Chapter 1 : Rose and James
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Disclaimer: All I own is the plot and the original characters. Everything else is the property of JK Rowling. (As regards the characters, you can basically assume that most characters over the age of 20 who appear in this story are Rowling's. I may have one or two adult ocs, but there aren't many.)
"Ooooh, James has a letter from his girlfriend," Rose teased, as her brother unrolled the letter he'd just removed from the owl's leg.
"She is not my girlfriend," James replied defensively. "She's not," he explained to his parents.
"Rose, stop teasing your brother," Ginny stated, without even looking up from the copy of the Daily Prophet, that her husband had just handed to her.
"What does she say anyway?" Rose asked, curiosity getting the better of her desire to torture. "Anything interesting?"
"She's just asking when we are going to get our school stuff. She wants to meet up in Diagon Alley. When should I say, Mum?"
Ginny put her paper down.
"Well, let's see. You'll be going back to school in less than two weeks, so I guess we ought to get your stuff soon. How about next Friday? Ask Alice if that is ok for her family."
"What about Diana's?" Rose asked. "If James is meeting Alice, then I want to meet Diana. And Steve."
"Ok, I'll owl Remus, and Ron. But Steve might not even want to come, you know. After all, he won't be starting Hogwarts for another year."
"He'll want to come if he knows I'm going to be there. And James," she added as an afterthought.
"Well, just remember that we do have a lot to get. You need robes and a cauldron and all your books. And a wand, of course. We're not just going for a day out."
"I know that, Mum," Rose replied dismissively. "But owl them anyway."
"I'd better not answer Alice, until you get an answer."
After a lot of owls back and forth, it was eventually agreed that the four families would meet in Diagon Alley on Saturday.
"Is Steve coming?" Rose asked excitedly. "Is he?"
"I don't know," Ginny replied. "I told Ron that you were hoping to meet him, but it is up to him, and his parents. Anyway, Diana will be there. And like I said, we're not going for fun."
"Yeah, but I'm not going to see Steve for ages and ages once I start Hogwarts. Or Jessica either. It's a pity she can't come with us. I'm sure she'd love to see wizarding shops."
"Rose, you know the rules about secrecy from Muggles."
"Yeah, but I don't see why. Anyway, Jessica wouldn't tell anybody. We've a load of secrets, anyway and she never tells any of those."
Rose stopped pleading. There was only so far she could push her mother and she knew it. Any moment now, Ginny would say "how much do you really want to come to Diagon Alley. We could get your things quite easily without you, you know?"
It wasn't even true. She had to be there to get her wand. Everybody knew that. The wand had to choose the wizard, after all. Or the witch, like in this case. But her mother would say it, anyway. It was best not to push your luck. Parents didn't always care if what they were threatening was totally ridiculous.
The fact that she wasn't allowed to tell Jessica about being a witch or to invite her to come to Diagon Alley with them was ridiculous too. After all, Alice's whole family were Muggles and they were allowed to go with her when she got her school stuff. Selina and Tommy didn't even have any reason to be there. They just liked seeing the wizarding world, with all its shops and stuff.
It wasn't that Rose didn't like Alice's brother and sister. Well, Tommy was just a silly little kid, but Selina was ok. She could be good fun and it was fun showing her around the shops and all.
But she wasn't a friend, like Jessica was. It'd be so much fun to show Jessica around the wizarding world and especially to take her into Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes and stock up on joke items together. Unknown to her parents, Rose had taken some of her uncles' items into school more than once and Jessica had been highly impressed by the wonderful things she had.
"I really don't see how that works," she'd marvelled. "Where on earth did you get it?"
Rose had come up with a cover story to answer any questions of that kind. Her uncles owned a joke shop, abroad, she told people, and they often sent her items as presents. It was close enough to the truth. Fred and George did give her joke items as presents, which, she guessed, was why her parents always looked worried when she received a parcel from them.
Fred and George knew that she brought the items into school, but she could trust them not to tell her parents. They encouraged her to break rules and defy her parents, which made them pretty cool uncles to have.
Technically speaking, all items from Weasley's Wizard Wheezes were banned at Hogwarts, but Rose was sure she could sneak a few things in, or perhaps she could convince Fred or George to come and see her at school and to bring her some of their merchandise.
She hoped that she would get a chance to talk to them and to look around their shop while they were in Diagon Alley. She knew that they had a lot of stuff to get for school, but surely there would be some time. After all, it would be her last chance to get some shopping done until the Christmas holidays. Fred and George might have a Hogsmeade branch, but that wasn't much good if you were only a 1st year and weren't allowed into Hogsmeade.
She'd have to tread carefully, though. There was always the danger of her mother or father asking, "why do you want to go there anyway? You know you aren't allowed to bring any of the items to school with you," if she pleaded too much or of Hermione getting suspicious and warning the other teachers. She'd just have to stress how much she wanted to see her favourite uncles, but for some reason, her mother usually seemed suspicious of that line.
The best thing to do, she decided, was to be totally casual about it. If she seemed too anxious, people were likely to start asking questions.
"Do you think we might have a moment to drop in and see Fred and George while we're in London?" she asked.
"We'll see, love," Ginny replied distractedly. "We do have quite a lot to do on Saturday, you know. But if we get a chance, we'll call in."
It wasn't quite the answer that Rose would have chosen, but it'd have to do for the moment. She just work on hurrying things up when they got there. Oh, perhaps there was one other thing she could do to help her case.
She rushed into her brother's bedroom.
"What do you want?" he asked, shoving the letter he was reading under his pillow.
"What's that?" Rose asked, temporarily deflected from her task.
"Nothing. It's just a letter from Alice. None of your business."
"A love letter?" Rose teased.
"NO! If you must know, she was just telling me something about her grandmother. It's nothing you'd even be interested in anyway, but she doesn't want the whole school knowing her business."
"I'm not the whole school!"
"Look, Rose, just tell me what you came in here for. I'm sure you didn't just come to ask how I am."
"Well, I was just wondering if Selina and Tommy are coming with us on Saturday."
James shrugged. "Alice didn't say anything one way or the other, but I expect they are. They usually do, don't they?"
"I bet they'd like to see Fred and George's shop again," Rose said slyly. "Did you tell Alice about those new disappearing drinks?"
"I don't think so. Strangely enough, Rose, I do have more interesting things to write about than Fred and George's new items, cool and all as they may be."
"NOTHING is more interesting than Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes items. I can't believe that you've spent three years at Hogwarts and you still don't see the need for them."
"Well, that's why you're their favourite, I guess," James replied flatly.
"Yeah, well, you're Granddad's favourite, especially since you started doing Muggle Studies. Anyway," Rose returned the conversation to it's point; "you should tell Alice about those disappearing drinks. I bet Selina and Tommy would love to see them," Rose stressed before rushing out of his room again.
It was always a help to have support when you started agitating for something.