"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.


3. Rude Awakenings

Instead of following Bill and Charlie to one of the sheds in the garden however, Phoenix lay down on her back on the grass beside the pond that she had sat only a few hours earlier with Ginny and Hermione.

She stared up at the clouds, watching the various shapes in the sky. She took particular interest in a cloud that was in the shape of a dolphin and watched as it moved very slowly across the bright blue sky. Her hand rose up in the air and traced her finger round its shape.

She heard the front door open, then close from somewhere in the distance and Phoenix sat herself up on her elbows and looked towards the Burrow where Fred and George walked over, their ears were a brighter red than their hair.

"Hello," she said greeted them as they sat down.

"I can't believe her!" said Fred, shaking his head almost angrily.

"You're not angry with her are you?" said Phoenix carefully.

Fred and George looked at each other, "No," said George, "we're not angry. We're just annoyed."

"Why?" said Phoenix.

"We just wish that she would stop expecting us to be like Bill, Charlie, or," Fred shuddered at the mere thought of it, "Percy. We are never going to be them or even remotely like them."

Phoenix frowned at Fred who had now became yanking pieces of grass with his hands, and then looked over at George, who were shrugged and shot her a small smile. "Give her time Fred," she said as she rested her head on George's shoulder, "Just give her time."

"I just can't fathom how she can't understand," said Fred, whose teeth were now gritted in anger.

Phoenix looked up at George, who spoke for her, "she only wants what is best for us Freddie and you know that. She just doesn't want us to be disappointed if it doesn't work out and we've even said that it may not work out."

"Why are you backing her up?" Fred snapped at his twins, his eyes gleaming slightly.

"She's our Mum, Fred and I know that you want her to accept our ambitions just as much as I do."

"Can we just stop talking about it?" Phoenix asked, staring across at Fred with a pleading look on her face. Fred opened his mouth to reply but Phoenix spoke again before he could interrupt, "please Fred? Before you say something that you regret." Fred nodded slowly in reply and Phoenix felt George's arm around her waist as he pulled her closer to him.

"Sorry Nix," Fred mumbled, looking guiltily at her and giving her a small smile. Phoenix narrowed her eyes at Fred, her face breaking out into a smile.

Loud crashing noises broke their silence. Phoenix and the twins whipped their heads around and saw that the source of the noises was Bill and Charlie, wands in the air. They were making two battered looking tables smash into each, high in the air, both of them attempting to knock each other's out of the air. Fred and George got to their feet quickly, George pulling Phoenix up to his feet, before they all cheered on Bill and Charlie as Ginny laughed and Hermione looked torn between amusement and worry.

The door to The Burrow opened from behind where Phoenix was standing and she saw Ron and Harry appear, both with looks of confusion on their faces, before they saw the two tables in the air and began laughing and cheering along with the others. Phoenix watched as the table that Bill was levitating caught Charlie's table with a very loud bang and knocked one of its battered legs off, causing the on-lookers of the battle roar with laughter.

"Will you keep it down?!"

Phoenix jumped at the sudden voice and look up to see Percy's head sticking out of a window on the second floor with a very angry look on his face. His hair was still very pink.

Billy grinned as he said, "Sorry, Perce, how're the cauldron bottoms coming on?"

"Very badly," Percy said, clearly irritated as he slammed the window shut so sharply that it almost caused the window to shatter. Bill and Charlie directed the tables back down onto the ground, much to the disappointment of Fred and George. Then with a flick of Bill's wand, the table leg attached itself back to its table and conjured tablecloths out of nowhere.

"Why didn't you two tell me about Weasley's Wizard Wheezes then?" Phoenix asked as she sat herself beside Fred and Harry, opposite George and Charlie at the end of the table. It was seven o'clock and everyone including the nine of the Weasley's, Harry, Hermione and Phoenix were settled down at the two tables sitting underneath a clear dark blue sky.

Charlie almost chocked on his chicken pie and looked at each of the twins incredulously, "You didn't even tell her?" he asked.

"Er – well – to be honest, we knew that you wouldn't agree with it," said Fred, casting a weary look over at Phoenix.

"What do you mean?" She asked, she could feel herself glowing red and helped herself to some shepherd's pie.

"Well," started Fred, looking over at George, who didn't look at his twin as he was stuffing his face with some boiled potatoes, "we just thought that you would, well tell us off or something …"

Phoenix looked from Fred and George, a disbelieving look on her face, "You didn't tell me about your little business because you were scared I would tell you off?" Fred and George avoided her eye contact, "So much for telling me everything,"

"Pixy, we're sorry-" George began, trying to lean over the table to put a hand on Phoenix's shoulder, but she shrugged him off, plastering a smile on her face.

"It's fine, I understand."


"I said it's fine." Said Phoenix through gritted teeth as she stabbed at her salad, "So who do you reckon is going to win?"

"It's got to be Ireland," Charlie said, his mouth full of potatoes, "They flattened Peru in the semifinals."

"Bulgaria has got Viktor Krum, though," Fred said, Phoenix looked up from attacking her food to see George staring at her. He looked at her as if to say, are-you-okay? Phoenix returned the look with her best fake smile.

"Krum's one decent player, Ireland has got seven. I wish England had got through. That match was embarrassing." Phoenix said before she stabbed a piece of lettuce with her fork.

"What happened?" Harry's voice suddenly asked and Phoenix looked up to see him leaning closer beside her to join in the conversation.

Charlie spoke for her, speaking with a glum look on his face, "Went down to Transylvania, three hundred and ninety to ten, shocking performance. And Wales lost to Uganda, and Scotland was slaughtered by Luxembourg."

"Yeah Anastasia got tickets to see England play against Transylvania with her boyfriend, Felipe and she said she was embarrassed to be supporting them," said Phoenix, placing down her knife and fork and placing her plate on top of the stack of plates that was being floated around by Mr. Weasley.

"Isn't Ed and Will coming to the match tomorrow?" asked George.

"Yeah, he said their tickets aren't as good as ours though. Do you know where we are sitting?"

"No. Dad hasn't told us. I suspect he wants it to be a surprise," Fred shrugged before Mrs. Weasley bustled over to them and handed them all some homemade strawberry ice cream, which they all gladly took.

As the sky darkened, stars filling the deep purple sky above them, Mr. Weasley had conjured some candles to light the garden. Phoenix rested her head on Fred's shoulder, watching a moth dance lazily around one of the brightly burning candle, she breathed in the warm air and the pleasant smell of honeysuckle and the grass. Phoenix felt a feeling of content in her stomach and thought to herself, this was the way that she should be spending her summer, not feeling as though she was being lied to and purposely being kept in the dark. She closed her eyes, her hair turning to a deep midnight blue colour.

"Look at the time," Mrs. Weasley said suddenly, checking her watch, her eyes wide. "You really should be in bed, the whole lot of you you'll be up at the crack of dawn to get to the Cup. Harry, if you leave your school list out, I'll get your things for you tomorrow in Diagon Alley. I'm getting everyone else's. There might not be time after the World Cup, the match went on for five days last time."

"Wow—hope it does this time!" said Harry eagerly, his eyes a-blaze with excitement. Phoenix smiled at him and couldn't help but silently agree.

"Well, I certainly don't! I shudder to think what the state of my in tray would be if I was away from work for five days." Percy said sharply, looking very disapprovingly at Harry.

"Yeah, someone might slip dragon dung in it again, eh, Perce?" said Fred, a lopsided smirk on his face that told Phoenix that the twins had something to do with the dragon dung in Percy's tray.

She watched as Percy's face turned extremely red, "That was a sample of fertilizer from Norway! It was nothing personal!"

"It was," Fred whispered to Harry, leaning over Phoenix as they all stood up from the table. "We sent it."

"And I suspect that Percy's hair is pink because of you guys too?" Harry asked the twins, who both looked at Harry with mock, hurt expressions.

"We would never do that to Perce!" George exclaimed, his hand over his chest, his eyes wild.

"Yeah, he is just another Metamorphmagus, isn't he Nix?" sniggered Fred, nudging Phoenix who shook her head at Harry, smiling.

Phoenix was woken up very unceremoniously as she always did when she stayed at the Burrow. The twins flung their bodies onto Phoenix's, almost winding her.

"WHAT IN THE NAME OF MERLIN ARE YOU DOING? BLOODY HELL HAVEN'T YOU TWO HEARD OF A DIET OR MAYBE EVEN PRIVACY?!" She managed to push off both of the twins with force she never knew she had. They toppled off of her and almost flattened Hermione who managed to escape in the nick of time to go to wake up Ron and Harry and Ginny had ran out to avoid being attacked by her brothers.

"Privacy…" George grinned as leaned against the door frame, stroking his chin as though he was stroking an imaginary beard, "have you ever heard Pixy use that world before Freddie?"

Phoenix glared at Fred and George but felt the corners of her lips tugging into a smile.

"Maybe once-"

"Maybe twice-"

"Maybe every day since she has been here-"

"Or maybe every day since we have known her-"

"I get the picture!" Phoenix put her hands in the air in surrender, "get out of the room, I need to get dressed!"

"Oh can't we stay for that?" sniggered George.


When she had dressed in appropriate muggle clothing, which was a simple pair of jeans, a blue jumper and some worn out converses, she trudged groggily down the stairs alongside Ginny and Hermione who both looked as tired as Phoenix. They walked into the kitchen where Fred, George, Ron and Harry were sitting at the table looking as though they were going to fall asleep on their bacon sandwiches. Mr. Weasley however, who was dressed in a very good assortment of muggle clothing, looked absolutely delighted.

"Phoenix! I see you look much more awake than these boys!" He grimed, "What do you think of my muggle clothing? Harry said it's good, but I need a second opinion,"

"Yeah it's good, something my dad would wear really," Phoenix lied easily as Mrs. Weasley handed her a plate with a bacon sandwich on. Mr. Weasley beamed in delight as the three girls sat down at the breakfast table.

"Why do we have to be up so early?" Ginny asked, rubbing her eyes and letting out a huge yawn as she sat down beside Fred.

"We've got a bit of a walk," Mr. Weasley said brightly.

"Walk? We're not walking to the match are we?" Harry asked, looking completely bemused.

"No, no, that's miles away Harry," Mr. Weasley shook his head, still shining brightly at all of them, "We should only need to take a short walk up Stoatshead Hill. As you can imagine it's very difficult for large numbers of witches and wizards to gather together without attracting some kind of Muggle curiosity. So we have to be careful about how we travel, thousands of wizards can't just fly across all parts of the world, nor can they take the Floo network…"

"George!" Everyone jumped as Mrs. Weasley stared murderously at her son, who looked at his mother innocently.

"What?" George said, his innocent tone couldn't deceive Phoenix and nor Mrs. Weasley.

"What is that in your pocket?"

"Nothing!" Phoenix noticed him flash a look at Fred, then looked back at his mother trying to look as innocent as best he could.

"Don't you even think about lying to me George!" Mrs. Weasley said sharply, pulling out her wand and pointing it directly at George's pocket and said, "Accio!"

Phoenix watched as a handful of colourful zoomed out of George's pocket, unmistakeably some Ton-Tongue Toffees. Phoenix quickly began to scoff down her sandwich so that she didn't have to watch the scene unfold.

"We told you to destroy them! We told you to get rid of the lot of them! They're dangerous! Empty your pockets; go on, both of you!"

Even as Phoenix tried not to look, she could still hear the sounds of cupboards and draws being banged open, toffees soring through the air right into Mrs. Weasley's out stretched hand and straight into the bin.

"Accio! Accio! Accio!" she bellowed looking quite frankly manic as toffees zoomed from all sorts of places, one whacking Phoenix on the back of the head as it zoomed out from the lining of George's pocket and into Mrs. Weasley's hand.

"We spent six months developing those!" Fred shouted, watching as Mrs. Weasley threw some more of the toffees straight into the bin.

"Oh, a fine way to spend six months! No wonder you didn't get more O.W.L.s!"

Oh no, thought Phoenix, here we go again.

Phoenix didn't immediately follow the twins as they stomped away without uttering a single word to their mother, their rucksacks on their backs. She could tell that they were angry and she was in no mood to comfort them.

"Bye Phoenix dear," Mrs. Weasley said, pecking her on the cheek and giving her a warm hug, "make sure the twins behave themselves," she said.

"I will Molly," said Phoenix as she hoisted her rucksack on her back, "I'm sorry about what they did, I had no idea-"

"It's fine," Mrs. Weasley said shortly, "have a good time now."

And with that, Phoenix ran as fast as she could to catch up with the twins. Since both the twins had long and gangly legs and Phoenix extremely short it was hard to catch up with them. So instead she yelled after them, "Wait up!" She yelled, but they didn't turn around.

She began to run, aware that she probably looked like an oddly shaped turtle with her rucksack on her back, weighing her down slightly. The twins' strides, however big as they were, seemed to be slowing down as Phoenix approached them, out of breath.

"You … shouldn't … have … left like that," She panted, finishing her sentence very quickly and looking from one twin to the other, they both had the same expression, very angry but they immediately softened when they saw Phoenix.

Fred stopped and looked down at Phoenix, watching as her hair turned to a deep crimson and her eyes flashed red, "Sorry, we just,"

"Had enough," George finished, also stopping.

"Well I've had enough of you two and your mother yelling at each other," she snapped and both Fred and George looked at her in alarm as they both knew that her fiery temper was something that they would much rather avoid. "I'm not saying give in and say that you don't want to pursue your ideas, but instead of yelling all the time just try and talk to her," Phoenix looked at the twins with the weathering look that had grown accustom to.

George grimed across at his brother over Phoenix's head, "We've never tried that have we Fred?"

"What? Talking? No we would rather kiss a dementor."

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