The Naming of Weasleys

"Charlie! Charlie! Give it BACK! Mum! Charlie's got my Quidditch book again!"

"I'm only borrowing it! You said I could borrow it!"

"Not any time you like! You have to ask first! I want it back now! MU..UM!"

"Oh, for goodness sake, Bill, will you shut up about that stupid book? I'm sick of hearing about it. One more word, and it's going in the bin, whether Uncle Fabian sent it to you or not!"

"But Mum…"

"I mean it, Bill! Now, both of you in here. Your father and I need your help with something."

Bill and Charlie followed their mother into the untidy living room of The Burrow, Charlie shooting a look of triumph at his older brother. Bill muttered: "I'll get you back later!" before taking a seat on the settee next to the nearly five-year-old Percy. Their father was already seated in one of the squashy armchairs with one-year-old Ronnie, the baby of the family, on his lap. Seeing the looks on the faces of his two eldest sons, he put out a hand and grabbed Charlie as he passed, pulling him down onto the arm of his chair."Best keep you two apart for the minute, by the look of it," he said, with a sympathetic glance at his very pregnant wife, who plumped herself down into the other armchair with a sigh.

The other occupants of the room, three-year-old identical twin boys, whose toddler chubbiness and innocent expressions belied their already enormous capacity for getting into trouble, were turning somersaults on the hearthrug.

"Fred! George! Stop it, you're making me dizzy," commanded Mr. Weasley. "Listen, all of you. We need your help with something."

"What?" demanded Bill, Charlie and Percy all at once, while the twins sat up and regarded their father with detached interest. "A name for the new baby that's due any day now," said Mr. Weasley. "After six of you, your Mum and I are out of ideas. What do you lot think?"

"Boy's names?" inquired Charlie.

"Well, yes, obviously," replied their mother, somewhat irritably. "This family doesn't do girls, does it?"

Apart from the gurgles of baby Ronnie, who was amusing himself by trying to remove his father's glasses, there was quiet in the room while the boys pondered their father's request. Then: "Edward?" suggested Bill; "Jimmy!" said Charlie; "Lancelot?" said Percy, who was having a book about knights in armour read to him at bedtime at the moment.

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley looked at each other. "Edward's okay," said Mrs. Weasley. "We could call him Teddy. But not Jimmy. James Potter thinks enough of himself already. We don't want him to think we're naming our baby after him."

"Lancelot's nice," pondered her husband, "but it's a bit fancy compared to the others' names. Might do as a middle name. Think again boys."

"George!" suggested Fred. "Fred!" shouted George, almost simultaneously, and they both rolled over on the hearthrug in a tangle of arms and legs, giggling hysterically.

"No, twins, no!" said their mother, smiling despite herself. "Those are your names. We need a different one."

"Eric?" "Andrew?" "Jack!" "Henry!" The boys' ideas were coming thick and fast now. "Harold?" "Bob!" "David?"

Unnoticed by the rest of their family, Fred and George were making their way to the far end of the room.

"Donald!" suggested Charlie, but his father vetoed that one at once.

"Ronald and Donald? If we wanted kids with rhyming names we'd've done it with the twins. Looks like we missed our chance there…"

"Perhaps it'll be twins again?" suggested Bill, with an expression of mock innocence on his face.

His mother shot him a look of horror. "One set of twins is enough for any family, thank you Bill. Fred and George are more than enough…"

The mention of the twins' names reminded their father that they were being suspiciously quiet. Looking around, he discovered them in the process of climbing onto the windowsill behind him.

"Bill, Charlie! Get the twins!" he ordered, in a tone of resignation that suggested he said something similar twenty times a day. Bill and Charlie stood up and obeyed, Charlie hauling one twin off the chair they had pulled over to help them climb up, while Bill lifted the other off the windowsill itself. Both did it with a matter-of-fact air that suggested that they too were very used to this sort of thing.

"I like Eric," mused Mrs. Weasley. "Eric Weasley? Eric Lancelot Weasley? What do you think, Arthur?"

"Eric? Yeah, I like that," said her husband, looking around at his sons with his eyebrows raised. "Anyone object?" Everyone shook their heads. "Eric Lancelot Weasley it is then! Thank goodness that's settled."

"But Mum, Dad…?"

"What Charlie?"

"What if it's a girl? You'll be stuck for a name then, won't you?" His parents exchanged looks.

"Oh, we've had a girl's name picked out since before Bill was born," said Mr. Weasley. "Ginevra Molly Weasley. Nice, isn't it? Shame we'll never get to use it."