Happy Birthday, Dear Sister
"Alright, let's just try this again, shall we? Hap—" his mother began.
Amycus rolled his eyes and placed his head on the dining room table. Singing was always the worst part, and if his mother didn't hurry up and slice up the cake, he would cut it himself. He'd already gotten scolded for dipping his finger into the icing earlier that afternoon.
Thankfully, his father felt the same.
"I don't think we need to waste any more time on songs, do we?" his father said, eyes trained on his copy of The Daily Prophet. "Surely she is old enough now to not need to have this frivolous nonsense thrown at her."
His sister's smile dropped. "Yeah, Mother, I am old enough now," she said in a low voice, her eyes focused longingly on the cake in front of her.
"O—Okay," his mother said.
She had been holding her wand to the candles, lighting them one by one as she led the traditional birthday song, but now she sat it on the table. A couple were still unlit, and she looked at Alecto with a small smile.
"At least blow out your candles," she said.
His sister's face brightened a little more. With a quick glance at their father, who merely grunted and turned a page, she closed her eyes.
Amycus huffed. He didn't know why his sister insisted on wasting precious time. Every year, without fail, she would hold up the celebrations by making a wish. It was utterly pointless; what more could she even want? She'd be joining him at Hogwarts in a few months, and once there, she could have and do whatever she wanted—no need for silly wishes.
Well, his father was right; she was old enough to stop this. He took in a deep breath and leant across the table. Then, seeing that Alecto was still wishing, he let out his breath and blew at the candles. The flames flickered, and as his breath passed over them again, they extinguished completely.
"There, now can I have some cake?" he said, sitting back in his chair.
Alecto's dark eyes welled with tears as she opened her eyes and realised what he had done. His mother frowned, and whilst placing a comforting hand on his sister's shoulder, turned an icy glare on him.
"Sorry. May I have some cake?" he said.
His mother shook her head, opening her mouth to probably scold him yet again, but her attention was drawn to his father. The man had finally put down his paper. Clicking his finger, he pointed to the cake. His mother pushed the plate down the table, along with a knife. She then placed her hand back on Alecto's shoulder, squeezing it as tears trickled down her cheek.
His father cut himself a large slice of cake and placed it on his plate. It was only after he took a bite of it, his eyes closed as he savoured the taste, that he nodded and nudged the cake plate back. His mother had to lean over to reach it. When she did, she took time cutting a large slice for Alecto, before letting him have some.
He rolled his eyes as his mother insisted on cutting him a piece. It wasn't as if he couldn't handle a knife or do it himself. Still, when he finally had a taste—a proper taste, not just a lick of icing on his finger—it was worth the wait. His mother had outdone herself, and the chocolate crumbs melted in his mouth.
"Alright, how about we open some presents?" she said, clapping her hands together. She had a large smile on her face again, and she peered at his father and him.
His father grunted something along the lines of, "I hope you didn't spoil her," but Amycus was too busy eating his cake to listen properly. He continued to shovel the cake in his mouth, careful only to chew with his mouth closed so that his father did not smack him over the head again.
His mother's smile faltered a little. She ducked underneath the table and when she came back up again, she was holding two small wrapped parcels.
She placed the parcel wrapped in green paper in front of Alecto. "This one is from your brother," she said, smiling at him before turning back to Alecto. "He picked it out especially for you."
Amycus rolled his eyes. He had no idea what was inside the parcel, but it was probably something boring. He dug his fork into the last morsel of cake, disappointed that he had finished his piece already.
Sure enough, as the sound of tearing paper echoed around the dining room, his sister revealed what his mother had picked out. Inside a small box was a quill and ink set. The ink was a plain old boring bottle that Amycus had several of for school, but the quill was a little more unique. The feather was a mixture of aquamarine, purple and pink colours—Alecto's favourites.
His sister stroked the feather before lifting it to her face. She ran it along her cheek, giggling softly as it tickled her.
"Thanks, Amus," she said, smiling at him.
Amycus shrugged. He made to reach for the cake plate, but upon catching the look on his mother's face, he withdrew his hand.
"Happy birthday," he muttered.
Alecto beamed and continued to play with the feather.
"Now, Alecto, this next one is from your father and I. I know you wanted a broom—" she began, but as his father snorted, she changed tactics. "—but we thought you would enjoy this a lot more."
"Thank you, Father, thank you, Mother," she said.
Amycus sat up in his chair, curious as to what their parents had bought his sister. He was relieved that they hadn't bought her a broomstick—especially when they had refused to give him one for his own birthday. Alecto's eyes were alight with hope nonetheless, and as she carefully slid her finger under the spello-tape holding the pink wrapping paper together, her smile grew.
"Oh! Thank you!" she said, opening the lid of the box.
Amycus craned his neck to see what it was. When he did manage to see it, his stomach tightened, and he slumped back in his chair.
Alecto held up the tiny model broom on her palm. With an encouraging nod from their mother, she tapped the miniscule bristles on the toy, and the broom slowly rose up in the air. It flew in a small circle above her head, following the motions she made with her hand.
"I love it!" she said, eyes trained on the toy. "May I please be excused to go and play with it?"
His mother nodded, her own smile still in place. Alecto didn't even wait for their father to respond, and scraping back her chair, she darted out of the dining room and into the parlour, the toy broom following her.
Well, his mother had certainly lied to his father—she had spoiled Alecto. Not that it mattered; at least he was mature enough to not want a toy.
"Would you like some more cake?" his mother asked.
His father already had another large piece on his plate. Amycus didn't feel hungry anymore, though, and with a quick glance to check that his father was once again occupied with his newspaper, he pushed away his own plate.
"May I also be excused?" he said.
His mother blinked but nodded. He pushed his own chair back and walked from the room at a slower pace than his sister.
Once he was out of earshot, however, he all but ran into the parlour. His sister was spinning around the room, her hand moving up and down in wild gestures. Her new toy was whizzing along with her, circling up and down, and doing loops.
She didn't stop playing as she turned to him, a grin lighting up her face. "This is amazing!"
Amycus leant against the doorframe, his arms folded. "If you say so."
The truth was, the broom was intriguing. It wasn't as great as a real broom by any means; after all, he couldn't sit on it or play Quidditch. But it was kind of cool how it seemed to follow Alecto's commands, as though she had complete control over it.
Alecto waved her hands up and down, and the broom copied. She then knelt down, guiding the toy to the floor.
Amycus walked across the room. "Give me a go."
Standing back up, the broom cradled to her chest, his sister hesitated. "Er…"
"Go on, give me a go," Amycus said, holding his hand out for the toy. Alecto looked at her present, and he couldn't help but smirk at the way she looked a little frightened. "Sharing is caring."
Alecto bit her lip. It looked like she was going to protest, but with a sigh, she placed it in his outstretched hand. "Just be careful with it, ok?"
Holding his palm up, he tapped the broom's tail. When nothing happened, he tapped it again, this time with a little more force. Alecto winced, but didn't say anything.
Finally, the little broom hummed, and rose into the air. Amycus wasted no time in making it do the cool tricks he had seen Alecto doing. Swishing his hands, he was happy to see that the toy complied with his commands.
It looped around the ceiling, narrowly dodging the chandelier. Even though his sister gasped every now and then, she allowed him to make it go faster and faster.
"Ok… it's my turn again," she said.
Amycus turned his back to her. His hand movements became more jagged, as did the broom's flight pattern.
"Amus, please!" Alecto tried again, stepping close to him. She put a hand on his shoulder, but he shrugged it off. "You'll break it!"
Faster and faster, higher and higher, the toy broom followed his commands. It was becoming harder and harder to control it, but he was determined not to let it better him. Frowning, he aimed it at the walls, pulling back at the last second.
"Amycus!" Alecto was now sobbing. She jumped into the air to try to catch her toy, yet it was far out of her reach. "Stop, please!"
"I'm having fun," Amycus said.
"I don't want you to touch it anymore! It's my present!"
Yes, it was her present. A present his mother had put a lot of thought into, despite what his father had to say. Taking a deep breath, he aimed it at the far wall, and thrust his hands forward.
The broom soared towards it, perhaps travelling at a pace faster than a normal broom. His sister's hands flew to her eyes, and she turned from the broom.
At the last minute, Amycus pulled his hands back, and the broom skidded to a halt, just a few seconds from smashing into the wall. It still hit the wall, but rather than splintering into a thousand pieces as he expected it would have, it merely bounced off onto the carpet.
Alecto's eyes flew open. When she saw the broom lying on the floor, she gasped and ran over to it. She picked it up, feeling around it for any damage. With a shaking hand, she then placed it on her palm, testing to see if it still worked.
Her tears only stopped when the broom, a little slower than before, hummed and rose up. She turned to him, her eyes narrowed.
"I wasn't going to break it," he said.
It was true. As much as he didn't think his sister deserved such an exquisite present, it wasn't worth getting a hiding from his father. His mother, too, would probably break one of his own toys as punishment, and although he was too mature for them, he wasn't going to test her. Plus, he figured his sister would lose a lot of her possessions when she got to school—most Slytherins found their belongings disappearing within the common room if they weren't concealed with charms. She would probably be too stupid to cast any on her trunk, and if she was as big of a baby as she was now and brought along her present, it would be the first to go.
It just wouldn't be him who took it or caused more tears.
Alecto sniffed. She grabbed her broom and placed it in the pocket of her robes.
"I might go to my room now," she said, walking past him.
He watched as she paused in the doorway. It was as though she was hoping for him to apologise, but when he didn't, she rolled back her shoulders and left the room.
"Happy birthday," he said, perhaps a little too late.
A/N: This story was written for the lovely Maisie (Maisie Malfoy). I hope you like my take on young Amycus Carrow (I did plan on redeeming him but may have gotten carried away).
For anyone wondering, I vaguely remember reading somewhere that Alecto and Amycus are twins. However, I couldn't confirm this anywhere, and with the whole jealous sibling theme, I decided to make Alecto younger.
Thanks for reading! Xx