"Well, isn't this nice," said Molly, handing around a large plate.

Draco looked at the forest of toothpicks rising from the plate and suppressed a shudder. Dried out pineapple squares with the husk cut off improperly? Tiny chunks of an unidentifiable variety of cheese? He spotted an olive and snatched it up, only then noticing it had a pimiento stuffed into it, rather than being an unadulterated example of the species. He gave a tiny little sigh, which was cut off abruptly as Ginny's nails sank into the back of his hand. She shot him a killing look even as she covered for him by saying brightly, "Thanks, Mum, but you really didn't have to go to any trouble."

"Oh, it's not trouble, darling, I'm just happy that you two have finally found the time to come visit your old mum. I've missed you, you know." Draco fought not to roll his eyes and prayed for the olive to be poisoned. Not enough to kill him, but enough to make him sick enough to leave. No matter how fiercely he chewed, the olive did not seem to be cooperating. "And here's Harry!"

Draco choked on the remains of the unfortunate olive, getting a few solid whacks between his shoulder blades for his troubles. "Not a word," his wife hissed, and Draco stifled the urge to protest. As if this dinner didn't promise to be bad enough, with all six of her large and insane brothers in attendance, someone had invited her ex-boyfriend, also known as "the man her family wanted her to marry."

If Draco hadn't hated him with the intensity of a thousand fiery suns, though, he might've been grateful to the bastard for saying, "I'm starving - shall we go sit down for dinner?"

Or maybe not, considering there was some distinctly undignified maneuvering going on to try to place Draco next to his mother-in-law and Ginny all the way at the other end of the table, with Harry. Draco managed to keep Ginny next to him by dint of holding onto her hand tightly enough to cut off her circulation, but he was still trapped next to the Weasley matriarch, making it a bit of a Pyrrhic victory. That Molly spent most of the meal fawning over Harry and making slighting comments about Draco keeping Ginny all to himself made him wonder if maybe he could go back and try again to find an obligingly poisonous olive.

The traditional fish and soup courses were apparently combined in the form of a heavily spiced eel stew. He wished that no one had told him that, actually, because he'd been enjoying it a lot before knowing what it contained. Thankfully, Molly accepted the excuse of wanting to save room for the main course as the reason why his spoon had dropped so abruptly to the table. Molly smiled broadly and said. "Of course, of course, it's time to bring out the roast. Ginny, will you help me?"

The women retired to the kitchen, leaving Draco to become the sole focus of eight men whose stares communicated quite clearly that they believed his presence was a mistake, and the best way to correct that mistake was to carry him out in a pine box. Just as he was poised to run before her father leapt across the table, Ginny came in, carrying three big bowls. "Mashed swede!" said one of her brothers, and another shouted, "Snap beans!" and still a third cried out, "Roast potatoes!"

Unsure of how they could tell the difference, as all three dishes looked somewhat grey, Draco nevertheless took a bit from each platter. He'd just shaken off the last serving spoon when Molly entered, proudly carrying a whole sucking pig, complete with an apple in its mouth. As she set it down, Ginny leaned over to whisper in Draco's ear. "Now what's the matter?"

Draco swallowed against the rising bile in his throat. "Do you remember that movie you made me watch, with the little pig who could herd sheep?"

Before Draco could explain further, Ginny went dead white and scrambled out of her chair to run out of the room. Loud retching sounds could be heard shortly thereafter.

All the Weasley heads turned synchronously to stare at Draco, who thought fast and said, "She's been feeling a bit ill in the mornings lately..."

"Sick? In the morning?" Molly's eyes lit up. "Is she--"

With what he hoped was the right amount of bashfulness, Draco said, "It's a bit too early to tell yet, but we're hoping the doctor gives us good news."

"Oh! Oh! Babies!" Molly hugged him and he grinned over her shoulder at Harry, who was looking furious and vaguely ill. She disentangled herself and shooed him towards where the sounds of Ginny's stomach rebellion were coming from. "Go on, you take care of her, get her ready to go home. I'll pack up the dessert to see if you can tempt her to eat later. And make sure she drinks plenty of milk!"

Draco nodded and went to Ginny, and shortly afterwards they found themselves back at their own home, carrying an enormous chocolate cake with chocolate-hazelnut icing and a large tub of homemade vanilla ice cream. Draco put them away in the kitchen after serving himself large portions of each, bringing them with him to the bedroom. "The good news," he said, "is that I can truthfully say your mother makes the best desserts I've ever tasted."

"The better news," he said, dragging a finger through the icing and then smearing it on her lips, "is that we need to start seriously practicing the art of making babies for your mother to dote on."

She licked her lips. "Do we need practice?"

"Oh yes. Lots."

Author notes:

In case y'all missed one of the best kid movies ever, the pig thing is a reference to "Babe" - just don't watch it if you plan to eat pork anytime soon.

Leave a Review
You must login (register) to review.