Chapter 13 : Chapter 13, Part 1 - Albus
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Lovely lovely image of the lovely lovely Nana Molly by the even lovelier dittany @ TDA
‘You got everything sweetie?’ Aunty Hannah was fussing again. I knew that Alice was her darling little girl but Hannah fussed over her daughter as though she was still a toddler. I could read the grimace on Ally’s face from where I stood across the room. ‘Toothbrush? Lily’s Christmas gift? Your pyjamas?’
‘Mum,’ Alice groaned loudly, I chuckled and turned away.
‘You sure you’re okay with this?’ Uncle Nev asked me. He asked me every year if I was okay to go to the Burrow for Christmas.
‘It’s four days,’ I assured him, ‘and you’ll be there in two, I’ll live.’ I slipped my hand through the strap of my rucksack and heaved it onto my back. I could feel the weight of the extension charm Aunty Hermione had done for me back sometime in my first few years at Hogwarts. It made the back feel a lot fuller than it was. All my things tended to rattle around more too.
‘And Albus dear,’ Aunty Hannah turned to me.
‘Mum,’ Alice cut through firmly, winding her arm around me, ‘I know you want to remind him about whatever, but,’ she pointed at the clock, ‘we’re already late.’
Neither of my Godparents had any more time to fawn over us, I swiftly kissed Aunty Hannah on the cheek and waited for Alice to release her father from a hug before tipping my head to the pair of them, ‘merry Christmas,’ I grinned. The with a snap Alice and I had disapparated from the house in Diagon Alley.
‘Albie,’ Alice whined, pulling her leg from the marshy bog somewhere in the fields near the burrow. I smirked, noting how she had the terrible misfortune of getting wet while I was perfectly dry.
‘The mud line looks great with those jeans,’ I winked, reaching out to Alice and hauling her out of the water before she got irritate, ‘really adds to the Herbology-teacher’s-daughter affect.’ I muttered into her hair. She thumped me on the back causing me to promptly drop her in a thicket of grass.
‘You bastard,’ Alice reached out to hit me again.
‘Language darling,’ I dodged the punch she threw and picked her backpack off the ground, ‘Merlin Al Pal, what have you got in here.’ She blushed crimson under her blonde hair and rolled her eyes, ‘Christmas stuff.’
I was going to ask more but Lily, who’d obviously been patrolling the area, waiting for our apparition, disturbed the conversation by attacking Alice and pulling her in for a girly, squeal-y bear hug.
‘Yeah yeah,’ I rolled my eyes, ‘it’s all very exciting, can we save the squealing for Christmas day.’ I pulled Lily up against my chest and swung her around wildly as though she was light as a feather.
‘Hey Albie,’ she put her hand over her shoulder to touch my face affectionately, ‘I missed you.’ I looked down at her smiling face. It hadn’t changed much in the past few years. She was tall, but hadn’t grown an inch since she was fifteen. Her features were pretty much a mirror of mums, and there was maybe a touch of one of the Weasley Uncle’s in there too... though don’t tell her I said that.
‘Looking good Lils,’ I dropped a kiss on the top of her head and released her, making for the Burrow which was peaking out of the ground a good few hundred meters away. Lily and Alice scampered along behind.
‘Ooh Al, you missed the drama, Dom and Ed had a huge argument which made Nana cry, - ’ I looked round at her surprised, Dominique had never been “in love” before Ed, but if there was ever a couple that made me believe in soul mates it was those two. They barely ever fought. ‘ – and of course Izzy was devastated, James and Fred have taken her off to Merlin-knows-where the poor baby. And Hugo, the filthy bugger,’ she looked pointedly towards Alice, ‘has brought home his pig-of-a-girlfriend who likes the Singing Banshees for Merlin’s sake.’ It was no secret Alice had a teensy crush on Hugo – my other cousins were always trying to put her off him. Lily continued to rattle on about what had happened this morning, since most of the Weasley/Potters arrived at the Burrow. I listened half heartedly and opened the door when we got to the house. I braced myself for the insaneness of the family, and somewhere, in the back of my mind, wished I could instead be with Belinda, watching a film or something...
‘Albus,’ Nana exclaimed, hurrying around the table to greet us, ‘Alice so good to see you,’ she cupped my face in her hands and smiled up at me, ‘oh Al where’ve you been?’ I shrugged, trying to bring up a smile but noticeably retreating within myself. My family always brought up how quite I got around all of them. As though I was hiding. ‘Albus, you can just leave your bags in the corner there,’ I ditched the rucksacks, upon my Nana’s command, ‘your mum is desperate to see you, she’s been excited all morning, like a child.’ She shook her head and turned to Alice, no doubt to tell her off for being too thin. Skinniness was just not acceptable in Nana’s eyes. I slipped through the door before Nana Molly could turn to me about my weight and was faced with the rest of the Burrow.
Dominique and Ed had clearly gotten over their fight because she was sitting on his lap in the big squishy armchair in the far corner, under the Christmas tree, arms travelling all over each other. They barely stopped for Dom to send me a wink in greeting.
I crossed the otherwise empty sitting room and stuck my head out the door. Christmas was such a huge affair for us; that the whole of the Weasley/Potter family were required here. This could be seen in the cramped little garden, teeming with people. I seemed to have found the rest of my family.
‘Al,’ Roxanne was the first to notice my presence, she grabbed a firm hold on my arm and pulled me to the left before I’d even stepped off the doorstep.
‘Hey Roxy,’ I gave her a brief, one armed hug and nodded to Louis who’s arm was slung over his girlfriend Ella’s shoulder’s.
‘Al, where you been mate?’ Louis beamed.
‘Here and there,’ I dipped my head towards the floor, ‘how’s Hogwarts? NEWTs stuff now right?’
Roxanne rolled her eyes, ‘as if Louis gives and fuck-’
‘Miss Roxy,’ the voice of Uncle George boomed as he approached, ‘what kind of bastard taught you such words? How are you Al? You haven’t been down to the shop in a while.’
‘Busy,’ I said shortly, trying not to sound too much like I didn’t want to be here, ‘how is the shop? And Aunt Angelina?’
‘Business is booming,’ Uncle George through in a wink, ‘and your aunt is lovely as ever.’ He gestured across the lawn to where his wife was bouncing a curly haired child that I recognised as Isabelle on her knee and talking animatedly with Aunt Audrey.
I waved to the pair of them and felt a hand rest on my shoulder, ‘hey Albus,’ Charla threw in a grin as she passed by in a hurry, ‘catch up later yeah, Rosie’s waiting for you.’
‘You better not keep our Rose, she’s in a foul mood, that one.’ Uncle George laughed loudly and turned to discussion with Roxanne, Louis and Ella, not waiting for a reply. I pushed passed them, skimming the multiple aunts and uncles and cousins.
Aunty Hermione was deep in discussion with Tante Fleur and her sister Gabrielle, sitting on the chairs that had been set out for dinner, near Aunt Angelina and Aunt Audrey. Isabelle had escaped Aunt Angie’s clutches and was toddling around on podgy legs with Gabrielle’s sound Eric, who was about three, and Sophia.
Freddie was over with Uncle Charlie, his girlfriend Holly, and his friend from school Roisia near the pond; Fred was making wild arm gestures which was never a good sign.
Teddy and Victoire were breezing about, as was Molly and Gabrielle’s other son Luca, who was about nine.
Lily and Alice had somehow snuck into the garden, and were shooting devil eyes at Hugo who was mid-snog with his latest catch by the fence. And Uncle Bill was talking to Uncle Percy and Andre, Molly’s husband. Andre had his daughter Micaela balanced on her hip, she looked like she was in tears. I couldn’t see James or my parent’s anywhere. I didn’t know what to make of that.
However I could see a very furious Rose seething on the park by herself, flicking dangerously fast through the book she clutched in her lap. It seemed Uncle Ron, who was sitting beside her, had tried, and failed, to get her to calm down.
‘Hey Albus,’ he greeted me tiredly as I approached, ‘how are you kiddo?’
‘Good thanks and you?’ I asked, bringing out the small smile again.
‘Would be better,’ he jerked his head in Roses direction and her eyes narrowed even further, but they were glued to the page, ‘you need anything to drink, or you think you can handle her?’
‘I can hear you dad,’ Rose snapped, her father leapt up to his feet, a look of mild fear on his features.
‘I got it, thanks Uncle Ron,’ I grinned, taking his seat and scooping Rose into a hug. ‘And could you let my parents know I’m here?’
‘Can’t you see I’m trying to read Albus?’ she grumbled, pushing me away, ‘I mean, it’s your fault that bloody bitch is here and Scorp is off sulking anyways.’
‘Bloody... what?’ I asked, screwing my nose up in confusion. Merlin this was when I needed Belinda, to tell me what the hell was going on in Rose’s mind.
She was stopped from answering by the arrival of my mother in a blur of red hair and hugs. ‘Hey,’ I said softly, brushing her hair out of my face.
‘Albus, I swear you have been avoiding us, both my other children are home at least once a week and you never come and see me,’ my mother complained, releasing me from her vice like grip for long enough for me to see my dad standing behind her.
‘Let him breathe Ginny,’ he said, there was no expression in his voice, and I couldn’t see his face so I had no idea what he was thinking.
‘Hi dad,’ I said, trying desperately to avoid his eyes.
‘Albus, how are you?’ he replied, I could feel his gaze making my cheeks burn. I really hated conversations like this, but I made an effort because my mother was still standing there with her arm around me and Rose would be more irritated if I didn’t.
‘Fine,’ I replied, ‘you?’
‘Great thanks, how are your godparents?’
‘They’re good,’ I looked up at him for the first time, he didn’t look to angry, his eyes were a little sad even.
‘Well I won’t keep you Al, James wanted to say hi,’ he replied, and then he turned away and disappeared back towards the house.
‘Mum, I-’ I turned to her hurriedly, ‘I’m sorry, that sucked, I mean I-’
‘Go find your brother,’ she murmured sadly, kissing my cheek, ‘and don’t avoid me the whole holiday sweetie, I miss you!’ She hugged me again and then set off in the same steps as my dad, away from me. I looked back helplessly at Rose who was away in her book again. ‘Go find your bloody brother,’ she snapped as I made to sit down again.
Fuck this is why I hate being with my family.
I made my way back into the kitchen. If there was one place James loved more than any other it was the kitchen. But that was empty, surprisingly enough, and even Nana Molly had gone outside to join the festivities, I could hear her singing at the top of her lungs from here.
Instead of going back out to them, I grabbed the bags that I’d previously left in the corner and took them upstairs, passing the second floor, where I only stopped briefly to put Alice’s bag on her bed in mum’s old room, and continuing up to the fifth floor, with intentions to drop my bag and head up to the attic.
I pushed open the door that lead to one of the rooms that was likely one of my Uncle’s back in the day, that I knew I’d be sharing with, no doubt, all my male cousins. There were mattresses laid out on the floor, and two twin beds on the far side of the room, and bags scattered everywhere. It looked as though no one had made an effort to clean up in here.
She was there by the window when I first caught sight of her. I was so surprised my rucksack fell off my shoulder and hit the floor with an almighty thump. She was sitting on the window ledge filing her nails, her golden hair pulled into her trademark pony tail and her high heeled feet propped up against the wall. The setting sun caught her eyelashes and made them look longer, and it threw shadows of a perfectly straight nose across her face. She laughed her shattering laugh and looked pointedly at me.
In all the years I hadn’t seen her, she hadn’t changed a bit. Same piercing blue eyes, same disapproving look, same best friend.
‘Hey Albie-poo,’ she teased.
I crossed the room in two long strides and scooped her into my arms, spinning her around. ‘C? I can’t believe it’s you.’ I gasped.
Fuck, no wonder Scorpius was angry.
Ok so this is Part 1 of Christmas At the Burrow. What do you think? Seeing all the family? His reactions around them? His Dad? And Rose... what was that about? And of course the big fat question mark, who is C, the girl in the bedroom?
Would you like to tell me what you think? Aw come on, you know you would!
Ok I would like to apologise, for those of you who have done/are soon doing exams, I hope you can sympathise, to everyone else I just have been so busy with school stuff it’s insane. I really want to update soon too, but no promises because I have so much studying to do.
Anyways I hope there was something good about this chapter that made up for it, but if not leave a review to tell me how to improve and all Harry Potter related things are property of JK Rowling, and I have no claim to her story.
Love you all for reading, PLEASE REVIEW!
EDIT: Hey everyone, sorry it's taking me soooo long to update, but the next chapter is 60% done and I have a public holiday tomorrow, it should be in the cue by the end of the week *fingers crossed*
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