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A Riddle for Summer
By myenzie

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Category: SIYE Challenges new
Characters:Harry/Ginny
Genres: Comedy
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 4
Summary: Harry and Ginny's adventure continues the summer after Harry's fourth year. And why are things around the Burrow disappearing?
Hitcount: Story Total: 574



Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights ? J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.



Author's Notes:
This story continues on immediately after the end of my earlier story, Detentions Aren't All Bad.




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A Riddle for Summer

As usual, Vernon and Petunia did not look pleased to see me when we got off the train. When I stopped to say hello to the Weasleys and give Ginny a quick kiss goodbye, Uncle Vernon turned an odd shade of puce, and called for me to hurry up. Aunt Petunia put on an even more sour look, as if she had just sucked a lemon dry.

I walked toward my relatives and once with them, turned to wave goodbye to my friends. Turning back, I saw the Dursleys had already started ahead of me, so I dragged my trunk along hurriedly to catch up.

I opened Hedwig’s cage once at the car and told her to fly home. Once my trunk and Hedwig’s cage were securely stowed in the car’s boot, we were off. Vernon waited until we were well underway before addressing me, berating me for letting “that blasted owl” out and for my short kiss with Ginny; Aunt Petunia observed that only another freak would want anything to do with me.

So, all in all, it was not an abnormal start to the summer.

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For the next few weeks, nothing remarkable happened.

I did learn that Dudley’s absence was due to school problems. Of course, I had asked about it, but was told in no uncertain terms to shut up. So, I listened to the two of them when they thought I was elsewhere, doing the chores they had assigned and that I had found much easier with a bit of my wandless magic.

It seems that Dudley’s grades were bad enough that he was removed from the boxing team and was in danger of being kicked out of school. As such, he had to stay and do make-up work.

And of course, there was the dementor attack.

The evening the dementors appeared in Little Whining, I had been about to go out when Vernon insisted I pull some boxes out he attic, then dust them off and vacuum the floor that I had messed up with all of the dust I had so carelessly spread everywhere.

I actually owe Vernon for that. If Dudley had been around and I hadn’t been given more to do, he probably would have been out with his friends, and I would have been on a walk to escape my so-called family.

Shortly after the attack, I got an owl; the message said I was to stay inside until I heard further from Sirius or Dumbledore.

Early the next morning, several people showed up at the door, hustling past Aunt Petunia and up the stairs to my room.

Of course, I was already awake after getting ready for the day, fixing breakfast, and cleaning the kitchen.

Moody was there - the real one - and Remus, and some lady in pink hair and a very tight t-shirt. Very tight.

Anyway, Remus handed me a note from Dumbledore explaining they were supposed to take me to the Weasley’s house, which was great news for me. I started to put stuff into my trunk, when the pink-haired lady, Tonks was her name, pushed me aside and used the “pack” spell. I’d never heard a spell before spoken in simple English, so knock me over with a feather.

It was only when I got to the Weasleys that I found out Dudley’s friends Piers and Anthony were kissed. I know I wasn’t to blame, but it sure felt like I was.

hpgwhpgwhpgw

I had not, of course, gotten any news while exiled to Little Whinging, So I was glad to hear that Fudge had been unable to avoid trying Wormtail, who was sentenced to life in Azkaban, or Crouch Junior, who was given the kiss after his previous crimes and escape.

Sirius was to finally receive a trial later that summer, after which we expected he would be officially cleared and freed.

Mrs. Weasley had been overjoyed to see me, as had Ron. And Ginny.

I was heartened by the welcome kisses I received. From Ginny, not Ron. Thank goodness.

For a little while, things seemed to settle down to an easy routine. Until Mrs. Weasley was yelling at the twins for destroying her broom, having removed all of the bristles. Of course, Fred and George denied everything, which only means everyone was more convinced than ever that they had done it.

I think the odd smells and occasional small explosions coming out of their room didn’t help. Nor, a few days later, did the plucking of Mrs. Weasley’s feather duster. Let me tell you, a bald feather duster is an odder sight than a plucked broom.

After the feather duster incident, we were happy to welcome Hermione, who had come to visit for the rest of the summer. She was happy to hear about Peter’s trial and Sirius’ prospects for a new trial, but upset about Crouch Junior. I don’t think any of the rest of us agreed with her, but as no one wanted an argument (even Ron!), we mumbled our understanding of concern without actually saying we agreed.

When one of the twins left the broom shed open overnight, with the result that his broom had also been plucked, things started to get serious.

A box of the wires from Mr. Weasley’s shed disappeared, and the twins were again considered suspects, at least until all of the eggs from the chicken coup disappeared for three days in a row.

I think that when the meat somehow mysteriously disappeared after Mrs. Weasley had made what would have been a delicious stew that things turned serious.

Of course, all eyes turned to Ron as the likely suspect in this instance. Mister bottomless pit was an obvious potential culprit, despite his denials.

The denials might have been a little more believable if they weren’t made at the same time as he was chewing on a big mouth of potatoes he had snagged from the pot sitting in the middle of the table. And if we could understand what he was saying with his mouth full.

As usual, Hermione tore into Ron for his atrocious manners. I think the volume of her reprimand, and Ron’s indignant response (while spewing bits of masticated potato across the table) didn’t help matters.

People abandoned the table at that point, and supper became a variety of items people liberated from the kitchen in ones and twos for the rest of the evening. Somehow, the fight between Ron and Hermione didn’t last long, until it resumed after we learned that Ron had pilfered the rest of the potatoes from the remains of the stew.

Members of the secret group we all knew about, the Order of the Phoenix, were consulted about the missing items. (I personally liked the name we had come up with better than the Order, the Committee for Repelling Arrogant Pricks, since their activities mostly concerned countering activities of pureblood Voldy supporters.)

A consensus arose that, although nothing overly serious had happened yet, this series of mischief making was a breech in security.

To shore up protections, Moody was detailed to go over the protective spells and enchantments on the house.

I don’t really know that much useful was discovered, although we did learn about constant vigilance, that putting a wand in your back pocket is dangerous, and that Moody isn’t that vigilant when he polishes off the contents of the flask he keeps in his hip pocket.

Ginny and I did make some alone time through all of this. I can say that we progressed beyond chaste kisses during this time, but won’t go into more detail. And keep your mind out of the gutter!

When not arguing, Ron seemed to leave Ginny and me pretty much to ourselves, and he and Hermione kept pretty much to themselves.

You would think I wouldn’t be as naïve as I was, but Ginny had to explain the meaning of the dark red spot-on Ron’s neck just below his left ear. She didn’t have to explain it to Mrs. Weasley, though.

She did demonstrate on me, though, in a less conspicuous spot.

During this time, I corresponded fairly regularly with Sirius. I could tell he was getting more worried as time for his trial grew closer, although he didn’t seem that worried about our little riddle regarding people steeling things around the Weasley’s.

When he came over for my birthday, which was a quiet affair, we talked a little about his hope that I might visit later in the summer, after his trial and after the magical vermin in his house had been exterminated and the place cleaned up a little. That was when I learned about Kreacher and their mutual loathing society.

I think that Sirius was both happy that Ginny and I were together and a little jealous of her, and where he was in life. With most of his friends gone and without much other company, he must have felt so alone, and could use some company and even attention.

Ginny and I and Sirius did have a long talk after the little birthday get together and before he left. To get his mind off of everything else, I asked how he and Pettigrew and my dad had become animagi. I think the potential for a little mischief cheered him up, and he promised to send me some information once back to his house.

I know that the disappearance of my birthday cake had Mrs. Weasley furious. And I know that Ron’s protests that he wasn’t responsible were actually believed after he explained that he had only swiped a little of the frosting. You would think he could have washed the frosting off of his nose before he was accused, though.

It was not long after that Ginny and I decided to try to solve the riddle of how all of these things were disappearing.

It seemed like whoever was absconding with everything had worked out a way to not be seen. Although some of what went missing happened when people were sleeping, some also vanished when people were awake.

One thing we did take note of was that initially, non-food items were pilfered, but more recent episodes involved the theft of food stuffs.

Other than the chicken eggs and unharvested vegetables, food was kept in the kitchen. So, we determined to camp out, unobserved, to see if we could tell who was stealing from the Weasleys.

The first night we tried to catch someone, we each went to our separate rooms. After Ron fell quickly asleep, I snuck down to the landing where Ginny’s bedroom was, and waited. A little later, Ginny snuck out to meet me and we proceeded down the stairs. We found an out of the way corner in the kitchen and I cushioned it with a little of my wandless magic. We settled down under my invisibility cloak to wait.

We did cuddle under the cloak. And maybe kissed a little. Any way, we did fall asleep, but were awakened by a noise in the kitchen, even though the candles were out and only the moon provided a little light through the window.

Whatever caused the noise wasn’t obvious, but I think the noise we made upon awakening may have scared the culprit off.

Giving up on catching anyone that night, we trudged off to bed, with a quiet goodnight kiss outside Ginny’s door.

The morning after our first foray, we got a package from Sirius, inside of which was a hand bound journal of sorts. The title on the front cover was “The Marauders’ Guide to the Universe.” Inside were a number of tales that I gathered were from the Marauders’ exploits in school. There was a chapter list on the front page, and several chapters seemed to refer to the experiences they had in the quest to become animagi. It was that day that we also heard that Sirius’ trial had taken place and that he was a free man.

I sent a note with Hedwig thanking him for the journal and congratulating him on his victory. I said I hoped to see him soon, too.

When Ginny and I had a little free and uninterrupted time that afternoon we read the first couple of those chapters.

That night, we stayed in bed later, agreeing to meet up at 1:00 in the morning. We descended the stairs quietly, and settled into our corner again. We were determined not to repeat the previous night’s noise making and so settled down next to each other, Ginny leaning against me.

We waited for what seemed like forever, but really was only about an hour. Then, a quiet sound came from the kitchen counter, near the jar where Mrs. Weasley kept some of her fresh biscuits. The lid seemed to hover in the air.

I touched my finger to Ginny’s lips, signaling her to remain silent. I lifted my invisibility cloak a little and sent a stunner to where I knew the invisible culprit must be.

There was a reassuring “thud” and the lid clinked back into place.

Whatever I had hit lay on the floor, now visible. It was one of the strangest things I’ve seen, and there’s a lot of weird sh-t in the wizarding world.

It was a small creature of some sort, purple with a spiral horn and a pig’s snout. I tied it up with a quick spell and then stunned it again for good measure. We stuffed it in the broom cupboard until morning and agreed, in a whispered conversation, to firecall Luna in the morning to see if she could identify it.

When we called Luna, she seemed amazingly happy to hear what we’d done and insisted on joining us via floo. Moments later she walked out of the fireplace, still dressed in her bed clothes, which seemed to be something furry with a tail. I didn’t ask.

She asked how we had found the creature, so we briefly told her the history story up to its capture. As we spoke, she let us know that the first items taken would have been building a nest since it was probably read to hatch a brood. Later, it was probably gathering food for its nestlings.

Luna was not happy when we told her where we had left the beast, not what we had done to capture it. When we showed it to her, she was ecstatic to see it and rushed to take it with her to get some pictures to publish in the Quibbler. On the way out, she took us to task for harming her first confirmed crumple horned snorkack. She was beyond angry, though.

Who would have thought? Certainly not Hermione.

The next day, Sirius came to collect me and bring me to Grimmauld Place. But that’s another story for another time.

Lunatica dormiens nunquam tittilandus!
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