Chapter 1 : Twins!
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Molly arrived at the obstetric office a few minutes late, with Bill, Charlie, and Percy in tow. She gave the receptionist a harried smile and turned to yell at Bill for hitting Charlie again when she saw the door open and the nurse peeked through.
“Hello again, Mrs. Weasley!” she said cheerfully. “Are you ready?”
“Yes. Boys, get over here.” She grabbed Percy’s hand to keep him from running off and waited for Bill and Charlie to fall into line ahead of her where she could keep them in sight.
“Are you ready for one more?” the nurse asked with a knowing smile, glancing at the three little boys.
Molly heaved a sigh. “The idea seemed all right before it became an inevitability, if you know what I mean.”
The nurse laughed. “It’ll seem all right again when you’ve had the baby. You won’t be so tired and uncomfortable.”
“Oh, I’ll be tired all right,” Molly said with a rueful laugh as they entered the exam room. “None of these slept through the night until they were ten months old.”
“You poor dear.” The nurse helped her up onto the table and then pulled out the magical instruments that would give the Healer a good view of the baby. “The Healer will be right with you,” she said as she headed for the door.
“Thank you,” Molly said as the door closed. She leaned her head back briefly, then looked up again to snap, “Charlie! Don’t touch that.”
Charlie gave her an innocent look but before he could perpetrate anything else, there was a knock at the door and the Healer came bustling in.
“Good morning, Molly,” Healer Whitlock smiled pleasantly at her and then turned a benevolent gaze on the boys. “Back again, are we? Good morning, young men.”
Bill smiled politely at the Healer who had delivered him and both of his brothers and said, “Good morning, Healer.”
Percy had his thumb in his mouth and did not smile, staying pressed up against the exam table, gripping a handful of Molly’s robe. Charlie turned a wary stare at the Healer, one hand still stretched out to grab at one of the instruments laid out on the tray.
“Charlie,” Molly hissed at him through clenched teeth, and he pulled his hand back.
“Well, let’s see what you’re having this time, shall we?” The Healer had already begun her examination, waving her wand at Molly to get her vitals up on the display. She frowned slightly when she saw them. “Your blood pressure’s a bit high.”
Molly craned her neck around to see the display. “What does that mean? It’s usually low when I’m pregnant.”
“Let’s just take a look, shall we?” Healer Whitlock plainly did not want to commit to an answer yet, and had picked up one of the strangely shaped, fiddly little instruments that midwife Healers used and Molly was getting so used to seeing she hardly registered them anymore.
“It’s a boy,” Molly said, leaning back. “It’s always a boy. Charlie, stop that.”
Healer Whitlock laughed. “Are you still blaming Arthur for having three boys?”
“It’s all his fault. I provided one X chromosome, all he had to do was provide another, but noooo…”
The Healer was chortling as she waved the silver instrument over Molly’s rounded belly. She frowned a bit as she watched the display screen, then said slowly, “Well, you’re nearly right…”
Molly looked up, frowning. “What? How do you mean, nearly right?”
“It’s two boys.”
Molly’s mouth dropped open. “I beg your pardon?”
“Twins, Molly. Two boys.”
Molly gaped at her for a moment. “That’s not funny,” she said frostily when she managed to find her voice.
Healer Whitlock shook her head. “I’m not joking, have a look.” She turned the display so that Molly could see it, and there were two blobby-looking shapes on the screen. They appeared to be kicking each other.
Molly heard the Healer talking about multiple pregnancies and rising blood pressure distantly, staring at the screen. Twins… Her brain felt foggy as she watched the two little boys in her womb kicking and swatting at each other, then turned her gaze to her other little boys. Bill and Charlie were fighting: Charlie was slapping at Bill, who was dancing around him and laughing, reaching out to pinch Charlie when he could. Percy had taken one of the Healer’s instruments and was waving it around in the air. Healer Whitlock laughed as she retrieved it from him.
Twins… Two more little boys. She’d have five children. Five boys. They’d always wanted a big family, but good heavens. She’d almost talked herself into the idea of four children, and now they were skipping four and going directly to five. And all boys, too. She’d been hoping for a girl, too, despite what Arthur said about Weasley men not making girls. She stared at the screen again, and the babies had flipped so they had their heads close together, and she was reminded quite forcibly of her brothers, always putting their heads together, plotting and planning, always together. Gideon and Fabian had been killed two years ago by Death Eaters, and every time she saw twins now she felt like crying again. She could feel the tears welling up now.
Healer Whitlock had noticed her wet eyes and hurried to reassure her. “Oh, Molly, it’ll be all right. We’ll get your blood pressure down, the twins will be fine. And if anyone can handle five boys, it’s you.”
“Oh, that’s not it.” Molly pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket and wiped her eyes. “My brothers… My brothers were twins.” She blew her nose and tried to take a deep, calming breath. “They were killed two years ago.”
“I’m so sorry.” The Healer gave her a sympathetic look. “Are you all right?”
“I’ll be fine, thank you. I’m very happy.” And she was. It was a watery kind of happiness, as she knew her little twins would be a reminder of her lost brothers, but she thought they would help to heal her heart as well. And she would make sure they didn’t go the same way their uncles had.
She drew another deep breath, then turned to her eldest sons and barked, “Bill! Charlie! Stop that at once!”
They jumped away from each other, then Bill grabbed his brother by the shoulders, pulling him up against his side and giving her a forced, toothy grin. Charlie took his cue from his brother, as always, and smiled cheesily at her.
She couldn’t help it; she laughed, and sat up to smile at them, shaking her head. “How would you like to have two baby brothers, boys?”
Charlie looked nonplussed. “Two?”
“Mummy’s having twins, boys.”
Bill let out an excited whoop. “Can we keep both of them, Mummy?”
Healer Whitlock started laughing and Molly rolled her eyes.