Chapter 1 : Sneaking In
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The wizard would have looked strange to a Muggle. In fact, he looked strange to a normal wizard. This particular red-haired wizard had been standing in the pouring rain for nearly an hour. His dark robes were wide open and swung by his ankles, revealing what his family would to refer to as 'Muggle clothes'. His hair, which was normally a bright red, was now a dark brown from where the rain had dyed it. His face held the same expression of a student outside the headmaster’s office. The wizard stood facing his home, looking through the closed window. Inside, his family were eating dinner, his father kept looking at the old clock and with a frown turned back to his food. The wizard could clearly see his hand on the clock. It pointed to travelling. With a sigh, Ron Weasley trudged towards the door.
When the door creaked open, I immediately grimaced.
'Really Fred, I thought you would have known better' my mum, Molly Weasley started 'setting such a bad example for your sister'
'It was just one firework mum' Fred responded,
'Yeh, the Muggle barely noticed it' George added,
'Well, unless you count when it started chasing her down the street' Fred joked,
'Fair point Fred, but if she had locked her front door, then we wouldn't have been able to get in' George reasoned,
'Exactly, if the Muggle had locked her door' Fred stated 'we wouldn't have been tempted to light the fireworks'
'So if you really think about it mum' George added,
'If you think really hard' Fred butted in,
'Then we taught Ginny a good lesson about always locking your front door' George ended,
'Couldn't of put it better myself' Fred finished.
Mum's face had gone bright red and she looked to Dad for back up, but as usual he hid behind the newspaper, ignoring her gaze by focusing intently on an advert for 20% off Gladrags Wizardwear. I rolled my eyes and snorted, Dad had been avoiding Mum's glare all summer since she bought up the possibility of taking us out of Hogwarts after the return of You-Know-Who. Snorting was the wrong thing to do, I realised instantly because mum's angry glare turned and found me instead, soaking wet, attempting to creep back out the door.
'Hold it right there Ronald Weasley' she snarled 'where on God's Earth do you think you have been? It's pouring with rain, no message, no chores done, AGAIN, and you think you can just wander in here and nobody mentions it?' I attempted to speak but she cut across me before I could even think what I was going to say 'I've had enough of that attitude young man, get up to your room right this minute and I promise you, there will be no escaping tomorrow! You will do all your chores Ronald and any others I can think of, is that clear?'
I shrugged; I had no excuse anyway and knew it was better than attempting a reply. Following instructions, I slouched upstairs to my room feeling mum's glare on the back of my head, until I heard a bang and immediately heard mum go back to arguing with Fred and George.
Brilliant, I thought, how the hell am I going to get out of tomorrow? Unless, I just go and don't tell her anything. She won't be able to follow me anyway, so I'll only see her tomorrow night. I grimaced; she's going to be bloody angry. I knew I had no choice though, in less than eight hours I would already be cycling back to the shop in Little Benston to begin another 11 hour day. I sighed, and I'll have to go see her tomorrow, which means I won't get back till... what... 11? No, probably 12. Bugger. Maybe, they'll all be in bed by then anyway, so I won't have to see mum until the day after next. My stomach twisted at the thought, but I needed the money, obviously I knew there were some laws against working that long, but I really need the cash and the '247 Mart' was the only place who would hire a 16 year old needing cash quick, no questions asked.
Of course, I could ask Harry for some money but that would lead to awkward questions about why I needed it which I most definitely really didn't want to share. I could ask my parents, but they had no money to spare and I shuddered at the thought of trying to explain why I needed it and Fred and George were very suspicious about lending money after the whole leprechaun gold fiasco at the Quidditch World Cup. No, it was best if I worked it out by myself.
And as if on cue, my owl, 'Pigwidgeon', tapped at the window with an envelope stuck between his claws. I reached for the envelope and untied it from the small owl. I nastily grinned as I looked at the envelope, she had written out my full name and address again on the front. Why, I thought, didn't she understand that you didn't need to do that? It was simple enough to understand, I snorted again, I guess it is true, you really can't teach a Muggle new tricks. Immediately I felt slightly ashamed, but this was quickly forgotten when I read the letter. It was the same letter she had sent last time. Always the exact same words.
Mum and Dad are complaining again, saying you're unreliable.
I know it's hard but we had a deal and I need that money.
I'm giving you a chance Ron, don't blow it.
Anger filled my head as it always did when she wrote that 'Don't blow it', me? She was the one who did nothing, her arrogance! It was always me who did all the work; she was the one who-. I took a deep breath, calming myself.
'Don't blow it' I muttered as I reached into my work uniform and pulled out the cash earnt from this week, putting half of it into the envelope and then I stuffed the other half into the back of one of his sock draws. After resealing the envelope and resending Pigwidgeon on his way, I mused how one short Christmas fling could turn into this.
For, I thought as my stomach tensed, I was about to become a father.