My family, even though they know Lilith is pure evil (I swear, if she wasn’t a Muggleborn I would think she was Voldemort’s daughter); have done a favour to cash strapped Andromeda (wizards, do they even have pensions?) and Teddy (because apparently there are high taxes in the Wizarding world) to run the wedding and organise it because Teddy is an honorary member of the Weasley and Extended Potter Clan (we should seriously get a kilt).
So, with the garden getting all decked out for the rehearsal dinner (yes they have got more serious since my parents married), I was locked up with Gracie plotting the demise of our ex best friend, mainly through horrible devices such as oversized mouse traps and unfortunately placed giant cheese graters.
“We should feed her to sharks with fricking laser beams on their heads!” (Thank you to Dr Evil for the most quotable line in the world) said Gracie, doing her evil Stepmother smile again.
“We need a sensible plan,” I hissed, “we need to find the source of her power, the source of her hold over Teddy. She’s got to have a magic mirror, be using an Unforgivable or have a mind control hat or something. I just fail to believe he likes her for her. Nobody has ever liked Lilith when you and me have been around! I mean, look at us!”
With a conceited flick of our hair and a momentary revel in our own exquisite beauty, we became focussed on the plan once more. “Well,” sighed Gracie, “I think her power lies with a certain pair of objects on the front of her chest.” I was not catching on.
“Lilith’s boobs aren’t that big,” I growled, looking down at my own pitiful pair. Seriously, God was obviously running short of some chest clay when he made me. “Surely personality counts for a lot more!” I said, eternal optimism burning passionately in my naïve, virginal heart.
“Nope,” stated Gracie, with her cold realism, “modern feminism explicitly states that men never see past the boobs.” I nodded, as if she was a wise Tibetan Monk, sitting on a cloudy mountain, surrounded by sheep, educating a poor wannabe hippy like me.
“I hate men,” I said, “they are such pigs.”
“But damn them for being so good looking,” smiled Gracie. I nodded in agreement; I swear if Gracie had lived two thousand years ago, we would all be worshipping her as the Messiah now.
“Do you wanna go play Quidditch?” I asked suddenly, “I mean, we could ask James and Albus and Rose and Roxy and Lilith and Fred and Dom and Louis and Aunt Ginny and…” However, by this point Gracie had spotted my little subtle inclusion.
“Lilith?” she asked, “why the hell do you want to play Quidditch with Lilith?”
“Oh,” I sighed innocently, “I just think having her in the air on a broom is a distinctly better way to terrorise her than just having her on the ground.” A nasty smile crossed Gracie’s face and she giggled.
“I like your plan Dr Watson,” she grinned, “oh, and just to let you know. I am definitely Sherlock and you are one hundred percently Dr Watson.”
“What?” I asked pathetically.
“Oh never mind,” sighed Gracie, “I think we should go terrorise Lilith with a near death experience by playing Quidditch with your family.” Smiling like the Cheshire Cat, I nodded in agreement, “It’s elementary dear Watson,” beamed Gracie, “elementary.”
“How can you have done this!” bellowed Grandma Molly, surely perforating my sensitive eardrums, “how am I going to explain to Lilith’s parents when they arrive that their daughter, six days before the wedding, has been made MAGICALLY BALD!”
“Maybe they won’t notice…” suggested Dom half heartedly.
“They’re Muggles,” I began, jumping across Dom’s lame suggestion. “Maybe they can be convinced that Gracie and I are testing a magical hair regrow potion and it will be ready by the end of the week?” Grandma Molly had gone as red as a Howler, and my immediate reaction was to run, run to the hills, like they always did in Shakespeare plays.
“How did it happen?” squeaked my darling senile Grandma, and I was about to answer, when Gracie beat me to it.
“It’s a tale of treachery, betrayal, love and war. Troubadours will sing of it for generations, and the story with go down in history as the Tale of Lilith…and…and…” Gracie’s bluff had begun so well, but she looked wildly round, to Dom and Louis, Roxy, James, Albus, Lily and me. I have to admit, I felt the pressure. It was almost as if Grandma was saying “Ve Have Vays of Making You Talk!” in an awful faux World War Two film German accent, threatening me with imaginary draconian torture methods, like having your eyebrows plucked.
“The Tale of Lilith and the International Statute of Secrecy!” It was possibly the most embarrassing moment of my life as one by one, my cousins and my friends looked round at me in disgust, as if I had just killed a puppy or something, (yes, I said it, killed a puppy). I knew now it was now too late to abandon my mental fit, so I continued, “yes, the International Statute of Secrecy made Lilith bald.”
Grandma, giving us all an evil look, turned between her grandchildren, “Pray tell me, how by Merlin’s Pants did the International Statute of Secrecy make Lilith bald?” My friends and cousins all turned to me; none of them wanted to admit that together we had ‘accidently’ set Lilith’s hair on fire to prevent her catching the Snitch in a very, very, very friendly game of Quidditch.
“It’s quite simple really,” I began, suddenly feeling supremely confident, my mind mapping out my incredibly cunning story, “Louis, Roxy and Lily have set up a Lost Pet Detective Agency.” Gracie suppressed a giggle as my younger brother and cousins looked at me in shock.
“A pet detective agency?” inquired my Stuppenfuhrer Grandmother.
“No, no, no, no,” corrected Roxy, “a Lost Pet Detective Agency,” she said, taking up my ridiculous story, “Rolf Scamander had lost his Blast Ended Screwt.” She paused for a moment, “it’s called Butterbean,” she continued, as if it would give the story anymore plausibility than the pitiful amount it already had.
Rose picked up Roxy’s story, “This Blast Ended Screwt is the Champion of the Annual Market Harborough Magical Pet Dash. It’s pedigree name is Olympia Maximus Tedious Wriggle, so it was vital to the Scamander’s magizoology credentials that Olympia, aka Butterbean, was recovered…her training schedule is very strict, as the Annual Market Harborough Magical Pet Dash is a supreme test of stamina, endurance, speed…”
James steered the story in another direction as he took the story from Rose’s grasp, so we could all avoid a blow by blow account of the purely fictitious Annual Market Harborough Magical Pet Dash. “Lorcan came to see the Lost Pet Detective Agency to find the Champion Blast Ended Screwt, and they received information that Oliver…”
“Olympia,” I corrected quickly.
“Olympia was in the frozen food section of the local Muggle Supermarket. She has a fondness for fish fingers.” James said this with such resolution that I was starting to believe him. With the gravitas and honesty of Cornelius Fudge himself, he continued, “Lilith volunteered to come help us. She used to race…er…slugs…and she thought her experience would help.”
“So you are telling me,” said my fascist of a Grandma, “That the group of you, out of the goodness of your golden hearts, went to help Louis, Roxy and Lily on their first Lost Pet Detective Agency Case, and hired your best friend Lilith because of her experience of Slug Racing. And this resulted in her being made magically bald with the help of the International Statute of Secrecy?”
It was now Louis’ turn to pick up the batton, “Yes, that’s exactly what happened Gran,” he said, batting his long eyelashes like a starving puppy, (what is my fascination with puppies today?) “The group of us went down to the shop to look for Olympia the Blast Ended Screwt when Lysander Scamander appeared.”
“I thought he was visiting his cousins in Royal Tunbridge Wells?” spat Gran venomously, her meticulously knowledge of our friends and families social schedules thwarting our melodramatic, but at the same time very naturalistic, story.
“He’d come back for a job interview at Somerfields,” alleged Albus, taking the mantle swiftly from his cousin, “they want a..err…food demonstrator at Somerfields.” I tried not to roll my eyes; this story was getting violently out of hand; why bring Lysander into the story? If this was a movie, our budget would be rocketing up with the inclusion of a Blast Ended Screwt, a rapidly expanding cast which was now including people who were not members of Clan Weasley, and ambitious location shots involving our local Somerfields.
“And what does a food demonstrator do?
“You know, they are those people who sometimes give out free bits of ham and cheese on cocktail sticks at the end of the aisle,” Gracie said, sounding very knowledgeable in the distribution of free food, “and he was asked to prepare a cake.”
“A birthday cake!” I said triumphantly, “that needed candles on it. And candles needs FIRE!!!” Clan Weasley nodded enthusiastically at this; this long convoluted story finally came back on the original path I had intended. In spite of several detours, we had finally seen the introduction of the fire that would see the destruction of Lilith’s strawberry blonde locks. I should honestly be a novelist I was that good!
“We lit the candles,” smiled James, slowly building up the tension, and when Grandmother Senile looked about to explode he said, “not with magic with good old fashioned matches.” Grandmother looked at us so suspiciously I almost expected to say “what big eyes you have grandmamma!”
Smiling, I continued, sure this should win me an Oscar for best-made-up-crap-ever. “And poor, poor Lilith, it’s a tragic tale, she got too close to the candles, and they consumed her hair. And we were all so worried, that her perfect wedding day would be ruined by smoky singed hair. So me, heroic, wonderful me, in my fear, pulled out my wand and did an aguamenti charm to put it out.”
I could tell by my grandmother’s expression that horrible memories of a blue flying Ford Anglia were rising to the surface of her mind, and the fear of yet another Weasley breaking the International Statute of Secret. “And in a moment, bing bang bop, the blokes from the Ministry turned up, and made Lilith bald in the process of stopping the Muggles remembering my charm.”
My friends and family looked at me adoringly as I finished the tale; I was sure that this one was going down in Weasley family lore. “And that is how the International Statute of Secrecy made Lilith Marwood magically bald. It’s no one’s fault, just a tragic mix of fatal circumstances!”
My grandmother looked so shocked that I’m surprised we didn’t have to take her to St Mungo’s due to her finally losing her sacred marbles. But with her grandchildren smiling adoringly at her, she had to give in, due to no substantial evidence against my implausible story, she had to let us go to wreak havoc elsewhere.
“Oh, go away,” she moaned, turning away, “go and terrorise someone else!”
And you have to bet, knowing me, it would be a puppy…
A/N: Beyond ridiculous the amount of time this took, I know, but it's finally up! I just want to acknowledge the work of Arthur Conan Doyle in his "Sherlock" series, and for coming up with the greatest detective who ever lived! I'm back into this story now, so please read and review and let me know what you think! Thanks!
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