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Chapter 1: Oatmeal.
Lily Potter sighed as she stirred her oatmeal.
“You know you could like, put chocolate chips in that, right?”
“It’s fine the way it is.” She murmured. “Oatmeal’s supposed to be tasteless.”
Finn shook his head. “Nothing is supposed to be tasteless. The world is full of things just waiting to be tasted!” He said, scooping a handful of chocolate puffs into the soggy oats. “Try that.”
Lily grimaced. “Looks like hamster poop.”
“But it tastes like heaven.” Finn replied, turning back to the Daily Prophet.
“Anything good in there?” Lily asked, nibbling on her chocolitized oatmeal. She chewed thoughtfully. It was actually pretty good.
Finn shook his head. “Nothing horrible, but nothing really newsworthy either.” He said, checking his watch. “We’re going to be late for potions.”
“Gag me with a spoon.” Lily said.
“No thanks, your boring oatmeal can do that.” He said, as he put the paper in his book bag. He stood up, hesitated, and scooped up two chocolate muffins to throw in there, too. “We’re sixteen, not sixty. Oatmeal’s for old people.”
Lily ate one more big bite of the now delicious oatmeal and smiled at him. “Sixteen is prime time to start eating oatmeal. Right up there with getting a license and getting Sigged.” She paused. “So when are you going to go get Sigged?” she asked.
Finn chewed on his lip. “Did you go yet?” he asked
Lily shook her head, and then brushed her bangs out of her eyes. “You know my birthday isn’t for another few weeks. And I want to, but it’s a little…”
“Intimidating?” Finn supplied.
“Yeah. It’s a big deal, you know? Finding out who you’re supposed to be with for the rest of eternity and all.”
“Why do they call it “sigged” again?”
“I think it’s for the spell. The phrase is “signum revealeo”, I think. I’m not sure, since they won’t let us practice it, but signum means “seal” in latin, so…” she trailed off.
“And how does it work, exactly?” Finn asked, sitting back down.
“I’m not totally sure. The people that have been sigged are either too busy making out with the person they found or moping because the sigg didn’t work.”
“Didn’t work?” Finn asked. “Can that happen?”
“Yeah. I mean, they still have a soul mate and everything. It just means that the soul mate hasn’t been sigged yet, too. Both people have to be sigged before you get a result. And some people’s soul mates are muggles, or are younger than them, or don’t want to get sigged, you know?”
“I see what you mean.” Finn said. “And you really want to go get sigged?”
Lily nodded. “Of course. I want to know that my soul mate’s out there and when I am going to meet him. Don’t you want to know if there’s a girl out there for you?”
“I know she is. And I think that knowing when I am going to meet her would take a lot of the fun out of it.”
“What do mean?”
Finn pursed his lips, trying to pick the right words. “I don’t know. I just think that soul mates and fate go hand in hand. You’re not supposed to go out and find them, it’s just supposed to happen.” He blushed. “I mean, it’s not like I’ve thought about it a bunch or anything. I’m sixteen. I’ve got years before I need to get married and all that crap. The ministry just released the spell after a whole bunch of testing like, two years ago, and it’s already way too popular. I feel like the whole world is going to change if everybody gets sigged.”
“Right.” Lily said. Her watch beeped. “Oh, you’re right, we are going to be late.” She grabbed his hand and they ran out of the Great Hall.
The following weekend found them sitting in front of the fire. Al and Rose sat with them, arguing about their NEWTS. Lily was so happy to still be a fifth year.
“I mean, they are only eight months away. We need to be studying hard now, Al.” Rose said.
“Listen to yourself, woman.” Al said half joking, half serious. “They eight months away! Plenty of time to procrastinate.” He argued, putting his feet up on the coffee table and folding his hands behind his head for illustration.
Rose rolled her eyes. “When I have a good job and am too busy to help with yours, you’re going to wish you’d paid more attention in class. And I’m not doing your homework anymore. You’re a big boy.”
Al groaned, and then checked his finger again.
“And that… that… thing is not going to help you concentrate.” Rose said, shuttering. “You’ve had it less than twenty four hours and you’re already a mess.”
“Don’t knock my sigg.” Al said, tracing his finger over the tiny date written across the base of his ring finger.
“You didn’t even want that.” Finn said, joining the conversation. “Alicia made you get it. And look where that got you.”
“Well, it’s not my fault I’m not her One.” He said. “And you’re right, I didn’t want it. But I mean, now it’s kind of cool. I know that I am going to meet my soul mate in four years. It’s trippy.”
“Well you didn’t have to have that screaming match in the library with her.” Rose said pointedly.
“’S’not my fault that she was mad. We both got Sigged, and we had different dates. End of story.” Al said.
“You are amazing, Al.” Rose said. “You didn’t really like her much, did you?”
“Not really.” He said, shrugging his shoulders.
“Then why did you get Sigged when she asked you to?”
Al fidgeted a little in his seat. “Is it warm in here?”
“You’re sitting next to a fire, you fruitcake.” Lily said, breaking her silence. “You wanted to break up with her and didn’t have the guts. So you got Sigged so that you wouldn’t have to do the dumping.”
“Insightful, Lils.” Rose said. “Is that true, Al?”
“Maybe.” Al mumbled, suddenly extremely interested on digging a pebble out of the grips on the bottoms of his trainers.
Finn started laughing. Rose smacked him on the back of the head. “Al!” she admonished. “You made a huge decision in your life because you didn’t have the balls to tell Alicia to take a hike?”
“Maybe.” Al repeated. With a final push, the pebble was free. It fell to the ground and clattered on the hardwood floor.
“That’s the best shit I’ve heard all day.” Finn said.
“Yeah, but I like it now.” Al said. “All the guesswork is gone. I can do whatever I want for the next four years, and then I’m gonna meet a pretty girl, we’ll touch hands, and this little guy will flash green.” He said, pointing to the black numbers on his finger.
“I’m so glad that you’re too lazy to find her yourself.” Rose deadpanned. “I don’t see what the big deal is. You pay that crazy lady in Hogsmeade to say a fancy spell, numbers appear on your finger, and then you sit around waiting for your life to start? How stupid.”
“You’re just not brave enough.” Al said. “You’re afraid that yours will be a date fifty years from now, or that yours won’t work.”
“Not true.” Rose countered. “I just think it’s dumb.”
“CHICKEN!” Al said, standing up on the couch, and point at Rose.
“ARSE!” Rose, said, standing up too and yelling it to the whole common room.
“Gosh, woman, they’re gonna think you’re crazy.” Al said, sitting back down.
“Whatever, Al.” she said, sighing. It was silent for a few moments, and the four settled down, staring into the fire.
“Chickennnnn.” Al said quietly.
“Fine.” Rose said.
“What?” Al asked.
“Fine.” She repeated. “I’ll get sigged. I’m brave enough.”
“Alright.” Al said. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
“Okay. Next weekend. We’re going to Hogsmeade.” Rose said.
“But it’s not a Hogsmeade Weekend.” Finn said. “We just had one yesterday.”
Al rolled his eyes. “Finn, if you’re going to hang with the big dogs, you’ve got to learn that Potters don’t wait for Hogsmeade Weekends to get what they need. Rose, you can borrow James’ cloak and my map and take Lily.” He said.
“Sounds like a plan.” Rose said, without missing a beat. “Now get out of here. You’re not even supposed to be in our common room.”
“Ouch.” He said. “Did that feel good?”
“What?” Rose asked.
“You whiplashing me.”
“Oh, it felt great.”
It was almost noon the next Saturday when Lily and Rose slipped the invisibility cloak over their shoulders and entered the secret passageway to Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. Uncle George had bought up Honeyduke’s for more than they could refuse because he wanted the passage to be more accessible for his kids and relatives. Honeyduke’s had taken the money and moved two buildings down and completely remodeled. Everyone was happy.
Once inside the passage, they put the cloak back into Rose’s bag and continued on.
“You nervous?” Lily asked.
“No.” Rose said quickly.
“I’m not going to tell Al.” Lily said. “You’re allowed to be a little nervous.”
“Well yeah, I guess I am.” Rose admitted. “But mostly, I’m a little excited. I didn’t think I would be. But if I have to do it, then I should be happy about it, right?”
“You don’t have to do it.” Lily pointed out. “You’re just trying to prove Al wrong.”
“Same thing.” Rose said determinedly.
“So are you going to get sigged too?” Rose asked.
“Oh, not yet.” Lily said.
“Why not? I thought you liked the idea.” Rose asked.
“I do. I just. I don’t know. I’m not ready for my life to change just yet. And you all forget that I’m not sixteen yet.” She reminded Rose.
“Oh, that’s right.” Rose said. “Well, we can go on your birthday if you want. I’ll go whenever you want to, if you decide to.”
“Oh, I know I am going to. I just don’t want to yet.” Lily said.
“What if it’s not Finn?” Rose asked.
“What do you mean?” Lily said. “Finn and I aren’t together.”
Rose rolled her eyes. “You should be. I don’t understand the whole ‘just friends’ thing. I swear I see you two staring at each other sometimes…”
“We’re just friends.” Lily said, “Nothing more.”
The conversation was over; they had arrived at the cellar, which was now much more accessible. A lantern glowed over a set of new stairs that led up to the hole in the cellar floor. The pair climbed the stairs and looked around the brightly colored cellar, full of orange and purple boxes. Many had bright red ink that said FRAGILE or DO NOT TOUCH!
They smiled at the welcome sight, and headed up the next flight of steps, arriving in the back room of WWW. George looked up from his desk, which was green with bits of orange and hot pink, and smiled. “What a surprise! My favorite nieces!” He said, getting up to give them hugs. “What brings you out of the castle without permission?” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
“Rose is going to-“ Lily started.
“Get some new quills.” Rose interjected.
“Oh.” George said. “Well I have some great ones you could have, but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t explode or turn into a frog, then you’d best get down to Patil’s Parchment. Tell Padma “hi” for me, would you?” he smiled. “Oh, and could you take a box with you?” he asked, striding across the room and picking up a small lime green box. “Pavarti just had another kid. Fifth or sixth, I’m not really sure. I think she’s going to give Nana Molly a run for her money, though.”
Lily laughed. “No problem, Uncle George. We’d better get going then, so we can have lots of time to raid your store on the way back.”
George chuckled. “Anything, anytime, my darlings. You two know that almost as much as James and Al do, the little twerps. I swear half the things I create walk out the door with those two.”
They hugged him goodbye and headed out through the front of the shop. “Good going, Rose, now we have to go all the way down to Patil’s now.”
“Well sor-ry, but I don’t want everyone to know that I’m getting sigged. Not everyone loves the idea, you know.”
“Oh, yeah, I see what you mean.” Lily said. She shuddered to see what Hermione would say about the spell. “Let’s just get this dropped off so we can get to the Sigger, eh?”
Rose nodded, and they headed down the street.
After a short conversation with Padma, they were back outside again. Lily smiled, twirling her new quill that had been given to her, gratis.
“I don’t think she likes me very much.” Rose said. “But she just loves you.”
“Yeah, don’t know what that’s about.” Lily said.
“Yes you do!” Rose said. “She always asks how your dad is doing. Silly wannabe home wrecker.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Lily said with a grin.
They rounded the corner and found the place they were looking for. A hot pink door with a silver sign on it faced them.
Taking the Guesswork Out of Love!
“So this is it.” Rose said.
“Yeah.” Lily replied. “You sure you want to?”
Rose nodded. “Al will never let me live it down if I go back without one.”
“As long as you’re sure.” Lily said, opening the door and walking into the warm waiting room. Inside was worse than Madam Puddifoot’s. Each of the four walls were different shades of pink and red. The ceiling had a wide silver chandelier that cast sparkly light over the numerous pink and purple arm chairs.
Rose followed her in and walked over to the reception window. “H-hi.” She said to the witch sitting at the window. “I’d like to get sigged?” Rose said, ending the sentence in a question.
The girl, who had purple and pink highlights in her curly pigtails blew a big bubble with her him and smiled. “Of course. Just fill out this form and I’ll call you in a bit.” She said, sliding a single piece of paper on an- of course- pink clipboard. She pulled a pen with a bright pink silk flower glued to it out of a vase and tossed it on top of the clipboard.
“Thanks.” Rose said, taking the clipboard and pen and sitting down in a lavender colored chair. Lily smiled and sank down in a neon pink one.
“I like this place.” Lily said, looking around. “After you get over the urge to vomit, it sort of grows on you.”
Rose laughed and started to fill out the form. “They ask a lot of questions.” She said. “I mean, I get them asking age and sex, but eye color? What does that have to do with it?” She flipped it over and read the back. “Date of first period? This is pretty personal.”
“Maybe they just want to make sure you’re mature enough or something.” Lily mused.
Rose shrugged and finished the form with her flourishing signature. Just as she finished, the window opened again and the girl called “Rose Weasley? Sandra is ready for you now. Just through the crimson door.”
“Okay!” Rose said. “And the form?”
The girl smiled “I’ll take the clip board and pen, you take the paper with you.”
Rose handed over the items and took a deep breath. “Let’s go.” She said, pulling Lily through the crimson door.
They found themselves in a large room with a red chaise lounge in the middle and three more pink chairs lining one wall. On the other side was a purple rolly chair and a bank of cabinets. A door across from them opened and a tall blonde in white robes came in.
“Hello. I’m Sandra.” She said, her voice rolling like honey from her mouth. “Which one is Rose?”
Rose stepped forward, handed her the paper, and smiled.
“You can lay down here.” Sandra said, smiling, and showing a set of brilliantly white teeth. “And your friend can pull a pink chair up if she’d like to sit with you.” she added, gracing the room with another smile. “What’s your name?” she asked.
“Alright, Rose, Lily, let’s get through the ministry-mandated questions so we can get to the fun part.”
Rose felt instantly relaxed as she sat on the red sofa.
“Okay, Rose. So you can guarantee that you are over the age of sixteen?”
“And you know the rules associated with Siggs?” she asked.
“Could you go over them again?” Rose asked.
Sandra smiled again. “Of course. So how this works is I take your hand and do the spellwork, and black numbers will appear on your ring finger. On that date, you will be ready to meet the person most compatible for you in the world.”
“So it can be someone I’ve already met?”
“Yes. But this is the day that you are ready to begin to fall in love.”
“And I will see them during that day?”
“Yes. During that day, you are to behave as best as your normally would. At some point during the day, you will touch hands with that person, and the numbers will turn green. Then you can live happily ever after. If your numbers don’t turn green on that date, we will give you a full refund. But if they do, then our work is done.”
“What does that mean?” Lily asked.
“That if I don’t like my soul mate then I can’t sue.” Rose said plainly.
Sandra smiled, a slightly smaller smile than before. “There are all types of falling in love. Sometimes it takes a little while. This just tells you that you’re falling in love with the right person.”
“Can we just get it over with?” Rose asked. “Uncle George will wonder what’s keeping us.”
Sandra nodded and placed Rose’s left hand on a small side table. “Do you, Rose Weasley, agree to those terms?”
Sandra stepped back and pulled her wand out of her robes. “Signum revealeo.” She said, gesturing towards Rose’s hand. Then she continued to mutter under her breath while waving her wand in a clockwise circle. After a few minutes, she stopped and sat down. Rose watched as tiny numbers slowly began to appear at the base of her fourth finger.
Rose shut her eyes. “Lily, you got to look for me. Does it say anything yet?”
Lily leaned over her cousin and read the words as they darkened. “Rose! It says’ you’ll be ready in a week!”
A/N: So, what you y'all think? Is this going somewhere? Please review and tell me your thoughts. It's so encouraging!
I am also still looking for a beta reader who I can email my chapters to before I post them to check for wording and comprehension and such. If you're interested, review and tell me so, and we can figure it out. :)