They bumped down in the front yard at Ron's house to find Mrs. Weasley waiting for them. She was furious that Ron and the twins had taken the car. Harry decided that it was time for him to say something..not only to keep his rescuers out of trouble but because he finally realized that he needed help, no matter where he ended up or what happened next he never wanted to go back to the Dursleys.
"Mrs. Weasley..." He said quietly "They had to do it. They had to come for me."
"Why?" She said, looking at him, her brown eyes softened a bit as she realized that something was really wrong here.
"My aunt and uncle..they locked me up and..well.."
"Locked you up?"
"They did, mum! We had to use the car to pull bars off his window!" Fred supplied while George nodded beside him.
"And.." Harry glanced at Ron
"And what?" Mrs. Weasley asked quietly, dreading the answer. Harry took a deep breath and opened his mouth but no words came out.
Just tell her Harry..we're right here. Hermione thought, edging slightly closer to him
I don't know what to say..
Then show her Ron suggested Mum will help you.
Harry nodded and choked out "It's..it's better if I show you."
Mrs. Weasley looked on as Harry pulled his shirt over his head. The room was deadly quiet. Harry looked horrible. He was thin and covered in bruises and his back was covered in fresh and old marks from his uncle's belt. Fred actually reached over and grabbed George's hand and both of them had gone a nasty shade of green. Ron, who had seen Harry's marks before but was unprepared for the extent of his new injuries, was shaking. Hermione had started to cry quietly. Mrs. Weasley let out a gasp, her eyes wide and shining with tears
"Merlin..." she whispered "Boys...you're off the hook. Now why don't you all settle down. I've got to make breakfast. I'll need to have a talk with your father when he arrives home."
She rushed into the kitchen and began to cook. Fred and George looked at Harry, who was tugging his shirt back on.
"Mate...you're never going back there." George said
"Yeah..if I have to curse those bloody bastards myself it would be worth it." Fred growled, his face uncharacteristically dark.
"I wonder where I'll go now.." Harry muttered "It's not like I've got any real family."
They all contemplated this for awhile. Half an hour later Mrs. Weasley had called them in for breakfast.
It was the most wonderful thing Harry had ever tasted. Mrs. Weasley fussed over him, making sure he ate three plates and running her hand over his hair as she prepared his plates. Harry sighed. Was this what it felt like to have a mum?
Percy and Ginny joined them at the table. Ginny was a bit star struck over Harry but she got over it fairly quickly and they all had a nice chat. Harry was shocked how much all these people seemed to like him. Awhile later Mr. Weasley arrived
"Morning Weasleys! Morning Hermione." He said brightly, then his eyes fell on Harry, taking in his face and his scar.
"Harry? Harry Potter..well, Ron's told us all about you of course! When did he get here?"
"This morning." Mrs. Weasley said "Arthur, we need to talk."
She led Mr. Weasley out of the kitchen and into the living room and the rest could hear them talking in low voices. They all got up from their chairs and slipped closer to the voices where they could make out what was being said.
"Got to do something, Molly." Mr. Weasley was saying
"We could talk to Dumbledore...see if we can't arrange something.."
"The poor boy has no family..where could he go?"
"What's one more.."
Harry's heart leaped, did that mean what he thought it meant?
It had. The next few days went by in a whirl. Meetings with Dumbledore, meetings with the ministry..medical examinations, talking to the muggle authorities. By the end of the week Harry had been placed under the official guardianship of Molly and Arthur Weasley. He was really and truly free. He would never have to go back to the Dursleys again.
The day things were made formal Fred and George gathered all the kids, except Percy who was shut up in his room, by the pond in the back yard of the Burrow just before sundown. Ron and Ginny were grinning because they knew what was coming. Harry and Hermione however were confused. Fred and George smiled at Harry
"Well, Harry." Fred started
"Now that you're officially our little brother." George continued
"It's time for your initiation." Fred finished
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked warily, he backed away slightly but found his way barred by a giggling Ron and Ginny.
"POND DUNK!" The Weasleys all yelled together. Fred grabbed Harry's arms while George grabbed his legs and they carried a wildly laughing and struggling Harry towards the water
"No you guys come on!" Harry squealed, but too late Fred and George jumped into the pond, Harry still in their arms.
The three boys broke the surface of the water. Harry coughed and sputtered, his glasses were spotted with water blurring his vision but he didn't care. He was the happiest he'd ever been in his life
Fred ruffled his wet hair and smiled at him.
"Welcome to the family." George whispered in his ear
Ron, Ginny and Hermione joined them in the water and they played for the rest of the evening, splashing and dunking each other. Ginny and Harry beat Hermione and Ron in a game of chicken. When the sun went down they left the water and Fred and George set off some Filibuster Fireworks.
Harry, Ron and Hermione sat close together, Ron's had an arm around each of the others as they watched the fireworks display. Harry was looking forward to a future full of days like this. Swimming, practicing Quidditch, having someone to ask for help with homework if he needed it. A family. A life. Harry was home. He finally had a real home.