Printer Friendly Version ] [ Report Abuse ]
Back

No Wands At The Wedding by momotwins
Chapter 6 : Portkeys
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 6


Font:  
Background:   Font color:  

The Portkey Exchange was bustling, but the Potters had found a quiet corner where they could gather. Lily had been waiting there with her parents for the last twenty minutes. Despite the quiet corner, she was still feeling the stress of their location. Somewhere nearby, a dog started barking, echoing in the high ceilings of the Exchange. The sound made her want to run for the nearest exit.

She glanced around impatiently. “We're going to miss our Portkey.”

“Relax,” said her mother.

Her father checked his watch. “We can always leave without them.”

“I told James the Portkey leaves fifteen minutes before it actually does,” Ginny said serenely. “He's my son. I know he's always late.”

“Three weeks past his due date,” agreed Harry.

“Hasn't been on time since.”

Lily rolled her eyes and sat down beside Hob. She had heard her parents' schtick about James and his chronic lateness her entire life.

Hob, who had not, was grinning. “Tell me more about James's bad qualities, Mrs. Potter.”

Harry snorted, but before either of her parents could let Hob in on his friend's secrets, James turned up with Navya by his side. James looked harried, his shirt untucked and hair sticking up at the back. Navya was as put-together as always in a tailored set of navy blue robes, her dark hair twisted into a tidy chignon.

“Good morning,” she said cheerfully, waving to the Potters and Hob. Harry and Ginny smiled at her in welcome; they quite liked their son's girlfriend. Lily had tried not to like Navya because of that – since her parents hardly ever liked her own significant others – but it was hard to dislike anyone who got James to obey orders. Usually James was the ringleader of every group he was in, with people like Hob doing whatever he said (ribbing him about it all the while, but still doing it). Seeing him taken down a peg or two by a tiny little tyrant in spike heels was lovely, actually.

“Oi,” mumbled James, throwing himself into the seat beside Hob.

Lily examined her brother carefully. “James, are you hung over?”

“No, just had to rush to get out the door. I told her we've plenty of time, the Portkey doesn't leave for another half hour-”

“Forty-five minutes,” Lily broke in.

James slumped even further in his chair. “Bloody hell. Mum lied about the time again?”

“I don't know how this can surprise you after all these years.”

“Where's Albus? Isn't he supposed to be here?”

“In the loo, isn't he?” Hob looked round. “Maybe he fell in.”

“Right behind you, mate.” Albus poked his brother in the back of the head. “I see Navya forced you to be on time.”

“Where's your date, Albus?” James needled him. “Imaginary?”

“Arriving tomorrow.”

“Imaginary,” James said to Hob.

“If we're all here, can we go early?” Ginny asked. She turned to her husband and stage-whispered, “Let's ditch the children at the hotel, dear.”

Harry threw an arm around her shoulders. “Next time Dominique gets married, let's just go by ourselves and let them take their own Portkey.”

The hotel the Potters were staying in was a few blocks from the enormous old church where Dominique was getting married. It was painted bright red on the exterior, a narrow building squeezed between a couple of shops. From the décor, Lily was guessing it had been there since Dumbledore was a boy. While they were in the lobby checking into their rooms, Uncle Ron sauntered out of the carpeted stairwell and over to stand beside Harry, rocking back on his heels.

“Oi. Portkey went all right?”

“Yeah. James was on time.”

Uncle Ron affected an astonished look. “What, your son James?”

Harry was grinning widely now. “All thanks to Navya, of course. Under his own steam he'd never have made it.”

“She's a keeper, that one. You ought to marry her before she realizes what a toad you are,” Uncle Ron added to James.

James rolled his eyes at the two of them. Navya smiled and managed not to look smug.

“Subtle, Ron,” said Ginny, sliding her brother a sidelong look. “Where's your wife?”

“More importantly, where's your daughter?” Lily asked. No one had seen Rose for the last fortnight, nor heard from her either. Not even Hugo knew what she was up to. Rose didn't go underground like this for long, so something was up. Lily was dying to know what she was planning as revenge against Dominique.

“Wife's upstairs. Daughter not here til later this evening. Son arriving in an hour or so.” Ron elbowed Harry in the ribs. “Grab a pint with me?”

“Sure. Got a place in mind?”

“I hope you weren't grabbing a pint without me.” Aunt Hermione appeared behind them, her hair floating around her in a wild cloud. Travel never seemed to agree with her hair; changes in humidity made her hair frizzy. Aunt Hermione didn't seem bothered, though.

“Okay, we're all checked in.” Ginny handed room keys around: one each for her children and one for Hob. Navya was, of course, staying in James's room. Lily noted her mother had not put Hob in the room beside hers.

Hob didn't seem to notice. He was looking round the hotel lobby. “Where's Fred, isn't he supposed to be here?”

James waved this off. “Later on. Mum, Dad, where are you going for that pint?”

“Grown-ups only,” Ginny said firmly. “You lot aren't invited.”

“Rude,” gasped James.

Lily put a hand to her forehead and made a practiced faint into Albus's arms. Albus caught her neatly under her arms, her back against his chest. This had been one of their favorite routines since their teenage years, and Albus could still catch her fake faints at the drop of a hat.

“Her poor heart.” Albus assumed a look of melodramatic concern. “It just couldn't take the parental neglect.”

Uncle Ron snorted. “Come on, Harry, let's go. I promise I won't call the authorities on you for leaving your children to go boozing.”

Albus boosted Lily back to her feet and waved them off. “Go on, then. Child abusers. I'm telling Gran.”

Lily waved to her mother, whose eyes were twinkling as she slipped out the door behind the other three. Then she turned to her brothers, Navya, and Hob. “Well, what should we do? Go exploring?”

“I'm going to go unpack and take a nap,” Navya declared. “We'll be up late with the pub crawl tonight.”

“I'm napping with her,” James put in.

Hob grinned at them and put up his hands for air quotes. “Napping?”

“Shut up.”

Navya took James by the hand and led him upstairs.

Albus waved his key at them. “I'm going to drop my things in my room, then let's get out of here. Hob, ever been to the Heineken Experience?”

“Twice. Let's go.”

“I reckon I'll unpack, then,” Lily said, feeling a little out of sorts. A beer exhibit wasn't her cup of tea, not that either of them had asked her. They didn't seem concerned about ditching her.

“See you later, Lily.” Albus dashed upstairs with Hob on his heels.

Lily folded her arms over her chest and heaved a sigh.

*

Hugo had told Gwyneira that he had arranged a Portkey at two the afternoon before the wedding. Since she hadn't bothered to give him any of her cousin's contact information, only said she'd passed on what he'd given her, all he could do was show up at the appointed time and hope his unknown date would do the same. Once he was through all the security checkpoints at the International Portkey Exchange, he sat down outside the number fifteen departure point and waited, wondering if he was in fact going to wind up stag for the wedding after all.

At ten minutes til, someone tapped him on the shoulder and then sat down next to him.

“Hi,” said a brunette witch with a cheerful grin and ruby-red lipstick. “You must be Hugo Weasley.”

“How could you tell?” he asked, straightening in his chair.

She pointed at his hair, the distinctive Weasley red.

He laughed at that. “Most of my family is traveling to Amsterdam today. I might have been any Weasley.”

“You looked like you were waiting for someone.” She gave him a cheeky smile.

Hugo found himself smiling back. She was pretty, with bright brown eyes and a handful of freckles across her narrow little nose. She didn't look much like her cousin, that was for sure, and so far she didn't act at all like her. She was still smiling at him, a faint dimple in each cheek, and he didn't even know her name, but something deep inside him clicked into place.

“Apparently I was waiting for you,” he said, and held out his hand. “I'm Hugo Weasley.”

“I'm Glenna Griffiths. Nice to meet you.” She shook his hand.

“Do you mind if I ask why you agreed to come?”

She took the question in stride. “Quite the opener. I suppose you must be wondering. Well, I've never been to Amsterdam and it sounded like a lark. And Gwen told me you only wanted someone to annoy your cousin, so I didn't reckon you'd be picky who your date was.”

“Fair enough. I suppose I wouldn't turn down a free trip either, even if it does mean a wedding.”

“Oh, I don't mind weddings,” remarked Glenna. “Weddings are lovely. So much free food.”

“My cousin is marrying a baron. The food is bound to be excellent. And there's an open bar.”

“Even better. Mind if I ask exactly how you were expecting Gwen to behave to your cousin at her wedding?”

He supposed that was a fair enough question as well. “I don't want to make a scene or anything, just a few digs at her to puncture her ego would do it.”

Glenna nodded. “Gwen would've been an excellent choice, then. Sorry she got sick. I'm not sure I can be as rude as her, but I'll try.”

“You can just come along,” Hugo found himself saying. “I don't think that plan is going to work now.”

“You don't think I can be annoying?” she asked, eyes twinkling.

He found the very idea unimaginable. She was adorable, and he'd only known her for a few minutes. “I highly doubt it, but maybe we can double-team the bride somehow.”

She laughed and glanced at her watch. “Almost time. Shall we?”

He tried not to stare at her as they stood waiting for the Portkey to activate, holding a neon yellow sock between them, but found he couldn't help himself. Glenna was looking brightly around the room as if everything there interested her, and didn't seem to notice his gaze. She was nearly the same height as him, only an inch or two shorter, and her straight brown hair tumbled halfway down her back, swishing in a shining dark sheet as she moved her head. Her eyes were rimmed with navy blue eyeliner in a cat's eye shape, the same shade as the t-shirt she was wearing with a pair of faded jeans. She had an athletic build, rather like his cousin Molly, though not as slender as Molly was.

She looked much, much better in those jeans than his cousin would, of course.

The sock began to glow in his hands, drawing his attention.

“Here we go,” he said, and she looked round and smiled at him just as the Portkey hooked behind his belly button and pulled.

Once they had landed, dusted themselves off, and found a handy trash can to dispose of the used Portkey sock, Hugo looked round to try to orient himself. They had landed in a narrow alley off an almost as narrow street lined with tall buildings, all in shades of beige and brown brick. One of the canals was visible at one end of the street. He didn't recognize any landmarks, and Glenna had distracted him to the point that he couldn't remember the walking route he'd planned out when booking the Portkey.

“I have no idea where we are, so I hope you know how to get to the hotel,” Glenna said cheerfully. She put a hand to her eyes to shade them. “It's so beautiful here! Look at the bridges. I love them.”

“Hang on, I'll find the way.” He pulled out his wand, holding it flat on the palm of his hand, and told it, “Point me.”

The wand spun around, homing in on the direction of their hotel, and they set off. Glenna fell into step easily beside him, their similar heights making it quite comfortable to walk together.

“What spell was that? I don't think I've seen that one before.”

“Oh, it's just one my mother taught me. Think she might've invented it, to be honest. Never saw it in any schoolbooks.”

“Your mother invented a spell?” Glenna looked impressed. “Wow, that's wild. Does she do that a lot?”

Hugo shrugged. “I think she did more when she was younger than she does now. She's more concerned with law these days.”

“Your mum is a lawyer?”

They passed the time discussing their parents as they made their way to the hotel. She had, of course, read about his parents in History of Magic at school, though the class had focused mostly on his uncle Harry when discussing the fall of Voldemort. To Hugo's relief, while she seemed interested, she didn't get that star-struck look that people sometimes got at the mention of Harry Potter. His cousins had it worse, with him being their dad, but anyone who'd read about the war knew who Hugo's parents were too. Somehow he didn't want Glenna to turn out to be one of the celebrity-chasers.

Glenna's parents, it turned out, came from a long line of Herbologists. He'd never known much about the Griffiths family, since Gwyneira was so standoffish, and the revelation that her relatives were so very normal came as something of a shock. Most of them, Glenna assured him, were not like Gwyneira at all.

“And did you continue the tradition?” Hugo asked, pointing to their hotel, now visible up the street. “With Herbology, I mean.”

“I tried, but it wasn't for me. I'm a linguistic historian.”

Hugo raised an eyebrow. That sounded rather bookish for someone as cheerful and athletic as her. “What do you do with that, then?”

“Oh, I study the history of spell language. It's really interesting to see the evolution of spell words from the Latin, ancient Greek, and early medieval languages into modern spells. And of course, the sort of thoroughly modern spells that your mother invented. In English and everything.” She chuckled then, the musical sound running straight down Hugo's spine. “Point me.”

It occurred to Hugo that his mother was going to love Glenna.

After they'd checked into their rooms (Hugo naturally having booked Gwyneira her own room to minimize their potential contact apart from the wedding itself - this arrangement being significantly less appealing with his new and improved date), Hugo took a moment to pull his tux out of the magically expanded rucksack he'd packed it in, to make sure it aired before the wedding. He wasn't much good with anti-wrinkling spells, so he hoped those hung out overnight, or his grandmother might have to do one for him at the wedding.

A knock at his door drew his attention, and Glenna poked her head in.

“Is that your tux? Very nice, I can't wait to see it on. Want to go exploring with me? We've all afternoon still.”

All afternoon exploring Amsterdam with her. He looked at the dimples and the sparkling brown eyes, once again feeling that click deep inside.

“Yes,” Hugo said decisively. “Let's go.”

*

They wandered around the city rather aimlessly, since neither had brought a map, pointing out interesting buildings to each other, and eventually wound up at a small cafe near the Rijksmuseum for coffee.

“So what's the story with the bride?” Glenna asked, stirring sugar into her cup.

“What makes you think there's a story?” Hugo asked with a grin.

She gave him a look. “Well, for one thing, you deliberately set out to bring a date that would make her angry on her wedding day. You picked Gwen. That really says something about a person.”

It occurred to Hugo how that must have sounded to Glenna before she met him. With Gwyneira, it hadn't mattered, but now... “That doesn't make me sound good, does it?”

She gave him a slow, considering look, then said, “No, I suppose not. But you seem very kind-hearted, so what type of a bride makes someone like you want to do something to annoy her on her wedding day? She must be a horrible bitch, eh?”

That gave Hugo a warm flush. “You think I'm kind-hearted?”

“Focus,” she told him with a smile. “What's her story?”

Hugo let out a sigh and tried to think how to explain Dommie. “Well, there's a long story with Dominique. I don't suppose you've read her book?”

She shook her head. “'Bewitched and Betrayed' or something like that. I've seen it but I haven't read it.”

“She's a bit of a social climber. Snobbish. Sometimes pretends to have a French accent even though she was brought up in Cornwall.”

“Ah,” Glenna said wisely. “One of those.”

“Yeah. She acts like she's better than the rest of us, has ever since she married her first husband. Well, in fairness, she was a bit like that as a teenager, too. I thought that divorce might have knocked her down a peg, but she came back swinging, that's for sure. This new bloke is a baron.”

“Leveling up in the snobbery, there. A title.”

“I don't think that's why she's marrying him, though it might be why she picked him in the first place,” Hugo admitted. “But I do think she loves him.”

“Yet you wanted to annoy her at the wedding.”

“She said my sister is a bad mother,” he told her baldly.

Glenna's eyebrows rose. “That's fighting words, there.”

Understatement of the year, that was. “Yeah.”

“And what is your sister doing about it?”

Hugo stirred his coffee, feeling a bit nettled that Rose still hadn't told him what she was up to. “I don't know, she wouldn't tell me. Dad told her not to punch Dommie in the jaw, though.”

“That seems best. Especially at the wedding.”

“She's got something up her sleeve, but she wouldn't tell me. I hadn't got a chance to corner her boyfriend and try to make him tell me what she's up to.”

“So you were going to set Gwyneira on the wedding to get one in for your sister, is that it?”

Hugo nodded. Glenna let out a chuckle.

“She would've been great. Just being her natural self, she was bound to offend someone. Sorry she couldn't make it.”

“I'm not. I'm having much more fun with you than I would have with her.”

Glenna smiled but gave him a look. “This isn't really a real date, you know.”

“It could be.” It felt like a real date to him. His stomach dropped suddenly with a horrible realization. “Unless you're not single?”

“Oh no, I'm very single,” Glenna said with a slight edge to her voice. “Extremely so.”

Before he could ask about that, her eyes widened suddenly and she blurted out, “You're single too, aren't you?”

“I wouldn't have taken Gwyneira if I wasn't,” Hugo said.

Glenna relaxed visibly. “Oh. Right. I thought you must be, only... Well. Good, then.”

“Very good.”

They looked at each other across the table for a few beats of silence. Hugo decided not to push her about why she was 'extremely single' when he was only just getting to know her. He didn't want to scare her off. She didn't seem on the verge of that, but there had been something brittle in her voice when she'd made that comment.

Extremely so.

“What time are we supposed to meet up with your relatives?” Glenna asked then.

Hugo was rather surprised to find she really had read everything he'd written to her cousin about the details of the weekend. He'd marked the pre-wedding Weasley pub crawl as 'optional' for Gwyneira, worried that she'd offend Dominique too early on in the weekend and get both of them banned from the wedding by someone's mother. “Seven. Do you want to come, then?”

She gave him an incredulous look. “A pub crawl? Yeah.”

A pub crawl with all his cousins. It was time for the family disclaimer. “Right. I've got to warn you about my cousin Louis, then.”
 


Previous Chapter

Favorite |Reading List |Currently Reading

Back


Review Write a Review
No Wands At The Wedding: Portkeys

Review

(6000 characters max.) 6000 remaining

Your Name:
Rating:

Prove you are Human:
What is the name of the Harry Potter character seen in the image on the left?


 

Other Similar Stories

No similar stories found!