A/N: I know, it's a day late for Christmas, but...I got inspired for this yesterday during Christmas at my house. So, here it is. Just a short little Arthur/Molly Christmas fic.
"Open it!" nineteen year old Molly Weasley urged, an excited grin on her face as she bounced nine month old Bill on her knee. He babbled at his parents, scraps of wrapping paper held tightly in his little fists. They had already watched him open his presents; they would be going over to Molly's parents later on, and they had spent Christmas Eve with Arthur's family, but the young couple had both wanted to spend Bill's first Christmas morning together at the Burrow. Nevermind the fact that he was too young to really understand what was going on.
"I really wish you would open yours first, Molly," Arthur insisted, despite the fact that his fingers were already tapping anxiously against the large, heavy box in his lap. His redhaired wife shook her head.
"I can't open mine when I've got Bill here, and I can't put him down because he's liable to put something in his mouth," she explained. "And you can't take him because you're holding your present, so hurry up and open it!"
As if to emphasize this, Bill set in with saying "Da da da da da da da!" very loudly and beating his hands on his round little legs, letting go of the wrapping paper in the process. Arthur laughed and held his hands up in defeat.
"All right, all right! Can't argue with that," he said, and began tearing the paper away. Molly couldn't keep herself from grinning; this year, she knew she had gotten a gift for Arthur that he would be absolutely thrilled with. Of course, Arthur would be thrilled with anything Muggle related, but this was going to be something extra special for him.
Ironically enough, Molly had an easier time understanding Muggle things than Arthur did. Perhaps it was because she was able to pay attention to things when they were explained to her, rather than being like Arthur, who was always so enthralled by Muggle objects that he had to have things shown to him four or five times before he understood. Not that she really cared much about them; however, Arthur's obsession amused her, as much as she scolded him at times, and at times like Christmas she didn't mind indulging him. Besides, she had read up a little about this particular Muggle contraption before buying one secondhand, and it was something she thought they would both enjoy.
"Oh, Molly..." he breathed when he saw what was in the box. She grinned a little wider, eyes sparkling as she watched his awestruck face. Carefully, almost reverently, he lifted the record player out of the box and moved to set it on an end table. "Molly, it's fantastic!" he murmured, carefully running his fingers over it's various parts.
"Do you like it?" she asked, disentangling herself from Bill, who had managed to grab a fistful of his mother's hair.
"Like it? I love it, Molly!" he exclaimed, grinning up at his wife. He paused, then asked "...erm...what exactly is it?"
"It's a record player," she explained, somewhat proud of herself for knowing something about a Muggle object that he didn't know yet.
"A record player," he echoed, amazed. "Oh, yes...I had to deal with one of these at work a few months ago, just didn't catch the name of it...it was a false case, you see. We thought someone had enchanted it so that it wouldn't work correctly, but it turned out that the person who made the report was a Squib who decided he would trick the Ministry into fixing it for him," he babbled, eyes still glued to the record player.
"Look in the bottom of the box, Arthur, there are a couple of records in there. You can always get more to play, too," Molly said, smiling lovingly at her childish husband. He hurried over to the open box and looked down inside it, pulling out two albums, both of them used. One had a picture of four Muggles crossing a street on the cover (the woman who sold the record had told Molly that the group was immensely popular, and when Molly had listened to the record to test it out, even she had recognized one or two songs that had crossed over into the wizarding world). The other record was a Christmas album.
"Molly, you're the most wonderful woman in the entire world, you know that?" Arthur remarked, marvelling at the two records. His wife laughed, and Bill, not knowing what was funny, giggled along with her. He looked up at them, his clear blue eyes shining with excitement. "D'you know how to work it?"
Grinning, Molly stood up, setting Bill on the floor to crawl around amidst the wrapping paper while she explained the record player to Arthur. She had just barely had time to show him how to make it play before Bill started fussing; he realized no one was paying attention to him and wanted to be picked up. He crawled over to Molly and pulled himself up to standing by grabbing onto her robes, then looked up at her and whimpered.
"Bill Weasley, I do believe you're a bit spoiled," she said, stooping to lift him up. Arthur was busy fiddling with the record player; the wheel was turning, but they couldn't hear any sound coming out. Molly stifled a giggle as she watched her husband scratch his head. "Turn the volume up, dear. It's that little knob on the front there."
"Oh! Oh, yes," Arthur said hurriedly, and gave the knob a turn. 'Frosty the Snowman' blared out at them, and he quickly turned it down a bit. "Whoops."
"Oh, Arthur, look at Bill," Molly said, giggling a bit at the baby in her arms. The little redhead was staring at the record as it turned, absolutely fascinated. Arthur grinned.
"You like that, Bill my boy?" he asked. The baby looked up at his father when he spoke, then went right back to watching the record, his little rosebud mouth slightly agape. Molly begandancing him around to the upbeat music, watching his round face in delight.
With a soft smile on his face, Arthur watched his young wife and son, momentarily forgetting his new contraption in favor of taking in a far more wonderful sight. This was how he always wanted to remember Molly; smiling in fresh, unadulterated motherly joy. Things were troubled in the world around them; a dark wizard had been terrorizing their world for three years, and there seemed to be no end in sight, no salvation. But in moments like these, when it was just their little family enjoying life at home, when Molly was the most beautiful woman in the world and Bill was the sweetest baby he had ever seen, Arthur had a hard time believing anything evil existed.
Noticing that her husband had grown silent, Molly looked up at him questioningly, still bouncing Bill around. "What is it, Arthur?" she asked, the smile still on her face. He shook his head slightly, smiling back and leaning in to kiss her softly.
"Nothing," he said when he pulled away, then rethought his answer and added, "I love you."
"I love you, too," she answered, her face still inches from his. He started to lean in for another kiss, but just then, the song ended and Bill's focus went back to his parents.
"Da da da da!" he said loudly, whacking Arthur upside the head with his little hand. Both his parents burst into laughter; Bill looked at them blankly for a moment, confused as to what was funny, then he started grinning as well. "Da da da!" he repeated enthusiastically, then immediately stopped when he realized We Three Kings had begun playing. His focus went right back to the turning record.
"Oh, Bill, you simply will not do," Molly said, laughing. "Come on, now, Mummy has to open her present."
Arthur's face fell slightly at her comment. "Oh, Molly, I wish I had gotten you something a bit nicer, now...I mean, you're always telling me to get you things you need instead of silly things you'll never use, so I didn't get you anything really special...."
"Oh, hush, Arthur," Molly said, sitting down on the couch again and settling the baby in her lap as she reached for her package. "Whatever it is, I'm sure it's exactly what I need, and I'll love it," she insisted, tearing a bit of the paper and then encouraging Bill to help her tear the rest of it off. She pulled out a pair of self-knitting knitting needles, a new jar of floo powder, and a prettily carved pair of picture frames.
"I'll go out this afternoon and get you something pretty if you'd like," Arthur said apologetically, looking quite distressed. Molly just laughed at him.
"Oh, Arthur, don't be silly! I love all of it. These needles are just what I wanted...it's always so tricky to get the charm right for regular ones, and mine have been wearing out," she said. "And the picture frames are just exactly what we need," she added, smiling an almost secretive smile. Arthur tilted his head, looking a big confused. Molly sat Bill down on the floor again and stood up, putting her arms around her husband's neck and kissing him.
"Really, Molly, let me get you another present," he pleaded, frowning slightly. Molly smiled that soft, secretive smile again and shook her head.
"You've already given me another present, Arthur. You just didn't realize it yet," she murmured. Taking one of his hands in her own, she placed it on her belly, watching Arthur to see his reaction. Realization hit him, and his eyes widened as his mouth fell open slightly. She smiled at him again, glowing with happiness. "Of course, it won't be here for another eight months or so..."
"Molly....Molly, are you really?" he asked, nearly breathless, his hand still on her abdomen. Molly nodded silently, unable to stop smiling as she gazed at her flabbergasted husband. A few seconds of shocked silence passed, the only sound that of the record player crackling out 'Jingle Bells' in the background. Then, with a sudden whoop of joy, Arthur swept his wife up in his arms and swung her around.
"Arthur!" she exclaimed, laughing. "Arthur, put me down!" He obeyed, but kept his arms around her, holding her to him and kissing her face and lips excitedly.
"Molly, love, have I told you lately that you're the most wonderful woman in the whole world?" he asked between kisses. She laughed, delighted with his reaction.
"Yes, about five minutes ago, actually," she replied. He stopped kissing her and just looked at her for a moment, grinning stupidly, barely able to catch his breath. After a moment, he placed one hand back on her stomach and cupped her face with the other hand.
"Another Weasley boy," he said, already bursting with pride at the thought of a second son. Molly laughed, placing one of her hands on top of the one of his resting on her abdomen.
"How do you know? Maybe it will be a Weasley girl this time," she argued good naturedly. Arthur just shook his head.
" 'Course not, Molly, there hasn't been a girl in the Weasley family for generations," he replied.
"Well, then, we'll simply have to keep trying until we get one," Molly commented, grinning almost devilishly. Arthur returned the look, wrapping both arms around her waist and pulling her close to him.
"We'd best get started with that right away, don't you think?" he murmured in a low tone. Molly laughed and smacked him on the shoulder.
"Arthur, that line doesn't work when I'm already pregnant, you know," she reminded. He blinked as he realized his mistake, thought about it for a minute, then shrugged and grinned.
"We can always practice!" he replied jovially.
"Shush, Arthur, Bill's right here," Molly scolded. The redheaded man looked down at their son, who was busy amusing himself by chewing on the little toy dog he had gotten.
"Molly, he's nine months old. He doesn't know if we're talking about sex or potatoes," he said.
"Arthur! Shush!" Molly exclaimed, glancing down worriedly at Bill as he slobbered obliviously all over the stuffed animal. Arthur just laughed at her again.
"Come on, Molly, let's enjoy ourselves now while he's too young to actually understand us," he said. She just gave him a disapproving look and shook her head, then made a startled noise when he suddenly leaned down to kiss her again, long, slow, and thoroughly this time. Melting into the kiss, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed herself close to him. Behind them, 'Home for the Holidays' began playing on the record player.
'Oh there's no place like home for the holidays,
'Cause no matter how far away you roam -
If you want to be happy in a million ways,
For the holidays - you can't beat home, sweet home'
'That's certainly the truth,' Arthur thought absently as he kissed his wife in the middle of their living room, surrounded by wrapping paper and about thirty seconds away from being interrupted by an attention-loving baby. 'Most certainly.'