Chapter 1 : The Birds and the Bees
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“Bill, would you come here please?” Arthur motioned to his eldest son.
Bill glanced at Charlie, who shrugged. As far as he knew, nothing they’d done that could get them in trouble had been found out yet… Bill followed his father with some trepidation into his study.
Arthur sat down in a chair, motioned Bill into a chair too, and they stared at each other for a few moments.
“Let’s go to your room,” Arthur said abruptly.
Bill was getting even more nervous now, and followed his father upstairs. Charlie joined in as they passed him and Arthur didn’t appear to notice that he now had two sons trailing him.
Bill and Charlie sat down next to each other on Bill’s bed, and Arthur sat opposite them on Charlie’s bed. They had only been in Bill and Charlie’s room for a few minutes, with the two boys staring at their father strangely, when Percy poked his head in.
“What’s going on?”
“I’ve no idea,” Bill said.
“You may as well sit down too, Percy,” Arthur said, gazing uncomfortably at his third son.
“I didn’t do it,” Percy said at once.
“Nobody is in trouble. Just sit down, son.”
Percy sat down on the bed next to Charlie, and the three boys stared at their father. Ron wandered in and climbed into Bill’s lap.
Arthur adjusted his collar. “Right then, boys.”
They watched him expectantly, looking confused and a little worried.
“Right,” Arthur said again. “What do you know about women, boys?”
Percy stared blankly at him. Charlie shrugged. Bill stared at his feet and mumbled, “They don’t like you to throw dungbombs at them.”
“Good observation, there, Bill,” Arthur said with forced cheerfulness. “Let’s talk about our feelings for women then.”
Bill’s eyes widened in horror. Charlie turned bright red. Percy looked slightly confused.
“Can I have a bikkit?” Ron asked.
“Not now, Ronnie. Boys, you may find-” He turned as the door opened again and Fred and George came running in. They stopped short when they saw all their brothers lined up on the bed. Their gaze went, in unison, from their brothers to their father and back.
“What did you do?” Fred asked in awe.
“Fred, George, sit down.” Arthur waved them over to Charlie’s bed.
Fred hopped up next to Bill with George right next to him. The boys all jostled each other a bit, finding a comfortable seat on the edge of the bed.
Arthur stared at his sons and adjusted his collar again. “Well then. Right. Boys, in a few years, well, for some of you, and Bill you may find this already, but Ron you won’t understand for quite some time…” He got lost in his sentence, paused for a moment to regroup, and began again. “You may find as you get older, that you start developing, erm, feelings, for girls.”
The twins stared at him uncomprehendingly. Bill looked extraordinarily embarrassed, Charlie was starting to get the horrified look on his face that Bill had had a moment ago, and Percy still looked confused. Ron was staring obliviously at a Quidditch poster on the wall.
Arthur was starting to wish he’d just given Bill that book his father had given him, ridiculous as it was, and told him to pass it on to Charlie later. He was starting to understand why his father had used it in the first place. This was much more difficult than he’d expected. “Well, these feelings, they, erm…”
“Are you talking about sex?” Percy said suddenly, a light appearing to have dawned for him.
Bill and Charlie’s heads whipped around to stare at their little brother. Arthur’s ears turned red.
“Well, yes,” he admitted. “What do you know about sex?”
“I read a book,” Percy said, adjusting his glasses. “I found it in your study, Dad.”
“Oh dear,” Arthur said.
“Do you want me to go get it?” Percy asked helpfully. “I can show Bill and Charlie and Fred and George the pictures.”
“Good Lord,” said Arthur.
“I can read it to you if you like,” Percy told his brothers.
“Merlin’s beard,” Arthur muttered.
“I have it in my room; I’ll just run and get it, shall I?” Percy hopped down off the bed.
Arthur sat helplessly and watched his son run out of the room. Bill and Charlie exchanged an amazed glance. Percy returned quickly, clutching a rather elderly-looking work with a yellow cover and the title When You Become a Man. Arthur remembered laughing heartily over this book when he was in his teens, but it suddenly seemed much less funny when facing his six sons.
Merlin’s beard! His eyes widened with the sudden revelation that Ginny would also need this talk someday. Thankfully, that would be up to Molly. If he could give the boys the talk, she could give their one daughter the talk. Somehow he thought she’d be much better at it. He was quite plainly disastrous at it.
Percy spent the next twenty minutes lecturing his brothers, with some interjections by Arthur to bring them up to speed from what the rather dated book was telling them. Arthur thought Percy might whip out a blackboard and draw diagrams at any moment. Percy appeared to know the entire book back to front. Apparently his third son had a photographic memory, Merlin preserve them all.
Bill was laughing silently, his chest shaking and his face red, as he looked through the book and listened to Percy’s lecture. Charlie was reading over Bill’s shoulder, trying not to look interested in the subject, and the twins crowded around them to look at the illustrations. Arthur could only hope they didn’t understand what they saw, but knowing Fred and George, they probably did. Ronnie had crawled under Charlie’s bed to investigate the old Quidditch equipment thrown under there.
Finally Percy was finished, and Bill tucked the book under his arm, murmuring with a snigger that he’d read it more thoroughly later, as the boys all shuffled out of the room past their father. Arthur bent down to pull Ron out from under the bed by the seat of his pants, and sent him off after his brothers.
Arthur closed the door behind him and followed his sons downstairs, where Molly was waiting in the parlor with Ginny perched on her hip.
Molly watched in amazement as her sons trailed past her, sniggering under their breaths, Percy looking quite pleased with himself. “Good heavens, Arthur, did you give the talk to all of them?”
Arthur tugged on his collar. “They just sort of kept coming in. I thought I might as well get it all over with at once.” He glanced at his sons. “I don’t think Ron got much out of it, though.”
“You’d better hope Fred and George didn’t get much out of it either,” Molly said sternly.
“You’re just going to have to tell the little three all over again in a few years,” she warned him.
Arthur glanced at the back door where all the boys had disappeared. “I think I’ll just let Percy take care of it again. He’ll probably have an entire presentation with handouts and a quiz to follow by then.”
“What do you mean, let Percy take care of it again?”
Molly’s face flushed and she swelled up to continue shouting at him, and Arthur ran down the stairs after his sons.