A storyteller's game
Lips that intoxicate
The core of all life
Is a limitless chest of tales
"And that, dear all, is how the dragons came to be in the world."
"Can you tell it again?" five-year-old Louis said, eagerly hopping up and down on the couch.
"He's already told it twice," his sister Victoire reprimanded her little brother.
"But I like dragons," Louis pouted.
"No need to worry then, your uncle Charlie's stories always have dragons in them," Audrey said from the dinner table. "Why would that be Charlie?" she mocked.
"You know," Charlie said, looking conspiringly at the various nephews and nieces gathered around him, "I could of course also tell you the story of how your Auntie Audrey first met the family…" He glanced innocently at Audrey, and grinned when she started to protest.
It was Christmas eve and Charlie loved this time of year. He would always come back from Romania and be with his family for a while. He was the only one of the Weasley household who hadn't married nor had he any children of his own, thus he had gladly taken on the 'task' of spoiling uncle. All his nephews and nieces loved him; not only did he have a good relationship with all of them, he was also a great storyteller, something he usually demonstrated on family gatherings. Today was no different.
"Alright, another story then," he gave in to his sister-in-law.
"I wanna hear Auntie Audrey's story," Rose protested.
Charlie laughed. "I'm sure she'll tell you one day how she came to marry your Uncle Percy."
"Uncle Charlie," Lucy said thoughtfully, "why aren't you married?"
"Right, kiddo's, I think it's time for a break," Bill interrupted.
"It's okay, I can handle it," Charlie said.
"I'll marry you Uncle Charlie!" Lily said with a serious face. She looked hurt when all the adults started to laugh.
"I'm sorry sweetie, that's not possible," he explained. "Uncles and nieces can't marry."
"Ow." Lily looked disappointed.
"But let me tell you a story," Charlie said. "There once was a boy."
"This is not going to be a girly story, right?" eight-year-old Fred asked suspiciously. He was at an age where he thought all girls were stupid. Perhaps an exception could be made for his sister and cousins, but that was as far as he would stretch it.
"Of course not," Charlie replied. "It started with 'there once was a boy', didn't it? Now, do you want to hear the story or not?"
"We do!" his nephews and nieces shouted.
"Very well. So, like I said, there once was a boy. Let's call him Charlie."
"Just like you!" Hugo bounced enthusiastically on the carpet.
"Ssssssshhh," Roxanne and Molly hissed at him.
Charlie ignored the interruption and continued his story. "This boy Charlie was a bit of a loner at Hogwarts. He only cared about two things; Quidditch and dragons, not necessarily in that order. Sure, he had friends, but even they sometimes thought he needed to get out a bit more. So, he joined the Quidditch team, because playing was definitely more active than just supporting a team."
"What house was he in?"
"He was a Gryff. And he turned out to be a rather good Quidditch player. In fact, he even made it to team captain one year."
"That's cool, I want to be a Quidditch player one day," James interrupted.
"And I'm sure you will be, with parents like yours. Now, on with the story. This boy Charlie had two very close friends, let's call them Dora and Ollie. Dora was a sparkly, bubbling kind of witch, who was also a bit of a prankster. She usually had her hair the colour of bubblegum."
He smiled as the younger girls gasped excitedly. Bubblegum and ginger were really miles apart, but somehow, little girls would always keep a preference for the colour pink. Dora just never grew out of it. He glanced at Teddy but the boy with the blue coloured hair didn't flinch at the mention of his mother.
"Now Ollie, that was a completely different story. He was a Quidditch player, just like Charlie and he was a bit of a fanatic. He was always reading some Quidditch magazine or the other. But he too was fun to hang out with. Whenever he could, Charlie would spend time with one, or both, of his best friends. Until Hagrid showed him a dragon one day. You know Hagrid, right?"
The older nephews and nieces all nodded. Hagrid was still gamekeeper at Hogwarts and a close friend to the Weasleys.
"Charlie had always held a love for dragons. But seeing a live one sparked something inside of him and he knew he would one day study them up close. Ollie and Dora begged him not to go because they would miss him, but Charlie was determined. Three days after he graduated from Hogwarts, he left for Romania. There would always be time for love, right? He kept in touch with both Ollie and Dora and he kept saying to himself that when he'd return, there would be time for love. But years went by and Charlie was so immersed in training dragons that there was a reason to keep putting off coming back. Ollie became a famous Quidditch player with loads of attention from fans and Dora eventually got married. But still Charlie figured that somehow he would have time for love later on. Then the war happened. It had been going on for some time and Charlie was asked to maintain the contacts with foreign wizards. So there was no way he could be heading back to England at a time like that. Light and dark battled at Hogwarts and many a life was taken. Ollie died, and so did Dora. And all of a sudden, Charlie's two best friends were gone. There would never again be time to go back."
There was a short silence when Charlie stopped talking.
"I don't understand," Lucy said, wrinkling her nose.
"He loved my mum and she died," Teddy said matter-of-factly. He hadn't said a word before, so they were all a bit surprised.
"No, I think he loved Ollie," James said.
"Who is right, Uncle Charlie, James or Teddy?" Roxanne asked curiously.
"Yes Uncle Charlie, tell us: who was it that you were in love with, Ollie or Dora?" Molly added.
Charlie looked around at the expectant faces of his nephews and nieces and sighed.
A/N: It is not known whether or not Oliver survived the Battle for Hogwarts. He probably did, but it suited the story better if he didn't.