Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended
Summary: Molly and Arthur disapprove of Harry and Ron. Written for the Harry/Ron Fuh-Q-Fest Challenge.
Distribution: Ask first, please.
Author's Note: Many thanks to my betas Liss and Merin.
"So, Ron," Molly said, as she sliced the cherry tart. "You're looking rather cheerful these days."
"Mu-um," Ron moaned, in his typical teenage fashion. "I'm always cheerful when the hols start."
"That's not what I mean, dear." Molly placed a plate in front of her youngest son, then cut an even larger slice for the boy sitting next to him. She turned back to Ron. "You seem almost well, if there was a girl in your life, you'd tell me, wouldn't you?"
Ron's expression twitched slightly and a blush crept up from his shirt collar, but he answered, "No, Mum. There's there's no girl."
She looked to Harry for confirmation, but he was bent studiously over his cherry tart and did not look up.
However, Molly had lived through five sons' escapades over a goodly number of years; she was sure Ron was hiding some romantic liaison. One didn't appear chronically verging on 'giddy' for a mere summer holiday.
"Ronald Weasley," she intoned, though her expression was light. He looked up from his plate suspiciously, and even Harry stopped eating long enough to glance sideways at his friend. "I am your mother, and I can tell when you are lying. Now, your brothers have had sometimes interesting taste in girls, but I assure you I did not send Howlers to a single one of them for their choices. Not even when Bill was seeing that French girl who was so much younger than he. And I rather liked that black boy Ginny was seeing last summer - is she still with him?" Ron shook his head mutely. "Pity that. He was very nice to your sister, and he kept your father enthralled with tales of his Muggle upbringing. Rather like you, dear." She smiled at Harry before turning back to her son. "Well, your turn now. Out with it."
Ron paled slightly. "I told you, there is no-" Molly's coaxing smile turned into a calculated scowl, but Ron only hesitated, sharing another glance with the black-haired boy beside him. It didn't surprise Molly in the slightest that Harry knew whatever Ron was hiding; those two had been practically glued together since their first year and by now seemed able to communicate without uttering a word. If he needed the confidence of his best friend to confess whatever youthful romance was in his life, so be it. She waited patiently, eyebrow raised to let her youngest son know he would not escape without a reply.
Finally, Ron blew out a breath and flicked his eyes back to his mother. "It's - It's Harry."
Molly blinked in surprise. "Oh, is Ginny seeing Harry now? But I was asking about--"
She saw Ron gape at her and, in a rush, she realised what he was implying. But she didn't want to believe it.
"You're seeing Harry." It wasn't a question.
The red hair bobbed nervously in affirmation. Molly could see Harry quietly taking his hand under the table.
"I-" She looked back and forth between the two boys, now sitting as one unit in her kitchen; no longer two boys, but a set. The silence stretched out until, finally, she drew a deep breath and murmured, "I love both of you, but I have to think about this." Then she fled from the kitchen.
Harry and Ron watched in frozen silence as Molly left the room; they heard her go up the stairs and then her bedroom door banged shut. For long moments neither of them moved or breathed, unsure what to say or do. Ron's fingers squeezed Harry's until they hurt, but Harry did not complain. Instead, he whispered, "I didn't think she'd flip like that."
Ron released Harry's hand and buried his head in his palms. "I should've guessed. She's always had definite opinions on things. I didn't know exactly how she felt about this, but she's pretty traditional. Doesn't mind Muggles, but otherwise, life has to pretty much go according to normal plan, and this just doesn't."
Harry ran his now-free hand along Ron's back, wishing he could do more to make the situation better. "The Dursleys think my whole life is abnormal, but I don't really care what they think anymore. Your family's different, though - they matter." He bit his lip. "What do we do now?"
Ron's shrugged, his wide bony shoulders pushing up through the fabric of his worn t-shirt. "I dunno. I-"
"You two should go down to the lake - it's so nice." Ginny came into the kitchen, tossing a towel onto the nearest chair. "Just watch out for the sea serpent." She stopped, noticing the boys' troubled faces. "What's going on?"
Harry had yanked back his hand the moment Ginny had entered, but was having trouble knowing where to put it instead; he fumbled with the fork in front of him, hastily taking a bite of tart. He heard Ron mumble "Nothing" in response to his sister's query, but he knew that wouldn't satisfy her.
Sure enough: "It doesn't look like nothing. Besides, your ears are all red."
"It's nothing!" Ron insisted. "We were just going out." Then, grabbing Harry by the hand, he pulled the other boy from his seat and ran off.
Ginny watched the two boys leave hand in hand, eyes first narrowed in thought, then widening in understanding.
Molly paced in her room. How could they? How could they? She truly did love them both; that wasn't the issue. But they were like brothers, weren't they? Surely she had always treated Harry as an extra son. The idea of two of her sons being romantically involved with each other made her cringe in disgust, no matter how much she tried to tell herself they were not actually related. And she was shocked to learn either one of them - much less both of them - was gay. She supposed there were worse things - it wasn't like being a murderer or anything, but still - having a gay family member happened to other people. Her boys - she squeezed her eyes shut at the thought that her boys were doing things - were both heavily into Quidditch, cared not a whit for their appearances, and had none of Ginny's and Hermione's more genteel tastes. Gay? She would not have believed it if Cassandra Vablatsky herself had foretold it. And there was the fact that Harry was well, Harry. She did not want to be associated with the public scandal which would almost certainly come out of this. Arthur received enough irritatingly negative press as it was, but it would be nothing compared to the headline she imagined. "Boy Who Lived Flaming Gay, Involved with Ministry Employee's Son!" She cringed again.
Why couldn't they find girls and be normal, like everyone else? She suspected Hermione had been a bit keen on Ron in the past and she remembered Ginny's former crush on Harry very clearly. Those would be lovely matches, but, really, any girl would do, as long as she was honourable and treated her boys well. She wanted them to find love and happiness - what mother wouldn't? And she had to admit both Ron and Harry were honourable - but it just wasn't right for them to be in love with each other. It wasn't.
When Arthur came home from work that evening, he found Molly, Harry, Ron and Ginny all sitting rather stiffly around the kitchen table. "Is everything all right?" he asked as he hung his cloak on a peg.
"Never been better," Ron mumbled, pushing his fork around on his plate.
Arthur looked at him for a moment, then glanced at his wife for confirmation. But Molly only shook her head and said nothing.
"All right," he said slowly. He sat down and pointed his wand at the bowl on the far side of the table. "Accio potatoes!" Then he turned to his daughter, who was sitting next to him.
"So, Ginny, how was your day?"
"All right," she answered genially, more relaxed than she had appeared a moment before. "David Filbert is visiting his gran again and he came over to swim in the lake with me for a bit. The sea serpent nearly took off his toe, but he hit it with a Tarantallegra hex - you should have seen it, Dad. I've never seen anything squirm so much!"
Arthur smiled. "Oh, I don't know. You should have seen Charlie before his first day at Hogwarts - he practically wriggled onto the train, he was so excited!" Everyone laughed, breaking the silence. "David Filbert, eh?" he continued, eyeing her curiously. "Isn't he the one with a Muggle mother?"
"Yes. His father's a wizard, though."
"Splendid! You must invite him round sometime so we can discuss plugs and things. I should like to meet him. Especially if he's going to be seeing my daughter in a bathing costume." He winked at Ginny as everyone laughed again. "Is he a good lad, Gin?" She nodded, flushing slightly. "Well, bring him in next time, all right?"
Arthur turned to the boys across from him. "So, what about you two?"
Immediately, the lighthearted tone vanished again. "What about us?" Ron asked edgily.
"I was just asking if you two had similar romantic escapades to share," Arthur replied calmly, wondering at the abrupt change in tone. "That's all."
Ron shook his head vehemently. "Please just drop it, Dad," he begged.
"Ginny, you may be excused," Molly cut in.
"But Mum, I already kn-"
"To your room, Ginny. Now, please. And," she added, as Ginny reluctantly got to her feet, "don't let me catch you with one of the twin's Extendable Ears, either."
As soon as the kitchen door closed, she turned to her husband. "They're together, Arthur."
He frowned in confusion. "Who is?"
"Those two." Molly pointed at Harry and Ron.
"They're what?" Arthur whipped his head back to the boys. They shrank back into their seats, still silent.
"Together," Molly repeated flatly. "With each other. You wanted to know if they had any 'romantic escapades' well, there it is."
"You and Harry?" Arthur confirmed. Ron nodded defiantly. His father brightened. "So, is it true that when it's two boys, they have to-"
"Arthur!" Molly broke in. "This is not the time for research."
"Sorry, dear," he said, a bit sheepishly. Then he turned back to Ron and Harry. "It's just well, aren't there any girls you want? I'm sure Hogwarts has loads."
Both boys shook their heads.
Molly was nearly wringing her hands now. "Harry's one of our sons! This is practically incest!"
"I don't care," Ron said stubbornly, finally speaking up. "And it's not like he's really a Weasley, after all. Besides, when people get married, they become part of the family. He just did it before we got together - what's the difference?"
"You're getting married?" Molly shouted.
"Noooo!" Ron groaned. "We're only seventeen, Mum, get a grip. Besides, blokes aren't allowed to get married anyway. I was just saying -- what does it matter that you already made him part of the family? You've welcomed Hermione into the family, but you probably wouldn't complain about her snogging one of us, would you?"
"That's different -- Hermione's a girl."
"What if she was snogging Ginny?" Ron countered.
"She's not, is she? What about David Filbert?" Arthur asked, frowning.
"I can't believe this." Ron put his head in his hands. Harry heard him mumble "Missing the fucking point" under his breath.
Harry put a hand on Ron's arm to quiet him. "Mr and Mrs Weasley - I'm sorry. I really am," he told the two adults. "You've always been so great toward me and you have no idea how much that's meant to me. Ron and I didn't plan this. We grew up thinking we'd be with girls, just like you wanted. But I love him. And he loves me." Ron lifted his head and smiled weakly at the green-eyed boy. "It wasn't easy for us to make that change," Harry went on, his voice cracking slightly, "to risk everything we'd had as friends. But we couldn't ignore what we felt." He watched Molly cringe, and his own expression, which had been hopeful, fell. "I we just hoped you'd understand," he finished, quietly.
Molly shook her head. "I'm sorry, Harry. We can't." She looked to her husband for support.
"Well, Ron," Arthur began, hesitating slightly. "I don't suppose you and Harry could just go back to being friends? For your mother's sake?"
Ron reached out and gripped Harry's hand again, glaring at his parents as he did so. "I'm sorry, Dad," he replied firmly. "We can't."
18 Feb 2004
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