Molly was sitting at the table one day knitting when she heard a thump at the window. Curiously the curly-haired Weasley got to her feet and walked over to the window. Things had been quiet lately. Ginny was always off with Harry and Ron was following Hermione around like a lost puppy. George was home from time to time, but he tended to stay out of the house. Molly understood why though. He'd said before it just reminded him of Fred. Home just wasn't home for him anywhere. Molly could feel the absence too. She missed the pranks. She missed the laughs. The heartache that had ensued every time she saw George without Fred was gut wrenching. It made her feel sick every time. But what did she expect? Nothing was ever going to be the same now. It'd been a year since Voldemort had been defeated, but every night when she shut her eyes Molly saw her son's lifeless body and the pain was as fresh as it was the day she'd lost him.
"Errol?" Molly opened the window to see the Great Grey Owl on the floor. "What are you doing?" The owl was old now. He'd die any day. Truthfully Molly hadn't even realized the owl was alive anymore. It'd been the least of her worries.
Noticing an envelope in the bird's beak, Molly took it in her hand and sat it on the counter before scooping the bird up in her arms. She grabbed a bit of bread she'd made earlier, for once looking at the counter top. She'd been baking a lot. She'd needed to keep her mind off of reality and so she'd turned to cooking just like she always did. "There there," she whispered and watched as Errol ate the bread. His feathers were ruffled and Molly noticed how thin he'd gotten. Bless his heart.
The woman sat the bird on the table with a bit more bread for him to munch on while she looked at the letter. It was an old looking envelope. The edges had been stained yellow while the middle was still white. In elegant writing was her name. Just Molly Weasley. There was no return address or the name of who sent it.
Curiously the woman opened the letter and began to read.
It's been so long. I know things have been hard and I know we haven't talked in a long, long time. Listen to me, though, just for a moment. I want to thank you, Molly. Thank you for watching over him when I couldn't be the mother he needed. Thank you for taking him in. You showed him the love he'd been deprived of as a little boy. Petunia tried sometimes, but she never accepted him like she should have. He went through a lot and I know he felt alone in the world, but thanks to you that changed. You made sure he was fed. You made sure he had Christmas with a real family. You made sure he knew he was loved and for that I will never be able to repay you. I'll do my best though. You see, Fred is here. I'll take care of him until you can see him again.
I'll take care of your boy like you took care of mine.
The first time she'd read it Molly felt like she was going to fall. She sat down in a chair and felt it slide back a bit with her weight. Her hand shook and she suddenly felt like she couldn't breathe. Tears began to rain until she was sobbing uncontrollably. She clutched the letter in her trembling hand as she sobbed. The letter was short and it was simple, yet Molly couldn't stop reading it after she managed to regain her composure. She read it over and over for an hour, a new bought of tears raining down onto her face every single time. She didn't know how the letter had gotten to her and she didn't care. They lived in a land of magic and this was the letter she needed today. She'd needed it for a long time.
Molly sat there for what felt like an eternity. She cried until she couldn't cry anymore. Her apple cheeks were tear stained and the letter had water damage from the occasional tear that had found the paper in its path. The only time the woman put the letter down was when she heard her children come home.
"Mum!" George. Her precious George. Molly got up and she hugged him without a word. George melted into the hug, holding his mother while he rested his chin on the top of her head. "Mum, what's wrong?"
Molly didn't answer as she held her son. They were silent for a long time and George's embrace never lessened. His tight hold stayed tight and Molly listened to his heart beat. "He's alright, George," she finally whispered.
"Who?" She could hear the confusion in George's voice.
She heard his heartbeat quicken and he hugged her a little tighter.
"So will we, Mum. We'll be alright..."
At that moment the others walked in. Ginny. Harry. Ron. Hermione. Arthur. They all came home and no one had to say a word. They all walked up to the mother and son, and soon Molly felt more arms around her. They all hugged and the worries seemed to fade. Molly still clutched that letter in her hand.
A new set of footprints were heard and Molly heard her husband greet Charlie. Percy and Fleur were there as well. They all hugged for a while, and in the background she could hear a scuffling sound. It was only when they all parted that Molly saw the new addition to the wall. It was Fred when he was just a boy. It was the year he and George had turned three and they'd had their cake. Molly had been cleaning up George and Fred was still a mess. She'd thought she'd lost that after the Death Eaters had struck the house a couple years ago.
With one hand on her mouth and the other outstretched, Molly touched the picture as she watched Fred blow raspberries with chocolate cake all over his face and in his hair. She felt a hand on her shoulder and could see Harry's reflection in the glass. "Do you need anything, Mrs. Weasley?"
With the letter still in her hand on two of her fingertips touching Fred's picture, Molly shook her head and, for the first time in a long time, she said, "I'm alright."