Chapter 1 : License to Apparate
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“Abort! Abort! All units return to head quarters instantly!” hissed a voice in my ear. Damn. I was so close to catching my first mass murderer too. Seriously, Rose had busted a smuggling circuit and brought in a neo Death Eater at my age! Don’t even get me started on what Dom accomplished before he turned seventeen. Ergh.
I stopped myself from actually growling, so I felt entitled to poke my tongue out. It’s not like Uncle Ron could actually see me.
“Watch it, Roxy!”
Crap. He really can see for miles and miles. Bloody war heroes and their freaky powers. I hate my family. I quickly reached for my charmed earrings and deactivated the spells linking me to the family network before anyone remembered that I technically wasn’t supposed to be on patrol tonight.. or any night for that matter. Being the baby of the family apparently equals shameless hypocrisy and unbelievable mollycoddling from the ridiculously numerous members of said family. Never mind the fact my parents were fighting a war at my age and that every one of my cousins got to do a spot of field work before officially coming of age, no, everyone make sure Roxy is in bed on time.
I slipped my wand back into its sheath and let the Disillusioning Charm fade. No point really, if I’m just going to trot back to Hogwarts like a good little girl. Unless…
There was a soft vibration in my pocket and I rummaged around for its source, knowing I would almost definitely regret opening it – and yes, it was my darling brother Fred glaring out at me when I flipped open my compact. It wasn't the prettiest sight. I definitely got the good looking genes in the family. Fred just got the business acumen blah blah. Also the ability to do killing impersonations of Grandma Molly on the war path. Which is most of the time. I cut him off mid rant,
“Ok, alright Mum, I’m going back to school now, happy?”
I shoved the mirror back in my pocket without waiting for his reply. I spared a glance for my surroundings, your fairly standard remote forest scene crooks tended to favour for the secret rendezvous in which they plan various nefarious activities. At the snapping of twigs to my left I turned so fast I hurt my neck, reaching for my wand as I peered through the enveloping fog. The moment I was sure it was getting louder, and headed in my direction, I turned on the spot and Disapparated. Don’t get me wrong, I am more than a match for any petty crook idiotic enough to lurk in woods, but I rather fancy my head attached to my neck and all. Messing with Uncle Ron’s orders might interfere with that.
In fact, when it came down to it, this whole mess that is my life is all Uncle Ron's fault. Sure, Uncle Harry killed the Dark Lord and saved the world, but Uncle Ron had to go start the Weasley Wizarding Army and try and take over the world. It was for a good reason – at least, I’m sure he thought it was at the time – but to say it’s got a little out of hand is an understatement.
It all started when Aunt Hermione was elected Minister for Magic. She’s a lot of firsts, Hermione is, first woman to achieve a perfect NEWT score, first campaigner for elvish rights, first female Minister of Magic and first Muggleborn Minister of Magic. She’s also the first to need her own bodyguard.
The first assassination attempt stunned the family. I was about ten at the time, so they tried to keep it from me, but come on, I'm George Weasley’s daughter. I have my ways of acquiring information. A combination of Undetectable Extendable Ears, Invisible Eyes on a String and magimuggle recording devices worked a treat. The wizarding world has always been a bubbling cauldron of contradictions, but since the last war it’s only got worse. Between the old school pockets of hatred for muggleborns and the newschool hatred of allowing anyone – even the great Harry Potter or the almost royal Weasley family – too much power, Hermione was always going to have her work cut out for her.
Converting the entire extended Potter-Weasley family into a secret army was just one of the measures the Golden Trio thought necessary to achieve any sort of change. I wouldn’t mind at all, if only they’d stop being ridiculous and let me join already. Rose gets to travel the world as a journalist, incidentally scooping up nuggets of information to send back to the family. James does almost the same with gossip, he has contacts with every influential Quidditch player known to man – he is, after all, one of the best. Fred and Hugo are the youngest business tycoons in the wizarding world and are happy to do their ‘duty’ by the family by throwing and attending exclusive, obscenely expensive parties. Molly knows everyone in magical law; Lucy is loved by everyone who works with her in the Ministry. Lily keeps an eye on the old pureblood families for us, her husband Scorpius none the wiser. Victoire charms men and Dom women into giving them information, or Louis breaks into their house and retrieves it. Even Albus reports back on strange injuries and mass attacks he hears about at St Mungo’s, where he works as a Healer.
I could do all sorts of things – after all, Hogwarts is a hot spot of gossip and intrigue, never mind all the recruits I could gather to our cause – but no, no one will let me do anything except clean their communication devices and repair their Concealment Cloaks and Soundless Slippers. I am so ready to turn seventeen already!
The closest I could Apparate to the school was in the village, and even there I had to be careful no one sees me. Just because I don’t have the distinctive Weasley flaming locks doesn’t mean half the wizarding world isn’t familiar with my face.
‘Accio broom’ I muttered, and my beautiful baby – a Cirrus 3000 – came zooming out of the bushes I had concealed it in. It’s tricky to perform an Invisibility Charm forty feet above the ground, but have you tried making sure your invisible self is properly astride an invisible broom before? No? Don’t judge me, then!
I flew as silently as I could over the silent Hogwarts grounds, sparing a wary look for huge white moon watching me as I made for my dorm window. If I hadn’t had a great deal of practice at this, finding the single window in the hundreds, if not thousands, Hogwarts boasts, would have been impossible for me to distinguish the glimmer of glass that was my home from the rest of them. As I tapped my wand against the glass and nothing happened, I almost thought I had got the wrong window.
I looked around me. Top floor of Gryffindor tower, most definitely the girl’s side of the building, it was the right window.. it just wouldn’t open. Bollocks.
“Alohomora,” I tried again, and was unsurprised when it failed. I rapped on the window, peering in to glimpse at my dorm mates slumbering peacefully. Bints hadn’t even bothered to close the curtains. Or had that been me? Nonetheless, the cows didn’t respond, even when I knocked harder. It looked like it would have to be the Astronomy tower, the only place I knew would be open. Please, Merlin, let it be empty. Last time I had to sneak in through that entrance I caught Lily snogging Jaden Wood. They both graduated two years ago, but I’m still scarred for life.
Luckily, it was empty. I toyed with the idea of hiding my broom and retrieving it later, but the thought of my baby gathering dust, or perhaps being touched by some grubby first year brat was too much to bear, so I surreptitiously made my way down the seven flights of stair with it clutched in my hand.
I had made it undetected past the great hall, had successfully avoided any prefects and bribed three portraits and a suit of armour to stay silent and was ready to high five myself when my ducking and weaving failed me. As, apparently, did my Invisibility Charm.
“Roxanne,” a familiar voice drew out my name. I scowled instantly. The red light jokes had been flying thick and fast all my life, it just took until last year and an illuminating introduction to muggle music for me to understand why my darling male cousins sniggered more than usual.
“Teddy,” I said brightly, looking as innocent as a lost little lamb. I've had practice at this, Fred always tried to pin things on me. “I was just -”
“Save it,” he sighed, eyeing the broom I had tried to hide behind my back. “You know you’re not supposed to be sneaking out to patrol yet – and it’s Professor Lupin!” he snapped, suddenly realizing I had again slipped into first name terms. I don’t know what the bloke expects; he’s been around all my life, dated my cousin Vic, made paper kites for me and taken me flying. A couple of measly months as a teacher in Hogwarts really isn’t long enough for me to get used to calling the punk who walked around with turquoise hair for a good four years Professor.
Teddy should just be happy that I’m possibly the only girl in Hogwarts not madly in love with the youngish and supposedly scrumptious History of Magic Professor. Seriously, tall dark and handsome is so 1900s. I prefer dashing pirate types personally, but that’s another story. My life would probably be far easier if Aunt Hermione hadn’t convinced old Professor Binns to retire to ‘write’ a book (they awarded her an Order of Merlin for that) and Teddy wasn’t around keeping tabs on me.
“Please tell me you weren’t trying to cut in on a patrol again,” Teddy sighed. See? He’s the perfect Spymaster. I bet Uncle Harry pulled strings to get him this job so he could keep an eye on Lily and make sure she wasn’t getting up to mischief. As if anyone, even Teddy could ever stop Lily from doing exactly what she wanted.
Teddy’s eyebrows were raised above his usually warm brown eyes, which were currently unpleasantly cynical as he took in the twigs caught in my hair, the head to toe black I had dressed in and the wand sheath I used for special occasions like hexing Hugo to death. Or staking out killers.
“Would I do that, Teddy?” I asked, opening my own eyes wide. Teddy is a helpless sucker for wide eyed damsels in distress. Probably a direct result of being raised by a Black lady and the poster boy for Gryffindor chivalry. Maybe that was why he went out with Victoire back in the day. Vic taught me to use my eyes without mercy, and although I never achieved the general devastation of hearts she did, they had still got me out of a few scrapes.
Teddy tapped his foot impatiently. Not a good sign. He looked tired too, shadows lurking under his eyes in his still unlined face.
“Just go to bed, Roxy,” he said finally, rubbing a hand through his hair, dark brown today.
I couldn’t help the squeal of happiness that escaped me. No death sentence for Roxy, no coded howler from Daddy or broom confiscation! I hugged Teddy, ignored his muffled protest and tripped off to my dormitory before he could change his mind and at least give me detention for wandering about the castle at one in the morning.
However, I had barely turned a corner before I walked straight into six feet four inches of pure idiocy. I panicked for half a second before I recognized the mop of blond curls and the vacant blue gaze.
“Watch where you are going, you stupid twit!” I hissed, whacking him with my broom without thinking.
“What are you doing out so late?” he asked curiously, taking in my ever so slightly disheveled appearance. I resisted the urge to fix my hair. I couldn’t care less how Lysander Scamander, Prat Extraordinaire, saw me.
“None of your business,” I told him, sweeping past with my usual dignity and grace. In a moment of weakness, I turned my head before I rounded a corner and caught him watching me, an annoying smirk on his supposedly chiseled face. I honestly don’t see why his Ravenclaws make such a fuss over him, he’s not even that good looking. I suppose the Head Boy badge equates to good looks and charm in some people’s books – wait, why is the stiff and starched Head Boy walking around long after hours? Before I could put my world class interrogation skills to good use, he had disappeared from sight, but I could still almost see the twinkle in his blue eyes as he strolled off to wherever he was going in the midnight hour. Jerk.
By the time I finally reached the Gryffindor common room, I was not in a mood to be messed with. The Fat Lady still wasn’t talking to me after losing our last sing off, so she let me in without more than a disapproving sniff that spoke volumes.
Exhausted and infuriated by the night’s misadventures, I was all ready to trudge up the stair case and collapse in my nice warm bed, but even this was kept from me. The portrait swung open and I climbed into the common room to be greeted with a truly terrifying sight.
Amara Davies; best friend, unfairly good looking and brilliant daughter of Parvati Patil and Roger Davies, was guarding the entrance to the girls staircase, her Head Girl badge pinned to her flannelette pajamas. Her hands were on her hips and her dark eyes fairly blazing under a case of truly magnificent bed head. Her voice was low and deadly and my days might just be numbered. Or have run out.
“Where have you been?”
Tonight just really wasn’t my night.
A.N: I know I really shouldn't be starting another WIP, but I need a fun piece to balance out all the angst! Did you like/loathe/have suggestions for improvement?
Thankyou Jack, Jane, Elena, Melanie, Kaity, Gubby, Rita, Molly and Ty for all your *ahem* 'help' with the title/summary. ILY!
I own nothing you recognise, both for the Bond and HP empires.
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