Legitimement Maries: Vivre Libre

Sequel to "Legitimement Maries". Hermione and Fred not only have a marriage to sustain, but they also have a family to raise. How will they manage after being brought together by a marriage law?

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9. Chapter 9: One Month

 

 

A sea of pamphlets and brochures littered the dining table, and Hermione sat with her head resting on her hands, looking down at the mess.

“How are we supposed to keep these children entertained for a whole month?” she said to Fred, sitting opposite her. “Last time we got them to fly kites, Archie managed to bind himself in the string. Although it will be summer down in Cornwall, much as it will be here, the water would still be too cold for swimming or any water activities for that matter. A picnic lunch would keep them entertained for a couple of hours, as would the Wingz Animal Sanctuary.”

Fred peered down, picking up a few of the papers. He studied them for a few minutes before feeling as despondent as Hermione was. Their children seemed to have more energy than most, and that did not make it easy to plan a family holiday.

They would be going to Cornwall, for a whole month. That meant that they would have to keep them entertained for a whole thirty days, without the help of any grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. They would be on their own.

Hermione sighed, looking down at the watch on her wrist.

“I’m going to head off to bed, it’s getting far too late for....”

A small voice stopped her in her tracks.

“Mummy?”

Hermione turned to see Archie in his pyjamas, sleepily rubbing at his eyes. He looked more pale than usual, and his bottom lip was sticking out just enough for Hermione to be slightly worried.

“What’s wrong, darling?”

His bottom lip stuck out ever so slightly more as he opened his mouth to speak. His voice was even quieter than before as Hermione found out the reason for him being awake so late in the evening.

“I had a bad dream,” he said, moving closer to where his parents were still sitting at the dining table.

Hermione’s heart immediately softened, and wordlessly, she opened her arms for the little boy to clamber into. Fred looked on with a hint of amusement in his eyes.

“What did you dream about?” he asked Archie.

“Ghosts,” mumbled Archie from inside his mother’s arms. “They were scary. One of them I didn’t know who it was, but the other was Nearly Headless Nick, and he wanted to chop my head off!”

“Why didn’t you give him your head then?” Fred couldn’t help winking at his son.

Archie let out a whimper and cocooned himself further in his mother’s arms whilst she reprimanded her husband with a very sharp, ‘Fred!”.

“It’s alright, sweetie,” she cooed. “It was only a dream, and besides, ghosts don’t want to hurt you, especially Sir Nicholas.”

“Nearly Headless Nick,” Fred corrected in all seriousness.

HPHPHPHPHP

The day that marked the beginning of the holiday dawned remarkably drizzly. A thick layer of clouds covered their home in darkness as Hermione rose early to prepare a few last minute pieces of luggage.

She made sure that the children had spades and buckets, beach balls, snacks, a cricket bat and Stella’s stuffed elephant whom she had named Octavius. Henry and Archie had resolutely refused to bring along their own comfort items stating that they were far too old for such nonsense; however, Hermione was sure to pack Bacon the pig, and Elroy the duck in a secret zipper compartment of her bag.

After waking all the others, and preparing a quick breakfast Hermione made sure that everyone was completely ready to go. Locking the front door from the inside and placing protective enchantments across it, Hermione and her family retreated through the back door. After making sure that this too was safe, the family passed through their back garden and out the back garden gate to a secluded field not too far away from their home.

Fred kept his eyes peeled for any muggles that might be lurking by whilst Hermione released a small lampshade from one of their bags. The dirty pink of the lampshade stood out rather remarkably against where Hermione positioned it on the green grass; however, it did not have the kind of appeal that might lead to it accidently being touched by muggles.

“Right,” said Hermione, gathering her family close. “This portkey is leaving in about ten seconds, and we will well and truly be on our holiday!”

As she finished speaking the lampshade turned an incandescent shade of blue, and with the touch of finger, the Weasley family were in Cornwall.

HPHPHPHPHPHP

Hermione made sure to keep the day as simple as possible. She did not want the children too tired to participate in the ghost tour. It had been at Fred’s insistence that they were doing it all, despite Hermione’s vehement protests about it being well after the children’s bed time.

So, at exactly eight-thirty in the evening, the Weasley family gathered with a few of the other tourists, waiting for the guide of the ghost tour to arrive.

A shriek was heard from the back of the group, followed by less than quiet reprimanding.

“Matt! I told you to stop trying to tickle me....no, it’s not funny! You know how scared I am of this kinda thing.”

Hermione rolled her eyes at the young couple, wishing that the guide would come along and start the tour. The quicker they started, the quicker they would be able to go home and get to bed.

“Mummy?” Hermione felt a tug on the hem of her jacket. She looked down to find that it was Henry who was trying to get her attention.

“Yes, darling?”

“Are the ghosts that we are going to be seeing tonight, the same as the ones at Hogwarts?”

Hermione shook her head, pressing a finger to her mouth as a signal to her child to keep quiet.

“I don’t think so, dear. The ghosts that are at Hogwarts live in Hogwarts. Besides, we need to keep quiet about that kind of thing when we are around others.”

Henry nodded, and left his mother alone so that he could play with his brother and sister.

Fortunately the guide arrived at this moment, and Hermione quietly gathered her children so that they could listen to ‘Old Bill’ tell his versions of local legends. The old building they were in front of was supposedly haunted by the ghost of a lady who lost her lover at the hands of his jealous wife. She wandered around jangling the pearls that he had given her as a gift.

 “Nooooo! Mummmmyyy!”

Hermione felt the impact of Stella running into her knees. Old Bill ignored the sudden loud noise, deciding to move on to his next story about the house across the street.

“Archie keeps trying to scare me about the ghosts!”

“Archie!” Hermione immediately reprimanded. “Stop trying to scare your sister.”

“I’m only telling her the truth,” Archie was quick to contradict.

Hermione sighed. She honestly did not know what to do with her children at times like this. They always seemed to be the only ones in the crowd who were so rowdy and making so much noise.

“When she goes to Hogwarts,” Archie continued despite the warning look on his mother’s face. “There will be a lot of ghosts there, and some of them are not nice.... like the Bloody Baron.”

He started cackling in Stella’s face, making her turn a ghastly shade of pale.

“Arthur Gideon Weasley, you stop that this instant!”

Archie stopped, knowing that the use of his middle name signalled some kind of emotional implosion within his mother.

“Yes, Mum,” he said, going to stand near his father.

Next, Hermione rounded on her daughter.

“You stay away from your brother, and the pair of you can stop causing such a disruption. Your loud noise is enough to not only wake the dead, but keep them away as well.”

This instantly sobered up the brother and sister. The tour continued and they took a sharp turn down a deserted alleyway to the door of an abandoned factory. The stories continued to pour out of Old Bill. Hermione rolled her eyes as Bill began to tell them of a great fire that had swept through the factory, killing almost everyone inside. If you came around at dusk, and the air was still enough, you could apparently hear the ghosts of men knocking off and going home for the day.

“Mum?” Hermione heard Henry speak rather timidly from where he still stood beside her, no longer listening to the guide.

“Yes,” she sighed in answer to her son. Thankfully the tour was due to finish soon, because Hermione was not sure how much longer she would be able to take of this nonsense. The guide had clearly never seen a real ghost in his life.

“When I go to Hogwarts next year, I want to make friends with all the ghosts.”

“Do you, darling?” replied Hermione, past caring about the horrible implications for her son should this goal eventuate.

“Yes,” he said in all seriousness. “Then I can get them to scare both Archie and Stella when they come to Hogwarts. I wonder how they would like a real ghost tapping their shoulder....”

Hermione sighed once more, and decided to go against telling her son to do otherwise. It was simply not worth the effort. Her children took too much of their personalities from their father, and that was something that she would have to learn to cope with.

I hope you all have a lovely holiday season! I hope to update again in the New Year.

Stay safe xx

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