Title: Just Like Mum
Pairing: Harry/Ginny, lots and lots of George, with mentions of George/Angelina, Ron/Hermione and Arthur/Molly
Word Count: ~2100
Summary: What the daughter does, the mother did. ~Jewish Proverb (Or, Ginny's more than a little dismayed to learn she's more like her mum than she thought.)
Author/Artist's Notes: snuggle_muggle, you asked for the reflections to be themes/actions repeating themselves again after a few years either by the same person or by a different generation. You also asked for Lily and James' actions repeating in Harry and Ginny, but, well, Lily and James were being highly uncooperative. Molly, however, was was more than willing to help.
Many, many thanks to the amazing and wonderful sherylyn for her super-speedy beta job. I was still late, but because of her, I got this posted today instead of next week. ♥
"That… that… grrrr."
George Weasley raised an eyebrow and watched as his little sister systematically beat what he thought was supposed to become a loaf of bread to within an inch of its life. He winced when she landed a punch with so much force that the bowls on the countertop rattled.
"Problems, Ginny?" he asked from the doorway.
"Bloody wanker, thinking he can just… Who does he think he is?" she muttered. "Just because he's the bloody Chosen One. Well, I'll show him, the tosser."
"Ah. I see. That makes complete sense."
She ignored him in favour of more muttering, slamming a bowl down on the counter and throwing the dough into it.
"You know," he said conversationally, "you look just like Mum when you do that."
That brought her up short. "I'm not like Mum," she said, glaring at him. "I'm nothing like her."
"You are," George replied, stepping into the kitchen to lean against the countertop. "You're exactly like her."
She frowned at him. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Just look at you, Gin-Gin," he said. "You've got the stove-top full, bread rising on the counter, biscuits in the oven and you're muttering over there about something one of the boys has done. Just like Mum does when she's angry."
Ginny sighed. "I can't help it. He just makes me so…so…"
"So… ughhhh!" She threw her hands up in the air, and George fought a grin.
"So…what can I do to help? Would you like me to hex him? Or we've got some new products in the shop we could test on him. I'm sure Ron would love to help."
"You will do no such thing, George Weasley. Leave him alone."
"Ah. See," he said, "just like Mum. You even have your hands on your hips like she does. It's downright scary, actually."
"Is that so? And how is that 'just like Mum,' since you know so much?"
"That, my dear sister," he said, standing up and going over to sneak a biscuit off the cooling rack, "is your protective mother-bear instinct going into overdrive at the thought of someone harming one of your loved ones."
She blinked at him. "You just sounded exactly like Hermione. Did you know that?"
He shrugged unrepentantly. "She's been around the shop a lot, now that Ron's joined as partner. Besides, nine times out of ten, she's right."
"Fine," she said, "suppose I concede the point that I'm like Mum—and I'm not ready to do that yet, so wipe that grin off your face, you wanker—what does that have to do with the price of tea in Hogsmeade?"
"It has everything to do with it," he explained patiently. "It defines how you relate to people, how you deal with them when they start to get on your nerves. And it explains why you're baking up a storm while simultaneously cooking a three-course dinner and seriously considering hexing Harry Potter's bits to the great beyond."
She smirked a bit at that—she was definitely entertaining the idea of hexing the git. He deserved it, the plonker.
"Do you want to talk about it?" George asked. "I know I'm not the best at offering advice on love or anything, but I'm a good listener."
She gave him a sceptical look.
"I am," he insisted. "Why do you think Ron and Hermione got back together after their last big row?"
"Ron and Hermione row every third day," she commented. "You didn't do anything. They're used to it."
"Ron and Hermione were in trouble, Ginny," George said seriously. "I didn't think they'd make it for a while there."
"You don't have to talk to me," he said, "if you don't want. But if you want any sort of chance to make this relationship with Harry work—"
"There is no relationship with Harry," she replied. "That's the problem."
He narrowed his eyes at her. "Yeah?"
"You don't believe me?"
"I believe that Harry thinks there's a relationship," he said carefully. "Or that there was one, at least. Why is it that you don't?"
"Because he's a git," she said, her tone matter-of-fact.
"Hang on. This is Harry we're talking about, right? Harry Potter? About so tall—" he held up his left hand to indicate Harry's height—"wears specs? Messy hair? Has a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead? The least gitty bloke I've ever met? That Harry?"
She sighed and turned to start water for tea before heading to the table. "You don't understand," she said.
"Then make me understand. Look, Ginny, I may not know what’s going through either of your overly-thick skulls, but I do know that the both of you are miserable, and he doesn’t know how to fix it."
He held up his hand to interrupt her. "And don't try to tell me he doesn't want to fix it, Ginny. Because he does. He told me so."
She sank into one of the chairs at the table, looking pensive. "You really think he wants to talk to me?"
"Merlin, Gin, he's been moping around the shop for weeks now. What's this all about, really?"
"I… I told him I need some time. You know. Just to figure things out."
"And so he gave you some time?"
"Yes," she said grudgingly.
"And here we are, three months later, and you still haven't talked to him?"
"We've talked," she said defensively.
"Have you really? About things more important than the weather?"
"Well, no, but… Why should I be the one to do all the talking?" she burst out.
George struggled to keep from rolling his eyes. "Does he know you're waiting on him to make the first move?"
She squirmed in her chair.
"You really are just like Mum," he said, shaking his head. "Stubborn as a Skrewt, you are."
"Really, Gin-Gin. Don't try to deny it. I wouldn't be surprised if you used the same line on Harry that Mum tried on Dad."
She raised an eyebrow at him. "What are you talking about, George?"
"You don't know? Seriously?" She shook her head, looking confused. He leaned forward and looked her in the eye. "You're doing exactly what she did with Dad. How can you not know?"
"Well, since I have no idea what you're talking about, I can't know what it is I don't know, can I?" she asked peevishly. "Mind filling me in?"
"Mind filling you in? Watching you as the understanding dawns and the torch suddenly lights and appears above your head? Listening as—"
"You really have been spending too much time with Hermione. Can you get on with it, please?"
"All right, all right," he said. "Hang onto your hippogriffs." He Summoned two Butterbeers and opened one, offering the other to Ginny. "Want one?"
"What?" he said. "I'm thirsty."
"Patience, little sister. I need to set the mood first." He drew his wand and prepared to cast a spell that would improve the atmosphere in the room, but she interrupted him.
"If you don't start explaining yourself by the time I count to three," she said, "I won't be held responsible for my actions. And I won't need a wand to drive my point home, George."
"Okay, fine," he said. "Merlin. Don't get your knickers in a twist."
She gave him a pointed look.
"Right," he said, clearing his throat. "Well. Can I at least set the story up correctly?"
"If you must. As long as you quit dawdling and do it."
"All right, then. Once upon a time—"
"'Once upon a time?' Really, George?"
"Do you want to hear this or not?"
She huffed impatiently. "Go on, then."
"Once upon a time," he repeated, giving her a cheeky grin, "there was a boy and a girl, who were in love. Both had red, red hair—"
"Mum and Dad?" He gave her a quelling look. "Right. Sorry. Continue, please."
"Both had red hair and fiery personalities, although the girl was just a bit more fiery than the boy."
"Just a bit," Ginny said, snorting.
He ignored her and continued. "This couple was very much in love, so much that they had agreed to marry, despite the fact that they had just finished school and there were indications of a horrible war on the horizon."
"George," she interrupted again, "it's not that I don't appreciate your storytelling—because I do—but do you think you could get to the point? Please?"
"The point, Ginny," he said, "is that when Mum's brothers died, she pulled away from Dad. She told him she needed time. And he gave it to her. He backed off. He was miserable… they were miserable, but because he loved her, he gave her the time she asked for. Well, you know Dad. He waited for her. He waited for her to call him back." He paused, waiting for Ginny to see the similarities between her story and their mum's.
"Do you know why Mum told me this story?" he asked suddenly.
"No," she said cautiously.
"Angelina and I, we'd been seeing each other, did you know?" She nodded. "Well, we were close, you know, before the final battle. After Fred, though…" He trailed off. "After the final battle, I just couldn't deal with anything. And so I asked Angelina for time. And she gave it to me. She left me alone, just like I asked. And then… "
"And then it was easier just to let her leave me alone," he said, shrugging. "It was easier for me to say I was waiting for her to come back to me, when she was just doing what I'd asked."
"Mum… she was waiting for Dad, wasn't she? Like you were waiting for Angelina?"
"Like I've been waiting for Harry. Merlin," she said, "I'm an idiot."
"I don’t know if I’d go that far. Idiot is such a harsh word. You have been a bit of a prat, though."
"So how do I fix this mess I’ve got myself into?"
He rolled his eyes. "Talk to the boy."
"But what if he doesn’t want to see me?"
"He does," George said patiently.
"Ginny. Don’t you think I had these same arguments before I finally went and talked to Angelina? Harry’s a nice bloke and he’s arse over elbows for you. He wants to see you. He wants to talk to you. He wants to snog your brains out," he finished, waggling his eyebrows and making Ginny smile. "Trust me. When have I ever steered you wrong?"
"You mean besides that time you and Fred convinced me that Ron was an evil marionette and I kept following him around with scissors, trying to cut his strings? Or that time you wanted me to sneak into Charlie’s room and steal his—"
"Stop trying to change the subject and Floo the boy, will you?" He pulled a container of Floo powder out of his pocket and handed it to her.
"Awful convenient that you had Floo powder, just waiting to be used," she muttered as she took it from him.
"Go on, then. You remember his address, don’t you?"
"It hasn’t been that long." She stood and walked towards the fireplace, turning to ask over her shoulder, "What do I say to him?"
"Hmmm. I said, ‘Angelina, it’s George. I’ve been an idiot. Can I come through and talk to you?’ Seemed to work pretty well for me." He winked at her. "Mum told me she said almost the exact same thing, if you’re interested."
"You never give up, do you, George?"
"Nope. And you love me for it."
"Hey, now, none of that. I just gave you the ticket to restarting your relationship with Harry."
She turned and ran back to him, kissing him on the cheek. "You did, didn't you? Thanks, George. And I do love you, but if anybody asks, I'll deny it to my last breath."
"Oi, you wound me, little sister," he said, thumping his fist against his chest. "Brutal, you are." He winked at her. "Go on, Ginny. Harry's waiting."
George leaned back in his chair, taking a long drink of his Butterbeer as he watched her throw the powder into the fireplace and shout Harry's address, heard her tell him she was a prat and ask if she could come talk, and watched Harry's eyes light up before he stepped back to let her through.
Propping his feet up on the table—Mum and Ginny would both have a fit if they caught him, he knew—he tilted his Butterbeer toward the ceiling and toasted Fred. "Mischief managed."