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The First Year, an Almost Happily Ever After story by Jet LaBarge
Chapter 12 : Funerals
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2


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Harry, Ginny and Teddy were down at the kitchen at 7:00 AM on Sunday May 17. Kreacher had already started breakfast, and it was clear from what he was doing and saying that he considered it his duty to fix breakfast for everyone, and no one was going to be allowed to take his place.

Molly was in a very somber mood. She looked worse than she had when she’d woken up for the first time in the Gryffindor common room. Ginny thought she looked almost as shaken as she had just after she’d killed Bella.

Molly took the Floo to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes a little after 9:00 AM. Less than an hour later, she was back, saying, “George does not want to come with us today. He is having a hard time dealing with Fred, avoided being with Fred after the first couple of days after the battle.” Molly gave a big sigh, tears streaming down her face. “George and the rest will be there tomorrow.”

Ron and Hermione were at WWW, and they accompanied Molly back to Grimmauld Place.

The assembled group that was staying at 12 Grimmauld Place went to the cemetery at Ottery St. Catchpole first. Ginny said to Harry, “Look at Mum. She is shaking! This has got to be hard for her.” There was a small cemetery for the Wizarding community. The Weasley plot was moderate in size. Because there were a lot of Weasleys and not a lot of money, every generation or so the old graves were consolidated, so the oldest graves were very close together. You could not help but notice all of the younger people who had been killed in the last two Wizarding wars. It definitely looked like the Weasley and Prewett families had been close to being wiped out.

Harry had never seen this graveyard, and after Arthur pointed out all the dead, their parents, brothers, cousins and others, he said, “You are responsible for stopping the deaths, Harry, not causing them. It’s down to you, Ron and Hermione and all of my family that fought along side you three that brought an end to it. We can never thank you enough. I just hope that Fred is the last family member we have to bury because of Voldemort and his kind.”

Patrick Prewett stood in front of his father’s grave, Fabian Prewett, Molly’s brother, whom he’d never known. “Mother has to come here,” he said. “She needs to move on with her life. She misses her family.”

Finally, they came to the place where Fred was going to be buried. Ginny said, “Mum’s in as bad shape as she was just after Fred died!”

Molly sat down by a tomb stone right next to the plot where Fred was going to be buried. It said:

Fabian Prewett Weasley
Born November 12, 1974
Died March 16, 1975
Beloved infant son of Arthur and Molly


Molly was shaking and sobbing. Arthur was sitting down on the ground holding Molly, and he was also crying, just not sobbing loudly like Molly. Ginny turned to Ron and said, “Did you know?”

Ron faintly said, “I had no idea.”

It took almost half an hour for Molly to calm down. She kept saying, “I couldn’t hold on to him! I lost him!”

Finally, with tears still in his eyes, Arthur said, “Fabian is the reason there is a big gap between Charlie and Percy. Bill knows about Fabian. If Charlie does, he never says anything about him, and I do not think Percy knows. For years every time anyone mentioned Fabian, Molly started to cry. Molly was shopping with the three boys and Death Eaters attacked. She tried to Apparate with the three boys, but when she got to the Burrow, Fabian was not with her. She’s still not sure why, although she still has scars from the attack. Someone may have hit the baby with a spell or something that pulled him away from her.

She sent an urgent Patronus for help, but by the time we got to where she had been, the Death Eaters and Fabian were gone.

Bellatrix Lestrange tortured that poor baby.” At this Arthur broke down, held on to Molly and sobbed loudly for about ten minutes, trying to get control of himself. It was so out of character for Arthur that everybody was shocked. “I hope she spends all eternity in hell for what she did to that poor baby.” Arthur said, spitting the words out with a venom so strong that everybody shuddered. “Several families left Britain when they saw or heard of what Bella did.”

Molly finally got up and said, “Maybe I am cried out. I’m sorry I never told you about Fabian. I just tried to bury the memory. When I got my clock with all of our names, I did not want Fabian on it. The memory of what she did to him is just so horrible! If anybody deserves to burn in hell for all eternity that bitch does!” Molly’s fury at Bella also took everyone by surprise, and it became clear why Molly had had the emotional strength to take on Bella and cast such strong spells, why she hated Bella so much that she could have meant it when she’d thrown the Avada Kedavra curse.

Ginny went and gave her mother a big hug, which lasted for several minutes. Then Molly hugged every one else who was there. For the first time, Ginny realized why her mother had said after the battle of Hogwarts that a mother should not have to bury her (plural) children. Fred was the second of her children to die that she would have to bury, killed in the war with Riddle.

Ron told his father, “I’ll make sure Charlie and George know about Fabian. George told Mum that he did not think he could go to the grave site more than once. I really think George needs Lee and Angelina around to remind him to keep working on getting the store back together! When he does that he’s all right, but when he goes off quietly by himself, we can see he’s having a hard time.”

After finishing the arrangements for a grave site for Fred, Michael and Rosemary picked out grave sites for their spouses. There were going to be four graves side by side, with space for Michael and Rosemary in the center and a marker telling about their losses and what had happened during the war. Rosemary and Michael were going to get married soon and combine their names to Appleleaf, in honor of the Appledorn and Bayleaf families, and so all six (and maybe more) children would share the same last name.

As they were getting ready to go to Godric’s Hallow, Ginny asked Rosemary, “Do you love Michael? Have you fallen in love with him?”

Rosemary answered, “We decided after his wife and my husband died that it would be better for the children, and for us, if we got married. I love him not because we fell in love. We obviously did not fall out of love with our spouses. But love can be a decision as well as an emotion. We decided that we needed to live together as husband and wife and so we decided to love each other. And we are starting to fall in love with each other. Remember, Ginny, you decided to love Harry Potter. That is a decision which you must honor even if some day life is hard and maybe you do not like him very much.”

Ginny thought back to the Happily Ever After discussions. It seemed that this lesson was being taught over and over. Loving Harry Potter was a decision, not an emotion. The next couple of months were going to be hard, and it was good that she was reminded of this.

At Godric’s Hollow there was a small Church with a modest-sized graveyard. When Ted Tonks had died, Andromeda purchased four gravesites side by side. That way, her daughter and son-in-law could one day be buried together as well. Never had she imagined that that day would come so soon, but in a war one takes precautions. Monday afternoon they were going to bury Nymphadora and Remus Lupin. There was one grave site left for Andromeda, between her husband and daughter.

Andromeda had not accompanied the family to the Weasley family plot. Harry Apparated back to Grimmauld Place to get her. Arthur had made the arrangement, which mostly was making sure that there was not going to be another funeral. The funeral would not be visible to Muggles.

They Apparated to a place a couple of hundred yards from the graveyard and started to walk towards it. Before they got to the gates, Andromeda started to scream.

Molly looked at Arthur with tears streaming down her face and said, “Take me to St. Mungo’s, Arthur. Harry, take Andromeda. We are both going to need some help getting through tomorrow.”

Harry did as he was told. There was a modest-sized section of St. Mungo’s that had been set up for grief counseling. Arthur told Harry he could go, unless he felt he needed to talk to the counselors himself.

“I need to get back to Ginny,” Harry said. He had an awful feeling in the pit of his stomach, like maybe tomorrow was going to be as bad as five of Dumbledore’s funeral, but he did not want to leave Ginny alone.

Once Harry was back at Grimmauld Place, he asked Ginny if she wanted to go see the house where he had spent his first year. Rosemary agreed to take Teddy, and Harry and Ginny Apparated back to Godric’s Hallow.

Harry wanted to show Ginny his parents’ graves first.

Harry spoke first. “Hi, Mum and Dad. I was here last winter but didn’t say anything. Thank you for being with me when I went to face Voldemort. That was really hard, and I don’t think I could have done it without you. I want you to meet the girl I am going to marry this summer. Dad, she is really pretty, like Mum, and has red hair like Mum. She is so strong. She’s the toughest girl I know! Mum, I’m sure you would like her. I just wish you could be here to meet her.”

Ginny said, “Mum, Dad. Can I call you Mum and Dad? Your son is so brave. You know, I am sure, that he defeated Voldemort. He is also the nicest, best person I know. I guess you can tell that I am in love with him. I wish I could get your blessing to marry your son, but I guess this will have to do.”

They then went to the house. Ginny was expecting a large house, but it was a small neat little house at the end of a lane. You could see where the upstairs bedroom had been blown open. They looked at the notes on the gate and memorial sign at the outside of the property. They cautiously went into the house. It might have been protected from any one else from getting into the house, but apparently Harry could enter without any problem. Ginny said, “It’s just an ordinary house!” Harry said, “Just an ordinary house with an ordinary little family that Riddle tore apart, and I spent the next ten years living in a closet under stairs. Ginny, I have to get out of here.” They left the house and went over to a place where they could Apparate to 12 Grimmauld place.

Everyone in the house was in a somber mood. The five bodies were gathered from Hogwarts. They were some of the last to be picked up, but not the last. The war had been so horrible, and so many people were displaced, that everyone who’d died had not had next of kin notified. The Ministry was going to have to bury one or two.

The bodies were placed in the living room. They were all wrapped in white burial shrouds and were in the plainest wooden coffins. The last two weeks had been so busy that the full extent of the losses had not hit home to them yet, and from the reaction of many of the family members it was apparent that the reality of burying Fred, Remus and Tonks was hitting home in a way it had not up to now. Michael and Rosemary were also having a hard time. They were both trying to comfort their children and be strong for them, while at the same time contemplating the changed family they seemed to be shepherding through these terribly troubled times.

By early afternoon they were done. Harry and Ginny had a chance to really talk. Ginny asked Harry, “Are you happy with your life? Are you happy with what you are doing?”

Harry answered, “Life is a lot better than a couple of weeks ago! Maybe I’m just too busy to think about it. Being with you is the best thing I’ve ever had happen to me.”

“What do you want to do? You know, when you grow up, when you get older?” asked Ginny.

Harry thought a bit and said, “I guess I feel pretty grown up. I want to become an Auror, work with Shacklebolt and your dad to reform the Ministry. I hope to keep doing some good. I really want a normal family, with children, like you had growing up. Nothing special, just normal and loving. What do you want to do when you grow up?”

Ginny thought, ‘Well one of my great dreams was to marry Harry Potter.’ Ginny smiled at this and squeezed Harry’s hand, and then said more pensively, “I want to graduate from Hogwarts. I want to have children someday, but not right away. I don’t know.”

Harry pushed a little more. “Any other dreams? What is your dream job? What would the future Mrs. Potter like to do for a couple of years before she is ready to have children?”

Ginny knew just what she wanted but was not sure how to say it. “Well, I do have a silly dream, but it’s just a little girl’s dream. Promise me you’ll not laugh.”

Harry said, “I’ll never laugh at your dreams, Ginny.”

Then she said, “Well, I really like playing Quidditch and would love to play for the Holyhead Harpies. But that’s just a silly girl’s dream. You have to be really good to play for the Harpies.”

“But Ginny,” said Harry, looking perplexed, “you are really good! You should be able to make the team. You just need to do a good job next year at Hogwarts.”

“Sure, with a crappy broom and no time to practice this summer,” she mumbled, her tone downcast.

Harry brightened up and said, “I’ve got an idea, come on.” He grabbed her hand, led her to the fireplace, and they took the Floo to WWW.

“Come to lend a wand?” asked George excitedly.

Ginny looked at Harry, unsure of what his intentions were. “Uh, maybe later, mate. Right now we have some shopping to do,” replied Harry, leading Ginny out the door. She gave her brother a shrug and waved. She began to guess her fiancé’s destination when they turned down the street.

“I can’t afford a new broom, Harry!” she exclaimed.

He stopped and gave her an exasperated look. “Don’t you remember our talk about how to handle money matters?”

“Of course, but this would be a very expensive personal purchase, not something for our house or a ten-Sickle pair of socks.”

“Well, I don’t know about you, but I need a new broom. Unless you’d rather fly that old Silver Arrow?” He smiled when he saw the light in her eyes at the thought. Harry laughed when she began to splutter and pulled her along the cobblestone path.

At the Quality Quidditch Shop, Harry found a Nimbus 2000 touring model that was good for long trips, comfortable and ideal for his new job as an Auror. It cost 700 Galleons. Harry winced at the price-tag. He couldn’t believe that McGonagall had spent so much gold on him. He’d have to think of a few nice Christmas gifts for her. He probably would have anyway, with everything she’d done both during and after the war.

The best Quidditch brooms were the Firebolts. And the best Firebolts were the Special Editions, customized to the player and position. You purchased a Firebolt for 15,000 Galleons, and the company did its best to set the spells to your weight and position. There were charms on the broom that recorded your playing, and you could take it back to the factory to get the broom adjusted as often as you wanted. Harry thought that they ought to do all of that, considering the price.

Ginny looked at the broom, listened to the sales pitch and was told that they could do the special spells and let her try out the broom. Once she tried out the broom, she said, “Oh Harry, this is the best broom I have ever been on. I would love it. But it is so expensive!”

Harry said, “Sure, it’s expensive. You want to be a professional Quidditch player. I want to make you happy. Nothing would make me happier than to see you on this broom. Take if for me, please!”

When she still hesitated, he added, “This is an investment in your career. If there was something that I needed to keep me safe as an Auror, would you tell me not to get it because it was too expensive?”

“That’s not at all the same,” she scoffed, but she was pleased that he called it an investment and acted as though her career as a Harpies’ chaser was a fait accompli.

In the end, Ginny was very excited, thrilled with the broom and said, “Oh, thank you, Harry, thank you! We have to get back so that I can feed Teddy. Don’t tell anyone how much this broom cost, please!”

Harry pulled out his little money pouch and counted out a hundred Galleons. He pressed them into Ginny’s hand. “What’s this for?” she asked.

“This is to get you used to spending money. I’ll ask Bill about getting you a key to the vaults. I don’t know if we have to actually be married before you have full access though. In the meantime just say something if you need more.”

“Harry, I’ve never had this much gold in my pocket! What can I do with it? I don’t want to waste it,” she said reverently, her hand shaking slightly with the weight of the coins.

“Do anything you want with it,” said Harry. “We have plenty of money. Remember how much gold there was in my vaults? Don’t worry about spending a little of it, try to enjoy it.”

“I’ve always had to be so careful about spending money, Harry,” Ginny said. “Thank you for giving me some.”

“Let me know when you need more,” Harry replied. “There is no reason for you to ever be short of money.”

“You’re sure you have enough?” asked Ginny, feeling worried. What if she accidentally spent it all?

“I’m sure,” Harry assured her. “And it’s ‘we have enough’ not ‘I have enough.’ That gold belongs to both of us.”




Monday, at about nine in the morning, everybody was gathered in the large drawing room of Grimmauld Place. The old wizard who seemed to preside over every wedding and funeral was there.

“How are you holding up?” Arthur asked the little man, imagining that there was a great deal of pressure on the elderly man just then.

“Toughest two weeks in my life,” the little man said. “Too many funerals and way too many young people. There were another twenty people killed before or right after the battle. Thank you for asking, Arthur.”

The little wizard then said, “This will be the last chance you have to view your loved ones. This is the place in the funeral where there is one last chance to open the burial shroud and look at the face of your loved one, if you want to say a brief goodbye.”

Michael Appledorn went first. He opened the shroud and looked at the face of his wife, perfectly preserved by the coroner’s charms. “We’re not going to live out our lives side by side liked we’d planned, but I got gravesites next to each other so we can spend eternity together. God I’m going to miss you, Grace.”

Dick, the middle son, looked at his father and mother. “She’s really dead? We’re never going to see Mum again?”

Tom said to his brother, “She’s really dead, Dick.”

“What’s dead? When will Mum be back?” little Harry asked, breaking the heart of every adult in the room.

“She’s not coming back, boys,” Michael said. “When we die we will all be together again. Until then we have to live without her.”

“I want Mum back!” Harry said, his eyes showing his horror at his father’s words.

“We all do, son, but we can’t get her back,” said Michael, pulling his youngest child into his arms for a moment. The little boy wriggled out of his father’s embrace and crossed his arms over his chest with a scowl on his face. Michael sighed and let his son go.

Michael kissed his wife one last time and closed the burial shroud. The little wizard touched the lid to the coffin with his wand, and it moved into place, fastening itself down.

Rosemary was next. She opened the burial shroud and looked at her husband. Her daughters cautiously gathered beside her.

“I’ll be strong for the girls, Bill, but I can never take your place,” she said. “I always felt so safe and warm in your arms. We made three beautiful, smart girls together. I’ll always miss you.” She kissed her husband.

Cinnamon leaned in and kissed her dad, tears running down her face.

Coriander had a panicky look on her face. She got close to her dad, then turned around and screamed, “NO! NO! IS’T NOT FAIR! DAD CAN’T BE DEAD!” Both of her sisters went over and hugged her. Little Cardamom looked like she had no idea what was going on, but she hugged her sisters and said, “Don’t cry. Don’t cry.”

Rosemary looked at her daughters, closed the shroud and nodded to the wizard. He put the lid on the casket.

It took about fifteen minutes before the girls were calm.

The little wizard turned to the Weasley family.

“I don’t need to see your face, Fred,” George said, standing next to the coffin but not opening the shroud. “I see it every time I look in a mirror. I can’t get away from you. I just feel so incomplete! I’ve spent my whole life waiting for you to say something and now everybody expects me to take the lead.

We’ve talked about how much fun a funeral could be, with fireworks and pranks. Damn it, Fred, funerals are no fun! The problem with being dead is that you’re so damn permanently, finally dead.”

George looked at the rest of the family. “Can we close the lid now?” he asked.

Arthur and Molly both nodded yes, even though they hadn’t gotten to say good-bye themselves.

Andromeda was sitting in the corner with two witches from St. Mungo’s, one on each side of her. She looked down at the floor, not at anyone, obviously shaking. “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,” she whispered.

Harry took Ginny by the hand. Ginny was carrying Teddy, and the three of them went over to the coffins of Nymphadora and Remus Lupin. Harry opened the shroud of Remus first. “We’ll take care of Teddy, Remus. Teddy is going to grow up knowing that his father was one of the finest people I ever knew; a hero not only at Hogwarts but in his whole live. You didn’t have nearly enough peace and happiness in your life. May you rest in peace next to the woman who loved you and gave you this beautiful child.” Harry kissed Remus and Ginny did as well, and they closed the shroud.

Then they opened the shroud for Tonks. Ginny looked at her face, down at Teddy and lost just lost it, the tears and sobs wracking her body. Molly got up to comfort her daughter. But she took one look at Tonks, looked at Andromeda, and she started to bawl too. Arthur rushed up to comfort his wife.

“It’s ... a mother’s … worst nightmare," Molly finally got out. “Dying and leaving a nursing infant. We can never take your place, but Teddy will grow up surrounded by love. I promise you that, Tonks, I promise you that.”

“I’ll do my best to be his mum, when I can,” Ginny said, cuddling the baby closer to her. “Harry and I just can’t start a family right now or I’d … I’ll never take your place, Tonks!”

“Thank you for making me Teddy’s godfather,” Harry said. “We will make sure that Teddy is taken care of, and Tonks, we’ll take care of your mum as well. I’ll make sure they will never lack for anything they need and make sure that they have more love than they need.”

“They are going to live with us, Tonks,” said Molly, sniffling. “They will never be without a loving family, I promise you that. Goodbye, until we meet on the other side.”

Harry kissed Tonks and turned to the rest of the family. First Ginny, then Molly, then Arthur did the same. Andromeda was still sitting down and shaking. Harry indicated that the coffin should be closed.

“We are leaving Andromeda here while we go to the Weasley family site,” Arthur said, the healers nodding to let them know that they wouldn’t leave her side for a moment.

Monday was gray and somber, a little windy, with a threat of rain. It stayed that way all day, but it did not rain. Michael and Rosemary each dug part of their spouses’s graves. Since there were so many strong Weasleys, they helped finish those graves. Then the Weasleys dug Fred’s grave, everyone helping.

Molly seemed to have mostly cried herself out over Fabian and was able to concentrate on Fred’s funeral, although you could tell she was trying hard not to look in the direction of Fabian’s grave.

George Weasley was holding on to Angelina Johnson like his life depended on it as the family tried to say something about Fred and all of the Fred and George adventures. George would smile at the mention of some of the adventures, but the tears never really stopped. There would be time later to remember Fred, but the attempt at levity died pretty quickly. The tears were a lot better than how George had behaved just after Fred had been killed, however. George had spent hours not showing any emotion, just staring off in space.

When everybody was done, George pulled Angelina close to himself and whispered something to her. She said, “George is working on a tombstone for Fred, a really unusual stone befitting the pranksters. When he is working on it he seems happy, pleased he can give Fred a great send off. Then it gets to be too much, and sometimes I have to go down to the workshop and rescue him. Plus we have to keep the business running. He told me yesterday what he sort of wanted to do but asked me to let you know what was going on if all this got to be too much. I guess it has.”

“Thank you, Angie,” said George. “It’s been getting better, but …” and he went around to each family member and gave each one a hug, ending up with Angelina again. George the prankster had no jokes, no pranks, just lots of sobs and tears. When his handkerchief was so wet that it would hold no more liquid, she pulled a few more out of her bag and used one of them herself. In that moment, she knew that she would give anything in the world to be on another of those awful dates with both George and Fred, even if it was just once more.

The little wizard took his wand and lowered the casket into the ground. He said a couple of spells silently over the grave.

After they were done with George, Michael said, “Rest in peace, Grace. I’ll do the best I can with the boys.”

Tom said, “Bye, Mum. I’ll miss you. You were just the best Mum in the world, and it’s not going to be the same, but we’ll survive.”

Dick said, “It’s not fair, Mum. I’ll miss you.” Dick then went to his father and started crying again, burying his face in Michael’s robes.

Tom had Harry in his arms, and whispered, “Say ‘bye, Mum.”

Harry said quite loudly, “By, Mum! Can she hear us? BYE-BYE.”

Rosemary then went over to the casket of her husband and said, “One final parting. I’m not going to be coming back here much, Bill. We have to make a life for the people left behind. Rest in peace. When I die, I’ll be right here beside you.”

Rosemary looked at the girls, who all shook their heads to indicate they did not want to say anything. Since the graves were close, separated only by the places that would eventually hold Michael and Rosemary, the little wizard then put the coffins in the ground at the same time.

When Bill Bayleaf’s coffin was lowered into the ground, Coriander screamed. Rosemary pulled her middle daughter into her arms and rocked her back and forth, knowing that she just knew here father was leaving but not really understanding how or why. Cinnamon held Cardamom in her arms as the little wizard did the spells over the graves.

If graves were dug by hand, the dirt was filled back in by magic, and if you did not know better, you would never believe that there had just been three burials.

There were a lot of people in Ottery St. Catchpole who knew the Weasleys, and despite the day and time, there was a fair representation of people from the town. Most of them greeted Arthur and Molly and the children that they knew. There were very few people helping to mourn the Appledorn and Bayleaf families. They had been cut off from their Muggle relatives by the war. And some of their magical friends, seeing how first the Appledorn house and then the Bayleaf house had been destroyed by Death Eaters, were afraid to come.

There were about a dozen Aurors around the group at the funeral, and a couple of wizards Apparated in the vicinity of the funeral and just as promptly disappeared. They’d remained unobtrusive, just making sure that no one could disturb this important family’s time of sorrow.

The extended Weasley clan then went to Godric’s Hollow. Arthur went back to get Andromeda, who came accompanied by the two healers. Again, they dug graves for Nymphadora and Remus, while Andromeda watched.

“Andromeda is having a hard time even being here,” said Molly, in an aside.

Arthur said, “We all know what a tragedy this is. We are just going to put the bodies in the graves, and say the anti-coroner’s spells.”

There were a fair number of people from Godric’s Hollow to help the families mourn Nymphadora and Remus. They hugged or greeted Andromeda and usually the Weasley family as well.

At the end of the service, Harry noticed Narcissa Malfoy standing at a distance, accompanied by an Auror. Harry pointed this out to Andromeda, and when he did, Andromeda pushed Harry in front of her. “Don’t let her hurt me, please,” pleaded Andromeda. “Don’t let her hurt Teddy!”

She looked wildly around for her grandson. Ginny held him a little tighter to reassure Andromeda.

Molly said, “I’ll go over and talk to Narcissa.” She walked the few feet to Narcissa. In a voice that she tried to make kindly and not accusatory, not all that successfully, Molly asked, “What do you want?”

Narcissa said, “I am so sorry. I wanted to tell Andromeda that I was so sorry that her daughter was killed.”

“Sorry that your Death Eaters killed her husband and daughter and son-in-law? Sorry that your family disinherited her?” Molly was even less successful that time, letting the venom drip from her tongue.

“I am so sorry,” said Narcissa again quietly.

“I killed your sister,” said Molly, in a cold voice. “She tortured my baby and was trying to kill my daughter. May she rot in hell for all the evil she did.”

Narcissa looked down at the ground, then back up at Molly. “I am so sorry,” she said still again. “I hope that I can do some good in the time I have left to, in some small way, make up for all of the bad my sister and husband have done.”

Molly looked back at Andromeda. She was saying something urgently to Ginny, who disappeared along with the Appleleaf family and everybody else, except Harry, Arthur and Andromeda.

As Molly was talking to Narcissa, Andromeda was telling Ginny and the rest, “They want to kill Teddy. Please take him away, hide him. Please go right now.”

Harry quickly took charge and said, “Arthur and I will stay here with Andromeda. The rest of you go back to my house right now!”

“How is Andromeda?” asked Narcissa timidly, not daring to approach her sister.

“Terrible,” said Molly unrepentantly. “She is another casualty of this war. She looks at Teddy and says, ‘No mother, no father, no money, no nothing,’ and cries. She lies in bed curled up, not functioning, crying most of the day. The worse is that there are so many worse off than her that we have not been able to get much care for her yet.”

“I’m losing my other sister to this war too,” said Narcissa, tears glistening in her eyes.

“Do you have any idea how many people were hurt by your husband and those Death Eaters?” asked Molly. “That couple with the six children, each lost a spouse to this war, all of the children lost a parent. They still have a parent. What about the two little girls we found crying by their dead father and brother? Your Death Eaters killed their mother two years ago. And my husband tells me that at least they were at Hogwarts and had food and a roof, and they were trying to take care of people who were starving and in worse shape! Sorry! Sorry! Well, I’m sorry if sorry just doesn’t cut it!”

Narcissa just stood there. Harry, Arthur and Andromeda approached. Narcissa put her hands out face up and tremulously said, “I am so sorry Nymphadora was killed, Andromeda.”

Andromeda said, “No sister. No husband, no daughter, no son-in-law, no nothing.”

“Is there anything I can do to help, Andromeda?” asked Narcissa.

“GIVE ME MY DAUGHTER BACK!” yelled Andromeda. “Teddy needs a mummy.”

“I cannot do that, but is there anything I can do for you and your grandson, my nephew?” asked Narcissa, her eyes searching her sister’s face pleadingly.

“Not my sister, not your nephew, remember,” said Andromeda. “I married a Mudblood.”

“I would like to be your sister again,” said Narcissa.

Andromeda started to cry, looking down. “No mummy, no daddy, no money, no aunts, no uncles.” Looking right at Narcissa with an angry look on her face, she said, “Spawn of a werewolf and a Mudblood.” Then looking down again, she repeated, “No nothing.” She grabbed Molly’s hand and started to walk away.

Narcissa looked at Harry and Arthur in horror.

Harry said, “Thank you for the gesture, Narcissa. Thank you for lying for me in the forest.”

“Oh, Harry,” said Narcissa, her eyes following Andromeda as she retreated. “Is there any way that I can make up for all of the evil that my husband and sister, my family has done?”

“No,” said Harry honestly. “No, probably not, but it’s better to try to do some good. Any good is better than not trying.”

“Thank you, Harry,” Narcissa said as she grabbed his hand, not shaking it but holding it with her two hands. Turning to Arthur, she grabbed his hand and said, “I am so sorry for your losses. Thank you for taking care of Andromeda. If there is anything I can do to help her or anyone, let me know.” Arthur squeezed back at her gesture but did not say anything. Narcissa then turned to the Auror who was accompanying her and said, “I might as well go home.”

Arthur and Harry followed Molly and Andromeda to Andromeda’s house and found it vandalized. Remus and Nymphadora had lived in her old bedroom, and it was obvious that the family did not have much money. There was very little missing, but most of the windows were broken and stuff was scattered all around. No one felt safe having Andromeda and Teddy living alone. They did try to take as many personal possessions from the house as possible.

One of the Aurors did go up to Arthur and say that people had been in the house within the last hour or so. If there had not been a visible Auror presence, there could have been a trap laid for them in the house.

The entire family went back to 12 Grimmauld Place for a very late lunch. George was obviously upset, and before the lunch was finished, Angelina told Molly, “We’re going back to the Wheezes.” She took George’s hand and they left via the Floo.

“I’m only going to stay another week or two,” Charley announced. “I think George will be all right once WWW is open again. Angelina’s good for him, even when they fight. At least when they are fighting, George is not moping around depressed.” He and Lee left almost immediately after that.

Bill got up and took a deep breath. It was obvious that he was exhausted mentally and physically. “Fleur and I are going back to Shell Cottage to try to get some rest and maybe spend a little time looking at the ocean. It’s been a very long two and a half weeks, and we have busy weeks ahead of us.” Bill and Fleur got up and gave everybody hugs, and then they took their leave.

It was not long before everybody was in a separate part of the house, lost in their own melancholy thoughts.

Harry and Ginny ended up in their bedroom, lying on one of the beds just holding each other. Neither of them could relax or fall asleep. Neither of them even felt like kissing. Harry was mentally going over all of the things that he could have done differently, feeling guilty over the deaths all over again. It just seemed unfair that so many other people were dead, and here he was not only alive, but with Ginny lying next to him.

Ginny was going over all the people whom she knew that were dead. She was very grateful that Harry was not one of them, but the losses, not only of her brother but of so many others, had touched her deeply.

Neither of them slept very well that night.




Authors Notes

For those of you interested, Harry’s broom cost about 3,500 British pounds or $5,000 US, an expensive broom by Wizarding standards. The special Firebolt cost over 75,000 British pounds or over $105,000 US dollars, a staggering amount of money to pay for a broom. Professional players were slowly buying them; they were really that good, but it was hard for all but the best of the professional players to afford them.

This chapter was intensively rewritten because of the help of my beta LadymBlack. She has an excellent story going as well, very different than mine although we share some very similar ideas about what the end of the war would be like.


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The First Year, an Almost Happily Ever After story: Funerals

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