Chapter 1 : i dreamed a dance
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Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or the song.
I saw you light the ballroom
With your sparkling eyes of blue.
We spun around a thousand stars;
I dreamed a dance with you.
- I Dreamed A Dance - Next to Normal
She stepped into the ballroom, and smiled at what she saw. He was waiting for her, of course. He always was.
“Care to dance?” he asked her, and held out a hand. She put her hand in his, and they began to waltz, their feet never faltering, not once. She’d never taken dancing lessons, they’d never had the money, but he always seemed to make her feel like she could do anything, when she was around him. He was graceful, so graceful; he seemed to envelop her in him, to fold around her with wings, and he made her feel like a professional ballroom dancer, like the perfect mother, no matter what kind of dance they did.
The landscape changed, and they were on a balcony in Paris, dancing over a moonlit lake, and then they were in space, dancing around a thousand stars, and there were a thousand dancers around them.
“Do they all come here?” she asked him, knowing he wouldn’t be able to tell her—he couldn’t explain anything, he never could—but needing to ask. “Is this what… Is this how everyone makes contact?” She stopped. “Does everyone make contact?”
“I think, in a way, yes,” he said, and the words sounded broken and sad. “I think everyone comes here at least once… Everyone from my side, I mean,” he explained. “Sometimes… Dancing is all you can do.”
She nodded, and there was silence for an immeasurable moment. Then:
“I’ve missed you,” she told him, and she stopped dancing, for a moment, and leaned in and gave him a hug. He tapped her, and they restarted, this time in a soft Viennese waltz. He knew every kind of dance; of course he did. He was her Freddy, her perfect Freddy; how could she expect any different?
“You’re a brilliant dancer,” he told her, not telling anything of importance, and she smiled at him, and his blue eyes twinkled. “I’ll always be true to you, you know that, right?”
She rolled her eyes at his insolence, and put a hand on his jaw. “I know. But we can’t go on, meeting like this.” She moved her wrist away, and the dance resumed, slightly faster.
He grabbed her wrist back, shaking his head. “No.”
She gave him a look. “You know I love you. I… I miss you every day, Freddy. But… I don’t want to be what keeps you here.”
He nodded. “And I can’t be what keeps you here, either. You have to move on.” He understood, he had to understand, but it felt as though her heart were breaking to see him this way.
The night was dying down, leading into a warm morning; and, yet, neither of them slowed. They knew the end was near, but they danced more breathlessly than before, each wanting to hold onto this moment for as long as they could, before they would have to leave one another.
Everything was disappearing around them, the dancers and stars and light, and they were falling, but they continued to dance, speeding up even more, until they were spinning and jumping and dipping and twisting in a desperate frenzy. The dance continued, and then, all of a sudden, it stopped.
“I love you, Mum,” Fred whispered.
Molly smiled, and a few tears fell out of her eyes. “I love you, too,” she promised. “I won’t ever… I’ll never forget you, I swear it.” Her smile faded a bit. “How could I ever forget my… my son?”
He shrugged. “Especially one as horrible as me,” he teased.
“I’ll stay,” he told her. “I’ll watch over you, I’ll be there to… to see you grow older, and Dad, and to… to see Ginny’s marriage…” He was nearly crying, something that had never happened, in all of their meetings, and she had a sudden urge to comfort him, to run to him and make him swear to never leave her.
But she’d been waiting for this moment, and steeling herself for it, and she had to go with the plan, or she wouldn’t ever be able to be a good Mum to her children. Her… other children. She would see him again, she told herself; sometime, she would. Maybe not soon, but he couldn’t keep her away for long.
“I know,” she whispered, and she thought it crazy, insane, that she wasn’t crying with him, but she felt a sort of peace, and acceptance. “I’ll see you on the other side,” she told him, and then she did start crying, real tears, as she pulled him in for one last hug and he gave her a warm kiss on the cheek and she hugged him one last time, and let him go, patting his back.
And then he was gone, and the dancers were back. Even as she was losing everything all over again, feeling the loss again, the dances of a thousand couples, a thousand broken relationships continued, maybe into forever. Every one told a story, and every one had an ending, but she couldn’t care, like she had before; she was just tired, so very tired.
She closed her eyes, and let herself wake up, to her husband and what would hopefully start a new chapter in her life. She’d allowed herself to shirk her motherly duties for too long, and she hoped he wouldn’t visit her in her dreams anymore; it was too difficult, much too difficult, when all she wanted to do was give him a nice big hug and hold him in her arms.
She couldn’t do that anymore, not with Ginny’s wedding to plan and Fleur’s baby on the way. She had to live in the present, and if that meant giving him up, she would. She hated to say it, but she’d rather give up her Freddy than give up her five children.
She woke up, and saw Arthur looking at her. Concern was evident in his eyes, and she touched her face to feel the tears.
“Was he there?” Arthur asked, and Molly could see how much it pained him to ask, though she could see hope in his eyes.
She nodded. “But he’s gone.”
Arthur’s face froze. “What?”
She smiled a sad smile. “I told him to leave. I can’t… I couldn’t see him every night.” She stopped. “It was killing me. I felt like… I felt as though I were living to dance with him, in my dreams, and that isn’t… that’s not fair. You lost a son, too, and Ginny lost a brother, and George… George lost his twin.” The tears were back, and Arthur tried to comfort her, but she shooed him away.
“I just needed him to go, to leave me alone and let me deal with this in my own way,” she tried to explain. “I couldn’t… I just… I couldn’t.”
He smiled back at her. “I don’t understand you, all the time,” he told her, “but I’m glad we seem to have the old Molly back.” He pulled her in to a kiss, and it wasn’t sloppy, or full of memories; it was chaste, and full of promises.
She grabbed her husband’s hand, and they got out of bed, and went to make breakfast.