Country: United Kingdom
April 30, 2020
07/23/2020 07:47 PM
31st March 1998
There was silence in the Burrow. Not a sound could be heard other than the crackling fire in the pit dying down for the evening. The room was dark, save for the dim light emitted by the flames.
It wasn’t like Molly Weasley to be sitting on the sofa, staring into the fire with wide, fear-filled eyes, but there was something inside of her which warned her: something was not right.
Molly wanted to get up and move and find something to do, but there was nothing to do.
She’d cleaned the house twelve times over that day - from top to bottom she worked her way through each and every crevice of her home.
There weren’t anymore jumpers to be sewn - though, she could always find one person or another to knit one for, so what was it?
What was wrong with the witch?
This sort of behavior wasn’t like her one bit.
Molly couldn’t explain it. She’d merely awoken with the fear: something was not right with someone she cared for, but who could it have been? Every one of their spoons on the grandfather clock pointed to ‘Mortal Peril’ now, so who could it have been?
‘Mrs. Weasley,’ a soft, crackling sound could be heard throughout the room.
Molly jumped up from the sofa and drew out her wand.
She looked around, but there was no sign of anyone in their home.
Had she gone mad? If she’d been more together - more with it, she would know exactly where to look. . . but the problem with this woman: she wasn’t herself that day.
‘Lumos,’ she chanted as her wand lit and brightened the room in ways the fire couldn’t in the evening hours.
She looked around again. There was no one there.
‘Mrs. Weasley,’ she heard again. The voice was definitely a child - just not one of her own. She began to worry even more so now. ‘Over here. . . in the fire.’
Molly turned and looked down. Of course! She could slap herself silly. Of course he was coming from the flames! How could she have acted so daft? It was quite clear Molly Weasley was not okay.
‘Nox’ she chanted, and the light on her wand was put out. Molly’s wand was replaced just before she quickly made her way over toward the pit.
Normally, she would’ve been thrilled to have been given a visitor, but not tonight. Her eyes landed on the etched out structure of Neville Longbottom. He and Ginny were close, she knew, and Molly’s heart sank.
“What’s wrong with her? What’s wrong with my Ginny?!” Molly didn’t even wait for Neville to begin before questioning him. She knew now who was in danger. Her Ginny - her little girl!
“She’s been injured. Bad. The Carrows tortured her for information about Harry. We were locked in the dungeons unable to reach Pomfrey.”
Molly’s world froze. Her heart sank, her mouth went dry, her mind went blank, and though Neville kept talking, his voice sounded so far away.
“I tried healing her, but I think I might have made it worse. (I’m not very good with Healing Magic, but I tried! Several of us did, but it didn’t work.) Her ribs are cracked in several places - that much is clear. She’s having trouble breathing. I’ve got to get her out of here, Mrs. Weasley. She- she needs medical attention and fast.”
May have gotten worse.
Molly was completely sure she was going to be ill.
She couldn’t even bear to begin to question what horrible things had gone on during the school year, and she would never forgive herself for allowing Ginny to return to the school.
“Mrs. Weasley? Mrs. Weasley? Are you there?”
It was clear Neville was beginning to worry. Molly noticed his eyes went wider and he even looked around as best he could whilst having his face buried in the pit.
Molly pulled herself together.
Ginny needed her now more than ever.
She couldn’t fail her daughter anymore.
“I’m here, dear. We’ve got to get her out of the school.”
“It wasn’t easy, but I managed to get her to the Hog’s Head. Come quickly. A friend of ours is tending to her now. I’ve got to go.”
Neville’s face disappeared and the pit returned to a normal fireplace.
Molly didn’t wait a moment longer from the time Neville disappeared to when she stood and rushed over to grab her outer robes and throw them over her body. Next she went upstairs to fetch her Healer’s bag - it was filled with everything she might need to heal her little girl.
She rushed downstairs, and with her wand drawn, she Apparated immediately to the Hog’s Head.
The once usually filled tavern was dark.
It came to no surprise at all to Molly that even Hogsmeade as a whole had changed now that the Ministry had fallen and the Dark Lord reigned over the Wizarding World.
It came to no surprise that those who once freely dwelled inside the four walls of the beloved tavern were now too afraid to step outside of the confines of their homes.
It was a terrifying world which had become their reality, but nonetheless, this was their world now.
Molly was so caught up in her own thoughts about how the world was changing that she didn’t return to the present until she heard Ginny grunting from one of the many corners of the tavern.
Her attention shot toward the sounds. Her eyes landed on Ginny laying on one of the many tables.
There was a man standing over Ginny. Did he even know what he was doing? Who was he?
All she could see was his silhouette.
“What are you doing? Molly approached the table with haste. Her eyes landed on her daughter.
There was blood everywhere. Her heart ached and her stomach sank.
“Ginny. . .” Her hand came up to cover her mouth.
Molly’s eyes stung with tears. Never did she wish to see her child lying before her like this. She was brought back to her brothers - whom she’d been forced to patch up many times before their death. It killed her a little more every time she healed them after an attack gone wrong.
“Mrs. Weasley! Praise Merlin,” said Neville. Though Molly ignored him as she rushed forward to the make-shift operating table - one normally used for anyone and their mother to come and sit and eat and drink and be merry on and around. How was this at all sanitary?!
“Why is she awake?” Molly finally was given the opportunity to put a face to the man who was standing over her child and working to fix her wounds.
Her blood ran cold the moment her eyes locked on him.
“Oh hell no. You get away from my daughter!” She pushed the man aside. “You stay away from her! I won’t let you be the reason she dies too!”
‘M- mum?’ Ginny barely let out. Molly’s eyes were filled with sadness and fear. Her hand came up to rest against Ginny’s cheek.
“Mrs. Weasley! Don’t be angry with him. He’s helping us. This is Aberforth!” Neville continued. “He’s Dumbledore’s brother.”
“I know who he is, Neville!” Molly shouted, but her voice softened as she replied to Ginny. Her hand caressed Ginny’s cheek. “I’m here, my darling.” Molly’s eyes never once left her daughter. “Don’t you ever touch anyone I love, again.”
Aberforth said nothing. “Don’t worry, Longbottom. Molly and I go way back. She still blames me for the death of her brother, Gideon.” He stepped back from the table.
“That’s because it was your fault!” Molly spat darkly beneath her breath. There was so much anger and rage. It was his fault. It was his fault Gideon died! It was his fault. If they’d only allowed her to operate instead of Aberforth, she knew Gideon would still be alive.
Aberforth didn’t respond to her comment. He looked to Neville. “You best be heading back to the school. They’ll be looking for you. We don’t want them tracking you lot here.”
All the while Aberforth was talking to Neville, Molly was speaking to Ginny. She had a cloth in her hand and was dabbing potion onto the fabric. It was an anesthetic that would allow Ginny to sleep whilst Molly healed what she needed to.
“M-mum. I’m so-sorry. I-” Ginny tried to speak but it was obviously too much for her, and her words were cut off by more cries of pain. There were tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Shh. Shh. Shh. Don’t you worry now. I’m here. I’m going to make you all better now.” Molly placed the cloth just below her daughter’s nose. Her eyes sparkled with promise of health and love - as best they could as she was forced to stare down at her daughter who was obviously in a great deal of pain - whilst Ginny’s own began to grow heavy. “Close your eyes and go to sleep for a little while.”
When Ginny was out, Molly began the healing process, whilst also putting in her two cents about Aberforth sending Neville back to school.
“Neville. You’re not going back there.” Molly snapped at the boy as if she was his own mother. Her wand was waving this way and that and potions she’d brought along with her were being poured over the many wounds. “Fetch me a bowl of hot water, dear.”
“Yes, mum.” Neville disappeared into the back kitchen.
“He’s not bloody well staying here. I’ve got a business to keep, Molly, and we’ve got a good thing going. I’m not having you ruining it.”
“I’m not the one who actively ruins plans and lives.” Her attention remained on Ginny. “. . . and I never once implied he was, Aberforth. He’s coming back with me.”
“He’s not a little boy, Molly. They’ve been fighting to protect the students in the school. He’s needed there - and honestly so is Ginny.”
Something in Molly snapped when he dared to suggest her daughter going back. She turned toward him with a glare like no other anyone had ever seen on Molly’s features before. Her chest was heaving now, but she wouldn’t step away completely from her daughter. (Molly was skilled enough in Healing that she was able to multitask)
“They are children! Harry. Ron. Hermione. Ginny. Neville. All of them! THEY ARE CHILDREN!” she spat in Aberforth’s face.
Aberforth sighed. Molly saw it in his eyes. This was the one thing he'd always complained about with his brother, Dumbledore: forgetting the students were children. Molly knew that's what he was thinking, and she knew he knew she was right.
War was changing all of them.
“They are boys and girls just wanting to learn the magic of our world! This is our fault, Aberforth ! This is all of our faults for bringing our children into this madness that should’ve been ended years ago, but our greed and our pride and our need to hide the fact that maybe You-Know- - -” She stopped herself and with tears in her eyes and a look of fear like never before spread across her features she spat out as best she could. “-Voldemort!” Another pause was taken as a breath escaped her lungs. “- - was still alive . . . We should’ve known. We should’ve known! There’s been far too much bloodshed for this. I’ve lost. . . We’ve lost -” Molly paused. She thought of Aberforth’s sister and Dumbledore.
She was shaking now and her hands couldn’t continue the task she’d been given - the task she knew to do all too well! It’s what she’d been trained for. . . but the weight of everything - the fear of it all . . . it was weighing heavy on the witch.
Aberforth stepped forward. “Let me heal her.”
Molly cried and shook her head. “I won’t let you touch another person I love.”
Aberforth placed his hands on top of Molly’s. There were tears streaming down her face.
The man whom everyone knew as a rotten ol’ grump softened in this moment, showing Molly the true person he was beneath the bitterness and pain.
“Just like I couldn’t save my sister, I couldn’t save Gideon either.” Aberforth paused for a moment. Molly’s attention went from him to Ginny and back again. Her tears were falling now. This long and bitter war that never truly seemed to end was getting to her. “Fabian was dead when we arrived and we were able to pull Gideon out of the fire, but he was so badly burned Molly- - ”
“You wouldn’t let me in there!” she spat in interruption.
“You couldn’t be in there! He was your brother and with the type of injuries he obscured, you wouldn’t have been able to think clearly - like the Healer you normally were.” Aberforth shook his head. “I never returned to Medicine after that day.”
Molly wanted to say so many things. She wanted to fight him and tell him he was wrong, but she knew he was right (and maybe her own speech woke her up and made her realize: this was not the time in their world for her to be holding onto the past. If they were going to win this war, they would all need to get along). . . so, instead, she turned her attention to Ginny once again.
“I know you can heal her, Molly, but you’re tired. You’ve done most of the work. Allow me to cut in and help you finish up. Let me heal your daughter.”
Molly looked to Aberforth once more. She nodded and stepped back. Neville returned in that moment.
“Got the water you asked for, Mrs. Weasley.”
“Thank you, dear.” She turned her attention to Neville. “Set it on the table next to Ginny and come here. You and I need to have a little talk.”
Neville did as he was told, and when he returned to Mrs. Weasley, he told her all about the DA and how he took over when Harry, Ron and Hermione left to look for Horcruxes.
If Molly wasn’t so furious with all of them for being so foolish, she would’ve been proud. They were all so much like their parents. . . and she couldn’t say she didn’t blame them for wanting to fight back, but it didn’t mean she believed for a moment they could do it completely on their own. They would need help when it came to the final battle which would definitely come.
“I can’t go back with you to the Burrow, Mrs. Weasley. I have to stay here and fight.” Neville paused and drew his shoulders back a little bit to stand taller than he was moments prior. “I may be a screw-up, and I’m no great warrior like my parents, but I’ve been on my own my whole life because they all but died fighting.” He paused. It was clear to Molly he was fighting off his rising emotion. There were definitely tears in Molly’s eyes. “I have to do this. Not just for myself and for the good of the Wizarding World and Hogwarts and for all who died, but for my parents - who, because of Voldemort . . . gave their lives so I could live mine.”
Molly immediately pulled Neville into a great, big ‘Mamabear’ hug. She held him close and it was obvious by the noises leaving Neville’s lungs he hadn’t expected this sort of reaction.
He returned the hug.
Molly pulled away after remaining there for a few moments longer. Her hands rested on either one of his shoulders, and her green eyes locked on his brown.
“Oh Neville. . .” She began. “I promise you, your parents would be more proud of you than you could ever imagine. I want you to take care of yourself, and I will find a way to send you a care package so I know you’re eating. . .but I understand. You just promise me you will look after you.”
Neville nodded. “I promise, Mrs. Weasley.”
Aberforth cleared his throat. Molly turned her attention toward him as he was wiping off his hands with one of the cloths.
“All done now.” he said.
“She’ll be alright?” asked Neville.
“She’ll be right as rain in a few hours. Body just needs to rest off the remainder of the injuries.”
Molly squeezed Aberforth’s arm. “Thank you.”
Aberforth nodded. His attention then turned to Neville. “Let’s get you back through the portrait.”
Neville nodded. “Bye, Mrs. Weasley. Tell Ginny I’ll see her soon.”
Molly nodded. “Bye, darling. You be safe.”
Neville and Aberforth made their way to the portrait of his sister hanging on the wall. It only took mere moments to send Neville back through.
When Aberforth returned to where Molly stood he went to lift Ginny up off the table.
Molly’s brows furrowed. “What are you doing?”
“I’m not going to let you carry her.”
“I’m perfectly capable- -”
“I know you are, but you’re not the only one who blames themself for that night with your brothers, so it’s the least I can do to help.”
Molly sighed. She didn’t answer with words. She nodded instead, and the two returned to the Burrow.
Ginny made a full recovery, but it was days later when Harry, Ron and Hermione were taken in by Fenrir Greyback. . .and much to their daughter’s dismay, Molly and Arthur would not allow Ginny to return to school.
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