“I mean, she’s just his
“...he’s not supposed to care about her...”
Ginny Weasley prodded her
brothers. “Stop that. They’re embarrassed enough as it is – don’t make it
“Don’t make it worse, she says,”
Fred commented to his twin. “As if it could get any worse.” He pawed at his
face in a mockery of distress. “Public displays of affection from the
“I didn’t see you being all that
proper towards Angelina last week in Diagon Alley,” Ginny said with as much
sweetness as she could manage. The night had been utterly boring, full of
stuffy diplomats and people from the Ministry of Magic who weren’t Aurors and
generally weren’t very interesting.
Her brothers were the only bright spot
of entertainment. That, and watching people drift carefully around Remus Lupin
and his wife. Werewolves might be legal these days, but they weren’t
Fred waved a hand about. “That
wasn’t at a public function, dearest Ginevra. Whereas ickle Ronniekins...”
“...is manhandling poor Hermione
in full view of the wizarding
world...” George continued, dramatically.
“...and enjoying every minute of
“She doesn’t seem to object.”
Indeed, Hermione was making a concerted effort not to laugh at whatever Ron was
saying. It looked like she was failing miserably.
“My dear Ginevra,” George said,
taking the lead, “It is not Hermione’s place
“Merely to endure...”
“...as befits the wife-to-be of
such a distinguished young gentleman!”
“Although we’re not necessarily
saying Ron is distinguished,” Fred added, thoughtfully.
“And if you ever tell him we told
you so, we’ll offer Colin Creevy a lifetime’s worth of Love Potion Number Five
and the cutoffs from your last haircut!”
“...the point is not that Hermione
should object but that Ron should know how to behave in the first place!”
Ginny rolled her eyes at them. “I
think it’s sweet,” she said. “Besides, Mum and Dad are ‘manhandling’ each
other, see?” She pointed to their parents who were staring into each others’
eyes as they danced slowly, little smiles touching their faces.
“Setting a bad example,” George
declared, quite undeterred by his sister’s observations. “Terrible! Now, see
Draco and Pansy Malfoy were behaving
like complete strangers to each other. Although they were required to dance,
there was no warmth in their expressions, no tenderness in their movements. To
Ginny’s biased gaze, it looked as if the couple had met only thirty minutes
“See, now that’s the proper comportment of a gentleman with
his wife. None of this whispering of sweet nothings into her ear!”
“Lowering the standards of
“Next thing you know, we’ll be
“Merlin help us all!”
Ginny blinked as the unfamiliar
word registered in her mind. “Uxorious?”
Her brothers stopped, identical
expressions of mock astonishment on their faces. “Is it possible, George?”
“Apparently so, Fred. To think
that our little sister has not...”
“...oh the shame of it! What are they teaching Hogwarts graduates
“The quality of Wizarding
education has been irreparably damaged...”
They’d reached the end of her
patience. She wasn’t going to take it one moment longer. “If you don’t stop
this right now and tell me what that word means, then I’m going to hex both of
They got a little more serious at
the threat. She’d hexed them before using a couple of curses she and Hermione
had developed over the summers as a deterrent against the boys playing pranks
on them. They were very effective – and irreversible. The only way to be rid of
the pustules was to wait for them to wear off, as Marietta Edgecombe had
learned to her cost back in Ginny’s fourth year.
And all the Weasleys were tall.
There were plenty of places to grow pustules.
“It means...” Fred began.
“...to be excessively or dotingly
fond of one’s wife,” George finished triumphantly.
“I don’t see how you could be too
fond of your wife,” Ginny said.
“Spoken true as any woman unwed.”
“Take a look at poor Penny.” Fred
took her shoulders and turned her so she was facing in the appropriate
Percy’s red Weasley hair stuck out
quite clearly in the crowd, and the black bob of his wife’s hair shone darkly
in the candlelight.
“What about Penny?”
“With Perfect Perce waiting on her
hand and foot, what’s a woman to do?”
And, indeed, Penelope Weasley did
look long-suffering under the attentions of her husband, who was talking to her
animatedly while filling her plate.
“Yes, but Percy’s not...that thing
you said...so much as just...boring,” Ginny pointed out. She loved her brother
– but of all her siblings, she had the most trouble actually spending time with
Percy, mostly because she never got a word in edgewise when she talked to him.
“Do you really think that Perce is ‘uck-sorry-ees’?”
corrected her. “You really should get it correct, you know, dear Ginevra.”
“But, no, we don’t think Perfect
Prefect Percy is uxorious, since it’s really quite obvious that...”
“...the only person Perce really
“Although we figure Penelope does
come a very close second.”
They grinned at each other, then
back at her.
Ginny rolled her eyes at her
brothers’ antics. “You two are terrible.”
Fred smirked. “You ever had any
doubt about it?”
The dance ended, and Ron and
Hermione began to head back to the table, talking to the various people they
encountered along the way. Fred and George had turned their interest to other
people at the Ministry Ball, so Ginny watched her brother and one of her best
friends stroll across the room.
The last stretch of their walk was
unimpeded by elderly wizards or witches intent on congratulating the Ministry’s
young ‘wonder-couple’ – the Auror-in-training and the Spell-maker – on their
forthcoming nuptials, and so the youngest Weasley had a moment to observe the
Ron elbowed Hermione in the ribs
and made a comment, affectionately sly. In return, she gave him a ‘look’ and a
deliberately superior smile, before replying with a poke to his shoulder.
Whatever she said, Ron laughed out loud and wrapped an arm around her, resting
his cheek against the top of her head. Hermione grinned, her teeth shining in
her broadly curving mouth.
Ginny didn’t know if it classified
But it was certainly very sweet.
- fin -