A/N: This story is one of a group of loosely related drabbles I'm referring to as the "Daddy's Little Girl" series. I currently have three of them written, but there's one or two more that I'm hoping to get up some time before the end of summer (feel free to pester me if I don't follow through with that). If you like "Thunder," (which is actually my favorite in the series right now) keep an eye out for "Scar" and "Pink." As usual, I don't own any of the characters.
A small figure made its way cautiously into the room, jumping slightly as thunder clapped in the distance. "Daddy," she repeated, this time tugging on her father's arm.
The girl was no more than four, and her voice seemed incredibly tiny at that moment, but her father heard her this time and began to stir.
"Huh… Rosie? What's wrong?" Ron Weasley rubbed his eyes and shifted slowly, trying not to make any noise. Then he remembered that Hermione was not beside him as usual, but in the Netherlands for three days at an elvish welfare convention, and there was no need to worry about waking her.
Ron sat up in bed, pulling his daughter up to sit in his lap. He was about to ask her again what was the matter when a particularly loud rumbling resounded from the clouds outside, causing Rose to yelp. "Rosie, are you scared of the thunder?" She nodded into his shoulder, some of her slightly frizzy red hair brushing his chin. "Don't worry, angel. It's just noise, it can't hurt you."
She merely nuzzled closer to him, her arms wrapped around his neck. Ron sighed; Hermione liked to explain things to the children in logical, factual ways. Unfortunately, he knew next to nothing about thunder, except that it came with lightning and apparently frightened his four-year-old daughter. "Would you like to stay here with me for a little while?" Another nod. "Okay, let's get comfy then."
Rosie scooted under the covers, and Ron tucked her in tightly before wrapping an arm under her shoulders comfortingly.
"I don't like thunder, daddy," said, cuddling next to him.
"I know, love, but it's nothing to be afraid of." Another clap of thunder, and another squeak from Rose, and Ron knew he was completely botching the job of comforting parent.
Hermione's always been better at this sort of thing, he thought, silently cursing the elvish welfare convention and the Netherlands.
"Why does thunder have to be so loud?" He couldn't help but smile at seeing his daughter exhibit one of those very Hermione-like qualities he loved so much: inquisitiveness.
If he were perfectly honest with himself, and his daughter, Ron would have to admit that he had absolutely no idea where thunder came from, or what made it so loud. However, this answer would offer no comfort to Rosie, thus ensuring that neither of them would sleep that night.
So, he did what any good father would do in this situation.
Of course, it would only be a small lie, just enough to reassure her that the thunder wouldn't hurt her (which he knew for a fact it would not). So he came up with something on the spot and made a mental note to apologize to his wife later.
"Well… ah… Do you remember hearing about your uncle Fred?" She nodded, eyes heavy with sleep but stubbornly remaining open. "Well, he's up in the clouds now, watching out for everyone."
"Watching out for us?"
"Yeah, you know, making sure you're having a good time, you and your brother and all your cousins. Uncle Fred loved to have fun and laugh."
"So he's making sure we're having fun?"
"Yep. And every once in a while, when he thinks it's too quiet, he likes to start making lots of noise, just to stir things up a bit." She nodded, her big blue eyes slowly closing as she succumbed to sleep. "So that noise you hear, the thunder? That's just uncle Fred having a laugh. Nothing to be scared of."
With another soft nod she relaxed, burrowed comfortably under the covers.
Within moments he heard her soft, even breathing, telling him she was asleep. He leaned over to kiss her lightly on the forehead before settling himself in to return to sleep as well.
Months later, another storm was raging as the Weasleys were all in the kitchen, getting ready for dinner. A particularly loud CRACK from outside caused Hermione to jump. "Merlin, that thunder startled me," she said.
"Don't worry Mummy," Rosie said calmly, looking up from a coloring book. "That's just Uncle Fred making noise. I don't think he likes it when it gets too quiet."
Ron turned away from feeding Hugo and caught his wife's eye. He had nearly forgotten about the fib he'd told their daughter on that stormy night. He looked at Hermione, ready to appear apologetic, but it seemed that would be unnecessary: she was smiling.
"Yes, I suppose you're right sweetheart." Hermione gave her daughter a kiss on the head, and the young girl happily continued coloring, no longer afraid of the noise she knew her uncle was making.