Playing With Fire

Chapter 21

Disclaimer: I do not own the world of Harry Potter.

Tilly woke up, feeling dazed in an incredibly good way. She stretched her arms over her head, rolling onto her side. Charlie grumbled in his sleep, his arm slipping from her waist. "Chocolate milk please," he said, making Tilly smile.

Surprisingly, she didn't feel any different afterwards. . . . Okay maybe that was a lie. She felt light as air, really. And she certainly wasn't a virgin anymore so that was different. That had definitely been much better than she ever thought it would be.

Reaching over she grabbed Charlie's hand, tugging on it. "Charlie," she murmured softly.

He groaned, making her laugh as he wrapped his arms around her, rolling over so that she lay on top of him, the sheets tangled around their bodies. "I don't want to wake up," he whispered.

"We promised Jeffy and the boys a Quidditch game today before more snow comes," she reminded him, poking his sides.

Charlie rolled over again, this time placing himself above her. He grinned at her, blue eyes shining. "We should just stay here . . . make the most of the day."

Well, she certainly liked the sound of that and she most definitely liked the feeling of his arms around her and his body so very close to hers and his lips just above hers and –

"We made a promise, Charlie," she told him though she was regretting that promise.

"Well . . . we never promised we'd be on time."

"No. No I guess we didn't. . . . You know they'll tease us endlessly when we get there, don't you."

"Let them tease away then." Charlie pressed his lips against hers again, tightening his arms around her.

Tilly supposed they would be late today.

Tilly laughed as she sped past Jeffy, whacking a Bludger in the direction of his Chaser. "You'll have to be faster than that if you want to keep up with me, Jeffy."

"Eh, don't get cocky now, missy," Jeffy called back. "We're still ten points ahead."

"Ten points you'll lose once I find the Snitch," Charlie told him, winking in Tilly's direction.

"Judging by how late the two of you were, I'd say you already found it!" The keeper on Tilly's team called out, causing everyone in the small arena to laugh hysterically.

Tilly's face turned beet red as she batted the other Bludger in the direction of Jeffy's Seeker. She had told Charlie the teasing was going to be horrible and indeed it was. They had been taking the mickey out of them since they had shown up nearly a half hour late, faces flushed, hair frazzled, Charlie grinning. The jokes had started then.

"Get lost on the way to the pitch, you two?"

"I haven't seen you so happy since that Chinese Fireball showed up, Chuck!"

It got worse as the game went on. Charlie had an easier time of laughing it off then Tilly did but when he smiled at her she didn't feel so horrible anymore.

"Charlie!" The game came to a halt as Margaret came running up the pitch, stumbling in the snow, her jacket and hat askew. It was obvious that she was in a hurry and that something was wrong; she had heard them only referred to her boyfriend as 'Charlie' if it was something serious.

Charlie landed, Tilly following after him. Margaret's face was flushed and she was breathing hard as she murmured, "You have to get to London right away."

"Why, what's happening?" Charlie asked, trying not to sound frantic. Tilly knew if there was one thing he hated about working in Romania, it was because he was so incredibly far away from his family. What with You-Know-Who back and half his family and friends working for the Order, he couldn't possibly expect it to be something as simple as Ron making the Quidditch team or Bill dating that Fleur girl.

Margaret opened her hand, the red envelope already starting to smoke. Charlie grabbed it, opening the flap. The letter hopped into the air, forming a pair of lips. "Charlie, try not to worry but dad is being sent to St. Mungo's," came Bill's voice before the letter disintegrated in the snow.

By then the rest of the team had landed, murmuring encouragements, trying to reassure Charlie that they were sure it was nothing. . . . Tilly looked up at Charlie, recognizing the set of his jaw as meaning that he was trying to figure out what to do. Noon here in Romania mean that it was ten in the morning in London. If he contacted the Ministry now he could probably get an International Portkey or Floo before three that evening and that was if they worked fast. . . .

Tilly took Charlie's hand, pulling him away from the pitch. "Thanks, Margaret. Come on, Charlie."

She pulled him forward, running through the snow towards his cottage. Tilly pushed open the door, pulling off her Quidditch gloves and pushing Charlie towards the stairs. "Go upstairs and pack us some things," she told him.

"But I've got to –" Charlie started.

"I've got it," Tilly assured him. "Go pack. By the time you finish, I'll have a way home."

Charlie looked as if he was going to argue again but he shook his head, moving up the stairs. Tilly moved to the fireplace, grabbing the Floo Powder and tossing it in. Taking a deep breath, she called out "Department of Magical Transportation" and stuck her head into the fire.

Her vision spun but soon she was looking into Josaline McCarthy's, the Head of the Department, office. "Jo!" she called out.

The small brunette woman looked up, surprised. She grinned, moving from behind her desk to the fireplace. "Tilly! What's going on, love? Didn't I just send you to Romania?"

"You did and I hate to ask you this but I need a favor," Tilly said. "My boyfriend's father is in the hospital and we really need to get home now."

Josaline frowned. "Oh wow that's insane! I can work that out. It'll be tricky but I should be able to get a Floo activated for you both in about fifteen minutes. It'll bring you through my office and from here you can jet on over to Mungo's."

"That's better than anything I could have hoped for, Jo. Thank you so much. I'll be sure to get you and the family tickets for the next game. Box seats."

"Brian will love that. See you Tilly."

Tilly gave her friend a smile, pulling her head from the fireplace. "Charlie we've got fifteen minutes!"

You had to love connections.

A/N: Hey! Been a minute, sorry. Hope you like this chapter. We are starting to get more towards the nitty gritty kind of. Like I said I'll be skipping around to important stuff as the time goes by. Thanks for reading!

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