Playing With Fire

Chapter 8

Disclaimer: Not Mine.

Pop! Crash! "Oops."

"What did you break?" Tilly called out, folding up a shirt and stuffing it into her suitcase.

"Uh," Charlie replied, "a vase. When did you put that there?"

"It's been there for the three years I've lived here."

"No it hasn't!"


"Oh! Bonjour Charlie," Marguerite said, cheerfully.

"Hello Marguerite. How long has Tilly had this, well, er, what used to be a vase?"

"Three years now, I think."

Tilly smiled, zipping up her bag and moving out into the living room of her apartment, please to see her grandmother and Charlie standing there, Charlie cleaning up the broken pieces of vase he had broken. "I'm glad we're flying to Hogsmeade," she muttered.

"Quiet," Charlie said, dumping the vase into the trash.

Tilly looked at her grandmother who was smiling in a knowing way. The woman hadn't changed a bit in the last fourteen years that she had been Tilly's only caretaker. Tilly still looked just like her: same curly dark brown hair and bright blue-gray eyes, though Marguerite's hair more strands of gray than it had when Tilly was eleven. She was still beautiful and vivacious . . . and troublesome.

Tilly rolled her eyes, plopping her suitcase down on the couch next to Charlie's. "Go ahead."

Marguerite feigned innocence, moving into the kitchen and waving her wand, the kitchen cleaners going to work on spots that weren't there. "Ce que tu racontes?"

"You know exactly what I'm talking about," Tilly replied, grabbing the rag as it tried to scrub the counter into nonexistence.

"Now don't be rude," Marguerite said, looking to Charlie. "Charlie hates when we talk in code doesn't you Charlie?"

Charlie ran his hand through his hair. "Er –"

"Look at the time!" The woman said looking at her invisible wristwatch. "You two had better hurry on if you want to be settled before Beauxbatons and Durmstrang arrive! Do you have everything? Toothbrush, wand, clean underwear?"

"Ack, grand-mere! Vous me embarrassante!" Tilly cried out, grabbing her broomstick and her suitcase, attaching it to the harness underneath. She pushed open the bay windows, motioning to Charlie. "Quick before she starts in on something else."

Tilly kissed her grandmother on the cheek before climbing on her broom, Charlie following suit. "Bye Marguerite," he called as they jumped out the window.

"Bye Charlie! Watch after her for me!"

Tilly looked to her left, not surprised to see Charlie laughing. "You're face is so red right now."

She stuck out her tongue at him as she reached down to pull her wand out of her boot. "You're one to talk."

Quickly, she covered them with the necessary Disillusion and Muggle-repelling charms that would be necessary for when they flew over Muggle neighborhoods. "Merlin, I had forgotten how embarrassing she could be sometimes. I'm sorry for that."

"Are you kidding?" Charlie asked, grinning. "I love Marguerite. She keeps me laughing."

"You know she's been calling you her grandson-in-law since fifth year, right?" Tilly asked to which Charlie shrugged.

"Might as well."

Tilly couldn't help but laugh, smiling over at her friend who was gazing at her serenely. She blushed slightly. "So when do the dragons come?"

"The middle of November," Charlie told her, switching topics because he knew that's what she wanted. "I'll have to disappear to Romania to help deliver Frisk."


"The mother Welsh Green. She's really quite lovely, just a bit rowdy from time to time but she seems to like me. I'm the only one she'll let put a harness on her."

"So she's like your own little pet."

"Basically. I can't guarantee that she's housebroken however."

"You probably wouldn't be able to fit her in a house either ways."

"This is true." Charlie grinned mischievously. "Race you to the next village."

Tilly grinned back, leaning forward on her broom and pushing faster. "You're on!" she called back.

"Hey!" Charlie said laughing as he took off after her. "Cheater!"

Tilly giggled, speeding on, feeling like she was back in school again.

Charlie landed in Hogsmeade first, throwing up his hands. "And the crowd goes wild for the ever handsome Charlie Weasley! Three out of five races go to the fellow in today's succession of races! He is victorious!"

Tilly landed, running to a halted stop in front of him. He grinned at her. "Let us not forget the gorgeous Tilly Riddle, coming in at two out of five and still looking stunning even after flying such a distance."

Grinning, Tilly blew her hair from out of her face, only to have it flutter gently back in place. "For the record, you cheated. There is no way you should have gotten three."

"You, Newt, are just a sore loser," Charlie told her, reaching forward to move her hair out of her face. Taking her hand, he pulled her in the direction of the Three Broomsticks. "Let's get our rooms."

Madam Rosemerta was certainly pleased to see the two former Hogwarts students. Tilly had always liked the woman. She always made sure to slide her an extra butterbeer, having known her father.

"You'll be in this room, Tilly," Rosemerta told her opening the door. She opened the door across from her. "And this is your room Charlie. Breakfast is at eight, lunch at twelve, tea is at four, and dinner at six. I hope I don't have to remind you two about appropriate behavior in my board, do I?" she asked, eyeing them warily.

Charlie's ears turned red. "Of course not. We're old enough to –"

Rosemerta laughed. "Calm down Charlie. I could honestly care less if you snuck your way into Tilly's room in the middle of the night."

"Rosemerta!" Tilly said, abashed. What was with everyone today?

The barmaid laughed again, shaking her head. "I'm just teasing! You two go on and get settled. Tilly, the other schools will be arriving at six. You'll want to be there early I'm sure."

Nodding to them, Rosemerta hurried back downstairs. Tilly and Charlie looked at each other before bursting into nervous laughter. "I should shower," Tilly said, running her fingers through her hair.

Charlie grinned. "Need help? Kidding, kidding!" he said as she held up her wand.

Tilly rolled her eyes, closing her door behind her.

Why was her heart pounding so fast?

At five thirty, Tilly exited her room, moving across the hall to knock on Charlie's door. It took a moment for him to answer and when he did, his hair was all pushed to one side of his head and he was rubbing sleep from his eyes. Tilly smiled softly at him, reaching up to smooth his hair down. "Sorry. I just wanted your opinion."

Stepping back, she held up her arms for Charlie to look at her. She had thrown on black flats, black slacks and a light gray blouse, royal blue robes draped around her body to commemorate her House. Her curly hair was pulled back into a bun, a few tresses escaping the bun's grasp.

Charlie reached forward, tucking back the same piece of hair that had been bugging her earlier. "You're beautiful."

"You're not just saying that so you can go back to sleep, are you?" Tilly said putting her hands on her hips as a slight blush came to her face.

"Of course not," Charlie assured her with a grin. "You always look beautiful. Now hurry on before you're late. What kind of impression would that have on the kiddies?"

Tilly smiled, reaching behind her to close her door. "Don't wait up."

"Will do."

Rolling her eyes, Tilly hurried down the hallway, glancing once over her shoulder to see Charlie leaning against the doorframe, watching her. Tilly paused for a second before hurrying down the stairs.

Hogwarts hadn't changed at all, though she knew it wouldn't. Slytherins still seemed sedated in the Great Hall, preferring to converse among themselves than with the rest of the Hall, like the Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws did. The ceiling was still mystify, depicting the weather outdoors and candles still floated above the tables, illuminating the many young faces and the banners that named the Houses.

It was just weird seeing it from this angle, sitting at the teachers' table. And especially weird with the Durmstrang students at the Slytherin table and the Beauxbatons students at the Ravenclaw table. Tilly couldn't help but smile; grand-mere would have loved that.

After waving to the Weasleys, Harry, and Hermione, Tilly reached forward, grabbing a bit of bouillabaisse, one of her grandmother's favorite dishes. It wasn't the greatest thing to eat but Tilly had gotten used to it.

"Marguerite?" Tilly turned at the name, surprised to see the large Madam Maxine staring past Mr. Crouch and Ludo at her. She looked slightly abashed. "My apologies. I zought you were someone else."

"No need," Tilly said, good naturally. "She is my grandmother."

Madam Maxine smiled. "We will 'ave to 'ave tea so you can – 'ow you say – 'catch up' on Miss Baudelaire."

That would be an odd visit but Tilly simply agreed, going back to her dinner.

When the plates finally cleared, the anticipation was palpable. Dumbledore stood and Tilly couldn't help but think that he hadn't grown any older, despite the fact that she had been here four years ago. As he started his speech she watched the faces of the younger kids. She remembered sitting there, though it felt like ages ago.

"And Miss Tilly Riddle, assistant to Mr. Ludo Bagman, as well as a former Ravenclaw and Head Girl."

The applause Tilly received was almost the same caliber as Ludo's himself, the Ravenclaw's excited for their alum and the Weasleys just loud in general. She smiled waving at the students. She felt very appreciated.

When the Goblet of Fire was revealed, she saw the excitement on the Weasley Twins faces and felt a bit envious. She had a feeling this was exactly how she and Charlie would look at this time, excited, ready to slip their names into the goblet.

Oh well.

She and Charlie had had to relinquish their time at Hogwarts. It was everyone else's turn.

She was going to love sharing the excitement with them, though.

A/N: Hey! Hope you guys liked this! Thanks so much for reading. Updating is going to get hard because I start back to school next week. I'll be sure to do my best though! Thanks again!

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