Chapter 2 : Mischief
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It’s the summer of 2015 and our resident troublemakers are ten years old. James, Fred, and Fionnoula Finnigan (call me Fin) are attached at the hip. Literally. Alice Longbottom was off to the side clutching her stomach as she laughed.
“Jimmy! What did you do?”
James grinned mischievously and held up his father’s wand. He got Fred’s impish grin in return and a giggle from Fionnoula.
“Oooh, Jimmy, you’re gonna be in sooo much trouble when Auntie Ginny sees us,” Fionnoula said, her trademark easy-going beam (her smile was so bright and lit up her face so much that it could not be described as merely a grin) finding its way onto her face.
“Who said she’s going to find out?” James replied defiantly.
She looked at him as if he was stupid, “We’re stuck together, stupid. Someone’s bound to notice.”
Fred let out a loud laugh, “C’mon maybe Teddy or Twa can help us.” He made to move and instead the three ended up on the floor in a tangled heap of limbs and giggles.
“Twa! Teddy! TWAAAA!!!! TEDDY!!!” Fionnoula managed to call out between giggles, “Freddie, get your hand off my bum.”
“Teddy! Help there’s a monster attacking me!” Fred cried out, as he quickly moved his hand away, farfarfar away from Fin's bum.
“Twa the boys are attacking! Quick come help me! Twa!”
“Merlin, Fin the Fairy, your hair is a rats nest!” James yelled.
“Ew Jamie stop licking my elbow!”
The three of them would have gone on like that for hours if the sound of someone snickering hadn’t broken them out of their squabbling and yelling, “And what do we have here?” Teddy asked, an amused smirk starting to form.
“Looks like some midgets got in trouble, Teddy,” Victoire smirked.
“Oi! Twa! We’re not midgets!” Fred said indignantly.
They ignored him, “Looks and sounded like these midgets need our help, doesn’t it, Vic?”
Victoire grinned deviously, “I’d say so, Teddy boy, but do we help them?”
“Yes, Twa, you do because these prats are giving me cooties!” Fionnoula piped up, hoping the older girl would take pity on her.
Ignoring her Teddy continued, “Ah, I think we do, but only if we get something in return,” he grinned and stuck his tongue out at the kids, “That seems fair, yeah?”
Victoire nodded, “So, midgets, if we help you then for the rest of the summer you aren’t allowed to prank us, capiche?”
A chorus of objections met Teddy and Victoire’s ears and the two grinned at each other, “Now, now, wee ones that’s the deal take it or leave it.”
Fred, James and Fionnoula took a moment to use their weird friendship connection and communicate solely with their eyes and facial features.
Coming to an agreement Fred said, “We accept your terms. Well played, sirs.”
Victoire and Teddy shared another smirk and James, Fred and Fionnoula knew they were doomed the moment they saw it.
The older cousins disappeared, leaving the three kids on the floor dreading the worst. And oh did the worst come. Seconds later they heard a screech from outside, “THEY’RE WHAT!?” and then a chorus of “JAMES SIRIUS POTTER FRED PERCIVAL WEASLEY FIONNOULA PARVATI FINNIGAN”
The three exchanged looks of sheer terror and then gulped. Behind their mothers emerged laughing Victoire and Teddy. The trio quickly tried to scramble up and again ended up tangled together. “Jimmy, you weigh a tonne!” Fionnoula hissed from her position on the bottom.
“And you have pointy elbows, Fin the Fairy!” She retaliated by sticking her elbow in what she thought was James’ stomach, but a groan from Fred signaled she missed her target, “Other elbow, you witch.” Shifting her left elbow she hit James in the stomach and he grumbled in response.
Apparently deciding they had seen enough the mothers cleared their throats and crossed their arms in a freaky show of togetherness. The kids eyes shot up in unison; Fionnoula all doe eyed innocence, James trying (and failing) to rearrange his smug grin at a job well done into one of regret (at being caught that is), and Fred pouting and pointing his free hand at James.
“Mummy! Jimmy did it!” Fionnoula cried as she burst into her well-rehearsed tears. James groaned and let his head fall onto Fionnoula’s stomach.
Lavender, well versed in Fionnoula’s ploy of using tears, merely rolled her eyes in response to her daughter’s antics and was about to speak when James cut her off, “No one likes a tattle-tale, Fionnoula!” Fionnoula jabbed him in the stomach again effectively silencing further interruption.
Ginny tutted, “Will you three get off the floor please?”
Exchanging looks of uncertainty the three of them tried again to get up and after ending up splayed on the floor again they gave up and looked at their mothers, identical guilty looks splashed across their faces.
“We’re stuck together, “ Fred mumbled.
Angelina worked to conceal her smirk, “You’re what, Freddie? Speak up.” Too many years spent around Weasley’s had given her a mischievous streak nearly as big as her husbands.
He scowled, but quickly stopped when he saw the look on his mother’s face, “Stuck together.”
Someone laughed in the background and a hissed, “quiet, Ron!” was heard from Aunt Hermione.
“And, pray tell, how did you wind up stuck together?” Ginny asked, hands on her hips. If one looked closely enough they’d see a teeny, tiny amused smile playing on her lips.
Fionnoula let her eyes well up with tears before she spoke, “Auntie Ginny, Jimmy stole Uncle Harry’s wand and he-he,” Cue full on hysterical crying, “he made us get stuck together!”
“Oh, Fionnoula stop crying we all know you’re faking,” James snapped, bumping into her with his shoulder.
“Mam doesn’t,” she whisper-hissed in response, elbowing him in the stomach again earning an ow in response.
“Yes, I do, dear,” her mother laughed, the scars on her face seeming to disappear when she did.
Fionnoula’s mouth formed a shocked O and she resorted to petulant pouting instead.
Back to business, Ginny zeroed in on her son, “James Sirius, how did you get your father’s wand? We’ve been over this and under no circumstances are you to play with wands, James! You could’ve hurt someone! How would you have felt if your messing around with the wand had resulted in Fin or Freddie in the hospital?”
James hung his head in shame. Angelina seized her chance to pounce on her own son, “Fred, how you could let him play with a wand? You know you’re supposed to come and get an adult if someone is playing with a wand that isn’t theirs. I’m very disappointed in you.”
Fred mimicked James’ previous movement, hastily wiping a few stray tears off his nose. Lavender rounded on her daughter, “And you, Fionnoula! You know better than that as well, missy. Your father and I have told you a dozen times that playing with wands is very dangerous. You’re grounded – no seeing Jamie and Freddie for a week.” Fionnoula was about to protest, but quickly shut her mouth upon seeing the look on her wrathful mother’s face. The scars weren’t so nice to look at when her mam was angry.
James protested for her, “A week, Aunt Lav!? I will die if I go that long without seeing my Fin the Fairy.”
“Yeah, Aunt Lav, I haven’t gone that long without seeing that mug since….well, ever!” Fred joined in.
“Maaaaaam, c’mon, you can’t separate us!” Fionnoula piped up, encouraged by her mother’s lack of remonstration to the boys, “The boys don’t know what to do without Fin the Fairy. Freddie will fall into a deep sadness,” he nodded enthusiastically, “and Jimmy will get so angry that all he does is break things until he sees me next,” James followed Fred’s lead and then the three burst into a round of giggles.
Without noticing the entire family had congregated in the living room.
“What’s up with those hellions now?” Seamus asked, throwing an arm around his wife’s shoulders and jabbing his thumb towards the ten year olds who were still giggling.
“It seems as if our children are stuck together, “ she answered, throwing a scathing look towards the children.
Having heard Lavender’s response Harry sighed in exasperation, “Whose turn is it to take them to St. Mungo’s?”
See, the thing about Fred, Fionnoula and James (and sometimes Alice) was that incidents like this were fairly frequent among them. In fact, being stuck together was quite tame compared to what had happened two weeks previous when they decided that they were going to see who could hold their breath the longest and Fred and Fionnoula ended up passing out. Not to mention how three weeks before that when they dared each other to jump off the roof of the Finnigan’s house in Ireland and James got a minor concussion, Fionnoula broke her ankle, and Fred broke his arm and knocked out a tooth. Needless to say St. Mungo’s had come to know them all by name and hardly a month went by when they weren’t carting their mischief making children off to the hospital. With so many visits being necessary they decided to switch off who took the kids when it was a less serious accident, there was no need for six parents to be milling about when it was something as simple as one of the kids giving the others a beak and turning his head into a pumpkin (which is what happened last time James got a hold of a wand).
George and Angelina grimaced, “It’s ours,” Angelina answered, scowling, “Alright you three, up, let’s go.”
Grinning sheepishly the three of them managed to successfully stand up this time and stood, attached at the hip, awaiting further instructions They knew that at this point it was best to just keep their gobs shut lest they get themselves in more trouble. When they kept their mouths shut their parents usually forgot about punishing them and they were able to keep seeing each other.
George barely suppressed his laugh at how ridiculous the three of them looked all cowed into submission, “Grab on, munchkins, I’ll apparate us there and Aunt Angie will meet us.”
After George and Angie left with the kids Molly, who had left her post in the kitchen when she realized something was going on, turned to Ginny, “Those three are worse than Fred and George were at that age. I don’t know how you manage.”
“Fionnoula’s givin’ me gray hairs already.” Seamus said, tugging at his sandy hair sadly.
“I’m so glad Alice rarely joins in on their antics.” Neville added, looking fondly at his eldest daughter who had stopped laughing and was now playing chess with Rose.
“Alice just doesn’t get caught, Nev.” Ginny grinned, “And she’s not stupid enough to jump off buildings like our kids are, apparently.”
Seamus coughed awkwardly, “She actually did jump off the roof with them.”
‘What?!” That was Hannah.
“Yeah, she uh, jumped. Landed in the tree, though.” He shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot.
“And you didn’t tell us?” Neville asked with a bemused smile.
Seamus shrugged, “She wasn’t hurt. We didn’t even know she wound up in the tree until we heard dumb, dumb, and dumber talking way too loudly the other day.” He looked up at Neville and cracked a grin, “Apparently her magic kicked in before she flew into the tree and that’s why she didn’t have a scratch on her.”
Neville blushed, remembering the time his Uncle Algie threw him to near death only to have his magic save him, Harry elbowed him, laughing, “Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, eh, Neville?”
“Your kids are a bad influence on our Alice.” Hannah said with a laugh, well aware that Alice was quite the mischief-maker in her own right. Hannah wouldn’t be surprised if Alice was the mastermind behind all of their pranks as she had an ability to sneak that the other three lacked.
Ginny and Lavender scoffed and the couples fell into easy ribbing that can only come from years of knowing each other. Their children were devils and there was no denying it, but if them being little hellions was a byproduct of them growing up in a world free from the war and terror that plagued their childhoods then none of them were going to complain. Their children were happy and safe and that was all that mattered.
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