Chapter 11 : The Weasley Gathering
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“Where is it supposed to be again?” he asked Rose.
“According to the letter, it’s supposed to be across from the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy being clubbed by trolls,” Rose said.
“Who’s Barnabas the Barmy?” Al asked. It sounded like a stupid name.
“No idea,” Rose replied. “Let’s just keep an eye out of anybody being clubbed…”
They silently walked along the silent corridor, with their footsteps the only noise in the corridor. Albus watched the walls, but they were all of sleeping portraits or regular tapestries. Finally, he approached a tapestry of someone being clubbed.
“I think this is it,” Albus said. “Now what do we do?” Rose scanned the invitation.
“Now we have to think, ‘I need a place that the Weasley family can gather and open presents’, and a door should appear.”
“Okay,” Albus said, and inside his head, he thought, I need a good place that the Weasley cousins can gather and open Christmas presents.
Almost at once, a door appeared. Al, awestruck, pulled open the door and walked inside.
The room was beautiful. There were snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, and mistletoes hanging in the corner. Gryffindor hangings were also around the room, since all of the Weasleys were in Gryffindor. There was a huge stone fireplace in the back of the room, with fire crackling at the hearths. Cushions were circled around the fireplace, and it had the exact number of cushions for everyone. In the corner was a huge Christmas tree. Beautiful ornaments were strung on it.
“Amazing isn’t it?” Albus’s cousin Roxanne sighed. She just had come into the room behind Albus and Rose.
“Oi! Come over here!” Louis called. The rest of Albus’s cousins except for him were already gathered around the fireplace on cushions. As Albus, Rose, and Roxanne sat down, Victoire stood up.
“Okay-Er- you know we did this because we were all forced to stay at Hogwarts- obviously you all like this room- so why don’t we start opening presents?”
Louis, Fred, and James all whooped and punched the air. Albus thought he heard Rose whisper, “Boys.”
Immediately after Victoire made the announcement, all of his cousins ripped open their presents.
Albus got an assortment of Gryffindor hangings from Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur, a dragon model from Uncle Charlie that instantly scorched his hands, a book about Prefects from Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey that Albus immediately tossed aside, a box filled with canary creams from Uncle George and Aunt Angelina, and a Chudley Cannons book from Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione. After Al finished opening his presents, he glanced around at the rest of his cousins.
Molly and Lucy were both unwrapping planners, and Molly cried out, “This is exactly what I need! I need to record when to study, since I am in my O.W.L. year after all!”
Lucy turned to Rose and said, “Thank Aunt Hermione for us, will you?”
Albus forced to stifle a laugh. It was ridiculous- the only person who would be delighted of getting a homework planner was Molly and Lucy. Meanwhile, they were looking at Al’s presents.
“Oooo, look, you got Prefects Who Gained Power!” Molly, who was a prefect, exclaimed. Lucy was also very studious, but unfortunately only one of them could become prefects.
“That sounds like a fascinating read,” Lucy sighed.
“Keep it,” Albus said, relieved. He didn’t want the stupid book.
“Really?” Lucy squealed. “Thank you Albus!” she cried, as she hugged him uncomfortably around the waist.
“Molly, take mine,” James said, handing her his copy of Prefects Who Gained Power.
“Thank you James!” she exclaimed, picking James off the floor and hugging him. Fred and Louis teased James after that, much to his displeasure.
Albus turned his attention to the other parts of the room. Roxanne was showing her new beater’s bat to Dominique, who was looking slightly uncomfortable. Dominique was not a Quidditch fan. Victoire was more of a Quidditch fanatic than Dominique, but not by much.
Victoire was currently admiring a pretty necklace Teddy had sent her, with a note clenched in her right fist. Al wondered how long it would be until Fred and Louis noticed this and started teasing her about dating Teddy.
She evidently realized this might happen, since she quickly stuffed the letter into her pocket, but she had Dominique string the necklace around her neck.
Dominique’s face looked a bit wistful as she strung the necklace around Victoire’s neck, probably since Dominique could not acquire a steady boyfriend. Dominique was a very grouchy person. But every family had to have at least one grouchy person. Dominique was theirs.
James, who was obviously trying to get away from Fred and Louis, wandered over to Albus.
“Hey little sucker,” he said, yanking Albus’s ear. “How’s Christmas doing?”
“Horrible, now that you’re here,” Albus muttered, rubbing his ear. That hurt!
“You both got Nimbus Eight- Thousands?” a voice exclaimed from behind them. Roxanne had finished admiring her presents and was now looking at everyone else’s presents.
“Yup,” Albus replied, picking up his Nimbus and showing it to Albus. It looked like James had gotten one too; he picked up a Nimbus Eight- Thousand and showed it to Roxanne.
By now everyone else had seen their new broomsticks and Fred practically begged Albus to ride it.
“No room, is there?” Albus said sadly. “We would probably hit something.”
“What if we go through that door?” Rose said, pointed to a door in the wall that Albus hadn’t noticed before.
Feeling slightly reckless, Albus wandered over to the door and yanked it open. Everybody gasped.
It was as big as the Quidditch pitch. The ceiling was enchanted like the Great Hall was to look like the sky (this one made it sunny and cloudless) and the room even had grass growing. There were also three hoops on each side, just like the Quidditch pitch. There were even stands on the side!
“Fly, fly, fly!” chanted both Fred and Louis. Al and James eyed each other, and they both took off.
The Nimbus Eight- Thousand was amazing. He nearly crashed into the wall since he was going so fast. He quickly sped up towards the ceiling and touched the enchanted sky.
“Who wants to play Quidditch?” roared James as he swooped around the goalposts.
“We don’t have any brooms!” Fred yelled back. Louis sniggered and eyed his cousin.
“There are broomsticks over there, idiot,” Louis pointed, while clubbing Fred on the head with Roxanne’s beater bat. Albus looked over to where Louis pointed and saw a bunch of broomsticks he had not noticed before. Next to it was a trunk filled with a Quaffle, a beater club, bludgers, and the golden snitch.
Next, they all decided who was playing. Albus, Fred, Louis, James, Roxanne, and Victoire immediately agreed to play. To everyone’s surprise, Rose and Lucy agreed to play. This shocked Albus; they both hated Quidditch.
It was decided that James and Roxanne would be captains, because they were the only two who were on the Quidditch team. Albus was on the team, but only as a reserve player.
Victoire announced, “We have enough for four players per team, so we’ll have two chasers, a beater, and a seeker.”
Louis called out, chuckling at his sister’s stupidity, “You’re forgetting a keeper.”
Victoire replied, “I know, but if we have one we’ll only have one chaser, so they can’t pass. The chasers can defend.”
After many heated arguments between Roxanne and James, it was decided that James, Fred, Louis, and Lucy were a team and Roxanne, Albus, Victoire, and Rose were team. After more discussion, James was chaser for his team along with Louis, Fred was beater, and Lucy was seeker. On Al’s team, Roxanne was beater, Albus and Rose were chasers, and Victoire was seeker.
The game wasn’t very long. Louis was very clumsy, so he dropped the Quaffle frequently so Albus easily intercepted it. Fred was not as good at beating as well as Roxanne, since she was good enough to play for Hogwarts. It didn’t help that Fred was clumsy. Lucy was much more of a girly- girl than Victoire, so she beat Lucy to the snitch since Lucy wasn’t very aggressive.
Once the game ended, Victoire got a little teary since she missed Teddy, who was an excellent chaser. It wasn’t like Quidditch that they usually had. Normally Teddy played too, and Hugo often played. Despite being so young, Hugo was an excellent seeker.
Many grown- ups also usually played Quidditch on Christmas. Uncle Charlie, Uncle George, Aunt Angelina, Al’s mom, his dad, and Uncle Ron were excellent Quidditch players, and they all played for Hogwarts at some point. Typically, they had enough for seven players on each side, so you didn’t have to deal with lost positions.
After the game, they all left the Room of Requirement and went back to their common room. David and Art also were there, and for most of the afternoon they had fun squeezing itching cream on each other, playing Exploding Snap, and playing Wizard Chess.
Near late afternoon, Louis suddenly yelled, “SNOW!” while looking out the window. People all over the common room dashed over to the nearest window. Sure enough, a few flaky pieces of snow were falling to the ground.
The next few minutes were chaos as everyone scrambled around, looking for boots and coats and hats and mittens. Finally, Albus achieved in tracking down all his snow gear. Once Rose, David, and Art were outside, the four of them went outside onto the grounds.
Not much snow fell; it was only a few inches and barely covered the grass. But it was enough for what James wanted to do, which was to have a snowball fight. Since there wasn’t enough snow to build a fort, James simply made a few snowballs and chucked them at whoever was nearby, which was unfortunately Al and his friends.
Albus, Rose, and Art plainly refused to participate in a snowball fight. Albus and Rose had too much experience of James chucking snowballs at them so they no longer enjoyed snowball fights. Art, as he exclaimed later, was always the target since he had three older brothers, and Art was the youngest. David, however, was an only child and was absolutely delighted to participate in a snowball fight.
Albus sat outside and talked with Art and Rose while watching James and David’s extremely severe snowball fight.
“You would think they were in a real battle or something,” Rose informed him while watching David dodging a line of snowballs thrown by James. They ended up moving locations multiple times because there wasn’t enough snow on the ground.
After a while, Albus, Rose, and Art reluctantly joined the snowball fight. It just looked like to much fun. After a while, James, James’s friend John Shafiq, Albus, Rose, David, and Art were all panting and freezing out in the cold. They eventually found their way back to the Gryffindor common room and warmed up by the fire. Unfortunately, everyone was gathered around the fireplace so they were forced to sit on the floor.
Dinner was a fun occasion. James let out his pack of Weasley Wildfire Whiz-bangs: Christmas Themed. Albus immensely enjoyed the explosion of fireworks shaped like Christmas trees, Santa Claus, reindeer, and lots more. The teachers didn’t even try to stop James; he wasn’t breaking any rules. A mistletoe firework exploded on top of a kissing couple, which James found hilarious.
Everybody also received a small bag of wizard treats. Albus got a pack of Christmas themed Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. He was actually willing to try it, and he tasted peppermint, gingerbread, and cookies, but stopped once he tasted reindeer dung.
The evening was a joyous occasion. Albus and his friends, along with the rest of the Gryffindors, happily gathered in the common room. James had gotten treats from the kitchens, and had laid them around the tables. Albus was currently sampling a chocolate-chip cookie, a gingerbread cookie, a sugar cookie, and some fudge. Rose, however, was eating lots of mint chocolate.
“Are you in love with the mint chocolate?” David teased. “Really, that’s the only thing you are eating. You haven’t even tried the fudge yet!”
Rose rolled her eyes. “I am NOT in love with mint chocolate,” Rose retorted. “Besides, you’re one to talk, fudge-face.”
Rose certainly did have a point. Fudge lined David’s lips, and around his mouth, and some fudge even found it’s way to David’s forehead.
Albus ignored David’s and Rose’s bickering and instead stared at Rose’s piece of mint chocolate.
“How do you even create mint chocolate?” he wondered aloud. Art was the one who answered.
“I dunno, but chocolate comes from cocoa beans,” Art suggested.
“Ask Rose,” David piped up.
“Why?” Rose asked curiously, looking at David with her eyebrows raised. “Why should I know anything about where chocolate comes from?” David rolled his eyes.
“You’re the know-it all, aren’t you? Whenever we have a question, we ask you. So, answer our question.” Rose’s face grew red, which always happened when her temper gets up.
“I only know useful stuff! Marc is the one who knows all of the useless information.” As though on cue, Marc looked up from his book and spoke.
“Actually, chocolate originates from the cocoa tree, also known as the Theobroma Cacao tree. Cacao pods, with cocoa beans, are then harvested from the tree. Then-“
“Oh, shut up,” Rose snapped, interrupting Marc. David and Rose then started having a heated argument about chocolate. Albus and Art met each other’s eyes, both trying not to laugh. Arguments between Rose and David occurred every day, usually over something stupid like this one was. Art suddenly walked towards the portrait hole.
“What are you doing?” Albus asked him.
“Going to send a letter to my parents about my Christmas,” Art said. Albus was surprised to see a grin form on Art’s face. “I might tell them about this argument.” Albus easily laughed.
“See you,” he told Art and then Albus continued to sample the many assortments of cookies. Rose and David’s argument began to die down, and soon all three of them began to eat in silence. Finally, David spoke up.
“I wonder what we should do for Art’s birthday,” David said. Albus nearly smacked his head. In the midst of all the Christmas celebration, he had nearly forgotten! Albus began to feel guilty. He had nearly forgotten one of his best friend’s birthdays! He remembered that Art’s birthday was on January sixth, which he realized with a jolt, only six days before his own.
“We should probably make it as Birthday-ish as possible. I don’t know how to have a Hogwarts birthday…”
“We’re having a Hogwarts Christmas right now,” Rose pointed out. “It shouldn’t be too hard.”
“I know!” David exclaimed, bouncing in his seat. “Let’s just think about how we usually celebrate our birthdays, and do the same thing for Art!” Albus thought that was a wonderful idea and he began saying out loud what usually happened on his birthday.
“Well, on my birthday, usually we would spend it at home, but Uncle Ron, Aunt Hermione, Rose and Hugo would come over. First, they give me presents and I open them, and then I usually play with them. The rest of my aunts and uncles send me presents, so I usually end up with a lot of presents.”
“We can easily give Art presents,” Rose said happily. “Plus, his parents will probably send him some.”
Albus continued, “Even though we don’t do much, my birthday is brilliant since I am practically treated like royalty on that day. I can have ice cream, brownies, cookies, you name it. Then, at the end of the day, we have cake and they sing.”
“Sounds fun,” David said, nodding. “We should get a cake for Art.”
“Where should we get cake?” Rose asked. “Unless we can magically produce it, I don’t understand how we’re supposed to get cake.”
The three of them sat in silence for a few minutes as they thought of how to achieve this. How were they supposed to get cake? As he thought of this, Albus nibbled on a Christmas cookie that James got from the house- elves. This thought made Albus realize how they could get cake.
“Rose! David!” Albus exclaimed.
“Wha-What?” David muttered blearily, yawning. Al realized that David must had fallen asleep. His sugar rush from the fudge had obviously worn off.
“We can get cake from the house-elves in the kitchens!” Albus exclaimed happily. “They’re always making treats for the students. That is how James got the Christmas treats for today.”
David, who was now fully awake, exclaimed, “That’s a brilliant idea, Albus! We can ask them to bake a cake for us, and then surprise Art with it on his birthday!”
“Where are the kitchens anyway?” Rose questioned.
“I’ll ask James,” Albus replied. Then he yelled out, “Hey! James! Come over here for a minute!” Then Albus braced himself as James walked over. Whenever James was around him, it usually resulted in teasing and pranks.
“Hey, Al,” James said, as he sling-shotted a rubber band at his forehead, “What help do you need from your noble and glorious big brother? I can answer every question.”
Albus winced when the rubber band struck him, but didn’t say anything. He was used to this.
“Where are the kitchens?” Albus questioned.
“Ahhh, you ask your noble and glorious big brother where the kitchens are,” James said heroically.
“Well?” Albus asked impatiently. It was sooo annoying when James was acting like he was the hero and the greatest person on Earth. Their dad once jokingly said that James had a head inflated as much as Gilderoy Lockhart.
“The kitchens are on the lowest level, behind a still-life of fruit. Tickle the pear, and it will open,” James responded smartly. “And, if you’re lost, follow a Hufflepuff, their common room is right by it.” James walked away and went to talk to his mischievous friend, John.
“When should we do it?” David asked. For some reason he dropped his voice down to a whisper.
“The night before his birthday, January fifth,” Rose whispered, leaning in towards David. “The cake has to be fresh.”
“Just a cake?” Albus whispered. He leaned over to David and Rose; he wanted to hear her answer.
“Hmm…bring some cupcakes too, Art devoured all the cupcakes at the Halloween feast,” Rose whispered. A wicked smile spread across David’s face.
“So its set? On January fifth, in the middle of the night, we’ll go to the kitchens and get a cake and cupcakes?” David whispered excitedly.
“Yup,” Albus nodded. In just eleven days, he would break out his father’s invisibility cloak.
Sorry for the really late update. I've been working on a story for a story challenge, and I was going to update on Tuesday (April Fools Day) but since the words were messed up, I decided to wait a day.
Hope you liked this Christmas chapter!
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