Molly sat in a wooden chair at the kitchen table listening to her five older boys playing Exploding Snap in the living room. They had wanted to play in Bill's room but she didn't want them to wake their brother, Ron, who was napping in the nursery. She had just gotten him to settle down for his nap and he had been very hard to put down today. She didn't need him woken up again, otherwise he'd be cranky and nothing is worse than a cranky Weasley child.
"What is it Percy?" She had not noticed the tell-tale signs of a fight brewing between her children; she was so deep in thought.
"Bill and Charlie are picking on me."
"Bill, Charlie, come here now." She called the boys to her sighing wearily.
"But Mum! We didn't do anything!" Bill cried giving her a pleading look.
"I said come here. And don't yell you'll wake Ron."
Bill and Charlie slowly made their way toward her knowing exactly what was coming. She could have swore she heard them mention something about not waking 'precious Ronniekins'.
"Why are you picking on your brother?" She asked calmly knowing this was the key to keeping everyone's temper in check.
"Percy was cheating." Charlie calmly stated as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Percy, will come here for a minute please?" Molly wanted to get both sides of the story to be fair and she just couldn't believe Percy was cheating. He was her good little boy.
"Sure, Mum." Percy replied, getting up from where he was sitting next to the twins.
"Percy, your brothers tell me you were cheating. Is this correct?"
"No, Mum, I wasn't cheating."
"Percy, you're not lying are you?" Molly warned.
"No Mum, I wasn't cheating, I swear."
"All right, you can go. Keep an eye on the twins. Bill, Charlie, why were you really picking on him?" Molly said, turning her attention to her two eldest.
"Well...uh...actually... we really don't have a reason..." Bill answered rather hesitantly.
"Bill and Charlie Weasley! That is not an excuse for picking on your brother. You two can go to your rooms and stay there until your father gets home."
"No buts, now go on."
Grumbling, Bill and Charlie reluctantly went to their rooms. She would have to talk to Arthur about their behavior. It was totally unacceptable under her roof and the boys knew it. However, at the moment she had a lot more on her mind than the arguments between her sons. She was pregnant again and didn't really know how to tell Arthur. Money was already tight and a new baby would only make things worse. Bill was going to be starting Hogwarts in a year and would need all of his school things which would not come cheap, even if she shopped secondhand. She glanced at the clock on the mantle, Arthur's hand still pointed to 'work'. As it was only two o'clock, this was fine. She'd need the three hours to figure out how to break the news to him. She just hoped he would be home on time today, with the war that was going on, Arthur had been taken off his usual job at the Ministry and often had to work late. Molly got up and decided to relocate to the living room and occupy herself with knitting. Just as she sat down, Ron woke up, screaming. Getting to her feet, and grabbing a bottle from the kitchen, she hurried up to the nursery.
'What is it now,' she thought. Being as she was halfway to the nursery, she quickly grabbed Ron before returning back downstairs to see what her other boys were fighting about now. "What is it Percy?" She asked when she returned to the family room nursing Ron.
"Fred and George got into my paintbox."
"Well, Percy, they are only two. Why don't you read them a story? You read absolutely beautiful." True, Percy was only four, but he was rather bright and could read some books by himself.
With that small crisis solved, she turned back to feeding Ron. Just as she placed him on her lap to burp him, she heard a small 'pop' in the kitchen which could only mean Arthur was home. Early.
"Hello, Molly, dear. How were the Weasley boys today?" He asked, after giving her a quick kiss on the cheek, seeing she was busy with Ron.
"Well, Bill and Charlie teased Percy so I sent them to their rooms, Percy read a story to the twins all by himself, and Ron was the most darling baby in the universe."
"What?" Arthur asked giving her a quizzical look.
"Arthur, were you even listening?"
"Yes, I was shocked about how Bill and Charlie treated Percy. Would you like me to talk to them?"
"Actually, I would."
"Well I'll do that right now. What exactly did they do?"
"I don't know exactly. Percy told me they were teasing him and then they told me they were teasing him because he was cheating at Exploding Snap, which Percy says he wasn't."
"Cheating or not, teasing Percy is not acceptable. I'll be right back."
Molly watched as Arthur headed upstairs to talk to his sons. She sat Ron down on the floor so he could play with his brothers while she thought back to Percy. Percy was their miracle baby. After having two miscarriages, she and Arthur didn't think they could have another child. The troubles didn't stop there however. Percy was born a month early and she had lost a lot of blood during the birth. The healers had said he wasn't going to make it and Molly could clearly remember the look of horror on Arthur's face as he looked back and forth from her to the healer. Later, Arthur had told her that he was absolutely terrified that he was going to lose both of them. Percy spent the first week of his life attached to tubes and machines to help him breathe. The healers had also said that being he was so tiny, there was nothing more they could do but wait. Any healing spells could have made his condition worse, not better. He was so tiny that Arthur could almost support him in one hand. At first, he didn't want her to leave her room but she convinced him to help her down to the nursery. Then she and Arthur had taken turns holding him and talking to him. After the first night of worry, Arthur wasn't going to let him go without a fight. Neither was Molly.
"Hon, what's for supper?" Molly looked up to see Arthur coming back downstairs with Bill and Charlie following close behind. She looked at the clock, it was quarter after five. She hadn't realized how long she had been sitting there thinking.
"I don't know, dear. I thought it was your night to choose."
"Is it? I thought it was yours love."
"Arthur, you've seemed very distracted ever since you got home, what's on your mind?"
"I'll tell you later. How about I cook dinner tonight?"
"You will? That sounds nice. Would you like me to help?"
"No Molly. You just relax. You look tired."
She smiled gratefully at her husband and turned her attention to her children. Bill and Charlie were outside on their broomsticks, and Percy was reading to the twins and Ron. She picked up her knitting and began making Arthur a new scarf. He had needed one for some time now, but she hadn't had the time to make him one. She chose a soft blue that would match his eyes and began casting the stitches onto her needle. She had just completed one row when Charlie and Bill burst into the house red-faced from the chilly winter air.
"Mum, Charlie pushed me off my broom!"
"Boys! Stop it this instant. Honestly, can't you two play together without fighting"
"Mum, he started it!" Bill said pointing to Charlie.
"Nun huh!" Charlie cried pointing back to Bill and sticking out his tongue.
"Bill and Charlie Weasley, go help your father with dinner. And if I hear one more word out of either of you, I will ground you. Got it?" She said narrowing her eyes and rubbing her temples with her forefingers. Bill and Charlie just hung their heads and nodded. Then they ran into the kitchen to help Arthur.
"Mol, dinner's about ready. Why don't you get the boys washed up?" Arthur called as she heard Bill and Charlie set the table. Sighing, she put her knitting aside and herded the twins and Percy to the lavatory to wash up for supper.
"It looks wonderful dear." Molly complimented Arthur as she began serving stew and rolls to each of her sons and gave Ron a roll to play with while they ate.
you. Now let's eat."
No sooner than she had sat down, Fred and George decided to throw their food instead of eating it.
"Fred, George, NO!" Hearing her tone, the twins immediately stopped and gave her their best puppy dog face. After that, dinner was quite uneventful. As Molly cleared the table, Arthur set to work putting the children to bed. He fed Ron one last time, changed his nappy and Ron was asleep before Arthur even got him to his crib. Coming back downstairs, he noticed Molly was washing the dishes and quietly he walked up behind her, slipping his arms around her waist and kissing the top of her head. She nearly dropped the plate she was putting away when she realized he was behind her.
"Arthur Weasley! You know better than to sneak up on me like that! You scared me!"
"Sorry Molly, I didn't mean to scare you."
"It's okay. You going to tell me what's on your mind?"
"I've been promoted." He said as if he didn't or couldn't believe it.
"Promoted? To what?"
"You are looking at the new Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office at the Ministry."
"That's wonderful Arthur." Molly said as she turned around in his arms and kissed him lightly on the lips.
"What do you say we go and try again for a daughter Molly?" Arthur said as he pulled away grinning devilishly and wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.
Seeing her opportunity to tell him, she seized it. "Arthur, about that. I'm pregnant."
"You are? That's wonderful Molly. How long?"
"Well, I've suspected for a week now and I had Healer Sedgewick stop by this morning. I'm only a couple of weeks in."
"That's great Mol. When are you due?"
"I'm due a couple of weeks before Percy's birthday. August 9th."
"Do you want me to see if I can take some time off for paternity leave?" He had taken time off for paternity leave with all of his other children, there was no way he wasn't going to for this baby, but he asked her anyway.
"Only if you want to, Arthur. I know you love your job. Besides, you've just been promoted."
"I want to. I'll ask my boss about it tomorrow. When's your next healer appointment"
"Not for a couple of weeks. You'll come won't you"
"'Course I will Molly. Have I missed a healer's appointment yet"
"Only the one right before Bill was born." She reminded him with a smile on her face.
"Did you have to bring that up? I didn't mean to. I did make it up to you though, helping out around the house." Arthur said running his fingers through his thinning hair and frowning.
"Hey, you only did that because I was on bed rest and couldn't tidy up." She countered gently.
"Molly I don't think you're being fair. Now let's go upstairs." He helped out around the house quite often so he knew she was just teasing.
"Molly, do you want some sleep before the twins wake us up or not? You know they're at that stage where they want to sleep with us. Besides, isn't the morning sickness going to kick in soon?"
"I guess you're right. Let's go."
With that, Arthur slid his arms back around her waist and followed her upstairs to their room. As they changed into their night clothes, they discussed possible baby names.
"What about Ginevra if it's a girl, Arthur?"
"I guess that'd be okay. I don't want you getting your hopes up though. There hasn't been a girl born in my family for almost a hundred years Molly."
know Arthur. Motherly instinct tells me that this baby is going to be
different though. Besides, its about time we had a girl. Six boys! I
can't believe I'm still sane."
At this Arthur chuckled and caught her around the waist.
"As I recall, you're the one who said you wanted a big family, Molly. That and you wanted to keep trying for a girl remember?"
"Arthur, that's not fair. You wanted a big family too. Don't go blaming our huge family on me."
"I was just joking Molly. Can't you take a joke?"
"You better watch yourself mister, or you may just find yourself sleeping on the sofa." Molly countered slapping him playfully on the shoulder.
Arthur rolled his eyes and leaned in for a long, thorough kiss. Melting into the kiss, Molly threw her arms around his neck and pressed herself close to him. "Molly, you're the most wonderful woman in the world, you know that?" Arthur asked as he pulled away, slowly.
"Yes, I believe you've told me often enough."
"You're also the most beautiful woman in the world. I love you."
"I love you too, Arthur." Molly replied as she broke out of his embrace and climbed into bed. Arthur climbed in next to her and laid on his side with his right arm draped across her belly just so he could stroke it and the precious gift inside. Molly always enjoyed it when he did that, something he only did when she was pregnant. Placing one of her hands on top of his, she fell asleep, blissfully happy.