Chapter Eight
Weasley Gardens

Sometime in July, Ron's Dad passed what came to be known as the Wizarding Repopulation Act. In essence, it required all witches and wizards capable of childbearing to produce two children in the next five years. Since we were almost halfway to that goal, we paid it little attention.

At any other time, Ron and I would have taken great delight at the flurry of marriages that followed this law. However, we had so much going on in our own lives that it was hard to pay much attention to what was happening to other people.

By October the house was repaired enough to move into. The outside was finished, and the downstairs was more or less decorated; upstairs, only the master bedroom was complete.

We figured that the house ought to have a name, but couldn't think of anything fancy enough to suit the décor. Finally, in a fit of desperation, we named it Weasley Gardens.

I spent most of my last month of pregnancy redoing the nursery.

I wish I could say that labor was a breeze, that my daughter slipped right out. Of course it wasn't that easy. I was in labor for a good twelve hours. Given her parentage, I guess it wasn't too much of a surprise that she weighed over ten pounds.

"She doesn't quite look like a Daisy," I said, looking at her wrinkled little face.

Ron leaned over her, toying with her bright red hair, which had the unfortunate habit of sticking out in all directions. "She puts me in mind of those flowers Mum grows out by the picket fence," he said. "You know, the red and orange ones with lots of spiky little petals."

We dug through our old Herbology books, looking for the name of the flowers he was thinking of.

It was cool. It was unique. It was feminine. And it fit perfectly.

We named her Zinnia.

The next spring we planted zinnias in the flower beds in front of the porch.

Thanks to Arthur's law, we knew we'd have to have another child sooner or later. Ron liked the spacing in his family—children had been born every two years or so. Our plan had been to have another child two and a half years after Zinnia.

Of course, my life never went as planned. Fifteen months after Zinnia's birth, I gave birth to another daughter. She had a bit of trouble getting out—at twelve pounds, not to be wondered at—and was a little blue when she was born.

We named her Lobelia, and a few months later those lovely blue flowers joined the zinnias in the front garden.

When I was younger, I'd never thought much about having children, and it surprised me how much I enjoyed having babies in my house. By the time Lobelia was a year old, I started to yearn for another little one. Ron had grown up in a large family and was amenable to having another child.

And so it was that over the years, we added quite a few children—and flowers—to the Weasley Gardens. Primula, Azalea, Camellia, Dahlia, and Gardenia were all born at intervals of about two years.

Ron was pleased that he now had his own Quidditch team. We considered our family complete; fortunately, the gods had better plans for us. Four years after Gardenia's birth, I gave birth to a son.

Myron is three now; tall for his age, solid in build, red-haired, Weasley to the core. He's affectionate; I think he's run up to me ten dozen times since I started writing this journal to announce, "I yuv you, Mama."

As I sit here writing, all of a sudden, it strikes me. When I was a child, I wanted to be appreciated or even admired. I fantasized about people loving me. As I grew, I bullied, kissed up to people, sneaked around—in short, did everything I could think of to get into other people's good graces.

And now, finally, I am appreciated and admired. I think fondly of the compliments I hear often—"You're a wonderful lover," "You're the best cook in the world, Mama," "You know more about Quidditch than anyone in the world," "You are the best Mama a girl could have."

How did I get here? Not through scheming and machinations, but through love. Loving my family and doing my best to make them happy. In the course of exacting revenge, I found sweetness, but only by accident. The sweetness I found by loving was no coincidence.

Remember that, my children, as you read this story. Remember it as you choose your path through life. The best choice you can ever make is to choose to love those around you.

Your mother,

Millie Weasley