"Stop it, guys!" a little red headed boy yelled. "I'm gunna tell Mum!"
"And what are you gunna tell her," started a slightly older looking, equally red headed boy teased back as he leaned on his twin who finished for him, "Ickle Ronnikins?"
At five whole years old, little Ron Weasley was supremely confident in his answer. "That you were teasing me!" The twins looked at each other in mock horror.
"Dear me, Fred! Not TEASING! Anything but that!"
"Goodness, George! Whatever shall become of us! Mum will surely murder us!"
"Especially after committing such a terrible crime!"
They twins turned back to their little brother with matching grins on their faces. "I daresay, little brother dearest," one started.
"That after six sons, a bit of teasing from us is-"
"Down right expected of us, really."
"Hey, you three!" shouted another red headed boy. This one looked to be well in his teens. "What did I say before we left the Burrow?" he said to the others.
The twins looked at each other with, admittedly, less chagrin than the elder boy would have liked.
"That we can only go to the muggle park if we behave ourselves," they replied in unison.
"But Bill," one added. "Can you really blame us?"
"Yeah Bill," said the other. "We're just performing our brotherly duties!"
Bill knelt down, pulled the sulking Ron over as well, and spoke to all three. "Boys, I'll only say this once. There is a fine line between teasing in fun and outright bullying. Teasing means you ALL can laugh TOGETHER. Now, I wasn't close enough to see what, exactly, was going on, but I was close enough to see that Ron wasn't laughing. Now, I know you two aren't bullies," he paused to give the twins a pointed look. "I want you all to remember that. Jokes and pranks let everyone laugh in the end. If even one person isn't, it wasn't funny."
Ron furrowed his little brow. "But what about when we all play jokes at the Burrow? Mum just yells a lot. Does that mean we're bullies?"
"A fine question, little brother," Bill smiled. He looked to the twins. "Do you two want to try and answer it?"
The identical boys took a moment to think. "Mum does yell at us, but she doesn't stay mad," Fred began.
"Yeah," George continued. "She's usually laughing with us all about it by dinnertime. Or, "he paused with a grin.
"She's at least shaking her head with a smile!" they both finished together.
Bill smiled brightly at the three boys. "Exactly! That's the key! As long as everyone is laughing together in the end! So," he got back to his feet. "How about you three go have some fun together on that playset over there!" He reached out and ruffled the three mops of red hair in front of him before they all trotted off to play on the playset.
Moving to sit on a nearby bench, he watched them play around, usually with Ron trying to catch up to his brothers. Now, with no more tears in his eyes. As he watched, he didn't see the woman approaching his bench.
"That was some lovely teaching over there," came a clipped, but pleasant voice beside him. He turned and saw a very well dressed woman. Her hair was in a neat bun, and she held her carpet bag comfortably at her side with an umbrella tucked under her arm. With a start, he scrambled to his feet causing the woman's smile to widen just a touch.
"Good afternoon, Ma'am! Um, thank you!" He looked down uncomfortably. The woman chuckled a bit at his awkwardness.
"No need for 'Ma'am', young man. Miss Poppins is just fine. Mary Poppins," she said. "I just wanted to say that I saw your little lesson across the way, and I absolutely agree with you. That is certainly a lesson that more people need to learn these days, and you taught it beautifully."
"Thank you, Ma- um, Miss Poppins! I'm Bill, by the way! Bill Weasley. It's a pleasure to meet you," he smiled and offered his hand. She reached out and clasped it securely. It was a handshake between equals. Bills smile grew wider.
"The pleasure is entirely mine, Mister Weasley. I assure you." She released his hand and looked over his shoulder. "I best let you on with your day, Mister Weasley. It was lovely speaking with you." Bill turned to glance back at his brothers and turned back to...nothing?
"Miss Poppins?" He looked around. There was no sign of the proper lady he had just been speaking with anywhere! "Huh," he said quietly as he sat back on his bench. Looking back to his brothers, his smile returned as he watched them play.
Another spin of the roulette down! This one was quick to come to me. The mental gymnastics are quite natural...sometimes. I fear the next spin!
You are welcome to let me know what you think! If anyone else starts spinning their own character roulette, toss a link my way! I'd love to read 'em!