“How did it go?” James asked as Marlene walked into the front room of The Burrow. Marlene replied by shooting him a look which told him not to ask.
James raised his eyebrows at her, before turning to look back down at his son Harry, who was holding onto a toy brick and waving it in the air.
Marlene bent down as she passed to ruffle Harry’s head of messy black hair, the little boy paid no attention to her though and carried on waving his plastic brick around, occasionally making loud noises Marlene could only assume meant that he was enjoying himself.
Marlene felt a big grin fill her face as she stopped in front of another chubby little boy and picked him up, throwing him in the air before hugging him tightly.
The red haired baby laughed loudly and squirmed in her arms as Marlene tickled his feet slightly.
“Ronnikins,” Marlene cooed, “you just get cuter everyday.”
Ron let out another giggle as Marlene gave him a kiss on the head before putting him back down opposite Harry, who had finally looked away from his brick and at Ron in interest. Ron picked up the brick by Harry’s foot and began chewing on it.
Marlene smiled at the boys as she left them both with James and walked back into the kitchen where Molly, Arthur, Gideon, Fabian and Lily were currently sitting.
Lily was holding an untouched cup of tea in front of her, a worried expression on her face. The conversation between them all had come to an abrupt stop as soon as she had entered the room.
“Marlene we need to talk about what happened at the ministry,” Molly put forward as she looked at the woman in front of her.
“There’s nothing to talk about, everything has been sorted out,” she told them shoving her hands in her pockets and looking away from them as though this conversation wasn’t important.
She walked over to the kitchen side and leant against one of the counters.
“Marlene! Don’t be like this. He who must not be named is after you. He has sent his followers out to find you,” Lily snapped angrily her grip tightening on the cup she was holding as her eyes flamed in anger, “you should be worried.”
“But I’m not,” Marlene told her, finally looking at her. She shrugged as she laughed slightly.
“How can you say that?” Lily snapped, outraged at Marlene’s casual dismissal at the idea of an evil wizard sending out followers to get her.
“Because I am not scared of him,” Marlene stated simply a scoffing laugh at the very notion that they didn’t understand.
“Don’t be so bloody stupid.” Lily roared slamming her fists down on the table hard, causing everyone to jump slightly and for Ron to start crying in the front room from being startled. Molly quickly rushed to the front room, as fast as she could in her pregnant state, to comfort him.
Lily was glaring at Marlene as she shook her head. “I am terrified of him. We have all seen what he is capable of and it scares me to know that he is after people personally now.”
“But I’ll be ok, you need to stop worrying about me.” Marlene told her, "I can handle this myself."
“And what about us, huh? What about what he’ll do to us if he doesn’t get to you? You don’t think about that do you? You don’t think what this is doing to us? To Molly and Arthur? To Gideon!” Lily pointed to Gideon who was watching Marlene carefully.
“I am an Auror I can handle –“ Marlene began in defence.
“No, you can’t.” Gideon told her, causing Marlene to turn to look at him, “I am an Auror, most of us are both Aurors and in The Order and we are still petrified sometimes. Us Aurors have seen a lot worse then most of The Order put together because we are on the front line. It’s okay to be scared Marlene.”
Marlene went to open her mouth to argue with them, but two small voices interrupted their heated conversation.
Marlene looked down to see Fred and George Weasley tugging on the bottom of her top to get her attention.
“Hello boys,” Marlene said with a smile, as she ruffled their hairs. She spied Lily roll her eyes at Marlene and shake her head, Marlene knew that they wouldn’t say anything more in front of the twins.
“We have something to show you,” Fred said, grabbing Marlene’s left hand as George grabbed her right, and without giving her time to reply they pulled her out of the room and out into the back garden.
“Gideon, we need to talk some sense into her,” Molly said coming into the kitchen again, Ron was happily playing again in the front room, still being watched by James.
“I know Molly I know, but she is just so stubborn,” Gideon admitted, Fabian nodded his agreement.
“There’s nothing we’ve been able to say to convince her to take this seriously,” Fabian admitted, “she’s not even listening to Alastor.”
“Of all the people to be able to talk sense into that girl I would have bet Galleons on it being Alastor,” Lily told them, her hands back around her still full cup.
“He’s going to be stepping in, he was going to give her a case about finding Lestrange, but me and Gid had a word with him about our concerns and he's going to take her off of it. We’re all in talks to force her to go into hiding if it becomes any worse,” Fabian said walking forward to put his arm around his sister’s shoulders.
“I just hate to think how worse it’ll become before she finally sees how serious this situation is.”
“Could it get any worse then it has been already?” Molly asked, looking around at the others in the room, Lily was staring down at her cup, a hard look on her face whilst the others were shooting each other glances. Each unsure of what they were going to do now. Fabian was the one to answer her.
“You have no idea how much worse this can get Molly. No idea what he is capable of.”