“And Johnson makes the goal! Harpies are in the lead by fifty
points,” Lee Jordan told the crowd at Exmoor stadium and the vast,
unknown audience listening to Wizarding Wireless Network. He gave
Angelina a thumbs-up as she pumped her fist in the air.
“The Arrows’ coach is calling for a time out,” Jim McGuffin, the other announcer, observed in his gravely voice.
there was a time-out, the commentators were to read the scripted
adverts from the various sponsors. “Looks like the Arrows’ coach could
use some Extra-Strength Willow-Bark Potion from Bobbin’s Apothecaries,”
Lee said with a smile. He hadn’t announced a match since Boxing
Day and it felt good to be behind the microphone on this cloudless
“He’s certainly got a headache with his regular Keeper injured and the Harpies’ Chasing Team in good form,” Jim agreed.
“Perhaps Arrows fans should send their Keeper a card?” Lee suggested. “From Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.”
“Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is selling cards now?” Jim asked. “I thought they were only a joke shop.”
Wizard Wheezes is a joke shop and more,” Lee answered, keeping his eye
on the Arrows players huddled together on the Pitch. He didn’t
want to cut short Fred and George’s advert, but he had to cover the
match properly. The Arrows’ coach had finished shouting at
the substitute Keeper and was shaking his fingers at a hapless Beater
who was moodily tapping his leg with his bat. Plenty of time.
“This weekend Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is celebrating their third anniversary with an incredible sale.”
“A sale on what exactly?” Jim asked. “A man my age doesn’t need U No Poo.”
chortled. It was always fun to commentate with Jim because he was
a veteran announcer who never bothered with a script. And
Fred and George would be thrilled that their favorite product had been
mentioned by name.
“Thirty per cent off all products.
That means Daydream Charms, Love Potions, card tricks …” Lee
paused for a heartbeat. “Memory Enhancers for those senior
Jim laughed. “I don’t know if I would trust just anyone with my memory. How do I know all of these potions and charms are safe?”
and George Weasley, the owners and inventors, try everything on
themselves first – and then their friends and family.” Lee
winced; remembering some of the less-than-successful magic his friends
had performed on him over the years.
“So you trust Fred and George Weasley’s magic?” Jim asked.
Arrows were on their brooms and taking to the air. Lee didn’t
want to leave the segment ending like that so he said the first thing
that popped into his mind. “Jim, I trust them enough to be
godfathers to my newborn son.”
did you hear that?” George called from the storeroom. He
was re-stocking the fireworks section and had lingered in the back room
to catch part of the Harpies match and Lee’s commentary.
“I’m waiting on a customer,” Fred sing-songed from behind the counter.
quickly returned to the shop area in case there were other customers
who needed attention. For the first time that day there was a
lull in the action; the anniversary sale was doing better than they had
“What did you hear on the wireless?” Fred asked once his customer left with two bulging carrier bags.
“Lee’s at it again,” George answered with a grin.
frowned in thought. “He’s already married. Holly’s had the
baby. His book about Jack McCain was just published. What
else is there for him to blather on about?”
George grinned. “We’re to be Jack’s godfathers.”
Fred laughed. “I’m glad Lee told us.”
“He also told Exmoor Stadium.”
“And every Quidditch fan in Britain.”
George sobered. “Yes, but does Holly know?”
you prat!” Angelina flew to the announcer’s box as soon at the
match was over. “You neglected to tell Holly you were going to pull a
stunt like that, didn’t you?”
Lee held up one hand to silence Angelina. They had two minutes to fill before the next show was aired.
“Up next is a three hour special edition of The Wizard’s Wireless’s most popular variety show, Phoenix Song,” Jim McGuffin said.
“It’s their third anniversary,” Lee continued. “To celebrate, special guest Melinda Leo will be on hand to talk about The Seventh Horcrux, the most talked-about series in Phoenix Song’s short, but exciting history.”
“Says here the founders have promised to sing an aria in the second hour,” Jim said with a grin.
Lee thought it sounded like a brilliant program. Too bad he was
going to miss it because of his big mouth. While he and Holly had
agreed on Jack’s godparents, she didn’t know he was going to announce
it on the air. Not that he knew it, either. It had been a happy
accident – just like Jack.
“Really,” Jim repeated, covering
for Lee’s silence. “In addition, there will be chances for listeners to
guess the identities of several mystery authors and to vote on their
favorite new stories.”
Lee snapped back to attention. “How can the listeners do that, Jim?”
“Use the Floo, send an owl – but only in the next three hours.”
pointed to his watch and Lee nodded. He had the last
second. “So stayed tuned for the next exciting Wizarding Wireless
Network Event – The Phoenix Song Anniversary Special, sponsored by Flourish and Blotts.”
Angelina could hardly sit still on her broom. “Did Holly know you
were going to ask Fred and George an the air today?”
answered, torn between annoyance and amusement at Angelina’s
scolding. He chose amusement since Angelina was so adorably
predictable. He grinned cheekily. “I didn’t know I was
going to say that, either.”
“Lee!” Angelina groaned, obviously trying not to smile.
Lee’s grin widened. “Holly also didn’t know I was going to ask you to be Jack’s godmother today.”
Angelina left, still sniffing back happy tears, Jim shook his head and
clapped Lee on the shoulder. “You really know how to handle the
Lee squirmed, thinking about how he was going to
‘handle’ Holly. She had been so unpredictable since Jack’s birth
on Valentine’s Day – happy one minute, in tears the next, and tired all
the time. He was hoping this Easter visit to his parents in
London would be a welcome break for her.
“Why don’t you use the Floo in my hut?”
must have read his mind, since Lee was wondering how he was going to
placate Holly and sort things out with Fred and George in one evening.
hut at Exmoor was a special place for Lee since he had spent a
memorable winter there announcing matches, writing his first published
articles about Jack McCain, and falling in love with Holly. There
were visible reminders of that special time everywhere Lee
looked. Holly’s landscape of the sea at sunset was still on the
wall. The table where Lee had proposed was still in the center of
the room. The Firewhisky stain from their engagement party was
still on the floor.
Shaking his head to rid himself of those
memories, he knelt on the hearth and called to his parents. His
father’s face appeared in the flames. “Shh,” he said.
“Oh.” Lee felt nothing but relief. If Holly were angry or anxious she wouldn’t drift off to sleep.
His father smiled. “She saw how happy Jack was with his grandmother and she finally relaxed enough to take a nap.”
“Good,” Lee said. “Holly won’t sleep during the day and she’s not getting enough sleep at night.”
father’s dark eyes glinted in the flames. “You mother was the
same when you were an infant. Thought she had to keep watch over
you all of the time – much to my dismay.”
“How long did that
last?” Lee found himself asking. He hadn’t had a chance to really
talk to his father in a long time and he found it inexplicably
comforting to know that someone else had gone through this, too.
seemed like forever even though it was just a few months,” his father
answered with a rueful smile. “I learned that patience is a
Lee nodded. Patience had never been one of his virtues.
go see Fred and George,” his father suggested with a fond smile. “They
might want to talk about their new godfather duties.”
How did everyone know he had just blurted that out without thinking? Lee sighed. “Right, Dad.”
our godson?” Fred demanded the minute Lee walked into the empty
shop. It was closing time and George was counting the gold in the
“Jack Jordan,” George said, looking up with a pleased grin. “He’s our little wizard now.”
“To mold –”
“Into our image.”
Lee laughed. Fred and George, at least, were pleased with his announcement. “Sorry, mates. Not your image. Jack didn’t come out with red hair or freckles.”
“No, the wee bairn came out with –”
“And dimples,” George added.
“And he cries like a Scot who paid retail.”
“Babies don’t cry with accents,” Lee said, laughing.
“Ach. He’s raising little Jack in Hogsmeade,” George protested.
“With the original Weird Sisters hovering about.”
George nodded. “That coven of Scottish witches – McGonagall, Eppie, and Stacy – will be watching his every move.”
“We were a wise choice,” Fred said.
“How will Jack have any fun if we don’t train him properly in the art of mischief and mayhem?” George asked.
“You two didn’t need any training,” Lee pointed out.
Fred ducked his head with mock modesty. “Mother Nature was generous.”
Lee looked from one identical face to the other. “Or she had a good sense of humor.”
George clutched his chest. “Mock us on our anniversary, why don’t you?”
“Happy Third Anniversary,” Lee replied promptly. “And why aren’t you drinking?”
Fred blanched, clearly chagrined at this oversight. “I knew there was a reason to keep you around, Jordan.”
sat in a semi-circle in the back room in conjured lawn chairs.
Lee drank butterbeer, since he didn’t want to be in deeper trouble with
“The day we left Hogwarts was the best ride on a broom I’ve ever taken,” Fred mused after his fifth beer.
“We flew into the history books, we did,” George agreed.
“Not in my text book, you didn’t.”
“That’s because you teach rubbish history no one cares about, Lee.”
“We’re an inspiration to downtrodden students everywhere.”
“That’s right.” Fred nodded. “Children,” he intoned, “quit school and –”
“Open a joke shop,” George finished.
“A public service announcement from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.”
Lee took a sip of his butterbeer and just listened to them go. It had been far too long since their last drinking session.
“It’s all Umbridge’s fault, you know,” Fred slurred. “Old hag drove us to it.”
“Actually,” George pointed out in his best Percy tone of voice. “It was Harry’s fault.”
“Huh?” Fred stared at his brother. “Oh, right – Harry! Gave us a thousand Galleons, he did.”
George nodded. “Harry’s a great bloke. Getting married this summer.”
“To Ginny,” Fred explained to Lee as if this pairing wasn’t already abundantly clear.
“We’re not paying him back,” George whispered loudly.
“He’s family now,” Fred concluded.
laughed. Harry would hardly miss the gold, not when he finally
was free to marry the girl of his choice. That reminded him of
Holly. “I’m off, mates,” he said standing up and handing George
his empty butterbeer bottle.
George stared stupidly at the bottle.
“Say ‘lo to our boy, Jack,” Fred said.
“He’s family now.” George nodded. Lee shook his head, not knowing if that was a curse or a blessing.
Lee’s surprise, Holly was alone with the baby in his parents’
flat. Jack was propped in a nest of pillows watching the Stoddard
painting of a thousand-petal lotus floating in turquoise water. Judging
by his rapt expression, Jack liked the painting as much as Holly
did. Holly was curled up on the settee, sketching something.
“Hi,” he said, not sure of his welcome.
Holly didn’t look up from her sketchbook. “Did you eat? There’s stew in the cauldron.”
Yeah. I ate at the stadium.” If Holly were angry she would have
launched right into him. He sat next to her and looked at
her drawing. It was Jack, smiling his dimpled smile and waving
his chubby hands. “Hey. There’s our man.”
smiled so that one of her almost-dimples showed and then she added two
cross hatches to the portrait. “There.” She closed the
sketchbook, set it aside, and turned to Lee. “I’ve been wanting
to draw him for the longest time, but I’ve been too tired.”
spirits lifted at the sight of her brown eyes glowing with
satisfaction. He touched her cheek. “I’m glad you got
“So am I.” She looked into his eyes.
“I had a long talk with your mum today. She convinced me that I
should have someone watch Jack a few hours a day so I can start
He had been trying to suggest that all along, but Holly wouldn’t hear of it. “Good.”
Holly continued, putting both hands on his shoulders. “If I didn’t feel
like painting, I could use those few hours to spend time with my
husband.” She touched her forehead to his. “I’ve neglected
you,” she whispered. “I’m sorry.”
He put his arms around her and pulled her into his lap. “You’ve neglected yourself, too.”
She rested her head against his shoulder, her arms around his neck. “I tend to get obsessed.”
He laughed. “I like when you’re obsessed with me.”
She pressed a kiss on that sensitive spot just below his ear. “It’s been so long.”
“Yeah.” Lee could count the time down to the day and the hour. “Um. Where are Mum and Dad?”
vigil,” she said in between the distracting kisses on his neck.
“For the prisoners who still haven’t had a trial since the war ended.”
“Do you think they’ll be away much longer?”
“Lee, it’s a vigil.”
didn’t know what that meant, but at this point he really didn’t
care. Several long kisses later, Jack made his presence known.
“He’ll sleep after this feeding,” Holly said, scooping up the whimpering baby.
“Are you tired?” he asked hopefully.
“No.” She smiled and sat next to him with the baby.
hopes soared, but he felt he had to clear the air first. “I told
Fred and George – and, well, everyone else – about being godparents
“I know. I was listening to the match.” She smiled at Jack who was kicking his feet while he nursed.
“You didn’t mind?”
“Lee!” She turned to him frowning. “How long have we been married?”
“Almost two years.”
“How old were we when we met?” Her accent was becoming more pronounced and it made him smile.
“I think by now I know what to expect when you’re given a microphone.”
He laughed, feeling relief at the affection in her voice and anticipation at having Holly all to himself in a few minutes.
switched Jack to the other side. “I thought it was a memorable
way to commemorate Fred and George’s third anniversary sale. They
must have been pleased.”
“They were pleased.” Then he
told her how Angelina had taken the news and how Jim’s hut still looked
the same, and all the other little tidbits of gossip that only Holly
would be interested in. Lee stood up and took the drowsy baby
from her. He patted his back, enjoying the feeling of that warm
trusting body lolling on his shoulder. After an indiscreet burp,
Jack was finally asleep.
“It’s not mid-night yet,” he said as
Holly moved toward the guestroom. The torchlight caught the gold
highlights in her hair. “That means it’s still Weasleys’ Wizard
Wheezes Third Anniversary.” She grinned, but didn’t answer since
she was busy opening the portable cot with her wand.
slowly lowered Jack on to the mattress – it was a long way down and he
hoped the baby wouldn’t wake up. They watched him sleep for a
moment. Then Lee sat on the bed and pulled Holly with him.
“I think I know the best way to celebrate a third anniversary,” he
She slipped her arms around his waist. “What could be better than a sale?”
“Let me show you,” he murmured before he kissed her.
later, as they were lying together in the tiny guestroom bed, Holly
contentedly agreed that his way was indeed the best way to celebrate an
“From now on,” he vowed sleepily, “we’ll celebrate all anniversaries in this manner.”
She giggled and started listing them. “Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes’ Anniversary.”