Content Harry Potter
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Harry hated going to his birthday party — so he went to the Weasley family get-together instead, which, coincidentally, was held every year on July 31st.   When Arthur finally retired from the Ministry of Magic, Fred and George bought the Muggle farms adjacent to The Burrow, ostensibly so that Arthur could become a gentleman farmer, an avocation that allowed him to fiddle with Muggle technology to his heart's content, but the motivation of Fred and George was to buy enough open space that the Weasley family get-together could continue to be held at the newly enhanced Burrow without having to move to a rented venue.

The get-together was always a joyful time, filled with food, laughter, pranks, Quidditch and an abundance of red-haired children, and a fair representation of red-haired adults as well.   The notable exceptions to the red-haired norm were the Veela women: Fleur Weasley, her children and grandchildren, Gabrielle Longbottom, who had not married into the Weasley family, but managed to attend every gathering with her children and grandchildren except for the one gathering when she was at home giving birth to a son, and Phoebe Weasley a pure-blooded Veela from Ukraine and newly minted wife of George Weasley's oldest son, who was in attendance this year, but hadn't been married long enough to produce any children, much less grandchildren.   The Veela women all had the characteristic platinum blonde hair, dazzling smiles, and faint silvery aura when they were exercising their charms.   The exception to this Veela norm was Daphne Potter, who was certainly the daughter of Samantha Potter, and thus genetically as much Veela as her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, but to her eternal chagrin was a strawberry blonde, a colour that looked fetching on her as a child, and rather dazzling as she passed from little girl to lithe young woman, but a rankling cause of shame as far as Daphne was concerned.   Not red enough to be a Weasley and not blonde enough to be a Veela.

She hadn't been born a blonde, having arrived in life with a head crowned with fine black hair that contrasted nicely with her light green eyes, eyes so light that they looked grey in colour.   Whether that hair fell out or bleached as it grew, the baby pictures tucked away in multiple albums showed a strawberry blonde baby suckling at Samantha Potter's breasts, followed by a strawberry blonde toddler, followed by a strawberry blonde pre-schooler, doting upon her black-haired, blue-eyed brother, who was now occupying the arms that had cradled her just a few years prior.

Daphne got along with all of her uncles and aunts, and most of her cousins, with the exception of Morgana Longbottom, the last of the Longbottom children, born to Neville and Gabrielle when the rest of their children had already left the nest.   She was six months older than Daphne, which meant, of course, that they'd spent a lot of time together when they were growing up — too much time, if you'd asked Daphne, who was so glad that Morgana chose to attend school at Beauxbatons rather than Hogwarts.   The girls were a study in contrasts.   Morgana always had the characteristic fey appearance of Veela girls when she was younger until she ripened into a buxom beauty at the ripe age of thirteen when Daphne was still waiting for her last growth spurt and the curves that indicated that she was no longer a little girl.   At the turbulent age of fifteen (fourteen and a half for Daphne) Morgana looked and acted like a bored model, while Daphne, who had grown so much during the last year that she'd lost her spot on the Gryffindor Quidditch team due to a temporary stretch of the clumsies, finally possessed enough curves that she was no longer called "boy" when she had her hair tucked up underneath her hat.

"Goodness, working at Uncle Ron's farm has certainly been good for Kirk," Morgana said, nodding her head at a strapping red-haired lad who was juggling water glasses for the amusement of his cousins.   Kirk was Percy Weasley's oldest grandchild, and a recent product of the exchange program between Hogwarts and Durmstrang, where students alternated even years at the guest school and odd years at the home school.

"He's okay," Daphne said, having spent enough time with Kirk to know that the class-clown act was a front for a rigid, controlling personality.

"I bet I can get him to ask me to dance tonight," Morgana said breathily.

"It doesn't count if you have to use Veela power to get him to notice you," Daphne said.

"Says the girl who can’t put out enough allure to catch a boy’s attention," Morgana said waspishly.

"Morgana that lot are my cousins!"  Daphne exclaimed.

"That didn’t stop your dad when he wanted to marry his niece," Morgana taunted.

"That’s different!   Mum was never a blood relation to dad and you know it!"   Daphne said, trying to think of a way to get away from Morgana without seeming overly rude.

"I don’t think you have enough allure to turn even a Weasley’s head," Morgana drawled.  "Didn’t your mum used to tell stories about how she’d drop Uncle Ron from across the room without even making eye contact?   A pity you’re not developed enough to see if you can carry on the family traits."

"Morgana, you evil cow, there is no relationship between cup size and magical power and you know it," Daphne spat.   "Just because I choose not to do something doesn’t mean that I can’t.   I’m just as much a Veela as you are!"

Morgana’s lips turned in a sneer.   "Yeah, right.   There’s saying and then there’s doing.   I think you’re a little girl and not much of a Veela at all."

Daphne’s temper was loading into the danger zone — she knew that she could retreat, which would mean that she’d lost, again, she could deck Morgana, who wasn’t worth spit in any of the martial disciplines, or she could prove her wrong.

So with an uncharacteristic silvery flash, Daphne squeezed her eyes shut, concentrating hard.

And every male on the grounds of The Burrow dropped as if pole axed, excepting Harry Potter, Charley Weasley and Arthur Weasley, her direct blood relatives who were blood-blocked against her Veela magic.

"Sweet Circe," Morgana exclaimed before disappearing in a faint pink puff of smoke.

A flash of realization hit Daphne.   "Merlin, I’m in for it now.   I've got to find dad!" she told herself as she ran to the tent set up between the house and the orchard.


Copyright © 2006 — J Cornell — all rights reserved. — write to me, I write back.

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