Author's Notes: Written for crimson83 on livejournal who asked for "Weasley family fic, with a focus on Charlie. Not dark, light comedy preferred. Prior to Deathly Hallows (for obvious reasons)." And yeah I changed my handle so please redirect your links to EverythingIsMagic instead of Kellychan85. I was starting to dislike the "chan" with the random number.
Two Down, Five to Go
"Dragons?!" Molly exclaimed, voice sharp and clearly distressed.
"Yes Mum," the second eldest Weasley shrugged as if were nothing, "you know I've always been interested in magical creatures."
"But with Bill off in Egypt," she shot a glare at the oldest of her boys, who sat across from the table from her, "out invoking the curses of three thousand year old mummies." Bill looked apologetic, but then smiled when Fred and George snickered beside them.
"Oh come on Mum, mummies?" Bill scoffed, "Even Fred and George think that's ridiculous."
The twins laughed a bit louder, covering their mouths to stifle it. For truthfully, Fred and George weren't amused because of the ridiculousness of Molly's statement, but instead, because of the irony. Just the previous week, Bill had encountered his first "mummy" quite uneventfully in a newly discovered tomb. There were plenty of curses on the tomb, but none on the corpse of the wizard within it. He had been promised by the twins not to mention it to their mother though (or Percy for that matter, who he thought might tell her), as Bill thought the argument "Mum, cursed mummies are really uncommon" wouldn't quite cut it with her.
Molly frowned and her eyes made their way around the table, all eight red haired heads were glancing from Charlie to Molly, and then as if attempting to be indiscreet, pausing to eat a forkful of their dinners.
"Nevertheless!" She huffed, "You're a good enough seeker to play professionally, so why not quidditch?" Molly even cringed at the thought of professional quidditch, such a dangerous sport. But it was a dream come true idea compared to being a dragon keeper.
"Just because I enjoy playing a sport doesn't mean I want to do it as a job," Charlie shrugged, "Mum it could be a lot worse."
"Oh, well of course," Molly quipped, "I suppose some years from now I might even have children in the Auror Department!"
Ron looked rueful. He had just gone to work with his father a week before and taken a quick tour of the ministry. The Auror Department was indeed the area he found most interesting, and he couldn't pretend he hadn't thought of how much he liked the idea of becoming one. Ron stuffed a large piece of pot roast in his mouth in order to stop himself from countering his mother.
"Why not get a safer job," she continued, "like your father's at the ministry. It's a good job, and it's not dangerous."
Percy nodded smartly in approval and Ginny kicked him under the table.
"Well…" Arthur cut in, "my job can be dangerous from time to time dear."
"I can think of a job that's not dangerous," Fred suggested, "he could become a Muggle accountant like your cousin Mum."
"'Course the hazard there is that he might just die of boredom," George retorted.
Seven of nine people at the table laughed, but Charlie proceeded to clear his throat and reach over to place his hand on top of hers. "Mum, I am rather good at care of magical creatures."
"Yes, but a dragon keeper?" Molly's anger melted into worry, "Oh Charlie it's dragons… they kill people."
"S'pose that's a good point," Ron offered, "wouldn't need dragon keepers otherwise."
"Shut up Ron," Ginny snapped.
"Professor McGonagall has been helping me out a lot with it," Charlie elucidated, "She thinks that it's a great idea and she even talked to Professor Dumbledore. He found a dragon reserve in Romania that's looking for help right now. I could go there and see if it's what I want to do…"
The entire Weasley clan winced in anticipation of the same thing.
"Romania?! First Egypt… now Romania?"
"Well everyone moves away sometime," Bill opposed, his voice calm.
"I'd owl you as often as possible," Charlie pressed the top of his mother's hand.
"Molly," Arthur voiced kindly, "Charlie is of age now…"
"But Arthur," she sighed, "he's never even seen a real dragon, how does he know that's what he wants to do?"
"I'll not make any decisions until I decide if it's what I want to do or not," Charlie shrugged, "But Mum, I really think this is the right job for me…"
"He's as good as he says so, even better Mum," Percy finally came to the defense, "Hagrid says he handles magical creatures better than most anyone he's ever seen."
There was concern reflected deep in Molly's eyes as she glanced around the table, "I just want to know you're safe…"
"I'll even send you lots of photos so you know I am."
"Not sure that's the best idea," Ron quipped, imagining his mother's reaction to receiving photos of her second eldest with fire breathing beasts twenty times his size.
"Quiet you," Ginny glared at him, "she's finally giving in."
"Molly dear, I know we're just being protective, but we need to let go," Arthur spoke to her softly, as if to soothe her anxiety.
The older woman finally nodded. "I can't say I approve. Nonetheless, if this is what you want…"
"Then very well," an encouraging expression made its way across her face. Noticing how the rest of the family was staring at her with rapt attention, Molly clapped her hands. "Eat, don't stare!"
"Well that was easier than we thought it would be," Ron grinned.
"Not near as bad as when I told Mum about Egypt," Bill agreed, "Of course that was the first time… Blimey there are five more of us…"
"Well speaking of jobs," Fred smirked, "George and I have been itching to tell you that we've decided what we want to do as well."
"Oh yes, a grand summer job. Just to bring in a bit of extra cash, right Fred?"
Molly rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips.
"You see, as it turns out, they're looking for wizards to help out with breeding the monsters at Loch Ness. George and I thought it would be great fun."
"Oh yes, and it pays quite well," he grinned, mischief apparent, "you see for some reason, no one is able to keep the job more than a week."
"We can't imagine why," Fred feigned naiveté, "but none of them can be contacted to tell why they quit."
"Yes, it's like they're all... missing. Hmm," George scratched his head.
Six of seven people at the table laughed hysterically, and Molly pulled out her wand, charming away the mostly empty plates of the twins.
"That's enough of you two," she huffed, "you can go to your room now."
"Right, see ya Mum!"
The two headed upstairs (no doubt to plot), leaving the rest of the family alone. Once they'd all calmed down, Charlie stood up and walked towards his mother, wrapping his arms around her.
"Mum, I will… be careful."
Molly sniffed and ignored the tears welling up in her eyes as she embraced him in return, warm and maternal. "I know… you will."