A.N. Hey guys! Sorry for the delay... I was away for more than a month and couldn't find time to write this down. But now it's here and I send it before it is even beta-ed because I can't stand the wait! Have fun reading and let me know what you think of it!
Oh and I'm not JK Rowling so everything you recognize, isn't mine!
The four cousins can’t help but share a disapointed sigh when they open their eyes. The Gryffindor dormitories have vanished from around them and they are now standing back where they started what seems like days ago. The room feels much colder than it did before but nothing has been moved. The floor is still littered with objects from Ron’s past; small reminders of the boy he used to be even though after living through his first year of school, not many of these objects make more sense to the teenagers.
“Real life looks boring,” Lily pouts a little as she looks around her.
“Yeah I know,” Rose agrees, “Dad’s view of the world is much brighter and enjoyable.”
“Could have been the effect of the spell though,” Hugo guesses, bending down to pick a chessmen, a small smile playing on his lips. “Now we know why the one chessmen Dad kept as a memory is a knight.”
“You’re right, I hadn’t noticed!” Rose says excitedly, taking the chessmen from her brother’s hands. A moment later though, the girl rectifies herself in a matter-of-fact way, “well of course I hadn’t noticed; it’s not like we knew at the time that it really mattered or had a true signification.”
“Yeah, who knew, could have been random afterall,” Al shruggs as they walk out of the cold room and into the heavy and clammy air of the house.
“Do you think those last letters told the entire truth or that it was more of an interpretation of Uncle Ron,?” Lily wonders quietly, half hoping they would confirm that those things never really happened to their parents.
“Some of it may be,” Al slowly answers, “you know, like there are centaintly some details he chose to present in a way that made him look better. But on the whole, I think it was pretty accurate.”
“Arg,” Hugo moans when they arrive upstairs, “it’s still so bloody hot.”
“And sunny,” Rose frowns, suspicious. Somehow, it didn’t fit; they had been gone for a couple of hours so, normally, the temperature and the sun should have been lower then when they left and from what Rose could see, it wasn’t the case.
“Where the heck have you been?” Hermione Weasley roars when the four cousins walk in the kitchen. Ginny and Molly jump to their feet and run to the confused looking children.
“We were downstairs,” Rose slowly answers, sharing a puzzled look with her equally shocked cousins.
“What do you mean, all night?” Lily asks, turning to look at the clock, “9h50? In the morning?”
“I’ll go let your fathers know you’re back because I simply cannot deal with you right now,” Ginny seethes, turning on her heels to walk out of the kitchen.
“No, let me,” a voice rises in the back of the kitchen. Teddy Lupin’s offer might have sounded convincing but his bright yellow hair doesn’t fool any of the women though; all of them recognize the young man’s unmistaken guilty look.
“Oh you stay right here mister; you stay right here now that your game is up!” Molly growls, going to the fireplace herself to call Ron and Harry.
“Teddy Lupin,’ Ginny growls in a surprisingly uncanny imitation of her mother as she walks toward her surrogate eldest son, “you knew all along where they were and said nothing?”
“Err, technically no,” Teddy looks back at the younger ones who clearly look relieved to see he’s the one receiving the blame. “I knew where they were just not where they were.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Hermione asks the young man before turning back to the teenagers. “Where were you?”
“Downstairs,” the four of them answer in the same annoyed voice. Hermione tilts her head angrily and prepares herself for a good yell but before she has time to answer the children and Ginny can scowl at Teddy for the conspirative smile he just flashed the younger kids, Molly walks back into the kitchen followed by two tall men. The four younger cousins smile at each other, acknowledging the difference between the angry men standing in front of them now and the two scrawny boys they followed for hours, just minutes ago.
“You think this is funny?” Harry coldly asks them, whiping the smiles of their faces instantly.
“No Dad, we-“
“We’ve been looking for you the entire night,” Ginny shouts at the kids, her face as red as her hair, looking like she’s been holding in the steam, waiting for her husband to witness the explosion.
“But I- I don’t understand,” Al says, giving Teddy a questionning look.
“I knew it! I knew it!” Ron yells, pointing between Teddy and the group. Under the rest of the adult’s disbelieving looks, he nods and adds, in a matter-of-factly way, “well, not 'knew it' in the sense of having the slightest idea, but I knew there was something I didn't know and that Teddy was behind it all! Aware of things we didn’t know!”
“Right,” Hermione rolls her eyes at her husband.
“Teddy will get his turn,” Ginny tells the squirming young man before turning to her kids, “but right now you will tell me where you were all night long or so help me Albus, you and Lily are grounded for the rest of the summer.”
“Goes for the both of you too,” Ron adds to his two children.
The four cousins turn to each other, helpless as to what answer they should give their parents without breaking Teddy’s trust. After a couple seconds of tensed silence, some angry, impatient sighs from Ginny and Hermione and a nervous cough from Molly, Hugo shruggs and decides to take matters into his hands.
“Nothing more we can say, right?”
“We told the truth and it didn’t work so, let’s try, er, we went into a pub and drank the night away?” Rose says, her voice heavy with sarcasm.
“No actually,” Al pipes up using the same tone, “we spent the night in a cemetery, trying to raise the dead.”
“Then I wasn’t with you,” Lily shrugs, “because I was –“
“No, enough,” Harry cuts his daughter, his voice rising in a threatening way as his anger finally gets the best of him, “I do not want to know where you supposedly were last night. You heard your mother and if you are not willing to tell the truth, at least we’ll know where you’ll spend every single night for the coming month.”
“That’s not fair Dad! We did tell the truth!” Lily shouts angrily.
“You think we didn’t check downstairs?” Ginny answers her daughter on the same tone. “You think we just stayed up here and came up with stories about where you guys might be?”
“The only place we couldn’t enter was the cool room,” Hermione adds in a dismissive way. Behind her, Teddy shakes his head ever so slightly to let the younger kids know that they shouldn’t question this fact, “but we cast revealing spells and there wasn’t a soul in there so there is no way you can tell me that that’s where you were hiding.”
“We weren’t hiding,” Rose mumbles in irritation, rolling her eyes exuberantly.
“Rose Weasley, mind your attitude,” Hermione snaps back at her daughter.
“Why? You’re not keeping your attitude down when you’re talking to us!” Rose responds, loosing whatever control she had left as she steps forward to face her mother, tears of anger in her eyes.
“Yeah, you only judge us and don’t even listen to our side of the story!” Lily adds as she joins her cousin’s side.
“Don’t talk rubbish, we’ve listened to your story but it doesn’t add up!” Ginny shouts, looking from her daughter to her goddaughter. “And even if you really were downstairs like you say you were, nothing explains why you wouldn’t have answered us when we went down looking for you. There is no reason in the world that would excuse such a behavior!”
“Enough,” Molly shouts, putting herself between the two mothers and their daughters, preventing Lily and Rose from answering. “Everybody needs to calm down now before you all say things that you don’t mean. Go to work, take some distance; you can take care of this tonight with cool heads.”
“Somehow I doubt we can really focus on work today,” Harry tells his children, “what with having not slept at all.”
“Leave the kids to me for today,” Molly tells the angry adults. “You know they are safe and sound so go to work; you can punish them however you like tonight.”
“I’m not sure I can do that,” Ginny says, anger still very present as she looks over her two youngests.
“I’ve got some experience keeping a careful eye on naugthy children, you know?”
“And I’ve stolen a car under said careful watch,” Ron mutters to Harry loud enough so everyone hears him.
“That’s it,” Molly declares, hands on her hips and daggers in her eyes. “You four go to work now. You four, outside,” she says, pointing at her grand-children, “you will weed and clean the garden as well as de-grome the backyard; breakfast will be ready for you when you are done,” she adds looking pointedly at Hugo, knowing the prospect of food would keep her youngest grandson in line.
“She knows we will get to talk and plan together, right?” Al asks the three others when they walk out in the already warm sun light.
“If she doesn’t, she’s lost her touch,” Hugo shruggs, giving his sister a sideway look for the two girls are still fuming behind him.
“Of course she knows,” Lily spits angrily, relieving her feeling by kicking a gnome that poked his head out at the wrong moment. “ I hate this! We did nothing wrong!”
“Well from their point of view, we did,” Hugo calmly argues, “I mean we did disapear for an entire night.”
“What side are you on?”
“It’s not a question of side Rose, I’m just trying to put myself in their place and imagine what they must have believed. We can’t honestly say that our defense is strong considering we can’t tell them of Teddy’s spell.”
“Yeah well, it doesn’t give them the right to shout at us and accuse us like they did,” Lily insists.
“Things did get a bit out of control,” Al agrees, looking pointedly at his younger sister.
“They started it! Mum and Aunt Hermione.”
“Someone had to fight back; it’s not like we can count on you guys for that,” Rose rages, “mummies’ boys aren’t going to talk back are they? Not brave enough to stand up for themselves.”
“That’s low Rose,” Hugo snorts, knowing full well that his sister is only trying to spite him, looking for a reason to stay angry. “Look, lets all do like G-Mum said; calm down all of us so we can plan the next step later?”
“Whatever,” Lily shruggs, dropping down on her knees in the vegetable patch while the boys chose to work on the gnome invasion. Rose joins her down and for a couple minutes, the two cousins work in a heavy silence, brooding over the fight they just had with their parents.
“So what do you think happened?” Rose finally ask in a small, discouraged voice. “I mean it’s weird, I didn’t think we’d been gone so long; it only felt like a couple of hours, top.”
“I know, time doesn’t work the same way apparently,” Lily sighs. “I mean, even if we could go back right now, there is no way we could get back here in time for our parents to punish us.”
“Yeah, might have forgotten to mention that,” a deep voice comes from behind the tomato plants.
“Teddy!” Lily squeals as Rose goes to get the two boys.
“So you knew,” Rose accuses when she gets back.
“Sorry, I forgot to tell you but, truth be told, I didn’t think it would be necessary. You guys were gone awfully long though, I was getting worried something had gone wrong. Did you go through the entire pile?”
“No, only the first year of school,” Al shakes his head. “A lot happened though; I’m guessing it’s going to be the longest one.”
“Doubt it,” Teddy chuckles, “what makes you say that?”
“Logic,” Hugo simply answers, “the first year is the one we write home the most. Plus, next year Aunt Ginny will be at school too so he won’t have to tell her as much stuff; she’ll be there to live it too.”
“Fair points,” Teddy agrees, still crouchen low behind the tomatoes, “but when it comes to action and adventure, you’ve seen nothing yet!”
“How is it you know and we don’t” Lily says, offended but Teddy only smiles. As he opens his mouth to either let her know his sources or tell her she’s too young to know, his eyes widen and he hastfully adds, “be down in the room in two hours,” before disaparating.
“You children will have to work harder than this if you want to be done before the temperature peaks,” their grandmother scowls behind them.
“Sorry G-Mum,” Al cooly answers, “you’re right, we’ll get to it.”
Over an hour later, the four teenagers are finally allowed to walk back inside and eat their long awaited meal.
“Thanks G-Mum, it’s excellent,” Huggo manages with his mouth full of eggs.
“You’re welcome Hugo but please swallow next time; I do not enjoy seeing my food this way. Merlin knows your father’s shown it enough.”
“Where do you think he learned that disgusting habit?” Rose asks, her nose wrinkled as her brother opens his mouth wide, pulling out his tongue, still full of barely masticated food.
“Apparently your father gave you quite a lot, didn’t he?” Molly declares in a not so subtle way, “that temper of yours couldn’t be a better exemple, Rosie.”
“I take that from mum,” Rose corrects her, “she’s the one who answers back to everything I say, not Dad.”
“Just like she does with your father,” her grandmother smiles softly. For a moment Rose stays silent, taking in what she has just been told. “They bicker constantly, reacting instinctively to what the other say and you, Rose, make your mother react the same way your father does because you have the same temper.”
“Are you saying they’ll fight like that forever?” Al asks his grandmother, earning himself a punch on the arm from his cousin.
“Not necessarily. But just like Ginny and Lily – oh yes young lady, you definitly need to work on that temper too,” she adds when Lily’s eyes widden, as if surprised to be included in this, “Rose and Hermione will need to work out some way to talk to each other and admit that, well, the Weasley temper is a lot more fierce in the womenkind.”
“I think I heard G-Dad call it ‘The Prewett Gene’ some time ago,” Hugo muses with a cheeky smile.
“Presumptions,” Molly huffs although she can’t help but smile at the four teenagers, happy to see that the tension finally eased off. The conversation turns to a much lighter subject after that and before long, every plate is empty. Molly sends her grandchildren upstairs to wash up a bit, offering them to sleep away the afternoon if they wish, something the four cousins immediatly agree to.
When Hugo and Al make their way downstairs, as quiet as possible and careful to avoid being seen by their grandmother, they aren’t surprised to see Teddy, sitting amongst the letters.
“Hey mate,” Al quietly calls before sitting next to his godbrother. “The girls aren’t here yet?”
“Not yet; I’ve been going through those,” the young man says, showing the letter he holds in his hands, “you were right, it’s good stuff but man Uncle Ron’s writting is bad! You guys were lucky to see it rather than have to decipher the letters like I do.”
“It was something,” Hugo agrees, “do you want to come with us for the rest?”
“Thanks for the offer Hugh but I’ll pass. When the girls get here I’ll tell you – ah, there they are,” Teddy interrupts himself when Rose and Lily open the cool room’s door.
“Sorry, G-Mum was on the prowl so we took longer to wash up; something you boys should have done,” Rose scowls.
“We did!” the two boys answer together.
“It just takes less time for guys,” Al adds.
“I do have to question wether Hugo still counts as a guys though,” Teddy says in mock questionning, “what with his hair being so long.”
“You’ve got a problem with my beautiful locks?” Hugo asks, shaking his chin-lenght cooper hair.
“No, no I don’t. As a matter of fact,” Teddy trails as he changes his hair to match the younger boy’s.
“Not that hair talk isn’t, er, facinating,” Al ddeclares, rolling his eyes in disinterest, “but you had a plan to discuss?”
“Right,” Teddy nodds, changing his hair back to his somewhat natural blue. “First, thanks for not telling on me earlier; shows it was a good decision to let you guys in to this but it also showed it’s time for me to tell the parents.”
“What? Why?” Lily cries, confused.
“Well, just like you guys are doing right now, I too came across some information I would really like to discuss with Harry but it’s kind of hard to bring up the subject considering he purposedly chose to hide it from me.”
“That’s true,” Al frowns, “already we’ve learned stuff that I would very much like for Dad to clarify.”
“The Dursleys?” Lily asks, knowingly.
“Among other things, yeah.”
“So I offer to lock you guys in here like I did yesterday so you can go back inside the letters and watch Uncle Ron’s second year while I tell your parents everything.”
“I’m still not sure,” Rose persists, unconfortable with her godcousin’s decision, “I mean it’s a pretty big discovery you made and, so far, I fully undrstand why you chose to keep it a secret. I can only imagine the damage this could cause if it became public knowledge.”
“I think we can trust Harry and the Weasleys with keeping this information secret,” Teddy smiles.
“Still Rosie,” Hugo points out, “it’s his decision; we are lucky enough to know about it first hand and, just think, when we come back, we’ll be able to discuss it with them.”
“And our punishment will most likely be lifted,” Lily pipes up hapilly.
“Nah,” Rose shakes her head, resignated “they’ll find some reason to keep it up. Blaming us for something else like going through private stuff without authorization, you’ll see.”
“On that note,” Teddy declares as he gets up, “I wish you guys a great time.”
“Good luck Teddy,” They chant together while the young man mutters his spell. When the parchment smell dies down and Teddy walks out of the room, the four teenagers take out their wands, tips touching the first letter of Ron’s second year, and together they say “Incipere”!
Extra disclaimer : The sentence in italics belongs to the great mind of Joss Whedon and was used for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Challenge, given by Jenna852!
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