Cabbage Capers - Be Careful What You Wish For
“Your daughter has the most beautiful hair,” the salesclerk said as she neatly wrapped up his wife's purchases.
Draco thought his eyes might fall out of he rolled them one more time. This was the third time on this shopping excursion that someone had mistaken Gareth for a girl. He'd told Ginny that it was past time for the little boy to have a haircut, but she was having none of that, insisting that his hair was far too pretty to cut just yet. So here he was.
“Boy,” he said through gritted teeth a few moments later since his wife hadn't made an effort to correct the clerk. “He's a little boy.”
Her cheeks flushed red. “Oh! I'm sorry. I saw those pretty ginger curls and I just thought…”
“It's all right,” Ginny said, finally speaking up. She ran her fingers through Gareth's baby fine curls, adjusting his cream colored knitted hat before lifting him from the counter to perch on her hip again. “I just can't seem to bring myself to cut his hair yet. It really is pretty isn't it?” He zoned out as the two witched nattered on about how adorable his youngest son was.
She was trying to kill him that was all that was to it.
She'd made no bones about wanting a little girl. Since she didn't have one, he figured she was attempting to make Gareth into the daughter she'd always wanted. And would never have after they (more like he) had decided that two children was enough. He wasn't about to have her ruin herself by trying to have a little girl. It nearly killed him to know that with their combined families' track record of having boys, he'd never be able to give her what she so desperately wanted. So it was just best to be happy with the two they had.
He didn't want to have to share her with anymore boys than he had to anyway.
“I think it's about time Gareth had a hair cut,” he said, holding the door open for her as they exited the exclusive little wizarding shop specializing in things for the bath.
“Liam,” Ginny shouted after the little blond boy who'd darted across the snow covered square to gaze wide eyed at the enchanted Christmas tree. “Come back here right now!” She shoved her parcels at her husband before pursuing their wayward child.
“Didn't you hear me?” he asked once he'd caught up to her and waited for her lecture their five year about wandering off.
“What I said about Gareth?”
“What about him?”
He would swear on his mother's grave that she had selective hearing. “About getting his hair cut?”
“Oh that. Yes, I heard you.”
“Then why didn't you answer me?”
“I chose to ignore it,” she stated blithely.
Sometimes it was just best to leave things alone. He laced his gloved fingers with those of her free hand as they walked the crowded streets of Diagon Alley a few days before Christmas. Gareth was bundled up and hitching a ride balanced on her hip while Liam darted in and out of the crowd a few feet in front of them.
“You really should consider it,” he said as they stood in front of the toy shop window while the boys watched the display in wonderment a little while later. “People are starting to mistake him for a little girl.”
Her breath billowed out in a white plume as she sighed heavily. “His hair is too pretty to cut.”
“He is a little boy and little boys don't have long pretty hair.”
“There are many portraits hanging at the house that say otherwise.” She smirked at him before giving Gareth's curls a quick kiss.
“Ginny,” he warned. “Liam had his hair cut well before he was this old”
She gave him a hard look. “Yes, but Liam's hair wasn't nearly as pretty now was it? All straight and baby fine like it was. It needed to be cut so it would look halfway decent.”
He swallowed his growl of frustration. “I think he needs a hair cut.”
“And I think we should have another baby,” she countered, giving him that look that always caused dread to pool in the pit of his stomach.
“Whoa! How did we get here from discussing Gareth's hair?”
“Well,” she started softly. “I've been giving it a good bit of thought lately. I'm not getting any younger and I really would like to have a girl.”
Draco wrapped his arm around her shoulder and drew her close before leaning in to lightly nuzzle her ear. “Gin, this isn't the time or place to discuss this. Besides, we decided that the boys were enough remember?”
She pulled away slightly. “If I remember correctly, it was you that decided.”
“Yes, but you agreed.”
“And I reserve the right to change my mind. I've decided I want another baby.”
Draco always knew this day would come, but he never dreamt he'd be standing in front of the toy store freezing his arse off in the snow when his lovely wife decided it was time to have the I-want-another-baby talk. Witches - can't live with them…and he really couldn't live without this one.
“I think you've been spending far too much time with Sabine and Pansy,” he said. “They're bad influences you know.”
Sabine was only two months older than Gareth so it was only natural that he would spend a good deal of time with his cousin. Being Pansy's daughter was a bonus in her favor as far as Draco was concerned. It at least made her Weasley blood more tolerable.
“Sabine is the most darling little girl,” Ginny gushed, her facing lighting up. “Did you know that Pansy has been talking about having another baby?”
At least now he knew where this was coming from. The sisterhood of Weasleys could never do anything individually - it was always a team effort with at least one of them going along with whatever was going on with them so they wouldn't have to go it alone. That is how they ended up with Gareth…
“Why don't we find some place warm to finish this conversation?” he suggested. “I'm sure the kids are cold.”
Any hopes of carrying this discussion on in front of the warm fireplace in his study were immiedately dashed when Ginny grabbed Liam's hand and led them towards Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. She deposited the boys with which ever twin was behind the counter and unceremoniously tossed the other one out of the office before shutting the door and casting a silencing charm.
“It's warm. Talk,” she demanded.
He looked around the cluttered office. The desk was nearly hidden by a mound of parchments almost as tall as he. There was a long low table against the far wall where Merlin only knew what was bubbling in various cauldrons. Boxes, tins and phials littered every available surface.
“This isn't exactly what I had in mind,” he sniffed.
“This is as good as place as any.” She shoved some boxes and parchments off a small ugly bright green sofa before sitting down, crossing her arms and her legs. “I want to have another baby.”
He ran a hand through his hair as he pondered his words carefully. He decided going negative might be the best course of action. “Did you enjoy being up half the night with a crying baby? Do you really want to have to change nappies again now that we've about gotten Gareth potty trained?”
“I don't mind those things at all.”
“I wouldn't be able to take you away on long, romantic weekends while you're nursing a baby.”
“That is what we have our old age for!”
Fine, she wanted to play dirty. Two could play that game. “All right, what about the other day when you were complaining your arse looked fat? You do realize what having another baby will do right?”
She spluttered indignantly. “It won't matter to me as long as I get my baby girl. And you think my arse is fat do you?”
“No! Let's get this straight right now,” he said firmly, not wanting to her to get the wrong impression. He much preferred his bed to the transfigured sofa. “I was only reminding you of what you said not what I think.”
She pursed her lips and acted like she wanted to continue arguing with him, but she remained silent. He wasn't too sure she wasn't plotting ways to kill him in his sleep and dispose of his body.
“Ginny,” he said sternly, bravely daring to settle beside her on the sofa after a few silent, tense minutes. “I love you more than life itself you know that right?” She nodded, but wouldn't look at him. “And you know that I would give you anything in the world if I could?”
“Yes,” she mumbled.
“I can't promise you we'd have a little girl and I couldn't bear your disappointment. Between your family and my family girls are extremely rare. I'm sorry,” he said regretfully. In truth, he wouldn't have minded having a little girl to treat like a little princess, spoil rotten and threaten boys with bodily harm when she was older. A little mini Ginny was what he'd always had in mind. Yes, a little girl would have been very nice.
“I know,” she whispered, leaning against him for support, “but I just know that our next baby would be a little girl.”
“You don't know that for sure.” He wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head.
“I do. I can feel it, Draco. Feel it in my heart, we'd have our baby girl.”
She sounded so sure that it almost broke his heart to know that she would be wrong. And that was exactly why he didn't want to get her to get her hopes up. “Why don't we enjoy the two we have right now and revisit this discussion when Gareth starts school?”
“I thought it would be nice to have them all closer in age…” her voice trailed off as a blue sparkling Catherine Wheel squeezed through the crack beneath the door..
“What the…” Draco started when his wife opened the door and was enveloped in brightly colored bouncing fireworks and the squeals of children.
Fred darted past the office door, chasing a red dragon firework and putting out the spot fires every time it roared. “I wouldn't come out,” he yelled back to them. “We've got a bit of a mess currently.”
“You find Gareth,” Draco commanded, all the while dodging spinning fireworks as he set out into the chaos. “I'll retrieve Liam!”
He found his oldest child a few moments later splashing in the murky waters of a small portable swamp by the front counter and looking for all the world as though he was having the time of his life. His wife's hysterical shrieks caused him to stop in the middle of casting a few drying charms on Liam's shoes and robes and run across the store to see what caused her distress.
Then he saw them.
George on the floor, Gareth trapped between his legs so he couldn't escape. The little boy was desperately trying to squirm out of his uncle's grasp while wearing only his training pants, the rest of his clothing were no where to be seen.
But that wasn't the worst of it.
The worst of it was the piles of ginger curls that littered the floor, tangled in wads of Billion Blue Bubbles Blowing Gum. Half of the little boy's head had been sheared like he was a little lamb and his uncle was desperately trying to finish the job.
“What have you done to my baby?” Ginny asked hotly, kneeling down and holding her arms out to him. Gareth launched himself into her arms, crying and pulling at the sticky wads of gum in his hair. “You cut his hair!”
“They found the stash of special Christmas Crackers,” Fred offered quickly.
“It needed cutting anyway,” George said with a shrug.
She slapped at her brother's arm. “I didn't want his hair cut!”
“He was looking like a little girl.”
She looked over what was left of Gareth's hair with tears glistening in her eyes. “You've ruined it!”
“Awah, Gin Gin,” George said, scooting away from her as if a little distance might save him from her wrath. “It's just hair, it'll grow back.”
“That's not the point! And where are his clothes? He's shivering!”
“I'll find them,” Draco said quickly, anything to get away from the little family drama that was playing out before him, much to his amusement, before his wife caught his all-too-pleased grin. He'd actually gotten his way without having to dirty his hands or suffer through her righteous indignation. The gods must have smiled upon his fortune this day.
Ginny redressed Gareth quickly, all the while complaining bitterly about the state of his locks as the grown-up wizards watched her with a mixture of fear and trepidation.
“Mummy,” a little trembling, watery voice came from behind her. “I think my nose is bleeding.”
Liam stepped into view, the front of his robes covered in the bright red blood that was flowing freely from his nose. Ginny immediately abandoned Gareth to see to her other child. She clamped his nose shut with her hand and tilted his head back while cradling him against her body. “It's okay baby, Mummy will make it stop.”
Draco didn't think a body that little could hold so much blood. Seeing one of his sons in distress first hand was far more gut wrenching than actually hearing about it after the fact which was usually how he dealt with matters such as these. He was at a loss as to what to do so he offered his pristine white handkerchief to his wife to help staunch the blood flow.
“Uhm, Gin…you might not want to do that to him,” one twin started.
“He'll drown in the blood,” the other filled in.
“He needs to eat the other half of the Nosebleed Nougat!”
“Where is it?” she demanded just as Liam coughed up a mouth full of blood all over her cream colored cashmere sweater set.
“Candy!” Gareth said delightedly, stuffing half of a piece of candy he found on the floor into his mouth.
Draco lunged for his youngest child, just missing him as he took off down the aisle. “Gareth, no! Don't eat that!” Luckily for him, his legs were much longer than the little boy's legs and he caught up with him in two strides. “Give that to me,” he demanded, holding out his hand for him to spit out the candy. Gareth refused, forcing him to have to dig the partially chewed piece out of the little boy's mouth with his fingers.
He handed the disgusting piece of nougat to his wife to give to Liam who in turn refused to eat it after it'd been in his brother's mouth. It took the both of them to hold him down and force it in his mouth so he wouldn't bleed to death.
After the blood ceased to flow and the appropriate promises of long painful deaths had been made, Draco took his wife and children home. He was physically and mentally exhausted as he followed them through the evening ritual of bathes, pyjamas, supper, brushing teeth and tucking them in for the night. He'd been giving the task of disposing of their ruined robes. No matter how many cleaning charms he tried, he just couldn't get all the blood out of hers.
He settled down on his side of the large bed with a book after a long, hot shower to rinse away the evidence of his oldest child's near death experience. His bit of reading was quickly forgotten as he mentally ran through the events of the afternoon. He honestly didn't think he could deal with another child on top of the two they already had. Couldn't Ginny see they were outnumbered as it was? Adding a third child to the mix would be like throwing kerosene on an open flame.
Although, she really seemed to have her heart set on having another baby. He sighed as his thoughts turned to appeasing her whim. Being a mother was what she was made for and who was he to deny her the joy that having children brought her? She really was a good mother, far better than all of her sisters combined.
And he was never really any good at denying her anything she really wanted.
He'd tell her the next time she mentioned having more children that it was all right with him. He couldn't help but smile as he imagined her happiness at the news. He could already picture what their new child would look like - a perfect blending of them - big gray eyes and unruly red hair. They did make truly beautiful children together if he said so himself. And if they did have a little girl, then it was all the better.
Ginny's soft warm lips on his bare shoulder startled him awake. “My poor pumpkin is still trying to figure out what happened to all his hair,” she said quietly.
“What's he doing?”
“He's lying there in bed patting his head, feeling around for the curls and then he'll rub his hands over the stubble that's left.”
“He'll get used to it in a couple days,” Draco assured her while fighting the urge to grin from ear to ear because his baby finally looked like the little boy that he was. "How is the little monster?"
She sighed. “I know, but I'm going to miss his sweet little curls. Liam is sleeping like a little log. I think he's still a bit traumatized.”
“You were in the bath an awful long time,” he said by the way of changing the subject before they went to down a path he didn't want to venture down again any time soon.
“I know,” she whispered, snuggling against him. “I was doing a lot of thinking while I soaked.”
He kissed her languidly, pulling her across his lap so she was straddling his thighs. “Dare I ask?”
“I've decided you were right.”
He tore his eyes way from the enticing display of her breasts that were barely hidden by the black silky material she wore to blink confusedly at her. “I was?”
Her fingers drew lazy patterns over the skin of his finely muscled torso. “Liam and Gareth are more than a handful right now, and I do love being able to go away with you on a moment's notice. Right now might not be the best time to have another baby.”
“If that is what you want,” he said flatly, a sharp stab of disappointment welled up in his chest.
“It is.” She tenderly kissed him. “But I reserve the right to reopen negotiations later on if I change my mind.”
“Fair enough,” he agreed, sliding his hands up the soft skin of her thighs, pushing her nightgown up as he went only to discover she was knickerless. She smiled wickedly at his enthusiastic murmur of appreciation. “Now, you naughty little witch, you need to help me forget about seeing Liam nearly bleeding to death every time I close my eyes.”
“I think I can do that,” she purred in his ear, promptly making him forget everything, including his own name at that very moment.
Thanks to dragonsangel68 for the read through. You're a doll!
By the way, I don't own Draco or Ginny. They belong to JKR and all her lovely publishing companies.
Leave a Review