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Chapter 1: Chapter the First
“LILY! YOU HAVEN’T PAID YOUR HALF IN RENT YET!” My fabulous cousin shouted at me.
“Sorry Glitter, I have the money right here. I had to go get it converted, you know that!”
Glitter rolled his eyes dramatically. “Why don’t you just get a job in the muggle world? Or even better, an actual job?”
I stuck my tongue out at him and handed him the money.
Yes, you read right. My cousin is called Glitter and is a boy.
Well technically, he's my second cousin and his real name is Bruce, but he prefers the name Glitter because the name ‘Bruce’ reminds him of a fat, hairy old man who likes to creep on young girls.
He’s also gay if you haven’t put the pieces together yet.
I live with him and luckily, Mum and Dad still pay for my rent but they said when September comes, they’d stop paying.
It was August 17th right now and still no sign of a job.
Ah well, I'm sure I could pull a few strings.
“And Lillian my dear, you got a memorandum that attempted to take a morsel out of my skin.” It was amazing how quick Glitter’s moods could change.
“Do you mean an owl?” I asked confusedly.
“Yes,” he sighed, “But it sounded so much better the way I said it.”
I rolled my eyes and asked, “Okay, so where is it?”
“In your room. When I stepped near it, it flapped away and into your room, screeching. I don’t think he liked me.” He shrugged.
I nodded and retreated to my room where a Ministry owl was waiting for me.
Is this it? Was I going to finally get a job?!
Oh my God! I was finally going to get a job! Yes! And it will be the one that I applied for in the Department of Sports! Yes! Score! No more sponging off Mum and Dad for me!
I grinned and bounced over to the owl. He held out his leg pompously and I quickly took the letter. He hooted at me and flew out the window.
Dear Lily Potter,
We would like to thank you for applying within the Ministry of Magic’s Department of Magical Games and Sport. However, we regret to inform you that your application was not selected for further consideration.
We appreciate the time you have invested in your application and encourage you to apply for future positions within this Department.
We wish you success in your job search.
Thank you for your interest.
I stared at the parchment in horror.
I didn’t get the job.
Glitter called out, “Oh Lillian, would you care for a treat? I’m attempting to re-create Adriano Zumbo’s croquembouche and I need those magical skills you have.”
“In a minute,” I called back.
I decided staring at the rejection letter was wasting my precious (and limited) eyesight so I set fire to it. I laid down on my bed and sighed.
I was 18, fresh out of Hogwarts, had no idea what to do and was currently living with a guy who liked to be called ‘Glitter’.
I needed to sort my life out.
“Lily, did you end up getting the job?” My cousin Hugo asked me.
I poked my potatoes with my fork a bit too violently.
“No. I got the letter this morning,” I said grumpily.
“Aw, Lily, that sucks,” he said sympathetically, chewing with his mouth wide open.
“Close your mouth Hugs, I don’t want to see mushed up meat and potato.”
“Sorry,” he said, still with his mouth full.
“Didn’t you ever listen to Aunt Hermione when she taught you table manners?” I sighed.
I rolled my eyes affectionately and said, “What about you? Have you got a name for your big chess club yet?”
“No.” He frowned. “We have a few ideas, d’you want to hear them?” He looked up hopefully. I was the only one in the family that feigned interest and he really appreciated it.
“Sure!” I grinned and folded my arms. “What are they?”
“Well, we have ‘Check Matie’, ‘Sons of Bishops’, ‘Chessnuts’ and ‘Pawnography’; I think that’s my favourite.”
“‘Pawnography’ isn’t that bad, but it might cause lots of bad publicity,” I pointed out.
“Bad publicity is still publicity,” he retorted.
“‘Chessnuts’ is clever though, and when you play you can all eat chestnuts.” I grinned at him.
He rolled his eyes and ran a hand through his ginger mane. He picked that off James and it did not suit him at all.
“Don’t ruffle your hair up, you look strange,” I said.
“I didn’t ruffle my hair?” He raised his eyebrows at me questioningly.
“Yes you did!”
“Oh God, please tell me I didn’t! It bugs me so much when James does it!”
I grinned. My Hugo was still there, phew. “I hate to tell you, but you did. Have you been hanging out with him lately?”
He nodded. “Yeah. Just to get some tips on how he got the word around and stuff like that.”
“James has an apothecary though; you want to make an organisation?”
“Yeah, I know. But he still had to tell people there was a new apothecary in order to gain customers,” he pointed out.
I nodded and said, “Do you want to get out of here? We’re meant to go to the Burrow and help Nana set up.”
“Sure, don’t pay, Lil,” he said when I reached for my purse.
“Really?” I asked unsurely.
“Of course! You’re my favourite cousin! I mean, if you were Roxy, I’d probably tell her to pay, but since it’s you…” He gave me a lopsided grin.
“Thanks Hugs!” I gave him a hug and he responded enthusiastically. He really gave the best hugs.
Hence, the nickname ‘Hugs’.
After he paid, we apparated to the Burrow where Nana was waiting for us.
“Hugo! Lily!” She came running out and gave us her special hugs that only Nana Molly could give. Not even Hugo’s could compete with them.
“Hey, Nana!” Hugo and I chorused. When we were little, people used to think we were twins because we looked fairly similar and often spoke at the same time, or finished each other’s sentences.
“Come in, come in! Are you hungry?”
Nana Molly had a very strong obsession with feeding us.
“No it’s okay -” I started saying but then I was rudely interrupted by Hugo.
“Actually, Nana, I am. What do you have?” He started sniffing the air for food.
Honestly, the appetite on that boy.
Nana smiled and led him to the kitchen. “I have some leftovers from breakfast, Louis is over, he and Arthur are tinkering with all that muggle junk.”
Hugo beamed and grabbed the plate of bacon. “Lily, did you want some, dear?” Nana asked me.
“Oh, it’s okay Nana.” I smiled at her.
“You aren’t on any of those ridiculous diets are you? You’re looking awfully thin!” Nana insisted.
“No, Nana. We ate before we got here. And don’t you worry about me not eating, Glitter’s real into cooking right now so I get a five course meal, three times a day.”
Relief washed her face. “Oh thank goodness then. You always had a tendency to go very thin, I worry about you.”
Hugo laughed behind Nana’s back, knowing that we all had a stage of being a little too chubby and we’d never been too thin.
Poor Lucy still hadn’t gotten over her stage yet.
Mine was in third year and I had horrible acne. It was my most ugly year and my most awkward year. It was so annoying, only Al and I – out of the whole Weasley family – got acne.
We blamed it on Dad.
“Lily dear, did you get that job you wanted?” Nana asked me.
“No I didn’t. I just found out,” I mumbled.
“Oh, sweetheart! Come here!” She opened her arms for a hug and I gratefully accepted.
It’s not like I wanted that job, but I needed some of my own money.
She stroked my hair and said, “There’s always other jobs and maybe when you have more experience they’ll hire you.”
I shrugged and Hugo said, “I don’t know why they wouldn’t have hired you, I mean, we’ve been raised in a Quidditch-crazy family, and both Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry were awesome players. And there’s even Dom! Quidditch basically rules our life so you should have been the best candidate.”
“Maybe they didn’t want to hire me in case everyone else thought they were just hiring me because of my last name.” Hugo gave me a look that clearly told me not to be stupid.
“You can always keep trying, or go to a different section,” Nana said consolingly.
I shrugged. “That was only opening there.”
“Another department maybe?” Nana asked.
I made a face. “Nah, I’m not really interested in any other departments.”
“Beggars can’t be choosers, Lil,” a new voice came from behind me.
“Roxy! I haven’t seen you in ages!” I grinned at her.
“I know! Have you been hiding from your favourite cousin?” she asked, ruffling my hair.
Hugo coughed pointedly and I said, “I don’t have a favourite cousin.”
Roxy rolled her eyes and when she was distracted, I sent Hugo a wink. He was my favourite cousin but I wasn’t going to tell that to Roxy.
“Everyone has favourites whether or not they want to. But anyway, why were you whining before?” She poked me.
“I wasn’t whining!” I protested, “I just didn’t get the job, so I was upset! Is that a problem?”
“What?! As if you didn’t get it!! That’s so bullsh-”
“Do you really want to finish that sentence, Roxanne?” Nana said dangerously.
“Sorry Nana,” she sent her a grin and Nana shook her head affectionately. “So what I was saying, I can’t believe you didn’t get the job! You were absolutely perfect for it! Who’s the head?”
“Cormac McLaggen.” I grimaced. “The name sounds awfully familiar but I can’t place my finger on it.”
Hugo said thoughtfully, “I think he went to school with our parents. I kind of remember Dad mentioning him once, saying he was an A-grade -”
“HI ALL!” A bright voice came from behind Roxanne.
“Merlin, Lou! Give me a heart attack, why don’t you?” Roxy asked, pulling him into a headlock.
“Sorry!” he said, squirming out of Roxy’s grip. Louis was kind of a lost puppy that needed guiding everywhere. He was twenty two and was absolutely enthralled by the idea of muggles – he definitely inherited that from Grandpa Weasley.
“Oi! Gerroff me, Roxy!” Roxy ruffled his red hair and let him go.
“How mean, you ruined my hair.” He pat it tentatively.
Roxy and I shared a look. The boys in this family were more concerned with their physical appearance than the girls.
Teddy and Victoire came in next, with their herd of children.
I loved them all, but wow, Victoire is a goddess. She’s had six kids, now pregnant with twins and still had a fantastic body.
Teddy was my god brother and I loved him to pieces. He was incredibly clumsy and was somehow an auror. He had his signature blue-green hair and was carrying little Remus and Adrienne. Remus was only two years old and still the only boy. So far only Brigitte had shown signs of becoming a metamorphmagi, the rest had the flaming Weasley hair, with only a tint of silver.
They were cute, no doubt about that.
I picked up one year old Maddy, who looked very unstable on her feet.
“Thanks, Lily, we can’t catch her. She’s very fast,” Vic sighed as she sunk into a chair.
I grinned, “You’re so cute, aren’t you bub?”
“FISH!” She clapped her hands together excitedly.
“Fish?” I laughed.
“That’s her newest word, she can’t seem to stop saying it,” Teddy informed me.
“UNCLE LOU!” The remaining three yelled out and tackled him. Louis was the favourite out of all of us and whenever they saw him, he had to try and carry each and every single one. But he loved them all and could entertain them for hours.
After Louis got the three girls all in comfortable positions (one on each side and one on his shoulders), we decided to go to the living room and start setting up for Lucy and Molly’s birthday tomorrow.
“Where’s everyone else?” Hugo asked.
“James is still at the shop, Dom has training – but that finishes in about half an hour, I don’t know where Fred and Al are, Rose is at work and all the parents got told to come at five,” Roxy said, ticking each person off with a different finger.
“At five? Why do they get to come later?” I asked.
“Nana Molly said to prepare food there, without all the mess and she believed we could do a better job than them.”
I snorted. “We need James, Al and Fred to be here. They're usually the ones that move everything, we just clean and stuff.”
Roxy nodded and Hugo said, “Oi! I can still move things!”
“Hugo, you’re a chess enthusiast. You don’t do lifting,” Victoire said amusedly.
“You’re forgetting that I do have Granger brains and I can probably just charm everything in about a second,” he replied.
There was a few seconds of silence and Louis then asked, “Why haven’t we ever done that before?”
“Usually we’re all underage, but now, we can use our wands!” Hugo said brightly.
“Alright.” Victoire clapped her hands together. “We'll, Teddy and me - put the kids in the playroom, I’ll mind them and you guys can do all the work!”
“Hey that isn’t fair -”
“I’m pregnant with twins, I will do whatever I want thank you very much!” She gave Louis a glare.
“Okay fine, fine. You do that. Brie, Gabby and Dora, you have to go with Mum to the playroom and as soon as I’ve finished helping Nana Molly, I’ll come straight back. Is that okay?”
They all complained but Victoire said, “Girls! Uncle Louis asked nicely so you should listen to him.”
“Fine,” Dora grumbled. She was only six years old but she was very cheeky. They all crawled off Louis and ran to the playroom. I put down Maddy and she wobbled after them.
Victoire walked off and Al then popped up in the middle of the room.
“MERLIN, AL! YOU JUST DON’T DO THAT!” Roxy shrieked and punched him on the arm.
“Careful! These arms are valuable!” He rubbed his arm while giving Roxy a glare.
“They’re valuable for punching,” Roxy retorted.
Al rolled his eyes and when he noticed me, he came over to give me a hug. “Lily! You heard from the Ministry yet?” His eyes were so hopeful and I hated that I had to tell him that I didn’t get in.
“Yes…” I said slowly.
“And?” Al prompted.
“I didn’t get it,” I mumbled.
“I KNEW IT! I TOLD YOU, YOU’D GET – wait, what?!” He stopped twirling me and looked at me seriously.
I pushed my glasses back up my nose. “I didn’t get it,” I repeated.
Al swore and Nana Molly came running out to smack him with a wooden spoon. “I don’t want to hear that language in this house, Albus!”
“Sorry Nana!” he said brightly. When she gave him the customary hug and kiss, she returned back to the kitchen. He turned back to me. “Are you sure it said you didn’t get in?”
“Yes, Al,” I said wearily.
“That’s bollocks! I’ll go up tomorrow and demand they give you a job! You would have been perfect for that job!”
I rolled my eyes and told him, “Don’t worry about it. I can always just try and get in later, but for now, we need to start setting up.”
He frowned but didn’t say anything more. Hugo waved his wand and everything started to sort itself out.
“I’ll get the tables,” Al said. He walked back outside and raised his wand to summon the tables.
Roxy and I went up to Mum’s old room to get all the decorations. Mum’s room held the girl decorations and Uncle Ron’s room held the boy decorations.
After we came downstairs, Dom and Fred had finally showed up and had started to clean.
We said all the usual pleasantries and started to decorate.
Step 1: Wave your wand over the decorations, charming them to be waterproof and fireproof (Uncle George and Fred like fireworks) and direct them to all over the Burrow.
Step 2: Go back into the kitchen and offer to help Nana, who always refuses.
Step 3: Sit outside and bask in the warm sunlight like a cat.
Roxy and I sipped our drinks and sighed happily. “So are you okay, Lily?” Roxy asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just need to find a job now.” I frowned, shielding my eyes from the sun.
“You can always work with James, temporarily of course,” she suggested.
“I’ve asked him before, but he said it wasn’t exactly the best place for me to work.”
“Okay then.” Roxy frowned. “What about Flourish and Blotts?”
I made a face. “I really don’t want to be working in a bookstore, but I’ll ask anyway because Mum and Dad said they’d stop paying for rent in September.”
“Oh, they said that with James and Al, but they still paid for them until they actually had enough money to survive, so I’m sure you’ll be fine,” she assured me.
“How do you know that?” I asked.
“James was telling Al that because he was worried about not having enough money, I was just listening in.”
I nodded and Roxy said, “Where’s Rose? We always have our little trio when we decorate-slash-sunbake, it feels strangely lonely.”
“Didn’t you say she was at work?”
“Yeah, but I thought she might turn up and help, you know.”
“She probably is off work but instead shagging Scorpius,” I pointed out.
Roxy snorted. “Probably. Those two can never even keep their hands off each other for a second, it’s disgusting.”
“Amen,” I laughed.
“Amen?” Roxy asked.
“Oh, it’s a muggle phrase; Glitter keeps trying to get me to use muggle phrases so I blend in easier -”
“Because he blends in so well,” she snorted.
“True, but I accidently slipped up and said ‘Merlin’ a few times and he had to make up how I was an avid supporter of the show,” I finished.
“There’s a show called Merlin?” Roxy asked dubiously.
“Yes! It’s quite funny, they believe that Merlin was King Arthur’s slave and he keeps doing all this magic – with his eyes not with a wand, mind you – to save Arthur’s backside. Arthur is like a major prick and Merlin’s kinda this dweeb, it’s absolutely hilarious though.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever understand muggles,” Roxy said after a long pause.
“Me neither, but the show is good,” I said, closing my eyes. I started to fall asleep but then someone jumped on me.
“OW!” I pushed the perpetrator off of me and noticed it was my oldest brother, James.
“Nice of you to finally show up,” Roxy said amusedly.
“Owning a shop is a lot of work,” James defended.
“Okay then.” I rolled my eyes. “Why on earth did you jump on me?”
“You looked like you were asleep,” he shrugged. “And Al told me you didn’t get the job, so I thought I’d come over here and give you one of my special hugs.”
“I’m fine! I don’t need your special hugs!” I quickly said. James’ ‘special hugs’ consisted of him picking up the victim and squeezing them so tightly, you black out.
You probably think I’m kidding. When I was in my fifth year, James had finally left school (I still don’t know how he managed to actually finish school, we always thought he’d drop out), it was the Christmas holidays and James was excited to see me again and gave me a hug and I ended up blacking out.
He’s determined to do it again, but it’s much more helpful that I can do magic legally now, so when I start seeing stars, I usually jinx him.
He grinned evilly and picked me up. James and I were super close, even though you probably shouldn’t have favourites; James was definitely my favourite brother.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Al, but because he was in Slytherin, I didn’t see him as often as I saw James. And now, he’s part of a muggle band (he wanted to be in a muggle band because he didn’t want to use his last-name-fame to get noticed), he was always travelling and I hardly saw him anymore.
He squeezed me and I thrashed around. “LET ME GO, JAMES!”
Roxy, being the ever-helpful cousin she is, just sat there and laughed at me.
I tried to squirm my way out of it and I nearly got there but then Al came up to us. He grinned like a maniac and helped James hold me down so he could squeeze the life out of me.
“Guys – can’t – breathe,” I gasped. I started to get black dots appearing in front of my eyes and I reached for my wand, only to find that Al had nicked it.
The last thing I remember is giving Al the finger before I blacked out.
I’m such a loser.
so I have a new story :D
I promised myself that I would post this after I'd finished Blossoming but I got too eager :p
Anywho, please review on your thoughts :)
disclaimer: the show Merlin is not mine (sniff) but BBCs and the rest is J.K. Rowlings :D