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Make Them Gold | Neville Longbottom (2) by nevillesIongbottom

Format: Novel
Chapters: 8
Word Count: 42,018
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence

Genres: Fluff, Romance, Angst, AU, LGBTQA
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Andromeda, Tonks, Sirius, Ted, Bellatrix, Regulus, Cedric, Ginny, Neville, Pansy, OC
Pairings: Lucius/Narcissa, Andromeda/Ted, Ginny/OC, Remus/OC, Sirius/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 02/09/2020
Last Chapter: 04/02/2020
Last Updated: 04/02/2020

Summary:

Asterope Riddle's life is just a series of unfortunate events. The most unfortunate event is that no one knows that she's a Riddle; in her first year she met the Boy-Who-Lived ( A.K.A the Boy-Who-Annihilated-Her-Father) and she just panicked and she, sort of, maybe gave him a semi-false name. And it just snowballed out of control and suddenly she's known as Aurelia Black, the golden girl with sunflowers in her hair, the girl who helped Harry Potter during first and second year alongside Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, the bravest Hufflepuff there ever was. Then after the traumatic and unfortunate events her third year which results in ugly scars and an overwhelming fear of both werewolves and any DADA professor to come, the golden identity she's created for herself starts to fall apart.



Chapter 1: In Extium Hedera
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( pre ) ACT i, CHAPTER zero:
PROLOGUE: in extium hedera
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        ASTEROPE AURELIA RIDDLE ( more commonly known as Aurelia Black because she does not handle stress well at all ) is quite aware that her life has just been a series of unfortunate events. That's not to say that she, herself, is an unfortunate person because she has a lot — she's never wanted for nothing and she has loving mothers, not to mention she lives in a bloody castle, it's just that bad things tend to happen to her a lot.

 

        Granted things got a lot worse when she started Hogwarts but she knew that a lot of terrible things happened to her as a baby. She is, after all, a Riddle child and bad things happened to the Riddle children because their father was a dick and he did horrible things to them, made them do horrible things. Luckily, Aurelia escaped most of the trauma he would've given her because he died when she was merely a baby. And she had been safe from him and the trauma he loved to make his children endure, that is, she had been safe from him before she had attended Hogwarts.

 

        Aurelia had made the unfortunate but not that unfortunate decision of sitting with Harry Potter, the famous and only surviving target of her father and when he had asked who she was, she had panicked. She had stared at him for a solid five minutes before all but screaming "Hi!" again, followed by: "I'm Aurelia Black!"

 

        This, of course, wasn't quite a lie. She was going to be using her mother's maiden name for her schooling and she had always preferred her middle name over her first name. Aurelia was the name of one of the descendants of Helga Hufflepuff that happened to be a Muggleborn, her mother had named one of the heirs of Slytherin after one of the heirs of Hufflepuff and Aurelia had always thought that was pretty bad ass of her mother to do. But then, Aurelia had to go and dig her grave by going and telling Harry Potter:

 

        "Me mum's a professor at Hogwarts, she teaches Care for Magical Creatures, she's lovely! And me dad is Remus Lupin, I don't know what he does but he's right wicked. He gives me lots of chocolate when I see him which isn't often but it's alright, you know."

 

        Now, the problem with that wasn't telling him her mother is a professor because technically the professor — Adelpha or Delphi Black, is technically her mum in everything but blood. Since her biological mum had been thrown in Azkaban for a crime she most certainly did not commit, Delphi Black had been taking care of her ever since. It was the Remus thing that was the problem. Yes, Remus was her godfather and he was probably the only good father figure in her life, it was highly unlikely that he would appreciate being referred to as her biological father. But, when Aurelia panics, she really panics.

 

        When Aurelia had told Delphi just how badly she had messed up with Potter after the Sorting Ceremony which hadn't gone that well — Aurelia had managed to be the first Riddle sibling to be sorted into a house that wasn't Slytherin but it wasn't the worst because both her mums, biological and adoptive, had been in Hufflepuff so it wasn't surprising to her it just made her feel kinda left out — but, anyway, she told Delphi what she had done and instead of telling her to fix it, Delphi encourages her to go with it. And thus the identity of Aurelia Black is created, rising out of a sea of stress kinda like how Goddess, Aphrodite, was born but perhaps less elegantly. Aurelia liked being Aurelia Black way better than being Asterope Aurelia Riddle because while they were the same person with the same personality, Aurelia Black didn't have the overbearing burden of what her parents had done hanging over her head ( although technically her mum didn't do anything, she just got framed ) and Merlin's beard, that was such a good feeling.

 

        Aurelia hadn't expected to stay close friends with Harry Potter after being sorted into Hufflepuff and him ending up in Gryffindor but she ended up doing so. Not her wisest decision because while he was a great friend as so were his other two friends, he got her into a lot of trouble. Harry had a knack for finding trouble whether he was looking for it or not, in the first year alone the four of them had done more than enough to get expelled, and Aurelia had missed out of some of the stuff they did that year — she didn't fight that troll with them because she had went with her house back to their common room. But, Aurelia was right by Harry's side when he took down her father for a second time and although it wasn't really her father, just his head on the back of their DADA professor's head, it was still horrifying to witness. Especially when her father recognised her and almost exposed her to Harry, she then took a torch off the stone wall and bashed her father across the face with it and Professor Quirrell in the back of the head with it. Harry was then able to defeat her father with some kind of ancient magic his mother had blessed him with and the four of them had managed to save the Philosopher's Stone.

 

        It seems that some big and very troubling thing happens to the quartet every year, second year Aurelia wasn't around for most of it because she got petrified by her father's pet basilisk but before that happened she was able to figure out who opened the Chamber of Secrets and it happened to be the girl that she was crushing on — Ginny bloody Weasley, she had fancied the younger girl for some time, she had known her for a few years before Hogwarts. Her father had possessed the girl that she fancied and then used the girl to petrify Aurelia when she discovered what was going on, what a dick. And Aurelia's third year had been pretty quiet so far, despite the castle grounds being overwhelmed with Dementors, Aurelia hates Dementors. But, every year without fail, something big and very troubling happens to the quartet and this happens to be the night that the said very big and very troublesome thing happens.

 

        Sirius Black had lured all four of them to the Shrieking Shack by dragging Ron there. Aurelia knew that he was innocent, her mothers had told her that all her life and she had seen Sirius during her Azkaban visits, she'd give him the flowers in her hair to spruce up his dark little cell. But he played the part of evil, dramatic villain very well. Then Lupin had showed up, then Snape, and all in all it was a mess. Finally Sirius got to explain everything and now they all know he's innocent which leads them to this very moment, the moment where they're all just leaving the Shrieking Shack.

 

        They're stopped by Sirius who holds his arms out like a shield and in front of him, Aurelia can see that Remus has gone rigid and her throat runs dry. He hadn't taken his potion and tonight was the full moon, Aurelia whimpers: "Oh, bullocks."

        "Oh, my — he didn't take his potion tonight! He's not safe!" Hermione gasps and Aurelia clings to her, both of them are shaking as they watch Remus start to transform.

 

        "Run," Black whispers, "Run. Now. Leave it to me — RUN!"

 

        There's a terrible snarling noise, Lupin's head is lengthening and so is his body. His shoulders are hunching, hair is sprouting visibly on his face and hands, which curl into clawed paws. Crookshanks's hair is on end; he's backing away — as the werewolf reared, snapping its long jaws, Sirius disappeared from Harry's side. He had transformed as well, into his Animagus form. The enormous, bearlike dog bounded forward. As the werewolf wrenches itself free of the manacle binding it, the dog seizes it about the neck and pulls it backward, away from Ron and Pettigrew. They are locked, jaw to jaw, claws ripping at each other — Hermione screams something about Lupin's wand and Aurelia looks just in time to see Pettigrew diving for it.

 

        "NO!" Aurelia screams, knowing that Pettigrew is going to use it to get away.

 

        Harry disarms him but it's too late, Pettigrew had successfully managed to transform back into his Animagus form and he's taking off across the grounds and Aurelia's isn't thinking straight when she goes running after him. All she can think about is Sirius losing his freedom again and she can't let that happen, Harry and Hermione scream something at her but she can't hear exactly what they say over the rushing of her blood in her ears.

 

        She chases Pettigrew into the Forbidden Forest and that's where she loses sight of him and that's when she realises that she's being chased by Remus. He's a werewolf, of course, he doesn't know any better because he no longer sees her as Aurelia but rather as a victim.  "Shit." Aurelia mumbles and she takes off running, further into the forest, her heart hammers in her chest and her mouth has gone dry.

 

        Aurelia is terrified, she can't let Remus get to her because she'd probably die and then he'd never forgive himself for hurting her. She keeps running deeper and deeper into the forest, then finally she can't hear the werewolf anymore and she wonders if perhaps he had been distracted by something else. Aurelia reluctantly lets herself come to a stop, to catch her breathe, she leans against the thick trunk of a dead tree. As she breathes heavily, she can smell the scent of damp grass, Aurelia knows that this isn't probably one of her wisest decisions but she can scarcely breathe. She, of course, keeps her wand at the ready, her thin fingers gripping the Cypress wood so tightly it's a miracle that it doesn't snap. She's not very good at defensive spells, or any spells outside of the Patronus Charm for that matter but it's her only weapon against the werewolf. It's almost sickeningly silent in the Forbidden Forest. Then all at once, Aurelia can hear the snapping of branches in front of her and she aims her wand, a whole bunch of defensive spells that she's only read about on the tip of her tongue; she's not dying tonight — Remus would never forgive himself if she let that happen.

 

        There's a low snarl that sounds from in front of her and a few feet in front of her, she can see Remus there, bathed in the moonlight, hunched over and chest heaving with every breath he takes, he's looking right at her. There's no signs of recognition in his glowing eyes, the only thing there is an intense hunger.

 

        "Fuck me," Aurelia mumbles, "Every year, every year we go through some terrifying bullshit. This is it, if I live through this, I swear I'm done hanging out with them."

 

        Remus moves forward, slowly as if he is unsure if she's actually a human or not, she's standing completely still and it must confuse his werewolf-driven mind. He takes another step and Aurelia casts a 'stupefy' which sends him back a couple steps, he whimpers as if he's been hit by something very hard.

 

        "Shit." Aurelia says tiredly, it wasn't strong enough and she's not sure if it's because she didn't do it properly or because that's not enough to stop a full-grown werewolf. Remus lets out a low growl and begins stalking forward, Aurelia raises her wand "Nice, doggy . . . Good boy, listen, I know I may look like a nice meal but I'm really bloody not, I'm not even a snack. I've got no meat on my bones, honestly I wouldn't be very filling. I'm more of a toothpick, actually, so why don't you go and, uh, find something to eat and come back to use me as a toothpick. Doesn't that sound like a plan? Hey, no, back-up, this is very bad dog behaviour, Remus!"

 

        She's pushed herself right into the trunk of the tree now and Remus is still moving forward, Aurelia raises her wand to try and stun him again when he pounces and she screams. His claws slash against her cheek, her stomach, her arms, Aurelia screams and screams. Remus goes to bite her and her panic reaches a fever pitch, she can hardly hear his snarls or her screams over the blood pounding in her ears, she grabs at his jaw and pulls down, it's wet and slobbery and she hates it. She doesn't want to die and she certainly doesn't want to become a werewolf, she pulls down at his jaw and he lets out a choked snarl.

 

        He shakes his head vigorously, trying to get free from her grasp, he lets out an annoyed growl and she yells "I don't like this anymore than you do, Remus, if I had a water bottle, I'd be using that instead, trust me!"

 

        He tries to bite down but the way she's holding his lower jaw makes it hard for him to do so but her hold is weakening. Dark spots are clouding her vision and Aurelia knows it's because she's lost a lot of blood. Merlin, oh, holy fuck, I'm gonna die! Remus snarls again and tries to shake her hands off, Aurelia starts to cry because her eyelids are getting heavier and heavier, she doesn't want to die, not like this. Her body feels like it's on fire, her hands are absolutely soaked with his slobber, she can hardly see anything because her vision is so heavily clouded with dark spots and then suddenly it feels like she's soaring through the air, Aurelia thinks that Remus has managed to finally free his jaw from her grasp and has now sent her flying through the air like a life-size rag doll. And then, everything is gone.




 

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        A RAT COMES scurrying out of the tall grass, letting out out terrified squeaks as it runs into a tall woman's hands. The tall woman picks up the rat with an annoyed scowl on her face, she's not alone, beside her stands another woman that is shorter than she is but still rather tall. The other woman is listening for something, there's the sounds of running steps and laboured breathing, her eyes light up and she turns to her companion.

 

        "One of the children followed Pettigrew!" The woman whispers delightedly, "Do you think it's, Potter?"

 

        The woman holding the rat listens to the footsteps and the breathing too, it's close by. What's even closer is the sound of a werewolf, snarling and running and obviously chasing down the child. "If it is Potter, we should leave him, Goyle. You know that the Dark Lord wants to kill him, himself."

 

        Goyle pouts, daring to peak through the shrubbery that hides them "Oh, it's not Potter. It — it's your niece! It's Bellatrix's wittle star, she's going to be absolutely devastated that —" Goyle is interrupted by Asterope Riddle's screams and her eyes become glued to the sight before her, the werewolf had pounced on Asterope Riddle and there's so much blood. But, to her surprise, Asterope Riddle actually puts up a fight against the werewolf.

 

        Beside her the tall woman's eyes widen in alarm "No! That's the Dark Lord's weapon, she can't be killed, he needs her —" she goes to rush forward to kill the werewolf but Goyle stops her and advises her to look and so she does.

 

        The tall woman keeps a tight grip on her wand, ready to step in despite being held back. She didn't like Asterope Riddle anymore than Goyle did but she knew very well that the Dark Lord needed her and she couldn't be killed. Her cool grey eyes scan the scene before her, Asterope Riddle is trying her best to fight off the werewolf but even from where Goyle and herself are standing, it's obvious that's she growing weaker than she already is, soon she wouldn't be able to hold it off at all. The tall woman glances at Goyle, they really should step in but all she gets is a "Watch!" in response.

 

        That's when she notices the glow emanating from Asterope's hands at first, it starts out a lovely shade of lilac purple and then it quickly turns into a violent green — it's not the exact colour of the Killing Curse but it's still a sickly-looking green. Then it spreads from Asterope's hands and wraps around the werewolf, it causes him to grow as weak as Asterope is. Things take a turn when the werewolf transforms back into the man, he looks horrible and even weaker than the now unconscious Asterope looks, The man — Remus Lupin, if the tall woman remembers correctly, looks confused. The full moon, is still high in the sky and he should still be a werewolf, his confusion turns to panic and remorse when he sees the blood on his hands and the teenage girl lying before him.

 

        The tall woman and Goyle share a look, Goyle asks: "Did it work? Is that what —"

 

        "I think so." The tall woman breathes out as a grin spreads across her sharp features, "She is supposed to be his weapon after all. Do you know what this means?"

 

        Goyle shakes her head and the tall woman's grin widens "We must find our Dark Lord first, he will want to know of this new information and then we will have our work cut out for us . . . After all, every weapon needs to be tested.




 

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━━ AUTHOR'S NOTE:


 

I am like SO proud of this prologue!!!! ALSO the unnamed Death-Eater and Goyle are like the two comedic henchmen that almost every villain has except they usually actually succeed in the tasks given to them and I love them so much ( but also hate them because they put Aurelia, Neville, and the Golden Trio through a lot of pain!!) Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the chapter, let me know what you thought of it!! More importantly what do you think is up with that eerie green glow???

 



Chapter 2: About To Bloom
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ACT i, CHAPTER i:
CHAPTER ONE: about to bloom
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        HE'S GETTING AWAY, Aurelia's heart is hammering in her chest, she has to stop him. She can't just let the only proof that Sirius is innocent slip away, if she had this chance with her mum, she wouldn't let it slip right through her fingers. Harry, Ron, and Hermione scream at her not to but she doesn't listen and she goes running after Peter Pettigrew who had returned to his Animagus form once more. From behind her, amidst the screams of her friends, she can hear the werewolf snarl and take off after her. Aurelia runs faster, determined to catch Pettigrew while outrunning the werewolf. Then there's another animal snarling and an unfamiliar voice screaming: "SIRIUS, NO!"

 

        There's a loud commotion behind her — Sirius must have turned into his Animagus form to stop Remus, the werewolf, from getting ahold of Aurelia, but she doesn't look back. Aurelia's lost sight of Pettigrew but she keeps running and running because she knows that if she dares slow down for even a moment, that the werewolf behind her will get her. There's a stitch in her side and it hurts to breathe, her heart is beating so hard it feels like someone is playing it like it's a song from that Muggle band, Metallica, but she can't stop running, she can't. Aurelia has to keep running, she's in danger and she'll die if she stops.

 

        As she breathes heavily, she can smell the scent of damp grass, it's overwhelming. Still running, she finds herself swerving through the trees of the Forbidden Forest and she suddenly can't hear the werewolf behind her anymore. She slows down to pull her wand from her waist band, the werewolf seems to have vanished. Aurelia keeps her wand at the ready, her thin fingers gripping the Cypress wood so tightly it's a miracle that it doesn't snap. Then all at once, Aurelia can hear the snapping of branches in front of her and she aims her wand, a whole bunch of defensive spells that she's only read about on the tip of her tongue; she's not dying at the hands of this werewolf — Remus would never forgive himself if she let that happen.

 

        And then, she's attacked from behind, claws dig into her backside as the werwolf swats at her and sends her stumbling into tree with a loud thud. Aurelia is caught of guard, the dark world only illuminated by the taunting full moon, swims around, and she blindly fires a weak Stunning Spell; for her first try at it, it's not so bad. Aurelia tries to get sight of the werewolf but everything is so blurry and —

 

        The carriage comes to a halt, Aurelia blinks and they're at Hogsmeade Station; it hadn't been real. She was only thinking about what happened again. It's been awhile since that had happened but she still keeps thinking about it no matter how hard she tries not to. Every time she thinks about it, it feels so real, it's almost as if it's happening all over again. Although sometimes what had happened changes, Aurelia doesn't realise that until after she's snapped out of her thoughts.

 

Still, the smell of damp grass remains, and it's so overwhelming for some reason that it makes Aurelia's skin crawl. The thought of being pressed into the forest floor, screaming and begging for help as she lies in a pool of her own blood, floods her mind and she grows tense in her spot as her friends get up to leave the carriage. Aurelia blinks again and takes a deep breath, she wishes she could stop thinking about it almost as much as she wishes her friends would just talk about what happened that night instead of tip-toeing around the subject.

 

        Her friends assume that she doesn't want to talk about it because as far as they know it was her father who did this to her ( Remus is technically her godfather and the only father figure she accepts in her life; she doesn't count her biological father for obvious reasons ) ( although up until she was about ten when Remus had first referred to himself as her father figure, she had been mentally referring to him as another mother figure because in her life, that's all she's known ) and obviously that makes the situation worse. It's like they're completely disregarding the fact that Remus had no control over his actions at the time, he was a werewolf. He didn't see the pseudo-daughter that he's known for the past fourteen years because he wasn't Remus, he was the werewolf and all he saw was a victim.

 

        Ron, Harry, and Hermione won't say a word about what happened. They act like they have to walk on eggshells when around her. In reality, all Aurelia wants is for them to talk about it, she just wants to talk about it and then maybe, just maybe Aurelia will finally stop thinking about it all the time.

 

        "You coming, Blue?" Ron asks her and when she looks up at him she sees that he's not looking at her face and so she scowls.

 

        "Go on without me." Aurelia says blankly, "I'm gonna sit with Ellie and Georgie, probably third-wheel those lovesick fools."

 

        Ron wrinkles his nose at the mention of his older brother and his boyfriend "Why would you torture yourself like that?"

 

        "Can't be any worse than being attacked by a werewolf." Aurelia says sarcastically, her three friends, her partners-in-crime, her own make-shift breakfast club, falls silent as they frown at her. It's almost as if they think she's become a whole new person since the werewolf attack happened, she gets them not being able to recognise her because who would with a section of her face looking like she's a Phantom of the Opera rip-off but her cynical sense of humour hadn't changed. But, they act like it had.

 

        "That was a joke, sweet Merlin!" Aurelia exclaims, narrowing her eyes as they start to water. Her face scrunches up and she can feel the scars around her mouth and eye starting to bleed again, "Jesus Christ, why do I even bother?" 

 

        Before Ron, Harry, or even Hermione can say anything, Aurelia storms off calling over her shoulder "I'm going to find my cousin! I'll write to you over the summer!" she doesn't want them thinking she's mad at them because she's not, it's not their fault, really, she knows they mean well but she's just so angry. She's been so mad at everything, sometimes she's mad at nothing in particular but it's the only emotion she can seem to feel nowadays. No matter what she's doing, even if she's having a good day, the feeling of anger is always under her skin, getting ready to bloom.

 

        She needs a break, she needs a change. It's rather ironic how she longs for things to change when she's always been the type of person who unadulteratedly loathed change; she got that from her birth mother. Or perhaps, she wants things to go back to the way they used to be. Maybe, she did change, maybe everything has changed and that's the problem. Aurelia's not really sure what's wrong, if things had changed or if she wants things to changed, it's all been a blur, a fever-dream since she was attacked. It's very rare for her to feel real, to feel alive these days. Aurelia had been through a lot since befriending Harry Potter, the boy who is an orphan thanks to her father, she had faced her father at only eleven-years-old, she had been petrified by a basilisk, and now she had been attacked by a werewolf.

 

        Now, she doesn't blame Harry or any of her friends for what happened, it was her fault and her fault alone, but Aurelia can't help but think that maybe if she would just hang out with literally anyone else, maybe bad things would stop happening to her on a yearly basis. She had been thinking about this a lot since she was attacked, maybe if she just distanced herself a bit then perhaps she'd have a safer time at school. Aurelia didn't know how she would go about doing this because Harry, Ron, and Hermione are her best friends, the group she hung out with constantly; she didn't really have anyone outside of them. She had other friends but not friends that she hung out with, she used to have Ginny but since the Chamber of Secrets thing, Aurelia has been avoiding her — Ginny is the only friend that knows about her being a Riddle. Ginny isn't angry, she isn't even upset and she'd be more than alright to hang out with Aurelia if she wanted to but Aurelia can't find it in herself to talk to Ginny; she feels way too guilty about what happened. And so, outside of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Aurelia is alone when it comes to friends that can keep her company.

 

        Once Aurelia is all set and boarded on the train, she doesn't go and find Ellie and George like she told her friends she would. She wants to be alone even for just a little while, she'll probably cave and go find her trio of friends halfway through the ride. For now, Aurelia situates herself in an empty compartment and pulls out her sketchbook from her messenger bag, she still had to finish that drawing for her mum. She pulls her hair out of her face, frowning as she recalled she hated the way her thick curls blocked her view — how would she be able to know if someone was coming at her, if her damned cerulean curls are in the way?

 

        She pulls it into a pony with a yellow scrunchie and starts to work on the drawing of the Transfiguration classroom, her mum's favourite classroom. Stray strands of her blue hair fall into her face, tickling her button nose and causing the exposed parts of her scars to itch, her eyes water and she tries hard to ignore it. Aurelia swats the strands of hair away from her face but all they do is fall back into place, tickling and itching and frustrating her. For weeks her hair, her luscious, curly mane of hair has been annoying her to no end. What was once her favourite feature next to her freckles, has become her least favourite one for reasons she cannot explain.

 

        Aurelia growls in annoyance and abandons her half-finished drawing, practically diving for her messenger bag to find the scissors she kept in there — at least she had a pair of scissors in there the last time she checked. Scowling, she thinks that her stupidly long hair has got to go, this way, she'll be able to see better without anything blocking any threats or getting hair in her mouth when she's playing Quidditch.


 

 

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        NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM IS the definition of unlucky or unfortunate. He's not so sure why he's so unlucky because he tries his best at everything he does but nothing ever seems to go his way, his third year at Hogwarts had been his worse by far. He had let a mass murderer into his own common room, he didn't mean to, really, he just couldn't remember all the changing passwords for the common room and his only solution was writing them down to memorise them. Although he has a history of losing things and being beyond clumsy, he had never expected to lose the list nor had he expected the list to end up in the hands off the notorious mass murderer, Sirius Black.

 

        His gran was bloody pissed, she had sent a Howler, yelling at him for his clumsiness and now he was going home to face her lecture over again in person; his gran doesn't let things go. At first his dorm mates, namely Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas, as Harry and Ron tended to keep to themselves, told him not to worry about and Neville listened to their advice at first but now it's the end of the school year and he has no other option but to worry about it. He'd be facing his grandmother quite soon and if he was being honest, he's not sure if he's ready for that. The Howler was bad enough.

 

        Neville sits by himself in a compartment, reading a book about Muggle plants, he enjoyed the quiet. He couldn't find where Dean and Seamus were sitting, they were probably somewhere with Ginny or that Hufflepuff girl, Olivia Newton and wherever those two were it was bound to be extremely loud. So, he opted out with sitting by himself this train ride, to think about what he was going to say to his gran to keep her berating to a minimum. It had to be only half an hour into the train ride when his compartment door slides open, Neville looks up and frowns because he sees Pollux Black standing their with his little Slytherin crew.

 

        Pollux Black happens to be the son of Neville's favourite professor at Hogwarts — Adelpha Black, a kind and very pretty woman but unfortunately Pollux happens to be the complete opposite of his mother, although he is rather pretty. He's an absolute menace, Neville's pretty certain that he doesn't have a kind bone in his body, he's seen Pollux be rude to his own little sister, Aurelia Black — who's a complete angel and anyone that could be rude to her must be soulless. Pollux loves to torment Neville, of course, anyone is fair game to Pollux, even his family and fellow house members, but Neville is rather certain that he is a personal favourite of his targets.

 

        "Well, look what we have here lads." Pollux says, grinning smugly as his four friends snickers, "An empty compartment!"

 

        Neville sighs tiredly, knowing that within the next five minutes he's going to be kicked out of his compartment, he tucks his book into his suitcase before Pollux can ruin it. Neville gets to his feet just as Pollux barks out: "Get lost, Squibbottom."

 

        Neville flinches at the name and Pollux laughs loudly "Aw, did I hurt your feelings? Too bad, you should've thought about that before you sat in our compartment."

 

        "I was — I was here first." Neville says, his quiet and timid voice shaking.

 

        Pollux and his friends laughs, Pollux mocks his voice in a higher pitch then flatly says: "Get out."

 

        Neville grabs his stuff as quickly as he can, apparently it's not as quickly as Pollux wants, because the older boy begins counting up to something — a punch, a hex, an insult? Neville wasn't sure what it would be but he wanted to be out of that compartment before Pollux finished counting. Their laughter gets louder as Neville struggles to get his stuff together, the louder their laughter gets the harder the task at hand gets, his hands start to sweat and his heart starts to race and Pollux is already at five —

 

        Something loud crashes onto the ground and Neville yelps, Pollux and his friends laugh loudly and then there's the dreaded sound of the monster book that Hagrid had given them for Care for Magical Creatures class. Professor Black had told Neville that she didn't want to use those books but she had wanted to give Hagrid, who's now her partner, some control over the class. Neville hated those books and they hated him.

 

        The next thing Neville knows, he's been attacked by the rapid book, his robes getting shredded yet again, he screams and runs out of the compartment. One of Pollux's friends grabs the book before it can get out of the compartment, then another shoves his stuff out of the compartment.

 

        "I hope you've learned your lesson, Squibbottom!" Pollux snarls before slamming the compartment door shut.

 

        Neville sighs tiredly again, it could've been a lot worse, but Pollux is still a huge git. Picking up his stuff, Neville starts trudging down the train hallway, looking for somewhere else to sit. He hopes to find another empty compartment that way no one will ask about his shredded robes but as he walks further and further down the hallway, it seems that all the compartments are filled up.

 

        He's about ten or more compartments away from Pollux and his little group when he hears the sound of crying, Neville stops dead in his tracks and looks into the closest open compartment. It's most empty save for Aurelia Black, who is sobbing and having trouble breathing, Neville frowns as he watches her struggle to cut her hair.

 

        Her normally pale face is blotchy and red, there's make-up smeared around her eyes and the scars she had recently received from Professor Lupin, are bleeding. Neville's frown deepens as concern washes over him, although he and Aurelia aren't exactly friends, he's always felt rather connected to her. As Seamus and Dean say, he's absolutely whipped for her, Neville has had a crush on her since first year when she gave him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek for doing nothing but giving Harry and Ron a Chocolate Frog card.

 

        He stands in the compartment doorway, feeling very awkward, he wants to say something, offer some comfort but the words are stuck in his throat. Neville isn't sure how long he stands in that compartment doorway, staring at her and trying to figure out what to say but Aurelia notices him first thanks to her black cat, who meows loudly at Neville until she looks up.

 

        Aurelia drops the scissors in surprise, her green eyes going wide and then she smiles at him and Neville melts; she has the prettiest smile. "Oh, Plant Boy, 'ello there!"

 

        Neville frowns slightly because, of course, she doesn't know his name then he shyly says: "Hi, Aurelia."

 

        Aurelia flashes him a flustered smile, looking him over. She had always been rather awkward around him because she remembers him but he doesn't remember her — damned, her bloody good memory! Neville Longbottom is a pudgy Gryffindor who has the worst luck, Aurelia had only interacted with him a handful of times and all of those interactions, when she looks back on them, make her cringe. They had know each other as babies, and Aurelia remembers that very well for a baby but a whole bunch of unfortunate shit happened and now they're barely acquaintances.

 

        "Do — do you need anything?" Aurelia asks, sniffling. She prays that he doesn't need another bandage and if he does, she needs to remember not to kiss it better once the bandaid is on — that's so weird!

 

        Neville's mouth runs dry and he gestures to his robes and his stuff but the explanation doesn't fall from his mouth, she stares at him and then nods understandingly before giving him a crooked grin.

 

        "Ya know, Plant Boy, most people cut their hair during mental breakdowns and not their robes." Aurelia says teasingly.

"It was that monster book! It hates me!" Neville exclaims finally, he flinches because he said that way too loudly.

 

"Well, if you were going to cut your robes of all things then perhaps you should've used scissors, they work a shit ton better." Aurelia says, still in a teasing voice.

 

        "Oh, yeah, how's that working out for you?" Neville says, his voice tinged in light sarcasm and then he clamps his hands over his mouth. He hadn't meant to say that out loud, he just got so excited that she's actually having a conversation with him, it just slipped out.

 

        Thankfully, Aurelia laughs, and she laughs loudly and joyfully. Her green eyes twinkling as she gestures for him to come into her compartment, Neville doesn't hesitate. He practically throws himself into the compartment, grinning like a fool.

 

        "It's not going very well." Aurelia admits sheepishly, "Not as well as I planned. I thought it'd be easy to do — easier than using my Metamorphmagus abilities. There's too much concentration involved in keeping it as short as I want it, trust me, it never stays — I can't concentrate anymore — not since, well . . . Never mind that, now what made you, uh, open that monster book to get these snazzy robes?"

 

        Neville turns even more red, if that's even possible, he doesn't want to tell her that it was her brother who did this to him "Do you want me to help — er, with your hair, I mean? I can cut it for you?"

 

        As if she would trust you, Neville-can't-do-anything-right-Longbottom, with such a delicate thing, Neville scolds himself for even asking, you shouldn't be allowed to talk to her, honestly, just leave before you make things worse!

 

        Aurelia's eyes light up and she smiles wide "Would you really — you don't mind, Plant Boy?"

 

        "Er, it's Neville, my name's Neville —"

 

        "I know!"

 

        "You — you do?"

 

        Aurelia gives him an incredulous look "O' course, I know your name! I give everyone I like nicknames, I mean, if you don't like it then I won't —"

 

        "No, no, I — I like it, I just thought you called me that because you didn't know my name. You can call me Plant Boy, all you want, I — I don't mind."

 

        Aurelia grins at him, feeling more flustered than she ever had in her entire life, she turns to look out the window to compose herself. Neville holds back a giggle as he sees that half her hair had been cut to her shoulders already where as the rest of it was still at its' normal length.

 

        "Do — do you actually want me to help with your hair?" Neville asks shyly.

 

        "Oh, aye, if you don't mind that is." Aurelia says, just as shyly as him, what is going on with her? Why doesn't she know how to act around him, after all, she's technically known him longer than any of her other friends.

 

        "I don't mind, not at all — Sunflower Girl!" Neville says, beaming proudly for coming up with that nickname even if it isn't the most original one.

 

        Aurelia blushes like mad, she hands him the scissors and grins "Go crazy, Plant Boy."

 

 


 

⭐️
 


 

        AURELIA STEPS OFF the Hogwarts Express and onto Platform 9 and 3/4, her hair that once reached her lower back now hardly reaches her shoulders. There are three Scooby-Doo bandaids on her face, Neville had put them on when he had pointed out that she was bleeding, Aurelia is beaming because she's made a new friend. Or rather, she reconnected with an old friend that doesn't remember her because they were babies and babies typically should have shit memory but she is an exception. Either way, Aurelia feels happier than she had in a long time, and she hopes that this means things are going to get better soon.

 

        They had spent the entire train ride together, it's the first time Aurelia had spent that long of a time away from her three friends while at still technically at school. And, Aurelia loves her trio of troublemaking friends, she really does, but it was kind of refreshing hanging out with someone else. Neville and herself had gotten to know each other quite well in the short time they spent together and Aurelia regrets not talking to him sooner; he had turned into an amazing kid just like her mums had always said he would.

 

        And he had done a splendid job on her hair, it wasn't straight or nicely cut but it looked great on her. Neville had apologised profusely about it, believing that he had done a shit job on it but she had assured him that she loved it and she really did, it made her look like she good be the lead singer of a rock band. "Move over, Green Day." She had said when she looked at her reflection in the window but Neville didn't understand that reference and she couldn't explain it to him because she doesn't know much about Green Day expect for what her dorm mate, Olivia Newton, says. All, Aurelia really knows is that they're a Muggle band, she's not even sure if they play rock music.

 

        The two of them are saying their goodbyes before the leave for summer holiday, Neville's gran was waiting for him and she didn't look happy to see him with her and Aurelia's one aunt was waiting for her as well, she looked happy to see Aurelia with Neville together. Aurelia gives Neville a goodbye hug and before she has time to realise that she never asked if he was okay with that or not — some people, namely her older brother, didn't like being hugged unless they had a five minute warning first — Neville's hugging her back.

 

        "You're actually going to write to me this summer?" Neville asks after they pull away from the hug, he looks rather uncertain as he fumbles with his Gryffindor sweater.

 

        Aurelia nods her head and grins "O' Course, Plant Boy! After all friends that help cut each other's hair during mental breakdowns stay together!"

 

        "But, you didn't cut my hair." Neville says, as if that's going to completely call of their newfound friendship.

 

        She almost laughs but, he's serious, he's actually concerned that she won't stick to her word. There's a fluttering feeling in her stomach, he wants to be her friend that bad — even with her scars and bitter attitude. Her cheeks grow warm and she reaches into her cluttered messenger bag to grab the scissors they had used to cut her hair and she pulls them out. Neville gives her a quizzical look and she tells him to stay still, he does as she tells him, going as still as a statue.

 

        He continues to look at her with that cute quizzical look on his round face as she reaches forward and grabs a lock of his light brown hair, then she snips a little bit of it off. Aurelia than ruffles it so that it won't be all that noticeable, she shoots him a lopsided grin "There, now I've cut your hair. My motto remains in tact, Plant Boy, I'll be writing to you this summer indefinitely."

 

        Neville grins shyly at her, his chubby cheeks a vibrant red as he fumbles with his sweater "I'll — I'll hold you to it, Sunflower Girl."


 



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━━ AUTHOR'S NOTE:


 

LISTEN!!! I am THRIVING writing this version of Neville x Aurelia,,, they are the softest yet!!! I have always imagined Aurelia as the cynical and sarcastic one in their relationship and Neville is the ray of sunshine, happy-go-lucky one but I've done a horrible job at portraying it in the past versions of this story!!! I also think it's very fitting to portray them like this because everyone outside of their relationship describes them as the opposite — Aurelia would be the sunshine, happy-go-lucky one and Neville is the pessimistic one!! I'm just so happy with this version of them!! I hope you are too, let me know what you thought of it in the comments!!!

 

I need a ship name for them — I came up with Nevari but like I don't really like that one so I'm thinking of changing it but I suck at ship names, so if you have any ideas let me know!!!

 



Chapter 3: Ghosts of Almerry Castle
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ACT i, CHAPTER ii:
CHAPTER TWO: ghosts of almerry castle
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        ANDROMEDA TONKS HAS to be Aurelia's favourite aunt, she makes the best cookies in the world and she doesn't make Aurelia feel bad about her flat figure. And in Aurelia's opinion that makes her Auntie Andy far superior to her Auntie Cissy. Needless to say, Aurelia is relieved to see Auntie Andy there rather than her Auntie Cissy, don't get her wrong, Aurelia loves her Aunt Cissy but she can be a little stuck-up and also she doesn't even make her own cookies.

 

            After saying goodbye to Neville, Aurelia goes bounding over to her aunt with a large grin on her face. She goes to greet her aunt when her cousin, Nymphadora Tonks, appears behind of Andromeda with a shit-eating grin on her face, Aurelia stops dead in her tracks and the smile is wiped off her face. Nymphadora had obviously seen her interacting with Neville Longbottom, a boy, which means only one thing: Aurelia is never going to hear the end of it.

 

            "First off," Nymphadora says, her smile gleaming with mischief, "Asterope, you look fabulous with short hair, second —"

 

            Nymphadora is about to start her endless taunting but Aurelia isn't about to let that happen even though she knows there's nothing to taunt because Neville is just a friend but it still gets on her nerves. Her cousin had teased her about Harry and Ron for the entirety of her first year until Ginny put an end to it by saying that Aurelia liked her better, which was true but Aurelia hadn't expected Ginny to know that. The youngest Weasley was more preceptive than anyone realised and also Aurelia reckons she can be a little obvious when it comes to crushes. But, Aurelia didn't have a crush on Neville, the blush and smile on her face must tell Nymphadora otherwise but Aurelia is just really happy that she made a new friend.

 

            Aurelia turns in Neville's direction and yells "Oi, Plant Boy, I told you that you did a great job on my hair! My cousin thinks it looks great!"

 

            ( In hindsight, Aurelia should have know this would only make the teasing worse but really, it just goes to show that she doesn't know how to handle stressful or even stressful-ish situations. )

 

            She's not sure how well he heard her but she knows that he did in fact hear her because he looks at her and blushes, he gives her a crooked grin and waves goodbye. Aurelia goes to wave goodbye to him but she's stopped by Pollux who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere, he grabs her arm and yanks it down. She gasps loudly in pain and he rolls his eyes, squeezing it for good measure and reviling in the pained expression the crosses her face.

 

            "What are you doing?" He hisses at her, "Associating with the likes of him, do you know how displeased —"

 

            "Pollux Rodolphus Black." Andromeda snaps warningly, "You let your sister to go right now, young man, you're hurting her!"

 

            Pollux cringes at their aunt's harsh tone, he releases Aurelia arm but he continues to glare at his little sister "Your going to get on father's bad side —"

 

            "Like I give a damn, Lux." Aurelia says, "And besides, I'm already on his bad side. 'Ello, do you not remember I bashed him in the face with a lit torch?!"

 

            He goes to say some snarky retort but he pauses as he studies Aurelia's new hair, his annoyed expression turns to disgust "The bloody fuck, who let you think that style looked good on you? Jesus, Ass, change it."

 

            Aurelia's hair surges from pink to a dark red "Don't call me that, you wanker! It's permanent, I can't change it for very long."

 

            His grey eyes flash dangerously and she flinches because that's never a good sign, his nostrils flare and he snaps "You cut your hair that short, it looks terrible!"

 

            Technically she didn't cut it herself but if she told Pollux he would go berserk and probably break her nose but on purpose this time. And not to mention what he'd do to poor Neville, she just rolls her eyes and ignores him.

 

            "Her boyfriend did it!" Nymphadora says teasingly.

 

            "Her what?!"

 

            Aurelia sighs, she might as well start digging her grave now, and perhaps a grave for Neville Longbottom as well.

 

             "Pollux." Andromeda says warningly, "Take a deep breath, count to ten. And you girls, I don't need you teasing each other for hours on end, I need to get home so I can finish these cookies I'm making."

 

            And just like that, they all fall into line, not wanting to keep Andromeda from cooking her delicious cookies. Pollux begrudgingly begins counting to ten under his breath, still glaring at Aurelia as he reaches for Andromeda to get ready for Apparating. While he does this, Aurelia reaches out for Nymphadora; if there was one thing that he half-siblings had in common it was their deep loathing for Apparating.

 

            Nymphadora was horrendous at Apparating, in Aurelia's opinion at least, whenever the got to their destination, she always felt like throwing up. Aurelia knew that Andromeda is much better at it but she always let Pollux go with her because he would actually throw up if he went with Nymphadora.

 

            The Tonks' house, a little two story house that looked like a cottage you would find in the middle of forest filled with fairies, is like a second home to Aurelia, she looked forward to visiting as much as she looked forward to her yearly visits to her mum. Aurelia had been going to the Tonks for as long as she could remember and she can remember real far back. She much preferred it over Malfoy manor. Tonks' house is as warm and inviting as the people who lived there whereas Malfoy manor looked cold and intimidating and it was only the people in there that were kind, it left Aurelia feeling a little uneasy and although she missed not being able to spend more time with her other cousin and aunt, she still always crossed her fingers that it would be Auntie Andy to pick them up at a school year rather than Auntie Cissy.

 

            Once they were all settled in, Pollux had went down to the Muggle library, for some reason he loved it there, while Aurelia and Nymphadora stayed behind to help with the chocolate chip cookies she was baking. Even Ted Tonks, Andromeda's husband was helping as he had come early from work, Aurelia's not sure what he does exactly but she's certain it had to do with Muggle Television.

 

            Her Uncle Ted sits across the table from the two girls, helping them roll up the cookie dough, he was smoking from an ancient-looking pipe "So, Lia, how was your school year?" he questions her casually, from the corner of her eye, Aurelia sees Andromeda give Ted an alarmed look but Ted doesn't understand why. Not at first, she watches as the horror dawns on him as he stares at her ruined face, he looks desperate to change the subject.

 

            But, Aurelia's not about to let that happen. They need to learn that it's okay to talk about it, they don't need to make it into anymore of a spectacle then it already is, she mocks her uncle's casual tone as she replies "It was okay, I guess. Snape was a dick as usual, Gryffindor can do no wrong, Harold got me into some dangerous shit again. Oh, I did get on the Hufflepuff Quidditch Team — I'm the new seeker!"

 

            "Don't be so shy, Asterope, tell them about your new boyfriend." Nymphadora says teasingly, giving Aurelia a wide grin.

 

            "Merlin, give me strength." Andromeda mutters to herself as she bends down to open the oven.

 

            Aurelia glowers at Nymphadora, sticking her tongue out.

 

            "Boyfriend?" Uncle Ted says with keen interest, giving Aurelia a curious look, "Come on, Lia, give us the details."

 

            "He's not my boyfriend." Aurelia says flatly as she flips Nymphadora off and she ignores the offended gasp that her cousin gives her as she continues explaining the situation, "He's my new friend. I've decided that, as much as the love my trouble making trio of friends, that I need some space from them before I wind up dead. So I sat by myself and Neville Longbottom happened to stumble across my compartment and now we're friends."

 

            "She let him cut her hair! Asterope, do you really expect us to sit here and believe you when you say you just became friends with him?" Nymphadora says, crossing her arms across her chest.

 

            Uncle Ted studies her hair for a moment "So that's real, uh, not bad. You look like you could be another Joan Jett. Although you might want to fix your bangs —"

 

            "That's how they've always looked."

 

 

            "Oh." Ted says, retracting his hand and muttering "Yikes." under his breath.

 

            "He's your boyfriend!" Nymphadora insists, "I would never let just anyone touch my hair!"

 

            "That's because it already looks bad enough on its' own." Aurelia retorts.

 

            "You take that —"

 

            "GIRLS!" Andromeda yells, "Please, don't start this again, please. The last time you argued about boys my table ended up being stabbed — It's mahogany. Please, the bloody thing cost a fortunate."

 

            Both Aurelia and Nymphadora fall silent, they continue working at making more cookie dough for Andromeda to bake. It's quiet for a good ten minutes and then Nymphadora throws a chocolate chip at Aurelia who looks up and glares at her again but she merely glares at the younger girl. Andromeda, who can hear the tension building just as well as she can hear the chocolate chip that just hit the floor, sighs tiredly to herself and Ted tries to hide his amused grin.

 

            "So, Asterope, wanna talk about your little boyfriend?" Nymphadora questions casually, giving her a smug smirk.

 

            Aurelia clenches her fists and takes a deep breath and she cooly retorts "I don't know, Nymphadora, wanna talk about the heart eyes you give Remus?"

 

            It's Nymphadora's turn to be angry, her hair turns a bright red and she hisses "You little shit!"

 

            Uncle Ted looks stunned "Wait, heart eyes? Remus? Since when?"

 

            "It's nothing!" Nymphadora says and that's probably true but the same could be said about Aurelia and Neville — it's nothing more than friendship. And besides, Nymphadora barely knows Remus. But, anyone is fair game when it comes to war.

 

            Aurelia smiles innocently, knowing she had won this round and Nymphadora glares at her, hard, she's a sore loser.

            "Remus?" Ted says looking to Andromeda who merely shrugs her shoulders, "Really?"

 

            Nymphadora pouts, turning a light pink as she tries to distract herself with the cookie dough at hand.

 

            "So," Ted says in an attempt to lighten the mood, "How did you enjoy Hogsmeade, Lia? You know my first trip I got hit with that dancing jinx or whatever it's called, yeah, Vega —" he falters, his attempt fails miserably at the mention of the infamous Vega Lestrange.

 

            Vega Lestrange had been a menace back in school, neither Aurelia's mum or aunts had fond memories of her and even her brothers, Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange, are scared of her. Vega Lestrange happens to be Pollux's mother and even he's scared of her and Pollux is hardly ever scared. That's all Aurelia knew about the infamous Lestrange, the disappearing Death-Eater, she's only ever been mentioned in passing.

 

            Ted clears his throat "I was hit by a Slytherin for laughs and Dromeda over here felt bad for me so she brought me to your mum and had her break the jinx."

 

            Being the adoptive daughter of a Professor meant that Aurelia had been to Hogsmeade many times before her third year, her mum would take her there once and a while on the Hogsmeade days for the older students just to get some candy if she had been doing well that year.

 

            "It was okay, I guess." Aurelia says, it wasn't any different than the previous year. Perhaps it was a little more fun because she got to go with her friends but it wasn't anything spectacular. She frowns as a wave of tiredness washes over her and she slouches in her seat, wanting nothing more than to go to sleep. It was as if this conversation, which had hardly began, was exhausting her.

 

            "Where did you go first?" Ted asks but the question seems to go through one ear and out the other, she stares at the table with drooping eyelids and he frowns at his niece, "Are you alright, Lia?"

 

            There's a pause and then Aurelia nods slowly and begins to aggressively rub at her eyes "Yeah, m'fine. Are . . . Are any of the cookies cool 'nough to eat?"

 

            "They are, girls, knock yourselves out."

 

            After devouring about five cookies, Aurelia passes out cold on the Tonks' couch, trapping Nymphadora under her long legs, the two cousins had been having a Scooby-Doo marathon, a normal activity for them. Nymphadora pokes her cheek multiple times but Aurelia remains dead to the world and Nymphadora has no choice but sit there and watch the rest of Scooby Doo and the Boo Brothers.

 

            Hours later, ten minutes after the Library closes, Pollux returns to the Tonks household with a pile of books. He spots his sleeping sister and cousin on the couch and a wicked grin crosses his face, he creeps forward but Nymphadora pops an eye open and hisses "Don't you dare."

 

            Pollux scowls but he abandons the idea of scaring the shit out of them when he spots the pile of Scooby-Doo VCR tapes "How insensitive would it be if we were to put on Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Dora?"

 

            Nymphadora bites on her lip to keep herself from giggling "You're such a wanker, Lux."

 

            "Do it, you cowards." Aurelia mumbles sleepily, she doesn't even bother opening her eyes, she knows that both of them look mortified. The slamming of the door that signalled Pollux's return had woken her up, she had been preparing herself for when Pollux would jump on him like the complete wanker that he is; he loves scaring people.

 

            Both Nymphadora and Pollux laugh after a moment of silence, there's a sleepy smile on Aurelias' face that tells them that she really doesn't care so he puts the movie and takes a seat on the floor in front of the two girls. By the time the movie actually starts both Nymphadora and Aurelia are fast asleep again.
 

 

 


 

⭐️



 

            SUMMER VACATION STARTS out smoothly, returning to the familiar walls of her bedroom which are painted like Van Gogh's Starry Night and even charmed to move like the wind, Aurelia has less nightmares. After spending a few days at the Tonks both Pollux and Aurelia had returned to Almerry Castle, their permanent residence.

 

            Almerry Castle castle sits upon the highest hill on Almerry Island and as far as the locals know, it's been abandoned since Bellatrix Black was sent to Azkaban. They think that Delphi, Pollux, and Aurelia live in the small two-story house at the base of the hill. While they owned that house, they didn't live in it, unless they invited Travis and Lillian Calderwood over for dinner, then they did. For reasons, Aurelia nor Pollux can understand, no one outside of Auntie Andy and Uncle Ted can know that they actually use the castle.

 

            Almerry Castle hadn't always belonged to Aurelia's family. Seven centuries ago when the Almerrys founded the island, it had belonged to them. They were the royals of the island but they were dethroned — Aurelia's not being dramatic! She swears, this is the actual word they used in the history books about Almerry Island — by the Blacks three centuries after finding the Island. All the Almerrys were killed in a very bloody duel with the Blacks.

 

            No one minded their deaths, most of the people on the island at the time thought that the Blacks were heroes for what they had done. The Almerrys were terrible, brutal people that made the Black family look like saints. Almerry Castle used to be filled with tortured souls that were slaughtered by the Almerrys for fun, those souls have long been released from the Castle and now only two remain. The ghosts of the youngest Almerry Children, eight-year-old Anne-Marie and six-year-old Alexander. They were allowed to stay on the condition that they'd be good and to this day they remained much to Pollux, Ellie, and Aurelia's dismay.

 

            Since Aurelia's family had taken over Almerry Island, the castle has been passed down from generation to generation. Her grandparents had used it as a summer vacation get away instead of a permanent residence. Her mums had told her many stories of her summer vacations at the castle, they were always wild stories but they actually made her smile and that is a hard thing to do locked up in Azkaban. Almerry Castle had been gifted to Bellatrix has a wedding present when she married Delphi since Delphi had been disowned from the Carrows and had nowhere to go and Aurelia's grandparents didn't want them living with them ( they old bitches didn't/don't support her two mums ) so Cygnus gave Bellatrix Almerry Castle. A nice way of kicking her out.

 

            Ever since then, Almerry has been spruced up by Delphi and it has become not only a wonderful home to them but Ellie's family as well. Almerry Castle is large enough for seven different families, Ellie's family has taken up residence in the upper right wing. His parents hardly come down but Ellie does, he loves to annoy Aurelia. Take this morning for example: Aurelia wakes up to Ellie screaming:

 

            "OH, MAMA MIA! MAMA MIA! MAMA MIA! LET ME GO!"

 

            Aurelia drags herself out of bed, she's still in her clothes from yesterday, a Hufflepuff Quidditch sweater that has seen better days, a pair of slim-fitting black jeans with three small holes on the left leg, and a pair of yellow knitted socks from Molly Weasley. Her mum's told her to get rid of the jeans multiple times now but Aurelia always says "Fuck that, these pants make my legs look good." every time, then usually adds a dramatic comment to the end of that statement that makes Delphi roll her eyes.

 

            Stretching out her sore limbs, Aurelia heads to the large bathroom that's adjacent to her even larger bedroom to shower and brush her teeth since she didn't get around to doing those things last night.

 

            Aurelia's halfway through her shower when Anne-Marie's voice calls out "That shower looks a little cold there."

 

            "I like cold showers, Anne-Marie." Aurelia replies cooly, "Now please let me shower in peace, please and thank you."

 

            "I wish I could bathe . . . And I say bathe because showers didn't exist when I was alive." Anne-Marie sighs dramatically, Aurelia can hardly make out her hardly make out the child's ghostly form through the shower curtain.

 

            "Proper hygiene was barely a thing when you were alive. You probably bathed twice a year." Aurelia scoffs.

 

            "I bathed once a month thank you very much! My family were no peasants! You're getting to be as rude as your sisters these days, Bellatrix!" Anne-Marie says hotly.

 

            Aurelia sighs, it's not her fault, she reminds herself. Anne-Marie's always had trouble keeping up with the Black family, messing up the names so many times. Andromeda had told her that Anne-Marie would call her and Bellatrix 'Phoebe' all the time. Aurelia looks a lot like Phoebe Black, so does Andromeda and Bellatrix. Bellatrix happens to be the spitting image of Phoebe, except her eyes are a bright, ice blue instead of the dark grey that Phoebe had and of course Phoebe had shockingly blonde hair. Aurelia comes very close to being a spitting image and Anne-Marie sometimes calls her Phoebe but she mostly calls her 'Bellatrix'.

 

            "Aww, didst I hurt thy feelings?" Aurelia asks mockingly, scrubbing conditioner into her scalp.

 

            She gets no reply meaning that Anne-Marie has left, the ghost has probably gone to find Pollux or 'Regulus' \ 'Cygnus' as she often calls him.

 

            Anne-Marie's voice sounds from downstairs "OI, REGGIE!"

 

            "CALL ME, REGGIE, ONE MORE TIME!"

 

            Aurelia jumps at the harshness of Pollux's voice and almost slips out of the tub but luckily she manages to balance herself. Today is going to be a long day, Aurelia thinks to herself as she starts rinse out her hair. And a long day it turns out to be indeed. The makings of a long day hit her in the face the moment she enters the kitchen where she finds a seething-with-rage Pollux and a panic-stricken Delphi.

 

            "Oh, he knows, oh no, he knows!" Her mum mutters as she paces the kitchen, her Scottish accent is thick with concern, "If he even makes a joke about it or — or if they tell Aurelia, it'll all go up in smoke, oh no. It'll be somethin' terrible for her."

            "Tell me what?" Aurelia asks, stepping into their sight, Delphi looks like a deer caught in the headlights and Pollux's hardened expression turns into one of complete indifference.

 

            "Nothing." He says simply.

            "Nooo." Delphi says placing her hands on Pollux's shoulderd and rubbing circles on them, her accent getting even thicker as she glances at Aurelia, "No, I'm goin' to have to tell her."

 

            Pollux glares harshly at Aurelia, which sort of confuses her because she just woke up and there's no way she could have done anything to piss him off. It she had then it would be a new record.

 

            Delphi gives Aurelia a nervous look she opens her mouth but she stay silent for a long moment before saying: "You might want to sit down for this, my darling girl."

 

            This confuses Aurelia even further but she does what she's told nevertheless. She takes a seat at the kitchen island then Aurelia looks at Delphi expectantly and the older woman takes a deep breath.

 

            "The Triwizard Tournament is coming to Hogwarts." She says.

 

            "You're joking, right?" Aurelia asks meekly. She's got to be joking. They really can't be reviving that tournament after that long. And, Albus fucking Dumbledore can't be dumb enough to let it happen at Hogwarts, not while Harry Potter is attending — that's just a bloody recipe for disaster!

 

            "I'm not, my darling . . . I'm sorry." Delphi says softly.

 

            Aurelia glances at Pollux to gage his reaction but he looks just as, if not, even more surprised that she feels.

 

            Aurelia's a huge history nerd so she's pretty much read everything there's to know about the the Triwizard Tournament. And everything about them practically terrified her, the tasks were nothing short of horrific . . . They could use werewolves, basilisks, or thunderbirds, they could use werewolves — they could use anything. It's horrifying, people have died trying to win it and they want to bring it back, what the fuck are they thinking? But, there's a bright side to this terrible idea —

 

            "The Yule Ball!" Aurelia exclaims, pushing her fear of the tournament to the back of her mind, "If they're doing the tournament then that means they're doing the Yule Ball! They've got to, it's mandatory! Ooh, it'll be just like the parties Aunt Cissy and Uncle Lucy throw! I'll get to wear a fancy dress and dance!"

 

            "You in a fancy dress? With that horrendous hairdo? What a travesty!" Pollux says dryly.

 

            Aurelia glares at him and Ellie, who had been across the kitchen looking for a new record to play, speaks up with: "She'll look a right side better than you, you greasy-haired Snape wannabe."

 

            Pollux flips him off "Why don't do go back to your daddy, Eleanor."

 

            "Real classy, Lux, they boy with two adoptive mums making fun of me for being a wee bit feminine." Ellie says dryly.

 

            "Boys," Delphi says then answers Aurelia's question, "Yes, they're doing the Yule Ball, they sent out a letter requiring dress robes for the occasion so we'll be going dress shopping sometime this summer!"

 

            Aurelia pumps her fist in the air "Yes!"

 

            "Wonderful, I bet I'll look great in a little black dress." Elliot says sarcastically.

 

            "You know I meant dress robes for you." Delphi groans but then adds in a light tone: "Unless, you want to wear a dress?"

            "I'll pass but only because that means I'd have to shave my legs."

 

            "Lazy wanker." Pollux says and this time Ellie flips him off.

 

            Delphi rolls her eyes while Aurelia snickers.

 

            Ellie claps his hands together "Well, now that's settled, wanna go play a game of Quidditch!"

 

            Aurelia nods "Of fucking course, I'm always down for a game of Quidditch — wanna play, Lux?"

 

            Pollux shakes his head, giving Ellie a dirty look "No. I'm going to talk with Phoebe Black."

 

            By this he's referring to her portrait as Phoebe Black is long dead. Phoebe's portrait has been here for a long time, it was supposed to be at Grimmauld Place along with the other deceased Black family member portraits but she had insisted on being placed here. They tried to place her in Grimmauld Place but she had pitched up such a fit and wouldn't stop until some finally placed her in Almerry and there she's remained for the last century, she's on the third floor and she has beautiful view of Almerry's sunflower fields.

 

            Pollux talks to Phoebe a lot, they get a long quite well. Aurelia gets along with her but she knows that Phoebe often gets bored of her badgering about how life was really like back then, if it was the way history books described, so Aurelia tries not to bother her as much.

 

            Ellie sighs dejectedly "Never mind, it's no fun if you don't play. Whatever, I'm gonna go see George, if they ask, can you tell them I'm at the Burrow."

 

            Delphi nods "Sure thing, bud, see you later."

 

            "Bye, Ellie!" Aurelia says, feeling sad that she's got no one to hang out with now.

 

            "You can come to you know, Lia. I'm sure that Ginny would —"

 

            "Nope, I promised Plant Boy that I would write to him!" Aurelia says quickly, her heart racing in her chest as she jumps up out of her seat and runs out of the kitchen.

 

            Once, she's in the safety of her room, Aurelia slams the door behind her and she begins to cry. She can't ever face Ginny again, not when Ginny knows who she really is, not after what her father and uncle did to her. She feels horrible, guilt and physical pain weighs down heavy on her chest as she struggles to breathe. She can't handle facing Ginny, hearing what Ginny has to say about her now — she hasn't stuck around the younger girl long enough to know how Ginny feels about this situation. Quite frankly, Aurelia never wants to find out. She's perfectly fine with keeping how their friendship once was fresh in her mind then resolving the tension between them and finding out that Ginny thinks she's a monster.

 

            Aurelia takes a deep breath and strides across her large room over to her desk, despite the fact she's crying, Aurelia starts writing a letter to Neville. After all, she had promised and it's nearly a week into their summer vacation and she had still yet to write a letter to him, he must think she's forgotten him or something.

 

            Don't worry, Plant Boy, I haven't forgotten you . . .


 



⭐️




━━ AUTHOR'S NOTE:


 

Aurelia is certainly going to be in for a surprise when she finds out that Vega Lestrange isn't Rodolphus Lestrange's sister but rather her mother's sister that happens to be identical to her!! The reason that Aurelia doesn't know that Vega wasn't born a Lestrange but rather married into the Lestrange is because NONE of the Black sisters like to acknowledge Vega which the reason for that will be explained later on in YELLOW which is the first book of this series!!! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the chapter, please let me know what you thought of it!

 



Chapter 4: Sun-Faced Star
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ACT i, CHAPTER iii:
CHAPTER THREE: sun-faced star
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        "YOU'RE WELCOME, NEVS." Heather Wilkes says, giggling as she pulls Neville up the stairs to his bedroom. Perhaps, his grandmother adoring Heather and her older sister, Marigold more than she adores him is not always a bad thing. The two youngest Wilkes siblings always had a way of keeping his grandmother's rants to a minimum.

 

        Keep that door open, so help me, boy!" His gran yells after them which causes Neville blush a bright red and Heather to smirk.

        It was hardly a week into their summer vacation and Neville had already managed to drive his grandmother absolutely bonkers. He kept asking her to take him to the Quidditch World Cup, normally Neville doesn't ask his grandmother for much but he remembers that Professor Black at one point mentioned that she had bought tickets to the World Cup for her kids which means that Aurelia Black would be attending the game. Now that Neville was officially friends with her, he wanted to go to the World Cup so he could hang out with her. Of course, he wouldn't tell his gran that because for some reason, she really hates Aurelia Black.

 

        "What's she mad about this time?" Heather questions as she plops down on Neville's bed, making herself right at home.

        "I kept pestering her about tickets —"

 

        "Oh, you wanna go to the World Cup? Don't worry about that, Nev. I'll have my parents handle that. They won't mind taking you and Augusta won't mind you going if me and Mari ask her." Heather interrupts, she starts playing with her hair, "I didn't know you were into Quidditch, you know I was thinking of joining the Ravenclaw team as their beater."

 

        "You should do that, you love Quidditch." Neville says, as he begins to attend to his plants, he needed to water them as he hadn't done that all today.

 

        Heather pouts "Why must you always bother with those plant, Nev, that's so boring! Can't we do something else and I mean something fun?"

 

        "I have to take care of them." Neville says, frowning because he knows that Heather's definition of fun is his definition of scary.

 

        "They're just plants." Heather sighs exasperated, "Honestly, Nev, you're a Gryffindor! You need to find a bolder hobby!"

 

        "I like my plants, they're —"

 

        "You're babies," Heather rolls her eyes, "I know, we've been over this a thousands and one day, Nev, you're going to regret not listening to me!"

 

        Neville hums in response to let Heather know that he heard her, he focuses all his attention on the little flower in front of him. He gently nudges the buds of the flower into the sunlight and sprinkles a bit of water on them, Heather groans dramatically then gives a false yawn.

 

        They had been friends for as long as Neville could remember, Heather happens to be a year younger than him but he was much closer to her than her older sister who was in his year. Despite being close friends, Neville and Heather happen to be complete opposites, she's bold and brash and he's very shy and timid but Heather follows him around like she's his shadow. Neville would have preferred the company of Marigold Wilkes but Marigold preferred being alone and so he was left with Heather, not that he hated her company. It's just sometimes Heather made him feel like he was boring and a bad friend.

 

        The redhead was always trying to yank him out of his comfort zone but Neville very much liked staying in his comfort zone. He puts down his watering can and turns to Heather, asking "Well, what do you want to do?"

 

        "Anything as long as it doesn't have anything to do with your stupid plants," Heather sighs, "You know — I heard that we just live a few blocks away from Grimmauld Place —"

 

        "Not even that far, it's actually just down the street." Neville says.

 

        "Right, well, I heard that's where Sirius Black used to live," Heather, "We should go scope it out, Nev, maybe we could catch him — we could be heroes!"

 

        "I . . . I don't know." Neville says quietly, at first he had been terrified of Sirius Black when he first broke out but after the password accident, Professor Black had taken him aside and explained to him that Sirius Black was innocent, he just had a dramatic flair when he does things, that he wouldn't have actually hurt anyone. Of course, Neville believed her and when he was talking with Aurelia on the train ride, she too had mentioned that Sirius was innocent in passing. But, still, he didn't want to go snooping around for a wanted criminal, innocent or not, Sirius Black seemed like a a rather intimidating bloke to be around.

 

        Heather groans loudly clearly unimpressed with him, she brushes her pin-straight red hair behind her back and curls her pink-painted lips into a disgusted frown "You're no fun, Nev, honestly, Mari is more fun than you are and all she does is paint the sky — ("Actually, she paints people too.") — whatever, Nev, the point is: it's boring as hell. You need to start doing brave things, I mean, what would your parents do?"

 

        "Probably catch him themselves, that is that their job after all." Neville says.

 

        "Was." Heather corrects dryly. Narrowing her eyes as she didn't approve of his remark although he's only joking with her; she's supposed to be the witty one in this friendship. She plasters a smile on her face and begins to look at her pink nails. There's a moment of silence and Heather looks away from her perfectly painted nails to look at Neville, she groans when she sees the confused look on Neville's face, "They're not Aurors anymore, Nev, so it's 'that was their job'."

 

        "Oh." Neville says lightly, his confusion turning to sadness, "Yeah, I suppose, you're right."

 

        Heather smiles "I always am, Nev — oh, look you've got a letter! Who would be writing to you?"

 

        "Ouch." Neville says, glancing to see a dark and very small owl sitting on his window ledge, "I have other friends, you know that right, Heather?"

 

        "Yeah but they, like, never write to you."

 

        "Seamus does sometimes, he asks me how my garden's going —"

 

        "He only does that so you won't feel left out, he doesn't actually care. Seamus hates plants." Heather says dryly.

 

        "It's still nice that he takes the time to write to me." Neville says, opening his window to untie the letter from around the owl's claw. It's tied with golden string on the envelope is Neville's name written in extremely neat handwriting, they've used golden ink and at once he knows that it's from Aurelia. He remembers overhearing Ron and Harry complaining about Snape giving Aurelia detention multiple times for using gold ink. He smiles wide, heart fluttering in his chest because she had actually written to him.

 

        "Who's that from?" Heather says, being around the Longbottom manor as often as she had Heather knows all the owls that come and go, naturally she'd be curious seeing a new owl. But, Neville can't tell Heather who it's from because her reaction would be worse than his grandmother's. Heather hates Aurelia, everyone knows this. Neville doesn't understand why Heather hates Aurelia but if he had to describe the two of them, he would say they're like the Ravenclaw-Hufflepuff version of Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter, except Heather isn't that prejudice.

 

        So, Neville lies: "My mum's grandpa, he must've gotten a new owl or something, he just wanted to ask me how my year was."

        "Oh," Heather says then laughs, "Does he know about the password incident, Nev?"

 

        Neville frowns and shuffles awkwardly, trying to shove the letter into his desk drawer before Heather can see it "Yeah, Gran's probably told him." he laughs awkwardly and wishes that Heather, of all people, would let that go. He turns bright red and he becomes embarrassed all over again, how could he have down something so stupid?"

 

        Before Neville can manage to hide the letter, Heather bolts up and snatches the letter from him. Perhaps she started to suspect he was lying to her when he started trying to hide the letter from her or perhaps the glimmer of gold ink in the sunlight had caught her eye, either way something made her grab that letter and Neville knows that a fight is going to break out. He grows tense and prepares himself but still flinches when she starts yelling.

 

        "Is this from, Black?!" She hisses, looking murderous.

 

        Neville nods his head hesitantly.

 

        "Why is she writing to you?"

 

        "Because we're friends now?"

 

        Heather laughs loudly, "That sounds like codswallop to me, really, Nev. She's out of your league, now she may not be as popular as me but she isn't as nice as me and there's no way she'd write to you just because. I mean, why would she write to you when she can write to Potter or Granger? I wouldn't even bother —"

 

        "Give it back." Neville interrupts, trying to keep a steady voice as he opens up his palm for Heather to place the letter back into.

 

        "Writing back to her," She finishes quietly and then narrows her eyes at Neville, "Oh, you want to write back to her? You want to be her friend? Why, what the fuck is wrong with you, why her? She's terrible!"

 

        "She's not as bad as you think, Heather! She — she's actually really nice and she's only mean to you because you're mean to her first."

        "Oh," Heather says flatly, "I see how it is. Fine, if you want to be friends with that bitch than we're not friends anymore."

        "Heather." Neville says softly as she shoves the letter into his chest.

 

        Her face had gone as red as her hair and he thinks she might be crying but he can't tell for sure with how scrunched up her face is "Nope, you've made your bed now lie in it, if you respond to that letter than don't ever talk to me again!"

 

        Before he can respond to that, she's bounding out of his room and soon enough down the stairs, Neville swallows thickly and glances at the letter in his grasps and he wonders if he should reply to it?


 

⭐️

 

        AZKABAN IS A creepy, ancient fortress in the middle of the sea but, surprisingly it does allow visitation. Under strict conditions, of course. Aurelia had been going there for years to visit her biological mother, she had been locked up for a crime she didn't commit, a heinous crime against Frank and Alice Longbottom — Neville's parents. Her mother had been framed, by whom her mum never said but who ever did it wore her mother's face and even said that it was her mother before fleeing the scene. Whoever did it obviously used Polyjuice Potion, Aurelia has figured that much which is more than the Ministry of Magic bothered to figure out.

 

        Aurelia knows her mum pleaded that she didn't do it, she remains adamant to this day that she would never attack the Longbottoms all while keeping up her facade of being Voldemort's most loyal Death-Eater, but no one had ever listened to her. And she also knows that the crime, despite not being guilty for it, weighs heavily on her mum's shoulder and it weighs heavily on Aurelia's too — knowing that her mum is innocent for such a horrendous crime and having to watch everyone blame her for it and call her the most terrible of things, makes her feel like absolute bloody shit. Especially since they loved to blame Aurelia for it too, and even her other mum. Which is why no one can know who her real parents are, she doesn't want her friends blaming her for something her real mum didn't do.

 

        ( And this is probably the reason she cannot act properly for the life of her when she's around Neville Longbottom, knowing that their families used to be the best of friends and now they've been absolutely destroyed all thanks to her father, yeah, that's enough to make a girl stutter and act like a fool! )

 

        "Are you sure your warm enough?" Delphi says fretfully to Aurelia, breaking the teenager from her thoughts. They were just about to leave for Azkaban and Delphi always gets antsy before going there, she hated it there but she certainly couldn't let her wife sit there and rot by herself.

 

        Azkaban is not family friendly place and visitations were hard to get approved but somehow Delphi always managed to get one even after Sirius Black's escape. It probably helped that her oldest half-brother, Marius Riddle, worked there as a guard and he must vouch for Delphi or something like that.

 

        "What about you, Lux?" Delphi says turning to fret over the older boy, he gives Delphi an annoyed look but he allows her to button up his cloak all the way to the top button. "Are you warm enough, love?"

 

        "Absolutely heated." Pollux says dryly, looking at at his nails with a look of complete disinterest, Delphi smiles at him warmly and then pecks his cheek, when she looks away from him, he wipes off his cheek and scowls and Aurelia laughs at him.

 

        Delphi turns and pecks Aurelia's cheek, asking: "What are you laughing at, my darling?"

 

        "Nothing." Aurelia says as Pollux glowers at her.

 

        "Before we leave, you know the —"

 

        "Patronus Charm." Pollux and Aurelia chorus flatly, pulling out their wands as Delphi gives them a small smile.

 

        Before they go to Azkaban, every time Delphi would make them practice the Patronus Charm. One of many rules for visitation is that the person must be accompanied by someone who can do the Patronus Charm or do it themselves until they get to the Visitation Chamber where their wands would be confiscated by the guards. Delphi before she finally caved and let Aurelia see her mother for the first time, had made sure that Aurelia could produce a corporeal Patronus and when Pollux started to join them to visit his Rodolphus Lestrange, she made him do the same.

 

        Despite it being advanced magic for someone her age, Aurelia was able to get it, she had a lot of strong and happy memories. It was the first and only spell she's mastered to date, she still can't even get spells that she learned in first year right have the time but some how she had managed to perfect the Patronus Charm, her's is a Hummingbird.

 

        Pollux took a little longer to grasp the spell but he managed to get it right after months of practice, his was a snake. Aurelia wasn't sure what kind of snake as she had never bothered to ask, he'd probably yell at her if she did.

 

        He goes first, seeing as Aurelia hesitates. She wonders if she'll be able to still produce a Patronus with how she's been feeling lately, Pollux calls out the spell and a wispy-looking snake glides around him and Delphi praises him. They both turn on her and she fumbles with her long, thin wand which is made of Cypress wood. Her mouth seems to have run dry and she frantically tries to think of a memory.

 

        Memories she had used before either consisted of her mums or her adventures with her trio of trouble-making friends but ever since the werewolf thing, thinking of the three of them made Aurelia incredibly sad and anxious. She licks her lips and raises her wand, her mum's soft voice fills her head 'my star, my darling, my little sun-faced star'.

 

        A warm feeling spreads through her chest and she focuses on the blurry memory of her biological mother, Bellatrix is leaning over her and she's singing a Muggle song to her softly. Aurelia can never make out all the words but she knows it's definitely an ABBA song, both of her mums love ABBA ( Uncle Ted is to blame for that ) and she also knows that her mum wants her to go to sleep but Aurelia is wide awake as she peers up at her mum and coos and giggles. Occasionally she'd point at the little mobile hanging over her head and demand her mum to do something with it, she's not sure what but she knows that the mobiles were shaped like stars, Aurelia assumes her baby-self wanted them to glow.

 

        Her mum would merely shake her head and say "Go to sleep my little sun-faced star, hush now." her mum would lower her hands into the crib and caress Aurelia's chubby cheek, whispering sweet nicknames over and over again in between singing that ABBA song until Aurelia would have to assume, her baby-self finally drifted off to sleep.

 

        "Expecto Patronum!" Aurelia calls out, waving her wand and out comes a wispy-looking form of something that is not a Hummingbird. It is, however, corporeal and just as small, perhaps even smaller. Her relief outweighs her confusion and she manages to keep producing it.

 

        "Oh, it's a little dragonfly!" Delphi says, flashing Aurelia a warm smile and her relief only grows. Judging by Delphi's reaction, it must be normal for Patronuses to change shape and Aurelia doesn't give it much thought. Although she is a bit curious as to why it changed, she decides to ask about it later.

 

        "Okay, I did it, mum, can we please go see mama now?"

 

        "Of course." Delphi says, placing a hand on Aurelia's shoulder.

 

        "Mama?" Pollux snorts, "Who the fuck calls their mother 'mama' at this age?"

 

        "Freddie Mercury, you bitch." Aurelia retorts without missing a beat and Pollux stares at her with the upmost exasperation.

 

        He turns to Delphi "Visitation isn't going to be the only reason I'm going to Azkaban today."


 

⭐️


 

        MARIUS RIDDLE IS the eldest of the Riddle siblings, Aurelia's never ever see him outside of these Azkaban visits. Sometimes she thinks that he might live there. Marius, Aurelia, and Pollux were very estranged and in fact Aurelia did not know that he was her brother until her second visit, it was only when Delphi had mentioned it in passing that Aurelia realised he was the Blood-Traitor brother. Technically, speaking all the sibling in some way are Blood-Traitors but he's the only one that their father and his group of Death-Eaters awknowledge as a Blood-Traitor.

 

        Marius treats his siblings like strangers, all except for Eugene. Aurelia knows that he goes and visits Eugene in St. Mungo's. From what Delphi has told her, Marius had ran away, going off grid the second he graduated from Hogwarts and Eugene was the only one he kept in contact with. Voldemort had ruined his life, murdering his Muggle Wife and his little daughter so, really, Aurelia doesn't blame him for wanting nothing to do with their family.

 

        As usual It's cold as hell when Aurelia steps out of the flames and into a dreary grey and dimly lit office of sorts. At the opposite side of the small room are two desks where her oldest half-brother is seated, the other desk is surprisingly empty.

 

        "Where's Patty?" Delphi says, stepping out of the fire behind Aurelia. By Patty, Delphi means the other guard that should be sitting in the desk opposite of Marius. There's supposed to be two guards under Azkaban at all times, that's one of the many rules.

 

        "She's training the newest guard, Hattersley or whatever their name is, they're fresh out of Hogwarts. They need tons of training to make it in here. Training that Patty's replacement obviously didn't get." Marius says, nodding his head in the direction of the other desk.

 

        Aurelia looks over the desk, standing on her tip-toes to see that the replacement guard, a young man, had passed out cold on the ground in front of his desk.

 

        "Yikes." Aurelia says quietly.

 

        "My sentiments exactly." Pollux says dryly, then glares in the direction of Marius who glares right back at him, "Since that bloke is out cold, that means we can't use the Visitation Chambers. Isn't that right, brother dearest?"

 

        "Aye," Marius says gruffly, "I cannot set up the Visitation Chambers without the help of another guard, you'll have to do your visits at their cells."

 

        "Nope," Pollux says, "Not happening, I'm not going to stand in the cold just for a little visit with Rodolphus. He'll understand. Hey, Ass, tell him that I'll see him next time and that I'll send a letter for him shortly."

 

        "Okay." Aurelia says meekly, she doesn't like interacting with Rodolphus and Pollux knows this well as the first interaction she had with Rodolphus on her first visit to Azkaban had not been a good one. Pollux had been there, he saw everything and had even defended her from his wrath. But, of course, Pollux is an asshole and he loves to make Aurelia do things that scare her or make her uncomfortable.

 

        "Where are you going then?" Delphi asks, turning away from Marius to look at Pollux with a suspicious look.

 

        "The Burrow?" Pollux replies in a mocking tone to which Delphi gives him a pointed look but he only shrugs, "Hey, if Asterope is allowed to be friends with Scarhead then I can go to the Burrow whenever I please, see ya."

 

        With that Pollux is on his way, Marius grumbles about how much he hates his siblings as soon as Pollux is out of sight, Aurelia doesn't even bother to let him know she had heard him. She just merely clings to Delphi as Marius clears them and allows them into the stairway that leads up to the actual prison.

 

        Marius kicks up his feet and onto his desk "Since, my dear old partner is out cold, what he doesn't know won't kill him, you two can go up by yourselves. You can handle it, can't you Delphi?"

 

        "Aye, indeed I can," Delphi says then adds teasingly, "You better hope that nobody shows up while we're up there unattended, you'll lose your wand."

 

        "There are worse things to lose." Marius says blankly as he returns to the thick paperback he had been reading and the teasing smile slips off Delphi's face. Somehow the room gets even more grim, Aurelia frowns and thinks about how much she hates her father.

 

        "Come on," Delphi says, gently pulling Aurelia up the stairs. Both of them take a deep breath, there are seven sets of stairs they have to go up before they get the prison level and then an additional three to get to the level Aurelia's mum's cell is on. Delphi pulls out her wand and lights up the stairway with a 'Lumos' which makes everything easier to see as the little candles on the wall hardly did their job.

 

        The walk up to the prison level is spent in silence, it's only once they reach that door does Delphi and it's to ask if Aurelia's ready to which she nods, grabbing her wand on the inside of her coat pocket. Entering Azkaban is like entering a whole new world, as soon as the door opens Aurelia's greeted with the sounds of the screaming prisoners, howling wind, and crashing of violently large waves against the stone building.

 

        Aurelia swallows thickly and clings to Delphi as they walk down the lower hallway. Thankfully, Delphi handles Rodolphus for Aurelia, he's the first cell on the lower floor. With that they're on the way to her mum's cell, once they get up to her level, Delphi calls out her Patronus which is a little butterfly, allowing Aurelia to go first. When she gets to her mum's cell, her mum is already at the bars with her face pressed into them as she watches the butterfly Patronus float past her with a soft smile on her gaunt face.

 

        "'Ello, mama!" Aurelia says brightly, waving at Bellatrix Black who jumps back from the bars at the sound of Aurelia's voice, she blinks wearily at the teenager before giving her a confused smile.

 

        "My darling little star, is that really you?" Bellatrix croaks out, pressing her face once more into the bars. When Aurelia nods, her smile widens and she reaches out the bar but quickly stops herself, acting as though reaching out of the bars would burn her, "Where is the guard?"

 

        "It was just Marius there, so he let us go on our own."

 

        "Oh . . . That sounds like something he would do but . . . But why would he be alone, we're always told there's two guards present." Her mum says, looking suspicious as she licks her lips, "And where's Delphi? Are you sure that —"

 

        "I'm right here, Bella." Delphi says softly, coming to stand behind Aurelia. Immediately all tension and suspicion melts from Bellatrix's features, "There are two guards present, but one of them is a replacement and didn't handle his shift very well, so Marius has the run of the place for now."

 

        "Oh, alright," Bellatrix says then reaches through the bars to cup Aurelia's cheek, it's the closest thing they have to a hug at the moment, "Hello, my darling little star."

 

        "Hi, mama! I've brought you drawings, you've always said that the Transfiguration classroom was your favourite place at Hogwarts, so I drew it for you!" Aurelia says, pulling out the drawing from her messenger bag and handing over Bellatrix but she doesn't take it, she's fixated on Aurelia's face with a horrified expression.

 

        "What — what happened to —"

 

        "Oh, I cut my hair." Aurelia says nonchalantly although she completely knows that's not what her mum's referring to.

 

        "No, no, no." Bellatrix says, softly but horrified as she reaches out to gently trace over the scars, "This, what is this? Why did you tell me about this Adelpha?!"

 

        "I didn't want to scare you in the letter and since it wasn't in the Prophet, I knew the best way was to tell you in person —"

 

        "Well, spit it out, what happened to my baby?!"

 

        "It was an accident!" Aurelia cuts in.

 

        "Was it Pollux, Delphi, did Pollux do this to her?!"

 

        Aurelia gives her mothers an incredulous look, she knew very well that Pollux could be violent and he was always angry or bitter, that's a fact known by everyone but for her mama to think that Pollux could do something like that to someone was a bit too much.

 

        "No, it was Remus!"

 

        "What?!"

 

        "It was an accident," Aurelia repeats herself, "He forgot to take his potion because of the whole Sirius Black thing, he didn't mean to do it, really, it was a horrible accident and he didn't bite me, just scratched me. It's fine, I'm fine."

 

        "Merlin." Bellatrix breathes out, looking on the verge of tears. Aurelia had heard as a child, her mum rarely cried but in Azkaban it's all that she does.

 

        "Do you like my hair?" Aurelia asks in an attempt to change the subject, "It's permanent! I haven't had hair this short before, I think it looks wicked neat, what do you think?"

 

        The change of subject works and Bellatrix blinks away the tears in her eyes and she smiles at Aurelia "I think it looks lovely, my sun-faced star, it suits you." then she gives Aurelia's hair a gentle pat, "Now, what about that drawing, you know that I adore your drawings, my darling."

 

        Aurelia hands over the drawing again and this time, Bellatrix takes it and she studies the drawing with a large smile and says: "It's beautiful, just like you."

 

        Aurelia blushes "Thank you, mama!"

 

        Bellatrix looks up from the drawing "Now, tell me, my darling star, how are you and that Weasley girl doing? Have you made up."

 

        "Er, not really. We're not fighting or anything, I'm just —"

 

        "Avoiding her?" Her mum says teasingly, moving to place the drawing on her cot, "You do that a lot, you get that from me. Really, my star, you should talk to her. I can tell that you're good friends, I don't think you'll want to lose what you had with her."

 

        "But —"

 

        "Your mum's right, darling, you and Ginny should work this out." Delphi agrees, kissing Aurelia's forehead lightly, "I don't think you want to be like your mum — the 'Queen of Avoidance' over there."

 

        "Perhaps I do," Aurelia retorts playfully, "Perhaps I like being Queen of Avoidance and living in my sea-side kingdom of Let's Do That Another Time."

 

        Both Delphi and Bella smile exasperatedly at Aurelia, who gives them a beaming smile.

 

        "You're too much, my darling." Bellatrix says, shaking her head.

 

        "Thanks, I pride myself on it."

 

        Bellatrix presses a kiss to her hand and then presses her hand against Aurelia's cheek "You're so much like Delphi too, your radiance and warmth, you got that from her."

 

        Her cheeks hurt from smiling so wide, she loves when people tell her how much she's like Delphi. Although they're not biologically related, Aurelia and Delphi do share a lot in common in both their personality and looks; she thanks her lucky stars that she had taken after Bellatrix's side of the family rather than after her father. Delphi has told her that she looks more like her father's mother, Merope Gaunt, and Aurelia doesn't mind that because at least she doesn't look like him.

 

        "I pride myself on that too."

 

        Bellatrix hums softly and strokes Aurelia's cheek "I'm glad that you do, those are good traits to have."

 

        There's the sound of footsteps approaching them at a quick pace, Aurelia groans at this and her mums frown. Bellatrix pulls Aurelia close to the bars of the cell, looking ready to cry again, she tries her best to plant a kiss on Aurelia's forehead through the iron bars.

 

        "Listen, my little sun-faced star —"

 

        "Okay, time to go, you two." Marius appears before, looking rather winded as he's crouched over, hands on his knees and he tries to catch his breath, "That replacement is starting to stir, I had to run to get up here."

 

        Aurelia frowns, that was hardly an hour. Sure, she was cold and terrified but she wanted more time with her mum. Bellatrix reaches out and cups Aurelia's cheek before she can argue with her half-brother. Due to the fact that it's Marius and he's always a bit lenient with the rules, he allows Bellatrix to do this. She wipes away Aurelia's tears that are starting to fall "My little sun-faced star, do not cry."

 

        "But I don't wanna go." Aurelia whispers and Bellatrix smiles softly.

 

        "You have to, you can always write to me, whenever you want. I may not be able to respond all the times but I always get your letters and I always read them, and your drawings too."

 

        "What about my stories and poems?" Aurelia sniffles.

 

        "Yes, my darling, those too." Bellatrix says encouragingly.

 

        "Oh, alright, enough with the sappiness, we really ought to be going. I should warn you that the replacement is a real dick, aye, more than me —" Marius says grumpily only to be interrupted by Bellatrix.

 

        "Wait! — My darling girl . . . Dark times — dark times are coming." Bellatrix says softly as she reaches out with the other hand to brush Aurelia's golden curls, trying to keep her in place for a little bit longer, at this Marius starts to draw his wand.

 

        There's an urgency in Bellatrix's tone that Aurelia hasn't heard her use before and a chill runs up her spine. "Your father will return to his power, there's no stopping that. You and Pollux will be in grave danger, I need you to promise me that the two of you will protect each other no matter what you learn."

 

        "What — what do you mean, mama?" Aurelia asks worriedly, she's never heard her mum talk so cryptically before, not even during her worst moments in Azkaban.

 

        "Just promise me, Asterope!"

 

        "I promise, mama."


 



⭐️




━━ AUTHOR'S NOTE:


 

Marigold Wilkes >>>>> Heather Wilkes,,, any day of the WEEK,, Marigold is the SUPERIOR Wilkes child and we love her for it!!! Honestly living for the moment that it's revealed to Aurelia that she's biologically related to Delphi but for now that's just between me and you lmaoo AND it's gonna be a shock of a lifetime for Aurelia when she finds out considering everything that happens to her the same day she finds out. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the chapter, please let me know what you thought of it!



Chapter 5: Letter from the Lupins
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 

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ACT i, CHAPTER iv:
CHAPTER FOUR: letter from the lupins
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        A LETTER FINALLY comes from Remus Lupin a few hours before Aurelia is set to leave for the Weasleys. It's perfect timing, if she had missed that letter and hadn't responded to it then he would surely be blaming himself for it even more. But as she unties the letter from around the owl's leg she realises the letter isn't from Remus but rather his little daughter. She can tell by the childish drawing scrawled on the outside of the parchment but Remus did write her name on it so he is aware that the letter had been sent.

 

        Remus had two little children that stayed with his dad, Lyall Lupin most of the time. He adored them but he was reluctant to let them visit too often because of his condition, Aurelia had met them many times and they treated her like she was their older sister. There's a girl and a boy, the girl is older by two years leaving her at the age of six and the boy is about four, possibly three and a half. The girl is named Belladonna but nicknamed 'Bella', after Aurelia's mother and Uncle Ted's younger sister whom Aurelia had never met, and the boy is named Edward but nicknamed 'Teddy' after her Uncle Ted. Aurelia's not sure who their mother is as Remus has never mentioned her name, he looks uncomfortable when she's brought up by the children or Delphi, all Aurelia knows is that she's alive. She hopes on Merlin's saggy left tit that the mother hadn't abandoned them because of Remus' condition, Aurelia would fight her if that's the case.

 

        Aurelia knows that the letter is from Bella rather than Teddy because of the drawings, Bella had taken a liking to art because of Aurelia and Delphi or 'Auntie Delphi' as she calls her. Bella is always going on about how she wants to be an artist just like them and is showing off her art to Aurelia and Delphi any chance she can get to get approval of it. She opens up the letter is met with Bella's messy childish scrawl accompanied with Remus' corrections.



 

☀️
 

                                 🌵


🌼                🦋



Dearist ( Dearest ) Blue,
 

Hello, I miss you, you have not been over at all this summer. Do you not like us animoor ( anymore )? Papa says that you probly ( probably ) do not but I do not under stand why, did I do some thing wrong, did Teddy drule ( drool ) too much last time you wer ( were ) here, I can tell him not to drule ( drool ) if you promiss ( promise ) to come visit us! Please and thank you!
 

Love, Bella 💗

 

⭐️
 

☘️       🦋

    
🐝
 

 


 

        Aurelia smiles sadly at the letter, pinning it to the board over her desk so she can admire Bella's pretty drawings. She wonders if her mama does that or if she keeps them hidden under her cot, her sad smile turns into a deep frown and then she shakes her head. Letting that miserable thought evaporate from her mind, she pulls out some parchment to reply to Bella.

 

        She instead busies her thoughts with how the writing of that letter went, she can picture it perfectly: Bella coming to Remus demanding he correct her letter as she always does, Remus reading over the letter and becoming incredibly flustered and probably a wee bit guilty-looking as he tries to convince Bella to rewrite it but she denies his request. She probably said that she'd send it out with or without his corrections but she'd prefer it if he corrected it and then she probably gave him her famous puppy dog eyes and he caved. Then Lyall, who was probably watching the whole exchange from the doorway, who'd make a remark about about Remus being a sap just like his mother, Hope Lupin, and in turn that would earn an offended 'Hey!' from Hope Lupin's portrait.

 

        She pulls out her gold ink, the golden ink reserved her most loved friends and family ( and to annoy Severus Snape, of course! ) then begins to write her reply.

 

 

My lovely Belladonna,
 

That is entirely your father's fault as he has not asked me to visit at all. How rude of him, huh?! I would love to visit you and I miss you terribly! Ask your father if I can come and visit after the Quidditch World Cup, I'm afraid that I cannot visit before then as I am going to visit our favourite redheads, the Weasleys! I will be sure to tell Ron that you said hello, don't you worry about that! Oh, and make sure you use your best puppy dog eyes when asking your father!
 

Lots of love, Blue!


 

        Aurelia folds up the letter and tied it to the owl's leg and gives it a treat and kiss on the head before sending it on it's way.

        "Del wants to know if you're ready to leave?" Her cousin asks as he passes the door, it's rare for him to leave his living quarters in Almerry Castle so she's quite startled by his voice.

 

        She jumps up and knocks her chair over, heart pounding as she glances at her closed door, underneath the crack she can see the shadow of his feet. He mutters an apology and then asks once more if she's ready, Aurelia takes a deep breath and replies "Aye, I'm ready."

 

        There's a shuffling sound and then he yells back down the large staircase just outside her door "She's ready, Del!"

 

        Her cousin starts making his way up the stairs to his living quarters "Have fun, Lia." He says as he ascends.

 

        Long after his footsteps retreat up the stairs and become nothing more then light taps, Aurelia's heart continues to race and panic floods her veins even though she knows it was only just her cousin. She shakes her head and scolds herself for being so panicky, she was never this much of a scaredy-cat before.

 

        "Grow the fuck up." She tells herself as she turns to look in the mirror. Which is a fairly funny statement coming from her seeing as she looks like an overgrown child. Aurelia stands at about five foot six, she's always been taller than most kids her age and she has no shape of form to her body, she wears a sunshine-yellow summer dress with big white polka dots and a white collar with a black leather jacket and matching yellow sun hat. And of course, her black combat boots. If it weren't for the leather jacket adorned with pins and patches, she truly would've looked like an overgrown child.

 

        "Talking to yourself, Asterope?" Alexander Almerry says, his ghost comes floating through her walls.

 

        "Being an annoying shithead, Alexander?"

 

        "As always."

 

        Aurelia rolls her eyes as she fixes her sun hat "What do you want?"

 

        "I just came to visit my favourite Black, is that a crime now?"

 

        "Knowing your family's reputation, you'd probably turn it into one and then have me burned alive for fun." Aurelia says dryly, "And besides everyone knows that your favourite Black is Auntie Cissy. Don't even bother trying to sweet-talk me, it won't work."

 

        "If I had a pulse it would."

 

        "Keep believing that, Alexander, doesn't mean it's true."

 

        Alexander groans in defeat "You're right, you're actually my least favourite Black."

 

        "And you're my least favourite ghost!" Aurelia calls after him as he floats back through her wall, "What a little shit head."

        There's a pecking at her window and she turns to see that another owl has arrived with another owl. It's probably Ron, she thinks as she goes to open her window, asking when she would be there. Although she doesn't recognise the owl, he could've used Percy's new one but as she grabs the letter she realises that it's not Ron's handwriting. Aurelia let's the owl come inside to get some food and water as she reads the letter, it turns out that its' from Neville.

 


 

Hi, Sunflower Girl! It's me, Neville! You're probably still busy especially with the world cup coming so soon but I thought I'd write back! My summer's going great thanks for asking and yes I am keeping up my garden, it's gotten so much bigger since last summer! It's almost too big for my room, gran's probably going to yell at me soon for it and make me put it outside. I hope not because I really like having it in my room, sure it's a little messy but it smells nice and it looks nice too. It would be really cool if I could create an ecosystem for the plants to thrive when I'm not here, like a controlled one so it doesn't flood my room and ——


 

        The next few sentences are scratched out but Aurelia can tell that they were about his plans for his garden in his room, Aurelia frowns at the scratched lines and she traces over them with a finger, wishing that he didn't feel like he had to cut himself off, she would have loved to read more about it. Aurelia continues to read the rest of his letter with keen interest.

 

—— anyway, I hope your summer's been good to you! Happy birthday by the way, you mentioned that you celebrated it in your last letter, you didn't say the date but I just wanted to wish you one either way, it sounds like you had a lot of fun. If I had known sooner I would've bought you something but all I have is this sunflower, hopefully you like it! Have fun at the world cup, I hope whatever team you're rooting for wins!!!  Love —— ( the word 'love' has been scratched out as well ) —— sincerely, Neville!
 

 

P.S — if the sunflower isn't there then that means that the bird ate it. I'm hoping he doesn't but my gran's owl has this weird habit of eating brightly coloured things which is why he's not allowed in my room or I wouldn't have a garden anymore. Unfortunately, he's the only owl I have!
 

 

 

        The sunflower isn't there and when Aurelia looks closely she can see a piece of sunflower petal on the owl's beak, she laughs at this and then begins to write her reply to Neville. Feeling a bit too thrilled that he had written her back, she doesn't know why but she really likes being friends with him, technically again, and she thinks that their friendship can do them both some good.

 

        As she writes her letter, she can't help but wonder what they would've been like if they had stayed in contact all these years. Would he be her best friend rather than Ginny, would she hang out with him constantly rather than her little trio of friends? Aurelia tucks a strand of hair behind her ear, as she signs the letter and the begins to read it back to herself before she sent. The last thing she wants to do is send a letter to Neville that doesn't make sense, she doesn't want to scare him off just yet.



 

Dear Neville,
 

I'm just heading out to the world cup so you probably won't hear from me for a few days! Your little garden sounds lovely, I would love to hear more about it and your little ecosystem idea, it sounds brilliant. Perhaps I could create a spell for you, I know I'm not the best with magical plants but I can try! Thank you for the birthday wishes and speaking of birthday wishes I never caught yours, I hope it hasn't passed so I can get you something like I plant or something. We have some really cool flower shops on Almerry Island, maybe I can get you some, let me know what your favourite colour and I can guarantee you I'll find a flower for it, no matter how strange the colour is. Thank you so much for the sunflower, it's very lovely! I hope you have a good rest of your week, talk to you as soon as I can Plant Boy!
 

Lots of love, Aurelia


 

 

        Aurelia smiles, satisfied that the letter made enough sense to send and then ties it to Neville's owl. She gives the weathered-looking owl a treat before allowing it to deliver the letter "Have a safe trip, dear bird." Aurelia calls out to it before shutting her window.

 

        Seconds later, Ellie comes bursting into her room exclaiming "Hurry up, bitch, we're leaving early! I talked Auntie Del into it, I wanna see George and you're slowing things down!"

 

⭐️

 

        "HEY, BLUE." GINNY greets her, determination burning in her eyes as she corners Aurelia, "I didn't know you'd be here today."

        She definitely knew that Aurelia would be there today, in fact she had greeted Aurelia hardly ten minutes ago when she walked in with her mum, half-brother, and cousin. But, she says it so naturally as though it is purely a coincidence that they've run into each other in Ginny's own home. Aurelia smiles awkwardly and rubs her hands together, Ginny smiles brightly at her but Aurelia can see a plan forming in her eyes.

 

        "I know, what a surprise," Aurelia laughs and gives Ginny her signature finger guns, "But, sadly, can't stay for long me and the twins are going to get Harry from his monster guardians."

 

        Her saying that couldn't get any better as Arthur Weasley calls her name from downstairs.

 

        "Well, would you look at that, Gin, gotta go!" Aurelia says and then she's turning on her heel and running down the stairs as quickly as she can. Behind her she can hear Ginny cursing to herself and Aurelia crosses her fingers that she doesn't tell anyone about her father, namely Hermione because she has a feeling that Mr. and Mrs. Weasley already suspect it, while she's gone.

 

        "Are you ready, Blue?" Arthur wonders as she comes up beside him.

 

        "Aye, Aye, Mr. Weasley!" She replies, saluting him.

 

        "Blue, you've known me for three years how many times do I have to tell you to call me, Arthur?" He asks, shaking his head and smiling fondly at her.

 

        "Aye, Aye, Mr. Arthur!" She says, saluting him again.

 

        Arthur sighs exasperated "That — That's better, I suppose."

 

        She grins brightly at him while Fred, George, and Ron laugh at her antics.

 

        "We'll be taking the Floo Network to the Dursleys to pick up Harry." Arthur explains then gives the twins and Aurelia a pointed look, "And, no funny business."

 

        "Mr. Weasley!" Aurelia gasps, placing a hand over her heart, "I would never! I'm an angel! I don't do funny business!"

 

        Fred and George snort at this.

 

        Arthur sighs again "Clark the Chicken, Ron's shirt, Molly's muffins, Percy and Poll —"

 

        "Uh, okay, okay . . . Maybe a saint is a better way to describe me then ."

 

        "I think 'saint' might be pushing it, Blue." Ron says dryly.

 

        "Wow, my own best friend!" Aurelia says, clutching her hand over her heart now as she gives Ron an incredulous look.

 

        "Saint is definitely pushing it." Fred cuts in.

 

        "It's bloody shoving it, I'd describe you as more of a devil spawn." George adds.

 

        "Oi! I thought we were off to pick Harold up, not pick on me!" Aurelia exclaims, although she cringes at the whole 'devil's spawn' thing because little does George know, she technically is the devil's spawn. But, luckily none of them notice the shift in her behaviour.

 

        "We are, all of you stop your fussing, we're running late as it is." Arthur says, "Follow me, kids."

 

        Arthur goes first, Fred follows him and Aurelia cuts George off and goes next. However, there's a wee problem: the Dursley's fireplace is blocked and Aurelia finds herself squashed in between Arthur and Fred. Rolling her eyes, Aurelia says sarcastically "Well, this went well —" and then Fred steps on her foot and she cries out "— ouch! Fred!"

 

        "No — go back, go back, there's been some kind of mistake — tell George, not to — ouch!" Arthur yelps, "George, no, there's no room, go back quickly and tell Ron —"

 

        "Maybe Harry can hear us, Dad! Maybe he'll be able to let us out?" George suggests, "Harry? Harry, can you hear us?"

        On the other side of the fireplace Aurelia can hear angry voices yelling at Harry. Then Harry's voice asks loud and clear: "Mr. Weasley? Can you hear me?"

 

        Arthur stops hammering on the fireplace and shushes them.

 

        "Mr. Weasley, it's Harry . . . the fireplace has been blocked up. You won't be able to get through there."

 

        "Damn!" Arthur curses, "What on earth did they want to block up the fireplace for?"

 

        "They've got an electric fire," Harry explains.

 

        "Really?" Arthur asks excitedly, "Eclectic, you say? With a plug? Gracious, I must see that . . . Let's think . . . Ouch, Ron!"

 

        Aurelia groans as she was squashed even more. Ron then proceeds to ask: "What are we doing here? Has something gone wrong?"

 

        "Oh no, Ron," Fred replies, sarcastically, "No, this is exactly where we wanted to end up."

 

        "Yeah, we're having the time of our lives here," George adds in a dry tone and Aurelia stifles a giggle.

 

        "Boys, boys." Arthur scolds vaguely, "I'm trying to think what to do . . . Yes . . . Only way . . . Stand back, Harry."

 

        Arthur raises his wand and a gruff voice on the other side bellows "Wait a moment! What exactly are you going to —"

 

        He doesn't receive an answer as Arthur has already said the spell, causing the wall blocking the fireplace to explode.

 

        "Holy mother of tits!" Aurelia curses under her breath, covering her ears at the loud noise.

 

        "That's better." Arthur pants, brushing the dust from his long green robes and straightening his glasses, "Ah, you must be Harry's aunt and uncle!"

 

        He holds out his hand for them to shake but they back away. Aurelia feels eyes on her, she looks up to see Harry's cousin, Dudley Dursley staring at her. She doesn't understand why, she's not that ugly. In fact, puberty had beat her ass these past two summers and she actually looks cute on most days now — oh, yeah, my scars! He's peeking around the edge of the doorway, no one else seems to notice him. She narrows her eyes at him and turns her nose into a pig nose, Dudley's eyes widen in fear and he disappears from view.

 

        "Er — yes — sorry about that," Arthur begins, lowering his hand and looks over his shoulder at the blasted fireplace, "It's all my fault. It just didn't occur to me that we wouldn't be able to get out at the other end. I had your fireplace connected to the Floo Network, you see — just for an afternoon, you know, so we could get Harry. Muggle fireplaces aren't supposed to be connected, strictly speaking — but I've got a useful contact at the Floo Regulation Panel and he fixed it for me. I can put it right in a jiffy, though, don't worry. I'll light a fire to send the kids back, and then I can repair your fireplace before I Disapparate."

 

        From the looks on their faces, Aurelia can tell they don't understand a single word coming out of Arthur's mouth.

 

        "Hello, Harry!" Arthur says, smiling brightly "Got your trunk ready?"

 

        "It's upstairs," Harry replies, grinning.

 

        "We'll get it!" Fred offers at once, winking at Harry.

 

        Aurelia knows that Fred and George are hoping for a glimpse of Dudley. They want to test their Ton-Tongue Toffees on him.

 

        "Well," Arthur says, swinging his arms slightly, "Very — erm — very nice place you've got here."

 

        The remark doesn't sit too well with the Dursleys. Vernon Dursley's face turned purple, Petunia Dursley starts chewing her tongue. However, they seem to be too scared to actually say anything. Arthur looks around the Dursley's house, he loves everything to do with Muggles, she can tell he's itching to go and examine the television and the video recorder.

 

        "They run off eckeltricity, do they?" He says knowledgeably, "Ah yes, I can see the plugs. I collect plugs . . . And batteries. Got a very large collection of batteries. My wife thinks I'm mad, but there you are."

 

        Dudley comes into the room and once again, Aurelia turns her nose into a pig's nose, although he looks scared he glares at her. She turns it back to normal and smiles brightly at him, giggling: "I can do dogs and birds as well — and I can also do this!" She says and morphs her face into a copy of his. Nymphadora had taught her well this summer. Aurelia smiles at him and Dudley yelps, hiding behind his mother, not that it does him much good.

 

        "Ah, this is your cousin, is it, Harry?" Arthur wonders, taking another brave stab at making conversation.

 

        "Yep." Harry replies, "That's Dudley."

 

        "Having a good holiday, Dudley?" He asks kindly but he only receives a whimper in reply.

 

        Fred and George enter the living room and look around. When they spot Dudley, their faces light up with identical evil grins. Oh, this should be fun, Aurelia thinks to herself.

 

        "Ah, right," Arthur announces, brandishing his wand, "Better get cracking then — Incendio!"

 

        Flames rose at once in the fireplace, crackling merrily as though they had been burning for hours. Arthur takes a small drawstring bag from his pocket, unties it and takes a pinch of the powder inside, and throws it onto the flames, which turn emerald green and roar higher than ever.

 

        "Off you go then, Fred," Arthur calls to Fred.

 

        "Coming," Fred says cheerily.

 

        He pretends to trip "Oh no — hang on —" Fred says in a fake tone of surprise, a bag of sweets spills out of his pocket and big, fat toffees in brightly colored wrappers roll in every direction.

 

        Aurelia tries to hide the amused smile on her face but the tone of Fred's voice had really got to her, it's like he's not even trying to make it look or sound like an accident, she shakes her head at him. Fred scrambles around, cramming most of them back into his pocket, then gives the Dursleys a cheery wave. He steps forward and walks right into the fire "The Burrow!" and with a whooshing sound, Fred vanishes.

 

        "Aurelia, you next!"

 

        She follows Fred's actions and soon finds herself back in the kitchen of the burrow.

 

        "Did he eat it?!" Fred asks her.

 

        "Nope, I wish, however, I think he was going to pick one up as I was leaving, I expect he's eaten it by now."

 

        Fred looks thrilled by her answer "Wonderful." He says just as twin appears.

 

        Bill and Charlie shake their heads, although they too look amused.

 

        "I can't believe you three. Trying to give the Muggles heart attacks. Mum will have your heads." Charlie tells them, laughing.

 

        "It'll be worth it." George grins.

 

        When Harry floos in, he lands on his face and Aurelia laughs loudly at this. Fred holds out a hand for Harry, asking: "Did he eat it?"

 

        "Yeah." Harry replies, straightening up, "What was it?"

 

        "Ton-Tongue Toffee." Fred answers, "George and I invented them, and we've been looking for someone to test them on all summer."

 

        The kitchen explodes with laughter. Harry looks around, his gaze lingers on Bill and Charlie, Aurelia realises this must be his first time meeting them.

 

        "How are you doing, Harry?" Charlie wonders, grinning at him. She then remembers Ron telling her that Harry and Hermione had given the baby dragon Hagrid had bought to him sometime back in first year or something along those lines. Aurelia wasn't there to witness that, she was in Delphi's chambers that night, having a late night snack.

 

        Then Bill — the Weasley with the best hair, in Aurelia's opinion; if she's being honest, she's rather jealous of his hair — stands up to shake hands with Harry, before they can say anything there's a faint popping noise.

 

        Arthur apparates next to George, shouting angrily:  "That wasn't funny Fred!" What on earth did you give that Muggle boy?!"

        "I didn't give him anything." Fred replies, "I just dropped it, didn't tell him to eat anything. It's not my fault he ate it, it's all his."

        Aurelia laughs quietly, high-fiving George below the kitchen table.

 

        "You knew he'd eat it!" Arthur roars, "You dropped it on purpose you —"

 

        "How big did his tongue get?" George asks eagerly.

 

        "It was four feet long before his parents let me shrink it!" Arthur answers and they burst out laughing again.

 

        "It isn't funny!" He shouts, "This sort of behavior seriously undermines wizard-Muggle relations! I spend half my life campaigning against the mistreatment against Muggles and my own sons —"

 

        "We didn't give it to him just because he was a Muggle!" Fred exclaims, offended by his father's accusation.

 

        "No, we gave it to him because he's a bullying git." George adds, "Isn't he, Harry?"

 

        "Yeah, he is, Mr. Weasley." Harry replies, earnestly.

 

        "Well, you know the saying, payback is a motherfucker." Aurelia cuts in, cringing slightly after realising she cursed in front of Arthur, the girl's face goes pink with shame as she looks down.

 

        Arthur looks at Aurelia, calmly saying: "Aurelia, please watch your language."

 

        He turns back to Fred and George and continues to scold them, very angrily, might she add. Usually it's Molly who yells at them with an anger so intense, one might think she's about to rip their heads off. Aurelia's rather surprised to see Arthur Weasley so angry, she never thought that'd be possible before today.

 

        "That's not the point!" Arthur continues to shout and Aurelia figures she should go find Delphi and she what she's up to.

 

        "You wait until I tell your mother —"

 

        "Tell me what?"

 

        Now is definitely the time for Aurelia to leave, she doesn't want to witness the wrath of Molly Weasley, even if it's not directed at her. She heads upstairs without a second thought. "Rest in peace, Fred and George, they will be missed." Aurelia mutters to herself as she leaves the kitchen.

 

        "What have they done this time?" Molly demands to know, "If it's got anything to do with Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes —"

 

        The twins are royally screwed.As Aurelia heads upstairs, she can hear Molly continue to chew out the twins. Her tone seems to be unusually calmer than normal so that means she's yet to find out what they've actually done.

 

        "Back so soon, darling?" Delphi calls out, leaning on the railing of the floor above Aurelia, "You didn't maim the Dursleys, now did you?"

 

        "No, Mr. Weasley wouldn't like that." Aurelia replies, sighing.

 

        "Y'know you can call him, Arthur, right?" Delphi wonders, rolling her eyes.

 

        "Maybe I do, maybe I don't."

 

        Ron and Ginny climb up the stairs, laughing as Harry and Hermione follows behind them.

 

        "Mum found this stack of order forms when she was cleaning Fred and George's room. Great long price lists for stuff they've invented, joke stuff, you know. Fake wands and trick sweets, loads of stuff. It was brilliant, I never knew they'd been inventing all that." Ron says quietly.

 

        Aurelia moves to her mum's side to get out of their way.

 

        "We've been hearing explosions out of their room for ages, but we never thought they were actually making things. We thought they just liked the noise." Ginny adds.

 

        With squinted eyes, Harry gapes at Delphi, she stares back at him with a soft smile.

 

        "Oh! That's Professor Black . . . Yeah, she comes here sometimes, she's like our mum's sister." Ron tells him.

 

        "Uh, hi . . . Er, professor?"

 

        Delphi laughs "Hello, Harry, you can call me by name here and you won't get detention, cross my heart."

 

        Harry laughs awkwardly, looking between Delphi, Ron, and Aurelia.

 

       "Anyway, most of the stuff — well, all of it, really — was a bit dangerous, and, you know, they were planning to sell it at Hogwarts to make some money, and Mum went mad at them. Told them they weren't allowed to make any more of it, and burned all the order forms. . . . She's furious at them anyway. They didn't get as many O.W.L.s as she expected." Ron continues on explains.

 

        "And then there was this big row because Mum wants them to go into the Ministry of Magic like Dad, and they told her all they want to do is open a joke shop." Ginny says.

 

        "It was pretty nasty," Aurelia pipes in, "Or so Ellie says."

 

        "They should open a joke shop, they'd be damed good at it." Delphi says firmly, the four teens look at her in surprise, "I know it's not my place to say anythin' but, I think their joke shop could really go places."

 

        Aurelia agrees with her mum wholeheartedly, Fred and George have wanted to open a joke for years, she's seen the products they've created and they're amazing. Next to Ellie and Lee, she's their biggest supporter. When Molly had burned their price and order lists, she had stayed up all night rewriting them. Aurelia'd pay for a place for them in full but they'd never let her do that.

 

        At that moment, Percy opens his door and sticks his head out.

 

        "Hi, Percy." Harry says.

 

        "Oh, hello, Harry." Percy says, "I was wondering who was making all the noise. I'm trying to work in here, you know — I've got a report to finish for the office — and it's rather difficult to concentrate when people keep thundering up and down the stairs."

 

        "Then cast a Silencing Charm on your room." Aurelia suggests.

 

        Percy looks at her and his annoyed expression softens slightly "I suppose I could try that."

 

        "We're not thundering, we're walking. Sorry if we've disturbed the top-secret workings of the Ministry of Magic." Ron says irritably.

 

        "What are you working on?" Harry asks.

 

        "A report for the Department of International Magical Cooperation," Percy replies, "We're trying to standardize cauldron thickness. Some of these foreign imports are just a shade too thin — leakages have been increasing at a rate of almost three percent a year —"

 

        "That'll change the world, that report will," Ron says sarcastically, "Front page of the Daily Prophet, I expect, cauldron leaks."

 

        Percy turns pink.

 

        "I think it's neat." Aurelia interjects in an attempt to save Percy from embarrassment, "Thicker cauldrons would be of great use for Plant Boy, it'd save him from Snape's wrath . . . Maybe."

 

        "Plant Boy?" Ron echoes, "Who the bloody hell is that?"

 

        "Neville, and like I said thicker cauldrons would be very useful for all of us, actually, I swear Snape has the thinnest ones ever imaginable."

 

        Percy gives Aurelia an appreciative nod "She's right, Ron, you might sneer but unless some sort of international law is imposed we might well find the market flooded with flimsy, shallow-bottomed products that seriously endanger —"

 

        Yeah, yeah, all right," Ron says as he, Harry, and Hermione continue up the stairs, Percy scowls at him.

 

        "Don't be so rude, Ronald!" Aurelia calls after him then turns to Percy "Hey, Perce, mind if I hang —"

 

        Percy slams his bedroom door shut.

 

        Her smile fades "Or I can go do something else, that's fine."

 

        Delphi pats her shoulder "He mustn't of heard you, darling."

 

        "Right, right. I've got a poem to finish anyway." Aurelia says softly.

 

        "Very well, I'm gonna go help Molls with dinner. I believe we're eating outside tonight." Delphi says, smiling.

 

        "That's alright, she can come hang out with me." Ginny says, looking smug as she practically had Aurelia cornered again.

        "Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw!" Aurelia mutters, quoting her favourite Muggle movie as she tries to find away out of this dreaded conversation with Ginny. She looks to Delphi for help but Delphi is already walking away and although Aurelia can't see her face, she knows that there's an amused smile on her mum's face.

 

        Aurelia tries to dart around Ginny but the younger girl is much too quick for that and her sun-kissed arm shoots out and blocks Aurelia's path "Not so fast, Blue, I have some questions for you."

 

        Questions, Aurelia thinks as she deflates slightly, now that doesn't sound all that bad "Uh, okay, er, fire away?"

 

        "What did I do wrong?" Ginny asks, giving her a sad look and she looks so vulnerable and it confuses Aurelia.

 

        "What do you mean?"

 

        "You've been ignoring me and when we do talk it's — it's bloody awkward! We've know each other for years, I thought we were long past that so what did I do wrong?"

 

        "Ginny, my father nearly killed you and you're acting like you're the one who did something wrong?!" Aurelia asks in disbelief, keeping her voice low so the other don't overhear her.

 

        "Then why are you ignoring me?" Ginny stresses, clutching her fists at her sides as she gives Aurelia a look that she swears pierces through her soul.

 

        "My father nearly killed you!" Aurelia repeats herself, that itself is pretty explanatory, she can't explain it any simpler than that.

        "You tried to save me when you seen the diary and I lead the basilisk to attack you!" Ginny argues, "I could've — he could have killed you too, if you didn't glance in that mirror before that monster rounded the corner you would've died! I'm not special, he's killed lots of people. That's no reason to ignore me, Blue!"

 

        "It's all my fault though."

 

        Realisation dawns on Ginny who exclaims "You daft, insecure, little — that's it! That's why you — I don't blame you, Blue!"

        "You — you don't?"

 

        "No!" Ginny laughs in relief and then she's opening her arms wide and Aurelia is falling into them, laughing in relief just like Ginny, "You're so dumb, Blue, how could you even think that I would blame you for such a thing?"

 

        "I don't bloody know!" Aurelia laughs, clinging to Ginny.

 

        "Never assume that shit again, Blue, or so help me, I'll kick your bloody ass!" Ginny threatens, squeezing Aurelia tightly and rocking her back and forth for good measure.


 

⭐️
 

        HOURS LATER, GINNY and Aurelia sit out on the Weasley's lawn, shoulder to shoulder, laughing loudly as though nothing had come between them; it was like the good old times. Bill and Charlie both have their wands out, making two battered old tables fly high above the lawn, smashing into each other, each attempting to knock the other's out of the air. Fred, George, and Ellie cheering them along and Aurelia and Ginny are laughing over them. Bill's table caught Charlie's with a huge bang and knocks one of its legs off.

 

        "YES MOTHERFUCKER!" Ellie bellows loudly, pointing in Fred's face before turning to George and snogging him aggressively.

 

        Aurelia hears a window being opened, shortly after she hears Percy bellow out: "Will you keep it down?!"

 

        "Sorry, Perce! How're the cauldron bottoms coming on?" Bill calls out.

 

        "Very badly." Percy replies peevishly, slamming his window shut.

 

        "That's probably because he's being distracted by somebody's half-brother." Ginny whispers teasingly in Aurelia's ear.

 

        Aurelia laughs "I'm honestly starting to think you're right, I haven't seen Pollux all afternoon. Which is odd, especially with all the pranks he could use to scare me and Ellie."

 

        Bill and Charlie direct the tables safely onto the grass, end to end, and then with a flick of his wand, Bill reattaches the table leg and conjures tablecloths from nowhere.

 

        By seven o'clock, the two tables were groaning under dishes and dishes of Mrs. Weasley's excellent cooking, and the nine Weasleys, Harry, Delphi, Ellie, Pollux, and Aurelia sat themselves down to enjoy a nice dinner. Delphi sits next to Aurelia who sits next to Percy and Pollux, while Elliot sits next to George.

 

        Aurelia grabs some ham and potatoes as she listens in on the conversation Percy is having with Arthur "I've told Mr. Crouch that I'll have it ready by Tuesday," Percy says, "That's a bit sooner than he expected it, but I like to keep on top of things. I think he'll be grateful I've done it in good time, I mean, it's extremely busy in our department just now, what with all the arrangements for the World Cup. We're just not getting the support we need from the Department of Magical Games and Sports. Ludo Bagman —"

 

        "I like Ludo." Arthur says mildly, "He was the one who got us such good tickets for the Cup. I did him a bit of a favor: His brother, Otto, got into a spot of trouble — a lawnmower with unnatural powers — I smoothed the whole thing over."

 

        "Oh Bagman's likable enough, of course!" Percy says dismissively, "But, how he ever got to be Head of Department . . . When I compare him to Mr. Crouch! I can't see Mr. Crouch losing a member of our department and not trying to find out what's happened to them. You realize Bertha Jorkins has been missing for over a month now? Went on holiday to Albania and never came back?"

 

        "Yes, I was asking Ludo about that," Arthur replies then frowns, "He says Bertha's gotten lost plenty of times before now — though I must say, if it was someone in my department, I'd be worried. . ."

 

        "Oh. Bertha's hopeless, all right. I hear she's been shunted from department to department for years, much more trouble than she's worth . . . But all the same, Bagman ought to be trying to find her. Mr. Crouch has been taking a personal interest, she worked in our department at one time, you know, and I think Mr. Crouch was quite fond of her — but Bagman just keeps laughing and saying she probably misread the map and ended up in Australia instead of Albania. However —" Percy lets out an sigh and takes a deep swig of his drink, "We've got quite enough on our plates at the Department of International Magical Cooperation without trying to find members of other departments too. As you know, we've got another big event to organize right after the World Cup."

 

        The Triwizard Tournament, Aurelia thinks with a shudder.

 

        Percy clears his throat, glancing toward the end of the table where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are sitting. "You know the one I'm talking about, Father." He raises his voice slightly, "The top-secret one."

 

        "You mean —" Aurelia begins to say but Delphi clamps at hand over her a mouth.

 

        "Don't you dare, Asterope Aurelia." Her mum hisses in her ear, "You are not supposed to know."

 

        Aurelia sighs dramatically but drops it and grabs some more potatoes "When will we be going dress shopping, mum?"

 

        "Some time after the World Cup, have you thought of what kind of dress you want, perhaps I could make you one?"

 

        "Something extravagant and yellow . . . Maybe a pale pink colour."

 

        Delphi rolls her eyes "O' course, yellow, why did I even bother asking?" She says playfully.

 

        "To be polite, I suppose." Aurelia drawls out teasingly then she glances around the table, her green eyes landing on Molly who is fussing over Bill.

 

        "Mum, no one at the bank gives a damn how I dress as long as I bring home plenty of treasure." Bill says patiently.

 

        "And your hair's getting silly, dear," Molly tells him, "I wish you'd let me give it a trim. . ."

 

        "I like it." Ginny says, "You're so old-fashioned, Mum. Anyway, it's nowhere near as long as Professor Dumbledore's!"

 

        "Long hair is the Shiiiiiitake Mushrooms . . . It suits you, Willy." Aurelia pipes in.

 

        Bill rolls his eyes at the silly nickname and her very lame attempt at covering up her cursing.

 

        "That's true!" Ellie agrees, jumping into their conversation and leaving the one he had been in with the twins and Charlie. "Long hair and eyeliner on guys is positively lovely."

 

        "It sounds like you just described yourself there, Ellie."

 

        "Is that something you're into, Bill?" He asks teasingly, giving the older boy a wink.

 

        George chokes on his drink, narrowing his eyes at Bill and Ellie.

 

        "I'm into that on girls. Sorry to disappoint." Bill jokes.

 

        Ellie laughs loudly then turns back to the twins, throwing his arm around George's shoulder and he agrees with Charlie who's talking about the Quidditch World Cup.

 

        "It's got to be Ireland," Charlie says thickly, through a mouthful of potato, "They flattened Peru in the semifinals."

 

        "Bulgaria has got Viktor Krum, though." Ellie says.

 

        "Krum's one decent player, Ireland has got seven," Charlie says shortly, "I wish England had got through. That was embarrassing, that was."

 

        "What happened?" Harry asks eagerly.

 

        "Went down to Transylvania, three hundred and ninety to ten," Charlie replies gloomily, "Shocking performance. And Wales lost to Uganda, and Scotland was slaughtered by Luxembourg."

 

        "Scotland was a disaster." Ellie groans, sounding more than disappointed.

 

        "So, just like your life?" Aurelia teases.

 

        Ellie glares at her then smiles sweetly "You mean just like your life? I'm not the disaster of our family here."

 

        "What? I hope you don't mean me?" Aurelia says shocked, "You surely must be talking about Pollux!"

 

        Ellie laughs loudly and Pollux laughs dryly as he gives her a dirty look but his expression softens as Percy nudges his shoulder and Aurelia smiles brightly at him.

 

        "Our entire family is a disaster." Pollux says, rolling our eyes.


 


⭐️




━━ AUTHOR'S NOTE:


 

 

Unfortunately I have decided not to make Remdora a thing in this AU because of how Remus is connected to the Black family in this story, like he spent a lot of time around Nymphadora growing up in the Yellow/Make Them Gold Timeline so it just feels weird to me. So Remus is technically already with someone and has kids, we'll officially meet them in act two, and Nymphadora after she gets over her crush on Remus will end up with an OC of mine in the sequel!!!



Chapter 6: Carrow vs. Weasley: the Pranking Menaces
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ACT i, CHAPTER v:
CHAPTER FIVE: carrow vs. weasley: the pranking menaces
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        THE MORNING OF the Quidditch World Cup is an early one and usually Aurelia is impartial to early mornings but on this particular morning she finds herself in a foul mood. She reasons with herself that it's because she has to climb Stoatshead Hill at such an ungodly hour in the morning but as she looks out Ginny's window she can see the full moon peaking out through some clouds and she knows it's not the hill that's making her feel so pissy.

 

        "Merlin, this is worse than my period." Aurelia grumbles to herself as she sits up on the mattress, she lightly pushes Ginny's hand off of her stomach. Ginny's bed is right next to her mattress and the two girls had fallen asleep talking to themselves, Ginny's leg hung off her mattress and so did her arm, at this Ginny stirs.

 

        "What's worse than what?" Ginny mumbles sleepily, trying to open her eyes but failing.

 

        "Nothing." Aurelia whispers, gently placing Ginny back into her bed properly and tucking her in, Ginny tries to insist that Aurelia tell her but it comes out as a jumbled mess of word that are too quiet to hear. After that Aurelia heads downstairs to see if anyone's up already.

 

        Her mum, Pollux, Molly, and Arthur are up and Molly and Delphi are already starting on breakfast which means they're planning on waking up the kids soon. Upon seeing Aurelia enter the kitchen, Delphi pauses in her scrambling of the eggs to come over and kiss Delphi's head "Good morning, my darling."

 

        "Morning, mum." Aurelia mumbles, wiping the sleep from her eyes as she kisses Delphi's cheek.

 

        "Breakfast's almost done, love, are any of the other girls up?"

 

        Aurelia shakes her head "Gin woke up for a bit but I think she's gone right back to sleep and Hermione's been sleeping like a rock since her head hit the pillow."

 

        "Alright, well, I'll get the girls, Molls, you want to get the boys?" Delphi asks, glancing at Molly who nods.

 

        "Look after the bacon will you, Blue?" Molly asks politely before Aurelia can respond, Pollux snorts loudly looking up from his library book he had been reading.

 

        "Don't do that, she'll burn this place down. I'll do it." Pollux says, putting his book down and then getting up to watch the stove. Aurelia sticks her tongue out at him behind his back but somehow he must know that she's doing it because he says "I'll cut it off, Ass, I swear on Merlin's left ballsack."

 

        Molly and Delphi had already left the kitchen so all Pollux gets is a "Language." from Arthur, who doesn't even glance away from his paper.

 

        Aurelia takes out her wand and uses it to turn on the kettle, it's not until she feels Arthur's burning gaze on the back of her neck that she realises that she wasn't supposed to do that as she's underage. She often forgets this because Delphi lets them use magic all the time at Almerry Castle, says the trace on them won't work there because of what Aurelia assumes is some kind of ancient magic. Of course, Aurelia isn't going to get into trouble as this is a Pureblood household but she knew Molly and Arthur frowned upon the use of underage magic. She smiles sheepishly and tucks her wand back into its' holster.

 

        Aurelia doesn't often use underage magic unless she's seen Delphi do it first, she's always witnessed Delphi turn the kettle on with a silent wave of her wand, Aurelia doesn't even know the name of the spell, she just knows the movement. She isn't that good at magic to do underage magic often. Sitting down at the table across from Arthur, Aurelia waits for the kettle to boil and she drifts off as she waits.

 

        When she opens her eyes again, George is standing behind her, yawning loudly as he asks "Where's Bill and Charlie and Per — per — Percy?"

 

        All the boys are standing in the kitchen, Delphi had returned to cooking breakfast, Pollux is sitting back at the table and is reading his book again. Aurelia wonders how long she had dozed off for, there's a steaming cup of tea made just the way she likes it in front of her and to her right Harry is taking a seat.

 

        "Well, they're apparating, aren't they?" Molly replies to George, placing the bacon in a basket on the kitchen table.

 

        "In other words, they're still sleeping? Aurelia says grumpily, narrowing her eyes at nothing. She rests her chin on her fist, sighing as she does so, those lucky little shits.

 

        "Aye, so they can have a bit of a lie in." Delphi adds then looks to Molly for confirmation, Molly nods.

 

        Fred grumpily pulls his bowl of porridge towards him, Aurelia laughs softly at the disdained expression on his face although she's rather bitter that they got to sleep in more too. Fred gives Aurelia a look and whispers: "Those lucky gits."

 

        "Why can't we apparate too?" George asks.

 

        "Because you're not of age and you haven't passed your test!" Molly snaps.

 

        George looks taken back by his mother's sharp tone, once again Aurelia laughs quietly, shaking her head and smiling.

 

        "And where have those girls got to?" Molly wonders, shaking her head as she bustles out of the kitchen.

 

        Aurelia follows shortly after her as she still needs to brush her hair and teeth and grab her bag of things for the trip. After doing those things, Aurelia hoists her messenger bag over her shoulder and then puts on her sun-shaped gold necklace. She pauses in front of Fred and George's room, the door's open a crack and the lights are off. Aurelia smirks, should she? She thinks for a moment before nodding to herself, placing her hand on their door, she should. As she exits the twins' room she bumps into Hermione and Ginny. Hermione stares her down, suspicious.

 

        "Good morning, Hermione, Ginny."

 

        Hermione raises her eyebrow "What are you up to?"

 

        "Oh, just leaving a surprise for the twins." Aurelia answers as nonchalantly as she can. At this Ginny snickers while Hermione rolls her eyes, then the three of them head downstairs. The kitchen is looking more lively than it had been before Aurelia went upstairs. Delphi ruffles her hair as she passes by to take a seat at the table.

 

        "Why do we have to be up so early?" Ginny asks, rubbing her eyes and sitting down at the table.

 

        "We've got a bit of a walk." Arthur replies.

 

        "Walk?" Harry asks, "What? Are we walking to the World Cup?"

 

        "If that's the case, do you really think I'd be going, Harold?" Aurelia snorts.

 

        Harry gives her a look.

 

        "No, no, that's miles away," Arthur says, smiling, "We only need to walk a short way. It's just that it's very difficult for a large number of wizards to congregate without attracting Muggle attention. We have to be very careful about how we travel at the best of times, and on a huge occasion like the Quidditch World Cup —"

 

        "George!" Molly says sharply, they all jump.

 

        "What?" George asks, in an innocent tone that deceives nobody.

 

        "What is that in your pocket?"

 

        "Nothing!"

 

        "Don't you lie to me!"

 

        Molly points her wand at George's pocket and says: "Accio!"

 

        Several small, brightly coloured objects zoomed out of George's pocket; he tries to grab for them but misses, and they speed right into Molly's outstretched hand.

 

        "We told you to destroy them!" Molly scolds furiously, holding up what are unmistakably more Ton-Tongue Toffees, "We told you to get rid of the lot! Empty your pockets, go on, both of you!"

 

        It's an unpleasant scene that upsets Aurelia, she knows how hard the twins had worked on the Ton-Tongue-Toffees, Ellie looks close to tears as he tugs on Delphi's shirt for help.

 

        "Accio! Accio! Accio!" Molly shouts, and toffees zoomed from all sorts of unlikely places, including the lining of George's jacket and the turn-ups of Fred's jeans.

 

        "We spent six months developing those!" Fred shouts at his mother as she begins to throw the toffees away.

 

        Delphi grabs the rest from Molly "Come on, Molls . . . They worked hard on those . . . I know they don't use them right but that's no reason to destroy their hard work! Just put them to the side until they get back."

 

        Molly rounds on Delphi "You stay out of this!" then Molly rounds on the twins again and shrieks "What a fine way to spend six months! No wonder you didn't get more O.W.L.s!"

 

        "Molls, please, they're just having fun! You can't deny that these are brilliant, they can make good money off of this . . ."

 

        "I told you to stay out of this, Delphi! Stop telling me how to raise my children, what would you know, you just let Aurelia and Pollux do whatever they want! You're no —" Molly stops herself, realising that she's about to cross a line.

 

        Delphi's expression hardens, as does Pollux's and Aurelia's because they know what Molly had meant to say.

 

        "I'm 'no' what?" Delphi questions her, her once harden expression turning into a bitter smile, daring Molly to say it.
 

        Molly gulps and shakes her head, mumbling: "Nothing, nothing."

 

        "No, go on, Molls . . . Say it, I'm 'no' what?" Delphi says, crossing her arms over her chest as she raises an eyebrow, the room goes silent and tense.

 

        But, Molly bows her head and refuses to say anything more, Delphi gives Molly a cold stare and slides the Ton-Tongue Toffees she had managed to save into her pocket and she addresses the twins and Ellie "You three ain't getting these until after the World Cup, you understand me, boys."

 

        The twins and Ellie nod their heads, they know better than to cross Delphi even if she's usually laid back, and never goes through with her threats.

 

        All is not friendly in the atmosphere as the group takes to their departure for the Quidditch World Cup. Molly is still glowering as she kisses Arthur on the cheek, but the older woman isn't glowering as much as the twins are. Fred and George hoist their rucksacks onto their backs and walk out the door without so much as a word to their mother, Ellie follows behind them.

 

        "Well have a lovely time. And behave yourselves!" She calls out to the twins' and Elliet's retreating backs, neither of them look back or answers.

 

        "I'll send, Bill, Charlie, Percy, and Pollux along around midday." Molly says to Arthur, as he, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Delphi, and Aurelia set off across the dark yard after Fred, George, and Ellie.

 

        It's chilly and the moon is still out, the only sign that dawn is drawing closer is the bright greenish tinge along the horizon. Aurelia wraps her yellow corduroy jacket around her thin frame as she slows down to her mum's pace.

 

        "Mum, you alright?" Aurelia asks.

 

        Delphi fakes a smile and nods her head "O' course, I am . . . Molly doesn't —"

 

        "I think you're a mother." Aurelia says, "And so does Lux! Hell, he even calls you 'mum'! You're just as much a mother as Molly is!"

 

        Molly and Delphi surprisingly get into this fight a lot, usually they got along like white on rice but when they did get into a fight it would always lead to the whole 'you're not real mother' card no matter what had started the fight. Aurelia doesn't think it's very fair of Molly to say because she doesn't think that Delphi can have her own.

 

        When Aurelia was little she would always pester Delphi, asking why she didn't have any children of her own because she was such a good adoptive mum and when she'd ask that, Delphi would get really sad. Delphi would kiss her on the forehead and say: "'Cause, wee star, I'm happy with the two I have.". Eventually, Aurelia stopped asking especially after realising that Delphi would tear up when she asked. She assumes that for whatever reasons, Delphi just can't have children which is terribly sad because Aurelia's rather certain that Delphi wanted children that shared her blood.

 

        "She really needs to stop doing that to you." Aurelia says firmly.

 

        "I know," Delphi sighs, "But that's how Molly is and how we've always been and I've learned to ignore."

 

        "You shouldn't have to ignore it because you shouldn't be hearing those things. You don't deserve it, mum." Aurelia says and she means it, nearly every time that Molly and Delphi get together, especially in the recent years, Molly ends up throwing that 'real mother' bullshit in Delphi's face — the great 'Carrow vs. Weasley fight' as Pollux calls it, he calls Delphi by her maiden name for this because apparently a Black would never stoop so low as to fight with a Weasley. Aurelia thinks he's wrong because if her mama heard Molly talking to her mum like that, she knows that her mama wouldn't hesitate to knock Molly the fuck out for it.

 

        Delphi smiles softly and pats Aurelia's head "Thank you, wee star. Go on now, I'm sure you'd much rather hang out with the others."

 

        "But —"

 

        "I'll be fine, you needn't worry about me, wee star."

 

        "Okay . . . If you're sure . . ."

 

        "I'm positive, now get!" Delphi insists, gently shoving Aurelia towards the twins and Ellie.

 

        Aurelia in her exhausted state, struggles to catch up to the twins and Elliot, who are walking a great deal faster than the rest of the group.

 

        "Fred! George! Ellie!" She calls out to them, "Wait up!"

 

        Fred slows down a bit while it looks as though George has sped up and Ellie, like the lovesick fool that he is, naturally follows his lead.

 

        "You dinks!" Aurelia says, walking faster, determined to catch up with them, "I'll fight you if you don't slow the frick down!" at this remark, Fred chuckles allowing Aurelia to catch up to him. She looks over her shoulder to see that Arthur is occupied in a conversation with Harry, Aurelia then reaches into her pockets pulling out a handful of Ton-Tongue Toffees.

 

        "What? Where did you get those?" Fred asks, disbelief lacing his tone.

 

        "I pulled them out of my ass." Aurelia replies as she rolls her eyes "Where do you think I got them, you dafter wanker, I got them from your room when I went to get my stuff. I know you and George wouldn't be able to resist bringing them. But as always, I know you two would be caught and as always, I was right —"

 

        Fred laughs as he exclaims: "Hey! We do not —"

 

        "Tut, tut. lemme finish." She scolds playfully, Fred falls silent, playfully scowling at Aurelia. "So I grabbed some when I passed your room. You're welcome."

 

        "Thanks, Blue, how can I ever repay you?" Fred says mockingly as he takes the Ton-Tongue Toffees from her hand, "Oh, Georgie, look what our little prankster in training has done."

 

        "Ha, ha, ha. I'm am not your prankster in training. I don't do pranks as religiously as you do, but if I did, I wouldn't get caught like you guys do."

 

        "Hey! We do not!" Ellie exclaims.

 

        "Sure you guys don't, Ellie."

 

        "Fuck you, Lia."

 

        Fred splits up the Ton-Tongue Toffees Aurelia had given him between Geroge and Ellie.

 

        Stoatshead Hill appears in the distance, Aurelia groans "Aww, shite. Please don't tell me we have to climb that, Mr. Weasley."

 

        "Watch your language, Blue. Yes, we have to climb it" Arthur answers, "And please call me, Arthur."

 

        "Aww, Mr. Arthur! Can't we go around it?"

 

        "Arthur! Just call me, Arthur, not Mr. Weasley or Mr. Arthur, just Arthur and no, Blue we cannot go around it."

 

        She groans again.

 

        None of the Weasleys, Harry, Hermione, Elliot, Mae, or Aurelia have a breath to spare for talking as they climb up Stoatshead Hill. She almost falls three times climbing the hill, although Aurelia can run faster than most and not get out of breath, she despises physical activity greatly, especially when it comes to climbing. Even after the werewolf attack had enhanced her senses and stamina, Aurelia still despises it, unless it's Quidditch.

 

        "Whew." Arthur pants, taking off his glasses and wiping them on his sweater, "Well, we've made good time — we've got ten minutes."

 

        Hermione comes over the crest of the hill, quickly followed by Aurelia, who is, of course, last. Both girls are clutching a stitch in their side.

 

        "I want death." Aurelia whines, wanting nothing more to lie on the ground and fall asleep.

 

        "You always want death." Ginny says.

 

        "That's true." She agrees half-heartedly with a shrug of her shoulders, leaning onto Ginny's arm and letting out a huge yawn.

 

        "Now we just need to find the portkey." Arthur says, putting his now clean glasses back on. He squints at the groun, "It won't be big . . . Come on . . ."

 

        They had only been looking around for the Portkey for a couple of minutes when a familiar shout rings through the air. "Over here, Arthur! Over here, son, we've got it!" Two figures are silhouetted against the starry sky on the other side of the hilltop.

 

        "Amos!" Arthur calls out to the voice, he strides over to the two people and the group follows behind him. Arthur shakes hands with a ruddy-faced wizard of the name, Amos Diggory, who holds a mouldy boot in his other hand.

 

        "This is Amos Diggory, everybody." Arthur says, introducing the ruddy-faced wizard to the group, "He works for the Department for the regulation and control of magical creatures. I think you all know his son, Cedric."

 

        Aurelia rushes forward to hug her fellow Hufflepuff friend. "Ced!" She exclaims, startling him as she hugs him tightly. She hadn't seen him at all so far this summer which is unusual because her mum happens to be best friends with Cedric's dad.

 

        "Hello, Blue!" He greets, hugging her in return.

 

        "Hi!" Cedric says looking at the group, everybody says it back with the exception of Fred and George, who merely nod. The twins still have not forgiven Cedric or even Aurelia for beating their team in the first Quidditch match of the previous year; but at least they were talking to Aurelia.

 

        "Long walk, Arthur?" Amos asks Arthur.

 

        "Not too bad." Arthur replies, "We just live on the other side of the village."

 

        "Not to bad?" Aurelia echoes in disbelief, "Why, Mr. Arthur, it was terrible. I can't feel my legs."

 

        "Don't be so dramatic, my darling." Delphi says, shaking her head as she smiles at Amos.

 

        "We had to get up at two, didn't we, Ced?" Amos says Arthur and Delphi, "I tell you I'll be glad when he passes his apparation test. Still, not complaining . . . Quidditch World Cup, wouldn't miss it for a sack full of galleons — and the tickets cost about that. Mind you, looks like I got off easy. All these yours, Arthur?"

 

        "Oh, no. Only the redheads." Arthur replies, "And, you know that Blue's Delphi's girl and Ellie's her nephew. This is Hermione Granger — a friend of Ron's, and this is Harry Potter, anoth —"

 

        "Merlin's beard!" Amos gasps, "Harry? Harry Potter?!"

 

        This always happens, Aurelia knows this makes Harry uncomfortable. He's the boy who lived, the boy who defeated the Lord Voldemort a.k.a Aurelia's biological father when he was merely one-years-old. Harry's been famous ever since that night, he didn't even know that until his eleventh birthday, after all, he grew up with Muggles, his aunt and uncle never once told him about the wizarding world while he grew up. Aurelia remembers meeting Harry on the train four years ago, during their first year at Hogwarts, it had been a rather awkward encounter. An encounter which lead to Aurelia creating a whole new identity for herself because she panicked. It's a good thing that Delphi had her and Pollux's surnames changed to have them protected or else Harry's fame wouldn't be the only thing making him feel uncomfortable.

 

        "Ced's talked about you, of course." Amos says "He told us all about playing against you last year. . . I said to him. I said — Ced, that'll be something your grandchildren, that will — you beat Harry Potter!"

 

        The twins scowl once again, Aurelia expects Cedric's father to brag about that, although he meant no harm by it, he's only proud of his son. That's just how Amos is and always has been.

 

        Cedric, however, looks downright embarrassed "Harry fell off his broom, dad." Cedric mutters, "I told you, it was an accident and it was technically Aurelia who beat him, she's our seeker after all."

 

        "Yes, but she didn't fall off her broom." Amos laughs slapping Cedric's back, "Always modest our Ced, always the gentleman, but the best man — er, woman — won. I'm sure Harry would agree, wouldn't you? One falls off their broom, the other stays on, you don't need a genius to tell which one is a better flier!" Amos laughs loudly.

 

        "Harry was literally attacked by a Dementor while on a broom, hundreds of feet in the air but he's totally not a good flier at all." Aurelia says sarcastically.

 

        Amos falls silent realising that she had a point and he has the decency to look bashful as he drops the subject.

 

        A moment goes by and then Arthur speaks up, directing everyone's attention back to him. "Must be nearly time." Arthur says quickly, pulling out his watch

 

        "Does your dad need some ice for that burn?" Fred asks Cedric as he pulls Aurelia into a one-armed hug.

 

        Cedric laughs lightly and punches Aurelia's shoulder gently "You got him, didn't you, Blue?"

 

        "You fucking bet I did."

 

        "And you're never going to let him forget it, are you?"

 

        "Absolutely not."

 

        "Do you know whether we're waiting for anymore?" Delphi asks, looking between Amos and Arthur

 

        "No, the Lovegoods have been there for a week already and the Fawcetts couldn't get tickets." Amos replies, "There aren't any more of us in the area, are there?"

 

        "None that I know of." Arthur says, "Yes, it's a minute off, we'd better get ready." Arthur looks at the group, his gaze lingering on Harry and Hermione. "You just need to touch the Portkey, that's all, a finger will do." Arthur explains.

 

        Aurelia knows all about Portkeys, she's used them only a couple times and they always make her nauseous. She prefers Apparation over Portkeys. She eyes the mouldy boot warily "Why does it have to be a bloody Portkey?"

 

        The group crowds around the old boot, that's being held out by Amos. They stand in a tight circle, and she can't help but think that this might look pretty odd if a Muggle happens to walk by. A group of redheads, a badly dressed old man, and three teenagers standing around an old boot will certainly give off some warning signs, if a Muggle had saw them they'd probably think they're in a cult that worships old mouldy boots.

 

        "Three . . ." Arthur mutters, still eyeing his watch "Two . . . One . . ."

 

        She yelps out as she finds herself being blown about in the wind, holding onto a damn moldy boot for dear life, this Quidditch World Cup is really testing her. She regrets asking those tickets. Everyone's shoulders are bumping into each other, the wind's howling in Aurelia's ears, she squeezes her eyes shut. As suddenly as it starts, it stops.

 

        Aurelia feels her feet hit solid ground and she struggles to keep herself from toppling over. Her windswept hair is covering most of her view but through her thick strands of hair, she can see that Fred, Hermione, George, Ron, Ginny, and Harry are on the ground entangled in each other. She looks to her left, making herself even dizzier than she already is, Cedric, Arthur, Amos, Ellie, and Delphi are standing perfectly still looking as if nothing had happened with the exception of them looking very windswept.

 

        Then without warning, Aurelia falls over, she sighs in defeat as her face came in contact with the wet grass. She wonders if this is how Nymphadora feels on a daily basis.

 

        Delphi laughs loudly and helps her up "I used to hate Portkeys too, are you alright, Lia?"

 

        Aurelia nods as Delphi brushes the dirt off her shirt.

 

        Ellie snickers as he looks around "This is certainly going to be fun finding our tent. . . Isn't it, Auntie Del? Good thing we have a Hufflepuff with us because they're particularly good —"

 

        Aurelia karate chops him in the throat with zero hesitation and he chokes on his words "Let. That. Die." She seethes.

 

        "Hey! What have I told you about karate choppin' Elias in the throat?!" Delphi scolds, "That's dangerous! Karate chop him in the stomach, it's less harmful but just as painful!"


 

 

⭐️

 

        ONCE THEY FIND their tents and they had made themselves at home in it, Arthur has Aurelia, Harry, Ron, and Hermione go and get water for the camp. Aurelia isn't paying much attention to her surroundings, she's busy trying to ignore the smell of damp grasp and and the flashes of memories and sounds it brings. From the snarling to the screaming, the burning and the wet feeling of —

 

        Ron breaks her train of thought, asking: "Er, is it just my eyes or has everything gone green?"

 

        Aurelia turns her hair green which isn't that hard as she's feeling a bit queasy from her thoughts and then she does her best to smile teasingly at Ron.
 

        "Don't mess with me like this, Blue, my brain is too fragile for that." He says, nudging her shoulder.

 

        The four of them had walked into a patch of tents covered in thick growths of shamrocks. From behind them, a familiar voice calls out their names. Aurelia can recognize that voice anywhere. It's Seamus Finnigan, he's sitting in front of one of the tents with his mother and Dean Thomas. Both Dean and Seamus are Gryffindors and Aurelia's not exactly friends with them but she knows them well enough to know that they're both madly in love with each other. Her and Ginny have a bet with a twins on how long it will take them to get together, she thinks half the school is in on it.

 

        "Like the decorations?" Seamus wonders, "The ministry isn't too happy about it."

 

        "Ah, and why shouldn't we show our colours." Mrs. Finnigan says.

 

        "You should see what the Bulgarians have dangling all over their tents. You'll be supporting Ireland, of course?" She adds, eyeing them beadily, when they assure her they are indeed supporting Ireland, they set off again.

 

        "Like we'd say anything else surrounded by that lot." Ron quips.

 

        Aurelia laughs and then suggests: "Let's go see what the Bulgarians have on their tents!"

 

        Harry nods in agreement then points to a large patch of tents upheld, where the Bulgarian flag — white, green, and red — is fluttering in the breeze. The tents here haven't been bedecked with plant life, but each and every one of them have the same poster attached to it, a poster of a very surly face with heavy black eyebrows.

 

        Aurelia recognises the face as Viktor Krum, he happens to be both Ron and Ellie's celebrity crush. She had to hear Ellie rant and rave all about Viktor Krum all summer, it's almost as bad as when he rants and raves about George and his 'cute shoulders'. Aurelia can't understand how anyone can think shoulders are cute. Ellie's strange but Aurelia can't say anything because he has too much dirt on her that he's not afraid to use.

 

        "Krum." Ron says quietly.

 

        "What?" Hermione asks.

 

        "Krum!" Ron replies, "Viktor Krum, the Bulgarian Seeker!"

 

        "He looks really grumpy," Hermione says, looking around at the many Krums blinking and scowling at them.

 

        Aurelia giggles loudly and says: "He does, doesn't he?"

 

        "Really grumpy?" Ron echoes, "Who cares what he looks like? He's unbelievable. He's really young too. Only just eighteen or something. He's a genius, you wait until tonight, you'll see."

 

        Finally they make their way to the water source, there's already a small queue for the water tap in the corner of the field, the four of them join in right behind a pair of men in a heated argument. One of them is a very old wizard with a long beard wearing a flowery nightgown, the other is clearly a Ministry wizard, he's holding out a pair of pinstriped trousers almost crying with exasperation.

 

        "Just put them on, Archie! You can't walk around like that, the Muggle at the gate's already getting suspicious —"

 

        "I bought this in a Muggle shop." The old wizard retorts stubbornly, "Muggles wear them."

 

        "Muggle women wear them, Archie! Not men, they wear these." The Ministry wizard argues brandishing the pinstriped trousers.

 

        "I'm not wearing them." Archie says simply, "I like a healthy breeze around my privates, thanks."

 

        Hermione is overcome with a strong fit of giggles and she has to move away to gain her composure. Aurelia bites her lip to keep from giggling but she fails miserably and has to walk away just like Hermione. She stumbles over to a nearby tree and she leans against it for support. She's laughing so hard it hurt, Aurelia is struggling to regain her composure.

 

        "What's so funny?" An airy voice, Aurelia knows all too well, asks.
       
        She takes a deep breath to calm herself "Lu — Luna, 'ello!" She exclaims, looking up to see Luna Lovegood standing before her, an empty bucket in her hands.

 

        "Hello, Aurelia." Luna says in her usual dreamy tone, "How was your summer?"

 

        "It was wonderful, Luna, thanks for asking! How was yours?" Aurelia replies eagerly.

 

        "Oh, it absolutely wonderful! Father and I Learned about Wrackspurts this summer, a very interesting creature." Luna explains.

 

        "That sounds lovely. I think Harry and Ron have gotten some water, so we best head back to our tent. It was nice seeing you, Luna, I'll see you at school!"

 

        "Okay, bye Aurelia, tell Ellie I said hello!"

 

        "I will!" Aurelia says, over her shoulder as she goes to grab an extra bucket of water from Ron to make the trip easier for him

 

        Walking more slowly now, because of the weight of the water, they made their way back through the campsite. Here and there, they encounter more familiar faces: other Hogwarts students with their families. Oliver Wood, the old captain of Harry's House Quidditch team, who had just left Hogwarts, drags the four of them over to his parents' tent to introduce Harry, and tells them all, excitedly, that he had just been signed to the Puddlemere United reserve team.

 

        Next they're hailed by Ernie Macmillan, a Aurelia's fellow Hufflepuff fourth year, and a little farther on they see Cho Chang, a very pretty girl who plays Seeker on the Ravenclaw team. She waves and smiles at Harry, who slopped quite a lot of water down his front as he waved back.

 

        "Nice one, Harold." Aurelia snickers, earning a glare from Harry.

 

        "Oh, like you're any better, Asterope."

 

        "No offence, mate, but she kind of is." Ron says with a smirk, "She makes not only Ginny swoon but Fred too . . . Not to mention, half the people in our year."

 

        More to stop his friends from teasing him further than anything, Harry hurriedly points out a large group of teenagers whom he had never seen before.

 

        "Who d'you reckon they are?" Harry asks, "They don't go to Hogwarts, do they?"

 

        "'Spect they go to some foreign school," Ron replies, "I know there are others. Never met anyone who went to one, though. Bill had a penfriend at a school in Brazil . . . This was years and years ago . . . And he wanted to go on an exchange trip but Mum and Dad couldn't afford it. His penfriend got all offended when he said he wasn't going and sent him a cursed hat. It made his ears shrivel up."

 

        Harry laughs, glancing again at the group of teenagers, a look of awe written across his face. Even after four years, Harry still gets surprised by what the Wizarding community has to offer, Aurelia smiles softly at the childlike wonder on his face. If it hadn't been for her father, he wouldn't be have this surprised by things like this because he would've grow up with his magical parents.

 

        "You've been ages!" George exclaims when they finally return to the tent, "Did you get lost or something?"

 

        "Of course, not, they have a Hufflepuff with them, they'd have found their way out of anything." Ellie says, grinning at Aurelia who glares back at him.

        "We met a few people along the way." Ron replies.

 

        "I saw Luna . . . She says 'Hi', Ellie." Aurelia tells Ellie who smiles at the mention of Luna, apparently Ellie and her are best friends. Aurelia's not sure how that came to be but she's never questioned it because she likes Luna well enough.
       
        "You not got the fire started, yet?" Ron asks.

 

        "Dad's having fun with the matches." Fred says, glancing at his father.

 

        Arthur's having no success at all in lighting the fire, but it's not for the lack of trying, splintered matches littered the ground around him. Despite not being able to light a match, looks as though he's having the time of his life.

 

        "Oops!" He says, lighting a match but he promptly drops it in surprise. For someone who is obsessed with Muggle objects, he's terrible at working them.

 

        Aurelia laughs silently, she's suprised that Delphi hasn't stepped in yet to help, then she looks around the tent and notices that she isn't in the tent.

 

        "Where'd mum go?" Aurelia asks Ellie.

 

        "I think Auntie Del went to discuss something with Amos, I think it has something to do with magical creatures."

 

        "Oh, Hagrid must want a dangerous creature for one of their lessons and mum's seeing if Uncle Amos can do anything about it."

 

        "Yeah," Ellie snorts, "That sounds about right."

 

        Now, don't get Aurelia wrong, she enjoys Hagrid's company and she'd go and visit him all the time with Harry, Ron, and Hermione but he's a little bit out there when it comes to his teaching methods. She doesn't take that class because she learns enough about it at home since her mum is the professor of that class but she's heard a lot of people saying that they liked the class better when it was just her mum teaching it. But, Delphi can't say no to Dumbledore so when he asked her to share the class with Hagrid last year, she obviously said yes and a lot of disastrous shit happened thanks to him. He meant well, of course, Hagrid would never do something harmful on purpose.

 

        "The poor bloke," Aurelia says shaking her head, "He tried to do something good and cool and it blew up in his face."

 

        Ellie snorts again "I think he'd get along with my dad just fine."
 

 


 

⭐️

 

        BY THE TIME, the get the fire started for lunch, Bill, Charlie, Percy, and Pollux arrive.

 

        "Just Apparated, Dad. Ah, excellent, lunch!" Percy says loudly, as he along with the other three older boys come strolling out of the woods and towards the Weasley's tent.

 

        They're halfway through their plates of eggs and sausages when Arthur jumps to his feet, waving and grinning at Ludo Bagman who happens to be striding towards them. "Aha! The man of the moment! Ludo!"

 

        "Ahoy there!" Bagman calls happily, he walks as though he's springs attached to the balls of his feet and is plainly in a state of wild excitement "Arthur, old man, what a day, eh? What a day! Could we have asked for more perfect weather? A cloudless night coming . . . And hardly a hiccough in the arrangements . . . Not much for me to do!"

 

        Contrary to his statement, behind him, a group of haggard-looking Ministry wizards rushed past, pointing at the distant evidence of some sort of a magical fire that is sending violet sparks twenty feet into the air.

 

        Percy hurries forward with his hand outstretched. Apparently his disapproval of the way Ludo Bagman runs his department does not prevent him from wanting to make a good impression.

 

        Pollux rolls his eyes at this and mutters "What a suck up." but despite his dry tone, Aurelia can tell there's affection there. Deep down at least, there isn't a hardened look on his face, the one he typically sports when insulting people but rather the faintest trace of a smile.

 

        "Ah — yes," Arthur says with a grin, "This is my son Percy. He's just started at the Ministry — and this is Fred — no, George, sorry — that's Fred — Bill, Charlie, Ron — my daughter, Ginny — and Ron's friends, Hermione Granger, Ellie, Pollux, and Aurelia Black, and Harry Potter."

 

        Bagman does the smallest of double takes when he hears Harry's name, and his eyes perform the typical flick upward to the scar on Harry's forehead. Still, it's surprisingly calm reaction coming from Ludo Bagman, Aurelia had expected him to make a scene.

 

        "Everyone," Arthur continues, "this is Ludo Bagman, you know who he is, it's thanks to him we've got such good tickets —"

 

        Bagman beams and waves his hand as if to say it had been nothing and than he asks: "Fancy a flutter on the match, Arthur? I've already got Roddy Pontner betting me Bulgaria will score first — I offered him nice odds, considering Ireland's front three are the strongest I've seen in years — and little Agatha Timms has put up half shares in her eel farm on a week-long match."

 

        Ellie's grey eyes light up, looking like a little boy of Christmas Morning "Ooh, we're betting now? This should be fun!"

 

        "It'll be so very." Aurelia says sarcastically, her and Pollux share a disinterested look.

 

        Aurelia doesn't even have to look at the twins' faces to know they're sporting similar expressions. Aurelia enjoys herself a good bet, but a bet with Ludo Bagman? Yeah, no thanks. She'll pass.

 

        "Oh, go on then, let's see . . . A Galleon on Ireland to win?" Arthur says.

 

        "Only a Galleon?" Ludo says, sounding disappointed, "Very well, very well . . . Any other takers?"

 

        "They're a bit young to be gambling, Molly wouldn't like —" Arthur says worriedly.

 

        Fred cuts him off "We'll bet thirty-seven Galleons, fifteen Sickles, three Knuts! That Ireland wins — but Viktor Krum gets the Snitch. Oh and we'll throw in a fake wand!"

 

        Her eyebrows raise, they're not serious! They're gonna give all their savings to this shady bitch without a second thought?! He and George pool all their money for Ludo to take, Aurelia goes to protest but she's cut of by Percy who hisses: "You don't want to go showing Mr. Bagman rubbish like that —"

 

        Ludo lets out a roar of laughter, finding the fake wand to be quite amusing.

 

        "They're not rubbish! They're brilliant!" Aurelia scolds Percy.

 

        "That doesn't mean they have to show it to Mr. Bagman." Percy retorts.

 

        "They mean no harm!" Aurelia hisses.

 

        "It's embarrassing!" Percy hisses right back.

 

        "It's not you're just melodramatic!"

 

        "Excellent! I haven't seen one that convincing in years! I'd pay five Galleons for that!" Ludo laughs loudly.

 

        Percy's eyes go wide and Aurelia shoots him an 'I-told-you-so' look.

 

        "Boys," Arthur says under his breath, "I don't want you betting. That's all your savings. Your mother —"
 

        "Don't be a spoilsport, Arthur! They're old enough to know what they want! You reckon Ireland will win but Krum'll get the Snitch? Not a chance, boys, not a chance . . . I'll give you excellent odds on that one . . . We'll add five Galleons for the funny wand —"

 

        "Fake wand." Aurelia corrects, giving him a dirty look

 

        Ludo glances at her and his eyes go wide with terror but he quickly recovers himself, clearing his throat and whipping out a notebook and quill to write down the twins' names. Arthur looks helplessly to Delphi, who had just returned but all she does is pat him on the back, making no move to stop the twins. Aurelia wants to stop them but she knows there's no use, they've made up their minds. She has a very bad feeling that Ludo is either going to rip them off or not pay them back at all if they win. She can easily solve that problem though, she can easily pay them back without them knowing. Aurelia'll just need Ludo's signature and maybe a little note from him. She's not going to let them lose this money. One of the things she had 'inherited' from her mama is her ability to create an excellent forgery.

 

        She puts a pretty little smile on her face and turns to Ludo Bagman, she bats her eyelashes as she asks: "Mr. Bagman, sir, could you perhaps sign this for me?" Aurelia pulls out a crumbled piece of paper from the pocket of her yellow jumper, "And could you perhaps write 'the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' above it, it's my favourite quote from, uh, my favourite book To Kill a Mockingbird. It'd mean a lot coming from my favourite Quidditch player!"

 

        Ludo smiles politely at her, nodding his head and taking the paper from her "To Kill a Mockingbird, huh? That's a popular Muggle's book, isn't it . . . Do you like Muggles?"

 

Aurelia narrows her eyes, knowing exactly what Ludo means by this. "Aye. I do." She replies stiffly, grinding her teeth.

 

        He finishes the signature and hands the paper back to her "That's surprising considering your —"

 

        "I am not my family, Bagman! I am my own person who doesn't like being told who she is or what she can like or do." Aurelia snaps bitingly, glaring murderously at him, she then turns on her heel. Aurelia smirks to herself, thanks for the note, bitch, it'll make an excellent forgery.

 

        "Couldn't do me a brew, I suppose?" Ludo asks, moving away from Aurelia with a nervous look on his face, "I'm keeping an eye out for Barty Crouch. My Bulgarian opposite number's making difficulties, and I can't understand a word he's saying. Barty'll be able to sort it out. He speaks about a hundred and fifty languages."

 

        "Mr. Crouch? He speaks over two hundred! Mermish and Gobbledegook and Troll!" Percy says excitedly.

 

        "Anyone can speak Troll, all you have to do is point and grunt." Fred says dismissively.

        Aurelia covers her mouth to stop herself from laughing, Percy gives him a nasty glare as he tries to bring the kettle to boil over the fire.

 

        "Any news of Bertha Jorkins yet, Ludo?" Arthur asks.

 

        "Not a dicky bird, but she'll turn up. Poor old Bertha . . . Memory like a leaky cauldron and no sense of direction. Lost, you take my word for it. She'll wander back into the office sometime in October, thinking it's still July."

 

        "You don't think it might be time to send someone to look for her?" Arthur suggests tentatively.

 

        "Barty Crouch keeps saying that," Ludo says.

 

        "Then, maybe, I don't know I could be wrong, maybe you should do that?" Aurelia suggests sarcastically.

 

        Percy gives her a look of mild approval but hushes her all the same.

 

        "— But, we really can't spare anyone at the moment. Oh — speak of the devil! Barty!"

 

        Aurelia glances over her shoulder to see that Barty Crouch had apparated by the fireside and he doesn't look very pleased.

 

        "Pull up a bit of grass, Barty," Ludo says brightly, patting the ground beside him.

 

        "No thank you, Ludo," Barty says, sounding slightly impatient, "I've been looking for you everywhere. The Bulgarians are insisting we add another twelve seats to the Top Box."

 

        "Oh, is that what they're after?" Ludo questions, "I thought the chap was asking to borrow a pair of tweezers. Bit of a strong accent."

 

        "When you said he was daft, I didn't think you meant that daft." Aurelia whispers to Percy, who either doesn't hear her or ignores her, as he bows awkwardly in front of Barty.

 

        "Mr. Crouch! Would you like a cup of tea?" Percy asks breathlessly.

 

        "Oh, "Yes . . . Thank you, Weatherby." Barty replies, looking at Percy in mild surprise.

 

        Aurelia scowls at Barty "He's been working for you —"

 

        Percy stabs her in the ribs with his bony elbow, giving her a glare before he busies himself with the kettle, his face bright pink. So, Aurelia does her best to swallow her rant, instead settling with snapping: "It's Weasley." at Barty Crouch.

 

        "Oh!" Barty says but then turns to Arthur and says: I've been wanting a word with you too, Arthur. Ali Bashir's on the warpath. He wants a word with you about your embargo on flying carpets."

 

        Arthur heaves a deep sigh.

 

        Ellie leans over and whispers in Aurelia's ear "I can show you the world."

 

        Aurelia lets out a bark of laughter and quickly covers her mouth to muffle her uncontrollable giggles.

 

        "Shining, shimmering, splendid." Ellie whispers again.

 

        "St — st — stop." She wheezes.

 

        He leans down to her ear and sings quietly: "A whole new wooorld . . . Cup."


 



⭐️




━━ AUTHOR'S NOTE:


 

Molly and Delphi have a complicated relationship, I'm sorry for doing Molly dirty like that but I see her as someone who would look down at mothers who don't have any biological children. And I am aware that makes her a hypocrite since she technically adopts Harry but it's not that she hates adoption, she just thinks it makes someone less of a mother or father??? It makes sense to me and I hope that makes sense to you. On a more positive note: Ron is so supportive of Aurelia's bisexuality and we love him for it in this household, he's also kinda rooting for her and Ginny to get together because he thinks that they'd be super cute together. I just love Ron Weasley so much!!



Chapter 7: A Veela After Midnight
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ACT i, CHAPTER vi:
CHAPTER SIX: (gimme! gimme! gimme!) . . . a veela after midnight
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          AS THE TIME draws near for the World Cup, the Weasleys and Aurelia's family start making their way to the stadium. Aurelia bounces on the heels of her feet as she walks beside Delphi, behind them, a girl with a German accent speaks up "Your hair, it is very pretty!"

 

            Aurelia looks over her shoulder, brown eyes landing on a very pretty girl — possibly a Veela or part Veela — the pretty girl's got olive-toned skin and heavily-lidded eyes, she's tall and radiates this weird feeling of power. There's a smirk on the girl's wine-coloured lips that makes her look as sly as a fox.

 

            "Are — are you talk — talking about — about me?" Aurelia stammers, pointing at herself.

 

            The girl giggles "Yeah, I'm talking about you. You're the prettiest girl, I've seen all day."

 

            Aurelia laughs loudly, trying to hide her blushing face in the neck of her yellow bomber jacket "Thank you."

 

            The girl laughs as well "You are very velcome . . . I'm Adelle Gris, technically Griswold, but I prefer Gris because it sounds cooler. Who are you?"

 

            "I'm Aurelia Black, are you from Durmstrang?"

 

            "Yep, are you from Hogwarts?"

 

            "Yes."

 

            Adelle smirks "Tell me, are all the girls from there this beautiful?"

 

            Aurelia turns bright red. Adelle's flirting with her? Aurelia's rather certain she is. Adelle's called her pretty twice in under five minutes. That's