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How to Organise Strangers and Create Chaos by TheGoldenKneazle
Chapter 8 : Job 8: Talk to Lou and Send Roses to Fred
 
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Job 8: Talk to Lou and Send Roses to Fred

“Pepper…” Rose’s voice is tentative and more gentle than usual as we storm – ok, I storm, and Rose hurries – back to the Burrow. We had abandoned our naff brooms with Al to take care of, in his slightly shell-shocked state, and were kind of hoping that between Louis’s (no doubt insane, yet odd) anger and Al’s shock, they would get home somehow.

I was a bit past the point of taking care of other people at this point, and just wanted to be alone so I could scream at all the accusing stares and questions and weird looks I got.

Including Rose.

But considering my task was to convince everyone that nothing was weird, this was somewhat hard.

“Pepper, look… we just need to talk…” Rose was trying to say, as I slowly sped up so that she was practically galloping beside me on her shorter legs.

Heh, there’s a reason we sometimes get called ‘the giant and the midget’ – there’s quite a difference (ok, half a foot) between us. Though 5”9.5 really isn’t that tall.

“Rose,” I said through clenched teeth.

“Yeah?”

“Shut up.”

“Why?”

“There’s nothing to discuss, and frankly, I’m extremely annoyed by everyone’s assumptions right now; plus the knowledge of all their gossiping is really upsetting me. It’s just not fair, Rose! Why has everyone suddenly latched onto my problems?”

Was it a bit of an overkill? Because I was annoyed by all of those things, but was hardly going to make it an it’s-not-fair! situation.

I needed Rose on my side, because let’s face it, pretty much any large endeavour I had that Rose wasn’t involved in FAILED.

Rose is just like that. And no, I couldn’t tell her that I really wasn’t sure what was going on because she was almost too close to me, as well as having a tendency to over-exaggerate the situation and also a relation of Potter.

Ugh. I had definitely not planned on talking to Al or Louis about it too – considering Al was his brother and shocked, and Louis was a weirdly angry cousin of his – AND they were boys too. Maybe if… no, I could never really imagine talking to either of them about how to get a guy.

Actually, I don’t really know; after all, I feel pretty comfortable to talk about anything with these three.

Ok, since I don’t really need an immediate answer, I’ll just ignore it.

“Oooohhh, Pepper…” Rose came and put her arm around me. “Honestly, we can shut them up. We can even pull out Lily and Lysander if you want! I mean, how stupid are they? Well, James is evidently more stupid…” She rambled off, and I just slowly walked beside her.

See, this is why I love Rose. She’s so reliable, even if you don’t know exactly which end of the moodswings you’ll catch her at, but she’ll always put aside her own problems to help you with yours… which you have deliberately incited the emotion for in a horribly deceptive and Slytherin-ish way.

Crap. I’m such a horrible person.

Ok, then:

Pepper’s List of Stuff to Do
Find out a way to summon the knight bus off the top of muggle houses
Challenge the Fates about my destiny of ‘Death Before 17’
Set up Lily and Lysander
Work out what’s happening with James
Make everyone shut up about whatever’s happening with James
Be a nicer person, starting by being more honest and nice to Rose

-~-

“Aaaaaaalbyyyyyy…” I whined. He sighed.

“What Peppy?”

“Please help me!” I moaned. In all truthfulness, I’m not sure why I needed his help to simply stuff everything back into my suitcase (and I’d got out, what, four things since we got here?) but Lou had ignored me angrily all last night and this morning, and was currently still doing so, while Al just seemed faintly annoyed, possibly more so because Rose had been so obnoxious in her defence of me.

He had asked a couple of weird questions, and then we had all attempted to sleep. Unfortunately, it had proved a lot harder than I thought to lie in the dark, all scrunched up on my half of the bed, with all my friends beside me but not touching them. It was possibly our most awkward night ever. And that is saying quite a lot, believe me.

But now, I suppose Rose would have dubbed my behaviour ‘needing affirmation that they did still love me really’.

As if.

But why do you need to be packed so early on? I hear you ask. Well, we have to be entirely packed by lunch except for an array of clothes we had leave neatly on the bed at the head of our nicely named trunks (courtesy of Rose at Christmas first year – she had suggested it, I brought all the arty stuff).

It was all a bit of a stupid tradition, really. But after lunch we each had to put our names in a hat then pull out someone’s name and choose an outfit from the clothes they’d put out for you. It was actually rather hilarious to arrive at Kings Cross wearing someone else’s too-small top, overlarge sunglasses, giant beach shorts and a sarong.

But after the first year, whereupon no packing got done and everyone fought, Victoire forced the rules down and we obeyed them or died.

Well, almost. She’s really lovely; amusing and sarky, but can control all her cousins rather well.

However, after a lunchtime of alternately bugging Al and talking to my new-found friends, Alice and Frankie Longbottom (but mostly the former activity), I think Al was at the end of his tether. Rose had been arguing extremely with a large amount of the male side of the Clan and Lily about quidditch teams AGAIN, and considering how worked up she got about it, I could see why he was so angry. He probably just wanted to abandon us all to go fly…

“Right! Drawing time!” Tori announced loudly. Fortunately, she’s got an extremely loud voice when she wants to, so everyone shut up fast.

We had all stuck our names in before lunch, and due to the fact that two years ago all the girls wrote ‘Pepper’ for their names and all the boys wrote ‘Fred’ (they thought it would be hilarious because we have the stupidest sets of clothes), Vic had checked that each person’s entered name was their own.

They were, thank God.

“Right! You all know the rules! Pick a name. NO READING. Then I will charm them all to open at once, because we all know how many cheaters there are here,” Vic said sugar-sweetly. Everyone gulped.

“Right! So, oldest first!”

We all obligingly shuffled into a long line that we were well-practiced with, and I watched morosely as all the Marauders took their slips of paper and slyly tried to open them. True to Victoire’s word, they wouldn’t open, and instead Fred managed to almost rip his in half and Fergal completely shredded his. Rose sighed and repaired it for him after he accidentally burnt it instead of repaired it.

As the line shuffled ahead and I watched first Louis angrily pick out the first name he came to (yeesh, he really needed to get over this over-protective thing he had going already), then Al, then Rose who enthusiastically spent several minutes riffling through the name tickets, and finally me with my suckish end-of-the-year birthday.

Finally, it was me… I stood over the black velvet bag with 8 slips of paper sitting in it, and gazed in for a second. One might hold my name. They might all be girls, or all be boys. Who would I get?

I hesitated for a tiny fraction of a second before dipping my hand in, swirling up the pieces of paper with my eyes closed, and suddenly closing my fingers over a random slip that felt very right in my hands.

I almost frowned as I drew my hand out, because it had never happened like that before, but then remembered how much of a reputation I was aiming to build here and instead marched on without a backward glance or any signs of insecurity.

SUCK ON THAT.

But considering that I had held my chin up all high and straightened my shoulders, I then had the problem that I then had to wait for seven other assortedly excited small(er) Gryffs to wait for as they each fumbled through the bag, and reverently pull out their pieces of paper.

Damn, I’m in a bad mood today. Normally humanity doesn’t annoy me this much.

Fucking awful name, curses…

And then Tori was standing up on the chair and chanting, “3! 2! 1!...OPEN!” and waving her wand, before stepping off and snogging a randomer who had appeared in our midst.

…erm?

But the slip of paper had jumped open in my hand and I found myself squinting down into the palm of my hand whether I wanted to or not.

All around me, people were groaning and squealing, and most were finding other people to punch and/or shout at that they had to wear their clothes tomorrow. I, on the other hand, was trying to work out whose name it was that was on the slip of paper.

I mean seriously, who writes their name so badly that nobody can read it in an event that relies upon me reading the name?!

Huh. “Erm… is it… A? or a J? or an L?” I turned the paper upside-down, trying to make sense of the words. The second letter was definitely an ‘a’ or an ‘o’… unless it was actually the first letter.

Merlin, you must be friggin’ KIDDING me.

Al rushed up to me; or rather, Sleazy practically shoved him on top of me. He was shouting in my ear that he’d gotten Frankie Longbottom, and I grinned at his luck. At least he hadn’t gotten Lily, although he had gotten a girl.

Then he asked who I’d got and I showed him the paper, shrugging. Al squinted and grabbed the paper to turn around and around like I had until he gave up and swore.

“Who the fuck wrote this crap?”

“I have no bloody idea. That’s what we’re trying to work out here,” I retorted, without heat.

“Merlin… let’s go ask Tori. She’ll know, or at least be able to scream loud enough to get everyone’s attention,” Al said, and shoved his cousins to the side as we attempted to get through to the other side.

Dayum, this sucked.

Of course, when we actually reached the other side, Tori was still sucking face with the unknown guy, and though we cleared our throats, nothing happened.

After a few seconds, I just started being plain all-out disgusted, and Al clapped a hand over my eyes. I turned away and mimed vomiting as Al did the same simultaneously.

We’re all besties for a reason, you know!

But then different people were clamping onto us because they had us, and I was trying really hard to cling onto Al and explain to the bloody attacking redheads what had happened and nobody was giving and everyone was surging around me and it was all cramped and…

Urgh, I really need to get my claustrophobia problem sorted out. It makes it so difficult to do anything with the Weasley Clan!

But then I ended up falling awkwardly to the ground, and landing funny on my ankle so that it twisted around painfully. I shouted in pain, but nobody seemed to hear, and for a moment I was just white-shock-panicked.

What was I going to do? Someone was about to trample me any second and I was going to die in this ratty old stuff… at least the old woman’s prophecy would come true…

SHUT THE HELL UP, BRAIN. Pepper, you’re a witch. What are you going to do about this?

I dragged my wand out from my tiny shorts (luckily I’d remembered it for once) and didn’t even think before shouting, “REDUCTO!” as loud as I could. Immediately, the people for a few metres around me were blasted backwards and I could actually breathe, dropping my head into my lap to try and get oxygen to my brain while various clan members shouted until they realised exactly why I’d had to do that.

Then Louis was at my side (he appears to be the only one of my friends who can actually help me in situations like this) and rubbing my back to help me to breathe, and James was at my foot and poking my ankle until I screeched.

“FUCK, that HURTS!” I scowled at James. He Smirked™ back.

“Well, what’s wrong with you?”

“I think I’ve sprained my ankle,” I said through gritted teeth. “Plus, can someone please tell me who the fuck wrote their name this bloody stupidly?!”

Louis snatched the piece of paper off me, and examined it for a second. “It’s Lily.”

I stared at him. “Lily? And how could you read that shit?”

He shrugged, and turned away. I glared at him; why was he doing this to me? What exactly had I done?

But I couldn’t confront him right now. I would do it later, when we could shout as much as we wanted, and it wouldn’t matter, because nobody would misinterpret it and it wouldn’t go all around the school. Instead I muttered at his back, “We’re talking later,” and he walked off, pretending he hadn’t heard me.

Git. I could swear that sometimes those Veela-genes are all too happy to come and dominate our lives.

Pepper’s List of Stuff to Do
Find out a way to summon the knight bus off the top of muggle houses
Challenge the Fates about my destiny of ‘Death Before 17’
Set up Lily and Lysander
Work out what’s happening with James
Make everyone shut up about whatever’s happening with James
Be a nicer person, starting by being more honest and nice to Rose
Talk to Lou

I’m so screwed.

Then, of course, the twat-with-a-camera rushed over and took a blinding picture of me and my swollen ankle looking ready to murder.

“Fuck off, Hugo!” I shouted, struggling to get up, until he grinned cheekily at me and looped his arm around me and hauled me up himself.

I had to admit I was surprised, but not exactly happy he was helping me. “Get off, you shit! OI, where are you taking me?!”

I started screeching until he cast a charm over my mouth to make me shut up, and led me away. I decided to freeze so he couldn’t lead me away, but instead that caused me to almost fall over, and Hugo had to drag me along so I didn’t completely smash my face in.

I never thought I could hate him any more than I already did, but then Merlin came along and proved me completely wrong…

<Ihatemylife>

“So, Jamster,” Hugo said conversationally, “exactly what outfit have you got laid out for me? I got you, by the way,” he added unnecessarily.

I hate this child so much, it’s unreal.

“Fuck you, tosspot.”

“Love ya too. Did you know I have nearly 50 lovely photos of you that are each and every one of them hideous?”

“I’ve put out a bikini top and miniskirt with hooker heels,” I said through gritted teeth, silently thanking Merlin I’d been in such a clingy and bad mood this morning. I wanted to humiliate this crap as much as humanely possible (and then some).

Hugo shut up and his grip slackened for a second, but he seemed to recover all too fast and hauled me up the third set of stairs a little more roughly than before. I wondered if it was because he wanted to get it out of the way or whether he wanted to smother me with my pillow and hope nobody could hear my screams.

Instead, he pretty much dragged me into our room, where Rose was handing her onesie and ballet shoes to a disgruntled Sleazy Simon, who evidently had his doubts that the shoes would fit. Rose was also in the process of making him promise to come back tomorrow morning so she could do his hair and make-up.

Only Rose could get away with something like this.

Still, Sleazy wasn’t disgruntled enough to not hit on her, but she just sent a kick backwards and got him in the groin before shoving him away with the armful of clothes, a cheerful death threat if he mistreated anything, and a perky wallop out the door.

Neither Hugo nor I even batted an eyelid as he stumbled past us, and instead I proceeded to hold up the bikini top and body-con skirt against him as I balanced carefully on one leg. However, after Rose whooshed past me a little energetically to go to whoever she had, I nearly toppled over onto the floor, but ended up in his lap.

“Pepper? Is that – what the fuck?!”

Ooh lovely. Freddie Weasley had officially entered the building.

“My ankle, Fredmeister. I fell over,” I said struggling up and instead elbowing Hugo in his not-so-good-to-elbow area. HA.

This probably isn’t a good part of my ‘be a better person’ campaign.

Fuck that, Hugo doesn’t deserve my sunny personality.

“Ah. Now I see… although are you sure?” he asked amusedly, strolling through the door. I glared and flipped him the bird. Tosser.

“Yeah, I’m sure! But what are you doing in here? Not just here to jest at my poor ankle, presumably?”

“I was looking for Rose, ‘cause I need to give her the outfit I picked out for her. D’you know where she is? And no innuendoes, please,” Fred winked.

“Gone to look for you. I think she’s eager to find out what you’ve put out for her,” I said grumpily, though warming to Fred.

“Ah well, on that count she will not be disappointed!” Fred started chuckling, then it turned into laughter, then body-racking bellows which forced him onto the bed beside Hugo and I. Hugo was still lying and groaning, but I tentatively leaned over and poked Fred.

“Oi. What’ve you put out for her then, Mr. Sure-I’m-Not-A-Douchebag?”

“A-a-a n-nu-u-nn-n’sss h-ha-ha-habb-b-it-t-t,” he choked.

I frowned, trying to decode. “A nun’s habit?” I asked confusedly.

He nodded vigorously through his laughter and I sat back. It was actually rather clever and funny of him… Rose was going to bust a gut when she saw it.

I couldn’t help but shake with laughter as we completely fell about in giant laughs that were so huge they were silent and extremely painful. Hugo was laughing too, tears running down his face (although he was evidently still sore) as we all three imagined Rose’s face as she realised that Fred had dressed her how he would like her to go on.

Oh, the messages it would send out to everyone.

“Oi, what’s going on in here?” Al asked a bit mutinously as he came through the door to the bright orange room.

It took me a moment to compose myself enough to say, “Fred’s making Rose w-w-wear a …. N-nun’s hab-b-bit-t…”

And then we were all off again, but this time Al was with us, absolutely killing himself with laughter, as we found such hilarity in the state of our fellow (violent) clan member.

I think maybe I need to screw being nicer to Rose. She’s fine the way she is, and mostly scares the crap out of all of us.

However, I do need to buy Fred some roses and also maybe buy a nun’s outfit for Rose so she can wear it more often.

Pepper’s List of Stuff to Do
Find out a way to summon the knight bus off the top of muggle houses
Challenge the Fates about my destiny of ‘Death Before 17’
Set up Lily and Lysander
Work out what’s happening with James
Make everyone shut up about whatever’s happening with James
X Be a nicer person, starting by being more honest and nice to Rose X
Talk to Lou
Send roses to Fred

I love the Clan; it’s times like these that really remind me why.

-~-

I was woken up by Rose N. Weasley at 5.37 on September 1st. Her shriek went something along the lines of, “PEPPPPPPEEER!! GET YOUR LAZY FAT ARSE UP NOW!”

Oh, the joys of sleeping in a room with Rose. Of course, this didn’t really do anything for me until she chucked water of all three of us remaining sleepers on the bed, then shoved coffee under my nose.

When I had grumpily asked why she wasn’t getting the others up, she replied that they didn’t need half so much getting ready, and that we needed to help them anyway.

Honestly, I couldn’t believe she’d gotten me up instead of Al, but then she pointed out that I could have a shower because Rose’d already had hers, and the others would start getting up soon.

At the time, I thought, ‘As if!’, but true to form, by the time I came out the bathroom, there was a small queue of a couple of people who I couldn’t be arsed to distinguish.

It gets a little repetitive after a while in the Clan; everyone starts to blend together if you’re up early or late.

But several hours later, as Hermione Weasley tried to shove everyone out the door, I had to admit that Rose’s plan had worked. However, I was not feeling so generous towards her when I ended up sandwiched between Percy Weasley and Roxanne, neither of whom were in my top 10 people to sit next to.

I was definitely a lot more pleased with Roxy though, don’t get me wrong! She’s an awesome little pranker whereas Percy Weasley… well, he’s hardly likely to get me into trouble is he?

But it was on the uncomfortable ride to Kings Cross in a convoy of several of the magical expanding Ministry cars that I suddenly realised I had my last chance to cross off the very first thing on my List.

Yes, I should have realised it earlier, but Roxanne and I were talking about what we had been forced to wear (she was in a scuba-diving costume courtesy of James, and I was in a leotard from Lily’s ballet days – making it obviously ridiculously small and unsuitable – with hooker heels that I’d already nearly broken and a little cabaret hat thing to go with my fishnet tights.)

Yes, I’m aware that I wear hooker heels and fishnets often anyway, but it’s just a quirk. I can pull it off as a ‘look’ without it being slutty. Lily does it BECAUSE it’s slutty.

Ugh, I look like a prostitute, and all the males in the Clan had wasted no time in telling me so.

But anyway. I stiffly turned to my least favourite of the uncles and said, still extremely squished, “Um, this is going to sound odd, but is there a way to summon the Knight Bus off the top of Muggle Houses?”

It turns out, no. Dammit.

Pepper’s List of Stuff to Do
X Find out a way to summon the knight bus off the top of muggle houses X
Challenge the Fates about my destiny of ‘Death Before 17’
Set up Lily and Lysander
Work out what’s happening with James
Make everyone shut up about whatever’s happening with James
Talk to Lou
Send roses to Fred

*A/N: *ducks* uhh… I’m sorry? Please don’t throw stuff at me for the super-super-long wait! I hope this was worth it – I’m sorry it’s so filler-y, and for the seriously abrupt ending. I just get carried away with Pepper’s antics sometimes, and this chapter had hit 6000 words before I realised I wanted another 3000. So I had to cut it off here.

But on the plus side for y’all, the ENTIRE NEXT CHAPTER is devoted to the train ride! You will love me, because this is where the banner action reeeeally comes in ;D It’s called “Job 9: Post ‘Agony Aunt’ Notices Around School”. You will like!! It really will be very rewarding for all ye glorious, patient readers out there!

Please tell Pepper something awesome in that l’il box below…
~TGK*

 


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