Authors’ Note: We’d like to
thank all of our wonderful reviewers from last chapter. You guys are awesome,
and have some great advice.
Disclaimer: No, we’re
not J.K. Rowling, and no, we don’t own Harry Potter.
you sure we didn’t forget anyone?” asked George once again. He and Fred
were seated in the kitchen of their flat, Margot sitting happily nearby in her
brand-new Lil’ Unicorn highchair. (“Ugh,” Fred had said when they bought it,
“Yes, George, I’m sure
we didn’t forget anyone.” Fred sounded exasperated.
It’s not my fault,
thought George. He just wanted to make sure that everyone important got to
Tonight was the night
of Margot’s official “Welcome to the Family” party. Of course, that didn’t
mean that everyone coming was strictly, in terms of blood or law, family.
Hermione, for instance, would be attending, as would Remus and Tonks.
giggled and threw a handful of the apple sauce she had been eating in George’s
face. Ah, the joys of fatherhood, he thought to himself as he pulled
out his wand to clean the mess.
He had just stood to
clean Margot’s face when Ginny, who apparently had never heard of knocking,
walked into the kitchen.
“Hey,” she said, “Harry
and I fancied a walk, so we Apparated to the Leaky Cauldron and…” She trailed
off as she saw the apple sauce and started laughing.
she said, snatching a dishtowel from the counter and wiping George’s face with
it. “Is that better?” George glowered at her as she continued to laugh, and
grabbed the towel out of her hands, tossing it back on the counter.
George said, grinning broadly as the tall young man entered the room and walked
over to Ginny. “When did you come in?”
Ginny was cleaning the apple sauce off your face.”
“Listen, Ginny, Harry,”
said George. “We want to talk to you about-”
“Hello!” a voice called
from the front door, followed by a large crash. “Oops! Sorry!”
know how to knock?” Fred asked. Shrugging, George picked Margot up out
of her highchair and, followed closely by Fred, Harry, and Ginny, went out to
greet whoever had just come.
reached the small entrance in time to see a woman who could only be Tonks
setting the coat stand upright. Behind her stood Remus, who was holding a
smiling baby whose bright purple hair could only mean one thing. Remus looked
alert and energetic; Fred and George had been careful to schedule the party
well away from the full moon.
“Fred! George!” he
said, looking up from the baby in his arms. “Congratulations!”
“Thank you,” the twins
said together. They grinned.
“Is this Margot?” asked
Tonks, finished with the coat stand. She seemed to be trying something new
with her hair that made the color change depending on how you looked at it.
George blinked; it wasn’t exactly easy to watch.
“Yes, this is Margot,”
said George. “Margot, this is Tonks, and this is Remus.”
“Margot,” said Remus,
stepping forward and holding out the baby. He leaned forward and spoke to her
gently. “This is Alice. She’s younger than you, and she can’t quite talk yet,
but do you think you’d like to play with her?”
Margot nodded. “Yes,”
she said softly. She patted Alice’s purple hair, a smile on her lips.
Alice Lupin was only
six months old, but she seemed to have inherited the Metamorphmagus talents of
her mother. As she was just a baby, she wasn’t able to control her morphing
abilities just yet, so her appearance tended to change every now and then. Like
her father, she loved looking at books and watching her parents read, even
though she was so young. Remus and Tonks had married during the war, but had
waited until Voldemort’s defeat to have children, not wanting their children to
know the terror of the Dark Arts.
“Nice hair, Tonks,”
said Ginny, grinning. “Where’d you get the idea?”
“Oh, I saw a Muggle car
that was painted so that it looked green sometimes and pink sometimes, and
wanted to see if I could do it.”
Ginny shook her head in
amazement. “Hey, George. Can I hold my niece?”
George looked away from
Tonks’s fascinating hair and saw that Ginny was standing with her arms
crossed. “What? Oh, sure. Um…Margot, this is your Aunt Ginny and your Uncle
Harry.” Harry blushed. “Do you mind if Aunt Ginny holds you for awhile?”
Margot shook her head,
and George handed the toddler over to Ginny.
“Hi Margot,” Ginny
whispered. “I’m your aunt. That means that I’m your…er…fathers’ sister. And
you see the man next to me? He’s married to me, so that makes him your
uncle.” Harry, who had only just recovered from his last blush, turned pink
“Do you want to hold
her, Harry?” Fred asked.
“Oh – no, I’m – no…”
“Oh, stop it, Harry,”
said Ginny. “Margot, is it okay if Uncle Harry holds you?”
Margot nodded and Ginny
handed her to Harry, who held her awkwardly in front of him, as if not quite
sure what to do. She squirmed, and Harry set her down, looking slightly
relieved and embarrassed. Margot made a beeline for George, standing behind
his legs with her head peeking around them.
“Harry, Ginny, we want
to-” Fred started, but he was interrupted by a knock at the door. Shaking his
head, Fred hurried over to the door. He opened it and immediately disappeared
in his mother’s arms, barely visible. Behind his mum, George, could see his
dad, Ron and Hermione, standing uncertainly.
“Come in, everyone!” he
called, waving his hands. The crowd behind Mum surged forward, freeing Fred
from her arms. The party moved into the tiny hall, and George took his turn
being hugged by his mother.
“Good to see you too,
Mum,” said George, his voice muffled slightly by her robes.
When everyone had
hugged everyone else (the only one managing to escape being Remus, who was
still holding Alice), Fred took count.
“So the only people
left are Angelina, Lee, Percy and Penny, Charlie and Claire, and Bill and
Fleur,” he said, ticking them off on his fingers. “While we’re waiting, why
don’t we retire to the parlor?”
“parlor” was the flat’s small sitting room. “Small” in this case meant “barely
capable of seating four adults.” Given that there were now ten, things were
becoming a bit cramped. Everyone was still looking for a place to sit when
there was another knock on the door.
“I’ll get it,” said
George, squeezing between Ron and Hermione to get through. Leaving Margot with
Fred, he went to the front door and flung it open.
reached in and gave him a quick hug.
“Come in, come in, you
“Hi, George.” Claire,
Charlie’s wife, stepped into the hall, smiling shyly. Though they had met
before, this was her first visit to the twins’ flat.
Claire Ferguson Weasley
was a thin woman with short, curly, blonde hair, or was when not five months
pregnant with her and Charlie’s second child. She had a pretty, round face,
large brown eyes, and full lips. In her arms she was carrying Gene Weasley,
her and Charlie’s eight-month-old son.
had met at a dragon camp in Romania a year before. They had married in England to please their parents, but had returned to Romania shortly after the wedding. After Gene
was born, though, they’d decided to move back to England to raise their
children. Currently, the two worked for the Department of Magical Creatures,
controlling British dragons.
“How’s Gene?” asked
George, taking their cloaks and tossing them on the coat stand.
“We’re pretty sure he’s
over his colic,” said Claire, as Gene yawned and hiccupped. She shifted his
position against her shoulder.
“It was rough going
there for a while, though. Claire, let me take him,” said Charlie. Claire
placed Gene in her husband’s arms and smiled at him.
“Everyone else is in
the parlor,” George told them.
parlor, the four seats had gone to Ginny, Harry, Remus, and Tonks, who was now
holding Alice. The others were either sitting on the floor or standing against
a wall. No one looked terribly comfortable, but all wore huge smiles and were
talking excitedly. When George entered with Charlie, Claire and Gene, Remus
stood immediately so Claire could take his place. Charlie handed his son to
Claire, and chose to sit on the floor by her knees, in between Ron and Fred,
who had Margot in his lap.
George had just
finished introducing Margot to Charlie and Claire when there was another knock,
this one short and precise.
“That’ll be Perce,”
Fred remarked. “Let me get it, George.” Handing a confused-looking Margot to
Ron, he stood and hurried to answer the door.
A few minutes later he
was back, Percy, his wife Penny and their two-month-old daughter Portia
following closely behind. This time Harry stood, and Percy and Portia took his
place. The room was becoming increasingly crowded. Harry sat on the floor
next to Ron, glancing up at Ginny every few minutes to smile at her.
“I don’t see why you
can’t get a bigger place,” Mum remarked, stepping aside to allow Fred to stand
next to her. “The two of you have plenty of gold, and it’s perfectly
“Mum, don’t be silly,”
Fred replied. “If we moved, we’d have to move shop, and this is a prime
location on Diagon Alley.”
“I love it,” Ginny told
her older brother, grinning. “It feels like home.”
George gave her an
approving nod, glad that someone wasn’t complaining. They would have to do
something about the seating situation if they were going to have any more
gatherings like this.
Within twenty minutes,
Lee, Angelina, and Bill and Fleur had all arrived – Bill and Fleur with their
daughter, Leona – and taken seats in the middle of the floor. Mum had kicked
the twins out of the kitchen and was despairing over their attempts at cooking,
“assisted” by Tonks. Not allowed to return to the kitchen, Fred and George had
retreated to Margot’s room with Ginny, Claire, Fleur and Hermione, who had
insisted they show them the girl’s room and outfits. Percy, Charlie, Bill and
their father sat in one corner of the parlor, arguing about troubles at the
Ministry, while Harry, Ron, Lee and Angelina were eagerly discussing England’s chances at this year’s World Cup. Remus sat in the hallway with Alice, playing a quiet game of peek-a-boo with the sleepy girl who had grown freckles and
lime hair in the past hour. Margot seemed to be intimidated by all the adults
around, but she had found a playmate in Leona, Bill and Fleur’s daughter.
Leona, a small girl with fluffy, strawberry-blonde hair, was only a few months
younger than her and the two girls were busy making faces at Gene and Portia,
who were too young to understand what was going on.
Having escaped from the
women, Fred and George returned to the parlor to find all their guests
thankfully occupied. However, George remembered that he and Fred still hadn’t
talked to Harry, Ginny, and Lee. “Shall we take them aside now?” he asked Fred
in a low voice, nodding towards where Harry and Ginny were sitting.
sure,” said Fred. “Lee, Ginny, Harry, would you care to accompany us to the
other room?” Fred asked loudly in what he apparently considered his most
Harry looked around,
apparently confused. “Er…sure,” he replied, his brow furrowed.
“Alright,” said Lee,
shrugging and standing.
George squatted down
and touched Margot’s shoulder gently. “Margot,” he said gently, “would you
mind coming with us for a bit?”
Margot gave a
questioning look at Leona.
“It’ll only be for a
few minutes. Leona will still be here when we get back.”
Margot still looked
uncertain, but she nodded and held out her hands to be picked up. George
hoisted her against his shoulder and followed the small group.
The “other room” was
the bedroom that Fred and George shared. Since the party was taking place
mainly in the parlor and kitchen, they hadn’t bothered to clean up. A set of
robes was thrown over the chair to a desk that was littered with half-finished
inventions. Several old issues of the Daily Prophet had been crumpled
and thrown to the side, while Potions books were scattered on the floor. The
beds were unmade and, for some reason, full of owl feathers.
“Er, sorry about the
state of our room,” said George, lighting a lamp with his wand.
“Not that sorry,” said
Fred. “I remember what your room looked like back at the Burrow, Ginny, it was
ten times worse than this.”
Ginny put her hands on
her hips. “It’s quite clean now,” she retorted. “But you two didn’t
bring us in here to tell me off for not cleaning my room, did you?” She raised
her eyebrows and looked from one twin to the other.
didn’t,” George admitted. He pulled the robes off the chair and dropped them
on the floor, offering the chair to Ginny. “Have a seat, everyone.”
Ginny sat. “Well then,
why did you bring us in here?”
Lee flopped onto Fred’s
bed, apparently not minding the owl feathers. George sat on the foot of his
bed, Margot in his lap, while Fred and Harry remained standing.
“Well, we’ve decided
that we’re not giving Margot a christening,” George began, “given that she’s
already named and all that. But we still want her to have godparents. We
thought about who to have for a long time, and we finally decided that we want
them to be Ginny and Lee.”
Fred took over, as was
– sort of – rehearsed. “We think that when she gets older Margot will need a
girl to talk to, because we don’t really know much about girls,” he said,
ignoring Lee’s loud chuckle and Ginny’s snort. “And so…well… we thought that
no one would be better for that than you, Ginny. And then Lee, because you’re
our best friend, and she’ll need a godfather to keep some craziness in her
of course her life won’t be crazy with you two as her parents,” said Lee.
“Of course,” said
Fred. “It’s more because…well, if Margot ends up like us…we can blame it all
“Kind of you,” Lee
George coughed to get
their attention back. “To continue…we were drawing up papers for who would
have guardianship if…well, if something went wrong with an experiment and we
died, and we thought that she could go to her godmother – and her godmother’s
“So, you’re saying that
you want me and Lee to be her godparents, and me and Harry would take care of
her if you died?” asked Ginny, frowning.
“Yes. Will you?”
“I’d love to be her
godfather,” said Lee.
“And I’d love to be her
godmother,” said Ginny.
“Great!” said George.
“What about guardianship?”
It was then that George
noticed that Harry and Ginny were shooting each other looks. She tilted her
head a bit. Harry appeared to hesitate, then nodded.
“Yes to that too,” said
Ginny, smiling. She glanced down at her stomach, then looked up at her
brothers. “Of course it’s a yes.”
Fred turned to Harry.
“And you’re okay with that?” he asked, wanting to be absolutely certain.
Harry nodded gravely.
“Yeah. Of course.”
* * *
that over, the small group rejoined the party. Mum had finally given up on
their cooking and started over from scratch. Tonks seemed to have been thrown
out of the kitchen; she was holding Alice, who had fallen asleep(much to Leona
and Margot’s disappointment).
“We have an
announcement!” Fred declared loudly, stepping into the parlor and interrupting
the chatter. Everyone looked at him, startled. “I would like you to meet
Margot’s brand-new godparents: Lee Jordan and Ginny Weasley!” He swept a hand
toward them with a flourish, as if presenting them to the room.
asked Hermione, who was leaning against a wall next to Ron. “Congratulations!”
Everyone else quickly
followed suit. When all the congratulations had been given, things settled
down as much as they could with twenty-three people in one tiny flat.
George stood chatting
with Hermione, who was holding Margot. Margot seemed to get along well with
her – she wasn’t squirming like she had been with most people that evening. In
fact, she seemed very close to falling asleep.
“I wonder what they’re
talking about,” said George, gesturing at Harry and Ginny, who had their heads
“I don’t know,” said
Hermione, rubbing Margot’s back.
“They look like they’re
plotting – scheming,” said George, narrowing his eyes. If anyone could
recognize two people scheming, it was him. “You don’t think they’re planning a
prank or something, do you?” He didn’t really think they were, but he couldn’t
imagine what else might make them whisper like that.
“Planning a prank? Of
course not!” Hermione laughed. “They’re just not pranksters. Well, Ginny,
maybe, but I can’t see Harry ever going for it. Besides, we’re out of Hogwarts
now. Things have changed.”
“That’s what you
think,” said George, but inside he was swelling with pride at the realization
that he and Fred had, in fact, chosen their most devious sibling for a
godmother. Still, if they weren’t planning a prank, then what was the
He didn’t have long to
think on it. A few seconds later, Ginny and Harry stood up and walked to the
center of the room.
“Can we have everyone’s
attention?” asked Ginny. “We have an announcement of our own. Mum, can you
come in here? We want you to be here for this.”
Mum emerged from the
kitchen. “Dinner’s nearly ready anyway, dear,” she said, wiping her floury
hands on her robes. “Now, what’s this announcement?”
George had just the
slightest suspicion, a faint gut feeling, as to what this announcement might
be. Catching Hermione’s eye, he whispered, “You don’t think she’s…”
Hermione shrugged and
shook her head. “I wouldn’t know,” she said, looking at Ginny.
spoke up. “Ginny and I have been trying to decide on the best time to announce
this, and we just thought that with everyone here, it was kind of perfect.”
The entire group looked
at them expectantly.
Ginny placed a hand on
her stomach and took a deep breath. “I…I’m pregnant,” she said. She bit her
lip and glanced at her mum, as if worried about what she would say.
Hermione’s eyes gleamed
mischievously, and George grinned at her. “I knew it,” he said.
“I knew it!”
cried Mum, burying Ginny and then Harry in hugs.
“You did?” asked Ginny
from amid her mother’s floury arms. “How?”
six times, and then all the grandchildren, you can tell, dear. Besides, it’s
true what they say about the glow.” Mum held Ginny and Harry out in front of
her, as if checking to see that they did really look good together, then hugged
them once more.
Everyone rushed in to
congratulate the parents-to-be. No one was without a comment or a piece of
advice; even Percy couldn’t keep the corners of his mouth from turning up when
he asked loudly, “Doesn’t anyone in this room know how to use a
“We do!” said Ron,
putting an arm around Hermione’s shoulders.
widened. “Ron!” She tried to elbow him, but as she was still holding
Margot she couldn’t quite reach. The couple dissolved into infectious
laughter, while their mum attempted to look scandalized.
“Right!” said Mum,
pulling away from her daughter and son-in-law. “Dinner is ready!”
Ten minutes later
the food had been laid out on the twins’ tiny dining table, and the party had
moved into the kitchen. Fred and George’s flat really didn’t have seating for
twenty-three, so people sat on countertops and the floor. It felt, George
thought, sort of like the parties they’d had in the Gryffindor common room,
with lots of laughter and chatter and food, and not a silent moment to be
found. This was the Weasley family, he thought to himself, the real Weasley
family. Somehow they had all survived. Somehow they had all lived through the
war. And now the family had doubled in size. Within two years, he had become
uncle to several children, and now a father himself. He never would have
guessed this would happen.
Margot was being
especially loud. She had finished her food, flinging most of it in Leona’s
hair, and was now crying ceaselessly; neither Fred nor George could figure out
why. His impatience and worry increasing, George was relieved when Mum stepped
in and scooped Margot out of Fred’s arms.
“Poor dear, it’s been
an exciting day, hasn’t it?” she cooed. “I bet you’re tired.” She turned to
Fred and George. “You don’t mind if I put my granddaughter to bed, do you?”
than to argue with their mother over such trivial things, the twins said
goodnight to Margot along with everyone else, and Mum went off to get her ready
The other children
had already fallen asleep: Alice, Gene, and Portia cradled in their parents’
arms; Leona slumped against Bill’s shoulder. With the center of attention gone
to bed, the party quieted down a bit. Hermione sidled over to George.
whispered, nodding over to her left, “more conspiratorial whispering.”
her gaze to where Harry sat, whispering with Ron in much the same way that he’d
whispered to Ginny a few hours earlier.
whispered, “they’re going to announce that Ron’s pregnant with Harry’s baby.”
appreciatively. “Poor Hermione, you never knew Ron was cheating on you, and
with your best friend, to boot!” he said, looking at Hermione, who was standing
next to him.
Hermione seemed as
if she was about to say something disapproving, but then, to George’s surprise,
she smiled and laughed. “I certainly hope not,” she said. Across the kitchen,
Ron stood up. He looked faintly ill, and kept glancing down at Harry, who was
smiling at him encouragingly.
George. “I think we’re about to hear his announcement.”
Ron began to walk
over to them.
“Ah. I get the
sneaking suspicion that you are part of this announcement.”
Ron reached them.
“Hermione,” he said weakly. He coughed and looked back at Harry, a pleading
look on his face. Harry, who seemed close to laughing, shook his head and
pointed to Hermione.
“Can you – can you
looking slightly amused and worried, and Ron pulled her to the middle of the
kitchen. He put a hand in the pocket of his robes.
everyone – could everyone listen, please?” he asked loudly. The noise started
to die down as everyone turned to look at Ron. He gulped.
“I – um – I – I’ve
been thinking about this for – for awhile, Hermione, but I – I just couldn’t
think of how – of when…” Ron swallowed again. Hermione was staring at the
pocket his hand was in, a strange look on her face. “And well, I just thought,
y’know, everyone else was making their announcements, and this way, well, this
way everyone would know and we wouldn’t have to let everyone know separately…”
Hermione uncertainly. Behind her, George could see Harry fighting not to
“And so, well, I,
er…” Ron drew his hand out of his pocket, and in it George could just barely
see a faint gleam. “W-Will you… Hermione, will you marry me?”
For a moment,
Hermione said nothing. She took the ring from Ron’s hand and stared at it.
Watching her, George realized that for the first time he could remember,
Hermione Granger was speechless.
came a barely audible, “Yes.”
Ron’s head, which
had been gazing somewhere in the approximate area of Hermione’s shoes, shot
She seemed to be tearing up. “Really.” She pulled Ron into a hug that seemed
to swallow him despite the fact that he was a good head taller than her.
said Charlie. “Does this mean you’re pregnant too?”
and shook her head, releasing Ron from the hug.
Harry walked over
and hugged them both. “Congratulations,” he said.
George joined them
and shook Ron’s hand. “Congrats,” he said, “but you’ll always be Ickle
Ronniekins to me.”
didn’t even blush.
When everyone had
said congratulations (“The most popular word of the night!” Bill remarked.),
the party began to quiet down again. Charlie yawned, stretching his arms.
“What time is
it?” He checked his watch. “9:30! We’ve been out too late.”
“9:30 isn’t late,”
said Ginny, startled.
“It is when you
have a baby,” said Claire, patting Ginny on the shoulder. “You’ll see soon
enough.” Ginny smiled radiantly.
“We should get
going too,” said Bill, gesturing to where Fleur was holding a sleeping Leona.
“And us,” said
“And it really
wouldn’t be good if Portia deviated too far from the sleep schedule we have set
up for her,” said Penny, fussing over her daughter.
“Okay, we get it,
we get it,” said Fred. “Everyone’s grown up with responsibilities now.”
George said to his twin in a low voice. “A sleep schedule? What the
hell is that?”
him. “Don’t even bother. You’re not organized enough.”
Fred glared at
“No offense. Just
some friendly, brotherly advice. Now, Penny and I really must be
going. Goodbye, everyone. Congratulations.”
Mum got their
cloaks from the stand in the entry, and Percy and Penny left. They were
walking, since they lived nearby, and Portia was only a few months old.
everyone left fairly quickly, until only Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Mum
and Dad were left. Harry yawned.
“Yeah, and I’ve
got work tomorrow, so I should go. You should stay, though, Ginny.”
“No, I’m tired
too,” said Ginny, who had caught Harry’s yawns.
In fact, Harry’s
yawns seemed to be of a particularly contagious variety (Contagious yawns,
George thought. Must make a note of that for the joke shop.), because
soon everyone had them.
“Well, we know
when a party’s over,” said Fred. “C’m-m-m-mon, everyone, go home and get some
sleep,” he said, yawning mid-word.
“Your brothers are
right,” said Mum. “Especially you, Ginny, with the—“
“What’s so funny?”
asked Ginny indignantly.
just… you’ve been our baby sister for so long, and now you’re having a baby of
your own. It’s weird.”
“Not any weirder
than you having a two-year-old,” Ginny retorted. But it was true, George
reflected, and he didn’t reply.
wonderful,” said Mum, smiling happily at her children.
“Yeah,” said Fred.
“Well, now we
really should go,” said Ginny, breaking the awkward mood.
“Yeah, and us
too,” said Hermione. “Come on, Ron.”
party-goers put on their cloaks and left, leaving Fred and George alone.
Everything that had happened that night finally started to sink into George’s
“That,” he said, turning to Fred
and grinning, “was definitely the best party we’ve
ever thrown. And we didn’t
even have any Firewhisky.”