The Sugar Quill
Author: shellebelle (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Bits and Pieces  Chapter: Bit One: Setting Up Housekeeping
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“Hullo, I’m home,” Arthur called, and went into the kitchen

 

Disclaimer:  I wish I came up with this stuff, but I didn’t.  It all belongs to the Divine Miss R.

 

 

Thanks go to my wonderfully patient beta, Elanor Gamgee…third time’s the charm!  You ROX!

 

 

 

 

 

Bits and Pieces

Bit One: Setting up Housekeeping

 

 

 

“Hullo, I’m home,” Arthur called, and went into the kitchen.  He frowned when he saw his mother at the stove.  “Hullo, Mum, I thought Molly was going to cook tonight?”

 

“Oh, she looked a little confused by my stove, dear, so I shooed her away.  I don’t know why she seems so nervous around me, honestly.”

 

Arthur sighed silently.  I’m sure that went over just splendidly with Molly, he thought in dismay.  “I’ll just go and see Molly now, Mum.”

 

“Yes…you do that, dear…” his mother said distractedly, waving him off.

 

Arthur trudged up the stairs to his old room that he now occupied with his new wife, Molly.  She and his mother had always gotten along, but now, with them living so close together, disagreements arose on a daily basis.  He opened the bedroom door. 

 

Molly was sitting on the bed facing away from the door, and her head was bowed and her shoulders were slumped unhappily.  He could just see her face in the mirror, and she was crying silently.  Arthur came over to sit beside her and put his arm around her shoulders.

 

“It isn’t my fault that I can’t get the hang of her stove,” she said in frustration.  “She doesn’t let me get anywhere near it! Why does she dislike me so much?”

 

“Oh, Moll, she doesn’t dislike you…there’s just never been another woman in this house.  She isn’t used to it.”  Arthur sighed. 

 

“Oh, Arthur, it’s been such a dreadful, awful day.”

 

“Tell me about it.”

 

“They let me go at the Enchantments Lab.”  Molly’s face screwed up again.

 

“Why did they do that?”

 

“Because of the one good thing that happened today,” she sniffled.  “I’m…I’m pregnant.”  She bit her lip and looked up at Arthur.

 

A big grin had crossed his face.  “Oh, Molly, that’s brilliant!”  He hugged her, falling down with her on the bed and kissing her happily.

 

She snorted through her tears.  “I somehow doubt our ‘brilliance’ had much to do with it, Arthur Weasley.” She sighed.  “At any rate, my job would be hazardous to the baby, so when I told them, they thought it would be best for me to leave the lab.”  She pushed his thinning red hair out of his eyes affectionately, but she was very unhappy.

 

Arthur nodded.  She’s upset.  The loss of her income is going to set us back in finding a place of our own…

 

Molly closed her eyes again.  “I just want somewhere to call our own, Arthur.  Just a bit of a burrow somewhere, someplace cozy…”

 

He knew she was dreaming of it, envisioning it in her mind, and once again, he felt guilty for not having taken that job Malfoy had offered him, no matter how slighting he might have been about it…

 

“I could always change jobs, Molly…”

 

She sat up abruptly.  “No!  Not with that horrible man.  You keep to your principles, Arthur, and don’t mind me.  I will be happy anywhere with you, you know that!”  Molly was all practicality now, and she dried the tears from her cheeks impatiently.  “I’ll just go and see if there is anything I can do to help your mother.”

 

Arthur stood and caught her in his arms.  “You’re wonderful, Molly, do you know that?”

 

She rolled her eyes.  “Tell me something I don’t know, Arthur Weasley.” Molly smiled at him and left the room.

 

Arthur sat back down with a heavy sigh.  Two strong-willed women in one house, he thought.  I don’t think the house will survive.  They had been married only four months, and the strain of living with his parents was starting to tell on Molly.  She had always been very independent, and she was trying very hard to get along with his mother, who was much the same way. 

 

He smiled when he thought of Molly.  She had grown up on a wizarding farm, and he thought his house must look very strange to her.  Not that his family was in any way well-off, but his mother was not the old-fashioned type.  Molly learned to cook on a hearth, for goodness’ sake!  He had set his heart on her from the first moment he saw her, on the boat going across to Hogwarts their first year.  He had thought she had a nice face, and a little later as they chatted while going across the lake, he had liked her no-nonsense manner and strong personality.

 

This arrangement is not working out, he thought unhappily.  Molly is unhappy.  I don’t like that.  He sighed.  There has to be a way for us to have a place of our own…

 

Dinner that night was a bit tense, though his mother and Molly seemed to have made up.  His father, who worked in the Magical Law Office, said quietly, “Matters are getting worse, Esmeralda.  There’s a lot more Dark activity than we like to see going on.”

 

Esmeralda Weasley had been a rather formidable wizarding lawyer in her day, and she frowned.  “Do you know who is behind it?”

 

“That’s the problem.  It just seems to be everywhere--all over Britain.  Even the Learned Brotherhood on the isle of Iona is feeling tremors.  That’s what it is being called: ‘tremors.’”

 

Molly looked over at Arthur, her brown eyes wide with apprehension.  He could only give her a watery smile in return.  He, too, had heard these things, and they worried him deeply.  He had heard his grandparents talk about the fight with Grindelwald, and Arthur had no desire to go through any of the things they spoke of.  He shuddered inwardly.

 

Later that night, Arthur stroked Molly’s hair as she asked, “Oh, Arthur, could it be happening again?  The Dark Times?”  He felt her body shudder.  “My mum still has nightmares about the night they took her parents.”  Molly’s grandparents on her mother’s side had been Muggle farmers, and Grindelwald’s men had taken them, torturing them in front of her mother and killing them before her very eyes.  They had left Molly’s mother, just home from her first year in Hogwarts, in the wreckage of their farmhouse.  She didn’t speak for nearly six months afterward, and the nightmares lasted for the rest of her life.

 

He held her a little tighter. “I don’t know, Moll. I hope not.”  Unconsciously, his hands drifted downward to rest protectively on her belly, where their unborn child grew.

 

“At least the little one doesn’t have to understand about this for a long time,” Molly sighed. 

 

Arthur kissed her cheek.  “Try to sleep, Molly.  You need your rest.  And I get to sleep in with you.  I am so glad it’s Friday.”

 

“Mmmm,” she sighed in contentment, and snuggled against him.  Arthur lay awake for quite some time, thinking about their more immediate need:  a home of their own.  Molly would put a brave face on it, but it was very clear she needed to have a place where she would have the say in how things were run.  ‘Just a little burrow, a little place where we can be cozy…’

 

I’ll find it, Molly Anne Weasley.  I’ll find a burrow for you, I promise.

 

 

“Oh, great Merlin…”

 

Arthur opened his eyes in early morning as Molly rushed out of bed to the lavatory.  Well, I suppose the secret will be out now, Arthur thought, as he went to see if Molly was all right.  When her morning sickness had passed, he brought her back to bed and held her until she went back to sleep. Only then did Arthur shut his eyes again.

 

 

 

 

On Saturday afternoon, Arthur went out to the broomshed and took out his key.  He opened the compartment that held his pride and joy: the Starchaser One, one of the first professional class brooms, hand made in 1876, serial number 003.  He had found it in Grandfather Weasley’s vast attic, and begged it for his own, after which he had spent three summers lovingly restoring it, making sure everything that went on it or in it was in period, and restoring the worn-out flight charms and the primitive Cushioning Charm.  It went from ground to 1000 feet in about one minute, far behind more modern brooms, but a landmark in its day.  It had been his summer project for three years, wasting time researching its provenance that his father said could better be used elsewhere.  Molly had never quite understood his obsession with the restoration of the broom, but had quite happily sat there while he jabbered on about it and watched him work on it.  He replaced it in the case, and took it out of the broomshed.

 

There are other brooms in the world, but there is only one Molly, he said to himself.  And she matters more than anything else in the world.

 

 

 

 

Two weeks later, Molly was lying in bed after a particularly bad bout of morning sickness.  Mrs. Weasley kept trying to pour more tea down her throat (Take this dear, it’s got soothing herbs in it and it will settle your stomach…), and didn’t seem to realize that it only made things worse.  Everything ached as her body changed to accommodate the coming child.  To her shock, she was already starting to gain weight at only two months along.  I wonder if Arthur has noticed.  If he has, he hasn’t said anything...

 

Someone was coming up the stairs, two at a time, and then the bedroom door burst open.  “Molly!  You need to come with me!”

 

She looked at him as if he’d gone quite mad.  “Are you mad?  I’ve been ill for the past hour!  I’m not going anywhere!”

 

Arthur sat on the bed, not daunted at all by her lack of enthusiasm.  “I’m sorry.  Are you feeling very poorly?”

 

“Just weary, Arthur.  Just tired and weary.  What is so important?”

 

“What is the one thing you want more than anything else in the world right now?”

 

“To stop feeling ill,” she moaned.

 

Arthur looked at her reproachfully.  “Now, Molly…”

 

She sighed and smiled at him.  “Sorry, Arthur…”  She thought a moment, then looked up at him, her eyes widening.  “Did you find a place for us, Arthur?”

 

He grinned.  “I found a burrow for you, Molly.”

 

Molly’s face lit up like a Christmas tree and she sat up slowly.  “Let me get dressed…”

 

 

 

Arthur was a bit nervous, and he covered Molly’s eyes as he guided her to a good place to see the house that he had signed the papers for that morning.  He uncovered her eyes, and she looked around, her mouth falling open slightly.

 

“It’s not perfect,” he acknowledged quickly.  “It’s going to need work, and I know that bit over there doesn’t exactly look stable, but the Support Charms are strong on it, and—!”

 

Molly had seized his face in her hands and planted a rather passionate kiss on his lips.  When she finally released him, he asked in a daze, “I take it you like the house.”

 

“Is it really ours, Arthur?”

 

He nodded.  He rather wanted her to kiss him again, but he figured there would be time enough later… “I signed the papers this morning.  Do you want to see the inside?”

 

She nodded and he took her hand and led her inside, but once she was inside, Molly took the lead.  Arthur followed her as she explored the house with a happy expression on her face.  She managed to go up all the stairs, albeit slowly, and once she was in the very top bedroom, she turned to him and said, “I love it, Arthur.  When can we move in?”

 

“When you like.  Do you really like it?”

 

Molly sighed.  “It’s the best house I’ve ever been in.  It’s our home, Arthur.  We’re finally home.”  She put her arms around him, and he held her for a long time.

 

 

 

They had put the call out to both of their large extended families for furnishings and Molly had asked her mother for a pair of chickens to begin their roost.  Their families were very generous, sending them a hodge-podge of furniture and things, some in good condition, others needing a bit of fixing, but Molly had an entire house to furnish, not to mention a nursery, and she let nothing go to waste.

 

Mrs. Dixon had come, with the chickens and two pigs.  “I just wanted to get rid of a couple of our hogs…it’s more than we could possibly use in a year, dearie, and with the two of you just starting out…I’m sure you could use it.”  Molly’s mother looked around the house, and saying, “What a charming place…I’m sure you can do a lot with this.  But for heaven’s sake, don’t overexert yourself!  What does your mediwizard say?”

 

“I’m in excellent health, Mum.  Everything is fine.  I didn’t quite expect my face to fill out quite so fast though…I’m only two months along…”

 

“And I love every bit of her,” interrupted Arthur, coming into the kitchen.  Molly blushed. “I’ve made the house sign, Moll.  Want to see it?”

 

She nodded, and he gave her a neatly painted whitewashed sign that said, “The Burrow.”

 

Molly smiled.  “That’s perfect, Arthur.  It just fits, doesn’t it?”

 

Arthur just grinned and turned to Molly’s mother.  “So, what do you think of the house, Mum?”

 

“It’s just the place for my daughter.  It looks like the Den did when Molly’s father and I first moved in.”  Mrs. Dixon sighed happily.  “If you two are half as happy as Mr. Dixon and I were, than you should be very happy indeed.”

 

 

It was a day in early October when they finally moved into the Burrow.  Esmeralda had made a lot of food for them to take with them; saying, “Trust me, after all the moving in, the last thing you will want to do is cook, love.”

 

Molly had hugged her and thanked her gratefully for allowing them to stay in their house.  “I know we haven’t always gotten along…”

 

“Oh, hush, dear, I know what it’s like.  Don’t mention another thing about it.”

 

 

Now, Arthur obeyed his wife as he moved the (magically miniaturized) furniture where Molly wanted it.  She was very particular about it, and he wouldn’t dream of not having things exactly as she wanted them.

 

“Ummm…over there a bit.  Fine.  Arthur, I think we’ve moved in at last.”

 

With a wave of his wand, Arthur restored the pieces of furniture to their original sizes.  Molly looked around happily.  “It’s wonderful, Arthur. But where’s the Starchaser?  I didn’t see it when we moved in.”

 

Arthur blushed and shrugged a bit.  “I sold it,” he said casually.

 

“But…but you loved that broom!  I remember you working on it every summer for three years.  Why ever did you…”  She looked at him, her eyes wide.

 

“I didn’t love that broom, Molly.  I love you.  Now, it’s getting late.  Are you going to argue with me about this?”

 

Molly’s eyes were shining, but she said, “No.”

 

He smiled at her.  “Good.  Dinner and bed, then?”

 

“That sounds wonderful.”

 

 

Later, they lay awake for quite some time, listening to their house settle, all the creaks and the moaning of the ghoul in the attic. 

 

“I don’t think I’m going to sleep tonight,” Molly sighed happily.

 

Arthur leaned over her with a wicked glint in his eye.  “Well, there are other things we could do besides sleep,” he said, grinning.

 

Molly rolled her eyes, but she was blushing.  “Oh, you rascal.”

 

“You love me because I’m a rascal.”

 

She put her arms around him.  “That damned Weasley charm.  I wonder if our son will have it.”

 

“You don’t know that it will be a boy yet.”

 

“It has to be. ‘Weasley’ is almost synonymous with ‘boy’, with all the Weasley boys that have gone through Hogwarts.  Though I hope I get a girl in there somewhere.”

 

“Well…maybe we’ll just keep trying till we’ve got one, then,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows at her.

 

“Oh, you,” she said affectionately, and pulled him down to kiss him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A/N: There’s going to be more bits to this, I can’t call them chapters really, because there really isn’t a story—it’s more like what Molly and Arthur remember when they look back over their marriage, random memories.  I just love Molly and Arthur—aren’t they great?

 

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