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The day had not gone as well as he had hoped. His alarm didn't go off, which made him an hour late for work. The leg of his desk chair broke, and he had to mend it, scratching his wand in the process, so he had to take the wand in to be repaired, which put him behind on his reports, which gave him a tongue-lashing from his department head, which put him running too late for his appointment with the healers for his yearly check-up, who then made him wait for an hour in the waiting room, making him miss lunch, which made him hungry, tired and extremely irritable. To top it all off, he was reminded about the Weasley Brides Home-cooked Dinner Party. Oh joy.
Being late, He rushed even faster, and accidentally took the Floo to Andromeda's home. After too many minutes of apologizing and of course, convincing a tearful Teddy he couldn't stay, he was able to get through the proper floo and walked into chaos.
Flour was rising in a mysterious cloud from the far end of the kitchen, barely hiding Audrey. Fleur was pushing Ginny aside, so she could use the whole cook-top for her pots. Hermione and Ginny were arguing about careful measuring vs guesstimating and tossing. All he could see of Angelina was her backside, as she was kneeling deep within the cooler.
Seeing how the room was so loud, and no one seemed to notice he had arrived, he decided the safest thing to do was to sneak out as fast as he could. Just before he apparated away, Angelina poked her head out of the fridge, nodded and grimaced at him as if to say- Get out while you can!
He placed himself into the blissfully silent bedroom. Unfortunately, He had forgotten to put his dressing gown away this morning and he had landed on it with his feet thoroughly entangled. It took a fall and a painful bump on his forehead before the feet were freed.
'Ok, Calm down. Breathe. Not everything today will go wrong.' He said to himself, as he walked right into the door frame, knocking his glasses askew and giving his nose a strong nudge to the right.
When he stopped seeing stars, he stumbled into the shower, forgetting to take off his glasses. In the steamy bathroom, he reached for his wand to dry the glasses and the mirror, just to stick the end of the blasted thing in his left eye. Thoughtfully forgoing a shave, he dressed carefully in simple jeans and a tee. It took him about four steps to realize his shirt felt weird, because it was backwards. Bedroom slippers seemed the safest choice when it came to footwear, until he found the remains of a mouse stuck in the toe of the right one. Yes, Ginny's cat has struck again. Fine! He will just wear his socks. What could go wrong with that? Four more steps later, his little toe formed a shocking relationship with the leg of the bedside table.
When the pain subsided enough, He crept very slowly towards the other side of the room, to where he had kicked off his work boots. He'll put them on very carefully, checking for foreign objects first, and then see if he could leave the room before any other disaster can be diverted. He knew that all his brothers-in-law had to be downstairs by now. It was his duty to play the host.
His plan worked, at least until he was three steps from the bottom, his foot slipped, and he could feel his ankle twist in an un-natural manner.
Really? Hungry, Nose smarting, lump on his forehead, glasses smeared from being wet, left eye turning black, right toe pounding the beat of a rapper, now his left ankle is swelling up like a balloon. He was at rock bottom when it came to his luck today. What else could go wrong?
Uh oh. As soon as he thought it, he realized the jinx. It was just a matter of time before something else would happen. He could count on it.
Ron heard the fall and came to give him a hand. With a laugh, Ron lifted him up and helped him limp in to greet the other men, with only a slight bump while passing the door frame, causing only a small bruise on his shoulder.
Propping himself on his favorite chair and with his feet up on the ottoman, he motioned to the others to help themselves to drinks. Yes, maybe that would help. Ron was too helpful in bringing him a double fire whiskey.
Conversation flowed normally, and he felt that maybe his luck would get a bit better. He shouldn't count on it.
Percy, while droning on about the newest legislation, paid no attention to where he was going, tripped over the ottoman, landing on the aching feet, and spilling his drink over him. Lovely. So, now he was hungry, irate, smarting nose, black eye, both legs in pain, an aching shoulder , headache. And now he smelled like a distillery. He did a body check to make sure nothing was missed. Nope, that about covered it.
He reached for his wand, to see if he could siphon off any of the booze, only to discover that he had left it on the bathroom vanity.
All the brothers were pretty much ignoring him, which probably was best, seeing his black mood. But his big sigh of frustration caught George's ear. His brother-in-law stepped close, to try to start a conversation, but wrinkled up his nose. The alcohol seemed to have gotten even more odorous than it should. George waved his own wand over him, but instead of drying the Fire whisky, his shirt started to spark.
Before he could ask someone to go upstairs to get him a fresh shirt, they all heard a big crash and several loud women's voices. They could hear a few choice words being said, both in English, and French. Not daring to be the first to be cursed, all the men seemed to cower at the farthest end of the room from the stairs to the kitchen
Then silence. Only a rustle and a few clinks. Then Hermione cried that they spoiled what was supposed to be a non-magical night. Fleur answered her tersely in rough French. Bill refused to translate.
Could he have a pain potion AND the fire whisky together?
In what seemed like a few hours, the men were called to come down. Leaning on George, He was greeted by five women, each smiling falsely and looking a bit worn on the edges. Ginny wiped her hair out of her face with a hand that was stained with what looked like beet-root juice.
Ginny stood tall and gestured for all to sit. The table was set carefully with her wedding china and everything looked beautiful. She greeted them graciously and asked the women to present their dishes and say why they chose that particular offering.
Fleur presented an appetizer, something she had learned from her Veela grand-mère. It was sloppy and green. It didn't look edible, but they all choked it down. Not too bad.
Audrey brought in a large pan of Corn bread. She explained how she had discovered it while a student in the USA. It wasn't bad at all, if you ignored the slight burn taste on the bottom. It is a tricky stove after all.
Ginny brought out a large roast beef, surrounded by vegetables. There were ooohs and Ahhs as slices were passed along. She said that she learned the dish from her mother. Though dinner was late, because she mixed up beet-root with tomato while preparing the marinade. She hoped the red stain will fade in time.
Hermione was a little put off when her salad didn't get as rich compliments as the meat. But stated that salad was the easiest for someone who had no idea how to cook.
All in all, it was a pleasant meal. Nothing new happened, when it came to pain, until the plates were about cleared.
Ron started laughing. Nothing new. Ron laughed at anything. But He was suspicious. George kept looking askance at his brother before breaking down in snorting laughs. Percy shook his head, having an idea something was up. Bill just casually pulled his chair away from the table, ready for an easy exit.
The women were stunned silent. They were getting worried about the menfolk. Maybe someone spiked their wine with some giggle water? Only Ginny knew what might be happening. Those two were her brothers after all.
After looking at Ron and George laughing at each other, He had enough. "Okay! Stop!" He called loudly.
George was the first to quiet, "Sure. What's the problem?"
"What did you do?" He asked coldly, knowing who might be to blame.
"Uh, we were experimenting." Ron said, beginning to worry if their experiment went too far?
"Again, what did you do?" He looked about as angry as he was feeling. His suspicions were slowly getting confirmed.
"Uh, well. You see. We came up with a delay-reaction anti-luck potion, fresh for the new school year. Just a few drops at night, and the whole next day will bring bad luck. It seems to work alright." George didn't quite recognize the hole he was digging.
"Anti-luck." He repeated. "You somehow gave an Auror some anti-luck and that is why I had one of the worst days in years?"
Ron had the courtesy to nod silently, knoeing he had screwed things royal. George, now realizing he had dug new hole in the floor, shrugged his shoulders and said simply, "Yeah."
There was silence in the room. A lone fly buzzed around and landed on his face, brushing it off, his hand caused the glasses to be flung off his face and land on the last few bites of potatoes.
His cold, calm glare at the two youngest Weasley boys seemed to stir the others. Bill reached his hand out around Fleur and gently, but not too gently, smacked George upside the back of his head. Hermione, seeing this, repeated the action on Ron.
Angelina stood and dragged George out of his seat. "Ow! What's wrong?" He howled.
She turned to Ginny and said, "When Wizarding World War Three starts because of that, tell him that my advice was to eat Jello." She reached over and lifted the dome that was covering the dessert. A large, jiggling jello mold danced in place. All eyes were glued to it. Layers of red and yellow, mixed with fruit and cream glistened in the candlelight. Truly a masterpiece of gelatin delights.
Then a small Huff, a little snort, a shoulder shake. Then a grin that grew to cover his whole face. Soon, Harry was laughing so hard, he fell off his chair and bashed his sore nose against the table.
Yeah, A typical dinner with the Weasleys. A good day after all.