So They All Rolled Over and One Fell Out
Hormones hadn't been kind to Ron and Ginny's relationship but at that moment, walking away from the ceremony at the end of Fred's funeral, they were like little Ron and Ginny again.
Hermione's heart ached as she watched Ron slide his large hand into Ginny's smaller one. Ginny squeezed it tightly and they walked back across the field, from the graveyard to the Burrow, holding hands.
"I wonder when they last did that." Harry said, not loud enough for him to have meant to voice his thought.
"I've never seen them do it before," Hermione said, voice constricted by all the crying she'd been doing.
"I used to see them in the village like that all the time." Luna made them both jump as she appeared behind them.
"Oh hi Luna," Harry forced a smile onto his face before frowning, "what village?"
"Ottery St Catchpole." Luna's face was dreamy and she was wearing magenta robes and a necklace made from Kazoos, Hermione guessed that this was her tribute to Fred's memory. "Mummy used to take me into the village to do the weekly shopping and we would see all the Weasleys. Lots of red haired children running around and laughing. The two little ones used to follow their mother everywhere, holding hands, it was nice. I wished I had a brother or sister to hold hands with."
Ron and Ginny were walking towards them, speaking softly to each other and occasionally smiling at what the other was saying. Hermione wanted to hug Ron but she didn't want him to have to let go of his sister's hand.
"So," Ginny said as she smiled at Harry and Luna, "are we going to go home, sit in the back garden and get drunk now?"
Harry held her face in his hand and leaned forward to kiss the tip of her nose. Hermione tried to catch Ron's eye but he was looking down at his feet, cheeks red and eyes puffy from crying, and she realised that he didn't want her to see him like that. She turned her attention to Luna and laughed at what Ginny had said.
"Weasley's always resort to drinking in the garden, have you noticed Luna?""
"It brings cheer and Fred would have liked a lot of cheer. I may get drunk too." Luna said, as if she was merely considering wearing a hat on her feet just for a change.
Ron swallowed and cleared his throat, softly, before trying to let go of Ginny's hand. Hermione noticed that the young witch tightened her grip and pulled her brother back to her side. Ron's fingers curled around her small hand once again and he watched her chatter away, blithely.
George broke away from his mother when he saw the little group and jogged towards them, breaking into a desperate smile, and heaved a sigh about Molly driving him insane. He visibly noticed his younger brother and sister holding hands and didn't say a word. Instead, George pulled Harry forward into a boisterous hug and then a loose headlock as he dragged him off towards the Burrow.
"Come on, it's time to drink to Fred and actually have a laugh in his honour. That bloody funeral was way too sombre. I told her not to do it like that but what do I know eh?" George grumbled while play fighting with Harry.
Ginny set off after them and Ron paused to look back at Hermione. He smiled at her and offered his free hand to her.
"You coming?" He asked, voice sounding sore and low in volume.
She smiled, widely, and took his hand. Ginny yanked him along behind her and Hermione got tugged forward in turn.
Luna followed on behind and sighed to herself.
"Just like when they were little."
Hermione looked back and saw Luna smiling to herself.
"Ron, come on!" Ginny huffed as she pulled him, sharply, behind her. "Pick up your feet for goodness sake."
"Shut up you nag," Ron grumbled before traipsing along in tow.
"Don't cry Ronnie," Ginny's little voice whined as she sat on the steps of the shoe shop.
Ron sniffed and rubbed his red eyes, bottom lip jutting out and wobbling, as their mummy crouched behind them and ruffled his hair.
"Every time, Ronnie?" She said with a sigh as her youngest boy pulled away from her touch and slid down one step with a self pitying bleat.
"Mummy, why can't Ronnie have new things like I do?"
"Because he's not girly enough!" Fred teased while George laughed.
Their mother shooed them away and stepped around her youngest children to hold Ron's chin up with her hand.
"I would buy you new things if I could sunshine; you know mummy hasn't got enough for everybody."
"Bill gets new things and Cha-Charlie does!" Ron sniffed.
"Bill outgrows everything so fast and Charlie isn't as tall so he can't wear Bill's things." Molly explained.
"But Ginny never has to wear all the boys' yucky old stuff!" Ron said as he angrily rubbed at his eyes once again.
"I'll knit you a jumper with a big letter 'R' on the front, just for you, special for my Ronnie." Molly coaxed with a smile.
Ron got up from the step and stomped away from the shoe shop and across the pavement, towards the kerb.
"You'll undo the wool from Fred and George's old jumpers to make it!" He yelled before squeezing between two gruff old ladies and running out into the road.
"Oi!" An angry, familiar voice grabbed him up from the road and carried him back under his arm. "What have you been told about looking both ways before crossing the road, young man?" Arthur barked before setting Ron down on the pavement and gripping his shoulders.
Ron looked down at the floor and snivelled.
"You answer me."
"I'm sorry, dad." Ron mumbled.
Arthur looked to his daughter before walking away from Ron. He stooped down to whisper into her ear.
"Your brother's crying, be a good girl and take him off your mother's hands eh?"
Ginny nodded and stepped forward to take Ron's hand.
"Chin up, Ronnie," Ginny said with a forced smile.
Ron kept his head down.
Arthur handed Molly a silver Sickle.
"My cloak will last another winter. Take this and buy enough balls of wool for everybody. We'll all have a new jumper."
"Yes, dear, that's a lovely idea. Ginny, Ron, come on, come and choose the colour wool you want for your new jumpers."
They followed along behind her, holding hands while Ron sniffled and looked down at the pavement all the way. Ginny chatted to him a little about what colour he would like. Ron didn't say anything; he squeezed her hand and kept his red face pointed downward.
Ginny saw a blonde girl wearing robes that looked as if they were decorated with moving pictures. The huge eyes were looking at them and Ginny suddenly felt defensive.
"Ronnie, stop crying, people are looking."
Ron drew in a shaky breath and sniffed, wetly, before lifting his head and swinging their connected arms.
"You pick my colour for me," Ron said, eyes puffy and red but no longer watering.
"Okay," Ginny smiled.
"There was seven in the bed and the little one said..." Ron began to sing.
"Roll over, roll over!" Ginny sang her part, always 'the little one'.
"So they all rolled over and one fell out." Ron continued. "There were six in the bed and the little one said..."
"Roll over, roll over!"
"So they all rolled over and one fell out."
"There were seven in the bed and the little one said..."
Ginny looked at Ron, a good foot and a half taller than her, fair stubble glinting in the sunlight, and eyes puffy from saying his farewell to Fred. His deep voice sounded so strange as it sang the silly song from their childhood.
"Gin?" Ron stopped walking and looked at his sister.
"Roll over, roll over," she squeaked in an unsteady voice.
"So they all rolled over and one fell out." Ron paused, swallowed down his emotion and then held out his hand.
"Ron, you can cry, nobody's looking," Ginny said as she took his hand and walked away from the graveside with him.
Ron squeezed her hand and looked down as they walked. Ginny would lead the way until Ron was ready to hold up his head once again. She caught a familiar face watching them.
"How perfect is Luna's outfit?"
Ron smiled and looked up.
"Brilliant, lucky you didn't pick the colour really. She'd look as daft as I do in maroon."