Joy of Maths
Year: Prefect 1 Stand in
Prompt: 'Why are there letters? You told me Math was all about numbers.' (Speech)
Words: 2393 (Including line breaks, but not Authors note.)
This is a next generation story, and an AU, because it isn't stated that Neville and Hannah had a child.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me out!
Albus Potter was rummaging through James's maths books. With maths being useful in magic, their father and mother had decided to teach Albus, James and their sister, Lily, maths. However, Lily was only learning very basic notions, and James was disinterested even more so, ever since he had met George's son, Fred the second. Fred and James were trouble with a capital T. With all of this, Albus was the only one interested, and he had decided to borrow a few of James's books, just for a read through. James wouldn't even notice; and he probably wouldn't even notice if Albus kept the books, but he wouldn't do that as it was stealing.
Then Albus found a book on 'year-eight maths,' and 'The Algebra Workbook 2.' James might only be ten-year-old, but he was very smart, which is why he had books for a year or two above him.
Albus squeaked delightedly after glancing through them; these books were what he wanted! He stood up and quickly walked to his room to read the books.
%%%%(Half an hour later.)%%%%%%
Ginny entered her home. The first thing she noticed was how quiet it was. It shouldn't be quiet, as Harry and their three kids, Lily, James and Albus, were all at home. She thought they must be in the backyard playing, and she walked through the house to the back door.
Sure enough, Harry was playing with Lily and James outside: but where was Albus? Ginny went out and looked all around the yard. He was nowhere in sight. It then dawned on her that Albus had not been outside much, recently; he had seemed even quieter than usual.
Ginny felt really bad at that thought: she had been neglecting her youngest son! She had been so tired recently, she had been putting a lot of responsibilities on Harry, and he was already overworked. Probably all the children were feeling a little neglected. Ginny resolved to start doing something about it immediately.
"Harry!" Ginny called to her husband, deciding to deal with Albus first.
"Yeah? Oh, you're back!" Harry called back.
"Where's Albus?" Ginny asked.
"Inside, I believe. Would you go and get him? Apparently, there aren't many nice days left before the weather turns. So, it would be good for us all to spend some time outside," Harry called.
"Alright! Who told you that, though?" Ginny asked.
"Ron," Harry said.
"He's not always correct in predicting the weather!" Ginny shot back.
"Yeah, but I think he's right on this occasion, considering its late Autumn!"
Ginny nodded before turning around and going back inside to look for Albus. Her brother, (surprisingly) was very good at predicting the weather; and as a result, became the weather man. He was usually pretty spot on. However, there were times when he wasn't.
Like the time Ginny and Harry took the kids out to the park because it was going to be a lovely day, and the wind had blown all day, and in the second half, it had rained non-stop. Then Luna's wedding was postponed due to his predicting of torrential downpours, and it had been sunny all day. However, as a general rule, Ron was correct with his weather predictions; which was surprising for everyone. Even more so when he actually went into the Muggle world to study weather.
Albus wasn't in the living room, she could see that: so, he was probably in his room. That was where he normally was, anyway. James was always teasing his younger brother, no matter how much they tried to tell him to stop it. He never listened, even after being locked in his room for a whole day, with only food and water for company. Albus, therefore, spent most his time in his room as that was sanctuary.
Because James was consistently teasing or just being annoying to poor Albus, they decided to have a rule that if someone was in their room, they were not to be disturbed unless a valid excuse was provided.
When Ginny reached Albus's room, she found the door shut. That didn't concern Ginny; like her, Albus liked to keep his door shut, which became a problem as Harry liked to keep the doors open. Ginny knocked on Albus's door, then opened it. Albus was sitting at his desk, reading. He looked up at the sound of the door opening.
"Mum," Albus acknowledged brightly.
"What are you doing, honey?" Ginny asked, walking into his bedroom.
"Why are there letters? You told me math was all about numbers," Albus said, pointing at the book he was reading.
Ginny stared at Albus blankly. "Come again?" she asked.
"Why are there letters in this math book? You told me maths was numbers," Albus said.
"Well, what sort of math book is it?" Ginny asked, going over to his desk. She saw that it was an Algebra book. When she saw that it was the second book on it, her mouth fell open.
"Algebra," Albus said very slowly. He struggled to pronounce it right: he kept wanting to say Agrabah.
"Oh, well, Algebra has letters in to help with real-world problems. Like, if you wanted to know how much four hundred robes would cost; you might use it then. It makes things simpler; if you're writing a long-complicated list of things you need to buy and you're working out how much it will all cost, you'd use it then, too," Ginny explained.
Really, she wasn't sure what Algebra was herself. What she had just told Albus was the response Harry gave her when she had asked him. It was all she knew.
"Oh, really?" Albus said, looking excited.
"But where did you get the book from?" Ginny asked.
"James's room," Albus said quietly.
"Sorry! But he wasn't reading them, and I just wanted to have a look!" Albus said.
"Alright, how about you put the books back, and tomorrow we can go and get you your own ones on the way back from the shops?" Ginny suggested.
"Okay!" Albus said excitedly. He quickly closed the book, grabbed the other one, got up and ran to James's room to put them away. Then he came back to Ginny.
"What now, then?" Albus asked.
"How about we go and play with the others? We can play Gobstones if you like; I know how much you love that game," Ginny suggested.
"Really! Yeah! Let's go!" Albus cried, jumping up and down.
Ginny offered her hand to him, and he took it. Then they walked downstairs to go outside.
As Ginny promised, the next day she took him to a book shop, where they got the 'Algebra workbook 1,' and a couple of year-seven maths books. Albus was very excited.
"Mummy?" he asked on their way home. The bookshop and the other shops Ginny wanted to go to were not that far away, so they had walked there.
"I know Daddy likes helping me with maths, but can you do it? I don't get to do a lot of this sort of thing with you," Albus said.
"Of course I will. How about we start on the book when we get home?" Ginny suggested. She was quite looking forward to it; it would give her a chance to make it up to her son. She would tackle the rest of them that evening.
She hadn't got to have a lot to do with Albus's Muggle education: out of no one's fault but her own. She had been so busy with her own work and looking after them all, she had not been helping any of the children with their Muggle education. Luckily, Harry was keen on them learning it, so he helped them.
When they got home, they went up to Albus's room. Albus opened up his newly brought Algebra book while Ginny pulled up a chair. When they were both seated, they started going through the book. Albus enjoyed every moment of it.
That evening after dinner, Ginny gathered her family in the living room. When Harry, Lily, James and Albus were seated, Ginny sat where she could be seen clearly, and she said, "I want to apologise to you all."
"Why?" Lily asked.
"I have been unintentionally ignoring you and not helping you with your Muggle education. Recently, I haven't even been around to kiss you good night and stuff. I'm sorry; I just got so caught up in my work," Ginny said.
"It's okay, Ginny; we understand; I was like that not that long ago," Harry said, leaning forward and rubbing his wife's shoulder.
"Yeah! We can go back to being the big happy family we were!" Lily cried excitedly.
They had all noticed Ginny's distantness, but Harry had asked them to keep quiet about it for a little while: they all agreed.
"We all make mistakes, Mum; don't worry about it," Albus said.
"Yeah! You're still our mum," James said.
"Thanks guys; you are the best family I could ever have," Ginny said, smiling. She pulled James into a hug, and the rest joined in.
"How about you read us a story, Mum?" Lily asked.
"Alright, how about I read Hansel and Gretel?" Ginny suggested.
"Yeah!" cried James and Albus.
"No! It's too sad!" Lily said.
"Oh, come on, Lily; the witch is the only one who dies, and she's not very nice," James said, rolling his eyes at Lily.
"I suppose," Lily said.
"James! No need for that," Harry said, trying not to go off at James. It was harmless, but they were sick of James not resisting to make fun of someone every single day.
"Okay. Can you hand the book to me, Harry?" Ginny asked.
"Sure," Harry said, getting up and bringing the book over to them and giving to Ginny.
"Okay, so, 'Once upon a time…'" Ginny read.
(Quite a few years Later.)
"Knock! Knock!" someone knocked on the door, then they opened the door.
"Hello? It's us!" someone called.
Ginny rushed downstairs to see who it was. It was her son Albus and his fiancée, Jemma Longbottom: Hannah and Neville's daughter.
"Albus!" Ginny cried, rushing over to her son and giving him a hug.
"Mum," Albus responded softly, returning the hug.
"And, Jemma!" Ginny said, smiling at Jemma.
"Ginny," Jemma uncomfortably responded as Ginny hugged her, too.
"A week until your wedding; are you excited?" Ginny asked.
"Very, but nervous too," Jemma admitted.
"Well, come in. You'll have to try some of my cheesecake! That will give you something else to think about," Ginny said, leading them to the kitchen.
"A cheese cake? Have you been inventing your own recipes again?" Jemma asked. Ginny wanted to create her own cakes and stuff, but they usually ended up a disaster. She didn't stop trying, though.
"Yep, and I think it's a success!" Ginny said excitedly.
"Alright, we'll try it," Albus agreed.
"Alright, hold on!" Ginny said, rushing over to the fridge and getting the cheesecake out.
"What flavour is it?" Albus asked, curious.
"Mixed berry, cream and chocolate, with a dash of jasmine," Ginny said as she cut three pieces and swished her wand to summon three plates.
Ginny brought it over to the table and placed a plate in front of Jemma and Albus. She then sat down. Her cheese cake was a brown and red colour.
"This looks nice," Jemma said sincerely.
"Hopefully it tastes nice," Ginny said, crossing her fingers.
"Hopefully," Albus agreed.
"It tastes pretty good, Ginny," Jemma said after a couple of bites.
"Yeah, it's a success," Albus said, nodding at his mum.
"And I have to agree with you both; this is great. Now I will have to get Harry to have some," Ginny said, rubbing her hands together.
"Well, just tell him we both liked it and you'll be fine," Jemma said brightly.
"Yes, it will," Ginny agreed.
When they finished, Ginny flicked her wand and had the plates fly over to the sink and wash themselves, then sit neatly on the drying rack.
"Hey, Albus, remember that time you asked me why there were all those letters in James's Algebra book?" Ginny asked.
"Algebra?" questioned Jemma.
"It's a certain type of math. Yes, and you told me that was for writing long complicated shopping lists and working out what it will all cost," Albus said, remembering it well.
"Well, I found your old maths books! Hold on and I'll bring them down!" Ginny said springing up and rushing off.
"You never told me you learnt Muggle stuff," Ginny heard Jemma say..
"You never asked, and it seemed unimportant," Albus said.
"Well, would you teach me? Please?" Jemma begged.
"Sure, I will; but you could ask mum to teach you," Albus pointed out.
"Yeah, but I want you to teach me," Jemma said slyly.
"Alright," Albus said as Ginny came back with a box.
From the way she was carrying it, it must have been a heavy box.
"Here we go. What do you want done with them?" Ginny asked, putting the box down on the table.
"I'd like to take them home and look through them," Albus said.
"Okay; you may do that. Just ask me if I want to keep some of it before you throw it out," Ginny said, warning Albus.
"Okay, will do," Albus said, taking Ginny's warning to heart.
Ginny then sat down. They sat in silence for a while before Jemma asked, "So, what was Albus doing with James's math book?"
"Ah, well," Ginny started.
She then got into a long-winded explanation about how Albus burrowed a couple of James's books just to look through, how he asked about there being letters and numbers in it, and when she had said maths was all about the numbers. Albus's face was red until Ginny finished telling the tale.
"Oh my! That is so cute!" Jemma said delightedly.
"I know," Ginny said.
"Mum! You're embarrassing me!" Albus complained.
"No, she's not; she's telling me about you as a child, since you don't want to tell me," Jemma shot back.
"You want to hear more?" Ginny asked, her eyes lighting up.
"Yes please," Jemma nodded.
"What are we hearing about?" asked the voice of Harry. They all looked around to see that Harry had just arrived home.
"Oh no, not you too, Dad," Albus said, facepalming.