The sky is dark, stars illuminating the fields surrounding the Burrow. Music and laughter echoes from the house, the most alive it had sounded in years. And god, it had been years, hadn’t it?
Hadley lifts her hand, tracing the Sirius constellation in the sky, a soft smile playing at her lips. The moon glows, bright and full, the gentle glow dancing over the acres as though smiling down at a child. God, the years it had been.
There’s a scar on her chest now. Zig-zagged and jagged, splinter off like a crack of lightning had hit her directly on her chest. It only ached dully now, unlike the burning pain it had been in the weeks following the battle.
“Merlin, haven’t climbed up in here in awhile”
Ron smiles up at her, oddly juggling a beer in one hand while trying to pull his lanky frame through the window of his bedroom to clamber onto the roof. She laughs, reaching to take the bottle from his grasp and subsequently nearly dropping it as Ron smashed his face against the titles of the roof. He snatches it from her when he manages to finally seat himself, nose bent at an awkward angle and a playful scowl on his face. He swats a hand at her which she easily ducks, twisting slightly and nearly sending herself off the roof instead this time.
Ron stares out at the field and the dull light gives her a clear view of the scars marking him. Swirls from his hands up to the sides of neck, lighter and less-raised then they had been 3 odd years ago. He offers the bottle to her and she takes it gingerly, taking a long swig and then wincing as it burns against her throat.
“18, must feel pretty good right? You’ve given them a chance to celebrate at least” Hadley knows what he means. Everyone had been moving through the paces since May 2nd. She doesn’t know if she’d call it good. Different, maybe. She had plans now, that was something. She had plans to travel with Ron, then they’d head off to Auror training when the New Year rolled in. She’d never had plans before. Not like that at least. She had Teddy now, too.
Even before the prophecy. Before Dumbledore and his plans. Before the Ministry and their agenda. Before it all.
Back when her world was a small cupboard under the stairs in Privet Drive. Even then, she never thought she’d get a chance to live. She’d thought all life would ever be was slaving away for the Dursley’s. Then fighting, always fighting. All the prophecy had done was cement what she thought she already knew about life. It would be never truly be her own and she’d never live as she wanted.
“18…” Hadley echoes. Sounds strange, doesn’t it?
“You made it” Ron whispers, breaking off into giggles like it’s some great secret. Maybe it is.
She thinks of Charlie, somewhere downstairs celebrating. Looks like she kept that promise after all.
“I made it. Who would’ve guessed?”
Hadley jumps when Ron lets out a loud celebratory bellow. The break into laughter. His face is red as he gasps for breath.
“YOU MADE IT!” He screeches, pumping a fist in the air. A feel wild owls twitter with disapproval in the trees. He nods at her, an excited grin on her face and she can’t help herself. She’d sit years later and debate with Ron if it had been the alcohol that caused her lack of self-restraint.
“I MADE IT!” She yells and something in her chest relaxes. Laughter bubbles up in her and she can’t think of anytime she’d felt so light.
Ron throws a sweaty arm over her shoulder and pulls her into his side. They share a look and turn to the sky.
“WE MADE IT!”
It echoes like a battle cry and they both dissolve into hysterical laughter. Ron’s grip on the roof slips and they both go careening down into Mrs Weasley's bushes. (She later finds herself going through each Weasley brother to find which one had put a cushioning charm on the bush and thank them: Percy surprisingly).
Yells of shock and alarm accompany them. Ron groans, holding a rib and she can feel her own ankle facing an angle it’s not supposed to. She turns to Ron, sticks stuck in her hair and mud smeared across her faces and beams. He beams back pieces of leaves strewn through his hair and a cut bleeding sluggishly on the side of his.
“18!” she shouts
“18!” he crows back
Then comes the cavalry. They’re being scolded and then Bill and Charlie are helping them into the house, shaking their head fondly.
Hadley’s curled into Charlie’s arm, a content smile on her face. Ron meets her eyes from across the room ( It had been decided that they only encouraged eachother and for their own safety had to be kept under watchful eyes on opposite sides of the room). He smiles and mouths ‘ we made it’ eyes comically wide. Her shoulders shake and she can see Charlie lift an eyebrow in silent question at her from the corner of her eye. She smiles softly back ‘we made it’ she mouths back, burrowing into Charlie’s side as Mrs Weasley comes charging into the room, dishtowel brandished threateningly, obviously having seen the silent exchange.
‘ Yeah, we made it’