LbN: Written for the Teachers' Lounge "I Never" challenge.

The soup pot in question had obviously offended the woman something awful. The viciousness with which the witch was scrubbing it implied that the pot had either fucked her husband, or talked about her mother.

Arthur came downstairs, humming softly to himself. "Well," he said cheerfully. "They're all in bed and asleep."


"Surprisingly, I only had to read three stories to Ginny tonight."


"And Ron's finally feeling comfortable enough to sleep with his teddy bear again. Thank Merlin."


"Molly?" he asked, hugging her from behind. "What's wrong, buttercup?"

"Nothing, Arthur, dear."

"Come now…the way you're cleaning, you'd think the dishes had threatened our children. What is it?"

She sighed and put the pot down. Drying her hands, she said, "I'm just worried about Percy."

"Oh, I see," he said.

Tomorrow was September 1st, and once again, they'd be putting another child on the train to Hogwarts. It was always a nerve-wracking experience, seeing one more off to school, but it seemed different this time.

"Why are you worried?" he asked with a kind smile. "That boy's read every one of his books for this year already. He's so excited."

"I know," she said as they sat down on the couch. "It's just…you know how our boy is."

"I know how all our children are," he responded, chuckling slightly. "The oldest is stoic to a fault, the second is a womanizer, the third is a stickler for the rules, the fourth and fifth are the polar opposite, the sixth eats like he's never seen food before, and the seventh is…well…."

"Stubborn as a mule in the spring time?"

"Sure. We'll go with that."

"It's Percy's…addiction to rules. Normally, I don't mind having a dutiful, obedient son, but…. This isn't home anymore, Arthur. He just takes everything so seriously. I want him to have fun—to make friends. What if the others tease him about how…by the book he is?"

"Then he has Bill and Charlie to protect him."

"They won't always be around. Especially if he's sorted into a different house."

"Why wouldn't he be in Gryffindor?"

Molly shrugged, and stood. She went back to the kitchen to continue her war on the dishes. "He's quite an intelligent boy. He could be put in Ravenclaw. And we both know he has a lot of…drive, I suppose you could call it."

"He's not a Slytherin."

"Let's hope not—for his sake. You know how he looks up to his brothers. He'll want to be in Gryffindor."

"Love, stop scrubbing. I can hear the poor dishes calling out for mercy."

"Nervous habit."

Arthur came over and put his arms around her, stilling her movements. "You two are so alike…" he commented.

"Percy and me?"

He nodded. "He was worried about all the same things. He told me so."

She smiled bleakly. "I wondered why bed time took so long."

"Yes…anyway, I'll tell you what I told him. Hogwarts isn't about proving yourself so much as finding yourself. He's going to go, and have an amazing time. And he's going to learn new things and make friends, and maybe, if we're lucky, finally take an interest in Quidditch."

Molly laughed at this. "Fat chance. If Charlie hasn't gotten through to him by now, it won't happen."

"You never know…At any rate, he's going to be fine. Everything's going to be fine. You'll see."

She smiled and stretched up to kiss him. "I know."

"Now, I know you're dying to peek in on them, so why don't you go upstairs? I'll finish these, and we can call it a night."

She smiled and nodded, making her way to the stairs to start her rounds.

She saved Ron and Percy's room for last. Peeking through the door, she had to stifle a giggle.

Ron was sleeping with his head on the other end of the bed from his pillow, tush in the air, and drooling liberally onto the duvet.

Percy had his wand (11 inches, Ash, unicorn hair) clutched in one hand, and was sucking his thumb.

"Nervous habit," Arthur whispered, peeking over Molly's shoulder.

She nodded. "Let's go to bed. It's going to be a long day tomorrow."

She was still worried, but at least the dishes were clean.