Disclaimer: Not mine.
This story is being offered to the Hogwarts Online Forum. The opening line, as well as the prompt of prise, were given. Hope you enjoy.
Ink Pots and Candles
"They blew up my house, destroyed my office, and tried to murder me. But none of that matters. These bastards took my daughter. And I swear by Merlin's beard, staff, and goddamn grave, They. Will. Pay."
"Now calm down, Mr. Johnson, I am sure there is a reasonable explanation." Molly patted his shoulder kindly and led him into the sitting room.
"I want to see them! And I want to see them now!" He raged, storming into the sitting room, spun around and pointed a shaking finger in her face. "So help me witch, if they have laid one hand on her head I will kill them myself!"
"Arthur, dear?" she called back over her shoulder, unwilling to take her eyes off the angry wizard, and not comfortable leaving him alone, in her house, with her children within hexing distance. "Do be a dear and keep nice Mr. Johnson entertained, while I tend to something."
Arthur peeked around the corner of the kitchen door scowling at her, then nodded, put a smile on his face, squared his shoulders, and walked boldly into the sitting room, offering to shake Mr. Johnson's hand.
"Don't even try it, Weasley. That's what started this," Johnson hissed, smoke literally curling form a small back patch of hair over his left ear.
Arthur looked at his empty hand and back up to Johnson's livid face and dropped his hand quickly. He had seen this kind of anger before, and had learned not to push. He lifted his hand and poked the still smouldering patch, wincing to see Mr. Jonson flinch.
"Have a cuppa?" That was all he could think to say, as Molly slipped out and thundered up the steps, knowing without Johnson's naming them, which of Arthur's children were at fault.
Pushing the bedroom door open hard enough that it crashed against the inside wall, she stormed in and found them sitting on the edge of the bed, a small dark child on Fred's lap, her eyes large and round.
"It's true, you… you two…you took his daughter?" Molly sat down heavily, the air sucked out of her lungs and her knees weak.
"Well, yeah, we couldn't leave her now …" Fred said looking down at the little one he held on his lap.
"Could we?" George finished. "Mum, it was awful…"
"The fire was wicked you should have seen it," Fred nodded in agreement.
"And the explosion…aweso…I mean horrid"
"How…" Molly sputtered…"just…how did it…"
"Start? I think it was the owl, but maybe not, it was hard to tell," George swallowed hard, looking to Fred for help.
"With the explosion and all."
"She was all by herself, almost. We had to bring her here,"
"What else could we do?" George asked innocently.
"That's it. Shut up and one…one at a time, talk" Molly stood up and held out her arms to the little girl, that appeared no more than four, chagrined as the child shook her head and hid her face in Fred's neck.
"Well, do you remember that new witches face cream we came up with?" Fred asked, all wide-eyed and hopeful. .
"The one that makes a witches skin supple, younger, full of…" Fred started the familiar chat.
"Cut the advert, go on," Molly hissed.
"It doesn't work." George said flatly, lifting the child off Fred's lap and on to his own.
"I am wounded. It works better than we thought it would." Fred clutched his chest in mock horror. "We have proof."
Molly's eyes fell back to the girl, taking in the Hogwarts uniform and finger nail polish for the first time.
"You've met Angelina?" George squeaked, swallowing hard.
"Angelina?" Molly croaked, jumping up, her hand going to her throat as her knees turned to jelly again, and the sounds of yelling grew louder from downstairs.
Angelina tucked her chin down and peeked at Molly, before fisting George's robes and burying her head against his chest.
"That looks wrong on so many levels," Fred leaned over and whispered in George's ear.
"Am not," George yelped, setting Angelina down on the edge of the bed next to him, and scooting further away from her.
"Ah, poor thing," Fred cooed, picked her up and set her on his lap, grinning at his brother. "Let Uncle Fred…"
"PUT HER DOWN," Molly screeched.
Fred swallowed hard, looked at George and nodded, watching as Molly glared at the three of them now. "Okay, Mum. We wanted to ask Mr. Johnson to give a prise to our cause. Sort of a…"
"For studying so hard."
"Boys," Molly quirked her eyebrow and folded her arms.
"For studying hard on winning the Quidditch game, as I was saying," George recovered nicely, earning a pat on the back from Fred and two raised eyebrows from a very short seeker.
"We thought to add a sense of ….
"Make it more of a ..."
"An added inducement as it was,"
"Cut to the chase…her father is in the sitting room." Molly said angrily.
"No, I think he has made it …"
"Is that the steps?"
"We went to his office,"
"Down in Diagon, nice office it was…"
"Was right decent, wouldn't you say Fred…"
"Yes, yes it was."
"Was," Molly glowered at them, letting her eyes search the room, resting them on a wooden hairbrush. "This is where it should get interesting."
"He wouldn't even shake our hands…''
"George, that was after…"
"AH, yes the ink pot, purely an accident."
"Tipped over it did," Fred sighed loudly.
"By its self, with no help, I am sure."Molly headed for the hairbrush, picked it up and stood smacking it in the palm of her hand, a small smile playing at the corners of her mouth.
"It was that cat of his…
"It must have been upset when Fred here stepped on it's..."
"It ran right in front of me," he said indignantly.
"Andhefellintotheinkpot," George said in a rush.
"From that point on it was, as they say in the books," he leaned back on his elbows, and examined his fingernails smiling.
"It was history." Fred smiled.
"A comedy really. Cat, ink pot, candle…"
"Papers flying everywhere as the cat tried to get off the desk."
"I'll give you history," Molly pulled her wand and moved a chest of drawers to block the door, hearing footfalls coming up the steps. "Does she talk?"
"Umm," Fred looked at his brother, and back at Angelina. "I don't know."
"You could ask her." George lost a little more colour.
Molly looked down in time to see Angelina kick Fred, (or was it George) hard on the shin.
"Did you know Mrs. Johnson was an Animagi?"
"Is...not was Mum, is," Fred pulled his legs up from the floor and crawled backwards over the bed.
"His office was a mess." George said in way of explanation.
"Papers every where, right fire trap that."
"If he hadn't left when he did we could have put the fire out."
"Bad timing that."
"Did I tell you Mrs. Johnson broke her leg?"
"Then what?" Molly said weakly, sitting back in the chair, her wand held limply at her side.
"That's when we decided to go get Angelina here."
"Her mum in St. Mungo's, her dad's office on fire…"
"It seemed the proper thing to do."
"Yes, yes indeed." Fred nodded a moment before Molly's hand closed around his throat.
"Mum?" George whispered, prying his mother's fingers one at a time.
Molly staggered back, horrified at herself. She picked up a magazine and began fanning her face as a movement by the window caught her eye. Seeing Angelina mount a broom and get ready to leap from the window, she pulled her wand and slammed the sash shut.
"Don't even think if it young lady," she said sweetly. "So, you stepped on a cat's tail? Paw I would think. And let me see if I have this right, it was not a cat it was Mrs. Johnson, who, while in pain, jumped up on the desk, knocking the inkpot into the candle and setting the place on fire. You expect me to believe that? All the while, you two dears, were trying to shake hands with Mr. Johnson and ask for a …donation …to your cause."
"She's got it, George," Fred sighed in relief.
"Almost," George nodded in agreement. "A prise. A very special prise…a celebration for which we are sorely in need of funds for."
"We sent him a sample…"
"Wouldn't give galleons sight unseen myself."
"Quite right," Fred nodded. "Wanted to show him the finished product."
"To get the whole effect…"
"To see the glorious colours and hear the whizzing …" he was cut off when Molly whacked the back of his head with the flat side of the brush.
"One more advert and this hairbrush will be singing its own. Got it?"
Fred swallowed hard and looked at George, who in turn looked at Angelina, who kept opening her mouth and squeaking.
"Yes, dear, I am sure we will get there."
They became silent as the pounding on the door started and the sound of scuffling feet, low angry voices and soon the sound of soft thuds on the stairs.
"There now dear," Molly turned to Angelina and reached over, patting her knee. "Your Daddy will be back in the sitting room."
She turned back to the twins, needing to do nothing more then look at them to loosen their tongues.
"So we thought an owl would work best…"
"A large owl for the larger…products…"
"A barn owl for the …smaller."
"Products? Products?" Molly screeched, pointing her wand at Fred's chest, turned and levelled it on George before eyeing Angelina.
"No, Mum," Fred jumped up and put his body between her and the girl, while George made to circle behind her, grab her hand and lowered her arm.
"You look knackered, Mum. You want I should grab you a cuppa? Didn't think so," he swallowed hard and walked backwards to the window, sitting on the sill and putting his hands behind his back.
"Am I right in assuming that these products were the fireworks that have already made a muck up of your father's shed?"
"No, these are better…"
"Much better, much bigger..."
"You could have killed someone," Molly cried, lowering her face to her hands.
"We didn't know he was home…"
"We just saw Angie here at the window and …"
"We saved her… that was a good thing…"
"Why can't she talk?" Molly sobbed, looking at the girl between her fingers, afraid to hear the reason.
Fred stood and looked at George, all humour gone from his face. "She talked out in class."
"Umbridge," George scowled.
Molly used her wand to reverse the silencing spell, then turned and smoothed her dress, nodding to the chest of drawers and stepping back as the boys pushed it back where it belonged.
"Thank you, Mrs. Weasley."
"Fred, do you have a …reversal cream?"
He nodded and fell to his knees, pulling out his sample case and digging through it until he found what she asked for. .
"We were here to get it when you came in," Angelina said, her eyes welling with tears. "Daddy is going to kill me."
Molly watched George hook two fingers under Angelina's chin and gently pull up her face, then apply the lotion in small precise circles. He stood back, waited as she began to grow, and once done leaned down, and kissed her softly on the cheek.
Dabbing her eyes, Molly opened the door and stood back, pointing to the stairs and trying to look stern.
"Daddy!" Angelina flew down the steps and into her father's arms, picking up her legs she wrapped them around his waist and sobbed into his neck.
"That mean Umbridge, she was so nasty to me. If it wasn't for George and Fred I could be … be…mute or worse. Oh Daddy, it was awful, just awful. She accused me of awful awful things."
Angelia waited until her father turned to take her to the sitting room before peeking up at the boys and winking.
"I love girls." George sighed.
"Yup," Fred agreed. "They are…soft…"
"Not always, soft as nails…"
"That's it…and smart…"
Fred draped his arm over his brothers shoulders as they started down the steps, "and sly…don't forget sly."
"Smart in the sly and devious way."
"And crafty I would say…"
"Daddy's girls, real little …" Fred stopped and turned to George.
"You think there is still a chance?"
"To get the galleons?"
"To get even with Umbridge..."
"Sort of a pay back…"
"Yes, yes indeed."