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A Trim and Nails

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“Let’s just get this over with,” said Roxanne to the cute stranger across the table from her. He was setup number six, as in the sixth person that her lovely sister-in-law had set her up with in the last four months. “I’m a single mother to six year old twins, a little boy named Sean Jr. after my late fiancée and a little girl named Clara after his mother. I work as a radio DJ for the Wizarding Wireless Network, along as a Welcome Witch at St. Mungo’s. And my family is constantly in my business because I’m recovering from body issues I’ve had since I was fourteen.”

 

She paused, letting him take in this information. He was a friend of a friend of a friend, who LeeAnne had told her was very interested. He worked at the Ministry for the Department of Magical Games and Sports, and had been a Ravenclaw two years ahead of her.

 

He stared at her, his mouth hanging open for a moment before he composed himself.

 

Roxanne then watched as he stood up and left the restaurant, just like that setup number six, Darren Hartfield, was gone.

 

She then ordered a very fancy dessert, told them to charge it to her guest’s account, and went to release her babysitter from her children.

 

She was gone for a solid twenty minutes.

 

This was the shortest date she had been on, of the six suitors LeeAnne had set up for her. Twelve of those minutes, had been them waiting for their table.

 

~`~

 

Roxanne made it to her twin brother’s home just pass half after the hour. She was greeted at the door by her oldest nephew, Johnny, who was six minutes older than his twin Benji. This was the same age difference she shared with her brother, who appeared behind his son moments after Roxanne stepped inside the house.

 

He had his youngest children hanging off his arms, the seven year old twins, Dannie and Hayley, who were just months older than Roxanne’s own children.

 

“Did you at least bring me some dessert?” he asked as he helped Roxanne out of her traveling cloak, which she never bothered to take off at the restaurant.

 

Without a word, Roxanne handed over the dessert she had ordered before leaving. It was some sort of chocolate masterpiece, which had been why she suggested the eatery in the first place.

 

That, and to secure a reservation, you had to give your credit card information.

 

In the kitchen, they found LeeAnne, who looked more annoyed than offended this time around.

 

Roxanne waited for the ridicule, or at least the questioning, but neither came. Instead, she pulled out three spoons, told the children to go watch a movie, and dug into the dessert along with Roxanne and her husband.

 

Freddie, once again was the one to break the quiet, or at least as quiet as a household could be with eight children under one roof. “Did you just break it to him that your damaged goods, or told him why dating wasn’t going to work out?”

 

“The first one,” Roxanne told him, as she took a bite of the masterpiece, “he didn’t even say anything, just booked it out of there. I used the bandaid method, quick and without getting his hopes up. Only told him the bare minimum.”

 

Freddie snorted, and Roxanne felt a pair of arms wrap around her waist, while another pulled at her skirt. She could already hear Molly and Lucy tell her that her date clothes were not meant for small children to grab onto, but then again, the two of them changed their clothes once they arrived at their shop.

 

Sean, her little man, her baby boy, the cuddliest child she had ever met was the one wrapped around her waist. Clara, her sweet baby, her beautiful little girl, her distracted and slightly distant daughter, had her hands bunched up in her skirt. Roxanne had to put her hand on top of the young girl’s head just so she wouldn’t pull her skirt completely off, again.

 

Roxanne put her spoon down and collected her children into her arms. She loved her babies so much, and had no idea where her life would’ve gone without her children. Six and a half years ago her life had changed dramatically for the second time in her life, by the death of her to-be fiancée and his younger brother.

 

Her last conversation with Sean haunted her on her worst days and picked her up on her best, as no matter what, the conversation ended with two ‘I love you’s’.

 

It still hurt her to remember that time in her life, and how her life had fallen to pieces for the year and a half after. How she had been able to keep her radio show, she had no idea, but she had also been able to get her Welcome Witch job in that time too. Along with having her twins and moving back into her parent’s home.

 

“Mama,” said Clara, trying to pull herself away from Roxanne after a few moments. Roxanne let her go, and she ran off into the other room where her cousins were watching a movie.

 

Roxanne was starting to get worried about her, all of her teachers had told her that she was straying away from other children and only seemed to be interested in the arts and craft section of their day. She also had made herself scare with her classmates as she only wanted to talk about Quidditch, or more specifically the Tutshill Tornadoes. Clara had all of the team, including their reserves completely memorized, from their positions to their stats going all the way back to their Hogwarts playing days. Almost every drawing she came home with was in a cheery blue and she threw tantrums when she couldn’t wear any blue.

 

She and LeeAnne were working together to get a proper diagnosis or reasoning behind Clara’s attitude, but the closest they found was OCD, but that didn’t properly fit her either.

 

Clara was struggling being around other children. She also was having tantrums that Sean had stopped having two years ago. She also had other little quirks, her sensitivity to light to the point that she wore sunglasses everywhere she went, inside or out; how she wouldn’t eat certain foods because they smelled different than what she was used too, which caused a lot of strife for Nana Molly; and how she would only wear non-textured clothes.

 

But these quirks, all of these little quirks and eccentricities made Roxanne love her daughter more and more.

 

She picked up Sean and put him on the counter, he smiled at her and let Roxanne feed him a bite of dessert. Sean had a way of getting exactly what he wanted through cuddles and kindness. She was sure that he was going to be a Hufflepuff, as his nature went along with so many of their principles.

 

He also adored Molly and Hugo, the three of them got along so well that Roxanne more than often asked Hugo to pick up Sean and Clara from school for her. She also often asked Molly and her husband Artie to take the twins for her, as Sean loved playing with their kids and Clara could ask Artie all the questions about Quidditch that she could think of.

 

Roxanne put Sean down and let him run into the other room, before turning back to her friend and brother.

 

“LeeAnne, I love you but I can’t do any more of these dates,” Roxanne told her, stealing the last bite of the chocolate monster. “I’m never going to meet anyone like Sean, or that will want to date a single mom.”

 

“Not with that attitude Roxanne,” said LeeAnne in a tone that Roxanne knew so well. “But I don’t have anyone else who you haven’t gone through already, unless you want one of Scorpius or Al’s auror friends.”

 

“Al doesn’t even work with the auror’s anymore, LeeAnne,” said Freddie teasingly, “have you read any of Benji or Johnny’s letters about how mean he is.”

 

“As if Al could hurt a fly,” said LeeAnne batting her husband away from her. “Maybe Dominique knows someone, or Becca.”

 

“It’s fine,” Roxanne told her, standing up straight to peak into the other room, she could see Clara and Sean sitting close together with Sean’s head on his sister’s shoulder. “We’ll be okay as we are, as we’ve always been.”

 

“If you’re sure,” said LeeAnne, stepping around the counter to hug her from behind. “We just want you to be happy.”

 

Roxanne smiled and hugged her sister-in-law, then her brother, before she collected her children and floo’ed home.

 

Tomorrow was a new day, and her life would go on as it had for the last six years, the last twenty-nine years if she was being honest with herself. One day at a time.

 

~`~

 

The next day, Roxanne dropped the kids off with her father and uncle at the joke shop, crossed the street to her cousin’s, Molly and Lucy, clothing shop to say hi, then went down to the salon. She passed by the Finnigan bakery and tried to not look in the window, where her children’s and their non-Weasley cousin’s birth announcements hung in the window, along with Sean and Mason’s death announcement.

 

She hated having to avoid the bakery, she had once loved going there. First when she was a young girl, to sneak away with her cousins and brother to get cookies and cupcakes. Later when she started to date Sean, when she became friends with his younger sister Veronica and younger brother Mason. She tried for years to walk into that bakery, for her children’s sake, but even six years later it was hard.

 

Her cousin Rose worked at the bakery, her younger cousin Lily’s husband was one of the adopted Thomas-Finnigan children. Veronica, the only Finnigan left brought her children in all the time.

 

Roxanne kept walking on.

 

When she arrived outside of the salon, she felt all of her stresses and worries leave her. She had a meeting with Sasha Thomas.

 

`~`

 

Sasha Thomas loved hair, she loved hair and makeup and nails and making others beautiful. She had been blessed with an Indian mother and black father, giving her and her siblings beautiful tan skin, shiny curly hair, and bright brown eyes.

 

She also still looked twenty at thirty-two.

 

She woke up every day with a smile on her face and the simplest of routines, her day didn’t start until she was at work, and there it was her job to make others beautiful. After graduating from Hogwarts, she ran off to the Muggle world, her life had fallen apart two months before graduation, when her mother wrote her telling her about the divorce.

 

About how her father was in love with her godfather and they had run off together.

 

So after she graduated, she disappeared to Aunt Tilly’s.

 

Her aunt owned a salon in a small town outside of London, where Sasha had once spent her summers visiting. In the year after graduating from Hogwarts, she learned everything about hair, nails, makeup, and more. Then she went back to school, to beauty school this time.

 

Two years later, she opened her salon in Diagon Alley.

 

Ten years later, her salon’s business had boomed, witches and wizards from all walks of life came to her. They came for weddings, for anniversaries, for parties and events, for spa days, and for venting sessions over mani’s and pedi’s.

 

They also came just for a quick trim.

 

Either way, they came in, they came to be pampered and made over. They came to see Sasha, and once upon a time ago, she had loved it. Now, she wanted love of her own.

 

Sasha looked up at the sound of the door opening, of the bell chiming with an entrance.

 

Standing in the doorway was Roxanne Weasley, five minutes early to her usual appointment, looking as beautiful as always.

 

`~`

 

Sasha had met Roxanne when she was eight and Roxanne was six. Even back then Sasha had thought her beautiful, smart, and funny. She met her Roxanne a second time when she was twenty and Roxanne was eighteen. That time it had been different.

 

Roxanne had come in with her mother for a well needed dye and haircut. Roxanne had just been released from St. Mungo’s for rehabilitation treatment for anorexia and self-harm. She was barely a shell of herself when they had met that second time, she was tiny and fragile and barely a whisper.

 

Sasha took her time with Roxanne, she carefully washed and combed and cut and dyed her hair into something beautiful. She had cut off more than half of her hair, getting rid of the dry and dead hair, the split ends and large knots and tangles.

 

She wasn’t left with much, but what was left became smooth and silky and soft. After that, Sasha saw Roxanne once a month for the next ten years.

 

Roxanne even got her aunt to send someone from the Prophet to write a piece about her and the salon. This had caused the business to boom and she hadn’t looked back from there.

 

Now Sasha didn’t have to take anyone in her chair, but she built the business from the ground up and she had her favorites, her usual’s. She wasn’t too open to new people, but in a pinch she took them in. Sasha led Roxanne to her chair and began to take out her braids, they had put them in three months ago and now it was well past the point of changing it up.

 

After a good wash and conditioning, Sasha began cutting and styling as she pleased, catching up with Roxanne on the going ons of the last month.

 

They talked about failed dates, Roxanne’s children, family and friends, and their work. It was their usual appointment, one that made Sasha feel better and anxious at the end of it. Out of all the Weasley’s the frequented the salon, Roxanne was the only one who she would do her hair for, and her nails if asked.

 

If Sasha was honest there was a reason why she would only do Roxanne’s hair. That reason had a lot to do with a conversation she had with her parents when she was fifteen.

 

Otherwise known in her family as ‘Sasha’s disastrous coming out party’.

 

In many ways she had wondered if that was when her father had started to look into his own feelings for Seamus, but then she would have to admit that her parents were happier apart than together. Twelve years later, and she still struggled with that thought.

 

`~`

 

Twenty minutes after Sasha closed up the salon, triple checked her security spells, and put the deposit in at Gringotts, she found herself wondering down the street to the Leaky Cauldron for an end of the day pint. Walking in, she was greeted by many warm and familiar faces, including her step-father Seamus, her step-sister/best friend Veronica, and the Weasley sister’s Lucy and Molly. She bypassed her family for the twin sisters instead, while she was four years older than the pair, she had remembered them at school. Lucy had been in Ravenclaw with her, Sasha had even been her prefect.

 

She only stayed as long to enjoy a drink, then went on her way back up the street to her flat over the salon.

 

It wasn’t much, a small studio apartment, with a kitchen that was barely stocked, a living room that served as her bedroom, and a bathroom that could hardly be called that.

 

Nevertheless, it was home.

 

That night, Sasha tossed and turned in her sleep, her dreams coming back to Roxanne Weasley, again, and again, and again.

 

~`~

 

Roxanne felt broken for the first time in years.

 

She had known that the day would come when one or both of her children would ask about their father, or lack of one. For years, she had developed and strategized the men in her life to be stand in fathers if need be. Her brother, father, cousins, and uncles had all been helpful and kind and understanding to this, in more ways than just one.

 

But Roxanne had forgotten how mean children could be, how judgmental and cruel they could be to one another. She had also forgotten how sometimes it was your family that did the worst damage.

 

It had been Navya, her cousin Louis and his wife Mia’s oldest daughter. She was two weeks younger than Sean and Clara, they were friends and cousins, they had the same relationship Roxanne had with her cousin James.

 

They were like siblings, so close that sometimes being apart hurt.

 

But kids, young children who did not know better, could be so mean.

 

Roxanne had seen it all happen, it had been about two days before everyone went back to school, primary or Hogwarts. LeeAnne and Katie had arranged for a full family playdate, inviting all the Wotters to Katie and James’ home.

 

Navya who had come with her siblings and Louis, had asked the twins why they only had one parent. Roxanne had watched Clara’s face turn up in thought, while Sean looked down confused. Then just like that, Clara had started one of her tantrums.

 

Roxanne had been looking forward to some time with her cousins and friends, but just like that it was all over.

 

That was how she had found herself at Single’s Night at the Leaky Cauldron. It was how she found herself in the presence of Sasha Thomas, her hairdresser/friend.

 

~`~

 

“Sasha? What are you doing here?” Roxanne asked the slightly older woman.

 

“They wouldn’t let me drink unless I signed up for this thing,” said Sasha, holding up her almost empty pint glass in a cheers motion. “So here I am pretending to actually like dick.”

 

Roxanne laughed and signaled to the bartender for a new round for the both of them. She set a few sickles down on the bar, “on me this time.”

 

“Thank you,” said Sasha smiling at Roxanne, “so can I ask what you’re doing here?”

 

“My cousins daughter asked my children why they don’t have a dad and my daughter freaked out,” said Roxanne, wincing at the memory. “Actually Clara does that whenever she doesn’t know the answer.”

 

“You know, this might be a Quidditch pitch throw, but have you looked into an autism diagnosis?” asked Sasha, “Eric was diagnosis with one a few years ago. He had a lot of the same things going on as Clara.”

 

“I never looked into that,” said Roxanne, making a mental note to ask LeeAnne or Maggie about that. “I always thought autism was something that only happened in boys.”

 

“Yeah, I helped dad and Seamus do some research and I stumbled across some articles about how girls are regularly misdiagnosis for autism,” explained Sasha taking a sip of her beer, “but I could be wrong, you never bring the kids in anymore.”

 

“Yeah, my mom likes to do their hair now that she can get them sit still long enough,” said Roxanne smiling at the thought of her mother detangling Clara’s hair. “Though I have to say, I really enjoy the quiet time I get without them in your chair.”

 

Sasha blushed which caused Roxanne to blush and for both of them to take a sip of their beers.

 

The night had just begun, and from their neither of them knew where it would lead.

 

~`~

 

Roxanne had known that she was bisexual when she was twelve and had thought that Maria Roman, the Slytherin Head Girl, was so pretty that she wanted to kiss her.

 

She had also known that she was bisexual when two years later she had kissed Amelia Everly on a dare, and didn’t stop kissing the pretty Hufflepuff girl for the next year.

 

She had spent much of her Hogwarts career thinking about kissing pretty girls, but kissing pretty boys more. She had never dated a girl before, unless you count Amelia Everly who she kissed in the quiet of broom closets for a year.

 

They had broken up because Roxanne had hit Amelia Everly with a bludger which caused her to drop the quaffle and lose the Quidditch final that year. Gryffindor had only won because of that quaffle drop.

 

Roxanne had cried that whole summer.

 

Waking up in Sasha Thomas’s bed with a hangover and no clothes on was quite a surprise.

 

But she didn’t mind it. She felt warm and happy and whole for the first time in a long time.

 

Even more so when Sasha walked in through the door with two cups of tea and kissed her like she had the night before.

 

Maybe her children didn’t need a father, maybe they just needed to see their mother be happy, maybe they just needed more support.

 

`~`

 

Sasha didn’t often go to the Finnigan’s bakery, even though she was just down the street from them. It wasn’t the bakery itself that she didn’t like, it was Seamus.

 

Seamus was her father’s best friend, he was her godfather, the father of her best friend who she was godmother of her children, and he was also her step-father. If she was honest, her father was the one to blame, but it was easier to blame Seamus.

 

But the bakery was where they had family get togethers, it was where she saw her godchildren, her nieces and nephews, her siblings, step-sister, and younger adopted siblings.

 

She was the second oldest, with her older brother Naveen as the oldest, he was always the oldest, even before Sean and Mason’s passing.

 

It had gone Naveen, Sean, Sasha, Veronica, Anika, and Mason, then the adopted siblings, Ryan, Jacob, Kevin, Alvin, and Eric, and that made ten of them. This wasn’t including the kids, her brother Naveen had four, Veronica had four, Anika had three, Ryan had two, Jacob had one, who was the star of this meeting.

 

They had to close the bakery for the day, as it was Jacob’s daughter’s first birthday and there wasn’t room for any customers anyways.

 

Sasha looked up at the sound of the door chiming, she smiled at Roxanne as she led Clara and Sean inside. They had been dating for almost seven months now, and had decided that today was the right time to tell their families.

 

First the Finnigan-Thomas family, then later tonight the Wotter family.

 

Though they were getting a jump start with the Wotter family with Lily, who was married to Ryan.

 

Sasha hugged Clara and Sean as they ran up to her, then sent them off to go play with their cousins. She then kissed Roxanne on the cheek and took her hand to lead her to her parents.

 

All of them were here today, because Sasha’s mother never passed up an opportunity to see her grandchildren, she also never had hard feelings over the divorce. All three of them were talking together, her father was even bouncing her youngest niece on his knee while Seamus had Sean in his arms already.

 

“Roxanne!” said Seamus excitedly, moving in to give her a hug. “Thank you so much for coming today!”

 

“They wanted to come so badly,” Roxanne told him, returning the hug. “You know I can’t say no to them being with their family.”

 

“Oh Roxanne, sweetheart,” said mum as Seamus pulled away from her, “you are just as much family as they are, even more now that you and Sasha are dating.”

 

Roxanne began blushing and Sasha smiled at her, she couldn’t help herself, Roxanne made her so happy.

 

Sean reached out for Sasha who happily took him in her arms. Both Clara and Sean took the news with little to no reaction, Sasha would never have ever admitted to being nervous about that, but she had been. The truth had been that Sasha didn’t care what anyone else had thought, except for Sean and Clara.

 

She felt a small pair of hands grab her pants and begin pulling for attention. She did Roxanne’s signature trick of putting a hand on Clara’s head to stop the tugging before her pants were pulled down, again.

 

“Sasha can we have cake now?” Clara asked her, looking up at her with her beautiful brown eyes.

 

“Not yet honey,” said Roxanne, reaching into her bag for one of her Clara distractions, she pulled out a coloring book and some crayons for her. “Why don’t you go see if anyone wants to color with you?”

 

Clara ran off, and within a few minutes she was surrounded by her cousins with coloring books and crayons spread out around the floor of the shop.

 

Sasha kept waiting for someone to ask her about Roxanne, how that happened, when it happened, she wanted someone to question her.

 

The only person who said anything to her was Naveen, who always had to say something, but he only said his congratulations.

 

It was later when they were leaving to go to the Weasley meca, the Burrow that Anika pulled her aside.

 

“You happy with all that?” Anika asked her, “I know there’s a lot of damage there. I also know that you never wanted kids either. You were the one who told dad that adopting the kids was ridiculous.”

 

“I’m happy, and obviously I don’t mind the kids as much as I did ten years ago,” Sasha told her, remembering back to when she had told off her father for wanting to adopt her five younger brothers in one go. “Clara and Sean are so wonderful too.”

 

“He looks just like him,” said Anika looking over her shoulder to the Finnigan family picture taken way back when Sean, Veronica, and Mason had been young Hogwarts students. “Just without the red hair.”

 

Sasha looked over at Roxanne, who was wiping down Clara and Sean’s frosting covered faces, she felt a pang of love and admiration for all three of them.

 

“Yeah, he does,” Sasha agreed, “he would be proud of them.”

 

She didn’t notice Anika watching her with a smile on her face, “yeah he is.”

 

`~`

 

Sasha knew the Wotter family, or well, she knew of the Wotter family. She knew Molly and Lucy, Freddie and the Lovegood brothers, along with their families. All of the Diagon Alley shops knew each other, and Sasha had been around the longest out of all of them.

 

She didn’t know the rest of them though, Roxanne walked around through screaming children and yelling adults to introduce Sasha to her family. She was two years older than Roxanne, so she had been able to avoid Teddy and Victoire while she had been at Hogwarts, and then skirted around the rest of them when they had come. So while she had known of or remembered seeing Roxanne’s cousins, it didn’t make it easy to differentiate any of them.

 

She already had enough trouble telling Molly and Lucy apart, and they stopped looking similar once they started having children.

 

Sasha also felt ready to defend herself, from what she could tell, none of the Wotter family had any same-sex partners, even though she knew quite a few of them were at least bisexual. The amount of times she had walked in on a Wotter in various degrees of undress with another person while she had been a prefect was in the ridiculous amount.

 

At least they had gotten the hard introductions out of the way last week. Roxanne had taken Sasha to her parent’s house for lunch with her parents and grandparents, with the kids still in school, they had asked all the usual questions. They had both agreed to leave out the drunken one night stand part, saying that they met at the Leaky Cauldron and put caution to the wind.

 

Roxanne had done most of the talking, explaining that she had known she was bisexual since she was twelve. She then explained how after Sean died, she hadn’t found anyone who had any interest in being with her, and no one who would even consider her kids.

 

Except for Sasha, who already knew the twins and loved them as her own, who had been in their lives as long as Roxanne had.

 

It helped that Roxanne’s father had known her for years, Sasha having set up shop just a few stores down, that as Sasha having done Roxanne’s mother’s hair and nails every other week since she opened.

 

It had only taken an hour for Sasha to realize that none of the Wotters really cared if she was gay, or that Roxanne was dating her. Just like her family, they only cared that she was happy.

 

~`~

 

Roxanne heaved a loud sigh and carefully lowered herself to the ground, she pulled her shirt down, which was stretched tightly across her stomach. She had no idea why she had decided to do this again, but here she was.

 

She felt a pair of arms wrap around her and then the owner whisper in her ear, “I told you to wait for me, I was only a minute behind you.”

 

Roxanne smiled and leaned back into Sasha’s chest, she could hear Clara and Sean Jr. running around and chasing after one another. It wasn’t ideal, but it was better than nothing.

 

They had a reason to be excited, well three if the Healers were right.

 

Maybe it was the Weasley genes working against her, but at least she had Sasha by her side.

 

They still had to decide on names, but they knew that at least one of their two boys were going to have Thomas for their last name, while their other son and daughter were both going to be Weasley’s. Roxanne was leaning heavily on the names Eleanor and David, though Sasha hadn’t said anything about her choice of names.

 

Roxanne watched as Clara ran over to her and Sasha, it had taken a full year to get a full diagnosis, but Sasha had been right to suggest that she was on the spectrum. Now they took every day one at a time, and it was working out better than before, though it helped having another person around.

 

Sean, always a step behind his sister, ran up to them and sat at Roxanne’s feet. Sasha began handing out sandwiches and fruit for their lunch, while Roxanne stabbed juice boxes and handed them plates. It was a warm and relaxing spring day, one of the last relaxing days they would see before the triplets came.

 

It was also the anniversary of Sean and Mason’s death and while lunch in a graveyard wasn’t ideal, Sean and Clara didn’t seem to mind.

 

Neither did Roxanne.

 

`~`

 

Sasha never thought that she would be a mother, but Roxanne and her brother Naveen had made it happen. She was beyond happy to be able to hold her and Roxanne’s sons, while Roxanne held their daughter. They had decided on the name Eleanor for their daughter, and Navid and Nikasa for their sons, or Ellie, David, and Nick.

 

If three years ago, she was told that she would be a mum with Roxanne Weasley as her partner, she would’ve said that was crazy. Now though, her life was just about perfect.

 

“Marry me?” she asked Roxanne, who was brushing a wispy curl from their daughter’s face.

 

Roxanne turned to her, and nodded as the door burst open and Sean and Clara ran over to them.

 

“Yes, I love you.”

 

“I love you too.”