Chapter 2 : Hiding and Keeping the Family Together
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Upon hearing Victorie’s voice heading into the kitchen, I immediately dropped to my hands and knees, allowing my cookie to drop to the floor, looking about desperately for a place to hide. Scanning my eyes around the room I deducted that the only safe place to go was into the dining room.
As footsteps made their way in through the door that lead from the living room to the kitchen, I slipped through the door that lead into the dining room. It was silly, but for a moment I feared that I was going to have something else thrown at me, perhaps a plate or a spoon this time, but luckily no one began throwing things at me.
For the most part my entrance wasn’t noticed, my mum had made a quick exit, meaning that the craziest of the relatives were gone and normal conversation had resumed as the desserts had been put out.
“I need to talk to her about a play…” As Victorie’s voice carried into the dining room I knew that I needed to disappear again. For all I knew she could have been standing in the kitchen when I had been talking with my father, and now be ready to commit murder. Not knowing where else to go, I quickly slipped under the table, my body now subject to kicks and bumps from various feet.
There was nothing wrong with hiding under the table at Christmas dinner to avoid my slightly neurotic cousin.
So maybe there was a little something wrong with it, because I’m pretty sure that most cousins actually liked to spend time together on holidays, but our family had stopped being normal ages ago. Focusing over the rest of the discussions that were being carried on, hoping not to draw attention to the fact that I was under the table, I tried to catch her voice.
“Well, I’m going out back to work on something with Freddy. Dom, tell her to come out if you see her, alright?” With that I heard the girl’s footsteps carry out of the room and assumed that she was heading outside.
I was safe at last.
Making my way under the table towards the door, causing people to make sudden shouts about so and so kicking them I soon made my way to the end of the table. Seeing as there was no one else to hide from, I quickly stood as I reached the end of the table and grabbed a dinner roll before dashing out the door and up the stairs.
Doing the right thing was never easy.
Uncle Harry had always lectured everyone in the family how important it was we always tell the truth and never take the easy way out. In theory it always sounded like a great thing to do, and I was pretty sure that my cousin Lily lived by that rule with the way that she was always tattling on everyone, but it was not as easy to apply to every situation.
Sure, Uncle Harry had to battle Voldemort and save the entire Wizarding World, but I bet that he never had to tell his Quidditch captain that their seeker wasn’t going to be able to play for the rest of the season. Even if he had, I’m sure that his captain wasn’t in her seventh year and absolutely determined to win the house cup for her third and final year as captain. As soon as she found out, Victorie Weasley was going to kill me.
That was why I planned on not telling her.
Was it cowardly, and would it most likely cause her to want to kill me more when she found out? Yes. But would it save my skin for as long as possible? Of course.
That was all that really mattered anyway.
But the Burrow was only so big, and it didn’t matter how long I hid out in Uncle Ron’s old room which contained some weird creature everyone was scared off, she would find me eventually. Even if she didn’t, I was going to be spending the rest of the holidays at her house, which had even less places to hide. Besides, she’d want to run drills and make plays and she’d only accept excuses for so long.
I need to come up with a backup plan, some way that I could get around the fact that my father would kill me if he knew I still played for Gryffindor and being murdered by Vic for quitting and leaving her with horrible prospects for seeker. Plus, I really liked playing Quidditch and the last thing I wanted was to do was quit when the spot for captain would be opening up the following year.
“Just kill me now.” I muttered under my breath, knowing that fifteen was much too early to be calling for this. I was about to mutter more about my misery when the door flew open and a red head burst into the room.
“Knew it!” Dom called, shutting the door behind her as she walked in. “You really do need to find a new place to hide out, because you always pick this room and it’s getting predictable.” She chattered, glancing around in disgust at other odd occupant of the room. “Anyways, Vic is looking for you, she says that she finally figured out how to do that move that the seeker for Puddlemore did to win the last game, and she wants you to learn.”
I sighed, it wasn’t like I wasn’t expecting to get called out to play Quidditch, but I was hoping that I was going to have a little more time to come up with some complicated scheme that would get me out of playing for the day, then I could work on one for the year.
“I can’t Dom, I got stabbed with a fork today, and erm, flying will aggravate it!” I tried, knowing that I was a horrible liar and that Dom wouldn’t buy a word that was coming out of my mouth. The look she shot me confirmed my thoughts, she didn’t buy a word.
“You were perfectly fine to climb under the table, and go running about the house, I’m pretty sure that you can fly.” The girl commented, and I cursed the fact that I was a horrible liar and that Dom wouldn’t just pretend to buy it.
“Well I’m not flying. Victorie can drag me down there herself and I’m not getting on a broom.” I insisted, probably coming off as a whiny baby more than I would like to have. Dom rolled her eyes, clearly thinking that I was being a drama queen.
“Well, at least go down and feed her your lies yourself. Maybe she’ll be more gullible than me.” Dom declared, seeming to understand that there was some reason that I couldn’t fly that she just didn’t understand.
Nodding, I slowly followed my cousin down the stairs, my mind moving ten times as fast as my feet, trying to think of a reason that could get me out of flying. Clearly the fork excuse wasn’t going to work, and she’d never buy that I just wasn’t feeling like it. Hell, unless I was in bed dying there wasn’t anything that Victorie would accept as a valid excuse for not wanting to work ‘for the better of the team’ as she always said.
“It’s freezing out there, good luck.” Dom muttered, making it clear that she was making me face her sister alone. I snorted, some friend she was, sending me out into the lion den all by myself. I nodded anyways, not being much of a talker, and grabbed my jacket before heading out into the snow, bracing myself for the worst.
“About time you got here!” Victorie exclaimed as I finally made my way to the orchard that we always played Quidditch in at the Burrow. She seemed relieved that I was there, but she was quick to pick up on the fact that I was without a broom. Leaving Freddy to work on whatever they were working on alone, she quickly kicked down next to me.
“Where’s your broom?” She asked, and I bit my lip as I tried to come up with a good excuse.
“I forgot it, and I hate borrowing, so I figured we could just wait to practice, I mean we’ve got loads of time before the next match…” I trailed off, noticing that her face was anything but happy.
“You’re lying, your broom is by the back door, I saw it myself.” She corrected, causing me to curse under my breath. Victoire was on top of everything, of course she would notice the fact that my broom was waiting by the back door.
“Well. I can’t fly today.” I stated, crossing my arms across my chest maturely.
“Why not?” She countered, not taking that as a reason.
“Because I said so!” I insisted, wishing that the girl would just accept that I wouldn’t be getting on a broom today.
“Well, that’s a horrible excuse!” She countered. “If you’re going to put on some big stink about not flying, at least come up with something creat-wait.” Vic quickly cut herself off, clearly moving to something totally different. “You aren’t scared to learn the new move, are you?” She questioned carefully, clearly finding it odd that I was intimidated by something related to flying.
“No you dolt, I can’t fly because my dad said I’m forbidden from flying!” I burst, not seeming to remember the fact that I was trying to keep that information on the down-low. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I resisted the urge to slap myself across the face. That was not how that information was supposed to get out.
As a waited for Vic to react to the pressing news that I had just told her, I couldn’t help but to be slightly disappointed. I had told her the information all of twelve seconds ago and she had yet to react in the manner that I had expected. Rather than looking mad and ready to slap someone, she was looking at me as though I was an idiot.
“So?” She questioned, not understanding why I’d gotten so worked up.
“So what?” I demanded, still waiting for her to murder me. Or at least threaten to murder me, or perhaps my dad. After what had occurred between me and my father I wouldn’t care if he was murdered anyways. It would actually uncomplicated things quite a bit.
“So why are you freaking out over this?” Victorie wondered, still giving me a funny look. I sighed, wondering if she had completely misheard the words that had just come out of my mouth. It wouldn’t be the first time, Vic was always doing ten million things at once and seemed to forget things constantly.
“Because my father banned me from flying, which means I can’t play Quidditch, which means you have no seeker!” I burst, doing my best to raise my voice to a level that Vic would be sure to hear. Glancing at her I tried to see if she understood this time, and was finally going to give me the reaction I wanted, but she simply laughed.
“You’re seriously going to quit playing, just because Uncle Percy told you that you couldn’t?” Victoire looked at me as though she couldn’t believe my reasoning, and I crossed my arms across my chest in defense. She didn’t have a crazy father, her father was actually quite cool, and I hated that she pretended to know about things that she didn’t know about.
“Yes, because unlike your father my dad is absolutely nutters. If he caught me flying he’d probably send me away to be a nun, and I’d never be allowed to go back to Hogwarts. That would leave Molly running around Hogwarts free to be with as many boys as she wanted without nagging, which would lead her to be a prostitute. So either I stop playing Quidditch, or I doom myself to be a nun and my sister to be teenage mother.” I explained in all seriousness, hoping that this would finally put things into perspective in the girls mind.
Rather than apologizing for not believing me and giving me strange looks, my lovely cousin burst into hysterical laugher. Biting down on my tongue to keep from screaming in frustration, I wondered why everyone had to be so insensitive sometimes.
“I’m being serious Vicky, stop laughing!” I added, chewing on my lip, and looking down at my shoes as she continued to go on with her laughing. My cheeks burned, and I refused to look up to see the smirk that I knew would be upon her face. I also thanked merlin that Freddy had stayed up in the air, as he would have be rolling around the snow in hysterics.
“Alright,” Vic managed after a moment, her laughter finally ceasing. “You seriously don’t think that you’ll be able to get away with flying this year? Even though your father doesn’t even leave work long enough to notice your away at Hogwarts, never less that you’re playing Quidditch.” She asked me, actually looking serious for the first time since the conversation began.
Gnawing on my lip as I thought about my dad’s reactions, I let her words sink in. Maybe I had just overreacted in the heat of the moment and after the tragedy of being stabbed with a fork. Percy Weasley prided work above all else and the chances of him actually paying enough attention to me while at Hogwarts to notice that I wasn’t listening to him were very slim.
“Fine, your right, maybe I overreacted a bit too much. He’s probably already forgotten about his threat.” I admitted reluctantly, hating having to admit that I was wrong.
“I knew you’d come to your senses, now go grab your broom so we can work on that maneuver.” Vic instructed, a smug smile upon her lips.
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