Danny sat uncomfortably on the sofa, Dearg in one arm and Daisy in the other. He shot a furtive glance at his father. “I feel all wrong. Like I’m going to break them.” Over the summer his Scottish accent has faded, and he sounded a lot like a younger version of his father.
His father laughed. “You’re doing fine, Dan. But I could take them if you’d like to take over the cleaning.” With a flick of his wand, a stack of books flew from the coffee table to the shelves lining the north wall, sliding into their places..
“But I’m not allowed to use magic outside of school yet.” Daisy gurgled and smiled at her brother’s voice.
Jackson winked. “Right, you’d have to clean by hand. That’s why I thought you’d prefer holding your brother and sister.” A mumbled word made dust fly from around the room and coalesce into a rabbit-like form, which hopped out the window and dissipated into the ground below.
“You have got to teach me that one, pop.”
Pinny walked into the living room and sat down next to her son, her oldest son. “A’ll tak’ th’ twins, Danny. Ye hulp yer faither git duin fur oor company.”
She was interrupted by a knock at the door. Danny opened it to reveal the Llewellyn family standing on the stoop.
“Daniel,” Giles said cheerfully, “how were the colonies my boy?”
Danny grinned at his uncle. “Good, sir. Fun. A little on the loud side.” A quick look into Cecelia’s eyes told him he should elaborate a bit. “But I couldn’t get any mail out.”
“Oh…really?” Cecelia had a smile on her face but her voice was cool.
“Yeah.” He looked over his shoulder and then back to Giles. “But you should come on in, see the new DuMornes.”
Jackson joined Danny at the door. “Yeah, come on in, guys! Pinny and the twins would be glad to see you!”
“Of course,” Milly smiled as she walked into the room, “Alcander and Laurenna would have loved to have come but, they had lovely Halcyon just a few weeks ago.”
Guinevere beamed at the new arrivals. “Oh aye! howfur ur mither ‘n’ daughter daein’?” Looking down at the two children in her arms, she added, “Ah wid git up, bit…
“Very good Penny dear,” Milly kissed her old housemate on the cheek, “I must say,” she stroked one of the twins on the head, “you did a fine job.”
“She had some help,” Jackson laughed.
Shifting the twins slightly, Pinny rolled her eyes. “Sure, ye hulpt wi’ th’ fin stuff. Ah hud th’ hard pairt.” She winked at Milly. “Thir’s a reason tis called labour, richt?”
“Absolutely luv,” she winked, “So what did you decide to name these dears?”
Jackson beamed. “Daisy Kameron and Dearg Kevin.”
Danny nudged Tommy “C’mon. They’re gonna gab all day.”
Tom nodded, “Good thinking. Let’s get outta here.”
The lads jogged up the stairs towards Danny’s room, followed close behind by Cecelia.
As soon as they were alone a grow came from behind the boys, “You jerk!”
Danny fell back into a chair under his Wimbourne Wasps poster. “What?”
“Not a letter, not one bloody letter for an entire month!” she growled, “and why?”
Glancing at Tommy, who seemed to suddenly be interested in Danny’s ceiling, Danny attempted to cover himself. “I was really busy, hen. As soon as I got there, my pop ambushed me with summer school. I didn’t have time to write anything but potions formulae.”
“Oh really?” Her planted firmly on her hips, “What about the girls you talked about?”
Danny’s eyebrow popped up. “Girls? What girls?” He was confused by Cissy’s mood and accusation
“The girls you mentioned when you left, and where the hell is your accent?”
“What?” Danny stood up and began to pace his room. “My accent always comes and goes, you know that. And spending five weeks in the States is bound to dull it a bit.” He stopped by the window and turned to look at the girl that held his heart. “There were no girls. I mean, obviously there were girls. There’s girls everywhere there are people. Except in monasteries.” Danny looked deep into Cissy’s eyes and paused a moment to gather his thoughts. “But there is no girl that could catch my eye except you.”
“Whatever Daniel,” she said dismissively, “consider yourself dumped.” With that she strode out of the room slamming the door behind her.
Looking at his fellow Gentleman, Danny blinked twice before speaking. “What the Hell just happened?”
Tommy shrugged, “She’s been mopey all month. I even tried to get Rose to talk to her but she wouldn’t even do that. She just stayed in her room.”
“Aw crap. I know I didn’t write, but I really didn’t have any free time.” He flopped down on his bed and, grabbing a stuffed Quaffle, flipping it into the air. “And where’d she get that ‘other girls’ nonsense?”
Tom laughed, “I got no idea.”
But Danny didn’t hear his Gryffindor friend. He was fighting back the panic of possibly losing Cissy. What could he say to fix things? He’d been truthful when he said no other girl could catch his eye. It was probably why he’d never dated anyone before her. But could he ever find someone to take her place if she didn’t take him back? Cutting through these panicky hormone-charged teenage thoughts was a glimmer of hope. “She’s just steamed. Messin’ with me. She’ll take me back after she makes me suffer a little.”
“I hope so,” Tom sighed, “or it’s gonna be a long school year.”
The duo stared at the ceiling for a bit until the screech of an owl broke the silence. They looked up and spotted an owl swooping in from the north. It banked into Danny’s window and dropped an envelope on the desk with a THUD. Looking at the name, Danny spoke. “I think it’s for you, mate.”
Tom looked down at the envelope and sure enough it was addressed to Michael Thomas Llewelyn. He opened the letter slowly and pulled out the silver badge inside. Tom looked up at Danny rather shocked, “This was unexpected, I would have thought that Aeryn would still be captain.”
As Danny shrugged, a second owl flew in and mimicked the actions of the first, this envelope also thudding to the desk. The boys looked at it, then at each other, then back to the lettering on the envelope: Daniel Kieren DuMorne.
Tom’s head cocked to one side, “You don’t think?”
“Na. It cannae be.” He stared at the envelope for another second before picking it up and opening it. Inside was a near twin to Tommy’s badge, save for the house crest. He looked at Tommy. “Na wey.”
Tom’s eyes blinked. He looked from his badge to Dan’s, and to each of their letters, “Looks like there is an extra letter in here for each of us,” he grinned, “You go first.”
The Ravenclaw unfolded his letters and set the standard one aside, focusing on the extra one. “Daniel DuMorne… honor bestowed on few… Ravenclaw QUIDDITCH CAPTAIN?” He dropped the letter to his side and looked at the badge again. “Why? Why me? They’re practically makin’ me a Prefect! This isnae right!”
Tom laughed as he read his own letter,
It is with great pleasure and no small amount of pride that I have decided to name you co-captain of the Gryffindor House Quidditch team. With Aeryn’s departure to Beauxbaton’s…
He looked up, “Well that explains the why, but co-captain?” Tom thought about it for a second. He smiled with recognition, “Gotta be Céilidh.”
“Who else?” Danny laughed. As he laughed, a third owl entered his window and dropped a letter on the desk, this one with no thud.
Dan picked it up and read the name, then paused before handing it to Tommy. As the Gryffindor saw his sister’s name scribbled on the front, he heard his friend say, with a hint of sadness in his voice, “You better give this to her.”
Tom picked up the third letter, “Yeah. You wanna come down with me, we can see if we can give Uncle Jacks and Aunt Pinny a heart attack when they see that badge,” he smiled.
Danny smiled faintly and, with a nod, pinned it on his shirt. “They may faint, but it would take a P on this thing to cause the heart attack.”
Tom nodded thoughtfully, “Good point.”