Chapter 1 : ONE
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“Hugo, I swear to Merlin, if you don’t stop making that face, I will make sure it gets stuck that way,” I yell at Hugo as I at least attempt to look over my work for Mr. Steiner.
Hugo throws his head back and laughs obnoxiously. “So-o-o-ory, sis. Damn, let loose once in a while.”
I sigh and slam my hand onto the table as I look up at Hugo, his bright blue eyes staring back at my matching eyes. “I will when I figure out why Mr. Steiner is still sick.”
Hugo groans and stands from my dining table, heading over to my open, but small kitchen. “I came over for dinner and talking, Rose. Not to watch you look over your sick patient.”
I sigh and pinch the bridge of my nose. “I’m sorry, Hugo. I’m just super confused about why this guy is still sick.”
“You’ll figure it out eventually, sis,” Hugo tells me and heads over to the oven and begins to slave over at the soup he started. “But, until then, we’re gonna eat and gossip. This is my only night off until next Saturday.”
“And you’re spending it cooking? You obviously like your job too much,” I tease my little brother as I stand from the table and walk over to the stove, letting the delicious scent of the stew fill my lungs. “Mmmmm, that smells delicious.”
“It’s my number one selling soup at the restaurant,” Hugo tells me as he sips on it slowly and tastes the soup. “Needs more sage.”
Hugo grabs the spice from the counter, where he left it out from beginning the soup about an hour earlier. I silently chuckle as Hugo begins talking to himself while he cooks for us two. I’m jealous that Hugo has a job that he never gets sick of; cooking is his true passion. I’ve always wanted to be a Healer, but it’s just so much work and it gets so tiring. And I thought studying relentlessly for the N.E.W.T’s was tiring.
“Knock, knock,” Carolyn says as she walks into the reception room of the flat we share.
I smile widely at my best friend. “I thought you were working late tonight. Don’t you have a bust tomorrow?”
Carolyn nods as she tosses her coat onto the couch. “Yeah I do. But I actually need sleep tonight so I can be on my toes for the bust tomorrow. Rufus will have my ass if I’m sluggish tomorrow.”
As an Auror, Carolyn always comes in late because of paperwork and chasing down criminals. She nearly died twice during her training years, which she just completed about six months ago, and I’m sure she’ll have many more close calls as the years fly by. It’s once in a blue moon if I see her waddle in before two in the morning, if I’m even up or at the apartment at that time.
Carolyn takes a deep breath and smells the air. “Damn, Hugo. You’re already makin’ me drool.”
Hugo chuckles from the stove as he continues to stir the soup. “It’ll be another ten or twenty minutes before it’s ready.”
Carolyn rolls her slanted eyes, courtesy of her mother, Cho Chang. I’ve heard stories from Mum and Dad about how Uncle Harry and her mother had dated for a short time their fifth years and Carolyn’s mother’s sixth year. I nearly died laughing when Carolyn found out about it during our fourth year at Hogwarts; she couldn’t look James, Albus or Lily in the eye for a week. Even now, if I really want to bother her, I bring it up around the Potter family while she’s with me, which is actually quite common.
I hop onto my dining table and Carolyn looks over at me with her dark brown eyes, again from her mother. “Figure out Mr. Steiner?”
I sigh and Hugo groans. “No. I can’t figure it out.”
Carolyn waltzes over to my work folder and scans through it. “He has all these symptoms?”
I nod and sigh. “Yeah. And once one thing works on him, another symptom pops up. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
“Does he have a wife or somebody to take care of him?” Carolyn asks as she scans through my work more.
“His wife died a year ago and all his children have moved elsewhere,” I tell Carolyn since I’ve basically memorized this case. “Before his wife’s death, he was a healthy guy. Since then, he’s come in multiple times a month.”
Carolyn snickers. “He just wants attention.”
I furrow my eyebrows. “What?”
Carolyn looks up at me and begins laughing. “He just wants attention. He wants to be loved and cared for. Since his wife died and his children don’t live near him, he’s looking for ways to get attention and to be cared about. He’s playin’ you, Rosie.”
My jaw drops and I stare at the case again, flipping through the pages. Carolyn’s right; none of the symptoms should really cause one another when one is treated. That’s unheard of. I sigh deeply and groan. I cannot believe I’ve been played like this for so long.
“I’m gonna kick that old man’s ass.”
Carolyn laughs some more. “It’s okay, Rosie. My dad had a case like this one and one of his own interns figured it out before he did. Don’t take it personally.”
Carolyn’s dad is a Muggle named Dr. Robert Cave, who works as an ER doctor in London. When Carolyn and I were younger, we would go to work with him during the summer and that’s what made me want to become a Healer. Carolyn thought it was all repulsive and disgusting, but I found it all interesting.
“Alright, guys,” Hugo says from the stove. “It’s all done. Come get your bowls.”
Carolyn and I race over to the stove and I shove her out of the way so I can get the soup first. I’m the luckiest girl in the world for having a younger brother who works as a chef in a very popular restaurant in Diagon Alley and was attached to Grandma Molly’s hip his entire childhood. Once I get the soup into my bowl, I shovel a big spoonful into my mouth, even if it’s still super hot.
Oh, dear God.
“Hugo Weasley, this is the best thing I have ever tasted,” I tell my younger brother as I die and go to heaven.
“That’s why it’s the most popular soup at work,” Hugo tells me with a wide smile on his face as he scoops the soup into Carolyn’s bowl. “And that my boss thinks that I’ll be the youngest head chef in the history of the restaurant.”
“That would be awesome, Hugo,” Carolyn tells him, slapping him on the back.
“Yeah. Grandma Molly would freak out,” I tell him as I slide into my usual chair at the table. “Especially because it’s freaking Merlin’s Clubhouse, the classiest and most expensive restaurant in Diagon Alley.”
Hugo laughs as he carries his soup over to the table and sits with Carolyn and I. “Maybe when I get to that spot, if it even happens, we can have a big family dinner over there. It’ll be like how it usually is, but at a big, fancy restaurant.”
“Cheers”-I pop the cork off of our red wine-“to that.”
And we toast to a lovely life and a lovely dinner.
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