Chapter 1 : Found Him
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It wasn’t until Ginny came to her in tears that her suspicions were confirmed.
Molly Weasley was sitting in the kitchen at the Burrow, knitting a baby blanket for her soon-to-be newest grandchild (George and Angelina were finally expecting). With all of her children off with families of their own, a lot of her days were now filled with making things for her multiple grandchildren and preparing for family dinners.
But when Ginny emerged from the fireplace in an obviously distressed state, the knitting needles were down and the kettle was up.
“Mum, Harry’s gone!” she cried as Molly got up to get her only daughter a cup of tea. She stopped in her tracks and looked aghast at Ginny.
“What are you talking about? Where did he go?” she said, trying to maintain her calm.
“I don’t know! I just told him I was pregnant and he mumbled a little and took off!” said Ginny, now pacing the kitchen. Molly dropped the cup of tea she was carrying over to her daughter.
“You’re WHAT?” she shouted. Ginny stopped and realized what she said.
“Oh, yeah, there’s that too,” she said sheepishly, “we’ve been trying for a few months now, but we didn’t want to tell anyone we were trying so as not to worry anyone.”
Molly wasn’t sure if she should feel angry that Ginny hadn’t told her or ecstatic that she was going to have a baby. Her excitement won out, however, and she rushed over to engulf her daughter in a big hug.
“Mum, you’re squishing me,” gasped Ginny. Molly let go of her and gave her a kind look before remembering the real reason Ginny was there.
“So, dear, tell me more about what happened with Harry,” she said, gathering a new cup of tea cleaning up the mess from the one she dropped with a flick of her wand. Ginny started tearing up once more (a rare occurrence for the strong-minded redhead) and began again.
“When I told him I wanted to try and start a family, he seemed so happy at the idea, but there also seemed to be an unspoken part of him that really wasn’t on board. When he got home from work today and we sat down for tea, I took his hand and told him how much I loved him, and then I told him that we were going to have a baby.
“At first he was shocked, and then I could tell he was trying to be happy about it. But then he mumbled something about work and took off. I was hurt and confused, and I didn’t know what to do, so I just came here,” finished Ginny. Her face held an expression of pain and heartbreak. Molly could not stand to see her this way.
“Okay, the first thing you need to do is not blame Harry for anything. When your father first found out we were going to have a baby, he was shocked as well. It’s the natural male reaction,” she explained, “Of course they’re happy, they just need a little time to process the information.”
Ginny nodded; she was hanging on her Mother’s every word.
“Second, we need to find him. He shouldn’t be alone at a time like this. We can gather the family and split up to search in places he might be.”
“Okay,” said Ginny with determination, “let’s make a list.”
They decided to look in various pubs and shops in Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and Godric’s Hallow (where Ginny and Harry currently lived). They also decided to check with friends of his to see if he had turned up at any of their places.
Molly sent a patronus to Ron, Hermione, Arthur, George, Bill, Percy, Charlie, Fleur, Audrey and Angelina first to recruit them for the search. Meanwhile, Ginny sent her patronus to Neville, Luna, Seamus, Dean, and any other DA member, Quidditch player, Hogwarts friend or coworker that might have any inkling as to where he might be.
A few minutes later, any Weasley who was not busy with work or children was in the Burrow’s kitchen waiting for instructions. Every once in a while a patronus would return telling them they did not know where Harry was, and suggested they check one of the places they were already planning on checking.
“Okay, everyone,” said Ginny, taking charge of the situation, “here’s the deal: Harry’s gone missing and we need to find him as soon as possible. We’ve decided to check the most obvious places first, like the Leaky Cauldron and the Three Broomsticks, and then go to the more obscure places.
“If you go to a place and he is not there, come back and report in for a new assignment. I will stay here, and the moment you find him send me a patronus so I can come fetch him. Any questions?”
“Yeah, I’ve got one,” said George, “what has the savior of the wizarding world done now to warrant a full-scale rescue mission?”
“Well, let’s just say he didn’t respond very well to some news I gave him and then he ran off,” explained Ginny curtly. Her hurt and confusion had been replaced by determination and a bit of anger towards her husband.
“What was the news?” asked Bill.
Ginny looked at her Mother to wordlessly ask whether or not she should tell them.
“If Harry didn’t want to hear it, what makes you think any of you will want to?” said Molly impatiently, “Once you find him, then we will let Ginny and Harry tell you if they want to.” Ginny looked at her Mother gratefully, and then turned back to the others.
“Well? What are you waiting for? Go find him!” she exclaimed. There was a flurry of movement as people got up to floo or aparate to their designated searching locations.
Molly was told to look in the Hogs Head. She went outside, past the bounds of the protective spells that were still set up around the Burrow, and aparated to Hogsmeade. It was a rainy, ugly day when she arrived on the cobblestone street. She could see Hogwarts in the distance and imagined that it would be a drafty day where students would gather around the fire in the common room.
She made her way down the street towards the now famous pub. After the Battle of Hogwarts, Aberforth’s contribution to the war was highly recognized, and the bar where aurors and DA members were funneled in and students were funneled out became a hotspot for locals and tourists alike.
When she entered the warm pub, Aberforth Dumbledore greeted her with a smile and an offer of a warm butterbeer, on the house.
“No thanks, Abe. I was just wondering if you’d seen Harry around today?” she asked the now very-aged bartender.
“’Fraid not, Molly. He hasn’t been ‘round in quite a while, actually. Tell him he should come pay me a visit sometime!” said Aberforth cheerfully.
Molly nodded and promised she would, then walked back out into the cold street. She made her way to the Three Broomsticks, where she knew Audrey was searching. Just as she approached, Percy’s wife walked out with a discouraged look on her face.
“No luck?” asked Molly. Audrey shook her head “no”. They gave each other meaningful looks and aparated back to the Burrow together.
Ginny was standing leaned over the list of places on the kitchen table. Some places were already crossed off, and it saddened Molly to have to tell her to eliminate two more locations from the list.
“That’s alright,” sighed Ginny. Her determination was starting to wear off.
“Ginny, if you want, I can go help Bill and Ron search in the Ministry?” suggested Audrey.
“No, Hermione came by a few minutes ago and offered to go help them there. I think three’s enough. Why don’t you go see if George needs help searching Diagon Alley?” said Ginny. Audrey nodded and walked over to the fireplace to floo there.
“Don’t worry, dear,” offered Molly, putting her arm around Ginny, “he’ll turn up somewhere.”
“I know, but I hate how he puts up this emotional wall anytime he’s put into a situation where he doesn’t know what to do! Remember our wedding day? How he was so nervous he almost didn’t show?” said Ginny.
Molly remembered the day very well; it was the day of the wedding and no one had seen Harry since the night before. They didn’t want to make a big deal of his absence so as not to worry Ginny, but Arthur, George, Bill and Ron left to search for him for a good hour. It was Ron who eventually found him, back in Godric’s Hallow, visiting his parents’ graves…
She stood up suddenly. Of course! Why hadn’t they thought of that earlier?
“I think I know where he might be,” Molly told her daughter, and then rushed out the door to go aparate straight to the graveyard.
It wasn’t raining here, but the weather was still miserable and cold. Arthur was supposed to be checking the shops and pubs, but she doubted he would check here. She took a quick look around, and sure enough there was a man with messy black hair kneeling before two side-by-side graves.
She approached him cautiously. When she was a few yards away, Harry looked up at her.
“I was wondering who would find me here,” he said with sadness in his voice.
“Harry, how could you do that? You had us worried sick! You left your wife in a state of confusion and heartbreak. You need to know that you are not alone here, and there are people who care for you and depend on you!” scolded Molly.
Harry just looked at the ground and nodded.
“I know. I am a horrible husband, and I don’t know why Ginny wants to be with me. Why any of you accepted me into your family is beyond me sometimes,” Harry admitted.
“Don’t be silly,” snapped Molly, “you do this every time something big happens in your life. Stop wallowing in self-misery. You are a smart, strong, amazing wizard. You have saved the world on multiple occasions and you need to wake up and see that we all love you very much.
“Now, tell me dear, what is really on your mind?” asked Molly, her tone softening.
Harry looked up at her, and then back at his parents’ graves.
“I have no idea what I’m doing,” he said, barely above a whisper.
“Neither does anyone else, Harry.”
“No, but you don’t understand. I hate to pull the orphan card, but I’ve never had any parents of my own to look up to as role models. And being raised by the Dursleys didn’t give me any sort of example, either,” moaned Harry.
“So what am I?” asked Molly, hurt laced in her voice, “Haven’t Arthur and I been looking out for you all these years?”
Harry looked at her and considered her words. Molly continued.
“No one can deny that you come from a troubled past. You have done, seen and put up with things that no person should ever have to. But you have survived them all, and now you have a family and a life that is yours forever. Don’t look at the past, Harry, consider the future.”
At these words, Harry got up from the ground and looked at Molly with a small smile. “You’re right. Everything that has happened to me is still inside, but I can’t let it affect what happens to me now.”
He turned to the graves. “Mum, Dad, I wish every day that you hadn’t left me. My world has been one of longing and guilt, with so many people I loved dying for me. I will never, ever forget any of you, but I will take the strength and love you gave me and use it to move forward.
“I never knew you, but you will always be the most important people in my lives,” he finished.
He faced Molly again, who had tears in her eyes from his beautiful words. She gathered her composure and wiped the tears away.
“Now, I told Ginny I would send word when I found you, and I better let the others know, too. We have half the country on the lookout for you!” she joked. He smiled at her guiltily. He hugged her and kissed her on the cheek before turning on his heel and apparating back to his wife.
Molly stood in front of Lily and James’ graves for a few minutes more. “He really has grown up to be a wonderful man, you know. I know you would give anything to have been here for him, but he is in good hands. We all love him very much.”
She was about to return to the Burrow when she remembered one last thing.
“He and Ginny are going to have a baby, by the way. I bet you ten galleons they’ll name it after one of you,” she smiled, and then turned on her heel, following Harry home.
A/N: My Sunday Boredom creation! I’ve been feeling much more inspired by one-shots recently than the new novella I’ve been working on, but hopefully I’ll get back to the longer stuff soon. Hope you liked it, and it would be super appreciated if you would leave a review to let me know what you thought! THANKS WONDERFUL READERS!