Hi, and welcome to my new story! I know, I know - I’m the last person who should be starting a new story considering my track record, but I’ve recently returned to HPFF chock full of muse and I’m not going to let it go to waste. Not this time! I’ll still be updating ‘Distinctly Disenchanted’ as quickly as I can write the chapters, so don’t fret.
First off, I’d like to thank everyone on TGS, especially those of you in the writing group. You know who you are. You’re amazing. Especially you, Shiloh, and Gina, for the lovely banner! Secondly, this story is inspired by the show ’Sirens’. You should check it out. It’s fabulous.
At the sound of her mother’s shrill voice, the girl in question rolled over onto her stomach, kicked her legs up in the air, and continued to peruse through that morning’s issue of the Daily Prophet
. Despite the fact she was a witch, Audrey Sherwood-Weasley continuously called out to her children at the top of her voice when she was in need of assistance, be it getting something down off the tallest shelf or putting out their father after “accidentally” setting his trousers on fire during an argument.
Today, Lucy figured it was the former.
“LUCY, GET DOWN HERE NOW!”
With the constant nagging, it was a miracle that her parents had stayed married as long as they had - and they were together for four years before they decided to have children.
“I’ll be down in a minute!” Lucy called out, flicking her eyes heavenward. She flipped the page and gave a squeal of delight when the handsome Quidditch player winked at her and then tossed his hair. The thick black tresses moved slowly in the imaginary wind. She wondered what it would be like to run her fingers through it.
“LUCILLE MURIEL WEASLEY, I‘M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU AGAIN!”
Casting a Silencing charm on her door, Lucy turned onto her back, dark brown hair fanning out on the pillow. She went to slide her wand into the waistband of her pyjamas bottoms but reconsidered at the last minute, flicking it at the magazine. It Levitated above her head, the pages turning in time with the lazy swishing of her wand.
It wasn’t until she was three-fourths of the way through Quality Quidditch Quarterly
that her door was thrown open. Lucy frowned at the intrusion; she hadn’t thought about locking it.
“Oh,” she said, her upper lip curling into a sneer. “It’s you.”
The older of the pair, Molly gave a roll of her bright blue eyes, ignoring the remark. “Mum’s been calling you for the past fifteen minutes. Didn’t you hear her?”
“The whole bloody neighbourhood heard her,” Lucy commented dryly, as her eyes scanned the heading of the article: Oliver Wood: Too Old to be Bold?
She hadn‘t even finished the opening paragraph before Molly prompted her with another question. “Aren’t you going to ask why she’s calling for you?”
“I’m sure it’s really important if she’s so insistent.”
Lucy snorted, flicking the page so viciously, the edge tore. “Because fetching the salt from the top of the cupboard is right up there with finding a cure for dragon pox and ending world hunger.”
Molly leaned against the doorframe, trying to get a read off her sister. If Lucy’s disinterested in her presence and her engrossment in her magazine was anything to go by, it was going to be mildly to moderately difficult to get a rise out of her. Lucky for her, Molly knew all of her little sister’s buttons and which one would set her off the quickest.
So, with a toss of her curtain of thick red hair, Molly did the one thing that drove Lucy up a wall: she sucked on her teeth, her gaze dropping to her pristine fingernails in feigned interested.
Lucy could handle a lot of things: commonplace idiocy, spaghetti sauce stains on her favourite jumper, grasshoppers. She could even handle her sister lingering in her doorway, arms folded over her chest and that annoyingly pinched look of superiority on her haughty features. After all, she’d lived her entire life with it. But as soon as the high pitch squeak, squish
met her ears, Lucy lost it.
Her composure taking a grand leap out of her second story bedroom window, Lucy lowered her magazine and aimed a glare at her sister. “Can’t you see I’m reading?”
Molly shrugged. “Yeah. So?”
“Mum sent me up here to get you and expressly told me that I’m not to leave you alone until you get your fat arse out of bed.”
Lucy chucked the magazine at her. “My arse is not fat! Mum did not
say my arse was fat!” Outrage burning through her worse than a plaster being ripped off, she scrambled out of her bed, narrowly avoiding a face-to-face confrontation with the edge of her dressing table as she stumbled towards the door.
“Mum!” she shouted, brutally shoving Molly into the door and thundering down the stairs. Once she recovered, Molly followed after her, providing the background music of ‘fat arse, fat arse!’
Her socked feet slipping on the waxy hardwood floor, Lucy clabbered into the kitchen, taking care to slam the door in her sister’s face before the redhead could come in. An angry jab of her wand at the knob locked it.
“Mum, Molly said that you said my arse was fat!”
Aforementioned sister started to bang on the door when it became obvious that Lucy’s locking charm wasn’t going to give anytime soon. Perhaps she’d pushed a little too
hard this time.
“Now, now, Lucille,” her mother began, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth. She eyed her youngest as though she was a speck of dirt on an otherwise impeccably clean window. “I won’t tolerate that language under my roof.”
Lucy gave an eye roll so extravagant, it was a miracle her eyes didn’t fall out of her skull. She knew she should’ve moved in with her father after she graduated the Healing program. Growing up in her mother’s household had been stifling enough, so why she’d returned home voluntarily was beyond her.
“Yeah, well, you should tell that to Princess Perfect,” Lucy spat, folding her arms over her chest.
“Molly was only doing what I asked of her, unlike some
people,” Audrey sniffed as she lifted her wand. With a flick of her dainty wrist, the kitchen door sprang open. Molly, who’d been trying to force her way in, spilled into the kitchen, very nearly falling on her own arse
“Serves you right,” muttered Lucy darkly as her sister caught herself on the work top.
Molly tugged on her shirt and set to make her appearance right again. Once her hair was smoothed down, she turned her vibrant eyes not to Lucy but to their mother. “So did you tell her?”
Mother and daughter shared a private smile. “Not yet.”
Frowning, Lucy looked back and forth between the two. “What? What haven’t you told me?” Her eyes widened as her gaze settled on their mum. “You’re not getting back with Dad, are you?”
Audrey chuckled, the sound of tinkling china. “Good Godric, no! What makes you say that, Lucy?”
She shrugged, unable to come up with an answer other than ‘It was the first thing that came to my mind.’
“Anyway,” Audrey continued, waving her hand this way and that. “That’s not the reason I asked Molly to bring you downstairs.” Smiling, she picked up an envelope resting near her cup of tea and held it out to Lucy.
The brunette felt her blood turn cold. “Is that…”
“Your acceptance letter?” Audrey nodded. “It is.”
Licking her lips, Lucy took the envelope from her mother’s grasp. She glanced at Molly for reassurance before she opened it.
“Go on,” encouraged Molly, a gentle and genuine smile on her full lips. She nudged her with an elbow to the side. “Open it. I want to get the congratulations over with so we can eat the cake.”
At the mention of dessert, Lucy perked up, the letter momentarily forgotten. “There’s cake?”
Taking a deep breath, Lucy slid her finger underneath the seal and popped it open, emitting a small gasp of breath as she unfolded the letter. Her hands shook as she held the crisp white parchment between her sweaty fingers, her dark gaze sweeping over the page…
Dear Ms Weasley,
Thank you for applying to our programme. We regret to inform you that…
She didn’t bother reading the rest. A block of granite dropped into the pit of her stomach as she lowered the letter.
She didn’t get in; she wasn’t accepted.
After three years of intense studying, excessive amounts of stress, and more migraines than any person should have to endure in a single life time, she didn’t get in.
The internship programme at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries was notoriously difficult and nastily competitive. And with only fifteen spots available each fall, that was to be expected. Lucy had known that from the very start, which is why she opted to shove her pert nose into every book available to her, attend every lecture presented by a professor, and accepted all opportunities for extra credit, even when she didn’t need them. She was that
girl, the one who gave up enjoying life for the sake of her dream.
Lucy had traded booze for books, raves for research, and shags for studying. She gave up all manners of fun in order to the best and where did it get her? Stuck in her stuffy mother’s house with no job, no money, and no future.
“So?” Audrey pressed, her hands clasped beneath her chin as she awaited the answer with bated breath. “What does it say?”
Rather than answer her mother and risk the tears, Lucy passed the letter to Molly and went to sit down at the kitchen table. As she dropped into the seat, absolutely gutted, she heard Molly gasp and their mum give a long, disappointed sigh.
That was all she needed.
“I’m such a failure!” Lucy wailed, bursting into tears. She threw her arms on the table, buried her face in them, and sobbed.
Molly rubbed her shoulder whilst Audrey held her close and stroked her hair.
“It’s not the end of the world, darling,” soothed Audrey.
“Yeah, there are plenty of other options available to you,” said Molly, giving her shoulder a squeeze.
Molly and Audrey shared a glance over the top of her head.
“You could always apply at another hospital,” Molly suggested cheerfully.
Lucy kicked her under the table. “The only other wizarding hospital this side of the Channel is in Iceland.” She lifted her hear, tears leaking…well, everything, and glared. “Am I so horrible that you want me to banish me to Iceland
“No one deserves that sort of punishment!” Lucy bawled at banshee levels.
“At least it’s not Greenland!” Molly threw in, hoping to lift her spirits.
Lucy’s responding wail rattled in the windows in their panes. “GREENLAND!
“No one’s banishing you to Greenland, sweetheart,” Audrey said matter-of-factly, pressing a kiss to the shell of her daughter’s ear. She tucked a strand of long brown hair back into place and put on her best smile. “You don’t have to go anywhere you don’t want to, Lucy.”
Lucy sniffled then dragged her hand underneath her nose, wiping away the snot. “Not even Iceland?”
not Iceland,” assured Audrey, touching a hand to her daughter’s wet cheek. Aa she wiped at Lucy’s tears, she added, “In fact, you can stay right here, with Mummy and Mr Pumpernickel.”
The resulting wail was inhumanly loud. Batting her mother’s hand away, Lucy collapsed on the table like a house of cards, her body wracking so violently, she could’ve been seizing.
As Audrey attempted to once again calm her daughter down, Molly released a heavy sigh and sat back on her haunches. “That went well.”