Sans Blonde
A fic dedicated to everyone who knows what it's like to be angry for absolutely no reason

I love Hermione, I really do. She's been like another daughter to me. She's intelligent, kind, patient, ambitious, and has been one of my son's best friends for years.

But she's also brunette, which is what got me so worked up when Ron, Harry, and Hermione came home from their quest against You-Know-Who to celebrate Christmas.

Everything had been going fine until I noticed just how close Ron and Hermione were sitting; their knees were touching, they were so close! So, like any concerned mother would, I pointed out the proximity breach to Ron: "Ron, why don't you move to the left just a bit? You might send the wrong message to Hermione."

I knew something was wrong when Ron's ears turned pink and Harry burst into laughter.

Hermione nudged Ron, as if urging him to say something. Ron turned to look at her, pleading with her with his eyes. I should have picked up in it then, but I think a small part of my—okay, maybe a big part—wanted to deny what these interactions were hinting at.

Finally Hermione rolled her eyes and said, "Mrs. Weasley, Ron isn't sending me the wrong message."

I felt my smile falter. There was pretty much no denying it any more, but for some reason Ron felt it necessary to add, "She's my girlfriend, Mum."

My eyes flickered over the sight of their now clasped hands, the fingers laced, before settling on the long, bushy, brown locks of Hermione's hair.

"I forbid it." The words came out of my mouth before I had time to think about them, but as soon as I voiced them it was like I was glued to them.

The whole room went silent. Harry stopped laughing; Arthur looked up from the Daily Prophet and placed the newspaper carefully on the table, ad if it might explode at any moment; Fleur dropped the spoon she had been using to give Bill a taste of the spaghetti sauce she'd been helping me to make, and the two of them looked at me as if to say, "Here we go again…"; Fred and George hurriedly abandoned whatever experiment was causing Charlie's ears to spark fireworks so that they could witness the angry rant they knew was coming; Ginny stopped chasing Pigwidgeon, who flew straight into Errol and sent the old owl into an unconscious position on the floor; Ron quickly withdrew his hand from Hermione's.

It was Hermione who finally broke the silence. Standing up with her legs spread apart and her hands placed angrily on her hips, she asked defensively, "Why not? Is Ron not allowed to date or something?"

Jumping to conclusions, Ron leaped to his feet and, pointing at Ginny, argued, "But Ginny was only fourteen when she started dating!"

I blinked. "Ginny hasn't started dating yet," I mutter, looking over at my only daughter to see her look quickly away while trying to hide behind an extremely red face behind an upside-down cookbook.

Then it was Harry's turn to speak up, his voice revealing his surprise. "You never told your mum about us?"

"Because I knew she would blow up like this!" defended Ginny. "I knew she would say I was too young—!"

"It's not how old you are!" I interrupted loudly, gathering everyone's attention yet again. I turned to Hermione, taking a strand of her long hair in one hand and showing her the chocolaty color, and said, "It's your hair." I turned around quickly and pointed at Harry. "And you're not allowed to date Ginny, either!"

"What's wrong with my hair!" Harry and Hermione asked in surprise, their voices in perfect unison. Harry even went so far as to run a hand through his scraggly mess of tangled black hair, and for a moment I was tempted to pounce on him with a comb in just one more attempt at straightening it out.

Then I realized how mean my words must have sounded and said in a soft voice, "I love you both so dearly!"

Ron took Hermione's hand again and asked me, "If you love Hermione so much, why can't I date her? You've been fine with her and me being friends!"

"Her hair is brown!" I exclaimed, gesturing yet again at Hermione's dark hair.

"Dear…" Arthur warned, but I interrupted him angrily.

"Don't you 'dear' me!" I hissed. "You are the one who has always been so proud of the Weasley red hair, going back over twenty generations; you have no right to talk!"

"What does hair have to do with dating?" Ginny asked, confused.

I held up a hand, counting off on my fingers while I listed, "Ron and Hermione dating means that they like each other more than friends. They're not only dating; they are boyfriend and girlfriend, which is two steps away from marriage." Ignoring the shocked faces that Ron and Hermione swapped, I continued on with my list of possible events. "If they get married, they will eventually want to start a family, and because Hermione has brown hair—a dominant hair color—all of their children will most likely have brown hair as well, and the trademark Weasley red hair will be gone, all because of one brunette in a long line of redheads!" I began to pick up the pace, my emotions snowballing into a giant avalanche of explanations that I could only hope was coherent to the members of my family gathered around me. "And it's the same thing with Harry's black hair; black hair is dominant over red hair, so Harry's black hair would take dominance over Ginny's red hair if they were to have children sometime in the future!"

The only sound that could be heard was the sound of my panting as I tried to catch my breath after my long rant. Hermione was looking at me as if I was a mad woman, but she was the mad one if she ever thought I would ever give this relationship my approval.

It was finally Fleur, of all people, who broke the semi-silence: "You let me marry Bill," she pointed out, "despite ze color of my hair." Fleur gave a clump of her hair a quick toss. The blonde strands glittered in the sunlight of a nearby window, causing every male in the room to stop and stare admiringly at the married woman.

Noticing all of the attention his wife was getting, Bill took a step forward to block Fleur from sight and wrapped his arms protectively around her.

I tried to think of a response to Fleur's argument, but even though I knew the reason why I hadn't been so overly upset about the Weasley-Delacour marriage, I couldn't quite put it into words. Instead, I tried using my hands, making wild gestures that, to me, made perfect sense: one arm stroking an invisible vertical object was supposed to be Fleur's hair, and the other arm slowly closing into a fist was supposed to mean small, but I guess no one in the room could understand my frantic movements because they all just stared at me with confused expressions. Finally I blurted, "Your hair is blonde!" I ignored the fact that my explosion had caused Fleur to jump back in surprise, and continued ranting. "Blonde hair is a recessive trait that can be outweighed by the twenty-two generations of redheads that are in our family! Brown hair, however, is a dominant trait that would completely ruin any chance of a red-haired child!"

"Not completely," Hermione corrected, making my eyes widen at her audacity. "In Muggle schools we learn all about genetics. There would still be a chance of a red-haired child—."

"That's not the point, Hermione," Arthur interrupted. Then, he turned to address me. "Molly, they're dating. They're not married."

"So?"

"So why are you worrying about children?"

"Because they're boyfriend and girlfriend, which is two steps away from marriage. If they get married—."

"They'll ask for a glass of milk."

Everyone turned to stare confusedly at Harry, who just smiled and shrugged.

"That was totally out of character for you, Harry," Hermione said, shaking her head at her friend's randomness.

Harry shrugged again. "It got everyone to calm down, didn't it?"

"IT BLOODY WELL DID NOT!" I screamed. "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT SORTS OF THINGS MILK IMPLIES? IT COULD MEAN ANY NUMBER OF THINGS, LIKE—!"

"MOLLY!" Arthur shouted, reminding me just in time that I don't want to set a bad example by shouting obscenities in front of my children.

I bit my lip, trying to think of how to phrase my opinions so that everyone would understand and agree with me. I tried more gestures—running my hands down my own red curls, or spiraling my hands around each other—but no one seemed to be able to figure out what I was trying to say. Eventually I just lost it and flung my hands down, fists pounding onto the kitchen table so hard that Arthur's newspaper went flying into the air only to float back down onto his head.

"You just… can't… date!" I repeated through gritted teeth. "It has taken twenty-two generations for us to build the reputation of red-headed Weasleys, and all it will take is one brunette for us to lose that reputation! People all over England associate red hair with the Weasley family! We can't lose that or else the Weasleys will fade into the backs of the minds of wizards everywhere! This is all we have, all we've ever had! We've never been rich, but we've always had this one… tiny… legacy!" With that last syllable, I stamped my foot and ran out of the kitchen, leaving Fleur to finish the spaghetti dinner without me.

Now I'm in the room Arthur and I share on the top floor of our overlarge home, sobbing into my pillow. I've alienated my family, and I don't even know why. I know this is a small thing to get upset about, but something inside me won't let it go. I have to keep fighting for this, I have to go back down there and tell them all that there is no way that Ron and Hermione can ever go out or get married or have children.

I pick myself up off of the bed and walk towards the door, but before I can grasp the knob it turns and swings out, revealing a very apprehensive Ron. When he sees me standing in the doorway right in front of him, he jumps, but then he gathers himself and squares his shoulders like a soldier about to walk into his final, fatal battle.

"Mum," he says gravely, "I wanted to talk to you… about Hermione."

I nod, stealing myself for whatever he is going to say.

For a moment Ron just stood there, mouthing out nonsense words that I'm sure I wouldn't be able to comprehend even if I knew how to read lips. Ron is so much more like his father; less impulsive, more likely to be frightened away than to go charging into battle. It wasn't until Ron met Harry that Ron had started to show any backbone at all, except whenever Ron went head-to-head-to-head with Fred and George, who would constantly torment poor little Ronnie-kins as a child.

"I just want to let you know that I don't care what you say," Ron says finally, jerking me out of my fond memories of Ronnie flying a foot above the ground on his little toy broomstick. "I am going to date Hermione, and… I dunno, maybe we'll get married someday, but maybe we won't. We've decided not to talk about that sort of thing until after V…V…Vol…" Ron shudders as he tries to get the name out; Harry has been trying to get Ron and Hermione past their fear of saying You-Know-Who's name, even though I personally don't see anything wrong with such an aversion. "Until he's gone," Ron finally finishes, giving up on the name completely.

I shake my head. "No you're not, Ron. You're going to listen to me because I'm your mother and I love you and I love our whole family—."

"If you love me so much then let me date whoever I want to date!" Ron bursts out. Maybe he's not so much like Arthur after all…

"I can't, Ron…"

"Why not?" Ron demands. "Why can't you?"

I try to explain, but I just can't! The words just won't come! They're there—right there, right between my eyes where I can't see them—but I can't get them to form on my lips, to give them voice, to send them spiraling into my youngest son's ear for him to hear and understand just why I can't let him date Hermione. But the thing is: I don't even know why I can't let him date Hermione! She's intelligent, kind, patient, ambitious, and has been one of Ron's best friends for years.

She's also brunette, but if that's the only thing that gets me so worked up about this whole thing, then why can't I allow my son to be happy? I shouldn't let hair color get in the way of my son's happiness!

Well, maybe not this time…


Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling. I own nothing above except Mrs. Weasley's reactions.