I'm sitting here at a funeral. It's the first one I've ever been to. Funny, that, you'd think I would have been to more, what with my mother and father, Cedric, and Sirius. Perhaps even the funerals of others whom Lord Voldemort has killed since his resurrection. But no, Molly Weasley has the dubious honour of my attendance at her funeral as my first experience. I think it is Ginny's first funeral as well. She's holding my hand rather tightly, and I let her. If this is a little reassurance that she needs, she's welcome to it.
I wonder if my parents' funeral was like this, with the deceased laid out on a bier, surrounded by flowers. There are lots of lilies around Molly; the traditional white ones, the oranges, pinks and purples, both open and tightly curled, and even a few yellow ones scattered throughout. My mother was named after them. Why are lilies considered the flower of death? I don't want to think of my mother as a white lily. I'd rather think of her as one of those orangey ones, with the plum stripes on the white underside, and a judicious sprinkle of brown freckles. Bright and passionate, vibrant and cheerful. Caring towards those who suffered and were oppressed, open about her beliefs and values, and quite ready to defend them from anyone who contravened their elements. I think I understand why my father loved her.
Lily was the woman who had the most profound influence on my life, yet I barely remember her. Just the Dementor-induced memory of her futile plead with Voldemort, the photos Hagrid gave me, Snape's memory, and the green light, which is also the colour of our eyes, are all I have to remember her by. Her eyes are the only physical feature or object she gave to me. Everything else is my fathers: his cloak; the map he helped make; his appearance; his Quidditch prowess. Yet, my mother left me the most important thing: the protection of her blood, the haven which has protected and sheltered me ever since. The gifts which my mother gave me are intangible; those of my father are physical, rather like the people those who knew my parents purport Lily and James to be.
Speaking of physicality, Ginny's concrete cold grip is cutting off the circulation to my fingers. I place my other hand on top of hers, to warm it up, and then rub her hand until her grasp loosens. I then give it a quick squeeze to remind her not to inadvertently, or on purpose, halt my blood circulation again, and she grins back at me.
Did Lily know of the protection she was giving me? Did she realise that her sacrifice would help to save my life, to gift me with powers, to give me a future? My mother is the unsung hero of the wizarding world. Without her gift to me, would I have died? Would Neville have then become the child of the prophecy? Would he now carry the burden I must bear?
Ginny shifts beside me, obviously made uncomfortable by the ridiculous speech being made. The person talking is some idiotic sycophant of Fudge's, a Ministry worker who, quite obviously, never spent a day of his life near Molly Weasley. I think he's reading from a standard speech for these occasions, with the names and numbers changed in a pathetic attempt to make it sound supposedly relevant. I hope no imbecile such as this spoke at my parents' funeral. Lupin should have spoken. I'll have to ask him later on.
I can sense Ginny's distress growing. We both have no mothers now. Our cases, however, are wildly different. Ginny knows and remembers Molly, while I have only the stories of others as a testament to my mother's personality. I gently hug Ginny to me, hoping that she'll understand that, although I don't know what it's like to lose a mother whom you know, I've lost Sirius, and I'm ready to just be there for her, like she was for me last year. Her hair doesn't seem as bright in the dim light. It looks moreÖ auburn, like my mother's used to look. It contrasts sharply against the green of my Weasley jumper, which I wear as a tribute to Molly. Hermione got one this past Christmas as well. Hers was a sapphire blue, reminiscent of her dress robes from fourth year.
Ginny curls up next to me, leaning against my chest. I wrap my other arm around her, so I can hold her close to me. As she begins to cry, something which she hasn't done before, I try to avoid the awkwardness I displayed when it was Cho sobbing. I rub her back and murmur in her ear, about how it's all right, that I'm here for her, and other trite nonsense which I doubt she understands.
As I sit here, holding this passionate girl, so repulsed by injustices and affected by her mother's death, I wonder at the woman she may become, if we survive.