A/N: Written for the Happy New Year Competition by Addicted-To-Sugar-Quills. Eleven couples, eleven drabbles, prompts "10, 9, 8" etc. and "Happy New Year." In no particular order, my pairings are Harry/Ginny, Neville/Hannah, Ron/Hermione, Teddy/Victoire, Rose/Scorpius, George/Angelina, Bill/Fleur, Luna/Rolf, Lucy/Lorcan, Draco/Astoria, and Percy/Audrey. Thanks to Addicted-To-Sugar-Quills for hosting, and especially for the generous definition of "drabble" (100-1000 words).
The title comes from the poem "Auld Lang Syne" by Robert Burns. From the third verse, translated into modern English: We two have run about the slopes/ And picked the daises fine/ But we've wandered many a weary foot/ Since auld lang syne.
Disclaimer: Neither the characters from Harry Potter nor the Burns poem nor the tradition of counting down to midnight are mine. The rest, pretty much.
Ten, nine, eight, and two are written, so I'm going to do something I've never done before and update daily. Per the rules, I've given the story a teen rating because of a couple of chapters (including this one), but most will probably be K-K+. Pay attention to the dates to avoid being confused; some of them will take place around the same time, but not all. "Ten" is a spin-off of the piece I wrote for the Christmas Prompt Competition entitled "The Weasley Christmas Song List." Enjoy!
December 31, 2000 10 p.m.
Percy rolled onto his back and sighed. ″The best New Year's Eve ever, full stop.″
Audrey laughed breathlessly. ″I certainly hope not.″
Percy pulled her against him, straightening the covers. ″It's a sight better than the last few years.″
She curled against his chest and said nothing. New Year's Eve 1997 had been wartime, and no one had known how much of the new year they would live to see. 1998 had been the first Christmas after Percy's brother Fred died, and she reckoned 1999 hadn't been shining with possibility, either. Not like this year. This wonderful new year shining with possibility, hope, and love. Love! She was in love with Percy Weasley, and as far as Audrey Cooper was concerned, all she needed for a happy New Year was knowing he loved her back. She tipped her face up for a kiss. Although Percy had a point. . . .
Ten minutes passed after the kiss ended before Audrey worked up the courage to ask. Percy's family was always a touchy subject. Sometimes it made him angry, sometimes it made him sad, sometimes it made him shut down. She only learned about Fred's existence and death on Christmas Eve, when Mrs. Weasley had showed Audrey childhood photos of Percy and all his siblings. She still didn't know what happened; all Mrs. Weasley had said was Fred had died during the Battle of Hogwarts. Percy had refused to talk about it and all but forbade her from asking again.
″What did you tell your brothers?″
″Why we weren't coming tonight.″
″Oh. I said you had to work.″
Audrey sat up on one elbow, ignoring Percy's wince when it jabbed him in the ribs. ″Percy! I'm a teacher. Teachers don't work on holidays! What am I supposed to be working on at ten o'clock at night?″
Percy's expression was blank, brow smooth, eyes closed. ″Lesson plans?″
She smacked his bare chest, rather harder than she intended, but at least he was looking at her. ″Percy! Every member of your family will think we're spending the evening in bed!″
He pushed her tangled hair back and smiled up at her. ″Nah, that's what they thought last weekend. This weekend, they know we're spending the evening in bed.″
Audrey gaped. Percy didn't want her to know he'd had a fifth brother, but he didn't care if his whole family— all ten of them, counting significant others— knew about their love life? Wasn't it enough that she'd had to sit through that horrible meeting when his youngest brother's girlfriend had assigned everyone a Christmas carol as a cue to slip upstairs for a private celebration? When everyone had stared at her and Percy, speculating if they were sleeping together yet? Made more horrible by the (probably obvious) fact that they weren't? Which she wasn't sorry about, not at all, but . . . well, it was embarrassing when half the people in the room were four or five years younger than you.
She collapsed on her back, staring sightlessly at the ceiling. ″I can't believe you told them. . . .″
Percy faced her, propping his head in one hand. ″I didn't tell them, you did. Merlin, the expression on George's face. . . ."
Audrey threw up her hands. ″What was I supposed to do? Hermione and her bloody list!″
Percy laughed and kissed her. ″You were brilliant. But I couldn't let you show me up in front of all my brothers. I'd have heard about it for the next ten years.″