There was no other way to explain it; she couldn’t figure out another way of putting it.
They were lost.
Like, totally and, when she paused to think about it, really quite incredibly lost.
Lucy wasn’t entirely sure they had gotten so messed up - Louis had said it was a straight shot through the park and the phone box would be on the other side, but so far, they hadn’t come across it. Inwardly, Lucy wondered if this was Louis’ revenge upon her for knocking out his tooth, but then she remembered that Louis disliked Rose to the point where it was borderline hatred.
Not that Lucy could blame him. Rose was a right twat when she wanted to be. Which, as it were, was most of the time.
Frowning, she sat down on a park bench similar to the dozens of others they had passed on their hunt for the damned phone box. So far, their search had been in vain and now, Molly was ranting and raving at a flimsy piece of paper meant for tourists, waving her arms about as she paced back and forth. Lucy had tried several times to get her sister to sit down, shut up (people were starting to stare), and let her see the map so they could figure it out together, but Molly wasn’t having it. She was being stubborn, just like she always was, and refused to let Lucy, her little sister, be the one to figure it all out.
Lucy sighed, passing a hand through her tangled hair. As soon as their botched mission was over, she was going back to her flat and diving head first into a bath, perhaps even a bubble bath. Her feet ached, her neck and back were covered in a sheen of sweat, and her head had yet to cease pounding. She hated to admit it, but she knew that they were destine for failure, especially since Rose had a head start.
“Molls,” Lucy began tentatively, squinting at the outline of her sister. “Why don’t you come sit down? Your head will explode if you talk anymore. My head will explode if you talk anymore,” she added under her breath.
“Shut up, Luce,” Molly grumbled, sparing a second to shoot Lucy an irritated glare. “I’m thinking. And my head’s not going to explode.”
“You could let me look at the map,” suggested Lucy, folding her arms over her chest.
“But you’re not good with directions.”
“And you’re not having any luck,” she countered. “So please, for the sake of this poor ‘T’ man’s soul, let me have a look at the map. D’you want Rose to sink her mangy claws into him?”
Molly glanced up from the map to glare at Lucy. “What makes you think I care about this ‘T’ bloke? For all we know, he’s playing the both of you like pathetic little harps.”
“I don’t think you heard me, Molly,” Lucy replied, trying to inject as much firmness in her voice as she could. To say she failed would be an understatement. “If we don’t figure out where this damned phone box is, Rose will get to him first. Not some little bint with legs up to here, but Rose. As in our backstabbing, boyfriend stealing, generally grouchy and potentially mad cousin. Would you really want to unleash her upon someone, even if he is playing us?”
Molly stopped her pacing and assumed a thoughtful expression. Lucy could practically hear the wheels turning in her head, the cogs occasionally grinding.
At a moment, Molly gave a reluctant nod of her head. “You’re right,” she said, the line of her shoulders dropping in defeat. “I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone…not even a likely and quite frankly lowly two-timing bastard.”
With an amused shake of her head, Lucy stood up and crossed to where her sister was standing, pushing herself onto her tiptoes to peer over Molly’s shoulder. “So, are you going to let me have a look at the map or what?”
Molly, on the other hand, didn’t look quite as amused as she shoved the map into Lucy’s outstretched hands and backed away, grumbling. As Molly sank down in the seat that her younger sister had just vacated, the young woman in question unfolded the wrinkled map and took a gander at it. Lucy might not have been an expert navigator or a cartographer, but she knew how to read a map better than most would give her credit for and certainly better than her sister. She found their current position and where they should’ve been over thirty minutes ago in just as many seconds.
When Lucy wadded up the flimsy paper into a ball and tossed it into the nearby rubbish bin, Molly stood up, her eyebrows raised in question. “What do you think you’re doing? We need that!”
“No,” Lucy negated, “we don’t. I know where we’re going.” She didn’t wait for her sister to respond; she grabbed Molly by the wrist and tugged her down the path.
Molly grimaced down at Lucy’s grip, but didn’t try to shake herself free. “Would you mind telling me where we’re going? I don’t exactly appreciate being lugged around like bloody livestock.”
Sighing, Lucy began to explain. “When we left Louis’ flat, we went two blocks south, not two blocks north like we were supposed to.” A glance over her shoulder revealed Molly’s confused look. She rolled her eyes. “It means we’re in the wrong end of the park, nitwit.”
Molly blinked in surprise. “And how the hell did you figure that out? You’re rubbish with maps and directions! Do you remember when we went on that camping trip and Mum and Dad let you navigate because you were an -”
“That was ages ago, Molls,” Lucy interrupted her before she could continue with the embarrassing story from her childhood. “Leave it. Besides,” she added, letting go of Molly’s wrist to point at something. “See that bridge?”
Squinting, Molly followed the line of Lucy’s index finger and found she was pointing at the foot of a charming little bridge that stretched over a pond. “Yes. What about it?”
“The box is on the other side,” she said, lengthening her stride and picking up the pace.
Spurred on by her younger sister’s words, Molly followed Lucy as they crossed over the quaint bridge; she made a mental note to remember this portion of the park - it was just lovely. The perfect place to bring a date for a proper snog. Not that she, Molly Weasley, snogged on the first date…
“Bollocks!” Lucy exclaimed as they approached the box, only to see that someone else was using it already. She threw her hands up in the air, exasperated. “This would happen. Fucking fantastic!”
“Calm down, Luce, would you?” Molly said, shooting her a sidelong look. Thankfully, there weren’t any people in this area of the park. “I’m sure she’s not going to take very long.”
Lucy stopped to glared at her older sister. “I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation. Our Rosie is out there right now, trying to find a man who most likely ran away from her last night, screaming for dear life.” She placed a hand on Molly’s shoulder and looked her right in the eye. “Time is of the essence!”
Molly returned her sister’s look, unamused. “Good Merlin, you are so melodramatic.”
Expelling an almighty sigh, Lucy dropped her hand. “You don’t understand, Molly, you really don’t.”
“No,” Molly countered. She resumed walking and Lucy followed her like a puppy, except less pathetic and more ginger. “I think I do understand. Better than you know, actually.”
Lucy laughed derisively. “Do I need to remind you of the Scorpius debacle?”
“Do I need to remind you of Fred’s wedding reception?” Molly retorted.
If she was being completely honest, Lucy didn’t remember much about Fred’s reception for one very specific reason: there had been an open bar. She wasn’t an alcoholic by any means (not matter how much Molly insisted she was) but free alcohol was free alcohol and as a student fresh out of Hogwarts, there was no way she was going to pass up the opportunity to get smashed. It certainly didn’t help that James and Dominique were hell-bent on getting her as drunk as humanly possible, even though they could barely stand on their own two feet themselves. Aside from the vicious, three-day hangover she had following the reception, the only thing Lucy could remember about Fred’s wedding was dancing to Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” with Dom and nearly falling into the gift table from laughing so hard.
Pushing a hand through her hair, Lucy smiled hesitantly at her sister. “Yeah, about that. I might need a bit of a reminder…”
Molly only rolled her eyes. “Bloody alcoholic,” she muttered darkly, scrubbing a hand over her face. A breathy sigh passed through her lips. “Do you remember -”
“It’s probably best that you don’t begin your sentence with ‘Do you remember’ as I’ve only just told you I might need something of a reminder,” Lucy advised, smiling sweetly at her sister, who, unsurprisingly, glared at her. “What? It was an open bar!”
“Again, I say, bloody alcoholic,” Molly deadpanned before shaking her head. “Anyway, there was a blonde bloke there - and no, it wasn’t Scorpius. He was dating that one man, oh, what’s his face - Xavier Zabini? Can’t remember, but it doesn’t matter.” She waved her hand dismissively. “Right. So, there was a blonde bloke called - well, I don’t remember his name because -”
“-it was an open bar,” Lucy interrupted, smirking at her sister. When Molly’s face flushed with humiliation, she cocked an eyebrow. “Who’s the alcoholic now?”
She tried to stifle her laughter, but ultimately failed. “Sorry,” she said once she caught sight of Molly’s death glare. She covered her mouth to hide her smile. “Continue.”
Rolling her eyes, Molly raked her fingers through her hair, her lips pursed in annoyance. “As I was saying,” she ground out irritably, “there was a blonde bloke sitting at the same table as me and Rose, and I’m assuming that Rose thought he was flirting with her all evening because when she found us snogging in the loo after the cake was cut - well, suffice to say, she had a conniption.”
“How epic of a conniption was it?”
“Remember how she reacted when she found out Hugo got a broom for his seventeenth birthday and she didn’t, even though she begged and pleaded with Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron for months before her own birthday?”
“Yeah,” Lucy said uncertainly.
“Multiple it by her reaction to you and Scorpius and, well,” Molly paused to shrug, “there you have it.”
All of the blood drained away from Lucy’s face and rushed towards her toes; never in her life had she felt such pity for a person she didn’t even know and probably wouldn’t want to know, given that he’d scrawled his number on the back of both of their hands. Still, no one deserved to be at Rose’s mercy. Not even a (likely) slimy prat.
“We need to get inside that phone box,” pronounced Lucy, an unusually grave note to her voice.
The look Molly gave her hinted at idiocy. “No shit, Sherlock, but we can’t exactly go about that just yet. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s still in use.” She pointed towards the box still occupied by the woman.
Honestly, how much could the occupant have to say? They’d be standing out here for all of ten minutes; no one used a phone box to make long calls, it was a complete waste of money, not to mention their precious time.
Lucy groaned in frustration. “The longer we stand out here, the closer Rose is to finding T!”
“I know, Luce.”
“If she finds T before I do, he’ll be subjected to her mental and emotional manipulation!”
“Yes,” Molly said. “I’m aware of that.”
“Then why aren’t we doing anything about it?” Lucy asked, hearing the slight whine in her voice.
“Because there’s little we can do until that woman finishes up,” replied Molly irritably. “Merlin, Lucy, you’d think that you had a personal investment in this matter.”
Lucy rounded on her sister, her eyes flashing. “I do have a personal investment in this, Molly! He wrote his number on the back of my hand, too, so for all we know, we could be madly in love with each other.”
“You were absolutely smashed last night!”
“All right, fine, so maybe we were just insanely attracted to one another,” amended Lucy. “But we’ll never know if we don’t get into that phone box, find out who this T bloke is, and to get him before Rose sinks her claws into his juicy arse!”
Molly stared at her younger sister, absolutely dumbfounded. It wasn’t very often that Lucy got so worked up about something, save for when Rose was involved. Then again, Rose managed to rankle everyone’s hackles every now and again, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise that Lucy was irritated by the present situation. Besides, Rose had managed to completely destroy any possible relationships for Lucy since the Scorpius debacle and Molly supposed that her sister deserved this small bout of revenge. But still, there was one thing bothering her about this whole thing, something she couldn’t quite place her finger on, aside from the obvious, of course.
Her brow furrowed, Molly asked, “How in the name of sanity do you know his arse is juicy?”
Lucy sent her an incredulous look. “Have I ever chatted up a man who didn’t have a spectacular arse?”
The crease in her brow deepening, Molly recalled all of the men Lucy had dated in the past. There weren’t many, considering Rose’s vindictive nature concerning Lucy’s relationships, but she did note that every single one of them did, in fact, have wonderful arses.
Seeing the recognition on her sister’s face, Lucy nodded. “Yeah, I thought so. Now can we please focus our efforts to getting into that bloody box before Rose goes all Dementor-y and sucks out this man’s poor soul?”
Molly rolled her eyes at her exaggeration. “She’s hardly like a Dementor, Luce.”
“She’s close enough!” Lucy exclaimed. “Why else do you think everyone is miserable in her presence? She feeds off of their misery because…” she trailed off, sending a suggestive look at Molly.
“She delights in bringing people down to her level?”
“No, because misery loves company, you eejit,” Lucy snapped, though her expression turned appraising. “Though that was a very good improvisation on your part.”
A grin touched Molly’s lips, brightening her otherwise dour features. “It was quite brilliant, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, it was lovely,” agreed Lucy. She clapped her hands together and shouted, with much gusto, “Now let’s get in that box!”
“Right!” Molly nodded her head enthusiastically. “Now how are we going to do that?”
“I have no idea.”
Lucy glanced at her sister. “We could always knock?”
“Well, go on then,” Lucy said, gesturing between the phone box and her sister.
“What!” exclaimed Molly, her eyes going wide. “Why me? Why do I have to do this?”
“You knock with much more zest than I do.”
“I knock with zest?”
“Yes! You knock with zest and all the authority of Merlin!”
Molly blinked. “You’re mad.”
“Mad, but truthful!”
“I think Louis would beg to differ,” commented the other Weasley.
Lucy snorted. “Well, Louis is a contradictory sort of bloke, now isn’t he?” She put her hand on her sister’s back and gave a small push. “Now go on and show that incessant talker what you’ve got.”
Molly batted Lucy’s hand away, her eyes narrowing instinctively. “The only incessant talker I hear is you,” she grumbled under her breath, advancing towards the box even though she’d decided minutes before that she would stop fighting her younger sister’s battles. After all, wasn’t Lucy the one who was so eager to find T and not her?
With a small sigh, Molly shook her head. No, she couldn’t back out now. She was a part of this, whether she wanted to be or not. Still, it didn’t mean she didn’t begrudge her little sister for dragging her into this in the first place.
Molly glanced over her shoulder, and Lucy gave her an exuberant thumbs-up. She tried not to groan in self-pity. Sometimes being the older, responsible sister sucked. Returning her gaze to the occupied phone box in front of her, Molly raised her fist and gently rapped her knuckles on the paned glass.
It took a moment for the occupant to shuffle about. Between stuffing the receiver between her ear and her shoulder and turning around in the cramped box, Molly could see she was experiencing a great amount of difficulty and almost asked if she could be of any assistance when she caught sight of the flaming red hair popping out from underneath the brim of the hat.
Molly choked on her gasp, unable to speak as she stared at the box’s occupant in complete disbelief.
Lucy, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so handicapped.
- - -
A/N: Oh, okay, wow. So I have absolutely no excuses for not updating this any sooner; it’s almost been a year. Can you believe that? I can’t. While I’d like to give you a reasonable explanation for my lack of updates on this story, I can’t because the truth is, I just lost inspiration for this. Until today, actually, when I was watching The Proposal and suddenly felt the need to write. Anyway, I cranked this out and I know it’s complete rubbish, but at least it’s something, right? Progress is progress, no matter how much it stinks.
Anyway, I’m sorry for the delays, but if you liked it, you know what to do!
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