Cauldron Full of Love
A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not to me. Done for a quote prompt. This pairing is a Mew and Mor's Weird Pairing, which you may find in the M&MWP forum (see my profile for details). Check out and join the forum FUN! Read, review, and enjoy!
"Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey." —Lord Byron
When we get older, we're told to take care of ourselves. Especially of our heart. We must take extra precaution with our heart. We must be wary of such evil things like heart attacks.
For Arthur Weasley, he wished he'd had a heart attack. He'd wished for several, in fact. He'd wanted a heart attack every day for all those years since that day.
Ever since that May in 1998, Molly had been different. It reminded Arthur of the "different" magical parents noticed when their child was coming of age and was displaying no latent powers. But this case… This case was different.
"Mollywobbles," Arthur murmured softly as he entered the kitchen of the Burrow. He watched his wife wash the dishes by hand and smiled sadly. "Molly, here, take this. Work your kitchen magic." Arthur tentatively offered her wand to her. He waited for it to happen.
Molly partially turned her head. "Hmm? Oh, Arthur dear, we still must plan for Fred's… Fred's funeral…"
Arthur bit back his words. He knew not to snap at her. They'd already buried their son more than twenty years ago.
Finally, she faced him. "Arthur, would you get Gin—Gin—oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO, NO, NO!" Her voice rose to a higher pitch with each screech at the sight of her old wand, a wand that had remained untouched for more than twenty years. "NO!" she screamed. "NO!" She lunged for the wand and whirled around, thinking it was the Battle of Hogwarts again.
Charlie came running down the stairs, and George and Angelina were right behind him. Freddie, George and Angelina's son, came inside from playing Quidditch with his cousins, Hugo and Louis. Everyone tried to clamber in to the kitchen.
"NO, NO, NO!" Molly hissed, acting as if Bellatrix were the one before her.
Arthur grabbed his wife. "Charlie! Charlie!" he barked. "Help me with your mother!"
The second-eldest Weasley son fought ahead of his brother and sister-in-law and nephews. Charlie locked his mother's arms behind her while Arthur kept her legs down. "Why'd you show her the wand?" Charlie asked, dodging a head-butt from the witch.
"Never mind that!" Arthur growled. "Help me calm her!"
"Molly, Molly, shh," Angelina began cooing. She guided the two men to the table and had them sit her down. "Molly, it's all right. Look, it's me, Angelina."
Molly looked at her and slowly smiled. "Oh, Angelina, dear, how are you?"
A breath of relief was released by everyone in the house. Arthur passed her wand to Charlie, who went to store it. Arthur looked at his wife. "Molly, how are you feeling?"
She was quiet for a moment. "You… You gave me my wand again, didn't you?" she asked quietly.
Uneasiness settled on all of them. George asked his son and nephews to go back outside, and he entered the kitchen. "Mum, you—"
"I don't want to handle any magic myself, I told all of you that," she interrupted. She stood and patted her hands on her dusty apron. "Now, who would like some pumpkin cakes made from scratch? The Muggle way."
There wasn't room left for an answer as Molly set about grabbing the mixings. Charlie returned, and he, Angelina, George, and Arthur exchanged sad looks. Arthur was the first to look away, though. Yes, he loved learning every Muggle thing and way. He loved asking Hermione questions about the Muggle world.
But that had been once upon a time. Arthur loved everything Muggle, but it did not mean he welcomed it in his home. Especially now.
"Is it possible it's a case of dementia?" Hermione asked. It was a week later, and Arthur had Hermione, Ron, Harry, and Ginny over. Teddy was there in the kitchen, too, as was James. Lily, Rose, and Al were entertaining their grandmother in the other room.
"I dunno," the Weasley patriarch replied. "The Healers at St. Mungo's say she's aware of her actions. She just spaces out sometimes, forgets herself. But she does remember us, and she does remember her promise to herself to swear off magic."
Harry kicked the chair leg. "Dammit!" he cursed lowly. "As if Bellatrix hadn't taken enough away…" He folded his hands together and rested his forehead on them. Ginny patted his back, but her eyes were wet and shining despite her silence.
"What are we going to do with Grandmam Weasley?" James asked, brow furrowed. "She's—"
"A bit of a danger to herself?" Arthur finished for his grandson. "Yes, I know. She's a bit of a danger to all of us, really."
"Uncle Charlie did mention she'd pointed her wand at you."
"Not on purpose. I don't think she thought I was Bellatrix, but I think she felt as though we were still in battle."
"So she wasn't talking about burying Fred?" Ron asked with a glare. "That shows she's not in her right mind, Dad."
"Arthur," Hermione started, "maybe it's time to think of alternatives."
The room went heavy and quiet after the witch's remark. James and Teddy shifted restlessly, while Ginny leaned on Harry and Hermione took Ron's hand. Arthur wouldn't look any of them in the eye, though. He knew what Hermione said to be true.
"I was thinking…," Teddy began, "Grandma Meda wanted to have anyone over who wants a good meal. It's been a while since she cooked a lot, so maybe we can all relax and enjoy dinner there."
The other adults gave a general positive consensus. James said he'd go get the others and left to do so. Harry and the gang left the room, too. But Teddy looked at Arthur. "Do you want to come?"
After a minute lost in thought, he nodded. "I'd like that. Thank you, Teddy. I'll thank Andromeda, too."
George and Angelina said they would stay with Molly, and some of the kids said they had other plans—not unusual, as they were mostly grown by now. The group that accepted the invitation left the Burrow fairly quickly, mostly to get away from the depressing atmosphere. Teddy, James, Lily, Al, Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, and Arthur showed up on the Tonks doorstep, as hungry as they come but with little appetite.
Andromeda welcomed them inside and had Teddy set the table. Lily helped her boyfriend, and Al and James argued Quidditch with their Uncle Ron. Harry, Ginny, and Hermione were still brooding over what to do with Molly, though.
"Is it as Teddy's said?" Andromeda asked Arthur, spooking him in the sitting room before they ate. "Oh, sorry. I didn't realize you were lost in your thoughts, too."
Arthur wiped at the spreading pumpkin juice stain on his jumper. "No, no, it's all right…" He sighed. "I can't help it. Molly's there…"
"But she's gone," Andromeda finished. She gave Arthur a sad smile. "I understand how you feel."
He withheld his remark. Andromeda might have understood how he felt. She had lost Ted so long ago, and some things one never forgets. On the other hand, at least Andromeda had lost him completely. Arthur was stuck with the love of his life who was probably slipping away…
He had her, but he didn't have her.
"Thank you," he finally said, but his voice was hollow. Arthur was sure no one would ever understand.
The evening and the meal went well, all things considered. Luckily, no one brought Molly up at the table, and things almost felt as they once had been, back before everything was messed up. Back before the second war. Arthur even managed to smile a few times.
Night fell and "evening" quickly became "late." Teddy saw Lily home, and Al and James left with their parents. Hermione and Ron returned to the Burrow ahead of Arthur to collect Hugo. Arthur stayed behind to help with the dishes.
"That roast duck was delicious," he complimented Andromeda.
"I'm glad you liked it," she replied. She was quiet for a while, so he started carrying the dishes into the kitchen. "It… It was Ted's favorite" Arthur heard from the dining room.
The wizard stopped and put the dishes down. He leaned on the counter and sighed. Andromeda came into the kitchen and put the rest of the trays and silverware into the sink. She swished her wand, and the items began to clean themselves.
"Sorry," she whispered.
"No, I need to stop reminiscing," Andromeda said. She gathered her graying brown hair and tied it back. Arthur looked at her face and wondered if his had as many wrinkles.
"What's left but to reminisce?" he asked quietly. He glanced out the window and forced a small smile.
"You think I'm lucky that he's dead, don't you?"
The bluntness of her question threw him. He wasn't sure how to respond at first. "I, uh, I never said that, Andro—"
She faced him with a glare. "Consider yourself lucky she's still alive, Arthur. I couldn't be with my husband in the end."
"At least he didn't go mad," he sniped lowly. "He went quickly."
She paused, her face puffing up as she obviously became angrier. However, Andromeda did not let him have it nor did she storm out of the room. Instead, she released her breath. "It doesn't mean that I don't understand your pain, Arthur."
He met her eyes and found kindness there. It was nice. He'd had support from his large family all these years, but this was the first time something meant anything to him. And he appreciated it greatly. He smiled sadly and nodded a little bit. "…yes, thank you."
Her hand found its way on top of his. It was a strange and familiar sensation at once, someone's hand on his. Her skin was smooth, not rough like his Molly's. Andromeda's hand was a little wrinkled, not unlike his, but it was warm, too. He looked at her, and she gave him a smile before staring at the full moon outside. Slowly, she squeezed his hand, and he squeezed it back.
They finished with the dishes in the ensuing silence, and Arthur stayed a little longer before he decided to head out. He grabbed his cloak and accepted a hug from Andromeda by the door.
"I'm here if you want to talk," she stated.
He nodded. "I'd… I'd like that."
When he returned home, the lights in George and Angelina's room were off. Charlie was still up, as was Freddie. Arthur surmised Hugo and Louis were staying over with their cousin, so he first went into the kitchen, expecting to find his wife baking.
She was not there.
The wizard admitted he'd panicked a little. But then he heard a spot of music coming from the sitting room. He ventured in there and found Molly seated by the record player, humming along with the song. She looked up when she saw her husband.
"Hullo, Mollywobbles," he said softly.
She smiled sadly at her husband. "Oh, dear, we really must make the arrangements for Fred's funeral…"
Tears pricked the backs of Arthur's eyes. He walked over and patted his wife's head. "Yes," he choked out. "Yes, we should…" Meanwhile, Celestina Warbeck's voice filled the silent room:
"…a cauldron full of hot, strong love…"
;_; If that doesn't make you cry, nothing will. This story was…hard to write. I don't think Arthur was wrong seeking solace he happened to find with Andromeda, but Molly's case… It's very sad, and it would hit close to home for anyone who's ever seen a loved one start to go or lose it. This was partially inspired by Bedelia's take on Mrs. Weasley in her story, A Secret Sky (which is EXCELLENT), though my Molly doesn't have Alzheimer's; she in fact has a kind of dementia that gives her reality sometimes…mixed in with little bits of flashbacks.
Thanks for reading, and please review!
Thanks as always to Morghen for beta'ing! :D
2017 note: AGHHHH, the sadness… ;w; I'm rly glad that I wrote this the way I did, with only the hint of potential for Artymeda. I forgot Bedelia's story was my inspiration for what's become part of my headcanon for Molly, tho—but I appreciate it, because I've touched upon it several times in the 7 yrs since I first wrote this fic. :')