"Mrs. Weasley?" Harry asked, hovering behind the table.
"Oh, Harry!" Molly gasped, nearly dropping a pan. "I didn't know you lot were up already." She turned from the stove and smiled at him kindly.
"Er, no, just me." Harry replied awkwardly, gripping the back of a chair.
"Mm? Couldn't sleep, then?"
"Not exactly," Harry sighed, and a silence stretched between the two as she waited for him to continue.
When it became apparent that Harry wasn't going to say anything else, Molly gestured to the chair he was standing behind. "Well have a seat, my boy, and I'll fix you a cup of tea." Harry sat stiffly and looked at his hands. Molly prepared the tea in silence, though it wasn't an entirely uncomfortable one.
"There you are," she said warmly, handing him a cup.
"Mrs. Weasley," Harry said, and, deciding he sounded a bit too rushed, started over, "Mrs. Weasley, I was just wondering... if you knew my mum."
A pause followed, and Molly lowered her own cup, "...Your mum?" she said at length.
"Yes," Harry affirmed quietly.
"No, Harry, I'm afraid I didn't. She was younger than me... we weren't at school at the same time."
Harry's hands tightened around each other but he only nodded.
"I'm sorry," Molly floundered.
"No, it's- I just wondered, is all..." Harry trailed off, staring at his tea.
Molly sat down across Harry. He opened his mouth slightly, and then shut it and clenched his jaw. She reached for his hand. "I've heard great things about her, Harry. I know your mum was an incredible woman."
Ron chose this moment to shuffle in, rubbing his eye with the heel of his hand. "Careful, Harry," he joked, "She's a bit partial to redheads, you know." Ron glanced at his mother's hand in Harry's and looked at the two with a hint of alarm. "I wasn't listening in- I just heard that last part," he mumbled.
Ron glanced around the kitchen and saw that breakfast had not been prepared yet. Sensing that his friend might need an escape route, he added, "C'mon, Harry, let's see if Hermione's up yet."
Harry nodded once and rose to join his friend. He paused at the doorway and turned slightly. To Molly's back he said, "If she could, I think she'd thank you," and then continued out the door.
Sitting at the table in the early morning light, one hand over her mouth, Molly Weasley cried.
Only a few weeks after the Battle of Hogwarts the remaining Weasleys sit around the kitchen table. Although the War has officially ended it joins the family for dinner, sitting in an empty seat next to George.
"Where's the salt?" Percy asks stiffly.
"I'm sorry, dear?" Mrs. Weasley croaks, obviously off in her own world.
"The uh, the salt?" Percy clarifies.
"I've got it here," Ginny says, picking up the shaker. She tries to pass it to George so he can hand it to Percy, but she has to lean over Fred's old seat in the process.
George passes the salt without looking up from the table and Percy takes it, muttering his thanks. Mr. Weasley coughs.
The meal continues in silence, with all eyes focused on the empty seat where War helps himself to seconds.
George thinks that they were all hurt when their family was torn apart, but while everyone else's wounds slowly heal into shiny scars he spends all his time bleeding.
After the Battle, when everyone was milling about Hogwarts cleaning, tending to the wounded, counting the dead, Ron and Harry very quietly slipped out of the Great Hall. Ron walked and Harry followed, and their feet found a path as familiar to them as each other. The two boys passed through the Gryffindor common room and wordlessly made their way up the stairs. They found their dormitory mostly intact. A window was busted and their were a few scratches on the floor and walls. Harry sat quietly on his bed and was met by a puff of dust. Ron walked toward his bed and dropped to his knees, running his finger over one of the posts. Carved into the wood were two names, side by side, where they had been for seven years. One, in the writing of a boy trying to get used to his name, the other, a boy trying to leave his mark.
"Still here," Ron said, looking from the carving to Harry.
"Yeah," Harry agreed, amazed. Ron Weasley and Harry Potter, he thought, still here.
"Hermione!" Mrs. Granger called through the screen door, "It's getting dark, time to come in."
A ten year old girl sat on the sidewalk, a book folded in her lap, staring at the fence across the street.
"Hermione, last call!"
"Coming, Mum," Hermione said faintly. As she walked up the pathway to her house four tiny footsteps padded behind her.
"Thank you, dear- oh, would you look at that," Mrs. Granger paused, staring at the creature on her front porch. "A tabby cat. It seems you made a friend today, Hermione."