Disclaimer: As usual, these
characters are the property of JK Rowling and Warner Bros. I am merely
borrowing them for the moment.
A/N: As always, thanks to Zsenya for beta-reading and offering Helpful Suggestions.
Alicia spread the photos of the
Yule Ball out on her bedspread. Fred and Angelina waved exuberantly up at her
before Fred pulled Angelina into a wild tango ending with a gravity defying
dip. In the next photo, Kit was sitting on a table holding court with several
attractive Beauxbatons boys. Alicia grinned; all Kit really needed to look like
a vampish flapper from the 1920s was a long, silver cigarette
holder. In the third photograph, she, Angelina, and Kit appeared to have
overdosed slightly on Butterbeer. They had adopted a line position and had
lifted their robes just enough to show their ankles. It had been Kit’s idea.
She’d found some old photographs from balls that had taken place during the
Victorian era. One of the photos had had three girls posing in just the same
way. Across the photo, a disapproving hand had written Scandalous! 30 points from Ravenclaw.
The three Chasers had burst into hysterical laughter and decided that they had
to imitate it. In the fourth photograph she
turned over, she and George were smiling up from the photograph, but on closer
examination, George was casually dropping something into her drink while
pretending to drape an arm around her shoulders. Her photographic self sipped
from the glass and was promptly gifted with purple hair. The photographic George doubled over with
laughter and the sequence began again. Alicia shook her head and sighed. Typical, how typical.
Although annoyed at George’s
behavior, Alicia found it somehow reassuring that, despite what had happened in
the past year, George was the type who would always be
able to find humor in a situation. She really
had enjoyed herself at the Yule Ball.
She had never told this to George, but then, she wasn’t quite sure if
she was free to do so. Had he asked her
as a friend, or as something more? She pulled out a quill and a piece of
parchment from her desk drawer and began to write.
feel strange writing you a letter like this. It doesn’t seem flippant or funny
enough but somehow I think you’ll understand this better than anyone else and I
know you do have your serious side. I want you to use it now and please, please
don’t show this to Fred.
I’m scared. Terrified,
really. I may not have been aware of You-Know-Who’s reign of terror
while it was going on, but I do read. You know I get top marks in HoM boring as it is. And I read about what it was like, for
purebloods and Muggle-borns alike. I’m scared that
that’s coming back. I was at the Quidditch World Cup with Angelina and Kit and
I saw what the Death Eaters did to that poor campsite owner and his family. All
I could think was that that could be me. That could be my family. And the Dark
Mark. I’ve never seen anything so disturbing in all my life. The
thought that I could come home and see that hovering above my house and know
that Mum and Dad and Will are all dead or worse than dead haunts me.
The Yule Ball seems so far away and
mundane. But Kit says mundane things keep us from focusing on the morbid. So I
wanted to tell you that I really had a good time with you. Even
if you did turn my hair purple at the end. Damn Color-Changing
Cocktails. Oh well, I always wanted to know what I would look like with a wild
It’s funny that that all seems so
trivial now though I was so annoyed with you at the time. I wish that were all
I was worried about now. You and Fred really do need to open your joke shop as
soon as possible. Sometimes the only sense you can make out of life is a sense
of humor and I think that’s especially appropriate now.
at the Weasley table was always an event. All the Weasleys had learned from
experience not to sit on Errol and to sit far enough back from the table so as
not to get splashed by cereal when Errol fell into it or when Ron’s tiny owl, Pigwidgeon, engaged in his favorite habit of nose-diving
into the cereal. On this particular morning, Pig’s aim had been off and,
instead of diving into Ron’s cereal as he’d planned, he’d fallen into one of
the bowls that Fred and George had tampered with and was now covered in a
series of ultra-orange polka dots. The twins decided that now would be a good
time to make themselves scarce. They were followed,
however, by a persistent brown owl which dropped a letter on George’s head and
made its way out the open window of their bedroom.
from?” Fred asked.
looked at the envelope, “Alicia.”
lovely Lady Green-Eyes, and what does she have to say?” Fred asked, making a quick grab for the
envelope. Fred was responsible for the nickname. He’d come up with it during a
Quidditch practice when Harry and Alicia had collided with each other because
both of them had responded to George’s yell of “Hey, Green-eyes, look out!”
Fred had decided to give both Harry and Alicia titles to prevent that sort of
confusion from ever happening again. Among their circle of friends, Lady
Green-Eyes had stuck and it was how Fred usually addressed Alicia.
name George?” asked George holding the envelope out of his twin’s reach, “I
haven’t read it yet, anyway.”
right,” Fred turned to the table in the corner that served as their lab and
began work on their latest invention, something they’d entitled Astounding
Adhesives. It was actually rather different because it could be used both as a
prank substance and a useful one.
George had opened the letter, Fred turned back, “Well, what does she say?”
was reading his letter, grinned, “She says not to tell you.”
ensued a brief but furious struggle over the letter which ended with the
Astounding Adhesive getting everywhere including all over Fred who accidentally
backed up against the wall and, when he tried to reach the letter again, discovered
that the Adhesive was a great success.
settled down with quill and parchment to reply and Fred tried to un-stick
himself from the wall. When he’d finally, with a great deal of pain, succeeded,
George had nearly finished his letter. Fred had a sudden idea; he, just like
everyone else in their circle, was tired of seeing George and Alicia circle
around each other.
meeting Angelina in Diagon Alley next Wednesday-.”
this, you’ve told me this at least ten times-.”
“I’m not finished, you should ask Alicia if she wants to go with
shrugged in an exaggeratedly casual manner and added a postscript.
How about green hair next time? Thanks
for the encouragement. We certainly don’t get any from Mum. I’m glad you had a
good time at the Ball. Does that mean I can count on you if there’s another one
If it’s any comfort, we’re a bit
unsettled ourselves. I remember when we were very little, we had to be very
quiet all the time and of course for Fred and me that was a very difficult
task. Maybe even more so than facing a Blast- Ended Skrewt. At
least then you can yell things at it.
There’s more hope this time, I think.
You know, because of Harry and his faithful sidekicks. After all, You Know Who
has tried to come back for the past three years and hasn’t really
succeeded. In any case, none of us will
let anything happen to anyone else. We stick together especially if you use our
new invention, Astounding Adhesives. Fred is currently trying to un-stick
himself from the wall which, one, proves that it works
quite well and two, prevents him looking over my shoulder at what I am writing.
You say a sense of humor is a good
thing. Good girl. I’m enclosing a few Canary Creams. You can be our walking Weasleys’
Wizard Wheezes endorsement.
p.s. Fred says he’s meeting
up with Angelina in Diagon Alley next Wednesday, would you fancy meeting up as
Squawk! All right, now that I’ve
finished molting, I’d love to meet up with you in Diagon Alley. And thanks for
folded up her reply, attached it to Athena’s leg, and glanced at the canary
beside her. The feathers dropped off and soon Will was back to normal.
he began ingratiatingly, “will I ever get to meet the twins?”
so,” Alicia said, smiling a little dreamily and trying to decide whether this
jaunt to Diagon Alley was a date or not. Will noticed this, and began to tease.
him, don’t you?”
responded in typical denial fashion, “I do not! He’s just a really good
clearly didn’t believe her and made a face at her at the same time as he began
to chant, “Alicia and George, sitting in a tree-.”
from her chair with a terrible expression.
“Out. Now,” she said slowly and dangerously. Will took one
look at her face, grabbed Quidditch Through The
Ages, and left the room before she hexed him. She never would have hexed
him of course, that would be considered Muggle-baiting, but she liked that she could
grey owl, Hecate, whooshed in through the window and
dropped a letter on her desk.
“Hi, Hecate,” Alicia stroked the owl’s feathers, “No visiting
with Athena today, I’m afraid. She’s off delivering a letter to George.”
Fred has asked me to meet him in
Diagon Alley next Wednesday and he just Flooed me to say that George has asked
you. Told you so. Anyway, do you want to go together?
If your parents say yes, you can Floo over to my house on Tuesday and spend the
night and we can go to Diagon Alley together in the morning.
Wild hippogriffs couldn’t keep me away.
There was a soft flump and Alicia turned to see Errol
slumped on her bed. She was popular today. This letter was addressed in Fred’s
handwriting. She performed a quick spell check on the envelope and found, to
her great surprise, that there were no hexes or charms or anything on the
envelope. She opened it warily, but nothing besides a piece of parchment jumped
out at her.
ever Lady Green-Eyes,
Whatever was in that letter that
George wouldn’t let me look at? Can an equally attractive Weasley persuade you
to write me one like that? Angie wouldn’t like it of course, but I’m
notoriously curious about things that are none of my business.
She giggled. There
was only one response to that.
Angie will tell me everything anyway.
I’ve hexed him by owl so don’t worry.
p.s. See you Tuesday.
smiled and wondered how, exactly, Angelina had hexed him. Oh well, she supposed
she would hear on Tuesday. The noise
from the television downstairs about the latest football match reminded her
that she ought to write to Lee. His Quidditch commentary had apparently
attracted WWN officials who thought he would be capable of commentating on
professional matches. However, there was a lot of competition for spaces and
Lee was in the midst of that competition right now. If he made it, then he
wouldn’t have to worry about NEWTs or anything. He could probably use some good luck wishes.
How are tryouts going? I really hope
you’re successful. I’d love to be able to turn on the WWN and hear you
commentating. I missed your Quidditch commentary this year although your
running commentary on the Tasks was quite amusing. That was really sweet of you to take that
Hufflepuff fourth year to the Yule Ball. Every time I saw her in the corridors
afterward, she had a huge smile on her face. It did wonders for her looks.
Do your parents approve? Are you as
nervous as I am about seventh year and You Know Who and everything?
Lee Jordan was finding it hard not
to be intimidated. The witch on his left was looking disapprovingly at his
dreadlocks and the wizard on his right was looking disapprovingly at Betsy who
was snoozing on his shoulder.
The sour faces of the WWN
administrators and his competitors were causing a definite drop in his
confidence. Apparently, his bouncy commentary with its frivolous asides was not
what they wanted.
Ha. Only if it acted just as the old blood had done. Lee was beginning to feel
tempted to pull a face at the world in general.
A witch holding a clipboard
appeared in the doorway, “Jarvis, Jillian” she stated in a flat voice. The
witch who had been staring at Lee’s hair stood up, threw him another
disapproving look and disappeared through the doorway. Lee looked after her
thinking that she didn’t look like a Jillian at all, the name seemed too
friendly. At that moment, a brown owl
swooped in through the window. Lee scooped Betsy up and put her protectively in
his shirt pocket.
The owl wasn’t interested in Betsy
though. It dropped a letter on his head and settled down on the table to wait
for a reply. Lee looked down at the envelope. Alicia’s familiar handwriting was
scrawled across it. He opened the envelope.
“Look, Betsy. Alicia sent us a
Betsy poked herself out of his
pocket to take a look. She was a lot more intelligent than people gave her credit
Alicia’s writing always made him
smile. She was so serious about everything. It always amused him that they’d
met because, on the Weasley twins’ urging, he’d dropped a dead spider down the
back of her robes during their first Potions class.
He read through her letter,
grinned, turned it over, and wrote his response on the back. They’d always
written letters to each other like that. Neither of them was quite sure why.
Alicia called it recycling. Lee called it silly.
Dear Chaser Spinnet,
Tryouts are as to be expected. I’m
doing my best, but I have the feeling I’m not boring enough in my commentating.
All the other commentators are old balding wizards and McGonagall look-alikes.
I can’t wait to get back to school and my regular commentating schedule.
My parents would rather I do
something more respectable. They think I ought to be a Healer like Great-Aunt
Betsy. I wouldn’t be a Healer, but even if I would be, I wouldn’t want to be
one like Great-Aunt Betsy. There’s a reason my tarantula’s name is Betsy; the
family resemblance is astonishing and Betsy the tarantula is the better-looking
of the two.
The Hufflepuff’s name is Eloise. For
someone who’s afraid of heights, she knows a lot about Quidditch and she didn’t
make fun of my dancing either which I appreciated. Nor did she ditch me for one
of those Beauxbatons prats.
And I’m trying not to think about You-Know-Who or the