The Sugar Quill
Author: Poppy P (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Home Alone  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Home Alone

By Poppy P

A/N: I took the title from that other little Chris Columbus film. I borrowed a line from Disney’s “The Aristocats” and I got inspired by “The Goonies”. Just another one of those silly, little missing time scenes. Enjoy!

“They’re up to something!” announced six-year-old Ginny in a singsong voice. She skipped into the living room, red pigtails bouncing, and stopped in front of her brother Ron. The seven-year-old boy was sitting on the couch pouring over the latest Martin Miggs Comic.

“Who is?” asked Ron without bothering to look up from his book.

“Fred and George!” said Ginny with savage triumph. She brought her redheaded rag doll level to her face. “Aren’t they Mrs Gabby?” she asked the little scarlet-robed figure.

“Fred and George are up to something,” declared the doll woodenly. Their father had recently charmed Ginny’s doll to talk. She mostly repeated sentences she had heard.

“What are they doing?” asked Ron disinterestedly. Their nine-year-old twin brothers were almost always ‘up to something’.

“They’re going through Bill and Charlie’s school trunks!” Ginny’s voice trembled with indignation.

Bill, their oldest brother, had recently finished his seventh and final year at Hogwarts. Charlie would be starting his sixth the following year. Their school trunks had been sitting in their bedroom, unpacked, for over a week.

“George found some disgusting magazine in Bill’s trunk. It’s full of naked girls!” said Ginny, outraged.

Ron looked up suddenly. “Ewww! Who’d want to look at girls anyway? I hate girls!”

“I’m a girl,” said Ginny, lower lip quavering. “Don’t you like me?”

“You’re not a girl!” contested Ron hotly. “You’re just a sister!”

“Anyway,” continued Ginny in a business-like manner, “now they found some sweets in Charlie’s trunk and they’re sneaking them all out.”

“So go and tell,” said Ron lazily, returning to his book.

“I can’t. Mum took Percy to get his new glasses. Dad’s at work. Bill’s in charge, but he’s out playing Quidditch with Charlie. There’s nobody to tell! Don’t they know that children should be supersized?” she asked, placing her hands on her hips.

“Supervised, stupid,” said Ron with a snort.

“That’s what I meant,” said Ginny with a stamp of her foot.

Ron flipped a page in his book. “Don’t worry. Charlie’ll pound them when he finds out.”

“But it may be too late by then,” said Ginny, swinging her doll around by a cloth arm. “They’ll have eaten all of Charlie’s sweets.”

Ron shrugged.

“Well, if you’re not going to do anything about it, then I suppose I’ll have to. Mum’s not here, so that makes me the woman of the house.” Ginny squared her shoulders and headed for the stairs.

“Suit yourself,” said Ron, absorbed in his comic.

Ginny had not been gone ten minutes when Ron heard her loud cries. He jumped to his feet and sprinted up the stairs. Ginny was annoying, but that didn’t mean he’d allow Fred and George to torture her.

He ran into his brothers’ room where he found Fred holding Mrs Gabby above Ginny’s head. Ginny was crying as she tried to reach her. George was laughing as Fred twisted the cloth doll’s little arm around her back.

“Give her the doll,” commanded Ron.

Ron’s sudden appearance startled Fred into dropping the doll. Ginny quickly snatched her up and ran to stand behind Ron. “You’re going to get it now,” she sniffled, patting her doll back into shape.

The battered doll answered in its usual monotone. “You’re going to get it now.”

“Is ickle Ronniekins going to try and stop us as well?” asked Fred in a mocking tone.

“I don’t care what you do,” said Ron, edging his way towards the door. “I just want you to leave her alone.”

“She said she was going to tell on us,” said George indignantly.

Ron turned back towards his sister who was nodded furiously. “I’m telling.”

“Come on Ginnypoo,” wheedled George. “We’ll share some of the sweets with you if you keep quiet.”

“Can Ronny have some too?” asked Ginny. Ron looked at his sister admiringly. Apparently her moral sense of outrage did not prevent her from partaking in the stolen sweets.

“Of course he can,” said Fred suddenly. “See?” He shoved a lollipop towards Ron.

Ron took the acid-green sweet in Fred’s hand and shrugged. “Seems fair,” he said, peeling the wrapper off and popping it into his mouth.

The instant the lollipop touched his tongue, Ron felt a horrible burning sensation. His tongue was on fire! He spat the pop out but it kept burning. He ran around the room, trying to scream with his tongue hanging out.

“Blimey!” cried George, “That burnt a hole right through his tongue! What was that?”

“Acid pop!” said Fred, with a note of panic in his voice. “I didn’t know they would burn that badly.”

Ron was still running around, fanning his tongue with his hand. Ginny was wailing and trying to help by waving Mrs Gabby in front of him. “Poor Ronny! Poor Ronny!”

“What’s all this racket? And what are you doing in our room?”

Bill and Charlie walked in on the chaotic scene. Bill caught sight of Ron’s perforated tongue and pulled out his wand. “Extinguo!” he cried, pointing his wand at Ron.

Ron felt the pain lesson immediately, however he still had a large, raw hole in the middle of his tongue. He tried to speak, but his words came out quite garbled.

“Fed id it,” said Ron, pointing a finger at Fred accusingly.

Charlie stooped down to pick up the discarded wrapper from the floor. “Acid pop,” he said, showing the wrapper to Bill.

Bill turned on the twins furiously. “You idiots gave him an acid pop? Didn’t you read the wrapper? It says they’re not fit for human consumption!”

“I just wanted to see what would happen,” said Fred, shoving his hands in his pockets and scraping his worn sneakers on the carpet.

“He didn’t know it would burn a hole like that,” said George standing next to his twin.

“Mum’s going to kill us all!” moaned Bill.

“But I didn’t do anything!” cried Ginny.

Fred pointed an accusing finger at her. “This is all your fault, you little snitch!”

“You’re the idiot who gave him the thing!” stormed Charlie.

“Ah ha a ho in ma pong!” said Ron awkwardly.

George stepped closer to Ron and peered intently at his tongue. “Do you think Mum will notice?” he asked.

Everyone stopped talking at once and looked at him incredulously. “Of course she’ll notice, you great, stupid prat! He’s got a bloody hole in his tongue!” shouted Bill.

He ran a hand through his bright hair causing it to stand up in spikes. “Charlie and I will get it because we’re the oldest. Tweedledum and Tweedlestupid,” he pointed at the twins, “will get it for giving him the damn thing. Even Ginny will catch it for not telling someone sooner.”

Ginny burst into loud wails, Mrs Gabby sobbing along with her.

Charlie paced the room anxiously. “Can’t you heal it Bill? I mean, you are a qualified wizard now.”

Bill looked slightly embarrassed. “No. I didn’t take any classes in magical healing. That’s why all I did was stop the hole from getting bigger. If I tried to repair it, I might end up taking his whole tongue out.”

Ron’s eyes widened with horror and he shook his head frantically.

“Dad can fix it!” said George suddenly. “If we can just hold on until Dad gets home, we’ll tell him it was an accident.”

Fred burst into an eager grin. “That’s right! Dad won’t go all mad on us like Mum. We’ll just explain to him that it was an accident.”

“But Mum will be home first, that means we have to keep this from her until Dad’s home and we can speak to him privately,” said Charlie. “Can you keep your mouth shut Ron?”

They all turned to Ron. Fred threw an arm around him. “Come on Ronny. I swear,” he indicated George, “we’ll never pull a prank like this on you again.”

Ron looked at them skeptically. Then he crossed his eyes to look at his protruding tongue. “Ah don no…”

“Please Ron,” said Ginny, throwing her arms around him. “I don’t want to catch it!”

Ron relented immediately. “Ohay,” he agreed.

As if on cue, they heard a door slam downstairs. “Children! We’re home!” their mother’s voice called up to them.

Seconds later, their eleven-year-old brother Percy, walked into the room. “Mother wants you all downstairs. She’s fixing us a snack.” His eyes narrowed suspiciously behind his new, horned-rimmed glasses. “What have you lot been doing?” he asked.

“We’ve been helping Bill and Charlie to unpack,” said Fred quickly.

“Well, you haven’t done a very good job, have you?” Percy surveyed the room critically.

“Sod off Perce,” said Charlie, heading for the door. “Come on, let’s go and see what Mum has for us.”

“It’s biscuits and lemonade,” answered Percy.

Ron whimpered.

Molly greeted them cheerfully as she set out the cups. “Hello dears! I thought we’d have a snack to tide us over until dinner. Dad owled me to say he’s going to work late tonight. So I thought we’d wait to have dinner with him.”

They sat around the wooden table, cheerfully answering their mother’s inquiries.

“Did Fred and George de-gnome the garden like I asked?”

“Did Ginny clean her room?”

“Did you boys unpack your trunks?”

Mrs Weasley turned suddenly to Ron. “Why aren’t you eating, dear?”

Ron clamped his lips shut and shrugged.

“Are you sick?” asked Mrs Weasley with concern.

Bill, Charlie, the twins and Ginny, shared a guilty look.

“What’s wrong with Ron?” asked Mrs Weasley, staring around the table at her children.

“He…he had a snack earlier,” said Charlie tentatively. “Maybe he’s just not hungry.”

“Is this true Ron?” Mrs Weasley asked.

Ron nodded vigorously.

“Has a kneazle got your tongue? Answer me with your mouth, Ronald,” demanded Mrs Weasley.

“Yeth,” he said carefully.

“Why does he sound funny?” asked Percy. He jumped suddenly. “Ouch! Mum, George just kicked me under the table!”

Bill kicked George who hissed in pain. Charlie started humming an odd, strained little tune. Fred was on the verge of hyperventilating. Ginny placed Mrs Gabby on her shoulder and popped her thumb in her mouth.

“What’s going on?” demanded Mrs Weasley in her sternest voice.

Mrs Gabby suddenly wriggled off of Ginny’s shoulder and hopped onto the middle of the table. “I’ve had enough of this!” she cried in a squeaky, outraged voice.

“Mrs Gabby,” gasped Ginny. The rest of the table gaped at the doll, open-mouthed. Only Mrs Weasley remained nonplussed.

“This one,” cried Mrs Gaby, pointing a rag arm at Fred, “gave that one a very dangerous sweet! It burned a hole right through his tongue. The rest of them are covering up for him because they think they’ll be in trouble as well. But it’s not right for the little one to go around with a hole in his tongue. I’ve tried to be a good companion to your daughter, but this is a mad house! Not only did he burn a hole in his brother’s tongue, he twisted my arm as well! Look at it! My seams are coming undone and everything!” She hopped up and down, shaking her tiny, rag fists. “I’ll not stay here a moment longer!” The jumped off the table, landed on the floor and ran out the door. Nobody moved to stop her.

Mrs Gabby never came back inside the Burrow. The children would spy her occasionally in the garden, running around with the gnomes. Weasley legend stated that she became some sort of leader for them.

Mrs Weasley sprang at Ron and pried his mouth open. “Oh my goodness!” she cried at the sight of her youngest son’s tongue. “Bill, hand me my wand.” Within seconds, Ron’s tongue was whole again. Stiff, but whole. “Bill,” said Mrs Weasley quietly, “take Ron into the living room and let him lie down. The rest of you lot, leave Fred and I alone.”

Fred gulped audibly as his mother reached for her broom. George gave his twin one last, desperate look. He hung back until Charlie pulled him out of the room.

It wasn’t long after they heard the swish and thud of their mum’s broom that Fred’s cries started. George clenched his eyes shut and covered his ears. Even Bill and Charlie winced in sympathy. Every single one of them, with the exception of Ginny and Percy, had been on the receiving end of their mother’s broom at one time or another.

After a few minutes, Fred emerged from the kitchen, sniveling and rubbing his bottom. He glanced briefly at his wide-eyed siblings before heading up the stairs. George ran after him immediately.

“He deserved it,” said Percy smugly.

Ron shot him a look of disgust. “Come on,” he said, leading everyone except Percy up the stairs towards the twins’ room.

They found George sitting next to Fred on his bed and patting his back consolingly. Fred was lying on his stomach.

“Did it hurt?” asked Ginny in a very small voice.

“What do you think?” said George savagely.

“He’ll live,” said Charlie wisely. He sat on George’s bed and pulled Ginny onto his lap. “But he won’t be able to sit for a week.”

Bill plopped himself down on the floor. “That was pretty stupid, Fred.”

“I’m sorry about your tongue Ron,” said Fred weakly.

“And I’m sorry you got walloped. Who knew Ginny’s doll would rat us out like that, eh?” Ron sat down next to George.

“I guess Dad’s Animate Charm is more powerful that he knows,” mused Bill. “I wonder if he can charm anything bigger than a doll?”

Ron turned to Fred who was still rubbing his bottom. “Just don’t do anything like that to me again, okay?”

“Truce,” said Fred.

“Here,” Ron reached inside his pocket. “I’ll even let you borrow Petey.” Petey was Ron’s Puffskein. The twins were always trying to get Ron to let it sleep with them at night. “You’ll take good care of him, won’t you?”

Fred exchanged an evil grin with George behind Ron’s back before answering, “Of course I will Ron.”

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