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Capturing Laughter by long_live_luna_bellatrix
Chapter 1: Exposure to the Weasleys
Lovely chapter image by espoirPERDU at TDA.
I view the world through a camera lenses.
Like an owl, I have to turn my entire head if I want the full picture. And with little effort, the scene is branded in my memory for all time. I like to think that even someday when we're withered and gone, a photograph might remain, hinting of the laughs we once shared and fun we used to enjoy.
But sometimes my family is hesitant to cooperate in the capturing of memories.
“Oh Lucy, you remind me of little Colin Creevey,” my Uncle Harry chuckles, directing my camera away from his face. “He wanted a picture of everything.”
“Followed you around all second year,” comments Uncle Ron. “But wasn't he the one who―?”
“Yeah,” Harry cuts him off, “he was killed in the Hogwarts battle.”
Harry bows his head, subdued. I take that as my cue to find someone else to forever capture in ink, and scurry across Gran's patchy lawn to find someone else.
“Smile, Molly!” I point my camera at my older sister, who scowls and drags her boyfriend in another direction. Poor bloke. Not only is he unfortunate enough to date Molly (though that's his own bad judgement), he's been subjected to my aunt's birthday party as well, with several dozen crazy gingers.
Hermione's never liked parties, but she especially despises ones starring her. She's always said that she only wants to be in the spotlight if she's being recognized for one of her house elf rights campaigns. In fact, she's hiding out inside right now, trying to help Gran with the food. But Gran's smarter than that. I skip into the Burrow to capture what Hermione would call a “Kodak moment”. Whatever that is.
“Hi, Hermione!” I crow, snapping a picture of her before she can protest.
“Good, take her out to enjoy her party,” Gran instructs, wiping her hands on her apron. “It's bad luck to make your own birthday cake,” she adds.
“Oh Molly, I know you made that up,” sighs Hermione.
“C'mon Hermione, you can play Quidditch with Albus and James!” I take her by the elbow and lead her back out onto the lawn, where my cousins are indeed organizing a pickup Quidditch game.
“I'll fly the day Dumbledore comes back from the dead,” Hermione mutters, and I get a magnificent shot of her disgruntled face. Plucking the resultant picture out of my camera, I hand it to her along with the previous one.
“You don't know how many of these I have,” grins Hermione, but she pockets them carefully anyway and heads off towards Uncle Bill.
“C'mon, Teddy, let Lucy get a shot of this,” Dom, hair leaking of its bun, drags Teddy towards me. He's found a way to rearrange his features into that of a stunning dark haired young lady, complete with curves in the proper places. Dom plucks a scarlet rose of equal beauty from one of Gran's precious bushes and sticks it in his voluptuous locks.
“I've got to get this,” I giggle, and take picture after picture. Ted poses for me, fluttering his eyelashes and flipping his hair back exactly like Molly does. Soon Dom is kneeling on the ground, pounding the grass and laughing hysterically.
“Let's trade clothes,” she gasps, “...do this right.”
They dash into the house and reemerge a few minutes later, Ted now clad in Dom's summery blouse, khaki skirt and sandals. He sashays forward, swaying his hips, and Dom ducks into the bushes to muffle her wild cackling.
“Who is that?” someone murmurs into my ear, and I turn to find Scorpius Malfoy eyeing Ted slyly. Damn that Albus, he must have snuck him in. Ron will have a fit.
“That's nobody,” I lied, steering Scorpius away. “In fact―”
“I'm going to say hi,” Scorpius licks his fingers and smoothes back his hair.
“That's Teddy!” I hiss, making a snatch for his shirt and missing as he glides toward Ted.
“Teddy? What's that short for?”
“No―” I begin, but don't bother to finish the sentence. Let him make a fool out of himself. After all, he is the one who tricked me into eating a beetle when I was six. And a cricket a month later. And I got blamed for countless pranks he and Al orchestrated. I still do, as a matter of fact. This is what they call payback. “Actually, yeah. It's a nickname for, er, Teagan.”
“Hi,” Scorpius sidles up to Ted. “I haven't seen you at a Weasley party before.”
Ted raises his eyebrows, then catches my eye as if to ask, Is he for real?. I nod solemnly. Just go along with it, Ted.
“Oh, because,” Teddy sighs, forcing his voice up a few octaves, “I'm Fleur's, er... cousin. I'm staying with her for the summer.” He makes a sorry attempt at swishing his hips so that he's angled towards Scorpius, but really ends up looking like he's playing with an invisible hula hoop. Luckily, Scorpius is oblivious in the face of beauty.
“Really? I thought all Veela had blond hair.”
“I dye it,” Ted replies quickly. A little too quickly, for his voice comes out deeper than before. He coughs and grins sappily up at Scorpius.
“Well, I actually like it this way,” Scorpius begins, as Al calls for him from across the lawn. With a last longing look at Ted, he adds before jogging off, “I look forward to seeing you this summer. Al and I often hang around Molly's, for the food of course.”
As Scorpius heads off to meet his best mate, Dom and I stagger up to Ted, shaking with silent chuckles.
“I hope you got a picture of that!” Dom crows, unable to hold her laughter in any longer.
“Did you see the look on his face?” I giggle.
“I dunno about you guys, but I think I make a pretty good girl,” Ted gasps, eyes watering.
“WHAT IS HE DOING HERE?!”
“Oh no,” I turn, seeking out my uncle from the crowd of redheads on the lawn. “Ron's found Scorpius.”
“I'm off to save the day,” Ted announces, winking at us. He turns and lopes off towards the tallest of the Weasleys, hair bobbing behind him. As he passes Louis and James, the two eye him with interest and share a knowing, lopsided grin.
“Is she a friend of your's, Luce?” Louis asks as we take off after Ted.
“Yeah,” I huff, “but she's Nate's girlfriend.”
My cousins visibly shrink back at the thought of Mr. Goyle's brawny son, and sulk off.
“Scorpius,” Harry is explaining when we arrive, “I thought we agreed that you and Albus can hang out all you want, so long as Ron's not around.”
“But he's my best friend, Dad!” Al retorts. “And I'm not gonna see him all summer, 'cause he's visiting his grandparents in Brazil!”
“You have Brazilian grandparents?” Dom asks.
“No, but my mum's parents have a house―”
“Not the time, Scorpius.” Harry interrupts, as Ron seethes and turns a shade redder beside him.
“Sorry,” Scorpius blushes, but catches sight of Ted and makes a wild, dangerous, idiotic grab at safety. “―But Teddy invited me!”
“Ted?” Bill pushes his way through the throng of relatives that's gathered around.
“Teagan,” Scorpius corrects himself smoothly, and pulls Teddy's girl form towards him. Teddy quickly turns his gape into a toothy smile, and next to me Dom moans and leans on my shoulder for support. I watch as the two dozen Weasleys all acquire identical puzzled expressions, ranging from shocked and puzzled to furious and puzzled. It is Gran who finally voices everyone's thoughts.
“Who the hell is Teagan?”
“Fleur's... cousin?” Scorpius tries, but is swallowed by the wave of Weasley's converging on him. Dom grabs the only brown hair in sight and yanks Ted out, and we rush off. But not before I manage to get a few shots of Scorpius' terrified expression and Ted choking on his own snickers.
Pictures flutter behind us like confetti, the camera flashes, and somehow we trip our way into Gran's living room and collapse on the couch, howling with laughter.
“We are in deep, deep trouble,” Ted finally sighs, wiping a tear from his eye.
“You guys should be glad you've graduated and moved out already,” I sigh. “I'll be grounded for life.”
“Hey, they may never figure out you were a part of it,” Ted chuckles, “I'm the Metamorphmagus here, and sooner or later someone'll figure out Teagan was wearing Dom's exact outfit. You're clean.”
The door to the Burrow slams shut then, and we all jump. Ted is only one quick enough to leap into action, and dives behind the couch, hissing, “If they catch me I'm dead meat.”
But only Scorpius stumbles in, hair mussed and jacket rumpled. “What the hell just happened?” he spits.
Dom and I share a glance, and without speaking agree: feign innocence. “Dunno,” Dom yawns, leaning back.
“Where's Teagan, then?” Scorpius asks. He takes Ted's vacated seat.“I could kill her.”
“I think she Apparated home,” I reply. “Maybe she'll be back when everyone's cooled down a bit.”
“Wish I could Apparate,” Scorpius grumbles. He crosses his arms and glares at the carpet.
“Oh, you make everything sound so terrible. You should be glad we’re still alive.”
I look around in horror as Ted's high voice rings in the silent room, and he straightens up from behind the couch, brushing dust off Dom's skirt. He grins crookedly and wedges himself between Dom and I, elbowing me sharply in the process.
“What're you doing here?” Scorpius splutters.
“Teagan! You're back!” Dom blurts, throwing an arm around Ted.
“Scorpius, you may want to get out of here,” I offer, as I hear Ron bellowing from outside. I don't think that volume is healthy.
“Good idea,” Scorpius glares at Ted, “and thanks for nothing.”
“Toodles!” Ted giggles and waves as Scorpius stomps out, inducing another wave of laughter.
“I should probably switch back before Ron has a heart attack,” Ted grins, once the giggles have died down. He and Dom head to the bathroom to trade clothes, and reenter arm in arm.
“I probably shouldn't tell Victoire about this,” Ted murmurs, as he sits back down on the couch, fully recognizable once more in his usual dark hair and broad shoulders. I suppose he's right; his fiance probably wouldn't be too pleased if she knew he'd spent the better part of an hour in her sister's clothes.
“Let's not tell anyone,” Dom agrees. “Our secret, forever.”
We shake hands and listen as our family attempts to sort out the disaster. We hear as Harry calms Ron down, and Fleur begins a search for her “cousin”. Luna Lovegood arrives with her family, and tries unsuccessfully to figure out what just happened; why half the family is in a rage and the other half barely knows what's going on. Gran eventually stamps into the room, steaming.
“And where have you been the last half hour?” she demands.
“We searched the house for Teagan,” Ted answers, smooth as ever. Dom smothers a giggle.
“No sign of her, I suppose.”
Grans deflates. “Well, why don't you come out then, I think we're going to move on to cake.”
Ted rubs his hands together. “Sounds good,”
The three of us tramp outside, the sun just setting. I snap a picture of the violet-tinged clouds, as well as the sunlight illuminating a pathway of golden grass. All the Weasleys settle down to the tables lined up side by side, and Molly snatches at camera when I try to capture her and her beau playing footsie under the table.
After a rousing round of “Happy Birthday” the cake is sliced and we dig in. As the chatter rises to a comfortable volume, Ted chooses his moment. He covers his mouth with his hand and fork, leans in towards Dom and I for cover, and shrieks in his Teagan voice, “Oh, I wish Scorpius were here!”
All heads snap to the end of the table where we sit, but no one seems quite able to discern who spoke.
“Lucy? Was that you?” my mother asks incredulously.
I shake my head vigorously, thanking Merlin I was smart enough to stuff my mouth with cake before Ted made his move.
“I can go get him, if you want,” Al offers, shooting a curious look at Ted. Damn, he knows.
But Ron puts on his murderous face, Gran looks stricken, and Al doesn't dare to pipe up again. Slowly, conversation picks up once more, and I am confident our secret is safe. I'm actually surprised no one's figured it out, seeing as Ted's Metamorphmagus tricks are interminable and often.
“Hey Ted,” George calls down the table, “Isn't that Teagan's rose behind your ear?”
“Is that from my rose bush?” Gran asks.
I will never forget Ted's paralyzed expression: his frozen half smile, his widened eyes, the wilting rose indeed still tucked behind his ear. My camera flashes as Ron's face changes color once more, and Harry glares at his godson.
“Sorry?” Ted squeaks. But I suspect Teagan's chipper voice won't save the day this time.
A/N: This is in response to arethusa's Calvin and Hobbes Challenge, in which I got the quote “Oh, you make everything sound so terrible. You should be glad we’re still alive.” It belongs to Bill Watterson. This is also for JLHufflepuff's Said is Dead challenge, in which I could not use the words said, go, get, got, or went. (So tell me if you catch one of them).