As she had countless mornings, and as she would
for countless more to come, Molly Weasley snapped awake precisely at
6:30 am. She rolled over and placed her feet on the floor, slipping
them into her house shoes where she had left them the night before.
Standing up, she grabbed her dressing gown from the hook where she hung
it every night and made her way to the private bathroom that she and
her husband shared.
After relieving the pressure from the
night before, she quickly washed the sleep from her eyes and brushed
the morning breath from her mouth. As she shuffled back to her bedroom,
she briefly considered waking Arthur but decided to let him have an
extra hour of sleep, instead. He had been working very late nearly
every night and would come to bed exhausted, often not even
acknowledging the children or his wife before slipping off into sleep.
Molly readjusted the comforter over Arthur and then made her way
quietly out of the door.
Molly made her way up the uneven
stairway, pausing on the third floor landing to listen at Ginny’s door
to see if the young woman had awakened. Hearing nothing at the door,
she continued down the hall to the bathroom on this floor. With a flick
of her wand and a muttered incantation, the clothing that was strewn
about the bathroom flew up from the floor and into the laundry basket
by the door. Molly quickly cast a LocomotorSpell on the
basket and it followed her up to the next floor. Molly carefully placed
an ear to the door of room occupied by Fred and George. She heard
nothing but the soft buzz of snores so she quietly stepped down the
hall to bathroom shared by her three sons who were still living in the
house. Another quick flick of the wrist and the clothing scattered
about the bathroom jumped into the basket. She once again levitated the
basket and began making her way back down the stairs.
matron of the house carefully stepped over the creaky second step near
the bottom and made her way to her washroom off of the kitchen. Once
there, she quickly cast a spell that sorted the clothing and set the
various washing bins to washing the clothes. She then returned to the
kitchen and began boiling water for her morning tea.
began bustling around her kitchen, setting up pots and pans and
retrieving ingredients to begin preparing breakfast for her clan. She
had just got all of the pots settled on the stovetop and set the
pancake mix to mixing itself in a bowl, when Errol arrived with the
morning Owl Post. She quickly untied the post and laid Errol in the
basket under his perch. She sorted through it quickly, realizing that
most of them were junk Owls and then set the eggs to beating in another
bowl on the counter.
At that moment, a second Owl arrived with the morning edition of The Daily Prophet.
She quickly dropped the required Knuts into the pouch and set the paper
down on the table and began skimming the headlines. She paused and
dropped the paper when she reached the first headline which read:
Confirmed, Boy-Who-Lived Vanished
by Rita Skeeter
Molly quickly sniffled and a tear began rolling down her face as she remembered the events of the morning of 22 June…
was an early morning, just like any other Saturday in the summer when
the children were home for the holidays. The twins were bantering back
and forth with Ron about giving him a job at Weasley Wizarding Wheezes.
Ginny seemed either deep in thought, or she hadn’t completely awoken
yet as she stared at her bangers and mash. Arthur was glancing through
the morning edition of The Daily Prophet making occasional comments to Bill while Molly was dishing out seconds to Arthur and the boys.
that moment, the fireplace between the kitchen and sitting room erupted
and Remus Lupin’s head appeared in the flames, a look of sheer panic on
“Molly…Arthur…come quickly…to Grimmauld Place,” he panted out. "Harry’s vanished.”
All around the table the sound of forks hitting plates rang out. Instantly, voices began clamouring to be heard.
can’t leave us out of this…please…this is Harry," exclaimed Ron. He was
nervously rubbing his hands over the scars on his arms that hadn’t
“Please, Mum...don’t shut us out," Ginny
begged, her eyes welling up with tears of grief and frustration. Ginny
was pacing back and forth beside the table, rubbing her hands together
and chewing on her bottom lip.
The twins were giving
Molly a look that said that they were coming whether she agreed they
could or not. She matched that look with a glare of her own that said
she would brook no arguments from that quarter. After meeting her gaze
for a moment, they looked away.
Arthur quickly spoke
up, “OK…Fred…George…you two stay here with Ron and Ginny…Ron, after we
leave, you have permission to place one Floo call to Hermione to inform
her of what is going on. Don’t put it in the Owl Post…someone might
Ron looked like he was about to protest
when Arthur shot him a look that quailed him. He took a deep breath and
sat back down and began pushing his food around his plate.
simply huffed and stormed out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Molly
figured it was for the best, as Ginny had a tendency to be
disrespectful when her anger got the better of her.
looked expectantly at Fred and George, and they nodded and sat back
down. They, at least, began eating again, although Molly could tell
that it was without much appetite.
Molly looked from
Arthur to Bill; they each nodded to her and with a series of 'pops',
first Arthur, then Bill, and then finally Molly Apparated away.
Molly returned her attention to the article in The Daily Prophet. ‘It has finally happened,’ she thought to herself. ‘The press has finally gotten wind of Harry’s disappearance.’
article described that through “reliable” sources, it had come to the
attention of key members of the Ministry that sometime around 22 June
Harry had disappeared without a trace from his home. The Ministry felt
it was pertinent that such potentially devastating news for the
Wizarding World not be kept a secret. The article then went on to
speculate through interviews from unidentified sources about the
different scenarios that might have described Harry’s disappearance.
first theory speculated that Harry was still suffering from various
mental instabilities due to his confrontations with You-Know-Who, and
he had finally become irrevocably unbalanced and had run away on his
own and was living as a vagrant on the streets of London.
quickly thought back to the first couple of weeks after Harry had
disappeared. She and other members of the Order had combed Muggle
London for any sign of Harry. After two fruitless weeks, it was decided
to set watches on various locations Harry might try to get to, in the
event he was in trouble and needed assistance. Molly had been keeping
watch on Grimmauld place with Remus Lupin, trading shifts with her
sons, Bill and Charlie, who kept watch in the evenings, and a pair of
young witches who had recently been inducted into the Order but whose
names Molly hadn’t managed to learn, yet.
The second theory
was one that was quite horrifying for Molly to even contemplate. The
second theory speculated that You-Know-Who, now that he had been
exposed to the public, had simply wasted no time in eliminating the
Boy-Who-Lived, once and for all. The detractors of that opinion pointed
out that most likely, if You-Know-Who had eliminated Harry that he
would have dumped the body somewhere public where it couldn’t have been
missed or covered up by the Ministry.
Molly thought back to
the day Harry had disappeared and the discussion and theories that were
bandied back and forth at the Order meeting that had been quickly
Molly arrived with small 'pop' at the designated Apparition point up the street from Number 12, Grimmauld Place.
Arthur, Bill, and Molly carefully looked around before hurrying up the
street to the spot between 11 and 13. They paused a moment to think
about the slip of paper each had been given when they were first
inducted into the Order the previous summer, and suddenly Number 12,
Grimmauld Place squeezed out from between Numbers 11 and 13. The three
hurried up to the door, and Arthur quickly and silently slipped his
wand out and tapped the doorknob in the prescribed pattern and the door
clicked and opened. The three silently crept into the entrance hall and
slipped the door shut. After seeing that the door was locked again,
they stepped as quietly as possible past the portrait of Mrs. Black,
being careful not to disturb her, and made their way down to the
kitchen where the Order usually assembled for their meetings.
the kitchen, Molly scanned the room, recognizing that a majority of the
members of the Order from the previous summer were assembled. Looking
around the table, she acknowledged the presence of ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody,
Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Remus Lupin, Emmeline Vance, Hestia Jones,
Dedalus Diggle, Elphias Doge, Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, Mundungus
Fletcher, and much to her surprise, Charlie.
Molly quickly crossed the kitchen and embraced Charlie. “When did you get to England?”
she enquired. She raised her eyebrows as an indication that he
had better have a good answer for not informing her that he was coming.
gazed at her lazily and smirked, “Relax, Mum. I was just called in this
morning, Dumbledore had given me an emergency Portkey to use in the
event of a serious situation such as this.”
“How long are you here for?” Molly asked, her excitement growing despite the circumstances.
until this situation is resolved, however long that is, Mum. Dumbledore
has already arranged a room for me at the Leaky Cauldron.” Charlie
cringed as his mother's eyebrows shot up at the last statement.
let out a sigh and responded, “Well, at least be sure to come by for
dinner while you are here. We don’t get to see you enough, as it is.”
embraced his son, and then Bill shook his hand and patted him on the
back in greeting. Molly took the chair next to Charlie's, and Arthur
and Bill sat down next to her. She looked around and realized that
there were only three more empty chairs at the table.
noticed that the others were speaking to one another in hushed whispers
with the exception of Remus Lupin, who seemed to be staring aimlessly.
She wondered if it was the situation that was affecting him or the fact
that he was dealing with this kind of pressure so soon after Sirius’s
After a couple of minutes, the door opened and
Severus Snape glided into the room, his cloak billowing behind him. At
a glance, he appeared as dour and insufferable as always, but a closer
look revealed that he was rather haggard looking, as if he hadn’t slept
in some time. Snape sat stiffly in one of the empty chairs, and Molly
noted a wince of pain as he shifted his weight. Everyone was looking at
him expectantly, hoping that he had some inkling of what had happened
to Harry, but if Snape knew anything, he wasn’t sharing. He simply
fixed everyone with the same stony expression he usually reserved for
Molly noticed impatience brewing in some
of those seated at the table, and to her relief, Albus Dumbledore
entered, leading Arabella Figg. She was the Squib who lived in the
Dursley's neighbourhood. Her responsibility was to be the ‘eyes’ of the
Order watching over Harry through the years. Dumbledore motioned
Arabella to the empty chair next to the one he sat in. All of the
hushed conversations tapered off, and everyone seated at the table
gazed at the aging Headmaster expectantly.
seemed to sag a little in his chair and carefully plucked his half-moon
glasses from his face. He pulled a handkerchief from inside his
colourful robes and wearily polished the lenses. His face seemed
pensive, as if he was trying to think of the best way to break the news
to those assembled. Finally, he sighed and placed the handkerchief into
his robe pocket. He slipped his spectacles back on and looked around
the table with a mournful gaze. Molly had never seen the Headmaster
appear more tired or more defeated than he looked now.
Dumbledore cleared his throat. “Ladies, Gentleman, we have a crisis on our hands. Sometime between 3:00 pm yesterday and 8:00 am today, Harry Potter disappeared from his relative’s residence at Number 4, Privet Drive.” Startled gasps were heard around the room and whispers were heard all around the table.
Arthur’s voice broke out clearly above the whispers. “Professor, it was
my understanding that Harry was safe within the protections and wards
around his relative’s home.” The whispers rose in volume to become
murmurs, and Molly noticed that Dumbledore seemed to sag even further
into his chair. He looked terribly old to anyone who was observing at
He took a deep breath and responded, “The wards and protections around the residence on Privet Drive
prevent Voldemort from harming Harry while he is there. There are also
anti-Apparition wards to prevent wizards and witches from Apparating
within three hundred metres of the residence. The location is also a
protected secret of the Ministry's, but the site is not under the Fidelius
Charm. It would be possible for Harry to leave the residence on his own
or for someone to enter and remove him.” Dumbledore paused for a moment
and drew a deep breath. “Remus, you were the one who discovered he was
missing; please, describe what you observed this morning.”
attention shifted to the sallow looking man with tattered robes.
Lupin’s attention still seemed to be focused elsewhere, but suddenly,
he sighed heavily, sat back in is chair, and looked around the room.
“At approximately 8:00 am this morning, I arrived at the
Dursley residence for the purpose of checking on Harry and to ascertain
whether our warning to his relatives had been effective or if more
drastic measures would be required.”
Several members of
the Order seemed puzzled by this. Molly quickly interjected, “Those
nasty Muggles treat him dreadfully. They work him like a house-elf and
dress him in these tattered hand-me-down rags of his cousin’s. They
often refuse to feed him, and they lock him in his room for days at a
time. My sons rescued him four summers ago and found that he had been
locked in his bedroom for days with little food, and they had put bars
on the window.” Molly was getting her rant going when Arthur placed his
hand over hers and gave a gentle squeeze. Seeing the look in her
husband's eyes, she felt her anger drain away. She looked around the
table to see looks of incredulity and disbelief from the majority of
those seated. Snape, on the other hand, seemed to have a self-satisfied
smirk on his face. Apparently, the thought of Harry suffering with his
Muggle relations was something he found amusing.
Anticipating that the discussions were about to get out of hand, Remus cleared his throat and continued, “I arrived at 8:00 am
and knocked on the door of the residence. Mrs. Dursley answered the
door, and I requested to see Harry. I was informed that he hadn’t left
his bedroom since he had arrived at the house the afternoon before. We
know that he had arrived because the Order member assigned to watch the
home yesterday evening saw him arrive and take his things into the
Lupin gazed around the table to make certain he
had the attention of all present. “All of his belongings were there
except his wand. It appeared he had been in the middle of unpacking his
trunk when he simply vanished. We even found a secret hiding place
under the floor that he had left open.”
members of the Order burst into discussion, bouncing theories as to
what might have happened to Harry. Molly, however, wasn’t paying any
attention to them. Instead, her attention was focused on the end of the
table. That was the very spot where Harry and Sirius had sat in during
the celebration of Ron and Hermione receiving their prefect badges. She
remembered how Ginny had steered the conversation with Sirius to the
fact that neither he nor Harry’s father had been a prefect while
attending Hogwarts. She had also noticed that, upon being reminded of
this, the tension Harry had displayed that morning seemed to drain away
from him. Molly couldn’t help but fret at the unfairness of the
situation, when a child as sweet and dear as Harry had lost every
parental figure that had ever come into his life, except those horrid
Her musings were interrupted when the primly
dressed Emmeline Vance spoke above the din, “Do we have any indications
that You-Know-Who or his Death Eaters were involved in his
disappearance?” Every eye at the table turned to stare at the Potions
Master. He appeared to be in pain as he drew breath. Even his robes
appeared a bit tattered, contrary to his usual appearance.
glared at everyone around the table… and slowly stood and moved behind
his chair to address the assembled group. “Last night, around seven o’clock,
I was summoned to the Dark Lord’s presence. When I arrived at the
location that I had been directed to, the Dark Lord was in a towering
rage; Harry Potter had been hidden from him through some magic of
Dumbledore. He was torturing his followers when they couldn’t provide
him an answer as to what kind of magic Dumbledore was using. When he
realized I had arrived, he began questioning me to find out what I knew
about whatever protection the Headmaster was using to shield Potter’s
mind. Unfortunately for myself, I was unable to answer adequately and
suffered several minutes of the Cruciatus Curse.”
paused dramatically at this point. Molly wondered if he had expected
some type of sympathy from those assembled. Whatever it was he was
expecting, he apparently did not get it as his scowl resumed, and he
continued with his report, “After subjecting his followers to several
bouts of the Cruciatus Curse, he charged us with doing whatever was necessary to find out what magic this was so that he could find a counter to it.”
what you are saying, Severus, is that You-Know-Who has no more idea
where Harry is than we do?” Moody interjected, his magical eye rolling
“I believe that is what I said,” Snape
responded coolly. “In fact, if I were to guess, I would say the
arrogant fool ran off to try to get some attention,” Snape added with a
At that point, Molly saw red. Before she knew
what she was doing, she stood and cast a Banishing Spell at Snape,
flinging him from his perch behind the chair into the kitchen cupboard,
literally blasting him through the doors and bringing several sets of
dishes down upon the Potion Master’s head. She shouted out in a
screeching voice, “You vile, pompous, arrogant, worthless, sorry excuse
for a wizard; if I ever hear you insult that dear boy in my presence
again, I promise you that a Banishing Spell will be the least
of your worries.” Molly felt grasping hands pull her back to her chair.
She couldn't remember moving around the table and ending up in front of
the ruined cupboard. Arthur touched her cheek and pleaded with her,
“Molly, please, put your wand away; as much as he might deserve it,
this is not a time to be fighting among ourselves.”
took several deep breaths and sat back down. She placed her wand back
inside her sleeve, and it was at this moment she realized she was
trembling from head to toe. She kept thinking that if she and Arthur
had been more persistent about bringing Harry home with them, then he
would be safe, now. She could feel tears rolling down her face, and she
began to rub her eyes with frustration. Someone placed a cup of tea in
front of her, and with trembling hands, she grasped the cup and began
sipping. The tea had an unusual taste, and it took Molly a moment to
realize the taste was the burning sensation of Old Ogden’s
Firewhisky rolling down her gullet to her stomach. She glanced to her
husband and saw him give her a small nod, which she recognized as him
asking her approval. She nodded back to him and began sipping the tea
and whisky mixture, trying to calm her nerves.
She glanced across the table to see that Dedalus Diggle was levitating Snape with a Mobilicorpus and
moving him out of the kitchen. Meanwhile, Emmeline Vance and Hestia
Jones were busy casting spells, trying to put the dishes back together.
shook herself out of her dull staring and noticed that she had finished
her tea. She set the cup down into the saucer and slowly turned her
gaze on the Headmaster. Albus appeared to be literally sinking into his
chair and a heavy weight appeared to be pressing down on his shoulders.
cleared her throat, and everyone looked her direction, including
Dumbledore. Her voice was cold as ice as she began, “Albus, when we
find that boy, he will be going to the Burrow with his family. That is
not even up for debate. If I have to personally carry him from wherever
you have deemed he should stay, I will. Do you understand me?” Molly
realized that she was using the same tone she had used many times to
correct her children whenever they had done some infraction and were
being given their final warning.
Dumbledore sucked in a
deep breath and then nodded. “Bill, will you coordinate with the Order
to see that the necessary spells and wards are used to maximize the
security of the Burrow?”
Molly relaxed as she realized
she had won. Bill would make sure that the Burrow was perfectly safe
for Harry. All they had to do, now, was find him. Molly merely nodded
whenever someone spoke to her the rest of the afternoon, as plans were
made by Order to comb the areas of Surrey and Muggle
London in search of Harry. Molly knew that she and all of the Order
would do whatever was necessary to bring Harry home.
hadn’t even realized tears were running down her face until she tried
to focus on the article before her and realized that the words were
blurry. She began wiping the tears away with the cuff her dressing
gown, growing frustrated that she could hardly think about Harry for
more than five minutes without breaking down.
At that moment,
her daughter, the youngest Weasley, Ginny, stepped through the kitchen
door, still dressed in her dressing gown. The young girl glanced at her
mother, grasped what the problem was, and moved quickly to
embrace her mother. This caused Molly to break down into sobs.
simply held her and whispered small assurances in her ear that they
would find Harry and that he would be all right when they found him. To
Molly’s ears, however, it sounded as if her daughter was trying to
reassure herself that Harry would be fine. Molly often wondered, these
days, just what her only daughter’s thoughts and feelings were towards
the young man who had somehow worked his way into the hearts of the
entire Weasley clan. She knew that Ginny had fancied Harry for nearly
three years before she seemed to ‘get over’ him during her third year.
She wondered if her daughter had got over Harry or had simply lost
heart and given up. She had tried to explain to Ginny two summers ago
that just because Harry hadn’t noticed her, so far, didn’t mean it
would always be that way. She pointed out that Ginny’s father hadn’t
noticed her until his sixth year at Hogwarts, mostly because he was too
wrapped up in himself to pay her any mind. However, since Ginny had
apparently gone out with that Michael Corner boy for over a year and
really hadn’t spoken of Harry in that way since that time they had
discussed him two years ago, Molly often wondered. She also realized
that Ginny would only discuss it with her mother if she wanted to and
that Ginny would have to be the one bring it up. So, Molly was content
to wait for her daughter to come to her.
Her reverie was broken by Ginny bussing her cheek with a small kiss and stating, “Harry will be OK, Mum; he just has to be.”
looked at her daughter and saw the tear tracks down her cheeks where
she had been crying, as well. Molly wiped the tears away with her
thumbs and replied, “Of course, dear. He will be just fine when we find
him.” She followed this with a small smile that didn’t quite reach her
eyes, but then again, the smile Ginny returned didn’t reach her eyes,
Molly squeezed Ginny’s shoulder, stood up, and began
bustling around the kitchen, trying to finish the breakfast she was
preparing for the entire Weasley clan. She had eggs frying in a pan on
the stove with bacon sizzling in the pan next to it. There were scones
baking away in the oven and Molly began settling the sliced fruit into
different serving bowls and then levitating the bowls to the table.
noted with pride that Ginny began bustling around the cabinets and set
the table without even being asked. After she set the table, she went
to the icebox that was charmed with a permanent cooling charm and
pulled out the milk and various juices the different members of the
The first batch of eggs and bacon were
finished and were being set on the table when Arthur Weasley made his
way downstairs. He was already dressed for another day of work at the
Ministry, but his eyes sagged with a deep tiredness that Molly had
rarely seen before. Not only had the Ministry been working all of its
employees to the brink of exhaustion to prepare the Wizarding World for
the return of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but Arthur had then been
devoting any free time to helping out with the search for Harry. Arthur
often left the Burrow by 7:30 am in the morning and would not return
until after midnight each night. In truth, Molly was beginning to worry
that this all would end up being too much for both Arthur and her.
Arthur picked up the copy of The Daily Prophet and
began scanning the headlines before settling in to read the article
that made allegations about Harry’s disappearance. As Arthur read, the
tired expression on his face slowly began to change. First, he face
formed a frown, and then it became a scowl. He began making small
noises of discontent in the back of his throat, and Molly, after so
many years with him, knew he was struggling to maintain control of his
Finally, it appeared he couldn’t hold it in any longer
as he exclaimed, “Codswallop! How in the world anyone would think that
Harry would disappear to join up with You-Know-Who is totally beyond
me. Do they not realize that Harry has lost his entire family to that
monster?” By this time Arthur’s face was completely red, and he was
nearly shaking. Molly understood his feeling. It seemed that despite
the fact that it had been proven that Harry was telling the truth all
last year about the return of You-Know-Who, The Daily Prophet never passed a chance to ridicule him. Lately, after it became apparent that someone had tipped The Daily Prophet
off about Harry’s disappearance, the paper had become even bolder to
the point of suggesting that Harry was somehow in league with
Arthur was distracted from continuing on his
tirade by the arrival of Fred, George, and Ron to the kitchen. The boys
quickly took their seats at the table and began filling their plates.
Molly noted that Fred and George appeared to be dressed and ready to go
to work, while Ron was still dressed in the shorts and T-shirt that he
wore to sleep in during the summer months.
nonexistent at the table this morning. This was becoming a more common
occurrence in the Weasley household but had never happened before Harry
vanished. It was as if everyone reckoned that if they didn’t talk about
it, then it wasn’t real that Harry was gone. Gone were the boisterous
antics of the twins as they teased their younger siblings and tried to
slip some of their products into the food.
Also gone was Ron’s
exuberance about food, in general, as he didn’t eat nearly as much as
he had before. He also tended to have a much shorter temper these days,
and Molly wondered if it was due to Harry’s disappearance or if it was
another side effect from his being attacked by that brain in the
Department of Mysteries nearly two months before. Another indication
that he had changed was that he had already completed his summer
homework without any prodding from Molly from or Hermione, which was a
wonder all in and of itself.
Molly occasionally noticed Ron
deep in thought, as if he was trying to recall something important.
According to the little bit of information she and Arthur gleaned from
the Department of Mysteries, it was very probable that Ron would have
at least a temporary shift in his personality due to the experience of
having information from the brain forced into his own when he had been
attacked by it. Ron had already surprised everyone on a couple of
occasions by spurting out some random fact or bit of knowledge he now
possessed. The Headmaster had planned to work with Ron during the
coming school year to see if he could help Ron pull together the bits
of knowledge now inside him and make use of the experience contained
Molly felt certain that part of Ron’s withdrawal
had to do with Harry’s disappearance. While Ron had, at times, suffered
from jealousy of Harry’s fortune and fame, Ron now seemed to be more
aware of just how ‘wealthy’ he really was. While Harry had all the fame
and fortune that he had never wanted, Ron had a loving family that was
always there to love and support him. Poor Harry had lost the closest
connection he had to his parents in the battle at the Department of
Mysteries nearly nine weeks before. The Weasleys had always made every
effort to make Harry feel a part of their family, but Molly knew that,
deep down, Harry felt like an interloper in her family, at times.
thoughts brought Molly’s mind back to her youngest child and only
daughter, Ginny. Once again, Molly wondered what the young woman’s
feelings were concerning Harry. This led her to recall her thoughts not
too long ago, when she was awaiting the children’s arrival on the
Hogwarts Express, the same day that Harry had disappeared.
stood, shifting nervously, at King’s Cross Station with the entourage
that was awaiting the children’s arrival. She looked around her and
considered the witches and wizards assembled. Each had come with the
express purpose of seeing to it that Harry was reminded that he was
loved and cared about and to warn off those awful Muggle relations of
First she considered her husband, Arthur. Upon
looking at the slender man with thinning red hair, many often
underestimated him as being 'common'. And, of course, anyone who had
spent any amount of time with him and his easygoing manner and his
eccentricities, most notably his fascination with Muggles, would never
consider him formidable. However, underneath that ‘soft’ exterior was
an Arthur that few had ever seen. Fortunately, none of their children
except Percy had ever seen Arthur lose his temper. Most people thought
that the children all inherited their famous Weasley temper from their
mother. Molly knew better; while Arthur was as kind-hearted and easy
going as a wizard could be, if pushed beyond a certain point, his
temper was enough to rain fire down from the heavens. Anyone who
witnessed Arthur during one of his tempers would hardly recognize the
mild-mannered Ministry employee with his eyes blazing and raw magical
energy crackling off of him. She often felt fortunate that she had
never been on the receiving end of that temper. But then, he rarely
allowed himself to become angry with his children or his wife; he
reserved his anger for external threats to his family, and now, she
knew that his temper would be employed on behalf of the young man who
had become a seventh son to them.
considered Alastor Moody with his grotesque appearance, a result of
many decades fighting the battle against practitioners of the Dark
Arts. He was intimidating to behold, with his nose missing and his
magical eye rolling around in its socket like a living thing in and of
itself. The grizzled, old Auror had a gruff nature, but those who
actually knew him also knew his gruffness was a façade he used to great
effect as an Auror. He could not intimidate any of the Weasley
children, as they had all seen his playful, soft side, which he only
showed to dear friends and children. She was quite confident that his
imposing nature would be key in protecting Harry from the Muggles.
gaze fell next to Remus Lupin, dressed in his tattered clothes. She was
as concerned about Remus as she was about Harry. While Harry had lost a
godfather and a link to his parents, Remus had lost the last of his
friends. He appeared to be handling it well enough, but unfortunately,
Molly thought, he had had plenty of practice in grieving for dead and
lost friends. His face had a haggard, haunted look to it, but then it
usually carried that look, except on the rare occasions he smiled. She
hoped that Remus would be able to reach out to Harry during this time
of grieving, for both of their sakes. Harry needed to realize that he
wasn’t alone in his missing of Sirius, and Remus needed to realize that
he hadn’t lost everything.
Finally, Molly considered
her twin sons, Fred and George. One really couldn’t consider one
without the other. Each was the other’s best friend, and she secretly
wondered if due to that bond, neither would ever settle down with a
nice witch and marry and have children. For that matter, she wondered
that about all of her sons, with the exception of Percy.
it seemed, was perfectly content with the bachelor’s lifestyle. He
spent time in the company of a lady when he felt like it but,
otherwise, was content with his work and spending time with his parents
and siblings. However, Molly had high hopes that perhaps Fleur
Delacour, who had lasted longer than any of his girlfriends to date,
might finally tame him.
Charlie, it seemed, would be as
likely to marry a dragon as a witch. His obsessions, Quidditch and
dragons, had driven him since he had been in school. She was sure
Charlie had had girlfriends while at Hogwarts, but if he had had any
since then none of them had been special enough to warrant writing home
about or to have been invited home to the Burrow to meet the family.
Next, Molly considered Percy, even though it was painful to think about him. As far as she knew, he was still with Penelope Clearwater.
As far as how serious the relationship was, she had no idea, since
Percy hadn’t spoken to anyone in the family for nearly a year. The last
she had heard, he and Penelope were getting on splendidly; Molly had
really liked the girl.
Ron appeared to be as clueless
as his father had been for most of his time at Hogwarts. It was obvious
to her that he fancied his best friend, Hermione but, for whatever
reason, was either unwilling to admit it to himself or afraid to act on
his feelings. Molly only hoped that he would come around as his father
had. Otherwise, she was sure both he and a certain witch would be
disappointed for many years to come. She supposed that she should have
Arthur have a talk with him about it this summer.
she considered her Ginny. She felt that she had a special bond with her
daughter, being the only two females in the house. Of course, that also
meant that sometimes they rubbed one another the wrong way as well,
being the only two females in the house. While Ginny never thought
herself to be pretty, Molly knew that her daughter had begun coming
into her own. Ginny would always be the smallest Weasley with her
petite, waiflike in appearance and apparently wasn’t going to grow any
taller. She was a combination of the two builds her children possessed.
She was short of stature like Charlie and the twins, although even they
were at least a head taller than Ginny was. Unlike Charlie and the
twins, she possessed the thin frame that her father had passed onto
Bill, Percy, and Ron. Molly knew that Ginny worried about the fact that
she didn’t seem to be developing womanly curves that many of her
classmates had, but Molly merely pointed out that some men prefer the
slender look to a woman, and from what Hermione had described of this
Cho Chang girl, it seemed that Harry was one of them. She knew that
Ginny worried about her bright red hair being unattractive, but even
Molly had noticed the way Harry watched Ginny’s hair at times. Molly
had spent many an evening trying to explain that her fair complexion
wasn’t a hindrance and trying to convince her daughter that her eyes
were rich and expressive, but unfortunately Ginny felt that the
compliments of her beauty, coming as they did from her mother, didn’t
count for much.
The other thing that Ginny had going
for her was her tender and loving heart. Despite his efforts, that
cursed Tom Riddle hadn’t destroyed that part of her. Ginny had a glow
about her that would attract others to her whenever she allowed them to
get close. In fact, Molly mused, Ginny’s tender heart and love of life
was probably exactly the kind of thing that Harry would need this
summer. Harry, most likely, would be in a right state over losing
Sirius as he had, and going back to those awful Muggles would probably
only exacerbate the pain he felt. Molly only hoped that Dumbledore
would see reason and allow Harry to come to them quickly this summer,
so that he could begin to heal.
The more Molly had
thought about it, a plan began to take root in her mind. She knew that
Ginny had finally broken off with that Corner boy. He had become much
too possessive and controlling towards the end, and Molly truly hadn’t
ever cared much for the boy to begin with. As far as she knew, Ginny
hadn't had her eye on anyone else, so Molly determined that she would
try to set up situations to put her daughter and Harry together as much
as possible. Perhaps if Harry spent more time with Ginny, he would
finally notice what had been in front of his nose all this time.
broke from her reverie when Arthur stood up and placed a peck on her
cheek. He grabbed his briefcase, bid the family a hearty farewell, and
Disapparated with a 'pop'. Molly glanced around the table and noted
that both Ron and Ginny had finished and were in quiet discussion with
Molly cleared her throat to get everyone’s
attention. When all four of her children were looking at her, she
began, “Ginny, Ron, go upstairs and get ready tohelpyour brothers at
Ron gave her a look that indicated he wanted to
argue with her. Nearly everyday since Harry’s disappearance, Ron had
argued that he should be allowed to accompany her or his father in
searching for Harry. Unfortunately, given the nature of many of the
places they had been searching, it was decided that Ron and Ginny
should be kept busy working with the twins in their shop, where they
would be safe. They were told that they would be the Order’s 'eyes' in
Diagon Alley, since they would be running errands for the twins during
the day, but the reality was that they were put there to keep them
under scrutiny and to free up Molly to assist Remus with the search.
I will brook no argument from you this morning. The work Ginny and you
perform in the Alley each day is useful and necessary. And before you
argue that Ginny could do it alone, let me remind you that with events
as they are, I don’t want any of my children wandering around Diagon
Alley without someone with them.” She noted with satisfaction that the
look of challenge faded from his eyes. He took a deep breath and began
making his way toward the stairs.
Ginny graced her mother with
a sickly sweet smile that conveyed her disgust with the situation of
being placed out of the way and then followed her brother up the stairs
to get ready.
Molly turned to her other two sons and very
quietly but forcefully informed them, “Be watchful of the both of them
today, and no more using Ron as a test subject. There will be several
members of the Order on hand in the Alley in the event of trouble. I am
counting on you two to keep your brother and sister safe.”
Fred responded with a look of hurt on his face, “Dear Mum, you...”
“…wound us.” George chimed in.
“You would think that you…” Fred continued.
“…would have more faith in us,” George finished.
With a wink and a quick peck on her cheek from each, they Disapparated away with two loud 'cracks'.
cleaned up the table and put the dirty dishes into the sink with
carefully controlled Banishing Spells. Once she had cleared the table,
she set the dishes to washing themselves with a spell and then charmed
a polishing rag to clean the table.
Molly then went to check
on her laundry and, seeing that it was finished, cast a drying spell on
both loads. She set the clothes to folding and hanging themselves on
She moved her way back to the kitchen, picking up her
teacup and refilling it from the pot she had brewed earlier. Thanks to
a warming charm placed on the pot, the tea was just as hot as it had
been off the stove. She sipped the tea as she considered the tasks
ahead of her for the day. She needed to finish the laundry and get it
sorted and returned to everyone’s rooms. Molly figured Ginny would
probably put all her clothes away when she returned home later that
day. She had always been more responsible than her brothers about
simple things such as this. On the other hand, Molly imagined that Ron
would simply stack his clothes in the floor and dress out of the stack
until it was gone, as he always did. In fact, she remembered it had
taken her threatening to hex all of his clothing pink to get him to put
his dirty laundry into the hamper in the bathroom. The twins were only
somewhat better than Ron, in that they would stack their piles on their
respective dressers and dress out of the stacks until they shrank them
some and then would put the remaining clothes away.
she thought wryly, she would have to do all of this after she and Remus
had put in a shift watching Grimmauld Place to see if Harry would show
up there. The watch was necessary because the Malfoys’ had been able to
secure possession of Grimmauld Place. Due Harry’s disappearance, the
reading of Sirius’s Will had been delayed by the executor, Dumbledore,
in the hope that Harry would be found and be able to attend. In the
meantime, the Order decided to abandon the house to the Malfoys after
removing anything of value and placing a curse upon Kreacher, which
prevented him from ever revealing the secrets of the Order. The other
reason the Order hadn't fought the Malfoys was that, unfortunately, the
conditions of the Black Family Trust guaranteed that the house would go
to Narcissa, Bellatrix, or Andromeda and, given the influence the
Malfoys had within the Ministry, there was little doubt which of the
three sisters would end up with possession of the house.
continued busily cleaning the kitchen until Ginny and Ron reappeared,
dressed for another day of work at Weasley Wizarding Wheezes. Ron was
dressed in a faded pair of jeans and a Chudley Cannons T-shirt that had
seen better days. Ginny was dressed in an old yellow summer dress,
which greatly accentuated her slight figure. Both teens had learned
within a few days of starting work with the twins that it was better to
be seen in public in some of your oldest clothes than to take the
chance of having a good outfit ruined.
Molly walked up to each
and straightened their clothes a bit, much to both of their annoyance,
and quickly kissed them on the cheeks and handed each of them a handful
of Floo powder. Ron and then Ginny then Flooed away, calling out their
destination, "93, Diagon Alley".
Finally alone, Molly finished
up the last of the cleaning in the kitchen and then headed upstairs to
make herself less conspicuous during the watch. She made her way to the
bedroom she shared with Arthur and went to her drawers and closet,
laying out the outfit she had planned on wearing that particular day.
She entered the shower, washed her hair and took care of other hygiene
issues, and found herself dressing quickly so that she could greet
Remus when he arrived.
When she went downstairs she found that
Remus had already arrived. She saw that he was slumped over the table,
and from what she could discern, he was sleeping soundly, judging by
the regular rise and fall of his shoulders.
Molly decided to
let him kip for a bit while she finished up with the laundry. She
finished folding her laundry, and then, with four quick flicks of her
wand, she banished the clothes to their proper rooms.
returned to the kitchen, she could see that Remus was now awake and was
gingerly sipping on a cupful of the tea she had prepared earlier. The
weariness had not left his eyes since the day Harry had disappeared.
The poor man had been searching tirelessly for Harry, often foregoing
“Any news? “she inquired, as she did every morning when Remus arrived.
“Nothing new,” was his reply.
was the same response he had given her every day for the last six weeks
when asked this question. Essentially, the Order and the Dark Lord were
flummoxed when it came to Harry’s current whereabouts. Severus Snape
was their source of information from the Dark Lord's efforts to find
Harry. The Order had combed Surrey and Muggle London looking for signs
of the missing boy. Nymphadora Tonks and Kingsley Shacklebolt, the two
Aurors that were currently part of the Order, had been making discreet
inquiries with the Muggle authorities, while Mundungus Fletcher had
used his various contacts within the black market and wizarding
underground to make inquiries there. Unfortunately, none of these
sources had provided anything of use to the Order. They had finally
resorted to posting members of the Order to watch various places they
thought Harry might try to go to if he was in danger or in trouble.
is what brought the two of them together each morning as they prepared
to Apparate to their ‘watch’ zone near Grimmauld Place. Their
instructions, should Harry show up at their location, were to quickly
remove him to a safe location, preferably Hogwarts, so that he could be
examined by Madam Pomfrey.
After Remus finished his tea, he
stood and nodded in Molly’s direction to ask if she was ready to go and
relieve the late night watch. She banished their cups to the sink with
a flick of her wand and, after nodding her readiness, they Apparated to
They arrived to find two young witches with tired
eyes looking at them with gratitude. There was a quick exchange of
pleasantries, and the two witches stated that there had been no change
in the situation during the night.
The two settled down into
their usual position on a park bench at the end of the street and began
their watch. The bench had a Muggle-repelling Charm on it to keep
Muggles from taking interest in the wizards at the end of the street,
as well as a Concealing Charm on both of them to keep them from being
noticed by the Malfoys or any Death Eaters that would be coming or
going from the house.
The Order suspected that in addition to
the Malfoys, the Lestranges were also staying at the house, although
there had been no evidence to prove whether their suspicions were true.
Either way, the last thing the Order wanted was a lost and possibly
injured Harry showing up on the doorstep of his archrival and his Death
After watching the house for nearly an hour
with no change in the comings and goings around the neighbourhood, they
were startled by a buzzing from both of their wands that only they
could hear. They both looked at one another in apprehension. Their
wands, as members of the Order, could be readily used to communicate
with one another in times of emergency.
Molly nodded to Remus
that he should take the call. While he spoke softly into the wand and
listened to the responses, Molly's thoughts whirled through her head,
as she speculated about what could possibly be wrong at this time of
morning. Most of those thoughts included Harry in various states of
duress and injury.
After what seemed like forever for Molly,
but in reality was barely more than two minutes, Remus bid the
messenger a fond farewell and turned to Molly.
A million questions were at the tip of her tongue when Remus blurted out, “They’ve found him!”
felt a weight lift from her chest. She fired questions at him in rapid
succession as her heart raced with anticipation. “Where is he? What
happened to him? When can we see him?” Soon, Harry would be near her,
and she would be able to take care of him herself. As far as she was
concerned, at this point looking after him herself was the only way to
guarantee Harry was safe and well cared for.
“He’s at Hogwarts
in the infirmary, according to Dumbledore,” Remus responded. Gazing
into his eyes, Molly could see a sparkle that she hadn’t seen since
before Sirius had died. It was a sparkle of hope, a sparkle of
determination, and a sparkle of relief that he wouldn’t be mourning the
only son of his friends.
Remus continued, “Molly, Dumbledore
wants us to Apparate to Hogwarts to be with him when he wakes up.
According to Dumbledore, he was found wandering around the streets of
Little Whinging. He apparently collapsed into unconsciousness when
Tonks approached him. As of yet, they have no idea where he has been or
what has happened to him.”
Molly took a moment to absorb this
information and then nodded at Remus that she understood, and she
immediately Disapparated with a 'pop'. She appeared a moment later at
the gates of Hogwarts with another soft 'pop'. A split second later,
there was another soft 'pop' and Remus was beside her. Side by side,
the two began walking up the path that led to the front gates of
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
passed through the gates and were met in the entrance hall by Minerva
McGonagall, the Transfiguration professor and Gryffindor head of house.
Minerva simply nodded to them and led them up the stairs towards the
hospital wing. After stepping through the halls for a couple of
minutes, the group arrived at the doors to the infirmary.
opened the door and motioned for them to enter. They stepped through
the doorway, and the door was shut behind them. A quick glance revealed
Professor Dumbledore, Professor Snape, Auror Tonks, and Madam Pomfrey
gathered around a bed at the other end of the infirmary. The two walked
briskly to the other end. As they approached, they could hear Snape and
Dumbledore murmuring back and forth to one another. Madam Pomfrey was
holding her wand over Harry casting various diagnostic incantations,
trying to determine what, if anything, was wrong with the boy. Auror
Tonks just stood back from the rest, watching the matron work, a look
of concern on her face.
Molly approached the bed and got her
first glimpse of Harry since the day at King’s Cross nearly eight weeks
earlier. The first thing she noticed was that Harry had an
unmistakeable look of health to him that he usually hadn't had whenever
he arrived from a stay with his relatives. Wherever Harry had been, he
apparently hadn’t been missing meals and was keeping active. The second
thing she noticed was the look of peace that graced his face. Too
seldom, since the return of Voldemort, had Harry been so relaxed as he
appeared to be now, sleeping in the hospital bed.
Molly glanced at Pomfrey and whispered, “Poppy, is he okay? He’s not hurt or sick or anything, is he?”
nurse looked over to Molly and responded, “Molly, this is the best
health I’ve ever seen Mr. Potter in; believe me when I tell you that
I’ve seen plenty of him over the past five years.”
is good to know,” Molly responded, a bit of a smile tugging at the
corners of her mouth. 'At least his health is good,' Molly thought,
'but what about his emotional state?' she wondered.
turned to face the two professors who were still whispering back and
forth, and their conversation had seemed to become more heated. She
cleared her throat to get their attention. “Professors, would one of
you be so kind as to explain just where Harry has been the last eight
weeks and what exactly he has been doing?”
Molly asked the
question, fully expecting an answer from Dumbledore. The Headmaster
always knew what was going on. He always had an answer, and surely, he
would have an answer regarding the situation they found Harry in. She
wasn’t prepared for the response she received, however.
to be quite honest, I have no idea where Harry has been, nor am I privy
to what he has been doing. Given the look about him, I would have to
guess that he has been somewhere that agreed with him…”
Dumbledore never finished his thought for at that moment, Harry Potter
sat straight up in his bed and gasped, “Where am I?”