Chapter 3 : Family
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“Now remember,” Hermione said, turning back to look at her children. “Today is about getting in touch with my family, because there’s more to life than magic and I don’t want either of you to be performing any magic today, understand?”
“Yes mum!” both Rose and Hugo chorused in reply. Rose leaned into the trunk and pulled out her owl Barney, earning her a glare from her mum and causing her dad to almost crash the car. Rose gave her finished letter to Barney and rolled down the window, watching the owl take off with an affectionate hoot. Her mother was still glaring.
“Rose Weasley! What have I told you about that owl? This is the sort of thing that would not look good at the party!” she scolded.
“Relax mum,” Rose reassured her. “Dom’s usually slow with her replies. And chances are, Barney won’t be able to find me and he’ll go home.”
Hermione let out a ticked off sound and Rose stared out the window, making little circles of light appear out of the end of her wand to stave off the boredom. Then, with one final, violent swerve into a driveway, her dad announced that they had arrived. Rose glanced at the very ordinary looking house they had arrived at, with various family members playing in the garden. This was going to be nothing short of torture.
If there was one thing Fred couldn’t stand about being grounded until the end of summer, it was seeing his little sister all day, every single day. It wasn’t that Roxanne was a pain in the arse, so much as she was only manageable in small doses. And having her and Jake run about the house like lunatics twenty-four hours a day, planning inevitable pranks and generally being all giggly definitely did not come under the definition of a small dose. Fred was banging his head against the wall and both James and Josh refused him any sympathy, both still angry about the events at the wedding. And it was fair to say, Fred deserved his punishment. His parents had been furious, even his father drew a line under ruining a family wedding and his grandmother had been less than polite when chastising him. Fred was annoyed with himself, knowing full well that what he’d done had been bang out of order. He had offered his most profuse apologies to Teddy and Victoire, the former more forgiving than the latter. Dom was sulking and had sent him a howler expressing exactly what she thought of him and nobody could blame her. Roxanne would have found the whole thing a lot funnier had Victoire not been in tears and pointed out that if Fred was going to ruin a wedding, cursing his ex-girlfriend was not the best way to go about it. Fred had resented that comment.
Fred’s temper had reached boiling point by the time Roxanne was within one week of returning to Hogwarts. His parents were going out for the evening and asked Fred to look after his little sister who, unsurprisingly, had Jake over and the two were cooped up in her room, only the odd explosion filling the air. Fred scowled as he tried to watch TV, the only avenue left for him as he attempted to stave off the boredom. Suddenly, a mass of ginger hair leaned over him and Fred scowled, glaring at his sister.
“Freddy,” Roxanne put on her little sister voice and batted her eyelids. “Can you order us pizza?”
“No, now piss off,” Fred growled, turning back to the television.
“I warn you mate,” Jake said as Roxanne stomped off. “I wouldn’t want to fuck with her on an empty stomach, she’s dangerous enough as it is.”
“Please, her pranks are nothing, but a drop in the ocean compared to my skill and technique!” Fred snorted, unaware of the fact that Roxanne was using all her self-control to stop steam coming out of her ears.
“Are you alright?” Jake asked worriedly as Roxanne slammed her bedroom door behind him and pulled out a pad of paper and a pen. “You look like you’re going to explode!”
“Four hours until mum and dad get home,” Roxanne snarled, drawing up a battle plan and smiling wickedly. “It’s so on.”
Jake’s grin was nothing less than pure evil as he stirred the mixture with his wand, Roxanne watching Fred from the door. He dropped the final ingredient into the potion and then she nodded; Fred was coming. Jake heard the light hissing he had been waiting for and then dived for cover as Fred approached the kitchen, patronisingly ruffling Roxanne’s hair then grabbing a bottle of butterbeer, downing it in one. Roxanne cleared her throat and Fred glanced at her; then the potion kicked in and he lost his footing, hitting the floor with a jerking reaction. He gasped and Roxanne leant over him, smiling devilishly.
“Now, now Freddy,” she whispered. “That potion has immobilised your body until such time as I utter the counter curse. Now then, you are completely under my control, so let’s have some fun, shall we? Where should we start Jakey?”
“Don’t call me that!” Jake sulked. “And I think we might as well start with that pizza…”
Rose’s idea of fun was not sitting in a field with a bunch of muggles wearing the stupidest party hat alive and watching her brother play pass the parcel. Rose’s wand was still in her back pocket, but her mother’s razor sharp eyes were occasionally flitting in her direction. Her dad was looking as happy as she was, engaging in stupid small talk he didn’t understand with muggles. Occasionally he’d say something stupid and receive an elbow to the chest for his troubles and only then did Rose see the need to giggle. When the parcel was almost at Rose, she excused herself for a toilet break and then slipped away, hiding round the corner, watching the skies. She was a good liar, that much she had inherited from her mother, (her dad was a terrible liar) and she’d been telling a lie when she said there was no chance of the owl arriving during the party. But there was no sign of it, yet so Rose glanced back at the gangling group of 15/16 year olds and rolled her eyes. Morons. She flicked her wand and the parcel became a smouldering pile of ash. A quick glance at her mother stopped Rose’s giggling as she knew she’d been rumbled. Dragging her husband along with her, a furious Hermione stormed over, holding out her hand expectantly.
“Wand!” she snapped and Rose handed it over, glaring at her mother as her dad shot her a sympathetic look before turning back to the group of chuckling adults. Rose stomped back over to the group of kids and put on her most winning Head Girl smile that she used when first years were being annoying. It was going to be a long day.
“Just try and put up with it,” her dad muttered as the other kids ran over to their parents, laughing and joking. “I have no idea what half these people are saying! Do you know what a toaster is?”
“It’s something muggles use to cook bread,” Rose laughed, brushing lint off her dad’s collar. “Just try and act cool dad, I know that’s difficult for you! It’s just so annoying, they don’t do anything!”
“Your mother thinks this is a good idea, so let’s at the least humour her!”
“She hears everything dad, you should know that by now.”
“Why would you humour me Ronald?” Hermione’s eyes narrowed to slits. “Don’t tell me you agree with the kids.”
“Yeah dad, surely you don’t agree with me and Hugh?” Rose snorted with laughter.
“Shut up Rose!”
“Don’t tell our daughter to shut up Ron!”
Ron groaned and put his head in his hands, muttering something about Harry never having to deal with anything like this.
“Yeah well Harry’s not here, is he Ronald, he can’t always bail you out of trouble! Now come on, both of you, they’re getting ready to cut the cake!”
Rose stuck her tongue out at her father, who scowled and then placed a silencing charm on her, looking rather smug as Rose matched his glare and swore at him silently. He put a hand to his ear, as if indicating he couldn’t hear her, and his smile faltered as Hermione looked back furiously. She grabbed both Ron and Rose by the ear and dragged them over to the table, both of them yelping, though Rose’s went unheard. Hugo joined them up at the table, twirling his wand in his fingers, earning him a furious glare from Hermione, who was just about at her wits end. Just when it looked as though she had control over her family, there was a screeching from above them and Barney came shooting out of the sky, colliding with the cake that was about to be cut and showering the smaller children, some of whom began to scream. Ron snorted with laughter as his wife’s most fierce glare rained upon Rose, as her owl clambered out of the cake, ruffling its feathers and depositing a letter in Rose’s arms. It was from Dom.
“Cake-girl strikes again,” Rose chuckled, although nobody could hear her.
“Do you not think this is just a little bit too degrading?” Roxanne mused, before answering her own question with a shrug. “At least he’ll smell nice for once in his life. Now let’s get to work. The first ingredient on any good pizza is tomato puree.”
Fred looked as pleading as he could in his current position. Roxanne and Jake had taken him out into the garden and strapped him down to a large, circular board that was only just bigger than him and covered in a bread-like substance. Jake waved his wand, causing the sticky red substance to shoot out the end of it, showering the pizza board with Fred strapped to it. He struggled against the magic holding his limbs, but it was useless and Roxanne giggled as she sprinkled cheese, dancing around him and hurling large strips of yellow cheddar.
“Aren’t engorgio charms the best?” she asked Fred, leaning in close to her brother and wiping a finger along his sticky red cheek. “Now what do you want on your pizza Jake?”
“Pepperoni,” Jake licked his lips and they hurled large circles of meat over the humiliated Fred, who looked like he was going to cry. “Anchovies, ham.” More and more substances were hurled into the mixture, as Fred whimpered. “Oh and pineapple.”
Roxanne produced a giant pineapple ring, which she placed on Fred’s head like a crown, before squashing some ham onto his nose. Fred tried to resist as they reeled off more ingredients, laughing like school children as they showered him.
“Now, what do we do with our pizza next?” Roxanne asked. “We cook him!” Fred’s eyes were now alert with alarm and Roxanne laughed it off, patting him then wiping her hand. “Only joking Freddy, really that would be too far. But this is what happens if you let me plot on an empty stomach, understand brother?” Fred nodded, the spell at least allowing him that. “Good, then I think it’s time to release you. But only if you promise to clean up this mess for us!”
Fred nodded again and Roxanne uttered the counter-curse, before skipping off to her bedroom, Jake right behind. Before Fred could even stand, they had locked him out and as he frantically felt around, he realised his wand was inside. At which point, his parents pulled up in the car and his embarrassment was completed.
“So how many memories did you have to wipe this time?”
“Sod off Harry!” Ron groaned as Hermione simmered. Dinner at the Potters after making fools of themselves in public was never fun, as Harry and Ginny were usually less than sympathetic. Hugo and Lily shared a look and started giggling and even Rose smiled despite herself. Ginny served desert and it was an owl shaped cake, which turned Ron purple and Hermione blushed furiously. Rose howled with laughter as Hugo and Lily went into hysterics and even Harry had a beaming grin on his face, failing enormously to look innocent.
“You two are bloody comedians!” Ron snarled as Ginny sliced up the cake, still grinning. “Now where is your son, I haven’t seen him since the wedding!”
“James is back at training for the Arrows,” Ginny said with more than a hint of pride in her voice. “He and Hayley will be joining us when they’re finished. Teddy sends his and Victoire’s love; they’ll be back from their honeymoon tonight.”
“We could all do without the love-birds reminding us all how happy they are!” Ron muttered, earning him another elbow from his wife as Rose rolled her eyes. At that point, there was a fluttering sound and Ginny beamed.
“That’ll be them now!” she exclaimed, hurrying off to the lounge to welcome her son, who almost limped into the kitchen, settling down before greeting the family, Hayley right behind him. The pair looked exhausted and were both filthy, both sure signs they played for a Quidditch team.
“How are you James?” Rose asked before anyone else had the chance. He grinned at her, shrugging nonchalantly.
“I’m pretty good, thank you Rose. I meant to pop over and say hi, but I’ve been so busy lately, things have conspired against me,” he laughed; swigging the butterbeer his mother gave him gratefully. “How are things over in the Weasley household? Still living down the owl in the cake incident?”
“It’s amazing how all you Potters always manage to take the mickey of everything!” Hermione muttered under her breath as James chuckled. “Take a swing at Fred, he got made into a human pizza!”
“Oh don’t worry!” James’ grin was suddenly wicked. “I thoroughly intend to at tomorrow’s return to Hogwarts Potter/Weasley Banquet. I take it you’ll all be at the Burrow tomorrow?”
“Of course we will!” Hermione replied, putting on her best smile as James grinned. “We never miss it, even though it’s only been a couple of weeks since we all last met up. Any excuse I suppose. Will your friends be there?”
“Oh they’ll be there!” James winked at Lily. “We have a special surprise in store.”
Lily nodded, her own evil smile earning her a confused look from Hugo as Rose arched an eyebrow, intrigued. Even Harry and Ginny looked interested, but James refused to say anymore on the subject as he dived in, attempting to grab a piece of cake before they were all gone, only for him to grab the last slice and for Hayley to pluck it from his grasp, her smile as sweet as sugar as her boyfriend swore loudly and planted his face on the table.
A/N: Hello everyone :) Chapter 3 is up and I hope you're enjoying book 5. Once the gang head off to Hogwarts I'm going to return home every few chapters or so to check on James and Teddy and the gang, but they're not off to the castle just yet :P Please leave a review and tell me what you think so far? Who's your favourite character/storyline?
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