|SIYE Time:7:21 on 18th October 2017|
Category: Pre-OotP, Alternate Universe
Characters:Albus Dumbledore, All, Draco Malfoy, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Neville Longbottom, Nymphadora Tonks, Other, Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley, Severus Snape, Sirius Black
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, General, Humor, Romance
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence/Physical Abuse
Summary: Harry had never friends, so he imagined one: a red haired girl he kept forgetting to name. Ginny imagined a shy boy with untidy hair and bright eyes, who knew nothing of magic, so she told him. He dreamt of a world of magic and of a girl who wanted to be his friend. She dreamt of a boy who loved to hear her voice, no matter what. Then dreams become a reality when Harry met Ginny.
Rating changed for later chapters.
*Nominated for 2014 November/December DSTA for Best New Story and Best Romance* *Nominated for 2016 January/Feburary DSTA for Best Comedy, Drama, and Romance*
Hitcount: Story Total: 90196; Chapter Total: 3520
There was an error and the chapter was originally cut off about half-way. This is the full chapter.
Fi ve: Meeting Albus Dumbledore
Harry was biting his lip. He looked deep in concentration. She could hear him thinking it all over.
He looked over at his aunt. “I have to go with them,” he said. “I can't leave Ginny.”
Ginny grinned. She squeezed his hand quickly. He squeezed it back.
Mrs. Dursley looked even more stunned than when he knocked her down. “What do you mean?”
“I mean I need to be with Ginny,” he said. “I can't leave her.”
“I don't know exactly why, but something tells me I shouldn't leave her.”
“You only met her today!” Mrs. Dursley said in exasperation.
“Aunt Petunia, I've known her all my life,” Harry said. Ginny's smile changed to a more warm and sweet smile.
Mrs. Dursley looked at Harry as though he had just grown an extra pair of arms. “You have lost your mind,” she said.
Mrs. Evans touched Mrs. Dursley's shoulder. “You should let him go,” she said.
Mrs. Dursley turned to Mrs. Evans with the same expression. “You've all gone mad,” she breathed. “He is a ten year old boy. He does not know better than me. And I know it would be madness to let my charge go frolicking off with a stranger.”
“Ginny's not a stranger!” Harry said.
“Well, excuse me for thinking that her mother and her family are,” Mrs. Dursley said. “Harry, come to me. Now.”
Harry's grip on her hand tightened. “No. I need to stay with Ginny.”
Mrs. Dursley glanced around, her expression both frustrated and flustered. She set her eyes on Ginny. “You, girl, tell him that he's being stupid.”
Mrs. Evans grabbed Mrs. Dursley's arm. “Petunia, watch your attitude.”
Mrs. Dursley jerked her arm away from Mrs. Evans. “Mother, my godson is being the disobedient little brat that he is, and I will not sugar coat my words to make him feel better. He needs to know that he is acting ridiculous.”
Mrs. Evans scowled. “What happened to you, Petunia? You used to be so sweet.” She sighed. “Never mind. We'll sort that out later. Sweetheart, Harry isn't being ridiculous. He's being sensible. It is his connection to Ginny, his instincts. I think it would be wise to allow him to stay with Ginny, until we figure out what's happening.”
Mrs. Dursley scowled even deeper than Mrs. Evans. “He has an overactive imagination.”
“Mrs. Dursley,” Ginny said, catching the attention of the older, sterner woman. “Harry thought I was his imagination until today. And I can feel it too, Harry should stay with me.”
Mrs. Dursley narrowed her eyes at Ginny. Ginny swallowed nervously.
Then, she threw her hands in the air. “Fine. I don't care. Take him away, do whatever.” She opened the truck door and pulled a rucksack from it. She tossed it at Harry, who caught it with a grunt. Ginny decided the Queen of Cleaning was more evil than she'd originally thought.
Mrs. Evans gave Mrs. Dursley a strange look, and approached them. She smiled warmly, and knelt down before them. She touched Harry's shoulder. Ginny half expected a flash of light to push her away, but no light came up. Maybe it only came when someone tried to separate them.
“Harry, darling,” Mrs. Evans said, “you be on your best behavior for Mrs. Weasley, okay? I'll come see you as soon as that Dumbledore can come and try to muddle out what's happening, or, if you need me.” She pulled something from her pocket, a little card, and handed it to him.
“My telephone number and my home address in on that,” she said. “You come and see me, call me, anything, if you need me, all right?”
Harry tucked the card into his pocket. Then he frowned.
You don't have a telephone, do you? He thought to her.
I thought so.
“They don't have telephones,” Harry said. Mrs. Evans glanced at her; she nodded. Mrs. Evans smiled again.
“Well, then come see me,” she said. “Now, you be good.”
Mrs. Evans gently kissed his forehead. Harry looked startled as she stood up, and walked back to her truck.
Never been kissed before, then? She thought.
No, but I've seen it happen. It's not as wet as I expected.
Ginny laughed. “Come on, Mum's waiting.”
She pulled him to the car. Mum looked like she had no idea where the afternoon had gone as she opened the door for Harry and her.
Ginny climbed into the backseat, Harry followed her.
“Buckle up,” Mum said and closed the doors. Ginny watched her suck her breath in and let it out slowly. Then she climbed into the car too.
“How am I going to explain this to Arthur?” Mum mumbled in the driver's seat. She started the car, and pulled out into the street.
Harry watched out the window as they passed Mrs. Evan's truck. Dudley was watching them drive away.
Ginny gripped Harry's hand again.
You okay? She reached out.
Yeah, I'm fine.
You're lying. Honestly, I can read your mind, silly! You'd think you would have learned by now not to lie to me.
Yeah, I know.
It's just, Aunt Petunia, I almost thought for a minute that maybe she did really care about me. Because she was refusing to let me go. But, I guess not.
Ginny's heart broke, watching him. He'd been hurt so much, too much. Ginny didn't really know how to respond to his quiet disappointment, so she unclipped her seat belt and slid across the bench to sit right beside him. She curled her arm through his, and rested her head on his shoulder. He glanced at her, surprised, but then he smiled.
I'm glad I have you, he thought.
I'm glad you have me too, she thought back. So, Harry Potter.
I'm famous, he thought, his mental voice was full of awe and confusion.
Very famous, she replied. You have dolls and picture books and everything.
I don't suppose you have any of those, then?
Ginny blushed, and Harry smirked. Her fascination with the story of the Boy Who Lived was always something she kept under lock and key in her mind. It was just something she thought her imaginary male friend wouldn't understand and therefore didn't need to know about it.
All right, I have picture books, and one doll. Just one!
Wow, I never knew being famous could have so many perks. Dolls, picture books, I must be rich from that stuff!
Ginny laughed. Mum glanced at them in the mirror, but sighed and looked away.
I think we're confusing Mum, Ginny thought.
Of course we are, Harry thought, smirking. We're talking to each other in our minds, Ginny, she's probably confused to America and back.
Ginny laughed again. Mum glanced back at them, one eyebrow raised.
“It's nothing,” Ginny said.
“If you say so,” Mum sighed.
Harry and Ginny did not speak again the rest of the trip. Harry commented this and that, the countryside, the strangeness of the car and the afternoon, but he never spoke a word. Ginny couldn't help but grin; she was going to have a lot of fun with her not so imaginary friend.
Ginny's house was as different from Aunt Petunia's as night is from day. As they approached, they passed a wooden sign stuck in the earth reading 'The Burrow.' The house itself looked as though the bottom floors had been built several decades ago, but had been added onto over the years. It was leaning over to the left, and Harry was surprised it had not fallen over years ago. The steps to the kitchen door were littered with rusty caldrons, old rubber boots, and dirt. The kitchen itself was wide and open and merrily preparing dinner, with no one around. Ginny's mother dropped her hand bag onto the counter and sighed. She withdrew a long wood stick, a wand, Ginny said in his thoughts, and waved it in the air. The fire in the old fashioned wood stove fizzled out. The pots and pans washing themselves in the sink ceased their cleaning. The knife chopping up various vegetables and potatoes dropped to the counter.
“I told Percy to make it himself,” Mrs. Weasley sighed.
“Percy, that's the one with pink hair, right?” Harry asked. Mrs. Weasley looked at him sharply.
“I told him, Mum,” Ginny said. “Ages ago.”
“Two days ago,” Harry said. Ginny punched him lightly in the arm. Mrs. Weasley seemed to accept that the situation was not going to be something she would understand, and led them from the kitchen to the room beyond, past a scrubbed wooden table large enough to seat a dozen, to a comfortable looking sitting room. A boy with faded pink hair was sitting in one of the armchairs, turning the pages of his book idly.
He looked up as Mrs. Weasley entered, and quickly stuffed the book behind him as he jumped up.
“Mother,” he said, almost breathlessly, “I- I was just about to... to...” he trailed off, for his eyes had found Harry.
“Who is that?” he asked.
Mrs. Weasley glanced back at Harry. “Well, it is rather a long story, one I don't want to repeat multiple times. This is Harry Potter.”
Percy let out a little gasp. His face colored behind his glasses, as his eyes traveled upward to the strands of faded pink hair falling over his eyebrows.
“Sweet Merlin,” he muttered. “Mr. Potter, please excuse-”
“The pink hair?” Harry said, hiding a smirk. “It's okay. Ginny said Fred and George hexed it.”
Percy nodded. “I- I'm just going to- to m-make dinner,” he stammered, and he darted past them and into the kitchen. Mrs. Weasley shook her head.
“He's always been very formal,” Mrs. Weasley said to Harry. “It must be torture for him right now.”
“I know,” Harry said. Mrs. Weasley nodded, muttering, “Of course you do.”
Mum isn't used to this sort of thing, Ginny thought.
I can tell, Harry thought back, smiling at her. Mrs. Weasley glanced between the two of them, then sighed and turned towards the stairs leading up to the upper floors.
“BOYS!” she hollered. Thundering footsteps sounding, and Harry immediately thought of an army marching into battle. He had a sudden thought of what he knew of Ginny's brothers, and wondered if he should be afraid. He stepped backward, and closer to his friend. Ginny glanced at him and shook her head, but she was smiling.
Just be yourself, she thought. You'll be all right.
Easy for you to say, Harry thought grumpily. The army of Ginny's other brothers stampeded down the last few steps to line up in front of their mother. He recognized them one by one. The one on the far right was Bill, going by the ponytail and fang earring. Then next was Charlie, short and stocky. Then in the middle were the two identical twins. He couldn't tell which was which. Last was Ginny's twin, Ron. All five of them had caught sight of Harry, and all five were staring curiously.
“Percy, come back in here,” Mrs. Weasley called. Percy came back out of the kitchen, pink haired head hanging, to join his brothers.
Mrs. Weasley laid a hand on Harry's shoulders and steered him out from behind Ginny. “This is Harry Potter.”
A collective intake of breath from the brothers, all but Percy. Harry waved shyly.
“He will be staying with us for a while,” Mrs. Weasley said. “He's- well, I'm not quite sure what to call him.”
Ginny stepped forward. “He's my imaginary friend,” she said.
All six boys looked to her with similar shocked expressions.
“Your what?” Percy said in a stunned voice.
“He's the imaginary friend I've told you about,” she said. “The one I forgot to name.”
Bill and Charlie glanced at each other. Percy seemed disbelieving. Ron, Fred and George looked like they were still trying to process it all.
“We don't quite understand it,” Mrs. Weasley said. “I'm going to call Dumbledore and ask him for help, but in the meantime Harry will be staying with us. Ron, would you mind letting him bunk with you?”
Ron turned as red as his hair. “B-bunk with me?” he stumbled over the words, looking even more shocked.
“Yes,” Mrs. Weasley said. “You're the least likely to pester him.”
Harry felt reassured that Mrs. Weasley was on his and Ginny's side.
Ron will still pester you, but not as much as the others, Ginny thought.
I'll live, he thought back.
Ginny flashed him a smile, he smiled back.
The brothers were eyeing him again. Mrs. Weasley glanced at them, and sighed.
“They can read each other's minds,” she said, almost reluctantly. “And no, you may not ask them about it,” she snapped at one of the twins, who had opened his mouth curiously. The twin scowled. “Ron, show Harry your room, please.”
Ron nodded, and waved at Harry to follow him. Ron looked thoroughly confused as he led Harry up the stairs. Ginny waved to him as he mounted the steps. Harry waved back. Today had been crazy, and he was loving every moment of it.
“So,” Ron said as they climbed higher and higher. “How did you become my sister's imaginary friend?”
“I have no idea,” Harry replied. “One day, I just got fed up with being shunted and ignored, so I made up a friend and she was Ginny.”
“Shunted?” Ron repeated, frowning. “What would you be shunted for?”
“I live with my aunt and uncle, or, I used to. They don't particularly like me.”
“My uncle was a drinker,” Harry admitted. “My aunt got fed up with him, packed up me and my cousin, and brought us out here to stay with my grandmother. At least, that was the plan. Then I met Ginny for real, and my grandmother and your mother decided it would be best to not separate us.”
“And they're Muggles, right?”
Ron seemed a little less confused than he did when they started up the stairs. He stopped on a final landing, and turned to Harry.
“If you're Ginny's imaginary friend, then she must have told you everything.”
“What's she say about me?”
Harry thought about it for a moment.
What? Ginny thought.
He wants to know what you say about him.
Tell him it isn't his business.
“She says it's not your business,” Harry said aloud.
“Says?” Ron frowned. Then he made a look of vague understanding. “Right, the reading each other's minds thing.” Harry nodded.
“Maybe I'm dreaming,” Ron mumbled as he turned to the door. He turned the handle, and the door swung open.
It was like walking into an explosion. Everything was covered in bright orange: The walls, the floor, the ceiling, even the bedspread. Harry already knew Ron was a huge fan of the Chuddly Cannons, but this was just too much orange to live in.
Ron fidgeted with a miniature figurine of a Quidditch player as he waited for Harry's reaction. (Ginny had explained the rules of Quidditch to him AGES ago.)
“It's just like Ginny said it was,” Harry said.
Ron raised one eyebrow and narrowed the other eye. He seemed too confused to do much else.
“Right,” Ron muttered, dropping the figurine. It flew away on its miniature broom. “So, you know everything about us?”
“Only what Ginny's told me,” Harry said quickly.
“And you're the Boy Who Lived.” Ron's eyes drifted away from his, to land on Harry's scar.
“Well, yes,” Harry said. “Um, I don't really know much about being famous, so...” he trailed off awkwardly.
Just be yourself, Ginny thought.
Harry sighed, and glanced around. “Um, where will I sleep?”
“Oh, right,” Ron looked around, and then stepped over an overflowing box and to something that Harry had guessed to be a desk or something similar, but Ron swept his arm over it, sending the junk covering it crashing to the floor, and Harry saw it was another bed. Harry instantly knew whose it had been. The quilt covering it was a creamy white, patterned with different flowers. Ginny's.
“Ginny used to sleep there, but Mum and Dad gave her her own room a few years ago. We never bothered to get rid of the bed,” Ron explained. Harry knew this already, but didn't let on that he knew, seeing as Ron was already befuddled.
“I'll get a different blanket,” Ron said.
“No, that one's fine,” Harry said quickly. Ron raised an eyebrow.
“I'm not fond of orange,” Harry said.
“But it's got flowers and it's all girly,” Ron said.
“I don't mind,” Harry said. “Don't go to any trouble.”
Ron shrugged and navigated over more piles of stuff to the other bed. Harry stepped over the same box filled to the brim with comic books and toys to the bed. He sank onto it, heard the groaning of old bed springs, and set his rucksack on the ground beside it.
“Now what?” Harry asked.
Ron looked over at him, then around the room awkwardly.
“Um...” he said.
“Er...” Harry said.
Ask him to tell you about the Chuddly Cannons, Ginny thought. That will get him on our side quickly.
What do we need him on our side for?
In case Dad decides I'm too young to have a boy in my head. We'll need backup.
You've had me in your head for ages!
I know that but Dad doesn't!
Harry let out an aggravated sigh.
“Ginny says I should ask you about the Chuddly Cannons,” Harry said. Somewhere, Ginny smacked herself in the forehead.
Why didn't you just ask instead of saying I told you to?
Because I have no idea what I'm doing.
Ron raised an eyebrow.
“What would she want you to know about my Quidditch team for?”
“She says it will get you on our side.”
“You have a side?”
Harry shrugged. “I guess. She's afraid your dad won't like the fact that I can hear her thoughts.”
“She's confused. All Dad will care about is the fact that you live with Muggles,” Ron said.
Harry frowned. “He will?” Ron nodded.
“Dad LOVES Muggles. He thinks they're fascinating.”
Harry was relieved. Ginny had told him that some wizards thought Muggles were scum and anyone to do with them were scum too.
“So,” Ron said.
“Um...” Harry said.
If this situation gets any more awkward, I'll eat my hat.
Are you wearing a hat?
No, but I've got hats.
You shut up!
Downstairs, Harry knew Ginny was laughing. Harry smiled.
“Nothing,” Harry said. Several seconds of awkward silence ensued. “Um, maybe we should, you know, get to know each other a bit,” he suggested.
Ron nodded slowly. “All right. Er, how?”
Harry shrugged. “I'll say something about me, and then you say something about yourself, and so on.”
“Okay. You first.”
“Right. Um.... I'm turning eleven at the end of July.”
“My birthday's in May.”
“My favorite color is red.”
Harry laughed. “I figured,” he said, looking around the room. Ron smiled.
“What else?” Ron said.
Harry thought a moment. “Favorite foods?”
“Mine's apple pie.”
“I've never had apple pie,” Harry said.
“You've never had apple pie?” Ron asked in disbelief.
“My aunt and uncle never let me.”
Ron stared at him, mouth agape. “Come on, let's go ask Mum to make some. You've got to try it.” Ron leapt up off the bed, and bounded across the room. Harry followed as quickly as he could in the mess. They ran down the stairs, causing quite a ruckus, to see Mrs. Weasley bent over the fireplace in the living room.
“...it's quite confusing, the whole thing,” Mrs. Weasley was saying. “Albus, tell me you have an explanation.”
“What's she doing?” Harry whispered to Ron.
“Making a Floo call,” Ron hissed back. “Probably to Professor Dumbledore.”
Harry nodded. Vaguely, he remembered Ginny telling him about Floo calling.
“I will look through my books and speak to the previous Headmasters,” said a man's voice, a soft, merry voice. “I will do my best to discover what connects them.”
“Will you want to come speak with them?”
“Yes, but not now. It is a wise idea to keep them together until we know more. You are comfortable with having Harry stay with you for the time being?”
“Good. I shall Floo you again when I know more.”
“Thank you, Professor.”
There was a slight whoosh and Mrs. Weasley straightened. She turned, and spotted Ron and Harry standing by the stairs.
“What is it, dears?” Mrs Weasley said.
“Harry's never had apple pie,” Ron said. “Could you make some for dessert?”
Mrs. Weasley smiled. “Of course, dear. I'll whip up some in a minute. Are you settled in, Harry, dear?”
Harry nodded. “I'm very grateful that you're letting me stay with you,” he said.
“Oh, it's no trouble,” Mrs. Weasley said. “One more child isn't going to upset things around here.”
“Is there anything I could help with?” Harry asked.
Mrs. Weasley shook her head. “No, dear. You just relax. Ginny's gone outside, if you'd like to be with her.”
Harry smiled at Mrs. Weasley. “Okay, thanks. Come on, Ron.”
The two boys left the room with thundering feet and smiles. They found Ginny in the garden, which Mrs. Dursley certainly would not have liked. Harry loved it. The plants were overgrown, their perfumes mixing together to entice and delight his senses. Ginny was sitting with her back to a wide but short tree, the branches weighed down with delicious looking peaches.
Harry sat beside her. Ron stood there, looking awkward.
Hey, Harry thought. Ginny smiled at him and laid her head on his shoulder.
I'm really tired, Ginny thought. Harry wrapped his arm around her shoulders and gave her a little squeeze.
Okay. Harry glanced at Ron.
“She's tired,” he said.
“Yeah, I know,” Ron said, his voice just a little bit annoyed. “She's my sister.”
Harry's cheeks warmed. “Right. Um...”
Ginny poked him in the ribs. “Keep playing that game. I'll just listen.”
Harry nodded. “Okay. Um, what's your best school subject?”
Ron sank onto the ground, sitting Indian style. “Quidditch.”
Harry laughed. “Mine's lunch.”
“Does lunch count as school?” Ginny asked.
“When it's at school, it does,” Harry said defensively.
“Fine,” Ginny yawned.
“What's your favorite thing to do?” Ron said. “I like to play Quidditch and chess.”
“I don't get to play much,” Harry said.
“My aunt and uncle-”
“Never let you,” Ron guessed, scowling. Harry nodded. “They sound like evil people.”
Harry shrugged. “They're mean to me, sure, but they're not evil. They just don't like me. I'm abnormal.”
“That doesn't mean they can treat you so horribly,” Ginny said.
“Let's talk about something else,” Harry said, feeling awkward.
“Let's stop talking altogether and let me nap,” Ginny said.
Ron and Harry laughed.
“Ron!” Mrs. Weasley called. “I need you!”
Ron pushed himself off the ground. “Coming, Mum!” he yelled back. “See you later,” he said to Harry and Ginny. He turned, and walked back to the house.
“Harry,” Ginny said suddenly.
“What do you suppose this is?”
“This,” she said, “us. Hearing our thoughts.”
Harry thought about it. “I don't know, Ginny.”
Ginny yawned again. Harry looked down at her, resting on his shoulder, and couldn't help but notice that he quite liked having her there.
Where did that come from?
After a while, Ginny fell asleep. In the shade of the peach tree, Harry rested his head against the tree's trunk, and fell asleep too.
A long while later, after quite a few dreams, the sound of voices and footsteps roused Harry. As he blearily looked around, his eyes still gummed with sleep, he saw three adults approaching.
Ginny, he thought. Wake up.
“Go 'way,” Ginny mumbled.
“Wake up,” he said aloud, shaking her gently. Ginny stirred, waving a hand in the air as though warding off a fly. But she opened her eyes and looked around. Her eyes found his, and her cheeks colored bright red.
“Oh!” she said, sitting up quickly. His arm was still around her. “It wasn't a dream!”
Harry laughed quietly. “Nope. But people are here.”
Ginny looked around, and the three adults came into the garden.
“Ginny? Harry?” Mrs. Weasley's voice. “Where are you?”
“Over here, Mum!” Ginny called back. The three adults worked their way through the bushes and stopped by the tree.
“There you are,” Mrs. Weasley said. “Professor Dumbledore would like to speak with you.”
Harry pulled his arm away from Ginny quickly. He had noticed the third person in the group, a tall man with a receding red hairline. His face burned and he avoided Ginny's father's gaze.
Professor Dumbledore lowered himself onto the ground, sitting with his legs tucked beneath him. Professor Dumbledore was a very old man. He had long silver hair, and an equally long beard. He wore half-moon glasses, perched upon a very crooked nose. His blue eyes twinkled behind his glasses, and he was smiling gently at them.
“Hello, Harry,” Professor Dumbledore said. “Ginny. How are you?”
“All right,” Harry said.
“Sleepy,” Ginny yawned. Professor Dumbledore chuckled softly.
“I would imagine,” Professor Dumbledore said. “It has been a very interesting day, hasn't it?”
“I was wondering if you could tell me about this connection of yours,” Dumbledore said.
“We can hear each other's thoughts,” Ginny said.
“No matter where you are?”
“Before you met, did you know that your imaginary friend was Harry Potter, Miss Weasley?”
Ginny shook her head. “I kept forgetting to name him,” she said.
“Same here,” Harry said.
Dumbledore nodded slowly. “I see. And, tell me, do you know what the other is doing even when you can't see each other?”
“When did you first hear each other?”
Harry frowned, trying to remember. “I- I can't remember. It was a long time ago.”
Ginny nodded her head in agreement. “I've always been able to hear him.”
“I see,” Dumbledore mused. “You were asleep when we walked up, correct?”
Ginny nodded. Harry's face burned redder as he nodded as well. Dumbledore glanced at Ginny's father and smiled.
“He doesn't bite, Harry,” Dumbledore said, smiling gently. Harry prayed it was true.
“Do you remember what you were dreaming about?”
Harry frowned. “Not exactly.”
Ginny shook her head. “All I remember is seeing Harry.”
“And did you see Ginny in your dream, Harry?”
Harry nodded. Professor Dumbledore nodded again, and stood. “I have no further questions. I will Floo call you when I know more. Molly, Arthur.” Dumbledore bowed to Harry and Ginny, then to Ginny's parents, and left the garden.
Mrs. Weasley offered a hand to Ginny. “Supper's ready, dears,” she said, helping Ginny up. Harry stood, and moved to follow the, but Mr. Weasley lay a hand on Harry's shoulder.
“So, Harry Potter,” Mr. Weasley said. “My daughter’s imaginary friend.”
Harry gulped. “Yes, sir,” he said.
Mr. Weasley smiled at him. “Dumbledore was right, you know. I don't bite.”
“I realize that, sir,” Harry said. “I just thought it would be a good idea to watch my step.”
Mr. Weasley's eyes twinkled with amusement. “And a good idea that is. And I realize that you are not yet eleven, so I will leave you be for now. Just be good to Ginny, all right?”
Harry nodded. “Yes, sir. I will.”
Mr. Weasley patted Harry's shoulder. “Come along, Molly's made pot pies, and apple pie too.”
Mr. Weasley steered him out of the garden, and into the brightly lit kitchen.
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