Chapter 2 : Monkeying Around
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The scar swerved to the right and then it swerved to the left, throwing its occupants from side and making the seatbelts strain in an effort to keep them in their seats. Rose had never been so thankful for something made by muggles before in her entire life.
Lily was humming to herself while driving at breakneck speed and Rose was the only one who realized that there was a turn coming up. She grabbed hold of the edges of the front seats, pulled herself forward as much as the seatbelt would allow and screamed, “LILY, TURN!” at the top of her lungs.
Lily finally tuned in to what was happening and turned the steering wheel to left. The car tires screeched loudly, everyone in the car immediately clapped their hands to their ears. And when I say everyone, I do mean everyone.
“LILY, HANDS ON THE STEERING WHEEL!” Rose shrieked hysterically. The car was about to crash into a store but thankfully Harry dove for the steering wheel and straightened everything out in time. Lily took her hands away from her ears and stared as her dad leaned over her seat and steered them towards an empty car park.
They drove around in circles for about a minute because it never occurred to Lily to take her foot off of the gas pedal and Harry was too busy trying to keep everyone in the car alive and said car from driving out of the car park and crashing into a store or a house. It finally occurred to Rose that she should use her wand to stop the car seeing as her cousin wasn’t going to be taking her foot off of the gas pedal anytime soon.
Rose unbuckled herself and dug around her pockets looking for her wand; it was a few minutes before she finally managed to get it out of her small back pocket. She pointed it at the front of the car because it was the closest she could get to the engine and said, “Subsisto!”
The car immediately stopped, causing all of its occupants to be thrown forward against their seatbelts, and in Rose’s case, hit the stereo with their face. Rose groaned and slowly sat up. She rubbed her face to make the pain go away and to make sure that she could actually feel her face.
“Thanks Rose,” Harry and Lily said at the same time.
“Anytime,” she replied, wincing as she pressed on a tender spot near her temple. Her face was going to bruise horribly, it always did. “Lily, why didn’t you hit the brakes?!”
“You can do that!?” Lily exclaimed in surprise. Rose stared back at her in shock while Harry groaned and muttered something about how he should’ve mentioned the brakes to Lily first.
“Wait, so you’re telling me that you got into a car without knowing what any of the stuff in it did?” Rose asked her cousin slowly. Lily bit her lip and nodded sheepishly, her face beginning to turn a bright red.
“I know what the pedals that make the car move forward do,” Lily said in a small voice.
“After that experience, anyone would know what those did,” Rose said rolling her eyes, she turned her attention to her uncle who was rubbing the bridge of his nose, “and you let her drive without teaching her all of this!?”
“I know Rose,” her uncle replied sighing.
“You shouldn’t have even taken the car keys out of your pocket!” Rose cried.
“I had fun, let’s do that again,” Lily said chirpily, she was bouncing in her seat. Her dad and Rose turned to look at her with incredulous looks on their faces. Lily snapped out of the daydream that she was having about driving the car again and noticed the expression on her father and cousin’s face.
“What?” she asked defensively. Rose didn’t say anything; she simply dove for the keys of the car, pulled them out from the ignition and handed them to her Uncle Harry who quickly put away the keys. Lily looked disappointed at the fact that she wouldn’t get to drive again.
“Can you at least drive us back to the house?” Lily asked her dad hopefully.
“Actually Lily, how about you and I go for a bit of a walk together, okay?” Rose said, opening the car door and stepping outside. Lily sighed but she didn’t argue. She would learn to drive a car on another day and next time she wouldn’t mess it up. Once Lily had gotten out of the car, Harry moved over into the driver’s seat and shut the door. Lily and Rose waved goodbye to him as he started up the car and drove out of the empty car park.
The two cousins slowly made their way back home, avoiding the owner of whose store they had almost crashed into –he still managed to throw them a dirty look as they were passing.
The street was quiet, most of the adults were at work and any children were most likely visiting friends. Everyone knew about the Potter’s and Weasley’s and what they got up to during the day. There was always a chance of something exploding or something falling out of a window. The parents didn’t like to leave their children around during the day and so arranged for them to be somewhere until they were done at work.
Rose and Lily walked by shops and a few quiet houses in silence before Lily broke it with a question for Rose.
“I forgot to ask you this, did you get a job?” Lily asked her cousin. Rose had been looking for a job for several months and she had the qualifications to get any job that she desired but she just hadn’t found anything that she would really want to do. Lily was hoping that maybe she’d finally settled down on something but she knew that the chances weren’t very big.
“Erm, actually I have,” Rose replied looking anywhere but at Lily. She’d been hoping that her cousin wouldn’t ask her that question. Lily couldn’t help but be surprised; she’d expected a no and then an explanation about why this job and that one didn’t work for her. Her cousin looked awfully uncomfortable about the subject though.
“And what’s the job?” Lily pressed, completely ignoring how uncomfortable Rose looked. She wasn’t always the best at picking up on signs that people didn’t want to talk about a certain topic. Rose was usually the one to point out that she should drop a subject and move on to something else. Unfortunately, Rose was the one being questioned and there was no one else to help out Lily.
Then again, there were times when Lily could tell that people didn’t want to talk about a topic and just chose to ignore it.
“Erm, it’s a job informing people about the muggle world,” Rose said staring at the sidewalk. It wasn’t a lie but it wasn’t the entire truth either.
“Oh that’s great, when do you start?” Lily asked, the excitement evident in her voice. Rose smiled at her little cousin, Lily may have been crazy and very reckless but she always wanted the best for her family. In fact, she wanted the best for just about anyone and when she got excited every time something good happened to those that she knew, she was genuinely excited.
“In a couple of days,” Rose responded, stopping to press her face against the window of a pastry shop. She looked down at the delicious cupcakes longingly; unfortunately she hadn’t brought any money with her to buy any of them. They were practically calling to her though, just begging to be bought.
Lily saw that her cousin wanted nothing more than to walk into that shop and buy every delicious-looking pastry there so she grabbed her by the arm and dragged her off before Rose started creating a puddle of drool on the street. It was a good thing that she did too, that shop owner didn’t look to pleased to have someone fogging up their window and making it dirty.
“So tell me Lily, why exactly did you get behind the wheel of a car when you know nothing about it?” Rose asked her cousin, clasping her hands together behind her back.
“I wanted to drive and you wouldn’t let me if I told you that I didn’t know any of the thingamabobs on the car,” Lily replied, turning a light shade of pink.
“Considering the fact that we almost died, you can understand why I would do that,” Rose shot back. Lily began to turn even redder and avoided Rose’s gaze.
“It’s not like it’s the worst thing that I’ve done,” Lily finally said after thinking about a response for a minute. Lily and Rose turned a corner and came onto their street. The Potter household was at the very end of the street at the next intersection. They began the walk uphill slowly, walking by white house after white house. Each of the houses had a green and trimmed lawn, the Potter household was a large dark brown house with dead grass. There were some small green patches here and there but for the most part, it was brown or black because of the places where it had caught fire.
The backyard wasn’t that different from the front yard, the grass was pretty much dead and now there was a tree in the back that had pieces of metal stuck to it that no one could get out. It would forever be a reminder that Lily had completely and utterly destroyed James’ motorcycle. He still hadn’t forgiven her for that even though Lily had promised to pay back her brother for the damage one day.
“True, very true,” Rose replied, pointing a finger at Lily as she ducked under a tree branch. There were times when it really sucked being taller than everyone else in the family. “There was that time when you brought home a monkey and set it loose on the house. Aunt Ginny was so furious with you for setting the kitchen on fire, I’ve got no idea how you survived that. I thought she was going to murder you for sure.”
“We all agreed that monkey seemed perfectly well trained at the time,” Lily said as she tripped and almost landed on her face. If she’d known that the monkey wasn’t trained then Lily wouldn’t have brought it home, it’s not like she thought it would be a brilliant idea to let an untrained monkey loose on her house.
Rose rolled her eyes at her cousin and pushed open the metal gate of the Potter household. Lily followed behind her and closed the gate before running to catch up with Rose. Rose may have been shorter than Lily but she walked at a fast pace and took long strides, sometimes it was Lily who had to keep up with Rose instead of the other way around. The ministry car was nowhere to be seen so Lily assumed that it had been taken back to the ministry before she could do anymore harm to it or endanger someone else’s life.
Lily opened the door to her home and stepped inside, moving out of the way so that Rose could come inside as well. The two cousins hung up their jackets and made their way into the kitchen where they found Albus drinking orange juice with his feet up on the counter. The moment that Rose and Lily entered the kitchen his feet left the table and he was slumped over as he usually was. Once he realized that it wasn’t his mum in the doorway, Albus relaxed back into his previous position and turned his attention to his cousins.
“I see you’re both alive,” he said grinning, “Lily must’ve known what she was doing.”
“No, she didn’t but I did,” replied Rose. She walked over to the fridge and buried her face in it looking for food. She passed the coconut cream pie that she found to Lily and continued to look. Lily made her way over to the table with the pie in one hand and three plates in the other. Albus hurried to help his sister and made sure that she didn’t drop any of the pie on the floor.
He really didn’t want another birthday cake incident like the one when Lily turned thirteen. All of that good and delicious cake and Lily had tripped and dropped the entire thing face down on the pavement.
Lily spread out the three plates and got three forks and spoons out while Albus went and got a knife. Rose had stuck her head in the freezer and was trying to choose between chocolate flavoured ice cream, vanilla and caramel. They were all excellent choices and Rose was having difficulty picking out which one she wanted to eat the most at the moment. In the end, she simply shrugged and brought out all three tubs of ice-cream. It’s not like anyone was complaining anyway, it was ice-cream after all.
Albus cut up large pieces of pie and served a piece to his sister and cousin while Lily helped Rose scoop ice-cream into bowls. The three of them sat down and began to eat.
“Anything else happen on your way back?” Albus asked through a mouthful of pie. He’d only started eating and there was already some on his chin, his nose and a spot of cream close to his ear. Lily sighed, got up and started to look around for a roll of paper towels. She banged around the kitchen for a minute and then finally found what she was looking for. She ripped off a sheet of paper towel and handed it to Albus so that he could wipe his mouth.
“Here,” Lily said handing her brother the paper towel.
“Thanks,” Albus replied and started to wipe his entire face. It was easier to wipe his entire face than ask for the places that he was dirty, more often than not he would miss the dirty spots by a mile and Lily would end up having to clean him up as usual.
“Yeah, we talked about things that Lily’s done that were worse than almost getting us killed,” Rose replied as she picked up the knife and cut herself another generous slice of coconut cream pie. It was best to finish the pie now before Lily’s Uncle Ron got his hands on it. As it was, most of the pie was already missing and it seemed that Uncle Ron had probably eaten most of the pie anyway.
“Like that time when she had that monkey and it set the kitchen on fire,” Albus said, smiling as the memory came back to him. Lily glared at him and aimed a kick at his legs. The last thing that she really wanted at the moment was to relive her past disasters. Unfortunately for Lily, her past disasters were a form of entertainment and a topic to talk about when there was nothing else for conversation.
Lily dropped her fork on the table, quickly swallowed her pie and said, “Oi, I thought we all agreed that the monkey seemed perfectly trained.”
“I never thought that, I just said that to fit in with all of you guys,” Rose replied. She wiped her hands clean just to make sure that she’d gotten rid of any pie that may have gotten on her and put away the empty cardboard platter that still had small pieces of pie on it.
“Thanks a lot guys, some relatives I have,” Lily muttered as she finished off the last of her pie and put down her fork. She collected the empty dirty plates and put them in the sink where they immediately began to wash themselves.
“Anyone up for a game of Exploding Snap?” Lily asked her brother and cousin. They thought about their answer before agreeing to a friendly game of Exploding Snap, they had nothing better to do, this seemed as fun of a game as any.
Rose, Lily and Albus left the kitchen and made their way to the backyard to play Exploding Snap. Lily ran upstairs to get her deck of cards and ran to the patio where she found Rose and Albus seated around an empty table and ready to place.
Lily grabbed a chair and sat down. She began to shuffle the cards and once she was satisfied that they were mixed up enough, she split the deck into three smaller ones and handed one to Rose and one to Albus. Albus started out first, since he was the last one to get his deck, and put one card down flat on the table with the number and suit facing upwards. Rose and Lily added on a card at the same time. They carefully leaned the cards towards each other and after making sure that they weren’t, going to fall, let Albus go again.
They continued on like this for a few minutes, adding cards on as the structure made out of playing cards got bigger and bigger. The three of them were totally focused on what they were doing and making sure that everything didn’t explode.
“Lily, were we even allowed to eat that pie?” Rose asked suddenly. She never took her eyes off of the task at hand and her concentration never wavered.
“I’m pretty sure we were,” Lily replied as she furrowed her eyebrows and stuck her tongue out to the side. She was standing on her chair and trying to add another card to the top of building made out of cards.
“And if we weren’t?” Rose asked as Albus took his turn and added another card to the bottom.
“We’ll just say Uncle Ron came over and ate it,” Lily answered.
And so the game continued on in silence. It was slowly approaching evening and none of the cards had exploded at all, they had been unusually silent the entire game. Lily, Rose and Albus were all on their guard near the beginning of the game because they were sure that something was going to happen but after nearly an hour of the game still going, they were starting to relax.
Lily was vaguely aware of someone opening the front door of the house and entering but she was too focused to care about who it was. There was the sound of feet walking towards what she assumed was the direction of the kitchen and the sound of a fridge opening.
Lily was moving so slowly to put her card down, she had to lean it as gently as possible otherwise it might set off the entire deck. She was just about to put down the card when she heard,
“Lily Potter, what happened to that coconut cream pie?!”
Her mum slammed the door of the refrigerator shut and Lily was so startled that she dropped the card in surprise and almost fell out of her chair. The card fell as if in slow motion, Lily watched in horror as it slowly fell and landed on the deck, it was a split second of total silence and the card structure quivering and then the entire deck of cards that had been put together so carefully, exploded all over the backyard.
A/N: Hello there everyone! This is my entry for the Ally Carter Quote Challenge and I was given the quote “We all agreed that monkey seemed perfectly well trained at the time,” so that belongs to Ally Carter and not me.
What did you think of the characterization? Was the pace okay? Are there parts where I should've added more detail? Are there any grammar errors?
Any feedback that you may have or anything that you might want to point out and think I should fix please do so because I love to hear from you guys and it'll help me be a better writer. And on a much happier note, what did you guys think of the characters? Lily? Rose? Albus? Any favourite quotes or scenes? Anything that you really liked about the chapter?
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