ACT i, CHAPTER iv:
CHAPTER FOUR: letter from the lupins
A LETTER FINALLY comes from Remus Lupin a few hours before Aurelia is set to leave for the Weasleys. It's perfect timing, if she had missed that letter and hadn't responded to it then he would surely be blaming himself for it even more. But as she unties the letter from around the owl's leg she realises the letter isn't from Remus but rather his little daughter. She can tell by the childish drawing scrawled on the outside of the parchment but Remus did write her name on it so he is aware that the letter had been sent.
Remus had two little children that stayed with his dad, Lyall Lupin most of the time. He adored them but he was reluctant to let them visit too often because of his condition, Aurelia had met them many times and they treated her like she was their older sister. There's a girl and a boy, the girl is older by two years leaving her at the age of six and the boy is about four, possibly three and a half. The girl is named Belladonna but nicknamed 'Bella', after Aurelia's mother and Uncle Ted's younger sister whom Aurelia had never met, and the boy is named Edward but nicknamed 'Teddy' after her Uncle Ted. Aurelia's not sure who their mother is as Remus has never mentioned her name, he looks uncomfortable when she's brought up by the children or Delphi, all Aurelia knows is that she's alive. She hopes on Merlin's saggy left tit that the mother hadn't abandoned them because of Remus' condition, Aurelia would fight her if that's the case.
Aurelia knows that the letter is from Bella rather than Teddy because of the drawings, Bella had taken a liking to art because of Aurelia and Delphi or 'Auntie Delphi' as she calls her. Bella is always going on about how she wants to be an artist just like them and is showing off her art to Aurelia and Delphi any chance she can get to get approval of it. She opens up the letter is met with Bella's messy childish scrawl accompanied with Remus' corrections.
Dearist ( Dearest ) Blue,
Hello, I miss you, you have not been over at all this summer. Do you not like us animoor ( anymore )? Papa says that you probly ( probably ) do not but I do not under stand why, did I do some thing wrong, did Teddy drule ( drool ) too much last time you wer ( were ) here, I can tell him not to drule ( drool ) if you promiss ( promise ) to come visit us! Please and thank you!
Love, Bella 💗
Aurelia smiles sadly at the letter, pinning it to the board over her desk so she can admire Bella's pretty drawings. She wonders if her mama does that or if she keeps them hidden under her cot, her sad smile turns into a deep frown and then she shakes her head. Letting that miserable thought evaporate from her mind, she pulls out some parchment to reply to Bella.
She instead busies her thoughts with how the writing of that letter went, she can picture it perfectly: Bella coming to Remus demanding he correct her letter as she always does, Remus reading over the letter and becoming incredibly flustered and probably a wee bit guilty-looking as he tries to convince Bella to rewrite it but she denies his request. She probably said that she'd send it out with or without his corrections but she'd prefer it if he corrected it and then she probably gave him her famous puppy dog eyes and he caved. Then Lyall, who was probably watching the whole exchange from the doorway, who'd make a remark about about Remus being a sap just like his mother, Hope Lupin, and in turn that would earn an offended 'Hey!' from Hope Lupin's portrait.
She pulls out her gold ink, the golden ink reserved her most loved friends and family ( and to annoy Severus Snape, of course! ) then begins to write her reply.
My lovely Belladonna,
That is entirely your father's fault as he has not asked me to visit at all. How rude of him, huh?! I would love to visit you and I miss you terribly! Ask your father if I can come and visit after the Quidditch World Cup, I'm afraid that I cannot visit before then as I am going to visit our favourite redheads, the Weasleys! I will be sure to tell Ron that you said hello, don't you worry about that! Oh, and make sure you use your best puppy dog eyes when asking your father!
Lots of love, Blue!
Aurelia folds up the letter and tied it to the owl's leg and gives it a treat and kiss on the head before sending it on it's way.
"Del wants to know if you're ready to leave?" Her cousin asks as he passes the door, it's rare for him to leave his living quarters in Almerry Castle so she's quite startled by his voice.
She jumps up and knocks her chair over, heart pounding as she glances at her closed door, underneath the crack she can see the shadow of his feet. He mutters an apology and then asks once more if she's ready, Aurelia takes a deep breath and replies "Aye, I'm ready."
There's a shuffling sound and then he yells back down the large staircase just outside her door "She's ready, Del!"
Her cousin starts making his way up the stairs to his living quarters "Have fun, Lia." He says as he ascends.
Long after his footsteps retreat up the stairs and become nothing more then light taps, Aurelia's heart continues to race and panic floods her veins even though she knows it was only just her cousin. She shakes her head and scolds herself for being so panicky, she was never this much of a scaredy-cat before.
"Grow the fuck up." She tells herself as she turns to look in the mirror. Which is a fairly funny statement coming from her seeing as she looks like an overgrown child. Aurelia stands at about five foot six, she's always been taller than most kids her age and she has no shape of form to her body, she wears a sunshine-yellow summer dress with big white polka dots and a white collar with a black leather jacket and matching yellow sun hat. And of course, her black combat boots. If it weren't for the leather jacket adorned with pins and patches, she truly would've looked like an overgrown child.
"Talking to yourself, Asterope?" Alexander Almerry says, his ghost comes floating through her walls.
"Being an annoying shithead, Alexander?"
Aurelia rolls her eyes as she fixes her sun hat "What do you want?"
"I just came to visit my favourite Black, is that a crime now?"
"Knowing your family's reputation, you'd probably turn it into one and then have me burned alive for fun." Aurelia says dryly, "And besides everyone knows that your favourite Black is Auntie Cissy. Don't even bother trying to sweet-talk me, it won't work."
"If I had a pulse it would."
"Keep believing that, Alexander, doesn't mean it's true."
Alexander groans in defeat "You're right, you're actually my least favourite Black."
"And you're my least favourite ghost!" Aurelia calls after him as he floats back through her wall, "What a little shit head."
There's a pecking at her window and she turns to see that another owl has arrived with another owl. It's probably Ron, she thinks as she goes to open her window, asking when she would be there. Although she doesn't recognise the owl, he could've used Percy's new one but as she grabs the letter she realises that it's not Ron's handwriting. Aurelia let's the owl come inside to get some food and water as she reads the letter, it turns out that its' from Neville.
Hi, Sunflower Girl! It's me, Neville! You're probably still busy especially with the world cup coming so soon but I thought I'd write back! My summer's going great thanks for asking and yes I am keeping up my garden, it's gotten so much bigger since last summer! It's almost too big for my room, gran's probably going to yell at me soon for it and make me put it outside. I hope not because I really like having it in my room, sure it's a little messy but it smells nice and it looks nice too. It would be really cool if I could create an ecosystem for the plants to thrive when I'm not here, like a controlled one so it doesn't flood my room and ——
The next few sentences are scratched out but Aurelia can tell that they were about his plans for his garden in his room, Aurelia frowns at the scratched lines and she traces over them with a finger, wishing that he didn't feel like he had to cut himself off, she would have loved to read more about it. Aurelia continues to read the rest of his letter with keen interest.
—— anyway, I hope your summer's been good to you! Happy birthday by the way, you mentioned that you celebrated it in your last letter, you didn't say the date but I just wanted to wish you one either way, it sounds like you had a lot of fun. If I had known sooner I would've bought you something but all I have is this sunflower, hopefully you like it! Have fun at the world cup, I hope whatever team you're rooting for wins!!! Love —— ( the word 'love' has been scratched out as well ) —— sincerely, Neville!
P.S — if the sunflower isn't there then that means that the bird ate it. I'm hoping he doesn't but my gran's owl has this weird habit of eating brightly coloured things which is why he's not allowed in my room or I wouldn't have a garden anymore. Unfortunately, he's the only owl I have!
The sunflower isn't there and when Aurelia looks closely she can see a piece of sunflower petal on the owl's beak, she laughs at this and then begins to write her reply to Neville. Feeling a bit too thrilled that he had written her back, she doesn't know why but she really likes being friends with him, technically again, and she thinks that their friendship can do them both some good.
As she writes her letter, she can't help but wonder what they would've been like if they had stayed in contact all these years. Would he be her best friend rather than Ginny, would she hang out with him constantly rather than her little trio of friends? Aurelia tucks a strand of hair behind her ear, as she signs the letter and the begins to read it back to herself before she sent. The last thing she wants to do is send a letter to Neville that doesn't make sense, she doesn't want to scare him off just yet.
I'm just heading out to the world cup so you probably won't hear from me for a few days! Your little garden sounds lovely, I would love to hear more about it and your little ecosystem idea, it sounds brilliant. Perhaps I could create a spell for you, I know I'm not the best with magical plants but I can try! Thank you for the birthday wishes and speaking of birthday wishes I never caught yours, I hope it hasn't passed so I can get you something like I plant or something. We have some really cool flower shops on Almerry Island, maybe I can get you some, let me know what your favourite colour and I can guarantee you I'll find a flower for it, no matter how strange the colour is. Thank you so much for the sunflower, it's very lovely! I hope you have a good rest of your week, talk to you as soon as I can Plant Boy!
Lots of love, Aurelia
Aurelia smiles, satisfied that the letter made enough sense to send and then ties it to Neville's owl. She gives the weathered-looking owl a treat before allowing it to deliver the letter "Have a safe trip, dear bird." Aurelia calls out to it before shutting her window.
Seconds later, Ellie comes bursting into her room exclaiming "Hurry up, bitch, we're leaving early! I talked Auntie Del into it, I wanna see George and you're slowing things down!"
"HEY, BLUE." GINNY greets her, determination burning in her eyes as she corners Aurelia, "I didn't know you'd be here today."
She definitely knew that Aurelia would be there today, in fact she had greeted Aurelia hardly ten minutes ago when she walked in with her mum, half-brother, and cousin. But, she says it so naturally as though it is purely a coincidence that they've run into each other in Ginny's own home. Aurelia smiles awkwardly and rubs her hands together, Ginny smiles brightly at her but Aurelia can see a plan forming in her eyes.
"I know, what a surprise," Aurelia laughs and gives Ginny her signature finger guns, "But, sadly, can't stay for long me and the twins are going to get Harry from his monster guardians."
Her saying that couldn't get any better as Arthur Weasley calls her name from downstairs.
"Well, would you look at that, Gin, gotta go!" Aurelia says and then she's turning on her heel and running down the stairs as quickly as she can. Behind her she can hear Ginny cursing to herself and Aurelia crosses her fingers that she doesn't tell anyone about her father, namely Hermione because she has a feeling that Mr. and Mrs. Weasley already suspect it, while she's gone.
"Are you ready, Blue?" Arthur wonders as she comes up beside him.
"Aye, Aye, Mr. Weasley!" She replies, saluting him.
"Blue, you've known me for three years how many times do I have to tell you to call me, Arthur?" He asks, shaking his head and smiling fondly at her.
"Aye, Aye, Mr. Arthur!" She says, saluting him again.
Arthur sighs exasperated "That — That's better, I suppose."
She grins brightly at him while Fred, George, and Ron laugh at her antics.
"We'll be taking the Floo Network to the Dursleys to pick up Harry." Arthur explains then gives the twins and Aurelia a pointed look, "And, no funny business."
"Mr. Weasley!" Aurelia gasps, placing a hand over her heart, "I would never! I'm an angel! I don't do funny business!"
Fred and George snort at this.
Arthur sighs again "Clark the Chicken, Ron's shirt, Molly's muffins, Percy and Poll —"
"Uh, okay, okay . . . Maybe a saint is a better way to describe me then ."
"I think 'saint' might be pushing it, Blue." Ron says dryly.
"Wow, my own best friend!" Aurelia says, clutching her hand over her heart now as she gives Ron an incredulous look.
"Saint is definitely pushing it." Fred cuts in.
"It's bloody shoving it, I'd describe you as more of a devil spawn." George adds.
"Oi! I thought we were off to pick Harold up, not pick on me!" Aurelia exclaims, although she cringes at the whole 'devil's spawn' thing because little does George know, she technically is the devil's spawn. But, luckily none of them notice the shift in her behaviour.
"We are, all of you stop your fussing, we're running late as it is." Arthur says, "Follow me, kids."
Arthur goes first, Fred follows him and Aurelia cuts George off and goes next. However, there's a wee problem: the Dursley's fireplace is blocked and Aurelia finds herself squashed in between Arthur and Fred. Rolling her eyes, Aurelia says sarcastically "Well, this went well —" and then Fred steps on her foot and she cries out "— ouch! Fred!"
"No — go back, go back, there's been some kind of mistake — tell George, not to — ouch!" Arthur yelps, "George, no, there's no room, go back quickly and tell Ron —"
"Maybe Harry can hear us, Dad! Maybe he'll be able to let us out?" George suggests, "Harry? Harry, can you hear us?"
On the other side of the fireplace Aurelia can hear angry voices yelling at Harry. Then Harry's voice asks loud and clear: "Mr. Weasley? Can you hear me?"
Arthur stops hammering on the fireplace and shushes them.
"Mr. Weasley, it's Harry . . . the fireplace has been blocked up. You won't be able to get through there."
"Damn!" Arthur curses, "What on earth did they want to block up the fireplace for?"
"They've got an electric fire," Harry explains.
"Really?" Arthur asks excitedly, "Eclectic, you say? With a plug? Gracious, I must see that . . . Let's think . . . Ouch, Ron!"
Aurelia groans as she was squashed even more. Ron then proceeds to ask: "What are we doing here? Has something gone wrong?"
"Oh no, Ron," Fred replies, sarcastically, "No, this is exactly where we wanted to end up."
"Yeah, we're having the time of our lives here," George adds in a dry tone and Aurelia stifles a giggle.
"Boys, boys." Arthur scolds vaguely, "I'm trying to think what to do . . . Yes . . . Only way . . . Stand back, Harry."
Arthur raises his wand and a gruff voice on the other side bellows "Wait a moment! What exactly are you going to —"
He doesn't receive an answer as Arthur has already said the spell, causing the wall blocking the fireplace to explode.
"Holy mother of tits!" Aurelia curses under her breath, covering her ears at the loud noise.
"That's better." Arthur pants, brushing the dust from his long green robes and straightening his glasses, "Ah, you must be Harry's aunt and uncle!"
He holds out his hand for them to shake but they back away. Aurelia feels eyes on her, she looks up to see Harry's cousin, Dudley Dursley staring at her. She doesn't understand why, she's not that ugly. In fact, puberty had beat her ass these past two summers and she actually looks cute on most days now — oh, yeah, my scars! He's peeking around the edge of the doorway, no one else seems to notice him. She narrows her eyes at him and turns her nose into a pig nose, Dudley's eyes widen in fear and he disappears from view.
"Er — yes — sorry about that," Arthur begins, lowering his hand and looks over his shoulder at the blasted fireplace, "It's all my fault. It just didn't occur to me that we wouldn't be able to get out at the other end. I had your fireplace connected to the Floo Network, you see — just for an afternoon, you know, so we could get Harry. Muggle fireplaces aren't supposed to be connected, strictly speaking — but I've got a useful contact at the Floo Regulation Panel and he fixed it for me. I can put it right in a jiffy, though, don't worry. I'll light a fire to send the kids back, and then I can repair your fireplace before I Disapparate."
From the looks on their faces, Aurelia can tell they don't understand a single word coming out of Arthur's mouth.
"Hello, Harry!" Arthur says, smiling brightly "Got your trunk ready?"
"It's upstairs," Harry replies, grinning.
"We'll get it!" Fred offers at once, winking at Harry.
Aurelia knows that Fred and George are hoping for a glimpse of Dudley. They want to test their Ton-Tongue Toffees on him.
"Well," Arthur says, swinging his arms slightly, "Very — erm — very nice place you've got here."
The remark doesn't sit too well with the Dursleys. Vernon Dursley's face turned purple, Petunia Dursley starts chewing her tongue. However, they seem to be too scared to actually say anything. Arthur looks around the Dursley's house, he loves everything to do with Muggles, she can tell he's itching to go and examine the television and the video recorder.
"They run off eckeltricity, do they?" He says knowledgeably, "Ah yes, I can see the plugs. I collect plugs . . . And batteries. Got a very large collection of batteries. My wife thinks I'm mad, but there you are."
Dudley comes into the room and once again, Aurelia turns her nose into a pig's nose, although he looks scared he glares at her. She turns it back to normal and smiles brightly at him, giggling: "I can do dogs and birds as well — and I can also do this!" She says and morphs her face into a copy of his. Nymphadora had taught her well this summer. Aurelia smiles at him and Dudley yelps, hiding behind his mother, not that it does him much good.
"Ah, this is your cousin, is it, Harry?" Arthur wonders, taking another brave stab at making conversation.
"Yep." Harry replies, "That's Dudley."
"Having a good holiday, Dudley?" He asks kindly but he only receives a whimper in reply.
Fred and George enter the living room and look around. When they spot Dudley, their faces light up with identical evil grins. Oh, this should be fun, Aurelia thinks to herself.
"Ah, right," Arthur announces, brandishing his wand, "Better get cracking then — Incendio!"
Flames rose at once in the fireplace, crackling merrily as though they had been burning for hours. Arthur takes a small drawstring bag from his pocket, unties it and takes a pinch of the powder inside, and throws it onto the flames, which turn emerald green and roar higher than ever.
"Off you go then, Fred," Arthur calls to Fred.
"Coming," Fred says cheerily.
He pretends to trip "Oh no — hang on —" Fred says in a fake tone of surprise, a bag of sweets spills out of his pocket and big, fat toffees in brightly colored wrappers roll in every direction.
Aurelia tries to hide the amused smile on her face but the tone of Fred's voice had really got to her, it's like he's not even trying to make it look or sound like an accident, she shakes her head at him. Fred scrambles around, cramming most of them back into his pocket, then gives the Dursleys a cheery wave. He steps forward and walks right into the fire "The Burrow!" and with a whooshing sound, Fred vanishes.
"Aurelia, you next!"
She follows Fred's actions and soon finds herself back in the kitchen of the burrow.
"Did he eat it?!" Fred asks her.
"Nope, I wish, however, I think he was going to pick one up as I was leaving, I expect he's eaten it by now."
Fred looks thrilled by her answer "Wonderful." He says just as twin appears.
Bill and Charlie shake their heads, although they too look amused.
"I can't believe you three. Trying to give the Muggles heart attacks. Mum will have your heads." Charlie tells them, laughing.
"It'll be worth it." George grins.
When Harry floos in, he lands on his face and Aurelia laughs loudly at this. Fred holds out a hand for Harry, asking: "Did he eat it?"
"Yeah." Harry replies, straightening up, "What was it?"
"Ton-Tongue Toffee." Fred answers, "George and I invented them, and we've been looking for someone to test them on all summer."
The kitchen explodes with laughter. Harry looks around, his gaze lingers on Bill and Charlie, Aurelia realises this must be his first time meeting them.
"How are you doing, Harry?" Charlie wonders, grinning at him. She then remembers Ron telling her that Harry and Hermione had given the baby dragon Hagrid had bought to him sometime back in first year or something along those lines. Aurelia wasn't there to witness that, she was in Delphi's chambers that night, having a late night snack.
Then Bill — the Weasley with the best hair, in Aurelia's opinion; if she's being honest, she's rather jealous of his hair — stands up to shake hands with Harry, before they can say anything there's a faint popping noise.
Arthur apparates next to George, shouting angrily: "That wasn't funny Fred!" What on earth did you give that Muggle boy?!"
"I didn't give him anything." Fred replies, "I just dropped it, didn't tell him to eat anything. It's not my fault he ate it, it's all his."
Aurelia laughs quietly, high-fiving George below the kitchen table.
"You knew he'd eat it!" Arthur roars, "You dropped it on purpose you —"
"How big did his tongue get?" George asks eagerly.
"It was four feet long before his parents let me shrink it!" Arthur answers and they burst out laughing again.
"It isn't funny!" He shouts, "This sort of behavior seriously undermines wizard-Muggle relations! I spend half my life campaigning against the mistreatment against Muggles and my own sons —"
"We didn't give it to him just because he was a Muggle!" Fred exclaims, offended by his father's accusation.
"No, we gave it to him because he's a bullying git." George adds, "Isn't he, Harry?"
"Yeah, he is, Mr. Weasley." Harry replies, earnestly.
"Well, you know the saying, payback is a motherfucker." Aurelia cuts in, cringing slightly after realising she cursed in front of Arthur, the girl's face goes pink with shame as she looks down.
Arthur looks at Aurelia, calmly saying: "Aurelia, please watch your language."
He turns back to Fred and George and continues to scold them, very angrily, might she add. Usually it's Molly who yells at them with an anger so intense, one might think she's about to rip their heads off. Aurelia's rather surprised to see Arthur Weasley so angry, she never thought that'd be possible before today.
"That's not the point!" Arthur continues to shout and Aurelia figures she should go find Delphi and she what she's up to.
"You wait until I tell your mother —"
"Tell me what?"
Now is definitely the time for Aurelia to leave, she doesn't want to witness the wrath of Molly Weasley, even if it's not directed at her. She heads upstairs without a second thought. "Rest in peace, Fred and George, they will be missed." Aurelia mutters to herself as she leaves the kitchen.
"What have they done this time?" Molly demands to know, "If it's got anything to do with Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes —"
The twins are royally screwed.As Aurelia heads upstairs, she can hear Molly continue to chew out the twins. Her tone seems to be unusually calmer than normal so that means she's yet to find out what they've actually done.
"Back so soon, darling?" Delphi calls out, leaning on the railing of the floor above Aurelia, "You didn't maim the Dursleys, now did you?"
"No, Mr. Weasley wouldn't like that." Aurelia replies, sighing.
"Y'know you can call him, Arthur, right?" Delphi wonders, rolling her eyes.
"Maybe I do, maybe I don't."
Ron and Ginny climb up the stairs, laughing as Harry and Hermione follows behind them.
"Mum found this stack of order forms when she was cleaning Fred and George's room. Great long price lists for stuff they've invented, joke stuff, you know. Fake wands and trick sweets, loads of stuff. It was brilliant, I never knew they'd been inventing all that." Ron says quietly.
Aurelia moves to her mum's side to get out of their way.
"We've been hearing explosions out of their room for ages, but we never thought they were actually making things. We thought they just liked the noise." Ginny adds.
With squinted eyes, Harry gapes at Delphi, she stares back at him with a soft smile.
"Oh! That's Professor Black . . . Yeah, she comes here sometimes, she's like our mum's sister." Ron tells him.
"Uh, hi . . . Er, professor?"
Delphi laughs "Hello, Harry, you can call me by name here and you won't get detention, cross my heart."
Harry laughs awkwardly, looking between Delphi, Ron, and Aurelia.
"Anyway, most of the stuff — well, all of it, really — was a bit dangerous, and, you know, they were planning to sell it at Hogwarts to make some money, and Mum went mad at them. Told them they weren't allowed to make any more of it, and burned all the order forms. . . . She's furious at them anyway. They didn't get as many O.W.L.s as she expected." Ron continues on explains.
"And then there was this big row because Mum wants them to go into the Ministry of Magic like Dad, and they told her all they want to do is open a joke shop." Ginny says.
"It was pretty nasty," Aurelia pipes in, "Or so Ellie says."
"They should open a joke shop, they'd be damed good at it." Delphi says firmly, the four teens look at her in surprise, "I know it's not my place to say anythin' but, I think their joke shop could really go places."
Aurelia agrees with her mum wholeheartedly, Fred and George have wanted to open a joke for years, she's seen the products they've created and they're amazing. Next to Ellie and Lee, she's their biggest supporter. When Molly had burned their price and order lists, she had stayed up all night rewriting them. Aurelia'd pay for a place for them in full but they'd never let her do that.
At that moment, Percy opens his door and sticks his head out.
"Hi, Percy." Harry says.
"Oh, hello, Harry." Percy says, "I was wondering who was making all the noise. I'm trying to work in here, you know — I've got a report to finish for the office — and it's rather difficult to concentrate when people keep thundering up and down the stairs."
"Then cast a Silencing Charm on your room." Aurelia suggests.
Percy looks at her and his annoyed expression softens slightly "I suppose I could try that."
"We're not thundering, we're walking. Sorry if we've disturbed the top-secret workings of the Ministry of Magic." Ron says irritably.
"What are you working on?" Harry asks.
"A report for the Department of International Magical Cooperation," Percy replies, "We're trying to standardize cauldron thickness. Some of these foreign imports are just a shade too thin — leakages have been increasing at a rate of almost three percent a year —"
"That'll change the world, that report will," Ron says sarcastically, "Front page of the Daily Prophet, I expect, cauldron leaks."
Percy turns pink.
"I think it's neat." Aurelia interjects in an attempt to save Percy from embarrassment, "Thicker cauldrons would be of great use for Plant Boy, it'd save him from Snape's wrath . . . Maybe."
"Plant Boy?" Ron echoes, "Who the bloody hell is that?"
"Neville, and like I said thicker cauldrons would be very useful for all of us, actually, I swear Snape has the thinnest ones ever imaginable."
Percy gives Aurelia an appreciative nod "She's right, Ron, you might sneer but unless some sort of international law is imposed we might well find the market flooded with flimsy, shallow-bottomed products that seriously endanger —"
Yeah, yeah, all right," Ron says as he, Harry, and Hermione continue up the stairs, Percy scowls at him.
"Don't be so rude, Ronald!" Aurelia calls after him then turns to Percy "Hey, Perce, mind if I hang —"
Percy slams his bedroom door shut.
Her smile fades "Or I can go do something else, that's fine."
Delphi pats her shoulder "He mustn't of heard you, darling."
"Right, right. I've got a poem to finish anyway." Aurelia says softly.
"Very well, I'm gonna go help Molls with dinner. I believe we're eating outside tonight." Delphi says, smiling.
"That's alright, she can come hang out with me." Ginny says, looking smug as she practically had Aurelia cornered again.
"Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw!" Aurelia mutters, quoting her favourite Muggle movie as she tries to find away out of this dreaded conversation with Ginny. She looks to Delphi for help but Delphi is already walking away and although Aurelia can't see her face, she knows that there's an amused smile on her mum's face.
Aurelia tries to dart around Ginny but the younger girl is much too quick for that and her sun-kissed arm shoots out and blocks Aurelia's path "Not so fast, Blue, I have some questions for you."
Questions, Aurelia thinks as she deflates slightly, now that doesn't sound all that bad "Uh, okay, er, fire away?"
"What did I do wrong?" Ginny asks, giving her a sad look and she looks so vulnerable and it confuses Aurelia.
"What do you mean?"
"You've been ignoring me and when we do talk it's — it's bloody awkward! We've know each other for years, I thought we were long past that so what did I do wrong?"
"Ginny, my father nearly killed you and you're acting like you're the one who did something wrong?!" Aurelia asks in disbelief, keeping her voice low so the other don't overhear her.
"Then why are you ignoring me?" Ginny stresses, clutching her fists at her sides as she gives Aurelia a look that she swears pierces through her soul.
"My father nearly killed you!" Aurelia repeats herself, that itself is pretty explanatory, she can't explain it any simpler than that.
"You tried to save me when you seen the diary and I lead the basilisk to attack you!" Ginny argues, "I could've — he could have killed you too, if you didn't glance in that mirror before that monster rounded the corner you would've died! I'm not special, he's killed lots of people. That's no reason to ignore me, Blue!"
"It's all my fault though."
Realisation dawns on Ginny who exclaims "You daft, insecure, little — that's it! That's why you — I don't blame you, Blue!"
"You — you don't?"
"No!" Ginny laughs in relief and then she's opening her arms wide and Aurelia is falling into them, laughing in relief just like Ginny, "You're so dumb, Blue, how could you even think that I would blame you for such a thing?"
"I don't bloody know!" Aurelia laughs, clinging to Ginny.
"Never assume that shit again, Blue, or so help me, I'll kick your bloody ass!" Ginny threatens, squeezing Aurelia tightly and rocking her back and forth for good measure.
HOURS LATER, GINNY and Aurelia sit out on the Weasley's lawn, shoulder to shoulder, laughing loudly as though nothing had come between them; it was like the good old times. Bill and Charlie both have their wands out, making two battered old tables fly high above the lawn, smashing into each other, each attempting to knock the other's out of the air. Fred, George, and Ellie cheering them along and Aurelia and Ginny are laughing over them. Bill's table caught Charlie's with a huge bang and knocks one of its legs off.
"YES MOTHERFUCKER!" Ellie bellows loudly, pointing in Fred's face before turning to George and snogging him aggressively.
Aurelia hears a window being opened, shortly after she hears Percy bellow out: "Will you keep it down?!"
"Sorry, Perce! How're the cauldron bottoms coming on?" Bill calls out.
"Very badly." Percy replies peevishly, slamming his window shut.
"That's probably because he's being distracted by somebody's half-brother." Ginny whispers teasingly in Aurelia's ear.
Aurelia laughs "I'm honestly starting to think you're right, I haven't seen Pollux all afternoon. Which is odd, especially with all the pranks he could use to scare me and Ellie."
Bill and Charlie direct the tables safely onto the grass, end to end, and then with a flick of his wand, Bill reattaches the table leg and conjures tablecloths from nowhere.
By seven o'clock, the two tables were groaning under dishes and dishes of Mrs. Weasley's excellent cooking, and the nine Weasleys, Harry, Delphi, Ellie, Pollux, and Aurelia sat themselves down to enjoy a nice dinner. Delphi sits next to Aurelia who sits next to Percy and Pollux, while Elliot sits next to George.
Aurelia grabs some ham and potatoes as she listens in on the conversation Percy is having with Arthur "I've told Mr. Crouch that I'll have it ready by Tuesday," Percy says, "That's a bit sooner than he expected it, but I like to keep on top of things. I think he'll be grateful I've done it in good time, I mean, it's extremely busy in our department just now, what with all the arrangements for the World Cup. We're just not getting the support we need from the Department of Magical Games and Sports. Ludo Bagman —"
"I like Ludo." Arthur says mildly, "He was the one who got us such good tickets for the Cup. I did him a bit of a favor: His brother, Otto, got into a spot of trouble — a lawnmower with unnatural powers — I smoothed the whole thing over."
"Oh Bagman's likable enough, of course!" Percy says dismissively, "But, how he ever got to be Head of Department . . . When I compare him to Mr. Crouch! I can't see Mr. Crouch losing a member of our department and not trying to find out what's happened to them. You realize Bertha Jorkins has been missing for over a month now? Went on holiday to Albania and never came back?"
"Yes, I was asking Ludo about that," Arthur replies then frowns, "He says Bertha's gotten lost plenty of times before now — though I must say, if it was someone in my department, I'd be worried. . ."
"Oh. Bertha's hopeless, all right. I hear she's been shunted from department to department for years, much more trouble than she's worth . . . But all the same, Bagman ought to be trying to find her. Mr. Crouch has been taking a personal interest, she worked in our department at one time, you know, and I think Mr. Crouch was quite fond of her — but Bagman just keeps laughing and saying she probably misread the map and ended up in Australia instead of Albania. However —" Percy lets out an sigh and takes a deep swig of his drink, "We've got quite enough on our plates at the Department of International Magical Cooperation without trying to find members of other departments too. As you know, we've got another big event to organize right after the World Cup."
The Triwizard Tournament, Aurelia thinks with a shudder.
Percy clears his throat, glancing toward the end of the table where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are sitting. "You know the one I'm talking about, Father." He raises his voice slightly, "The top-secret one."
"You mean —" Aurelia begins to say but Delphi clamps at hand over her a mouth.
"Don't you dare, Asterope Aurelia." Her mum hisses in her ear, "You are not supposed to know."
Aurelia sighs dramatically but drops it and grabs some more potatoes "When will we be going dress shopping, mum?"
"Some time after the World Cup, have you thought of what kind of dress you want, perhaps I could make you one?"
"Something extravagant and yellow . . . Maybe a pale pink colour."
Delphi rolls her eyes "O' course, yellow, why did I even bother asking?" She says playfully.
"To be polite, I suppose." Aurelia drawls out teasingly then she glances around the table, her green eyes landing on Molly who is fussing over Bill.
"Mum, no one at the bank gives a damn how I dress as long as I bring home plenty of treasure." Bill says patiently.
"And your hair's getting silly, dear," Molly tells him, "I wish you'd let me give it a trim. . ."
"I like it." Ginny says, "You're so old-fashioned, Mum. Anyway, it's nowhere near as long as Professor Dumbledore's!"
"Long hair is the Shiiiiiitake Mushrooms . . . It suits you, Willy." Aurelia pipes in.
Bill rolls his eyes at the silly nickname and her very lame attempt at covering up her cursing.
"That's true!" Ellie agrees, jumping into their conversation and leaving the one he had been in with the twins and Charlie. "Long hair and eyeliner on guys is positively lovely."
"It sounds like you just described yourself there, Ellie."
"Is that something you're into, Bill?" He asks teasingly, giving the older boy a wink.
George chokes on his drink, narrowing his eyes at Bill and Ellie.
"I'm into that on girls. Sorry to disappoint." Bill jokes.
Ellie laughs loudly then turns back to the twins, throwing his arm around George's shoulder and he agrees with Charlie who's talking about the Quidditch World Cup.
"It's got to be Ireland," Charlie says thickly, through a mouthful of potato, "They flattened Peru in the semifinals."
"Bulgaria has got Viktor Krum, though." Ellie says.
"Krum's one decent player, Ireland has got seven," Charlie says shortly, "I wish England had got through. That was embarrassing, that was."
"What happened?" Harry asks eagerly.
"Went down to Transylvania, three hundred and ninety to ten," Charlie replies gloomily, "Shocking performance. And Wales lost to Uganda, and Scotland was slaughtered by Luxembourg."
"Scotland was a disaster." Ellie groans, sounding more than disappointed.
"So, just like your life?" Aurelia teases.
Ellie glares at her then smiles sweetly "You mean just like your life? I'm not the disaster of our family here."
"What? I hope you don't mean me?" Aurelia says shocked, "You surely must be talking about Pollux!"
Ellie laughs loudly and Pollux laughs dryly as he gives her a dirty look but his expression softens as Percy nudges his shoulder and Aurelia smiles brightly at him.
"Our entire family is a disaster." Pollux says, rolling our eyes.
━━ AUTHOR'S NOTE:
Unfortunately I have decided not to make Remdora a thing in this AU because of how Remus is connected to the Black family in this story, like he spent a lot of time around Nymphadora growing up in the Yellow/Make Them Gold Timeline so it just feels weird to me. So Remus is technically already with someone and has kids, we'll officially meet them in act two, and Nymphadora after she gets over her crush on Remus will end up with an OC of mine in the sequel!!!
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