Chapter 6 : Chapter the Sixth
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I’m really, really scared.
Why am I scared I hear you ask?
Because today I’m going to be talking to people.
DUN. DUN. DUUUUUUUN.
Not a big deal, right?
Well, you’re wrong.
It’s a HUGE deal.
It’s for my bakery.
THAT IS ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN.
After I had that chat with my mum, and I talked to Glitter and then James and then Nana Molly (who is super excited and really wants to help me with this because baking is kind of ‘our’ thing) and they’re all telling me I should go for it.
So I am.
I’m going to go for it.
I have finally found my true calling.
And I’m terrified.
What if it doesn’t happen? It’s nearly December and I’ve been so focused on this lately, I’ve kind of forgotten about the people who aren’t related to me. These are the people I generally call ‘friends’. I mean, they’ve been crazy busy as well (real, serious-business jobs tend to do that to people) but I still feel so lousy. My hours at the Leaky picked up and Hannah has me making the desserts more than the actual meals because I’m better at that and the whole bakery-thing.
So yeah, I’ve been having an action-packed few months. It kinda sucks because I literally wake up, eat, go to work, come home, eat, go to sleep. And then repeat.
Oh yeah, about two people quit the Leaky, so that’s also why my hours have been pushed up to a crazy amount. And the whole thing of talking to countless people about whether or not this bakery thing was an actual good idea often took my day-offs.
I hate being a grown up.
Actually, that’s a lie. I like being a grown up, I just hate the lack of sleep-ins and the lowered amount of pyjama days. But, I guess that’s just part of the ‘real word’.
Glitter is nowhere to be found when I finally emerge out of my room after that kind-of-but-not-really existential crisis/what-am-I-doing-with-my-life-fiasco.
And most people have told me that although I’m extremely young to be having this dream of a bakery, I should just go for it. Uncle George is super proud of me and has been giving me countless tips on how to ‘charm’ the people who I’ll be trying to buy the place from.
I’m actually going to an advisor person for the bakery. I think it’s a realtor, but that might be only houses. Ugh, it’s all business-y jargon and I honestly have no idea what any of it means.
Which isn’t too good considering my future kind of depends on this, but I have Mum and Dad to help me. Thank god.
But I’m making it sound like I don’t want any of this. I do. I really do. Now that I’ve been so set on it, I can’t see myself doing anything else. It’s the thing I’m willing to work fifteen hours a day for. It’s going to happen, no matter what. I guess I’m just a bit nervous because it’s finally happening. Although I’ve been working extra hard for the extra money and I knew that it would happen soon, I never really expected it to actually work.
Generally, when something in my life goes extremely well, another thing will come and ruin the whole shenanigan and leave me upset and hating life.
But what’s the bet that that thing will come just as I’ve spent all my money or just as I’ve started to go well in the business?
Because that’s just how life works, eh?
But I may as well stay on the positive side, because even if something does happen and I lose all my money, Mum and Dad are super rich and would never let me go broke. Excuse the brattiness.
I’ve been sitting at the table tapping my leg and scratching the table, anxiously waiting for Mum to knock on the door. Dad has to work today so it’s only Mum who’s accompanying me. Mum writes for the Prophet but she mainly works at home so she has a lot of spare time.
Which is good for me because I can have existential crises and she’ll always be around to calm me down/tell me I’m not going to become a failure. Woo!
Finally, the door knock and I nearly trip over my own feet in my haste to answer it. Although when I open the door, it isn’t Mum. It’s Nadia.
“Oh, hey, Nadia,” I say conversationally. I still feel a bit uneasy around her, she’s not a very – ack, how do I put this nicely? – pleasant person to be around. She constantly eyes me suspiciously whenever I see her, and I don’t know whether this is because of our first encounter or because I’m me.
“Is Glitter here?” she asks without even a hello. Rude.
I shake my head. “Nah, I woke up and he’d already left. Maybe give him a call?”
“I will. Bye.” She doesn’t wait for my response and walks away. I close the door with a grumble. I have no idea what the hell is up with her.
I tap my fingers against the breakfast bar, still waiting for Mum when about ten minutes later there’s another knock at my door. I swing the door open and see Mum waiting with a big smile on her face.
“Mum!” I say, nearly jumping into her open arms. I really, really miss living with Mum. Don’t get me wrong, living on your own is so much fun but I miss her. Plain and simple.
Funnily enough though, my relationship with Dad has gotten much better ever since I moved out. Dad and I always did clash.
“Hello, darling. You ready?” she asks, appraising my outfit for the day. One thing I don’t miss about living with Mum is that I now no longer have to worry if she’s going to snap at me for wearing something inappropriate. Nearly every time I left my room, she would say, ‘Lily, it’s freezing out there! Put something else on!’ or ‘Lily, that dress is too short I can nearly see your v—’
“Lily?” Mum asks, effectively cutting off my thoughts.
“Yeah, I’m ready. Let’s go?” I say, going to close the door. She tugs at my coat before nodding. I roll my eyes and double check that I’ve locked it (I’ve accidentally left it unlocked before, Glitter yelled bloody murder at me even though nothing was stolen) and follow her down the stairs. I never take the lift. It scares me too much.
It’s probably because when I was about four or five, Dad took me to the Ministry and I ran off into a lift which proceeded to stop working. So I sat in the corner and cried while the people around me stared at me and whispered, ‘Isn’t that Harry Potter’s daughter?’
You would think they would have helped a crying four year old. Absolutely no courtesy.
“Are you scared?” Mum asks, looking at me shrewdly. She can probably see the panic behind my extraordinarily thick glasses.
I purse my lips. “A bit. But I’m excited as well. But I’m also terrified that something will happen and the whole idea won’t work out.”
Mum pulls me into a side-hug, kissing the side of my cheek. “Don’t fret too much over it, baby.”
I smile sheepishly and scoot closer towards her. It’s bloody freezing and I need all the warmth I can get.
We go on the underground and get those silly Muggle cards out before we cause a pile-up. The cards make everything easier for Muggles, but for some reason, if a witch or wizard uses them, they tend to go a bit loopy and cause people to tut and say mean things towards us.
We would just Apparate there but the place is in a predominantly Muggle area and Mum’s paranoid. We queue up and I put my card into the little metal box-thingy and I get to go through without a problem. Mum however does not have the same luck and starts to keep pushing the little card through the slit. People behind her are tutting and one man says loudly, “Hurry up! It isn’t that hard for god’s sake!”
Mum turns around and snaps loudly, “My ticket is malfunctioning, you prick! There’s no harm in waiting a few extra minutes, so why don’t you shut your fat trap?”
Before the man can respond, the card finally works and Mum walks through without a second glance. The crowd around us stare at her in wonder and some even cheer her. She winks at me and I grin back at her. “Don’t you ever get scared of yelling at people?” I ask.
She snorts loudly. “No, yelling at people is my favourite thing to do.”
We get onto the carriage, finally, and it’s completely packed. Of course. I’m squished in between a rather large woman and a bored teenage boy. Mum is on the other side of the large woman and squashed into a wall.
Muggle transport is hard.
It’s such a relief when a bunch of people get off but the relief is short-lived because even more people get on and even though there really is no space left, that one Indian lady squished herself in and now the teenage boy (who is extraordinarily tall) keeps accidentally elbowing me.
His elbows are far too pointy to be allowed.
Finally we get to our stop and I shove my way past the large woman (who will not budge the tiniest bit even though Mum has already gotten off and she can move backwards) and tumble off, sighing in relief when I see my mum’s familiar red (and greying, but don’t tell her that) hair.
“I don’t understand Muggle transport,” is the first thing she says to me once I reach her. I agree and we make our way to the freezing outside world.
The place we have to be is a mixed Muggle and Wizarding place, ever since the war the Wizarding world really tried to integrate Muggle culture because although some things are just silly (i.e. the transportation systems), they do have some good ideas. And because we’ve also expanded as a Magical community, we need to know where the Muggle-dominated areas are and the magical villages are and other boring things like that.
Although, if a Muggle was to walk into any Muggle/Magical store, they wouldn’t see the glaringly obvious sign that says, ‘IF YOU CAN READ THIS PLEASE SAY AHOY-HOY WHEN YOU WALK IN’. It was made so every store could use it and ‘ahoy-hoy’ isn’t too strange of a phrase but rarely any Muggles use it. It could have been worse.
Luckily for us it’s empty so Mum says cheerfully, “Ahoy-hoy.” A dark skinned man grins and walks up to greet us.
“Ginny! Haven’t seen you here in a while! How are you?” he asks cheerfully.
“I’m good, Cameron, and you?” she says, shaking his outstretched hand.
He beams. “Happy as ever. And I’m guessing this is your daughter?” he says, looking at me.
She nods and I say, “Yeah. I’m Lily. Nice to meet you.” I hold my hand out and he shakes it.
“It’s lovely to meet you, too. Although, I must say, you look exactly like your mother!” he says, his eyes flicking back and forth between Mum and I.
Mum laughs. “Thank goodness.” Cameron laughs with her and I smile uncomfortably. They start to chat away and I occasionally nod and agree then Cameron finally says, “So what are you doing here?”
Mum smiles proudly at me. “Lily’s thinking of opening a bakery, and we need all the help we can get. Looking for a place and what-not, y’know?”
“We did this for James not too long ago, isn’t that right? You Potters have high ambitions! Come right along,” he says, walking towards a desk.
I follow him with bated breath because OH MY GOD THIS IS FINALLY STARTING.
Excuse me as I go hyperventilate in the corner.
Mum must notice the tension in my shoulders because she holds my hand and sits down with me, saying softly, “Don’t worry. Cameron’s great.”
I nod and absentmindedly my leg starts to jiggle up and down. Cameron is tapping away at his computer and then starts to print things off. He starts to talk to us about pricing, how long the process will take and when it will actually start.
When he first mentions the price, I nearly fall off the chair. I didn’t realise how expensive it was going to be. I mean, I knew it was going to be pretty pricey but wow. I silently thank Hannah for giving me all those extra hours.
Mostly Mum talks but I do supply my opinions a lot more because of the tiny little fact that it will be my business. Cameron then gathers all the printed things off and shows me what places would be the best to put it in but I say, “I thought Diagon Alley or something would be the place…”
Cameron shakes his head. “That is a good place, because it will be a lot easier to use magic and things, but you’ll get a better profit overall if you place it in an establishment like ours. And there’s the added fact that Diagon Alley constantly has people vying to get a place there so the prices are ridiculously high and when it isn’t summer, you hardly get any customers. I understand if you still want to go in Diagon Alley, but it just isn’t the smarter option.”
I bite my lip and look at Mum for her opinion. She says, “I agree with Cameron. And you can always have the kitchen where you can use magic. It’ll just be out the front, really.”
I say, “I’ll think about it. I’ll probably go with that option but I kind of want to speak to other people, just to get their opinions on it as well. But I’ll probably go with this choice instead anyway.”
Cameron nods. “Perfectly understandable. Now, do you have a team that you’re going to start working with?”
“There’s me, of course, my grandma and I’ve mentioned it to a couple of my friends but none of them can do it. I think a lot of my family members will help out at first and then slowly stop as I get more people. But I have been talking to people who are interested,” I say.
He nods again and Mum says, “I’m sure some of Al and James’ mates would help out as well.”
I grimace. “Do we really want their mates to help out though?”
Mum laughs and concedes, “I guess you’re right. But our whole family will help you out, don’t worry. Fred and George did it alone, so you’ll be just fine.”
I nod and Cameron says, “I forgot about that! It’s a business starting family, isn’t it?” Mum laughs and I smile quickly before returning to my thoughts of who could be in my ‘team’. Glitter’s dancing career has just projected crazily and he has hardly any time to watch new episodes of Doctor Who let alone help me run a business.
He starts going back to his notes and says, “We’ll also need to talk about infrastructure – that is what equipment you’ll be needing,” he adds noticing my blank stare.
“Well, I’ll definitely need an oven,” I say lightly and he laughs and jots that down before looking back up at me to continue. “I’ll also need a fridge, because some cakes need to be refrigerated; a stove, if I’m making caramel or something; does a sink count? Because I’ll need to wash up somehow.”
He nods, still writing it down and he says, “I recommend getting a dishwasher, especially if you’ll be working in a Muggle establishment, in case someone gets through or something and ends up accidentally seeing dishes cleaning themselves up. Now, would there be any other things you’d need? I don’t know too much about baking but I know that one burning fire thingy you people use for crème brûlées so is that something that requires any extra costs or anything?”
I shake my head. “Nah, that’s just a torch. I generally tend to use my wand for that but I know how to use it. I think they’re the main ones.”
Cameron nods and he then starts talking about tools, stock, and I realise how hard this is going to be. And how expensive it will be. I can foresee a lot of stress in my future.
But I don’t care. I realise with a rush that I’m willing to do anything for this bakery. It’s going to happen whether the world wants it to or not.
And I’m pretty excited for it.
Then Cameron begins to talk about health and safety requirements. He started to talk about the OH&S and because of James and Uncle George, I basically knew it already.
We talk about the obvious things (fire extinguisher, clearly marked exits, blah blah blah) but then we also talked about things like a panic alarm in case someone tries to keep us hostage, even though we’re magical and no one would be able to do that, but it’s a Muggle requirement so we have to do it. I think we get fined if we don’t do it, ugh.
Things are so expensive. It’d be much easier to be a crappy celebrity who’s famous for doing nothing at all.
And honestly, I could do that because I’m semi-famous because of the whole ‘Dad-saved-the-world-thing’.
But it’d probably be more fun owning a bakery.
I think we end up staying for several hours and Cameron draws us up a plan of the cost, and the estimated time length, and it’s going to take a while, but it will get done. There isn’t any doubt about that. Any fears I had before basically disappeared as I realised that I’m finally doing something I want to. I finally know what I want to do.
We finally leave and the temperature has dropped to about a minus THOUSAND DEGREES.
It hasn’t even started snowing yet, so I am not looking forward to that. I hate cold weather, it’s just so unnecessary and taking coats on and off can get really exhausting.
“Good grief, it’s cold, isn’t it?” Mum says, shivering and folding her arms tightly.
I nod and ask, “Can we just Apparate home? I don’t want to go on the stupid underground again and I don’t want to be in the cold for any longer than I have to.”
Mum considers it and then shrugs. “Alright. We’ll just find a back-alley or something. Did you want to come over for dinner tonight?”
I think about it. Glitter has practice tonight – it’s with some singer or band or something and he’s a back-up dancer and he needs to be there for nearly every night for three weeks. The poor guy hasn’t had a proper break. If he was going to be at home tonight, I’d probably stay with him but he isn’t so I look at Mum and smile. “Yeah, that’d be great,” I say.
She grins at me and loops my arm with hers. We make our way to a deserted street and with a quick look at our surroundings; Mum turns us on the spot right into the kitchen.
I shiver because Dad hasn’t come home and so the house is also bloody freezing. I tell Mum that I’m going to turn the fire on and she tells me that she’s going to get started on dinner. I make my way to the lounge room and start poking the logs with my wand.
Soon enough, a roaring fire starts and I take off my coat and sit as close to it as I possibly can. I lie down and revel in the fluffiness of the cream carpet. It’s so soft and I’ve always loved sitting in it.
It probably isn’t smart that we have a cream carpet right in front of the fire, but I guess that’s what magic is for.
I swear I’ve been lying there for two minutes when Mum calls out that dinner is ready. I make my way into the kitchen and Mums says, “Dad’s working over time tonight, some idiot is trying to say he’s the new ‘Dark Lord’ and wants revenge on all Muggleborns. Would’ve been scary but he hasn’t got a wand, so your father just has to question him on why he’s trying to become the new ‘Dark Lord’.”
I laugh loudly and say, “Isn’t that like the fifth time someone’s done that?” I sit down and look at what Mum’s made. It’s pumpkin soup – my favourite. “Thanks, Mum!”
She grins and slides into the chair opposite me. “Seventh time, actually. Someone did it just before James was born and just after you were born as well. Each time the person has just had a mental disorder or something and refused treatment.” She sighs and shakes her head, picking up her spoon. “Come on then, eat up!”
I grin and basically start attacking the bowl in my haste to eat. I didn’t realise how hungry I was until I smelt the soup. I’m dipping my bread into the bowl when Mum asks, “So, what’s Glitter up to lately? I haven’t heard much from him, but then again, this is the first time I’ve properly seen you in weeks!”
“Sorry, Mum,” I apologise, smiling sheepishly. “Work, y’know? But Glitter has actually become a back-up dancer for some singer. Or a band. I don’t know, it’s Muggle and their name can either be a band name or a singer name… But it’s still a massive gig! He’s so excited for it, but he’s been flat out for weeks. He’s going to overwork himself.”
Mum laughs and says, “Lily, don’t worry. He’s a big boy, he knows how to handle himself.”
I snort. “You try living with him and then come say that sentence to my face. He’s like a toddler sometimes! He doesn’t understand anything!”
Mum raises an eyebrow. “Didn’t he get a near-perfect score in the end of year exams he did?”
I roll my eyes and concede, “He’s smart academically, but he lacks common sense! I still find it so weird that he decided to become a dancer, he was originally going to work in law or something.”
Mum shrugs and has another slurp of her soup. “I guess that wasn’t his true passion. But he is a very good dancer, and a lot of dancing needs men. And he enjoys it, so you best leave him be.”
“Oh, I know. I’m not going to yell at him or anything; I just find it so odd that he was originally going towards this goal that is nowhere near dancing. I mean, he’s been dancing for all his life, but I only ever thought it was a hobby. It’s good though, because when we’re in the apartment, he’ll be dancing around and he’ll try to teach me things. Sadly, I think I’ve inherited Dad’s dancing skills.”
Mum laughs and says, “Your father is a hopeless dancer. Nearly fell over in our first dance as a married couple. Ron didn’t let him forget that for ages.”
I laugh and say, “Uncle Ron has a lot of clumsiness though, he shouldn’t really make fun of Dad, should he?”
Mum laughs again. “Lily, you should know by now that your Uncle Ron likes to take the mickey out of Dad. He always has, and probably always will.”
I giggle and wipe down my bowl with the bread. I chew thoughtfully and say, “Thank you for coming with me today, Mum.”
Mum runs a hand through my hair and says, “Of course. I’m so proud of you, you know that?”
I nod and she kisses my cheek. “Come on, do you want to watch a movie?”
“Man of Steel?” I offer and she brightens up and agrees immediately. We both love that movie, and it may or may not be because of Superman’s beautiful body.
We’ve watched it so many times that we literally know the exact gestures that accompany the words. It’s been so many years, but we’re still not sick of it.
And we never will be.
We sit down and Mum flicks her wand so popcorn comes flying towards us. We settle down and wait for the movie to begin.
I love my mum.
disclaimer: Man of Steel (and Superman) is not mine, it's DC's and Christopher Nolan
Doctor Who is not mine either, it's BBC's
(what a plot twist it would be if I was them)
Anyway, thanks for reading! Hopefully you enjoyed it and the wait wasn't too bad. I just finished my trial exams, but literally for the next five weeks I'm super busy and then I have my finals a few weeks after that but because I procrastinate so much I'll probably get a chapter after my five weeks of fun (hint: it's parties omg Kayla actually has a life for once!!!1!) so look forward to that!
(seriously though, this week is a boring picnic thingy, next is my birthday, the two after that are parties, and then it's my formal [kinda like a prom] which we then have an after party for on the same night!)
(there's also school but who cares about that hehe)
ANYWAY, please review on your thoughts! I'll love you forever! ♥
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