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Unfortunately, that sad day had come: the end of the holiday. There were many tears, many wet eyes, many wet cheeks… It was a tragic time, and nobody was sure if they could live through it. How could they return to England? How could they return to work? And how could James cope with being made to go to school… to Hogwarts.

         “I D-D-DON’T WANT TO – TO LEAAAVEEEEE!” Lily wailed as her suitcase was flung unceremoniously at her by her mother. She contemplated trying to get inside it and taping herself to it so she couldn’t be removed. Then they could never leave…

         “This sucks Dad!” James sulked, as he watched his hat be stuffed down into bag, moodily clutching his little train for comfort.

         Albus and Rose were the only two who were being remotely cooperative regarding the fact that they had to leave tomorrow. Their suitcases were packed, and their sections of the bedroom were all neat and tidy. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for everyone…

         “Ron!” Hermione scolded him, with her hands on her hips, “This is ridiculous. You have to pack!”

         “Shan’t,” said Ron, standing tall and also folding his arms.

         “Don’t be childish,” Hermione said, “It doesn’t bode well with me.”

         “ARE YOU DONE YET?” they heard Harry call up from downstairs.

         “NO!” Hermione called back before Ron could, “RON’S BEING SILLY!”

         At this, Ron gave Hermione a look of pure evil, and pulled his old battered suitcase from the bottom of the wardrobe, and started yanking his clothes off shelves and hangers, so they all landed in a crumpled heap on the floor. Hermione did not look pleased, but couldn’t be bothered to comment. Instead she turned on her heel, and went to badger Hugo and James instead, who thought that their time would be best spent drawing moustaches and monobrows on each other with Lily’s felt tip pens.

         “Haha!” James chortled, “You look like Dad when he hasn’t shaved!”

         “Your Dad shaves?” Hugo giggled, “I didn’t know he had a monobrow!”

         “He doesn’t!” James said, exasperated, “He shaves his face. Not his eyebrows!”

         “Oh…” said Hugo, disappointed, “I thought he had a middle section that joined his two eyebrows that we didn’t know about.”

         “Sadly no my chum,” James said, drawing a beard on Hugo with a brown felt tip. James was receiving a spectacular moustache with a black felt tip from Hugo.

         They thought they were being very clever, for they had locked themselves in the bathroom, and hung a note on the door that said, “Ron is in here.” This would surely mean that no one would disturb them, because Ron was an adult, and people trusted grown ups. Also, there was a higher chance of being interrupted if they had left the note off the door; for some reason, people think it’s OK to barge in on children using the bathroom (especially if you’re related) but not grown ups. So, on the whole, they thought they had a very watertight plan going…

         What they had not noticed though, was that if Ron was spotted somewhere else in the house… then their sign would be useless. Because it would be abundantly clear that Ron wasn’t in the bathroom. Hermione thought it was abundantly clear anyway.

         “JAMES!” she said, hammering on the door, “I know you’re in there!”

         “Shh…” said James, sniggering to Hugo.

         Hermione heard the giggles.

         “Rose, I know you’re in there too…” Hermione said, “I could hear your voice.”

         This was too much for Hugo.

         “I’m Hugo!” he cried, to James’ upset.

         “HAHA Hugo sounds like a girl!” James said, by means of revenge because Hugo had confirmed they were in there.

         “Come on,” Hermione said, trying not to laugh because she’d thought her son was a girl, “Get out.”

         “No,” said Hugo, “You’ll make us pack if we do…”

         “Yeah…” agreed James, “We’re not stupid you know.”

         “Alohamora,” Hermione simply said, and so the bathroom door opened. The boys were flabbergasted by Hermione’s rash action.

         “How dare you!” said James, “We could’ve been using the loo for all you knew!”

         “What, together?” Hermione said, raising her eyebrows. And then realising that something wasn’t quite right with their faces… they seemed to have grown a lot of facial hair. Was that meant to happen this early?

         Her mind catching up with her senses she noticed the felt tips littering the floor… and then she understood.

 

***

 

“Lily – Lily come on,” Harry wheedled, trying to persuade Lily to do something she didn’t want to, “You can’t stay in there forever…”

         “Can,” came Lily’s muffled voice.

         “What’s going on?”

         Ginny had walked into the children’s bedroom, for she had heard Harry’s attempts to persuade Lily to do something, and she was curious as to what it was. Persuading Lily to do something she didn’t want to do was like trying to convince a Blast-Ended Skrewt that it wasn’t nice to burn people.

         “Lily’s locked herself inside her suitcase,” Harry said, turning to face Ginny with a sad facial expression.

         “How?” Ginny asked, kneeling beside Harry.

         “I have no idea…” Harry said, fingering the padlock on the zip with a futility that suggested he had reached the end of his tether when it came to bizarre antics regarding his children.

         “Rosie helped me,” Lily’s voice said triumphantly.

         “Oh for God’s sake…” Ginny said, putting her face in her hands, “I know it’s sad the holiday’s over, but I didn’t think it’d be this sad for them…”

         “ALOHAMORA!” Hermione’s voice suddenly shouted from behind the kneeling couple.

         “You idiot Harry!” Ginny thumped him, “Why didn’t you think of that?”

         Lily changed tactics at top speed; she clambered out of her suitcase and pegged it out the room, down the hall, and was only halted when she ran straight into two hairy men who she recognised as her brother and cousin.

         “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACES?” she screamed.

        

***

 

“Well, that went quite smoothly,” Ron said, looking up at the house. Everything was finally packed, and the children had finally been convinced that it was a good thing that they were going home, a good thing.

         “What? The holiday?” Harry asked him.

         “Yeah…” Ron said surprised, “I thought it’d be far, far worse.”

         “Same actually…” agreed Harry, “It was fun.”

         “Mmm,” said Ron, nodding.

         “We’d best be going,” Hermione said consulting her watch.

         “OK,” said Harry.

         So they all climbed into the car, feeling slightly subdued that their holiday had ended, but deep down very pleased that they were returning home. After all, home’s important.

         This holiday had proven to James how much he loved being at home, and he suddenly thought about leaving in September to go to Hogwarts. For the first time, a sense of sadness penetrated his excitement. He wouldn’t see his parents and siblings everyday, and despite how much he complained about the lot of them, he would really miss them.

         And so with that thought in his head, James remained suspiciously quiet for the rest of the journey, pausing only to help Lily tie a pink ribbon into the napping Ron’s hair.

         Nobody told him about the ribbon until he arrived home. Ron wasn’t happy.

         But then he looked back at all the happy memories that the holiday had given him, and he then felt happy again. Very very happy.

         It was good to be happy, and it’s good to remember the things that make you happy, and for the whole Potter/ Weasley family, this holiday would always be one of them.

 

~*~*~*~

 

THE END

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