2:Molly and Arthur Have Some Time Together-October, 1992
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.
Now that Ginny had started Hogwarts, Molly had a great deal of leisure time. Cooking and cleaning for just Arthur and herself reminded her of their first year of marriage. She and Arthur had been so passionately in love and she remembered their eagerness in vivid detail. Molly smiled, savoring their early days together. Not that Arthur had changed much during all the years since then. He was not quite as slender as he had been at Hogwarts and his lush auburn curls started a bit higher on his forehead, but he was still handsome and affectionate. Now that Molly had time to spare, she started a walking and exercise program and felt more fit than she had been for years.
Getting married in the Prewitt garden the week after they left Hogwarts had been both very romantic and somewhat impractical. Arthur had his dream job as assistant in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office but he didn't make much of a salary. Molly wasn't sure what she wanted to do besides marry Arthur and be the mother of his children but applied to be a trainee receptionist at the Ministry. She was one of several teenagers that answered questions about where various departments were. Sometimes they also escorted visitors around on a tour. Molly like helping people but knew that she'd only work until she had a baby to care for.
She and Arthur lived in a walk-up flat above Berte's Better Bakery in Diagon Alley. The wonderful smells of fresh baked bread and warm biscuits and breakfast rolls woke them up early every morning. Arthur always got the same hungry look on his face as he reached for Molly, 'It's still early Molly, my girl. We've time to have a go at it, hmm?' She always called him her 'very own warm and tasty crumpet' and never refused his invitation. It was a glorious life.
Each morning when they finally got out of bed, they had to hurry to work. Molly almost always bought something from the half-off shelf the night before. That way they wouldn't have to buy something every morning but could eat breakfast on the way. She also made one substantial lunch the night before. They could always get a cuppa at work. Their landlady told them they could use the Floo at the bakery and they usually did, but some mornings they had time to walk to the old red telephone box and enter the Ministry of Magic that way. Molly worked in the Atrium but Arthur's department was on the second level in a small and crowded office at the end of a shabby corridor.
Because there were so many trainees, Molly could usually take her lunch break when Arthur was available. Some days he was out in the field all day dealing with shrinking keys or biting teakettles. Molly laughed as she remembered how she had perfected the basic Freshness Charm to keep their lunch appetizing.
A Gringotts' owl interrupted Molly's reverie. Their oldest, Bill the Curse Breaker, had investigated different methods of getting letters to the Burrow. The fastest way was to send his letters to Gringotts main office in London by their internal post so that a local owl could deliver them to his parents. Molly opened the letter and read:
Dear Mum and Dad,
We have boring weather in Egypt so my routine continues to be pretty much the same no matter what season it is in England. I am on a dig about sixty miles out of Cairo and the local version of coffee will make holes in your stomach lining. What I wouldn't give for a Moonsickles on the corner and a full English breakfast, just like mother used to make! However, I continue to be in good health and love what I am doing.
What is it like to have an empty nest? How is Ginny adjusting to Hogwarts? I bet she is well prepared. Charlie and I were fairly old for our year, as were the twins and Ron, but Ginny has to be one of the youngest. She and Percy both have birthdays right before Hogwarts starts but he always was a 'little scholar'. Let me know if there is anything I can do to make Ginny's first year at Hogwarts a grand one.
I'm afraid this dig might run into January but hope to have a leave home eventually. I appreciate the good advice I got from Dad when I was growing up more and more each year. He is one in a million and I hope that if I ever have children, I'd be as good a father as he has been to all of us- (don't get your hopes up Mum, there is no special girlfriend, yet). Is there anything special you want for your birthday, Mum?
Molly smiled, remembering what a darling baby Bill had been. He was as handsome as her Arthur. He had the long Weasley bones and their fair coloring and he'd been such a good baby. Arthur doted on him and tried his best to get home as early as possible every day. It was because of Bill that they bought the Burrow. It was just a small cottage but had plenty of land for a growing boy to play in. Arthur was so clever, adding rooms as they were needed.
Molly folded the letter up and put it by Arthur's place. He'd be happy to hear from his oldest son. It was nearly time for Days of Destiny. Lord Lyle was plotting world domination again. Nothing good could come from his evil plans. She thought it wouldn't hurt to listen to the new show about the Healers as well.
The very next morning two owls arrived at the same time. Molly did not recognize the first one but there was no mistaking Hermes. He even carried himself as proudly as his owner. She took the letter from the unfamiliar owl and recognized Charlie's scrawl. 'A letter from Charlie is an unusual event so I'll open his first. Percy writes every week,' Molly said to herself as she gave treats to both owls. She got another cup of tea and read Charlie's letter.
Dear Mum and Dad,
Sorry I haven't written but my arms have finally healed so I can hold a quill. I rather foolishly didn't pay enough attention when I was working with a Hungarian Horntail. They're very sneaky for dragons. At any rate, there was no permanent damage done.
How are things at the Burrow now that all your little chicks have left the nest? I bet Mum is cleaning every day trying to keep busy. Don't work too hard. You and Dad deserve some high quality time together. These are your Golden Years, or at least your Silver ones. I never learned what anniversary was which.
Dad, I've been having some late night 'Bull sessions' with some of the other guys and am so glad that you are my Dad. You would not believe how angry some of the blokes are at the way they were treated by their own fathers. You always let me know that you loved me. Thanks for caring so much and keeping me from doing too many dunderheaded things.
Mum, you are the greatest cook in the world. I know that you practiced on your brothers before you got married. I guess I'll have to thank them if we ever meet in the Great Beyond. You've always told me that I look like them because they were strong and sturdy too. I may look like a Prewett but I know I think like a Weasley, thanks to Dad.
I hope Ginny is settling in at Hogwarts. How could she not with her best friend Ron there to keep an eye on her? I bet she spends all her time with Ron and his friend Harry Potter. Remember when she slept with her Dance with Harry Potter Doll? Hope she doesn't get any wild ideas. Ha Ha!
Tell the twins that they shouldn't do anything I wouldn't do. They'll know what I mean.
Molly closed her eyes and thought about roly-poly baby Charlie. He weighed almost as much as three-year-old Bill when he was only a year old. That boy certainly had the famed Prewett appetite and his love for animals had manifested itself very early. He'd try to bring in drowned worms after a rainstorm. Such a tenderhearted toddler! Arthur had taught him about all kinds of magical animals but Charlie fell in love with dragons when he was still very young. She put his letter at Arthur's place.
'Now let's see what Percy has to say.' Molly smiled as she opened the letter from her easiest child.
Dear Mum and Dad,
This year I do not have enough hours in the day. Fortunately, some of us have established study groups. I am in one where everyone is serious about doing well on his or her NEWTS. Most of the members are from Ravensclaw.
Ginny seems to be adjusting better now that she knows to go to Madame Pomfrey for some Pepperup potion when she starts feeling weak. She is one of the youngest in her year, as I was. However, I was tall for my age and she is not.
I do not see much of the twins or Ron, although yesterday I had to reprimand Fred for feeding a firework to a salamander. He and George and Harry Potter are practicing Quidditch in all sorts of weather. Oliver Wood never cancels a practice.
I will write when I can. I have so many responsibilities. I appreciate all that you both have done to shape my character and encourage my love of learning.
'Arthur will be happy to hear from two sons in one day. Percy's baby pictures looked so much like the ones his mother had of him when he was wee,' Molly mumbled to herself as she added Percy's letter to Charlie's. When Percy was a newborn, Bill was five and Charlie three. Arthur had it right when he commented that they were in trouble now that their children outnumbered them. 'Thank Merlin', he helped with everything. While she breastfed Percy, her darling husband learned to cook simple breakfasts and dinners for the two of them and the boys. What would she have done without him? Charlie would eat anything but Bill was a picky eater.
Much to Molly's surprise, Hermes brought a letter from Fred and George on the following Wednesday.
Dear Mum and Dad,
We thought we'd better write before you began to worry about us.NOT THAT YOU DON'T WORRY ABOUT ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN.
George stop grabbing the quill!I'm trying to write a coherent letter here.
LIKE YOU COULD, EVEN IF YOU TRIED.
We are a little worried about Ginny.She does not always come to meals.
UNLIKE OUR LITTLE BROTHER WHO WOULD EAT FIVE TIMES A DAY.
Maybe she just has a cold.It has been raining almost every day.
WE ARE OUT IN IT AT PRACTICE BUT MAY BE MORE USED TO IT THAN GINNY.
Mum, we are making something special for you for your birthday but need to send it to Dad to have him look it over to be sure it won't explode.
NICE ONE FRED! NOW SHE"LL THINK WE'RE DAFT.
Anyway, we wanted to tell you that we love you and are trying to stay out of trouble.WE TRY TO HELP HARRY POTTER STAY OUT OF DETENTION, TOO.
Now they'll worry about us corrupting Harry Potter.
Love, Fred & GEORGE
'I wonder what they are doing to keep Harry Potter out of Detention and what he's doing that makes it likely he'll be assigned Detention?' Molly tended to talk to herself when she was worried about something.
She are Arthur talked about the letter from the twins that night at dinner. 'I'm surprised that Ginny is having trouble settling into Hogwarts,' said Arthur with concern in his voice. 'She was so eager to go and be with her brothers and Harry Potter.'
Molly thought for a while and then said, 'Let's send her something to cheer her up. I'll make her some chocolate biscuits and knit her a scarf with Gryffindor colors. She can share her treats with her dorm mates and wear the scarf to Quidditch matches. Maybe I haven't paid enough attention to her lately.'
'Nonsense,' interrupted Arthur. 'You are the most caring mother in the world. Ginny got all your attention her last year at home. Don't feel bad about taking some time for yourself. I love having you all to myself. I'll help clean up so we can have an early night.
Molly went to the Little Lamb Wool Shoppe the next morning and bought the wool to start all of the Christmas jumpers for her own family and for Harry Potter. She also got some wool in Gryffindor red and gold to make a scarf. She baked biscuits as she finished off the scarf, then she wrote a letter to her only daughter.
I hope you like the scarf. It must be getting cold up in Scotland. I remember how drafty the Gryffindor rooms were when I was there. Try to stay warm and get Madame Pomfrey to give you Pepper-up potion if you get the sniffles. I know you hate the steam coming out of your ears, but it does nip colds in the bud.
I made enough chocolate biscuits that you can share some with your dorm mates and brothers and Harry Potter. I bet he misses the treats you used to send Ron. I've been so busy cleaning and exercising that I haven't been baking as much as usual. And now I either have to do shrinking charms on my clothes or buy some new ones.
Your father and I love you very much. You and he have such a special bond. I always knew where to look for Charlie when he was a little boy, and you followed in his footsteps. The two of you were likely to be out in the shed with your dad finding out how things worked. Of course, you and Charlie also loved to be in the woods looking at strange creatures and both of you loved flying.
I'm sure you are busy with classes and homework, but please write and tell us how you are doing. What do you think of Lord Lyle's evil plot?
Love from Dad and Mum
Early the week of Molly's birthday and Halloween, Hedwig arrived with letters from Ron and Ginny. Molly was thankful that Harry Potter was still loaning them his owl. She wondered if he ever got any mail from that awful aunt and uncle of his. Probably not. How could sisters be so unalike? Lily had been the most caring of friends and a loving mother. 'Let's see what Ron has to say.'
Dear Mum and Dad,
The teachers are all mental this year. They think we have nothing to do but study and do homework. A bloke has other things on his mind besides school. Harry is getting mental, too, but maybe it is from practicing Quidditch in the rain. He tracked mud all over the entry hall and got caught by Argus Filch. He needs to think before he does that again.
Hermione is really mental. She already wants to revise and we've got loads of time until our exams. Even Ginny has gone mental. She wanders around looking like she has seen a ghost. I know, there are real ghosts at Hogwarts, but you know what I mean. And Harry promised Nearly Headless Nick that he'd go to his Death Day party. He'll miss the Halloween Feast
Have a happy birthday, Mum. Ginny gave us a few of the biscuits you made her.
'That was interesting,' mused Molly to herself. 'Now let's see what Ginny has to say. Arthur will be so relieved that Ginny has written.'
Dear Mum and Dad,
Don't worry about me. I am fine, just tired. Hogwarts is sort of hard. I have to study a lot and that makes me tired. Can you tell Percy that I appreciate his taking me to Madame Pomfrey but I am big enough to go by myself now that I know where the hospital wing is.
I like the warm scarf. My dorm mates and my brothers ate most of the biscuits. I'm not hungry. I think I'll feel better when I catch up on my sleep. Did I ever sleepwalk when I was young? Or forget things I'd done? Just wondering.
I miss you and Dad.
Arthur was ready to Apparate to the gates of Hogwarts to find out what was going on with Ginny. Molly tried to calm him down, saying she was young and might take a longer time to settle in. They both wanted to protect their much longed for daughter but wanted to avoid embarrassing Ginny. He finally agreed to give her another month to settle in.
Arthur gave Molly her presents from her children the morning of her birthday. Bill sent her an amulet and Charlie some wooly slippers. The boys at Hogwarts sent her sweets from Hogsmeade and Ginny made her a hand-embroidered handkerchief. Molly wondered why she had made a rooster rather than her usual flower but was happy being remembered. She thought she was a lucky woman, with healthy children and a loving husband.
That night, she and Arthur had a wonderful dinner in Diagon Alley followed by dancing. Molly wore her new dress robes and he complimented her on looking like she had when she was his bride. The following day was Halloween, besides being a Saturday, so they had a well-deserved passionate lie-in.