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 Ten, Luna Lovegood, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
A/N This story, told from Molly's Weasley's point of view, begins the morning after Ginny's Third Year at Hogwarts and parallels Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixand the summer after it.
Molly sat bolt upright when her alarm clock yelled, 'GET UP NOW! YOU'RE LATE ALREADY!' She had not slept well at all despite getting up to warm some milk to drink at about two AM. Then she remembered last night — her horror as she tried to get rid of the Boggart in the writing desk while seeing each member of her family, one after the other, dead on the drawing room floor. Harry and Remus had rescued her. Bless them! Sirius and Mad-Eye knew her dreadful secret fear as well. Molly shivered.
'Are you cold, my dear?' asked Arthur, getting up and starting for the loo.
'No, but I do need to get dressed this very minute. The Hogwarts Express waits for no wizard or witch,' she continued. Molly put on clothes that she hoped would not attract attention on the streets of London since they would all have to walk to King's Cross.
As soon as she was dressed, she knocked on the doors of all the students returning to school, shouting out, "Rise and shine! We've no time to lose! Trunks in the hall! We leave in ten minutes!' Then she went down the staircase, tiptoed across the hall, and started to open the door that led to the steps to the kitchen. She stopped and turned around when she heard a series of loud bangs and the sound of someone falling down the stairs, screaming at the top of her lungs. The voice was all too familiar.
"Ginny!' she screamed, running across the hall. Fred's and George's trunks were on the floor of the entry hall, next to where Ginny had landed on her bum. The twins were protesting that they'd yelled to her to get out of the way before their levitating trunks hit her. Ginny was shouting words that had Molly wondering wherever she had learned them. Old Mrs Black was shrieking in the background.
Molly joined the general clamor, 'FRED AND GEORGE YOU — COULD HAVE DONE HER A SERIOUS INJURY, YOU IDIOTS —YOU DON'T NEED TO USE MAGIC FOR EVERY LITTLE THING!'
Mrs Black's screech drowned out the rest of Molly's comments about the twins' behavior, along with Ginny's generally more pithy ones. '—FILTHY HALF-BREEDS. BESMIRCHING THE HOUSE OF MY FATHERS—'
Molly ran her wand over Ginny to make sure she was not seriously injured. She paid special attention to her upper arm where one of the trunks had bruised her and put a cushioning charm on her bum so she'd be able to sit on the train. Then she bellowed, 'WILL YOU LOT GET DOWN HERE NOW, PLEASE!' Harry and Hermione came down the stairs, dragging their trunks.
'Harry, you're to come with me and Tonks,' shouted Molly over the repeated screeches of 'MUDBLOODS! SCUM! CREATURES OF DIRT!'
'Leave your trunk and your owl, Alastor's going to deal with the luggage… Oh. for heaven's sake, Sirius, Dumbledore said no!'
A bearlike black dog had appeared at Harry's side as Harry clambered over the various trunks cluttering the hall… Molly and Harry, accompanied by Sirius in his dog form, went down the front steps and met Tonks at the corner…She had tightly curled gray hair and wore a purple hat shaped like a porkpie.
'Wotcher, Harry,' she said, winking. 'Better hurry up, hadn't we, Molly?' she added, checking her watch.
'I know, I know,' moaned Molly, lengthening her stride, 'but Mad-Eye wanted to wait for Sturgis…. If only Arthur could have got us cars from the Ministry again… but Fudge wouldn't let him borrow as much as an empty ink bottle these days…. How Muggles can stand traveling without magic…'
It took them twenty minutes to reach King's Cross by foot and nothing more eventful happened during that time other than Sirius scaring a couple of cats for Harry's entertainment. Once inside the station they lingered casually beside the barrier between the platforms nine and ten until the coast was clear, then each of them leaned against it in turn and fell easily through onto platform nine and three-quarters where the Hogwarts Express stood belching sooty steam…
Seconds later, Arthur emerged onto the platform with Ron and Hermione… Fred, George, and Ginny turned up with Lupin…
A warning whistle sounded, the students still on the platform started hurrying onto the train.
'Quick, quick,' said Molly distractedly, hugging them at random and catching Harry twice. 'Write…Be good…If you've forgotten anything, we'll send it on… Onto the train now, hurry…'
The Weasley children and Harry and Hermione waved back at the grown-ups standing on the platform. Molly watched as long as she could see them, wiped her eyes, and said, 'I could use a cup of tea and a piece of toast.'
Arthur said that he and Moody needed to go to the Ministry to find out what had happened to Sturgis Podmore. Mad-Eye was quite annoyed that he'd not shown up at all when he was supposed to have been part of the guard for the Hogwarts bound students. Molly and the rest headed for the alley where it was safe to Apparate. Sirius Side-Along Apparated with Remus and met Molly and Tonks on the front steps of number twelve Grimmauld place. They went in quickly and tiptoed through the hall and down the steps to the kitchen.
'Sausages and eggs, anyone?' asked Molly. 'I packed lunches for the children last night but woke to late to cook any breakfast.'
'I think I'd like some sausage and eggs,' said Sirius. Tonks nodded her head vigorously to indicate that she was hungry as well. She took off her porkpie hat and turned her gray hair into her usual bubble gum pink spiked hair-do.
Remus smiled at Tonks and then said, 'Just tea and toast for me, Molly.'
Sirius went over to the cupboard and pulled out a copy of The Quibbler. 'Kingsley said that I might be interested in what the editor had to say about my former singing career.'
Remus raised his eyebrows. 'I've heard you sing and don't think anyone would pay a Knut except to get you to stop.' Tonks giggled.
'It says right here that 'Sirius Black is actually Stubby Boardman, lead singer of the popular singing group, The Hobgoblins.' Remus, Tonks, and Molly all laughed. Sirius gave his barking laugh and continued, 'Furthermore, their informant says that I couldn't have killed all those Muggles because on the day in question I happened to be enjoying a romantic candlelight dinner with her.'
Remus took the magazine and read, 'She's written to the Minister of Magic and expects him to give Stubby, alias Sirius, a full pardon any day now.'
Tonks took the plate of eggs and sausages that Molly brought over to the table and said, 'And here I was worried about you!'
Molly brought a plate of sausages and eggs to Sirius and said, 'don't bother thanking me now. You can give me tickets to your Reunion Tour.'
She poured herself a cup of tea and pushed a rack of toast and the teapot over to Remus. 'Who knew Sirius was so famous?'
When they finished breakfast, Sirius went to feed Buckbeak and Tonks went back to the Ministry. Remus said he had not slept well, so he went up to take a nap.
Molly was busy the rest of the day, stripping the beds that the children had been sleeping in and washing the sheets and towels in the ancient laundry cauldron in the room next to the boiler. She glanced at the nest of rags that Kreacher slept in and wondered whether it was the ancient house-elf or Mundungus who was taking so many of the House of Black's valuables.
Arthur came home very concerned. He told Molly that Sturgis Podmore had been arrested yesterday for breaking into a part of the Ministry of Magic that he was not authorized to be in. He said that he hoped it did not indicate that Minister Fudge was so threatened by the activities of the Order that he was singling out suspected members. He told Molly that he had met Bill for lunch and warned him to be discrete.
As they were preparing for bed, Arthur said, 'Molly, please write and warn the children to avoid Dolores Umbridge as much as they are able to. She's Minister Fudge's spy and up to no good.'
Molly asked, 'Arthur, what is the Umbridge woman going to do at Hogwarts? Surely, she can't teach anything—'
Arthur sighed. 'I'm afraid she can. Professor Dumbledore must go along with the new Educational Decree. She is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.'
Molly repeated what she had said many times before, 'I have a very bad feeling about this.'
'You are not alone in that,' said Arthur as he snuggled with his Mollywobbles.
Pig arrived with a letter addressed in Ron' scrawl on Tuesday morning around ten when Molly and Sirius were having a cup of tea. Molly gave Pig a bit of toast and read the letter aloud.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I can't say much in case this is intercepted but I thought that you would want to know that we got here safely. Hermione and I had to be at a long and boring meeting so we had to leave Harry with Ginny and her friend Luna and Neville. It rained most of the way. One sort of strange thing happened. Harry and Luna can see some sort of winged horses pulling the horseless carriages. They say they are not kidding.
Professor Umbridge talked and talked at the Opening Feast like she didn't know that no one ever talks but Professor Dumbledore. And Hagrid wasn't there. Seamus says his Mum almost wouldn't let him come back to school but the rest of the boys we share a room with still believe that Harry is not as barmy as the Daily Prophet says.
Thanks again for my new Cleansweep. I am going to try out for Keeper on the Gryffindor team. Being a Prefect is okay but Hermione is making me study for my O.W.L.s already.
'Arthur will be interested in what Ron had to say about trying out for the Quidditch team and about Dolores Umbridge,' Molly said. 'I hope that TheDaily Prophet stop making it sound like Harry is just seeking attention.'
Sirius grunted into his tea. 'When pigs fly, Molly. When pigs fly!'
Molly wrote a short note to Minerva McGonagall for Pig to take back to Hogwarts.
Arthur and I feel that the children would take it more seriously if you warned them to have as little to do with Dolores Umbridge as possible rather than have it come from us. We are particularly concerned about Harry and the twins. As you know, she does not allow any dissension.
I trust that you and the rest of the faculty had a good start to the school year. We'll be happy to see you from time to time.
Best wishes for a successful school year,
Arthur came home that night with the news that Sturgis Podmore's trial was going to be held on Friday. He was very worried about the outcome. It seemed to him that Fudge was making an example of Podmore as a deterrent to other suspected members of the Order. 'He'll suspect anyone that doesn't act like a toady.'
Molly and Sirius, with some help from Remus and Tonks continued to try to get Grimmauld Place more fit for human habitation. Kreacher obeyed Sirius with contempt and moaned and groaned about his Mistress at every opportunity.
Sirius came into the kitchen with Hedwig on his shoulder late Friday afternoon. 'This just came from Harry. I think there is more going on than he indicates. What do you make of this?' He handed Molly the letter.
Dear Snuffles, (Molly snorted at the name)
Hope you're okay, the first week back has been terrible. I'm really glad it's the weekend.
We've got a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Umbridge. She's nearly as nice as your mum. (Molly snorted again.) I am writing to you because that thing I wrote to you about last summer happened again when I was doing a detention with Umbridge.
We're all missing our biggest friend, we hope he'll be back soon.
Please write back quickly.
Molly looked at the worried expression on Sirius' face and said. 'I'm sure you know that the Head of House can hook up the fireplace in the common room to the Floo Network in an emergency but you'd run an awful risk of being seen by the wrong person '
'It's the very thing to do!' said Sirius clapping his hand to his forehead. 'Would you mind asking Professor McGonagall? Her memory of my Hogwarts years is far too detailed for me to ask another favor this soon. Perhaps Sunday night would be best?'
'I'll ask her to open the connection after ten,' said Molly.
Arthur came home with a special afternoon issue of The Daily Prophet. He was quite disturbed by thenews that Sturgis Podmore had been sentenced to six month in Azkaban.'Six months for being caught in the department that we've been guarding. It could have been any of us!' He put his head in his hands but then looked directly into Sirius' eyes. 'Sirius, I don't know if they are just fishing for information or making a good guess; be very mindful that you stay in the house. There's an item about you hiding in London.'
Sirius looked at Arthur and said, 'Stubby Boardman must be carousing at night in all the pubs.'
Neither Molly nor Arthur smiled.
Pig brought another letter on Sunday morning as Arthur and Sirius were finishing the fine breakfast that Molly had prepared. She gave Pig a sausage and opened the letter.
Dear Mum and Dad and Sirius,
I am the new Keeper for Gryffindor. Harry didn't have as much time to practice with me before the tryouts because he has detention with Professor Umbridge every night. That means he has to do his homework when he is not writing lines for her. But anyway, I was good enough to be chosen Keeper. Do you believe that?
Thanks again for giving Pig to me, Sirius. It makes writing home easier.
PS. Ginny and Fred and George are fine.
Arthur smiled again and then said, 'Sirius, Molly tells me you are going to use the Gryffindor floo to talk to Harry tonight. Be very careful that no one sees you that hasn't been living here.'
'You have my word.'
The next morning at breakfast, Sirius told Molly and Arthur that he had talked to Harry and Ron and Hermione. He said that Harry had written that his scar was hurting and wanted to be sure that it was not connected with Voldemort's return. They are all having problems with Dolores Umbridge. She's keeping the students from learning how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts.
'I warned them not to ask too many questions because Minister Fudge is acting paranoid about Dumbledore organizing an army against the Ministry. Harry said that the Malfoy boy hinted that his father might have seen me at the railroad station.'
Molly gasped. 'No!'
'They also said that Percy had written Ron. What would he be writing to him about?' Sirius looked at the sudden change of expression on Molly's and Arthur's faces. Molly looked like she was about to cry and Arthur got a wooden expression.
'Just trying to get more information about the Order, I expect.' Arthur abruptly stood up. 'I have work to do at the Ministry.' He kissed Molly and nodded to Sirius.
Life continued as usual at Grimmauld Place with Sirius staying cooped up inside while Arthur went to the Ministry almost every day. Molly ventured out only to get more supplies for the three of them and anyone else who showed up for dinner. Kreacher stayed out of her way, for the most part. Members of the Order came for meetings from time to time but the Hogwarts Professors were seldom there.
A school owl brought two letters near the middle of September. Molly gave him some food and water while Arthur opened the letter from the twins.
Dear Mum and Dad,
School is far from fun this year. IT'S VERY DIFFERENT.
One of the professors is making all the other teachers nervous because she is trying to fire them. I THINK SHE WANTS ALL FRIENDS OF FUDGE TEACHING HERE.
Percy wrote a snotty letter to Ron. HE AND HIS EMPLOYER ARE VERY THREATENED BY HARRY.
We are happy that Ron is our new Keeper. WE JUST WISH HE COULD STOP MORE QUAFFLES.
Tell Sirius that all of his ideas work. HE'LL KNOW WHAT WE MEAN.
Fred and GEORGE
Molly raised her eyebrows at the last comments. 'So, Sirius, you're helping Fred and George make their jokes. I should have seen that coming.' Molly sighed.
Sirius grinned at her and winked at Arthur.
Molly opened the letter addressed in Ginny's round hand and read it aloud to Arthur and Sirius.
Dear Mum and Dad,
School is different this year. Hagrid is still not here. I like Professor Grubbly-Plank but I miss him. We are just reading the Defense Against the Dark Arts book while our teacher sits on her chair staring at us. She is now the High Inquisitor and has posted all sorts of rules about what we cannot do. She is very mean to Harry. He's always in detention.
Fred and George are still trying to lighten our spirits. I love them. Hermione told me that Ron got a very mean-spirited letter from Percy. He wanted Ron to stop being friends with Harry. That's just stupid!
Ron is happy that he is on the Quidditch team. Maybe I'll try out next year. That would be something!
We won't have our first Hogsmeade weekend until early October but a boy named Michael has asked me to go with him. He's one of the boys from my study group and he is very nice. He has dark hair like Harry but doesn't have green eyes.
Tell Sirius I miss talking to him. He's been like a long-lost uncle to me. He's almost as much fun to be around as the twins.
'Oh my!' said Molly, looking at Arthur. 'Ginny has a beau already.'
Sirius looked back and forth between them. "She's smart and pretty. She'll have a lot of young men interested in her.'
'She takes after her exceptionally smart and pretty mother,' said Arthur. 'I just didn't think that she'd notice boys so soon.' He put his arm around Molly.
Molly smiled back at him. 'I think she's already noticed a boy. Maybe she just got tired of waiting for him to notice that she's a girl. Isn't it interesting that the boy who likes Ginny looks like the boy that Ginny really likes? I do hope everything will work out the way Lily and I hoped.'