"Jamie! Alan! Remus! You lot better wake up or you're going to miss breakfast before we leave for the train!" a voice floated up the stairs.
Jamie yawned and opened his eyes, studying the Puddlemere United poster on his wall a moment before sitting up and stretching. He was already mostly awake before his mother called up to him, but had hoped to get a few extra minutes of rest before going downstairs. They were all leaving for their last year at Hogwarts that morning and he was sure to get few days of sleeping this late in the months to come. He was in his third year as captain of Gryffindor's quidditch team and he was a firm believer in early morning practices. They had a good shot of a repeat of the quidditch cup this year with the entire house team returning. Though it helped that half the team lived under the same roof and had been training together most of the summer. The down side was that it would hurt the team next year after he and his two brothers graduated, though his younger sister Daisy was a shoo-in for captain.
He got out of bed and walked over to his door, opening it and looking across the hall into his brother Remus' room, nearly filling the door frame. They had just turned 17 and had long surpassed their mother - who stood at a mere 5'3 - and even stood taller than their dad's 6'3.
"Remus, better get up before Mum comes up to get you," he shouted to a moving mound buried under a navy blue comforter. While Jamie managed to keep his room well organized, Remus' looked as though a tornado had gone through. He probably hadn't even packed for the train yet. Well, not completely, anyway. His Quidditch gear was sure to be packed in pristine condition.
"Fuck off," a muffled voice groaned. Jamie laughed and leaned against the doorframe, crossing his arms and waiting.
"You didn't seem to mind getting up so early most of the summer," he said.
"That was for quidditch. This is different," he said, finally emerging from the comforter, his curly brown hair sticking out every which way. Jamie was sure he looked just as wild - they were identical after all. The three brothers often took advantage of that fact as much as possible. Granted, their mother, father and sister could always tell the difference, no matter how hard they had tried to trick them.
Remus got out of bed and stretched, walking towards the door. "Alan up yet?" Jamie looked down the hall and noticed his hulk of a brother lumbering towards him, his eyes bleary with sleep.
"Food," Alan muttered.
The three teens made their way downstairs to the kitchen, Remus and Alan becoming more awake and animated the stronger the delicious smell of breakfast got. By the time they reached the kitchen, they were finally acting human and pushing each other out of the way to the table. Their younger sister Daisy was already sitting at the table fully dressed and reading a book. She was starting her fifth year at Hogwarts and her fourth as the Gryffindor seeker. Their mother had thrown a fit when she found out that she had tried out second year instead of waiting until her third, as her brothers had been forced to do. Granted they all knew when Daisy made up her mind, there was no stopping her. And secretly, Jamie had seen that their mother was really proud of her gumption. She didn't even have the heart to punish her for it.
"Nice of you lot to join us," Daisy said without looking up from the book, before biting into a piece of bacon. She looked positively tiny when standing next to her brothers, but Jamie and his brothers knew better. She was mostly muscle thanks to the strict training schedule they had kept over the summer while not at school. She was turning into a sharp seeker, already flying faster than all of her brothers. That morning, she had her normally long, curly red hair pulled up into a messy bun on top of her head, which made her look almost elf-like with her bright green eyes and pale skin.
"Boys, did you finish packing?" their mum asked from the stove. Iris had managed to age well, keeping the appearance of someone in her early 30s rather than her actual age of 45. Daisy was nearly the spitting image of her, though her nose was noticeably softer, much like her brothers and dad. Iris' curly red hair was cut short for the summer and her green eyes still held a certain spark in them.
"Yes," they all said in unison.
"I meant everything as well as your quidditch gear," she said, walking over and shoveling a large pile of eggs onto each their plates. She namely studied Remus, who was by far the laziest of the three.
"It'll take me two minutes to throw in the rest," he said, glancing up at her before shoving two strips of bacon into his mouth.
"It better," she said, her voice full of warning.
"Where's dad?" Alan asked.
"Getting a few laps in," she said offhandedly as she sat the pan back on the stove. It was almost as though both Iris and Oliver refused to act or look old. Though he was passed 40, Oliver still got up early every day and trained as though he were still playing keeper. He had been the head coach of Puddlemere for a good three years now, but was adamant on being as hands-on as possible with both his team and his kids' training.
"Such a lovely sight in the morning," Oliver exclaimed as he walked into the kitchen still in his practice clothes, sweaty and slightly out of breath. He walked over and wrapped his arms around Iris from behind, kissing her on the cheek. She wrinkled her nose, but a smile was firmly planted on her face.
"You smell," she complained. "At least shower before breakfast."
"But then I'd miss breakfast with you, Red," he said before kissing her cheek again.
"Please, we're trying to eat here," Alan complained. Daisy looked at her older brother over her book.
"Please, that's not nearly bad as seeing you and Kirsty Davis snogging at the party after we beat Slytherin last year," she said, rolling her eyes. Alan's face went red as his brothers howled with laughter.
"What are you laughing at? Didn't Professor Longbottom give you detention for snogging whats-her-face in one of the greenhouses?" he shouted at Remus.
"What were you even doing in the greenhouses? You hate herbology," Daisy asked.
"Snogging, obviously," Jamie said, still laughing. Remus looked at his brother.
"And how many times have you chickened out on asking out Elise Wright?," Remus said. "At least Alan and I have better luck." Jamie's face went white as Daisy laughed loudly, knowing there were no snogging secrets for any of her brothers to divulge about her.
Iris sighed and looked over her shoulder and up at her husband. He just shrugged and shook his head.
"They didn't get it from me. I was too focused on quidditch at Hogwarts," he thought, sensing her look.
"Please, we both know full and well how much a charmer you are - and were back then. And they certainly didn't get it from me," Iris sent him, eyebrows raised. She then stopped and remembered some things from her past. "Okay, maybe it's a bit of both of us." Jamie's head whipped around to look at his mother as he picked up on her memory.
"Mum! Seriously!?" he shouted while groaning, trying to shake the image of a younger Iris kissing some random guy at a concert from his head. "It's bad enough that you two subject us to parental PDA, now I have to see that."
"Glad I can't seen into Mum's brain," Alan said. Jamie scowled at him and then projected the memory into his mind. "Merlin! No!" he shouted, grabbing his head.
"Please. I did have a life before your father," Iris said, rolling her eyes at her sons' dramatics.
"And I had a life before your mother, as well," Oliver added. Iris laughed softly.
"What life? Thought you were too obsessed with quidditch," she said.
"I snogged a fair bit at Hogwarts and the Puddlemere after parties, I'll have you know," he said, staring down at her seriously, though Iris saw the twinkle in his eye.
"DAD!" Jamie groaned, his head back in his hands as he was now seeing a much younger Oliver drunkenly kissing some blonde at a house party. Both parents looked over as Alan started gagging all over again and Remus just started at the two of them with a look of disgust.
"How could you do that?" he said, slowly shaking his head. It was all Iris could do to keep from losing it as she took in her son's serious expression. Daisy was beside herself, giggling uncontrollably.
"Boys, get over it. Besides, what did I say about staying out of our heads?" She settled her bright green eyes on Jamie, who had stopped grimacing and was looking appropriately shamed.
"Sorry, Mum. Still can't help it sometimes," he said, genuinely meaning it.
"It's alright," she said, softening her scowl. She knew all too well how tricky it could be to stay out of others' minds when you were that age. Jamie had managed to get better control over it but there were still moments when he couldn't help himself.
Of the triplets, she knew he was probably the only one who could properly handle her particularly troublesome gift without abusing it. He was more introverted than his brothers and tended to be more serious, taking the time to stop and think things through before acting. Unlike Alan, who seemed to barge into every decision he had ever made. Remus seemed to go with whatever was convenient.
"Come on. Finish up or we'll all be late to the train," Iris said, freeing herself from Oliver's arms and making up a plate for herself while Oliver followed suit and they took the seats on either side of Daisy.
"Now you lot," Oliver said, turning serious for a moment and looking over his four children, "this is an important season for you boys. You need to start strong and continue that momentum throughout the whole year, got it?"
"Got it," Jamie said seriously. He wanted to make sure that they ended their last year at Hogwarts repeating their victory from last year. Not to mention there would be scouts there the entire season. This was the year to prove themselves more than any other year, if they all wanted to be signed by graduation. Alan and Remus both nodded as well.
"Good. I expect we'll be getting offers by Easter," Oliver said, grinning. His dream of having all of his children become professional quidditch players was nearly coming true. His sights settled on Daisy.
"And you, no death-defying stunts, eh Pixie? We don't want to cause your mother more fits." Daisy rolled her eyes.
"They're perfectly safe-"
"No. You heard me," he said.
"But Ashley said-"
"I am your father and you will do as I say," Oliver said firmly, staring at her. Daisy finally relented.
"Fine," she said scowling. Though she knew once they were at Hogwarts, she was going to do whatever she wanted anyway. She had spent some time working with the Puddlemere seeker who had been showing her different moves, taking advantage of her small stature, speed and acrobatic abilities. While her father thought it amusing watching her do flips off her broom into the pool, he had put his foot down on anything of the sort while on the pitch - despite the fact they had cushioning charms on it. He always had been more protective of his tiny daughter than the boys. Daisy knew she could take just as many hits and falls as they could, but her dad seemed to constantly fret over her safety. Why he even let her play seeker in the first place was beyond her if he was going to give her such a hard time about safety all the time.
The triplets scarfed down their food and noisily made their way upstairs, with their mother's warning that they had 45 minutes until they all needed to leave. Alan beat everyone to the shower, so Jamie walked into Remus' room to help him finish packing.
"It's our last year," Jamie finally said after they had spent five minutes silently packing. Remus looked at him and grinned.
"I know. Better make it count," he said. "Our last year of little responsibility. Then next year professional quidditch."
"Aren't you a bit nervous, though? I mean, it's still an important year," Jamie said.
"Nah. Alan and I will have no issues getting on a reserve team somewhere. Why are you nervous?" he asked, stopping his packing and staring at his brother. It was unlike him to be anything less than confident in his abilities. Jamie thought a moment.
"Not sure. Seems like a lot riding on this year and five matches," he said.
"Come on, Jamie. You're a solid captain and top-rate keeper. If any of us are going to get first string straight out of school, it'll be you," Remus said. "Besides, just think of all the parties we can host at Mum and Dad's old flat." Jamie rolled his eyes as his brother grinned and waggled his eyebrows, then turned to keep packing.
"You know, we still need to get through seventh year first," he said. "And if we don't get offers, there'll be try-outs-"
"Seriously doubt we'll have to do that," Remus interrupted, turning back to tossing random clothes into the trunk.
"Anyway, I'm just saying we need to stay focused," Jamie said.
"It's our last bloody year at Hogwarts," Remus said, straightening up. He walked over and slapped his brother on the back. "Enjoy it. Finally ask out Elise. Get drunk every weekend we don't have a match. This is the year to really live it up!" Jamie laughed.
"So all those other years where we pranked the hell out of Daisy or our cousins? Or got drunk in the dorm? What was that? Child's play?" he asked.
"No… just… it's the last chance to do whatever it is you've always wanted to do at Hogwarts," Remus said after thinking a moment. "Before we join the League and all. Once we're in there, the first few years will be tough between working our way onto Puddlemere and then the Scottish national team." Jamie nodded. They had gone with their dad to catch as many World Cup games that summer as they could, despite the fact the Scottish team didn't make it far.
Even though they were eliminated in the first round by the Nordic team - who managed to squeeze out a win despite losing their keeper in a spectacular mid-air crash - all the Wood children were now dreaming of someday representing their home country at the World Cup. If they put in the work now, they could have a chance at the next one in 2022. At the very least, they would still be young enough for the following on in 2026.
"Shower's free!" Alan shouted. Jamie and Remus looked at each other before they both shot towards the door. Remus had a bit of an edge, being a beater and all. He nearly pushed Jamie to the floor, but the keeper managed to stay on his feet and squeeze passed his brother and down the hall.
"Looks like you lose again!" he shouted before running into the bathroom and slamming the door shut behind him.