It was raining.
The fact was plain and simple, something that had been expected even. The clouds had been rolling over all night. You sigh and close the blinds, shutting out the cause of your disappointment. You slump back over to the kitchen table, where your mother and father sit.
Your mum reads the Daily Prophet, engrossed in the front page article as your father stirs his cereal grumpily.
You sigh again, trying to capture their attention.
“What is it, Hugo?” Hermione Weasley says without glancing up from her paper. Ron slowly looks up at you, his nose wrinkled as he spoons more stale cereal into his mouth.
“I was going to play quidditch today. Lily and Aunt Ginny were going to come over,” you pout. Ever since Rose left for Hogwarts things have been especially boring. You are counting the days until your sister’s return, something you’d never thought would happen.
“Really Hugo, I don’t approve of this whole quidditch thing. It’s dangerous. You and Lily are far too young to be flying around, fifty feet in the air on broom sticks. Do you know how many children get hurt because they attempt quidditch?”
You kick your feet under the table. “Mum,” you whine. “Aunt Ginny’s really good at quidditch. And she doesn’t let us go fifty feet in the air.”
Your father huffs. “Don’t worry about it, son. It’s just your mother doesn’t care about other people’s problems.” He eats more of his now soggy cereal, making a face as if he were your age.
“I’m sorry that all we have is cereal, Ronald. Maybe you want to go to the market and get more food?” your mother snaps, exasperated, glaring at your father. You brace yourself, knowing an argument is coming. If there’s one thing not to annoy your dad about, it’s food.
He opens his mouth to argue but closes it again. “Well my mum always went to the market herself.”
“Maybe that’s because your mum wasn’t busy with work all the time!”
“I have a job too, Hermione!”
You sigh once more, resting your face in your hands. And just like that, your parents are at it again. You know it’s nothing serious. Nothing to really worry about. It isn’t like Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey’s bickering. Your mum tells you that she and your father are very different. But they still love each other very much.
You understand. You know it’s true.
But Cousin Lucy tells you that her mum says the same thing. But Rose says it isn’t true, that one day you’ll understand. Uncle Percy doesn’t love Aunt Audrey like your dad loves your mum.
“I just don’t understand why you can’t be a good mother, why your job always comes first!”
“My job does not come first! You’re a sexist pig, Ronald Bilius Weasley!”
You plug your fingers in your ears.
“Rain, rain, go away, come again another day,” you begin to hum. “Dad,” you say. He doesn’t here you. “Dad!” you repeat louder.
Your mother and father look at you, stunned. As if they forgot you were here.
“Could you please stop fighting?” You sound five years old when you say it. You look up at your parents, piercing them with your father’s blue eyes.
Your mother get’s up to hug the life out of you. “Oh Hugo, of course! I’m so sorry! We weren’t really arguing. We were discussing.” Then she says it, like she always does. “Your father and I are very different. But we love each other very much.”
“I know mum, I know.”
“Why don’t we tell you a story?” she says. “Since you can’t play quidditch.” She takes your hand and leads you from the round wooden table to the living room. There is a large bookcase tightly packed, along with a television. Your father tells you it’s a silly muggle contraption. Rose says he only says that because he’s constantly losing the remote.
She sits down on the couch and pulls you next to her. Your father begins to sit in his favorite armchair but one look from your mum moves him to the couch, sitting on your other side. “So, Hugo, what story do you want here?” he asks, placing his hands on his knees.
Your mother runs a hand through your brown curls. “We could tell you about how your father and I fell in love.”
You wrinkle your nose. “I’m not Rose, mum.”
“How about the time your mother punched this slimy git, Malfoy?” Ron grins at you. Your eyes widen, staring up at your mother’s flushed face.
“Did you really do that mum?” You try to imagine your mother punching someone. You can’t.
Your mother shakes her head. “Ron,” she warns.
He sighs, looking up, as if taking great thought in the matter. “How about… how about the time when me, Uncle Harry, and your mother—”
“Your Uncle Harry, your mother, and I,” your mum corrects.
“Yeah that. The time I knocked out a giant troll with its own club, all to save your mum. Who I didn’t even like back then.” Your father says, a grin widening on his face. Your mum rolls her eyes but doesn’t say anything.
“Tell me!” you say excitedly, once again not able to believe it.
Your father leans back, a dazed look in his eye. “Well Hermione—your mum—well, she and I didn’t necessarily get along. She was a know-it-all, I was awesome.” Your mum makes a noise in the back of her throat but your father continues anyway. “One day I was talking to Harry about her and she heard me. She was upset, because an awesome person didn’t like her, so she went to hide in the girl’s bathroom.”
“That was one of the first times your father was mean to me,” Hermione says, but takes your father’s hand anyway. “On Halloween. So I was in the lavatory so long that I missed the Halloween feast.”
“Which was interrupted anyway because a professor—remember the story of professor Quirrel? Anyways, he came in screaming about a troll, so we all had to go to our common rooms.” Your father tells you. You hang onto every word he says.
“But I didn’t know because I wasn’t there.”
“I was getting to that, Hermione,” your father says, before looking back at you. “So Hermione didn’t know because she wasn’t there—”
Your mother mutters something to herself.
Ignoring her, your father goes on. “So your Uncle Harry and I decided to go rescue her from the troll. We were too amazing to leave a poor helpless girl in danger.” Your mother must have given Ron another look because he quickly added, “Not that your mother wasn’t a fantastically talented witch—in fact she was the best in our year. A whole lot smarter than I’ll ever be.” He squeezed her hand.
Your parents pause, looking into each other’s eyes affectionately. Finally you clear your throat. “Mum? Dad? The troll?”
“Oh, yes, well your father and Uncle Harry accidently locked the troll into the bathroom with me. Some heroes.”
Your father looks slightly offended. “We were only trying to help. And when we realized what we’d done—”
“You mean when my scream gave it away?”
“Yeah well, we charged in and I saved you.” Your father puffs out his chest proudly, while your mother shakes her head.
“It didn’t exactly happen like that, Hugo. First the troll almost killed me—”
“Oh don’t exaggerate Hermione, he didn’t almost killed you,” your father snorts in disbelief, rolling his eyes.
“He did too! He almost had me when the root cause of my problem races in. Uncle Harry grabbed the troll’s arm… or did he jump on its back… anyway he distracted it—”
“And shoved his wand up his nose!”
“Awesome,” you beam, trying to get a mental picture. Eleven year old Harry on the back of a troll, his wand in its nose, while your mum hid in the corner and your father…well what did your father do? “So dad, how did you save mum?”
“I said the only spell I could think of—Wingardium Leviosa, and the troll’s club flew into the air and landed on its own head! Just in time too because Harry and Hermione were almost goners. If it wasn’t for me, well, they’d both be doomed—you wouldn’t even be here. Granted, your mum did help an eensy bit with the spell, teaching me the technique and all.”
Your mother sighs, causing you to doubt some of the finer points of your father’s stories, but you don’t dwell on it.
“Wow… and you were Rose’s age?” You laugh aloud at the thought of Rose wresting a troll.
“We were awfully young,” your mother says, as if she were scolding herself. “But it brought Harry, Ron, and I closer together. From that point on we were friends. Yet your father and I continued to bicker.”
“We still do,” Ron says, ignoring you as he leans over to kiss his wife. You sigh, deciding not to say anything. In truth, you’re more interested in replaying the story in your mind to care.
“You guys had a lot of adventures didn’t you?”
They nod, and you wonder to yourself if you’ll ever have as many.
Maybe, you think. But the thought slips your mind as you glance out the living room window, rain still pouring down. Whatever adventure is waiting for you will have to wait.
Moving to your dad’s arm chair, you turn on the television, trying your best to ignore your parents snogging behind you.
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