disclaimer: mine, actually. well, moira, her family and all future oc's belong to me. harry potter belongs to the wonderful j.k.r
dedication: to me! cuz i'm having an awesome year so far and that's why this chapter is happy and fun. also, to reviewer number nine (you know who you are; name starts with a j…ends in a. yup, this is for you) because your review really reassured me that people are actually liking the way i'm taking the story so far. :) thanks dear.
notes: so, the world cup is finally over! time for the aftermath and the rest of the summer (which shall go by in a flash). i hope you're all liking mo, and enjoying the story so far! don't worry! things will pick up soon!

title: by trial of fire
summary: fire cleanses, but it also burns. moira o'shea's fourth year at hogwarts will be one of her most memorable yet, not only for her, but for her friends too. it's a trial of fire, and she's on the stand. Harry/OC




chapter seven
aftermaths and phone numbers




Mo was shaken awake early the next morning by Mr. Smith, before the sun had even begun to rise into the sky. Blearily, she sat up and rubbed her eyes. Matt was already up and awake, packing away his belongings into a backpack. Giving her a kind smile, Mr. Smith ducked into the other room and woke Rory, who stumbled into the main room, rubbing his eyes.

He plopped on the couch beside Mo and gave her a tired smile. 'Good morning,' he said through a yawn. 'Sleep well?'

'Pretty well, thanks,' she said, smiling faintly back.

'You're lying,' said Matt from behind the couch.

Rory and Mo both jumped and spun around. 'What?' asked Rory.

Mo looked at Matt quickly, eyes wide. Matt held her gaze for a moment, his bright hazel eyes boring into hers. 'Nothing,' he said finally. 'I coughed.'

'You did not!'

'Shut up, Rory.'

'Fine, see if I ever take you on a trip again,' said Rory.

Mo laughed and stood up off the couch, combing her hair back and straightening her clothes. Reaching down, she folded up the blanket and handed it to Mr. Smith, who quickly ushered them out of the tent. Pulling out his wand, he waved it in a wide, sweeping gesture and they all watched silently as the tent packed itself up neatly and flew into Mr. Smith's backpack, which rested on the ground at their feet.

All around them, people were scurrying quietly through the mist, whispering to their families and packing up tents as fast as they could. In the distance, Mo could make out the burned section of the field and felt her stomach turn unpleasantly.

Turning away, she came face to face with Matt, who was watching her quietly, an intense look on his face. She flinched back from the look, which softened at the fright in her eyes. He smiled brightly at her and walked over to nudge her with his shoulder.

'Buck up, Wendy. You'll be alright.'

They started to walk, and Mo fell into an easy position in between Rory and Matt. The trek to the portkey station was quick and near silent. Even Matt's blabbering from last night – which Mo took to be a trait of his – wasn't present. It was eerie, and Mo felt goose-bumps rise on her arms and legs from under her sweater and Rory's track pants.

Reaching into her pocket, she fingered her shrunken capris and the long, firm wood of her wand and relaxed minutely. As long as she had her wand on her, she was safe; safe from whatever horrors happened last night in the dark and the fire.

Soon, they came upon a harried looking wizard who was handing out port-keys to a massive crowd. His partner looked tired and drained, and had a long, thin cut on the right side of his face. Mr. Smith pulled this one aside and began talking quickly and urgently, before beckoning the kids over.

'Moira, where's your house? I can get Murray here to set the Portkey to your house first, and then take Rory, Matt and I home an hour later.'

'Oh, I'm not at home. I'm staying with a friend,' Mo said. At Mr. Smith's prompting, she told Murray the Weasley's address and watched as he tapped the old tea-cup with his wand and muttered a long string of incantations. The cup glowed bright gold before turning back to its old, faded blue.

'Right, that's set to leave in a few minutes. Best find a clear area; don't want Paths overlapping. It can cause all sorts of accidents,' said Murray, shooing them away.

The Smiths, Matt and Mo walked a few feet away, to a deserted area of mist and grass and kneeled down, taking positions around the tiny tea cup. Mo was starting to worry now. What if they thought something horrible had happened to her? What if they were looking for her right now? What if they left last night? Would they tell her parents?

'Oi, Wendy,' Matt's voice broke through the fog of her tumultuous thoughts, and she turned and gave him a weird look.

'Why are you calling me Wendy?'

'Because,' said Matt, eyes twinkling. 'You ran away with a boy who doesn't want to grow up – me, of course – and you were running from growing up. You're Wendy; a Scottish Wendy, mind you, but much better than the original. She was so very annoying, all blonde and simpering and just awful -'

On the other side of Mo, Rory rolled his eyes. 'What's he rambling about?' Moira whispered.

'This is his way of flirting,' Rory whispered back. 'It's weird as hell, but girls seem to love it. Can't see why; he sounds like a fool when he does this.'

'Oi!' said Matt in indignation. 'I can hear you, you know.'

'Right, terribly sorry,' said Rory, not sounding very sorry at all.

Mo laughed. 'Hang on, I can't be Wendy. Wendy was running away from growing up; I was running away from being killed. Those aren't the same things.'

Matt glanced at her. 'Aren't they?'

Moira stared at him, wide-eyed, as the Portkey activated and the world dissolved into a blur of colours and sounds, and the feel of Matt and Rory's shoulders umping against hers, warm and solid and there.




They landed hard on the ground outside the Weasley House what seemed like moments later, falling to the ground in a tangle of clothes and limbs as the tea cup clattered to the ground, inactive for sixty more minutes. Mo sat up and stared up at the rickety house, feeling a sense of home-coming wash over her. A few chickens pecked lazily in the yard, and smoke puffed quietly from the leaning chimney.

Evidently, the others were just as awed by the house as well. Matt jumped up and began blathering on about structure spells, expansion charms, quantum spell mechanics, and other things that made Mo's head spin. As Rory helped her up, the door flew open, startling the chickens, who clucked nosily in disapproval.

Mrs. Weasley came barging out of the house, looking pale and worried. The worry only grew as she saw Mo with three strangers, sitting in her driveway, and not with her husband and children.

'Moira!' the Weasley matriarch cried, drawing her into a warm, tight hug. 'Goodness, dear, are you alright! I just got the paper a few hours ago – it's awful what happened at the Cup! I've been out of my mind with worry! Are you okay? Where are the others? What happened? And -'

'Mrs. Weasley, calm down!' said Mo, her voice muffled by Mrs. Weasley's shoulder. 'To answer your questions, I'm fine, just a bit scraped, I don't know where the others are, because we got separated, I don't really know what happened, and these are my new friends, Andrew Smith and his son, Rory, and Rory's friend Matt Vowles - Matt found me in the raid-thing – whatever last night was –and brought me back to his tent because we couldn't find the others in the chaos.'

Mo took a very large breath and relaxed, only to stumble to the side when Mrs. Weasley let go of her and threw her arms around a very startled Matt. 'Oh, thank you!' she cried. 'Thank you for keeping Mo safe!'

She released him quickly and then embraced Rory and Mr. Smith, before ushering them all into the house for tea and breakfast before the Smiths' and Matt left for Rory's house. Matt fell back to where Mo was walking, looking a bit alarmed. His hair was sticking up on one side, and Mo chuckled.

'Is she always like that?' he asked incredulously.

'Pretty much, yeah,' replied Mo. 'Mrs. Weasley's the best, though. She always means well.'

'Ah. Right. Motherly instincts and all that,' said Matt. As they reached the porch, he grabbed Mo's arm and pulled her away, letting the others walk into the house, where the fresh aroma of bacon and eggs was wafting out.

'Matt, what's wrong?' she asked, looking up at him – damn boys and their growth spurts. He was looking uncharacteristically serious again.

'Do you always have such violent nightmares?' he asked softly.

Mo tensed in his grip, her mind flashing back to the pain of her dreams: skies stained red and grass blackened underfoot – smoke staining crumbling stone, people screaming, bodies piled up before mass pyres and blood, so much blood, washing over her feet and seeping into her skin. She could see it, feel it, taste it on her tongue, and it was so cold and yet so hot at the same time, but she couldn't stop to think about that because she had to run, run now before they caught her –

Arms closed around Mo and pulled her into a warm chest that smelled of firewood and very nice cologne. Mo clung to the fabric of the sweater, gasping as if she had run a marathon. A different pair of hands was pressed on her back, sheltering her from the open front yard and easing her trembling. She hadn't had a nightmare that violent in ages, since she was eight and one of her parents' colleagues had been mauled by a tiger they had thought was knocked out.

As the last vestiges from the dream melted away, embarrassment flooded her. She pulled away and found herself squished between Matt - at her front - and Rory - behind her -. They were both looking at her oddly, but with concern. Turning bright red, she broke out of their hold, stammering apologies and babbling incoherently before Rory put his hand over her mouth and shut her up.

'Relax, Mo,' he said. 'We're not going to make fun of you or something. Obviously, these nightmares really affect you, and you don't want to tell anyone about it. That's okay, we'll respect that.'

'What? No, we won't!'


'Ow! Okay, yes, fine, we will respect your silence!' Matt grumbled, rubbing his side, where Rory's elbow had dug in. 'Because that's what friends do.'

Mo stared between the two of them, a half formed laugh tumbling from her lips. 'We're friends?' she asked.

'Well of course,' said Matt, grinning. 'You don't go through what we just went through without becoming friends.'

A nostalgic smile spread across Mo's face. 'Kind of like facing a fully grown mountain troll together,' she murmured, thinking back to the night Hermione had become friends with Harry and Ron. The night she had missed because she was in the hospital wing suffering from cluster headaches.

'Yeah,' smiled Rory. 'Kind of like that.'




Fifty minutes later, they were seated around the Weasley's kitchen table nursing cups of tea – or hot chocolate for Mo. Their stomachs were comfortably full, the dishes had washed themselves and the massive amount of leftovers was under warming charms for when the Weasleys finally came home with Harry and Hermione.

Mr. Smith and Mrs. Weasley were quietly talking at the head of the table while Matt, Mo and Rory engaged in a high-stakes game of cards at the other end. Mo and Matt sat across from each other, with Rory at the head. Peeking over her cards, Mo narrowed her eyes at Matt, her next victim. He was the only one that could have it; Rory absolutely failed at this game, there was no way –

'Do you?' she asked, raising an eyebrow at him.

He smirked at her, and she narrowed her eyes, reaching forward to draw the top card off of the deck. Sliding it across the table towards her, she lifted it up and glanced at the faded red color on the otherwise white surface –

'Ha! I win!' she cried, throwing down the two Jacks with flourish. 'And that, boys, is how you play Go Fish!'

Rory groaned and threw down his cards too. 'How does she do it?!' Rory whined to Matt, who was laughing hysterically and trying to drink tea at the same time. 'I've never met anyone who could play cards like that! It's insane!'

'Lots and lots of practice with my parents' colleagues,' Mo smirked and took a sip of her hot chocolate. 'It's a good way to stave off boredom when the locals don't like you and you're too young to go looking for wild tigers or rogue elephants.'

'You are the strangest girl I have ever met,' said Rory with finality. They all shared a laugh that was abruptly cut off when Mrs. Weasley leapt to her feet.

'They're home!' she cried, racing out of the kitchen. 'They're back!'

The three of them followed her out of the kitchen and onto the porch. The sun had fully risen now, casting warm light on everything it touched. Mr. Smith was standing with Mrs. Weasley, who was hugging Mr. Weasley hard and alternating between scolding him for not sending word and making sure he was okay. Then, she threw her arms around the twins, shoulders shaking.

'Ten quid she's apologizing for laying into them before we left,' Mo whispered to Rory, having had told them all about the twins and their escapades last night.

'You're on,' he whispered back, and they shook hands firmly as Mrs. Weasley stepped back and embraced each of the Weasleys – and the non-Weasleys – in bone crushing hugs.

They all looked tired and drawn; from what Mo could see, each of them had bags under their eyes and a slouch to their posture. Mo felt a pang of guilt as she spotted Harry standing beside Ron, a weak smile plastered on his face. Beside him, Ginny had Mo's backpack clutched tightly in her hands; dried tear tracks were on both Hermione and Ginny's faces, and everyone was smudged with dirt.

Mo sighed fondly. 'Bloody worry-warts, the lot of 'em. OI! GINNY!'

Ginny looked up and screamed in a mixture of shock and excitement as she saw Mo, safe and well, standing in between Matt and Rory, who smiled and waved brightly at the others. Mo grinned at the boys standing on either side of her and stepped out into the yard as her friends raced towards her. Wincing, Mo braced for impact, but couldn't escape the shriek that fell from her lips as she was hoisted up into a giant bear hug sandwich by the twins.

'I knew you hadn't died!' Fred crowed.

'Our dear Katherina is far too feisty to let a couple of Death Eaters best her!' George added happily.

'Guys, you're squishing me!' Mo gasped out, and sighed in relief as she was placed back on the ground, only to be bombarded by Ginny and Hermione.

'You're okay!' Ginny cried happily. 'What the hell happened?'

Hermione didn't even bother asking. She just pulled back and slapped Mo hard on the arm. 'Don't ever do that again!' she said shrilly. 'You nearly sent us all to an early death!'

'It's not my fault, Hermione,' Mo protested over Ron's shoulder, the next person to hug her. 'I was running with you all – yes, Ron, I missed you too, but you're breaking me. What is it with you Weasleys' and your urge to break the spine of whoever you're hugging? – and I tripped and fell. When I got up, we had been separated by the crowd and I couldn't find you.'

Ron let Mo go and Harry took her place. He hugged her tightly, practically folding her into him, and she smiled and wrapped her arms around his neck, standing on her tip-toes to reach. 'You know, this really isn't fair,' she said idly. 'I'm one of the tallest girls in my year, and I still have to stand on my tiptoes to be as tall as you. Bloody boys and your growth spurts.'

'Are you okay?' he asked seriously, holding her at arm's length.

'Oh, I'm fine!' she said, waving him off. 'Matt found me and when we couldn't find the tent, he brought me back to his, and I stayed the night on the couch. Nothing bad happened.'

'I saved her life when a Death Eater tried to kill her,' Matt said cheerfully from behind her. 'And Rory patched up her knees; she made a right mess out of them.'

Her friends all turned to her, eyes narrowed dangerously. Mo ran from Harry and hid behind Rory. 'In case you hadn't noticed, Matt, I was trying not to tell them about that little detail!' she hissed, eyeing her scowling friends warily. 'They're going to kill me now, thanks to you.'

'No problem!' he winked and she growled at him.

'Boys!' Mr. Smith suddenly called. 'Let's go! The portkey's almost ready!'

'Well, that's our cue! Good-bye all, nice meeting you,' Matt walked off, whistling a merry tune, and dragging Rory along, who shouted good-byes.

'Wait! I'll come see you off!' Mo raced after them and thanked Merlin and God and whoever was listening that her friends didn't follow.

'Thank you for everything you've done,' Mo said to Mr. Smith. 'And thank you, Rory, for being a great Doctor. Just don't ever go into a profession that involves cards; you're rubbish at it. I'll see you at school, yeah?'

'Yeah,' Rory laughed, 'Promise me you'll teach me how to play cards when we get to school?'

'I promise!'

They hugged briefly, old friends after only twelve hours together, possibly less. As he moved back a bit, Matt shifted and stood in front of her, hands clasped behind his back. His eyes were sparkling mischievously from under his floppy fringe, and a small half-smile was pasted on his lips.

'Well,' she said awkwardly.

'Well.' Matt grinned now, a beaming smile that made Mo start smiling too. He grasped her shoulders firmly and held her at arm's length, appraising her. 'Moira O'Shea. I'm going to miss you – and I don't say that to just anyone, especially not someone I've known for all of twelve hours.'

'It's true!' Rory added. 'He doesn't!'

Matt rolled his eyes and Mo laughed. 'Oh, c'mere you.' She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly, feeling him smiling against her neck.

'Promise me you'll write? And talk to me at school, no matter what House you're in,' she scolded playfully. Despite her best efforts last night, neither boy would tell her what house he was in, even though she had told them immediately that she was a Gryffindor.

'Even if I'm in Slytherin?' Matt teased.

'Yes,' she said firmly. 'Even if you're a Slytherin. Which you're not; you're too – kind, to be a Slytherin. Oh! Wait, do you have a pen and paper?'

Rory fished into his bag and pulled out a self-inking quill and a piece of parchment. Hurriedly, Mo scribbled down her phone number, her cell number, her address, and the Weasley address twice. Tearing the paper in two, she handed one to Matt and one to Rory.

'I forgot I hadn't given you my information yet,' she said sheepishly. 'Would have made it pretty impossible to write to me without that. That has this address, my cell number, my home phone number and my home address. You guys do know how to use cell phones, yeah?'

'Course we do,' said Rory. 'I'm a half-blood and Matt's Muggle-born. Here, I'll give you ours as well.'

Pulling out another piece of parchment, Rory wrote down his contact info, and then handed it to Matt so he could write his as well. Giving it to Mo, Rory packed away the quill and stepped back to give her and Matt a bit of privacy.

Matt smiled and kissed her cheek. 'Take care, Wendy.'

Blushing, Mo smiled. 'Take care yourself, Peter.'

The two boys walked a few feet away to stand with Mr. Smith. Placing a finger on the tea cup, they both waved as a wind stirred up and they vanished from sight, as if they had never really even there in the first place.

Mo stared at the place they had been, absently touching the cheek that Matt had kissed and clutching the parchment tightly to her chest. When she turned around, she found herself face to face with a group of annoyed friends. She swallowed hard and chuckled weakly. 'Um...hello? Oh, bugger it all. I'm screwed aren't I?'




The morning before the Hogwarts Express left dawned cold and rainy. The Weasley Clan, Hermione, Harry and Mo were all gathered in the living room in front of the lit fireplace. Fred and George were whispering in a corner about something or other, and Ginny was playing chess with Ron in front of the fire. On the chair beside them, Hermione had her nose buried in The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 4 that Mrs. Weasley had picked up for them, and was alternating between reading and sneakily glancing at Ron and Ginny's chess game every so often. Harry was on the couch with Mo, reading a book about advanced Quidditch moves that Mo had gotten him for his birthday.

Mo was sprawled out beside Harry in leggings and a large red sweater, a cutting board propped up on her lap as she penned a letter to Matt. Rory's letter was already finished and sitting on the cluttered table behind her, ready for Jareth to carry them off. The three of them had been texting sporadically back and forth, as well as penning letters, for the past two weeks. While Mo didn't mind writing letters, she preferred texting – it was the one thing she loved about the Muggle world. Beautiful, wonderful technology.

But her phone was silent now, and letters didn't piss off her friends with the constant clacking of keys and the wind-chime sounds of her ring tone. It was quieter in the house than it had been earlier in the month. The excitement of summer was wearing out, and the drudgery of school was starting to set in.

'I hope Arthur gets off early today,' said Mrs. Weasley from her position beside Bill. 'They've been working him far too hard lately.'

'Well, I suspect father feels he must make up for his mistake, doesn't he?' said Percy. 'If he hadn't opened his mouth, the Ministry wouldn't be flooded with Howlers right now. Mr. Crouch is beside himself; he cares very much about the public, you know. Most especially, he cares what the public thinks of his actions; he always tries to do the best for the citizens of Britain, and they do not even notice.'

'No one cares, idiot,' Mo called, not looking up from her writing. 'Shut up, I'm trying to write.'

Percy puffed up indignantly. 'Now, see here –'

He was cut off as a pillow collided with his face and knocked him to the floor. Mrs. Weasley hid her laughter behind her hand, but the others had no such qualms. The whole room burst into laughter, doing exactly what Mo had hoped her actions would do – relieve the tension that had settled in the room like a fog.

'Now Mo, dear that wasn't very nice,' Mrs. Weasley coughed as Percy climbed back into his chair, looking very much like a pigeon with its feathers ruffled.

'He deserved it, Mum,' said Charlie, who was darning a fireproof balaclava. 'No offense, Perce, but no one wants to hear you rail into Dad. Or about Mr. Crouch either. What he did to that elf was cruel and wrong, and you know it. So please, stop being a kiss-ass.'

Percy turned bright red and slunk down a bit in his seat. Mo felt a bit sorry for him, but then remembered how much of a pompous arse he usually was, and didn't feel sorry anymore. Especially because he was sticking up for that arsehole, Barty Crouch. The others had filled her in on what she had missed during her night with Matt, Rory and Mr. Smith – after they had railed into her, of course.

The Weasleys had explained to her what Death Eaters were – with many hissings of Ron to stop saying Voldemort's name – and that the Dark Mark had been cast into the sky by someone using Harry's wand – someone who Crouch had believed to be Winky, since she had been found with the wand in her possession.

Mo had snorted, called the whole thing a load of bullock and promptly put Crouch on her list of People Who Need a Good Kick up the Arse. Ron had then received one when he commented on how many lists she had, and how she was akin to an old lady in that sense.

Finishing her letter to Matt with flourish, she folded up the letter and slid it into an envelope. During the summer, Mo preferred to use Muggle pens, just because it made writing letters and stuff so much faster since she didn't need to wait for the ink to dry. She did love using quills, though. There was just something so…magical and medieval about them.

Setting down the cutting board, she dug her toes underneath Harry's thigh for warmth and snuggled into the soft, worn cushions for a small cat-nap. That idea was thrown out the window when Mr. Weasley arrived, soaking wet and going on about how some idiot journalist named Rita Skeeter was trying to find a story, and something about a woman named Bertha Jorkins, who had apparently gone missing.

'I told Bagman he should have sent someone out after her ages ago!' Mr. Weasley said vehemently, sitting down in front of the fire as Mrs. Weasley brought him a tray of food.

'Mr. Crouch has been saying that for weeks,' Percy said.

'No one cares,' called Mo. Percy scowled at her.

'That may be true, Moira, but I think Crouch is just lucky no one's found out about Winky yet,' Mr. Weasley said. 'There'd be headlines for weeks if Skeeter found out his elf was found holding the wand that conjured the Dark Mark.'

'Why? He deserves the shame for what he did to that poor elf,' Hermione said.

'I thought we agreed that the elf didn't conjure the mark, and was merely irresponsible. And Mr. Crouch deserves nothing but unswerving loyalty from his servants after all he's done for this country!' Percy cut in hotly. 'Furthermore –'

'Furthermore, no one gives a crap Perce, so I suggest you shut your face before Hermione has a conniption,' said Mo. Hermione was looking very red in the face, her eyes narrowed dangerously. 'Although it would be funny to see Hermione chasing you with a baseball bat, so by all means, continue. I could use some entertainment.'

'Why don't you all go make sure you've packed?!' Mrs. Weasley cut in. 'Come on, off you trot!'

Mo let her head flop back on the arm rest of the couch and groaned comically. 'All the bones in my body have liquefied. I can't move.'

Ron poked her side, making her jump and squeal. 'You can move. Get up before Percy bites your head off.'

Mo glared at him. 'Voldemort.'

Ron went white and flinched. 'Don't say his name!' he hissed. 'Merlin, how many times do I have to tell you? Harry's been a bad influence on you.'

'Don't pull me into this,' Harry protested as they trooped up the stairs. 'I'm innocent.'

'Yeah, sure. And Snape washes his hair twice daily,' Ron snorted. 'Oi, you lot, come up to my room after you're done.'

'Sure!' said Ginny.

'Not you,' Ron said. 'Just Bones and Hermione. No little sisters allowed.'

Ginny glared at him and tossed her hair over her shoulder. 'Fine; see if I care, you numpty.'

'That's my insult,' said Mo with amusement.

'Shut up; it's mine now,' said Ginny.

Entering Ginny's room, the girls busied themselves with making sure everything was folded and in order. Books and trinkets were tucked away, trunks were locked and animal cages were cleaned out. When they finished, Ginny headed downstairs to bug Fred and George, and Mo and Hermione headed up to Ron's room, which was right below the attic.

The rain sounded even louder from up here, and was accompanied by the moaning and clanking made by the ghoul that lived in the attic above Ron's bedroom. Harry and Ron were sorting through parcels on their beds; while Hermione sat primly on the edge of Ron's bed, Mo threw herself down on Harry's, making it bounce as she pulled his pillow towards her and propped her chin up on it.

'Thanks, Mo,' said Harry dryly, picking up packages that had fallen off the bed.

'You're welcome!' she smirked.

Harry rolled his eyes at her and continued packing away his parcels. 'Hey, Ron,' he said, glancing over to Hedwig's empty cage. 'Do you think Sirius is alright? I mean, you don't think he's been caught?'

'Course not,' said Ron easily, stuffing his books into his cauldron. 'It would've been all over the Prophet if he had.'

'He's probably far away from here, Harry,' said Hermione reasonably. 'Plus, it's probably taking Hedwig a long time to find him. He is in hiding after all. If he was easy to find, he'd have been caught a long time ago.'

Suddenly, Ron made a noise like a trodden-on bird. They all whipped round to find him holding up what appeared to be a mouldy maroon, lacy-looking dress with matching lace cuffs and a bonnet. 'What the bloody hell is that supposed to be?' he cried.

'Here you are,' said Mrs. Weasley, coming into the room carrying freshly laundered Hogwarts robes. 'Pack them properly you don't want them to crease.'

'Mum, you've given me Ginny's new dress,' said Ron, holding out the velvet monstrosity to his mother.

'They're not for Ginny, they're for you,' said Mrs. Weasley.

Mo and Hermione collapsed into hysterical giggles as Ron looked at his mother, horror-struck. 'What?'

'Dress robes,' Mrs. Weasley explained. 'Robes for formal occasions. Your school list said you needed them this year.'

'I am not wearing this!' said Ron stubbornly. 'I'd look like Great Aunt Tessie!'

'It's not so bad. Harry has them too, you know,' said Mrs. Weasley.

Mo snorted with true laughter as Harry gingerly opened the last parcel on his camp bed, acting like he was handling a very volatile bomb. He breathed a visible sigh of relief as he held up a pair of black robes and what appeared to be clothes akin to a Muggle tuxedo.

'Well, they're alright!' said Ron. 'No lace; no weird dead cat smell. I'll go starkers before I wear that thing.' He scowled at the maroon thing on his bed.

Mrs. Weasley flushed and glared at her youngest son. 'Fine, go naked then. Moira, Hermione, make sure you get pictures. Goodness knows I could do with a laugh.'

She walked out of the room, slamming the door behind her. Furious, Ron strode over to unstick his little owl Pig's beak from where it was choking on an over-large owl treat. 'Don't worry Ron,' said Mo in what she hoped was a comforting voice. 'I can get Parvati and Lavender to help hem and – erm – modify the robes. They're quite good at stuff like this.'

'Thanks Bones,' grumbled Ron, 'but I really don't think it's going to help. The thing's probably possessed by the soul of the poor sap who wore it last.'

'The look of absolute revulsion he gave the robes sent Mo into hysterics again, and she didn't stop laughing for a long, long time.




notes: well, chapter seven is done! did you all like the interactions between our new oc's, mo, and her friends? i am really enjoying writing this, and i hope you enjoy reading this too! i know this seems pretty canon so far, but trust me, it's going to get really good soon, once we get to Hogwarts and events start happening.

but, spoilers ;)

if you see any errors, let me know and i'll correct them. this is unbetaed so i did my best. and yes, i know they didn't really have cells back in the nineties, but i'm writing about what i know instead of guessing, so i apologize if there are people out there who dislike temporal-continuity screw ups and overlaps, but, this is what i can write well, and therefore is what i will write.