Playing With Fire

Chapter 6

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the characters that you know don't belong to the original.

June 1, 1991

Tilly walked across the benches in the courtyard. Today was the last day of school. The feast was starting in a half an hour but she couldn't seem to make herself go in.

She looked up at the sky, watching owls and other birds fly past the sun setting in the distance. Seven years. She had spent seven years of her life here and now . . . it was over. She and her friends were heading off into reality while Fred, George, and Percy would step up and, in a year's time, little Ron Weasley would move into what had once been their home and, a year after that, it would be Ginny's turn.

She was going to miss Hogwarts so much.

"There you are." Tilly looked up as Charlie entered the courtyard. He smiled at her. "Tonks and I have been looking for you everywhere. The Feast is going to start soon."

"It was a beautiful day so I thought I'd take a walk," Tilly responded. "I was just thinking about how much I'm going to miss this place."

"What are you going to miss most?" Charlie asked, walking up to stand in front of the bench she was balancing on.

"Hmm." Tilly paused, tilting her head and biting her lip. She smiled then. "The lack of responsibility. You?"

Charlie chuckled. "The pull I had in this place. It felt like I was in charge you know? Could do what I want."

"Yes, like how both the twins had guaranteed spots as Beaters on this year's team, Mr. Captain."

"You're one to talk, Miss Head Girl. Tonks didn't have nearly as many detentions as she normally would have gotten."

Tilly laughed "Touché, my friend, touché."

Charlie grinned. "Can you believe it? Seven years."

"I know," Tilly mused. "And in two week's time you'll be headed off to Romania."

"Yep," Charlie replied grinning, "To frolic with Hungarian Horntails and Chinese Fireballs."

"The excitement must be killing you," Tilly said, dryly, shaking her head.

"Oh it is. And what will you be doing Miss Riddle?"

"If you must know, Mr. Weasley, next month I start my intership at the Ministry."

"Of course, of course!" Charlie shouted. "The best place for you, of course. Now where will you be working? No, no, let me guess," Charlie interrupted, placing a finger against her lips before she could speak. "Hmm, maybe the Department of International Magical Cooperation? You'll impress them with your charisma and extensive knowledge of languages and soon become Supreme Mugwump."

Tilly laughed. "Dumbledore is going to live forever. By the time they decided to make me Supreme Mugwump, I'd be close to my one-hundreds. Besides, I think working in that department would be an incredible bore."

"You're right. What was I thinking? No, you'll work your way up to Advisor to the Minister and, before we know it, you'll be the Minster of Magic in the flesh!"

"Can you honestly see me in charge of the entire Ministry?"

"I could, actually, but I can see that's not what you want to do. Okay, I give. Where are you going to be working?"

Tilly grinned. "I will be working in the Department of Magical Games and Sports under the direction of none other than Ludovic Bagman."

Charlie laughed out loud, grabbing Tilly around the waist as he lifted her off the bench and spun her around before setting her on the ground. "Ludovic Bagman? The Ludo Bagman? He is only one of the best Beaters in the entire nation! When did this happen? How could you not tell me?"

"Remember Easter break I went home?" Tilly reminded him, grinning widely. "I had an interview with him. Can you believe he didn't even ask for references, though I had them? He just wanted to talk Quidditch. He thought I had gumption, setting the Ballycastle Bats up against the Gorodok Gargoyles but he could see why I did it and he said he found my skills on the Quidditch Pitch quite impressive! I hadn't even known he came to a game! And I wanted it to be a surprise for you, along with a set of free tickets to the next game before you leave."

"The Falmouth Falcons versus the Montrose Magpies," Charlie said dreamily. "It's gonna be a great game."

"That it is." Tilly blushed suddenly. "And since your leaving, I made you something else as well."

Stepping out of Charlie's arms, Tilly reached into her pocket, pulling out two mirrors. She handed one to Charlie, who looked at it confused. Smiling, she said, "Charlie Weasley."

"Bloody hell," Charlie muttered as his face appeared in Tilly's mirror and hers in his. "You're brilliant, Tilly. Where in the world did you get these?"

"Diagon Alley, actually," Tilly told him. "This way, we can stay in contact without exhausting our owls. Tonks has one too. And this way, you won't hurt anyone trying to Apparate to see us."

"Oh come on! You're never going to let me live that down are you? I got it right the second time."

"Yes but that poor Muggle Woman is never going to forget, why should you?"

Charlie grinned. "Point taken, Newt. . . . You know it's only a matter of time right."

"A matter of time before what?"

"Before my mum starts planning our wedding."

Tilly cocked an eyebrow at him. "'Our wedding'?"

"Of course," Charlie said with a shrug. "I mean, here you've been with me for seven years, my best friend. She already considers you a part of the family. Now she has to make it official. She's probably got the whole thing planned out in her head already. Next thing you know she'll be making a book."

"What makes you think she's pairing me up with you? Why not Bill? Or why not you with Tonks?"

"Bill will be too old for you, she'll say and Tonks . . . well, I don't know how she feels about Tonks but we both know Tonks has her mind on other things."

"Don't we have any say in this?" Tilly asked though she was smiling.

"Oh of course," Charlie assured her, stepping closer to her. "But who are we to interfere with mum's plans?"

"It would be rude after she's gone to all the trouble I suppose."

Charlie reached forward, treading a lock of Tilly's curly hair between his fingers. Tilly blushed again, looking down at the ground. "So. . . ."

Charlie smiled. "So."

"So . . . since you are leaving in two weeks, should we have some sort of definition?"

"What do you mean?"

"A definition of us. . . . What are we?"

"Human beings."

Tilly punched Charlie in his arm. "Stop being daft."

Charlie chuckled. "Okay, okay, sorry. Well, why don't we just define us as 'together'?"

"But we've always been 'together' then," Tilly told him.

"Exactly," Charlie replied with a soft smile.

The two friends smiled at each other for a moment longer before Tilly laughed softly. "There it goes."

"There what goes?" Charlie asked, his fingers still in her hair.

"The perfect moment for you to kiss me."

Charlie groaned. "Yea will now that you've ruined the moment –"

"There you two are!" Both of them looked up as Tonks came running into the courtyard, her hair bright yellow (for the occasion she claimed). "I've been looking for you two all over the castle! The feast is about to start in like ten minutes. I'm not interrupting anything am I?"

Charlie and Tilly looked at each other before replying, "No."

"Good. Now hurry. I hear the twins are looking to pull a prank on you before you leave, Charlie, get one last good one in to send you off with."

Tilly grinned, throwing her arms around Tonk's shoulders in a hug. "Oh Tonks."

"Now don't start crying, Tilly. You'll get me going! You act as if I'm not going to be a couple of levels away from you in the Ministry. Oh! Come on, Charlie," she added. "Might as well join this love fest."

Charlie laughed, wrapping his arms around both girls. When they all broke apart, Tonks wrapped her arm around Tilly's while Charlie intertwined his fingers with Tilly's smiling down at her.

Tilly smiled happily.

These last seven years had truly been the best of her life. She had great friends, a great job the way, and her grandmother couldn't be happier.

She was living the good life.

A/N: All the dates should be fixed!

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