Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Make Them Gold

Summer '94, IV: Dudley Gets Ton-Tongue Tied

by nevilleslongbottom 0 reviews

in which the weasleys prove to be even more chaotic that the entire black family combined . . . | alternatively: ginny ambushes aurelia to talk about feelings, yikes . . .

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Humor - Characters: Arthur Weasley,Fred,George,Ginny,Harry - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2021-01-02 - 7138 words

                "MUM WANTS TO know if you're ready to leave," Ellie asks as he passes the door.

                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 almost ready."

                "Well hurry up, Blue, I wanna see George!"

                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.

                "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?"

                "As always."

                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 my mum. 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, coming back into my room after that, I don't think so. I fucking hate ghosts."

                There's a pecking at her window and she turns to see that great big owl has arrived with a letter, it's Neville's owl or rather his grandmother's owl — it's a goddamned creepy big thing! Aurelia let's the owl come inside to get some food and water as she reads his letter.

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, wish I could have come but you know how my gran is, it sounds like you had a lot of fun. I still haven't found the perfect present for you yet. I got you this sunflower for now! 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 Reginald ate it. I'm hoping he doesn't but he 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 so quickly.

Dear Neville,

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 thank you so much for the sunflower, it's very lovely! I hope you have a good rest of your week, I'll write 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 earlier! I talked mum 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 Mae and her cousins. 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.

                Aurelia doesn't know how long she'll be able to avoid Ginny because Mae and Ellie spend a lot of time at the Burrow. Last summer they visited for a two days and by some miracle, Aurelia managed to avoid Ginny. And, Aurelia knows that next summer they'd probably spend some time at the burrow. It has to do with Mae being Molly's ex-sister-in-law or something along the lines and then, of course, Ellie definitely has something going on with George. So, avoiding Ginny forever is impossible but Aurelia would hold it off for as long as she could because she doesn't want Ginny to tell her that she hates her for what her father did.

                "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. Arthur," 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 Oliv —"

                "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 trusted friend, my second favourite Weasley, how can you betray me like that," 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!"

                "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. 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. She bites on her lip to keep from smiling, if she was being honest, she would love to see them test their toffees on Dudley but she couldn't let Arthur suspect anything.

                "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. Nym 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 rise at once in the broken 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.

                "Right then, George," Arthur instructs, "you and the trunk."

                Harry helps George carry the trunk forward into the flames and turn it onto its end so that he could hold it better. Then, with a second whoosh, George cries  out "the Burrow!" and vanishes too.

                "Ron, you next!"

                "See you," Ron says brightly to the Dursleys and he grins broadly at Harry, then steps into the fire, shouting "the Burrow!" and disappears.

                "Well . . . Bye then," Harry says to the Dursleys but they don't say anything at all.

                Aurelia smiles sympathetically at Harry, understanding what it was like to be ignored like that, Harry moves toward the fire, but just as he reaches the edge of the hearth, Arthur puts out a hand and holds him back. He looks at the Dursleys in amazement.

                "Harry said goodbye to you," Arthur says, "Didn't you hear him?"

                "It doesn't matter," Harry mutters to him, "Honestly, I don't care."

                Aurelia's heart pangs as she thinks of how the Malfoys had ignored her on most days especially after the werewolf attack, when she had needed them most.

                Arthur doesn't remove his hand from Harry's shoulder "You aren't going to see your nephew till next summer. Surely you're going to say goodbye?"

                Mr. Dursley looks beyond angry and Aurelia's surprised he's not saying anything rude but Arthur's wand was still in his hand Mr. Dursley's eyes keep darting to it. Finally, in a very resentful voice he says: "Goodbye, then."

                "See you," Harry says, taking another step to the fireplace but at that moment a horrible gagging sound erupts behind him, and his aunt starts to scream.

                Aurelia jumps at first, the sound of the scream startling her but the she has to bite back another smile because she remembers that's probably just the twins' wonderful work at play. The three of them turn to look, Harry's cousin is no longer standing behind his parents but rather he's now kneeling beside the coffee table, gagging and sputtering on a foot-long, purple, slimy thing that was protruding from his mouth — his tongue.

                She snickers into her hand, Fred had to 'forgotten' to pick up one of his Ton-Tongue Toffees.

                "Not to worry, I can sort him out," Arthur offers, advancing on Dudley with his wand outstretched, but Mrs. Dursley screams worse than ever and throws herself on top of Dudley, shielding him from Arthur.

                "No, really," Arthur says desperately, "It's a simple process — it was the toffee — my son Fred — real practical joker — but it's only an Engorgement Charm — at least, I think it is — please, I can correct it —"

                But, the Dursleys won't listen and their panic furthers, Mr. Dursley throws a china ornament at Arthur and Aurelia swear she sees red.

                "Hey —" Aurelia snarls going to charge at him, ready to beat his ass for disrespecting Aurthur like that, she doesn't care that Mr. Dursley is a full grown man that could snap her like a twig. But Arthur steps in front of her, whether it's to shield Aurelia from more ornaments or to stop her from attacking Mr. Dursley, she doesn't know but it works.

                "Now really," Arthur says angrily as he brandishes his wand, "I'm trying to help!"

                When Mr. Dursley snatches up another ornament to throw at them, Aurelia tugs on Harry's shirt and gestures toward the roaring fire, she reckons, after thinking it over, that Arthur can handle Mr. Dursley just fine. Aurelia doesn't want Harry to get hit, she's certain that he gets worse but she'd rather not witness it because she'd be carted off to Azkaban. It seems that Arthur has the same idea as he tells them to go and so they do. Aurelia goes through first, Harry follows right behind.

                "Did he eat it," Fred asks them eagerly as soon as they enter the Weasleys' kitchen.

                "Yeah," Harry replies, straightening up, "What was it?"

                Aurelia brushes some ash off of her clothes, hoping that Arthur is able to handle the situation alright there. She knows that he will but she can't help but worry.

                "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 shakes her head, only Harry Potter could do that kind of thing.

                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 Mae and see 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," Mae 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 sighs, "Although, I almost did. The brute threw this decoration thing at him and I almost went bloody ape shit on him.

                "He sounds like he deserved a good ass kicking," Mae says, "But, I'm proud you showed restraint."

                "Thank you, it took a lot of it," Aurelia says jokingly and Mae laughs.

                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 Mae'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 stares confusedly at Mae, she stares back at him with a soft smile.

                "Oh! That's our Aunt Mae, she's like our mum's sister but they're not actually related and they don't really like each other but she's here a lot because we like her and she's nice," Ron tells Harry who Aurelia realises at that moment, has never met Mae and she feels sort of bad for not introducing her to Harry like a good daughter should.

                "Uh, hi . . . Er . . . ?"

                "Hello, Harry, it's nice to finally meet you, I've heard a lot about you from Aurelia and Ellie. I'm Mae Macleod," Mae says, smiling brightly as she extends a bony hand for him to shake.

                "Hi, it's nice to meet you too," Harry says awkwardly, shaking her hand. He looks between Aurelia and Mae with a forced smile on his face. It's not that it wasn't nice to meet Maeve Macleod as he's only heard good things about her from Aurelia and Ellie, it's just that being around Aurelia made him irrationally nervous. He liked Aurelia, she was nice, she was nothing like her brother and she never did that whole thing of 'wow, you're the Boy-Who-Lived!' when she met him, which a lot of people do.

                But, Aurelia creeped him out, he couldn't bring himself to be around her long even though he considered her a good friend. He knew it was odd because she's never done anything to warrant such a feeling, perhaps it's because she was really pretty. Probably one of the prettiest girls he knew, of course, he had known her for almost four years so he's gotten pretty good at ignoring that feeling.

                Aurelia beams at him, resting her chin on top of Mae's head which was easy for her as she's way taller than the redhead "What are you guys talking about?"

                "Fred and George — 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 damned good at it," Mae 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 Mae 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," Aurelia says as though it should be obvious.

                "Right," Ron says sarcastically, "How could I forget that."

                Aurelia sticks her tongue out at his sarcastic remark and ten continues on in a very professional voice: "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."

                But, it's not fine at all, how was she going to avoid Ginny now?

                Mae pats her shoulder "He mustn't of heard you, wee moon."

                "Right, right. I've got a poem to finish anyway," Aurelia says softly, which wasn't a lie but no poem was going to stop Ginny from confronting her and calling her out for what her father had done and ending their friendship because of it.

                "Very well, I'm gonna go help Molls with dinner. I believe we're eating outside tonight," Mae 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 Mae for help but Mae is already walking away and although Aurelia can't see her face, she knows that there's probably an amused smile on the redhead'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 three 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. It's not that the whole Weasley didn't know who was to blame for Ginny's near death experience but she'd rather not bring it up in front of them.

                "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 that diary he gave me and because of that I lead the basilisk to attack you," Ginny argues, "I could've — Malfoy 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, I'm sure your father's killed lots of people, I mean he was a Death-Eater, wasn't he? But, 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, beyond thrilled to have her favourite Weasley back. Now that she thinks of it, she doesn't really know how it would be her fault. If she had known that it was her father that had slipped that book into Ginny's possessions she would've either called him out or taken the book for herself but she hadn't. Aurelia had not seen that book until it was too late and when she did try to help Ginny, well, it didn't go well but she did try to do the right thing.

                "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.

                "Dually noted," Aurelia laughs, pulling away from Ginny so that she can wipe the tears from her own eyes.

                "I need to tell you something though," Ginny says, looking nervous once again which makes Aurelia nervous because she thought this whole heavy discussion was done and over with.

                "Aye, what is it," Aurelia asks but quite frankly she does not want to know.

                "Um . . ." Ginny trails off, looking at something behind Aurelia who is to nervous to even bother to look at what had distracted Ginny. But, if she had turned and looked she would have seen a distraught but angry looking Mae standing at the bottom of the stairs, looking up and shaking her head at Ginny.

                "Aye," Aurelia says, encouraging Ginny to spit it out without being rude.

                "It's a total subject change, Blue, but I met this cute Ravenclaw girl and we have Transfiguration together but you wouldn't even believe it but I can't talk to her, she's just so bloody cute that I get distracted," Ginny exclaims.

                Ginny's sudden change in attitude would have given Aurelia whiplash if not for the fact Aurelia was just so relieved that what Ginny wanted to talk about had nothing to do with what happened in Aurelia's second year.

                "Really, wow, you must tell me more!"


                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.

                Aurelia lowers her gaze to see Arthur, Molly, and Mae standing in front of the kitchen window which overlooked the backyard. Arthur and Molly looked surprised while Mae looked smug, Arthur hands over something to Mae who takes it eagerly as she laughs.

                After that 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. And by seven o'clock, the two tables were groaning under dishes and dishes of Mrs. Weasley's excellent cooking, and the nine Weasleys, Harry, Mae, Ellie, and Aurelia sat themselves down to enjoy a nice dinner. Mae sits next to Aurelia who sits next to Percy, 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 Mae clamps at hand over her a mouth.

                "Don't you dare, Asterope Aurelia," Mae hisses in her ear, "You are not supposed to know just yet."

                Aurelia sighs dramatically but drops it and grabs some more potatoes "When will we be going dress shopping, Mae?"

                "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."

                Mae 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.

                "It's no disappointment at all, besides, I've got the better Weasley brother who totally digs it," Ellie jokes back which causes Bill to laugh in disbelief.

                The entire dinner table falls silent as Ellie and George had sort of just come out and confirmed what they had had all been thinking but then Ellie laughs loudly and 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. Leaving no room for anyone to question it, or perhaps no one had any questions. As far as Aurelia was concerned, she was just glad that Ellie was happy.

                "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 feigning shock.

                "Please, kids," Mae buts in, "There's no competition, the entire Black Family is a disaster."
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