Severus winced a little at his daughter's shriek. "Do I make a habit to offering you false invitations, Elizabeth Rose?"
"Brilliant!" Elizabeth threw her arms around her father, who rolled his eyes at Remus over her head.
"Yes, brilliant. I've sentenced myself to multiple days with the Weasley clan," Severus shook his head, but couldn't help but smile at her exuberance.
"What's with the shouting?" Sirius came down the stairs, running his hands through his hair.
"Dad and Mr. Weasley got tickets to the World Cup!" Elizabeth grinned. "Ireland versus Bulgaria, and we're all going!"
"By all…" Sirius looked at Severus.
"Yes, mutt, she wouldn't have said 'all' if I didn't mean your flea bitten carcass as well." Severus rolled his eyes. "Arthur had a connection through the Ministry."
"Brilliant!" Sirius grinned at Elizabeth, who was dancing around the room.
"When do we go?" Elizabeth asked, still dancing to unheard music.
"Two days," Severus said. "I probably should have waited to tell you. I could have saved myself some dancing."
Elizabeth grinned. "It's going to be awesome! Where's Remus?"
Sirius wandered out of the room in search of food.
"Out," Severus said vaguely. "He'll be back later. Here," he handed her an envelope. "Your school letter came. I'd like to go to Diagon Alley tomorrow if possible. We need to get this out of the way before the game. Merlin only knows how long we'll be there."
Elizabeth opened the letter and scanned the contents. "Why do we need dress robes?"
"Perhaps Hogwarts has decided to reinstitute a dinner dress code," Severus frowned. "It sounds like something your grandfather would get in his head."
"How come you never know what's going on?" Elizabeth asked. "Albus doesn't tell you anything."
Severus scowled. "I will chalk up your impertinence to your excitement. And, to answer your question, we have a staff meeting tomorrow afternoon, I'm sure I will find out the reason then. However, we will go and get your things tomorrow morning, regardless of the reasoning behind the list."
"I'll get books with you," Elizabeth said, looking at the letter again, "But I'm going to ask grandma to take me shopping for a dress."
"Pardon me?" Severus raised an eyebrow. "Since when have I been inadequate at shopping for your clothing?"
"You don't know what to shop for."
"Mum!" Elizabeth turned to Lily's portrait, hanging on the wall.
"Severus, let Minerva take her." Lily smiled. "You don't know the difference between silk and chiffon."
"Nor do I want to," Severus sighed. "Fine. Call your grandmother and ask her when would be convenient for her."
Minerva McGonagall had never been happier to receive a call. "I'll be right over, kitten. We'll go this morning."
Elizabeth stepped back so that Minerva could come through the floo.
"Do you know why we have to have dress robes?" Elizabeth asked when the woman appeared.
"There's going to be a Ball," Minerva said. "Do you know how to dance?"
"She's been doing it all morning," Severus smirked. "Go on, go do whatever intense womanly… thing… that you need to do."
"We'll find something beautiful," Minerva promised.
"Nothing too short, or tight, or low cut, mother." Severus warned.
"Don't worry, Sev," Minerva stepped back in the fire. "Come along, kitten."
The gown was beautiful. It had a certain less-poofy Cinderella quality that made Elizabeth feel like she'd stepped out of a fairy tale in it.
"Oh Elizabeth," Minvera said when her granddaughter came out of the dressing room. "Look at you."
"It's good?" Elizabeth looked at herself in the mirror.
"It's beautiful. You're beautiful." Minerva dabbed at her eyes. "You need shoes. And jewelry."
"Grandma, this is already really expensive…"
"Don't worry. Your father can buy the robe, your grandfather can buy the rest. Make-up as well."
Elizabeth looked from the dress to the money Severus had given her. "It's already more than I was supposed to spend, and Dad'll flip about the make-up."
"It's a special occasion. He'll understand."
"He said women who paint their faces are disrespecting nature."
"And yet," Minerva said, as Elizabeth went back in to undress, "he didn't seem to mind when Lily was wearing make up on their wedding day." She rolled her eyes. "The trick to your father is understanding what he really cares about. It's not the make-up that's the problem, it is your potential as a street walker."
"Grandma!" Elizabeth came back out in her own clothes.
"I'm just saying what he's thinking." Minerva took the gown. "Besides, your father doesn't need to know the price of the dress. For all he knows, we got a great deal, and you'll bring him back change." She smiled. "I'll get this wrapped up, you go look at shoes."
"Grandma, I have shoes."
"Not shoes that go with this outfit." Minerva said firmly. "Plus, part of being a woman is buying shoes at every opportunity. So go."
"Go put it on so I can see," Severus said that evening.
"I don't want you to see it until I've done my hair and everything. You need the full effect." Elizabeth sat cross-legged on the sofa.
Severus sighed. It was times like this when having a boy would have been easier. "Alright. But if I don't approve, you'll be sitting in it down in our quarters the night of the Ball."
"Grandma says you'll like it. And she didn't let me get the one with the low back, and she rejected the one with the see-through stomach."
"Good lord." Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. "Where are the fathers in the world when these things are being created?"
"Don't worry, Dad, everything you wanted covered is covered." Elizabeth smirked.
Severus shook his head is resignation. "Have you seen the mutt?"
"He went to his house to see what needs to be done," Elizabeth leaned back. "He said we could fly after dinner."
"I can't believe he bought himself that broom."
"He bought one for me."
"Yes, but you're a child. He's a grown man. What use does he have for a toy?"
"He likes to fly," Elizabeth defended. "And you wanted us to spend time together, and that's what we do together."
"I don't remember telling you to spend time with him."
"Remus ratted you out."
Severus scowled. "I'm going to slip something awful in his coffee."
"Don't worry, Dad. I'll still tell people you're mean and evil if you want."
"Thank you." Severus smirked. "Now I need you to go upstairs and pack for the game."
"World Cup games have been known to last multiple days," Severus said. "Pack Muggle clothing and whatever else you need for a few days."
"Is Remus doing something Voldemort related?"
"It's safer for Remus if we know as little as possible," Severus said. "Now go pack."
Severus cleared his throat. "Yes. Go pack."
"Yes, sir." Elizabeth stood. "Hey, Dad? If I ask something, will you promise not to get mad?"
"That's never a good way to start a conversation, Elizabeth." Severus rubbed his temple.
"It's just… I mean, I'm super excited about the game, it's the best birthday present ever… but tickets have to be expensive…"
"What is your question?" Severus raised an eyebrow.
"I just… wanted to make sure you didn't spend money you shouldn't have."
"Young lady, you are not in charge of the finances in this house."
"No, I know." Elizabeth turned toward the stairs.
"If you must know, the mutt is paying for Remus and himself, he just doesn't know it yet; and you and I are going on the money that I had saved to buy you a new broom."
"Okay." Elizabeth shifted uncomfortably, wishing she hadn't brought it up.
Severus stood and crossed the room to put his hands on her shoulders. "I wish you wouldn't worry about things like that, hatchling. Have you ever been, while under my care, without food, school supplies, clothing, or anything else you needed?"
"Then let's assume that I can manage our financial life, shall we?"
"Good." Severus pulled her to his chest in a brief hug before nudging her back toward the stairs. "Now go away. Give me some peace."
"I already said I'd tell people you're mean and nasty," Elizabeth grinned.
"See that you do." Severus waved her away and went back to his chair, picking up the most recent Potions Monthly.
"Can we go?" Elizabeth bounced on the balls of her feet until Remus snatched her off the floor and deposited her on Severus' desk, boxing her in a hand on each side.
"You're making me seasick, cub."
"Mr. and Mrs. Weasley invited us for dinner and to stay the night," Severus said firmly. "We will not impose on them for any longer than we've been asked."
"Mrs. Weasley says I'm welcome anytime," Elizabeth attempted to bounce against Remus' hold.
"That may be true, however there are four of us going this evening, and we haven't all be extended the same courtesy." Severus made a note on the parchment he was reading.
"But Bill and Charlie are going to be there, and I've never met them."
"You will meet them tonight."
Remus grinned. "Looking to upgrade to an older Weasley?"
"God help me," Severus pointed to the door of his study. "Get out, both of you. We will leave this house in two hours, and not a moment before."
"Come on, Sevling," Remus pulled her off the desk and prodded her toward the door. "Why don't you and I go see what Sirius is up to?" He steered her into the living room. "Hey Padfoot."
"Hey," Sirius looked up from where he was sitting on the floor.
"What's happening in here?" Remus surveyed the pictures and bits of parchment, and books spread around Sirius on the floor.
"I'm sorting this box of junk I found at my house. I would have done it there, but Kretcher won't stop attempting to kill me, and my mother's portrait won't stop screaming about how I betrayed her and how she should have drowned me as a child… so I brought it here. I'm pretty sure there's nothing dangerous in it, but just in case, keep Elizabeth over there."
Remus and Elizabeth sat on the sofa. "Your mother's portrait hates you?"
"Well, the actual woman hated me too," Sirius shrugged.
"Because you were a Gryffindor?"
"Because I exhibited Gryffindor-like tendencies well before the sorting," Sirius held up a picture. "We were supposed to be the perfect pureblood family, and I didn't fit."
Elizabeth looked at the family photo Sirius held up. A stern looking wizard who looked like an older version of Sirius stood beside a witch, whose mouth was pressed into a straight line. The older wizard had his right hand on a boy's shoulder in a vice grip. The boy, obviously Sirius from his dark curly hair to his sparkling eyes, was grinning in a way that made is apparent he'd just done something he shouldn't. Beside him, in front of their mother, stood a younger boy who shared his mother's delicate features. The younger boy had the same somber expression as his parents.
"I didn't know you had a brother." Elizabeth said, looking at the younger boy.
"Regulus," Sirius looked at the picture sadly. "He was a Death Eater… barely made it to his eighteenth birthday." He put the photo on the table. "Oh, Reg… I should have gotten you out of there."
"You did what you could," Remus said gently. "Severus tried as well. Pure-blood mania is difficult to fight against."
"1979, he panicked during an attack and tried to leave… Death Eaters don't take kindly to that." Sirius picked up another photo and put it on top of a photo album. "He was a Slytherin through and through, my brother… but even Slytherins can get cold feet." He moved the family picture to the album as well. "He was a Seeker," he looked at Elizabeth. "Not nearly as good as you, but certainly better than Malfoy."
Elizabeth snorted. "My Care of Magical Creatures book is a better Seeker than Malfoy."
"Is that what bit me in the closet the other day?" Sirius held up his hand. "Green? Teeth?"
"Yeah," Elizabeth laughed. "Hagrid thought it was a good idea. I tried to sell it back to the store at the end of the year, but they didn't want it."
"I thought Severus didn't let you get rid of your books," Sirius examined another document.
"Only subjects he cares about," Elizabeth shrugged. "What's that?"
"A copy of a letter my mother wrote to my Uncle Alphard, her brother, informing him that she was blasting him off the tapestry."
"What did he do?"
Sirius grinned. "Gave me money after I ran away to the Potters' house. Used it to buy myself a house when I came of age."
"You have another house?"
"I have several, as part of the Black holdings," Sirius vanished the parchment with his wand.
"So why are you even bothering with your parents' house?"
Sirius paused. "Because, believe it or not, their house has fewer bad memories than mine."
Sirius looked at his confused goddaughter. "My house is in Godric's Hallow," he said quietly. "It's about 1000 yards from where your mother died… I'm not ready to go back there."
"So what are you going to do about your mother's portrait?"
"Put a curtain over her," Sirius chuckled. "I plan to open it once a day and inform her of the awful things I'm doing that belie my pure-blood upbringing. Today I informed her that I was going to a Quiddich match with an entire family of blood-traitors, a Death Eater-turned spy, and my goddaughter, the girl who has defeated You Know Who multiple times." He looked gleeful at the prospect. "I think she's still screaming."
"And a werewolf," Elizabeth said, gesturing to Remus.
"Oh, she wouldn't have a problem with that. I mean, she had a problem with the Lupins' financial status, but being a werewolf in of itself is not a problem for her."
"In fact," Remus said dryly, "I believe that Sirius' father was good friends with Fenrir Greyback, the werewolf that bit me."
"He was," Sirius affirmed. "He's still friends with the Malfoys. I think I'd risk an unforgivable if I ran into that guy at a dinner party."
"He's a Death Eater… a low level one," Remus shrugged. "You Know Who used him as muscle in the first war."
Sirius made a sweeping motion and everything on the floor except for the pictures was gone. He dumped those in the box and waved his wand again, sending the box back to his parents' house.
"Let's not talk about it anymore," he said. "Let's talk about tonight. I haven't seen the Weasley children, other than snippets, in years. Help me."
Elizabeth grinned. "Bill and Charlie, I haven't met either. But I suppose they'll be easy enough to spot. Percy is lame, so you don't need to meet him anyway."
"Elizabeth!" Remus scolded. "Percy is a very responsible young man."
"He's boring," Elizabeth rolled her eyes. "He's working at the Ministry now, so he's even more boring. Then there's the twins."
"Ah, the new marauders," Sirius grinned.
Elizabeth nodded. "Fred and George. If you want to be worshipped, I'd mention that you are Mr. Padfoot. You'll have to pick them up off the floor."
"I'll keep that in mind," Sirius laughed. "Fred's your guy?"
Elizabeth huffed. "He is not!"
Remus made a show of nodding behind her back, as if she couldn't see him.
"Then there's Ron, and you've met him. And then Ginny. She's a year younger than me."
"She's the one that was possessed?"
Elizabeth grimaced. "Yeah. You know Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, right?"
Sirius nodded. "We fought in the first war together. And Arthur is my second cousin once removed, or twice… I don't know. And Molly is a distant relation as well. Not on the tapestry, of course. If any family in Britain is full of blood traitors, it's the Weasleys." He grinned. "If I remember correctly, Molly is heavy into the mothering thing."
Elizabeth nodded. "She's still not sure that Dad does his job. She quizzes me every time she sees me, about if he makes me eat vegetables and go to bed on time. And she's super concerned that I'm being raised by men," she smirked.
"Better than by wolves," Remus quipped.
"Keep an eye on me today and you'll see that she'll whisk me away somewhere and give me some kind of womanly advice." Elizabeth rolled her eyes. "Now that my life is the plot of 'Three Men and a Baby', she's not going to be any less concerned."
"Three Men and a Baby?" Sirius looked confused.
"It's an American film," Elizabeth supplied. "About these three guys that live together and raise this little girl."
"The story of our life," Remus laughed, putting his arm around her shoulders. "What advice does Molly give you that we can't?"
Elizabeth leaned into his side. "She likes to talk about being a lady… little does she know that Dad lectures almost constantly about ladylike behavior." She smirked. "And she gave me a sex talk, which was quiet a bit different than the one that Dad stumbled through last year."
Sirius thought his face might break for all the grinning. "Severus gave you the talk?"
Remus rolled his eyes. "Yes, and he made me sit there for moral support. There were lots of books involved, and a heavy lesson on contraceptive potions."
Sirius was sure he'd never stop laughing. "And Molly?"
"Mrs. Weasley was more focused on babies." Elizabeth shrugged.
"Good," Remus ruffled her hair. "I'm not ready to be a grandgodfather."
"Is that a thing?" Elizabeth raised an eyebrow.
"It is now," Remus shrugged.
"Tired?" Remus asked, brushing hair back from her forehead.
"Too excited to sleep last night."
"You can take a nap now," Remus said settling against the sofa back. "I'll wake you when we're ready to go."
"No," Elizabeth mumbled, but the circles Remus was rubbing on her back put her to sleep in minutes.
Sirius smiled. "You sure you don't want one of those, Moony?" He nodded at Elizabeth. "You're good at it."
Remus shook his head. "I'm good with what I have."
"Elizabeth!" Fred caught her the minute she came through the floo, spinning her around before setting her down. "How psyched are you?"
"Over the moon," Elizabeth said, her head whirling a little from the floo and the impromptu spin.
"Fred! George!" Arthur Weasley came charging into the living room, pulling Ron by the arm. "What did you do?"
Elizabeth looked at Ron, whose tongue was dragging on the floor.
"Ron!" Fred slapped his forehead with the heel of his hand. "I told you to stay out of our room!"
"You just need to shrink it, Dad," George said from across the room.
"I shouldn't have to shrink it!" Mr. Weasley stormed, but he pointed his wand at his youngest son, restoring his tongue to its normal size. "Both of you, go to your room!"
"Come on, Dad, we didn't tell him to eat it!"
"You're going to your room, and you're going to put all of that nonsense you've been making in a box and bring it back down here, do you understand me?"
"Now!" Mr. Weasley pointed to the stairs. "You just wait until I tell your mother."
Fred and George fled at that, and Arthur turned to the arriving party. "I'm sorry, Severus, it's never a dull moment. Remus, Sirius." He nodded at the other men. "Elizabeth, why don't you and Ron go in the kitchen and get something cold to drink? It might help Ron's tongue."
Elizabeth looked at Severus, who nodded. "Okay," Elizabeth went out with Ron, leaving the adults behind.
"Honestly," Arthur sank down on the sofa beside Charlie. "I don't know what to do with those two. Have a seat, everyone, make yourselves comfortable." He looked at his oldest son. "Bill, can you go up and make sure they aren't hiding things?"
Bill grimaced. "Sure, make me the bad guy," he stood, his dragon hide boots clicking on the floor as he left the room.
Severus, Remus, and Sirius had just settled into chairs when yet another Weasley child appeared, along with Elizabeth and Ron, returning from the kitchen.
"Who is making all the noise?" Percy Weasley said, looking over his glasses. "I've got a report to finish for the office, and it's rather difficult to concentrate when people keep thundering up and down the stairs. Oh," he spotted Severus. "Hello, Professor."
"Mr. Weasley," Severus nodded.
"What are you working on?" Elizabeth asked, sitting on the arm of Severus' chair with her glass of pumpkin juice.
"A report of the Department of International Magical Cooperation," said Percy smugly. "We're trying to standardize cauldron thickness. Some of these foreign imports are just a shade too thin. Leakages have been increasing at a rate of almost three percent a year—
"That'll change the world, that report will," said Ron. "Front page of the Daily Prophet, I expect, cauldron leaks."
Elizabeth giggled, and Percy went slightly pink. "You might sneer, Ron," he said tightly. "But unless some sort of international law is imposed, we might well find the market flooded with flimsy, shallow-bottomed products that can seriously endanger a brewer. I'm sure Professor Snape agrees with me. Professor?"
Severus nodded sagely. "Well, you are the expert, Mr. Weasley, but having been the victim of a poorly made cauldron before, I can say there is probably a need for some regulation. Or perhaps grading so that consumers are aware of the differences."
Percy looked more excited than he'd ever been. "And excellent idea, Professor! See Ron," he glared at his brother once more before he disappeared back up the stairs.
Mrs. Weasley came in from the back yard, wiping her hands on her apron. "Elizabeth! Sweetheart, you're here!" She crushed the teenager in a hug. "Are you alright?"
Elizabeth shot Remus and Sirius an "I told you so" look before assuring Mrs. Weasley that she was well fed and rested. Sirius, who had been holding in laughter from the tongue incident, had turned almost purple during the cauldron conversation, and was unable to physically hold in his laughter at this recent development.
"Pardon him, Molly, he's having a bit of a fit," Severus glared at the other man, who kept laughing.
"Well I imagine we all need some laughter in our lives," Molly said. "Honey, you'll be in Ginny's room, alright? Hermione too."
"Hermione's here?" Elizabeth looked at Ron.
"Yeah, she's in the backyard. She and Ginny are watching that Crookshanks doesn't hurt the garden gnomes."
"The boys are all in Ron's room, and I've put you three in the twin's room," Molly looked at Severus.
"Thank you," Remus nodded. "We appreciate you moving everyone around."
"It's no trouble, dear," Molly assured. "Where are the twins?"
Arthur looked at Charlie, who had been quiet, and they seemed to come to a silent decision. "They're making sure their room is clean for our guests. Charlie, could you go up and make sure that they dispose of any trash without parading it around in front of everyone?"
"Sure," Charlie smirked and went up the stairs.
"I'm going to check on dinner." Molly announced. "Ron, why don't you take Elizabeth outside?" She put Elizabeth's face between her hands and clucked sympathetically. "You and Hermione, you poor only children. Go run around with Ron and Ginny."
When her face was released, Elizabeth rolled her eyes at Severus and followed Ron out to the backyard.
Severus looked at Arthur once the four wizards were alone, the question plain on his face.
Arthur smiled, a little abashed. "It occurred to me that she might ban them from the game… and it's not like they fed the stuff to him."
Sirius grinned. "What was that he ate, anyway?"
"Fred and George have been… experimenting." He looked toward the kitchen. "I can't talk about it…"
"Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes," Fred dropped down off the roof and into the garden beside Elizabeth. "You just witnessed the effects of the Ton-Tongue Toffee."
Hermione, sitting and watching Crookshanks, shook her head. "Your mum is going to kill you."
"She's already sore," Fred shrugged. "We didn't get as many OWLs are she thought we should."
"What are you planning on doing?" Elizabeth asked. "With the toffee, I mean?"
"Well," he grinned. "We're going to put them with the fake wands, trick sweets, and all the other joke stuff we've made, and open our own joke shop. Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. WWW!"
"But your Dad just made you throw stuff out."
Fred shrugged. "Bill let us keep the recipes, and I bet Charlie will let George stuff some stuff in his pockets before he gets rid of it. Plus, from what Charlie says, Dad didn't rat us out to Mum, and she's the real wrench in the machine of WWW."
Hermione looked at the youngest Weasley. "Ginny, you didn't tell me your brother was cute."
"Why thank you," Fred said, bowing a little from his seated position.
"She meant Bill," Elizabeth said, sharing a smile with Hermione. "Did you see his earring?"
"Mmhmm," Hermione lay back on the grass. "He's dreamy, isn't he?"
Elizabeth nodded. "Way too cool to work at Gringotts."
"Hey!" Fred scowled. "I'm right here!"
"You think his boots are real dragon?" Hermione asked.
"I'd bet money on it. What do you think the earring is made out of?"
"I don't know, but the ponytail is cute," Hermione ran her hands through the grass. "And he's more muscular than I would have expected."
"It's Charlie that has the muscles," Elizabeth sighed, looking up at the sun. "Did you see that scar?"
"Hmmph," Fred got up. "Come on, Ron, let's see if Mum needs help."
"What?" Elizabeth looked at Hermione.
"Who knows?" Hermione shook her head. "Boys."
"Ron, Fred, don't you want to sit down with your friends?" Molly orchestrated the seating in the garden for dinner.
Both boys shook their heads, sitting beside Arthur.
"What's up with them?" George looked at Elizabeth, who shrugged.
"Fred and Ron are mad because Hermione and Elizabeth think that Bill and Charlie are dreamy," Ginny said helpfully, pouring pumpkin juice.
"Ginny!" Elizabeth hissed, her face turning red.
"I didn't know it was a secret!" Ginny looked at Hermione, whose face mirrored Elizabeth's.
Bill and Charlie smothered laughter. "Don't worry, boys, we're too old for them."
"That's enough," Molly scolded. "Let's talk about something else."
"It's got to be Ireland," Charlie said, digging in to his potato. "They flattened Peru in the semifinals."
"Bulgaria has got Viktor Krum, though," said Fred.
"Krum's one decent player, Ireland has got seven," Charlie shot back.
"They said you were cute, not smart," Fred muttered.
"Fred!" Molly scowled.
Severus quietly took another bite, savoring Fred Weasley's discomfort.
"My money is on Ireland," Sirius agreed. "Charlie's right. A seeker can't carry a team by himself. Or herself." He looked at Elizabeth.
"That's true," Elizabeth nodded. "I need my body guards," she gestured to Fred and George."
"I'd say that the position most appreciated by the fathers of Seekers is the Beater," Severus nodded. "It's even better that there are two of them."
"We're going to see some Bludger action tomorrow," Bill promised. "I hear that Bulgeria spends whole training sessions practicing aiming Bludgers where they can do the most physical damage to an opponent."
"It's late," Molly said, vanishing the food. "Kids should be in bed," she gestured to the stairs. "You have to be up at the crack of dawn in the morning. Severus, have you gone to get Elizabeth's school things? I could get them tomorrow with everyone else's."
"All taken care of, thank you, Molly," Severus nodded.
"Good, because there might not be time after the World Cup. The match went on for five days last time."
"Brilliant!" Elizabeth grinned at Ron.
"Alright," Molly shooed them toward the stairs. "All those who can't apparate need to be in bed."
Upstairs, Elizabeth changed into a t-shirt and lounge pants while Ginny apologized over and over for opening her mouth at dinner.
Hermione and Ginny drifted off after about an hour of chatter about the game, and Elizabeth was almost there when she heard a sound outside. Looking out the window, she saw Fred, sitting on the roof outside the boy's room.
Quietly, so she wouldn't wake the others, she slid the window open and pulled herself through.
"Hey," she said, sitting beside the redhead.
"Hey," Fred said, looking everywhere but at her.
They sat in silence for a while.
"Why do you care?" Elizabeth said finally.
"What?" Fred picked at the shingles.
"Why do you care if I think your brother is cute?"
Fred didn't answer for a minute. "I don't know."
"He's 10 years older than me," Elizabeth said. "Plus, I think the rock star look is a little overdone."
"Yeah?" Fred looked at her.
"Yeah." Elizabeth smiled. "I have my sights on a younger Weasley."
"Oh yeah?" Fred leaned back, laying on the roof with his legs bent to anchor himself.
"Yeah," Elizabeth laid down beside him, "So what are you doing out here other than brooding?"
"Looking at the stars." He pointed. "You see Leo?"
"Kind of," Elizabeth squinted.
"The Lion," Fred said. "And Gemini. The twins," he pointed at another group.
"You think they ever split up?"
Elizabeth felt Fred take the hand that was between them. "Probably… when one of them finds a girl."
"I thought that Gemini was two female twins."
"I thought we were being metaphorical," Fred grinned, turning on his side to look at her.
"Oh, you picked up on that?" Elizabeth grinned back.
"Yeah," Fred leaned over, his hand brushed the side of her face, and their lips met.
Looking back at it later, Elizabeth would remember it as the most perfect moment of her life. She wished there had been dementors there at the time, because she felt like she could have banished them with a quarter of the happy feeling that was in her heart.
When Fred pulled back, he stayed a few inches from her face, looking into her eyes until…