Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Note: So a few weeks later the three of us and another person ended up playing Life and it was no less of an interesting experience than Monopoly was. I wonder what normal board games are like…
Ginny entered the Common Room just in time to see Ron wince in despair and cry out, "Alright, fine, I'll do it!"
Confused, she headed over to see what her brother was up to now. If the look on Harry and Hermione's faces were any indication, they didn't have any more of an idea than she did.
"That's…good," Hermione said uncertainly. "Harry, what is he talking about?"
"I have no idea," Harry replied. He glanced up. "Ginny, you're his sister! Do you know?"
"I just got here," Ginny said flatly.
"That's a no then?" Harry sounded disappointed. "I thought siblings were supposed to be able to read each other's minds."
"That's twins," Hermione corrected. "And that's hardly very scientific anyway."
"Well neither is magic," Harry pointed out.
"You know, you could just ask me," Ron suggested helpfully.
"Of course," Hermione said, nodding. "Ron, what are you talking about?"
"You know how I said that I would never ever under any circumstances ever play another board game with Harry?" Ron asked rhetorically.
"Vaguely," Harry agreed.
"Well I'm just so bored that I think I'm going to have to play one anyway," Ron complained. "But not Monopoly again. I still haven't recovered from the last time."
"What happened the last time?" Ginny inquired.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Don't ask."
"Well if you don't want to play Monopoly then what do you want to play?" Harry asked. "We agreed on never playing Scrabble with Hermione and you seemed a bit…concerned that I would be the killer in the other games. Including the games that didn't actually have a killer."
Ron waved the reminder of his past conviction off. "I still can't suspend my disbelief far enough to play Cluedo but why not Life? It could be fun and if not then at least it'll kill some time."
"There's a game called Life?" Ginny asked blankly.
Hermione nodded. "Do you know anything about board games?"
Ginny shook her head.
"Well you can play with us anyway if you like," Hermione invited. "I'll go grab the game while Harry can explain the rules to you and Ron."
"Hermione!" Ron cried out, alarmed. "Are you sure that you trust him to-"
"This isn't going to work if you can't trust him to explain the rules of the game to you," Hermione cut him off.
Ron looked like he was going to protest for a moment before sighing. "Fine…"
"The first thing to do is to choose your gender," Hermione began. "I'm going to be a girl. I would assume that you all would like to be your genders as well but it's up to you."
"That sounds like a good idea," Harry agreed. "I'll be a boy."
"So will I," Ginny announced.
Harry gave her a strange look. "Really? Why?"
"Why not?" Ginny countered.
"I'm going to be a girl," Ron declared. "But unlike Ginny I actually have a reason."
"This should be good," Ginny murmured.
"I don't want any children," Ron informed them. "And if I marry a girl then there's absolutely no way that I will have them."
"The game doesn't actually work like that, Ron," Hermione said hesitantly.
"That's not very life-like," Ron complained, crossing his arms. "And I won't be having any children unless my wife cheats on me."
"Or you cheat on your wife," Harry pointed out.
"Why would I cheat on my wife?" Ron asked, looking confused. "I really don't want kids. That's why I have a wife in the first place."
Hermione shook her head. "Oh, never mind. The next thing we need to decide is who's going to university and who isn't."
"What's the difference?" Ginny wondered.
"If you go to university then you don't start work immediately but you get three career options and salary cards to choose from and you get access to all the careers because some of them require a degree," Hermione explained.
"Well I guess the salary is more important than the actual job and that won't change," Ginny mused. "I think I'd like to just start work immediately and get a head-start on the salary."
"Okay," Hermione said, picking up the career cards. She shuffled them and held them out for Ginny to pick one and then did the same thing with the salary cards.
"I am going to be a salesperson at 30,000…dollars. Is that a lot?" Ginny wondered.
"Just think of them as galleons," Ron advised wisely.
Ginny's eyes widened. "That is most definitely a lot! I must own a business or something. And a pretty successful one, too."
"And that's actually one of the lower salaries," Harry said, amused.
The other three elected to go to university so Hermione passed out the 40,000 dollars of student debt.
"This is ridiculous," Harry complained. "40,000? Really? Shouldn't the government pay for some of this?"
"Not in America," Hermione replied. "They would call that socialism."
"But it's 40,000 dollars," Harry protested. "Who wouldn't want to not have to pay 40,000 dollars?"
Hermione shrugged. "Don't ask me; I'm not American. And it's 50,000 by the time you pay it back."
Harry groaned and spun the wheel.
Ron was surprisingly the first to graduate. "This means I'm winning, right?"
"I'm already in the work force," Ginny pointed out.
"So? It took you an entire turn to deal with a flat tire," Ron countered. "That doesn't say anything good especially since you should really know a spell for that if you're going to have a car."
"I'm pretty sure we're supposed to be muggles," Ginny told him.
"I never agreed to that," Ron said stubbornly.
Hermione held out Ron's salary and career cards for him to choose from.
"And…I'm an athlete making 80,000 galleons," Ron said brightly. "I bet I'm part of the Chudley Cannons!"
"Why would an American muggle athlete be part of a British Quidditch team?" Hermione wondered.
"Why would anyone want to be a Chudley Cannon?" Harry inquired.
"If they had 80,000 galleons to spend on a player they probably wouldn't be last," Ginny declared. She paused. "Unless they keep spending that kind of money on people as good as Ron."
"Hey!" Ron protested.
"I really wish I hadn't already landed on 'make new friends,'" Harry said wistfully.
"You're just saying that because you landed on writing a term paper," Ron said dismissively.
"Yes, that's exactly it," Harry deadpanned.
"I don't think it's that bad," Hermione told him. "I mean, I made the Dean's List."
"What is the Dean's List?" Ginny asked.
"I'm not sure," Hermione admitted, "but it sounds prestigious."
"Well either that or you're in trouble so often that you made some sort of a list," Ron offered.
Hermione glared at him. "It's the first one. And now that I've graduated, would you do the honors, Harry?"
Harry nodded and held out her cards.
"It looks like I can be a superstar, artist, or travel agent," Hermione mused. "Either way I'm making 90,000 dollars." She sighed. "I really wish there was a more serious job here."
Ginny's jaw dropped. "I guess going to university does pay…"
"You should do a travel agent or artist and then make far more money than you should be," Harry told her eagerly.
Hermione shook her head. "I just can't see them making that much money. I'll go with a superstar, I guess."
"So what? You're a model or actress or something? I can't see that," Ron said frankly.
"Ron! You don't say things like that!" Ginny exclaimed, whacking him on the arm. She turned to Hermione. "Ignore him. He's just jealous that you're a prettier girl than he could ever be."
"Hey!" Ron protested, rubbing his arm. "I'm not a…wait, I guess for this game I am."
"I rest my case," Ginny said smugly.
"And now I'm graduating," Harry announced. He selected his two cards. "I'm going to be a teacher making 100,000 dollars."
"There is no way that Hogwarts staff are paid that well," Hermione said flatly. "I just do not believe it. And I don't think that my muggle teachers were doing anywhere near that well either."
"Hermione, you're forgetting something very important," Ron said seriously.
Hermione looked surprised. "I am?"
Ron nodded. "Yes. Harry is making all that money by 'teaching.'"
"What are you saying?" Harry asked suspiciously.
"Clearly you've got some sort of drug business or something going on the side," Ron accused.
Harry groaned. "Again, Ron?"
"At least he's not claiming you're out to kill us," Hermione attempted to console him.
"I'm a little lost here," Ginny admitted.
"Ron's convinced that I'm corrupt," Harry explained.
"Hey," Ron said, holding up his hands innocently. "I only call it like I see it."
"I am getting married, it looks like," Ginny informed them. "Huh. I wasn't even aware that I was dating anyone."
"Girl or boy?" Hermione asked, holding out one of each person.
"Girl, I think, since I'm playing as a boy," Ginny replied.
"We have to decide who she married," Ron insisted.
"Why?" Ginny asked. "Isn't it enough that I married an unnamed girl? She's really just here to make the family larger."
"No, that's not enough!" Ron cried out. "And frankly this newfound miso…misoj…something tendencies are disturbing me!"
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Okay, fine. Who did I marry?"
"How about Luna?" Harry suggested. "She's a friend of yours, right?"
"Luna it is," Ginny said, shrugging. "Can we move on now?"
"Alright. It looks like I'm getting married as well," Hermione said. "I'm going to marry a boy for the same reasons that Ginny did."
Ginny glanced slyly at Ron before plastering an innocent look on her face. "How about Vic-"
"Malfoy!" Ron burst out. "You're marrying Malfoy."
"I am not!" Hermione said, scandalized. "You marry Malfoy!"
"I can't; he already married you," Ron said smugly.
"But he hates muggleborns!" Hermione protested.
"The sex must be fantastic," Harry murmured.
Hermione glared at him. "You're not helping."
"I know," he said brightly. "Is it my turn for a wedding?"
"In a minute, Harry," Hermione said absently. "Why in the world would you make me marry Malfoy?"
"I think it's 'Draco' if you two are married," Ron said, ignoring the question.
"Fine," Hermione said tightly. "Why would you make me marry Draco?"
"Hermione, I know that you value my opinion but it just doesn't seem fair to blame me for you life choices," Ron said virtuously.
"He didn't want you to marry Victor because he's jealous," Ginny translated.
"But he doesn't care if I marry Draco," Hermione said incredulously.
"Clearly not. Malfoy's Death Eater sympathies make you and he a rather unlikely pairing," Ginny replied. She tilted her head. "But a strangely pretty one…Not as pretty as Harry and Malfoy but you would still have beautiful children."
"Wait, what's this?" Harry asked, alarmed.
"I believe you were getting married," Ginny said smoothly. "Boy or girl?"
"Boy," Harry answered after a moment's consideration. "That way we won't be able to have any children."
"Why don't you want any children?" Ron inquired. "Trying to keep them safe from your dangerous lifestyle?"
"Ron, I'm a teacher," Harry said exasperatedly.
Ron winked at him. "Oh, I know."
"Is there any point in asking why I have to get married in a car?" Harry wondered. "I mean, really? A car? It's like a drive-through wedding. We must be in Vegas. How very romantic."
"I don't know, it seems like the kind of thing that Ron would find romantic," Ginny teased.
"Are we actually getting out of the car?" Ron asked.
"If I have to marry Draco then you have to marry Goyle," Hermione declared.
Harry shrugged. "I can live with it. But…what's Goyle's first name?"
"Goyle has a first name?" Ron asked, stunned.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "It's Gregory."
"Greg and I will get along fine," Harry said cheerfully.
"He really doesn't like to be called that," Hermione cautioned.
"Greg and I will get along fine," Harry repeated, grinning. "So that's all of us nice and forcibly married."
"Except Ron," Ginny pointed out. "For being the first one to graduate you are going really slowly down the path of life."
"It's my curse from the previously board game," Ron said solemnly.
"I don't know," Hermione said thoughtfully. "Is it really such a bad thing to take your time on the road of life and not rush to be done?"
"Don't tell me you're going to get all philosophical," Harry pleaded. "It's just a game."
"I'm not, I promise," Hermione lied.
"I am buying furniture it looks like," Ginny announced. "It says to pay the salesperson…which is me. Does that mean I pay myself?"
"The simpler way of looking at it is that you get it for free," Hermione replied.
"My own sister!" Ron cried out indignantly. "A thief! You can't be safe from corruption anywhere!"
"I could have just gotten a discount or something," Ginny defended. "It's my store!"
"I'm so ashamed," Ron said, shaking his head. "Harry, you're not allowed to talk to Ginny."
"I knew you were going to make this my fault," Harry complained.
"It looks like I landed on buying furniture as well," Hermione noted, moving her car onto the same square as Ginny's.
"Car accident!" Harry enthused.
"It is not a car accident," Hermione disagreed.
"Hermione, both of your cars are in the same place. That's what I'd call a car accident," Harry said patiently. "Unless you did that on purpose in which case it's still a car crash."
"Are they damaged? Do we need to fix them?" Ginny asked worriedly.
"No," Hermione said firmly. "Just spin."
"I lost a turn," Harry complained. "I think I'm having an existential crisis."
"A what?" Ron asked blankly.
"I don't know," Harry admitted. "But it sounds serious."
"Well I'm finally getting married," Ron informed them. "I'm going to marry a girl so there is no chance whatsoever that we will have children."
"Why does everyone seem to hate children?" Ginny asked curiously.
"I resent being told that I have to have them," Harry replied. "In real life I think I'd like some but not on anybody else's schedule."
"I don't like being forced to get married, either," Ron added.
"But what do you mean 'no chance whatsoever'?" Harry asked. "Are you saying you think my method won't work?"
"I just think two girls are less likely, even with magic involved, to be able to conceive than two boys," Ron explained.
"You," Hermione said with an evil glint in her eye, "are marrying Pansy."
"Oh, come on Hermione!" Ron complained, groaning.
"Don't 'come on Hermione' me," Hermione said sternly. "I had to marry Draco."
"That's no reason to take your anger out on me," Ron said, looking wounded. "And look, I have to move across country! Clearly Pansy is a very controlling person."
"I had to move cross country, too," Hermione told him. "Fortunately England isn't a very big country."
"I thought we were playing in America," Ginny said, puzzled.
"We're clearly playing in some sort of limbo," Harry told her. He groaned. "Great. I'm off to visit the in-laws. Greg's father is likely going to want to kill me being a Death Eater and all. Why doesn't he ever have to visit my parents if I have to visit his?"
"Because yours are dead?" Ron suggested helpfully.
"Exactly! He doesn't have to so this isn't fair. I feel like I'm taking my life in my hands here," Harry complained.
"A farmhouse?" Hermione couldn't believe it. "Costing 160,000 dollars? I've never bought a house but that seems really, really expensive. And why would I ever want a farmhouse anyway?"
"Maybe Draco wants the farmhouse," Harry said slyly. "And you think that's bad? I'm getting a house that is literally a split-in-two level and they're charging me 40,000 dollars. My entire college debt is what I'm being charged for a house that has literally been torn in two. I'm not even sure that the insurance is worth it at this point but I'm going to get it anyway because this house is clearly a disaster. I'll bet I get a terrible rate."
"Damn, I can't believe that I just had a baby girl," Ginny said, sounding shocked. "I guess it's a lot easier to miss these kinds of things when you aren't pregnant."
"Oh, what's her name?" Hermione asked.
"Why does she need a name?" Ginny asked.
"You can't just not name your children!" Ron exclaimed, horrified. "What kind of a terrible mother are you?"
"They aren't even real," Ginny protested.
"Just go with it," Harry advised.
"Oh, I don't know," Ginny said looking around the room. "I'll let Luna name her."
"Luna?" Ron couldn't believe it. "She'd probably name her something stupid like 'Moonbeam' or something."
"Moonbeam it is," Ginny said, placing her pink peg in her car.
"Success! I have a really awesome house!" Ron cheered. He frowned. "Oh, wait, it costs 200,000 galleons. Why did I let Pansy talk me into getting a Victorian house again? I guess I'll get insurance if only because I'm scared that a strong wind will cost me thousands of dollars. Stupid non-magical house…I knew we shouldn't have visited her parents!"
"I just had twins," Hermione announced. "Two girls."
"You know that Malfoy would want to name them something weird like Scorpion or something, right?" Ron asked rhetorically.
"Well he is out of luck," Hermione sniffed. "I've decided that I like the names Rose and Juliet and since I am here and presumably went through labor while he is not and did not then it's my decision."
"Oh, I don't believe it!" Harry cried out.
"What?" Ginny asked him.
"I got fired," Harry said, staring blankly at the space he'd landed on. "How could I have gotten fired?"
"I guess they finally realized just what you got up to in your spare time," Ron said triumphantly.
"Ron, you can't just say that about a teacher!" Hermione protested. "It makes it sound like he was…you know…"
"I don't, actually," Ron corrected her. "But I'll clarify: I guess they finally realized about your criminal enterprise."
" 'Criminal enterprise'?" Harry echoed. "I thought I was just selling drugs."
"Just selling drugs?" Ron repeated. "I keep expecting you to hit a sort of moral rock bottom but you never do, do you? You never do."
"You have to put your salary card and your career card back and pick three new ones," Hermione instructed.
"It looks like now I will be an artist making 100,000 dollars," Harry said, grinning.
Ron put his head in his hands. "He never learns."
"I just had another child," Hermione told them. "I'm going to call her Lydia."
"That's three girls in a row," Ginny noted. "Is it just me or are you trying to stop Malfoy from getting an heir?"
"It's just you," Hermione claimed.
"I can't believe you'd invite me to a movie premier and then make me pay you 15,000 galleons," Ron groused. "And I bet it wasn't even that good of a movie."
"Do you even know what a movie is?" Harry wondered.
"I'm not entirely sure on that," Ron conceded. "But it still sounds like I paid too much. Also, why am I furnishing a baby room? I don't have a child."
"Well I just had twins," Harry announced. "And by 'I' I mean 'Greg' since he apparently got pregnant."
"But he's a boy," Ginny pointed out.
Harry shrugged. "I don't know what to tell you except that I guess we weren't careful and magic is involved."
"But you're both boys so you shouldn't have had to be careful!" Hermione protested.
"I can't believe you're having sex with Goyle," Ron said, making a face.
"I made him get magical plastic surgery," Harry confided.
"If it's magical then would it really be 'plastic surgery'?" Hermione wondered. "I mean, wizards seem to find the idea of stitches to be abhorrent."
"Stop nit-picking," Harry ordered. "Just know that Greg is much better looking now than he used to be."
"What did you name the twins?" Ginny inquired.
"Peter St. Potter and Beelzebub Potter. And yes, my husband's name is now Greg Potter," Harry replied.
"Note to self: never let Harry name anything," Hermione murmured.
"You named your children after literary characters!" Harry countered.
"Most people would say that's a good thing," Hermione said calmly.
"My house flooded?" Ron couldn't believe it. "Why am I the one having house problems? I got the best house!"
"Maybe nature is punishing you for your pride," Ginny suggested. She peered closely at Hermione's car. "Hermione, not for nothing but didn't you use to have a green car?"
Hermione glanced down at the orange car her family was riding in. "You're right! What happened?"
Ron coughed pointedly and glanced Harry's way.
"What?" Harry asked, frowning. He looked down and saw the green car right next to him. "Would you believe that I have no idea how that happened?"
"No," Ron said flatly.
"Well I really don't," Harry said earnestly.
"I'm running for mayor," Ginny announced. "You guys will vote for me, right?"
"I'll do more than that," Harry promised.
"Should I be happy that Harry's helping or upset that he's clearly buying the election for my sister?" Ron wondered.
"That wasn't what I meant," Harry objected. "Ah, and a tree fell on my house. Good thing I had insurance. I didn't know there were trees still standing around there, though. I guess now there aren't."
"Let's see," Ron said as he encountered a fork in the road. "I could go on a picnic or have a baby. A difficult decision this is not."
Hermione was moving her car when one of her pink daughter pegs fell out of it. "Whoops…"
"I can't believe you threw your own child out of the car!" Ron cried out, horrified.
"It slipped!" Hermione defended.
That didn't help matters. "It?"
"It looks like I'm going to be spending 25,000 galleons on sports camp," Ginny announced, handing Ron the money.
"Wait…" Harry said suspiciously. "Don't think I don't know a bribe when I see one!"
"Harry," Ron explained patiently, "you're the corrupt one, not me."
"This has all been a smokescreen!" Harry continued loudly.
"I've never done anything wrong," Ron claimed. "And also, I landed on 'switch salary', Harry."
"I've got to find out what you've got on me," Harry said seriously as he reluctantly parted with his salary card. "And here's that 25,000 dollars for those 'tennis lessons.'"
"Do you have to say it like that?" Ron asked. "I mean 'tennis lessons.' You make it sound so sordid."
"Isn't it?" Harry challenged.
"I don't know what you're talking about and I don't think I want to," Hermione told them.
"Hey, I won the Nobel Peace Prize!" Ginny said excitedly.
"For what?" Ron couldn't believe it. "You didn't even go to university and you sell things for a living. And embezzle. Maybe it has something to do with all that sign language we learned so that we could communicate with your deaf kid."
Ginny groaned. "Oh, give it a rest, Ron. Even if little Moonbeam is deaf – and I'm not saying she is – that's no reason to keep talking about it every five seconds."
"Well why else would any of us have learned it? And you learned it first," Ron pointed out. "And after you had your child. Plus, you keep landing on summer school."
"I like my daughter to have a structured summer," Ginny growled. "She isn't stupid!"
"I never said she was," Ron said in a sing-songy voice. He spun and winced. "No! No, no, no!"
"What's wrong?" Hermione asked, mildly concerned.
"I just adopted twins," Ron complained.
"Isn't that a good thing?" Harry asked. "This way Pansy didn't cheat on you."
"Of course she did," Ron disagreed. "She just didn't get pregnant. And if she had then that would have been grounds for a divorce."
"You can't get divorced in Life," Hermione told him.
Ron's eyes widened. "What? What kind of game is this?"
"Apparently one that feels very strongly about the sanctity of marriage," Ginny replied. She glanced at Ron and Harry's cars. "Well, maybe not that strongly."
"I'm going to name my children Lily and Natty," Ron informed them.
"Is Natty even a name?" Ginny wondered.
"Is Moonbeam?" Ron shot back.
"Hey, Luna picked that name!" Ginny defended.
"Luna isn't even here," Ron countered. "Also, my kids are apparently stupid like Ginny's kid since they're in summer school."
"Ron, we just talked about how being in summer school doesn't make you stupid. You could be trying to get ahead or not have to take a class during the school year or even just taking something for fun," Hermione told him.
"There's no need to try to soften the blow, Hermione. I didn't want them anyway," Ron replied stoically.
"Don't have children," Ginny advised.
"I wasn't given much of a choice," Ron said.
"Here's that 30,000 galleons for the 'gym equipment'," Ginny said, handing the money to her brother.
"Seriously, stop saying it like that," Ron commanded.
"Hey, I found buried treasure!" Hermione said happily.
"I'm happy for you, I really am, but did you see what Harry just landed on?" Ron asked, voice shaking.
"Donate 15,000 dollars to host the police charity ball," Harry read aloud. "I don't see what's the problem."
"Now Harry has the police on his payroll," Ron said, frightened. "How many of them died in the coup?"
"Three," Harry said easily. "Don't worry; there are at least six left."
"So I bought a cabin on a lake and now it's hit with a tornado!" Ron cried out. "Has Harry figured out how to control the weather yet?"
"No…" Harry said innocently. "I did, however, figure out how to win 100,000 dollars as well as the Nobel Peace Prize."
"I'm having a midlife crisis, apparently. I guess my own Nobel prize just isn't doing it for me anymore," Ginny said with a sigh. "I can't be a doctor, a teacher, or an accountant because I didn't go to university. I can be a travel agent, though, which is practically the same job but I get paid 50,000 galleons instead."
"Wow," Harry said, impressed. "Way to turn a midlife crisis into something positive, Ginny."
"No, now the game is forcing me to be corrupt," Ron complained. "Pay self 35,000 galleons for 'golf tournament.'"
"At least you're being honest about it," Hermione said dryly. "Burglars broke into my house and clearly the logical response was to pay my taxes."
"Clearly," Ginny said, lightly mockingly. "I visited the Grand Canyon and now I'm retired."
"If by 'retired' you mean 'dead'," Ron told her.
"No, I'm pretty sure I mean 'retired'," Ginny said firmly, shaking her head.
"But you have the lowest paycheck so why would you be able to retire first?" Ron asked reasonably.
"I have simple tastes," Ginny said breezily.
"It looks like I've been 'cleaning the streets,'" Harry said, forcing down a maniacal smile.
Ron merely shook his head in disappointment.
"I've gone fishing," Hermione informed them. "And next turn I'll retire."
"Yes! I landed on trade salary!" Harry said happily. "It's towards the end but I'd like my money back." He held out his hand expectantly.
Ron looked mournfully at his salary card before slowly handing it over. "Well, it was good while it lasted. And I have to sponsor an art exhibit, too! I'm not even sure I want to know how this went down."
"It's best for us all if we don't speak of it," Harry said, nodding sagely.
"And now I'm apparently planting a tree for 'arbor day.' Whatever that is," Ron said, shaking his head in bemusement. "And then I'm taking a luxury cruise because I guess I don't want any money for retirement since I know that it really means death."
"It really doesn't," Hermione corrected him.
"And I'm supporting the wildlife before I retire," Harry informed them.
"So that's all of us," Ron said. "We're all dead."
"Retired," Hermione said forcefully.
"You're just in denial," Ron decided.
"Someone hit him for me," Hermione requested.
"Gladly," Ginny said, whacking him on the arm again.
"Ow!" Ron complained.
"Everyone count up your money and your life cards," Harry instructed.
It was quiet for a few minutes as everyone did just that.
"1,600 ,000 dollars," Hermione announced.
"1, 825,000 dollars," Harry told them modestly.
"870,000 galleons," Ginny said quietly.
"875,000," Ron said cheerfully. "I didn't come in last place or lose to my sister."
"Oh shut up," Ginny said glowering.
"So Harry won again," Ron said disgustedly, rolling his eyes. "I don't know why I'm even surprised. Or if I'm even surprised. No, I'm definitely not surprised."
"Are board games supposed to work like this?" Ginny asked uncertainly.
Harry and Hermione exchanged a glance. "No," they said simultaneously.
"So this is all Ron's fault?" Ginny asked knowingly.
"I wouldn't go that far," Hermione hedged.
"Well I would. And yes, pretty much," Harry told her.
"Without me you guys would have so much less fun with these things," Ron insisted. "And I'm not the corrupt one."
"Look, just because I ended the game with twice as much money as you doesn't mean I'm corrupt," Harry insisted. "I mean, look at Hermione. She had nearly as much money as I did but I don't hear any accusations coming her way."
"That's because I know the meaning of the word 'subtlety' and don't you dare bring his attention my way," Hermione said warningly.
"Is there no one I can trust?" Ron cried out in faux-despair.
"I actually did worse than you did," Ginny pointed out.
"Yeah but you're my sister so you don't count," Ron explained.
Ginny glared at him before standing up and heading up to her dormitory.
"Okay, this time I'm seriously done playing with you corrupt cheaters and it will never happen again."
With that, Ron dramatically rose and strode out of the common room.
"Is it just me or is Ron a really sore loser?" Harry asked rhetorically.
"I don't know but he definitely keeps doing that so he doesn't have to help clean up," Hermione said, shaking her head in annoyance. She pulled her wand from her robes and casually started twirling it between her fingers. "Not that you would do anything like that to me again, would you?"
Harry glanced at the wand and gulped. "No, definitely not. In fact, why don't I put it all away? Really, I insist…"