"Auden, honey wake up, please." Auden opened her eyes to see her mother standing next to her bed.
"Why?" Auden asked sleepily, rolling over and pulling the covers nearly over her head. She was exhausted to say the least, mostly because she had been up late writing notes back and forth to Fred using Pig. Fred had nicked the tiny owl from Ron's room and used it to send over the first note to Auden. They had written back and forth like that until the early hours of the morning and had only stopped because Pig was clearly getting tired. There had been something incredibly fun about writing notes to each other despite the fact that they were sitting in their bedrooms right next door to each other.
"We're going to Grimmauld Place today," Mrs. Parker answered in response to Auden's sleepily asked question. "Or did you forget?"
Auden yawned. Her parents had mentioned going to Grimmauld Place about three weeks ago, just after school had ended, but she hadn't thought about it all that much. She actually hadn't been given all that much information in the first place. All Auden knew was that it was a lot safer for her family, the Weasleys and Harry to be shut inside Sirius' childhood home for the summer. "Why are we leaving now?" Auden muttered. "Can't we leave later?"
"No, we want to get there as soon as possible," her mother answered, heading for the door. "The Weasleys have already been there for about an hour already."
Auden glanced at the clock beside her bed. It was nine in the morning. She wondered how tired Fred had been, waking up after going to bed at two that morning.
Auden's mother paused at the doorway and turned around. "Why are you so tired anyway? You didn't sneak over to the Burrow last night, did you?"
"No, but Fred and I were writing notes to each other," Auden answered, rolling onto her back.
"Well, that explains why you don't want to get up," her mother sighed. "It's your own fault."
"But I haven't seen Fred in two days."
"Yes, because there's been a lot to do to prepare for going away for the summer and Molly's been keeping her kids just as busy as I've been keeping you. We need all the help we can get."
"You make it sound like we're going on vacation or something," Auden sighed as she sat up and leaned back on her hands. While she didn't exactly mind going to Grimmauld Place, she knew it wouldn't be a walk in the park either. She also knew somewhat of the reason for going. It was safe. And that meant that a war was really on its way. Everyone was in danger. And that she didn't like the sound of.
Her mother sent her a half-smile. "Just get ready, dear, and come downstairs as soon as you're done."
As her mother walked out of her room, Auden threw herself out of her bed and got dressed. Once she had finished getting ready, she began finishing her packing and double checking to make sure she had everything. The last thing she wanted to do was forget something because she probably wouldn't be able to come back and get it.
"Auden, are you almost ready?" her dad called from downstairs.
"Yeah, I'll be down in a minute," Auden called back. She then turned back to her trunk and chewed on her fingernail, thinking. She reached out towards her nightstand and grabbed the picture of her and Fred dancing in the Leaky Cauldron that was sitting there. She also grabbed the photo of her and Ben and placed the two pictures into her trunk before looking around her room, absentmindedly playing with the necklace Fred had given her.
Her brother, Ben, was currently in Romania with Charlie, studying dragons. He had written to them a lot at first, but now he didn't send letters as often. Auden reminded herself that he was busy in order to stop herself from being offended. She really missed him and now she worried about him with Voldemort being back and Ben being off on his own.
"Auden, come on, we're leaving!" called Mrs. Parker.
Auden shut her trunk and grabbed the handle before pulling it off of her bed. She headed down the stairs, dragging her trunk behind her, and met her parents in the living room. They were traveling by Floo Powder to Grimmauld Place and meeting the Weasleys there.
"I'll take your trunk and go first. You and your mother will follow," Mr. Parker told Auden, dragging her trunk into the fireplace with him. He threw down some powder. "12 Gimmauld Place!" he said as he vanished into green flames.
"Come on, dear," Mrs. Parker said, stepping into the fireplace. Auden followed and stood next to her mother who grabbed a handful of powder and threw it down, yelling out their destination.
Auden felt the usual spinning sensation that came with traveling by fireplace. She hated traveling by Floo Powder, but seeing as she couldn't Apparate yet and brooms were too slow, this was the only option. Fred and George had promised to Apparate with her since they were of age now, but it hadn't happened yet, so she had no experience with it at all.
Finally, Auden and her mother arrived at 12 Grimmauld Place. Auden stepped out of the fire only to be immediately pulled into a tight hug by Mrs. Weasley. "How are you dear?" she asked as she let go of Auden and brushed soot off her shoulders.
"I'm fine, Mrs. Weasley, how are you?" Auden glanced around quickly and noticed they were in the kitchen that looked like it was the basement of the house.
"I've been worse," Mrs. Weasley gave a weak smile. "Everyone in the Order's just been stressed lately. Your dad brought your trunk upstairs. You'll be sharing a room with Hermione and Ginny like always. We just got here as well, so Ginny is probably still unpacking and Hermione's coming a little later, just in time for dinner. Just go straight up to the second floor and it's the first door on the left."
"Thanks Mrs. Weasley," Auden smiled. She wondered were Fred and George's room was. She couldn't wait to see them, but especially Fred. She knew two days wasn't all that long, but she rarely had gone even a day without him before.
"The twins are on the third floor and the second door on the left," Sirius said, coming into the room and grinning. He seemed to know exactly what Auden was thinking.
"Hey Sirius," Auden grinned. "And thanks…you read my mind."
"No problem," Sirius replied, grinning back.
"Now, wait a minute, Auden," Mrs. Parker said with a grin as Mr. Parker came down the stairs.
"I know what you're going to say so Fred and I will stay at least five feet away from each other and we won't talk, laugh, smile, or have fun," Auden joked.
"That's all we ask," her dad smiled.
Auden laughed and rolled her eyes before dashing up the stairs. She came to the first floor of the house which was mostly just a narrow hallway with a staircase leading off of it. She dashed up those stairs to the next floor and walked through the first door on the left, like Mrs. Weasley had instructed.
"Auden!" Ginny cried, running to hug her. "Have your parents told you anything about the Order?"
"No, not much…It's kind of frustrating really. All I know is that this is headquarters and that the Order was started by Dumbledore years ago."
"Same here," Ginny said, flopping down on one of the beds. "That bed's yours," she said, pointing to the other bed. "And Hermione gets the cot I guess since she's last to get here."
Auden smiled and threw her backpack onto her bed. She pulled out the two picture frames and put them on her nightstand.
"Have you heard from Ben lately?" asked Ginny, looking at the picture.
"Not really. He tries to write about once a month, but he hasn't written since the beginning of June."
"Charlie doesn't write a lot either. Their job is busy, that's all," Ginny said.
"I know, I just miss him," Auden shrugged. She and her brother had always been close. They had done a lot together and not having him around still felt weird.
"He misses you, too," Ginny told her. "You two were always close. I'm sure he thinks of you just as much as you think of him."
Auden nodded. "I'm glad he's doing something he enjoys and that he's interested in, but I wish he wasn't so busy and so far away."
Ginny nodded. "Yeah, I get it. It's hard."
Suddenly there was a loud noise from upstairs. Auden looked up at the ceiling. "Fred and George?" she asked.
Ginny nodded. "Fred's missed you like crazy in the whole two days he hasn't seen you. You should go up and see him. I know you're dying to." She smirked before pulling out a Quidditch magazine.
Auden climbed the stairs to the next floor and found Fred and George's room. She could hear their voices coming through the closed door. They were probably inventing something new or making new order forms. She knocked on the door and the voices stopped quickly.
"Coming, Mum," Fred's voice yelled.
"If you're wondering about that thump, it was me…I, uh, tripped!" yelled George.
Auden giggled quietly. They thought she was Mrs. Weasley coming to yell at them. She leaned casually against the banister right behind her and waited for one of the twins to answer the door. A few seconds later, it opened and Fred stood there. "You're definitely not my mum," he said, grinning.
"Nope, can't say that I am," Auden grinned back.
"Get over here," Fred said with a smile as he opened his arms for a hug. Auden practically flung herself into them and relaxed into Fred's hold as she breathed in his familiar smell.
"I've missed you," she whispered.
"I've missed you, too," Fred answered, pulling away slightly and resting his forehead against hers.
"It's been two days, honestly," George snorted from inside the room.
"Yeah, but you saw Katie just yesterday," Fred argued, turning his head slightly to look at his twin, "so you've gone less time without seeing your girlfriend than I have."
George stuck his tongue out and Fred laughed before turning back to Auden and giving her a quick kiss. Auden sighed happily. She loved the fact that even though she had been dating Fred for almost seven months, he still managed to give her butterflies all the time. She also didn't know where time had gone. It felt like they had gotten together just yesterday.
"Last night was fun, though," Fred whispered as they broke apart.
"But getting up this morning was torture," Auden giggled.
"I don't regret any of it," Fred declared, bringing a hand up to Auden's cheek and brushing his thumb across her skin as he grinned at her. He quickly kissed her again before turning and leading her into the room he was sharing with George.
"Hi Georgie," Auden said, crossing the room to give him a hug. He spun her around playfully before setting her down and ruffling her hair.
"Hi, Aud. You know, you really did scare us. We thought you were our mum. She tried to throw away our whole supply of Extendable Ears this morning, but we nicked them back when she wasn't looking."
"We're going to try to use them to listen in on the next Order meeting," Fred added, picking up a long skin colored string with an ear attached to the end. "Mum won't tell us anything even though we're seventeen."
Auden sighed and sat down on one of the beds. "How do you think I feel? I'm not even of age yet. I'm even more in the dark than you two."
"We'd tell you everything anyway if we were in the Order," Fred said, sitting down next to her.
Auden nodded. "So…are things still bad with Percy?" She asked the question tentatively, knowing that Percy leaving was still kind of a weird subject for the Weasleys. It was a weird subject for her as well, actually. She and Fred had actually walked in on Mr. Weasley and Percy fighting. Fred had tried to join in the argument when he realized what was going on, calling Percy some foul names in the process, but Auden had manage to drag him away before things got worse. She had brought him to the pond behind the Burrow, forced him to sit on a rock, and allowed him to rant and get his feelings out. When they had returned to the Burrow later, Percy was already gone and they hadn't seen him since.
"Of course things are still bad with Percy," George whispered in response to her question. "Mum still cries if you say his name."
"He's a git," Fred muttered, aiming a kick at a box lying at his feet.
"He'll come around eventually," Auden told them, trying to be reassuring. She looped her arm through Fred's and rested her head on his shoulder. He rested his cheek on the top of her head and his hand on her knee, rubbing his thumb back and forth.
"I don't know, Aud," he whispered. "You heard him and Dad going at it. It was awful. He truly worships the ground Fudge walks on. He doesn't even believe or support us or Harry."
"But he loves you. You're his family."
"That's what we thought, too," George muttered, tossing an Extendable Ear into a box.
Auden changed the subject then in order to take the conversation away from Percy and she spent the day in Fred and George's room talking about all of their new inventions, the Order, and the lies the Prophet had been spewing about Harry and Dumbledore. She even helped them make more order forms. When Mrs. Weasley finally called them to the kitchen, Auden left the room, thinking the twins were following her, but she heard a loud pop just as she reached the doorway.
"Fred?" she asked, turning around. "George?" She scowled realizing the twins had Apparated downstairs without her. She thundered down to the kitchen to see them sitting at the table, laughing.
"You promised to take me with you!" she cried, putting her hands on her hips.
"Not specifically that time," George grinned.
"Next time," Fred promised.
"Don't worry, you won't have to wait that long," Mrs. Weasley said, slightly irritably. "Fred and George have been Apparating every two minutes ever since they passed their test."
"And they have yet to take me with them," Auden grumbled. "I've wanted to try it for ages."
"Wait until we take our own lessons, why don't you?" Ron asked, entering the room with Hermione.
Auden swatted his shoulder, then turned to look at Hermione. "Hi, Hermione, when did you get here?"
"About an hour ago by Floo. I heard it was better than ringing the doorbell."
"Yeah, any noise will set my mother off," Sirius said.
"Your mother?" Auden asked.
"Yeah, her portrait up in the hallway. Didn't you notice it?"
"No," Auden confessed.
"Ah, yes, you were too busy rushing up to see the twins. Or should I say you were rushing to see Fred."
Auden blushed as Fred smirked. "You do like me!"
"Of course I do, you idiot," she giggled, walking up behind his chair and placing her hands on his shoulders. He tipped his head back and she kissed his forehead.
"Five feet," Auden's dad said, clearing his throat and smirking.
"Oh, right," Auden said in a joking tone, playing along. "Fred, we aren't allowed to be this close to each other. And we can't laugh or have fun." She forced her face into a frown and stepped away from him.
"Oh, I see. Yes, I completely understand," Fred answered, nodding solemnly.
Mr. Parker smiled and shook his head. "Behave," he reminded them.
"Oh, come on, Liam," said a voice from the doorway, "don't ruin their fun."
Auden turned to see a woman with bright pink hair coming into the room, Mad-Eye Moody and Remus Lupin right behind her.
"Hi, I'm Tonks," she said, extending her hand to Auden. "I don't think we've met yet, but you must be Auden."
"That's me. It's nice to meet you," Auden said, shaking Tonks' hand.
"She's a Metamorphmagus," Ginny piped up excitedly. "We met her this morning."
"Really?" Auden asked, interested. She had never met a Metamorphmagus before. She had heard of them and always thought that what they could do was fascinating.
Tonks grinned, screwed up her face slightly and morphed into a spitting image of Auden. The real Auden gasped and blinked a few times. "Freaky, isn't it?" Tonks asked, morphing back into herself.
"Very, but also incredibly cool," Auden said.
"We can eat now that everyone's here," Mrs. Weasley announced, "so find a seat."
During dinner, Tonks continued to amuse Auden, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, Fred and George by morphing her features into whatever they asked.
"I wish I could do that," Auden whispered to Fred.
"I don't," Fred whispered. "I wouldn't be able to recognize you with you changing your features every five minutes." He grinned widely at her. Auden raised an eyebrow. "And," he continued quickly, "I love the way you look now."
Auden shook her head and went back to her dinner, shoving Fred's knee under the table as she did so.
A few weeks later, Auden was sitting on her bed, reading. Ginny and Hermione were down in the kitchen, leaving her alone. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. "Come in."
"It's me," Fred said, coming inside and shutting the door quietly.
"Hey." Auden closed her book and sat up, grinning. With so many people always in the house all day every day, and even more people coming in and out for meetings, dinner, and just to check in, it had been hard to get a moment alone with Fred without getting interrupted. Besides, Fred and George were still trying to make progress on their inventions and order forms, which took up time, and Mrs. Weasley always seemed to need something to be done as well. Auden never complained; in fact she was happy to help. But all the same, she was aching for some alone time with Fred.
"Why are you sitting here alone?" he asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.
"Sometimes it's nice to be in the peace and quiet without you blowing something up in my ear," Auden teased.
"Ouch," Fred said, pretending to wince.
"I'm sorry," Auden giggled, giving him a sympathetic look. "Truthfully, I was hoping you'd come find me. I was waiting ever so patiently for you to finish making your newest batch of Puking Pastils."
Fred made a mock-pouting face at her. "You still hurt my feelings, though."
"Maybe I can kiss it better?" Auden whispered, setting her book on the bed beside her and leaning forward, resting her elbows on her knees and grinning.
"You most certainly can," Fred answered, leaning in and pressing his lips to hers. One of his hands found their way around her waist while the other slid around the back of her neck. Auden ran her own hands through Fred's hair before lightly settling them on either side of his face. Fred pulled her onto his lap as Auden's hands found their way into his hair again. This was probably one of the best feelings in the world: Fred's arms wrapped around her, cradling her to him as he continued to gently kiss her.
"I've missed this," Fred muttered, nibbling on the side of her neck.
Auden let out a sigh of contentment. "Mm," she agreed. "There's too many people around now to do this without getting interru-,"
Suddenly, the door opened and George marched in, a paper in his hands. Auden and Fred sprung apart and Auden scooted off Fred's lap, but George seemed unfazed. By now, he was used to accidentally catching Auden and Fred in the middle of a kiss. "I was thinking," he said, flopping onto Auden's bed.
"About what?" Fred asked, clearing his throat awkwardly and blinking a few times. Auden smirked at the way his hair was sticking up where she had run her hands through it.
George looked up from his paper and stared at Fred. "If you fix your hair, maybe I'll tell you."
Fred smoothed his hair down as Auden giggled. He gave her knee a small shove. "That was Auden's doing," he muttered to George.
"Of course it was," George said nonchalantly. "Anyway, I had an idea about those Skiving Snackboxes. A new addition, actually. What about-,"
The door suddenly burst open again and Hermione, Ron and Ginny walked in. "Oh, good, you're all in here," Hermione said. "We just found out some news about Harry." She nervously bit her lip. "He was attacked by dementors."
"What?" Auden cried, jumping up and widening her eyes.
Fred grabbed her hand and gently pulled her back down to a sitting position. "What happened, Hermione?" he asked her.
"Dumbledore was just in the kitchen. Apparently he and Mr. Weasley had just gotten back from sorting it all out…"
"Just tell them what happened, Hermione," Ron said.
"Well, Harry was walking home with his cousin and dementors appeared and started attacking them. Harry had to use the Patronus charm to get rid of them, and since he used magic outside of school…"
"They can't expel him!" Auden cried, her mouth dropping open. "It's self-defense!"
"That's what I thought too…I've even just gone and looked it up. There's no way he can be expelled," Hermione said. "But, anyway, he has to go to a hearing on August 12th."
"That's in three days," George pointed out.
"Yeah, Tonks, Kingsley, Lupin and Mad-Eye are going to get Harry now. They came up with a plan to get rid of the Muggles and everything," Ron said.
Suddenly, there was a crash and shrill screams began filling the air. Sirius' mother's portrait. Auden covered her ears and winced at the sound.
"Tonks must've knocked something over from the sound of it," Fred sighed.
"How do you know it was Tonks?" Hermione asked.
"She's somewhat on the clumsy side," Ginny said, shrugging.
"Blood traitors and Mudbloods!" Mrs. Black was screaming. Auden sighed. Even though she knew she probably shouldn't, she still felt a little offended by the yells of the portrait. It actually did make her feel like she was tarnishing something by being here.
"Oh, shut up!" Sirius' voice yelled. A moment later the screaming stopped.
"That must mean Harry's here," Ginny said. "Mum's probably going to send him up to your room, Ron."
"We should go and wait for him there, then," Hermione said, nodding. "Are you coming, Auden?"
"Yeah, I'll just be another few minutes."
Hermione, Ron, and Ginny left the room together, shutting the door behind them as they left.
"You haven't met Kreacher yet, have you?" Fred asked Auden suddenly as he traced his thumb over the back of her hand.
"No, who's that?"
"The house elf that lives here," George replied. "Sometimes we'll go days, or even weeks, without seeing him and sometimes he's always around. Consider yourself lucky that you haven't seen him."
"How did you manage to meet him?" Auden asked.
"I saw him the morning we got here, before you arrived, and I saw him earlier, down in the kitchen," Fred shrugged. "He's miserable," he added, looking at Auden. "He's basically like Sirius' mother, but he doesn't scream, and he's a house elf."
"Can't wait to meet him, then," Auden laughed. She paused. "Has he said anything bad to you?"
"Of course," Fred snorted. "Both times I've seen him, he mutters to himself about what blood traitor brats we are and how we're tarnishing the house of Black."
Ah, so Auden was right. She and the Weasleys were tarnishing something. At least according to Kreacher and Mrs. Black, anyway.
Just then, they heard yelling from a room on the floor below them. "That must be Harry," Fred said.
"He sounds happy," Auden said sarcastically. Truthfully, she could guess why. He had written her, Hermione and Ron multiple letters asking for information in the last few weeks, but they couldn't give any to him. They had promised Dumbledore. Auden had felt incredibly guilty about it. She barely knew the Dursleys, but she knew how impossible they must have been to live with and she wanted nothing more than to get Harry out of there.
"Eh, let's go say hi anyway," Fred answered.
Auden stood up and began to make her way towards the door.
"Where are you going?" Fred asked.
"I thought we were going to see Harry," Auden answered with a confused look.
"We are, but who said we had to walk?" Fred raised his eyebrows.
Auden still just stared at him, not quite sure what he was getting at.
Fred and George looked at each other and grinned. "I did promise I'd let you Apparate with me, did I not?" Fred smirked.
Auden squealed and ran over to him. "You really mean it?"
"Of course," Fred grinned, holding out his arm. Auden grabbed his wrist and squeezed her eyes shut.
"Don't look so scared, Aud," George laughed.
"Ready?" Fred asked. "One…two…three!"
Auden felt as if she were being squeezed through a tube that was a lot smaller than she was, but the feeling only lasted a couple of seconds before she, Fred, and George appeared in Harry and Ron's room with a pop. Harry and Hermione jumped but Ginny and Ron didn't flinch.
"That was great!" Auden cried, hugging Fred. "Thank you for finally taking me."
"How come Auden gets to Apparate with you?" Ron asked as Auden ran to hug Harry.
"Because, dear little brother, Auden is my girlfriend," Fred answered.
"But I'm your brother!" Ron answered.
Fred and George just shrugged before turning to Harry. "You know," Fred said, plopping onto the bed, "you shouldn't bottle up your anger like that, Harry. There might be a couple of people fifty miles away who didn't hear you."
"Yeah, just let it all out, mate," George added, taking seat beside Fred.
Harry just stared at them flatly. "Sorry," he said. "I'm just trying to get information."
"If you want information, we have a better way to get it," George held up a handful of Extendable Ears and passed them around. "Extendable Ears," he said to Harry. "Now, come on, out in the hall."
Once in the hallway, they dropped the ear part of the Extendable Ears over the banister and put the opposite ends to their ears. They could hear the meeting going on downstairs. They could specifically hear Snape's voice.
"Snape's in the Order?" asked Harry.
Ron nodded. "I still think he's a git, though."
Hermione elbowed Ron. "Be quiet, I can't hear!"
Before they could hear anything else, Crookshanks walked into view at the bottom of the stairs and began swatting at the Extendable Ears. "No, Crookshanks, shop it!" Hermione whispered, but the cat didn't listen. In a matter of seconds, he had broken off the bottoms of all of the Extendable Ears.
"Hermione, I hate your cat," Ron mumbled.
"The meeting's over anyway," Ginny said as the door opened downstairs. As Mrs. Weasley walked out of the room, everyone shot away from the banister and flattened themselves against the wall.
"Come downstairs to the kitchen and help with dinner!" Mrs. Weasley called up the stairs.
Everyone on the floor above stared around at each other for a few seconds before Hermione answered. "Of course, Mrs. Weasley, we'll be right down!"
Fred looked at Auden. "Take my arm again."
Auden laughed. "You're going to forget how to walk down stairs properly," she said, but she grabbed his arm anyway.
Within seconds, she had appeared beside Mrs. Weasley at the bottom of the stairs. Mrs. Weasley screamed and swatted at Fred and George. "I don't know what I'm going to do with you two!" she yelled as George raced downstairs first, followed by Fred, who was dragging Auden by the hand. She giggled the whole way to the kitchen.
"I think we almost gave your mother heart failure," she said. "Maybe we shouldn't have scared her like that."
"I have a theory that she secretly loves it," Fred shrugged. 'I mean, I know things are pretty miserable right now, but imagine how bad things would be without me and George to keep things at least semi-lively."
Auden smiled. "I suppose you're right," she sighed.
"Now, Auden," her dad said as he looked over at them from across the kitchen. "You seem to keep forgetting our rules." He glanced at her and Fred's still intertwined hands.
"Don't listen to him, Auden," Tonks said with a wink, coming into the kitchen.
"No, I'm only her father," Mr. Parker laughed.
"I'm usually not one for rules anyway," Fred said, smiling down at Auden.
"You are when it comes to my daughter," Mr. Parker said, raising an eyebrow and smiling.
"Dad," Auden groaned, shaking her head slightly. She knew her father adored Fred, which she was so thankful for, but she still didn't need him to embarrass her.
Dinner that night was loud and chaotic as usual with all of the people who were there talking at once. Auden was sitting next to Fred and he spent his time mostly talking to Mundungus and George while Auden talked to Hermione, Ginny, and Tonks. But even still, Fred kept his hand on Auden's knee throughout the whole meal. Every so often he would give her knee a squeeze and flash her a smile.
After dinner was over, Harry insisted that he be told something about what was going on with Voldemort. After much persuasion, Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Parker let him and everyone besides Ginny hear what was happening. This led to Ginny sulking and stomping up the stairs.
Once she had disappeared, there was a moment of silence before Sirius began talking and explaining everything Harry wanted to know. According to him, Voldemort was after some kind of weapon that he didn't have the last time he was in power.
"Time to clear the table," Mrs. Weasley snapped after a few minutes and before Sirius could get too far. She wasn't too happy about anyone underage learning about all of this information. She thought they were all too young, but Auden felt as if she was just as affected by the war as everyone else. She was friends with Harry Potter, for Merlin's sake.
Fred and George sulked for a bit after Mrs. Weasley cut the conversation short. Technically, they were of age, but Mrs. Weasley argued that they were still in school, so it didn't really count. She also argued now that they had already gotten an earful and should be happy with that.
"Auden, will you dry these dishes?" Mrs. Parker asked, once she had finished washing them all. By now, everyone had left the kitchen. Mrs. Weasley had sent everyone to bed and they had obeyed at once, terrified of making her even angrier than she already was.
"Sure," Auden replied as she grabbed a dishtowel and began drying the nearest bowl.
Her mother left the room, and Auden was left in silence. When a creak sounded from behind her, she turned around and saw Fred leaning against the door frame. "I thought you went to bed," she said, turning back to the sink.
"Without saying goodnight?" Fred answered. "Never." He pushed himself away from the door and walked over to Auden. He leaned his hands on the counter on either side of her and rested his chin on her head. "Need any help?"
"No, I'm almost done. Only two more dishes," she said, feeling like electricity was running through her at how close Fred was. After she dried the last two dishes, she put them on the counter. "I have to put those away, you know," she told Fred turning around to face him.
"Your point is…?" Fred asked, with his arms still trapping her against the counter.
"You have to let me go," Auden answered.
"What if I don't?"
"Then these dishes don't get put away and we get in trouble," she replied. "Well, I get in trouble because I'm the one who has to dry them."
Fred waved his wand at the dishes and they flew into the correct cupboard. "Happy?" he asked with a smirk.
"I forgot you were allowed to do that," Auden said, gazing at the cupboard where the dishes had disappeared.
Fred laughed before reaching over and moving a piece of Auden's hair behind her ear and leaning down to kiss her.
Auden wound her arms around Fred's neck and slid her right hand up into his hair as Fred picked her up and put her on the counter all without breaking the kiss. She moved her legs so that he could stand in between them and he did so before pulling away slightly and moving on to kissing her jaw. He trailed kisses all the way down the spot where her neck met her shoulder, causing Auden to suck in a breath and let out a whimper.
"I'm pretty sure that's not five feet!" They heard a voice say in a half serious, half joking tone. Auden peered over Fred's shoulder to see her mother standing at the bottom of the stairs. She immediately blushed a deep red and looked away. Fred turned red as well as he quickly pulled away from her.
"Sorry, Mrs. Parker," he muttered.
"Mum," Auden groaned, rolling her eyes, just as Sirius appeared beside her mother.
"Ah, caught the lovebirds out of bed, did you?" he asked.
"Yes," she answered, leaning against the doorframe and smirking. "And I believe it's time they actually went to bed. Separately, of course."
"Mum!" Auden squeaked as Fred began to laugh. Mrs. Parker smiled at them before waving goofily and continuing up the stairs.
"Goodnight," she called.
Auden and Fred both turned to look at Sirius, who stared back at them for a second before giving them the thumbs up, winking, and then heading up the stairs.
A/N: This is Chapter 1 of my sequel to Always There. If you haven't read that story yet, it's not crucial or anything that you read it first, but the Auden/Fred background is explained there.
Unfortunately, anything you recognize, I don't own.