DISCLAIMER: I wish I owned Harry Potter.
A/N: I know i'm a bit erratic when it comes to posting stories, and should probably delete some, but I thought of this idea and had to post it. I'm in a very harry potter mood because I MET RUPERT GRINT LAST NIGHT!!!
Yes, I am perfectly aware I am crooning at the boy as if he were an untrained dog. No, I didn't just whistle.
The two-year-old devil child gurgles in delight as he dangles from the banister. I'm stood beneath him, ready to catch but doubting myself. I'll probably drop him, then what? I'm in deep shit. I should of known something like this would happen. I wasn't cut out for babysitting.
"Remi, just put your feet back between the railings and climb back over to safety. Please?" I beg in a sickly-sweet tone, but the toddling mop of strawberry-blonde hair ignores me. I want to run upstairs and grab him from the other side, but if he falls and i'm not here to catch him...
"REMI PLEASE COME DOWN!" I yell desperately. I've lost it. I've cracked. It's 2pm on a Monday afternoon and instead of working away at a good healthy ministry desk job i'm unemployed, wearing a checked baking apron, with cookie dough smeared over my face. My hair's everywhere and my hands are waving desperately in the air towards the uncontrollable toddler, my expression is manic and i'm actually yelling at the baby.
"Mummy will be here soon to pick you up!" I say hopefully. "We still need to get the cookies out of the oven!" I check my watch. Shit. Victoire expected in eight minutes.
"Come down, and i'll give you money, Remi, I swear. A few shiny galleons, how does that sound, eh?" I'm blackmailing a two-year-old. With money that is very sparse at the moment and should probably be going towards my monthly rent.
"REMUS WILLIAM LUPIN!" I finally screech. "COME DOWN THIS INSTANT OR NO COOKIES FOR YOU!"
The two-year-old's head turns immediately at the altered tone and use of his full name, and his metamorphagus eyes- the only part of him that inherited Teddy's gift- flash red. Shit, i've angered him. They change according to his mood.
Suddenly, they've gone a serene blue. Guilt.
"I'm sowwy, Zilly. Please still give me cookies." I watch in awe as the surprisingly nimble boy hooks his short legs over the very tall rail and release a breath I didn't know I was holding as he plonks himself down on the landing carpet. I rush up to meet him, scooping him up in my arms, ruffling his nearly-ginger curls and kissing his head.
"I'd never not give you cookies, silly!" I laugh, subtely checking him all over for scratches. I just know Victoire doesn't trust me. Ever since the wardrobe incident.
Look, we were playing hide and seek. How was I to know he'd stumble into a vanishing cabinet? Why do the Malfoys even have one of those?
Don't even get me started on why I was playing hide-and-seek with my toddler godson in Malfoy manor. It's a lengthly story.
Let's leave it at this- I immediately located Scorpius' dad, asked him about the cabinet and apparated to Borgin and Burkes- only to find an angry Victoire already there, her son in her arms, eyes blazing with fury. The store owner sent a note to her at work, apparently. "Your son just appeared out of my cabinet. Yours, Borgin Jr." Or something along those lines. I feared for my life for weeks.
We're soon safe and sound in the kitchen, retrieving only slightly overdone gingerbread men from the oven and packaging them up so Remi can give them to his family members for Christmas. Suddenly, the doorbell rings, and Remi's face lights up, and my mood falls.
I hate it when Remi goes back to his mother's. Since I got out of Hogwarts i've been living with my distant cousin and childhood guardian Teddy Lupin, who split from his wife Victoire when I was in seventh year. I'm still not entirely sure why. I know they still love eachother. Ted mopes about it all the time and it's really hard for them to have to share Remi on a week-by-week basis. Having Remi around the flat always brightens the mood.
I answer the door and Victoire's in her work clothes, but looking especially pretty. "Is Teddy here?" she asks, business-like, and I shake my head. "Still at work."
I saw her face fall, I did. She wanted to see him! Ha.
Just then, Remi rounds the corner with a box of cookies and pummels head-first into his mother. Vic's sullen expression immediately breaks out into a smile and she scoops up Remi, who looks ridiculously excited to see her. "I'll just get his stuff," I say, smiling at the reunion.
I come back downstairs with Remi's cackling-stump rucksack and he's in the middle of a garbled rant. "-I was hangin' from there an Zilly said no but I din' wanna leggo yet, too funny see!"
Vic's eyes narrow. My heart rate increases considerably.
"What's this?" she asks, eyebrows raised.
I hand over the rucksack and kiss Remi on the head.
"Silly little tyke. I have no idea what he's talking about."
When Victoire and Remi have left, the apartment is left in total silence; stark contrast to the constant buzz and hum Remi provides with his endless experiments and games, and general childish lease for life. I sit on the sofa and turn on the wizarding wireless, but in less than ten minutes of blissful but agonising peace, the doorbell rings again. This time, it's another beautiful part-veela, but this time she's not twenty-six, dressed in businesslike clothes, glancing at you critically and swishing strawberry blonde hair in your face. It's a nineteen year old version, bouncing about excitedly on the doorstep in flattering skinny jeans and an oversized jumper, strawberry blonde hair loose and wavy, grinning ear to ear.
"DOM!" I shriek, even though I probably saw her yesterday. It's a best friend compulsory greeting.
"ZILLY!" She shrieks back even louder, and jumps over the threshold for a hug.
"Tea?" I ask conversationally as she takes her gloves off and unlaces her boots. It's late February but the weather's still ridiculously chilly, and I can't remember the last time I went out in anything less than four layers.
"Please," she says happily, still bouncing around. She seems ridiculously excited about something.
I go into the kitchen and flick the kettle on, and within seconds Dom's bounded into the room and seated herself at the table. She restlessly flicks through the prophet and fiddles with her hair.
"I've got something to tell you!" She finally bursts out.
"I guessed something was up," I laugh, pouring the boiled water into the two prepared mugs. "Good things, I hope?"
"The best," Dom replies happily, and she's still smiling. The ear-to-ear grin hasn't faltered since she walked through the door. "So, how's life here?" she asks conversationally.
"It's good," I say truthfully. The main advantage of moving in with Teddy after his divorce- as a roomate now, as he no longer needs to be my guardian- is that I get the benefit of a well-furnished, two-floor, Diagon Alley penthouse flat, with low rent rates. I don't have to find a place for myself or stress about finding furniture- it's all already done. I know Teddy pays for an unfair amount of the bills but he's agreed to do so for a while, as he has a well paid steady job and I may, possibly, still have not found any employment. Two years after graduation.
I tried, for a bit. I helped Freddie and his dad out at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes but they kept insisting on testing the products on me, which resulted in a new ailment or issue each day on return from work.
James took me on for a bit at his apothecary but it was a shifty place, strange plants growing everywhere, and I never knew what to give people as I couldn't identify any of them. James spent most of his time in his office out the back, which is basically a greenhouse with a massive tree growing in the middle of it and a load of bookshelves lining the walls. James is basically a nerd with an arrogant Gryffindor attitude, a twisted sense of humour and a desperation to make money. You think he's all sweet with his book collection and passion for herbology but then the thick-framed glasses come off and he's laughing behind your back as he wraps you up '500g of Powdered Apsud Root' Which turns out to be 100g root, 400g salt.
He swears i'm the only person he's ever done it to. Still, I feel the apothecary is a bit of a black-market affair. I'm pretty sure some of the plants they grow aren't legal, especially the one the strange old man dressed all in black asked for, which I duly approached and nearly had my arm bitten off. So I quit. James seemed glad.
And basically, ever since, i've been 'looking for a job' (moping around at home, baking with Remi, painting a few ceramic mugs every now and then and paying rent with the rapidly diminishing inheritance my late parents left me).
By now i've done the milk and sugar and settled opposite Dom, who is still smiling.
"So, what is it?" I ask, amused. "You haven't stopped smiling! Did the wind change, and you're stuck that way?"
"No!" Dom laughs, taking a sip. She looks like she's up to something.
"Well, what is it then? Must be really good."
"Hmm, let me think," Dom giggles, scratching her forehead with her left hand to 'think'. There, on her ring finger, reflecting the bright overhead light, is a diamond ring.
"NO WAY!" I yell, leaping to my feet. Dom laughs, delighted, and I immediately grab her outstretched hand an examine it.
"Dom, it's beautiful!" I breathe. It is. It's a band of plain silver, but if you look closely there's some stuff engraved on it in Elvish. It's probably really sweet and romantic but I have no idea what it says. The diamond itself is set in Aquamarine, Dom's birthstone, and is the most beautiful diamond i've ever seen.
"What does it say?" I ask excitedly, gesturing to the Elvish. Dom rolls her eyes, but I know she finds it really romantic. "Just our names," she says offhandedly.
Lysander Scamander and Dom are the perfect couple for a number of reasons. One, Dom's gorgeous and Lysander's really handsome- they're like the picturesque couple. Two, they're both mad. Dom's excitable and funny and charming and has a passion for muggle fantasy literature (mainly Lord of the Rings, explaining the Elvish) and Lysander's humourous and carefree, with a similar passion and he also works as a cursebreaker, deciphering Elvish runes, so it's kind of a thing for them.
"That's amazing! I can't believe you and Lysander..."
"Neither can I!" Says Dom, tucking her hair behind her ear and stretching her hand out again so she can gaze upon the ring with pride. "I just can't believe I get to spend the rest of my life with him, my best friend. Honestly, a part of me's dreading it. It's Lysander! We're so similar, we'll probably clash and hate eachother. But, I don't care."
That's another amazing thing about Dom. She's so brave. She'll give anything a try if she feels passionate about it- like in third year, when she tried for the Quidditch team. She wasn't even that interested but that bitch Melanie in our dorm bet Dom she'd get the position of Chaser and Dom couldn't, so Dom naturally had to prove her wrong. Dom played chaser until seventh year. It doesn't matter if it may possibly go wrong, if she wants to do it, Dom has the courage to do it anyway.
"When's the wedding?" I gush.
"Not entirely sure yet, but we definitely know it'll be soon- early April at latest-and will be in France. We're having it at a church near my Mamie and Grand-père Delacour's house, and the reception will be there. So you'll all have to come over to France."
"Sounds good to me!" I laugh. I've been to Dom's french grandparent's house before once, one summer with Dom- it's a beautiful mansion set in a couple acres of beautiful French countryside, with vineyards and orchards and all the rest. It will be beautiful for a wedding.
"Naturally, I want you to be maid of honour," Dom throws in offhandedly, and even though i'm expecting it- we've been best friends since we were eleven- I squeal anyway and hug her tightly. "So expect me to ask you advice on plenty of planning things. But we'll have a great time- we can pick dresses and flowers, and go to cake tastings-"
I grin widely. This is already sounding like a fantastic filler of free time, and god knows I need that- there's only so much tea one can drink, so many books one can read, so many sculpted ceramics one can paint silly little flowers on and desperately try to sell in the window of the Wizarding homeware shop next door. They're alright, and sell well- but it's not a large income, and while I sink into the happiness of helping Dom plan her wedding, there's a little voice at the back of my head saying "You need a job. You need to pay Teddy's rent."
I've pretty much learnt to ignore the voices though. For example, there's another muttering, "Your best friend is getting married and you haven't even been in a serious relationship yet. Maybe time to start growing up, Zilly?" Yeah, I'll happily ignore that distressing thought.
"So, there's just this one other thing- and you probably won't like it..."
A/N: Pretty boring, but it's gunna get good soon, promise! please review if you liked it.