sundays supper

Escape:  the residency years

Jamie sat with the book open on the round table, colourful post-it notes sticking out at every angle.  He took a huge bite of his sandwich, and talked around the mouthful to his sister, Jenny.

“So that’s normal, then?  The back pain?”

Jenny wiped her mouth before answering.  “The baby is growing.  Her centre of gravity is shifting.  She’s also under stress, what with her hours and such, but yes, back pain is perfectly normal.”  She smiled at her brother as he delved back into her copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  Such a numpty. “Ye worry too much, brother.”

He grunted, and flipped the page.

“And the spotting?  ‘Tis still normal?”

Jenny stilled.  Spotting?  At five and half months?  She took a sip of her water trying to moisten her suddenly dry throat, and kept her voice as neutral as possible.  “Well, how often is it?”

“No’ verra often at all,” Jamie said, “It’s only I noticed it when I did the laundry at the weekend, ken.”

Jenny breathed again.  “Aye, well for some women it’s the way their pregnancies go.  As long as Claire tells her doctor.  She’s on her feet too damn much at the hospital.”   

Jamie made a Scottish noise deep in his throat.  

Jenny went silent.  Her sister-in-law was deep into her residency, and doing well.  Still, she hadn’t been to Lallybroch for a Sunday supper in three weeks. Jenny missed her company, but more than that she just wanted to give Claire a day of rest.  Jamie had come alone, and seemed fine with it so Jenny was trying hard not to judge.  His noise reminded her to keep her opinions to herself.  He would be nothing but supportive, which was how these lunches began.  Seeking advice, he’d taken to bringing lunch to his sister’s office, and asking her question after question.  At first Jenny found it annoying, so she dug up her old dog-eared copy of her pregnancy ‘bible’ with its notes in the margins, and handed it to him.  When he came back the next week with take away fish and chips, and the post-it note pages she decided to embrace what would become a ritual.  

Jamie closed the book, and began to clean up their mess.  He threw away their trash, grabbed the book, and kissed his sister on the top of her head.  “Thank ye, Janet.  Love you.”  He headed back to his office.

Jenny called after his retreating form, “Love you, too.”  And keep an eye on that wife of yours, brother. 

Claire’s bump grew, slowly at first.  A barely discernible curve to her belly. Around the fourth month Jamie was amazed at her suddenly changing silhouette.  And now, towards the end of her fifth month, he loved to rest his hands on the side of her belly and feel the wean squirm and shift in her womb. It’s how he ended every day, and if he was honest, it was the best part of his day.  

Most days Claire got home from the hospital tired.  Jamie would send her to the shower while he finished getting dinner ready, but tonight she came in full of energy.   

Jamie met her at the door to help her off with her coat.  Claire kissed her husband hello, and launched right into her news.  “I wanted to tell you about an opportunity I was given today,” Claire said, dropping her backpack by the door, and shrugging out of her coat. 

“Oh?  What is it, Sassenach?” he said, turning towards the closet. 

“I’ve been offered a chance to study in France for a couple of weeks.  It’s at Hôpital des Anges, in Paris.  I can do a two week rotation with two of the most renowned doctors there, Dr. Foray, and Dr. Raymond.  They are amazing.  Dr. Foray is Head of Diagnostic Medicine, and Dr. Raymond has an holistic approach to medicine that I find fascinating.”

Jamie smiled.  “Weel, it’s flattering, to be sure.  What did they say when ye turned them down?”

Claire watched Jamie hang up her coat.  “I didn’t,” she said, carefully.  “I didn’t turn them down, Jamie.”

Jamie turned slowly to look at his wife.  He took two deep breaths.  

Then two more.  

She couldn’t be serious.  There were dark circles under her eyes.  The stress and strain of her residency was written all over her face. 

Hands jammed in his pockets, Jamie cleared his throat, and said as calmly as possible, “Claire.  Ye’re almost six months along.  I appreciate how wonderful this chance is, but I think it’s prudent to think of yerself and the bairn first.  And while I ken ye are working here, and the hours are tough, ye still come home to me.  I can help take care of ye.  They’ll be no such thing in Paris.”

“You won’t come?”  Once it was out of her mouth, Claire realized how silly that sounded.  But it was too late to take it back.

“Have I no’ a job of my own?  I’m CEO of a company, Claire.  It doesna run itself.”  He would not point out how selfish she sounded.  He would stay calm if it killed him, dammit.

Claire shifted from foot to foot.  She decided to step back from this conversation for now.  “Dinner smells wonderful.  Do I have time for a shower?”

“Aye,” Jamie said.  He turned for the kitchen, wishing to put distance between them for a bit.

Dinner was mostly a silent affair.  They kept the conversation easy, light, and neutral.  Jamie’s usual appetite was markedly different, while Claire just pushed her food around her plate.  She managed a few bites, but only when Jamie broke through her reverie saying, “Claire.  Please eat.  For the bairn.”
After cleaning up the kitchen, Claire announced she was heading to bed. 

Jamie watched her climb the stairs, fatigue in her steps, and disappointment in the curve of her shoulders.  Emotions warred inside his head.

Claire’s emotions were equally at war.  She brushed her teeth, her mind in turmoil.  She wanted to go to France, dammit!  Two weeks was not a long time. Being a resident was so competitive, and she could use this opportunity to give herself a leg up.  She left the bathroom night light on for Jamie, and climbed under the duvet.  Turning off her lamp, she rolled over on to her side, and stared out their bedroom window.  As tired as she was, sleep alluded her.  Her thoughts twisted, turned and swirled around her head like the child inside her womb.  She laid a hand on her belly hoping to calm the baby.  Instead, the difficulty of the situation kicked her heart as surely as the baby kicked her side. She felt at a loss.  How could Jamie possibly understand?  Fraser Distillery was his legacy.  It was his, served up on a platter.  Even if he hadn’t wanted to join the family business, he still had all that love to support him; a safety net, so to speak.  She, on the other hand, had to create her own opportunities.  She had no name, no family, no history.  She was plain Claire Beauchamp, and nothing more.  

Claire rolled to her back, and looked over at the framed photos on his dresser. In the semi-darkness she could still make them out.  Jamie with his father, and Jenny.  A younger version of herself with Uncle Lamb.  While he’d grown up with Lallybroch, she’d had a tent in some far-away country.  They were both destined for greater things, but it was the achieving of these things that was different.  Hers was an uphill climb, alone, with only her inner drive to support her.  His came with a father who taught him the ropes, and family to help him succeed.  Claire knew she could never say this to Jamie, though.  It would hurt him.  He worked hard, never used his family name for his own gain, and she respected him for that.  He was an honourable man, and would be offended by her thinking.  He never asked for his privileged life, and didn’t rely on it.  But that didn’t negate the fact that it was still there. 

She heard the dishwasher start.  Heard Jamie check the door as he locked up. She heard him climb the stairs.  She expected to see him enter the bedroom, but instead her ears caught the familiar sound of the window opening.  He was heading out to the fire escape.  It’s where he went when he was feeling too much.  Whether troubled, grateful, overwhelmed, or overjoyed, Jamie sought solace on that iron platform. 

“Babies are supposed to bring people together, not separate them,” she whispered to the empty pillow beside her.  

He stayed out there a long time.  Just when she thought she should go to him, Claire heard the window close again. 

She stayed quiet as he stepped into the bathroom to brush his teeth. He turned off the light, plunging the room into darkness.  She listened as he shucked his clothes and slid under the cover.   His body brought a chill to the sheets.  

This was their time.  This was the part of the day when Jamie would place his large hand, warm and dry on her belly, and softly stroke her skin.  He would grin at the baby’s movements, and say silly things to their child.  Sometimes he’d speak in Gaelic, and refuse to translate for her.  He would lock eyes with her, and whole conversations would pass silently between them.

He didn’t touch her.

She rolled towards him, willing to make the first move.  “Jamie,” she whispered. She slid her hand along the bed until she found his hand, clenched and cold, and placed it on her bump.  

She heard his breath hitch.  She swallowed, hard.  “I understand what you’re saying, Jamie.  I do.  But I really want to go.  It’s not the same as what I do here.  I’ll be shadowing them, watching and learning, that’s all.  Just during the day.  It might actually be more restful.  It’s such an important opportunity.”

He was tempted to pull his hand back, but a little nudge from his child made him pause.  He closed his eyes, and tried to control the tension he was feeling. It took them five years to conceive this child.  One missed opportunity already on a long ago Valentine’s Day.  

The only thing he’d ever wanted more than this child was Claire.  

He took a minute to gather his turbulent thoughts, his hand absentmindedly rubbing circles on her bump.  “I understand, too, Claire.  I do.  But I’ll no’ pretend I’m not worrit.  I promised ye honesty, so here it is.  Ye get caught up. Ye ken ye do.  Ye do things sometimes without thinking them through.  I’m afraid ye’ll forget yerself, and overdo.”

“Jamie, don’t worry –“ she started to say.

“No, Claire.  Must I bear everyone’s weakness?  Can I no’ have my own?  I do not want ye to go to Paris.”  He voiced his innermost fear, the fear that came to him on the fire escape.  “Bad things tend to happen when we’re apart.”

“Horrocks,” she whispered.

“Aye,” he breathed back.

Claire stayed silent.  Her mind twisted and turned remembering the past. Impulsively, she spoke, “Could you meet me?  Take a Friday off?  Come for a long weekend?”  

A Dhia, she was stubborn.  He didn’t want to argue anymore, so he placated her. “I’ll give it some thought.”

It was a start, she thought.   She scooted closer to her husband.  “I love you, Jamie.”  She laid a hand on his jaw, kissing him softly.

“I love you, too, mo neighean donn,” he said, gruffly, returning her kiss.  “Now, ye sleep a bit.  Yer worn out.”  He tucked her head against his neck, and stared out the window as darkness surrounded Edinburgh.  He shifted the duvet higher around her shoulders, cocooning them both, just as the bairn was safely nestled inside his wife.  He would stay like this for the next three months, if he could, protecting them with his body.

Two weeks.  Not a long time.  

Yet, there was one thing Jamie Fraser knew, and knew well.  Trouble didn’t have a timeline.  Sorrow could come on a sunny day.  One moment you could show up to work, laughing with your best mate, the next scarred for life with no father, your friend an amputee.  

Two weeks.  A lifetime.      

Escape:  the residency years

Claire returned to work.  She did rounds, ran labs, and even had a hand in a couple of surgeries, but she avoided the fourth floor at all costs.  If she had to go up, she used the stairs because she wouldn’t risk the elevator opening by accident.  She didn’t want to see the balloons, and teddy bears.  She didn’t want to hear the laughter, or the tiny cries. Not yet.  

Joe and Fiona had taken the time to fill everyone in, so there were no awkward moments.  The ones she was close to just gave her a comforting squeeze, the others, a polite yet heartfelt condolence.  No one spoke of it again after a week.  

It helped heal Jamie and Claire to be around family, so Claire began to accompany Jamie to Lallybroch for Sunday suppers again.  It was a balm to their battered souls to read to their nieces and nephews, play with them, and just wander around the estate hand in hand.    

Yet some wounds have a way of developing an infection under the skin when you least expect it.

“Oh, sure.  She’ll come for Sunday supper now.”  Jenny threw the utensils in the sink with a crash.  “I mean, why come before when yer pregnant.   Come now, after ye’ve lost the child.”  She turned on the water full force to rinse the dishes before loading the dishwasher.

“Jenny,” Ian admonished, “don’t judge.”

“Don’t judge?  Ian, listen to yerself.  She ran herself ragged!  And to what end?  Tell me!” Jenny spun around to face her husband.

And found Claire standing in the doorway to the kitchen.  

Monday afternoon Jenny presented herself at Jamie’s office with take away curry.  “Ye’ve fed me lunch every week for 20 weeks.  Figured it was time I returned the favour.”

Jamie flinched internally.  Twenty weeks.  “T’was not a favour, Janet.  Ye dinna need to do that.”  Jamie didn’t even lift his head from his desk to look at her.

Janet. Oh, yes, he was angry.  “So.  I’m Janet now, am I?  For how long?”  In true Fraser fashion she faced the conflict head on.

“Until I’m done being pissed at ye.”  Jamie set down his pencil, and leaned back in his big leather chair.  He shook his head, then raised his arm and waved her in.  She shut the door behind her.

“I’m sorry, Jamie.  Truly.”

“Dinna apologize to me, Janet.  Apologize to my wife.”  Jamie was not going to make this easy.  He loved his sister, but what she did was not easily forgiven.

“What even possessed ye?”  Jamie said, incredulous, as he made his way over to the conference table, hand outstretched for the bag of food.  

Jenny raised her chin.  “I was angry.  Angry at the situation, and if I’m honest, angry at Claire for going to France when ye didna want her to, for doing too much, and risking the baby.”

Jamie sighed, exasperated.  “I explained this to ye.  I told ye on the phone from Paris, and I told ye when we got back home here.  There was nothing anyone could do.  Not Claire.  Not a doctor. No one.  And frankly, Janet, thinking a weekly Sunday dinner would have made a difference is madness.”

“It’s not just ‘Sunday dinner’ Jamie.  It’s our family tradition!”  She sat down hard in her chair.

Jamie stopped unpacking the food and leveled a look at his sister.  “No, it’s yer tradition. Ye started it after Da died.  That was yer choice.  I came because I had nothing else to do.  And if ye remember, when Claire and I first got together, I missed a few dinners. So, whatever that was yesterday,” he waved his hand in the air, “that lashing out at Claire, it wasna fair.”  He walked over to his small refrigerator, and pulled out two waters.  

Jenny sat and absorbed what her brother just revealed.  The dinners were a means to an end.  She needed something to keep them together after yet another family death.  Jamie, and Ian needed to heal together after the accident. Somewhere along the way she’d lost sight of what she was actually trying to do.

“Maybe,” Jenny hesitated. “Maybe I just wanted her around more, to share pregnancy stories, and build a kinship with.  I never see her anymore.”  

“Ye’ve a funny way of building a kinship.”  Jamie pulled out his chair, and sat down.  “Would ye begrudge my wife her dream?  Hmmm?”  Jamie took a bite of his food.  

Jenny said nothing.  She poked around in her container for a moment.  Then, looked at her brother.

Jamie raised an eyebrow.  “What if it were wee Kitty, wantin’ to be a doctor? Would ye tell her no because it might take away from her family for a time? What if Maggie went back to school at the same time she was pregnant, wantin’ a career and a family?  Would ye turn yer venom on her?”

“Oh, don’t be dramatic, Jamie!  Venom, indeed.”

Jamie set down his fork, and wiped his mouth. He crossed his arms over his chest.

“Did ye ever think, Janet, that in all the ways it matters to a woman, ye’ve had it easier than she has?  Do ye ever think, period?”

“What does that mean?”  Jenny’s voice rose in indignation.

“Ye grew up on an estate, with parents who loved ye.  She lost her parents at five years old.  Dammit, she canna even remember her mother!”  He leaned forward to make his point, “Ye had siblings, she grew up alone.  Ye were given a place in the family business, and she’s still trying to find her place in the world.  Ye’ve had bairn after bairn, no problem at all.  And Claire and I,” he swallowed, hands braced on the edge of the table, “Claire and I canna manage to have one in our four years together.”

Jamie looked hard at his sister, voice controlled but quivering.  “I’ll never forget what Claire said after they took Faith away. She said, we didna just lose a child. We lost a lifetime with someone we’d never even met.”

Jenny reached across the table and laid a hand on her brother, squeezing his forearm.  

“I am sorry, Jamie.”  

Jamie covered his sister’s hand with his own.  “I keep tellin’ ye.  It’s no’ me ye need to apologize to.”

Claire walked out the front doors of the hospital hearing the swish of the large glass panes close behind her.  She heard a sharp whistle off to her left, and turned her head.

“Alec!”  She strode over to the black Range Rover happy to see the man who was both friend and protector.  He came around the back of the car, accepted her kiss on his cheek, and opened the back door for her.

“What’s this?” Claire asked.  “Where’s Jamie tonight?”  

Alec just inclined his head towards the interior of the vehicle.  Thinking Jamie was inside, Claire grinned and poked her head inside.

“Hello, Claire.”  


Claire cut her eyes to Alec.  He stood stoic, looking over her head. “Coward,” she whispered.

“Aye,” he whispered back.  

Claire shoved her bag at him, hard, making him grunt in the process, and climbed inside.

They tucked into a pizza, both using the distraction of food to break the tension.  Two pints later the surface chatter was abandoned.

Jenny took a long swallow of her beer, fortifying herself.  “I’m very sorry for what I said, Claire.  I didna mean a word of it.”  Jenny looked her sister-in-law in the eye, hoping Claire saw her sincerity.

Claire returned the solemn gaze.  “That’s the problem, Jenny.  I think you did.”

Jenny’s eyes glistened. It seemed she would have to open up to Claire as she did to Jamie.  She took a deep breath. “A small part of me blamed ye for the miscarriage.  When Jamie told me what happened I thought ye must have done something to bring it upon yerself.  Worked too hard, not thinking of the consequences.  And then I thought, if I had made ye come to Sunday suppers so I could get ye off yer feet a bit, it may have made a difference.”  

Claire sat still, hands in her lap, letting Jenny work through her feelings.  The noise of the pub surrounded them with soft chatter, the clink of glasses, knives and forks hitting plates.  If there was one thing Claire learned as a doctor, it was to listen to patients.  

“I think,” Jenny continued honestly, “I think a small part of me is wanting to replace what I lost.  A brother, mother, father.  I want a big family, and perhaps that’s why.  When Jamie married ye, I was thrilled to have a sister.”  She wiped at her nose.  “Never had one of those,” she chuckled.  She was relieved to see Claire’s small smile.  “And I know my brother wants bairns.  I want them for him.  And for you,” she added hastily.  “So. So when Faith was lost, I got angry. Angry at the both of ye, but maybe mostly angry at God for taking yet another one of my family members away.”  

Jenny wiped her eyes, and looked at the woman who was sister and friend to her. “But since my parents always told me it was a sin to be angry at God, I got angry at you instead.”

Claire reached across the table to took both of Jenny’s hands in her own, and squeezed them tightly.  

“I am very sorry for what I said, Claire.  I didna mean a word of it.”

“I accept your apology, Jenny.”  The women gazed at each other in silent understanding.  They, just like Ian and Jamie, would have each other’s backs from this point forward.  

“Now,” Claire said, letting go of Jenny and lifting her glass, “Let’s get drunk.”

He heard her well before she arrived at the door. He heard her stumble and the backpack skitter down the stairs. “Fuck!”  

He opened the door to their flat and peered over the banister.  She was trying to turn around to go back down.  

“Leave it, mo graidh!  I’ll get it.”  He stepped quickly down the stairs, passing his wife in the process.  “Christ, Sassenach, ye smell like a brewery.”  He grabbed the bag, then strode up the stairs and tucked an arm around Claire, leading her up to their flat.  “Had a good time wi’ Jenny, then?”

“Oh, aye,” Claire said.  Jamie laughed loudly.  Aye?  She was completely sozzled.

He escorted her slowly up the stairs, catching her every slip.  Claire kept up a slurring commentary of her and Jenny’s evening.  When he finally got her in the flat, she turned and wrapped her arms around his waist.  

“You’re half naked,” she said, eyes unfocused. She leaned forward and kissed the middle of his chest.

“I’m ready for bed, that’s why.”  He breathed deeply.  “And you,” he said, pushing her away from him, “need a shower.”

“Too tired.  Too drunk.”  She smiled up at him, “But maybe if you helped me?  Washed my back?”  

Jamie smiled.  Vixen.  “It’s not been six weeks yet, Claire.”  

He locked the door, flipped off the light switch, and bustled his wife off to the bathroom.

But only two more weeks to go.  Not that I’m counting.

Creepypasta #713: My Southern Grandma’s Advice

When the air was still out amongst the pine trees, and even without wind, things seemed to shuffle and rustle through the brush, we children would start to talk of lightless eyes, cold skin, and the unnatural gait of the long deceased come back for Sunday supper. My grandma always had words of hard-earned experience, though, to soothe our fears.

“Don’t be afraid when the dead come a-calling, for people are mostly good, and the dead are just people a little farther down the road. It’s when the things that were never alive in the first place show up that you start worrying.”

Credits to: VitruvianMonkey

anonymous asked:

Do you have any headcanon for baby Harry and Mom and Pop Potter? If the couple had lived long enough to see and spoil their grandson, I mean.

He definitely would’ve called them Popop and Gran.

Mrs. Potter bought more baby clothes for Harry than he ever, ever could’ve reasonably worn. Same for toys to play with.

Overnights at Gran and Popop’s would have been a normal part of his childhood and it would basically be no rules and all fun. “Oh, you want biscuits for breakfast Harry? Let’s bake some then.” and “Oh, you want to go on another broomstick, Harry? Let’s go, then, but you’re steering this time.”

Sunday Suppers at the Potters are canon and I think for Lily and James it would have been more like all day at the Potters and an exercise in four adults obsessively cooing over the normal accomplishments of a baby and eventually it would have morphed into Saturday night overnights for Harry and date nights for Lily and James.

Mrs. Potter would’ve sang the same songs to Harry that she did to James. She was the first one to recognize that he needed glasses.

James gets a bit of a complex because his parents no longer care about seeing him, it’s the baby they want, but Lily tells him to shush.

Mrs. Potter sometimes had a hard time not correcting Lily when she thought she was doing something wrong with regards to Harry—how to lie him down for a nap, or relying on the latest potions for illness versus old remedies, when to start feeding him solid foods, etc.—but she remembered that her own mother-in-law had a very sharp tongue and she never wanted to be that way so she tried to be as encouraging as possible, and taught to Lily to trust her instincts, even if those instincts didn’t line up with her own.

Popop was his moon and stars, second only to Dad in terms of best mate in mischief, his official title, and Coolest Wizard on the Planet. Harry bouncing on James’s knee while he and Mr. Potter are bent over a chess board. Just think about that and try not to tear up okay. And it was he, not James, who taught Harry wizard’s chess. James let him because they both knew his dad was the more patient teacher, and the better chess strategist.

Lily once caught Harry trying to floo to his grandparents’ house because he wanted a piece of Gran’s treacle tart.

Mrs. Potter bought Harry his first owl when he was five so they could write letters back and forth to each other and so Gran could send biscuits and fudge direct. Harry would write to them and ask when he could stay over next.

Ugh I could go on and on but you get the point. Spoiled him rotten.


McDonald’s 1990s McPizza Commerical🍕

Sunday Lamb Roast

This lamb roast was lemony, garlicky, and so delicious. I cooked this roast and took this photo a few Sunday’s ago. I think I’m going to make it again tonight because we have all the ingredients except the roast. You can make the entire meal in one roasting pan. We used rosemary and lemon from our garden and lots of fresh garlic and salt & pepper to season this. It’s very easy. This is the perfect kind of food for cool rainy March weekends. It reminds me of so many delicious meals we had when we went to Ireland a few years ago. Leg of lamb is naturally tender so you don’t have to marinate it for a long time. Just add some seasonings and garlic and roast it. 

Heat oven to 425, this is for the first 20 minutes, you’ll reduce the oven temp to 325 for most of the cooking.

Chop fresh garlic, mince rosemary. Season a lamb roast all over with lots of kosher salt and pepper. In a mixing bowl, mix together the juice of one large lemon with 3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Drizzle all over with olive oil mixture and rub it in. Don’t wash this bowl, you can use it to season the carrots and potatoes. Place the roast on a roasting rack in a heavy bottomed roasting pan and add a ¼ to ½ cup water or wine to the bottom of the pan. Add a large sprig or two of rosemary to the top if you have it.

Roast the lamb for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 325 and continue cooking.

While the lamb is getting started in the oven, clean and cut carrots and potatoes. I like to use small potatoes and keep them whole for something like this and just trim away any eyes or dirt. And I like to cut the carrots in large pieces too. Toss the vegetables in the same olive oil / garlic / lemon bowl with a little more salt and pepper and a little more oiive oil. Add the vegetables to the roasting pan, all the way around. Continue cooking another 45 minutes to 1 hour. The total cooking time for a 3 pound roast will be about and hour and 20 minutes, depending on the temp of your oven. 

Take the temp of the lamb roast with an instant read thermometer. It should be 130 to 135 for rare/pink, 135 to 145 for medium, and higher than that for overcooked /well. Remove to a serving platter. Cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Deglaze the pan with more wine or stock to make a gravy. If you want sides to go with this, it goes great with kale salad, steamed cauliflower and rye bread with butter. But it’s really good just with the carrots and potatoes. Yum! Happy Sunday Tumblrs! Hope you all are doing great.

Because I reached 800 followers today and because I love you all dearly, here is some fluffy Drarry drabble for you. Established relationship; Harry babysits his nieces. (pics aren’t mine

“Uncle Harry! Pick me up!” Harry grins at Rose as she shouts at him, trying to climb into his lap before he’s even had a chance to properly sit down on the floor.

“Alright, Rosie, relax,” Harry laughs, scooping her into his arms. Three more small forms come tumbling down the hall, giggling and surrounding Harry. He looks up at Molly, who’s stuffing something into her purse and looking back over her shoulder at him.

“Are you sure you don’t mind, Harry, dear? I’m sure this isn’t what you had in mind when I asked you to come over early before supper, but I forgot something at the store-”

Waving his hand, he replies easily, “Of course not, Molly. You know I love my girls. Take your time!”

Beaming at him, Molly disappears into the Floo and Harry returns his attention to the four eager faces smiling up at him. On Sunday afternoons, Molly always watches some of her grandkids so that their parents can have a break, and then are reclaimed when everyone comes over for Sunday suppers at the Burrow.

“Harry! Why are you early?” Dominique slides her way into his lap beside her cousin.

“I’m going to hang out here while Grandmum Molly is at the market.”

“It’s Uncle Harry, Dom, don’t be rude!” Rose glares at her as she shoves her over.

Lucy waves shyly at him, and Harry smiles, she’s always been the quietest of the cousins. He pushes her bangs out of her eyes as he leans over to kiss the top of her head. “Hi there, Lu.”

“Are you going to play tea with us?” Roxanne demands, pulling on his arm.

Harry takes in their dress-up clothes with amusement, and glances over at the kids table that is currently covered in mismatched dishes.

“Well of course! Tell me what we’re playing.”

As the girls pull him over to the table, they launch into a full explanation of what characters they’re playing and what the tea party is for. Harry’s only half-listening, he can’t help but smile at his adopted-nieces. When the Weasleys started popping out kids, everyone insisted that their children would consider him proper family, but it’s moments like these that remind him how lucky he is to be able to be a part of their lives.

“-and I’m the Muggle Queen,” Dominique is saying as he comes back to their conversation.

“Ah, of course,” Harry agrees wisely, and the girl’s face splits into a wide grin under her sheet of long blonde hair.

“Uncle Harry, you need to dress up, too, you can’t have tea with the Queen dressed like a poof.”

Harry bursts out laughing and looks at Roxanne. “Roxy, did you hear that word from your dad?” She nods, looking mildly confused. Shaking his head in amusement at George’s tactlessness, he refrains from informing her that actually being dressed like a poof is exactly the right attire to wear to tea with the Queen, and instead says, “Honey, you shouldn’t say that, okay? But you’re absolutely right, does anyone have something I can wear?”

They all clammer at him, shoving crowns and sashes and things at him, until they’re suddenly fighting over whose tiara Harry should get to wear. He calmly transfigures one of the spoons into a tiara for himself.

“See? Now you can all keep yours and I’ll have my very own.” They squeal over the magic, and then Lucy hands him her favorite blanket.

“Here, Uncle Harry. It’s a cape!” They work it over his shoulders and then step back and study him.

“Now you’re the king!” declares Rose.

Dominique frowns. “But tiaras are for girls.”

Harry tsks at her. “Anybody can wear a tiara, sweetie. There’s no rules saying I can’t.” This seems to satisfy her and they all begin talking about tea again. A noise catches Harry’s attention from the other side of the room, and he looks up to see Draco leaning against the doorway. He cocks an eyebrow at his boyfriend and Draco smirks back, gesturing at Harry’s newly attained accessories with a tilt of his head. Harry shrugs and smiles at him.

During this silent exchange, the girls have noticed Draco’s arrival and drag him over to the table in a fit of giggles.

“I take it you got my owl,” Harry asks, kissing Draco’s cheek.

“I did, finished in the lab about half an hour ago. Thought I’d come see what you’re up to, and I have to say I’m not disappointed. You look rather fetching.”

“Uncle Draco, you’re not drinking your tea.” Draco turns to see Rose pursing her lips at him in a frightening imitation of her mother.

“Yeah, Uncle Draco, drink your tea,” Harry mutters under his breath, earning himself a jab from a pointed elbow.

The girls continue their chattering and Harry gazes contentedly at his boyfriend over his cup. Draco looks at him questioningly but Harry just shakes his head softly, keeping his thoughts to himself. It took a while into their relationship to work with their families, but now it’s a happily accepted piece of their lives. Harry thinks there really is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than playing tea time with his love and their favorite children.


Sunday Pot Roast

 This marinated, grilled, then crockpot braised pot roast was a delicious experiment. I usually brown pot roast with a little flour, seasoned with salt and pepper in bacon fat or oil. But I wanted to see how it would taste if I marinated it overnight in wine, garlic & spices, then grilled it, and then slow cooked it. It was really delicious! It had a slightly smokey, rich, wine infused flavor and was fall apart tender. Yum!

Here’s how I made this: Marinate a round roast in the mustard and spice mixture in the bottom photo, along with ½ a bottle of red wine (not pictured). I used 2 buck chuck, Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1 tsp coriander seeds, 5 -7 cloves fresh chopped garlic, 1 chopped onion, a big splash of Worcestershire sauce, fresh ground pepper, about 1 tsp kosher salt and a few bay leaves. I let the roast sit overnight in the marinade, dried it, grilled it carefully so as not to get too much char on it. Too much char would make the gravy bitter. Then I threw it in the crock pot with carrots and celery and the rest of the marinade and some more red wine for 4-6 hours. Add potatoes for the last hour of cooking. Serve with the cooked veggies and salad or steamed veggies on the side. Serve leftovers the next day with toasted bread, spicy mustard, raw onions, horseradish, lettuce, tomatoes, and any other sandwich fixings you like. Yum!