The Sugar Quill
Author: Frankie Beeblebrox (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Expecting the Unexpected  Chapter: Chapter 1
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N: Nope, I donít own any of this. I just like playing around with other peoples ideas. Many thanks must go out to the incomparable Jadis LeStrange, who offered up this lovely little plot bunny from her field in the SQ Forums a few months ago. I only hope I can make her proud. Thanks must also go out to my Alpha Reader One-N-Jen, who helps keep me sane, and my fabulous Beta Reader, Thrennish, who helps make me a better writer and helped keep this from turning into too much of a diabetic coma-inducer.

Chapter One

"I wanna see!"

"Move over so I can feel too. . ."

"Shove off, small fry."

"Muuuuum, Bill pushed me!"

"Bill, do not push your brothers!"

"Sorry, Mum, but Percy's in the way!"


Molly Weasley looked upon her growing brood of children, a mixture of affection and annoyance fighting for control over her face.

"Hush, love, here. Ron, come here and I'll let you feel the new baby. Charlie, move out of the way so Ron can crawl up here. Come on, boys, budge up there."

The smallest boy toddled over to her and started pulling himself up into what little was left of her lap, using her legs, dress and hair as handholds for his ascent. It was no easy perch for him, as Molly's swollen belly extended well past where he had been accustomed to sit.

Molly took Ron's hand and placed it gently over where the baby had last kicked her. His brothers leaned in closely as he looked quizzically up at her. . . then grinned with unreserved delight when he felt the tiny life within her.

"Ba?" he asked her timidly.

"Yes, dear. Thatís the baby."

He grinned at her again before fussing to be put back on the floor with his brothers. Fred and George lost no time catapulting themselves onto her and placing four chubby hands protectively over her stomach in an attempt to feel their newest sibling.

"Where? Where's a baby?"

"You must be patient, dear, and don't move. . . "

The twins screwed up their faces into identical studies of rapt concentration on her belly. Molly had the oddest sensation that she knew precisely how a crystal ball felt.

She should have known this was coming. All the boys had been like this, ever since Bill noticed she had been pregnant with Charlie. Had that really been twelve years ago?

Not that their father was much help in these matters. He was just as eager, if not more so, for the newest Weasley to join the Burrow. She was certain that if he hadn't been at work, he would have been situated on the floor with the rest of her men, fighting for a chance to feel the baby move. Six births had not dampened his spirits at the prospect of another son. . .

This time it was different, though. It wasn't anything she could point to, but she felt. . . different. She was carrying higher than she had with any of the other boys. She craved sour things instead of the salt or sugar she had sought previously. Well, previously with the exception of Fred and George. Then she had craved odd things like Cockroach Clusters, Ice Mice and Beetle Bites, but even that hadn't felt the same. This time was definitely different for her.

This time, Molly was almost sure she was going to have a girl.

The prospect both thrilled and frightened her. After six sons it would be nice to have a girl in her brood, yet she wasn't sure she would know what to do with a girl. She had grown up with nothing but brothers and boy cousins, and there hadn't been a Weasley girl in umpteen generations, as everyone in the family knew. Even Bill and Charlie had reminded her the odds of having a girl were slim to none when she had first started calling the baby 'she'.

Molly, however, became more and more certain each day.

She looked down to her left sleeve, where five year old Percy was tugging and looking owlishly up at her through his horn-rimmed spectacles. "C'n I feel the baby too, Mummy?"

"Of course you can, dear. Ask the other boys to move so you may."

"C'n I please feel Mummy's stomach?"

"No. We were here first," George intoned. Fred stuck his tongue out at his older brother before directing his attention back onto the matter at hand.

Molly could just see Percy squaring his shoulders indignantly from the corner of her eye. "Boys! You apologize to your brother right now. It's his turn to feel the new baby kick."

"We're sorry, Percy" they intoned, George rolling his eyes towards the ceiling and Fred staring sullenly at the older boy. Percy looked as smug as the cat who caught the knarl.

"Bill, Charlie, take your brothers outside. I know you haven't de-gnomed the garden, I saw them out there climbing in the beans again this morning. Oh, and you should probably weed it while you're out there. No Fred, youíre not getting out of it this time, I expect you to help your brothers. Mind the tomatoes, theyíre just starting to grow. When youíve finished in the garden you can start cleaning up the shed like I asked you to three weeks ago. Just give Ron a few onions to roll around and heíll be fine out there with you. Percy will be out to help shortly. "

With a series of garbled "yes mum"s they all tumbled out the door, leaving her middle child behind. She took his hands in hers and placed them on her stomach tenderly.

When he felt the kick, he looked at her in awe. "So. . . that's my little brother in there?"

"Or sister. It could be a girl."

"Or sister," he corrected himself. After another moment, Percy looked down again. "It would be nice to have a sister."

Molly felt her heart swell a bit for this young man in front of her. "You wouldn't mind a sister instead of a brother?" "No," he said with conviction. " I would like to have a sister. Iíve already got a bunch of brothers, but I never had a sister before. It would be nice to have one."

"Good. Now, go outside and help the others with the garden, please."

"Yes, Mum!" He reached up and gave her a peck on the cheek before heading out the door.

Molly looked fondly after him before glancing up at the clock. It was odd seeing the blank hand where the newest Weasley would be inscribed. Right now it was at "Sleeping", which was fine with her. Arthur was still "Hard At Work" but would be home soon and would be hungry.

Resigned to the fact that seven hungry men would not stand for cold cereal for dinner, she sighed a bit before lurching out of the chair and waddling into the kitchen. While preparing the rolls for dinner, she snacked on a few lemons.

Oh yes. She was going to be having a girl. Arthur would just have to get used to the idea.

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