Git – Can be harsh or soft, cruel or affectionate, funny or upsetting.
And at some time or other...we've all been one.
A/N For Chocoholic Monkeyfish!
He had never been so proud in his entire life.
Here he sat, looking older than his years but blessed beyond belief, surrounded by his family on his birthday. Arthur Weasley knew that Molly had saved for months to be able to afford this family meal at the swishest restaurant in Diagon Alley. He knew that when the boys found out they had all stopped taking their meagre pocket money from her so they could contribute too. He knew that little Ginny hated wearing the pretty pink dress Molly had made for her but the strawberry-haired fidget was sitting up at the table nicely for her daddy.
He looked at his youngest boy and felt like laughing at the look on intense concentration on his face as he struggled to eat with his knife and fork in the right hands. It was a problem Arthur understood only too well. He always sat down at the table and swapped over his knife and fork. Ronnie had picked up on this as soon as he started using cutlery and had copied him. Ronnie copied everything he did when he was very small. Now it was an unbreakable habit and when Molly had cleared her throat on seeing Ron grip the fork in his right hand he had furrowed his brow and started his quest to eat 'kack-handed' as he so eloquently put it.
They were all behaving so well, they all looked so nice, they were all alive and well and together. It was more than he dared dream during the dark times when the little ones were born. This was why he was so annoyed at the drawling voice that carried across the room to their table.
"...Really did think, for the price we're paying, we could have eaten our meal without being bothered by riff-raff."
Molly looked at him warningly. He knew she hated the unspoken feud between Arthur and Lucius Malfoy and was adamant that none of the children ever found out about it. Arthur had never believed Malfoy's excuses and lies to escape prosecution after You-Know-Who fell. He knew Malfoy was cruel and dangerous. They had exchanged words after the trial and an implied threat had been made against the children.
Just as Arthur was going for Malfoy's throat the Aurors rounded a corner and Malfoy was gone, a smirk and a billow of robes was all the goodbye he gave.
"I honestly think that if a witch can't even master a simple contraception charm she shouldn't be allowed a wand." Malfoy sniggered to his haughty wife.
Molly's face flushed. Arthur scanned the table and was thankful that none of the children overheard the comment; they were all busy chatting quietly or concentrating on being good.
"Oh come now Lucius," Mrs Malfoy said silkily, "they're obviously celebrating. You can tell it's a special occasion, they're not eating with their hands."
The couple laughed in such a smug manner Arthur was almost shaking in his seat with rage. He was so tense that when Ronnie touched his hand and blinked up at him with those huge blue eyes he jumped.
"Oh sorry Ron, what is it son? Would you like me to pass you something?" Arthur smiled warmly and felt Molly let out a breath of relief on hearing his controlled tone.
Ron leaned in close and whispered up into his dad's face.
"I need the toilet."
"Oh, well not to worry, I'll take you. Come on you fine young gentleman!"
Ron giggled and hopped down from his chair, reaching up to take his father's hand.
"Oh look," Lucius said, sounding almost lazy in his amusement, "they are going to sneak out two by two without paying. I wondered how they were going to afford a place like this."
Arthur's whole body stiffened and Ronnie yelped and pulled his hand away, pouting up at him with a hurt expression.
"You're squeezing too hard!"
"Fr-" Arthur thought better of his choice of accompaniment for young Ronnie, "Percy, would you be a trooper and show Ron to the lavatory for me?"
"Yes dad," Percy nodded before taking Ron's other hand and tugging him away gently.
Arthur watched them go before taking a deep breath and turning to have a few short words with the Malfoys. Molly was standing before him looking fierce.
"This is your birthday. They aren't worth ruining a lovely evening for. Take your seat and enjoy your meal Arthur Weasley."
He took another deep breath in and out before nodding and sitting back down at the table again.
"Per-cee!" Ron said from inside the cubicle, his voice a little whiny.
"Yes Ron." Percy sighed, more than used to his baby brother's insane conversations that were always pre-empted by a sing-song pronunciation of his name.
"I'm supposed to wait for you so I can show you back to the table."
"But not in here," Ron said, still sounding a little whiny.
"You'll hear me wee!"
"Oh for goodness sake, just go will you?" Percy huffed.
"But I can't go if you're listening."
"I'm not listening!"
"But you are, you can hear me talking now."
"Oh Ron stop being a pain and go will you?"
"Okay, I promise I'll wait outside if you swear on your Puffskein's life that you'll wash your hands when you're done."
"Promise," Ron said, sounding satisfied.
"Bollocks!" Ron said cheerfully.
"You know what I mean Ronnie, swear on Snugglegut's life."
"I swear on Snugglegut's life that I will wash my hands now get out Percy. I really have to go!"
Percy puffed out his cheeks and trudged outside.
Ron sat on the toilet, swinging his little legs and peeing. He was still too little to reach the wall toilets his daddy used. He heard the toilet in the cubicle next to him flush and was startled to think somebody had been listening to him and Percy before...and then listening to him peeing.
Ron managed to finish and he hopped off the toilet to pull up his pants and trousers before standing on tip toes and pulling the chain. He bit his lip and unlocked the door, stepping out to see who it was who was standing at the sink washing their hands.
"Don't worry," the little blonde boy said, without looking around, "I wasn't listening to you pee. I put my fingers in my ears."
Ron grinned and wandered over to the sinks to stand beside the boy, who seemed to be about his age.
"You're welcome." The blonde boy said before walking over to the towel to dry his hands.
"Are you here for a special dinner?" Ron asked with interest and excitement that he wasn't the only one dressed up to do something as ordinary as eat.
"No," the boy shook his head, "we're just eating. We come here every Sunday for dinner."
Ron's eyes bulged.
The blonde boy blinked and turned around to stare at Ron incomprehensively.
"What do you mean 'why'?"
"Why do you have a posh dinner every week? Don't you want to have a nice dinner at home with your mum's food and your comfy clothes on?"
"My mother doesn't cook," the boy said, amazed at the idea.
Ron blinked and struggled to understand the concept.
"Your mother cooks for you?" he asked Ron.
Ron nodded and his face lit up.
"She makes my favourites when I've been good and she said, when I'm bigger, she's gonna show me how to make pancakes!" Ron said the last word with excited awe.
"But why don't you just get somebody else to make them for you?" The blonde boy frowned.
Ron thought about this for a while before shrugging.
"Why should they?"
The blonde boy had nothing to say to that. The two of them stood in silence for a moment before Ron broke into his brightest smile and waved unnecessarily.
The blonde boy giggled at Ron waving at him when they were standing right in front of each other.
"I'm Draco," he said, waving back.
Ron gasped and his eyes widened.
"Wow, that's cool!"
Draco scrunched up his nose and shook his head.
"My father chose it. I don't like it."
"My dad chose mine and my mummy chose my middle name and that's yucky old Bilius." Ron grumbled.
Draco seemed to be quite happy that Ron had a silly name too and he smiled at him.
"Are you staying for a while? We've just got here? We can play while my father has his smoke at the end of dinner and my mother goes to the toilet to be sick."
Ron's face fell.
"Why does your mum be sick?"
"It's just what she does after dinner."
"Like burping?" Ron frowned.
"Yes, I suppose it is."
Ron was a lot happier about that and went back to Draco's earlier question.
"We're on our afters now. We'll be goin' home soon."
"Oh," Draco looked disappointed, "well maybe next week?"
"We can't come again, we saved up for millions of years to come here," Ron said as he threw his arms wide, "My dad works for the Mince-city and he doesn't get enough money to make other people cook for him more than once."
Draco seemed to be struggling to understand this.
"My father says something about business at a Mince-city and he comes here all the time. He comes here without me and my mother sometimes."
Ron looked hopeful.
"Maybe your dad and my dad are friends and they will stay and talk and we can play!"
Draco looked delighted and they both hurried from the toilet together.
"Ron!" Percy called after him, "Ronnie, don't run! Who's that other boy. Ron come back!"
Arthur felt Ronnie tugging at his sleeve and he massaged his knuckles and paid the waiter for the damages while Molly ushered the children towards the fireplace to Floo home in disgrace.
"Daddy...Dad," Ron was impatiently trying to get his attention while Arthur muttered apologies to the restaurant manager, "Daaaaaaad, my friend says his dad knows you from work and we want to play while his mum bees sick. Can we?"
Arthur turned to look down at little Ronnie standing beside an equally small blonde boy who was unmistakably a Malfoy.
"I'm afraid we have to go now Ronnie. Say goodbye to your friend and come with me."
Arthur took Ron's hand and pulled him behind him towards the fireplace.
"But dad..." Ron began, confusion etched all over the poor little tyke's face.
"You can't play with him Ron. It's not allowed."
Percy looked a little lost but obeyed his mother as he was ordered into the fireplace and Flooed home obediently.
"Father?" the young Malfoy boy asked as he frowned at Lucius, who was mopping up his bloodied nose with a napkin.
"Silence Draco!" Malfoy managed to say, "You are never to fraternise with anyone in that family again."
The small blonde boy looked at Ron and his face mirrored the disappointment on Ronnie's freckled features.
"Bu-bye," Ron waved sadly as Arthur held him close to his body and grabbed a handful of Floo powder.
"Goodbye Ron Bilius," the dejected blonde boy waved half heartedly.
"The Burrow!" Arthur yelled and the green flames swallowed them up and then spat them out in the kitchen of the family home.
Molly had a face like thunder and the other children had obviously been sent to their rooms.
"Go upstairs and play Ronnie dear, I need to talk to your daddy." She smiled at him kindly.
Ron stepped out of the fireplace and looked over his shoulder at Arthur.
"Do as your mother tells you Ron, there's a good boy."
Ronnie stared at his father for a moment before narrowing his eyes in that way he did when he was about to tell on Fred and George for being mean to him.
"I got no one to play with you git!" Ron said in his grumpiest voice and ran out of the kitchen and up the stairs, sniffing and wiping his eyes.
"Maybe your sons could have taught you two a lesson," Molly said sadly, "we'll never know now will we?"
Arthur had nothing to say to that.
He was exactly what Ronnie had said he was.
He was a git – plain and simple.
A/N And thus ends the series.
When I first came up with it this was a big comedy slapstick ending but as I wrote it changed and I really liked it.
I adore Arthur and don't want to paint him as a bad guy in any way. This just highlights that anybody can have their moments and that even the perfect father falls off his pedestal from time to time.
Thank you to everybody who reviewed and followed these stories.
Happy New Year to you all!