"To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength."

Phoenix Lancaster is just as extraordinary as she appears, she is a muggle-born metamorphmagus, and she has never had a quiet life. Thanks to her courageous and troublesome best friends, Fred and George Weasley.


36. Ministry Hearings and Prefect Badges

Phoenix did not know why she had agreed to join in the de-doxying the following morning. She had spent the vast majority of the morning, a piece of cloth held tightly to her mouth, spraying Doxycide at any Doxys that flew out from behind the curtains of the drawing room. She wished she had just slept in instead and arrived with Will later in the day.

It had past midday before they stopped to have lunch.

Fred and George were eyeing the bowl of Doxy eggs cautiously, they had told Phoenix beforehand they were eager to experiment with Doxy venom for their Skiving Snackboxes (both their pockets were filled with unconscious Doxys) and were evidently keen to experiment with the Doxy eggs also.

"I think we'll tackle those after lunch," exhaled Mrs. Weasley, nodding toward the glass cabinets that stood either side of the mantelpiece. Phoenix could see that they held a strange collection of objects behind the dusty glass, she frowned as she noticed a glass vile filled with what looked suspiciously like blood.

The doorbell rang, it's rather piercing ring seemed to reverberate around Grimmauld Place. The twins, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, Harry and Phoenix all looked at Mrs. Weasley as she narrowed her eyes at the sound.

"Stay here," she instructed, seizing a large bag of dead rats that Sirius had left in the room earlier. "I'll bring up some sandwiches."

The now familiar sounds of Mrs. Blacks screams sounded just as Mrs. Weasley left the drawing room, the door snapping shut behind her.

Everyone rushed to the window at once, all craning their necks to see who had arrived. Mundungus Fletcher stood on the doorstep, carrying what looked like a dozen cauldrons in his arms.

"Mundungus!" exclaimed Hermione. "What's he brought all those cauldrons for?"

"I believe he's using Grimmauld Place for a place to hide them," mused Phoenix.

"Isn't that what he was doing the night he was supposed to be tailing me? Picking up dodgy cauldrons?" asked Harry.

"Yeah, you're right!" said Fred, turning to the others as the front door opened and Mundungus struggled under the weight of the cauldrons. "Blimey, Mum won't like that…"

Mrs. Black's screeching had ceased, the quiet once again restored. The twins crossed curiously over to the door of the drawing room, listening intently.

"Mundungus is talking to Sirius and Kingsley," Fred observed. "Can't hear properly… do you reckon we can risk the Extendable Ears?"

"Might be worth it," George mused. "I could sneak upstairs and get a pair–"

But at that very moment, the unmistakeable sound of Mrs. Weasley's angry bellows tore through the house. They could hear clear as day what Mrs. Weasley was shouting, there was no need for Extendable Ears.


Fred smiled idly, opening the drawing room door, allowing Mrs. Weasley's voice to trickle into the room, making it much, much louder. "I love hearing Mum shouting at someone else, it makes such a nice change."


"The idiots are letting her get into her stride," said George with a sigh. "You've got to head her off early otherwise she builds up a head of steam and goes on for hours. And she's been dying to have a go at Mundungus ever since he sneaked off when he was supposed to be following you, Harry – and there goes Sirius's mum again."

Molly's shouts were drowned and matched by the screams of Walburga Black and various other portraits in the hall. George frowned at the uproar of noise, making to close the door, but a house-elf prevented him from doing so.

Phoenix had not met Kreacher before and she thought that Fred and George's description of the elf was rather fitting. He looked almost naked, the only clothing he had was an incredibly dirty rag that was tied like loincloth around him. He looked almost ancient, his skin was sagging greatly and he appeared to be rather hunchbacked. His watery eyes were grey and bloodshot, his nose almost snout-like.

Phoenix made sure to keep her distance as Kreacher shuffled about the room slowly, Fred had warned her he was as prejudices towards Muggleborns as Mrs. Black was.

Kreacher appeared to have not noticed the occupants of the drawing room, he was muttering darkly to himself in incredibly guff and croaky voice, "…smells like a drain and a criminal to boot, but she's no better, nasty old blood traitor with her brats messing up my mistress's house, oh, my poor mistress, if she knew, if she knew the scum they've let into her house, what would she say to old Kreacher, oh, the shame of it, Mudbloods and werewolves and traitors and thieves, poor old Kreacher, what can he do…"

Fred slammed the door, "Hello Kreacher," he greeted noisily.

The elf stood very still, his obsessive muttering ceasing as he made a rather unpersuasive look of great surprise.

"Kreacher did not see Young Master," Kreacher wheezed, bowing deeply to Fred. Still bowing, he added in a mutter that no doubt carried around the drawing room. "Nasty little brat of a blood traitor it is."

Phoenix raised an eyebrow in surprise, Kreacher either appeared to not particularly care if they could all hear him, or he believed that they couldn't hear him. It struck Phoenix as awfully strange, the house-elves she had met in the kitchens were quite the opposite to Kreacher, but then again she had never met an House Elf so... old.

"Sorry?" called George cheerfully. "Didn't catch that last bit."

"Kreacher said nothing!" the elf croaked, bowing now at George, adding in an audible sneer, "and there's its twin, unnatural little beasts they are."

He stood up, glaring at them all spitefully, continuing to mutter bitterly. "…and there's the Mudblood, standing there bold as brass, oh if my mistress knew, oh, how she'd cry. And there's another Mudblood, standing in the room where my mistress worked, nasty little thing. And there's a new boy, Kreacher doesn't know his name. What is he doing here? Kreacher doesn't know…"

"There is Harry, Kreacher," Hermione said hesitantly, evidently quite worried as to what Kreacher would mutter next. "Harry Potter."

Kreacher blanched, his eyes wide as he let out a sharp, raspy breath. "The Mudblood is talking to Kreacher as though she is my friend, if Kreacher's mistress saw him in such company, oh, what would she say–"

"Don't call her a Mudblood!" both Ron and Ginny snarled heatedly.

"It doesn't matter," Hermione spluttered, her face rather flushed, "he's not in his right mind, he doesn't know what he's–"

"Don't kid yourself, Hermione," Fred broke in, looking at the elf with a look Phoenix often associated with the Slytherins crossing his path, "he knows exactly what he's saying."

Kreacher continued to mutter, his eyes fixed upon Harry.

"Is it true? Is it Harry Potter? Kreacher can see the scar, it must be true, that's the boy who stopped the Dark Lord, Kreacher wonders how he did it–"

"Don't we all, Kreacher," grinned Fred, winking at Harry.

"What do you want, anyway?" George questioned, eyeing Kreacher closely.

"Kreacher is cleaning."

"A likely story."

Sirius had entered the room; he was staring daggers at the elf, dislike evident in every inch of his face.

At the sight of his master, Kreacher bowed lower than ever, flattening his nose on the dirty carpet as he did so.

"Stand up straight," instructed Sirius with disgust. "Now, what are you up to?"

"Kreacher is cleaning," the elf stated, Phoenix could quite clearly see that the dislike in Sirius' face was very much mirrored by Kreacher, who was glowering at Sirius. "Kreacher lives to serve the Noble House of Black–"

"–and it's getting blacker every day," grunted Sirius. "It's filthy."

"Master always liked his little joke," grinned Kreacher unconvincingly, bowing yet again and adding in a grumble. "Master was a nasty, ungrateful swine who broke his mother's heart–"

Sirius' grey eyes appeared to darken before he spat, "My mother didn't have a heart, Kreacher. She kept herself alive out of pure spite."

"Whatever Master says. Master is not fit to wipe slime from his mother's boots, oh, my poor mistress, what would she say if she saw Kreacher serving him, how she hated him, what a disappointment he was–"

Phoenix had been told quite briefly about Sirius' family by Cecilia. All that Phoenix knew was that Sirius had been the black sheep of the family, he was the 'blood traitor' Gryffindor in a family of prejudice Slytherins. She wasn't surprised that Sirius was so miserable here, living in the toxic household he had gone up in, the decerped house elf living as a constant reminder of his family.

"I asked you what you were up to," said Sirius icily. "'Every time you show up pretending to be cleaning, you sneak something off to your room so we can't throw it out."

"Kreacher would never move anything from its proper place in Master's house," rasped Kreacher, before muttering, "Mistress would never forgive Kreacher if the tapestry was thrown out, seven centuries it's been in the family, Kreacher must save it, Kreacher will not let Master and the blood traitors and the brats destroy it–"

"I thought it might be that. She'll have put another Permanent Sticking Charm on the back of it, I don't doubt, but if I can get rid of it I certainly will. Now go away, Kreacher." said Sirius, glancing over at the old tapestry on the opposite wall. It looked horribly ancient and distressed. Phoenix knew this to be the Black family tree, Cecilia had taken get pride in showing Phoenix where she had been once been on the tapestry before being blasted off for marrying Andrei.

The house elf could not refuse to follow an order given by Sirius, but it didn't stop the house elf giving Sirius the dirtiest of looks as he left the room, still muttering as he left the drawing room, "–comes back from Azkaban ordering Kreacher around, oh, my poor mistress, what would she say if she saw the house now, scum living in it, her treasures thrown out, she swore he was no son of hers and he's back, they say he's a murderer too–"

"Keep muttering and I will be murdered!" snarled Sirius, slamming the door shut behind the old elf.

Phoenix was still rather shocked at her first meeting with the elf; Fred had warned her that he was not the most welcoming or most pleasant elf in the world, she had not expected Kreacher to be so full of hatred and loathing. She supposed that spending his life serving a few rather closed-minded individuals had a lot to do with Kreacher's hostile disposition. She made note to avoid Kreacher when she could.

The morning of the twelfth of August was that of high anxiety. By the time that Phoenix had arrived at Grimmauld Place alongside Will and Edmund, Harry had left for his disciplinary hearing. Hermione and Ron sat at the kitchen table, their breakfast untouched, Hermione held a book in her hands, though her eyes were unmoving; Ron seemed to be engrossed in his scrambled eggs, staring unblinkingly at them. Mrs. Weasley appeared to be awfully uneasy, she had spilled Edmund's tea over the table and had burned Ginny's bacon.

After breakfast Phoenix and the twins escaped to the twin's room, to discuss all things Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.

"What's the latest invention then?" asked Phoenix, who was sat cross-legged on George's bed.

"Glad you asked," grinned Fred. He held out his hand, Phoenix frowned at the glittery black substance that sat in his hand.

"What is it?"

"Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder!" called George, "Imported from the Peru."

Phoenix smirked, "Who would have thought it?"

"A brilliant product for mischief makers," explained Fred, pouring the powder back into its container. "Allows the mischief-maker to get away with ease in complete darkness."

"Again," said Phoenix, "who would have thought it?"

Fred turned to George, "How on earth do you put up with her?"

"She's frustrating," George considered, a small dancing across his lips.

"Frustrating," agreed Phoenix. "But irresistible."

Fred scoffed, a repulsed frown setting across his face.

"Speaking of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes," began Phoenix, resting her elbows on her legs and looking at the twins. "Are you two looking for premises by any chance?"

Fred and George shared a look, a look which plainly said: 'you haven't told her have you?'.

"We are," said George finally, his tone told Phoenix that he was treading rather cautiously. "We put an advertisement in the Daily Prophet last week–"

"–as we know Mum wouldn't touch the Daily Prophet with a ten-foot broomstick."

"I noticed that. How come you're looking for premises now?" asked Phoenix, perplexed. "You're still at Hogwarts? What's the point in trying to get premises when you're still in school?"

Fred and George exchange a fleeting look before George said, "Phoenix, we're not interested in staying at Hogwarts–"

Phoenix felt her heart drop to the bottom of her stomach, she felt as though she had missed a step going downstairs. She could see her hair turning icy as she met George's eye, he looked rather uncomfortable. Hogwarts, the place where she had met her best friends, where they had shared so many great memories with one another, where they had grown up together, where her and George's friendship had blossomed into something else… a place were now Fred and George were no longer interested in staying.

"Phoenix…" began Fred, taking a step forward. "George didn't mean it like that–"


"–What he meant was, the business is taking off, our mail order service is more popular than we could have imagined, we have the money ready and waiting," explained Fred, squeezing Phoenix's shoulder as he spoke. "We have dreamed of owning a joke shop for years and right now it's more real to us than ever. We have the opportunity to follow our dream, Phoenix."

"But," Phoenix began, she bit her lip as guilt rose inside of her as she said, "But… I don't know what I'd do without you two there."

George looked at Phoenix, his eyes appeared much warmer and he couldn't tear his eyes away from Phoenix. Even Fred looked touched at her words, he smiled warmly at Phoenix and pinched her cheek playfully.

"I'm sorry for being selfish–"

"–No Pixy," said George, shaking his head. He sat down on the bed opposite her, taking her small hands in his larger ones and lacing their fingers together. "It's not selfish. It may come as a surprise to you, but me and Fred care an awful lot about your feelings."

"George more than me," Fred clarified with a wink.

"We're not saying that we're not going to Hogwarts this year," George went on, meeting her eyes once again. "We wouldn't miss out on our kickass Quidditch team for the world! And of course, we couldn't leave you on your own–"

"–Technically," interrupted Fred, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. "She wouldn't be alone, she'd have Angelina, Alicia, and Lee."

"Besides the point," said George, casting his twin a slightly amused, meaningful look. "We've all been together every day since our very first journey to Hogwarts–"

"–Aside from the time when Phoenix had fallen out with us during her menstrual–"

"–Thank you, Fred!" Phoenix scolded, glaring at him harshly, her eyes darkening dangerously. This only made Fred chuckle however.

"As I was saying," sighed George, and Phoenix turned her attention back to her boyfriend. "Hogwarts is, and will always be special to us, because of you. We're going to Hogwarts, but it's a question of when we're able to get a premise in Diagon Alley as to how long we will stay there."

Phoenix nodded slowly, though the thought of Fred and George Weasley leaving Hogwarts was an awfully horrible prospect, she knew that when the time came for their joke shop to take off, they would grasp it firmly and not let go.

"And if you do get premise?" Phoenix asked, her eyes dancing between the twins.

"We may…" began George, looking very carefully at his girlfriend as he spoke, "we may leave and get our store started."

"Oh," Phoenix said simply, her heart sinking yet again, but she regained herself; no, this is what Fred and George wanted, what they've always wanted, what they've dreamed about for eight long years, and that dream was in their grasp. She was not going to let her feelings stop them from doing what they've always wanted to do.

"Well," Phoenix began with a smile, "I hope you two make a wonderful and unforgettable exit from the school."

"Don't worry," beamed George.

"We will."

Lunch was just as quiet as breakfast had been. Harry had yet to return from the Ministry, they hadn't even received an owl from Mr. Weasley on the verdict. It was making everyone rather uneasy. Hermione and Ron kept looking expectantly at the door to the kitchen.

"Oh, I thought they'd be back by now," said Mrs. Weasley, setting down a plate of sandwiches in the middle of the table. "Arthur did send an owl to say that time and place of the hearing had been changed."

"Did he?" Ron asked incredulously, "and you didn't think to tell us?"

"I didn't want to worry you," sighed Mrs. Weasley. "Arthur believes they changed the time last minute to make Harry look bad, showing up late and what not."

"Ridiculous," spat Hermione, shaking her head in disbelief. "I suppose that was Cornelius' doing?"

Mrs. Weasley nodded, "They changed the location to Courtroom Ten–"

"He was trailed in front of the entire Wizengamot?" Phoenix asked, her jaw dropping. "He used magic outside of school in self-protection, how can Fudge do that?!"

"Because Cornelius is terribly bias," said Sirius, "he wants Harry expelled and humiliated. He wants to discredit him just like Dumbledore, so they can both keep their mouth shut about Voldemort."

The table all flinched at the sound of You-Know-Who's name.

"You'd think the Ministry would have more important things to worry about," said George, his tone light, endeavouring to ease the mood in the kitchen.

"Perhaps they could have found that blasted murderer by now!"

"Funny," grinned Sirius.

"Or they could consider giving house elves new rights!" Piped up Hermione. "I believe the Ministry need to look deeper into House Elf rights and–"

They were saved the S.P.E.W rant by the kitchen door opening and Harry, alongside Mr. Weasley, walking over the threshold.

The kitchen's occupants simply stared at Harry, who had a blank, unreadable expression on his face.

"Well?" Ron asked impatiently, standing up to stare more closely at his best friend.

"Cleared," grinned Harry. "Of all charges."

"I knew it!" bellowed Ron triumphantly, he patted Harry, more roughly than he appeared to have desired to, on the back. "You always get away with stuff!"

"They were bound to clear you," breathed Hermione, who had been holding in a breath since Harry had entered the room. She appeared to be quivering somewhat, her brown eyes watering ever so slightly, "there was no case against you, none at all."

Harry looked relieved, taking a seat beside Phoenix and wasting no time in biting into a ham sandwich, "Everyone seems quite relieved, though, considering you all knew I'd get off."

Phoenix laughed as she noticed Fred, George, and Ginny were chanting 'he got off, he got off, he got off' obnoxiously, while doing a sort of war dance.

"You were trailed in front of the entire Wizengamot?" Phoenix asked Harry curiously, she couldn't help but sound impressed.

"Oh yeah," said Harry, filling up his goblet with pumpkin juice. "I think that Fudge was rather unimpressed with the verdict, he was outvoted obviously."

"Good," grinned Phoenix. "Glad you'll still be on the Quidditch team, Harry."

"Is that what you were most concerned about?"

Phoenix looked at the fifth year, grinning. "Yep!"

Harry laughed, knowing Phoenix's sardonic sense of humour all too well.

"That's enough!" Mr. Weasley shouted at the twins and his daughter, though he was grinning widely. "Settle down! Listen, Sirius, Lucius Malfoy was at the Ministry–"


The chant continued and Phoenix had to hold back a laugh at the three Weasley's rather terrible dancing "He got off, he got off, he got off–".

"Be quiet, you three!" Mr. Weasley instructed once again, but to no avail, the three Weasleys' kept on dancing and chatting, much more loudly than before. "Yes, we saw him talking to Fudge on Level Nine, then they went up to Fudge's office together. Dumbledore ought to know."

Phoenix could bet that Lucius Malfoy had been hoping to hear Harry's verdict first hand, and was undoubtedly hoping to tell Draco some good news when he arrived home.

"Absolutely," agreed Sirius. "We'll tell him, don't worry."

"Well," sighed Mr. Weasley, checking watch and giving his wife a kiss on the cheek. "I'd better get going, there's a vomiting toilet waiting for me in Bethnal Green. Molly, I'll be late, I'm covering for Tonks, but Kingsley might be dropping in for dinner–"

"He got off, he got off, he got off–"

"That's enough!"

The days slipped by and soon it was the eve before Phoenix returned to Hogwarts. She had spent the remainder of her summer assisting in the cleaning of Grimmauld Place, spending the time she could with George (and sometimes Fred) at Lavender Cottage and even spending a handful of afternoons with Angelina over a warm cup of her homemade caramel hot chocolate. It had been an enjoyable, pleasant summer; though she had not spent her time at the Burrow playing Quidditch with the Weasleys or spent an afternoon in Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop with Fred and George, it had been fun and rather interesting to spend her summer at the Headquarters of the Order of Phoenix.

Phoenix appeared at the doorstep to Grimmauld Place, her Hogwarts trunk in one hand, her wand and Silvano's cage in the other. She placed Silvano down to the floor and whipped her wand through the air, the heavy door to number twelve opening slowly in front of her. She had decided to spend the last night of the summer at Grimmauld Place, she usually spent her last day at the Burrow anyway and thought she was not going to break the tradition simply because of the change of location.

She made her way to Ginny and Hermione's room, where Mrs. Weasley had set up an extra bed for her. Ginny greeted Phoenix was a knowing smile.

"What?" Phoenix asked suspiciously, setting down her trunk beside Ginny's and Silvano's cage on top of it.

"You wait till you hear the news," grinned Ginny.

"What news?"

"Oh, I can't not tell you!" said Ginny, she got up from her bed and took Phoenix's hand.

Ginny dragged Phoenix out of the bedroom and up the stairs to the room where Ron and Harry were staying. She knocked patiently. The door opened moments later to reveal Fred, who looked as though he was having the time of his life.


"What's the news then?" she asked irritably. "Ginny said–"

George pointed a finger at Ron, who appeared to be rather flushed. "Ask him."

Ron didn't say anything, he simply held up a red and gold badge. A prefect badge.

"You're a prefect?" she asked, her grin was wide as she took a step closer. "Well done Ron!"

"Why aren't you laughing?" Ron asked suspiciously, eyeing her as she inspected the badge closely.

"Why would I laugh?" said Phoenix, shooting the twins a dangerous look as she hear them sniggering behind her. "It's a brilliant achievement, I was never made prefect!"

Ron looked grateful, Phoenix just knew that Fred and George had well and truly put Ron off his prefect badge. Though Phoenix could understand why, Fred and George simply felt it their duty to tease everybody and anybody. She still didn't find it prudent to tease Ron, she had always felt immensely protective over Ron since the day she met him. She knew he was more than capable of taking care of himself of course, but she saw Ron as her younger brother, just like she saw Ginny as a younger sister. Of course, she teased whenever she could, but to tease Ron over this great achievement, she didn't have the heart to.

Hermione had of course been made prefect too, this was something Phoenix had been expecting. The bushy haired fifth year had evidently been dying to tell Phoenix of her achievement, almost bursting into tears of happiness as she clutched at her badge.

"I can't believe it!" she gushed, her cheeks bright red and her eyes gleaming. "I mean, I can, I've worked exceptionally hard but I still can't believe it!"

Mrs. Weasley was plainly thrilled about Ron and Hermione's accomplishment and had decided to throw a sort of celebration party for the two of them, inviting members of the Order along for a bite to eat and some congratulations to Ron and Hermione. She had also had bought Ron a new broom as a special gift, a Cleansweep Eleven, and he was evidently ecstatic about it (having ignored his Mother's instructions on opening the parcel later on in the evening.

A scarlet banner, embossed with gold writing read 'Congratulations Ron and Hermione – New Prefects', hung over the kitchen table which was groaning under the weight of a mass amount of food; sandwiches, pies, pasties, cakes, flagons of butterbeer and pumpkin juice.

"I thought we'd have a little party, not a sit-down dinner," she explained, setting down a delicious looking apple pie. "Your father and Bill are on their way, Ron. I've sent them both owls and they're thrilled."

Phoenix saw Fred roll his eyes out of the corner of her eye and she shot a glare in his direction.

Aside from the usual occupants of Grimmauld Place, Lupin, Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt and Phoenix's step-brother William were also present. Phoenix also saw, with a jolt of surprise, Mad-Eye Moody. She knew that he was in the Order of course, but to see Alastor Moody himself and not the one she had known last year (the imposter) no doubt left her feeling anxious, especially after learning about Barty Crouch Jr's real identity as a Death Eater.

"It's a little weird seeing our old professor," muttered Phoenix, "Knowing he never actually taught us."

"Very strange," agreed Fred. "Did you see the booklists?"

"Of course Pixy did," said George before Phoenix had the chance to open her mouth.

"Well it must mean Dumbledore managed to find a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher," said Fred. "Given the fact we were assigned a Slinkhard book."

Bill and Mr. Weasley arrived not too long after, Edmund following close behind. He looked more exhausted than Phoenix had seen him at Cedric's funeral. Phoenix knew that those who worked in the Department of Mysteries had rather tiring jobs, but she had never seen the bags under his eyes so dark, his skin so pale, his face so thin. She had barely seen her eldest sibling over the summer and Phoenix couldn't help but grow worried over Edmund's appearance.

Once everyone had collected a drink, Mr. Weasley called to the room at large, "Well I think a toast is in order," he raised his goblet, grinning at his Ron and Hermione. "To Ron and Hermione, the new Gryffindor prefects!"

"You should be proud of Ron," Phoenix told Fred and George after they collected a large plate of food.

"We're just surprised it wasn't Harry," said Fred honestly. "Aren't you?"

"I suppose Harry has caused too much trouble," Phoenix mused. "I don't really know who I was expecting to be prefect out of Ron and Harry, I only ever considered Hermione, Ron nor Harry never really struck me as the type of be concerned with Prefect duties."

Phoenix remembered when she had not been picked out to be Prefect. She had been rather upset by it, considering had hardworking she was, though she supposed being Fred and George's partner in crime (and spending most of her fourth year wondering late at night with the twins) may have contributed to her being excluded from the opportunity.

Fred and George excused themselves after a conversation about NEWTs with Phoenix to talk to Mundungus, no doubt to buy some of his stolen goods for their product experiments. Phoenix sat with Tonks, Ginny and Will, who were discussing Quidditch.

"I think you should try out for Keeper, Ginny," said Phoenix encouragingly.

Ginny frowned, "I'd rather be a Chaser than a Keeper," she admitted. "Once you and the other Chasers leave Hogwarts, I'll probably try out for that position instead."

"Jumping into Phoenix's grave?" Will asked. "How brave of you."

"You did the same to Will," Phoenix shot back. "Need I remind you."

"Fair point," Will grinned.

Edmund and Will had both been members of Ravenclaw house and on the Quidditch team, Ed had been an exceptional Beater alongside Zachary Clarke, before suffering a rather fatal shoulder injury during a vicious Quidditch match against Slytherin. William had wasted no time in trying out for the new position as one of Ravenclaw's Beaters, and he had been an exceptional Beater.

"I don't think we'll get a Keeper as good as Oliver was," said Phoenix. "If we do we'll be incredibly lucky."

"Who's Quidditch captain this year?" asked Ginny curiously, "I can't imagine it being Fred or George, they wouldn't have shut up about it otherwise."

Phoenix grinned, looking over at the twins who were huddled in the corner of the kitchen talking in hushed voices to Mundungus and Harry.

"Angelina is, of course," Phoenix smiled. "No surprise. Fred also don't know that I know about it."

"Angelina will be a great Captain," said Will, who had met Angelina a fair few times over the past seven years. "She's an excellent player and a can-do attitude every Quidditch team needs!"

"Well said William," Phoenix said, her voice dripping with sarcasm, though she couldn't help but agree. Angelina was a superb candidate, she had a certain fire within her when it came to Quidditch, well, Angelina had a permanent fire within her anyway.

Phoenix noticed that the twins and Mundungus had ended their discussion and were monitoring frantically at Phoenix.

"Excuse me," she said, getting up from her seat, "Fred and George appear to be struggling for words."

"We managed to get some Venomous Tentacula seeds from Dung," said George in a whisper as they made their way upstairs. "They're a Class C Non-Tradable Substance."

"Merlin's beard!" cried Phoenix, clapping her hand over her mouth as they passed Mrs. Black's portrait. "What do you need them for?" she added in a whisper.

"The Skiving Snackboxes," explained Fred. "Harry helped us lower Dung's price to just ten Galleons down from twenty!"

"Blimey," said Phoenix as they reached the twins' bedroom. "How did he do that?"

"He reminded Dung that Moody might have had his eye on him," smirked Fred. "It's a good thing Mum invited so many people round otherwise she would have spotted us easily."

"She prefers it if we and Mundungus are more than ten feet apart at all times," said George.

Fred placed the grubby bag of Venomous Tentacula seeds safely into his Hogwarts trunk, which no doubt carried all kinds of strange items the twins were planning to experiment with.

"Can you believe it," began Phoenix, taking a seat at the end of Fred's bed, "our last year at Hogwarts."

"I know," said Fred. "Next year Phoenix will be training to be an Auror, and we'll be the proud owners of the most successful joke shop in Wizarding history."

"And be members of the Order," added George.

"And homework free," said Phoenix.

"I feel as though we have an interesting year ahead of us," Fred yawned, "A very interesting one indeed."

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