Hooray! Guys, my team made it to the finals of the QLFC at the top of the ladder! So here's my entry for Round 1. This round, we had to pick a little-used character (Lily Luna Potter, in our case) and pair her with another character in some capacity. So I decided to look at Lily's relationship with her Granny Molly. :) Because I love them and they make me smile. One note-this story touches on events from my other stories, but you do not have to have read them to know what's happening here. Just working in the little corner of the universe I've scratched out for myself.
One announcement - I'm so sorry about GD:II guys! This has been a bonkers month. I promise I'm storing up some great stuff and will be back and updating soon. :)
Anyway, to recap, my prompts this time were:
1. Lily Luna Potter & Molly Weasley
2. 1,000 word count (to my judge, is weird, per usual, so let me know if you need proof that it's exactly 1,000 words, not including the epigraph)
3. "The Night is Darkening Round Me" - a poem by Emily Brontë
4. An audio clip of a thunderstorm that I have found incredibly soothing.
That's all folks! xoxo
"The night is darkening round me,
the wild winds coldly blow…
…but nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go."
- Emily Bronte
For just a moment, as Molly opened the door of the Llewellyn ward, she was overwhelmed by a sudden rush of memories. She shook her head as she approached a tucked-away room at the farthest end of the hall. A name card outside the door read Evans in neat script, but Molly didn't hesitate. Harry always used his mother's name at St. Mungo's, for everything from the kids' visits to the Healer to treatments for injuries sustained on a mission.
But tonight was different—tonight had been the final task of the Triwizard Tournament, resurrected for some well-intentioned reason that Molly had forgotten all about when Lily—her granddaughter Lily—had been named the Hogwarts champion. All the same, at the time Molly had thought that no matter what, nothing could go so horrifically wrong as the last one? No one could die.
This was why she'd believed she was dreaming an hour ago when Ron's Floo call woke her and Arthur from where they'd fallen asleep on the sofa, waiting for word of the tournament's safe end. It took Molly nearly ten minutes to fully comprehend what he was saying—that the graphorn the champions were meant to be caging had charged and caught Lily in her shoulder.
Molly's stomach flipped over as she pushed open the hospital room door—surely if Lily was in a room after only a few hours, she couldn't be too badly hurt?
"Oh, Ginny," Molly gasped, turning around to see her daughter hurrying down the corridor to meet her, a mug of tea in hand. "You frightened—"
"You're here," said Ginny, hugging her with one arm.
"Oh—all right…there, now," Molly replied.
"Thank you," Ginny mumbled.
"Don't be silly," Molly told her, patting her back even as a painful lump stuck in her throat. "Tell me what you need." She allowed Ginny to draw back, taking in her puffy eyes and exhausted posture. "Where's Harry gone?" she asked.
Ginny waved a hand. "He's at Hogwarts. They're still cleaning up."
Molly tried not to wince. "How is she?"
"Stable, for now." Ginny swallowed. "She'll be here for a few days." She shook her head. "I don't know what I was thinking. We shouldn't have let her compete, we could have put a stop to it—a graphorn—"
"Shh, sweetheart. What can I do?"
Ginny wiped her eyes with her cuff. "Can you sit with her? Just for an hour. I don't think she'll wake up, but—I'm going to get her things, she'll want fresh clothes…I'll bring her your blanket…" Her eyes filled with tears again and she looked away.
"Take all the time you need," Molly said, taking Ginny by the arms and kissing her cheek. "I'll stay right here."
Ginny wrapped her arms around Molly again. "Thanks, Mummy."
"Go on," Molly said gently, releasing her. "I'll see you soon."
Ginny gave a tired nod and squeezed her hand one last time before departing the ward. Molly pushed open the door to Lily's room. It was nearly pitch-black, thanks to the heavy rainclouds that were gathering outside the tiny window and blotting out the pre-dawn light—it was nearly five in the morning by her watch. Her eyes adjusted enough that she could make out the bed, so she removed her cloak and approached the bed.
Her heart sank; she felt ill as she took in the bandages across Lily's right side, as starkly white as the skin beneath her freckles.
Somewhere in the distance, there was a roll of thunder, and a few drops of rain spattered gently against the glass of the small window. Molly moved towards the chair that Ginny had obviously abandoned at Lily's side.
"Well, what's happened now, hm?" Molly asked quietly. She slipped her hand into Lily's uninjured one—the other was bound in the sling and bandages that wrapped up and around her shoulder, over to her throat, where the graphorn's tusk had obviously grazed her.
Dark circles ringed Lily's eyes. Molly wondered how many sleepless nights she'd had this year, since entering the tournament to everyone's shock. Had she lain awake more often than Molly had, hundreds of miles away?
As she watched Lily, Molly was struck by another wave of memory and emotions so powerful that she had to shut her eyes. She tried not to squeeze Lily's hand too hard, but brought it close to her chest.
Suddenly, in her mind's eye, Lily was just a baby again, watching with brown-eyed consternation as the memorial flags that hung in Hogwarts' entrance hall were raised. Molly had held her that day, partly because Harry and Ginny were at the front of the ceremony, but mostly because Lily's snuffles and squeaks diverted her attention and gave her an excuse to hang back from the crowd. She hadn't been ready, even ten years on—holding Lily was the only thing that had kept her together that day.
There was a louder rumble of thunder outside, and Molly rubbed the back of Lily's hand in gentle circles. "You know, it wasn't supposed to be this way for you," she told her softly. "Things were meant to be easier, now."
She jumped—the loudest thunderclap yet sounded directly overhead, followed by rainfall as loud as hailstones drumming across the roof. Lightning flickered outside the window. She turned her eyes away from the storm outside, glancing at Lily—and to her great surprise, Lily was looking back at her, eyes half-open and brow furrowed skeptically. Her fingers moved in Molly's, and her frown deepened for a moment.
Molly's heart was suddenly beating very fast. "Lily, it's Granny…"
Lily still looked very confused, but the corners of her mouth twitched slightly. "Hi," she mouthed; it seemed that her throat hurt too much to talk, so she squeezed Molly's hand again.
Molly leaned over and brushed a strand of red hair from Lily's pale forehead, smoothing it back. Lily smiled at her and whispered, "I'm not going anywhere."