[Personally, I can't imagine her ever using those words for any reason. There's bickering, which they do all the time, and then there's ridiculous sadism.]
Bickering was a constant in the Romp; Rosie and Hugo even had running bets, though Rosie personally thought it a bit unfair that Hugo always got to bet on Mum, and therefore usually won. Most of the time, the bickering was about what sorts of curtains to hang in the library, or whether they'd do better with carrots or parsnips in the garden, or if Dad's lack of any paperwork system would work keeping the bills in order, or if Mum's obsessively catalogued spice rack was a bit too neat. These sessions would generally end with Mum getting things done the way she wanted while Dad smiled fondly and recalled some fight they'd had earlier. Then they'd make up. Rosie somewhat feared, with every make up, that there would be another sibling added to the mix. That, however, wasn't something that was joked about.
That was where real fights happened.
The kind of fight like tonight's.
It had started cold, which frightened Rosie. She and Hugo had got back from picking berries behind the house to find Mum and Dad sitting in the kitchen, jaws clenched, glaring. Something had been going on for a few days. Mum had been touchy, Dad had been excited. Now, they were both furious.
"What's going on?" Hugo had asked.
"I'm not discussing it," Mum had said, stomping away.
Dad had growled that he wasn't discussing it, either. An hour later, the shouting had started, and Hugo had come into Rosie's room, looking very small.
"What's going on?" he asked again, but Rosie had no answer... and it was obvious enough, anyway. They crouched together beside the air duct in the wall to listen.
"I'm wasn't saying we should!" Dad yelled downstairs. "Dammit, Hermione, when have I ever forced you into anything? Ever?"
"We made a decision! Two. Only two."
"And if it weren't... it's not like I'm saying we ought to be trying for another. It's just..."
"Just... you didn't have to act like it would be the end of the world, just because you might be. It's not Armageddon. It's a baby. And it isn't, even. You're not."
"Which ought to be a relief!" There was a thump, and Rosie guessed Mum had Banished some heavy object across the room, which she did when she was angry. "You're the one going on like it's the end of the world. We decided--"
"You decided!" Dad thundered suddenly.
"And you think I shouldn't have the right to decide?"
Dad was quiet for a long time, then said, "That's not what I said."
"Really? Because that's what it sounded like."
"It's my family, too. Do I even have the right to an opinion?"
"I didn't mean it that way."
"Really? Because that's what it sounded like."
They were both silent, and Rosie could imagine them standing there, near the vent, backs to each other.
Dad spoke first "I just thought, when you said you might be, that one of us had made a mistake, that... well, that it might not be a bad mistake. I admit it. I fancied having another baby around, as long as it was possible that we might. It's not as though I was thinking, 'Ha! That'll slow her down!'" He sighed loudly enough to be heard through the vent, then Rosie heard what sounded like him slumping down into a chair. "Rosie's off to school in September," he said. "And Hugo's right behind her. It's not long enough, Hermione. I don't feel like I've been a dad long enough."
Mum didn't answer for a long time. "I know," she said. "When I wasn't cursing myself for missing something in the potion... I was thinking of names."
"Yeah. Maybe Rebecca for a girl. Stick with the 'R's for the girls and H's for boys." It was Mum's turn to sigh. "But, Ron... I just got a new job. I barely have my footing. I'm still trying to get through the new elf bill. And... and we decided."
"Yeah," Dad said. "We decided."
Something, maybe at Uni, where [Dudley] encounters a witch/wizard who's also attending? for Sara Libby
Dudley thought he'd managed to escape uni by being a rotten student, but thanks to Lupin in the safe house, he'd got through his A-levels with decent marks. He was going to forget about it, tell Lupin "thanks, but no thanks," but that hadn't turned out to be an option in the end, as no one could exactly tell Lupin anything anymore. Now, it just seemed disrespectful not to take advantage of it.
Mind, he still didn't want to be there. He had a good job at Grunnings, and it was paying him enough to move out of the house. There was no reason to be at uni other than to make up some reason that Lupin had spent many hours of the first year of his marriage and the last year of his life tutoring Dudley. He supposed a business course or two wouldn't hurt his career in sales. On a whim, thinking it might get a few trips with expenses paid, he'd chosen a course of studies in International Business Management.
It had somehow escaped his notice that this would mean mastering a foreign language. He picked German, since Grunnings had a factory someplace called Aschaffenburg. Everyone who'd come from there--at least since Dudley had got to Grunnings--spoke English, anyway, but it was as good a reason to pick a language as any. His first attempt, during autumn term, hadn't gone anywhere--who was meant to think in an early morning class, in the midst of a lot of students who already seemed to know half the words? So, he'd decided to try again in winter term--an evening class, with part time adult students who'd probably be local and know as little as he did. It seemed like a good plan... until he got there early, and found himself face to face with Kingsley Shacklebolt, dressed in blue jeans and a chambray shirt. They were alone in the room.
"Ah. Mr. Dursley," Shacklebolt said. "Fancy meeting you here."
Dudley closed his eyes, opened them again, and found Shacklebolt still standing there, hand outstretched. Slowly, Dudley shook it. "Why," he asked, "are you here?"
"I have some negotiations coming up in Berlin next year. Thought it would be a good idea if I knew what my counterparts were saying."
"And you can't study it... you know? With...?" Dudley mimed waving a wand.
"Quite unfortunately, no. Not that people haven't tried. When I was a student, one of my classmates managed to inflate his head trying to stuff it with potions recipes."
"Shh!" Dudley looked around abruptly, sure that someone from the real world would choose that moment to walk in.
When he turned, Shacklebolt was smiling slightly. "Believe me, Mr. Dursley, I am well aware of my surroundings. I simply felt comfortable with an old friend."
"And old... er..."
"Well, an acquaintance who's more aware of his surroundings than most, at any rate. I'm glad to see a familiar face. It's quite strange being out here sometimes."
"Oh." Dudley tried to think of something to say to the Minister of Magic, and finally came up with, "I didn't mean study German by--you know--but... why go to one of our schools? Isn't there someplace in, er, on your side of the line where...?"
"There are matters in which our education is somewhat lacking," Shacklebolt said. "I'd like to fix that, but at the moment, our formal education has no contemporary language training, and the adult education companies tend to focus on languages learned for romantic, rather than practical, reasons. It's really quite scandalous."
Dudley shrugged and sat down. "Most people will speak English to you, anyway."
"Ah, but my dear Mr. Dursley, in negotiations, it's useful to kow what they're saying to each other, as well."
"I suppose that makes sense." Dudley frowned. "Why in Surrey, though? Are you lot looking after me again? I don't understand."
Shacklebolt looked at him in confusion and said, "I like Surrey. I just got married--my wife and I bought a house two streets away from here."
"You... like Surrey?"
"Yes. I'm planting a hedge," he said. "Or perhaps we'll make a fence. Maybe your mother would be willing to help us fit in?" He gave a hopeful smile.
"Er... Mum... er..." Dudley shook his head helplessly. "Look, I'll bring you a begonia or something. I think maybe it's best if we don't tell Mum and Dad you're nearby."
Harry and Ginny discussing career choices. Maybe early on. Like when she's choosing quidditch. I'd love to understand Harry's rationale for becoming an Auror when he loved teaching so much. And Heck, he loved Quidditch too! for sidealong
"So, you're not going to put in for an Auror apprenticeship?" Harry asked, looking disappointed as he sat down beside her on the grass beside the pond.
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Didn't Kingsley find the phrase 'Hell, no,' clear enough?"
"He frequently doesn't," Harry said. "Neville's been making noises about leaving and going back to Herbology. Kingsley pretends not to hear them. I just thought it would be time together."
"We've spent enough time chasing Dark wizards. I'm trying out for the Harpies. Oliver knows their manager, and he's helping me train for what she'll ask."
"And if you don't make the team?"
"Still not becoming an Auror. I can write, you know. I could write for the Prophet--they're trying to become respectable again." She pinched his knee. "Why don't you leave, as well? This doesn't make you happy."
"They still need me."
"Harry, you have done enough. You could try out for a team as well. I doubt the Harpies would break their all-woman team for you, but Oliver really wants you for Puddlemere. Says their Seeker and their reserve Seeker are rubbish."
"I don't know--Quidditch is something I did when I was a kid."
"All of three years ago," Ginny said. "It's all right to like what you used to like. I know you still love to fly. I see you when you and Ron go out for pick-up games."
"Harry, it's all right. You don't have to spend your whole life fighting the war."
"Maybe I just like my Quidditch a little more casual these days."
Ginny thought about this. "That's fair," she said. "But what about teaching? You're so good at it, and I know they asked you, with Robards' contract coming up. He could go back to the Aurors, and you could do something you really love."
"I can't," Harry said after a while.
"Why not?" Ginny sighed and turned to face him, kneeling in the grass. "I don't want to pressure you into something you don't want to do, Harry, but I worry about this Auror business. You hate it, and you act like it's the only thing you can do."
"I don't hate it," Harry said. "I can't say I like it, either. But it feels like something I ought to do. And it's not a bad feeling to put away dark wizards."
"And the classroom?"
"The classroom." He looked out over the pond, then said, "That's just it, Ginny. It's the classroom. I went, you know."
He nodded. "I took Teddy with me. Showed him where his dad been. And I told him about the boggart in the wardrobe. And grindylows and hexes. I even told him about other teachers. Told him about bloody Crouch. And of course, we'd just brought in Umbridge, so I told him how bad she was. And about Lockhart. And Snape." He looked down.
"Oh," Ginny said. "It's haunted."
"Yeah. It's haunted. It would be like spending every day with ghosts. I'm better at Dark wizards."
Ginny nodded, and turned around to rest in the crook of his arm. He kissed her head, and she said, "I just wish there was something that would make you happy."
He laughed softly. "That's what home is for."