. Better let everyone sleep in a bit. He was in no shape to find out just what devilish deeds Ginny was capable of.
a/n: Don't you just love cliffy's.
What did our fair heroine do to her older brothers? Let me know what you think!
The next chapter will be up in a few days. It's already written so don't' you worry. You will find out soon enough. I would just love to hear what some of you think. I had about five options that I was playing with before I settled on the perfect one. At least I think it is Ginny worthy, remember she has grown up with these men, she's learned from the best!
p.s. The Pizza System is my husbands. He swore by it during his college fraternity days. Dominoes Pizza was the one he found to be most effective.