Notes: Written for the Alphabet Soup challenge at strong_love . Thanks to coquillage for
the pre-beta and the endless support and HelenH, my delightful, helpful
and patient SQ beta.
disclaimers apply – it all belongs to JKR, although I wouldn’t mind visiting
Molly’s wonderful kitchen once in a while.
'... And that Dad's
got no ambition and that's why we've always been – you know – not had a lot of
money, I mean – '
Molly poured him another cup of
tea, his third, and turning back to the sink said, “I’ll stop when you’ve given
me a decent reason, Remus, and no more of this ‘It’s dangerous’ nonsense.
Arthur agrees with me.”
“You’ve discussed this with Arthur?”
he groaned, imagining that conversation and wondering how he could look Arthur
in the eye again.
“Of course I have. He’s my
husband,” she answered simply.
Remus felt again the pang of
loneliness that kept him coming back to Molly, despite knowing he would argue
with her. He wanted her to subvert his better judgment, even though he never
allowed himself to agree with her.
“And, all appearance to the
contrary, I respect his opinion terribly much,” Molly continued with a grin.
“He feels as I do, that you should stop fending Tonks off because you’re a
“But it is dangerous, Molly, to
marry a werewolf,” he replied calmly, certain, at least of this.
“And Tonks knows that. Her job
is dangerous, but I don’t see you persuading her to leave. Being a member of
the Order is dangerous, but we all accept that, for Tonks and for ourselves.”
“Those things are necessary…we
need Aurors and we need Order spies and Tonks is well placed to do both those
“Love is necessary,” Molly
answered him quickly. “That’s why we put ourselves in danger for it.”
He couldn’t respond to that with
more than a deep breath, for Molly was right. He didn’t know anyone else with
more on the line than Molly and she accepted the danger, with anxiety to be sure,
but she accepted it for love of her family. A family that apparently included
himself and Tonks, judging from her willingness to interfere in his love life.
He was both annoyed and touched by her determination to make him happy, her way.
“Well, then, I’m poor. How’s
that for a decent reason? Tonks would most likely have to provide the majority
of the support for a home and, God forbid, a family.”
“Never say that about a family,
Remus. I know you better than that. You don’t feel that way.”
He didn’t feel that way; that
was the problem. He should quit Tonks, like he had quit Hogwarts, like he had
quit his last and only other girlfriend, all those years ago. But he hadn’t
yet, because he couldn’t give up on the drowsy visions of the two of them,
married, expecting a child, teaching his son to walk, his daughter to walk,
seeing a whole lot of clumsy, shy children off to Hogwarts, that came to him
before he fell into a fitful sleep at night.
“You’re relentless, Molly, you
really are. You should run for Minister of Magic. Fix all the wizarding
world’s problems,” he joked, trying to deflect her.
“Not me. I’m just an ordinary
woman, Remus. And if I can make a life with a poor man who keeps involving me
in dangerous situations, and still be the happiest woman I can imagine being,
than I know Tonks can do the same.”
So much for deflecting her. And
really, he thought, if she hadn’t given up on Percy, was she likely to give up
on him? And why did this make him admire her, instead of rolling his eyes at
her foolish heart? Perhaps because that heart was concerned for Tonks. He wasn’t
the only one who came here for tea and comfort.
“Ordinary women don’t join the
fight against Voldemort, they don’t have tea with a werewolf,” he commented quietly.
Molly blushed with pleasure.
“Maybe more of them should. But
you won’t flatter me out of my point, Remus. What difference does being poor
make? Tonks is mature enough to see that more than money matters in a family.
Why aren’t you?”
This stung, deeply, and he
responded out of frustration and a touch of anger at Molly for probing the
“It matters to Ron.”
She turned on him quickly, eyes
snapping with that tell-tale fire and he backpedaled quickly.
“I’m sorry. I’ve overstepped my
“No, I suppose you haven’t,” she
sighed. “You’re just wrong. “Ron minds being poor, because he minds being Ron.
He just uses being poor as an excuse,” Molly continued, picking up her broom
and starting to sweep the kitchen floor by hand, instead of using a spell,
something he now recognized she did when she was thinking seriously.
“And, anyway, it hasn’t stopped
him, has it? He makes friends, plays Quidditch, he’s a prefect. He even has a
girlfriend, even if it is the wrong girl,” she said, continuing an argument he’d
thought he backed out of.
“Maybe it wouldn’t be the wrong
girl, Molly, if he wasn’t too insecure about being, well, poor.” Remus knew he
was treading on dangerous ground here, but he needed to make Molly see why a family
was out of the question for him.
“Maybe that’s true,” she
acknowledged, surprising him. “But maybe he’d be with the wrong girl because
he’s too tall, or his hair is too red. Ron has to find in himself something
that he’ll believe makes him worth the right girl. And the sooner the better,”
she added, under her breath. “For all three of them. Poor Hermione, I wish
she was with us, where I can see how she is for myself.”
“So,” she continued, turning
back to him, “You aren’t going to marry Tonks, because your son might date a
silly girl, instead of the one who loves him.”
“You make it sound so trivial,
when it isn’t fair to put that burden on her. And there’s more at stake than
that. There are worse things a child can do to you, you know that.”
“I do know that,” Molly replied,
with an intake of breath that told him he might have made his point with her.
She stopped sweeping briefly and stared silently out the open half of the back
door, as though hoping to see Percy appear on the horizon. He was suddenly
frightened that she might stop, might decide he was right; might tell him that
sometimes love wasn’t worth it. He didn’t know what he would do if confronted
with that Molly, with that version of love.
“Money didn’t make our problems
with Percy. He thinks we did something wrong by him, I suppose, and he’s doing
wrong by us. Someday we will sort it all out, because families that are
based on love do that, Remus.” Molly surprised him with a hint of laughter.
“I can’t imagine what people like the Malfoys do with their problem children,
disown them or leave them to the house elves to raise, I imagine. Possibly they
drown them. That would certainly explain Draco’s bad manners.”
He sighed. Leave it to Molly,
she always had an answer, even if that answer always meant hoping against hope
that her family mattered to all its members. And even if that answer always
meant he should put aside his concerns and make everyone happy by marrying.
“Listen, Remus,” she turned a
fierce gaze on him. “I’m not a fool: Arthur doesn’t earn enough; I’ve got a
dreadful temper, which you are close to having explode on you; Ginny has a
shrewish tongue when she’s riled; heaven knows the twins don’t know when to
stop pulling pranks; Charlie won’t settle down; Bill is settling down
with that terribly conceited Fleur; Ron’s too insecure for his own good;
Hermione’s too smart for hers; Percy’s behaving like an idiot; Tonks can’t walk
into the room without breaking something and you think you’re unacceptable
company. Worst of all, Harry won’t stop putting himself into worse danger. I’d
change all those things with a wave of my wand, if I could. But I wouldn’t
change who any of you are, and I can’t manage without any of you.”
She stopped on an inhale,
looking at him intently, to make sure he understood. Understood what, he wasn’t
quite sure, but he felt comforted. The sweetness of the tea, the warmth of the
fire, the completeness of the acceptance all worked together to soften his
defenses. He comforted Molly with words and she comforted him with just the
fact that she continued to keep this kitchen.
“I’m not a fool and neither is
Tonks.” Molly turned, put aside her broom and laid some biscuits on a plate,
before pouring herself another cup of tea.
Apparently she was finished. He
wished he understood this ordinary woman’s depths more. He envied Arthur; with
this fierce, strong love at his side. No wonder he felt capable of the things
he did: Molly believed in him.
“I’ll think about what you’ve
said, Molly,” he conceded, as he had come here to do.
“Good,” she replied, no doubt
knowing he’d be back with the same doubts and hesitation, the same needs,
welcome always to share what little they had, because for Molly, love was