Molly wiped the tears off of her face as she sat at the kitchen table. Her fingers brushed over her worn and wrinkled cheeks. She had been baking bread when there had been an almighty crash, somehow they had broken through the wards. She shuddered at the thought and more tears replaced those she had just brushed off. She still had the hot bread in her hands when spells broke the windows and burst the back door open. She remembered screaming as masked Deatheaters crashed into the house. Spells ricocheting around her. The bread pan clattered onto the tiled floor of the kitchen as she pulled up a shield around herself. From the corner of her eye she had seen the flames in the fireplace glow green and members of the Order bounded in. Molly had shut her eyes and when she opened them there was only three other people in the kitchen. The intruders had escaped.
"Molly." The man breathed deeply. Molly's mind couldn't pluck his name out of her racing mind. "Sit down, Arthur will be here in a moment." Molly shook her head and the other men in the room went around the Burrow searching for spell damage and curses. The man pushed Molly into a chair at the kitchen table and she hadn't moved since. The members of the Order had just left, they had rushed about the house setting up new wards, after doing all their checks and gathering all the information they needed. She knew that anything they discovered would be discussed at the next meeting. Molly bit down the bitterness in her stomach and cursed herself for the situation she was in.
Another war. Like the last one wasn't enough. Half her family had been wiped out in the last one, as well with plenty of her friends. She was still mildly surprised that she and all her children had survived. But now she knew better. This one would have more disasterous effects on her family. She was much more involved that she had been before. Four of her sons were in the Order and her youngest had just disappeared with Harry Potter himself. Tears swept out of her eyes as she thought of them, she didn't know where they had disappeared to. At the wedding, deatheaters had breeched the wards and she had ran to find her children in the hustle of the crowds. She had seen Harry, in his disguise dashing across the dance floor, Hermione frantically looking around the garden for Ron. Molly felt her heart break again, like it had in the moment she was recalling. She had been moments away from them when Ron had appeared beside them and they had spun on the spot. Molly's hand reaching out to stop them. Her fingers nearly brushing the fabric of her youngest sons robes but they were gone before she could grip.
She had known they were up to something. Hermione and Ron had been having private converstions all summer and when Harry came to stay they had disappeared off into Ron's bedroom to plan. She had tried to keep them busy, a futile attempt to stop the planning and the schemeing but she knew in her heart it would never really work. They were too determined. She couldn't stop them really, they were of age now and were far more caught up in the dangers of the war than she could fully comprehend, she understood that now. Now that they were gone. Now that it was too late.
Denial was always something that Molly reverted back to when she was troubled. When Fabian and Gideon had died she knew they were gone but failed to fully believe it for a few days and even now sometimes when she was reminded of them she would find herself having to force herself to remember that they were gone. But she could no longer fully deny what was going on. At the beginning, when Harry had returned from the final task of the silly Triwizard Tournament with Cedric Diggory's boy, dead in his arms she had denied it. How could He Who Must Not Be Named return? Surely it was impossible. At night she would tell herself that it was all something that Harry had made up but the facts were becoming far more clear, even at that stage. The Order had resummed and she had been sucked into it. No longer could she reject the impossible, so she instead turned to denying that her children were involved. She hated that Bill and Charlie were members in the Order but she could protect the rest of them, even when Percy left the family she rejected the impending doom. She thought she had done a good job, her children had survived the summer and were off to the safety of Hogwarts, surely nothing could happen there! But this was just another denial she was happy to accept.
That year in school proved just as dangerous as ever. The Twins left school and had no exams, they were beginning a business and were now just as involved with the Order as their older siblings. And when she got the Floo that night, she thought her world had fell apart, so soon after Arthur's incident. Ron and Ginny were injured after they broke into the Ministry and fought off a group of Deatheaters. Molly thought she was going to faint when McGonagall had informed her of the news. Luckily they were ok. Ginny just a broken bone but Ron a much more serious problem. She heard him wake at night, sometimes screaming with the long lasting nightmares he was forced to endure due to the nasty scars on his arms. She would catch sight of them in the summer sun and it turned her stomach. His tired face in the morning showed the signs of no sleep and she cried in the pantry while she fetched more ingredients for breakfast. But at least they weren't dead.
Over the summer things had escalated. The danger in the world was heightened, there was definately no denying that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was definately back. Everyone in the wizarding world accepted it now. People began to disappear and all the horrible things that were happening around her were widely reported. The Order increased its missions and everyone who was a member had a specific job to do. Arthur was getting heat from the Ministry and still Percy ignored them. She had sent the children off to school again even with the reports of Dumbledore's increased time away from school. She knew he was up to something too. Stories of children being kept at home, families disappearing and then the attack on Katie Bell shook Molly to the core. Molly tried to keep a calm facade to everyone. She tried to be level headed for the sake of her family. She threw herself into planning Bill's wedding, trying to be pleasant as she could to Fleur. Then Ron was poisoned, it was a blow to her act. Molly wasn't sure how much longer she could keep it up, there was truly no safe place for them. Then that owl had flew through her window. She could remember the feel of the parchment in her fingers, the messy hurried scrawl of her husband. The words etched in her brain and yet she reverted back to her her old policy. She denied that Bill had been attacked by a werewolf. She denied that once again Ginny, Ron and Hermione had been involved in a battle with deatheaters. She denied that those deatheaters had stormed the school and that Snape was now one of them. She denied that Harry had watched Dumbledore die. And then she came to her senses - she wasn't playing that game anymore. She couldn't deny it and it all came rushing back. Panic rose up her throat like bile as she staggered back into a chair. The parchment falling from her fingers.
Behind her someone entered the kitchen, shaking Molly out of her memories. They moved around the table and sat down infront of her. It was Bill, she could see his scarred face through her tears. His face swam before her and she watched as he flicked his wand and the teapot began to boil. She wiped at her eyes again and his scars came back into sharp focus. These hurt her too. She reached forward and squeezed his fingers, he gave her a small smile that twisted his scars into an ugly tangle on his face. Molly's heart hurt, stomach dropped and throat tightened. Just because her beautiful son was eternally scarred on the outside, didn't mean that she wasn't just as scarred on the inside.
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