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Chapter 2: The Bench
It all started the summer before Teddy set off for his first year at Hogwarts. The family had decided to have a big get together to see him off and it just sort of became an annual event. No one had ever said it was; everyone just knew that on the last weekend of the summer holidays, the whole Weasley/Potter family (plus Teddy) would descend on The Burrow.
Molly of course, loved it. Having her now slightly empty house bustling with so many children at once made her swell with pride at the grandchildren her children had given her. It was her who had first whipped out a camera and insisted on an entire group shot. In the end, she’d been backed all the way down the garden trying to fit everyone in so it was decided that just the children should gather for a photograph first.
James, who was very nearly five, sat proudly next to his favourite cousin Fred aged six. Three year old Albus sat next to his brother, gazing at baby Lily who rested in James’ arms. James looked delighted at being allowed to hold his baby sister.
Dominique (aged four) and Molly (aged five) sat beside each other on the other side of Fred each with their own two year old sat on their laps; Lucy on Molly’s and Roxanne on Dominique’s. Rose sat with her legs dangling from the bench, her one year old brother Hugo perched on her knee and Victoire, who was nine, sat on Albus’ other side holding her newborn brother Louis and grinning at eleven year old Teddy.
From then on, it became a tradition that the picture be taken with near enough the same line up and Molly had every single one lined up along her mantelpiece. It was amusing to look through them and see how much the kids had changed.
For example, in the photo taken four years later, five year old Lily had refused to sit on James’ lap and insisted on sitting with Teddy instead. This wouldn’t have been a problem if she hadn’t decided this as the photo was being taken therefore that year’s picture showed Lily mid way through falling off James and diving for Teddy while all the other kids smiled, oblivious.
Then the following year, Albus and James had had a falling out over whose turn it had been on their shared toy broomstick (Harry now wishes they had thought to bring both of their brooms to The Burrow). They are both glaring fiercely at each other in the photo, slightly spoiling the serene smiles of their cousins.
Another year, Hugo had decided to display his first signs of magic by managing to turn his own hair blue. He wouldn’t allow his mother to fix it insisting he was like Teddy and loved it. It eventually wore off but not before the annual photo had been taken depicting six year old Hugo with bright blue hair; which slightly stole the focus from the rest of the picture.
But every single member of the family says their favourite is the one which was taken just before Lily and Hugo were about to go into their fifth year at Hogwarts. The kids had decided it would be fun to try and recreate exactly the original photo.
Albus, James and Fred squeezed onto the end of the bench they always took the photo on while Lily, laughing hysterically, balanced herself onto James’ lap.
“Now you have to do the faces.” She insisted, still laughing. “James, you have to look really pleased to be holding me and Al, you have to look like you’ve never seen me before now.” There was no doubt that Lily had inherited her Mother’s temper and naturally took charge of the others.
Her eighteen year old brother looked bemused as he watched his little sister ordering everyone around from his lap.
Dominique and Molly took the remaining space on the bench deliberately making it clear that they had to peer round Lucy and Roxanne’s heads to be seen by the camera. The two sixteen year olds rolled their eyes at each other but everyone knew they loved it really.
Realising there was no room left on the bench, Rose and a very pregnant Victoire perched themselves on the arms of the bench; the latter being supported heavily by a beaming Teddy.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to hold Louis in this one.” Victoire said, looking doubtfully at her fourteen year old brother. He and Hugo caught each others’ eyes and grinned, settling for standing next to their sisters rather than on top of them.
“Everyone smile!” Lily commanded as her grandmother took several pictures, tears of laughter running down her face. The adults all looked on fondly at their children smiling proudly around at each other.
Then, before anyone knew what was happening, one of the bench legs collapsed just as Molly clicked the shutter. After dusting themselves off and a lot of laughing, Molly presented them with the last photo she had taken, smiling broadly.
In it, Rose, who had been nearest the end which collapsed, was on the floor laughing where Hugo had managed to catch her. Lucy and Roxanne had simply stood up when the bench broke leaving poor Molly to slide down the bench, Dominique right behind her.
Albus had grabbed the arm rest next to him and gripped it tightly, a shocked look on his face. Louis, unaffected because of his location, looked on at the scene laughing while Teddy instinctively placed a protective hand over his wife’s baby bump.
But James and Lily were the funniest sight.
Lily had sat bolt upright on top of James and grabbed her older brother round his neck looking absolutely terrified and staring straight at the camera. James was also clinging to Lily, obviously unaware of his expression which was a mixture of shock and fear. Compared to everyone else, who had managed to remain relatively calm, they looked as if they were deliberately being dramatic which James tried to insist for a bit before giving in.
They claimed they were at just the point on the bench for it to feel like an earthquake.
Their cousins still tease them about Killer Garden Benches.
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