Title: The Twins

Author: Laura Kay

Rating: PG

Summary: Molly loses her brothers the night the twins are born. Rating for character death/sl-ightly gory details.

Disclaimer: Not Mine. Not Mine. JKR is the owner. JKR is the owner. (Snow White: the Fairest of them All w/ Miranda Richardson, who will make a FANTASTIC Rita Skeeter)

AN: Well this was meant to be a 30-minute-fic, but then it was a 60-minute-fic, because I'm a slow typer, and my mom needed to check her mail, and now my boyfriend is talking in my ear about nonsense. I'm only pretending to listen, because if I really listen to what he's yammering about, I have a feeling I'll get mad at him. What a way to start a relationship.

But anyway. This was inspired by challenge #97, the St. Mungo's challenge. Now, I say inspired. It does not actually fit the bill for the challenge, which was to write a fic that takes place entirely at St. Mungo's, which, you will see, this fic does not. But I read the challenge and the plot bunny was born. Here it is.

This is the first fic I have written in a while, you might have noticed. It is also the first non-lemony fic I have started in quite some time (and I have started a large number of fics in this long span) It is certainly the quickest I have ever written a fic, and I am quite pleased with it. It feels good to write again.

To Jams, who will undoubtedly read this (when she has time) and tell me she likes it. That's my Jams.

The Twins

The door was already half-ajar. His heart thudded painfully against his ribs as he followed the aurors through it, his wand held aloft. He prayed to whatever deity was listening that he wouldn't find anyone, that the death-eaters had sent up the mark because they had raided another home. That his brothers-in-law had escaped.

Molly had contacted him via the floo in his office twenty minutes ago. She had seemed anxious, said she felt a bit off. Something just wasn't right. She told him not to worry about the babies, they certainly wouldn't come tonight. But she wanted him home. The house was so quiet with the boys asleep. And something wasn't right. She hadn't said it, but he knew, could see in her eyes that she needed him home tonight.

Then the ministry got the news.

Another attack.

Covington.

The twins.

He was grateful that Moody passed the news along to him. Normally, his office would've been among the last to know of an attack on a wizard home. Not much use for an officer of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts division. But Moody recognized the address, the name of the inhabitants.

The small house was a wreck. Not just the usual rubble of two grown men sharing a tiny cottage. Furniture was overturned. A small table had been crushed, and another lay on its side. Scorch marks scarred the walls where curses had hit. Blood spattered darkly.

Everywhere.

Arthur could see bodies. Bodies, more than two, and dressed in dark robes, some with masks visible under hoods. Maybe the twins had gotten away. They were fighters, they dueled well, especially when they had each other's backs.

Blood glinted scarlet in the wandlight. Hair glinted copper. Gideon. Halfway up the stairs, and three death-eaters crumpled at the bottom. Fabian. Sprawled in the kitchen, under the remains of two more death-eaters. They were barely recognizable for all their wounds.

Halfway up the stairs, Molly crouched in pain. The contractions were coming fast, faster than with any of the others, too fast. Arthur wasn't home yet, the boys were sound asleep.

And her brothers were gone.

No one had to tell her. She could feel it. Her big brothers, her protectors, her support, half of her heart. Gone. They were gone. Feeling it had set off the labor. The pain of it, the grief, the sudden hollowness that filled rapidly with aching emotion triggered the contractions and the babies were coming. Arthur wasn't home. Her brothers weren't there. They were gone. Arthur. Excruciating pain.

Her head spun until physical and emotional pain were one. She gripped the railing, determined not to fall. She would not lose her babies and her brothers on the same night. Another contraction hit, and her grip faltered. She slipped down a step.

Fabian caught her. Gideon pulled her back.

Gideon locked his arms around her waist, just under the babies. He held her steady on the step. Fabian clamped his hands around Molly's own on the railing. He kept her grip strong.

Arthur Apparated into the house. He had hoped she was asleep, had hoped he might have until tomorrow until her world would shatter. As soon as he stepped into the house he knew she was upset, felt she was hurting. He heard her sobs a second later and was with her on the stairs a second after that.

Molly found herself scooped into his arms and carried down the stairs, laid on the couch. She breathed as evenly as she could as Arthur flooed headquarters, got Emily Johnson, who flooed to the Burrow to stay with the boys. Her brothers rubbed her mound of a stomach, held her hands. They whispered wonderful things to her.

Her babies would be safe.

Her family would be safe.

They would be safe.

As Arthur pulled her up off the sofa and towards the emerald flames shooting out of the fireplace, Molly glanced at her brothers again. They smiled their twin crooked grins, gave identical waves. Disappeared as the flames swirled around her.

St. Mungo's waiting room was empty and over-quiet. Arthur paced, squeaking his shoes purposefully to ward off the deafening silence. The news was overwhelming. Molly was sure to be worried about their babies. They were over a month early. The healers wouldn't let him in the room with her, for fear of unnecessary contamination or some garbage he hadn't heard but had translated to mean he was being kept away from her.

Three steps. Turn. Three steps.

The door opened. A woman no more than twenty smiled wearily at him. They're all fine. The boys are fine, just a bit small. We'll keep them for a bit, to make sure they're all right. Just fine. Red hair and a temper to match, proving their lungs work just fine.

Molly looked pale, hair glinting copper in the early morning sunlight, laying in the narrow hospital bed. Arthur sat with her, holding her hand. The babies, his new sons had been taking to the nursery ward. She woke, immediately turning her eyes to him. She didn't ask for the babies, as he thought she would. She asked about her brothers. She asked if they had been found yet. His eyes surveyed her, confused. Her eyes welled with tears, but the tears didn't fall.

They're gone. I know.

How?

She didn't answer, just shook her head. I know. And they're safe. They told me. And they told me our babies are safe too. Our babies?

He sent for a healer to bring the twins in.

Twin boys with hair the color of the first rays of sunrise, snuggled together in the double-sized bassinet, wrapped in blue blankets. One tiny hand gripped Molly's pinky, and another gripped Arthur's. Warm smiles on the parents' faces tempered by the loss, their pain lessened by the joy.

Arthur rocked one back and forth and reached out to tap the foot of the other. Names?

Molly took Arthur's hand, twisting their arms together, pulling the four of them closer together. Fredrick. George. Fredrick Fabian and George Gideon. After their uncles. Who helped them live.

end

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