Disclaimer: Everything belongs to JK Rowling except the few original characters I added since we never learned any of Ginny's classmate's names except for Colin Creevey. If there is anything else in the story that I made up (besides plot) I will do a disclaimer at the head of the chapter, otherwise, this is it for the entire story!

A/N: The prologue is based on the premise (mine, not necessarily JKR's) that Lucius is closer in age to Molly and Arthur, rather than the Marauders. This explains why there is such animosity between the families. Also, the references to the Quidditch teams the Holyfield Harpies (the only all woman team in the world) and the Falmouth Falcons comes from the book, Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (proceeds from which are donated to charity according to the back of the book). Finally, I estimate that each new class (or year) has about seven to twelve students per house (based on the names we got from the first book). If you think there are more, that's okay, but you will see one or two references to the actual number of students in the Slytherin seventh year class and remember, it's only an estimate and only my opinion.

Anyone who has read my previous stories under the name of Davesmom might be in for a shock. As far as I can tell, this story is not fluffy at all, and doesn't look to be any time in the near future. Many thanks to w&mlaw for her encouragement and everyone who has read any of my other fluff, er, I mean, stuff!

Beyond Redemption

The young woman was more frightened than she had ever been in her life. The reason was standing before her. Six feet of silver blond, gray-eyed, privileged, arrogant, murderous filth called Lucius Malfoy. And right now the piece of filth was pointing a small object at her with deadly intent.

"Come, Molly," he drawled in silky, superior tones. "Must it be this way? Only agree to marry me and we can forget this unfortunate incident ever happened."

Molly's voluptuous frame shuddered as she looked into the cold handsome face. There was no kindness or affection in the hard gray eyes. The only reason Lucius Malfoy had any interest in her, Molly Donovan, was that her pure wizarding bloodline could be traced back to before the conquest. She knew that Lucius heavily supported the self-styled Lord Voldemort, the evil upstart wizard. She also knew that any normal woman who married Lucius Malfoy would probably be insane or dead within a few years. Or possibly under a permanent Imperius curse. Molly knew what he had planned. A Donovan marry one of the evil wizard's most loyal supporters would sway many in the wizarding community to support Voldemort. But he'd already tried the Imperius curse on her and she had thrown it off. So he had kidnapped her and brought her to this dank, forgotten cell somewhere in the hills above Hogsmeade. And it would be here that he would probably kill her.

Molly shuddered violently again. Keeping the image of the only man she loved in her mind, she closed her eyes and answered, "Go ahead, Malfoy!" She spat out the name as though it left a bad taste in her mouth. "Kill me now because I'll never marry you! And Arthur will track you down, you know. He'll track you down and kill you!"

At hearing the name of his rival, Lucius' eyes narrowed. He stepped closer to the lovely redhead. Molly would have tried to push him away, but her hands were securely fastened to iron rings in the wall. Lucius lifted the deadly object, as though to strike Molly, but stopped suddenly. He smiled; an evil smile that hinted of deeper cruelty. Instead, he touched the cold metal object to Molly's smooth cheek as though caressing her. Molly flinched and turned her face away.

Lucius laughed cruelly. "Ah, Molly, you think you're frightened now, but I promise, before I'm through with you, you'll know what real fear is. Do you know what this is, my dove?" he asked, hefting the thing so she could clearly see it.

Molly closed her eyes and refused to answer. This time the object did strike, laying open the soft skin along her jaw. She bit her lip to keep from crying out.

"Ah, yes, Molly the Gryffindor. So brave, so strong. Don't worry, my dove. You'll be screaming before long. Then, maybe, if you beg nicely, I'll point this gun at you and put you out of your misery."

Tears seeped from Molly's eyes, but she made no sound. Lucius laughed again.

"Imagine the uproar when the daughter of one of our first families is found brutalized, and raped, and murdered with a Muggle weapon! They'll flock to my lord in droves! In fact, this will be a more successful ploy than marrying you! I should have thought of it long ago!" His harsh laughter filled the small cell where she was kept prisoner.

He stopped suddenly, fixing his cold, silver gaze on her. "You know, you always were a pretty thing. Arthur will barely recognize you when I'm through with you!"

He pocketed the gun and reached out to the neck of her robes. With one swift, downward yank, he ripped the garment all the way to her waist.

"Gawd," he exclaimed as he saw what he'd revealed. "Damned Muggle-lover! Must you wear these disgusting Muggle clothes?"

He twisted his fist into the material of the bright tie-dyed tee shirt she wore under her robes, but the synthetic fabric refused to rip. All he succeeded in doing was to break the long strands of colorful beads she wore round her neck. The tiny beads pattered to the floor and rolled off in all directions.

"Hell with it," he hissed, releasing the front of the shirt. He jerked the hem from the denim bell-bottom jeans she wore. Pulling the shirt well above the generously filled brassiere, he reached out both hands to grasp her breasts. Molly groaned in disgust. "I think I'm really going to enjoy this," he muttered, thrusting his hips forward and pinning her against the wall. His hands were greedily kneading her firm flesh. He moved one hand down to the button of her pants when she suddenly shrieked and forced her knee upward, between his legs, into his most vulnerable of places. Lucius straightened, his face shocked and disbelieving. His mouth moved, but he seemed unable to utter a sound. Then he doubled over, cradling his injured groin and trying to hitch in a breath. He was still right in front of her, so Molly brought her knee up again, this time making solid contact with the hated, perfect, straight nose he always looked down. Lucius' head snapped back with the force and he went stumbling backward, blood flying from his spouting nose.

Molly knew neither blow had been permanently disabling and that he would make her suffer for the pain she'd caused him, but she felt a dull, fatalistic satisfaction that she had gotten some of her own back. Minutes ticked by while Lucius lay, barely moving, on the floor. Molly tried desperately to free her hands from the iron manacles. She twisted her wrists, lacerating the flesh and causing them to bleed. She hoped that the blood might help her hands glide from the iron bands, but they were too tight. She only succeeded in losing the feeling in her hands. Lucius was still doubled up, cupping his genitals with one hand and trying to staunch the flow of blood from his nose with the other. Finally he pushed himself into a sitting position. The bleeding had stopped. The look he gave Molly chilled her more than anything previously had. Then he stood. His first attempt brought a howl of pain and caused him to fall to his knees again. After a few more minutes, Lucius got first one, then the other leg under him. He stood, swaying slightly and still cupping himself.

Molly thought that if he was this unsteady, she might be able to score another kick before he could attack her again. She almost felt a bit of hope until he groped into the pocket of his expensive dark green robes. The blood drained from Molly's face. He needn't come close to harm her with that! Lucius smiled again.

"So you do know what this is, my dove?" he sneered. He looked lovingly at the small handgun he held. "One of the few Muggle inventions I approve of." He lifted his arm and leveled the weapon at her head.

Molly's eyes widened, then she closed them and leaned her head back. "Arthur," she breathed.

Lucius paused, his lip curling into a sneer. "That pathetic, impoverished Muggle-lover can't help you now. He disgraces the name of Wizardry. You should thank me for saving you from a life of poverty and ignominy. Good- bye, Molly, love. I don't think I'll miss you."

His finger tightened on the trigger when a large, heavy object crashed into the side of his skull. Lucius staggered sideways, and fell in a heap on the cold, stone floor. The gun flew from his hand to clatter harmlessly into a corner.

"Accio!" a voice shouted. The gun floated through the air into the hand of a tall, skinny young man with fiery red hair.

"ARTHUR!" Molly shouted, tears springing again to her eyes.

Arthur Weasley hurried to Molly, wand in one hand, gun in the other. Keeping a cautious eye on Lucius, Arthur released Molly from her bonds and cast a clumsy repair spell on the ripped robes. Then he turned his full attention to Malfoy. A dangerous, burning light came into his eyes as he advanced on the crumpled figure.

"Arthur," Molly whispered. "Be careful."

Her warning was prophetic. As Arthur approached, Lucius suddenly sprang up and pointed his wand at him.

Arthur was already dodging to the side when Lucius shouted, "Crucio!"

The spell shot past Arthur, but before he could counter, Lucius shouted, "Accio!" The gun soared from Arthur's slack grip to Lucius' waiting hand. He lifted it, but when he saw Arthur's wand cover him, he disapparated. Molly ran to Arthur and he crushed her against him.

"Oh, Molly, love, I was so worried! What if I hadn't got here on time?"

Arthur's robes muffled Molly's soft sobs. He gently pulled her face back so he could look at her. His eyes narrowed when he saw the jagged cut on her cheek. Then he examined her poor, lacerated wrists.

"That son of a bitch," he hissed. "I'll get him. I don't care how long it takes, but he'll pay for hurting you!"

He brought his wand up and touched it to the wound on her cheek. The edges of the wound glowed softly, and then began to close. He healed the wrists as well. In minutes Molly had only a faint scar to mark where Lucius had struck her. Arthur smiled at his lovely Molly.

"There's my brave girl," he told her. He gathered her into his arms and comforted her, trying to ease her fear. "I'm not sure what you did to Malfoy, but he wasn't looking quite the thing, even before I struck him." He indicated the heavy wooden staff that was lying several feet away. "Whatever it was, though, it was enough to give me time to get here." He cocked a bright red eyebrow at her in a silent question.

Molly almost laughed. She gave Arthur a brief account of Lucius' injuries at her hands, or rather, her knees. Arthur did laugh.

"It would be a great thing for all concerned if you ruptured his plumbing and sterilized him!"

Molly looked horrified, but then dissolved into howls of laughter. She was laughing so hard she started crying, and she kept apologizing to Arthur for her fit of hysteria. Finally subsiding, she said, "I suppose we won't be that lucky, though. Like as not, there'll be another arrogant, evil Malfoy to terrorize our children!"

Arthur nodded, wrapping an arm around his fiancé. He led her to the crumbled stairway, and up the stairs. All of a sudden, he stopped. Grasping Molly's shoulders, he turned her toward him.

"Our children, love?" he asked breathlessly.

Molly flushed and looked down, scuffing a small foot. "I couldn't let that filthy scum touch me, Arthur, love. Not when I was carrying our baby."

Arthur looked utterly flabbergasted, then wrapped his arms around his beautiful woman and crushed her against him.

"I love you, Mol."

"And I love you, Arthur."

There was no trial for Lucius Malfoy. His father had bought, bribed or threatened anyone connected with the case. As there was no physical proof that Lucius had kidnapped, beaten, and threatened Molly Donovan, the charges were dropped. As to using an unforgivable curse, the wand that was used that night was never recovered, so that, too, couldn't be proven. But the memory of being bested, first by a tiny slip of a woman, then by her dirt-poor, gangly, nobody of a lover festered in Lucius' soul. He worked steadily to increase his knowledge of the dark arts and gain power in the service of Voldemort, but his hatred of Molly and Arthur never dimmed. When, several years later, he finally married a vacant, empty-headed trophy wife and got himself an heir, he set to work to instill in his young impressionable son an equally virulent hatred of the impoverished Weasley family.

As for Molly and Arthur, they were indeed poor, but only in material goods. Molly bore Arthur seven healthy children; six boys and one sunny, tiny, and passably attractive girl. In general, they were very happy. Arthur never forgot the anguish Lucius Malfoy had caused him, or the terror he'd put Molly through. Arthur's job was low paying, but he knew that Lucius had a weakness for bewitching Muggle objects and turning them loose on the unsuspecting Muggle public. He was a demon about tracking down anything that could be traced back to Malfoy. Although what he was doing was more harassment than injurious, Arthur felt that he was getting some slight revenge for what they had suffered at his hands.

Molly stayed home and raised the children, teaching them their basics of Arithmetic, Reading, Spelling, Magical History, and Geography. They lived in a rather out-of-the-way place, far from the mainstream of Wizarding life, but also far from casual contact with Muggles. And when enough years had passed for her only daughter to start thinking seriously about boys (Molly never really considered Ginny's little-girl crush on Harry Potter as serious, though he was such a dear boy), Molly took a fourteen-year-old Ginny aside for a cozy chat. As she considered her words, she wondered again why Malfoy couldn't have had his son years before, when Ginny wouldn't be susceptible to a handsome boy only a year older than her. As gently as possible, Molly gave Ginny the bare facts of what had happened. She explained that although she didn't imagine Lucius had told young Draco what had happened between the Weasleys and himself, he had obviously fostered hatred in the youngster for the Weasley family. She warned that the hatred might even be more pronounced toward Ginny, being a girl and more vulnerable, and that he might try to use Ginny to humiliate and hurt her. Ginny had nodded solemnly, but had told her mother not to worry. Malfoy, that is, Draco, hated them all equally, and the idea that he might have any interest in her, even pretend to be interested in her, was laughable. Molly only nodded. She'd done what she could and would have to trust to luck and Ginny's own instinct for survival for the rest.