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.
A/N This story is told from Molly’s Weasley’s point of view and parallels Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the summer after it.
The morning after Halloween, Molly and Arthur were eating breakfast when the fireplace flared with a Floo call. Arthur went over to the fireplace, bent down, and was surprised to find Bill’s face among the flames.
‘Dad, would you mind stopping by my office at Gringotts on your way to the office today?’ asked Bill. ‘There’s something I want to ask your advice about.’
‘I can be there almost immediately but I have a meeting scheduled for an hour from now. Is that long enough for your concern?’ said Arthur.
’I just have a question or two,’ said Bill. ‘It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.’
Arthur pulled his head out of the fire and began gathering his papers. ‘The Quidditch match against Slytherin is this Saturday. I imagine that the children would appreciate a cake for their victory party.’ He kissed Molly good-bye.
‘They might appreciate it even more if they don’t win,’ said Molly laughing. ‘I hope that Ginny and Ron are not still arguing. Team members need to work together. Be safe and give my love to Bill’.’
Arthur walked out the kitchen door and Apparated away.
Molly poured herself a second cup of tea and ate a piece of toast that Arthur had already put raspberry jam on. ‘This year’s crop made fine jam, if I do say so myself. Maybe I will make a chocolate cake with raspberry filling for the victory party.’
Molly started the dishes washing and Summoned the cake ingredients from the pantry and cooling cupboard. ‘I wonder if the Muggles bake their box cakes in the boxes they come in?’ she muttered as she caused the butter and sugar to blend and the eggs to crack themselves against the side of the bowl.
She was very firm with the cheeky oven. ‘You’ll do the baking with no snide comments,’ she admonished it. The oven did not answer back.
Later in the day after she had listened to both of her favourite programs on the WWN and iced the cake, Molly decided to start the Christmas jumpers. It was going to be different having all of them the same colour so she decided that she had better attach labels to each of them as she cast the stitches on. Bill and Charlie had stayed about the same size for the past year, although Fleur said that she was cooking with less sugar and butter so he would be more trim for their wedding. Charlie was so active that only his brawny arms got bigger around.
As Molly cast on the stitches for the jumpers for her two older sons, she thought about what had been revealed today on Days of Destiny. It hardly seemed believable that Lyla, the evil twin secret love child of Lord Lyle, had been foolish enough to go for a water taxi ride with a Muggle who had tattoos all over his body. She should have known better than to go off with someone she had met in a seedy bar but she obviously did not. Now, he had kidnapped her and was holding her for a large ransom. The evil man had taken her ‘silly little stick’ and thrown it into the blades of a propeller so she was defenseless without her wand. She had pleaded with him to contact her rich and powerful father, forgetting that he had never recognized her as his daughter. Nic Meath had real pathos in his voice at the end of the program as he intoned, ‘What will become of Lyla as she faces life without Magic? Will Lord Lyle admit his infidelities to save the life of his daughter?’
The calmer, if more life-threatening, plot on Bedside at St Brigid’s involved people stricken with a combination of complete paralysis and total amnesia at the same time. Unfortunately, most of the cases of this new puzzling illness were among a group of witches and wizards who were naturalists. They wore only sandals and wrist wand holders but were so afflicted that they could not remember what their wands were for. The puzzled Healers had to remove and label each wand to send it off to some sort of forensic institute for identification. Meanwhile different Healers at St Brigid’s tried unsuccessfully to reverse the paralysis. Life was very complicated for these poor afflicted people. They insisted on wearing their hospital gowns backwards. The first year Healers in Training were getting hands-on experience before they had a chance to settle in to their classes.
As Molly and Arthur cuddled that night, Molly asked, ‘Did Bill ask for advice about the wedding when you saw him?’
‘How did you know?’ asked Arthur.
Molly snuggled closer and said, ‘Woman’s intuition. Brides get obsessed with plans for weddings. Grooms are well advised to agree with everything.’
‘That’s about what I told Bill this morning.’
Molly sent the chocolate cake with raspberry filling off with Arthur the following morning. He could put it in the Ministry Post for Hogwarts. She enclosed a short note wishing all of the Gryffindor team ‘the sort of luck usually only caused by Felix Felicis’. She addressed it to Harry since he was the Quidditch Captain. She hoped her simple wish would influence the outcome of the match.
Sunday morning, Molly and Arthur were eating a leisurely breakfast when Pig bounced off the kitchen window. Arthur opened the window and Pig flew in and landed next to a platter of sausages. Molly gave him a whole sausage, which he pecked at as Arthur untied the note from his leg.
‘Listen to this,’ Arthur read-
Dear Mum and Dad,
We smashed the slimy snakes by two hundred and fifty points. It was a nearly perfect game. We were already a hundred points ahead when Harry caught the Snitch. I was so good at stopping them from scoring that I thought Harry had given me a dose of Felix Felicis. But he hadn’t. Ginny scored a lot of goals even with a new Chaser to work with. I hope Katie is back soon so we can get rid of him.
Being a Quidditch hero really makes the girls like you. I could get used to all the attention. It’s nice to be appreciated by someone who likes the way I play Keeper. Some of my friends will never understand Quidditch. I probably wouldn’t have liked the Slug Club Christmas party anyway.
Thanks for the cake. Everyone liked the raspberry filling. No one makes cakes better than you, Mum.
‘I’m surprised that Fred and George didn’t get word of the match to us earlier,’ said Molly, pouring herself another cup of tea. ‘I thought that Lee Jordan was going back to Hogwarts to call them.’
‘I think he’s taken a job selling brooms for Christmas way up in North Scotland,’ said Arthur.
‘He was always such a polite young man,’ said Molly. ‘And from such a nice family.’
As November continued, Molly was busy supervising all of her sets of needles knitting the rest of the Christmas jumpers. She also dueled with Corrine twice a week and attended Witches and Stitches meetings. They were making another quilt to raffle off to raise money for St Mungo’s Spell-Damaged ward.
Because of all the Death Eater and Dementor activity, Molly felt uneasy going into Diagon Alley by herself or with just Corrine. Therefore, she met Arthur after work one evening a week to shop for the birthdays of their two older sons. They got small presents for the children and Harry for Christmas and picked up the two copies of Christmas Memories that Flourish and Blotts had located through their book tracking system.
Molly was making a jumper for Percy although they had not heard anything from him for ever so long. She hadn’t even seen him since he came to Cedric’s memorial service with former Minister Fudge. Arthur reported that he was cool and distant when they happened to pass each other in the halls of the Ministry. He described his interaction as ‘professional but aloof’.
Ginny sent a short letter with Hedwig around the middle of November. Molly fussed over Harry’s owl and gave her owl treats before she read
Dear Mum and Dad,
The teachers are loading us up with homework. They act like they think we’ve all forgotten that this is our year for O.W.L.s. Hermione loaned me her revision notes from last year so I think I am going to do well. First, I have to do everything that the teachers assign. They seem to think that we have no life outside their classes.
Speaking of having a life, Ron seems suddenly very attracted to one of Hermione’s dorm mates. He’s with her all the time and she is extremely affectionate. I had thought that he and Hermione were starting to be a little sweet on each other but they are downright surly to each other now.
Harry is almost out of his mind worried that Ron and Hermione won’t even be friends any more. Poor Harry! He just mopes around when he doesn’t have detention or a special lesson with Professor Dumbledore. I wish that I could spend all my free time with him like I did last summer but the new Chaser isn’t happy when I do that. Some boys can be so insensitive to other people’s needs sometimes.
Did Charlie really give you a book that was signed by Kathleen Pen? Which one was it? Hermione has all of them but she doesn’t have an autographed one. I just love the way she writes. Did Charlie say she was writing a book about Vampires?
I can’t wait for Christmas.
That evening, Arthur raised his eyebrow when Molly read the part where Ginny wished she could spend all her time with Harry but he did not comment.
Molly sat in silence for a while before she said, ‘I wonder which of the girls in his year Ron is spending free time with. He went to the Yule Ball with one of the Patil twins. I wonder if it’s her sister. That might be a bit awkward.’
Arthur stayed quiet and buried his face in the Daily Prophet.
‘And isn’t it strange that Ginny is so worried about Harry when she went to Hogsmeade with another boy just a few weeks ago.’ Molly cleared the table and started the dishes washing.
She was still puzzling over Ginny’s letter as she fell asleep in Arthur’s arms that night.
As the November weather grew cooler, Molly stopped walking over to Corrine’s to practice dueling and began to Apparate there. One fine day, she and Corrine Apparated to a small wizard bookshop that was close to Ottery St Catchpole and found two more copies of Christmas Memories. Death Eaters were causing devastation all over Britain so they were reluctant to search for any more.
Molly was very pleased with how the deep red Christmas jumpers turned out. She embroidered initials on the ones for her children and a large Golden Snitch on Harry’s. She wrapped Charlie’s as soon as it was finished and put it with some small useful items and a couple of pounds of Moonsickle’s Special Christmas Blend. Molly laughed at the memory of how he would blush when his first girlfriend told him his eyes were just the colour of strong sweet coffee. She started the Christmas baking and packed away tins of biscuits and tarts for the holidays.
Fred and George came for dinner nearly every night, but Bill and Fleur seemed to visit only on weekends. Molly wondered if Fleur had decided that she had become well enough acquainted with the Weasley family during the summer.
Molly and Arthur decided to have a family birthday dinner for Bill on the Sunday before his birthday. Even though Arthur did not think it would do any good, Molly sent an invitation to Percy. He immediately sent Hermes with a curt note saying his duties prevented him from coming but wished Bill a Happy Birthday. When the twins came to the dinner, they pronounced Percy a git.
Molly and Arthur gave Bill the Moonsickle’s Wake-up Wizard coffee he liked so much as well as a gift certificate for Madame Malkin’s with the suggestion that he get something nice to wear to work. He and Fleur were having a quiet home-cooked dinner on his birthday. She said, ‘We ‘ave to peench ze Knuts because we are zaving for our wedding.’
‘And quite a wedding it is turning out to be,’ said Bill. Arthur gave him a knowing look.
‘I’ll be happy to help in any way that I can,’ said Molly. ‘Have you decided where the wedding will be?’
Bill and Arthur exchanged another look while Fleur said, ‘I am waiting to ‘ear back from zome possibilities. My parents, zhey will ‘elp me decide.’
‘Oh,’ said Molly. ‘Let me know if there is anything I can do.’
Molly sent Charlie’s birthday and Christmas presents off to Romania on the final day of November. The parcel included two tins of Christmas biscuits. She was glad that the Ministry allowed their employees to use the International Post. She missed her strong adventurous second son but was beginning to look forward to having everyone else home for Christmas. Surely, Percy would come to visit or for lunch on Christmas Day if he knew how much it would mean to her.
A/N: Again thanks are due to both Trelawney 2213 and bookish327 for patiently correcting my mistakes and California vocabulary. Kathleen Pen is St Margarets’.