Disclaimer: I don’t own anything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter.
AN: It’s been over a year, and I’m so so so sorry!! I’ve had this chapter done for quite some time, but I’ve been putting off posting it for some reason unbeknownst to even me. Although I wish I could promise more frequent updates, I really can’t. I don’t know what life is going to bring me, but I’ll definitely try to update more than once a year (again, I’m sorry!).
After the War Ron and Hermione bought a small cottage a couple of miles from the Burrow. They tried to stay as close as possible without being too close
. So far the house was big enough for the two of them, but hopefully they would have a new family member soon. Adding a new room onto the existing building had worked for the Burrow so they weren’t too worried.
As Ron served breakfast, Errol, the extremely
old owl, came crashing in through the open window. Luckily the couple was used to him by now and Hermione managed to catch him before he made a mess.
“It’s from your mum,” Hermione said after untying the letter. She read it quickly, and smiled. “She wants to invite us to dinner. Apparently she and Arthur are feeling rather lonely.”
“We just saw her the other day. I tell you, the only reason they got so many children is because they hate being alone,” Ron grumbled.
“Oh, come on. You’re the same. I don’t know how many times you’ve invited yourself to dinner over at the Burrow. Anyhow, I’ll tell her that we’ll be there.” Hermione grabbed a nearby quill and hastily scribbled down a reply. After tying it to Errol and helped him with the liftoff she turned to her boyfriend. “I promised Fleur I’d stop by with the sweaters I made for Angelique.”
“Alright. Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you that Neville sent a letter saying that Kreacher loved his new hat. Well as much as that elf can love things. Apparently he hasn’t taken it off since you gave it to him.”
“I felt so bad about leaving him at Hogwarts,” she sighed.
“Bad? Why? It was his choice, after Har…He’s free now and he chose Hogwarts.” Ron barely stopped himself from mentioning Harry; it was still a sore subject. Ron understood to a certain degree how it felt to return like that and having the people closest to you hate you. When they were searching for Horcruxes and Ron left, Harry welcomed him back with open arms and Ron wanted to repay him. So he didn’t blame him for leaving, not really, but it had hurt.
Hermione was not one to forgive easily, as Ron and Harry knew from previous experiences. But she would eventually forgive and forget, because they were after all The Golden Trio.
“Molly, Ron’s mother, has invited me to dinner tonight. She said she wanted to talk to me some more, apparently she thought I left too soon last time.” Harry said as he folded up the parchment that the brown owl had delivered.
“So, are you going?” Buffy asked as she continued to polish one of her many swords. “I mean, you said she didn’t seem to be mad at you.”
“Yeah, I think I will. But if I know her as well as I think I do, she has already invited Ron and Hermione too. She never could stand when her ‘children’ fought. It’s just like her to do something like this.”
“Are you ready for that?” She paused and looked at him. He paced in front of the window.
“I don’t know. Now is as good a time as ever, I suppose. But will you come with me?”
“Are you sure, shouldn’t you talk to them alone first?”
“Well, if you remember, I tried. And look how well that went…” He sighed as he plopped down onto the bed. “I just wish we could go back to the way it used to be. But without all the expectations.”
After a few moments of silence Buffy spoke. “Of course I’ll go with you. If you’re sure Mrs. Weasley won’t mind.”
Harry rolled over onto his stomach, and looked at her closely. Buffy had stopped what she was doing. She looked nervous. He smiled at her reassuringly. “She’ll love you, just like I do.”
“Hey Giles, can we reschedule the meeting? Harry and I are meeting some of his old friends for dinner.” Buffy said as a greeting.
“Do you really think it’s appropriate for you to go off and have dinner now, in the middle of this new apocalypse?” Giles took off his glasses and started to clean them.
“I’m doing this for Harry, and aren’t you the one who keeps reminding me that I have to live? Well, this is me living – I’m meeting my boyfriend’s family for the first time and I’m nervous enough without you scolding me like a child.”
Giles had enough sense to look ashamed. “You’re absolutely right, dear. I’m terribly sorry.”
“Hey it’s okay, I didn’t mean to snap. I’m just nervous. I haven’t really had the chance to meet a boyfriend’s family before. I mean Angel’s family hasn’t been around for a couple of hundred years. Unless you count Spike, Darla and Drusilla, which we probably shouldn’t, because that’s just wrong.”
Giles smiled at his protege, and her ramblings. “You don’t need to worry, they’ll love you.”
“So they keep telling me,” she sighed and smiled sadly. “I just wish mom or Dawn was here with me; they never got to meet Harry.”
Giles stepped up to her and wrapped his arms around her. She rested her check on his shoulder and closed her eyes as memories of Dawn’s funeral two years prior flooded her mind. None of the Scoobies had had time to grieve after Dawn’s death. They had been so busy setting up the new council and gathering Slayers from all over the world. But as things calmed down it really hit Buffy that she had no blood family left and that her friends were her only family now; that was one of the reasons why she was so adamant that Harry forgave his friends and his makeshift family.
Buffy would never get used to side-along apparition, it felt horrible. Being a Slayer made it slightly easier, but she could definitely do without it. Harry and Buffy appeared some distance from the Burrow; he wanted her to see it in all its glory. They walked up towards the hill which the Burrow was situated atop. Soon the Burrow came into view and Harry felt at home. He glanced nervously at Buffy, but she only smiled.
“It’s exactly how you described it! It’s wonderful. Come on!” She started to walk faster and pulled him along.
“This is the epitome of my teens. This was my home when I wasn’t at Hogwarts,” he said. A figure appeared outside the house and as they got closer Harry saw that it was Mrs. Weasley that waited for them. She turned around and spoke to someone just inside the door. Harry and Buffy approached the door, and Arthur came out and stood next to Mrs. Weasley.
“Harry! I’m so glad you could make it,” Mrs. Weasley exclaimed and hugged him. He shook hands with Arthur and stood back.
He motioned towards Buffy. “This is Buffy Summers, my girlfriend. I hope you don’t mind me bringing her along.”
“Of course not! Come here, dear.” And Mrs. Weasley gave Buffy a hug as well, already welcoming her into the family. “Let’s get inside.”
“Thank you for having us, Mrs. Weasley,” Buffy said.
“Oh, please call me Molly, and any friend of Harry’s is always welcome here.” She bustled around a bit and Arthur led them to the sitting room. Molly soon joined them with several cups of tea. “Sit down, sit down. Dinner is almost ready.”
The four of them drank their tea, while Molly and Arthur told Buffy some rather embarrassing stories about Harry growing up. At the end of it, he almost wished for Ron and Hermione to show up. If he heard another thing about Cho or falling off broomsticks he would go mental. But still, he had never felt more at home in the past four years as he did sitting with Buffy and the older Weasleys. Molly kept glancing our through the window, straining her neck in a very Petunia sort of way.
“Mrs. Weasley, are you waiting for someone?” Harry asked, fully aware that she was.
“Eh, no, not at all dear. Have another cake.” She absentmindedly handed him the potato peeler. Buffy and Harry shared a look and smiled. Suddenly Molly squealed and hurried over to the door. Harry grabbed Buffy’s hand and hoped that the night wouldn’t end in a total catastrophe.
Molly opened the door and inwardly smiled at her own cunningness, but she squeaked again when she saw that Ron and Hermione weren’t alone. They walked across the yard, with Ginny and Sam in tow. This certainly wasn’t part of the plan!
“I’ll be right back!” Molly told them and hurried off. She met the group out on the lawn. “Not that I love you all, but what are you doing here?” She asked and looked pointedly at Ginny.
“What? You always complain that you have a bunch of leftovers every day,” said Ginny. “Me and Sam were over at Fleur and Bill when Ron and Hermione popped by. When they mentioned dinner we thought we’d come with them.”
“Of course you’re welcome, I just wasn’t prepared,” Molly looked over her shoulder towards the Burrow. “Well, I should probably mention that Harry and his girlfriend are here as well. I thought this would be as good opportunity for you all to talk some things over.”
“Harry?!” Hermione exclaimed.
“Girlfriend?!” asked Ginny. She didn’t notice the look that Sam gave her. He knew what Harry had meant to her, but he had hoped that she was over him. However, that didn’t seem to be the case.
“Yes, yes, I invited Harry too. This fight you got going on is just ridiculous! Now, you will all sit down and have dinner, and you will talk to Harry and Buffy,” Ginny snorted at the name, but was silenced by a look from Molly, “and you WILL be nice.” She stomped off into the house.
“Oh, Harry dear, you won’t mind if Ron and Hermione, joins us for dinner? Oh, Ginny and Sam are here too.” Molly smiled and set about to set the table.
“I sense that I don’t have much of a choice,” Harry muttered.
“Do any of us?” asked Arthur, from the corner of his mouth.
“What was that, Arthur?” Molly asked from the kitchen.
“Oh, nothing, dear, nothing.”
Buffy smiled at the exchange fondly. She could see why Harry loved it there so much. So far the Weasleys seemed to be lovely. But of course, she had only met a small fraction of the clan. Molly, especially, seemed to be absolutely wonderful. Despite her ‘tricking’ Harry into having dinner, she seemed to really care about her family. Buffy’s own mother died before they had a chance to make things better. It had always been strained between them, but when Molly hugged Buffy it was as if she was hugged by her mother.
Buffy was awoken from her thoughts as Harry pulled on her hand. She followed him into the kitchen were the table was set and four new people stood awkwardly. Ron stepped forward and grasped Harry’s hand. He sat down by the table, ready to eat. Harry chuckled at the typical Ron behaviour.
“Hermione, Ginny,” Harry said and nodded at them. He turned to Sam and stretched out his hand. “Hey, I’m Harry.”
“Oh, yes, I know! It’s an honour to meet you,” Sam said in awe.
“It’s my pleasure,” Harry smiled. “This is Buffy.” He motioned towards her.
“Hey, it’s nice to finally meet you all.” Buffy smiled at Ron and the girls, and shook hands with Sam, who seemed to be in awe of her as well. Apparently any (girl)friend of Harry’s were treated with the same admiration.
“Finally?” Hermione spoke at last. “What do you mean ‘finally’?”
“Oh, eh,” Buffy glanced at Harry. “Harry has told me all about you guys, his family.”
“Oh, has he now?” Hermione snapped. Ron stood up and led her over to the table.
“Leave it alone, ‘Mione,” he whispered. Molly, who had tried to be as discreet as possible during their greetings, burst forward. She led them all to the table and announced that dinner was ready, but sadly she and Arthur wouldn’t attend. She served them the feast she had prepared, and then she and Arthur snuck upstairs.
“How sneaky,” Ginny remarked. Then threw in a glare in her mother’s general direction. “So, Buffy, how did you and Harry meet?” Her tone suggesting that she rather not know, but was still curious.
“Heh, well, it’s kinda a long story. I was in L.A. at the time, and we-“ Before she could continue she was interrupted by Hermione.
“Harry, did you really think that we wouldn’t be mad?!”
“Oh, wow, Herm, 3 minutes before you jumped down my throat. Must be a record!” Harry snapped back. Buffy placed her hand on his thigh in hopes of calming him down. She knew that nothing good came from speaking in anger. But Harry just shook her off. “Bet it took all your strength to keep quiet!”
“Hey mate, calm down. You too, Hermione. Can’t we just try to have dinner?” Ron tried to mediate the situation. He looked at Ginny for support, but she just angrily shovelled food in her mouth. Sam, on the other hand, looked as uncomfortable as Buffy did.
They both mumbled a quiet ‘sorry’. It was almost as if they were back in school, but the roles were slightly reversed. It was usually Hermione who snapped at the boys, or Harry who got too tired of Ron and Hermione’s bickering. But it made them both feel much younger, and also as if the past four years never happened.
The meal continued in silence, until Buffy couldn't take it anymore. She had noticed that Ron and Sam didn't seem to have a problem with either her or Harry, while Hermione and Ginny just looked pissed off, justifiably so. But enough is enough. She could at least try to build a bridge between them.
“Hermione, what do you do for a living?”
“I'm currently working at the Ministry, in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures,” she answered excitedly, momentarily forgetting her anger. “I'm involved in the liberation of House Elves; I'm trying to get them rights and fair wages. I mean you can't expect the poor beings to work every day without a single holiday.”
“Are you finally taking S.P.E.W. to the next level?” Harry asked, trying to hide his smile.
“Yes, and it's not only me now. I have 10 people working under me. We work closely with Kreacher over at Hogwarts.”
“I've been a member for a couple of years, shouldn't I get some special badge or something?” Harry joked.
“Oh, mate, don't even bring it up,” Ron groaned. “I had to wear a huge badge for weeks before she let me off the hook. And the name was still S.P.E.W. by the way. Everyone who came into the shop laughed their asses off every time the saw me.”
Even Ginny, by this point, had lighten up a bit. She fondly remembered Ron's oh so pretty badge.
“I thought you still worked in the Auror office?” Harry asked.
“Nah, after you left I started to work with George in the joke shop. It's doing really great now.”
“That's great. How about Neville, still at the office?”
“He's actually a teacher's assistant at Hogwarts now, herbology of course,” Ginny answered.
“Good for him,” Harry said, and smiled fondly.
Right after the Battle of Hogwarts Harry, Ron and Neville had started to work at the Auror Office, hunting down the rest of the Death Eaters. They had been doing well, but finding these people really took a toll on the guys, especially on Harry, who took every fugitive they couldn’t catch as a personal failure.
The conversations flowed easier after that. They learned that Sam worked at Gringotts, and Ginny had gotten an offer from the Holyhead Harpies Quidditch team. Which led to Ron telling Harry about all the Quidditch-related news over the past four years.
In the middle of Ron's story about Krum Buffy's phone rang. She excused herself from the table and stepped away. Both Weasley’s were dating Muggle-borns, but Muggle technology never ceased to amaze them.
“Summers,” she said, snapping into work mode.
“Buffy, the wards have been breached and I can’t find Willow! They're inside the school,” Xander whispered into the phone. “We need you now!”
“We'll be there within the minute.” She quickly hung up and hurried over to Harry. “We have to go now; the wards are down and the girls are unprotected!”
Harry stood up immediately and grabbed her hand. He turned towards his friends. “I'm sorry, but we have to go. Thank Molly for this, and I'll keep in touch.”
The two of them ran out the door and were halfway down the yards when they disappeared with a 'pop'. The remaining dinner guests just stared in surprise at the chairs that had been occupied less than a minute ago.
“Well, that went well,” Ron said into the stunned silence.
AN: So that’s it. I really hope you all liked it. My beta hasn’t had the chance to look at it, but I didn’t want to wait any longer. I’ll try to get another chapter up within a month, but we’ll see how it goes :).
Also, I know there's not much of a plot-progression yet. I just want to establish a foundation before I dive into the deep end.