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Chapter 4: Squib Stampedes and Dancing Unicorn Knickers
Typical. Just typical. Was Gran still holding a grudge for when I let Taffie, our old tabby cat, play with Jewel, her beloved budgie? In my defence the budgie did look sad – not surprising with just gran for company, it didn’t sing – it wailed. But really, I hardly doubt that one dead budgie was equal in karma to this day. Honestly. We’d only been on the Muggle train for roughly two hours before Mr Whestle grabbed his whistle to attract our attention.
“Our stop is the next stop.” Mr Whestle said nasally, behind him Grewner rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. I nodded and turned back to face Moth when what he said finally started to process.
Our stop is the next stop. As in, the train doesn’t finish there. The train carries on going. We’ve all got to get off the train at this stop. We’ve all got to get our trunks off at this stop. I looked round, noticing the 50-odd children. Damn.
I nudged Moth who had the same realisation as I had. He nodded slowly and bent down to pick up his backpack and stuff any of his property deep into the bag. Slyly, he tossed the bag over one shoulder and gestured for me to get up. I frowned, confused as to why he wasn’t speaking, but followed his gesture.
Timothy grabbed my hand and pushed me into the aisle. Huh? His left hand trailed up the side of my arm and he leant in close; his face inches from mine. Woah. Wait a second – hold back a bucking donkey. What is going on here? Why’s he getting closer? Why is he looking at me like that? I thought, alarmed. Have I misread the signals? Does he not want to be my friend… but my boyfriend? Does he fancy me? Oh my god – he does! And now he wants to kiss me!
Moth tilted his head to the side and pushed a strand of hair behind my ear, I stared back dumbly. Focus, Molly. This only happens once in a… well it’s never happened in your lifetime… so… damn it Molly, focus! What do I do? Well, there’s only one thing you can do, isn’t there? I reasoned quickly. You’ve got to kiss him, don’t you? It would be impolite to refuse and it would be really awkward afterwards. Nope, you’ve got to kiss him. But I’ve only just met him – I haven’t even thought about him like that! Another part of me argued, before being interrupted by the other voice. Who cares? Act now, think later!
I took a deep breath. What do Victorie and Teddy do? Lips pursed, eyes closed. Right. And… then what? Crap. Right. Focus, Molly. Lean in and-
“If we sneak down the aisle then we’ll be the first to grab our trunks and then can get off easily.” Moth whispered.
Moth stepped back as I opened my eyes with a start. He tilted his head to the side; his lips twitched and his eyes danced with amusement. “Why were your eyes closed? And why are you pursing your lips?”
Crap. Dear Gran, hatred is not a strong enough word. I coughed. “Erm,” I stalled looking round the carriage in desperation. He didn’t want to kiss me! Molly – why are you such an idiot? He just wanted to whisper so no one could hear! I saw one of the smaller kids stretch their arms in the air as they readied themselves to stand. “I-I-I was stretching… my face.”
“You were stretching your face?” Timothy repeated dryly with one eyebrow raised.
I nodded enthusiastically whilst inside my brain screamed. “Yeah – it’s a tradition. Family tradition. When we stand up after sitting down… we stretch our faces. I-It keeps your brain active… and stops wrinkles. Uncle Harry used to do it all the time – h-he always said that h-he couldn’t have helped win the war w-without… stretching his face.” I finished lamely. Uncle Harry… really? Where the hell did that come from?
Moth’s eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Harry Potter? He defeated one of the most powerful wizards of our time… by stretching his face when he stood up?” Moth stated; disbelief evident on his expression.
“Uhuh.” I nodded, ignoring his searching gaze. “So, shall we get our trunks so they’re not left on the train then?” I asked, attempting to distract him. Moth’s eyes widened as he looked up at the carriage in alarm, and then I realised my mistake. My voice tends to get louder when I’m embarrassed… and I’d just spoken out loud.
I followed Moth’s alarmed gaze to the rest of the train. It was silent. All heads were turned in our direction. A hundred eyes blinked. And then mayhem broke.
“Run!” Moth roared, as children dived from their seats and into the aisle, pushing any others out of their way. Screams filled the air as friends fell to the floor in the wake of the stampede. I briefly saw two boys abandon the aisle and instead decide to climb over the seats instead; using heads as leaping pads. Fantastic, Molly. Really – well done.
I turned to face Moth but before I could say a word, the crowd caught me and I was pulled into their depths. “Argh!” I yelled as knees and elbows hit my face in my lovely journey to the floor. I was being carried by the force of the marching children; determination etched on every face.
Every so often there would be a glimpse of the air before I was pulled back under. It was dark, and loud. Briefly I considered what they’d tell my dad. ’We’re very sorry to inform you that your daughter was killed in a stampede of squibs as they fought to reach their trunks.’
I was being jabbed and kicked. My fingers were stood on as I attempted to push myself away from the ground. And then it hit me; what the hell was I doing? I was Molly Weasley! I’d helped look after the children of Uncle Fred! I’d sat next to Uncle Ron at nearly every family dinner! I’d been dared to bring up Cho Chang when I was last at the Potter’s house! I could do this!
My feet found the solid floor and I locked my knees in place. With an attractive battle cry – sounding like a mix between a strangled cat and Tarzan – I launched myself into the air, children swinging away from my revolving arms which were starting to resemble someone having a fit.
I heard a few grunts and yells as my arms hit their targets and slowly a path was starting to be formed; children falling back into their seats or collapsing on the floor as I stood over them. The train jolted slightly as we reached the platform, the doors beeping as they opened and I glimpsed my trunk. I dove for the handle – thankfully it was nearest the door due to me being the last to board – and my fingers wrapped round the worn leather.
The crowd was pulling me again and I could hear children shouting as they were pushed from the train and onto the platform whilst crying for their belongings. The force was pulling me away from the handle, but I held on as much as my strength and stubbornness would allow. My arm was stretched and part of my body was now outside the train; visions of the train starting to move and me running alongside it filled my mind.
Yet, my Gran must have been looking the other way as I felt the trunk start to release from the crowd and slowly slide across the train carpet. It stumbled to a halt at one point so I pressed my foot against the door and heaved with all my might; desperately trying to ignore the sound of clothes ripping. Suddenly, the trunk sprung free from its obstacle and I flew backwards onto the concrete platform; landing gracefully on my bum with an attractive ‘oomph’.
I couldn’t stop the groan escaping my lips as I turned to pick up my trunk and instead found it open; the contents spread around it.
Cursing under my breath, I jumped to a standing position and quickly gathered any underwear as a priority; hoping from place to place and digging through the clothes on the ground to avoid the situation becoming any more embarrassing. My only advantage being that all the other squibs were still fighting for their trunks before the train left to notice me parading my pants.
Wait. At that thought I straightened and listened carefully. Silence. But that would mean- I turned slowly to see fifty faces looking back. All of them were watching, their trunks at their side; Grewner stood at the front, his arms crossed. Right. Magic Elf. Fan-flipping-tastic.
A cough to the side diverted my attention; Moth’s dark hair ruffled in the breeze and he looked at me with slight pity. He coughed again. “It er turns out that Grewner apparated all the trunks off the train… so we didn’t need to get them after all.”
“Yeah, I got that, thanks.” I snapped back, suddenly realising that my arms were still full of my underwear. I looked down and cringed as typically the pair at the top was my present from Roxanne last year; they were covered in red and black unicorns with the caption; horny devil as the unicorns shook their bums and fluttered their eyelashes. Because why not stick to plain knickers, when I could have the opportunity to make a fool of myself?
Timothy raised an eyebrow and his lips twitched as he took note of the pants. Nice. I stepped backwards and dropped the offending items into the bottom of the trunk, idly thinking that my little sister would only have to wave a piece of bloody wood and everything would be fine.
“Here,” Timothy bent down and passed me a bundle of skirts and trousers. I smiled gratefully and dropped them in the trunk. We worked side-by-side in silence as he collected my clothes whilst I put them back in the trunk. My cheeks were starting to cool from their burning red and my shoulders started to relax. I think I have a friend. I thought idly to myself. And not just a friend of my cousins who’s intrigued by the squib – but a real friend. Look, he’s even helping my instead of getting in line like everyone else. When Lucy asks I can tell her that he’s kind and helpful and-
“What?” I asked, smiling at my new friend as he held out a shirt.
“You might want to put this on.” Timothy replied, his lip still twitching.
“Why?” I frowned, looking down at my top and instead seeing a gaping hole where the seams had obviously split whilst I attempted to pull my trunk from the train. The hole spread from my underarm, across my chest and down to my stomach. My stomach clenched as I realised my bra was on show; it matched the unicorn underwear. Dear Gran, run because when we meet again I shall personally murder you. My mouth hung open, “why didn’t you tell me?”
Timothy shrugged, “it was funny.”
That absolute PRAT! Who the hell does he think he is? I thought he liked me! I thought we’d BONDED! But no – he found my dancing unicorn bra ‘funny’. Twat.
I shrieked, unable to contain the Weasley rage and slammed the lid of my trunk down – whilst quickly pulling the shirt over my top to cover the dancing unicorns – and grabbed the handle.
I stormed past Timothy in what was attempted to be speed and grace, but turned more into a slow hobble as I attempted to drag the trunk over the gravel and repeatedly had to stop and heave – ignoring Moth’s amused looks. With one hand I went to push Moth out the way – sincerely hoping that he’d fall to the ground and beg my forgiveness after discovering my superior strength. Yes, I was still holding onto the hope of discovering a superpower.
Sadly, my hand hit a muscled chest. In my surprise, my hand froze so it appeared that I was… stroking his chest. Really? Really? Okay Molly, slowly remove the hand. I ordered myself. Molly! Listen to me! Remove the hand, now. No! What are you doing! Stop fondling his chest! STOP IT! What are you doing?!
Slowly I removed my hand and stepped away, dragging my case behind me as I pretended that I hadn’t just walked up to the first guy I’d ever spoke to who wasn’t related in some way and stroked his chest.
A small cough made me look up; it was Grewer.
“Oi! Bra Girl!” He squeaked - hell no! That was not going to be my name! “Have yous finished flashing or do I have to watch yous all day? Huh?” My mouth hung open; though a moment of satisfaction went through me as I noticed Timothy shied away from the elf. “Grewner has bra girl’s trunk now shoo! Yous must get last carriage! All other squibs have gone!”
I looked round and realised he was right. It was just us three that remained. Brilliant. “Grewner,” I asked carefully, noticing the carriage for the first time, “why is there no roof on the carriage? What if it rains?”
Grewner looked up and a small smile started to spread across his features. “Then yous use magic.”
“But we can’t do magic.” Timothy interrupted sharply.
Grewner’s smile widened. “Then yous get wet.”
Sorry for the slight delay with this chapter! It's the exam season and I'm also writing Mischief Managed and Playing at War at the same time! Updates will hopefully get a lot more quicker soon! :)
Thank you for reading and to those who've favourited this story - it means a lot to have such fantastic support! I would love to hear from you and what you thought of this chapter, so please review below!
What do you think of Molly? Moth/Timothy? Grewner? Mr Whestle/Whistle? Her Gran?
Until next time, Keira :)