Summary: Ron tells his daughter about some of his past.
It was Christmas Eve, and like many children of the world, Margaret couldn't sleep. Her light brown hair was tousled and tangled from turning about in vain attempts to get to sleep. She sighed and put on her glasses. Maybe Mummy or Dad would be up.
It sounded rotten, but Margaret hoped it was her mum who was up. She loved both her parents very, very much, but her mum seemed… easier to talk to. Maybe because of her gender or that she seemed more open, Margaret didn't know. She was only twelve, and about as far away from a psychology major as little Bobby from growing chest hair.
She went down the stairs and looked into the den. To her surprise, the fire was still going. Her dad's red mop of hair peeked out over the couch. Ron was staring at the fire, clearly at another place and time. He took no notice of his daughter coming into the room.
Ron stretched out his long arms and legs out as far as he could without waking his sleeping wife. He never could get to sleep on Christmas Eve. Family tradition, I guess, he thought as he rolled out of bed onto the carpeted floor. His pyjamas were worn out and a little short (they should be, considering he'd had them for a good 20 years), but Ron liked them that way. He walked quietly across the floor, skipping around the floorboard that squeaked, and went to build up the dwindling fire. As he put logs on the flames, his mind drifted back to his Hogwarts days, and the Gryffindor common room, with the big puffy chairs and the warm fire that was always going. The times they had there, seen and unseen, would not easily be forgotten by one of its former occupants.
"Dad?" A small, almost timid voice came from behind the sofa. Margaret stood there, her purple pyjamas as worn out as his own.
"Yes, Maggie?" Hermione disapproved of the nick-name, so of course Ron used it whenever he could.
"I can't sleep." Apparently insomnia did run in the family.
"Come here, then. We'll both keep each other company." Ron scooted over to allow his second oldest daughter room on the couch. Looking at her, she looked more like Hermione than ever. Light brown, bushy hair that had lightened up a lot over the years. Large front teeth that could easily be fixed within a few minutes, but Hermione insisted she wait until she was fourteen. There were a few things that were from his side of the family. Her blue eyes, just like her fathers, the glasses, like Grampapa. She looked up at him and smiled. Margaret had been growing up, he realized. Right in front of his eyes as well! He grinned back at her.
"Tell me a story." Ron almost chuckled. Margaret had always loved stories. As a little girl, she had loved stories from Hogwarts as well as Muggle fairy tales.
"Once upon a time, there was a pretty little girl. She had two parents, a brother and a sister, and they all loved her very much. One day, however, the little girl grew up into a young lady. Nobody really noticed at first, but first her mom caught on, then her sister, then even her four year old brother did. Only the dad still thought that she was a little girl. Do you know something Margaret?"
"That story was about you. You've grown up, and I haven't even noticed."
"It's to be expected. Mummy said you were thick as a cauldron bottom at personal things."
Ron scoffed. "I was thick? Dear Maggie, you haven't heard the half of it! When we were in school, your mum was sharp as a pin when it came to academics, but she couldn't see love coming if it hit her in the face!" Margaret giggled. "It's true! When I first met her, she was a bit…. Well, er, bossy. Don't even think about telling her that either!" He added as she got a very Fred and George-ish look in her eye. "By the end of our first year, I was sure that something had happened beyond being best friends. I just didn't know what! Mummy, however, was still in the dark."
Maggie was trying extremely hard not to roll her eyes. She had heard her mother's version of the story, and apparently, both of them were "in the dark" at this point.
"Anyway, over the summer, I convinced myself that this 'development' was a figment of my imagination. When we got back to school, the feeling started again, this time stronger than before. It was kind of obvious, considering that I threw up slugs for her."
"Threw up slugs for her. Malfoy, the git, called her…… called her a…….." He whispered in her ear the forbidden word. Margaret's eyes were as big as saucers.
"So that's where……." She trailed off like she had said something she hadn't meant to.
"I'll tell you after you finish the story."
"Fine. Anyway, he called her…That… and I was extremely angry. My wand had almost snapped in half earlier in the year, and the only thing holding it together was Spellotape. Anyway, I tried to curse him, and it backfired. I was barfing slugs for a good thirty minutes. It's not funny!"
Margaret had collapsed into giggles and Ron was swatting her playfully on the arm. "She was grateful, of course, but she still hadn't noticed anything. All throughout that year, people were being petrified by a monster. Has Professor Bones taught you about the Chamber of Secrets yet?" Maggie nodded. "Yes, well, you know that it was opened my second year then?" Another nod. "Did you know your mum was petrified?" A slow, scared shake from side to side. "Mum was the first to figure it out. She was coming back from the library to tell us. She saw Aunt Penelope and told her. They held up a mirror and saw the monster, and were petrified." Margaret's blue eyes were rapt with attention. She had heard that her father had been adventurous, but she hadn't even imaged this. "Let me tell you something, Margaret. I hope you never, never have to go through something like that. It was hell." He rubbed his eyes, and opened them back up again. "Come on, it's late, we should get in bed."
"Daddy! You haven't finished the story yet!"
"Maybe tomorrow. And you never told me what got where from!"
"What?" Margaret raised an eyebrow, looking comically like Mrs. Weasley.
"When I told you about Malfoy, you said something about him getting it from somewhere."
"Oh….." Margaret blushed in true Weasley fashion as they climbed the stairs up to her room. "Well, during DADA, Hannibal's always a prat."
Ron's expression darkened. "He's not making fun of you, is he?" They entered Margaret's room.
"No, he only did that once. After class I put a Bat-Bogey Hex on him, and he left me alone after that. If he gets out of line though, he'll get the full force version." She climbed into bed as Ron tucked the covers around her.
Ron tried to not laugh. "You certainly have my permission to do so!" He lowered his voice to a whisper. "As long as Mummy doesn't know, I think we're safe." They both erupted into laughter. "Good-night, Mags."
Ron shut her door and went down the stairs. As quietly as he could, he snuck back into bed. Slowly, he drifted of into dreamland.
It's been said that there are times to remember, and that when the time comes, the opportunity should not be wasted. In this case, angels smiled down upon two Weasleys for not wasting that opportune moment.