“What the hell are you doing here?” I asked.
“I’m on a date.” George grumbled. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“I live here! This is my house!”
“Well I assure you if I knew it was your house I wouldn’t have come.”
“And I assure you had I known you were coming I would have had you kicked out immediately.” I stated.
“Vice!” Monica was hurrying over to us. “That kegs stand was brilliant.”
“Thanks. I see you’ve brought a date. Wish you would have told me earlier. So I could have told you no.”
“Wow you really know how to treat guests.” George rolled his eyes.
“I know how to treat welcome and invited guests, you are neither of those.” I snapped.
“I’m sorry do you guys know each other?” Monica asked.
“Unfortunately.” We chorused.
Monica groaned. “Ugh, you know what, Vice it’s getting increasingly harder to find guys that you haven’t shagged before. Why must you be such a tramp?”
“Shagged?” I asked incredulously. “Oh gross! I would never shag George! He wishes!”
“I do not! That’s the last thing I would ever want to do! Even I’m not that desperate.”
“So how do you two know each other?”
“He’s my boss.” I grunted. “Who I thought I was going to not see until I returned to work, but of course he had to ruin that.”
“Believe me I don’t take pleasure in seeing you either.”
“Good, I don’t want to give you an ounce of pleasure.”
“Vice, please don’t be rude to my date.” Monica said. “You’re so inconsiderate.”
“You brought a stranger into my home!” I exclaimed.
“He’s not a stranger, you know him.”
“You didn’t know that!”
“Well you didn’t have to kick him!” Monica whined.
“I didn’t mean to.” I groaned. “Anyways, I’m removing myself before George further ruins my night. Have a terrible date hm?”
“God you’re insufferable.” George shook his head before I walked away.
“What was that about?” Megan asked. “I didn’t think you’d be that mad about Monica bringing a date.”
“That’s not just her date. It’s George Weasley.”
“Your boss is here?” Matty laughed. “Oh your luck is terrible.”
“Right? Like what are the odds she brings him? At first I felt bad for whatever bloke had a date with Monica, but they’re both the most annoying people I know so I hope they stay together so they don’t torture anyone else.” I said shaking my head.
“Just let them have an awful night babe.” Lucian put his hands on my face. “Focus on me instead.” He kissed me.
“You are far more interesting and hot.” I grinned before kissing him again. “Oh by the way, dinner with my family tomorrow night.”
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
“Without family dinners she would have dumped you a long time ago.” Megan shook her head. “I don't know how her family thinks you’re good for her.”
“Because I am. They know Vice and I have a real future together.” Lucian informed her. “And no one cares what you think Megan.”
“I’m her best friend, she’d choose me over you any day.”
“Well I’m Matty’s best friend so he’d choose me over you any day.”
“I can’t wait for the day that both of them dump you.” Megan sneered.
“Okay that’s enough!” I laughed. “You guys being frenemies is so annoying. Stop arguing over me. There’s enough Vice to go around.”
“Then throw some over here.” Steve grinned.
“Can you leave my girlfriend alone, mate?” Lucian questioned. “And before you say you’re not my girlfriend, Vice, yes you are.”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m not having this argument with you again, let’s just get back to having fun!”
I tried to avoid George at all costs. I didn’t want to speak to him and get annoyed with him. I can’t tell if him and Monica are having a good time or not. I mean they’re laughing and drinking and talking. I guess that seems like a decent date.
Monica pulls me down the hall where it’s quieter. “Okay, I really like him.”
“Yeah, so when you go back to work, make sure to put in a good word for me?”
“I don’t think that’ll work. He doesn’t like me, he won’t listen to me.”
“Well get him to.” She said firmly. “You owe me, you took Lucian from me.”
“Oh that’s hardly true! I didn’t know you guys were shagging and he came on to me, I was totally innocent.”
“Okay what about Graham Montague?”
“That was a misunderstanding.”
“Cassius Warrington?” She asked.
“Hey, Amortentia was involved in that one.” I pointed out.
“That’s low. But fine, I will try my best. But honestly George hates me, if I tell him I think you’re good he’ll think that you’re not.”
“Then tell him that I’m not good. Reverse psychology.” Monica smiled. “Thanks Vice you’re the best.” She walked back over to George.
Something told me this was not going to work out too well.
This is the first family dinner I’ve attended since getting my job. My family has no clue that I’ve turned into a responsible adult and I’m kind of excited to tell them. Being adopted, I can’t help but feel like the odd one out all the time. I don’t look like them, I don’t act like them and sometimes I felt like I’m from a different planet.
“So Vice, darling what have you been up to?” Mum asked.
“I um…I got a job!” I announced.
I don’t know how I feel about the looks of shock on everyone’s faces. Usually I love shock, but this feels more like they didn’t think I could actually do it.
“That’s amazing Vice!” Cece smiled. “I’m so proud of you.”
“Yeah, that’s brilliant!” Chris patted me on the back.
“Look at you becoming responsible.” Charlie grinned. “Good job, Vice.”
“This is amazing.” Dad stated. “Where are you working? Tell us all about it.”
“Um it's in Diagon Alley. It’s called Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. It’s a joke shop.”
“You’re working with Weasleys?” Charlie questioned. “Which ones?”
“George and Fred. The twins. They were a pretty big deal at school from what I hear. Pulled some pretty good pranks and used to sell their joke products. They’re actually pretty impressive.”
“Well what’s it like?” Cece asked.
“Amazing actually. It’s really fun! And I have this other boss, Sinthia Watson, she’s amazing. She and Fred are engaged.”
“Well maybe you can learn something from her.” Mum suggested.
“I can learn a lot of things from her.” I said. “She’s eighteen and owns her own store and is her own boss. How amazing is that?”
“Is it her store if her name isn’t in it?” Chris pointed out.
“She’s taking Fred’s name when they get married so they’ll all be Weasleys.”
“I think that’s cool.” Lucian said. “When we get married will you take my last name?”
“Vice Dole.” Charlie said slowly. “I don’t hate it.”
“Why don’t you take my last name instead?” I asked. “Lucian Richardson is a charming name.”
“What about a hyphen?” Mum asked excitedly. “That could be fun.”
I now realized I had given my mother hope for my future with Lucian. Should not have done that. Now I’ll never hear the end of this.
It’s strange because I’m pretty sure I’m in love with Lucian. And he’s kind of perfect. He’s gorgeous and funny and chaotic and he makes me feel good and important. I know he loves me a lot. But the thought of real love scares the shit out of me. I think it has to do with being adopted. I think because my biological parents didn’t want me no one else truly will. Therefore becoming serious with someone means being vulnerable enough to get hurt. I don’t know if I’m ready for that.
But along with becoming more responsible comes with me thinking I should start getting a little more serious about my relationship with Lucian. So I have to at least try.
“Yeah, a hyphen could be fun.” I smiled. “Don’t you think Luci?”
“Um, yeah, whatever you want, baby.” Lucian smiled back. He seemed surprised that I was being so open about this.
“Tell Sinthia to get a hyphen too.” Cece said. “Replacing your last name with a man’s is silly. No offense Mum.”
“Is that what you and Tommy will do?” I asked. “Where is he by the way?”
“He’s visiting his parents in Ireland. I wanted to go, but I couldn’t take off work.”
“Back to work, I really can’t believe you have a job and enjoy it.” Charlie shook his head. “So what’s next?”
“What do you mean?” I questioned.
“Well now you have a taste of the workforce, so what’s your next step to a real career?”
“Why can’t I have a career at the shop?”
“Well you can’t work at a joke shop for the rest of your life.” Chris laughed. “You have to grow up some time.”
“Says who?” I demanded. “What’s the difference between a job and a career?”
“A job is what you start off with, a career is what you do for the rest of your life.” Cece informed me. “So basically your dream job.”
“I don’t dream of working.” I admitted. “I mean who decided that we have to work for a living when there are so many fun things going in the world?”
“Vice doesn’t need to have a career.” Lucian said. “I can support the both of us on my own easily.”
Lucian got a hefty inheritance when he turned eighteen, so he’s one of those people who doesn’t have to work for a living. Yet he still enjoys selling muggle items. I think it’s more the thrill of doing something he’s not supposed to than anything else, since he doesn’t need the funds like I do.
My family isn’t poor or anything but they just get by. I didn’t get any kind of inheritance and obviously me and my siblings have to work to provide for ourselves. That does not mean I want a man to take care of me for the rest of my life. I will continue to steal from muggles if I have to!
“You don’t have to do that Lucian.” I said. “But I also don’t have to have a career. I can work at the joke shop forever if I want if it makes me happy.”
“You always do things unexpectedly.” Charlie said, smiling slightly. “Guess this shouldn’t be different.”
Why am I like that? Why do I have to do everything differently? It’s like I want myself to feel like more of an outsider than I already am.
“Can I see you in my office, Vice?” Sin asked.
My stomach dropped. George had told her about the party and that I kicked him and called him a prick. Oh I’m so getting fired.
“Um of course.”
I followed her, dreading every step. I was finally getting into this working thing and now it’s over. I sat down across from her, waiting for the blow.
“George told me about what happened the other day.” She started. “So I think you can imagine what I have to say.”
“Yes, I can imagine.” I whispered.
“You have to teach me how to do a keg stand.”
“He said you were upside down for more than a minute while chugging beer? That’s insane! How do you do that?”
“Um, practice, I guess.” I said, in utter shock. “So you’re not firing me?”
Sin laughed. “Of course not, I think you’re doing great. I mean George was in your house and walked behind you while you were doing a keg stand. That’s not grounds for firing at all.”
“Oh good. Cuz he seemed a little mad about it.”
“Well his date didn’t go great so I’m not shocked he was a little cranky.”
“Oh, did he and Monica not hit it off?” I questioned.
“Apparently she talks a lot and has an aggressive nature.” Sin informed me.
“Yeah, that sounds like Monica.” I laughed. “Oh that sucks. She really likes him. Don’t know why though.”
“Well I’ll make sure he lets her down easy. God I feel so bad for Georgie. It’s kind of my fault he’s in a position of being miserable and dating.”
“George is kind of in love with me. I guess he always was, but he never said anything. And then he kind of exploded and told us about how he felt. And he kissed me. But…”
“You were already in love with his brother.” I finished.
“Exactly. What I have with Freddie is magnetic. I’ve never felt this way about anyone in my life. Well, I mean I guess I felt that way with my ex fiance, but that was mostly a love potion amplifying what I felt for him.”
“But you did love him?”
“I did love Cedric. He was the first boy I actually fell in love with. A-and if things had happened differently I’d still be with him. I guess I just love Fred more. I still don’t know how it happened, but when it did there was no stopping it.” She smiled fondly.
“So you’ve been in love multiple times...isn’t that scary?” I asked.
“Terrifying. But completely worth it. No matter how messy it gets at the end of the day I know I have Fred and that will always be what matters most. Why do you ask?”
“I think I’m a little scared of love. Um...I was adopted and I don’t know, I’m worried if my parents couldn't love me that now one else can either. So I guess I’m scared to give someone so much of myself.”
“Oh, Vice. Sweetie, that’s just not true. You have no idea why your parents gave you up for adoption. Maybe they just didn’t think they could provide for you. But you’re amazing and I don’t think you should close yourself off. You deserve love and happiness.”
“Thanks Sin, that means a lot actually.”
“No problem. So is it weird being adopted?” She questioned.
“Oh yeah. I feel so different from everyone in my family. Almost like an outsider. And they’re not super supportive of this job either.”
“Do you wanna have dinner with us tonight? We’re having it at the Weasley's. You’re kind of a part of the family now, so you should meet them.”
“Um, yeah sure I guess. As long as I’m not imposing.”
“No not at all.” Sin smiled.
“Oh there you are!” An older woman I assume is Mrs. Weasley announced with a smile on her face. I watched as she hugged Sin, Fred and George and then her eyes landed on me and she looked excited. “Are you George’s girlfriend?”
“God no.” I said. “I mean, no, George and I are just...coworkers.”
“Oh you must be Vice! I’ve heard so much about you! Mostly good things.”
“I can imagine who the bad things are from.”
“Oh don’t mind George, he’s a little cranky sometimes.”
“I am not Mum, she’s evil!” George exclaimed.
“I’m an angel, Mrs. Weasley. I don’t know what George means.”
Mrs. Weasley laughed. “Oh call me Molly please. I’m sure you’re very much an angel.”
I raised my eyebrows at George and he glared at me. I was about to be on my best behavior tonight just to make it seem like George was crazy.
Unfortunately I had to be seated next to him for dinner, but I’m also next to Sin, so that’s okay. This is a full table. There’s Molly, Arthur, the younger brother Ron and his girlfriend Hermione Granger, the younger sister Ginny and her boyfriend Harry Potter and the older brother Charlie.
Apparently there are two more brothers who are not in attendance. My three siblings always seemed like too much, but that’s nothing compared to this.
“So tell us about you Vice!” Molly smiled. “What made you want to work at the joke shop?”
“It just looked like so much fun.” I smiled. “It was bright and beautiful and alluring. And I love working there. Fred and Sin are amazing.”
“Is George not?” Arthur questioned.
“George is really something. I have never met anyone quite like him.”
George looked over at me in shock. I smiled back at him. He was going to hate tonight.
“Do you know any nice girls for him?” Molly questioned.
“Well from what I hear he’s seeing my friend Monica and she’s nice...enough.” I answered.
“Well why didn’t you invite Monica to dinner, George?”
“I don’t think it’s going to work out with her mum.” George said quietly. “She’s not my type.”
Molly sighed heavily.
“Are any of your friends similar to Sin?” Ron asked. “That would make him happy.”
“Ron!” Hermione exclaimed. “I hardly think that’s appropriate to bring up.”
“I’m trying to help George get a girlfriend.”
“Well what do you know about that when you lucked your way into getting one?” Ginny asked.
“Honestly, Ron, you’re lucky Hermione decides to give you the time of day.” Harry agreed.
I can’t help but laugh. These kids are pretty fucking funny.
“Do you have a boyfriend, Vice?” Molly asked.
“From what I hear she has many.” George muttered. I stomped down at his foot. “Ouch!”
“No, I don’t really have a boyfriend.” I said. “I’m kind of a casual girl.”
“That’s admirable.” Ginny smiled. “Sometimes I wish I didn’t settle down so soon.”
“You’re fifteen, what do you know about settling down?” Sin laughed.
“Not as much as you considering you’re eighteen and you’ve been engaged twice.”
I could tell Sin and Ginny had a good relationship. I think that’s cute. Of course Cece and I love each other but we don’t have what they do.
“Did you attend Hogwarts?” Arthur questioned.
“Yeah, I was a Slytherin.”
“Of course!” Fred said suddenly. “I remember now! You used to get caught with muggle paraphernalia.”
“Yeah that was me.” I laughed.
This seemed to intrigue Arthur. “Do you know a lot about muggle things?”
“Yeah I kind of do.”
“Please explain a blender to me!”
“You don’t have to.” George whispered. “He’s got this weird thing about muggle devices.”
“No, it’s okay.” I assured him. “So muggles put ice and fruits and things into a blender and that mixes it all up and then they drink it!”
“Fascinating! Where does the ice go?”
“It gets crunched up I guess.”
“Oh that sounds amusing.” Molly chuckled.
“Um, the next I come across something good, I’ll bring it over for you. Think of it as a thank you for having me over for dinner.”
“How wonderful!” Arthur smiled.
“You don’t have to do that Vice.” George said quietly.
“It’s not a problem at all.” I said. “I don’t mind.”
“That’s...decent of you I guess.”
“Decent of you guys to have me over.” I shrugged.
“Vice, this is going to sound strange, but do you have a brother with my name?” Charlie questioned.
“Yeah, actually I do. I think you and Charlie were in the same year? Different houses obviously.”
“Yeah, he was Ravenclaw right?”
“Yeah, all my siblings were Ravenclaw.”
“But you weren’t. Usually families are sorted into the same houses since they have the same qualities.” Molly stated.
“Well, I’m actually adopted so I’m a little different from my family.”
“Yeah, I thought you and Charlie didn’t really look alike.” Charlie said thoughtfully.
“I’m sure you’re much cooler than your siblings.” Sin smiled.
“As someone who is also cooler than their siblings, I agree.” Fred grinned.
“Do you know anything about your biological parents?” George asked.
“Nothing. I feel weird asking my parents about it so I just leave it.” I admitted.
“Well, now that you work with the twins, you’re a part of our family too.” Molly smiled. “You are welcome here anytime.”
“Thank you, that’s so sweet.”
“It’s really a safe haven here.” Harry informed me. “The Weasleys are the best.”
“Yeah I’m seeing that.” I responded.
“So how is the joke shop boys?” Arthur asked. “Busy I hope.”
“Oh insanely busy.” Fred said excitedly. “It’s rarely ever empty.”
“Yeah, we didn’t realize so many people would need a laugh.” George said happily. “It’s going better than we ever expected.”
“And Vice has been the best help.” Sin added in. “I didn’t think we’d get an employee that fit in so perfectly!”
“Do you like pranks too?” Ron asked.
“Oh I love them! Sin and I got the boys pretty good the other day.”
“Oh what did you get them with?” Hermione asked.
“A simple removal of the bottom of the chairs.” I smiled.
“Oh they used to get me with that one!” Ginny giggled. “Glad they’re getting a taste of their own medicine.”
“Be careful, Vice, they’ll try to get you back.” Molly warned.
It was so strange to me how accepting everyone was about the joke shop and the pranking. No one was telling them they needed to grow up or be realistic. It must be nice to have a family that just accepts you as you are.
I stayed for much longer than I intended to, but the Weasleys were just so wonderful! Talking to them was easier than talking to my own family.
“I really should get going now.” I announced. “I have work in the morning and my bosses are real jerks.”
“Well it was so lovely to have you.” Molly hugged me. “You should come by every week for dinner.”
“Oh I couldn’t impose like that.”
“Nonsense! We’d love to have you.”
“Um, sure then. Okay.”
“Lovely to meet you Vice.” Arthur shook my hand. “I look forward to more muggle talk.”
“As do I.” I smiled.
“I’m really glad you came. See you tomorrow.” Sin hugged me.
I gave Fred a hug too and then I reached George. I wasn’t sure what to do with him considering we don’t like each other.
“Um, thanks for having me, I guess.” I muttered.
“Yeah sure.” He mumbled.
“George, walk Vice so she can Apparate, why don’t you?” Molly called.
George walked me outside and closed the door. We just stared at each other.
“Thanks for walking me out I guess.” I laughed. “Um you really don’t like Monica?”
“She’s a bit much.” He admitted. “I mean I love a lively girl but she’s kind of…”
“Yeah, that’s a good word.”
“Yeah, I figured. She asked me to put in a good word with you. I told her it wouldn’t work cuz you hate me and wouldn’t listen to me.”
“I don’t hate you Vice.”
“Well, fine, you don’t like me or whatever.”
“Should I give Monica another chance?” He asked.
“Well, I’ve known her a long time and she’s not changed, so I can’t imagine she will this time. So no. Just let her down easy and tell her that I did put in a good word.” I said.
George nodded. “Yeah, I can definitely do that.”
“Brilliant. I’ll see you tomorrow then?”
I pulled out my wand and apparated back home. As I fell asleep I couldn’t help but think of the Weasleys and how I couldn’t wait to have dinner with them again.
“Fred and I are going to leave a bit early, are you okay to close with George without setting the place on fire?” Sin asked.
“I think so, but I make no promises.” I laughed.
“You’re the best thanks!”
Closing with George wasn’t so bad. We didn’t say much, which I was fine with. I wasn’t sure if we still hated each other like before and that’s kind of strange.
I was in the storage room organizing the shelves when George walked in. “Hey Vice you didn’t handle the drawer today did you?”
“No, I’m still not trained on that.” I said. “Why?”
“Something seemed off with it. Maybe I need to recount.” I heard the door close.
“Um, George, do you have your keys?”
“The door just closed and locked us in here.” I said, hopping down from the ladder. “Did you kick my doorstop?”
“Maybe on accident but calm down, Vice.” George attempted to turn the knob, but it would not turn. “Don’t panic. I’ll just unlock it with my wand.”
He dug through his pockets and his eyes widened. “You don’t have your wand do you?” I asked.
“No, I left it at the register. You unlock it.”
“I don’t have my wand either.”
“Oh fuck.” He jiggled the door handle. “And we can’t apparate out of here either.”
“Great.” I sighed. “We’re stuck...together.”
A/N: Another update! The ice is melting between Vice and George, but how will they handle being stuck together in the storage room together? Will that bring them closer or make them hate each other even more? We'll see!
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