Chapter 2 : Of Hiding Spots and Hatred.
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I swear, this is going to take me years to post. Something is going funky with my story. I tried to post it yesterday as well, but that created an error page that I just learned about this morning. I will have it fixed as soon as I figure out how to.
Happy Wizarding Indepence Day to you all, and I hope to get this fixed soon.
Incredible chapter image by xfaydchik6 at TDA. [This depicts Rose!]
All proper young ladies know that when present at an event, whether as a hostess or an attendee, they must be the perfect guest, and they must never disappear from the main party for very long.
I stare at my faded denim-covered legs, digging my hands into the bright green grass in the backyard behind the Burrow. My fingers will be covered in dirt, and I will probably have grass stains on my arse, but it’s preferable to sitting in the living room of the Burrow, talking to Lucy and being criticized by Al and Rose, who will likely be joined by Roxanne now, too. Roxanne is a lot like her brother, Fred; she is playful and fun and she tries her hardest to calm uptight Rosie down. Still, when paired with Rose and Albus, even when they aren’t fussing over me, the trio of fourteen year olds is an obnoxious force to be reckoned with.
Of course, people say the same thing about James, Fred, and I. We aren’t so much obnoxious as we are mischievous, though. No one is ever safe- speaking of which, I absently wonder what prank Fred has decided to set off in the middle of dinner. We always plan a good one for the back-to-Hogwarts celebration. Usually, I’m in charge of the planning, but just this once, I relinquished my powers to Fred. He is almost as good as I am at planning, anyway. James is the sorry organizer.
Most of my extended family arrived for dinner a little while ago; in fact, my branch of the family was among the last members to arrive at the Burrow, but that would be because my mother is, once again, indecisive. She couldn’t decide between a white sundress and a cream sundress- and if you think I’m kidding, you obviously don’t know Fleur Weasley, nee Delacour. She swears there is a difference between colors like butter yellow and butter cream, or beige and ecru; guess what? There isn’t a difference. Unless you use a magnifying charm, which all of the adults in my family are likely capable of doing, even though not one of them care enough to do so.
“What’re you doing out here, Nicky?”
From the use of the ridiculous nickname, I know it’s James. Along with his footsteps is another set, which I assume belong to Fred. I turn around to see my best mates standing behind me, their arms folded across their chests. I raise my eyebrows as I look them up and down; they each sport the same neatly ironed button-ups with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, Fred’s navy blue and James’ scarlet, and their khaki pants appear to be the same, too. Ha, the little gits match. They are always doing that. I think Aunt Angelina and Aunt Ginny shop together or something- I wish they shopped for Louis, too, so he can stop looking like such a fruity French boy. I’ll definitely tease the boys for their matching outfits later. They make it far too easy for me.
“Dom, where are your shoes?” Fred asks. Oh, that’s Fred for you. He plays the I’m-older-than-you-by-just-a-few-months card and treats me like a child sometimes.
Fred is a younger copy of his father, my uncle George, with the same crimson hair that flops sloppily around his face, which is covered in more freckles than I have on my entire body. He is a full head taller than James is (not that it’s a huge feat to be taller than James is, as he, like his parents, is slight and thin) and even a few centimeters taller than me. The pair of cousins look rather odd standing there, such a strong contrast in how they look, but very similar to Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron; everyone always says that, whenever all three of us are together, we so strongly resemble the Golden Trio, even though I look nothing like Aunt Hermione. Of course, that’s hard for us to believe, as the boys prefer to compare us to the Marauders, whose antics from their years at Hogwarts are still remembered very well by Headmistress McGonagall.
“If you guys are going to alert the rest of our family to my presence, I’ll have to seriously damage your reproductive future,” I threaten, turning away from my cousins and falling back into the grass, leaning my head back so I can still see the boys. It has taken me far too long to escape Maman, who is acting as what that book calls my “chaperone”, and now they are going to ruin it for me.
Their eyebrows shoot up in perfect synch, and Fred’s mouth falls open just a little; if they planned to out me to the rest of the Weasleys at the beginning, I definitely changed their minds. I smile contentedly, pressing my shoulder blades into the grass underneath me. My satin blouse is lying in a silky pile a few feet away from me, and the slightly damp grass is poking through my thin tank top into my skin. It’s a comforting feeling, and it is probably behavior that is forbidden in Maman’s book. That makes it even more comforting.
James throws his hands up in front of his chest, walks over next to me, and crouches down on the grass. He puts all of his weight on his feet, probably trying to avoid staining his khakis. If I say anything about the delicate way he is crouching there, he will insist his mother will kill him if he gets grass stains on his new pants, but I know he is just that much of a pretty boy. I will never understand where he gets the pretty boy trait; not one of the men in our family care about grass stains, and neither do a majority of the women. Poor Jamesie.
On my other side, Fred drops down to the ground, not caring a bit what happens to his clothes. In fact, he probably doesn’t consider that the damp grass can damage his khakis at all. His mother, Angelina, never fusses at him; she just seems pleased that he isn’t constantly blowing off his own eyebrows as her husband and his father does.
“We weren’t going to reveal your not-so-secret hiding spot, Dom,” Fred informs me. His voice sounds like he is just a few seconds away from bursting into uncontrollable laughter, even though when he finally does laugh, it will be much unexpected. “Grandmum Weasley already did that. You forget that the kitchen looks out onto the backyard.”
I sit up and turn around to look back at the house. Indeed, there is a square window over the sink in the kitchen, just as there always has been. Behind the window, my grandmother is standing there, washing a few dishes before she serves dinner and watching the three of us with her fading red eyebrows raised. The boys are right. You can’t hide anywhere in this house. It must be that damn clock of Grandmum’s- she has every single one of her grandchildren on the poor thing now, and it’s likely going to run out of room if anyone else gives birth. I wish that clock would just break already. Then Grandmum won’t be able to find me when I’m trying to hide from the rest of my family. Not that I had picked a very subtle hiding place anyway.
“Bollocks,” I mutter.
“Don’t worry, Nick!” James assure me, patting my bare knee, exposed from the gaping hole in my jeans. I grimace; the nicknames only get worse. He smirks at me in his haughty way. “She hasn’t told your mum or Rose yet. You’re safe for at least twenty minutes.”
“Okay then, if you’re not coming to spoil my evening- which I’m sure you’ll be doing sometime soon,” I say playfully, and my faintly crooked smile causes James and Fred to smile along with me. “Why did you come out here? It was so nice, so quiet. Very tranquil.”
Fred rolls his blue eyes, running a hand through his long red hair. “Oh, that’s dragon dung. You hate the quiet, Dom. You were out here to hide from our cousins, not to enjoy the tranquility.” He warps his voice into a shrill, feminine screech for the final word, and then rolls his eyes a second time. How handy it’d be if James and Fred didn’t know me so damn well.
“Hiding from Rose and Albus is a bonus to the tranquility,” I stick my tongue out at Fred for calling me out on my lie. “That’s really not the point. Usually you blokes leave me be when I’m in hiding. What’s the deal?”
Fred and James exchange their oh-shit-she-found-us-out looks back and forth for a few minutes, their eyes widening and filling with water as each one refuses to blink. I know what they are doing; they are having a staring contest. The loser of the childish game is required to explain to me what the hell is going on. They’ve always done this. A few more moments pass, and James finally blinks. He always blinks first, even when we were children. Fred never loses. His father never loses either. It runs in their side of the family.
“Well,” James starts, after shaking his cousin’s hand to admit defeat. He doesn’t look like he wants to tell me this. Whatever it is, it isn’t good. “Rose and Albus-”
“Merde,” I curse. I’m right. It’s definitely not good. It is so far from good, it isn’t even on the same continent as good. Hence the French swearwords. I always break out the French whenever I know something is going to end horribly. That I get from my mother. “Je les déteste.” I don’t even know what my cousins have done yet, but I hate them for it. That’s normal for me, of course.
James gives me a pointed look. He, hypocritically, despises being interrupted. It apparently disrupts his ever-so valuable thinking processes- that believe me, are damaged beyond repair already. “Like I was saying,” James narrows his brown eyes at me. Fred sighs impatiently. He knows as well as I do that this will likely take hours, especially if James is feeling particularly longwinded. “Rose and Albus were talking in the living room, and your mum was nearby. They dropped quite a bomb on poor Auntie Fleur when Grandmum Weasley brought up the Scamanders. I haven’t heard so many French curse words come out of a pretty French girl’s mouth since you broke your arm in the match against Hufflepuff last year.”
My cousin continues to speak, and Fred continues sighing, but I barely hear either of them. A little bomb? The Scamanders? What in the world did they… oh. Oh, my Merlin. Rose Molly Weasley is dead. Deader than dead. Dead ten times over. Merlin’s beard. I hate my fucking family.
I dig my fingers into the soft dirt on either side of me. “They told Maman something about Lorcan!?”
“They’re pretty convinced you fancy him, Dom,” Fred chuckles, rolling over onto his stomach. He seems to be enjoying this. That is so like him. “They told your mum that, and she flipped shit. Seems like she isn’t too fond of the Scamanders.”
“Your dad thought it was bloody brilliant, though,” James adds. “So did Grandmum and Grandpa. And my mum and dad.”
“And my mum and dad, too.”
I throw myself back against the ground, hoping my head will hit a stump or a rock or something hard enough to knock me unconscious. When I realize that’s a slightly unrealistic plan, I close my eyes. Of course it’s Rose who mentions Lorcan to my entire family. Now, they’ll be stuck on the idea of a Weasley and a Scamander being together. Grandmum will start planning the wedding. Daddy will give Lorcan the same overprotective father speech he gave Teddy. And Maman? Well, she’ll drop over dead. They are making it ridiculously impossible for me to lie to them.
“I cannot stand Rose.”
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