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The Tussle with the Cupboard

 

The morning broke in the next day, sending a sudden burst of cool, bright sunlight through the panes of glass and blinds that separated the family from the outside world. Everyone had eventually ended up in bed, though as Hermione would say, it was at an “incredibly ridiculous hour”, and now she suspected that the majority of them would now be suffering from sleep deprivation, and would therefore ruin a whole day of their time together.

         Indeed, Harry and Ginny were very worn out after their excursion and then the following endeavours in the sand, but as of yet had no idea that their children had gone looking for them. Ron and Hermione had stayed up pretty late after realising that three of the children under their care – the ones not belonging to them – had vanished, and the said three children had also stayed up far too late because their parents had vanished. The only two people who had had a good night sleep were Hugo and Rose.

         So, inevitably, the following morning, most of the house woke up at around noon, and were not in good form. Ron, who made a terrible sleep-deprived morning person, yelled at anyone who annoyed him, until he realised that yelling gave him a headache, and he settled for growling at them instead. Hermione who was meant to be making tea, kept pointing her wand at the kettle in a little more of a haphazard manner than was probably safe when dealing with a vessel containing boiling water, but luckily none of it was spilt, and nine mugs were made without much fuss.

         Children however, always seem to have an indecent amount of energy, no matter how much – or little – sleep they get. This did not go down well with the dopey grown-ups who were stumbling around the house, all making similar groaning noises like something out of James’ favourite film: “Night of the Living Inferi.”

         “Wheerresmyzztroussers?” Harry asked Ginny as they stumbled back upstairs after a hastily gulped cup of tea, “I’velosssttem.”

         “I dunno, you probably left them in the – in the –” huge yawn “- sand.”

         “But I never took ‘em off,” Harry groaned, rubbing his eyes, as they somehow managed to find their bedroom “I can’t see anything…” he complained.

         “Glasses Harry! You wear glasses!” Ginny scolded him, throwing them at him from the dresser, “How many times do I need to tell you in the morning? The- reason- you -can’t- see- anything- when- you- wake- up- is- because- you- always- bloody- forget- that- YOU- WEAR- GLASSES!

         Harry backed away into the wardrobe, and closed the door, hiding amongst the crumpled robes and varied Muggle clothing. He was too tired to deal with anything today; he’d just curl up and sleep in here...

         “HARRY!” Ginny yelled, yanking the door open and sending light pouring into Harry’s nice, cosy place of secluded darkness, “Get out! We need to get dressed.”

         “Why?” Harry demanded, suddenly feeling stubborn and surly, “I am fine here. I have had no sleep, which I primarily blame on you.”

         “You shouldn’t be so quick to blame,” Ginny complained, “get out!”

         “Make me.”

         “Oh I will…”

         She grabbed onto Harry’s arm, and tugged, but he made it go limp and floppy so that she couldn’t pull it properly.

         “Come on Harry!” she whined, unable to bring herself to pull any longer, “This is too hard. I just want to go to sleep…”

         Harry stared up into her tired face, her eyes looking weary and her hair looking amazingly messy.

         “Come in here then,” he suggested, “We can go to sleep together, and we can lock the door from the inside and we’ll never be found!”

         Ginny contemplated for a minute, and then noticed that the wardrobe was small and poky; not big enough for two grown adults to sleep in.

         “It’ll be alright!” Harry persuaded, “It’s comfy actually…”

         He patted the wood floor.

         Ginny so badly wanted to sleep…

         “Oh go on then…”

         And in she clambered, and they both curled up together like cats, limbs all scrunched up due to the limited space. Harry pointed his wand at the lock and it gave a small click, letting them know that they were safe, and that they could sleep all day now.

         Harry and Ginny should’ve known that their “clever schemes” inevitably ended up in some minor form of chaos.

         Indeed, they realised this too late, when Harry realised they couldn’t get out again.

 

***

“We are exploring France today!” declared Lily, already wearing her yellow t-shirt and red skirt with blue spots; as Ginny wasn’t awake, she had had no help in the process of getting dressed, and her mind was not yet so mature that she could define which colours matched, and which did not…

         “The whole country?” James said, with open eyes and mouth, “Bloody hell…”

         He too, was relishing being able to swear as his parents where not here. Rose was though.

         “No James! Don’t say that word!” she scolded, putting her hands on her hips and glaring at him through a mane of bushy red hair.

         “You look like a fire place,” James said, laughing, pointing at her head “And I’ll say what I bloody well want.”

         Rose rolled her eyes; there was no point arguing with him. He was honestly the most annoying out of her cousins, even that pesky Victoire who kept flicking her long sheet of blonde hair in Rose’s face whenever they saw each other, just to remind Rose that her hair was much more manageable and gorgeous that hers would ever be. Hermione’s kept telling Rose how gorgeous her hair was, indeed it was like hers but in a brilliant shade of red, just like her Daddy’s.

         Back to the point, James was the most annoying, irksome, irritating, stubborn, rude, obnoxious, disgusting, terrible cousin ever. Even worse than her brother, and she had to live with him all the time. James sucked, but he was still her best friend. They were the unlikely combo: the troublemaking James, constantly up to mischief. The bookworm Rose, constantly trying to stop James from partaking in his mischief. On a more intellectual level, she probably got on with Albus best, and Lily was good for “girly” talks, though Rose wasn’t really into those, and neither was Lily. However, they’d both discuss the pros and cons of red hair, and which bows and ribbons best matched such a frivolous hair colour.

         “So we explore France today, yes?” Albus said, reminding them why they were there.

         “The stinky grown-ups aren’t ready yet,” James said, looking up at the ceiling to where these stinky grown ups must surely be, “Talk about bloody slow.”

         “James,” said Rose, in a very firm “I have a point to make” voice, “Just because your parents are not here, it does not mean that you can just bandy that word around like nobody’s business. It’s immature, and quite unnecessary.”

         “Well, I’ll be damned!” James said, pretending to be shocked into submission, “I won’t then! Rose, I won’t. But just because you are my cousin, I will put my entire efforts into not saying that word again.”

         “Cross your heart and hope to die?” Rose asked.

         “I swear across Merlin’s pants,” James said seriously, pinging his own from behind.

         “Right…” Rose said, clearly unnerved that James did as he was told, “That’s good.”

         Hugo hurtled into the room, pointing up the stairs, and looking slightly amused.

         “Your parents are stuck in a wardrobe upstairs,” he explained to James, his mouth twitching, “They called out for me to help them but I couldn’t get the door open.”

         “Wait… what?” James asked, flabbergasted, “But… they must be able to. They have wands for Merlin’s sake.”

         Hugo shrugged.

         “They said something about an “irreversible charm,” Hugo said, “Apparently Uncle Harry cast it because he’s had no sleep so now can’t work out what spells to use so they’re now stuck and Aunty Ginny’s now really angry.”

         James shook his head; parents could be so stupid.

         “I thought my Dad was always pretty clever,” James said to himself, still rather confused, “He’s not acting it…”

         “Sleep-deprivation does that to people,” Hugo explained sagely, raising his arms in an “there are some things that can’t be explained” gesture, “My Dad set fire to an ice-cube tray once when he was very tired.”

         “The actual ice caught fire?” James asked sceptically, raising his eyebrows, “No one’s that stupid… or clever, depending how you look at it.”

         “Oh he did.”

         “I imagine it was a “Imflammio” charm,” Rose said aloud, for she hadn’t witnessed this incident.

         “No, he managed it with matches,” Hugo explained, “Dunno how he got hold of those. Weird things they are…”

         “They are weird aren’t they?” Albus agreed, “Most strange things.”

         “Oh for Goodness sake, they are not so amazing,” Rose snapped, putting her hands on her hips, “You are all so easily entertained, it’s honestly quite stupid – my god… so easily distracted…”

         She suddenly stopped.

         “…can you see what that seagull’s doing?”

         She hurried to the window to watch the seagull do its thing. Everyone rolled their eyes at her. Talk about hypocrisy.

         “I think Mum’s the only one who can sort this out,” Hugo said, beckoning his arm at his counterparts, indicating they should follow him to wherever Hermione may be, “Follow me lads!”

         “And girl!” Lily said, trotting along obligingly behind them.

         They all found Hermione in the kitchen sipping coffee, and staring straight ahead, dark circles under her eyes.

         “Mum,” Hugo declared importantly, “There has been an incident, a terrible incident –”

         “Dad’s sorting it out,” she interrupted, not looking at him but continuing to stare straight ahead.

         “How do you know –”

         “Harry spent most of his childhood locked inside a cupboard,” Hermione explained, “I know this is the type of thing he’d do.”

         Hugo was quite abashed; his mother was very perceptive and clever, even when she was very sleep deprived. How strange. Why couldn’t he be that clever? Rose constantly outdid him in everything. It was awful. He suddenly felt quite sad…

         “Don’t worry Hugo – Wugo,” Lily said, patting him on the head, “It’ll be alright.”

****

 

“How the bloody hell did you manage this Harry?” Ron asked furiously, as he paced in front of the wardrobe door angrily, his wand held tightly in his hand. It was early in the morning, his best friend and sister were locked in a cupboard together, he had to think of a way to get them out, his much cleverer wife was too despondent to help him. This. Was. Not. His. Cup. Of. Tea.

         “It wasn’t my fault!”

         “WHOSE WAS IT THEN?” came Ginny’s yell.

         “OW GINNY THAT WAS RIGHT IN MY EAR!” replied Harry.

         “SERVES YOU RIGHT! LOOK AT THE SCRAP YOU’VE GOT US IN!”

         “YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO COME IN WITH ME! YOU COULD’VE STAYED OUTSIDE!”

         This muffled, yelled argument did nothing to help Ron’s mood. He started to growl at the door.

         “IF YOU DON’T SHUT UP I’LL MAKE THIS WARDROBE EXPLODE!” Ron bellowed at the door, he then paused, wondering if he’d made himself clear enough, “WITH YOU STILL INSIDE!”

         Harry and Ginny shut up, fearing for their lives, placed so unwisely in Ron’s care.

         Ron paced muttering, thinking of how he could get the door open. He could not think of anything. It was useless. Why were his family such idiots? With a pang, he suddenly realised that Harry was his brother-in-law. How strange…

         “Hey Harry,” he laughed, forgetting to be angry, “I’ve just thought of something: you’re my brother-in-law!”

         “Haha!” Harry replied, “I am as well! This is cool!”

         Ron heard some mutinous muttering come from Ginny, and then a sinister outburst:
         “You won’t be if you carry on like this!” she seethed, “I’ll divorce both of you, and then you’ll just be bog-standard friends again! HAHAHA!”

         “You can’t divorce me! I’m your brother!”

         “Watch me Ronald! YOU JUST WATCH ME! GET US THE HELL OUT OF THIS CUPBOARD AND YOU JUST BLOODY WATCH ME!”

         “Wo…” said Ron, backing away, “Cranky.”

         Considering he had just growled and yelled at them moments before, Harry thought this was a bit rich.

         “Are you not done yet?” a new voice appeared, equally annoyed. Hermione was here. Harry and Ginny could’ve cheered and wept with joy.

         “Help us Hermione! Please!” called Ginny, “Being this close to Harry is really annoying me.”

         Hermione rolled her eyes, and demanded of Ron:

         “Why haven’t you opened the door yet?”

         “I haven’t found a way to!”

         “I sent you up with a key! You stupid, useless baboon!”

         Ron went red, and felt in his pocket, feeling the forgotten key there.

         “Don’t call me a baboon! You – you – chipmunk!”

         Hermione swelled with fury, just as Ginny said:

         “Enough with the pet names! Open the door.”        

So Ron did.

The pointless tussle with the cupboard was over.

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