The Sugar Quill
Author: Pink Sunflower  Story: The Past Revealed  Chapter: Default
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: Mrs

The Past Revealed.    

A Monologue.




I suppose it was all my sister’s fault. Muriel wasn’t exactly a model of obedience, and any chance she got to cause trouble, she took. Of course our parents had warned her, that in a family of nine children she couldn’t afford to be so naughty. Somebody would get hurt. Plenty of us did, of course. Whenever she had thought up a new trick or joke, ultimately one of us would pay for it. Mum became an expert at mending bones, cleaning up blood and healing gaping wounds. Muriel never learnt though, at least not until it was too late. I suppose it’s where Fred and George get their joking streak from. It definitely wasn’t from me. I do worry about them; I don’t want to see the same thing happening to them as happened to Muriel. Perhaps it’s why I was always overcareful with them, not letting them work on their joke shop. Like Muriel though, they found a way, and these similarities scared me more than ever.


She was in her thirties when it happened. Like I said, she never got tired of practical jokes and pranks. All her life she had been thinking up new and better pranks to play on us and that Christmas was by far the worst.


You-Know-Who was nearing the height of his power, it was a time of great fear, with everyone who had a connection in the Ministry constantly living on edge, lest they shouldn’t return home one day. Arthur assured me that he wouldn’t be targeted. Who would want a lowly Misuse of Muggle Artefacts worker? Well I obviously told him what I thought of that statement, although I was temporarily silenced when he pointed out that, as pure-bloods, we would be near the bottom of the ‘hit-list’ as he so eloquently put it. It was all so casual, too, the way he’d come home every night, later and later, and comment matter-of-factly ‘so-and-so disappeared yesterday.’ It made me scared of what was to come. How much worse would it get?


And then, at Christmas time, it got a lot worse.


We were having our usual family gathering. All nine children, plus spouses and their children, even Great-Auntie Muriel, for whom my sister was named, was present. Fred and George were only just walking, and everything they could reach went either into their mouths or into somewhere that it shouldn’t go, like into the cat’s mouth.  It was a full-time job trying to keep them under control. Bill, Charlie and Percy had never caused that much trouble between them, never made everyday tasks such hard work. I suppose that’s why I never noticed Muriel acting oddly. No. I’m just making excuses for my own lack of perception.


I suppose it was a good thing that the twins were behaving so badly, I shudder to think what might have…although it was horrific…


Eventually Arthur and I decided that we had to take the twins home, we just couldn’t keep track of them. They’d already locked the cat in the kitchen cupboard, with the result that a lot of the food mother had prepared for the next few days had been spoiled. There were three other small children there; my nieces and nephews, and Fred and George had managed to terrify them. I don’t know how, but one moment they were all playing nicely together, then the next second all three had fled, screaming, leaving Fred and George with those mischievous glints in their eyes.


We left shortly after that, flooing back to The Burrow. That was the first time we’d flooed with the twins, I had Fred and Arthur took George. They weren’t impressed about being separated, even for such a short time.  


We’d barely returned home and put them to bed when I knew something was wrong. Next thing I knew, Muriel had Apparated outside the front door, looking incredibly panicked. Panicked is probably an understatement; I’ve never seen her look so utterly terrified. It was then that I discovered what had happened. My two darling brothers…gone.  


She had sold them out to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Told Him about Dumbledore’s secret society, the existence of which Arthur and I had suspected for some time, but had never had confirmed. Two more pure-blooded, hugely talented wizards, the talents of whom the world would never fully appreciate.


After that day, it all changed. My once so tightly-knit family moved to all ends of the world and there were no more jolly holiday gatherings.


From then on I realised how important family was. I desperately missed the big family parties, the shouted conversations, not being able to count the number of guests on both hands. I always wanted more children, and then, when I finally got my baby girl, we realised it had to stop. We wouldn’t be able to afford any more.


Muriel was a changed person. She never joked, barely smiled- she had avoided Azkaban when it was realised she was under the Imperius Curse. Even though it wasn’t her fault, she blamed herself. Whenever she sees us, she hugs us all so tight, like she’s afraid to let go. Perhaps she is.


Every year, I miss it more than ever. When Ron started Hogwarts and I realised that he would want to stay there for Christmas, I dreaded it even more. Then Ron wrote to say that he had made friends with Harry Potter. A boy who has never known family. This made me realise how selfish I was being. I had experienced the love of a big family for so long, and he never had.


Most holidays now, Harry and Ron’s other best friend, Hermione, come to us when they’re not at Hogwarts or with their own families, along with as many of our children that can make it back from wherever life has taken them. And, just for those short weeks, it feels like home again. 


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