Chapter 1 : Standing Up to be Counted
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“So you must be Molly.” He began, with an easy smile, “ I’ve seen you around the common room.”
“That’s me.” I responded, “Everyone knows you, Arthur Weasley- the best Goalkeeper that Gryffindor has seen in years.”
“Hey now,” interrupted Brian, “ You don’t want to go make his head any bigger than it is already, Molly. Trust me on that.”
“Haha.” Arthur’s tone was dust dry, as he punched Brian playfully on the shoulder.
My relationship with Brian lasted 3 months, and during that time I got to know Arthur much better. He proved to be funny, mature and perhaps a little forgetful, but more than that he was an excellent listener.
When Brian and I eventually spilt up it was on amiable terms and it wasn’t long before Arthur asked me out.
I was sitting by the lake with my best friend, Louisa Catton, basking in the heat wave that hit Hogwarts around April.
“…I still can’t believe she gave me detention,” moaned Louise, for the tenth time, “I swear she said page 68 not 168!”
“Well, Calista has always been strict.” I pointed out; referring to our potions mistress, “ Anyway, cheer up. At least it’s only for an hour, last time she gave me a two hour detention, to clean slime.” I added, shuddering at the memory.
We fell back into silence; it was just then that a white paper aeroplane drifted lazily into my lap.
Unfolding the plane, I immediately recognised the untidy scrawl that covered its left side.
Molly, you’re beautiful, funny and everything I’ve ever looked for in a girl. Being with you, would make me the happiest guy in the world. Will you go out with me?
Glancing around quickly, I immediately identified the author of this message. Nodding, I smiled delightedly at Arthur, who let out an excited whoop, before leaping up, from his spot underneath the tree and pulling me into a hug.
For out first date, he took me to Hogsmeade, and the rest as they say, is History.
Being one year older than me, that was Arthur’s last year at Hogwarts, so in September when I returned for my final year, I returned alone.
That year was one of the longest that I remember. Arthur went straight into the ministry, so his visits were far and few between, but his owls arrived every Wednesday without fail.
By the time, July rolled around, I knew that things between Arthur and I were serious but we both decided that we wanted to be more settled in our chosen careers before getting married.
I wanted to be a Healer, so I went straight into training- it was afterall a three year course, which the age of just 18, seemed like a lifetime to me.
It was that year that the whispers of trouble began. Everywhere you went, every social event, every gathering- there was talk- talk of Lord Voldemort and his followers. The attacks worried me, both my brothers were Aurors, and I knew from that just how violently and frequently these attacks occurred.
It was the next July, when the attacks on muggleborns and prominent wizarding families began. Louisa was one of the first to be attacked, just two weeks after she got married. Just because she was a muggleborn they tortured her to the point of madness. She’s at Mungo’s now, confined there for the rest of her time.
It was a week after that, before I saw Arthur again. He’d been busy with work- the attacks meant that all ministry staff were required to work overtime. With the weather as beautiful as it was, we opted to take a walk in the park.
“Listen, Molly. I know we agreed we wanted to wait until you were more qualified before we got married, but with things the way they are in the world at the moment, I want you to know that I love you. More than that, I want to make a commitment to you, so that everyone knows that you’re the only girl for me. Molly, will you marry me?”
I remember sitting there stunned. My mouth opening and closing unable to force any words out. I accepted, of course. How could I not? But I won’t pretend that I didn’t have my doubts. In some ways it seemed as if we were tempting fate, but I knew that this might be our only chance and I grabbed it with both hands.
We were married in December and by scrapping together our incomes, Arthur and I were able to buy a small house, which we christened “The Burrow”.
The months after our wedding were quiet. Rumours of Voldemort and his supporters subsided, and all attacks ceased. My brother Fabian said that Voldemort had fled abroad, and I for one thanked God for it.
I had my first son, William when I was 19- I had been married exactly 10 months, and could hardly believe that the little bundle I held in my arms was a part of me. Even then you could already see Arthur imprinted on his features- the deep blue eyes, the straight nose even the thick curly hair.
Having Bill around the house was a delight, I watched with amazement as he grew into a mischievous toddler who managed to find his way into everything. Charles came along when Bill was two, and the resemblance between them was uncanny- not just in looks but also in personality. They became almost inseparable if not a little troublesome, and by the time Bill was five, I was pregnant again.
Percy came along on Bill’s first day of school, and he was as different from Charlie as could be. Where Charlie had shown no interest in learning new words or being read to, Percy was insistent that this should happen between 11 and 1 everyday. This was to cause some real problems when the twins came along when Percy was two.
Bill was six at the time when Voldemort made his reappearance- and things suddenly went from peaceful to absolute turmoil. At first, much of the violence didn’t touch our family- we were afterall, neither muggleborns nor a particularly prominent wizarding family.
Our little bubble burst however on June 14th of that same year- when Arthur’s older brother and his wife were attacked in their own house by Voldemort’s followers. Luckily however, their sons were at Hogwarts at the time. Arthur’s brother- Julius and his wife had entrusted guardianship of Adam and Greg to us, so it fell to Arthur to bring the two boys home for the funeral.
The preparations of the funeral, and indeed the funeral itself, passed as something of a blur. I vaguely remember forcing my three sons into suits, whilst keeping a keen eye over my nephews- the youngest of whom was only 11.
That summer I found myself with 5 boys in the house, ranging in age from 13-to just 1. My nephews seemed to be coping with the loss of their parents, and the holidays were filled with laughter, shouting and more than a few tears.
In September Adam and Greg returned for their third and second years respectively, and life was at least temporarily back to normal. That’s not to say that the attacks stopped, or that the wizarding world started to fight back- all it means is that it no longer affected us quite so directly.
It was November when I, along with the wizarding world finally realised what a serious threat Voldemort posed and just what measures he was willing to use.
The date was November 15th 1976, and I was humming along to a tune on the WWN as I ironed.
“…We interrupt this broadcast for an urgent news bulletin.”
My blood chilled as I listened to the report. I couldn’t believe it- Hogwarts students attacked in Hogsmeade, it was unthinkable. Setting down my Iron, I hurried downstairs to check on the clock and the two extra hands we had had put in for Adam and Greg.
‘Please not Adam, Please not Adam.’ I prayed over and over again.
I glanced at the clock and my heart sank as I took in it’s meaning.
I hurried over to the fire, to floo-call Arthur, but when I got there, a head was already sitting in its flames, a look of concern etched over its features.
“Molly Weasley? My name is Minerva McGonagall, I’m a professor at Hogwarts. I’m afraid I have to ask you to come with me.”
“Adam. Oh God Adam.” I cried as I cradled him in my arms. “ I was so worried.”
“I’m fine, Aunt Molly.” He responded, leaning back on the pillows of his Hospital Bed.
“Well. It was a very close call if you ask me young man.” Interrupted the Matron, “ If it hadn’t been for those seventh years…Best Head Boy and Girl Hogwarts has seen in many years.”
The voice had come from the far corner of the room, and turning I spotted a slim, red head who looked to be in her 7th year.
“Both of them?” She asked, as Lily nodded. “Good. Oh, Mrs Weasley this is Lily- the head girl I mentioned.”
Lily waited by the bed, as Madam Pomfrey collected up the relevant medicines and then began to close the curtains around the two beds, before coming over to us.
“Feeling any better, Adam?” she asked, as she perched carefully on the other side of her bed.
“Much, thanks.” He responded easily, before turning to me. “Aunt Molly, this is Lily. Lily, this is my Aunt Molly.”
“It’s nice to meet you.” Murmured Lily politely.
“The pleasure’s all mine.” I responded, “ My husband and I can’t thank you enough for saving Adam. After losing his parents earlier this year, we can’t imagine losing him too.”
As I spoke, I glanced at Adam again- thinking of his younger brother Greg who would have been alone had anything happened, and was surprised to feel tears well up in my eyes.
“Oh, I didn’t…” replied Lily, blushing slightly.
“You did, young lady.” Interrupted Madam Pomfrey. “ Risking your life for his- I don’t know what you’d call it, but I’d certainly call it saving him.”
Lily blushed even further, and I surprised myself by getting up and giving her a hug.
“Thank you Lily. You certainly are a hero.” I whispered quietly to her, suddenly grateful that people like her existed in the world.
In the weeks that followed, I found it hard to put Lily Evans and James Potter out of my mind. Here were two young adults, barely older than the children they protected-that had been willing to fight back, where other more capable wizards had not, and more than that- they had succeeded.
Twins ran in my side of the family. My mother had been a twin and so it was no real surprise when I found out that my fourth pregnancy was to result in my fourth and fifth child. Nor was it any surprise, that they were boys- after all there hadn’t been any girls born into the Weasley clan for several generations.
It was 1978- when the real resistance against Voldemort finally started. Professor Dumbledore invited both Arthur and I to a meeting in his office at Hogwarts.
“It’s lovely to see you both.” He began, “ I am only sorry that it is under such grave circumstances.”
“I have asked you here because I am forming a society to combat Voldemort, and I would like both of you to be part of it and fight alongside a number of other very capable witches and wizards as members of the Order of the Phoenix.”
I remember sitting there, shocked into silence as the enormity of what he was asking sunk in.
“ I do not wish you to give me a decision now. All I ask is that at some point during the next two weeks- you send an owl, with either yes or no- nothing more and that should you choose not to join- you never mention this meeting to anyone.”
Dumbledore didn’t have to wait long for our response, the next day, just as the sun peaked over the horizon, we sent him our owl- it read, simply- No.
You’re probably wondering if I ever questioned that decision- and the answer to that is that I didn’t, not once. Arthur and I made our decision based on our family. We had 5 children of our own, two that someone else had entrusted to us- and it wasn’t something we took lightly. Of course we wanted to get rid of Voldemort, but more than that we wanted to guide our children through their lives- and putting ourselves at an unnecessary risk wasn’t going to help that. Maybe it’s selfish- allowing others to put themselves on the line for us, but to us it made perfect sense.
That doesn’t mean I never thought about the people who would join. My brothers of course, some of the healers I had trained with and of course the young ones- namely Lily Evans, James Potter and Remus Lupin.
They were the ones with the ideals, the ones who believed that good would prevail, and that they could be the keystones in an unsteady bridge. Did I envy because of that? Envy their faith, their capabilities and above all their courage? If I was honest- I supposed I’d have to say yes.
1980 was Adam’s final year at Hogwarts, and his graduation was a moment of great pride for Arthur and me. While Adam was not one of my own- I had watched with delight as Adam overcame the death of his parents and worked even harder to prove himself. More than that, Adam had proved himself a capable and mature young man and I was almost awed by the man he had become.
Given his past, it was no real surprise when Adam- and later Greg- chose to pursue the career of an auror. Despite this, I could not help to fear for both of them and watched with trepidation as they joined the fight against the most evil wizard of our time.
By the time Ronald was born, Bill was nine and I found myself with six little boys all under the age of twelve- all dreams of being a healer had by then, understandably, been completely forgotten.
It was that same month when tragedy struck our family yet again, on both sides in fact. First Adam and Greg, just 20 and 19 years old while fighting Death Eaters, in their capacity as Aurors. They were buried with honour- and I was horrified to see the number of gravestone with birth dates similar to theirs. So many lives cut so brutally short.
It was just days after the funeral when the next wave of death Eaters attacks hit, and two of the first to be killed were both my brothers- Gideon and Fabian. Even now it’s hard to believe they’re gone- sometimes I heard their voices- teasing me about my hair, and the number of children I ended up having. Their funeral was surprisingly less painful. They had died taking a number of their attackers with them, and with courage that I knew would have pleased them. The number of people that attended their funerals was astounding- both the young and the old- united in their grief. It was here that I saw Lily again, alongside a number of her friends.
I remember her coming over to me, and expressing her sympathy- the sadness expressed clearly on his face. She described them as courageous and as role models, and apologised for having to leave early, as James was still at Mungo’s following an attack. Above all, I remember being touched that she’d come- not just to the funeral, despite the fact that her husband had been so recently injured, but that she’d come over to me, and expressed her condolences as if we were friends- when it had been such a long time since I’d last seen her.
When I became pregnant just three months later, I resigned myself to having yet another son. So, you can imagine my surprise when this little boy-who was to be called Jacob, turned out in fact to be a smiling baby girl, who I immediately christened Ginevra.
Ginny turned out to be an absolute joy. She soon had all her 6 brothers wrapped her tiny fingers- and at the sound of her cries the whole family would come running. Amazingly, with 7 children I wasn’t completely run ragged and while I did spend the majority- if not all- of my time running after them, they were for the most part able to amuse themselves or, if not each other.
I watched as each child, formed they’re own little playgroups. Bill and Charlie, Fred and George, Ron and Ginny- leaving little Percy to move between the groups- though he seemed most content immersed in his books.
I’ll never forget the 1st November 1981- the date I heard of the fall of the dark lord- and of course the death of Lily and James Potter. I could hardly believe either of them. Lily and James who had risked their lives to save so many people, and finally sacrificed it for their son. When I heard the news, I cried. Cried, not just for Lily and James –whose friend had betrayed them, but for little Harry who was now an orphan and would only ever hear how brave his parents were, and would depend on opinions and memories of those fortunate enough to befriend them- in order to get to know his own parents.
Bill turned eleven in early November, and that summer I waited nervously for his Hogwarts letter to arrive. Sending Bill to Hogwarts proved to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. On one hand, I knew that it was an amazing opportunity and that he would have some of the best years of his life, but on the other hand- Bill was my oldest child- and I couldn’t imagine him not being there everyday. I suppose on some level- I even felt that I was losing my position as his mother- but on the 1st September, one month before he turned 12, Bill left for Hogwarts and seven became six, five, four and eventually two.
When I first saw Harry on the platform at Kings Cross, I recognised him immediately. Oh, I know everyone says that with the benefit of hindsight- but I really did. Having, never actually met James Potter- it wasn’t that resemblance to him that did it, instead it was the eyes, even the shy embarrassed smile that gave it away.
I was delighted at first, when Harry and Ron became friends. Not just because they seemed so well suited, but also because it gave me a chance to get to know the only child of the young woman I had admired so much.
My delight dimmed slightly, when I heard of their adventure with the Philosopher’s stone- and the danger they had faced to rescue it. But in my mind, I was reminded of Lily Evans- it was exactly the sort of thing she would have done, and I knew that she would have been proud of her son.
Through second and third year, I watched as Harry, Ron and Hermione put themselves again and again in danger to save others- and watched with amazement as they pulled through it.
It was fifth year when I think I really would have begun to question Harry and Ron’s friendship- and to what extent it put my son in jeopardy, but by that point Harry had become as much of my son as Ron was, and I knew that while they were able to get through these adventures with each other, I wasn’t sure if they could get through them alone- and that was a risk I wasn’t willing to take.
Sometimes when I sit down with my memories, as I have today I question my intentions. Ron, is my son and his continued friendship with Harry, since the return of Voldemort, has put this whole family in danger, and I wonder if Harry, had been anyone other than Lily’s son- would I have allowed him to do that? Would I have joined the Order of the Phoenix if Harry hadn’t been tied so closely to my family? Or would I have been content to sit on the sidelines as I did last time? Is it righteousness that makes me take a stand? Or a sense of debt and guilt for the life she saved, although no one could save hers?
Lily risked her life to save a member of my family, am I now risking my family, and in particular my youngest son Ron, to save the last member of hers?
That's it. This fic will eventually link to my other fic- familiar with the eyes but not with the owner, and for those of you who are wondering- i have finished the next chapter and it's almost ready to be posted.
For those of you, who haven't read familiar with the eyes but not with the owner- but did like this one- that tells the story of Lily and James from Petunia's point of view in a very similar style to the one i used in this fic.
Anyway, please please review- as i love to know what people think! Thank you!
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