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After the War by HollyStone73
Chapter 3 : Molly Weasley
 
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Molly woke up drenched in sweat with the echoes of the last laugh of Bellatrix Lestrange in her ears. It was the same nightmare that had plagued her dreams every night in the week since Voldemort had been defeated. She heard her haunting laugh replaying in her ears and could see the cold hatred in her eyes as she had taunted Molly about Fred being killed. It was the same thing every night and she always woke up with the pressing feeling of guilt weighing down upon her like it was trying to suffocate her.

Naturally she knew that Bellatrix would not have hesitated to kill her as soon as she had gotten the chance, but it did not seem to help to take away the guilt Molly felt about ending hers. All that she could think about was that because of what she did that woman, no matter how evil she may have been, will have family members that will be mourning her like she was Fred. There must be someone that is quite possibly, at this very moment unable to sleep because of their struggle to deal with the gaping hole in their heart all because of Molly’s actions.

She quietly got out of bed, careful not to disturb Arthur, and decided to head downstairs to try to clear her head. When she reached the stairs she headed up, rather than down, feeling the desperate need to check on the sleeping members of her family. This had become her customary nightly circuit following the nightly dreams that had been tormenting her.

She slowly opened the door to her youngest son Ron’s bedroom, and was relieved to see both him and Harry sound asleep. The first night that they had returned to The Burrow following the battle at Hogwart’s, Molly had stood at this door for almost an hour just watching the two of them sleeping almost afraid that she was still sleeping and that when she woke they would both still be gone somewhere.

When Ron, Harry and Hermione had escaped from Bill and Fleur’s wedding at the beginning of August, she had spent countless hours trying to guess where they had gone and what they were doing. Arthur had tried to convince her to let it go, but she nearly drove herself crazy with it all. She searched the Prophet for any word of their whereabouts only to be constantly disappointed, until the incident at the Ministry of course. And then there was the Gringott’s break-in! That had been simply awful. Charlie and Bill thought that it had been pure genius, but Molly had cried for days.

She walked into the room and tucked the blankets tighter around Ron’s shoulders still unable to believe that her little boy had been through so much in the past nine months. He looked so much older and more tired than she ever remember seeing him. He still had his insatiable appetite though she thought with a grin. Of all her boys, Ron was the one that surprised her most with the amount of food that he was able to put away. She wondered how he ever survived his life on the run since she doubted that food was as readily available as he had become accustomed to.

She turned her attentions to Harry who was sleeping fitfully in the camp bed set up next to Ron’s bed. She had for some time loved Harry as if he were one of her own sons and looking at him now she could feel her heart breaking thinking about everything this poor, poor boy had been through these past few years. She knew from her nightly checks that he suffered from nightmares of his own, but he never once complained about them. So many times she wanted to do nothing more than hold him and comfort him as she held all of her own children when they had woken up scared in the night.

When he had recounted to them all, his entire encounter into the pensieve to witness Snape’s memory and his visit beyond the veil with Dumbledore, she had to fight back her anger at it all. She could not believe that Dumbledore had been willing to use Harry in that way, and had been willing to sacrifice his life the way he had. Arthur had tried convincing her that he was certain that Dumbledore had most likely known that Harry would not have died, but she had a hard time believing it all. It just hadn’t been fair to the boy to have put that enormous weight of the world solely upon his shoulders. Still, all of that was now over and she was determined to do whatever it took to make sure that his suffering and heartache would nothing more than a distant memory.  He was a member of her family and she would never let him be alone again.

She snuck out of the room, closed the door behind her and made her way back down to the fourth floor to Charlie’s room. She peered into his room and was unable to see him through the dark, but was comforted by the sound of his rhythmic snoring. Immediately after his triumphant appearance at the battle with the horde of foreign wizards that he had recruited, Charlie had experienced some issues adjusting back to the time zone difference being back home. Several nights she had found him awake in the kitchen drinking a glass of whiskey trying to get back to sleep.

She quietly closed his door and proceeded down to the Bill’s bedroom where he and Fleur were staying for a few more days. They had decided to stay at The Burrow until after Fred’s funeral before they made their way back to shell cottage. The both of them had decided to return to working at Gringott’s bank despite her fears of them being on the receiving end of the goblins wrath at the destruction of the bank by Harry, Ron and Hermione. Both Fleur and Bill, however, had reassured her that none of the goblins were harboring any ill feelings towards any of them for what happened, though Bill was certain that was largely due to sizeable amount of money that was paid to them by the ministry for restitutions and repairs.  

She listened for a moment to assure herself that all was well and then proceeded down to the third floor where she first came to Percy’s room. She stood quietly at the door without opening it remembering so many other sleepless nights that she had spent in this room throughout the past three years. She would spend hours staring out of the window into the garden trying to get inside the mind of her wayward son and understand where she had gone wrong with him.

She had always known that he had been a proud boy that had always worked hard to prove himself, but never in a million years would she have ever thought that he would have pulled himself up so tight that he would have been embarrassed by their family. She will never forget the pain that she had seen in her husband’s eyes when they had quarreled. Now that he was home, despite his many apologies, she could still sense the unspoken uneasiness between the two of them. She was certain, however, that things between the two of them would smooth themselves out given some time. For now she was just glad that he was home again with the family.

She walked down the hall to the room that Fred used to share with George and saw light shining from beneath the door. Opening the door slowly, she fought back the tears that welled up in her eyes at the sight before her. George had fallen asleep on the floor of the room surrounded by hundreds of pictures of him & Fred throughout the years.

While the losing of her beloved Fred had been hard on the entire family, George had been taking it all the hardest. He had confessed to his mother that he no longer felt like a whole person without Fred and that he had felt that it should have been him that had died instead. She had, of course, comforted him and assured him that Fred would not have wanted that, but her heart had just broken a little further listening to the depths of George’s despair. Fred had been the more outgoing of the two of them, and she knew that George had mostly followed his brother’s example in so many things, and she was worried how he was going to be able to cope without his brother. She wanted to help him more than anything, but she was at a complete loss at how to do so. The feeling of absolute helplessness at being able to take away her son’s pain hurt almost as bad as losing Fred.

Not wanting to disturb him, she grabbed a blanket off of his bed and covered him with it. Then she kissed him on the cheek, turned out his lamp and left his room.  Standing in the hall outside of his room she wiped away the tears that slid down her cheeks and took several deep breaths trying to keep control of her emotions.

After several minutes she made her way down to the ground level to her only daughter’s room. Ginny was sharing her room with Hermione until she left to Australia to locate her parents. Molly had been completely amazed at Hermione’s ingenuity when she had revealed the lengths that she had gone to protect her parents.  She doubted that she would have had the strength to take such a drastic action when she had been so young, and she truly worried for her journey to recover them. There were so many things that could go wrong along the way, but she had tried to conceal her fears from the child. She was after all a brilliant girl, and had already accomplished so much in her short life this seemed like a small hiccup in comparison. If, heaven forbid, she encounters any difficulties Molly would be sure to do whatever she could to help her.

She walked quietly into the room and turned off the wireless that had been left on next to Ginny’s bed and tucked the covers around her baby’s shoulders. She had been so terrified when she had seen that her daughter had not remained safely out of the way during the battle, but nothing had compared to the excruciating agony she had felt when she heard her daughter’s terrified and heartbroken scream when she had thought that Harry had been killed. She had known that Ginny had been sweet on Harry, but she never knew the depth of those feelings until she had heard the pain in her only daughter’s voice. She imagined it to the pain that she herself would likely have felt if it had been Arthur that had been being carried in. Her baby girl was in love and she couldn’t think of a single other boy that would be worthy enough for her than Harry. While it was hard for her to believe that her daughter was so grown, she could not help but be proud of the incredible woman that she was becoming.

She closed up the room and made her way into the kitchen where she was surprised to see Arthur waiting for her with a cup of steaming tea.

“What are you doing up?” Molly said.

Arthur smiled. “I missed you. Plus I figured you could use a cup of tea after you finished your rounds.”

Molly sighed and sat down next to him. “I just feel like I have to reassure myself that everyone is really all here,” she said quietly.

“I know you do. And I love you all the more for it,” he said as he draped his arm around her shoulders. “Everything will be all right now, dear. I promise. You can relax.”

Molly’s eyes filled up with tears again. It had been so long since she had been able to relax that she almost felt like she had forgotten what it felt like. She knew that the next few weeks and months would be difficult for everyone and that they all had a lot of healing to do, but maybe things really were going to be okay after all. Feeling her love holding her protectively and knowing that everyone that she loved most in her life was safe inside their home she knew that life would regain a new normal. It would take time, she knew, but time was finally on their side.

She finished up her tea and smiled up at her husband. “Come on, love. Let’s go back to bed.”


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