A/N: I don't own these characters blah blah blah...
It was a Saturday evening at The Burrow during the last week of the summer
break. It would've been a quiet evening, but Molly Weasley disrupted the silence
with her latest screaming tirade at Ron. This time, it was about the mess in
his room. Well, that's how it started out. Somehow, her rant about his room
turned into a discussion of his grades then mutated into a gigantic row about
how he has no ambition, which ended with her yelling at him for not washing
his hands before dinner on Tuesday night last week.
Normally, her screaming would've rolled right off his back, but today it
was different. Hermione, Ron's longtime friend and now new girlfriend, had watched
the whole exchange with her eyes slightly diverted. She was staying over at
The Burrow for the final week of vacation. After it ended, she watched Ron stomp
up the stairs to his room where he slammed the door shut. Apparently, he was
embarrassed and angry that his mother yelled at him in front of his girlfriend.
She really wanted to talk to Ron and comfort him, but she didn't want to
look like she was taking sides, especially with the leftover tension with Mrs.
Weasley from the Rita Skeeter article. Not knowing what to do, Hermione took
a seat in the kitchen. Just then, the person she didn't want to see walked in.
"I suppose you're wondering why I was so harsh to Ron." Mrs. Weasley gave
her a serious look.
"No.....well, you were kind of hard on him." Hermione was scared, not knowing
how to proceed.
Mrs. Weasley went to the counter and started to prepare the dinner for
that night. She noticed Hermione's confused and scared look and softened up
a bit. She too acknowledged the bad vibes between them, and wanted to clear
up the situation. She turned to Hermione and spoke.
"I know I'm hard on the boy. But you see, dear, the reason I'm always riding
him is that I just want him to be happy and successful. When you're a mother
Hermione had a skeptical look on her face. If she wanted him to be happy,
why had she just spent fifteen minutes yelling at him in front of his girlfriend?
It sure was a funny way to show her affections.
Molly caught the look on her face. To Hermione's surprise, Molly smiled
"Hermione, let me tell you something that I've never told anyone before..."
Hermione listened intently as Mrs. Weasley told her story.
"...Ron is my favorite."
Hermione looked shocked. Ron was her favorite? It seemed that Molly took
every opportunity to criticize Ron to the point where she was yelling. Now she
was revealing that Ron, the boy that seemed to make her blood pressure skyrocket
whenever she looked at him, was her favorite child.
"He's your favorite? That's...that's..." Hermione couldn't find the words.
Mrs. Weasley noticed the puzzled look on Hermione's face and smiled and
finished her sentence. "...near impossible to believe?"
Hermione shyly nodded. Mrs. Weasley continued.
"Yes, well to be honest, I find it quite hard to believe too. But he is
in fact my favorite boy. I suppose my fondness for him came during his infancy.
I had a difficult time giving birth to him. The night I went into labor, there
were a lot of complications and Ron actually was stillborn..."
"Arthur and I were devastated. I asked to hold my boy, just so I could
hold him once before letting go forever." Mrs. Weasleys eyes teared up. "As
soon as I had him in my arms, a miracle happened. I cradled him, and he let
out a little cough. He coughed again and started crying. It was the most beautiful
sound I had ever heard. Little Ron made it." She wiped her eyes after the last
Hermione was teary-eyed as well. Molly smiled.
"Yes, Ron's my favorite boy. And that's why I'm so hard on him. I love
the child so damn much that it hurts me to see him slack off like that when
I know he can do better. He is just so lazy!"
Hermione let out a small chuckle. "Yes, I know."
"He also never seems to take anything seriously. Granted, he's not as bad
as Fred or George, but I guess I just expected better from him. At least the
twins know when to goof off and when to do their schoolwork. Those O.W.L.'s
are coming up and if he's not prepared, he'll have a harder time finding a good
career in the future. Of course, you know Ron. Rather than picking up his textbooks,
he's reading that Quidditch book or his comics. And you know what? He's actually
complaining that he has to study too much! As if he studies in the first place!
When he's home, he always whines about how the teachers are piling the work
on him or that you are riding him to get work done..."
"Well, I try not to bug him too much about his studies...."
"Oh no, dear! Don't you worry about bothering him. If anything, you need
to ride him more! It's so good that you're there to keep him in line. I don't
know what that boy would do without you."
Hermione blushed. It was humbling to hear such praise from Ron's mother.
"Trust me, Hermione. You are the best thing that's happened to him. You
give him confidence, something he was seriously lacking before you two were
going out. He is still a bit self-depreciating, but he's gotten better. Ron
has always been a self-conscious child, growing up in the 'shadow' of his brothers.
Instead of seeing his brother's successes as a goal to achieve, he uses them
to see what a failure he's going to be if he doesn't meet them. It's heartbreaking,
Hermione sighed. "I know. I do my best to cheer him up. But it is frustrating
to see him like that. I tell him that he has the potential to be better than
his brothers, and even if he doesn't have any of that I'll still love-"
She stopped herself from finishing and blushed. She was afraid of what
Mrs. Weasley would say, but was surprised when she saw her beaming.
"So, you do love Ron."
Hermione mutely nodded.
Molly let out a happy sigh. "That's wonderful! I'm so happy for you and
Ron. You two make a lovely couple!"
Hermione was relieved. She finally had Mrs. Weasley's official approval.
Mrs. Weasley then looked serious for a moment. "Hermione dear, I...I just
want to let you know....that I am so sorry for treating you like...."
Hermione knew where this was headed. "....like a Scarlet Woman?" she said.
Molly looked down at her feet, ashamed. "Yes."
"It's okay, really. It was just that stupid Skeeter woman making a mess
out of things with me and Harry. I mean, Harry's just a friend. And so was Viktor.
Molly looked at Hermione again. "No, its not that. It's not my place to
meddle in the affairs, er-bad choice of words...." Hermione laughed. "Um, as
I was saying, it's not my place to place judgment on another's dealings. Is
that a better word?"
Hermione smiled. "Yes, that will do."
"Well, I could care less who you were going out with. Harry, Viktor, or
anyone. It's just that before the article came out, I got the feeling that Ron
was starting to like you. It turned out I was right. And although Rita Skeeter
is a lying, no good prat....I still believed that article. I guess I did because
I was just looking out for my son. I just didn't want his heart crushed."
Hermione felt another wave of relief. So that's why there was so much tension
between them these last months. She smiled sympathetically and said, "Mrs. Weasley,
that is totally understandable."
But Molly sadly shook her head. "Regardless, I should've known that it
was all a fabrication. And my stubbornness caused a lot of undeserved tension
between us. Hermione, I'm so sorry."
"It's okay, Mrs. Weasley."
"Call me Molly, dear."
"Okay, uh, Molly. Like you said, you were just looking out for Ron's best
interests." Hermione grinned, "He -is- your favorite son."
"That he is," Molly said with a affectionate look on her face.
"You know I love all my children. And I really don't like to pick favorites
among them. But...there's just something special about Ron. I know he's not
as athletic or smart or, heh, charming as my other boys, but still.... maybe
it's because he's not any of those things, maybe because he came alive in my
arms....I don't know why he is. He just is. It's hard to understand I guess."
Hermione smiled again. "Not as hard as you think."
"And that's why it kills me to see him upset. I'm hard on him, but I know he
can be a great wizard one day. I love the boy so much, and all I want is for
him to be happy. That's all. My Ickle Ronniekins. My baby..." Molly said with
tears in her eyes.
Hermione felt tears run down her cheeks again. "Molly..."
"Hermione, I said it before but you are the best thing in Ron's life. If
there's anyone I trust in taking care of him, it's you." She gave Hermione a
Hermione hugged back and said "Thanks, I'll do my best."
"*sigh* If that ungrateful boy only knew how much the two most important
women in his life cared about him!" They both laughed.
"Well, I suppose I should get started on dinner. Please tell Ron to be
ready in 20 minutes."
"And Hermione....thanks...thanks for...well, being here. For me and Ron."
"Thank you, too."
With that, Hermione ran up the stairs to Ron's room.