- From the Outside -
- AlwaysPadfoot –
Disclaimer: Anything you recognise is not mine :(
Competition: OC Boot Camp
Word Count: 3109
AN: ENJOY! Please R&R :)
Chapter 1 - Dragon Fangs and One Less Red-Head.
The attic room was just right when I wanted to be alone. It was away from the usual hustle and bustle of the stairwell and ground floor of the Weasley Household. Right now, I thought that was all I needed, a breather. I was getting fed up of Aunt Molly fussing over everyone, particularly Charlie. I'd had enough of all the Weasleys running around trying to find things and even the twins were stressing me out with their continuous chaotic pranks and overly cheesy jokes about Dragons or slightly morbid comments on how Charlie was going to get eaten or something.
I stared out across the garden watching a few garden gnomes worm their way back through the far fence. That would frustrate Aunt Molly since she only de-gnomed last week.
I managed to crack a smile at that.
Although, it didn't stay long because in just two hours my older brother (well he was my cousin really), Charlie would be leaving for Romania to work in the Dragon Reserve there. Out of all of my honorary brothers, Charlie had been the one I'd bonded with the most in the (almost) five years that I'd lived with the Weasleys, despite him being at Hogwarts most of the time.
He taught me about Dragons and about Quidditch, he'd even taken me to play a couple of times when Aunt Molly was out shopping. He'd been caught a few times by her, but he did it anyway. Charlie had taught me that even though I wasn't his sister, I was still a part of this family. A lot of the time I didn't believe him, but he always convinced me otherwise.
But now he was leaving, and it wasn't just that he was moving out, he was leaving the bloody country. Not one of us knew when he was going to come back from Romania. Would he be back at Christmas? Would he even be back next summer?
I curled up on the bed, hugging the red Peruvian Vipertooth that Charlie had gotten me for the first Christmas I'd spent at the Burrow. Then I buried my head into my pillow and held the dragon close to my chest as I tried not to cry. It was then that there was a soft knock on my door, well, it wasn't really a door, more like a hatch due to the fact this was the attic room and my Aunt and Uncle couldn't afford to have everything remodelled, so that there was a door.
Not that I minded, I quite liked being able to shut the hatch and have the space to myself for a bit. At least they'd had the ghoul expelled from the house.
"Come in," I called out, turning over and sitting up to see who my visitor was. A mop of red hair popped up through the floor, which didn't really narrow it down considering, but then I spotted the dragon fang earring and I knew exactly who it was. Charlie pulled himself up into the attic with a lopsided grin wearing muggle attire, cut-off jeans and a bright green polo shirt. Him and his friends were travelling to Romania on a muggle aeroplane and it was weird to see him without his old set of red robes, at least he still had on his slightly burnt set of converse.
"What you doing hiding up here, squirt?"
"I'm not hiding - it's chaotic down there!" I answered, shifting over to make space for him to sit down, "Aunt Molly wants everything to be perfect before you leave."
Charlie took a seat on my bed, taking the Peruvian Vipertooth from me to study it for a second, "You know, they've got about three of these in Romania."
"Really?" I asked him, raising an eyebrow, "I thought you said they were only found in Southern America?"
"They bred some especially to give to some of the major Dragon Reserves across the world," Charlie responded.
He laughed at my expression and threw an arm round me, "I knew I'd crack your hard exterior," he grinned. I scowled at Charlie, playfully whacking him.
"You've barely scratched the surface, Charlie." I said with a straight face. He grinned at me even as my straight face didn't falter, eventually before I returned a small smile.
"Do you have to go?"
"Yes, I have to, Squirt. But I promise, once you get to Hogwarts you'll forget all about Cousin Charlie. " He replied.
"Don't say that Charlie, you're a brother to me," I said, "I'm not just going to stop and forget about you when I'm at Hogwarts." Something clicked then, "You didn't forget about me when you were at Hogwarts, did you?"
I did my best to give him my most brilliant piercing look, but as cool as ever he just smiled, "Of course I didn't, how could I forget you and your death stares?" He quipped, holding my stare like it was the easiest thing in the world, even though I tried to make it scarier. It clearly wasn't working.
"Your sarcasm astounds me," I finally retorted, looking away and up at the pin-board covered in photos just across the room. It had hundreds of photos spread around it, including loads of Charlie and me, and Ginny and me. There were only a few with Bill in them, lots of the twins doing something they shouldn't - particularly to Ron and Percy. There were quite a few family pictures, not just of the Weasleys but some of my father and mother, Fabian and Linda Prewett. Occasionally I'd make the odd appearance in those ones. One of my favourites was of my father and his twin brother, Gideon, at about thirteen years old carrying, or rather dragging, Aunt Molly (who looked about eighteen at the time) towards a lake and throwing her in.
I had a newer favourite though, it was the whole Prewett-Weasley Clan at Christmas in 1980. My mum and dad were almost centre of the photo, alongside Arthur and Molly, who has eight month old Ron asleep in her arms and shows signs of a Baby Bump, which just happened to be Ginny. Gideon Prewett is there too with my Grandmother, and Bill is just in front of them, aged eleven, just eight months away from going to Hogwarts. Percy is there, aged six, standing to the left of my parents with a huge grin, trying to make himself more noticeable whilst the twins, I think they were about four, were stood making funny faces right beside him.
Charlie, who was about eight in the picture, was trying to hide his toy dragon from me behind his back. But having just turned one, and being too curious for my own good, I am reaching over and (successfully) taking it from him.
Typically, we're right in front of our parents in the photo.
My eyes eventually fell to a picture taken last summer by the stream at the bottom of the Burrow's Garden. It's of Charlie and I in the willow tree. I think George took it right before we were ambushed by the twins and a couple dozen water balloons.
Uncle Arthur had duplicated it so I could give one to Charlie. I hurried over and unpinned the copy before handing it to him.
"Thanks Andy," he smiled, "since we're swapping presents- I've got something for you but you can't tell anyone because I couldn't get everyone something and, well this was free." Charlie winked and rummaged through his pocket before he pulled out a Dragon tooth necklace.
"It's the matching fang!" I carefully eyed the necklace before Charlie handed it over and I fastened it around my neck with a grin.
"Yep, now you'll always have a Hebridean Black fang with you," he replied, "It stops karma from effecting you."
I rolled my eyes, I wasn't quite sure what karmaI had to block, but I guess we'll see. Hebridean Blacks were some of the smallest Dragons ever to exist and Charlie had been caring for one that was terribly ill named Kyanthal. When it had passed on, Kyanthal had dropped its fangs into Charlie's hands. Dragons only give up their fangs to the person they trust most in the world and they often waited to die because of this.
He said it was weird because he had only been working with him for the summer he was in Wales, but Kyanthal had only been given to Charlie because no one else wanted to look after the sick Dragon. Charlie had been awfully upset when he passed on.
"You'll write, right?"
"I promise I'll write every week and I'll send pictures too," Charlie said before he paused a little, "Okay maybe every two weeks."
That's better, there was no way he was going to write every week. He would forget.
"I bet it's going to be Halloween before you write," I said knowingly. He gave me an impish smile and placed the Vipertooth back on the bed.
"I'll try," Charlie stood up and ruffled my hair, and I quickly moved away, "Come on, I'm not letting you stay up here any longer, come be social."
I made a noise of distaste, it wasn't socialising - it was an ordeal, but reluctantly I stood to follow him, after all he was leaving. We descended the ladder from the attic into the main house suddenly talking about the leaving meal that Aunt Molly was preparing. Charlie's favourites really, lamb stew and for dessert apple and rhubarb crumble. Let's not mention that she's baked about a thousand white chocolate cookies for him, if he ate all those he'd probably bloody explode into white chocolates gooeyness and Molly would probably still feed him more.
Down in the kitchen, it smells absolutely fantastic. Ginny was peering over the counter at whatever Molly was doing and my eyes quickly darted over to the clock. It individually monitored everybody's whereabouts and had ten golden hands, one for every member of the household (I was added when the Ministry found me and placed me here). In place of numbers on the clock's face there was a series of possible locations, including "home," "school", "work", "travelling", "lost", "hospital", "prison", and "mortal peril."
Currently both Bill's and Uncle Arthur's were showing work, whereas everyone else's was showing home. On my hand I'm frowning, but I don't smile a lot so it doesn't really look out of place.
"Oh Andrea, Charlie, set the table for me won't you dears," Molly said, once she spotted us.
"Awww but Mum - it's my leaving meal," Charlie whined, sending me a cheeky wink.
"Ah so it is, Andrea get one of the others boys to help," Molly said, my face twisted into a sly grin and I knew exactly who would be helping be lay the table. I hurried over to the stairs.
"RONALD! AUNT MOLLY SAYS YOU'VE GOT TO HELP LAY THE TABLE!" I hollered so loud even my ears rang and everyone in the Kitchen, but Charlie, jumped.
"Oh my, Andrea Elladora Prewett!" Molly was holding her hand to her chest, "Don't shout in the house," she scorned as I looked her with an ever so small smirk. There was a thundering of feet on the stairs above our heads, which soon drew the attention away from me and instead landed it on Ron who had just appeared in the Kitchen.
"Don't call me Ronald, Andrea!" Ron scowled grumpily at me with his arms crossed in defiance as I rolled my eyes.
"Don't call me Andrea, Ronald," I retorted.
"You let Mum call you Andrea."
"That's because it's pointless arguing with her," I said, arguing with Molly was about as useful as a chocolate fireplace. She was so incredibly stubborn. Ron huffed in annoyance but reluctantly helped me to set the table for Charlie's leaving meal, which gave me a great deal of satisfaction because I made him do most of it without him actually realising he was doing so.
It was such a gift.
I think Molly would call it manipulation but Fred and George would call it bending to meet aims that you didn't want to work for. Personally, I preferred the word manipulation. That was much cooler. There was a small ping as Uncle Arthur's hand moved to travelling, making Molly start to move much quicker as she flitted around from job to job in the kitchen. I wanted to roll my eyes but I was sure that Aunt Molly had eyes in the back of her head, so I refrained.
There was movement on the stairs and I automatically took a step away when I spotted the twins looking rather sheepish with huge grins on their freckled faces.
Uh-oh. My eyes shot around the room looking for anything out of place, but I don't see anything. Even the twins themselves didn't seem to have anything odd on their persons so that meant that they'd done something upstairs, and as long as it had nothing to do with my room, I was sure I'd enjoy this, whatever it may be. I would hedge my bets on either it being a prank on Percy or Ron, and because Ron was already done here I was going to say it was probably Percy.
After about thirty seconds several things happened at once: there was a strangled cry from upstairs, Uncle Arthur's hand slid across to Home and Aunt Molly almostdropped the entirety of the Lamb Stew all over the floor. Percy stormed down the stairs, dripping wet and slightly tinged blue. I couldn't help but smirk at his predicament and Molly squealed when she spotted him. The Kitchen went deathly silent, Percy glaring daggers at Fred and George, Molly slowly getting redder and redder. Suddenly the backdoor opened and Arthur stepped inside with his typical Weasley smile.
It wasn't until he actually looked around that he realised that this was probably the worst time to walk in, particularly with Molly about to explode. In fact I was sure she hadn't heard or seen Arthur come in, and Charlie and I quickly realised it was a good idea to back out of Molly's eye line.
"FRED! GEORGE! HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO YOUR BROTHER" she screeched, waggling her finger at the twins who had paled a little. I signalled for Ginny to join us and even she was sensible enough to know when to get out the way of Molly when she was mad. Arthur tried to sneak round them but he didn't very far before Molly whipped around to him.
"Arthur, talk to your sons," she demanded, Arthur looked at a loss before he beckoned the twins into the lounge and Molly cleared Percy up with a flick of her wand, who still looked severely pissed off - even more than Molly did. I didn't even think that was possible.
Molly returned to the stove and Ginny grinned up at me. "Do you think the twins can teach me that?"
Half an hour later the Weasley clan and I had tucked into lamb stew and mash in the usual chaotic fashion. Constantly people were asking to pass things along the table or asking for the salt or something similar. I tend to sit on the end, which has its pro's and its con's. For example, if I needed something from the other end of the table you could almost guarantee that either A, it took about ten minutes to finally get it or B, it was already gone before it reached me.
Sometimes it was both.
"Charlie, when is your friend coming to pick you up?" It was Arthur who had asked the question and he had that twinkle in his eye. I raised an eyebrow.
"Oh god, Dad, PLEASE don't ask him what the function of a condom is again. It's embarrassing," Charlie moaned, his ears turning pink. I tried not to splutter because I unfortunately knew the function of a condom - thank god my ears don't do the pink thing. Arthur grimaced slightly and shamefully denied that that wasn't what he was going to ask.
"He'll be here in about half-an-hour, that's if he can find us easily, he's coming in his car." Charlie smiled, like there was some kind of inside joke going on. Knowing Charlie and Matt, there probably was. Matt was a Muggleborn, him and Charlie had been best friends at Hogwarts, been on the Quidditch team together and now they were off to work in Romania together.
"Really?" Uncle Arthur perked up once more and I shook my head in disbelief but Charlie just had to play along.
"Yes really, and he was really hoping to see if you could fix it so it flew again," Charlie replied casually. I wanted to laugh, the Weasley's Ford Angela flew but Muggle cars did not fly so this served as a long standing joke. Arthur frowned but then smiled.
"Don't get your father's hopes up Charlie dear," Molly scolded gently from across the table, and Charlie and Arthur grinned at each other, knowing it was all a joke.
Dinner was over too quickly for words, and sooner rather than later Charlie was standing by the front door and the whole family was there too to see him off. I was trying to stay out of it because Molly was crying, Ginny was crying and as upset as I was, I haven't let anyone in this house see me cry and I'm not about to start. There were two soft bags at the door, a rucksack and a carry on, both of which definitely did not hold all of his stuff but then again Molly would probably now turn his room into a shrine like she had with Bill's.
When Matt turned up, he grabbed one of the bags and left Charlie to wish us all goodbye. He hugged everyone in turn before finally reaching me. I took a deep breath as he wrapped his arms around me and lifted me ever so slightly off the ground.
"Have fun at Hogwarts, Squirt." I didn't breath a word in reply, I just returned his hug instead because I could feel my throat constricting slightly. Charlie stepped back and Molly hugged him one last time before he picked up his other bag, and left the house.
We waved him off, in true Weasley fashion, from the front doorstep and then in a split second Charlie Weasley was gone.
One less red-head in the house.