Chapter 8 : Chapter 8
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Charlie Weasley gave his nephew a frown before raising an eyebrow, “What are you going on about Hugo?” he asked him.
His nephew continued to stare at him blankly as he stood behind the till.
“I said can I help you?” Hugo repeated slowly, folding his arms across his chest as he raised an eyebrow back at his uncle.
“Because you are causing a queue,” He nodded behind Charlie. Charlie looked behind him and saw no one was standing there; hell the shop wasn’t even open yet.
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re weird?” Charlie said to his nephew who gave a sigh before beginning to wipe the counter with his own sleeve.
“Every day,” Hugo said simply, not breaking eye contact with Charlie as he continued wiping the counter, Charlie gave a cough as he felt a little uncomfortable, yet not looking away, he didn’t want
Hugo to win the staring contest.
“So what can I help you with today Sir?” Hugo asked. Charlie resisted the urge to roll his eyes; his nephew had been a very strange boy almost from birth. Everyone in the family had thought that
Albus would be the weirdest child born to the family, but that title was instantly taken as soon as Hugo was born. Charlie tried to make sure he wasn’t left alone with both of them together, he wasn’t sure he would be able to manage it.
“Would you like to come out drinking tonight Hugo? It’ll be with me, Percy and Bill,” Charlie asked him, he had come here to ask George if he wanted to come out, but George seemed to be busy out back and Charlie had been forced to stand out here and talk to his nephew.
“Will there be girls?” Hugo asked him.
“Well, we’re only planning on drinking at Bill’s house, but I suppose we can see where the night takes us I guess,” Charlie said with a shrug at his nephew who still wasn’t stopping his eye contact.
“I’m working until close so I can come over afterwards,” Hugo told him, finally looking down at the counter. Charlie sighed inwardly; it was becoming more and more difficult to resist looking away from him. “Unless I convince Fred to take my shift for me, what do you think Uncle Charlie?”
“That’s up to you really,” Charlie said with a shrug.
“You’re not as fun as you used to be Uncle Charlie,” Hugo stated, still wiping the immaculately clean side with his sleeve. “The old you would have loved the idea of me skiving off of work to go drinking.”
“Like I said, you’ll be the one losing out on money -” Charlie began but Hugo interrupted him.
“Wow, I never thought that Percy would end up being my favourite Uncle,” Hugo stated raising his eyebrows and shaking his head.
“I thought your favourite Uncle was Harry,” Charlie said with a frown, Hugo’s eyes shot up at his words and Charlie resisted the urge to take a step back from him.
“What did you say about Uncle Harry?” Hugo hissed, pointing at Charlie with his dirty sleeve, “He’s a saint!”
Charlie raised his eyebrow up at Hugo before sighing, why had his brother not had Hugo tested yet? “Well, I see that you’re busy, so I’ll just see you at Bills later on? Just come after work.” He moved away from the counter a bit fearful of the look still in Hugo’s eyes as he watched Charlie leave.
“Why is my family full of strange people?” He muttered to himself quietly before deciding to go and find out if George was free yet, he didn’t want to stay out here alone with Hugo anymore.
“Hey Fred!” Hugo called walking over to where Fred was currently sitting, “Can you cover my shift from two?”
“Yeah, okay, how comes?” Fred asked Hugo, looking up at him over a pile of boxes of new stock.
“Oh, nothing big just a family emergency,” Hugo gave a shrug as he picked at the cello tape that had sealed one of the boxes.
“Like what!” Fred cried, instantly worried. Hugo gave a loud sigh before looking up at Fred and spoke as though he were a child.
“Nothing you need to concern yourself with,”
“But it’s my family too,” Fred said, getting up off of the floor, Hugo began to walk out of the stock room; Fred grabbed Hugo by the arm. “What’s going on Hugo?”
“I’m only going to a party, it’s nothing major.” Hugo said with a shrug.
“Oh –“ Fred said, dropping Hugo’s arm and instantly looking hurt, “– why wasn’t I invited?”
“Because it’s just us cool guys, you know. Me, Uncle Charlie, Uncle Percy, Uncle Bill, possibly Uncle Harry will make an awesome appearance, but it’s exclusive so I didn’t want to bring it up because you would have got upset.”
“And you didn’t think I would be upset over this fake family emergency?” Fred asked, Hugo gave him a shrug.
“I was trying to shield you from the pain of not being invited to the party.”
Fred wanted nothing more than to go to this party, “Can I come?”
Hugo gave another shrug, “It’s kind of an invitation thing only, and you’re now working so possibly not.”
“I’m going to ask Uncle Charlie if I can come round after,”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Hugo said, standing in the way of Fred, who was going to walk out of the room.
“And why not?”
“Because he’s mad at you,” Hugo said simply, Fred looked a little horrified.
“But I haven’t done anything wrong!”
“Don’t you remember that time at Christmas when you sat in his chair and drank some of his egg nog by mistake?”
“That was years ago,” Fred said with a small frown as he remembered the incident. His Uncle Charlie had just laughed and took the seat next to Fred and poured himself a fresh glass of egg nog, adding some Firewhiskey to it when his mother wasn’t looking.
“Well, he’s never forgiven you,” Hugo told him.
“I don’t believe you,”
“Why would I lie to you?” Hugo asked him, folding his arms and getting that crazy look in his eyes that Hugo seemed to get, causing everyone to fear him slightly. Fred tried not to recoil from him in horror.
“There are many reasons,” Fred said slowly, hoping to get out of arm's length, Hugo was known to lunge without a moment’s notice and Fred wasn’t taking any chances.
“Name one!” Hugo dared him, pointing at him with his sleeve, Fred noticed that it was dirty with what he hoped was dust and not mud.
“Er – Is that my dad calling me?” Fred said, momentarily distracting Hugo enough for Fred to slink out of the room and into more space. He ran through the shop hastily, dodging around boxes, signs and display’s carefully, before settling in between a few boxes of Caramel Cauldrons. He heard Hugo run past his hiding place, and let out a sigh of relief, wedging himself backwards and falling into an open space behind the boxes, where there was enough room for him to sit and not be seen. He looked down at his watch as he sat normally and noticed that it was one o’clock.
“Really,” he whispered to himself as he realised that he would have to hide until at least two thirty to be safe from Hugo. This hour odd was going to go slow, Fred thought to himself as he heard
Hugo rush past the hiding place again.
“I want to meet a girl,” Hugo stated, causing Bill to choke on his drink. The party was in full swing, well, it was as entertaining as it could be with a few men drinking beers and talking.
“But I thought you never wanted a girlfriend?” Bill asked, through small clearings of his throat. “In fact, I thought that you mentioned liking a boy?”
“That was ages ago, now I like girls. So I wish to acquire a girlfriend,” Hugo said, drinking his glass of alcohol and wincing at the taste of it.
“Acquire? You’re not collecting them,” Percy said with a laugh, Hugo turned to look at him and Percy was careful to avoid eye contact.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he was,” Bill whispered to Percy, who nodded his agreement, once again careful to avoid eye contact with Hugo.
“Either way, I need Uncle Charlie’s help; he’s the womaniser of the family,” Hugo declared to them all, having another sip of his drink, getting a bit more used to the bitter taste.
Percy, who was mid drink, spat it out in shock at Hugo’s words, spraying Bill, who wiped his face before bursting out in laughter with Percy.
Charlie glared at his brothers as he placed his beer on the side.
“I’ll have you know that I’ve had more girls’ than hot dinners!” Charlie told them haughtily.
“So he lives off of sandwiches,” Percy whispered to Bill who laughed again. Charlie shook his head at them, what did they know?
“It’s one of the reasons I had to leave Romania,” Charlie lied to them, “I had too many girlfriends and needed to get away from them.”
“Of course we believe that,” Bill muttered, grabbing a few more beers and handing them all out.
“Believe what?” George asked, walking into the kitchen. He was late arriving at Bill’s house because he had to work late, his wife Angelina had gone out with Fleur and Audrey. Ron, Harry, Hermione and Ginny were invited, but they were busy having dinner together. He grabbed a beer off of Bill, after hanging up his travelling cloak on the back of the kitchen stool.
“That Charlie is a womaniser,” Bill stated. George let out a loud laugh that lasted for a good few minutes.
“What, with that face?” he asked, pointing at Charlie who scowled.
“Just because none of you were there to see it,” he told them.
“I bet you had lots of girlfriends at school,” Hugo said, looking at his uncle in awe, a look he normally only reserved for his uncle Harry. Bill, Percy and George sniggered. “You were a seeker and captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.”
“Has he not mentioned that he was also Captain of the Gobstones club?” Bill asked Hugo, Charlie warned his brother to shut up before he hurt him. Bill wasn’t intimidated in the slightest.
“What?” Hugo asked incredulously, looking from Bill to Charlie in disgust. “Is that true?”
Charlie’s glare at his brothers, who was still laughing at him, answered Hugo’s question.
“What are you a second year?” Hugo cried, shaking his head.
“Hey Gobstones were cool back in my day.” Charlie said defending himself.
“Yeah, back in the time of Godric Gryffindor. When all you had to play with was some rocks and a stick.” Hugo yelled, grabbing another beer off of Bill and drinking it, wincing again. He really didn’t like the taste of the beer and hoped that Bill was going to bring out the wine soon.
“It wasn’t that long ago,” Bill said to Hugo, “Don’t forget that I’m older than Charlie.”
“You’re an old man that’s why,” Charlie said to Bill, who raised an eyebrow at his brother.
“Hey, don’t push me Charlie, don’t forget I know all of your secrets.” Bill said in warning.
“You know nothing,” Charlie said, trying to act cool and not show that he was scared of the information his brother held over him. It wasn’t that long ago that they had to share a room together.
“I know that you used to have a crush on Anthony...” Bill began, but Charlie waved his wand causing Bill to begin quacking. Charlie was trying to stop himself from going red as his brothers all laughed at him; Bill quacked a few times before he pulled his own wand out and ended the spell.
“Don’t worry bro, your secrets are safe with me,” Bill said with a smirk in Charlie’s direction.
“Thanks,” Charlie said, although he didn’t really believe his brother in the slightest, he didn’t trust the look in his eyes.
“Hey Hugo, why don’t you go and get that wine you brought with you?” Bill asked him, Hugo got up excitedly.
“I’ll bring over my triangle as well and I can show you all the new solo I wrote,” Hugo said. The others all stopped dead at his words, and gave each other fearful looks.
“How about you bring over those two bottles of Firewhiskey as well and then we’ll see okay?” Percy said, knowing that they all had to drink a bit more if they were going to be forced to listen to another solo. The last one had lasted a good sixteen minutes and twenty one seconds, Percy had timed it, and he didn’t know if he could face another one sober, especially if Hugo was going to dance along to it as well. Last time he had managed to break something, Percy was glad that they were in Bill's house this time.
Two hours later, two triangle solos and various amounts of alcohol consumed later they all found themselves reminiscing back to when they were all growing up together.
“Oh no, no, that wasn’t me who broke the fence in the chicken coop and let all the chickens out, that was George!” Percy said, shaking his head and pointing to his brother who was also shaking his head.
“Nope, not me,” George told them with a laugh, “That was Fred. Ron pushed him into it and Fred fell through it.”
“I remember now!” Percy said, laughing with his brothers as they sat on the floor, leaning against various counters. Hugo had fallen asleep on the floor and they had surrounded him with the empty bottles, they were accumulating, causing some sort of outline around him. “Ron got into so much trouble for that!”
“Not as much trouble as you and Fred got into for turning Ron’s teddy bear into a spider,” Bill said pointing at George. “As hilarious as it was at the time.”
“He broke Fred’s toy broom,” George told them, remembering the incident as if it was only yesterday. “We both got grounded for a month because of that. Remember when Ron began eating that wedding cake that mum was making for some friend of hers?”
“Mrs err – “ Charlie said, clicking his fingers as he tried to remember the name of the woman that used to come over to the house a few times. “Mrs Buckley!” he cried remembering the name.
“Mum couldn’t fix it in time, so decided to just cut out another part of the cake, cover it with icing and stick a bunch of flowers in there.”
“And little Ron was just sitting on the floor, his entire face and hands covered in this sickly blue icing.”
“I think I’ve still got the picture of that upstairs,” Bill said, standing up and trying to remember where he put the album of family pictures he copied off of his mum a few years ago.
“Have you got the picture of the Christmas that Ginny destroyed the Christmas tree because she didn’t get that doll?”
“I’ve put that one in a frame,” Bill beamed at them, “I put it on the mantelpiece whenever I know that she’s coming over.” He told them wickedly.
“Do you remember when you and Fred wanted to play Quidditch, but none of us would play with you?” Charlie asked George, who grinned at him and nodded eagerly.
“Oh that was so funny, me and Freddie decided to try and use Ron as a bludger and began trying to push him around the floor with a broom that we found. I think that was when he first showed signs of being magical because he somehow managed to set it on fire, I had never heard Fred scream so loudly or like more of a girl.”
“He was amazing,” Percy said, the others all agreed big smiles on their faces as they thought of their brother. George raised a hand to his necklace that held the hand of a clock that used to be on the Weasley family clock, it was Fred’s one. Arthur had given it to George after discovering that it had fallen off of the clock, George had never taken it off of his neck, it felt comforting to know that Fred’s hand would always be above his heart.
George raised his beer to the sky and looked up, giving a wink. “I miss you Freddie.”
The others all done the same.
“You better be causing havoc up there Fred,” Percy said with a smile.
A/N: The information about George wearing Fred's clock hand on a necklace belongs to JK Rowling as does anything you don't recognise. Let me know what you think of this chapter, more Amelia and James in the next chapter, are there any other characters you want to see in this story?
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by Amy Sellers