Chapter 2 : Friday: Slimeballs and Almost Heart Attacks
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He jumped up quickly, disorientated and sore, then he heard a small giggle and looked up, remembering what was happening. He stretched out his arm and held onto Lysander's gently, trying to stop him from jumping on the bed. "No, Lysander, that's naughty. You really hurt me."
"I wanna jump," Lysander protested, trying to pull his arm out of Teddy's grip.
"Sit down or go downstairs." Lysander shook his head and Teddy narrowed his eyes. Step it up a notch, Ted. "Sit down or go downstairs or we are not going to George's shop, not today or at all this weekend."
It worked. Lysander stopped moving and slowly fell to his knees on the bed. Teddy let go of him and Lysander got off the bed, leaving the room, his features set in a frown. But Teddy didn't mind; as long as he did as he was told, the little boy could sulk as much as he wanted. It wasn't like it would last. "I'll be downstairs in a minute to make breakfast, then we'll get ready to go, okay mate."
He didn't receive a response, nor did he expect one. Rolling his eyes and rubbing his arm, Teddy got out of bed and washed and dressed quickly; he really didn't want to leave two five year old boys alone in his kitchen, or anywhere else in his house, for very long and would gladly disrupt his daily routine for a weekend to make sure that didn't happen.
So Teddy was very surprised to see them both sat at the table, waiting for him. "Oh," he said to himself, unsure of what else to say, and pointed to the cupboards. "Toast or cereal, boys?"
"You got chocolate cereal?" Lorcan asked.
Lorcan frowned. "Got chocolate spread?"
"On toast please," he said, smiling. Lysander copied, agreeing quickly.
"Okay," Teddy answered slowly, his eyes narrowed. He made their breakfast in silence, feeling the twins' eyes on his back the whole time, and once they had their toast Teddy folded his arms. "What are you two up to?"
Lorcan shook his head. "Nothing."
"Waiting for breakfast," Lysander answered, taking a bite. "Yummy."
You scare me when you're sweet, Teddy just managed to keep to himself. Last time he'd been sure they were up to something and said something like that to them, they'd proved him right. The Burrow had been a mess, but Christmas had been eventful. He turned back to them; too innocent smiles and quiet. Definitely up to something.
He made himself the same breakfast, his eyes on the boys the entire time, but nothing happened. They ate and they talked, telling him about school and things they want to look at in the joke shop. Teddy kept his thoughts to himself, focusing on the chocolate spread dripping from his chin, until the boys had finished.
"Come on," he called out, clapping his hands. "The first one to get their coats gets to choose how we get to Diagon Alley."
The boys cheered; with something else to focus on, a new game to play, they seemed to forget whatever he was sure they were planning. Teddy smiled briefly to himself, a smile that was long gone by the time the twins came back, and congratulated himself on successfully managing the boys.
Lysander came back first, to Lorcan's dismay, and he chose to floo to the alley - it was better to be dirty than to be sick, he said. Teddy had to agree.
The boys were well behaved getting to the fireplace, there was no mess with the powder or when traveling, but Teddy knew that was just because they really wanted to get to George's shop. They knew when to do as they were told, it seemed; they were smart for little boys.
Teddy hoped they hadn't been spending too much time around Hugo Weasley - he was as troublesome as he was adorable.
"Okay, hold my hands. Both of you," Teddy told them as soon as they stepped through. "It'll get busy soon and I don't want to lose you."
The boys held his hand quickly, letting Teddy maneuver them around until they reached Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. It was still early, not yet ten, and the shop was emptier than usual, not like it would be in the afternoon, Teddy knew, but there was still more than in other shops they had passed. And it was only because customers were as young as the twins; it was Friday, so most kids would still be in school. The twins were only in some days a week until September.
Teddy wasn't surprised; he'd promised the boys they'd get here earlier, so there wouldn't be anyone else, but they didn't seem to care about that. They let go of his hand and ran down the aisles the moment they stepped through the shop's door and Teddy let them; as long as he could see them and they were careful, he figured it would be okay.
"Well, well," George's voice called out. "You got lumped with babysitting duty, eh?"
"Luna asked Harry while I was there, I offered," Teddy explained. "I took this crazy task willingly."
"You said crazy, I'm just agreeing with you," George grinned, holding up his hands in defense. He leaned in close, whispering, "Those boys are kind of scary."
"How so?" Teddy asked, chuckling.
"Lysander pretends people are bad guys, so he can be our protector; he wants to be an Auror apparently," George answered. "Lorcan pretends he's a dragon's protector. A psychic protector, by the way. And both use my shop to get back at the people who they think have wronged them."
George nodded sympathetically, causing Teddy to turn back to Lorcan and Lysander quickly; they were in the aisle with instant darkness powder, whispering. Teddy suddenly had a very bad feeling.
"Boys, what are you doing?" he asked.
"Nothing," they said together.
"They're being nice. What did you do, Ted?" George asked knowingly.
"Nothing. I don't kn-" Teddy stopped suddenly and remembered what had happened since bedtime. "They sulked until I carried them to bed, but they were okay when I promised to bring them here. Lysander came to me at two thirty after a nightmare and stayed in my bed. He was angry with me this morning, because I told him not to jump on my bed; he stood on me and I said we wouldn't come here if he didn't listen to me."
"Oh, you never shout at a crazy kid and threaten to take away his shopping time," George tutted, shaking his head. He found it very amusing, though.
"Will you stop saying that?"
"You've met their mother," he sighed.
"Yeah, but Lorcan is the one who believes in all of that and we're talking about Lysander," Teddy pointed out. "Besides, that's just mean. They're kid's."
"They're twins, I know twins. They're in this together, whatever it is," George promised. "You should stop it before they get you. And the first thing I advise that you do is find them."
"What?" he shrieked, turning around. The boys weren't in the aisle they were supposed to be in, nor in any nearby. "Where did they go, George?"
George held up his hands in defense again. "Yeah, I was talking to you. I didn't see. Now I have a shop to get back to. Good luck."
"You're not funny!" Teddy yelled at his retreating back. "You're not funny, George!"
"I'm hilarious! And you're in trouble!" he shouted back.
"Why are you shouting?" a little voice asked, pulling at Teddy's jacket. Teddy looked down to see Lysander, Lorcan standing right behind him, and let out a loud, relieved sigh. "Why were you being loud, Ted?"
"I'm sorry," he replied, crouching down to sit eye-level with them. "I just lost sight of you for a moment and was worried. Where did you go?"
Lysander pointed at the potions near to the door and just out of sight. "Looking at them."
"Don't ever walk out of sight again. Do you understand?"
The twins nodded slowly, promising not to, and they stayed close for the rest of the hour, within eye sight whenever Ted turned around. Teddy bought them little things, light up wands that shot out illusions when you pressed the buttons and bubble makers in different colors, and they agreed to leave the shop after exactly an hour. It shocked both Teddy and George, but neither said anything, they only shared a look.
The boys waited by the door for Ted step out, ready to take his hand and go. But they didn't take his hand. The moment the door opened, thick green slime fell from the top, all over him; his face and hair, his clothes, it covered Ted. And it smelt.
Everyone laughed. The loudest were the boys.
"Eww," he muttered to himself, trying to wipe it away while holding his breath. He turned to the boys, who were stood next to George, and he knew who had helped them, who had probably given them the idea. "You two get here now. Oh, you're going straight upstairs when we get to the house."
He meant it, they could tell.
They still laughed.
Teddy knew the shower had taken three times as long as he had needed it to be - if each shower lasted five minutes that was - but even though he wanted to be out where he could hear the boys better, even though he didn't want to feel vulnerable in the unlocked bathroom after what they had done in the shop, he just couldn't leave the shower until all he could smell was soap. Even after he was sure he could get out, he felt dirty.
Teddy dried his body as best as he could, grabbed the clean pair of jeans he'd brought with him and pulled them on. Then he used the towel to dry his hair as he walked. He'd never felt so unsure about being inside his own house before. Even the simplest of things, like walking around barefoot, in nothing but a pair of jeans, seemed like a hazard with those boys around.
But he couldn't worry about that; he had to make sure nothing happened for the rest of the weekend. He had to figure out how to act around the kids, how to act like a pushover without actually feeling weak and, well, a pushover.
And I thought Hugo was scary.
Now he wasn't so sure.
Teddy wrapped his towel around his neck once he entered the kitchen and opened up the freezer. He'd thought about getting the boys something for lunch, he'd treat them for being so good in the shop, despite the little incident where he'd lost them and George's words, but after the slime, he'd brought the straight back and sent them to bed. It was past lunch time now, but he couldn't not give them something, so he'd give them something light.
His head snapped up from the freezer at the sounds of screaming and crying; Teddy stepped back, calling out, "Boys, what's going on?"
"T-Teddy, c-can I come down n-now?" Lysander sobbed.
"No," he called back, hating how sad the little boy sounded. "You were very naughty today, you're taking a time out."
"I'm s-sorry," he said, the sobbing only getting louder.
Teddy stopped at the kitchen door and leant against it, squeezing his eyes shut. "I know, kiddo. But you still have to stay in the room. It's only till lunch."
"This is your fault, Lys," Lorcan yelled. "You got us in trouble."
"Boys," he said. "Don't make it worse."
"He started it," Lorcan shouted.
There was more yelling, then one of the boys screamed - Lysander, as it was his name being called out - and a loud thump came from the stairs. Teddy swore his heart had stopped, then it beat madly as he ran that short distance, thinking he was going to find a little boy.
...He found a doll. One of Victoire's from her childhood that she kept for sentimental value. He recognized the trick; they'd obviously learnt it from James, who had scared Harry plenty of times by pretending to cry and throwing Lily's dolls down the stairs, as though it was him falling. Because the boys were too young to have come up with that trick by themselves. They had to have copied it.
The boys were laughing at the top, not understanding the effect it had had, but obviously loving the look on Teddy's face. Teddy let himself calm; it was a stupid trick, one he'd seen too many times to really have a go at them for. He wanted to have a go at himself for falling for it in the first place; he just hadn't expected them to know it.
He should have, though; while Neville was Lorcan's Godfather, Teddy and Lysander shared Harry - they were there more than they were home.
So, Teddy just stood up and pointed in the direction of the room they were sharing. "Go. Now. I'll call you down for lunch, then you'll go back up till tea time. After that, who knows? Go."
Reluctantly, they moved away, no longer laughing. Teddy suspected more pranks, but this time he'd be ready.
The phone rang as he got back to the kitchen and he answered it hesitantly.
"Hey, Ted. It's Rolf. How are the boys?" their father asked.
Ted let out a loud sigh and leaned into the wall. "I don't want to talk about it," he whispered. "When are you coming home?"
Rolf laughed knowingly, but his words were sympathetic. "Sunday evening."
"That long, eh?" Teddy said quietly, wishing he could cry a little, or beg Victoire to come back. But he couldn't do either; he'd promised he could look after the boys alone and he would. He just didn't have to be happy about it.
Teddy told Rolf the boys were upstairs, choosing not to tell him what had happened, then put the phone down. He looked up, as though he could see the meddlesome twins through the ceiling, and sighed again.
A/N: Whoa. I never thought you'd see a new chapter. I hope you enjoy, please let me know what you think. :)