Part 1 in the Poppy Jacobs series (which are Work In Progress). This book follows the events of Goblet of Fire. I've finished writing this one (hence the upload) and am in the process of writing OotP.


Accents and languages: I've kept to the accents within HP4, but I've tried to update them as we go along the story to show the progression of an accent when exposed to English for a length of time. If I've got this wrong, please let me know - I'm English, and just want to try and portray the accents properly, but I'm not fluent in French or Eastern European languages (as we don't know specifically if Durmstrang catered for only Bulgarian students) and so I'm sure there will be grammatical errors when I get to the parts where students speak in their native languages (mainly French).

J.K. Rowling: I do not own any of the Harry Potter universe. The only things I have fandom control over are Poppy and her friends, any added secondary characters, and my original ideas/additions/exclusions (e.g. SPEW will be removed, as I just don't want to write about modern slavery and House Elves being happy about their enslavement.)

To anyone reading my Bess-Sirius story, I am so sorry! I'll update soon! I'm re-reading the entire story to get back into it and do it justice. Life has well and truly hit me for a loop over the past months and I had to take a long break. The 100th chapter has taken me months to write, but will be published soon along with a synopsis explaining my absence.

Here we go!

Poppy stepped off a blue train and as it began to move away from the platform, took a look at herself in the passing windows. She groaned at the tired looking teen who stared back at her, and made her way to the train station toilets to freshen up.

Poppy had spent a summer working tirelessly at her two jobs, and it seemed to have taken a toll from the looks of the slightly darker patches under her eyes.

She was only seventeen (two months from her eighteenth birthday, she reminded herself as she stared at her reflection in the dirty mirror in the train station toilet), but she felt older now. More… responsible.

It wasn't just how she thought that made her recognise how much she'd grown up in the past few months especially, it was also her reflection. She'd not had a chance to properly look at herself in a while, and she found that she was now, dare she say it, a woman and no longer a girl.

Though this change hadn't been sudden, and had been gradual over the past couple of years, it felt to Poppy as though the realisation that she was no longer that awkward teen she'd been in her early school years hit her for the first time now.

"Not too bad," she whispered, gently rubbing her cheeks, though a moment later she sighed and said, "could be better," and let her hands drop to the taps of the sink, turning the water on so that she could wash her face.

It wasn't that she thought she was ugly by any means, she just lacked the confidence to think she was attractive enough - she'd spent too long in her school with friends who outshone her in their preteen and early teen years, and reading books about heroines who didn't look anything like her.

So now, at the age of almost eighteen, she was only just coming to understand that the elements of her person she thought of as differences - her golden-brown skin, long brown-black curly hair that she'd only recently learnt to control, her deep brown eyes that were seen as just ordinary and not 'shining' or 'blue ocean-like depths', her slightly bigger lips, and tall height (which meant that she'd towered over a lot of the boys in her year until just before the summer) - were not negatives; and not marks against her. Instead, they were things that made her her.

She still had some ways to go to embrace this and improve her self-confidence, but standing in that bathroom was one of the first times that she allowed herself to think it.

Still, in an effort to make herself feel more 'presentable' and awake, she dried her face and then pinched her cheeks to add a little rouge to her brown skin, and hoped that Charlie would overlook the few stress spots on her face when he saw her.

Her eyes widened when she thought this and she scoffed at herself. Though a small, hopeful voice at the back of her mind said that there might even be a chance that he would find her pretty now, if he could ignore their school years together and the few years age gap.

"Stop it," she whispered, frowning at her reflection in the mirror as she braced her hands on the sink. "You are over the crush," she told herself slowly. "Be. Normal."

Her eyes widened when she heard a flush from the stall behind her and the door opened to reveal a smirking older woman who blatantly stared at her while washing her hands.

"Youngest witch I've seen in a while," the woman said, and Poppy gulped - the woman didn't look like a witch herself, she looked like a Muggle dressed in what she thought witches would wear - a flowing skirt over a corset top and puff white sleeves. "Here for the festival?" she asked.

Poppy opened her mouth, unsure of how to answer, but the woman beat her to it.

"Of course you are. Dressed like that. Turn right when you leave the station and keep walking. You'll find the campsite quick enough. The locals get a bit tired of the get ups," she said with a happy smile and a wink, "but I like yours… very intricate. Looks a bit hot though… Did you make it yourself?" she asked, looking Poppy up and down.

Poppy shook her head and unconsciously fiddled with the sleeves of her robes. "Bought it in London," she said, plastering on a smile.

The woman gave Poppy another appraising look and then left the bathroom, promising to buy her a pint if she could put her in touch with the dressmaker who made Poppy's robes.

Poppy sighed and placed her trunk on the ground. She opened it, summoning a pair of jean shorts and a white top as apparently her café uniform of plain blue robes (which she'd been hoping would be viewed as a dress) was too conspicuous - while Ginny had warned her that the locals were Muggles, she hadn't mentioned that they would be so nosy, and Poppy wanted to go under the radar on her journey so as to not raise any suspicions for the Weasley family.

Once she'd changed she took a deep breath and checked the crudely drawn map that Ginny had sent her. She groaned again.

The Weasley house was a long walk away, and Poppy was already exhausted from work and her journey. She almost cried as she thought about using all of the energy she didn't have, but there was nothing else she could do other than walk as she was so physically tired that she didn't trust herself to Apparate and not get splinched. So, she pulled herself together, shouldered her backpack, and began pulling her trunk along the long road which led out of Ottery St. Catchpole. Luckily, she'd placed a feather-light charm on her belongings, but that didn't stop the mini-trek from being painful.

While she walked she thought of the family and the circumstances that had led her here.

Poppy could be extroverted when needed, but also rather liked her own space once she'd used up her social reserves. She had a few key friends who she spent most of her time with, but also managed to stay on the good side of most of the people in her year and the years above and below her. This meant that she was lucky enough to say that she knew most of the Weasley siblings in one way or another despite not being in the same school year as any of them, but she found herself closest to Charlie and Ginny.

That being said, under normal circumstances Poppy wouldn't have found herself at The Burrow during the summer holidays at all. But for various reasons (mostly financial), this summer was different.

The long and the short of it was that she'd managed to buy a ticket to the Quidditch World Cup final and had depleted her savings in the process. It would have been fine, but then her father and step-mother had not-so-kindly requested that she not return for the summer between her sixth and seventh years, and she'd had to rent somewhere to stay over the holiday.

To pay for this, she'd spent her Hogwarts bursary for seventh year before she'd even started the summer holidays, and had had to work two jobs – waitressing in a little cafe in the early mornings and evenings, and working as a shop assistant at Flourish and Blotts during the daytime – to afford to kit herself out for her final year at Hogwarts and rejuvenate her savings pot ready for when she left school the next summer.

So, when she received a letter from the Quidditch World Cup organisers asking her to arrive at the World Cup campsite a week and a half before the match was due to begin, she panicked, knowing that: she wouldn't be able to miss out on the wages if she wanted to meet her savings goal and buy all her things for school (even though she would be able to make it work, Poppy's financial anxiety made her worry); she didn't have a tent; she hadn't thought about buying food for the week and a half she'd have to be at the campsite; and she wasn't sure what she'd do with herself for all that time on her own in a tent.

Which is where the Weasleys and their incredible generosity came in.

One week before she was due at the campsite, she'd been organising a bookshelf in Flourish and Blotts when she'd bumped into Percy Weasley who was looking for books pertaining to cauldrons.

He'd boasted that his family had box tickets for the cup, and Poppy had ended up complaining about her issue. Two days later, she'd received a letter from his little sister Ginny, inviting her to be their camping guest and saying that they could get there the day of the final.

After just a few minutes of deliberation, Poppy had replied to thank Ginny and to say that she'd be delighted to stay with them, if they were really sure she wouldn't be imposing. She'd then upped her shifts, working daily at both of her jobs. In the following week she barely slept, but she had enough money in the bank by the time she arrived at Ottery St. Catchpole to not have to go back to work after the World Cup, and so she was happy.

And, anxious or not, she was happy to see the Weasleys and especially, see Charlie.

Charlie, four years her senior and a fifth year when she'd joined Hogwarts in 1988, had been kind to her when she'd joined the school. In an effort to make friends in her first year she'd sampled every single club she could, and inadvertently joined three which he was a part of.

He'd ended up taking her under his wing because he'd noticed how lost she was as a Muggle-born, and for the three years that their schooling overlapped they'd become more than acquaintances, but she still counted herself as less of a friend and more of an annoyance for the older wizard.

They'd kept in touch sporadically after he'd left school, mainly when she'd write to ask him questions about school, and to check in on him, and they'd last written during her exam prep for her sixth year Care of Magical Creatures exam a few months previously – she'd asked if he knew anything about the magical qualities of dragon dung. He'd replied to say that there were none, which meant that rather than believing Simon Ergot, she wrote the truth, and gained valuable points in her exam. Some of the cookies which currently sat inside her backpack were destined to be a little (late) thank you token to him.

Bill, six years her senior and Head Boy while she was in her first year at Hogwarts, had taken House points from her once – she'd set fire to the sixteenth century tapestry hanging in the fifth floor corridor by accident on her fourth week of first year and he'd caught her trying to put out the flames with her outer robe – but otherwise their paths hadn't crossed much at all.

He was, of course, a legend. Not only due to the stories she overheard from other students, but also from Percy, who had joined Hogwarts the year before her (but was only two months older than her) and who had an obnoxiously loud boasting voice.

(When Bill got a job working as a Curse Breaker for Gringotts after finishing Hogwarts, Percy had gone on and on about it in the Great Hall for about three weeks until someone asked what he was going to do after school and he'd turned red and quietened down.)

Her relationship with Percy was different. Although they were perfectly cordial and Poppy was always kind and nice to him, she didn't really think that they were… kindred spirits. It wasn't that Poppy didn't like him, she did, she just didn't find herself comfortable around him as much as she did Charlie and Bill, or his younger brothers Fred and George, who were in the school year below her.

And she barely spoke to them apart from laughing at their pranks, rolling her eyes at their terrible jokes, or chatting when their friendship groups overlapped.

Her friendship with Ron was somewhat similar to the twins – she always had a kind word and a smile for him, even though she knew him much less than the rest of his siblings - she was closer to his friend Hermione Granger as Poppy, being in the library a lot studying, often found herself bumping into the bushy haired girl or sharing books and tables with her. Her friendship with Hermione meant that Ron and her knew of each other and would wave at each other when they disembarked for the summer holidays, but they still weren't close enough to do something like write over the summer.

And then there was Ginny.

In all honesty, Poppy had thought that Ginny hated her after what happened in Poppy's fifth year (and Ginny's first). In a letter to Charlie asking for advice for an upcoming OWL exam, Poppy had also mentioned that she was worried about his sister as the younger girl had become a recluse, and a shadow of the charming girl Charlie had described.

Charlie, in response, had written to his mum to ask if Ginny was okay, and Ginny had received a concerned letter from home. When Ginny had found out that it was Poppy who had sent a letter to Charlie, she had cornered her and shouted at Poppy for it, and Poppy had resolved not to meddle in Weasley affairs ever again.

But then at the end of that same school year Ginny had hugged her and walked off without a word. Poppy had been confused at the time, and even more so when Ginny had then, for a reason still unfathomable to Poppy, sought her out once they'd returned for their next school year and declared that they would be friends.

And friends they had kind of become. Even now, almost two years later, Ginny would ask for Poppy's opinion on things and take her advice to heart. It felt to Poppy as though everything had come full circle and now she was taking Ginny under her wing, just like Charlie had taken her under his.

Well… not exactly the same... as Poppy tried not to admit it to anyone, but she'd had a massive crush on Charlie when they'd been at school. She'd hidden it rather well (she hoped), but it definitely meant that her relationship with Ginny was much different - she would be surprised if Ginny had a crush on her.

Poppy's feelings for Charlie had, of course, not been reciprocated (or, would not have been, had Poppy ever actually told Charlie how she felt as he would never have looked at a 14 year old like that, which was the age she'd been when he'd last seen her) but Poppy still felt butterflies at the thought of seeing him again.

"Hey!" called a high pitched voice when Poppy pushed her way through a small gate in the middle of a low stone wall which ran around the perimeter of the oddest house she'd ever seen.

It seemed as though the house had initially been a large rectangular structure and that rooms had been magically added on to the top of the existing structure at some point, but randomly and without architectural skill.

Which, Poppy supposed, was probably exactly what had happened.

She looked up to see Ginny's smiling face leaning out of a second-floor window, and she waved up at her red-headed friend.

"Hey! Should I still knock?" Poppy asked, keenly aware that she didn't know Mr or Mrs Weasley well and wanted to make a good impression rather than just bursting into the house unannounced.

Ginny shook her head. "Just come in. The kitchen door's open. I'll meet you down there in a second!"

Poppy grinned and did as she was told.

Poppy had grown up in the Muggle world and had only ever been in a Wizarding house once before when she'd visited her best friend, Esther, in the summer between third and fourth year. Esther and her parents had taken great pains to explain some of the basic wizarding household customs and spells, but Poppy still found herself blown away by the sheer... magic-ness of the Weasley's kitchen when she stepped inside after leaving her trunk by the mass of muddy Wellington boots just outside the door.

There were pots in the sink which were being washed by a large scrubbing brush; the cat was licking a large root of some kind in the corner right next to a jumper which was knitting itself; there were waving portraits and photos on the walls; books shuddered and swayed in the bookcase; ... there was even a dancing teapot which was steaming and singing, "Teatime, teatime!"

She was so enthralled by it all that she didn't notice the young man who was sitting at the table smiling at her, until he spoke.

"Set fire to anything in here and it'll be more than House points this time," Bill teased, standing.

He was just as Charlie and Ginny had described - she was glad they'd warned her that Bill had leant heavily into his cooler side post-Hogwarts because the long hair, fang earring and cool clothes were worlds away from his Head Boy persona and she'd been twelve when she'd last seen him.

Poppy rolled her eyes dramatically but grinned. "Hey to you too," she replied, holding her arms out automatically.

Although she wasn't usually a hugger and tended to second guess how she should greet someone, she was so used to Ginny hugging her that she didn't even think it was weird to greet Bill like this at first.

"You're shorter than I remember," she added as he walked over to her.

At six foot three he was five inches taller than her, but still, she'd grown a lot since first year.

"Nah, you just decided to join the tall people ranks," he said, shaking his head and wrapping his arms around her middle, squeezing her tight. He stepped back a moment later. "I see what they mean."

"See what who means?" she asked, narrowing her eyes.

"The twins... Percy..."

"The twins and Percy what?" she asked, raising an eyebrow now. What had they said, she wondered worriedly.

Bill shook his head with a smile. "They just said you'd grown up... Does anyone else know you're here?"


Just then a streak of long red hair attached to a slight body came barrelling down the stairs followed by a girl with bushy brown hair. Bill laughed and moved to lean against the kitchen counter.

Ginny didn't give Poppy time to adjust to her presence before she flew into her embrace, tightened her arms around Poppy's middle as Bill had, and grinned up at her. It was almost laughable - Ginny, small and going into her third year, had to crane her neck to look up at Poppy who was almost fully grown and approaching five feet ten.

Hermione stood back from the duo, smiling kindly, and Poppy winked at her in lieu of a proper greeting.

"God, Ginny. At least act like you missed me..." she teased, smiling down at the small girl.

A loud bang and a shout echoed out from beyond the doorway to the staircase and Poppy looked up sharply as three heads of red hair practically fell into the kitchen, landing in a heap.

Percy, his face red with what Poppy thought may have been embarrassment, stood up, pulled himself to his full height, and straightened out his robes as he tucked his wand in his pocket. "Ah, Poppy. You've arrived. Have you been here long? I must have missed the bell," he said importantly. "I've been working on a report for my boss you see, and I often find myself getting lost in my work."

Poppy smiled and tried to stop herself from laughing at Fred and George who were now standing behind Percy dramatically dusting themselves off and imitating their was a funny sight made better by the fact that Percy hadn't noticed at all.

Percy, in stark contrast to his brothers who were wearing more relaxed and informal clothing, was wearing a set of nice navy blue robes and looked incredibly put together. His height made him seem even more of the 'Ministry standard', and Poppy wondered what Mr Weasley would look like when she met him - she knew he worked for the ministry as well.

On the flip side, Fred and George were shorter than Percy and Bill, and stockier, like Charlie had been at their age. As they continued to imitate their older brother, Poppy tried harder and harder not to laugh.

"Good... trip?" Bill asked, his mouth twisting into a smile.

"What?" Percy asked, his blush deepening.

"You're not meant to do magic outside of Hogwarts," Poppy whispered.

Ginny simply laughed and said, "Please," rolling her eyes. "I don't think the Ministry are interested in a tripping charm on a staircase… And anyway, it was important. I wanted to get to you first."

Poppy frowned. "Why?" she asked.

Ginny opened her mouth, but Percy called out to Poppy and took their attention away. "Well, Poppy?"

Poppy turned to Percy. "Sorry, I completely missed that."

Percy went a little redder and asked again, "Would you like a cup of tea?"

Poppy grinned. "Honestly that sounds absolutely perfect, thanks. I'm knackered. If you have any milk and sugar too, that'd be heaven."

"Yeah, us too, thanks Perce. Would be heaven," George said, sitting at the table. "Absolutely parched, we are."

"Personally, I'm knackered," Fred added with a wink.

Percy pursed his lips at his brothers' antics but nodded to Poppy, who had the distinct impression that he was putting on a show of being overly nice. But before he could summon the teapot, Bill handed Poppy a steaming mug of deep brown liquid.

"Milk and sugar on the table," he said with a wink.

"Thank you. Will your mum mind if I-" she said, miming putting her bag down by the door. Ginny nodded and so she put her things down and sat at the table as Percy began to make tea for his brothers with measured but annoyed movements. Poppy felt bad – he'd obviously been trying to start a chat with her but he'd been thwarted. But he had been kind enough to get her invited to camp with his family, so she asked, "So what's your report about again?"

The resulting groans told her all she needed to know about what was coming, but she was too polite and now that she'd asked, she resigned herself to a long description.

"What do you think of when I say cauldron thickness?" he asked excitedly.

Poppy groaned and sat back in her chair. She'd forgotten he'd been in Flourish and Blotts buying books on cauldrons. She was so tired she wasn't sure if she'd make it through a chat about regulations… even if it was well intended.

Her eyes widened when Fred and George snorted, and Bill covered his mouth with his hand (he turned it into an innocent movement by pretending he was just wiping his mouth, but Poppy saw his telling smile). On the other hand, Ginny didn't try to hide her laughter and Hermione rolled her eyes at everyone's reactions.

"Well," Percy spluttered, reddening even more and looking at his brothers and sister quickly. He straightened himself up again. "I happen to think that my work is important."

Poppy, keen to cover up her own rather rude reaction, decided that it was time for one of her most embarrassing stories to come out after years of hiding. "It is. Important I mean. I uh… I groaned because, you know, it makes me think of the first cauldron I ever bought."

"Oh, well-" Percy tried.

"Ooh! Do tell!" Ginny said, sitting on one side of Poppy and cutting across her older brother. Hermione sat on Poppy's other side, watching everything intently.

"Well," Poppy began, shooting an apologetic look to Percy, "when I got my letter and kit list for First Year, I had to go and buy everything from the Diagon Alley on my own, and-"

"On your own?" Ginny asked, balancing her chin on her hand.

"Uh…" Poppy sighed. "Okay, so for context, and, I don't really share this much, so… yeah, anyway, uh, so my dad's a Muggle and to put it kindly, he's not at all interested in me being a witch," she said quickly. "He walked me to the road the Leaky Cauldron's on and that's it. And he and my step-mum refused to ever pay for anything magical so I get a bursary for my school stuff and for pocket money every year..."

She tried to ignore the slightly raised eyebrows – Hogwarts was a free boarding school so not many people needed complete financial help to attend. She used to feel embarrassed by it, but not anymore – it was what had given her financial independence from her dad, and now she only had gratitude and good things to say about also knew that if anyone wouldn't begrudge her for second hand robes or buying the cheapest books it would be the Weasleys who had, at one point, five kids in Hogwarts at the same time.

"So... Well, you give an eleven-year-old a sack of coins which are meant to last them an entire year and let them loose in an alley full of magical things... let's just say that I spent too much in the sweetshop and once I'd paid for new robes, not second-hand like I should have bought mind you," she added, sending Ginny a pointed look, "new robes... Anyway, once I'd bought everything I was about five sickles too short to buy a new cauldron, so I bought one off some bloke in Knockturn Alley and four weeks into term the bottom of it just melted away while I was making a potion."

She stopped to smile as everyone but Percy began to laugh.

"You can laugh," she said, chuckling. "I was so worried when it happened. Snape had a real go at me and I genuinely thought I'd get chucked out of school… so I did what anyone else would do. I paced a corridor and freaked out so much that I ended up accidentally setting fire to a tapestry..." she added, grimacing at Bill who let out a knowing chuckle. "But after a little intervention from a certain Head Boy and a little chat with McGonagall, she and Sprout ended up buying me a new cauldron and gave me lessons on how to stretch my bursary money out. I was mortified, but it all worked out luckily."

"Is that why you were working so much this summer?" Hermione asked."Does the bursary not cover Seventh Year?"

Poppy gulped down some tea. "No," she said, smiling. "It does. First Year is why I started working though. Every summer I've had a job of some kind to try and make sure I have a little extra money left over each year to put into my savings, but obviously I haven't learnt anything because I spent every penny I'd saved in five years on a ticket for the World Cup final," she said, smiling and shrugging. "But it's a once in a lifetime event so I've been working as many shifts as I can to make the money back."

She didn't think they needed the added context that she'd spent her bursary on rent at the start of the summer.

"Will you be okay?" Hermione asked, frowning.

Poppy smiled appreciatively. "Don't worry, tips have been really good at the cafe - loads of international people have been coming in ahead of the final. I'm just tired from the double shifts."

"Well you'll appreciate the paper I'm writing then!" Percy said enthusiastically, obviously having not listened to what she'd just been saying.

"Perce, leave her alone would you?" Fred asked, rolling his eyes. "She only just got here. I'm sure she doesn't want to die from boredom yet."

"I can summarise his paper for you if you fancy it, Pop. We've had to listen to him bang on about it enough this summer," George added.

Poppy frowned. The only person who'd ever called her 'Pop' was Charlie. Hoping it wouldn't catch on if she didn't make a big thing of it, she let the nickname slide. She guessed they'd all talked about her before she got there and the twins were trying to tease her with it.

She was just grateful George hadn't called her 'Bounce,' which was Charlie's other, more embarrassing nickname for her.

Percy huffed. "Just because you can't appreciate what I'm trying to do doesn't mean that Poppy will think the same. Now, Poppy, shall we?" he asked, lifting his mug off the table and tilting his head to indicate the stairs. "I'm writing in my room at the moment. It's the only quiet place in the house unfortunately."

Poppy smiled. She really was too polite so she began to stand, but Ginny's hand clamped down on her arm and pulled her back down. "She can't, Percy. Mum'll be down in a minute and she wouldn't be happy if Poppy didn't say hello, would she?"

Percy pursed his lips. "I suppose not."

"Shouldn't you be getting to work anyway, Perce?" George asked pointedly. "You just got back from the office so you've got, what, an hour left until dinner? Prime paper writing time, that."

Percy glared at the twins but nodded and huffed as he turned and walked back out of the room, stomping up the stairs.

"Mum wouldn't really mind," Ginny said, smirking. "But thought you needed an out. She really will be down in a minute anyway. Charlie's just helping her subdue the ghoul above Ron's room."

"That's code for, 'she's making Ron clear up a little before Harry gets here in the morning,' and while she's up there she's making Charlie deal with the ghoul," Hermione snickered.

Poppy tried to school her features when Charlie's name was brought up. She felt the butterflies in her stomach start up again, and she was incredibly embarrassed by the increase in her heart rate and thanked god that no one around her could hear it.

"Awesome," she said instead of letting anyone catch on. "I actually baked your parents some cookies to say thank you for having me. Should I get them out now, or..."

"Sharing is caring," Ginny said, nodding, her chair scraping against the floor as she stood up quickly.

Poppy laughed and took a sip of her tea before she got up and walked over to her large backpack. Ginny was already standing beside it, waiting for her. Poppy bent over to undo the buckles and pulls, and tried to speed up when she heard steps approaching from the stairs. A moment later she pulled out a large box filled with her homemade chocolate chip cookies. She left the box of sweet treats destined for Charlie in her bag, and turned to the doorway to see Ron, who had grown incredibly over the summer, a short woman who could only have been Mrs Weasley, and...

"Charlie," she said, grinning excitedly at him.

She tried not to stare, but he'd definitely grown up since she'd last seen him – his arms were now burn ridden and more muscly, and he was weather-beaten, tanned and slightly taller, she guessed about six foot one. Her heart felt like it was beating out of her chest now.

He didn't immediately answer her, but instead looked at her oddly, a little frown line appearing in between his eyebrows.

"Uh, Poppy," she said, pointing at herself awkwardly, still holding the cookie box in one hand, balancing it on her hip. He didn't answer again, but nodded instead, so she smiled at Mrs Weasley, trying not to let her upset and rejection show.

"Thank you again for letting me stay," she said to the matriarch, who smiled and walked around the table towards her.

"The pleasure is ours. Now I'm afraid it'll be a bit of a tight fit so you'll be staying in Ginny's room with her and Hermione. Is that alright?"

Poppy grinned and nodded, "Perfect," she said. She held out the box. "It's not much, but a little edible thank you."

"You shouldn't have," Mrs Weasley said, smiling and opening the tin. "These smell divine. I'll pop them on the table. Help yourselves-"

Before she'd even finished her words the box was out of her hands and within half a minute it was sitting open and half empty on the kitchen table while the Weasley children and Hermione sat happily chomping into the large round doughy bakes.

Well, Poppy noticed that Charlie stood by the door, frowning at her until Bill, the only person who'd seemed to notice Charlie's odd reaction apart from Poppy, chucked a cookie at his brother's head. With lightning fast reflexes Charlie caught the cookie and a smile transformed his face when he looked at his brother, walking round the table to give him a shove as he bit into the sweet treat.

"One each please!" Mrs Weasley scolded when the twins went for seconds. "Dinner's in an hour and a- for Merlin's sake boys, save some for tomorrow."