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Chapter 22 : Happy Birthday, Rosie
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“Line up, Weasleys!” Grandad commands, “And Potters, of course,” he adds, looking at James, Al and Lily, “And erm, Mark and Scorpius.”
He has us all lined up in the yard of The Burrow, ten minutes before we’re due to leave for the airport. Tensions are running high. James has packed armbands in his hand luggage should the plane crash into the sea.
“Ron!” Grandad demands, “Get in line!”
“But Dad –”
Dad joins the line looking very disgruntled that even at forty-three, his father can still boss him around. Nana Molly has already been made line up beside her grandchildren and is looking very fed up.
“Okay Weasleys – er, and Potters and Scorpius and Mark – I must lay down some ground rules,” he walks along the line, slapping his wand against the palm of his hand, as if he’s an army commandant and we’re his soldiers, “In a few minutes, we will be leaving for the airport. Therefore, I must ask you not to refer to magic at all. We will be amongst Muggles and must not arouse suspicions. Is that clear?”
There are a few weak ‘yeah’s and ‘alright’s, but then Grandad frowns.
“I said, is that clear?!” he barks.
“Yes Grandad,” we all chime, while Nana Molly and Dad look at each other, annoyed, and Scorpius and Mark look a bit uncomfortable. Trust Grandad to act like a total lunatic while we have company.
“Secondly, we are to stay together! We are not to lose each other! Okay?”
“Arthur, is this really necessary?” Nana Molly sighs.
“Indeed it is, Molly! This trip must go off without a hitch! Now the bus should be leaving in about a half an hour, I feel it’s best if we sit in alphabetical order…”
“You must be joking,” James scoffs, “Have you completely lost it, Grandad?”
Before Grandad has the chance to reply, there’s a loud pop and Uncle Charlie appears in the garden.
“Sorry I’m late,” he grins, clearly unfazed by the fact that Grandad is glaring at him angrily, “Got held up at work.” Uncle Charlie has been working in Wales for a few weeks instead of Romania, so he’s decided to fly to France with us too.
“You’ve missed the rules –”
“They’re the same as always I’m presuming?” Charlie sighs, “No magic around Muggles and keep together? I’m fifty years old, Dad, I’m not a kid anymore.”
We have to walk to the edge of town to get the bus, as a Muggle bus driver wouldn’t have a clue where Ottery St Catchpole is – it’s a magical town after all. We probably look so stupid, all seventeen of us, walking through the Muggle countryside. When we reach the bus stop, so many people are staring at us, wondering what’s going on. We should have t-shirts reading ‘Weasley Family Holiday!’ because we really can’t get more pathetic.
I end up sitting alone on the way to the airport, even though Dad offered to sit next to me. I told him to sit with Charlie. Al and Scorpius, James and Fred, Molly and Lucy, Dom and Mark, Roxie and Louis, Hugo and Lily and Nana and Grandad all sit together and I am left by myself in a seat at the back of the bus. I think I prefer it this way.
I’m so relieved by the time we reach Heathrow airport – Grandad has started singing that song “Everywhere we go-o (everywhere we go-o), people always ask us (people always ask us), who we a-are” etcetera…it’s quite embarrassing, even though there’s no one else on the bus except for us. And the poor bus driver, of course.
Dad takes my bags into the airport for me and we all crowd around the check-in desk, where the poor woman behind the desk has no idea what awaits her. The airport is packed with Muggles rushing around with suitcases, couples running to each other hugging, people saying goodbye. Oh, and seventeen magical people.
“Good afternoon!” Grandad cries in excitement to the woman at the check-in desk, “We would like to get onto this airplane, please!” He points to the flight number on the ticket.
“Will you be checking in bags today, sir?” the woman asks in a bored voice.
“Yes, we certainly will!”
His enthusiasm is water off a duck’s back to this woman. Al is glancing around the airport happily, almost as excited as Grandad is. However the rest of my cousins, and even Dad, seem really nervous.
“Did you pack this bag yourself, sir?” the woman asks, fixing a tag to Grandad’s bag.
“Yes, well, the wife helped,” he grins pleasantly, and the woman looks at Nana to confirm this.
“Yes, yes, we’ve packed all of these bags ourselves,” says Nana, apparently having more common sense about the Muggle world than Grandad. The woman checks everyone’s passports, checks in all of the bags and tells us which gate we are to board from. It’s all fairly simple, but Grandad looks like she’s speaking a completely different language to him. “Have you anything sharp in your hand luggage?”
“No, well unless you count…” Grandad pulls out his wand, thus violating Weasley Family Holiday’s second rule. Charlie smacks himself on the forehead, while Dad shakes his head in embarrassment.
“You can’t bring your erm – stick – onto the flight. It can be classified as dangerous.”
And she doesn’t even know what we could do with one of those things.
“Okay gang!” Grandad announces, “All sticks into the suitcases!” The woman looks every shocked to see seventeen ‘sticks’ being shoved into Nana Molly’s suitcase, which is the only one that hasn’t been put onto the conveyor belt yet. “We’re, erm, we’re stick collectors,” says Grandad lamely.
“I can’t believe this,” James whispers furiously to me, “They’re taking our wands? What happens if we need them?”
“We won’t need them,” I sigh, “Relax, James, it’s not a big deal. Security is really tight with these Muggles.”
“But why?” James frowns.
“So the Russians won’t try to kill the President again,” I say sarcastically, but the look on James’ face tells me that he actually believes me.
While going through security, Grandad is so amazed by all of the electronic Muggle contraptions that he walks through the security system without taking his change out of his pocket. The security guard eyes the sickles and knuts with suspicion and runs them through the machine four times before giving them back.
“They’re probably just checking I don’t have a bomb built in to one of the coins,” says Grandad loudly to Dom and me.
What an idiot.
Now I can see where the rest of us got our stupidity from.
Trust my grandfather to yell the word ‘bomb’ in the security area of Heathrow airport.
“STAY WHERE YOU ARE! PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR, OR WE’LL TAKE IT AS A SIGN OF AGGRESSION!”
As I predicted, five armed security guards run towards Grandad and seize him, while the bomb disposal unit surround the area. A loud siren sounds and a cool, calm voice comes over the intercom.
“Please remain calm and vacate the building at your nearest emergency exit. This is not a drill.”
Nice work, Grandad. Nice work.
Two hours later all flights from Heathrow airport have been grounded and Grandad is being questioned in a small room in an office away from the airport. They are only letting people back in to the airport now after a quick evacuation, and the authorities are still questioning not only Grandad, but the rest of us too.
“I don’t even know what a b-bomb is!” I can hear Lucy crying from the next room, and then a man shouts “Don't play stupid with me!”
“She’s a twelve year old kid,” Dad mutters furiously, “As if she’d know anything about a fucking b–”
“Don't say it,” I warn before Nana Molly has the chance.
I find a pay phone and call Mum in France on her mobile. She’s really not going to believe this.
“Mum? It’s Rose.”
“Rose? I thought you’d be on the plane by now,” she says and I can almost hear her checking her watch.
“Yeah, well we would be if Grandad hadn’t been arrested by the airport authorities for shouting bomb,” I whisper that word, “In the middle of security.”
“You’re joking me,” she says bluntly.
“Nope, all flights from Heathrow airport have been grounded thanks to my genius of a grandfather. They’ve questioned us all, we just have to find out what they’re going to do with Grandad.”
“This is so typical!” she cries.
Okay, I can see how we’re a pretty messed up family, but being arrested and interrogated and suspected of being terrorists really isn’t that typical for us.
“So we probably won’t be flying out for another while,” I say, “It could be tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” Mum gasps, “Victoire will go mental when she hears that! The rehearsal is tomorrow!”
“Yeah, well, we’ll be lucky to make it at all at this rate. Oh, I have to go,” I say when I see Grandad coming out of the office, followed by a detective, “I’ll talk to you soon.”
Nana Molly stands up and runs to hug Grandad and Dad stares at the detective.
“Look, mate,” Dad starts, “My dad has never been on a plane before – he’s never even been to an airport before –”
“I know,” says the detective, “I figured that one out when he asked what a runway was. But you’d want to watch what you say. After 9/11 and everything.”
Everyone who hasn’t taken Muggle Studies – that is, everyone except me and Al – look very confused as to what 9/11 is.
“But like I was saying, all I meant was that I didn’t have a –”
“Thank you, officer!” Nana Molly interrupts Grandad before he digs himself into a deeper hole.
We head back to the airport, finally, only to realise that flights are departing again and ours has already taken off. Our bags are on the flight that has departed (except for Grandad’s, which was taken away and destroyed – thank Merlin we didn’t put our wands in his suitcase), so now we have to buy tickets for the next flight to Paris, which doesn’t take off until four o’clock in the morning.
So we hang around the airport. I ring Mum and let her know the change in plans, and she’s just relieved to hear that we’re not all in some Muggle prison. We find seats near a window, and Al and Grandad have a great time watching planes take off. James falls asleep sprawled across four plastic chairs, while Lily joins Al and Grandad at the window, for lack of something better to do. Nana Molly, Lucy, Roxie and other Molly head off to the shops for a look around, though none of them have any Muggle money left due to the fact we all had to buy new tickets. Dom rests her head on Mark’s shoulder and they fall asleep sitting upright. Scorpius sits with his arms folded, staring out the window. Fred, Louis and Uncle Charlie are sitting across from me, Dad and Hugo, and keep checking their watches every ten minutes.
I drift off into an uneasy, light sleep, until I feel Dad poking me, saying it’s time to board. I take a seat on the plane in between Dom and Lily, on front of James, Mark and Fred, though we’re all too tired to speak to one another. However, as the plane is taking off, Grandad and Al (who are sitting on front of us with a very disgruntled Nana Molly) gasp and cheer in delight.
“Amazing!” Grandad cries, “Absolutely magnificent!”
Teddy, Bill, George, Harry and Percy are waiting at the airport when we finally arrive in Paris. We have to go to the Lost Luggage area to claim our baggage, and I can hear the sighs of relief as everyone retrieves their wands from Nana Molly’s bag.
“Rosie,” I hear Dad call, as I pick up my wand from amongst the pile. Mine is the smallest of them all, so it’s fairly easy to tell which it is. Dad is standing by the door of the Lost Luggage area and hands me a small box with a ribbon tied on top. “Happy Birthday.”
It’s my birthday! I completely forgot about it! Well, that’s what your grandfather being accused of terrorism does to a person. I open the box and inside there is a very expensive looking gold watch.
“Wow,” I gasp, “Dad it’s beautiful. Thank you so much!”
“You’re welcome,” he grins, “Wow, my Rosie is an adult now!”
You think he’d have said that when he found out I was pregnant. It’s probably best not to bring it up.
“Hey Birthday Girl!” Teddy smiles, throwing an arm around my shoulders, “I have your present back at the house.”
More and more people are now realising that it is in fact my seventeenth birthday and I’m hearing lots of unenthusiastic ‘Happy Birthday’s’ being wished. It’s after five in the morning, I don’t expect anything else.
Dad, Hugo, Lily and I go in the car with Harry, while everyone else divides up between Percy, Teddy, George and Bill. It’s a long drive to the Delacour house, but the roads are quiet because of the time of day it is. Harry laughs as we retell the story of Grandad’s arrest, and I suppose it is sort of funny now. It’ll probably seem funnier by next week.
Even though my eyes are hanging out of my head with tiredness, I still notice just how beautiful the Delacour house is. It’s after eight in the morning by the time we arrive and the house is now buzzing. There is a huge marquee set up in the back garden of the mansion, and I can see Mum and a few others moving tables and chairs into it. Madame and Monsieur Delacour, Aunt Fleur’s parents, greet us all with kisses on both cheeks and then lead us upstairs to our bedrooms. I don’t really take in any of my surroundings, but fall down onto my very comfortable bed and fall asleep.
I wake up to the sound of a yelling Victoire.
“DOM, I’M GOING TO MURDER YOU!”
Oh dear, that can’t be good.
“Oh shut up, Vic! I’m so sick of this goddamn wedding!” I hear Dom yell back.
“Girls!” Fleur warns.
“Mum, she ruins everything!” Victoire cries, “This is supposed to be my day –”
“No, tomorrow is supposed to be your day,” Dom snaps back, “Today, in case you’ve forgotten, is Rose’s day!”
“Well then stop ruining Rose’s day!” Victoire shot back.
“I’M NOT RUINING ANYONE’S DAY!”
I check my new gold watch from Dad – it’s after two in the afternoon. I get up off the bed and take in my surroundings for a moment. The bedroom is twice as big as my one at home. I feel like I’m messing it up by just standing in it. The carpets, the walls, the bed and the wardrobes are all cream – and completely spotless at that. Nothing is out of place. There’s a portrait on the wall opposite the bed of Aunt Fleur and her sister, Gabrielle, but it’s not moving.
I open the door of the bedroom and guess that Victoire and Dom are probably on the floor below this one. I walk down the stairs, but manage to pass by the room they are in without them noticing. I walk down another flight of stairs and reach the ground floor. The kitchen is at the back of the house and this seems to be where everyone (except for Victoire and Dom) has congregated.
“Rose!” Mum cries upon seeing me, “Happy Birthday!”
She hands me a small box, similar to the one Dad gave me at the airport. I open it to discover – a silver watch, just as beautiful as the gold one Dad gave me. Shit.
“What’s this?” Mum asks, taking hold of my wrist and examining the other watch.
“Erm…D-Dad got it for me…”
I feel so guilty, though I’m not sure why I’m the one who should be feeling guilty. Mum looks hurt. And Dad, who is over the other side of the kitchen, taking in the scene, looks hurt too.
“Oh,” says Mum weakly, “Maybe I should take this one back…”
“No!” I cry, trying to find the silver lining somewhere, “I can wear your watch when I’m wearing silver jewellery and Dad’s when I’m wearing gold! I love them both!”
Please, please don’t make me choose one.
Mum half-smiles and nods. Dad looks away as if he hasn’t been listening. Teddy smiles encouragingly and winks. How could this situation get any more awkward?
“So, I have this weird growth on my ass,” James starts, trying to break the tension.
There – that’s how it gets more awkward.
I wander out into the garden unnoticed after a few minutes. Well, apparently I have been noticed by one, because Teddy follows me out. He has a knack for doing that.
“Rosie,” he smiles, “I have your present here.”
He gives me yet another small box. “If this is another bloody watch –”
“It’s not,” he laughs.
It’s a necklace. It’s gold with a small sapphire stone and it must have cost a fortune.
“It’s beautiful,” I admit, “But Christ, Ted, it must have cost an arm and a leg!”
“Nothing’s too expensive for my favourite Weasley!” he grins and I raise my eyebrows at him, “Victoire’s not included, she’s almost a Lupin,” he adds quickly. It kind of feels nice that Teddy prefers me to Dom, his own future sister-in-law. However, him referring to Victoire as ‘almost a Lupin’ sort of makes me…sad? I don’t know, it’s strange anyway. After all those times I wrote ‘Mrs Rose Lupin’ all over my diary as a kid, it’s weird that it’s my cousin who will be becoming ‘Mrs Victoire Lupin’. But hopefully my day will come too and I’ll become…
The words ‘Mrs Rose Malfoy’ shoot across my brain, and I shake my head vigorously at the thought of them. Fat chance of me marrying the bloke who won’t even speak to me! Not that I’d even want to marry Scorpius anyway, and even if by some divine miracle I did marry him, I probably wouldn’t take his name. Nobody wants to be a Malfoy.
Teddy and I stay outside for a while longer, away from the madness. We can still vaguely hear Dom and Victoire screaming at each other.
“Apparently Dom hates her bridesmaid dress,” Teddy explains, “So Victoire is going a little bit crazy now asking why the hell she circled it in the catalogue if she didn’t like it.”
“Oh,” I say. I don’t really care what the dress is like. I’m going to look stupid in it anyway. “Oh! Baby’s kicking!”
“D’you mind?” Teddy asks, putting his hand on the bump to feel the kicks, “Wow. That’s bloody amazing, Rose.”
“It’s bloody annoying,” I sigh, “It tends to kick at the most inappropriate times. During Potions class is its favourite!”
“Maybe it’s wishing you a happy birthday?” he suggests.
“Don't be such a cheese bag,” I smack him gently over the blue head, “It’s hungry for a jam and onion sandwich!”
“Jam and onion?” Teddy asks, looking totally disgusted.
“Don't you judge me, Lupin!”
“Well, I think we can probably arrange a jam and onion sandwich…”
He throws an arm around my shoulders and leads me inside. On the way in, I notice Scorpius looking out the window, scowling. What’s that boy’s problem?
The rehearsal dinner turns into a birthday/rehearsal dinner. Nana Molly and Mum bake a huge cake, and Madame Delacour and Fleur prepare a delicious meal as everyone crowds around the enormous dining room table. Dom presents me with a whole new make-up set that I know was very expensive. James and Al give me a brand new broomstick (“for after you’ve popped!”). Bill and Fleur give me a lovely pair of silver earrings. Percy and Audrey give me the most interesting of gifts – a book voucher. I smile politely anyway. George and Angelina give me a whole supply of WonderWitch products from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Uncle Charlie gives me thirty galleons (which are very much appreciated). Hugo gives me a book all about the Chudley Cannons. Finally, Harry and Ginny give me a bracelet and money (60 galleons). They give it to me in private and I know they are giving it to me to help out with the baby. I try to give some of it back, but they’re having none of it.
I get chocolates and sweets from the others and all in all, it’s a pretty pleasant evening. Even Victoire and Dom have stopped arguing, though they’re barely speaking to one another. However, the time comes to make speeches and I feel the urge to vomit. Victoire goes first, describing how she and Teddy have been in love since they were little children, and Teddy’s speech is pretty much the same, only he adds in ‘Happy Birthday to Rose’ at the end. Thanks, Ted. Rip out my heart and wish me a Happy Birthday.
We’re all very tired by the time the meal ends, especially poor old Grandad. I slump back up the stairs towards the bedroom I fell asleep in earlier on, but I hear Mum and Dad in the hall on the way up, so stop to listen.
“That was a nice watch you got her,” says Mum, with no hint of aggression or sarcasm in her voice, “She seems to really like it.”
“She likes yours too,” says Dad uncomfortably, “She…she can like them both equally, you know.”
“I know,” says Mum, “It just seems like a bit of a waste. We could have gotten her a gold and silver watch, instead of getting her two different ones.”
“Mmm,” Dad grunts, “We could have.”
Is this conversation going somewhere? Or is the watch a metaphor for their relationship? Or are my parents smoking pot?
“Goodnight, Ron,” says Mum.
“G’night, Hermione,” Dad replies.
I rush upstairs, smiling to myself. They are finally on civil terms. Mum hasn’t brought a date to the wedding. They don’t seem to want to kill each other anymore.
“You seem happy,” says a voice – Scorpius’ voice – from I’m not quite sure where. He then walks out of the bedroom opposite to the one I’m staying in.
“Oh, you’re talking to me now then?” I snap angrily.
“I bet I can guess why you’re so happy,” he says bitterly.
“Apart from the fact it’s my birthday? Oh, by the way, thanks for wishing me a happy one, really means a lot,” I say sarcastically, because of course he hasn’t uttered two words to me all day.
“Happy Birthday,” he says, though not in a pleasant way.
“What’s your problem?” I spit, “Why are you so…so…weird? What the hell did I do to you to make you stop liking – I mean, talking to me.”
“I think the question is what I did to make you stop liking me,” he mutters.
“What are you on about?” Doesn’t he realise that I do like him?
“I like you Rose,” he says, “I’ve told you that before, but you never listen. I've passed thousands of hints, but you're totally clueless! I really like you. Maybe I even love you, I don’t know.”
Well that took the wind out of my sails.
“But I suppose I can’t help that,” he shrugs, “I suppose I can’t help loving you any more than you can help loving Teddy.”
My heart stops. How the hell could he know that? Surely I’m not that obvious! I’ve done a pretty good job of hiding it over the last seventeen years! How could he have figured it out?
“I…I don’t know what you m-mean…” I say lamely.
“I think you do,” he says, and then turns back into his bedroom. “Goodnight.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – bollocks.
A/N - Thanks for reading! Thanks for all of your reviews! Thanks for all of your Dobby nominations! You have made my life! Hope you liked the chapter, the wedding is approaching! Please review, thanks so much! (",)
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