Catch snowflakes on your tongue.
Ginny sprawled out on her stomach in front of the fireplace, open book lying forgotten next to her as she stared into the flames, transfixed by their smoldering light. After a lifetime of using the Floo, seeing a fireplace used for actual warmth and relaxation seemed as foreign as drinking water from the toilet. But she was surprised to find that she almost preferred this kind of fire – no roaring green blaze or billowing smoke that made your eyes sting; instead, just the soft glow from the flickering flames, red twisting over orange in an endless dance.
“Ginny, honey, are you sure you don’t want more marshmallows in your hot chocolate?”
Tearing her eyes from the fireplace, Ginny gave the woman hovering over her a small smile. “No, Mrs. Granger, I’m fine – thank you though.”
Hermione’s mother looked down on her redheaded daughter-in-law with a stern eye. “And how many times have I asked you to call me Eloise?”
The guttering light from the fire caught the fading streaks of white in the older woman’s chestnut hair, which was still thick and bushy even as it was greying. Ginny eyed the mass of frantic curls piled into a bun, the hairpins straining to keep their captives in check. Hermione had to have gotten the wild curling beast sitting atop her head from somewhere, she thought wryly to herself. And as they say, like mother like daughter.
She giggled sheepishly. “Apparently not enough, Mrs. Granger," she said. “It just seems strange to call you Eloise after so many years of calling you Mrs. Granger while we were in school.”
Mrs. Granger chuckled under her breath. "Quite understandable, dear." She turned around at the sound of bickering voices coming from the kitchen. “I suppose I should go break those two up before Ronald ends up with his head through the window again. Honestly, they argue more now than they did before they were married.”
She trotted off towards the direction of the kitchen and Ginny turned back to the fire, unable to suppress a smirk at the sound of Ron’s frustrated voice (“Hermione! Stop nagging!”) It was so nice to know that Ron had someone else to annoy him, now that he wasn’t living with the family anymore. Someone had to keep his blood pressure high.
The fire in front of her hissed violently, popping as the sputtering flames curled around the logs. Ginny slid closer to the fireplace, soaking in its golden warmth.
“Hey Gin,” grumbled Ron, plodding into the room. He glanced back into the kitchen where Hermione and her mother were chattering away happily as they prepared dinner. “I’ve been banished from being anywhere near the food.”
Ginny made room for her older brother beside the fireplace. “What’d you do this time?”
Ron rolled his eyes. “Who knows? Hermione insisted that I was peeling the potatoes wrong, just because I dropped some of them on the floor. And when I tried to do it by magic, she started shrieking that it ruined the taste of the stew of something like that. What an old hag.”
“I can hear you from the kitchen, Ron!”
“WHAT AN OLD HAG, BUT I LOVE HER VERY VERY MUCH!” Ron bellowed hurriedly, the tips of his ears turning red. Ginny hastily turned her laughter into a cough.
“Well, I’m just glad you came in here, Ron,” she said, recovering quickly and throwing a smile at her big brother. “I haven’t seen you very much lately.” Ginny blinked and noticed Ron eyeing her hot chocolate. “You want some?” she asked, sighing.
“Thanks!” Ron grabbed the mug and took a large gulp. He wiped his mouth on the back of his sleeve. “Yeah, you’re right. We haven’t seen each other lately. In fact,” he said, twisting his features into a frown, “it seems that you’ve been seeing a lot more of my partner than you have me.”
“Oh that.” Ginny waved an impatient hand. “Don’t worry about that, Ron – we’re just friends.”
“Friends? Why do you need more friends? What about Hermione and Luna and me?” Ron pouted.
“Don’t do that, you look like you’re five.” Ginny grabbed her mug back and took a glance inside it. Empty, of course. “You and Hermione are all busy moving into the new house and Luna’s off in, I don’t know, Scandinavia or something, looking for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks, and the rest of the family has their own business to attend to. It’s nice to have someone to spend time with, once in a while.”
“Once in a while? Do you want to know the number of times I’ve asked him how his night was and he’s flashed that smug look that he knows annoys the hell out of me and said ‘Oh mind blowing, I spent it with your sister’?”
“Well, I am a very mind blowing person, Ronald, you can’t deny that.”
Ron glared at her. She rolled her eyes and patted him on the shoulder.
“Just friends, ickle Ronnikins. If we ever start shagging, then you have my permission to be the first one to attempt to strangle him, all right?”
Ron eyed his baby sister carefully. “Can I have that in writing?”
Ginny snorted and leaned back, grabbing the bag of candy was resting on the nearby coffee table. “Here, eat some chocolate, that’ll shut you up.”
Ron looked like he wanted to continue arguing but kept quiet as she opened the package. “So,” said Ginny, tactfully changing the subject, “I barely talk to you anymore. What’s up with you lately?” She passed some of the chocolates to him. “Oh, that’s cute! Look, Ron, the candy’s shaped like snowflakes.”
“Who cares? It’s chocolate and that’s all matters,” he said, taking the bag from her. “And not much, really. Mckinley has me and Malfoy on this huge case so we’ve been following suspects all week. Oh, remind me to ask Harry for his Invisibility Cloak – I need it for tomorrow night.”
“Having a Deathly Hallow must be pretty useful when you’re catching criminals and all that, right?” Ginny said, smiling and desperately trying to ignore the mention of Harry’s name.
Ron shrugged. “It has its uses.” He grinned suddenly, grabbing a handful of candy and straightening up. “Here, catch.”
Ginny opened her mouth and Ron threw the piece of chocolate at her, trying to shoot it in her mouth.
“Ow, Ron, that was my nose! No wonder you can never play Chaser.”
“Stop being such a baby. And if I remember correctly, the last time we played Quidditch and I was Chaser, I owned you.”
“No, that was only because you had Charlie and Bill on your team while I got stuck with – ow! Hey! Stop throwing chocolate at me!”
“Oh, no, is the little baby going to cry now?” Ron taunted cheerfully. “Here, have a little more chocolate, to help you – hey!”
Ginny cackled, gleefully chucking snowflake-shaped chocolates at her brother. “Who’s the baby now?” she crowed.
“You’ll never take me alive!” Ron shouted under a barrage of chocolate. He tackled Ginny, sitting on top of her and dumping the rest of the bag directly onto her squirming head.
“Ack – Ron!”
The sound of a throat being cleared made the two of them pause. Brother and sister looked up mid-wrestle to see Hermione standing in the doorway, framed by the light streaming in from the dining room behind her. She had a stack of napkins in one hand, a heap of utensils in the other, and an expression torn between amusement and exasperation on her face.
“Honestly, will either of you ever act your age?” she asked dryly.
Ron sprang to his feet. “She started it!” He jabbed an accusing finger in her direction.
“What?” Ginny scowled. “You are such a liar, Ronald Weasley!”
Ron refrained from responding. That is, if you don’t consider him sticking out his tongue at his sister a response.
Hermione rolled her eyes. “Ron, stop bothering your sister and help me set the table.”
“Yes, Mrs. Weasley,” chirped Ron, obediently heading for the dining room. He planted a sloppy kiss on his wife’s cheek before he whisked away the napkins from her hand. Hermione rolled her eyes at Ginny, unable to keep the smile off her face, before turning and following Ron out of the room.
Completely whipped, went this little voice inside Ginny’s head. She smirked and tossed another snowflake-shaped candy into the air, leaning back slightly to catch it in her mouth.
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