Arthur gleefully threw several leaflets scattering onto the wooden tabletop of the Burrow's kitchen. Molly looked of from her knitting needles to see her son Percy's somewhat disgusted face.
It always bothered Arthur a little that Percy called him 'father' instead of 'dad'. But…whatever made him happy, Arthur supposed. Besides, at the moment he was too excited to be deterred by a little thing like that.
After winning all those galleons in prize money, the Weasleys were going to take an honest-to-Merlin vacation. Molly immediately made a plea for Egypt, a place she'd always wished to visit (and now had more reason to, as their eldest son Bill was a curse breaker there). Arthur had derived a brilliant idea while sitting at work and disabling a pair of fencing chopsticks.
The first leaflet Percy lifted off the table to show his mother was deep blue and emblazoned with a magnificent aircraft. The left wing dipping downwards, the picture depicted a plane in flight, soaring through perfectly blue skies, and the title read AER LINGUS.
"Oh, Arthur," Molly began, with a tone as though she were not sure how to say no.
"Isn't it fabulous, Molly?" Arthur chatted, pulling several more leaflets from his inside pocket. "Look, we can fly to Cairo on an airplane! Isn't that something? You know I've always wanted to! And look, if we just converted some of the galleons into pounds – Muggle money, you know – we could easily afford the trip! We could, Molly," he added, a look of desperate excitement and apprehension bright in his eyes.
Percy sighed and dropped the leaflet. "Shall I gather the family for a vote?"
Molly nodded, and as soon as Percy left, said soothingly, "Arthur, don't you think you're being a tad silly? We can just use magical transportation to get to Egypt. I hear those airplanes make people feel ill, and I certainly don't want anyone sick in the middle of the air."
"Molly, some Muggles get air sickness, but we've all ridden brooms! Besides, I hear that you forget you're even in the air! It's like a very large room with lots of comfortable seats and service, and it flies without magic! It's brilliant, dear, look!"
Arthur snatched up one of his leaflets, opened it up, and tossed it onto Molly's needlework. Molly looked at it briefly and saw friendly-looking staff waiting on happy passengers.
"There's even a television!" Arthur added, pointing to the picture. "Or is it called a velitision?"
"I don't know, Arthur."
Noise from above signaled the Weasleys were gathering from all over the house. Ginny was the first one into the room.
"Don't know what, Mum?" she asked, sitting on the couch.
"We'll wait for your brothers," Molly said, while Arthur debated silently over which was the correct Muggle term.
Fred and George entered the room, looking distinctly shifty and smelling of sulfur. Percy followed, nose wrinkled and wearing an expression of blatant disgust.
"Prince Perce here fetched us from some very important homework," George said.
"So we hope this is an important family meeting," Fred said.
"Where's Ron?" Ginny asked.
"Here," Ron supplied, entering the kitchen door, tracking mud. Molly magicked the muck away after him from her armchair. "What's all this about, then?"
"Well, your father…," Molly began.
"I've had a brilliant idea," Arthur cut in. The children shared looks of exasperation.
"Dad, will this be anything like the time you nearly broke the code of secrecy when that guy came to install the telephone?" Fred asked.
"Or when you completely exploded the garage by attempting to create a more efficient petrol?" George continued.
"Remember the time with the leaking collection of batteries?" Ginny asked the group at large.
Percy groaned. "That was right below my bedroom, too."
"Now, now, that's enough," Molly said, though she seemed to agree with her children's skepticism. "Let your father speak."
"As you all know, the plan is to go to Egypt next month. At work, I came up with an idea of how to get there. Now, this is something I've always wanted to do, and it means quite a bit to me, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't come down on it hard."
"Here it comes," muttered Ron.
"We should fly."
The Weasley children, minus Percy, look relieved. Molly began knitting again, and Percy cleared his throat, but the other kids looked at each other.
"That's it?" Fred asked.
"Cool with me," Ron said, rising from his seat.
"So what's all the excitement about?" George grumbled. "We were busy."
"Mum? Perce? You don't look please," Ginny observed.
"He wants to fly on an airplane," Percy said quietly, and Arthur began bouncing on the balls of his feet.
"An airplane?" Ron said.
"Oh, you all know I'm fascinated, and I think it'd be a great experience, especially for you two," Arthur added, nodding to the twins. "I imagine Professor Burbage would be thrilled to get a real life account of a plane ride!"
The twins rolled their eyes.
"So we're taking a Weasley vote?" Ron asked.
"That's why you're here," Arthur said. "Please keep in mind how much I'd love to do this…" He looked at them all with pleading eyes. "All in favour?"
He raised his hand and looked anxiously around. Molly halfheartedly raised one of her knitting needles, and Ginny, with a look of pity at her father and glances at her brothers, raised her hand. The rest sat with arms down.
"Oh, come on, now, only one more of you and we'll go!" Arthur pleaded.
"You vote yea, Percy, and we'll use you as a homework prop," Fred murmured, so his parents did not hear. "And as for you, Ron… Stuffed animals aren't the only thing we can turn to spiders. Think pillows."
Ron shuddered. George, however, looked at Fred oddly. Fred stared back. They seemed to be having a silent conversation, and Fred looked near murderous. But George looked at his father, and upon seeing the longing in Arthur's blue eyes, said aloud, "Sorry, bro, but you can't use me in our experiments and I'm no arachnophobic."
George Weasley raised a hand, and Arthur actually whooped with glee.