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Raven Ashcroft-Weasley

You're Too Young To Have It All Figured Out

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Raven Ashcroft-Weasley

The peaceful milieu of the Ashcroft-Weasley household was broken one summer afternoon when little Rayne, overzealous and willful, decided to prance in the kitchen to herald happy news to her mother. "Mummy! Mummy! Alayna is getting married... and I'm going to be the flower girl!" then proceeded to impart the details of a certain ring that somehow found its way into her older sister's finger, courtesy of a boy.

 

After spewing tea all over the dining table and cleaning it up with a flick of her almond and phoenix feather wand, Raven ruminated on her daughter's words. They could be the ramblings of an imaginative eight year old, already spirited and too talkative for her own good. Yet, the particulars seem to fit in between the spaces brought on by Alayna's questionable behavior lately. After recently coming of age in the wizarding world, her eldest daughter exhibited what can only be described as the "knowing everything" phase, a trait typical of teenagers... having been one herself, not too long ago.

 

Then the dreamy, far-off staring started happening, followed by constant letter writing and spending copious amounts of time locked in her room. Alayna has been showing signs of wanting her independence for awhile, like most kids her age who absolutely need to be captains of their own ships. Has her daughter sought it out and wen too far? Thank Merlin Louis isn't home right now, he would have flown off the handle and demanded a duel with the elusive young man. Raven almost felt sorry for the unfortunate child, her husband still pursued the sport post Hogwarts.

 

After a brief period of soliloquy, Raven decided to take a cautious approach. Quickly whipping up a plate of strawberry shortcake, the former gryffindor walked up the steps and across the hallway to her daughter's room, rehearsing her words along the way. The teenage mind is a tricky labyrinth she couldn't quite unravel, too bad nobody advised her to take notes when she was that age. 

 

"Layney? May I come in? I brought you a snack." What is up with youngsters and insisting on keeping their doors locked? As the door swung open and she entered the brightly lit room, Raven noticed the rolls of parchment strewn around Alayna's desk. The letter writing phase is still very much in progress. "Strawberry shortcake... your favorite" She said brightly as the plate was handed over (taking special care to discreetly glance at the girl's hand which did have a ring on it). It had taken all of her willpower to not spike the treat with veritaserum. Unfortunately, magic doesn't always solve everything. 

 

Raven watched as Alayna took her first bite before speaking. "So... I heard about the engagement." Not the opening statement she had in mind truthfully, but her parenting skills are far from perfect. 

 

 

Edited by Raven Ashcroft-Weasley

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Alayna Weasley

Leaving her door unlocked had been a mistake. More often than not Alayna did remember to secure it,  but this time she’d been careless, distracted… and she paid dearly for it. When the owl had flown in with a letter from Fluke, though, all she’d been able to think about was digging into his words. What more had he seen? What was he learning at his internship? Had he made new friends? Were any of them… pretty? And at some point between her fleeing the window and getting upstairs, any thought to properly secure her space had disappeared. She’d quickly flopped over and onto her mattress, tore open the letter, and began consuming every word offered to her.

 

And then, not two minutes later, she could sense someone breathing down her neck.

 

“…what’s that?” inquired a curious Rayne, and her sister leaned in closer to try and get a better look.

 

“Nothing” Alayna replied with a groan, and instantly she went to shove the note into her pillowcase.

 

Rayne blinked at her for a second, thoughtful, and then exclaimed, “That was from your boyfriend, wasn’t it? Did he give you that, too?” She gestured toward the ring on her finger and added, even more loudly, “….Are you getting married?!”

 

“Go away, Rayne!” Scrambling up from her mattress, the redhead shoo’d her sister out the door, but not before the girl excitedly announced, “I’M GOING TO BE THE FLOWER GIRL!” Alayna shut her out with an annoyed sigh and slid the lock back into place. Then she withdrew her wand and with a swish called out “Wingardium Leviosa!”,  plucking up her desk chair and dropping it under the knob. She secured it firmly under it, wiggling it about a few times to ensure nothing would budge. After all, privacy would be extremely hard to come by otherwise and she really didn’t want to be bothered right then.

 

She had a letter to read.

 

Returning back to her bed, Alayna flopped back onto it and withdrew the note again. A small smile turned the corners of her lips upwards as she read on, and then she went to pull out a sheet of parchment to write a return letter back. As had become routine since the summer began.  

 

She was half-way through her letter when Raven’s voice called. Turning her head to look towards the door curiously, a sigh fell from Alayna’s lips and she begrudgingly went to let her step-mother enter. The chair was moved back into place and the most important sections of her letter covered with blankets. “Thanks” she muttered as she opened the door and took the plate from her.

 

She did rather love strawberry shortcake, at least, and slowly took a bite. She could finish the letter in just a moment…

 

…or, perhaps not.

 

The food got lodged in her throat the instant Raven spoke again, and Alayna looked up at her through puzzled eyes. “…what?” she barely managed to croak out.

 

Engagement? Who was engaged? Was it someone she knew??

 

……

 

…………

 

…………………………

 

And then it all hit her at once and the girl shrieked indignantly, “I’M NOT GETTING MARRIED!”

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Raven Ashcroft-Weasley

She really should have waited for the girl to finish her snack.

 

Unfortunately, patience doesn't come naturally to Raven, a lamentable trait for one bestowed with four children. It wasn't like her to stand in wait when she anxiously needed answers now. Was it too late for the veritaserum? 

 

Thankfully, Alayna responded almost immediately, in a high pitched shriek that was threatening to give her a migraine (apparently it's a thing to get them so easily as an adult). Raven was worried her daughter will choke on her mouthful of shortcake for a second there, but this wasn't the time to give reminders about not talking with food in your mouth. Alayna isn't seven anymore, she's seventeen. Technically an adult in the eyes of the wizarding world, and eager to show it, apparently.

 

"Well... that's a relief." She gave Alayna a small smile. "Not that I wish for you to be a spinster, but it's a bit too soon." Young people seem in a hurry to find true love these days, whatever happened to keeping your options open? "...so who is this boy? The one who gave you the um..." She added casually, motioning towards the ring on Alayna's finger. It was a pretty thing, set in rose gold with a heart shaped red gem that complemented the girl's hair. She has to admit, the young man has decent taste. "... is it a birthday present?" 

 

An inappropriately affectionate birthday present.

 

Times like these made the former gryffindor wish she had eyes and ears at Hogwarts. Alayna has never mentioned a paramour, let alone introduce one. Probably in fear of what her father will do if she ever took a boy home, or perhaps the dread that her family will say and do something to embarrass her enough to want to switch schools. Both perfectly valid reservations but still. If Raven didn't know all of her daughter's juicy gossip, then she would have failed as a mother. 

 

"So what is this young man's name? I might know him." What are the odds that he might be the son of an old friend from school? Perhaps Britney might know something. Word spreads impressively fast around the castle and people go to the hospital wing for everything. Dueling injuries, Quidditch injuries, altercations, broom closet mishaps... oh sweet Merlin not that one. Not for Alayna at least.

Edited by Raven Ashcroft-Weasley

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Alayna Weasley

She really wanted to murder Rayne right then. As if it wasn’t bad enough to have her sister convinced she was an inch away from tying the knot- when she was not… she didn’t think; the redhead had worked so hard to ensure that her parents got very limited whiffs of what went on in her personal life. Already her father thought she was some sort of boy crazed teenager, but honestly? She’d prefer him believe that and live under the illusion that she was mindless flirt than know just how close she’d come to be to one boy and one boy only. What if he locked her up in her room? Made her transfer countries? Hurt Fluke? She couldn’t bear to think about it and yet that was precisely the reality she’d be facing now if this got out of hand.

 

Damn it, Rayne.

 

Glowering down at a spot on the floor, a dark silence surrounded Alayna as questions started filling the air. Of course Raven would want to know who her boyfriend was, but that didn’t mean she had to actually provide an answer. “No” she grumbled instead, “it wasn’t.”

 

More internal rage. More fear. More everything…

 

And then the redhead just couldn’t take it anymore.

 

“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” she wailed, “I’m seventeen now! You don’t have to know everything about my life!”

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Raven Ashcroft-Weasley

She does not miss having this much angst.

 

The migraine that was threatening to make an appearance was on the verge of succeeding, making Raven press an index finger to her right temple, coaxing the ailment to dial back a notch. She would really like a clear head until this episode of Seventeen and Shouting  is over. Merlin forbid, Alayna's voice gets any higher than this. She certainly does not recall her daughter ever being a soprano, now her voice could break crystal goblets if this carried on.

 

The former gryffindor thought back to when she was Alayna's age, not too long ago if she may add. She thought of how her own parents handled her rebellious phase, then almost instantly recollected that they hadn't. If anything, the senior Ashcrofts kept as much distance from parenting as they could, leaving their children to be raised by the help, and subconsciously prompting their eldest daughter to be as insufferable as possible for most of her teenage years. Cut to adulthood, where she is rendered unequipped to raise her own brood. Thanks for nothing, Mum and Dad.

 

Hopefully, her sister @Anneliese Ashcroft was having better luck being a mother. Though, it would be embarrassing to have to ask her little sister for parenting advice.

 

"You're right." Raven sighed, watching the redhead explode with all the pent up rage that she could only hope had everything to do with adolescent hormones and nothing to do with actually hating her. Still, a much better result than apathy, which is what she experienced from her own parents for what felt like most of her developmental stages. While she initially botched intimacy vs isolation, she hoped Alayna wouldn't. 

 

"I do not need to know everything Layney..." The girl seemed to be at the awkward and very confusing age of being legally an adult, but not  old enough to have all the answers. "... but it would be nice to know something, whatever you're willing to share." Raven slowly backed away a few steps, "Anyway, it's up to you... if you ever feel like talking, I'm here... and there's more shortcake in the kitchen if you want." 

 

Edited by Raven Ashcroft-Weasley

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