Description: Arabella, transfer student, and Percy Weasley’s best friend, spends her first summer at The Burrow. When Charlie meets her, she’s quiet and sweet and he just can’t help wanting to be around her. But she’s going back to school, and he’s going back to Romania. Nothing good in life is easy, right?
Characters: UnderageCharlie Weasley/Original Female Character(s) Penelope Clearwater/Percy WeasleyCharlie Weasley Percy Weasley Original Female Character(s) Penelope Clearwater Bill Weasley Ron Weasley Ginny Weasley George Weasley Fred Weasley Molly Weasley Arthur Weasley Harry Potter Hermione GrangerEventual Smut Fluff and Smut Secret Relationship Teacher-Student Relationship Romance Alternate Universe Slow Burn
Arabella, transfer student, and Percy Weasley’s best friend, spends her first summer at The Burrow. When Charlie meets her, she’s quiet and sweet and he just can’t help wanting to be around her. But she’s going back to school, and he’s going back to Romania. Nothing good in life is easy, right?
Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my little fic! I wrote most of this in 2020 for a pre-NaNo workup. I wrote 50, 000 words of the fic in October 2020. I keep thinking of little things I want to add for the couple and have decided to finally edit and post it up as I go.A note! I want to tell a silly little romance story, and I’m not particularly interested in flavouring that with the Harry Potter storyline we already know. Voldemort isn’t back, or coming back in my timeline. The last we heard of him was the night Harry’s parents died. So that will hopefully explain the things I ignore or changed around the original series. Think of it as an AU if you like, I just want to tell Charlie and Arabella’s story :)I hope you enjoy the prologue :33Love Inki
Chapter 1: Prologue
~~~ First day of 6th year ~~~”Hi. I uh, Penelope was assigned to help me settle in.””Of course,” the bespectacled boy said, a little stiffly. Though the way his arm settled across the Ravenclaw prefect’s shoulder was warmer and more casual than his attitude might suggest. Penelope poked him in the ribs and gave him a dazzling smile from her perch beside him, “Come on Percy, Arabella is nice, you’ll like her.”Right, should have said my name when I introduced myself. Arabella mentally kicked herself. Good start to my first day.”Yes, yes. I’m sure I will,¡± Percy said in an offhand way, ¡°It’s a pleasure to meet you, Arabella.” Although Ara still wouldn’t say Percy was warmly welcoming her, Penelope’s reassurance that she was fine person seemed to be enough for him. It was of her nice, really. To vouch for her to her boyfriend when Penelope had only known her for a day. But the two of them had surprisingly gotten along really well this first day. Penelope was studious, like her, but bubbly, not like her. The tour of the school, and then her friendly introductions to teacher and student alike had definitely soothed the bundle of nerves in her stomach at the thought of her first day at Hogwarts.The new school wasn’t overly different from Beauxbatons however. Though there hadn’t been houses to speak of at the French school, there had certainly been cliques that once formed had never been very easy to break into. Arabella had a small group of friends that had wrenched her heart to leave them behind, but at least things didn’t look so dire here.As long as she could stay at Hogwarts during the holidays, Arabella didn’t think she would be alone here. Not if she didn’t want to be.?~~~ Three months later ~~~Arabella was doodling in her notebook, the flowers in the centre of the tables in the Great Hall a perfect specimen for a sketch. It meant that when Percy and Penelope came and joined her, she didn’t notice their arrival to begin with. Their continued conversation about travel mostly went over her head until she heard her name.Blinking, Arabella looked up, “Um, what? Sorry. Spacing.””We were just asking whether you were going home for Christmas or not.” Penelope said, unphased by how she’d mostly ignored the two of them. Percy and Penelope were relatively familiar with that particular quirk of hers by now. Arabella got lost in her own little world while sketching her plants.”Oh, uh. Nope. Not this Christmas.” She said a little awkwardly. While Percy and Penelope were her friends Arabella hadn’t quite figured out how to¡ explain her home life. That if she had a choice, she wouldn’t go home for summer break either. At least this would be the only Christmas she’d have to explain away. Being a 6th year transfer did at least have that benefit.It would have been easy to lie, and say it was because she wanted to make the most of her only chance to spend Christmas at Hogwarts. Well, it wouldn’t be entirely a lie. That was true too¡Penelope cocked her head, peering a little too carefully at Arabella’s cagey response, although Percy seemed to find no problem with it. “Mother and Father are visiting Bill in Egypt, so my brothers and I will be staying put as well.” Percy smiled across at her, “Be warned that you’ll likely get a package from her.””Your mother?” Arabella blinked, surprised.Percy shrugged, his face reddening a little. “I send letters to her throughout the year. She knows my friends. Penelope even received pumpkin cookies for Halloween when the twins let slip she might be more than a friend.” He rolled his eyes, a little less embarrassed about explaining his mother when Penelope looped her arm through his and leant against his shoulder.Arabella flushed too, her eyes wide, “You told your mother we’re friends?””Of course I did,” Percy said, surprised.”Me too,” Penelope added, “My mother just can’t cook to save her life.””Oh.” Arabella said softly, “Thanks you two.”Percy made a disgusted sound, “Ugh, okay. Stop it with the happiness. We’re friends, obviously.”Penelope shifted to peer at her notebook, the more perceptive of the couple knowing when to change the subject, “That’s a nice one, Arabella. I’m always jealous of your art.”Arabella shifted to slide the notepad closed, “Art? Come on, it’s just silly little drawings. Now, come on, tell me about Egypt and your brother’s work with Gringotts, Percy.”The three of them chatted away at the Great Hall tables for a while, before pulling out their notebooks to make their holiday study planners. With Penelope going home for Christmas, they need to get them done sooner rather than later.?~~~ Three months later ~~~”Percy!” Arabella hissed as she pushed her way through the crowd of students flowing from the Quidditch pitch, “You owe me.” She said in a sing-song voice, “Ravenclaw flattened your brothers.”The tall prefect scowled down at his friend and dug into his pockets, pulling out a few sickles and shoving them into her outstretched hands. As Arabella’s grin brightened, his scowl lessened, her happiness infectious. The two-sickle bet was pittance, so even Percy wouldn’t be able to hold out against her for long.He gave a long-suffering sigh, that after a few months as friends, Arabella could easily identify was not-truly-annoyed-Percy, “I never should have allowed Penelope to encourage you to bet on the Quidditch matches.”Arabella snorted, “As if you allow Penelope to do anything. She has you wrapped around her little finger.” Percy grinned, not bothered by the teasing when he knew it to be true”Alright, alright,” he said, feigning annoyance again and pushing her shoulder in the direction of the corridor that split to Ravenclaw tower instead of the Gryffindor one. “Go celebrate and stop bothering me.” Arabella danced away and waved over her shoulder, before she heard Percy’s voice call out again, “We still meeting up in the library tomorrow?””Penelope wouldn’t let us forget it! See you there.” Arabella called back and let the crowd of Ravenclaws pull her away with a grin on her face.?~~~ Studying ~~~Although they weren¡¯t even 7th years yet, in exam period, Penelope, Arabella and Percy studied into the wee hours of the morning.Arabella had started wearing the Weasley jumper that had been delivered on Christmas morning. Neatly wrapped in brown paper and tied to another package containing a large pile of Christmas cookies. It was just so comfy, so she wore it at every opportunity. Given Mrs Weasley had obviously never seen her before, it seemed Percy¡¯s mother had made the jumper sized for a normal sized person. Arabella¡¯s just over 5ft frame meant the jumper was perfectly oversized. Just how she liked it.The cosy navy blue with spell-stitched flower on the front reminded her of home. Her mother had never been someone who liked to cook or stitch, but she¡¯d shared other things with her. Art and writing, fixing up their garden. Arabella had been mightily disappointed when she¡¯d been made to leave it behind to move to England and live with her Aunt. Her parent¡¯s house was now technically hers, or would be when she came of age, but she needed to attend a Wizarding school and live with a legal guardian until then. With her father a muggle-born only-child, her mother¡¯s witch sister had been the only option.Arabella snuggled into the Weasley jumper, at least Hogwarts wasn¡¯t turning out so bad. Penelope and Percy were her best friends, and more than she could have hoped for coming here and knowing absolutely no one.The Ravenclaw common room, despite the early hours, was still relatively full of students. Pushing her scrolls, parchment and books aside, Arabella watched Penelope. Her long brown hair was pulled back from her face in a braid that fell down her back. It was a little mussed around the frame of her face, where Penelope had tried to run her hands through her hair.The look reminded Arabella of the previous day when Penelope had crept into their common room long after lights-out. Mussed hair. Flushed cheeks. Ah. Arabella might be a little slow catching on, but she had eventually figured it out.”Penelope,” she hissed, leaning forward conspiratorially. “What were you up to last night?”The big brown eyes Penelope turned towards her were unfocused for a moment, likely still calculating an arithmancy equation or some such, before they widened in shock. Her cheeks darkened, and she broke eye contact again.”Uhm, nothing. I just lost track of time in the library.”Raising her eyebrows, Arabella sat back in her chair, “Oh, so that’s where you and Percy are meeting up huh?””Arabella!” Penelope gasped in a scandalised tone and threw a scrap of parchment at her. “We would never hook up in the library,” she added in a low mumble.Returning in the same scandalised tone, Arabella said, “Penelope!” Crossing her legs and tucking her feet up under her in the chair, she pulled her jumper down over her knees. “Tell me everything, Penny. I didn’t know you and Percy were¡” Arabella lowered her voice to a murmur, “At that, uh, point, yet.”Shifting her notes aside, Penelope turned to face her too, tucking her own (much longer) legs up in the armchair as well. “We’re not¡ yet. But I think so soon?” Her eyes were a little unsure, and she looked up at Arabella through her lashes. “I think I’m ready¡ I mean, I love Percy.”Arabella shrugged, “Just because you love him doesn’t mean you have to do it yet¡ I’m sure he’d understand.” If he didn’t, Arabella just might have to teach him a thing or two. Percy was a great friend, and she really enjoyed hanging out with him, but Penelope was her best friend. If Arabella ever thought Percy was trying to force her into doing something she wasn’t ready to yet, Arabella would have to find her steel spine.Sighing happily, her cheeks still a little dark, Penelope looked so totally in love it gave Arabella the warm and fuzzies. “He does. He really does understand. Percy’s told me over and over again that we¡ don’t have to.” She shrugged dreamily, “But I want to share this with him.”Standing Arabella moved to sit on the arm of Penelope’s chair, and put an arm around her. Penelope reached up to pull her into a hug. “I’m really happy for you, Penny.” Arabella pulled back and stared mock-seriously down at Penelope’s head, “Just make sure you use protection.””Arabella!” Penelope squealed, and the common room as a whole turned to shush them. The two devolved into giggles and spent the rest of the evening discussing the impending loss of Penelope’s virginity.?~~~ After final exams ~~~”Penny!””Arabella!””Thank God it’s over.””I can’t believe that Ancient Runes test. I think Professor Babbling was trying to kill us.””I think I messed up quite a bit¡””Aw, it’s over, Arabella! We’ll be worrying about it for the next month while results come. Let’s pretend we’re free of it for a little bit longer.”The two looped arms together and joined the flood of students heading onto the lawns. While Penelope was tall, Arabella couldn’t see much beyond the shoulders of the other retreating students. When the taller, long-haired Ravenclaw waved at someone, she assumed it was Percy. Their N.E.W.T. class was pretty small (Arabella supposed not many people wanted to take Ancient Runes to such a high level), but he had still been on the other side of the Hall. Even during exams they sat with their houses.Percy’s eyes were downturned to a piece of parchment when the crowd dispersed enough for the three of them to unite, and Arabella tried to make eye contact with him, “Helloooo, Earth to Percy? The exams are over? Studying is no longer necessary for at least the next half hour?”Penelope snatched the scroll from his hand and danced away when he reached out to grab it back from her, “Arabella is right, Percy. There’s nothing you can do about it now.”Frowning Percy attempted to snatch it back, “I’m just,” he grabbed, and Penelope danced away again, “trying to check,” another failed attempt, “if I translated the 17th passage properly.”Rolling her eyes, Penelope dashed away a few more feet, grinning broadly as his reddened face slowly began to turn back to normal. “Now is the winter of discontent?” She suggested, and Percy stopped attempting to get his notes back.”Yeah, that’s what I got.””Of course, you did.” Penelope said confidently and handed him back his notes. “Because that’s what I got too.”Arabella at least had enjoyed having some muggle knowledge, the Shakespeare quote had been easier to translate when she’d figured out the origin. Growing up with a muggle English teacher as a father was good for something even at a wizard school.The three of them continued chatting (about the exam questions, as much as they might try to relax about it, they were far too intense about their studies to not think about their exams to an extent) and meandered in the grounds to enjoy the last bit of light.Eventually, the sun began to set on the far side of the Black Lake and the ripples of the Giant Squid moving just below the surface made the water look like it was dancing. Penelope was leaning against Percy, while he had extracted a book. Something about ¡®famous faces of the Ministry of Magic¡¯. Arabella was attempting another sketch. Hogwarts with students peppered across the grounds, the forest dark in the fading light.”So, Arabella, you looking forward to heading home for the holidays?”Arabella’s pencil paused over her paper, before she caught herself, turning only slightly towards her friend to answer. “Uh, yeah, sure.” Penelope frowned and when she opened her mouth to speak again, Arabella’s heart rate spiked. She didn’t like lying to her friends. Particularly not Penelope, who had been nothing but nice to her since she’d arrived. But Arabella just didn’t like burdening other people with her problems. They were silly anyway. Luckily, Arabella was saved from interrogation by the interruption of the young, rambunctious twin-siblings of Percy.Fred and George loudly announced their presence with simultaneous pipes of, “Well hello there,” as they plopped down next to them. Fred sprawled across the laps of both Penelope and Percy, and George joined Arabella, pinching her sketchbook from her hand. Arabella squeaked a little bit didn’t fight it. Though she might not enjoy showing it off, there really wasn’t much to see, she definitely wasn’t going to kick up a fuss either.”We talking about holidays?” Fred asked, grinning up at his brother as Percy attempted to shove him off his lap.George echoed the sentiment, “Yeah, Penelope you gonna join us this year?”Penelope smiled, and smoothly shifted her legs to rest over Percy¡¯s lap, when he eventually removed his brother with a hard shove. It meant Fred would have to bodily move her if he wanted to try and bother his older brother again. “I’m going on holidays with my parents to Switzerland, but I’m trying to get them to come back early,¡± her eyes flicked to Arabella. ¡°For your 17th?”Arabella blinked, “My 17th?””You told me a few months ago your birthday was on the 7th of August?” Penelope said, reminding her of a conversation they’d had. A throwaway one really, Arabella didn’t think her friend would have committed that to memory, let alone cut a holiday to Switzerland short.”Uhm, yeah it is. But I don’t have¡ anything planned.” Arabella finished lamely.Percy joined in at that point, “You’re not doing something with your family?”Shrugging, Arabella said quietly, noncommittally, “Uhm, I think my Aunt will be out of the country.”The twins frowned, “Your Aunt?”It didn’t surprise Arabella that Percy hadn’t discussed her family situation with his siblings. From what she understood, he was kind of been the odd one out in the family. Fred and George had each other, Charlie and Bill had each other, but Percy had always been floating in between. Arabella though that was part of the reason why it had taken so long for him to tell his family about Penelope. He just hadn’t wanted to be teased about it.”Uhm yeah,” Arabella ducked her head a little bit to avoid direct eye-contact, “It’s why I came to Hogwarts this year. She’s my legal guardian now.” After both her parents had died, Arabella had been shipped off to her rich, single Aunt in the English countryside. She wasn’t home very often, so Arabella mostly had free reign.Silence fell over the group. Very momentarily.”Oh well then, you should come to ours.” Fred piped up, and George shifted to his knees to give a hearty agreement, “Can’t celebrate your 17th alone!”Arabella looked to Percy, who was frowning at his brothers, but the look he turned to Arabella was apologetic, not annoyed and wanting to renege on his brothers¡¯ offer, “I was going to ask you myself. When Penelope knew whether she would return from Switzerland in time, and you would have a girl on your side to protect you from the Weasley hoard.””Bill and Charlie should be coming to stay too!” Fred added.”So ‘Weasley hoard’ won’t be inaccurate brother,” George quipped.Tossing her sketchbook back at her, George stood, reaching down to grasp forearms with Fred and pull him to stand. “Well, I think we’ve started enough trouble for the time being.””See you over the summer Arabella, Penelope!”Percy sighed, and slumped against the tree behind him, “You really don’t have to come if you don’t want to, Arabella,” Penelope elbowed him, and he added quickly, “But we were going to ask you. I just don’t want you to feel forced into it because you’re being polite.””I, for one, would be happy for female companionship for my first trip to the Weasley household,” Penelope said matter-of-factly, but her tone softened as she rested a hand on Arabella’s forearm. “Only if you want to Arabella.””I¡” Arabella had been trying to avoid thinking about celebrating her 17th birthday without her parents. Not having them for her 16th had been easier in some ways. Their deaths had still been so raw that the day had mostly been forgotten among everything that had been going on. Celebrating with the Weasleys? That would certainly be different than the quiet birthdays she’d had before. Just her mother, father, and her. A quiet dinner, her favourite foods, Monopoly in front of the fire. All of them in flannel PJs. Arabella definitely didn’t think the Weasleys would play muggle game like Monopoly at the very least. “Can I think about it?”Percy and Penelope rushed to assure her that she could take all the time she needed, but if she wanted to, the invitation was open to her from the beginning of August. He’d already talked to his Mum, and if Arabella thought she could handle a whole month with them the offer was there to start the school year together.