Disclaimer: Not mine.
For the Sober Universe "I Never Challenge." Yep, have never done Ginny or any of the next generation. Hope it meets the expectations.
One Just Like You
Lily Luna Potter bent her head over the parchment and poised her quill, watching the ink drip then splatter on the tabletop.
"Mum?" she called out. "It did it again. I need a new one. We should go to Hogsmeade. The ones in Diagon aren't no good."
"It's not the quill it's the user." Ginny sighed and pointed her wand at the ink blot, removing it from sight. "Don't hold it in the pot so long."
"Use one of the others until I get it sharpened." Ginny turned back to the sink only to hear Lil whine again.
"It's cracked, Mum. I need a new one."
Ginny turned and bit her lip to keep from laughing. Lily sat with ink smeared in the corner of her mouth, a drip running down her chin and the offending quill held in the air.
"I see," Ginny said, sitting at the table and taking the quill from the small hand for inspection. "Yep, it's cracked all right. Looks like one of Aunt Hermione's cats chewed it nearly in two."
"We need to go shopping, right?" She looked up at her mother, nodding furiously.
"Lil, he won't be allowed to meet us, even if we do go to Hogsmeade. I told you that at the station today. Remember?"
"Maybe we could take the train and maybe stop and see Uncle Neville, and maybe Al and Jay-Jay can come and have tea with us."
"And maybe not," Ginny frowned. "You know, I was thinking on the way home that it's a good thing you get to go to school last."
"No it's not." Lil folded her arms and pouted.
"Yes, it really is. You see, when you're last the older ones already have all the teachers broken in. Why, by the time you get there they will just figure you're the good one and leave you alone."
"Uncle Neville too?"
"Uncle Neville will have more time for you by the time you go. You know how busy he is right now with the new greenhouse. By the time you get there it will be all planted and ready to go."
Lil sniffed and her chin trembled. "Will Dad check my cupboard tonight? Al won't be here."
"Yeah," Lily sighed deeply. "Jay-Jay said he wasn't taking the bogie-man back with him."
"I'm sure Dad can get rid of it." Ginny bit the inside of her cheek to stop her smile. "Maybe he can show you how to do it yourself."
"No way," Lily shook her head seriously. "It's a boy's spell. Al said so."
"A boy's spell? Oh, he did, did he? And you believe that?"
Lily knew that tone. That was Mum's getting angry voice. She leaned forward and put her hand on her Mum's arm, tapping it gently.
"Al's in trouble, right Mum?"
"He most certainly is." Ginny clenched her jaw. "Don't you ever…you hear me… ever believe that girls can't do the same spells boys can do."
"He says things like that all the time. You know, like girls can't ride the really fast brooms." Lil's eyes got large. "If I was his Mum, I'd drag him back home and make him clean his room and he'd get no treacle tarts for a month."
"He'll do more then clean his room, I can tell you that." Ginny studied Lily's face and became aware she had just been had.
"I'll Floo Uncle Percy." Lily jumped to her feet. "He'll bring him home. I know he will if you tell him to."
"It can wait," Ginny watched as the hope was extinguished in Lil's brown eyes and replaced with tears. "Ah, Lil, I understand just how you feel, but they'll be back in no time at all. We can do girl things until they get back, just you and me."
"I could go with them. It don't matter bout that old sorting ceremony. I wouldn't care how I'm sorted. It don't matter, Daddy says so too. He says, you make the house, it doesn't make you. Please Mum? Please?"
"You have to wait for your letter," Ginny said softly as her eyes rested on the parchment in front of Lily. She slowly turned it so she could read what Lily had started to write and snorted. "Umm, Lil, this won't work, you do know that."
"Didn't work for me," she smiled at her daughter, "and it didn't work for Uncle Ronald either."
Ginny held the parchment and thought back to the time she tried to forge her own Hogwarts' letter when the twins had left, and her Mum showing her Ronald's attempt at his own. Gods, how she missed Fred, and wondered how her Mum managed. She used to think losing a brother was the worse thing in the world that could happen, now, looking into Lily's eyes she knew she was wrong.
"Tell ya what, why don't you send this to Grams, she can add it to her collection."
"Grampa will laugh." She climbed back up on the chair and pouted in earnest this time. "Grampa always laughs at me and calls me names."
"Does not and you know it," Ginny chuckled, knowing her father's pet name for her was fast becoming Mother's Little Curse. "What say tomorrow we get on the train, just the two of us, and head down to The Burrow. We can stop for an ice cream along the way, and then Daddy can join us for dinner before we head back."
Lily sniffed one more time and raised her eyebrow like Aunt Hermione had taught her, while a tear brought on by Hugo's charm slid down her cheek.
"Won't work muffin," Ginny leaned back in the chair and folded her arms. "I've been guilted by the best the Weasley clan has to offer, and you young lady, don't hold a candle to them. Furthermore, if you want to say an incantation, don't move your lips. It is more effective that way."
"Fine!" Lily slid to the floor. "I bet Daddy'll let me. I bet he'll take me for a new quill and make Al clean his room because he was bad."
"Don't make that bet unless you can afford to lose," Harry's stern voice came from the doorway.
"Daddy!" Lily ran to him, jumped up and was caught to his chest in a bear hug.
"Hi, Pumpkin." He gave her a squeeze before he put her on the floor and looked at Ginny sheepishly. "Sorry I'm late."
"Dinner is in the oven," Ginny scowled. "It's all dried out by now. Why didn't you Floo?"
"Lil?" He squatted down in front of the child and tipped up her chin. "We all miss them but put it on the shelf for now. That display you put on at the station was quite enough. "
Ginny turned her back on them blinking back her own tears. "Run along Lil. When you are ready I'll come up and show you that monster spell before I tuck you in."
"Can't do it anyway. Not without a wand, and little babies don't get no wand. Maybe we could go to Diagon and just look around. Maybe there is a wand up at Hogsmeade. Your never know until…" Lily said in a rush.
"No!" Harry said and pointed to the stairs. "Now go."
"I'm too old to be tucked in anyway. No one at Hogwarts gets tucked in I bet." She ran from the room in a huff, muttering as she went.
"I just got out of the Floo with Neville. He wants me to see the new greenhouse," Harry said, after he was sure Lily had gone upstairs. "I thought we could take a run up there next weekend."
Ginny turned and glared at him. "Giving in isn't going to make it any easier on her. I know how she feels and believe me, the best thing is to just keep her busy and let her know we understand."
"I wasn't thinking of her." He gave her a lopsided grin. "Imagine my surprise when I flooed the Three Broomsticks and was told we already had reservations."
"Oh." She reddened and turned back the sink. "Minerva invited us for tea. I thought I told you."
Lily reeled in the extendable ear and grinned. Uncle Neville was a push over. She knew, she just knew he would let her sleep in the castle as long as she could be good around Aunt Minerva. She was tough.
Peeking over the banister she chewed her lip and thought. They wouldn't mind. Not just this once, not if just once she slept in Jay-Jay's room. She was sure his cupboard didn't have monsters.
In the kitchen below, her parents both looked up at the ceiling at the sound of footsteps running up the second set of stairs that led to the attic. Ginny sighed and shook her head.
"Next year she stays home. One more goodbye at the station is more then I can handle."
"Gin?" Harry still studied the ceiling. "Did Al leave his old broom home?"
"Yeah, I made him hide it in James' cupboar…"
Together they raced up the stairs, Harry cursing under his breath as visions of flying cars and Whomping Willows propelled him into action. Ginny pounded up behind him, clutching his shirt to push him forward, hearing her own father's voice as she screamed Lily's name.
"Some day, young lady, you will have a daughter just like yourself, then see how you like it."