A/N: This is the last chapter, a more humorous wrap-up. Enjoy it!
“Bill, did you and Charlie degnome the garden like I asked you to this morning? Percy, put that book down and dust the floor right now. Fred and George, I’m warning you to put those away before I take them and get to work; those carrots will not peel themselves, boys. Ron, make sure the chickens are all in their coop. Ginny, take the laundry up to Mummy’s room, won’t you?”
Molly ran a hand through her hair wearily as her children scrambled around her, some complying, others not.
“Mum, why do I always have to degnome the garden?” Charlie demanded.
“Shut up, Charlie, and go do it for me.”
“No way, Bill.”
“Hey, George, what’d happen if we—”
A small explosion shook the house.
“Mum, I hate the chickens! Make someone else do it!”
“Why do I have to do the laundry? Is it ‘cause I’m a girl?”
“You’re not a girl, Ginny.”
“Sod off, you git.”
“Don’t talk to your brother like that!”
“He started it!”
“And I’m ending it! Get to work everyone!”
No one listened except for Percy.
“Or no dessert!”
Everyone got to work.
Arthur came in a few minutes later. “My family won’t be arriving until after dinner,” he said.
“Great,” Molly said wearily, pulling the meat out of the oven. “What time is it?”
“Five till six.”
“Mollywobbles,” Arthur said, putting his arms around her. “Don’t worry. You’ve made the right choice in inviting her over. I know it will be hard since you haven’t seen each other since you were eighteen expect for the funeral, but she’s surely missing your father and needs—”
“She’s not missing him,” Molly snapped. “And neither am I. They were distant toward each other at best, and my father never had a kind word for me. That’s not the way a father should treat his only daughter. I don’t know why I went to the funeral; if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have run into her and we wouldn’t be having her over for dinner. She’ll hate the house, she’ll hate you, she’ll hate me, she’ll hate the food, she’ll hate the children—”
“Mummy, there’s a lady just beyond the gate,” Ginny called from the sitting room. “Ugh, look at her hair. It’s so . . . vertical.”
“Oh, no,” Molly whispered. “Get in here, everyone! Now!” She ripped off her apron and threw it into a cabinet as her children filed in. She managed to get a full thirty seconds of fussing in before her mother knocked on the door, during which time she straightened Ginny’s pigtails, tucked in the twins’ shirts, wiped some dirt off of Ron’s nose, and made Charlie spit out his gum.
“She’s not bringing batty old Aunt Marge, is she?” Ginny asked as Molly moved for the door.
“Gin-bug,” Arthur whispered, “don’t talk like that.”
“Help me, God,” muttered Molly, opening the door to see her mother standing on the stoop, decked out in her finest robes, her hair in its usual updo (it was very vertical), and Molly did not miss the handkerchief she was trying to tuck away that had surely been used while Rinalda touched the knocker.
“Hello, Molly,” her mother said stiffly.
“Hello,” Molly answered, her voice slightly weak. “Come in, Mother.”
As Rinalda stepped over the threshold, Ginny began to giggle. “What’s so funny?” Ron demanded in a whisper to her.
“Mummy called her mother!”
Ron rolled his eyes.
“Mother,” Molly said, shooting a death glare at Ginny, who sobered up quickly, “you remember Arthur.”
“It’s lovely to see you again,” Arthur greeted, extending one hand.
“Indeed.” Rinalda did not accept his hand and instead turned her attention to Bill. “And these are your children, I presume, Molly?”
“Yes, they are,” Molly said. “Bill is eighteen; he was Head Boy at Hogwarts. Charlie is sixteen, a prefect and an excellent Seeker. Percy is fourteen and an exceptionally bright boy. Fred and George are our twins; they’re twelve and Arthur says they’ll be great Beaters. Ron, our youngest boy, is ten, and he quite likes to play Quidditch as well, don’t you, Ronnie? And this is Ginny, our baby. She’ll be eight in a month’s time and is a good girl.”
Rinalda followed Molly’s finger, clearly lost, but nodded rigidly at each child in turn.
“Hi,” Ginny said brightly. Molly crossed her fingers, praying her daughter wouldn’t portray her natural knack for saying what others were too embarrassed to. “I like Quidditch. Do you like Quidditch?”
“No,” Rinalda answered simply, frowning. Molly knew her mother would not approve of Ginny. The woman did not believe in girls being as tough or as assertive or as loquacious as Ginny.
“Oh, that’s too bad. I do. I have a loose tooth.”
Arthur clapped his hands once. “Let’s eat, shall we?”
“Yay!” Ginny cried, jumping up and down. “Goose!”
“Ginny, dear,” Molly said, “settle down.”
“Okay. May I sit at the head of the table?”
“No, princess,” Arthur told her, guiding her toward her own seat instead. “I’m afraid you can’t.”
“All righty.” She hopped into her chair energetically. The others followed suit with more serenity.
Halfway through the most awkward meal any of them had ever sat through, Fred whispered to George, “I think we need to spice it up a bit, yeah?”
“I was just thinking the same thing,” muttered George in agreement. “On three, Gred?”
“Aye, Forge,” agreed his twin.
“One . . .”
“Two . . .”
Their mashed potatoes soared through the air with astounding grace and landed perfectly on top of Ginny’s head. The whole kitchen fell silent, Molly’s and Rinalda’s mouths hanging open in shock. For a full ten seconds, nothing happened. Then the entire goose was rocketing straight for the twins, and Ginny was screaming, red in the face. The twins jumped out of the way at the last moment, and the main course landed instead on Ron and Charlie. Soon a full-fledged war had broken out, the dinner flying everywhere.
Molly was shrieking for cessation, Arthur was trying to pull Charlie and Bill off each other while wiping the gravy off his glasses, the children were covered completely in food, and Rinalda looked more horrified than she ever had. Then Ginny turned to her grandmother said yelled, “I don’t like you!” before launching the entire cake at Rinalda’s head. “Your hair is too vertical, and you make Mummy sad!”
Silence again fell as dessert landed precariously on top of Rinalda’s head, frosting plopping down onto her face. No one moved; no one breathed.
“I will be leaving now,” Rinalda said after a long span of quiet. “Molly, you should be ashamed of your children.”
“You should be ashamed of your face,” Ginny said. “It looks like a hippogriff’s arse.”
Her older brothers collapsed in fits of laughter as Rinalda stormed out the door, but Arthur’s shout struck them dumb.
“You should all be ashamed of yourselves!” he yelled, looking at his wife, who was red-faced and biting her lip frantically. “Behavior like that? We didn’t raise you to act like a bunch of animals! Your poor mother!”
All the children turned their eyes upon Molly, who seemed to be struggling. Finally, she doubled over in fits of hysterical laughter.
“Hippogriff’s arse!” she gasped, clutching at her sides as peas fell from her hair. “That was the best dinner of my life!”
She now understood, Molly decided, as she watched her children and husband all stare in bewilderment up at her, that she did not need anything from her mother, least of all her approval. For if Rinalda approved of the way her children were being reared, something would need drastic changing. And Molly thought her kids were absolutely perfect.
Molly stood in her kitchen, surrounded by five of her children, three wives, one girlfriend, three grandchildren, and her husband, shouting over the wonderful dissonance:”Who wants milk?”
“Percy wants a Firewhiskey!” announced Charlie.
“No, I don’t.”
“Sure you do, little brother. Your wife is pregnant again! We’ve got to celebrate!”
“Where are Harry and Ginny?” Ron asked loudly.
Hermione answered, “They’re picking up Teddy and should be here soon.”
“I want miwk, Nana!” cried Victoire, running between pairs of legs with her cup.
“Here they are!” shouted George, pointing at the fireplace. “Wonder if Ginny got herself knocked up on their honeymoon?”
“I forbid you to ask her, George!” Molly cried in horror. “That is completely inappropriate! No one asked you about your honeymoon!”
“I’d share if anyone asked,” George said mildly.
“Oh, no, you would not,” Angelina said, whacking his head.
“The party has awived!” a voice announced from the fireplace; everyone turned to see Harry dusting himself off, and Teddy Lupin in his arms, grinning. “That’s me, people,” he added.
“Damn right you are, Teddy,” George said. “Coolest four-year-old around, I’d wager.”
“George,” Harry said in exasperation, setting Teddy down. “It’s hard enough making sure he doesn’t pick up any profanity from Ginny.”
“Yes, Mum,” George sighed, rolling his eyes.
Molly smiled as her only daughter appeared, brushing ash off her jeans and out of her long red hair. She marveled again at her beautiful daughter, her thick, shiny red hair, her deep eyes, the way her smile lit up a room. She was grateful she and Harry had each other.
“Georgie, I’ve got a gift for you,” Ginny said, holding out a box.
“Oh, a present! What s it?” her brother asked, rattling the box.
Harry looked at his new wife with a mixture of horror and amusement. “You didn’t, did you, Gin?” he asked.
George opened the box and peered inside, looking confused. Angelina leaned over to take a peek and began to laugh hysterically.
“What is it?” he asked his wife.
She held up the pregnancy test. “It’s negative; that’s what it is!”
The kitchen at large erupted into laughter, except for Harry, who rolled his eyes, Arthur, who looked highly relieved and sank into a chair, and Molly, who glumly returned to stirring the soup.
There was a knock on the door, and everyone quieted. “Who else is coming?” asked Arthur.
“No one,” Molly replied, opening the door.
Standing on the stoop was an elderly woman with hair piled high on her head.
“Hello, Molly,” she said.
“Oh, looky!” Ginny cried. “It’s my best friend!”
“I thought Hermione was your best friend,” Ron said in confusion; Charlie whacked his head and called him an idiot.
“Ginevra, dear,” Rinalda said in the smooth, serene voice she used when speaking with others she considered well to do. “I’ve wanted to speak with you for a long while.”
“Probably since she started dating Harry, her involvement and heroism in the war were revealed, and she became a professional Quidditch player,” muttered Charlie.
“And Harry,” Rinalda continued. “Welcome to the family.”
“Right,” George said. “The Weasley family.” His eyes narrowed. “She didn’t even show up to her own grandson’s funeral.”
“Ginny, you’ve grown to be such a beautiful woman,” Rinalda said, inching her way into the room.
“Thanks,” Ginny said, grinning. “I take after Mum, you know. Good thing she didn’t inherit anything from you.” The grin widened, and everyone who knew the youngest Weasley could tell what was coming. “I’d hate to wake up every morning only to see a hippogriff’s arse in the mirror.”
Rinalda’s cheeks reddened. “I apologize for my lack of involvement in your lives,” she addressed the room at large, “but—”
“I’m not,” Molly said. “If you’ll excuse us, Mother”—she nudged her mother out the door—“we’ve got a family dinner to eat.” The door closed.
“Woo!” George shouted. “The witch is dead!”
“Hey, now.” Ginny said. “Let’s not stereotype witches, Georgie.”
Molly ignored her children as Arthur moved toward her. She slid her arms around him and leaned up, kissing his lips. “I love you,” she said to him.
“Doesn’t it upset you that your mother just showed up?” he asked her.
“No,” Molly murmured, kissing him again. “She can’t mess this up, Arthur. This is my love story.”
A/N: Reviews = :)