The Promise of Pranks
When Rebecca, Hugo, and Lily reached the common room, they were greeted by Fred’s shouting voice.
“How could you two be so
selfish and immature that you would jeopardize the biggest Quidditch match of the season? Did you even think
about how much work and effort went into this game, from each and every member of our team? And you two blew the entire
thing over a stupid argument! Did you know that if it weren’t for you two, we would have won that Quidditch match? YOU COST GRYFFINDOR ITS VICTORY!”
Emily and Andrew looked just as awful as they had back on the pitch, if not worse. They stood side by side, frigid with anger at the closeness, but heads bowed in shame all the same. Fred looked livid. Lily found herself edging a good ten feet around him, pressed up against the wall. The rest of the Gryffindor team was spread out on couches, warming their hands over the fire, and glaring at the two figures in the middle of the room. Spectators from the match looked on with a mixture of anger and amusement. Fred cleared his throat. His voice was still shaking with rage, but he was a bit calmer.
“Now, this is a team, not a dictatorship, so I can not throw you off the team.” Andrew and Emily let out obvious sighs of relief. Fred raised an eyebrow. “But your team can.” Emily’s head shot up and she looked at her brother, eyes wide and lips parted in surprise, and Andrew’s face changed from surprise to anger to anxiousness within a record time of three seconds. They both turned simultaneously to the members of the team grouped around the fire, all of whom looked vaguely surprised.
The entire Gryffindor house seemed to be watching the team as they sat there. James raised a hand cautiously into the air. Fred sighed, as if he were afraid to let him ask his question.
“Yes, James?” He asked wearily. James cleared his throat.
“Can we just vote one
of them off?” He asked, glaring at one of the two. And it wasn’t his cousin…
“No.” Fred said sternly. “If anyone goes, they both go. They’re both to blame. It wasn’t just one person’s fault.” Andrew looked slightly surprised, and Emily looked furious.
“How could you-” She began, but Al interrupted her.
“Oi, Em!” He said loudly. “We’re about to decide if you’re getting chucked off the team. I’d shut my gob if I were you.” Emily looked like she was going to argue, but shut her mouth all the same. Suddenly Tray Coldwell stood up.
“All in favor of having both suspended?” He asked loudly. The entire common room fell silent as each and every member of Gryffindor watched the team members. Emily and Andrew looked like two criminals waiting for their sentence. Lily held her breath as Tray slowly raised his hand.
He was the only one.
Emily and Andrew both let out a sigh of relief, glanced at each other, and edged away rapidly, horrified that they had done something simultaneously. The only thing they were to agree on was how much they loathed each other. Lily could tell that Emily was ready to dance, but she had to refrain from doing so. The whole team still looked murderous.
Everyone in the room knew why Tray had been the only one to vote them off. It was because of Emily. The Weasley-Potter family was too close to ever do something like that to one another, and Emily was generally well-liked. Even Andrew must’ve known that if it were up to the team, he would be kicked off, and Emily would stay. He had been saved by Emily, and it must have been because of that fact that he glared at her so ferociously.
Suddenly John stood up, looking at his older brother for permission to speak. Fred granted it with a nod. John stood awkwardly for a moment, and then said,
“Suspension is too harsh, and despite their problems, we have two great beaters.” The team nodded in unison. “But-” Emily’s head jerked up, and Andrew froze. “I think they should still be punished.” There were several shouts of agreement, and not all of them came from the team. Fred sent all the spectators a glare before nodding at John.
“Good idea.” He said. He turned to the two beaters. “Professor McGonagall gave you punishment, right?” He asked them. Andrew nodded frantically, as if hoping this would save him from any more torture. Emily knew Fred. She didn’t even try. Andrew was the one who spoke up first.
“She gave us both detentions for the rest of the month, cleaning chalkboards… together.” Andrew grimaced, as if this last part of the punishment was the worst part. And Lily was sure that, to the two of them, it was.
“And she took away twenty house-points each.” Emily added sourly. There were several groans all around, and the team looked, if possible, even angrier.
“Well, then,” Fred said bitterly. “I guess you’ll agree that a punishment is very much deserved.” He crossed his arms. “Let’s see, we can’t use you for bludger practice, seeing as you are
our beaters, but I could always make you run-” There was the sound of a throat being cleared and everyone looked around. James and John had stood. Lily glanced at Rebecca and saw a satisfactory grin spread across her face. She noticed that many of the other Gryffindors had the same exact expression.
“Well,” James said with relish. “John and I think that whatever this punishment is going to be, it should be embarrassing and torturous to them, but also entertaining to us. That way, it’ll be twice as much fun, and they’ll learn their lesson by being mocked for the rest of their natural-born lives.” There were several shouts of laughter, which were quieted when John spoke up.
“What about,” He exchanged a glance with James. “We have them snog each other?”
Andrew and Emily had both thrown their hands into the air, looking stubborn and defeated. James and John looked slightly put out, and there was laughter around the room again. Fred shook his head.
“We’re not going to make you snog.” He said. Both players looked relieved. Fred turned back to the ‘Marauders’. “Whatever they do should be productive to our team. We don’t want them to hate each other even more than they already do! We want them to learn to get along.” Emily snorted and Andrew coughed. Fred rolled his eyes.
“Well, we want them to refrain from attacking each other again.” He corrected himself. Lily shook her head and laughed quietly. She felt someone tug on her arm and saw Hugo nod towards the other corner of the room, where Zoe, Elizabeth, and Grace were all watching the scene with amused faces.
“We should tell them about Professor Jinkston.” He whispered, and Lily was suddenly forced to remember what they had discovered not twenty minutes ago. She nodded and the three of them made their way over to the girls.
“Hey.” Lily said quietly. They all looked up at her. Zoe looked like she was ready to start screaming something about fuzzy bunnies or some other madness, but Lily cut her off. “We have some new information concerning the murder.” She said. The girls looked up excitedly.
“Professor Jinkston is involved.” Rebecca said urgently. The others looked utterly stunned. They looked at Lily, silently asking her to confirm it.
“It’s true.” She said earnestly. And she, Rebecca, and Hugo found themselves retelling the entire story. By the time they had finished, the other three girls acted as if they had known it all along.
“I always thought she was a bit suspicious.” Zoe said confidently. Liz nodded vigorously.
“Yeah,” Grace agreed. “Do you remember on the first day when Carter and his three witless wonders lied about their names?” Lily nodded, and Grace opened her mouth to continue, but was interrupted by a loud snort. Everyone turned to see Rebecca in fits of laughter.
She repeated, clutching her stomach. Lily rolled her eyes and grinned and Grace continued.
“And then, even though they had lied about their names, she still knew exactly
who they were?” Grace raised her eyebrows and waited for a response. Lily suddenly remembered that day, and how she had thought it was suspicious as well.
“Do you think she’s watching us all?” She asked anxiously. “Do you think she had already been watching Carter and getting all his background information and everything?” She looked around and saw Rebecca punch the air.
Carter’s next!” She said cheerfully. The five of them laughed as she continued to celebrate.
“Seriously, though-” Lily interrupted Rebecca’s antics and everyone turned to look at her. “We need to do something. Jinkston was sending a message to Pince- they’re planning something- probably the next murder. We need to tip of the headmaster, and he’ll take care of it.”
Everyone nodded in agreement, and Liz immediately ducked down and pulled out a piece of parchment, a quill, and some ink.
“The sooner we get started, the better.” She said urgently, pushing the parchment over to Grace and handing her the quill. “Grace can write it- she has really neat handwriting.” Grace gave a lopsided smile and dipped the quill into the inkbottle. She perched the quill at the ready in the top left-hand corner and looked at the others.
“Alright, what should it say?” She asked. Lily stood up and began to pace back and forth.
“Well, we can’t directly accuse Madam Pince or Professor Jinkston. My diar- I mean, I
don’t think they’d believe us. But if we just mention that there’s been a murder, they’ll be forced to look into it.” Lily blushed slightly. She had almost said, 'my diary thinks...' That would have sounded ridiculous, and maybe expose her secret. She'd have to be careful what she said from now on.
“That’s a good idea.” Liz said with a nod. “That way we can let them reach their own conclusions, so they’ll think they
were the ones who caught the murderers, so they won’t have to admit that some first years figured it out before them.” Lily nodded.
“And we can’t put our names!” Hugo said urgently. “If the headmaster shows the letter to the staff, and Madam Pince or Professor Jinkston sees it, we’re all goners.” He looked at the others earnestly.
“Right,” Lily agreed. “We’ll use initials.” Rebecca let out a huffy breath and rolled her eyes.
“Are we going to write this sodding letter or sit here talking about it all day?”
So the six of them then spent the next half hour constructing a letter to the headmaster. The common room slowly emptied around them as the Gryffindors filtered out, heading to dinner or the library, until finally Grace held up the completed letter.
Dear Professor Plinius,
It has come to our recent
attention that there has been a scandalous
murder, at the hands of two members of your staff. The student in question is said to have been transferred to another school, when in fact she was taken into captivity and tortured by one or more of your staff evil staff members. We beg of you to have this horrendous affair looked into, for the students’ own safety. We have sent this
letter to ensure
that something this horrible
will never happen again.
We remain your most trusted
P.S. It isn’t on the letter, but are kangaroos aloud as pets?
P.P.S. Please ignore P.S.
Lily looked over the completed letter and shook her head in exasperation.
“Really, Zoe- kangaroos?
” She said, giving the girl a look. Zoe just shrugged sheepishly.
“What? I was just wondering.”
“Alright, Harry, Ron, you two stay together.
what happened last year, and we don’t want to have to go through all that paperwork again, alright?” Ginny fixed her brother and husband with a fierce stare as she began to dig through her purse.
“Gin, we’re not idiots- we’re not going to get arrested again.” Harry argued. Ginny gave him an exasperated look.
“Yeah!” Ron chimed in. “We’ve learned our lesson! How were we supposed to know that muggle malls don’t let you set off some harmless Weasleys’ Wild-fire Whiz-bangs?” Ginny glared at him and then turned to Harry.
“I’m sure Harry
must’ve known, seeing as he was raised
by muggles.” Ginny said testily.
“Hey, the Dursleys never took me shopping!” Harry cried indignantly.
“Yes, and no running up the down escalator either!” Hermione added as she bustled into the room, her small lump barely visible underneath her heavy muggle coat.
“Or down the up escalator.” Ginny added, throwing a scarf over her shoulders and hurrying out of the room to grab her gloves.
“And don’t you dare
put lingerie into random passersby’s carts again!” Hermione threatened. “And don’t
set all the alarm clocks in housewears to go off every other minute!” Harry and Ron shared an amused glance as Ginny came back into the room.
“Yes, for someone who claims to know barely anything about muggles, it’s amazing how you figured out how to set up the alarms in the first place.” She said with raised eyebrows. Harry crossed his arms stubbornly.
an alarm clock, for your information.” He argued. Ginny just rolled her eyes as she pulled on her gloves.
“And there will be absolutely no
nose-picking in front of the security cameras!” She added in a furious tone. Harry laughed and Ron tried his best to defend himself.
“I didn’t know the little box could record you! I thought it was a funny-shaped mirror!” He said crossly. Harry continued to laugh and Hermione wrinkled her nose as she pulled Ginny’s shopping list of the refrigerator and handed it to her.
“And I swear to Merlin, if you set up a battlefield in the toy store again using action figures, it’ll be the last thing you ever do!” Ginny said severely, taking the list from Hermione and folding it neatly and sticking it in her purse.
“That was two
years ago!” Harry argued. “And I was winning!”
“That’s only because you had those dragon-things on your side.”
“The package said dinosaurs.”
“Shows how much muggles know.”
“Alright!” Ginny interrupted them. “Here is some muggle money for you two. And remember, you are only to buy things for other people.
You aren’t allowed to get anything for yourself.” Ginny was very stern on this point.
“Why did we only get fifty?” Harry demanded as he looked at the fifty pound note in his hand.
“Because,” Hermione said bluntly. “Last time we gave you two hundred and you bought have of the candy store!” Harry and Ron suddenly got dreamy expressions on their faces.
“Oh yeah, I remember that.” Ron said, licking his lips. “But they made rather nice presents.” Hermione glared at him.
have if you hadn’t eaten most of them!” She said loudly. “And please
get Rose something like jewelry or a book! She’s not a little girl anymore! You can’t keep buying her dolls!” Ron grimaced.
“You’re right- I should get her a big fat lump of coal.” He said sourly as his face darkened.
“Ron- you don’t know anything about Scorpius, remember?” Ginny reprimanded him. “So you just have to act like nothing’s wrong!” Ron glared at her and she rolled her eyes.
“Alright, let’s go.” She said in defeat. “Ron, Harry- please
don’t do anything stupid!” She said in a pleading voice as she grabbed Hermione’s arm and got ready to disapparate.
“Ginny, really,” Harry said angelically. “What could we possibly
Ginny and Hermione marched angrily into the custody office in the mall’s basement after hearing the announcement over the loudspeaker. A balding man waved cheerfully at them.
“Hello Mrs. Weasley, Mrs. Potter! It’s that time of year again, eh?” He said cheerfully as he opened the barred door for them.
“Hello, Greg.” Ginny said with a sigh. “What did they do this time?” She asked as Hermione made her way over to the counter and retrieved two small packets of paperwork.
“Well,” Greg said as he scratched his beard. “First they were playing with the calculators and making them all spell obscene words, and then they were spraying all the perfume in the bath and body section all over the place, and then Mr. Weasley tried to stuff Mr. Potter into a gym bag, and vice versa, and then they set up a battlefield in the toy store again-” Ginny groaned. “And then they proceeded to take bets on it, and managed to knock down a shelf full of toys, and they took a pair of bicycles for a ‘test-drive’.” Greg’s eyes were sparkling with amusement as Ginny and Hermione finished signing the paperwork and handed it to him.
“Thank you for putting up with them.” Hermione said as the man went to unlock the small cell where Ron and Harry were sulking miserably. They looked up at the sound of the door unlocking and jumped up eagerly.
“You came!” They cried out in unison. Hermione and Ginny exchanged an exasperated look before they each reached out and grabbed their husbands by their ears.
As they marched out of the small room and through the food court, there was suddenly a lot of screaming coming from one of the stores. Ginny and Hermione’s eyes flashed as they turned to Harry and Ron, who looked completely confused. They suddenly heard one voice cry out,
“Someone get help! He’s having an allergic reaction to some candy! His tongue it swelling fast!”
Ron suddenly paled and checked his coat pocket, only to stick his fingers through the large, gaping hole at the bottom. The four shoppers looked at each other for a moment, before Harry and Ron bowed their heads and pulled up their collars.
“Just walk away.” They advised their wives. “Just walk away.”
“I can’t believe it! There were over twenty fouls in that game, and Professor Krum didn’t call a single one!” Rebecca said fiercely, slamming her fist down on the table. Lily groaned as her goblet was upset and spilled pumpkin juice over the table.
“Yes, Rebecca, we know-” Hugo said wearily. “Thanks to your brilliant commentary during the match, I could hardly hear Olivier!” Rebecca didn’t seem to hear him.
“You know the only reason why Krum didn’t call the fouls, right? He was too busy staring at Professor Jinkston- yeah, the murderer! And Olivier didn't bring attention to anything because Jewel Darcy, is a conniving, wicked little wench!” Rebecca looked rather terrifying, and Lily saw Liz and Grace actually edge away from her.
“I take it you don’t think too much of her.” Zoe said with her eyes sparkling. Rebecca shot her a glare.
“No, I don’t. Did you notice the team she put together this year? I heard that there were lots of good players that got turned away, and the ones she picked aren’t too good. But do you realize what every single one of those team members has in common?”
Lily frowned and thought. There was the very popular seventh year captain, Jewel Darcy, who seemed to get away with anything, and then the two sixth year Stuart twins, who were identical and very pretty, and then there was that rather good-looking beater, and-
“They’re all good-looking.” Lily said suddenly. It was true. The team that Jewel had put together this year was made up of extremely pretty girls and cute boys. “And Olivier didn’t point out any of the fouls Ravenclaw made because he likes Jewel?” Rebecca nodded and Lily snorted.
“That's sick, Olivier liking her?
and Professor Krum didn't- wait- Professor Krum was staring at Professor Jinkston?” Lily said. Rebecca shrugged.
“Maybe he likes bad girls.” She said. Lily wrinkled her nose.
“Ew… I’ll never be able to look at him the same way again…”
“Hey-” Hugo said suddenly with a grin on his face. “Imagine the stuff Gryffindor could get away with if we had Juliet on the team!”
Rebecca visibly flinched. Lily had to hold back her laughter. Apparently Rebecca didn’t like the thought of Gryffindor playing for looks any more than she liked Jewel Darcy.
“I would kill your brother if he ever let that idiot get on the team!” Rebecca said. Hugo looked upset.
“Hey, she’s not entirely stupid! She’s just annoying!” He argued back. Rebecca rolled her eyes.
“We already have one annoying team member, we most certainly do not need another one.” She said, taking a bite of pudding.
"Besides-" Lily said. "Olivier wouldn't have any qualms yelling at Juliet for getting fouls." Hugo opened his mouth to say something, but Liz interrupted them.
“So, what are you doing over the holidays?” She asked loudly, and the bickering pair turned to look at her.
“Hugo and I always spend Christmas at the Burrow with the family.” Lily said with an encouraging look from the girl. “What about you?” Liz smiled pleasantly.
“Oh, I’m going to go back home as well. I miss my parents terribly.” She said as she took a sip of pumpkin juice.
“I’m going home as well.” Grace said. “I have to tell my family all about what I’ve been up to. I tend to get off track in my letters, and I’m sure they want to hear about all of you.” She grinned at everyone.
“Yeah, I’m going home as well.” Rebecca said when Lily turned to look at her. “There’s nothing to do here, with everyone gone.”
“I’m staying.” Zoe said with a sigh. “Zeb is too, so I can just hang with him, I guess. I just hope none of the witless wonders are staying as well, or you may come back to find that I have thrown myself off the Astronomy tower.” Lily and Hugo laughed, and Rebecca patted her on the arm.
“I’d stay- but you annoy the hell out of me sometimes.” She said bluntly. Zoe flashed her a grin.
Lily laughed along with the others, but the laughter was cut short when the Headmaster suddenly stood up and cleared his throat. Lily turned to look at him curiously. It was very rare that the headmaster made a speech during an everyday meal. His usual, cheerful face had been replaced by a rare stern one, and he scanned the hall accusingly. Lily had a feeling that whatever this announcement was about, it wasn’t going to be a happy one. Finally, when she was certain she wouldn’t be able to take the suspense any longer, the headmaster spoke.
“I have recently received a letter of a most unsettling nature.” He said loudly, and most everyone in the hall looked at the Professor curiously. Lily, however, glanced quickly at the others seated with her, and they all seemed to understand. The Professor continued.
“The letter was a pointless prank from some students, who have made an appalling accusation.” Lily’s eyes widened. That wasn’t how they had meant it at all! It wasn’t a prank! She felt Rebecca shift in the seat beside her. The Headmaster looked over the hall.
“They thought it was funny to accuse one of my staff of murder.” There was a sudden outbreak of talking amongst the students, and several gasps, but Lily wasn’t really paying attention. She was watching Professor Jinkston, seeing as Madam Pince hardly came to meals. The Professor’s head had snapped towards the headmaster at the news, and she too began to scan the hall. Suddenly she met Lily’s eye, and Lily dropped her gaze.
This was not good.
Rebecca, Hugo, and Lily exited the Great Hall together in complete silence. Lily was sure that they were all thinking about the same thing- the murder. Lily was sure that sending a letter to the headmaster would solve all their problems, but now, besides from being no closer to exposing Pince and Jinkston, they knew that someone was onto them. Lily was about to say something to the others when there was suddenly a loud shout.
Lily screamed and covered her head as a shower of dungbombs cascaded down upon the three of them. Rebecca jumped out of the way just in time, and Hugo merely stood there stupidly, unfortunately with his mouth open.
When the dungbombs stopped falling, Lily straightened up and her nostrils dilated as the horrible smell reached her nose. Hugo spat some dung out of his mouth, and Lily wrinkled her nose. Over to her left, the witless wonders themselves were laughing- all sodding four of them- including the most elusive Ravenclaw, Thomas Johnson.
“You think that’s funny, do you?” Rebecca asked fiercely as she stood up and dusted herself off. Lucky for her, she hadn’t gotten a spot of dung on her. Carter met her glare quite calmly.
“Yes,” He said cockily. “I do.” Rebecca took a step forward and rolled up her sleeves.
“Yeah, well do you know what I think is funny? Your nose getting broken, that’s what I think.” Tiernan had a look of vague surprise on his face as he ruffled his black hair.
“You think?” He repeated. “That’s new!” All four of them laughed heartily at his comment, and Rebecca flared up at once. She made to move forward but Lily reached out a hand and pulled her back.
“Rebecca, don’t. He’s not worth it.” She muttered. Rebecca tried to shove her off, but she held firm. Carter laughed out loud.
“What’s the matter Ginger? Are you scared of getting into trouble?” He teased her. She really had absolutely no idea what to say. If she were like Rebecca, she could’ve come up with a great comeback, but all she could do was ignore him.
“Come on,” She said quietly to Rebecca. “Let’s go.” Rebecca threw her arm off.
“No.” She said firmly. Lily looked back at Hugo for help, but he was still too busy spitting dung out of his mouth. She turned back to Carter, frustrated.
“I thought you were going to leave us alone.” She said fiercely. “Or do you want another bad day?” She was hoping that reminding them of the horrible day they had had would keep them from fighting. But Carter looked completely unfazed.
“Listen,” O’Malley said, wearing his goofy grin. “You got us, we admit it- but at least when we don’t need our older brother and cousins to fight our battles for us. We can manage ourselves.” Lily scowled at him.
“We can manage ourselves too.” She said haughtily. “It’s not our fault that we have more friends than you.” Lily was slightly proud of this statement. It hadn’t been a very good comeback, but it was a start. At least she was saying something.
“Yeah right,” Carter laughed. “You couldn’t pull any decent pranks without the help of your idiot cousins.” Lily glared at him and crossed her arms defiantly.
“Wanna bet?” She challenged. Rebecca looked pleased as some action was finally happening. Tiernan grinned.
“Sure-” He said smugly. “If you’re sure you want to risk it. Remember what happened last time we made a bet. You might go and kill yourself.” Lily had a sudden vision of falling off a speeding broom. She crossed her arms and looked Tiernan straight in the eye.
“Don’t count on it.” Tiernan smirked and Carter laughed. He stepped up and grinned cockily.
“Alright, after the holidays, we’ll set a date, and we will have a competition. Whoever can come up with the best pranks wins the challenge.” Lily raised an eyebrow.
“Who will judge?” She asked. Carter frowned.
“Uh- the students of Hogwarts will!” He said, waving his arms around. Lily gave him a confused look.
“How exactly will that work?” She asked, uncrossing her arms. O’Malley stepped in.
“Well, when we prank each other, we make sure they are well-publicized, and then whichever is talked about the most is obviously the best.” Lily frowned.
“That’s stupid.” She said. It was- there were so many people, and who knew if they’d talk about the pranks at all. And she didn’t really fancy this whole ‘well-publicized’ idea. Carter rubbed the back of his neck.
“Alright- we’ll work out the details later. But you have the holidays to think up some good pranks. When we come back, we’ll be able to discuss a day, conditions, and a prize.” Rebecca seemed to straighten up at this last word, and Lily nodded.
“See you then.” She said, and the boys walked away, giving each other high-fives and laughing. Rebecca seemed to relax a bit. She grinned and thumped Lily on the back.
“Way to go- that was great.” She said. Lily smiled at her. Hugo wandered over, still spitting dung out of his mouth.
“That was disgusting!” He said, and Lily looked down as she remembered that she was also covered in the stuff.
“So,” Hugo wiped his eyes. “What I miss?”
“Rose, did you remember dad’s Christmas present?”
“Yeah, it’s in my trunk. Where’s James?”
“I’m right here.”
“What on earth are you wearing?”
“It’s an elf hat! I’m trying to get into the spirit!”
“Well take it off, it looks ridiculous!”
“No! John’s wearing one too!”
“Merlin, help us!”
“What? Don’t I look fashionable?”
“You look ridiculous, now take it off!”
“Has anyone seen my other glove? It looks like this.”
“Uh, no. No- of course I haven’t!”
“John, give it!”
“I don’t have it!”
“Now!” The entrance hall was particularly loud and busy. Lily couldn’t hear anything besides her cousins’ bickering. Emily had taken to chasing John around the hall, trying to get her glove back, and Rose was attempting to get James to take off his absurd hat. Lily felt an arm around her shoulders and turned to see Al watching the chaos with a smile on his face.
“Really brings out the holiday spirit, eh, little sis?” He said. Lily rolled her eyes and shrugged off his arm. He pretended to look offended.
“Lily! Don’t you love me anymore?” He asked, looking hurt. Lily glared at him and he put his hands up defensively.
“Geez, I’m just being friendly. I didn’t know my little sister was a Scrooge.” He grinned and took off, hands in his pockets. Lily sighed and pulled her trunk across the hall towards Hugo, who was trying to tie his shoe with his mittens on. Lily sighed and bent down.
“Here, let me.” She said in an exasperated voice. Hugo gave her a grateful look, but couldn’t speak due to the scarf wrapped tightly around his face.
“Rose get to you?” She asked sympathetically. Rose possessed a very motherly-like nature and tended to be a bit over-nurturing. Poor Hugo was her little brother, and she felt it her responsibility to care for him while he was away from home. Hugo nodded sadly.
“Well I’d free you, but she’d probably come after me next.” She said cheerfully, patting him on his hatted head. He glared at her and she sighed.
“Oh, alright, I’ll help you.” She glanced around quickly and saw that Rose was still hunting down James. She quickly pulled off Hugo’s mittens for him and pulled off three of his hats and loosened his scarf. “There.” She said, throwing them to him. “But if she asks, you managed it on your own.”
“I can breathe!” Hugo said, taking a deep breath. “I can breathe!” Lily grinned as Fred came up to them, laughing at Hugo.
“I feel bad for you, mate.” He said to his cousin. He winked at Lily. “But it’s awfully entertaining for the rest of us.” Lily raised an eyebrow.
“Would you like me to tell Rose that you said that?” She asked teasingly. Fred’s eyes widened.
“No, no, no! I’m sorry, Hugo, buddy old pal. I’ve never laughed at you in my life.” He winked at Lily again and trotted off, hands in his pockets. Lily laughed and turned to Hugo, who was looking sour.
“Just think- in a couple days we’ll be at the Burrow eating grandmother’s roast turkey and mashed potatoes.” She said, putting a comforting arm around Hugo. His face got a dreamy expression on it and he licked his lips.
“All students that are leaving on the afternoon train, please come this way!” Professor McGonagall’s voice rang out over the bustle of the hall, and the crowd started to slowly move towards the two large doors.
Lily grinned at Hugo and grabbed her trunk, heaving it across the floor along with everyone else. To her surprise, Professor McGonagall stopped her by the doors. Lily’s heart jumped and her first thought was that she had found out who wrote the letter, but she didn’t say anything about it.
“I’m just reminding you that the detention you and Mr. Carter received for flying without the teacher’s permission will take place when you return from the holidays.” She said, looking at Lily over her spectacles. Lily was surprised. She had completely forgotten that she still had that detention. She had no idea why they were doing it so late. But she knew that it was not going to be fun.
“Have a nice holiday.” The Professor said, giving her a nod. Lily gave a nervous half-smile and continued on her way, wondering if the detention would be the ideal time to discuss the Prank War.
“What did she want?” Hugo asked Lily as he fell back beside her.
“I have that detention with Carter when we come back, for the first bet.” She explained. Hugo nodded in understanding. They walked in silence for a moment, and Lily noticed that he was frowning.
“What’s wrong?” She asked curiously. Hugo looked back up at her.
“Do you think it’s a sign?” He asked. Lily was confused.
“Do I think what’s a sign?” She asked. Hugo gave an exasperated sigh.
“McGonagall giving you a detention!” He said. Lily frowned, utterly lost.
“What? Why would that be a- a ‘sign’ or whatever?” She asked. Hugo sighed again.
“Like, what if something’s trying to warn you against the prank war? You know, you’re being reminded that you actions have consequences, and this war thing could end up just as bad as last time, if not worse!” Lily stared at him.
“You aren’t making any sense.” She said. Hugo growled.
“Fine then, don’t listen to me.” He said grumpily. Lily rolled her eyes and opened her mouth when suddenly she was interrupted.
“Hugo! Where are your hats? And why aren’t you wearing your mittens?” Rose had caught up to them. Hugo’s eyes widened and he pointed at Lily.
“She stole them from me! She said she wanted me to freeze!” He exclaimed. Rose glared at her. Lily’s eyes widened.
“Fred told me too!” She said desperately. Rose raised an eyebrow as she glared at them.
Ten minutes later when Lily boarded the train, she, Hugo, and Fred were all bundled up like they were planning an expedition to the North Pole. Fred turned to Lily and glared. His voice was very muffled by his four scarves, but Lily managed to make out his next comment.
“Thanks a lot.”
Okay- here’s the next chapter. I hope you like it. I’d like to thank ShadowedDark
for the magnificent Prank War idea. Also, a thanks to my new beta, Silver Rain
! And I’d also like to thank all of my avid readers and reviewers. And next chapter will be very fun- Christmas at the Burrow. Sorry this chapter’s a bit short, but I’ll try and get the next one out relatively quickly. Thanks again for reading, and please leave a review!