AN: This is my response to Morning Lilies Forgotten Family Ties Competition on HPFC Forums. My prompt was Ribbons and the characters I was assigned were Ron and Lily Luna. Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I was still learning to write when the first book was published therefore I am not J.K Rowling hence I do not own Harry Potter.
Ronald Weasley was attempting to stealthily make his way down the stairs. It was Christmas Eve and the Burrow was unnaturally quiet as his numerous relatives were all out doing last minute errands. Despite the fact that the house was deserted, Ron continued to sneak around. Why you may ask? See Ronald Weasley was suffering from an intense bout of paranoia. This paranoia is suffered by husbands around the world who wait until the very last minute to do their wives bidding. Hermione had left Ron with the task of wrapping their children's Christmas presents and until a few moments ago, he had completely forgotten to do it! Lucky for him, when he had come to this realisation, the house was empty leaving him with enough space to get the job done.
He had just made it to the kitchen when the sound of sniffles suddenly met his ears. He stumbled slightly as he realised he wasn't alone in the Burrow. The sound was coming from the sitting room and Ron crept quietly to the door frame and peered around the area. There on the sofa was his fifteen year old niece Lily, quietly sobbing into one of Hugo's handkerchiefs. Ron stood awkwardly in the doorway and just looked at the girl crying before the fire. He was at a loss at what to do. He was never the best when any of the girls were in tears. Hermione was always the first to react when Rose started to shed tears and even Harry somehow knew how to placate a crying woman. However, he couldn't call him for help or even Ginny at the risk of Hermione finding out he had yet to wrap the presents. Ron scratched the back of his neck in an attempt to relieve the awkwardness he felt. He began to back away to figure out what to do when, as luck would have it, he stepped onto a loose floorboard. Lily jumped up in shock and hurriedly wiped her eyes as she saw her uncle Ron cursing the floor. Ron sighed and walked towards her. Might as well give it a try.
"Hey Lily," he began, taking a seat beside her, "What's wrong?"
Lily sniffed again and shook her head. "It's really nothing Uncle Ron," she said quietly as her long red hair fell into her eyes. Ron held back a frustrated sigh as he sat there tensely trying to figure out what to do with the emotional teenage girl. He thought back on all the times he had come across one of the reluctant children crying and an adult trying to help them. He didn't think Lily would appreciate him taking her out for a broom ride or offering her numerous Honeydukes treats. Call it intuition but Ron had an inkling that she might be a bit old for those tricks to work. An idea struck him when the memory of a crying Hugo floated into his mind. The boy had had a nightmare but he refused to talk about it. Instead of pushing the subject further, Hermione had simply asked him to help her with something in the garden. Hugo eventually calmed down while doing the task that he completely opened up to her about his bad dream. That's exactly what this calls for, he thought. She needs a distraction. Ron stopped to marvel at his ingenious plan before he realised he had no idea what to distract her with. Thinking of Hermione and Hugo again, a Whiz-bang went off in his head.
"All right then, would you mind helping me with a little job? I've forgotten to wrap Rose and Hugo's presents." Lily looked up at him with confusion and shook her head. "No, I don't mind." Ron smiled and summoned the gifts, wrapping paper, ribbons, tape and scissors. "I'll do the wrapping and you cut the tape," he said handing her the scissors. She took it from him and looked at him curiously. "But why don't you just use magic?"
Ron laughed and began his part. "You see, your Aunt Hermione always insists we wrap presents the Muggle way," he explained, carefully folding the paper. "She says that doing it with your own hands makes it so much more special and that when you present the gift to someone, they can see that you've taken the time and effort to do that for them." He paused to take the pieces of tape she offered. "She says that they appreciate the gift more and that it's one of the many different ways to show someone you care."
If the house wasn't so quiet, Ron is certain he wouldn't have heard her soft remark. "He doesn't care about me at all." He turned to see angry tears glistening in her eyes. "Who are you talking about?" he asked. Lily blushed suddenly, she hadn't meant to say that out loud. "Well," she began as she started to cut pieces of ribbon, "there's this boy at school... He's my friend but recently he's been acting like a real git." Ron rose his eyebrows in surprise and nodded. "I don't know what his problem is. He's always been a bit immature I guess and I never really minded before because Hugo was always there to break up our arguments from time to time but now," she paused to watch Ron tie the ribbon into a bow, "now we're always fighting and it's over such stupid things!" She cut another ribbon in frustration. "I don't know what to do. We had a huge fight on the train, I don't even remember what it was about! I'm just so tired of fighting with him. I really do care about him, more than he thinks and he doesn't understand why I get so upset." Her blush started to get darker and Ron wasn't sure if it was out of embarrassment or out of anger at this boy. "He's just so dense!" she cried as she snipped another strand and thrust it at him angrily. "How can he not get it! He's got the emotional capacity of," she stopped, struggling to find an appropriate comparison, "of a teaspoon!"
Ron tied the last bow, set the wrapped gifts aside and stared at his niece who was huffing in anger. Her long red hair was falling all over her shoulders now and a few remaining tears were rolling down her cheeks. He smiled at her. "You know," he said, amusement lacing his words, "When I was your age I believe your Aunt Hermione said the exact same thing about me." Lily's eyes widened in surprise. He continued, "She wasn't wrong too. Back then I was admittedly a bit dense when it came to girls and I had a tendency to always say the wrong thing." Lily was staring at him now with shock and he picked up the last piece of ribbon and twirled it in his hands. "Looking back I realise how insensitive I came across and if I had a Time-Turner I would go back and hex myself for not using my brain. I never understood why she would get so mad. I didn't realise that my words didn't exactly portray my meanings." Ron looked up and gently gathered up Lily's hair as he began to tie it up with the ribbon. "What I can tell you now is that if your friend is anything like I was, he really does care about you. My guess is that he has only just realised how much you mean to him and isn't quite sure how to show it. Give him some time, he'll come around eventually and if he doesn't, send him my way." Ron finished up the bow and let go with a smile. Lily wiped her eyes and leaned forward to give Ron a hug. "Thanks Uncle Ron," she said. "For the record I don't think you have the emotional range of a teaspoon."
Ron laughed and hugged her back.
"Thanks," he said with a grin, "I like to think of myself as a ladle now."
AN: Hope you enjoyed this. I find Ron quite difficult to write. Please don't forget to review! Merry Christmas! =D