Molly Weasley was never my favourite. Not that I hate her, just don't like her that much. You must realise how suprising it was for me to find myself not only reading this story, but get captured by it.
I think this portrayal of Molly put her in a different spotlight. She was always so fierce, so strong and even optimistic. And now... you stripped her of all those layers, revealing the fragile, horrified part. Yes, she was always in fear for the life of her family, but kept her posture. Fred's death was quick, it came as a painful punch. But watching the love of your life, the better half of you slowly die is even more excruciating. Fred died during battle and Molly was fighting then, she killed Bellatrix. It's no consolation, but she at least could do something. Now she's helpless. There's nothing to do, just sit in this empty house and be the witness of the end.
She has to remind herself that she's no longer capable of dealing with everything at one time. She used to, but then there were all of her family with her. Now, day by day, she's alone. I'm sure her children and grandchildren try to support her, but she's the one that has to sleep in the abandoned Burrow, trying to suppress the pain.
Arthur and Molly were probably the most perfect couple. Not ideal or flawless, but the most real, strong and loving couple. The didn't have to put up a fight, those little precious, ordinary days kept them together. And yet it seems that "ordinary" death is hurting more than any other. It's shattering.
The way you describe the story evokes an image of flowing shards. Parts of life that once was so radiant, now they fade. Molly sees only those sharp pieces of reality. The awful smell. The face of a healer. Fred's bed. Memories. Reality is no longer a big picture with fluent action for her, it's wrecked and shattered.
It is a masterpiece of sadness.
Sadness without some really dark tragedy, without complicated background. I assume it's the aftermath of Nagini's attack, but so many years after that it became a "natural" though chronic. People die, wizards too, and the natural death is painful enough it doesn't need tragic explanation.
I may be weird, but I do like sad, dark, bitter stories. Yours is now one of my favourite heart-wrenching scenes. It mesmerized me with the simplicity of delivered pain.
Author's Response: Okay, first off, thank you so much for all of your wonderful reviews and kind comments! I can't imagine anything better to come home from work and see. Sorry it's taking me a few days to catch up with all the responses!
Anyway, yeah, I do think Molly would have to be vulnerable at some point after all that she has suffered through two wars and seven kids. I'm sure the quiet of an empty house really does bother her and serve as a constant reminder that she's reaching the end of her life, and that Arthur's death is imminent.
I really love Arthur and Molly's relationship for the same reason you mentioned--it's simple. They don't have a lot of material possessions so it's logical to conclude that their bond is based on real love and caring for their children. I'm sure those ingredients were critical for sustaining their marriage through the trauma of war and all that they lost.
I actually envisioned this as being something very natural like dementia. It's interesting to think that it could be like a slow bleed that relates to Nagini's attack, and I agree that it's the long time frame that makes it tragic.
I'm so glad you enjoyed this and it achieved its purpose of being a simple yet sad story.