This is my original first draft of a Harry Potter fan fiction story for Michael’s Harry Potter blog fest, Dec 2010. The rules stated it had to be no more than 500 words, but my first draft ended up being 1200 words. So I eventually cut it down and posted the shorter version here, but if you’re interested here is the full length, unedited version.
The story is set several years after the battle of Hogwarts and is all about George Weasley’s new family. I hope you enjoy it.
“Don’t look so nervous,” Fred laughed, seeing that my hands were clenched into fists inside my new mittens. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
I bit my lip, thinking of all the possibilities. I was new to this magical world, I didn’t know the rules. I had no idea how wizards celebrated Christmas. What if they expected me to engage in some strange magical game that I wasn’t prepared for or eat some weird food I’d never heard of? What if I made some huge faux pas over dinner? I just didn’t fit into this world. It was going to be so awkward, I knew it.
Fred studied my expression, looking concerned. “You’re not worried they won’t like you, are you?” he asked, with an expression of utter bewilderment. “If you are, you can forget that silly thought right away.”
“But-I don’t belong here,” I said in a small voice.
Fred put a firm hand on my shoulder. “Of course you do!” he said forcefully. “I know all this is new to you, but you’re a witch now. This is your world now, too.”
“But I haven’t been able to do anything yet, not even simple charms!” I wailed. “What if I’m a squib?” I whispered, finally voicing a concern that had been nagging at me since September.
“If you were, you wouldn’t have been invited to Hogwarts,” Fred assured me. “Besides, squibs are non-magical people born into wizarding families. You’re the opposite-a witch born into a muggle family. You can’t expect to be able to do magic perfectly straight away, you know. It takes a lot of practice.”
“But what if I don’t pick it up?”
“You will, honestly. Look, you know Professor Longbottom, right? Dad says he was absolutely useless at everything but Herbology when he was at school.”
“Yep. And his parents were wizards. And Dad’s friend Hermione was muggle born and she was one of the best witches of her age. So don’t go worrying about it.”
“Okay,” I agreed, feeling a little silly now for bringing it up. Fred rapped out a jaunty rhythm on the oak door and a few seconds later it was opened by a beautiful woman with dark skin and striking eyes.
“Fred!” she beamed, and then hugged him roughly.
“Urgh, gerroff, Mum.” He grumbled, pushing her away.
“And you must be Annie. Welcome to our home.” She gestured for us to come in.
I wiped my boots thoroughly on the mat and said: “Thank you, Mrs Weasley.”
“Please, call me Angelina.”
She took my coat and led me through to the kitchen where I took a seat at the table and stared around me in wonder. There was a colourful clock on the mantelpiece that was singing Christmas carols, a huge Christmas tree with colour changing baubles that seemed to be dancing to the beat and a large, fluffy owl hooting from the top of a jumbled bookcase. It was the most homely house I had ever visited, filled with noise and colour.
Then I noticed a little girl peeking around the corner of the door-frame, her dark hair in bunches.
“Freddie!” she squeaked and ran to hug him, nearly bowling him over.
“This is my little sister, Roxanne” he explained, prising himself away from her.
“It’s Roxie” she corrected, scowling at him. “Are you Freddie’s girlfriend?” she asked, shyly. I could feel my cheeks glowing like Rudolph’s nose.
“No, she’s not,” said Fred quickly, his ears reddening. “We’re just friends, okay?”
“If you say so…” she grinned wickedly.
“Dinner’s nearly ready,” said Mrs Weasley, and with a flick of her wand, she commanded a bowl of sprouts to start peeling themselves at top speed.
“Great, I’m starving,” called Fred, who was already trying to wrestle a present from the branches of the Christmas tree, which was putting up a good fight.
“Stop that and go and call your father,” Mrs Weasley chided.
“Come on.” Fred dragged me into the hall and started yelling up the stairs. “Dad, dinner’s ready, come on!” I could hear muffled bangs and squeaks coming from upstairs.
“Er..coming!” came the delayed reply.
“What is he doing up there?”
“Testing out new inventions for Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, probably. You can’t get him to stop, even in the holidays. He says one day he’ll pass the business on to me. Wouldn’t that be cool?”
“Wow,” I agreed, picturing Fred playing around with practical jokes for a living. It would be so him.
A few moments later, a lanky man with flame red hair appeared at the top of the stairs, covered in soot.
“Oh hello there,” he called, coming down to greet me. “You must be Fred’s girlfriend,” he grinned, shaking my hand and giving me an electric shock.
“Dad!” Fred moaned. “We’re just friends.”
“He’s always going on about you,” Mr Weasley continued, ignoring his son’s desperate pleas. “Always sending us owls gushing about you.”
“That’s enough, George!” Mrs Weasley scolded, listening from the kitchen. “Poor Fred, you shouldn’t tease him so much.”
As Mr Weasley turned sideways to walk into the kitchen I had to suppress a gasp. There was a large dark hole in the side of his head, right where his ear should have been. To my horror, he had seen me staring.
“Oh, this?” he shrugged. “Had it cursed off a long time ago. One of my many battle wounds,” he smiled proudly.
“Dad was involved in the Battle of Hogwarts,” Fred whispered.
“You’re kidding?” I gasped, open-mouthed.
“Nope. He fought against Voldemort alongside Harry Potter quite a few times. And his brother Ron-my uncle-is Harry Potter’s best friend. Harry still comes to visit quite often. He’s the one that gave me this.” He pulled from his pocket the familiar piece of crumpled parchment that we had used so often to find our way around Hogwarts when we were up to no good.
“Wow!” Now I was impressed. Even a muggle-born like me had heard of Harry Potter and how he defeated Voldemort, one of the most powerful dark wizards ever, all those years ago. I had no idea that Fred’s family had such a close link to it. As we sat down to eat, I viewed them all with a renewed respect.
The food wasn’t weird at all, it was all perfectly normal. Better than normal. The turkey smelled delicious and the candles that hovered over the table looked beautiful. One thing puzzled me though. There were only five of us here, but the table seemed to be set with six places.
“Are we waiting for somebody?” I nudged Fred, unsure whether I should start.
“I used to have a twin brother once,” said Mr Weasley. “Fred here was named after him. He died in the Battle of Hogwarts, and we always set an extra place at the table at Christmas time, in his honour.”
I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know,” I mumbled.
“Really, it’s okay,” Mr Weasley said, smiling at me. “I have a lot of happy memories of Fred and I know he’s never truly gone, not as long as we all remember him.”
Why hadn’t Fred told me any of this? I didn’t know that his family had such a strange and sad past.
But the amazing thing was, despite what they had been through, they seemed so happy and welcoming. I had a feeling there was a lot more to discover about the Weasley family. I was sure they had a lot of stories to tell, and that they were a very special family. I was so happy they had given me the chance to be a part of it.