"The Burrow? What a funny name. Maybe rabbits live inside."
Princess Harry got off his Firebolt and went up to the little wooden door. Knock, knock, knock. There was no answer. He turned the knob, and found the door was unlocked. Since he had no place to go, the princess went in.
It was a cozy little house with small-sized furniture. There were quaint chairs, crooked tables, and all kinds of queer stuff scattered here and there. Princess Harry amused himself exploring the house, forgetting he was trespassing other people's property. It was fun, anyway. Once he ate a custard cream lying on a table, and suddenly he turned into a large canary. Princess Harry was horrified at first, but the spell worn off soon, so it had been an interesting experience, after all. Finally, he felt very tired and climbed into bed.
Soon the masters of the house came home.
"Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's home from work we go! Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, heigh-ho!"
A cheery whistle followed the chanting, and seven lanterns bobbed into sight. A line of dwarfs were coming down the road, towards the Burrow. All of them had flaming red hair and carried axes and spades. They were the Seven Weasleys.
As soon as they approached the door, they noted, with alarm, that it was half-open.
"Look! Somebody has broken into the house! Maybe they're after our money?" Bill Weasley said.
"Hope it's a dragon," Charlie Weasley muttered, much to the horror of his younger brother, Percy Weasley.
"We must inform the Magical Law Enforcement Squad to send trained Hit Wizards..."
"Very clever, Perce," yawned Fred Weasley. "Giving the dragon time to finish us, one by one."
"Let's chuck it on the head," said George Weasley, pretending to take a swipe on an imaginary foe with his spade. "Better clash in battle and die in glory!"
"Yeah...as long as it's not a spider," Ron Weasley joined in.
"Oh...stop teasing him, you three," Ginny Weasley admonished her elder brothers. "Let's go in and find out."
Stealthily, sneakily, the seven Weasleys stole into the house. Each of them let out a cry of surprise.
"Who took away my fang earring?" demanded Bill Weasley.
"And put it on my pet Hungarian Horntail's model?" laughed Charlie Weasley.
"Who spilled tea on my darling lovey Penny's face?" cried Percy Weasley, holding up a soaked picture.
"Who tried out our newest invention?" Fred Weasley said, eyeing the table.
"And made a great...success?" George Weasley picked up a few bright yellow feathers scattered on the floor.
"Who's been reading my copy of 'The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle'?" asked Ron.
"And who's sleeping in my bed...now?" squealed Ginny, pointing.
Her brothers all looked in her direction. Sure enough, there was a small mound under the white sheets of Ginny's bed. Now that they were all silent, they even heard a snore coming from the sleeper.
"We'll see who this trespasser is..." muttered Bill, stepping forward. "Ginny, you stay right there with Ron. Charlie, Fred, George...come on, guys."
They raised their axes and spades and tiptoed beside the bed.
Just before the tip of Bill's axe touched the sheet, the sleeper gave another snore and turned. From the light of Fred's lantern they could plainly recognize the familiar jet-black hair and thin face...
"Princess Harry!" the four dwarfs yelled in unison.
"What?" cried Ron and Ginny.
The commotion had woken Harry from his slumber. He slowly opened his eyes. "What's...what's going on?"
"Your Highness!" Fred and George were pushed aside as Percy dashed to the bedside. Making an extremely low bow, Percy said in his most respectful voice, "Percy Weasley at your service, your Highness."
Princess Harry obviously wasn't fully awake. He rubbed his eyes and felt around for his glasses. "Huh? Percy Weatherby?"
The Weasleys all laughed, except for Percy, of course.
"Your Highness!" exclaimed Fred Weasley, elbowing Percy behind him and shaking Harry's hand. "What an honor! How do you do?"
"Would you care for a cup of tea?" added George, bowing deeply.
"Wait." Bill put both hands on the twins' heads and shoved them aside. "Your Highness, excuse the question, but aren't you supposed to be in the palace? Why did you come here?"
Princess Harry's cheerful expression vanished. He looked at the seven Weasleys--he felt he could trust them. So with a great sigh, the next ten minutes Harry told his story.
"Lousy git!" Ron Weasley exclaimed as soon as the princess finished.
"You'd better stay here; it's too dangerous," said Ginny Weasley, and blushed as red as her hair.
Nobody seemed to notice her. "Yeah, do stay," chimed in the twins, followed by Bill and Charlie. Percy Weasley looked skeptical. He was thinking, "According to the Magical Rule for Royalties, the children of the king and queen cannot leave home without special permission..."
"With all my heart," Percy heard Princess Harry say.
"Yeah!" Fred and George whooped. Harry couldn't help grinning. When he was at the palace, he had everything that money could buy. But the queen was indifferent to his social life, and often the princess felt isolated from the world. Now it seemed that he had found real friends.
So Princess Harry stayed at the Burrow. He kept house for the dwarfs while they were out digging for treasure. The Weasleys, afraid that the queen may be hunting for Harry, warned the princess not to let any strangers into the house. Harry promised them, but sometimes curiosity can kill.