“It's a game. I've learned it from the observers at the Ministry.” her husband explained as he balled his fingers into a relaxed fist, “Come now, I'll show you how it works!”
“Must we?” she pleaded, knowing full well her attempts were futile. It was all she could do not to snort and role her eyes as an incredulous smile lit her face. He was going off again about those perplexing muggles and their cockamamie inventions.
“You'll enjoy it, Moll'. I know you will.” Once Arthur was on a tangent regarding non-magic folk there was zero chance of solace in the cramped house. He would bound around and introduce his new discovery to everyone as if it were the cure for the Unforgivables. Even the children were subject to such nonsensical contraptions as telemafones and mackerwaves. “Just do as I do,” he instructed as he coaxed her to curl her fingers inward and mimic his own tight palm, caressing her soft hand lovingly with a grin. “It's called 'Rock, paper, skeezers'.”
Molly's eyebrow raised questioningly at the strange name, wondering what in the world skeezers could be and as to the use of them. Reluctantly, she listened, captivated by his passion, as little Billy and baby Charlie also seemed to be from the floor of the lounge. “Go on, then.”
“Right,” Arthur started, sitting back into the well-loved chair across from his wife's own. “Now, with your thumb on top, put out your fist. I'll do the same.” he reached over to help her adjust her hand before demonstrating his. “There are three actions you can chose from, but you must only use one per turn. This is the rock,”
Molly nodded her comprehension as three-year-old Billy wandered over to have a better look at the goings-on, causing Charlie to crawl after him.
“Now, this one is paper,” His hand flattened and his fingers fused with his palm down. “and paper covers rock.”
Billy began to follow along, laughing loudly as he learned the new signals. He beamed at his father brightly before clapping noisily and shouting, “Wock!”
Molly smiled fondly as a chuckle escaped her. “That's not a rock, Bill, that's paper!” she teased, tickling his tummy with her free hand, before turning to Charlie to pick him up with a scoop of the arm.
“Well now, isn't this quite the family affair.” Arthur spouted, leaning in to ruffle his youngest son's carrot colored locks. “Hey there, Big Man. Come to place a wager?”
Charlie giggled like a hyper chipmunk at the attention and grabbed his toes as if he were scared they would get away.
With an audience formed around him, the muggle enthusiast continued with sharing his newest enlightenment. “The final sign is the skeezers, and they look like this,” Arthur held up two fingers before rotating them sideways. “Skeezers cut paper. So to sum up, skeezers beat paper, paper beats rock, and rock beat skeezers.” An excited grin adorned his cheeks as he readjusted in his seat. “Ready to play?”
Six eyes gazed back at him in complete and utter confusion before looking to each other for answers. Muggles sure liked to make things hard on themselves, even when it came to fun.
The last of the day's light faded with the sun as it sunk below the hills. Arthur had spent the time it took to teach Molly his new favorite game well enough to make her a worthy opponent, but now hungry bellies and sleepy eyes took precedent.
Shuffling everyone into the mismatched kitchen, Molly sat her children in their rickety highchairs and turned to her husband. “The roast chicken should be ready by now, I've had it in that tin can of a cooker for hours!” The kitchen drawer skidded unsmoothly as Mrs. Weasley pulled it out to retrieve her oven mitts. “If you would carve the bird for me, Arthur, I'll fix mashed peas and candied carrots for the boys.” Upon noting a nod of compliance from her husband, Molly set to work on her little ones' dinner, calling to him over her shoulder, “Potatoes are precooked in the icebox, they just need a nip of heat on the coils and gravy on top, so don't drain the roaster.”
When Charlie and Bill were both served and happily munching away on peas, carrots, and shredded chicken breast, the elder two rested side by side against the worktop to monitor not only their offspring, but the now percolating gravy on the wood-burning stove.
Arthur suddenly laughed, causing his ginger wife to turn her eyes from the cook-top to her sons. Bill had picked up handfuls of candied carrots and squished them between his fingers before swirling the now-pureed root vegetable around on not only his plate but the table and his front as well. Charlie had managed one better, as he decided it was prudent to jam a small piece of chicken up one nostril and slap his hands down in front of him, catching the edge of his mashed pea bowl and projecting green mush upward. Gravity eventually assisted the peas in landing in his hair, on the table and all over the floor.
She wished she hadn't, she really did. It was counterproductive in their discipline, but Molly couldn't stop the gale of chuckles and the watering eyes as she took in the sight of the youngsters. “They eat like little trolls.” She glanced at Arthur to gauge his reaction, much as Bill and Charlie had with Molly, and found that though he was not laughing, he was smiling thoughtfully.
“How many should we have?” he piped in softly, without ever tearing his eyes from the children.
Molly sobered her emotions and regarded him quizzically. “Of what? Not chicken legs I presume, as there are only two to a bird as far as I'm aware.”Arthur's lips cracked in a gentle smile before he finally rested his eyes upon her own beautiful sea-blue ones.
“Kids. You know,” he ribbed as he playfully bumped her with his elbow in good fun. “a Weasley clan it would be. We could have enough for an entire quidditch team of our own!”
Molly blanched. “And exactly how many were you thinking of my good Mr. Weasley?” She was playing along with the joke as she removed the gravy from the coil, giving it a quick stir, and a joke she was hoping this was.
“Seven,” he decided confidently, nodding his head absentmindedly, as if to congratulate himself on a well chosen number.
With a noisy clunk, the gravy-filled roaster crashed down on the worktop and Molly stared at him in critical disbelief. “Seven! Seven messy, sticky, noisy children?” Her voice, laced with panic and judgment had gone up an octave at his mental suggestion. “Are you completely mad?”
“What's mad about it? Seven is perfect, the luckiest number, that. What could go wrong with seven children?”
A sound of derision escaped Molly as she registered what was happening around her. The noise of the mishandled gravy had startled Charlie, and with that he began to cry. With a huff of mild irritation his mother threw off her oven mitts and ventured to his aid, holding Arthur's eyes in a cryptic stare. “What could go wrong, indeed. You wouldn't know as you aren't the one who stays home to care for them now, never mind with the addition of five more. All you will do is ask after each of their days and fall asleep when they're halfway through telling you about what they had found or built or played or learned that afternoon because you will be working sixteen hour shifts in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office to pay for their food and clothing.” Molly hoisted Charlie out of his chair after wiping him down with her apron. “So for now, while you still have the energy, collect our other son and help me put them down for the night.”
Never reading much into his wife's tones and tongue, Mr. Weasley gathered Bill, along with most of the food he wore, and followed Molly to the small nursery. The house was due for some serious renovations if his dream of seven little ones was to have a chance at reality, but that was a thought for another day.
The washbasin clanged as the damp, food-encrusted kitchen cloth landed inside of it with a smacking thud. Dinner had been enjoyed, though a little cool after all of the commotion, and the kitchen was spotless. Arthur had been guilt into assisting with the cleaning, and even he had to admit it was rightfully so. For such small creatures Billy and Charlie could make a right mess between them.
“I don't know about you, Arthur, but putting to bed and cleaning up after two boys should be enough to quell anyone's want for more babies.” She sighed in relief as she and her love haphazardly sat down across the table from one another. “But I will say, I think we should try for a girl. And once we have her then we stop, no matter the number.”
“I absolutely disagree.” he chimed with a smirk and a shake of his head. “Think,” he urged her, “If we have seven kids, more than likely we will have not one, but multiple girls.”
“Yes, but Darling, I want none of that physical and financial responsibility. Three is plenty.”
“Well then, we sit at an impasse, My Love.” he sighed, shrugging hopelessly, before presenting his hand to her in a fist once more. He smiled at her with challenging eyes before he spoke the corresponding words, “I guess we let luck decide.”
Molly eyed him skeptically, not sure if she wanted to partake. Upon convincing herself this antic would finally end the matter once and for all she obliged, raising her fist and cocking an eyebrow for zest. “Best of three.”
He nodded, elaborating, “If I win, we expand out number by five, regardless of gender. No more, no less. If you win, we try only until a girl is born, then stop. Agreed?”
“Rock, paper, skeezers!” they shouted in unison, Molly choosing paper and Arthur selecting rock.
“That rounds mine!” Molly cheered, smiling brightly at his defeat. “Round two. Ready?”
“Rock, paper, skeezers!”
It was the red-haired man's turn to rejoice as he playfully pretended to snip her 'paper' fingers with his 'skeezers'. “Ha! This round goes to me! Remember to alternate now, Moll'. Don't choose the same thing every time like you did this afternoon. One to go, winner takes all.”
Molly verbalized her understanding before neutralizing her hand back into rock to start again.
“Rock, paper, skeezers!”
Molly exhaled in shock as she looked down at each of their hands. Arthur had obviously planned for her to ignore his words, for she had done so whilst learning the game out of confusion and defiance. But not now. Now Molly's rock had effectively smashed his skeezers.
She had won!
“A girl it is!” Arthur remarked after the jovial disbelief drifted from his face.
“Then we had better get started.” Molly cooed, linking her fingers with his and encouraging him to follow suit as she rose from the table and guided her loving husband toward their bedroom.
Unbeknownst to them, each would become the winner. Four births, a set of twins, and eleven years later, they finally had their girl.
Author's Note: So, first one in over 3 years! Hurray! It's simple and fun, the inspiration for my return to my fan fiction. I'd love to hear your comments, so leave a review. But mostly, I just hope this made you all smile. It was a blast to write.
You can check out My Blog, link located on my Author's Page, for more information regarding updates to my stories (chapters, banners, editing, etc.), as well as pending and completed projects to come. Have a peek!