January 20th, 2030 – 11.45 a.m.
Her phone, laying innocently on the coffee-place table, buzzed impatiently, stopping Carla’s latest tirade about old, prejudiced, Wizengamot wizards and witches that hindered her fight for werewolves’ right; she raised an eyebrow and Carla smiled, self-deprecatingly.
“Sorry, I was doing a monologue again. Who is it?”
Dominique shrugged. “It’s alright, you know you can vent all you want.”
She picked up her phone and a frown appeared on her face as she read the text.
“What? What is it?” Asked Carla again, putting down her glass of juice. “Is it bad?”
Dominique looked at her, hesitant.
“Just spill it.”
“It’s Lily. Apparently James has a new girlfriend and he’s bringing her to Nana’s.”
Carla’s elegant nose scrunched up in an involuntary reflex, one she smoothed out immediately.
“Well, good for him. I hope she’s nice.”
“Oh, c’mon, Nikki. It’s been over for years, and I’ve been dating Liam for almost two. I’m fine,” she said, sending her a smile that looked genuine enough, all things considered. “I’m happy for him.”
Dominique looked at her dubiously. “I’m sure you are.”
Carla rolled her eyes. “Fine, not happy. It’s never nice when the other person moves on, you know it, but I really don’t mind.”
Dominique hummed, looking back at her phone.
“Lily obviously wants me to go to lunch if she’s texted me.” She mused aloud, marvelling at how meddling her family managed to be.
Carla’s eyes shone dangerously.
“Please, do. I want to know who she is,” she said, with a smirk that made her look like the bitch people assumed her to be; Dominique mirrored her expression.
“Thank Salazar you were over him, right?”
Carla rolled her eyes. “I am. But honestly, can you deny me – and yourself – the pleasure of gossiping about the new me? You know you want to.”
She wiggled her eyebrow, trying to make a daring expression; Dominique laughed and nodded, before sighing and taking her purse to pay.
Carla stopped her.
“No, leave it.” She said, dropping a few sickles on the table. “My treat for making you go.”
Usually, Dominique would have protested, but that time Carla owed her one big time.
“It’s the least you could do,” she joked, finishing her coffee. “Thank Salazar maman is in the continent.”
Carla nodded emphatically. “I wonder if my sister will be there?”
Dominique shrugged and got up, followed swiftly by her best-friend. “I don’t know. Is she still with Louis?”
“I don’t know either. Gosh, we should stop alienating our families from time to time. We lose all the juiciest gossips.”
They laughed as they exited the coffee shop; Dominique huffed and whined.
“Ugh, I don’t wanna do this! I’m already regretting it.”
Carla sniggered. “C’mon, Nikki, take one for the team and I’ll force Liam to introduce you to Xander Williams.”
“He was going to anyway,” she pointed out, smiling nonetheless at the idea of meeting the American Quodpot player.
“I’ll make him do it more quickly.”
“See that you do. Fine,” she conceded, defeated. “I’ll text you when I get there.”
“Remember, I want details. Is she cute? Cuter than me? Job, hobbies, all of it.”
“You’re a mean person.”
“Aw, but you love me anyway. Now go and do your duty, private Weasley!”
“I’ll see you tonight, then. You want to go to the game?”
“Nah, Liam was thinking about dinner at the Kaiser. Sorry.”
“It’s alright, tomorrow then. Have fun, I know I won’t.”
Carla rolled her eyes, giving her a light shove. “Stop being melodramatic and go, for Merlin’s sake.”
January 20th, 2030 - 12 a.m.
The moment Dominique entered the Burrow, silence fell in the previously loud living room; she gave a quick glance around, seeing her father, her grandfather, aunt Ginny, Lily and her boyfriend whose name she couldn’t remember, and Albus.
“Hello, everyone.” She said awkwardly, waving at the gathering; Lily had a shit-eating grin that she wisely chose to ignore.
“Domi!” Called her grandpa, the first to break out the reverie. “You came! Molly will be so happy.”
Dominique felt the familiar pang of guilt, seeing as she had avoided Sundays lunches for a few weeks now; she was sorry for her grandparents, they were her favourite out of the family, but she often couldn’t deal with her mother, sister or the general obnoxiousness of having thirty and more people in the same place, all butting into her business.
There was never much space for individuality in the Weasley clan and she, being one of the three Slytherin in the whole family, always felt cornered and out of place.
“Grandpa!” she said, responding with enthusiasm to his hug; she saw her father throw her a smile and a nod from behind her grandpa and she answered in kind, if a bit stiffy.
She liked her father well enough but honestly, he had always had more attention for Victorie, just like her mother had with Louis: she didn’t know what to talk about with him, most of the time.
“James is coming with a girlfriend,” quipped Lily when Dominique stopped hugging their grandfather, a calculating glint on her face, ignoring her mother’s annoyed groan. “Albus won’t tell who she is or how he knows.”
“Lily, could you stop announcing that to everyone?”
“Why?”, she whined, sharing a complicit look with Albus. “It’s not like it’s a secret. Oh, wait, it is! Jimmy-poo didn’t tell anyone…”
Then, she seemed to realize something, because she turned to Dominique and pinned her with a fervent look.
“It isn’t Carla, right?”
Dom shook her head and could swear she heard aunt Ginny sigh in relief; annoyance flooded through her, her protectiveness of Carla flaring up.
James and Carla’s relationship had lasted from their seventh year till they were twenty-one, living together and looking on their way to wedding, making all of Dom’s dreams of having her best-friend and favourite cousin married look like they could come true, before calling it off out of the blue; hadn’t that been like a punch in the gut: she had gathered, after a lot of prodding, that the romance was gone and they simply were both focused on their careers, she with her NPO and he with Quidditch.
Both had suffered a lot and she had had the displeasure of having to choose, and she had chosen Carla because James had Freddie, Jake, and Albus, Lily, everyone, while Carla had only her.
It had taken years for her relationship with James to go back to a resemblance of their previous tight friendship, so she had never met the girl he had dated after a year – from what she’d heard, a French Quidditch agent older than him – but that hadn’t lasted more than another year, only enough to make every magazine cover unapproachable for Carla.
So for her aunt to think of Carla as the bitch who had broken her son heart, well… Dominique didn’t like that.
“No, Carla is dating Liam Shackebolt,” she said, then, to rub it in; aunt Ginny’s brow quirked disbelievingly and Dominique internally smiled victoriously.
“What a catch,” joked Lily, before turning to Kyle. “Why aren’t you the Minister’s son?”
Kyle smiled a secret smile and whispered something in her ear, for which she blushed and giggled like a schoolgirl, before saying, “I guess.”
“You guys are sickening,” mocked Albus, before standing up. “C’mon Dom, let’s not make Nana wait.”
On their way to the kitchen, he whispered into her ear.
“I know Lily texted you, little snake.”
Dominique snorted and remembered why she had liked Albus at school, “Pot to kettle, right?”
He sniffed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
In the kitchen, once she had finished hugging Nana and being berated for her previous absence, she saw the Golden Trio huddled in a corner, talking and laughing: she assumed they had put a privacy bubble as she couldn’t hear them, and all of their faces looked red and merry.
Dominique wondered if they actually thought they got away with drinking without anyone noticing, but she didn’t judge: everyone coped with the lunches in their own way.
Freddie, Rox and her, for example, used to smoke; James had never wanted to at Nana’s, but he was the biggest grandma boy there was, so that had never been a surprise.
In the kitchen there were also Vicky, Teddy on one side of the table and Rose and Hugo on the other; after doing the perfunctory round of hellos, she settled on a chair, Albus perching himself on the table itself and trying to hide a grimace of pain.
“Is Louis coming?” Dominique asked Vicky, eyeing discretely her baby bump: it was way bigger than the last time she’d seen her, and she was suddenly struck by how little she saw all of them.
Victorie nodded, looking at her, but it was Rose that voiced the question she wanted to ask.
“Why did you come?”
“What? Can’t I miss my family?”
Vicky rolled her eyes, Teddy snorted, Rose’s brows furrowed and Hugo grinned like she had made a particularly funny joke.
“She wanted to see James’ new girlfriend,” added Albus helpfully, smirking like the total tool he was; Dominique threw him an annoyed glance but didn’t see the point of denying.
“Of course she did,” said Rose, drumming her fingers on the table. “You know he’s going to kill you when he finds out, right?”
Albus simply shrugged. “It was worth it. Besides, he’s gotten rusty with that stick of his.”
“It’s not like you’re training to be an Auror yourself, though,” joked Teddy, shaking his head full of green curls. “I bet he would beat you in ten minutes.”
“Accepted, make it five,” added Hugo, perking up with his trademark puppy grin.
“Hey!” protested Albus, outraged. “Is no one going to bet for me?”
After a few seconds of silence, Rose shrugged. “Fine, I will. I’m doing well enough at the firm to afford a loss, anyway.”
Voices raised on the other side of the kitchen, meaning the arrival of someone new, and sure enough the kitchen door flew open with a loud bang, startling nana Molly as she was stirring the stew.
Fred stood in the threshold, imposing in all of his six feet two glory, arms wide open and an enormous smile plastered on his face.
“Nana!” He shouted, full of affection; Dominique felt a hard pang of longing at his easy demeanour.
Molly squealed and ran to him, immediately enveloped in his strong, big arms.
“Freddie! I didn’t think you’d come!”
“Of course I’d come, Nana,” he boomed, laughing. “I would never miss a lunch!”
“Oh,” she said, still embracing him, “but you keep growing! Are you hungry?”
He made her puppy eyes, which looked hilarious on a giant like him, and nodded.
“He’s such a drama-queen,” muttered Rose, shaking her head. “Always makes us look like cold-hearted and ungrateful.”
“I think he’s adorable,” blubbered Vicky, looking suddenly hormonal. “He’s such an overgrown puppy.”
Dominique wisely chose to keep silent, seeing as she had stood witness of the innumerable times he had fucked up, and then fucked up again.
“What is he doing now?” asked Teddy, reading her mind.
All of them shrugged, beside Hugo. “He’s working in Garlands’ greenhouses in Kent.”
“He’s probably growing pot as a side,” remarked Dominique, a little meanly, but nobody seemed to mind and Rose even nodded.
“He’s going to be fired soon enough, for sure,” said Albus, and Freddie heard him.
“We’ll see about that, you little shit,” he retorted good-naturedly, before taking in Dom’s presence.
“Nikki! I didn’t know you would come,” he said, surprise clear on his face.
Dominique smiled sheepishly.
“Ta-daah,” she tried to joke, doing jazz hands. He rewarded her with a genuine laugh and that was enough, even though she could see Albus and Rose cringe on the side of her vision.
He leaned in conspiratorially. “Fortunately I brought a lot of weed, so we covered, sis.”
Dom smiled, genuine relief flooding through her body. “Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.”
Both ignored Vicky and Rose’s disapproving looks and Hugo’s longing one and exited from the kitchen backdoor; Ron patted Freddie affectionately on the shoulder when he passed and Hermione and Harry smiled at her to greet her, since they had probably hadn’t seen her arrive.
Not a sound came from them, so she assumed they still had the privacy bubble up.
“So,” said Freddie once they were outside and she had erected a bubble for them too. “What are you actually doing here?”
Dominique sighed and accepted the blunt he was passing her. “Lily texted me that James was coming with a new girlfriend, and well… I was with Carla, and she convinced me to come so we could gossip about the girl afterwards.”
“Ah, what you do for friends,” joked Freddie, lighting the blunt in her mouth with a quick hand gesture. “I miss Shack, though. She was fun.”
“Still is,” smiled Dominique, fond. “Do you know who the new girl is?”
Freddie nodded, “James told me it was a secret and made me swear not to tell you guys anything. I guess he changed his mind.”
Dominique shook her head.
“Nah, Albus has been spilling the beans. I don’t know how he found out.”
“James might have told him, y’know?” Freddie said, taking a few steps into the white backyard; the snow was starting to melt, but it was still a beautiful sight.
“I doubt that,” retorted Dominique, taking a drag. “Lily said that Albus didn’t want to tell how he’d found out.”
Freddie sniggered, “Oh, this is going to be a good one.”
Dominique’s brows furrowed.
“Why is it such a secret? Is she underage? Pregnant? Oh!” She jumped, feigning outrage, “Is she a pureblood?”
They were still giggling like idiots when the door of the kitchen opened, making her heart stop in fear: she quickly hid the blunt behind her back, before exhaling in relief when she recognized Rox.
“Jeez, Rox, you made me loose five years of my life,” said Freddie, accompanying every word with sign gestures.
Roxanne smiled and her green eyes shone, full of mirth; she signed back that they were getting sloppy with age.
Dominique couldn’t help but agree, having forgotten to charm the door closed, and smiled gratefully when Rox took it upon herself to do it, before coming to seat next to her on the frozen bench.
It’s rude to start without me, she signed with a fake pout; Freddie laughed.
“It’s not our fault you always greet everyone. A simple, ecumenical hello is enough, Rox.”
Stop talking like an Oxford grad, idiot.
Dom laughed and passed her the blunt.
They almost made her happy to be there.
New chapter for you guys, who are the light of my life! We’re now entering a bit further into the plot and we finally meet James’ ex, Carla, who is also Jasmine’s sister.
And yet, the big names still have to join the party!!
I really hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you soon with Lucy’s pov!
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