Molly Weasley walked away from the infirmary
Molly Weasley walked away from the infirmary. At the moment there was nothing she could do. Poppy Pomfrey would take care of Harry, she was sure. Hermione was sensible and tough enough to handle herself. And Ron…her baby boy…she wasn’t sure that he needed taking care of any more. That thought in itself was scary, although it saved her worry.
He’d sacrificed himself in a chess game. He’d gone with Harry into the Chamber of Secrets. He’d known about Sirius Black’s innocence, and he hadn’t told anyone.
He’d grown up, in other words, which was fortunate for him no matter how much it wrenched his mother’s feelings—a child would be slaughtered in this brutal but cowardly new world.
"Molly…am I right in thinking that I can count on you and Arthur?"
It was starting again.
Molly unconsciously quickened her pace and softened her steps as she walked. She caught herself peering cautiously as she turned around the corner—I’ve already slipped back into the old habits, haven’t I? Constant vigilance! She smiled grimly. Oh, yes, the old times were back.
"…am I right in thinking that I can count on you and Arthur?"
Of course he could, as always. Just like he had the last time.
* * *
Molly Weasley walked into Florean Fortescue’s, greeted Florean with a smile, ordered a chocolate sundae and seated herself at a table, putting her shopping bags on the floor next to her chair. Discreetly, she felt for her wand in the hidden pocket of her wide flowery robe—she breathed a silent thank-you to the wizarding fashion designers that loose robes were fashionable. It made things so much easier for Unspeakables who needed to hide their wands.
She adjusted her cute green hat and smiled sweetly at the wizard at the neighboring table. Keep acting like a flirty bimbo, Molly dear, it’s part of your job.
It was good to be sleuthing again, despite the danger; Molly had just come back from a ten-month maternity leave. As soon after her baby was born as was practical, she had overridden all of Arthur’s objections and returned to work.
Arthur found the situation upsetting.
"If you were a Muggle," he had said, "you wouldn’t be able to get back to this sort of active work so quickly."
"Well, I’m not a Muggle," she had replied composedly, "though sometimes I suspect you’d love me more if I were, Arthur Weasley!"
Arthur had pled "not guilty" to this charge, and argued his case very persuasively indeed.
Molly smiled at the memory, then sighed. She had had to leave her uncannily well-behaved one-month-old baby—Percy, she and Arthur had named him—with Arthur and her old Aunt Esmeralda, who was living at the Burrow and taking care of Bill and Charlie as well while Arthur worked. And she, Molly, had resumed her magical disguise as a carefree twenty-something living in Diagon Alley, under an assumed name and away from her husband and children.
Straight across from her, a dumpy witch wearing purple robes paid for her meal and left, brushing the copy of Witch Weekly that she’d been reading to the floor with an accidental-seeming gesture.
Molly leisurely finished her chocolate sundae, stretching out her legs. Her spike-heeled shoe landed neatly on the Witch Weekly issue that the witch had dropped. A few seconds later she pulled her legs in, and the Witch Weekly followed, trapped by her heel.
Molly called a waiter over and paid for her ice cream. She picked up her bags---and the Witch Weekly—and casually strolled out of the restaurant.
At least, it looked casual to an outside observer. But when Molly got back to her Diagon Alley flat, she locked the door with that complicated Muggle lock Arthur had given her (the Death Eaters weren’t too knowledgeable about Muggle technology, thank goodness), put up triple-strength wards, locked herself into her bedroom and shook. Literally shook, for how long she didn’t know.
Get a grip, Molly. Someday this’ll be over, she told herself. Someday I’ll be able to live openly with Arthur and the children again. Someday my only worry in the world will be whether or not Charlie and Bill and Percy are eating properly, and whether or not I can get them to behave themselves.
She looked at the Witch Weekly, which she’d held clenched in her fist. She turned to page 32, as she’d been instructed, and looked at the article there. How to tell if Your Wizard is the Perfect Match for You, the title went. It wasn’t just a sappy article. Properly deciphered, it would reveal the list of passwords to get into the cellar of the Lestranges’ house, where they supposedly held a veritable factory of Dark objects.
Molly expertly decoded the article, scribbling furiously away on the parchment. When she was finished she called Alastor Moody on the telephone that they’d installed in her flat and his house—the line was only between those two locations. Arthur had suggested the phone—the "fellytone," he’d called it. Molly had initially told him not to be silly, but Moody had thought it was brilliant—"Death Eaters would never think of this," he’d said. She enjoyed working with the crabby Auror. Under ordinary circumstances, their paths would never have crossed—he would have been chasing down Dark wizards under the D.M.L.E., while she would have been involved with the intelligence and research work of the Department of Mysteries. But these were not ordinary circumstances.
"Mad-Eye, this is the Unsinkable reporting in," she said, smiling as she used the nickname Arthur had given her. It was some Muggle reference to a woman called the Unsinkable Molly Brown, he’d told her.
"You’re the Unsinkable Molly Weasley," he’d told her. "The Unsinkable Unspeakable!" Molly had rolled her eyes. Arthur had many talents. Non-corny joke-telling was not one of them.
"You’ll embarrass your daughter one day, telling jokes like that," she’d told him.
"I don’t have a daughter."
"Trust me, you will."
She brought her attention back to her conversation with Moody, giving him the list of passwords and then hanging up.
Someday, she thought with a sigh. Someday the drama will be over and Arthur can sit around all day playing with his Muggle toys, and I can bake for Bill and Charlie and Percy and the other children we’ll have. And I’ll have a baby girl of my own. Someday.
* * *
Molly brought herself back to the present with a jerk, as she reached the rooms where she was staying at Hogwarts.
"Someday" had come and gone, and now the short-lived days of baking and child-minding were over.
The old times were back—the times when she couldn’t look after her children, when Arthur couldn’t fiddle with his plugs and "eckeltricity," because they were too busy looking for the Dark Mark and keeping themselves alive.
Her children had felt the old times return before she had. Especially her two babies. Ginny with her diary and Ron with all of his adventures. They’d had a brief interlude of peaceful childhood before the horror started up again.
The old times had returned, and so had the old Molly Weasley with her Unspeakable instincts and skills.
Farewell, kitchens and plugs and baking and pranks. Welcome back, constant vigilance and mysterious disappearances and green skulls appearing over houses.
Molly went to bed, and even though this was Hogwarts, she made sure to put up extra-strong wards on her doors.