The house was too quiet in Molly Weasley's opinion. To an outsider the house would seem loud, especially for the time of night that it was. Outside, the crickets chirped and frogs croaked. Inside, the pot in the sink swished as it washed itself and the ghoul in the attic clanked the pipes. Arthur's snores could be heard from the master bedroom and in the living room the creak of a rocking chair and the click of knitting needles could be heard as the anxious mother waited. Inconspicuous was the noise that was missing. Her youngest child usually could be heard tossing and turning in her sleep, or the occasional mumble, but at two in the morning she still wasn't home.
The Weasley matriarch knew from experience that once her children grew up they had a tendency to stay out too late and get into undesirable situations. Since Ginny was the youngest, the only girl, and the last to leave the house, Molly tended to worry about her the most. Ginny had never stayed out this late though.
Mrs. Weasley glanced nervously at her clock, where Ginny's hand still pointed to 'out'. 'A lot of good that does me,' Molly thought bitterly. 'Out! And where, exactly, is "out?" To her relief, however, Ginny's hand changed to 'traveling.' A small pop could be heard from the garden and the hand moved to the position of 'home.'
The kitchen door creaked quietly. Ginny quietly tiptoed into the living room toward the stairs, but stopped abruptly when Molly flicked her wand and a roaring fire lit the fire place, illuminating the room. The younger witch flinched and turned slowly to face her mother.
Taking in her apparel, Molly noticed that Ginny was wearing the same jeans that she'd left in, but she was wearing a light blue button down shirt that was definitely not hers.
Molly stood and crossed her arms. "Where HAVE you been?"
"Out," her daughter responded, unmoved by Molly's raised voice. In hindsight, the twins were much easier.
"Well obviously, but what could you possibly be doing at two in the morning? All businesses are closed at this time of night."
"I was at a friend's house," Ginny reluctantly admitted.
"A friend?" Molly raised her eyebrows. "Looks like more than a friend." She indicated toward the blue shirt her daughter was wearing. Even without the smell of colgne and broom polish wafting from the shirt, she could tell it was a man's. It hung nearly to her daughter's knees. "I thought I raised you better than to behave like a scarlet woman! Who is this man anyway?" Mrs. Weasley raised her voice just loud enough that it would get her point across without waking her husband.
Ginny crossed her arms, "It isn't what it looks like mum. We're just friends!"
"I see. And why, exactly, are you wearing his shirt?"
"Mine got dirty." At least her daughter had the grace to blush while she said this.
"From what?" she asked exasperated. Ginny looked away and Molly sighed, "I want to meet this man, Ginevra, and he better intend to make an honest woman out of my daughter if he plans to continue keeping her out until two in the morning doing who- knows- what!" She considered adding "and if he intends to make her shirts dirty" but thought better of it. Molly preferred to pretend her daughter was innocent in these matters.
Ginny shook her head angrily and stomped up the stairs to her room. The door on the first floor landing slammed shut and Molly could hear Ginny jump into bed. The crickets chirped, the ghoul clanged, her husband snored and the fire crackled. The noises in the house were back to normal. She may not have been happy with the state her daughter came home in, but at least she was home now.
Molly heard the shower upstairs start, indicating Ginny was awake. With a sigh, the older witch began frying bacon. A few minutes later Ginny came into the kitchen. "Morning mum," she yawned quietly.
"You know you wouldn't be so tired if you didn't stay out so late." Molly scolded, still tending the bacon.
"I know mum." Ginny quickly changed the subject. "I'm running late. I'll see you this evening at your Mothering Sunday dinner." She quickly grabbed a bacon sandwich and opened the door.
"Where are you going? I thought you were going to stay home today."
"Can't! I have to return this," she pointed to the light blue shirt that was flung over her shoulder.
"Why do you have to return it now?" Molly yelled out the door.
"He wants to wear it later," Ginny called back before Apparating away.
One by one the hands on the clock went from their various places to 'traveling' and finally landed on 'home.' Ginny was the last of the Weasley children to arrive, besides Harry who was supposed to come to the Mothering Sunday dinner as well.
For most large family get-togethers at the Burrow Molly cooked the entire meal, but it was tradition for Arthur to bake a ham and each of their children to bring a dish on Mother's Day. When Ginny arrived, everyone was in the kitchen waiting for her and Harry.
"I see you didn't bring your boyfriend home for me to meet." The Weasley matriarch said as Ginny walked in the door carrying a red velvet cake.
"Nice to see you too, mum." Ginny replied sarcastically as she set down the cake and hung up her jacket.
"What! Ginny has a boyfriend? Why didn't we know?" Ron asked loudly. The rest the boys joined in, the noise becoming so loud that no one noticed when the last guest arrived carrying a rather large present.
"Ginny, you have a boyfriend? When did this happen?" Harry asked.
Ginny glared at him, "You know I don't have a boyfriend."
Harry smiled. "Am I the last one here?" he asked, abruptly changing the subject.
Molly was about to reply when she noticed what he was wearing: a light blue, long sleeved, cotton, button down shirt that smelled of colgne, broom polish and her daughter's flowery perfume. "What are you wearing?"
Harry glanced down self-consciously. "Should I have worn slacks instead of jeans? I'm sorry Molly," he apologized, "Ginny said I didn't have to dress up."
"Is that the shirt you came home in last night, Ginny?" The Burrow became immediately silent, even the frogs seemed to stop croaking, anticipating what was about to happen.
"Yep," Ginny shrugged. Molly looked livid at Ginny's casualness.
Harry blushed at being the centre of attention. "That reminds me Ginny," he handed her a shirt, the one she'd left the house in the night before, that sparkled in the sunlight streaming through the window. "I tried to get the glitter glue out. I guess you'll have to deal with a sparkly shirt," he teased.
"Glitter glue! What the bloody hell were you doing with glitter glue, mate?" Ron asked.
"We made mum a present," Ginny answered, only a little smugly.
"I hope you like it Mrs. Weasley, we spent practically all night making it." Harry handed her the parcel.
Molly gingerly took the gift and unwrapped it. Inside was a scrapbook, filled with pictures of the family and people who Molly considered family. "We left a few pages blank so we can add to them later," Ginny explained.
As Molly flipped through the book she nearly cried, it was the perfect gift. "Thank you!" she gasped, hugging them both.
"You're welcome, Mrs. Weasley." Harry said.
"Please call me mum." Harry smiled.
George sighed in frustration, "I can't top that!"
Everyone laughed and sat down to eat.
After dinner Ginny helped her mum clear the table. "So, do you believe me now?"
"About what, dear?" her mum asked.
"That I didn't do anything inappropriate with Harry."
"You know it wouldn't bother me if it was Harry." Molly winked.
Ginny's jaw dropped, she was about to explain to her mum that there was nothing going on between them when Harry entered the kitchen. "Thanks for dinner, mum."
"Leaving so soon?" she asked.
"Yeah, I'm pretty tired." She nodded.
"Ginny why don't you walk Harry to the Apparation point?" she asked mischievously.
Molly watched from the window by the sink as the two walked hand-in-hand to the garden gate. She saw Harry say something and Ginny nodded, then Harry leaned down to kiss Ginny, before Apparating away. Ginny walked back to the house with a huge grin on her face.
The photo album was a great Mother's Day gift, but seeing that moment made Molly's Mothering Sunday perfect.