Chapter 2 : Where Amelia lays us out the deets
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It had been four days since Amelia had come home at the somewhat unorthodox time of 8:30 AM. Since then, she had spent her time in her ragged old carpet slippers, wandering about her brother and sister-in-law’s Diagon Alley flat, reviewing Law for Muggleborn Inheritances, an area of law she never felt she had fully grasped. Her sister-in-law and closest friend, Orly Bones née Jäger, was surprised to see her usually go-gettting best friend so houseridden.
The two were sitting at the little kitchen table one night, Orly having already put her two-year-old daughter, Aiofe, to bed. Edgar wasn’t home yet- that night he was at another late night meeting with his fellow pro-Muggle wizards, talking about things he refused to discuss with his wife and sister.
“So,” said Orly, sliding a letter across the old wooden table, before going back to the baby sweater she was knitting, “you’ve got a job interview.”
Almost a full minute later, Amelia looked up from Lawsuits, Leprechauns, and Libel, with slightly unfocused eyes. “What was that you were saying?”
“I told you about this job opening a week and a half ago and we both agreed it would be a great opportunity,” Orly reminded her patiently, in her faint Israeli accent. “We both know you’re not happy without work, especially when you have to live with your big brother, handsome and wonderful as he may be.”
With her tiny, birdlike frame, fly-away curls, and big green eyes, Orly looked so small and ethereal that Amelia sometimes forgot just how forceful she could be in directing the affairs of the people she cared about.
“Anyway,” Orly continued when Amelia just looked at her, “I pretended to be you, wrote the law firm, and now you’ll be interviewing at Scamander, Bonaccord, and Bonaccord in Manchester at ten o’clock tomorrow morning.”
Amelia’s response to this was to collapse onto the dusty old textbook with an enormous sigh. “I don’t know, Orly, I’m feeling so weirdly nervous, not myself at all. I’m going to be surrounded by such amazing, experienced lawyers, and I’ll just be the little new girl. And that’s only if I manage to get the job!”
“Oh, bubala,” Orly said, navigating her pregnant body through the tiny kitchen to wrap her arms around Amelia. “You gotta get out there! Time’s are crazy and the job market’s going to the grindylows. But you’re amazingly qualified and I know you can do this.”
“Thanks, Orly,” Amelia smiled, resting her blonde head on Orly’s shoulder. “How about if I do get this job, you’ll run away with me? Leave my brother behind and promise that I’ll even tolerate your children.”
Orly laughed a little. “Thanks, but someone’s got to look after Edgar,” she said, moving toward the window, looking out into the soft glow of streetlights in Diagon Alley. There was just a whisper of fall in the air now, coming through the open window into the cozy kitchen, along with the laughs of teenagers out for one last night of ice cream and the good natured voices of slightly drunk men returning home.
“Do you have any idea what Edgar is up to anyway?” asked Amelia.
“He won’t say. He thinks it will put you, me, and the babies in danger,” Orly mused, not moving her eyes from the street, watching for her husband. “But I think he and the others are with Dumbledore tonight.”
Amelia looked down at the newspaper, left open on the table that morning. “Hogwarts students remain missing after 3 days”, the headline ran that day. The four incoming sixth years who never came back from a weekend camping trip had been all over the wizard news. Foul play was a given- there had been signs of struggle at the campsite, with small amounts of one of the girls’ blood smeared through trampled grass.
Even more frightening were the rumors that these disappearances were linked to the ten others reported that summer- an unheard of amount in wizarding England. None had yet been solved.
The pair of them sat quietly at the kitchen table each lost in their own thoughts when Orly perked up and reached over to the Wireless Wizarding Network. “I think Gid had a match last, we can probably hear the rerun,” Orly said. Orly and Edgar knew the Prewett twins pretty well, because Fabian ran the bookkeeping for the Prewett family business, which Edgar now operated. Besides that, Gideon was a fit Quidditch Keeper, and even dedicated wife, Orly Bones, couldn’t help being interested in his goings-about.
It took Orly a while, fiddling with the ancient dials, to find the correct station and even longer to position the WWN in a location where there wasn’t any static, “ Damn, thing,” Orly muttered under her breath as she plodded through the kitchen.
“-Wasp Chaser Montgomery passes the Quaffle to Crawford and now back to Montgomery. This season’s Wasps have some strong Chasers, I hope the Cannons can get their plays in order or they won’t stand a chance of catching back up in this match. If they don’t win their next match, they’ll be out of the running for the championship,” the commentator boomed.
“Right you are, Ike, the Wasps on the other hand have been on a winning streak, their Captain Harold Mosley has been training them like mad-”
“-Oh ho!” Ike gasped, “At the west end of the field, Cannons’ Seeker Rupert Peaks appears to have spotted the snitch! He dives straight to the ground, Wasp Seeker Marcus Davis follows directly after. Peaks is on a Nimbus 1000; they were released last year but it appears Peaks has kept his in tip top shape. I’m not seeing any tail shaking that tends to happen when Nimbus brooms get old-”
“-Ike! I don’t believe it! I don’t believe it!” the other commentator cried, “Peaks just pulled off a Wronski Feint! Davis hits the ground hard at top speed and medics rush out to greet him. He’ll probably be out for the next two games, you don’t want to play with addled brains-”
“What kind of people become Quidditch commentators, anyway?” Orly complained. “If you’re not good enough to play, you should really just get a job that doesn’t involve mooning after something you can’t have. And if you’re too old to be on a team anymore, you should just find something new to do. This career field is full of schmucks.”
“You’re just annoyed because they’re not talking about Gideon,” said Amelia, rolling her eyes good-naturedly.
“Well, he’s undoubtedly the best player on the team, the one with the most potential, the most crowd charisma-”
“The most nice things to say about your home cooked meals on Sunday nights.”
As Amelia was saying this, Ike’s voice crackled in, “that Gideon Prewett is certainly showing his chops tonight! Woo hoo, I don’t think the Cannons have seen this kind of talent in the last ten years!”
“Word on the street, Ike, is that our boy has found himself a girlfriend! Did you read that article last week?”
“Hoo boy, unlike you, I don’t subscribe to Witch Weekly! Ho ho ho!”
“Ooh, Davis is not looking good over there on the sidelines, and his team’s chances are looking even worse without their Seeker! But no, Ike, it was in Quidditch Review, if you must know, and it said that he’s dating a Muggle!”
“Really?” Ike sounded befuddled, “Well, good luck to him with his mudwallowing, I suppose.”
“Now Ike,” said the other commentator, his voice dropping to a normal level, “that’s going a bit far, I’d say. I’ve met many a lovely Muggle girl in my day.”
“Well, I suppose he probably gets down in the dirt and grime on nights like tonight anyway. This drizzle and mud doesn’t come out of uniforms too easily, so he’ll be used to that!”
By this time, Orly and Amelia were exchanging irritated and saddened glances. Hearing these sorts of Muggle slurs in the open was becoming more and more common.
“Did you hear about him having a girlfriend, though, Orly?”
“Huh, Gideon and Fabian were just over for tea a week or two ago. I guess it wouldn’t necessarily have come up..” she trailed off.
“I guess the way things are going these days, he might not have wanted to advertise that he has a Muggle girlfriend.”
“Then why say it to a magazine reporter?”
“I honestly wouldn’t imagine that Gideon thinks far enough in advance to close his eyes when it’s time for bed.”
Orly laughed. “I’m glad to see you analyzing and criticizing again, Amelia. You really haven’t been yourself this week.”
“Well, if my best friend describes my personality as ‘critical,’ maybe that’s a good thing,” Amelia said, laughing a little.
“Well, you’ve been so much more quiet, less pushy. Spending your days in this studying trance. Did law school take it all out of you? I haven’t seen your usual Amelia bossiness since the night of your graduation party. And, not that you’re accountable to me, of course, but where were you that morning?”
Oh that graduation party, Amelia thought. Amelia had returned home from three years in Wales, at Great Britain’s top magical law school, only two weeks ago. The first week back had been fairly uneventful, Amelia had used it to catch up with Orly, play with her adorable niece, spend time with the rest of the family, and visit a few old Hogwarts friends.
Then her first weekend home, her family held a “Congratulations Amelia, On Graduating With Such Good Grades From Law School, We Are So Very Proud of You” party- or at least that’s what one of the banners read. The party was held in her family’s business, Flourish and Blotts, and most of the guests were as old and dusty as the books surrounding them. Wizarding academics, potioneers, and sorcerers whom Amelia had avoided during holiday parties all throughout her childhood, were suddenly everywhere. Her parents hadn’t thought to invite anyone from her Hogwarts class, and Orly had to go home to put the baby to bed before the party was even half over. So, at her own party, Amelia soon found herself settled into one of the old corduroy armchairs, hidden in the winding aisles of the bookstore, reading an autobiography of Leopoldina Smethwyck- the first book she had found.
When Amelia had just begun a chapter about a particularly violent Quidditch match, Leopoldina had refereed, a deep voice spoke beside her. “That Leopoldina certainly was a firecracker.”
Amelia looked up, and saw Fabian Prewett standing next to her, reading over her shoulder, holding a glass of scotch in one hand and leaning against her armchair with the other. “Gideon wrote an essay about her, back at Hogwarts, because he didn’t feel like writing one about Elliot Smethwyck. Elliot was some Charms bloke, but I guess Gideon thought a Quidditch related essay would be a more interesting read for Professor Flitwick.”
Fabian and his twin brother, Gideon, were old family friends of the Boneses, but Amelia hadn’t really spoken with either of them in years.
“Sounds like Gideon,” she said with a smile. Back at old Easter parties, before she had even started Hogwarts, she and Fabian had spent hours discussing the historical figures on their Chocolate Frog Cards, while Gideon would outclass all of the other kids at the party in pick-up Quidditch. “Isn’t he going pro now?”
“Yes ma’am,” said Fabian, sipping his drink, “he was actually with the Quiberon Quafflepunchers, over in France for a few years, but two months ago he came back to England to play with the Chudley Cannons.”
“He left a seaside resort town in France for the Chudley Cannons?” Amelia teased. “He must have been hit with a few too many bludgers.”
“Hey, hey, now,” said Fabian, “we Prewetts have supported the Cannons since way back when they were founded in 1753.”
“What a waste of time that must have been,” said Amelia, smiling.
Fabian reached three fingers into his drink, and flicked a little of it at Amelia. “Since when have you been the Quidditch expert, anyway?”
“We both know that the only reason either of us know anything about Quidditch is because of our assorted brothers,” Amelia said, as she took Fabian’s glass and helped herself to a sip.
“Fair enough, fair enough,” Fabian said as he sank down to sit on the hardwood floor beside her. “What’s not fair is that, since you ditched the party, I was the only person under the age of fifty. I can’t handle that many little old ladies asking me when I’m going to settle down.”
“Did none of your siblings care that I’ve graduated?” Amelia asked, mock hurt. “They certainly would have added a little pep to conversations between these respectable members of wizarding society.”
“Gideon’s actually playing a match tonight, Molly’s got a shift at the Leaky Cauldron, Billius has been grounded, and Androcles is off on yet another secret mission.”
“Well, he’s only worth having around when Saoirse’s with him anyway.”
“Are you saying you don’t like hearing about Androcles’ Quadpot league and how much better he feels since he gave up dairy products?”
“Ooh, are there any new ways he’s better than the rest of you guys?”
“Well, he no longer listens to music on the radio or on record, because he doesn’t think any band could possibly sound anywhere near as good as they do live. Besides that, he’s been cutting the hair of random women on the street to make into wigs for the bald.”
“You sound like you’re joking, but I can imagine Androcles doing that,” said Amelia.
“Good Lord, I have no idea how Saoirse puts up with him.”
“Probably because he’s so handsome, I’d guess,” said Amelia, matter-of-factly.
“Must run in the family,” he replied.
From there, having given up the party as a complete loss, the two decided to play a drinking game with Leopoldinas Never Change Their Spots (Amelia wondered if Leopoldina had made up the title herself and then took a mental note to make sure no book about her would ever be published under such a ridiculous name), taking a drink every time Leopoldina discussed her opinion on the Quidditch world’s underappreciation for its referees- which was much more frequent than one might have guessed.
It wasn’t long after that bottle of firewhiskey that Fabian suggested they go have a cup of tea at his place, which they then followed up with some bourbon as a nightcap. At around midnight, Amelia remarked that she had better get heading home. When Fabian walked her to the door, she reached up, without even thinking, and gave him a kiss goodnight. She was only surprised at herself for a moment before Fabian kissed her back, lifting her off her feet and back into his flat. With more bourbon, more kissing, and a slow record playing they eventually made their way into Fabian’s bedroom, which is how Amelia found herself coming home at the irresponsible hour of 8:30 in the morning.
So, here's the first real chapter! We really hope you guys like it, and you should all defs review because we wuv wou! Both halves of handknittedsweaters have always liked the author's notes that are kinda personal, so here's the deets of what's up. Rebekah went to college this morning and I'm going to miss her lots and lots because I don't start for another month and a half. I went to go see The Way Way Back tonight and it was pretty funny, I liked Owen best, obviously.
Pwease review, huggs an' kwisses
Madeline and Rebekah
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