So I'm, like, new and all. Hi, everybody!
I wrote this a while ago and posted it to my own journal, but I think it would fit well here.Title:
Tea for ToucanAuthor:
After the RainRating:
Professor Lupin gets his first Weasley jumper for Christmas. The twins explain what it means.
Remus looked doubtfully at the jumper he had just unwrapped. In the first place, a gift of clothing looked suspiciously like charity, and he never accepted charity – but, on the other hand, he was sure Molly would be hurt if he told her he couldn’t accept it, and he wouldn’t have hurt Molly for the world. In the second place, it had rainbow stripes.
There was a sharp knock at the door of Bill’s bedroom, and he realized, with a startled glance at the clock, that it was past nine. “Come in,” he said.
The twins burst into the room. George had a gift-wrapped box under his arm, and Fred was carrying a tea tray. “Mum’s asked us to bring you some tea, and she said to tell you she’ll send up breakfast if you’re not feeling well.”
“Oh.” Was he looking as poorly as that? “No, that’s kind of her, but it’s not necessary. Tell her I’ll be down in a few minutes.” He accepted the tea with a word of thanks, but set it down untouched on the bedside table, having had too much experience with the twins to consider eating or drinking anything that had passed through their hands.
Fred was eyeing the jumper. “Congratulations, Professor. You’re a Weasley now.”
“Er. Are you sure your mother meant it for me?”
“No, she meant it for You-Know-Who. I’ve heard her telling Dad a thousand times, ‘You know, I’m worried about the Dark Lord – the nights can’t be too warm wherever he keeps his headquarters, and I doubt if any of the Death Eaters know how to knit.’”
“I was just wondering. I mean, I don’t like to think that I’ve done Fleur out of a jumper.”
“Nah,” said Fred. “Mum doesn’t believe in wasting good yarn on Phlegm.”
“I don’t think that’s what he’s asking,” said George sagely. “I think he’s wondering if that color scheme is completely ... masculine. Aren’t you, Professor?”
“Count yourself lucky,” said Fred. “Just be glad you’re not Ron. He always gets purple.”
“Maroon,” said Remus.
“Purple,” Fred insisted.
“But anyway, it’s definitely yours,” said George. “If she did
knit a jumper for Phlegm, she’d probably choose puke green.”
Remus sighed. “As long as we’re on the subject of Fleur – do try to be decent to the girl, won’t you? She’s very young, and it can’t be easy for her, living in a foreign country and being so far from her family...” He refrained from saying anything about the open waves of hostility that radiated from Molly and Ginny; it wasn’t his place to criticize the internal dynamics of the Weasley family.
Fred peered into his eyes. “I think the professor’s had a good dose of the old veela charm, wouldn’t you say, George?”
“It’s nothing to do with veela charm!” Remus protested. “I just feel sorry for her, that’s all. And you needn’t call me ‘professor’; I haven’t been one for years.”
The twins, still at that awkward stage between adolescence and adulthood, looked at each other uneasily. Since leaving school, they had seemed uncertain where they stood with him or what to call him. They had experimented with “Moony” once or twice last year, but backed off after Sirius’ death, and finally settled on “Professor,” delivered with a certain air of sly irreverence.
“‘Remus’ will do fine,” he added.
“All right, Remus, now that you’re one of the family,” said George, throwing himself down on the bed, “it’s time you learned about the Deep Cultural Significance of the Molly Weasley jumper. The Unspeakables have been studying our family’s Christmas rites for years, but we’re here to give you the real story. You see, these jumpers – dropped stitches, lumps and all – represent in its purest form a powerful force that the Ministry thinks it can confine behind a certain door in the Department of Mysteries, a door that is always kept locked.”
“And,” Fred added, “if you ever refuse or return a Molly Weasley jumper, like a certain idiot brother of ours who shall remain nameless – not that we think you have anything in common with him whatsoever – then woe betide you, for the full wrath of that force shall be unleashed upon you. And if you don’t think that sounds scary, imagine Mum on one of her rampages, and magnify it by ten billion.”
“Right. I’ll keep that in mind.” Remus blushed, remembering how recently he had been thinking of the jumper as charity. Well, if the boys were right, it was
– just in the First Corinthians sense.
“Anyway, welcome to the family,” added George.
“Thank you.” Remus absent-mindedly took a gulp of the cooling tea, and startled himself by turning into a toucan.
He’d been on the verge of saying something else, but the best he could manage was a sort of croak. “RRRK! RRRK!”
“Oh yeah,” said Fred, “and now that you’re one of us, we reserve the right to use you as a test subject. Just so you know.”
“RRRK!” Remus tried out his wings and found that they were not at all effective, or at any rate he didn’t know how to use them. He half-flapped, half-hopped across the room.Pop!
He molted in a puff of black feathers, and found himself sitting on the floor in his old pajamas and dressing gown once again.
“Well, George, it looks like the ‘Tea for Toucan’ is a success.” Fred grinned broadly and scribbled something in a pocket notebook. “And his bill matches the new jumper nicely, wouldn’t you say?”
“That it does,” said Remus, laughing in spite of himself. “Nice one.”
“And because you were such a good sport about it, we got you a Christmas present,” said George, holding out the gift box.
“Thank you,” said Remus again. He opened the box with great care, gripping his wand and concentrating on a few discreet counter-jinxes. “My own Deluxe Skiving Snackbox. Just what I’ve always wanted.”
Fred and George filled him in on the finer points of Nosebleed Nougats, Fainting Fancies, and Puking Pastilles, until Remus remembered that he was expected downstairs for breakfast. “Er, would you mind leaving me for a few minutes so I can get dressed? You can tell me about the rest of it later.”
He pulled the jumper on slowly. It hung rather baggily on him and made him uncomfortably aware that he had somehow contrived to lose weight, even though he hadn’t had much to start with.
It was made from lamb’s wool, as soft as a kitten and so warm that he wondered if Molly had put a Heating Charm on the yarn. She must spend a fair bit of money every year on yarn, and he supposed he ought to feel guilty about it, but he didn’t. Not this morning.
And, he decided, there was nothing wrong with a little extra color in one’s life. Or a lot
of extra color, as the case might be.
He was smiling broadly by the time he went down the stairs. “Merry Christmas, Molly. And thank you.”