Disclaimer: I never have and never will own Harry Potter
We're off to see the Weasley's
Percy had always gotten on well with Hermione, but right now he could have kissed his soon to be sister in law.
She had a smug look on her face as she smiled over at him.
It was Sunday lunch with the family at the Burrow and Hermione had just invited everyone to a pre wedding family get together, giving Percy a perfect opportunity to introduce Audrey to his family before the wedding, dispelling his fears of overshadowing his little brothers big day.
Of course he had to do some of the work himself, he couldn't expect Hermione to carry him the entire way.
"That sounds like a wonderful idea Hermione." his mother was gushing, so excited at the prospect of another wedding, and the possibility of more grandchildren "Percy why don't you come here first then floo over with your father and I?"
Percy took a long time chewing the mouthful of food he had just taken; he wasn't ready to face this conversation yet.
Looking over the table he found both Bill and Hermione giving him encouraging looks.
Time to prove himself a Gryffindor and summon some courage.
"Erm." a very eloquent start "Actually, if it's alright with Ron and Hermione, I was thinking of maybe inviting someone along with me, I mean the wedding invite holds a plus one and it makes sense for you all to meet them before the actual wedding so that was my idea, of course if you've not catered for extra people I will obviously be coming alone and it would be sensible to travel together so as not to cause more disruption, especially if everyone plans on travelling by floo." Percy had no idea what he was even talking about anymore and due to the blank faces around him neither did anyone else, except of course Hermione who was beaming at him.
"Percy if you want to invite a friend over it's fine by me."
Percy felt his neck getting warm at the way Hermione had said friend, and guessing by the look of pure glee in George's face he wasn't the only one to pick up on the implication.
"Oh Percy I'm so proud." George wiped a mock tear form his eye "You're finally coming out of the closet."
Ginny, Harry and Ron all snorted with laughter.
Percy narrowed his eyes at his annoying sibling "Git!" he hissed.
"Language Percy." Molly reprimanded sternly.
"Come on mum." George continued seemingly unable to let a good opportunity to embarrass his brother go "Aren't you excited Percy has a special friend he wants us all to meet."
Molly's eyes went wide as she finally understood what was being said and Percy shrank down in his seat as her tear filled eyes landed on him.
"Oh Percy you've finally met someone." she flung herself at her son overcome with emotion.
Percy rolled his eyes as he held his sobbing mother, finally found someone? He was only 26 for Merlin's sake.
"Sooo, what's he like?" George continued to tease as Molly took control of herself and returned to her seat.
"SHE." Percy hissed through gritted teeth annoyed at how easily George could get under his skin "Is very nice."
"I'm sure she is." Bill stepped in shooting a warning look at George "And we can't wait to meet her."
The rest of the meal passed without major incident, Hermione taking the spotlight off Percy by steering the conversation towards her forthcoming nuptials, of course Percy couldn't rely on distractions forever and during coffee his mother managed to bombard him with questions about Audrey.
"So did you meet through work?" she asked.
Percy sighed knowing there was no escape "No, she works at a restaurant I like to go to, we got talking and sort of became friends."
"How long ago was this?"
Molly Weasley could have a job in the department of magical law enforcement with her interrogation skills.
"A few months ago." Percy admitted quietly.
"And this is the first we're hearing about it?" Molly exploded causing all family members to move a little further away.
"It's complicated mum." Percy whined, wondering how it was that Molly Weasley had the power to render her successful adult son to a cowering child before her glare. "It's not that I didn't want to introduce you before but…"
Percy swallowed "Well, she's" he cleared his throat trying to ignore the snickering coming from his brothers as his mother fumed at him "She's an erm muggle."
"Oh how wonderful." his father immediately perked up "Does she have one of those movable phones? You know they can carry them everywhere now isn't that fascinating."
"Mobile phones." Hermione couldn't seem to stop herself from correcting him, not that Arthur ever minded.
"So you told her about being a wizard?" Bill asked as their father continued to ramble about portable phones.
Percy nodded, buying himself some time by taking a mouthful of coffee.
"How did she take it?" Bill pressed, picking up Victoire as she wandered round the table to him.
"Surprisingly well, she was a bit shocked obviously, but she wants to keep seeing me so…"
"So there's something wrong with her mental state?" George piped up.
Percy just shook his head, and people wondered why he had held back from introducing Audrey to his family.
"So is it a formal dinner or just a casual get together?" Audrey called form her bedroom where she was trying to work out what to wear for her first meeting with Percy's family.
She was currently modelling an old reliable little black dress, she could easily dress it up or down.
"It's just casual, Hermione suggested it because she wants to meet you I think." Percy joked.
"No pressure then!"
Audrey had never really done the whole meet the family thing before, she didn't know what to expect.
Knowing the sheer size of the Weasley clan made her nervous, she knew enough about them from Percy to know she would probably get on with his siblings well. She hoped she would also get on with Hermione with her being a muggle born, they had something in common and she had helped Percy with explaining the wizading world to Audrey.
"How are we getting there?" Audrey asked discarding the black dress and pulling out an A-line grey skirt "Why did I even buy this?" she asked throwing it on the discarded pile.
"The Underground. Are you going to be much longer?" Percy asked checking his watch.
Audrey appeared at the door in a halter neck, tribal patterned maxi dress "Patience is a virtue." she scolded playfully.
Percy smiled standing to wrap his arms around her "You look beautiful." he whispered placing a tender kiss on her lips. "Shall we get going?"
Audrey sighed "I suppose, don't want to give a bad first impression by being late."
Percy tried to keep the conversation going on the trip across London, but Audrey was far too nervous to listen.
"Everything is going to be fine." Percy tried to reassure her as they headed up the path towards a modest little town house with a deep red door.
"Easy for you to say." Audrey muttered "I have no idea what to expect."
"Well, Bill, Hermione and Ginny can't wait to meet you so you'll have no problems there, George, Ron and Harry will be more interested in humiliating me, so again you're pretty safe, my father will probably quiz you about everything there is to know about muggle technology and my mother" Percy winced "Well that's anyone's guess."
Audrey rolled her eyes as Percy knocked on the door. She couldn't shake the feeling that the walk down the path had been a plank and she was about to be tossed into the stormy sea.
"Here goes nothing." Audrey took a deep breath as she heard the lock turning, her fingers unintentionally tightened around Percy's, he squeezed back reassuringly as the door opened to reveal a pretty brunette a few years older than Audrey.
"Percy, finally, Molly's been wearing my carpet out with her pacing."
Percy grinned moving forward to place a kiss on her cheek "Sorry Hermione, we aren't the last are we?"
The women, now revealed as Hermione, rolled her eyes "Of course not, we both know George won't be here for another hour at least. Bill and Fleur only just arrived, Vic wasn't too pleased at being left behind, until Andromeda showed up with Teddy of course, as soon as she see's Teddy we all know nothing else matters" her eyes travelled from Percy to land on Audrey who tried not to squirm her nerves bubbling in her stomach "And this must be Audrey, it's so lovely to finally meet you."
Hermione pulled her in for a quick hug before leading the way into the house.
"Well that could have been worse." Audrey whispered, still clinging onto Percy's hand as voices drifted from a room to the left that Hermione had disappeared through.
"I'm afraid it's far from over." Percy sighed leading the way into a room that held an awful lot of people; Audrey felt her face heating up as everyone stopped talking and turned to look at her.
"Wow this is awkward." Audrey couldn't help speaking up, her nerves were at breaking point, and having a room full of people staring at her blankly was more than a little overwhelming.
Percy squeezed her hand again "Everyone this is Audrey, Audrey this is my family, who I have never known to be this quiet." he joked.
Ron, Ginny and Harry gaped, had Percy just made a joke?
"It's nice to meet you." Bill stepped forward noticing Audrey's discomfort at being the centre of attention "I'm Bill, the eldest and most handsome."
Audrey laughed relaxing a little at Bill's easy smile "Naturally, it's nice to meet you, Percy's told me a lot about you."
"Arthur Weasley." Bill was nearly pushed out of the way "Percy's father, so you're a muggle that's fantastic, do you know anything about the postal system?"
Audrey glanced over at Percy who shrugged helplessly, rolling her eyes she turned back to Arthur.
"Well." Audrey began slowly "I'm not an expert, I know more about Email really."
Arthur's face lit up "What that gets sent over the interweb? is it true it has to be posted through a computer?"
Audrey threw Percy a desperate look silently screaming for help.
"Er dad maybe another time." Percy said gently pulling Audrey away from his father's manic enthusiasm.
"Of course." Arthur looked a little abashed at his behaviour "Sorry, I just find muggle's fascinating, how you cope without magic."
Audrey just smiled, not really sure whether to be offended or flattered.
"Don't worry about Arthur, the first time I met him he was grilling me about rubber ducks." Harry moved forward to introduce himself "Harry Potter, Ginny's fiancé."
Audrey took his outstretched hand with a smile "Rubber ducks really? I take it it wasn't a long conversation."
Harry laughed, internally thrilling that her eyes didn't widen in awe and do the customary sweep of his hair line.
"You'd be surprised, and whatever you do don't get him started on aeroplanes."
"Thanks for the warning." Audrey smiled as Ginny moved in for an introduction.
Audrey was starting to relax a little, she had been introduced to the family and so far things were going ok, she had managed to avoid Arthur's enthusiastic questions by sticking close to Percy.
Ginny and Hermione had been happy to look after her when Percy wasn't available, including her as they discussed wedding plans.
When George finally arrived Audrey could see why Percy both loved and hated this brother.
The second he set eyes on Audrey an evil grin had spread over his face.
"Mademoiselle." he took her hand placing a kiss on her knuckles, with a waggle of his eyebrows.
Percy's face was nearly as red as his hair; the rest of the family seemed to be holding its breath, unsure how Audrey would react.
The situation was so comical Audrey couldn't help but laugh.
"Wow" she gasped between laughter "Even after all I've heard about you, it's still a pleasure George."
George frowned over at his brother "Whatever he told you it's all lies."
Audrey raised an eyebrow "Really? what a disappointment."
George gave her a long look before turning to Percy "Don't mess this up Percy, I like her."
As the evening continued on Percy had to admit it could have been worse, Audrey seemed to be getting on well with his family. Now things had settled down a little and she wasn't the centre of attention she was happy to indulge his fathers' interests and was currently trying to explain about the internet.
"I'm impressed Percy, she's pretty cool." George came to lean against the wall his brother was occupying "How did you manage to get her?"
"George leave him alone." Bill chastised as he joined them.
"I'm just saying I wouldn't put her and Percy together, would you?"
Seeing Percy's neck begin to redden Bill placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder "I guess I wouldn't, but then no one would have put me and Fleur together, sometimes you just can't plan these things. She seems to be getting along with everyone better than Fleur did so that's a good sign."
"Except mum." Percy nodded to where Molly Weasley stood, shooting dark looks towards Audrey every few minutes.
George snorted "Come on, it wouldn't matter who we brought home, mum would never get along with them, Ron and Ginny got it right, the rest of us have to accept mum will never approve,"
The three brothers watched Audrey's discomfort grow as she felt Molly glare at her every now and again.
"I think it's time to send in the cavalry." Bill said finishing his drink and wandered away to where Fleur was helping Hermione.
Percy sighed heavily, he really wanted things to work between him and Audrey, but if his mother didn't warm to the muggle girl he wasn't sure what he would do.
Could he really go against his family again? Sure this wasn't quite as serious as turning his back on them during the war, but it would still cause friction and upset, and Merlin knew he'd caused more than enough of that to last him a lifetime.
"Take it one day at a time Perce, if mum sees how happy Audrey makes you she'll come around." George reassured his brother.
Percy nodded downing the rest of his drink "I hope so." he murmured quietly.
Audrey had stepped out onto the small balcony to escape for a few minutes.
The whole evening had been a bit overwhelming, Percy had always been careful when using magic in front of her, in Hermione and Ron's flat everything just screamed magic, the room seemed far too big for the house, people happily stepped in and out of a roaring green fire, all the pictures moved, waving at her from around the room, and there weren't even any normal things around Audrey could relate to. No TV, no DVD's or books she recognised, just lots of alien things, like clocks with no numbers around the edge.
Accepting magic existed was one thing, seeing it in an everyday setting was quite another.
And to top it all off, Mrs Weasley had made it very clear she did not like Audrey.
She had no idea what she had managed to do in the past few hours to cause the older woman's disapproval but it was pretty clear she had.
"She never takes well to newcomers." A light French accent caught Audrey off guard.
"Excuse me?" Audrey asked politely.
Fleur smiled warmly "Molly, it takes her a while to warm up to people, especially those threatening to take her babies away."
"You speak from experience I take it?" Audrey said with a smile.
Fleur nodded in confirmation "It took me nearly a year after they found out me and Bill were engaged before she accepted I was going to marry him, but eventually I won her round, and of course I gave her her first grandchild so I am now accepted as a Weasley."
Audrey felt her shoulders tense "If it takes a child to win her round I guess I'll just have to accept she's not going to like me for a long time, if ever."
Fleur laughed, the sound like a spring breeze "There are other ways, show an interest in baking or knitting."
Audrey held up a hand to stop Fleur "Thanks for the advice, but that really isn't who I am and if Percy can accept me for me then that's all I care about."
Fleur looked Audrey up and down once, making her feel like she was being x-rayed, finally she smiled "Percy is lucky to have you." Fleur stated simply before turning and heading back inside.
"Looks like Bill's pretty lucky too." Audrey called at the retreating blonde.
Fleur turned with a grin on her face "Oh I know, and more importantly so does he."
Audrey laughed, shaking her head in amusement. Turning she gazed out over the city of London shining before her, maybe she could find her place in this family, it had surprised her how much she wanted to be accepted by the Weasley's and Molly's cold reception had bothered her, but she was reassured by Fleur's words, and even though they'd only spoken for a short time Audrey couldn't help feeling grateful she had someone who had struggled to become part of this dysfunctional family, that she wasn't alone.
I know it's been a really long time since an update and I am sorry but this was a very tricky chapter to write and I'm still not sure I got it right.
Hope you enjoyed it and feel free to suggest any improvements. xx