Molly Weasley sat in front of the caskets, her mind numb.
In the caskets, awaiting burial, were her two brothers. Fabian and Gideon Prewett, gone long before their time. She accepted the condolences of the other attendees, wishing that Arthur was able to be with her. Her husband was at home with the children, as she felt too paranoid to leave them alone with anyone else.
She nodded in response to the empty platitudes given to her by the well-wishers. She listened with deaf ears as Albus assured her that their loss would not be in vain, how they were heroes. She feigned pride when Alastor told her that it took five Death Eaters to bring down her brothers (three of whom her brothers had killed in the battle), and how they had Dolohov in custody and just needed to find out who the fifth attacker was. Intellectually, she processed their words and appreciated them. In her heart, she only cared that she would never again hear her brothers' laughter.
"I hear they fought fiercely…" spoke a man in front of her. The man leaned down to whisper in her ear. "… for a couple of Blood Traitors that is."
Molly looked up sharply, staring into the eyes of the man who spoke. She recognized him as William Macnair, brother of Walden Macnair. The man's eyes danced with malicious glee, though his voice remained low and betrayed no emotion.
"Here is hoping that you and your Blood Traitor husband keep to yourselves. I hear that one of your brothers' killers is still walking free. It would be a shame if he decided there was a need to visit your nice little family."
Molly felt her heart fill with ice, as she felt her angry reply die on her lips. The threat had been clear, and she couldn't risk her family to satisfy her need for vengeance. The man had all but admitted to killing her brothers, and there was nothing she could do. Damn You-Know-Who and damn this war! The man smirked, nodded his head in mock sympathy, and walked away.
A minute later, a voice interrupted her terrified musings.
Molly looked at the man in confusion. Unlike Macnair, this man had genuine sympathy and sorrow in his eyes. He looked so familiar. She took in his dark red hair, expensive looking three-piece suit (clearly Muggle in style) and piercing blue eyes. Finally, it clicked.
The man smiled sadly and nodded in return.
Molly looked around, realizing that she and Roger were the last ones at the funeral. She indicated a chair next to her for him to sit down in, which he graciously accepted.
"Roger, you are looking well. I haven't seen you in… has it already been five years already?"
She looked at her second cousin with a small sense of joy, dampened by the circumstances. She and her brothers had made sure to watch over him as best they could over the years. She had only been out of Hogwarts for a couple years when Roger failed to receive his acceptance letter. Once it was determined that he was a squib, most of the Prewett family abandoned him. They didn't do so out of a sense of superiority or maliciousness. It was simply that they didn't know how to relate to him and make him feel comfortable. There hadn't been a squib in the family in centuries, and they reacted poorly.
Molly and her brothers did not abandon Roger. They made a point of talking with him, and playing with him, and making sure the young boy knew he would always be a part of the family. The encouraged him as he decided to pursue an education in the Muggle world. They didn't understand what he was studying, but they made a point of always making sure he knew that they were proud of him.
Unfortunately, as the war pressed in, and Molly began having children, the amount of time they were able to spend with him rapidly dwindled. They exchanged letters, and she continued to encourage him. When he had a couple of run-ins with the law, she expressed her concern and suggested he find some friends who won't get him in trouble. No matter what, every year, he received his Christmas sweater.
Still, Molly couldn't help but feel a sense of shame when she realized she hadn't made time in five years to see her little cousin in person.
Roger could clearly see the guilt starting to bubble up into Molly's expression, as he laid a hand on hers. "None of that, now, Molly. You, Fabian, and Gideon were there for me when I most needed it. You still wrote to me and sent me those wonderful sweaters, so don't start thinking you have somehow wronged your little cousin. Had I not been so busy, I would have seen you sooner than this. I just wish that I had made time before… well, when I could see all three… I didn't want a funeral to be the next time we were all together."
Molly's eyes welled up with tears as she pulled Roger into a bone crushing hug, sobbing as the sorrow of the day once again crashed into her.
After ten minutes of sobbing, as Roger hugged her back just as tightly, she felt at peace once again. Though she held no illusions that this would be the last of her grieving. As she pulled herself together, she looked back at Roger.
"Oh, Roger, you are looking healthy. I know that Fabian and Gideon would have loved to have seen you. In your last letter, you said that work was going well. I know you are working in the Muggle world, but what is it you are doing?"
Roger smiled slightly. "I work for a family business. They have their fingers in a lot of different of pies. Construction, waste management, shipping, small loans, they do it all. As for me, I work as… a jack-of-all-trades. Primarily I keep track of the books and help to make sure that all debts to the business are settled in a timely manner."
Molly frowned in confusion. "Muggle jobs sound so confusing. So… would that make you… what did Arthur say that one time… right… an accountant?"
Roger smirked almost imperceptibly. "You could say that."
Molly smiled. "Well, I am happy that you have made something of yourself. They treat you well?"
"They do. The business's owners are big believers in family. Once you are part of the family, you are in for life."
"That's nice. After everything that happened, I'm glad that you found a job where they understand what is most important in this world."
"Thank you, Molly. Now, if I may, who was that man who talked to you before me? He seemed to upset you."
Molly's face paled. "Oh! That was… that was no one. Don't worry about him."
Roger held Molly's hand and gave it a firm squeeze. "Molly, that was clearly not no one. Please… you can tell me."
"It's too dangerous!"
"All the better to tell me. You wouldn't want me to be walking around, ignorant of potential danger?"
Had she not been almost completely broken down emotionally, she likely would have kept her silence. As it was, she sighed and responded. "That was William Macnair. I'll never be able to prove it, but he was one of the Death Eaters who killed Fabian and Gideon. The only one who walked away free."
She saw the hardness enter Roger's eyes, so she hurried on. "Please let it be! He's dangerous, and I don't want to lose anyone else. If you confront him, he'll first kill you and then he'll come after my children. Oh, I shouldn't have said anything! Promise me you will stay away from him!"
Roger smiled reassuringly. "Of course, Molly. I assure you, despite the debt he now owes our family, he will never hear a word from me or even see me. You don't have to worry."
After that, the two of them talked for another half hour, before parting ways. That night, Molly gave each of her children a very long hug before collapsing into her husband's arms.
Six months later, Molly smiled as she went through her mail and saw the familiar handwriting of her second cousin. Opening the package, which was larger than a normal envelope, she was surprised to see that it contained a Muggle newspaper with a short note attached to it.
"Is that a Muggle newspaper, Mollywobbles?" asked an excited Arthur Weasley.
Molly rolled her eyes with fond exasperation at her husband. "Of course, it is Arthur, and you can read it once I find out why Roger sent it to me."
Arthur beamed in anticipation. "Go on, then, Molly dear. What does the note say?"
Molly smiled as she looked down at the note. "It says, 'Dear Molly, I read an article on page 7 that I thought you would find interesting. Hope all is well with you and your family. Thank you for your latest picture, the kids are growing like weeds and I hope that I'll get to meet them someday. I am doing well, as I was able to recently resolve a long-standing debt in a highly satisfactory manner. And before you ask, there is still nothing new on the potential wife front, so you'll have to wait a while longer before you get some new cousins. Take care. Love, Roger.'"
Arthur smiled in response to Molly's smile. The smile broadened further when she handed him the newspaper, save for the paper containing page 7.
As Arthur read, Molly perused the page with curiosity. She was unsure what she was looking for until she saw a tiny notice. The notice stated that authorities were looking for anyone who happened to know a recent accident victim. The victim had apparently gotten drunk and wandered into a construction site, where he fell into a ditch, accidentally impaling himself on a piece of rebar, resulting in the victim's death. Foul play was not suspected. The authorities were looking for next of kin. The man's only identification was a library card in his pocket with the name "William Macnair" written on it.
Molly felt a sense of dread and guilty satisfaction fill her heart. She reread Roger's note. He had resolved a debt… and he had said Macnair owed a debt to the family.
Molly wondered, in that moment, what Roger's real job was. After another moment, she decided she didn't really want to know.
Six years later, Molly was going through the mail and saw a card from Roger.
Ron looked over her shoulder, being in the stage where he tried to read everything. He looked at the Muggle card with eyes full of curiosity.
"Who is Roger, mum?"
Molly's head shot up and turned, looking into Ron's openly inquisitive eyes. She loved her cousin, but she wasn't sure it would be a good idea for children to know him. Over the years, her letters with Roger had solidified Molly's belief that her cousin was involved in a less than savory business. She was eternally grateful that her brothers' killer had received justice, though they never explicitly mentioned that newspaper notice from six years prior. In the end, she just couldn't introduce her children to that world. Luckily, Roger seemed to understand and accept her decision. Still, she had to answer Ron.
"He's my second cousin."
"Does he work for the ministry with dad?"
"No… he's not a wizard. He's… an accountant. What would you like for lunch?"
Ron smiled. His mind fully distracted from mom's mysterious second cousin.
It was many years later since Ron asked about Roger, and Molly had succeeded in keeping her children from knowing her second cousin. She had kept them from Roger's world. For all the good it did for poor Fred.
Molly Weasley sat in front of the casket, her mind numb.
In the casket, awaiting burial, were her baby boy. Fred Weasley, gone long before their time. She accepted the condolences of the other attendees.
She nodded in response to the empty platitudes given to her by the well-wishers. She listened with deaf ears as Harry and Hermione assured her that his loss was not in vain, how he was a hero. She feigned pride when Percy told her that it took a surprise attack for the Death Eaters to bring down Fred, and that Rookwood (the man her murdered her baby) couldn't run forever. Intellectually, she processed their words and appreciated them. In her heart, she only cared that she would never again hear her Fred's laughter. How she would never deal with George and Fred pretending to be each other. Her family would never be whole again, and she felt was a mixture of numbness and rage.
In the end, she sent her family home to give her some time alone.
When it was just her, a man sat next to her.
"Hello, Molly. I am so sorry about Fred."
"Hello Roger. Thank you."
The two spoke for half an hour, as Molly shared stories about her dear Fred. Eventually, they lapsed into a contemplative silence.
"Are you still in the business of… resolving debts?"
Roger nodded slowly. "I have people who help me with that now, but yes."
Molly handed Roger a picture of a man, while her eyes remained fixed on Fred's coffin.
"This is Augustus Rookwood. He owes a debt to our family."