Disclaimer: The characters of this story are the property of J.K. Rowling.
This story is written purely for the sake of entertainment. Criticism and reviews are welcomed.
At the Break of Dawn
Dawn slowly approached as the moon parted ways for the mighty sun's entrance to the morning sky. Crickets chirped along the moist grass as dew drops fell off the leaves of the flutterby bushes and the tall trees in the distance. The morning fog slowly dissipated as the hints of sunshine peered over the horizon, spying on the world of slumber, and ready to wake them all from dreams.
It was at this time that her eyes opened, bleary from her hours of sleep, with tired wrinkles around her face and her hair in curlers. Oh, how tempting it was to stay in bed, all warm and cozy, to enjoy a few more hours of rest. Her fingers prodded the cold, empty side of the bed, and for a moment, she wondered where her husband was, and then she remembered that he was working overnight.
Molly Weasley sighed. If she did not wake up now, she would have to face the seven hungry children, with the eldest two at odds on how to feed those energetic little mouths. Finally, Molly forced herself out of bed and immediately started to prepare for the day.
Curlers off. Clothes on. Windows open. Stove alit.
She busied herself at the stove, whirling her wand around so that the pans and pots floated through the air to their dutiful destinations: boiling eggs and frying pancakes, with plates of toast and juicy sausages ready to be devoured. A jug of juice and water to go, and breakfast was almost complete.
She passed by the mantle over the sooty fireplace, where the Family Clock resided, each of the little hands signifying the status of every family member. The children were at home and Arthur Weasley was at work. All was well. Nothing to worry about.
Not that she was expecting anything to happen at all, but she could resist being wary of her family's safety. Just because You-Know-Who had disappeared eight years ago didn't mean that there weren't other dangers lurking out there in the Wizarding World.
As she made scrambled eggs, bacon, and more toast, the smell delicious smells wafted from the kitchen, through the rickety corridors, and up the crooked stairs to squeeze under the doors of every one of the children's bedrooms. Like sly little snakes, they slithered across the floor until they were on the bed and tickling at their noses, teasing them constantly. Then, as the morning glory flowers bloomed at dawn, their little eyes opened wide with excitements as their tummies mewed towards the scent of fresh food, and at once, theirs instincts kicked in. Only one person in the world could make food that inviting.
"Breakfast," each of them mumbled sleepily, as if enchanted by a mysterious spell.
Then, with a round of bouncing excitement, they were all tumbling out of their beds to hasten to the rickety wooden doors.
On the fifth floor, tall and gangly nine year old Ronald Weasley nearly fell from his bed to the floor as he scrambled around, coaxing his feet to cooperate. On the third floor, the two elder Weasley children leisurely stretched, in no immediate hurry to move as they crossed their room at a relaxed pace to the doorways. Bill and Charlie always let the younger ones eat first. After all, they knew how much to eat for comfort, and not the later discomfort due to stuffed stomachs.
On the second floor, Percy Weasley pushed himself up onto his feet, ignoring his outrageous cockatoo hairdo as he put on his horn-rimmed glasses and scratched at his hips. Next to his room, the eleven year of twins of danger, Fred and George, nearly bowled each other over at the race to the hallways, hopping over each other's legs and playfully pinching each other's arms. And on the first floor, a little girl curled up under her warm blankets, not really wanting to leave her room, but dearly craving food.
One by one, all the children hurried out of their rooms to get downstairs to the kitchens, eager to eat. The twins, grinning evilly, grabbed their youngest brother as he tried to pass him and threw him into their room and shut the door.
"Hey!" he protested, wrenching the door open and running after them, careful not to fall down the stairs in the process. "Fred! George! Get back here!"
"No way!" the twins laughed, pushing passed the elder Weasleys to get to the kitchen first.
"Come on, you two!" the oldest said, smiling at his younger brothers. "Play nice."
"We are, Bill!" the twins laughed as they took the seats closest to the door. "He can't take a joke. Right, Ronniekinns?" They pretended to bat their eyes at the youngest boy who scowled in response.
"Very funny," he muttered, his ears turning red.
"Boys, where are your manners?" Molly said, eyeing her sons as she cracked eggs into the frying pan.
"Good morning, Mum," they all said in unison, trying not to smile.
"And where is your sister?" she asked as they helped themselves to toast.
"She's probably still in her room," George said through a mouthful of toast. He winced at the glare his mother gave him for speaking with his mouth full. "Sorry."
Molly sighed. "Bill, go get her, please?"
"Sure, Mum," Bill said, getting up and heading towards the stairs again. As he left, Molly clucked her tongue, scrambling up the eggs in the pan.
"He needs a haircut," she said, shaking her head. "Working in Gringotts at nineteen with that hair?"
"Mother, let him be," Fred grinned loading eggs and bacon on his plate. "Bill likes his hair. Besides, it's not that long."
Bill skipped steps as he ventured to the first floor, where his little sister remained cooped up in her bedroom. He rapped his knuckles lightly against the door and listened carefully for an answer.
"Ginny, are you awake?" he called. "It's breakfast time." There was no answer. "You don't really want the twins to eat your share, do you?
There was a moment of silence. "I don't want breakfast!" he finally heard her call from the other side of the door.
Bill shook his head. "Ginny, come on. I know you're hungry, sis. You can't starve yourself in there." No answer. "Do you want Mum to come up here and get you? Because you know she will."
There was a pause before he heard, "Do I have to come down?"
He knew that tone. Something was bothering her. He took a step back and peered towards the staircase. No eavesdropping brothers. He nodded to himself and leaned towards the door once more.
"Can I come in?" he asked in a gentler voice, loud enough for her to hear, but not loud enough to carry on downstairs.
He knew how to be patient. When you have six other siblings to compete with, patience came as a compulsory lesson. He leaned against the doorframe, waiting for his little sister to respond, when the door finally cracked open and a shuffling noise disappeared into the darkness of the room.
As Bill pushed the door open, he noted how the drawn curtains dove her room into pitch blackness, with very little light to distinguish the outlines of her wardrobe, her desk, and her bed. Bill went over to the window and pulled back the blinds to reveal the rising sun in the sky, filtering light into the room, and finally the room was discernible to the naked eye. A little girl sat on her bed, curled up with her arms around her knees. She stared at her big brother, her flame red hair disheveled on her head and her wide brown eyes tingled with unhappiness.
"What's wrong? Why don't you want to come downstairs?" he asked, sitting on the edge of her bed. She didn't answer. "Ginny, talk to me."
"Fred and George were teasing me again," she muttered sadly.
"Teasing you about what?"
Ginny looked left and right, as if afraid the walls would hear her. "Him," she whispered.
"Oh." Bill nodded his head, understanding her problem.
Ever since Ginny was three years old (that's when she first heard the story), she just loved anything and everything about Harry Potter, the wizard who defeated Lord Voldemort, or You-Know-Who as everyone called him. Every Halloween she'd beg her father to tell her the story, and any other day she could spare, she'd look for any material that spoke of her favorite hero.
But her siblings didn't share the same enthusiasm.
Sure, they were all in awe from the stories that they heard about him, but none of them really focused on them at all. Yes, every once in a while they would host among themselves a reenactment of the story for their own and their parents entertainment, but most of the time they were focus on magic, Quidditch, and in Percy's case—schoolwork. Just the other day, Ginny had been pouring over a book about Harry as her older brothers played a game of Quidditch (Percy stayed in his room around his time) around the paddock. Fred and George had decided to take the book away and pretended to play Ginny and Harry, where Ginny only fawned over Harry. Embarrassed, Ginny had run to the house and stayed with her mother where she knew her brothers wouldn't bother her.
But during dinner, they had done it again, making kissy-faces along the way. They had been scolded by their mother for this, and though she knew it was only a joke, Ginny didn't appreciate the teasing at all.
"Hey, don't listen to them," Bill said, pulling Ginny into a hug. "You know how those two are, Ginny. They don't mean any real harm by it."
"I know," she said. "But they'll tease me anyway."
Bill smiled and looked down at his eight year old sister. "Ginevra," he said, smirking as she scowled at him. "There is no reason to be scared of our brothers. They won't be teasing you for long."
"You had to remind me?" she pouted, thinking about what was going to happen in September. "They'll be off to Hogwarts and I'll be stuck with Ron! It's no fair!"
Bill laughed. It was true. It was August 2nd and on September 1st, Charlie, Percy, Fred, and George would be off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and she would be stuck home with Ron for two more years before he two would go to Hogwarts. After that, it would be her turn.
"It'll be great," Bill assured her. "I'll be working at Gringotts, and staying here with you guys until I get an apartment, and in the meantime, we could think of pranks to pull on Ronnie." He said this last part with flourishing tickle at her tummy. Ginny giggled.
"That sounds nice," she said, hugging her favorite brother.
"So are we coming downstairs?" Bill asked. Molly called up to them at that very moment, telling them to come downstairs immediately. Ginny stuck out her tongue at the floor, knowing that the kitchen was right beneath her. Bill laughed at her antics.
"Yep, we're going," Ginny sighed, pulling out of bed. Bill grinned and walked with her out of the room. They walked down the stairs and into the kitchen where her brothers were eating.
"Morning, everyone," she said, stilling between Bill and Ron.
"Hello, Harry's girl," Fred teased. Ginny pouted. Bill kicked Fred from under the table, making him yelp. "What was that for?"
"Leave her alone," Bill said, glaring as he helped himself to sausages. "I mean it, Freddie."
"Don't call me 'Freddie'," Fred frowned.
"Whatever you say, Freddie," Bill said, taking a bite out his toast. He, Charlie, Ron, and Ginny suppressed smiles as Fred scowled. George snickered, elbowing his twin before stealing bacon off his plate.