The Harry Potter Universe belongs to J.K. Rowling. I’m just borrowing the characters for a while. This is for pleasure only, no profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Bold Face Type indicates a direct quote from Chapter Twelve, Magic Is Might, or Chapter Thirteen, The Muggle-born Registration Commission, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
A/N: This story is told from Molly’s Weasley’s point of view and parallels Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsand the summer after it. It begins where Ginny’s Fifth Year leaves off.
Molly did not sleep well on the night before Ginny was to leave for Hogwarts for the sixth time. She was worried about sending her baby so far away with so much unrest throughout the British Isles under the new regime at the Ministry. She was well aware that the whole Weasley family was suspect and regarded as Blood Traitors by those who followed You-Know-Who. Ron, who was supposedly confined to his room with a severe case of Spattergroit, was actually, Merlin knows where, with Harry and Hermione. The two Healers and an Auror from the Ministry who came to check on him were not only convinced that he had a severe case but were extremely anxious to leave before they became infected.
However, Arthur told her that Death Eaters within the Ministry did not seem to believe that Hermione and her parents had fled abroad and were still watching their home. Death Eaters were also watching every place that Harry had ever been known to visit. An angry-looking picture of him, with ‘UNDESIRABLE NUMBER 1’ emblazoned across his chest, was widely posted. The twins pulled down one of them from a boarded-up shop in Diagon Alley andgave it to Ginny. She put it up on the wall in her room and asked Arthur to cast a Disillusionment Charm so that she was the only one who could see it.
Despite her worries about what was about to happen, Molly got up and went downstairs to start breakfast at the usual hour. The Hogwarts Express was scheduled to leave on Sunday morning this year so more parents were able to see their children off. She started some porridge in a cauldron and put the kettle on for tea. She cast Cooling Charms on a small box of leftover chicken and some chocolate cake for Ginny’s lunch and went up to wake Arthur and Ginny.
Molly noticed that the Daily Prophet had not been delivered yet and wondered if they’d held the presses for breaking news. After breakfast, Arthur put a Shrinking Charm on Ginny’s trunk, tucked it in his pocket, and asked Molly to carry Arnold’s cage. Then, he held Ginny’s arm and Side-Along Apparated with her to the alley beside King's Cross Station. He restored the trunk to normal size and carried it to the trolleys.
When they went through the barrier to platform nine and three-quarters, Molly became aware of how many fewer students were catching the Hogwarts Express. She had no idea that so many of the students were Muggleborn or from families in which only one parent was a witch or wizard. Her friend Kate had commented that many employees from the Wizarding Wireless Network had gone underground, but it was still a shock to see the platform nearly half empty.
Augusta Longbottom was standing nearby with her grandson Neville so Molly and Arthur walked over towards her. Neville smiled but Augusta merely looked at Ginny with her piercing gaze and asked, ‘Where is Ronald?’
‘Unfortunately, he was exposed to Spattergroit at a family wedding and is still very contagious,’ replied Molly sadly. She turned toward Neville and said, ‘I’m sure he will be joining you and his other classmates as soon as he is well.’
‘Yes, he wanted very much to come. He was worried that someone else will get to be Keeper,’ said Ginny.
‘That’s not a good disease to have!’ said Neville while his grandmother gave Ginny another questioning look.
Luna Lovegood and her father entered through the barrier. Luna was dressed colourfully with a necklace of butterbeer corks and her usual radish earrings. August Longbottom took a step back when she drifted very close to Neville. ‘Hello!’ she said in a dreamy voice. ‘Are you going to Hogwarts again this year?’
Neville nodded his head and let his grandmother lead him to the train. Molly, Arthur, and Xenophilius began to walk Ginny and Luna in the same direction, telling them to be careful and to write when they got to Hogwarts. They each kissed their own daughter and waved good-bye to both girls. The train pulled out.
Xenophilius Disapparated immediately while Molly and Arthur stopped off at the teashop that had so many happy memories for them. It was a while before they returned to The Burrow, which was empty except for their ghoul in Ron’s old pajamas. An owl was waiting for them with the Daily Prophet.A large picture of a familiar, hook-nosed, black-haired man stared up at them… beneath a headline that read:
SEVERUS SNAPE CONFIRMED AS HOGWARTS HEADMASTER
‘Merlin’s beard!’ said Molly. ‘It seems that all one has to do is murder the finest Headmaster that Hogwarts has ever known and he will be rewarded with his job!’
Arthur read the entire article aloud and paused. ‘Didn’t Bill say that Alecto Carrow and her brother were among the Death Eaters that the Malfoy boy let in to Hogwarts?’
Molly nodded. ‘What happened to Charity Burbage who used to be the Muggle Studies teacher?’
‘A few days before the wedding, the Daily Prophet had a short article saying that she resigned, but it never gave a reason.’
‘I cannot imagine why Alecto Carrow would be teaching Muggle Studies. She hates Muggles!’
‘I suspect that is reason enough,’ sighed Arthur. ‘I know that you did not sleep well last night. Let’s go take a nap for an hour or so.’
Molly agreed to nap but did not feel rested when she awoke. She still had a very bad feeling about the school year to come. As evening drew in, bringing with it an unexpected gust of chilly rain for the first time in weeks, she shivered as though someone were walking over her grave. The Prewett knack for foretelling the future seemed to be turned to full.
It was nearly time for Arthur to return from the Ministry the next afternoon when a school owl brought a note from Ginny. Molly gave the strange owl a treat and then watched him wheel around and disappear to the north. She opened the note and read-
Dear Mum and Dad and poor sick Ron,
Professor Snape is now Headmaster Snape. To say that Neville and Luna and I were surprised, would be putting it mildly. We have some new professors that are quite familiar looking as we have seen them at Hogwarts at least one time before they were introduced to us at the Welcoming Feast.
All of his classmates send their best wishes for a speedy recovery to Ron. His friend Harry has not returned either, but Minister Thicknesse and Undersecretary Umbridge are actively seeking him. Our former Headmistress must be too busy judging Muggleborns to teach this year. Every teacher has asked me if I know how to get in touch with our friend Hermione who is traveling abroad with her parents. I tell them am sorry that I did not write down where they will be going but it was somewhere like Austria, or Australia, or, maybe, Austin, Texas. It’s hard for me to remember Muggle locations.
I will write more when I have time.
Arthur arrived nearly as soon as Molly finished reading the short note. ‘How is Ron?’ he asked loudly as he kissed her. She handed him the letter from Ginny. He put his finger to his lips, nodded toward their fireplace, and spoke in a loud, clear voice, ‘Molly my dear, it is very pleasant outside. I think I’d like to watch the sun go down with the love of my life.’ He took her hand and led her outside into the garden. He snorted a bit at some of the things that Ginny had written but then said, ‘I’d say that anything she sends home is being read by Snape or his friends so she must be cautious about how she phrases her letters home.’
‘I’m quite sure that you’re right about that. How was your day at the Ministry?’ asked Molly.
‘Strange in some ways, which is one of the reasons I dragged you outside. I happened to be in a lift with just Albert Runcorn and Percy. Our son was as cold as ever but for some reason, Albert was much friendlier than usual. When Percy got off at his floor, Runcom suddenly asked me if I was aware that I was being tracked. That’s not at all like him. Maybe it was because Percy was so rude, I don’t know.’
‘And he’s definitely on their side?’ Molly asked. Arthur nodded. ‘Then the warning is strange.’
‘The whole Ministry was buzzing because someone stole the eye of Mad-Eye Moody. Perhaps the same person later freed a whole cohort of Muggleborns who were under investigation. You should have seen Dolores Umbridge having a tantrum. She’d been using the magical eye to spy on people from her door.’
Molly gasped. ‘Do you suppose it was all an accident or do you think that perhaps, our missing…?’ Arthur shook his head and began to talk about the beautiful sunset. When they came in some time later, Molly began to dish up dinner.
That night when they were cuddling in bed, Arthur cast a Silencing Charm and said, ‘Molly, something else very strange happened today. Everyone was talking about it. A big golden locket with a snake shaped letter S inlaid with green stones was plucked right off of Dolores Umbridge’s neck. She can’t remember who did it but thinks it was the same person who freed the Muggleborns.’
‘Sirius, the children, and I found a big gold locket with a green S on it when we were clearing out one of the cupboards in the drawing room. We couldn’t get it open. It was the same day that Ginny stopped the enchanted music box from putting us all to sleep.’
Arthur looked interested but then said, ‘I’m sure there are a host of golden lockets with the letter S on them. Umbridge said it was a Selwyn family heirloom.’
‘Are the Blacks and Selwyns related?’
‘Everyone is related. Both of us have cousins that married Blacks and Selwyns.’
Molly cuddled closer.
Several weeks passed. Molly was busy harvesting fruits and vegetables and making jam and preserving them for the winter. Arthur had several meetings with various members of the Order but refused to tell her where they were or what was discussed. He said that the fewer people who knew what the resistance was doing, the better.
On Thursday, September 19, Molly woke at the usual time and realized that today was Hermione’s birthday. She was the oldest of the three missing students and would be eighteen today. Molly hoped they were all safe but no one had heard from them since Remus had visited them six weeks before. That afternoon, she gave a treat to a school owl that arrived just as the sun was going down.
Dear Mum and Dad,
How is Ron? Is he getting any better? Have you tried the cure where you take a toad’s liver and bind it tight around his throat, and then make him stand naked at the full moon in a barrel full of eyes of eels?
I have been wondering if you have heard from Hermione? I hope she is having a wonderful time on her early gap year. She will get to see new places and try new things. It’s her birthday on the nineteenth. She will be of age in the Muggle world.
School is very hard this year. I have been in detention several times already. But don’t worry. They wouldn’t dare kill a pure-blood. Tell Fred and George thanks for the stuff that they sent in their owl post.
‘Not the most reassuring note we have received from our daughter, said Arthur in a worried voice. ‘I wonder what she is getting detention for?’ Molly felt a shudder rise from deep within her.
All through the rest of September, Molly worried about Ginny at Hogwarts and Ron off on his mission with Harry. She worried about Fred and George, who were busy with their joke shop and some special items that they were working on with their father. They’d come by for dinner a couple of times a week but spent most of the visit out in Arthur’s shed. She worried because Percy was still not in communication with anyone. She was a little less worried about Charlie who wrote more often than usual because he was so concerned about what was happening now in England since the followers of You-Know-Who had seized control of the Ministry, Hogwarts, and St Mungo’s. Bill and Fleur were living in a cottage by the sea that had been in Fleur’s family for many years. Her clever oldest son had cast the Fidelius Charm on it and revealed its location to only a few Order members.
Every morning that Molly tried to listen to Days Of Destiny and Bedside at St Brigid’s, she wondered how much longer they would be on the wireless. The evil secret twin daughter of Lord Lyle, Lyla, was still taking endless diction lessons at Ye Olde Shakespeare Academy while her good twin, Smyla, was suffering endlessly and silently from a magical form of Aphasia while trying to become a Healer. Molly noticed that there were only two voices on each program. There was no mention of Kate Wallace or her former lessons teaching witches how to cast the Patronus Charm to protect their children from dementors.
On the last day of September, a large postal owl arrived at The Burrow with a folded parchment addressed to Mum and Dad in Charlie’s bold scrawl. Molly fed the huge bird two owl treats and watched him put his head under his wing and fall asleep out in the garden.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I hope that Ron is felling better. Spattergroit is a nasty disease. It sometimes takes months to recover from it. Give him my regards. How is Ginny doing with the new administration at Hogwarts? I do not have any first-hand knowledge but some people report that the new professors are rather extreme in their views and practices.
My pen pal, Kathleen, was a Hufflepuff. She is going to stay with a mutual friend that I didn’t even realize that she was close to. Did you know that Tonks is pregnant? Anyway, Kathleen is going to stay with her while Remus is gone so she won’t be alone while she is having a lot of morning sickness. Maybe you could go and see them some time. I have told Kathleen a lot about what a good cook you are.
Tell Bill and Fleur that I hope to go and see their new house the next time I am in the neighborhood. And thank the twins for the hat that does something unexpected.
‘My goodness, Tonks and Remus are going to have a baby, even with all the turmoil in our world,’ said Molly to herself. ‘And I have a strong feeling that Kathleen is more than just Charlie’s pen pal.’
When Arthur read Charlie’s letter, he told Molly that they would talk about it later. He did not mention it again until they were cuddled in their bed that night. He told her that he had heard some of the same rumors about the new teachers at Hogwarts being extreme and cruel but reassured her that Ginny’s pureblood status would probably protect her. He was not as surprised as she was at the news of Tonks’ pregnancy. He reminded her that they had all seven of their children while You-Know-Who and his Death Eaters were terrorizing the countryside. ‘Ginny wasn’t even three months old when Harry defeated You-Know-Who.’
Molly cuddled closer. ‘I had forgotten how brave we were to have had all our children in such perilous times. We were so much in love!’
‘And still are!’ Arthur reminded her.
A/N: This chapter benefited from suggestions and corrections during the pre-beta period from bookish 327 and from my beta Trelawney 2213. Even though I have completed Ginny’s Sixth Year and am working on the outline for Ginny’s Seventh Year, I am trying very hard not to read any stories that are about what happened at Hogwarts during this terrible year and the summer after it. I will enjoy their fan fics more after I get my next story finished.