Hi, how are you? I hope you're fine because we (Harry, Hermione and
me) need your help. Hagrid's got a dragon, and we need to get rid of it.
He's called Norbert, and he's a Norwegian Ridgeback. Anyway, Hagrid is
very attached to Norbert but Draco Malfoy (I've told you about him - the
Slytherin who hates us) has seen Norbert. At least, we think he has. So,
Norbert's got to go. The sooner the better in my opinion. Hagrid's getting
all maternal - you should hear him 'Oh, bless him, he knows his mummy!'
The man is insane! Charlie, I'm counting on you. HELP!!!
Charlie Weasley chuckled as he read the letter his youngest brother
had sent him, and then he handed it to his friend and roommate, Ariadne
"Read that," he told her, smiling. "It's from Ron."
"Should be interesting then," Ria commented. "Are you sure? He might
have wanted it to be private."
"If he wants help, Ria my sweet, he'll have to accept that other people
will learn about it."
"Now I'm intrigued," Ria smiled; brushing her long black hair out of
eyes, which were so dark blue they were almost black. She sat opposite
him at the small table and poured herself a cup of tea. Propping the letter
up against the sugar bowl, she buttered her toast as she read it.
"Well," she began, when she had finished reading, "some mothers do have
'em. So, Charlie... do all your brothers have an affinity with dragons?"
"No, your holiness, just me," Charlie grinned at her, his hazel eyes
"So, what do you want me to do?" Ria demanded.
"What do you mean, 'what do I want you to do'?" Charlie asked, innocently.
"Come off it Chas, you know as well as I do that the grin you are currently
sporting bodes nothing but trouble. So, what are we going to do?"
"You're too suspicious, Ariadne Rutherford, that's your problem," Charlie
glared at her.
"Oh, for goodness' sake!" Ria exclaimed. "Get on with it!"
"Touchy touchy!" Charlie smirked at her. At twenty-four he was a pleasant
looking man, easily distinguishable by the fiery red of his hair. "Actually,
Ri, I was wondering if you could help."
"You see, the second you called me Ri I knew you had something cooked
up for me. Usually I get 'your holiness' and the like."
"Well," Charlie glossed over the point, "between the two of us, we need
to work out exactly how we're going to get Ron's dragon over here."
"What do you mean 'we'? Is that we as in the Royal we?"
"No, that's we as in you and me," Charlie replied. Ariadne backed away.
"Oh no. Definitely not. There is no way I am aiding and abetting the
transport of an illegal dragon. You're on your own, pal."
"Ria!!" Charlie gazed at her beseechingly. "O love of my life, please,
pretty please with a chocolate frog on top, and all the rest of it, help!"
"Only if you drop the 'love of my life' bit. The neighbours already
think there's something dodgy between us, let's not give them ammunition."
"Ri, you're an angel!" Charlie beamed at her. "So, what do you propose
"We could do any number of things, including refuse," Ria pointed
"And let Ron down? Ria, I was counting on you to come up with a good
"Charlie, that was a good idea!" Ria told him, scathingly. "It just
wasn't the good idea you were looking for."
"Well, its not like I can just up sticks and leave, is it?" Charlie
complained. "I'm busy for the next month, and Robert, Andrew and Dave
are visiting, so spare time will be limited."
"Rob, Andy and Dave live in Britain, don't they?" Ria demanded.
"Yes. What's the relevance of that?" Charlie looked confused. Ria, on
the other hand, had brightened considerably.
"In that case it's easy. We'll rope them into helping. Write to them
and ask - they're sure to agree. Your friends are into taking risks."
"Ri, you're a genius!" Charlie grinned. "It's going to be great when
the guys are staying here!"
"Charlie, I am not sleeping on the floor when your friends are here.
It's my house too."
"When have I ever asked you to sleep on the floor?" Charlie demanded.
"Several times," Ria replied. "Normally when you find yourself a pretty
girl. And being the sucker that I am, I actually agree."
"Okay, Ariadne Rutherford, I promise that I will not force you to sleep
on the floor. Happy?"
"Over the moon," Ria replied.
Charlie Weasley had known Ariadne Rutherford ever since she had started
her career at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Throughout school
he had barely spoken to her. She was two years his junior, and there hadn't
been any reason for their acquaintance to move beyond the occasional 'hello'
in the corridors.
Then, three years ago, Ria had joined the group of British wizards and
witches who worked at the largest dragon reserve in the world. No one
was exactly sure what Ria had done in the year between her finishing at
Hogwarts and joining the Romanian team, and she never volunteered information
on the subject. She and Charlie had quickly become the best of friends,
and when she had announced her intention to purchase a house, if she could
find a friend to buy it with, he had jumped at the chance of having a
Of course, neither of them had considered that the neighbours would
label them as a couple, and unmarried at that! Consequently they were
frowned upon for cohabiting. At first, both had tried to explain that
their relationship was purely platonic, but after a while, first Charlie
and then Ria gave up.
"You know, if my dad ever finds out, you're going to be so dead
it's unbelievable!" Ria told Charlie, smirking.
"I don't suppose my mother will be overly happy. Especially if she believes
the rumours that are going around!"
"The rumours that are casting insinuations on my good name, you mean?"
Ria demanded. "Yes, I don't suppose anyone would be too happy to hear
those, least of all our parents. Honestly, can't you have a simple friendship
with a guy these days?"
"I can," Charlie told her. "You, on the other hand, can't. It's
all related to your innocent good looks, my dear."
"Shut up, Charlie!"
Charlie's friends replied to the owls he sent the promptly, and two
days later, when Ria joined him at the breakfast table once more, he looked
"Okay, whose cat just died?" She demanded, as she filled her cup with
coffee, before grimacing as she realised what she was doing. "Um, Charlie?
How many times do I have to tell you tea goes in the teapot, not
coffee? I swear you do it on purpose because you know I hate coffee!"
"Oh, Ri, you figured me out!" Charlie put on an expression of mock sadness.
"And there I was, thinking that I'm clever
"Oh, I'm laughing so hard," Ria replied sarcastically. "So, why are
you in the doldrums?"
"I got an owl from Dave," Charlie replied, at once serious. "It seems
he thinks he's lost his touch. He says, and I quote, 'there is no way
that I'm going anywhere near one of those insane creatures without some
kind of trained professional assisting me.' So, now what do we do?"
"Abandon the cause?" Ria suggested casually. "Tell Ron that you tried
your best, but you just couldn't do it?"
"Ria, how many times do I have to tell you that I can't leave Ron in
"Ron can look after himself, Charlie, he's not a baby anymore. Anyway,
Hagrid would be the one with a problem
" on realising it was Hagrid
who would have a problem, Ria frowned. She had a soft spot for the kindly
giant who had taken her under his wing, thanks to her love for all kinds
of wacky creatures. "I'd help if I could, but I'm going home for a few
days what can I do?"
"That's it!" Charlie exclaimed. "Ria, you're a genius."
"Twice in three days," Ria told the teapot. "Either I've become super
intelligent over night, which I doubt, as I'm talking to a teapot, or
else he wants something," she looked towards Charlie and sighed. "What
"Well, you're going home, aren't you?" he demanded. Ria nodded. "And
you live in England, don't you?" Once again, Ria bobbed her head. "So,
you could go with the guys to collect Norbert!"
"Excuse me?" Ria stopped buttering her toast, and glared at her friend.
"Did you just say I could help you transport a dragon no, an illegal
dragon over here from Hogwarts? Only I don't particularly fancy
a spell in Azkaban for being in possession of Class A Non-Tradable goods!"
"Ri, that's the eggs. The dragon's just illegal. Please help! Please?"
Charlie looked at her beseechingly. Ria sighed.
"I fall for it every time. I really need to increase my resistance to
mindless gestures of sappiness. Okay, Charlie, you're on. But you're going
to owe me big time. Write to Ron, tell him we'll meet him at the
top of the tallest tower on Saturday at midnight, for the cover of the
"How poetic," Charlie smirked.
"Look, Mister, do you want help or not?"
"Fine, fine, I'll write to Ron!" Charlie knew only too well that it
wasn't a good idea to annoy Ria. For one thing, she was incredibly strong,
and for another, she was very often his only means of reaching a deadline.
He supposed he used her shamelessly, but she was just as bad.
"So, as I've just solved this year's biggest dilemma, do you think you
could be so kind as to make some tea to go in the teapot? Feed the coffee
to the plants they seem to like it!"
Ria was standing in the arrival lounge of Heathrow airport when a tall
blonde woman approached her, smiling broadly.
"Ri! Good to see you!" Ria's eldest sister, Lucy Kettleworth, grabbed
her sister in a warm hug. "You look well Romania suits you!"
"Where are your sproglets?" Ria demanded.
"At home, where do you think?" Lucy asked.
"You've left your innocents at home alone?"
"Come off it Ri, I'd be mad to let that lot stay at home unguarded.
No, Geoff's with them." Geoff Kettleworth was Lucy's husband, and Ria's
brother in law.
"So, will I not see them?"
"Of course you'll see them!" Lucy replied. "But Mums wants to see you
"Good old Mums. How have you been? It's been too long."
"Two years, Ariadne. Vickie wasn't even born the last time you made
it home," Lucy's face contorted into a frown, then softened. "Ri, I know
that it was hard for you, but remember that Mums and Daddy are always
there for you. Us too me and Becca, I mean. Even Gemma never wanted
to see you hurt."
"Well she shouldn't have done it then, should she?" Ria spat at her
sister, and Lucy was shocked to see the pain in her eyes.
"Ri, put it behind you. Mums worries about you, alone in Romania. There
are a lot of evil people out there."
"Luce, I'm not alone. There's always Charlie, and the gang."
"That, Ri my sweet, is why Mums worries. She's scared he'll break your
"Charlie and I are just friends," Ria was thankful that none of her
family knew that she lived with Charlie her parents would quite
literally hit the walls in anger at the idea of their daughter living
alone with a single man. She smiled, suddenly. She adored Rosamunde and
Alexander Rutherford, but biologically they were not her parents. She
had been adopted. In her mind though, the Rutherfords were her family.
She had known no other parents, and she didn't want to know any other
parents. She had never wanted for love, or affection. She had always wondered
why the Rutherfords, with three daughters already, had adopted her, and
not some other baby.
The Rutherfords lived in a large Tudor style house on the Isle of Sheppey
in Kent. In the Middle Ages they had been very prestigious, and the family
home was in Penshurst, a beautiful country house with all the trimmings
of house-elves and the like. However, Alexander Rutherford was a second
son, and when his brother, Adam, came of age, their father bequeathed
the family home to him. When Alexander had married Rosamunde Sutton, Adam
had still been unmarried, and Giles Rutherford suggested that the newlyweds
lived at Penarddun Place. Gratefully, Alexander and Rosamunde had accepted,
and they had brought up their daughters, Lucy, Rebecca, Gemma and Ariadne,
in the peaceful confines of the house. Rosamunde had abandoned the Rutherford
policy of having a nanny for her children, and had instead favoured the
hands on approach that she herself had been used to. All four girls adored
Penarddun, although now Ri a was the only of the Rutherford girls to remain
single. It was impossible to Apparate or Disapparate to Penarddun Place
it had been built at the same time as the English civil war raged,
and the Rutherfords, supporters of the King, had gone to great lengths
to ensure their own safety. Over the centuries, the Charms had weakened
as the dust settled on the graves of those who had cast them, and now
all that remained was the Anti-Apparation Charm.
Ria and Lucy Apparated to just outside the wrought iron gates, and walked
leisurely towards the whitewashed walls of their childhood home. As she
regarded the old house, Ria couldn't help but feel that she was coming
home. This place held too many happy memories for her to ever forget it.
Walking down the long path, she fancied that she could hear the echoes
of her childhood in the background. If she closed her eyes, she could
see a much younger Lucy running around the garden, trying desperately
to escape from Gemma, while Becca laughed in the background.
Eventually they reached the huge oak door, and a petite woman whose blonde
hair was beginning to show signs of greying greeted them happily.
"Ria, my darling, let me look at you!" The pretty woman then hugged
her daughter so tightly that Ria became slightly light headed. She wondered
how her mother could possibly look at her at this proximity. Before she
could voice this opinion, however, her mother held her at arm's length.
"You've lost weight, my dear. Are you eating properly?"
"Mum, I was overweight!"
"Ariadne, voluptuous does not mean overweight!"
"Well I'm scarcely anorexic! Come on mum it's not like I'm a
stick insect or anything I'm just healthy!"
"Come home, Ria," her mother told her. "You don't have to hide away
in Romania. In time the pain will go."
"Mums, I'm happy where I am!" Ria exclaimed. "You all think I'm some
kind of ostrich, with my head buried firmly in the sand! I'm not at all!
I know exactly what I'm doing, and where I plan on going with my life.
I like working in Romania! I like the dragons, and the other creatures,
and I like the people! Be happy for me what happened happened
I've accepted that. I'm moving on, and you should do the same."
"Ri, your mother worries about you," Alexander Rutherford told his daughter.
"If you like your work then continue with it although we wouldn't
mind a few more letters, and perhaps more than one visit every two years
"I'm sorry," Ria told them. "I didn't mean to sound ungrateful, and
I admit, I should probably visit home more often. But I'm happy where
I am I can forget there," she sighed, "I can forget," she repeated
Spending a week with her parents and sisters was refreshing, and it
was nice to see her nephews and nieces. Olivia, her goddaughter, squealed
with delight on seeing her.
"Auntie Ria, you're home!" she exclaimed, launching herself at her favourite
aunt. "Why did you stay away for so long?"
"Well, Livvy, I met a wicked witch, and she kept me in a tower, and
it's taken me this long to escape," Ria teased.
"Really?" Olivia's eyes were wide with surprise.
"No, not really, silly!" Ria smiled at her affectionately. "I was looking
after the dragons, wasn't I, and time flies when you're having fun!"
"Do you have pictures?" Olivia demanded.
"Lots and lots of pictures," Ria told her. "Albums full of pictures,
with lots of dragons. In a few years time, perhaps Mummy will let you
come and stay with me."
"Why not now?" Olivia looked delighted at the prospect of staying with
her aunt in a foreign country with only dragons for company. "Why do I
always have to wait?" She pouted, flicking her pigtails over her shoulder,
her dark eyes glistening angrily, and very much like Ariadne at the same
age, a source of great mystery as Ria was in no way biologically related.
"Livvy, sweetie, I might as well tell you this now, because its always
going to be an issue. You will always be too old for some things and too
young for others, and you might as well accept that. You're only six,
and your mother wouldn't be particularly impressed if I whisked you away.
I'll ask your mum and Aunt Becca if I can take you and Claire on holiday
for a couple of weeks in the summer. But we won't stay in Romania. It
would be a busman's holiday. Perhaps we'll go to Egypt and see the pyramids
"Oh, do ask Aunt Ria! Claire and I have never been on holiday on our
And I'll be seven by then, and she'll be six and a half!"
"I'll ask, Livvy, but I'm not promising anything. Promise you won't
have a tantrum if your mother says no," Ria knew her niece well enough
to realise that without a promise, her sisters would never hear the end
of it. With one, Olivia would keep quiet. For a six-year-old, she had
very good morals, whereby if she gave a promise, she stuck to it.
Reluctantly, Olivia gave her word, and Ria breathed a sigh of relief.
By the end of the week, she had convinced her mother that she was in fact
perfectly capable of living away from home, and she didn't need fattening
up, and she had persuaded her sisters to allow their eldest children to
visit her when summer rolled around. Meaning that there wasn't really
all that long for Olivia and Claire to wait.
Leaving was harder than Ria had anticipated. In spite of herself, she
had enjoyed catching up with the people who had made her into the woman
she now was. But she had a job to do, and she owed it to Charlie to actually
make it as far as Hogwarts on time. She had arranged to meet Robert, Andrew
and David at King's Cross station. From there, they would catch the train
to Hogsmeade, and then they would rescue Norbert, leaving everybody happy.
If they managed to pull it off.
"Ariadne! How are you?" David Loughton greeted her. "On time! Charlie
would be impressed!"
"Charlie, Dave my dear, was the one who made us late," Ria replied,
smiling as she took the hand he offered. "How are you? I don't believe
you got yourself hitched. Who's the lucky lady? More to the point, why
isn't she joining us on our mission of mercy?"
"The lucky lady? I'm sure Florence will disagree with you on that count.
And why isn't she here? She's not here, because she's seven months pregnant
with our firstborn. She said I was welcome to visit Charlie, as long as
I didn't expect her to go along looking like a beached whale."
"And that, Dave, my dear," Ria told him, sweetly, "is one of the reasons
why I am never going to tie the knot."
"Hark at her," Robert Daniels smirked at the dark haired girl next to
him. "Rumour, has it, Ri, my sweet, that you were engaged once. So what
went wrong?" As soon as the words had left his mouth, he regretted them.
The jovial girl of earlier was no more; the Ria that stood next to him
"Rob, I've told you before, and I'll tell you again my love life
is no one's business but my own. And we have a job to do, so if you could
prise Andrew away from the brunette he's attempting to chat up, I'd appreciate
it." Rob and Dave frowned at her sudden change of mood, then shrugged,
and went off to rescue their friend.
On the way to Hogsmeade, Ria caught up on all of the gossip. By the
time they reached their destination, she knew exactly how Dave had met
the love of his life and exactly what it was that Andrew did in his work
at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.
"Andy, why did you give up a perfectly respectable post in Romania,
doing what you loved, and getting well paid for it, to work in a department
that seems to be as dead as a door post. And if you're with the Ministry,
should you be helping us?"
"Ri, just because it sounds boring, it doesn't mean it is boring! And
it pays a damn sight better than the Romania job."
"Please tell me you aren't just doing it for the money!"
"I'd never do anything purely for money, and you know it. Believe it
or not, it's fascinating."
"Would you tell me exactly what you find fascinating about playing with
paperwork all day?" Dave asked, curiously.
"Oh, come off it Dave, you can't talk," Robert said, scathingly. "You
run a pet shop, for goodness' sake!"
"Don't slight the pet shop!" Dave laughed. "That shop is my life. Florrie's
very attached to all our little lodgers. And they pay our bills, so I'm
not complaining. It's certainly more sociable than Romania."
"That, much as I hate to admit it," Ria told him, "is true. The hours
at the dragon reserve aren't exactly friendly. But I love those dragons!"
"And they love you, Ri, so don't you fret. And, if I'm not mistaken,
this is our stop."
"Genius!" Ria laughed. "Give the man a gold star. Come on then smarty,
let's make our way to the pub and get some butterbeer."
"Only butterbeer?" Robert looked disappointed. "Can't we have something
"No. We're working."
"You're a hard taskmaster Ariadne Rutherford, you know that, don't you?"
"Yes, Rob, I do. I also know that as soon as we make it back to Romania,
you three and Charlie will head out for a night on the town, leaving me
all on my lonesome, unless I can persuade Sam to come over for the evening,
and I doubt she will. Still, you never know
"Indeed you don't. Well, being as we're in the only completely wizarding
town in England again, why don't we do some shopping? Dave, didn't you
say that Florence had cravings for those cockroach clusters they do at
"I did indeed," Dave agreed with Andrew. Ria looked at them, disgust
registering on her face.
"She craves cockroach clusters? That's disgusting!"
"That, Ria, is pregnancy," Dave informed her.
"Of course, you'd know, having been pregnant so many times yourself!"
Ria retorted, sarcastically.
"You know Ri, when you and Charlie eventually make it as far as admitting
you entertain romantic notions about each other, and then take a plunge
and get married, and actually make it as far as expecting, no one will
laugh harder than I do!"
"Charlie and I are friends! F-R-I-E-N-D-S!" she spelt it out. "What
is it with you people and marrying us off?"
"Come on Ariadne, admit it! The two of you make a great couple!"
"The two of us make a non-existent couple
Oh, and guys!" The three
men turned to look at her. "The Weasleys don't know about Charlie and
I living together, and we'd like to keep it that way, so watch what you
say, okay?" They gaped at her, before nodding agreeably.
It was twenty minutes to midnight when they finally set off for Hogwarts.
"Was it really necessary to change what you were wearing about sixty
times?" David demanded of Ria. "We're going to steal a dragon, not create
a fashion show!"
"Exactly. So I had to make sure that I was in dragon friendly mode.
And Norbert is a Norwegian Ridgeback, and they don't seem to like me as
much as other dragons."
"That's the understatement of the century!" Robert laughed. "Of course,
you would be allergic to their poison, just to make matters ten times
"Thank you so much for that reminder Robert!" Ria replied, sarcastically.
"Now, if we could get moving, or Ron and friends will think we're not
coming." The men acknowledged the truth of her words, and without further
ado, mounted their brooms. Ria regarded them with cool contempt. "You
three should be in a circus, you know that?" With one quick movement,
Ria was in the sky, and flying like a professional.
"Ri, can I ask you something?" Dave asked.
"You just did, but I'll allow another."
"Why on earth are you working in Romania chasing dragons and earning
a pittance when you fly like that? You could play Quidditch professionally."
"Dave, have you ever met my mother?" Ria asked him.
"Exactly. Mums is what you might call overprotective, and terribly old
fashioned. She doesn't think Quidditch is ladylike."
"You heard. Actually, I think she just doesn't like it. My dad's pretty
good on a broom, but my mum has vertigo, bless her. And don't just sit
there gaping we're late enough as it is!"
"She still hasn't said why she had to change so many times!" David complained,
as they flew towards Hogwarts. When they were close enough to see the
tallest tower, they could faintly make out the profiles of two figures.
On landing, Ria took a good look at the waiting students. One was male
and one female, but neither of them looked anything like the Ron of Charlie's
pictures. Sighing, she decided she might as well take the plunge.
"Hi, I'm Ariadne Rutherford, I believe you have a dragon waiting for
"You must be Charlie's friend!" the girl greeted her, her brown hair
bushy, her eyes bright. "I'm Hermione Granger and this is Harry Potter."
Ria started at the mention of Harry Potter. Of course, she should have
anticipated his presence, after all, Charlie had mentioned that his little
brother had become best friends with the boy who, as a baby, had rid the
wizarding world of a terror too great to contemplate.
"Are we talking about Harry Potter, as in the Harry Potter?"
Ria had asked.
"How many other Harry Potters do you know, your holiness?" Charlie had
"Potter's not exactly an uncommon name, and neither is Harry, smarty!"
"Yes, dear, we're talking Harry Potter, as in the Harry Potter!"
Ria smiled, recalling the conversation. She offered her hand to Harry.
"It's a pleasure to meet you at last," she told him, smiling infectiously.
Ria had never been one for scenes, and she could imagine the boy's embarrassment
if she made a big thing about who he was. Dave, Andy and Rob were a different
kettle of fish, but at her warning look, they echoed her tame greeting.
Ria then turned her attention to Hermione.
"Pleased to meet you Hermione Ron's told Charlie so much about
you both of you. Hermione - another name with a Greek origin!"
Ria smiled. "Thank goodness I'm not the only one!"
"I think Ariadne's a pretty name," Hermione told her. "Ron said to say
he's sorry he's not here, but Norbert bit him, and it's got all infected.
He should have gone to Madam Pomfey earlier if you ask me."
"Don't worry about it; Dave, Rob, Andy and I can manage with your help."
"Hagrid put Norbert in a crate for you, so that he can travel easily,"
"Well, we'll put the crate in here," Ria waved a bizarre looking creation
that she had rigged to make it easier to transport Norbert at everyone,
and it was a case of all hands on deck.
Eventually their work was complete, and all four of them shook hands
with Harry and Hermione. Ria issued one last warning.
"Whatever you do, don't get caught. McGonagall angry during the day
is bad. McGonagall angry in the middle of the night is suicidal. Take
care you two, and send our regards to Ron!"
On arrival in Romania they were greeted by an anxious looking Charlie.
On seeing them, he brightened considerably.
"It all went to plan then?" he demanded.
"Yes, Cap'n, no thanks to you!" Ria retorted. "Now, if you don't mind,
I'm going to bed before I don't have one. I'll leave Norbert for you to
Charlie stared after her, suddenly concerned.
"What's wrong with Ria?" he asked.
"I don't know," Dave replied. "She's been really weird since she met
us. Ever since Rob asked about her failed engagement, in fact."
"Engagement?" Charlie looked at him blankly.
"You mean you didn't know? Where have you been, man? It made the front
page of the Daily Prophet! That they'd split up, I mean, not why."
"Who had split up?"
"None other than our very own Ariadne, and the man she was affianced
to, Aidan Pontin."
"Ria was never engaged!" Charlie was having a difficult time comprehending
the idea that Ria had ever had a significant other that significant.
"Oh, come off it Charlie, it's not that surprising. She's a pretty enough
girl, and her parents have got more than a little cash. Besides which,
Ria is a lovely person."
"Dave, you don't get it we're talking about Ria here Ariadne
Rutherford possibly the only member of the team not to have had
an other half at some point!"
"And why do you think that is, Charlie?"
"Look, discussing Ria's love life isn't what we're here for, and it's
not really fair. If she's not said anything about it, then who are we
to press the matter? And nattering about Ariadne isn't helping poor old
Norbert out of that crate and into the wild!" The men knew Charlie Weasley
well enough to know that the discussion was closed, and they set about
helping him to free a very irate Norwegian Ridgeback.
When Ria got up for work the next morning, she was unsurprised to find
three inebriated men adorning the floor of the living room. What did surprise
her was Charlie's sober state.
"Morning Charlie," she greeted him, cheerfully. "Why aren't you drunk?"
"I like that," Charlie grimaced. "If I'm drunk, you complain because
I'm not sober. If I'm sober, you complain because I'm not drunk! I can't
"I wasn't complaining," Ria hastened to reassure him. "Just surprised.
Do you want some breakfast?"
"It depends what are you making?"
"Toast. And tea. And that's pretty much it we need to go shopping.
Someone seems to have eaten us out of house and home in the past week,"
she looked at Charlie pointedly. "And as I wasn't here, it rather narrows
down the choices. Do you want breakfast or not?"
"I might as well," Charlie told her. "It makes a change for you to be
the one doing the cooking. Do try not to burn the toast."
"I like that!" Ria exclaimed, in mock outrage. "I've never burnt a slice
of toast in my life!"
"Liar!" Charlie grinned at her. She seemed to be back to normal now,
not so tense, and all together much nicer to be with. Whether it was a
good night's sleep, or being back in Romania, he didn't know, and he didn't
really care. As long as she was happy, that was the main thing.
And that, my dears, is it. For now. Comments whether good,
bad or downright annoying are always welcome.
Thanks to: Hey, I'm not an ingrate, the guys
who helped to make this a halfway decent fic deserve commendation!
Andy/Sirius: Thanks hon, much appreciated I'm sure. Those of you who
haven't go and read Back To The Future. It's very good. Not that
he needs more reviews, but I have an opportunity to plug, so I'm going
to do so. Take a bow for being responsible for Ria actually talking to
Harry in his capacity as the famous Harry Potter.
Arabella: Your comments are always much appreciate. You're always
so involved in the story, its very encouraging. Thanks just for being
available to read through my scribbles for me.
Alyssi/Mara: You make my day, you know that? Thank you for all the
encouragement (although you never did say whether Ria and Charlie should
get together or not).
Jen: Thank you for taking the time to read this, and then to give
me feedback. I know we're all busy, busy people, and I really do appreciate
people who take that little bit of extra time to tell me what they think.
And to finish, a quote (purely because I'm an intellectual, and I
'There are only two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing
is a miracle; the other is as if everything is. I believe in the latter.'
This is dedicated to my lovely friend Amanda. All credit for the
wackier parts of this goes to her its amazing what you can come
up with when you're suffering from exam-itis. Incidentally, we planned
this in January, and it is now June. That's school for you. Still, by
the time this is posted, school will be out for summer! *Cheers* Considering
'Manda's never actually read HP, this has turned out quite well, methinks.