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“Why is it so windy?” Lily asked, bemused by the near gale that certainly had not been present when they left home, “It’s sunny but it is windy, that makes no sense.”

            “It’s the sea breeze!” Ron shouted over the rushing wind, “Bracing and character building.”

            Lily didn’t think her character needed building, and neither did anyone else. She had quite enough character without sea wind being added to the mix.

            “I need a wee!” shouted Rose.

            “Rose! You say, “Please may I use the toilet,”” said Hermione crossly, “You don’t pronounce exactly what you want to use it for!”

            “Please may I use the toilet,” Rose asked obligingly.

            “I need a wee too!” Lily suddenly said.

            “Yes, so do I,” said Albus.

            “Well as you’re all going…” said James.

            Hermione tutted, refusing to believe that they all simultaneously needed the toilet at the same time.

            “I’ll go with them,” Ginny said, as she too needed to use the facilities, “Harry?”

            “Yes, yes I’ll come along,” Harry replied, thinking that this would be wise as it was another hour before they could board the ferry; yet another line of cars was in front of theirs awaiting the ferry’s arrival. Harry could tell that by the end of this holiday he would never want to lay his eyes on a car ever again.

            “Maybe I should go too,” Ron said, contemplating whether he needed to, and then concluding that he did.

            “Am I the only one who went before we left?” Hermione asked exasperatedly, rolling her eyes at everyone.

            “Probably,” replied Ron, chivvying everyone along towards the dingy building that served coffee for travellers desperately seeking caffeine.

            Just as they were half way there Hugo ran after them:

            “Don’t leave me behind!”

            Hermione stood alone, not needing the toilet at all. But then, very annoyed, she realised that she did, even though she did go before she left. She blamed this on all the talk of toilets that everyone had been having minutes before. So she left the car in the queue and stomped off after them.


 


 

“Oh come on Lily!” Rose complained, doing a small dance outside the dingy cubicle, “I needed to go first!”

            “But I got here first!” Lily explained from inside the cubicle, “And I needed it too!”

            Just then, the door to the ladies opened, and Rose gave a little gasp; it was a boy.

            Rose was stunned; the little lady with the no arms and sticky out dress on the door made it perfectly plain that this toilet was only for girls. She made to confront this non-female.

            “Excuse me,” she started but he had already quickly disappeared into the cubicle, in a blur; it was impossible to distinguish who his non-female was. Rose was mortified. Her mother would not be happy with this, but unfortunately Hermione was not here.

            Rose was desperate for the loo by now but was still so shocked that a boy was using the ladies that she couldn’t resist exiting in order to tell her father what was going on.

            “Dad!” she came out of the door, where she found Ron and Harry standing in the queue for the men’s. She inspected the little man sign on the door and she found it perfectly easy to distinguish the two signs (and also the line of men going into one door but not the other made the contrast easier too.)

            “What’s wrong Rosie?”

            “There is a boy!” She exclaimed, opening her arms wide to just show what a huge scandal it really was, “There is a boy in the ladies!”

            “Maybe he really needed it… badly,” Ron tried to reason, because he saw no real problem with using the ladies room if needs must; he had been considering it himself because the queue for the men’s was so bloody long. 

            “Rosie… sometimes you just can’t hold it in,” Ron explained, realising how silly he must sound explaining such a thing to his daughter; Harry was trying not laugh at him, “And sometimes a boy may need to use the ladies in an… in an – ”

            “- extreme situation,” finished Harry for him.

            “That is disgusting,” Rose said, in a disdainful disgusted manner and stalked back into the ladies with her nose in the air. It was only when she put her nose down that she realised that this certain naughty boy was –

            “HUGO!”

            Hugo jerked around to see his sister, who’s bushy red hair seemed to quiver indignantly.

            “Rose!”

            She spluttered for a while and then pointed at him with a shaking finger.

            “You’re a boy!”

            “That’s not what James has been saying,” Lily exited her cubicle suddenly, and went to join Hugo at the sinks to wash her hands with the pink soap. Pink is a lady colour.

            “You were in their ages!” Rose said, distracted, “What on earth were you doing?”

            Hermione arrived in the ladies, and saw her daughter, niece and her son. She smiled at them, and then did a double take when she saw Hugo.

            “Aunty Hermione, Rose is being rude!” Lily pointed at Rose.

            Rose spluttered.

            “What was she doing Lily?” Hermione asked.

            “She asked me what I was doing in the toilet. That’s rude,” Lily nodded knowledgably at Rose.

            Hermione tutted at Rose.

            “You don’t ask people things like that Rose!”

            But Rose wasn’t to be distracted by seeming observations upon her vacant rudeness.

            “Hugo is using the lady’s room!” Rose said, pointing an accusing finger at Hugo, who was now drying his hands with pink tissue paper, “Boys shouldn’t use lady’s rooms. Now that’s rude.”

            “But Hugo’s only a little boy Rosie,” Hermione explained, “He’s only seven! If your father were to use – ”

            Just then the door to ladies burst open yet again and a faint, tall red tipped blur went by.

            “Can’t wait anymore. Bloody bursting.” It said.

            Hermione rolled her eyes. Everyone paused for a second. 

            “I thought you needed the toilet Rose,” Lily said faintly.

            Rose took her sulky face off and remembered that she indeed did. She disappeared behind a door; so did Hermione.

            “Eeew!” came a voice.

            “What is it Rosie?” Lily asked the closed door.

            “Someone has peed all over the seat!”

            Lily looked around, but Hugo had gone.

 

           

The family of nine were now back in the car with fully empty bladders, and the resulting calmness from this was still in progress.

            “Should be allowed to go on soon,” said Ron, tapping the steering wheel with his fingers whilst bobbing his head to some unknown beat. Maybe he was making up for his mistreatment of the steering wheel earlier; it had aimed a punch at him when they arrived, causing Ron to mutter darkly about “evil demonised Muggle cars.” Hermione explained that it was the air bag.

            “The fairy is here!” Lily threw her arms up in exultation and nearly hit Harry in the ear.

            “It’s a ferry Lily,” Hermione corrected her absent-mindedly.

            “Will there be ice cream?” Hugo asked hopefully, looking uncommonly like his father as he anticipated food with only the delight that Ron could convey.

            “Maybe,” said Hermione, “But I most certainly will not be eating any.”

            “Why not?” asked Albus in surprise; who could pass up the opportunity to eat ice cream?

            “Your Aunty Hermione gets a bit travel sick,” Ron told him delicately, speaking quietly but emphasizing every word, just to make sure Hermione heard him.

            “That’s not the case Ron!” Hermione retorted, “I just don’t like it much.”

            Ron gave a cough, that sounded oddly like: “Devon!”

            “What happened in Devon?” James leant through into the front of the car, looking eagerly between Ron and Hermione. He saw Hermione shake her head a millimetre to each side to Ron, and Ron seemed to debate with himself internally for a moment. He then looked forward and remained silent, knowing better than to disobey her wishes.

            James sat back, defeated.

            “I’ll just have to make up my own version of what happened then,” he said, “And I can tell you now it will be much more embarrassing!”

            Ron gave a hollow laugh.

            “Oh I doubt it,” Ron said, “There are some things in life that you haven’t seen yet young Potter, and I doubt you could ever imagine anything more embarrassing that the story of Hermione, the ice cream and the dinosaur.”

            “Dinosaur?” Albus said disbelievingly, “Aren’t they extinct?”

            Hermione sighed.

            “Supposedly.”

            “Come on Aunty Hermione!” James pleaded, “Please tell us!”

            “No!”

            “Please?”

            “No!”

            “Pl –”

            “Shut up James! Leave Aunty Hermione alone!” Ginny turned back to reprimand him.

            “Tell us Mum!” cried Hugo, whilst Rose nodded enthusiastically, “How come we haven’t heard this story before?”

            And then he realised something.

            “How come we weren’t there?” he said crossly, “You went on holiday without us!”

            Ron rolled his eyes and turned around to face the five children and Harry in the back row; Harry had been enjoying the argument, and very much wanted to hear this story about Hermione, the ice cream and the dinosaur. He wasn’t about to ask to hear it, and he wondered if Ron would tell him on a one-to-one basis. Unless this story about Hermione was so embarrassing that Ron would let his loyalty to her bail her out of this one.

            “Because Master Weasley your mother and I wanted to go on holiday after we got married you see,” he explained, “It’s known as a honeymoon! It would’ve been most inappropriate if you had been born then!” said Ron, pretending to be posh.

            “I thought that you thought that anywhere in England didn’t count as a holiday?” Rose pointed out shrewdly.

            “Ahh but Rosie, anywhere that was with your mother was quite fine by me,” Ron paused to gaze at Hermione with misty eyes, showing his true adoration for her. Harry knew that he was using this parody of admiration to hide the fact that he really meant every word. Ron wouldn’t ever talk about his real feelings to large groups of people, and if he ever did experience a real feeling (apart from general grumpiness and outbursts of temper) he would tend to hide it behind a joke or make his expression so exaggerated that no one would take him seriously.

            Hermione gave him a small smile in return and then turned away, pointing out to Ron that the cars were starting to board the ferry.

            “This is very exciting!” said Rose, craning her neck to see out the window.

            “It doesn’t look big enough to fit all of us on,” Lily said, “and look! There’s some lorries over there! I really don’t think that this fairy will be big enough to carry us all. I believe it will sink!” she added seriously and knowledgably.

            Harry patted her on the head.

            “Don’t worry Lily, I’ll make sure it won’t sink for you,” he gave her a vacant smile, but Lily wasn’t reassured.

            “No Dad! We can’t get on, it is not big enough! We shall sink and we’ll all get soaked!”

            “And cold,” added Albus.

            “Shut up you numptys!” James turned to face them, “God, you can tell you’re young! Naïve…”         

            “What’s your point James?” Hugo asked him, annoyed.

            “Oh come on! It’s so obvious it has an undetectable extension charm on it!” he rolled his eyes at the ferry, indicating that he all thought they were stupid. When they didn’t nod their heads in approval at his magnificent observation he turned to Hermione for clarification upon the validity of his idea.

            “It will do though won’t it?” he asked, “How else would it work?”

            “But James,” Lily explained, “The people who drive the boats are Muggles! They can’t do charms and things!”

            “Who said they’re Muggles?” James asked enigmatically, “They could be wizards!”

            “They could be…” Lily agreed, as though she thought James was being reasonable.

            Hermione shook her head at them with a smile. She knew better than to explain to them about how the air on the ferry will make it buoyant enough to enable it to carry vast numbers of vehicles. It would also involve an explanation of up thrust and all loads of other gubbins that she knew that none of them would care about nor understand. It was just so much easier this way.

            “Bet it’ll still sink though,” Lily said quietly.

            “If it does it’s because you’re too fat!” James said to her.

            Lily reached across and slapped him across the face.

            “MUM! Lily hit me!”

            “Lily don’t hit your brother!” she replied in a bored monotonous voice.

            “He called me fat!”

            “James don’t call your sister fat!”

            There was a moody silence in the back of the car for a while, whilst Lily shot daggers at James through her brown eyes. He pointedly ignored her. Albus pointed out a seagull to Harry.

            “It’s a mouette!” he said proudly.

            “No Al, that’s a seagull,” Harry contradicted lightly.

            Albus frowned at him.

            “It’s French Dad!”

            Harry looked at him blankly.

            “You haven’t learnt any French to speak on our holiday to France?” Albus asked incredulously.

            “No…” Harry said, feeling a bit guilty.

            “Has anybody?” he asked the car at large.

            A simultaneous murmur of dissent crossed through the car.

            “I know a bit!” revealed Hermione.

            “From this,” said James with a finger in the air, “I can tell this holiday is going to be fun…”

            And then drove up onto the metal ramp, and entered the ferry, without sinking at all.

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