The Sugar Quill
Author: Vapid (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Molly's Favorite  Chapter: default
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: 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 you'll understand..."

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 at her.

"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..."

Hermione gasped.

"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 sentence.

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, really."

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. Nothing more."

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 big hug.

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."

"Sure."

"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.

//
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