The Sugar Quill
Author: Arya and BeatriceEagle  Story: Another Weasley  Chapter: Chapter 3 -- An Excess of Weasleys
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Authors’ Note: We’d like to thank our wonderful beta, Whimsy, for coaching us on the difference between biscuits, cookies, scones, and dumplings

Authors’ Note:  We’d like to thank our wonderful beta, Whimsy, for coaching us on the difference between biscuits, cookies, scones, and dumplings.  Also, to Angelina Weasley: we hope you like this chapter!  And to our good friend Echo: read this chapter carefully…


Chapter Three

            Margot glanced around her tiny, cramped bedroom.  Two stacked boxes served as a desk in the corner near the door, while the space in front of her window was taken up by a half a dozen crates filled with overstocked items that were prone to explosion every few days.  Her bed was a small, metal thing, painted bright red and covered with a large knitted cover made by her grandmother many years before.  On it were several old friends: her first doll, a stuffed dragon missing a wing, and a very old copy of Quidditch Through the Ages that needed to be replaced.  All around her bed were stacks of books that wouldn’t fit on the shelf. 

            It was a good room, she decided, despite the lack of space.  She didn’t mind the boxes, not really.  They were easy to make into all sorts of furniture: a desk, a chair, a bookshelf.  They’d even been a fort once, when she was six and wanted to be a princess in a castle.  George had rescued her from Fred the Ferocious Dragon that day, she recalled, smiling.  And then they’d gone to Fortescue’s for ice cream, like they always did after playing.  It was one of the many advantages of living on Diagon Alley.

            A crash sounded from the kitchen, and Margot jumped.  Fred and George were back for lunch.  Grinning, she stood and hurried toward the kitchen, squeezing past even more crates that were stacked in the tiny hallway.

            “We’re nearly out of Nosebleed Nougats, kids are going mad down there-”

            “I know, but where are we going to put them, even if we made them?  The storeroom’s full, and Margot hardly has enough room to move in her bedroom.”

            “We could rent a bigger flat.”

            “I've already looked in the Prophet, and the closest one is so far away it’s practically across the Channel; Mum would murder us.”

            Margot crept forward as Fred looked at his brother, both faces looking concerned.  “Then what are we going to do?” he asked.

            “Mum mentioned the Burrow…

            “Hell no,” Fred said, shaking his head.  “It’d be like we were back at Hogwarts.”

            “Ginny and Harry-”

            “I’m sure Margot would love that, but our dear sweet sister Ginny can be worse than Mum.”

            “You aren’t making this very easy,” George complained.  “We can’t stay here, that’s obvious.  It’s been obvious for years.”

            Not able to wait any more, Margot stepped out of the hallway and into the kitchen.  “Yes?” she asked, smiling innocently like her fathers had taught her.

            Both twins looked up as Margot jumped up to sit on the crumb-covered counter.  She swung her feet back and forth, her legs clad in her favorite green, pink and orange striped socks.  They had been a gift from Verity, the twins’ assistant, the previous Christmas. 

            “What are you talking about?” Margot asked, though she has heard perfectly well.

            Fred and George looked at each other.

            “We were thinking-”

            “-that maybe-”

            “-maybe it’d be a good time-”

            “-to move.” 

            Margot glanced from Fred to George, her brow furrowed.  “Move?” she asked.  “I don’t want to move!  I like living here!” She had grown up in this flat above the shop.  All her friends lived on Diagon Alley, and they had spent eight years learning the best secret hiding places on the wizarding street.  This street was her home, and she didn’t want to move away from it! 

            “We haven’t decided anything just yet,” George said quickly, never wanting to upset her.  “We were just talking-”

            “It sounded decided to me!” Margot interrupted.  “You and Fred planning all this without me, that isn’t how we do these things!”  She glared at the two of them, making both twins wince.  They’d always told her it was uncanny how well she mimicked her mami’s glare.       Deciding that the discussion was over, Margot jumped down from the counter and began pulling things from the cabinets for lunch.  Years before, she had learned how to cook to spare herself from having to eat one of Fred’s mushroom salads or George’s marmalade and whatever-else-is-in-the-cupboard sandwiches.  At the age of seven, she had begged her Aunt Ginny to teach her how to cook after one particularly bad batch of chocolate and lemon cupcakes.  Since then, the twins had forfeited their kitchen rights to her, accepting the fact that they were failures at that one thing.

            “We brought up that new product for you to test,” George told Margot.  “Verity refused to touch it, no idea why…”

            “She probably didn’t want to touch it after that last prank you pulled on her,” Margot said, stacking sandwiches on the plates and turning around to put them on the table. 

            Fred laughed.  “That was brilliant, George, that prank.  She was as pale as Nearly-Headless Nick when the snake jumped out of the can!”

            “Muggles are brilliant,” George agreed.  “Snake in a can, who would ever think of such a thing?”

            “Only the two of you would think to make it a live snake,” Margot remarked, taking her seat next to George.

            Fred puffed out his chest with pride.  “It wasn’t exactly live,” he admitted.  “It was just an illusion, remember?  But Verity was terrified…” He grinned, remembering. 

            Margot bit into her perfectly normal peanut butter sandwich and shook her head.  The twins were twenty-nine now, yet sometimes they didn’t seem older than eleven.  She had grown up with the tales of their famous pranks and many detentions, told over and over by the twins themselves and their many siblings.  She had enjoyed them, but had learned from the tales.  She never ate anything given to her wrapped in a package, never picked up one of their wands, even if it looked real.  And she never ever touched anything that said ‘explosive’ on the outside.  She had learned that the hard way. 

            “What are you two doing tonight?” Margot asked the twins as she took a sip of her pumpkin juice. 

            Fred laughed loudly and looked at George, whose cheeks had turned red.  “Someone has a date with Miss Verity downstairs,” Fred said gleefully.  “Asked her out an hour ago, isn’t it just sweet?”

            Margot grinned.  “And what about you?” she asked Fred, her voice innocent. 

            Fred shrugged and leaned back in his chair.  “It depends on…who’s available,” he said with a waggle of the eyebrows. 

            “Angelina Floo-ed earlier and said that if you didn’t ask her out by lunchtime, she’d find someone else to go to the midnight Quidditch match with,” Margot remarked, taking a bite of her sandwich, and raising her own eyebrows. 

            Fred toppled onto the floor, his chair falling on top of him.  George began laughing as he stood up and brushed himself off. 

            “She Floo-ed here?” Fred demanded, his eyes wild and his red hair falling in his eyes.  “Why – why didn’t you tell me?”

            Margot shrugged, struggling to keep her face straight.  “I didn’t know you cared.  She didn’t seem to think you would.”

            George continued to laugh as Fred hurried over to the kitchen fireplace and grabbed a handful of Floo Powder.  A moment later he had disappeared into the green flames. 

            “That was brilliant,” George chuckled.  “Did Angelina really Floo?

            “Of course she did.”  Margot stood and stacked Fred’s plate on top of her own.  “Did you really ask Verity on a date?”  She went over to the counter and put the plates in the sink.  One of the twins would clean them later; they were allowed to do that much.           George ducked his head and nodded, a huge grin on his face.  Margot didn’t question him any more. 

            “What have you done today?” George asked when she returned to the table and sat once more. 

            Margot shrugged.  “Not much.  I read that book Aunt Hermy gave me,” she said, using the name all the Weasley children called their aunt.  Two-year-olds simply couldn’t pronounce Hermione.  “It was good.  And I want to go to Nahid’s flat after lunch, she got a broom for her birthday and promised I could ride it.  Can I go, please?”

            “As long as you’re back for dinner at the Burrow,” George said, standing.  “You don’t have to ask, you know that.”

            Margot nodded.  Every Friday night, all the Weasley children, from baby Adam to Margot herself, Flooed to the Burrow to have dinner with their grandparents.  It was a generally fun event, though often ending in a food fight of some sort. 

            “Here.  New product.  We still need to name it.”  George set a purple cube in front of Margot, then went to lean against the counter, a suspiciously safe distance away.

            Margot looked up at him, frowning.  “You expect me to trust you?” she asked. 

            “Of course.”  George grinned innocently and folded his arms.  “Pick it up.  It won’t…well, I don’t think it’ll hurt you.”

            Now slightly worried, Margot picked up the cube.  It wasn’t very big, about the size of a Snitch, and it didn’t seem to be dangerous. 

            “You have to grip it,” George said.  He sounded as if he was enjoying himself.

            Margot glared at him and held the cube tighter.  It fit perfectly in her hand, and almost seemed…it was squishy, in a way. 

            “Tighter,” George instructed, frowning.  “It should work…”
            Margot squeezed the cube as tight as she could, then gasped.  The cube was changing shape, moving, flowing around her hand and forming a glove-like thing.

            “What is it?” she asked, fascinated.  She spread out her fingers and held out her hand, looking at the purple glove.  It was almost as if she wasn’t wearing a glove at all.

            George pulled two wands from his back pocket and handed one to Margot.  “Just hold it,” he told her.  She held the wand, one of the fake ones, she realized, and waited.

            A hopeful look on his face, George pointed his wand at the glove-covered hand.  “Accio wand!” he said.

            The wand didn’t move.  Margot raised her eyebrows, impressed.

            “It does more,” George told her, pocketing his wand.  “We’re still fine-tuning it, but the final product should be able to go on any part of your body, to reflect spells.  We’re targeting it toward duelists, but Aurors could use it as well.  Fred wants to test it with an Unforgivable…”

            Margot shuddered.  The Unforgivable Curses had killed more Muggles and Muggleborns in the past decade than all other curses combined.  Though Voldemort was defeated, his Death Eater followers had escaped capture and now wreaked havoc on those who had not supported them in the war.

            Though no one had ever said, Margot knew it was likely that her parents had been killed by an Unforgivable Curse.  Many of the children orphaned during and after the war were the children of Muggleborn parents.  Some were even Muggles, though they would forever be classified as Squibs, because it was impossible to know for sure. 

            A loud pop brought Margot back to the flat.  Fred had returned from Angelina’s, looking annoyed but pleased.

            “Bloody ten minute lecture about how to treat bloody women,” he muttered, throwing himself into a chair.  “Had to bribe her with a bloody expensive date at that new place by Gringotts.”

            George chortled.  “My dear brother, I do believe that you were almost rejected.”

            Fred glared at him and kicked the leg of the table, while Margot tried hard not to laugh. 

            “I like the glove,” Margot said.  She hated it when the twins were upset or mad.  “It’ll sell well, I think.”

            Fred glanced at her purple hand.  “Glad you think so,” he said, still glowering from his visit with Angelina.

            George looked up at the clock over the sink.  “Back to the shop, Fred.  I wonder if Verity’s still alive?”

            “Probably not,” Fred said, standing.  “She probably died after you asked her out, from disgust.”

            The two headed through the door, arguing about their dates.  Margot stood, and called half-heartedly after, “I won’t move!”  But they were already gone.


            “I am not wearing that robe.”

            “I know it’s horrible and ugly, but Mum made it for you, and she’ll be happy if you wear it.”

            “I’m not wearing a knitted robe!”

            Margot crossed her arms and glared at her Aunt Ginny, who sat on one of the many crates, looking impatient.

            “Margot, it’s almost five o’clock.  I have to go back and dress my own children.  When I left, Harry was putting Sirius’s robe on Julia, the twins were playing with their dolls, and Andrea was running naked around the house.  I don’t even know what Evan was doing.  Please put on this robe so we can go back to the house.”

            Aunt Ginny held out the ugly woollen red, gold, and maroon robe that was framed in pink lace.  It made Margot want to gag.  She loved her mami, but this…it was too much. 

            “Please, Margot,” Aunt Ginny begged.  “Just tonight, then we can say you grew out of it.”

            “Can’t you shrink it?” Margot asked, desperate.  “Then it really won’t fit.”

            Aunt Ginny frowned.  “Well…” she began.

            “It’s an easy charm, it’d just take a minute,” Margot begged.  “And I’ll wear my red and gold robes, the other ones, that she likes.  Please?”

            Sighing, Aunt Ginny pulled her wand from her back pocket.  Margot grinned and went to her closet to find the other set of robes. 

            Ten minutes later, the two stepped out of the fireplace at The Hideaway, Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry’s house.  Margot shook off her robes and looked around at the place that was as familiar as her own home. 

            With six children, Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry lived in a large manor-sized house fifty miles from London’s outskirts.  The house, bought with Uncle Harry’s fortune, was so large that it was sometimes impossible to locate all the children.

            “Mummy!  Mummy, Wiwy and Mowy won’t gimme my dowy back!” A red-haired girl wearing nothing but an overlarge t-shirt ran toward Aunt Ginny and buried her head in her robes.  “I want my dowy back!”

            Aunt Ginny patted the girl’s head.  “Where are they, Julia? And where’s Daddy?”

            “Daddy’th in the kitchen wiff Thiwiuth, and Mowy and Wiwy are in thewe woom,” the five-year-old informed her mother.

            Aunt Ginny glanced at Margot.  “Do you mind watching her?” she asked.

            Margot shook her head.  With twenty younger cousins, she was used to watching the little ones.

            “Molly and Lily Potter, come here right now!” Ginny shouted up the long winding staircase.  “And bring Julia’s doll!”
            A door slammed somewhere upstairs, and feet pounded.  A moment later, two six-year-old girls in matching crimson play robes appeared at the top of the stairs. 

            “Down here, please,” Ginny called.  “Hurry girls, you’re going to be late!  And where is your father?”
            “Right here.”  Margot turned around as Uncle Harry stepped out of the kitchen, his four-year-old son Sirius at his side.  “Evan and Andrea are…” He frowned.  “I’ll find them.”

            Margot giggled as her uncle started up the staircase, passing the twins, who were taking their time descending.

            “Gimme my dowy!” Julia cried, running over to Molly, who held the balding doll in her fist.

            Molly handed it to her younger sister.  “We needed a hag and our dolls are too pretty,” she explained to her mother. 

            “Ask before you take, Molly,” Aunt Ginny said wearily.  “Lily, come here and I’ll fix your hair.  Margot…?”  She glanced at Margot, a pleading look on her face.

            “Molly, can I do your hair?” Margot asked the six-year-old.

            Molly nodded and ran over to give her cousin a hug.  “I missed you,” she announced loudly before turning around and giving Margot access to her head.

            Molly was the only of Ginny’s children besides Sirius to not have the famous Weasley red hair.  While Lily looked exactly like her mother, Molly had inherited her father’s untidy black hair and wily green eyes.  Though Aunt Ginny braided each of her daughters’ hair every morning, Molly’s never stayed confined in the braid for very long.  It seemed to have a mind of its own.

            As Margot struggled with Lily’s impossible hair, Uncle Harry appeared once more with Sirius, Evan and Andrea in tow, all fully dressed.  Margot frowned at Sirius’s robes, which were ruffled at the bottom, then shook her head.  It was just amazing they were all dressed.

            “I’ll take the twins,” Ginny said, tying a ribbon on the bottom of Lily’s braid and standing.  “Harry, you take the little ones, and Margot can take Julia and Sirius.  I’ll go first.”

            Margot held out her hands for the five-year-old and four-year-old to take, then followed Aunt Ginny to the giant fireplace.  Aunt Ginny picked up the pot of Floo Powder and threw it into the flames.

            “The Burrow!” she cried as she stepped into the green flames with the twins.

            Margot stepped up behind her, took a pinch of the powder, and jumped into the flames, Sirius and Julia tight in her hands.

            “The Burrow!” she said, blinking as soot got into her eyes.

            A moment later the three stumbled into the kitchen at the Burrow.  Julia coughed loudly while Sirius escaped from Margot’s hold.

            “Billy!  Billy!” he said, running to greet his cousin.  “And ‘Randa!”

            Julia looked up at Margot.  “Pweathe, I wanna find Mawie?”

            Margot released her hand, wanting to find Leona.  The tiny kitchen was nearly full of children, none older than six.  The others would be in the living room, or upstairs.  Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry had already Disapparated, as they were late for their own date.  No adults were even visible in the kitchen full of red-haired, chattering children and crying toddlers, which was surprising.

            “You’re all here!”

            A round, smiling silver and red haired woman came bustling into the kitchen, wearing a flowered apron.  All the chatting ceased as she pushed through to get to her stove to begin dinner.

            “Go on, go to the living room,” she told her grandchildren with a wave of her hand.  “Grandpa is already in there with Leona and the older kids.”

            Margot followed the little kids out of the kitchen, heading down the hall to the living room, where the other half of the horde sat giggling as Grandpa Transfigured a couch into a cat, a table, an ugly vulture hat, and a goose.

            “Margot, you’re here!” Leona, Margot’s cousin and best friend, stood and picked her way around the seated grandchildren, grinning.

            “Let’s go upstairs, they’re being boring,” Leona said.  “And now there’s no more room.”

            Margot nodded.  “Good, I have something to tell you.”  Glancing at their cousins one last time, the two girls tiptoed toward the stairs.

            Although all their children were grown, Mami and Grandpa’s once-full house was rarely completely empty.  With twenty grandchildren, that was almost impossible.  The upstairs bedrooms, once occupied by red-haired children, were now empty, however.  Occasionally a grandchild or six claimed the rooms for the weekend, but most days they were left as they had been nearly a decade ago during the war.

            Of all the rooms, Margot’s favorite was Uncle Percy’s.  Though she would never admit it to Fred and George, she loved its far-away location and bookshelves that lined all four walls.  Because Uncle Percy no longer lived in the room, it had become a sort of library, where all the books in the Burrow were now kept.  Margot loved other rooms as well – Fred and George’s fascinated her – but Uncle Percy’s was the best.

            Today, however, Margot and Leona climbed further up to Aunt Ginny’s old room.  The only girl in the family, Aunt Ginny’s room had been decorated in horrible pink flowers and fluffy, ruffled pillows.  However, it was the largest bedroom in the Burrow, and the best place for two girls to go to chat.          “What’d you want to tell me?” Leona asked as the two girls settled down onto Aunt Ginny’s fluffy bed.  “Is it bad?”

            Margot shrugged.  “Maybe.  Fred and George were talking about moving today.”

            Leona opened her mouth in shock.  “Moving?  But…the shop!  And…and…”

            “I know,” Margot said gravely.  “It’s terrible!”

            The two sat in silence, contemplating the situation.  Margot’s eyes wandered to the wall, where a giant calendar hung flipped to July, half the days marked off.  She could imagine her aunt crossing off the days until she went back to Hogwarts, years before.  But she hadn’t gone for her seventh year.

            “Are you mad at them?” Leona asked.  “For wanting to move?”

            Margot shrugged.  “A little, I suppose…I mean, we’ve always lived there, and I know it’s small, but I love it there.”

            “Where do they want to move to?” Leona asked Margot.

            “Another flat, I suppose,” Margot replied.  “Somewhere with more space.”

            “DINNER!” Mami shouted.  Both girls jumped off the bed and hurried out of the room.

            Downstairs, Mami and Grandpa were moving all the grandchildren outside, where four long tables were set up.  Dumplings, gravy, chicken, fruit, and milk sat in the middle of each table, waiting to be eaten.

            Margot found the twins and grabbed their hands to lead them outside, returning to the kitchen to push Marie, Bilius, and Miranda out the door.

            Nearly twenty minutes later, all twenty grandchildren were safely outside and seated in their proper seats.  Margot and Leona fell into their chairs in between seven-year-old Gene and four-year-old Peyton.

            “Might as well start,” Leona remarked.  She leaned forward and took a dumpling.  At the other end of the table, the four-year-olds had started a food fight, while the toddlers had started crying loudly.  Mami ran down to stop the fight and calm down the babies, while Grandpa made the seven-year-olds erupt with laughter

            “Never boring, these dinners,” Margot half-shouted to Leona as she served herself some chicken.

            Leona laughed.  “I can’t wait until Hogwarts,” she said.  “It’ll be so…quiet.”

            “Until everyone else is there,” Margot replied with a grin.  “Those poor teachers!  Do you think we’ll all be in Gryffindor?”

            “I don’t know,” Leona said.  “Mum went to Beauxbaxtons, so she didn’t have a House…but the Weasleys are always in Gryffindor.”

            Margot glanced around the table at her many cousins.  Gryffindors, yes.  Many of them would be Gryffindors.  But Margot herself?  She wasn’t a Weasley; she didn’t have the red hair, the freckles.  Who knew what Houses her parents had been in, or if they had even gone to Hogwarts?

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