Chapter 1 : Try
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My head snaps up from the old chair at the sound of his loud, high voice. He crosses his little arms around his chest and screams again, this time kicking my brother in the shin. The boy really has quite a temper.
Bill picks him up, him still kicking and screaming, and puts him on the couch in front of me. "No, Louis. That was naughty. You don't kick people." Louis tries to get down, but Bill presses a hand to his chest and forces him back gently. "You will stay here until you calm down."
Bill stands up and walks into the kitchen. He sits next to his wife and have a discussion I don't care about enough to eavesdrop on, not that I can really; they're on my side without the ear. Shame.
I turn back to Louis and watch his soft features twist in anger and I can't help but crack a smile. He sees and casts his glare from the floor to me. "Why are you smiling? Stop smiling!"
I hear Bill shout his name and turn fully to see everyone. My brother is telling him to be quiet, his siblings are in the corner with Teddy and Harry's kids. I don't know what they're doing. Freddie, mine and Angie's son, is sitting against the wall next to them, just watching. He looks up every few minutes to see what Louis is doing, curious as to why he's been sent to the couch I bet. He smiles and waves at me when he catches my eye. I smile back.
Louis has his eyes back to the floor, his bottom lip is wobbling slightly from being shouted at, but he doesn't cry, actually refusing to. He's a strong boy. I can't help but nod my head in approval and smile again. He notices that and glares at me again, but says nothing so not to attract attention to his parents. Damn, he's good.
I go back to my work; I'm designing new products for my shop, and leave him to sulk. He's not my kid, Bill obviously knows what he's doing.
That kid is stubborn. I know it can be a common genetic trait in us Weasleys, but he has been silent for over an hour now, ever since he was put on that couch. No matter how stubborn, every one of us have wanted some amount of attention for whatever reason. I look up and now I can see that his eyes are beginning to drop. He's tired. Oh. Maybe I gave him too much credit...
His eyes close and he falls to the side, his head hitting the cushion. I can hear a soft snore coming from him.
Bill walks over and sits on the couch, just in front of him. He pushes his hair back and sighs softly. "Bill," I say, then call him again, a little louder, to catch his attention. "Why don't you just give up? He doesn't like yogurt. He's never going to eat it, so why go through this every week?"
Bill shrugs, his hand on Louis' shoulder and his eyes on me. "Fleur has seen to it as her mission, and you know what she's like; she won't listen to me." He summons the boy's coat and waves Victoire and Dominique over. Poor boy, I still can't believe Bill let her call him a girl's name. Bill picks him up slowly so not to wake him and puts his coat on. "I've gone to the point of begging Lou just to try it, telling him she'd stop if he did, but he's not having any of it."
"He's stubborn," I remind him. "More so than Ginny, which is something I never thought I'd say."
Bill chuckles lightly and zips his coat up, before picking him up, letting him sleep against his shoulder. "Oh, I know that."
They say good bye to everyone and Fred makes his way to me. I pull him up onto my knee and he lays his head against my chest while wrapping his arms around my waist, hugging me tight. His breathing is becoming light; I know he's tired. "Go to sleep, Feddie, we're leaving soon."
I feel him nod against my chest and it's quiet for a while. I use my wand to pack away my work, listening to his soft breathing. I almost believe my son is sleeping until he speaks quietly. "Why is Louis always naughty?"
"Aunty Fleur wants Lou to try yogurt, but he won't; he doesn't like it," I explain softly. "Uncle Bill doesn't know what to do."
Fred shrugs. "Ask him to try it for his mummy and daddy. That's what you do."
I chuckle. "Uncle Bill has already tried that."
"Give him something back," he whispers to me, his voice small. He's falling asleep. "When you tell me to tidy my toys, you give me sweets or something from the shop. Give him something back, then he'll eat the yogurt. Unless he really doesn't like it. Then it won't work."
He giggles as if what he said is the funniest thing in the world and I have to laugh too. It causes Angelina to give me a strange look, but I just shake my head. Seeing her pick up Roxanne tells me it's time for us to leave and I turn Freddie so he can sleep on my shoulder. "You are a genius, mate."
Now I know what I need to do.
Louis is standing by the table in the kitchen, trying to reach for the plate of cookies his mother brought with them, when I find him. I tut softly, scaring him, and walk across the room. "I'm pretty sure those are for after dinner, Louis," I say as sit in front of him. He stands back with his hands behind his back and looks as though he is about to run. I know exactly why. I smile and reach for a cookie. "But I won't tell if you won't."
Louis' smart; he waits until I've had a bite before removing his own cookie from behind his back. "You won't tell mummy?" I shake my head, promising not to, and he brings the cookie to his lips, biting into the chocolate chip. They're still warm, having not long come from the oven, and the chips haven't set yet; it melts and drips down his chin.
I call him over with my finger and conjure a tissue, wiping away the trail of chocolate from his face. "We don't want to leave any evidence, Lou," I murmur, dimly aware of family not far from were we are. Mum would be in here soon to check on dinner. "Daddy tells me that your mummy is trying to get you to try yogurt."
He pulls a face as soon as he hears the word and his eyes are narrowed slightly; the kid is actually suspicious of me. Blond hair aside, he is in every way Bill's son. "I don't like it," he glares, then bites another piece of cookie.
"Have you ever tried it?" I ask casually. "You might find out you like it."
He starts to nod, but I fold my arms and tilt my head, hoping it gives off the same stern 'I know you're lying' look mum would always give us. It must work because he shakes his head instead. "It looks bad," he moans.
"Would you try some for me?" I ask innocently. He shakes his head and looks down, nibbling on his cookie, still suspicious of me. "What if I do something for you in return?"
Louis' head snaps up, all suspicion cleared at the implication of presents, and he puts his last bit of cookie onto the table, forgotten for now. Easy.
"What do I get?" He asks me slowly.
"Anything you want."
Louis is silent. I know he's thinking. I turn behind me, making sure no one was coming. I was running out of time, though. They couldn't know what I was doing; Fleur would be furious with me. "Fireworks," he says at last.
I whip my head back quickly and I swear I hear something crack. I rub my hand over my neck. "What? No way, Louis."
"Bang," he says, grinning, throwing his arms over his head to emphasize.
I shake my head. "No fireworks, I'm not that irresponsible."
"No yogurt," he tells me simply, shrugging. He's actually shrugging at me. But he doesn't leave. He looks at me with a wide, innocent smile. I can't help but be proud of this boy. Damn.
"Okay," I concede. Slightly. "How about you can have anything else which is small; sweets, something from my shop. I will provide you with fireworks for your birthday party next week." His eyes light up. "I will light the fireworks at the party, you can pick the one's you want. But you watch, do you understand? You don't touch."
He nods his head enthusiastically and he's jumping up and down; he's so excited. I kind of doubt that he's actually listening to me, but it doesn't matter. There will be people all around, keeping him in sight, myself included. He'll be fine, I'm sure.
I raise my finger and he stops jumping. "But you have to listen to mummy and try the yogurt, okay. You remember mummy's threat? If you fight and hurt daddy because you don't want the yogurt, you don't get your party. Understand?" He nods slowly. "No yogurt, no party. No party, no fireworks."
"Okay," he whispers. I hand him the rest of his cookie and he finishes it before running away. I'm not surprised it worked; it works every time with every child. I'm sure it does anyway.
I try to hold in my laughter as Louis takes the yogurt pot and spoon from Fleur, while Bill looks on in amazement. He guides him to the couch and watches as Louis hesitantly eats the dessert, a little at first then more. His expression becomes less disgusted with each spoonful. Bill's head is tilted to the left and he can't hide his surprise and confusion.
I can't hold it any longer and a small chuckle escapes my lips. Bill turns his attention to me. "Well, what do you know? He does like it after all. And all he had to do was give it a try. You must have gotten to him."
"Yeah," Bill says suspiciously. Why is every one so suspicious of me? Don't answer that. "It's amazing, it's a miracle it's- What did you do?"
I shake my head. "Nothing."
Bill scoffs. "You were talking to him in the kitchen, I saw you. What did you say to him?" I give him my most innocent look and shake my head again. "Well, whatever it was, thank you. Finally, this madness can stop."
We both laugh and he takes one last look at his youngest boy before turning away. "Oh, there will be fireworks for Lou's party next week. He needs to pick some. Five is a big number, after all."
Bill turns back to me and I can see it in his expression that he knows what I did. He shakes his head, but says nothing; he's just happy it's been a quiet dinner.
Fred comes to sit on my knee again, his eyes on his cousin and a grin in place. "You did it, daddy."
"It was your idea," I remind him.
"But you did it." He turns to me. "You're smart, daddy."
"The cleverness of Uncle George," Louis calls out to me. His face is covered in strawberry yogurt and he drops the spoon in the pot. He jumps of the couch, yogurt pot in hand, and runs into the kitchen. I laugh when he asks for more. I knew he'd like it; all he had to do was try.
Louis is good, oh yes, I won't argue with that.
But I'm better.