"George, are you ok?" gasped Fred crouched low behind a small wall.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Where's Lee?"
"He got hit badly."
"Damn," swore George as he edged his head above the top of the wall to have a quick look around, "I think they have us surrounded. I'm out of ammo as well."
"Here take this," replied Fred dropping something large into his brother's hand.
"I guess this is it," admitted George taking deep breaths, "our final stand. What should we do?"
"I don't know about you but I'm not waiting around to get picked off."
"Going out in a heroic style? That is so like us. Okay on the count of three. One…two…three!"
The twins rose from behind the low built wall; their arms cocked backready to unleash their projectiles. It was quiet. Their eyes scanned around quickly, occasionally flickering towards some slight bit of movement that would turn out to just be the wind. When the attack came, it came quickly and suddenly. The twins didn't stand a chance, it was over before they even realised it had begun.
"Oh God, this stuff is cold," complained George wringing his shirt, causing large drips of water to splash onto the ground.
"What did you expect?" asked Charlie, stepping out from behind the side of the Burrow, "it's a water fight."
"I'd expected more even teams for a start," said Fred.
"It was four against four," Bill pointed out as he joined the group.
"Yeah but we had Percy," George replied indignantly, "I mean he got hit in the first five seconds."
"Er… by you," Charlie pointed out.
"It's not my fault he got in the way of the water bomb."
"Didn't you throw it straight at him?"
"Oh yeah," George recalled, smiling to himself.
"I don't know what you are grinning about, I'm soaked," said Lee not so much walking as sludging around the corner. The two youngest Weasley children, who were were laughing so much they had to gasp for breath, followed him.
"What happened to you?" asked Fred pushing a hand through his wet hair and wiping it against George's back, "sorry George, looked like you had a wasp on there for a moment."
"I got ambushed by these two," replied Lee thumbing over his shoulder at the giggling pair, "they just kept pelting me. Even after I surrendered."
"Yeah, surrendering just doesn't work around here," George nodded slapping a hand on Lee's wet shoulder, "in fact it pretty much just makes us more likely to keep throwing stuff."
"I think I managed to work that part out for myself."
Lee had spent the last two weeks staying at the Weasleys home, and in that time he had learnt a whole variety of things, although many of these were limited to when to duck and what not to open in the twins' bedroom. Despite the swift learning curve on these important points it wasn't long before he felt like a part of the family. There were however certain moments that showedthat he was still considered a guest. Lee, of course, would not complain about this since the moments generally revolved around Mrs Weasley telling the children off for various reasons. Although in the case of the twins the reasons for the scolding generally centred on something they had blown up or given to one of their siblings, which would, more often then not, then blow up.
The days were becoming long and the nights warm by the time the letters from Hogwarts started arriving. George and Lee were sitting bleary-eyed at the kitchen table, while Fred was snoring softly with his head firmly pressed down on his plate.
"Morning lads, mum," greeted Charlie cheerfully as he came in from an early run.
"Hmmf," grunted George and Lee, barely nodding their heads in his direction.
"Don't expect anything more than that from them," said Mrs Weasley, and as she waved her wand plates of food floated over and settled themselves down on the table, "I told them we'd be getting up early today, but they insisted on staying up late and messing around. Fred wake up and eat your breakfast."
"…wha'?" Fred snorted as his mother clipped the back of his head with her wand. He frowned as he looked around the room as he worked out his bearings. He looked down at his plate, which was currently getting stocked up with food, decided that he approved of what he saw and hastily began tucking in.
"Slow down or you'll choke," scolded Mrs Weasley, before turning to Lee and asking kindly, "tea?"
"Yes please, Mrs Wealsey," replied Lee once he had managed to swallow his mouthful of scrambled eggs.
"Don't worry about Fred mum," said George helping himself to some slices of bacon, "there's no chance of him choking, he currently holds the school record for the number of sausage rolls you can fit into your mouth."
"Will you two ever be serious?" sighed Mrs Weasley.
"Actually mum," Charlie cut in, reaching across the table and pouring himself a large glass of orange juice, "it was pretty impressive, he beat my record by two and that had stood since my second year."
"Not you as well? Honestly, I don't know where you boys get it from."
"Morning Weasleys," called Mr Weasley as he clamoured down the stairs, gave Mrs Weasley a kiss on the cheek and ruffled Lee's hair, "morning Lee."
"Morning Mr Weasley."
"Right," said Mr Weasley sitting down and rubbing his hands together before doling out a plateful of food, "what's the topic of conversation this morning?"
"School records," George said tucking into his food.
"That's the spirit boys," said Mr Weasley, pouring himself a drink. Something out of the window caught his eye. He squinted out into the distance, "looks like some owls."
"Must be our school letters," concluded Charlie as the four boys also looked out of the window.
"Well I guess that means we are heading to Diagon Alley today," Mrs Weasley leaned against the bottom of the stairs, "Ron! Ginny! Come and have some breakfast, we're going to Diagon Alley."
"Oi what about Percy?" complained Fred as his two youngest siblings bounded down the stairs, "how come he gets to sleep in?"
"Did we bring you up to say 'oi'? " frowned Mrs Weasley, giving Fred clip on the back of the head with her hand, "anyway Percy was up hours before you lot."
"Because George," replied Percy stepping into the kitchen and placing a rolled up piece of parchment onto the table, "I have an essay on gnomes to complete, and I was just wanted to study them in their natural environment. They are actually fascinating creatures, with quite a complex social structure and a good level of intelligence for their size."
"What happened to your hand?" asked Lee, point a fork at Percy, who had a couple of small bleeding holes on the back of his hand.
"I got too close and one of them bit me."
"Well I guess that proves you were right about their intelligence."
"George! Don't be so mean to your brother," ordered Mrs Weasley, who quickly rummaged through a cupboard under the sink. She found what she was looking for and handed a small green bottle to her injured son. "Here Percy, just dab a bit of this on them and they'll disappear in no time."
"God look at all these books," said Charlie. The owls had dropped offthe school letters and the boys were busy tearing open envelopes and reading the contents. Lee was surprised to see that there was even an owl for him.
"Clever man that Dumbledore," commented Mr Weasley at Lee's look of astonishment, "never misses anything. Last year he send Charlie's friend… er… Milo?"
"Miro, dad," corrected Charlie not looking up from his letter.
"That's right Miro. Anyway his letter arrived here before even we knew he would be coming. We're sitting there with an extra letter then all of a sudden Charlie and Miro come stumbling out of the chimney, covered in Floo Power of course."
"Here look at the book we have for our Defence Against the Dark Arts," said George, looking up and Fred and Lee, "Hexing For Pleasure by Arnold Zimmersnout, brilliant."
"Oh it doesn't say that George," said Mrs Weasley, leaning over his shoulder to read for herself. "Good lord, it does. Who on earth would choose that as a schoolbook? Sounds like someone very irresponsible."
"I'm sure Dumbledore wouldn't hire anybody who wasn't suitable," soothed Mr Weasley taking a look at Fred's letter.
"I know that but still, 'Hexing For Pleasure'? It just seems… rude"
"Seems fine to me mum," replied George grinning.
"Sorry for the hold up," said Mr Weasley as Lee came coughing and spluttering out of the fireplace, "just a couple more."
Lee dusted himself off as best as he could and joined the twins, who were busying trying to make themselves look clean before their mother attacked them with her handkerchief. The three boys, along with Mrs Weasley, Ron and Ginny, were standing at the edge of a large room. Mr Weasley was busy helping Percy out from the fireplace after his Floo journey from the Burrow, whilst at the same time trying to appease the queue of people waiting to use the Floo Network for their own trips.
"Ah last one," grinned Mr Weasley to a rather robust looking old lady, just as Charlie stepped into the room. The woman just used her large umbrella to usher Mr Weasley out of her way and stepped into the alcove, "Twelve Market Gardens Avenue," she cried and with one last withering look at them she was gone in a flash of green.
"Ok Weasleys," he said rubbing his hands together. Mr Weasley had long since commented that Lee was now an honorary member of the family, "Ron and Ginny you go with your mum to pick up something for dinner, the rest of you come with me to get your books."
Diagon Alley was bustling with people, noises and colours. The streets were full of children and their parents since most of the Hogwarts students had received their letters that morning and were down collecting all the items they need for the coming year. The progress to the bookshop was slow, given that every five seconds one of the group would suddenly bump into someone they knew and would get caught up chatting.
"Did you see the Defence Against the Dark Arts book?" asked Alicia Spinnet, who, along with Angelina Johnson they had met in Flourish and Botts.
"Yeah I know," grinned Fred, "I like the sound of this teacher already."
"Here Charlie," Angelina nudged the eldest Weasley with her elbow, "when are the tryouts for the Quidditch team going to be? With all the people that left last year they'll be what…" she counted silently to herself for a couple of seconds, "…four spots open?"
"Five," Charlie corrected.
"Charlie left the team," explained George, in reply to Angelina's look of confusion, which quickly changed to one of surprise.
"You left?" she asked opened mouthed.
"Yeah, it's my final year, so I'm going to be concentrating on my classes. I want to get good marks for my NEWTs and I can't do that if I'm out training every night."
"Good marks," said Fred sullenly as if the words were poison in his mouth, "when did you get like Percy?"
"I heard that," came Percy's voice from behind a stack of books.
"So who's the new Captain?" asked Alicia, "Miro?"
"No," replied Charlie shaking his head, "even at the best of times, I had to drag him out of bed to go training in the morning. I doubt McGonagallsaw him as leadership material."
"So who is it?"
As a way of answering Charlie just nodded his head out of the shop into the street. There was a figure slowly staggering across the pavement, laden down with several large boxes. Only the legs and arms could be seen as the individual tried to make his way through the bustle of people. Eventually a bag, which was positioned onto of the boxes and obscuring the face, slipped off and fell down onto the floor revealing the flustered visage of Oliver Wood the Gryffindor Goalkeeper, pined to his chest was shiny badge which denoted he was the new captain.
"Alright Charlie," Oliver greeted his former team mate, then nodded at the rest of the group.
"What in Merlin's Beard are you studying this year?" Charlie asked as the new Quidditch Captain finally gave up trying to balance all the items and dropped them onto the ground.
"Oh this lot?" Oliver scrambled on the floor collecting the items, as the twins helped him put them into some kind of ordered pile, "no this isn't school stuff. It's for the team. You know, books on tactics, stuff to help us train… oh and check this out. "
Charlie looked down at a particular box that Oliver had pointed to. On the cover was a picture of a large Quidditch pitch, the scene was showing what looked like a very fast and impressive game taking place as the players whizzed across.
"Mr McRogan's Table Top Quidditch," Lee read out loud from the box, "experience all the excitement of a real game of Quidditch without the cold, wind and rain. So you're going to challenge the other teams to a game of this?"
"No," Wood frowned shaking his head, "I'm going to use it to plan out all our tactics, attack formations, different strategies, that kind of thing."
"Great," said Angelina a little uncertainly, "so when will you be holding trials for the team?"
"Monday afternoon, the first week," replied Oliver who was busy checking through his shopping to make sure he had everything.
"Monday afternoon?" asked Lee shaking his head, "you don't wait around do you?"
"Well I want to get started early on the training regime."
"Er…training regime?" asked Alicia looking uncertainly across at Angelina.
"Yep," nodded Oliver, searching through one of the bags with a frown on his face, "an hour in the mornings before breakfast and then an hour in the evenings. Oh and the weekends of course. Plus I have a secret weapon."
"Sounds good," commented Fred, his eyes lighting up, "is it a really fast broom?"
"Or a larger Beater's bat?" added George.
"Or smaller goals?"
"Don't be silly, you can't shrink the size of the goals," George scolded, before looking back at Oliver, "can you? Surely the other team would notice."
Oliver look between the two twins with an impression of slight bewilderment. Luckily Charlie stepped in to help ease the awkward silence.
"Yes they are serious and yes they are always like that," he explained to the new Captain, "the best way to approach it is to use the word 'anyway' and change the subject. Don't worry, they are use to it."
"Anyway…" said Oliver slowly, as the twins nodded encouragement, "I found a book which tells you what you should be eating to get the most energy. Fresh fruit, vegetables, you know, healthy stuff."
"Er… you know maybe I won't try out for the team this year," said George looking uncertainly at Oliver.
"Wouldn't matter if you did," called a gruff voice before George found himself being pushed out of the way.
The group of Gryffindors parted, mainly because they had to, as Marcus Flint, the captain of the Slytherin Quidditch team, barged past and out into Diagon Alley. Turning he looked down at Oliver's purchases.
"Is that it?" sneered Flint, "you're going to need more thanthat if you think you'll beat us this year."
"We beat you last year," said Angelina defiantly.
"No, you beat the old team," Flint snapped, "you'd never be able to win against us now."
"We'd wipe the floor with you," argued Alicia crossing her arms and glaring.
"Ha," spat Flint mirthlessly, "and I suppose you'd be playing would you?"
"Yeah we might just be," confirmed Angelina mimicking her friend's stance, "you got a problem with girls playing Quidditch?"
"Oh no, I have no problem with it," admitted Flint somewhat surprisingly, "if a team chooses to make
itself weaker by playing girls then that'll just make things easier for us."
"Easier?" Alicia asked flabbergasted, "we can play just as wellas you."
"As me?" snorted Flint shaking his head, "no chance. Maybe you fly as well as the rest of Gryffindor, but that says more about how bad they are then how good youare."
"Look," Flint cut across Angelina objection, "I have more important things to be doing with my time then wasting it talking to the Gryffindor cheerleaders. If either of you make the team, I'll be seeing you out on the Quidditch pitch, it'll be easy to spot me since I'll be the one speeding past you with the ball."
Flint turned his back on the group and walked across to a group of his friends. Before anyone could think of something to say Angelina already had Wood pressed back against the window of Flourish and Botts, her finger jabbing into his chest.
"You," she said still continuing to poke him, "I don't get how many hours of training you have planned, or how early you want us to get up, or if you want the team to live on a diet of Bog Worms. Put me down for the tryouts. I'm going to wipe that smirk off of his face if it is the last thing I do."
"Yeah," agreed Alicia, "and that goes for me. Come on Angelina, let'sgo look at the brooms."
The two furious girls stormed off away from the group of boys, who were trying to decide whether or not to be annoyed at Flint's comments or be amused by the girls' reaction. As Angelina flashed a looked back at them they decided that it probably wasn't the wisest idea to be smiling so they all settled on very theatrical looking frowns.
"If they make the team," Fred whispered to Oliver, keeping his voice low on the slim chance that one of the girls would hear him, "play them as Beaters. The other team wouldn't stand a chance."
"Yeah," agreed George, "and if they don't make the team, make sure you have a head start before you tell them."
"…and a shield," added Charlie.
"Come on you lot," Mr Weasley's voice called from inside the shop, "I can't carry all these books myself you know."
"Sorry dad," said Charlie helping his father by taking a large armful of books. The twins and Lee eagerly grabbed their new Defence Against the Dark Arts book and began flicking through it.
"The Bat Bogey Hex," said Fred in an almost revered way.
"The Sprouting Ear Wig Curse," whispered George looking at another page, "look, this one even has a picture."
"I can't wait to try these out when we get home," admitted Fred.
"You know what?" said Mr Weasley, quickly scooping the books out of the twins and Lee's hands. After years of living with Fred and George, he had soon learnt to sense impending mischief making. "It's still the holidays. Lots of time for schoolwork when the term starts."
"Quick, move out the way!" ordered Mr Weasley barging past a number of surprised people. One elderly wizard had to practically dive out of the way of the speeding trolley as the Mr Weasley led his clan towards the train.
The old man propped himself up on his elbows, pushed his hat back off his eyes and stared in shock as three more heavy looking trolleys whisked passed him in a blur of rattling metal and flashes of red hair.
"I'm so sorry," Mrs Weasley called back over her shoulder as some kind strangers were helping the baffled wizard back up.
"Say sorry later Molly" shouted Mr Weasley stopping at one of the carriages and pulling open the door, "quick everybody inside…no, not you Ron."
The youngest male Weasley stepped back out onto the platform, with a disappointed look on his face as his four other brothers and Lee leapt through the door and started catching the bags and trunks that Mr Weasley was levitating at them from the various trolleys.
"Sorry Charlie," he called as one of the larger trunks knocked over the eldest boy, "right that's the last of them."
"Just in time too," commented Mrs Weasley as the stationmaster blew his whistle and the Hogwarts Express began pulling away.
"Next year," Mr Weasley puffed wiping the back of his hand across his forehead, "we get up earlier."
"Next year, we'll make sure Fred and George are ready the night before,"corrected Mrs Weasley waving to the train as it disappeared around the corner, "can you believe the amount of times we had to go back for something?"
"I know," admitted Mr Weasley, "though granted, the last time we really did need to go back, couldn't leave George to make his own way to Hogwarts."
"I suppose not," Mrs Weasley nodded at the stricken wizard, who was now standing once again, as he battered dust off of his legs, "although I more worried about what Fred and George left in their room rather then what they chose to take to school."
"I'm sure it won't be as bad as last year," soothed Mr Weasley as they, along with Ron and Ginny, passed through the hidden passageway and back into the main part of the station.
"Well it that case you won't mind cleaning their room this time."
"No buts," warned Mrs Weasley, "I had to do it last time, this time it is your go."
"Fine," sighed Mr Weasley, "but can we just drop by the office first? If I'm going to tidy their room I want to be prepared. Eric Carr has some Dragon-hide gloves he said I could borrow."
Return to Top