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Chapter 1: Chapter the First
“LILY! YOU HAVEN’T PAID YOUR HALF IN RENT YET!” my cousin shouts at me.
“Sorry Glitter, I have the money right here. I had to go get it converted, you know that!” I retaliate. Honestly, I forgot that I had to pay him until ten minutes ago. So I quickly Apparated out of the flat to rush to Gringotts. I’m still puffed.
Glitter rolls his eyes dramatically. “Why don’t you just get a job in the Muggle world? Or even better, an actual job?”
I stick my tongue out at him and hand him the money. I think I should explain. Glitter isn’t his real name. His name is Bruce but he prefers the name Glitter because the name Bruce reminds him of a – and I quote – fat, hairy old man who likes to creep on young girls.
I call him my cousin even though technically he isn’t. I think it’s actually called a second cousin but I’m not too sure. It’s too confusing. Or it could be first cousin once removed which makes absolutely no sense to me.
So yeah, to lessen any confusion I just call him my cousin.
He’s also gay so I have to deal with him bringing countless men over while I hide in the corner of my own room trying to block out the noises that they make.
I currently live with him, if you haven’t pieced that together yet, but Mum and Dad still pay for my rent. Except they told me if I don’t get a job by September they’d stop paying.
It’s currently August 17th right now and there is still no sign of a job.
Ah well, I’m sure I can pull a few strings.
You’re probably wondering why I already moved out of home when I only just finished school in June. Well, Glitter and I made a promise to live with each other and he already found the perfect apartment. I wasn’t supposed to move out right away but he couldn’t afford it by himself so it just made sense to move right in with him. I’m glad that Mum and Dad offered to pay for me though, it’s a lifesaver.
Glitter then says, “Lillian my dear, you got a memorandum that attempted to take a morsel out of my skin.” It still amazes me how fast his moods change and the words that come spewing out of his mouth.
“Do you mean an owl?” I ask confusedly.
“Yes,” he sighs, “but it sounded so much better the way I said it.”
I roll my eyes and ask, “Okay, so where is it?” My eyes travel around the flat looking for it. I can only see the countless paintings made by his arty friends. I don’t mind though, they’re great paintings.
Even if they all have subliminal images of genitalia.
My favourite is the tiger one. The ‘surprise’ is in the nose. I didn’t even notice it until Rose pointed it out to me. That’s when I noticed the others.
Glitter responds, “In your room. When I stepped near it, it flapped away and into your room, screeching. I don’t think he liked me.” He shrugs, counting the money I gave him.
I nod and retreat to my room where a brown Ministry owl is waiting for me. He blinks at me suspiciously.
Is this it? Am I going to finally get a job?!
Oh my God! I finally got a job! Yes! And it’s going to be the one that I applied for in the Department of Sports! No more sponging off of Mum and Dad for me!
I grin and bounce over to the owl. He scoots over a bit but then holds his leg out pompously. I quickly untie the letter from his leg and he hoots at me before flying 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.
Cormac McLaggen, Head of Department of Sports.
I stare at the parchment in horror.
I didn’t get the job.
Glitter calls 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 call back, still staring at the letter. We regret to inform you…
I decide that staring at the rejection letter is wasting my precious (and limited) eyesight so I scrunch it up and throw it in the bin by my desk. I lie down on the pale purple duvet and sigh.
I’m eighteen, fresh out of Hogwarts, completely skint and currently living with a twenty year old man who calls himself ‘Glitter’.
I need to sort my life out.
“Lily, did you end up getting the job?” Hugo asks me when we’re out to lunch together.
I poke my potatoes with my fork a bit too violently. “No. I got the letter this morning,” I say grumpily. I’m frustrated that I didn’t get the job. It’s not my dream job or anything (I don’t know that just yet) but I just want some independence.
“Aw, Lily, that sucks,” he says sympathetically, chewing with his mouth wide open, giving me a lovely view of a mush of potatoes and beef.
“Close your mouth Hugs, I don’t want to see your food twice,” I say, grimacing.
“Sorry,” he says, still with his mouth full. I shake my head.
“Didn’t you ever listen to Aunt Hermione when she taught you table manners?” I sigh, chasing a piece of meat around the plate with my fork.
I roll my eyes affectionately and say, “What about you? Have you got a name for your big chess club yet?” He’s determined to make a worldwide chess organisation. He’s had this idea since he was twelve, and I really think he’s going to do it. He’s extremely determined.
“No.” He frowns, still chewing. “We have a few ideas, d’you want to hear them?” He looks up hopefully. I’m the only one in the family that feigns interest in this little thing and I can tell he really appreciates it.
“Sure!” I grin and fold my arms. “What are they?” I take a bite of broccoli.
“Well, we have ‘Check Matie’, ‘Sons of Bishops’, ‘Chessnuts’ and ‘Pawnography’ – I think that’s my favourite,” he says thoughtfully. His mouth is still full of food but I don’t remind him. It’s a lost cause.
“‘Pawnography’ isn’t that bad, but it might cause lots of bad publicity,” I point out after I finish swallowing the broccoli.
“Bad publicity is still publicity,” he retorts, grinning cheekily.
“‘Chessnuts’ is clever though, and when you play you can all eat chestnuts.” I grin at him. He rolls his eyes and runs a hand through his ginger mane. He’s obviously picked that off James and it doesn’t suit him at all. “Don’t ruffle your hair up, you look strange,” I say, crinkling my nose. It’s annoying when James does it, I don’t want Hugo to as well.
“I didn’t ruffle my hair?” He raises his eyebrows at me questioningly.
“Yes you did!” I cry. A lady disapprovingly looks at the pair of us. We ignore her.
“Oh God, please tell me I didn’t! It bugs me so much when James does it!” he says, flattening his hair self-consciously.
I grin. My Hugo was still there, phew. “I hate to tell you, but you did. Have you been hanging out with him lately?” I ask curiously.
He nods. “Yeah. Just to get some tips on how he got the word around and stuff like that.” He takes a drink of his coke.
“James has an apothecary though; you want to make an organisation?” I say after accepting the bill from the waitress with a quick thank you.
“Yeah, I know. But he still had to tell people there was a new apothecary in order to gain customers,” he points out.
He has a point. I say, “I guess. Do you want to get out of here? We’re meant to go to the Burrow and help Nana set up.” I start rifling through my purse for money.
“Sure, don’t pay, Lil,” he says when I pull out ten knuts. I pat the bottom of my bag for a couple of sickles. I needed eight sickles and fourteen knuts.
“Really?” I ask unsurely. I feel bad that I can’t pay for my own food but Hugo doesn’t look fussed.
“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 gives me a lopsided grin.
“Thanks Hugs!” I give him a hug and he responds enthusiastically. He gives the best hugs.
Hence the nickname ‘Hugs’.
After he pays we Apparate to the Burrow where Nana is waiting for us. As soon as we pop up in front of the house, we see her grin and run out of the house.
“Hugo! Lily!” she says. We go towards her and she gives us one of her special hugs that only she could give. Not even Hugo’s can compete with them.
“Hey, Nana!” Hugo and I chorus. 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?” she says breaking away from us and smiling up at us. She has quite a strong obsession with feeding us.
“No it’s okay—” I start saying but then I am rudely interrupted by Hugo.
“Actually, Nana, I am. What do you have?” He starts sniffing the air for food.
Honestly, the appetite on that boy.
Nana beams and leads us to the kitchen. “I have some leftovers from breakfast, Louis is over, he and your grandfather are tinkering with all that Muggle junk.” She sits Hugo down with a plate of bacon and eggs. He scoffs it down immediately. “Lily, did you want some dear?” she asks me.
“Oh, it’s okay Nana.” I smile at her. “I just had lunch.”
“You aren’t on any of those ridiculous diets are you? You’re looking awfully thin!” Nana insists.
“No, Nana,” I say, sharing a look with Hugo. Nana is constantly worried about one of us being influenced by ‘one of those infernal body changing spells’. “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,” I say to appease her.
It works. Relief washes over her face. “Oh thank goodness then. You always had a tendency to go very thin, I worry about you, dear.” She smiles sweetly at me, her eyes crinkling.
Hugo laughs behind Nana’s back, knowing full well that we all had a stage of being a little too chubby and we’d never been too thin; Nana just wouldn’t allow it.
Poor Lucy still hasn’t gotten over her stage yet.
My chubby year was in third year, the same year I had horrible acne. It was my most ugly year and my most awkward year. I was kind of a social recluse. It was frustrating because out of the whole Weasley family, only Al and I got acne.
We blame it on Dad.
“Lily dear, did you get that job you wanted?” Nana asks me as she starts preparing some vegetables.
“No I didn’t. I just found out,” I mumble.
“Oh, sweetheart! Come here!” She opens her arms for a hug and I gratefully accept. I will never get sick of her hugs. She strokes my hair and says, “There’s always other jobs and maybe when you have more experience they’ll hire you.”
I shrug and Hugo says, “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 gives me a look that clearly told me not to be stupid.
“You can always keep trying, or go to a different section,” Nana says consolingly.
I shrug. “That was only opening there. Or so I was told.”
“Another department maybe?” Nana asks directing her wand to boil water in the pot.
I make a face. I looked through them when I was at Hogwarts, none of them appealed to me. “Nah, I’m not really interested in any other departments.”
“Beggars can’t be choosers, Lil,” a new voice comes from behind me.
“Roxy! I haven’t seen you in ages!” I grin at her and break away from Nana to give her a hug. Roxy then gives Nana a kiss on the cheek and turns back to me as Nana focused on the cooking.
“I know! Have you been hiding from your favourite cousin?” she asks, ruffling my hair. I push her hand away before she can make it too knotty.
Hugo coughs pointedly and I – mostly to be the mediator – say, “I don’t have a favourite cousin.” Roxy rolls her eyes and as she is distracted I send Hugo a wink. He’s my favourite cousin but I’m not going to tell that to Roxy.
“Everyone has favourites whether or not they want to. But anyway, why were you whining before?” She pokes me, her brown eyes sparkling.
“I wasn’t whining!” I protest, “I just didn’t get the job, so I was upset! Is that a problem?” I put my hands on my hips to challenge her.
“What?! As if you didn’t get it! That’s so bullsh—” she starts saying but then Nana interrupts.
“Do you really want to finish that sentence, Roxanne?” If there is one thing that Nana hates the most, it’s definitely swearing. She even hates Mum and Dad swearing.
“Sorry Nana,” Roxy says, sending her a grin and Nana shakes her head affectionately. “So what I was saying was I can’t believe you didn’t get the job! You were absolutely perfect for it! Who’s the Head?”
“Cormac McLaggen.” I grimace. “The name sounds awfully familiar but I can’t place my finger on it.”
Hugo says 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 comes from behind Roxanne.
“Merlin, Lou! Give me a heart attack, why don’t you?” Roxy asks, pulling him into a headlock. Growing up with Fred made her very violent.
“Sorry!” he says, squirming out of Roxy’s grip. Louis is kind of a lost puppy that needed guiding everywhere. He’s twenty two and is absolutely enthralled by the idea of Muggles – which he definitely inherited from Grandpa Arthur. When the two of them are together it’s like a Mugglepalooza.
“Oi! Gerroff me, Roxy!” Roxy ruffles his red hair and finally let him go.
“You ruined my hair.” He pats it tentatively.
Roxy and I share a look. The boys in this family are more concerned with their physical appearance than the girls.
“I’ll be right back,” he says as he ducks to the bathroom. Roxy and I snigger but he’s gone before we can say anything.
Teddy and Victoire come in next, with their herd of children.
I love them all, but wow, Victoire is some sort of a goddess. She’s had six kids, and is now pregnant with twins. And she still has a fantastic body. Bloody Veela genes.
Teddy’s my god brother and I love him to pieces. He’s incredibly clumsy but somehow he got to be an Auror. His hair is the signature turquoise and he’s currently carrying little Remus and Adrienne. Remus is only two years old and so far still the only boy. Brigitte is the only one who’s shown signs of becoming a Metamorphmagus, and the rest have the flaming Weasley hair, with only a tint of silver.
They’re cute, there’s no doubt about that.
I pick up one year old Maddy, who looks very unstable on her feet. She smiles at me and tugs on a lock of my hair.
“Thanks, Lily, we can’t catch her. She’s very fast,” Vic sighs as she sinks into a chair.
I grin. “That’s okay. You’re so cute, aren’t you bub?” I say, bouncing her on my hip.
“FISH!” she shouts, clapping her hands together excitedly.
“Fish?” I laugh, kissing her cheek. She giggles and it’s the absolute cutest sound. I’m never going to get sick of it.
“That’s her newest word, she can’t seem to stop saying it,” Teddy informs me, setting down the two in his arms.
“FISH!” she shouts again. I laugh. Louis walks back into the kitchen with a big grin when he sees his nieces and nephew.
“UNCLE LOU!” they all yell and tackle him. Louis is the favourite out of all of us and whenever they see him, he has to try and carry each and every single kid. But he loves them all and can entertain them for hours, something Victoire and Teddy took advantage of maybe a little too often.
We decide to go to the living room so we won’t bother Nana and risk one of the Lupin children getting hurt. And the fact that we still have to set up for Lucy and Molly’s birthday tonight.
“Where’s everyone else?” Hugo asks as we sit down, watching Louis getting attacked by the kids. Maddy is still in my arms and is giggling and pointing at everything. It’s absolutely adorable.
“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 says, ticking each person off with a different finger.
“At five? Why do they get to come later?” I ask leaning away from Maddy’s fingers. She was trying to stick them in my mouth. “No, Maddy,” I say sternly. She reluctantly pulls her hand back.
“Nana Molly said to prepare food there, without all the mess and she believed we could do a better job than them,” Roxy replied.
I snort. “We need James, Al and Fred to be here. They’re usually the ones that move everything, we just clean and stuff. It’s pointless cleaning when they’re just going to make more of a mess.”
Roxy nods and Hugo says, “Oi! I can still move things!”
“Hugo, you’re a chess enthusiast. You don’t do lifting,” Victoire says amusedly, not lifting her eyes away from Dora.
“You’re forgetting that I do have Granger brains and I can probably just charm everything in about a second,” he replies snootily.
There’s a few seconds of silence and Louis then asks, “Why haven’t we ever done that before?”
“Usually we’re all underage, but now we can use our wands!” Hugo says brightly.
“Alright.” Victoire claps 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!” One thing I did not like when Victoire is pregnant is that she is so demanding and scary.
“Hey that isn’t fair—” Louis starts saying.
“I’m pregnant with twins – I’m going to do whatever I want thank you very much!” She glares at Louis and then the rest of us, daring us to argue. Oh we won’t.
“Okay fine, fine,” Louis concedes. “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 complain but Victoire snaps, “Girls! Uncle Louis asked nicely so you should listen to him.”
“Fine,” Dora grumbles. She’s only six years old but very cheeky. They all crawl off Louis and run to the playroom Grandpa Arthur made before I was born. I put down Maddy and she wobbles after them, still giggling.
Victoire walks off and Al then pops up in the middle of the room making us all jump. “MERLIN, AL! YOU JUST DON’T DO THAT!” Roxy shrieks and punches him on the arm.
“Careful! These arms are valuable!” He rubs his arm while glaring at Roxy.
“They’re valuable for punching,” Roxy retorts, putting a hand to her heart. “My heart rate is going so fast at the moment!”
Al rolls his eyes and then noticing me, he came over to give me a hug. “Lily! You heard from the Ministry yet?” He looks so hopeful I feel a bit bad saying that I didn’t get in.
“Yes…” I say slowly looking around the room. Hugo gives me an encouraging smile. Roxy winks at me. They are no help at all.
“And?” Al prompts, pushing his glasses back up. I do the same, realising my glasses are halfway down my nose.
“I didn’t get it,” I mumble, looking away from him.
He punches the air excitedly and picks me up, spinning me around. “I KNEW IT! I TOLD YOU, YOU’D GET – wait, what?!” He stops twirling me and looks at me seriously.
I push my glasses back up my nose. “I didn’t get it,” I repeat. I feel a bit dizzy.
Al swears loudly and Nana Molly rushes out of the kitchen and smacks him with a wooden spoon. A faint outline of water stays on his shirt sleeve. “I don’t want to hear that language in this house, Albus!”
“Sorry Nana!” he says brightly, kissing her cheek and giving her a big hug. She chuckles and returns back to the kitchen. He turns back to me. “Are you sure it said you didn’t get in?” he asks.
“Yes, Al,” I say wearily. He can be so dramatic sometimes.
“That’s bollocks! I’ll go up tomorrow and demand they give you a job! You would have been perfect for that job!” he says, as if that’s that.
I roll my eyes and tell 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 frowns but doesn’t say anything more. Hugo waves his wand and everything starts to sort itself out.
“I’ll get the tables,” Al says, walking back outside and raising his wand to summon the tables.
Roxy and I go 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 come downstairs, Dom and Fred finally arrives and are already cleaning.
Roxy and I say the usual hello and then start to decorate.
Step 1: Wave your wand over the decorations, charming them to be waterproof and fireproof (Uncle George and Fred like fireworks a bit too much) and direct them to place themselves 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 sip our drinks sighing happily. “So are you okay, Lily?” Roxy asks, her eyes closed and tilting her face towards the sun.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just need to find a job now.” I frown, shielding my eyes from the sun. I also briefly worry about not wearing sunscreen but I don’t dwell on it. I’m not going to get that badly burnt; I’m only going to be out here for a few minutes, really.
“You can always work with James, temporarily of course,” she suggests.
“I’ve asked him before, but he said it wasn’t exactly the best place for me to work,” I say, still curious as to why he wouldn’t let me work there.
“Okay then.” Roxy frowns. “What about Flourish and Blotts?”
I make 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.” My stomach flutters because it’s so soon.
“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 assures me.
“How do you know that?” I ask.
“James was telling Al that because he was worried about not having enough money, I was just listening in,” she says, laughing. She takes another sip of her drink. “Where’s Rose? We always have our little trio when we decorate-slash-sunbake, it feels strangely lonely,” she observes.
I agree. “Didn’t you say she was at work?” I sip my own drink. It’s only Lemonade but it’s delicious. I think Roxy added a bit of alcohol to hers though.
“Yeah, but I thought she might turn up and help, you know,” she says stretching her legs out in front of her.
“She probably is off work but instead shagging Scorpius,” I point out. The two could never keep their hands off each other.
Roxy snorts. “Probably. They’re always all over each other, it’s disgusting.”
“Amen,” I laugh.
“‘Amen’?” Roxy asks.
“Oh, it’s a Muggle phrase—” I start saying but Roxy interrupts me.
“No, I know what ‘Amen’ is. I’ve just never heard you use it before,” she says, opening her eyes to look at me.
“Glitter keeps trying to get me to use Muggle phrases so I blend in easier,” I tell her.
She snorts, “Because he blends in so well.”
I laugh. “I know, right? But I accidentally slipped up once and said ‘Merlin’ and he made up some story how I was an avid supporter of the show,” I finish.
“There’s a show called Merlin?” Roxy asks 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 say, laughing. I take my glasses off and everything temporarily goes blurry as I wipe them on my shirt. When I put them on again, the annoying speck of dust on the left side had disappeared. Thank goodness.
“I don’t think I’ll ever understand Muggles,” Roxy says after a long pause.
“Me neither, but the show is good,” I say, closing my eyes. I’m about to fall asleep but then someone jumps on me. “OW!” I push the perpetrator off of me and notice it’s James.
“Nice of you to finally show up,” Roxy says amusedly.
“Owning a shop is a lot of work,” James defends himself.
“Okay then.” I roll my eyes. “Why on earth did you jump on me?”
“You looked like you were asleep.” He shrugs. “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,” he offers, smiling maniacally at me.
“I’m fine! I don’t need your special hugs!” I say quickly. James’ ‘special hugs’ consisted of him picking up the victim and squeezing them so tightly that they 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 so 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 grins evilly and picks me up. James and I are super close, and even though you probably shouldn’t have favourites, James is 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’s always travelling and I hardly see him anymore.
James squeezes me and I thrash around, careful not to let my glasses fall off. “LET ME GO, JAMES!” I shriek.
“Nope,” he responds annoyingly.
Roxy – being the ever-helpful cousin she is – just sits there and laughs at me.
I try to squirm my way out of his death-grip and I’m nearly there but then Al comes up to us and helps James hold me down so he can squeeze the life out of me. Literally.
“Guys – can’t – breathe,” I gasp. I start seeing black dots appearing so I reach for my wand, only to find that Al has nicked it.
The last thing I remember is giving Al the finger before fainting.
I’m such a loser.
Disclaimer: the show Merlin is not mine but instead owned by BBC and the rest is J.K. Rowling's. :D
Thanks for reading! :)